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There's no such thing as 'normal people'!

  Det. Onoda

Soil is a mystery-horror manga by Kaneko Atsuhi

From Mangafox: Something strange is going on in "Soil New Town." The sudden disappearance of a seemingly normal family leads the two detectives Yokoi and Onoda to the idyllic town in the middle of nowhere. What looks like a routine case at first quickly turns into a complex and deadly riddle where nothing is what it seems to be. Will the two disparate investigators manage to solve the mystery before it's too late?

Tropes found in Soil:

  • Abandoned Hospital: Used by Kanto and the rapists, it's the only place where the Council president's cameras can't see.
  • Adults Are Useless
  • Another Dimension / Alternate Universe: Implied to be where the Suzushiros and probably Sakura & Sakuraba are really from (unless this is a computer world a la the Matrix...).
  • Axe Crazy: A mysterious man who appeared in Sayuri's family's secure storage vault, was fine for a few months, then killed everyone. The only thing he'd say was that "he doesn't belong in this world".
  • Bedlam Prison: The secret, forgotten prison where the man who slaughtered Sayuri's village is kept, along with other criminally insane people. The head (only?) guard has declared himself Yama, King of Hell, and abuses the prisoners.
  • Cargo Ship: The man who caused the blackout was in love with an electrical tower and brought it down so he could "be penetrated by it". Yeah, falling in love with inanimate objects is an actual thing (see the woman who married the Eiffel Tower).
  • Comedic Sociopathy / What the Hell, Hero?: Det. Onoda is straight-up abusive to Det. Yokoi possibly because he sees a bit of himself in someone so determined to solve a mystery that "shouldn't be solved" and calls a rape case "stupid".
  • Complete Monster: The council president has raped almost a whole generation of boys.
  • Cowboy Cop: Onoda was on the MPD Yakuza taskforce before delving too deeply into a strange mystery which got him demoted.
  • Crazy Cat Lady: Sayuri, the resident homeless woman.
  • Critical Psychoanalysis Failure / Social Services Does Not Exist / There Are No Therapists: There is a school counselor who is actually quite good, but keeping a violent, insane man implied to be her son behind an electric fence in her basement kind of undermines her authority.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen / Room Full of Crazy: The Blindfolded man's cell: all he has is his own feces, but he's used to draw a map of Soil... a brand-new city that didn't exist when he was there and could see.
  • Cut and Paste Note: Kanto sends a fake ransom note using the Suzushiro's daughter's notebook in order to shake up the town. For added realism he includes his own ripped-out toenail.
  • Depraved Dentist: The Town Council President rapes his young patients while they're under laughing gas; he has hidden cameras all over town; when one of the parents suspects him he tortures her while fixing a cavity.
  • Determinator: Yokoi Onoda in the past, and his disappering partner, who wants to get to the bottom of the mystery no matter what.
  • Dope Slap: Onoda to Yokoi, all the time and really hard.
  • Dojikko: Yokoi.
  • Driven to Suicide: One of Det. Onoda's academy classmates eats his gun after Det. Onoda's missing partner appears and accuses them of forgetting him, then he (classmate) falls into a vortex and sees a man who was missing for over a decade, still trapped in an outhouse.
  • Fair Cop: Det. Yokoi isn't, although we never see her with her glasses off.
  • Freudian Excuse: The trio of rapists were also victims of the Council President and they returned to Soil New Town to commit their crimes for unconscious revence.
  • Gonk: Det. Yokoi is kind of gonky while an actual gonk spies on the school counselor.
  • Homage / Shout-Out: Those freaking spirals.
  • Housewife: Are there any fathers beside Mr. Suzushiro in Soil?
  • Irony: The residents of Soil hate the Susushiros for accidentally(?) getting them into a pyramid scheme involving salt, but if they'd gotten the salt analyzed they'd learn it was really rare and valuable meteorite salt.
    • Onoda wears a very unconvincing hair piece. His gothy son shaves his head, save for two patches of hair.
  • Kids Are Cruel: One of the masked boys is identified by the burn where his hair was set on fire in the past.
  • Kill It with Fire: Kanto tried to burn down Sayuri's shrine because he couldn't stand looking at her cats during mating season. Fortunately it doesn't work and he feels really bad afterward.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Each book has a list of main characters along with their status.
