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Manga / Man of Many Faces

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A master thief has his own heart stolen.

A two-volume Manga by CLAMP, it follows the nine-year old Akira who steals valuable objects for his two mothers, known to the public as the "Man of 20 faces".

Then he runs into a young girl named Utako in the middle of one of his crimes, and end up striking a friendship that eventually becomes something more.

The eponymous thief is also part of the Clamp School Detectives (for reasons entirely based on Rule of Funny).


This show provides examples of:

  • Adorably Precocious Child: Akira, so much.
  • Bishōnen: It is a CLAMP story, but even being a boy doesn't stop Akira from falling into this. We do see he gets it from his father.
  • Child Prodigy
  • Christmas Episode: Where Akira's dad shows up dressed as Santa Claus.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Akira's mothers, so very much.
  • Distant Finale: Akira has retired from crime, marries Utako and is starting a legit job as a teacher.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Utako becomes obsessed with becoming a good cook, seamstress, and other things, hoping to win Akira's heart, although it turns out she didn't need to.
  • Genre Savvy: Akira worries when his mothers insist he steal the curtain from the school theatre for them, since the police will realize that 20 Faces must be a student there. He also practices writing in different styles so 20 Faces's calling cards can't be traced to him.
  • Gentleman Thief: Akira steals a statue from Utako (because his mothers wanted that), but gives her a present in return.
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  • Happily Married: Akira and Utako by the epilogue.
  • Has Two Mommies: Akira's mothers are identical twins who were both courted by the original 20 Faces. They can't even remember which one of them actually gave birth to Akira.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Akira's mothers force him to steal things for no good reason. It's all played for laughs.
  • Kid Hero: "Hero" is kind of a stretch, but Akira still qualifies.
  • Love at First Sight: Akira (as 20 Faces) crashes into Utako's bedroom while fleeing the police. She asks him to be her boyfriend on the spot.
  • May–December Romance: The Distant Finale revealed that Utako's older sister, Makoto, married one of her grade-school treachers.
  • Precocious Crush: Akira is nine, and Utako is five, when they meet. So it would count as this trope.
    • It especially counts when earlier Utako had a crush on her teacher, who says it can't work out (for obvious reasons).
  • Phantom Thief: 20 Faces.
  • Pretty in Mink: In the second volume cover art Utako looks a bit older and is wearing a fur-trimmed cape and hat. In the manga at the end of a Christmas chapter, Utako's older sister is wearing a fur-trimmed dress.
  • Puppy Love
  • Reality Ensues: One of the omake shows that Akira and Utako meet in her room for tea-parties after successful heists. It's past Utako's bedtime, so she usually falls asleep.
  • Second Love: Utako's kindergarten teacher refused her due to the age differences, so Akira is her second love.
  • Sleeping Single: In the Epilogue, two separate beds are clearly seen, even though...
  • Tantrum Throwing: When angry, Utako is typically seen violently beating stuff on her bedroom using a crocodile plushie as a club.
  • They Do: The last few chapters are about the two leads getting engaged and then marry.
  • Whole Costume Reference: Utako wears a little version of the horse race dress from My Fair Lady for one of her birthdays.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Many children in CLAMP-manga share this trait. Utako is president of the Kindergarten Student Division Council, at the age of five, and has conversations about love that no normal five-year-old would have, Akira is Elementary School Board Treasurer, and seem to do much of the work at home. Then again, his mothers are more childish than him.


Example of: