[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/saikano.jpg ]]

'''''Saikano''''', a.k.a. '''''Saishuu Heiki Kanojo'''''; '''''She, the Ultimate Weapon'''''; '''''My Girlfriend, the Ultimate Weapon'''''. In the French translation, '''''Larme Ultime''''', a pun on "the ultimate weapon" (''l'arme ultime'') and "[[TearJerker ultimate tear]]".

The tentative budding relationship between petite Chise and bitter, emotionally distant Shuuji becomes a little more complicated when Shuuji discovers that Chise has been converted into [[PersonOfMassDestruction a living weapon of mass destruction]] by the JSDF.

Originally a manga series by Shin Takahashi, it was adapted into a 13-episode anime in 2002. An OVA side-story was released in 2005, ''Saikano: Another Love Song'', as well as a [[LiveActionAdaptation live-action movie]] in 2006. All of these, apart from the live-action film, are licensed by Creator/VizMedia.

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!!This series provides examples of:

* ActionGirl: Chise
* AdaptationDistillation: The anime removes some of the extreme MoodWhiplash present in the manga.
* AdaptationExpansion: The anime adds some characters and scenes to fill in the parts with long monologues.
* AndIMustScream:
** [[spoiler:Shuji's fate in the anime is to walk an empty earth, with nothing at his side but an AxCrazy [[EnergyBeings energy being]] who "loves" him too much to end his suffering. It's strongly implied that said energy being [[ImmortalityInducer gave him immortality]], which makes the situation much worse.]]
** [[spoiler:Subverted in the manga. Shuji and Chise somehow leave the Earth ''in'' Chise, who has become some kind of spaceship....but Chise forgot humans need to eat.]]
*** Although, [[spoiler:Food withstanding, Manga Shuji seems very acceptable to the idea of living/loving together in Spaceship Chise until the end. Wouldn't call it much of an AndIMustScream situation.]]
* AnyoneCanDie: No character is safe; by the end of the story, the only two named characters that are still alive are [[spoiler:Chise and Shuji]].
* ApocalypseHow: Class 0 or 1 (at the beginning of the series), [[spoiler: and a ApocalypseHow/{{Class 5}} at the end]].
* ApocalypseMaiden: Chise gradually grows in power to the point that she can easily annihilate anyone and anything she chooses. [[spoiler:By the end of the series, she does exactly that to humanity.]]
* ApologizesALot: Chise, at the start of the series; this fades away, along with her humanity.
* ArtisticAge
* ArtMajorBiology[=/=]ArtMajorPhysics: Let's cover both at once: There is no way that anything that happens with Chise's transformations into the Ultimate Weapon or what she does with her power is remotely possible in RealLife.
* ArtShift: The art frequently shifts to SuperDeformed when Chise and Shuji are talking with their friends, especially when Chise gets embarrassed or Shuji gets mad.
* AxCrazy: "YOU IDIOTS, shoot if you dare. Sorry, you're all going to die."
* BarbieDollAnatomy: In the manga, while nipples are shown for both genders, genitals are either not drawn at all or only partially rendered, despite a number of full-frontal scenes with Chise and the various sex scenes (especially in the second and final volumes).
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Arguable in the Manga ending. Shuji and Chise (albeit, as an intangible spaceship/hologram Chise) end up together after all, with nothing to tear them apart. They seem fully content with this situation. Shuji's final words in the Manga: "It was our love song. We're going to fall in love. We're going to live.", plus, from author's end notes: "Chise and Shuji are not happy, but they are not unhappy, either. There is no hope, but there are memories and there may be a future."]]
* BlackComedy: Along with GallowsHumor below, there's a sequence in the manga where [[spoiler:after Chise and Shuji run away and start hitchhiking, they eventually get picked up by a military truck. Chise says off-handedly that everyone that knows what she actually is is already dead. The punch line to this is that the soldiers on the truck DO recognize Chise and know what she is and have a collective OhCrap in their thought bubbles.]]
* BlessedWithSuck
* BodyHorror: Chise's uncanny body, and taken UpToEleven
* BrokenBird: Fuyumi.
* CerebusSyndrome: The show is mildly optimistic for all of one episode or so. It goes downhill very, very fast after that.
* CharacterDevelopment: Arguably the main draw of the show.
* ChewingTheScenery
* ChildSoldiers:
** Chise
** The teen boys in the Japanese army.
* ClothingDamage: At the very least, Chise's transformations tear out the backs of her blouses, and sometimes completely shred them. As the story progresses and the transformations get more bizarre, this happens to the rest of her clothes.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Chise. Also partly a case of ObfuscatingStupidity when she acts like an ordinary schoolgirl.
