Anime / Kuromukuro

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In the 60s, an amazing find was discovered during the construction of the Kurobe Dam - a metallic titan, or for the lack of better words - an ancient robot. This find sends shock waves around the scientific community. Intellectuals from all over the world gathered to study the object, codenamed "The Giant", and soon the United Nations Kurobe Research Institute was established. By the year 2016, their efforts gave birth to Humongous Mecha known as GAUS, though they are still very much prototypes.

All of this doesn't really matter to Yukina Shirahane, even though her mother is the head of the Institute. Something of a underachiever, she could spend entire days just being amazed by the hills and rivers around Kurobe. One day, when she goes to the Institute to return her mom's cellphone, she stumbles on researchers fruitlessly trying to crack the mystery of a huge cube. This is another artifact found around Kurobe Dam just recently, and most likely of the same origin as the Giant. Soon after, several meteorites fall towards Earth, one of them crashing near the dam - or should we say, landing, as the meteors turn out to be giant robots accompanied by small armies of Mini-Mecha. They immediately start to attack, proving to be a real threat thanks to invisible barriers that render conventional weaponry moot. In the ensuing chaos, Yukina notices a red panel light up on the cube. After instinctively pressing it, the cube opens, releasing a river of green goo and a naked man.

This man, Ouma Kennnosuke Tokisada, is a samurai who fought the invaders, referring to them as Oni or "demons", during the feudal era. He kidnaps Yukina, mistaking her for Yukihime or the "Princess" he was tasked with guarding in his times. After coming into conflict with the personnel around the Institute, the cube reveals itself to be the cockpit of the Giant, and Kennosuke as it's master. The samurai, with an unwilling Yukina in tow, descend into the bottom of the facility where the object is hidden. The cube attaches itself to the Giant, revealing its true colors as Kennosuke's personal black Artifact - his Kuromukuro.

Kuromukuro (クロムクロ, lit. Black Artifact) is a original mecha anime series produced by P. A. Works, to celebrate the studio's 15th anniversary. It was directed by Tensai Okamura (Darker Than Black, Project Blue Earth SOS), written by Ryou Higaki (Another), character designs by Yuriko Ishii (Nagi-Asu: A Lull in the Sea) and music by Hiroaki Tsutsumi (Daily Life with Monster Girl). It premiered in April 2016. The series was simulcast on Netflix in Japan, with a worldwide release of its first season (eps 1-13) on July 4, 2016 and its second season (eps 14-26) following on October 10, 2016.

This series provides the examples of:

  • Acro Fatic: Sebastian, if not actually fat, is nevertheless quite pudgy. It doesn't stop him from being among the best hand-to-hand fighters in the series, being easily able to go toe-to-toe with the Power Armored Efidolg.
  • Alien Blood: The invading robots spew purple "blood". GAUS units, on the other hand, 'bleed' orange.
  • Aliens in Cardiff: The action takes place in the back-country Hokuriku region, roughly around Kurobe Dam in Toyama prefecture, neatly averting Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe.
  • Alien Invasion: In episode 21 Efidolg land in force around the research institute at Kurobe Dam.
  • Alternate History: Where a giant robot was discovered during the Kurobe Dam construction. Oh, and there were aliens using giant robots to wage war on Earth during the feudal era.
  • And Then What?: Episode 7 has Yukina ask what Ken planned on doing after he killed all of the Efidolg. At the end of it, he says that he doesn't have anything much left to live for in this era, so all he can do at that point is rejoin the princess.
  • Armored Coffins: Efidolg robots, aside from Kuromukuro/Black Grongurnote , don't have ejection systems. Being prototypes, GAUS 1 and 2 don't equip ejection systems either. Subverted by GAUS 3 as it is a military grade production type and has an ejection seat, and Lefil's commander unit, which features basically the same cockpit system as Kuromukuro, suggesting that it is also a commander-type mecha.note 
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Koharu at times, as she just loves to tease her sister.
