[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/katana_gatari_562.jpg]]
-> ''"People who work for money are no good. People who work for honor are also no good. That leaves only one reason: Love!"''

A twelve volume novel series by Nisio Isin and illustrated by Take. Later adapted into a twelve episode anime. Despite the similar name, it is not related to Isin's other work ''LightNovel/{{Bakemonogatari}}''.

The [[UltimateBlacksmith legendary swordsmith]] Kiki Shikizaki made 1000 swords in his career. His skill was such that entire wars were won on the amount of his swords a given state had. When the Shogun emerged victorious, he collected the first 988 of those swords... but those were just practice for Shikizaki.

The final [[PlotCoupon twelve swords]] were the pinnacle of the swordsmith's career. Each of them has powers so extraordinary that just a single man could defeat small armies while wielding one of them.

Shogunate [[TheStrategist strategist]] Togame has been ordered to recover them. She first hired a {{ninja}}...but the worth of the swords is so great that the entire ninja clan defected the moment they recovered one. Then she hired a [[{{Samurai}} swordsman]]... but he kept the sword for himself after finding it and went rogue.

Her last hope is Shichika Yasuri, the seventh head and last practitioner of Kyotouryuu, the No Sword School. He and his elder sister live on an island cut off from civilization, and as such they need no money. His fighting style doesn't use a sword, so the famous weapons are useless to him.

So why should he agree to help? Only one option remains -- they must fall in love.
----
!!''Katanagatari'' provides examples of:

* AbsurdlySharpBlade: The power of the Zantou Namakura is being this.
* AlasPoorVillain: A number of Deviant Blade wielders and Maniwa Corps members have redeeming qualities or backstories that make you genuinely sympathize with them when they die.
* AloofBigBrother: Nanami is a female example, but she fits the trope to a T, especially in episode 7.
* AlternateHistory: The Yanari Shogunate, rather than the Tokugawa, unified Japan to end the Sengoku Period and established a capital at Owari rather than Edo. [[spoiler: This is because Shikizaki Kiki foresaw the Tokugawa's rise to power and stopped it, only for a different family to seize power in a similar way.]]
* AnAesop: [[spoiler: The ending]]. Episode 10 comes to the conclusion that [[spoiler:fighting is meaningless]]. At the end of episode 12, [[spoiler:almost everyone has died... and ''nothing'' of note has changed. Meaningless indeed.]]
** Essentially the entire point of the [[spoiler:ending sequence]] is reinforcing this view, with the show giving us a [[spoiler:slow montage of the locations in which characters were slain or fought throughout the series]] before stating that the plan still [[spoiler:never succeeded]].
* AnimeHair: And ''how''. Also commonly MulticoloredHair.
* AntiHero: Shichika has no hesitation whatsoever about killing any foe on his path (even if they are [[AntiVillain likeable]], or women and children). It should be noted that this is because of his [[NoSocialSkills upbringing]] but still...
** He [[CharacterDevelopment got better]]. To the point where his sister said that he had rusted.
* AntiVillain: All of the non-Maniwani villains, and even then the Insect Squad isn't too bad.
** By episode six the Maniwa have cemented themselves as near Anti-Villains, being very AffablyEvil, and mostly neutral. Houou takes alliances seriously, and the remaining Maniwa (except for one) all understand the path of the shinobi well enough to know that revenge will not prosper.
** TheReveal in episode 12 retroactively makes [[spoiler:Togame]] a [[spoiler:protagonist]] example.
* AnyoneCanDie: This series is absolutely brutal with its character mortality. The body count includes [[spoiler:the entire Maniwa Corps, seven of the twelve Deviant Blade wielders (not counting one who has been dead for centuries and the autonomous blade that gets destroyed), countless mooks, most of Shogun Owari's elite forces and the Shogun himself]]. Even [[spoiler:Togame]] isn't immune.
** In the end, aside from [[spoiler:Hiteihime and Shichika]], only two little girls, a shogi player, a hermit and a pirate are spared.
* ArcNumber: 12. There are twelve swords, the story takes place over roughly twelve months, and is comprised of twelve volumes/episodes.
** Also, twelve Maniwani and twelve Shogun Guardsmen.
** 7 might also be a character oriented number: Shichika is the 7th Kyotouryuu head, Shichi in Shichika and Nana in Nanami are both 7 in Japanese. Also, his ultimate move has 7 components [[spoiler:and he battles his sister for the 7th sword in episode 7]].
* ArmorPiercingSlap: Togame ''tries'', but inevitably hurts her hands more than she does Shichika.
* ArtisticLicenseMartialArts: Many a MartialArtsMovie tends to show martial arts just as a way to obtain different superpowers. Nanami reminds us that true martial arts seek two SimpleYetAwesome things: [[YouAreBetterThanYouThinkYouAre to teach a technique that improves the student's self-worth by patience and practice]], and to [[YouAreNotAlone give the students at the school a sense of community and pertinence]]. Those were the very things being BlessedWithSuck denied her. That is what makes the moment before her FinalBattle a true tearjerker:
--> ''[[MyNameIsInigoMontoya Seventh head of Kyotouryuu, Shichika Yasuri]].''
--> ''With neither style nor school, Nanami Yasuri.''
