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Light Novel: Bara no Maria
Bara no Maria (Rose of Maria) also known by it's english title, A Brave Heart of Red Rose, is a Light Novel series written by Ao Jyumonji and illustrated by BUNBUN. The series follows Mariarose, a red hair warrior who works as a "cracker", a mercenary, in the city of Elden where Mariarose's fellow companions try to earn money while Mariarose deals with weird and crazy people. One of the Running Gag's of this series is Mariarose's gender. Despite the female name, Mariarose's gender has never been confirmed in the series and it doesn't help Mariarose displays both typical boyish and girlish reactions and attitudes.

Important Note: Unless Word of God confirms it, Mariarose's gender should be left ambiguous so don't call Mariarose "he" or "she", just call Mariarose.... Mariarose.

This series provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Yurika. She can kick Azian's, Pimpernel's, Jin Wang's, and Fei Yang's asses in less than ten seconds and have them apologizing seiza style.
    • Don't forget Beatrice. Kicked SIX's ass pretty hard, I tell you.
  • Alchemy: Mariarose creates his/her bombs using alchemy. Learnt it from a magi who took Mariarose as a young child.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Mariarose. My God Mariarose. Mariarose looks female but could be a pretty boy. Unfortunately Mariarose acts in ways that makes Mariarose's gender unclear.
    • When a punk harasses Mariarose in the manga by calling Mariarose a "little girl", Mariarose takes offense and tells the punk "I'm not a little girl". At first, this might suggest that Mariarose's a guy and took offense of being called a girl but because Mariarose was using male pronouns and was offended being called a "little girl", this on the other hand suggests that Mariarose's a girl and was using male pronouns to act tough and was offended to be called a girl.
  • Art Evolution: The novel covers for the first three volumes look nothing like how the next volumes look, whilst the illustrations are already showing huge improvements. The cover format then changes after volume fourteen. What's more, characters start to look younger than they seem. BUNBUN, you've done an amazing job.
    • Check out the covers for volumes 20 and 21 - MY GAWD.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Tomatokun. Previously called Melonkun. Real name Diealot Maxpain.
    • Yog Floo-Yo Maid-orf Psychengren'Meiselch.
    • A lot of Rafflesian aristocrats have long-ass names: Ishtar Agamemno Gordon, Octavian Gustave vie de Rafflesia, and Louis Aschmedai Magnus-Ikis Adeimontdio to name a few.
  • Back from the Dead: In the world of Bara no Maria, resurrection is possible. Resurrection can only work when: the death of the person happened within 48 hours (succession rate is drastically reduced after that; 120 hours is the longest you can wait); need around 12 monks to perform the ritual; an altar; lots of money (it's costly, you know!), and the brain and heart (these important organs must be safe).
  • Badass Crew: Many Clans within the world of Bara no Maria are kickass; ya got Lunchtime, Moral Keepers, ZOO, and even the Pancaro family.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: The Pancaro family. Even if you are in an RPG-like world, you can still wear suits.
  • Badass Longcoat: It's one of the trends among crackers.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Twaning all the way, man. Twaning all the way.
  • Bifauxnen/Dude Looks Like a Lady: Mariarose, who else?
    • Lucy. Wears skirts, too, because he enjoys wearing them.
  • Bishōnen/Bishoujo: Mariarose.
    • Lucy is also considered one.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The battles against Sm C and Moral Keepers+ZOO. It was the third battle against SIX and his dronies that Mariarose and the rest of them won, whilst along the way, many Moral Keepers (especially a couple high-ranking members) died.
    • At the very end of the series, the world was saved, however, a huge sacrifice was made for that to happen...Azian, I feel for you!!
  • Blinding Bangs: Victoria from Lunchtime.
  • Bokukko: Mariarose's way of speaking which confuses fans on whether Mariarose's a guy or a girl.
  • Butt Monkey: Katari fits in this category very well.
  • Catch Phrase: LOVE MAX!
    • Maria, Maria Maria Maria. BOKU NO MARIA.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Oh, Mariarose. We all know you have feelings for Azian. The most depressing part was that Mariarose was never able to say it nor finish to...
