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Manga / Tail of the Moon

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I am here to bear your child!

Usagi is the great-granddaughter of The Leader of a prestigious Ninja clan. However, she's so klutzy that she's never made it out of the kiddy class, and is the oldest ninja in training, unable to receive her qualification due to her laziness and klutziness.

Her great-grandfather, Master Tanba, decides to send her away on a mission she could complete—going to the stoic leader of the Hattori branch of the Iga clans, marrying him, and bearing his children! However, the stern leader has no interest in her or her babymaking abilities and rejects her outright. Determined to complete her mission, Usagi swears to bear his children, no matter what the cost.

Usagi's story takes place against the backdrop of the Tenshō Era in Japan during the warlord Oda Nobunaga's attempted unification of Japan. His hatred of ninjas and his desire to attack Iga to destroy the ninja village becomes a major plot point as the story progresses.

Tail of the Moon is a manga by Rinko Ueda that spanned 15 volumes from 2002 to 2007, beginning in Margaret magazine and then getting licensed by Viz Media under their Shojo Beat imprint.

This series provides examples of:

  • A Handful for an Eye: Used by Usagi on more than one occasion to get out of trouble
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Usagi is frequently bullied for being unable to make her qualification, which is considered a huge embarrassment for someone her age.
  • Alpha Bitch: Yuri is this at first, although she eventually warms up to be more of a Lovable Alpha Bitch.
  • Anti-Villain: Mitsuhide serves Nobunaga, but is against war and is at odds with his master's plans.
  • Art Evolution: As the story progresses, the characters (the men in particular) change, and the art does become much prettier.
  • Babies Ever After: Usagi and Hanzo eventually have multiple children together, while Yuri is pregnant with Goemon's kid.
  • Bandof Brothels: Usagi visits the brothel where Yuki was raised.
  • Beta Couple: Hanzou and Sara.
  • Big Bad: Oda Nobunaga is a constantly looming threat. When Usagi finally meets him, she discovers that while he is ambitious, he nevertheless has admirable qualities.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Hanzo is this to Usagi on more than one occasion, given her inability to actually protect herself.
  • Big Eater: Usagi's biggest issue, which leads to weight gain on multiple occasions.
  • Can't Catch Up: Yuri, to Yuna.
    • Usagi, to almost everyone, including small children.
  • Captain Ersatz: Um, the main character is a klutzy lazy big eater named Usagi...
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The man in Kouga whom Usagi sees after getting kidnapped by Hikaru turns out to be Ranmaru Mori, a major villain.
    • Also, Watari, whose life Usagi saves after being kidnapped by Hikaru, works under her and Hanzo's (attempted) assassin.
    • Kame, introduced for a few panels in the very first chapter, doesn't show up again until volume ten—in which she becomes a major character.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Yuki, to Usagi. Though he swears he'll be able to find the strength to confess, he never gets around to it.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Usagi's medicine and tea making skills are initially just her hobby, but turn out to be a major skill later on in the series.
  • Childhood Marriage Promise: One occurs between Mamezo and Hatsune, which he takes seriously even though he hasn't seen her in years and gains feelings for someone else. She turns out to have totally forgotten about the promise and married someone else.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Hanzou, crossing over with Ladykiller in Love. In a flashback, he's noted to have tricked Suzune into letting her see him naked when he was a baby.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Usagi. Seriously, even walking in a straight line seems to be too much for her sometimes.
  • Death By Child Birth: Usagi's mother is noted to have died this way.
  • Death Seeker: The hermit, saddened by the death of his loved ones, wishes he would die just to see his family again.
  • Dies Wide Open: Kame
  • Doomed Hometown: Iga is destroyed near the end of the series.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Yuki. He eventually cuts his hair to look more masculine, though it's temporary.
  • Fangs Are Evil: Kotaro Fuma...well, he's not really evil, he's more or less a dork.
  • Faux Action Girl: Usagi might be a kunoichi, but she can never seem to rescue herself. She has to be saved by someone else at nearly every occasion, even after her Took a Level in Badass (which only seemed to last for a couple of chapters).
  • Generation Xerox: Hatsune's daughter looks so identical to her that Mamezo at first thinks she's Hatsune, but never grew up.
  • Gonk: Hatsune grows up to be something very close to this. Mamezo's nanny also counts.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Mitsuhide, after realizing his pacifism will always be at odds with Nobunaga.
