NEEDLESS: In the near future, mankind has suffered from World War III, leaving extreme damage all over. Mankind has been forced to evolve. From this chaos comes a new species: "Needless". The Needless are humans who have contracted a "disease", as humans call it, which allows them to wield extraordinary powers. Their abilities include telekinesis, Elemental Powers, gravity control, adaptation, radioactive release and so on, all seemingly impossible.The manga debuted in 2004 and ended in 2013, and an anime adaptation by Madhouse aired in the summer of 2009. The anime has been licensed for US distribution with an English dub track by Sentai Filmworks, and is available online.Not to be confused with The Needless.
Every female character in the show qualifies, really. The only one who doesn't do much fighting is Disk, and even she has some serious firepower.
Adam and Eve Plot: and they're not subtle about it. More specifically Eve was created for the sole purpose of bearing Blade's children, as said by Gido in Vol.7, due his DNA structure not being compatible with that of normal humans and other Needless. Adam Neuschwanstein might be the result of Gido's project... maybe.
Actually in the manga it's reviled that the "Apple of Eden" is what evolved some monkeys into humans, and now the 666 wanted to use it again to evolve humans into gods. The best of the Adam series and Eve project were supposed to be the first to become gods.
And now it's been revealed that Riru is the Eve created for Arclight.
Air-Vent Passageway: Used when Disk and co infiltrates the Simeon building to save Blade. On the other hand, Seto and Solva aren't that subtle...
After the EndApocalypse Not: The Third World War destroyed major cities in the world including Tokyo, but nearly all of the world has been rebuilt and functions normally as depicted in Needless Zero. However, Black Spots remain as they were many decades ago.
Awesomeness by Analysis: Cruz. Though he lacks any actual superpowers, he does have possess incredible faculties of analysis and deduction, which lands him in the role of The Strategist even before he realizes it.
Back from the Dead: Anyone who is cloned and has their original memories is considered this. Uten, Kafka, and Teruyama were brought back as clones.
Double hits. The real Teruyama has revived by Mio. Fans rejoice.
Same goes with Seto and Solva, after Blade gain god powers.
Beehive Barrier: Eve can shape her arms to form a hardened, metallic shield of this type.
Big Bad: Adam Arclight. Partially. The Adam Arclight that Team Blade have been fighting the whole time was a clone. The real Adam Arclight is actually Saten who shares the Big Bad spot with Gido, the leader of the 666.
Also before someone's fragment is revealed. They attack without saying their specail abilites.
Disc:Shout out a skill name and hit people!
Cruz:Wouldn't I be revealed instantly?
Captain Obvious: Cruz. Also Disk, who's ability is to couch analyses in wads of cool-sounding Technobabble, but only ever uses her scan after the practical result, the only useful part of her observation, is already apparent to everyone.
Catch Phrase: "It's judgment time!" "Your sentence... IS DEATH!"
Cerebus Retcon: You know how Eve has a really hard time remembering names? That's because she was trying really hard to remember Onda Shizuma.
Confusion Fu: Saten keeps his actual ability secret and throws people for a loop with what appear to be multiple fragments. In the Anime original material (beginning episode 22 or so) And he takes this even further by hiding his true status as an artificial Adam Project subject, having had the "Zero" fragment infused into him.
Continuity Cameo: Adam Neuschwanstein, Adam Blade's rumored future clone/transexual form/daughter from NEEDLESS 1.5, makes an appearance in the 82th chapter of the main series, a very brief and almost purposeless one.
Due to the Dead: in the anime while Setsuna keeps an impassive face when Blade threw the corpse of another member of the Pretty Girl Squad, Kurumi, at her; Mio and Kuchinashi take the time to compose the corpse into a serene pose as Setsuna faces Blade down.
Fish out of Water: the very presence of police officers in a somewhat still stable society in Tokyo, Blade and friends had a hard time trying to figure out what these people are while raiding the city, since in The Black Spot There Are No Police it was a completely new experience to the team.
