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Manga / Gamma

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Also known as Y-Ganma.

On August 10, 2014, Earth was visited by not one but two warring alien races, who turned our planet into a giant battlefield. Humanity emerged victorious, but huge quantities of the alien "Lambda energy" were released onto Earth in the conflict, giving some humans superpowers and turning animals into giant monsters. To combat the emerging monsters and humans who use their superpowers for evil, humanity created the Earth Defense Force, which unites the precious few superheroes and scores of muggle support personnel to defend the planet against all manner of threats.

In the year 2075, two very affectionate sisters, Miyuki and Yuri Kitajishi, run the EDF Counseling Service in the Japanese town of Kataoka, helping superheroes and EDF employees alike deal with the psychological strain of their line of work. In-between that, they help EDF in their battles against monsters and supervillains, which seem to be getting more and more frequent in the region. And on top of everything, Yuri is actually the ex-Magical Girl Lily Cure — the greatest hero the world has ever seen, who has lost most of her powers but can use them briefly in time of dire need, at a heavy cost to her health.


Gamma is an Action-Adventure manga by Ogino Jun that borrows heavily from all manner of Super Hero and Yuri Genre stories.

The manga provides examples of following tropes:

  • The Ageless: Sakaki hasn't aged a day since his time as a sidekick to Mr. Lostman (he also has an impressive Healing Factor). Yuri, meanwhile, also hasn't aged at all since gaining Lily Cure's powers, although the characters only figure it out in the epilogue, after many years have passed.
  • All-Loving Hero: The official profile for Mika lists her "Top 5 Least Favorite Things" as "N/A".
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Inverted, in an odd way, In-Universe; the Kitajishi sisters are shocked at the idea that there was once a time when superheroes, mecha, and giant monsters only existed in movies and TV shows; upon seeing some for the first time, they briefly assume that they're documentaries. In particular, Miyuki finds the idea of movies featuring giant monsters being made for entertainment to be "sick," since the world regularly has to deal with the actual consequences of such creatures existing. Mr. Lostman, who's showing the sisters his old movie collection, explains that said films are from a time before giant monsters actually existed.
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  • Anti-Hero: Zen Fujiwara/Flame Bane.
  • Anyone Can Die: It's best if you don't grow too attached to any character whose surname isn't "Kitajishi".
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Flame Bane's backstory revealed that he first used his powers to brutally murder any villain he came across. He's outraged when he finds out that the public sees him as a villain as well until EDF agent Rei Nicole outright asks him how many people he's actually killed. He's notably taken aback as he admits that he hasn't been keeping track.
  • Ascended Fanboy:
    • Mr. Lostman, who idolized fictional superheroes before acquiring superpowers for real. This is what motivated him to use his powers to become Earth's first real-life superhero.
    • Marina Lednev, too. A total Lily Cure fangirl, she gets to be in a relationship and to live with Yuri in the epilogue.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Cannonball, a hero whose punch would give Saitama a run for his money, but who can only use it once a day and passes out for several hours afterwards.
  • Badass Crew: Nano Mugen, a team comprised of the most powerful of Japan's superheroes.
  • Badass Normal:
    • Miyuki and Captain Marian have never had powers, but both are extremely skilled swords-women.
    • Ironically, Discharge was one before getting powers. He was already a trained martial artist in excellent shape, but gaining superpowers led him to try taking on villains far more powerful than he was. It's noted that his prior fighting skills and strength are the only reason he hasn't gotten more hurt.
  • Bait-and-Switch Lesbians: A very odd case: for all their fawning, touching, and rather sensual interactions, the Kitajishi sisters are not a couple and end up paired with other female characters at the series end.
  • Bash Brothers: Blue Train and Hornetman when they team up.
  • Battle Couple: In the last few chapters, Miyuki/Hikari and Yuri/Marina.
  • Best Friend: The story features a surprising number of very close non-romantic relationships, the most prominent being the Bash Brothers Hornetman and Blue Train, as well as Miyuki and Midori (a.k.a. the Ret-Gone other Lily Cure) in the back-story.
  • Big Bad: Kyosuke Sakaki/Mr. Cell.
  • Bittersweet Ending: For Yuri, at least. She helps defeat the Big Bad and save Earth one final time, but her overuse of Lily Cure powers finally catches up with her, leaving her unable to use her legs and forcing her to quit EDF. Still, she thinks it's all Worth It, and considers it a happy ending herself.
