Think that group covers all the girl tropes...
Title translation: Paradise Lost
Our heroine, Sora Himoto, has just been accepted to the prestigious Utopia Gakuen. She meets one of her childhood friends and talks about her dream of becoming a knight who protects princesses
. Upon getting to the highschool she sees two male students, each attended by a female student, engaged in some kind of duel. Upon losing, the defeated student breaks his dagger and the girl with him cries out in pain… and no one seems to care or notice
blatantly rips off
draws inspiration from Revolutionary Girl Utena
but with the bride/dueling mechanic extended to the entire student body. The school financers
have taken it upon themselves to use sophisticated virtual reality
to create an environment where gender (in)equality has been pushed back a few thousand years and then cranked up to eleven. The duels are part of a game called “Exaclan” where the males students are contestants and the female students are weapons
to be used, wagered, traded, abused and discarded. The female students have no protections or rights of any kind against the player who currently owns them, and any girl without a master has no protections or rights of any kind, period.
Seeing that the situation is
fucked up beyond all possible belief
unfair Sora starts about entering Exaclan and trying to start a one girl revolution that quickly turns to a one-girl-and-her-harem
A Character Sheet
is now under construction. Feel free to contribute.
- Absurdly Powerful Student Council: The main antagonists.
- Adults Are Useless: Adults are visible in most of the scenes in the infirmary. Unfortunately, they're all female. Which likely means...
- All Men Are Perverts: This trope is zigzagged. It's heavily implied that several girls are sexually abused by their "owners", and then there's Akane, who is a pretty nice guy who's just terrified of being ostracized/not allowed to graduate. Sumita is also an exception; Reiko states that he never touched her, and he seems to genuinely care about her..
- Aloof Ally: Reiko, briefly. She was not permitted to remain aloof.
- Alternate Character Interpretation: In-universe. Sora sees the good in even Tougyu; he was just trying to protect Hiyo-chan by being an Ax-Crazy monster. Let's just say that the fandom isn't as forgiving.
- The "Paradise Story" has a more deep and complex interpretation aside it's straightforward and classical fairytale one.
- Arc Words: "Believe".
- The Atoner: Shoujou takes this role upon himself by the time the epilogue takes place.
- Attempted Rape: Frequently. And almost always targeted at those girls who try to buck the system.
- Ax-Crazy: Tougyu. His weapon even is an axe.
- Badass: Sora.
Sora: Knights even train their internal organs.
- Batman Gambit: After getting Tomoko into his custody, El arranges for her to be released back to Sora. Torture is involved.
- Repeated with Reiko. El really wants Sora to get the six girls he's signed up for her harem, whether or not they want to be there.
- Beautiful All Along: Akane. Just look at him!
- Beginner's Luck: Justified. X hacked the system to ensure that Sora has an advantage.
- Black and White Morality: There are stories where even the darkest villain has complex motivations, and even the brightest hero must ask questions about the righteousness of his or her cause. This is not one of those stories. OR IS IT?
- White and Grey Morality: What the series really is. Though it has some "black" elements, like practically everything Togyu does. Or all the implied and attempted rapes.
- Black Eyes of Crazy: Tsuki has them in the flashback of her Freak Out, when she snapped at Karin for trying to steal Sora away from her. Then used for a creepy Tear Jerker when she combines them with Tears of Blood.
- Bishōnen: Haruka.
- Averted, he really is a she.
- Bi the Way: Sora's interest in girls needs no elaboration, but she also shows interest in Akane.
- Boarding School of Horrors
- Break the Cutie: After Sora wins Tomoko, the boys figure out that Exaclan only protects against physical harm, not threats or emotional abuse. A group of boys isolate Tomoko and proceed to terrorize her in the worst way. Tomoko doesn't handle it well.
- Breaking Speech: Inverted. the Big Bad / The Dragon calmly tells Tomoko that she really is brave and needn't call herself a coward. Then he kidnaps her.
- Butt Monkey: Shinji, Sora's first enemy, rapidly spirals into this after losing three fights against her in a row. The 4 Koma comics spend a lot of time mocking him.
- By the Power of Grayskull!: "Utopia is here!"
- Chained Heat: The cover of volume three features Sora and Reiko tied to each other by Reiko's flail weapon.
- Chekhov's Gun: Periodically we see snippets of a fairytale story involving a prince, a princess, and a demon king, with elements that parallel the actual plot. This just seems like a way of comparing the story with fairytales until its revealed that it's an actual in-universe story called "Paradise Story" and that El and X took their names from it and are deliberately causing the actual events of the series to mirror that story.
