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Manga: Red Eyes

Graham "Genocide" Mills was once the finest soldier in the Regium Republic military, respected by his peers and feared by his enemies. But when the war with the neighboring country of the Dragonov Federation ends with defeat, Mills is betrayed and sent to prison to await execution. But when he escapes, he's immediately found to be the most dangerous man alive, with or without his Special Assault Armor. Now, on the run from the military in both Regium and the Federation, Mills sets out to find the truth behind his unit's betrayal, the reasons for the war, and his own revenge against those who wronged him.

Drawn and Written by Jun Shindo, Red Eyes started in 1999 at Magazine E-No from publisher Kodansha, later it got transfered to Magazine Great, this series is part of their Monthly Shonen Magazine Comics line (yes, despite what the content might make you think otherwise, this is not a Seinen series), as of 2011 the series has 15 Volumes published.

If you're looking for the trope of red-eyed characters, head on over to Red Eyes, Take Warning.

Red Eyes contains examples of:

  • Ace Custom: The designer of the Mk-54 was a fan of Mills, and intentionally designed it as an Ace Custom for him. It's also deconstructed, as being specifically designed for Mills means that SAA jockeys who aren't at his level can't control it.
  • Ace Pilot: Lots. Mills, Lenny Krueger, the Jackals, the Cobra commander...
  • All There in the Manual: Manga volumes actually end with supplemental information that is more than helpful in fully understanding what's going on in story.
  • Alternate Universe: Volume 6 also reveals that after a major terrorist attack (implied to be 9/11), the US prosecuted the Global War on Terror literally, culminating in the formation of DUPE.
  • Aluminium Christmas Trees: Mills entered Ranger School, completely bypassing Army basic. Such practice actually exists for US Army Special Forces; 18X are recruits who come to SF training from enlistment.
  • America Takes Over the World: Volume 6 reveals that the US conquered the world in the early 21st century, creating a One World Order called the Democratic Union for Peace on Earth or DUPE, before internal rebellions and the collapse of the One World Order caused the reshaping of the map. It also explains why so much American/NATO military hardware is in use.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Or at least, huge jerks. The cake goes to Julian Krayz, who wants to Take Over the World using his own, inherited Badass Army.
  • Arm Cannon: Mill's hijacked super protoype has a railgun mounted to the left arm; it also doubles as a Folding Weapon, as it's folded away until actually in use.
  • Awesome but Impractical: the Regium Super Prototype that Mills steals; the test pilot, an Aggressor, is unable to control it, describing it as a wild horse. Mills has no such problems, because it was specifically designed for him.
  • Badass: Mills, full stop.
  • Badass Crew: The Jackals were this. The Cobras, on Dragunov's side, are another.
  • Band of Brothers: The Jackals were originally this, as Mills and his squad lived and died together throughout fierce fighting... until they betrayed him.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: In keeping with the war is hell theme, the only person physically unscathed by the fighting is Lars. Mills and Lenny look like Bishounen but have an impressive collection of scars under their shirts, and have bled a lot.
  • Bedlam House: The prison where Mills is held is... out there.
  • Berserk Button: Do not say bad things about Leila, or Lenny will make you think otherwise with his fists.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Lenny seems to be very protective of his sister Leila, back then he beat up an entire group of companion soldiers because they were bad mouthing her. Now he is worried because she supports Julian, and they both know Julian is not to be trusted.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Mills does his best to make a habit of this, though he doesn't always arrive in time.
    • During the capital uprising, civilian protestors attempt to fight riot police with rocks and molotov cocktails, but are driven back by tear gas. Then the Resistance force show up and turn the tide.
