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"A long, long time ago in the east, there was a country called Jushin. In Jushin there lived secret agents known as Angyo Onshi. Angyo Onshi were special envoy designated by the king. They disguised themselves and roamed the country correcting corrupt governments and brought people to justice. However, Jushin has been destroyed, but there is still one Angyo Onshi wandering..."
—Opening lines
"ANGYO ONSHI OMEDASHIDA!!!!"
—by every angyo onshi known in the storyline

Shin Angyo Onshi (or Tale of the Phantom Blade Master) is the story of Munsu, one of the few surviving men of the fallen empire Jushin. He also happens to have been one of Jushin's Angyo Onshi, operatives who wandered the countryside in disguise, righting wrongs and triumphing over evil with the power of his magical medallion and an army of phantom soldiers. Despite the destruction of Jushin (by his own hand, so the stories go) Munsu carries out his duty out of a sense of loyalty to the king that he supposedly killed and a burning desire for revenge against the man who masterminded everything - Aji Tae.

Tropes used in Shin Angyo Onshi include:
  • Action Girl: Sando, Marlene von Lucid and Miss Hwang.
  • A Date With Rosie Palms: Munsu asks in a flashback to the soldiers of Jushin if they had a good time with their lovers last night before a decisive and potentially very deadly battle. You may think that he was talking about actual girlfriends or wives, but a soldier immediately screams about being tired of his hands.
  • A God Am I: Aji Tae. Well, he is pretty close...
  • A Father to His Men: Munsu. Every one of his subordinates held respect for him, and many wanted his forgiveness after they turned evil.
  • Actually, I Am Him: Subverted in the first chapter when the character the audience is led to believe is the Angyo Onshi is revealed to be the Evil Queen, and the Jerkass Munsu is revealed to be the the Angyo Onshi in disguise. Given a very disturbing and dark twist later on with Aji Tae and Munsu's friend the King.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The Movie follows the first three to four chapters of the Manga, and tells almost nothing about the actual plot of the series.
  • Anyone Can Die: Anyone remember Mong Ryong? Also the final battle. Borders on Kill'Em All.
  • Anti-Hero:
    • Munsu, who is perfectly fine with lying and stealing, yet is a wonderful hero. Despite that, he is still lawful.
    • The Hwalbindang are a unlawful example, stealing and killing to help the poor.
  • Arrogant Kung Fu Guy: Dorso. Subverted in the fact that he Doesn't think he can beat Won Sul after Won Sul beat his two friends in one swing
  • Ascended Extra: The prince from chapter three.
  • The Atoner: Munsu, for his effect on the death of Hae Mo Su and Kye Wol Hyang.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Munsu when he was a general, Aji Tae, General Urias von Lucid.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Munsu, Won Sul, Aji Tae, face it, who doesn't have an awesome Korean name?
  • Awful Truth: Pyeonggang and Ondal are siblings.
  • Back From the Dead: Munsu's ancestor, through a deal that made him lose his soul.
  • Badasses abound:
    • Back-to-Back Badasses: Subverted in the final fight when Eul Paso, Hwang, and Su are all surrounded by Aji Tae's Forces, while they do win, in a moment of pure Badass, two thirds of them are killed in the resulting explosion.
    • Badass Abnormal: Tae Yu. Originally, he was just a fast swordsman, before becoming an all powerful summoner after training under Mito. Won Sul also counts, being just a simple badass swordsman before breaking his sword and making his own from willpower He then ascended again when he became an immortal zombie
    • Badass Army: The Phantoms, and the Phantom women.
    • Badass Back: Won Sul never looks back at his dead opponents. and Aji Tae Kills many without even looking at them.
    • Badass Beard: Mito-Sama, Subverted in the fact that he can't use a sword, and double subverted when it is discovered he can use magic better than even Lou.
    • Badass Boast: "The Legendary General Munsu will wipe you clean off the face of the earth," Said to a guy who destroyed an entire kingdom because he felt like it. See Throwing Down the Gauntlet.
    • Badass Cape: Sando and Lou.
    • Badass Grandpa: Mito, he gets his eyes torn out and still beats the crap out of Lou.
    • Badass Longcoat: Munsu and Won Sul. The two of them standing next to each other is just so freaking cool. Munsu's was actually a plot point later on.
