The cover of the first volume of Strain
|Illustrated by||Ryoichi Ikegami|
|Magazine||Big Comic Superior|
|Original run||1996 – 1998|
Mayo is a professional assassin who is hired by the "Organization" to kill the mother of a young prostitute, Shion. Shion pleads with Mayo, and convinces him to give up on his mission.
As Mayo takes pity on Shion and her mother, who offer him more money, the leaders of the Organization pronounce a death sentence on him.
|No.||Original release date||Original ISBN||English release date||English ISBN|
|Mayo is a cold-blooded professional killer who will end a man's life for five Malaysian dollars. Sai is a kind old man who worked as the contact for Mayo. Through Sai, Mayo got connected with a Chinese Malaysian crime syndicate. The syndicate wants Shion's ailing mother dead and assigns the job to Mayo. While carrying out his assignment, Shion pleads Mayo not to kill her mother and she promises to give him her virginity. Mayo has a change of heart and asks Shion for double what they are paying him: five dollars to cancel the original assignment, and five more to retaliate the organization. When the syndicate's representative meets with Mayo, Mayo kills him. The organization is outraged and vowes revenge. They contacted a corrupt policeman by the name of Angel. When meeting with Mayo, Mayo outwits Angel and his gang of policeman. That makes Angel excited and determined to get Mayo for himself. Meanwhile, Sai decides to carry out the assignment personally. But when he went to kill Shion's mother, she was already dead due to her long suffering illness. When Shion becomes motherless and homeless, Sai and Mayo's best friend Yang save her. At first they tried to take Shion to Yang's house but Yang's wife does not like the idea of a young girl living with them. Finally they take Shion to Mayo's apartment.|
|Mayo lets Shion live with him. It is revealed that Mayo is related to the family running the Japanese oil conglomerate "Kusaka", currently headed by young but ambitious and ruthless Shunichiro. Shunichiro's vision is to find the oil in South-East Asian countries, starting with Malaysia, in order to compete with the West. Mayo's lover is Kyoko, a beautiful Japanese prostitute working as a mama-san in Malaysia. While getting the Japanese porn stars for Kusaka company's branch in Malaysia, she inadvertently discovers that Mayo is Shunichiro's younger brother. Moreover, Mayo was sentenced to death by Malaysia authorities accused of the drug trafficking. Kyoko tries to make a deal with Mayo after knowing that. Kyoko urges him to take back the "Kusaka" empire. Mayo is reluctant.|
- "Untranslated pick of the month" -(J-pop.com)