  • Brick Joke: Presidentman is the focus of chapter one and never appears once in the rest of the series... until the final chapter, where he becomes Unit Six's commander after Captain Lednev resigns.
  • Bondage Is Bad: Inverted. If the author's Pixiv account is to be taken as canon, the physical aspect of Yuri and Captain Marina's relationship involves a lot of hardcore BDSM play, making this a case of Good People Have Good Sex.
  • Brought Down to Normal:
    • Being a superhero is a time-limited deal, so they only get to use their powers for five years, tops. Most end up burning through their powers in a year or two. Averted with Mr. Lostman, the first superhero, who soaked up so much Lambda energy that he kept his powers until his death at the ripe age of 75, as well as his sidekick, Mr. Cell, whose justification is never stated outright, but probably goes along the same lines.
    • Both Puella Magi Mika and Hikari/Lightbright lose their powers by the end of the series; the former uses the last of her power defeating the Emperor of Darkness and the latter has her power-granting bracelet destroyed in her final battle with The Steel. Both join the EDF afterwards.
    • Flame Bane is relieved of his powers by Sakaki in the middle of their confrontation. However, in the manga's most spectacular show of Brought Down to Badass, he goes on to tear Sakaki a new one twice, anyway. And then he enlists in EDF (probably in memory of Rei) and becomes one of the top operatives of its most prestigious unit.
    • This ultimately happens to Earth itself. The heroes are unable to prevent Sakaki's Lambda energy antennae from activating, so they instead reprogram them to bombard the Earth with natural energy instead. As such, no lives are lost and, while anyone or anything already with superpowers retain them for the time being, new superhumans and monsters stop appearing.
  • Cast Full of Gay: Being a Yuri Genre work there are very few females that are not obviously a lesbian. If one were to take the authors very NSFW pixiv account as canon there are in fact no straight females, besides the ones specifically shown otherwise.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Discussed and partly deconstructed in the very first chapter, which concerns the mentality and difficulties of a former superhero trying to adjust back to a civilian life. Both Presidentman and Yuri/Lily have the CHS bad, so after losing their powers, they can't help but enlist in EDF.
  • Clear My Name: Hornetman is framed for attacking EDF bases.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Yuri, in a Tsundereish way, for her sister and as she gets closer to Marina she doesn't like that so many people have Affectionate Nicknames for her.
  • Co-Dragons: Dr. Woe and The Steel to Sakaki.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Oddly enough, this is only played straight for the villains: Dr. Woe, The Steel, and Mr. Cell are only ever referred to by their real names in-story; their aliases are only provided as chapter titles. It's completely averted for the heroes.
  • Death by Depower: Subverted in the final battle-the Big Bad takes Flamebane's power to kill him, but he survivors through sheer force of will long enough to finish him off.
  • Deconstruction: Of the Super Hero genre, ultimately. By the end, the main cast of superheroes realizes that if no superpowers were easily available, the Earth would be a much safer and more peaceful place. They then take steps to ensure no more humans are born with superpowers, even disregarding the danger of being attacked by aliens and not being able to defend themselves again.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Hikari/Light Bright quit being a hero and avoided all human contact after a villain killed her best friend just to make her suffer. Miyuki forces her way into Hikari's life, helping her thaw out. They eventually become lovers.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Invoked; when Sakaki announces his new leadership of the EDF, he brings Dr. Woe onstage and introduces him to the audience. Since he's obviously a villain, the EDF members who aren't aware of Sakaki's villainy are baffled. The heroes immediately figure out that Sakaki's sending them a message, since they realize that the half of the audience that wasn't surprised by this are on Sakaki's side.
  • Disability-Negating Superpower: Yuri Kitajishi is eventually revealed to be paraplegic as a result of the injuries she sustained during her tenure as a Magical Girl, but since even residual traces of her old power were enough to keep her legs operational, she had never realized that—until she uses up the remainder of her powers completely in the ending.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Sakaki. He justifies his actions with his claims that he's beginning Earth's evolution, though it's obvious he doesn't care one whit about the people that he's hurt.
  • Expy:
  • Extremity Extremist: Most of Hornetman's power is focused in his left arm, so he uses it almost exclusively to attack. Blue Train fights entirely with kicks.
