An adorable lunatic who wants to smash the world to bits, a shut-in who'll do whatever she says, and a talking lizard. These are our heroes.
"One morning when I woke up, there was a lizard in my room. We stared at each other, and the first to break the silence... was him."
Yuuhi, a college student, wakes up one morning to find a talking lizard informing him that the world is in great danger. A mage is plotting to destroy it with the "Biscuit Hammer": a gigantic mallet floating in space, preparing to fall and smash the planet. To stop this, he must join forces with the other knights and protect the princess, who stands in the way of the mage's plot.Unfortunately for the lizard, Yuuhi is a bit of a misanthrope and wants no part in saving the world. But he is interested in serving the Princess; especially when she announces that she only wants to save the world so she can destroy it herself!A thoroughly strange (in the best possible way) comedy/adventure/romance manga, The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer began in 2005 and enjoyed a successful five-year run. It's gained a devoted cult following outside of Japan, who are finally to be treated to an official English version - Seven Seas Publishing picked it up and will be releasing it in two-in-one volume collections, starting with volumes 1 and 2 together in November 2014. The creator, Mizukami Satoshi, is also responsible for the series Psycho Staff and Sengoku Youko, among other miniseries and one-shots.Also known as Hoshi no Samidare (although it's written as "Wakusei no Samidare") ("The May Rain of the Planet(s)").
Accidental Pervert - Averted but discussed: When Sami falls onto Yuuhi at the start of one of their shared dreams, Yuuhi reflexively grabs her... face. An annoyed Sami tells him that if this had been a love comedy, he would have grabbed her breasts instead. (Yuuhi: "Not that there's anything to grab...")
Subverted as girls tend to walk in on Yuuhi. Not that he minds. In fact, he seems to like it. For him, a "Surprise Event" for someone else is good, too.
Sometimes Yuuhi even provokes it. Very early on when visiting the Asahina house, he knowingly chooses the wrong door when going to the bathroom in hopes of "causing an event" - "accidentally" walking in on Hisame changing. He does (though she's mostly clothed already). There is nothing accidental about Yuuhi's perversion.
A God Am I - The mage, a human from the future with absurdly-powerful psychic abilities. Chapter 54 reveals his Start of Darkness. He refers to himself as the God of Destruction, in direct opposition to the God of Creation.
Akashic Records - The Master had access to them. Shimaki wished for them but it wouldn't pass.
Aloof Older Brother - Hangetsu is something of one to Mikazuki, though there is respect and affection between them despite their age gap and rivalry.
Ascended Fanboy - Hangetsu Shinonome, who spent most of his life idolising "Allies of Justice" before becoming the Dog Knight.
Awesomeness by Analysis - Part of Yuuhi's repertoire, especially early on when he doesn't have much fighting power and needs to think hard to stay alive. He never really stops. His super-technique Babylon is based on speeding himself up and slowing down others, allowing him more time to think around an opponent in a fight.
Ax-Crazy - Hangetsu's brother, Mikazuki (The Crow Knight). The praying mantis mentor is a little battle crazy itself. So is Maimakterion apparently.
Back from the Dead - Subverted with Hangetsu and the Master. They're not actually back, just passing by
Sami: Who doesn't sound like who, exactly? I've been wondering who was it that you were talking to since just now.
Sami: I am the Lucifer Samidare. Whether it's the Hammer or this planet, I am the one who will smash them all. I do have to thank you though, for bringing in this conflict under my watch. You gave me the chance to gain power. And therefore it's a pity that you dragged me into it!!
Yuuhi, when fighting Maimakterion.
Yuuhi: This is my garden. Nobody else but my Demon Lord is allowed to fly higher than me.
Deconstructed in that, while Yuuhi has the skills that Hangetsu possessed, he lacks the Required Secondary Powers of actual physical fitnessto make them worthwhile. He spends a lot of time training his body into the martial arts.
The Master unintentionally passes on some of his powers to Yuki and Subaru, which is what makes their combined domains so powerful. It's also why he was so greatly weakened by the time of his death, and the golem was able to kill him.
Big Eater - Sami and Shimaki (but he looks like one).
Also, Anima, once she manifests. She has to eat a lot because she's symbiotically living off of Sami, and she needs to eat a lot to make up for the massive blow Sami's energy reserves took when Anima manifested.
Worth being noted Shimaki wished for a boost to his powers as his contractual wish. While he is out of shape on his own, he never showed up as a champion eater until he started supporting himself, his cat Coo Ritter, and a golem through his own nutrition. However, he's still a big eater in the distant finale ten years on.
