Manga: Linebarrels of Iron

aka: Kurogane No Linebarrel

"It's not 'what I should do,' it's 'What I want to do.'"

Linebarrels of Iron is a Japanese manga series created by Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi. The series was first serialized in Akita Shoten's monthly shōnen manga magazine Champion Red in 2005. It has since been compiled into 21 tankōbon, as of January 18, 2013.

The Linebarrels of Iron story takes place in a fictional alternate future, centering around a junior-high school student named Kouichi Hayase, who escaped his daily life of being bullied as a child by constantly daydreaming about being a hero. His life was forever changed during a class trip in the year 2016 when an artificial satellite fell from orbit. Due to this "accident", Kouichi was left in a coma for half a year, and upon awakening, found himself with strange powers, including superhuman strength. Then, in 2019, a mysterious robot called "Linebarrel" appears before him. It is revealed that the accident from three years ago was not caused by a satellite, but rather by the Machina robot Linebarrel, and that this turned him into a "Factor", which is the name given to Machina pilots. This leads him to encounter Emi Kizaki, a mysterious amnesiac girl whose unknown past seems to be related to Linebarrel. He joins her in fighting for JUDA, the world's largest medical equipment maker, which happens to secretly own several other Machina robots.

So sayeth The Other Wiki.

Linebarrel looks to play the charmingly cliched Mecha Show straight to the hilt. In the opening chapters a Hot-Blooded emotionally underdeveloped brat finds himself piloting a giant robot into all kinds of shiny looking awesome while shouting trite oneliners about being an Ally Of Justice and Hilarity Ensues. Then you start to notice the veneer is chipping away. Shimizu and Shimoguchi make it painfully clear how much of a prick the protagonist really is and just how hollow those words about justice ring in his mouth. Then - and this is the kicker - they make him mean every damn word.

Has a character sheet now.


Provides Examples Of:

  • A-Cup Angst: Rachel in episode 25, after she gets teased a little about not having a big bust.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Rachel gets an entire OVA devoted to her; part one deals with how she arrived in Japan for the first time, while part two acts as a semi-Interquel set between episodes 12 and 13 of the anime.
  • Accidental Pervert: Brilliantly masterminded though.
  • Accidental Hero: The manga's handling of Izuna's and Deceive's deaths as well as the belated reveal of why Deceive has had two pilots heavily implies that Shizuna has never been a Factor.
  • Ace Custom: The Team leaders in the Katou group, most notable are Sawatari's Idaten, which seems more or less standard barring some cosmetic changes (and rocket engines for a speed boost), and Demitri's Kagutsuchi which is geared towards More Dakka whilst its armour gives it a Templar like appearance.
    • Strictly speaking, any Juda or Katou Machina without "barrel" in its name, since they're all models that were mass-produced, with Glen-Neidr-class and Verdant-class being the rarest. The manga reveals that all human-used Machina have all been modified in one way or another to make them easier to use.
  • Ace Pilot: Sawatari (Steam roller) Yuriannu (Bushwhacker) Demitri (Plugger) their respective mecha's are customised to reflect this.
    • On the Machina side we have Moritsugu, whose insane skill + Verdant's power makes him almost unstoppable.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The first few episodes of the anime are based on the first few chapters of the manga, literally adapting roughly a chapter and small change into a full episode. This is achieved by the reshuffling of the order of events and a significant expansion of Miu's role in the plot, who is a tertiary character in the manga at best, falling into the background as soon as her introduction arc is over.
    • The scene in Episode 24 of the anime, where Kouichi and Emi meet alternate versions of themselves inside of a decidedly Dancouga-like Machina is very short and feels like a Big Lipped Alligator Moment. Super Robot Wars L gives them a dialogue scene, which not only reveals the Machina can talk out loud, and alt-Kouichi's name is R335, to which he objects, saying he'd rather be called... We never hear his response. Arc Words are exchanged before the plot returns to its anime rails.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: Most firearms used by the Machina, particularly by Vardant, are modern-technology additions (which also explains how nobody is worried about producing more ammunition for projectile weapons), just as the communication suites... Or Deceive's two-seater cockpit. All of these bits were used in the manga as important cases of I Am Not Left-Handed at one point or another, but are just there, explanationless, in the anime.
    • This also sorts out why they can be surprised over Linebarrel having two factors, despite Deceive having been well-studied (and extensively modified by Izuna's and Shizuna's father, another plot point the anime omits).
  • After the End: Think it's 2010? In the manga it's revealed that it's actually 2712. 650 years after the first humans died.
  • A Father to His Men: Katou, to varying degrees.
  • All Anime Is Naughty Tentacles: Episode 12.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Satoru Yamashita. The anime eventually settles on female, because Satoru's obvious affection for Moritsugu apparently meant she's a girl. Aside from the Beach Episode, however, where Satoru is portrayed about how a lanky androgynous teen dude would appear in a bikini, the anime upholds the same conventions as the manga: confusing gender pronouns, being immune to both Male Gaze and Female Gaze as well as all forms of Clothing Damage, overlarge untucked shirt, combat boots and bermuda shorts and never appearing undressed despite the rest of the cast having been around the Fanservice block more than a few times.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: In contrast to the anime's Running Gag-driven legacy of Ishigami (see Dead Man Writing below), in the manga all he leaves is a video message for Katou. He cries after seeing it, and so will you.
  • Anti-Hero: Reiji and Katou. Both have a sense of justice and freedom, but they go about it much differently than Ishigami, and aren't afraid to inflict casualties to achieve their goal. And it seems Ishigami knew about this, hence why Katou seemed to be allowed to enter JUDA's headquarters, and why they don't outright kill each other when they meet on the beach.
    • Later in the manga its revealed that Katou used to be his commanding officer back in WWII.
  • Arc Words: Seigi no mikata/"Ally of Justice".
    • "You're the worst" or "You disgust me", depending on the translation.
