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We're the new gods of Japan.
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Wayward is a 30-issue comicbook series written by Jim Zub, drawn by Steve Cummings and published by Image Comics. Also possibly the closest thing you can read to Japanese schoolchildren fight monsters outside of manga. The main protagonist is Rori Lane, a troubled teenager from mixed background who is just moved from her dad in Ireland to her mom in Japan... and things get weird from there.

It has been optioned for a TV series as of June 2017.

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Tropes found in this work include:

  • Absolute Xenophobe: The spider demons. Even compared to the other monsters.
  • Afterlife Antechamber: Rori and Ohara land here in Issue# 25, due to the events of the previous issue. Rori considers staying and simply passing on to the afterlife to avoid hurting anyone else further, but Emi convinces her to take them back.
  • A God Am I: Rori declares herself and her allies the new gods of Japan while being possessed.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Ohara loses control over her powers and ends up assimilating an entire love hotel to form a 50-body of stone and building material.
  • Bad Boss: Rori's mom's boss and murderer.
  • The Berserker: Ayane. Shirai too when his hunger takes over.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Nikaido is the shyest most soft spoken guy you'll ever meet. He can fry your brain.
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  • Beware the Silly Ones: Ayane is pretty much an adorably silly Genki Girl... until a fight comes along and gleefully clobbers something to death.
  • Big Bad: Nurarihyon.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The plans of the Youkai are foiled and new myths can be born into the world now that Rori has freed it from fate. However, Inaba, Shirai, and Rori herself are killed in the process, countless people are dead, and no one is sure what the future will bring.
  • Black Magician Girl: What Rori evolves into.
  • Blatant Lies: Emi claims she is late for dinner because she joined the Drama Club. Well, we could call them that...
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: Poor poor Rori. She loses everything by the end of the first arc.
  • Came Back Wrong: Shirai gets shot by the military and killed, only to revive himself while being unable to feel anything.
  • Cassandra Truth: Discussed after the first meeting and fight between Rori and Shirai. They could try to tell the authorities that they caused all the property damage, but who would believe them anyway? So they decide to not even bother and just walk off.
  • Cats Are Magic: Ayane has connection to cats. Surprisingly she isn't snarky or mean, but kind of erratic.
  • Charm Person: The Ganacanagh, a supernatural seducer of women.
  • Child of Two Worlds: Rori, being born of Celtic and Japanese magic. This was intentional as it means that she can act as a new source of power and magic was used to lure her mother there to fall in love with her father.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: All of the original kids, as a prerequisite to gaining their powers.
    • Shirai's parents abandoned him to die when he was nine because his body rejected normal food and they believed he was cursed. He has to live with a Horror Hunger now as a result and without them.
    • Rori's family fell apart and the other kids made fun of her, leading to her need to cut herself. Her true power only awoke when it got worse and her mother was murdered.
    • Nikado was treated as a mute and a burden to his family, with his father implied to be absuive to him and his mother, until their emotions eventually turned him into a bomb and he blew up for the first time. Since then he didn't trust himself around normal people and lived as a runaway in isolation.
      • This would have been the case of Ohara with her parents and brother murdered, if Rori didn't rewrite fate so that they didn't know she existed.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Emi can control manmade materials, so it's not dirt technically. But in Tokyo concrete, glass and plastic is much more easily available anyway.
  • Driven to Suicide: Nuraihyon kills himself once Rori destroys the Weave, robbing him any chance of success and getting rid of the old ways for good. Though he does note that while he didn't win, neither did the kids.
  • Druid: Rori's father studied under them, and thus became one.
  • Due to the Dead: Ayane conducts a traditional Obon ceremony for Rori. And when her spirit fails to answer concludes that she must be alive.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: Ayane tells Rori that she loves her as she dies of her wounds inflicted by the Ganacanagh.
  • The Empath: Nikaido.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Emotion Bomb: Nikaido is referred to as this in the literal sense. He absorbs the emotions of others around him and turns them into energy, so if he's around a lot of people at... say, a hospital, he'll end up blowing up an entire floor and influence them with emotions.
