Originally a series of one-on-one combat gamebooks based on Lost Worlds. Lost Worlds let two players duel by exchanging books that represented different characters, with illustrations representing each action you could take. In 2005, Hobby Japan released a remake of the series, but instead of generic fantasy monsters, the characters of Queen's Blade were all women designed with a more ecchi slant. And thus the Fanservice began.The story is as follows. Every four years, there is a tournament to decide who will be the next queen of the land. The rules are extremely simple: as long as the contestant is over twelve years old, the last one standing wins.What began as some gamebooks with an erotic slant, became into a multimedia franchise spawing (besides the gamebooks), TV series, OVAs, manga and videogames (both for consoles and online)The whole franchise is split into many continuities:The Continent Saga
Queen's Blade: When all began. the story centers around Leina Vance, the heiress to the Count Vance, travelling to Gainos to compete in the Queen's Blade tournament, while fighting against other warriors along the way and participating in the titular tournament.
Queen's Blade Rebellion: Takes place one year after the last tournament. The entire Continent has fallen under a tyrannical rule led by Claudette, the Thundercloud Queen. Annelotte Kreuz, a brave young knight and exiled princess, leads a band of rebels to overthrow the queen and restore peace and order to the Continent, but the things aren't that simple this time and lots of twists awaits them along the way...
Queen's Gate: Takes place in our modern world. A young European girl named Alice, along with her friend Dorothy, has to find treasures around the world, while dealing with a mysterious cult named The Cult of Arunikuf and a mysterious dimensional door named The Queen's Gate.
Queen's Blade Grimoire: Takes place in another world, this time in a world based in classical fairy tales plunged into a eternal winter. The heroine this time is Alicia, who wants to find a way to her world, but first, she must fight in another version of the Queen's Blade tournament, winning the right to use the legendary Queen's Blade sword and dealing with the Winter Demon, the one who causing the eternal winter.
Aerith and Bob: Played with it: We have characters with names from different cultural backgrounds (despite the whole fantasy setting the series takes place) like Spanish (Leina, Liliana, Maria, Rana, Dora, Irma and Alicia), Latvian (Elina), French (Claudette, Jean, Annelotte, Huit & Vingt), Japanese (Tomoe, Shizuka, Airi, and Izumi), Greek (Nyx, Echidna and Artemis), English (Menace, Cute & Owen), Germanic (Cattleya and Hans), Celtic (Branwen), Nordic (Ymir and Mirim), Hebrew (Ramshel, Sushel and Mishel aka Cute), Arabic (Nowa, Layla from QB Rebellion) and totally made-out names (like Risty, Aldra, Alleyne and others). Nanael & Hachiel are names with a Japanese prefix mixed with a Hebrew suffix.
Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Happens in the Queen's Blade Spiral Chaos game: After many of the playable cast are reunited at the half of the game, the girls (Excluding Nowa, Ymir, Rana, Cute and Jean because they're underage or underage-looking) decides to throw a party with lots of booze everywhere. The results are obvious.
All There in the Manual: Inverted in Leina and Tomoe's cases (since most of their backstories are expanded in the anime series), but played straight with Menace, possibly since her backstory is too dark and violent even for QB's levels.
Alternate Continuity - The anime series, the gamebooks, the manga adaptations, and the Spiral Chaos games take place in different continuities, with many of the main events taking place in different fashion. And beginning with the new series, Grimoire it will be set in a new universe and setting different from the the original series and Rebellion one.
Attempted Rape: The first frightening scene in the franchise actually played straight, when Nowa is kidnapped by a gang of rapists and thrown onto a stable floor... but thankfully rescued by Echidna at the last second.
The same thing happens in the Hide & Seek manga, but with Ymir and Frollu, after being kidnapped and sold to pedophiles. Luckily, Ymir gets rid of them, with help from Elina.
Bittersweet Ending: Despise the extensive use of Fanservice, the endings of many of the series of the franchise aren't exactly too happy for everyone:
Queen's Blade (TV series): Leina wins the tournament, but Shizuka has to pull an Heroic Sacrifice just to help her and the rest of the cast to defeat Aldra and Delmore for good. She decides to forfeit her title to Claudette, her older sister and decides to go Wandering the Earth. The Swamp Witch and her minions are still a threat for everyone in the Continent. Irma ends being crippled by a brain-washed Risty and it seems that Echidna will had to take care of her..
