Keima Katsuragi is famous on the Internet as "The God of Conquest": there is no Dating Sim that he cannot beat, no heroine whose heart he cannot conquer. However, in Real Life he's an introverted and unpopular OtakuJerkass who hates all real girls and buries himself in video games.One day, he receives a provocative email asking for help in conquering some hearts. He rises to the challenge, inadvertently making a Deal with the Devil to help Elsie, a lesser devil from Hell, re-capture some runaway spirits. These spirits hide in the hearts of troubled girls, and the easiest way to force them out is to have the girl fall in love. If he fails, then it's Off with His Head! Thus begins Keima's daunting task, which throws him deep into exactly what he's been dismissing: Real Life, and more importantly, real girls.The series' main purpose is poking fun at different aspects of Dating Sims (or "Gal Games") and playing with various heroine archetypes, usually by setting up an stock personality trope and then revealing the truth to be far more complex. It also aims a megaphone at many, many things- pretty much everything.The story as a whole currently can be summed up as three major story sagas starting with the Capture Targets saga spanning chapters 1-113, the Goddess saga for chapters 114-189, and the Heart of Jupiter saga for chapters 190-268.The Capture Targets saga deals with Keima going about real-world Dating Sim conquests to capture runaway spirits that plague the hearts of troubled girls. The Goddess saga deals with Keima having to search for the Jupiter Sisters who have hidden themselves amongst the human populace. Finally, the Heart of Jupiter saga has Keima time-traveling into his past seven-year-old self to complete the checkpoints that established his present life. For more details regarding the shorter arcs that make up each of these sagas, visit the recap page.An anime adaptation by Manglobe began in October 2010, with a second season released in April 2011, along with three OVAs. A Spinoff OVA was released in June 2013 followed by the third season called The Goddesses Arc (Megami-Hen). The first two seasons have been licensed and dubbed by Sentai Filmworks.The Manga came to a close after more than six years and 268 "FLAGs". A Spinoff sequel starring the six girls with goddess and trains has been announced.All three seasons of the anime can be watched here at Crunchyroll.
Keima on a few occasions, such as when he walked into Kusunoki while she was bathing.
Often inverted though, as he occasionally plans these moments.
As of chapter 121 Keima has walked in on Haqua again, and ignored her.
A-Cup Angst: Haqua, though only in the bonus chapters and she isn't TOO self-conscious about it.
Adaptation Distillation: If the first episode of the anime is anything to go by, it's almost identical to the first chapter, except that there were no scenes of New Hell (the scenes in question were made into a preview on the Flag 0 DVD).
Adaptation Expansion: There aren't many examples, as the anime has been keeping quite faithful to the source material. One example though is Kanon's origins with Citron being something that appeared very briefly in an omake after her arc had already finished; the anime went ahead and developed the back story even more.
Another example - S1 Episode 8, "Coupling With With With With", has doubled the number of perspectives of the same day.
Yet another one, Shiori's backstory and store visit. Also some scenes, which are not present in the manga, were added to emphasize the climax of the arc.
After the End: The status of Old Hell. The miasma produced by the war against the Weiss makes it impossible to survive on the surface for longer than 10 minutes, forcing the New Devils to live in floating cities.
All Myths Are True: New Hell assigns dead human souls to districts with little distinction by region. But in Old Hell, the Weiss shaped their districts after the myths of the local people inhabiting them.
All There in the Manual: Most of the manga volumes have some extra info on the TWGOK universe, from the history of the PFP to a description of The Underworld. In fact, the manga itself leaves the conflict in New Hell pretty vague, leaving it to omakes to explain that the reason there's a resurgence of groups like Vintage is because with humans living longer, Heaven and Hell lack the power they would absorb from cleaning and recycling their souls. Both realms are having an energy crisis.
Alpha Bitch / School Idol: In the Heart of Jupiter arc, Vintage uses an extremely powerful spell from Old Hell to cause all the girls in the school to compete for this title. By raising their desires, it makes them more vulnerable to the Runaway Spirits, since this increases the strength of any gaps in the heart that may form. Keima cannot have Vintage destroyed, since that would change the past and he is trying to create a Stable Time Loop. So instead, he tries to take over their scheme by puppeteering Tenri into this position.
Alternate Universe: Keima starts running through a few when he shows up to school after the Goddess Arc. In the first one, the school is still an all-girls school, and no one recognizes him. The second is apparently what would have happened if he didn't make any mistakes throughout the Goddess Arc; all the goddess hosts are head-over-heels in love with him, are not afraid to show it, and only barely seem to mind the fact that they have to share. In the third, he is a 2D character in an RPG Mechanics Verse just like he's always wanted. And in the fourth, the school is apparently an all boys school, and Keima has been capturing boys (or has at least been helping Elsie do it). Keima is overall very freaked out, especially on that last one.
Always Female: The runaway spirits seem to only choose women as hosts. This is explained by the fact that the goal of the spirits is to be reincarnated into the offspring of the girl and therefore must be in the body of the mother. An explanation, however, is not given for why the deities and New Devils from the Spirit Capturing Squad are all female, at least the New Devils whose gender isn't ambiguous anyway.
It was revealed in a later chapter that there are no males in New Hell. Although we have seen a few minor male demons (one ran a ramen shop before getting eaten, and Nora's father has been mentioned) so Dokuro may have meant something more like that there are barely any left or that there are no good ones.
* Class 2-A: Mio Aoyama, Yui Goido, Tsukiyo Kujyo and Izumi Ishikiri.note The first three are Ojous. * Class 2-B: Keima Katsuragi, Elsie, Ayumi Takahara, Chihiro Kosaka, Kanon Nakagawa, Miyako Terada, Asami Yoshinonote She is from the 1st Light Novel, Hiroko Matsumiya, and "Mobuko". * Class 2-C: Shiori Shiomiya and Aoba Fusenote She is from the 2nd Light Novel.
3rd year high school students
* Class 3-A: Kusunoki Kasuga * Class 3-C: Akari Kurakawa * Clas 3-D: Fujidera
Misato Hisagi High School
Tenri Ayukawa and Nanaka Haibara.
Naursawa the 3rd Private High School
2nd year class 2: Sumire Uemoto
Maijima East Elementary School class of 200x (10 years ago)
Class 1-A: Keima Katsuragi, Tenri Ayukawa, and Urara Shiratori.
Amusing Injuries: Anytime Keima is on the receiving end. Averted at other times when it gets deadly serious, such as Kanon/Apollo getting stabbed by Vintage.
And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Keima's lessons and tips on gal gaming and character analysis. Though they often go off on tangents or simply don't make sense to anybody but him.
And Now You Must Marry Me: Ayumi tells Keima this. She claims that unless he's willing to marry her, he's just all talk. So Keima agrees to it. And every time she puts up another condition, such as meeting her parents, he does it, which only seems to fluster her.
Animated Actors: During a special chapter in the middle of the Hinoki arc, the situation is put on hold while cat girl Haqua and bunny girl Elsea show up as Keima protests. Hinoki is disappointed, and you can see studio lights behind her while she holds up a house model.
Animation Bump: The first episode of the second season (the early fight scene in particular) has its animation bumped considerably. Most likely, this is done in order to attract viewers.
The third season's animation and character detail has definitely improved over the first season.
And then Keima kissed Shiori in her cheek after she finished her story.
Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: Haqua challenges Keima to a board game, on his condition that the loser must do anything the winner desires. After each loss, Haqua pleads "I know I said anything... But not anything! Just not anything, okay!" Keima, however, only wants to ask questions about his situation and Elsie. Haqua finally lashes out at him: "Aren't you even a tiny bit interested in me!?"
Inverted in FLAG.111: Keima's eyes seem to ask Akari "Are you going to ravish me?" after being forcefully kissed quite a few times.
Ascended Fan Boy: Keima Katsuragi, known in the gaming community as the legendary "Capturing God," has great influence in the Gal Game industry. One time, he and his site were solely responsible for the industry's revitalization while it was on the verge of collapse. Also, he was personally asked to be involved in the creation of a Galge that would follow all of his opinions, but he refused in the end after an epic political debate and intergalactic war.
Asexuality: Outside of his games, Keima does not appear to have any romantic interest at all. He pursues all of his "captures" with the same cold, analytic approach, and every action or expression he makes is usually part of his plan. He's not completely heartless, but is largely indifferent to life. He even claims he is in no way sexually attracted to video game heroines and sees such thoughts as below him. Nevertheless, on very rare occasions a heroine manages to prove that he is Not So Stoic.
Ass Shove: In Flag 218, Keima does this to Yanagi to try and escape her.
Astronomic Zoom: Inverted. Elsie tells Keima Chihiro's their next target, and the camera zooms out as it reverberates.
Hinoki's Weiss seems to made her grow to this size during her arc.
The mobile colossi Satyr uses.
Aura Vision: Demons and humans associated with one are able to see the dark aura generated by the Weiss.
Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: As strained as Mari Katsuragi's relationship has to be with her husband, the second she hears an unconfirmed phone call saying he is dying she goes straight to his side, no questions asked. In South America, no less.
Balanced Harem: The story introduced more and more girls every arc who liked Keima without making any of them more prominent than the others with only a few even sticking around. Later arcs reduced the number of credible candidates by elevating five capture targets to more prominent roles and largely pushing the others (minus Chihiro) aside. This still, however, only reduced the harem size and made Keima begin actually paying attention to who is in it.
Names of game consoles (Flag 35, p.2) (Sii for Wii, PF3 for PS3, SDS for Nintendo DS (NDS); VB is likely for Xbox (XB) or Game Boy (GB, though it'd be too old-fashioned compared to other consoles)). I suppose the author could've been more creative with the games' names.
"Level Eye" (Flag 35, p.5) - A very likely spin on Level-5.note While the mentioned company handles gal games in the chapter's context, Level-5 doesn't seem to have a single Dating Sim in its production history.
In the OVA adaptation of this arc, we see Tenri's eyes as early as her first appearance, whereas in the manga they were first seen when Keima kissed her. Her bangs are drawn somewhat shorter in the anime, resulting in her eyes being shown much more frequently.
Citron; respectively they are Lime, Yuri, and Kanon.
Mio, Yui, and Urara.
Bloodier and Gorier: In Chapter 214, the soldiers were killed by Vintage, Shoutarou lost his lower body but was still alive, and then Dokuro ripped the Vintage agents apart with her bare hands. Thanks to the Reset Button, however, it didn't happen.
Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: In FLAG 228, there is a comedy duo called C-Dash with Maiko and Mariko as the respective Boke and Tsukkomi.
Book Ends: S1 Episode 7, which begins two years ago with Kanon and her bandmates in Citron practicing their debut song outside the stadium, and ends with present-day Kanon singing the song in the stadium after her solo concert finishes.
Used again in s2 episode 7, contrasting pre and post-capture Chihiro on her school route.
Used at the end of S2, where the ED theme is the OP of S1.
Boom, Headshot: Chapter 115: Fiore attempts this on Kanon to eliminate the goddess inside her. Fortunately, there's a plane of bulletproof glass to prevent the fatal shot.
A Vintage member in the alternate past attempts this on Elsie, but is thrown off by Keima. Dokurou successfully does this to the Vintage attackers with her bare hands.
Brains and Brawn: The foundation of a good devil/human team. The devil provides physical help to the human, who uses their wits to suppress the gap of the heart.
Brainwash Residue: All of the girls Keima "conquers" show signs of this. They just can't explain why they blush whenever the geeky otaku walks by.
Break Her Heart To Save Her: After confirming that Chihiro does not have a goddess, Keima tries to drive her away to protect her from being targeted by Vintage. Unfortunately Vintage were looking for all of his previous capture targets in general.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: There are numerous instances of this, but a particularly blatant example is when Keima questions the origin of the narration in chapter 26.
And the all-time most blatant demolishing of the fourth wall to date comes in Chapter 94. It starts where Chapter 93 left off, but is suddenly interrupted by Elsie and Haqua coming in wearing bunny ears and cat ears respectively, singing a jingle to start a new segment asking for Keima's advice on capturing girls.