Funny Background Event: Heavily Subverted. Arca complains that "Our family name is not Yamada" to a comically surprised Eve... While in the background, Cruz is holding his RECENTLY CUT OFF ARM in pain.
Gambit Pileup: Especially noticeable in the manga, by chapter 110 it is revealed there were at least five different agendas on the table. Commitee 666, Adam Arclight, Adam Blade, Saten - are only four of the involved planners, and very little you have seen in the early chapters, will remain unchanged by this moment. City Arc as a whole is one big The Reveal.
Gecko Ending: Starting from Saten interrupting the fight between Arclight and Blade, though the scenes with Saten after the elevator scene are anime-only too.
The Glasses Come Off: Blade takes off his glasses when things gets really serious, or he never goes with them to said fierce battle in the first place. After the PF Blast, Blade never used them again, it also served to quite mellow him out, he got noticeable less of a Jerkass ever since.
Girl on Girl Is Hot: This is the most reasonable explanation for why the first ED is the way it is.
And/or because of Blade's personal tastes.
A God Am I: Arclight. Judging from the history of the NEEDLESS world, what he said is not very far from the truth. Ouch.
Saten claims this, too. Unfortunately for him, Arclight disagrees.
It seems that quite a few needless have developed god complexes, comparing themselves to God either because they're truly that megalomaniacal, or to intimidate their opponents.
Gorn: Thankfully the anime largely averts this, but in the manga, Eve really destroyed Arclight's head with her drill... only to see it reform in front of her.
In a similar case, Setsuna, Mio, and Kuchinashi have a fight with two other members of the Bishoujo Squad, Nanami and Misaki. In episode 7 of the anime, the scuffle is played played mainly for laughs, but in Chapter 10 of the manga, Mio cracks Nanami's head open and Setsuna eviscerates Misaki.
Also in the manga Where Arclight eats everyone as well as other Needless in order to gain their powers.
Hammer Space: Even if Kuchinashi is stripped off, she still has her pen and paper to write down her words.
Episode nine gives us Disc producing a Hyperspace Arsenal made up of numerous guns from underneath her skimpy one-piece dress.
Headbutt Thermometer: Setsuna gives one to Cruz in the specials. However, she only does it to get a rough estimate, and then flips him around to try and get a more accurate reading using an... unpleasant... measuring technique.
Healing Factor: Part of Eve's doppelganger power. Not energy conserving. Also, Adam Arclight.
Later used on Yamada to save his life, thus opening speculation about Yamada having a fraction of Eve's power.
Heel-Face Turn: Mio, teaming up with Yamada after the Eden's Piece massacre.
And the anime allows Aruka to make one right before the final battle.
Also in the manga, Geppetto's Living Doll replica BQ and Rin, the St. Rose Academy serial bomber.
Let's not forget Saten, or should I say Kannazuki Kyouji, Dr Gido's assistant?
High School AU: While the show has a school of sorts, the DVDs contain a series of bonus shorts set at St. Lily Academy, an all-girls' school with Cruz attending as "Yamada Nadeshiko". Disc is the teacher.
Humongous Mecha: The Darumi GT Mk. 32 EX68000 Nitro FC, a giant mecha daruma doll built and piloted by Kanna and her underlings.
Iconic Item: The Bishoujo Squad's panties. It gets to the point where Cruz is able to tell it's Setsuna just by looking up her skirt.
Idiot Hero: All the good guys except Cruz and Gidou. Momiji Teruyama is a borderline case.
Kuchinashi: Don't worry, I'm not [that] interested in guys.
Cruz: I'm pretty sure "that" is written really small in there!
Kuchinashi: ...guys who make good traps are a-ok.
Blade agrees about good traps being a-ok.
I'm a Humanitarian: There are several cases of this but what happens to riru at the hands of the black attraction controlled pretty girl squad (sans mio) in chapter 109 takes the cake.
I'm Cold... So Cold...: Cruz says this in episode 17 after being burned/stabbed close to the heart by his sister and enemies.
Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Lots and lots of people, but the one with (literally) strongest impact is Kurumi's death. The wooden stake that pierced her was almost her the size of her body. And that is not even the worst death-by-impaling in the manga. And don't forget Arclight.
I Never Told You My Name: Mio sneaks her way in Cruz's team. Though he doesn't find out for sure she's a mole until she turns on them, Cruz quickly becomes suspicious of her when she calls him "Cruz" as opposed to "Yamada" (his nickname, which everyone in the team uses instead of his real name).
Jobber: An entire squad of would-be heroes get introduced in episode 7 and are immediately killed by Adam Arclight.
Journey to the Center of the Mind: From chapter 76 onwards, Blade gets his memories materialized in physical form in order to Simeon know all his and Eve's secrets, but something goes wrong as Blade destroys the gimmick which invaded his mind, Cruz is hit with one of Blade's memories shards which triggers the plot, with Cruz and Saten visiting the world sometime around 7 years ago, also borders with Alternate Universe as Blade's memories somehow shuffled joining his present and past memories thus creating a different 7 years ago setting.
Late-Arrival Spoiler: The Fourth Elite. The story talks about how Simeon's Fourth Elite has never been seen, and how they wear a mask to hide their face. When they finally do show up, the series makes no attempt to hide the color of their hair and eyes, making it painfully obvious who it is. The 3rd disc menu of the dub blatantly reveals it, as do the next episode preview of the episode right before The Reveal.. as does the episode title of said episode.
Limited Wardrobe: Played straight since this is an anime. However, Eve's power actually allows her to change her clothes, which she seldom does.
She has two oufits. Normal and Battle.
Somewhat justified because the entire part 1 (events of the anime) seems to takes place in the same day, and a lack of clothes can be an actual issue for the characters due to fights and lack of residence.
The Bishoujo Squad lose their original outfits getting past an Iron Mountain security system, and switches to uniform. Nonetheless, they get the clothes back in part 2.
Disc has multiple bodies (with clothes) she can conveniently swap depending on the situation. Seen so far: Disc's Iron Mountain body, her smaller travel form which holds more data, and lastly (currently), her Full Armor Mode, which turns Disc into a full-fledged fighting character.
Eve obtains and adds stockings to her clothes as a result of Blade's fetish (due to Yamada's influence) in the alternate timeline. Eve later sticks with her Doppelganger clothes, possibly due to having to fight constantly. There's a lot about clothes to NEEDLESS.
Made of Iron: Adam Blade's bones are reinforced with metal. Needless in general seem to be more durable than the average human.
Malaproper: Eve. Blade falls into too on occasion. Kuchinashi's Talking with Signs frequently includes a stricken homonym of whatever it is she's actually trying to say.
Magic A Is Magic A: It is an established plot point that all Needless have exactly one power, not more. Although Adam Blade, Adam Arclight, and Saten/Kyouji Kannazuki are kind of abusing a loophole with their Power Copying ability.
Master of Illusion: Uten's "Bermuda Apport" power allows him to make things invisible. It's a somewhat limited ability, but he uses it quite effectively. His clone has a stigmata and is now capable of making anything invisible.
Mood Whiplash: Everyone is worried when a holographic screen showing Adam Arclight appears on the sky, and right before he finishes introducing himself...the guy takes four naked girls to the head. Cue the "We're having technical problems" screen with a poorly-drawn cartoon rabbit and turtle with a very childish background before switching back to the ominous mood again. This is aided by the fact that Arclight wasn't used for humor up until that scene... nor after.
Should be noted that, when Arclight comes back online, his fist is covered with blood.
Done a lot more after that. There will be a dramatic moment... then suddenly it's comedy for a bit. Subverted after the flashback we get of Blade, Eve, Gido, Arclight, and even Kyouji's past, where humor disappears.
Near Death Experience: Yamada had one, after he was sliced by his big sister Arca. The guys that were already dead even greets him "Welcome to Hell" and reserves a seat for him in their Mahjong table.
