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Manga / Re:BIRTH –The Lunatic Taker–

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Re:Birth: The Lunatic Taker is a manga by the manhwa team Im Dal Young and Lee Soo Hyun. Like previous series by Im Dal Young (Freezing, Black God), the series male protagonist takes a backseat in favor of having a strong female lead fighting most of the battles.

Reiji is your typical high-school student living with his big sister Ayaka. One day he stumbles upon a pair of bracelets on the sidewalk. He picks them up and tries to find the owner but gets sidetracked as a bag snatcher runs his direction. He tries to stop him but is stabbed and killed. On the brink of death he hears a voice from the bracelets "If thou wishes to live form a contract." What has Reiji gotten himself into? And what exactly does the contract entail?

Oh and his sister is a psycho.

The manga was later followed by Sai Taker, an alternative setting/sequel, although the manga is followed by Re:Birth: The Life Taker.


The manga features examples of:

  • Actual / Technical / Suicidal Pacifist: Reiji is determined not to kill other Takers (soul-sucking angels are okay). Ayaka thinks this is stupid, but she goes along with it 'cause she loves him.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Chapter 21. Reiji can now steal/absorb the powers of any phantom user. All phantom users are Pyschopaths. All Psychopaths are the strongest class, with the cheapest powers/skills. If all go well, he can at least create barriers and omni-directional ranged attacks.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The manga pretty much ends on a cliffhanger. Ryusuke manages to claim Ayaka for his plans. Reiji vows he will take down Life Inc and get her back. Three years later, Ryusuke is set to put his plans into motion but Reiji, who took a massive level in Badass, along with Natsuhi have amassed their own group of Takers and are set to begin war on Life Inc. The manga ends ominously with the two groups are about to carry out their plans. All which leads to the events of Sai Taker.
  • Artifact of Doom: If you see some jewelry on the ground leave it there.
    • Actually if you see one you're already doomed, not picking it up will just end your troubles faster
  • Art Shift: A very minor one. Whenever an enemy Taker appears, or if Ayaka is doing something particularly devious, the person will be saturated with a faint rectangular pattern. This is omitted in the eyes which drives a lot of attention to them.
  • Author Appeal: Just like in Freezing this series contains a meek young male protected by a big-busted older sister. Oh and everyone is wearing a school uniform.
    • Like in Freezing and Aflame Inferno the PantyFighting in no way impedes the plentiful violence. Closeups of panties or bare breasts are likely to show a limb that has been ripped off or an excruciating impalement.
  • Ax-Crazy: Many, but Ayaka may be the reason for the title. Hell, her class in this RPG-like Blood Sport is "Psychopath".
  • Big Sister Instinct: Ayaka is totally devoted to her brother. So why does she dream of strangling him?
    • Taking care of him is the only way for her to avoid being abused by her own mother, who constantly reminded her that she would have been nothing to nobody if her brother didn't come along
  • Blessed with Suck: Well, after the contract, you come back from the dead. Cool, right? Well, it just so happens that in order to remain living you must fight others that have also made contracts and absorb their life points by killing them. Also, you find yourself having to worry about soul-eating angelic monsters.
  • Blood Sport: The characters are basically living in an MMORPG, but instead of the fun of LARP, they have to deal with the threat of dying horribly when they run out life points or being manipulated by players that constantly remind them that their lives are forfeit if they are uncooperative.
    • There are even guilds, online forums, level-ups, stats, and profile pages. Except the forums are filled with gloating man-hunters and the effectiveness of a level up can literally be life or death for a Taker.
  • Clothing Damage: Justified, since many wounds seal themselves, even if a fighter is incapacitated, understating the injury.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Think you're going to stop a mugger Renji? Of course he has a knife.
  • Evil Twin: It could be argued that Natsuhi is Reiji's evil twin: Not only do they look alike, she's considerably more aggressive and isn't afraid to confront Ayaka. And then there's Ran and Ayaka, not only both girls look alike but are the same Psychopath class as well!