  • Character Development: Besides fighting Freaks and defeating bad Clans, Bara no Maria is all about character development.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: Despite being madly in love himself, Azian doesn't realize his Lunchtime companions' feelings for him, especially the women.
  • Color Character: The idiot that he is, Azian dresses up and becomes "the Mysterious Mask Man, Blue Rose" in volume thirteen. He then changes to "Gold Mari", "Green Eyes", and "Red Roze". He even dons different coloured masks for every alter ego.
    • Azian's a total idiot, through and through. Again he appears this time as "Dark Rose" in volume sixteen. Baka...
  • Cool Pet: Alpha, and Q'u, too.
  • Cool Sword: Mariarose's reason for joining ZOO was to find the Consuming Inferno.
    • Tomatokun has a huge one, and it is AWESOME. He gets another one much later on.
    • Screaming Dagger, Azian's weapon of choice. By saying 'Scream, baby', it lets out a supersonic scream on its enemies. When it continuously absorbs blood on its blade, the dagger changes into a whip. Azian achieves this by stabbing his right hand palm. Manga's adaptation is completely different.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Azian's the biggest loser you'll ever meet (if he's with Mariarose). But totally kicks ass.
  • Dandere: It is revealed in volume nine and in a prequel novel that Azian is actually deadpan. Heck, he didn't even like touching people and vice versa in the first place. He becomes the energetic idiot person he is now because of Love, but once Mariarose goes somewhere else, Azian reverts to his original stoic self. His change of behaviour shocks those who knew Azian as the deadpan type (employees of n'ebula, for example). Even blushing is a rare expression for him.
    • The only other person whom Azian was incredibly close to in Lunchtime was Klanny.
    • When Mariarose sees this side of Azian, Mariarose becomes shocked to the point of feeling ignored.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Many, many, MANY characters are under this catalogue.
  • Death Faked for You: During the raid for the Four Lizard Siblings, Yurika witnesses Louis Catharsis' death, only to find it strange that rather than red, his blood was white. Turns out, he faked his death and is still alive behind the scenes secretly planning who knows what with Judi and the others.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Rogan.
  • Elemental Magic:
  • Emergency Transformation: Happens first in volume four when Scissorhands was about to kill Mariarose when Azian shouts "Don't look!" and uses Arukadeia.
    • In volume ten during the 7G arc, Azian has no choice but to publicly use his 'inner Freaks' to defend Mariarose and nearly gets eaten by them.
  • Facial Markings: Moral Keepers has a guy named Rasa who has battle scars all over his face.
  • Fiery Redhead: Mariarose's red hair colour is a distinguishing trait of his/hers. Plus he's/she's got a nasty mouth, so don't get on Mariarose's bad side.
  • Flash Step: Azian. At one point in the past, he sexually harasses Mariarose full-on by abusing this skill. Also killed three Moral Keepers in a blink of an eye.
  • Friendly Rivalry: Azian and Q'u make the best rivals when fighting with one another. They even do combination attacks during real battles.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Mariarose's a girl's name but...
    • Lucy. Turns out this person's a boy.
  • Gratuitous English: From time to time, Azian calls Mariarose "my sweetest" and other endearing words.
    • LOVE MAX!
    • Tomatokun needs to take English class. Is it Hystery Man Blue Blues-kun? Mysterian Masked Melon? What about Bunnyberry?
  • Healing Hands: Medical magic is available. Not only can this type of magic heal your scars and broken bones, but it can also fix that arm of yours that got lopped off minutes ago, and mend that hole in your stomach. Skill differs for every user. Clans tend to have at least one member who have such abilities. It kind of falls under Over List.
    • Yurika and Twaning of ZOO, and Natsuko and Victoria of Lunchtime are capable of using this magic.
    • Molly Lips is known for running an Asylum for injured people at affordable costs. With years of experience, Molly can even use this magic as a weapon. Beatrice becomes her apprentice, in which the training could take fifteen years to complete.