Bishonen Line: The golems get slightly more and more human like with each succession, culminating in the 11th which is near identical to a human being
Breaking the Fourth Wall - Noi does this a few times, along with some characters (one complains about being left out of the colored pages at the beginning of the volume).
Brick Joke - A fantastically long one. Early on, Sami observes that Yuuhi is bad with feints after they have a little sparring exercise. The brick doesn't land until the second-last chapter when Mikazuki calls a punch in his big rematch with Yuuhi, and then lays Yuuhi out with a kick.
In Chapter 10, Yuuhi asks the elder Shinonome why Mikazuki hasn't been to college lately, and gets a joking reply that maybe he's backpacking around Asia. In Chapter 42, Mikazuki offhandedly mentions he made his contractual wish while backpacking in India.
Calling Your Attacks - All of the Beast Knights name their domain control abilities. In Chapter 13, Yuuhi even lampshades the Shonen habit of loudly calling them: "..... Do we have to shout it out?"
Character Development - The Beast Knights and Sami get the most of it, being in the spotlight. Animus, Anima, and the animal companions don't mostly to reinforce their strange and artificial natures - they're stuck who they are, whether because they've run themselves into a rut over centuries or because they were created as they are.
Charles Atlas Superpower - The Knights attain some level of this, as demonstrated by what they can do even without using domain control.
Chekhov's Gun: Before Shinonome dies he tell Yuuhi that he had a dream where he had to fight Yuuhi on a large stairway and that Yuuhi was much stronger than him in the dream. Then much later on the exact same scene as he described plays out as a test by Anima when Yuuhi is discovering Blues Drive Monster.
Chick Magnet - Yuuhi ends up drawing the attention of Sami, his classmate Hiwatari, Yayoi, and Anima. Mikazuki even complains about it in their last big fight.
After being used as gag material for half the series, the animals' clingy nature is suddenly used for a very dark moment when Hanako flushes the mantis, Kil, down the toilet after Tarou dies. Kil reappears by her side, soaking wet and chiding her, but that had to have been a horrific experience and has the same tone as if Hanako had started cutting herself.
Closet Geek - Hangetsu semi-secretly loves Tokusatsu, anime, and manga, and ends up pushing Little Witch Magical Mary on Yuuhi. He's not really ashamed of it, he's just not very open about it. Yayoi loves anime, manga, and cosplay but is ashamed of it, because she thinks it's childish or unattractive of her.
Combat Pragmatist - Yuuhi deserves this for digging trap holes and them actually working on several occasions.
Combined Energy Attack - Yuki and Subaru's "Strongest Spear" and "Invincible Shield" moves combine their domain controls for incredible power. Taken to its logical conclusion in the final battle with the combined power of all the Knights: "Wish Fulfilling Light."
Coming of Age Story - For Yuuhi, mainly, but many other characters get their moments. A major theme of the story is the meaning of being an adult, and serving as a good example to the next generation.
Cool Big Sis - Hisame to Sami, and she tries for Yuuhi. As the story becomes more concerned with the fight and less with their personal lives, Hisame fades to the background, while Yayoi and Anima pick up a bit of the slack in her place.
Which becomes a lot more profound when you realize that it's a trait he inherited from Shinonome who did it to Yuuhi. He even combines it with a Badass Boast during his final battle against Yuuhi, where he challenges him, not just to reach his level of "genius", but also to actively surpass him.
Genius! It's a limitless number of approvals! It's instinct telling you "It's been decided! I will throw 100 lucky punches! I am awesome"!! "That's just plain unbelievable" or "that can't happen", for to be someone who gets approved 1000 times! For someone through instinct to pull off 1000 miracles, 1000 lucky punches, that makes me awesome! That's what a genius is! Techniques are nothing more than extras! Those moments where I'm awesome! It's so awesome this existence of mine! Approval upon approval upon approval covered in approvals! Don't think! Let instinct guide you! Let the approvals rolls in. Let the decisions come to you!
Dead for Real - Hangetsu The Dog Knight. Tarou The Mouse Knight. The Swordfish Knight, "Master."
Devil in Plain Sight - Mikazuki the Crow Knight is a subversion. He turns out to be just as heroic as anyone else, Ax-Crazy tendencies, evil aura, and mouth full of canines aside. His wish? Bread for a starving child. Sami and Yuuhi are his opposite, secretly plotting against the world while coming off as friendly.
Also Akane the Owl Knight who also wants to destroy the world and his mentor animal Loki who got so tired of the cycle of battles that he apparently betrayed the knights the last time. Later on, after personally experiencing someone else's death, Akane has a change of heart. Meanwhile, Loki's previous Knight killed the others so he could gain the Mage's trust and kill him, but it didn't work. Now Loki is loyal to his Knight, not Anima or Animus.
