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Manga / There, Beyond the Beyond

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She's pretty cute, for a flower.
"Everything's going to be just fine... probably!"
Futaba Kudo

There, Beyond The Beyond (Sono Mukou no Mukougawa) is a Shōnen manga by Yoshitomo Watanabe, which was serialized in Comic Blade from 2004 to 2008 and collected into six volumes. The first four volumes were translated into English by Tokyopop as Beyond the Beyond, but the series was then dropped due to lack of sales. Chuang-Yi in Singapore translated the first five volumes into English using the translated Japanese title, but they ran into licensing problems and were unable to release the last book.

The story starts when twelve-year-old Futaba Kudo is transported to another world by Kiara the Amaranthine, a "flower from the Beyond" who wields supreme magic power, when she mistakes him for her master. Because she cannot perform magic without him, Futaba promises that he will help her to find her true master, and in return she will use his power to send him home.

During their travels, the two gain the companionship of Lord/Lady Belbel (depending on the translation) and the "Mad Prince" Virid Viridian. Belbel is a powerful magician in the form of a bejewelled bunny-creature, who acts as Futaba and Kiara's Mr. Exposition and guide. Prince Virid rebels against his fate after befriending Futaba, and is avoiding his identically-named, sane twin brother who he is destined to Duel to the Death to become king. Both act to protect Futaba and Kiara from those bent on capturing or killing the Amaranthine for her power.

Not to be confused with the PlayStation RPG Beyond the Beyond.

