[[quoteright:200:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/loveless3_resized.jpg]]
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Other manga by Yun Kouga:
* {{Manga/Satou-kun To Tanaka-san}}]
[[hardline]]

A running manga series and 12 episode anime created by Yun Kouga, ''Loveless'' follows the story of a 12 year old Ritsuka as he searches for the truth behind his brother Seimei's murder -- and, unexpectedly, inherits his brother's [[BattleButler Fighter Unit]], 20 year old college student Soubi, who in their first meeting declares nonchalantly that he loves Ritsuka, kisses him, and draws him into a world of spell battles, Fighters and Sacrifices. Ritsuka learns that he is "Loveless" (see MeaningfulName), and has a destined Fighter somewhere in the world and an as-of-yet unrevealed birthmark on his body of his "name".

Oh, and all the virgins in their universe have [[UnusualEars cat ears]] and a tail until they [[VirginityFlag lose said virginity]].

Despite the considerable [[BoysLove BL]] themes in ''Loveless'', the focus is more on relationships themselves and the dynamics between the people, be they straight, gay, or entirely non-romantic. Among other things, the series deals with very real situations such as DomesticAbuse, childhood sexual abuse and trauma, and other "not for kids" issues. The series is also known for having MindScrew aspects of epic proportions.

Formerly licensed in English by Creator/{{Tokyopop}}, the series is now being continued by Creator/VIZMedia, who are also releasing two-in-one editions of the volumes that Tokyopop previously published with brand new bonus comics and interviews.

Is in no way related towards [[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsAdvance Lamia]] [[NamesTheSame Loveless]] (this is not an anime of her descendants), nor the {{Shounen}} anime ''{{NEEDLESS}}'', nor the play set in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasy VII''. [[IncrediblyLamePun And no, it's not devoid of LOVE]]. Also has nothing to do with the iconic ''Loveless'', of Music/MyBloodyValentine fame. It also has nothing to do with the ''Series/TheWildWildWest'' villain or a certain [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patty_Loveless country music singer]].

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'''Includes examples of:'''

* AbusiveParents: Ritsuka's mother.
* AccidentalMisnaming: Kio starts calling Ritsuka "Rit-chan" when he finally starts to like him.
* ActionGirl: Kouya and Ai.
* AdultsAreUseless: A running theme in the manga, and the consequences reverberate throughout.
* AloofBigBrother: Seimei, [[spoiler:in several rather twisted and unexpected forms.]]
* AmbiguousGender: Yurio.
* AmbiguouslyEvil: Even though the Fearless pair aren't bad people, they're connected to [[spoiler:Nisei]], and fought Ritsuka and Soubi under his orders. [[spoiler:[[BigBadDuumvirate Nisei being Seimei's Fighter]]]], it's unknown where they really stand even though they associate with him. It doesn't help that [[spoiler:Nisei]] calls Mimuro "senpai".
* AndThatsTerrible: If it wasn't made clear enough that [[spoiler:Seimei, even outright called a villain by Youji, was evil]], we can't really help you. [[ForgotAboutHisPowers Not that Ritsuka was having any of this.]] [[spoiler:Even Nakahira notices that he's not really a good person.]]
* ArtificialHuman: The Zeroes, a series of artificially created humans [[spoiler:without pain receptors.]]
* AwfulTruth: [[spoiler:Soubi never tells Ritsuka a thing about Seimei. [[OhCrap Now he knows why.]]]]
* AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther: Ritsuka and Soubi probably have one of the most complicated relationships in the series. [[KissKissSlap Argue, argue, kiss, argue, hug, argue, argue, kiss...]]
* BadassAdorable: Natsuo and Youji.
* TheBadGuyWins: [[spoiler:Seimei]], in volume eight. Even worse, though [[spoiler:Nisei was taken captive, he ended up getting him back through an exchange by using Kio as his own captive]]. In other words, no matter how it's looked at, ''he won''.
* BecauseDestinySaysSo: The entire Name system, though it's frequently argued against and subverted in some cases.
