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Manga / Ga-Rei

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Ga-Rei is a 2005 manga series by Hajime Segawa, about mostly-Ordinary High-School Student Kensuke Nimura and definitely not ordinary high school girl named Kagura Tsuchimiya. After an incident involving a giant monster ghost baby Kensuke follows Kagura into her world of supernatural peril.

Ga-Rei -Zero- is a Prequel anime series that acts as Yomi (the first Big Bad)'s Start of Darkness. It is also much Darker and Edgier; Ga-Rei is quite light in comparison.

Kagura and Yomi — in their Ga-Rei -Zero- designs — cameo in the Tokyo ESP anime, and a crossover titled Tokyo ESP × Ga-rei -SHADOW WALKER- was released alongside the limited edition of the Tokyo ESP anime.


Ga-Rei provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Accidental Kiss: During their Crash-Into Hello at the beginning of the series, Kagura steals Kensuke's Sacred First Kiss. It's quite painful for the latter, as the former runs into him on a motor scooter.
  • Action Girl: Many, with Kagura, Kyouko and later Isoyama Izumi being the primary examples.
  • Afterlife Express: Michael's training session with Kensuke involves them boarding a ghost train, and they are nearly sucked into the afterlife with it.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Souzaemon, Kyouko's older brother, is both cold and extremely competent. Naturally, he rubs Kensuke the wrong way.
  • Apocalypse Maiden: Yomi goes from being an onryo corrupted by the Death/Bane Stones to being resurrected, only to discover she's been chosen to bring about the end of the world. She just can't catch a break.
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  • Art Evolution: In leaps and bounds. Just compare the cover of Volume 1 to Volume 7.
  • As Long as There is Evil: The source of the Bane Stone's power.
  • Back from the Dead: Yomi. More than once.
  • Beach Episode: One episode has them go to the beach only to be attacked by a jellyfish demon made from the souls of drowned people. They go to a water park, too.
  • Big Damn Heroes: A big one in Chapter 44 with Kensuke, Tsuina, Noriyuki, and Shizuru, i.e., everyone you've been expecting to show up for the past few chapters.
  • BFS: As the Black Priestess, Yomi can conjure a massive nine-branched sword from miasma.
  • Black Eyes of Crazy: Anyone taken over by a Bane Stone has black sclera, and either Hellish Pupils or no pupils at all.
  • Bland-Name Product: "Poeky". Similarly, the fake clothing brand Productive Emotion.
  • Blank White Eyes: Used extensively when the characters are super-deformed.
  • Blinding Bangs: Izumi/Yomi, though not consistently.
  • Body Horror: Tons and tons. They fight evil spirits, after all.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Kagura, under the influence of the Kyuubi.
  • Cain and Abel: Yomi and Kagura, in that order.
  • Cat Fight: During Kagura's and Shizuru's festival fight, Noriyuki starts taking bets for who's going to win. Fanservice is mostly absent, though, since they're pretty beat up by the end.
  • Chained by Fashion: Byakuei is chained to Kagura as an indication that it's sealed into her.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Noriyuki. Especially when it concerns Shizuru, interestingly enough.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl:
    • Izumi definitely fits this. Though that's mainly the dormant Yomi.
    • Yomi actually shows a few glimpses of these when it comes to Kagura or Noriyuki. While it may not be clingy, it's definitely a fit of scary jealousy.
  • Cool Big Sis: Yomi, in flashbacks.
  • Cool Sword: Kagura's appears to be a laser; one of Yomi's is made out of several smaller blades attached to a single one in the center. Kensuke's Michael Revolution is capable of channeling The Power of Love to cut through dimensions.
  • The Corruption:
    • The Bane Stones are said to be the spiritual power of a malevolent nine-tailed fox that was the spirit-beast of an evil onmyoji/exorcist named Lady Tamamo. This is later revealed to be untrue, but the ten stones corrupt whoever uses them into living onryō/phantoms.