Eleventh Hour Super Power - As Anima puts it, psychic powers do not have to obey logic but can bend to need, will, and desire... when Yuuhi somehow steals the power of Invisible from Yayoi and Shea during his fight with Sami, because he desperately needs the power to be able to stop her.
Evil Orphan - Played straight with Animus and subverted with Anima
Everyone Can See It - Tarou and Hanako are childhood friends who ride together on a bike and both happen to be knights.
Everything's Better with Princesses - Subverted: When Anima finally appears the mentor animals only sigh wearily, Lizard Knight aside. It turns out that Anima is incredibly unreasonable and childish, suddenly teleporting knights just so they'll cook for her on top of stealing Yuuhi's favorite and hard-to-get brand of instant ramen.
Fake Defector - The previous Owl Knight. Didn't work out like he planned.
The Family for the Whole Family - The Yakuza who hire Hangetsu and later Mikazuki as "fight prevention". Their boss (or at least the guy in charge of that area) even rescues Mikazuki after he gets captured by unfriendly rival gangsters.
Fanservice - Anima in a playboy bunny suit. She even says so.
Yayoi gets in on the act with her periodic appearances in skimpy cosplay. As often as not being pulled out of cosplaying in private by Anima, much to Yayoi's endless embarrassment. Meanwhile Shea keeps hinting she should let Yuuhi in on her hobby (for a start...).
For the Evulz - Lil' Animus destroys the space ship he's on, then the hospital satellite, then the Earth many times over because he can, and also because killing so many people at once is so thrilling.
At one point Animus hints his biggest reason for destroying the world (again and again) is that he truly believes himself to be a "god of destruction" and that it is necessary for him to keep going back in time by destroying the past so he may reach the beginning, collapsing the universe back into itself so it may have begun. Then again, he may have been lying through his teeth to convince Shimaki Hyou to join him and is just doing it because he's a psychopathic nut.
Gainaxing - Yayoi is the biggest offender here, in more ways than one.
Genre Savvy - Several characters. A prime example is how Sami reacts when Hangetsu first shows up. He tries to do a dramatic entrance by jumping down from a high place. This is of course a very typical manga gag; a new character tries to look cool by doing an impressive jump, but screws up the landing and falls on his face instead. In this case, though, Hangetsu sticks the landing perfectly. Sami responds by saying that he wasted a chance to get a laugh.
Hangetsu then goes back and does his entrance again, this time screwing up the landing on purpose. Sami responds that it still isn't funny.
Good Eyes, Evil Eyes - Apparently subverted with Mikazuki, who has slit cat's pupils but is a decent guy besides a fewnegativetraits. Played straight with Animus, who had flatter, small eyes than most other characters with an extra circle in the cornea, which makes his stare awfully penetrating.
The extra circle is apparently commonly used by the mangaka, as one of the other works also features this, and it is indeed used to indicate evil eyes, usually.
Government Conspiracy - Hinted at obliquely in chapter 38 during a conversation between Nagumo and his former partner in the police, but never explored further: some part of the Japanese government seems to be aware of the fight between Anima and Animus, and is willing to take steps to make sure the fight can go on without too much notice from the Muggles. That, or Animus is able to manipulate the police enough to make sure the fighting remains a secret even when someone dies. It's hard to tell which is the scarier prospect.
Grievous Harm with a Body - Shimaki's 5th golem and Mikazuki during the same battle. They're having a lot of fun doing it too.
Hard Work Hardly Works - Gloriously averted. Even after getting a skill upgrade from Hangetsu's dying wish, Yuuhi has to practice hard to make more than basic use of it. And much later on Yuuhi proves he can stomp any other Beast Knight, including the three Mythical Beast Knights, even though he'd lost the fight to become one himself. Yuuhi works hard over the series to become as good as he does.
This is a theme threaded throughout the creator's works, as well. Power may be nice but technical proficiency wins out, as the one with power uses it as a crutch until they're forced to learn to use it better.
Heroic RROD - Shimaki's pushing himself too far in the final battle. His hair turns gray from summoning his 13th Golem.
Heroic Sacrifice - Tarou jumps in front of the 9th Golem's lance to save Hanako, but it spears both of them anyway. He uses his wish to save her; Hanako's own mentor animal (the above Blood Knight mantis) declares it a Stupid Sacrifice. It's made even worse when it's revealed that Akane is a healer, but Hanako doesn't hold it against him.