* BespectacledBastardBoyfriend: Possibly Ritsu, but if he is, he has much more depth than the typical example.
* BigScrewedUpFamily: [[spoiler: The Kaidou family.]] Also, the Aoyagi family.
* BlessedWithSuck: While the Zeroes [[spoiler:can't feel pain]], they can die just as easily as (if not more easily than) regular humans
* BlindWithoutEm: Kio, going by Yurio's comments on the strength of his glasses.
* BloodKnight: Natsuo and Youji start out this way, but they mellow out once they [[spoiler:start living with Soubi]]. Not that the signs of it are ''completely'' gone.
* BodyguardCrush: Implied in some cases between the Fighters and their Sacrifices, often one-sided.
* BondageIsBad: What the kind of fighting found in Loveless is made of.
* BoysLove: Loaded with elements of it.
* BreakTheCutie:
** Finally happens to Youji when he and Natsuo [[spoiler:confront Seimei]]. He breaks down and starts to cry, but Natsuo helps him out of it.
** Also happens to Ritsuka in his battle with Bloodless, and Soubi almost ''directly'' after Youji's incident.
* BrokenBird: Soubi, a rare male version.
* BrokenPedestal: [[spoiler:Seimei, to Ritsuka.]]
* [[BrotherSisterIncest Brother Brother Incest]]: [[spoiler: Seimei is one of the creepiest examples in recent memory]]
* CallingYourAttacks: Justified in the sense that the words ''are'' the spells themselves.
* CassandraTruth: Inverted. The adults WILL believe you. [[CrapsackWorld They just don't care]].
* CatGirl and {{CatBoy}}s, earning the series a plethora of {{FanGirl}}s (often of the [[YaoiFangirl Yaoi]] variety).
* ChainsOfLove: Used both in splash pages and literally, in the literal case as part of a spell used by the enemy to restrain Ritsuka in a battle.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: Admitted by Kouga herself, as she states after about a year of the series, she had gotten used to Ritsuka and the others. It definitely shows in the most amazing ways.
* ChekhovsGun:
** Soubi introduced himself to Ritsuka as Seimei's friend. [[spoiler:However, it turns out that he despises Seimei more than anyone; even his former teacher, Ritsu.]] Also, Soubi was introduced as "he has no ears, so he's an adult". [[spoiler:[[{{Backstory}} Though, if he hadn't lost his ears to Ritsu]], he'd probably still have them.]]
** Soubi admits to himself in his fight with Natsuo and Youji that the things taught to him by Ritsu saved him.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Misaki is a very twisted version.
* CrapsackWorld: Not only is the school for Sentouki attacked, ''but the ones dealing with the mess are the kids''. The only adults that ''actually'' make any effort to physically help are blinded or end up as a depressed mute. In total, one person was blinded (in a very disturbing manner), one person went missing, one was knocked out and left outside before later being kidnapped, two kids were left unconscious on the floor, four unknown entities were injured, one had a mental breakdown and started crying out of fear, one was an emotional wreck, and one didn't know ''what'' to think. Then there's the fact that a portion of the Old School was damaged. This was all done ''by [[TheDreaded one]] guy'' and his partner, who ended up being held captive. TheDreaded then took it upon himself to send the previous emotional wreck a text message stating he would trade the kidnapped for the captive. [[TookALevelInJerkass Bitch.]]
** It's hard not to see the setting as this with all of the supremely screwed up stuff that happens in it.
* CreepyTwins: Youji and Natsuo, who, despite not being actual twins, certainly fit aspects of this trope and usually act like one mind.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: [[spoiler:Soubi]], more so than anyone thus far. Can also be combined with DysfunctionJunction.
* DarkestHour: The events of volumes seven and eight, as well as the first few in nine.
* DarkSecret: [[spoiler:Soubi. As soon as Ritsuka finds out, he becomes thoroughly depressed.]]
* DefeatMeansFriendship: Not always the case, but it certainly became something of a history lesson for Natsuo and Youji. Hell, they went from being Ritsuka and Soubi's enemies to [[spoiler:''living'' with Soubi]].
