[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/arcana_heart_bonus350_4379.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:This is not the cover of a dating sim.]]

Many years ago, the human world and the Elemental World coexisted peacefully, but were forcibly separated by a dimensional barrier. However, somewhere above Tokyo, there is someone actively working to break down the barrier and merge the two worlds once again, which could bring disastrous consequences to all of Earth. A handful of maidens have been given the power to communicate with elemental guardian spirits known as Arcana, which grant them the power to take the necessary steps to prevent this from happening.

This is the tale of ''Arcana Heart'', an [[ImprobablyFemaleCast all girls]] {{fighting game}} released in arcades and on the {{PlayStation 2}}. Apart from the roster of characters, this game's play mechanics are similar in some respects to ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'', with their emphasis on speed and combos, and the ability to take battles really high into the air. An updated version, entitled ''Arcana Heart FULL!'' addressed some character balancing issues (the regular and ''FULL!'' versions of each character are selectable in the home version).

There's also the sequel ''Arcana Heart 2'', and its enhanced remake ''Suggoi! Arcana Heart 2''. The latter got a [=PlayStation 2=] port of [[PortingDisaster questionable performance]].

''Arcana Heart 3'' was released December 2009. It was ported to {{PlayStation 3}} and {{Xbox 360}}. The game was published by Creator/ArcSystemWorks. The game is only available in North America through the {{PlayStation Network}}, while it received a disc release in Europe. The Japanese arcade version saw an UpdatedRerelease with ''Arcana Heart 3 Love MAX!!!!!'', which is mostly about re-balancing issues and a cosmetic update. ''Love MAX!!!!!'' was ported to [=PS3=] and {{PlayStation Vita}} with extra features such as an After Story scenario and Trial Mode. Another update, titled ''Arcana Heart 3: Love MAX SIX STARS!!!!!!'', will be released for Japanese arcades in Winter 2014. It will feature a new character, Minori, and a new Arcana (the Arcana of Blood).

The series is developed by Examu but has had various publishers: AQ Interactive (''1'' & ''2'', JP), Creator/{{Atlus}} (''1'', NA), [[Creator/ArcSystemWorks Arc System Works/Aksys Games]] (''3'', JP & NA), Zen United (''3'', EU), and [[Creator/NipponIchi NIS America]] (''Love MAX!!!!!'').