* ArtShift: The entire seventh episode. It just keeps outdoing itself.
** Done absurdly for Togame's fantasies in episode 9.
* TheAtoner: Meisai gave up the bandit life to care for the girls of the Sanzu Shrine after [[spoiler:the previous Meisai Tsuruga used his dying breath, not to curse her, but to beg her to forgive the broken girls of the shrine]]. Because of this, she uses Tsurugi as a healing agent for the girls. Suffice to say, this is an incredibly unusual use for a spiritually poisonous Deviant Blade, and it's unclear how helpful Tsurugi even is for this purpose. But as Meisai is bound by the taint of the sword, this was likely the only way she could go on living without having to continue to kill people.
** Also, Shichika [[spoiler:for Togame at the end. He denies it, however.]]
* AudienceSurrogate: Shichika, during episode 11 due to a few [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall fourth wall leaning]] comments.
* AwakeningTheSleepingGiant: The Maniwa ''really'' shouldn't have sent the Insect Squad to attack Nanami. This allowed her to have both the motivation and the means (thanks to her newly acquired walk-on-water technique) to get involved in the sword hunt -- which spelled trouble for Shichika and Togame.
** Certain events that transpire towards the end of the series make Shichika a prime example of this. Perhaps quite literal considering his stature.
* AwesomenessByAnalysis: Nanami's main ability.
** Episode 8 and 9 for Togame as well.
* AxCrazy: Anyone who wields Dokutou Mekki. Also, [[spoiler:Shichika loses it after Togame dies]].
* {{Badass}}: Many characters, but particularly Shichika, Hakuhei, Nanami, Emonzaemon and Houou.
* BadassAdorable: Konayuki, the opponent from episode 6. [[spoiler: Extra points on the badass for being the first person to wound Shichika through the journey, while being a complete amateur.]]
* BareFistedMonk: Swordsman, but Kyotouryuu is basically this.
** He's not a swordsman, he's a [[IncrediblyLamePun swordman]].
* BattleAmongstTheFlames: The battle with Shichika's father that ended Togame's father's rebellion took place inside a burning castle.
* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: Nanami didn't even get her kimono dirty the last time she fought Shichika to a "draw". In episode 4 the last Insect Corp ninja actually hits her with two barbed caltrops, but she simply digs them out without even flinching. There's surprisingly little blood too.
** How about when [[spoiler:Nanami sliced off Togame's hair in episode 7? A hair cut like that should have left Togame's hair frayed, but somehow it's a perfect bob. [[LampshadeHanging Shichika even comments that his sister is pretty good at haircuts]].]]
* BecomingTheMask: [[spoiler:Shichika and Togame really do fall in love with each other.]]
** But on the other hand, [[spoiler:at least according to her, it didn't make a difference -- she still would have killed him in the end.]]
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Dear God, Nanami!
* BigEater: Shichika and Togame consume at least several thousand calories worth of rice dumplings and red bean soup [[OffscreenMomentOfAwesome while recapping the awesome battle they had with Sabi Hakuhei]] in episode 4.
** Hey, beating the best swordsman in Japan, wielding one of the best swords ever forged, is pretty hungry work.
* BigNo: Togame lets one out when she discovers the true meaning of her CatchPhrase.
* BodyguardCrush: Invoked. [[spoiler: And perhaps played straight with Emonzaemon.]]
* BodyHorror: Oh goddess, Koumori's transformation ability... and to a lesser extent, being able to produce a full costume from his mouth.
* BodySurf: Maniwa Kyouken's ability. Only it has to be a female.
* BookEnds: The BGM "Togame" plays during Togame and Shichika's first meeting, and its near-identical twin "Is It All Right to Fall for You?" plays [[spoiler:as Togame says her last words to Shichika]] 12 episodes later.
* [[spoiler:BossRush]]: [[spoiler:The final episode has Shichika carving his way through the Shogun's retainers wielding the Deviant Blades, with Emonzaemon as the FinalBoss.]]
* BottomlessMagazines: Entou Jyuu, which were created by Shikizaki Kiki using future technology.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: During one of the dialogues between Princess Hitei and Emonzaemon in episode 10, she stops him after he's about to reveal her motivation for collecting the swords. She then puts her fan over her mouth, looks at the camera, and says "I don't know who might be listening, so refrain from saying anything careless."
* CallingYourAttacks: Sometimes followed by the attack names getting their own screen, written in badass calligraphy.
* CatchPhrase: Togame will make you think that {{Catch Phrase}}s are SeriousBusiness in the world of ''Katanagatari''.
** ''"Cheerio!"'' Which doesn't mean what Togame thinks it does... she has a FreakOut in episode 5 when Houou tells her the actual meaning.
** ''"However, by that point you'll have been torn to pieces."'' Picked almost at random due to Togame's demanding he get one, and by the end of the episode Shichika managed to make it badass.
*** Also ''"Such a hassle..."'' used before he picks from Togame's list [[spoiler: and after she dies, a few times during the castle fights]].
** Sabi Hakuhei's: ''"I'll make you fall for me."'' To which the guys he kills respond: ''[[PhraseCatcher "So... cool..."]]''
