Light Novel / Heavy Object

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The main cast of the 37th Mobile Maintenance Battalion. From left to right (Background): Major Froleytia Capistrano, Milinda Brantini. From left to right (Foreground): Hevia Winchell, Quenser Barbotage.

"Whatever is made by man can be destroyed by man!"
Quenser Barbotage

Objects. Gigantic armoured weapons of war which have completely changed modern warfare. With the standard method of thinking that "Only an Object can destroy another Object", the idea that normal soldiers could do anything was laughable.

Until Quenser and Heivia, a battlefield student studying Objects and a noble enrolled in the army as a radar analyst experience their own army's Object falling in battle and its pilot "Princess" Milinda Brantini in enemy hands. Against all common sense, Quenser mounts a daring rescue mission, helped by Heivia. On the way, they face the enemy army's Object, and find that they have no choice but to destroy it if they want to survive.

They succeed.

This unbelievable victory leads the public to label them Dragon Killers, worshipped and adored. Of course, the military decides to take advantage of this and places the two into a special unit for taking on Objects on foot. Thus, Quenser and Heivia, accompanied by Milinda and her own Object the Baby Magnum and their commander Froyleytia, begrudgingly do their dangerous duty, only continuing because they can't fight against their own military, and because their morals compel them to defend whomever they find standing in the way of the Objects.

By Kazuma Kamachi, the author of A Certain Magical Index, Heavy Object currently has 11 volumes released.

An anime adaptation began airing in the Fall 2015 Anime season.

The first chapter of the first volume was adapted into a manga by Inue Shinsuke in 2009. The remaining two chapters and one short story were adapted by Saito Sakae in a manga called Heavy Object S in 2011. A third manga adaptation (also by Saito Sakae) called Heavy Object A began in 2015 to accompany the anime adaptation, though it skipped the second volume of the light novel.

Quenser, along with Milinda and Heivia, represent the series in the Massive Multiplayer Crossover Fighting Game Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax beginning with its Ignition update.

Tropes found in this series:

  • Ace Pilot: All Elites are raised as this. Burning Alpha, Ice Girl 1 and Rocket Icarus also count, being actual fighter pilots.
  • Achilles' Heel: The more specialized an Object is, the more likely it is to possess a weakness inherent to the design. Quenser frequently exploits these weaknesses to disable/destroy Objects.
  • Action Girl: Milinda is the pilot of a First Generation Object, which is generally looked down upon as being a poor match to Second Generation Objects. Despite this she has racked up an impressive number of Object kills, often without any assistance from Quenser beyond targeting info.
    • Mariydi is a seasoned veteran and ace pilot despite being a pre-teen. Out of the cockpit she's a solid shot with a rifle, smart enough to plot her way to victory in a sporting event while foiling assassination attempts, and strong enough to do all of this without any doping.
    • Putana is not only a skilled Elite, she's also a deft hand on a motorcycle, quick to learn new skills (mainly stealing said motorcycles), and deadly with a gun.
    • Azureyfear is a beautiful young noble but also a crack shot with rifles, smart enough to run a drug war, and tough enough to survive the inertial G's of an Object that would incapacitate Elites.
  • Adaptation Expansion: In the light novel, the outcome of the confrontation between Froyletia, Hevia, and Qwenser vs Councillor Flide is uncertain. In episode 8, Baby Magnum faces off against the councillor's personal Object, the "Exact Javelin" while Froyletia and Heivia deal with Flide. True to his word, Heivia punches Flide's teeth in, and Baby Magnum corrects her Alaskan mistake and takes down Exact Javelin.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: While it's generally acknowledged an AI-piloted Object would be more humane and efficient, they are not yet advanced enough to equal an Elite and there remains concerns about them going on a rampage against friend and foe alike. The Rush is equipped with one but it has all the usual flaws. To compensate a pilot must manually monitor and re-code the A.I. on the fly.
  • Alpha Strike: Hornet Storm possesses only anti-personnel lasers for weaponry. When facing an Object it refracts the lasers to simultaneously strike a single point on the enemy's armor.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Valkyrie global divine punishment unit from the Faith Organization, the Battlefield Cleanup Service PMC, the maid bodyguards of the Winchell family and the bodyguard unit for the Princess in Volume 8.
  • America Saves the Day: Discussed in Volume 7 where the MIB note that while "the world police" existed there were far fewer wars than the current era which is why they intend to create a successor country with the same goals.
  • And This Is For...: Claire helped kill Dmitry because he arranged the death of a young girl Claire had known very well. When firing the shot that kill him, Claire whispers the girl's name.
  • Anti-Air: The creation of Objects and their advanced sensors and multiple laser weapons has reduced the role of the air force outside the Northern European Restricted Zone (where Objects are forbidden by international treaties) to transporting personnel and equipment, low-altitude reconnaissance when satellites are unavailable and ceremonial acrobatics.
  • Arbitrary Maximum Range: Subverted, when the novel explains the usual ranges at which Object fight each other (5 to 10 km) it adds that main cannons can shoot much farther while still retaining power; it's just that onion armor is tough enough that it's assumed normal Object's main cannons need to be within 10 km to reliably pierce it, as the speed and thus the power of railguns and coilguns drops as the distance increases, laser beams decay as they travel through the air and the heat of low-stability plasma and rapid-fire beams dissipates.
    • Low-stability plasma cannons do seem to have an inferior range to other types of main cannons in exchange for greater power, as Baby Magnum's are noted to have an effective anti-Object range of 3 to 4 km with a maximum range of around 10 km, but are described as one of her strongest weapons.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Froleytia's family almost always has male children. Apparently this ability also applies to Froleytia herself.
  • Astro Turf: The MIB attempt this in Oceania, stirring up outrage among the citizens using edited footage of resolved crises and limiting the food supply. They were too rushed and the outrage lost momentum quickly.
  • Assassin Outclassin': Nyarlathotep was ready to die, but the assassin sent to kill him was so pathetic he ended up escaping anyway.
  • Attack Drone: A supplementary force used by some Units and Objects. Some models are sold on the black market to guerrillas and terrorists.
    • Olympia Dome has water- and air-borne drones to enforce its laws.
  • Awesome by Analysis: The only reason Quenser and Heivia are still alive.
  • Awesome McCool Name: The villain of the Amazon City arc, Sladder Honeysuckle.
  • Badass Bookworm: Quenser. Some have theorized that if Quenser, a man who regularly exploits the weaknesses of Objects, were to design one of his own, he'd be skipping generations of technology with what he would design.
  • Badass Normal: Quenser and Heivia manage to constantly defeat Objects without one on their own.
  • Balance of Power: The four supernations maintain a delicate equilibrium, none of them weak enough for the others to consider all-out war.
  • Bastard Bastard: Prince Dmitry is a cruel man and has eliminated many rival claimants for the throne of Volga despite being first in line. It is suspected this is because he was the king's bastard child and thus would have no claim to the matrilineal throne. The DNA tests show he's legitimate but the office involved is staffed by his flunkies. After his death the test prove he was indeed illegitimate.
  • BFG: All Objects are covered with them, but the Break Carrier/Lisolette takes the cake, being equipped with a mass driver railgun thats bigger than the actual Object itself.
  • Big Good: Quenser, Heivia, and Milinda answer to Froleytia.
  • Bio-Augmentation: A necessity for Elites and modern jet pilots in order to withstand the increased g's in battle, with both genetic and surgical modifications being used.
  • Bishounen: Quenser, to the point that his description includes a line saying he could appear as a man or woman depending on whether he was wearing pants or a skirt.
  • Black Box: The targeting system in Objects is created by combining the knowledge of three different disciplines and the intuition of the Elite. Due to the odd mixture of techniques nobody involved quite understands the whole thing, only that it works.