For the Capture Targets saga, there are many in-between Filler chapters that show off Keima's daily Otaku life. Possibly to remind us that capturing the hearts of girls isn't the only thing Keima ever does.
For the Heart of Jupiter saga, the TWGOK spin-off "Magical Star Kanon 100% Arc" manga chapters act like these; breaking the tension of the heavy story with something more light hearted. The "Present Day" chapters which focus on the Jupiter Sister hosts trying to look after a child-minded Keima act as this for the same exact reason.
Brick Joke: Keima gets mad at a capture target and so Elsie whips up a bowl of curry she claims will make her turn into a frog. It doesn't quite work.
Vulcan: I cannot move... Carry me. Keima: Switch back to Tsukiyo and walk!!
Diana also did this to Keima trice. The first time chronologically was during the time when she entered Tenri's body to help her and an unconscious Keima 10 years ago.
Brilliant but Lazy: Subverted. Keima prefers to focus his intelligence on playing galge - but he's willing to do virtually anything if it means getting to play his games. "Anything" includes getting first in class so that his teachers would not bother his playing games in class.
Bucket Booby-Trap: During Jun Nagase's arc, trying to make her angry Keima sets up the chalk board eraser variant but fails when Elsie triggers it instead.
It's a testament to Keima's abilities that, thanks to his ability at "capturing" girls, he managed to get an award for Elsie that was taken away because Elsie can barely even Poke the Poodle when it comes to being a demon.
Elsie would be this, as Hell would see it, but in reality she's dependent on Keima.
Butt Monkey: Keima's poor father, who hasn't even had any screen time yet. All we've seen of him is his wife yelling at him over the phone for things he didn't do.
Button Mashing: Justified - It LOOKS like Keima's doing this in "God of Conquest Mode", but as Elsie explains, he's just playing those games so fast(complete with after-images!).
Keima plays with this trope a few times as part of his various plans. He will claim attraction to Nora because of her boobs and he needs the reactions that she and Haqua will create to move along his plots. To the best of our knowledge though Keima himself isn't attracted to any girl regardless of their cup size.
In Chapter 61, Elsie makes hagoromo dolls shaped as Keima and uses them as Ninja Logs to protect him from Nora's attempts to kill him and as a stalling tactic. In chapter 184, Nora makes a hagoromo doll of herself, thwarting an attack from Vintage against her life, and instructs her allies to make a bunch of hagoromo dolls of Keima and his capture target to keep other agents busy while Keima completes the conquest.
In Chapter 23, Haqua threatens Keima with killing him once he is done with helping her to recapture a runaway spirit, to which he simply points out that if he dies Elsie will die too because of their contract. In Chapter 100, Haqua talks Nora out of sealing away a powerful runaway spirit and killing Keima in the process by telling her the same thing.
Remember the image of Keima during the closing stages of Chihiro's Conquest Arc? (the bit where he is bathed in the sun's rays) Now check that scene in the last episode of the Goddesses Arcwhere Chihiro parted ways with Keima after the latter reconquered Ayumi and, in the process, revived the last Goddess...
Can't Live Without You: If Elsie dies, so does Keima, and vice-versa (applies to all demons and their buddies, actually). To be specific, they will lose their heads from the chokers they wear. Not Synchronization, since that's the only thing that gets shared.
Captain Obvious: When Yui put Keima into a Lap Pillow and said she wanted to talk to him his thoughts simply were 'I'm being seduced!'
Keima - "I can already see the ending!", and situational variations on it, when he figures out the last push needed to capture a girl.
Also: Keima - "Allow me to teach you something useful.", right before going into one of his Dating Sim spiels regarding the current capture target. It hasn't come up in a long while though, primarily since capturing runaway spirits stopped being the focus of the plot.
Elsie - "Loose soul in custody!"
Cat Eared Headband: The normally serious Nikaido wears one for the teacher skit in the festival. It's rather jarring.
Chihiro does this to Keima during the Mai Festival to let him know that she's okay with going somewhere secluded. Plenty of Subtext included.
Cerebus Syndrome: The manga has steadily become darker in tone as it progresses. It was initially quite lighthearted and comical, fairly Strictly Formula. Then Haqua's arc gave us a sneak peak to how dangerous the spirits really are, then Tenri's arc not only reminded us that Cute Monster Girl or not, devils are still devils and some will not hesistate at all to kill (Nora), it also introduced a subplot that would eventually become a big deal (the goddesses); then Yui and Hinoki's arcs further demonstrated just whatwouldhappen if a spirit was allowed to develop. THEN came the Goddess Arc, which opened with Kanon getting stabbed, introducing the VERY real possibility of the death of a loved and popular character, and was marked by a much more serious and manipulative Keima, and infamously closed with Keima breaking Chihiro's heart. And then came the Heart of Jupiter Arc, which features, among other things: a nearly Ax-Crazy girl prone to extremely violent and sudden FreakOuts, a girl who repeatedly attempted to commit suicide and SUCCEEDED at least once (the outcome being undone due to a Reset Button), a vengeful ghost actually an escaped spirit who murdered nearly every inhabitant of a huge household, AND the increasingly bloody and gory battles that involve devils. A shining example of the last one is the aftermath of the Dokuro vs. Vintage fight, which was so horrible that it forced the Reset Button to activate. It's likely to stay like this for at least some time.
Character Development: Aside from the girls getting through what problems they seem to have, Keima's developed quite a bit as well; it's just a lot more subtle because his obsession with games hasn't dwindled at all. The Keima from the first chapter never would have jumped off a building to save a girl. Granted, he probably knew Elsie would save him, but he was still taking a risk considering how incompetent she can be at times.
Remember how in the first chapters Keima would always say something along the lines of "Real world sucks, the 2D world is so much better"? Well, in a later chapter, he basically says "There is no difference between the real and the virtual. I'll aim for the best ending". He acknowledges the real world (though he still appears to regard 2D girls as superior).
During the Mai Festival Keima realizes that Chihiro has no goddess but fell in love with him naturally without his involvement, and actually cries because he had to break her heart in as callous a manner as he could.
His relationship with Elsie has come a long way too, from refusing to accept her as his little sister to trying to defend her from a Vintage agent.
Lampshaded hilariously by his mother in FLAG 202, and by Dokurou in a more serious manner.
Character Shilling: By Elsie to Haqua early. However, it turns out to be a setup to a slightly different plot-line than might be expected.
Cheaters Never Prosper: In Flag 248, Keima has come to accept the world is a shitty place and it is hard to get a happy ending, but it is something to strive for. He has come to believe cheating to get ahead is a wrong action. And so moves to stop Kaori from winning with duplicitous means.
Chekhov's Gun: The Mai-High Dance Fest, first set up in chapter 54, and built on in successive chapters.
(From chapter 80) Keima: "As if there's a sensor to detect them (Goddesses) like runaway spirits!". No points for guessing what he uses 40 chapters or so later.
Seen all the way back in the first chapter, the school's emblem is the goddess Demeter, and her name also appears in chapter 3. Might this have to do with the concentration of goddesses in the school?
Chekhov's Gunman: Several of the girls, most notably starting with Kanon. In fact, the arc starting from Chapter 115 focuses on Keima searching for which among the girls are the gunmen.
Nikaido. Not just simply a sadist teacher, she seems to be a full-fledged devil (like Elsie) with powerful skill. Later, it is revealed that she is actually the grown-up version of the human Dokurou.
Childhood Friend Romance: Keima's friend Tenri has been in love with him since she was 7. However, he refuses to acknowledge her as his childhood friend and the situation with her is still evolving.
Classy Cravat: Part of the male Mai-High uniform. Some female students wear them also.
Hilariously invoked in episode 8 of Season 2 (and in the equivalent manga chapter). Haqua comes over to file a report of what happened in episode 3 and 4, and asks for Elsie and Keima's help. Keima and Haqua get into an argument over what happened in the theater, and after a few edits, Haqua smashes the mic so that no more edits can be made. Unfortunately for her, the last edit she made showed the Keima doll doing things to Haqua. Elsie then walks in with snacks and "discovers" what they were "really" doing that day when she was by herself, and beats him up a little. Later she nonchalantly walks back inside, then locks Keima out of the house after Haqua leaves.
In episode 2 of season 3, Keima deliberately invokes this trope on several girls, to see if they're hosting a goddess or not. While some of them have no recollection of him, others do show an angry reaction to him due to Kanon's very public Love Confession in the previous episode. Chihiro "accidentally" pours hot coffee on his head at school, and Ayumi kicks him across the room when he purposely blocks her way into the classroom. The reason he's doing this is because girls hosting a goddess will retain their memories of him "conquering" them and having them fall in love with him. And since he has to find the remaining ones to save Kanon within a week, he devises this in an attempt to quickly find out which girls are potential hosts. And any girl who's still in love with him would likely not have taken Kanon's confession to him very well.
Closet Shuffle: In manga FLAG 154. When the idiotic Ryou allowed Chihiro to enter, Keima was forced to hide Ayumi. So he pushed her onto Elsie's bed and hid her under the sheets with himself. It continued onto FLAG 155.
Clothing Damage: When Mars gets angry and attacks someone, somehow the only effect the attack seems to have is to completely strip said someone of all their clothes...
Club President: Kusunoki (Girls' Karate Club), Tsukiyo (Astronomy Club), Chihiro (Light Music Club), Akari (Biology Club).
Compressed Adaptation: The Goddesses Arc is considered a massive case of this trope compared to the events of the manga, to wit:
Most of the side conquests between the Tenri-Hen OVA and the first episode were removed (whilst providing a summary of Tsukiyo's, Yui's, and Akari's conquests) with the main arc beginning immediately with the events of FLAG 114. Also, Lune was swapped into Fiore's role as Apollo's assassin.
The initial groundwork for the reconquests were heavily distilled as well: Keima's second encounter with Jun (in order to confirm the goddess host remembers the conquest theory) was replaced with that of Mionote which actually happened during Yui's conquest arc]]; and the dialogue between Shiori and the library chairperson was removed.
Conspiracy Redemption: The Runaway Spirit Squad's true purpose is to confine the Jupiter Sisters so that New Hell can use them as a weapon for a new war. But the rank and file don't know this, believing it is their duty to recapture the escaped Weiss, and many of the manga's heroes are from the squad. Redeeming New Hell and making it truly new was Dokuro's goal before her death.
Desk Of Woe: Keima cries wholeheartedly and becomes depressed when he can't rescue Asuka Sora from the glitched game in chapter 17. First time he shrinks with the desk, then he goes micro-chibi inside the desk drawer.
Haqua goes into the corner in chapter 48 after Yukie tells Keima how Haqua's been talking about how good-looking he is.
She enters it again in chapter 144, thinking Keima got an up-towel look at her.
Cosmic Deadline: The dawn after the Mai Festival ends Vintage will start its plan to bring Hell to Earth.
Covered in Gunge: Haqua gets covered in some slime during her torture room interrogation.
Covers Always Lie: Volume 12 of the manga has Haqua on the cover to mark her appearance in the anime, even though she doesn't appear in the book - cheerfully lampshaded in the 4koma.
Crap Sack World: Unsurprisingly the state of Hell. The civil war between the New Devils and the Weiss left the surface of Hell an uninhabitable wasteland, forcing the New Devils to live in floating cities. Though New Hell has been peaceful for the past 300 years, it is constantly dealing with power shortages, it is always dark, everyone is fearful, and there is little to do. This has lead many devils to yearn for the past, when they used immoral means to achieve great power.
Crash-Into Hello: Ayumi does this to Keima when they first meet. She then crashes into a pillar nearby.
Crotch Grab Sex Check: While Keima is disguised as a girl, Kaori accuses Keima of knowing about the existence of devils and messing with Vintage. When Keima denies knowing anything and claims to be normal, Kaori grinds her leg into his crotch. This makes denying things more difficult.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Usually invoked by Keima. Especially prominent in chapter 74, where he is apparently beaten senseless by Nora, but he just wanted her to leave so he could play games in peace. When she didn't, he became so frightening that she left at once.