  • Forced to Watch: Hikari/Lightbright quit superheroics after a villain murdered her best friend in front of her for no other reason than to make her watch him do it.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Very much averted. Most main superheroes are driven or at least motivated by the death of a close friend at the hands of the villains, and carry the burden of remembering them stoically. Hornetman seeks to avenge his (in and out of costume) best friend Blue Train, Flame Bane wants revenge for the murder of his Morality Pet Rei Nicole, Lightbright watched her best friend die because of her own incompetence and is definitely not letting Miyuki share her fate, Yuri takes Discharge's death very hard. And, perhaps, the ultimate example: even though it should not be possible, both Yuri and Miyuki (who doesn't even have the justification of superpowers!) remember Midori, the other Lily Cure, a little and resolve to live for her sake, as well.
    • Miyuki doesn't actually remember Midori, she knows she misses someone and knows who it is thanks to Yuri. But the entire rest of planet has been forced to forget that Midori ever existed, as a cost of overusing her powers. Miyuki is afraid the same thing will happen to Yuri.
  • Genki Girl: Mika is probably the most ridiculously well-adjusted superhero in the series. She has cheerfully Jumped at the Call when her powers awakened, and just as cheerfully goes back to a (semi-)civilian life after using up her powers to defeat her Arch-Nemesis, before enlisting in the EDF. She is the only modern superhero we never see in need of any therapy whatsoever.
  • Heroic BSoD: Hikari/Lightbright has one upon seeing The Steel, since he's the villain who murdered her best friend.
  • Hero Insurance: The EDF ponies up the dough for the collateral damage caused by the superheroes' fights.
  • Hero Killer: The Plot Armor that protects characters against Monster of the Week threats is instantly disabled the moment Sakaki and his gang enter the fray. Specifically, Sakaki kills Mr. Lostman, Dr. Woe kills Blue Train, and their forces kill several other heroes during the "Hero Hunt" over the course of the four month Time Skip in Chapter 17.
  • Hero of Another Story: Almost the basis for the series. A large number of heroes are introduced but they all have off-screen relationships, back stories, and battles and most of what's shown is just their interaction with the main characters and their story. Plays with Anyone Can Die a bit in that several of these heroes have tragic backstories or have lost friends and the world in general is shown to be very lethal. Also Sakaki is shown to have killed off a large number of other heroes before implementing his final plan. Thankfully he seems to have missed a few more than he thought.
  • Hot Scientist: Nina Goto/Night Diver.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Volume five, containing the Myth Arc conclusion, really ups the ante in yuri fanservice right into the NSFW territory.
  • Hurting Hero: Hikari, even after her friendship with Miyuki inspires her to return to hero duty, still suffers from PTSD that tends to lead her to place Miyuki's life before anything else.
  • Important Haircut: While it happens off screen, during the time-skip before the finale, Hikari chops off her Hime Cut in favor of a shorter style, symbolizing her resolve and training.
  • Incest Subtext: Subverted, the incestuous tones of Yuri and Miyuki's relationship are anything but subtle.
  • It Runs in the Family: Marina is Mr. Lostman's granddaughter.
  • Joke Character: In-Universe, Discharge is referred to as "The Weakest Hero" due to his electricity-based powers being painfully underwhelming.
  • Just in Time: Subverted for comedy: when the protagonists arrive at Night Diver's laboratory, they find the hero in a heated battle with a monster that's managed to steal one of her suits of Power Armor. After assisting in the monster's defeat, Mika comments that it's a good thing they arrived when they did. Night Diver then comments that they could have arrived whenever, since A) she had been fighting said monster for six straight hours and B) it had been the fifth monster attack she'd dealt with that week.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Sakaki's introduction pushes the series into a much darker tone.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Even post-retirement, Lily Cure serves as an inspiration for many heroes, including Mika and Marina. Yuri herself is a huge Fangirl of Humongous Mecha in general and Rock Rangers in particular.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Happens frequently, but especially notable in the chapter featuring Synth Silver and the Rock Rangers. All of the sources of Synth Silver's insecurities are traits very common to sixth rangers in general (joining the team after the others have already been working together for a significant amount of time, having a different costume style than the rest of the team, piloting a Giant Mecha that works separately from the other, etc...).
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Sakaki gets a very satisfying dose at the end in the form of Zen Fujiwara aka Flame Bane, who wouldn't have existed as a hero if not for Sakaki nor been involved in the final battle at all if Sakaki hadn't killed Rei. Even after all of Sakaki's plans including a failsafe in the power he gave Fujiwara he's almost won and then Flame Bane breaks through a freaking wall and slices off his arm, causing him to fall into the antenna and directly power the heros' victory.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Hikari and Miyuki for sure, Yuri and Marina are not really girly in action but are so in looks at least.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Miyuki serves as one for Yuri, whenever the latter's survivor/hero guilt complex acts up.
