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Ancient artifacts that predate mankind have uncovered in locations all around the world. These artifacts are made from materials previously unknown to modern humans, and were clearly designed by a civilization far more technologically advanced than our own. An organization called ARCAM has been formed to study these sites and uncover the true nature of what lies within them. One of the messages inscribed in a message plate mentioned that if one of their inventions cannot be used for good, then it should be destroyed at all costs. A unit of elite agents trained to protect the ARCAM scientists and the artifacts, known as Out-of-Place Artifacts ("OOPArts"), are known as "Spriggan".
One such Spriggan is a 16 year-old Japanese high school student by the name of Yu Ominae. He began his ARCAM Spriggan duty after an old friend of his was being hunted down by the Soviet and American militaries in the hope of using an OOPArt located in the Mt. Fuji region of Japan known as the Orb, an artifact that can control flaming snakes from the volcanic depths of the Earth.
An anime film directed by Hirotsugu Kawasaki, adapting the Noah's Ark chapter with the same title written by Hiroshi Takashige. The film was originally released in Japan by Studio 4°C, and later received a North American release in 2002 by ADV Films. As for the manga, the original 11 volume series was complete with another 8 done in bunkoban, twice. However, it didn't finish its serialization in North America, France, Malaysia and Spain. It did complete serialization in Indonesia, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore and in Taiwan.
Aside from the manga series and the OVA, there was also a video game adaptation released by From Software for the Playstation. In it, players take the role of a Japanese Spriggan agent named Tashiki Oshiki with appearances by Yu and Jean Jacquemonde.
The series (film and manga) contain examples of:
- Backstory: Some of the characters do have them, like the Spriggans.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: COSMOS' conditioning of its child soldiers prior to field deployment.
- Child Soldiers: Villain Colonel McDougal is a young child who has been experimented on by the Machiner's Platoon (Machine Corp. in the OVA) and cybernetically enhanced since birth, having been trained to harness unmatched psychic power. Another example is Yu himself, who was kidnapped at a young age and placed into a black ops unit of child soldiers known as "COSMOS" after his parents were killed during an archaeological expedition in Iran by unknown assassins.
- Colonel Badass: Aforementioned Colonel McDougal can take down complete squads of soldiers with his mind alone.
- Elite Mooks: COSMOS. You don't fuck around with these kids. They're also Child Soldiers kidnapped at a young age and trained to be special forces-trained assassins with lots of brainwashing.
- Fling a Light Into the Future: The plot of the series, especially the concern of OOPArts being used as military weapons.
- A God Am I: Col. McDougal after the activation of the Ark.
- Made of Iron: Yu Ominae
- Omnicidal Maniac: Col. McDougal plans to wipe the humans of the face of the planet to help the Earth re-flourish.
- Orichalcum: Yu's Armored Muscle Suit is crafted from an unknown element found in the various dig sites that is referred to as "Orichalcum." The lightweight and extremely resilient metal increases his speed, strength, and is mostly bulletproof with the exception of Orihalcum-made/Orihalcum-like weapons. Fatman and Little Boy of the Machiner's Platoon wear them too. Trident Corporation mercenary operatives such as Iwao Akatsuki also wear them, but they sacrifice speed for more power.
- Razor Floss: The cybernetically enhanced Machiner's Platoon operative "Little Boy" uses razor thin wires as his weapon of choice, which he utilizes to ensnare and slice multiple enemies at once to ribbons.
- Shout-Out: Maj. Fatman and Little Boy are named after the two nuclear bombs dropped on Japan. ARCAM could be possibly an allusion to Arkham. According to this article, it's potentially possible that the creators of Spriggan made the spelling intentional, while having some Lovecraft inspiration.
The manga contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Yoshino Somei. Being a mercenary treasure hunter and trained by her mom at a young age, she's prepared for this. Tea Flatte too thanks to her magic. For a short time, Akiha Ominae.
- Ancient Astronauts: Quetzalcoatl was this when Yu Ominae and his classmate Hatsuho Sasahara learned about this in the former's mission in Mexico. However, Tezcatlipoca was not as he was a survivor when his people tried to escape from the Roman Empire. However, they were all slaughtered by archers. Needless to say, he wants more than revenge against the former empire. Disproportionate Retribution can also be included because of Tezcatlipoca alone.
- CIA Evil, FBI Good: Indeed. A couple of them were deployed to Japan to apprehend Rie for her knowledge of OOPArts under orders from the American government when Yu foiled them. Strangely in the North American release, this was not censored out.