Cruel to Be Kind: At first, Chihiro seems to be a Woman Scorned in episode 11 of season 3, throwing a Spanner in the Works of Keima's conquest of Ayumi by telling her things that make his moves on her seem superficial and half-hearted. Since Ayumi saw the way Keima treated Chihiro earlier, it adds weight to her claims. However, Chihiro really did it to remove herself from the Love Triangle, since Ayumi would hold her feelings back otherwise out of fear of alienating her friend since they both like him. Chihiro also chastises Keima, telling him that if he's going to really go through with this, he needs to really be sincere about his feelings for her as well.
In the anime, Kanon's Stun Guns are shaped like cats.
There is a cat with a ribbon that hangs around the school, that Kusunoki later adopts after her arc. He (the cat) later appears during Tsukiyo's arc scaring her and in her omake carrying off Luna's broken leg.
Cypher Language/Wingdinglish: New Hell's "Hellian"◊ and the language of Heaven the goddesses speak have a similar "alphabet", whether or not they are pronounced the same is unknown. Most of the words written and/or spoken using that "alphabet" can form English words if one takes time to decipher it and the numbers are in fact Roman numerals. When Apollo made the message in the sky when she was stabbed by the Vintage agentnote Fiore in the manga, Lune in the anime, it was written using the "alphabet" but she used the romanization of Japanese words.
Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Suffering from Dating Sim withdrawal, Keima resorts to "Capturing God/God of Conquest Mode" in order to clear his backlog, which allows him to play six games at once at blinding speed while still being able to react emotionally to each one, at the price of what feels like three years off of his life span for every hour he uses it. He eventually starts hallucinating and passes out under the strain.
For the record, he uses "CG/GoC Mode" for TWENTY HOURS STRAIGHT before hallucinating. That would be sixty years off his life if it actually worked that way. Really, he just passes out from sleep deprivation and not eating (which Elsie calls him on afterwards).
Subverted, I'd say. Since afterwards, he uses it every time he plays in his room.
Note the feels part.
To divert Nora's attention from Tenri, Keima uses the "Forced Development Technique", i.e.: he gropes Nora's breast in front of Haqua. The end result: Keima burnt to a crisp from the beating.
Darkest Hour: In the Old Conquest Arc: FLAG 175: Keima, Chihiro and Ayumi are captured by Vintage, as are all goddesses bar Diana, Lune just gave the execution order and Haqua has the status of a traitor.
In the Heart of Jupiter Arc: FLAGs 259-260: Nikaido/Dokuro is gravely injured as the mobile colossi attack the Akanemaru, destroying the time travel device.
Dark Is Not Evil: New Hell. Even though devils are associated with evil and darkness, they are no more inherently evil than humans or heavenly beings and most of them are on the protagonists' side.
Date Peepers: Defied in chapter 103. Chihiro opts not to follow Elsie and Keima after seeing the way Keima shows up for their 'date'.
A Day in the Limelight: A number of these: Chapters 11, 42, 122b and 137b are Elsie's, chapter 34 is Mari's, 54 is the nascent Light Music Club's, 56 is Elsie and Haqua's, and 114 is Kanon and Apollo's.
The "XXX After" bonus chapters would count as well, even if they are short.
"The World a Lil' Devil Only Knows" chapters and 4-komas are from Elsie's point of view.
Defictionalization/Fictional Media/Product Placement: Or some bizarre hybrid, anyway. Kanon's songs in the anime show up in the real world on the album 'Birth', released in March 2011. A while later, in chapter 137b, we get adverts for the album in-universe - which are justified, as Kanon's an idol singer.
Demon Head: Keima has his own twist on it. He can manifest the standard version.
Demonic Possession: There are a total of five stages, dubbed Soul Level 1 to 5. Level 1 is the weakest, with the Weiss not being able to do anything significant; Level 2 is where the Weiss is able to manifest its power; Level 3 is an extension of Level 2, with the growth of the Weiss' power much more apparent and greater details in their forms like an expressive face; Level 4 is when the Weiss is able to manifest itself physically, but is not yet fully resurrected. However, until level four the host doesn't really know, though the presence of the Weiss is apparently inherently depressing, making it harder to get rid of them.
Demoted to Extra: In the anime, all the girls Keima "captures" or helps out after their story arc is done. They either play very minor roles, or are only seen briefly afterwards. Only Haqua breaks out from this, as we see her again a few times and she does something with the main characters.
Detect Evil: The Runaway Spirit sensor badges do exactly that.
Determinator: Keima has (and this is an incomplete list) jumped off buildings, been beaten up (multiple times), has taken jobs working at things he knows nothing about, entered a dojo, and even more extreme things, in order to get the SECOND most important thing in his life- the capture in Real Life. For the Gaming Capture he goes to even greater extremes- using a technique that makes him feel like he loses three years of his life for every hour that he uses it for. It's fair to say that little will stop him getting what he wants.
Disappeared Dad: Keima's father, who apparently spends most of his time overseas on business. And since Elsie claimed to be his illegitimate child he's probably not coming back for awhile.
Mio's father died one year before the series began.
Disguised in Drag: When the incident in the school happens in the Heart of Jupiter arc, Keima is forced to dress as a girl or risk being captured along with the other guys.
Domino Revelation: Early in the series, Keima finds about New Devils and runaway spirits/loose souls. He is later told by Haqua that the loose souls are actually the souls of the Old Devils. Keima then learns that they are called Weiss and also learns of the Goddesses from Diana. He then learns the Goddesses are called The Jupiter Sisters and they may be in his previous conquests. He then discovers that one of goddesses was in a previous captured girl but was then harmed by an organization of devils called Vintage. As he searched for more of the Jupiter Sisters to save the goddess and her host, he learns of a greater threat looming over Maijima.
Double Meaning Title: Among other interpretations, the title "The World God Only Knows" could refer to:
How Keima (and Elsie) is the only one who knows what happened between him and the girl he's conquering, who conveniently gets Laser-Guided Amnesia.
Keima's nearly-undivided attention to the Game World, at the expense of real life.
Biggest one yet: Keima was sent back in time to create the conditions for the future to the present world as he knows it.
Haqua: Still, to threaten a demon... what a human. Keima: To be threatened by a human... what a demon. Haqua: SHUT UP!
Keima alone is a big contender: male dating sim gamers are pure, female ones are just lustful girls in search of pornographic materials.
Not that it's ever portrayed that way in-universe. Female dating sim gamers have never been shown in the first place. Even for Keima, him being pure is his own self-view, while everyone else thinks he's a freak.
In-universe example. When Yui decides to cross dress, she becomes much more popular. When Keima does it himself, everyone thinks he's a pervert (except obviously Yui). Despite other people's judgments about him, he's still portrayed as a Wholesome Crossdresser.
Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Keima gets attacked a lot by the girls in the series. Played for Laughs, such as his first encounter with Kanon, who zaps him with a kitty stun gun (which was perfectly safe for the scene) when he doesn't recognize her, and more importantly (to her anyway), doesn't care. Ayumi also roughs him up a couple of times during his first conquest of her.
Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: After some Mental Time Travel Keima meets up with a little girl named Urara who is curious about a porn mag she saw and strips both Keima and herself for experimenting, though it's mostly offscreen. Keima is not happy at all, though he can at least be grateful that she's so naive she has no idea what she's doing.
Played with. The entire situation was a gambit on Keima's part to get a chance to speak with Urara's grandfather. She happily went along with the idea, thinking she'd get to spend time with her grandfather whom she never gets to see.
Dramatic Drop: Mari dropped the tray she was holding when Elsie told her that she is her husband's illegitimate daughter. In the manga the tray had some wares on it while in the anime it was empty.
In Flag 218, Yanagi dropped Keima when she saw an adult Urara.
Dramatic Irony: In Volume 3's bonus material, Keima observes that the PFP's high price means it won't sell. Guess whose website's promotion ends up giving it a sales boost?
Dropped a Bridge on Him: In-story example with Shiori getting mad at Katsuragi and killing off the character based on him out of nowhere.
Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: Haqua comes close to this after putting an exhausted Keima to bed on a couch. She ultimately doesn't go through with it.
Dude, Where's My Respect?: Instead of getting a medal for capturing seven demonic spirits in three months, Elsie gets a two month pay cut. She is awarded a different medal by her chief, but she muses that she's happy with just getting her current job... And the fact that the front was dirty was bothering her. Guess old habits die hard.
Dynamic Entry: Haqua does this to Keima in episode 2 of season 3, connecting her foot with his head as Yui is trying to show her interest in him.
Early-Bird Cameo: Yukie appears in one of the later first season episodes as she passes by Keima's house.
Yokkyun makes an early appearance in the second season.
Tsukiyo, Minami, Airi, Reiko, Sumire with her father, Tenri, and Diana appear near the end of ep. 12 of season 2.
Yui at the end song of the 4 People and an Idol OVA.
Pictures of Tsukiyo, Minami and Nanaka appear on the game cases put on display while Keima is shopping in the first Tenri-hen OVA◊. note Technically Tsukiyo and Minami's Story Arcs took place before Tenri's in the manga, but the latter was animated first
The second Tenri OVA ED features Yukie, Tsukiyo, Minami, Airi, Reiko, Sumire, Nanaka, Yui, Hinoki and Akari. note Yukie, Tsukiyo and Minami's story arcs came before Tenri's in the manga, but Tenri's was animated first
Easy Amnesia: It's implied that Keima didn't remember Tenri at first because he got hit in the head while in the cave. Even if it was a decade ago, it's hard to believe that he would forget such an event by himself. Also, he was unconscious during the important parts.
Elaborate University High: Maijima High School Academy has: high school building, middle school building, central building, auditorium, sports center, separate library and theater.
Emoticon: Keima has a smile emoticon on his face after he sends Nora and Haqua out in "one click".
Emotion Eater: The runaway spirits hide in girls' bodies to feed off of their negative emotions. The goddesses feed on love instead. Theoretically, they can feed off of energy generated by anyone, and the Weiss have done so when they were alive, but only a fertile girl's energy can allow them to grow back into a three dimensional form. If a runaway spirit tries to feed off of an old woman or a man's energy prior to recovering enough of their strength, it is useless to them.
Subverted with Airi (and her grandmother, when she was Airi's age) where it contributes to their creepy look.
Kusunoki has those little hair loops.
The devil girls' skull ornaments may not be cute, but they are striking.
Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Shiori seems to think so. Of her first two stories, the first pictured two French-named characters (Pierre and Simone respectively) as the heroes while the second happened in XVIIIth century France.
Though Good Is Old-Fashioned seems to be played straight as well, as the way Hell is currently run operates in balance with Heaven and Earth as part of a giant soul-energy recycling process which gives life and energy to all three realms. When the Old Devils began corrupting mortals, it was to gain more energy for Hell at the expense of the balance. With the New Devils in power, the balance was restored; however, humans' longer lifespans have resulted in an energy crisis in Heaven and Hell.
Evolving Credits: In season 3, the ending theme is sung by the girl who is revealed to be having one of the Goddess (except for Tenri which is already revealed on the Tenri Arc OVA) in that episode (except for Episodes 1,7 and 8 which have no ending themes and Episode 9 which has a different ending theme altogether)
Facepalm: S1 Episode 2 of the anime gives Keima a good one. Immediately after he tells Elsie that there is no possible way he's going to let her come to his house, guess whose mom shows up, happy to see her son with a friend? *headsmack*
Keima also does this in chapter 1 of the manga, right after capturing Ayumi.
Failed a Spot Check: In Flag 248, Kaori is too busy panicking to notice her collar's already been removed. A reader with a keen eye may notice the absence of said spoilered item in the page before this revelation.
Fake Memories: Girls whose runaway spirit has been exorcised have their memories tampered with. Especially convenient for Keima since it would be troublesome to keep up his MO with another girl vying for his attention. Keima later discovers that their memories are not necessarily erased, but may instead have characters (read: him) replaced with other people, creating in the girl's memory a different set of events, as he first discovers from chatting with Mio while in Yui's body, and later confirms with a similar situation with Kusunoki. Some of the girls Keima has conquered remember him, however, and this is because they are the host of a Goddess.