    • The page quote and variations of thereof. "It's not what you should do, it's what you want to do." The contexts it is used it range from Ironic Echo, through Last Words to Ice-Cream Koan.
  • Armored Coffins: No robots in either version have an ejection mechanism. Generally irrelevant as Arma pilots survivability rate is on par with snowballs in Hell if they're not an Ace Pilot, most Jinrai are remote-controlled and Machina and Factors are obscenely hard to kill until dead.
    • Becomes rather literal with Izuna's death in the manga, when Deceive goes self-aware and traps him within before proceeding on a murderous rampage.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Risako usually gives one to Kouichi anytime the topic of Emi is brought up.
  • Artificial Limbs: Yajima in the manga, due to his blown-off arm being the only thing buried in his grave and therefore not able to be regenerated by Apparition, gets a cybernetic right arm. Subverted in the anime, where Yajima's right arm is able to be grown back.
  • Attack Drone: Painkiller's specialty in the manga. Coupled with the fact Painkiller is somehow supposed to invoke Izanami, it gives it a passing resemblance to the Gan Eden and its Custos. Its servant Machina can also be combined with Painkiller itself for a third layer of armor.
  • A Mech by Any Other Name: Arma and Machinae, the distinctive difference between the two being Armas are mass produced, can't regenerate, and require cables to be inserted into the pilot's spine to pilot it to its fullest potential. Some Human-Machina of smaller sizes also use Power Armor that gives them equal footing with something Linebarrel-sized.
  • Back from the Dead: Yajima in both the anime and manga. Technically Kouichi too, since he died in the very first episode, but was saved by Emi.
    • Same applies to Reiji in both adaptations.
  • Bad Ass: Anyone that pilots Machina/Arma.
    • Badass Adorable: Emi, Miu & Shizuna. The manga also has Ohba Maxi after the time-skip.
    • Badass Biker: Subverted; Domyouji appears to be one, but is actually rather cheerful, light hearted, and easygoing, then it's revealed that the bike actually belongs to his dad and that he borrows it regularly.
    • Badass Normal: Sawatari & Yurianne, who both have fought both Linebarrel AND Verdant to a standstill with only their standard Armas, and looks damn good in the process. Also Domyouji, who despite being a normal human, can fight artificially-enhanced Hayase toe-to-toe, and can run circles around most Machina in his Jinrai.
    • Empowered Badass Normal: All the Machina pilots. Special mention goes to Moritsugu, Hayase, Emi & Jack Smith.
  • Bash Brothers: Sawatari and Demitri
    • Kouichi, Domyouji and Yajima, once he joins the core team in the manga.
    • When he stops sucking as a pilot, Kouichi develops into this with Moritsugu as well.
  • Beam Spam: The Helios satellite's secondary mirrors. Also one of Glen-Neidr's tactics.
  • Beach Episode: In the anime only, complete with attack from a mutated giant squid accidentally created by Jack Smith.
    • Bizarro Episode: Subverted. The Beach Episode meets most of the qualifications, but it gets a Call Back later and contains a plot-relevant conversation, so technically it doesn't count.
  • Becoming the Boast: The Anime.
  • Become a Real Boy: The Machina in the manga. They waged a ruinous war upon themselves and all for what? To be able to feel death. Those who did succeeded gaining the ability to imagine, and those who failed were left behind on the Earth.
  • Berserk Button: Never call Ousei ugly, or weird for that matter, it won't end well.
  • Betty and Veronica: Risako and Emi, respectively, for Kouichi.
    • In a Beta Couple way, Kouichi and Domyouji for Shizuna, where Kouichi is somehow Veronica.
    • The anime and manga treat it differently, but you can say that Yajima and Kouichi (again, as Veronica) are this for Risako.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Izuna uses some of the abuse he suffers against his enemies via the Nerve-crack, resulting in some nasty horror-filled Squickyness from the visions sent to anyone affected by it, judging from the resulting screams its probably a good thing the audience can't see what they see most of the time.
    • Also Miu, especially in the manga since she enjoys combat much more than her anime counterpart.
    • Ogawa doesn't take Ishigami's pranks on Kouichi too lightly. She also doesn't like it when Rachel tries to sneak into her room in episode 25.
  • Beware the Superman: Similar to Darker Than Black, sociopathic tendencies seem to be a pretty common side-effect of getting superpowers here.
  • BFG: Apparition's sniper rifle, Painkiller's arm mounted beam cannons, the twin howitzer used by Hind-Kind, Vardant's railgun in the manga & Linebarrel's 'The Executor', which doubles as BFS.
  • BFS: The blade 'Eliminator' carried by Naked, Talisman's spear/lance 'Tail of the Kingdom', that large knife Pretender has, Painkiller's Chainsword, the large sword seen with Juda, the katanas wielded by both Linebarrel & Verdant and arguably, 'The Executor' used by Linebarrel, and it's not just the mechs who use them.
  • Bishonen Line: The Naked, hidden inside the almost impregnable Glen-Neidr. and Painkiller, which is actually very slender underneath the bulky armour.
  • Blade on a Stick: The Katou groups Arma's carry Spears as a standard armarment, and Sawatari in particular is very good with one (well in his mecha at least).
    • Yurianne's Arma 'Tsubaki-Hime' carries a rather stylised version.
    • Talisman's weapon, 'Tail of the Kingdom' combines this with a BFS.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Of sorts, in the anime Episode 26.
  • Boom, Headshot: Jinrai does 4 or 5 of these in a row when it's introduced in the Anime.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Episode 25, which doubles as A Day In The Lime Light for Rachel as she first comes to Japan and gets lost trying to find her way to JUDA. At the end of the first half, she's awoken by one of the other characters who tells her they still have ten minutes left to fill.
  • Breather Episode: Episodes 6, 12, 17. 12 in particular is interesting because it seems both groups are on the same island, but they don't attack each other, and in fact Jack ends up pulling a Villainous Rescue moment when he saves them from a giant squid which he inadvertently created.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Ishigami has a fondness for pranks and weird inventions, which would be weird enough for the CEO of a medical technology manufacturer, much less the commander of a world-protecting paramilitary organization.
