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Manga / Chaosic Rune

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Chaosic Rune is a manga by Kenji Yamamoto, which ran in Weekly Shonen Champion from 2003 to 2004.

The story begins with Ryouga, the protagonist, angsting over the death of his parents in a plane crash. The primary cause of said angst is that he was the only survivor of that crash, and the remains of everyone else had been eaten. A mysterious man invites the hero to come with him, claiming to have the answers to the questions the young man has. He is taken to a facility up in the mountains, and is placed in a room with several other young men. A set of cards is dropped into the room, and the first person that picks up a card suddenly has a monster emerge from his guts. This person has the monster go on a killing spree, and soon a battle royale begins. What is going on with all these strange cards? Where are these monsters coming from? And why does this seem eerily similar to a children's card game?

There is a sequel called Chaosic Rune ES, and it is even more bloody. Unfortunately, the sequel seems to be on indefinite hiatus since very few chapters have been released.

This series provides examples of:

  • Affably Evil: Death Rex Wings, the Token Good Teammate of Death Rex's body parts.
  • Bifauxnen: Makoto, who turns out to be Ryouga's long-lost twin sister.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: Well, the hero and (most of) his posse are decent folks... but they're pretty much the only characters who aren't Jerkasses at best.
  • Bleached Underpants: Kenji Yamamoto, the author of this series, got his start drawing ero-guro hentai and has since returned to drawing hentai. Considering the brutality of this manga, it's not too surprising.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The first Chaosic Rune manga was already loaded with this, as characters die with guts spilling out and such, but the sequel, ES, takes the cake.
  • Cannibalism Superpower: Death Rex. Look down at Power Copying for the first half of his powers. The second half is that by eating people or monsters, Death Rex heals his controller.
  • Casting a Shadow: Death Rex Wings' ability.
  • Darker and Edgier: Much more violent and graphic than other card game based series. The first chapter alone has the main character being accused of cannibalizing his parents.
  • Deader than Dead: Anything and anyone eaten by Death Rex Head is explicitly gone, utterly and completely annihilated, body, mind and soul. And Death Rex wants nothing so much as to devour everyone and everything. Additionally, according to the Monster Files in the manga, every memory of the person Death Rex had eaten are permanently erased. The only exception is the used of Death Rex, in the case of Ryouga.
  • Deconstruction: This is the "Children's Card Game" anime series' deconstruction in full force.
  • Draconic Abomination: Death Rex is an all-devouring draconic monster that was so powerful that when it was sealed it was split into five parts — head, arms, body, wings, and tail. Each of its parts has a mind of its own, is capable of harnessing the powers of any monster it devours, and seeks to become the dominant part of their recombined form by assimilating the others. Furthermore, if a part of Death Rex is summoned by someone with insufficient willpower, it will assimilate them and go on a rampage.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Death Rex, especially Death Rex Head. He can eat everything, and if he eats something, it disappears completely from the world. This means that if he eats an opponent's monster, that monster's controller disappears as well.
  • Gorn: Arguably more than even Yu-Gi-Oh! where depictions of carnage are not even censored.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: Ryouga's goal is to collect all of Death Rex's body parts. He currently has the Head, Arms and Legs, and Body. Wings is in the possession of Makoto, and the Tail is with the Dragon Clan.
  • Grimdark: The protagonist believes he ate his parents. Kuran, the Token Mini-Moe of the team, starts off wanting to murder the hero, believing he's the one who killed her brother. After the first arc, mass murders tend to occur every time a new villain appears. It's like if someone took the Grimdark out of Warhammer 40k and put it in a playing card game series.
    • Sequel's worse for the record.
  • Humanoid Abomination: "Magic"-type and "Woman"-type monsters.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Machine Society's Japanese branch president's card monster, Iron Buster, is this. It's large enough to serve as the branch headquarters.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: Death Rex, Ryouga's strongest creature, is normally an Infinity +1 Sword, but was divided into pieces, each one incredibly powerful, and each piece wanting to be the dominant part when they come back together (several of the pieces blame the head and mouth, the piece that the hero has, for their being divided in the first place).
  • Kid with the Leash: The only reason Death Rex isn't eating infinity right now is because the kid has control. When the kid tries to gain more control over him, he has to fight Death Rex with his other monsters. It doesn't go well. He loses temporarily, and Death Rex eats one of his friends. He does get control back, and manages to establish superiority again, but it was a very close call.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The Machine Society's card monsters, especially the X-Mantis, fall under this category.
  • Mind Rape / More than Mind Control / Brainwashed and Crazy: What tends to happen to people who try to use Death Rex but don't have the willpower to control it, culminating in Grand Theft Me. For example, when the main character fights against Death Rex in order to establish dominance, Death Rex doesn't even need to attack: he violates the hero's mind until the kid goes temporarily insane, decides to end it all, and just has Death Rex go on a rampage (which is what Death Rex wants to do anyways).
  • The Mole: The bespectacled secretary of the Machine Society's Japanese branch president is actually Tatsumi Kumashiro, a member of the Magic Society/Clan.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: DEATH REX. Doesn't get any more obvious than this, folks.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: "Dragon"-type monsters tend to not look at all like something you'd consider a dragon, but more like Starfish Alien bioengineered living weapons; the strongest one, Death Rex, as well as its separate parts, is a full-fledged Eldritch Abomination.
    • One minor subversion exists in Kyuratos, arguably the only dragon-type monster that looks like a traditional quadrapedal dragon, though in this case its a Dragon Vampire instead of a traditional firebreather.
  • Power Copying: Death Rex, once he defeats a former part of himself, allows the hero to summon that part of Death Rex. And if Death Rex devours a monster, the hero gets a card allowing him to grant Death Rex that creature's power for a short time.
  • Rated M for Manly: Excessively gory deaths, big muscular men, well endowed women, cards that summon weapons such as swords, pistols, and shotguns, etc. They may as well call this series "Testosterone: The Card Game".
  • Shout-Out: To Yu-Gi-Oh!. One of the early minor villains has a habit of comparing what he is about to do to scenes from popular movies, and is killed in a salute to the Alien franchise.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: First there's the villainous prospective Dragon Card users in the pseudo-tournament, then there's the Machine Society, then the Magic Clan... and to top it off, even though the situation with the Magic Clan still isn't resolved, a member of the God Clan, the most powerful of them all, has just woken up. The first series ends on this little cliffhanger.
  • Synchronization: Any damage a monster takes, the same area of the monster's controller does as well.
  • Verbal Tic: A Running Gag (possibly from the translators) in this series, several villains tend to have a sort of mad libs catchphrase. Examples include "Have you ever seen the movie X? I haven't, but it's kind of like that."