  • Blinded by the Light: Laser and plasma weapons, as well as an Object's reactor detonating, are enough to temporarily blind anyone looking. Quenser tends to get some flak for not telling anyone to look away.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: At the start of Episode 17, Monica says, "Now it's time for the show's opening! Start!" Cue opening sequence.
  • Brick Joke: In volume 3 Quenser and Heivia complain about their unit being used for an idol show as military propaganda. Heivia ends the conversation by saying that at least it's better than being mobilized to help film an action movie. Seven volumes later our heroes are ordered to help film an alien invasion movie. It reaches a point where the troops are pissed at the movie's main actor, Milinda is sulking in her cockpit after seeing in the storyboard that the Baby Magnum is easily destroyed in one hit by an alien cruiser and Froleytia is on the verge of physically assaulting the director. Froleytia ends up profusely thanking her superior when he tells her she can go in an actual combat mission.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Quenser, Froleytia, and Heivia, and more.
  • Buxom Is Better: Oh Ho Ho and her G-cup chest. Subverted, she's actually a 10-year old girl with a flat chest.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: Nyarlathotep retired from the spy business to raise a family in peace, even going so far as to hypnotize himself to forget his skills. Then his old employer invaded the country and Nyarlathotep's wife and son died in front of him, dragging him back into the war.
  • The Cameo: One of the techs in the manga adaptation has a headband covered in flowers.
  • The Caper: The start of volume 9 features a heist where the protagonists as "civilian" members of a "gang" steal an Object.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Quenser and Heivia won't stop bantering even while they're trying their best to not die.
  • Catch Phrase: Quenser's anime-only Pre-Mortem One-Liner when it comes to objects: "Whatever is made by man, can be destroyed by man!"
  • Chekhov's Gun: Elements introduced casually in the prologue and first chapter of a volume often play a critical role in the second and third chapters.
  • Child Prodigy: The Information Alliance has a genius girl project to raise hundreds of these for the military. Aditionally, talent trafficking (kidnapping child geniuses) is an active market on the Capitalist Corporations.
    • In Volume 9 the actual group behind the novel's conflicts is revealed to be an international group of child geniuses who are fed up with the adults and the state of the world and want to enter cold sleep until humankind is over so they can create a new world order.
  • Child Soldiers: The average age of the soldiers in the military has gone down quite a bit. Froleytia is 18 and has been in the military since she was 13, while Mariydi is 12 and a recognized ace fighter pilot. Oh Ho Ho is actually around 10 years old and using 3DCG for her idol work. It's so common that hardly anyone thinks of it as wrong.
    • Not only are they soldiers at such young ages but the Elites and Mariydi have also gone through extensive physical and genetic augmentation before this point and seen multiple battles. Recruiting for Elites must start well before their tenth birthday.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Both Quenser and Heivia. While the "chivalrous" part is often dubious, the "pervert" part is there for the world to see.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Several times, Quensar and Heivia cold have just obeyed orders and ignore the object while letting innocent people be killed but they go out to defeat the object instead, usually meaning that they never get recognized for their accomplishments and end up punished. The worst part is that, if it were up to them, neither would be on the front-lines anymore; it's the same people who don't want them acting like heroes who are the ones who keep putting them in the position to act like one.
  • City of Spies: As revealed early on, the four gangs in Lost Angels are actually disguised soldiers from the four supernations. Three of the gangs are attempting to steal information from the Object maintenance base in the city while the fourth is protecting it.
  • Civil War: Between the main Capitalist Corporations and the Mass Driver Conglomerate in volume 2.
    • The 24th Mobile Maintenance Battalion of the Legitimacy Kingdom starts one in volume 3.
    • In volume 8, another one erupts in the Island Nation (a.k.a. Japan) because of one of the Capitalist Corporations self-defense PMC.
    • Volume 11 has Hevia's sister start one just because she doesn't like Hevia's Romeo and Juliet romance with a Vanderbilt.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: The Princess, though she usually hides it well behind her The Stoic face. On more than one occasion, she's pointed Baby Magnum's main guns at Quenser, which is like pointing a battleship cannon at an ant. She does quite literally cling to Quenser out of jealousy on Christmas eve, though.
  • Coincidence Magnet: Aparently the universe just wants to see how much it takes before those two idiots turn tail from an Object.
  • Conspicuous CG: The Objects, as well as the carrier ships, numerous explosions and several shots of hands are represented by this in the anime. Ditto the mining suit in episodes 18 and 19.
  • Cool Ship: The disguised cruiser Scarlet Princess of the Legitimacy Kingdom and the Summer Vacation, one of the Winchell family's seven armed cruise ships, both appearing in volume 8.
  • Covered in Gunge: During a war game Heivia replaces his team's paint rounds with ones that are thick, white, and sticky. The opposing team really doesn't want to get coated with that.
    • Megalodiver fills the surrounding ocean with a thickened starch, turning it into a sticky slime. Heivia and Quenser both end up in it and are mistaken for slime monsters.
  • Crapsack World: Four supernations are constantly skirmishing with one another, using weapons of mass destruction piloted by child soldiers. This situation is perpetuated and exacerbated by extremists and war profiteers on all sides.
    • Specifically pointed out by the author.
      Afterword of volume 6: As you could probably tell from reading any one volume, the world of Heavy Object is a shitty world where the good are not rewarded and the evil are not punished.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Everything Quenser and Heivia do.
    • Quenser's action regarding Froleytia being forced into marriage? Molest her in front of her arranged suitor and tell him you're in physical relationship with her. It works.
  • Crippling Over Specialization: All Elites are genetically modified and trained to pilot a specific Object and only that type of Object. If their Object is destroyed and a replacement is not available it can be years before one is built to their specification.
    • Second Generation Objects are specifically designed for certain environments or situations and within that role have a significant advantage over other Objects. At the same time this reduces their effectiveness outside of those roles.
      • Milinda notes they are also heavily specialized in fighting other Objects, which compromises their ability to counter other threats.
    • The enemy unit supporting Water Strider relied almost entirely on their Object and radar detection; they didn't have any planes, tanks, or even regular infantry. This left them vulnerable to infiltration and after the Object's destruction they didn't stand a chance against Froleytia's tanks and infantry.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Quenser and Heivia spend most of their time doing stupid stuff and snarking at whatever stupidity is going on around them, but when the situation arises you'll realize that they actually know their stuff.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Acre is sealed in a barrel filled with pebbles and an adhesive with his head above the surface. As the adhesive set it expanded, gradually squeezing his body until he died of shock.
  • Curbstomp Battle: What the battle between a side with an object and a side without an object was acknowledged to be prior to the events in the story.
  • David vs. Goliath: The premise is two guys vs 50 meter tall tanks with more firepower than North Korea. It leads to every petty dictator trying to do the same thing off-screen, with...a bit less success.
  • Deadly Decadent Court: Legitimacy Kingdom's noble and royal houses are constantly jockeying for position and are not above arranging assassinations. Heivia notes the only reason he's not at risk while in the military is that he's not important enough to justify an attack.
    • Volume 6 shows just how deadly these conflicts can become when nearly an entire military base is destroyed as an after-thought during a fight over succession.
  • Death-or-Glory Attack: Simple Is Best charges enemy objects at speeds that break the sound barrier to deliver a devastating close-range plasma blast, relying on ablative armor to protect their front. If the attack fails the Object's lightly defended rear is exposed and easily destroyed by even the Baby Magnum.
  • Demolitions Expert: Quenser can use his explosives for everything from collapsing cave entrances to creating an improvised armor-piercing shrapnel grenade. He's so well-known for this in-universe that when cornered in a workshop containing gunpowder his pursuers are very cautious.
  • Determinator: Quenser and to a lesser extent Heivia.
  • Dirty Cop: A unit charged with checking the cargo of all ships leaving a port is paid off to ignore human traffickers.
