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Mingchao's grandfather has passed, so now she decides to travel through the the wild west to Hollywood to become a star. Not without her trusty Eto Gun of course! But wait! The Eto Gun is actually a gun that shoots bullets related to the zodiac animal it got the essence of! And the notorious bandit group, the Syndicate, wants it! Along the way, she is joined by Baskerville, Benkate, Fino and Yaghi.

A manga created by Tow Nakazaki and distributed in America by Tokyopop. It spanned 9 volumes.

Tropes used in this series:

  • The Ace: Benkate is the best combatant in the party.
  • All There in the Manual: Tow likes include sketches of how character concepts developed at the end of the books.
  • Almost Out of Oxygen: Happens when the protagonists get trapped in an underground tunnel on their way to the Syndicate's base.
  • Arsenal Attire: Benkate has guns in the heels of her boots and wears guns for earrings.
  • Badass Adorable: Mingchao. She is not only cute, but she has the strongest gun in the West and knows how to use it (for the most part).
  • Badass Preacher: Baskerville is a reverend who is feared by many of the bad guys. He's not actually a preacher though.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Despite the number of shirtless scenes/characters, both male and female, no one in the series has nipples. Granted, this may be because it's geared towards a 10+ audience.
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  • Big Bad: Gothic, the leader of the a crime syndicate who traffics drug, and is responsible for the death of Baskerville/Razy's sister, driving the latter to meet Mingchao while searching for the Eto gun, thus setting up the whole story.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Baskerville towards Mingchao, and Fino towards Yaghi.
  • Big Eater: Mingchao eats a lot and once consumed an entire table of food before her friends could get there. She also drank all the booze.
  • Big "NO!": When it finally sinks in that Gothic is Mingchao’s father, Mingchao lets loose a long, loud NOOOOOO!
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows:
    • Benkate's eyebrows are magnificent.
    • Luriele and Chisel have them too, except they're not quite as remarkable as Benkate's.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: Happens once to Mingchao, and another time to Blush, Alternate, and Baskerville. In a variation of the trope, Alternate had his gun knocked from his hand by Baskerville's knives, and Cavanaugh had a knife knocked from her hand by a rock. No one is ever seriously injured, if at all.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Gordy's Syndicate coin often ended up saving lives and helping the leads get into places they normally wouldn't be able to.
    • And the cross that Chisel gave Baskerville.
  • Chinese Girl: Mingchao.
  • Cool Guns: Benkate. She has a collection of 99 exotic guns, including a gun that looks like a cat, a four-chambered revolver, and an extremely powerful, seven-foot long folding rifle that can blow the arm off a man.
  • Crime Magnet: Everyone who knows about the Eto Gun's power tries to swipe it off Mingchao. She is extremely gullible and never seems to learn her lesson, and never suspects someone might be trying to trick her. She never did find out Benkate was after the gun the whole time.
  • Darker and Edgier: Started out as a simple Villain of the Week Shōnen manga, but starting from the introduction of Fino and Yaghi and Baskerville's fake death and reveal to have been part of the Syndicate, the story started to get a bit more grim.
  • Descent into Addiction: Baskerville becomes addicted to the Syndicate's narcotic after Blush begins to feed it to him to numb his headaches. He gradually becomes more desperate and deranged as he takes the drugs.
  • Diminishing Villain Threat: Inverted with Cavanaugh. While her encounters with Mingchao and her friends leave her scarred and disfigured, her methods get increasingly desperate and deadly.
  • Disney Villain Death: Cavanaugh gets killed this way. If having her neck pierced by a dagger didn't do it, then getting shot by Mingchao's Eto Gun and falling down a high floor certainly did.
  • The Dragon: Cavanaugh is the highest-ranked member of the Syndicate after the leader, and is one of the few people among the group who has seen the leader face to face.
  • Drugs Are Bad: All the Syndicate's money and power comes from selling drugs. These drugs are narcotics and highly addictive, known to eventually kill those who consume them. Bearded Ina and Mingchao’s grandpa had wanted to find a way to make a safe medicine with the drugs, but never succeeded.
  • Easily Forgiven: Ming Chao easily forgives Alternate for attempting to murder her in the gold mines, and very quickly accepts him to join the party. The group also very quickly forgets Baskerville's past as a former member of the Syndicate and allows him to continue travelling with them for the Final Battle despite his brief Face–Heel Turn.