  • Mama Bear: Do not mess with Kanto's mother.
  • Mask Power: Tokita the archeologist is always wearing clay masks. A gang of masked boys (led by Kanto and Misa) use random "artwork" to destabilize reality.
  • The Men in Black: Probably Sakura and Sakurada of the Metropolitan Police Department, who seem to know exactly what's going on.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: A lot of the strange happenings have a reasonable (if disturbing) explanation -- until they don't, and it's implied they never will.
  • Messy Hair: Det. Yokoi can't do anything about her hair.
  • Meaningful Name: Soil is soiled, plus there's all the Jomon artefacts in the soil.
  • Mind Screw
  • Nausea Fuel: Onoda is disgusting, Yokoi's apartment is filthy, Sayuri has horrible burns, Tomiyama is constantly picking his nose, the Council President is a pedophile rapist, and the mysterious blindfolded man draws with his poop.
  • Neat Freak: The Town Council President wants to keep Soil New Town pure. Especially its boys.
  • Ominous Multiple Screens / Sinister Surveillance: In the Council President's secret room, where he keeps an eye on everyone in Soil. Afterwards the room is Kanto and Misa's "headquarters", though it's not clear if the cameras still work.
  • One Head Taller: Sakura, who towers over everyone else. Her partner Sakurada is the size of a toddler.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: The blindfolded man can apparently see using a kind of astral projection. He finally kills Sayuri, although it's more like they died at the same time and her soul went out to greet him. The "White Ghost"'s identity is still unknown.
  • Portal Network: What those freaking spirals are, but they're very unstable.
  • Pure Is Not Good: The Town Council President is obsessed with maintaining Soil New Town's purity against "foreign organisms".
  • Rape as Backstory / Rape as Drama: Practically every boy between the ages of 9 and 19, plus the three delinquints' out-of-town victims.
  • Stepford Smilers: Pretty much everyone but especially the missing Suzushiro parents, who not only ignore their neighbors' harassment but also their daughter's "memory problems".
  • Stepford Suburbia / Uncanny Village: Soil New Town.
  • Terrible Trio: The three older delinquints. Also victims of the Council President.
  • Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: It's strongly implied that the mystery of the Suzushiro's disappearance should be left alone for everyone's safety/sanity just like Onoda's case of the disappearance of the Yakuza boss' organs years before caused his eventual demotion and his partner's disapperances.
  • Those Two Guys and their reluctant teacher: Tomiyama and Seki, two junior high school boys who love the paranormal, who are reluctantly joined by Tokita.
  • Trash of the Titans: Det. Yokoi's apartment is filthy.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Poor, poor Kanto. He's raped by his dentist while under anesthesia, which causes him to feel ashamed when he thinks about sex, which causes him to cut himself every time he masturbates. Then his dentist "hooks up" with him in high school and as proof of his "love" gives him a tape of the original rape. He can't stand watching cats in heat so he burns down their "owner's" shelter. He finally (finally!) has a consensual sexual encounter with a nice girl and she disappears from between his legs. No wonder he's finally had it with this stupid world, which he's planning on destroying to get to his missing friend's.
    • Onoda's obsession with the missing Yakuza boss' organs lead to his demotion and his wife leaving him; then again he might not have been a very pleasent person to begin with.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: The masked boys' random "art work" is meant to be so random it starts screwing with reality.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Kanto and the other boys, all victims of the Council President. Misa, the lone girl in their group is sort-of a victim by proxy, as her rapists were also victims of the CP.
  • World of Chaos: What Kanto and his group want to cause, which will destabilize reality.
  • Yakuza: Onoda's last case as a MPD detective started with the disappearance of a Yakuza boss' organs without any cuts to his body and just spiraled out of control.
  • X Meets Y: Visually, Daniel Clowse meets Junji Ito with a dash of Black Hole.
  • You Are What You Hate: The Council President hates filth and "foreign organisms" but admits to Kanto that he's a foreign organism himself.
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