[[quoteright:290:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/vandread.jpg]]

An examination of gender politics and cultural divisions played out as a SpaceOpera MechaShow. No, really.

In the far-flung future, there are a pair of colony worlds: ''Tarak'' and ''Mejale'', locked in a constant state of SpaceColdWar.

Tarak is the Orwellian, industrial, militarized planet of men. [[BoringbutPractical All food is synthetic, flavorless pills.]] [[RatedMForManly All public gatherings are related to sports, marching, and being manly]]. Everyone wears a uniform. [[CloningBlues Babies are made by merging your genes with those of your buddies in a factory]], and they are raised by dedicated orphanages-schools.

Mejale is the AwesomeButImpractical planet of women. All things are polished and shiny. All military uniforms are [[{{Stripperiffic}} excessively flattering]]. Appearances are all important. The citizenry form couples, of the lesbian [[{{Seme}} top]]/[[{{Uke}} bottom]] variety, called the "Oma" and "Fama" in the native vernacular (probably derived from ''homme'' and ''femme''), and make babies by merging two eggs and implanting them in the Fama. They eat real food and celebrate real holidays, like Christmas.

Naturally, the two worlds hate each other.

The story follows a young man named Hibiki Tokai, a factory worker from Tarak who wants more than anything to be a mecha pilot. When his attempt to steal a HumongousMecha get him thrown into the brig of reconstructed battleship, things seem to be looking down...until the ship gets attacked by SpacePirates, and Hibiki, a {{bishonen}} doctor, a cowardly officer and a malfunctioning robot wind up as prisoners on a ship full of women. [[RockBottom Things couldn't possibly get any worse]].

That's when the pirates find themselves stranded on the far end of the galaxy, with a mysterious alien force out to kill them. But, as a result of some serious Plot-Technology, the pirate vessel merges with the men's starship, and one of the "Vanguard" mecha and three of the pirates' "Dread" fighters are altered. The Vanguard, piloted by Hibiki, can combine with any of the three Dreads into a form with amazing abilities.

All of a sudden, Hibiki's the focus of [[TheUnwantedHarem three girls with different personalities]] who all want to try and "merge" with him. Of course, [[HetIsEw none of them have any concept of heterosexuality]], and Hibiki doesn't even seem to know about ''any'' sexuality. They clumsily rediscover their biological imperatives as they fight a mysterious shadow enemy across the universe.

Most of the crew fit dual roles for both a madcap, romantic-comedy and a military story. TheCaptain is also [[CoolOldLady a wise grandmother]], the medical technician's a naughty [[TokenMiniMoe loli]] nurse, the local WrenchWench is a [[NerdsAreSexy Meganekko]] and a GadgeteerGenius, while the communications officer is friendly and pregnant. The first officer's essentially the HaremNanny, and the quartermaster's the wise CoolBigSis.

Over time, the three men and the enormous gang of women come to an understanding, and they work together to unravel the bigger mysteries of the universe, like the origin of their robotic enemies and the fate of the other human colonies. A very funny and enjoyable dose of ''MartianSuccessorNadesico'' meets ''LoveHina'' meets ''Series/StarTrekVoyager''.

Can be watched legally online [[http://www.funimation.com/vandread here]].

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!!This show contains examples of:

* AbsentAliens:
** The closest thing we have to real aliens are a bunch of psychic Navajo expies who border on ''Homo Novus''. It runs into HumanAliens with Ma-Ger and Tarak, the inhabitants think the people on the other planets are evil aliens, when they're really just male and female humans trying their damnedest to be {{One Gender Race}}s with genetic engineering.
** [[spoiler:Earth]] as well.
* AbsoluteCleavage: Jura. Just look at the page picture.
* TheAestheticsOfTechnology: Tarak tech is rough and bolted on and they still use conventional firearms while Majarl has shiny spaceships and laser rings.
* AllYourPowersCombined: [[spoiler:Super Vandread]], naturally, being [[spoiler:a CombiningMecha of the three Vandreads]]
* AnAesop: Something about life being worth fighting for.
** Alternatively, that our hopes should not lie in ourselves, as we are mortal, but in what we can do for others; those who survive us, and those who follow and respect or follow our 'signposts.' Or maybe that life means change, sometimes death but also the end of what was. (Meia's reply to the ranking officer in the final episode.) It's a little confusing, actually.
* AncientConspiracy: [[spoiler:The rulers of Tarak and Mejale were in on Earth's harvesting operation the whole time.]]
** [[spoiler:It is later revealed that they were not willing to lose any ''natural'' children (i.e. conceived and delivered the traditional way)of the rest of the original colonists -- the vast majority of whom still remain secretly secured in cryo-stasis, guarded over by the man who raised Hibiki -- hence, the reason for the genetically-engineered sons and daughters of Megere and Talark respectively, who were secretly considered to be merely {{ExpendableClone}}s, and thus sacrificeable to the Harvester Fleets of Earth.]]
* ArmorPiercingSlap: Meia delivers one to Hibiki after he angrily denounces Gascogne for acting calm, cool and sarcastic because she doesn't understand the pain, pressure and suffering that the frontline fighters have to face. Shortly after we get to see exactly why Gascogne acts the way she does...
* BabiesMakeEverythingBetter: the birth-cry of Ezra's daughter Kahlua deactivates a computer virus attacking the ship.