* DefectorFromDecadence: Inverted strongly with [[spoiler:Seimei, who left Septimal Moon. Thus far, he is considered the [[BigBad villain]] of the series.]]
* DestructiveRomance: Highlights the overall relationship between [[spoiler:Seimei and Ritsuka]], though it's of debate as to whether or not it's exactly ''romantic'' (though in a negative light).
* DissonantSerenity: Several characters demonstrate this trope, but [[spoiler:Seimei]] is definitely the best example.
* DomesticAbuse: Ritsuka at the hands of his {{Cloudcuckoolander}} mother, the mentally unstable Misaki. Hence the nearly ever present band-aid on his cheek and frequent absence from school.
* TheDreaded: Does anyone really have to ask? [[spoiler:Notseimeigoingtoseimeimentionanyseimeinames, Seimei.]]
* DysfunctionJunction anyone?
* EasilyForgiven: It may be a CrapsackWorld and all, but even after everything [[spoiler:Seimei did, the fact that Ritsuka still forgave him ''after stating some chapters before he would never forgive him for what he did to Soubi'']], is quite baffling.
* EnigmaticMinion: Nisei.
* EmpathicWeapon: The Fighters are essentially supposed to be these.
* EroticEating: A RareMaleExample, with Kio's lollipops.
* EvenTheGuysWantHim: Due to the sheer concentration of {{Bishonen}} in this manga, it's statistically impossible that you won't have a StupidSexyFlanders moment about at least ''one'' of the characters.
* EveryoneCanSeeIt
* ExtremeDoormat: Soubi.
* EyeScream: Alluded to, when [[spoiler: Seimei plucks out not one, but ''both'' of Ritsu's eyes]].
** It's made worse when we learn that he did it to [[spoiler: write 'RITSUKA I'M BACK' on the wall. With BLOOD]]. [[CouldntFindAPen Apparently leaving him a note in ink would have just been rude.]]
** Also, it was explained that Natsuo pulled out his own eye carelessly. Still didn't feel pain from it, though.
* FeelNoPain: The Zeroes. However, it backfires.
* FlawExploitation: [[spoiler:Seimei uses the fact that Soubi was once his Fighter by telling him that even now, he is still his Fighter. This helps him escape by telling Soubi to break the window, thus using both Soubi's abilities as a Fighter and the emotional weakness he has to their once shared [[MeaningfulName name]].]]
* ForTheEvulz: Seems to be Nisei's motivation at times. Ties into him being a ManipulativeBastard.
* FreudianExcuse: Ritsuka's abusive mother, Misaki, was abused as a child as well. Subverted, as it's not supposed to make you feel bad for her and was only mentioned once in the entire series.
* FriendlyEnemy: Yamato and Mimuro. Midori and Ai also became very friendly with Ritsuka, eventually even Soubi, after they are taken off the mission to bring Ritsuka to Nanatsu no Tsuki.
* FurryConfusion: Besides people having cat ears and tails, regular cats are shown to exist.
* GambitPileup
* GeckoEnding: The anime, and a very {{mindscrew}}y one at that.
* GoodAllAlong: [[spoiler:The Seven Moons don't really seem to be evil, like they were initially portrayed to be.]]
* HarmfulToMinors: Just about everyone has had some exposure to this. Those that haven't, will.
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler:Natsuo and Youji.]]
* HeroicBSOD: Soubi, Nagisa, and Youji all go through this within the span of a few chapters.
* HeroKiller: Take a guess who. A simple, quick guess.
* HugeSchoolgirl: Yuiko, who despite being in sixth grade, is 5' 6" tall and has very large breasts (that actually earn her much ridicule).
* IdTellYouButThenIdHaveToKillYou: This is what [[spoiler: Seimei]] says to Youji and Natsuo when they ask [[spoiler: why he abandoned Soubi]]. Played straight and to horrifying effect when they start discussing books. Seriously. This is a rather twisted example, as it's less because of [[spoiler:he doesn't want to say as it is the fact that he hates to be questioned.]]