  • Badass Beard: Sebastian, after his failed Heroic Sacrifice and sticking to guerilla tactics, grew quite the impressive one.
  • Bland-Name Product: Episode 10 had an Ecchu Fighter X machine in an arcade.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Big time. The Border Control Team is totally defeated and the Hinge is taken out; but it turns out that they were only an advance party for a much larger invasion force that will still arrive on Earth 250 years from now. The UN Director-General openly predicts an Arms Race amongst the nations of Earth as they prepare for this invasion. And Kennosuke, Muetta and Zel, figuring that as objects of suspicion their freedom on Earth with be severely limited, leave Earth for Zel's homeworld, hoping to help La Résistance there - and leaving Yukina behind, despite her best efforts. Though she is clearly not going to settle for that.
  • Breather Episode: Episode 12, which is basically about Yukina (and everyone else on the GAUS team) being put into a Boot Camp-slash-refresher course.
  • The Bus Came Back: Teased with Shirahane-papa (or, rather, a Mysterious Benefactor figure heavily hinted to be him) apparently returning in Episode 9 just in time to save his daughter from being kidnapped by the aliens. And then the few days later the secret base Yukina remembers turns into a hole in the ground. In Episode 12 and 13 Yukihime apparently returns, as a pilot of Efidolg. And then it turns out that Dr. Shirahane is probably indeed dead, the Mysterious Benefactor being just his alien friend, and "Yukihime" is just a clone, and a different person altogether.
  • Buffy Speak: When Yukina starts giving out strategic and tactical advice it's usually formulated like this.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Actually quite common, especially among the Tateyama International School students, given that this is an international effort that goes for more than half a century. A posterboy for this would be Carlos Takasuka, who, when told to evacuate to his grandparents in Spain after the shit got real around the institute, despaired that he doesn't even know Spanish!
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Jose Carlos Takasuka, whose whole point in the story seems to be failing amusingly.
    • Tom Borden is actually fine as soldiers do, but being an Type 2 Eagle Lander Jerk Ass, he's not an authors' darling, and they let us know.
    • Ryoto Akagi slides into this role more and more as the series progresses.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Averted by Kennosuke who, when asked what he wants to do with his life, simply and confidently states "I will make Yukina my wife!"
  • Cloning Blues: In Episode 20 Yukina encounters a partially "assembled" head identical to her own (as well as Muetta and Yukihime) in a strange machine aboard the Efidolg ship, to her great distress. This implies that there is actually a standard pattern of mass-produced Efidolg warriors.
  • Combining Mecha: Zeru's geoframe can attach itself to Black Grongur or GAUS units, allowing them to fly. The Efidolg commander's geoframe can combine with Imusa's, drastically increasing its combat capabilities.
  • Covered in Scars: Kennosuke, who is actually a seasoned veteran despite being only 17note .
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Gezon-Reco squad landing their ship on the KRI. Despite being down to only three active pilots (with Hedo and Fusnarnie dead and Muetta defecting), they simply overwhelm the UN defences with dozens of Headless and literally hundreds of Cacti; even Sebastian's Heroic Sacrifice did not destroy Mirasa's geoframe. Sebastian survived too. That said, GAUS team was stomping Headless right and left, but there were just too many of them.
  • Damsel in Distress: Yukina at times, due to being an Ordinary High-School Student. She's usually saved by either Kennosuke or "The Demon", a mysterious hulking figure in a demon-like armor that is heavily hinted to be her Disappeared Dad.
  • Defector from Decadence: Some Efidolg warriors get disillusioned with their goals and defect to the Earthlings, such as Muetta and, apparently, Zeringer 450 years before, as the current Gezon-Reco commander, Lefil, is from the same "Demon" race, and he uses pretty much the same (if a bit archaic) Efidolg technology.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Played with in the character of Sophie, an Occidental Otaku and a great fan of Hagakure, the eighteenth-century moralistic tract often said to be the "Bible of Bushido". She's greatly perplexed why Kennosuke (who is from the sixteenth century, and who was born at least 200 years before it was written) doesn't care for its values at all.
