(1996-2006) is a Japanese manga series, written by Miyuki Takahashi. Published originally in Japan, under the title "Kyūbanme no Musashi", it falls into the Shōjo category. It follows the adventures of a 16-year-old secret agent, the 'Musashi' of the title. She works for an organization called Ultimate Blue. There were 17 translated collections made in English before the imprint was shut down. In 'Ultimate Blue', each agent is given a codename and number. The number is actually far more important than the name. The lower the number, the higher position. The 'ones', as they are called, agents #1 through #9, run the entire organization. And, as was probably pretty obvious
, the agent followed by the series is #9.
Provides examples of:
- Action Girl
- Bifauxnen: Makes Unsettling Gender-Reveal practically a Running Gag.
- Character Development: Oh so much.
- Tachibana Shingo starts out as a bit of a jerk- or not, he's just trying to get over having been in a huge fight with his best friend when said friend died. He gradually falls in love with 9, and when her death is faked, doesn't believe it, actually dropping out of school and traveling around Japan for months to try to find her. When he finally finds her, he sees her for a few seconds, and she sees him, and then he grabs a grenade and ducks into an elevator to protect her.
- 9, meanwhile, starts out as seeming almost emotionless, but gradually falls in love with Shingo. She's clearly torn up, though still trying to hide it, when she thinks she has to fake her death so Shingo won't be in danger from people coming after her. When she finds out, months later, that he never really believed it, dropped out of school, and has been traveling Japan, trying to find some proof that she's alive ever since- seconds before he grabs a ''grenade'' and ducks into an elevator to save her, she freezes up again, not showing that she was heartbroken. Then, when she finds out that that was all a lie, he had been dragged to the roof of the elevator moments before the blast, she defrosts again. Even while she thought he was dead, she was still slightly more free with her emotions, especially when on a mission if something reminded her of Shingo.
- #19, one of 9's doubles, and the closest to her, starts off just as emotionless as 9. Even more so, in fact, since by the time we meet him, she's already begun to defrost a bit. He, too, eventually becomes much nicer.
- Ordinary High-School Student: Shingo and his friends, of course, and it's a recurring disguise for UB agent
- Parental Abandonment: Shingo's parents died when he was a kid, and nobody from Ultimate Blue seems to have any family. note