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Ningyou no Kuni (lit. Country of Dolls), also called Aposimz is a manga from Tsutomu Nihei, creator of Blame and Biomega.
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500 years ago, the people of an asteroid world APOSIMZ lost their rights to live inside the automatically-maintained Core and have moved to surface of Endless Winter. From then on, people lived to combat the cold, Mechanical Monsters, and a mysterious and contagious Frame Disease that turns people into puppet-looking zombies. At some point, the ambitious Rebedoa Empire has managed to grant its elite soldiers the ability to become Regular Frames, the armored supersoliders, then decided to Take Over the World and breach into the Core.

Enter Etherow, a sniper of the White Diamond Beam town. One day he and his friends notice a small mechanical creature chased down by Rebedoa troops. In an attempt to protect it, Etherow gets shot and his entire village gets destroyed. However the critter grants him the ability of a Regular Frame, reviving him, and introduces herself as Titania, the Messenger of the Core. She is hunted for carrying the AMBs, the special bullets that can destroy the Core's outer layer and are of interest to the Rebedoa. Etherow decides that the best way to protect the AMBs is to take down Rebedoa's high command up to the Emperor himself.

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The one-shot was published in Young Magazine in May 9, 2016. The full manga begun publishing from Feb 25, 2017 and ended on 54 chapters.


This Manga contains the following tropes:

  • Accidental Pervert: Etherow falls asleep in the bathroom and Keisha assumes it's vacant. Etherow gets an explosion in his face for this.
  • The Ageless: Regular Frames don't age and don't breathe. If you don't get shot you can live for centuries and still look young.
  • Affably Evil: Fyuma never liked Yiyu for his cruelty and, believing that Titania is misleading Etherow, offers him a place in Rebedoa, which to his shame he refuses. Some other Rebedoa are pretty nice and Just Following Orders.
  • Anti-Villain: Rebedoa officers believe they are restoring humanity and try to minimalize casualties, but the Emperor doesn't believe that breaking into the Core will kill all remaining humans as a self-defence mechanism.
    • The Church of True Core may have helped a lot of people to recover, but it's controlled by a Dark Messiah and he doesn't take members' or outsiders' opinions well.
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  • Anyone Can Die: Late in the series a number of recurring characters start to pop off.
  • Artificial Afterlife: What the Core really is, a virtual reality for all of the diseased, it's not reachable by physical means. But you can get out of it by replicating a body from data with some condition. Titania even responds positively to Keisha's Blasphemous Praise.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Nichiko Suou's Combat Clairvoyance make him the powerhouse even among Regular Frames, it's been centuries and nobody ever seen him take his Armored form. He also has a Badass Longcoat.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: A few females appear naked, doll and human, but it's censored and nobody around really cares.
  • Big Bad: Nichiko Suou, the Emperor of Rebedoa, operates on Utopia Justifies the Means.
    • Big Bad Ensemble: Kajiwan has been taking more and more of Empire's territory as of late while the Emperor is still struggling to catch Titania, so a shake-up seems to be at hand.
  • Body Horror: After stealing Titania's arm, Kajwan stops being crippled, but by the time Keisha catches up to him he grew more and more body mass. He gets better.
  • Came Back Strong: Those who don't turn into Empty Shell by Frame Disease instead gain Henshin Hero abilities. Rebedoa's Regular Frames are called Reincarnateds and Church's are called Regenerateds.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Nichiko Suou, thanks to his future vision can move himself and his officers in a way to counter anything thrown against him before the enemy even realizes what he did.
  • Cool Horse: Fyuma is a horsed lancer. The horse is actually Aimu transformed.
  • Cold Sniper: Etherow specializes in ranged combat and is quite aloof.
  • Cosmic Deadline: After the Infodump that was the penultimate chapter, it's all set for the Final Battle between Etherow and Nichiko Suou. Come the final chapter, everyone else is killed off, Etherow kills Nichiko by throwing a screw at him, then Etherow reunites with everyone in the Core. The end.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Etherow snipes a Rebedoa solider before they execute a random villager, blowing his cover. He does this again and again.
