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Manga / Red Eyes

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Graham "Genocide" Mills was once the finest soldier in the Regium Republic military, respected by his peers and feared by his enemies. But when the war with the neighboring country of the Dragonov Federation ends with defeat, Mills is betrayed and sent to prison to await execution. But when he escapes, he's immediately found to be the most dangerous man alive, with or without his Special Assault Armor. Now, on the run from the military in both Regium and the Federation, Mills sets out to find the truth behind his unit's betrayal, the reasons for the war, and his own revenge against those who wronged him.

Drawn and written by Jun Shindo, Red Eyes started in 1999 at Magazine E-No from publisher Kodansha, later it got transfered to Magazine Great, this series is part of their Monthly Shonen Magazine Comics line (yes, despite what the content might make you think otherwise, this is not a Seinen series).

26 volumes have been published as of March 2022.

If you're looking for the trope of red-eyed characters, head on over to Red Eyes, Take Warning.

Red Eyes contains examples of:

  • Ace Custom: The designer of the Mk-54 was a fan of Mills, and intentionally designed it as an Ace Custom for him. It's also deconstructed, as being specifically designed for Mills means that SAA jockeys who aren't at his level can't control it.
  • All There in the Manual: Manga volumes actually end with supplemental information that is more than helpful in fully understanding what's going on in story.
  • Alternate Universe: Volume 6 also reveals that after a major terrorist attack (implied to be 9/11), the US prosecuted the Global War on Terror literally, culminating in the formation of DUPE.
  • America Takes Over the World: Volume 6 reveals that the US conquered the world in the early 21st century, creating a One World Order called the Democratic Union for Peace on Earth or DUPE, before internal rebellions and the collapse of the One World Order caused the reshaping of the map. It also explains why so much American/NATO military hardware is in use.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Or at least, huge jerks. The cake goes to Julian Krayz, who wants to Take Over the World using his own, inherited Badass Army.
  • Arm Cannon: Mill's hijacked super protoype has a railgun mounted to the left arm; as a Retractable Weapon that is folded away until actually in use.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Regium Super Prototype that Mills steals; the test pilot, an Aggressor, is unable to control it, describing it as a wild horse. Mills has no such problems, because it was specifically designed for him.
  • Band of Brothers: The Jackals were originally this, as Mills and his squad lived and died together throughout fierce fighting... until they betrayed him.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: In keeping with the war is hell theme, the only person physically unscathed by the fighting is Lars. Mills and Lenny look like Bishounen but have an impressive collection of scars under their shirts, and have bled a lot.
  • Berserk Button: Do not say bad things about Leila, or Lenny will make you think otherwise with his fists.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Lenny seems to be very protective of his sister Leila, back then he beat up an entire group of companion soldiers because they were bad mouthing her. Now he is worried because she supports Julian, and they both know Julian is not to be trusted.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Mills does his best to make a habit of this, though he doesn't always arrive in time.
    • During the capital uprising, civilian protestors attempt to fight riot police with rocks and molotov cocktails, but are driven back by tear gas. Then the Resistance force show up and turn the tide.
  • Call-Back: Early in Volume One, Mills beats up a bar full of disgruntled ex-soldiers, partly as a Bright Slap to them and to bait the ex-Jackal GIGN operator. In Volume Ten, the same bar patrons are part of the Resistance, and it's implied that it's thanks to Mills.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: There are many subtle cases of pretty much all capable soldiers doing things a normal human can't do, but the display of power that Mills, at 19 years old, shows against the Mutiny is just mind boggling, the slaughtered forces even lampshades it by frequently screaming He is not human!.
  • Colonel Badass: Colonel Classad, Mills' mentor, and commander of the Ranger Regiment, who recruited Mills into the Rangers, bypassing Army Basic. He later attempts a mutiny, and is eventually killed by Mills after a long and grueling fight.
  • Days of Future Past: Thanks to a killsat system put in place from before the massive reshaping of the world's maps, warfare is now more akin to WW2 than modern combat, despite that massive advances in technology.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Or rather, reforging of bonds. After besting Lenny Krueger in combat, Mills spares his life and convinces him to join forces.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous:
    • The main characters were all part of the elite special SAA unit, the Jackals. The soldiers watching them during the Jackal counterattack literally stop fighting and go into describing them out of awe. There's the GIGN counterterrorist team. note 
    • On the Dragunov side, there's the Cobras who use their own unique SAA and are also feared and respected by their enemies.
  • Fragile Speedster: The SAA used by the Cobras. Unlike most SAA, which can take hits up to at least 7.62mm NATO, Cobra SAA eschews all protection for speed and maneuverability.
  • Friendly Sniper: Lars, who was an all around nice guy, and the first person to be friendly to Mills at Ranger School.
  • Fun with Acronyms: DUPE, the Democratic Union for Peace on Earth, founded after America took over the world after a major terrorist attack, implied to be 9/11.
  • Good Guns, Bad Guns: Averted. Dragunov and Regium use a lot of American and NATO military equipment. Justified because American took over the world a century ago.
  • Gun Porn: Lots and lots of guns are shown, many of which are accurately drawn but with different manufacturer names.
