[[caption-width-right:300:[[AGirlAndHerX A girl and her]] EldritchAbomination]]

->''"When you don't fit in anywhere in the world, what should you do? Carve yourself to fit the world...? ...Or carve the world to fit ''you''?!"''
-->-- '''[[SocialDarwinist Tomonori Komori]]'''

''Definitely [[JustForFun/IReadThatAs not to be confused with]] [[Manga/{{Naruto}} another manga/anime series with a vaguely similar name]].''

''Naru Taru'' (full title ''Mukuro Naru Hoshi Tama Taru Ko'', roughly "Corpse of a Star; A Precious Child"), published in the United States as ''Shadow Star'', is a manga and anime series with a very deceptive premise. It looks cute, with a perky NaiveEverygirl lead (who transforms into an ActionGirl as the plot progresses, though in a most plausible manner) who happens across an adorable starshaped {{Mon}} while visiting her grandparents during summer vacation. The anime opens with the most upbeat theme music imaginable and has a relaxed first episode. [[{{Deconstruction}} Things go downhill from there]].

The story is told from the viewpoint of twelve-year-old Shiina Tamai, after she aquires the aforementioned dragonet, which she names Hoshimaru. Merely being in this creature's company inevitably draws other young people with dragonets to her. Shiina, unlike the others, is not telepathically linked to her dragonet, and Hoshimaru seems to have a will and personality of his own; meanwhile, not all of the other "dragon bearers" have good intentions, for Shiina ''or'' the world at large. While the anime is [[LeftHanging open-ended to say the least]], the manga leads towards an almost [[GainaxEnding Gainax-type ending]]. Unfortunately, the official English release of the manga was not only flipped and censored, but also incomplete. This leaves English viewers no way to officially experience the half of the story that the anime didn't get to, although some unofficial complete translations do exist.

''Naru Taru'' was created by Creator/MohiroKitoh, who also created the HumongousMecha series ''Manga/{{Bokurano}}'', while the anime was penned by Creator/ChiakiKonaka, writer of ''Anime/SerialExperimentsLain'' and ''Anime/DigimonTamers''.

!!Provides Examples Of:
* AbusiveParents: Shiina, Akira, and Hiroko all have at least one each. It's also implied that Norio and Takeo had them, but never explained in detail.
%%* ActionGirl: Shiina.
%%* ActionMom: Jane Franklin, a manga-only character.
* AdamAndEvePlot: In the final three pages of the manga, with [[spoiler: Shiina's daughter and Mamiko's son]].
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Might explain some of Takeo's popularity among the ladies.
* AllLovingHero: Shiina is one of these.
* AlasPoorVillain: [[spoiler: Aki Honda's]] death. Yes, she was a cruel person with no redeeming qualities, but her death is so horrible that it could be hard to feel any satisfaction over it.
* AlphaBitch: Aki Honda has to be one of the nastiest Alpha Bitches ''ever'' created. Akira also has her own personal Alpha Bitch in Hibiki Shimura, although her taunts seem tame in comparison to what Honda does. However this trope has dire and ''fatal'' consequences for Honda....
* AntiVillain: [[GreyAndGrayMorality Might be debatable who should be called a "villain" here]], but still Bungo Takano appears as one of the most decent, emotionally stable and good-natured characters in the manga, after Shiina, her father and [[spoiler:pre-insanity]] Hiroko, who does genuinely feel bad about killing.
* AnyoneCanDie: [[spoiler: Even Shiina herself]]. Subverted since [[spoiler: she is brought back to life by her true shadow dragon: the earth itself]].
* ArmorPiercingSlap: Satomi does this to Shiina when they first meet, just because she overheard her making fun of the name of her school. [[spoiler:Much, ''much'' later, ''Akira'' slaps Shiina to get her out of an HeroicBSOD]].
* ArtEvolution: The art in the second half is noticeably less stiff and awkward than in the first.
* {{Asexuality}}: Sudo. He takes as a sign that he's already gotten above common human desires.
%%* BaitAndSwitchCredits
* BerserkButton:
** Satomi hates it when anyone insinuates that she's weak.
** Hurting or trying to kill Shiina's father is a very quick way to shift Shiina from AllLovingHero to RoaringRampageOfRevenge.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Hiroko aka "Hiro-chan", [[spoiler: who as soon as she gets her own dragon, Oni, uses it to murder the AlphaBitch of her school, her [[BrotherSisterIncest brother/lover]], the Alpha Bitch's GirlPosse ''and'' the [[AbusiveParents parents that cared more about her grades than her emotional well-being]], all of them in ''very'' gruesome and creepy manners. Hoshimaru must kill her in the end since Hiro-chan has become ''that'' insane.]]
** Also [[spoiler:another of Shiina's buddies, Akira Sakura, who eventually ''killed'' her abusive and rapist bastard of a father.]]