Hidden Agenda Villain - The mage. Well, the whole point of the series (backed up by his own admission) is the mage supposedly trying to destroy the world, but he takes such a laidback approach to this that there must be something else to it—he sends golems one by one (in order of difficulty, of course), occasionally appears for a friendly chat, and so clearly outclasses the Knights that he doesn't need golems. No one ever says why he has to defeat the Knights before he can use the hammer, either.
The Mage started the whole thing when he crushed the Earth as a kid. Anima kept trying to beat him for a hundred years all over time, but hasn't won yet. In addition, it takes an increasing long amount of time to build a Biscuit Hammer, as well as Anima holding it back with her own powers, giving Anima a quite significant opportunity.
Plus, while he's quite old, The Mage has the mental maturity of a child, and this is all just a power-trip for him.
Invisible to Normals - The mentor animals, the Biscuit Hammer (which can only be seen if someone points it out to you), and the golems, which don't seem to attack when there are innocent bystanders anyway and amusingly enough even follow traffic laws.
And taken up another step, the Blues Drive Monster, Anima's own super-weapon in this game, is invisible to people who have not gone through utter despair and still found hope on the other side, including the Beast Knights. It takes Yuuhi, of all people, to point it out to the rest.
Invulnerable Knuckles - Subverted with Mikazuki at one point. Played utterly straight with Sami. "SAMIDARE PUNCH!"
It Has Been an Honor - The author has complete and utter mastery of this trope. Especially the first time Mu speaks around everyone.
Jumped at the Call - A few of the other Knights, particularly Hangetsu, the Dog Knight and self-styled Ally of Justice (complete with business card).
Kaiju - The golems usually get bigger as the numbers get higher. Guess how big the final golems are.
Limited Wardrobe - Animus the Mage. He's been wearing the same pajamas since he blew up his hospital-satellite many centuries ago/ahead. He admits he could change things up but he finds his current wardrobe extremely comfortable.
Noi: Holding a beach event ignoring the season of the magazine article and season of the volume sale huh...
Yuuhi: What are you talking about Noi...?
Anima comments on how she didn't get a color page for volume 6 in chapter 37.
Mentor Mascot - Each knight gets an animal, Invisible to Normals — Yuuhi's stuck with the lizard. They really aren't of much help. At least, not until a small set of them start getting upgraded into the Mythical Beast Knights, gaining a secondary form and lending immense power to their human partners.
Their main purpose, according to Loki, is to keep the human Knights constantly aware of the supernatural so they're always ready.
Mind over Matter - All Knights began with limited telekinesis, in the form of a small mobile bubble containing the field of influence. Yuuhi could barely slow down a golem's attack with it. Hangetsu, on the other hand, was able to use his to rip golems into bite-sized pieces. Tarou & Hanako are able to heat and freeze alcohol and water respectively by manipulating the molecular vibrations.
Missing Mom - Sami's mom, a famous doctor who was doing all she could to cure Sami and even after was kept busy with patients. Yuuhi's just kinda wandered off after her husband was killed.
Mood Whiplash - From the final battle against Sami until the very end, the mood is predominantly sad, bittersweet at best - but then something ridiculous and hilarious happens to break up the flow before going right back to the melancholy. A reader could choke laughing while still crying.
Morality Pet - Yuuhi's lizard. Well, at least he tries to be.
My Card - Hangetsu has one that declares his occupation to be "ALLY OF JUSTICE". And confuses it with his regular business cards when passing them out.
Not a Game - For the series in general once it reaches Hangetsu's death, as it had been very light-hearted and comedic despite its premise. And Nagumo, as a former police detective, is far more serious than the entire rest of the cast, treating the fight as the deadly secret war it is. Compare him to Animus, one of the instigators of the war, who treats it entirely as a game for his own amusement.
Not So Stoic - Yuuhi, Nagumo, Akane, and especially Hanako are the most serious, often outright repressed characters in the series. Yuuhi can even talk about ten long years of child abuse as if it was a bad joke. But a few bad shocks like Yuuhi witnessing Hangetsu's violent death cause the rare spontaneous outburst, while the camaraderie of the other Knights draw them out of their stoicism gradually over time. Hanako is still very low-key through the end, though.
The Master also does it, and even manages to one-up the original Obi-Wan by writing a small book before he dies, sealing it in a box, and burying it where Yuuhi will dig it up, and then does this again for Yuki and Subaru.
Oblivious to Love - Mikazuki doesn't seem to realize how much Subaru blushes around him - until the last chapter.
Old Master - Naturally the Master, he's 500 years old.