    • Obfuscating Insanity applies in the manga.
    • His Bunny Ears also make everyone keep forgetting he's a Factor, even the audience.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: This causes some tension between the girls interested in Kouichi, and causes him some problems in episode 26.
    • Averted with Yajima, but Risako immediately turns him down.
  • Canon Immigrant: Several of the anime-exclusive characters and/or events have been slowly folded into the original manga, most notably Rachel Calvin and Miu Kujou as well as Yajima becoming Apparition's factor and coming Back from the Dead.
    • Subverted: These were not anime exclusive in the traditional sense, but pulled from the manga before they were introduced starting so early in the manga's run. The anime used the notes the author had written a long time in advance.
  • Censor Steam: Usually seen if the women are taking a shower.
  • Chainsaw Good: In addition to its halberd, Yurianne's Arma 'Tsubaki-Hime' has a pair of chainsaws in hip holsters, and the manga version of the Machina 'Painkiller' wields a giant Chainsword.
    • Emi also uses one with unexpected enthusiasm during her magic act. Later Miu is seen with a matching model too.
  • Character Development: The main reason, other than THE BIG BADASS MACHINA/ARMA BATTLES we are watching the show or reading the manga anyways.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The machina Apparition.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Ishigami being a Factor.
    • Domyouji being a Preacher's Kid and knowing mythology back and forward. This helps a lot with the recruitment both of Soubi and Talisman and Miu and Painkiller.
  • Clean Cut: Verdant is in particular is good at these whether they be diagonal, horizontal or vertical.
  • Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends: The anime's episode 26 hints at potential between Shizuna and Domyouji. The manga's time-skip, in addition to Risako hooking up with Yajima rather than rejecting him like in the anime, gives us the beginnings for Izuna and Miu, and a few chapters later, Domyouji and Shizuna via Lonely Together after Izuna's death.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Risako isn't too fond of how close Emi seems to Kouichi.
    • Conversely, the other girls who have a crush on Kouichi at JUDA, especially Emi, aren't fond of him spending too much time with Risako in the anime or Miu in the manga either.
    • Shizuna isn't too fond of Yurianne trying to "steal" her brother Izuna away in the anime.
    • The manga eventually gives us Ohba who serves this role towards Moritsugu. An omake shows her and Satoru trying to out-cling each other before they bond over their love of Super Robot anime.
  • Combat Tentacles: Deceive uses them for Psychological Warfare against ARMA and Machina pilots and to access computer systems.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Each time a new Human-Machina type is introduced in the manga, the heroes have a hard time bringing it down. A while later, they have no troubles carving them up by the dozen, in particular the Creepy Child models.
  • Conspicuous CG: In the anime, mainly for mecha's, explosions and smoke.
  • Crash-Into Hello: How Kouichi meets Emi in the anime. Unfortunately her mech squishes him. He gets better though.
  • Creator Provincialism: None of the Factors are non-Japanese, meaning no Machina survive outside of Japan (Katou having apparently destroyed all of them). The token Human-Machina teammate is posing as Japanese. Only two of Katou's captains are non-Japanese (a Russian and an American).
    • In a self-aware use of this trope, Abraham Lincoln arrives to meet the current President of the United States in a classic flying saucer.
  • Creepy Child mixed with Creepy Doll: The manga's Human-Machina employ building-sized baby-shaped Machina as Shock Troops, because they're bristling with More Dakka. It takes the combined efforts of Juda and Katou's team to bring the first few down. Post-timeskip, they're mowing them down by the dozen.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Several in both adaptations, espcially when Kouichi and/or Linebarrel goes berserk. The most recent one in the manga resulted in all of JUDA's Machina (except Miu) facing a berserk Linebarrel (actually the angry soul of Amagatsu Kizaki) and the Machina need the Jinrais to actually stop Linebarrel because Kouichi is locked out of Linebarrel's control.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Subverted with Jack Smith, though his body is an Arma. he is, honour issues aside, a rather normal and somewhat well adjusted individual.
    • Played painfully straight with the alternate Earth's human population, who have more or less turned into Borg.
  • Dead Man Writing: Played for laughs by the anime. When the JUDA crew try to return to the building, they meet a recording of Ishigami stating that it was to be played in the event of his death. Together with a series of increasingly ludicrous ability tests, all of which are introduced with a copy of the aforementioned speech. Lampshaded when they are taken into the Inner Sanctum. But it doesn't stop there ....
  • Death Is Cheap: Played straight with everyone except Katou. Subverted with Ishigami, who comes back as an AI, then he sacrifices himself with Katou.
    • In the manga, Ishigami again, but this time Izuna and Miu followed suit.
    • In the ending of the anime, Emi dies, then gets better. Every Factor other than Kouichi gives up their Machina's lifeforce to power him up, and dies when their Machinae die. And then they, too, get better.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: This work wastes no time in showing what a terrible idea entrusting a powerful and destructive giant robot to an immature and impulsive teenager is. And then proceeds to show how the same teenager can actually mature and grow to be a real hero.
    • For bonus points, we're also shown how the same basic components - bullied kid with aspirations of being an Ally Of Justice - can become either an Anti-Hero (Moritsugu), a Well-Intentioned Extremist (Kiriyama), or a walking Moral Event Horizon (as Miu eventually does in the manga).
  • Dojikko: Emi, for the first few episodes of the anime.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Poor Kouichi at times, especially if it's because of a prank being played by Ishigami.
  • Dual Wield: Linebarrel manages with twin BFS. Verdant one ups this with the quad wield. Tsubaki-Hime ties with Verdant by dual wielding Chainsaws
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Izuna Endo, twin brother of Shizuna. Kouichi seems to summon Yoshi Akihisa when he jokingly says that Shizuna should act more girlish, then faces Izuna Endo, which ticks her off.
    • While the anime flat-out renders Satoru as female, the manga flip-flops between male and female pronouns (sometimes dependent on the translator) before eventually settling on male.
