"Humans are curious creatures, like newborn cubs. But, like the cubs, every once in a while, Mother lets them know where the exploration ends. Some things in this world don't need any explanation. Ceasar, even if we tried, your mere human mind can't comprehend it."
Pandect is a manga-style webcomic drawn by Canadian artist Dina Situ. It is currently hosted by comicgenesis and can be read here (NSFW): http://pandect.comicgenesis.com/
Existing alongside the human world is another class of persons called "Aces," who are animals who have earned a human soul
. With the soul comes a human body and human speech and reason. It also carries with it the attendant problems of existing in human society, which wild Aces find especially difficult. However, Aces generally recognize that having a soul is worth the extra difficulties.
Though most Ace earn their soul by passing some test, a rare few are born Ace. Aces come in four varieties.
- Prince Aces are the highest class and have posession of a particular geographic area.
- Gladiator Aces are warriors with special powers.
- Regular Aces have no special responsibilities but may have special powers.
- Servant Aces are animals chosen by a Prince to serve them. They did not earn their own souls and will revert to animals if the Prince repudiates them.
The class of Ace is predestined: Every animal potentially has a soul of a particular class, which they receive if they earn their Ace. Even a Servant Ace could win a soul, which might even be a Prince soul, under the right circumstances.
Ace society is run by the Princes, who summon animals in dreams and give them the chance to earn their Ace. Few do. Most Aces revere a semi-divine figure they call The Mother, who occasionally grants "Legendary" rank to Aces who have done exceptional service to the Ace Kingdom. An Ace of any class may become Legendary.
The comic follows Fleance, the Black Prince of the Kingdom, who serves as the Judge when Aces have committed crimes. A melanistic Leopard, Fleance is seeking his trees, which were taken away when his home forest was destroyed. He comes to reside in a private academy run by another Prince Ace, and tries to learn the ways of humans. But the persons on whom he — and the Black Prince before him — have passed judgment have long lives and very, very long memories...
As of February 2011, on indefinite hiatus.
- A Man Is Not a Virgin: Averted
- Animal Jingoism: Animosity between Snake and non-Snake Aces is widespread and apparently mutual.
- Anime Hair: Most characters, especially feline Aces. Cat Aces have two hairspikes that resemble ears
- Animorphism: With a difference - Aces have both human and animal bodies and can switch from one to the other at will. There is no 'halfway' transformation moment
- Blond Guys Are Evil: Cleatus
- Cast Full of Pretty Boys: It's a shonen-ai series
- Cat Smile
- Celibate Hero: Fleance
- Fleance mentions that prior to the story he spent some time in captivity at a zoo, and sired cubs with the leopardesses there.
- Custom Uniform: Vanessa, Cherokee
- Cute Little Fangs: Ice
- Dark-Skinned Blond: Daku, Kouros
- Defeat Means Friendship: Ely, apparently
- Doomed Hometown: Fleance's forest
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Heavily, heavily implied for Noah and Edgar, and perhaps for Fleance as well.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Fleance, Waka.
- Evil-Detecting Dog: Ice.
- Evil Twin: Subverted: Ice and Rocko use this as an affectionate term of address
- Facial Markings: Justified: the human appearance of an Ace resembles his/her animal appearance
- By that token, Fleance's pale skin and lack of spots should qualify for this trope. Melanistic leopards do have spots, they just aren't as obvious as a normal leopard's due to the fact that the rest of their fur is also dark.
- Fanservice: All the adult characters, male or female, have perfect bodies
- First Law of Gender Bending: Inverted: a female character is transferred into the body of a man. Thus far it has stuck.
- Friend to All Living Things: Rose
- Half-Human Hybrid: Averted. Aces and humans must never breed because their offspring are monsters. There is one potential exception, however..
- Humanity Ensues: Aces define this trope
- Immortality Begins at Twenty: And "maturity" begins at 100.
- In Medias Res: At least a hundred years of backstory is necessary to explain the cast's current situation
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: Fleance, in a rare male example
- Interactive Narrator: Dina and Ice once got into an argument; she also drops "Unsexy Facts" about biology into the occasional panel
- Ironic Nickname: Sobre
- Lampshaded in his first appearance: One of the reasons he's in the Hall of Shame is "I am not sober like my name."
- Kiss of Death: Edgar to everyone except Fleance
- Knight Templar Big Brother: Backstory reveals that Theo played four or five different Ace empires in order to make his sister an Ace.
- Lamarck Was Right: Fleance mentions having sired some cubs at a zoo in the backstory; Ice asks if any of them were Aces, and Fleance replies that born Aces are extremely rare.
- Limited Wardrobe: Especially for Ace characters, who like to dress in ways that mimic their species; humans have more variety. It's still justified in the case of school uniforms.
- Loveable Rogue: Sobre again
- Mayfly-December Romance: Any human-Ace romance.. which is one of the reasons why they are forbidden.
- Morphic Resonance: Aces' human bodies retain some characteristics of their animal forms, and they frequently style their hair and wardrobes to increase the effect.
- Ms. Fanservice: Venus... maybe. Vanessa, once.
- My Nayme Is: Ceasar
- Near-Rape Experience
- Never Gets Drunk: Edgar. Noah claims he can get drunk but will sober up within minutes thanks to his Gladiator powers.
- No One Could Survive That
- No Social Skills: Most wild Aces.
- Official Couple: Noah and Edgar
- Our Vampires Are Different: Subverted and lampshaded; when Ice asks why a half-Ace is called a vampire when it doesn't resemble, say, Dracula, Fleance replies that "vampire" is a misnomer, but one that's stuck
- Peacock Girl: Subverted and justified. Peahen Ace Venus is Sharing a Body with her peacock Ace brother Theo.
- Puppy-Dog Eyes: Ice, of course
- Raised by Wolves: Literally true in Ice's case
- Really 700 Years Old: Most of the Ace characters are over a century old, and some are closer to 800
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: There is considerable animosity between Snake and non-Snake Aces.
- Serious Business: Vanessa and kitties. She would rather go naked than wear something without a cat on it.
- Supernatural Gold Eyes: Fleance, justified since this is a natural color for felines
- Third-Person Person: Edgar tends to switch between third and first person when he's nervous.◊
- Twenty Minutes into the Future: The comic is set 20-50 years after the present day.
- Unreliable Narrator: Theo.
- Unusual Ears: Averted except in chibi moments.
- Vampire Bites Suck: A supporting character is savaged by the Vampire.
- The Virus
- The Voiceless: Teddy Jr.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Vanessa and Theo.