** Sudo and Komori are both considered particularly nice boys by the people who know them superficially, but are the secretly (well, not exactly secretly in Sudo's case) sadistic egomaniacs with dire plans for the world.
** Finally, [[spoiler: Shiina herself. After having her best friend Akira and her mother murdered in front of her,her boyfriend murdered by random thugs, all of it in one chapter right after the chapter where her father make a HeroicSacrifice she finally [[BreakTheCutie snaps]] and decide to end the world by sprouting gigantic hands from earth and bitchslap every single soul to death.]]
* [[BigBrotherInstinct Big Sister Instinct]]: [[spoiler: The Virgin Princess who aids Shiina often in the manga is her older sister Mishou.]]
* BilingualBonus: In episode 2 Mamiko is wearing a T-shirt with a russian word "Самолет" (Airplane) on it. It could be a Foreshadowing if it wasn't in Russian.
%%* BlackAndGrayMorality
* BondCreatures: The dragonets.
* BookDumb: Shiina. Subverted in the manga, [[spoiler: when she gets a scholarship for a ''very'' prestigious all-girls junior high. Lampshaded when people speak about how she's the first girl in ''14'' years to get a scholarship there.]]
* {{Bowdlerise}}:
** The manga received a fair amount of edits when it was released in English, with Dark Horse removing entire pages from one volume and getting Kitoh to redraw a certain infamous scene from the same; only seven volumes were even published in the United States.
** The German version of the manga also received some edits, though they were milder than the English version's (volume 6 got an appendix discussing the nature of bullying in Japan added to it) and the German publishers actually finished releasing the series.
** Amusing/frustrating aversion in the French edition: the publisher, Glénat, picked it up in the late 90's as a {{shonen}} (no really), thinking it was a nice, harmless little Mon series. They pulled the plug after just the first two ''tankoubon'', probably after somebody pointed out what happens later on (that manga & anime were under flak in France at a time due to a combination of MoralGuardians and [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids gross mismarketing]] didn't help). It took ten years for them to republish it, this time under their more appropriate {{seinen}} imprint, so far apparently uncut and unmodified.
** There was also some Bowdlerisation in the anime adaptation. Many of the more shocking events happen off-screen (though to be fair the anime doesn't cover the second half of the manga, where some of the worse things take place), and the anime is even reluctant to show blood most of the time. .i.e, while [[spoiler: Aki Honda's horrifying death]] still happens, the worst parts (like [[spoiler: being raped and torn in half by Oni]] are given {{Gory Discretion Shot}}s [[spoiler: and at least two {{rape discretion shot}}s in between]].
%%* BreakHisHeartToSaveHim: Happens at the end of the Broomstick arc.
* BreakTheCutie: Shiina's friends Hiroko Kaizuka and Akira Sakura. Shiina herself steadily goes through this throughout the manga, and at the end [[spoiler:is as broken as broken gets after losing everything and everyone she ever cared about, and bringing about TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt along with Mamiko.]]
** Averted by Norio Koga, which is impressive given what ends up happening to him. Sure, he was [[spoiler:raped to death]] but he didn't dwell on his situation, and instead [[spoiler:focused on helping out Tsurumaru and Shiina by taking out bombers, despite the giant pedophile on his back.]]
* BreakTheHaughty: [[spoiler:Satomi, in the manga. Also, Aki Honda in both anime and manga.]]
* BrotherSisterIncest: ''Very'' strongly implied between Aki Honda and her brother Yasuhito.
* BuryYourGays: [[spoiler: Norio gets what has to be the most horrendous death out of ''anyone''.]]
* CallingTheOldManOut: Years after her father's sexual abuse crippled her emotionally, Akira called him out by [[spoiler: ''killing him'']].
* CaptainEthnic: The only Russian Shadow Dragon we see is based on Literature/BabaYaga's Chicken Leg House and flies through space. The American boy who appears later is a less obvious example. His Dragon resembles the Spinosaur from ''Film/JurassicParkIII'' (without a sail, making it look more like a Baryonyx) with a painful-looking life-support machine in the center, invoking two of the biggest things America is known for in Japan (and worldwide): blockbuster movies and substandard healthcare. Alternatively, it could be said to resemble a European dragon, which is the archetypal idea of a dragon in America.
%%* TheCasanova: Takeo Tsurumaru
* {{Celibate Hero}}ine: Although Shiina is pretty young, she's already adamant that she'll never get married or have children. [[spoiler:This is subverted in the manga; not only does Shiina develop feelings for Takeo, but she even ''has sex with him'' near the end, with their daughter going on to be the new Eve of the "cleansed" Earth.]]