  • Dying as Yourself: Soubi.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: Averted. Miu tries to invoke this in episode 20 in an attempt to protect Kouichi, but that causes him to activate Mode B, which allows him to heal her and her machina.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: They really have to earn it here in the anime. Expect a lot of Tear Jerker moments and GutPunches before you get to it though.
  • Elite Mooks: The Thunderclap, developed by Kiriyama heavy industries.
  • Enemy Mine: Combined with a Gambit Pileup, Katou was actually planning to stop the invasion from the other Earth in the anime, since the humans there have given up and more or less become robotic without any free will. Hence why he constantly mentions stirring up the imagination of the people on the current Earth so as to prepare them to fight the oncoming invasion force. It doesn't help that he had to kill lots of innocent people to achieve his goal, which was why Ishigami decided to break off and look for an alternative method that didn't require any human deaths if possible.
    • In the manga this happened after all the gate to the Human-Machina's world was opened, before the members of the JUDA Special Task Force were assimilated into the Katou Organization.
  • Expy: Verdant is blue, wields more than 2 swords in each hand, has one eye, and a crescent moon emblem on its forehead, I wonder who matches that description.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Verdant, interestingly the blind spot is actually noted by Kouichi and he tries to exploit this during his second duel with Verdant. it doesn't work.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Reiji. But it turns out he was Good All Along, and was merely playing his part in Katou's grand scheme. See Enemy Mine
  • "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: The first time you hear the page quote.
  • Falling into the Cockpit: To be fair, it did fall on top of him first...
  • First Church of Mecha: Soubi's village worshipped Talisman as a benevolent demon protector.
  • First Episode Resurrection: Hayase in the anime only, since the story actually begins a few years after incident in the manga.
  • First Kiss: Risako, in an apparent Anguished Declaration of Love, gives one to Kouichi at the end of episode 12.
    • Which then gets blown out of proportion both at school and at JUDA. Emi is not happy about that.
    • Miu shares hers with Koiuchi in episode 20. Which kind of ticks off Shizuna, of all people.
  • Fish out of Water: Kouichi, who was an Ordinary High-School Student until he met Emi.
    • Rachel in episode 25 and the manga omakes, who gets completely lost in Japan and is very unfamiliar with the culture and landscape.
  • Flash Step: Tsubaki-Hime is so agile it seems to disappear.
    • also used by 'Naked', and Linebarrel when in 'Mode-B'
  • Foreshadowing: I wonder, why would the Machina feel fear and disgust at the sight of Linebarrel so strongly that their pilots can experience it?
    • The Jinrai are suspiciously significantly better in combat than common Arma, aren't they?
    • What could make Ishigami's mouth take on a mechanical appearance?
    • What else can Deceive do with those Combat Tentacles aside from transmitting nightmares?
    • Who could take interest in Yajima's grave besides Risako, Hayase and Domyouji?
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Pretty much all the women's outfits stick right onto their skin. Including their school uniforms.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Line doesn't appear to stand for anything, but in the final episode, we see BARRELS stands for "Biogenous Armament Revivify Ravager Energized Lifeform Sustainer"... which doesn't really mean much of anything.
  • Gainaxing: Almost very female in the anime. Especially during the beach episode. Hayase's arm seems to find it's way into their cleavage a lot as well...
  • Gainax Ending: Both ending of the anime qualify.
    • Episode 24: Every Factor dies as per Synchronization rules, then is revived sans Factor powers. Also, Emi and Kouichi meet their alternate selves from a different reality. Their Machina talks and has a human face and refers to alt-Kouichi by a number. Then they part ways and Kouichi and Emi return to our world without any explanation as to how and why.
    • Episode 26: Tons of Linebarrel clones appear on our Earth, but the Machina no longer work, so Juda fights back using Armas painted as their old Machinae. Then Linebarrel arbitrarily powers up with a short battery life, and Kouichi and Emi mop everything up except the mega-sized clone. Cue Bolivian Army Ending as Kouichi rushes it claiming he won't even use up the 10 minutes worth of battery life he has left.
  • Genki Girl: Shizuna, especially in Tsundere mode.
  • Giant Robot Hands Save Lives: The conclusion of Miu's suicide attempt which Hayase and Domyouji interrupt in the manga.
  • Gonk: Riku Ousei
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: In the manga, the Human-Machina won't attack unless all the Machina get a Factor. Katou tries to prevent it by hiding the Lostbarrel in his own Machina, but Sawatari eventually bonds with it.
  • Gratuitous English: Rachel Calvin, take a bow.
    • The trailer seems to be chock full of it as well.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: In episode 5 when Kouichi saves the Endou twins the first thing he does is grab one of the opposing ARMA's by the head and throws it at the group attacking Deceive
  • Groin Attack: Shizuna's way of introducing herself to Kouichi when they first meet, while yelling about what a douche he is.
  • Guns Akimbo: Verdant when its carrying the optional submachine guns.
  • Half-Identical Twins: The Endou siblings
  • Heel-Face Turn: Jack in the anime, who has a rivalry with Reiji, and felt he couldn't do it properly if Reiji was on the same team as him. So he joins JUDA in order to fight against him "properly". Thankfully he's still just as Bad Ass when fighting for JUDA as he was when fighting for Katou.
    • Possibly in the manga with the entire Katou Organization, given that they had the same ultimate goal as JUDA and were just going about in a different way, and with Ishigami's death, Katou decides to try things the way his former subordinate did, which ends in our heroes being dissolved into Katou's squads.
  • Heel Realization/Villainous Breakdown:
    Eiji Kiriyama: You a "hero of justice"? Don't make me laugh! You can't be a hero of justice! Because if you were, it would mean I'm the bad guy!
  • Heroic BSOD: Yamashita suffers one in episode 13. In the manga, Kouichi goes through a massive after the pile-up of: Miu becoming a Factor, Linebarrel being revealed to be the vessel for Amagatsu Kizaki who has gone insane and JUDA has to seal Linebarrel away, and Yajima coming Back from the Dead and being the Factor of the Machina that killed him.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Judy in episode 15. Ishigami in Chapter 83.