    • An entire squad of Black Uniforms, the internal police of Legitimacy Kingdom's military, is revealed to be part of a drug-running ring. Their status allows them to approve any shipment and attach themselves to any unit that might come into contact with the contraband.
  • Disability Superpower: Putana Highball, the Faith Organization Elite from Volume 9 has scopophobia and is practically supernaturally aware of any gaze focused on her, from living beings to cameras and drones. She can even tell if cameras are active or not. She has been trained to use this sixth sense in battle, both in and out of her Object, and can even dodge enemy gunfire by sensing the shooters' gazes and predicting the bullets' paths, though she can be overwhelmed if faced with too many enemies.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: When Quenser needs to distract Heivia he pulls out a photo of a bathing Froleytia. Heivia is worried the picture will be lost so he tries to commit it to memory, meaning his eyes are focused exactly where Quenser wants them.
  • Divided States of America: When the supernations formed America splintered. It is now the home country for both the Capitalist Corporation and the Information Alliance.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Invoked by Heivia during the mock battle at the start of Volume 7 - he replaces the red paint in the paint rounds with white paint that is "suspiciously sticky".
  • Doomsday Clock: References to the World Clock which measures the remaining lifespan of the human race based on current resource supplies, production, and consumption is a Running Gag in Volume 9. It becomes relevant at the end when the "Star" conspiracy is revealed to be people trying to survive once it hits midnight and have secretly accelerated it by siphoning off massive amounts of resources to do so.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Played with. Quenser and Heivia are labeled Dragon Killers by the general public for killing Objects, and are quite well-loved. Unfortunately, they don't completely appreciate the title, as this leads their commanders to field them on more and more missions where they end up living up to their titles. Thus, the cycle continues.
    • Periodically they do want the respect they feel deserved, usually in the form of a bit more leeway, better assignments, and less grunt work. Instead they're treated like problem soldiers at the bottom of the military hierarchy, which they are, and end up on punishment details.
  • Duel to the Death: Royal Duels decide which claimant to a throne succeeds and that's the survivor. The two fight in Objects and surrender is not accepted.
  • Easy Come, Easy Go: For defeating Water Strider, Quenser and Heivia receive awards which could completely change their lives. Quenser gains access to secret Object development files while Heivia gets the commendations that will prove his right to lead his family. By the end of the Volume these have been stripped away, leaving them in the same situation as before.
    • A Running Gag is that Quenser and Heivia always have an eye for a way to make some quick money on their mission. As a result they've come into possession of diamonds, rare earth metal, pilfered cash, and a quiz show jackpot. By the end of the volume, if not the same chapter, the two will have lost their windfall.
  • Ejection Seat: Objects have ejection seats since the Elites usually account for a tenth of an Object's cost and training a new Elite to pilot an Object takes time.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: Exploited quite literally as the supernations laud their Elites as national heroes in propaganda pieces. The rest of the military is generally overlooked as their role has been reduced to supporting the Elites.
  • Emotionless Girl: The Princess.
  • The Engineer: Quenser is somewhere between a Support and Combat Engineer, using his knowledge of explosives and machinery more than a gun to fight.
    • Ayami is an Object mechanic and good at her job, as is the unit working under her supervision. Quenser is supposed to be learning from her as a student but he ends up spending more of this time destroying Objects than with her.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: The sight of a group of baby penguins walking through the snow is enough to make both sides of a battle stop firing at each other and just Squee! over the cuteness.
  • The Faceless: Oh Ho Ho, during her initial appearances in the anime. In which her avatar's face is barely seen. And when it is, the eyes are still covered up by its bangs.
  • Faking the Dead: The Polar Bear unit faked their deaths in order to infiltrate their enemy's network as Unicorn unit.
    • This is a specialty of Nyarlathotep, who has been "killed" roughly thirty times. He does it again at the end of Volume 10.
  • Fallen Princess: Princess Staivia is a claimant to the throne of Volga but after the destruction of her personal bodyguard unit she's been on the run from her brother Prince Dmitry's assassination plots. By the time his plans reach their climax Staivia gives in if only to protect her faithful maid.
  • False Flag Operation: A renegade faction purposefully uses military equipment from or modified to look like another country's to confuse their enemies. This is done not to frame that country but to create confusion over who the actual aggressor is.
    • This is a specialty of Unicorn, wearing uniforms of other countries to sow confusion on the battlefield. This tradition started when they posed as a separate military Unit in order to stage their own deaths and earn favor with their enemy.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Victoria Island Arc's Big Bad wants to wipe out a city primarily inhabited by immigrants because he feels they're weakening the Legitimacy Kingdom.
  • Famed In-Story: Quenser and Heivia are famous due to destroying an Object on their own. At least one bar makes drinks to commemorate each new Object they destroy and a higher ranked officer admits to being something of a fan.
  • The Federation: The four supernations formed when various nations aligned ideologically and created a central government.
  • Feudal Future: Legitimacy Kingdom is built around the concept of nobles and royals ruling over kingdoms, supported by the commoner masses. The exact way some of the noble families came to power is uncertain as the Winchell and Vanderbilt's claim of a centuries long feud indicates they predate the Kingdom.
  • Feuding Families: The Winchell and the Vanderbilt are two rival noble families of the Legitimacy Kingdom, which makes things harder for Heivia since he's engaged to the heiress of the Vanderbilt family. The rivalry stretches back at least five hundred years, its origins being shrouded in myth. The relationship was largely low-key but has erupted in armed conflicts recently due to a royal egging them on to cover up his own gaffes.
  • First-Name Basis: Froleytia.
  • Flock of Wolves: The population of Lost Angels consists almost entirely of soldiers disguised as gang members. The remainder of the population are civilian criminals profiting off the conflict. Every legitimate civilian left long ago. Despite everyone involved knowing this, they maintain the pretense to avoid an all-out war.
  • The Fool: Both Quenser and Heivia sometimes fall under this, lacking any real idea what is happening until they're in the midst of a disaster. Even then they're prone to bickering over food, women, and finding a way to slack off for a bit. Despite this they always find a way to survive and triumph, even if the narrator himself calls them idiots.
  • Foreign Queasine: A group of problem soldiers, obviously including Quenser and Heivia, are assigned to learn survival cooking basics. The food they learn to cook is deep-fried crickets, which massively squicks out the soldiers. Quenser and Heivia end up actually enjoying them greatly.
  • Forever War: Not really one big fight, but due to the world being fractured into a disorganized mess of governments and territories, there is always some new conflict springing up due to political tensions or personal ambition. The fact that civilians and most soldiers both aren't terribly affected by it is a major driving cause.
    • The Northern European Restricted Zone is a more straight example. As Objects are banned the nations instead use conventional military forces. Such forces are largely considered expendable so the region sees war year-round.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Objects usually have laser weapons, commonly for anti-air and point-defense roles, though they are also used in main cannons and anti-personnel roles. They're incredibly effective in the interception of missiles and aircraft, since they're without cover and the only way to dodge a laser weapon that's locked on you would be to move at lightspeed.
    • Some of the lesser known limits of lasers are also brought into play. At low altitudes dust, dirt and other pollutants can cause lasers to miss due to refraction. A hijacked satellite-mounted laser is treated as mostly unimportant at first because the Earth's atmosphere would render the beam useless.
    • While people can see the lasers, it's explicitly stated they're actually not. What they're actually seeing is the super-heated water and dust particles the laser roasted into incandescence.
  • Future Imperfect: Volume 10 reveals that the upheaval following the UN's collapse resulted in the destruction of large amounts of historical documents across multiple media. As such there are gaps in history, especially around that time period, and even the belief that UN's collapse led to the development of Objects is questionable.
    • Azureyfear notes that this could easily have been exacerbated by people who wanted to eliminate any inconvenient parts of their history.