* BabysittingEpisode: Meia's BirthdayEpisode doubles as this: Meia is stuck babysitting Ezra's baby daughter as part of a ploy to prevent Meia from [[BirthdayHater escaping her own birthday party again]].
* BackForTheFinale: See GondorCallsForAid
* BareYourMidriff: Jura, Dita and BC.
* BeamOWar
* BeamSpam: [[spoiler:Nirvana's primary attack]]
** Hibiki does this in episode 6 by shooting a laser at his squadmates and having their shields reflect it towards the enemy ships.
** The BigBad's ship at the end of Season 2 is also capable of this type of attack.
* BeehiveBarrier:[[spoiler:Super Vandread]], not to mention the Nirvana. Also Vandread Jura when ''NOT'' using its planetary shield.
* BerserkButton: Do NOT hurt Jura while Barnette is anywhere nearby...
* BetaCouple: Parfaite and Duero, generally.
* BigBad: [[spoiler:Earth]]
* BigDamnHeroes: Several examples, generally Hibiki anytime he merges with one of the dreads, Bart has one, and Paksis saves the crew a couple of times as well.
* BigEater: Despite Misty's [[{{Hammerspace}} implausible]] [[CrazyPrepared food storage]], Hibiki can still wolf down ''all'' of her intentionally prepared cooking without feeling full.
** Pyoroh mentions when Dita finds the stockpiles of [[FoodPills Tarak rations]] that a single pill contains enough vitamins and nutrients to keep the eater working for 300 hours. [[FridgeBrilliance The regular food served by the Mejalans simply doesn't provide the raw nutrition that Hibiki is used to]].
*** Ezra develops this as a whacky pregnancy side-effect. [[CompressedVice Only for the span of a single episode, though]].
* BirthdayEpisode: Episode 21 revolves around the resident {{Stoic}} Meia's birthday. The problem is, she is an avid BirthdayHater and the rest of the crew goes to ridiculous lengths to rope her into at least some kind of celebration--which doesn't go well. Suffice to say, she almost performs a HeroicSacrifice before it is over.
* {{Bishonen}}: Duero.
* BlindIdiotTranslation: Misty calling Meia [[OneeSama "dear sister"]] in the dub, confusing the hell out of everyone. This is unfortunately in the sub as well.
** Including Meia.
** The literal phrase ("big sister") wouldn't have been any clearer to someone who didn't understand the phrase as it's meant in Japan. "Dear sister" was close enough.
*** "Miss Meia" would still fit better.
* BlueWithShock: Happens to Dita when Misty takes Hibiki's FirstKiss. Pyoro, while he doesn't change colors, also seems shocked by it.
* BirthdayHater: Meia. Episode 21 is entirely devoted to the rest of the crew's efforts to lure her into attending the birthday party they throw for her, which she skillfully evades (like in all her previous years on ''Nirvana''). Needless to say, said episode gives her a great deal of characterization beside that.
* BornInAnElevator: Kahlua, aka Pyoro-2.
* BreatherEpisode: Episode 7, which deals largely with Hibiki and Dita's growing relationship.
** Episode 7 again, this time in Season two, which happens right after a WhamEpisode.
* BrickJoke: [[spoiler: BC's improbable language skills and]] being sneaky. Possibly more of a ChekhovsGun.
* BridgeBunnies: Belvedere Coco, Celtic Midori and Amarone Slantheav.
* ButtMonkey / TheChewToy: Bart; the poor guy never catches a break. No one gives him any respect ever. When he is [[SpaceShipGirl piloting the ship]] he [[{{Synchronization}} suffers damage]] when the ship gets shot. When they get back to Tarak and neither he nor Duelo will renounce their female friends, he is the only one [[WhipItGood tortured]]. He also gets a stream of constant verbal and physical abuse from people. Most of whom he has done nothing but good for.
** Hibiki is this when it comes to Dita, to the point that practically the entire ship teases him about it.
* CannotSpitItOut: Hibiki and Dita have a communication problem.
* CatSmile: Ezra's baby has one when she's first shown. Ezra and Dita also display subtle ones occasionally.
* ChristmasEpisode: A MoodWhiplash scenario where everyone is enjoying food and Yuletime fun, looking a comet that looks like a flocked tree, and ''OMG the Evil Aliens are hiding in the comet's tail waiting to attack!'' Wait, Hibiki's there and [[AnAssKickingChristmas once again Christmas is safe!]]
* ClingyJealousGirl: Dita usually doesn't like it when Hibiki combines with anyone other than her.
** She also takes an immediate dislike to Misty when she first shows up and hugs Hibiki in the second season. Made worse by Hibiki apparently not objecting to it, at least not in the same manner that he seems to do toward Dita's hugs.
* CompressedAdaptation: The manga adaptation is way shorter than the anime, and changes several major plot points. Here are some differences between the two.
** Bart & Duero only appeared in one page.
** Many characters are absent (Ezra, Gascogne, Pyoro, even the pirate leader).
** [[spoiler:Buzam aka. BC]] is the BigBad.
** Hibiki only combines with Dita.
** [[spoiler: Barnette is in love with Hibiki]].
* ConspicuousCG: All the space scenes are done with computer graphics, mixing animation in surprisingly well.
* CoolOldLady: The captain Magno Vivan.