    • Badass Long Robe: Aji Tae.
    • Badass Long Hair: We all remember Munsu when he was a general. Damn. Aji Tae also fits this trope. And Lou. And Bae Rong. And Tae Yu. And the unnamed Sword Master. And Tae Yu. And, well, you get the point. subverted in the fact that Wonsul with his short hair is the most badass of all
    • Badass Normal: Munsu, who is a man with Asthma who has no real supper powers other than his Mahai. However, he still is able to Kill a giant Snake Sorceress, fight against monsters much more powerful than him. The young ruler from chapter three who later reappears with a sword and a rifle and almost sacrifices his arm without flinching in order to kill Lou also counts.
    • Colonel Badass: Munsu, the famous General.
    • Cultured Badass: Lou and Aji Tae. Strangely enough, the heroes never seem to be cultured.
    • Handicapped Badass: Munsu, who suffers from asthma through a majority of the series until he starts dying of course. Lou can't see out of one his eyes, and Miho can't see at all
    • Heartbroken Badass: again, Munsu, who had to kill his own lover even after taking on her incurable asthma, before proceeding to punch the black out of the bad guy's hair. Won Sul also fits as heartbroken after killing the tiny child that he played with when he was a child. the coming back from the dead after his best friend was killed didn't help either.
    • World of Badass: Obviously.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Hwang and Sando.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: Yeong Sil is able to do that. 
  • Battle Butler: Sando in a sense.
  • Beast Man: Aji Tae's Panther Girl bodyguard.
  • Berserk Button: Don't Mention Munsu's former lover or best friend in a negative light, or praise Aji Tae, or he will kill you.
  • Berserker Tears: Won Sul.
  • BFS: Sando's sword is bigger than she is.
  • Big Bad: Aji Tae.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Ondal deflecting a bullet aimed at Pyeonggyang, made awesome by the fact that he doesn't even exist.
  • Big Fancy House: Pyeonggang's house.
  • Big No: Munsu, when Aji Tae kills the nameless soldier.
  • Bishonen: Many of the male characters could qualify for this trope.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Aji Tae has been defeated and the world can begin to try and rebuild, but the fight came at the cost of Munsu and a majority of the supporting cast.
  • Blessed with Suck: Won Sul. He has a horrible family after his close brother dies and his father believes that he is a hollow comparison, believing he should be the one who died, He kills the tiny little girl who he played with in a field when he was young. He kills former friends when they turn on him after the war because they can not get used to peace. Then he works with the lord only to discover he is Aji Tae. He then turns against him, only to be turned into a pin doll, then watch everyone be killed, and then to be banished to the other end of the country. Then he is brainwashed to work for the man he most hates, dies, and then is pulled back to become an immortal zombie who can not die no matter how much he wants to, then he is blown up again, and has the rest of his body turned into a giant rampaging monster, who is finally killed. And that's the short version.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Sando has one on Munsu and later, on Aji Tae.
  • Body Horror: The giant boob dragon that Won Hyo summons, Won Hyo himself when he is half demon, and Won Sul when he is monsterfied, and even to a lesser extent before that. Also, anything Lou does.
  • Break the Cutie: Bang Ja.
  • Brilliant but Lazy: Munsu.
  • Cain and Abel: Aji Tae and Munsu
  • Came Back Wrong: Won Sul, though he is still badass.
  • Cast From Lifespan: Munsu after he heals himself from almost dying.
  • Character Development: Have you read the series. One time characters get freaking development.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The needle with the mandrake extract on it. Who knew it would save his life when he most needed it. Also Aji Tae's cape, which got stuck under Munsu's heel in the final fight and ultimately cost Aji Tae his life.
  • Chekhov MIA/Chekhov's Gunman: Aji Tae, though he does appear pretty quickly.
  • The Coats Are Off: Averted. Munsu does look pretty bad ass without his coat, but he never takes it off, and Won Sul becomes a giant horrible monster when his coat is removed.
  • Cool Mask: Won Sul. Turns out it is necessary.
  • Crapsack World: Let's just say a lot of bad things happens no matter the direction Munsu and his allies take.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Kaidaten, the mother of all monsters.
  • Dark Action Girl: Aji Tae's shapeshifting bodyguard Mago. Depending on how you view them, Hong Gildong and Marlene von Lucid can count for a bit. Also, later on: Sando.