- Class Trip: Yu gets one with his trip, being excited and all since he lived in America for most of his life. Except that Yoshino spoiled it to get him to secure an OOPArt with her. He was pissed off. A lot.
- Crazy Prepared: ARCAM Headquarter buildings (At least the Japanese branch) have bullet and shatterproof glass on the entrance, electrified walls and floors in certain parts of the lobby and guards having easy access to small arms, which is a surprise since the country doesn't allow a majority of small arms. Even when ARCAM personnel are in field missions considered risky, they are armed with various small arms ranging from sub-machine guns and assault rifles to GPMGs and rocket-propelled grenade launchers. Same goes with ARCAM Private Army soldiers sent to protect them too. COSMOS and the Machiner's Platoon were able to bulldoze through those defenses and such, are the only adversaries of the Spriggans to have the "honor" of doing so.
- Enemy Mine: Near the end, Yu and Jean (with the rest of the anti-Larry Markson and anti-Henry Garnum ARCAM personnel) team up with ex-Trident Corporation commando Iwao Akatsuki and ex-Neo Nazi and ninja-trained Bo Brantze to stop the destruction of the Earth by Larry's hands from trying to harness Gaia's power for a hostile ARCAM. It's interesting considering that ARCAM security forces including the Spriggans had once marked the two as their enemies. In the beginning, Spetsnaz officer Victor Shutrov (or Stolov, based on the Singaporean English translation) tries to kill Japanese KGB agent Koichi Moroha when he learns of his plan to dominate the world via the Fire Shrine and not on behalf of the USSR, helping Yu somewhat. He's killed later, not being able to stop the renegade agent. This is also part of Even Evil Has Standards.
- Gaia's Vengeance: Near the ending of the manga when corrupt ARCAM/Trident officials wanted to harness Gaia's natural power as a military weapon. Too bad it backfired and instead, started volcanic eruptions that threatened to destroy the planet.
- Ninja: Yu and Yoshino face off against Koga-trained ninjas led by a PSIA agent named Kenzo Nakano to seize the Philosopher's Stone.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: Jean is this after he sees his own blood whenever he gets shot up by small arms. He's like that since his family bloodline are all werewolves, created by ancient civilizations as a biological soldier.. However, ex-ARCAM Spriggan and doctor Percup Ramdi had been able to fix it somewhat.
- Our Zombies Are Different: In the Forest of No Return story, the ARCAM Special Private Army operatives and Trident mercenaries deployed to the forest in India are turned to zombies with the ability to use their weapons and equipment thanks to a curse placed on it by Rama after Sita was kidnapped.
- Playing Both Sides: Japanese KGB agent Koichi Moroha uses the CIA agents and the American military with the Spetsnaz in Japan to help him secure the Fire Orb for himself.
- Same Face, Different Name: When Spriggan was released in Canada and in the US, France, Spain, it was known as Striker. This was probably since the translators made the change from Spriggan as they said the former was the meaning of the latter in English. In some parts of the world where Spriggan was serialized in different languages, certain chapters were censored for either political/religious reasons, the former having portrayed the American military as being hostile for translations released in North America. Aside from the censorship of any American military involvement in hunting down OOPArts, the North American translation changed names from the Machiner's Platoon to the MJ-12.
- Tower of Babel: There's a mention of this in the Iraq storyline with the Reverse Babel Tower as its counterpart.
- You Cloned Hitler: A main plotline in the manga with Hitler actually having good and bad personalities. The former killed himself when he found out that the latter was responsible for starting WWII. At least in the European theater.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Koichi Moroha kills the CIA agents in the outskirts of New Tokyo International Airport by using razor sharp winds that decapitated them and their body parts.
The film contains examples of:
- Inferred Holocaust: Yu defeats Colonel McDougal, but not before the boy activated Noah's Ark to cause a rapid increase to the planets global warming cycle, causing tidal waves and hurricanes to spawn all around the globe. When the camera pans up in the finale, the earth is shown to be completely reshaped by the massive flooding.
- One-Woman Wail: During the activation of the Ark.
- Only a Flesh Wound: Yu snaps out of a Heroic BSOD in what, up to that point, was a Curb Stomp Battle with Fat Man, taking off his hand with one knife swipe and gutting him with another. This just gets him riled up.
Fat Man: FINALLY, YOU BEGIN TO FIGHT!
- See You in Hell: Yu to Col. McDougal