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Manga / Bio-Meat: Nectar

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Bio-Meat: Nectar is an Action Horror manga by Fujisawa Yuki. It takes place in Japan 20 Minutes into the Future, where a world food shortage and growing landfill problem plague humanity. Researchers in Japan, through the magic of genetic engineering, create Bio-Meat, or B-M for short. They are genetically-modified creatures that are organically plump, very easy to breed, and provide a viable food source for the whole world. In addition, they will eat anything, even materials like plastic and vinyl, but not inorganic compounds like glass, fiberglass, or metal.

The main character is Maaya Kan, an elementary school student who has recently moved from Osaka to Tokyo, and is having trouble adjusting due to his violent personality and strange sense of humor. The area he lives in is right outside the B-M processing facility, and when a large earthquake strikes them, there is a containment breach and all the little suckers break out and run amok in the town.

Did we mention they eat anything?

Now Kan and his fellow classmates have to try and survive the onslaught of B-M, as well as the government's little efforts to cover it up. Despite being a shounen series, the sheer amount of fatalities and gore are rather astounding. Runs for 12 volumes.

This series contains examples of:

  • America Saves the Day: Subverted, since the second outbreak was America's fault, and US troops have a bad habit of either mucking things up further, or dying painfully. Sometimes both. Played straight when at the end the US Navy loans the nuclear generators on their aircraft carriers to power the anti-B-M weapon. And in the end, when America "revives" USBM production, cue American Soldier shouting aloud "OH MY GOOOOD!"
  • Axe-Crazy: The terrorist group's field Captain reveals himself to be this when he decides the best way to change Japan for the better is to create a new B-M outbreak while sporting a Slasher Smile.
  • Badass Normal: The Captain of Conquest can effortlessly kill any number of armed attackers with his bare hands without breaking a sweat, or even slowing down.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Initially averted with the American soldiers during the second outbreak, since a black guy is actually one of the last people left alive towards the end. But then it is played straight, with said black dude being the first victim of the group of survivors.
  • Bland-Name Product: The "Pose" (Bose) speaker system in the second arc.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Toujou and the other government ministers are a municipal version of this. In order to ensure that the public never learns the truth about the B-M (which would likely ruin Japan's economy) or the USBM (which would likely ruin America's), they firebomb a town at the end of the first outbreak and slaughter an entire building full of innocent civilians during the second. And they smoke in a no-smoking section of the building, those bastards.
  • Cozy Catastrophe: With the B-M dominating huge chunks of Japan, life eventually achieves a certain disquieting stability in the remaining unaffected areas. It's played for a quiet sort of horror, and the scenes that call out this complacency may be the most subtle and affecting Green Aesop in the comic.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Being eaten alive is never pretty but being eaten by the B-M sucks. Especially when you realize that the B-M have no incisors or canines, only molars. So when the B-M eat you alive, they aren't even slicing chunks of flesh off you — they're chewing you to death.
  • Death of a Child: Horrifically and explicitly. Many children die bloody, gruesome deaths. Just off panel.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The B-M are destructive, disgusting, and are nonetheless the backbone of society — take them away and the Earth goes down the tubes with a quickness. They're metaphors for everything humanity and society depend on despite how destructive they are, from nuclear power and fossil fuels to advanced weapons of war.
  • Don't Try This at Home: Home-made flamethrowers have a small note saying, "Do not try this at home."
  • Dramatic Irony: Near the end of the second outbreak, Shingo goes through a lot of angst about broadcasting the feeding signal to draw the B-M to the top of the tower, since that's basically doing the same thing that killed 30 innocent people not too long ago. As it turns out, he needn't have worried — the B-M were already on their way up, thanks to the actions of one particularly dim-witted survivor.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The three leaders of Conquest are a bunch of gung-ho assholes doing everything For the Evulz, but when the Captain goes nuts and kills one of his men for being scared, they're visibly disturbed.
  • Everybody Lives: Every member of the True Companions makes it out alive, if not entirely whole. Not in the True Companions? Hoo boy, better hope you get in on the action before the volume ends or you're as good as dead.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Cloche vs. Toujou. Additionally, the USBM is stopped by getting them in the same room as the B-M and letting the two monstrosities eat each other until one dies. The original B-M win.
