During the early 20th century, along with technological advancements, scientists were able to develop sophisticated magic. The combination of science and sorcery was Machinart, circuits made from spells that were put into objects to bring them to life and even gain a personality. It was developed as a military weapon and has now spread throughout the world. Raishin Akabane is now attending the Royal Academy to become the best in the world. Accompanied by the lovely teenage girl Yaya, who is actually Raishin's puppet weapon, he plans on rocketing to the top of the class. However, his test scores come nearly dead last although his combat skills and determination are second to none. Raishin has to compete with the deadliest of classmates if he wants to come out as the king.Unbreakable Machine Doll (Kikou Shoujo Wa Kizutsukanai) is a light novel series by Reiji Kaitou with a manga adaptation by Hakaru Takagi. An anime adaptation has begun airing during the Fall 2013 Anime season.
Absurdly Powerful Student Council: Felix's family is very prominent in the House of Lords and close to the King, meaning the Disciplinary Committee under him can make demands the school can't completely ignore.
A-Cup Angst: Charlotte. It shows up quite a bit in the omake, but not as much in the main story. However (in the main story), this is the one thing Charlotte was jealous of about her sister.
It's also revealed she wears padding to make her chest look bigger.
The guy with the lowest ranking turns out to be a member of the Rounds (the top 13 fighters) with the Code Name Dead Last; he got the lowest ranking only because he left everything blank, which means Raishin actually has the lowest ranking if not for a technicality.
Alternate History: Magic and Magitek have been around since at least the Renaissance but became especially prominent when advancing technology made it easier to produce Automatons, allowing various nations to weaponize the discipline and set all scrambling in an arms race for capable puppeteers.
The Atoner: Charlotte believes she was responsible for her family's downfall after a doll of hers injured an important nobleman's son that led the Britsih government to take away her family's titles and fortune, forcing her family to separate. Since then, she's been trying to regain her family's honor by trying to win the Night Party.
Badass Normal: Raishin. Standard fighting procedure involves puppeteers standing back while their dolls fight so they can concentrate on feeding magic to the dolls, and it's considered poor manners at best to target another puppeteer in a duel (especially given the lethality of most doll attacks). Raishin wades in at Yaya's side.
This is especially so because unlike Char who can call upon the power of fairies or Loki who has an artificial heart, Raishin is pretty much a normal human. He has to work his way up the normal way, even his clan's techniques were achieved through hard work.
Because You Were Nice to Me: Yaya, Irori and Komurasaki all eventually fall for Raishin because he treated them more than just as tools. To the extent that Irori would later defy Shoko when the latter ordered her to rough him up.
Berserk Button: Yaya may be wary of any female that gets near Raishin, but the mere mention of Shoko particularly riles her up.
Big Damn Heroes: Raishin a few times, including when he intrudes on a fight between Frey and Loki. Loki, of all people, later pulls it for Raishin against the entirety of D Works security force at the "orphanage" where he and Frey grew up.
Book Dumb: Raishin ends up as the second lowest rank in the school due to his test scores, yet is an extremely effective combatant. His deductive skills are quite impressive as well. He may just be bad with written English and Arabic numerals, from a side comment he makes right after the tests.
Butt Monkey: Let's just say Raishin's ability to keep his harem in control decreases as the series progresses. Even Loki sometimes joins in, usually when it involves Frey.
Loki: If I may say so myself, I am a tolerant person… However, there are three things in this world I cannot forgive. People who give me orders. People who defy me. And finally, scum who make my sister cry.
Raishin: Even if I’m the victim!? Day after day, I’m the one whose body is subjected to poison here!
Calling Your Attacks: Crops up sometimes as puppeteers command their dolls, particularly with Raishin who fights directly with Yaya on the field - so he's calling his own attack strategies as well as commanding hers. The actual reason is because he's still a beginner (in his own words) so he still can't use signals as effectively so has to verbally convey his commands.
Raishin's attacks aren't exactly names, more like signals to Yaya which are based off The Art of War. Doubtful most opponents can understand him anyways.
Char Clone: Magnus. He has not three, but six times more automatons than Raishin!
Chaste Hero: Raishin, despite Yaya's drive to change that. He appears to be more focused on revenge.
Chekhov's Gunman: Remember the Izanagi Princess mentioned in volume 1 of the light novel? She turns out to be Hinowa, Raishin's fiancée. Volume 8 is her arc.
Frey and Loki's names are also not their birth names, but instead code names issued by their patron for their time at the academy.
Conspicuous CG: The opening to the first episode with the out-of-control train is very obviously CG. As are full-sized Sigmund and several other dolls, especially the less obviously humanoid ones.