Queen's Blade (OVAs): Leina decides to still traveling for becoming a true warrior and leaving her family for good, much for Elina's chagrin. Nowa and Alleyne decided to part ways after defeating Nyx. Airi decides to leave both Cattleya and Rana for good and reuniting with both Melona and the Swamp Witch. Menace managed to rebuild slowly her kingdom and neither Airi nor Melona managed to force her back to them and Tomoe manages to defeat Delmore for good, but at cost of Shizuka's soul to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence and being cursed by the Swamp Witch.
Queen's Blade Rebellion (Illustrated Stories): Annelotte and Aldra, after too many dangers managed to defeat the Swamp Witch for good, restoring the peace of the Continent and redeeming both Claudette and their mother Werbellia, who was under the Swamp Witch's control. But the Swamp Witch is STILL at large, and Melona, Airi, Dogra and Branwen seems to still being threats, as long Airi manages to find another host for her...
Queen's Gate (Novels): Alice managed to destroy both Faye Wright, Arunikuf and his whole cult, but her mother, Lewis, is still missing when she was dragged in the Queen's Gate dimensional door, and now, Alice must find her mother, this time alone, much to the chagrin of Dorothy. At least Dorothy managed to kiss her for once.
Bleached Underpants: Most of the hired Hobby Japan artists and designers were/are Hentai artists, notable examples being Oda Non and Koume Keito.
Boobs of Steel: Cattleya is the queen of this trope sporting a 120cm bust, far out-sizing most of the competition. She's tall, muscular and wields a huge sword. She wins most of her battles due to brute strength alone.
Boss Subtitles: Everyone gets one when a Queen's Blade match is announced. However, most of them are rather mundane (though that may be a gag since Nanael seems to have trouble remembering who everyone is).
Breast Expansion: The first episode has a scene where Melona's breasts expand to a size much larger than her body, then explode.
Brother-Sister Incest: The anime stops just short of outright stating that this is Elina's intent toward Reina, but throws every possible hint of desired (and eventually enacted) intimacy short of sex: Elina wants to bathe Reina, dress her, and spoon her. Hide & Seek makes it blatant by showing Elina getting worked up over Leina's hot sweaty body.
The third Rurou no Senshi omake shows Claudette having similar desire towards Elina. In the manga, she becomes jealous over Elina fighting to be with Leina instead of her! And, according to this, Elina has the hots for her too! She's even drooling!
Canon Immigrant - The Magical Stones (or at least the one Huit had in her house in the QB Rebellion's anime adaptation) are from the Spiral Chaos games.
Cat Fight: Pretty much the whole point to the audience, but in universe is mostly justified.
In a truly rare situation, the inefficiency of said armor is actually acknowledged when one of Leina's enemies slices her in the chest in an unarmored location, with a Sinister Scythe.
Cerebus Rollercoaster: The franchise is notorious from switching from having Fanservice antics in few episodes to a more darker narrative later, just to return to the status quo in the next episode. Also, some continuities and adaptation are more darker than others.
Clothing Damage: Everywhere you turn; the anime seems to use it as a substitute for actual wounds during battle. Airi gets a special mention because her clothes regenerate — likely to be damaged all over again.
Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Each of the main characters from each of the QB's continuities has very different personalities between each other: Leina tends to be pretty laid-back, naive and sort of childish, Annelotte from Rebellion being more mature and more action-oriented, Alice from the Queen's Gate novels being more sweeter and serious, and Alicia from Grimoire being more violent and arrogant than her predecessors.
Crapsaccharine World: Despite the whole setting looking like the typical Fantasy setting, according with Risty in the first episode of the first season, the whole setting is really unfair, with poor people starving and the nobles are getting rich at expense of their own people. Leina gets depressed when she finds out about this.
Crapsack World: In the QB Rebellion's Illustrated Stories, the whole setting becomes this after Claudette becomes the queen thanks to Leina and she starts to invade other countries and raising the taxes. While it doesn't reach Berserk-style levels of Crapsack-iness, the whole Continent becomes a pale shadow of its former glory. On the other hand, the animated adaptation of Rebellion doesn't change the setting too much, other than the invasions.
Also recently, there's a non-hentai doujinshi (and also comic strip) named Mobile Suit Blade in which the girls are depicted as super-deformed versions of many Mobile Suits from the Mobile Suit Gundam saga. For example, Leina, her sisters, Melona and Aldra are depicted as Mobile Suits from Celestial Being, Airi as the Gundam Deathscythe, plus many other examples. And, as this wasn't already ridiculous enough, the same doujinshi also put the girls from Queen's Blade against super-deformed, Gundam-versions of Nanoha and Fate.