  • End of an Age: The crux of the series. Magical beings are in a position where their era is being overtaken by the future, not only in Japan, but in Ireland and all over the world. Dealing with that is the goal of the Big Bad by bridging it, but other places are resorting to other methods as well, which puts Rori's group in the middle.
    • The Sidhe have been resisting the change and hording the magic to the extent that its suffocating the next generation of magic.
  • Flipping the Bird: Segawa replaces security footage with a still image of him doing this to the camera.
  • Foreign Exchange Student: Rori.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Shirai is cursed with the need to eat spirit energy and an accompanying Horror Hunger, he goes to school like everyone else and hunts evil spirits for food after classes.
  • Gossipy Hens: The girls in Rori's school.
  • Grand Theft Me: The Tsukimono takes over the Minister of Defense's body in Issue #19.
  • The Grim Reaper: The Sluagh, who come for Ayane. Rori has to incarnate them so they can fight them off, but doing so marks the group.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Shirai gets his body torn in half by the Oni and the lower half is devoured.
  • Healing Factor: Ayane has one. Which was why she was surprised when it stops working after being attacked by the Ganacanagh. It's explained that since her power is rooted in Japan, leaving it broke the connection and thus stopped her healing factor.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Hyakume sacrificed himself to give Shirai his True Sight.
    • Shirai later sacrifices himself by taking in the power of Gashadokuro and the rest of the dying and suffering spirits caused by the Oni to gain the power to fight back long enough for Rori to get to the Loom.
    • Inaba and Rori do so as well in the final issue to bring things to a close.
  • I Fight for the Strongest Side: Inaba joins Rori's group because she was captivated for their strength and believes in this.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Rori most prominently. Shirai also considers his powers a curse.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Inaba gets skewed by several of her own kind of Youkai as a betrayer in the final issue while buying time for the others to escape, killing her.
  • Instant Runes: Well, instant kanji but you get the point. Rori's magic makes these appear in the threads. Her father also has this power, tough he uses more traditional, celtic runes.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Ayane apparently dies in Issue #20 while telling Rori that she was happy to know her.
  • It's Personal: For Rori when her mother is murdered. For Ayane when Rori apparently dies.
  • Kill on Sight: By Issue #26 the group has been labeled as terrorist and the military has been given these instructions.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Rori rewrites reality so that Ohara's parents didn't remember she existed. While it was done so that they didn't run the risk of being killed like her mother as that would be a requirement for her power, she didn't actually tell Ohara.
  • Love Hotels: When the military gets involved and starts searching for them, Ohara and Shirai take a room in one of these, where no one would ask questions.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: This series is surprisingly bloody at times, but special mention goes to the demise of the envoy sent to the spider demons.
  • Made of Evil: Oni are made from the souls of humans who are so irredeemably evil that it blossoms within them. Nurarihyon takes a murderer who killed more that forty people and turns him into one.
  • Magic Versus Science: The monsters are magic, humanity is science. The main cast is stuck right in the middle.
  • Magnetic Hero: Rori keeps attracting the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits for her own annoyance really.
  • Make an Example of Them: Staple of monster politics. For example Rori's mother gets killed before her to show what happens to people betraying the organization that keeps up the masquerade. Her crime? She hid Rori.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: Rori's parents. They're already divorced at the beginning of the series. Part of that is because her father was compelled to break it up by his commitment to the Formoire.
  • Masquerade: There is one. One of the stated goal of the villains is to protect it.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Shirai becomes able to sense death unfolding after the Oni starts tearing apart the city to lure them out.
  • The Needs of the Many: Why Rori's father destroyed their family. It was because the Formoire told him to.
  • Never Be Hurt Again: Shirai vowed never to be weak and helpless again after his parents left him to die.
  • Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Ohara Emi's introduction in issue #6. Yeah. She so jinxed it.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Nurarihyon is willing to go to pretty extreme lengths to maintain order for the sake of the future—as long as HE rules.
