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Manga / BirdMen

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I'm not a hero!

''BirdMen'' is a manga from the author of Kekkaishi, Tanabe Yellow.

Eishi Karasuma is a loner with a monotone life and his only friend is Mikisada Kamoda. One day they venture together while skipping class and they meet Tsubame Umino, a very energetic girl, and Rei Sagisawa, a pretty boy that attends the same middle school. On their way back to school a sudden event happens. A mysterious boy with wings will come to help.

NOT to be confused with 60's Birdman from Hanna-Barbera or the film Birdman.


Trope featured in this manga include:

  • Adam and/or Eve: The series of clones made by Eden are all named after Adam and Eve.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Eishi, who gets a sudden crush on a female classmate, but then tells Takayama there's "something" he's always been afraid to confirm when they accidentally hold hands for just a bit too long, and seems absolutely mortified that Takayama might already know about these hidden thoughts through their telepathic link.
    • The Seraphims are later confirmed by Barbara Novak as not caring about gender or race,making all of them pansexuals and later confirming Eishi and Takayama relationship is deeper than bromance or close friendship,or fanservice.
  • Bizarre Baby Boom: The birdmen are considered to be the the next stage of human evolution, and as of the story, all of them are teenagers at the oldest, with the majority of them being young children.
  • Blood Magic: The Deal with the Devil is formed by ingesting the BirdMan's blood.
  • Broken Pedestal: Sagisawa adored his older brother. His older brother loathed him.
  • Bully Turned Buddy: Kamoda used to be a part of a gang that bullied Karasuma when they were in elementary school. But after Karasuma set up a big Batman Gambit to stop the bullying, Kamoda got so impressed he became his friend. Afterwards, the other bullies then turned their attention to Kamoda, but Karasuma pulled another gambit to stop it, and they've been best friends ever since.
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  • Characterization Marches On: The stereotypical girls-on-mind-and-vaguely-uncomfortably-awkward-Everyman protagonist role Eishi has at the very beginning is dropped very fast, and he actually starts acting more his age, with his No Social Skills coming off more dorky and even sweet. His insta-infatuation on the first girl he seems to have significant interaction with, Tsubame (who's unaware of the crush), is barely alluded to later, to the point it seems mostly dropped. It can all possibly be explained as Eishi slowly broadening his social circle and coming to open up, understand, and change for the better.
  • Chick Magnet:
    • Takayama attracts the attention of many girls, including his fellow birdman Tsubame , Karasuma and enemy agent Irene, after he saves her life with his blood. He doesn't have any interest in any of them except Karasuma though due to his general detachment.
    • Sagisawa is also pretty popular with girls to the point that Karasuma gets hounded by them after they notice that he's been spending more time with him.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Takayama's parents died in a flight crash over South America, which is how he gained his power.
  • Deal with the Devil: The four schoolers are offered a contract by the BirdMan, accept his power and live, or not and die in the crash.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Kamoda use to be one of the bullies that pestered Karasuma in 3rd Grade. After Karasuma fooled them into locking themselves in a room, Kamoda accepted defeat and decided to become friends with Karasuma instead.
  • Die or Fly: Karasuma is having trouble flying, so Takayama just picks him up, flies to a distance and lets go. Karasuma starts flapping his wings in panic, and now he can fly!
  • Disappeared Dad: Karasuma's father has left the family for some unspecified reason.
  • Doom Magnet: The BirdMen are all Doom Magnets, since the Blackouts only appear where they are, and it doesn't matter if you only got your power a few days ago and have no idea how to use them...
    • Though oddly, the Blackouts are only dangerous to birdmen. They don't actually affect anything else biological or inanimate, and non-birdmen are unable to even see them.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The monsters that attack them have bizarre features. For example, Karasuma's first face-off with a Blackout is with one that looks like a coffin but with plane wings and propellers.
  • The Empath: Bridmen can feel when something is dying or in pain.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Eden, a city state completely dedicated to science is created the BirdMen and numerous other experiments.
  • Evolutionary Levels: Birdmen are viewed as the next step in evolution by Eden. They will not, however, let them do what they want before they decide it's time for them to inherit the world.
  • Gentle Giant: Kamoda is a tall bald guy who can beat up a gang of bullies singlehandedly, but loves to pet cats and just wants to get a girlfriend.
  • Going Commando: Takayama does and recommends that everyone else does too as underwear feels uncomfortable while transformed, can get torn up from the transformation, and takes longer to remove than just pants.
