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Manga / Genzo

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Genzo, a.k.a. Genzou Hitogata Kiwa (Genzo: Tale of the Human-shaped Fiend), is a short manga consisting of five volumes and written by Yuzo Takada, author of 3×3 Eyes and Blue Seed.

The story begins in the Sengoku Jidai, when Toyotomi Hideyoshi is the ruler of the land. The beautiful but tomboyish princess Kiku of Kamigawa ask the help of the legendary "Puppet Master" Seibei Tsuchimura, in order stop the plans of her Evil Uncle who has poisoned her Cousin/future husband Tatsumaru. The old Seibei has left the Puppetmastery art long ago, but he offer her the help of his apprentice and son-in-law Genzo Tsuchimura, who is trying to make a perfect puppet of her deceased and beloved wife Saki. Soon the Odd Couple get involved in a series of weird events and secrets plots.

The series doesn't really follow a specific arc, but it's more like a series of short stories, usually in a Horror fashion with some dark humor, drama and mistery inside. One of the volumes contains a short story titled "Gotsuden" (Tale of the Gotsu Sword) which take place two hundred years later and its about O-shizu, a young girl working for a Kawaraban (sort of newspaper), a wandering swordmaster looking for a cursed blade and some mysterious gruesome murders.


Genzo provides examples of:

  • All Amazons Want Hercules: Played with. Kiku says she will only marry a man strong enough to beat her in a swordfight, but she has eyes only for Genzo.
  • Artificial Human: Genzo's puppets can easly pass as living humans and are often used as decoys for Daimyo.
  • Artificial Limbs: At the beginning of the last story, a limping old man asks Genzo to make an artificial leg for him. It doesn't end well..
  • Attack Its Weak Point: When Genzo is wrapped in Koshirou's flesh doll, he manage to stop it by finding and snapping its ninth "spine segment" in its back. Later Koshiro does a similar trick by ordering his crow to sever Genzo's puppet's threads.
  • Bad Ass Normal: Princess Kiku may lack tricks or otherwordly powers, but she's more than capable to slice through hordes of enemies Dual Wielding swords!
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy, Averted: Naked women will often appear, and not only their nipples but also their pubes are visible.
  • Berserk Button: Don't call Kiku flat-chested, or she'll rip you a new one!
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted. Some pretty ladies get awful-looking scars on their bodies. Kiku shows the signs of her battle with Yasuke at the end.
  • Bifauxnen: Prince(ss) Kiku can easily pass as an attractive man when she wears samurai clothes.
  • Bittersweet Ending:Kiku survives and both Yasuke and Yamiganemaru are no longer a threat, but Genzo, whi survived the fire, has left, but he may be back again.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Otsuru has a sickle blade instead of her right hand.
  • Blob Monster: Genzo's and Koshiro's puppets tend to turn into a large tentacled mass of flesh when hit, so that they can grab the opponent and hold him still. It was also used to kill Kiku's uncle.
  • Boobs of Steel: Maria Kurusu is renowned as a strong fighter, and she has the largest bust of the entire female cast.
  • Buried Alive: Kahei's wife. Her spirit claims his life for this.
  • But Not Too Foreign: The aforementioned Maria is half Portuguese.
  • Covert Pervert: Hideyoshi is hinted to be one, since he left Maria in charge of her clan because of her..... "female charms"...
  • Creepy Crows: Koshirou has a huge creepy raven on his shoulder. Apparently, it's also a puppet.
  • Evil Twin: In an Otsuru-centered miniarc, a man abandons one of his newborn twins in a field. The boy grows up as a stubborn farmer named Kosuke. He falls in love with Otsuru, asks her to be his wife and gives her a new wooden arm. Then his Jerkass noble brother pops out and kill him for the laughs. At least he got slain by Otsuru, too.
  • Evil Weapon:
    • The Jintsumaru Tenganken is said to have hypnotic powers. True or not, is still a darn creepy, sharp katana.
    • The Yamiganemaru contains the wrath of the former owners and always seeks blood and revenge.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Kiyone and before her Urakami Matazaemon managed to make friend with a Wholphin (a sort of Orca)
  • Full-Frontal Assault: When Otsuru was still the "Monster", she was dressed only with a dirty cloak on her back, and nothing else. Unless you count the Sarashi -like bandages in order to keep the blade still on her wrist.
  • Gag Penis: In the fifth volume, Kiku is ill, and asks to Genzo to build a puppet to use against her suitors. However, when its pants comes off it's revealed that he gave the puppet a... noticeable one.
  • Made of Iron: Kurojishi. He survived a point-blank explosion, was slashed twice, fell down a cliff, almost drowned twice and yet survived through all this shit.
  • Malevolent Masked Man: Kurojishi, Maria's right-hand man, sports a huge demonic black mask.
  • Moment Killer: Otsuru's presence always thwarts Kiku's chances of sharing a good time with Genzo.
  • Ninja: They once met a small gang of young ninja boys.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: A village leader once tried to entice Genzo with two beautiful, curvaceous ladies. His answer? Sending out a frog puppet who called them both "Ugly Hags!"
  • Profane Last Words: Kurojishi use his last words before exploding to smithereens to curse Genzo. Loudly.
  • Puppet Master: Genzo makes and controls living puppets.
  • Razor Floss: Averted. Genzo uses a lot of threads, but never as weapons. During his first battle with Yasuke uses them to bind him in order to get some time, and Koshiro used a similar trick to bind Kiku.
  • Genzo has somewhat of this when he gets serious, and he's as creepy as Hell.
  • Maria has one, too, but not so creepy.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: The first thing Yasuke does after Genzo made him a new leg? Try to chop Genzo to ribbons with his sword.
  • Unusual Ears: Hideyoshi has huge ears. Also, some other characters have slightly pointy ears, like Kyokai or Koshiro.
  • Ventriloquism: Genzo with his smaller puppets and Koshiro with his pet crow.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Kiku is always seen dressed as a Samurai. Also Kiyone disguised herself as Chiyomaru in order to hide her identity to Maria.

Alternative Title(s): Genzou Hitogata Kiwa


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