  • Mass Super-Empowering Event:
    • The war between two alien races that flooded the planet with Lambda energy, which has been randomly augmenting the life energy of all living beings on Earth. This empowerment is temporary, however, kicking in at different ages in different people and lasting them for a few years, at most.
    • This is Sakaki's ultimate goal: to bombard the Earth with Lambda energy to grant superpowers to anyone and anything that doesn't already have them, and increase the power of those who do. Unfortunately, this will also kill anyone who isn't compatible with Lambda energy.
  • Meaningful Name: Yuri's secret identity is named Lily Cure, "Lily" being the English translation of her given name (not to mention that she is about as straight as a rainbow). Similarly, the given name of Lightbright's civilian identity is Hikari, meaning "light" in Japanese. Marina Lednev's surname can be read as Russian for "icy", fitting her Ice Queen facade.
  • Modern Stasis: Lampshaded by Yuri when she wonders why they still use DVDs in the year 2075. Her sister explains that after the hostile aliens and empowered supervillains started showing up, pretty much all technological progress became devoted to the military.
  • Morality Pet: EDF agent Rei Nicole to Flame Bane. After she's killed by Sakaki, Flame Bane admits to himself that he never really cared about being seen as a hero, but that he worked at it because it made her happy.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Hard to choose any one girl as they all get a chance to show off their bodies, but Hikari, a.k.a. Light Bright, with her form fitting Vapor Wear outfit probably takes the most amount of Fanservice.
  • Older Than They Look: Sakaki, who hasn't aged at all in roughly sixty years (presumably due to his control over his own cells). Also Yuri, whose Lily Cure powers caused her to stop visibly aging when she was twelve.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Deconstructed; when Hikari first became Lightbright, she didn't wear an actual costume and just covered her face when fighting villains. As a result, The Steel figured out her identity and murdered her best friend just to break her spirit.
  • The Paragon: Mr. Lostman, the first superhero, is essentially this world's Superman. When his superpower (simple Super Strength in his case) awakened, he said bollocks to the temptation to abuse it for his own profit, and instead began fighting those who gave in to it, eventually inspiring dozens of others to follow his lead.
    • To put this into perspective: there were already plenty of superhumans around before Mr. Lostman got his powers. He was just the very first to decide not to use them for selfish purposes and became a hero instead.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Several, in fact. Notably, Cannonball is capable of destroying a small mountain with a single punch and Flame Bane destroyed an entire city of ruins in one blast.
  • Petite Pride: Not Yuri herself, but Miyuki is very fond of Yuri's A-cup, claiming it makes her even cuter. It turns out to be a foreshadowing for the reveal that Yuri is forever stuck at the physical age of 12, as a side effect of gaining Lily Cure's powers.
  • Playing with Fire: Flame Bane.
  • Powered Armor: Nina Goto, known as the hero Night Diver, uses a very Iron Man like powered suit. She is one of the few hero's whose abilities don't come from Lambda Energy, but from her own intelligence.
  • A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: Sakaki began his career as Mr. Lostman's sidekick, though it's left ambiguous if he became evil later on or was Evil All Along.
  • The Real Heroes: The Aesop of the first chapter is that the muggle employees of EDF do just as much, if not more good for the communities they defend as the masked superheroes.
  • Relationship Reveal: Chapter 16 reveals that, after much teasing, Miyuki and Hikari are romantically involved.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Averted with Blue Train, who actually needs a mask and a special suit to be able to breathe while moving at his inherent Super Speed.
  • Respected by the Respected: The world's current top superheroine, Puella Magi Mika, comes running when Yuri Kitajishi—ostensibly a muggle—gives her a call, and she even salutes her—because Yuri is actually Lily Cure, the retired top superheroine of all times and Mika's former mentor. Later on, the alien hero Mighty Blow's strength is hinted at when the freaking zoo lions bow to him out of their own volition.
  • Ret-Gone: Midori, Miyuki's best friend and one of the two superheroes that made up the original Lily Cure duo along with Yuri. She sacrificed herself to save Yuri (presumably in the same incident that took the latter's powers), giving up not just her life, but her entire existence retroactively (the price for using her Lily Cure powers). Yuri is the only person who still remembers her, because she still holds a small portion of her own Lily Cure powers.
