Tropers / Genzou Hitogata Kiwa
A short manga composed by five volumes and written by Yuzo Takada, author of 3x3Eyes and Blue Seed
The story begins in Feudal Japan, when Toyotomi Hideyoshi
is the ruler of the land. The beautiful but tomboish
princess Kiku of Kamigawa ask the help of the legendary "Puppet Master" Seibei Tsuchimura, in order stop the plans of her Evil Uncle
who has poisoned her Cousin/future husband
Tatsumaru. The old Seibei has left the Puppetmastery art long ago, but he offer her the help of his apprentice and son-in-law Genzo Tsuchimura
, who is trying to make a perfect puppet of her deceased and beloved wife Saki. Soon the Odd Couple
get involved in a series of weird events and secrets plots.
The series doesn't really follow a specific arc, but it's more like a series of short stories, usually in a Horror
fashion with some dark humor, drama and mistery inside. One of the volumes contains a short story which take place two hundred years later and its about O-shizu, a young girl working for a Kawaraban
(sort of newspaper), a wandering swordmaster looking for a cursed blade and some misterious gruesome murders.
Genzo provides examples of:
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: the Samoji sword in the second volume and the Gotsumaru blade in the special. the Yamiganemaru blade in the last story.
- Action Girl: Kiku and Otsuru
- Aloof Big Brother: Koshiro Honebami to Genzo
- All Amazons Want Hercules: Sort of: Kiku says she will only marry a man strong enough to beat her in a swordfight, but she has eyes only for Genzo
- Anime Anatomy: averted: naked females will often appear, and not only their nipples but their pubes too are visible
- Anguished Declaration of Love: sort of. Kiku's love for Genzo is clear, but only in the final story she asks him to marry her.
- Antihero: Genzo. He slowly gets better thanks to Kiku and Otsuru
- Artificial Human: Genzo's puppets can easly pass as living humans and are often used as decoys for Daimyo.
- Artificial Limbs: at the beginning of the last story a limpy old man asks Genzo to make an artificial leg for him. it doesn't end well..
- Arranged Marriage: Kiku with Tatsumaru at first. It was later played for laugh in a Kiku-centered mini arc
- Attempted Rape: First Kiku's Uncle on her and also Denzaemon on Oshizu with a katana blade. They bot get what they deserve...
- Axe-Crazy: Yasuke wielding the Yamiganemaru and, for a brief istant, Kiku herself
- Bad Ass: the nameless Samurai with Gotsumaru in the extra.
- Bad Ass Adorable: Otsuru.
- Bad Ass Normal: Pricess Kiku may lack tricks or otherwordly powers, but she's more than capable to slice through hordes of enemies dualwielding swords!
- Bald of Awesome: The one-shot villain Kaikyo the Warrior Monk sports one.
- Berserk Button: Don't call Kiku Flat-chested, or she'll rip you a new one!
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted. Some pretty ladies get awful-looking scars on their bodies. Kiku shows the signs of her battle with Yasuke at the end.
- Bifauxnen: Prince(ss) Kiku can easly pass as a pretty man when she wear samurai clothes. Kiyone as well
- Big Bad: Each story has his own, but probably the most blatant and suitable is Maria Kusuru.
- Bittersweet Ending: Kiku survives and both Yasuke and Yamiganemaru are no longer a threath, but Genzo has gone and his whereabouts are unclear. Yet there's still a bit of Hope.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Otsuru has a sickle blade instead of her right hand.
- Blob Monster: Genzo's and Koshiro's puppets tend to turn into a large tentacled mass of flesh when hit, so that they can grab the opponent and hold him still. It was also used to kill Kiku's uncle.
- Blush Sticker: Osato has them.
- Break the Cutie: Poor Genzo, who got his wife horribly killed in front of his eyes. Also Otsuru in volume 1 and 5.
- Boobs of Steel: Maria Kurusu is renowed as a strong fighter, and she has the largest bust of the entire female cast.
- Buried Alive: Kahei's wife. Her spirit claims his life for this.
- But Not Too Foreign: The above mentioned Maria is half Portuguese
- Complete Monster: many villains are really disgusting. Genzo and Kiku often give them what they deserved.
- Also Denzaemon Kogure in the extra short story, a Jack the Ripoff who wields a cursed blade
- Creepy Doll
- Crowning Moment of Awesome: the last battle in the last story.
- in the extra: the nameless ronin cutting the Big Bad in half with a single slash from Gotsumaru. "Made to crush down evil indeed"...
- Crowning Moment of Funny: despite being a dark series, it offers some funny parts and gags. Including Otsuru stealing food from farmers and fishermen and staring at Kiku when she's about to make out with Genzo and whenever Kiku's bosom is involved.
- Also in the fifth volume, when Kiku schemes a plot in order to avoid marriage and asks Genzo's help. Hilarity Ensues
- Cute Little Fangs: Otsuru has them.
- Cute Ghost Girl: Kiku helped one once
- Dark and Troubled Past: Genzo
- Dark Is Not Evil: Genzo uses monstruos puppets and can see ghosts, but at least he'a a decent guy
- Dead Little Sister: Koshiro's reason for facing Genzo, since he blames him of her death.
- Dead Person Impersonation: Many nobles and Daimyo hire Genzo in order to have a functional decoy of a dead person. Also Hikoichi's son and Chiyomaru/Kiyone
- Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Genzo's eyes are always like this. In some rare occasions they're lit with a demonic light.
