Abara (アバラ) is a seinen manga written and illustrated by Tsutomu Nihei. Set in a dystopian world filled with large structures, the story revolves around creatures known as Gaunas who can shape bone-like armor and weaponry around themselves. The transformation begins around the spine and then shapes layered armor. The story focuses on one such Gauna known as Kudou Denji. The work was collected and published by Shueisha on May 19, 2006 in two volumes.
It is licensed for French release by Glénat and Polish by JPF.
Sometime in the future, humans have utterly destroyed Earth's environment and have been forced to live in cities connected only by a single highway and many tubes. However, some humans mutated and became the White Gaunas, which pose a threat to mankind. A group of scientists foresaw this dystopian situation years before. In an attempt to preserve humanity's future, they created a number of time machines each powered by a nuclear plants. Each time machine could accommodate two humans, thus ensuring the survival of the human race. They also used the collective energy from these plants to shift all the White Gaunas on Earth at that time to a separate dimension. The scientists eventually entrusted knowledge of all this to the 4th Chronicle Group, tasked to ensure at least a pair of humans can escape into the future. However, humans were mutating into new White Gaunas all over the place. These White Gaunas terrified the remaining humans and people then began to fight over the time machines and the mausoleums in desperation. Due to all the chaos, all the mausoleums were destroyed save one. At this point, Kegen House was created to safeguard the true purpose of the Mausoleums so as to prevent further conflict.
To counter the White Gaunas, the 4th Chronicle Group studied the White Gaunas and engineered a human-Gauna hybrid, namely the Black Gaunas. These hybrids would have the abilities of the White Gaunas yet retain their human minds. Two children, Denji and Nayuta were used as test subjects. Nayuta was the first to be experimented upon, and a control device was implanted in her. However, before they could do the same to Denji, he escaped, killing loads of people in the process.. Some time later, the entire 4th Chronicle Group was wiped out, but not before they uploaded remnants of their memories onto the computers embedded in the Raven, the Skull Man and the Stick which leads Tadohomi and Sakijima to the House.
Tadohomi engages Denji's help in eliminating the first White Gauna before more people are killed. Denji complies but is wounded in the process. Sakijima tracks down Tadohomi and arrests her, thinking that she is connected to Denji's killing of Kegen Hall and Ministry personnel during his escape years ago. At this point, Sakijima still thinks Denji is a normal murderer. Kegen Hall then sends Nayuta as a Black Gauna to bring Denji back to Kegen Hall HQ by taking advantage of Denji's wounded state. The boss of Kegen Hall feels that Black Gaunas are untrustworthy; to him, Black Gaunas are monsters akin to their White cousins because they both "eat humans". Sakijima is ordered by his bosses in the Ministry to release Tadohomi. At this point he starts becoming suspicious of Kegen Hall and decides to dig up the truth.
Another White Gauna spawns, but this time it is able to consume a many humans before Kegen Hall took action. At first, Kegen Hall simply sent a squad of humans, but when this was wiped out, they sent Nayuta to destroy the big White Gauna. Unfortunately, a disturbingly humanoid White Gauna appears and duels with Nayuta. After an epic battle, Nayuta wins a Pyrrhic victory - a few seconds after fatally stabbing the White Gauna, Nayuta falls dead. Because she is telepathically linked with her twin Ayuta, any damage sustained by Nayuta is also manifested in Ayuta.
Meanwhile, the cop Sakijima gains info regarding the 4th Chronicle Group and the Gaunas from a colleague who was sent to chat with an old man in charge of the archives. With this info in hand, Sakijima moves to Kegen Hall for a confrontation. His colleague gets shot down by a Kegen Hall security guard whom Sakijima then kills in anger. Sakijima meets Tadohomi who is trying to rescue her childhood friend Denji just as she is about to get killed by a team of Kegen Hall guys. Sakijima helps her out and they both enter the room where Denji is being held. At this point, a revived Ayuta suddenly awakes and mutates into a White Gauna. Denji fights Ayuta head on while Sakijima and Tadohomi escape on a helicopter. The successors to the 4th Chronicle Group's memories seek to activate a powerful missile weapon they believe is capable of killing the Big White Gauna if it hits the spinal cord. Ayuta, now a White Gauna, attacks them and Denji fights her off, buying the Raven and the Skull Man some time. When the missile was primed and the Big White Gauna in sight, the skull man was still hanging onto the missile, so the Raven had no choice but to fire the missile along with him in hope of taking the Big White Gauna down.
The missile hits and the Big White Gauna falls, but the nuclear reactor was already beginning to fail and the Forbidden Cage appeared because there was insufficient energy to dimensionally shift all those White Gaunas anymore. A White Gauna attacks the helicopter, which consequently crashes. The Stick and the Raven guide Tadohomi and Sakijima to the House storing the time machine. The Raven gets killed by Ayuta but Nayuta, a Black Gauna, appears in the nick of time and kills her sister. Tadohomi and Sakijima escape into the House just as an explosion seemingly destroys Nayuta. With the help of the Stick, the duo activate the time machine
Many years laters, it is shown that the rest of humanity has been obliterated either by the White Gaunas or by infighting. The world is an empty landscape and lush greenery has taken over the House's rooms. Tadohomi and Sakijima run out of the House and look up into the dark sky where two Black Gaunas, revealed to be Denji and Nayuta, still battling the White Gaunas to protect what is left of humanity.