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Maru and Kiruko.
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In a walled-up nursery, children are taught their fundamentals by robots. During a pop quiz, one of these children, Tokio, finds a weird and unexpected question:

"Do you want to go outside of what's outside?"

Tokio tries to address this to the teaching robot, but the question disappears on paper as fast as it appeared. Later, Tokio brings this up with the nursery's director as well, who claims that the only thing beyond the walls is hell. Still, several of the children including Tokio wonder what goes on beyond the walls, all the while living mundane lives doing school work and learning how to control their supernatural abilities.

Meanwhile, the outside world has gone to hell in more ways than one. In Japan, not only has civilization devolved into ruined cities and desperate people, there are fearsome monsters roaming the ravaged lands: horrific creatures known as "Hiruko" and “Man-Eaters” who prey upon what remains of humanity while using supernatural abilities to hunt down even the sturdiest survivors. Despite this, a fifteen year old teenage boy named Maru (who looks a lot like Tokio) travels on a journey with his bodyguard, a young woman named Kiruko.

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However, neither of them are your average survivors. Maru can kill Man-Eaters using the “Maru Touch,” an ability that allows him to enter a spiritual-like realm inside the monster’s very being and kill them by crushing a heart-like core within, so long as he can physically touch the Man-Eater. Combined with his tough durability and martial arts that he honed during his time on the streets of post-apocalyptic Tokyo, he became a self-made survivor in his own right. Meanwhile, Kiruko is armed with her “Kiru-Beam,” a special (if somewhat unreliable) ray gun that can kill most things in one shot and is also capable of inflicting heavy damage on the Man-Eaters themselves. Having spent many years wandering the harsh environment to survive, all the while using the teachings her Big Brother Mentor Inazaki Robin passed onto her in the past, she has survived many grim scenarios in order to find her place in the world.

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Maru is on the hunt for two things: someone who looks just like himself and a place his previous guardian called “Heaven.” On the flip side, Kiruko tags along to protect him as part of her job, but is also searching for several people she knew - including Robin - hoping to discover what happened to them after they disappeared five years ago under mysterious circumstances. However, the tasks before them on their journey are easier said than completed, not to mention there are other dangers on the road besides the Man-Eaters...

Heavenly Delusion (天国大魔境 / Tengoku-Daimakyou) is an ongoing 2018 sci-fi post-apocalyptic Seinen manga written and illustrated by Masakazu Ishiguro (best known for And Yet the Town Moves) and published by DENPA. There is an anime PV made to celebrate the first volume's publication.

There are two Plot Threads that the story follows, both of which are nicknamed here on TV Tropes for ease of understanding the story. The first one, “Post-Disaster,” features Maru’s and Kuriko’s adventures in a post-apocalyptic setting that ended up this way as the result of an unknown calamity, which had occurred fifteen years in the past from that point. The second one, “Nursery,” features several children in a special nursery surrounded by walls who have special abilities. However, learning more about one plot will spoil details in the other due to several plot twists taking place over the course of the story, so tread lightly. You Have Been Warned.


Tropes in this series:

  • Action Girl: Zig-zagged. Kiruko is resourceful and has survived many years on the road even before she met Maru. However, she’s up against horrifying monsters with supernatural abilities and groups of bandits who coordinate with each other, making it difficult for Maru and herself to survive even when she’s armed with the “Kiru-Beam.” Still, while her strength and durability isn’t up to par with Maru, she is a skilled sharpshooter and uses the environment to her advantage whenever possible. She has even won some fights due to outsmarting her opponent instead of relying on her firearm e.g. the giant fish Man-Eater).
    However, she also has to face real life issues in the wilderness and abandoned cities, ones that even an Action Girl would have problems with. For instance, suffering her period in the midst of hostile territory; having to make sure Maru is alright; and keeping a careful watch on their supplies out on the road since they have to eat as well as rest, meaning they could die of mundane reasons like starvation. Finally, no matter how tough an Action Girl she is, being betrayed as well as raped by someone she trusted (Robin) was a harrowing experience. The story makes it clear that even brave women who fight literal monsters on a regular basis can be traumatized. Fortunately, she has Maru to help her when things get too rough for her alone, and overcoming these grim experiences has made her a stronger person along the way.
  • Adult Fear: There are several instances in the manga that plays on the fears of what could happen when civilization collapses, not to mention ones that already happen in real life becoming more common place when competent authorities aren’t around to prevent them.
    • Child prostitution was featured at one point in the Post-Disaster storyline with a thirteen year old girl named Totori, who made a move on Maru in the hopes of getting easy money.