    • To wit: Hagakure was written in the entirely peaceful period as a moralistic reminder that We Have Become Complacent, and displayed a heavily idealized version of what its author believed the true bushi should be. It had very little to do with the real samurai both from the Sengoku Jidai era and the times it was written, and was promptly forgotten, only being dug out during the "Kurai Tanima"note  period of militaristic frenzy of Taisho and early Showa eras.
  • Disappeared Dad: Yukina and Koharu's, who went missing trying to contact the aliens to confirm his theories.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Mirasa and Muetta were punished for their failure by subjecting them to their greatest fears.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Deconstructed with Tom Borden during the training camp in the Episode 12, when he was doing his best Sergeant Hartman imitation. Which only ended by him shocking everyone (including himself) when he went too liberal with Kennosuke's shock collar during wading training. The people even started to cite it as the example why you don't assign commissioned officers to conduct the basic training.
  • Eagleland: Tom Borden, the pilot of GAUS 1, exemplifies Type 2, being a walking Cluster F-Bomb Jerk Ass Blood Knight, whome everyone else just barely tolerates only because he's quite good at what he does. The authors seem to delight in regularly embarrassing him for his shortcomings. That said, he strongly believes in No One Gets Left Behind and is the most vocal of the four GAUS pilots about launching a mission to rescue Yukina from Efidolg.
  • Evil Uncle: Completely averted. Hiromi Shirahane's older brother Osho Yakushi is a wise and kind Buddhist priest who basically raised his nieces.
  • Expy: The UN agents in Episodes 10&11 are pretty much Mulder and Scully.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Kennosuke, a samurai hailing from feudal Japan, awakens in the present day(with robots). He is astounded when he sees a modern city, describing it as a field of giant tombstones.note 
  • Foreign Culture Fetish:
    • Toshiyuki Mozumi, GAUS 2's navigator, calls himself Sebastian and likes to present himself as the French Sophie Noelle's butler, despite being fully Japanese JGSDF Special Forces Captain (and a qualified high school teacher in most of the subjects).
    • The reverse is true for his charge, who is a diehard samurai buff and has basically raised herself on the Hagakure's values.
  • Galactic Conqueror: What Efidolg actually are.
  • Giant Mook: The Dullahan/Headless alien mechas. Pilotless, but well-armed and equipped with Deflector Shields, thus being quite dangerous to the heroes.
  • Giving Radio to the Romans: Kennosuke somehow got his titular Kuromukuro from Efidolg.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: In Episode 13 Kennosuke had to fight minutes after being ran through with a sword, and was able to only thanks to this trope.
  • Guns Are Useless: Taken to ridiculous extremes, the larger mechas are capable of halting the progress of gunfire and rockets, as well as redirecting them. Melee attacks, swords especially, are unaffected by this force field.
    • Justified at least against normal bullets, because inert projectiles are essentially comparable to space debris, which would be a constant threat to anything that travels through space.
  • Healing Factor: Had he had it more pronounced, Kennosuke could actually give Wolverine a run for his money. After being run through with Muetta's sword Ken's innards begun to heal in mere minutes. Even after all the bumps and shakes of the subsequent fight, he gets up and running in barely a day. Dr. Hausen was very disappointed that he hadn't a chance to study him better.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Yukina has one after the suicide of an enemy pilot and disappearance of her classmates that were filming the fight and got caught in the explosion.
  • Herr Doktor: Dr. Hausen, the Kurobe Research Institute chief biologist, is a stereotyopical German scientist with blonde hair, grey eyes, a cane, and heavy Mad Scientist bend.
  • Holographic Terminal: Main feature of the Efidolg technology.