  • Honorary True companion: Mariarose was like this prior to the beginning of the series, but then joins ZOO.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Azian calls out on a magi who's obsessed with Mariarose despite he himself is also obsessed with Mariarose as well.
    • Katari gives a speech on Mariarose over getting lost in another dimension despite the fact he was responsible for sending Mariarose into said dimension in the first place.
  • I Am What I Am: Just when Azian was about to be eaten by his inner Freaks, Mariarose snaps Azian out of it by telling him that no matter what he is - whether he is a cat or a dog, a Freak or even a Gokki (a huge-ass cockroach), Maria would never hate him.
  • I Am Who?: It was hinted in the first and fourth volume, but was officially revealed in the thirteenth. Turns out, there is something more about Mariarose than anyone thinks. Mariarose is even oblivious about what he/she truly his.
    • Whatever Mariarose is, it has to do something with his/her orange eyes. (If you are to closely look at almost every volume cover, Mariarose's eyes have a kind of pattern in them.)
    • Lilly, Tomatokun, Louis Catharsis+Judi, SIX (during their second encounter) and most probably Azian knows what Mariarose really is.
    • In volume four, Mariarose wonders about his/her attractive appearance and looking nothing like his/her deceased parents. This leads to a speculation that the parents who raised Mariarose might not even be biologically related.
    • Speculation among the fans believe that Mariarose's true existence is pivotal to the war. Unfortunately, Jyumonji-sensei is keeping hush-hush until the last volume.
  • Idiot Hero: Azian. Azian, Azian, Azian. No arguments there. As Mariarose quotes: "At the least, he's not an enemy. He's just an idiot. Always have been an idiot. I'm not even sure if he plans on being an idiot forever. He is an idiot anyway. He really, really is an idiot. It's just helpless. Idiot..."
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Whether Mariarose is a cat or a dog, a Freak or a Gokki, Azian will still love Mariarose.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Every character rocks this. You're in an RPG world, might as well flaunt it.
  • Improbable Age: Fei Yang is a young boy yet is one of the leaders of the Serial*Killers Clan.
    • Yurika. Looks like a ten-year old, but is in fact 23.
  • In-Series Nickname: Katari doesn't like being called "Fish Face".
    • Azian: Ano yasai otoko!
    • Twaning's nickname is Beard within ZOO.
    • Idiot #1, Idiot #2, and Idiot #3: Azian, Jin Wang, and Fei Yang, respectively.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: They appear later on. Every RPG has to have them.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Mecha: King Gooder has a dreadnaught in a shape of a multi-headed dragon.
  • Keigo: Twaning.
  • King Incognito: Surprisingly, Katari is actually the third prince of Kingdom Izuruha.
  • Jerkass Fašade: Mariarose prior to the series. After joining ZOO, Mariarose starts to warm up with the members.
  • Loyal Animal Companion: Alpha is fiercely loyal to Rom Four to the point of hating Tomatokun.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Viscount Gordon. Killed every child who got close to Mariarose. Good thing Azian killed him.
  • Meaningful Name: Bara no Maria. Mariarose. Get it?
    • At the very end, you finally understand the meaning of it. (*sniff*)
  • Necromancy: SIX had a creepy-looking guy who was able to use such abilities. Stated to be a new type of magic. Luckily, Mariarose killed the guy because fighting zombies is really troublesome.
  • News Travels Fast: After Moral Keepers was defeated by SIX's trap, the guardian clan became a laughing stock to the public. It was later after the third battle when Sm C was finally beaten that Moral Keepers regained their fame, and ZOO's Tomatokun became a celebrity for defeating SIX.
    • SIX's return spread like wildfire amongst his worshippers.
  • Normally, I Would Be Dead Now: Not only can Azian drink gallons of whiskey and still end up sober, but lopping his arm off or firing magic at him won't even kill him. Turns out, Azian's not entirely human.
  • Oblivious to Love: Tomatokun, you dunce.
  • One-Winged Angel: Ruvy Bloom can turn into a dragon.
  • Pals with Jesus: Tomatokun and Soal.
  • Professional Killer: Pimpernel was an assassin before joining ZOO. Came from a country known for training assassins.
