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Manga / Susanoo

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Susanoo is a manga series by Go Nagai. It was serialized in Weekly Shonen Magazine from 1979 to 1981.

Average highschool slacker Shingo Susa joins his school's ESP Research club by mediation of his childhood friend and unrequited love Sayuri Yukishiro. However, what initially seemed to be a haven for daydreamers and sci-fi lovers becomes a serious affair with the presence of two very real psychics, the beautiful Chigusa Mitsurugi and the mysterious yet not less beautiful Rei Uryu. Shingo's life turns upside down after a gang of delinquents serving a shady organization named Nosferatu make their appearance by attacking them and raping Sayuri. He will have to wake up the psychic powers sleeping inside of him in order to find the truth and gain his revenge.

Nagai's next Dark Fantasy work after Shutendoji, the series was more successful than its predecessor, winning the Kodansha Manga Award and getting republished after some years, but it had the particularity of never receiving a proper ending. After a first magazine run stopped at the story's climax, intentionally according to Nagai, it took 17 years for him to add anything resembling a conclusion, and it is a fairly open one. Some short-lived sequels complete it.

This series provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Shingo gets up one morning with all his powers mysteriously replaced with X-Ray Vision, which looks like the beginning an arc about how to get them back. However, the ordeal is already corrected offpage by no apparent reason when he fights Sasaki in the same chapter. Though not before said vision helps him to discover Go Kuzuki is actually a puppet.
  • Adaptational Name Change: Yasumura is known as Yasuda in Yasutaka Nagai's novel adaptation of the manga.
  • Ambiguous Ending: Shingo roams the Earth turned into Susanoo and, after ignoring a devilmanized Goda, he finds Uryu and Sayuri, who were looking for him. What happens next is not shown. However, if we take in consideration that in the work's sequel Uryu and Sayuri are absent and it is revealed Shingo gave himself amnesia out of guilt, he might have got revenge on them under Susanoo's influence.
  • Ambiguous Situation: While Sayuri is being raped, a strange shining horse appears over her during the act. The fact that it appears again in a flashback implies it is something the author wants us to remember, but given that it is never addressed, we never find out about it. Whether it was some kind of manifestation of Shingo's sleeping powers or a random mystical sign about his prophecy are just two out of many possibilities.
  • The Atoner: Aonuma in Densetsu Hi Kami Ko.
  • Barefoot Captives: Both Shingo and Sayuri after being knocked out by Carmilla.
  • Becoming the Mask: Sayuri was ordered to get close to Shingo and lure him into a relationship with her so Rei could exploit it. However, she ended up reciprocating his feelings for real.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: With Uryu being more a of a vigilante party that happens to oppose Chigusa, it initially seems that Nosferatu leader Carmilla and the club federation president Go Kuzuki are the villains of the setting. It is later revealed that all three are actually the same person.
  • Biomanipulation: Both Shingo and Uryu use it, the former to turn his body into a muscled hunk in his Superpowered Evil Side (and to turn Aunuma into an evolving mouse) and the latter to turn himself into a woman.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Coming dangerously close to a Downer Ending. Chigusa/Marici and her crew manage to destroy Yamata no Orochi, so Earth is saved and demons have stopped coming from other dimensions. However, the planet is a postapocalyptic wasteland, most of the cast is dead, and there are still demons ravaging the landscape (although there are also devilmen like Goda who could help the survivors against them, and sequels show society will be rebuild to a point). Shingo is now fully Susanoo and is presumably a benevolent deity of justice, but we don't know how will he react to his encounter with Sayuri and Uryu - if the work's first sequel is to trust on, probably not very well.
  • Body Horror: Being a Nagai work, there are naturally copious amounts of it.
  • Boxing Battler: Goda, given that he is the boxing club leader.
  • Canon Immigrant: Tatsuma Mido, who originally appeared in Guerrilla High and Violence Jack.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Shingo's punk version defeats the pyrokinetic leader of the cheering squad by holding his hands towards his own body, which makes him burn himself.
  • Easily Forgiven: Sayuri is surprisingly forgiving towards Uryu at the ending of the series, despite the fact that he ordered her to be raped and is responsible of the destruction of human civilization. Even although she does chew him out with a rather impressive "The Reason You Suck" Speech, it takes little time for her to accept his repentance and just move on with a smile.
  • Expy:
    • Uryu is almost Ryo Asuka with another name, since they're both misguided Manipulative Bastards that can also gender-flip at any time.