** And later we have Nanami's ''"That's good... Or is it bad?"''
** Hiteihime also seems to have adapted ''"I deny it"'' as her speech gimmick, which is a play on her name.
** Emonzaemon has a morbid habit of asking what a person's last words would be.
* CensorSteam: Always a staple of hotsprings, and the ending of the soak in episode 5 portraying Togame is no exception.
* CharacterFilibuster: '''Everyone''', bordering on WorldOfHam since its the sole reason that the episodes are longer than a usual anime.
* ChekhovsGun: On Hiteihime's mantle lies a matching handgun and revolver set. At first they look like decorative pieces when in reality, [[spoiler:they're Deviant Blades, and actual working guns]].
** [[spoiler:The poison on Mitsubachi's caltrops is not fatal. However the hidden poison, which Nanami took from Kamakiri's molar earlier, must be fatal, right? It's for suicide after all.]]
** The map shown during the narrations about the main characters' travel around the country significantly differs from the real map of Japan. It turns out no accurate map of Japan exist in-universe, and Togame plans to be the first person ever to compose one.
* ClarkesThirdLaw: [[spoiler: The Deviant Blades are not magical, they're made using future techniques discovered through Kikizaki's seer powers. Most literally seen with the last "sword" [[GunsAkimbo Entou Jyuu]].]]
* ClingyJealousGirl: Togame shows signs of this in episode 8 and it becomes blatantly obvious in episode 9.
* CloseCallHaircut: Nanami deliberately does this to [[spoiler:Togame]], as a warning shot.
* ClothingDamage: Ginkaku takes a swipe at Togame and luckily Shichika steps in and prevents the damage from being ''worse''. All that is damaged is the top layer on Togame's bust area.
* CombatPragmatist: To Emonzaemon's surprise, he's actually [[spoiler:completely unable to get through Oshidori's attacking whips/barrier combo. When she decides to stop playing around and go on the attack, he... shoots her to death.]]
* CompletelyMissingThePoint: Several of the swordsmen in [[spoiler:the boss rush in the final episode]] completely miss the point of the swords they're supposed to be wielding and end up using them in an ineffective fashion as a result, especially the [[spoiler:Maniwa ninja who negates the weight of the sword whose special power is supposed to ''be'' its weight]].
* CreditsJukebox: The anime has one ending theme per episode.
* CurbStompBattle: Never attempt to fight Nanami.
** Shichika mops the floor with [[spoiler:every last one of the Shogun's bodyguards in his RoaringRampageOfRevenge after Togame bites the dust]]. Bonus points for the fact that they are wielding [[spoiler:the Deviant Blades. Emonzaemon is the only one to put up a decent fight.]]
* CursedWithAwesome: Nanami feels this way. She claims to envy people who have to actually put in effort to learn abilities (she can learn a skill by seeing it once and ''master'' it after seeing it twice) and she hates that her body won't allow her to die no matter how much suffering she endures as a chronically IllGirl (she's pretty much immune to most poisons as a result and doesn't even flinch as she ''rips a hooked caltrop out of her back'').
* CuteAndPsycho: [[spoiler:That sweet IllGirl of an older sister we see in episode 1?]] She's a powerful martial arts prodigy that even scared her father and [[spoiler:forced her brother out of his nail-biting habit]] by ''tearing off his fingernails when they were both still children''. In episode 4 she busts out [[CurbStompBattle Curb Stomp Battles]], [[SlasherSmile Slasher Smiles]], and ColdBloodedTorture galore against the unlucky QuirkyMinibossSquad sent to capture her. [[DissonantSerenity All with the same sweet tone of voice.]]
** Then she goes on a little tour of Japan, leaving a bloody trail behind her.
* DeathSeeker: [[spoiler:Nanami]], since she is so strong that no disease nor wound can prove fatal, but her own body can't bear the strain and makes her physically ill as a result.
** Arguably Uneri Ginkaku, who just wanted to be able to die like a warrior, protecting something dear to him.
** [[spoiler:Shichika in episode 12.]] It doesn't work out for him.
* DelayedReaction: Togame carries on monologuing as if Shichika had agreed with her after asking if he wanted to rule the country, or has heard of Shikizaki Kiki. It takes a minute to sink in because she just can't believe he's so dense and demotivated.
** Also her FreakOut after discovering the true meaning of "Cheerio".
* DetachedSleeves: Shichika wears them. They don't seem to do anything except cover some part of his top half.
* DiedInYourArmsTonight: [[spoiler:Togame in Shichika's arms.]] Doubles as a DyingDeclarationOfLove.
* DisproportionateRetribution: [[spoiler:When you think about it, it's not the Shogun's fault that Togame wasted her life on pointless revenge; he didn't even know who she was. It seems Shichika just wanted to make a really big example of using "Cheerio!" as war cry - to grant Togame's dying wish.]]
* DissonantSerenity: Even in the midst of fighting/torturing Maniwa Corps, Nanami maintains her soft-spoken and polite disposition.
* DodgeTheBullet: [[spoiler:Emonzaemon is mystified as to how he could completely fail to hit Shichika with Entou Jyuu. Shichika explains that he didn't miss - he took the wounds in order to get close enough to break the gun barrels. After an impressive display of speed to keep Emonzaemon from actually aiming those shots at anything vital.]]
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: The back massage in episode 5, among other things. PlayedForLaughs.
