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Manga / Satou Kashi no Dangan wa Uchinukenai

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Satou Kashi no Dangan wa Uchinukenai (砂糖菓子の弾丸は撃ちぬけない, A Lollipop or a Bullet) is a manga series based on the novel Sugar Candy Bullets Can't Pierce Anything by Kazuki Sakuraba. The manga is illustrated by Iqura Sugimoto, and it was serialized in Dragon Age from 2007 to 2009.

Nagisa Yamada is an aloof and anti-social middle school girl who lives in a nondescript rural town. After the death of her father caused her mother to struggle to make ends meet and her brother Tomohiko to withdraw from the world around him, Nagisa decided that things like high school and friendship meant little to her. Thus, she wants nothing more than to graduate middle school and enroll in the Self Defense Force, where she hopes to be able to shape her own destiny.

When a rich and strange new girl by the name of Mokuzu Umino transfers into Nagisa's school from Tokyo and declares that she is a "Mermaid", she quickly becomes the center of attention. Noticing that Nagisa is the only classmate that seems to have no interest in her, Mokuzu quickly decides that they should become "precious friends". Despite Nagisa's objections, Mokuzu begins to follow her wherever she goes.

How will Nagisa, who cares for nothing that is "not a bullet", deal with this eccentric girl who claims to need her friendship in order to survive? And what will she do if Mokuzu's wild stories turn out to be true? Or, if she's actually lying about being a mermaid, then why would she make up such tales...?