One Degree of Separation - Two of the Knights are brothers (Hangetsu and Mikazuki). Two of them are childhood friends (Tarou and Hanako), while another three are a pair of childhood friends and their mentor (Yuki, Subaru, and the Master). Yayoi's swordfighting teacher knows Nagumo from his (Nagumo's) detective days, and Nagumo's former partner Hiwatari is the older sister of one of Yuuhi's classmates. Nagumo also knows the Shinonome brothers at least by reputation through their work for the local Yakuza, and it's clear Mikazuki knows of Nagumo as well. Hisame is one of Yuuhi's and Mikazuki's teachers (and is Mikazuki's academic advisor) and Sami's older sister, and Shimaki is a fellow teacher at the university. Sami and Hisame are also Yuuhi's neighbors, and their father is also Yuuhi's favorite author. And to cap it all off, Sami's wish from Anima was to meet Yuuhi again, after they met when both were young children; Anima and Animus are descended from Hisame and Hangetsu; and it's strongly implied that Animus reincarnated as the Master to serve karma and help stop his own horrible actions. The only one completely unconnected from another main cast member at start is Akane, as alienation is his biggest personal conflict, though Tarou and Hanako come close as they're only connected to each other.
One-Winged Angel - Three of the Beast Knights transform into the Mythical Beast Knights. Shea Moon into Invisible, Dance Dark into Unicorn and Loki Helios into Hraesvelgr. Not that it really does much for the animals themselves.
Animus assumes a nightmarish shadow form while wielding a hideously spiked giant hammer during the final battle, once he realizes the Knights are too dangerous to merely toy with.
And at the very end Yuuhi steals the power of Invisible for Noi, and then Anima lets Mikazuki and Mu take the power of Hraesvelgr for a final match against Yuuhi.
Amamiya Yuuhi is the only one to stop the girl he loves from doing so.
Out of Focus - Both of the Asahina sisters drift out of focus to varying degrees in the latter half of the series, as it focuses on the Beast Knights as a group. Sami is still present, but until very late it's not as much about her as it was in the early series. This is entirely intentional and meant to highlight Sami's feelings of alienation from the group, just as her sickness alienated her from everyone else. Meanwhile, Hisame fades out almost entirely once Anima enters the picture.
Panty Shot - Sami's flying kicks tend to flash people a lot.
Don't forget her big sis, and Magical Mary, both in doll and anime form... Further supplemented by Maimakterion in her form
Even when Sami doesn't use flying kicks, she often flashes Yuuhi, at the least, and it's a running gag that when she asks if he saw them, he'll respond with the colour or cute animal of the panties that day.
Parodied in a volume 1 bonus where, after several inter-chapter images of Sami and her sister trying on each other's (school and work) clothes, Yuuhi shows up looking incredibly serious in Sami's school uniform with a "Panty Shot" note pointing toward his boxers, which are just longer than Sami's skirt.
After Tarou's death Hanako makes use of this ability as well
Poisonous Friend - Possibly Yuuhi, considering his unhesitating willingness to do whatever it takes to further Sami's goal, including murdering people who find out his secret or Sami's plan. "Possibly", because it was Sami's idea to destroy the world in the first place, so...
Later completely subverted when he saves her... form herself!
Police Are Useless: Nagumo left the police after deciding (not without reason) that nepotism and politics in the force were keeping him from actually serving justice. There are hints that the cops' hands are tied from higher up when it comes to the secret battle, as well. In the Distant Finale, Yuuhi is a police detective and is determined not to be useless.
Posthumous Character - The Swordfish Knight "Master", who foresaw his death and left behind a diary that he knew Yuuhi would eventually accidentally dig up.
The Power of Friendship - Yuuhi and Akane both eventually stop hating the world thanks to their association and friendships with the other Knights, and decide there are things worth saving after all. And a little more literally when it comes to the Knights' combined ultimate attack, Wish Fulfilling Light.
The Power of Love - Yuuhi's love for Sami is the only thing that can stop her at the end, saving the world from Sami and Sami from herself.
Strongly implied in Sami and Anima's explanation for why Yuuhi has to be the one to activate the Blues Drive Monster is because they love him, trust him, and believe in him enough that his power will release theirs into the Blues - Anima's power is too bound up in the Blues to activate it herself, but he can give the starting push like the first turnover of a combustion engine... or the ignition explosive in a nuclear weapon.
The Power Of Trust - Sami may recruit Yuuhi with the promise of destroying the world, but she keeps his loyalty by trusting him absolutely, right from the start - demonstrating her trust by throwing herself off the top of a four or five floor building when they first meet as Princess and Knight, trusting that he'll intervene to save her even though he's said he doesn't want to get involved at all. He jumps after her without even thinking.
