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The Legend of Yan-Kan Mar is a 2017 sci-fi novel written by Madness Jones. The main story is about three sky pirates from a prehistoric earth species known as the Taiko being punished for their crimes with eternal imprisonment and then being awakened in the 21st century, when humans rule the planet.

The leader of the group, Yan-Kan, and her sisters Dia and Mukaiko take on human names and alter their appearances to try to fit in with the new society they've found themselves in, but everything is complicated when it turns out their species isn't extinct after all and return to planet Earth to take it back from the humans. It doesn't help that they conned a normal Japanese family into housing them and therefore cannot reveal their identities as ancient beings lest they be killed; either by the humans or by the Taiko.

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The Legend of Yan-Kan Mar provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Oh, so many. Toki/Yan-Kan and Ritsuka are the most notable examples however, with Ritsuka being more of the Badass Normal variety.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Averted, as the Sinister Ones take on the human names of Toki, Tomoyo, and Hitomi.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Ironically invoked by Yan-Kan. It was during her final confrontation with Sher-Kanao. It was for the lives of her sisters rather than herself.
  • The Alcoholic: Toki is almost always drinking despite being only 13 years old. Admittedly we don’t know at what age a Taiko becomes an adult, but it’s implied that she’s still considered fairly young by her species.
  • Alien Among Us: Although the Sinister Ones are technically from earth, the culture is so foreign to them that it feels like this trope. Played straight with the modern Taiko.
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  • Alien Autopsy: Performed on an alien, by aliens.
  • Aliens in Cardiff: The central location of the story is in the Shikoku Islands of Japan.
  • Aliens Speaking English: The Sinister Ones don’t immediately know Japanese, but thanks to Dia’s Techno Babble device they are able to learn fairly quickly. The device can only teach as much as they know of their own language however, so Yan-Kan still can’t read.
  • All the Other Reindeer: Yan-Kan, Dia, and Mukaiko were treated horribly by Taiko society from day one due to both being orphans in an overcrowded system and having powers that most of the population didn’t have. Yan-Kan was especially hated for being a “Maran”; someone that breathes fire. Hence the Fantastic Racism nickname “Mar”.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: The modern date is never specifically mentioned in the book. Only that it is 44 million years after the Sinister Ones were frozen.
  • And I Must Scream: Yan-Kan and her sisters, once convicted for their crimes, were slowly encased in zinc gel feet first that quickly turned into crystal and nearly suffocated them to death.
  • Annoying Laugh: Yan-Kan’s/Toki’s laugh can range from this to Evil Laugh to Hell Is That Noise.
  • Anti-Villain: Yan-Kan is a Type 1, Dia is a Type 2, and Mukaiko waves between Type 2 and Type 4. The Taiko insurgents Sanrok, Mektar, Purdas, and Arnoch are Type 3.
  • Apocalypse How: A nonhuman example. The Taiko suffered a Class 1 version of this, but it’s never explained how it happened.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Even though Yan-Kan constantly argues and fights with her sisters, especially Dia, she is ultimately willing to die for them and for the planet when the chips were down.
  • Bad Dreams: Taiko don’t have dreams, but Dia/Tomoyo is frequently haunted by past memories when she sleeps and they become more distressing as the book progresses.
  • Bald of Evil: Arnoch is bald, but he covers it with a rag.
  • Barrier Warrior: Dia can produce magnetic force fields to protect herself and anyone standing close enough to her.
  • The Beforetimes: More like the Before Planet. The modern Taiko view earth this way.
  • Berserk Button: Never call Yan-Kan “Mar”.
  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: See Power Trio.
  • Big Bad: Might Karagami.
  • Big Brother Bully: Well, sister actually. Toki can be this toward her sisters, and was even worse about it when she was Yan-Kan. Oh the other hand...
  • Big Sister Instinct: Do not mess with Yan-Kan’s/Toki’s sisters. She will crush you for it.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Mukaiko/Hitomi is blonde, Dia/Tomoyo has black hair, and Yan-Kan/Toki has red hair. Despite trying to look Japanese each of them kept their hair color due to the importance Taiko place on not altering their hair as they age.
  • Body Horror: When Dia performs surgery on her own ears.
  • Book Dumb: Yan-Kan/Toki is illiterate.
  • Cannot Dream: Taiko don’t dream in the typical human sense, but they do relive memories when they sleep.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Kouji, Toki’s best friend from work. Oddly enough he doesn’t considering dating Toki, and only realizes he loved her after she died
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: Mighty Karagami is the queen of the modern day Taiko, and is also a 15 year old girl.