* DudeLooksLikeALady: Sabi Hakuhei, according to Togame, could be mistaken for a woman.
* DullEyesOfUnhappiness: [[spoiler:When Shichika storms the Shogun's castle after Togame dies, in the last episode, his eyes turn dull and grey.]]
* FaceDeathWithDignity: Hida Takahito calmly awaits Yasuri Mutsue in his burning castle and, when he arrives, [[spoiler:gently tells his daughter that he loves her]] and goes out to greet the man he knows will probably kill him with a polite smile.
** Many years later [[spoiler:Takahito's daughter]] does the same.
** [[spoiler:Hiteihime]] also seems prepared to do this; her tone of voice doesn't change when she tells Shichika he is welcome to kill her now.
* FaceHeelTurn: Everybody that worked with Togame before Shichika betrayed her the moment they got their hands on a sword.
* FieldOfBlades: Meisai lures Shichika into a ''Forest'' Of Blades to give herself the advantage in their duel. Shichika just runs back out, forcing her to follow him.
** [[spoiler:The Sh˘gun's retainer Akatsuki Tomoe who is given Sentou Tsurugi plays it straight, though. Given, she did it indoors, and Shichika just carves through it and hits her into the wall. Fat lot of good it did her to "master" the fighting style Meisai used.]]
* FinalSpeech: [[spoiler:Togame]] gives a long one to Shichika. It could even qualify as a Final Conversation, given that Shichika says quite a lot as well. [[spoiler:Emonzaemon]] even says that he deliberately aimed for non-vital areas to give them time to chat.
* FlowerMotifs: [[UpToEleven Dear God]], Shichika's design has them ''all over the place'': His hair looks like a maple leaf, and his hakama, gloves, and even his ''sandals'' have the same leaf motif on them. Not to mention the fact that all Kyotouryuu techniques are named after flowers.
** Nanami has a theme of pink carnations (she wears one in her hair), and Hiteihime covers her room and outfit with pink roses.
** Flowers of different seasons are a key element of the light novel artwork too.
* ForegoneConclusion: The narration at the end of episode 6 tells the audience exactly how episode 7 is going to end.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: In episode 2, [[spoiler:Shichika asks whether Zantou Namakura, the sword that can cut anything, would be able to cut Zettou Kanna, the invulnerable sword, and Togame says that since it was made later she supposes it could.]] Sure enough, in the last episode, Shichika is able to [[spoiler:break Zettou Kanna using Kyotouryuu, the final perfected Deviant Blade.]]
* TheGadfly: There is a non-comedic example with Higaki Rinne. While he does have a fairly trollish personality thanks to Togame, his life is based around pointing out uncomfortable truths and things people would rather avoid.
* GodivaHair: First with Koumori's doppelganger ability to impersonate Togame; we then get to see the real thing in episode 4.
* GrandTheftMe: Anyone who [[spoiler:draws Dokutou Mekki]] is possessed by [[spoiler:Shikizaki Kiki]]'s memories. [[spoiler:Maniwa Houou]] is on the receiving end of this.
** It is hinted that this may be because he [[spoiler:caught it with the hand of his trusted ally Maniwa Kawauso, who could read the past of objects as he touched them. How that is? Houou grafted that hand onto his body, of course.]]
* GreyAndGrayMorality: None of the characters are really good, but none of them are really evil either and their motivations, if not sympathetic, are at least understandable.
* HairstyleInertia: Both Shichika and Nanami.
* HardDrinkingPartyGirl: Meisai wields a BIG bottle of sake at that.
* HoldingHands: Togame and Shichika do this in episode 11, against the sunset. [[spoiler:Which makes what happens next all the more heartwrenching.]]
* HugeGuyTinyGirl: Shichika and Togame in particular. Also Togame and Kanara, if it had ever worked out.
* IAmNotLeftHanded: [[spoiler:Shichika, no longer bound by orders such as "don't destroy the swords" and "protect yourself", proceeds to completely curb stomp just about everyone in episode 12.]]
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: Every volume/episode is named after one of the 12 swords.
* IdiotHero: Shichika plays this up, especially in the first episode, but he doesn't actually come across as an idiot so much as he has NoSocialSkills because of his upbringing. He still finds it troublesome to give more than minimal thinking effort.
* IllGirl: Nanami. [[spoiler: Despite this, she's still insanely powerful.]]
** Backwards. [[spoiler: She's an IllGirl because she's SO INSANELY POWERFUL that learning a new technique makes her WEAKER. So powerful that the human body can't contain it. Her efforts at PowerCopying actually make her weaker, read: healthier.]]
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: Delivered to multiple opponents by Shichika.
* InfantImmortality: Episode 11 ''looks'' like this is going to happen with [[spoiler:Pengin]]. Then he gets a gun shoved into his mouth.
** Played straight with [[spoiler:Konayuki and Saraba]]. Though Shichika probably would have killed them if he thought it fair.
* InfinityPlusOneSword: [[spoiler:Kyotou Yasuri]] in its "complete" form.
* InformedAbility: Sabi Hakuhei was apparently the strongest swordsman in Japan. It was rumoured that he could even slice the sun in half. Then he gets killed off-screen by Shichika...