Power Perversion Potential - The first thing Yuuhi does with his telekinesis is lift up his young teacher's skirt. It comes full circle when Yuuhi uses Babylon to tie up Yayoi's skirt over her head, revealing her pantyhose beneath it. Given that he uses Babylon to take out the remaining Beast Knights, he's basically using the most powerful form of their ability to do this.
Psycho Supporter - Yuuhi is a literalPsycho Supporter, instantly pledging complete loyalty to Princess Sami after she vows to stop the mages from destroying Earth so that she can do so herself.
Sami is this way for Yuuhi too. When he's afraid to face his ill Grandfather because of the Grandparental Abuse he did to Yuuhi, she tells him that it's okay: if his grandfather were to ever hurt him again, she would annihilate the household.
Raised by Grandparents - Yuuhi was raised by his Grandpa after his parents were gone. He has trust issues because of this.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech - Noi gives one to Yuuhi at one point, who responds by agreeing with the lizard. Also, Nagumo gives one to Animus in the final battle which really plays quite well with the motifs of the story.
Noi's speech to Yuuhi is called back to when Yuuhi nearly breaks down in a full-fledged panic attack at the prospect of facing the seventh golem after Hangetsu's death, and Yuuhi admits that he can't just brush off what Noi had said anymore. It takes Noi's belief that Yuuhi could grant Noi's wish in turn and be a hero for Yuuhi to overcome his fear.
Redemption Equals Death - Yuuhi's grandfather. He abused Yuuhi when he was young by keeping him in chains in the basement. Years later, he realizes the error of his ways, begs his grandson for forgiveness (which he gets) and seems to have changed his relationship with Yuuhi for the better. He gets hit by a car while crossing the street a few months later.
Red Oni, Blue Oni - Mikazuki (Red) and Yuuhi (Blue). Several people over the course of the series, including Hangetsu, comment on how alike yet different they are. They both end up practicing the same martial arts style and their personal domain controls are based heavily on mobility - but Mikazuki fights with passion and intensity while Yuuhi plans and anticipates. And at the very end Yuuhi ends up working as a police detective while Mikazuki is his rough parallel in the Yakuza, and both have a prominent, near-identical scar over one eye: Mikazuki over his right eye, and Yuuhi over his left.
Yuki and Subaru are a far milder case. Subaru has reddish hair while Yuki's is white, but in temperament Yuki is much more the Red Oni. As one fan translator put it, "The most GAR character in this series is officially a twin-tailed middle school girl."
Sami needed a lot of convincing to work with Anima since the latter had difficulty talking to a child who didn't wish for anything at the moment.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge - Yuuhi against part of the 7th golem, in revenge for the previous golem's killing of Hangetsu. He fights on pure adrenaline, rage, and the rudiments of the skills Hangetsu imparted to Yuuhi as his dying wish, though he's not able to finish the fight.
Also Hanako against the golem that killed Tarou.
Samus Is a Girl - This one really takes you by surprise and right near the end too. Mu is female. Seriously, who saw that coming?
Self-Made Orphan: Animus destroyed the spaceship he and his family were on while testing his psychic powers. If he ever felt bad about that it paled in comparison to the thrill of having god-like powers.
Shapeshifter Guilt Trip - Maimakterion invokes this against the Beast Knights using their family members as a defensive move. Nagumo subverts it by attacking him anyway, with a grudge fueled newly named technique no less.
She Is Not My Girlfriend - Tarou to Mikazuki, Yuuhi and Sami during a youthful hangout once. He added a "yet" to the end though. Yuuhi answers much the same about Sami when questioned about their relationship by Sami's father.
Also a He Is Not My Boyfriend during a brief scene between Sami and two of her school friends, who mention seeing a "slim, bespectacled guy" accompanying her periodically. When asked what Yuuhi is to her, then, Sami responds, "My minion!" One of her friends is shocked, the other approves.
Shout-Out - The mangaka slips these in quite often.
"Biscuit Hammer" is the title of a song by The Pillows, as is "Blue Drives Monster", Anima's secret anti-hammer weapon, and Babylon Tenshi no Uta.
Of the "parallels the plot" variety. He always seems to be watching an episode that mirrors what's happening in the plot a the moment (death of a characters, introduction of a new cast, etc).
