Anime / s-CRY-ed
aka: S-CRY-ed

"Come on now...give it your best shot! Maybe then it'll be a real battle! SO GET OFF YOUR ASS AND FIGHT ME!!!!"

(Variously written as Scryed, sCRYed, s.CRY.ed or s-CRY-ed)

A massive disaster hits Japan, separating a section of Tokyo into a new island, known as the "Lost Ground". The disaster also causes 1% of the babies born there to develop superpowers.

Before you pass this off as your standard Mutant story, remember that this is Anime - instead of being born with Stock Superpowers such as healing fast, reading minds or controlling magnets, these "Alter Users" have the power to call upon and use mecha in battles. By dismantling nearby matter (be it areas of landscape, vehicles, watermelons or dead bodies) and reassembling it, they can summon separate, machine-like beings, known as Alters, which personify a superpower of some sort.

One subset of Alter Users are "alloy-types", whose Alters form part of themselves, and one or two display the ability to affect other's Alters without summoning one themselves, but mostly the Alters are used like Mons... of a sort, since a given person doesn't tend to acquire more than one. The nature of the superpowers varies from typical Stock Superpowers to really weird ideas: "Turn anything into water", "Turn any car into a pink Mach 5", "Summon an enormous gun" or even "Do anything, as long as it involves watermelons".

One organization (HOLY) strives to control the super-powered population while rebuilding civilization on the island, while rebels and thugs attempt to resist them, and small communities live independently of the government in the wilder lands.

The manga makes a number of changes from the anime. The anime uses subtle characterization and two mutually-antagonistic Antihero leads (the Knight Templar and the Idiot Hero) without overly favoring one or the other. The manga is more prone to Card Carrying Villains and gives a different explanation as to the Meta Origin of the Alters (Evolutionary Levels).

This series provides examples of:

  • All Love Is Unrequited: Kimishima likes Ayase who likes Kazuma who never notices her; Cougar likes Minori Mimori who likes Ryuhou, as does Scheris. (Ryuhou may like Mimori back but refuses to have a relationship because of gult over Scheris' sacrifice to save him.) The only character who gets a relationship with someone is Asuka Tachibana - and his girlfriend Cammy is only a minor character.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The final scenes of the anime are Kazuma and Ryuuhou continuing to fight against someone, likely mainland invaders. This is also Alteration's ending, albeit focusing more on trouble-making Native Alter Users.
  • Anime Hair: Kazuma's Alter ability causes his hair to stand up.
  • Another Dimension: The source of Alter Power. The Alter User that killed Ryuuhou's mother hails from this dimension, and is the true origin of Alter Power.
  • Anti-Hero:
    • Kazuma can be kind of a jerk and a Blood Knight, but is fiercely loyal to his friends and will always stand up for people being oppressed even if he doesn't know them that well. He becomes a bit edgier after Kimishima dies, but still fights to protect people despite that.
    • Kimishima is cowardly and somewhat self-centered, but when it comes down to it he'll fight to the bitter end also.
  • Anti-Magic: Kanami has a mild version. She's able to ignore Unkei's Mad Sprict power without even noticing, and instantly deduces that Kigetsuki's Tokonatsu Sisters aren't actually human despite the fact that there's basically no way to tell on sight. Both can be attributed to the clairvoyance that her Alter Power provides her.
  • Anti-Villain: Ryuhou is ruthless and inflexible when it comes to dealing with Alter criminals and dismisses the flaws in the oppressive operating style of HOLY based on the idea that it is necessary. Urizane, Illian, and Scheris are all part of HOLY by such reasonable means as a paycheck or Subordinate Excuse. Cougar's motives are never really explained but based on his actions the only reason he counts as an "anti-villain" is by association with HOLY.
  • Anyone Can Die: By the time the show ends, Ayase, Biff, Scheris, and Kimishima are all dead.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: Ryuuhou defends a settlement from a HOLY unit, after regarding them as evil. When he is told about his past, he finds it strange that he would oppress people in such a manner. He continues to fight against HOLY even after recovering his memories.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Straight Cougar and his Alter Radical Good Speed.
  • Badass Normal: Kimishima is an aversion; he has no alter and only carries a pair of pistols. While he is good with them, he can't defeat an Alter User on his own.
