[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/zegapain2.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Kyo and friends.]]

-->''[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Entangle! ]]
''

Zegapain is a 26 episode 2006 series about a high school student named Kyo Sogoru. He is a model student, gets good grades, and is the sole member of the soon to be dissolved swim team. One day he sees a beautiful girl on the diving board and rushes there in excitement for a potential new member. However when the girl dives and hits the water she disappears and Kyo has no idea what's going on. He sees the girl again, whose name is Shizuno Misaki, and asks her to be in a promo video for the swim club and in exchange he agrees to pilot a mecha called the Zegapain Altair against an enemy known as the Gards-Orm. When he asks what this world is he's told it's a game.

What follows is a tale of a world gone by that questions what it means to be human and just what is reality.

It's very hard to talk about the plot without giving away major plot points as the amount of spoilers below will attest.
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This show provides examples of:
* AbsurdlyPowerfulStudentCouncil: Justified [[spoiler:they are Celebrants from the organization Celeblum that protect the Maitama server in the real world and therefore have the ability to edit it as needed.]]
* AcePilot: Justified [[spoiler:Kyo was a former pilot that was rewritten into the server and is good because he still has the skill of his former self. Ryoko is played straighter but still justified in that she is a Witch. Also it's implied that pilots are chosen because they have been screened to be good.]]
* [[spoiler:AfterTheEnd]]: [[spoiler:The real world has been destroyed and the remnant of humanity exists solely as data in Quantum Servers that sit among the rubble of destroyed cities.]]
* AirborneAircraftCarrier: The Oceanus
* AlmostKiss
* AmnesiacLover: [[spoiler: Shizuno bears with it.]]
* AnyoneCanDie: [[spoiler: But most don't stay dead.]]
* AppliedPhlebotinum: LOTS AND LOTS OF IT. [[spoiler:Quantum Servers, QL energy, Holonic Loaders, Holonic Armor, Zegapains, Deutera Areas, etc.]]
* ArmorIsUseless: First Subverted then played straight when [[spoiler:the Gards-Orm develop the Anti-Zega.]]
* ArtificialHuman: [[spoiler:Abyss and Sin]]
* BattleCouple: Chris and Arque. Later on, Kyo and [[spoiler:Ryoko. And Misaki and the previous Kyo]].
* BeamSpam: The Zegapains and Gards-Orm gun attacks.
* {{Bishonen}}: Lu Shen.
* BreakTheCutie
* BreakoutRole: Creator/KanaHanazawa had a previous minor role in ''LastExile'', but got popular voicing Ryoko.
* BridgeBunnies: [[ProjectedMan Projected bunnies]], but still.
* CameBackWrong
* CatchPhrase: Kyo's "It can't be".
* ChekhovsGunman: [[spoiler:Errr, cat.]]
* ChekhovsSkill: Kyo's penchant for [[spoiler: punching enemies when out of Phlebotinum]] comes handy later.
* ChildhoodFriendRomance: Ryoko and Kyo. [[spoiler:Even with BabiesEverAfter.]]
* CloneDegeneration
* ComeWithMeIfYouWantToLive: [[spoiler:How Shima and Minato met.]]
* ConspicuousCGI
* ContemplateOurNavels: Very important to the story and VERY well done.
* CoolShip: The Oceanus.
* CyberPunk, or PostCyberPunk
* DeathIsCheap: [[spoiler:Not to the main characters.]] Also [[spoiler:when Kyo still thinks the real world is a game he thinks the destruction of the Shanghai server is no big deal and says it aloud to Jen May-Yu and Jen May-Yen earning a punch in the face from Mao Lu-Shen.]] But also subverted in that [[spoiler:a person can be destroyed permanently.]]
* DefectorFromDecadence: [[spoiler:Shima and Iel]]
* DestinationHostUnreachable
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: Played straight since Kyo [[spoiler:often uses punches after his QL runs out to finish off remaining enemies.]] Also subverted when [[spoiler:he fails to destroy the Deutera Core in time to prevent the destruction of the Shanghai Server.]]
