Manga: Necromancer

Necromancer is a dark manga by Shina Soga, which ran between March 2009 and January 2011 in Shounen Sirius and has been collected in 4 volumes.

In Slum Street, there lives a necromancer, Asutsuo Johann-Faust. If someone wishes to have another brought back to life, provided that they can bring all the bones intact to him, he can resurrect them by taking three years of the client's life and giving it to the deceased. However, the process also amplifies certain characteristics within the resurrected individual. The story mostly deals with the clients who come to the necromancer, the circumstances of the resurrections, and the consequences. However later on, events from Asutsuo's past start to catch up to him.

Aside from Asutsuo, other recurring characters include his owl companion Stolas, Ricott Pronema, a detective with a strong sense of justice, and Knochenfresserin, a demon with her eye on Asutsuo's soul.

This series includes the following tropes:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: Even Asutsuo can't hold back his laughter when Ricott suggests that Stolas is trained to talk, like a parrot.
  • Badass Longcoat: Asutsuo wears one.
  • Bandage Babe: Knochenfresserin.
  • Big Bad: Richart Igrain.
  • Break the Cutie: Many characters, including Asutsuo himself, when his friends from when he was a child betray him and tell the church about the Necromancers, causing his family to be executed and crucified.
  • Cast from Lifespan: Necromancy works this way.
  • The Comically Serious: Although he grins a lot, Asutsuo isn't exactly a comical person (when he's not being smug, he's actually fairly serious), and most of his comedic moments come from this.
  • Corrupt Church: Magdala.
  • Creepy Shadowed Undereyes: Asutsuo has these.
  • Deal with the Devil: Asutsuo's ancestor made a pact with Stolas to acquire the power to revive the dead.
    • Making a deal directly with Knochenfresserin is this as well.
  • Death Glare: Asutsuo delivers a shivering one of these when Ricott is killed.
  • Death Is Cheap: But well, if it wasn't, there'd be not story. And it's not always that cheap.
  • Dirty Cop: Ricott's partner, who kidnapped children from the slums for human tracking.
  • Downer Ending: Most stories actually end up this way, though a few manage to reach a Bittersweet Ending, such as the Ugly Guardian story. One (Marionette) even gives us a more standard Happy Ending.
    • The main story itself averts this, but only because Stolas gave Asutsuo his life.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Asutsuo's dad.
  • Equivalent Exchange: Asutsuo's resurrections take three years (or less if there isn't enough) from the living and grants the resurrected person the same amount of life.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Could also be Holy Is Not Safe, depending on what your view on raising the dead is, but one thing is sure: normal people (as in, not Necromancers) should not meddle with Necromancy without knowing what they're doing, as the poor apprentice from Chapter 11 finds out. As Stolas explained, for whatever good it sometimes does, Necromancy is a curse, at least to the Necromancers.
  • Fatal Method Acting: One client has their daughter killed repeatedly on stage as part of a play, having Asutsuo resurrect her each time.
  • Foreshadowing: Chapter 11 ended with the phrase "the perfect resurrection" with Ricott standing next to Asutsuo, Stolas also lamented how Asutsuo knew about the price of being a necromancer but still accepted everything. This made perfect sense when you know that Asutsuo's ultimate goal was to perform a full resurrection on Ricott/Shelverase at the cost of his own life.
  • Forgotten Childhood Friend: Asutsuo to Ricott.
  • Healing Hands: Shelverase's blood can heal any disease or wound.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Perfect Resurrection as a rule requires the Necromancer himself to give up his soul in order to ressurrect the dead human in question without the price of "special characteristics". This was Asutsuo's plan, killing himself when performing the Perfect Ressurrection in order to bring Riccot/Shilverase back from the dead, with her memories restored. He ultimately does it, but is brought back by Stolas, who in his own Heroic Sacrifice gives up his soul so that Asutsuo can be resurrected.
    • Even regular Necromancy can require this in a way, since it takes away three years from the lifespan of whoever wants to resurrect the dead one; sometimes the person doesn't really have three years.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted. Children die pretty frequently in this series. Of course with Asutsuo being able to bring people back from the grave and all, it doesn't seem a big deal, but it's at least strongly implied that some of them are going to die and that nothing will stop it or reverse it; an example would be the necromancer apprentice from Chapter 11, who kept on doing Necromancy often, believing that he was not charging the three years fee from Asutsuo's clients. He was actually paying with his own lifespan. In the end, Asutsuo reveals the apprentice, who seems a rather young kid, only has three years left to live.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Ricott aka Shilverase.
  • Meaningful Name: Asutsuo Johann-Faust. You know, like that Faust, who made a Deal with the Devil, just like Asutsuo's ancestors did it years ago, in order to have the power to raise the dead.
  • Necromancer: Asutsuo and his family. This ability comes from a pact his ancestor made with Stolas.
  • Necromantic: Many clients and Asutsuo.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Stolas is this to Asutsuo. He's a demon in the form of an owl.
  • Poisonous Friend: Angela from the first chapter. Not so much before she died, but after she's ressurrected and her personality traits are widened, she finds a way of pushing away all of Rikka's classmates while also gaining their favor, so she can monopolize her completely. She's even compared to a succubus.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Asutsuo is not essentially a bad guy, as seen in his backstory, and his ultimate goal is to give Ricott's memories back to her, after offing himself in a Heroic Sacrifice. But he's not above purposefully withholding information about Necromancy from his clients even though he knows it'll screw them up in the end. An example of this is when he leaves out the pretty important "special characteristic" explanation to the very first client we meet, or when he allows the apprentice in Chapter 11 to repeatedly shorten his lifespan, instead of telling him to stop performing Necromancy. He also at one point resurrects someone who would only live for 30 seconds, and when the person asks why he did it, he replies that it was just his job.
    • It's worth noting that in order to perform the Perfect Resurrection, Asutsuo would have to achieve 616 performed resurrections, so it makes sense that he would go to such lengths as to achieve that number quickly, even if it takes not telling people precious information that could potentially change their minds from the Necromancy; after all, returning Ricott's memories was his ultimate goal The apprentice's case however was either him being a Jerkass or maybe he felt that what the kid was doing hit too close to home, given his own family's fate as Necromancers.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Asutsuo often has this expression.
  • Sweet Tooth: Asutsuo likes white chocolate and Stolas likes chocolate parfaits.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Asutsuo.