  • Child Soldier: Mektar.
  • Closet Sublet: When the Sinister Ones move into the Kaneshiro household they have to share one room, and Tomoyo sleeps in the closet.
  • Collector of the Strange: A rather tame example. Prof. Ichikawa keeps indecipherable stone artifacts around his house. He doesn’t even know what culture they are from or what purpose they served.
  • Control Freak: Toki, to the point that she’s rather live on the street rather than let Mr. Kaneshiro tell her what to do.
  • Creepy Shadowed Undereyes: Mighty Karagami has these. Just adds to her Creepy Child aesthetic.
  • Crystal Prison
  • Cursed with Awesome: Yan-Kan was maligned by her society because of her fire powers, and therefore assumes she would be ostracized as a human for having them too.
  • The Cutie: Hitomi and Emiko both work for this trope.
  • Damsel in Distress: Happens to Ritsuka, Kuniko, Emiko, and Yuirena when they are captured by the Taiko invaders. Happens again to Kuniko and Ritsuka when Purdas decides he wants Kuniko as a bride. In both cases they were saved by one of the Sinister Ones rather than the typical male love interest.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: The Sinister Ones all had this, but especially Dia.
  • Darkest Hour: The Taiko take over the world, Karagami steals Yan-Kan’s fire powers, and then throws her out of a skycraft; leaving her for dead.
  • Dark-Skinned Redhead: Yan-Kan/Toki.
  • Defiant to the End: Played with. Yan-Kan cackled like a maniac during her execution, but before that happened she begged Sher-Kanao to spare her sisters’ lives. Counts as a case of O.O.C. Is Serious Business.
  • Defiled Forever: Dia, after her affair with Sher-Kanao. At least that’s how Taiko society and her family sees it.
  • Die Laughing: Yan-Kan does this during her own execution to show contempt for the judges. This is the first chapter of the story, so naturally she gets better.
  • Drama Queen: Yuirena. Also Tori from the first scene in the modern day.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Yan-Kan’s return from her first supposed death to kick Karagami’s butt, this time actually dying in the process.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Purdas and Karagami are this. Justified as they are Semp, a Taiko that is poisonous. Doesn’t help that both are their own levels of creepy.
  • Elemental Shapeshifter: Mukaiko/Hitomi.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: The Taiko invaders’ misguided conclusions about Yan-Kan based off anecdotal evidence and the few artifacts they have. See Samus Is a Girl.
  • Entitled to Have You: How Purdas treats Kuniko, a human teenager he just met and considers inferior due to her species. He only wants her because of her genetic compatibility with him, due to his culture being very pragmatic about breeding. Needless to say, she is not interested.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: The Taiko died out millions of years before the Sinister Ones woke up. Well, the ones they knew anyway.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Emiko’s Dog, Rinto.
  • Expressive Ears: All Taiko have these. The Sinister Ones surgically alter them to appear more human, which is a...difficult process.
  • Fantastic Racism: The reason the leader of the Sinister Ones is called Yan-Kan Mar is because “Mar” is a racial slur against Maran; Taiko that breathe fire.
  • Fiery Redhead: Yan-Kan/Toki is this in a rather literal sense.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: Well, technically Fire, Water, and Lightning.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: The three main characters as well as the invaders. Along with being in an unfamiliar time period, the Taiko are also among a different species, humans.
  • Free-Range Children: The Sinister Ones.
  • Freudian Excuse: The Sinister Ones committed most of their crimes because they were street children who didn’t have anyone in their lives to teach them how to survive in an honest way in their society.
  • Friend to All Children: Prof. Ichikawa.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Dia/Tomoyo.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Toki and Tomoyo are both unisex names, but are usually used for boys. In-universe Yan-Kan is considered this, and the modern Taiko just assume she’s male.
  • Genki Girl: Mukaiko/Hitomi.
  • Going Native: The Sinister Ones surgically alter themselves to appear more human and pose as Ritsuka’s long lost cousins to get a place to live. Living with the Kaneshiro family makes them realize what they had been missing by not having a family, and it makes Hitomi want to be adopted by them for real.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Arnoch.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Despite being a former sky pirate, Mukaiko/Hitomi is actually a very nice person who just wants to live the rest of her days in peace. She is also the only character in the novel with blonde hair.
  • A Handful for an Eye: How Ritsuka keeps Purdas from killing her and taking Kuniko away.
  • Happily Married: Ritsuka’s parents. Likely Kuniko’s parents as well since they had 8 kids!