* CompletelyDifferentTitle: The French title was changed to ''Larme ultime'' (Ultimate Tear) as a pun on the literal translation of the Japanese title - ''L'arme ultime'' (The Ultimate Weapon). The {{anime}}, on the other hand, kept the ''l'arme'' title.
* CreepyChild: Chise's SuperpoweredEvilSide plays with this trope.
* CrucifiedHeroShot
* CruelTwistEnding: Viewers often comment that if you want a happy ending to the series you should stop after [[spoiler:Shuji and Chise skip town and go on the run from the military]], because the final three episodes go quickly, horribly, and tragically downhill after that.
* {{Determinator}}: One of the main themes is people's amazing will to survive even though they know they're doomed.
* DeusAngstMachina: It can always get ''much worse''.
* {{Dojikko}}
* DownerEnding
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler:The nervous, sweaty middle-age man who oversees Chise's transformation]].
* {{Dubtitle}}: ''Saikano'', at least in the OVA, was partially dubtitled. Sometimes the subtitles differed considerably from the dub, but at other times they matched the dub perfectly. Especially noticeable in some sections where the dub dialogue was a radical departure from the original Japanese.
* DyingDeclarationOfLove: [[spoiler:Akemi]] gives one to Shuuji.
* DysfunctionJunction
* EmotionlessGirl: Subverted. [[spoiler:Near the end, Chise ''does'' have emotions, but she doesn't quite understand them.]]
* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: Set JustBeforeTheEnd.
* EverybodysDeadDave: At the end, [[spoiler:Shuuji is the only human left on the desolated Earth]].
** An early fan sub of the series put a disclaimer on the third to last episode: "[[SnicketWarningLabel A friendly warning from the team: This is the end of happiness in Saikano. If you would prefer the anime to have a happy end, consider stopping here and pretending there are no more episodes. Continuing will only bring misery and pain. You have been warned...]]" Never has a better synopsis of a final episode been written.
* FaceFault
* FanDisservice: Usually involves Chise's scars and lack of control over her transformation.
* {{Fanservice}}
* FatalFamilyPhoto: All of the characters that carry the photos of their loved ones to war die horribly. [[spoiler: Their loved ones die too.]]
* FemmeFatale: Fuyumi.
* GallowsHumour: Where do we ''start''? Pretty much the whole series is this, particularly when the focus shifts to the military men.
* GiantWallOfWateryDoom: [[spoiler:The tsunami at the end.]]
* GratuitousFrench:
** Random lines of it appear in the opening sequence. It's all correct, apart from suspect pronoun usage.
** Some of the soldiers Chise kills in the manga are Francophones and speak pretty good French in the text.
* HammerSpace: Chise has to have something like this. That or she fabricates the things on the spot.
* HalfHumanHybrid: If "half human, half killing machine" fits into this trope.
* HannibalLecture: Chise occasionally gives this to soldiers. Sometimes from her own side.
* HellSeeker: Tetsu wants to go to hell because he thinks that's where he'd go after death and that death is the only way out of his misery.
* HeroicRROD
* HopelessWar: The entire point of ''Saikano'' is that one of these is causing [[spoiler:the death of the planet. Chise pulls a planet-wide MercyKill to keep everyone from suffering any more; the series is exactly two characters away from a full-on ShootTheShaggyDog.]]
* HotForStudent: [[spoiler:Fuyumi]], in flashbacks.
* HowWeGotHere: The first episode of the anime opens with a haggard young man wearing broken glasses staggering through a deserted town, a service so that you don't mistakenly waste any hope on him later.
* HugeGuyTinyGirl: Shuuji is fairly tall, while Chise is very petite.
* HumansAreBastards: Not played entirely straight, but the show makes it clear that everyone is guilty to some extent. At the same time, some passages sing the beauty of human life and the merit of committing to memory the fact that humans existed.
* IJustWantToBeNormal
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Shuuji. He gets better.
* JustBeforeTheEnd: ''Saikano'' begins with everything apparently peaceful, although the weather has gotten bizarre. [[spoiler:As Chise reveals at the end, the world was actually dying from the start. She performs a MercyKill on all living things to spare them the pain of dying slowly with the planet.]] The manga is more hopeful, in that [[spoiler:the by-then transhuman Chise survives, as does her still-human boyfriend. They set off to explore the universe, hopefully to find someone they can talk to.]]
* KillAllHumans: Chise eventually comes to the conclusion that this is the only way to end all war. [[spoiler:She succeeds.]]
* KillEmAll: This series gives ''Anime/SpaceRunawayIdeon'' a run for its money in a quarter of the episodes.