Cutting Off The Branches: Averted in the gamebooks' continuity: No matter what the rest of the characters with gamebooks do on-story, other than Leina, no one else wins the Queen's Blade tournament for any unexpected reason and the additional books explains what happened with the rest of the cast after that, minus Leina since she is the canonical winner of the tournament.
Cypher Language: In the animated adaptation of Rebellion, the language used in the Continent is a cypher for a very bad English, except that anyone can read the text with some effort. On ther other hand, in the animated prequels, the text is a mix between English and phonetic Japanese instead.
Darker and Edgier: The sequel, Queen's Blade Rebellion (at least the Illustrated Stories, but not the anime) have a more darker narrative and setting, since the QB world transformed from a Crapsaccharine World to a full Crapsack World in less of a year. Oddly, the anime adaptation doesn't change the status quo too much.
The prequel manga Queen's Blade Rebellion Zero is even more darker: The Fanservice is less frequent here and sometimes notPlayed for Laughs or sexiness, many characters die in a very brutal way like Annelotte's foster mother on Airi's hands and it's less idealistic and more cynical than the other series.
The Queen's Blade Rebellion manga adaptation seems to go to this direction, and also overlaping with Bloodier and Gorier: Not only the setting is even more darker than the original Rebellion canon, the Fanservice is even less frequent than Zero and when it appears, it's for the opposite reason, not to mention the death toll (at least regarding non-named characters) is higher.
The Queen's Gate side-stories also counts: While the Fanservice is cranked Up to Eleven, it's used sometimes for squicking the reader, rather than the opposite. Since the novels were written in collaboration with Nitro+, this can be expected.
A Day in the Limelight: Each episode of the OVA series deals with each character (or group of characters) between the originals series an Rebellion. The only characters that doesn't appear at all are Risty, Claudette and Irma.
Also, the 4th Ova episode; When Airi tries to sneak out of Cattleya's house to Drain life force, Rana pleads with her to not do so. His lines are.... well let's just say it sounds like something out an H-manga.
Downer Ending: The whole point of the Vanquished Queens books, who are What If? situations when all the named characters are defeated and their dreams being shattered (or worse). Also, the end of the animated adaptation of Rebellion counts, since Claudette managed to defeat everyone (unlike what happened in the novelizations) and only Maria/Leina managed prevent the outcome to become a full-blown Kill 'em All, by putting herself between the Rebellion Army and her sister without fighting her.
This is even worse for Alleyne, (at least in the animated canon) since her entire village and her people were destroyed between the events of the original series and Rebellion and even if the Swamp Witch is defeated, that wouldn't bring back the dead people to life again and she will be the last elf of her tribe (excluding Echidna and Nowa) in that forest.
Delmore in the anime series is one in the final episode of the second season. In the gamebooks, he's a regular, well-dressed demon, instead.
Elves VS Dwarves: Averted. Ymir befriends a lot with them, especially with Nowa. (As long she doesn't try to sell steel weapons to them).
Curiously, it's more Elves versus Humans instead here.
Expy: All the characters are gender-swapped versions of some character/archetype from the original Lost Worlds books, and sometimes, of some character from an already-existing series that their original designers created beforehand.
During the second QB Rebellion OVA episode, the female leader of the thieves whom Siggy and Ymir fights against her looks like a white-haired version of Han Juri.
The human boy who works for Huit in the first episode of QB Rebellion TV series looks like a composite expy from both Jimmy Olsen and Tombo.
In the second episode of QB Rebellion TV series, one of the fighters in the illegal fighting match looks like BlackRose.
Fanservice: Every single character caters to at least one fetish, with large breasts being the most common.
Special mention goes out to Melona, a Slime-Girl (aka Goo-Girl).
Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Hinomoto, which is clearly Japan, and in fact derived from an alternate way of reading the kanji. Amara, where Menace comes from, is an equally obvious stand-in for Egypt. Also, in Queen's Blade Rebellion, we have Shai-Fang, which is a stand-in for China.
Fantasy Gun Control: Excluding the cross-over characters from the Queen's Gate gamebooks, only Vingt, Captain Liliana, Alice and her mother Lewis are the only characters who uses powder-based guns as their means of attack. In Captain Liliana's case, only her pirate ship uses powder-powered cannons, but she uses a rapier and sometimes, a revolver-shaped crossbow.
Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Possibly due of its origins from the original Lost Worlds books, not only we have the typical stuff you find in any Fantastic setting (humans, dwarves, elves, etc), if we include both Rebellion, the side-stories and the Spiral Chaos games, we have princesses, knights, barbarians, ninjas, samurai, thieves, robots, gunslingers, Mikos, mummies, slimes, ghosts, wraiths, demons, angels, archangels, Youkai, homunculi, giant robots, cooks, priests, nuns, slaves, and sometimes a mix of something of all the above.note The only things QB doesn't have (yet) are Cowboys, Aliensand Methodists
Genre Shift: Queen's Blade Rebellion shifts from fighting in a tournament to waging a war against a queen.
Gondor Calls for Aid: In pure fantasy style, the final battle of the first season sees every major named character fighting against an army of the undead.
Grand Finale: Queen's Blade Rebellion is the grand finale of both Leina and Annelotte's sagas and the end of the regular QB series as a whole, now that QB Grimoire, who take place in a different setting and universe, was recently announced.
Heroines Prefer Swords: Leina in the original series, Annelotte in Rebellion (besides her lance) and Alicia in Grimoire uses swords. On the other hand, Alice from the Queen's Gate novels and games, uses handguns (due to the modern setting of the story) who also can be used as knives too.
High On Catnip: Done to Elina by Nyx to comedic effect when she surprises her with catnip powder, after learning Elina was susceptible to it. The accompanying flashback even reveals that her sisters used to use it to keep her under control. Sadly for Nyx, it backfires when Elina rapes Nyx, while under its influence!
High School AU: The bonus omake included on the DVDs, which take the cast out of their fantasy world and into a modern day one, with no change in fanservice level per episode. Although fitting that much fanservice into a 3-minute episode doesn't leave room for much else.
The Vances are an interesting case: Their last name is very possible it was based in a famous, living person who was a major influence for Dungeons & Dragons, which Queen's Blade takes some inspiration from.
Almost all the characters in the Queen's Gate side-story novels are based in historical or literary characters like Alice, Dorothy, Lewis, Leonidas and many others.
Hoist by His Own Petard: Leina defeats Melona during their second encounter by plugging up her nipples, causing her breasts to swell up with her acidic fluid and explode.
Hotter and Sexier: The original books and related merchandise, the original line was only Ecchi, but later editions really cranked up a few notches in the Fanservice department, arguably becoming borderline Hentai.
How the Mighty Have Fallen - It's explained in many additional materials that the Vances (Leina's family) were the former rulers of the Continent before the Queen's Blade tournament was created by the gods after a war that happened centuries ago. For some reason, they lose the power after that war and they became a mere shadow of their former glory. This was one of the reasons why Leina's father hates the QB tournament (besides it was the cause of the death of Maria, his wife). It also became a important plot point in the OVAs When Claudette becomes the new queen thanks to Leina, and the rest of the nobles revolted against her and her father (and her sister Elina almost pays the price for it) since technically they considered the whole Leina's move to forfeit the title to her sister as a very dirty political move to restore their former glory.
Improbably Female Cast: Given the target audience and premise of the franchise, this is not surprising; still it's worth mentioning if one wants to take the story a bit seriously. There are only a few remotely significant male characters in the whole franchise, and even so they are basically token motivations (Owen and Count Vance) or enemies (Delmmore) for the female characters; basically if a man isn't a Satellite Character, he will definitely be a Cannon Fodder, a Mook, a Posthumous Character, or any other defining role that clearly denotes how useless and unimportant he will be within the story.
Played with it in the Queen's Gate novels: While there's many named male characters, practically all of them are the bad guys, (Excluding Rama) and at the end of the story, all of them, minus Rama, died when Arunikuf, after fussioning with Faye Wright, the main villain, was destroyed by Alice.
In Name Only: The only thing the Vanquished Queens OVAs shares with the original printed versions is the fact the heroines face some kind of very terrible dilemma, but not the original downer endings from them. This is not a bad thing per se, since it allows to expand the personalities of many of the characters, not to mention to explain what happened with many characters who doesn't appear in Rebellion.
Introdump: The first episode of season two has Nanael listing pretty much everybody to quickly bring the audience up to speed.