  • Extreme Omnivore: The B-M. The little bastards will eat anything not metal or glass. This includes, but is not limited to: garbage, tires, people, trees, wire insulation, and more. They also seem to ignore dirt and rock. It's explained that they prefer organic matter, but in its absence will nibble on whatever they can find 'til they locate something they can digest. This makes armor (that we see) useless, as their victims get chewed up through their suits. It's also why the heroes can't simply lock them up in the enclosed building they're in - by the time that a new anti B-M team was trained and equiped, the trapped B-M would have eaten through the building's foundations.
  • Gentle Giant: Banba, of sorts, after the first timeskip; he doesn't take kindly to bullies and only has to tap one on the shoulder and ask nicely to get one to lay off the intended bullying victim.
  • Gonk:
    • Banba as the most notable example (i.e. the one who's heroic and therefore survives longest), along with several others. By the third arc, Banba's largely grown out of it.
    • Literally every obviously ugly character in the series ends up dead. It gets to the point that you can pick the first victim out of a crowd based on the art.
  • Gorn: Averted; for a survival horror manga about people being eaten alive by swarms of plump hungry critters, there's very little explicit gore, leaving it up to the reader to imagine the true awfulness of the characters' deaths.
  • Groin Attack: Kan to a bullying kid early in the series:
  • Heel–Face Turn: Banban starts out the series as a school bully, but ends up befriending Kan during the initial struggle for survival. After his experiences, he ends up becoming quite a decent guy.
    • The Colonel isn't really a villain to start with, but he is technically an antagonist until midway through the second outbreak, when he assists the main characters' escape and tops it off with a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Heroic BSoD: Lots of little ones here and there, but Shingo gets his biggest one during the second outbreak when his plan to bring the B-M and the USBM together for a big throw-down ends up killing 30 people that had taken shelter in an office. Kamomiya and Banba get theirs when the USBM first appears, and it takes Kan pulling a Big Damn Heroes to snap them out of it.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • In the first outbreak, Kan's mother sacrifices herself to make sure that Kan and the other kids survive the liquid nitrogen attack that kills the B-Ms in the containment facility.
    • Especially during the second outbreak, and often coupled with Redemption Equals Death. Lampshaded by Kimi, who points out how fucked up it is that everyone's all right with the idea of people dying so long as they don't die in vain. Interestingly, this is also how she chose to die, to save Lune.
  • Hollywood Evolution: The B-M can evolve at an alarming rate due to their high cellular division and generational rates. This is mostly expressed through a gradual change in B-M eatin' tactics and through the USBM. Although the only major change the B-M show is being able to regenerate From a Single Cell towards the end.
  • Hope Spot: The entire series. The B-M have destroyed the last city in the South, but with the help of the American fleet and Japanese technology, they finally have a way to beat back the horde. Over the next 50-100 years, they'll eventually take back Japan, which will make for some amazing farmland for the rest of the world. Then the last page of the series reveals that the US has decided to restart the USBM project.
  • Horror Hunger: The B-M can eat anything, and that includes you.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl:
  • Humans Are Flawed: In this story's case, Humans Are Greedy Morons who make Extreme Omnivores, can't control them, are too busy picking on each other to save themselves/do nothing but try to save themselves, and almost never learn the lesson. There are just enough exceptions that the True Companions and co may yet stop the revival of USBM.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Shingo not doing what he had to do — napalming a city — resulted in the entirety of Japan being eaten alive by B-M. The situation was less immediately dangerous than that, and in most worlds napalming a village to get a pair of thieves with a presently-contained sample of bioweapon would have been deemed insane. However, betting on people not being Too Dumb to Live apparently is futile in this manga.
  • I Want My Mommy!: Quite a few characters cry out for their mother and sometimes their father as they're devoured.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • While a lot of the initial outbreaks are understandable accidents, people's response to the B-M tends to be turn on each other, ignore the advice of anyone who knows about them, assume people screaming NO DON'T DO IT is some trick, and start petty squabbles.
    • Even more egregiously, later on the US military triggers an outbreak with the intent of containing it and taking over B-M production. Once they get out of the building, it turns out they don't even know the bare basics of B-M biology, such as that they move toward sound. And when they promptly start doing so, and the commander is told they need to stop making noise? He assumes it's a trick.
