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Light Novel: Apocalypse Alice

We will kill the girl and save the world—

With the rise of the mysterious Labyrinth Disease, the world has changed. All over the world, girls are turning into labyrinths, and so, in order to protect humanity, must be killed before they turn into the Eternal Labyrinths that are gradually swallowing up the land.

Shinnosuke Arisu's younger sister, Saki, was one such girl afflicted by the Labyrinth Disease. As Shinnosuke was unwilling to kill her, she turned into an Eternal Labyrinth—the deadliest one in Japan, nicknamed Apocalypse Alice. Ten years later, after a long journey, Shinnosuke returns to Japan with one goal in mind:

To infiltrate Apocalypse Alice and, no matter how impossible, to save his sister.

Apocalypse Alice (Mokushiroku Arisu) is a light novel series written by Takaya Kagami of The Legend of the Legendary Heroes, Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi, and Seraph of the End fame, illustrated by Yuuki Katou, artist in BlazBlue, and serialized in Fujimi Shobo from 2013.

Tropes associated with the series:

  • Abusive Parents: Gunjou's parents—who aren't even her real parents, unbeknownst to her, but training instructors who aren't even married—only care about her as a tool who infiltrates labyrinths. That said, Gunjou reveals in the third volume that she knew all along, but kept quiet in order to avoid being killed.
  • The Ace: Gunjou. That said, see Broken Ace.
  • Action Girl: Any combat-oriented female student.
  • A-Cup Angst: Shinnosuke has no problems with teasing Gunjou over her lack of a chest—with her frequently rising to the bait—especially when comparing her to Kiri.
  • Afraid of Blood: Gunjou, when afflicted by the disease. It's suggested this is true even when normal.
  • And I Must Scream: Turns out that the diseased girls still retain consciousness, even up to the point of being killed or turning into an Eternal Labyrinth.
  • Anti-Hero: Shinnosuke, full stop.
  • Bad Dreams: Shinnosuke mentions having these about his sister. More hilariously, he also has one over his highly traumatizing karaoke experience.
  • Badass Crew: The Hero Team, composed of Shinnosuke, Gunjou, Shiro, Himi, Yousuke, and Kiri.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Shinnosuke teases Shiro about having this with Gunjou to explain why Shiro's willing to risk his life to try and save the diseased Gunjou.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Shinnosuke, towards Saki.
  • Bio-Augmentation: It's a Kagami work—this is a given. Namely, Taikou Pharmaceuticals conducts this, and it's heavily suggested that Shiro is a victim of this as a well, hence his red eyes.
  • Birds of a Feather: Kiri thought of herself and Shinnosuke as this, but she comes to realize that, ultimately, Shinnosuke's far kinder than her. Shinnosuke also bonds with Gunjou over losing their only relative—sister, specifically.
  • BFS: Shiro's Penitence Severance switch creates one, as does Shinnosuke's Holy Sword switch—though the latter's true form is actually a small knife.
  • Broken Ace: The pressure of being responsible for everyone's lives wears down on Gunjou heavily, to the point where she vomits in the girls' washroom before a mission.
  • Broken Bird: While not immediately obvious, Kiri is one. It's why she believes herself to be similar to Shinnosuke, who's a more obvious male example.
  • Chick Magnet: Shinnosuke, who's potentially attracted at least three girls: Yayoi, his Yandere cousin, Gunjou (though her feelings are implied to be a projection of her loneliness and issues, rather than a true crush), and Kiri.
  • Child Soldiers: Students who attend a school oriented around infiltrating labyrinths are essentially this. They're necessary due to the age restriction imposed on who can enter labyrinths.
  • The Comically Serious: Shinnosuke, seen best when the others drag him into karaoke. He could even be seen as Adorkable there—it has to be read to be believed.
  • Crapsack World: While the world's still functioning well enough that people in countries that haven't been swallowed up by labyrinths can still lead ordinary lives, Shinnosuke sees it as this: how else would you describe a world where nobody even bats an eye at the notion of killing girls whose only crime was catching a disease that they didn't ask for?
  • Deadpan Snarker: Shinnosuke.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Shinnosuke, who can sometimes be found smiling and laughing even in labyrinths. Similarly, while on an elevator in a dangerous labyrinth, in which they should all be feeling the pressure... Shiro, Yousuke, and Himi play Shiratori.
  • Enemy Scan: One of Shinnosuke's weapons has this property.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Or rather, Jerks With a Heart of Gold can't. Shinnosuke literally cannot understand why Shiro and the others would come and save him from Taikou Pharmaceuticals when it has nothing to do with them. The answer? Because they're friends, obviously.
  • The Gadfly: Shinnosuke, the jerk.