  • Honor Before Reason:
    • Efidolg characters spend more of their screentime talking about honor and chivalry than actually fighting. Sometimes even during the battle. It's no surprise that they're usually beaten despite their technical superiority.
    • Sophie Noelle was raised on Hagakure and is all about Japanese chivalry as advanced there as well. Kennosuke, a real-life (well, if he really is) samurai from the war-ravaged 16th century thinks it's more or less dumb.
    • Tom Borden, for all of his many shortcomings, will never abandon a comrade and is willing to go great lengths to rescue Yukina from Efidold.
  • Hot Blade: The blades used by Efidolg and Kennosuke.
  • Human Aliens: The pilots of Efidolg have the same biological makeup as humans. Exaggerated to body horror level, as Kennosuke recognizes Fusnarnie as his old comrade, and Yukihime returns as a pilot of Efidolg. Either they are captured and brainwashed, or Kennosuke himself is an alien with fake memories all along. In Episodes 20/21 it is confirmed that Efidolg pilots are clones, and that Yukihime was used for one of the standard patterns of their mass-produced warriors.
  • Hypocritical Humor: "Those bathing suits are very revealing!" claims Ken, who comes into class wearing a fundoshi with his bare bottom sticking out.
  • Iconic Item: Dr. Shirahane's watch, which is a centerpiece of Yukina's memories of her dad. A someone who saved her from being captured by a Cactus in Episode 9 was wearing the very same watch. In Episode 21 Zeringer says that Takehito Shirahane was his friend, thus implying that it is his memento of him
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction: When Yukina calls Kennosuke out on basically kidnapping her in episode 2, he has this to say:
    Kennosuke: I have no regrets. Although I do feel bad.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Averted. When Muetta try to escape, Sophie and UN troops managed to shot her several times, but she wears bullet-proof armor.
  • Impossibly Graceful Giant: All larger mechas in the show are of this variety, dishing it out with their limbs and swords as if in a Jidai Geki movie, despite being about 20 meters tall and weighing in at the upwards of 300 tons.
    • GAUS-3 is notably more agile than the first two and moves as well as Efidolg geoframes.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Fusnarnie on Kennosuke's katana in Episode 11, Kennosuke on Muetta's sword in Episode 12, Zeringer runs Lefil through with his sword while the latter's busy activating the Hinge in Episode 24.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Despite the discovery of a highly advanced technology, with includes gravity manipulation, the world at large isn't that much different.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: The main heroine, Yukina Shirahane, is, down to a haircut, absolutely identical to Kennosuke's original liege, Yukihime, and an Efidolg warrior Muetta.
    • In the Episode 18 it leads to a Cactus mistaking Yukina for Muetta and taking her to the Efidolg station.
    • Episode 20 implies that their body is actually a standard pattern of a mass-prodfuced warrior.
    • Episode 21 pretty much confirms that, With Zeringer/Demon saying that Efidolg introduced the Yukihime genome into their base for clone production.
  • Insignificant Little Blue Planet: Apparently, Earth is pretty much in the ass end of the Galaxy, with the nearest Efidolg base no closer than 224 lightyears — according to Lefil, once the activated Hinge fails to open, the invasion fleet launches anyway, but at sublight speeds, and it would take them ~224 years to reach Earth.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Tom Borden is crude, loud, brash, and a practitioner of the Leroy Jenkins school of battle strategy. He is also brave, loyal, patriotic, and the most vocal proponent of the mission to rescue Yukina from Efidolg.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: When Ken killed Fusnarnie, there was much rejoicing.
  • Klingon Promotion: Of a sort. Once an Efidolg Grongal is bonded with a pilot or "wearer", it cannot be bonded with another until the previous wearer dies. There is an exception in the case of Muetta and Yukina, who can operate the Kuromukuro and Medusa interchangeably, having identical DNA.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Muetta/Yukihime's clone is unusual among the Efidolg fighters in that she's actually quite a master of this tactic.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Over 30 characters who serve a purpose, not bad for a 26-episode anime.