  • Crapsack World: Humanity has been reduced to a series of villages and the population is being reduced further by Frame Disease. Those who are resiliant enough not to turn into Dolls get hunted or scouted by Rebedoa Empire or the True Core Church for their expansionist missions.
  • Creepy Child: Lieutenant General Goi that looks like a a 6-year old.
  • Dark Messiah: Kajiwan has grown into this. His followers are more than glad to fight "the evil Rebedoa", but questioning the leader about the methods will get you killed.
  • Dead Guy on Display: Yiyu likes to leave corpses of killed villagers to intimidate his colonies.
  • Deadly Graduation: Rebedoa officers are promoted by a tournament match with no one else left alive.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Even taking into account that it takes place in snowy regions, the manga is noticeably almost entirely white. Even in "colored" covers everyone besides a couple of people wear some degree of gray.
  • Dem Bones: Regular Frames turn into skeletons when they run out of power. Frame Disease victims are this permanently.
  • Dirty Coward: Nayuta of the executioners. She claims that she can beat Etherow without any help, and in the next chapter runs away crying to Rinai once her team gets killed.
  • Distinguishing Mark: Almost all Regular Frames have a unique icon on them, which is where the injected Code stays.
  • Doomed Hometown: Etherow's village got wiped out by Rebedoa soldiers in the first chapter with him the only survivor.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: After almost succumbing to Frame Disease, the Code Kajiwan's been carrying activates, giving him Regular Frame powers and Badass Cape. He laughs about it for quite a while and he has a clear idea of what to do next.
  • The Empire: The Rebedoan Empire.
  • Endless Winter: The Surface has only one weather: continuous snowing. On top of that, staying outside requires a gas mask to avoid the Frame Disease. And it only gets colder.
  • Epic Fail: Titania calls this about what happened when several panicking Rebedoan soldiers tried to fire at Etherow at once only for their projectiles to collide mid-air.
  • Evil Versus Evil: The Church of True Core starts off as a moderate The Resistance, but as the leader goes through several stages of Sanity Slippage and gets a lot more members, the group starts to resort more into terrorism.
  • Extra-ore-dinary: Tosu can manipulate metal, which conviniently is what most of the ground and Automatons are made of.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Etherow wears one on his right eye to hide that he's a Frame since his human form doesn't cover it. It's also the spot where he was killed. It doesn't really help when he's asked to show it by Rebedoa's patrol, but he still keeps it.
  • Fairy Companion: Titania looks like a lizard creature that can fit on one's palm, though she has a human form for emergencies.
  • First Episode Resurrection: Etherow is killed by Yiyu of Rebedoa and revived by Titania in the first chapter.
  • From a Single Cell: A Regular Frame can survive with most of his head if it's intact. If enough Placenta is provided they can completely recover.
  • Fuel Meter of Power: Using Frame abilities depletes Placenta (meat) really quickly. Etherow could only do a few good sniper shots, but his capacity increases slightly with Placenta stolen from enemies.
  • Giant Woman: Ajate, the Jate's clone. Rubidoa couldn't replicate a Code in it's usual size, so they've instead created a solider up to size of the device.
  • Geas: As the Guardian of the Core, Titania can't talk much about it. Unless you're already inside.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The first execution squad as of whole. Nayuta wears Nipple and Dimed, Nyan has a 5th limb from below, and Banasamu uses Combat Tentacles.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Kajiwan, the king of Irf Nikk starts as Reasonable Authority Figure and the only support for the people that have evaided Rebedoa. But Titania senses that he has a bit of The Chosen Wannabe and is jealous of Etherow and Keisha since he's wheelchair-bound. When he gets his hands on Titania...
  • Go for the Eye: The weak spot of Regular Frames if nothing else works.
  • Heads-Up Display: Regular Frames have this built-in.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Jate trying to Enemy Mine with Etherow against the Church made the Emperor mark them for death as well, so they don't have a choice now.
