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Manga / Clover

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I only want your happiness, knowing I can never be yours to share it.

One of CLAMP's lesser-known works, Clover is a story about a young girl named Suu with mysterious powers. Ex-soldier Kazuhiko is tasked with the mission to escort her to Fairy Park, where she hopes that she can find happiness. Suu is part of a group of gifted individuals called "Clovers" who have the power to manipulate technology, and each Clover's power is classified by a clover-leaf tattoo categorizing their strength. Suu is the only known Clover to have a power level of four leaves.

The manga was serialized from 1997 to 1999 in the shoujo magazine Amie, and four volumes have been released. In 1999, a short animated musical film was made based on it. The series went on hiatus after Amie ceased publication; according to head writer Nanase Ohkawa, the story would need to be completed in two more volumes.

This manga provides examples of:

  • Anachronic Order: Chronologically, the events of volume four take place before volume three, which takes place before volume one. Volume two follows directly from volume one.
  • Angsty Surviving Twin: Ran. Well, sort of his twin brother A is alive but still inside the cage which stops his time. So in a little under five years after Ran's introduction his brother will be the Angsty Surviving Twin
  • Artificial Limbs: Kazuhiko has an artificial robotic right hand which is able to morph into both a shield as well as a massive laser bazooka.
  • Blessed with Suck: the Clovers.
    • Suu is massively powerful, but is kept in complete isolation from the rest of the world, as the Wizard government officials are concerned that she is powerful enough to overthrow them.
    • Ran and his brothers were imprisoned for similar reasons, but kept in much less comfy digs than Suu's garden prison. CLAMP has stated in interviews that the grim, suffocating atmosphere directly led to A's deranged mental state. Ran managed to work out a deal with the Wizards to live with fellow Clover Gingetsu, but has an extremely short lifespan that is hinted to be linked to his powers.
    • Oruha is a weak enough Clover that she is permitted to be free, but her only power is to know the day of her death.
  • Mayfly–December Romance:
    • Oruha knows she's going to die young, but wants to be with Kazuhiko as much as possible before the end.
    • Gingetsu and Ran: Ran has only five years to live at most. This could also be considered a subversion, as Gingetsu is probably quite a lot older than Ran.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: A thought B seriously got in the way of his romance with C/Ran. He also tried this on Gingetsu, but failed.
  • Technopath: All of the Clovers are stated to have this power, but Ran in particular has the most scenes demonstrating it.
  • Twincest: The relationship between A and C/Ran is... interesting. But one-sided since Ran is already Gingetsu's partner.
  • The Unsolved Mystery: It's never explained who killed Oruha, or why, and if her assassination has anything to do with Suu's storyline.
  • Twin Desynch: What eventually happens to C/Ran and A.
  • Twin Telepathy: The connection that A and C/Ran have.
  • Winged Humanoid:
    • Suu can grow mechanical-looking bird wings that allow her to fly for a short period of time (as demonstrated in the beginning of the second volume). Oruha also has these wings, and she applies them to the costumes she wears onstage.
    • The wings themselves are also symbolic in regards to Suu frequently being referred to as a "caged bird."
  • Your Days Are Numbered:
    • Oruha's only power is to know the day she will die.
    • Also, arguably Ran, whose lifespan is stated to be less than five years outside of the cage. One can assume that Ran probably knows this, and Gingetsu certainly does.