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Manga / Murciélago

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Ex-mass murderer turned hitwoman Koumori Kuroko lives in a city overflowing with heinous crimes and violence. Even though she is now a hired assassin by the Japanese police force, she has a record of murdering 715 people in the past since her childhood. Now, she partners with Tozakura Hinako—a wild, lighthearted and innocent yet bold girl who drives like an absolute maniac—to destroy other mass murderers who are deemed unstoppable by normal means. And just because she's got a job to do, doesn't mean she can't have a good time with the ladies...

Murciélago started being publised in August 2013 in the Seinen magazine Young Gangan.

Yen Press began releasing the English translation in January 2017.

Murcielago provides examples of the following tropes:

  • All Gays are Promiscuous:
    • Kuroko doesn't seem interested in relationships, just lots of sex. As such she has many partners to choose from.
    • Averted with Chiyo, who actually happens to be Kuroko's girlfriend. She's very aware of how lecherous Kuroko is, and would very much prefer it if she were more faithful to her. She doesn't seem to mind enough to dump Kuroko, though.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The five "Murderer Party" survivors include a mass murderer, a serial killer, a killer-for-hire, a probable high-functioning psychopath, and one repentant shoplifter (though it's implied that there's more to her than she appears, so this may be a subversion).
  • The Artifact: Hinako's titular car stops having prominent appearances after Chapter 60, and shows up only twice after. Only one of those times does Hinako actually use it in any meaningful way.
  • Awesome by Analysis:
    • Conrad is a physics professor which comes in handy quite a lot when it comes to laser array death traps.
    • Kuroko is this as well. She's repeatedly proven to be exceptionally skilled at psychoanalyzing other criminals and manages to learn how to control a room full of traps via motion sensors just by watching someone else do it a few times.
  • Badass Bookworm: Cobalt Conrad, one of the characters in the Murder Party arc is a professor who's capable of badass feats and also considered a dangerous criminal. The Deep Ones arc reveals the extent of his crime.
  • Batman Gambit: One of the early targets is a professional wrestler who is so pumped full of steroids he's now more monster than man. He's too physically powerful to take head-on, but he's also hallucinating that he's in a wrestling match where he is the Face. Kuroko tricks him into stopping a direct hit from a car, breaking both arms in the process (since it's the face's job to absorb the heel's assault), and caps him when he's defenseless.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: Kuroko is fast and strong enough to catch blades between her fingers.
  • Beach Episode: Ch. 59 counts as one, as Kuroko, Hinako, and several of their friends and colleagues go to a small island for a day of fishing, relaxation, and for Kuroko and Chiyo, sexy times. Unfortunately, it's interrupted by the scientist who gave them permission to use the island crash-landing in a Mini-Mecha.
  • Big Guy Fatality Syndrome: Of the five initial Murderer Party survivors, the loud-mouthed martial artist is the only one to die by the end of the arc. And then it's eventually revealed he survived, though he's lost his memories.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Koumori and Murcielago both mean "bat" in their respective languages.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Terumi is a martial artist who regularly fights to the death in underground tournaments and seems very gung-ho most of the time.
  • Can't Act Perverted Toward a Love Interest: Kuroko will try to seduce any good-looking woman the moment she comes within viewing distance (and is quite successful), but she seems surprisingly restrained around Hinako, given how much time they spend together (and despite Hinako not even minding her rare advances).
  • Call-Back: Not unlike One Piece, many characters are not simple one-shots, and they often appear again later. Some get mentioned offhandedly early in the series before appearing in the series proper, and some wounds are permanent.
    • Kuroko met Miyuki while dealing with the druggie wrestler. Miyuki appeared again in the "Murderer Party" arc, apparently considered a criminal to an extent.
    • Kuroko's Tongue Trauma during the "Murderer Party" arc is permanent. Not that she minds.
    • Momoyama Terumi was killed off at the end of the "Murderer Party: arc, but apparently he's still alive and amnesiac, and working for Reiko.
    • The girls from the Virginal Rose cult became Kuroko's informants in the "Sakura of Oblivion" arc. One of them is Momoyama Narumi, implying a connection with Momoyama Terumi.
    • Sabiura Ran was mentioned early in the stories as Urara-chan, before making her entry proper in the "Sakura of Oblivion" arc.
