-> RTS Page for Taboo-Tattoo 1
96-page first issue of a new series!!
white outline red: A strange power that rests in the palm of a boy's hand.
red outline black: The intense action story ... Begins!!
#01 Spell Crest
I'm gonna tell my mom on you!!
What's that about...
Old man, you okay?
Thank you, you saved me.
I must have something to show my gratitude.
...Guess this is the last one.
This is a key to experiencing a truth about the world.
The means to solving any and all problems is hidden in the world on the other side.
Do you want it?
I... don't really understand, but if you're giving it, I'll take it.
But isn't it valuable? You said it's your last one...
It's fine, it's not something I need anymore.
Give me your hand.
Hold it tight.
Just bear with it for a while.
Old man, this thing hurts!
It's like it's making electric shocks!
Wha-! Wait-! Woah!
In the end, even though I evaded the army's pursuers, I wasn't able to meet with any men from the kingdom.
What is this? a tattoo!?
I've even become tired of running away anymore.
I think I know what it feels like to be the cat that curiosity killed.
I hope we can meet again, somewhere.
box: If I think of it now, that was where everything began.
At that moment, I had suddenly set foot into the underside of this world.
I slept in again!!
Seigi, come on!
Move aside, move asiiide!!
float: It was an encounter that left an impact on me.
float: In several ways.
I- I'm so sorry.
float: I wasn't able to react.
If someone suddenly comes charging in from the side, I just act, y'know?
float: It's not normal to find people who reflexively throw open-fisted strikes in that situation.
Are... Are you all right?
What was that just now?
I should apologize too! I was in a hurry-
Be careful next time.
Seigi, what are you doing!?
We really have no time for this!!
...Then, after the Second World War,
During the Cold War while neither eastern nor western ideologies took hold,
behind the backs of the Americans and Soviets, a nation established itself, growing faster than even Japan.
The South Asian emerging nation of the kingdom of Selinistan.
They rapidly rose to the tops of various fields of engineering and development.
Currently they can boast of being the world's second greatest economic power, after America.
Japan is unfortunately third.
Those of you who watch the news probably already know,
In recent years, relations between America and this kingdom have been deteriorating.
In the event of war, then as a nation allied with America, Japan would also...
Ah, we're out of time.
Well, we'll stop here for today.
Seigi, you really are hopeless in the morning
Speaking of which, what happened to your forehead?
I was rushing this morning, running while eating my toast,
and a girl stepped out of a side alleyway...
And you ran into her?
That's such a cliché...
She punched me and sent me flying.
There sure are some dangerous folks in the world.
float: She was cute though.
It's not just that she's dangerous....
Hm? hey, do up your button. On your shirt.
Geez, what a nag.
It's not convincing to be told by the disciplinarian who always arrives late himself.
Mrgh... When you say it like that, I don't have a comeback...
Do you still have that tattoo?
If you don't remove it soon, you'll be found out and get in trouble.
Even if I want to, I can't get it to come off.
It's not one of those fake tattoos?
Like a sticker?
I dunno, man.
I just beat up a couple thugs and this old homeless-looking guy I saved gave it to me.
Saving people again?
Whether you're brave or just an easy mark... You sure stick your nose into things.
Because I learn martial arts from my granddad,
handwritten: I train myself.
I can handle a punk or two!
Well, if there's like three of them, then it gets kinda... y'know...
That's not what I'm talking about...
But, what are you looking at, Toshi?
I remembered a rumour that the military geeks on the net have been circulating lately...
You know how in the last class, he said relations between America and Selinistan have been getting bad?
In order to ensure pressure on the kingdom,
it's said that America developed a new, secret weapon.
Rumour has it these weapons were smuggled out by someone, and circulated on the Japanese black market.
What does all that have to do with this tattoo?
It seems that the secret weapon
is of a form that looks just like this tattoo!
That couldn't possibly be!
It's not like a tattoo can be used as a weapon
Don't give Seigi any strange ideas.
Seigi, can you come shopping with me on the way home today?
Huh? I really have to go to my granddad's dojo today.
And who's fault was it that I was late to school!?
You could have gone ahead by yourself, Touko.
I was entrusted with looking after you, by your mother!
In short, she's his wife.
Totally his wife.
Y-You two, quit the asinine comments!