  • Enemy Rising Behind: Gordy slowly rises up out of the water behind Mingchao in Volume 3.
  • Everyone Lives: All the main protagonists survive the final battle at the end despite being shot to Swiss cheese. Baskerville alone survives massive blood loss, a gold mine cave-in, and a bullet in the chest.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Cavanaugh gets one after being badly injured in a train accident.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Baskerville/Razy is manipulated into serving the Syndicate again after he loses his memory. He gets better.
  • False Friend: Blush pretended to be Alternate's friend so he could gain information about the Eto Gun.
  • Fanservice: Fino's occasional nude scenes.
  • Fantastic Racism: When Fino is introduced, it's established she has an immense hatred of white people. This is because the first white man she befriended (Blush) killed her parents. She gets better, though.
  • Fastest Gun in the West: Mingchao, thanks to the fact that the Eto Gun can shoot bullets faster than any gun. She defeated Blush in a duel even after he shot first! She may share the title with Fino.
  • Foil: Blush and Baskerville / Razy. It's lampshaded by the former.
  • The Fool: Mingchao. She always manages to get out of life-threatening situations with barely a scrape. Benkate even lampshades this at one point.
  • Frame Break: When Baskerville explains to Mingchao that the fish isn’t part of the Chinese Zodiac, she peers around his frame and pushes her hand against it, saying, "Really?"
  • Friend to All Living Things: Fino get along very well with animals, was once shown playing with a flock of forest critters, and almost successfully tamed an angry bear before the other tribesmen angered it by shooting arrows at it.
  • Funny Background Event: In an early chapter you can see Baskerville getting an Accidental Kiss from the woman whose house he and Mingchao are staying at after the shock from a window breaking behind them knocks them into each other.
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: Cavanaugh's lets her see in the dark.
  • Greed: Gordy's defining character trait, he loves treasure, especially gold.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Alternate, who was first introduced as a wannabe Syndicate member who is after the Eto gun, but later joins the group after finding out that Blush, rather than Ming Chao, was the one who killed his father.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Unfortunately for Mingchao who wants to be a singer, her singing sounds like a dying cat. She didn't know this for a while though, since she had only sung in front of her grandfather.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Mingchao wants to be a famous singer.
  • Implied Love Interest: Most notably Fino and Alternate. Mingchao and Baskerville get a bit of Ship Tease too though, and Yaghi is also noted to have a crush on Benkate in an omake.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Kaufman, a drunk gambler, calls his opponent "donkey nuts," to which Mingchao responds, "Err… I know he’s drunk, but is he allowed to say that in this manga?"
  • Lethal Joke Weapon: The Eto Gun honestly looks like a toy. Many people throughout the series lampshades it.
  • Little Stowaway: Yaghi hides in Benkate's luggage bags so he can follow everyone, especially Fino. That is until he is discovered...
  • Literal Cliffhanger: Mingchao and Benkate cling to a broken rope bridge on a cliff in Volume 2.
  • Logical Weakness:
    • The Eto Gun and Zodiac use "essence" to form their bullets, and thus are unable to fire without the proper essences. If caught without any usable essence, their users are sitting ducks.
    • The Pisces bullet is based off of a fish, and thus is only effective underwater. Unless that fish is a flying fish.
  • Love Makes You Evil:
    • Baskerville/Razy's love for his sister drove him to do some terrible things searching for rare guns in exchange for the narcotic the Syndicate told him was medicine.
    • The Big Bad of the series turns out to be Mingchao's father, who had his Start of Darkness after racist doctors refused to treat his sick wife, leading to her death.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: The Big Bad Boss of the Syndicate is actually Ming Chao's long-lost father
  • MacGuffin: The Eto Gun and the Zodiac.
  • Made of Iron: Ming Chao is a minor example, but she once jumped off a cliff and did not get injured or even bruised from the fall.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: To sum it up, the heroes foiling Alternate's repeated attempts to steal the Eto Gun eventually leads to them uncovering a massive underground drug operation.
