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Manga / Mugen Shinshi

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Mugen Shinshi (Dream Gentleman) is a mystery manga universe from The '80s, the main work of cult mangaka Yosuke Takahashi. It is composed of several, long-running alternate continuities, the second of them being by far the most popular and representative.

Mamiya Mugen is not your typical young heir to a wealthy family of Imperial Japan. He's effectively a child genius who lends his help to the Japanese police to solve bizarre and seemingly impenetrable cases. His family has its own connection to crime, though, and quite of a convoluted history. But when Mamiya teams up with his faithful and vaguely vampiresque butler Alucard and his beautiful client-turned-assistant Atsuko Fukune, he's able to deal with all of it like a true dream gentleman.

Although the work never received a true anime adaptation, an OVA that combined the plots of several chapters was produced by Gallop in 1987.

This work provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Wimp: In the very first continuity, Mamiya had Psychic Powers. He lost them after the series was revamped for the second continuity, where he trusts his brain and training instead.
  • Alucard: Possibly the trope codifier in anime and manga. Mamiya's butler is named Alucard, an unsubtle nod to his Transylvanian heritage and powers.
  • Ambiguously Human:
    • It's left unclear what Alucard is exactly. A vampire? A Dhampyr? Something else entirely?
    • Mamiya in the Gensou/Ouma/Meikyu trilogy from 2004 is presented as a supernatural entity that no one else but the main character can see.
  • Barefoot Captives: Atsuko and the kidnapped girls are barefoot in their enslavement, although this is more because they have been forced to wear Egyptian dancer attires.
  • Damsel in Distress: Atsuko, along with five other captured girls, become this. Of them, only Atsuko seems to be saved and brought back to the plane.
  • Darker and Edgier: The series starts off as a comedic homage to the boy detective genre. After the second installment, the series starts to take itself more seriously and venture more into horror.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: In Gensou-hen, an uncle locks his nephew up in a psych ward in order to steal his fortune. This is in reference to a now-outdated law from the Showa era stating that anyone who is considered to be "legally insane" has zero autonomy and must have their decisions made by a guardian/caretaker.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: As seen in the page image above, Atsuko is forced to wear this along with five other girls whom were captured by the villains. As part of a ritual aiming to bring back Egyptian magic while at a pyramid, the girls are strapped in while wearing revealing Egyptian attire.
  • Only the Leads Get a Happy Ending: Mamiya shows up at the pyramid and rescues Atsuko, and they leave the island in a plane. As for the five other captive girls, they are sent out of their pods and carried away by the villain and his goons to rowboats.