Saikano, a.k.a. Saishuu Heiki Kanojo; She, the Ultimate Weapon; My Girlfriend, the Ultimate Weapon. In the French translation, Larme Ultime, a pun on "the ultimate weapon" (l'arme ultime) and "ultimate tear".The tentative budding relationship between petite Chise and bitter, emotionally distant Shuuji becomes a little more complicated when Shuuji discovers that Chise has been converted into a living weapon of mass destruction by the JSDF.Originally a manga series by Shin Takahashi, it was adapted into a 13-episode anime in 2002. An OVA side-story was released in 2005, Saikano: Another Love Song, as well as a live-action movie in 2006. All of these, apart from the live-action film, are licensed by Viz Media.
Shuji's fate in the anime is to walk an empty earth, with nothing at his side but an Ax-Crazyenergy being who "loves" him too much to end his suffering. It's strongly implied that said energy being gave him immortality, which makes the situation much worse.
Subverted in the manga. Shuji and Chise somehow leave the Earth in Chise, who has become some kind of spaceship....but Chise forgot humans need to eat.
Although, Food withstanding, Manga Shuji seems very acceptable to the idea of living/loving together in Spaceship Chise until the end. Wouldn't call it much of an And I Must Scream situation.
Anyone Can Die: No character is safe; by the end of the story, the only two named characters that are still alive are Chise and Shuji.
Art Major Biology/Art Major Physics: Let's cover both at once: There is no way that anything that happens with Chise's transformations into the Ultimate Weapon or what she does with her power is remotely possible in Real Life.
Art Shift: The art frequently shifts to Super-Deformed when Chise and Shuji are talking with their friends, especially when Chise gets embarrassed or Shuji gets mad.
Ax-Crazy: "YOU IDIOTS, shoot if you dare. Sorry, you're all going to die."
Barbie Doll Anatomy: In the manga, while nipples are shown for both genders, genitals are either not drawn at all or only partially rendered, despite a number of full-frontal scenes with Chise and the various sex scenes (especially in the second and final volumes).
Bittersweet Ending: Arguable in the Manga ending. Shuji and Chise (albeit, as an intangible spaceship/hologram Chise) end up together after all, with nothing to tear them apart. They seem fully content with this situation. Shuji's final words in the Manga: "It was our love song. We're going to fall in love. We're going to live.", plus, from author's end notes: "Chise and Shuji are not happy, but they are not unhappy, either. There is no hope, but there are memories and there may be a future."
Black Comedy: Along with Gallows Humor below, there's a sequence in the manga where after Chise and Shuji run away and start hitchhiking, they eventually get picked up by a military truck. Chise says off-handedly that everyone that knows what she actually is is already dead. The punch line to this is that the soldiers on the truck DO recognize Chise and know what she is and have a collective Oh, Crap in their thought bubbles.
Clothing Damage: At the very least, Chise's transformations tear out the backs of her blouses, and sometimes completely shred them. As the story progresses and the transformations get more bizarre, this happens to the rest of her clothes.
Completely Different Title: The French title was changed to Larme ultime (Ultimate Tear) as a pun on the literal translation of the Japanese title - L'arme ultime (The Ultimate Weapon). The anime, on the other hand, kept the l'arme title.
Cruel Twist Ending: Viewers often comment that if you want a happy ending to the series you should stop after Shuji and Chise skip town and go on the run from the military, because the final three episodes go quickly, horribly, and tragically downhill after that.
Determinator: One of the main themes is people's amazing will to survive even though they know they're doomed.
Driven to Suicide: The nervous, sweaty middle-age man who oversees Chise's transformation.
Dubtitle: Saikano, at least in the OVA, was partially dubtitled. Sometimes the subtitles differed considerably from the dub, but at other times they matched the dub perfectly. Especially noticeable in some sections where the dub dialogue was a radical departure from the original Japanese.
Hopeless War: The entire point of Saikano is that one of these is causing the death of the planet. Chise pulls a planet-wide Mercy Kill to keep everyone from suffering any more; the series is exactly two characters away from a full-on Shoot the Shaggy Dog.
How We Got Here: The first episode of the anime opens with a haggard young man wearing broken glasses staggering through a deserted town, a service so that you don't mistakenly waste any hope on him later.