* LightIsNotGood: When Chise uses her abilities, she starts to glow a bright white, looking almost angelic. Unfortunately, this is usually followed by lots and lots of people dying.
* LastOfHisKind: By the end of the series, [[spoiler:Shuji is the last human alive, since Chise doesn't count as human anymore.]]
* LiveActionAdaptation
* LivingEmotionalCrutch: In the beginning, Chise is acting as Shuuji's crutch. [[spoiler:By the end, Shuuji is the crutch to an emotionally destroyed Chise.]]
* LotusEaterMachine: At the end of the anime version, [[spoiler:Chise's spirit creates one for Shuuji to help him cope with the fact that everyone else in the world has died]].
* LoveDodecahedron
* LuminescentBlush: This is the default expression of ''everyone'', to the point where the blush sometimes appears to be ''coming off character' faces'' and can occasionally get quite distracting.
** The overuse of luminescent blushing leads to the strange effect that it doesn't even indicate if a character is ''really'' blushing or not. Only when the face of someone turns glaring red, you can tell that he is in an emotional state that would cause a blush (if it wasn't already there).
* MadeOfIron
* MagicalGirlfriend: Deconstructed in a [[ShootTheShaggyDog horrifically mean-spirited]] way.
* ManlyTears: Especially Shuuji.
* MauveShirt: The story will often build up characters just to kill them off horribly in the war segments.
* MeaningfulName:
** In the manga, one character mentions that "Chise" means "the hearth" or "home" in the Ainu language.
** Tetsu ("iron") might be another case.
* MercyKill:
** Tetsu to another soldier.
** [[spoiler:Chise to the entire human race.]]
*** [[spoiler:Subverted in the anime. Chise wants to do this to spare everyone the suffering of the world ending but Shuuji tell her not to, that everyone has the right to live even in the face of doom.]]
* MixAndMatch: School life (a bit on the {{Moe}} side) + war/[[HumongousMecha mecha]] + MagicalGirlfriend + '''pure horror''' with a side of TearJerker
* MoodWhiplash: Probably one of the most egregious and extreme cases in manga. Ordinarily happens several time on the same ''page''.
* NonIndicativeFirstEpisode: If you only read the first volume, you will think the manga is over. When you begin the second volume you will think it's an Anthology of happy little feel good Shojo oneshots [[spoiler:instead of the most horrible and depressing [[WarIsHell War Drama]] ever.]] In the end [[spoiler: the Heroine has to watch her boyfriend starve to death.]] And it's all her fault. You want to read the first chapter again and pretend the whole rest of the series was just a bad dream.
* NuclearWeaponsTaboo: Chise practically is one, given her unstoppability and growing reputation for total destruction.
* OneWingedAngel; Chise, and simultaneously literal and metaphorical.
* OnlyOneName: According to WordOfGod, this was in order to create an atmosphere of familiarity with the characters.
* OracularUrchin: [[spoiler:Chise increasingly knows what will happen as a result of the war.]]
* OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent: Shuji. He doesn't have any powers, but his relationship with Chise is the one grounding element that she has that keeps her relatively sane as the story progresses.
* OutOfClothesExperience: Happens to Chise at the very end of the manga.
* PainfulTransformation: While it's inconsistently portrayed (at least in the manga), the more extreme renditions of Chise's transformations into the Ultimate Weapon are agonizingly painful for her.
* PantyShot
* PersonOfMassDestruction: As the Ultimate Weapon, Chise can unleash horrific destruction when she's of a mind to do so.
* PetTheDog: Chise and Shuuji love kitties. [[spoiler: They die horribly]].
* PlotHole: Could be said to be voluntary. The fact that we never learn who's at war with whom and the identity of the BigBad strengthens the status of ''Saikano'' as an allegory about war at large. Similarly, knowing how come Chise is chosen to become the ultimate weapon and how on earth that actually works isn't quite the point. See TheUnreveal.
* PoorCommunicationKills: Double subversion. [[spoiler:We learn fairly early on that some soldiers speak English. Then Tetsu meets up with soldiers and tries to talk them down in English. They don't understand English.]]
* PunBasedTitle: The French title.
* RagingStiffie: Manga-only; Shuji.
* RapeAsDrama: In a volume of [[{{Omake}} canon stories happening in the universe of Saikano]], one story focuses on the relationship between a teen soldier and a girl who got raped by soldiers from the other side. Particularly jarring since [[spoiler:he waited for them to be finished before he killed them because he knew they'd feel 'spent' after sex. And since they supposedly fall in love he convinces the girl to have sex with him while she doesn't want to]].
* RuleOfCool: Let's face it, a moe with tech wings is ''cool''.