    • Hoshino the bandaged patient who is an older Mimihime from the Nursery plot is a reference to terminally ill people who are reliant on heavy amounts of machinery in order to live, made worse by a post-apocalyptic world where it would be more difficult to find power necessary to keep the machines working. Then comes the point where the patient starts to give into their illness or becomes brain dead, forcing the patient’s loved ones to make the choice on whether or not to pull the plug…
    • Kiruko was threatened by bandits early on, seeing her as the only chance in a long time they would get to rape a beautiful woman with no authorities around to stop them. Unfortunately, she ends up being raped later by Robin, who had taken care of her sister and herself when she was still a boy named Haruki five years before that point. The entire scene was illustrated with brutally realistic details to showcase how horrifying rape is, but especially when done by someone you had trusted with your life beforehand.
  • After the End: The Post-Disaster plot follows this theme in particular, showing how people in Japan are getting by with living fifteen years after an unknown disaster occurred. The Nursery plot is revealed to have taken place about fifteen years before the Post-Disaster plot begins, plus it may have a direct connection to the disaster itself.
  • All Periods Are PMS: Before entering the basement of the “Immortalite” group’s stronghold Maru noticed Kiruko was acting sluggish and unfocused, but she dismissed his concerns for her. This led to a number of problems, like a psychic Man-Eater’s hallucination attack driving her mad with ease until Maru calmed her down. As time went on, Kiruko’s condition worsened until she collapsed, forcing Maru to find a safe place for her sake. What made things worse was this took place during a violent confrontation between the Immortalites and the Liviuman groups, but to the duo’s fortune a former member of the Liviuman group found and sheltered them both until Kiruko recovered from her period. It’s also revealed this was the first period that Kiruko went through, which is why she didn’t recognize any of the symptoms. Why it took five years for this to happen after the brain switch medical procedure is currently left unknown.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Tokio has an androgynous appearance unique amongst most of the children within the nursery. She’s later confirmed to be female, which was revealed when she had sexual intercourse with a boy named Kona in secrecy.
  • An Aesop: Choosing to believe and trust in someone - or an idea - can give people the strength to persevere through the harshest of times. However, blind trust as well as ignoring any potential negative attributes to avoid self-doubting can lead to disaster, as many characters find out the hard way in Heavenly Delusion.
  • Animal Motif: Maru shares similarities to the Japanese Macaque Monkey, a group of which makes an appearance with the story. Besides having white colored hair, he has a curious personality and is highly acrobatic.
  • Apocalypse How: The event that led to the founding of the Post-Disaster plot line is believed to be either “Continental” or “Planetary” in scope, complete with a Societal Disruption level of severity. Humans are intact, but they must deal with creatures of unfathomable levels of creepy, plus some humans have resorted to desperate measures in order to survive.
  • Arc Symbol: A bird emblem that Maru discovered on the handle of Kiruko's “Kiru-Beam” ray gun serves as a clue for them both to find “Heaven,” the destination Maru is looking for. It turns out later the children of the Nursery plot line had a pin on their outfits that has the exact same icon, making it clear the bird emblem has a direct connection to the nursery.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: One major question that many people in the fan base had when the story of Haruki Takehaya and his sister Kiriko was released had to do with the nature of their “surgery,” which led to Haruki’s brain being placed into his sister’s body via Brain Transplant. While it did “save” Haruki’s life in a matter of speaking, it led to people wondering how effective a procedure that seemingly wipes out the mind/memories of the original body would be in terms of “saving lives.” Thus the fan base came up an idea: what would happen if a Brain Transplant in that universe was instead done to let someone live a theoretical immortal life, having their brain swapped to new bodies when one was getting too old.
    As it turns out, that is indeed the plan of the Director from the Nursery plot line. She wanted to transplant her brain into Tokio’s child and gain access to their supernatural abilities, but since the child was too young it wouldn’t work before the Director died of old age. She instead decided to have it transplanted into one of her aides named Aoshima and wait until the child was old enough for another procedure, but the doctor who would’ve been responsible for the surgery decided he had enough of a crazy old woman telling him what to do and plotted behind her back..
  • Asshole Victim: There’s no shortage of them in this story, but even then some cases make you wonder if the victim deserved their fate.
    • In Chapter Thirteen, Maru was harassed by a vigilante gang that drew his full wrath when their leader, Iwata, knocked out one of Maru’s teeth. Afterwards, Iwata swore vengeance and planned on ambushing Maru along with Kiruko, but a wild bear ambushed Iwata and mauled him to near death; he ended up being saved by the duo. Later on Maru found out that Iwata had been watching over Totori, the young innkeeper of the inn they were staying at that night, which made Maru realize Iwata wasn’t a bad person at heart. Maru had been part of a gang in the past and believed they could’ve been good friends if he had grown up in that town, thus he became depressed upon learning that Iwata died later that evening.