  • Gag Boobs: Frolaytia's "titan tits" seem to bounce all over creation in the anime, even when she's barely moving. Hevia pokes fun at Frolaytia's endowments whenever he gets the chance, even to her face.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: The soldiers from the 24th Mobile Maintenance Battalion of the Legitimacy Kingdom since their role is to scatter special gas for a combination attack with their Object the Indigo Plasma.
  • Gatling Good: The Rush main cannons are two giant gatling guns, each made of five rapid fire beam cannons.
  • Genre Savvy: Quenser and Heivia are perfectly capable of realizing they'll end up being sent up against an object, regardless of how many objects they have on their side. Justified though, since the military command hates them, and using them to whack an Object is practically free in comparison to the cost of deploying a 2nd generation Object.
    • When their fellow soldier Kevin is constantly talking about his wife and son while heading out on a mission everyone else tells him to shut up as they don't want to get caught in the crossfire. When he eventually admits he just made up the story to hide he was a pathetic middle-aged bachelor they send him on an assault mission since there's no way he would die.
  • Gilded Cage: In volume 6 Quenser and Heivia are transfered to a base which has the sole purpose of isolating troublesome soldiers (whether really troublesome or just eyesores for the brass), which happens to be located on a tropical island with a wide range of amenities. It also serves as a cage for some of the more troublesome Object designers, most notably a number of skilled but perverted girls.
  • Grenade Launcher: Quenser receives the War Hammer in Volume 10, a bullpup rifle that fires remote-detonated adhesive bombs.
  • Groin Attack: Princess Stavia to Sonja aka Yusenlak
  • Hand Wave: The engineering tech in the series is more or less well-researched and plausible, making it one of the hardest Sci-Fi LN around, but their accomplishment is well beyond the actual, realistic result.
  • He Knows Too Much: Lisa is targeted for assassination due to her work as a black op bodyguard making her witness to many unsavory actions.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Exploited. Object cockpits have a number of cameras installed to record the Elites when they go into battle, the video being edited later for propaganda. Helmets would lessen the impact so Elites don't receive any.
    • This reasoning is explained by Mariyidi when gearing up to fly a jet fighter, which no longer have full helmets or oxygen masks. Because Objects receive the bulk of military spending there's little dedicated development of minor systems for the air force, and so jet pilots have to make do with Elite equipment.
  • Hero of Another Story: Mariyidi periodically crosses paths with Quenser and Heivia while on missions, never meeting personally but always having an impact.
  • Hidden Depths: The major characters are quirky, but alas they aren't always happy-go-lucky about stuff.
  • Hollywood Acid: The MIB use an aerosol version in bombs to wipe out traces of their operation and for both defense and offense with their Object. It's very much a Hollywood acid as even a few seconds of exposure is enough to damage a coil gun round enough to throw its aerodynamics off.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Councillor Filde use his position to arrange Quenser and Heivia's deaths and then ordered a coalition force to ignore their calls for backup. When confronted about his actions he was in serious trouble due to unilaterally ordering around military from the other supernations and nearly causing the entire operation to end in disaster.
    • Prince Dmitry specifically designed his Object's weapon system so that it could not be turned against him. The resulting flaws in the programming and safety systems meant Quenser was able to make it fire on him with little effort. He also ensured his opponent's useless Object had an operational weapon to increase the legitimacy, not realizing it could be remote-fired.
  • Human Resources: The Oceanians abducted by human traffickers weren't going to be slaves. Instead they were likely going to be used as realistic props in a PR piece about a civilian massacre. Better to kill some foreign nationals and claim they were citizens than let your own people die.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The chapters of the light novels usually follow the pattern of "Short Japanese Text >> Battlefield location".
  • Idol Singer: Still present and are used by all four supernations. Some female Elites get in on the action too, such as Oh Ho Ho.
  • I Have Your Daughter: A group of kidnappers calls Froleytia on her private line, declaring they've kidnapped her daughter. This manages to push every one of Froleytia's buttons, even though she doesn't have a daughter, and promptly sends her unit to wipe them out.
  • Improbable Age: Froleytia is a bit young to actually be a superior officer to Quenser and Heivia though possibly Justified as she's been in the army for a very long time to escape her suitors, and she's from a noble family in a military that takes blood very seriously.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Thanks to their massive suite of sensors and targeting arrays, Objects can level an entire city but leave soft targets like hospitals and schools intact. The only reason they can't be used for close-fire support is that the radiant heat and pressure from a blast would be lethal.
    • Milinda destroys Break Carrier by firing a blast through a tunnel mined into a mountainside.
  • In-Series Nickname: Examples include:
    • Princess for Milinda Brantini.
    • Heivia and Quenser call the Rush's Elite "Oh ho ho".
    • The same two ofter refere to Froleytia Capistrano as their "Large-breasted commander".
    • Heivia and Quenser received the nickname "Dragon Killers" by the media.
      • In volume 6 they earned the temporary nickname "War criminal" and "War criminal #2". Quenser was upset it was the kind of nickname that could stick; Heivia was upset at being #2.
    • The three ace pilots of the global powers: "Burning Alpha" for Staccato Raylong, "Ice Girl 1" for Mariydi Whitewitch and "Rocket Icarus" for Ramil Scofflaw.
    • There's also the "Perfect idol" in volume 6.
  • Inertial Dampening: In addition to their physical and genetic modifications, Elites wear special suits designed to reduce the stress placed on their body during combat maneuvers. When Quenser was in Rush's cockpit Oh Ho Ho was able to disable him simply by accelerating the Object to attack speed; while she calmly sipped a drink Quenser was barely able to move.
    • Mariydi has received similar modifications as a test subject in survivability experiments for Elites and also has a similar suit. Thanks to this she can pull stunts that would be too dangerous for normal fighter pilots.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted. Children are maimed and killed just like anyone else, sometimes even targeted deliberately as it has a bigger PR impact.
  • Insane Troll Logic: The Capitalist Corporation Ex Wall is a barbed warrior barrier laced with explosives. If an enemy attacks it the explosives will scatter and act as land mines, which are banned by international treaty. Capitalist Corporation can then accuse their enemy of committing a war crime by spreading mines since it was the attack that created the mines.
  • Ironic Name: Among others, a terrorist group mentioned in volume 10 is named "Woodstock."
  • It's Personal: Claire's main reason for helping Unicorn against Dmitry was that their target had killed a girl she'd known and liked just to set up part of their plan.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: The Princess's Baby Magnum. It's designed to be able to operate and fight in any environment, but doesn't excel at anything. Even its weaponry is just average, with the designers giving it seven main cannons to compensate for the weaker firepower. Its also a First generation Object, with Second generation Objects starting to be a common sight and research being done on Third generation ones. This puts it at a disadvantage against more specialized Objects and often requires Quenser's assistance to help even the odds.
    • Milinda notes that since it was designed as a First Generation Object, it has features allowing a counter to most types of conventional military and defenses against them. Second Generation Objects have reduced focus on such features meaning Baby Magnum is safer when facing against somebody like Quenser.
  • Japan Takes Over the World: Averted when Island Nation created the first twelve Objects. Before it could make any big moves the other nations stole the information on constructing Objects and created their own.
    • Yamato attempts this in Volume 8 by using Amaterasu. His explanation of why he wants Island Nation to conquer the world is simply so they can "win" after having it snatched from them when Objects were first created.
  • Jumping on a Grenade: Heivia throws a thug onto his own grenade to block the blast. He ends up splattered with the thug's remains but comes out unharmed.
    • An unnamed Kingdom soldier did this while covering the grenade with his dive suit, apparently in the vain hope it would shield him. The rest of his unit made it out fine thanks to him.
