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Manga / Alive: The Final Evolution

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We were alive on this planet, then they arrived.

Imagine The Happening turned into a shounen series.

Taisuke is an Ordinary High-School Student whose life is changed forever when a mysterious "suicide virus" spreads around the world and causes normal people to suddenly kill themselves. As he witnesses a young girl gleefully jump to her death, a strange thought goes through his head: "I'm so jealous..."

Weeks later, after the epidemic has died down, a couple of bullies at Taisuke's school are brutally murdered and his best friend Hirose is the prime suspect. To his horror, Taisuke discovers that the survivors of the suicide virus—those who contracted the virus but did not commit suicide—have begun to manifest destructive supernatural powers and are being gathered by an enigmatic man named Katsumata. Hirose turns out to be one of these "Comrades", and is brainwashed into joining their cause, kidnapping Taisuke's childhood friend Megumi as he flees north.

Determined to rescue Megumi and bring Hirose back to his senses, Taisuke leaves the city on his bike and pursues the "Comrades" to their gathering place up north. On the way he meets up with renegade Comrades Yuta and Nami- who reject the plans of Katsumata- and begins to manifest his own Comrade powers as he comes to grips with what it means to be "alive".

The manga, written by Tadashi Kawashima and illustrated by Adachitoka, was serialized from 2003 to 2010 in Monthly Shonen Magazine. While there were plans for an an anime adaptation by GONZO, the studio suffered economic problems and cancelled the project in 2010. Kawashima passed away on June 15th, 2010 due to liver cancer. In spite of that, he succeeded in completing Alive while hospitalized.

This series provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Yuta's dad actually kicked him out of the house. In his defense, he suspects Yuta is responsible for the death of his wife, and Yuta's creepy child behavior at the time certainly didn't help.
  • Accidental Murder: Nami killed a Comrade who killed someone else in front of her on reflex. This leads to her mindset of I've Come Too Far and attempting to kill others until she gets talked out of it.
  • Accidental Pervert: Taisuke accidentally walks in on Nami getting changed at one point. Needless to say, he is lucky to be alive.
  • Action Girl: Nami, Kanon, D4. All of them show a certain degree of Worf Effect and are pretty damn girly, but they do actually manage to be considerable powers with impacts on plot development despite this.
  • A-Cup Angst: Amamiya the reporter. It saves her life at one point.
  • Escort Mission: An odd manga variation in that Taisuke is stuck with Megumi clinging to his arm while other Comrades are all out to kill him. (Because if she lets go, she'll automatically and instantly die by superpower; she's not an idiot,)
  • Unexpected Genre Change: The thing starts off as a supernatural thriller, but around the time we meet Yuta, the thing turns into a full-blown action series. And then it changes back to thriller!
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: The protagonists swap clothes quite a bit, which is a little odd when you remember that Taisuke, Nami, and Yuta are all runaways surviving on whatever Taisuke can earn with short, part-time jobs. Partially justified in that they get into fights and require a change of clothes afterward, but sometimes it seems to be just for the sake of a new outfit.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Nami is out to kill all Comrades, regardless of whether they're allied with Katsumata or not. Subverted in that not only does she get better, but it turns out she wasn't willing to go to the extremes she thought she was.
    • Also, Katsumura himself was actually only doing everything in an attempt to kill Mitama and (he believed) save humanity.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: How the suicide virus came about. It's actually the result of immortal minds possessing people so that they can kill themselves along with the mortal bodies.