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Manga / Butsu Zone

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Butsu Zone the first serialized manga by Hiroyuki Takei, author of the more famous Shaman King. It was serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump for 19 chapters from March 3 to August 14, 1997, and compiled into two volumes.

Some time in the present, a young orphan named Sachi is in the midst of being chased off the Buddhist temple in which she and her grandfather live to make way for the Mignola Clan's four-star hotel redevelopment project. One of the gangsters notices the temple's patron god — the Bodhisattva Kannon — who was reputed to bear one thousands arms, each dedicated to helping and protecting humanity. When told as such, another gangster insults the god and threatens violence against Sachi, and is surprised by the statue coming alive and punching him in the face. The statue shatters, revealing within a teenage boy in ascetic robes, who berates them for raising their hands in such a dishonorable way. The boy introduces himself as Sennju, who comes from the land of the Buddhas.

And so begins a journey through Japan touched by the Buddhist faith, meeting gods, fighting demons who possess the statues of Bodhisattvas, and redemption.

Butsu Zone provides examples of:

  • BFS: Several characters have very large swords.
  • Improbable Weapon User: The Ebisu Butsu Droid uses a bladed fish on a fishing rod as a weapon. Likewise, Junkei the Carver of a Thousand Hands uses chisels as stabbing and throwing weapons.
  • Messianic Archetype: It is said that Sachi will attain enlightenment and become the Buddha Mirouko.
  • Power Armor: The sources of the Bodhissatvas' powers are suits of power armor, enchanted, blessed, and gifted with weapons and (usually) multiple arms.
  • The Psycho Rangers: The demons of Mara, who possess the representative statues of the Buddhas and become the Butsu-Droids.
  • Technical Pacifist: Sennju, who although abhors killing, has no qualms about beating the unrighteous to a pulp.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: A strict rule amongst the Bodhisattvas. To kill another is unthinkable (to the point where Sennju will not even allow Mike Mignola to kill him) which stands in stark contrast to Ashura's thoughtless slayings.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Jizo and riceballs.
  • Transformation Trinket: Sennju's arm-ring allows him to summon his armor from the Butsu Zone.