%%* ChildrenAreInnocent: Subverted
* CoolCar: Almost all of the cars used in the manga are real models, and interesting cars usually get full panels - in Chapter 12, the very uncommon Subaru SVX is shown off this way
* CoolPlane: As with the cars, the aircraft in the manga are all real types, and are depicted with great detail. The [[RealLife/CoolPlane Sukhoi Su-27]] is a major plot element. Others that get shown prominently include the A-10 Thunderbolt (inaccurately depicted as being flown by the JASDF; in reality only the US operates it), the AC-130 Gunship, and the F-104 Starfighter.
%%* ComingOfAgeStory
* TheComplainerIsAlwaysWrong: Subverted - Miyoko, the only one of Aki Honda's group who showed any kind of remorse or hesitation about their treatment of Hiro-chan, was ''right''. [[spoiler: Had the girls not bullied and raped Hiro-chan, they would've not gotten the fate Oni dealt to them. Well, they would've died in the end, but still...]]
** [[spoiler: Actually, they might possibly have survived. The whole point of the manga was Shiina being slowly broken by the events that took place. Hiro-chan wasn't the biggest factor, but it certainly played a role.]]
* CompressedAdaptation: Sort of - the anime only covered events from the first half of the manga. In condensing said events into 13 episodes, some manga scenes that served as foreshadowing got cut, but the adaptation was otherwise pretty faithful.
* CoversAlwaysLie: The first manga volume, complete with misleading blurb on the back of the English version.
** The French version's like that too. The blurb for that volume mentions that Shiina's "[[BreakTheCutie exciting]] [[NightmareFuel adventures]] are [[FromBadToWorse just beginning!]]".
** Also, one of the anime DVD covers has Hiro-chan smiling like a typical CheerfulChild character. She's... not quite like that in canon.
%%* CrapsaccharineWorld
%%* CrapsackWorld:
* CreepyChild: Well, creepy teens, but the effect is still the same.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: Definitely a few of these in here. [[spoiler:Norio]]'s death has to take the cake, though, though [[spoiler: Aki Honda]]'s comes off quite close.
* CurseCutShort: In volume 7, Yasuhito exclaims "What the f--" upon seeing Oni. [[spoiler:His head is crushed before he can get it all out.]]
%%* CuteAndPsycho: Akira, to some extent.
* CutShort: The anime ended halfway through the story, giving very little closure; either there wasn't enough of an audience to keep going, or the producers were afraid of tackling [[NightmareFuel what was coming next]]. Or both.
* DeadPersonImpersonation: [[spoiler:The Jyun Ezumi that Shiina meets is actually Kyouji, who has taken on her appearance with the help of his shadow dragon; the real Jyun died in an accident two years prior to the story.]]
* DeathBySex: [[spoiler: Genderflipped, because ''Takeo'' is the one who dies soon after he and Shiina have sex.]]
* {{Deconstruction}}: Though it's less apparent in later volumes, the series deconstructs the {{Mon}} genre in the following ways:
** Unlike most Mon shows, the series doesn't assume that all the children who get cute monsters are [[ChildrenAreInnocent automatically good]]. Some of the children in ''Narutaru'' have the same misanthropic worldview as RealLife school shooters, and are only too keen to use their dragonets to hurt people they consider undesirable.
** The children have a psychic link to the dragonets and share their pain during the battles, leading to physical and mental trauma.
** The military gets involved when the dragonets begin to threaten the population, and the kids are caught in the crossfire.
* DemotedToExtra: Mamiko, despite being critically important in the manga, only appears in two anime episodes and doesn't even show up in the ED animation.
** And don't forget Takaya Mizushima, whose first animated appearance is in episode 12, when [[spoiler:he shows up out of the blue to save Hiroko]], without any explanation of ''why'' he knew to be there, or even ''who he is'', and then only because [[TheArtifact there was no way around it this time]]. (Originally, he was Shiina's neighbour and classmate, and a recurring minor character.)
* DespairEventHorizon: In the manga, eventually crossed by [[spoiler:Shiina, after she watches everyone she loves die horribly. TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt follows.]]
%%* {{Determinator}}: [[spoiler:Norio]]
* DeusAngstMachina: The plot can really feel like it's running on Murphy's Law at times. It's particularly bad for poor Akira, as [[spoiler:there even seems to be a ''literal conspiracy'' to keep her from ever being happy again]] in the manga.
* DisproportionateRetribution: Satomi develops a murderous grudge against Shiina that started just because the latter ''made fun of the name of her school''. In the manga, Sudo shoots two delinquents to death just for throwing a bag of trash into a river.
%%* DownerEnding: In the manga.
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler:Akira tries to kill herself twice, but either can't bring herself to do it or gets slapped out of it.]] Eventually, [[spoiler:she ''may'' have finally ended her suffering by throwing herself out of her hospital window... which might be the closest thing to a "happy ending" that ''anyone'' in the series ever got.]]
