Cover from the VHS release of the Laughing Target original video animation
|Written by||Rumiko Takahashi|
|English publisher||Viz Media|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Sunday|
|Original video animation|
|Directed by||Motosuke Takahashi|
|Produced by||Yūji Nunokawa|
|Music by||Kuni Kawachi|
|Released||March 21, 1987|
The Laughing Target (笑う標的 Warau Hyōteki) is a Japanese manga by Rumiko Takahashi published in February 1983 issue of Weekly Shōnen Sunday. The manga was later compiled in Rumic World books, which are available in English from Viz Media. It was adapted into an anime OVA released in 1987. A subtitled VHS release was published in North America by US Manga Corps on April 7, 1993.
The main character of the series is Yuzuru Shiga, one of the descendants of the expiring Shiga clan along with his cousin Azusa Shiga, the daughter of his father's older sister. In order to preserve the family legacy, Azusa's mother and Yuzuru's father agree to have cousins Azusa and Yuzuru marry each other when they are of age. Ten years later, Azusa's mother dies and Azusa goes to live with Yuzuru's family. Azusa fully intends on claiming that promise of marriage from Yuzuru in spite of it being wrought during their childhood. She has been waiting, faithful, not so as much speaking to another boy since that time. Yuzuru, however, has his own life as a high school student: He's the captain of the archery club, and he has a girlfriend named Satomi.
Even though Yuzuru has paid no heed to the betrothal, Azusa has taken it very seriously and expects Yuzuru to fulfill their family expectations. When he was a child, Yuzuru also promised her directly that he’d stay with her, and she took it to heart. When Azusa sees Yuzuru with Satomi, she tries to scare Satomi off in the hope that Yuzuru will return to her; but instead, he goes back to Satomi. Azusa then decides she has to take care of Satomi permanently. And that’s no idle threat because, unknown to Yuzuru, Azusa is a demon because of a family curse, which first manifested itself after Azusa killed a group of boys who tried to rape her.
Satomi tries to tell Yuzuru that Azusa is after her, but she can’t do it directly because Azusa is stalking her. Worse yet, Yuzuru, while aware that something strange is going on, is somewhat oblivious to Azusa’s actions.
- The Laughing Target (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Furinkan.com page on Laughing Target
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