Anyway, Seigi, come with me after school!
float: Seriously, what is this?
Seigi, what do you want to eat today?
It's my turn to cook supper so I'll cook whatever you like.
I'm always imposing on you, so I can't be picky.
But I'm saying I'll make you what you want.
Don't hold back, anything is okay, just tell me.
Ah... Then how about European American Indian curry udon.
Eu-European American Indian curry udon...?
Is there such a thing?
It's fine if there isn't. Whatever works.
sfx: paraparapara (flip flip flip)
It's okay! I'll make it for you!
Well, I don't think it exists...
Anyway, at this rate I'll be late getting to the dojo.
Granddad's a stickler for being on time...
Touko, I'm just going to give granddad a call.
We met earlier.
I'm really sorry about this morning.
Is your forehead all right?
float: A cell phone
I finally found it.
Here it is, Seigi!
European American Indian curry udon! Now, let's look for the ingredients!
Seigi, you said you'd carry the shopping bags!
float: We're entering more and more deserted streets...
float: She's a girl about the same age as me. Why can't I, as a boy, catch her?
float: No, it's more like she's running just fast enough so that I can keep up.
float: The palm strike I took this morning too, I couldn't even react to it.
float: This girl... Somehow, she's not normal.
Where are you!?
tl note: Seigi means "justice" and she speaks it in English. Seigi is unusual for a name.
15 years old, blood type O, 3rd year in Harumi private middle school...
Huh, that's a strange name you've got.
Oh, I get it.
It's one of those new, made-up Japanese names, right?
My- My dad gave me this name!
Anyway, don't look through people's cell phones! Give it back!
Before I do that...
There's something I want to ask you.
Where did you get ahold
of that Spell Crest?
Huh...? Spell... crest?
float: Wha-... Whoa!!
float: Does this girl do martial arts or something?
It is a highly classified state secret to my country.
I'll need to have you return it to me.
What are you talking about!?
If that's how you're going to be...
float: Looks like she's not an opponent I can go easy on because she's a girl...
I won't hold back either!
float: Akatsuka style Jujitsu "Snake Throw"/"Hebigaeshi"!!
float: Huh... So he can pull off a throw from there.
Well then, I guess I should also be a little serious.
float: Am I...
float: gonna be killed...!?
I went and overdid it.
It's like a switch is flipped, and before I know it, I do this.
*Sigh*... My favourite dagger...
Still, you surprised me.
You're able to be able to trade blows with me without using the power of the crest.
Are you really a middle-schooler?
handwritten: oh, it's not broken
I don't mind a strong guy.
float: Able to trade blows...? It was a one-sided beating!
Can you stand? Let me see your hand.
What is this, always about the spell crest thing!?
You come and attack me all of a sudden and I don't even know why! Who the hell are you!?
...I was right.
You don't know anything about that crest, do you?
I thought it was strange,
it's not something a kid like you should be able to get his hands on.
Maybe you just picked it up by some coincidence.
Aren't you a kid too?
By outward appearance, maybe.
But even so, I am by far your elder.
This is a Spell Crest.
The design is different than the one on your hand, but it's the same thing.
Each spell crest is activated by loading it with a particular substance - the "trigger".
The crest-wielder, called a "Shield", gets their physical abilities quickly boosted.
Moreover, they can manifest supernatural phenomena. It's a cutting-edge scientific weapon.
If you think of cartoons, it would be like Po_eye.
You mean that rumour he was talking about is true?
A rumour? Is that what's going around?
Is Intelligence really doing their job?
Well okay, I'll continue explaining.
The "trigger" for my spell crest,
that is to say the equivalent to Po_eye's spinach, is this chalk.
You use it by introducing it to the spell crest like this.
With that, it's active.
When it's activated, the crest floats up on the back of the hand too.
This is an air bomb, made of high density atmosphere.
You can tell how the density is bending the light, kinda like shimmering hot air.
...is the power of a Spell Crest.
Well, this ability also changes depending on the Shield.
And it's not like you can use it non-stop.
Are you scared?
Well, let's leave it at that for today.
The police should be on their way because of that blast, too.
I'm interested in you.
Sorry but I'm going to observe you for a while.
And if you don't want to take one of those bombs to your body, you'd better not tell a soul about today.
It's fine, I probably won't be malicious.
"Probably," she say...