  • Harmless Freezing: The zinc-oxide crystal turns out to be this, but nobody knew that when the Sinister Ones were frozen inside.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Yan-Kan/Toki has no real loyalty outside of her sisters. Every action she takes is based on personal convenience, amusement, or taking care of her family. If innocent bystanders get hurt in the process of fulfilling these desires, well that’s not her problem.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The Sinister Ones. Maybe.
    • By the end Sanrok, Purdas, and the surviving modern Taiko decide to leave earth when their queen dies.
  • Human Popsicle: Well, not exactly human...
  • Humongous Mecha: The dinosaurs and other large prehistoric animals are implied to be this. The Sinister Ones had a Kalabus ship they called The Shadow Star, which was a creature that was part organic and part machine. They later hatch a baby version of a Kalabus ship they name Donoban.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Averted. The Sinister Ones disguise themselves as human to fit in, and were seen as freaks for their powers by their previous society, but they never once question or lament their powers.
  • I Will Only Slow You Down: An odd non-heroic example. Arnoch and Yuirena are trapped in a cave after Arnoch tries to kill people on a crowded street. Arnoch begins to realize he’s been poisoned and is about to die, and Yuirena tries to carry him out with her. He doesn’t let her, knowing that he is going to die anyway.
  • Iconic Item: Dia/Tomoyo is rarely seen without her electricity conducting tiara; a gift that Yan-Kan stole for her when they were kids.
  • Ingesting Knowledge: How the Taiko learn to speak Japanese. They inject themselves with a gel that records the language for them so they can learn instantaneously.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Toki and Kouji.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Yan-Kan/Toki.
    • Eventually Arnoch is proven to be this as well.
  • Kavorka Man: It’s implied Yan-Kan was a female variant of this, always managing to get dates despite looking like a cross between a rotting orange and a broom. Kind of explains why she would bond with Kouji, an air headed Casanova Wannabe with no filter.
  • Kick the Dog: Sher-Kanao does this to Dia and her sisters in a flashback.
  • Land, Sea, Sky: Yan-Kan’s power is fire breathing, which works best on land. Mukaiko turns into water, making her the sea part of this combination. Dia can fly, which her sisters cannot, making her sky.
  • Last of Their Kind: The Sinister Ones think they’re this.
  • Lean and Mean: Yan-Kan.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Dia’s powers can invoke this at times.
  • Living Relic: The Sinister Ones.
  • Living with the Villain: Ritsuka is forced to share her home with her “cousins”, who are just the Sinister Ones pretending to be human.
  • Mad Scientist: There are not one, not two, but three of these in the story. Dia, Purdas, and Prof. Ichikawa.
  • Man in a Kilt: Arnoch wears an apron over his puffy pants as per his people’s tradition. His culture considers it much manlier than ours does.
  • May–December Romance: A bitter example: Dia and Sher-Kanao.
  • Meaningful Name: In-universe, the name Yan-Kan means “haughtiness”.
  • The Millstone: Yuirena.
    • Sanrok is treated as this by the other Taiko invaders.
  • Mistaken for Quake: Hokuto and Tori think there’s an earthquake when they’re trapped in a cave, but it turns out they broke the crystal containing the Sinister Ones.
  • Mood-Swinger: Yan-Kan/Toki can be this, though her presets seem to be anger and amusement.
  • Morality Pet: Mukaiko acted as this for Yan-Kan.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Yuirena isn’t on good terms with the rest of the group trying to stop the Taiko invasion.
    • The Taiko invaders work well together...with the exception of Sanrok.
  • Never Learned to Read: Yan-Kan didn’t learn to read in her native language and therefore can’t read any humans languages she learns either. Unlike many examples of this trope she freely admits this and never sees illiteracy as a problem despite her disadvantage.
  • Nice Guy: Kouji is very accepting of Toki as a fellow construction worker despite her being a girl. He’s even cool with it when he finds out she’s not human.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: Hitomi, Toki, and Tomoyo respectively.
  • No Indoor Voice: Toki, to Ritsuka’s annoyance.
  • Not Quite Dead: The Sinister Ones, whose execution only lasted 44 million years.
  • Omni Disciplinary Scientist: Though Dia/Tomoyo is not technically a scientist, she is well versed in cybernetics, engineering, anatomy, chemistry, etc.
  • Only Friend: Kouji is this for Toki, and Mektar is this for Sanrok.
  • Orphanage of Fear: The child village where the Sinister Ones were raised until they ran away at age 6.
  • Playing with Fire: Yan-Kan, duh!
  • Poisonous Person: Purdas.
  • The Pollyanna: Hitomi can come off as this, though she can also whine a lot too.
