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Light Novel / Kure-nai

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Murasaki & Shinkurou

Shinkurou Kurenai is a 16 year old boy who earns his living by settling disputes between people. This usually involves some degree of violence, which he deals with just fine, as he is very strong and proficient at martial arts.

One day he gets a very special assignment: being the bodyguard of Murasaki Kuhoin, a 7 year old girl from a very rich, plutocratic family. At first he has quite a bit of trouble with her snobbish nature, which is obviously the result of the very sheltered upbringing within the "Inner Sanctuary" of her family estate. As they spend their time together, they start to appreciate each other more and more, leading to a deep friendship which affects their lives immensely.

The series started out as a Light Novel series but has grown to include both a manga and an anime adaption. The anime ends after the first arc, but both the original light novels and manga are ongoing. The series takes place in the same universe as Denpa Teki na Kanojo.


Kure-nai provides examples of:

  • Art Shift: The opening animation compared to the rest of the anime, which renders the cast with a highly stylized Super-Deformed appearance.
  • Berserk Button: Set off by actual physical harm to someone Shinkurou should be protecting.
  • Bifauxnen: Yayoi, Lin, and to some extent Benika.
  • Bifauxnen and Lad-ette: Lin and Yayoi.
  • Big Fancy House: Well, a really big estate...
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Kuhoin family's traditions are... weird, to say the least.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Shinkurou actually manages to get hold of Murasaki after she gets kidnapped back by her family. She decides to stay though to fight their traditions, so Shinkurou still has to leave her behind. It's a little less dramatic in the manga, and doesn't end the series.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Shinkurou, while living with and being trained by the Houzuki family, had a blade put into his right forearm that he can release at will. (In the anime, it is activated when he gets too agitated in combat.)
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  • Blessed with Suck: Shinkurou's built-in sword may be cool, but it's pretty scary too.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Sort of. Murasaki and Shinkurou start caring for each other a lot, but it's obviously not romantic. Also, due to Murasaki's misunderstandings about the nature of romantic relationships (and relationships in general) she sometimes speaks and acts as if she wants to be Shinkuro's girlfriend (or thinks she already is).
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Murasaki's predestined role is explicitly to bear her brother's children.
  • Car Fu: In the snow, no less.
  • Chekhov M.I.A.: Played straight with the Houzukis' previous student. It seems he was responsible for the fire that allowed Yuuno to accept Shinkurou as part of the family.
  • Children Raise You: one of the reasons that Benika chose Shinkuro for the task of being Murasaki's bodyguard.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Shinkurou. In the manga Tamaki also proves to be a proficient martial artist, helping take down terrorists and even holding off Yuuno when she tries to stop Shinkuro from going to rescue Murasaki by force.
  • Cute and Psycho: Do not let Kirihiko near anything sharp (why do you think her street name is Guillotine?)
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: When practicing their parts in a musical, Yamie proves to be this, and Yuuno even more so, but it goes away for both of them once they stop practicing from the script and start improvising instead.
  • Joshikousei: Shinkurou's female fellow students at his high school.
  • Meaningful Name
    • Murasaki, from the classic Japanese novel The Tale of Genji, was kidnapped as a little girl by the protagonist Hikaru Genji and raised to be the perfect wife.
    • The kanji for Murasaki's name means "purple" or "violet", and Renjou's wife Kazuko makes a statement about sometimes accidentally stepping on violets, which can be taken as a metaphor for her treatment of Murasaki.
    • The second symbol in the kanji for "Kuhoin" is "feng", a mythical Chinese bird which is the king of all other birds, and the third symbol means "imperial palace" or "emperor", both of which are possibly references to the plutocratic nature of the Kuhoin family.
  • Musical Episode: The characters start practicing for a musical to be held at a local park, but they soon throw away the script and start improvising. One of the best examples out there, it oddly doesn't feel out of place at all.
  • Murder, Inc.: The Akuu Company.
  • Ninja: Yayoi
  • The Ojou: Murasaki. Yuuno Houzuki qualifies to an extent.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Shinkurou, aside from the blade lodged in his right arm.
  • Parental Abandonment: Parents in the series are either: dead, uncaring, or non-existent. There is one nice parental figure shown, but he's a grandparent.
  • Perky Goth: Yamie, although her perkiness varies.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The anime in relation to the original material. And OVAs, which combine both.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: Kirihiko wears one over her mouth, Ninja-style.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Shinkurou seems to be unaware of Ginko's feelings towards him. He'd probably like to be oblivious to Yuuno's feelings for him, but she's too forward for him to ignore it. He still manages it though. Shinkurou puts "effort" into being oblivious, so much so that he doesn't even notice even Yuuno's blatantly obvious love for him.
  • Shoo the Dog: Yuuno basically excommunicates Shinkurou from her family to prevent Red Cap from killing him when even his Dangerous Forbidden Technique fails.
  • Shrines and Temples: Murasaki visits a shrine with Shinkurou and his neighbors to celebrate that she's seven years old.
  • Sink or Swim Mentor: Benika likes Shinkurou to learn things the hard way.
  • Slasher Smile: Lin.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In the novels, Lin dies after Kirihiko kills her by cutting her head off. However in the manga, Kirihiko slashes Lin's throat but she manages to survive thanks to Murasaki's medical team.
  • Tearjerker: Murasaki being recaptured by the Kuhoins. Also, Shinkurou's dream at the end of the series.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Chizuru Houzuki, Yuuno's little sister fits this trope to a T, as she's even smaller than Murasaki.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Murasaki. In the manga and OV As, Murasaki wears almost exclusively boyish clothes - Dark-colored jackets with flared collars, flat-color T-shirts, sweaters and black shorts or overalls. Though, she does wear knee-high socks with her otherwise masculine attire. Moreover, Murasaki doesn't object to wearing aprons and feminine outfits prepared for her, in fact more often than not she is enthusiastic about them. This trope is less obvious in the anime, in which Murasaki's dress is much more girly, however, she still retains her boyish behavior and mode of speech. The way Murasaki acts and speaks, while neither overtly masculine nor feminine, is very open and straightforward to a point that it would be considered abnormal and in some cases impolite in Japanese culture.
  • 12-Episode Anime
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Ginko and Yuuno. While Shinkurou doesn't return Yuuno's feelings any more than he does Ginko's, he does hang out a lot more with Yuuno than with her. Also, when they were little kids he promised that when they grew up that they'd run Ginko's family ramen shop together, but ended up learning the martial arts of Yuuno's family and decided to become a dispute mediator instead.
  • Unwanted Harem: A relatively mild case. Shinkurou has Ginko, Yuuno, and Murasaki gunning for him. Shinkurou cares about each of the main three, but in a platonic sense. Tamaki doesn't seem to be interested in Shinkurou romantically, but that certainly doesn't stop her from teasing him every now and then (especially when she's drunk). Yuuno's younger sister, Chizuru, also has a crush on him. Kirihiko is thrown into the mix with her blushes whenever Shinkurou praises her in the manga.
  • Wife Husbandry: Inverted: Murasaki has been raised since birth to be the mother of her brother's children, and is then kidnapped to prevent this. Also notice the Meaningful Name in relation to the trope's namesake.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Murasaki varies between believable childish naïveté and unusual wisdom during most of the series, and then has her wisdom turned up to eleven at the end of the last episode.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Benika's plan to "poison the prize". See the page for details.

Alternative Title(s): Kurenai