Fanservice: In the anime we are often treated to fanservicey pictures after the episode.
The manga has its fair share, notably the furo scenes.
Fantastic Fighting Style: The Ancient Martial Art Kasuga-Style Life and Death Technique. Practitioners include Kusunoki and Hinoki Kasuga, their unseen father, the students at the Kasuga-dojo, and Keima... kinda.
Field of Blades: At the beginning of chapter 17, as well as the corresponding episode 4 of the first season.
Filler: But on a different level... in various ways.
Finger-Suck Healing: Subverted in chapter 2. Elsie bites Keima's finger, sucking some of the blood, to fulfill Keima's requirement that siblings have the same blood in their bodies. Keima is freaked out.
First Kiss: Ayumi took Keima's first kiss in the series (though his mother got in a good few when he was little). During the Heart of Jupiter arc, Keima mentally time traveled to his 7-year old self and kissed Dokurou, so chronologically she technically was his first kiss.
Keima taketh Tenri's first kiss.
Keima's lips touched Tenri's, Diana shares the same body as Tenri. By the transitive property, Keima took Diana's first kiss.
Again by the transitive property, Keima took Mars' first kiss.
The girls Keima captured might count as well, since their gaps are filled with love, which they probably hadn't felt before... it wouldn't be too far fetched to assume that he takes their first kisses.
In the anime, the entirety of Shiori's arc qualifies.
Minami's arc is also mainly from her perspective, as her capture is mainly driven by the over-bloated image she creates of Keima as a sempai. It's notable because the story being told from the girl's perspective is one of the biggest points of her arc.
Flight: Members of the Runaway Spirit squad are able to fly thanks to their celestial robes. Haqua has also demonstrated the ability to fly independently using a spell.
Floating Continent: New Hell is laid out this way, as a number of islands floating above the surface of the old Underworld.
Foil: The goddesses so far have tended to act as foils for the hosts in question. The buddies and devils also tend to work like this. For example, there's clever but rude Keima matched with kind ditsy Elsie and perfectionist Haqua with slow, easy going Yukie.
Forceful Kiss: Keima plants one on Akari as part of his capturing route, thinking that it'll finish the capture. This actually makes Akari think that it can help her make a human faster, so she force kisses him several times on more than one occasion. Keima quickly regrets this and apologizes for planting the idea into her head in an effort to make her stop, to no avail.
Foreshadowing: The author has put in a lot of effort into subtly giving out clues for the goddesses and future developments.
In Flag 1, Elsie mentions having terrible sempais. Many chapters later we are introduced to Nora, Cresta, and Camry.
In Episode 7 of Season 1, during the first song of her concert, Kanon has a flashback to her time spent with Keima which shouldn't be possible because they kissed before the concert and the loose soul was captured, therefore removing her memories of Keima. This was not in the manga. However, this is possibly the studio taking the liberty to hint at what is to come as it has been revealed in the manga that Kanon is the host of the goddess Apollo, resulting in her remembering Keima.
In the manga, at the end of the arc, the star analogy is prominent. Elsie comments on how brightly Kanon shines, and Keima noted that Kanon's like a star. The anime adds on to this by having the stage design use a lot of stars. Also, another way of describing Kanon's rise to fame is that she's a rising star. All of this considered, Apollo's responsible for the sun…a star.
In an omake, Yui comments on how a dress would be nice for her groom.
One omake is narrated by Tsukiyo's doll. Hilarity Ensues. Until you realize that the doll was controlled by Vulcan all along.
Yui's omake sketch. She's dressed like in her capture, but for her image in the lake, it's her image after. Two parts of her, shown in a reflection... Where have we seen that before?
In the "4 People and an Idol" OVA. Keima making a mistake on the sentence "She regained her memories".
There's a really subtle one for Chapter 169 that's been there ever since Chapter 3. See this bakery◊? Come Chapter 169, it's been revealed that the school has some connections with Demeter the goddess herself.
The chapter also reveals the name of the previous owner of the land, Shouzou Shiratori. Later in Flag 204, 10 years ago,note time travel we are introduced to Urara Shiratori, a possible descendant whose family owns a construction company that is working on the Maijima coast.
The splash page of Chapter 200 features a mystery girl with her back turned. It turns out to be Urara, who Keima meets later.
Furo Scene: Elsie in chapters 2 and 102, Tsukiyo in chapter 45, Haqua in chapters 48 and 121, Keima!Yui in chapter 83, Kusunoki in chapters 91 and 97, Hinoki in chapter 95, and Elsie and Haqua together in chapter 144.
Tsukiyo's bath scene is brilliant and lovely: A Milk Bath in the Claw-foot Tub and Godiva Hair, then the Milk Scoop, immediately followed by Shy Finger Twiddling with Leg Curl while submerged at the ideal depth, and Towel After-bath to finish the combo.
Mari Katsuragi indulges in one in the 8th episode of season 1.
Gainax Ending: Played for Laughs. The first season ends with Keima trying to catch up on his gigantic backlog of games by using God of Conquest mode for twenty hours straight until he wears himself out. While he's trying to keep himself conscious for long enough to finish the last game, the heroine suddenly comes to life, along with a hoarde of other Dating Sim heroines to cheer him on until he finishes, and then take him with them to "The Gaming World", aka a giant grassy field where they all frolic and play Dating Sims while a really bad karaoke ending theme plays. Then they announce the second season.
Game-Breaking Bug: The Asuka Sora story is about Keima trying to complete a game filled with them.
Gas Lighting: Played with in the Tsukiyo capture. Keima uses the same techniquenote altering her environment without her knowledge and denying it, but his goal is not to drive her mad but to break her dependence on her doll as a emotional support so he could fix the gap in her heart. He definitely is messing with her psychologically.
Generic Cuteness: Some minor characters are explicitly drawn to be unattractive (though not quite Gonk level) but most minor characters, despite being stated to be rather plain because most people in the real world are rather plain, do not look that bad.
Genre Blind: Arguably, Keima. Although he is incredibly genre savvy when it comes to his targets, he fails to notice the obvious signs involving those girls who are developing feelings for him. It might just be from the way he ignores everything except his games, .
Subverted in Elsie's case. In chapter 102-103 Keima consciously tries to avoid a romantic side-plot with her, though he may have failed... miserably.
Genre Savvy: Keima is a master of identifying the stereotypes embodied by his targets and the events needed to "capture" them. Hell gets a little credit, too, for picking out a Dating Sim master in the first place.
Indubitably the author, Tamiki Wakaki, himself. Where do you think all the allusions and Keima's Genre Savviness come from?
Genre Shift: The first season's OP: 0:00-0:35 is Techno, 0:35-0:58 is Pop, and 0:58-1:30, the conclusion, is Classical.
The third season OP, being nearly 13 minutes long, takes this Up to Eleven, 6 out of the 8 sections of the song thematically depicting the story of each of the Goddess hosts for the entire season.
Gilligan Cut: From chapter 2 - Keima flat-out refuses to let Elsie come to his house. The very next scene, Mari's welcoming Elsie to the Katsuragi home.
Or chapter 30. "I already said I won't get involved with the 'real' any more. Especially with 'real' women who call you things like cockroach!" Keima rants. Next scene, he's sharing cleaning duties with her.
Girl Group: Citron before Kanon started her solo career.
Girl Next Door: Tenri Ayukawa, though according to Keima, NOT, since their house was placed diagonally, not next door. Which is later subverted, because she moved into the house right next door. All thanks to Elsie, who destroyed the neighbor's house with her broom.
Girl of the Week: Each arc, Keima must romance a new girl, who then forgets the whole thing. Though some start to remember...
If her grandmother, who looked the same as a child, is any indication, it won't last.
As demonstrated in the Sumire Arc, Keima can apply this to himself at will.
Good Is Dumb: Haqua releasing Fiore was a very dumb thing to do.
Good Is Not Nice: Diana may be a goddess, but she's blunt, rude, and selfish when it comes to restoring her power.
Nikaido-sensei as well, who is powerful enough to seal up a giant Runaway Spirit all by herself, but otherwise lets the other characters do all the work while she acts like a royal bitch. Partly justified in that her mission on Earth seems to be more about catching "Vintage".
It turns out that Nikaido is Dokuro, which explains why she is so powerful. However, she has somehow become human, which prevent her from using all of her power, with the implication that she can only access it thanks to Rimyuel's assistance. As an explanation to her generally aloof and sometimes irascible demeanor at school, it is most likely an act made specifically to be able to protect Keima while keeping Vintage and other enemy devils from realizing his real role and importance, as well as to prevent the Genre Savvy gamer from figuring things out too early.
Gotta Catch Them All: The primary plot device that propels the series; Keima's contract will not terminate until all runaway spirits are captured.
Gradual Grinder: Haqua's human partner Yukie is explained to be a positive example of this in that she works on multiple targets at once, and very slowly gets them to open up to her by visiting them daily.
Greater Need Than Mine: Ayumi for Chihiro after the sick visit. Unfortunately, her Heroic Sacrifice doesn't pan out the way she imagined it.
Great Offscreen War: The civil war that happened in hell, which caused its surface to be uninhabitable and forced the people of New Hell to live in floating cities, is mentioned repeatedly. Chief Dokuro was a hero of this war.
Green Lantern Ring: Celestial robes are part of the Squad's uniform. They possess a wide range of utilities depending on the user's skill, including flight, restraints, and the ability to create various items.
Green Rooming: In season 3 of the anime, Kanon, or rather her goddess Apollo, is taken out of commission right away in the first episode, and ends up causing Keima to undertake the conquest of the goddesses after witnessing Lune stabbing her. She doesn't appear again until around episode 8, and even then just as a brief cameo to let Keima know she's still doing okay for the most part. This conveniently allows other girls and goddesses to have more screentime with him, some whom he conquered in earlier seasons, and some who only appeared in brief scenes due to the anime skipping many chapters in the manga between season 2 and 3.
"Groundhog Day" Loop: Keima and Elsie find themselves in one at the start of the Jupiter arc, where they must stop Dokuro from attempting suicide with no more than 4 attempts in order to escape it.
Guile Hero: Keima is not a powerful champion that can force out evil spirits with bulging muscles, instead he plans out his moves way ahead and tops it off with charm he gains from his galges.
In a later arc, Keima admits that he cannot possibly fight Vintage and protect the goddesses and everyone else, so he plans to find the goddesses and give them power via love so they can protect themselves instead.
Hair Antennae: Kanon and Haqua (even as a child). Strangely enough Elsie disguised as Kanon initially lacks them, though she gets them later.
Keima has only one, but in his case it's notIdiot Hair, since the antenna is pointing downwards.
Hair Colors: Mio and Tsukiyo (blonde hair), Mari and Nanaka (orange hair), and Nora (white hair).
Harem Seeker: In chapter 121, Keima decides to weaponize this - though that only becomes clear in the next chapter.
Harsh Word Impact: A beautiful 4 hit combo string in chapter 29: Jab to the face, punch to the stomach, a surge of flames, and a morph spell to seal the deal.
Hatedom: Keima, more precisely Kanon's alleged boyfriend, has one In-Universe. In FLAG 147, Shiori ran his name in a search engine to learn more about him and found tons of hateful comments in return.
Hates Being Touched: Keima's not an extreme example; he will allow himself to be touched if he has to, he just doesn't like it.
Keima is undergoing a lot of Character Development, so both may be true at different moments of the manga. See his entry on the characters' page for more details.
Henohenomoheji: Tsukiyo's image of Keima's face with his "sense of beauty".
Heroic BSOD: Sort of. After Chihiro called Keima out on his hypocrisy, he immersed himself even deeper into gaming and wouldn't even eat or talk to Elsie. He was then brought out of it half a chapter later by hunger and Ayumi.
In Ch. 86, he goes into full mode when he realizes that he's starting to get attracted to a boy, actually a girl in his body, when he's inside a body of a girl.
Chapter 102 sees Elsie hit a BSOD after thinking she messed up Hinoki's capture.
