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Manga / Taboo-Tattoo

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Taboo-Tattoo is a Fighting Series by Shinjirou about a boy who is given an odd tattoo on his palm by an old man whom he saves from a thug. Not long after this boy, Seigi (AKA Justice) got it, he meets a mysterious girl, who punches him in the face, and later steals his phone. Running after her gets him more than he bargained for, though, and he ends up drawn into the beginning of what might be the start of international war...

The manga began serialization on Nov 27, 2009 and concluded on Apr 27, 2017 in Monthly Comic Alive, spawning a total of 13 volumes.

It received an anime adaptation by J.C. Staff which aired in the summer of 2016, and ran for 12 episodes.

Taboo-Tattoo provides examples of:

  • A-Cup Angst: Early in the series, Izzy shows some jealous dislike with the size of Touko and Lisa's breasts.
  • Alternate History: After World War II the South Asian Kingdom of Selinistan was able to use make advances in technology to achieve rapid economic growth. This allowed the Kingdom to quickly became a super power that eventually came to rival the US.
  • Animal Motifs: Power Crest users who are part of an organisation such as Brahman or the US Military and tend to have a nickname based on an animal, Izzy is the rabbit, Lisa is a fox, Iltutmish is a stray cat for example. This animal is often the form of their Spell Crest's Source.
  • Anyone Can Die: A number of important characters die throughout the series such as B.B and Touko. Such deaths tend to act as motivations for various characters as the plot continues. By the end of the story every important character, except Iltutmish and arguably Seiji, are dead.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Izzy. That's just a nickname. Her actual name is Bluesy Fruesy. Yeah.
  • Badass Normal: Even before getting or activating his Spell Crest, Seigi was beating up thugs on the street and exchanging blows with Shields, though not very well in the latter.
  • Barrier Warrior: Cal Shekar is able to use her Spell Crest to create barriers capable of repelling any attack or Spell Crest ability. Cal is also able to use her barriers to cut through anything they touch.
  • Behemoth Battle: The final battle of the anime is between Touko and Izzy and Arya and her sisters, all fused to become giant monsters.
  • Big Bad: Princess Aryabhata, the princess of the Kingdom of Selinistan, aims to Take Over the World by collecting the Power Crests.
  • Birds of a Feather: Tom and Tamaki quickly become friends because both are otaku.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Izzy and all of Seiji's allies sacrifice their lives to empower Seiji's Spell Crest. But no matter what he does, Seiji can't defeat Arya. So he decides to implant his will into Arya (who has ascended to a higher plane of existence) so she won't destroy humanity. Now Arya is stuck as an omniscient being that controls humanity, but she calmly accepts that she lost. So she decides to give a reward to Seiji for his sacrifice. The last panel shows Seiji and Touko walking together, implying that either they're now Together in Death or Arya used her powers to bring them back to life.
  • Bloody Murder: Invoked. Tom and Izzy tell Seigi that blood is his activation key, though this is a lie.
  • Blow You Away: Izzy's spell crest is a variant, allowing her to shoot blasts of compressed air and to shield herself with them.
  • Compelling Voice: Harasha "the Demon" is able to use her Spell Crest to give herself a compelling voice, manipulating magnetic fields to implant her words into her opponent's brain as absolute truth that compels them to carry out her orders.
  • Cool Shades: BB wears a pair, even at night.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Both Seigi and Izzy cross this when BB is consumed by Seigi's source, and when Touko is devoured. Izzy also loses her left arm.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Female: Touko seems to be a common molestation target for the cast; most notably by Arya.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: Izzy gives one to BB as she dies.
  • Gamer Chick: Arya is a rare villainous example, and the Big Bad.
  • Grey-and-Grey Morality: No side seems to be good, though admittedly that's through lack of information.
  • Idiot Hair: The eccentric elderly samurai Tsugio Kobakura has a single dark ahoge sticking up from his otherwise bald head, something the other characters find highly amusing. This appears to be a family trait as his granddaughter Makoto, a.k.a. Cal Shekar, also sports one.
  • Mauve Shirt: Strong contender for king of this trope. There are plenty of non-main characters who do get names and personality, but if they're the good guys, they could very well be offed in the very same chapter. Best examples are chapters 5 and 19.
  • Mind over Matter: The Spell Crest of Arya's sister Bukka grants her powerful telekinesis. Bukka has used these abilities continuously since she lost her arms in an accident and has become incredibly skilled with them, being able to manipulate objects from great distances and grant herself the ability to fly.
  • Modesty Shorts: Izzy wears them when she plans to get physical but doesn't occasionally gets ambushed at times when she doesn't have them on leading to panty shots.
  • Mood Whiplash: Taboo-Tattoo has the frightening tendency to go from happy-go-lucky romantic comedy to bloody carnage in the space of a chapter.
  • One Super, One Power Set: Zig-Zagged: While there is only once source of power in the series (the crests), and each crest only provides one unique power, they each come with a package deal of superhuman strength, speed and healing.
  • Overdramatic Dating Commotion: After Fruesy transfers to Seigi's school, she greets him from afar, which arouses anger from his classmates. Then when asked what's her relationship with Seigi is, she vaguely answers with, "it's not your normal relationship," while back-hugging him, causing a furious mob to throw him from the window into the water.
    Seigi: Y-you've got it all wrong! This is not funny, seriously!
    Seigi's male classmates: Protagonist-type guys like you are supposed to swim in the sea, right? So off you go!
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The final battle in the manga. Arya consumes Seigi to get his Power Crest, but not before Seigi overtakes her consciousness.
  • Power Tattoo: It's basically the premise of the show.
  • Powered Armour: The President of the United States wears a suit of powered armour, so he can participate in the battle at the South Pole despite his advanced age. The armour incorporates a Jet Pack and offers enough protection that the President was fine despite falling into a deep crevasse.
  • Super-Empowering: Spell Crests, apart from granting a unique special ability, also boost the person's physical abilities in a variety of ways:
  • The Stinger: Episode 3's post-credits scene involves Iltutmish and R.R. Lakha being sent on a mission to assassinate Lisa, Izzy's friend.
    • In Episode 5, Seigi is confronted by BB, who he tries to fight, but to no avail.
    • Episode 6, a mysterious man discovers Brahman, and vows to defeat the Kingdom.
    • In Episode 10, Sanders is attacked by the Princess.
    • In Episode 11, Izzy and her comrades arrive at the ruins and find Seigi impaled.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: An extended version of the main theme "Belief" by May Nakabayashi plays in the Behemoth Battle between Touko, Izzy, and Arya.
  • Transformation Trinket: Spell Crests need specific materials to activate. The material needed seems to be unique to each Spell Crest.
    • Seigi's is rather unique in that he can activate it at will.

Alternative Title(s): Taboo Tattoo