    • The story itself has a Myth Arc involving the Cesare drug. The Wrestler used it, the Virginal Rose cult cultivated roses which are one of its ingredients, and the Ousen group's big plan is to use a variant of Cesare that turns its victims into superpowered zombies.
    • Cobalt Conrad, the physics professor first appearing in the Murder Party arc reappears later in The Deep Ones arc, apparently conducting research on the human brain and tendency for criminal acts.
  • Cast Full of Gay: A given considering our protagonist. Almost all of the female characters are attracted to other women whether they know it initially or not.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Kuroko and Hinako hardly even pay attention to mundane dangers like a mugger pointing a gun at them. With Kuroko, it's usually because she knows she can easily handle whatever's threatening them. With Hinako, it's due to her questionable sanity.
  • Car Fu: Hinako is an almost supernaturally skilled driver, and she won't hesitate to use a car as a weapon. If you are so unlucky to awaken her other side headlights will be the last thing you ever see, no matter where you are.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Plenty of this in the series, from Terumi who can literally punch his way through death traps, or Urara who's strong enough to overpower a Psycho Serum user and block a Razor Floss attack barehanded.
  • Cool Big Sis: When Yatsuha asks Hinako what Kuroko is to her, this is her reply, although with the usual amount of Hinako weirdness.
    You know what? Kuu-chan my mom and dad rolled into one...but also like an older sister who has big-brother tendencies...huh? Umm...huh? What is Kuu-chan to me?
  • Cool Car: Hinako's Lamborghini Murcielago, which the series is named after. Just how she got a hold of it despite being a middle schooler is anyone's guess.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Played for Laughs in one scene where it turns out Kuroko always has flowers hidden in her bosom in case she comes across a cute girl to woo.
  • Da Chief: Tsuru.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: In one Wham Line, Hinako reveals that her parents were "terrible people" who were killed by Kuroko. How much this plays into her behaviors and odd reactions to danger has yet to be fully explored, although a flashback in vol. 8 shows that as a child, Hinako spent some time in a hospital or similar setting and unnerved the staff because she always had a vacant stare and a smile, no matter the circumstances.
  • Death Glare: Near the end of the "Gap Between the Sky and I" arc, the villain finally comes face-to-face with Hibari, the woman who showed him kindness when she was a child. He begs her to smile at him once more, but given that he had abducted and attempted to murder her daughter, all he gets from Hibari is a hateful glare.
  • Death of a Child: In the "Gap Between the Sky and I" arc, the villain abducts little girls on rainy days and strangles them to death. The mother of Sora, the most recent girl taken, is beside herself when she sends her daughter on an errand, and she doesn't return...
  • Dual Wielding: Rinko, when in her bunny-masked alternate personality, dual-wields knives and is very good with them.
  • Eldritch Abomination: One of the arcs takes place in an amusement park with these as the theme.
  • Evil Mentor: A mysterious woman calling herself Satori Hakua is implied to have been behind the villainous actions of several other violent criminals, giving them advice, for some unclear purpose.
  • Exact Words: When Minako's bullies Manami and Yasuna call out Kuroko for saying no one would get hurt after she seriously injures Yuki, Kuroko brutally kills Yuki and responds thusly.
    Better? Now there are no injured people. I never said there wouldn't be deaths.
  • Expy:
    • Kuroko looks like a taller, bustier Yaya Nanto, with ther lechery dialed up to eleven.
    • Yukari is an implacable Ninja Maid devoted to her master and driven by vengeance, who ends up severely mutilated, not unlike Roberta from Black Lagoon.
  • Facial Horror: The antagonist of the "White Meteor" arc had the right side of his head horribly burned in a laser accident, leaving him looking like Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight.
  • Fastball Special: Urara does this with Kuroko during their fight against the Sewer Monster.
  • Feel No Pain:
    • The maid Yukari does not feel pain, best seen when her only reaction to having an arm and leg hacked off is surprise.
    • Along with making you inhumanly strong, the drug Cesare lets users ignore pain to the point that they can shrug off bullets.
  • Flashback: Subverted. One chapter ends with what appears to be Chiyo and Kuroko in school together, including them having sex...until it turns out to be a dating sim Kuroko is playing, with a character she's modeled after Chiyo.
