Shut Hell (also known as Shuto Heru) is an ongoing Seinen manga by Itoh Yu.The story opens in present-day Japan, where a boy called Sudou is plagued with vivid recurring dreams of a battle in which a young woman and her comrades defend their doomed fortress. While meeting friends, Sudou is approached by Suzuki, an apparently shy and quiet schoolgirl who has sought him out for some reason. Sudou's family made musical instruments, and when Suzuki visits his apartment she feels compelled to play an he made. As she plays, Sudou is mystically transported to ancient China, where he awakes to find he is now a woman known as "Shut Hell" and Suzuki is Yurul, a Mongol prince who has come to rescue Shut Hell from the gallows.The story takes place in the early 13th century, in what is now North-western China. Genghis Khan has united the Mongol clans, and sent his forces to attack the territory of the Western Xia (here called the Tangut Empire). Our heroine was a Tangut soldier nicknamed "Little Sparrow", sole survivor of a unit massacred by forces led by Yurul's brother Harabal. Now driven by vengeance, she is feared by the Mongols as "the Evil One" for her merciless killing. She accompanies Yurul as he flees his tribe in an attempt to preserve a vital collection of jade writings, knowing that Harabal will follow suit, giving her the chance to kill him.This series has examples of:
Anti-Hero: Shut Hell, who is pretty morally ambiguous.
Dissonant Serenity: Naran nearly always wears a carefree expression, even when threatening to kill people, or actually killing them.
Doomed Hometown: It isn't probably isn't actually the heroine's hometown (we don't really know), but all the same it's got the other makings of the trope: Her friends are killed there, she seems to be the only survivor, and it does start off her epic journey.
Foregone Conclusion / How We Got Here: The first few volumes are mostly flashbacks to explain how Shut Hell died, so we know from chapter 1 that her quest to seek revenge on Harabal fails, and that Yurul is guaranteed to survive until the flashback ends.
Gender Bender: Not that it really invokes any of the genre's tropes, just that the two characters' genders are the opposite of what they used to be.
He Who Fights Monsters: As Harabal points out to Shut Hell when they first meet, her need to avenge her dead comrades makes her worse than the army that wiped them out, since she gains nothing from it.
Harabal: "For the sake of the dead, you brought more death into this world. You already smell like a rotten corpse."
Alfald: "Yes, show me even more, Shut Hell. More than gold, more than women, fascinate me more. With this wind of violence only you can show me. Take away my soul!"
Loners Are Freaks: Yurul. Lampshaded by Harabal, who tells him he's "always alone," and that his music is always sad, so it always drives people away. Yurul responds that he's "no good with people," and the things he values doesn't make sense to other people.
Man Bites Man: Shut Hell once killed a group of Mongol grunts by using her teeth to rip out their throats. Granted her hands were bound at the time, limiting her options, but... Damn!
Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Shut Hell and Yurul. Shut Hell is among the strongest characters in the series, a berserker warrior bent on revenge. Yurul is a Non-Action Guy whose skills are focused on the scholarly, like music and calligraphy.
Mental Time Travel: It becomes apparent that this is what Sudou is doing in the past, in Shut Hell's body. Worse, if he doesn't stay there and protect Yurul, Suzuki will disappear forever.
Morality Pet: Yurul for Harabal. Harabal's father, the clan leader, notes that Yurul is one of the few things Harabal holds precious and dear.
Mummies at the Dinner Table: Shut Hell hanging around her friends' corpses and talking with them. Not to mention how rabidly she defended them against hungry wolves.
Naked on Arrival: When Sudou travels back into the body of Shut Hell, s/he's...very naked. This is because she was just executed.
Not So Different: Harabal makes this explicit between him and Shut Hell when they fight, and also makes it clear that the difference between them is that he fights for the sake of his clan and its future, whereas Shut Hell only wants to satisfy her revenge, a crucial difference.
Scars Are Forever: Shut Hell has many scars, most noticeably on her arms, and Harabal has quite a few scars on his face that are from childhood. Yurul later gets one running diagonally across his face.
Shut Up, Hannibal!: Harabal towards Shut Hell, as described in He Who Fights Monsters. Since both of them are rather morally ambiguous, this highlights that Harabal is on a slightly higher moral ground.
Speaks Fluent Animal: Shut Hell might be able to communicate with wolves, though it's not clear if it's all wolves, or just the one (suggested to be a Mongol god), or if they're both special, or even that it wasn't a hallucination.
The Stoic: Yurul can be considered this. Most of the time, his face doesn't show nearly as much emotion as the other characters.
Time Travel: What happens in the beginning with Sudou and Suzuki.