  • Monumental Battle: The last battle of the story takes place in a statue called the "Black Goddess," which is very similar in appearance to the Statue of Liberty.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Although the characters in the series are mostly dressed modestly, Fino has been most frequently drawn as naked while taking a bath or has her Clothing damaged.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: When Blush lures Fino into a trap using Yaghi, Mingchao and Benkate go to rescue them. But once they get there, Mingchao says, "I don't want to save Fino. I don't want to help someone as mean as her." Fino had said some cruel things about Baskerville after he went missing in Gordy's mine and everyone thought he was dead. This reaction is unusual for Mingchao because she is very forgiving and is eager to help others.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Baskerville and Benkate are not romantically involved. However, they have a shared history, and despite butting heads early in the story they work together very well, especially after they both come to care for Mingchao. They have each other's backs and have a healthy respect for one another.
  • The Pollyanna: Mingchao remains mostly cheerful and carefree throughout her journey despite having numerous people repeatedly try to kill her and her friends for her Eto gun and frequently getting injured because of it.
  • Quicksand Sucks: Mingchao, Benkate, and Fino get sucked into a quicksand pit, until Yaghi and a grizzly bear come to the rescue.
  • Redemption Demotion: Seems to happen to Alternate, who didn't do much in the way of devious plotting after joining Mingchao's group. We don't see him do anything on the scale of the train hijacking for the good guys.
  • The Reveal: Baskerville's real name is Razy and is a former member of the Syndicate.
  • Revealing Skill: Baskerville accidentally gives away his true identity when he uses his knives against Gordy.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Despite the age difference, Baskerville starts getting teased a lot by Benkate about how attached to Mingchao he's gotten, even going so far as implying he's got 'a thing for kids' (which he denies vehemently). Much later on, Lurielle also teases Mingchao about being in love with 'Mr. Priest' (which she also denies). Regardless, it's made very clear that they grew to care deeply for each other, as Mingchao was the catalyst for Baskerville to regain his memories and Mingchao becomes reluctant to be separated from him after they reunite.
    • Fino and Alternate end up bonding over the fact they were both duped and lost family members because of Blush, and end up saving each other a few times. By the end of the story, Alternate is still traveling with Fino and Yaghi after the party disbands.
    • It's mostly onesided but according to an omake, Yaghi develops a crush on the much older Benkate, apparently so far as to think that he wants to make Benkate his wife (although he doesn't think Fino would approve). They actually form a pretty close camaraderie.
  • Side-Story Bonus Art: One of Nakazaki's assistants showed in an omake that Blush had an adventure of his own after disappearing from the ship in Volume 6. But Blush never made it to the final battle because he was "caught up" in the explosion from the Dragon bullet.
  • Start of Darkness: After his wife — Mingchao's mother — died because racist doctors refused to bother treating her, her husband — Mingchao's father — swore revenge against the U.S. by becoming its kingpin of crime.
  • Stern Chase: For most of the series. Who is chasing who and for what reason changes, depending on the current situation.
  • Super Window Jump: Alternate makes this escape in Episode 10 when Baskerville and Benkate block the door he came in from.
  • Tipis and Totem Poles: Fino's tribe is a stereotypical Plains-like Native American tribe complete with tipis, feathered headdresses, braided hair, and nature-harmony spiritualism. But the most striking non-Plains feature is the totem pole that holds the tribe's sacred treasure.
  • Thou Shall Not Kill: Mingchao will not kill others, nor will she allow her team mates to kill, no matter how evil the intended target is. She had stopped Fino from killing Goldy and Blush despite knowing that the latter two have murdered many others. As such, she's understandably a bit shaken when her final defeat of Cavanaugh resulted in her death from plummeting down a high floor.
  • Traintop Battle: Happens in Volume 2 when Alternate hijacks a train.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Mingchao's wok has been blasted, sliced, and otherwise blown to pieces, but it's always as good as new in its next appearance.
  • Was It All a Lie?: Mingchao asks this of Baskerville when she finds out he was only with her to steal the Eto Gun.
  • We Can Rule Together: Gothic offers this to Mingchao because she is his daughter.
  • Weird West: The Wild West meets Journey to the West, complete with martial arts and Chinese Zodiac-inspired magic. Except that the "West" Mingchao is journeying to is Hollywood.
  • Whammy Bid: Baskerville wagers his life to get the Eto Gun back in a poker game against Bodney the famous saloon dancer.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Subverted. Blush, the only major antagonist still unaccounted for by the end.