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Manga / The Poe Clan

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The Poe Clan (ポーの一族; Poe No Ichizoku) is a supernatural shoujo manga by Moto Hagio, which ran from 1972 to 1976 in Bessatsu Shoujo Comic. Each chapter is a self-contained story featuring the eponymous family of vampires and their encounters with humans across the 18th - 20th centuries.

The series tends to focus on three vampires: Edgar Portsnell, his sister Marybell, and his companion Allan Twilight.

The manga is licensed in English by Fantagraphics, who released it in two omnibus volumes; the first volume was released in 2019, the second in 2022.

Adaptations include a 2016 TV series and a 2018 Takarazuka Revue musical.

The Poe Clan contains examples of:

  • Anachronic Order: Each Japanese publication of this series orders the chapters differently.
  • Answer Cut:
    • On the DVD of the musical, after the death of Frank, Sheila, and Marybell, Edgar sings "The only thing I have left is -". The camera cuts to Allan.
    • At the end, Allan says he wants to meet Marybell, and the window opens to reveal Edgar - Marybell's last living immediate family -, who immediately informs Allan of her death.
  • Arranged Marriage: Allan is forced into one with Margott for the sake of business.
  • Becoming the Mask: Edgar befriends Allan in order to get Marybell an energy source, but ends up falling in love with him/developing some form of affection for him.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Edgar is very protective of Marybell.
  • Big Brother Worship: Marybell adores Edgar in return.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Allan cries out for help, and the windows dramatically open to reveal Edgar - the solution to the former's problems.
  • The Casanova: Clifford. He has a fiancée (Jane Custer), and yet shamelessly hits on Sheila Portsnell and Rachel Twilight.
  • The Clan: The family of Poe.
  • Coordinated Clothes: In the musical, Edgar and Allan are wearing matching outfits (after Edgar takes off his cloak, that is) when they run away together. The only difference is that Edgar's shirt is silver and Allan's is gold.
  • Cross-Cast Role: De rigueur in the Takarazuka Revue musical, of course, but Asumi Rio also reprised her role as Edgar in a mixed-gender cast.
  • Delicate and Sickly:
    • Despite being a vampire, Marybell is quite frail and prone to fainting.
    • Allan's mother is sickly, too, due to a heart condition. Nearly all of her appearances show her bedridden.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Edgar drops all moral scruples about the alleged monstrousness and sorrow of vampanella life after the death of his family, and asks Allan to run away with him. Allan agrees because of his own DEH - he thought he had accidentally killed his uncle and effectively ended his life/reputation.
  • Finger-Suck Healing: Edgar does this to a cut on Allan's finger and bandages it up with his ribbon.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Marybell. Allan too, underneath the Spoiled Brat coping mechanism.
  • Identical Grandson: In the musical, Beich IV and Beich Braun are played by the same actress.
  • The Jailbait Wait: Sheila was in a loveless Arranged Marriage at the age of 16, and Frank was her First Love because he supported her at that time. Frank says he waited for five years for her to reach adulthood - it's unclear (at least in the musical) what he waited for: to enter in a relationship with her, or to bring her into the Poe clan and make it official? They eloped when Sheila was 17, though. Sheila looks old enough to convincingly pass as Edgar and Marybell's mother, so it's possible that Frank considered 21 adulthood and the requirement to enter the clan.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Allan. He initially seems to be a snobbish, entitled rich kid, who Edgar refuses to kowtow to. It's revealed that he's kind-hearted and suffering through many issues.
  • Kids Are Cruel: The children in Scotty mocks Edgar, only stopping because of Sheila's intervention. A student at St. Windsor asks Allan whether they should beat the new transfer student (Edgar) up.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Allan, at first. He's so used to flattery and obeisance that he hasn't bothered to make any friends.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Sorrowing Vampanella", Edgar's first solo, gets released as an in-universe pop song with a bouncy, happy tune. The lyrics talk about his grief about being a vampire, born as a human, doomed to eternal life. Also borders on Irony because Edgar and Allan are shown clearly amused at the schoolboys singing the song without knowing where it actually came from.
  • Mind Control: Most obvious with Edgar and Allan in the musical, starting from their pas de deux in the opening number (with a side order of Mind over Matter, as Allan is pulled towards Edgar to start the duet dance). A panicking Edgar being calmed down enough (via a touch of Sheila's hand) to be turned may also be this.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: Possibly. Allan walks in on his mother and uncle embracing, holding hands, and talking of running away on a trip. Given that Rachel had knowingly accepted the affection of Clifford (who she is aware has a fiancée), it's not unreasonable to believe she had actually been cheating. Granted, she tried to tell Allan "Don't be mistaken!", but there's no conclusive proof either way.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Old Hannah quotes this trope when Edgar fearfully asks about the vampanellas in the forest. It's borne out as the Poe clan are massacred by a mob in their own mansionnote  It gets worse with the deaths of Frank, Sheila, and ultimately Marybell. While it can be argued that the Portsnells deserved to die because Frank is part of the clan and Sheila turned Edgar, Marybell was only a kind-hearted little girl who went through a Trauma Conga Line, and chose to be turned because she didn't want to be alone and/or without Edgar. She ended up spending her last minutes screaming in pain and fear, and then being shot to death by Clifford in the presence of Jane, whom she had taken a mutual liking to.
  • No One Could Survive That!: Allan accidentally pushes his uncle down the stairs. He (and everyone else) thinks this killed the man, and Allan ran away with Edgar in fear and revulsion of what he had done. It's revealed that the fall wasn't fatal.
  • Not So Above It All: Edgar covers Marybell's eyes when Sheila and the Baron kiss, but actually looks very interested in the kiss over the top of his sister's head.
  • Occult Blue Eyes: Asumi Rio wears blue contacts for Edgar, which makes her eyes seemingly glow.
  • Older Than They Look: All of the vampires, but Edgar, Marybell, and Allan are notable because they were turned as children.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Well, they're vampanellas, for a start. They don't need blood, and can sustain themselves on roses (and rose-based dishes), as well as energy. Someone can be bitten/drained without being turned, as there must be an intentional energy transfer behind the bite. There's a Vampire Monarch in the form of King Poe, whose blood is the strongest. Edgar is his direct successor. They don't have reflections or heartbeats (but can fake those), and are superhumanly durable (Edgar complains about having to pretend to be in pain when he shuts a door on his hand). They can be wounded with normal weapons, though staking or being shot with a silver bullet kills them, turning them to dust. Religious icons and prayers can repel them, but only if the vampanella is afraid of those. They retain enough of their humanity to pass as normal humans (with concerted effort), though a newly-turned Edgar did give in to Horror Hunger and bite the flower girl.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Allan fears that he is this for Marybell.
  • Runaway Fiancé: Allan, to Margott. They weren't officially engaged before he ran away (both to escape the arranged marriage and out of horror at thinking he had accidentally killed his uncle), but there were plans to host the party at the Hotel Blackpool.
  • Shout-Out Theme Naming: Edgar and Allan Poe.
  • Together in Death: Frank and Sheila Portsnell are shot to death within minutes of each other. They exit the stage embracing tightly.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Marybell. Even after the Trauma Conga Line of being abandoned as a baby, being taken away from her beloved brother and home, caught in a love triangle with her half-sibling and his half-sibling, both of whom were Driven to Suicide because they couldn't marry her, being turned into a vampanella, she still stays a cheerful, gentle, loving girl. Then Clifford kills her by shooting her, after terrorizing her with a cross.

Alternative Title(s): The Poe Family