  • MacGuffin: The Hinge Stones, mysterious objects that Efidolg try to collect. It is later revealed that when assembled, they are used to create a hypergate that opens a way for an Efidolg invasion fleet to reach Earth.
  • Made of Indestructium: The Efidolg Geoframes. The Russians even tried to nuke one — all it did was to slow it down until it regenerated. Admittedly, it was a small nuke,note  but still…
  • Mecha-Mook: Cactus, a smaller alien mecha mainly used for abduction and infiltration, lacks the protective force field of its larger brethren, and is thus entirely susceptible to everything the Humanity throws at them. They fall in droves even to the basic heavy machineguns.
    • In fact, if equipped with the alien-made weapon, even just a competent swordsman, such as Kennosuke or "The Demon", usually makes a short work of them.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Tom Borden eventually gets to operate Fusnarnie's Long Arm for the final battle.
  • Mind Control: Efidolg utilize special miniature spider-like drones inserted into a person's ear to turn them into obedient slaves. Zeringer, being apparently an Efidolg turncoat himself, uses one to interrogate wounded Lefil in the finale.
  • Mini-Mecha: Cactus again, which is barely three meters tall, as well as UN's Dwarves.
  • Monochrome Casting: Averted. Despite being a mecha anime set in Japan and draws upon Japanese culture as an influence, the cast is very diverse being that the UN is involved. In addition to Japanese characters, there is also French, a Brit, an American, a Chinese, an Italian, a German, a Polish, two Bridge Bunnies consisting of a Latina and a European, and one character who is half-Japanese/half-Spanish.
  • Mysterious Benefactor: "The Demon", a strange, hulking figure in a demonic-looking armor and riding what looks like the prototype of an Efidolg Cactus mecha, who frequently aids the heroes, as in saving Yukina numerous times, giving the crypric advice both to her and to Kennosuke, and even offering direct support during their fight with the "Blue Bird" geoframe in Episode 17. Originally it was implied that he's both the same person as Kennosuke's archnemesis during the Sengoku Jidai, and a Yukina's Disappeared Dad, though in Episode 20 he contacts Sophie directly and claims that he's a member of one of the races, conquered by Efidolg, and that he helps Earthlings to exact revenge for his fallen comrades. As usual in the series, the veracity of his words is up to the viewer to believe, but Yukina later finds the proof while accessing the Efidolg database on their ship.
  • Naked First Impression: Kuromukuro absorbs matter to repair itself when not active. Apparently, it decided to eat Kennosuke's clothes during his 450-year-nap, leaving him stark naked upon waking.
  • Nephewism: Yukina and Koharu, who, due to their Parental Abandonment, were raised by their uncle.
  • No Range Like Point-Blank Range: The Efidolg robots possess force field barriers that stop missiles and bullets in their track. The only way to inflict damage on them is by either shooting them at point-blank range or using melee weaponry.
  • Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: Gezon-Reco officers in their ship. They spend their time in the endless bickering about what's to do and who's to blame.
  • Nuclear Weapons Taboo: Averted. The Russians nuked the Geoframe that landed near Novosibirsk — though it didn't help much.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Or rather, dissect. After Kennosuke showcased his Healing Factor after the events of episode 14, Dr. Hausen proclaimed to his face that no one else in the world will touch Ken with a scalpel but him.
  • Parental Abandonment: Yukina's father disappeared trying to contact the "demon"-aliens, and her mother is pretty much married to the job, leaving her and Koharu in the care of her older brother, a Buddhist priest.
  • Portal Network: The way Efidolg conquerors move from planet to planet. The loss of the means to open a new portal 450 years ago is a main driver of the whole plot.
  • Ramming Always Works: The best thing the "demon" resistance fighters could think of to stop the Efidolg Hinge from activating is to ram it with their stolen ship. This is why its pieces get scattered all over the Earth.