Corrupt Corporate Executive: The head of D Works, a business that mass-produces dolls for military and other uses. And they're perfectly willing to engage in a variety of unethical and illegal measures, including creating bandolls to breed for stock. Also Frey's patron at the academy, using her and her brother Loki.
Dark and Troubled Past: A lot of people. Raishin had his whole family murdered and nearly died in the winter until Karyuusai found him, Charlotte accidentally hurt someone important with a doll and her family was disenfranchised and disbanded, Frey and Loki saw their parents murdered on stage by an automaton that went out of control, then were taken in by D Works which is nearly a mad scientist company... And given that Yaya is a bandoll, which involves using a still-living person as parts to make the doll, one wonders what the exact circumstances were there...
Deadly Decadent School: The Royal Academy is certainly one amongst the higher-ranked students, who engage in Machiavellian plots and schemes to advance their position in the Night Party without having to risk themselves too greatly in the actual fights for the position of Wiseman.
Depraved Homosexual: Shouko, the creator of Yaya, Irori, and Komurasaki. She really loves women. What gives the depraved aspect of her is that she explicitly creates female Banned Dolls, which is made from actual girls.
Does Not Like Men: Henriette, Charlotte's younger sister, due to them always comparing her to Charlotte. (Of course, she gets added to Raishin's ever growing harem, and later on there are signs of her being paired up with Loki.)
Dragon Rider: Charlotte can ride on Sigmund when he's at full size.
The Dulcinea Effect: Raishin, natch. Even lampshaded by Professor Kimberley in volume 6's epilogue.
Professor Kimberley: As long as that guy (Raishin) encounters a woman, no matter who she is he'll always say this kind of thing (wanting to protect her).
Eating Lunch Alone: Nobody has lunch with Charlotte except Felix because she refuses to be friends with anyone. Then came Raishin and Yaya.
Enemy Mine: A group against Charlotte tried to use this on Raishin, but he merely wanted to challenge her to a fair fight.
In an omake, Yaya appears to be trying to get help from Charlotte about another girl who has appeared. Charlotte, seeing that the girl has much bigger breasts then them, agrees she is an enemy they must fight against.
Functional Magic: Machinart is a mix of Inherent Gift (for the puppeteer's ability to control magic) and Device Magic (the automatons). There is also a form of Rule or Force Magic available, which several people show some skill in - though most who use it are adults, such as Yaya's creator Shouko Karyuusai and D Works' head Bronson. The ability to use regular magic and power automatons may just be the same thing.
A Glass in the Hand: Yaya, who does it literally with an empty glass at one point and later with other things. She is extremely jealous and easily provoked, and no that's not Soft Glass at work.
Heart Drive: Literally the hearts that powers Automata and Bandolls.
Human Resources: Bandolls, which are made with body parts taken from living people to provide a stronger focus for magic. It's illegal to make bandolls now but not illegal to own one - Sigmund is a bandoll made from a dragon, which Charlotte inherited. Also, other Automatons can be made from corpses and ashes.
Bandolls also tend to have... unique dietary needs. Some need to consume blood, others to eat human flesh. Sigmund is rumored to have once consumed humans to go on, though he can get by just fine (and does so now) with chicken.
Heroic BSOD: Charlotte gets a horrible one when she is accused of being Cannibal Candy by the "nice boy" she has a crush on who is Cannibal Candy. Said crush also reveals he never liked her and gave a "The Reason You Suck" Speech that, due to her bitchy attitude, everyone will believe she is the Cannibal Candy culprit and no one will believe her if she tells the truth.
Idiot Hero: Raishin is ranked 1235th out of 1236 in his Academic Ability Test.
To be fair, he is mostly Book Dumb in subjects that are not Military History rather than being genuinely stupid. Though he is reckless.
I'm a Humanitarian: In a way; the Automaton Cannibal Candy eats other Automatons. Other bandolls, which usually are made from humans, can also require human flesh or blood to continue working.
It Only Works Once: Cannibal Candy's weakness. It has to consume multiple Magic Circuits because after it uses the ability once, it is unable to do so again, due to the natural limitations of magic and the normal impossibility of using multiple forms of magic in a single Automaton.
I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Yaya... for all of five seconds. Immediately after swearing to Sigmund that she would be fine staying a doll to fight beside Raishin even if it was possible to become a human and be his lover instead, she considers the possibility of Raishin hooking up with someone else and starts crushing parts of the bench she's sitting on.
