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Manga / Noah's Notes

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-Get ready for another class in adventure... unraveling history's mysteries!
Professor Noah
Mirai and Noah.

Carefree gal Mirai Kotobuki has a clear goal in life: to get married, have kids and generally lead an easy-going, domestic existence. And she definitely doesn't need studying for that, no siree. Especially not history. History is boring, useless and has no influence on what's happening to her now.

Or that's what she thinks, at least.

After she finds a weird rock with a strange metal object embedded into it at a construction site, her life is turned upside down by a manic-looking, sunglasses-wearing man who makes the most Dynamic Entry possible by crashing a helicopter into Mirai's school. This man is Professor Noah Minami Umberbach, a slightly-unhinged archaeologist working for the enigmatic Scholar Society to collect the Notes, archaeological artifacts from the future, of which Mirai's weird rock is one.

Thus begins Noah's Notes (ノアズノーツ), a shounen/mystery manga written and illustrated by Haruto Ikezawa, pubilshed between March and August 2018 in Weekly Shonen Jump. Noah soon pulls Mirai along on a crazy adventure, recruiting her as his "student" on an unusual history class: a world-spanning quest to find all the Notes and unravel a dark mystery hidden in the annals of history. Soon it becomes evident that the stakes are high: the Notes may be somehow connected to the upcoming destruction of humanity, and a mysterious secret society is moving behind the scenes to get their hands on the Notes for their own sinister purposes.

Noah's Notes contains examples of:

  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Noah, through and through.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The series ends with Mirai dying from a bullet wound and then going through several world-ending loops before she finds a notebook written by herself and remembers everything. She meets again with the Professor in a not-quite repeat of their first meeting. This is due to the series being Cut Short after failing to gain popularity.
  • Aerosol Flamethrower: Only without the aerosol can. Monet uses a Note that is actually a modified gas lighter to expel massive plumes of fire.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Knights Templar are also after the Notes for their own mysterious reasons.
  • Anti-Hero: Neither of the two protagonists are trying to save the world out of the goodness of their hearts. Noah only wants to do it so he can continue researching history in the future, while Mirai just wants to live a comfortable life and the extinction of humanity would get in the way of that.
  • Apocalypse How: Class 3. The human race is about to be destroyed on December 31, 2022, seemingly in a single moment. The exact nature of the cataclysm is unclear, but it's known to have happened once before.
  • Badass Longcoat: Noah wears quite a badass trenchcoat.
  • Benevolent Conspiracy: The Scholar Society, which operates behind a masquerade, with nearly infinite resources and the world's most brilliant scientists at their disposal. Any direct action they take will be swept under the rug. While they may seem ominous at first, their goal is to save humanity from extinction.
  • Berserk Button: Mentioning that you find history boring in front of Noah is not a very good idea.
  • Book Dumb: Mirai, sometimes to truly staggering levels. At one point she's surprised that Rome is the capital of Italy. The fact that she thinks studying is useless to her probably doesn't help.
  • Bullying a Dragon: The Mafia make the mistake of threatening Monet with a gun. It proves to be a very bad idea.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Monet may be a weirdo, but he's extremely competent at his job.
  • Butt-Monkey: Takeda, the Scholar Society's agent assigned to helping Noah. When he's not bugging him with weird demands or piling unreasonable amounts of research work onto him, he's forcing the poor man to clean up his messes for him.
  • Catchphrase: "I've got a good theory" for Noah.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Mirai's tendency to hang around in the city with her gyaru friends suddenly becomes useful when she and Noah have to navigate the ruins of Yokohama.
  • Cut Short: This being the Jump, the manga's poor sales led to its cancellation after 25 chapters.
  • Dynamic Entry: Noah enters into Mirai's life by crashing through the window of her classroom while hanging from a helicopter.
  • Eternal Recurrence: A ten-thousand-year-long one! Humanity has been destroyed 10000 years ago in an unexplained catastrophe. This is mankind's "second round" on Earth, making the exact same decisions all over again and leading up to the same catastrophe anew. Noah theorizes that there may have been more rounds before.
  • Gender-Restricted Gear: Subverted. Monet's legendary Hi-Note supposedly can't be wielded by women. It's either a pun or a mistranslation of the legend, as the weapon is actually a lighter with a child lock mechanism - the kanji 子 meaning both "girl" and "child".
  • Guile Hero: Noah relies on trickery and smarts more than he does on his gun.
  • Gyaru Girl: Mirai rocks the style.
  • Historical Badass Upgrade: Le Comte de St. Germain is an immortal who spent his long life wandering all around the planet. It's implied he already existed in the previous cycle of history and actually survived humanity's destruction.
  • Humble Goal: Mirai's goal in life is to become a housewife.
  • Implacable Man: Monet tails Noah and Mirai halfway through Rome by following the scent of the food they ate. Later when they move underground and break into a monastery's catacombs, he simply enters the monastery and breaks through the floor from above to get to them.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Monet's powerful Hi-Note is actually a gas lighter. It is modified, allowing Monet to expel large amounts of lighter gas at once and use it as a flamethrower.
  • Knight Templar: The, uh, Knights Templar. Their goal is to perpetuate the loop and bring about humanity's destruction a second time, because they believe it to be God's will.
  • Lost Superweapon: Hi-Notes, Notes that are weirdly advanced even for their supposed origin in 2022. The only one we've seen so far, Monet's Wave-Motion Gun, is hideously destructive.
  • Lost Technology: Again, the Hi-Notes.
  • MacGuffin: The Notes, artifacts from the future (specifically the year 2022) that somehow became embedded in the earth 10000 years ago. They're not actually from the future at all. They're from the 2022 of humanity's "previous round" 10000 years ago.
  • Meaningful Name: "Kotobuki" means "long life", while "Mirai" means "future". Fitting name for a girl trying to save the future so she can have a long life.
    • The man trying to save the world from an impending cataclysm is called Noah.
  • Public Domain Artifact: The Knights Templar own several of these, including Gungnir and the Holy Grail.
  • Race Against the Clock: Humanity will be destroyed on December 31, 2022, which means Noah and Mirai have roughly four years to figure out how to prevent it.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: Zig-Zagged. Most sources of information about the previous extinction of humanity have been rendered useless in the last 10000 years, with paper crumbling to dust and electronic data degrading to incomprehensibility. However, Tsubame-brand notebooks, which are made with special non-degrading alkaline paper, seem to be doing relatively fine.
  • Ripple Effect Indicator: There's a hospital in Yokohama which doesn't exist in the current cycle of history, but existed in the previous cycle. This indicates that the cycles of mankind aren't necessary exactly the same, and therefore the extinction of humanity may be prevented afterall.
  • Robbing the Dead: The fact that one of the Notes is buried with a long-dead Italian monk doesn't seem to faze Noah. Mirai, on the other hand...
  • Scenery Gorn: The ruins of the underground Yokohama are depicted in splendid detail.
  • Science Hero: Noah is trying to save mankind with the power of archaeology.
  • Screw Destiny: The final goal of the Scholar Society is to prevent the eternal cycle of history from completing yet another round, which would bring about the destruction of mankind.
  • Serious Business: History is not only important to understand our world, it's the key to humanity's survival.
  • Superweapon Surprise: Monet seems like just a relatively strong weirdo until he whips out the Hi-Note.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Averted. The first Note is found in Yokohama, Mirai's hometown.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Monet's Hi-Note is a beam weapon with an absolutely massive span.
  • Wham Shot: Mirai and Noah descend into an ancient tunnel underneath Yokohama to find... the ruins of Yokohama. The revelation is treated to a detailed wide page shot.
  • What You Are in the Dark: An important moment of character development for Mirai, who was only dragged around by Noah up to that point, is when she's separated from the professor and chased around the catacombs of Rome by armed mafiosi. For a moment, she considers giving them the Note she's carrying and hoping they'll spare her, but she decides to keep running instead - deciding for herself to keep fighting for the world.