The anime gives Cruz a second one. This time, Blade pops up to give him some genuine words of encouragement for once.
Power Copying: Adam Blade's Fragment "Zero" Overcomes the "one fragment, one power" restriction by allowing him to memorize other fragments. Adam Arclight has an even stronger version of this ability, "Positive Feedback Zero", and is using it to become unbelievably powerful. And then there's Saten...
Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Many Needless gangs in the Black Spot are exactly this, as mentioned in Needless Zero. In the current manga arc, Yamada had to gather everyone — from murderous living doll to serial killer drop-out to mad loli genius to a cyborg head to ward off an invasion by Simeone Clone Squad led by his sister.
Razor Floss: Kafka's "Kandatta String" ability. Blade and, later, Arclight are able to do this after memorizing the move. Of course, it usually winds up being The Worf Barrage.
There Are No Police: To extreme levels, The Black Spot has no known Law Enforcement Task Force and Police Units to speak of, it reaches culture shock later in the manga when Blade & Gang raids Tokyo, the presence of real police officers attempting to stop their raid manages to makes the team completely dumbfounded, with they living in The Black Spot since childhood, Blade and friends actually has never even heard of such concept to protect and serve before.
Time Skip: Even before Imai Kami started working on Needless in a official magazine like Ultra Jump he had the whole storyline set in his mind years ago, back then he just wrote a few doujinshi stories and Needless 1.5 is one of them, Kami confirmed that the story is set 2 years after the current plotline; Needless 1.5 was collected officially in the Needless Zero volume which is filled with prequel - before the current Needless - stories after said "sometime" in the future chapter. The chapter itself doesn't explain much it just features a girl who looks a lot like Blade, her name is Adam Neuschwanstein and she lives with Eve in the same regular church, Blade is nowhere to be seem, the girl just fights a few Testaments and nothing really relevant happens. As Kami said the story is only set 2 years after the current Needless is hard to presume Adam Neuschwanstein's conection with Blade and Eve as she is shown to be around the same age as Eve in the current Needless, she might be a clone as she has Blade's collar and a fragment on her forehead, or a gender-bent Blade, or a daughter with an absurd growth spurt...
Based on the events of the final Chapter, the girl is actually Blade who had fused with Eve resulting in her current appearance
Also is in Kami's plans to continue Needless 1.5 after the current Needless is finished, on his blog he mounted an image◊ despicting a time-line flow chart with the current Needless to Needless 1.5, according to him if everything goes well it will eventually lead to Needless 2 after the current manga is finished.
This is spoofed in episode 6, where she cockily challenges the Bishoujou Squad after downing a can... Only to find out that it's Derodoro Light, which contains no calories at all. As Eve herself puts it: "WHAT THE HELL'S THE POINT, THEN?!
Wham Episode: Chapter 108 has Arclight reveal that he plans to spread Edens seed across the world via clones to wipe out most of mankind and evolve the remaining ones, aliens are trying to appear on earth through a imprisoned dimensional gateway that is slowly breaking through its cage with mankinds only chance of fighting against them is by evolving via the edens seed, Solva and Seto are dead, and Gido is the leader of 666.
Chapter 110 continues it with Arclight being revealed to have been a clone of the real Adam Arclight all along who turns out to be Saten. The real Arclight then devours the heart of his clone and has Riru devoured by the Girl Squad.
World of Ham: In and out of battle. Eve's doppleganging gives the potential for every voice actor to get in on the fun, even for the more subdued characters.
Whenever any comedic scene is shown, there's more than likely guaranteed an all-out over-the-top "shock" reaction from the other characters nearby, especially Cruz. Even when comedy isn't involved, the fight scenes just love to ham it up in the anime. Greg Ayres once mentioned that many of the actors just loved dubbing the anime because it allowed them to just go all out and have fun with the reactions.
In the manga, it turns out Adam Arclight is a clone created with a defect that would fully come into play when the real Adam Arclight, Saten, decided that he had no further use for him. Furthermore, he has Riru devoured by the Girl Squad.