The main cast (from left: Touji, Narushige, Rakan, Chigusa)
Rakan: "What is that branch? It looks kind of like a gun."
Chigusa: "It's a gun."
Rakan: "But... it's a tree."
Chigusa: "It's a tree."
Rakan: "It's a tree, right?"
Chigusa: "But it's also a gun."
A tale of an alternate world, magical plants and stones, and group hugs
Written by Sugiura Shiho, this shoujo manga
stars a 17-year-old boy named Rakan, who enjoys "cooking, cleaning, and studying", and caring for his little jungle in the backyard. He's lived alone ever since his mother and grandfather passed away a year ago.
As he comes home from school one day, a strange man appears in his backyard, just as he and his mother did 15 years ago. When Rakan and the man, Chigusa, witness Chigusa's wooden gun grow into a full-grown tree after Rakan touches it, Chigusa sticks himself to the boy like a leech, insisting on protecting him because he's a Sanome, which is a person that can grow plants just by touching them and is extremely rare in his world, where just about everything is desert.
As the story continues, the two find themselves bound together, as if by Fate, as they gain friends, turn the desert world green again
, and, most importantly, learn to understand each other.
Formerly licensed in English by Tokyopop.
"Silver Diamond" gives examples of:
- A Boy and His X: The story starts right off with Rakan gaining his own self-proclaimed bodyguard, Chigusa.
- All-Loving Hero: Rakan is really, really nice. And sweet, kind, helpful and forgiving. And everybody loves him because of it (except the villains). Even the animals.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Kinrei and the Prince fit this trope, as does Shigeyuki. Although the prince is more a religious figure than an aristocrat as such.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: Whenever the group is outnumbered and/or separated, this happens.
- Badass Longcoat: One of Chigusa's trademarks. No matter how many clothes he ruins, he always manages to find another long coat.
- Bad Boss: The Prince is an Ayame that feeds off everything, from the plants to the people, without hardly any of them knowing. Then, you have him and Kinrei just getting rid of anyone they have no use for. What's worse is that those whom know that the Prince is an Ayame and are still willing to serve him are STILL tossed to the side as soon as they outlive their usefulness.
- Bad Powers, Bad People / Good Powers Good People: The Ayame prince is a Walking Wasteland and wants to destroy all humans so the ayame can take over the world. Rakan has growth-and-fertility powers and wants to make the desert bloom again. Take a wild guess which is the hero and which is the villain.
- Bishōnen: How most of the main cast is described by both characters and readers.
- Blonde Guys Are Evil: Of both the short and long-haired variety. And Kinrei suits this trope to a T for being even more evil than the Ayame Prince.
- Bodyguard Crush: Chigusa again takes it up to eleven.
- Cool Pet: Kou is talking snake that can change into a sword at will. Kuro is an over-sized wolf that eats stones, both normal and monstrous.
- The Determinator: Chigusa is out to kill the Ayame prince, and he's survived some normally quite fatal damage but still going. Good thing he can heal.
- Disappeared Dad: Even after he's realized that he and his mother are from the other world, it doesn't even occur to Rakan for several chapters that he might have a father in the other world.
- Dragon with an Agenda: Kinrei full stop. He later pulls a Starscream when the Ayame Prince gets a little too willful for his plans.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Just don't say it to Narushige's face.
- Easily Forgiven: Touji is sent to kill Chigusa, Narushige, and Rakan and also manages to put some holes in Chigusa while attempting to do just that. Doesn't stop Rakan from saving him from getting shot by Chigusa, giving him dinner, and telling the others to be nicer to him - all in the span of a day. Then he gets added to the team.
- Equippable Ally: Narushige has a pet talking snake, Koh, who can turn into a sword. Or possibly a pet sword which can turn into a talking snake. All of the other main cast use guns/bow and arrows that grow just as they are from trees.
- Evil Twin / Criminal Doppelgänger: It's not yet clear which of these is in play, but Rakan looks exactly like the Ayame prince.
- Five-Man Band:
- The Hero: Chigusa, interestingly enough.
- The Lancer: Narushige, when he's not being a "bossy mother-in-law," as Chigusa calls him.
- The Smart Guy: Kou, usually when the others are trying to figure out what Rakan means when he uses slang or pop culture references. Actually, all of the main cast seem to take turns as this one, depending on the situation.
