In war, men become beasts. War makes gods out of beasts. When war ends... where do the gods go? Wolves walk the forest of despair, the wasteland of lamentation, the sea of bitterness, in the time of dark and light. To kill those that were once their friends.
To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts (Katsute Kami Datta Kemonon-tachi e) is a manga by Maybe set in a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of the U.S. after the Civil War. To win the war, the North brought into existence the Sacred Beasts, also known as the Incarnates. A special group of soldiers were chosen to become these monsters. Now the war is over and the peace has been restored, or at least it should have. The surviving Sacred Beasts are losing their humanity, becoming a threat to the population. Now their old captain must uphold their vows and kill his former comrades.
Nancy Schaal Bancroft is the daughter of one of those soldiers, and after failing to kill the Beast Hunter, she ends up traveling with him, and comes to understand his reasons for upholding that vow.
An anime adaptation premiered on July 1st, 2019. The anime is made available outside of Japan via Crunchyroll.
The manga's story came to an end after exactly 9 years, having launched on June 9, 2014 and published its final chapter on June 9, 2023.
- Adaptational Early Appearance: Thanks to Adaptation Expansion, most of the Sacred Beasts who were introduced long after the platoon had dissolved, appear on the first episode of the anime, if only briefly.
- An Aesop: Watching the first few eps of the anime in particular, and the manga overall, there's a pretty clear message about taking care of and offering proper support to armed forces veterans, especially in helping treat PTSD.
- Big Bad: Cain Madhouse is the main antagonist and source of conflict in the story.
- Bishōnen Line: Cain the Vampire barely looks different from his original human form, and is one of the most dangerous Sacred Beasts.
- Cain and Abel: Cain to his brother Claude's Abel.
- Chameleon Camouflage: Edgar the Basilisk could do this. He also has a prehensile tongue like a chameleon.
- Darker and Edgier: The anime adaptation leans heavily into the darker and more serious elements of the story and characters. By contrast, the manga contains a lot more comedy.
- Empire with a Dark Secret: The Sacred Beasts were originally the result of secret experiments financed by the Northern Union to create powerful weapons to fight against the better-equipped Southern Confederation. After the Northern Union won the war, its government declared that all Sacred Beasts are to be eliminated as threats to the peace. To them, the Sacred Beasts represent a dark price for peace that must stay buried forever.
- Evil Counterpart: Garm serves as this for Werewolf.
- Fur Against Fang: The main conflict in the story is between Hank the Werewolf and Cain the Vampire.
- Gecko Ending: In the anime, Hank gains the ability to use his Incarnate power in human form during the daylight and defeats Cain in combat. No such thing occurred in the manga. Strangely for this trope, this alteration doesn't affect much beyond making the finale more climactic, as Cain still proceeds to escape and the conflict left to continue just as in the manga.
- Greater-Scope Villain: President Richard Withers, father of Cain and Claude, shares this position with the Reverend.
- Healing Factor: Sacred Beasts can recover quickly from injuries. Hank uses special bullets to counteract this.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Even as Siren, Beatrice was much smaller than her partner Daniel the Spriggan.
- Kaiju: Arthur the Behemoth is easily the biggest Sacred Beast seen in the story.
- Law of Inverse Recoil: Subverted. The first time Schaal actually fires her rifle/elephant gun (at Hank), the recoil knocks her off her feet (presumably, she learns to brace herself afterwards). Also, the gatling guns used by the army unit Coup de Grace are mounted on frames that have to be carefully set up and staked to the ground.
- The Lost Lenore: Elaine, the creator of the Sacred Beasts and Hank's love interest, was killed by Cain before the start of the story. Cain, who also has feelings for her, still attempted to resurrect her afterwards, but failed.
- Magic Pants: Zigzagged. The Sacred Beasts wear custom white uniforms that allows them to transform into their beast forms without suffering clothing damage with the exception of gloves and boots. Strangely, the said gloves and boots return without explanation after resuming human form.