Played completely straight when it's revealed that Yaya knew that she is dying due to the fact that she doesn't want to use Raishin's lifeforce (thus using her own instead), but continues to fight because not only she thinks that she's happy to help Raishin she knew that all the fights up until now and in future will be important for Raishin.
I Work Alone: The prideful Charlotte would rather do things herself than ask for help. This would come back to bite her when she is accuse of being Cannibal Candy.
Just as Planned: Raishin isn't particularly powerful, but for a hotheaded protagonist he sure can pull some crazy tactics, even if it involves him and Yaya getting hurt on purpose.
In the first real fight when Raishin was distracted he pretended to fail defending Yaya and got her hurt on purpose so her blood is splattered the enemy's automaton. Later on when the enemy uses his trump card to turn into mist, Yaya could punch his automaton because two different types of magic (mist and toughness, the latter being Yaya's blood's magic) cannot reside in the same body.
Kill and Replace: Felix killed the real Risette and had his Automaton Eliza take her place.
Katanas Are Just Better: Raishin thought katanas weren't good enough so he quit and took on magic&automaton, then came back his former mentor who literally kicked his ass with a simple katana. That can leave a 5m mark on the ground with one slash.
Loners Are Freaks: Because of her high rank and anti-social attitude, most of the students fear and dislike Charlotte. This will come to haunt her later when the Student Council believed she was Cannibal Candy.
Made of Iron: Raishin takes some ridiculous punishment that he keeps bouncing back from. He has incredible stamina, but even he averts it later when he reflects after one particularly bad blow that he can barely move and is on his feet through sheer willpower. He just refuses to show weakness.
Dented Iron: However, the injuries he take do eventually take their toll on him as they accumulate.
Later on, Irori and Komurasaki, the other two of the Power Trio, join his harem.
Magic A Is Magic A: The core of an Automaton is its Magic Circuit, which is its "soul," after a fashion - the Circuit is the device that receives and moderates magic power for the Automaton, without which they would be completely inanimate as magic is their life force. The Circuit also determines what kind of power they have when charged with magic from their Puppeteer. However, a charged Circuit creates a powerful magical resonance so that any attempt to build an Automaton with two Circuits is doomed to failure as they react violently to one another. All of this becomes important to the "Cannibal Candy" story as Cannibal steals other Automatons' Circuits, so Raishin has to figure out what this means for Cannibal Candy's motives and capabilities. Cannibal Candy's power allows it to use the consumed Circuits once before the resonance renders them useless.
Magitek: Machinart, the discipline behind the creation of Automatons.
Meaningful Name: Raishin could mean Movement. His full name could mean "True Lightning Red Wings"
Meet Cute: Frey and Raishin, of the "embarrassing situation" variety. Raishin returns to his room to find Frey dangling from the ceiling in the ropes of a snare she'd set for him, and then set off herself, leaving her in a compromising position. She admits right away she'd come to assassinate him.
Meteor Move: Happens frequently due to the speed and strength of the automota, but most with Sin who performs multiple rounds of this on Yaya and Sigmund in Episode 11.
The Mole: While Raishin wants the position of Wiseman for himself, or to at least get his revenge in the Night Party, the real reason he's at the academy is as the Japanese military's spy.
Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: The school doctor, Dr. Cruel, is introduced apparently about to have sex with a student, and gladly accepts a bribe to reveal Raishin's medical information.
Nice Hat: Charlotte wears a beret. So does her sister in her volume arc.
Nigh-Invulnerability: Yaya is "merely" ridiculously tough normally since she's a doll, but when she's charged by magic she may as well be Made of Indestructium. As a consequence she's also inhumanly strong, considering she can exert phenomenal forces without hurting herself. She opens the series by stopping a speeding train whose brakes failed, and all she needed afterward was new boots.
Noble Bigot: Loki is an openly racist douchebag with the despicable habit of casually throwing "You Oriental" as an insult in the same way a Ku Klux Klan member would use "You Nigger" to denote their perceived inferiority of non-white outsiders; and yet he is presented as unambiguously heroic because of his love and devotion towards his sister Freya.
Not a Date: Raishin takes Charlotte out on one as an excuse to get more information on Cannibal Candy where others can't overhear. It really wasn't anything like a date (Charlotte wanted to ask Raishin to help lure Cannibal Candy) until Raishin turned it into one.
Obfuscating Stupidity: Raishin sometimes really seems to enjoy how much others underestimate him due to his low grades.
Only One Name: Most of the dolls, and also Frey and her brother Loki - they're code names, and the two have been instructed not to tell anyone their real names.
Parental Abandonment: Raishin's family is deceased, Charlotte's family has lost its titles and holdings and been broken up, leaving her to depend on scholarships to get by, and Frey and Loki's parents were performers who died in a stage accident with automatons when Frey was very young.
