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Manga / Sengoku Youko

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"Look at me, my younger self. I haven't lost a single thing, because I still have all the warmth that everyone gave to me. And that warmth has piled up over the years, so that even in the middle of a blizzard, it can still bring a smile to my face. Take your time now, and cry. Cry until you find the warmth left by those who are no longer with you, so that you may finally laugh once more."

Sengoku Youko is a manga written by Satoshi Mizukami, who is best known for writing The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer and Spirit Circle.

"Stop your evil deeds and take the right path!" - that is the creed of Tama and her younger step brother, Jinka. The two demon siblings travel the country to stop the deeds of all evil doers, along with a cowardly swordsman they picked up along the way, Hyoudou Shinsuke. Their travels lie with many twists and turns, as well as wacky characters they'll meet along the way.

The manga ran in Blade Online from December 2007 to May 2016, with 99 chapters split across two parts.


Sengoku Youko provides examples of:

  • Advanced Ancient Humans: What little we see of the Tribe of the Void in their native time implies that they are this. Despite being precursors to Jidai Gekki Japan, they had incredible control over the concept of fate, some of which was harnessed as an energy source, and some of their outfits look modern by early 21st century standards.
  • All for Nothing: The Tribe of the Void's efforts in saving their nation's prosperity. The only way for them to save their people is to burn all the nation's wealth they've amassed, which will at best reduce the losses.
  • Aloof Older Brother: Raidou Zanzou The Demon Eater.
  • Always Someone Better: The Mountain God claims to be this to Taizan. She later shows it with a Curb-Stomp Battle. Proven and lampshaded by a Daiganshu monk when she shows up at the Daiganshu temple.
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  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Kuzunoha to Tama.
  • Amusement Park: The gang goes to the equivalent of one in Chapter 57 and 58, where Senya, Tsukiko, and Taizan are separated from their bodies and spend the whole time playing around. It also serves as another Breather Episode, given that Tago and the rat that tricked him into making the park don't put up much of a fight.
  • Arm Cannon: Shakugan can fire beams of ki out of her transformed arms.
  • Asian Fox-Spirit: Tama and Kuzunoha are both fox youkai. Jinka becomes one with 1000 tails.
  • Asshole Victim: Shakuyaku's entire village, if her dream while she was being purified by Shinsuke is to be believed. Everyone in the village treated her miserably for her unusual red hair, to the point where even her father estranged himself from her.
  • Ax-Crazy: Resshin/Barrie Zalmoa.
  • Badass Boast: When Raidou first meets Jinka.
    Raidou Zanzou: "The fear of humans, I will carve it in your very bones"
  • Badass Family: Jinun and Senya.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Tama during the Hot Springs Episode, and Hanatora all of the time.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Douren, who only joined the Daiganshu because his sparring buddy Jinun did, and who mastered the Western art of boxing.
  • Beach Episode: Chapter 57. Tama decides to stop at the beach so the team can have fun and relax, which the tense Senya and Tsukiko are in sore need of. She even gets to have her and Tsukiko in swimsuits by inventing some just for the occasion (Senya has to keep his fundoshi though).
  • Becoming the Mask: Shinsuke becomes more like his sword. Later subverted; Arabuki appears to be Ax-Crazy at first but later stops Shinsuke from doing the same.
  • Beergasm: The orang-utans' sake seems to be this good.
  • Berserk Button: Jinka's is humans disrespecting demons.
  • Big Bad: Yazen. Later the Tribe of the Void arrive to form a Big Bad Ensemble.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Shinsuke, Tsukiko, and Kokugetsu in Chapter 75.
  • Big Good: The Mountain God is the most powerful member of the heroes' side, and does use her resources to help them out. Later subverted/averted. The Mountain God is NOT Good. She has a totally different set of morals and priorities to the rest of the cast. Senya instead becomes one of the biggest forces of good for Japan.
  • Blood Knight: Resshin/Barrie Zalmoa, Douren, and Mudo all love fighting.
  • Blow You Away: Shinsuke, or, technically, Arabuki.
  • Body Horror: Zenya and Resshin/Barrie.
  • Call-Back: The title page of chapter 70 is a call back to the title page of chapter 28.