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: Every episode of the anime is titled as "X-less"; Bondless, Tearless, etc. The creepiest is probably "Skinless".
* IKnowYourTrueName
* IllGirl: Yayoi is a RareMaleExample.
* InTheNameOfTheMoon: Each of the "pairs" has an {{Invocation}} they say before battle begins.
* IntimateHealing: Justified in that when Soubi kisses Ritsuka it strengthens the "bond" between them and makes the attacks stronger (and makes the {{Fangirl}}s {{Squee}}).
* IronicEcho: When Soubi repeats [[ChekhovsGun the very words Ritsu once told him]] as a self-hypnosis to win in his fight against Natsuo and Youji.
* ItsAllMyFault: Nana believes this after [[spoiler:Ritsu is blinded by Seimei]] and Nagisa is seeing her [[HeroicBSOD blue screen of death]]. Soubi also believes [[spoiler:it's his fault that Seimei was able to escape]]. [[TrueCompanions The Zero boys disagree.]]
* {{Jerkass}}: At times, Ritsu can count for one. Not that Nagisa's off the hook.
* KickTheDog: When they first come into the story, Natsuo and Youji kill an innocent dog because they found it annoying. Although their HeelFaceTurn does not excuse this behavior, they ''have'' become noticeably less violent since then; though there are still traces of their violence left. Then, there's also [[spoiler:Seimei and Nisei]], with their own evil stunts.
* KnightTemplarBigBrother: Subverted with Seimei. [[spoiler:To him, it doesn't really matter HOW you treat his younger brother Ritsuka. Seimei believes that Ritsuka belongs to him and will [[{{Yandere}} get rid of anyone getting in his way]].]] Especially ironic because [[spoiler: Seimei plays an actual Paladin character on the MMORPG "Wisdom Resurrection"]].
* LighterAndSofter: The anime. Yuiko and Yayoi are seen MUCH more often to provide both comedy relief and a break from all the MindScrew, which was also less abundant.
** Episode 11 of the anime. ...Then comes [[MindScrew episode 12]]. Probably the worst case of MindScrew in the entire anime.
* LoveMartyr: Ritsuka is a male version of this towards [[spoiler: Seimei, though it's not of the BrotherSisterIncest variety. Although he is constantly being told of Seimei's sins, he is steadfast in his decision to be angry at him, but always forgive him. ALWAYS]]. Starts to border on TooDumbToLive.
* LovingAShadow: Kind of. [[spoiler: Ritsuka learns that Seimei is not at all the person that Ritsuka thought he was. While Seimei was caring (albeit a little distant) towards Ritsuka, he was, in reality, a cold, obsessive, and very violent man who was not above manipulating or murdering people who got in his way. When Ritsuka learns that even HE was manipulated by Seimei because of his twisted concept of [[BrotherSisterIncest 'love']], Ritsuka is angry, but he forgives him. [[LoveMartyr He still loves Seimei like he did when he was a child]].]] Possibly a case of [[spoiler: StockholmSyndrome]], or there's some type of laser-guided mind-ray telling him to ignore the obvious.
* MagicalIncantation: [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that the words are the spells used in battles.
* MagicByAnyOtherName: The spells used in battles. They can be creative, they can be simple, they can be dull... and they can do and/or create ''anything''. You name it, the spells do it.
* ManipulativeBastard: Ritsu, Nisei, and also [[spoiler:Seimei, who despite all logic is still alive, even though they actually ''did'' [[NeverFoundTheBody find the body]] and even matched dental records. Who replaced him in that capacity is the subject of much fan debate and EpilepticTrees.]]
* MayDecemberRomance: Does this even need to be explained?
* MeaningfulName: Everyone has one. Though, many characters wouldn't say the same for the [[spoiler:Beloved]] pair.
* {{Meganekko}}: Lots of characters wear glasses, male and female alike, but Shinonome-sensei is the best fit for the trope.
* {{Mind Screw}}: Take a look at any of the spell battles, or anything involving Nanatsu no Tsuki.
