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Manga / Karura Mau!

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Karura Mau! (Karura Dance!) is an occult/horror manga series from The '80s, penned and drawn by Kiichi Nagakubo. It was one of the main titles in its genre back at its day, as well as a notably long franchise, having started its publishing in 1986 and still running in the form of spinoffs and sequels.

Twin sisters Shoko and Maiko Ohgi could not be more different: the former is dark-haired and brainy, while the latter is a redhead sports girl. However, they share the common fate of being the current heir of the Ohgi family, a clan of Onmyōdō exorcists that has protected Japan since generations. Secretly backed by the Japanese government and helped by a descendant of Abe no Seimei, among other weird and varied allies, the sisters combine the powers conceded by their guardian deity Karura to banish evil.

The first volume was adapted into a theatrical animated film with some input from Toei Animation, while the second received a less known six episode OVA series.

This work provides examples of:

  • Brainy Brunette: Shoko has black hair and is intellectual and studious, especially compared to Mai.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: At least one exorcized ghost becomes part of the team.
  • Deadly Doctor: Kenmochi works as an acupuncturist, but he uses these same skills offensively with magical needles.
  • Fiery Redhead: Mai, who is red-haired and very extroverted, even boisterous.
  • Five-Man Band: Shoko and Mai are The Hero and The Lancer to each other; Kenmochi is The Smart Guy, being the most knowledgeable in the supernatural; Nishikiori is The Big Guy, who serves as the earthly muscle and can be a bit rude; and Chikae is The Heart, who ties the group together by being a Love Interest to Maiko and an apprentice to Kenmochi, as well as being the most emotional male. Later Hiroe joins as a Sixth Ranger.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Wani becomes an ally after being exorcized.
  • Long Runner: From the 80s and still running.
  • Officially Shortened Title: The original title is Hengen Taima Yako Karura Mau! ("Phantasmagoric Exorcism Night Parade Karura Dance!"), but the franchise IS sometimes marketed as solely Karura Mau!
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The classic pair, as Shoko is calm and intellectual, while Maiko is energetic and a bit dumb.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: The show's premise entails the sisters playing this role, given the mystic theme.
  • The Stoic: Kenmochi is perpetually cool.