  • Darkest Hour: The end of the Hong Gildong Arc and the Final Fight.
  • Dead All Along: Ondal The Fool died five years before the time where the arc about him happens. Mito buried him after finding his rotting body.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Munsu.
  • Deal with the Devil: Anyone who deals with Aji Tae is doing this. Lou and Gallimard do so pretty literally.. Of course, Hae Mo So and Munsu may have done it in the past...
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Munsu does this a lot to Aji Tae.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Munsu to Aji Tae, the first time literally punching him into the future.
  • Doomed Hometown: Jushin. Considering it's an entire country, the number of characters whose tragic or not-so-tragic past are related to its fall can be counted in dozens.
  • Dragon Their Feet: Gallimard attacks Sando seconds after she killed Aji Tae. Marlene kills him then. Of course, the reason he didn't even take part in the battle until then was because both him and Aji Tae clearly never thought that the latter could be killed.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: This happens a lot later on.
  • The Dragon: Lou Ells fulfills this role for Aji Tae. At one point, so did Yeong Sil and Sando does later on, before her Heel Face Turn back to Munsu's side.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Munsu.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Possibly one of the most triumphant examples, with one of the highest stake endings to be seen in a manga.
  • The Empire: Old Jushin.
  • Eye Scream: Munsu getting his eye blown out by a sadistic powerhouse.
  • Face Heel Turn: Sando. Also Won Sul, Won Hyo.
  • Fallen Hero:
    • Most of Munsu's old comrades in the Kaidaten war crossed the Despair Event Horizon after Jushin's collapse, and by the time our story happens they've become underlings of Aji Tae, ironically the one who was responsible for the country's fall.
    • Also the three legendary generals of Jushin, one of whom even had his giant statue erected in the capital, who return to life to fight as Aji Tae's underlings. Now they're all Blood Knights, who finds pleasure and satisfaction in fighting.
  • First Episode Spoiler: Munsu is the Main character, as you're gonna see another character claiming to be a Angyo Onshi, then reveal itself as the Monster of the Week, then Munsu will actually appear to get rid of him.
  • Foe Yay: Aji Tae's attitudes towards Munsu come across as advances sometimes...
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Before the final battle. Just about everyone seen throughout the series arrives to battle Aji Tae's army.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: The Hwalbindang arc's main conflict is inside this system thanks to Munsu fighting for the worst but legitimate and law-abiding side while the antagonists fight for the unlawful but well-intentioned side.
  • Handicapped Badass: Mito can't see at all, and turns out to be a very powerful summoner.
  • Heel Face Turn: Won Sul, Eul Paso, Yeung Sil, Sando...
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Munsu at the end.
  • Hero-Killer: Aji Tae, he kills everyone.
  • Honor Before Reason: Sando pulls it once when she prevents Munsu from shooting Mago in the back. Munsu slaps her in the face for it.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Nongae.
  • Ho Yay: Won Sul seems to have....strong feelings for Munsu.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Munsu (with Bang Ja) vs Sando at chapter 79. It doesn't quite work (even using the headband) and Munsu loses his left arm, but she finally comes to her senses in chapter 80.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: One of the rumours about Ondal The Fool.
  • If You're So Evil Eat This Kitten: 'The Attack of the Yojin Tribe' demonstrates why you should never ask a Master of Illusion to do this.
  • Ill Girl:
    • Munsu's former fiancee, Kye Wol Hyang.
    • Pyeonggang, mirroring the above.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: Ondal was abandoned by his family because of his limited mental capabilities that would make him unfit to be a leader.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Double subverted with Munsu, who has the cough of death, but survives, only for it to be revealed that he will soon die.
  • It Got Worse
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Munsu acts very abrasively towards his own allies and even the people he helps.
  • Last of His Kind: After Hwang's medallion is destroyed and Mito confirms he can't repair her Mahai, she says Munsu is the "last of the Angyo Onshi".
  • Light Is Not Good: Aji Tae. His Light kills people.
  • Mad Scientist: Yeong Sil. Sure he means well with his inventions, but....
  • Manly Tears:
    • Won Sul after being blown up by Aji Tae, and again after being blown up again by Munsu.
