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Manga: Violinist of Hameln: Shchelkunchik
"I'll become a great Mage... and change destiny!!"
— Shchel, every other chapter.
Once upon a time, there was the Great Demon King Chestra
, who terrorized the world with his army of demons. But that was 20 years ago
- nowadays, the world is barely bothered by some puny monsters wandering lost here and there, thanks to the Five Great Hopes
and the gathered armies of all human countries
. What's there left to tell?
A young boy called Shchel dreams of being a powerful mage just like Clarinet, leader of the Magicorps, who saved him from a mazoku attack 10 years ago. To achieve this dream, he travels to Sforzando carrying nothing but the clothes on his back and Piroro, his Fairy Companion
. While on a train ride he comes across an aloof teenager violinist called Great
, who informs him of the existence of a School of Magic in Sforzando. This encounter may have just changed their destinies
Meanwhile, bustling villages turn into ghost towns overnight, black mutated fairies attack students, the government scrambles to supress information, and a new enemy seems to be after Great's blood... literally
Provides examples of:
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Clarinet was already badass before... now he's over 9000.
- Action Girl: The String Sisters, Biyorne and Bratsche, who could turn any man into mince-meat... by accident.
- Bad Ass: pretty much everyone.
- Badass Bookworm: Clari and Lute, all the way.
- Badass Normal: the minimal requirement to be accepted into Sforzando's School of Magic, which makes it all the students in the first year class. Shchel impresses the judges by stabbing himself with scissors.
- Batman Gambit: Clari almost catches the spy in the school by means of one, and the jury's still out on whether he was out-gambited or not.
- Body Horror: Nocturne's creations feature it in spades.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Shchel is the sweetest guy in the world. He burns a huge chunk of forest in chapter 45. Bratsche is also a sweet little girl but she'll still turn you into mince meat.
- BFG: The String Sisters - one has a giant mallet, the other has a giant axe. Gustav has a huge mace, but it's normal in comparison to them.
- Big Guy: Gustav, who also seems to be a Genius Bruiser.
- Bishounen: Great, his brother Lute, Tenor Sax...
- Blue Blood: It hasn't been mentioned in the story yet, but old readers know who Great and Lute's mother is...
- Bullying a Dragon: Yeaaaah. Some people of the world hadn't really learned anything since 20 years ago. Even if you honestly believe that one of your fellow students is a demon reborn, is it such a great idea to rub this in his face, even after seeing and experiencing firsthand the terror to which such taunts can lead?
- Butt Monkey: Shchel is weak and puny and has had absolutely no prior training in any technique whatsoever. His homeroom teacher refuses to believe it until after putting him through several terribly painful evaluations.
- And during Flute's first physical appearance in this manga, it's revealed that she's still being treated this way by Hamel despite being married to him for years.
- Chew Toy: Shchel, again.
- Comedic Sociopathy: Great, like his father, goes from hero to huge dick whenever the scene stops being serious.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Shchel, Bratsche, Gustav...
- Determinator: Shchel. Dear god, Shchel.
- Drunk on the Dark Side: Robert a former acquainance of Schel and a victim of the same experiments. Very much so. Baroque too gets high from the very thought of getting his hands on the Demon King's blood.
- Enemy Within: Great seems to have a downloaded copy of the Demon King inside his head.
- Fairy Companion: Piroro.
- Fanservice: Subverted when the one who's constantly losing clothes and striking suspicious softcore poses is the (ugly) Big Guy, Gustav.
- There are, of course, some straight examples, like when certain characters get in their heads the idea that Shchel is a girl and their imaginations start running wild. Of course, these pages may retroactively approach "Dude, Not Funny!" territory once you see why Shchel does not want others to see how his body looks underneath the clothes.
- Generation Xerox: plays it straight at first, but after the second volume the story starts messing with the roles. So... Hamel's son is actually the Raiel to sweet little Shchel who was supporting him at first? And Shchel is the one with crippling confidence issues who needs moral support?
- Played straight with Lute, though. Not only Lute Jr. is actually supposed to be the reincarnation of his uncle, the author basically admits that he's introduced to return one of his favorite characters and give him a chance to live a life without horrible Fate Worse Than Death.
- Grand Theft Me: Great is possessed by Chestra whenever his eyepatch falls. Putting it back usually turns him back to normal.