  • Kangaroo Court: Nyarlathotep is found guilty of kidnapping and murder after a thirty second trial, whose documents had all been arranged in advance. The fact that this is the preferable outcome to the situation highlights how crappy the world really is.
  • Kill It with Fire: The 1st generation Object Be Ablaze's main weapon is the "Hiding Clothes in Flame", a giant anti-personel flamethrower that creates smoke and mirages to disrupt the targeting of other Objects.
  • Kill Sat: The main laser cannon of the Broad Sky Saber in volume 6 is actually in a satellite.
  • Land Mine Goes "Click!": Land mines are largely banned by international treaty. Capitalist Corporation exploits a loophole in the ban with an explosive fence that, if not detonated by them, will split apart into improvised mines. Because this happens due to the actions of their enemy, the Capitalists can then accuse the enemy of committing a war crime.
    • Stalk Killer Unit's standard procedure for delaying enemy pursuit is to scatter thousands of disguised proximity landmines as they retreat. Lisa had a falling out with and killed the rest of the unit when they planned to do this in a populated city.
  • Latex Space Suit: Elites and fighter pilots wear specialized suits that help reduce the impact of the high-G's they pull during combat. They tend to look more like swimsuits than a military outfit. This isn't helped by the designers who gave Milinda's a school uniform collar, "Oh Ho Ho" a school swimsuit pattern, and Putana a nurse motif.
  • Lemony Narrator: The narrator does not shy away from criticizing Quenser and Heivia, often referring to them as idiots.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Most Objects are this compared to everything else in the military, since they are a combination of devastating firepower, surprising speed for their actual size and armor practically impenetrable to anything but another Object's main cannons.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Justified as the main characters are all part of or attached to a military unit. Milinda is on the more extreme side as her suit is specifically designed to remain perfectly comfortable for wear over several days, resulting in her wearing it almost all of the time.
  • Logic Bomb: How Quenser defeats Rush's AI. He arranges a situation where the AI believes it faces imminent defeat. Unable to surrender it comes to a dead halt as it focuses entirely on calculating a solution to an impossible problem.
  • MacGyvering: More often than not Quenser and Heivia end up relying on whatever is handy to defeat an Object rather than any specific military equipment. One of the most ridiculous examples involved bedsheets, milk, and lemons.
  • Magnetic Weapons: Objects use both railguns and coilguns as main and secondary weapons. Special mention for the Break Carrier's main cannon, a gigantic railgun.
  • Maid Corps: The maids of the Winchell family, who double as servants for the family and a private army of bodyguards.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: Lampshaded- Qwenser and Hevia complain repeatedly about the fact that it makes no sense for a pair of Object maintenance team members to be repeatedly assigned to combat roles.
  • Manipulative Editing: In Volume 7 the incidents of the first two chapters are resolved positively but the MIB edited footage from them to make it appear they ended in tragedy.
  • Marshmallow Hell: A drunk and clingy Froleytia begins arguing with an equally drunk and busty barrier officer over Quenser, resulting in both of them giving this to Quenser at once. He was still in a daze from the experience much later.
  • A Mech by Any Other Name: The Objects.
  • Meaningful Rename: Polar Bear unit took on their new name as Unicorn unit when they chose on their own accord to fight on behalf of a young, innocent girl.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Heivia points out that Quenser is more likely to have mercy on female enemies than male.
  • M.I.B.: The group behind the events of Volume 7 and the creation of the 0.5 generation Object in Volume 1 both fit this trope and refer to themselves as MIB.
    • CIA: They are heavily implied to be remnants or successors of this organization, as within their group they refer to themselves as "the Company" or "Langley" and each member has a name based on a US state or city. They never use the actual acronym as with the USA gone there is nothing "Central" to them.
  • Military Mashup Machine: Most Objects are Land Battleships, though some are specialized to fight on the sea or are actually amphibious.
    • Third generation Objects take this a step further, incorporating elements from non-Object machinery like oil rigs and space elevators.
    • The Faith Organization had a project for a submersible aircraft carrier that was ultimately abandoned as aparently it was too big and disturbed the water too much, making it easily detectable, though there are rumors that it was scrapped because the higher ups want to keep Objects as the primary weapons of the battlefield.
  • Military Maverick: Quenser and Heivia often violate or even ignore orders to pull off their feats. They're a constant headache for Froyleytia and during their brief reassignments from her unit were an even bigger headache for other commanders.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: Murder in "safe" countries makes headline news. Entire army units getting wiped out in battlefield countries is barely worth an article.
  • The Mole: Nutley is working on behalf of the arc's antagonist while attached to Quenser's group.
    • The Black Uniforms in Volume 11 attached themselves to the battalion so they could interfere in the recovery mission.
  • Moral Event Horizon: An in-universe example. Quenser agonizes over taking the lives of the soldiers who have captured Milinda, until they start talking about dragging her back to base behind their Object and turning her over to the Interrogators. After raping her, of course. Quenser immediately finds the resolve to kill them.
    • Lisa did a lot of things she hated with her unit but they crossed the line when planning to delay their pursuers by spreading landmines in a city to slow their pursuers.
  • More Criminals Than Targets: Aside from the people working at the Object maintenance facility, everyone in Lost Angels is a soldier disguised as a gang member or a criminal profiting off the conflict. Even supermarket clerks are gang members. The only reason this situation is sustainable is that the four supernations keep pumping money into the "gangs".
  • Mugging the Monster: A group of kidnappers call the wrong number while trying to ransom a girl. This not only pisses off Froleytia but also gives her justification to bring the full might of her military down on them as they were threatening a military officer.
  • Nerdgasm: Quenser starts panting and breathing very heavily when confronted with cutting edge technology.
  • The Neutral Zone: The Northern European Restricted Zone is a variant in that the supernations have agreed not to deploy Objects here. Conventional military forces are not restricted so it's one of the few places where fighter jets and tanks still have an important role.
    • The Panama Canal is off-limits to anyone currently engaged in a war due to international treaty. This is because it's a vital economic tool and any battle would likely render its machinery inoperable, shutting down the canal.
  • New Era Speech: City Slicker gives an elaborate speech on how, with the power of his Object, he will reform Legitimacy Kingdom and restore its grandeur. This neatly covers that what he's actually talking about as the first step is wiping out every civilian in a Kingdom city who can't speak his language.
    • The MIB give one about how they intend to use Oceania to create a successor to the "world police" which will bring the entire world under its protective aegis.
    • The mastermind of the "Star" conspiracy gives one to Quenser, explaining how the current world order is bound to collapse and his plan will allow a new, better world to be built after humanity tears itself apart. Quenser tears his speech apart.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Quenser and Heivia constantly defeating objects and upsetting about a half century of military tactics have had unintended consequences, a fact that shows in volume 2. Where before, war could be decided by which side had the higher number of Objects, groups are now getting the idea that they, too, can bring down an Object without needing one themselves. They're accused of prolonging wars as a result, though the person telling them this has a personal stake in the status quo, which Heivia is quick to point out.
  • Noble Womans Laugh: Oh Ho Ho. This is actually the name Quenser and Heivia call her by, since they (and the readers) do not know her actual name.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: While the names of a few actual places make it in, like Alaska in the first arc, most countries are unnamed and Australia is referred to as Oceania. Japan is usually referred to Island Nation or "a certain island nation".
  • No Such Agency: Background Unit is only a nickname as the detachment does not officially exist. They're sent to carry out dirty, dangerous jobs and are completely expendable. Every member is removed from international records of soldiers so that their actions can be denied. This is the only reason Quenser and Heivia dodge a court-martial when Unicorn detonates an explosive in a populated area and lets them take the fall.
    • Stalk Killer Unit is another black outfit whose existence is only known to top-ranking Legitimacy Kingdom officers. They're tasked with entering battlefields where the White Flag is ignored and extracting high-value personnel. They're not acknowledged due to their necessity disproving the myth of a "clean war" which the military likes to sell and also due to using unsavory tactics.