Jobber - Nyx, Melpha and in less degree Irma (both in the anime series, gamebooks and the Spiral Chaos games) are the weakest characters both in and out-story and (excluding Irma) they never won a match in canon. In Melpha's case this is justified since she's nun and not much for a fighter and Nyx's Funikura could be a really dangerous opponent.. if his master wasn't such a wimp.
Loads and Loads of Characters: Excluding named males, secondary characters, and the licensed characters from Queen's Gate, there's about 19 named characters that appears in both the gamebooks and the anime series. The sequel, Queen's Blade Rebellion adds another 12 new characters (and counting), and that's excluding returning characters. So, including the prequels, there's about 32 named heroines to this date. And the new series, QB Grimoire will include even more characters, despite being set in an Alternative Continuity.
In the original continuity, the title Queen's Blade is about the name of the titular tournament. The sequel Rebellion drops out the tournament and change the setting.
The Queen's Gate novels are about the titular dimensional gate that allows to travel through dimensions.
The title of new series Queen's Blade Grimoire have two meanings: The Grimoire are about the magical books the protagonist uses and, unlike the original continuity, the titular Queen's Blade is a proper sword, the most powerful weapon that can destroy the Winter Demon, the new Big Bad in this continuity.
Magic is Evil: Despise being a Fantasy series, there's very few people with genuine magic powers, and many of the supernatural fighting techniques are more akin with those used in the Shōnen genre, rather with those of the fantasy genre (Or sometimes, like Claudette, due of some MacGuffin, like her sword). The only people who use magic powers continuously are The Swamp Witch, who is the main antagonist, Nyx (thanks to Funikura, and even Aldra and Delmore are afraid of him, despise their origins), Menace (thanks to the her master, The Swamp Witch, and she wasn't a wizard in her former life in first place and more as melee fighter instead) and many of the villains from the Spiral Chaos games. The only exceptions are the angels (Nanael and Hachiel) and Melpha, but their powers are from divine origins, rather than their own.
Merchandise-Driven: The Visual Battle Books are what really ignites any other related product for the franchise, from figurines to Anime/Manga and Video Games; Hobby Japan itself are endorsed by other companies to make merchandise of their products, so making some for their in-house creation comes off as expected.
Mood Whiplash - The franchise seems to love this trope a lot, especially in the anime series and the Spiral Chaos games, normally at the halfway of the plot:
First season: While not as extreme as in later incarnations, the episode 7 is moderately depressing, since Nanael complains about how she's discriminated for having a deformed wing, and being unable to fly well as the rest of the more normal angels, like Hachiel.
Second season: Tomoe kills Shizuka as a plan from the latter for forcing her to fight to the death. Cattleya is pretrified by Aldra, and Airi dissapears after losing all her life force.
Rebellion (Anime): After fighting Annelotte against Mirim and trying to destroy her Magical Stones from her armor, her Super-Powered Evil Side finally showns up and Captain Liliana stole Vignt from both Ymir and Huit.
Rebellion (Illustrated Stories): Too many to mention, but the aforementionated scene from the anime with Annelotte happens in different fashion and its more bloodier than the animated one and Ymir, Elina and Mirim barely escaped alive from that battle.
Rebellion Zero: Too many to mention too. Just in the beginning of the story, Airi kills Annelotte's mother and her father pulls out an Heroic Sacrifice to stop Annelotte when she went into her Super-Powered Evil Side due of her rage.
Queen's Gate Spiral Chaos: Weiss, the final boss, appears for first time, the heroines cannot be able to defeat her, and Cute, Ramshel and Sushel pulls out both a Fusion Dance and a Heroic Sacrifice of sorts at the same time to stop her.
Nintendo Hard: Compared with the Super Robot Wars games they based of, the Spiral Chaos games are much harder than the regular SRW games: You begin the game with few characters and some of them, especially Jean, are too weak to pick a fight against many enemies (especially named ones). You don't have a battleship or something equivalent in those games for recovering HP for free and you have to use items for that, and you have buy them or get them from defeated enemies and unlike the recent mainstream SRW games, the Spiral Chaos games use the classical SRW method of upgrading your character (your weapon and each part of their armor and each upgrade cost money). You have to use Jean for recruiting the Monsters Girls while you manage to find the rest of the cast and, above all, grinding (or cheating, if you like it) is almost mandatory in those games.
The one thing Queen's Gate has compared to SRW games is that it has a "Free Battle Mode" to train your other characters so that they won't get left behind.