* CoolStarship: Nirvana, obviously. Not to mention the massive and terrifying Harvester motherships.
** WhatAPieceOfJunk: The Nirvana is also ''loaded'' with quirks. The crew barely understands what the [[PlotTechnology Paksis]] actually is, more less what it's actually capable of; Add to that the fact that it was created by fusing a pirate ship full of looted tech, and a 100 year old colony ship that had been refurbished into a warship. Early episodes were spent just trying to get the darn thing functional, and it's pretty much a hodgepodge of Jury-rigs, ad-lib modifications, re-purposed modules, state-of-art tech, salvaged tech, and black-boxes. Sections of the ship are so old that the crew can't even use them, and it's not unusual for things to break down or fall apart. Hell, the events of one episode were kicked off when the men's dorms were flooded due to a plumbing problem.
* CosplayOtakuGirl: Celtic wears a costume even while on duty, but that's just to protect herself from nasty boy germs. However, this is only in the first season. In the Second Stage she is in a different costume each episode, none of them terribly "protective" because it's more-or-less stated that she's gotten used to the guys by Second Stage.
* CouchGag: ''Second Stage'' has a clip of the current episode in its opening sequence.
** It's there in the first season, too
* CoversAlwaysLie: Adverted for the most part but that DarkSkinnedRedhead on the complete boxset? She appears in the last two episodes despite it looking like she's a main character.
* CrashIntoHello: Literally-Hibiki meets Dita right after her Dread nearly crashes into him.
* CrazyEnoughToWork: Hibiki often formulates some really off the wall ideas, but they usually work.
* CreepyChild: [[spoiler:The Earthling who attacks Tarak and Majale at the end of the series]]
* CrossPoppingVeins: Happens to a few characters, especially Dita/Misty in regards to Hibiki.
* CrowningMomentofHeartwarming: At the end of the final episode, as the shuttle is preparing to leave, Misty drags Dita up to Hibiki, insisting that Dita has "a favor" to ask of Hibiki. [[spoiler: What Dita wants is for Hibiki to call her "Dita" again, like he did when she came to his aid against the Big Bad.]] Hibiki develops a ''LuminescentBlush'', gets flustered, and turns her down flat, telling her he can't do that "for no reason." Hibiki trudges up the gangplank to the shuttle. Dita turns away with tears in her eyes, [[spoiler: and suddenly Hibiki shouts, "Dita!" Dita stops, turns around, and there's Hibiki grinning, with his hand outstretched toward her. "Come on!", he shouts. Dita blinks away her tears, shouts back "Yes!", and runs up the ramp to join Hibiki, jumping the final distance to grasp Hibiki's hand as the first opening song, Trust, swells and the credits roll.]]
* CryCute: Both Dita and Misty in episode 7 of Season 2.
* CrystalSpiresAndTogas: Mejale tends to give this vibe, in contrast to the Spartan-Industrial Tarak.
* CurbStompBattle: Usually happens whenever Hibiki merges his Vanguard with the women's Dread fighters.
** Rabat delivers one to Hibiki when they first meet. Hibiki later comments to Meia that Rabat was holding back despite easily beating him, and could've easily killed him had he wanted to.
* CuteLittleFangs: Jura.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Meia and Gascogne.
* DatePeepers:
** While they're not on a date per se, a lot of the girls on the ship seem to like spying on Hibiki anytime Dita or especially Misty is with him.
** The ENTIRE ship gets a reality show-like view as Jura has cameras focused on Hibiki and his antics with Misty and Dita in episode 7 of Season 2. Practically everyone stops what they're doing to watch after Jura locks Dita and Hibiki in a room together. The only that thing that "saves" them from this is a Harvester attack at the end of the episode.
* DeclarationOfProtection: Hibiki although he usually denies it. Played straight with Bart when he befriends an IllGirl and defends the planet she's living on.
* DefaultToGood: Rabat, eventually.
* DeflectorShields: Vandread Jura.
** The Nirvana has some as well. While fairly strong, sometimes enemy attacks do breach it.
* DesignerBabies: Genetic engineering lets two males have a baby who's born in a factory, while with two females, one of them carries the engineered baby to term in the normal style. In a way, CloningBlues ensues.
* DiscountLesbians: Space pirate lesbians of an OneGenderRace, of both the LipstickLesbian and [[ButchLesbian Tachi]] variety.
** Then again, there is only ''one'' depicted lesbian pair, and half of that one is [[BiTheWay after Hibiki]].
*** There's also one other, but we don't get to meet Ezra's partner (the ouma of her baby) until the penultimate episode, as she was left on Mejale. Yup, this is still very much a {{seinen}} fantasy.
*** Still one more: There's also Meia's parents in her flashback, though her Ouma was kind of butch. The flashbacks also shown that Meia's had a lover or two during her troubled period.
*** It seems actually pretty safe to figure that ''most'' of the Mejale women ''are'' lesbians (or [[NoBisexuals Bisexuals with no other option]]); the one who is after Hibiki seems to be drawn to the...novelty of having babies that way, sort of the equivalent of a modern lesbian asking a guy to be her sperm donor. Besides, it'd be a rather ''different'' sort of series if it spent much time on the sexual implications of {{One Gender Race}}s.