- This applies to Hank when he wore the Union uniform as his disguise among their ranks and it did not suffer any clothing damage when he transforms, functioning just like his white uniform.
- The Magic Comes Back: The creation of the Sacred Beasts is seen as this by people, and their powers certainly invoke that.
- Ms. Fanservice: Mostly Liza, but Schaal has her moments.
- Name of Cain: Cain Madhouse is a vampire and the Big Bad of the story.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Big Bad is named Cain Madhouse. Thought admittedly, that's not his original surname (which was "Withers").
- Our Dragons Are Different: Nidhogg/William Bancroft looks like a huge, non-flying dragon. Though at least two episodes show him flying.
- Our Gargoyles Rock: Christopher the Gargoyle looks like a typical gargoyle, appearing to be made of stone and using his appearance to hide within buildings.
- Our Sirens Are Different: Beatrice the Siren can use her beautiful voice to hypnotize her enemies, like a siren from myth.
- Power Dyes Your Hair: Hank's hair turns white at night, signifying that he can transform into his werewolf form.
- Rhino Rampage: Spriggan looks like a gigantic humanoid rhino.
- Sanity Slippage: Most Incarnates end up suffering from this, if they don't simply turn violently animalistic.
- The Minotaur was so afraid of dying that he began seeing enemies everywhere, and built a gigantic fortress to hold them off.
- The Gargoyle's strong sense of justice gradually warped into a Knight Templar mentality wherein All Crimes Are Equal, and he started to kill criminals regardless of the crimes they'd committed.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Most surviving Sacred Beasts became this after the war.
- Shipper on Deck: In episode 1, it seems like the whole Incarnate Squadron are intensely interested in the status of Hank and Elaine's relationship (though Cain is notably absent from these scenes). The afternoon before their last major battlenote , Hank tells his squad to make sure they all come back, because he's going to ask Elaine for a Relationship Upgrade afterward. Everyone brightens up and promises to do their best to stay alive to see it!
- Sinister Minister: Later chapters of the manga introduces The Reverend, who leads a religious organization known as The Church that, alongside the actions of Richard Withers, sets the story's conflict in motion.
- Spider People: Arachne looks like a monstrous centaur-like spider.
- Starter Villain: In the manga, Danny "The Spriggan" Price is the first Sacred Beast Hank kills. In the anime, it's Edgar the Basilisk instead.
- There Are No Therapists: Several of the Incarnates' issues could have been treated or at least lessened if they'd had access to psychological counselling; sadly justified in that psychology and related fields, given the relative equivalent time period (mid-to-late 19th century), is likely just in its infancy.
- Time Skip: While glossed-over in the anime, the manga makes it clear that (a) two years pass between the end of the civil war and Hank coming to kill Will Bancroft, and (b) another year passes between the Whitechurch incident and Schaal's return to her home village of Rivulet Wood.
- Tragic Monster: The Sacred Beasts only wanted to serve their country and protect their loved ones, but now most have turned into monsters that need to be put down.
- Trauma Button: In much the same way as Real Life veterans have difficulty readjusting to civilian life, being transformed into inhuman monsters took a huge toll on the minds of the Sacred Beasts, especially those who looked particularly inhuman.
- Ungrateful Bastard: A lot of the populace of North Patria (especially among the military and political elites) are far from appreciative of the Incarnates' sacrifices in service of their nation, or at all sympathetic to their plight after the war; this almost certainly contributed to at least accelerating their descent into truly becoming mentally the monsters they looked like physically.
- Was Once a Man: The Sacred Beasts were all soldiers who voluntarily became monsters. Hank is so far the only one who can return to his human form mostly intact.
- Weird West: The series takes place shortly after the setting's equivalent of the American Civil War, but with rampaging shapeshifters that possess powers based on mythological creatures. Moreover, when Cain establishes New Patria, it's in the less-developed western territories of the continent, analogous to the real-life 19th century western American frontier.
- You Killed My Father: The story begins with Schaal trying to kill Hank for doing the same to her father William. The reason behind is more complicated than just that.