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Manga / Shadow Lady

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Shadow Lady is a manga written and illustrated by Masakazu Katsura, originally published in Weekly Shonen Jump and later by Dark Horse Comics in three English collections (Dangerous Love, The Awakening, and Sudden Death).

Shy waitress Aimi Komori crosses paths with De-Mo, a resident of the Demon World who forcefully introduces her to the magic eye shadow that transforms her into Shadow Lady. Shadow Lady takes Gray City by storm as a Classy Cat-Burglar and becomes the focus of a police task force led by Bright Honda. Shadow Lady makes fools of the police, earns a mysterious rival, and finds a friend in Lime Hosokawa. She discovers that there's more to De-Mo than first appeared when the Demon Police Trio coerce Shadow Lady into recovering stolen demon world artifacts on the threat of killing her and De-Mo.

The series has had a somewhat scattered publishing history; it first ran in V Jump from 1992 to 1993, then a one-shot was published in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1995, and finally as a full series again from 1995 to 1996.

Shadow Lady provides examples of:

  • And the Adventure Continues: Due to the aforementioned cancellation, the series ends with the Gray City police getting a call that Shadow Lady (believed to have disappeared after the finale) has been sighted.
  • Anime Hair: Shadow Lady, Bright, Inspector Dory, Medu, and his Demon Stone owner's Superpowered Evil Side.
  • Anti-Hero: Shadow Lady is either Type II or III.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The magic eye shadow gives Aimi increased strength, speed, and agility when she applies the Midnight Basic shade. When she applies an Expert Change color, she gains catlike claws that allow her to climb walls and shred clothes (Crimson Cat), Super Speed and jumping (Saffron Bunny), or wings for flight (Sapphire Bird).
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy
  • Blob Monster: Zera's second form resembles one.
  • Cat Girl: the Crimson Cat shadow turns Shadow Lady into one, complete with claws.
  • Cleavage Window: Shadow Lady's basic form features one.
  • Clothing Damage: Spark Girl gets her clothes ruined twice, calling it out the second time. Shadow Lady rends the Gray City Police's gear down to their boxers in "Misunderstanding." When Shadow Lady's clothes get damaged, she can chant "Freshen Up!" to reorganize what's left into something new.
  • Comes Great Insanity: the influence of the Demon Stones turns humans into deranged superpowered monsters. We see that at least two people were able to remain outwardly unchanged.
  • Defeat by Modesty: Shadow Lady shreds Spark Girl's outfit to end their fight in "Lady vs. Girl."
  • Exposition Beam: Medu gives one to Aimi to tell her how to defeat Zera.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Bright and Spark Girl.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: Bright's signature tool.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Shadow Lady gets caught in Medu's gaze when she turns it back on him, but subverted when the sacrifice doesn't stop him and then undone when he reverses the effect of his power on all of his victims.
  • High School AU: "Shadow Lady: Another World" is a one-shot story after the conclusion of the regular run that featured high-schooler Aimi Komori, Kid Detective Bright Honda, and Shadow Lady as a legacy character courtesy of Aimi's grandmother.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: The serial kidnapper.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: De-Mo's motivation for leaving the demon world.
  • I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure: the Demon Police Trio agree to allow Shadow Lady to collect the Demon Stones on the condition that if she fails, De-Mo will die (and she will, too).
  • Kick the Dog: Klein Hanayama shatters a partially-petrified girl just to demonstrate his power. She's presumably restored just like the other petrified girls.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: the Demon Police Trio apply it to Medu's Demon Stone owner's victims and threaten Aimi with this for being in contact with the demon world.
  • Legacy Character: Medu encountered a previous Shadow Lady.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: Some of the girls turned to stone, including Shadow Lady, though she gets better.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: ... while Bright loves Shadow Lady.
  • Love Triangle: both Lime and Aimi love Bright...
  • Mentor Mascot: De-Mo looks like a plush toy (and actually is one brought to life in "Another World") who can assume the form of a little boy to pass himself off as Aimi's little brother.
  • Mini Dress Of Power: Shadow Lady's Midnight Basic form comes with one.
  • Noble Demon: Medu decides that the human world isn't ready for annihilation and fights Zera's attempt to destroy it.
  • Not What It Looks Like: At the end of "Hope," Shadow Lady is standing over Klein Hanayama's dead body when Bright walks in. Since she's restricted from explaining why it happened, she can only flee, further incriminating herself.
  • Plot Coupon That Does Something: the Demon Stones seal renegade arch-demons; anyone who possesses one can use a fraction of the imprisoned arch-demon's power; while they remain in the human world, their seals weaken and will eventually fail, releasing their prisoners.
  • The Rival: Spark Girl to Shadow Lady.
  • Screwed by the Network: Katsura had only recently started the Demon Stones arc when his series was cancelled, so he had to abruptly wrap up the story, skipping the recovery of two Demon Stones and cutting another down to a couple of pages.
  • Sexier Alter Ego: Shadow Lady is Aimi's.
  • Sinister Minister: The bishop of Gray City Cathedral is outwardly pious, but he owns a Demon Stone.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Bright plays it straight. He's a skilled detective and a wizard with gadgets, but Shadow Lady has supernatural powers on her side.
  • Taken for Granite: The arch-demon Medu can turn people to stone by making eye contact and turn non-living matter to stone by will. While sealed in his Demon Stone, whoever possesses it can use a fraction of his power.
  • Transformation Trinket: the compact contains the magic eye shadow.