  • Real Place Background: P. A. Works is based in Nanto, Toyama, and the team spares no effort in overwhelming the viewer with the tons of Scenery Porn from all over the Toyama prefecture. The battle in the second episode happens right in front of the Toyama City Hall, and the tram Kennosuke smashes over his opponent is a real tram that runs through the city's downtown.
    • In Episode 21 the ship United Nations send to aid the evacuation of the Toyama prefecture from the imminent invasion by Efidolg, is the Rus, a real life Russian ferry that served the Toyama-Vladivostok route for decades, and was used by the series' team when they went location hunting for their previous show.note 
    • In the same episode one of the shield generators that Efidolg launch to cover their landing smashes right through the PAW's newly-built studio, so that they even post them a bill of repairs in a recent humorous twit.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Inverted with the Kuromukuro, which is a hero unit despite its coloration.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Tom Borden, the hot-blooded American Marine pilot is in direct contrast to his backseater: stoic, unflappable Chinese officer Shenmei Liu.
  • Red Shirt Army: Averted. The UN forces are often outgunned, but never outsmarted and rarely outfought.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: The world isn't much different from ours, despite all the new tech coming from research of The Giant, mainly because most of it is still in the prototype stage and because the New Tech Is Not Cheap.
  • Reporting Names: UN assigns them for the alien mechas as a reference shorthand. The examples are Cactus for the smaller, more abduction oriented drone (named so for a lots of needle-like protrusions dotting its skin), and Headless for a larger and more combat oriented one (which, naturally, lacks the head). Yellow Crab and Long Arm are the large, heavily armed, and, what's more important, pioted mecha, which makes them much more dangerous foes.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Kuromukuro is said to weigh about 300 tonnes, and the authors had Shown Their Work going on the record in-universe to note that the only thing that makes it possible is the gravity manipulation and Inertial Dampening that makes it (and the corresponding alien mecha) an Impossibly Graceful Giant.
    • This also allows them to transport it over the dinky bridge not able to hold more than 20 tons by the look of it, much less 300, in the Episode 5.
  • Rock Beats Laser: Subverted. The best of human technology does very little to the Efidolg, but Ken's sword does the job just fine... because it's made of alien nanomachines.
  • Say My Name: Kennosuke and Yukina on occasion, with the end of episode 18 being a perfect example.
  • Scenery Porn: Wouldn't be a P. A. Works anime without this. It's so good, Yukina's defining trait is being enamored by this!
  • Self-Healing Phlebotinum: Efidolg mechas, Kuromukuro/Black Grongur included, and their personal weapons will slowly repair themselves if damaged. Base materials that are necessary for the process are taken from immediate surroundings.
  • Sensei-chan: Marina Unami, the heroes' homeroom teacher and school counselor, who is barely five years older than her students and, being a shy and childish by nature, ends up constantly being manipulated by them.
  • Soldier Versus Warrior: The UN forces are definitely of the first type, while Efidolg apparently lean to the second one.
  • Stout Strength Mozumi/Sebastian is actually one of the strongest characters in the series.
  • Square/Cube Law: The creators of the robots in this series avoid the issue in two ways:
    • First, most of the mechas used by both sides are Mini-Mecha - not bigger than a car, which is the more realistic solution to this problem.
    • Second, the actual Humongous Mecha utilize gravity manipulation in order to reshift their weight, which allows them to move with the speed a several-stories tall titan made out of 300 ton metal has no right to be. One of the Efidolg robots even uses this to walk on water and doesn't even cause waves to appear. Obviously, this falls towards the Applied Phlebotinum ways of explaining why they don't just fall under their own weight.
  • Super Prototype:
    • GAUS mecha are a more realistic example, existing in minuscule numbers and not yet used at their full power because they are expensive and a case of Imported Alien Phlebotinum, being only incrementally tested.