Parrotman, an old (probably late 1960s or 70s) Toku hero show; several of the older characters were fans of it when children, including Hangetsu and Nagumo. Hangetsu heavily injured himself as a child trying to fly like the main character, which severely disillusioned him about the reality of "allies of justice" and heroes.
Actually, that's a lie. He became disillusioned when he failed to save a kid from an oncoming car, and his dog died doing exactly that.
Sibling Rivalry - An unusually healthy version with Hangetsu (genius fighter) and Mikazuki (hard-working fight freak) — imagine if Itachi and Sasuke actually talked to each other, let the other brother know he respected him, and their family wasn't planning a peace-shattering coup and were hired by friendly Yakuzas.
Smart People Wear Glasses - If you have glasses in this series, you're probably pretty brilliant. Hisame and Shimaki are professors, Yuuhi's greatest strength is Awesomeness by Analysis, Hanako is very studious and always had to help Tarou in his studies, Sami's mother is a genius doctor, and the Mage is obsessed with knowledge. Akane Taiyou has picked up a pair of glasses by the Distant Finale, but he's the only real aversion as a special bonus chapter showed him bombing his college exams pretty badly.
Social Services Does Not Exist: Yuuhi had a pretty awful childhood, but unfortunately it's the kind of abuse that could very well have gone entirely undealt with due to Japan's real-life poor record in this area, especially due to his lack of obvious injuries from "merely" being restrained. The same with the overall neglect afforded Akane by his family. In the Distant Finale, Yuuhi researches how to deal with the fallout of such abuse in young people's lives, as a police detective.
This is apparently subverted when two golems show up, both individually weaker than the previous golem. But funnily enough, if you added the number of eyes together... Guess what? They combine.
Each golem is also more intelligent and aware than its predecessor. The early ones were more like robots, gradually growing animalistic until the 8th could be provoked and angered and culminating in Maimakterion, the 11th, who was effectively human. The 12th didn't last long enough to see how intelligent it was.
Spell My Name with an S - Furesberg is more properly written as Hraesvelgr, though both are apparently pronounced the same phonetically. However, most people still write it Furesberg (as evidenced elsewhere on this page) because that name was in use first and longest by the translators.
Stable Time Loop: During the final battle, Yuuhi comes across his future self who gives him the power he needs to continue on. Also, when Animus dies, it is implied that he will reincarnate as the Master.
Suck Sessor - Mikazuki considers Yuuhi to be this after having fought him the first time. Things change after their rematch.
Suicide Pact - Yuuhi pledges to Sami that he lives for her, strongly implying he would kill himself if she ever dies before him, no matter the circumstances. It helps draw her back from the brink of destroying everything. It's more one-sided than a normal suicide pact but it helps Sami understand that her fears of being alone, even in death, are unfounded.
Sweet Tooth - Hisame. Hangetsu bribes this little detail out of Sami and then uses it to help break the ice with Hisame with a fancy, expensive cheesecake.
Talking in Your Sleep - During a short bonus chapter in volume 7, Noi enthusiastically recapsthe series so far while Yuuhi is asleep and muttering in the background. Everything Yuuhi mutters? Apparently about Sami's panties, as he keeps muttering about animals and "patterns." At least, until the dream takes a weird turn and the tiger design becomes a real tiger that attacks him.
Teach Me How To Fight - Yuuhi finally relents to having Hangetsu teach him his kung-fu. Unfortunately his timing was bad.
Theme Naming - The Shinonome brothers, whose names relate to phases of the moon. Their mentioned-but-unseen younger brother probably fits the pattern, too.
The golems are named after the months in the Attic calendar. The first golem would thus be Gamelion (the first month of winter, covering part of January and February), though Hekatombaion (the seventh) is the first one whose name is actually mentioned for the readers to see.
Time Travel - Animus, Anima and the Beast Knights go back in time whenever Animus wins a war. Hangetsu and the Master travel forwards in their dreams. Also, in the last chapter, Anima "borrows" Yuuhi from ten years after the last battle... on the day before the final battle.
Timey-Wimey Ball - The reason Animus' destruction of each regressive past time doesn't erase him or Anima from existence in a paradox. Loki likens it to a kappa being born in a river, then going upstream to dam the flow and yet still living despite its birthplace being erased. "Time" is just another geographic dimension that those with enough power can move through.
Title Drop - While Mikazuki and Yuuhi are having their last rematch, the giant Samidare in the sky begins to break up, and the pieces of it fall and create a meteor shower. Subaru calls it 'A rain of stars... a May rain of stars... "Hoshi no Samidare"...'
The Call Knows Where You Live - Narrowly averted with Yuuhi, as nobody close to him actually dies but his grandfather's illness causes him to make the Knight's wish and seal the pact, swearing him into service.