* DubNameChange: Bungo is renamed Kazuyuki in the Dark Horse manga volumes, probably just [[{{Woolseyism}} because it anglicizes better than ''Bungo'']]. The last few chapters they translated (which never made it into English graphic novels) changed his name back to Bungo, though. Also, Tomonori is called Akinori on Central Park Media's page for the anime, possibly due to their translators misreading the kanji for his name.
* DudeLooksLikeALady: Norio is mistaken for a girl several times in the manga.
* DysfunctionJunction: Having issues with the world seems to be - [[spoiler:and may even ''literally'' be]] - a ''requirement'' for bonding with a shadow dragon.
* EmbarrassingFirstName: Shiina writes her first name in katakana because she ''really'' hates the way it's written in kanji, which is read as "empty husk" or "a seed that will never sprout". [[spoiler:It eventually turns out that the name has a positive meaning after all (Misono didn't want Shiina to "leave" her like Mishou did) and when Shiina finally comes to accept it, she's able to link with her ''real'' shadow dragon... the Earth itself.]]
* EmotionlessGirl: Mamiko Kuri and the Otohimes.
%%* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: [[spoiler: Only in the manga, though.]]
* EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas: Subverted with Tomonori Komori. [[spoiler:It's revealed some time after his death that he had a sickly mother he was taking care of, but the reader already knows by then that the sickly were among the sorts of people he wanted to kill off.]]
* ExpositoryHairstyleChange: Bungo bleaches his hair and starts slicking it back in later manga volumes.
** Shiina begins the series with GirlishPigtails, switches to a bob [[spoiler: after entering junir high]], and has shoulder-length hair [[spoiler: after she goes WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds with Mamiko.]]
* FanDisservice: Child sex, underage female nudity... not meant to be actual fanservice, [[{{Squick}} and it shows]].
* FateWorseThanDeath: [[spoiler: In the manga, Komori's corpse and his Dragonet are found by the military and experimented on. Last time they're seen they're hooked-up to machines that keep Komori from merging with his Dragon and turned into an Otohime, therefore keeping them half-dead.]]
* FiveRoundsRapid: What the JSDF does to combat the dragons. It doesn't work; only once is one successfully killed, but that one was [[RammingAlwaysWorks rammed by an airplane]] before going down.
* FlyingBroomstick: Jun Ezumi's dragon.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: There's some in the very first chapter that alludes to [[spoiler:Shiina's true dragon.]]
-->'''Shiina:''' ''(while drowning)'' Am I going to die? Die? I'm going to be gone? I'm going to be gone from this world? To not be...? This world will die... This world will be gone from me? Be gone? Who? Me...? The world...? And then...?
* ForTheEvulz: Why Aki Honda and the city thugs could be considered to be much worse than the ''main'' villains.
%%* FromBadToWorse
* FullFrontalAssault: In the manga, [[spoiler:Mamiko first goes on a killing spree while half naked. Her first targets? The thugs who'd just raped her.]]
* FuroScene: There's one in the manga, but it's got much more to do with characterisation than fanservice.
* GainaxEnding: In the manga. [[spoiler:It can be compared to ''[[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion End of Evangelion]]'', but it's really ''much'' more bleak and nihilistic. Confusing, too.]]
* GatlingGood: Bungo's dragon Hainuwele packs a mean vulcan.
* GeniusLoci: The Earth is a shadow dragon, Shiina's specifically.
* GenkiGirl: Subverted by [[spoiler: Misho, Shiina's older sister, who starts as one of these but doesn't stay genki after Shiina's birth, and dies in ''very'' strange circumstances. When she reappears as a Virgin Princess, she's much closer to an EmotionlessGirl.]] Also Shiina herself.
%%* GenreShift
* GetAHoldOfYourselfMan: [[spoiler: Akira pulls this on Shiina, slap included, after her father dies.]]
* GiantFlyer: The adult dragons.
* GiantHandsOfDoom: [[spoiler: The earth sprouts these when controlled by either Mamiko or Shiina. In fact, this is the way humans meet their doom at the end.]] Seriously.
* GirlPosse: Aki Honda's friends Miyoko, Mihaya and Hiroka are a specially ''nasty'' version of this. [[spoiler: And do they and their Alpha Bitch get nasty [[KarmicDeath Karmic Deaths]] as punishment. Only Miyoko, who only helped bully Hiro-chan because she was shit scared of being rejected by her "friends", survives - but is left traumatised and crippled.]]
* GirlishPigtails: Pre-haircut Shiina and Hiroko.
* AGodAmI: Sudo certainly thinks he is.
* GoOutWithASmile: Played with. [[spoiler:Norio's dying smile is ironic because he's regretting that he could never tell Takeo his real feelings. Also, he's ''not'' smiling when Takeo comes home to find his severed head.]]
* GoingCommando: Mamiko ''never'' wears panties.
* GoryDiscretionShot: The anime does this a lot, especially in the last two episodes. The manga's violence, on the other hand, is ''much'' more graphic.