- Evil Counterpart: Koshiro to Genzo
- Evil Is Sexy: Maria Kusuru. A strong, big-breasted, red-headed woman with a black corset and a whip to boot. She's also bent on overthrowing Hideyoshi, if you care..
- Evil Twin: in a Otsuru centered miniarc a man abandon one of his newborn twins in a field and he grow up as a stubborn farmer named Kosuke. he fall in love with Otsuru ask her to be his wife and give her a new wooden arm. Then his Jerkass noble brother pops out and kill him for the Lulz. At least he got killed by Otsuru too.
- Evil Weapon: The Jintsumaru Tenganken is said to have hypnotic powers. True or not, is still a darn creepy, sharp katana.
- the Yamiganemaru contains the wrath of the former owners and always seeks for blood and revenge.
- Faking the Dead: Done sometimes, it's one of Genzo's speciality Including Osato, Tatsugoro Momose, Kiyone
- Fetish Fuel: Tons of it. Genzo is a huge offender, and has a thing for looking closely at naked and beautiful bodies... and it's implied that the gender is irrelevant. (granted, he's not really interested in sex, mind you...)
- Fluffy Tamer: Kiyone and before her Urakami Matazaemon managed to make friend with a Wholphin (a sort of Orca)
- Frogs And Toads: Genzo is always followed by small frog-like puppets dressed like samurais and can make them speak.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Osato has a hideous scar across her body. Kiyone has many singed spots on her skin
- Heroic Sacrifice: Genzo put up a huge one at the climax in order to save his beloved Kiku from the Yamiganemaru's curse. Somehow it seems he survived.
- High Octane Nightmare Fuel: sure some scenes can be scary, surreal or gory. Including Genzo'puppets turning into amorphous masses of flesh and innards, and in the first case, with Tatsumaru's rotting, worm-infested face giggling at the Evil Uncle
- also when he make the first puppet based on Kiku. The whole scene is awfully similar to a rape scene
- Sword-possesed Yasuke deserves a mention.
- Hot Spring Sequence. Happens once, with a handful of Fanservice.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Denzaemon with O-shizu in the extra. He even comments on her being still a virgin. Averted, since he plans to rip her stomach open in a sort of Dark Ritual.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Saki's ghost to Genzo
- Instant Sedation: Genzo's sleeping powder, one of his many tricks
- Jack the Ripoff: Denzaemon's Modus Operandi.
- Jerkass: many of them. Kosuke's twin brother takes the cake.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Genzo
- Katanas Are Just Better: averted in the Samoji sword arc, where the Kanabo wielding monk Kyokai easly snaps Kiku's swords with a well aimed swing. Played straight otherwise.
- Les Yay: a tiny one: when Kiku manages to defeat all her male suitors, her father decide to change plans and offers "''Prince'' Kiku's hand to various beautiful noblewomen. Kiku wasn't amused....
- Luminescent Blush: Kiku, whenever she daydreams about her and Genzo.
- Malevolent Masked Man: Kurojishi, Maria's right-hand man, sports a huge demonic black mask.
- Moe: Osato and, sometimes, Otsuru
- Moment Killer: Otsuru's presence always thwarts Kiku's chances of sharing a good time with Genzo.
- Ninja: they once met a small gang of all-boys ninjas. It Makes Sense in Context
- Not Distracted by the Sexy: A village leader once tried to entice Genzo with two beautiful curvaceous ladies. His answer? sending out a frog puppet who called them both "Ugly Hags!"
- Parental Abandonment: Genzo was adopted by Seibei.
- Pettanko: Kiku. And Genzo seems to be almost obsessed with remembering this to her at any chance.
- not mentioning when he recognize her without looking by groping her chest!
- '''Puppet Master''': Forget [[Naruto Sasori]], forget Doflamingo, forget [[Trigun Legato]]. Tsujimura Genzo is simply THE KING of this trope!
- Rape Is OK When It Is Female on Male: Kiku's eventually plan to drunk Genzo so that she can have her way with him. She missed her chance though
- Ravens and Crows: Koshirou has a huge creepy raven on his shoulder.
- Razor Floss: averted. Genzo uses a lot of threads, but never as weapons. during his first battle with Yasuke uses them to bind him in order to get some time.
- See You in Hell: Maria after her Villanous Breakdown
- Slasher Smile: Genzo has a few of this when he gets serious, and he's as creepy as Hell!. Maria too, but not so creepy
- Stalker with a Crush: Kiku sometimes behaves as one.
- Tear Jerker: some scenes are really touching. The story of Hina and Shokichi is a perfect example
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: For Denzaemon at least, who's smart enough to have a longer, deadlier sword concealed in the cloack.
- Toyotomi Hideyoshi: appears in the story, but he's not a major figure. Besides, he really looks like a Monkey!
- Tsundere: Kiku.
- Ungrateful Bastard: the first thing Yasuke dies after Genzo made him a new leg? Try to chop him to ribbons with his sword.
- Unusual Ears: Hideyoshi has huge ears. Also some characters have slightly pointy ears.
- Ventriloquism: Genzo with his smaller puppets and Koshiro with his pet crow.
- Wife Husbandry: Gender-flipped with young Genzo and Saki, courtesy of Koshiro
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Kiku is always seen dressed as a Samurai. also Kiyone disguised herself as Chiyomaru.
- You Can't Fight Fate: the story of "Decepting the Ghost" in the fifth volume.