  • Call Back: Early in Volume One, Mills beats up a bar full of disgruntled ex-soldiers, partly as a Bright Slap to them and to bait the ex-Jackal GIGN operator. In Volume Ten, the same bar patrons are part of the Resistance, and it's implied that it's thanks to Mills.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: There are many subtle cases of pretty much all capable soldiers doing things a normal human can't do, but the display of power that Mills, at 19 years old, shows against the Mutiny is just mind blogging, the slaughtered forces even lampshades it by frequently screaming He is not human!.
  • The Chessmaster: Julian Krayz, who on its way to become Magnificent Bastard.
  • Colonel Badass: Colonel Classad, Mills' mentor, and commander of the Ranger Regiment, who recruited Mills into the Rangers, bypassing Army Basic. He later attempts a mutiny, and is eventually killed by Mills after a long and grueling fight.
  • Days of Future Past: Thanks to a killsat system put in place from before the massive reshaping of the world's maps, warfare is now more akin to WW2 than modern combat, despite that massive advances in technology.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Or rather, reforging of bonds. After besting Lenny Krueger in combat, Mills spares his life and convinces him to join forces.
  • Dodge the Bullet: Done and over done. You'd swear this was The Matrix or something considering how often it's used.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: The main characters were all part of the elite special SAA unit, the Jackals. The soldiers watching them during the Jackal counterattack literally stop fighting and go into describing them out of awe. There's the GIGN counterterrorist team. note 
    • On the Dragunov side, there's the Cobras.
  • Fragile Speedster: The SAA used by the Cobras. Unlike most SAA, which can take hits up to at least 7.62mm NATO, Cobra SAA eschews all protection for speed and maneuverability.
  • Friendly Sniper: Lars, who was an all around nice guy, and the first person to be friendly to Mills at Ranger School.
  • Fun with Acronyms: DUPE, the Democratic Union for Peace on Earth, founded after America took over the world after a major terrorist attack, implied to be 9/11.
  • Good Guns, Bad Guns: Averted. Dragunov and Regium use a lot of American and NATO military equipment. Justified because American took over the world a century ago.
  • Gun Porn: Lots and lots of guns are shown, many of which are accurately drawn (but with different manufacturer names.
  • Immune to Bullets: SAA, in varying degrees. Most SAA (excepting the Cobras) can tank standard infantry small arms; heavy machine guns and rocket launchers can kill SAA if the operator stands up in broad daylight like an idiot.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Lars. Justified partially due to being a sniper, but shooting a 15cm target at over 10 kilometers? Down the gunbarrel at that.
  • It's Personal: Why Mills is still alive.
  • Jack of All Stats: The ASP-175 Bardiche SAA that's standard issue for Regium. Decent performance but not a standout; almost all other SAA are superior to it. Regium military planners intended to replace it with the ASP-180 Swashbuckler but time and the war wasn't on their side.
    • Even operator skill can't compensate for this: while Mills gives a good accounting of himself in a stolen ASP-175, Lenny's Zebra outmatches him in all aspects, prompting him to go looking for an upgrade.
    • To an extent Mills is this himself. He's not the best at specific skills (Lars is a better sniper, Lenny is better at close combat), but very good at everything, and blends Combat Pragmatism with tactical-level Xanatos Speed Chess.
  • Kil L Sat: Eyes of the Beholder, an autonomously operating network of ICBM interception satellites, armed with lasers. Their deployment by DUPE instantly made strategic nuclear weapons useless. Gaining control of the network is key to Krayz's plans.
  • Knife Nut: While Lenny's not a bad shot by any standard, melee combat is where he and the Zebra really shine.
    • Sepp Gibernau is also pretty good with bladed weapons.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The ASP-180 Swashbuckler used by the Jackals. Later, the FR-A12 Zebra and Mk-54 also are this.
  • Love Martyr: Leila seems to know that Julian is not a good guy, but she trusts his vision to change the world and openly confronts her protective brother in behalf of it; Julian is not shown to be particularly interested in Leila besides sleeping with her.