** The sheer awesomeness of a duel between Sabi Hakuhei and Shichika is such that your brain would be fried if you witnessed it - so it's censored for your protection. It's non-fatal in small doses, so there are some snippets in the episode preview.
** Togame's status as TheStrategist at first appears this way but fortunately later on she does show skill in coming up with clever schemes.
* IronicEcho: Shichika's CatchPhrase, especially the first time it was used, but also for a few jokes. The context tends to change its meaning completely.
** Also, [[spoiler: Togame's jokey death speech from episode 6, which she repeats almost verbatim in episode 12 when she ''actually'' dies.]]
* IWasJustPassingThrough: Togame gives Shichika the order to protect himself, stipulating that she's ''not'' giving this order because she cares if he gets hurt, but because she can't gather the swords if he dies... she then immediately gives him a ''second'' order to protect himself, stipulating that this one ''is'' because she cares if he gets hurt.
* {{Lampshading}}: Many examples so far, but one that hasn't yet been mentioned; [[spoiler:when Dokutou Mekki is first encountered, before they know about the memory effect, Shichika and Togame mock it for actually being a katana, saying stuff like "At this point, I was expecting a liquid sword or something, that blade is way too normal"]].
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: Togame tends to make comments that'd be fourth wall breaking if it weren't for the fact that she's writing everything down for publication.
** The light novel sometimes comments or references on the genre savviness of characters, and starts hanging the lampshades around.
** Shichika in episode 11 as well, when the pair are speaking to Maniwa Houhou/[[spoiler:Shikizaki Kiki]].
* LonelyAtTheTop: Essentially how Nanami feels.
* MaleGaze: In the first opening, the camera slides from Shichika's face to Togame's... then to her chest and things for no apparent reason than fanservice before moving to the sword. Her behind and legs also get plenty of focus later on.
* MagicSkirt: Togame's impossibly tiny, ''decoratively torn'' skirt is nothing short of miraculous in its ability to conceal the goodies. It fails in a few frames if you look closely enough.
* MeaningfulName: Inverted. Shikizaki Kiki's sense of irony made him name some of his swords for what they are not.
** Zettou Kanna, Plane the Absolute for the sword that cannot bend or be broken.
** Zantou Namakura, Blunt the Decapitator for the sword that can cut anything.
*** Each Deviant Blade has a prime quality raised to the nth power, especially if you consider the readings of their kanji characters. Also, the qualities tend to mirror Shikizaki's progressive understanding of what an ultimate sword is, until the sword itself slowly disappears -- we start from toughness, to speed, then multiplicity, variability, defense, mass, reanimation, sword that wields itself, righteousness (Outou Nokogiri, the wooden sword), then physically removing the need for the blade with Seitou Hakari (transcendance of the opponent), then the wielder with Dokutou Mekki (possession), and finally, a weapon that renders swords obsolete, the pistol. [[spoiler: The final one, Kyotou Yasuri in its "Completed" form, can transcend any and all of them.]]
** Pretty much every character is carefully named after one of his characteristics. For instance, the strategian's nickname Togame refers to her peculiar left eye, basically meaning "cross-shaped eye" in a very irregular Japanese.
** [[spoiler: When Togame vowed vengeance against the Shogunate she threw away everything, including her original name Youshahime; ''yousha'' means "forgiveness" or "mercy" in Japanese, so in her quest for revenge she threw those things away too.]]
** You will never get a straight answer out of Hiteihime, this is largely because ''hitei'' means "to deny" in Japanese.
* {{Miko}}: Plenty about in the Sanzu Shrine, whose Shrine Maidens each own a Sentou Tsurugi. When Togame dresses up in their clothes however, the narrator comments that Shichika isn't attracted to "miko {{moe}}".
** Konayuki too, after she drops off Kanazuchi at the capital and joins the shrine.
* MindScrew: Episode 4... Just... episode 4. This series is seriously playing mind games with us.
* MonsterSobStory: Nanami's life is one of continuous pain, alienation from her Martial Arts School, existential frustration and continued assassinations attempts (even from her own family!) that she would desire were successful. Even so, after seeing what she is capable of, is very difficult to empathize with her.
* MuggingTheMonster: The Insect Squad attacked Nanami thinking she was at best a "mere" Kyotouryuu practitioner weaker than her brother (who is technically the head of the family) -- a fatal mistake.
* NamedWeapons: All of the Deviant Blades.
* [[NeverBringAKnifeToAFistfight Never Bring A Gun To A Swordfight]]: [[spoiler:Defied by Emonzaemon, who killed Oshidori with a barrage of bullets from Entou Jyuu.]]
* NeverTrustATrailer: The next-episode preview in the third episode shows snippets of the battle between Shichika and Sabi Hakuhei... which then happens entirely offscreen in the fourth.
* NormallyIWouldBeDeadNow: [[spoiler: Shichika when fighting Emonzaemon. Despite being shot countless times and slashed to bits, he manages to come out of the fight victorious with only a scar on his face.]]
** Let's not forget, [[spoiler: his purpose for even going to the castle was [[DeathSeeker to die]].]]
** The same could also be said for [[spoiler: Nanami]], who [[spoiler: managed to continue fighting her brother after they removed the sword from her body. If you're wondering why that fight would fit this trope, [[BodyHorror she had a gaping hole in her chest]].]]
