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Manga / Stealth Symphony

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A 20 chapter manga published in Shonen Jump and Weekly Shonen Jump US, written by Ryogo Narita (of Baccano! and Durarara!! fame) and drawn by Yoichi Amano.

In a world where elves, dwarves, and invisible dragons live in harmony inside a metropolitan city, Jig sets out to find someone or something that can unleash the curse that he carries on his back. As he attempts to survive in the city of Jinbocho, a city filled with fantastic secrets and organizations, he encounters many powerful individuals who set out to either destroy him or save him. Will Jig be able to discover the true secret of his curse, or will it lead him to his own demise?

Stealth Symphony contains examples of...

  • Alliterative Title
  • Attack Reflector: Jig's weapon, though not exactly by choice. It counterattacks any and all forms of attack aimed a Jig ranging from bullets, explosions, fire, energy waves, telekinesis, and so on.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Jig dies, but his friends carry on his legacy. He commissioned his own death as a contingency in case he ever lost control of his powers and endangered his friends.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Yabusame Troma to a T. He'll accept any and every job and any and every person, regardless of whether they are pure of heart or obviously evil. He does this because he feels "empty" and does not have any real dreams or future.
  • Boy Meets Girl: Given a Lampshade Hanging with the meeting of Jig and Laika.
  • City of Spies: Subverted in that they aren't all spies, but the city is run by different organizations that perform different tasks.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: The President of V&V may seem like a foolhardy leader, but he is still the boss for a reason. After all, he was the hero who ended a war against nigh invincible dragons.
  • Cyborg: Our protagonist. There's also a whole school full of them.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Troma's assassination target during the war with dragons ends up becoming his boss after defeating him.
  • Empathic Weapon: Jig's Legacy reacts only to attacks of malice or hostility. It's a flaw that can be exploited by experienced assassins, as Souya proved.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The pharmaceutical CEO is a drama bitch who loves to Yank the Dog's Chain and Trojan Prisoner at the same time to entire slave transports, but she's also the Last of Her Kind. So the assassin sends her into an alternate dimension and has her raped and bred (this is the woman who escaped said pharmaceutical company only to half-sacrifice and half-enslave her entire village to the company for power and contempt). It's treated as a non-lethal yet successful neutralization.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: The series pretty much runs on this. All of the organizations running the city have their seedy sides and one is particularly a hero. Everyone is simply doing their job or fighting for what they want.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: The series runs on this, with no such thing as a useless ability. Slice is the clearest example of this, whose only power is that his blood coagulates into gold and unleashes a Curb-Stomp Battle to Jig and Troma when they fight thanks to this power.
  • Humiliation Conga:In the extended ‘complete’ version of the final chapter, the Director of the Dragon Clan who is responsible for turning Jig into a black dragon and made him lose his sanity gets defeated by Troma in his dragon form, She then makes a retreat to plan her next move by making another black dragon but is attacked by an angry Jerking who is now marked as a traitor to his assassin guild for leading one of the members of the Dragon Clan in destroying their headquarters. And to top it off she is completely obliterated by an injured and vengeful Laika for causing Jig’s insanity and death and the Dragon clan for killing her parents.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Slice, surprisingly. In the end, the main reason why the dragons were able to be stopped was because he used his absolutely absurd amounts of wealth to hire just about everyone in the city to fight against them.
  • Kill Sat: Laika's Legacy, an eye-shaped multipurpose satellite, is capable of this.
  • Legendary Weapon: The Legacies. The remnants of the dragons that were cast off to the moon are so powerful that a man was able to create a kingdom after selling a low ranked one. Jig's is only rank C and protects him from EVERYTHING. A B rank Legacy was shown opening a gate to another dimension, and an A rank Legacy is said to be able to completely control other legacies.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • Troma's forte. In any situation, he can find a way to do what he wants while still following the guidelines of his job.
    • Jig gets struck with this a lot too: As his Legacy automatically counterattacks, with amplified force, any attacks done on him with malicious intent and runs on Exact Words, his opponents have come up with many ways to fight him without getting counterattacked.note 
  • Mercy Kill: Just before Jig was about to lose his sanity to his Black dragon powers, he hired Sōya to kill him if the power ever corrupted him.
  • Morph Weapon: Jig's Legacy turns into whatever it needs to be in order to protect its owner.
  • Older Than They Look: Dragons by nature live long lives, so even after hundreds of years their human forms can still look like teenagers.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Can transform into humans? Check. Can swim in magma, drink Nitrogen, and fly in space? Check. Invulnerable to Steel, Acid, Flames, Water, Electricity, Bullets, and Light Explosions? Check.
  • Our Hero Is Dead: Jig is the protagonist, but near the end of the series, he transforms into a Black Dragon who goes on a berserk rampage, and is eventually killed.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Subverted. While Mermaids typically aren't slave traders or psychopaths, they still seem to follow the conventional fish bottom female top scheme in the series.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: They have the ability to absorb their victims' powers by sucking their blood. The Soul Picker is another case; she bleeds coins (she says it's due to a curse descended by her pirate ancestors).
  • Power Equals Rarity: Again the Legacies. They are so uncommon and powerful that one was sold for 457,000,000,000 Eren.
  • Restraining Bolt: The wings stuck on Jig.
  • Robot Dog: Colt owns a whole army of Cyborg wolves that speak through printed messages.
  • Shout-Out:
    • A side story points out that Jig's Attack Reflector Legacy is similar to one of Doraemon's many gadgets.
    • The manga commentary reveals that Alice used to have another alias before "Soul Picker", said alias implied to be "Soul Eater".
  • Title Drop: Occurs in Chapter 2. "Stealth Symphony" refers to the city's unwritten rule of keeping disputes between warring organizations hidden from the public eye.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: After Jig became sick with a deadly fever, a life support system made cyborganic parts was used to keep him alive...they just happened to be a Legacy. Which ends up being a lie. Not only were the wings not a legacy, but also Jig was never sick in the first place. He was becoming a dragon and the wings were the remnant of an eggshell.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 16 full stop. After learning that Jig is turning into a dragon, we see that he's been living his life in complete denial this whole time. His family was killed when some bullies burned down his house, and in a traumatic rage, Jig brutally killed the perpetrators. The director convinces him that he'll protect him, so he sends him to Jinobou city under the false pretense that the wings on his back are a cursed item that can be removed there. And the whole time, Jig keeps sending letters back home to a family that no longer exists.
    • Chapter 18 expands on the revelations further. The reason Dragons transform only into Humans is because they were all originally Humans who can change into dragons through magic. To be specific, they are Humans from our world, and the Ark that will take them back to our world is right underneath the city...And Jig is going to transform into the Black Dragon, their leader, and lead them there. Oh, and Slice's old man was also from Japan.
    • Chapter 19. Just as Black Dragon Jig is about to raise the Ark, Soya pops up behind him and cuts his head off.