  • Hero of Another Story: Jirou, the Juda intelligence agent fond of Stealth Hi/Bye. He's highly competent but regularly ends up as a Distressed Dude in the manga. In the anime, he does the footwork on investigating Kouichi before his recruitment.
    • The alternate Kouichi and Emi from the ending of Episode 24. Where are they going? Where did they come from? What is that Machina they are riding?
  • Hopeless Suitor: Although it teases you a bit, its pretty obvious who Kouichi's going to end up with hint, they do a Crash-Into Hello in the beginning. Not that it doesn't stop the other girls from at least trying to hook up with him, or at least go into Tsundere mode in Shizuna's case.
    • Played straight with Yajima towards Risako... until the time-skip in the manga where it reveals they're finally dating.
  • Hot-Blooded: Koichi, Yamashita, Sawatari, while Emi gets in on this after the time-skip in the manga.
  • Hot-Blooded Sideburns: Sawatari, a rare villain example
  • Hot Springs Episode: Both in the anime and the manga, although the anime went quite ridiculously overboard with the Fanservice compared to the manga.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Arma and the Machina.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Koichi was quite shocked when Verdant's right eye spontaneously healed itself..
    • In the manga Emi is content with Kouichi piloting Linebarrel not because he's better at it, as she's a Game Breaker due to being the daughter of the creator of all Machina technology, but because she would literally die from doing it often.
  • I Call It "Vera": Pretender is not the real name of Eiji Kiriyama's Machina. It's real name is actually Deceive IV.
  • Ill Boy: Yamashita prior to becoming Hind Kind's factor.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Reiji fell on one of Verdant's swords when the sink-hole containing the mecha opened up underneath Reiji unexpectedly, he gets better, due to it being how he became Verdant's factor.
    • Also Yajima, seconds before getting obliterated by mecha sized bullets
  • Informed Species: Discussed. Ohba cannot believe that Furya is the same species as her dear Commander Moritsugu.
  • Instant Expert: Subverted by Kouichi. His ass-kicking is totally contributed to the Linebarrels immense speed and power, but against experienced pilots he nearly always gets shamed. Moritsugu makes this a plot point, fending off his Super Mode and insulting his "Hero of Justice" rap, then threatening all his friends in order to cause an emotional response that can unlock Linebarrel's Machina-Killer True Form.
    • Zig-zagged: Talisman's introduction in the manga reveals the Machina can actually teach their Factors to use them better. If they want to. When Hayase exorcises Amagatsu from Linebarrel, he notes that it has become much more responsive in combat, implying that at least some of his fights prior to that were affected by Amagatsu one way or the other.
    • Played straight with Miu and Painkiller in the manga. She seemingly starts to lose to Sanada and gets a Heroic BSOD before tearing him a new one.
  • Instant-Win Condition: When Kouichi destroys the core at the end of the anime, all the invading machinas shut down and start breaking apart.
  • Insufferable Genius: Rachel occasionally in the main series, but especially in episode 25, which covers her first trip to Japan.
  • Involuntary Suicide Mechanism / Driven to Suicide: The suicide switch inside all humans, which is one of the key plot points of the manga (the anime's plot diverged before it became important).
    • Being a Factor negates yours even if it was already activated. Unfortunately, of the three Factors we know whose switches were active when they were converted, Miu and Izuna did not end well. This does not bode well for Katou.
  • Invisibility Cloak: Apparition's special ability.
  • Ironic Echo: At one point in the manga, Kouichi turns Emi's Catch Phrase about how "he's the worst" on her. Cue Heroic BSOD when she realizes they're Not So Different.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Yajima likes Risako, but knows she likes Kouichi, so holds back. So when Emi shows up, he sees her as a threat to Risako's happiness, as evidenced by how unhappy Risako is around Emi and the other girls working with Kouichi in JUDA.
    • Both Risako and Miu seem to feel this way as well towards the end.
  • Jerkass/Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Koichi Hayase. Just Koichi Hayase.
  • Jumped at the Call: Deconstructed; when Koichi becomes Linebarrel's Factor he behaves like you would realistically expect a bullied teenager would when given godlike power, and immediately causes huge levels of property damage, loss of human life, and generally behaving like a douchebag while trying to weakly justify this by shouting hollow one liners about being an ally of justice, upon which he is immediately called out on it by Reiji who then proceeds to hand his ass to him. it is only when his best friend dies as a result of his actions that he realizes the seriousness of what he's gotten himself into.
  • Kansai Regional Accent: Shizuna. It's a coping mechanism for a childhood trauma.
  • Karma Houdini: Sawatari, Yuriannu and Jack all escape from the authorities at the end of the anime, while Reiji voluntarily goes to jail for his involvement in Kiriyama's coup. Subverted in Super Robot Wars L, where all three are arrested by the authorities alongside Reiji.
  • Killed Off for Real: Ishigami, the president of JUDA in the anime. However, he did it in order to activate FLAG, a Cool Ship which was part of JUDA's headquarters, and which plays a pivotal role at the end of the series. He says that someone had to be sacrificed in order to use it. Hence why his physical body dies, but his mind/spirit lives on in the ship.
    • Played straight for Katou and Ishigami in his AI form in the last battle.
    • Then in the manga, Ishigami, Izuna and Miu all died for real.
  • Kill Sat: The Helios satellite.
  • Large Ham: Domyouji. Ishigami falls into this trope occasionally as well.
  • Laser Blade: Kinda justified, the Executioner was supposed to be a gun, the output setting just gets overclocked.
    • In a more literal sense, Lostbarrel uses one.
  • Last Stand: Seems to be one around episode 18 when Katou's forces attack Misaki city, and JUDA's forces gradually have to keep pulling back as Katou's forces continually destroy the shields.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Glen-Neidr, and Ousei's Arma 'Yaoyorozu'
  • Lightning Glare: Done between Risako and Miu in episode 17.