* MoodWhiplash: What would one expect from a series with the genre of Psychological? Your comedy relief isn't going to last forever!
* MoralEventHorizon: {{In-universe}}, it seems that [[spoiler:Seimei]] did something ''really bad'' to the point that the Seven Moons decided to kill him.
* MoralMyopia: [[spoiler:Seimei]]. ''In spades''. It's outright stated that he only cares about [[spoiler:Ritsuka]] and everyone else might as well be animals to him.
* MyHeroZero: For obvious reasons.
* TheNicknamer: Kio has "Rit-Chan" for Ritsuka and "Sou-chan" for Soubi. Both he and Soubi refer to the Zero boys as "Chibis".
* NeverFoundTheBody: Averted rather disturbingly.
* NothingCanStopUsNow: Nisei would like to think so...
* NothingIsTheSameAnymore: For the better of the story, ever since [[spoiler:Seimei and Nisei]] came into it. Bloodless also introduced [[MindRape a new type of battling.]]
* NotSoDifferent: Subverted and in other instances played straight. Though both Soubi and Nisei are [[spoiler:The Fighters for Seimei]], they're well aware that the two of them are polar opposites, and even their spells become a play on light and darkness. Used, though, when Ritsuka points out to Ritsu that the way Ritsu talks reminds him of Soubi. Yamato also makes this connection with Soubi on how she was always being told about Kouya and was waiting to meet her. Ai eventually sympathizes with Soubi when they are alone together before they meet with Ritsu.
* OjouRinglets: Yurio. [[ViewerGenderConfusion Dammit!]]
* OtakuSurrogate: Seven (who's a {{hikikomori}}, or shut-in minus her internet connection), and Nagisa (a wannabe ElegantGothicLolita) to an extent.
** Subverted with Seimei, who doesn't act like a typical otaku but reached level 99 through grinding in the MMORPG "Wisdom Resurrection".
** Either subverted or played straight with the Zero boys, who said in an extras booklet that the thing they want most is a rare item in Monster Hunter.
* OurLoveIsDifferent: Ritsuka has been ''quite'' convinced that everything bad anyone could ever have to say about Seimei is completely, utterly wrong. [[spoiler:Even now, he's still trying to come to terms with things and has yet to make a decision.]]
* ParentalIncest: Though they aren't related by blood, [[spoiler:Ritsu and Soubi]] still qualify.
* PluckyGirl: Yuiko, despite being a side character.
* PowerGlows
* ThePowerOfLove: Most pairs exhibit this.
* PsychologistTeacher: Or rather, ''would be'' PsychologistTeacher, as Ritsuka's good-hearted yet unfortunate teacher Hitomi never really manages to solve anything and has almost debilitating shyness when it comes to confronting problems.
* PsychopathicManchild: Nisei. He takes delight in both stalking and torturing [[spoiler: Soubi and Ritsuka]], but refers to Soubi as 'mad' and 'creepy', and refers to himself as a pacifist. He's [[WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove a stranger to the concept of love]], but he also has no intention of ever finding out, even going so far as to call it sickening.
* RapeAsBackstory: Both [[spoiler: Mikado]] and [[spoiler: Soubi]].
* RealityEnsues: How Soubi eventually beats the male Zero pair. No sense of pain = no ability to counteract hypothermia.
* ReplacementGoldfish: [[spoiler:Youji]], for Nagisa, since apparently [[spoiler:Youji was created from some of Nagisa's deceased sister's genes.]]
** Also the main use of Blank Fighters. Oh, yours died? Well, here's a new one. [[spoiler:Even if the original fighter was "destroyed" ''in order'' to replace them with a blank, as was the case with Bloodless.]]
* RightMakesMight: ''[[AvertedTrope Averted]]''. You can always count on [[spoiler:Seimei]] to screw up your hero logic and twist it around enough to make ''someone else'' think ''they'' were wrong; even if they were right in the first place. Or he can tell someone they meant something they clearly didn't, hell, even convince someone that they belong to him. [[IdiotBall They'll believe it]]. If he can [[AndThatsTerrible use your words and emotions against you]], ''[[{{anvilicious}} he will.]]''
