One of the most obscure works from Rumiko Takahashi of Ranma ½ fame, the Laughing Target is a 1983 horror one shot that was later adapted into an OVA in 1987.While using some popular tropes from Takahashi, it takes a darker turn by playing them for drama. It also features one of the first examples of a modern Yandere.
The story goes as follows: Yusaruu Shiga is the last descendant of a branch of the Shiga family. As the family is an ancient clan that is about to disappear, the parents agree that the best course of action for the clan is to get him married with her cousin, Asuza. Time marches on, and Asuza's parents die, while Yuusaru is now living a normal life as the lead of the school's archery team not paying much attention to the arrangement, and also has a girlfriend called Satomi. And then Asuza comes back to seal the deal, and chaos ensues due Asuza trying to murder Satomi and having demonic powers out of the clan being cursed
Laughing Target provides examples of:
- Attempted Rape: Is part of the backstory of Asuza.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: One of the main reasons even after many years, Asuza is still devoted to Yuuzaru.
- Break the Cutie: Asuza tries this by killing Satomi's dog
- Clingy Jealous Girl:Satomi, playing much like your typical Takahasi female lead.
- Go Out with a Smile: After claiming she would never hurt Yuuzaru, Asuza dies from an arrow wound
- Kissing Cousins: One-sided. Asuza is committed to Yuusaru, but he's devoted to Satomi.
- Mood Whiplash: The one-shot starts innocently enough and you could miss it as another romcom out of Takahashi. Then Asuza reveals her demonic powers and killing intent towards Satomi
- Murder the Hypotenuse