Satou Kashi no Dangan wa Uchinukenai
Satou Kashi no Dangan wa Uchinukenai is a manga series based on the novel Sugar Candy Bullets Can't Pierce Anything by Kazuki Sakuraba. The manga is illustrated by Iqura Sugimoto.
Nagisa Yamada is an aloof and anti-social middle school girl who lives in a nondescript rural town. After the death of her father caused her mother to struggle to make ends meet and her brother to withdraw from the world around him, Nagisa decided that things like high school and friendship meant little to her. Thus, she wants nothing more than to graduate middle school and enroll in the Self Defense Force, where she hopes to be able to shape her own destiny.
When a strange new girl by the name of Umino Mokuzu transfers in from Tokyo and declares that she is a "Mermaid", she quickly becomes the center of attention. Noticing that Nagisa is the only classmate that seems to have no interest in her, Umino quickly decides that they should become "precious friends". Despite Nagisa's objections, Umino begins to follow her wherever she goes.
How will Nagisa, who cares for nothing that is "not a bullet", deal with this eccentric girl who claims to need her friendship in order to survive? And what will she do if Umino's wild stories turn out to be true?
- Abusive Parents—Umino's rockstar father is shown to be aloof towards her at best and emotionally abusive at worst, once leaving her behind in a grocery store parking lot simply because a defective shopping cart made him angry. And that's only the tip of the iceberg.
- Adults Are Useless—Nagisa comes to this conclusion after talking with her teacher.
Nagisa: "Adults act like heroes but all they really want is to control us children."
- Aloof Big Brother—Rather than resent Tomohiko for giving up his promising future and spending what little money the family has left on his Otaku interests, Nagisa and their mother think of him as modern-day Nobility.
- Big Brother Mentor—Though he is often withdrawn and oblivious, Nagisa's brother displays moments of stunning insight when he gives her advice that cuts right to the heart of her problems.
- Cassandra Truth—Nagisa doesn't believe Mokuzu when she tells her that her father killed her dog. Turns out she's not making this up for a change.
- Chekhov's Gun -- The bottle that Mokuzu throws away in the first chapter makes another appearance in the very end.
- Cut Himself Shaving—Mokuzu tells Nagisa that the bruises on her legs are because mermaid skin is very sensitive to pollution. She actually got them from her father.
- Disappeared Dad—The cause of most of the Yamada families troubles. Nagisa's father was swallowed up by the sea during a freak storm that occurred 10 years ago... same kind of storm that Umino says will herald the return of the mermaids in just one month's time.
- Electra Complex—Mokuzu says that she loves her father the most and that she fought over him with her mother. And won.
- Full-Name Basis—Umino always refers to Nagisa as "Nagisa Yamada", even in the most mundane of conversations.
- Girls Love—Heavily implied between Nagisa and Umino in the covers and splash pages of the earlier Manga issues, though it remains to be seen if they will end up Schoolgirl Lesbians or just Romantic Two-Girl Friendship. Unless, of course, Umino's claims of being a genderless Mermaid are true.
- Heroic BSOD -- Nagisa gets one when she finds Mokuzu's dead body.
- Hikikomori—Tomohiko Yamada is described by his younger sister as "Beautiful, gentle natured, and shockingly intelligent... but at the same time, he's just as surprisingly useless." Once his father died, Tomohiko dropped out of school and hasn't set foot outside of his house in the three years since.
- How We Got Here—The manga starts on the 4th of October with Nagisa telling us that she's searching for something in the mountains. Then the story takes us back to the 2nd of September. It's not until very late that we learn that what Nagisa is looking for is Mokuzu's corpse.
- Idol Singer—Most of her classmates think Umino Mokuzu is the daughter of a famous actor/musician of the same name. She claims that she, of course, can't have a father due to being a genderless Mermaid born of sea foam.
- Ill Girl—In what she says are side effects of the witch's spell that made her human, Umino cannot walk without a painful limp, and must drink copious amounts of water before speaking or exerting herself. As it turns out her limping is actually the result of physical abuse by her own father. She's also deaf on one ear for the same reason, but since nobody knows about this everyone thinks she ignores them out of arrogance.
- Important Haircut -- Tomohiko cuts his hair short in the very end when he enrolls in the Self Defense Force. Nagisa also changes her hairstyle but doesn't cut it.
- Kuudere—The protagonist puts forth an image of one who cares little for the people around her, however she is surprisingly gentle with her aloof older brother and the rabbits she tends to after school.
- Love Triangle—Between Nagisa, Kanajima and Mokuzu
- Meaningful Name—Umino Mokuzu means "Scraps of seaweed from the sea". Mokuzu is also a metaphor for death at sea.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast—Umino Mokuzu aka "Scraps of seaweed from the sea" aka death at sea.
- Not a Date—When Nagisa's friend Kanajima gets the nerve to ask Umino if she would like to go to the movies with them, she accepts... but only because she thinks of it as another opportunity to spend time with Nagisa.
Nagisa: "Is Kanajima invisible or something?"
- Odd Friendship—Between the serious and aloof Nagisa and the fanciful Cloudcuckoolander Umino.
- Our Mermaids Are Different—According to Umino, mermaids can be transformed into humans by witches, in exchange for walking with an imperfect pair of legs and with the risk that they will turn into sea-foam and fade away if they don't find a "true friend" in one months time.
- Scenery Porn
- Shower of Angst
- Small Town Boredom—Nagisa's primary motivation for wanting to join the JSDF.
- Stepford Smiler -- Mokuzu
- Stockholm Syndrome—Referrenced by Nagisa's brother Tomohiko when trying to explain Mokuzu's relationship to her father.
- Tears of Remorse -- Mokuzu's father after killing her.
- That Liar Lies—When Masachika Umino tells Nagisa that Mokuzu became sea foam.
- The Runaway—When they realize that Adults Are Useless Nagisa and Mokuzu plan this.
- The Snark Knight - Nagisa seems to fit this; most of her snark is kept to her inner monologue.
Nagisa: "Aren't they amazing? They can go on forever talking about pointless subjects. Even I'm beginning to admire them for it."
- Title Drop -- The very last words in the manga.
- Tsundere—Transfer student Umino Masachika shows type B Tsundere tendencies, by throwing half-full water bottles and shouting "Go to hell!" at Nagisa... the one girl in school that Umino wants to become friends with.
- Unsound Effect—A non-humorous in-universe example occurs when newly-arrived Strange Girl Umino Masachika introduces herself to the class:
Masachika: "Then please treat me well."
- Zettai Ryouiki—Most of the female students in Nagisa's school sport Type C, but Umino doesn't seem to settle for less than Type B.
The following tropes are inherent spoilers, read at your own risk!
- Bittersweet Ending -- Nagisa decides to go to high school after all and her brother overcomes his illness but only after Mokuzu's gruesome death.
- Dead Man's Chest -- Masachika Umino hides his daughter's body in a trolley case.
- Go Out with a Smile -- Subverted. The last time Mokuzu is seen alive she's smiling serenely (her first real smile, according to Nagisa) but when her corpse is shown later her face looks timid and resigned, very much like when Kanajima was beating her up.
- Kill the Cutie
- Offing the Offspring: God...