  • Obake: The Tsukumogami, who wait around for objects to get old enough to possess them. When they find out that Ohara can somehow help them speed up the process, they start swarming her to do that against her will and threatening to kill her. Afterwards they decide to make her their queen and serve as her army.
  • Official Couple: Ohara and Shirai.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Most heroes before their power manifests.
  • Papa Wolf: Rori's father. The moment he learns she's in trouble, he goes to Japan to get her back. And when the Ganacanagh charms her and stabs Ayane, he shoves his own knife straight into its forehead.
  • Parental Betrayal: Rori's father stabs her In the Back in Issue #24, essentially sacrificing her.
  • People Puppets: The leader of the Dirt Spiders, Jurogumo, does this to Rori.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Nikaido, when his empath powers go out of control, as well as Rori who fights like a natural disaster.
  • Possessing a Dead Body: Ayane returns from the dead by having the essences of a bunch of cats flow into an old woman who they'd been in the care of after she died from old age.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The Loom is made from the soul of an infant weaver.
  • Power at a Price: Power comes from sacrifice, as stated by Rori. The price for all of the kids who developed powers were tragedy and sacrificing their ordinary lives.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Ohara after Shirai is briefly killed. She promptly starts ripping the heads off the military unit that came after them.
  • Reality Warper: Rori, using a combination of her inherited magic.
  • Recycled In Space: Buffy the Vampire Slayer...in JAPAN!
  • The Runaway: Nikaido. The team literally finds him sleeping in an alleyway.
  • Seers: Rori, whenever she is within the weave. It allows her to see possible futures.
  • Self-Harm: Rori's prone to cut kanji in her own flesh when she feels overwhelmed by a situation.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Rori and Ayane.
    • Ohara and Shirai.
  • Shoot the Hostage: When Inaba takes Segawa hostage, Nurarihyon gives the order to shoot through him once he runs out of patience.
  • Slasher Smile: Ayane when in her battle madness mode.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Ayane is very good at this. Not surprisingly with her cat connection.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: Rori's weaving power comes from her mother and her rune magic comes from her father.
  • Super-Power Meltdown: Rori over the murder of her mother... it blows up the house. It doesn't kill her and Shirai though, but it damn sure makes it look like it.
  • Super Senses: Rori's power at least at first is seeing the mystical threads connecting things. In practice this meant being able to spot magic, always finding a way out and never getting lost.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Nurarihyon wishes to "build a bridge" to close the ever-widening gap between "the past" and "the future", but the main cast, being teenagers, have no respect for the past and just impulsively follow the whims of their emotions while the youkai are conservative to a fault and willing to fight to the death sooner than embrace the changes of the modern times. He expresses no small amount of frustration at all of this.
  • Technopath: Segawa can interfere with networks and connections, including the weave.
  • Spanner in the Works: Rori. Her birth, which was orchestrated because of foreign druids, changes the nature of the weave and thus she can break the hold the Japanese Myths have over magic when their time has long since passed.
  • True Sight: Shirai gains this ability from one spirit that he eats.
  • Unfortunate Names: Rori. It opens her up to countless loli jokes from her Japanese schoolmates.
  • Vicious Cycle: Once Rori enters the weave she sees that history will constantly repeat itself if she used its power to try and get rid of the old ways to replace it with her own desires. She opts instead to get rid of any way of controlling the weave instead.
  • Visionary Villain: Nurarihyon wishes the future had some of the introspective virtues of the past and also tries to make the youkai adapt and get with the times. He also has very little tolerance for things he cannot control.
    Kitsune: You called us here, Nurarihyon. What's this all about?
    Nurarihyon: The future. It's always about the future.
  • Walking the Earth: Ayane decides to do this at the end of the series, to find the new myths Rori put out into the world. Though she makes it clear she can come back if they find a cat and call for her.
  • Wham Episode: Issue #24. Rori's father stabs her.
    • Issue #28. The Oni starts terrorizing the city and Ayane returns from the dead.
  • Youkai: The antagonists are primarily these while the series takes place in Japan.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Ayane's hair is literally bright orange, green, blue etc. (and to date we don't know why it keeps changing, dye is the most reasonable answer though).

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