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Manga / Monster Soul

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Black Airs, baby!

Welcome to Elvenland, a fantasy world where monsters co-exist with humans. However, as you can imagine, tensions on both side flare more often than not, leading into an ongoing battle between the two (Humans are afraid of the monsters preying on them, while the monsters are afraid the humans will hunt them down).

Despite this, a group of monsters, The Black Airs, a ragtag bunch said to be the strongest monster force, have made sure both sides are under control and work to find a peaceful solution to the conflict. Their members includes Aki (a werewolf), Tooran (a half-human sand golem), James (a Frankenstein's monster-ish guy), Mummy (a, uh, mummy), and Joba (a odd, onion-looking monster).

Such is the story of Monster Soul, a short, two-volume manga from Hiro Mashima, the creator of Rave Master and Fairy Tail. It has been licensed by Kodansha Comics and is available for purchase in English.


Monster Soul include the following tropes:

  • Action Bomb: Blank, a skeleton who, somehow, can shoot dynamite from his head
  • Back from the Dead: Aki's parents who were thought dead but in the final chapter was revealed to had merely has their souls sucked out. Doesn't explain where their bodies have been though.
  • Bandage Babe: Mummy, obviously.
  • Blessed with Suck: Sand Golems can manipulate and create sand at will but dissolve in rainstorm, the exception being Tooran who is half-human.
  • Bully Hunter: Mummy was this when she was little
  • Cool Shades: Blank again
  • Cute Monster Girl: Tooran and Mummy definitely fit this.
  • Expy: Inverted Trope: Mummy is quite similar to Erza from another of Mashima's works Fairy Tail. Right down to losing her right eye. The two were practically identical as children, outside of hair and eye color. She also has Gray's habit of stripping.
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  • Eye Scream: Mummy lost her right eye to a bully monster named Garuelf while defending Aki. The disturbing thing is, she did it herself as part of a deal to get Garuelf to back off. She regains it years later when Aki beats him in a fight.
  • Frankenstein's Monster: James who was created by humans to hunt monsters but was too kind hearted to do so and promptly abandoned. Oddly enough he can change into a jet like form when he does go all out.
  • Gentle Giant: James, not surprisingly
  • Golem: Tooran who is a sand golem.
  • Groin Attack: Real cheap shot here
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Tooran again, whose father is a golem and mother is a human. It was due to this that she survived a rain storm that washed away her clan.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Touched upon but the Black Airs don't see it that way. Only fighting against humans who wish to actively do harm to the monsters. Otherwise they're friendly to both sides.
  • In the Hood: What Aki usually wears
  • Mama Bear: Mummy to the group.
  • Missing Mom: Tooran's, though it's implied she died not long after Tooran was born.
  • Our Souls Are Different: A monster soul can come in a form as a part of the body. Such as Mummy's case when she gave up her right eye.
  • Monster Mash: Hooo yeah, if the title was wasn't a give away already.
  • One-Winged Angel: Aki's Soul Form. The irony is that the bounty given to him mistook both his regular form and his wolf form as seperate beings.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Aki's soul form allows him to change into a werewolf without the need for a moon, granting him strength and speed. However it uses up a lot of his energy and he instantly falls asleep once the action has passed to re-gain it.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Kiriko, a vampire who sucks blood not though her fangs but rather through a kiss-shaped tattoo on her neck
  • Parental Abandonment: Mummy and James fit this. The first whose parents we never know about, the only flashback of her on her own is running away from humans before meeting James. James however plays this straight as he was created a weapon by the humans meant to hunt down monsters. But was viewed as a failure and abandoned before Mummy found and befriended him. Subverted with Aki and Tooran, the former whose parents were killed by a human hunter and the latter whose father and clan were dissolved in a rain storm.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Mummy with a bit of Eyepatch of Power least till she gets her eye back
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Black Airs are definitely this being a self-appointed protectors of monsterkind, though have no qualms making friends with humans and fighting against monster that seek to spread conflict.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Joba, the onion monster.
  • Running Gag: James literally losing his face and Mummy stripping unknowingly.
  • Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: Garuelf, unfortunately his maturity doesn't seem to have evolved as he comes looking for trouble with the Black Airs.
  • Shout-Out Theme Naming: 'Aki' means autumn. This follows in a tradition set by other Mashima characters Haru (Spring) and Natsu (Summer).
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: After Aki takes over the fight against Garuelf from Mummy, he orders her to stay back. She realizes he doing this because of this trope to show she no longer has to fight his battles for him.
  • To Hell and Back: A story arc that makes up the last few chapters. Oddly, Hell is pretty easily accessible via a trap door and guarded by a sole monster.
  • Transforming Mecha: James when he really has to get serious.
  • Whip It Good: A form of attack for Mummy and her bandages.


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