    • During the “Inazaki Robin” arc of the Post-Disater plot line, there is also the Chief of the Water Filtration Center, Inazaki Robin himself. When Maru found out Robin had raped Kiruko, Maru took it upon himself to punish Robin. However, Maru toyed with Robin by throwing him at a wall numerous times, mirroring the humiliation that he had subjected Kiruko to, which ended with Maru deciding to murder Robin after he was knocked out cold. While he was an evil and remorseless rapist, Maru’s actions against Robin steered unnervingly close to turning Maru into a cold-blooded murderer seeking vengeance, but was stopped by Kiruko before he threw the final punch. However, he still hasn’t recovered from this yet, having planned in secrecy to murder Robin if Maru ever sees him again.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Maru once disguised himself with a women’s wig in order to infiltrate a cult of misandrist women alongside Kiruko. It was convincing enough that even she got turned on a bit by looking at him.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Maru is a kind and empathetic person, but he’s more than willing to give a brutal beat down if the situation calls for it; a vigilante group inside a city that Kiruko and himself visited learned this the hard way after one of them sucker punched him and made him lose one of his teeth. Also, he does not like it when anyone harms Kiruko. When Robin raped Kiruko and taunted Maru about this, he showed how vicious he can become when pushed too far.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Kiruko and Kiriko from the Post-Disaster plot has these, as do some of the children in the Nursery plot.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Maru has a crush on the bodyguard his former guardian, Mikura, hired for his journey named Kiruko. While she doesn’t reciprocate his feelings, they end up becoming good friends after having survived many dangerous encounters throughout their travels. That may change after the “Inazaki Robin” arc ended, however, as Kiruko learned the man she admired the most - her former Big Brother Mentor Robin - was nothing more than a twisted sadist who had no problems raping and gaslighting her, whereas Maru put himself in danger in order to save her.
  • Body Horror: A prevalent theme throughout the manga. When the Hiruko monsters have you in their grasp, you will NOT have a clean death.
  • Break Them by Talking: Kiruko does this often to avoid having to kill people in self defense. For instance, she once talked down a group of bandits who intended on robbing both Maru and herself as well as raping her by threatening them at gun point. Despite their threats, she made it clear she was in charge as well as continued to make fun of them. Once they charged the battery for her “Kiru-Beam”, they found out she was bluffing the entire time - her ray gun was out of shots, yet they had unwittingly recharged it. In the end, the bandits gave up and let Maru and Kiruko go out of frustration rather than put up with any more of her berating.
  • Broken Tears: In Chapter Twenty One, Dr. Usami, aka Shiro, does this after he read the final words on Mimihime’s tablet, proclaiming her love for him and never holding anything against him for the actions he took to keep her alive - knowing full well she would’ve become a Man-Eater had Shiro not acted.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Several exist in both plots.
    • Kona’s paintings from the Nursery plot are strongly implied to be this.
      • One of the paintings has two babies inside of an egg covered in wings. Tokio gave birth to a child who was mysteriously duplicated, and due to Maru’s similar appearance to Tokio - plus the fact they both have supernatural abilities - it’s possible that Tokio is Maru’s mother.
      • Another painting features four human-like silhouettes that have their heads converging into one. This is a possible reference to Kiruko’s situation.
      • A third painting featured an angry sun with markings on its face. During the Nursery plot, the nursery itself suffered a major disaster that opened up an entrance to “outside of the outside,” some of the children went out to investigate. Upon doing so, they discovered that the air outside was warm and hard to breathe in. However, the people living during the Post-Disaster timeline deal with the cold on a regular basis, indicating whatever caused the unusual temperature spikes in the past has ended.
      • The fourth painting had several humanoid-like figures with wings flying together. A bird-like Man-Eater was the first one featured in the Post-Disaster plot line, one that Maru and Kiruko had to kill in order to defend themselves.
      • The fifth painting featured a strange fish-like creature that had multiple long humanoid arms stretching from its body. This particular painting was held by a girl named Kuku who had the ability to stick to walls with her hands and feet at will, making her an adept climber. Maru and Kiruko fought a Man-Eater that looked exactly like the creature in the painting, which had the ability to climb on objects using “hands” formed from telekinetic abilities involving water. It’s notable that later the children are directly referred to as “Hiruko” by the robotic staff of the nursery; “Hiroku” was the other name that some people called the Man-Eaters. Dr. Usami (a grown up Shiro) revealed the Man-Eaters were once human, but died because of a certain disease that eventually warps their bodies into Man-Eaters, which sadly implied that the fish Man-Eater may have been Kuku the entire time.