* NoSocialSkills: Shichika. Being raised on an island with just his family members, he is only able to tell people apart by height at first, and has little sense of when it's appropriate to kill people.
* NotWhatItLooksLike: A running gag between Togame and Shichika. Episode 9 is ''full'' of this once Togame's imagination runs away with her.
* [[OlderThanTheyLook Older Than She Looks]]: Togame, who is around Shichika's age (24) but looks much younger. Hiteihime even mocks Togame relentlessly for this [[spoiler:after her TraumaticHaircut]].
** Nanami is an even worse example - she's pushing 30 but looks even younger and smaller than Togame.
* OjouRinglets: Togame goes for broke by combining these with a HimeCut and RapunzelHair with some shots of GodivaHair, even. Now what do you think the odds are she's a main character? Also followed by her rival, Princess Hitei. Halfway through the series, [[spoiler:Togame gets a CloseCallHaircut]]. Hiteihime [[spoiler:cuts hers too]], although not until the very end.
* OnceAnEpisode: Each episode ends with the narration "the story of ''Katanagatari'', on this month and this evening, has come to an end".
* OneManArmy: Every member of Kyotouryuu. Shichika [[spoiler:takes down dozens or hundreds of the Shogun's warriors, then his bodyguards, each wielding one of the Deviant Blades, and Hiteihime's [[TheDragon Dragon]]]] with relative ease.
** [[spoiler:And then he ''[[MegatonPunch punches the Shogun's castle (keep) in half]]''. Mind you, with a '''single''' blow.]]
* PersonOfMassDestruction: [[spoiler:Nanami]] killed an entire city in half an hour.
** [[spoiler: Maniwa Houou]] when he's possessed by Shikizaki Kiki. Togame even points out the fact that Nanami isn't the only one capable of such a thing when she and Shichika come upon the aftermath.
** [[spoiler: Shichika himself.]] Or at least, if not an entire city, dozens (if not hundreds) of soldiers, plus eleven EliteMooks, plus a [[TheDragon Dragon]]. And at the very end, he ''[[spoiler:punches a castle in half]]''.
* PowerCopying: Nanami can learn other people's techniques after seeing them once and master them after seeing them twice. [[spoiler: She does this in order to become ''weaker''. Her instinctive skills are so perfect that anything she might learn can only be called a step down.]]
* PunnyName: The title is a pun on the ''katanagari'' ("sword hunt") issued by UsefulNotes/ToyotomiHideyoshi, which stripped peasants of their weapons to prevent an uprising. However, in this case, Shichika and Togame are literally hunting for a group of swords. There's also the fact that ''gatari'' can be read as "story" (making the title literally mean ''Sword Story''), similar to Isin's other series ''LightNovel/{{Bakemonogatari}}''.
* RapunzelHair: Almost every plot-significant character in the series has hair down to their ankles.
* {{Retirony}}: Used in episode 4, where one of the ninjas goes on for several minutes about his plans to go home and get married after this last mission. His companion even starts to interrupt and tell him that saying all that is a bad idea... then stops, since there's a strong sense that they both know he won't survive.
** Also, [[spoiler:in episode 11 Togame talks about going on a sight-seeing journey with Shichika after all the action is over, then is shot to death one minute before the credits roll]]. Subverted when [[spoiler:she admits in her FinalSpeech that it was all a lie; she was planning to ''kill'' Shichika to avenge her father]].
* RedEyesTakeWarning: Houou when he's [[spoiler:possessed by Dokutou Mekki]]. Also GlowingEyesOfDoom.
** Inverted with Togame - it's when one of her normally red eyes turns purple that you should look out.
* RevengeBeforeReason: [[spoiler:Togame was going to kill Shichika after their journey was over to avenge her father's death at the hands of Shichika's father. She admitted that she would have gone through with this even though she truly loved Shichika if she hadn't been mortally wounded. To her, everything -- people, swords, even her own heart -- were tools for her vengeance. When Shichika calls her an idiot for wasting her entire life on revenge like this, she readily agrees with him.]]
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: [[spoiler: Shichika against Emonzaemon and the Shogun in the last episode.]]
** Although, he says that he's ''not'' doing it for revenge. [[spoiler:He's rebelling against Togame's last order and harboring a [[DeathSeeker deathwish]].]]
* {{Ronin}}: Uneri Ginkaku, the owner of Zantou Namakura. Also technically Sabi Hakuhei, since he defected from the shogunate.
* RunTheGauntlet: Shichika goes through this fighting [[spoiler:eleven Shogunate warriors equipped with Shikizaki Kiki's swords]] in the last episode.
* SchizoTech: Other than the third and ninth blades, the 12 blades are quite weird and unnaturally powerful for pre-18th century mechanics and forging skills. In the second to last episode it is revealed that [[spoiler:Kiki utilized his soothsayer abilities to find new blade-making techniques, essentially making all the blades weapons from the far future]].
* ScrewDestiny: [[spoiler:Shikizaki Kiki forged the Deviant Blades]] for this purpose.
* SecondHandStorytelling: The fight with [[spoiler:Sabi Hakuhei, the ''strongest swordsman in Japan'']], is given massive buildup across multiple episodes, then played this way as a joke.
