Chained Soldier - TV Tropes (2024)

Chained Soldier (Japanese title: Mato Seihei no Slave, "Slave of the Magic Capital's Elite Troops") is a manga written by Tetsuya Takahiro (of Akame ga Kill! fame) and drawn by Youhei Takemura serialized in Shonen Jump+ since 2019.

In 2020, "gender equality" no longer exists. Decades ago, portals to another dimension, Mato, opened up all over Japan. From them ferocious beasts, Shuuki, immune to all current weaponry, began flooding into the world, killing all they come across. Mato, however, also gave humanity access to a special resource that became the only counter-measure. Strange vaguely fruit-like objects, "Peaches", which can only be utilized by women, allow them to gain their own super-powers, and fight on the front lines. As a result, men become in a sense second-class citizens. The story begins with Yuuki Wakura finding himself being dragged into Mato, and being rescued by Kyouka Uzen, at the price of literally becoming her slave.

An animated adaptation by Seven Arcs premiered in January 2024. A second season was confirmed to be in development in March of that year. See teaser hereChained Soldier - TV Tropes (2).

Chained Soldier provides examples of:

  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Or Next Sunday A.D., depending on who you ask. The story takes place in an alternate Earth in the year 2020, with the series debuting in the year 2019. The only real difference between the story's world and the modern day is the inclusion of the Mato pocket dimension (which opened up decades before the story starts), and all that comes out of it (as well as formerly male-dominated positions in government, the military and various other professions now seemingly being occupied by only or mostly women, leading to an overall matriarchal society). note
  • Aborted Arc:
    • Initially the story set up a number of details concerning the lower status men have in this world's Earth compared to women (for instance girls in school getting preferential treatment over boys in terms of chores, or women getting their own, much nicer, train cars that men need special permission from their female partner to use). However, since the majority of the story takes place in Mato, where Yuuki is literally the only human male around, and his status as Kyouka's slave is unique, this aspect of the setting pretty much never comes up again, especially once Yuuki earns the respect of most of the women in Mato. These elements also have not reappeared in the few times the characters have returned to the human world, outside of it still being clear that women now predominate in many fields that used to be majority men.
    • Early in the series it is stated a couple times that there are other members of the Seventh Division that are simply not at the base currently, with the expectation they will be introduced before long. Over a hundred chapters later and there is still no sign of any being expected to return. A flashback does show one extra member in the Seventh Division some time in the past, and it is later revealed they are currently part of a away team that harvests the peaches, but this is still just one member and far from the indication they were only going to be away for a short time that was given at the start of the series.
  • Adaptational Dye-Job: Manga and promotional art depict the Mato Defense Corps uniforms as shades of blue or maroon. In the anime adaptation, the uniforms are pitch black.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The anime includes a number of new or extended scenes compared to the manga.
    • Episode 1 adds a pair of kids that need to be rescued along with Yuuki, in turn letting Shushu and Himari get a fight scene before the point where they had even been seen in the manga.
    • Episode 6 adds a flashback to Shushu's high school days, wherein she discusses with her friends how she desires excitement in Mato and doesn't get their interest in having a boyfriend, contrasting with how much she wants Yuuki for herself now.
    • Episode 7 gives context to a chapter cover image of Shushu cleaning her room (her deciding she should improve herself to make a better impression on Yuuki). It also gives a reason for Yuuki to enter Yachiho's room, namely him doing some laundry for the 6th Squadron while their caretaker is out, whereas in the manga he simply randomly entered her room while exploring.
    • Episode 8 shows the reward Shushu gave to Yuuki for her brief time using his transformed state, namely just being the one to bandage his injury.
    • Over the course of the anime Tenka is given several extra scenes to interact with Yuuki more than she did at the equivalent point in the manga.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Shuuki of Mato appear to have no desires aside from killing and feeding, and unless brought under the control of someone more powerful, they attack any human on sight.
  • Amazon Brigade: Since women are the only ones who can gain the superpowers needed to defend the Earth from Mato, the soldiers are organized this way, by default. Men are outright not allowed to join the Mato Defence Corps as they can't hope to fight the Shuuki.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: "Peaches" harvested from the wasteland known as Mato are the source of the super-powers that the Amazon Brigade armies use to fight back.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: Used in spades, with ranks among the Mato Defense Corps, the Former Humans, the Eight Thunder Gods and their devotees, and the Azuma Family depending on just how powerful the holder is and the Azuma Family flat-out staging a fighting contest to see who should succeed their head when she steps down.
  • Battle Harem: Yuuki is the caretaker of the troops under Kyouka. Two of the three are a One-Woman Army, and over time he gains the romantic interest and affection of most of the other chiefs, all of whom are even more powerful than said troops. Though in terms of power dynamics they are not his harem as he is their man.
  • Blessed with Suck: Both Kyouka and Himari apply. Kyouka's power requires her to "enslave" a surrogate, and then "reward" said slave based on what she sees as the fruit of its efforts. Himari's power is copying the superpowers of others, including all the downsides. The more compatible with her, the better. She's most compatible with Kyouka.
  • Casual Kink: Yuuki isn't just Kyouka's slave in the fact that he has to follow her orders, but he's also her "slave" in the BDSM manner.
  • Condescending Compassion: Crops up now and again. With women being the only gender to be able to gain powers, it's become rather common to look down on men as weak and incapable. Even the nicer girls can fall into this.