Numerical Theme Naming: All the angels from the Queen's Blade universe (excluding Layla from QB Rebellion) are named after numbers in Latin and ending their names with the Hebrew ''-el" suffix. For some odd reason, Nanael and Hachiel have their names beginning with Japanese numbers (seven and eight, respectively) instead.
Excuse Plot: The original gamebooks only had a very basic plot for all the characters, subverted later with the anime and manga adaptations that expand the plot even more. This could be an improvement over the original American Lost Worlds gamebooks, who didn't had any kind of plot at all.
Put on a Bus: The only returning characters from the previous series in Rebellion are Ymir, Elina, Risty, Menace, Airi Claudette as a queen, Leina under a new identity, Melona impersonating Ymir and Melpha becoming an archbishop at the end of Siggy's story.. The fate of the rest of the cast are explained in different side-stories (Tomoe, Alleyne, Nanael and Nowa) or it's never explained whatsoever (Irma and Echidna, albeit in the animated adaptation, Risty crippled her for life, possibly and Echidna was last seen in the Beautiful Warriors OVA, helping Leina.
The Bus Came Back: Nanael in the Vanquished Queens OVAs, after everyvbody thought she would not be able to return to the franchise due of her voice actress quitting her agency after her infamous sex scandal.
Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: While this is normally averted in the TV series for obvious reasons (except during the final battles from both seasons), it's played straight in the Spiral Chaos games: Including the TV series along, we have five princesses (Leina, her sisters, Ymir and Cute, each one with different personality quirks), a thief (Risty), an angel (Nanael), a sword-wealding miko (Tomoe), an half-elf (Nowa) and her instructor, a normal Elf (Alleyne), a Mercenary Elf (Echidna), a big-breasted Monster hunter (Cattleya) and her son (Rana), an assassin (Irma), a dimensional-traveling gunslinger (Alice), a Magical Cook (Maron), a queen (Aldra), a nun (Melpha), a street-fighting Ojou (Lili), three ninjas (Shizuka, Mai Shiranui and Junko Hattori, make it four later with the inclusion of Taki, or five if we also include Kasumi), a Magical Girl (Ink), a nurse (Kotone-chan) a Power Ranger-wannabe (Wonder Momo), two humanoid girls with massive power (Dizzy and Noel Vermillion), a jungle girl (Cham Cham), a ninja maid (Iroha), a Medieval dominatrix (Ivy), two Gender Flipped Samurai (Jubei Yagyu and Sanada Yukimura), a Gender FlippedThree Kingdoms General (Kan'u/Aisha), a girl infused with an evil sword power (Pyrrha), the reincarnation of the last Tsaritsa of Russia (Katja) and her servant, a pedophile bully (Hana), ... and a perverted male Cleric. (Jean)
The villains are not better about this: We have a Slime Girl (Melona), a Wraith Maid (Airi), a lesbian Cleopatra-wannabe (Menace), and her talking perverted sceptre (Setra), a Witch (Dora), a vampire (Lamica), a Bunny-heared Idol Singer (Luna), a gothic gunslinger (Aine), a Mecha-otaku (Humina) two underage-looking priestesses (Ramshel and Sushel) and a girl in a giant Mecha (Weiss).
And in Queen's Blade Rebellion, due of the change of genre (from fighting in a tournament to waging a civil war), in the heroic side we have a half-human half-demon princess (Annelotte), a underage-looking genius elf (Huit), a Robot Elf (Vingt), Two Ghost-hunting sisters (and one of them is a boy in drag) (Tanyan and Sanyan), an half-angel half-human girl (Layla), a Stripperific jungle girl (Luna-Luna), a Samurai (Izumi), a Slave (Branwen) and many of the returning cast of the previous series.
And in the Villainous Side in Rebellion we have some of the heroines turned-on villians (Elina, Ymir and Claudette, this time as a queen) a Ghost pirate (Captain Liliana), a Valkyrie (Mirim), a nun (Siggy), some of the returning villains of the prequel, and the Swamp Witch, a very powerful and mysterious figure who is behind all the events.
Ramming Always Works: Many characters, especially Leina, really love to use this tactic against their opponents.
Rape Discretion Shot: This page from Hide 'n Seek, complete with falling rosebud, makes it clear that Elina rapes Nyx, which is alluded to here, without having to show it.