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!!Stand-by Angel! FIGHT!
* AllYourPowersCombined: Mildred Avalon.
* AnIcePerson: Zenia Valov in ''Arcana Heart 2'' uses the default Arcana of ice.
* AnimalMecha: Two of the new Arcana in ''3'', Gottfried and [[spoiler: Baldur]] are this. This is because [[spoiler: they are artificially created Arcana, as is the boss Ragnarok.]]
* AnimeChineseGirl: Mei-Fang, particularly in some of her winposes.
* AxCrazy: [[spoiler: Scharlachrot]] comes off as this.
* BadassLongcoat: Zenia, again.
* BattleButler: Fiona Mayfield.
* {{BFS}}: Fiona.
* BigBad: Mildred in the first game, and her older sibling, Angela Avalon in the second game. Interestingly, [[spoiler:Mildred]] serves as Angela's Arcana when she debuted.
* BigFancyHouse: Petra's stage. Of course, considering she's TheOjou.
* BlackMagicianGirl: Dorothy Albright in ''Arcana Heart 2''.
* BoobsOfSteel: Mei-Fang, almost literally.
* CastFromHitPoints: The main gimmick of Sorwat, Clarice's default Arcana.
* ChromosomeCasting: As noted in the description, the cast is all-female.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Heart Aino.
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard: At least for the semi-boss of Story Mode.
* CoolBigSis: Akane Inuwaka.
* CuteLittleFangs: Lilica.
* CuteWitch: Yoriko. Shy and bookish, but she carries a mean skeletal MagicWand.
* DarkIsNotEvil: Only in Yoriko's case. Her Arcana's element is evil, but she's really a good-natured witch (and friends with prankster half-demon Lilica, who is herself rather friendly and cheerful). Lieselotte, the Darkness Arcana holder, [[CreepyChild isn't so nice]]. In the sequel, Clarice di Lanza is a demonic nun and seems rather nice all around, and [[SayItWithHearts speaks with music tones.]]
* DeadpanSnarker: Saki.
* DisturbedDoves: One of Petra's winposes has her shoot one of her guns in the sky, and a flock of doves fly past her.
* {{Dojikko}}: Heart tends to fall down in the opening in her stage.
* DoppelgangerAttack: Two of Konoha's super attacks, a normal super and her [[LimitBreak Critical Heart]] in ''2''.
** Ditto for Akane.
* DoppelgangerSpin : Lilica uses "afterimage" (i.e. extreme speed) style doppelgängers in two of ''her'' supers.
* ElegantGothicLolita: ([[GratuitousGerman Obligatory German girl]]) Lieselotte practically ''defines'' this.
* ElementalPowers: In addition to the characters' standard attacks, the Arcana grant additional powers to the Maidens, and can be used interchangeably by anyone (though the characters all have their own preferred default Arcana).
* EmpathicWeapon: Yoriko's staff, who is actually a very powerful demon transformed into a staff.
* EnfanteTerrible: Kira Daidouji, who already has [[TakeOverTheWorld world domination]] aspirations at the tender age of 11. Lieselotte's pretty damn creepy, too, the way she carries her sister's soul in the body of a legless puppet and all.
* EverythingsBetterWithPenguins: Zenia's default Arcana, "Almacia", the [[AnIcePerson ice Arcana.]]
* EvilAlbino: Liesolette.
* ExtraOreDinary: Fiona's default Arcana, Orichalkos.
* ExtremityExtremist: Mostly on minor versions here. Saki and Akane mostly kick, and Zenia mostly punch. However, they also have one or two moves which involve their unused limbs.
* EyesAlwaysShut: Clarice, most of the time, unless she's not in a good mood.
* {{Fanservice}}: In large quality and quantity, mainly in moe archetypes. Compared to other fighting series known for fanservice, mainly ''VideoGame/DeadOrAlive'', it's pretty tame.
* FiveManBand: [[TheLeader Heart]], [[TheLancer Saki]], [[TheBigGuy Maori]], [[TheSmartGuy Yoriko]] and [[TheChick Lilica]]: as seen in Heart's ending and their dialogues, they are all classmates and great friends among each other.
* TheFourGods: Mei-Fang's moves.
* FragileSpeedster: Lilica.
* GenkiGirl: Heart and Lilica.
* AGodAmI - Look at the BigBad entry below.
* GratuitousForeignLanguage: The names of many of the Arcana attacks.
* GreenThumb: Konoha's default Arcana, Moriomoto.
* GunsAkimbo: Petra Johanna Lagerkvist in ''Arcana Heart 2''.
* HalfHumanHybrid: Lilica is an half-demon, Konoha is part-dog, and Akane has fox ears that she's somewhat embarrassed about.
* HeroicSacrifice: Surprisingly, ''Mike'' of all [[strike:people]] demons is implied to do one in Yoriko's bad ending (first game), shielding Yoriko and Lilica from the energy of the spirit world long enough for them to escape.
-->"Don't worry about me, [[BadassBoast even this much power is but a refreshing breeze to a demon king]]!"
* HeroOfAnotherStory: Everyone to each other in ''3'' because every single character ending is merely a short scene on how everyone is affected afterwards. And Elza's story ending takes place before the game even begins!
* HumongousMecha: Well not ''humongous'' per se, but the mech Catherine drives is fairly large (standing, it fills the vertical screen space)
