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The year is AD 2048. Japan is connected to the Eurasian continent by a transcontinental railroad. The capital, Tokyo, has become a crucible of criminals and terrorists. And so, in the metropolitan darkness a mysterious presence attacks and slaughters people, unnoticed, night after night… Just what are these “things that are not human” living in hiding in the human world? And just who is this “Origin” person who faces them?

Origin manga created by Boichi of Sun-Ken Rock fame, and published at the same time as his other work Dr. Stone. Set in the same continuity of his other non-collaborative works, follows the misadventures of Origin, an almost human robot after the death of his father and creator, which told him to "Live properly", with these words as his raison d'etre he embarks on a quest of self-discovery, learn about humans, and live as best as he can.

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No one suspects of him, and he does his best, struggling to socialize and to not stand out too much. But as time goes on, several killer robots led by a mysterious "Ken" are on the rise, Origin is the one and only ally of mankind.

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Contains examples of:

  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The story is set in 2048 in a Cyberpunk Tokyo where technology and robotics have become even more omnipresent, the global warming has been curbed but not resolved yet, and North Korea still exists but as an open and developing country, and space warfare is developing.
  • Adorkable: Origin is incredibly badass yet at the same time a huge lovable dorks. His artificial intelligence is good enough to make his calculate what is the theorical best social action, but not how to perform it. It leads him to stupid actions like approving of a thug's ambition in the most childish way possible. Thankfully for him, he becomes better at it.
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  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Even for a futuristic city as big as 2048 Tokyo, the sewers are ridiculously big, with main tunnels able to fit a truck, and some even ending on a big hub where the walls could be mistaken for cliffs.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Origin is fighting against hostile and murderous robots.
  • All-Powerful Bystander: Y meets with a being that could actually be called God and asks the latter why it doesn't intervene in human affairs. This being replies that it operates on such a high level that it has no reason to mess with biological life, just as one may have no reason to interact with microbes.
  • Arc Words:The phrase "You(Origin's creator) disappeared that day, and only a corpse remained." is a frequently recurring phrase in Origin's inner thoughts. He also thinks it after Mai gets killed.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: The gimmick of the robot named Li. Having begun its life as a nearly ruined pile of scraps that couldn't move at all until Ken repaired it, it became obsessed with movement and then discovered martial arts, studying them intensively to move at peak performance. Thanks to some modifications like weights on his back to allow it to move a high speed without messing its balance and heavy incorporation of artificial muscles (83% of its body mass is muscle), Li is a powerful close quarters specialists that fights with his body and superhuman martial skill, casually performing Dodge the Bullet movements or a Megaton Punch.
  • Become a Real Boy: Origin has the goal of gaining feelings then true sentience, as he considers himself as a artificial intelligence which is very powerful, but still at the level of faking emotions.
  • Beneath Notice: Origin plans on not attracting attention at his job, but he stands out despite his efforts to stay in the background as events conspire to make him interesting and all the higher-ups shortly notice that he's more competent that he lets on without guessing he's a robot.
  • Boring, but Practical: In chapter 12, Pr. Che Chanchong asks the newbies to give ideas for improving a camera's performances and at the same time make it cheaper, something that they would be hard pressed to accomplish. Although Origin does have the extraordinary technology his father's left him, he prefers to state the simple solution that real-life companies do on a regular basis: look in the Internet for whatever smaller companies did better, and press them with AEE's financial weight to agree on an outrageously one-sided deal to make the better pieces cheaper.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: Origin sensing that he is a danger to Mai, tries for some time to act cold and break her heart by faking a Love Triangle with Laura Fermi. That way he thinks that she will get away from him and be safer. It doesn't work as Mai is hurt but adopts a I Want My Beloved to Be Happy mindset.
  • Child Prodigy: Ai is stated to be a genius in robotics, despite being a child.
  • Children Are Innocent: Despite being the daughter of a twisted man and in the presence of killer robots, Ai doesn't hesitate to impart simply morality to them, and says that they are evil because they haven't received a proper education.
  • Cranial Processing Unit: Most of the robots do that, except "Gon" who defies mimicking the human form. His drones have their CPU hidden in the chest, the head a hollow decoy.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Origin has the most sophisticated robotic body and brain of the world, having intelligence to match many times over a human genius, and physical ability allowing him to Flash Step or casually lift 1 ton. However, the maintenance costs are high, leading to a near perpetual state of poverty. His level of sophistication also means that there isn't many ways for him to properly maintain and sustain himself, so any prolonged trip out of his house means trouble.
  • Cyber Ninja: Origin takes after the ninja to develop his fighting style. His advanced body enables him to perform Flash Step and he openly takes the trickster style of the ninja without using their stereotypical tools, instead using camouflage skin and drones to perform Actually A Doom Bot and other tricks. His goal of keeping his identity secret also contributes to this.
  • Dare to Be Badass: During the attack on Kyoto's AEE facility, the security guard Michelle Roadrunner is understandably overwhelmed by fear and wants to stay safe in the panic room. Everyone else being encouraged by Tanaka's apparent bravery, they goad Roadrunner into stepping out and help him.
