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Manga / GameŚRush

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Game X Rush is the story of a young bodyguard named Memori, an enigmatic boy named Yuuki, and their respective mysterious pasts. The manga manages a good blend of comedy and action/drama as stalkers, babysitting and more require their combined talents, but the drama kicks in once the story begins to focus on their complicated backstories.

A two-volume humor/action/drama Shoujo series, Game X Rush is the work of Mizuho Kusanagi, the mangaka responsible for Mugen Spiral and NG Life. It ran in Hana to Yume from January to August in 2005. Despite being shoujo, Game X Rush has no traditional female lead or love-interest: The plot can best be described as tracking the bromance between a bodyguard and the assassin who decides to stalk him. Despite that description it's not Yaoi or Shounen-Ai, though it often plays with the hallmarks of the genre. Volume One is heavy on the comedy; the end of Volume One and most of Volume Two are tarred with the brush of drama.

Game X Rush is published in English by TOKYOPOP, and both volumes have been released as of November 2009.

This manga provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: The creator notes in the second volume that she had to finish the series much more quickly than planned, which accounts for the dramatic shift in gears and somewhat abrupt conclusion.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Ken. Sort of. He's less aloof and more bossy, but still.
  • Berserker Tears: After Yuuki gets stabbed, Memori remarks that "... Somehow, it looked like he was... crying."
  • Bishie Sparkle: Memori does this whenever he's on the job; it seems to be standard when he's in Bodyguard Mode.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Memori's clients tend to fall for him, or at least his bodyguard persona.
  • Chained to a Bed: Tied to a bed, but still.
  • Children Are Innocent: True for the kids Memori and Yuuki babysit; apparently true for their child selves, but not really; subverted in Sayako, who's technically a child but has the maturity of an adult.
  • Coat Over the Shoulder: The main guys have a tendency to wear jackets in the impractical "half falling off" style.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Yuuki can't kill Memori but can't abandon Miyuki.
  • Distant Finale: Three years later, Memori's still a bodyguard in college, Sayako's a Tsundere 16-year-old in a school blazer, and a familiar guy passes them at a crosswalk...
  • Driven to Villainy: Yuuki and Mayuki, although the latter is more Driven To Insanity/Homicidal Rage.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: "Memori-chan," because... Well, Memori's a guy, plus that whole suffix = familiarity thing.
  • Emotional Torque: Because young Yuuki's acceptance of being "Memori" is heartbreaking... and disturbing.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Yuuki. Subverted when we discover that he's not actually a bad guy, and his mom isn't actually his mother.
  • Face Fault: Performed multiple times during the 'humor' parts of the series, usually by Memori.
  • Family Business: Fujieda Security Co.
  • Female Gaze: Sayoko to Memori, but this happens even when the gazer is male. To wit: Yuuki does this to Memori because Memori looks exactly like Miyuki, and Memori does this repeatedly while wondering if someone like Yuuki could really be an assassin. The latter is lampshaded when Yuuki complains that Memori's been giving him "come-hither looks" all night.
  • Flipping the Table: Memori does this when Yuuki claims to have been given a vast mansion and fortune by a kindly stranger; the table appears out of nowhere and disappears just as fast.
  • Forgotten Childhood Friend: Or at least, they would've been. Still, it's odd that Memori doesn't seem to remember meeting Yuuki.
  • Freudian Excuse: Yuuki. But given that his Excuse runs on severe Parental Abandonment, Abusive Foster-parents, and mommy issues, it's pretty justified.
  • Friendship Moment: The scene on the rooftop, right before Memori tears up the photo.
  • The Glasses Come Off: Somewhat subverted; while Memori usually doesn't wear his glasses for dramatic or action-y moments, that's because he wears his glasses simply to disguise how awesome he is.
  • Gender Flip: The "What if X was female?" 4-koma.
  • Grudging "Thank You": Memori tossing the disinfectant to Yuuki after the restaurant scene, 'not wanting to owe' Yuuki anything.
  • Happily Adopted: Memori.