In Chapter 167, Keima actually goes into one after coldly rejecting Chihiro and being rejected by Ayumi. A bit surprisingly, he agrees with Ayumi that "he is the worst."
He appears to have another one again at the end of FLAG 238, but it is subverted as FLAG 239 starts. He then gets a real one in the same FLAG upon meeting, of all people, Ayumi and Chihiro, and being reminded of the pain he caused them during the Goddess Arc.
Heroic Safe Mode: In episode 4 of season 3, Diana and Vulcanus pull the cursed sword out of Kanon's body. However, her body slowly morphs into water, and the goddesses explain to Keima that its a spell Apollo cast to delay the curse, and they are unable to retrieve her while this spell is active. They mention that Mercurius may be able to recover Apollo, causing him to lament at having a new objective added to complete the quest like in a cliched RPG.
Hero Stole My Bike: In FLAG 263, Keima takes Child!Chihiro's bike so he can collar his future targets.
Hollywood Tone-Deaf: As evidenced in the final episode of the first season. Keima's singing is atrocious. It's so bad it's hilarious.
Honor Before Reason: Despite having the girls' memories "erased", Keima still remembers and sticks to his promise to them, i.e; helping them anytime if it's possible.
Which might actually pay back, since some of the girls remember the capture, and even if they see him as an n-timing scumbag, he at least keeps on the promises he made. And because he has to capture girls who remember him again, this is rather important as it means there is anything good about him in their eyes.
Hyper Competent Sidekick: Keima is this in universe. While the Runaway Spirit Squad's guidelines recommend letting the human partner get the spirit out, Hell really feels Elsie should be more competent.
Idiot Ball: In the last bit of the Goddess Arc. Keima has to choose between pursuing Ayumi and Chihiro. Chihiro has confessed her love, but not to remembering her conquest. Ayumi hears said confession, and goes from being tsundere to kindly and supportive. Keima tries for Chihiro first even though his normal game rhetoric would tend to proclaim the obvious choice was the wrong one. More than that, three of the previous goddesses had strong thematic links with their hosts (Apollo goddess of music and art is in idol singer Kanon, Mars goddess of war is in boisterous, aggressive Yui, and Minerva goddess of wisdom is in bookworm Shiori). Merucy/Mercurius is the fleet footed messenger goddess, and Ayumi is the track star.
I Know Mortal Kombat: Despite his constantly-professed dislike of real girls, Keima uses his gaming knowledge to win them over, through varying difficulties. He even transfers (some) of his mini-game skills to real world situations.
Image Song: Elsie, Ayumi, Mio, Kanon, Shiori and Asuka Sora all got CDs in season 1, with Kusunoki, Haqua, Chihiro and Jun following in season 2.
The second season's opening is effectively Keima's Image Song.
The end of that chapter/episode all-but-states Keima eventually did reach the ending, but his success was regarded as mere rumors on the internet, and all was soon forgotten.
Improbably Female Cast: Aside from Keima, a few men occasionally make an appearance (Nora's partner, Sumire's dad, the P.E. and English teachers, Keima's granddad, Urara's grandfather, etc), but they're outweighed in number and significance by the female cast.
Incest Subtext: Keima and Mari Katsuragi (son and mother). In chapter 109, right after asking the same question to Elsie, Keima asks Mari if they kissed before to gather samples of real-life reaction. Her response? Completely surprised at first... then she hugs Keima, saying she used to kiss him many times in the past, and asks if he wants one again.
It's not really incest if it's a mother giving her young son kisses on the cheek (which is probably the case for her).
Infallible Babble: Inverted. In FLAG 244, Keima, recognizing the threat Kaori poses, dismisses the idea of her attempting petty and common methods to disrupt the play they are going to perform. Fast-forward a few pages later, and it turns out Kaori did everything he just said she wouldn't do, though assuming that Keima wouldn't fall for such methods. As it turns out, Tenridid run into one of the schemes, but a way around that was found. Lampshaded by the manga.
In Medias Res: The pre-chapter of The Heart of Jupiter arc, FLAG 190, mostly happens after FLAG 195 and before FLAG 198 in the arc. There are also some scenes that imply that they happened near the end of the arc.
Insane Troll Logic: Keima views all human relationships through the lens of galge logic and continually asserts that his games are more important than anything happening in the "real" world.
A lot of what the runaway spirits do can't be seen by people apart from supernatural beings and mortals associated with one. However, not everything falls under this and is a large part of Hell's job when it comes to fixing memories or just using their hagoromono. For example, Haqua scolds Elsie for making more work for her superiors because she didn't cloak herself when flying.
At the climax of the goddess arc, Chihiro is depressed because she can tell something important just happened, but she couldn't actually see anything. But at the very end of the arc, when she's singing on stage with Kanon and the band, she sees everyone's wings. It's not quite clear what changed in the interim.
It Doesn't Mean Anything: Keima excuses himself out of his responsibility to Tenri and Diana, saying "Besides, we haven't done anything but act!"
It's All My Fault: Keima says this to himself immediately after failing to prevent Kanon from getting stabbed
"A girl who is a member of the track-and-field club definitely must have her hair tied up!! Don't you know that the girl's soul stays in that tie which holds the hair." "You won't be able to move if it's not a bloomer!! It's supposed to be a bloomer!!" "...This is the standard conditions for a little sister to be called a little sister. First is Blood, a blood relationship!! It means that you two have the same blood in you!! Like a sister in law!! Like a protégé!! The weakness of these characters is that in the end they're still unrelated!! And then Memory, the memories of both of you!! It is nothing but the mass number of memories that the family has gathered!! This is the irreplaceable bond of siblings!! And most of all a heart that honors her older brother. Woni-chan moe, an extreme love for her brother!!" "She has cat-eyes!! She has a light hair color!! You can see her forehead and her hair is in pigtails!! 99%!! She's that type of woman!!" (He turns out to be right) "The voices of their hearts... You can always hear them!! It's right there on the screen, in the monologue."
In the beginning Keima didn't want to capture a real girl and tried to come up with excuses for Elsie why he "can't" do it.
Knight in Sour Armor: Keima, usually antisocial and snarky, slowly turns into this. Though he has no choice, and his job is to make women fall in love with him, he often changes their lives for the better, in the end, even though all he needs to do is seduce them.
Though whether or not he's just doing this because that's what you do in dating sims, or whether he actually cares about the lives he changes, is up to you.
Well, he started doing captures after hearing that a Weiss reincarnates as a girl's firstborn child. Before hearing this he was still unwilling to do it.
On the other hand, the trope could be on the way to being inverted as of Chapter 113. Keima was a lot more cynical at the beginning.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: Girls who've hosted a runaway spirit which has been exorcised will have their memories of the most pertinent events of the process removed or replaced with people other than the buddy of the demon who caught the spirit. If the girl is the host to a Goddess though, she will recover her memories as soon as the Goddess awakens.
Subverted with Ayumi's confession in FLAG 187; while she was the last person to openly confess to Keima, she did not end up with him.(see below)
Inverted later on in FLAG 267, with Keima directly confessing to Chihiro. Although FLAG 268 downplayed this when she quickly told him to "kill himself", then later on appearing before him, just to invite him for tea.
Laughing Mad: Lune unleashes during her battle with Haqua near the very end of the Goddess arc.
Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When discussing a clean floor in ch.19: "The finish is so different! It looks like how it would be in a drawing!!"
There's also an example early on where Keima is noting how games nowadays give you a smart sidekick with a distinct personality in order to snub the ditsy Elsie. Elsie is pleased since that fits Keima and he yells at her for thinking she's the main character. With anyone other than Keima, this would be breaking the fourth wall, but it's not.
Legacy Character: The Goddesses. It's a tradition to choose six mikos who can be trusted and have great power to take the names of the goddesses. They're all replaced when one dies, and they aren't actually related.
Lethal Chef: Elsie. Her cooking may be normal for The Underworld, but it definitely wasn't intended for human consumption. (Her curses, on the other hand, make good curries.)
Sumire, meanwhile, likes making ramen with... odd ingredients, especially those that make it fatty and/or sweet.
Keima attempts to invoke this with Yui, hoping to convince her of his clumsiness. It doesn't quite work as expected.
Literal-Minded: Elsie. She reacted to the idea of destroying a household... Asking where they were literally going to start the demolition.
The Load: Haqua's partner, who's only captured one spirit over a long period of time. Until it is shown to us that she knows the locations of many more and has set up a routine to familiarize herself with the targets and befriend them. She's not useless, rather opting for the slow and steady approach.
Lolicon: Averted. Despite the fact that almost all dating sims have at least one loli Keima hasn't had to capture any. The closest he's come were Minami and Akari. Minami is young but not childish and Akari is just short. Her arc revolves around something completely unrelated.
Narrowly averted with Urara as well.
Of course, with the introduction of Minerva, things may change....
Chihiro finds this out the hard way, having fallen in love with Keima for real. Once he realizes she doesn't have a goddess, he also rudely rejects her, breaking her heart in the process. Although she tries to play it off, it continues to sting her well into the concert at the end of episode 12 in season 3 as she sings a song she clearly wrote for him.
It seems even Keima isn't immune to this, and seems to regret the way he acted towards Chihiro during that same arc. Even he ends up shedding tears as well.
Love Triangle/Love Dodecahedron: All the girls saved do not remember falling for Keima, but still harbor feelings for him and get quite flustered when near him. Luckily it seems we're settling on a type 3Love Triangle between Keima (who does not like 3D girls) and Haqua and Tenri (who both like him, cannot make a confession, and dislike the rival). Elsie, who at first seemed to be the official partner, is becoming more and more Keima's kid sister, in addition to posing as his step-sister.
And then it is revealed in Ch. 80-81 that Diana has sisters who are Goddesses as well, and the girls with a Goddess inside do not forget their memories about Keima.
However, the Elsie/Haqua/Tenri situation gets a bit of a shake up following the Hinoki arc.
It gets worse during the goddess-searching arc. First, Kanon is revealed to have a goddess and publicly confesses her love to Keima, leading Keima's other targets to conclude he's a two-timing bastard. In the course of the search, Shiori sees Yui attempt to seduce Keima, while Yui sees him with Ayumi, Chihiro and Shiori. Then Vulcan sees Keima in the middle of recapturing Shiori, and tells Tsukiyo...
And in the Mercury arc, Keima finds himself caught between Ayumi and Chihiro, with painful consequences for all involved.
Loving a Shadow: Keima is a genuine chick magnet, but for the capture targets he usually alters the personality presented to something he knows will appeal to the girl in question. For example, he acts really concerned, supportive and interested in Kanon's problems while for Sumire he acts like the ideal, polite employee. Taken to the extreme with Minami, who invents a personality for Keima out of nothing. Averted only with Chihiro and Nanaka, neither of whom he was actually intending to get to love him. And to be fair, it's not like he's intentionally acting, as later interactions with the girls show.
Lowered Recruiting Standards: How Elsie got into the Runaway Spirits squad. At least, that's what she was told. In reality, Dokuro Skull put her on the squad because ten years before the start of the story, future Keima (in his younger body) told Dokuro that his spirit hunter buddy was Elsie.
Magical Camera: One of the functions of the Celestial Robes is to record everything around the user, enabling video feedback of everything they have done. The Runaway Spirit Squad's supervisors are potentially able to access said video records. You would think that would cause the squad more Paranoia Fuel. This DOES get used against the protagonists when Vintage confiscates Haqua's robe and hacks through her tampering, allowing them to find out about the Jupiter Sisters.
Magic Wand: The devils on mission get equipped with one.
Magitek: Though a handful of New Devils have been seen casting spells independently, most of New Hell's magic seems to be of this nature. Because New Hell is constantly concerned about saving energy, all the new techniques revolve around "scientific magic", since it is far more efficient than the old techniques.
In chapter 74, a panel focuses on Nora's breasts while she's talking.
This isn't lost in the anime. The latter portion of s1's 8th episode follows Keima's mother, Mari, and includes a few generous shots of her.
Both Kusunoki and Elsie get a moment in s2 episode 2.