    • The development of the Bio-Meat in general. There's an argument for every single aspect of the B-M's physiology being the result of someone on the design team holding an Idiot Ball.
  • Immune to Bullets: The, shall we say, minimalistic biology of the B-M renders them extremely difficult to put down with plain ol' bullets. But at least they burn really nicely.
  • Improvised Weapon: The aerosol flamethrowers. Something of a signature weapon in the series.
  • Just Ignore It: The attitude of a few of the survivors. They usually become ex-survivors once they spout this brilliant idea. Subverted when the trick to avoid detection is to quite literally ignore the B-M by not moving an inch as they pass by.
  • Kids Are Cruel:
    • The other kids in the True Companions' elementary school class. It gets them killed.
    • Subverted with Banba, who reforms once he figures out that his victims make better friends.
  • Kill It with Ice: In both the first and second outbreaks, liquid nitrogen is used to kill B-Ms en masse.
  • Kill It with Fire: Fire kills B-M the best.
  • Kill It with Water: The B-M are also weak to salt water, dying almost instantly upon submersion. The good news is that this makes global outbreaks harder. The bad news is that it doesn't prevent islands from becoming deathtraps.
  • Kryptonite Factor: B-M go dormant in direct sunlight. (Only direct sunlight, though, so if it's overcast you're in trouble.) They also tend not to react well to flames, enough that hairspray and a lighter makes an effective tool against singular B-M. There are high-tech experimental weapons that break them down at a genetic level, but they're rather rare, delicate and have a short battery life. By the third arc, they've also gained a weakness to salt water, falling apart if they're submerged in ocean water. This keeps the outbreak of them limited to Japan, but it also turns islands into death traps.
  • Lamarck Was Right: The USBM basically wishes itself free with fortuitous evolution.
  • La Résistance: Conquest, a militia that hates what the South has done to the mainland and fights to demand that they try and rescue the survivors there. Too bad its near-mythical founders and unseen leaders are really just bored, rich teenagers who only formed the group for a thrill.
  • Manga Flamethrowers Suck: The flamethrowers in this series act more like heat rays scorching enemies to death. They even run off of "flamethrower cartridges" instead of weighty tanks of fuel. Not a great deal actually gets set on fire, and someone firing a flamethrower into the air to get attention doesn't get rained on by burning fuel afterward. Might be handwaved by advances in flamethrower tech, but actually being able to light things on persistent fire would've come in handy a few times.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Toujou and Jean Cloche — wealthy, powerful, impeccably dressed... and absolutely evil to their soulless, rotten cores.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: Japan's estimated population, 2010: 127,420,000. Surviving population by the end of the series: ~250,000.
  • Monster Organ Trafficking: If they weren't a massively-profitable source of marketable food for humans, the B-Ms would've surely been written off as a bad design and destroyed as soon as their appetite for people was noticed. Instead, the Corrupt Corporate Executive whose company created them writes off one catastrophic B-M escape after another, and is perfectly content to slaughter innocents and his own son to protect his "product"'s public image.
  • Multipurpose Monocultured Crop: The BM were supposed to be this, until they escaped.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: What eventually causes the American troops to slaughter the civilians in the building en masse in order to cover up the USBM outbreak. The American Colonel is the one who points out that most of the people in the building are Japanese; none of the Japanese officials in the command center so much as bat an eye.
  • My Greatest Failure: Shingo is so traumatized by the loss of life he was indirectly responsible for during the second outbreak that he refuses to ever sacrifice anyone again. This directly leads to him causing the third outbreak by accident.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • During the second outbreak, the kids go to great lengths to save the perpetually useless Dr. Dreks in order to prove a point to Toujou, and somehow manage to keep him alive long enough to escape the building, losing several other survivors along the way via Heroic Sacrifice. Turns out the asshole's carrying USBM spores, and of course he decides to take a swig of water as soon as their escape helicopter is clear of the building. The resulting USBM forces Colonel Badass to make one last Heroic Sacrifice, crashing the helicopter with both of them in it.
    • Also, by killing off the only remaining survivor of the American forces, ensuring that no one was left to report back to their superiors, the kids may have indirectly caused the sequence of events leading to the United States restarting USBM research in the Twist Ending. Of course, given the nature of the world they live in, this probably would have happened regardless.
  • Nominal Importance:
    • Inverted with the Colonel. We never do learn his name, yet he survives far longer and accomplishes far more than many characters whose names we do learn.