    Yakumo Ezo: Honestly speaking, I only ever felt pity towards boys. Since they can't have special abilities.

  • Crapsack World: Both in Mato and on Earth. On Earth, there is no such thing as "gender equality," with men being generally subservient to women and expected to either be house husbands or work mundane jobs in offices and such. Then there is the cause of this, the dimension called Mato, gates to which are constantly open in fixed locations, and also showing up in random places without warning, with mindless, murderous beasts called Shuuki potentially swarming out or transporting people to Mato itself. That said, downplayed in that the Shuuki do not seem to appear outside of Japan, and Earth is overall shown to not be much worse than the real world (men are treated as less capable than women due to lacking powers, and seem to rarely be in high positions in leadership, but also do not seem to be directly mistreated or denied basic rights on any large scale) Adding to the fact that the concept of unequal gender dynamics is at best set dressing in the manga and its tough to really get a handle of how, if at all, this Earth differs from the real one. On Mato, not only is the place swarming with mindless beasts that seem to pop out of the ground at random and which are immune to conventional weaponry, but the land is all but entirely uninhabitable, and the forward bases have to have all their supplies shipped in from Earth through the mentioned gates, a magical barrier required to keep them from being destroyed by the Shuuki.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Yuuki... Yes, he's enslaved in chapter 1, but he's surrounded by a very attractive Battle Harem, which "rewards" his efforts on their behalf with all sorts of erotic acts, and all of them genuinely treasure his very talented House Husband status.
  • Custom Uniform: Several members of the Mato Defense Corps are seen with personalized uniforms, like Himari's which lacks sleeves to give more space for her arms to transform into weapons, Yakumo which shows off her midriff, and Varvara who wears a beret instead of a cap.
  • A Day in the Limelight: While Yuuki and the Seventh Division are the main characters, the chiefs of each section and even some members of their respective Divisions are given focus every so often.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Yuuki being Kyouka's slave, which he expressly agreed to, means she collars, chains, and uses him as she sees fit. However, she also has to reciprocate his obedience by satisfying his desires, which usually involve performing erotic acts to and/or for him, as a "reward" for his submission to her will. Really, one of the better arguments that the series isn't full of BDSM subtext is that it's so blatant it could be considered outright text.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The opening of the anime is performed by Akari Kitou, Kyouka's voice actress, while the ending is performed by Maaya Uchida, Tenka's voice actress.
  • Eldritch Location: Mato. An alternate pocket dimension the size of Tokyo, even broken into eight districts. Shuuki spawns out of the ground at random intervals. The landscape is filled with all sorts of Alien Geometries. The rocks can produce "peaches" that give women superpowers, but won't affect men, and there's usually no sun, moon, stars, or skyline to speak of, the cover page as seen in the page image is one of the rare exceptions. The only reason humans can inhabit the place at all is that the air is breathable, and plants can grow in a shelter behind a magic barrier. There is also no mention of how there's a light source that allows people to see anything.
  • Evil Evolves: For decades the Shuuki consisted only of a swarm of mindless beasts that could be dealt with by using a bit of ingenuity and sufficient firepower. As of chapter 6, there's now "humanoid shuuki" that can use reason, strategies, and tactics, and are immensely powerful to boot.
  • Fanservice: Because of the nature of the rewards Kyouka must give Yuuki, the manga is loaded with scenes depicting erotic acts of varying lewdness. Panty Shots are actually one of the tamer things given as a reward.
  • Fan Disservice: Chapter 92 gives us a full view of a woman's naked breasts... that also happen to belong to a monstrous Devotee, meaning the grotesque, bulging, betentacled abomination is the last thing anyone would be wanting to look at.
  • Food p*rn: Yuuki's cooking and Kyouka's parfaits get nice, detailed illustrations.
  • Four Is Death: The lack of a 4th Division in the Mato Defense Corps is a reference to the fact that the kanji for Four (四, Shi) sounds similar to Death (死, Shi). Nei spells this out in the anime.
  • Gender-Restricted Ability: Only women can benefit from consuming the Mato "peaches" which is what gives them the super-power(s) they need to fight off the monsters threatening Earth. Yuuki somewhat bypasses this as Kyouka's ability grants him different powers and abilities based on which member of the brigade is holding his collar and chain. In many ways, this versatility actually makes him a greater threat on the battlefield than Division members who only possess a single ability, albeit powerful ones.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: In Chapter 86, Taikyoku of the Eight Gods of Thunder speaks of a "mother", who is the one directing the Eight Gods of Thunder to destroy humanity.
  • Happiness in Slavery: A unique mix of all four types. Yuuki is simultaneously a beloved servant, a cringing boot-licker, literally licking Kyouka's boots on occasion, and his fate is clearly the lesser evil. Lastly, since men are seen as second-class citizens already, his fate as Kyouka's slave is frequently an improvement over his previous life.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The humans who became human/shuuki hybrids have a hidden village called... The Hidden Village.
  • Hufflepuff House: The Third Division with the exception of its chief Bell Tsukizono hasn't received any focus, with their names and Peach Blessings being unknown.
  • Lady Land: Because only women can fight the Shuuki, the Mato Defense Force in Mato consists entirely of women, with men not being allowed to join and having little reason to visit due to how dangerous Mato is. As far as their bases can be considered a society, this makes them virtually only women in terms of long term occupants, with Yuuki being the sole known exception. There are male humanoid Shuuki too, but they are not part of the human society in Mato.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: The rewards for using Slave have to be given after the work is done as soon as possible or the user will not be able to move freely. For Yuuki this means as soon as he transforms back into human form and conditions are possible to receive the reward. This often results in the girls going into various states of undress and doing all sorts of erotic acts for Yuuki all across the outside of Mato where anyone could catch them.