Man, I Feel Like a Woman : Played with in FLAG 84. Keima's played so many galge that he's become unaffected by women's bodies. On the other hand, he remarks that boobs are heavy, just like in Galge. Then he reconsiders. A chapter later, it's not satisfying him anymore. In the next chapter his manner of speech is affected.
Invoked in the Mai High Festival Eve plot as a gambit to determine whether Mercury's host is Chihiro or Ayumi. He agrees to go to the bonfire with Chihiro and then approaches Ayumi to ask for advice, thereby allowing him to interact with both while keeping them from interfering with one another.
Mate or Die: In this case, Keima must compassionately kiss or die from losing his head.
Maybe Ever After: In the finale, Keima tries to resolve the issue of the goddesses hosts by confessing to Chihiro. Chihiro rejects Keima while all the goddesses hosts, minus Yui, seem to give up on Keima. At the end though, Chihiro invites Keima to go have some tea, implying they might become a couple after all.
Elsie ends up in a maid costume in chapters 5 and 42 (and s2 ep 9's end card).
Keima champions the virtues of robot maids during the Akari arc.
Ayumi enters the Mai High beauty competition dressed as one.
Memory Wiping Crew: New Hell has a team of devils charged with altering and wiping the memories of girls whose runaway spirits have been exorcised. Considering the kind of stuff those spirits can pull with enough power, ie. Hinoki and Yui's conquests, and the energy shortage New Hell is facing, these girls should be given medals.
According to the footage in Chronos Camera's documentary, the USA has become so obsessed with gal games that the Statue of Liberty dons a miko outfit.
The first heroine of the second light novel.
The Jupiter Sisters are actually not six sisters, but six of the most powerful miko of Heaven who all share a very strong sister-like emotional bond. This is what earned them the right to take the names of the original Goddesses, as per Heaven's tradition.
CAPTURING GOD MODE! Playing 6 dating sims at once.
Keima's dilemma on how many heroines a gal game should have is depicted as... first a large-scale debate on political reform, and then a full-scale war between "Solo-Heroine" and "Multi-Heroine" armies.
New Game+: Invoked in the Time Travel Arc. Each time Keima fails to make something happen, he gets sent back in time, but he retains his memories, so he has a better idea what to do.
Ninja Log: Elsie, of all people, pulls this during s2 episode 4. In addition, Keima pulls this during s2 episode 11 (and less obviously in the original manga).
Noble Demon: Though they like to keep some of the trappings of demonic villainy, Hell is entirely run by these guys having seized control of Hell from more old-school demons in a coup some time ago.
Nobody Poops: Sadly averted. Keima decides to spend his last day of summer playing videogames all day long, and so goes to use the bathroom early on... only to find Haqua in there. Keima simply scolds himself for not having realized and walks away calmly while Haqua decides to beat his face in with her scythe!
No Ontological Inertia: When a host draws from their runaway spirit's power, the direct effects are rarely permanent and wear off when the host is exorcised. For example, Tsukiyo, who was shrunk to the size of a doll, reverted to her original size. Similarly, Keima and Yui are reverted to their own bodies after their "Freaky Friday" Flip. Indirect effects, like property damage, however, tend to remain.
No Romantic Resolution: Defied. Keima is well aware that if he fails to properly choose a girl, they'll all continue vying for his affections without end. So he tells them he's going to confess to Chihiro (and then does so) to make absolutely sure they can move on instead of staying in a holding pattern forever. Though, to be fair, he genuinely does love Chihiro, with Dokurou commenting that its Chihiro's refusal to follow the "script" that caused Keima to fall for her in the first place.
Not a Date: Thanks to Keima's incurable blindness, or defense mechanism, we have whole new variants. He was manipulated, and then punished, into the date with two, or three depending on how one looks at it, different girls at the same time.
Nothing Is the Same Anymore: The conclusion of the Goddess Arc. To articulate, Hell's terrorists tried to overtake Earth. Six of the girls in the story not only remember their time with Keima but now know of each other and the Goddesses they host. Chihiro, though not remembering her conquest, knows of the truth about the girls after having her heart broken by Keima in order to protect her. And lastly, Keima cries alone as he apologies to Chihiro for leading her on and then breaking her heart so fiercely. When the Heart of Jupiter arc begins, people actually start dying.
Not Now, Kiddo: In FLAG 257, Tenri was interrupted when trying to explain to the other goddess hosts about Keima's third letter. It was because Shoutaro Shiratori got an alert that something happened to Dokuro/Nikaido.
Not What It Looks Like: Used when Haqua and Keima get into an argument about who clung to whom in the theater for her visual report. The two of them fight using the microphone to revise it until it breaks, leaving a perverted iteration of the event on display. Elsie is not happy she was alone while the two of them were apparently doing This and That.
Used again when Tenri sees Haqua "mounted" on Keima. Diana swaps over with Tenri and begins to punish him for cheating on Tenri.
Yui, a true ojou-sama.
Oblivious to Love: Unbeknownst to Keima Katsuragi, he is the subject of numerous unrequited crushes.
Ocular Gushers: Chapter 78: Not the "spraying" type, but Keima bawled enough to form a small pond when he lost to Diana in Shogi despite intending to win.
Elsie may not cry rivers, but she tends to get teary a LOT.
Odd Friendship: Despite themselves, during one of the present chapters during the Heart of Jupiter arc, Tsukiyo and Shiori somehow manage to quickly become friends. Shiori thinks Tsukiyo is cute and neat and thinks of herself as low class and unrefined, while Tsukiyo thinks of Shiori as being incredibly knowledgeable and herself as a weirdo who introduces her doll to people.
Odd-Shaped Panel: Chapter 149 has two pages with the panels laid out in the form of books.
Before that, he went through a magnificent one, on par with Enel, when Nora crushed his most precious thing. The page also features the biggest mouth ever drawn in the manga, and that's saying something.
Nora, then, only needed one more page to react accordingly.
The face Keima makes once he realizes just how much being in the body of a girl with a Weiss for so long has affected him is noteworthy, because it is one of the few situations in real life that have truly shocked him to his core. See it here. It's so bad it leads to an epic breakdown, until he runs into Mio.
Ojou Ringlets: Tsukiyo. Also Lime (one of Kanon's ex-bandmates in Citron), who has a truly impressive pair of drill-curls.
Omake: There are a lot which either: expands the main story, gives a quick look on the daily lives of characters, or just for fun.
FLAG 94, "Kokkuri 2", makes the cast Animated Actors and announces the anime. The chapter after this implies that it was Keima's day dream.
One-Gender Race: Dokuro says offhandedly that there are no guys left after the end of the war. Whether this is entirely literal is unknown.
One Steve Limit: Played with. There are two "Ryou"s; one is a delinquent while the other is Nora's buddy. Although "Ryou" the delinquent's full given name is Ryousuke.
The Runaway Spirits are first implied to be the ghosts of dead human criminals, but later turn out to be devils called Weiss, who have had almost all of their power drained away. In order to restore themselves they inhabit the body of a girl and feed off their negative emotions. Old women, despite any negative emotions they may be feeling, will not grant a runaway spirit any power. If they gain enough power, the runaway spirit will be reborn. If not, if the girl bears a child the runaway spirit will be reborn like that instead.
It is unclear how the Kanon spin-off fits into the main continuity, but her story introduces Stray Spirits, a type of runaway spirit implied to be vengeful human ghosts taking the form of devils. Rather than hiding in a host to be reborn, they go about causing mischief relating to a grudge they had in life.
The Jupiter sisters are the spirits of six goddesses, trying to achieve rebirth much in the same way as the Weiss, except feeding off of love rather than negative emotions.
Our Monsters Are Weird: The Weiss seem to be comprised of multiple demonic subspecies. The most common type seems to be some sort of humanoid bird, but their appearances can vary dramatically, from a cloud with a face to a spider with hands.
Ouroboros: Keima uses this as a metaphor for how effect has become cause and the past has become the future thanks to the Stable Time Loop that set up his misadventures.
Panty Shot: Surprisingly rare for a Harem series, but there are a few.
Pass the Popcorn: Elsea does this in chapter 158, during a situation where Keima could really use an ally.
People Jars: What the squad uses to imprison runaway spirits. They can also contain people and shrink to a convenient size.
Personality Powers: Each girl who harbors a spirit also tends to acquire an unconscious power to match, like an idol afraid of being ignored turning invisible or a school librarian being able to read and memorize every book in the library.
The Plan: Goido Yui Arc: Keima, despite slowly turning feminine to the point of getting into Otome Gamesnote Like Bishojo Games, but with boys; for female players instead., turned it around to his favor by gleaning a heroine's point of view from them, which is exactly what he'd been in need of. It then backfired because now Yui is trying to capture him. She might have a different reason for him than the one Keima (and readers, by extension) sees, but considering the yonkoma, it's very possible that she simply wants Keima to be her bride. Turns out that was the case.
Playing Doctor: After discovering her grandfather's porn magazines, Urara wants to "experiment" with Keima. Later revealed to be an Invoked Trope by Keima as part of a Batman Gambit to meet Urara's grandfather.
Poke the Poodle: Elsie just really isn't all that good at being a demon, and her attempts at being evil usually just end up being funny or adorable.
The Power of Love: It seals the deal in the whole ordeal. By making girls fall in love with him, Keima can then drive evil spirits out of their hearts.
It is also revealed that the goddess Diana is powered by her host Tenri's love. Played with when Keima asks how she is not embarrassed to admit this.
The same goes for her sisters.
Powers via Possession: Humans associated with a supernatural being acquire some special abilities, such as the ability to see what is Invisible to Normals. Those who are possessed by the Weiss are able to subconsciously tap into their power even further. Shiori was able to memorize every book in her library, Kanon became invisible when she felt unnoticed, and Hinoki was seemingly magnified in size.
The Problem with Licensed Games: An In-Universe example. In FLAG 211, kid!Keima plays a Dating Sim featuring Kanon as a main character. When she asks what he thought of the game, he bluntly tells her that the game was crappy but the song was great. Considering that the soundtrack was probably the extent of her participation in the game's development and how Serious BusinessDating Sims are for Keima, Kanon took it as a compliment.
Protective Charm: Among the many defensive measures Shiratori sets up at his fortress against Devils are a bunch of holy charms. Needless to say, they prove to be nothing more than superstition as the Devils No Sell and Curb Stomp all mortal opposition.
Proud to Be a Geek: Keima has explained, several times, that he is perfectly happy to be a Dating Sim otaku, and tends to get angry at anyone who would suggest otherwise.
Pro Wrestling Episode: The Nagase-Sensei arc has a lot to do with her wrestling hero and how she strives to be just like him.
The band 2-B Pencils; the initial members are from class 2-B and 2B is a grade of pencil. "Pencils" is pronounced as "enpitsu" in Japanese, which sounds like "NPC", so the band could be called "to be NPCs".
"Elsie" (NPC) and "Haqua" (Hacker)
Put on a Bus: Elsie for Kanon's second arc, for at least 40 chapters. Though she appeared in a few chapters, she was effectively written out of the plot and didn't return until the arc was over.
"Rashomon"-Style: Chapters 11 and 12 use a variant. Chapter 11 follows a day in Elsie's life, then chapter 12 follows the same day in Keima's life. Neither sees the whole of what's going on, but the audience does. S1 Episode 8 of the anime not only corresponds with this storyline, but expands on it with short segments focusing on the perspective of Mari Katsuragi, the dragon Elsie accidentally unleashed, and even the Bento monster.
Reality Ensues: Turns out that an idol passionately declaring her love for you has negative social consequences. Unlike in the world of games. Also, setting up a perfect plan to date 5 girls at the same day doesn't work well in real life.
Reasonable Authority Figure: Played with. Kodama lets his students follow their (bizarre) hobbies if they get 100% on tests. He's fair, his challenge is possible, and it still makes the kids get an education... but the only reason he was so happy and actually let the students make their clubs was that that Keima finally didn't get a 100%. He has Keima's less-than-perfect test framed and hung on the wall.
The first half of chapter 224 is Keima recapping the politics of history of New Hell in order to avoid having to get a much wordier explanation from Dokurou. She pauses and then continues with his summary in order to give out some plot coupons such as making it clear to Keima that he is at least as responsible for having to capture runaway spirits as she is.