  • Expy: Ayaka, Reiji, and Natsuhi fight the giant, female-looking Angels / Satellizer, Kazuya, and Rana fight the giant, female-looking Novas. Ayaka/Satellizer manifest blades while Natsuhi/Rana use their fists, Reiji/Kazuya keeps them in check, and the Angels/Novas tower over all. Alternately, Ayaka is Louis but with more self-control.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Horribly subverted. A Taker who took Ayaka and Reiji under his wing and showed them how to fight angels instead of other Takers is mortally wounded. At first he puts on a brave front but at the last minute he tries to kill them to save himself while screaming "I DON'T WANT TO DIE!"
  • Fan Disservice: The Angels are voluptuous, naked and tend to fondle themselves while stealing the soul of the victims they have their nice legs wrapped around. Then they transform and become giant, large-breasted gargoyles. No, not like those Gargoyles. Like the ones meant to ward of evil by way of sheer ugliness.
  • Life Meter: It's filled by killing other Takers or angels, but it goes down one point each day regardless.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution - not only is Ayaka a bit too quick to kill any threat to her little brother, but most Takers that have been encountered would much rather just kill other Takers than hunt the absurdly powerful angels or research a way out.
  • Personality Power: When you begin, you are classed. The strongest class is the Psychopath. Do the math.
  • Pet the Dog: Ran might a cold Ojou and a ruthless Psychopath but she has a soft spot for a boy she likes and his siblings as well. By the end of the series, Ran adopted the siblings after he was killed by Ayaka.
    • Kyouka Igarashi might be a Manipulative schemer at Life Inc but at home, she cares about her younger siblings which we learn at the of the series.
  • Reverse Psychology: When Natsuhi finds a pair of earrings Reiji practically forces her to wear them, making her reluctant to do so. Later, after she confronts Ayaka on her more-than-sisterly feelings for Reiji, Ayaka tells her the earrings probably wouldn't suit her so of course she puts them on, making her a Taker.
  • Shout-Out
  • Schmuck Bait: The cursed jewelry innocently lying around.
    • Only if you see that jewelry it means your soul has already been sucked out, picking it up will force you to participate in Blood Sport but it's also the only way to survive inevitable death that is coming for you
  • Speech Impediment: You know that one Kotonoha-expy? The one who rips the head off that one girl and then slices half the head off the guy attacking Ayaka. Yeah, she has one.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: One of the biggest conflicts of the manga (along with a psychotic older sister and people after each other) is that Reiji is about as idealistic as they come while Ayaka is stuck on the absolute other side of the scale.
  • Superpower Lottery: Levelling up randomly gives you a skill. It is partially affected by how distorted you are, and natural talent.
  • There Are No Therapists: Reiji becomes in serious need of one as the series picks up.
  • Too Dumb to Live: So when looking at your sister's video game style profile you really don't find it weird that her class is "Psychopath"? Reiji, you might be passing into Too Dumb to Live territory.
    • The guy's trying to be a pacifist in a "game" where if you don't kill the people who are trying to kill you you'll die anyway, no wonder Ayaka's always on the verge of strangling him to death!
  • Took A Level In Bad Ass: Subverted. Reiji thinks he can handle a few school bullies after fighting off angels and Takers, but Natsuhi winds up taking care of them because she actually knows how and wants to fight.
    • He takes an undisputed one in Chapter 21. I don't need to give you a page. You will know it when you see it.
  • The Glasses Come Off: You should start running whenever Ayaka takes off hers.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: Contracts, limited lifespan that requires you to keep killing soul-sucking monsters to stay alive, breakdowns and insanity. A dispute regarding sticking to one's principles while desperate. Yeah, just like this.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Explicitly stated. Takers lose their inhibition with more power and the stronger they are the crazier they get. Superpowered psychos are an eventuality and Ayaka, who's class is literally "Psychopath" is the one with the most potential.