- Children Are Innocent: Zigzagged. Tomoko is a 3rd year middle schooler and her wildest "bedtime fantasies" involving Sora are very innocent, but 1st year middle schooler Hiyo is the very first girl in Sora's harem to say that she and Sora are lovers and is a very broken Type A with mix of Type C Stepford Smiler.
- Cosmic Chess Game: The whole plot is basically one huge chess game between two super-intelligent individuals (namely, Tsuki and Karin, who are gods within confines of Exaclan) trying to prove their points to each other. Sora is the only loose piece.
- Damsel out of Distress: Inspired by Sora, the girls in her harem start to defend themselves as they can after 4 of them are taken away from Sora.
- Deep Immersion Storytelling: How the Sadistic Choice situation is presented.
- Despair Event Horizon: Lots, which is to be expected in a series where the girls are no more than slaves. Pretty much all of the girls have already crossed it, but the real kicker is when its shown that a number of the boys have crossed it too. It's the reason they follow the system instead of opposing it: they can do about as much about it as the girls, and so play along.
- Determinator: Sora again. She will protect all the girls.
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Female: Considering that the alternative of Sora's plan to free Reiko was beating her for thirty minutes straight, Sora's not-quite-consensual molestation of Reiko isn't really too bad as far as moral standards go.
- Dragon with an Agenda: Although he's initially presented as the Big Bad, El is this for the man in charge of Utopia Academy. His plots are unforgivably cruel but he has goals that others aren't privy to.
- Early-Bird Cameo: The picture at the top is from the first chapter of the series, showing the (presumed) "harem" of the main character. After three volumes, the last of the characters in the picture finally appears, and not all of them are under Sora's protection or have even met her. One is The Mole (she eventually has a Heel-Face Turn). Another is crossdressing to be a member of the all male student council.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: In Akane's final to "Paradise Story": El took half of the princess's kingdom, but the knight and El became Blood Brothers, El give the portion of the princess's kingdom he took to the knight so he could be a king able to marry the princess. She was happy until discovering that El would be part of her family now.
- Mirroring the story, Sora went on a journey to grow and mature, and when the time was appropiated, she returned to marry her princess, Tsuki.
- Easily Forgiven: While it is somewhat understandable that some of the guys went along with the system, it still doesn't excuse how extremely cruel they have been treating the girls. The most egregious example of this might be between Koharu and Shinji. He tried to rape her and she is the one who apologizes first (for reasons no mortal could comprehend).
- Tsuki as well. She manipulated Sora, attacked her when she so much as spent time with other people, sliced open half of El's face with a knife and then carved her initials in Sora's forehead, and generally was abusive and really, really creepy. But despite her lack of remorse for her actions, she's instantly redeemed and even ends up with Sora in the end.
- Empathic Weapon: Every female student has the ability to generate one, usable only by the male student she's bound to. Whatever happens to the weapon happens to the student.
- Enigmatic Minion: Tsuki. It's hard to tell at first if she's helping or manipulating Sora, but at the very least Tsuki seems to have genuine feelings of friendship (at least) for her.
- El himself, for that matter. Although he's presented as the Big Bad.
- Expy: Sora is one for Utena Tenjou. Meanwhile, Cute and Psycho Shoujou has a strong resemblance to Rolo. Does Karin/L look like a young Minato from Naruto anyone?
- Even the Girls Want Her: Completely and utterly justified.
- Every Scar Has A Story: Sora got her scar when saving a girl (actually from Tsuki, who went on a Psycho Lesbian Yandere war path) when she was little. She wears it as a badge of honor.
- Eye Scream: Tsuki cuts Karin's eye when he tried to "sway" Sora from being a knight.
- Faceless Goons: Most male students are drawn with their faces partly obscured, especially their eyes — probably to emphasize their monstrosity and to further dehumanize them. Most of the guys who were drawn with full faces are either complex, have good motivations, or are actually decent people - Akane, who interestingly enough gets some Character Development when he takes off his glasses and reveals his eyes.
- Fairytale Motifs: Knights and princesses.
- Finger-Suck Healing: Koharu does this to Sora in chapter eight.
- Foreshadowing: Sora's near breakdown when she is forced to choose which girl to save makes a lot more sense when it's revealed that Tsuki forced her to make the same decision between her and El as a child, traumatizing her to point of repressing those memories.
- Gender-Blender Name: There are a bunch of these —
- Get a Hold of Yourself Man: Sora is going through a bad Heroic BSOD after being unable to rescue Tsuki and losing all girls but Yuki against just one person and is starting to doubt. Yuki slap her out of her self-doubts with a slipper.
- The Glasses Come Off: When Akane start training. Sora thinks he's gorgeous without 'em. He stops using them when he decides to stop hiding his real feelings about the male dominance in the school.