  • Power Trio: The Sinister Ones, literally. Yan-Kan breathes fire and had incredible strength, Dia can levitate and control electricity, and Mukaiko can become and merge with water.
  • Promotion to Parent: Despite being triplets, Yan-Kan takes most of the responsibility for providing for her sisters.
  • Questionable Consent: Dia, when she was 12 years old, had an affair with a knight named Sher-Kanao, who was both married and 27 years old. Taiko are implied to age faster than humans, but it’s still assumed she’s too young to be dating him.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Yan-Kan pre-transformation.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Yan-Kan was red and Dia was blue. Made even more hilarious when the two humans who released them assume they are actual oni.
  • Reset Button: The Sinister Ones treat their new lives as this.
  • The Rival: Ritsuka and Yuirena both love the same boy, and because of this don’t get along with each other. They never become friends, but do learn to work through their differences.
  • Ro Beast: The Shadow Star and Donoban. Heck, pretty much every Taiko vehicle is this.
  • Samus Is a Girl: In-universe. The modern Taiko believe Yan-Kan was a man with a hundred crew members and several wives, instead of a 13 year old girl working with only her two sisters.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Somewhat deconstructed. Ritsuka is in love with a boy named Akahana Takuya that her rival Yuirena also wants. He never actually appears in the novel, and at one point Toki asks Ritsuka if Takuya is really important to her now that the world is ending. She realizes then how little he actually mattered to her.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Arnoch.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Well, sealed anti-villains in a rock.
  • Ship Tease: Toki and Kouji have great chemistry, but remain just friends because Toki thinks “humans are ugly”. In the epilogue Kouji admits to Ritsuka that he had hidden feelings for Toki.
  • Shock and Awe: Dia/Tomoyo.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Mighty Karagami tries to invoke Not So Different and We Can Rule Together to sway Yan-Kan. It’s a No-Sell.
  • The Sleepless: Ritsuka has trouble sleeping when her cousins are awake late at night. Toki stumbling in drunk is a particular sore spot.
  • Slept Through the Apocalypse: The Sinister Ones.
  • Smug Super: Toki can fall into this behavior sometimes.
  • Speech Impediment: It is mentioned that Tomoyo has an odd accent due to having swollen gum from constant electric shocks.
  • Shrinking Violet: Kuniko.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Purdas is this toward Kuniko.
  • Stay with the Aliens: The epilogue shows that Prof. Ichikawa left earth with the Taiko.
  • Super Strength: Yan-Kan/Toki has this, though apparently even normal Taiko are stronger than most humans.
  • Team Mom: Yan-Kan for her sisters.
  • Team Pet: Shadow Star in the past, and Donoban in the present.
    • Rinto the dog is this for the humans, especially his owner Emiko.
  • Terrible Trio: See Power Trio.
  • That Man Is Dead: Once the Sinister Ones craft their new identities for themselves, they refuse to even call each other by their old names.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: How Ritsuka views her cousins, especially Toki.
  • Tomboyish Ponytail: Ritsuka.
  • Tranquil Fury: Yan-Kan, who normally yells everything, has an OOC moment of this when she’s too angry to scream like she always does.
  • Traumatic Haircut: Taiko hair doesn’t grow back, and is only cut to signify shame. Happens to both Dia and Sanrok.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Averted. The story takes place in Kochi, Japan.
  • The Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer: Tomoyo and Hitomi get good grades and Toki excels as a construction worker despite none of them knowing how humanity worked when they were first released from the crystal.
  • Villain Protagonist
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Mighty Karagami.
    • Also Sher-Kanao.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Tori and Hokuto are never seen again after they release the Sinister Ones, despite getting a lot of character development in the beginning of the story.
  • When Elders Attack: Arnoch pierces the ground so hard that he causes a sinkhole. Of course this backfires when he and Yuirena get trapped inside.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Or caves, in this instance. Dia is very afraid of enclosed places because she needs the sky to use her powers, and the Sinister Ones wake up in a cave.
  • Wild Card: Sanrok, unlike the other Taiko invaders, doesn’t care about Mighty Karagami or her plans. He is only loyal to himself, making him the most unstable member of the group.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Kouji and Toki. They don’t.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Dia/Tomoyo is way smarter than her peers in a technical sense, though Mukaiko/Hitomi seems to have more practical wisdom due to her empathy.
  • Worst Aid: The Sinister Ones want to fit in with the humans they find themselves among, so the most obvious solution is to change their appearance. This lead to Dia slicing off part of their ears and using brown dye to color Yan-Kan’s irises. She is...less than qualified to perform such delicate work.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Sher-Kanao was married and had 7 children when he started dating Dia.

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