    • Seems to be a recurring theme, actually, as seen by Conquest's Captain, who snaps and causes Outbreak #4 and a Rear Admiral from the US Navy, who takes after the aforementioned Colonel Badass instead of Crackstar Douglass.
  • Only the Leads Get a Happy Ending: Good news! Kan and his gang are all still alive at the end of the manga. Bad news! Japan has been almost completely depopulated by the rampaging B-M.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Actually averted, for the most part. While the main cast do occasionally say something like "You fools, you don't know what you're doing!", they usually take the time to follow it up with an explanation of why they shouldn't be doing that and exactly what the B-M are capable of. The problem is, most adults aren't all that concerned with what a few snot-nosed kids are trying to say...
  • Revenge Before Reason: Kuga felt she just had to be in the same room when she unleashed the biomeats on Cauche. Why? She blamed the deaths of her family on him after learning that he was the one who tried buying the stolen meats from Disaster 2, which caused Diaster 3. She wanted to see his face in person as he died.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Kanomiya in part 2.
    Kan: Wow, you've really been growing, Kano-chan. Your boobs, I mean.
    Kanomiya: (smiling) I'll hit you later.
  • Short Teens, Tall Adults: The kids are either much smaller than the adults or (as the series goes on) tower above them. Compounded by many of the adults being extraordinarily tall. Subverted with Kiryuu, who's taller than an adult Banba, and is all of 13.
  • A Simple Plan: Any time it seems the protagonists are going to have a reasonable amount of time to put a plan into motion, something (or someone) inevitably goes wrong and forces them to act hastily or improvise.
  • Sixth Ranger: Shinoura. Lampshaded by Maaya, who calls him Green Ranger throughout the series.
  • Slasher Smile: The Captain of the Conquest wears near-permanent one after losing his grip on sanity.
  • The Sociopath: Shingou's dad Toujou is saddled with a positively vicious Lack of Empathy.
  • Stealth Pun: Biomeat is, coincidentally enough, a good portmanteau for "Biome Eat."
  • The Stoic: Shingo. Utterly unflappable regardless of how close his brushes with death and betrayal. He even has Stoic Spectacles.
  • Time Skip: Two of them actually. The first arc begins with Maaya, Banba, Kanomiya, and Shinbo in elementary school getting involved with B-M's creator; the second arc is set three years later and occurs rather early (during the end of the second volume) and Shinoura joins the main four, while the final arc happens seven years later and is set as the climax. Joining the main group in that arc are Kiryuu and Lune.
  • Too Dumb to Live: So many it's not funny. Judging by the Twist Ending, humanity as a whole may possibly apply.
  • Upper-Class Twit: The leaders/financial backers of the terrorist group are three dumbass bored rich kids doing it For the Evulz.
  • Vagina Dentata: A B-M's underside is mainly a long, narrow maw lined with blunt teeth.
  • Vapor Wear: Kanomiya, during the second arc, shows enough cleavage and Side Boob that it's pretty clear that she's not wearing a bra under her dress.
  • Villainous Valor: Toujou is heartless, but he has guts and is willing risk his own life to stop a B-M outbreak. Also, once it is found that drinking anything causes a latent USBM infestation to go active and eat you from the inside, he leads the ensuing check for infestation (drinking some mineral water) by example.
  • The Virus: The USBM. Evolves at a frightening pace, and can infect people, only appearing once they die or drink water. It's also show that it can do the same thing to standing water.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The terrorist group who wishes to force the South Japan government to reclaim mainland Japan from the B-M infestation. They even use Child Soldiers. Until you discover the 3 leaders are actually a bunch of clueless upper-class twits playing war hero. They decided to kill everyone in their group and let the military clean up their mess while they go hide out someplace while the heat dies down... except they forgot to unlock a door. The resulting disaster, compounded by said military and the Captain (who actually was a Well-Intentioned Extremist... before he snapped), results in 13.9 million deaths.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Shingo turns from a borderline Creepy Child into this (with almost ridiculously long hair and evil glasses, to boot) during the first timeskip. Had he not proved himself during the first outbreak, you would think that he's pure evil.
  • Younger Than They Look:
    • Kiryuu is built like an NFL linebacker but is 13. Ginji even lampshades it.
    • Following the first time-skip, the returning True Companions all look like they've aged five or six years despite it only having been three years since the first story arc.
  • Zerg Rush: The B-Ms' MO. It's closer to a Zombie Apocalypse than a traditional Zerg Rush, though; rather than quick and fragile they're slow and cussedly hard to put down without the right weapons. They're persistent enough that they can defeat the individually stronger USBM.

Alternative Title(s): Bio Meat