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Manga / Takeru

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Takeru: The Queen of Twin Eyes is a two-volume 1993 seinen action manga written and illustrated by Buichi Terasawa, who also created Space Adventure Cobra.

Takeru Ichimonji is a fun-loving bounty hunter trained in the ways of the cold-blooded Haja ninjas, and who is capable of shooting reality-warping kanji out of his hands. He arrives on the Yamato kingdom, where there is no shortage of criminals and hot babes to quench his thirst for adventure, and embarks on a quest to prevent the local princess from being used as a sacrifice to resurrect an ancient queen.


The manga was first published in America as Takeru - The Bad Boy of Yamato in 1993. In 1994 it received an "interactive comic" adaptation for PC, Mac and the 3DO console as Buichi Terasawa's Takeru: Letter of the Law and in 1996 it was digitally published in America on CD format. There was also talk of a live-action film adaptation by Takashi Miike in 2009, but nothing came out of it.

Don't get it confused with Witchblade Takeru.


This work features the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: The kunoichi Hien is the deuteragonist of the story and the real Princess Wind.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Takeru warns a goon against sticking his hand inside Bunbuku's teapot, as it contains an unseen monster that will attack any strangers. The guy doesn't listen and gets his right hand chomped off.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The story ends with Takeru taking Hein away into another journey.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Kaganju transforms several people into monsters, including the priestess Koryu whose identity she then stole.
  • Big Bad: Queen Himiko, who wants to possess Princess Wind's body to come back to life and wage war.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Hien and Takeru save each other twice through the story and are both saved by Bunbuku at the end.
  • Body Double: The presumed Princess Wind is really a decoy. The real one was raised in secret and without knowledge of her heritage.
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  • Bury Your Gays: Takeru finds the false Princess Wind whom he fell in love with is a crossdressing male as she is dying from Kaganju's torture.
  • Cement Shoes: Takeru plants a kanji on Genyosai that makes him heavy as iron. The villain then falls into a lake and drowns.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Takeru is a Chick Magnet who flirts with about every pretty woman he meets, but he can come off as a very blunt creep sometimes despite meaning no harm to them.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Kaganju interrogates Princess Wind's double after making a life-draining tree sprout out of her.
  • Cool Airship: The kingdom of Yamato is set on top of a gigantic airship called the Celestial Ark.
  • Cool Pet: Takeru's sidekick is a tanuki named Bunbuku who wears a teapot shell that contains a pocket space for the hero to store his equipment and that can be used for flight.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Takeru effortlessly kills Ogyokura, causes Genyosai to sink into a lake and unconsciously kills Masura just as easily despite being on the verge of death from being bitten by Genyosai's venomous lizards before the battle began.
  • Dead Hat Shot: Takeru kills Ogyokura between panels, and only her sliced mask is seen afterwards.
  • Demonic Possession: Himiko possesses Hien's body towards the end, but is shaken off by the power of love between Hien and Takeru.
  • Deus ex Machina: Midway through the story Takeru is gravely poisoned and in the end he runs out of soul power. In both instances the sky suddenly clears up to let the full moon restore his body to form.
  • Disney Villain Death: Subverted. Upon being separated from Hien, Himiko's spirit falls into a river of lava but then takes possession of a giant statue.
  • Distressed Damsel: Takeru saves an unnamed woman from the criminal he was chasing at the start of the story, and then dates her for a while. Amusingly enough, once Takeru catches sight of Princess Wind, the girlfriend quite literally disappears from the story.
  • Doomed Hometown: When Hien goes after her clan's help to take on Kaganju, she finds her hometown razed to the ground by Yamato Castle's soldiers.
  • The Dragon: The demoness Kaganju, who seeks to fulfill a dark prophecy and bring her master Himiko to life.
  • Driven to Suicide: After telling Takeru about Kaganju's evil plans, the real Koryu, who has been transformed into a bat-like creature, abruptly flies into a furnace.
  • Due to the Dead: Takeru cremates the false Princess Wind after she's tortured and killed by Kaganju.
  • Heal Thyself: By combining the kanji for "grass" and "relief", Takeru can shoot a healing beam.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Right as Kaganju orders captain Yuri to capture Hien, her body glows from the moonlight and he realizes Hien is the kindgdom's true princess. He immediately drops to his knee and pledges his loyalty along with his soldiers.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Kurotora has a seed planted into his body without realizing it and later an enormous tree bursts out of it, leaving him to die impaled on a branch.
  • Kill It with Fire: Takeru is able to shoot bursts of fire from his hands and to manifest pillars of flame around him. He can also use the "fire" kanji as a projectile to plant bombs on surfaces and shoot beams of ice so hot they actually counter fire.
  • Lunacy: The Haja ninjas are powered by the Moon, particularly during a full phase. The full Moon also affects Hien by making her body glow blue after her 20th birthday, which proves she is the Yamato kingdom's true princess.
  • The Minion Master: Genyosai sics highly venomous lizards on his enemies.
  • The Nose Knows: Takeru has a strong sense of smell, which he uses while sticking his tongue out like a doofus.
  • Now, That's Using Your Teeth!: In the story's opening act, Takeru is shot in the face but bites and spits the bullet.
  • No-Sell: The sword Rahyomaruhe is able to block Takeru's soul words, but eventually he manages to slap a "misfortune" kanji on it which causes the blade to spontaneously break.
  • Open and Shut: The "開" ("hiraki", meaning "open") kanji lets Takeru open locked doors, but it doesn't work on magical ones who only open to specific people. At the very end, Takeru instead uses a "close" kanji to crush Himiko's statue between two buildings.
  • The Paralyzer: If Takeru hits someone with a "seal" kanji, they'll be paralyzed.
  • Post-Final Boss: Just as Takeru saves the day, a heavily damaged Kaganju drags him into the sea. The hero kills her for good offscreen.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The gimmicky Dark Hunter ninja trio made of Genyosai, Masura and Ogyokura.
  • Reused Character Design: Takeru is essentially Cobra as a ninja.
  • The Rival: Ryuoin Shozanpu is the only ninja in the story who rivals Takeru's skills, and his sword Rahyomaruhe can nullify Takeru's soul words.
  • Shock and Awe: Takeru uses the "electricity" and "dragon" kanjis to unleash a massive lightning dragon.
  • Take Over the World: Himiko's goal is to take the Celestial Ark airship into a journey of conquest.
  • Thanks for the Mammary: While sneaking around a temple, Takeru lets out a chuckle when he grabs a statue's breast by mistake.
  • Unconscious Objector: Takeru is still able to fight even as his body is unconscious and on the brink of death.
  • We Will Meet Again: After Takeru's duel with Ryuoin ends in something of a draw, the villain expresses his respect and leaves after saying this trope. He doesn't appear again for the rest of the story.
  • Weapons-Grade Vocabulary: Takeru is a master of Word Soul, which lets him form kanji in his hands to perform all kinds of spells.
  • Whip It Good: Ogyokura dual wields beam whips.
  • You Taste Delicious: Takeru has a habit of licking people to get a taste of their personality.


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