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Manga / Verdant Lord

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Verdant Lord (Japanese title Midori no Ou) is a nine volume manga written by Takashige Hiroshi and drawn by Soga Atsushi. It is set in an apocalyptic near feature in which plant life has been fighting against mankind, and effectively at that. The protagonist, Souma Shin, a punk teen from Japan, was on a visit to see his older twin brother, Souma Ken, a genius scientist, but all hell breaks loose when Shin decides to save a group of children being held for military purposes due to being areopaths, and an Arethusa (a plant mecha) destroys the complex, fatally wounding Shin in the process. However, Ken does save his life, by injecting a serum that turns Shin into a half-human, half-arethusa hybrid. Shin ends up reuniting with one of the child areopaths, a girl named Dina, and her older brother. Things only become crazier from there on out.

This series provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Kelly who can take out multiple armed soldiers on her own, armed with only a handgun.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Souma Ken did not contact his younger brother for three years, is cold when they are reunited, and leaves his brother behind after turning him into a Half-Human Hybrid (that move can be interpreted in multiple ways).
  • Always Identical Twins: Souma Ken and Shin.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Several characters nearly get this, but are turned into human-plant hybrids, preventing this.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: This is why Shin ends up working for the military.
  • Anyone Can Die: Several long standing villains get this, as does Souma Shin (subverted in the last case, since he gets better).
  • Artificial Limbs: Several characters, including Shin, end up with plant-based prosthetics.
  • Attack Drone / Mecha-Mooks / Plant Mooks: The Arethusa are nearly indestructible plant mechas usually controlled by the plant system as a whole.
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  • Badass and Child Duo: Shin with Dina and her elder brother.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Although it is unclear to what extent Ken has this for Shin, Shin clearly feels this way for Dina and her elder brother (who also feels this way about Dina).
  • Big Damn Heroes: Shin has a few moments, as does Kelly.
  • Bishounen / Hunk: The Souma brothers, when not heavily combined with an Arethusa.
  • Blessed with Suck: Becoming a Half-Human Hybrid may make you basically unkillable, but if you get injured too much, the plant will continuously grow and take over your body.
  • Bodyguard Crush: While she isn’t his body exactly, Kelly often takes on this role, so Kelly and Ken’s implied relationship is this.
  • Body Horror: Slowly transforming into an Arethusa definitely qualifies.
  • Bullet Catch: Becoming an Arethusa makes this possible.
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  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Shin pulls this from time to time.
  • Cool Guns: Kelly’s weapon of choice, she uses several types, but handguns seem to be her favourites.
  • The Corruption: The more the plants inside of him grow, the more Shin becomes taken over by them.
  • Damsel in Distress / Damsel out of Distress: Dina goes both ways.
  • Determinator: Shin and Ken both.
  • Dying Momentof Awesome: When Shin is about to be completely taken over by the plants inside of him, he smiles and says:
    "If I had something clever to say right now, it’d be pretty badass. See ya."
  • Fighting from the Inside: An unusual variation occurs when Shin tries to shave off the excess plant material from his face, his plant arm tries to stop him.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: In the setting, this has been occurring on a global scale.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Shin becomes a half-human half-plant hybrid. Serveral other characters also become this, including two villains, Ken, and Kelly.
  • Lab Coat Of Science And Medicine: Ken always sports one, as do other characters associated with either field.
  • Mad Scientist: Ken shows shades of this.
  • Morality Kitchen Sink: Many of the good characters have either ulterior motives or questionable methods, but some of them are simply good; there are also villains who are mostly good and ones who are out right evil.
  • Off with His Head!: This is what Shin is threatened with, later this ultimately gives him a second chance at life.
  • One-Man Army: Shin becomes one, but he was really tough to begin with.
  • Power Degeneration: Becoming an Arethusa also means loosing yourself, effectively killing you.
  • Power Incontinence: Half-Human Hybrids have this, since the plant-matter slowly takes over the host body.
  • Precocious Crush: Dina clearly has one for Shin (whether he eventually reciprocates is left open to interpretation).
  • The Professor: Souma Ken.
  • Rescue Romance: This is hinted at between both Shin and Dina and Kelly and Ken.
  • Shirtless Scene: There are several times where Shin is being examined an thus is not wearing a shirt, this is an instance of Body Horror usually.
  • Shout-Out: To Ancient Greek mythology. The plant-mechas are named after Arethusa, one of the Hesperides, who was connections to plant-life in all versions of her myth.
  • The Speechless: After being shot in the head, Kelly’s speech centre was damaged, so she cannot communicate at all.
  • Waif Prophet: Dina and other areopaths know a lot more about the present global circumstances than other characters.
  • Weapon Wields You: Becoming a half-plant hybrid, means slowly becoming an Arethusa and loosing yourself.
  • Why Am I Ticking?: Shin, on multiple accounts.

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