  • Retired Badass: Half a year ago, Yuri was the mightiest superhero in history. Now she is a struggling high school student part-timing for the EDF, because she can't let go of the saving-people shtick. And she's got the grumpy Knight in Sour Armor part down to the T.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Mr. Lostman is killed by Sakaki, and Blue Train is killed by Dr. Woe.
  • Sensual Spandex: Lightbright's costume doesn't do much to hide her assets, if anything it only augments them.
  • Ship Tease: Quite and bit between Miyuki and Yuri- see Incest Subtext- but also a lot between Miyuki and Hikari as well as Yuri and Marina, which are the Official Couples at the series' end.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Discharge's story. He resolves to become a superhero for his unborn son, fosters his minuscule superpower, undergoes Character Development... and then he is tricked by the villains, who steal his power and turn him into a monster that has to be put down by other heroes, leaving his son to grow up without a father.
  • Sixth Ranger: In-Universe, Synth Silver is this to the Rock Rangers. Parodied, since all of the reasons he feels insecure with his team are traits common to almost all sixth rangers from Super Sentai, the Trope Namer.
  • Spider-Man Send-Up: Hornetman's costume is a clear reference to Spider-Man,note  and by Word of God his relationship with the speedster Blue Train was written as a Homage to Peter's friendship with Harry Osborn in Spider-Man 3. His actual powers are very different though, consisting of a "Hornet Sting" that lets him punch incredibly hard with his left arm. ''
  • Super Speed: Blue Train's superpower.
  • Taking the Bullet: Blue Train dies shielding his best friend Hornetman from Dr. Woe's bullets.
  • There Are No Therapists: Downplayed. The EDF makes an honest effort to give the superheroes and their own employees some kind of psychological support for confronting the horrors they fight every day, but because EDF is so short on hands, said effort basically boils down having two high school students (one of whom is a burnt-out superhero herself) talk with them whenever said girls are not busy with other duties.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Blue Train cannot bring himself to kill the villains, even if the situation demands it. Although Yuri advises him to grow that spine, she is happy when he eventually finds a middle way between being effective and being lethal.
  • Time Skip: Two separate ones take place in the final volume. Chapter 17 jumps ahead four months, during which Sakaki readies his plan to saturate the Earth with Lambda energy and the heroes plan their counterattack. Chapter 20 then jumps ahead two years for the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue.
  • Two Dun It: Kind of. Everyone assumes that Yuri was the Lily Cure, when, in fact, Lily Cure was a two-girl team (which probably explains how "she" was the strongest superhero ever) consisting Yuri and her best friend Midori, who sacrificed and retroactively erased herself from everyone's memories to save Yuri's life.
  • Vampire Hunter: It's mentioned that Presidentman specialized in fighting vampires, since his ability to harden his skin while increasing his density meant they couldn't bite him.
  • Verbal Tic: Miyuki keeps calling her sister "Yuri-Pie". It is eventually revealed to have actually been Midori's thing, which Miyuki appropriated as part of her efforts to protect Yuri for Midori's sake. In the final chapter, Yuri asks Miyuki to stop using it, as she has already made peace with Midori's death, and Miyuki agrees.
  • Victory Is Boring: Played for Laughs; after the final battle, the heroes who retained their powers continue to protect Earth but have a lot more free time since there are no new villains or monsters appearing. Rider Mask Stag laments how he doesn't have anyone to actually fight; Yuri points out that he's basically complaining about the Earth being at peace.
  • Villainous BSoD: As Sakaki falls into the pit of his Lambda energy antennae (which will help the heroes not only prevent but completely invert his Evil Plan), all he can do is stare blankly ahead as he seems to fully realize how badly he's failed.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Sakaki's ultimate goal is to empower all lifeforms on Earth with Lambda energy so Earth will never have to worry about being invaded by aliens again. However, he's a very nasty piece of work who has no problem murdering anyone who gets in his way, uses innocent people as test subjects, and whose plan will kill a massive amount of people. He also doesn't seem to realize that human weaponry is far more advanced then what it use to be at the first invasion.
  • Wham Shot:
    • The end of Chapter 7, when it's revealed that the mysterious man responsible for the both the recent string of monster attacks and Discharge's death is Kyosuke Sakaki, a highly-respected captain in the EDF.
    • A more heartwarming one comes near the end of Chapter 16, when Hikari takes Miyuki's hand and the two lean in to kiss one another before the art cuts to an exterior of their hotel, revealing that the two are officially romantically involved.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The final chapter shows what became of the surviving heroines and heroes after the Final Battle.
  • Yuri Genre: With a lot more action then you will see in most.


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