  • Glory Seeker: Shinnosuke cites this as one of his motivations, but like most things that come out of Shinnosuke's mouth, it's a lie.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: All of the students wear them, so this trope isn't in effect for the entire series as a whole, but Shinnosuke sometimes uses his Headphone Fuzz as a means of not having to listen to people.
  • Hot-Blooded: Both Gunjou and Shiro, making it no wonder that they argue all the time.
  • Ineffectual Loner: Shinnosuke, so very much.
  • In the Back: When Kiri stabs Shinnosuke.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: It looks like the author is trying to stuff as many of these as he can into the series. Notable examples are:
    • Shiro, who's gruff, violent, quick to pick a fight with Gunjou, but also a fan of The Power of Friendship.
    • Gunjou, who, like Shiro, is easily angered and violent, while expecting everyone to do as she says. However, Shinnosuke notes her to be a good person, as someone who sincerely wants to save others out of a sense of altruism.
    • And then the crowner is Shinnosuke, who purposely veers into outright Jerkass territory at times, denying both The Power of Friendship and any notion of altruism—but when his heart of gold shows, it really shows.
  • Killer Rabbit: The Alice in Wonderland-esque rabbits that show up thanks to Apocalypse Alice.
  • Kissing Cousins: It's very much one-sided, but Yayoi is all but explicitly said to be in love with Shinnosuke.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: He'd deny it if you said so, but this is what Shinnosuke really is.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: Shinnosuke, albeit not as much of one as he tries to make himself.
  • The Leader: Shiro is made the leader of the Hero Team, as Shinnosuke doesn't want the role. And Gunjou, being a labyrinth, isn't there to argue about it with him.
  • The Mole: Kiri, who betrays the rest of the Hero Team for the Valor Team. That said, she's extremely remorseful over it.
  • The Napoleon: Gunjou, who's easily one of the tiniest characters and with an explosive temper.
  • New Transfer Student: Shinnosuke.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Trying to save Saki may have potentially screwed over the entire world.
  • Nominal Hero: Shinnosuke... except not really, in the end.
  • Only in It for the Money: Or so Shinnosuke claims.
  • Pet the Dog: It's obvious that Shinnosuke is much kinder than he'd like to be when rather than leaving Gunjou to die, he risks his life to save her, followed up by another moment in which he cries over the diseased girl, recognizing her as an unfortunate victim.
  • Plucky Girl: Gunjou shows shades of this when Shinnosuke tests out the Holy Sword switch on her, as she cheerfully vows to survive and help Shinnosuke with his problems.
  • Properly Paranoid: Shinnosuke was right to be distrusting. It's too bad that, after he Took a Level in Kindness, he stopped being so suspicious and thus didn't realize that he had a traitor on his team.
  • Shrinking Violet: Himi, though she stands her ground when it's important.
  • Silly Rabbit, Cynicism Is for Losers!: One of the driving forces behind Shinnosuke's development.
  • Smug Smiler: Shinnosuke.
  • Socially-Awkward Hero: Shinnosuke, past all his teasing.
  • Spanner in the Works: The Hero Team turns out to be one by surviving when Gunjou contracts the Labyrinth Disease, as the Mitsutomo Group had intended for them to be swallowed up in the labyrinth then. Since they lived, they ended up infiltrating the labyrinth.
  • Stepford Smiler: Kiri.
  • Super Speed: One of Shinnosuke's primary spells allows him to accelerate in a moment.
  • Teen Genius: Yayoi, who at age fifteen is in charge of a research lab.
  • íThree Amigos!: Shiro, Yousuke, and Himi.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Through the power of Character Development, Shinnosuke's a fair bit more receptive to the idea of allies by the third volume than he was in the first volume.
  • True Companions: The aforementioned íThree Amigos! are one, and they do their best to inflict this mindset on Shinnosuke as well.
  • Tsundere: Gunjou is a classic example. Shinnosuke is also one, albeit less of an angry version and more of an aloof, anti-social one.
  • The Unfettered: Shinnosuke tries to be this.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Subverted. Gunjou is assumed to be one for the Mitsutomo Group, but it turns out that she's more aware than anyone thinks.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Shinnosuke tends to have this dynamic with everyone, given his personality. The best example, though, might be him and Gunjou, due to both possessing Tsundere tendencies—best seen when they're making their way to and infiltrating Apocalypse Alice together, as there's no longer any Jerkass Fašade on Shinnosuke's part.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Gunjou.
  • Wham Line: Vol. 2 has a few.
    • After Shinnosuke finishes his meeting with Liezel:
      Yayoi: "And, if you're in the area of Kichijouji, please get away quickly! In the skies above Kichijouji—inside a chopper returning from Saitama...... the labyrinth disease has broken out in Mizuiro Gunjou!"
    • And at the very end, when Shinnosuke is about to try and save Gunjou, while the others are fending off the team from Kansai:
      Kujaku: "Hurry up and do it, Kiri."
  • Yandere: Yayoi.