Akane and Loki are more seriously set up for this later on.
Took a Level in Badass - Yuuhi goes from relying on Sami or Hangetsu to save him to being able to rescue another Knight from a golem to beating Hangetsu in a one on one battle.
And finally, he becomes strong enough to hold his own against all the other Beast Knights at once... and his Princess.
All of the Knights over time, especially those that gain the power of the Mythical Beast Knights. The difference in combat power for both Nagumo and Yayoi from before their upgrades and after is staggering.
True Companions - The Knights, firmly so by the time of the final battle. Which depresses Sami to no end because she sees the others pulling Yuuhi away from her, never realizing until the end that she was part of them the whole time, and that Yuuhi would never let her be alone again no matter what... even in death.
Unstoppable Force Meets Immovable Object - Yukimachi and Subaru's "Strongest Spear" and "Invincible Shield" paired domain controls allude to this - they take the names from a story told by the Master about a spear that can penetrate any shield, and a shield that can block any spear. Instead of describing them as set against each other, however, he instead points out that if they are wielded together then the warrior that bears them would be unstoppable. He then has them clasp hands and declares that together they are "the warrior."
Unusually Uninteresting Sight - After shots of an explosion caused by Sami and her leaping over rooftops is seen on the news, Sami is confident someone will spin it into something plausible (a nuclear test and a pop idol publicity stunt, respectively).
Up to Eleven - The final battle starts off on a level never seen before in the series and gets more and more intense from there. It involves Animus's gigantic 12th Golem, the ultimate domain control attack, Shimaki's 12th Golem, the Biscuit Hammer, the Blues Drive Monster, a giant space version of Sami, Animus joining in on the action, Animus getting really serious, Shimaki's 13th Golem and Nagumo riding on Dance the Unicorn to deliver a spinzaku kick to Animus' face! in that order and that's only the first part. Sami and Yuuhi have a big fight after Animus is defeated.
Villain Protagonist - Sami (the titular "Lucifer") and Yuuhi, with the goal of destroying Earth. The other Knights mostly don't know about Sami's intention; Sami and Yuuhi plot to turn against them as soon as the world is saved.
Villainous Breakdown - Animus when Sami manages to make a golem in her shape and smash the hammer. He was so used to winning his little game that he can't actually take it that he could be beaten and practically flips going to attack the knights. It's pretty much his version of flipping the table after losing a chess match.
Vitriolic Best Buds - Mikazuki thinks he and Yuuhi are like this. He's eventually proven right.
The Voiceless - The Crow never talks but logically she had to at somepoint to tell Mikazuki about the Biscuit Hammer. When asked, Mikazuki admits that the Crow hasn't spoken ever since he made his wish and sealed their pact, back when Mikazuki was backpacking in India long before he showed up in the manga. She finally talks, at her farewell to Mikazuki.
Loki: The Knights of the Rings' brains are truly exceptional. Those selected are a group of fools. Those people are able to accept unbelievable things and believe in them. Perceiving the extraordinary, to become able to perform the extraordinary.
Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds - Sami and Yuuhi, again. Yuuhi had a messed-up childhood thanks to his grandfather: who raised him after his dad was murdered by his colleague and his mom disappeared. "Make no enemies - they'll stab you in the heart; make no friends - they'll stab you in the back. It's better to live your life alone". Sami wants to get a sense of owning the world by being able to destroy it so that it doesn't go on without her when she dies. Akane, who is sent away by his father on the rare occasions that dad comes home, prays every day that the world (or at least the town) would get blown up. His mentor animal Loki the owl just wants this stupid battle cycle to end, one way or another.
Wrong Genre Savvy - A lot of the characters seem to enjoy acknowledging shounen tropes, but miss how often the seinen series subverts them. Mikazuki, in particular, makes his introduction to Yuuhi on a bridge in the pouring rain and casually asks for a fight. When Yuuhi flat-out refuses, Mikazuki flips out at him for not following the cliche, and then bursts into tears and runs off. Some of the other characters don't get off so easily. Tarou and Hangetsu, for starters.
You Can Barely Stand - This happens repeatedly to the Beast Knights when Animus joins in on the final battle. The only reason they keep coming back up is because of Akane's restoration power
Mikazuki: What's the matter? Your mom has a protruding navel.
You Gotta Have Blue Hair - Anima and Animus, as (godlike) psychics, have green hair. The mangaka commented in his notes on another work, Psycho Staff, that he always envisions psychics as having green hair, even though everyone else has (for the most part) realistic hair colors and styles.