The Teaser of the first episode of season 3 briefly recaps the plot of the first two seasons and also the other arcs that haven't been animated.
Redshirt Army: Shiratori's elite soldiers he hired to guard the fortress he was constructing. Then again they were trying to fight devils. Good thing there was a reset and that timeline isn't part of the main timeline.
Refuge in Audacity: During Jun's conquest Keima realizes that people at school think of him as "problem child"/"the weirdest weirdo", a reputation that he later uses to his advantage to get away with some outlandish stuff like bashing his whole class into supporting Jun or walking around with dolls in elaborate dresses or making odd requests to random people.
Reincarnation: When a human dies, their soul gets pulled to Hell for purification. Then, their soul gets sent to Heaven to prepare them for reincarnation. Finally, they are reborn again in the human world.
And now this comes back in Chapter 169, when it's revealed that the entire Maijima High has a connection to the goddess Demeter.
In FLAG 35, the documentary show Mari and Elsie are watching is called "The Awakening of Chronos", named after Chronos the Greek Prôtogenos god and personification of time.
The goddesses, the Jupiter sisters, are named after their predecessor relatives from the Roman Pantheon who are also half of the members of the Dii Consentes.
In the anime Keima's handheld console(s) from 10 years ago is called "GAME GAIA", named after Gaia the primordial goddess of and personification of the Earth.
Remembered I Could Fly: After a fruitless search for an invisible Kanon, Elsie remembers she can track her through the spirit sensor. An irritated Keima points out she should have remembered that earlier.
The Remnant: Vintage. It's revealed that the remnants are actually rooted deeply in New Hell, and that a Chief of the Runaway Squad is a member, as well as many others. Although the Chief is still on Haqua's side, helping her run away and all...
Reset Button: In-Universe example. The orb Keima is given before he goes to the past has four bars on it. When he failed the mission once, the mission resets to when he started and one bar disappears. Nothing is known what should happen should he end up Out of Continues.
Keima refuses Diana's suggestion to wed Tenri and adds that it was all an act.
Diana: A kiss is something... that is done only with the person you spend the rest of your life with. I'll make you take responsibility for it!note As in, you'll marry Tenri...and me! (Transitive property at work)
Upon learning that Keima courts other girls to make them fall in love with him...and that it all finishes with a kiss.
Diana: ...Tenri, you dummy... Why did you kiss that guy... It was also... my first...
Saw It In A Game Once: How Keima operates in the early part of the manga, basing his relationship plots on his games.
Schizo Tech: Overall, New Hell is significantly more advanced than the human world, but it's filled with all sorts of anachronisms. For example, New Devils that are unable to fly use flying craft in the shape of old fashioned sail boats. Justified, since New Devils live much longer than humans, and while they have kept up with human development with their own brand of Magitech, the generations haven't shifted significantly.
School Uniforms are the New Black: The Maijima High School uniform has a high-class flair to it. Quite reasonable given that the whole school underwent a complete overhaul around 10 years ago and that it used to be an all-girls school. On the other hand, the Misato East High School's girls uniform is the good ol' fashioned Sailor Fuku.
Sealed Evil in a Can: The old devils, the former rulers of Hell, were sealed away; now that they've managed to break free, they must be recaptured... using cans (jars to be exact, but still played pretty literal).
Security Cling: Some of the girls did this with Keima: notably KanonManga FLAG 10 At the day of her concert, still feeling inadequate of her own abilities, she rammed and glomped himFLAG 115 Still afraid from being almost shot last night, she saw a hooded figure in the hallway and clung to him wanting someone to rely on, Shiorinote At the end of her arc, she glomped Keima when the lights went out, HaquaManga FLAG 24 She glomped Keima when she heard a noiseFLAG 125 Keima did a Cry into Chest to her after she saved him from being seduced by Yui by kicking him in the face
Subverted in FLAG 213.note Elsie clings to the seven year old Keima after defeating a Vintage agent.
Serious Business: Keima's inner argument about what should be in the ideal galge. It went from simple suggestions flowing through his head, to a riot breaking out in front of the Capitol Building as the Ruling Party and the Opposition, up to an interstellar war just from his inner debate on what the galge should be like.
The chapter about the bugged gal game also fits. In fact, all aspects of gal games are serious business to Keima, and even represent truth.
Keima's inner argument returns to determine how to prioritize the Gal Games. From a parent spending QT with his children, to a live broadcast of the political debate in the National Diet of Japan to set what will be Priority A, then to a coup d'état with a new, extreme ideology... It all ends humorously.
When the sports festival comes round, Nikaido and Kodama start acting like it's life-or-death, much to their students' confusion. Turns out they had a bet on.
Shinigami: Demons are not known to actually escort the dead, but they are the guardians of the afterlife and the Scythe of Testament is one of the highest honors a demon can receive.
Ship Tease: Chapters 11, 12, 102 and 103 all tease Elsie with Keima quite strongly.
Multiple girls get teased with Keima; if we discount the times where he is actually trying to capture girls, Haqua and Tenri/Diana are the biggest offenders. Chihiro has been grinding too: apparently she's the only one who can lay Keima so low with just a few words. Ayumi has been getting moments as well, including the first 'Real' Flag that Keima has noticed, or at least pointed out. On the other hand, the ship-teasing is also used to hint at the presence of goddesses within capture targets, which muddies the waters.
Chapters 105-106 can be considered REVERSE ship tease if you look at it this way. Keima's date with Haqua and Tenri/Diana is completely wrecked and he tries to get it over with as fast as possible. Compare it to the one in the previous chapter where he goes on the date to cheer up Elsie and actually tries to make her feel better (despite ruining any romantic interaction Elsie wanted), which goes MUCH better. He DID say Elsie was the only one he could put up with.
Chihiro, throughout the Mercury conquest of the Goddess arc, overloaded with the Ship Tease towards Keima to make the Love Triangle with Ayumi at the time an absolute mess; even being confirmed to be a girl like Tenri who'd liked Keima before her original conquest arc had even occurred. And she has no Goddess in her to convolute her feelings towards Keima. Suddenly, you look back at Chapter 28, the start of her conquest arc, where it just so happens that Elsie's Weiss detector goes off for Chihiro the moment after Keima makes a negative comment about her, and you realize...it makes perfect sense!
As for where this goes after Keima was led to coldly rejecting her full blown confession in Chapter 166 so that he could move on to awakening Ayumi's Goddess...who knows.
The situation with Chihiro actually made Keima shed tears for her. That's the first real girl who's made him cry. After the Goddess arc is over, Keima was absent a week from school; it is implied by Tenri this is to avoid the other hosts, but most likely, he did this to avoid Chihiro.
Shoo Out the Clowns: Played straight, though justified, with Elsea. She's absent during much of the Re-Conquest arc's events, but that's because she's doing her own part to keep things running smoothly.
Single Issue Psychology: The "gaps of the heart" Keima's supposed to fill with love are usually pretty singular neuroses, but it's justified in that the gaps are only such a huge issue because of the spirit inside of them, which exaggerates that gap to take over the person.
Single Tear: Keima breaks into one at the epilogue of the Goddess Arc.
Six Deadly Sins: The "Six Great Sins of a Heroine". Things that reduce game heroine "value", for Keima: Gluttony, Adultery (Lust), Wrath, Greed, Pride, and Sloth. Apparently, meangreenjealousy (Envy) is an exception... in the games.
Slumber Party: In FLAG 190, the goddesses (and by proxy their hosts) have one in Tsukiyo's Astronomy Club room.
Smooch of Victory: The entire point is for Keima to get the girl to kiss him to get rid of spirits, although it isn't the only way. Also, Hinoki makes out with Keima after her spirit is already gone, much to everyone's - especially Keima's - terror.
Soul Power: Magic is derived from an individual's spiritual power. Hell acquires energy to power their society by purifying the souls of dead humans. The Weiss discovered that by fattening human souls with evil, they could generate a lot of extra spiritual energy, especially if the human soul is still part of a living being. This led them to try to conquer the human realm and convert it into a soul farm.
Spell My Name with an "S": Haqua is the official spelling of her name according to Wakaki-sensei, and Elsie is the official spelling of Elsea de lute Irma's nickname. Variations like Hakua and Elsee are not uncommon. And yet the spellings "Hakua" and "Elsea" have been used in the manga as well. ("Elsea" on various chapter title pages, "Hakua" on the back of volume 3 where she makes her debut.)
Spock Speak: Keima's way of speaking in more or less only gal game terms can confuse anyone who is not very used to his speech patterns or doesn't know gal games well. This scene happens after Keima says that he wants to cheer Elsie up in his own way.
Spoiled Brat: Unarguably, Keima Katsuragi. He has 6 LCD TVs, 6+ home videogame consoles, 10+ portable PFPs, and a collection of gal games... in his own personal game library. And where does this all come from? Well, the "M funds". Also, the restaurant where he buys burgers in chapter 96 actually exists. And surprisingly, it's called "Fatburger". Now, from the information collected in the chapter, we can calculate how much he spent from his allowance (depending on which size he bought).
If small (Baby Fat): $2.99 X 250 = $745.5 USD If medium (Fatburger): $4.49 x 250 = $1122.5 USD
Stable Time Loop: Keima Katsuragi is sent to the past specifically to create one. Dokuro Skull was trying to save the world from Vintage, and their true masters, Satyr. In order to guarantee success, Dokuro arranged events so that out of all the possible futures, one where the world is successfully saved would send a messenger, The Chosen One, back in time to ensure that particular future occurs.
The Stool Pigeon: It was Haqua's friend, Shari, who sold her out to Vintage. While she may not have known exactly what they were up to, she was aware that Vintage wanted to replace a local district chief with one of their own agents and directed their attention towards Haqua, thereby protecting her own position and avoiding Vintage's wrath. It is unclear how much she regrets this, but her face does have shades of My God, What Have I Done?.
Happens with regular frequency in the anime, particularly with Elsie.
Super Toughness: Demons are much tougher than humans. Haqua has managed to shrug off falling from a great height and being bashed into a railing hard enough to bend it. Dokuro has survived falling from the top of a mast completely unscathed and being smashed into a wall hard enough to leave cracks with only minor bleeding.
Supreme Chef: Keima, at least when it comes to Coffee. People who drink it say all other coffee is like mud in comparison.
Surrounded by Idiots: Despite encountering people able to read a whole library, centennial devils who aced their exams and goddesses who are at least several millennia old, Keima is never challenged intellectually. Even worse, despite seeing through his tricks and manipulations, some girls are still falling for him, even when it's obvious he's putting up a persona to please them.
Elsie: Maybe you're mistaking him with somebody else? Kanon: Mistaking with... Elsie: Y-Yeah. It must all be some kind of mistake. All the meeting and talking... And kissing!
Swallowed Whole -> Journey to the Center of the Mind -> Battle in the Center of the Mind: In order to rescue Hinoki, Keima wraps Kusunoki with the hagoromo as a capsule, saying to Hinoki that it's a cure to make her smaller again (when asked what it actually is, he says it's a medicine for constipation) and tricks her into swallowing them. Then, it is revealed that they're actually inside Hinoki's runaway spirit, and they venture into the darkness to find Hinoki.
Take-That Kiss: Done twice in the Heart of Jupiter arc. To get back at Keima for humiliating her at the pool, Kaori adds kissing scenes in the Romeo and Juliet competition scripts, knowing it'll bother him. Keima complains.
Keima: This isn't the sort of thing you can use in excess. Kaori: Since you teased me in the pool, I was just messing with you. Keima-Kun, could it be that you don't know how to do it? It goes like this... [mockingly kisses Keima] Keima: What are you doing?! Kaori: You may be smart... but you're no good at this sort of thing, huh? Kaori: Hey Keima-Kun, do you know why I'm interseted in you? It's because you and I are cut from the same cloth. You're planning something, right? You're using that cute, little Tenri-Chan. You're a terrible person Keima-Kun. Keima:[stern look]Look who's talking!! [kisses Kaori in the same mocking manner]
Tanabata: The 58th Annual Maijima Shrine Tanabata Festival.