** Played straight near the end when [[spoiler: Shiina's mom gets shot, when she's shot by a shotgun, the resulting gore is not shown.]]
%%* GovernmentConspiracy: In the manga.
* GrotesqueCute: As events turn darker and darker, Hoshimaru's cute design starts to look increasingly out of place. Also CuteMonsterGirl [[GeniusBonus Hainuwele]], a doll-like armless angel that can spout weapons from its Claw-wings.
* HalfTheManHeUsedToBe: Happens to [[spoiler:[[AlphaBitch Aki Honda]]]] and [[spoiler:one of the gangsters that rapes Mamiko.]]
* HappilyEverBefore: Things get ''so'' much worse after the point where the anime ended.
%%* HarmfulToMinors
* [[SheIsNotMyGirlfriend He Is Not My Boyfriend]]: Satomi about Bungo. Even 13 year olds don't believe her anyway.
* HealingFactor: An ability of the shadow dragons, though the bearers don't usually recover so well.
* HeroicBSOD: Shiina gets these a few times. [[spoiler:First, after the situation with Hiro-chan. Second, when she finds out Hoshimaru isn't actually ''her'' shadow dragon, but Takeo's. Third, when her father dies.]]
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: In the manga, Shunji sacrifices his life by using his plane (more exactly, its engines) as a weapon to destroy Bungo's dragon]]
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: In the anime, [[spoiler:Komori is killed when Hoshimaru replicates his own Push Dagger and spears him with it (as opposed to the broken plane strut used in the manga)]]. A bigger example from both versions would be [[spoiler:the way Aki Honda is killed by Oni, mirroring the way she tortured Hiro-chan]].
** It's interesting to note how the anime plays this up ''twice''. While Oni merely used its claws in the manga, in the anime it transforms its finger into the shape of the infamous test tube before doing the deed.
* HopeSpot: [[spoiler:The last chapter of the manga. Shiina seems to have recovered from her father's death and is living happily with her mother. She and her mother head out to visit Akira in hospital... only for an angry mob to shoot up her mother's car, Akira to fall out of the hospital window in an apparent suicide, Takeo and Hoshimaru to be killed by a gang of thugs--after which Shiina and Mamiko initiate TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. Afterwards, Shiina, heavily pregnant with Takeo's (who was dying from radiation poisoning) baby, is shown walking around the ruins of the buildings she used to know, unable to muster up the will to do anything more for the world.]]
* IJustWantToBeNormal: Akira doesn't want to have recurring nightmares and be ill because of her link to her Mon.
* IJustWantToBeSpecial: On the other hand, Shiina surely ''does'' want to be special and have a Mon to call her own.
* IKnowYouAreInThereSomewhereFight: Rather cruel subversion. [[spoiler: Shiina tries this on Hiroko when she goes mad after all the abuse and gets Oni. It does NOT work. Hoshimaru has to kill her instead or she'll use Oni to kill Shiina's father.]]
* IdiotHair: Amusingly enough, [[spoiler:Shiina gains one of these after her ImportantHaircut... ''after'' she's stopped being BookDumb!]]
* ImplacableMan: Satomi's dragon Amapola, after "evolving" into its more humanoid form. [[spoiler:It takes an intervention from the Virgin Princess to defeat it and save Shiina's life.]]
* ImportantHaircut: [[spoiler:Akira gives herself one of these early on, after Komori tells her she's got beautiful hair.]] In the manga, [[spoiler:Shiina, after having used pigtails for a good part of the story, gets her hair cut to bob length upon entering junior high; by that time, we see that Akira has let hers grow again.]]
* IncompatibleOrientation: Sure sucks to be Norio there...
* InnocentFanserviceGirl: Mamiko, though it might be more accurate to call her a [[FanDisservice Not-So-Innocent Fandisservice Girl]].
* InnocenceLost: When the series started, Shiina was just an innocent GenkiGirl. Not so much after volume 2.
* IntelligenceEqualsIsolation: Sudo, Komori, and Hiro-chan except for Shiina.
* ItsAllJunk: Shouko Fukuyama, after being told off by Jyun.
* {{Jerkass}}: Takeo. Part of it is [[JerkassFacade a facade]], but really, only a part.
* KarmicDeath: Well, sort of. [[spoiler:The bullies that "broke" Hiro-chan get this, most obviously with [[AlphaBitch Aki Honda]], who has all the torments she devised revisited on her tenfold, before being painfully killed. But even the most reluctant, remorseful member of her GirlPosse is incredibly brutalized and only survives because of outside intervention.]]
* KickTheDog: Satomi, [[strike:when she gets some screentime]] when she's not hesitant about killing her school friend in order to get Shiina. Also Takeo practices some dog-kicking in his free time, especially on girls.
%%* KidsAreCruel
%%* KillEmAll
%%* KillerRabbit: [[spoiler:Hoshimaru, pretty much]]
* KissingCousins: Shouko's feelings for her cousin Kyouji.