  • Not in My Contract: Quenser is a student helping with Object maintenance and Heivia is a radar analyst. As such both often demand to know why they're first in line for combat missions, black ops, and taking on Objects.
  • Obligatory War Crime Scene: Pops up from time to time as a reminder that while the protagonists are good-natured, not every member of Legitimacy Kingdom has the same values.
    • A unit supporting a Kingdom Object destroyed by Break Carrier goes into a frenzy and plans to destroy a dam in order to take revenge. They completely ignore the civilian casualties this will inflict, forcing Quenser and Heivia to delay them and arrange for a faster kill.
    • City Slicker starts his rampage by opening fire on a mine filled with foreign pacifists in order to sour relations between the two nations, though thankfully they had already evacuated by that point. Notably members of pacifists' own military had planned much the same.
    • Lisa reveals that her unit's standard procedure involved scattering disguised land mines to delay pursuers, a war crime by itself under international law. This escalated when they wanted to follow the same procedure while moving through a city.
    • Nyarlathotep surrenders to Quenser's unit but barely escapes being summarily executed twice, first due to gasoline fumes possibly igniting and then due to Quenser keeping him alive. When he's finally brought into custody he is subject to a thirty second trial before being convicted.
    • A portion of Legitimacy Kingdom military waged a drug war on Capitalist safe countries, flooding the civilian cities with a highly addictive and life-destroying drug. They even planned to massacre other Kingdom soldiers who had discovered evidence.
  • Oblivious to Love: Quenser is completely unable to see that Princess has a massive crush on him, or his Commanding Officer's, or his tsundere childhood acquaintance's that his family saved, or an idol's whom he met during his stint in a Redshirt Army... this grates Heivia even more than the fact that so many girls are falling for him in the first place.
    • Clueless Chick Magnet: Quenser is very very dense. Heivia has wanted to punch him - and goes through with it - sometimes.
  • One Nation Under Copyright: The Capitalist Corporation supernation is an example of this with the pursuit of money being the creed that united their member states. The central government is a coalition of the seven most powerful corporations whose CEOs have power comparable to a king of the Legitimacy Kingdom. Every government service is in turn a company; even their military forces consist entirely of PMCs.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Milinda's her real name, but everyone calls her The Princess.
    • The Information Alliance pilot of the Rush is unknown, but is called "Oh Ho Ho" by Quenser and Heivia.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Putana wants to kill Quenser in revenge after figuring out he was the one that came up with the plan to steal her Object. She wants this so badly that she actually saves his life, just so she would have the opportunity to kill him later.
  • Plasma Cannon: Another common weapon of Objects are low-stability plasma cannons.
    • Miskatonic doesn't use a low-stability plasma, instead firing the plasma generated inside its reactor. The resulting blasts are significantly more powerful but also render any visual sensors inoperable.
  • Point Defenseless: Averted for the most part. Aside from their main guns, Objects are loaded with a variety of point defense weapons capable of annihilating any ground or air forces and sensors to detect any threats. Quenser does manage to give the point defenses a slip on occasion due to his knowledge of their gaps but mostly relies on not getting spotted in the first place.
    • Even if a person managed to get too close to an Object for its sensors to notice them, simply firing a main gun would generate radiant energy and a shockwave powerful enough to kill.
    • Milinda notes that First Generation Objects avert this trope much more thoroughly than Second Generation, as they are designed on the assumption of facing a wide range of enemies including infantry. Second Generation Objects are designed for Object battles and sacrifice some efficiency with anti-infantry point defense as a result.
  • The Political Officer: The Black Uniforms from the Legitimacy Kingdom are an independent agency responsible of barrier duty. Although this originally meant they were in charge of preventing soldiers from retreating from battle, nowadays barrier duty means they act as third party supervisors that check that soldiers follow orders, don't commit crimes, treat prisoners well, etc.
    • As part of their duty to ensure regulations are followed, the Black Uniforms have the authority to conduct contraband searches on any military unit or shipment. One unit exploited this to mark drug shipments as having been checked by Black Uniforms, allowing them to bypass standard inspections.
  • Porn Stash: A porn DVD ended up mixed in with training videos, becoming a relevant Brick Joke later in the story.
    • In the anime Quenser Heivia each have their own stash and covertly trade pieces. Froleytia stages a raid with all-female officers to embarrass them into taking a mission.
  • Powered Armor: Powered suits are used both by the military and civilians (in mining and construction). While even a mining suit poses a major threat to infantry, they're no match for an Object and so are usually relegated to support roles.
    • Mini-Mecha: Some verge on full mecha status, as seen in Lost Angels.
  • Pretext for War: The murder of a Capitalist leader which could tenuously be connected the Legitimacy Kingdom is nearly used as this both by sides.
  • Private Military Contractors: The Capitalist Corporations military is completely based on them. Quenser and Heivia end up meeting and hiring one called Battlefield Cleanup Service in Volume 3 which turned out to be a front for intelligence operatives from the Information Alliance.
  • Punishment Detail: Quenser and Heivia managed to end up on these frequently. The Background Unit is a more extreme version of this, as it carries out dirty and dangerous jobs with absolutely zero recognition and a very high death rate.
  • Reality Ensues: Quenser and Heivia go against orders regularly in order to destroy Objects and save lives. As a result their awards and special privileges from destroying the first Object are revoked and the two face regular punishment.
  • Realpolitik: The four superpowers all play this game, constantly skirmishing with one another but also willing to set aside differences when it better suits their interests. The concessions each country makes with regards to its core ideology and actual politics creates a number of extremist factions, both within and without.
  • Reassignment Backfire: After destroying their first Object, Quenser and Heivia were deliberately sent on special mission after special mission, in hopes that they would be killed. The reason is because they have proven that regular soldiers can take out Objects, inspiring other soldiers on not surrendering after their Object is destroyed and causing war to be more drawn out/increasing casualties. Unfortunately, the duo not only survives, but continue to add more Objects to their kill list.
    • This is made even worse when they finally get transferred to an area far off from the front-lines, since they discover a conspiracy that ultimately leads to them interfering in a succession crisis between The Evil Prince and the Fallen Princess. Ironically, the end result means that Quenser and Heivia can't be reassigned anymore, since almost every officer in the military is now too terrified by the very idea of commanding them.
  • Redshirt Army: Anyone that isn't a protagonist, elite, or a commanding officer in the military is completely helpless on the battlefield. Justified due to the military viewing Objects as the true military power with all other forces being supplementary at best. As a result the majority of the armies are inexperienced and will lose all will to fight if their Object is destroyed.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: These pop up with distressing regularity, making up a number of the antagonists. This is usually the result of a faction embracing their supernation's ideology and rejecting the realpolitik concessions the supernation makes.
  • Reporting Names: Each of the 4 main factions has a different theme for Object's codenames. Legitimacy Kingdom mainly uses English words that describe their characteristics, like Indigo Plasma for an Object that has several plasma weapons. Since the main protagonists belong to this faction most Objects only receive this type of codename. The Capitalist Corporations go for feminine names like Charbetty and Lily Maria (which has been compared to the tradition of giving hurricanes female names), except the Japanese Objects which are in japanese like Yuuhi or Ame-no-Uzume. Information Alliance uses a weapon name and three digits, for example Gatling 033 and Cannon 256. The Faith Organization goes for religious or mythological names like Ratri and Sarasvati.
  • Riches to Rags: During the Lost Angles arc Quenser and Heivia are responsible for a crime boss and industrialist going from lounging in a skyscraper-top pool to hiding penniless in a mound of garbage bags.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Quenser at first thinks to Son of a Bitch doesn't move because its weapon system requires it be stationary. However he soon realizes the real reason is that the pilot isn't an Elite and would be killed by combat maneuvers.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Heivia and Froleytia. In Heivia's case though, he's only there because his family expects him to earn them some praise rather than because he wants to be on the front lines.