  • Grandparental Obliviousness: Takayama can go around flying because his grandfather is oblivious to his powers.
  • Healing Factor: The BirdMen's power allow them to survive many injuries. Kamoda's dust allergies are gone, Eishi's eyesight is improved after getting the power and is no longer required to wear glasses.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: The BirdMen spend significant time learning the basics of how to fly.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Karasuma just wanted to live a perfectly average life.
  • I'm Having Soul Pains: Whenever any living thing is in pain, the BirdMen get a severe painful sensation, and continue to do so until they do something to remove that pain, or the creature dies.
  • Inner Monologue: We are given constant access to Karasuma's inner monologues, which often run for pages.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Arthur wants to be a hero and to free all of his fellow captive BirdMen across America. However, to survive in their nonstop trek to avoid being recaptured, they have taken to raiding houses and stores for food, something that is not very heroic and starts to gain them infamy.
  • Just Woke Up That Way: Had a near-fatal bus crash, fainted, woke up to super powers.
  • Life Drinker: Kamoda gains this ability as part of his BirdMen powers.
  • Magic Pants: Averted, you need to carry clothes, or keep them in a safe place.
  • Marked Change: When the powers activate, their body gets covered with a black substance.
  • Mark of the Supernatural: All BirdMen have a bird shaped mark on their back that they cannot will away.
  • Mind Hive: Adam Fox created personalities based on his deceased friends inside his head.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: The Eve clones want to watch the world burn in retaliation for being expendable clones with short lifespans.
  • Partial Transformation: You can choose how much of yourself you transform.
  • Psychic Link: The BirdMen have a link of sorts with each other. They can sense each other and can send "messages". If they are touching, the link gets even stronger.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: A large segment of the story is dedicated to Arthur, a BirdMan in the US with the same communication ability as Karasuma. He wishes to become a hero and is shown to be one of the strongest BirdMen that we've seen yet. With help from within Eden, he manages to escape captivity and help other captive BirdMen escape too, including the BirdMen from the site he was originally kept at before his powers manifested. He proceeds to move across the US, freeing BirdMen wherever he goes. But then Eden blows up one of the sites in a trap, blasting Arthur into the ocean, and the US air-force shows up and guns down the rest of the BirdMen out of the sky. Perhaps due to their BirdMen connection, Arthur somehow makes it to the coast of Japan where he meets Takayama moments before he passes away. It does turn out that about four of Arthur's flock are still alive, including his girlfriend Robin, but they are all back in Eden's captivity and Robin has become rather cynical and serious, a big contrast to her wide-eyed and unsure self before hand.
  • Shapeshifter Weapon: You can shapeshift your body to form blades.
  • The Short Guy with Glasses: The defining feature of Eishi, before he gains the BirdMen powers.
  • Skipping School: Karasuma and Kamoda often skip school, because Karasuma is bored.
  • Stationary Wings: Averted, you need to flap, constantly.
  • Tin Man: One side effect of becoming a birdman is that as your power grows, you begin to become more and more detached from humanity, only finding connection with other BirdMen. The original BirdMen reached the point where they started to completely ignore the world around them. All that mattered to them was their connection to their fellow BirdMen. After his powers begin to manifest, Karasuma starts to feel detached from the humans in his life. He loses the small crush he had on one of his classmates and the resentment he had towards his mother. Takayama has apparently been in this state for a long time, with Karasuma being the first he's felt a real connection with in years.
  • Token Religious Teammate: Though the beliefs of everyone else is unsaid, Kamoda seems to share the same Buddhist beliefs as his father who is a Buddhist monk.
  • Winged Humanoid: They are able to sprout wings as part of the power.
  • Would Hurt a Child: It becomes clear that Eden has no problem with harming and killing children after they torture a child to draw the attenion of Arthur's flock before blowing him and Arthur up, with the rest of Arthur's flock getting gunned down shortly after. None of them are older than teenagers.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: It seems that the blackouts are created entirely by the minds of the main characters. Any apparent damage caused by them to the rest of the world comes undone after the blackout is defeated, and they cannot be seen by anyone besides the main characters. However, the damage they do to the main characters themselves is very much real, meaning they can't simply ignore them.


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