    • Marlene is made of iron, but after spending all of the story searching for Munsu, only to only find him moments after he died, a god amount of panels are spent showing her crying for her dead master.
  • Monster Clown: Munsu's Phantom Soldiers definitely have this vibe.
  • Mother of a Thousand Young : Kaidaten. Unusually, she has a human-like, pretty cute appearance for a monster of this trope.
  • Mood Whiplash: Mong Ryong.
  • Mundane Solution: Kaidaten's devastating lightning attacks can be intercepted by lightning rods, protecting her targets from harm.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: The first fight between Munsu and Aji Tae ends with the human doing this to the demon, simply because Aji Tae's powers can't work on him thanks to a magic contract whose influence goes out of the rails once one of the part dies.
  • Non Standard Character Design: Some animals are drawn in a very cartoonish and expressive style for comedic purposes. In dramatic scenes, however, they're drawn normally.
  • Off with His Head: It happens twice with Kaidaten, one in a flashback and one in the present.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: Pyeonggang's father forbids her from marrying Ondal for some reason.
  • Please Wake Up: Munsu, said by Bang Ja.
  • Rape as Drama:
    • Subverted in the first chapter, where it appears the local guard's corrupt commander has had his way with one of the prisoners. It's Munsu, who used his time alone with her as an excuse to break her out and have some very consensual sex in the process.
    • Played very straight and tragically with Pyeonggang being raped by Pyeonghae, after he reveals to her he is actually her stepbrother rather than a blood brother, and that Ondal is her real brother.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Pyeonghae is one for Ondal thanks to Ondal having not the mental capabilities to be a leader and being discarded by his family.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Hwang's introduction involves her flaunting about how her body is incredible. And showing it, of course.
  • Shock and Awe: Aside of spawning monsters, this is the only attack Kaidaten uses, making electricity rain over her opponents.
  • Sinister Minister: Gallimard, one of Aji Tae's henchmen. A demonic former priest.
  • Slasher Smile: Aji Tae.
  • Stripperific: Sando's outfit. Hwang tends to wear revealing clothing, too.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Munsu looks a little too much like his ancestor. Like, his ancestor of 500 years ago, that makes it all more improbable for them to look alike. Maybe there was too much cousin marriage involved? It don't helps they use the same hairstyle.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: Apparently Tae Kwon Do practitioners were among the elite of Jushin's forces.
  • Super Speed: Munsu's ancestor is very,very fast. Quick enough to block a bullet with his sword.
  • Taking the Bullet: Hart takes a strike from Sando meant for Marlene.
  • Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Aji Tae meets Munsu.
  • The Mirror Shows Your True Self: Munsu sees Aji Tae's reflection on the mirror where he using the same hairstyle as the emperor when the demon is impersonating his friend, hinting some deeper impersonation by Aji Tae than what it seems, specially that it is just Munsu that looks at the emperor and sees Aji Tae.
  • The Un-Reveal: We never learn Sando's true form, even though Munsu sees it.
  • Token Non-Human : Won Hyo was technically this to the Jushin's Army. Technically because Aji Tae wasn't human either, but he used a human disguise, and even then it can be argue he didn't have a fighting role.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: The main moral conflict in the Hwalbindang arc, since they're Robin Hood-like outlaws. Hwang seems to slide towards good, but Munsu slides towards lawful.
  • Ultimate Blacksmith: Mito, who can repair Munsu's medallion,broken in the previous arc, as long Munsu fulfils a request for him without the help of his allies.
  • War Is Hell: Hwang comments about this after a particularly bloody battle, saying she has no idea how someone can endure carnage like the one who war brings more than once, making an indirect reference to Munsu.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Won Sul devalues the life of a soldier he kills as just "one of many" when he and Munsu are investigating the emperor of Jushin in a flashback, that disturbs Munsu. That's why he isn't the actual Won Sul.
  • Wicked Cultured: Aji Tae, Lou, and Gallimard.
  • Wild Child: Ondal has many characteristics of one except the part of actually growing up isolated. He's treated like an outcast by the people around him after being abandoned by his parents until he meets Pyeonggang.
  • World's Strongest Man: : Mujang says he's this, and says Munsu's ancestor is clearly the other number one. Mujang is attracted by his power, saves Munsu from being killed by his own ancestor, and decides to fight him.
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