* DisneyDeath: [[spoiler: Gascogne. She gets better]]
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything The pilots use "combining" in ways that make it sound an awful lot like something else men and women do...
** Jura does this most frequently with Hibiki in the early episodes.
** On the subject of 'combining...' take a look at the first episode. The elegant, sleek female ship combining with the large, rather bulky male ship?
** {{Doujinshi}} took this and ran with it.
** And Hibiki is inexplicably exhausted by the end of each combine battle.
** Hibiki first (joyfully) recognizes his Mecha "Partner" by the mark he had placed on a certain part. A certain part that juts forward right from the pelvis and seems to be vent.
* DoTheyKnowItsChristmasTime: With the Captain Magno even [[spoiler:dressing up as Santa]]
* EarnYourHappyEnding: The crew of the Nirvana go through quite a bit, and have to constantly adopt new tactics in order to defeat the Harvesters who also try to develop new counters.
* EarthThatUsedToBeBetter: [[spoiler:The enemies homeworld was reveled to be Earth it self, which has been devestated by pollution, and is covered by huge gears to maintain a livable environment for the humans left there]].
* EmpathyPet: Misty's holographic blob Q-chan.
* EnemyMine: The men of Tarak and the women of Mejale, along with various factions/planets that the Nirvana interacted with throughout the series, end up all fighting together against the Harvester fleets [[spoiler:from Earth.]]
** Applies to the main cast as well, at least at first.
* EnfanteTerrible: [[spoiler:The commander of the Harvester Fleet]], who has [[RedEyesTakeWarning red eyes]], telepathically "speaks" with a grown man's voice, and [[MindOverMatter can use telekinesis to crush things/people]]
** Given [[spoiler:Earth's]] motivations, it's entirely possible [[spoiler:[[FridgeHorror that's not his original body]]]].
* EveryoneCanSeeIt: The whole crew pretty much knows that Hibiki and Dita were meant for each other, even if he himself denies it.
* EverythingIsBetterWithMonkeys: Rabat has a pet orangutan.
* EvilCounterpart: [[spoiler:The green Paksis Pragma inside the Nirvana has a twin red Paksis...used by Earth for commanding its Harvesters]]
* EvilKnockoff: [[spoiler:The Harvesters gain the ability to copy the Vandreads, even the Nirvana]]
* EvolvingCredits
* {{Expy}}: In many ways, the series has a multitude of characters that are analogous to characters in MartianSuccessorNadesico:
** Hibiki to Akito, Gai and Tsukumo. Hibiki is basically Tsukumo in Akito's shoes;
** Dita is an even ditzier Yurika;
** Jura is a less tame expy to Maki Izumi;
** Meia to Ryoko Subaru and Ruri Hoshino;
** Barnette to Ryoko;
** Parfait to Hikaru Minato;
** Duelo is a gentler Akatsuki;
** Bart to Jun and Gai;
** Misty is a straighter lost-and-found space-girl to Yukina;
** Gascogne to Howmei
** Also, in many respects, the two series have various themes in common:
**** The protagonists [[spoiler: think they are fighting aliens when they fight their common enemy and eventually find that everyone is human.]]
**** Everyone in both ships knows that the two main characters are meant for each other.
**** Both the Nirvana and the Nadesico are ships that are rogue and are in between wars that they are trying to diminish.
**** The Nirvana's Pragma Paxis is the equivalent of the Nadesico's Omoikane.
**** Only a handful of people in both series are capable of "supernatural" enhancements due to special circumstances: [[spoiler: the few surviving Martian humans in Nadesico are capable of teleportation due to terraforming nanomachines present in Mars; Dita, Meia and Jura are capable of combining their Dread fighters with Hibiki's Vanguard due to the meddling of the Pragma Paxis]]
**** Everyone is in love with Hibiki and Akito.
* EyesAlwaysShut: Ezra.
** Averted? She opens her eyes once after giving birth for a few seconds.
* EyeCatch: Usually shows Jura, Dita, Meia, or Hibiki and their respective mechs. Season two usually shows their combo forms along with the respective pilots.
* [[FantasticRacism Fantastic Sexism]]: Due to their upbringing, the men of Tarak and the women of Mejale have been led to believe that the other is a demonic monster hellbent on destroying them.
* [[AFatherToHisMen A Grandmother To Her (Wo)men]]: The captain Magno Vivan.
* FirstBlood:[[spoiler: Hibiki starts to berate Jura after Vandread Jura takes a hit, only to be brought up short by the horrified realization he's covered in her blood. She survives.]]
* FirstGirlWins: Not that she would allow any rivals anyway.
* FlashStep Vandread Meia can do this.
* ForgottenBirthday: Subverted. They TRY the whole "pretend everything is normal"-thing on Meia. She sees through them instantly, and when Misty ask why everyone is acting funny, Meia explains that tomorrow is her birthday. So, instead, they they start making plans on how they manage to keep her from hiding from the party...
* {{Gainaxing}}: Bras? What bras?
** Besides the gravity defying movement, the only thing that the Mejares choice of clothing stops short of betraying altogether is that they are remarkably clingy.
* GenderBender: Telling who it is would be a spoiler, of course. ([[spoiler:It's BC]]) If you read the spoiler without seeing the show, you now have anti-zen: knowledge without understanding.
* GenkiGirl: Dita, especially around Hibiki.
* GirlInABox: How the crew finds Misty.