  • Cerebus Call-Back: Kiruko once made a deal with Maru that if he accomplished a dangerous task he would get to grope her breasts (which he set forth to accomplish immediately upon hearing this). But when it came time for him to collect, she panicked and tried to dissuade him with multiple reasons, including trying to convince him that because she had Haruki Takehaya’s brain, she considered herself a guy, therefore Maru would be feeling up a man instead of a woman. This didn’t work because Haruki’s brain was inside Kiriko Takehaya’s body (Haruki’s sister), a beautiful and well-endowed woman, although she managed to escape because she screamed out loud by accident and caught the innkeeper’s attention of the hotel they were in, who promptly dragged Maru out of the room.
    Later, Kiruko ends up a similar situation, but this time around it’s not played for comedy. After Robin handcuffed Kiruko in an abandoned room when they were alone, he began to rape her while she was screaming and resisting. She attempted to appeal to Robin by telling him that she was “Haruki” like she had done with Maru in the past, but Robin didn’t believe this either. He rebuffed this by telling her that he was going to rape “Kiriko” and that “Haruki” needed to save her. This confused Kiruko because she had believed she was Haruki Takehaya the entire time due to having his memories… until she started to hallucinate and saw “Haruki” in the reflection of a mirror trying to reach her in desperation. This made her realize Robin had a point that Kiruko’s mind may have been “Kiriko” all along, which led to her gaining the ability to see memories from Kiriko’s point of view later on; this made Kiruko realize she didn’t know who she was.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Maru. If he’s not finding a way to make a romantic move on Kiruko, he’s often replacing this with fantasies about her. However, despite announcing his love towards her several times and sometimes being a bit aggressive about it, he still treats her with respect as a true friend and she reciprocates this throughout their journey. If given the opportunity though he’d prefer to be more than friends with her.
  • Cool Big Sis: Kiruko is the Tomboy variant. She behaves this way towards Maru, who looks up to her and nicknamed her “Sis.”
  • Crapsack World: The Post-Disaster plot is this in a nutshell. The Nursery plot isn’t any better, considering the children noticed the air outside the nursery was unusually warm and hard to breathe in - indicating several climate changes had taken place. It’s also stated by some of the staff working in the nursery that place has “crossed several taboos,” indicating there were horrible experiments being performed in secrecy.
  • Dented Iron: Kiruko’s body is in this condition due to having spent many years on the road in post-apocalyptic Japan.
  • Detect Evil: Maru gains the ability to detect where Man-Eaters in close proximity are later in the story. As it turns out, he can also detect humans who have supernatural abilities similar to the Man-Eaters, just like the “Hiruko” children of the Nursery plot line. This was how he knew Juuichi’s child was casting the cold spell that almost froze Kiruko to death while she was carrying him, hinting that the woman who gave birth to Juuichi’s child was one of the girls from the nursery in the past.
  • Dirty Coward: In Chapter Eight, Robin taught Haruki how to fight, including teachings such as watching your opponent’s body movements by looking at their collar; cowards will try to intimidate their opponent by staring at their face; and the losers in fights are those who only focus on their opponents. These lessons stuck with Haruki throughout his life time when he fought many opponents using these exact tactics, which Kiruko (who has Haruki’s brain and memories) continued following to protect Maru. Ironically, Robin does everything he preached against in a fight to Maru in Chapter Thirty Three, which happened after Maru discovered that Robin had raped Kiruko. During the entire fight Maru didn’t focus on Robin, nor react to anything he said, choosing instead to stare at the wall and thwart every attempt Robin made to run away by grabbing his jacket and throwing him at the wall, showing that Maru didn’t even need to see his opponent in order to defeat them.
  • Disaster Scavengers: In order to survive, Maru and Kuriko have to loot abandoned cities in order to obtain either useful tools or goods for bartering with other survivors. In Maru’s case, he started scavenging as early as age seven out of necessity.
  • Dub Name Change: Rather than a character, the gun that Kiruko uses has two different names depending on the translation. In Japanese, it’s called the “Murder Beam,” whereas in the English translation it’s known as the “Kiru-Beam” to follow suit with the “Maru Touch.”
  • Eaten Alive: This happens on occasion when a Man-Eater devours a human being, but what makes it worse is that the process is slow and painful for the victim. Haruki suffered this gruesome fate, who had his limbs and lower portion of his stomach area “swallowed” by the Man-Eater.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Man-Eaters are this, most of them appearing as the animalistic variant, but there are some exceptions like the giant armored Man-Eater who could turn invisible and the tarantula armed with freezing abilities.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Robin, who raped Kuriko for almost two days straight until Maru showed up and bashed Robin’s face in. It’s made more dramatic by the fact she had spent over five years looking for Robin, only to be betrayed by him in one of the worst ways possible.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Maru and Kiruko become this after over a month had passed when they first met, though Maru does try throughout the Post-Disaster plot to upgrade this due to his infatuation with Kiruko who he considers a woman, despite knowing she considers herself a man due to having Haruki Takehaya’s brain in her head. She stays friends with Maru out of “professional duty” as his bodyguard for the journey, though she does tease him from time to time and isn’t above using sex appeal to get him to do things for her. However, after Robin raped Kiruko, Maru rescued her from Robin, and Kiruko came to terms with the possibility she might instead be “Kiriko” who is accessing “Haruki’s” memories, this might upgrade in the future considering they are closer than they were before.