  • Heroic BSoD: Usagi suffers from one after the massacre at Iga, resulting not only in the loss of pretty much everybody she knows and loves, but also Hanzo (apparently).
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Kame dies after saving Usagi from a gunman.
  • Idiot Ball: Usagi letting Mamezo out when they're supposed to be hiding... multiple times.
  • Idiot Hair: Usagi has a piece of hair that constantly sticks up.
  • Important Hair Cut:
    • Yuki cuts his hair off to look more like a man, declaring that he'll embrace his identity and be able to become a man who can tell Usagi how he feels. Subverted in that when he reappears, he's grown his hair out again and still can't confess.
    • Inverted with Usagi. After discovering Hanzo is alive and going to see him, Usagi cuts her hair again so he'll be able to recognize her, though in doing so she more or less reverts back to her old ways.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Both Yuki and Goemon, for Usagi
  • Jerkass: Ranmaru, crossing over with Evil Is Petty when he sabotages an enemy just because the latter became more popular with Nobunaga.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Hanzou, a playboy, truly fell in love with Sara.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: Happens when Mamezo finally finds his family. It doesn't go over very well.
  • Luminescent Blush: Yuki, on multiple occasions by Usagi
  • Mama Bear: Usagi to her adopted child, Mamezo, so much so that she doesn't care if Suzune kills her so long as she stands up for him.
    • Suzune to all of her children. Even the threat of Usagi spanking one is enough to make her put a shuriken to Usagi's throat.
  • The Mole: Mitsuhide becomes The Mole, as his pacifistic ideals conflict with Nobunaga's violent approaches.
  • Mutual Kill: Bomaru and Toshimitsu
  • Ninja: Of course.
  • The Nose Bleed: Usagi nosebleeds whenever Hanzo is shirtless, sometimes after they kiss, and thinking about them cuddling.
  • No Sympathy: Hanzo's reaction to a depressed Usagi worrying that she'll never be as good as Sara? Locking her out of the village and refusing to let her in even when it starts raining.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: After Iga is destroyed, the tone of the series becomes quite less comical and more of a serious historical work.
  • Obi-Wan Moment: Kame
  • Oblivious to Love: Usagi seems unaware that Goemon is being serious when he flirts, despite the obviousness of it.
  • Official Couple: Usagi and Hanzo, Sara and Hanzou, Yuri and Goemon, Mamezo and Watari
  • Old Master: Usagi's great-grandfather, Master Tanba.
  • One Head Taller: Most of the couples work out this way, although it's justified with Usagi and Hanzo because at the start of the series she is only 15 and he looks to be older than 20.
  • Rags to Royalty: A variation. Mamezo is discovered by his grandfather. He's actually the son of a court noble, and is thrust into the world of riches, servants, and the rigid lifestyle of a noble. He quickly wants to return to Usagi...
  • Retired Badass: Master Tanba
  • She Is All Grown Up:
    • Usagi might have only aged a year after the attack, but she's definitely changed.
    • Watari, after the final timeskip, grows up to be a good-looking, if not wild-looking, young woman. Even more of a surprise to Mamezo, who thought she was a boy.
  • The Slacker: Usagi is initially this, explaining why she's still not qualified as a ninja. She does have a serious work ethic when it comes to medicine, though.
  • The Stoic: Hanzo is serious and stern, though Usagi brings out his emotions on multiple occasions, most notably whenever she needs rescue.
  • Suck Out the Poison: Despite being quite talented at medicine, Usagi still uses this method. It is the Tenshō Era, after all.
  • Those Two Guys: Hanzo's servants, who are constantly trying to protect and serve him even though he's always two steps ahead of them. They end up sacrificing themselves to protect him when Iga is destroyed.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Usagi took a HUGE level in badass after the massacre at Iga, finally able to pull off dangerous missions by herself without a care in the world. Sadly, it's only temporary until Hanzo's reappearance.
  • Training from Hell: Suzune's chore training, so brutal that the skin on Usagi's fingers begin to peel.
  • Tsundere: Hanzou teased Hanzo by calling him this during an omake, though the latter was unable to get the reference.
  • The Un-Favorite: When Mamezo finally finds his parents, they are downright cold and distant to him, and his mother outright states that she would never be able to love the longtime-missing Mamezo as she could her current child.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Goemon is clearly in love with Usagi, who he's known since they were kids, but she's Oblivious to Love.
  • Warrior Princess: Sara and, later, Yuri. Sara is a completely capable princess that climbs mountains for her daily training, while Yuri eventually catches up as well.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Between Hanzo and Mamezo.
  • Who Dares?: Yuri says this line after seeing her dead grandfather during the destruction of Iga.