Satou Kashi no Dangan wa Uchinukenai contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Mokuzu's rockstar father, Masachika, is shown to be aloof towards her at best and emotionally abusive at worst, once leaving her behind in a grocery store parking lot simply because a defective shopping cart made him angry. And that's only the tip of the iceberg.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Both girls have purple hair in the source, but in the manga, Nagisa has brown hair and Mokuzu has black. Nagisa's hair is also far longer in the novel.
  • Adults Are Useless: It seems that the rumors about Masachika's abuse of Mokuzu had spread around and her neighbors were planning to send the police after him and rescue her. However, Mokuzu refused their help and defended her dad out of Stockholm Syndrome, so the plan fell through. Since there were no countermeasures, she was soon beaten to death. Nagisa and Mokuzu's teacher lampshades the trope when he blames himself for not having done enough to save her.
  • Adults Are Useless: Nagisa comes to this conclusion after talking with her teacher.
    Nagisa: Adults act like heroes but all they really want is to control us children.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Rather than resent Tomohiko for giving up his promising future and spending what little money the family has left on his Otaku interests, Nagisa and their mother think of him as modern-day Nobility.
  • Art-Style Dissonance: The light novel makes it look like a cute little shojo. It's not.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Though he is often withdrawn and oblivious, Tomohiko displays moments of stunning insight when he gives her advice that cuts right to the heart of her problems. In fact, he's the first one to believe Nagisa's claims that Mokuzu has been killed and dismembered.
  • Big Fancy House: Mokuzu's house in the city's upscale district is shown, and it's fabulous. In a subversion, its luxurious bath-room is featured as Nagisa finds more and more evidence of Mokuzu's murder...
  • Break the Cutie: Mokuzu's death greatly, greatly breaks Nagisa, and it leaves Tomohiko rather shaken as well.
  • Bury Your Gays: Mozoku is killed by her own father, utterly breaking Nagisa, who ultimately goes to high school without any love interest.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • Nagisa doesn't believe Mokuzu when she tells her that her father killed her dog. Turns out she's not making this up for a change.
    • When Mokuzu is killed by her father, neither Nagisa's mom or her visiting teacher believe Nagisa, thinking Mokuzu is just an eccentric liar who is playing a trick on Nagisa. In the novel, she even visits the police, but they don't believe her either. No one believes her until she and her brother (the only one who does believe her) go to the police after finding Mokuzu's body in the mountains.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The bottle that Mokuzu throws away in the first chapter makes another appearance in the very end.
  • Child Supplants Parent: Mokuzu says that she loves her father the most and that she fought over him with her mother. And won.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Mokuzu. She's a subversion: she doesn't believe her lies and her behavior is either directly related to her abusive childhood or a cry for help. If not both.
  • Cooldown Hug: Tomohiko tries to give this to Nagisa to keep her from seeing Mokuzu's dismembered remains. It fails: Nagisa releases herself and soon gets an eyeful of her best friend's corpse.
  • Cut Himself Shaving: Mokuzu tells Nagisa that the bruises on her legs are because mermaid skin is very sensitive to pollution. She actually got them from her father.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Mokuzu displays a lot of elements of an abused child. Her unusual Cloud Cuckoolander personality stems from the abuse.
  • Dead Man's Chest: Masachika Umino hides his daughter's body in a trolley case, which Nagisa sees him carry away.
  • Disappeared Dad: The cause of most of the Yamada family's troubles. Nagisa's father was swallowed up by the sea during a freak storm that occurred 10 years ago... the same kind of storm that Mokuzu says will herald the return of the mermaids in just one month's time.
  • Downer Ending: With only a slight touch of sweetness. Nagisa decides to go to high school after all and Tomohiko overcomes his illness to enroll in the JSDF, but only after Mokuzu's gruesome death - which they uncovered.
  • Full-Name Basis: Mokuzu always refers to Nagisa as "Nagisa Yamada", even in the most mundane of conversations.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The light novel begins with a newspaper expert describing Mokuzu's murder. The manga takes the How We Got Here approach.
  • Get Out!: Masachika doesn't harm Nagisa when he finds her in his home after having taken Mokuzu's cut-up body to the nearby hills, but he does kick her out when she confronts him.
  • Harmful to Minors: Relatively early into the manga, Mokuzu and Nagisa come across the corpse of Mokuzu's dog dismembered in the woods. Later on Nagisa and her brother find Mokuzu's corpse in a similar state. Tomohiko tries to shield his little sister from the horror but she gets past him.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Nagisa slides fast into this state when she's first told about Mokuzu's death, then fully falls into it when she sees Mokuzu's dead body. She's still bluescreening the next morning, as she and Tomohiko reveal everything.
    • Tomohiko also suffers one for the same reason, crying and shivering as he and Nagisa tell the police what happened to poor Mokuzu.
    • Nagisa's teacher is also seen in a bluescreening state because he didn't believe Nagisa when she told him about Mokuzu's murder. He even gives a rather heartbreaking "The Reason You Suck" Speech to himself, since he was thinking of talking to Mokuzu about her situation and yet couldn't do anything...