I won't accept it!!
sign: Akatsuka Dojo
Having the tables turned on you by a lone snatch-and-run thief?
What have you been learning all these years?
Do you know why your father died?
It's because he wasn't strong enough!
Though he had no strength, he said he wanted to protect the weak and became a policeman, and that was the result!
If you are to continue on the same path as Yoshitake,
you must become stronger.
"Justice" without strength is no "Justice" at all.
float: Now, all the frustration comes welling up inside me...
That's the end of the communication.
Does anyone have any questions?
Akatsuka, what happened to your face? Have you been fighting?
It's from the dojo.
Ah... Come to think of it that is what your family does.
I couldn't say I was taken out by girl my age if you pried my mouth open.
Well... practise in moderation then.
Oh, I see him, I see him.
You spoke too much about classified information,
don't refer to me as Lieutenant in public.
How many times do I have to tell you?
Ah, sorry, Izzie.
...However, first and foremost,
why didn't you secure him at that time when you had the chance, Lieutenant?
Our mission is to recover the spell crests that have leaked out of the country.
Certainly the boy is irregular for a target,
but that's not a reason to be neglectful.
radio: za...zaza... (radio static)
float: Set the frequency to...
If any information leaks out through him, it's won't be a laughing matter.
Lieutenant, I know you can be as capricious as a cat,
but you've always done a minimal cost-benefit analysis.
float: well, she is cute though.
This is not like you.
radio: gapii!! (screech)
Hey, are you even listening to me!?
You're such a nag.
float: listening device.
I even think that myself.
but I want you to leave that kid up to me.
Have you decided on your orders?
Steamed milk, please.
float: Argh, dammit, she's so cute, like a cat!
float: I've gone and lost all my will to be angry with her!
What are you looking at?
You know I have a cat's tongue.
tl note: Idiom meaning she can't take very hot food or drinks.
Hasn't the intel on the other target come down from above?
Leave the boy to me. You handle the investigation on that case.
handwritten: focus focus...
If you say so, Lieutenant, I won't question...
However, when you follow him, please be very cautious.
You're reeeeeeally bad at tailing people, Lieutenant.
Nothing even happens.
box: Concealed, the mysterious girl begins her shadowing.
Handwritten: Eyes like a cat ...sort of.
What the hell's with that stalker girl! She's constantly following you around, Seigi!
I'm gonna give her a piece of my mind!
Ahh, stop, stop!
The girl's someone I know.
There's sort of a reason behind this.
I'll go talk to her, so you go on ahead, Touko.
I don't know what's going on, but don't get caught up with some weird girl.
Wa! Wa! He's coming this way!
O- Oh, what a coincidence.
How do you do today?
If you're going to follow me, could you do better job? It's making everyone uneasy.
float: Could it be she didn't didn't realize, herself?
It- It seem like you haven't told anyone over the past few days.
Admirable, I'll grant you that.
Were you that scared of me?
I can't say that I wasn't scared at all...
float: If I did speak about it, no one would believe me.
But you don't seem like a bad person, somehow.
Even more than that,
I feel more mortified than scared.
That time, I got thoroughly beat down by a girl like you.
Honestly, it's so frustrating I want to cry.
Even so, I had some pride in being fairly strong.
What a precious face. Seems you rather hate to lose.
And you're honest about it.
But no, you are in fact strong.
To be able to do that much at your age is plenty.
Since last time, I've tried copying what you did.
So many times I tried squeezing chalk sticks.
But I never get any reaction.
Didn't I tell you?
Triggers are different for each spell crest.
In my case it's chalk, but your spell crest's trigger isn't limited to chalk.
It could be cigarettes,
You won't know until you search around trying various things.
Do you want the power of the crest that badly?
I want to become stronger.
Never mind that, who in the world are you? You're not an ordinary middle-schooler!
And back then, didn't you say something like you wanted to take back the spell crest?
Now that you mention it, I never introduced myself...
float: Someone's hurt...!
Stop right there!!
Outta the way, brat!!
float: I guess I can't be weak... right?
You threw a giant like that beautifully.
That's pretty amazing.
If you brought him in to the cops you'd get a public commendation.
By the way, are you all right...?
What do you think you're doing?
handwritten: First of all, stop calling me Lieut.
I had found that other target that we talked about earlier.
I tried asking him to come with me, and without a word of warning he knocked me out...