** BrokeYourArmPunchingOutCthulhu: Happens when Kyo [[spoiler:fails to destroy the Duetera Core above]]
* {{Determinator}}: Kyo.
* DistantFinale: [[spoiler:With BabiesEverAfter.]]
* [[spoiler:EarnYourHappyEnding]]
* EmotionlessGirl: [[spoiler:Ryoko after being "repaired".]]
* EvilCounterpart: Sin and Abyss.
* [[EvilutionaryBiologist Evilutionary... Physicist?]]: [[spoiler:ForScience JustThinkOfThePotential.]]
* EvolvingCredits: The opening credits change slightly to fit the circumstances of the plot.
* FirstEpisodeResurrection: [[spoiler:Kyo]]
* ForgotTheCall: [[spoiler:What happened to Kyo when he suffered his LossOfIdentity.]]
* GirlNextDoor: Ryoko.
* GratuitousEnglish: In the Zegapain Cockpits, although the voice actor chosen clearly speaks English fluently if not as their first language.
** GratuitousFrench: In Chris and Arque's cockpit due to them being French Celebrants with assumedly French-made Zegapains.
*** GratuitousSpanish: In the original broadcast their cockpit uses Spanish.
** GratuitousGreek: Duetera is Greek for Monday
* [[spoiler:GroundhogDayLoop]]: Caused by the Maihama Server [[spoiler:resetting periodically, and restarting the memories of everyone but the Celebrants]].
* HardLight: The Zegapains' armor.
* HolographicTerminal
* HollywoodScience: Genetics don't work that way. And Memory Waves aren't a part of Quantum Physics.
* HotBlooded: Kyo is pretty much a {{shonen}} hero. [[spoiler: The previous Kyo, not so much.]]
* HumongousMecha: The Zegapains.
* [[spoiler:IJustWantToBeHuman]]: [[spoiler:Everyone, but most of all [[RobotGirl Misaki.]]]]
* IJustWantToBeNormal: Kyo at least for a little while.
* ImmortalitySeeker: Some people are this trope. [[spoiler:That's what started the whole mess.]]
* [[spoiler:InsideAComputerSystem]]: Half the series happens in one.
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: Shizuno to Kyo. Ryoko to Kyo. [[spoiler:Even ''Lu-Shen'' to Kyo]]. What is this, ''LightNovel/ToraDora''?
* JapaneseSchoolClub: Kyo is obsessed with his Swimming club, and Ryoko's membership in the Audiovisual club plays a part on the story.
* JumpedAtTheCall: [[spoiler:Kyo, and later Ryoko.]]
* KatanasAreJustBetter: Kyo's specifically asks for a katana for his Zegapains close range weapon. Subverted in that he almost always uses his gun first and only uses the katana when he runs out of gun ammo or an enemy gets way to close.
* LaResistance
* LossOfIdentity
* MaleGaze: For balance, Kyo is a WalkingShirtlessScene.
* MatrixRainingCode
* MeaningfulRename: [[spoiler:Misaki Shizuno is a LineOfSightName given to her by the previous Kyo. People who know her from before still call her Yehl.]]
* AMechByAnyOtherName: The Zegapains.
* MoreThanMindControl: [[spoiler:The Quantum Servers and Celeblum can make people control what people pay attention to so if someone disappears people just ignore them unless specifically brought up and even then they just brush it off.]]
* MultinationalTeam: The Oceanus Celebrants.
* NewTransferStudent: Subverted [[spoiler:Shizuno is just written into the program so she doesn't have to be a transfer student.]]
* NietzscheWannabe: [[spoiler:Naaga]]
* NuclearWeaponsTaboo: Nope.
* OneeSama: Shizuno.
* OntologicalMystery
* ParentalAbandonment: Justified. [[spoiler:They don't exist to lighten the load on the Quantum Server. The Server just tricks its residents into believing they do.]]
* ThePowerOfFriendship: [[NarmCharm Anti-tank stoning]].
* ThePowerOfLove: Can create a [[TheAce Witch]].
* PsychicPowers: [[spoiler:Celebrants and Awakened can manifest "force shields" and other tricks (see below) within a Server.]]