%%* KnifeNut: Komori.
%%* LittleMissBadass: Mamiko Kuri.
%%* LittlestCancerPatient: [[spoiler: Robert Franklin.]]
* LivingWithTheVillain: [[spoiler:Or rather, Going To School With The Villain; Shiina enters the same school that Satomi attends, while Mamiko also enrolls.]]
* LockedOutOfTheLoop: In the anime, it's implied that [[spoiler: Shiina didn't tell her father that Hiroko died ''and'' was the one behind his almost death.]]
%%* LonelyRichKid: Hiro-chan.
%%* LoveHurts
* MadeOfIron: [[spoiler:Takeo is like this at times in the manga, even taking a shotgun blast to the ''chest'' and barely even flinching. He's far from invincible, though, and eventually succumbs to radiation poisoning.]]
* MamaBear: Jane Franklin's son Robert is an IllBoy who has been captured by the military alongside his dragon. His ActionMom joins forces with Takeo and Shiina, and she will NOT stop until she rescues her kid. [[spoiler: Heartbreakingly, she succeeds in getting Robert back... but the poor boy falls victim to his illness in her arms.]]
%%* ManipulativeBastard: Sudo, [[spoiler: Takeo]].
* MauveShirt: [[spoiler:Ono]]. Ui might also count [[spoiler: if not for the fact she ''survived'' that fall]].
* MeaningfulName: The Shadow Dragon Sheol. Its name is often referred to as the Hebrew word for Hell, but its true meaning is simply the absence of God. Either one works pretty well considering that Sheol's body is [[spoiler:the Earth itself]].
* {{Mon}}s: The dragonets, or "shadow dragons", or whatever your translation calls them.
%%* MoodWhiplash
* {{Mukokuseki}}: Averted. You can tell by looking that Jane Franklin and the Russians in the manga are, well, not Japanese. Also "The Pedobear" looks somewhat Latin.
%%* NaiveEverygirl: Shiina
* NighInvulnerability: The dragons are almost impossible to kill, and ordinarily can only die if their bearers die [[spoiler:and don't merge with them to become an adult dragon and Virgin Princess]]. In the manga, [[spoiler:the one time a dragon is actually killed (without killing the bearer first) is when Shunji crushes Bungo's dragon in the engines of his fighter jet near the end.]]
* NoPeriodsPeriod: Averted. In the manga, 13-years-old Shiina gets her first period [[spoiler:right after she dies and is subsequently reborn in the island where her grandparents live. ]]
** Also, Naozumi discovers that it's Satomi's time of the month after she [[spoiler:passes out and wets herself when her dragon is cut up by an attack chopper's rotor blades.]]
** Akira is taunted by some girls at school because of her period and she mentions that she did just have it.
* OffModel: The car chase scene in episode six of the anime. Sudo apparently drives three different cars, and the patrol car keeps changing.
* OffingTheOffspring: [[spoiler:Attempted by [[HeroicBSOD a completely fucked up Misono]], who tried strangling Shiina to death when she was a small child, blaming her for the then-recent and very weird death of her other daughter Mishou.]]
* TheOjou: Hiro-chan is the daughter of a very rich family and lives in a BigFancyHouse.
* OlympusMons: [[spoiler:Sheol, a.k.a. the Earth itself]]
* OminousFloatingCastle: It's not like any bad guys live in it, but even so - one of the manga-only dragons, Baba Yaga's Hut, resembles a ''kilometre-wide floating house'' with long claws hanging underneath.
* OneSteveLimit: Averted, since there are two minor yet notable characters named Aki; apart from the nasty Alpha Bitch Aki Honda, there's also Tatsumi Miyako's SexySecretary, Aki Sato.
* {{Otaku}}: Bungo is a military nut.
* OurDragonsAreDifferent: ''Indeed''. They start off as cute starfish-shaped creatures, but their adult stages can be anything from [[WingedHumanoid Winged humanoids]] to borderline [[EldritchAbomination eldritch abominations]]. In fact, the only one we see that really looks like a "typical" dragon is the one belonging to the American kid in the manga.
* ParentalAbandonment: Although given how horrible Shiina's mother is for much of the series, it's probably for the best that she doesn't live with Shiina and Shunji.
* PennyAmongDiamonds: Satomi and later Shiina herself at Banda Academy. They both have very different ways of handling it to say the least.
* PleasePutSomeClothesOn: Most people's reaction to Mamiko.
* PuppyLove: Canonically, Bungo and Satomi when they were younger, though their relationship is bittersweet at best and [[TroublingUnchildlikeBehaviour downright icky]] at worst.
%%* RapeAsDrama: Hiro-chan and Norio.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Shouko gets one of these from Jyun.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler: Misono. Right after the readers get to see ''her'' side of the story, as well as having her reunite with Shiina and patch things up, she's shot to death while trying to save her from an angry mob.]]