    • And also Mosaka, whose design is heavily based on Mucha.
  • Foil: The post-trauma personality of Shingo violently assaults a relatively harmless fat yakuza and entertains himself telekinetically stripping Chigusa... just like the first punk in the series bullied the fat Shigeru and the Nosferatu thugs raped Sayuri.
  • Geek Physiques: Shigeru Omatsu and Kensuke Yamaoka fit the archetype's two extremes, the former being round fat and the latter noodle thin.
  • Gender Bender:
    • Uryu, also known as Carmilla. Ironically, he has a Gender-Blender Name, Rei, in his true persona.
    • In one of the sequel mangas, Densetsu Hi Kami Ko, Shingo himself used his powers to become a girl named Yuka Katsuragi.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Uryu succeeds at awakening Shingo's powers and turn him into the King of Terror so he could purge the world from the unworthy. Good, now there's a superpowered demonic entity bent on destroying human civilization as a whole and cannot be stopped. Cue My God, What Have I Done?.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Mosaka becomes one to Shingo.
  • Honey Trap: Sayuri is revealed to be one. Uryu sent her to go out with Shingo so they could awaken his rage by harming her.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Punk Shingo initially doesn't remember about Sayuri at all, although he does again after experimenting his first mutated avenger outburst, implying the latter caused both his usual and his punkish personalities to fuse together.
  • Mind over Matter: The psychics's most usual manifestation when in fighting.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Shingo is a curious example, as he looks very athletic, even muscled when unclothed (and proves further to be quite physically strong), yet he is initially shown to be bad at sports. Justified because, according to his sister, he lacks reflexes and coordination, not muscle power. Later subverts it with his boxing training.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Uryu after Shingo turns into Yamata no Orochi and starts destroying the world, all thanks to his exploits.
  • Noble Demon: Goda is initially against Shingo due to the latter's grudge towards the club federation, but he is a honorable guy who despises criminals. It later leads to his Heel–Face Turn.
  • No Ending: The original 1979 manga run has this. The 1996 re-run added an Ambiguous Ending.
  • Ordinary Highschool Student: Shingo starts as one.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Carmilla knocks out Shingo by materializing a bulldozer in front of his stolen motorbike, making him crash. Before that, no psychic in the series had ever used materializing at that level or for direct combat purposes.
  • Playing with Fire: Shingo demonstrates pyrokinesis when unhinged. Earlier, the cheering squad leader does it too.
  • Psychic Powers: The work's theme. Almost all the powers in the page's list are shown here, along with some ones that aren't on it.
  • Redemption Earns Life: Goda and Uryu start as villains but become good at the end. By the conclusion of the series, they are the only former antagonists alive in Earth, not counting the morphed Aonuma.
  • Reused Character Design: Mosaka is modeled after Mucha.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Miko Kuroda loves to flaunt her body, although she can become embarrassed if her audience turns too enthusiastic.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Split Personality: Sayuri's rape causes Shingo to replace his usual slacker personality with that of a violent delinquent without any memory of her. Those personalities get fused together after he has a PTSD-like flashback and releases unconsciously all of his power for a night.
  • Stone Wall: Kashimura claims his only power is to create Some Kind of Force Field.
  • Superpowered Evil Side:
    • Shingo's delinquent personality is not only more extroverted overall (and suddenly interested in sports), but also a much better hand-to-hand fighter. He even defeats psychics as a Badass Normal, without using his own powers.
    • After Sayuri's rape, Shingo develops the personality of mutated, murderous vigilante. Later on, after Sayuri being revealed to be in Uryu's conspiration, he generates a gigantic Yamata no Orochi monster.]]
  • Super Sex Organs: Some of the mutated possessed men that rape Mayumi Susa sport snakes instead of penises (or so it looks from her perspective, at least).
  • Telepathy: Occasionally used by the psychics of the medium.
  • Those Two Guys: Miko and Kashimura are a mixed gender example. Later Mosaka replaces Kashimura, as both him and Miko are in the gymnastics club.
  • Time Travel: Used by Uryu to bring Sasaki to the present.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: In steps. After being beaten down and watching his girlfriend raped in front of him, Shingo's psychic potential turns him into a cocky but still non-superpowered thug. However, when he has a flashback of the incident, he evolves further into developing temporally the alter ego of a monstrous psychic. Then he goes back to his human form, but this time he has full knowledge of his powers and an only mildly thuggish personality. Finally, when he learns Sayuri worked for Uryu, he turns into Yamata no Orochi.