As mild-mannered Japanese newspaper reporter Takashi Jo is mourning his mother's untimely death, he receives an even more shocking announcement: his employer is transferring him to America to report on the presidential campaign of Japanese-American senator Kenneth Yamaoka. The one who requested the transfer? Yamaoka himself.
So begins Takashi's journey into both the complicated and often dangerous world of American politics, and into the murky history of his own family, which may prove even more so...
Eagle: The Making of an Asian-American President by Kaiji Kawaguchi, is both an informative and entertaining look at the American electoral process and a compelling human drama of lies, sex and above all, power.
Eagle provides examples of:
- False Flag Operation: Yamaoka has been secretly funneling money to racist organizations in order to make the problem of racism in America impossible to ignore.
- Funetik Aksent: Senator Woodsman, a Southern Democrat who is also in the running to for the Democratic nomination until he backs out and turns over his delegates to Senator "Yam-May-Okee".
- Intrepid Reporter: Takashi actually starts out pretty milquetoast, but gradually becomes one over the course of the series. The different attitudes between Japanese and American journalists is a major theme of the early chapters.
- Lady Macbeth: Patricia to her son Alex. Also First Lady Ellery to pretty much everyone.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Yamaoka owns up to being Takashi's dad surprisingly quick.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: The manga, set in a fictionalized version of the 2000 U.S. Presidential race, prominently features incumbent Vice President Al Noah, along with the ambitious First Lady "Ellery" and her unnamed-yet-familiar-looking husband.
- Our Presidents Are Different: Yamaoka is (trying to be) both President Personable and President Scheming. The fun is in figuring out which persona is closer to his true self.
- Secret Secret-Keeper: Patricia has used her own resources to discover Takashi's relationship to her husband, but feigns ignorance to both of them for her own reasons.
- Snow Means Love: Takashi and Rachel's first kiss happens not long after a major blizzard.
- Surprise Incest: Narrowly averted. Rachel spends a good chunk of the first volume flirting with Takashi, which freaks him the hell out. His relief when she tells him she's adopted is palpable. So is his fear when Rachel's birth mother surfaces to tell the press that she had Kenneth's child, after they'd slept together.
- Tournament Arc: Essentially how the election is portrayed, especially the New Hampshire Primary arc. Amusingly, it's pretty easy to read Eagle as sort of a grownup version of a shonen fighting series.
- Vomit Discretion Shot: Takashi first meets Yamaoka in person in a men's room after the latter is done puking his guts out in a stall as a result of being forced to eat everything at two back-to-back political luncheons.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy:
- Takashi frequently tries to meet the challenges that his long-lost father Kenneth, Zen Survivor of The Vietnam War, poses to teach his illegitimate son the way of the Magnificent Bastard. Takashi's attempts to understand Yamaoka conflict with his resentment over his mother being abandoned — and the suspicion that her recent, suspicious death was no accident...
- Alex Yamaoka, Kenneth's son by Patricia, has naturally been dealing with his father's head games for far longer, and shows more advanced symptoms of this trope.