    • Due to first being corrupted by a Bane Stone and later by her status as the Black Priestess, Yomi struggles with it whenever she has screen time.
  • Creature-Hunter Organization: The Supernatural Disaster Countermeasures Department — also translated as the Supernatural Disaster Task Force — is a government organization that uses the Way of the Yin-Yang and mystically-augmented weapons to hunt down malevolent yōkai, onryō, and other supernatural creatures — referred to by the English localization as Phantoms.
  • Creepy Crossdresser: Okama Zankurou. Okama is slang for "drag queen" in Japan.
  • Cultural Translation: While some Japanese terms are left untranslated, many are localized into English:
    • Onmyōdō is called the Way of the Yin-Yang, and onmyōji are called exorcists.
    • Onryō such as Yomi are called Phantoms.
    • The Sesshōseki is translated as the Bane Stones in the Ga-Rei -Zero- anime and Death Stones in the manga's English translation.
    • The Kyūbi is translated as the Nine-Tailed Demon-Fox.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Kagura killed Yomi while Yomi was being controlled by the Bane Stone, as shown in Ga-Rei -Zero-. It doesn't seem to bother her at first, but it eventually takes its toll.
  • Demonic Possession: Izumi turns into a giant demon spider before Yomi takes over her body.
  • Demoted to Extra: Kensuke of all people gets this treatment once Kagura forgets about him.
  • Disney Death: Kensuke is killed, but Kagura resurrects him with the power of the Kyuubi. She resurrects Yomi, too, though subconsciously and in a roundabout manner.
  • Distressed Dude: Lampshaded with Kensuke. While he's lamenting about having to be rescued, a picture of an actual Damsel in Distress even shows up in the panel.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Replace "black/white priestess" with "lunar/solar priestess", and you start getting Destiny of the Shrine Maiden vibes.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: It look a lot of heroic sacrifices, but they earned it!
  • Easy Amnesia: Happens to Kagura. Her memory is restored over time, though in the meanwhile it leads to Amnesia Danger.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Planned from the start. There's a reincarnation planned, but everyone on the planet has to die first.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The manga ends with The Unmasqued World, spirits and humans living together in an uneasy peace. However, the Bane Stones still exist and — as the Land God points out — the cycle of destruction could easily be restarted should humanity's tendency towards hatred resurface.
  • Eye Scream: Kensuke's eye gets slashed open when he tries to protect Izumi from Kirin. Since he no longer has a Sesshouseki inside him, he never fully recovers, and it leaves a huge scar.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Kazuhiro's entire motivation is the resurrection of his mother. He succeeds, too, and she comes back right. Of course, she takes the chance to kill him for all of the awful things he did.
  • Evil Counterpart: Kirin is one to Byakuei, and Yomi is meant to be one to Kagura.
  • The Faceless: Lord Tamamo, whose face is a void that shows the cosmos.
  • Face–Heel Revolving Door: Yomi starts out heroic in the beginning of Zero, turns evil after being implanted with a Sesshouseki fragment, turns good after being brought back to life, and in the final arc decides to destroy the world out of despair and anger. Girl can't catch a break.
  • Face–Heel Turn: When it's revealed that Yomi is the Black Priestess and could bring about the end of the world, the SDCD decide to kill her and anyone helping her escape. Director Fujiko, Koyoko, and Koji Iwahata remain the only SDCD members on the protagonists' side, and are powerless to stop the rest of the organization from trying to kill Yomi, Kagura, Kensuke, and Shizuru, and Izuna.
  • Furo Scene: Several. They're equally as generous with fanservice as they are with character development.
  • Karmic Death: Kazuhiro Mitogawa is killed by his own mother, whom he had been aiming to resurrect.
  • Kissing Discretion Shot: Everytime Kensuke and Kagura are about to kiss the manga takes some other angles or just skips some seconds.
  • Kitsune: The Nine-Tailed Demon-Fox is a fox-shaped Animalistic Abomination formed when the ten Bane Stones are gathered together. It's initially stated to be a spirit-beast controlled by an Exorcist named Lady Tamamo, but is later revealed to be part of a cycle of creation and destruction.