* GirlsHaveCooties: Inverted with the aforementioned Celtic.
* GiverOfLameNames: Pyoro, who gives Ezra's baby the name "Pyoro 2", and calls the Super Vandread "Vandread Pyoro". None of the other characters are too fond of them.
* GondorCallsForAid: Actually, they came unbidden.
* GrandFinale
* GreenRocks: In this case blue and red rocks in the form of the crystalline plexis... plexises? (sic)
* GunShipRescue: Hibiki usually when he merges with Jura or Meia, and Paksis does a couple, sometimes with Bart, sometimes without his input.
* HasTwoMommies: Implicitly, all of the Mejale characters. Explicitly, Meia (as seen in flashbacks), and Ezra's daughter. Ezra's "Oma", Rebecca, doesn't show up until The Second Stage.
** Ezra and Rebecca's offspring has been described as "him", but surely this is a translation error since the offspring of their culture would surely be all girls.
* HeadbuttThermometer: Duero does this to Hibiki in the third episode.
* HeroicBSOD:
** Jura briefly suffers one in Episode 9.
** Dita goes through one anytime Hibiki lashes out at her too harshly, such as in episode 7.
* HeroicSacrifice: Subverted: Hibiki attempts to stop the BigBad's WaveMotionGun by plugging it with his Vanguard, mentioning he really doesn't give two damns so long as his friends are safe. Dita, Meia and Jura fly into the breach [[BigDamnHeroes without even a moment's hesitation]]. [[spoiler:The Paksis helps them out by blowing said WaveMotionGun away, effectively the EleventhHourSuperpower]]
** But not subverted when [[spoiler:Gascogne pilots her ship into the side of an enemy mothership, a suicide run that creates a hole in the ship that they use to attack it from within in the following episode.]]
** [[spoiler:Actually, it is subverted, she survived and repaired the defeated ship, now under her control.]]
* HetIsEw:
** In the ChristmasEpisode, everyone except Dita had this reaction to the video showing a man-woman couple and their daughter.
** Everyone except Dita and Hibiki. Hibiki was more subdued than Dita, but you can tell he liked the idea.
* HisQuirkLivesOn: When [[spoiler:it looks like Gascogne]] dies by HeroicSacrifice, Barnette volunteers to take over her job, and adopts her signature clothing style and some mannerisms.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler:The earthlings really believed that the colonies would just subject themselves to being harvested. Every elder in Tarak and Mejare agreed to be organ fodder for them until Hibiki showed up and blew everything in their faces]].
* HoldingBackThePhlebotinum: Hibiki; just ''combine'' with someone already and get it over with!
* HugeGuyTinyGirl: Duero and Parfait. Oddly makes the whole pairing cuter.
* HumansAreBastards: Partially invoked: turns out [[spoiler:Earth's responsible for sending out the Harvester fleets]]
* HumanResources: The Harvester fleets.
* HumongousMecha
** RealRobot: The unmodified Dreads of Magno's pirates are not too implausible from a space opera standpoint, though compared to the usual star fighter craft, they're MUCH larger, having more of a size gap between it and a Vanguard compared to a human and large jet fighter.
*** Vanguards, too. Notably, they are much smaller than the usual anime mecha.
** SuperRobot: The titular Vandreads, on the other hand...
** CombiningMecha: The Vandreads again.
** TransformingMecha: [[spoiler:One Harvester EliteMook copies the Nirvana's shape and transforms it into a humanoid mode]]
* IJustWantToHaveFriends: Misty is understandably lonely considering she's been in stasis for a long time (the anime mentions she's 14 years old and was in stasis for 63 years) and is only survivor left from her family. When Hibiki runs after Dita, shes feels rejected, and tries to play off her wooing him as "being bored" and letting him go as to "not making enemies of Dita's shipmates/friends". But a few moments later, she [[TheWoobie begins to cry alone in the park bench]], and Meia tries to assure her that [[YouAreNotAlone she has friends here.]]
* ImportantHaircut: [[spoiler:Bart, marking his transition from LovableCoward to CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass]]
** [[spoiler: BaldOfAwesome]]
* ImprobablyFemaleCast: Justified in that the story focuses on three guys that got captured by a squad of [[LadyLand Mejale]] outcasts.
* IncendiaryExponent
* InstantAIJustAddWater: Arguably, this along with the Paksis is what happened to Pyoro to bring him from [[SlidingScaleOfRobotIntelligence brick to human-level sentience]].
* InstantExpert: Characters seem to be able to pilot completely unfamiliar ships and mechs flawlessly despite having no experience in their operation.
** Subverted (albeit briefly) when Hibiki first pilots his Vanguard.
*** Or when the Woman first pilot the Vanguards, or when Hibiki uses his Vanguard on a planet's surface (with gravity) for the first time, or when he first combines with Jura, all giving them at least some problems for a few scenes.
** Subverted with the Tarak as well. They are remarkably bad at handling their brand-new Vanguards. It's not until the Nirvana returns to the planets a year later that they have gained a grip at piloting the things. And they became very adept at it..