  • Bash Brothers: It took about 20 episodes but Ryuuhou and Kazuma eventually work together (on principle). It doesn't stop them from trying to bash each other's faces in afterward, but that's more of a friendly brawl than a fight to the death.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Ryuhou and Kazuma eventually gain enough power that they can reach Earth orbit unaided, and their Battle Aura evidently keeps them from asphyxiating while up there.
  • Battle Aura: Ryuuhou and Kazuma both have one when particularly pumped up.
  • Berserk Button:
  • Big Brother Instinct: Kazuma far and away for Kanami, given their age difference and how much he cares about her and keeping her safe. Surprisingly, Ryuuhou develops this for her after he lost then regained his memories. She even calls him "Ryu-kun" like "Kazu-kun".
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Emergy Maxfell's alter invokes this trope. Due to severe trauma he experienced as a child, Emergy's Alter only activates when he feels he's in extreme peril ("a pinch situation", as he likes to call it), at which point a Humongous Mecha bursts from the ground to "save him from the pinch".
    • Kazuma and Ryuuhou get plenty of moments to save others.
  • Bizarre Baby Boom: Only about a percentage of children born in the Lost Ground develop Alter power.
  • Body Horror: Kazuma's arm and eye are pretty messed up by the end due to his Level 2 Alter.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Biff once captured by HOLY. It's so bad that all he can say is "HAMMER!!" in different volumes and tones of voice while carrying out his orders.
  • Bullying a Dragon: When Kazuma ends up at an Alter fight club, he quickly becomes the strongest competitor. Regardless, he's technically a prisoner; the "technically" being the fact that the one and only thing keeping him there is what amounts to a Heroic B.S.O.D.. When Kazuma finally decides he wants to leave and explosively releases himself, two regular humans think it's a good idea to make him get back in his cell. Kazuma quickly schools them. Then there was the club leader, who tried to shoot him, only to think better of it after Kazuma warned against such an action.
  • Call-Back: When Kazuma first fights Ryuhou, he gets his ass kicked, and tries to raise his arm and form a fist before collapsing. In the final episode, an unidentified arm rises up and forms a fist.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Aside from calling out the name of their Alter while using it, some characters have more specific attack names:
    • Kazuma: "Shocking First Bullet!" "Obliterating Second Bullet!" "Annihilating Last Bullet!" "Shell Bullet Burst!"
    • Cougar also uses "Shocking First Bullet" in addition to "Rapid Kill Bullet", which is where Kazuma got the habit.
    • Ryuhou: "My vigorous left fist!" and variations.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Scheris takes a dislike to Mimori merely because she is a love rival for Ryuuhou and spends as much time as she can with him.
  • Combat Breakdown: The final battle between Ryuuhou and Kazuma has them cycle through all their Alter forms and back down to normal. By the end, they can both only manage to summon a fraction of their power for one last strike (Kazuma armors his fist and Ryuho generates a small spike) and both collapse after the final blow.
  • Combat Clairvoyance: Eventually, by hijacking Kanami's alter, Kyoji Mujo gains this ability. It allows him to dodge any attack thrown at him... including those from a character who can move and react faster than the speed of sound.
  • Conflict Killer: Nothing can stop Kazuma and Ryuhou's rivalry, except Kyoji Mujo's Evil Plan. After they take care of him, they go back to beating each other up.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Kazuma and Ryuho vs a joint aerial and naval invasion force of Refined Alter users results in a victory for the former. It's implied that this is because Kazuma and Ryuho are using Level 3 Alters juiced up from the Other Side and their enemies are a bunch of artificial alters who are level 1 at best.
  • Cool Car: Cougar's secondary ability is to morph any car into a hot pink hot rod with incredible speed, though they are prone to explode after he's done with them.
  • Crouching Moron Hidden Bad Ass: Cougar. He's a powerful Alter User probably the strongest Alter User in existence other than the Kazuma, Ryuuhou and Mujo, and an odd individual who constantly talks about how he "shortens the world" with his speed.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Just about anyone Kazuma or Ryuhou fights between the timeskip and them entering Mujo's fortress gets their ass handed to them effortlessly.
  • Deadly Upgrade: Upgrading one's Alter ability causes gradual but irreversible damage to one's body. An unnatural upgrade, such as the mainland's "refinement", seems to be more immediately damaging, as evidenced by Cougar's odd walk and the gray streaks in his hair, and Zigmarl's Rapid Aging; in extreme cases such as Ayase's refinement, the process does enough damage that the Alter User can die from extreme stress. In contrast, "natural" evolution is more gradual in these damages. Kazuma and Ryuuhou both seem to suffer minor physical deformations from using their Alters, Kazuma moreso since his body-reshaping Alter modifies him at all three stages. Ryuuhou has an independent Alter that just becomes a suit of armor at level 3, so his changes are minor, but in the epilogue of the series, it's pretty clear that continuous use is catching up to him too.