%%* RefugeInAudacity: The anime opening
* ReplacementGoldfish: Very strange example in that [[spoiler:Shiina does this to ''herself''. When she is accidentally killed by a stray round from a fighter jet, the Earth (which is actually her real shadow dragon) creates a new Shiina a couple of chapters later]].
* RichBitch: Subverted. Satomi looks and acts like one, but turns out she's anything but rich, and a big fuss she makes about "elitarism" and social position comes from the fact she's ashamed of failing Banda's entance exams at first.
** Also, Aki Honda is a monstrous Alpha Bitch, but she's from a middle-class family.
%%* RidiculouslyCuteCritter: Hoshimaru
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: Played with; [[spoiler: when Hiro-chan finally breaks, she uses her dragonet to go on a bloody rampage, killing everyone who ever wronged her. Then she moves on to anyone who stands in her way or she simply happens to dislike. However, she remains [[DissonantSerenity eerily calm]] through the whole thing, even as she attempts to kill Shiina's father. She just seems repressed to the point of being ''physically incapable of articulating her anger'' and can only channel it though the monstrous Oni.]]
* RocksFallEveryoneDies: Well, in the manga [[spoiler:giant hands come out of the earth and bitchslap all of human existance into dust]].
* TheRunaway: Among the main cast, there's Norio. There's also Kaori, the unlucky young girl whom Takeo deals with [[KickTheDog in a rather harsh manner]] when earning his money in one side arc.
* ScarsAreForever: [[spoiler:Shiina gets stabbed through her left hand when trying to fend off Oni, which leaves a fairly conspicuous scar there for the rest of the manga. It stays even though she dies and is brought back.]]
* ScholarshipStudent: [[spoiler:In the manga, Shiina becomes one of these when she enters junior high.]]
* {{Seinen}}: While it can easily be mistaken for {{shoujo}} (because of the perky female lead) or {{shounen}} (because of the {{Mon}}s) at first glance, it's definitely not for kids.
* SelfMadeOrphan: [[spoiler:When Hiro-chan snaps, the first people she kills with Oni are her own parents]]. Also, [[spoiler:Sudo ''may'' be responsible for the "disappearance" of his parents and older brother]].
** [[spoiler: Komori might have allowed his ill mother to starve to death.]]
%%* ShadowArchetype: Shiina and Mamiko.
* ShapedLikeItself: Jyun Ezumi has a broomstick-shaped shadow dragon she calls Nendo. Guess what Nendo means. There's also Satomi's dragon, Amapola, whose name is simply the Spanish word for poppy.
* ShapeshifterWeapon: The shadow dragons fight by forming replicas of weapons they've come into contact with, ranging from blades to rocket launchers and everything in between.
%%* ShrinkingViolet: Akira - to the ''highest'' degree - and Miyoko.
* ShootTheDog: [[spoiler:Hoshimaru having to kill Hiro-chan when she goes off the deep end and threatens to kill Shiina's father]].
* ShootTheShaggyDog: The anime adaptation. Most of the cast goes insane and [[DroppedABridgeOnHim dies in a generally unsatisfying fashion]], except for the [[BreakTheCutie main character]] and the vaguely established villains, who [[WhatHappenedToTheMouse vanish off the face of the earth]] around episode 10. Most of the plot points are LeftHanging, and noone seems to care much. The description that '[[StatusQuoIsGod nothing much has happened except that a few ineffectual people has died]]' fits the story like a glove, although this is because the anime only covers the first half of the manga, cutting off right before things start to get ''really'' bad. The manga, incidentally, may also count as this.
* ShoutOut: The chapter Komori appears is titled [[Music/TypeONegative Black No. 1]].
* ShownTheirWork:
** Creator/MohiroKitoh is a big aviation nut and his knowledge of aircraft shines through with his depictions of Shiina's dad's work and the JASDF.
** He nails down some lesser known characteristics of Down's Syndrome during a brief appearance by a minor character with the condition. Said character is a florist who has managed to earn several minor government contracts for state funerals and such because of his meticulousness. People with Down's often become almost superhumanly good at certain tasks because the fact they ''know'' they're mentally challenged makes them more careful about things and work harder than a "normal" person would think they need to.
** Kito is a fluent Russian speaker, so Shiina occasionally would wear a T-shirt that says "Samolet", or "Plane". The chapter in Moscow is written with his original research.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: This series lies on the far, ''far'' end of the cynical side. Depending on your view of the world, it can start to feel like {{wangst}}.
* SmugSnake: Tatsumi Miyako and Aki Honda.
* SocialDarwinist: Tomonori Komori
* SoundtrackDissonance: The anime OP song. Enough said.
* SpoilerOpening: The intro isn't as innocuous as first appears, and even references some manga-only twists. i.e., Hiroko's first appearance features a malicious-looking [[AlphaBitch Aki]] and several "100%" on the background, implying Aki's "role" as her bully [[DrivenByEnvy and the reason why.]]