  • Foreshadowing: There are several details throughout the story that end up having a huge significance to both of the plot lines:
    • In Chapter Three, the Nursery storyline shows that Kona is a masterful artist... but his artwork bears an uncanny resemblance to the Hiruko monsters. Later on, a grown up Shiro who goes by the name Dr. Usami revealed to Maru and Kiruko that the Hiruko monsters were once human, but they died from an illness that eventually warped the corpses into the monsters we see today. Considering the children in the nursery had special abilities and many of these monsters use similar abilities to the children, it’s likely many of them became the Hiruko monsters we see in the Post-Disaster storyline.
    • Kiruko from the Post-Disaster plot line had several odd instances that appeared in the first couple of chapters. Besides forgetting if she was eighteen or twenty years and claiming the mixup was due to being bad at math, there was a scene where she was examining her own body and attempted to kiss her own reflection in a mirror, but bailed when an innkeeper entered the room. Also, Maru later discovered a large stitch wound on her head when he helped dry her hair, which she stated came from a surgery in the past. Then during Chapter Seven a man from the “Tomato Heaven” vineyard thought Kiruko was a famous kart-racer named Kiriko Takehaya, who went missing years ago, but she denied the resemblances.
      It’s later revealed in Chapter Nine that “Kiruko” is an alias for Haruki Takehaya, the younger brother of the aforementioned Kiriko Takehaya, whose body Haruki’s brain is inhabiting due to a medical procedure done by a doctor - one that he knew five years ago. When he tried to kill a Man-Eater who could turn invisible before it attacked his sister during one of her kart races, his experimental crossbow weapon failed to bring it down, thus most of his body was eaten before his sister managed to pull his body out. In the end, Haruki passed out with his sister crying over him, making him believe he was dying.
      However, when Haruki awakened, he saw his sister’s body in a mirror reflection, and panicked while screaming he was Haruki instead - much to the confusion of the people in the room who tried to correct him by saying Haruki had passed away. When he asked what happened, the people stated that a doctor wasn’t able to save “Haruki,” but the doctor did save “Kiriko” before he left town, indicating that Kiriko had also been on the verge of dying at some point after Haruki passed out. Later, Haruki took up the name “Kiruko” and set out on a journey to discover the truth, deciding to look for the doctor as well as Robin - a missing man who once watched over the orphanage that Haruki and Kiriko resided in. The reason why Kiruko forgets her age is because she has a tendency to think of her own age as “Haruki” instead of as “Kiriko,” who was about two years older than him. It’s also revealed that Haruki had a secret one-sided crush on his sister, which is why Kiruko was admiring her body in a lustful manner
      .
    • In Chapter Thirty Three, the Chief of the Water Filtration Center Robin panicked when he saw Maru for the first time and ran away, hinting that the Chief knew Maru was a dangerous threat despite appearing to be a mere teenage boy. This was even before the Chief found out all the guards had been knocked out by Maru. Five years ago Robin had disappeared for several months before the orphanage closed down, making it possible he came into contact with some the people of the nursery where children with supernatural abilities had been - thus he may have known who Maru was. There’s also the matter of Robin choosing to lock up the room with the woman surgically attached to the Man-Eater instead of running outside, but information on this remains scarce.
  • Giver of Lame Names: Kiruko. She named Maru’s ability the “Maru Touch” and her own gun the “Kiru-Beam,” both of which Maru hates. Though it turns out his naming sense isn’t any better, such as when he named his own ability “Fatal Dive” for a day until even Kiruko called him out on how cheesy it was.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: In the Nursery plot, Shiro watched Mimihime talking with Tokio and had a menacing look on his face as he watched the two together; it later became apparent he had a fixation on Mimihime. Later on this was subverted when it turned out he had terrible social skills and was benevolent towards the other kids, albeit he didn’t talk much to others. Mimihime herself was a kind girl who recognized that Shiro wasn’t a bad person, despite him once trying to explain his feelings towards her in a way that made him look like a deranged stalker.
