Tate Karito is a freelance bodyguard and former operative of the National Police Agency's Special Assault Team, who's a bit of a Secret Keeper
, and has a high-tech artificial metal arm that serves as his weapon of choice. With a shady past and a penchant for protecting anyone, so long as they solve his bosses' riddles and can pay his fee, Tate follows whatever path is laid before him.
This series provides examples of:
- Artificial Limbs
- As the Good Book Says: Zero does not quote directly from the bible, but his monologues have biblical motifs.
Zero: God created Adam from a lump of earth; Eve was created from Adam's rib. Death is nothing but returning to the start of life. Therefore, I mutter prayers... "Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust".
- Bad Ass: Tate, obviously. Zero can qualify, even if he IS a bad guy.
- In later chapters, many, many characters qualified. Even Anna has her moment, too.
- Badass Grandpa: Sakakai Souhei, the old sniper who managed to Scope Snipe while dying, and with a comparatively outdated rifle to boot
- Badass Longcoat: sported by Tate, Zero, and Jesus.
- Barehanded Blade Block: Tate does this with bullets, thanks to his Artificial Limbs.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Tate's got a blade hidden and ready to use if his robotic arm is out of use.
- Bullet Catch: more like "deflecting", but close enough.
- But Not Too Foreign: Anna is half-Japanese, half-Sicilian
- Chain Letter: The concept of this was explained by a corrupt police superintendent on how "Angel" obtains its manpower.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Hitomi-chan. An actual gunman, no less.
- Chick Magnet: Tate.
- Comic Book Fantasy Casting / Expy: Zero looks exactly like Jean Reno/Leon in The Professional. Chihiro looks like Rei with black hair and Genki Girl tendencies.
- Crossover: Some characters appear in Until Death Do Us Part.
- Dirty Cop: Some of the police officers Tate meet are corrupt, working in an organization called "Angel" as they sell evidence from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police's evidence vault to criminals. One of them tries to coerce a young detective to join them before he was killed. But not all of them are bad as a few of them are forced to join "Angel".
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Averted. Tate is so respected in the SAT that he was allowed to be in one of their exercises as an Op-For. He's also a legendary bodyguard in the criminal underworld.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: The National Police Agency's Special Assault Team. And yes, they're the elite civilian anti-terrorist/crime unit. Like most elite military/police units, their names are protected so no one knows who they are.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Zero helping out an ex-hacker by killing the yakuza group after being kidnapped.
- Uno, an ex-JGSDF soldier who specializes in hunting humans in his officer days, puts down his K-9 dog after being wounded by Tate. He has less respect for humans, however.
- Evil Counterpart: Zero to Tate. He's not really evil though. Jesus joins in later on, still not really evil. It's just a case of one side being the shield and the other side being the spear. Their philosophies also contrast each other in that one side vows to never kill while the other will kill whenever it's deemed necessary.
- Fair Cop: Youko, with a dash of Cowboy Cop.
- Feels No Pain: Zero
- Blessed with Suck: Zero actually tells Tate that he's jealous of him because he can still feel.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: Angel, a Living Lie Detector, has this effect on most people she met as she reveals their darkest desires and lies. She's also able to break their minds, apparently.
- Harmful to Minors: Zero's past. His family was killed in cold blood, and he became a hitman in order to exact revenge of the murderers.
- Heel-Face Turn: Chihiro
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: Zero, Jesus and Aki. Friends today, enemies tomorrow describes their relationship with Tate perfectly.
- Living Lie Detector: Angel. No, not the group. Her.
- Millennium Bug: Koumoto Youji was originally hired to prevent damage from it.
- My Hero Zero
"They call him 'Zero'. Zero blood, zero body temperature, that kind of derivation."
- Punch Clock Villain: Zero. He'll stop at nothing to kill his target, but he'll drop whatever it is he's doing if his employer cancels the contract or became unable to pay him.
- Scope Snipe: How Hitomi-chan is killed
- Ship Tease: Tate and Youko, Tate and Anna (though he sees it more as a father-daughter relationship... probably), Tate and Angel.
- Show Some Leg
- Sniper Duel: part of the aptly-named "Sniper's Requiem" arc.
- The Stoic: Tate
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Tate's creed. Until you push his Berserk Button.
Tate: I will not kill, nor will I assist in anything leading to killing....