  • Knife Nut: Shizuru needs hers to summon Kurofoudo.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Kazuhiro, who is responsible for driving Yomi insane and much of the horrible things that happen in the story, did everything he did to resurrect his dead mother. He gets his wish, and his mom comes back the same way she was when she was alive. This also means that she's sane, and kills her maniac of a son before he can do any more damage.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: Kagura is about to confess her feelings for Kensuke...and then tells him it was Iwahata who said he liked him. Nice going there...
  • The Lifestream: The Reimyaku.
  • Love Triangle: Quite a few for a relatively short series, all of which with Kagura in them (although not necessarily in the middle every time). There's Kensuke/Kagura/Shizuru, Kensuke/Kagura/Izumi, Kensuke/Kagura/Yomi, and Kagura/Yomi/Noriyuki.
  • Made of Plasticine: The evil spirits, who regularly get shredded into pieces by Kagura and company. Justified since they're no longer human.
  • Mafia Princess: Shizuru is the daughter of a branch of a clan of onmyōji that relocated overseas and became involved in organized crime, and have returned to Japan to take over the criminal underworld.
  • Magnetic Plot Device: Yomi and Izumi gives off miasma, which attracts evil spirits.
  • Maybe Ever After: Kensuke and Kagura, after tons of Ship Tease and the culmination of Kagura actively using The Power of Love near the finale, with their relationship... doing something.
  • Meaningful Background Event: In the last page of the final chapter, the whole group is reflected by a puddle on the ground. Look at it close enough, and you can see Noriyuki in the reflection, even though he isn't physically with the group. This signifies his status as a ghost before the epilogue.
  • Meaningful Name: The kanji in Yomi's name mean "underworld". It should be no surprise she was picked by Naraku.
  • Mental World: Izumi goes into one and refuses to come out while Yomi has control over her body.
  • Mentors: Yomi to Kagura; Noriyuki to Tsuina...and possibly to Shizuru.
  • Merger of Souls:
    • Izumi's circumstances are revealed to be this. It's revealed that Yomi's soul was placed inside Izumi's body when the latter was killed during the Kyubi incident, and the two have become conjoined to the point where separating them could prove fatal.
    • In the final chapter, Yomi merges her soul with Kagura to take the place of Byakuei, separating safely from Izumi.
  • Mind Probe: Setsuna has the Eye of Satori, which allows her to read minds.
  • Mr. Exposition: Kensuke fills this role from time to time, usually at the beginning of each chapter.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Master Michael's Hepburn, a snowball machine gun.
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: Yomi is named after the Shinto underworld. The Nine-Tailed Demon-Fox, the Bane Stones (Sesshoseki in the original Japanese), and Lady Tamamo are references to the legend of Tamamo-no-Mae.
  • Parental Abandonment: Kagura, Yomi, Shizuru, Kensuke to some extent... Parents are pretty much never talked about.
  • The Power of Love: Used to cross dimensions, believe it or not.
  • The Powers That Be: They're possibly the ones attempting to end the world.
  • Put on a Bus: Kyouko, Shizuru, and Noriyuki all leave at the end of the Nine-Tailed Demon-Fox arc. Fujiko retires, and the entire Countermeasures Department dissolves. It's not long before the action gets going again.
  • Ret-Canon: A few of the manga's later flashbacks borrow either characters or scenes from the Zero anime. At this point, the anime could be considered manga canon.
  • Rich Bitch: Shizuru. She gets better, though.
  • Romantic False Lead: Shizuru to Kensuke. Later, Yomi to Kagura, at least until Kagura regains her memories.
  • Running Gag: Kensuke gets hit by vehicles really often. It's a wonder he hasn't died.
  • Schoolgirl Lesbians: Izumi has a one-sided crush on Kagura.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The demon king from the first arc is sealed beneath the city.
  • Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can: Byakuei within the Tsuchimiya heirs.