* SchrodingersCat: In the manga, one of Shuji's friends goes deaf during the first bombing. In the anime, said friend bites it (though from how little he gets featured in the manga, he might as well have died).
* ScrewTheWarWerePartying: Played for maximum sadness when the students ''beg'' the military to allow them to celebrate the school festival.
* {{Seinen}}: In the small Afterword in the manga, WordOfGod stated this was for young adult boys to adult men. This is also how he got away with [[spoiler:including a rather graphic sex sequence]].
* SekaikeiGenre: ''Saikano'' deconstructs the living hell out of this setup. Chise is an ultimate weapon in a war and how she decides to fight (if at all) depends on her boyfriend, Shuuji.
* ShadowArchetype
* ShootTheShaggyDog
* {{Shotacon}}: [[spoiler:Fuyumi's tryst with Shuji when he was 13.]]
* ShowerOfAngst
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Oooh boy.
* SmallGirlBigGun: The weapons Chise manifests in her transformations are often as big as she is, if not bigger.
* SnicketWarningLabel: Besides the Episode 10 fansub, there is a warning in the manga in volume 2 that [[FromBadToWorse it WILL get worse]] and you are in the MIDDLE of volume 2.
* SplitPersonalityTakeover: Gradually happens to Chise.
* StarCrossedLovers
* StepfordSmiler: Chise; Shuuji to a lesser extent; Fuyumi; Tetsu.
* SuperDeformed: The manga does this a ''lot'' in the most [[MoodWhiplash inappropriate]] places.
* SuperpoweredEvilSide: Chise's personality while in [[PersonofMassDestruction the Ultimate Weapon form]] could be psychotically vindictive, threatening on multiple occasions to utterly eradicate anyone who got in her way or made her mad, be it friend or foe...and that she could do so with ridiculous ease made her even more horrifying.
* SuperSoldier: Chise holds a military rank, although her real function is as the Ultimate Weapon.
* SurprisinglyGoodEnglish: The most noticeable use of English was from invading soldiers, who spoke passable (if noticeably accented) American English.
* TenMinuteRetirement: When Chise [[spoiler:dies]].
* ThereAreNoTherapists
* ThereIsNoHigherCourt: Girl changed into weapon without her knowledge or consent. No one bats an eye.
* TooHappyToLive: Whenever a secondary character is having a happy moment, joking and/or laughing as a break of the horrors of war, they are about to be killed in a short moment by an enemy bombing or attack.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: The trailer for the live-action version shows the very ending of [[spoiler:the end of the world]] even though it doesn't make sense by itself.
* TransformationTrauma: In more than one way - the pain of the transformations, Chise's embarrassment at being seen partially or completely unclothed when she returns to normal, and the knowledge that she's losing her humanity a little at a time.
* {{Trickster}}: Chise (debatable).
* {{Tsundere}}: Akemi.
* TwelveEpisodeAnime
* UnderstandingBoyfriend: Chise is a WMD? That's OK, things will work out. [[spoiler: Actually, they don't.]]
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend: [[spoiler: Akemi]]
* TheUnreveal: For example, why and how was Chise chosen as the ultimate weapon? What actually happens to the earth at the end?
** [[spoiler: The second bit isn't outright stated, but pretty much made obvious. The Earth will eventually die, and Shuji is confined to a FateWorseThanDeath due to energy-being Chise's [[AxCrazy "kindness"]].]]
** The best we get for the former in one of the OVA's is [[spoiler:she, and only she, just so happened to fit the criteria to be the ultimate weapon. It's even mentioned that it could've been anyone and they would've used him/her.]]
* UltimateLifeForm: Chise ''is'' the ultimate weapon, [[PersonOfMassDestruction and it's not hard to see why]].
* WarIsHell
* WaveMotionGun: Kind of. At least, it results in a SphereOfDestruction.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman
* WhereIWasBornAndRazed: Spectacularly averted: Chise's hometown not only doesn't get destroyed by her as one could expect, but it's in fact one of the only "safe" places on the earth due to Chise [[MeaningfulName protecting it]], to such an extent that it gets dubbed "Chise's town" and people flock to it in a desperate effort to find refuge. However, she eventually decides that when the time comes, she'll [[spoiler: [[ShootTheDog destroy it herself rather than let everybody die painfully]]]].
** [[spoiler:In the manga she does. In the anime, she's convinced not to. The manga has the ''good'' ending.]]
* WingedHumanoid
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: Who do you think?
* {{Yandere}}: While Chise technically isn't one, her characterization certainly plays with this trope.
* YankTheDogsChain: If it looks even for an instant like something good is about to happen, something terrible is about to happen.

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