  • Hiding the Handicap: Mokuzu hides that she is deaf in one ear. This creates trouble as her classmates think she's ignoring them when she actually can't hear them from one side.
  • Hikikomori: Tomohiko Yamada is described by his younger sister as "Beautiful, gentle-natured, and shockingly intelligent... but at the same time, he's just as surprisingly useless." Once his father died, Tomohiko dropped out of school and hasn't set foot outside of his house in the three years since. He only recovers after Mokuzu's murder.
  • How We Got Here: The manga starts on the 4th of October with Nagisa telling the audience that she's searching for something in the mountains. Then the story goes back to the 2nd of September. It's not until very late that the readers learn that what Nagisa is looking for is Mokuzu's corpse.
  • Idol Singer: Most of her classmates think Mokuzu Umino is the daughter of a famous actor/musician of the same name, Masachika Umino. She claims that she, of course, can't have a father due to being a genderless Mermaid born of sea foam.
  • Important Hair Cut:
    • Tomohiko cuts his hair short in the very end when he enrolls in the Self Defense Force.
    • Nagisa lets her hair loose after losing Mokuzu and deciding to stay in school.
  • Kill the Cutie: "Happy" New Transfer Student Mokuzu ends up brutally killed by her father.
  • Love Triangle: Between Nagisa, Kanajima and Mokuzu. With Mokuzu's death, it's all rendered null.
  • Meaningful Name: Mokuzu Umino means "Scraps of seaweed from the sea". Mokuzu is also a metaphor for death at sea.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Kanajima snaps violently on Mokuzu when he believes that she killed the school's pet rabbits. Nagisa intervenes and he has this reaction, to the extreme that he doesn't defend himself when Mokuzu hits him back.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Mokuzu Umino aka "Scraps of seaweed from the sea" aka death at sea.
  • Not a Date: When Nagisa's friend Kanajima gets the nerve to ask Mokuzu if she would like to go to the movies with them, she accepts... but only because she thinks of it as another opportunity to spend time with Nagisa.
    Nagisa: Is Kanajima invisible or something?
  • Odd Friendship: Between the serious and aloof Nagisa and the fanciful Cloud Cuckoolander Mokuzu.
  • Offing the Offspring: It was apparently an unintentional death. Mokuzu's father beat her too hard and ended up killing her.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: According to Mokuzu, mermaids can be transformed into humans by witches, in exchange for walking with an imperfect pair of legs and with the risk that they will turn into sea-foam and fade away if they don't find a "true friend" in one month's time.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Mokuzu is described as a beautiful girl with dark eyes and hair, plus pale skin.
  • The Runaway: When they realize that Adults Are Useless, Nagisa and Mokuzu plan this. It might have worked, had Mokuzu not returned home to get her stuff and run into her abusive dad...
  • Shout-Out: Mokuzu's stories of being a mermaid are right out of The Little Mermaid. So is her father saying she became sea foam after murdering her.
  • Shower of Angst: Nagisa takes an angsty bath. Her mom then tells her about Mokuzu's disabilities which makes stuff in the past a lot clearer. This only makes Nagisa start crying.
  • The Snark Knight: Nagisa seems to fit this; most of her snark is kept to her inner monologue.
    Nagisa: Aren't they amazing? They can go on forever talking about pointless subjects. Even I'm beginning to admire them for it.
  • Stepford Smiler: Mokuzu certainly seems happy, but she's hiding an abusive home life and how damaged she is from it.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Referenced by Nagisa's brother Tomohiko when trying to explain the incredibly broken relationship between Mokuzu and Masachika.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: The protagonist puts forth an image of one who cares little for the people around her, however, she is surprisingly gentle with her aloof older brother and the rabbits she tends to after school.
  • Tears of Remorse: Mokuzu's father, after killing her. He was also crying when he was captured by the police.
  • That Liar Lies: When Masachika Umino tells Nagisa that Mokuzu became sea foam.
  • Title Drop: The very last words in the manga.
  • Tsundere: Transfer student Mokuzu Umino shows type B Tsundere tendencies, by throwing half-full water bottles and shouting "Go to hell!" at Nagisa... the one girl in school that Umino wants to become friends with.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: 13-year old Mokuzu kills and beheads all of the school's rabbits for no clear reason.
  • Unsound Effect: A non-humorous in-universe example occurs when newly-arrived Mokuzu Umino introduces herself to the class:
    Mokuzu: Then please treat me well.
    Mokuzu: [while bowing to the class] Bow.
    Nonplussed Student: She actually said "Bow"!
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Tomohiko vomits out of stress when he leaves the Yamada household for the first time in three years, so he and Nagisa can go check on the hills and find Mokuzu's corpse.
  • Wham Line: Several in the last two chapters:
    Masachika: She became sea foam.
    Nagisa: Mokuzu... by her father ... MOKUZU WAS KILLED BY HER FATHER!
    Tomohiko: Nagisa... We're leaving the mountain. That girl is dead, and her body has been dismembered.
  • Yuri Genre: Heavily implied between Nagisa and Mokuzu in the covers and splash pages of the earlier manga issues, though it is vague if they're lesbians or a Pseudo-Romantic Friendship.