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Manga / Switch (2002)

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SWITCH II, Volume 01
Switch is a manga by Naked Ape, which was serialized in Monthly G Fantasy from 2002 to 2008 and compiled into 13 volumes. It was adapted into two OVA episodes, the first being released in October 2008 and the second in February 2009.

The story follows two rookie members of the Narcotic Control Department, Eto Kai and Kurabayashi Hal. In their line of work they must combat and bust drug dealers, gangs, and crime syndicates, particularly the notorious Ryugen.

At first glance, Kai seems like a typical, happy young man, but when in danger his personality becomes violent and unstoppable. As Hal struggles to keep Kai in check, clues about Kai's past begin to surface, and he begins to wonder whether his violent mood swings may have something to do with the mysterious events that occurred sixteen years prior.


  • Berserk Button: Don't hurt innocents in front of Kai, and don't you even dare harm Hal
  • Busman's Holiday: At one point Kai goes on vacation and on a date with Mari. He ends up getting dragged into another force's drug investigation.
  • The Charmer: Hal and Hiki. Hal in particular flirts with everyone and is a constant source of Ho Yay.

  • Cuteness Proximity: Kuzui Mari is quite irrational where Kai is involved. Odd because she's normally pretty collected and cool.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Everywhere. It seems that the force is a Dysfunction Junction
  • Destroy the Evidence: Ren Kousaka and Toki Kurabayashi destroyed every document about SWITCH but they did not expect Kai to come by when they were burning everything. Ren told his son to forget about what he just saw if he wanted to protect everyone he knew, specially Hal.
  • Disappeared Dad: Hal's father who was essentially held hostage by the Ryuugen
  • Freak Out: Witnessing the deaths of his parents resulted in Kai's Split Personality
  • Forgotten Childhood Friend: Hal and Kai were former friends who got to know each other during Kai's father's investigation
  • Heroic BSoD: Apparently this happened after Kai witnessed his parents' murders and that's why he had to create an alter ego. Also happened at the end when Kai embraced the memories
  • Ineffectual Loner: Hal starts off as the classic gruff antisocial police officer until Kai comes along.
  • Interservice Rivalry: Various subgroups of the Matori vs MP vs the local police. They actually get along in their own way and are sometimes willing to collaborate but there's a huge rivalry. Occasionally played for drama when they end up hiding information or accidentally interfere in another group's cases leading to a stalled investigation at a crucial moment.
  • Interrupted Declaration of Love: Played for laughs with Mari failing to confess to Kai
  • Interrupted Suicide: Chapter 8 during the High School arc. Also, Hal interrupts Kai's suicide later.
  • I Work Alone:
    • Hal and, despite emphasizing teamwork, rookie Hiki also tended to do this. It causes problems when they don't have each other's back and are at cross purposes
    • It seems genetic as Ren Kousaka was investigating SWITCH by himself. His death with almost no evidence or leads or anyone to take over helps kill the investigation.
  • Memory Gambit: Akabane subverted as he was only pretending to have amnesia to get close to Kai
  • The Mole: Shingo turns out to be a minor member of Ryuugen. Narita's old partner was also a mole.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: In hindsight burning all the evidence of SWITCH was this. If Ren Kousaka has reported the information, the force could have continued the investigation after his death. Instead the main investigator being dead and no information left was a major factor in abandoning the case.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Hal's father isn't evil but he has been developing drugs for Ryuugen. He dies protecting Kai and Hal
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Ryuugen's search for SWITCH turns out to be this. They go to great lengths to try to get Kai to remember the location to the formula for SWITCH only to find out that there is no location. See Destroy the Evidence.
  • Shipper on Deck: Hiki encourages Mari's affection for Kai and tries to create opportunities for her to confess to Kai
  • Split Personality: Kai A perp of the week also developed this to cope with his brother's death.
  • Slasher Smile: Kai's other personality sports this. Hal also occasionally when he gets pissed.
  • Sprouting Ears: Miyoshi grows catlike ears and a tail in some panels
  • That One Case: SWITCH for much of the force and connected to that, Kai's parents death for Narita. A combination of Right Hand Versus Left Hand, corruption and general incompetence turned the case into a bloodbath clusterfuck that went out of control. The investigation had to be stopped and closed after multiple officers were killed.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: During the High School arc. Not a good version though as both participants are shown to be pretty messed up people. The student is manipulating to teacher to sell drugs and the teacher is taking advantage of a broken person.
  • Technical Pacifist: Kai. At least until you threaten his friends
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Kai twice, and Hal.
  • Undercover Cop Reveal: In the high school case, Takei is actually another undercover cop and not a student
  • You Killed My Father: Kai's other self has the vivid image of Hal's dad killing his father, but we later learn that Hal's father was not the one who killed him.
  • You Remind Me of X: Kai sees Hal's father when he looks at Hal during his berserk moments, thus, feeling the urge to kill him and avenge his parents. His attempts of killing Hal Kurabayashi have always failed.

Alternative Title(s): Switch