    • Some nobles and royalty use their wealth to have a member of the family chosen as an Elite. Because Elites are seen as valiant heroes defending the country this is seen as a way for them to earn admiration from the citizens and respect from other families.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: Objects usually have one of these to keep the enemy from capturing an Object and/or analyzing its technology. This is actually what Quenser and Heivia take advantage of to destroy their first Object, the Water Strider.
  • Serial Escalation: Each volume has seen an escalation in the threat posed by the main antagonist. The first antagonist was only a threat to Quenser and Heivia. After him came antagonists who started civil wars, nearly caused an economic collapse, and five separate antagonists who nearly triggered all-out global war. Notably each instance of that war has become more premeditated, less well-meaning, and come closer to actually occurring. The first such instance was only known to a handful of individuals while in Volume 10 first strike targets were being selected. Volume 11 breaks stride from escalating threat but compensates by making the conflict personal.
  • Serious Business: City Slicker has carried out assassinations and terrorist bombings for his cause before kicking off a civil war wherein he destroys his own country's Objects and plans to wipe out an entire civilian city. What is the cause he's fighting for? Preserving his native language which is also the country's official language.
  • Sexy Santa Dress: Froleytia and Milinda both wear one for a Christmas party and end up in a tug of war over Quenser.
  • Shameful Strip: When Milinda is captured for the second time in the first volume one of the guards declares they're going to strip her naked and tie her to the front of their Object. Note that they're also in Alaska during the winter.
  • Shaming the Mob: A crowd of anti-coalition protesters are being whipped into a frenzy by a man until a little girl chucks a rock at him and points out he's completely wrong. When the man's sympathizers try to drag her away the mood of the crowd changes drastically - nobody wants to side with people who man-handle children.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: After the "Star" mastermind gives his speech, Quenser verbally tears him apart. He correctly deduces the entire conspiracy consists of child geniuses being supported by disillusioned, guilty adults and mocks him for acting exactly like a spoiled child.
  • Slasher Smile: Nutley, when he shoots Quenser and Charlotte after attacking Charles.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Froyletia is seldom seen without her trademark kiseru pipe. This has served as a plot point on several occasions.
  • Smug Snake: Filde.
  • Soldiers at the Rear: Due to the prominence of Objects most of the military consists of soldiers who never seriously expect to fight, even when they're supporting an Object on a battlefield.
    • In Volume 1 Milinda had always looked down on the soldiers in her unit because of this trope. While they sat in the rear, safe and bored, she was risking her life. Having Quenser and Heivia charge into near-certain death to save her shook that belief considerably.
    • In Volume 8 the PMC Moss Green, experienced veterans from the Northern European Restricted Zone, looked down on the Legitimacy Kingdom soldiers for being soft due to their reliance on Objects. Their commanding officer saw some of her soldiers dying to them as undignified; Quenser notes she essentially viewed his unit as less than human due to this trope.
  • Space-Filling Empire: The Legitimacy Kingdom, the Capitalist Corporation, the Information Alliance and the Faith Organization each with their own specific ideologiesnote  and which are constantly scheming against each other. Unique in that they are not monolithic empires governing a contiguous swath of land. Nations joined their preferred organization without consideration of their neighbors' choices, resulting in the world map being compared to a stained glass window.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The names of virtually all of the main characters were spelt in multiple ways before the anime.
  • Spoiler Opening: The second opening spoils a major event in the Coal Mine arc by not making any attempt to hide the fact that Nutley isn't exactly a friendly character.
  • Hover Tank: Almost all Objects use either an air cushion engine or a combination of an electrostatic engine and a special repellant to hover above the ground.
    • Spider Tank: Some Objects like the Water Strider have their hovering devices at the end of several long legs.
  • The Straight Man: More or less Heivia to Quenser, if only because he's less insane.
  • Succession Crisis: Volume 6 has two rival claimants for the throne of Volga. Prince Dmitry has strong political connections, age, and bribery on his side while Princess Staivia has only the fact that Dmitry is likely illegitimate.
  • Superhero Paradox: Sewax wants to end the world's perpetual war by capturing a photograph that will show the complacent citizens the true horror of it. But to do that he must both witness a tragedy and capture it in a picture without interfering. When he has the choice between a picture of such a tragedy and saving lives, he saves lives.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Quenser and Heivia often give long, detailed speeches on what they're doing or about to do in the middle of a gunfire. Sometimes subverted when what Quenser just explained causes an explosion or other health hazard that he really should have been running away from rather than explaining. Heivia is usually quick to yell at him for this.
  • Tempting Fate: Heivia claiming that circumstances are different in Episode 4 because this time there are multiple spare plaftorms to monitor the Baby Magnum which means losing one or two wouldn't be much of a problem this time, would it? Cut to the enemy Object subsequently blowing up every single one in a matter of seconds.
  • The Tease: To complete Shameless Fanservice Girl levels. Froyletia does this to Quenser and Heivia repeatedly, knowing full well the effect she has on them. (Heivia makes no attempt to hide it.) Juxtaposing this with Drill Sergeant Nasty is how she keeps them motivated into doing what she wants. Though even this isn't 100% effective. The real reason she can control them is that she's just as much a Loveable Rogue as they are.
  • That's No Moon!: The protagonists are blindsided when it turns out there was an Object disguising itself as a nearby iceberg, allowing it to move within firing range of their fleet.
  • Theme Naming: All the last names in the series are names of cocktails, the one exception being Sarasa Gleamshifter whose last name is merely based on the gloom lifter cocktail. More specifically, Legitimacy Kingdom names are brandy based drinks, Information Alliance names are gin based drinks, Capitalist Corporations names are rum based drinks, and Faith Organization names are whiskey based drinks. There's also one exception to these themes: Wydine Uptown, as that was a fake name taken by an Information Alliance agent while pretending to be from the Capitalist Corporations.
    • The Outer Gods, a Corporations spy agency, uses Code Names based on the Lovecraft mythos. One of their members after becoming a powerful CEO names his company's Object the Miskatonic.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Assigning an Object to attack anything but another Object falls under this. A single barrage will level any building and reduce humans to a paste.
  • The Theocracy: The Faith Organization is a union of every religion, with their military driven by religious zeal. Their claim of holding each religion as equal is largely a facade as each faction tends to view itself as the correct religion.
  • Trash Talk: Oh Ho Ho and Milinda often engage in this, with the former periodically calling up the latter for the sole purpose of talking some smack.
  • Traveling Landmass: Man-made floating island have been created. The first ones were made to replace submerged cities but these proved uneconomical. Currently they are mainly used for facilities such as airports.
    • Olympia Dome is one such island which circles the Antarctic Oceans.
  • Trick Bomb: Quenser only has a plastic explosive, but with it he can craft anything from shrapnel grenades to knock-out bombs.
  • A Truce While We Gawk: During a firefight in the Antarctic, a flock of penguins strolls right in the middle of a firefight between some terrorists and Qwenthur and Havia. Both sides stop everything to watch them and even cheer on a baby penguin that slips. Combat resumes immediately following the penguins reaching safety.
  • Truce Zone: Olympia Dome is considered neutral territory and is guarded by an Object from each supernation to enforce this.
    • Oceania became one of these after its ruler earned world-wide hatred for attempting to wipe out the aboriginal population. The four supernations worked together here to stop him and help the people transition to a new government.
  • Tsundere: Heivia's maids are fanatically loyal to their chosen master and truly believe in his vision, but are too afraid of going against his family's opinion to openly support him. As a result they treat him coldly most of the time but will sacrifice their lives for him in a heartbeat.