  • Immune to Bullets: SAA, in varying degrees. Most SAA (excepting the Cobras) can tank standard infantry small arms; heavy machine guns and rocket launchers can kill SAA if the operator stands up in broad daylight like an idiot.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Lars. Justified partially due to being a sniper, but shooting a 15cm target at over 10 kilometers? Down the gunbarrel at that.
  • Jack of All Stats:
    • The ASP-175 Bardiche SAA that's standard issue for Regium. Decent performance but not a standout; almost all other SAA are superior to it. Regium military planners intended to replace it with the ASP-180 Swashbuckler but time and the war wasn't on their side.
    • Even operator skill can't compensate for this: while Mills gives a good accounting of himself in a stolen ASP-175, Lenny's Zebra outmatches him in all aspects, prompting him to go looking for an upgrade.
    • To an extent Mills is this himself. He's not the best at specific skills (Lars is a better sniper, Lenny is better at close combat), but very good at everything, and blends Combat Pragmatism with tactical-level Xanatos Speed Chess.
  • Kil L Sat: Eyes of the Beholder, an autonomously operating network of ICBM interception satellites, armed with lasers. Their deployment by DUPE instantly made strategic nuclear weapons useless. Gaining control of the network is key to Krayz's plans. The satellites are also initially capable of being directed to fire on strategic targets such as cities.
  • Love Martyr: Leila seems to know that Julian is not a good guy, but she trusts his vision to change the world and openly confronts her protective brother in behalf of it; Julian is not shown to be particularly interested in Leila besides sleeping with her.
  • Made of Explodium: Things tend to explode when hit by the trackgun (a railgun expy). No explanation is ever given.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Or rather, Volume 2 Upgrade. Mills steals (with the designer's blessings) a Regium Super Prototype SAA in Volume 2.
  • Misfit Mobilization Moment: In Volume 10, the Regium Resistance mobilises to retake the capital.
  • The Mole: Julian Krayz, Mills' former XO, who led the Jackals in betraying him, was actually a Dragunov double agent. In addition, he's playing everyone against each other for his own plans.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast:
    • Captain Grahad "Genocide" Mills. Feared by friend and foe alike and has a well earned reputation as a killer on the battlefield after killing numerous enemy soldiers. The nickname was originally acquired when Mills effectively slaughters an attempted mutiny led by experienced soldiers with superior training and equipment.
    • The Jackals: An elite powered armor unit belonging to Regium's forces, were widely respected and feared. Six of them held a small town against an enemy brigade... with no casualties.
  • One-Man Army: Mills' nickname of "Genocide" came from his allies. During the graduation exercise for Ranger training, Mills and his squad come under attack from the instructors, who are attempting a mutiny. With most of his team dead except for Lars and Lenny, who are on the other side of the area, Mills singlehandedly penetrates the mutineers' compound, takes out most of their force, and kills the Colonel Badass leading them in single combat. Then the Dragon arrives with fresh troops, three Powered Armors, three Awesome Personnel Carriers, and a prototype Swashbuckler SAA... And that's when he flips the fuck out and takes out everybody. A horrified Lars' situation report:
    "This isn't war. It's genocide."
    • A slightly lesser example is Lenny Krueger: after his Defeat Means Friendship moment, completely out of ammo for his rifle and micromissiles, a large enemy force comes after him and Mills. Lenny elects to Hold the Line to allow Mills to pursue Krayz. When Mills returns, every single enemy is dead.
  • Pet the Dog: Midway through Volume 4, a fleeing mother and daughter run headfirst into the Cobras, who take aim at them and prepare to execute them. The end of the story arc reveals them safe and alive, the Cobra Commander having let them go.
  • Powered Armor: SAA are a variety of power armor seen extensively on the battlefield in a number of roles in every military. They effectively bridge the gap between common infantry and armored vehicles often wielding a variety of heavy weapons.
  • The Remnant: A sizeable portion of Regium's military is holded up in a mountainous province, resisting Dragunov and refusing to surrender.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • The manga is very well researched when it comes to certain military matters, to the point where it contains a simplified chart showing the command chain of an entire army, and the 'entire government of a fake nation''.
    • Not only does the mangaka use the correct NATO symbols for depicting the various combat units, all infantry weapons present are drawn accurately, and all weapons used are either in-service, or evolutions and extrapolations of existing concepts. Eyes of the Beholder is based on the defunct United States SDI, "Star Wars", missile shield program including the potential use as a strategic weapon.
  • Super Prototype:
    • Early in the manga, two are being evaluated to be Dragunov's next frontline SAA: the Dragunov designed FR-A12 Zebra, and the Regium-designed Mk-54. Mills hijacks the Mk-54 and the Zebra's test pilot, former Jackal Lenny Krueger, defects back to Mills.
    • During the Ranger School mutiny, Mills goes up against a soldier operating an ASP-180 Swashbuckler prototype. The Swashbuckler itself later goes into limited production to equip the Jackals and other elite units.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The manga is set in a future where the US at one point conquered the world with powerful laser satellites and a strong military only to lose that control during World War III. Functional Power Armor and later a compact rail gun like weapon are created as well.
  • Wall Run: The Cobra Commander does this twice in his story arc: the first time, against a Regium fireteam is successful; the 2nd time, against Mills... isn't quite as effective.
  • World War III: Part of the background plot for the Manga is that the US laser satellite technology had its strategic strike capabilities disabled and only retained the ability to intercept ICBM's. This lead to a world wide rebellion against the US global rule resulting in WWIII and setting the stage for the manga's present time.