    • Kuromukuro itself, or, as Efidolg call it, Black Grongur, is apparently a prototype of units used by the aliens, because it uses a number of features archaic for them, like requiring two pilots, but still powerful enough to do a short work of most of them.
  • Taking You with Me:
    • After losing a fight to Kennosuke, Hedo, the pilot of the "Yellow Crab" mecha, uses its self-destruct mechanism in a defiant attempt to kill his defeater.
    • After the "Long Arm" pilot, Fusnarnie's, escape from the UN custody and rampage though the Kurobe Research Institute, he finally was cornered by Kennosuke and UN security, and decided to at least kill Yukina for his troubles, but not before acquiring a shiny new accessory through his chest.
    • Heavily wounded and in a barely functioning mecha, Sebastian clinches the Spider, and uses his unit's Self-Destruct Mechanism to take Mirasa with him. Subverted in that he both fails to kill Mirasa and survives himself, though he does buy his comrades enough time to evacuate.
  • Tanks for Nothing: Subverted — while they are indeed more or less useless, nothing is actually more useful against the aliens, except maybe the GAUS, whose record is also quite shoddy. Only the Kennosuke's Giant can fight them on an equal basis. This, however, refers only to the larger alien mecha, from the, arguably, Headless (which at least could be overwhelmed by mass attacks) and up. For the Cacti anything goes.
  • That Man Is Dead: Yukina's savior vehemently insists that Dr. Takehito Shirahane is dead and he's a different person altogether. Whether this is true was initially left open, but eventually proven true. In Episode 20, he claims that he's a member of one of the races conquered by Efidolg, and in the next episode he says that Dr. Shirahane was his friend, again implying that he's dead, and his watch is just a memento — which was then confirmed in the next episode.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: At the School Festival during Episode 13, a high school band can be seen playing "Distopia" on stage.
  • They Called Me Mad!: Yukina's father was pretty much laughed from the scientific community for his theories about the "demons" of the chronicles being aliens, and disappeared trying to contact them.
  • Those Two Guys: Yukina and Kennosuke classmates, Jundai Kayahara and Ryoto Akagi, who are inseparable and always tag along with the group.
  • Time Skip: The finale skips 5 years.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Averted, the action takes place in Toyama.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: A curiously extended one for Kennosuke, when first the UN agents started to doubt his story, and then Fusnarnie pretty much plainly accused him of being an Efidolg turncoat with Fake Memories. Not helped by the fact that his memories of the time before his hybernation indeed being extremely hazy, and a later confirmation that Efodolg do use clones with Fake Memories.
  • United Nations Is a Superpower: The whole Giant project is managed by the United Nations as a sort of a compromise between the real superpowers in The '60s.
  • Unreliable Narrator: A definitive feature of the storytelling in the series. NO ONE is ever fully informed and/or fully truthful here, and everyone acts on a partial and unreliable information that floats around, just like in the real life.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: Most of the time, Efidolg characters cannot agree on most anything, which leads to them being picked one-by-one despite their crushing technical superiority. Exemplified by the whole SNAFU between Mirasa and Muetta or, going by the name Kennosuke knew her under, Yukihime, who spend most of the fight in Episode 12 squabbling over who should get the honor of the victory, which ended in their eventual ignominious defeat by the UN team through the sheer teamwork on the latter's part, and beating a hasty retreat.
  • Wham Episode: Ep. 21, where Efidolg finally land in force, easily routing the UN defenses, resulting in Sebastian's Heroic Sacrifice, destroying the Institute, and subjecting the captured personnel to the Mind Control.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: Well, Mom — Hiromi Shirahane, being a director of the whole affair, has little time to raise her daughters, especially when her husband disappeared to parts unknown, so she's effectively offloaded them onto her brother.
  • Whip Sword: Imusa's geoframe can be upgraded to wield four of those at once.
  • Younger Than They Look: Yukina's surprised to discover that Kennosuke is merely a teenager, as he looks like early twenties at least.

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