  • Completely Off-Topic Report: In a flashback scene, the normally stoic Jinun went for a monster-hunting assignment. His report is instead about how cute the girl he met in the village is, and the part with the monster is simply "I defeated it". His colleagues are dumbfounded since he's usually a serious, no-nonsense person.
  • Cool Versus Awesome: Jinun vs Douran in Chapter 73. It's so epic that Banshou decides to take a ring-side seat and watch their exchange.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Raidou Zanzou in both his fights against Jinka only he lost the second time.
  • Deadly Distant Finale: As this is a story about mortals and supernatural beings, this was to be expected. Shinsuke, Zanzou, Tsukiko, and all of their immediate descendants die, as well as Yazen and Kougetsu who passed on.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Jinka's run as the lead ends with his turning into the beast god. Senya, Jinun's son, becomes the protagonist of Part 2 and the only one powerful enough to stop Jinka.
  • Departure Means Death:Shinsuke and Zanzou for a time couldn't leave Yoshiteru's estate due to Hanatora binding their blood and names to a barrier protecting it. This eventually gets undone by Taizan accidentally relieving them of the binding by tapping their shoulders, becoming the Land God of the village in their stead since his spiritual energy was a better fit.
  • The Dragon: Jinun, literally. He's first the second-in-command of the Daiganshu and is fused to a powerful dragon.
  • Elite Four: The top players of the Daiganshu serve as this for Yazen, our resident Big Bad:
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Senya to his father, Jinun. Kuzunoha to Yazen. The man was willing to have Taizan trample everything and cause damage to his lab in order to protect Kuzunoha's existence.
  • Faking the Dead:
    • Yoshiteru sees to it that every person in his estate is evacuated and replaced by a illusory double so that none of them may be hurt in his assassination attempt. True to form, not a single one died, and over half of them changed names and began life elsewhere.
    • Yazen lets Shinsuke think he killed him in their final confrontation, casting an illusion of him perishing in the attack.
  • Fastball Special: Jinka and Tama do this, in order for her to deliver a flying kick to her mother Kuzunoha.
  • Fighting Your Friend: The Tribe of the Void end up taking Shakugan and making her one of the strongest members of their Parade of 1000 Demons. Tama and Shinsuke are forced to fight her, but they eventually snap her out of her madness.
  • Flash Forward: The beginning of volume 10 suddenly cut to an older Senya, reminiscing on his younger years in a storm. for a brief moment, the present day child Senya was able to peek at what would happen to him while he was unconscious from fatigue.
  • Four Man Band:
    • Tama is The Hero, being the only one truly dedicated to bringing about peace.
    • Jinka is The Lancer, following Tama around to protect her and because he likes fighting.
    • Shinsuke is initially the Tagalong Kid, being a cowardly excuse for a samurai before taking a level in badass.
    • Shakugan is a combination of The Chick, being the most feminine of the two female members, and The Big Guy, being capable of putting on the hurt with her rock demon transformation.
  • Flash Back: A lot of characters explain their backgrounds this way.
  • Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: Senya so much so that they are actually commented upon.
  • Gratuitous English: Resshin/Barry loves peppering his speech with English, shown in a different font in scanlations.
  • Hellish Pupils: A given in a series where demons exist.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Shakuyaku and Kagan sacrifice themselves to stop a curse-laiden boulder from crushing a hut where a woman is giving birth, turning to stone in order to regain her strength.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Shinsuke becomes a revenge-driven rage machine after Shakugan's petrification. He calms down after finally getting his revenge.
  • Historical Fantasy: As its name suggests, the series is set in the Sengoku era - more specifically somewhere towards the end of the Ashikaga Shogunate (with the shogun himself even being a prominent character in Part 2). For the most part, however, the protagonists are part of a Wainscot Society that does not interact directly with the famous conflicts of the time.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Shinsuke initially has difficulty figuring out how to properly wield his sword.
  • Important Haircut: Inverted. Tama's hair grows longer when Jinka absorbs so much energy that it feeds back into her and keeps him in demon mode.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Subverted. It looks like Shinsuke's heavy injuries from assaulting the Daiganshu gave him one these but then the next page shows he was just drunk.