* StuffedIntoTheFridge: Subverted when [[spoiler:Shiina is killed very suddenly and very messily right after it's insinuated she might not actually be the main character, almost as though she's outlived her usefulness to the plot. Thankfully, she's reborn a couple of chapters later, and very much remains the protagonist.]] Played straight with [[spoiler:Norio, who is killed off in an extremely gruesome manner more or less just to break Takeo further, and with Misono, who's killed off right after her and Shiina's reconciliation, and her death is part of what pushed her into fully embracing her role as a WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds.]]
* SubvertedKidsShow: Though targeted to a seinen audience, this is the only explanation for the [[TrailersAlwaysLie tone of the opening as compared to]] [[MindScrew the subject matter]]. All the characters are cheerily illustrated, dancing to a bubblegum folk sound. Are you ready for this, kids?
* SurpriseCreepy
* TeensAreMonsters: See a pattern here? At one point, highschooler Satomi Ozawa uses her shadow dragon Amapola to [[spoiler:gas a whole field of soldiers to death with toxic pollen]]... and that's a relatively ''mild'' example!
* ThereAreNoTherapists: Though if there ''were'', we wouldn't have nearly the same story.
* TheyWouldCutYouUp: Why Akira would rather keep the shadow dragon issue hush-hush.
* [[ThisIsSomethingHesGotToDoHimself This Is Something I've Got To Do Myself]]: In the manga, Shiina accepts missions too dangerous for a girl her age, saying she feels she's gotta do it.
* TomatoInTheMirror: In the manga. [[spoiler:At one point, it's made to look as though Shiina might not be the main character after all, given where Hoshimaru's loyalties really lie. It turns out she ''still'' is, though.]]
* TomatoSurprise: Again, manga only. [[spoiler:Why can't Shiina link with Hoshimaru? Because he was never ''her'' dragon in the first place, and instead belongs to her ally Takeo Tsurumaru. [[HeroicBSOD She doesn't react well to the revelation]], bless her.]]
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Shiina and either Akira or Hiroko.
* TorchesAndPitchforks: How most people react after learning that not only are the monsters real, but some of them are responsible for [[spoiler:the nuclear apocalypse]].
* TraumaCongaLine: [[spoiler:The final result is only shown in the manga, but even so. Poor, ''poor'' Shiina.]]
* {{Tsundere}}: Satomi Ozawa, especially towards her ex-boyfriend Bungo. Norio qualifies as a male example, though given that his love interest is such a jerk, his deredere side doesn't show much.
* TurbineBlender: How Bungo's dragon meets its end.
* {{Ubermensch}}: Naozumi Sudo.
* UglyGuyHotWife: Aki Satou and her fiancé.
** Shiina's parents. Good thing that their daughter[[spoiler:s and granddaughter]] took the looks after Misono rather than Shunji.
* UnexplainedRecovery: [[spoiler:Shiina, in the manga. Getting cut in half by vulcan rounds would be a totally unambiguous death in normal circumstances... but then Shiina is mysteriously ''reborn'' at the island where her grandparents live.]]
** ''Might'' be explained by how [[spoiler: her and Mamiko's shared ''actual'' dragon, Sheol, is the Earth itself.]]
* UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans: Sudo and Komori both have their own plans that involve this.
* VaginaDentata: Norio's dragon is ''named'' this; fittingly enough, its head does look a bit like a toothy vagina.
* VillainProtagonist: [[spoiler: an alternate interpretation for Shiina from those who believe she and Mamiko went a little too far with their planet-wide genocide.]]
* VitriolicBestBuds: Takeo and Norio.
* WeCanRuleTogether: Portrayed more credibly than usual. [[spoiler: Akira and Shiina receive offers from Hiroko (Shiina), Sudo and Komori (Akira). None go well.]]
* WellExcuseMePrincess: Satomi's relationship with Bungo.
* WhatDoesSheSeeInHim: It is revealed that Aki Sato's boyfriend is not some millionaire or politician, but a humble, ugly (and possibly mildly mentally-handicapped) florist.
* WhamEpisode: While Akira's introductory chapter/episode makes things quite a bit darker than they initially appeared, it's her and Shiina's encounter with Komori that sets the true tone of the series. Hiro-chan's arc and volume 10 of the manga deliver big whams, too.
* WholesomeCrossdresser: Norio, to a degree.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: [[spoiler:Hiroko. ''"Anything I don't like, I'll destroy."'']] Fortunately for the world, she fails. Then again, much later in the manga [[spoiler: Shiina succeeds with this trope.]] It's ''not'' pretty.
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: Some of the kids become ''very'' aware of the power that their shadow dragons give them, and end up abusing it.
* {{Yandere}}: Hiro-chan.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Shiina ''literally'' has blue hair.