    • Also in the Nursery plot, there was Sawatori, a scientist who was passed up as the next Director in line to a woman named Aoshima. He attempted to confront her on this, but reneged when he noticed the facility AI Meena was talking with her, instead doing his best to swallow his rage. That is, until he learned in horror the real reason why she was chosen by the current Director: Aoshima was the chosen body vessel that the Director wanted to remove the former’s brain out of in order to insert her own brain into due to her own body failing, thus giving her a form of immortality so she could live long enough to eventually possess the body of Tokio’s child.
  • Hate Sink: The Chief of the Water Filtration Plant, Robin, becomes one after he raped Kuriko; mockingly asking Maru if he had used her to satisfy himself too when they faced off; and the authorities of the town later discovered Robin had been performing experiments on an innocent woman by connecting her to a Man-Eater - with said woman missing some limbs and possibly been raped by him too.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Totori, a thirteen year old girl who also runs an inn within a town run by a vigilante group. While it’s hinted that she knew about the trap involving the “pure water” gathering site, she helps out Maru and Kiruko later on when Totori discovered they had saved her boss from a wild bear. Later, when the boss died from his injuries, Maru and Kiruko offered Totori the chance to join them as their way of thanking her for lying to the vigilante group about their whereabouts, but she politely refused and wished them good luck. Also, Maru discovered she has the same kind of heart-like core that the Man-Eaters have when she put his hand on her chest, making him realize for the first time he can use his “Maru Touch” ability on some humans, hinting she may have a connection to the people of the nursery.
  • Hopeless with Tech: Maru, who is a Type Two variant. Justified, as he lived most of his life scavenging while he drifted between different groups of people before meeting Kiruko, thus he didn’t have the same exposure to advanced tech as she did.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: Several of the kids from the Nursery plot line make romantic moves on each other over time, some of them even leading to actual couples like Shiro and Mimihime. Maru also wants to upgrade his friendship with Kiruko into a romantic one, but fails due to her being too preoccupied with keeping Maru and herself alive as well as trying to find Robin and the Doctor. However, after being saved by Maru when Robin raped her later on, she has become closer to Maru as a result.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: When Maru and Kuriko were trapped on a concrete pillar because of a wild bear trying to eat them, Kuriko dropped the battery that powered her “Kiru-Beam” ray gun by accident. She then told Maru if he went down to fetch it that she would let him feel up her breasts. Despite the danger involved, he jumped down without hesitation and got the battery, which led to the bear’s death a short while after.
    However, when Maru came to collect in Kuriko’s hotel room, she tried to convince him not to go through with it, saying that if he groped her boobs, it was a man’s body he would be feeling up instead due to Haruki Takehaya’s brain being transplanted into Kuriko’s body years ago (despite the fact it’s still well-endowed female body that Haruki’s brain was put into). Maru realized she was trying to avoid fulfilling her promise and started unzipping her jacket, but Kuriko let out a terrified scream by accident that caught both of them off guard because of how girly it sounded. This caught the attention of the innkeeper named Totori, who dragged him out because she didn’t want Kuriko and him to dirty up the room (much to her relief). Then it turned out the real reason Totori did this was because she wanted to seduce Maru instead, much to his dismay since she was a thirteen year old girl.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: As it turns out, this is Kiruko’s Fatal Flaw. Kiruko enjoys being praised by others for being useful, but the story revealed later this had a tragic background. Haruki Takehaya - whose memories Kiruko has - wanted approval from his Big Brother Mentor Inazaki Robin and affection from his sister Kiriko (who Haruki had a secret one-sided crush on). As a result, he tried to kill a Man-Eater by himself, which ended with most of his body being eaten by the monster; put Kiriko into a dying state as well for unknown reasons; and forced a doctor both siblings knew to perform the surgery that resulted in Kiruko’s current state (Haruki’s brain in Kiriko’s body). After recovering from the surgery and finding out the orphanage had shut down, plus Robin had gone missing, Kiruko planned on committing suicide, only deciding otherwise because she realized that Robin might still be alive. She searched for Robin, hoping to find out his fate, and after five years she finally reunited with him...
    …which is why Robin’s decision to rape as well as gaslight Kiruko took a brutal toll on her mental well-being. After having learned his true nature while she was being raped, it got worse when he raised a considerable point about her identity that she couldn’t disprove, making her realize that she didn’t know who she really was anymore; she broke down into a catatonic state and only wanted to “follow orders” as a result. The only thing keeping her from crossing the Despair Event Horizon was knowing that Maru loved and cared about her, which meant there was someone in the world who would cherish her. Fortunately, Maru managed to find and rescue her after he gave Robin his comeuppance.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: In Chapter Thirty Two, while Robin was raping Kiruko he decided to gaslight her in order to make her more submissive by questioning who she really was: “Haruki” or “Kiriko.” Terrified, she kept insisting she was “Haruki” because she had his memories. However, Robin pointed out that even if it’s Haruki’s brain in Kiriko’s body it doesn’t mean that Kiruko is “Haruki” for sure. It was possible that her mind was actually “Kiriko” who was able to access Haruki’s memories instead. This was the final straw that broke Kiruko because she had no way to rebuff Robin’s theory, so when she started to see memories of “Kiriko” later on for the first time Kiruko realized she didn’t know who she was anymore.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Maru. He’s able to take punches from adults like they smacked him with a pillow, dish out serious hurt of his own, and can run fast compared to a normal human being. Due to his “Maru Touch” having obvious supernatural origins, it’s possible his enhanced physicality isn’t because of training alone. Given that he bears a heavy resemblance to Tokio from the “Nursery” storyline and she had supernatural powers of her own, Maru’s impressive physicality may have come from her.