* ImportedAlienPhlebotinum: The Paksis, both the one on the Nirvana and [[spoiler:the one controlling the Harvester fleet]]
* ItIsPronouncedTroPAY: Gascogne wants you to know it's pronounced "Gas-Co-NYU". It may also refer to the fact that "Gas-cone" sounds like "Gas-Co", which [[spoiler:was her older sister's nickname for her, and doesn't want her memory of her sister to change.]] In the original Japanese, it's not so much a pronunciation issue as her refusing to accept her nickname of "Gasco-san".
* IWasQuiteALooker: An old photograph of the captain and her family illustrate this trope. It is also revealed that she still has a head full of beautiful golden hair.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Hibiki towards Dita, and Rabat, who's a total SmugSnake when he first shows up, [[spoiler: but ends up helping them in the end.]]
* KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter: While the series largely uses energy weapons, during episode 4 of Season 2, when Jura tries firing an energy weapon at the harvesters invading the inside of a space station, it doesn't do anything to it. Barnette suggests that she use the guns she brought, which uses regular bullets, and are quite effective against those things. At least while they have ammo for them.
** Tarak in general seems to have retained the use of projectile weapons compared to their female counterparts.
* LampshadeHanging Pyoro in episode four of Second Stage: He can ''smell'' the sexuality!!
** Also Gascogne yelling at Dita about her pulling off a NoOneGetsLeftBehind.
--> "This isn't some third rate soap opera! Go on without me and then come back to get me!"
* LargeHam: Hibiki usually falls into this territory, particularly when playing cards with Gascogne, or usually around Dita.
* LastMinuteHookup: Literally.
* LatexSpaceSuit: Meia's suit.
* LightningGlare: Dita and Misty exchange it with each other.
* LittlestCancerPatient: One-shot character Shirley.
* LovableCoward: Bart in season one; after he finds something (and someone) worth fighting for he becomes a CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass in season 2.
* LovableTraitor: [[SpellMyNameWithAnS Rabbat/Robert/Labbat]]
** It's ''Rabat''; WordOfGod says it's a contraction of "[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin rat bastard]]" (his real name is revealed to be Sam later in the series)
* LoverTugOfWar: Happens to Hibiki between Dita and Misty.
* MacrossMissileMassacre: Nirvana's main weapon, with the added bonus of the missiles {{Roboteching}} around friendly fighters
* MagicalNativeAmerican: The telepaths on the planet in the middle of the magnetic storm on the way to the Tarak/Mejale system all have a definite southwestern Native American vibe, and they live in pueblos. The elder even does a sand painting while Hibiki's finishing his trial.
* MarshmallowHell: Hibiki in one episode bumps in Jura's breasts while she is telling him to combine with her.
* {{Meganekko}}: Parfait.
* MidSeasonUpgrade: Bart manages to give the Nirvana a BeamSpam attack in the second season, and the Super Vandread shows up as well, merging all the girl's Dreads with Hibiki's Vanguard.
* MissionControl: BC usually performs this role, but Magno sometimes assists or takes command.
* TheMothership
* MsFanservice: Practically every female character but the captain.
** In hindsight, [[spoiler:BC probably doesn't count anymore. Unless that's your thing of course...]].
* MundaneMadeAwesome: Hibiki during his card games with Gascogne. He always tries to place his cards down in a really dramatic fashion, only to have Gascogne nonchalantly beat his hand.
* NakedApron: While not completely naked Barnette seems to prefer not wearing a top underneath the apron when she cooks.
* NerdGlasses: Worn by WrenchWench, {{meganekko}} Parfait.
* NerdsAreSexy: Parfait, who even starts hooking up with {{bishonen}} doctor Duelo.
* NoGuyWantsToBeChased: Probably why Hibiki is put off by Dita's advances. Although it is unusual that Misty averts the trope, as he doesn't seem to mind spending time with her, much to Dita's [[ClingyJealousGirl chagrin.]]
* NonHumanSidekick: Pyoro and Butan, Rabat's pet orangutan.
* NoseBleed: Hibiki suffers one after Misty kisses him.
* NotSoDifferent: The three men and the women aboard the Nirvana gradually learn to get along with each other, and then they learn the truth about the Harvesters [[spoiler:and Earth.]]
** Granted, the men did not get along too well from the start, seeing that Duelo is a hyper-competent member of the elite in a state of ennui, Bart is a spoiled brat who is the heir to a food capsule empire and Hibiki is a third-class citizen with a big mouth. Likewise, the women pirates appeared to be a lot more strict and way less understanding to each other before the three guys showed up.
** The Tarak and Mejare are not so different either. They are driven by similar prejudices, superficiality and though apparently it's not the case, the Mejare are by no means less militaristic and bellicose than the Tarak.
* TheOmniscientCouncilOfVagueness: The male elders of Tarak.
* OffModel: Happens as early as the second episode. This ''is'' a Gonzo show, after all...
* OneeSama: Meia; she literally gets called this way by Misty, causing her to [[LuminescentBlush break her stoic persona]].
* OneGenderRace: This is accomplished through technology, however. Genetically, they're still human.
* OneWayVisor: The pluto colonists.
* OnionTears: The crew actually ''mutinied'' in the season one finale and tried to get rid of the male crewmembers because Hibiki allegedly made Dita cry, when the tears were due to the fact that they were slicing onions at the time.
* {{Oranyan}}: Hibiki.