  • Likes Older Women: Yurianne tries to ravish Izuna in the cave in episode 12. He seems able to be on par with her before getting exhausted. Then some tentacles intervene...
    • Still implied in the manga with his feelings towards Miu.
  • Lover Tug-of-War: Slight one occurs in episode 21, although subverted in that both Emi and Miu want to strip Kouichi down in order to get a physical done on him. They seem rather eager about it as well...
    • Between Ohba and Satoru in one of the manga's omakes, over Reiji. He finds this mildly amusing.
  • Machine Empathy: Some Factors seem to subconsciously converse with their Machina, up to and including getting combat training (Painkiller and Talisman), tactical (Pretender) or strategic advice (Juda) or grief counseling (Deceive) from them. It goes the other way around as well, when Moritsugu first identifies that all Machina FEAR Linebarrel whenever it activates Overdrive Mode.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: One of Eiji's Pretender attacks
  • Mad Bomber: Ousei
  • Marshmallow Hell: Kouichi is subjected to this a couple of times.
  • The Masquerade: It is now 2712. Humans history ended 650 years ago. The reason why humans exist now is because the Human-Machina recreated them.
  • Mayfly-December Romance: Soubi and his wife in the manga, as a result of him being Talisman's Factor and therefore not aging. There's also a case of Mayfly December Ship Teasing in the anime between Jack and Risako, but that gets torpedoed by the end of the anime.
    • Also Ishigami and his wife.
  • Meaningful Name: JUDA Ishigami used to work as Katou's right hand man (during World War II) before becoming the factor for the Machina JUDA, afterwards he betrayed the Katou Organization. The Machina JUDA itself is one; it had no default name or serial number, and instead called itself 'J-U-D-A' when prompted. It is the Judas of the Machina.
    • Deus as well. It's introduced as simply "Deus", but then we learn the Human-Machina call it Deus ex Machina.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Any Arma not being piloted by a named character is screwed.
  • Mega Corp.: JUDA, a more benevolent example than most.
  • Mega Ton Punch: Kouichi is on the receiving end of these at times.
    • Furuya gets one from Yajima. Like Kouichi he survives the hit, but the next time we see him he's in a hospital bed bandaged up.
  • Mission Control: Emi and Ishigami usually perform this role.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: Averted in the manga, where you can see Yuriannu's side boob, as she is laying on her stomach with the bed sheet around her lower waist.
  • Mood Whiplash: Episode 13. Starts out really light-hearted, then you hear a gunshot, and Reiji just shot Ishigami.
  • Motor Mouth: Risako has one in episode 12, it actually sounds like the dialogue has been sped up rather than just her talking quickly.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Kiriyama Eiji had Reiji's sister killed so that Reiji would be dependent on him. Worse still Reiji knows Eiji was responsible and plans to take revenge for it.
  • Mysterious Woman: Yuriannu Faithful
  • Nose Bleed: Hayase and Domyouji suffer them from time to time. In a rare case, most of Hayase's are actually caused by trauma of some sort, at least in the manga.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Kouichi's antics when he first receives Linebarrel results in a bridge being destroyed, civilian casulties, and his best friend getting blown into little gibby bits by the Machina Apparition, Nice job breaking it Kouichi.
    • The Machina-humans in the anime.
    • Miu's first outing in the Painkiller in the manga ends with her leveling most of her hometown. It's also one of several reasons her career as an idol goes downhill: she goes public with her identity as a Factor.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown Verdant hands out one to Linebarrel, twice the second time in the manga Verdant slices Linebarrel in half at the waist.
  • No Name Given: A mecha example in the case for the Armas themselves, save the squad captains, which are named 'Idaten' (Sawatari's), 'Tsubaki-hime' (Yuriannu's), 'Kagutsuchi' (Demitri's), and 'Yaoyorozu' (Ousei's)
    • The alternate-universe Kouichi and Emi which Kouichi and Emi run into in Episode 24 aren't even named outside of Super Robot Wars L. Their Machina isn't identified either, though it does address alt-Kouichi by a number.
  • Normally, I Would Be Dead Now Variation, one way of becoming a factor for a machina is for it to kill you by accident when it does not have a factor, to which it will revive you via Nano Machines) if it does have a factor, then you stay dead until that factor dies.
  • Oh Crap!: The nameless Japanese couple has one right before getting hit with the Helios Kill Sat in episode 11.
    • It gets worse in the manga, Ousei attacks them in his Arma directly, tearing the man's leg off for starters.
  • Overtook the Manga: The anime adaptation follows the manga more or less the same until around the Helios operation, where some details change (both minor and major), then by the time the Kiriyama coup is finished (which does play similar to the manga version with some changes), the anime goes all out on an original ending from that.
  • The Plan: Except for Riku's death, everything about the hijacking of the Helios and the subsequent operation to destroy it was planned by Katou.
  • Post Script Season: Episode 26 of the anime is a weird mix of "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, The Adventure Continues, Status Quo Is God and ends on a Bolivian Army Ending. With Maybe Ever After on top.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Deceive does what it does partly because Izuna is an Esper. When he develops Power Incontinence, things go sour.
  • Ramming Always Works: What the Shangri-La tries to do towards the alternate Earth's invasion ship in the anime's final battle.
  • Rocket Punch: Hind-Kind's Bullet Fist.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Though Soubi looks seventeen it's revealed that he is actually over 70, this is due to being born as Talisman's factor. Eventually, each and every Factor will suffer his fate, as Machina don't allow them to grow old, unless they find out how to counter the effect.
    • In the manga: Katou, Emi & Ishigami. Katou and Emi are older by 650 years, while Ishigami is the father of the prime minister.