  • Little Useless Gun: The "Kiru-Beam". On the one hand, it only has four shots before the battery dies; takes thirty seconds to charge up before it can be used; and misfires often, much to Maru and Kiruko’s chagrin since the gun won’t regain a misfired shot. On the other hand, when it works, it can be seen as the laser gun equivalent of the Noisy Cricket.
  • Loss of Identity: This happened to Kiruko after Robin raped her. During Chapter Thirty Three, Kiruko had a vision where she saw Haruki sleeping while Kiriko was talking to him, which made Kiruko realize that she was able to see Kiriko’s memories now. This gave Kiruko hope that “Kiriko” wasn’t dead... because Kiruko wouldn’t have to suffer a traumatized existence anymore if “Kiriko” took over her own body again.
    Furthermore, in chapter thirty four she told Maru that the part that made her up, “Haruki,” was gone forever as well as stating she was weak; needed to be constantly saved by Maru despite being his bodyguard; and that everything she believed had been lies. As a result, Kiruko no longer knew who she was. However, Maru responded by telling her that he didn’t care about “Haruki” or “Kiriko,” he loved Kiruko - the woman he had traveled with since the beginning of their journey - that she was smart, strong, and not everything she believed in was complete lies. Finally, he promised he would continue to help her and dedicated himself to protecting her from now on. This helped Kiruko regain some much needed self confidence, who ripped up the picture she had of Haruki and Robin and cast that part of her life away.
  • Martial Pacifist: When against human opponents, Maru and Kiruko refuse to murder and will even avoid killing in justifiable self defense, instead using their wits and Good Old Fisticuffs to survive. That is, unless you push Maru’s Berserk Button, in which case he’ll turn you into a bloody smear.
  • Meaningful Name: Man-Eaters are sometimes called “Hiruko” by other people like Maru and his original guardian, Mikura. Hiruko was the name given to the children of the Nursery plot, so whenever a character in the Post-Disaster plot calls the Man-Eaters “Hiruko” instead it’s a good sign that person had some kind of involvement with the nursery.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: An inverted example is the basis for a theory Robin has that Kiruko’s mind may not be that of Haruki Takehaya, whose brain was transplanted into his sister’s body - Kiriko Takehaya - several years before the Post-Disaster plot begins. Kiruko once believed she was “Haruki” because she only had his memories, but after seeing a memory from a viewpoint that belonged to “Kiriko” later on, Kiruko realized that Robin had a point.
  • Monster Is a Mommy: Inverted with an innkeeper who stopped Maru and Kiruko from killing a flying Man-Eater. She claimed the bird-like creature had her son’s memories after it ate him, which she backed up by stating the Man-Eater attacked a group of bandits who threatened her life and chose to spare her, making her believe it will protect her because it has her son’s being influencing it… until the flying Man-Eater sliced her into pieces afterwards and began eating her remains.
  • Morality Chain: While Kiruko has no problems with Maru killing the vicious Man-Eaters as well as giving bandits a brutal beatdown, she does her best to talk him down from killing humans, even if it’s in self-defense.
  • Mundane Fantastic: The children in the Nursery plot line have various supernatural powers, which is sometimes accompanied by enhanced athleticism like being able to climb walls with ease. At the same time, none of this seems out of the ordinary to them as well as the adults living/working in the nursery.
  • No-Sell: The “Maru Touch” doesn’t work on normal wild life and humans until Maru learned the latter wasn’t true when he was able to reach a core upon touching Totori, a young innkeeper. Under normal circumstances Maru’s impressive physicality can still get him through most battles, but even for him a hungry bear is out of his league.