* SavvyGuyEnergeticGirl: Although not romantic, both Ritsuka/Yuiko and Yayoi/Yuiko both apply
* ScheduleSlip: Volume 9 came out in Nov 2009 and volume 10 came out in May 2011. ([[NoExportForYou English releases from Tokyopop stopped at 8]], long before Tokyopop's manga publishing actually folded.)
* SchoolgirlLesbians: Kouya and Yamato, adversaries in the third and fourth volumes of the manga. Note that this was actually made ''more'' explicit in the anime, which in their first scene showed them kiss on the train when the manga just had them hold hands, as if it was just to make ''sure'' we weren't mistaken as to what was going on. They are also shown with and without ears, both in the anime and manga.
* SlasherSmile: [[spoiler: Nisei and Seimei.]]
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: And here we have... [[CrapsackWorld cynicism.]]
* SplitPersonality: Ritsuka is heavily implied to have two personalities, [[spoiler: one he was until three years before the series begins, and the personality he has now.]]
* SexAsRiteOfPassage: Subverted, turned inside out, and arguably played straight. Particularly twisted when it comes to Soubi [[spoiler:who lost his cat ears as a result of sexual abuse at the hands of his teacher Ritsu]].
* SocialServicesDoesNotExist: Why nobody does anything about Ritsuka's abuse at the hands of his mother -- which seems odd, considering that Ritsuka has a therapist and his teacher is constantly worrying about his home life, though ValuesDissonance may also be involved here.
* {{Synchronization}}: A key aspect between the Fighters and their Sacrifices. If it's off, they'll lose.
* ThemeNaming: Most fighter/sacrifice pairs - and all episodes of the anime - end with "-less". Subverted with "Beloved" and the Zero pairs.
* ThereAreNoTherapists: Subverted in that Ritsuka ''does'' see a psychologist weekly, yet Misaki's abuse continues (and it's implied the older female psychologist has a crush on him -- she takes him out on a "date" in an early volume). Justified, as it's his mother that sends him to therapy [[spoiler: to try to get the "other" Ritsuka back.]]
* ThirdPersonPerson: Yuiko at first, though with Ritsuka's help she gets over it. There's also Yurio, who calls himself "Yuri-sama" (or "The Great Yuri" in Viz's release) instead of [[AmbiguousGender using any gendered pronouns]].
* TookALevelInBadass: Nana, when she gets over believing [[spoiler:thinking what happened to Ritsu was her fault]]. Of course, she was able to [[TrueCompanions with the help of the Zero boys]]. Natsuo also ranked up in this category when he [[spoiler:confronted Seimei and was ready to fight back, being one of the only two people who stood up to him]].
* {{Tsundere}}:
** Ritsuka is a little bit Tsundere toward Soubi, which is uncommon to his gender. Also, Kouya is arguably mildly tsundere. Nagisa is ''definitely'' tsundere for Ritsu-sensei.
** Mei (who seems to be even younger than Ritsuka) is extremely Tsundere towards Mimuro.
* UnknownRival: Yayoi against Ritsuka for Yuiko's affections.
* WhatWereYouThinking: Ritsuka gives Soubi this treatment after he finds him injured from battles he fought alone.
* WiseBeyondTheirYears: Despite being only 12 years old, Ritsuka is noted for acting much older than he is.
* {{Yandere}}: [[spoiler: Seimei is a rare (rather extreme) male example towards his [[BrotherSisterIncest younger brother Ritsuka]].]]
--> [[spoiler:'''Seimei:''' You see, I just want to be loved by Ritsuka. But I'm so insecure. That's why I have to test his love. Is this normal?]]
--> [[spoiler:'''Nisei:''' It's normal for you.]]
* YouAreNotAlone: The majority of Fighter and Sacrifice pairs exhibit this, but Natsuo takes the award when Youji emotionally needs him most.
* ZettaiRyouiki: There are a few other examples, but in particular, see the cover of the ninth volume of the manga.
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