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Manga / Holy Corpse Rising

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Holy Corpse Rising (Seigai no Maou) is a manga written and illustrated by Hosana Tanaka, which was serialized in Young King OURS from 2014 to 2018 and compiled into seven volumes. The manga is licensed in English by Seven Seas Entertainment.

In fifteenth century Rome, witches have declared war against humanity. A young man named Nikola, whose parents were cruelly murdered by a witch before his eyes, discovers that he is now the key to winning the war. Using sorcery skills acquired through years of careful study, Nikola must revive twelve witches known as the "First Witches" who will become his allies and weapons to defeat the enemy. But there is one small hitch: in order to revive the witches from their eternal slumber, Nikola must form a marriage contract with each one. Just how many witches can Nikola marry in order to save the world?

This manga provides examples of:

  • Accidental Marriage: Nikola did not know that bringing a First Witch back means they are now married. It's only after he revives a second one that he is told about it... and that he's now guilty of polygamy.
  • Alternate History: In addition to witches being real, a different religion than Christianity took over the Roman Empire, the holy city is called Sant Angelo, and the Church's leader is a woman who is allowed to wear revealing clothes.
  • Anachronism Stew: In addition to some modern fashions, at one point, the party takes a break and goes to the beach. Nikola wears a speedo and his wives wear bikinis. An author's note points out the author is well aware bathing suits did not exist back in the 15th century.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Nikola's wives don't like having to share him.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The Credic Church worships one god called Alam and his messiah Rosa Creed. Other than that, it is remarkably similar to Christianity.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Before knowing bringing back a First Witch is a marriage contract, Nikola is warned that if he brings back another, he will go to Hell when he dies. He does it anyway when the evil witch Alexandra threatens to unleash Armageddon, reasoning one person going to Hell is better than the end of the world. He's later forced to summon a third wife when his first two are incapacitated and they were all about to die.
  • Good Witch Versus Bad Witch: The First Witches get their power from a pact with Diana, Goddess of the Wood, and agreed to help humanity and the Church in exchange for being resurrected. The evil witches get their power from pacts with demons and live to cause chaos and suffering.
  • Healing Factor: The evil witches can heal from anything, even being cut in half, as long as their Stigma is intact. The First Witches can also heal, as Mylitta recovers from getting mauled by wolves with no scars, but as they lack a Stigma to make them immortal, they do their best to avoid injuries.
  • Healing Hands: The First Witches can heal others.
  • Hunter of Their Own Kind: The First Witches that Nikola raises agree to help defeat the evil witches plaguing the land. Not that they consider the evil witches their kind.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each chapter title goes "Thou Shalt Not" and then a phrase involving witches. For example: "Thou Shalt Not Raise A Witch" and "Thou Shalt Not Give Thy Heart To A Witch".
  • Kiss of Death: The evil witches can steal a soul with a kiss and then turn the body into a thrall.
  • Naked on Revival: Whenever Nikola revives a First Witch, their skeleton regains flesh and they appear naked for a few seconds before their clothes materialize.
  • No Cure for Evil: The evil witches lack any ability to heal others. The fact the First Witches can heal convinces some members of the Church that they are not the enemy.
  • Pretender Diss: The First Witches are quick to dismiss the evil witches as pale imitations while nearly effortlessly kicking their asses.
  • Soul Jar: The evil witches have a tattoo called a Stigma somewhere on their bodies that is invisible to normal eyes unless revealed by a spell. As long as it is intact, they cannot die, no matter how mangled their bodies become.
  • Takes One to Kill One: As Nikola points out, it is almost impossible for a regular human to defeat a witch, so they need witches of their own to beat them.
  • The Tooth Hurts: While starving, Nikola asks an old man for food. The man hands him a rock, and Nikola immediately bites it without thinking and hurts his teeth. The old man says you are supposed to suck on it to relieve hunger pains, but admits he sometimes bites his own rock and reveals his teeth have pretty much been destroyed.
  • True Love's Kiss: When Nikola has been rendered catatonic by torture, Upsula is able to revive him by kissing him. Everyone is shocked and asks how she did that. She claims her love revived him, which pisses off his other wives.
  • Undying Loyalty: The First Witches will do anything for their husband, even put up with each other.
  • Unholy Ground: Normally, evil witches and their demons cannot enter Sant Angelo because it is Holy Ground. The witch Lurrie gets a human minion to spill his blood in there, defiling the place and allowing them entry.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The First Witches cannot use their powers while they are on their period. This is because their patron goddess Diana considers them impure during this time.