  • Food as Bribe: Hinako likes to be rewarded with her favorite dishes for helping out Kuroko on their cases.
  • Friends with Benefits: The gist of Kuroko's relationship with her various reoccurring female associates, with the exception of Chiyo, who outright identifies as Kuroko's girlfriend.
  • Godiva Hair: Frequently used as a Scenery Censor to tone down the nudity.
  • Groin Attack: One of Minako's bullies gets a particularly nasty one from Kuroko via the end of an umbrella handle.
  • Healing Factor: Hinako may have one, as she emerged unscathed from a multi-story fall inside a Mini-Mecha that should have pulverized her on impact, and Rinko remembers afterward that a cut on her hand healed much faster than a wound like that should have.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Kuroko and Hinako live, eat, work, and hang out together, but despite some UST between them, Kuroko prefers to sleep with other girls, and Hinako seems oblivious to romance in general.
  • The Immodest Orgasm: The inevitable result of Kuroko putting her tongue to good use. One chapter ends with Hinako yelling that Kuroko and Chiyo are keeping her from being able to sleep, and ch. 59 actually shows Kuroko and Chiyo getting busy.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • Emphasis on ''extreme prejudice'.' Kuroko makes sure the murderer of the "Gap between the sky and I" arc suffered both physically and mentally before she rammed a steel girder through his back.
    • The fate of those who graduate from the Virginal Rose is to be skewered by a sickle-like blade on a track.
  • Killing Intent:
    • For a split second right before Kuroko gets serious with fighting Yukari, Yukari sees a vision of a multi-armed skeleton tangled around her with a scythe around her neck and Kuroko's trademark giant tongue sticking out of its mouth.
    • Kurono is able to utilize her own killing intent so effectively that it seemed capable of killing her target if she hadn't had her kill stolen.
  • Long-Runner Tech Marches On: The story is apparently set in 2015. yet in volume 18, Aiko and Rinko are seen playing with Nintendo Switches.
  • Mad Scientist: Cobalt Conrad, the professor first appearing in Murder Party. The Deep Ones arc reveals the extent of his research. He collected human brain samples from both criminal and normal people to find any feature that might explain humanity's worse impulses.
  • Mercy Kill: The first chapter has a very twisted one. The wrestler's Cesare dealer, who has been horribly mangled by the wrestler, is about to be shot by Kuroko before his own Cesare dose wears off and the pain sets in, but Hinako comes flying in with her car and lands on him instead.
  • Mini-Mecha: In the "White Meteor" arc, the mecha in which the scientist crash-lands on the island becomes the key to stopping the arc's antagonist, who is piloting his own, much larger mecha.
  • Nasty Party: The "Murderer Party" arc features one of these, courtesy of Satori Hyoue. Almost everyone at that party is killed by the traps set up in the manor.
  • Neck Lift: The killer in the "Gap Between the Sky and I" arc is strong enough to hold the girls he kills almost at face level as he strangles them
  • Ninja Maid: Yukari from the "Murderer Party" arc kicks ass perfectly well in full Meido attire.
  • Not Quite Dead: Terumi Momoyama, the martial artist that first appeared in the "Murderer Party" arc, is presumed killed by a trap set up by Miyuki. He is later revealed to have survived but has lost his right arm, his memories, and his ability to feel pain and is now working with Reiko.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Cobalt explicitly mentions that he and Mitsurugi are "comrades" since they're both driven by the loss of someone precious. For Cobalt, it was his brother; for Mitsurugi, it was his wife.
  • Paying It Forward: Horribly subverted in the "Rainy Day Killer" arc, where a down-on-his-luck factory worker was shown kindness on a rainy day by a little girl, who gave him a piece of candy and smiled at him. Unfortunately, he then became obsessed with the idea of paying it back, which he did by kidnapping little girls dressed similarly to her and furiously strangling them when they weren't the right one. He never noticed the years going by, so by the time he finally finds her again, she's a mother (whose own daughter nearly fell victim to him). Just before he's finally killed, he begs her to smile at him... and understandably gets a hateful scowl in response.
  • Potty Failure: Chiura loses bladder control twice after running into Rinko. The first time was after seeing Rinko kill someone, the second was just in fear of her.
