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Manga / Spirit of Wonder

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Manga series by Kenji Tsuruta that ran from 1986 to 1996 with a very, very slow release schedule — a grand total of 2 volumes worth of material were published over its ten year run. A one-shot OVA and later a 4 episode mini-series were produced based on some of the stories.

The tales are technically Science Fiction, but about as soft as you can get — in one chapter the characters use aether theory to travel to Mars in a zeppelin. Just put away that science text book, the characters are the focus here.

The first volume is an anthology series of mostly unconnected stories, the second volume focuses on a Chinese young lady running a tea-house in Bristol, England. When she's not busy running her business, "Miss China" as she is known to the locals spends most of her time either hounding her Mad Scientist tenant Dr. Breckenridge for this month's rent, pining after his young assistant Jim or dealing with the consequences of their latest invention. (And demanding to know how they had the money to build it with the rent still unpaid...)


  • All Chinese People Know Kung-Fu: Played dead straight with Miss China.
  • Deface of the Moon: In "Miss China's Ring" Doctor Breckenridge invents a machine which allows a person to interact with the Moon as if it were within arm's reach and roughly the size of a beach ball. They first use it to write Miss China's name on the Moon, and later have her give it a kung fu kick which shreds it into a ring of rocks around Earth.
  • Incredible Shrinking Woman: Happens to Miss China in Spirit of Wonder: Scientific Boys Club episode 3 "Shrinking of Miss China".
  • Ms. Fanservice: Miss China.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Jim and Breckenridge blow up the moon and reform it into a ring around the earth. No real consequences other than people in the town gossiping a bit.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Assuming it is a nickname, since Miss China even calls herself that.
  • Perpetual Poverty: Jim and Breckenridge have carved "Happy Birthday China!" on the moon, blown it up and produced a working matter teleporter among other things, yet apparently every financier they talk to refuses to take them seriously.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Invoked intentionally, even they can't figure out why they get no respect.
  • Tsundere: Miss China is a Tsundere with Super-Strength and a black belt in Martial Arts and Crafts. In one chapter Jim deliberately goads her into punching him to bend some steel bars for a machine he's building.
  • Weirdness Censor: In order to impress Miss China, Jim uses Doctor Breckenridge's latest invention to carve her name on the Moon. The following day he is surprised to find that nobody appears to have noticed it. When asked specifically about the Moon, people act uncomfortable and evasive. The doctor theorizes this is because as far as most people are concerned, huge writing appearing on the Moon overnight is just plain impossible, so they assume it can't be real and keep going like it's not there.
  • Worst News Judgment Ever: After carving the birthday message on the moon, Breckenridge confidently tells Jim to read him the newspaper headlines the next day. It's full of minor gossip. It's implied that the entire town made a collective decision to Not Talk About It.