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Webcomic / Blade Under Mask

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Asazaki Nae has finally finished her training as a maiko. On the eve of the ceremony that will mark her transition from maiko to geisha, hallucinations begin to torment her and cause her to doubt her sanity. Her success is hanging by a thread.
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Blade Under Mask is a webcomic by White-Mantis and Marcotonio, first launched in December 2015, after a lengthy 4 years of development, and follows the story of a anthropomorphic orchid mantis named Asazaki Nae, who dreams of becoming a geisha, but as her dreams seem set to come true she begins suffering mental break downs punctuated by horrific hallucinations of pain and torment.

It can be found on DeviantArt here.[1] The comic is currently on indefinite hiatus.


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Blade Under Mask contains examples of

  • Abusive Parent: Asami is physically and emotionally abusive to both Nae and Tetsuo, she usually seems to have some regret over it after the fact, but her bitter personality prevents her from apologizing, Miyo also states any threats of outright abandonment are toothless.
  • Action Girl: Sayaka while unable to best Kurohasu in their brief battle was able to handily best the hired guard of a merchent, she even claims that all she knows is fighting.
  • Alliterative Name: Asazaki Asami, Nae's adoptive mother.
  • Art Shift: Nae's visions are done in a stark contrast to the normal style becoming starved of detail and using very few colors, it makes them quite horrifying, by showing Nae's loss of perception and also allows for some truly disturbing images without going into gorn territory.
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  • Beware My Stinger Tail: Sayaka as a scorpion has a venomous stinger at the end of her tail, it's however crippled and she needs enchanted talismans to control her venom.
  • Bishōnen: Tetsuo is quite androgynous it helps him play women as an actor.
  • Big Brother Instinct: While not blood related, Tetsuo is obviously very protective of Nae and is especially furious when he learns of her virginity being sold off.
  • Blind Seer: Yojanba despite being blind seems to be able to read a person's nature simply by looking at them, she is also apparently perfectly able to see their physical looks, as she called one person ugly.
  • Boobs of Steel: Sayaka is both the most physically imposing and formidable woman in the comic but also the bustiest by a large margin.
  • Carpet of Virility: Kurohasu has type 1, being both a huge powerfully built man, and having a very prominent line of upper body hair.
  • The Casanova: surprisingly, Tetsuo. Nae accidentally walks in on him having a threesome with two random girls.
  • Cool Old Lady: Yojanba an elderly hermit crab who is first seen helping Sayaka find work to survive the coming winter, she's fun playful and seems to have a super natural ability to judge character.
  • Eccentric Mentor: Yojanba seems to be the one who taught Sayaka most of life's important lessons, but she's also something of a Cloudcuckoolander.
  • Fantastic Racism: Tetsuo complains about Sayaka's being from a wingless species when she's introduced as the family's bodyguard.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: the world of Blade Under Mask is basically feudal Japan, but populated by anthropomorphic insects and arachnids that worship a crane god and an owl goddess.
  • Foil: Nae with both Sayaka and Kurohasu, they are both socially inept but content in their own skin, Nae however is a master at faking entire personas and is driving herself insane trying to please others, they are also both physically constrasted to Nae, being large and dark colored next to tiny pale and pink Nae.
  • Framing Device: the comic starts with a mysterious narrator telling Nae's story.
  • Hime Cut: Nae has such a style.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Kurohasu and Nae.
  • Kindly Housekeeper: Miyo.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: almost all characters being anthropomorphic bugs or the like tend to have four arms and two legs, some have specialized limbs, like Nae who has two normal hands and two Mantis fore limbs, or Sayaka whose second arms have her pincers.
  • Nice Hat: Sayaka has a straw hat to add to her awsomeness.
  • Non-Mammalian Hair: Most of the inhabitants of the Great Land have normal human style hair, though a few lack it, Kurohasu has a distinct variant in that he has no hair on his head, but instead has a prominent line of chest hair reaching all the way down to his groin,
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: The women have breasts, all the men we have seen so far avert the male equivalents having no nipples or external genitalia. This is a strange case, however, as development material indicates Great Landers gestate and give live birth, and one image shows the infant Nae being breastfed by her mother.
  • No Social Skills: Kurohasu fails to grasp that waking in on a woman taking a bath may not be a good idea, when you don't want her to be scared of you.
  • Pet the Dog: Asami has a few. First she doesn't take kindly to Tetsuo's Fantastic Racism towards Sayaka and tells him to shut it. Second she quickly agree's to Nae's point about the need to consider their bodyguard's health, then also does the same for Nae ordering them both to get changed before they come down sick. And third she is willing to incur massive debts and possibly ruin her house's reputation in order to protect Nae.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Nae's hair reaches the floor when not put up in any way.
  • Ronin: Kurohasu, apparently.
  • Sanity Slippage: at the height of her success as a maiko, Nae starts having disturbing, gory visions.
  • Secret Keeper: Shortly after joining their party, Nae finds out Sayaka is a woman, but agrees to keep it to herself.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Nae is young, inexperienced, and quite submissive to Asami, but she's also determined, clever and brave.
  • Simple Staff: Sayaka's weapon, fitting due to her impoverished lifestyle.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Sayaka is over 6 feet tall and quite pretty.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Sayaka pretends to be a man to get hired as a bodyguard in order to earn money to survive the coming winter, funnily enough her efforts only require her to use a different name and bind her breasts.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Sayaka and Nae, respectively.
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