  • Hidden Elf Village: Irf Nikk had 128 kings and has avoided Rebedoa's grasp by staying completely underground, though there is a danger of attracting Automatons.
  • Human Cannonball: A quick way to deploy 40 Frames in a sortie.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: Titania can process food into liquid for easier digestion, it's definitely "not a body waste". Etherow is not pleased with the demonstration.
  • An Ice Person: Yiyu can grow and throw ice crystals.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Brigadier Jate asks witnesses politely why would a mindless Frame Doll attack her soldiers, but they are as surprised as she is. Then she takes away their gas masks one by one and predictably they know a lot more about it.
  • Kick the Dog: Rebedoa soldiers at least justify themselves with quarantine. Yiyu just wants an excuse to kill people, even civilians.
    • Dokobu the executioner isn't above using low-ranked soldiers as extra Placenta material.
  • Kill Sat: Kajiwan plan was to take crash land Ume, a weather satellite, on Rebedoa's capital. It would create a 180 km crater, killing civiliansand soldiers alike, but he's too mad at them for destroying Irf Nikk. Unfortunately for him, Jate hacks the satellite right after and drops it on him. Kajiwan escapes in time, but not everything around him.
  • Knightly Sword and Shield: Nayuta's Frame is equipped with a classic sword and shield.
  • Living MacGuffin: Titania is the key to Core and is hunted by Rebedoa Empire.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Etherow manages to make one from ground to shield itself from Yiyu's attack. This is never used again.
  • MacGuffin: The Anit-Megastructure Bullets that are key to breaching the Core, but they can also be used to One-Hit Kill a Frame. Titania at the start has all 7 of them, and every named character that isn't in Etherow's party wants them. They can also subvert Nichiko Suou's future vision.
  • Mad Scientist: Tashitsuma of the Rebedoa's Science Council is a bit cookoo. It's because he was bullied for his unusual breathing illness as a kid.
  • Mind over Matter: Zezo from Etherow's village can nail people into walls with a hand gesture.
  • The Minion Master: Jate can overwrite otherwise-neutral Automatons to attack Etherow or for Animal Espionage.
  • Mobile City: Mors Ulve, the capital of Rebedoa Empire, it even looks like a typical starship.
  • Mister Seahorse: Just as Kajiwan laments how he's going to die as a spider monster, his belly explodes and a four-legged Titania replica comes out. Kajiwan completely recovers as well.
  • Near-Villain Victory: A few times Rebedoa practically has their hands on AMB, but Etherow manages to save them with miraculous chance. Nichiko Suou speculates that Etherow's real ability is Winds of Destiny, Change!.
  • Neglectful Precursors: Long time ago a group of humans left the utopical Core and colonized the surface "to feel what it's like", despite all warnings. It was indeed horrible, but the Surface residents was too prideful to ask for help and the Core didn't want to disrespect their wishes. Codes and Frame Disease were the result of experimental technology. Now the Core is likely completely empty and Surface is almost uninhabitable and in constant wars, and Rebedoa and Church want to forcefully break into the Core.
  • Noone Could Survive That: Etherow and Titania just barely survived Jate's Kill Sat, and mostly because he was far enough from the center, while Keisha and Kajiwan hid enough deep underground.
  • One-Man Army: Keisha can take an entire squad of soldiers solo. Etherow is slowly learning to be this as well.
  • Only One Name: Nichiko Suou is the only one to avert this. Others go like Etherow of the White Diamond Beam or Keisha of Balladeer.
    • A minor officer Kudoh Denji becomes the second exception.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Those who don't become Regular Frame after being infected by Frame Disease become docile walking skeletons with doll limbs, spreading the Disease around.
  • Outside-Context Problem: The Church of True Core founded by Kajiwan can turn victims of Frame Disease back into humans, which is something everyone thought is outright impossible. The fact that there a whole army of them and some can use abilities similar to Regular Frames shocks Rebedoa even more, and Curb-Stomp Battle ensues.
  • Pillar of Light: Successfully using the Code is followed by this.
  • The Plague: The Frame Disease, everyone would rather get rid of the infected before they mutate further. The True Core Church has learned to weaponize it.
