Shichi Kitakawa: Putting my destiny in my hand, may God be my judge, your death will be at my hands!
"The Renegades" or simply, Renegade, is a story about a war. Set in the future, after some kind of unforseen apocalypse, it features a fairly devolutionary world with some advanced technology.It features the "good" side, the humans, and the "bad" side, clones and Synths. It started when Rex Malgram, an English scientist, discovered a way to easily and quickly make synthetic people, but because of the immoral factors associated with cloning and synthesizing humans, Rex was ordered to stop creating these monster men, but he'd already been intoxicated by the chemicals he used to create his "Synths" (Later known as the three generals, Marlin, Elaine and Cygnet) and his physical and mental state was deteriarating.He created Mechanical implants to use to stop the physical harm of the chemicals, but the mental damage had already crippled the man he used to be, leading him to believe that by killing everyone on earth, he would do the work of God. Shortly after this incident, he set his newly amassed army of clones and Synths on the world, effectively committing near total genocide of the world. After this, only three Japanese cities were left; the new capital, Hymmelyn, where the heroes live, a small village in the mountains "best known for it's 'giant freaking machine-guns" guarding the entrance, Theskya, and the city with the most weapons factories, Amataké.Around two years after the war started, the army discovered the telekinetic Hyoma Sakai and Gadgeteer Genius Day Makimura and put them into war. Three years after that, Hyoma meets nine-year-old aerokinetic Raine Shirayuki. At around the same time, one Shichi Kitakawa suffers familicide and is left as an orphan, to be found by Raine five years later...Basically, a short novel featuring wild, madcap action involving a Mecha named Hayato, clones, Synthetic humans and a bunch of shmutzy stuff. Kind of a mix between Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Witch and a bit of Original stuff.
Tropes included in this work:
Absurdly Youthful Mother: Shichi's. Justified in that Shichi's mother was shown five years prior to the current events. (Her children were seven and nine respectively).
Action Girl: None of the girls in this novel aren't Bad Ass, but Raine is theAction Girl. She seems the only member of RENEGADE competent with a gun and she's also extremly dexteric... Two words; Wind Gun.
Action Hero: Shichi sometimes slips into this when there's some major ass-kickin' to be done.
Aerith and Bob: To an extent. Shichi, Mizuko, Hyoma, Ryou and Ryoji are Japanese, appropriate to where they are, while Raine, Elaine, Marlin, Day and Vito are odd, not to mention Cygnet. Just... Just what the hell with Cygnet.
After the End: The world had been degenerate prior to Rex Malgram's near-genocide, implied to have something to do with 2012.
To explain; Vito is leading a sneak attack on Hymmelyn on Cygnet's orders and Captured!Shichi gets on his comlink and reminds him that he'll be killing loads of defenceless children.
It's "What's your age?" that gets him, actually.
Artifact Title: Its Alternate title, "The Renegades" (Used instead of its regular "Renegade" because of thatRenegade) is arguably this since they aren't particularly renegade and they don't cause much trouble.
Artificial Human: The "Synths" are this. Main characters; the generals, Vito and Hayato.
Authority Equals Asskicking: Marlin almost kills Shichi, Cygnet almost kills everyone, Elaine turns out to be a "final boss" of sorts, having gone completely crazy from her failures and Rex Malgram is 100% personifed Bad Ass
Ax-Crazy: Going insane really did a number on Elaine. Can't say after everything she did that she didn't deserve it, though.
Back from the Dead: Surprisingly averted, though Word Of God says that she really regretted killing of Marlin, which is why she allowed Cygnet to live, but She pratically started laughing when she wrote that Elaine was (finally) dead.
Bad Ass: Everyone has shades of this. The worst culprit is Shichi Kitakawa.
Badass Adorable: Mizuko and Hayato (Would make an awesome Battle Couple) are this; Mizuko is constantly getting simple things wrong and Hayato never realises when he's being insulted.
Badass Normal: Hyoma and Day. Mostly Day, since Hyoma's telekinetic; Day is always in the background, saving everyone without them ever knowing.
Bad Boss: Not Rex, not Marlin, not Cygnet... but is Elaine ever.
Bad Future: Arguably this embodied, considering there's been practical genocide, there are kid soldiers so young running around and half the earth has been destroyed... but that's in a thousand, ninehundred something years. It's their problem.
Beach Episode: Defeating Elaine for the first time while sailing to England takes place on water, notably since Elaine's fortress is Sea-Q.
Beautiful Dreamer: More surprisingly than anyone else in this novel, Vito. Yes. That one. Noted by Mizuko and Cygnet of all people, the night after Mizuko betrays RENEGADE the first time.
The Berserker: Arguably, Shichi, especially when angered. Vito, though, is this too, with a Hair-Trigger Temper to match, though this is only caused against his enemies. He's surprisingly calm with his superiors.
Book Ends: The first line is "After fourteen years of solid war, the world is desolated." And the final, "After fourteen years of solid war, the reign of peace finally began." Not counting the lines at the bottom; "Shichi Kitakawa, signing out."
Boom, Headshot: Mixed with a type of Book Ends; Shichi makes sure Marlin is dead by shooting his head in, and then, given opportunity by Vito manages to do this to Elaine as well.