  • Psychic Powers: People with said abilities are called Over Lists. Very rare.
  • Rain of Arrows: Jay's doppelganger does this during the third battle.
  • Really 700 Years Old: King Gooder. He's been ruling Sunland Unreign Kingdom for how many years now?
    • Tomatokun's age is unknown to the ZOO members. Not only was he present when the clan Moral Keepers was established (twenty years prior to the series), but he also has knowledgeable information on the world. He is revealed to be centuries years old. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU.
  • Red Baron: Azian is infamously known as "Carnage Doll". Hates the sobriquet, though.
  • Red-Headed Hero: Our protagonist is a red-head. Our protagonist also wears red.
  • Rose-Haired Sweetie: Korona. Unfortunately, the hair colour is a side-effect from taking magic drugs.
  • Secret Keeper: Twaning might actually know Mariarose's actual gender/secret. After waking up from being fatally injured by SIX in volume three, Mariarose asks Twaning who changed his clothes, in which Twaning answers he did. Underwear, too?
  • Seemingly Profound Fool: Funny Frank. Soo annoying.
  • Slasher Smile: Both Azian and Tomatokun during the final battle against Sm C.
  • Sleep Cute: Happens all the time whenever Mariarose uses Q'u as a pillow; in volume 11, Lucy finds Mariarose sleeping on Q'u's fluffy fur, only to quickly wake up and straightening his/her (adorable) bed hair.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Azian, who is madly in love with Mariarose.
    • Not only does Azian know where Mariarose lives, but he also knows all the places Mariarose would usually go and visit to.
  • Stalking Is Love: What Azian believes much to Mariarose's chagrin. LOVE MAX!!
  • Summon Magic: Safinia and Betty are known to use this magic.
    • Only very few people are capable of using magic, and of those people, only very, very few are able to use summoning magic.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: She might not look like one, but Yurika can pack a punch. Twaning taught her the skills.
  • Surprisingly Good English:
  • Survivor Guilt: During the Jaderi arc (not Jadori), Katari takes the blow that was meant for Mariarose.
    • This happens again when Lucy covers for Mariarose during the Calamitage.
  • There Is Only One Bed: When Azian guards Mariarose outside his/her apartment in the ninth volume, Mariarose forcefully pulls him in from the cold and has him sleep on the couch.
  • The Smart Guy: If you need to get out of a sticky situation, get Mariarose. If you need to make quick judgement, get Mariarose. If you need a temporary leader, get Mariarose. If you need to get rid of Azian, get Mariarose.
    • Johann Sunrise. The new glasses aren't just for show.
  • Tournament Arc: The entire gist of the 7S Game arc.
  • Training from Hell: After the 7S Game arc, Mariarose decides to become stronger by training with Tomatokun and Pimpernel. A year and a half later, Mariarose is able to wield double swords.
  • True Companions: Every Clan in the series.
  • Tsundere: Mariarose. Oh, Mariarose.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: Mariarose. Happens ALL THE TIME.
  • Unwanted Harem: Let's see, Azian, Mariarose's stalker; Jin Wang, the other leader of the Ryu-Su Alliance and has teeth fetish; Lucy, one of the newly recruited members of ZOO; and Beatrice, a former Moral Keepers member and medical in training.
  • Wham Episode: Calamitage. Nothing Is the Same Anymore.
  • Wham Line: Ruvy Bloom: You are my child.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The readers are shown what happens after the Key is sacrificed.
  • Yandere: Okay, so not only is he a dandere (well, was) , Azian does have tendencies of a yandere. Azian had erroneously believed that Lucy was a girl, thus allowing him to sleep under the same roof as Mariarose. When he revealed that he was actually a boy, Azian nearly attacked him, if it wasn't for Q'u's interference.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Mariarose-> red hair; Safinia-> silver hair.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Yurika, and Beatrice in her new medical outfit.
Banana no NanaFantasy Anime & MangaBarrage
Ballad of a ShinigamiLight NovelsBen-To

alternative title(s): Bara No Maria
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