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"A dubious case with a shaky explanation, questionable sources and shadiness up the wazoo? I really need to take a look at that weakness I have for blondes."—- Colin Aston
Two Keys is an online manga created by Chloe Chan and Aliena Shoemaker, authors of another successful web-manga, Honeydew Syndrome. Formerly hosted on their joint site, New Shoe, the manga is now on the American manga-hosting site, MangaMagazine, and updates the fourth week of every month with new chapters.
The story follows Colin Aston, an antisocial diner owner with a Mysterious Past, who apparently used to be a mediocre Private Eye. When an equally Mysterious blonde from the AFIA shows up with a job only Colin is capable of performing he reluctantly accepts, despite knowing full well it will thrust him back into the world of the Occult. Colin faces sorcerers, politicians, and little old ladies... and a secret that destroyed nearly half the city and hits a little too close to home. The setting was inspired by Robin McKinley's Sunshine.
Read at mangamagazine, here: http://www.mangamagazine.net/manga/9.
Tropes Appearing In Two Keys:
- Anti-Hero: Colin, seems like a Type II.
- Amateur Sleuth: Colin. Pretty competent, though, despite what he says.
- Badass Normal: Lucas tends to be pretty on top of this Occult stuff despite being a Muggle.
- Bar Brawl: Chapters 8 and 9. Furniture smashing everywhere!
- Bizarrchitecture: Fortress West seems to be this. At any rate it appears to be predominantly populated by alleys.
- Black Eyes of Crazy: or magic, or something. Colin's sclera turn black after fending off London's mental attack.
- Blatant Lies: Colin, trying to dodge the subject. Lucas catches him on it but is so impressed by his quick-thinking in cooking up plausible explanations that he gives him a pass.
- Bounty Hunter: London and McKenzie as well as some other Occult.
- The Casino: various ones owned by the Seraphim. Paradigm in particular.
- Changeling Tale: Flicka's story. She's an occult whose real parents switched her with a human child after killing the baby in a spell to make her look like a human.
- Crystal Ball: Lucas wants one for Christmas.
- The Faceless: London. he always wears that helmet, so we don't know what he looks like.
- Fantastic Ghetto: Fortress West
- Fantastic Racism: Humans toward the Occult.
- Femme Fatale: Audrey certainly qualifies
- Film Noir: All over the place.
- First-Person Smartass: Colin can be quite the Deadpan Snarker in his head. Outside his head, too.
- Private Eye Monologue: Wouldn't have that Noir Spin without it.
- Friend on the Force: Lucas and Audrey for Colin, though 'friend' might be pushing it.
- Fortune Teller: Madame Fortuna. Colin calls her Miss Misty.
- Great Offscreen War: The Jinx Wars.
- Ho Yay: Emphasis on the yay! The amount of Ship Tease between Colin and Lucas, and even Colin and Solder, is pretty awesome tot he Yaoi fans. To be expected from the creators of Honeydew Syndrome.
- The Lancer: Lucas is turning out to be this.
- Loophole Abuse: Occults are technically illegal but a loophole in the law allows them to live in an area known as Fortress West without persecution from the cops or AFIA.
- Mysterious Past: Everyone, pretty much, by virtue of the fact that we just don't know much about them but especially Colin.
- That Mysterious Thing/ Noodle Incident: Something happened to Colin seven years ago. We don't know what, though.
- Papa Wolf: McKenzie for London.
- Power Tattoo: All sorcerers have them to do their magic.
- Private Detective: Colin used to be one. He's even got the Private Eye Monologue.
- Professional Gambler: D'arby the Gambler.
- Psychic Powers: London seems to have some kind of psychic powers that mess with Colin whenever he's around.
- Psychic Nosebleed: Of the ear-dripping variety, in the second confrontation between Colin and London, Colin's ears bleed.
- Refused the Call: Colin a number of times, none of them stick. Oh Colin, when will you learn?
- Shout-Out: To the creators's other comic, with Colin's phone contact list being full of the names of the main characters of Honeydew Syndrome.
- The Trickster: Solder.
- Threshold Guardians: Literal examples in the guards outside of Fortress West.
- Urban Fantasy
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Dopplegangers, Ned in particular.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human??: Not explored in depth yet but a definite theme.
- Yaoi Fangirl: A Paradigm casino worker who saw a nice bit of ship tease between Lucas and Colin.