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Manga / Miriam

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Western Genki Girl

"Dear readers, This is a tale of a little girl and three young men. And so the story begins."
— Opening Narration.

Miriam (known in Japan as Kouya no Tenshidomo, or "Wilderness Angels") is a western (as in cowboys) Shoujo manga by Kyoko Hikawa, which was serialized in LaLa from 1983 to 1984. It was followed by two sequel series: Jikan wo Tomete Matteite ("Stop Time and Wait For Me"), which ran from 1985 to 1987, and Sorenari ni Romantic, which ran from June to August 1989.

Miriam is an energetic girl who lives on a farm with a woman named Grace. Miriam enlists a trio of young men named Douglas, Joel and Card to help out on Grace's farm. However, they have no interest in helping Miriam and ignore her. Despite their best efforts however, they find themselves helping out after all and together end up fighting against Mister Harnbag and the corrupt Sheriff.

Tropes used in this work include:

  • Age-Gap Romance: The main couple has a 9 year age gap.
  • Bad Habits: The reverend. He's not a real reverend, for one thing, having killed the real one and taken his place years ago. He's also a sexual predator who tried to take advantage of 17-year old protagonist Douglas when he took sanctuary in the church, and he works for a local crimelord. He eventually leads the protagonists into a trap... and reveals that he's the Big Bad.
  • Bumbling Henchman Duo: Cold-hearted assassin Kieth Baker and inept robber Sam Perkins. While they lack the duo dynamic usually present, and they don't usually work together, they fit the mold in a lot of other ways (like the customary occasional personality clash).
  • Blah, Blah, Blah: an arrogant sheriff's boasting eventually fades into blah blahs before Douglas, the protagonist, ditches him. The same thing happens again later, though this time he's speechifying to the other two protagonists, Card and Joel, about how honest he is (despite the obvious corruption of the law in town). After he leaves, Card says "Now I understand why Douglas couldn't stand talking with him..."
  • Cowboy: Douglas and Miriam both work on a ranch, as do Douglas' friends Card and Joel.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: A crooked sheriff has the protagonists locked up on false charges. When they start complaining, he says he'll add to the charges if they don't shut up... then says he'll add things like stealing a hotel ashtray, cheating in cards, and hitting on girls in stores.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Doug says this about Joel in frustration because Doug was the one who had to wear a dress.
  • Giant Mook: Lionel "Leo" Jenning falls just short of being The Brute by not having any real affiliation with the main group of bad guys. However, he's a gigantic champion prizefighter who presents a tremendous challenge in hand-to-hand combat, and Douglas' encounter with him plays out much like any Giant Mook faceoff in a movie or video game would... until later, when he becomes The Big Guy and Sixth Ranger.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Leo, much to Miriam's irritation, dislikes women so much he's practically enraged when one so much as talks to him. Miriam constructs an elaborate imaginary backstory for him that, in her mind, would excuse his behavior, which involves several groups of women (his sisters, his female co-workers, his sisters-in-law, etc.) taking advantage of him for his entire life. While her story is farfetched, his attempts at explaining himself, which amount to "they're noisy, and if you deal with them, they cry, and you still can't fight them..." suggest something along those lines might've actually happened to him, even though he's never been married and doesn't have any sisters.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: Douglas is menaced by an enemy who stole his gun. The villain, who isn't particularly familiar with firearms, lets out an Evil Laugh and starts speechifying, before pulling the trigger several times to find an empty gun. When Douglas picks up the other guy's gun and turns the tables on him, he weakly insists that that gun, too, is empty, and Douglas knows he's bluffing because he can feel the difference.
  • Pretty Boy: Doug, Joel and Card are so pretty they all dress up as girls at one point or another.
  • Wisdom from the Gutter: Douglas gets relationship advice from two men holed up in the local jail for starting a barfight, and is embarrased by how valuable their words are and how they have a much easier time seeing things from Miriam's point of view.