  • Primal Scene: Hinako walks in on Kuroko having sex with one of her lovers. She seems to only be slightly unnerved by it and it's implied that this isn't the first time it's happened.
  • Psycho Serum: Cesare, a performance enhancer that heightens physical strength and concentration, with the side-effects of causing hallucinations and inability to feel pain. It mainly shows up in the fight with the wrestler, but several other chapters have plot points that are tied to it.
  • R-Rated Opening: Chapter 1 opens up with brief scenes of Kuroko's murders, and shortly thereafter shows Kuroko having sex with Chiyo (who has yet to be properly introduced).
  • Rape as Backstory:
    • The genesis of the cult featured in the "Rose Colored Prison" arc was Gold Marie-sama being gang-raped; her resulting mental breakdown led her to dress her brother in drag to lure her rapists into a trap and kill them, and later to transform her brother into Rose Marie-sama.
    • At the end of the "School Destruction" arc, it's revealed that Fuuri raped Minako while Minako's bullies held her down. With Kuroko's assistance, Minako gets to return the favor.
  • Razor Wire: The antagonist of the pilot chapter uses this as his weapons.
  • Released to Elsewhere: The girls who "graduate" from the Virginal Rose in the "Rose Colored Prison" arc are killed with a pendulum scythe. Their blood is drunk by Rose Marie-sama, their bodies are ground up into the fertilizer used for the rose garden, and the roses are used as an ingredient for Cesare.
  • Sequel Hook: The "Murderer Party" arc contains several hooks for future plots, such as Kuroko promising to encounter Reiko again, the mansion's owner recognizing Miyuki, and Yukari receiving a strange visit at the hospital.
  • Super-Strength: Urara was able to effortlessly overpower a Cesare-infused madman.
  • Taking You with Me: The ultimate goal of the gym teacher who stole Minako's bombs in vol. 6. She tries to blow herself up with the school's principal, but is intercepted by Kuroko, Hinako, and Rinko.
  • There Was a Door: Hinako, aside from being a rather impressive driver, has a knack for making grand, destructive entrances and not only with cars.
  • Tragic Monster: The majority of the major criminals Kuroko runs into start off as decent people before circumstances turn them into monsters. The manga often includes a bonus page showing said characters in better times before whatever tragedy befell them.
  • Vibroweapon: The main antagonist of the Domestic Killer arc is inhumanly good with high-tech 'vibrating blade' knives.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: Happens at the climax of the "Rose Colored Prison" arc. Turns out Rose Maria-sama is actually Gold Marie-sama's brother, altered to have a female body and emasculated by Gold Marie-sama. After her rape, her mind was apparently broken and she could no longer see her brother as male after seeing him in women's clothes.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Sora's mother gave candy to a down-on-his-luck man when she was a young girl. However, that act of kindness turned that man into the Rainy Day Killer, who in his insane quest to find and thank the one girl who was kind to him, kidnapped and murdered 47 girls throughout the years until the present.
  • Vibroweapon: One of the villains wields a high-frequency blade. Kuroko wants to get her hands on it.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Kuroko has used hers to retrieve a bag of drugs, files, flowers, a vibrator, and a wrestling bell and hammer.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend:
    • Point a gun at Hinako, have your arm sawed off by Kuroko.
    • Chiyo as well towards Kuroko. When Kuroko infiltrated the Virginal Rose cult during the "Rose Colored Prison" arc and forgot to contact Chiyo for a week, the latter decided to visit the cult in order to confront her. Chiyo's sheer anger when she sees Kuroko "brainwashed" is what made her decide to stop playing nice and pull out the sword she brought with her.
  • Vomiting Cop: Mukoujima empties his stomach after witnessing the handiwork of the "DK: Domestic Killing" arc's villain.
  • World of Buxom: The standard bust size for most female characters is either large or huge, much to Kuroko's delight.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Children are no safer than anyone else.
    • The "Gap Between the Sky and I" arc has this as a focal point, as the antagonist is an insane homeless man targeting young girls. The arc's first chapter opens on the aftermath of one victim and the murder of another, both 8-year-old girls.
    • At the start of the "Sakura of Oblivion" arc, a congressman and his young son are murdered by one of the Onsen group's agents.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The predicted goal of the Ousen group, given the effects of their Cesare-variant.