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Manga / Vampires

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Vampires is a manga by Osamu Tezuka about a man named Toppei and his little brother Chippei. They have the ability to shapeshift into wolves, which is called being a vampire. A race that can transform into many other animals.

Vampires provides examples of:

  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In one scene, Tezuka tries to escape from Rokuro, yelling that he can't be killed, since he's the artist of the series.
  • Big Bad: Rokuro Mabe.
  • Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": The word "vampires" is used as a name for all the humans who can turn into animals. It's never explained why, although it's lampshaded by Tezuka, who notices that Toppei is more akin of a werewolf.
  • Creator Cameo: Osamu Tezuka himself is a main character.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: Rokuro's Villain Song.
  • Genre Savvy: When his wife confess to have a "strange feeling" about a boy that Osamu Tezuka just hired, he become wary and thinks to himself "(I)Can't ignore a woman's intuition...".
  • Henpecked Husband: Poor Mr. Tezuka!
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  • Interspecies Romance: Ruriko Iwaneyama is smitten quite badly for Rokuro Mabe (assuming he is human), but he shuts her down stating their relationship is business, and nothing more.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: Every vampire turns into some animal when subjected to some certain stimulus, which varies from vampire to vampire.
  • Kill All Humans: A group of vampires filled with bloodlust and harbouring feelings of hatred for man's ill-treatment towards their kind, opt for this course of action. Of course, they can't invoke an all-out war. Estimates say there's only 30 million vampires in the world, including the young, the elderly and the peaceful, so they discreetly resort to espionage and biochemical weapons which later come back to bite them in the ass.
  • Master of Disguise: Rokuro Mabe can deceive and fool everyone, except for vampires who can always identify him by smell.
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  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Osamu Tezuka hands over Professor Atami's work to the remaining world politicians who then want to wipe out all vampires in response for the revolution's terrorist attacks. Tezuka remembers the world is also inhabited by good vampires such as Toppei, and instantly regrets this decision.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Rather than torch the mansion to the ground, Dracula instead enlists the help of Osamu Tezuka to uncover Professor Atami's research into messing up the Vampire race's ability to transform, reducing them to nothing but wild animals. Which of course, Osamu weaponizes against the impending Vampire revolution.
  • Reused Character Design: Look, it's Shusaku Ban! And Geta!
  • Riddle for the Ages: Is Rokuro Mabe a vampire or a human? Toppei in wolf-form cannot bring himself to kill him. Likewise Ruriko Iwaneyama is in love with him and obsessed with finding out what his catalyst for transformation is. The manga doesn't elaborate on it any further, Lamp Shaded by Osamu Tezuka himself that the reader will never know the truth.
  • Self-Deprecation: Once Ruriko, another wolf-person, has left Toppei and Chippei, this exchange occurs:
    Chippei: And why does she look like a fox and not a wolf?
    Toppei: That's because Osamu Tezuka's a bad artist, Chippei.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: Haunted by the ghosts of his past, Rokuro Mabe anticlimactically drowns himself in the ocean for Part 1. Unclear if this was Tezuka's intention, as the as the work remained incomplete, so story ends abruptly.
  • Shapeshifter Baggage: Discussed as a plot point. with a vampire who turns into a mouse retaining the same weight from his human form.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: Professor Atami's formula screws up a vampire's shapeshifting and clouds their minds leaving them trapped in animal form.
  • Shout-Out: Rokuro Mabe consults the services of three witches to give him advice. They tell him that he's going to become a great ruler. Anyone who knows Macbeth will recognize them.
  • Take Over the World: Rokuro Mabe's final goal, as well as most of the vampires'.
  • The Masquerade
  • Villain Song: Rokuro's got one.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry!: Toppei at least tries to warn his enemies not to piss him off, as hatred is the catalyst for his wolf transformation, and when that line is crossed he'll show no mercy.


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