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Manga / Kyuusen no Shima

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Kyuusen no Shima is a 2012 horror mystery manga written and illustrated by Yuusuke Higashida that was published in the seinen good! Afternoon magazine.

A man named Yuuma is summoned back to his home island after the death of his mother and is asked to become the next head of the wealthy Nuenaki family. He has certain misgivings though and rejects the offer, but after the current head dies not a day after his arrival, he has no choice but to become involved and finds his family's history is intertwined with a series of murders and a ritual regarding the continued mutilation of an ancient dark god.

The story only lasted for 11 chapters that were compiled into two volumes and was later briefly expanded by Bouryoku Tantei, another manga from the author that shares the setting.

This manga features the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: Most of the fighters in the story are female.
  • And I Must Scream: The Nuenaki clan has a mysterious deity powered by death and hatred imprisoned in a crippled state, and as the first male clan head with unique magical capacities Yuuma is expected to be able to kill it for good.
  • Bodyguard Babes: Shiori, Hiori and all the gorgeous half-naked masked assassins guard the Nuenaki family's head.
  • The Chosen One: Yuuma is forced by an order of female assassins to lead them because of his unique powers.
  • Cut Short: The story gets really rushed and barely develops much of the cast. With only 11 chapters, it ends on a very unsatisfying cliffhanger that took another manga, Bouryoku Tantei, to give it some closure. And then that manga didn't last long, either.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The ox-headed women kill anyone who takes even a step into Makishima Island's sacred grounds except for the Nuenaki family's head. It is revealed that exposure to that place turns outsiders into zombies, but Yuuma is nevertheless exasperated to see his guards nonchalantly killing men who were just trying to escape the zombie invasion at the end.
  • Drop Dead Gorgeous: When the topless ox assassin #2 is found dead, she's prominently shown sprawled with unblinking eyes and strangling marks on her neck. Her nipples are uncharacteristically obscured by the scenery, though, in a vague attempt to give her some dignity that also makes it difficult to identify which masked girl she was in previous scenes. Two other assassins are also killed later in a rather sexualized way.
  • The Faceless:
    • The female warriors all wear a mask and an ox head in the image of their imprisioned Baphomet-esque god as a helmet. Most of their identities stay a secret throughout the story, though it seems they're supposed to be told apart by the shape of their nipples of all things.
    • In a couple of chapters, a naked bald woman cast in darkness appears to be up to no good behind the scenes. In truth that is a visual shorthand to hide she's actually Miharu, who isn't bald at all. As a Red Herring, a single scene portrays another random woman like that while she's talking with the spoiler character.
  • Fanservice: The horror elements of the story are drowned out by the squad of equally stacked naked assassins whose racks constantly fill its pages.
  • Faux Action Girl: The ox assassins are only good for killing hapless civilians. The one who kills Kikuomi in combat does so offscreen and afterwards all of them just get walloped or killed (offscreen as well, even) by the stronger zombies and the true villainess during the climax.
  • Full-Frontal Assault:
    • The ox-headed women are all topless.
    • Yuuma also strips himself for the heck of it when he gets ready to fight Miharu at the end.
  • Intimate Marks: Shiori and Hiori have their bodies covered in inscriptions detailing their clan's rituals. Ironically, the scene in which they nonchalantly show this off to Yuuma is one of the few that goes out of its way to avoid explicit nudity.
  • It's Personal: Yuuma becomes furious when Kikuomi is gruesomely killed by one of the ox-headed women, but isn't ever able to do more than berate her for that, and ultimately lets it slide after purifying and destroying the man's zombified body.
  • Karma Houdini: Because Yuuma accepts his role in the island's cult, he never punishes Kikuomi's killer and the killing of trespassing tourists continues even years later.
  • Male Gaze: The illustrator jumps at excuses to draw breasts and asses literally filling one page after the other, and when masked the female warriors are especially shameless.
  • Marry Them All: Bouryoku Tantei reveals Yuuma embraces his female harem after this story's unseen ending, but locks Miharu away for her crimes.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Every female character. They're shameless when anonymous but suddenly start blushing and covering themselves when unmasked.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: The hidden villainess's motivation. Miharu attempts to get all the other females at Makishima Island killed so she can have Yuuma for herself, all because he, as a child, once said he'd marry her.
  • No Ending: The story ends abruptly when Yuuma is about to confront the Big Bad, and the brief epilogue set ten years later barely helps. In the Stealth Sequel Bouryoku Tantei, we see Yuuma is doing just fine with his harem and imprisioned Miharu, though his hair turned white and he's got nasty scars on his neck and chest.
  • No Name Given: Some characters such as the top three ox-headed women are never called by name.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The final battle is never shown, but Bouryoku Tantei reveals Yuuma ultimately won even though he ended up with white hair and looks like he survived getting his head lopped off or something.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Outsiders exposed to the dark god hidden at Makishima Island develop into immortal zombies fueled by rage, which is why the ox-headed women kill trespassers and lock the bodies away.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Twins Shiori and Hiori constantly sport a grumpy glare, and this made Yuuma think they disliked him years before.
  • Reluctant Fanservice Girl: The female assassins become bashful about their nudity once their masks are knocked off.
  • Sexy Packaging: The covers for both volumes feature a masked female assassin with her chest covered by a skimpy costume, so they're actually tamer than the actual contents of the story.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Makishima Island is a mysterious place full of pretty women... who kill trespassers and kidnap others to maintain the Nuenaki bloodline while causing them to become berserker zombies in the process, all to contain a demonic creature hidden away at the island.
  • Unwanted Harem: Yuuma is initially bothered by how all the women in the island are unnaturally devoted to him, and is also suspicious of how they relate to the mysterious murders that ensued in that place.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Two female warriors die unmasked towards the end and the story features a tiny flashback panel each time reminding the reader who they were supposed to be. Both women hadn't been the focus of more than even a page when unmasked and it is hard to tell which of the previously seen assassins were them all along.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • Kikuomi uses a Flash Step technique to beat some people who were trying to prevent him from investigating the island. He is then killed by the ox-headed woman ranked #3. Offscreen.
    • When the ox warrior ranked #2 is killed offscreen, Yuuma is told that whoever did it must have been very skilled. However, the trope is badly executed because the lady wasn't ever shown doing anything noteworthy before she died.
  • World of Buxom: All the topless ox-helmet women are equally stacked, and yet Yuuma is able to recognize Kikuomi's killer when she's unmasked just by getting a good look at her chest.