* ThePasswordIsAlwaysSwordfish
** Subverted; Who the hell sets a password to [[spoiler:the sound of a ''baby's cry''?]]
** Subverted again with the minefield ([[spoiler:it had to be spoken by a high-ranking official]]).
** Parodied with the Nirvana's lockdown, when Barnette set it to something that crew members should be able to guess easily, but Hibiki still had no idea what it was. Though that one was justified, since it was in a language the captors couldn't read (and they only had the ship for a day, tops).
* PirateGirl: The entire female cast.
* PlanetOfHats: Tarak and Mejale as [[AnAesop an aesop]] that men and women need each other.
** Also some what deconstructed in that [[spoiler:the PlanetOfHats were created to be worn.]]
* ThePromise: Hibiki's promise to visit Dita's room.
** Which, despite its sexual symbolism, has quite the degree of Narm to it.
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: The men from Tarak are generally portrayed as this: the commander of the Vanguard unit even goes out of his way to say "It is a good day to die" [[spoiler:before drawing first blood in the most {{badass}} way during the final battle]]
* RagsToRoyalty: Hibiki's in fact [[spoiler:the son of the leaders of Tarak and Mejale. This allows him to have a say in regards to how both worlds should forge their own destinies instead of being cattle for Earth.]]
* RedshirtArmy: Hibiki runs into a SpaceNavy one in Episode 11. Despite their actions, they get wiped out pretty easily. Perhaps they shouldn't have shared their backstory with him...
* RefugeInAudacity Lampshaded by Gascogne about Bart when he was exaggerating his role in their adventure to the LittlestCancerPatient. She stated, "When someone like him lies that audaciously, I don't even feel like scolding them."
* RobotBuddy: Pyoro.
* RomanticFalseLead: Misty.
* RunningGag: Pyoro constantly referring to Ezra's baby, Kahlua, as "Pyoro 2".
* ScreamingBirth: The Second Stage, Ezra finally delivers her baby while trapped in an elevator in the middle of an attack and with her only help being Hibiki and Dita, and the advice of Duelo and Magno.
* ScrewDestiny: The crew of the Nirvana tries to do this for every planet/space station they pass by whenever the Harvesters show up to gather the people living there. Some are thankful for their help, others slightly less so.
* ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight: Hibiki launches into an epic speech near the end, hoping to rally support against the BigBad that Tarak and Mejale's planetary governments have denied the very existence of. As a result, [[spoiler:there's massive defections from the military of both planets, to form an impromptu defensive line against the forces from a degenerate Earth]]. It works.
* SentientPhlebotinum: The Paksis is eventually revealed to be this, explaining a lot of really weird events earlier in the series.
* SheIsNotMyGirlfriend: Hibiki vehemently invokes this trope anytime others mention how close he is with Dita. Dita likes to think otherwise however.
* ShoutOut: When Dita first meets Hibiki, she does the Curwen hand gestures from Film/CloseEncountersOfTheThirdKind (goes with the Bah bi bah bom baaaaaaa). Also, there's a poster for the show on the wall in her room.
** Hibiki's hair, bandana, clothing, and cluelessness with girls (but not his size) are all reminiscent of a previous anime character [[RanmaOneHalf named Hibiki.]]
** The doors aboard the ''Nirvana'' open with the "Star Trek" door sound effect.
* ShutUpHannibal
* SitchSexuality: Most of the women hate men as the enemy, but as the series progresses, many of them seem to have been in same-sex relationships due to a lack of options rather than preference. It also seems as though none of the men on Tarak pair off (this is, after all, a ''{{seinen}}'' fantasy show, not a [[YaoiGuys shonen-ai]] vehicle).
** Possibly justified by the Tarakians' [[PlanetOfHats hat]] being over-the-top manliness, making HoYay, with the possible exception of HardGay, unlikely.
*** Unless they model themselves on other warrior societies such as Samurai, Spartans, Romans, Athenians, the Big Nambas from Paupa New Guinea, the Vikings, Pirates. Actually almost all warrior societies come to think of it.
** There is some idle chatter in the first episode where some random Tarakian soldiers muse on making a baby together (in pretty much the same tone as going out for a beer).
** Also, in the start of the second season, Paiway observed that the day started with Dita chasing Hibiki, to which she says "I can't believe Dita would want to chase a man, what a weirdo." This suggests that most women prefer to go after other women.
*** Also, check the ChristmasEpisode.
** Jura, for all her attempts to combine with Hibiki and trying to have a kid with him, is quite obviously gay for Barnette.
*** The two live together, spend most of their time together and when Jura first starts going on about having a baby, Barnette thinks she means -with her-. Yeah...I think they're a couple.
*** ...''With an open relationship''. At the series' end, it's shown that Jura has become just as male-obsessed as Dita (she asks the departing guys to bring back men -- but only the handsome and powerful -- from Talark when they return to Nirvana) and even appears to have now transferred her attentions to Duero (much to Parfet's violent jealousy). Meanwhile, Barnette seems to ''not mind at all''.
* SpaceOpera
* SpaceMines
* SpacePirates: Pretty much the entire crew of the Nirvana, although they don't do it very much after the first episode. Rabat seems to play it straighter.
* [[SpaceshipGirl Spaceship ]][[strike:[[SpaceshipGirl Girl]]]] [[GenderFlip Boy]] - Bart, a rare male example of this trope.
* SterilityPlague: The heroes come across a planet in the second season which had this done to them by [[spoiler:Earth.]] Needless to say, they cure it.
