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Manga / Spriggan

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Ancient artifacts that predate mankind have been uncovered in locations all around the world near the end of the Cold War. These artifacts are made from materials previously unknown to modern humans and were clearly designed by a civilization far more technologically advanced than our own. An organization called ARCAM has been formed to study these sites and uncover the true nature of what lies within them. One of the messages inscribed in a message plate mentioned that if one of their inventions cannot be used for good, then it should be destroyed at all costs. A unit of elite agents trained to protect the ARCAM scientists and the artifacts, known as Out-of-Place Artifacts ("OOPArts"), are known as "Spriggan".

One such Spriggan is a 16-year-old Japanese high school student by the name of Yu Ominae. He began his ARCAM Spriggan duty after an old friend of his was being hunted down by the Soviet and American militaries in the hope of using an OOPArt located in the Mt. Fuji region of Japan known as the Orb, an artifact that can control flaming snakes from the volcanic depths of the Earth. As he and the other Spriggans battle things out with militaries, criminals and mercenaries to prevent OOPArts from being secured as military weapons, something is brewing from within the ranks of the ARCAM Corporation that will ultimately determine the fate of the entire world.

An anime film was directed by Hirotsugu Kawasaki and produced by Studio 4°C, adapting the Noah's Ark chapter with the same title written by Hiroshi Takashige. The film was originally released in Japan by Toho, and later received a North American release in 2002 by ADV Films.

As for the manga, the original 11 volume series was complete with another 8 done in bunkoban, twice. However, it didn't finish its serialization in North America, France, Malaysia, and Spain. It did complete serialization in Indonesia, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. As of 2022, Seven Seas Entertainment obtained the rights to publish the manga in English.

A video game adaptation, titled Spriggan: Lunar Verse, was released by FromSoftware for the original Sony Playstation. In it, players take the role of a Japanese Spriggan agent named Tashiki Oshiki with appearances by Yu, Jean, and Oboro.

It was announced that the manga will be adapted again on March 2019 with Hiroshi Seko (Jujutsu Kaisen, Attack on Titan The Final Season) as screenwriter and animated by David Production in collaboration with Netflix. Originally due to be released by 2021, the anime was delayed and eventually released worldwide on June 18, 2022. The anime will air (in edited form for TV broadcast) in July 2023 around Japan via Tokyo MX and Metele.

The series contains examples of:

  • Ancient Astronauts: Quetzalcoatl was this when Yu Ominae and his classmate Hatsuho Sasahara learned about this in the former's mission in Mexico. However, Tezcatlipoca was not as he was a survivor when his people tried to escape from the Roman Empire. However, they were all slaughtered by archers. Needless to say, he wants more than revenge against the former empire. Disproportionate Retribution can also be included because of Tezcatlipoca alone.
  • Archaeological Arms Race / Lost Technology: The pursuit of OOPArts by governments and organizations seeking to shift the balance of power.
  • Armies Are Evil: A large number of troops of a military force that appear in this series (be it American, Russian or even British) are unquestionably blood-thirsty maniacs willing to cause a lot of murder and mayhem either because they are following orders, out of deluded beliefs (religious, political or seeking a challenge), or for the sheer hell of it. A small minority are professionals, but they either are forced to follow orders or else or are kept in the dark about the true nature of OOPArts.
  • Batman Cold Open: The Action Prologue of "First Mission" sets up the basic premise of the series; a government team led by a Cyborg discovers Lost Technology beyond our comprehension, goes insane with powerlust and religious fervor and turns on his own side so he can activate it to destroy the world, only for Yu to turn up and stop him with a combination of badassery and thinking on his feet.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: COSMOS' conditioning of its child soldiers prior to field deployment.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Yu thought that his Class Trip would just be an ordinary Class Trip, so he didn't pack any of his Spriggan gear. Then Yoshino turns up and forces him to turn it into a Busman's Holiday, with nothing but... his considerable ARCAM and COSMOS combat training.
  • Chucking Chalk: Yu Ominae's delinquent status in his high school is known publicly to the point that his teacher throws chalk at his head to make him pay attention. It's subverted since Yu catches the chalk with his fingers even when he dozes off. The manga suggests that it wasn't his first time getting into this kind of trouble.
  • Class Trip: Yu gets one with his trip, being excited and all since he lived in America for most of his life. Except that Yoshino spoiled it to get him to secure an OOPArt with her. He was pissed off. A lot.
  • Crazy-Prepared: ARCAM Headquarter buildings (At least the Japanese branch) have bullet and shatterproof glass on the entrance, electrified walls and floors in certain parts of the lobby and guards having easy access to small arms, which is a surprise since the country doesn't allow a majority of small arms. Even when ARCAM personnel are in field missions considered risky, they are armed with various small arms ranging from sub-machine guns and assault rifles to GPMGs and rocket-propelled grenade launchers. Same goes with ARCAM Private Army soldiers sent to protect them too. COSMOS and the Machiner's Platoon were able to bulldoze through those defenses and such, are the only adversaries of the Spriggans to have the "honor" of doing so.
  • Destination Defenestration: "Let's take this outside." Yu does Super Window Jump while holding mook.
  • Dub Name Change: Viz placed in the Majestic 12 instead of the Machiner's Platoon to potentially avoid offending the US Military establishment.note  This is averted in the Chuang Yi and Seven Seas version.
    • Orihalcon is used instead of Orihalcum. Although in this case, it can be also be used as such.
    • When Spriggan was released in Canada and in the US, France, Spain, it was known as Striker. This was probably since the translators made the change from Spriggan as they said the former was the meaning of the latter in English.
  • Eagleland: Almost every time American characters appear, they are inevitably an example of Type B, "The Boorish", looking to obtain supremacy through acquisition and deployment of OOPArts no matter the cost in human lives. Example: The Machiner's Platoon.
  • Elite Mooks: COSMOS serves as this for the US military. They're Child Soldiers kidnapped at a young age and trained to be special forces-trained assassins with lots of brainwashing.
  • Enemy Mine: Near the end, Yu and Jean (with the rest of the anti-Larry Markson and anti-Henry Garnum ARCAM personnel) team up with ex-Trident Corporation commando Iwao Akatsuki and ex-Neo Nazi and ninja-trained Bo Brantze to stop the destruction of the Earth by Larry's hands from trying to harness Gaia's power for a hostile ARCAM.
  • Expanded Universe: The chapters "First Mission" and "Gold Rush". These chapters are available if you buy Spriggan in the republished bunko/aizoban version.
  • Fling a Light into the Future: The plot of the series, especially the concern of OOPArts being used as military weapons.
  • Foreshadowing: Numerous bad guys, ranging from Iwao Akatsuki to ARCAM personnel (most of them former) claim that someone in the company's trying to amass power to take control of the company with disastrous results. Turns out that they're right and this makes Yu reluctant to continue Spriggan missons since he can't tell if the majority of ARCAM are bad guys or good guys.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: ARCAM Corporation's motto is seen in Rie's tablet while reading the paper in the "Flaming Serpent" episode.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: Near the ending of the manga when corrupt ARCAM/Trident officials wanted to harness Gaia's natural power as a military weapon. Too bad it backfired and instead, started volcanic eruptions that threatened to destroy the planet.
  • Graduate from the Story: The manga ends with Yu's nearly miraculous graduation despite constantly skipping class for ARCAM work. It coincides with another great change in his circumstances: Tea taking control of ARCAM from Garnum and restoring it to its original purpose.