  • Ironic Echo: Mudo tells Senya to find meaning and fun in fighting during their confrontation. Dozens of chapters later in the final battle, Banshouou tells Mudo and Senya that the reason he's so invested in fighting and joining the Tribe of the Void's side is because he learned the concept of "fun" from the two boys, and decided that this was it.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Senya can't remember anything of what had happened before he was sealed by the Mountain God until chapter 46.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: One of the Void Tribe members comments that Senya's spiritual energy makes him a singularity at present, akin to having the presence of the protagonist of an epic.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Even in his human form, Douren is fast, tough, and durable.
  • Macross Missile Massacre:
    • The Mountain Goddess can fire a barrage of missiles... made of trees.
    • Hanatora's clone is able to summon dolls that can function as missiles, and it's implied the main body can accomplish this as well.
  • Magnetic Medium: Jinka and his twin brother, because twins with the Fairy Eye "attract monsters" when they're together. This is because they manipulate and cause distortions in fate.
  • Manly Tears: Men often do cry a lot in the story, but after a certain point their crying is represented by small teardrops in comparison to the streaming tears girls usually get, and they only cry in certain situations such as the loss of a loved one or leaving everyone to protect them. It only reinforces their manliness.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: What drives the ending from fully happy to bittersweet: of the couples that formed throughtout the story, only Tama and the fully-demonized Jinka have comparable lifespans, especially with medieval Japan life expectancy. While they get together, live happy lives and have children, Shinsuke and Tsukiko ultimately pass away long, long before Shakuyaku and Senya.
  • Medium Awareness:
    • Shinsuke is a large supplier of fourth wall breakage. For example, he explains his offscreen training with the mountain god as a tale that'd take about 10 volumes to finish recounting, or chastises certain characters for taking up precious panel space.
    • Teru's first appearance caps off with him refusing to give out his name, since his debut chapter ran out of pages just as he was acknowledged by the narrative.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: Discussed. Senya stops himself from crying over Yoshiteru's death, reasoning that he had no reason to feel upset over one person when he's killed thousands more people and didn't give an ounce of sympathy to any of them.
  • Missing Mom: Tama's mom pretty much abandoned her. Senya's mother was apparently killed.
  • Morton's Fork: No matter what they do, the Tribe of the Void will always have their civilization destroyed. Since they used Fate power to avoid disaster and maintain prosperity, a meteor summoned by pure karma will hit them; avoiding that will make other disasters befall them until one finally does them in. At the end, Hakke Neko tells them that if they want to avoid total wipeout they need to destroy their civilization anyway, as getting rid of all of the prosperity they enjoyed from manipulating fate will leave them with nothing but their own luck. The two retainers make peace with this and move back to their time, but their lord does not. Their only saving grace is Jinun and Senya's existences, meaning that bits and pieces of their tribe remained throughout the years.
  • My Greatest Failure: Jinun sees the death of Senya's mother as this, which is why he put over a 1000 demons inside of him. So he wouldn't fail in protecting those he cared about.
  • Night Parade of One Hundred Demons: Senya has the spirits of 1000 different youkai locked within him. One of his signature attacks is the "Senki Yagyo", named after the youkai he eventually tames within himself. The motif goes away after he reaches enlightenment, replaced with a Buddhist motif. Around the same time, the final antagonist group, the Tribe of the Void, has created its own Senki Yagyo, although it consists of all the demons being brainwashed to work for them.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • When Tama realizes that the Mountain God has seen through her plans to involve the god in the battle against Jinun.
    • In-universe, it seems as if dragons are met with an Oh, Crap! moment by demons and humans alike every time they turn up.
  • One-Winged Angel: All of Dangaishu's strongest fighters seem to have this, as well as Jinka.
  • Outdoor Bath Peeping: Kokugetsu attempts this when Tama and Tsukiko have an outdoor bath, but by the time he decided to get up they ere already done bathing.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Shinsuke to Resshin/Barrie Zalmoa and Douren to Jinun.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Banshou-Ou becomes greatly interested in Jinun and Douren's final fight, enough that he takes his most powerful form just to see it up close.
  • Puppy Love: Senya and Tsukiko's relationship seems to be going this way.