  • Hates Being Touched: Memori has this reputation when he's not bodyguarding, judo-throwing a classmate who tried to glomp him. Which seems kind of interesting considering all the physical contact in the later half of the manga.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: It seems Memori and Yuuki are heading for this, particularly after the three-year timeskip.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Both Memori and Yuuki, Sayako, Ken...
  • Hitman with a Heart: Yuuki appears to be this at first, until we find out he's not a hitman.
  • Hot-Blooded: Although he affects a cool personality while working, Memori's Hot Blooded under it all.
  • Improbable Age: Sayako, because she's also a Child Prodigy.
  • Love Bubbles: Of both the sparkly and the floral kind.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: But not romantic love.
  • Love Redeems: Or, the way that everyone winds up more-or-less happy.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Yuuki doesn't seem to care about the fact that he got stabbed in the stomach and was rushed to the emergency room.
  • Manga Effects: Most of them.
  • Meido: Sayako's mansion has at least one, and Himeko dresses up in one of the uniforms.
  • Mistaken for Gay: A couple of times, though you can't really blame anyone for thinking that.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Well, it is a bishounen series.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: No-one ever seems to call our leads on the fact that their jackets are falling off.
  • Not So Stoic: Yuuki and Memori. Manly Tears, dammit!
  • Opposites Attract: Memori and Yuuki, with some Red Oni, Blue Oni thrown in.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: Yuuki's childhood.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: What Miyuki and Memori apparently are.
  • Parental Incest: Rather squicky potential example: While Yuuki said he didn't really think of Miyuki as his mother (because he was in love with her is implied), if the snippets in the omake strips had any bearing in truth, then from Miyuki's side...
  • Personality Blood Types: The characters' blood-types are listed in their mini profiles, and a single page post-story references Yuuki's Type (AB) and Starsign (Pisces).
  • Pet the Dog: Miyuki's kindness to a young Yuuki, which becomes Kick the Dog in short order; Yuuki and the kids on the playground.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: Memori does this in the 'If you try to leave I'll kick your ass!' vein when Yuuki intends to leave town with Miyuki; Miyuki does the begging version to Yuuki-whom-she-thinks-is-Memori.
  • Precocious Crush: Sayoko crushes on Memori, despite her being 13 when they first met and him being 19. After the timeskip, she's 16 and he's 22.
  • Race for Your Love: Race For Your Friendship, anyway, when Memori realized Yuuki wasn't just going to his room. He was right.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Yuuki replaces Memori in Miyuki's addled mind.
  • The Reveal: It's kind of obvious. Memori's mom, Yuuki's past, the fire, the killing.
  • Revealing Hug: perhaps less 'revealing' and more 'dramatic.'
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: Happens with Yuuki more often than not.
  • Stalker with a Crush: At one point Memori accuses Yuuki of being this to him; later, Yuuki unintentionally wanders back to the Fujieda building and wonders if he really is a stalker. There's also a certifiable stalker-with-a-crush in Ochi, the stalker from the second story-arc.
  • Stepford Smiler: Yuuki.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Memori looks exactly like his birth mother.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Miyuki, when she dies clear-minded for the first time in a long time.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Yuuki, though at times he's more like a male Broken Bird.
  • Tsundere: Non-romantic version with Memori and Yuuki.
  • Tsurime Eyes: Yuuki, particularly noticeable in close-ups. Young Yuuki has eyes that could give Kagami a run for her money.
  • Was It All a Lie?: A friendship version, after Memori figures out that Yuuki is the assassin.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Assuming that Yuuki's telling the truth, and he really hasn't killed anyone besides the guy Miyuki'd already half-killed, where'd he learn the martial arts, marksmanship, hypnotism, ect? It feels like there's going to be a full explanation, but it's just glossed over entirely.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Memori does wear a nurse's outfit, and is dressed like Cinderella when he wonders if Yuuki is a celebrity/prince...
  • Yandere: Miyuki for Memori, but not the real Memori, Yuuki-as-Memori.
  • You Are Not Alone: Memori actually spends time coming up with a speech to tell Yuuki this. Yuuki laughs, and Memori gets pissed off.