- Happiness in Slavery: Averted, Subverted, and Deconstructed. The female students are not happy. They are hopeless and miserable. The only reason they don’t resist is because the past situation was even worse and after such a steady diet of oppression and abuse most of the girls have come to believe they're as worthless as they're told. Might easily have been played straight with Sora’s personal harem as they are one hundred percent okay with being in Sora's custody — but differentiated from the Utopia Academy norm in that Sora tells her girls that she (Sora) will serve them by protecting and sheltering them.
- Have You Told Any One Else: Said by the Big Bad / The Dragon, but the this trope is used to protect Sora and imply that he has some sort of goal beyond enslaving everyone with a second X chromosome.
- He-Man Woman Hater: All of the men. Well, maybe not Akane and Sumita.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: Yes Sora, challenging one of the Student Council's top members (let alone one who is fanatically loyal to the president) when you've barely started is such a great idea. Shoujou admits to El later that the only reason he was able to win was that Sora was so lost in rage that she became very easy to read.
- How Do I Shot Web?: Averted. Exaclan has documentation, and Yuki has the foresight to make Sora sit down and read it. And Inverted. Most of the boys haven't read the documentation, which allows Sora to exploit a few loopholes to her advantage.
- Humans Are Bastards: This manga kind of makes you wonder how far the male characters can really go into bastard territory. And at least some of them hated it themselves.
- Idiot Hero: Sora, though it's more naivete in a world like this than actual stupidity, and she wouldn't act any differently if she did know how screwed she was. (She'd be better at picking her allies, though.) This goes Up to Eleven when Chapter 22 reveals that El reveals himself to Sora and tells him what's going on. All of the information he gives her overloads her and she faints, forcing her mind to process everything and retell it in the form of her younger self. It's worth noting, however, that Sora displays incredible insight numerous times throughout the story.
- Incredibly Obvious Bug: Some of the boys plant one on Sora.
- Inherent in the System: Utopia Academy and the Exaclan game are designed to encourage the male student body to leap across the Moral Event Horizon (which they willingly do, the bastards — or maybe NOT), and to encourage the female students not to fight back. Sora is determined to save the boys just as much as the girls.
- Karma Houdini: Most of the boys, they abused and mistreated the girls, but they get Easily Forgiven at the end and face no real consequences for their monstrous actions. Shinji and Togyu might be the worst examples, as the former has actually tried to rape Koharu and the latter tortured random girls for no real reason.
- Kick the Dog: Yuki starts the story as an abject demonstration of the abuses of Utopia Gakuen: hospitalized by her former master, abandoned by her then-current master, and then forcibly used against Sora.
- Most male students do this sooner or later.
- Magic Contract Romance: Sora and her "Princesses."
- Magikarp Power: Yuki's weapon.
- Meido: As shown in the first chapter's second-to-last page, the Absurdly Powerful Student Council has a bunch of these. That very page demonstrates several gruesome things with one large picture:
- A) The meeting hall is huge. Much bigger than needed. A member or maid is seen here or there and the rest is empty. Plus the maids bring tablets with apples. Now where was it again that apples are mentioned in unison with sin?
- B) The maids are drawn without eyes, which implies they are so far past the Despair Event Horizon they are will broken and thus gave up to even care to resist.
- C) Naturally, they are forced to wear stripperific outfits. Worse however is the implication the positions on the girls on the lower right and left of the big picture brings; they are leaned over the guys hips. Which means they are kept as Sex Slaves.
- My Gender Doth Protest Too Much: Akane is a guy. He also happens to be (so far as we know) as sweet and kind as Sora, just lacking a bit in the courage department.
- Mysterious Protector: X. Though by all indications she's just as much of a victim as anyone else and she's forcibly working for El; it's all but outright stated she's Tsuki. Interestingly the series played with this trope when X was impersonated by a Villainous Crossdresser.
- And it's revealed that El himself is protecting Sora... from Tsuki.
- Not Just a Tournament: Whoever collects all six seals in Exaclan will... actually, never mind, the ending is too confusing to tell, but it's certainly not about rounding up a six-girl harem.
- Not So Different: Some of the student council can be seen as male versions of the girls in Sora's harem. Yuki's loyalty to Sora is equal to Shoujo's towards El; Mitarai knows he's weak but supports El as much as he can, like Tomoko; Reiko is more aggrasive to contrast Sumita's passiveness; Hiyo couldn't forgive herself for her sister's fate, like Tougyo.
- No Woman's Land: ...Yeah, pretty obvious.
- Out-Gambitted: Upon learning that anyone she wins in a duel will be a target of even more extreme abuse than normal, Sora comes up with the simple expedient of recruiting a male accomplice. It works out badly.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: El is able to gain Sora's trust by ruffling his hair and putting on an eyepatch. Justified, because she had never met him before in the first place, and the disguise doesn't fool others who know his identity.
