Black Airs, baby!
Welcome to Elfenland, a fantasy world where monsters co-exist with humans. However, as you can imagine, tensions on both side flair more often then not, leading into an ongoing battle between the two (Humans are afraid of the monsters preying on them, while the monsters are afraid the humans will hunt them down). Despite this, a group of monsters, The Black Airs, a ragtag bunch said to be the strongest monster force (which include Aki (a werewolf), Touren (a sand golem, half human hybrid), James (a Frankenstein's monster-ish guy), Mamii (mummy) and Joba (a onion looking monster) have made sure both sides are under control and work to find a peaceful solution to the war.
Such is the story of Monster Soul
, a manga from Hiro Mashima (Rave Master
, Fairy Tail
). Not particularly a long manga (only two volumes) but a good yarn nonetheless, especially those to fans of monsters. Has been licensed by Kodansha Comics
and available for purchase in the U.S
Monster Soul include the following tropes:
- Action Bomb: Frank, a skeleton who, somehow, can shoot dynamite from his head
- Back from the Dead: Aki's parents who were thought dead but in the final chapter was revealed to had merely has their souls sucked out. Doesn't explain where their bodies have been though.
- Bandage Babe: Mamii, obviously.
- Blessed with Suck: Sand Golems can manipulate and create sand at will but desolve in rainstorm, the exception being Touran who is half-human.
- Bully Hunter: Mamii was this when she was little
- Cool Shades: Frank again
- Cute Monster Girl: Touren and Mamii definitely fit this.
- Expy: Inverted Trope: Mamii is quite similar to Erza from another of Mashima's works Fairy Tail. Right down to losing her right eye.
- Mami also has Gray's habit of stripping.
- Eye Scream: Mamii lost her right eye to a bully monster named Garelf while defending Aki. The disturbing thing is, she did it herself as part of a deal to get Garelf to back off. She regains it years later when Aki beats him in a fight.
- Five-Man Band
- Frankenstein's Monster: James
- Gentle Giant James, not surprisingly
- Golem: Touren
- Groin Attack: Real cheap shot here
- Half-Human Hybrid: Touren again, whose father is a golem and mother is a human It was due to this that she survived a rain storm that washed away her clan.
- Humans Are Bastards: Touched upon but the Black Airs don't see it that way. Only fighting against humans who wish to do harm to the monsters. Otherwise they're friendly to both sides.
- In the Hood: What Aki usually wears
- Mama Bear: Mamii to the group.
- Missing Mom: Touren though its implied she died not long after Touren was born.
- Our Souls Are Different: A monster soul can come in a form as a part of the body. Such as Mamii's case when she gave up her right eye.
- Monster Mash: Hooo yeah
- One-Winged Angel: Aki's Soul Form
- Our Werewolves Are Different: Aki
- Our Vampires Are Different: Kiriko
- Parental Abandonment: Mamii and James fit this. The first whose parents we never know about, the only flashback of her on her own is running away from humans before meeting James. James however plays this straight as he was created a weapon by the humans meant to hunt down monsters. But was viewed as a failure and abandoned before Mamii found and befriended him. Subverted with Aki and Touren, the former whose parents were killed by a human hunter and the latter whose father and clan were dissolved in a rain storm.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Mamii with a bit of Eyepatch of Power least till she gets her eye back
- Punny Name: Mamii, get it? Sadly the U.S version doesn't use this and just simply calls her Mummy.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Joba, the onion monster.
- Running Gag James literally losing his face. Mamii stripping unknowingly.
- Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: Garelf, unfortunately his maturity doesn't seem to have evolved as he comes looking for trouble with the Black Airs.
- Shout-Out Theme Naming: 'Aki' means autumn. This follows in a tradition set by other Mashima characters Haru (Spring) and Natsu (Summer).
- Soul Jar
- Tearjerker: Touren's back story.
- This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: After Aki takes over the fight against Garelf from Mamii, he orders her to stay back. She realizes he doing this because of this trope to show she no longer has to fight his battles for him.
- To Hell and Back: A story arc that makes up the last few chapters.
- Transforming Mecha : James when he really has to get serious.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Well more like an inconvenience really, Aki falls asleep whenever he finishes a battle due to his soul form using so much energy.
- Whip It Good: A form of attack for Mamii and her bandages.