  • The Real Remington Steele with a dash of Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: In the manga, the envoy of the Human-Machina to the President of the USA takes the form of Abraham Lincoln. His eventual confessions to Kouichi reveal that since the rebooted Earth's history restarted in 1871, he may have been the 'real' thing in one way or another.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: While Ishigami is a bit eccentric at times, and seems to enjoy playing pranks (usually on Kouichi), he doesn't just start taking it out on his subordinates if things go wrong, and helps pay for the damages that Kouichi first causes without making much of a fuss. He also seems to see the potential in Kouichi, while most of the other members of JUDA initially feel he's a hotheaded nutcase.
    • The manga implies at least part of the Bunny-Ears Lawyer is an act, and he's like a better-adjusted Gendo Ikari. Being the ultimate Chessmaster helps.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Aside from "Factor eyes" that Factors get when they activate their Machina's powers, there's also the black streaks they develop when entering Overdrive mode and distinct robot-like mouth edges for Factors that get influenced by their Machina.
  • Red-Headed Hero
  • Red Shirt Army: Pretty much anyone not part of JUDA.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Kouichi after seeing Yajima get killed in front of him.
    • Happens again in episode 24, this time when Emi is killed by Masaki.
  • Running Gag: In episode 6, Kouichi keeps getting rushed to an emergency room after a prank Ishigami plays on him. After the third one, Ishigami himself joins alongside him, after Yui punishes him for his latest prank of giving Kouichi a video of Emi undressing.
    • Emi telling Kouichi that he makes her sick. Its meaning gradually changes however. The manga ends it when Kouichi gets to use it on her, and he's right.
    • The manga omakes have one with Yamashita taking offense at Hind-Kind being called useless, or being referred to by Hind-Kind feature's rather than Yamashita's own, such as being called "yellow".
  • Serious Business: Kouichi initially doesn't get the point of the acts and party in episode 6, until Ishigami tells him that they don't get chances to screw up on their real job, so he should take it easy and relax with them whenever they can.
  • Sexy Secretary: Yuriannu's disguise while she's around Eiji Kiriyama, in reality shes a member of the Katou group.
  • Ship Sinking: Risako looks extremely sad when she sees how fast Kouichi moves to save Emi in episode 12.
    • Emi seems to feel this way too in the very next episode...
    • All of which seems to be ignored in Episode 26. Did the final battle relight the torches everyone was carrying for Kouichi?
  • Shock and Awe: Soubi's Machina 'Talisman' carries a lance/spear named 'Tail of the Kingdom' that can electrocute enemies from a distance.
  • Show Within a Show: The Great Kivider, which is some sort of Gaiking-Mazinger mashup, of which Yamashita is a huge fan of. It mainly appears in various omakes in the manga, and gets an off-screen appearance in Episode 25 of the anime, as Rachel overhears a part of an episode through an open window.
  • Sigil Spam: The tri-bladed circular logo you see in the anime's opening? It's Linebarrel's crest. Every Machina has one, and while you can only see them when the pilot pods eject in the anime, the manga places them everywhere, from each Machina's forehead (Vardant's crescent moon is pretty prominent) to accessories of their Factors - the tie clip Kouichi uses to pin up Shizuna's hair has his crest, Linebarrel's crest, on it.
    • The Juda Corporation logo (which is nothing like the crest of Juda the Machina) is everywhere, up to and including Soubi's kimono when he joins them in the manga.
  • Smashing Watermelons: Happens during the Beach Episode in episode 12. It gets a flashback in Episode 25.
  • Smug Snake: Kiriyama Eiji. The manga also gives us Reubens, who fills a similar plot role.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: Yajima he gets better in both versions) Ousei, and Demitri.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: The precursor to somebody going Super Mode.
  • Super Mode
  • Super Prototype: All The Machina towards Arma, though the Ace pilots in the Katou group use Ace Customs
    • More like just flat out Super robots
    • The Lostbarrel, aka the First Machina, holds its own in a fight very well despite being a literal case of Break Out the Museum Piece.
    • The manga eventually reveals that most Machina used by Juda and Katou Factors are part of mass-produced line-ups. Lostbarrel and Linebarrel are the only unique ones, of which only one was ever made.
  • Synchronization: A Factor's life is irreversibly tied with their Machina. If a Factor dies, the Machina can get a new one, but if the Machina is destroyed, the Factor will die. Or Factors, if it has more than one, serving as Kouichi's motivation once he learns that Emi is also Linebarrel's factor.
    • Empathic Weapon: Most Factors are led to converse with their Machinae on top of piloting them as a result of this.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Often Juda's and Katou's operations are shown in parallel even if they won't interact within this story arc. After the two merge in the manga, the seond line is either about Reubens, Sawatari or Deus.
    • Plot Parallel: Usually used for cruel irony. Here we have Domyouji asking to become the recently-orphaned Shizuna's co-pilot; there we have Sawatari brooding on Abraham Lincoln telling him he has no bearing on the plot meeting Miu who has just crossed the Moral Event Horizon. Both are events with the same cause ( Miu killing Izuna, right after he confessed to her, too) and similar themes, but vastly different... Well, yeah.
    • Simultaneous Arcs: Used for some cases, such as the Kiriyama coup.
  • Super Robot Wars: In Super Robot Wars L (based on the anime) and Super Robot Wars UX (based on the manga). It later's case, UX just stopped the in-game plot at the first battle on the Moon.
  • Taking You with Me: In the anime, Judy manages to kill Demitri during her Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Tag Team Twins: Endou siblings on Deceive.
  • Team Mom: Yui Ogawa.
  • Telescoping Robot: Hind-Kind.
  • Tempting Fate: When Ishigami mentions that there are now enough Armas for the SSDF to take over the country in episode 13...
  • Thanatos Gambit: Ishigami in the anime, Amagatsu in the manga, both in a bid for Brain Uploading.
  • Thanks for the Mammary: Kouichi initially summons Linebarrel by touching Emi's breast. Which gets Risako a little ticked off...
  • Theme Naming: Verdant, Linebarrel, Hind-Kind, Deceive, Painkiller, Apparition, Glen-Neidr, Naked, Shangri-La, Pretender, Talisman, Juda, it goes on, though we've yet to figure out what the theme actually is... Some of them border on Shaped Like Itself, but not all of them.