  • Praetorian Guard: Nichiko Suou is guarded by two giant spearmen which are stated to be the strongest of the Rebedoa.
  • The Promised Land: The Core World, which Nichiko Suou wants to claim for the Rebedoa, is a place without the snow or Frame Disease, but only special bullets in Titania's possession can break the barrier that surrounds it.
  • Power Trio: Etherow, Titania and Kesiha for most of the series.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Some Rebedoa and Church members go along with their missions just because of better living conditions. Some were forced to and want to avoid the You Have Failed Me.
  • A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: Nichiko Suou was Titania's previous parnter, but at some point he grew ambitious of ruling over Core and all Surface, prompting her to run away.
  • Really Royalty Reveal: Keisha is Kajiwan XXVII's brother, making her the princess of Irf Nikk.
  • Recurring Element:
  • Red Is Heroic: Etherow's Frame is bright red, and almost the only one that is known to not be greyscale.
  • Reforged into a Minion: Yiyu brainwashed Biko from Etherow's village into a loyal solider. After he dies, Biko promises to avenge him.
  • Robeast: Some depths Automatons are monsters that vary in size from small worms to Kaiju. Since they are covered with Placenta they also count as food.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Etherow isn't really interested in the Core, inner politics or how reasonable Rebedoa soldiers are. They've destroyed his city, so he's going to destroy them. Appears to have calmed down after a few beatings though.
    • Kajiwan steals Titania's arm and plans to activate Quorki Rikarhi in the Core, and ancient superweapon to fight against Rebedoa. Though his army of Dolls seems to do just as much damange.
  • The Scourge of God: Muggles believed that the weather satellites that were heating the Surface falling just a bit was a punishment for Rebedoa's activities, not aware that Rebedoa was the one to drop the last one.
  • Seer: Nichiko Suou can use a Crystal Ball to see the future as Multiple-Choice Future. He also gives vague orders to his subordinates with "trust me" because of this. But when it comes to finally getting the AMB, the future doesn't go as predicted.
  • Sensor Character: Titania can do it the best, but every Frame user can sense others if they use their abilities.
  • Single-Minded Twins: Eile and Eime, along with Finishing Each Other's Sentences. The two LightningBruisers fight really well together.
  • Sixth Ranger: Wasabu, a Rebedoa defector with blue Frame and Flight, joins Titania's group but has hard time grasping what they are doing.
  • Shock and Awe: Keisha's power is electricity, and she can use lightning rods and areal discharge. Though mostly she uses Super Speed and can empty an enemy base before them being able to react.
  • Shout-Out: Kudoh Denji's name and regular frame design is a direct homage of Nihei's previous work, Abara.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Yiyu, despite calling himself the fundamental part of the Empire, nobody really likes him and he's never brought up after defeat.
  • Smug Snake: Yiyu is a Blood Knight that thinks he's the second strongest in the Empire despite not being high-ranked, and really likes to remind everyone about it.
  • Starter Villain: Etherow fights Yiyu who turned his village into Doomed Hometown but loses. After going through his men he manages to defeat him.
  • Superpower Russian Roulette: A consumable Code can grant someone a Regular Frame, but there's a high chance it will result into Frame Disease instead.
  • Take Up My Sword: In the beginning Titania attempts to give everything she has to Eo after being shot, but Etherow rescues both of them.
  • Timed Power-Up: Titania can turn human, but her programming restricts it to about a minute per day.
  • Telepathy: Titania can read minds. She can also use Astral Projection across the region.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Averted, as assuming the Armored form takes a bit, and Etherow just barely managed to avoid getting his face pierced a second time.
  • Villain Episode: Rebedoa officers (especially Jate) often get POV chapters when Etherow isn't busy.
  • Villain Teleportation: Rinai can teleport himself and large objects by thinking of the location in the same style as Goku.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: We get Alto's backstory and how he grew the Might Makes Right mentality, before Tosu decapitates him with two slabs.
  • Zerg Rush: The Church uses Frame Disease victims like this.

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