Parental Substitute: Sigmund tries to be one for Charlotte, since she's there on her own. She doesn't often listen to his advice, however.
Power Trio: The Setsugetsuka Trilogy, the Snow (Irori)/Moon (Yaya)/Flower (Komurasaki) trio of automatons.
Punched Across the Room: After beating the first Jerkass villain's Automaton, Raishin disarmed the villain's firearm with a back kick, lifted him up, and punched him so hard he flipped once mid air before hitting a tree and got knocked out. Extremely satisfying.
Red Herring: Charlotte is suspected of being Cannibal Candy by Raishin. But it is subverted when it is revealed that Raishin knows Charlotte isn't Cannibal Candy but used that information to get close with the real culprit.
Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: D Works loves this, cutting across multiple mythologies. Frey and Loki are code-named after Norse gods (though Freya or Freyja may have been more appropriate, as Frey (or Freyr) is a male god), and the Garm line (which Frey's doll Rabi comes from) is named after the watchdog that guards Hel's gate. (Felix, despite his "Valkyria" entry name in the Night Party, is unconnected to them.) Meanwhile, Loki's doll Cherubim is of the Angel line, as well as Bronson's doll Lucifer, for Abrahamic mythology.
Rescue Romance: All things considered, but special mention goes to Yaya, who during her first meeting with Raishin hated him to the core, considering him weak and useless. This trope is how she fell in love with him in the first place. Though Yaya's case was less of the rescue itself, and more of because the rescue showed that he treated automatons as more than just tools.
Revenge: Raishin is seeking revenge against the man who murdered his family.
Schizo Tech: Personal computers and Magical Cyborgs exist side by side with Steam Trains and Vacccum Tube technology in this bizzare alternative Edwardian England.
The Sociopath / Soft-Spoken Sadist: Sin's young master, who cheerfully admits that his "greatest pleasure in life is witnessing the unhappiness of others."
Spell My Name with an S: Frey has been previously translated as Flay, but official word is that it's the same as the Norse god.
Makinot or Machinart? It's pronounced "makinot," but in the same way that "machina" (as in Deus ex Machina) is pronounced with a hard K sound, and the latter suggests "machine art" which makes a bit more sense as the series is set in England.
Squishy Wizard: Puppeteers, especially compared to dolls, which is why Charlotte makes such a fuss over Raishin fighting at Yaya's side. Raishin discusses it when he grumbles that there's no pride in excelling in phys. ed. class at a school of sorcerers.
Took a Level in Badass: After the 12 dogs were rescued at the end of volume 2, Frey took this (together with a change in Code Name) when she started controlling 5 dogs at a time instead of just one. She eventually starts controlling all of them at once.
Raishin at the end of volume 6 gains a new skill.
Trigger Happy: Charlotte, who will use Sigmund's Wave Motion Gun on anything that startles or annoys her, including: destroying the garden because she was frightened by a hornet; blowing up the science lab rather than dissect frogs; and even ordered Sigmund to attack when Raishin embarrassed her, though the last one Sigmund didn't do because he wanted to finish eating.
Tsundere: Charlotte goes Tsun to Raishin while she goes Dere to Felix.
Loki turns out to be this for his sister Frey.
Two-Teacher School: So far, just Professor Kimberley and Doctor Cruel have had any role to speak of.
Wave Motion Gun: Sigmund's most powerful attack, Raster Cannon. Even Yaya, who can become all but immune to physical damage while magically charged by Raishin, would be annihilated if she took it in the face.
Wham Episode: Yaya's magic circuit completely breaks down at the end of volume 10, and she collapses as a result.
What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Raishin really hates when people refer to others, especially dolls, in terms of costs, efficiency, and numbers. Especially since most dolls, to be more effective combatants, are made with human-level intelligence - and more than a few have or develop human emotions.
Especially bad with Frey's patron, a business mass-producing dolls for military use. They've created at least one intelligent bandoll to act as breeding stock for a cheaply-produced line of dolls, and are quite content to butcher and dispose of any "unit" that doesn't meet their exacting standards, all for the bottom line. And are ready to do it to the whole line of dolls, too, if Frey's doll doesn't perform well enough in the Night Party.
Wrong Genre Savvy: Raishin. He comes to the academy acting like a shonen fighting hero, imagining the Night Party and thus the school to be one big ongoing battle tournament. Instead he finds murder, intrigue, and a student body more interested in Machiavellian plotting and cowardly ambushes to advance their ranks without risk, rather than actually fighting for first place.