* SecretTestOfCharacter: Higaki Rinne's way of determining whether Shichika and Togame are worthy of taking his Deviant Blade.
* SelfMadeOrphan: Shichika admits in episode 3 that he killed his own father, the previous Kyotouryuu master. In episode 7, Nanami tells Togame that her father might have killed her mother to show Togame that it's not unusual for members of the Yasuri family to kill each other.
* ShaggyDogStory: [[spoiler:The entire series.]] Lampshaded by the narrator at the very end.
* ShoutOut: Episode 7 has a scene where [[spoiler:Nanami's]] attack on the monks in an overhead view very similiar to the game ''Pocky and Rocky'' (''Kiki Kaikai'') for the SNES and GBA. Earlier in the episode there's a conversation between three portraits of the characters as if it were a VisualNovel.
** The few seconds before the meeting with Emonzaemon in the same episode may possibly be a shoutout to ''VideoGame/MuramasaTheDemonBlade'', as the way the map is shown is similar to how the map is displayed when moving between areas in the game, and the exclamation mark and sound effect that accompanies it as they encounter Emonzaemon is the exact same thing that happens in the game right before an enemy encounter. Not to mention the side scrolling view it shifts to as they get off the boat.
** Episode 11 has [[spoiler: Shikizaki Kiki]] mention a sword stance that has a [[VisualNovel/FateStayNight simultaneous three pronged attack]].
* SkintoneSclerae: Several characters, noticeably Shichika, have this.
* StayInTheKitchen: Subverted with Nanami. Her father refused to teach her Kyotouryuu and decided to make Shichika the next head of the Yasuri clan -- not because she was a woman, and not because she was an IllGirl, but because she was ''too powerful for him to properly train''. Not that it mattered -- she mastered Kyotouryuu anyway by simply ''watching'' her father train her brother.
* StrangeMindsThinkAlike: Both Shichika and his sister decide to call the Maniwa corps "Maniwani" completely independently of each other.
* StrangeSyntaxSpeaker: "'Shirasagi talk-reverse' me call people." Much, much worse in the Japanese version, where the kana as a whole are reversed, as opposed to neat words in backwards order.
** He speaks normally [[spoiler: after Ginkaku cuts him in half]].
* StrongerSibling: Nanami to Shichika. The last time they had a match, Shichika was battered and bruised and Nanami wasn't even ''scratched''. It was only a "draw" because she gave up on account of her low endurance as an IllGirl. Shichika even thinks that Sabi Hakuhei, the "strongest swordsman in Japan" who wielded one of the 12 swords and could supposedly cut the moon in half, wasn't as strong as Nanami.
* SuperpowerLottery: The power level of the swords varies wildly, ranging from some that are unbreakable or can cut through anything, to one that's a ''gun'' on one end of the spectrum... all the way down to a sword whose "power" is that it's made of glass and breaks if swung anything less than perfectly, and a "sword" that's nothing but a useless hilt with no apparent powers.
* SuperStrength: The slender Shichika fends off a full blown charge from Kanara and Zokutou Yoroi, crashing through the ring's boundaries... and LIFTS both the armor and its occupant over his head for a good long while, finishing with a free trip into the air, crashing back down with great force. Togame puts this down to him having [[CharlesAtlasSuperpower trained virtually his entire life]] to hone his muscle strength.
** And yet Shichika doesn't hold a candle to the Itezora Clan. The little girl, Konayuki, last of her kind and the only one left that can wield the insanely heavy Soutou Kanazuchi, is the first person in the sword hunt to ever hurt Shichika, and she was the weakest of all the village ''children''. [[spoiler: Still their SuperStrength did nothing to save them from being wiped out by Nanami.]]
** And now [[spoiler:Nanami]] has learned the SuperStrength of a fully grown warrior of the Itezora Clan.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: Princess Hitei in episode 10. May be a mockery of this trope.
--> [[spoiler:''"The way you put it, it almost sounds like I'm the descendant of the legendary Shikizaki Kiki who ruled over the Sengoku Era, and that I've kept track of all of the Perfected Deviant Blades and stayed one step ahead of that unpleasant woman to collect them. That's totally not true of course, so there's no need to say it."'']]
* TakeOurWordForIt: The fight between Shichika and Sabi Hakuhei was apparently 11 different kinds of epic. Of course, this all happened off-screen...
* TalkingIsAFreeAction: A lot of the dialogue in this series is held in mid-air, or while descending at breakneck speed towards an opponent. Lampshaded somewhat by Shichika in episode one, who explains his inability to wield a sword to Koumori -- while the latter is in midair, descending, about to drive a sword through his head -- with a casual "by the way".
* TechnicolorEyes: Lots of characters demonstrate this, but Konayuki, Meisai, Zanki and Pengin are perhaps most prevalent.
* ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks: Subverted [[CrowningMomentOfFunny hilariously]] in the final episode. [[spoiler:Saraba, the wielder of Seitou Hakari decides to just chuck the weapon at Shichika, who proceeds to knock it back at her. At least she's the only one of the Boss Rush who doesn't die.]]
* ThemeNaming: Members of the Yasuri family have names which combine numbers (depending on their generation) and plant aspects. Shichika means "seventh flower", Nanami means "seventh fruit", Mutsue means "sixth branch", and Kazune means "first root".