  • The Power of Trust: This is one of the major themes of Heavenly Delusion and the “Inazaki Robin” arc within the Post-Disaster storyline featured this prominently. At the end of the arc, Kiruko learned the Awful Truth that people are complicated beings and can change over time if they weren’t hiding their true nature from the beginning; Robin ended up being a twisted sadist who had no problems raping her after using gaslighting tactics to try and make her more submissive, which worked for a while. However, that doesn’t mean people cannot be trusted. Maru always respected her, avoided doing things that made her uncomfortable and apologized if he felt he went too far, ran through hell and back to save her from Robin, and cherished her since Maru was in love with her. But at the same time one must keep vigilant around others, even if it’s someone you knew and especially if you haven’t seen them in a long time, which isn’t helped by the nature of their world having corrupted many individuals.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Maru is the emotional, fiery and somewhat impulsive red variant, whereas Kiruko has the blue’s analytical, cool-headed and wiser stance on life.
  • Refusal of the Call: Zig-zagged. While Maru seemed at first to take the journey to “Heaven” in stride, the reality was he didn’t have anything else to do - having lived a life of constant partings from different groups and being taken under the wing of an adult who saw potential in him (like Mikura). This reached a point where he outright told Kiruko that he thought they should abandon the journey; this way he could instead team up with her as a fellow handyman since he fell in love with her (much to her shock, though she was flattered by it regardless). Kiruko, on the flip side, was hoping to find Robin or the doctor she knew from her childhood during their journey, all so she could find out what happened to them. Since Maru realized she still wanted to travel, he decided to continue the journey, all the while making constant romantic moves on her with comedic results oftentimes.
  • Super Toughness: Maru. However, he has his limits, such as the Man-Eaters or a wild bear.
  • Tragic Keepsake: The “Kiru-Beam” ray gun’s first owner was a woman named Mikura, who took care of Maru before she passed away a short while after meeting Kiruko. Mikura gave it to Kiruko, telling her to take it in order to protect Maru’s life on their journey.
  • Trauma Button:
    • In Chapter Fourteen, Kiruko panicked when Maru wasn’t in the room they were staying in until he revealed he was hiding in another room looking at a porn magazine. But when he tried to assure her that he was ok, she started crying, much to his dismay. He remembered that she grew up in an orphanage, which shut down at one point because when Kiriko “died” the money she brought in from winning electric cart races stopped, therefore the orphanage couldn’t support itself and she sometimes begged out loud for Robin to save her when she’s in extreme danger. Maru realized at that point she has a fear of being abandoned by people she cares about, thus he decided to stay at a location that Kiruko wanted him to from then on. Which unfortunately meant that he waited two days before he went to check on her at the Water Filtration Center, finding out upon seeing her that she had been raped the entire time by Robin.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Both plots have one of these.
    • In the “Nursery” plot, the Director is this. Many people see her as a wise old woman who oversees the entire operation of the nursery and cares about the children, but it’s all an act.
    • In the “Post-Disaster” plot, Inazaki Robin is this. He’s the Chief of an important water filtration center in a town run by the Ministry of Reconstruction, using his charisma and smarts to woo everyone - especially women. However, he uses this prestige to lure innocent women into the facility where he can rape and experiment on them.
  • Walking the Earth: Many people in the Post-Disaster storyline do this, but have no choice given the circumstances; Maru and Kiruko are merely two people in a long list of wandering survivors.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Kiruko. While she’s no slouch in the athletics department, she’s up against horrific monsters and gangs of human bandits who wouldn’t think twice about violating her. Therefore she’s had to rely on her survival skills, sharp intuition, and her trusty “Kiru-Beam” in order to keep Maru and herself alive.
  • Wham Line: Chapter Seven has Kiruko telling Maru when he tried to romantically woo her that her body is female... but her brain is a male's. She has Haruki Takehaya’s brain and memories, who was male, therefore she considers herself a man. In the end run though, Maru didn’t see it this way and continued to make romantic passes at her, which hinted towards another major development in the future.
    • Wham Chapter: Chapter Thirty Two has Robin revealing his true nature for the first time. After making sure Kiruko let her guard down around him, he tricked her into going into an empty room by herself and proceeded to rape her. When she attempted to convince him that she was “Haruki” to get Robin to stop, he refused to believe this just like Maru in the past. However, whereas he was a perverted yet kind hearted person who would never violate her against her will, Robin didn’t hesitate to rape her.
      Since Kiruko continued to struggle and shout, he decided to begin gaslighting her to make her more submissive and started questioning if she really was “Haruki,” or if she was “Kiriko” who only thought she was “Haruki” because she had his memories. Kiruko realized that Robin had a point, who continued to rape her until Maru saved her and beat Robin unconscious in retaliation. Afterwards, it’s clear the revelation that she doesn’t know who she really is will continue to haunt her, especially since she can now see memories from Kiriko’s point of view as well as Haruki’s
      .
  • Worthless Currency: A rare aversion for a post-apocalyptic setting in the “Post-Disaster” plot. Yen is still accepted by some pockets of civilization in Japan, although bartering goods/services is still seen as the more reliable way to get what you need.

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