  • Death Wail: Ryuho does this twice, once at the beginning after his family is killed and again when Scheris dies. Hikaru Midorikawa is excellent with such scenes.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Kazuma eventually becomes... not "friends" as much as "rivals with an understanding" with Tachibana after defeating him, but it took two defeats. In the main series, Kazuma never defeats Ryuuhou but still comes to a similar relationship. The movie, Alteration, implies that he is the victor of their last fight.
  • Defence Mechanism Superpower: Emergy Maxfell can only summon his Super Pinch alter when he himself is "in a pinch".
  • Defiant Stone Throw: A little boy confronts Ryuhou openly when a fight is going on between Ryuuhou and adults in a given Inner settlement. Ryuuhou says that he respects the boy for his courage and uses it as part of his "The Reason You Suck" Speech to the adults for sneaking around and taking hostages.
  • Deliberately Bad Example(s): Quite a lot for both HOLY and the Lost Ground, with regards to Alter Users on both sides.
    • In the Lost Ground, Biff's arrogant bullying is meant to be a heavy contrast to Kazuma's more free-wheeling, live-and-let-live lifestyle. Similarly, other unnamed villainous Alter Users in one of Mimori's flashbacks are shown proudly posing with their Alters for the camera in front of the destruction they've just caused.
    • On HOLY's end George Tatsunami, Emergy Maxfell, Sou Kigetsuki, and Kyouji Mujou are all prime examples of how Ryuuhou's nobler intentions act as a check for the potential excesses he could get up to in his pursuit of revenge and justice. In particular, Sou Kigetsuki's smug arrogance demonstrates this to an amnesiac Ryuuhou, showing him what he looked like from the perspective of Kazuma and the Inners. Result: Heel–Face Turn. Kazuma still pisses him off by breathing, but that's just Teeth-Clenched Teamwork.
  • Determinator: If Kazuma can breathe, he can fight, and he never gives up. It takes losing his best friend to make him slow down, and even then after a while he gets back up and keeps going. Ryuuhou is equally determined in both his pursuit of Kazuma and the Alter User that killed his mother.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The answer is yes, Kazuma did, when Mujou returned from The Other Side looking like a Cosmic Horror.
  • Distant Finale: The last scenes of the anime take place when Kanami has grown into a teenager. It shows that the Lost Ground has grown into a nice place to live, but there is still fighting going on in parts of it.
  • Distracted from Death: In the anime, Kazuma starts carrying an injured Kimishima home, and doesn't notice until he gets there that Kimishima died along the way.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: This exchange between Kazuma and Kyoji Mujo.
    Kazuma: So you must be the one who—
    Mujo: Correct. I'm the one who refined her.
    Kazuma: You'd better not be lying!
    Mujo: You have my word of honor.
    • This example with Tatsunami and his Magnum.
      Tatsunami: It's big. It's hard. And it's coming to get you!
  • Double Entendre: Asuka Tachibana's Alter is eight "treasure balls" so other meanings happen frequently. As listed above, we also have George Tatsunami and his "Big Magnum."
  • The Dragon: Ryuhou is Commander Jigmar's best warrior, the one he sends to problem areas, and the biggest challenge to our Anti-Hero Protagonist Kazuma.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Straight Cougar will drive as fast as possible over whatever terrain is underneath him. He'll even drive straight into a cliff if it means he doesn't have to slow down in order to stop.
  • Dump Them All: In the anime, the Scheris/Mimori/Ryuhou love triangle ends with Scheris dead and Ryuhou rejecting Mimori despite his implied attraction to her because he feels it wouldn't be right. Although he displayed no attraction to Scheris either, she died for him because she loved him. So now that Mimori confessed her love for him, he fears her meeting the same fate so he turns her down and/or didn't want to be disrespectful to Scheris' memory. In the manga, Scheris doesn't die and so she starts a relationship with him.
  • Dying as Yourself: In the moments of Biff's death, his mind control is shattered.
  • Evolving Credits: There are at three basic versions of the opening, for Kazuma and Ryuhou and one for when they have equal focus, each with a different verse of the opening theme; each episode mixes elements together reflecting the episode and the plot to date. Only two episodes share the exact same opening credit sequence.
  • Faceless Mooks: The HOLD officers, the Darz, all wear masks. This is to hide the fact that they are all refined Alter Users, brainwashed into working for HOLY.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Kazuma wears one on one hand, which he refuses to remove. It's possibly to hide scarring from overuse of Shell Bullet—certainly the scarring was there when we saw the glove removed later on in the series. In flashbacks his hand is bloodied and bandaged, hinting that as a child not knowing how to use his first-form Alter he may have made some mistake in re-forming the split arm.
  • Foreshadowing: The opening shows Kazuma or Ryuuhou about to summon their Alter before different parts of their bodies begin to flash different colors. Later on, they both gain full body Alloy-type Alters.
  • Gratuitous English:
    • Present in both the opening theme (Yasuaki Ide's "Reckless Fire") and the closing theme (Mikio Sakai's "Drastic My Soul", which gave us the infamous line "I believe in drastic my soul!")
    • The eyecatch each episode uses.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: The first half is a battle of wills between a chaotic rageaholic who just wants to keep his independence and an equally determined workaholic who will stop at nothing to bring peace to a lawless land. It's Order Versus Chaos instead of good vs evil.
  • Ground Punch: Kazuma's only power for most of the series is an armored right arm. He often uses this to move farther than he can jump by punching the ground, or break a landing by punching the ground.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: In the manga at least, Tachibana sees Kazuma with his alter out while the base is getting attacked and only asks for where Lawless is before heading off in the direction Kazuma indicates. It takes him several seconds to realize Kazuma's also part of the attack.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Urizane, despite being the guy who does stuff with watermelons, seems to be able to do just about anything as long as he's holding a watermelon.
  • Hero Antagonist: Several members of HOLY qualify as they just trying to manage Alter crime (of which there is a lot) and improve the situation in the Lost Gound. This groub includes Scheris, Illian, and Urizane. Cougar may be as well but he is less antagonistic to The Protagonist. Ryuhou is an aversion.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Scheris' Alter "Eternal Devote" is aptly named because it requires her to "devote" her life to the person she's reviving.
  • Hero Insurance: Every use of an Alter power causes damage to the surroundings, even if no one fights, as nearby matter is disintegrated to form the body of the summoned Alter. However, since most of the Alter use is done outside the city, which is a total shit-hole, no one cares. They don't care when the city is taken out, either, since the entire island is declared such.
  • Hot-Blooded: While he may slack at times, if Kazuma finds something he really cares about, he really goes at it. He's also not one for strategy.
  • How Much More Can He Take?: The last part of the final battle sees both Kazuma and Ryuuhou burn out their alters completely and just start fighting each other barehanded.
  • Humans Are Special: A more contemporary example than most: Humans are the ones that get Alter powers. There are only a few other types of animals we see that have Alter powers, and all but one of them reside in an extremely dangerous area of the Lost Ground teeming with Alter energy.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Zetsuei's "childlike" form is its basic form. Ryuuhou learned how to transform it to the more dragon-like form pre-series and brought it out when Kazuma got powerful enough for him to need it.
  • I Just Want to Be Free: Kazuma's main motivation is freedom to do what he wants. He gets especially angry when Tachibana tries to convince him to join HOLY as he "could really be happy living in the city".
    Kazuma: Neither you nor anyone else has the right to decide whether I'm happy! That's what it means to look down on others.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Subverted with Scheris' death, since rather than allow Ryuho and Mimori to get together, it causes Ryuho to distance himself from Mimori or any other woman who loves him because a romantic relationship doesn't feel right after the last girl who loved him gave her life for him. So in a twist of irony, Scheris ends up cock-blocking Ryuho and Mimori from beyond the grave.
  • Idiot Hero: Kazuma may be trying to help the Lost Ground by fighting off HOLY but he has a simple minded and brutish approach to it.
    • He himself lampshades this.
      Mujo: Stupid. You are so stupid.
      Kazuma: Tell me something I don't already know!
    • Judging from other characters' assessments of him, this applies only to his being Book Dumb; while he has virtually no formal education and isn't very sociable, he's shown to be tactically deadly in a fight. As one of the others notes, "he isn't throwing his punches at random."
  • Improbable Weapon User:
    • Urizane uses watermelons as his weapon, but he can do almost anything with them. He can make them grow huge until they crush you to death, turn an entire building into a watermelon for a second (thus destroying it when it turns back), and can even teleport, sort of, by stepping inside a giant watermelon, having it shrink to nothing, then having it grow anew in a different location, with him still inside it.
    • There's also Sprict who attacks with paper. Though at least this is a last resort when his More Than Mind Control gets broken.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: Sort of. The ending of the manga features a face-off between alien invaders (led by expies of Neya and Commander Viscuess from Infinite Ryvius in a ship blatantly based on Ryo-Ohki from Tenchi Muyo!) and Kazuma and company, with Kazuma himself perched atop the Ryvius.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kazuma gives the reward money he earned for saving the mainland official in the first episode to a kid whose father was injured and couldn't work. Once he fails to rescue the captive Native Alters from HOLY, Kimishima is killed, and he triggers the Second Uprising, he slips into an epic Heroic B.S.O.D.. He gets better, but he's a bit more cynical afterward. It's less him being bipolar and more him hiding what he does/is from Kanami in the beginning.
  • Knight Templar: Ryuhou believes himself to be the one enforcing justice and peace on the lawless and violent wasteland of the Lost Ground, but the locals see him as an oppressive bully. Character Development sees him become heroic over time; keeping his ideals while losing the heavy-handed actions.
  • Large Ham: Straight Cougar has an enormous presence with his hot pink hot rod, Motor Mouth and RADICAL GOOD SPEED! It's present even when he's taking his time to enjoy a meal. He comes complete with Crispin Freeman voicing him in the dub.
  • Lady and Knight: Mimori and Straight Cougar have this sort of relationship, Bright Lady and White Knight style. Mimori is referred to as a "princess" because her father is a major figure in HOLY's mainland administration and she does her best to ensure humane treatment and better living conditions for her "subjects" in the Lost Ground. Cougar looks out for her, protects her and even rescues her from a dungeon, and he does so while riding a horse that happens to be a hot pink street rod. The relationship is not romantic because Mimori isn't interested.
  • Lighthearted Rematch: Subverted. After teaming up and defeating the Conflict Killer, the two leads decide to have a friendly bout to see who is the best once and for all - but this takes up the entire last episode and is the longest and definitely most brutal fight in the entire series. It appears to end in a double knockout - but one last shot as the credits start imply that at least one is still moving. A hand rises behind a curtain of dust, and does a gesture typical for Kazuma.
    • This was foreshadowed when Kazuma was trapped in Mad Sprict. Uneki attempted to conclude his "script" with Kazuma and Ryuho facing off in a lighthearted rematch, ending with them becoming friends and equals. Kazuma refused this, knowing that neither he nor Ryuho would accept anything less than complete victory. This refusal ultimately freed Kazuma from Sprict.
  • Megaton Punch: Kazuma's basic ability is a super punch. At his base level, he once punched a mook across a football field. In the finale, he punches Mujo into another dimension.
  • Mook Horror Show: Kazuma's Unstoppable Rage after Kimishima's death is pretty scary for HOLY mooks.
  • Morality Pet: Kanami for Kazuma; Mimori for Ryuhou. Both of them demonstrate the kindness and compassion the latter possesses outside of battle and form a significant part of their motivation for good.
  • Motherly Scientist: Dr. Mimori Kiryu feels compassion for how Kazuma is tortured and lets him escape. Later she gets interested in the Inners, eventually forming a community with them and becoming a school teacher.
  • Motor Mouth: Straight Cougar, of course, who talks as fast as he drives.
  • Mutant Draft Board: Alter users have choice to either join HOLY or become test subjects. It's a good deal, too, as HOLY doesn't really police its members; Inners are considered lowlife scum to be abused at will even by the normal members of the organization.
  • No FEMA Response: The Lost Ground has been placed under the jurisdiction of HOLY, which doesn't seem to care about civilizing the area in any way other than getting Alter Users under their control.
  • Not Quite Flight:
    • Kazuma and Straight Cougar's alter ability provide a powerful acceleration for their attacks. Though this effect is used only for horizontal movement, they can achieve a pretty impressive flight time when propelling themselves from an elevated surface.
    • The trope is downplayed with Kazuma's second form, which basically tacks a propeller onto their back. Though we're never shown just how long they can maintain flight, it is seen being used to hover for short periods, as well as gain higher ground.
    • Completely averted with Kazuma and Ryuho's final forms, which let them fly right into outer-space.
  • Not So Different: Kazuma asserts this to Ryuho in the talk on the cliff, accusing Ryuho of using "justice" as an excuse to do whatever he wants.
  • Not Quite Dead: Straight Cougar; turns out he really was just sleeping, as Alteration shows.
  • Oblivious Younger Sibling: Kanami, though she's not blood related, is Kazuma's surrogate little sister and has no idea that he's an Alter user until HOLY rips up her community.
  • 1-Dimensional Thinking: Averted in Straight Cougar's final battle where he attacks Kyoji Mojo from numerous angles.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Kazuma and Ryuho are obsessed with defeating each other and get upset when someone butts into their grudge match.
  • Only One Name: Kazuma is the only major character without a family name, which symbolizes his status as an outcast from proper Japanese society.
  • Order Versus Chaos: Ryuhou and Kazuma respectively. Notably, Ryuhou talks about bringing order to society multiple times and Kazuma once took a job in the city and found something inherently wrong with how structured and orderly it was.
  • Painful Transformation: Kazuma, once he gets his level 2 Alter, complains about how much pain he feels in his arm.
  • Personality Powers: Tachibana lampshades how fitting alter powers are to their users when speaking about Kazuma; a Power Fist is perfect for punching down walls.
  • Powers Do the Fighting: Ryuuhou hangs back and allows his Alter, Zetsuei, to do most of the fighting for him. Ryuuhou is one of the most powerful Alters in HOLY, and Zetsuei is more than capable of defending Ryuuhou from attacks while dominating other Alters simultaneously. Kazuma taunts him about this early in the series, before Ryuuhou socks him in the gut with his bare hand.
  • Power Fist: Kazuma's alter is a "harmonization" type that reforms his right arm.
  • Psycho for Hire: George Tatsunami is a thug and a brute that does dirty work for HOLY. In the manga Urizane is similar.
  • Psychopathic Man Child: Emergy Maxfell is a grown man but he acts like a child with his games and his action figures. He even thought that putting explosives in toys he gave to children was amusing. His defeat at Kazuma's hands regresses him mentally so he fits this trope in a literal sense.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Cougar not only dresses in pink but transforms any car he's driving into a hot-pink street rod. It certainly makes him look fruity but one changes their mind when they're beaten in a fight.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Kazuma and Ryuho, respectively; the former is hotheaded and aggressive and the later is more focused and uses finesse in fights.
  • The Remake: s-CRY-ed Alteration Tao and Quan, which add extra scenes that give Kyoji Mujo more presence and alters some of Kazuma and Ryuhou's fights.
  • The Reveal: In Alteration, we find out Kazuma really did win, since the credits this time around clearly show his fist morphing into the various forms of shell bullet.
  • Rewriting Reality: "Mad Sprict" (sic) — a HOLY agent attempts to use this as More Than Mind Control on Kazuma to persuade him to join; unfortunately for him, he blows it by badly misusing Defeat Means Friendship at the end of the script.
  • The Rival: Ryuhou and Kazuma are this for each other; an obstacle that the other wants to crush in order to validate their own stance.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Kazuma has one when Kimishima is killed and Kazuma goes off to utterly wreck the nearest HOLY unit to retrieve Kimishima's car. He goes off again when he sees yet another unit pushing through but this one included Scheris.
  • Running Gag:
    • Straight Cougar getting people's names wrong, e.g. "Minori" for Mimori and "Kazuya" for Kazuma. Kazuma himself occasionally does this too which is foreshadowing the fact that Cougar raised Kazuma as a younger sibling figure..
    • Kimishima's mode of transport getting destroyed by accident is another one.
  • Sacrificial Revival Spell: Toward the end of the anime, Scheris uses her "Eternal Devote" alter power on Ryuuhou shortly after he's killed by Big Bad Kyouji Mujo. His agony and gratitude upon seeing her deceased boost his power.
  • Sequel hook: the council of government officials at the end discussing things and that they have time to prepare combined with the unresolved conflict with the mainland provide a line for more storylines.
  • Shout-Out: The Crystal/Crystalline Entity bears a strong resemblance to Star Platinum of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Conceptually, the Alters are more than a little similar to the Stands of the older series as well.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: This is HOLD's and Ryuho's attitude towards Mimori; namely that compassion and research aren't going to do any good in the Lost Ground and she should stop treating the "inners" like human beings because they are truly criminal scum that need to enslaved for the good of the region.
  • Single Power Superhero: Many alter-users have one and only one power, such as creating the "alter" Mon creature. Others can push this limitation like Cougar. His ability to "make anything go faster!" can be used to grant himself super speed, create armor that enables him to move even faster, and the ability to turn any car into a bright pink hot rod so that it can move faster.
  • Single Tear: Shed by Kazuma in the penultimate episode while he flashbacks to all of the needless deaths that had occurred over the course of the series.
  • Smug Snake:
    • Emergy Maxfell acts like Kazuma is just another toy to play with and completely losses his shit when he losses their fight.
    • Kigetsuki is a narcissistic parasite but in Cougar's words "rejected by your own alter? You're pathetic."
    • Kyoji Mujo has a god complex that only gets more inflated the more power he gains.
    • Also, George Tatsunami, the guy who enslaves a town and waves around his big gun.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Scheris, Kimishima and Ayase survive in the manga. Hooray!
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Ryuho definitely gets the lion's share of screen time in the second half, and is in every episode, whereas Kazuma misses a few. In the finale, Kazuma is relegated to fighting Biff and a bunch of mooks while Ryuho fights the Crystal Alter and Jigmar. However, it is Kazuma who ultimately hands the Big Bad his final defeat.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: In the manga, Hannish doesn't want Akira to fight Super HOLY despite her being one of Lawless' strongest members specifically because she's a woman.
  • Super Speed: Straight Cougar's ability is to "make anything go faster!"
  • Third Time's the Charm: Played straight and subverted once each.
    • Kazuma gets slapped around by Ryuhou in their first meeting, and again in their second after Zetsuei shows that he's not left handed. Then, after it appears Ryuhou's won their third encounter Kazuma whips out his second form... or at least he tries to. He loses control over it, briefly sends himself and Ryuuhou to the Other Side, and causes the Second Uprising.
    • Ryuhou sees the Crystal after he and Kazuma get thrown into the Other Side, but he doesn't get a chance to fight him before he's blown away. The second time, the Crystal kills him, at least until Scheris revives him. The third fight he wins, after fusing with Zetsuei.
  • Title Drop: Not literally, but the final thing Kazuma punches spells out s-CRY-ed, which is the first thing shown in the opening.
  • Troll: Straight Cougar takes Mimori out to see Ryuho fighting but stops in the middle of nowhere. When she demands to know what's going on, Cougar implies he's actually going to rape her, only to reveal he's just messing with her and it's simply not safe to get too close to a fight between Alter Users.
  • Tunnel of Foreshadowing: The opening changes both as the story progresses and acording to which character has the spotlight this episode.
  • The Unreveal: By the time the final episode rolls around Kazuma and Ryuho have fought several times, with no clear winner. The last ep has them indulge in one last, decisive brawl. At the end, we see that only one is left standing...but we never find out which one it is. note 
  • Weaponized Ball: Asuka Tachibana's Alter is called Eternity Eight, also know as the Eight Treasure Balls. For the most part, they're a Swiss-Army Superpower, able to create energy constructs of a sort (making a Laser Blade by arranging them in a line, or a shield by making them flat). However, in the manga, they can combine into a giant ball which he can launch at enemies.
  • Wicked Cultured: Between his undeniably good fashion sense and condescending attitude towards Native Alters, Kyoji Mujo definitely qualifies for this trope.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Mimori is one, evidenced by her insistence that the Lost Ground can be made into a peaceful and prosperous place without the heavy-handed approach of HOLY. She was even more of one as a child when she thought that Alter was universally a good thing. Several characters lampshade this, some more sardonicly than others. It's not that she's wrong, just naïve. In the end, while Kazuma and Ryuhou are off fighting the Lost Ground's enemies, she is teaching its children.
  • The Worf Effect: Straight Cougar is effortlessly defeated by the Big Bad in the anime, showing off how dangerous Mujo is by having him easily defeat a guy who beat Kazuma and Ryuhou with his level 1 Alter.
  • Word Salad Title: The manga gives it a meaning, but otherwise... Fanon has appended it for the name of Kanami's Alter, which lets her read minds since to "scry" is to see via magic or clairvoyance which is what she uses her alter for while dreaming, and she does seem to scry out the events of most of the episodes in this way, so it could relate to her Alter even if that isn't its name.

Alternative Title(s): S-CRY-ed