Humans Are Bastards: Not played entirely straight, but the show makes it clear that everyone is guilty to some extent. At the same time, some passages sing the beauty of human life and the merit of committing to memory the fact that humans existed.
Just Before the End: Saikano begins with everything apparently peaceful, although the weather has gotten bizarre. As Chise reveals at the end, the world was actually dying from the start. She performs a Mercy Kill on all living things to spare them the pain of dying slowly with the planet. The manga is more hopeful, in that the by-then transhuman Chise survives, as does her still-human boyfriend. They set off to explore the universe, hopefully to find someone they can talk to.
Kill All Humans: Chise eventually comes to the conclusion that this is the only way to end all war. She succeeds.
Luminescent Blush: This is the default expression of everyone, to the point where the blush sometimes appears to be coming off character' faces and can occasionally get quite distracting.
The overuse of luminescent blushing leads to the strange effect that it doesn't even indicate if a character is really blushing or not. Only when the face of someone turns glaring red, you can tell that he is in an emotional state that would cause a blush (if it wasn't already there).
Mood Whiplash: Probably one of the most egregious and extreme cases in manga. Ordinarily happens several time on the same page.
Non-Indicative First Episode: If you only read the first volume, you will think the manga is over. When you begin the second volume you will think it's an Anthology of happy little feel good Shojo oneshots instead of the most horrible and depressing War Drama ever. In the end the Heroine has to watch her boyfriend starve to death. And it's all her fault. You want to read the first chapter again and pretend the whole rest of the series was just a bad dream.
Nuclear Weapons Taboo: Chise practically is one, given her unstoppability and growing reputation for total destruction.
Pet the Dog: Chise and Shuuji love kitties. They die horribly.
Plot Hole: Could be said to be voluntary. The fact that we never learn who's at war with whom and the identity of the Big Bad strengthens the status of Saikano as an allegory about war at large. Similarly, knowing how come Chise is chosen to become the ultimate weapon and how on earth that actually works isn't quite the point. See The Unreveal.
Poor Communication Kills: Double subversion. We learn fairly early on that some soldiers speak English. Then Tetsu meets up with soldiers and tries to talk them down in English. They don't understand English.
Rape as Drama: In a volume of canon stories happening in the universe of Saikano, one story focuses on the relationship between a teen soldier and a girl who got raped by soldiers from the other side. Particularly jarring since he waited for them to be finished before he killed them because he knew they'd feel 'spent' after sex. And since they supposedly fall in love he convinces the girl to have sex with him while she doesn't want to.
Schrödinger's Cat: In the manga, one of Shuji's friends goes deaf during the first bombing. In the anime, said friend bites it (though from how little he gets featured in the manga, he might as well have died).
Superpowered Evil Side: Chise's personality while in the Ultimate Weapon form could be psychotically vindictive, threatening on multiple occasions to utterly eradicate anyone who got in her way or made her mad, be it friend or foe...and that she could do so with ridiculous ease made her even more horrifying.
Super Soldier: Chise holds a military rank, although her real function is as the Ultimate Weapon.
Surprisingly Good English: The most noticeable use of English was from invading soldiers, who spoke passable (if noticeably accented) American English.
Too Happy to Live: Whenever a secondary character is having a happy moment, joking and/or laughing as a break of the horrors of war, they are about to be killed in a short moment by an enemy bombing or attack.
Trailers Always Spoil: The trailer for the live-action version shows the very ending of the end of the world even though it doesn't make sense by itself.
Transformation Trauma: In more than one way - the pain of the transformations, Chise's embarrassment at being seen partially or completely unclothed when she returns to normal, and the knowledge that she's losing her humanity a little at a time.
The Unreveal: For example, why and how was Chise chosen as the ultimate weapon? What actually happens to the earth at the end?
The second bit isn't outright stated, but pretty much made obvious. The Earth will eventually die, and Shuji is confined to a Fate Worse than Death due to energy-being Chise's "kindness".
The best we get for the former in one of the OVA's is she, and only she, just so happened to fit the criteria to be the ultimate weapon. It's even mentioned that it could've been anyone and they would've used him/her.