  • Made of Explodium: Things tend to explode when hit by the trackgun (a railgun expy). No explanation is ever given.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Or rather, Volume 2 Upgrade. Mills steals (with the designer's blessings) a Regium Super Prototype SAA in Volume 2.
  • Misfit Mobilization Moment: In Volume 10, the Regium Resistance mobilises to retake the capital.
  • The Mole: Julian Krayz, Mills' former XO, who led the Jackals in betraying him, was actually a Dragunov double agent. In addition, he's playing everyone against each other for his own plans.
  • Morality Pet: Saya Hamilton, a girl Mills picks up before his battle with the GIGN Blackbirds unit.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Captain Grahad "Genocide" Mills. Feared by friend and foe alike.
    • The Jackals: a elite powered armor unit belonging to Regium's forces, were widely respected and feared. Six of them held a small town against an enemy brigade... with no casualties.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: The series takes place after a war completely reshapes the geopolitical landscape of the planet, including the destruction of America.
  • One-Man Army: Mills' nickname of "Genocide" came from his allies.
    • To elaborate: During the graduation exercise for Ranger training, Mills and his squad come under attack from the instructors, who are attempting a mutiny. With most of his team dead except for Lars and Lenny, who are on the other side of the area, Mills singlehandedly penetrates the mutineers' compound, takes out most of their force, and kills the Colonel Badass leading them in single combat. Then the Dragon arrives with fresh troops, three Powered Armors, three Awesome Personnel Carriers, and a prototype Swashbuckler SAA... And that's when he flips the fuck out and takes out everybody. A horrified Lars' situation report:
      "This isn't war. It's genocide."
    • A slightly lesser example is Lenny Krueger: after his Defeat Means Friendship moment, completely out of ammo for his rifle and micromissiles, a large enemy force comes after him and Mills. Lenny elects to Hold the Line to allow Mills to pursue Krayz. When Mills returns, every single enemy is dead.
  • Pet the Dog: Midway through Volume 4, a fleeing mother and daughter run headfirst into the Cobras, who take aim at them and prepare to execute them. The end of the story arc reveals them safe and alive, the Cobra Commander having let them go.
  • Powered Armor: Weapon of choice of virtually everyone.
  • Real Robot Genre: Well, as close to real robot when compared to other mecha manga.
  • Recursive Ammo: The warhead options for the SAA-carried Losapz anti-armor missile include a short-ranged micromissile swarm, and self forging fragment submunitions, as alternative options to the standard anti armor shaped charge warhead.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Many SAA have an optical sensor over the left eye that glows red.
  • The Remnant: A sizeable portion of Regium's military is holded up in a mountainous province, resisting Dragunov and refusing to surrender.
  • Shown Their Work: The manga is very well researched when it comes to certain military matters, to the point where it contains a simplified chart showing the command chain of an entire army, let alone the entire government of a fake nation!
    • Not only does the mangaka use the correct NATO symbols for depicting the various combat units, all infantry weapons present are drawn accurately, and all weapons used are either in-service, or evolutions and extrapolations of existing concepts. Eyes of the Beholder is an actual ICBM defense concept studied during the Cold War.
  • Super Prototype: Early in the manga, two are being evaluated to be Dragunov's next frontline SAA: the Dragunov designed FR-A12 Zebra, and the Regium-designed Mk-54. Mills hijacks the Mk-54 and the Zebra's test pilot, former Jackal Lenny Krueger, defects back to Mills.
    • During the Ranger School mutiny, Mills goes up against a soldier operating an ASP-180 Swashbuckler prototype. The Swashbuckler itself later goes into limited production to equip the Jackals and other elite units.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Mills goes from being a New Meat to a Sergeant Rock as a result of...
  • Training from Hell: Ranger School. And that's before the mutiny kicks off.
  • Wall Run: The Cobra Commander does this twice in his story arc: the first time, against a Regium fireteam is successful; the 2nd time, against Mills... isn't quite as effective.
  • War Is Hell: You will gasp at how gritty this story can get.