  • Immune to Bullets: Orihalcum-made protective gear makes the wearer immune to bullets, even from those fired from sniper rifles.
  • Inspired by…: The manga was inspired by the popularity of Indiana Jones after Raiders of the Lost Ark was released in 1981.
  • Longevity Treatment: The immortality drug Soma from "The Forest of No Return" turns out to not give immortality so much as it does restore the user to their prime... for a few days. It's also highly addictive, and the withdrawal symptoms of missing a dose are lethal.
  • MegaCorp: ARCAM is a known company that focuses on funding archaelogical/historical scholars/assisting archaelogical research/studies globally. Over time, it has branched out with an airline company (ARCAM Airlines), dental/medical sciences (ARCAM Dental/Medical sciences) and runs general hospitals (placed in various major cities/capitals) and banking/financial services.
    • Part of Garnum's plans is to increase ARCAM's financial/military power to hold out against any nation state when he plans to access the South Pole's Gaia structure.
  • Monster of the Week: Yu on each of his missions would battle with the head of an organization hunting for an artifact or a creature that comes from the related object.
  • Ninja: Yu and Yoshino face off against Koga-trained ninjas led by a spymaster named Kenzo Nakano to seize the Philosopher's Stone.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: The Forest of No Return is a Hive Mind of angry ghosts of all the people who have died seeking the recipe for the soma that grants immortal life. This includes the corpses of the ARCAM and Trident military teams sent into the forest, now animated by tree spirits.
  • No Swastikas: In the anime version, Kutheimer and other Neo-Nazis don't show off any swastikas. The manga averts this.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: The ONA adaptation didn't give the foreign dubs accents for non-Japanese characters.
  • Orichalcum: Yu's Armored Muscle Suit is crafted from an unknown element found in the various dig sites that is referred to as "Orichalcum." The lightweight and extremely resilient metal increases his speed, strength, and is mostly bulletproof with the exception of Orihalcum-made/Orihalcum-like weapons. Fatman and Little Boy of the Machiner's Platoon wear them too. Trident Corporation mercenary operatives such as Iwao Akatsuki also wear them, but they sacrifice speed for more power.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: In the Forest of No Return story, the ARCAM Special Private Army operatives and Trident mercenaries deployed to the forest in India are turned to zombies with the ability to use their weapons and equipment thanks to a curse placed on it by Rama after Sita was kidnapped.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Lampshaded by a bemused Yu when the outraged sister of the shy class president tries to karate-kick him out the window for being Asleep in Class.
  • Powered Armor: The Armored Muscle Suit Yu wears makes him borderline Immune to Bullets (barring being shot in the face, which is exposed), boosts his speed and strength and allows him to focus his psychic energy into power-laced punches. The Machiner's Platoon has suits made of the same element that are more "mechanical" in design and make an emphasis on strength over speed. Trident uses theirs with emphasis on speed.
  • Product Placement: Yu's high school is named after Shogakukan, given that it was the manga's publisher and one of the film's production companies involved.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: ARCAM's security forces become loyal corporate soldiers after Garnum takes charges of ARCAM and tries to excavate the South Pole Shrine. Most of them defect (again) after realizing the Fire Serpents going berserk couldn't be controlled.
  • Setting Update: The anime is updated from the Cold War to the present day circa 2022. For instance, Moroha's an SVR agent instead of being a KGB agent. The Machiner's Platoon is armed with FN SCAR assault rifles and dons Ops-Core-type helmets.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • In the "Fire Shrine/Orb arc", Yu assures Rie that they'll get out at the first sign of trouble. Seconds later an RPG rocket strikes their helicopter, so Yu has to grab her and jump out so they can parachute to safety.note 
    • Yu is pondering Who Would Be Stupid Enough? to grab the Schmuck Bait treasure when Yoshino rappels down into the temple and grabs it. Cue Collapsing Lair.note 
  • Technology Porn: Comes with every Badass Boast by a cyborg. Even Yu is Not So Above It All, as he's quite proud of his muscle armor.
  • Tower of Babel: There's a mention of this in the Iraq storyline with the Reverse Babel Tower as its counterpart.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Yu occasionally attends school but skips out due to his job overlapping his schedule and ends up saving the world often. He's still told that he'll be held back if he keeps missing class.
  • Worthless Treasure Twist: The ending of "The Forest of No Return": Yoshino manages to escape with the recipe for Soma, an immortality serum, but Yu meets her a few days later and tells her that the serum cannot be replicated because it depended on a type of plant that has long since gone extinct because of global warming.
  • You Cloned Hitler!: A main plotline in the manga with Hitler actually having good and bad personalities. The former killed himself when he found out that the latter was responsible for starting WWII. At least in the European theater.

Alternative Title(s): Striker


The Doppelganger Technique

Oboro and Brantz utilize the doppelganger technique in their duel.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / DoppelgangerSpin

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