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Manga / Tactics

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A Deadpan Snarker, a Tsundere Meido, and a Bunny-Ears Lawyer. Hence: your doom.

A shounen manga and anime series by Sakura Kinoshita and Kazuko Higashiyama, which was serialized from 2000-2013 in 15 volumes, and resumed serialization as a sort of sequel on Pixiv as tactics 新説 without a larger associated publisher in 2018. It follows a spiritually sensitive folklorist, his enthralled servant fox Youko, a bratty little girl, a demon eating tengu named 'Haruka', and their various escapades all throughout demon country, until the major Genre Shift in the anime kicks in and everything gets a whole lot more depressing.

The anime, produced by Studio DEEN and airing from 2004 to 2005 for 24 episodes, made a major departure from the plot of manga roughly halfway through, which was not apparent to many English readers because the English license through Tokyo Pop only translated the first 8 volumes.

Not to be confused with Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Ogre, or other strategy games.

Provides examples of:

  • A Fool and His New Money Are Soon Parted: Somehow, Kantarou's newly earned cash always runs out quickly...
  • The Ageless: The youkai never seem to age.
  • A God Am I: Kantarou gets like this when a religion is devoted to him. Turns out he's just putting it on for show to make his Batman Gambit work.
  • Ahoge: Kantarou has one, although it's curled and isn't very noticeable.
  • Albinos Are Freaks: Unfortunately, Kantarou never seems to have grown out of this as a kid, although people don't usually comment on his coloration as an adult.
  • Ax-Crazy: Haruka has a hell of a temper when he feels another youkai disrespects him and gets rather unhinged.
  • Bad Boss: Kanatarou. To again quote Youko on this:
    "Welcome to hell, Haruka-chan. Even a badass like you will crumble under that guy."
  • Bridal Carry: This seems to be Haruka's favorite way to carry Kantarou around when he's flying. Maybe it's just convenient. Maybe it's just for the Ho Yay.
  • Bishounen: Kantarou and Sugino could easily be mistaken for girls.
  • Berserk Button: Do not try to take Haruka's rice bowl.
  • Biting the Handkerchief: Well, biting his robes; Sugino does this when he sees Muu-chan clinging to Kantarou.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Kantarou is a hell of an onmyouji and clearly quite a talented writer but he never quite appears that way because he's always off pursuing various whims.
  • Chick Magnet: Haruka. There's even a hilarious sound effect played when another girl falls for him.
  • Childhood Friends: We meet one of Kantarou's childhood friends working as a geisha...who proceeds to tell Haruka all about Kantarou's childhood obsession with breaking the seals on a certain demon-eating tengu he'd like to name Haruka.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Kantarou appears like an idiot, but it's usually a gambit to hide his clever plans.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Haruka might have black hair and black wings and dark eyes and a moody, grumpy personality...but he's not evil.
  • Deity of Human Origin: Sugino was a human in his former life, a priest much like Kantarouk, who eventually ascended to being a tengu and the local god of the mountain.
  • Dude, Where's My Reward?: Frequently, seeing as Kantarou is a grade-A money grubber.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Rosalie is always dressed like this. She's from Edwardian England, but it's still quite over-the-top.
  • Fangirl: Basically every female character on the show, save for Youko is like this towards Haruka.
  • Fanservice: Haruka is just. Very pretty.
  • Friendless Background: Kantarou had...basically no friends growing up. He talked too much to youkai no one else could see and got teased mercilessly for it—so he made friends with the youkai instead.
  • Gender-Blender Name: When Kantarou names Haruka, he specifically states that his name is to be spelled with the kanji for "spring flowers." (As Haruka can be alternately said as "being distant").
  • Incapable of Disobeying: Youkai have an inborn trait that makes them obey the human who names them when that human calls their name.
  • Light/Darkness Juxtaposition: Haruka is a black tengu while Sugino is a white tengu. However, this contrast has nothing to do with their morality at all: they're friends, of a sort, and the difference only indicates that Haruka was a born tengu while Sugino was a human who became one. And their wing color.
  • Magical Floating Shawl: Sugino, a white tengu and the "god" of Sugino Village, wears a hagoromo that floats over his shoulders.
  • Meaningful Name: Youko's entire name is Kantarou's way of making an Incredibly Lame Pun: Youko is also the name of a type of fox demon, which is what Youko actually is, she is a youko named "Youko", a play on the female name Youko/Yoko.
  • Meaningful Rename: Kantarou names the tengu he intends to keep around in order to hold them in his power (and to boost their own abilities in exchange). This is always meaningful to them, even if he tends to be a Giver of Lame Names.
  • Mystical White Hair: Kantarou is a mystical albino with red eyes and white hair and powerful spiritual abilities.
  • Older Than They Look: All of the youkai, obviously, but also Kantarou. At first glance, you think Kantarou must be eighteen-years-old, nineteen at most. But then you read volume three and learn that Hasumi is actually his underclassman, and one has to wonder just how old the money-grubbing priest really is...and he does mention his college degree.
    Haruka: Underclassman? How old does that make Kantarou?
    Yakko: ... ... ...
    Haruka: ... Why aren't you answering, Yakko?
  • Only Sane Man: Despite being the show's resident Barnum, Youko seems to be the one with the most amount of sense in her...
  • Paper Talisman: Kantarou, as an onmyoji, uses these a lot to cast magic.
  • Parental Obliviousness: Hasumi doesn't really seem to get that Rosalie can hold her own.
  • Punny Name: Youko is a type of fox demon. She is a fox demon. Kantarou really seems to think he was being clever giving her the Japanese name "Youko" which is usually spelled differently.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Haruka looks like a pretty young man around Kantarou's age, but he's an ageless tengu.
  • Running Gag: The odds are good that in any given drama CD, Raikou will be bathing in one scene, no matter how improbable.