Redshirt Army: The Queen's Army in Rebellion is a literal example, since their armor is red.
Rock Beats Laser - In Queen's Gate Spiral Chaos, due to the fact you have to travel to different worlds with different technological levels, it's not unusual that the Queen's Blade heroines (who are from a Medieval setting) had to fight against more advanced opponents like robots, people with guns, or even against a Mecha on foot (Weiss, the final boss), with nothing more that swords, maces, magical powers, handguns, and sometimes with their bare hands!
Royally Screwed Up: While not as bad like many other examples, the Vances (excluding Leina and her mother Maria) aren't exactly the most sanest aristocrats. The Queen's Blade tournament exists because of them. And this becomes worse in Rebellion when Claudette becomes the queen, and the Swamp Witch curses her, although she only amplified Claudette's worst traits as a person. And her sister Elina becomes a borderline monster in Rebellion, despise not being cursed like Claudette.
Schedule Slip: Of the American DVDs. And also Queen's Blade Rebellion, since they haven't posted more episodes due to Hobby Japan trying to promote the QB gamebooks in the U.S., but it will resume on December 2011.
It also happens with some gamebooks (Painkiller Kotone and Sen Tokugawa's ones are the most notorious examples, since their gamebooks were announced since 2011 and they haven't released yet, even when Kotone appeared in Queen's Gate Spiral Chaos). In fact Hobby Japan is really notorious for doing that, and not giving any explanations.
Taken to ridiculous levels in Rebellion (at least in the TV series, since the regular countinuity the technological level didn't change a lot) since we can see Ymir using a magic-powered car, and Vingt, who is a wind-up powered robot elf with machine guns and being able to fly.
Secret Test of Character: Applies in episode 5 of the Utsukushiki Toushi-Tachi OVA, where Nanael plucks a Holy Grape and is banished to the Swamp. Down in the Swamp she eats the grape and decides to become a Fallen Angel, then running amok. After nearly killing both Hachiel and Melpha, she is suddenly returned to heaven by the Chief Angel, who reveals the whole thing is a test of character, which she somehow passed.
Also, if you press the Select + Start buttons together to activate the Panic Mode, in the first game, you will see Leina in a 8-bit RPG game Dragon Quest-style and in the sequel, you will see Jean and Maron (the new original character) parodying Mega Man instead.
Many stages from the Queen's Gate Spiral Chaos game are named after episodes or titles from other anime series, mainly from the Mecha genre, like "Blood-sucking Princess of Sorrow"note 哀・吸血姫, a parody of 哀・戦士 (Soldiers of Sorrow), one of the most famous songs of that series., Booby Trapnote Named after the first episode of the series, The Melancholy ofInk and Weiss' Ambition.note Named after the game Mobile Suit Gundam: Ghiren's Ambition
The masked male Mooks that appear in Queen's Gate Spiral Chaos looks like the ones from Shocker. (With even their high-pitched yells, to boot.)
While it could be a coincidence, and from all the things they could reference in the series, The Mobile Fortress Bligh from Queen's Blade Rebellion can be a shout out from Discworld.
In the Queen's Blade Battle fangame, if you put both Melona and Captain Liliana in a tag team, their tag team is named Ungrateful Undead.
The titular Queen's Gate from the QG Spiral Chaos looks like a combination between a Cross Gate and the Stargate
The titular tournament being organized each four years sounds like the rules from another fighting tournament, except that the fighters use Gundams (at least in the animated version).
The Holy Milk Monster Ellosium from the Vanquished Queens OVAs looks like a combination between the EVA-01 (without the armor) and a Titan.
Show Some Leg: Everyone, but Risty gets a special mention since her thong/crocs combo shows the most (i.e. everything).
The franchise itself can be a spiritual successor of sorts from Ruin Explorers, also from Hobby Japan, who also take place in a fantasy setting and the main characters are also female.
Status Quo Is God: More than the Status Quo is Maintained by the Gods: The whole series (at least during the Leina and Annelotte's sagas) makes it clear the Queen's Blade tournament is possibly the only thing that keeps the whole setting in check, since the whole Continent is recovering from a previous war that happened many decades before, and the gods created the tournament for avoiding another war that could destroy the Continent or even the entire world. In Rebellion's Illustrated Stories, our heroines, after many battles, decided to restore the former status quo, even if that status quo is the one who caused the whole mess in first place. In fact, after defeating Claudette, they found about this the hard way, as they can't kill her, or even vanish her, since the gods (or Leina) choose her as the queen.
