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東京 BABYLON (Tōkyō BABYLON, Tokyo BABYLON) is a manga series by CLAMP that ran in Shinshokan's South from August 1990 to the Winter of 1993, as well as Shinshokan's Wings in August 1990, and April and May of 1992. There are seven bound volumes, as well as five bunko edition volumes. There are also two OVAs. All seven volumes were released in English from 2004 to 2005 by Tokyopop.
A full anime television series adaptation by GoHands titled Tokyo Babylon 2021 was set to premiere in 2021. However, it was canceled due to the issue of many imitation plagiarisms by GoHands. On March 29, 2021, the production committee announced that the current TV series would be canceled with a new anime production produced by a different studio.
The plot is told in a series of sub-stories, published monthly or as 2-3 per volume. While it begins with a monster of the week approach, with somewhat independent running chapters, the plot gradually becomes continuous and backstory is introduced. It focuses on the development of the characters and the relationships between them.
Sixteen-year-old Subaru Sumeragi, the main character, is a very powerful magician, the thirteenth head of the foremost family of onmyouji in Japan, which has served the Emperor for centuries. As such, he is called upon to solve various occult mysteries, or stumbles himself on people whom his kind nature compels him to help. These occurrences form the main plot of most chapters. He lives in Tokyo with his twin sister Hokuto, an exuberant girl whose chief occupations are to design eccentric clothing for herself and her brother, and to egg on their mutual friend Seishirou Sakurazuka, a kindly, 25-year-old veterinarian, when he declares his love for Subaru.
There are early hints that Seishirou may not be all that he appears. Hokuto jokes about him being a member of the family of Sakurazukamori, a clan of assassins who use onmyoujitsu to kill, and are pronounced to be the Sumeragis' opposite. Also, Subaru has dreams about having met someone under a cherry tree blooming out of season when he was but a small child, but he cannot quite recall what was being said. This person was actually Seishirou, upon whom Subaru stumbled when he had just performed a kill. According to the rules of the Sakurazukamori, Seishirou should have killed him, but impressed with the child's purity, he made a bet with him instead: He would meet Subaru again, and would then spend one year with him, protecting him and trying to love him. If, at the end of that year, he felt something for Subaru which distinguished him from a thing he could easily destroy, as he could not with any other person, then he would not kill him. To recognize him, he marked him with inverted pentagrams on both hands, the sign of the Sakurazukamori's prey. These marks are for most of the story hidden beneath the gloves Subaru continually wears on the direction of his grandmother, the previous family head, who recognized the marks and so hopes to conceal them with her magic. Things come to a head when Seishirou loses an eye protecting Subaru, and Subaru realizes that he is in love with Seishirou. But the year is over, and Seishirou declares himself the winner of the bet. He breaks Subaru's arm and tortures him, but does not succeed in killing him, as Subaru's grandmother breaks his spell - an action which leaves her crippled. Subaru's shock and heartbreak leave him catatonic. Hokuto, feeling guilty for her promotion of Seishirou, whom she knew to be dangerous, but also believed to be the only one who might touch Subaru's heart, leaves to find Seishirou and confronts him, asking to be killed by him and casting a spell with her death. Subaru, seeing her in a dream, is shocked out of his catatonia by her action. He vows to find Seishirou and take revenge for his sister's death.
Subaru and Seishirou return in Clamp's apocalyptic manga X. The story, set nine years after the end of Tokyo Babylon, has the two onmyouji on opposite sides during the final battle for humanity's future.
|皇昴流, Sumeragi Subaru|
|皇北都, Sumeragi Hokuto|
|桜塚星史郎, Sakuradzuka Seishirō|