Cute Little Fangs: In more light-hearted scenes, Vito's canines, though the way Elaine bitches on him about them and the way they're constantly made mention to as "Deformities" they're not really 'cute' anymore.
Darker and Edgier: The latter half of the book that deals with the more horrifying parts of war and the scars left on the characters.
Doom Magnet: Shichi feels he is this to other people. Paralleling to Vito, who thinks the same.
Driven to Suicide: Mizuko after Ryou's death. It doesn't happen. Shichi's almost there after he discovers the truth about Vito. Strangely, Vito is never anywhere close to this, despite the abuse he received from Elaine after Marlin's death.
Dying Moment of Awesome: Ryou. As he is about to be killed by what/who he now recognises as himself, he looks to the sky and asks Mizuko, his lover, to forgive him for realising who Ryoji was and not telling her, before looking back to Ryoji- his very own clone- and facing his death in the eyes, telling him to "look after [Mizuko] for [him]." After this, and his subsequent death, his own murderer procedes to have a Villainous BSOD and have an Angst Coma about the whole event.
Earn Your Happy Ending: Word Of God claimed that she doesn't like Happy Endings. So everyone has to work like animals to earn themselves the ending that they deserve.
Evil Brit: Rex Malgram, though this is only implied, Word Of God says this is true, though she doesn't like the trope much.
Word Of God: I'm English myself, and while one could call me evil for what I do to my characters, I'm not a fan of the Brits are evil stereotype, but "Malgram Rex" doesn't sound right and I didn't want him to be American... So... Brit.
Evil Counterpart: Vito to Shichi, Elaine to Mizuko/Raine, Cygnet to Hyoma (Arguably)
Impossibly Cool Clothes: Arguably, the Renegade!Jackets, but this is perhaps Justified due to the fact that The year is 3941.
Improbable Hairstyle: considering the realism elements, some of the hairstyles and colours are a little jarring. Particularly Mizuko and Raine, who stand with the rest of the mains with blue and purple hair respectively.
Justified in Mizuko's case. She's actually a clone of a woman with blonde hair, so it can be assumed that Rex simply changed her hair colour. Raine, however, has absolutely no excuse.
Kick the Dog: While not cute, Elaine loves doing this to the main soldier villains; Vito seems to be her favourite punch bag: she kicks the living shit out of him whenever she feels like it, then Ryoji, her own personal slave near enough, who she does hit a lot, and she also knocks Aru about a bit too (probably for the sake of being a bitch)... It's implied that she does this with all of her soldiers.
Kill the Ones You Love: Mizuko was afraid she'd have to do this with Ryou, and later Shichi worries about the same when Mizuko switches sides the first time.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: When Ryoji murders Ryou, he fell into an Angst Coma of sorts and couldn't fix himself despite knowing that Ryou wasn't the first person that he killed. Epileptic Trees suggest that he either: felt so bad about killing Mizuko's lover that he couldn't stand to be him anymore, or the more likely, Canon-suggested he saw that the boy he just murdered was actually the person he was cloned from and that he just essentially murdered himself.
One could say that Ari's shooting Mizuko in the head was this as well.
Limited Wardrobe: Everyone, though this is a Justified Trope because the RENEGADE kids don't have anything else and the enemy soldiers, well, that's all they're given. There is no reason, however, for Cygnet and Elaine. (Marlin dies too early on with so little "screen time" that it's hard to judge.)
Lotus-Eater Machine: Rex puts the heroes through this, and it's revealed the drugs that intoxicated his mind effect him so badly that he thinks he's really making Utopia... by killing everyone, giving him a sense of this all the time.
Love Makes You Good: Mizuko falls in love with the human, Ryou, and wants to be a good guy with him.
Made of Iron: Vito can be knocked off of Sky-Q, thrown up and down with by a mecha, dropped onto rations, have his open cuts fall into mud shortly after the cuts were made and he still rivals Shichi's strength. Again. And again. And again.
Red Baron: Shichi's "The first death"; an alternate translation of his name and "Captain Renegade", a loving nickname given to him when he becomes leader.
Serial Escalation: Ryoji notes this about all of Shichi's achievements while Shichi himself notes that the entire team's success is ultimately this as well.
War Is Hell: Often driven, but not Anviliciously so. Surprisingly for a novel touching on such sensitive issues, it's not mentioned much how terrible it is; Raine's character song is called "Making Me Numb" (from the horrors of war) and Mizuko is horrified by it, but not so much more of that.
You Are Not Alone: In a particularly Heartwarming example, during Shichi's final and most intense Heroic BSOD, he mentions how he thinks he's failed Miku because he couldn't kill Vito, however the dark, showy seven-year-old version of her is eclipsed by an eleven year old version of herself, her current age, who reminds Shichi that even though he doesn't have her and his family anymore, they'll always be in his heart before she goes on to "More importantly..."
Miku: We're not gone, Onii-Chan. We'll never be gone. We're in your very soul, your heart and your mind. Forget her, the monster, and look at me. I've been there all this time, yelling the right decisions. You knucklehead, you never listen. But... There's always them. We're there... But more importantly...
(Shichi's black and white barrier breaks)Shichi: Eh...?
RENEGADE: Shichi Kitakawa! You Are Not Alone. You'll never, ever be alone as long as you live.