The Stinger: Queen's Blade Rebellion (and the whole Continent Saga as a whole) ends with the Swamp Witch defeated for good... except that we see Airi carrying what was remained from the real Swamp Witch after Aldra and Annelotte managed to remove her from her mother Werbellia, and trying to find another host for her.
Stripperiffic: 99% of all characters. Lampshaded in 2nd episode of the second season when Tomoe comments on the other fighters.
Literally the point of the game. Battles can be won by doing a "Perfect Knockdown", that is, stripping the enemy of all their "armor". Pictures are presented.
Thou Shalt Not Kill: While the tournament is very brutal by itself, it's not allowed to kill the opponent, unless there's no other choice.
¡Three Amigos!: While they are not always together (except in few episodes and in the Spiral Chaos games), Leina, Tomoe and Nanael can be considered as such, since they were the first characters released as gamebooks when the franchise began in 2005. They also appear in the cover of Queen's Blade Spiral Chaos (despite not being the main characters at first) and their respective VAs sang the ED theme of the first season).
Melona, Airi and Menace are also a villanous version of this trope.
Translation Convention: It's heavely implied during all the series that none of the Western characters (Leina, Elina, Nowa, etc.) speaks Japanese at all and they speak a language based in glyphs (Althrough it's implied in Rebellion to be English, with a different, alien typography). On the other side, Tomoe and Shizuka speaks Ancient Japanese, but it's never explained how they managed to understand the language of the rest of the cast, since both girls never traveled outside their country in their lives. In a very funny twist, they tried to learn the language using a very old scroll with Russian greetings instead.
This is a plot point (of sorts) in Queen's Blade Rebellion: While is never mentioned on-story, Tanyan supposedly speaks with a Chinese accent, but Sanyan speaks the local language without any accent at all.
Also, it's also implied that the non-human characters (Alleyne, Echidna, Ymir, etc) speaks in their own languages, but they are possibly bilingual since they have to interact with humans a lot (especially Ymir).
This is also the case in Queen's Blade Grimoire, except that, besides speaking English, the characters also uses Hebrew, of all languages, for some reason.
Vague Age: According with Hans (The avatar of Hobby Japan), most of the human characters doesn't have established ages. The only exceptions to this are Cattleya (she's about 29-32), her son Rana (7 years old) and Aldra (12 years,albeit her real age is about 20 in the original series and 21 in Rebellion as she won two previous tournaments before, so she's ruling the Continent for about 8 years) and from the non-human side we have Echidna (about 500), Alleyne (1000), Nowa (about 17), Ymir (60-70) and Eilin (50 years). This doesn't include the angels like Nanael and Hachiel, who are possibly inmortals. Oddly enough, in the Spiral Chaos games, the original characters Cute, Jean, Maron and Aruta looks older than 15 but not older than 19.
Wardrobe Malfunction: The DVD version of the anime applies logic to everyone's outfits - which is to say, if their nipples would slip at a given point, they do.
We All Live In Japan: Despite the Western European Medieval setting of the series, some Japanese stuff still prevails on it: The biggest offenders are the armors of the Vance County and later, the Claudette's army's soldiers, who looks a lot like Ashigaru soldiers from the Japanese Sengoku period, the members of the Assassins of the Fang are Medieval Ninjas and we can hear a woman who sounds like a Benshiannoucing the final battle between Leina and Aldra in the second season.
In fact, both the animated versions and the gamebooks makes it clear that the continent when all the story takes place doesn't have a name and it's only refered on-story as The Continent. This is possibly intentional, since there's very few things written on stone about the whole setting, other than the rules of the titular tournament, so the authors can put any kind of stuff without worrying about contradicting themselves about the setting.
This is averted in Queen's Blade Grimoire since the name of the country the story takes place is named Melfareland.
World of Buxom: The majority of the cast are very busty and greatly outnumber the characters who have smaller breast sizes.
You Taste Delicious: In the third episode, Leina is tricked into oil wrestling Echidna (she thought it would be mud wrestling like earlier in the episode), during the match Echinda licks some oil off her check, which might be the tamest thing she did to her in the match.
Airi said this to everyone she met; since she "eats" life-force she can sense what her enemies will "taste" like, even anticipating that Nanael would "taste" so bad it might kill her a second time. Although Airi really only drained a few characters and a bunch of extras.