  • Declaration of Protection: During their roadtrip to Kyoto, "Tanaka" and Mai bond, leading to Mai asking Tanaka to protect her. Origin decides that it is within his instruction of "living properly" and puts Mai's safety as one of his priorities.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Origin gets a job at AEE, the most prestigious robotics company in Japan to get the necessary parts for him to survive. However, he forgot that frequenting so many experts in robotics would probably result in him being unmasked.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Two KillerRobots overhear Mai talking and note that she talks in the exact same way as robots with their specific speech program do, making the same subtle errors. They assume that she is a robot like them and prepare to kill her. Actually she is fully human, she is just the one who created said speech program, modelling it after herself.
    • Due to being the sole surivor of the fire that killed Origin's parents and everyone else at the AEE facility they worked at, and due to being the hardest human for Origin to read, deliberately hiding her emotions better than anyone else, Origin comes to the conclusion that Laura Fermi is the one who caused their deaths, and wonders if President Hirosue of the company might have been able to stop it if she had know it was coming. In actuality, Hirosue was the one who caused the fire, as she was scared that the robots being created might one day destroy humanity.
  • Expy: Of Megaman, as a Composite Character of Rock love for Dr. Light, and of X with his existential crisis.
  • Fan Disservice: Nudity is frequently presented in the context of Body Horror and death.
  • Femme Fatale: Laura Fermi definitely plays the part to a T with her cryptic behaviour. One one hand, she shamelessly uses her massive sex-appeal to gain the upper hand when needed. On the other hand, she displays an unusually high intelligence and sense of self-preservation, as seen during the HQ's invasion by Gon. Origin himself remarks that she's dangerous, not because of her appearance but because she's an expert at concealing her actual motivations and goals. In short, her Hot Scientist act is indeed just an act but even Origin can't determine what Laura is actually after.
  • The Fettered: Origin can make pragmatic moves such as temporarily inducing cardiac arrest to Ms. Hirose so she doesn't bother him during an assassination attempt, but his prime goal of "living properly" means he had to respect the basic laws of morality. Thus he tries to keep the deaths to a minimum and tries to earn his money.
  • Finger Firearms: The upgraded "Gon"'s model is equipped with finger-mounted rail guns, which decrease finger dexterity in exchange for having an integrated and powerful weapon which he can use merely by pointing at someone.
  • First Time Feeling: Origin begins to truly feel emotions for the first time when Mai is killed in front of him. Overwhelmed by the event, Origin begins to feel genuine sentiments such as pain, grief, pity and ANGER.
  • Genius Slob: The chief engineer of the "head team", Che Chanchong, is a stark contrast to all the employee with clean haircuts and nice suits. He's a short fat man with unkempt hair and beard wearing casual sport clothes.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Laura Fermi, Origin's very attractive superior seems to be in love with Choe Chan Jeong, Origin's not so attractive boss. Jeong rebuffed her advances, telling her he could never love a person as much as his robots, but he later tells Origin that he can't honestly believe someone like her would be in love with someone like him.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: A recurring theme throughout the story. Many of of the main characters feel isolated from the world and simply want to be loved by someone.
  • Innocently Insensitive: An interesting example. To distance himself from Mai who had fallen in love with him, he deliberately acts cold and insensitive towards her in hopes that she will fall out of love with him. One of the steps he takes is to start flirting with Fermi, who at first reciprocates completely, having previously opened up to him. However, Fermi quickly catches on that he is using her to push away someone else and shuts herself off emotionally to him, which catches him off guard. He didn't seem to even realize that what he was doing was just as insensitive to Fermi as it was to Mai and was mostly just confused why Fermi's attitude towards him changed so suddenly.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Origin fights with a katana made of electroactive polymers, allowing it to bend up to a point and thus hide the blade in his left arm.
  • Killer Robot: One of the robots, ironically having the face of Origin's father, is compelled by his morbid curiosity to dissect humans. He is a Serial Killer who's become an underworld legend for his massacres.
  • Kill Sat: It is mentioned that Earth is surrounded by these from many countries launching their own weapons. Unlike the usual Wave Motion Gun variants, these launch intelligent tungstene rods to act as precise armor-piercing projectiles.
  • Literal-Minded: Origin, although since he is an A.I., it is comprehensible. It is downplayed, but Origin must actually think a lot to decypher whether someone is speaking his mind or saying someone beneath. Also he spends a lot of time thinking of the different interpretations of his "Live properly" command. Mai eventually interprets it as a parent simply giving him a loving piece of advice, with no particular way of executing it.
  • Logical Weakness: All the robots are extremely advanced A.Is. in superhuman bodies, but their extreme performance coupled with a human-like frame poses two problems: they tend to overheat and they need energy badly to reload their batteries. All the robots think about how to grow more powerful and alleviate the overheating and battery problem, with Gon abandoning the human frame's limitation, Li choosing a battlefield of his choosing to cool off with surrounding water instead of integrated systems, and Origin eventually discovering new laws of physics to improve his physical performances without having to worry ever about his former weaknesses.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Hirosue Miyuki has trapped a sentient A.I. named Y in a network of billions of CP Us to prevent it from ever knowing there is another bigger world to escape to, and she couldn't bring herself to actually get rid of Y.