  • Poisonous Friend: Possibly the Maken sword to Shinsuke. and Shinsuke to the main party after Shakuyaku and Kagan are petrified. Subverted when Arabuki stops Shinsuke from going into a murderous rage while fighting Resshin, which also stops Shinsuke's progression to Poisonous Friend.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Douren has shades of this being the most sympathetic priest.
  • Previously on…: The eleventh volume opens up with Nau giving an abridged version of the story up to that point, mainly going over the conflict happening with Jinka and Senya and their respective destinies.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Senya's first victory against a Mad God ends with him using so much power it destroyed the village he was staying in.
  • Raised by Wolves: Jinka's childhood was spent with Kokugetsu Sai, a hermit, and the demons that roamed the mountain that he had lived on.
  • Repeating So the Audience Can Hear: The hooded figures never speak loudly enough for their words to be audible, so Tetsunosuke conveys what they're trying to say to the audience by repeating their warnings.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Shinsuke was happy to finally be able to go up against Resshin.
  • Screw Destiny: The Tribe of the Void's nation found a way to manipulate fate at will. However, because of this fate has decided to screw them over by destroying their nation with a meteor. Even if they kill Senya and stop its fall, other natural disasters will occur instead to wipe them out.
  • Single Tear: Senya cries like this when he thinks back on all of the people he's going to abandon because of his destiny and perceived Doom Magnet nature.
  • Speak of the Devil: Jinka as the 1000-tailed fox appears right as Tama starts expressing her desire to see him again.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: Addressed in the representative meeting in the spirit realm. Senya, his representative, and Nadare all ask why they didn't just evacuate the tribe or destroy the meteor if their fate was so dangerous and unavoidable. The answer? The meteor is too big to break up, and the nation is too big to take everyone out in time.
  • Stealth Prequel: There are some hints that the series takes place in the past of the Urban Fantasy series Sanjin Sadou, as well as Mizukami's "Monster Town" one-shot stories.
  • The Stoic: Jinun and Senya rarely show emotion in the first part of the series.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Jinka's Beast God form robs him of his sanity in exchange for enough power to kill gods.
  • Taken for Granite: Shakugan exhausts herself stopping a curse-laden boulder that was going to crush a hut containing a defenseless Tama and a woman giving birth, and is then stabbed by Resshin. She doesn't die, but turns to stone to recover from her injuries, a process which was stated could take centuries.
  • Talking Weapon: Arabuki, although it's more a case of Hearing Voices for Shinsuke.
  • Thanking the Viewer: At the very end of the story, Senya addresses the reader (as a "traveler" that's been following them for who knows how long) and thanks them for watching over him.
  • Those Two Guys: Inga and Ouhou.
  • Tiger Versus Dragon: Douren and Jinun, literally and figuratively.
  • Time Skip:
    • There's one of roughly four months between Part 1 and Part 2, and then 8 years in chapter 53.
    • The penultimate chapter jumps forward numerous decades, skimming across the end of the Sengoku Period and the beginning of the Edo period. The final chapter jumps forward 200 years.
  • Took a Level in Badass: All of the characters undergo this, Shinsuke and Jinka's badass levels are perhaps the most obvious.
    • Shinsuke goes from being a coward who has lackluster sword skills to being an Empowered Badass Normal.
    • Jinka's an extreme case of this. He goes from four tails at the start of the series to a thousand! Deconstructed as this rapid rise in Power Levels makes him go completely insane, starting part two, where the aim is to find him and cure him of his madness.
  • Training Montage: Senya and Tsukiko go through an 8 year one in Part 2.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Jinun has never shown overt affection towards Senya, and had his son address him as Master as opposed to father. This is because he saw that strength to accomplish his goals were all he could give him.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Ultimately, the Tribe of the Void is doomed because they kept manipulating fate, so it's now coming to collect all at once. Only by accepting this can they make a final attempt, in the form of saving what remaining members they'll have left after the disasters hit.
  • Your Soul Is Mine!: The Mountain Goddess informs Tama that the price for using her in battle would be to have either Tama or Jinka give up their soul to her for eating at the end of their journey.
  • Youkai: Called "Katawara" in this series, which basically means "besides", but with the kanji for "darkness", therefore meaning "creatures (of darkness) who live beside this world".