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Manga: Shirokuro Kitan

"First comes the prelude... Come... Paint my stage a little brighter color with that blood... My dear children."

Shirokuro Kitan is a 2009 fantasy, mystery, and shounen manga series by Rinka Kusunoki.

Ririko Benibana moves to the town of Kaminoshiro, which her father Magatsu Benibana investigated prior to his untimely death. Around this time, she received a letter from her father from one of her father's colleagues that contained a single card that's black on one side and checkered black-and-white on the other side. Ririko doesn't know what the card is, but she feels that her father's death may not have been accidental after all.

Ririko notices that something is wrong when her new friends Maya Sonomachi and Murasaki Miba avoid talking about the black clock tower found in town whenever she tries to bring it up, and things don't look so good when she learns what her card is when she gets attacked by one herself. Her indifferent and haughty classmate Shirou Otori appears and uses a card of his own—called a "Malice"—to defeat it. As Ririko attempts to learn about Malice, the residents of the clock tower called "Toy Soldiers," and how this might relate to her father's death, she encounters a student who has secrets of his own: Kurokichi Kagenui.

Has been Cut Short by its publishing magazine, GFantasy.

This series provides the following tropes:

  • Alliterative Name: Kurokichi Kagenui and Murasaki Miba.
  • Berserk Button: Shirou dislikes it whenever people refer to him by his first name because it makes him uncomfortable. Naturally, being called by his first name by the last person that he'd want to be called that by downright pisses him off.
  • Big Eater: Ririko.
  • Bishounen: Shirou, Kurokichi, Hachizou, and Raiya.
  • Blush Sticker: Ririko sports these a lot.
  • Body Horror: When a Toy Soldier is killed and their Malice destroyed, their flesh painfully melts off their body.
  • Casual Kink: Yoihime is a sadist. Itsuru is a masochist. The former often stabs the latter with a pair of scissors and the latter willingly complying.
  • Chess Motifs
  • Clock Tower: Kaminoshiro has one that the townspeople aren't willing to talk much about because of Shinigami that supposedly live there. It has only rung when Ririko arrived and whenever a Toy Soldier's Malice is destroyed.
  • Cut Short: GFantasy, the magazine that publishes this series, has placed it on its "ended/no longer on-going" section, with the result being this.
  • Distressed Damsel: Ririko, who often needs Shirou or Kurokichi to rescue her.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Maya and Murasaki are gender-flipped versions for Raiya and Kurokichi, respectively. Itsuru is implied to be one for Yoihime.
  • Either/Or Title: The series' title can translate to Monochrome Kitan, Monochrome Mysterious Story, or Monokuro Kitan.
  • Enemy Mine: Kurokichi suggests that Ririko, Shirou, and he should team up because they have mutual enemy in the Malice and Toy Soldiers.
  • Equivalent Exchange: Shirou is able to use his Malice by sacrificing bits of his flesh and blood.
  • Eye Scream: When Mitsuka is blinded, his eyes go black, appearing to just be sockets.
  • Expy: Several characters resemble Death Note characters to a degree. Ririko looks like Misa, and Raiya looks like Matt but sits in an L-like fashion. Itsuru Magakumo has an apple fondness like Light and looks a little like a male version of Medusa from Soul Eater.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Kurokichi.
  • First Name Basis: Ririko and Kurokichi agree to refer to their trio in a first name basis... whether Shirou likes it or not.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: Subverted. In Chapter 5, Hachizou asks Ririko if Shirou is her boyfriend and assumes that he is, though it is notable that Ririko and Shirou make absolutely no effort to express otherwise.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Raiya Hisumi and Hatizou Momo-oka.
  • I'll Kill You!: Kurokichi's constant pestering in one chapter drives Shirou is threaten him in this fashion.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: For the "Grave Keepers"/"Toy Soldiers" to maintain human form, they eat other human's flesh and blood.
  • Immortality: A variant. The residents of the cloak tower have become Malice itself and will always regenerate unless their Malice is destroyed.
  • In-Series Nickname: Raiya refers to Ririko as "Lily."
  • Love Freak: Yuujin Aidou, a rare male example.
  • Megane: Shirou and Raiya.
  • MacGuffin: Pierrot's Toy Box. It's seen as a Memento MacGuffin by Ririko.
  • Neat Freak: Shirou.
  • New Transfer Student: Ririko.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: In a conversation between Ririko and her friends Maya and Murasaki, Ririko expresses awe in Shirou's strength. Maya and Murasaki mistake this for Ririko being romantically interested in Shirou and cheer her on when in reality Ririko is merely amazed by Shirou's Malice and wants to understand what the Malice cards are.
  • Perky Goth: Ririko.
  • Playing with Fire: Mitsuka.
  • Plucky Girl: Ririko.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Shirou and Raiya.
  • Shinigami: This is what the Toy Soldiers are considered the Kaminoshiro townspeople. To the Toy Soldiers, Death—the person who attacked their orphanage seven years ago with a scythe-looking Malice—is a shinigami.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Ririko has made a mental note in the first chapter that she's interested in Shirou, and her two friends mistake Ririko's interest in Shirou to find out more about Malice for romantic interest and cheer her on. In Chapter 5, Hachizou mistakes Shirou for Ririko's boyfriend, though neither one of them correct him.
    • Yoihime seems very attached to Itsuru, often clinging onto or embracing him and asking if she can stab him with a pair of scissors. Being a masochist and wanting to be of use to Yoihime anyway, Itsuru naturally complies.
    • Yoihime also seems keenly interested in Kurokichi as well, expressing excitment and relief that he survived the orphanage fire.
    • In Chapter 11, Hachizou hits on Yoihime and suggests that he's the "better man" between Itsuru and himself for her. While the flirtation is shown to be a distraction while he secretly seems to put something on Yoihime to track her, whether his intention was genuine or just him "fooling around" like he always does is left for debate.
  • Shrinking Violet: Murasaki.
  • Something about a Rose: Hachizou.
  • The Stoic: Shirou.
  • Tarot Motifs: The various Malice correspond to the first thirteen of the major arcana. Shirou and Kurokichi buck the trend, but what this signifies (if anything) hasn't been revealed.
  • Those Two Girls: Ririko's friends Maya and Murasaki.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: The town of Kaminoshiro are reluctant to speak of the black clock tower that Ririko first sees when arriving there, indicating that there is something definitely weird going on in this town. Shirou reveals to Ririko that "death gods" live in the clock tower and that the townspeople are afraid that talking about the clock tower will attract them.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Shirou.
  • What Could Have Been: The author mentions in an omake that the story and characters were drastically different from the current story presented. For example, Shirou was formerly an energetic character while Kurokichi was the distant one, and they were "good friends." Ririko was going to have one pigtail instead of two, and she would have been more of a fighter.
  • You Gotta Have Pink Hair: Hachizou.

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alternative title(s): Shirokuro Kitan
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