  • The Masquerade: Origin and his eight robot siblings all fake being humans, an exercice they are quite good at. While Origin only does so as an extrapolation of his command to "live properly", the others simply infiltrate society.
  • Master of Disguise: The robots can create artificial skin to disguise as anybody, even someone with a vastly different build. This practically becomes Aria's specialty who infiltrates AEE several times under several disguises as well as the police.
  • Mechanical Monster: The "Gon" robot decides to foregoes upgrading the software and acquire state-of-the-art hardware to become more powerful physically speaking. While he had a human form, his new form is that of a giant metal larvae with giant tentacles and hands and with his robotic head in full display.
  • Mega-Corp:AEE for Asian-Europe Express & Energy, is the biggest and most powerful technological conglomerate of the world, being so essential to society its influence is felt at every level. For instance, the CEO and founder Hirosue Miyuki is harder to approach than Japan's Prime Minister, they maintain their own private army, and even the police is not allowed to step in their propriety without authorization, even in urgent situations.
  • More Dakka: Gon believes in physical power, and equips himself and his drones with powerful grenade launchers, rocket launchers, rail guns and whatnot. He does carry a pair of katanas for close range encounters.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Origin saw fit to give himself an extremely fit and athletic body with a pretty face. He often has to put off his clothes during combat or walks around nude at home.
  • Ms. Fanservice: All the notable female characters are drawn with pretty faces, attractive curves, and subject to numerous fanservice tropes from recurring Male Gaze or being Shameless Fanservice Girl in the case of the robots of Ms. Fermi.
  • Off with His Head!: A robot can still function even as only a severed head. The mysterious "Ken" is also presented as a head impaled on a metal spike.
  • Overheating: The series heavily insists on this. The robots not only must watch for their power reserves, but intense calculations and physical activity will result in all their systems heating up at high temperatures, and even beginning to melt if they push themselves too far. This represents an obstacle for Origin, who wants to improves his body's performances while conserving a human shape, severely limiting the way he can prevent overheating.
  • Powered Armor: Origin develops an armor made of artificial muscle fibers to improve his physical abilities while not compromising his human form. It can also function as an Animated Armor drone to fool enemies and can Instant Armor Origin too.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Played with and exploited by the characters. All robots are made to examine the situation and calculate whatever is the best option for them. When Origin kills the first robot, the others make a first illogical decision of trying to take revenge on him, but then he manages to bluff his assassins into thinking the situation has become a risky one for them as well, thus making them back down to minimize the risk to themselves.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: Origin and his siblings are all of these, having a near perfect ability to appear human. It goes from having specialized voice module, to faking releasing carbon dioxyde when "breathing", or even having a reasonable weight for their bulks. On the other side, a trained robot engineer can risk spotting a robot, as Origin discovers.
    • The eight robot assassins then upgrade their software and begin to perform even more humanlike actions such as having sex.
  • Robo Family: Origin considers his creator to be his father figure and all the robots he's also created as his siblings. However, the others do not share this view and see "Ken" as their leader.
  • Robot Girl: Origin encounters several robots with a gorgeous woman's body. The first of them, "Da", can near perfectly play the part of a sexy call girl and Dumb Blonde.
    • Y takes on a skimpily clothed female robot's body.
  • Robots Think Faster: Yes, the robots, especially Origin, have a raw computing ability vastly superior to humans (it is mention that the enemy robots are 30 times better, and Origin is 70 times better than the latter). It allows Origin to constantly use Awesomeness by Analysis, causing many internal exposition to himself and allowing him to calculate the best possible course of action within his goals.
  • Sexy Mentor: The voluptuous italian woman Laura Fermi becomes Tanaka's superior and mentor-like figure during his day job.
  • Secret Identity: Origin keeps two personas to move around and pass as an human. The first is "Jin Tanaka", a modest employee at AEE. The second is "Gonta", a small-time criminal.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Even early in the story, all the androids are sophisticated enough to see bullets coming and block them. However, Origin then brings out a 30mm caliber shotgun that shoots 200 tungsten pellets in one shell, making short work of the robot Shin who thought he could pull off a "Never Bring a Gun to a Knife Fight" against Origin.
  • Stealth Sequel: Chapter 73 establishes the story is one to Sun Ken Rock by introducing the reader to an aged Ken Kitano.
  • Super Toughness: The robots are so perfected that grievous wounds, even having one's head being severed, doesn't really affect them. A headless robot will be able to fight, the head biting into the neck to keep itself near the body.
  • Teen Genius: Origin is hired at the same time at AEE as three other coworkers, freshly graduated from more or less prestigious universities or having demonstrated their ability in one way or another. They are all skilled in robotics although their boss notes that in the eyes of the greatest robotics company in Japan, the recruits are "ordinary".
  • The Unexpected: Kitano Ken is an old man now, but he's doing pretty well, apparently he financed the company Origin works at.
  • Those Two Guys: Katsura and Kuroda, hired at the same time as Origin and Mai, are quite irrelevant to the story and mainly serve as comic relief.
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