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It is a normal afternoon on the bustling city streets of the Shinjuku district in Tokyo, as citizens go about their daily routines of shopping, leaving work, and walking home from school. However, the routine is suddenly shattered when a businessman collapses at a crowded cross-walk, spraying gouts of blood from every orifice onto the horrified onlookers as he writhes to a quick, painful death. His body is rushed to a nearby hospital for an emergency autopsy, and the worst fears of the emergency staff are soon realized: A deadly, infectious disease of unknown origin has killed a man in the middle of one of the most heavily populated cities in the entire world.
What is the nature of this disease that can kill a human in such a quick and gruesome fashion? How many people might the victim have already infected before he died? And, most important of all, how will Tokyo respond to the threat of this terrible contagion that is emerging in the heart of one of its biggest districts?
This series contains examples of:
- Blood From the Mouth: Happens (at high velocity) during the final moments of the victim's life, along with blood from the nose, and the ears, and eyes... and every other orifice.
- Body Horror: The bodies of the mystery disease's victims become hideously bloated, and blood gushes from their eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and every other orifice you can think of.
- Cat Smile: Mori surprises Onotera with a Cat Smile while he's raging about Japan's lack of preparedness for a major disease outbreak... he's even further surprised when she starts gushing over the possibility that she could get a chance to study a disease as rare and deadly as Ebola.
- Completely Missing the Point: When the results come in and the disease is confirmed to not be Ebola, the protagonist starts celebrating... until his partner informs him that the news means they're dealing with a completely unknown new viral pathogen.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: The head of the Infectious Disease Center prefers to play golf all the time and have his second in command handle the situation. As the situation grows more dire, he goes public saying that the virus is under containment despite the fact that the doctors and scientists studying the case have not gotten nearly far with their research. His reason? He doesn't want the stock market to go down even further than it already has.
- Decoy Protagonist: Since she appears on the cover and since the first chapter revolves around her, it's very easy to mistake Akari for the series' protagonist. She gets infected with the disease at the very beginning of the story, and from then until the very end does nothing except lying in her hospital bed looking miserable. Her family doctor becomes the hero.
- Deus Ex Machina: Just when it seems that all hope is lost, the virus is defeated by The Power of Love.
- Did Not Do the Research: "The virus is being consumed by the antibodies!" Uh, Antibodies don't work like that.
- Justified in that the big reveal is that it turned out to not be a virus the whole time. See Kiss of Death below.
- Dies Wide Open: Several of the diseases victims died with their eyes open. Well, what was left of their eyes, anyway.
- Downer Ending: The last chapter makes it very clear that the virus may be mutating - possibly to an airborne strain, which would not only be much more contagious, but also be unaffected by the vaccine serum. Cue a scene where Ooshima and Misaki unknowingly walk right past someone with the trademark Incurable Cough of Death as 'disease particles' float around.
- Eye Scream: The first sign of infection is that your eyes become extremely blood-shot, then blood begins to ooze from the corners. It gets even better: In the final stages, your eye-balls being to liquefy... before you die.
- Gentle Giant: Ooshima. Exemplified by his shy/loving relationship with his girlfriend Misaki whose only about half as tall and wide as the shoulder as her athletic boyfriend. See Huge Guy, Tiny Girl below.
- Half the Man He Used To Be: Inverted, as the first victim becomes notably larger in his final day. By the time his body makes it to the autopsy table, he seems to have almost doubled in size.
- High-Pressure Blood
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Misaki and Ooshima. She is a petite Japanese schoolgirl, and he is an absurdly tall teenage sports player.
- Incurable Cough of Death: At least as a symptom.
- Kiss of Death: Ooshima unknowingly seals his own fate when he throws caution to the wind and kisses his girlfriend Misaki, who by now is infected with the unknown virus. This is ultimately averted when it turns out he gained a natural immunity.
- Lovable Coward: Dr. Onotera, at least in the beginning. He freaks out twice during his initial operating room examinations of victims of the virus... a mistake that could have cost both his life and the lives of the other hospital staff.
- Not in My Back Yard: The Department of Virology, located in the National Institute for Infectious Diseases has the potential to operate as a BSL-4 (which is required to deal with deadly diseases such as Ebola), however it only operates at as a BSL-3 due to opposition from local residents and communities. This is an example of Truth in Television for the real life Department of Virology located in Kanto, Japan.
- And in most other countries. The US CDC has had several projects shut down or designated to a lover level because of precisely this response.
- Oh Crap: This series has several of these moments.
- Ooshima, a couple of chapters after his Kiss of Death
- Another happens for Mori, the BSL-4 Virus Resident Enthusiast, when she's told that Japan has no preventing measures like cutting off international routes or forced quarantines.
- This is Onotera and Sekiguchi's reaction when their hospital is quarantined and Mori tells them all the people with the symptoms are being rerouted to their hospital.
- Otaku: Mori, the office manager for the Department of Virology in the National Institute for Infectious Diseases, is an otaku for, of all things, deadly viruses. Especially Ebola.
- Overdrawn At the Blood Bank: In typical manga fashion, the death of the infected is accompanied by a continuous spray of blood that resembles nothing so much as an elaborate, grotesque sprinkler.
- The Plague
- Rain of Blood: When the skin of the first victim is pierced during his autopsy, his blood jets up nearly to the ceiling before coming splattering back down several feet away.
- Recycled in Space: Outbreak IN TOKYO. (Though this doesn't make the series any less interesting.)
- Tears of Blood: One of the signs that the disease is approaching its final, fatal stage.
- Violation of Common Sense: Ooshima kissing the obviously sick girl bleeding from her eyes leads to the cure being discovered much faster.
- The Watson: For someone who went to medical school, Dr. Onotera is surprising ill-informed when it comes to basic knowledge about viruses.