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Manga / Double Arts

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Double Arts is a short-lived manga by Naoshi Komi, who would later go on to create Nisekoi. It was serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump from March to September 2008 for 24 chapters, which were compiled into three volumes.

The world has been decimated by a mysterious plague. There is no permanent cure. Only those resistant to it, called "Sisters", can treat it by absorbing the toxins created by the disease. They may save the person, but this shortens their lifespan drastically — once they absorb a certain amount, they die.

The story follows one of these Sisters, Elraine, who is coming to the end of her 'career'. After treating a patient, she is hit with the final, terminal stage of the disease and collapses in an alleyway. Just before she hits the ground, she's caught by a mysterious boy... and the symptoms cease. She's still alive. Once he lets go of her hand, though, it starts up again. What is this boy's power?

It turns out that this boy, Kili, is the one her organization have been looking for — a truly immune person from which they can derive a cure. Until they reach the headquarters, though, she has to keep a hold of his hand no matter what. Standing in the way of this is their inherent embarrassment at having to do everything together (showering, sleeping, going to the toilet, eating). Oh, and the order of assassins that is targeting Sisters...

Unfortunately, the manga was Cut Short after laying down the foundations of its main arc plot. What made its cancellation so heartbreaking was the amount of foreshadowing set up and Left Hanging.