  • Shipper on Deck: The nameless tanuki.
  • Shout-Out:
    • One of the undead members of the Juugondō is a man with nails sticking out of his head, a reference to Pinhead from Hellraiser.
    • Another Juugondō member is the Count a vampire-themed shikigami user from Europe with a tall M-shaped hairdo inspired by Dracula from Bram Stoker's Dracula.
    • The evil spirit in Chapter 37 is a crew of undead bikers led by a flaming skeleton who wields demonic chains. Their name? The Ghost Riders.
    • In Chapter 38, the group takes shelter from a horde of undead in a mall.
  • Slasher Smile: While controlled by the Sesshouseki, Yomi sports these now and again.
  • Shown Their Work: Chapter 48 features scenes taking place in Washington, The Vatican, and London. All of the scenes actually look like the cities they're representing.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Waaay over to the idealistic side. It's quite pointed when compared to its Darker and Edgier anime.
  • Sleep-Mode Size: Byakuei, after the end of the Kyuubi arc, is reduced to a small puppy. He can return to his full size for brief periods.
  • Split Personality: Izumi and Yomi share the former's body, alternating control over it. Lampshaded by Yomi herself when Kagura isn't sure who she's talking to.
  • Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: Anyone using an unsealed Bane Stone will ultimately turn into an Phantom, even in their human body.
    • As a Phantom and when fulfilling her Apocalypse Maiden role, Yomi has lank black hair and Hellish Pupils, and gains Black Eyes of Crazy when she taps into her Bane Stone fragment.
    • When Kensuke is killed by Setsuna, Kagura taps into her Sesshoseki earring out of rage and temporarily becomes one, gaining pupil-less Black Eyes of Crazy and barely avoiding succumbing to corruption as Yomi had.
  • Team Pet: Despite not having a name, the baketanuki frequently saves the lives of the heroes by turning into a giant wall. It's even used as a sled at one point.
  • Trauma Conga Line: The entire Ga-Rei (including the prequel anime) is just one long series of one tragedy after another befalling Kagura. When you read it in one sit, Kagura begin to look like Shinji Ikari, minus the whininess.
  • The Power of Love: Apparently this is how Kagura gets the powers of the White Priestess. Not revealed to cornily... until suddenly Michael goes, "Kagura! It's time to use the power of love!"
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Shizuru, after her training with Noriyuki.
    • Kensuke takes a few over the course of the manga as well.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: In the final arc, the Agency orders that the resurrected Yomi be killed to prevent the apocalypse, and all those responsible for aiding her be executed as traitors. Yomi just wanted to be left alone and live in isolation with Kagura, and watching her friends and loved ones be hurt and killed by the Agency causes her to snap and willingly trigger the apocalypse.
  • The Virus: Naraku seems to be some form of this.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 33, when it's revealed that Kagura lost her memories, and to a certain extent that Yomi's come back from the dead.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Mitogawa rips Yomi's Sesshouseki out of her head once she is defeated by Kensuke and Kagura, and she fades away, presumably to arrive at The Lifestream a cleansed soul. Really, though, he just wanted the Sesshouseki for himself.
  • Youkai: While All Myths Are True, given that the series is set in Japan, the most commonly encountered supernatural beings are youkai, called Spirit Beasts.
    • Yomi and several other ghost characters are onryō, translated as Phantoms in the English localization.
    • The Nine-Tailed Demon-Fox is ostensibly a nine-tailed kitsune.
    • Byakuei is mistaken for a dragon, but is actually an inugami corrupted by the Bane Stone. This becomes more apparent when the Bane Stone inside him is removed, returning him to his true form.
    • Noriyuki uses kudagitsune to spy on people.
    • A jorogumo is fought as one of the evil monsters.
    • A tanuki who can shapeshift into a nurikabe joins the Kensuke's team.
    • Kirin, Byakuei's Evil Counterpart, is named after the kirin but is actually an incomplete manifestation of the Nine-Tailed Demon-Fox.


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