    • Azureyfear mocks her brother and plans to kill his finacee, claiming it's for the good of their family. In truth she believes in him, even being a mild brocon, and has arranged the entire situation to improve his standing.
  • Trying to Catch Me Fighting Dirty: Flyaway's combat strategy is to flee after expending the majority of its ammunition. If cornered it will use dirty tricks to escape, willingly breaking several international laws on battlefield behavior.
    • I Surrender, Suckers: Regularly abuses the White Flag signal when cornered but still able to fight, allowing it to flee with minimal damage. This is a major reason it's targeted for destruction.
    • Human Shield: Flees from a battlefield into outskirts of a populated city, knowing the enemy pilot won't risk the collateral damage or violating a "safe" country.
    • We Need a Distraction: When fleeing from Milinda it shot down a cable car filled with children to distract her. It's actually to cover up their disappearance.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The second half of the twenty first century to be exact.
  • Ultimate Job Security: Quenser and Heivia could easily be discharged for some of their stunts, especially the incidents where they knowingly opened fire on fellow Kingdom soldiers. Despite this they're still in the military, likely due to a mixture of being too good at destroying Objects and too dangerous to not have them under close supervision. Basically all but confirmed by Vol 6's Epilogue, where after being moved around several units and causing a headache to multiple superior officers, Froleytia is asked to take them back into the 37th, as all other units claim they can't handle them and the higher ups are concerned they'll defect to another of the world powers if they are discharged.
  • Undying Loyalty: Surprising enough, Unicorn to Princess Stavia, to the point that they commit numerous acts - some that will no doubt get them court-martialed - just to try and save her from Prince Dmitry's plot.
  • Unflinching Walk: Quenser and Heivia do this in the second opening.
    • Heavily averted in the stories themselves. If they're moving away from an explosion, it's at a dead sprint as they're close enough to be killed. Even then the explosion is likely to blast them off their feet.
  • Unfriendly Fire: A battle between three Objects from different nations is arranged by brigadier general to cover up the assassination of Lisa.
  • Unknown Character: Most Object pilots don't have dialogue, they aren't seen or even made mention of, but all Objects are known to have an Elite piloting them just like the Baby Magnumnote  does. As mentioned by the author in the Afterword of Volume 3, speaking with the enemy is not an essential part of the series’ theme, so unlike other mecha series pilots talking to each other during battle is a rare occurrence. The author also mentioned in Volume 1's Afterword that the reason he chose to make Objects non-humanoid was an attempt to make them look more intimidating, so it's possible the lack of communication with enemy pilots is done so that the focus is kept in the Object themselves and their "huge monster" image is reinforced.
    • Later volumes move somewhat away from this, having Milinda trade barbs with the opposing Elite or giving a brief view from their point of view just before everything goes wrong.
    • For a little while, this also applied to Oh Ho Ho's real body, to some extent.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Not much but sometimes hinted between Quenser and Froleytia. Especially after his crazy stunt in an attempt to 'rescue' her.
    • It really comes to a head in the Lost Angels arc. Especially when the intelligence division has Quenser meet Froyletia in a Karaoke bar (because the rooms are soundproof). Unfortunately, that particular Karaoke bar is also a well-known front for a prostitution ring. Froyletia is not amused.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: In Volume 9 the genius kid group behind the incidents of the novel is willing to steal the resources of an already drying world, manipulate adults into helping them and kill thousands of innocents in order to escape the current world through cold sleep and create an utopia in the future.
  • Virtual Celebrity: Oh Ho Ho is a variant, being an actual person but using a virtual body for her shows to hide that she's a pre-teen.
    • The Information Alliance does this with enough idols that they are classified under their own label as Class A idols (A for the Augmented Reality they use in their shows). There's also a completely fictitious Class V (likely for Virtual).
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Quenser and Heivia: Constantly snarking and burning each other off-duty, but undoubtedly loyal to each other to the end. The narrator at one point notes their cursing at and flipping each other off was a good sign; if Heivia had been considerate it likely meant Quenser was going to be executed.
  • War for Fun and Profit: Objects are a billion dollar business so it's unsurprising that many factions are perpetuating the war for profit.
    • Councillor Filde admits he tried to get Quenser and Heivia killed to protect his profits, as their actions were shaking up the Object business.
    • In Volume 10 the possibility of an all-out war between the Corporation and Kingdom is met with glee in some quarters. Froleytia is disgusted to note that most of the "strategic" targets being marked by her superiors were also cities with large populations.
  • War Is Hell: The characters often comment how stupid the concept of a "clean war" is. Regardless of how removed it may seem for civilians, people are still dying and being worn down by the killing.
    • Sewax believes this whole-heartedly and wants to bring an end to the constant wars via journalism.
  • The War to End All Wars: An all-out war between the four supernations is feared to be this as the sheer firepower and range of Objects means that no target would be safe. Entire cities would be wiped out in the opening salvos and it would only intensify from there.
  • Weather-Control Machine: Meteorlogical weapons exist, though their main use is to manage rainfall patterns and act as psychological weapons. The Amaterasu global weather control weapon system in volume 8 was intended to topple all nations.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Athletica wants to restore the Olympics to their original state. Given that the Technopics are little more than a political and economic dog-and-pony show where athletes are in constant danger of assassination and destroying their bodies with doping and cheating devices, this is a noble goal. The problem is they want to start by arranging the massacre of millions of civilians and don't care that's likely to trigger a global war.
  • We Will Use Manual Labor in the Future: Legitimacy Kingdom had a slave class which was abolished decades earlier. City Slicker wants to revive it, blaming the Kingdom's declining economy on its loss.
  • What a Drag: When Milinda is captured in the first volume the soldiers discuss tying her to back of the Object and letting it drag her back to camp, musing it would probably tear off her uniform. Given how fast Objects move, there'd likely be nothing left by that point.
  • White Flag: An electronic signal is internationally recognized as a sign of surrender, usually deployed when an Object on one side of the battle is destroyed or too badly damaged to continue. Unfortunately there are many units which are all too happy to ignore the signal in order to weaken their enemy as much as possible.
    • The Faith Organization does so during the Water Strider incident.
    • Flyaway abuses this signal, using it whenever cornered by an enemy to give it the opportunity to flee. A major reason it is targeted by the Kingdom is that this could eventually lead to the signal losing all value in battle and being disregarded even when used legitimately.
  • A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: The Scarlet Princess appears to be a defenseless luxury cruise, a perfect target for pirates. It's actually a disguised Legitimacy Kingdom cruiser which hunts pirates.
  • World's Most Beautiful Woman: Apparently the Perfect Idol is this; she's described as "so beautiful that it's boring".
  • Worthy Opponent: Maybe. There's certainly this vibe between Burning Alpha and Ice Girl 1.
  • Would Not Shoot a Civilian: An easy way to spot the "good guys" is that their units avoid involving or targeting civilians while the "bad guys" have no such compunctions. There are factions within all the nations which would happily wipe out their or foreign civilians given the chance, whether to further their agenda or simply because they're the "enemy".
  • Wretched Hive: Lost Angels in volume 9 is home to a constant war between four gangs which are actually disguised fronts for each supernation's spies. To keep up the pretense of being civilian criminals they actually do commit crimes, such as arms running and drug dealing. It's gotten so bad that every regular citizen left, leaving only disguised soldiers and the criminals feeding off their conflict.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: A maid demonstrates her fondness of wrestling while taking on a group of armed soldiers. This would be comical if not for the fact she was wearing bullet-resistant powered armor, resulting in each move splattering the victim.
  • Yandere: Heivia is engaged to the heir of a rival family, who acts like a Princess Classic...up until Heivia complains about Quenser getting all the good opportunities (women) they meet. She warns him that while she's a tolerant woman and will let him have mistresses as a noble status symbol, he's never to put any woman above her for an instant or she'll find an use for her family's tower collection.
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