I didn't even have the time to activate my crest.
You are such a dunce...
That's why I told you to leave capturing the targets to me...
So you mean to say that man was...
Don't be gettin' all full of yourself!!
float: So, he activated his spell crest...
Tom, look after the boy.
I'll take care of the rest here...
I'll do it.
Do you not understand what just happened?
He's a Shield.
By activating his crest he's taken on superhuman phyical abilities.
He's not someone an ordinary person can defeat unarmed.
float: Ahh indeed... If Touko had seen that she'd probably have fainted.
float: Spell crests are pretty amazing alright.
That's got nothing to do with it...
Haven't lost to him yet.
You're not going to stop him?
If he dies, then he dies. That'll happen when it happens.
Our guy has also lost his head and forgotten about running away from us, let's let him do as he wants.
float: Keeping your trigger at the ready like that, you're clearly eager to save him...
So, what kind of guy is that muscle-headed moron?
His name is Theodore Wilson.
He's a member of a major gang, back home.
A month ago, a dispute broke out among members over how to handle a Spell Crest they had obtained through the black market.
In the confusion, he stole the crest and fled here to Japan.
I get it. Profiting while others fight, huh?
handwritten: Know-it-all face
Despite his huge frame, he's a bit of a coward.
That huge size and brute strength made him famous among his peers,
earning him the nickname "Teddy the Bear"
float: * Teddy is short for Theodore.
True to the name, he's just like a bear.
What the hell is that cute name!
handwritten: Ah-hya hya hya
handwritten: "Teddy Bear"?
His pals have horrible taste in nicknames!
float: I'm on the brink of dying here, what are they laughing about!
Just hold still for a sec!
float: Shit... He reacts too fast, I can't get in for a throw.
float: It's all I can do to avoid his attacks!
He... He smashed the wall to pieces....!
When a Shield activates his spell crest, several physical traits are boosted.
Physical ability, healing rate,
stamina in resisting external forces,
neural transmission rate, i.e. reaction speed,
expanded level of perception, etc.
All his vital specs are completely apart from that of a normal human.
So if one is to fight a Shield, one must oneself be a Shield.
I'll give you one hint.
That guy's a spell crest rookie, having been a Shield for just under a month.
He hasn't felt the limits of his new, overpowering specs.
He's like a learner's permit driver in an F1 race car.
float: It's true, his speed and reflexes are increased, but looking at him calmly, his movements are all wide and full of openings.
float: The fact is, I haven't taken a single clean hit.
float: So far I've somehow avoided all his attacks, though barely.
He's really got some absurd strength though... Even I can't do that.
float: He's not be able to move his body as he imagines, after the change.
float: The guy's weapon is his overwhelming, tank-like destructive power.
I should use that power by turning it against him!
float: ...How's that!?
You've done it now, boy.
I've had enough of running away.
I've come all the way to Japan by sneaking around. It's crazy.
You two, you're "Blue Moon", right? I've heard about you.
The team sent out by the American military to recover the Spell Crests, huh?
I'd heard you were really strong, but you sure don't look like it. Guess I was worrying for nothing.
float: This is bad... With that much blood, how many ribs did he break...? And his organs...
float: Completely ignoring him
Just wait over there,
After I pummel this guy to death, I take you guys on next.
Hey, ain't no reason to be so scared,
I'll go easy on ya.
So that you won't die too quickly!
float: I'm gonna be be killed...?
float: What... Why...
float: At what point did I enter a world of "killing" or "being killed"...
float: No way... I don't want to die, I don't want to lose!
float: I haven't become any stronger yet.
float: It all begins now... from this point onward!
float: I don't want it to end in a place like this!
float: If so, nothing will come of looking downward.
float: When you're frustrated, you should look ahead.
float: That's right.
float: And when there's something you desire, you reach out your hand for it.
float: And when it's out of reach, you stretch further, and further.
float: If you keep it up, then someday,
float: you can get ahold of whatever you want.
sfx: picha-aan (drip sound)
float: Reach out...
Lieutenant! Just now, was that...
The key-less Spell Crest.
That's not possible...!
float: To meet someone so adaptable in a place like this...
What a thing for him to get his hands on.
float: What is the power of Seigi's spell crest...?
bar: Next chapter in issue 2, on sale Saturday December 26!!