A 10-volume manga series by CLAMP
, notable for being their debut work, and named after the ancient Hindu hymn collection the Rigveda. The series borrows elements of Hindu and Buddhist mythology for its setting and characters.
300 years ago, the general Taishakuten rebelled against the Heavenly Emperor, killing both him and the guardian god Ashura-ou and installing himself as the king. The Ashura clan was thought to be destroyed until the god Yasha-ou found the remaining child sealed in a forest and began to gather the Six Stars, a group of individuals said to be the prophesied bringers of a celestial revolution.
Included one non-serial OVA
. Several characters from RG Veda
have made appearance in other CLAMP works, mostly in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle
as alternate universe counterparts.
Note: Ashura is technically without a physical sex
, but will be referred to by male pronouns in this article for simplicity's sake.
RG Veda contains examples of:
- Ancestral Weapon: The Shura sword, Ryuuga sword, Yama sword... each tribe seems to have its own.
- Badass and Child Duo: Yasha and Ashura.
- Because Destiny Says So
- Big "NO!": A few. For example, Kisshoten, when Bishamon is killed.
- Bittersweet Ending: All of the Six Stars save Yasha die, but at least he gets to be with Ashura.
- Bodyguard Crush: Sohma to Kendappa, reciprocated.
- Brother-Sister Incest: With Kujaku as the product.
- Calling Your Attacks
- Chekhov's Gunman: Kujaku, who shows up out of nowhere near the beginning and becomes very important later on.
- The Chessmaster: Lady Kendappa seemingly manipulated both heroes and villains into clashing in battle.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Shashi.
- The Cutie: Ryu-o
- Clothing Damage: when Sohma is stabbed through the chest and dragged around while bleeding to death, her top barely covers her breasts. The situation makes it rather unappealing, and the fact that the manga is supposed to be aimed for girls makes it even more disconcerting. Well, Mokona has never tried to hide how much she enjoys drawing half-naked ladies.
- Doomed Hometown: The Yasha tribe's village
- Does Not Like Shoes / Foot Focus: Absolutely EVERYONE is barefoot in this series. No matter when or where.
- Enemy Within: The "true Ashura," though it acts as more of a Superpowered Evil Side in the OVA and the earlier parts of the manga.
- Evil Matriarch: Shashi, who's probably the closest thing to a total bitch that CLAMP's ever written.
- Faking the Dead: Karura
- Four is Death: Taishakuten's Four Generals.
- Gender Bender: Ashura, who was cursed to be of neither gender so the clan would die with him.
- Go Out with a Smile Ryu.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Several, including four of the six stars within a short time period and Ashura killing himself to avoid killing Yasha and finally, Kujaku kills himself to free Ashura so he and Yasha can be together.
- Honorifics: Several characters are referred to as "-ou" (literally, "King") to designate their importance as the leader of their clan. The English manga uses "Lord" and "Lady" in place of these.
- The Spanish manga went with "King" and "Queen". And yes, Naga's mother is always referred to as King Dragon/King Ryuu.
- Homoerotic Subtext: Besides the (canon) relationship between Yasha and Ashura, the Taishakuten/Ashura-ou relationship is just dripping with subtext. Two words: Hair stroking. Also Kendappa and Souma, which crosses the line from subtext and keeps going.
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight
- Ill Girl: Karyoubinga
- I'm a Humanitarian
- Is That Cute Kid Yours?: No, Yasha isn't Ashura's father, but that seems to be the automatic assumption on meeting the two of them.
- It's All My Fault
- Keet: Ryu is a a softer version of this. Since the series is dark though however, his happy personality stands out.
- Kill Em All: The number of characters who survive until the end? Two, and only thanks to some major meddling from Kujaku
- Kill the Cutie: Ryu is the first one to die of the six stars.
- Lady of War: Karura, and Kendappa after revealing her Mole status.
- Last of His Kind: Ashura is the last of his clan, Souma is the only survivor of her ninja clan, and Yasha ends up as the last member of his clan after they are slaughtered early on.
- The Messiah: Ashura and Ryu. When Ryu is killed, everything goes downhill for the heroes.
- Mini Dress Of Power: Sohma.
- The Mole: Kendappa
- Mood Whiplash: The Lighter and Softer Omakes (including the ones with CLAMP in them) seriously contrast against the dark, violent tone of the story. Also happens in-story with Lord Ryuu's and Kujaku's moments of comedy.
- Mysterious Informant: Kujaku
- Ninja: Sohma.
- No Biological Sex: Ashura, as the result of a curse that will keep the Ashura clan from continuing. To a certain extent he's actually treated as both male and female in that he's shown up in group illustrations that otherwise exclusively only have either male or female characters.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Lady Kendappa.
- Perpetual Molt
- Person of Mass Destruction: The Ashura clan were essentially just this.
- The Plan: Taishakuten was told by Ashura-ou to kill him in order to buy time before Ashura destroyed the world.
- Batman Gambit Kujaku also helped Yasha and Ashura bond so they would be able to challenge the prophecy through their love bond.
- The Promise: Used between Yasha and Ashura, Yasha and Ashura-ou, and Taishakuten and Ashura-ou, among others.
- Pronoun Trouble: Talking about Ashura is difficult since the English language lacks a good gender-neutral pronoun.
- Prophecy Twist: The Six Stars are actually meant to destroy heaven, not liberate it as thought.
- The Quiet One: Yasha.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Four Gods of the West
- Rage Against the Heavens: Twice.
- Rapunzel Hair: Most characters (even the men) have this.
- Rip Van Winkle: Twice over.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something
- Sacrificial Lamb: Gigei, Karyoubinga, Shara.
- Scary Impractical Armor often complete with
- Shoulders of Doom and
- Spikes of Villainy: a good example of these three tropes is the armor Lady Kendappa wears when she's revealed as the fourth General.
- Schoolgirl Lesbians: Kendappa and Souma, while not actually schoolgirls, otherwise fit this trope.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Ashura-ou gets Taishakuten to take over Tenkai in order to prevent the fulfillment of the prophecy, but it is Taishakuten's tyrannical rule which gives Yasha the motivation to rebel and try to fulfill the second version of the prophecy.
- Silk Hiding Steel: Kendappa is a beautiful, graceful noble lady who is also one of the Four Generals.
- Social Darwinist: Kendappa's belief in the superiority and inevitable triumph of strength so defines her that she sides with a man she considers a monster against her friends and her beloved, merely because he is the strongest.
- Together in Death: Kendappa kills herself right after killing Souma.
- This actually goes for pretty much every couple except Yasha and Ashura.
- Shoot the Dog: Taishakuten took over Heaven to keep his promise to Ashura-ou and prevent Ashura from awakening.
- The Stoic: Yasha and Karura.
- Supernatural Gold Eyes: Ashura, as a distinguishing trait of his people, along with Unusual Ears. Kujaku has purple eyes, which the other characters take to be a trait of demonic heritage.
- Too Long; Didn't Dub: In the English dub of the OVA, Ashura is referred to as "Princess", since they decided to simply leave out the genderless bit completely.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Kendappa to Souma.
- Unwitting Pawn: Poor Yasha, who gets suckered no less than twice.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Taishakuten is revealed as this by the end of the manga, having ruled like a tyrant so the Six Stars would not gather and Ashura would not awake.
- White-Haired Pretty Girl: While Karura does have white hair, her sister Karyoubinga is a better example.
- Winged Humanoid