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Manga / Black God

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Black God (JP: Kurokami) is a manga created by the manhwa team led by both Dalyoung Lim (story) and Sung-Woo Park (art).

Have you ever seen someone who looked a lot like you and determined "Hey! That's my doppelgänger!"? Well, imagine if that person was a part of you. And imagine if, after making contact with that person, you'd die the next day. Oh, and also, it's called a "doppeliner".

Keita Ibuki is either a struggling computer programmer or an Ordinary High-School Student, depending on whether you're reading the manga or watching the anime. Anyway, he takes pity on a hungry girl named Kuro and gives her some free ramen, earning her gratitude. It turns out that Kuro is a Tera Guardian, a being meant to protect the balance of existence. After Keita is injured by a Tribal End (an evil human), Kuro switches hearts with him, linking them forever...

The manga was serialized in Young Gangan from 2005 to 2012. The anime adaptation by Studio Sunrise aired from January 8, 2009 to June 18, 2009. It uniquely aired on both Japanese and American TV at the same time, with an English dub (produced by NYAV Post) being produced for the U.S. broadcast, making it one of the earliest (if not first) examples of simuldubbing before it was popularised by Funimation. The series was licenced and released by Bandai Entertainment before their closure and has since been rescued by Sentai Filmworks.

Black God provides examples of:

  • A-Cup Angst: Played With. Akane Sano is decently endowed but once complains to Kuro while shopping with her that maintaining her bust size is difficult at her weight.
  • Action Girl: Kuro, Mikami, Makana, Nam, oh, who are we kidding? Every Female Tera Guardian is this.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Reishin. In fact, Crispin Freeman also voices Itachi Uchiha, who also killed his entire clan in order to protect his younger sibling.
  • Apocalypse Maiden: Kuro, although she's technically just a third of an Apocalypse Maiden.
  • Arc Number: Three. There are three people in every set of doppeliners and three Masagami. In the anime, the attack that finishes off the Masagami is Kuro's Tera-Exe, the third level of her signature attack (after Mega-Exe and Giga-Exe), and requires combining the powers of the three main characters.
  • Babies Ever After: Keita and Akane had 2 grandchildren, with Keita dying of old age. In the manga version, it only shows Keita has a son with Akane.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The anime. Kuro is forced to be separated from Keita for the rest of his life in order for the Doppleliner system to stop working. Decades pass with Kuro in the Pure Place and Keita living on Earth. When Keita dies as an old man, he takes the system with him, allowing Kuro to visit Earth without the Doppleliner system reactivating.
  • Bland-Name Product: EFZON, Latteria, Toyhota, K-ON Mart etc.
  • Calling Your Attacks: "EXCEED . . . MEGA-EXE!" It is mildly subverted in the anime as well when Keita activates his Thousand, he just yells "GO!"
  • The Cameo: In the English dub, the late Peter Fernandez appears as Ryuujin Nagamine in episode 8.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: In a side story, a Korean shamaness attempts to call the gods to help her with an exorcism, wondering why she's not getting an answer. She doesn't realize that there already is a god right there, Nam.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Nam took out 32 Tribal Ends without even bothering to stop eating. This was shortly after she completely pwned Kuro with about the same amount of effort. The lady is badass.
  • Emotionless Girl: Excel. This is subverted in the later on: 1. She's actually an adult who is growing incredibly slowly, and 2. She becomes extremely emotional in the 2nd half of the anime series.
  • Evolving Credits: While the ending is (almost) always the same, the opening is different each time to avoid Spoiler Opening, such as Shinobu is displayed alongside Hiyou in Ep 8 opening, but was in the form of a transparent silhouette. She is no longer blacked out in Ep 9 opening.
  • Faceless Goons: Played with, early on, each of the Tribal End mooks have unique features and are not merely looking like clones of each other. Played straight with the biker gang except for the Mook Lieutenant who has red trim on his helmet. Later on, all the mooks are Men In Black with Sinister Shades, but averted because each one looks different from each other, at least the hair.
  • Fanservice: Abundant, whether it be Akane undressing, the numerous amounts of Male Gaze on Kuro, Mikami in general, and beyond. However...
    • Fan Disservice: There are multiple cases of Attempted Rape, the female combatants get brutalized in fights as much as males do, and several cases of sexual innuendo and intent are not played up for fanservice.
  • Fantastic Racism: Humanity in general isn't in on the know about Motsumitama, but the species tends to hold humans in contempt in kind, blaming them for the world's chaos and damaged tera flow. This reaches a head with mixed-bloods, who don't have a portion of the power of a full-blood but don't fit in either society. There's an entire slum filled with mixed-bloods in Tokyo alone.
    • In a roundabout way, the underlying idea behind Roots and Subs in the doppeliner system doesn't help either. If someone sees their doppelgänger directly within the world, one person is chosen as the Root by the world's system, and the other as the Sub, otherwise coined as an "Alter Ego" - upon which calamity will befall the Sub so the Root can continue to exist, meaning the world itself decrees this trope. Steiner and Excel cause the death of Mayu and numerous other Subs to avert further collateral damages as a sort of Mercy Kill as part of their mission statement, and Yuki hunting down Akane to become the Root of the pair is her entire driving motivation to avoid death. This also is the crux of Shinobu's back story, having murdered Keita's mother and another version of herself with glee to become a Root - and became a Minus Root instead.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The Masagami are fire and ice, along with Kuro, who gets a lightning effect to all her punches upon learning who she is.
  • Instant Expert: Nam achieves a surprising amount of fluency in Japanese just by finding a phrasebook.
  • Jerkass: Keita, especially in the manga given how he treats Kuro & most people at first poorly. In the anime, he is not this trope since in that version Keita is a more openly likable and emotional guy, though.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Akane describes Keita exactly this way when Kuro asks for the first time. He matures into his role as Kuro's partner, genuinely caring for her but still frequently abuses her for no reason.
  • Love Triangle: The Manga shows this between Kuro, Keita, and Akane. In chapter 85, Akane comes home from a reunion meeting with her friend, drunk. Motivated by his friends' words, she makes a move on Keita. Keita... doesn't take it well. After this, he brashly goes out and asks Kuro to come with. In jealousy and with lower self-control, Akane starts to torment Kuro mentally.... Then Nam slapped her, sending her crying. Later, Kuro confronts Keita about this, while stating her feelings.... Then, Kuro states that she's just kidding, and asks Keita to apologize to Akane, but even after Keita apologizes, it's clear that this affected all parties involved.
  • Never the Selves Shall Meet: A central theme of the story in either incarnation is that "subs" and "roots" meeting will always lead to death the next day.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: In the anime, Keita meets his Root, which spells unavoidable doom for him, only to be rescued by a never mentioned before ability to "cycle" Tera with Kuro. It powers up their battle prowess too. In hindsight, it could count as foreshadowing. Kuro is the reincarnation of one of the three gods that created the doppeliner system that would've resulted in his doom. She might have subconsciously tapped into those powers to keep him alive.
  • Non-Action Guy: Keita doesn't fight until he gets his Thousand, and even then he generally hangs in the back and lets Kuro do the physical fighting.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Kuraki has quite a few guardians with master root contractees.
  • Rocks Fall Everybody Dies: Downplayed in the anime; every human without a Tera Guardian falls to the ground seemingly lifeless at the end of episode 16, but they technically still live.
  • Scenery Porn: Okinawa and The Pure Place are depicted as unusually gorgeous.
  • Screw Destiny: Played for drama in the manga. Yeah, your life sucks if you are a Sub, but trying to avert your fate by killing your Root will result in even greater mess; You become Minus Root, which had bad luck so terrible that you can induce earthquakes by your presence alone. So far, attempts at turning a Sub into a true Root have also resulted in many deaths.
  • Shown Their Work: You'd never guess from reading the manga that nobody on the team ever actually set foot in Japan or can speak Japanese. The original script is written in Korean then translated in Japanese.
  • Sink or Swim Mentor: In the manga, to help Kuro and Keita achieve more power, first Nam sealed most of Kuro's power, then makes them face their worst nightmare, Motsumitama that have curbstomp Kuro. Granted, it was just illusion, but Kuro almost cut her own tongue to save Keita....

Alternative Title(s): Kurokami