* RecycledInSpace: It's [[spoiler:''Film/TheMatrix'']] with {{Humongous Mecha}}s!
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler:Shima]]
* {{Reincarnation}}: [[spoiler:Possible to a degree.]]
* TheReveal: One every two episodes or so.
* RocketPunch: [[spoiler:The series keeps sliding into {{shonen}} territory.]]
* RuleOfSymbolism: Bad guys have a snake motif (Naaga, Orm - ancient Norse for dragon -, Coatlicue - feathered Aztec snake god -), good guys have eagle-related names. Snake-slaying eagles are a common good-vs-evil symbol; to stress the religious meaning, the good guys are called Celebrants. Tao/Zen is also invoked; a tenet of which is "going with the flow" and not messing with the natural order. The good guys' ships are named with [[TheGreatFlood Deluge mythology]] in mind, which emphasizes humanity surviving even against overwhelming odds against them.
* ShoutOut: The famous "butterfly dream" of {{Zhuangzi}} is mentioned early in the series.
** ''[[MindScrew Last Year At Marienbad]]'' is mentioned in Episode 18. This movie's theme is memories and their relation to reality... Interestingly enough, the movie was supposedly inspired by Adolfo Bioy Casares ''The Invention of Morel'', a novel about [[spoiler: a machine in a desert island that can record and reproduce reality and uses simulacra of real people to replay the same events time and time again. Its inventor killed everyone appearing in the re-enaction because after being recorded they were functionally immortal]]. The book is also strongly reminiscent of a certain TV series about [[{{Lost}} weird events in a desert island]].
** [[Film/TheMatrix Discussing irreality and betrayal over an elegant virtual supper]].
* SaveBothWorlds: [[spoiler:The point of Celeblum.]]
* SchrodingersButterfly
* [[spoiler:SmallSecludedWorld]]: [[spoiler:The Servers.]]
* SphereOfDestruction: Deutera Areas
* SurprisinglyGoodEnglish: The Zegapain cockpits. Is it you, [[Franchise/LyricalNanoha Raising Heart]]?
** And the Hraelveg cockpit speaks pretty good Spanish.
* SwordAndSorcerer: Gunner and Wizard, Type 2.
* [[spoiler:SyntheticPlague]]: [[spoiler:The Orm virus.]]
* TakeAThirdOption: [[spoiler:Resurrect or eternally loop? What about joining the enemy and becoming like them?]]
* UsefulNotes/{{Taoism}}: In case using {{Zhuangzi}}'s butterfly dream didn't spell it clear:
--> '''Shima''': Form is void, void is form.
* ThemeNaming: Oceanus Class Ships have names having to do with flood mythology. Gards-Orm mecha usually have ophidian names, Zegapain mecha have the names of mythical birds.
* ThoseTwoGuys: Kyo's old middle school swimming team.
* TronLines: The units are some of the shiniest Mecha on record.
* TwoTeacherSchool: Justified.
* ViewersAreGeniuses: ''Orm'' is an old Norse term for dragon... and ORM is also Object-Relational Mapping, a programming technique for creating virtual object databases.
* [[spoiler:VirtualGhost]]: [[spoiler:''All'' the good guys are this.]]
* WalkingShirtlessScene: Kyo, with the excuse of being a swimmer.
* TheWarOnStraw: [[spoiler:To make a case for ImmortalityImmorality, memories gain the attributes of souls, the guy supporting immortality is a genocidal MadScientist and his evolved humans feral {{Blood Knight}}s.]]
* WaveMotionGun: GASPR cannons.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: Explored with the Gards-Orm, contemplated with the artificial intelligence characters among the Celebrants.
* WistfulAmnesia: [[spoiler:Dead Celebrants are erased from memories or conveniently PutOnABus from the point of view of people in the Servers.]]
* XanatosGambit: [[spoiler:The attack on the Maihama Server couldn't really go wrong, at worst being a stalemate. Kyo tried his best to mess it though.]]
* YourDaysAreNumbered: [[spoiler:Arque and Shima.]]
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