- Person of Holding: The female students.
- Pet the Dog: Yuki slaps Tomoko, calls her an idiot for abandoning Sora's protection and warns to her to stay away if her own skin means so much to her, but still comes to Tomoko's rescue later on.
- Pixellation: Played for humor in one of the 4 koma chapters; Koharu's rifle gets glitched up and turns pixellated during a thunderstorm. Hilarity Ensues.
- Please Don't Leave Me: Tsuki, terrified of being abandoned, begs Sora not to leave her in the penultimate chapter.
- Tsuki already begged this before, when she thought Karin was driving Sora away of the path of knighthood Tsuki made for her.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Uh, pretty much every villain in the series.
- Poor Communication Kills: Tsuki.
- Power Tattoo: All the girls in the Exaclan game have one.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Inverted. Sora thinks that sexually harassing Reiko is a better alternative than beating her up to force Tougyo release her.
- Redemption Equals Fate Worse Than Death: Tougyu gets "excommunicated" after Sora whacks him in the head.
- Revised Ending: Chapter 24, which was added in the collected edition.
- Sadistic Choice: Although it doesn't actually happen, Yuki tells Sora to envison being forced to choose between her (Yuki) and Koharu; and no, Taking A Third Option is not a possibility. Sora has a Heroic BSOD at the mere thought.
- Serial Escalation: How much more fucked up can this story get? How many more girls can fall in love with Sora?
- Schoolgirl Lesbians: Started out heavily subtexted, but by now they're not even trying to hide their lesbians, with Hiyo openly proclaiming herself Sora's lover before kissing her.
- And then there's the final chapter, in which Sora and Tsuki get married, and it's confirmed that Koharu and Yuki both had (or still have) genuine feelings for Sora.
- Shout-Out: The uniforms of the maids seen first in Chapter 1's conclusion? They look at lot like those from He Is My Master.
- Slasher Smile: Jesus christ, Shoujou.
- Straw Misogynist: This series is packed with viciously misogynistic characters. Almost as if the author really Does Not Like Men. Sort of subverted later on because of Inherent in the System, but there were still a lot of male students whose glee at abusing the girls is evident.
- Stepford Smiler: As the series gets darker, Sora is arguably one of these as she begins to lose faith in herself. Probably the worst moment is when Yuki refuses to help her get the rest of the girls back because of her poor health, and Sora gives her the most forced smile, when she looks like she's about to burst into tears.
Sora: I-it's okay... We'll definitely win, because...I believe. O-okay?
- Sweet Polly Oliver: Student council member Haruka Kuchinawa is one.
- Sympathy for the Devil: After a while, Sora realizes that the men in the school are suffering with the misogynist system in the school as well and decides to help them too. That precisely was El's plan. He wants Sora to consider the villains' situation.
- Take a Third Option: Invoked in the epilogue, when Koharu is upset that Sora is marrying Tsuki; Yuki suggests bigamy.
- Tears of Remorse: Many of the male students shed these in the next to last chapter.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: Yuki's life takes a sharp turn for the better once Sora wins her.
- Token Good Teammate: Sumita is this for the main villains. He has a Pet the Dog moment and is mostly apathetic otherwise, which should tell you something about the other members.
- Traumatic Haircut: In the Imagine Spot of Sora while Yuki was putting the hypothetical case of a Sadistic Choice, the evil guy was molesting "Princess Koharu" while threatering to cut "Princess Yuki"'s braids.
- Triang Relations: It's complicated, okay?
- Unexpected Successor: All the Cosmic Chess Game between Karin and Tsuki was so Sora could win half of the Mega Corp.'s rights (that Karin wanted from the beginning to give to her). When the last of the original founders died, all the Corp become Sora's.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: Tsuki got rejected rather brutally by Sora... Or so it seems. It wasn't an outright rejection so much as rejecting her cynical view of the world to help her for the better, and in chapter 24 Sora marries Tsuki.
- Yandere: A male example, Shoujou seems to go frightening lengths for El (wanted or not), from listening in to conversations to holding Tsuki hostage. He actually doubles as a Cute Psycho as well to the girls.
- And for a female example, we have Tsuki.
- Villainous Valour: The manga favorably compares Shoujou's faith in El to Yuki's faith in Sora.
- Yuri: Everyone in Sora's harem is happy to be there, thank you very much, but Koharu is just a tad happier than anyone else.
- In the Revised Ending Sora and Tsuki get married. White tux for Sora and everything.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Practically a standard part of the high school girls' uniform. Even Sora sports the hotpants version.