** This carries over into the names of their techniques as well, simple strikes having names like "Dandelion", and the big [[FinishingMove Finishing Moves]] full on plant/flower [[http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yojijukugo yojijukugo]].
** Every Maniwa ninja is named after an animal (divided into bird, insect, fish, and beast squads), starting with Koumori meaning "bat" and Shirasagi meaning "white heron".
* TickleTorture: Togame's collarbones. Highly suggestive of arousal too, from her LuminescentBlush. Tickling also proves enough to make her reveal her schemes. In both cases it was just Shichika being silly though.
* TinyGuyHugeGirl: Oshidori and Chocho. He's the size of a child, and she's about six-foot-tall.
* TooDumbToFool: A villain in the first season uses a complicated technique to take Togame's form... only to get foiled by the fact that Shichika can't distinguish between people at all anyway.
* TomatoInTheMirror: In episode 10 [[spoiler:Kyotou Yasuri]] is revealed to be [[spoiler:the completed Thirteenth Deviant Blade]].
** Not that it seems to bother anyone much at the time. In Shichika's own words "I guess it doesn't really change anything. It's just like, 'Who cares', you know?"
* TragicKeepsake: In episode 12, Shichika keeps [[spoiler:a lock of Togame's beautiful hair]] which he loved so much. [[spoiler:Princess Hitei]] also starts wearing [[spoiler:Emonzaemon's mask when she leaves with Shichika]].
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: TOTALLY averted with the end of episode 3/beginning of episode 4. If you've read down this far, you'll have a good idea of what happens, but... yeah.
** This is, however, played straight in the preview of Episode 11, which clearly shows [[spoiler:Emonzaemon shooting Togame, thus spoiling the otherwise surprising ending of that episode]].
* TranquilFury: [[spoiler: Shichika after Togame's death.]]
* TraumaticHaircut: [[spoiler:Togame.]] AND HOW. It's a BerserkButton for Shichika.
* {{Tsundere}}: [[ParodiedTrope Parodied]] with Togame, who tries to act tsun-tsun towards Shichika every once in a while, but Shichika is simply too oblivious for it to work.
* TyingUpRomanticLooseEnds: [[spoiler: Shichika and Hiteihime]], possibly.
* UnspokenPlanGuarantee: Yeah, like the technique they carefully discuss and demonstrate in advance in episode 5 is really going to work...
* UnstoppableForceMeetsImmovableObject: Kanna, the first sword, is said to be unbreakable, but Namakura, the second, is said to be able to cut anything. Shichika points this out in the second episode, and asks what would happen if they were to meet in battle. Togame acknowledges the paradox, but offers that, since they ''are'' actual objects and not abstracts, one of the two must yield. She chooses Kanna, since logically Shikizaki's craft would improve with each sword, meaning Namakura is slightly closer to perfection. By that logic, the even later Yoroi, also touted as a perfect defense, would be impregnable to Namakura.
* VillainousValor: Almost the entirety of the fourth episode. Nanami is scary.
* VoodooShark: Togame reasons that the Perfected Deviant Blades can't really be magic or violate the laws of physics, so they must be [[spoiler:technology copied from the future using Shikizaki Kiki's magical abilities]]. Wha?
* WalkingTheEarth: [[spoiler: Shichika and Princess Hitei in the end]], to draw a map of the country.
* WasItAllALie: [[spoiler:Shichika]] asks [[spoiler:a dying Togame]] if their plans to travel together were just a lie, desperately trying to convince [[spoiler:her]] to hold on to life. [[spoiler:It was all a lie. She was planning to kill him to complete her lifelong mission of vengeance.]]
* WeHardlyKnewYe: A few of the Maniwani, namely Shirasagi, Kuizame and Kawauso, are killed off without being developed. Also goes for the shogun's Twelve Guardians, aside from Emonzaemon.
* WhamLine: [[spoiler:Hitei's "If you don't die, this won't end", revealing that her family's plan had been to destroy the Shogunate all along.]]
* WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway: Lampshaded with bladeless sword Seitou Hakari in [[spoiler:the final fight sequence; all the other fighters find at least some way to use their sword, but the little girl who gets Seitou Hakari can only say ''"this thing is kind of useless..."'' and is reduced to relying on Shichika for an idea on how to attack him with it]].
* WolverineClaws: Nanami learns how to grow long fingernails for this purpose after seeing a (male) ninja attempt the technique against her. Hers aren't ''quite'' as powerful since she only saw the technique once -- not that it matters.
* WouldHitAGirl: Shichika had no real qualms with killing Meisai in order to get one of the Deviant Blades. Togame later makes an observation about how he doesn't distinguish between men and women.
* WouldHurtAChild: [[spoiler:Emonzaemon has no problem [[AteHisGun feeding Maniwa Pengin a gun]].]]
* YouWillBeAssimilated: [[spoiler:Maniwa Houou]]'s ability. He could learn other people's abilities by grafting part of their bodies to his own. Did this to [[spoiler:Maniwa Kawauso]]'s arm and implied to be done to [[spoiler:Emonzaemon]]'s FACE. It is implied as well that he could potentially gain immortality by repeatedly replacing his body parts like this.
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