- Gratuitous English: What the hell kind of name is Great? Granted, it's not as obvious in japanese, where "Great Demon King Chestra" is "Daimaoh Kestra". Spells are also either these, or random gibberish.
- Gratuitous Russian: Or so would one assume. What the hell is a Shelkuzals?
- Actually, everything in here that starts with the prefix "shel-" has been derived from a word "Shelkunchik", which is the widely accepted Russian name of... yeah, the Nutcracker.
- Hidden Depths: Great's Jerkass Fašade is pretty ingrained, but whenever he drops it, he shows himself to be more heroic and dependable than his father, an actual hero, was.
- Hidden Elf Village: The fairy tribe. Before they were found by the bad guys, at least...
- Human Resources: The process of making artificial spirit art users utilizes fairies as fuel. Just when you think, that experiments that kill most of their involuntary human subjects and turn the rest into enslaved killing machines can't get any more repulsive...
- I Can Still Fight: Shchel. Every time he fights.
- Instrument of Murder: a (this time, normal-sized) violin.
- Jerkass Fašade: Great. He's even more aloof than his father used to be, but at the same time subtly nicer, and more sincere when it comes to his friends.
- Large Ham: Gustav, though he's toned it down and may be closer to a Toblerone. Professor Horn-Pipe plays it straight.
- Love at First Sight: All Piroro needed to fall for Lute was some nice words.
- Also Bratsche has a huge crush on Shchel from the moment they meet. And when the class jumps the conclusion Shchel is a girl because he refuses to undress in the public baths, Bratsche dosn't seem to mind one bit.
- Magic Music: It is a sequel to Violinist of Hameln. Both Great and Lute represent, though Lute is less skilled, having chosen to specialize on magic early in his childhood. Great himself is skilled but inexperienced, having trouble using his father's "signature move", Marionette Version, for anything other than comedy.
- Monster Clown: Baroque proudly upholds the tradition of Orgel.
- Mood Whiplash: A bit less than in the original Violinist of Hameln because the main characters tend to be more mature (and because everyone familiar with the first series already expects the real plot to be anything but lighthearted). Still, the trademark mix of absolutely ridiculous gags and over-the-top comedy with serious, dramatic fantasy epic that characterized Violinist of Hameln makes its return.
- Mr. Exposition: Gustav is always in on the juiciest gossip. Then again, he's nosier than a very nosy thing...
- Nice Hat: Shchel wears a cat beanie, Gustav never takes off his helmet. Hamel, too, still wears his iconic pointy hat.
- Non-Human Sidekick: Piroro, Shchel's self-appointed bodyguard, who hasn't shown any ability other than healing and threatening people with sewing scissors.
- Restraining Bolt: Great's eyepatch.
- Royal Blood: Tenor Sax Bone may be the son of Trom Bone, previously prince and now King of Dal Segno. Great, Lute and all their siblings also qualify.
- Screw Destiny: Shchel's mantra.
- The Worf Effect: Poor Gustav.
- Training from Hell: The School of Magic. All the time.
- Was Once a Man: All of the "black fairies".
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The children of Stacatto almost caused a new Disaster of Anthem in Great's childhood. His current classmates, too, either gang up on or avoid him as soon as his ancestry is revealed; subverted in that, after the dust settled, some of the more sympathetic students talked them out of mistreating Great with perfectly reasonable arguments. Currently, the bulk of Great's classmates are either neutral or awkwardly supportive, and a group took the initiative to befriend him.
- What the Hell, Townspeople?: Et tu, Stacatto? Even though it's implied they only went out of hand once, considering they were the people who raised Flute, it just twists the knife in.
- Wizarding School: Sforzando's School of Magical. Rather less whimsical than the usual examples, as it's geared towards military training for Sforzando's army and its special forces, the Magicorps. The entrance exam is a battle royale, for crying out loud! 80% of the student body is comprised of hardened veterans from all over the world, and the rest are young geniuses with a family tradition, like Lute. (And then you find an oddball like Shchel.) That said, the freshmen, who aren't expected to know the first thing about magic, are stuck learning about magical puppies and flowers that bloom with magic until they develop enough aptitude for the showy stuff.
- You Are What You Hate: Apparently, Tenor Sax Bone.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Great's initial attitude. Tenor agrees.