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Manga / Jiu Jiu

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Takamichi’s Jiu Jiu Obedience Training Goals:
1. Stop them from following you to work
2. Don’t expose them to the full moon
3. Save them from execution
Back-of-the-Book Blurb, Volume 1

A five-volume manga written and illustrated by Touya Tobina that follows the adventures of a teenage demon hunter and her werewolf familiars. The first volume was published in 2009 and the series wrapped up in 2013.

Hachioji Takamichi was born into a family of "Dark Hunters": elite bounty hunters and assassins who track down demons and other supernatural creatures that prey on humans. When her beloved twin brother Takayuki is killed on a mission, Takamichi is suddenly thrust into his role as the of heir of the Hachioji clan. Mourning her brother's death and feeling the full weight of her clan's expectations, she is saved from despair by a pair of Jiu Jiu — shape-shifting, half-demon familiars — in the form of two wolf pups called Snow and Night.

Now Takamichi is sixteen years old, a high school student and an active Demon Hunter... while her familiars (who have aged at the same rate as dogs) are teenagers that can't wait to enroll in the same school as their mistress. Snow and Night may be determined to follow Takamichi and protect her from harm, but are they truly ready to go off leash...?

Tropes present in Jiu Jiu:

  • A Girl and Her X: A girl and her two shapeshifting, demon-fighting, half-beast werewolf familiars. Takamichi was devastated by her beloved twin brother's death, and the sudden focus placed on her as the heir to the family legacy of demon-fighting (when she'd previously been ignored and told she was of zero value to her clan) caused her to retreat emotionally. Being made responsible for Snow and Night gave her an outlet for the love & care she had only ever been able to express for her brother, and protecting the duo gave her a purpose in life beyond her family's work. As for Snow & Night: they are totally devoted to Takamichi, having been raised by her since puppy-hood. They want to see her succeed in her hunts, but more importantly they want to keep her safe and stay by her side. Snow and Night are the only people in the world who have shown Takamichi unconditional love since her brother, and Takamichi is everything to the two jiu jiu.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Every other chapter it seems like Takamichi goes off on her own because she refuses to "rely on anyone ever again," gets herself into danger, gets saved from the danger by Snow & Night, one of the three gets themselves injured in the rescue, and Takamichi learns that she can trust her jiu jiu to look out for her. Takamichi then promptly forgets any lesson she's learned and goes off on her own again.
  • Angsty Surviving Twin: The death of her twin brother caused Takamichi to close off her heart. Takayuki was the only person in their family who truly cared for his sister, despite the rest of the clan treating Takamichi like a worthless spare. With Takayuki's death, all the attention and expectations that had previously rested on his shoulders suddenly shifted to Takamichi, who was elevated to the position of clan heir. Even years after his death, Takamichi is still emotionally distant. And even after serving as the clan heir for years, she's still not truly comfortable in the position, knowing how tenuous and circumstantial her family's support truly is.
  • Demon Slaying: The Hachioji clan's ancestral line of work has been hunting down and killing rogue demons. In the present day there's a government office that tracks demon activity and sends the clan "assignments."
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The eponymous "jiu jiu" are offspring of humans and the various "beasts" or "demons" that the Hachioji Clan hunts. Snow and Night were taken from the family of woman who gave birth to a demon's children. There are many other such jiu jiu working as the familiars of members of the Hachioji Clan — like Moon, the wolf jiu jiu familiar of Takamichi's father.
  • Lunacy: Exposure to the light of a full moon will cause Jiu Jiu to shift into their canine forms and go into an uncontrollable rage. Any "tamed" Jiu Jiu that work for the Hachioji clan are forbidden from leaving the compound during the full moon, in order to prevent this from happening — Hachioji law states that Jiu Jiu who break the rules and put human lives (including their handlers) in danger are to be put down.
  • Mistress and Servant Boy: Downplayed — Snow and Night age at the same rate as canines, so at three years of age they've got the appearance and maturity of human teens; Takamichi, their mistress, is sixteen. Although she attempts to impose a more professional master/servant structure onto her relationship with her Jiu Jiu, Snow and Night act more loyal hounds (or playful puppies) than dependable servants.
  • My Instincts Are Showing: Snow & Night might look like normal teenagers when they're in their human form, but they're still half-beast werewolves at heart. They like to sleep in Takamichi's bed, they're fiercely territorial over their "mistress", and they go crazy over the idea of going for a walk.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Not technically called werewolves, but the Jiu Jiu (half-human half-beast shape shifters) in the series operate by similar rules, what with the full moon causing them to shift into their beast form and go into a bloodthirsty rage.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: Takayuki's sudden, unexpected death thrusts his twin sister Takamichi into the position of clan heir. The sudden attention put on Takamichi, combined with grief over her brother's death, causes her to retreat emotionally. Her father gives her a pair of Jiu Jiu to snap her out of her depressive funk. Thus begin the misadventures of Takamichi, Snow, and Night.
  • Posthumous Character: Takamichi's brother, Takayuki — he appears alive for all of one page in the first volume, before Takamichi's narration declares "that was the day my brother died."
  • Shapeshifter Baggage: Snow and Night are able to transform from medium-sized dogs to teenage boys (and back again), with no mention made of where that extra mass goes.
  • Spare to the Throne: Up until her twin brother's death, Takamichi was largely ignored and belittled by the clan. Now that she's the sole heir to her clan's demon hunting legacy she's put under an immense amount of pressure to live up to their expectations and carry on the clan's work.