- The Big Guy: Touji, although has some elements of Sixth Ranger.
- The Chick: A male - and quite useful- version in the form of Rakan.
- Friend to All Living Things: Rakan.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Chigusa is one, being part human and part plant. His entire family, the Senroh clan, is famous for being immortal monsters.
- Healing Factor: Chigusa can recover from almost any injury.
- Homoerotic Subtext: Have we mentioned that Chigusa really liiikes hugging Rakan? Also carrying Rakan, holding Rakan, getting Rakan to sleep on his chest, looking at Rakan, smiling at Rakan... It's not clear whether Rakan has noticed his attentions, but everybody else has.
- Green Thumb: Rakan is a pretty good gardener in the normal world, but once he gets to the other world he realizes he can make seeds sprout in barren sand and solid rock. Even brushing against a plant will make it grow out of control. He also seems to be the catalyst for the resurgence of the "water snakes" and their conversion into rivers. Due to his efforts, the group leaves a trail of green behind them as they cross the desert.
- Grows on Trees: The alternate world seems to have a specialized plant for everything. So far: guns, bows, ladders, walls, wells, invisibility cloaks, light sources, and plain-old food crops.
- Longhaired Prettyboy: Narushige.
- Muggle Foster Parents / Raised by Grandparents / Oblivious Adoption: Rakan and his mother are actually from the other world. They simply landed in his "grandfather's" garden one day, and the old man, being lonely, kept them. Rakan knows nothing about this until the rest of the cast falls into his garden.
- No One Could Survive That: Just before the start of the series, Chigusa was sentenced to death for attacking the Ayame prince, and duly crucified and shot full of arrows. Eyewitnesses swore he was dead. He wasn't, obviously.
- No Sense of Personal Space: Chigusa to Rakan. See Homoerotic Subtext.
- No Social Skills: Chigusa, due to his childhood circumstances.
- Ordinary High-School Student: Rakan, at the start of the story.
- Organic Technology: The alternate world has little metal and makes almost everything from wood, conveniently aided by a very broad range of improbable plant specialization. See Grows on Trees.
- Red Right Hand: The Ayame prince (who is otherwise quite Bishōnen) keeps his hands hidden when in public. That's because they're black, scaly and taloned.
- The Starscream: Kinrei is the soul of loyalty to the Ayame prince's face, but is trying to manipulate the prince for his own plans.
- Super Senses: Chigusa has super-sight (bordering on X-Ray Vision), which he puts to use for Improbable Aiming Skills. Some other characters have similar powers.
- Team Mom and Team Dad: Naruhige acts as both Team Mom AND Team Dad to the core Five-Man Band - though Rakan often shares the Team Mom role.
- Trapped in Another World: Rakan, although in a slight twist he goes voluntarily.
- Villainous Breakdown: The Ayame prince has a brief one of these when Kinrei traps him in the claws of a rock monster which drains the prince's blood. And since he's been spoiled rotten and never done anything for himself for the last 15 years the prince promptly freaks out because he doesn't know what he should do. Although he snaps out of it after a few chapters and escapes due to the forced character development.
- Villainous Friendship: Somewhere between Type II and Type III. After attempting to pull a Starscream and trapping the Ayame Prince with a stone monster that drains the Prince's blood, the Prince uses Kinrei's own animation spell on a T-rex fossil to free himself, destroy Kinrei's stone monsters, and severely wounding Kinrei. The prince then uses his claws to slice his own neck. Kinrei rethinks his plans and his opinion of the Prince, so Kinrei saves the prince, and once the Prince recovers, they make a mutual agreement to use each other to achieve their individual goals - but with the promise to kill each other if either betrays the other.
- Villain with Good Publicity: The Ayame prince is almost universally loved and respected. Only a few people know how cruel he is, especially to those who have been used and thrown away. Very convenient for him, very bad for our heroes.
- Waif Prophet: The Ayame prince walked in off the desert as a beautiful, strange, glowing child and started making prophecies. He was immediately raised to near-godlike status by the desperate population. Now he's a beautiful, strange, glowing young man (and completely evil).
- Walking Wasteland: The Ayame prince lives by extracting life energy from the planet; it's implied that he's the cause of the desertification.
- Why did it have to be ghosts: Rakan really, REALLY doesn't like ghosts. That also applies to scary stories and horror movies.