This manga provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: The Virids' parents show no love for their sons as actual beings and only care about who's going to inherit the throne, without any remorse over the fact that one of them has to die for it. Virid the Sane Prince himself is confused over his mother's occasional display of affection for this reason, as he doubts her sincerity.
  • The Ace: Shen'na describes Seren as this.
    Shen'na: He's popular with both guys and girls... A handsome chap with brains and brawn. Frankly, he's so perfect he gets on my nerves.
  • Actual Pacifist: Futaba is somewhere between genuinely not wanting to hurt anyone and not being able to.
  • Alliterative Name: Virid Visette Viridian, times two.
  • Ambiguous Ending: Due to Futaba returning to his own world first, it's unclear exactly what happened to Aureole after Seren's wish was granted.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Belbel doesn't have any defining gender traits, which was problematic for translators, especially given the lack of gender-specific pronouns. In the Tokyopop translation, Belbel changes between female and male between books.
  • Animated Adaptation: A convincingly-anime-styled promotional video for the manga was released, but as of yet, no anime adaptation is in the works.
  • The Anti-Nihilist: Shen'na knows that he's doomed to a short life, but rather than angst over or delay his upcoming death, he hopes to make the most out of it while he can—namely, by being of use to his best friend, Seren.
  • Bad Liar: Kiara, when attempting to claim that something isn't on her mind (namely, Kyana's upcoming death).
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Why Virid's so loyal to Futaba and, for different reasons, why Shen'na's dedicated to helping Seren.
  • Berserk Button: Don't call Futaba short, or confuse Belbel's species.
  • Beware the Nice Ones/Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: It's not clear if (the sane) Virid, who's known for his kindness, was merely putting up a facade or if present events just brought forth a new side of him, but he's definitely capable of being much nastier than his reputation would suggest.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Both Virids die, Shen'na will die sooner or later as well because of his race, Seren may have to become a 'god' despite his wish to live a simple life—and that's assuming the entire world doesn't just disappear once they have the original 'god' die, ultimately leaving everyone's fate ambiguous. Either way, Futaba has to return to his world, thus parting ways with Kiara and co., and in the end, he only has faint memories of his adventures. On the other hand, it's implied that (the mad) Virid was reincarnated into a child there, and Futaba has come out of his experiences stronger and more mature than before.
  • Blessed with Suck: Being a Winged Humanoid, as it means having a short lifespan. As Shen'na notes, the only times where he's grateful that he can fly is when he's falling from high places.
  • Cain and Abel: The two Virids.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Being the master of an 'Elturi' involves this, and when the flower dies, so does the master.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Seren somehow, with no magic involved, manages to punch a wall apart.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: That assassin that Virid spared? He comes back towards the end, and this time finishes the job.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Kiara, at times. Virid occasionally shows sign of this as well.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: The Mad Prince. This quickly fades upon meeting Futaba, however.
  • Coming of Age Story: Futaba's.
  • Cool Old Guy: The head priest, who comes to see Seren's point of view and assists him.
  • Crossdresser: Futaba. When Kiara has him put on a dress, he tells her that wearing it wouldn't upset him, because his older sister dressed him up as a girl all the time.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Twice.
    • The first incident is with Kyana dying in Dyu's, due to her fate as a 'flower.'
    • Towards the end, the 'mad' Virid dies in the 'sane' Virid's arms, after Taking the Bullet for him.
  • The Ditz: Shen'na' can be a little bird-brained at times, pun entirely intended and canon.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: It was probably meant to be a Red Baron-esque title, but Futaba finds Rott's nickname of "Red Thunder" hilarious, and Rott himself is embarrassed by it.
  • Evil Twin: Subverted; Virid the Mad Prince lives up to his name, but he's not really evil. In the same vein, the sane prince seems like a nice guy, but comes across sometimes as a Manipulative Bastard.
  • Fall-in Angel: Futaba's swept up in everything when Kiara shows up from a portal in the sky.
  • Family of Choice: (The younger) Virid quickly decides that he wants Futaba to be his older brother (despite Virid actually being older than the other boy), as a parallel to how poor Virid's relationship is with his actual older brother.
  • Fantastic Racism: According to Belbel, the bird people are occasionally hunted down and/or captured, leading them to mostly live away from others. Furthermore, Seren was apparently the only one who didn't treat Shen'na differently after the latter was revealed to be a Winged Humanoid.
  • A Friend in Need: Shen'na's determined to help Seren, no matter what.
  • Half-Human Hybrids: Notably, fish and bird ones.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Subverted. Mocked as a loser, Dyu intended to summon the Amaranthine as means of obtaining instant power, but his process of studying in order to accomplish such a thing ended up making him a great mage by the time he got there.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Seren and Shen'na.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Kiara.
  • Insufferable Genius: Belbel.
  • Irony:
  • Killer Rabbit: Belbel. Cute he/she may be, but there's a reason Insufferable Genius applies.
  • The Klutz: Kiara.