* TheStoic: Meia and Duero.
* {{Stripperiffic}}: Jura's daily costume.
* SufficientlyAdvancedAliens: The Paksis.
* SupportingHarem: While Meia doesn't seem romantically interested in Hibiki, Dita, Jura, and Misty all seem to want him at one point or another. Jura's seems more like TheTease, but Misty and Dita eventually butt heads about their rivalry regarding Hibiki.
* {{Synchronization}}: Bart and the Nirvana.
* TelepathicSpacemen
* TouchedByVorlons: Hibiki, Dita, Jura, Meia and Pyoro, due to the influence of the Paksis.
* ThirdLawOfGenderBending: An extremely subtle example: want to know which character is the [[GenderBender Gender Bent]] [[TheMole mole]]? Look for the one who always seems to be posing for a fashion shoot.
* ThirdPersonPerson: Jura... sometimes. Also, Dita.
* ThroughHisStomach: Dita often uses this on Hibiki. It usually works, especially considering he only ate pills on Tarak.
** Misty does this as well in Season two.
* TrashOfTheTitans
* TronLines
%% Tsundere is on this page as Oranyan %%
* TwelveEpisodeAnime: Originally, but then a second season was made which picks up right where the first left off and provides the ''real'' conclusion.
* UnexplainedRecovery: [[spoiler: Gascogne, who supposedly died in a {{Heroic Sacrifice}} that no one could survive. She comes back not only alive, but somehow having managed to get onto, taken over, and piloted a giant enemy mothership.]]
* UnsettlingGenderReveal:Bart Garsus, upon TheReveal that [[spoiler:BC is a GenderBender [[TheMole mole]]. [[HoYay This doesn't stop him, though...]]]]
** In all honesty, this probably got dropped on EVERYONE.
*** Except the captain. She knew about it the whole time.
** [[spoiler: Technically, since homosexuality would seem to be the norm back on Tarak (well, put a bunch of guys together on a planet without any women, what do you expect?), this would be an inversion. The Bart/BC relationship seems to be the Vandread equivalent of the typical shoujo plot of [[SweetOnPollyOliver a heterosexual guy finding out the guy he's attracted]] to is [[GenderBender actually a girl]] (cue sighs of relief). Unless you want to apply heteronormativity to people who think they are a OneGenderRace.]]
*** Wrap your brains around ''that'' one.
* UnstoppableRage: Semi-subverted, as Hibiki cuts through a swath of smaller robots after seeing someone die in front of him, just to be swatted away by the enemy flagship.
** Also played straight when Bart's RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap
* UnusualEuphemism: If the proof of your existence lasts more than four hours, consult your physician.
* UnusualUserInterface: Bart's station is a green pool of fluid that magically strips him bare and suspends him in a 3D display, reacting to his motions and emotions. The other Paksis-modified ships similarly react to the user's desires and actions.
* TheUnwantedHarem: Not just the pilots are chasing Hibiki, after a while.
* UterineReplicator: Used by the men to reproduce in the absence of women.
* VanityIsFeminine: The women of Mejale use their greater resources on vanity projects. Wasting energy for example to make their homes look nicer than their neighbours. This resulted in a sector where many of the pirates used to live blacking out. By stark contrast the men of Tarak have no room for vanity on a world were resources are too precious and few to waste needlessly.
* VerbalTic: Pyoro.
* WarIsHell: While we never get to see Tarak fight Mejale directly (other than the first episode when the female pirates attack), as the show goes on, it shows how hectic and pointless fighting can be, and virtually everyone suffers from it in some way.
%%* [[spoiler:TheWarOfEarthlyAggression]]
* WaveMotionGun: Features a lot of them, from Vandread Dita's twin shoulder-mounted cannons, to the Harvester motherships' main guns.
* WeAreStrugglingTogether: The crew of the Nirvana at first seem to have no luck convincing most of the groups they encounter about the imminent threat posed by [[spoiler:Earth.]] But in the end, many of them show up to assist the Nirvana in the struggle when they all begin to realize that they in fact have a common goal, which is to not be used for parts by [[spoiler:Earth.]]
* WhamEpisode: Episode 5 of Season Two [[spoiler: When Gascogne's ship crashes into the Harvester mother ship, and the Nirvana forcefully flees from the area.]]
** Later, episode 10 [[spoiler: when BC is revealed to be [[TheMole a spy]] for Tarak, and is actually [[UnsettlingGenderReveal a guy]]]].
* WhipItGood: BC during [[spoiler:her fight with Liz]].
* TheWorfBarrage:
** [[spoiler:The Tarak minefield activates when the Harvester motherships enter the star system. In a mild subversion, it actually manages to destroy one. Unfortunately, there are three more.]]
** [[spoiler:In the first wave. And here comes second, not to mention the flagship.]]
* WorldOfCardboardSpeech: Episode 12 of ''Second Stage''
* YouShallNotPass:
** [[spoiler: Bart goes into PapaWolf mode when the harvesters come to a planet where he befriended an IllGirl.]]
** The final episodes of Season 2, [[spoiler:when Earth's forces invade Tarak and Mejale space]].
* YouWillBeAssimilated: Well, not so much turned into Borg-like creatures as much as the Harvesters going to human colonized worlds and capturing them for their organs.

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