  • Market-Based Title: The official English version by Yen Press renames the series to "Chained Soldier", likely due to the negative connotations the word "Slave" has in Western countries (America, especially). Other international versions (like the French, German, and Italian versions) instead use the more accurate title, "Demon Slave".
  • Matriarchy: Ever since Mato Peaches were discovered, human society largely had a flip in gender norms, with it becoming increasingly matriarchal and female-dominated due to the physical advantages and supernatural powers women gained; men being typically expected to either work office-type jobs or to be house husbands. Downplayed in that men are not wholly excluded from leadership positions (at least if they share their title with their wife), they simply are very much a minority. Men also continue to be popular and successful in fields such as music and acting.
  • Mundane Utility: In Chapter 1, the reader sees a couple of girls using their Peach Blessing for average things, like floating because they're too lazy to walk or using their hair as an extra pair of hands to hold their belongings. Most any Peach Blessing with mundane uses will be used in such a way at least at times.
  • Narrator: The usual means by which a lot of the exposition in the series is given, namely text boxes that give additional details to what is going on or describe extra things about the world. The anime typically switches to having one of the characters give the exposition that was given via narration in the manga.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The unnamed female president of an unspecified country in chapter 57 bears a strong resemblance to Hillary Clinton.
  • Oddly Small Organization: Even allowing for there being a few members who are away from their base for whatever reason, the Mato Defense Corps seem to only use a half dozen or so members per division at any one time. This is minuscule considering they have to contend with an area the size of Tokyo, and that given how the majority of women back on Earth appear to have Mato-Peach abilities (the only exceptions being criminals and women who choose to not go through the process of getting them or fail said process) there should be millions of potential soldiers out there to recruit. May be justified by the difficulty of keeping large structures protected in Mato as bases, and how many of the members of the divisions have abilities that make them a One-Woman Army and are noted to be far above average in power, but even so the bases appear capable of housing more people than they do.
  • Parents Walk In at the Worst Time:
    • Fubuki catches Himari in the middle of giving Yuuki a massage. Her reaction is to shove Himari aside and show her how to properly give a massage.
    • Fubuki again catches Himari in the middle of something with Yuuki. This time, it was Himari giving Yuuki a lewd kiss as part of his reward for Slave. Fubuki's reaction is to tell them to continue, criticize Himari's technique, and join in.
  • Personality Powers: The prevailing theory in-universe on how Mato Peaches grant powers is that they grant them based on the person's personality and desires. It has yet to be confirmed, and the link between some powers and the wielder's personality is not always clear, but there is some compelling evidence:
    • Kyouka wants to be the Commander of the Mato Defense Corps, so her power is to make someone else her slave, a specific type of subordinate.
    • Nei wants to find her missing parents, so her power is Clairvoyance which aids in searching.
    • Yakumo is free-spirited and does whatever whim takes her fancy, so of course she can manipulate the air and fly. Yuuki outright compares her behaviour to the winds.
    • Ginna is a fangirl of the corps, and so her powers facilitate allowing the members to safely compete with each other while she observes them.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: The most powerful Ability users, namely several of the Chiefs, are blessed with powers they have honed to the point that each of them could destroy a city if they really wanted to. This actually is a problem for them sometimes, in that if they are forced to fight in the human realm then they have to be a lot more careful than in Mato.
  • p*rn with Plot: The manga features a lot of nudity, as well as a lot of sexual activities in general (though no actual sex for any named characters so far). It also has an actual story happening with the conflict with both the Gods of Thunder and the intrigue of what the Omyou Agency is doing to mutated humans.
  • Power at a Price: Kyouka's ability works like this in both directions. Her "slave" gains enormous power and ability, in exchange for having to follow her will, without question. In exchange, Kyouka must reward her slave, based on his efforts and performance, in an equivalent manner, based on said slave's inherent desires. She's clearly not amused at first to "reward" Yuuki with erotic acts.
  • Power Perversion Potential:
    • Shushu can use her Sizeshifter ability to enlarge her breasts.
    • Tenka and Yakumo have used their powers to remove Yuuki's clothes.
    • Mira can make her clones pleasure Yuuki simultaneously, though this was partly to make the reward end faster.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The anime skips over, combines or condenses a fair number of early events and scenes in the manga, both to accelerate the introduction of popular/important characters and to avoid spending too much time on elements of the setting that ended up being less important later in the story. For an example, the Seventh Division's members and their powers are all introduced when Yuuki first meets Kyouka (whereas in the manga the rest of the unit was not seen until they first arrived at the dorm). The early focus the manga placed on men being treated as lesser in society is also decreased, as this rapidly became of little importance to the focus of the story.
  • Shout-Out:
    • While discussing how Yachiho activates her ability with "daring poses", Himari does Sailor Moon's In the Name of the Moon pose from while Yuuki goes into the crane-kick stance from The Karate Kid (1984).
    • Yuuki accidentally gets caught in a headscissors from Sahara while she's sleeping and as he passes out:

      Though he wished to extract himself, he was unable to. So eventually, Yuuki stopped thinking.

    • Shushu's Imagine Spot in Chapter 26 resembles a Persona 5 All-Out Attack victory screen.
  • Swiss-Army Superpower: Almost everyone gets only one specific special ability from eating a Mato "peach," however, often these powers can be used in much more diverse ways than initially apparent. They may have different "modes" with different applications, or simply manifest differently in different situations, while still maintaining enough of their identity to still be considered part of the same power.
  • Super-Strength: While not often specified, Mato Peaches appear to grant some level of this to any woman regardless of the nature of the actual ability they awaken. Hence why it is stated the generally inferior physical strength of women compared to men was erased due to the peaches, and why men are now seen as more suited to housework and office jobs. That said, when it's not part of their ability, the level of strength is normally depicted as simply being well above what a character's physique would indicate, and it takes a lot of training and working out to hone it into strength useful in a fight with Shuuki (and with the exception of Kyouka, strength not granted by an ability will still not be enough to actually kill a Shuuki).
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Some of the Mato Defense Corps girls still have school in addition to their duties. One of Konomi's ideas for a date would be studying together at the library.
  • World of Action Girls: Since a Mato disaster can occur anywhere in Japan, and only women can eat the Mato peaches to get superpowers, most women in Japan have already done so. Japan also exports a steady supply of peaches to other nations. The end result is that the world is full of women with superpowers.
  • World of Technicolor Hair: Unsurprisingly hair colors are very varied in the setting, with Kyouka having silver hair, Tenka having green hair, Yakumo having dark purple hair, Nei having pink hair, Himari having dark green hair, and so on.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Shangri-La is a pocket dimension created with an ability wherein you can spend weeks within it while only moments pass outside. It cannot be used at will, taking preparation as it exerts a heavy toll on the summoner, and it can only be used for so long (as well as there being a limit to how many people can be in the space at a time), but when available it is a useful tool for corps members to use to train without having to leave their post for long.
Chained Soldier - TV Tropes (2024)
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