  • Last Request: On his deathbed, the older Virid asks Asch to tell his mother that he's sorry, and wishes for the Amaranthine to save his brother. The latter request and the younger Virid's wish may have come true, in the end—it's implied that the younger Virid was reincarnated into an infant in Futaba's world.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Rott, despite being a famed soldier, is initially portrayed as something of a joke—and then he learns that all of his men have been killed...
  • Little Mister Badass: Both of the Virids, though especially the 'mad' one, who admits that he's probably stronger than his brother.
  • Manchild:
    • Futaba accuses Shen'na of being one.
    • Seren, exemplified best when it's stated that playing in the rain is what children do... and then we have Seren, the one adult doing just that.
  • Mistaken Identity: Kiara mistakes Futaba for her master, because their auras are the same.
  • Nice Guy:
    • Dyu, hence why Kyana's so happy to serve him. Belbel also cites this as the reason why Dyu can never be a true mage—he's too nice for the profession.
    • Barring the occasional teasing towards Shen'na, Seren is this.
  • Non-Action Guy: Futaba, who depends on Virid and Belbel to do all of the fighting. Justified in that he's a twelve-year-old from Earth with no magic powers or homicidal tendencies.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Belbel.
  • Pinky Swear: How Futaba seals his promise to find Kiara's master. Played for Laughs when Kiara doesn't understand the gesture and chooses to suck on his pinky.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: The two Virids, in various ways. As far as the average person is concerned, one is 'sane' and the other 'mad.' However, if you were to ask Futaba, they're completely different in that the one he knows—the 'mad' one—is always cheerful, while the other one's apparently a much angrier person.
  • The Pollyanna: Futaba, whose example Kiara follows. Seren is also this, as the main similarity between him and Futaba.
  • Psycho Sidekick: Virid the Mad Prince, though after he joins the party this aspect of his personality is mostly used to set up gags.
  • Really 700 Years Old: The 'god' of the world, who is in fact nothing more than a little girl who became immortal after summoning an Amaranthine. Apparently, the same thing will happen to Seren, who may become the next 'god.'
  • Rock Theme Naming: The names of countries are all minerals and precious stones.
  • Rose-Haired Sweetie: Kiara.
  • Running Gag: Belbel's love for money and demands for payment for any favour he/she does.
  • Sacred First Kiss: Futaba is reluctant to kiss the mermaid seer because it would be his "first kiss", but he relents when he realizes that his real first kiss was with his older brother.
  • Sanity Slippage: The 'sane' Virid doesn't take the newfound emotional distance between him and his brother well. On the other end of the spectrum...
  • Sanity Strengthening: The 'mad' Virid, after meeting Futaba.
  • Screw Destiny: Virid the Mad Prince and his twin are destined to Duel to the Death for the crown, but he is resigned to the prospect of dying because he couldn't care less about becoming king.
    • By the time the two Virids confront each other, the Mad Prince has found purpose in life in the form of protecting Futaba. He tries to avoid facing off with his brother by telling him to claim that he is already dead.
  • Secretly Dying: Kyana.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: (The mad) Virid tries to protect his brother from an assassin, dying almost immediately after being stabbed. However, the blade still reached (the sane) Virid, and though there was time to save him, he chooses to die with his brother.
  • Significant Name Overlap: The twin princes of Viridian are both named Virid to signify that their parents consider them interchangeable. The Mad Prince exploit this when he returns to his homeland after his supposed exiled by pretending to be his sane brother to avoid conflict.
  • Spell My Name With An S: Tokyopop changed translators between volumes, resulting in a change of spelling for several character and place names. Some other translations spell Virid "Vidit".
  • Summon Magic: In order to be the master of a flower from the Beyond, you must summon it.
    • In the first chapter, a magician summons a monster to attack Kiara and Futaba.
  • Talking Animal: Belbel.
  • The Team Normal: Futaba.
  • Together in Death: The two Virids.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Virid the Mad Prince quickly stops living up to his title after meeting Futaba.
  • Tragic Dream: Despite being a series about wishes (or because of this), there are a few of these.
    • The 'soul' of a city that was once flooded wants for its civilians to return so that the city can be reborn, now that it's been repaired. Except it hasn't—everything around him is an illusion, caused by his own mind, and the city's actually beyond repair and can never be inhabited again.
    • Virid's wish. (The mad) Virid simply wants to go to Futaba's world and live with him—a wish that may be possible using the power of the Amaranthine. Later on, he amends his wish to include his brother as well, thus allowing them both to live the peaceful lives they've been denied. And then they die.
  • Trapped in Another World
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Both Virids show this, being entirely capable of killing others brutally.
  • The Unfavorite: Virid the Mad Prince to his sane brother, though he is assured otherwise. As the other Virid notes, it's not as if (the sane) Virid was chosen for any special reason. It makes no difference to their parents as to who dies and who inherits the throne.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: 'God' hasn't been too happy about it, and warns Seren about this in case he'll come to regret his decision.
  • Winged Humanoid: Shen'na and Asch.
  • Yandere: (The sane) Virid, towards his brother, due to feeling like the other Virid is the only person who can acknowledge him as an individual.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: A downplayed example, given that Shen'na should still have at least a couple of years left, but due to his species and ability of flight, he knows that he will inevitably die much earlier than Seren.