Trope examples

  • The Ace: Kili Luchile displays some Mary Sue traits (superlative art skills and accompanying dexterity, red eyes, unique and mysterious powers) and seems to be a Marty Stu-in-training, but he also displays some humanising character flaws — most notably Dogged Nice Guy.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Kili's "Flare" power increases the strength of all the people he's in contact with, by the number of people he's in contact with. 2 people = 2 people with double strength, 10 people = 10 with 10 times the strength and so on. The 'something for nothing' nature of this is Lampshaded later on.
  • Always Female: The Sisters and their organization. Complete with an Amazon Brigade for their protection.
  • The Atoner: Sister Heine, who showed up too late to save a dying patient, once, and was so stricken with guilt that she gave up her artistic hobbies and became totally dedicated to Sistering herself into an early grave. She even ignores the advice of an older Sister, who recommends that she retire. Justified, in that her own family died because of a Sister who was too late.
  • Battle Aura: Just once, when the latest "worst ever" villain is gauging Fallan's strength.
  • Battle Couple: Elraine and Kili, but not through romantic feelings. At least not initially.
  • Betty and Veronica: Subverted, and with great flair. When dark-haired, midriff-baring Sui appears on the scene, shy Ellie immediately assumes she must be Kili's girlfriend—and Kili and Sui instantly flinch and burst out laughing, respectively. Turns out they've already given the dating thing a try (or three) and it was a disaster, killing the possibility of a love triangle deader than dead from the get-go.
  • Blessed with Suck: Elraine can use her Healing Hands to absorb Troi from her patients, but it increases her chances of succumbing to seizures and doesn't get rid of the Troi from the victims completely.
  • Blood Knight: Sui just loooooves to fight, is obsessed with finding the strongest, and looks and acts like a cross between Tifa and Kenpachi. Except for when she's completely owned by Fallan — then she bursts out crying. * sniff* "I'm gwonna kill him! Boo hoo!". "It's like she's really cute but scary at the same time!"
  • Cannot Spit It Out:
    • Kili and Elle. Towards the end of the series, it finally dawns on Elle that she might be falling in love with Kili. She proceeds to make the most pitifully awkward confession ever, mostly along the lines of I know you probably don't know what I'm talking about, but if we ever, you know, then you know, I might... yeah. Good job, sweetie.
    • And Kili's reaction is to stand there, trying to play it clueless while dying of frustration. Apparently he's been in love with her literally since he first laid eyes on her, but is determined to keep quiet about it to defray the inevitable potential for awkwardness.
  • Can't Live Without You: Elraine can't live without touching Kiri.
  • Cast from Lifespan: The Sisters' healing powers, indirectly but with the exact same effect as the standard form of the trope.
  • Chains of Love:
    • Part of the premise. In a twist, there's nothing physical keeping them together, just a magical problem counteracted by Kili. If Kili really wanted to, he could leave at any time, but then Elraine would die and Kili's just too nice to let that happen.
    • They do tie their hands together when they go to sleep, but that's completely voluntary and prevents accidental separation and death.
  • Cut Short: The manga was cancelled after only 24 chapters due to low popularity rankings.
  • Dance Battler: Elraine and Kili's "Double Arts" are based on dancing moves.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Elraine is known as "White Fairy" worldwide by all the sisters, to her dismay.
  • Fangirl: Elraine meets a Sister who says she's her personal hero.
  • Gentle Giant: Kiri's father, who terrifies Elraine at first glance and proceeds to quietly and completely reverse the impression with his soft-spoken, friendly ways.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Tisera Gordon.
  • Healing Hands: The Sisters. Also Kiri combines this with his being The Immune, enabling him to stave off Elraine's death by physically keeping hold of her at all times.
  • Last-Minute Hookup:
    • Probably due to being cancelled rather than laziness or an inability to handle it, though.
    • Although they still don't quiiite manage to actually hook up, making them possibly the only couple in the history of manga to be Sickeningly Sweethearts, who Cannot Spit It Out, at the same time.
  • Love at First Sight: Kili. His reactions while Elraine is trying to explain, weeks later, that she might, sort of, maybe, kind of have been falling a little bit in love with him for a while now are priceless.
  • Magic A Is Magic A:
    • A possible mistake: a Sister in a seizure should die regardless if another Sister healed her or not, because it said in the first chapter that the Sisters can't reverse Troi once the seizures start. The damage has already been done.
    • Kili can stop seizures though, and since he was holding Heine's hand while El healed, the combination might have been able to do what El couldn't have done alone. Also, his Flare power could have amplified Elraine's, allowing her to save Heine.
  • Martyr Without a Cause: Sister Heine, to the point where she's almost a Death Seeker. And she does it all with a cheery smile.
  • Martyrdom Culture: The Sisters, to the point where it freaks Kili out miserably at times. His impassioned rants about this to Elraine have started to draw her back to a more healthy worldview, thank goodness.
  • Meet Cute: Kili's mother and father, as shown in a side comic; as sweet young things attempting to enroll at a school for tailors, they over- and under-estimated what a "normal" garment size should be and ended up constructing sample garments too big and small to fit anyone but each other. "Excuse me, but would you like this...?"
  • Martial Arts and Crafts: The titular Double Art is a martial arts style made exclusively for El and Kili, but the series ends before the style could progress past the two just dancing.
  • Really Gets Around:
    • Though she didn't get up to anything sexual, Sui has dated every guy in her town. Just so she could fight them. She's dated (and dumped) Kili three times, which is a sore spot for him.
    • According to an official omake, she did this within the span of three consecutive days, traumatizing poor Kili's heart to the point where he "swore off love" at the age of fourteen.
    • Complete with a hilarious gender inversion of the stereotypical jilted-woman sulk, as Kili works out his sorrows at the sewing machine.
  • Right Behind Me: An interesting variation involving an intercom-style telephone and the subject overhearing, then interjecting.
  • Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing: Whenever someone dies of Troy. First, the seizures, then they become transparent and disappear.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Happens a lot. Elraine's the only one who says it, though.
  • Shout-Out: Not confirmed or anything, but Kili has a bust of what looks like Andre the Giant in the role of Fezzik.
  • Terrible Artist: Kili is by means good at crafts but his artistic taste leaves very much to be desired. Averted with El, who actually turns out to be a terrific artist.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Sui and cherries.
  • Troperiffic: For its meager length, the creator managed to pull it off. A spiky-haired blond boy with mysterious powers, and only he can save the world! His childhood friend likes to fight! The Official Couple must learn to get along! They must get stronger!