    • In a more straight example, the Lostbarrel, Linebarrel and Ravbarrel.
  • Three-Laws Compliant: The Machina can't kill unless they have a factor on board. Or have turned self-aware.
  • Time Skip: A whooping three years at the end of volume 20. But for Kouichi (after his return), it's just been a hour for him.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Rachel, at least until the manga's time-skip.
  • Transforming Mecha: Pretender. Also Glen-Neidr in the manga.
  • Tsundere: Shizuna and Emi.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Risako. Subverted (somewhat) in the manga when Yajima gets her during the Time Skip.
  • Upgrade vs. Prototype Fight: Linebarrel vs Lostbarrel. Also, Pretender vs Deceive.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Demitri, for whom, literaly no information is given regarding his background.
    • Demitri gets it worse in the original manga, as he receives little to no character development and gets unceremoniously killed off by Kiriyama's Jinrais. At least the anime gives him an semi-decent death for a villain and tries to give him some character development.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 13, during Reiji's Face-Heel Turn.
    • Happens again in episode 23, when Katou reveals his plan and joins forces with JUDA and the remaining Earth forces.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Though probed as soon as it becomes known Machina can be self-aware, it doesn't get much attention until human-shaped Human-Machina arrive in the manga. And one of them joins the team because she has a crush on Moritsugu.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Kouichi is a real Jerk Ass in the first few episodes, but it turns out that he's acting that way because he always felt weak compared to his friend Yajima. Unfortunately he lets that power go to his head. Which then ends up getting Yajima killed.
  • White Void Room: How linking your mind to a Machina looks to the linkee. We only experience this through Hayase's eyes, first when he reclaims Linebarrel from Amagatsu and second when he convinces Abraham Lincoln his Justice is the just one. In both cases, the Machina seems to be able to shape the setting based on its or the linkee's memories, including what shape to use for itself.
  • Whole Plot Reference: Some of it is caused by deconstructing the same tropes, such as Falling into the Cockpit or Assimilation Plot, in the context of Humongous Mecha, and some may be intentional nods, but there's a lot of similarities to core plot points of Neon Genesis Evangelion, including a few to Rebuild of Evangelion.
    • Using Humongous Mecha that have minds of their own because they used to be humans, with icing on the cake in Brain Uploading a protagonist's parent - fully gender flipped here, though into them.
    • A dumping pit for remains of innumerable instances of said mecha, presented and treated as a graveyard, though with a lot less blood here.
    • High-Pressure Blood geysers from the organic mecha at the slightest cut wound. Thankfully, it's not red for mosy of them.
    • Ishigami is in many ways an Expy of Gendou Ikari, just one that has had time to learn that a Xanatos Gambit works better if your underlings adore you.
    • Classmates of the protagonist ending up as his fellow robot pilots, and vice versa, which leads to the death of at least one of them. One of them has a weird intimate connection to the protagonist (though Emi does not qualify for a Rei Ayanami Expy).
    • Giving a bullied kid a robot, then showing how having been bullied affects his piloting, particularly in the anime with Kouichi (the manga has a better example in Miu).
      • This gets an interesting twist in Super Robot Wars L where Shinji is Kouichi's classmate prior to moving to Tokyo-3.
    • A metaplot revolving around keeping a member of the enemy species in the basement of the base and using knowledge gained from it to fight them - Juda to Lilith, though Juda is cooperating willingly.
    • Said base is a Futuristic Pyramid with copious Sigil Spam within. In fact, JUDA's logo is reminiscent of NERV's, is it not?
    • Organical regeneration of the titular Humongous Mecha due to its unique special purpose.
    • When the robots go nuts from having too much free will or being unable to process the emotions of their pilots, they go on rampages, at least one of which culminates in the robot biting into stuff with what was previously a decorative "mouth" area, as well as a death of a fellow pilot.
    • Most pilots have one surviving parent or less, and more than one has died to give their children's robots their current abilities.
    • A rival agency building fully-automated inorganic mecha as competition to the protagonists' ones, which they end up fighting when it turns bad.
    • The final battles involve tons of extra creepy mass-produced pilotless versions of organic mecha similar to those of the protagonists.
    • Painting the moon red, literally and/or figuratively.
    • The anime version of the Human-Machina endgame plan is not dissimilar to one version of Instrumentality.
    • A time-skip of several years for the protagonist, where he doesn't feel the passage of time but everyone else does, and he returns to a world much worse off than he left despite securing what he thought was a victory. It's also used to introduce new pilots and demonstrate that pilots of the organic mecha can't age past a certain point.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Interestingly, in the manga, this is Ishigami's domain. Katou mainly deals in Batman Gambit plotting.
    • On a larger scale, also in the manga the Machina Juda, who served as the designer for the Earth's re-creation before its betrayal of the Human-Machina. It fed its companions misinformation all along as it prepared a world capable of fighting back against them.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Less than half an hour passes between Katou's forces showing up at Juda HQ for a final battle in the manga's chapter of the same name, as Ishigami announces he cedes to Katou, retakes his rank as Katou's second-in-command and sacrificies himself to seal the Human-Machina's portal, leaving a somewhat bewildered Katou to inherit what's left of Juda. How good do you have to be to leave the Really 700 Years Old Anti-Villain who's trying to remake the world in his image holding the bag for you?
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Ousei, whose sociopathic tendencies lead to him becoming a liability for the Katou organisation.
  • You Will Be Assimilated: In the anime, Katou explains that in his world, humanity more or less gave up their freedoms and free will in order to gain power, hence why he worked with them in order to "invade" the current Earth and put a stop to them before they could do the same thing to humans in the new world. In the manga they just want to wipe out humanity to reset the Earth again.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Both the female school uniforms and the the costumes that all the female MACHINA pilots wear.

Alternative Title(s):

Linebarrels Of Iron, Kurogane No Linebarrel