Teacher/Student Romance: In one arc, Keima had to court his 21-year-old teacher, who thinks him a genius but troubled kid. Then she kissed him.
Tempting Fate: Chapter 28 has a notable example. Keima rants "That real girl! There is absolutely no way I would even be concerned about her!" Cue Elsie's spirit sensor going off.
Chapter 154, when Ayumi is at his house while he's sick:
Keima: (thinking) A visiting event is a treasure trove of plus routes. No matter how you stumble about, there's no way to fail! Right here, in one go... I will max out Ayumi's love points! *cue doorbell*
After a terrible first encounter with Kanon due to her use of a stun gun, Keima hopes never to have to run into her again. Then Elsie's loose soul meter begins beeping...
Terminally Dependent Society: The three realms, Earth, Hell, and Heaven are all part of a cycle of life, death, and rebirth respectively. Heaven and Hell rely on the Soul Power generated by human souls to power their society. But due to the increasing lifespans in the human world, human souls spend a proportionately lower amount of time in the afterlife, resulting in a shortage of souls powering Heaven and Hell. The problems this has been causing Heaven have not been shown, but Hell is becoming ever more strapped for resources and their society is finding The Dark Side an ever stronger temptation.
Terrible Artist: When Keima tries drawing something, this is how it comes out. It may run in the family; his grandfather's attempt at a picture of one of Keima's dating sim heroines is just as bad.
Akari says his drawings are better than hers. Though considering she's an undercover New Devil, this could be a lie.
Throw It In: In-Universe. In Flag 244, when Keima and Tenari are about to perform Romeo and Juliet's famous balcony scene Keima tells her to forget the script, for they won't use fictional words to win. During the performance Romeo!Keima says the reason he cannot be with Juliet!Tenri isn't their feuding families but because he is a time traveler, and then rises up on a floating spacecraft.
Time Crash: Triggered in FLAG 260 when the time travel device is destroyed. With the past and present Keimas unable to return to their native time periods, the present world breaks, leaving an empty white void, while the past freezes. Since there's no longer a present for Elsie to come from, she disappears... but Keima doesn't switch back. The goddess hosts, meanwhile, find themselves alone in the void, save for present!Keima's unconscious body. This is, interestingly enough, a safety mode to allow the goddess hosts to set things right - without it, the present world would have simply disappeared.
Time for Plan B: In Flag 248 Keima stops Kaori from activating her Plan B, to stop Vintage from winning, because he needs Vintage to win just enough they don't realize his interference, but fail overall. All in order to preserve the timeline.
Title Drop: Keima in s1 episode 12 and Dokuro in ch 215. As Dokuro explains, the rules of cause and effect are not absolute. Katsuragi comes from a future that made it possible for him to go into the past to create the future he came from, even though it wouldn't have happened without it in the first place. In order to save the world, he must cause a Stable Time Loop to create the future he knows as opposed to the one that could have happened if he hadn't traveled through time.
Took a Level in Jerkass: Keima to Chihiro. After it's revealed that Chihiro doesn't remember her conquest, Keima tries to sever ties with her to begin with Ayumi. He does this by saying that the date was just a sham, reducing her to tears. He then immediately tries to conquer Ayumi (who was within earshot). She pummels him and calls him the worst. He agrees.
True Companions: The Jupiter Sisters, it turns out, are not actual sisters. They were selected for their power and the bond the six shared, and inherited the names of ancient goddesses. The bond is so important that if one of the six dies, all of them are replaced.
Tsundere: Let's see.... We have Keima himself, Ayumi, Mio, Kusunoki, Chihiro, Tsukiyo, Diana, Haqua.... we can say that roughly half of the cast has had their moment.
Two-Person Love Triangle: A weird take on the theme, since it's a full-fledged type 3Love Triangleas well. Diana also eventually reveals she has fallen in love with Keima, which complicates matters greatly (in her opinion) since her guilt for loving the same man Tenri loves is what's been preventing Diana from growing her wings. However they are both very timid with their own feelings and Keima is... well, Keima.
And this, by the way, makes two different type 3 love triangles with just three people total. Yes, I know it's mathematically impossible. But Keima is a cheater.
Furthermore, we have Keima and Yui managing a two person love quadrangle withoutSharing a Body with anyone, with added Screw Yourself thrown in for good measure without actual duplicates.
Uncanny Valley: The Akari arc, about a girl trying to make a robot human, deals with this In-Universe. Keima gives the robot a face and everyone loves it. Akari gives it a plastic human head from the anatomy lab and everyone freaks out.
The Underworld: Hell is Another Dimension that has alternatively been referred to as The Underworld. When humans die, their souls end up in Hell for purification, without any discrimination based on whether they have been good or bad. Hell is always dark, and the only source of light is demonic magic.
Unprovoked Pervert Payback: Keima is helping Haqua make an After Action Report with a supernatural simulation device which uses dolls to represent people. Haqua is annoyed with Keima, and tells the simulation that he is a pervert. When, in response, doll-Keima starts molesting doll-Haqua, Haqua starts beating up the real Keima, even though she KNOWS how the simulation works, and was the one who said he was a pervert in the first place.
Unwanted Harem: In this case, it's unwanted by both sides; Keima doesn't like 3D girls and the girls themselves are very embarrassed suddenly being attracted to him. The study-group episode lampshaded it.
Unfortunately for Keima, the end of the Goddesses Arc ultimately results in this.
Vapor Wear: The Kasuga sisters play this trope with valid excuses.
Villainous Breakdown: Kaori after she gets collared. It subsides relatively quickly after Keima shows up, but she enters another and apparently stays there after Keima rebukes her arguements in the following chapter.
We Need a Distraction: Keima is caught up in Yui's charms during episode 2 of season 3, and is unable to think clearly due to all the weird emotions building up in him at the time. Fortunately for him, Haqua inadvertently rescues him by kicking him in the head after watching Yui show a bit too much interest in him.
FLAG 174 / episode 10 of season 3. Lune has assembled a team to capture one of the Goddesses hosts during the Mai High Festival. However, she doesn't know who that girl is. The solution? Order her minions to capture all of the girls Keima's conquered before at the festival! This forces Keima's hand regarding his conquering of Ayumi.
FLAG 214 has Keima and Elsie finding Urara's grandfather Half the Man He Used to Be, but still alive, getting discovered by Vintage, and Dokurou ripping and squashing said Vintage members apart with her bare hands. Very messily. Dokurou then reveals she knows about Keima's mission, telling him the current timeline will lead to a bad future, and triggers the Reset Button to give him another chance.
FLAG 260. After the intense and brutal fight last chapter between Lune and Nikaido/Dokuro, the plot doesn't waste time into making everything even worse. The orbbreaks. Time Crashes.
For those who previously thought that Keima's capture targets have forgotten, this line from FLAG 115:
Kanon: I haven't forgotten about you, Keima-kun. I remember everything...
Chihiro's last line to Keima in chapter 155. "I like you."
The previous line is overshadowed in WHAM-ness in the very next chapter.
Ayumi: I heard you.
Also in 165...
Chihiro:Please be gentle. It's my first time.
Chihiro just seems to be a machine for these. As seen in Chapter 181.
Chihiro:Ayumi, did you know? Katsuragi is a lying bastard!
Ayumi to Keima after the Goddess recapture arc in chapter 192:
Ayumi:Who are you?note Thankfully this was an Alternate Universe and not Keima's real world.
The second time that Keima tries and fails to save a suicidal girl (thanks to a "Groundhog Day" Loop), he asks her to tell him her name before time resets again. Her answer?
FLAG 266 gives us two.
The first one is said early on and with such nonchalance that one may require a double take for it:
Elsie: Also, it was really hard to stop time.
...But then we get to Wham Line number two, which is easily the biggest one in the entire manga:
Elsie: You're right! It looks like I was the "last boss"!
FLAG 267: The final words of the chapter:
Keima: Chihiro... I love you.
What Happened to the Mouse?: The apparently rushed ending seems to leave a very significant number of questions unanswered and plot threads unresolved; in particular Lune's whereabouts, Keima's still Disappeared Dad, and more importantly how Satyr was able to use Elsie for their plans.
With added Freeze-Frame Bonus: this page on FLAG 263, particularly the part of Ayumi's profile which mentions something about Chihiro's Notes. Even after the end of the story, the said part was not revealed, but was nonetheless brushed aside due to the events of the final two FLAGs.
What the Hell, Hero?: In episode 9 of season 3, after Keima finds out Chihiro doesn't have a goddess in her, he rejects her in a very rude manner. Unknown to him, Ayumi was nearby spying on them, and immediately knees him in the groin after witnessing his rebuff.
When All You Have Is a Hammer: Keima, being a JerkAssOtaku gamer, does not know how to interact with people well, let alone build romantic relationships with real world girls. So when he is tasked to capture their hearts to catch runaway spirits, he uses his extensive knowledge of dating sim scenarios to produce the desired effects. Adding his good looks only makes him more effective... most ofthe time anyway. As he puts it himself, since humans usually go to battle using weapons they are familiar with, he will follow the tenets of games in his battle in the real world.
White Void Room: Where the goddesses, their hosts, Keima's body, the machine in the Akanemaru and Luna ended up when time crashed.
Wholesome Crossdresser: Keima, for the sake of capturing Yui. He does it again later on to conceal his identity while trying to spoil one of Vintage's plans.
Who Writes This Crap?!: Keima on Diana's story in chapter 80: "The plot gets worse the more I hear about it. Coming to me to force a discussion about this? No-one would buy a game with such a poor, cliched setting."
As of chapter 187, Diana has used her wings to fly, whisking the newly-awakened Mercury out of Keima's to fight Vintage.
Wistful Amnesia: The girls lose their original memories of Keima after being exorcised... yet tend to blush or react in a similar fashion when they next see Keima, even though they don't know why. It turns out that the girls' memories are sloppily revised with Fake Memories by the Hades Government.
Haqua: One second, Katsuragi. What's the meaning of this... You ignore me while I was nude, but you're interested in Nora!? Keima:Come again? Cue severe beating and lots of Baka.
Also Nora. Good Lord, Nora.
Keima starts using this tactic as of chapter 119 to locate goddess candidates among his capture targets, including Ayumi, who called him Katsuragi-kun right before shooting him off like a missile(note: girls adding -kun to the end of a certain boy's name shows that 1, she's known him for a while, (which most girls never use, including Ayumi, this instance excluded ), and 2, she's emotionally attached to him) and Chihiro, who dumped her coffee on him.
Chihiro seems to have become this as evidenced in Chapter 181, but it was her way of removing herself from the love triangle.
Working Through The Cold: Keima had to do this trying to determine whether it was Ayumi or Chihiro who had Mercury. Unfortunately it did not go as well as he would have wanted it.
Write What You Know: Done with the manga itself (the mangaka was a gamer) and in-universe with Shiori, who is encouraged to do this by Keima.
Xanatos Speed Chess: Keima is definitely a master of this, becoming obvious during the Goddess Arc. He is able to turn any situation that goes against him, such as rumors of him dating Kanon to his advantage, as with Kanon, he used it to say that the rumors were false, and that he only loved the girl that he was talking to at that moment.
Yandere: Kanon has hints of this during her capture. Notably, she tasers Keima for his lack of interest.
Aoba Fuse (from the light novels) is shown to have blue hair.
You Meddling Kids: Subverted in Chapter 101. The meganekko New Devil Fiore questions how the Runaway Spirit Squad foiled her attempt to resurrect a spirit, asking "Why are these kids hindering my plan...?" What she doesn't know is that they weren't the ones to capture the spirit...
Keima and Co. succeed in their goal of the Goddess Arc, but Apollo protected herself from Vintage's spell by essentially putting herself into magical stasis, and now they need to find Mercury to break that spell.
And then Keima tries to see whether Ayumi or Chihiro has the last goddess. He tries first with Chihiro, only to learn she doesn't have the goddess, while shortly after we see Ayumi conversing with the last goddess.