** [[spoiler: Ragnarok, the final boss of ''Arcana Heart 3'', is a true humongous mecha. Sort of. It's actually an oversized artificial Arcana.]]
* IdiotHero: Heart, whose dialogue reveals her to be unbelievely dumb.
* ImprobableAge: Kira has a ''[[MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate Doctorate]]'', a freaking ''Ph.D'' at the age of ''[[FridgeLogic 11]]'' [[FridgeLogic years old]]. Catherine Kyoubashi one-ups her by getting her Ph.D at the age of ''10'' years old.
* ImprobableWeaponUser: Maori (and her sisters) uses an armory full of tops and giant paper cranes.
* ImprobablyFemaleCast
* InsufferableGenius: Kira. She's extremely intelligent, but also very arrogant and condescending.
* JackOfAllStats: Heart.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Mike, the self-proclaimed "demon king" sealed in Yoriko's staff. He's abrasive, boastful, and often callous (he's the one responsible for Yoriko's pact with the Death Arcana, which terrifies her)...but he's also intensely protective of Yoriko, and seems to cause her inconvenience only out of denseness.
* KamehameHadoken: Partinias' Ouranio Toxo. In the second game, Petra's Critical Heart.
* LightIsNotGood: Mildred's an angel, so her attacks are light-based versions of the Arcana users' attacks.
* LimitBreak: The Arcana Blazes, which can only be used in [[SuperMode Arcana Force mode]]. Critical Hearts in the second game also count.
* LoveFreak: Come on, her name is ''[[MeaningfulName Heart Ai]]''no''.
* {{Meido}}: Fiona.
* MightyGlacier: Kira is slow, because of her large blob, but deals a lot of damage with her grapple moves. Catherine, who was added in the second game, uses a mech instead.
** Fiona might also count. She's extremely slow (she does wear pieces of ''plate mail armor'' and carry around a sword larger than she is), but has very high HP and defense ratings, her Arcana's defense oriented and she hits like a truck with that sword.
* {{Miko}}: Maori (and her sisters).
* {{Ninja}}: Konoha.
* NunsAreMikos: Elsa and Clarice from the sequel. Elsa plays this straight, but Clarice is [[NaughtyNuns kinda naughty]].
* TheOjou: Petra.
* PantyShot: Surprisingly, for a fighting game like this, it's almost completely averted. The sole exception being one of Petra's supers, with the appropriate LampshadeHanging from Petra herself.
* PaperThinDisguise: Not with a mask, but Kamui thinks that a ponytail is going to hide the fact that she is the Thousand Years Protector. This despite the fact that she carries a katana wherever she goes.
* PetTheDog: Mildred seems to be quite kind to Fiona. She even points out that part of her [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans apocalpytic plan]] is actually intended to help Fiona (after all, Fiona being trapped in the spirit world won't matter when it's merged), and seems genuinely shocked and hurt when Fiona objects, regardless.
* PettingZooPeople: Konoha is a dog girl ninja with the cutest little ears to match.
** And ''Sugoi! Arcana Heart 2'' adds a [[ExtremityExtremist kick happy]] dog girl and a dog girl who is basically an {{expy}} of Nakoruru (complete with bird), mounted on a wolf with a staff. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_oRwjzxtj0 There.]]
* PlayboyBunny: Catherine's outfit. Or perhaps, better said: Swimsuit + Bunny Ears.
** Dorothy plays it straight in one of her special victory poses in 3.
* PlayingWithFire: Mei-Fang's default Arcana.
* ThePowerOfLove: Taken literally with Heart's default Arcana Partineas, the Arcana of Love that launches {{Energy Ball}}s and [[KamehameHadoken huge beams of sheer whoopass]].
* PowersAsPrograms: The Arcana.
* RapunzelHair - Yoriko, Kamui, Mildred, Weib, Scharlachrot, Petra, Clarice, Angelia, Saki, and Maori.
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: Kamui, being the "Thousand Years Protector", is protected by her Arcana so that she never ages physically.
* RobotGirl / AnimeChineseGirl: Mei-Fang.
* RomanticTwoGirlFriendship: Saki and Heart, and ''maybe'' Lilica and Yoriko; others are by one's own interpretation.
* RollerbladeGood: Lilica.
* {{Samurai}}: Kamui.
* SaveBothWorlds
* SecretCharacter: Fiona in the first game, [[spoiler: Scharlachrot]] in the third.
* SchoolSwimsuit: Kira wears one all the time, with the occasional lab coat over it. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that she fights while being waist-deep in a large blob that mimics her moves.
* SlipknotPonytail: Zenia, if you either beat her with a good attack or if you have a close call victory with her.
* ShoutOut: [[spoiler: Scharlachrot]] has two. A number of fans have compared one of her attacks with [[VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom2 the Omega Destroyer]], while on the character select screen she may mutter [[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion "Anta baka?"]]
** Eko's Critical Heart bears more than a passing resemblance to [[VideoGame/{{Touhou}} Oni Sign "Missing Power".]]
** One of the console trophies is named "Sword Summoner mark III." Mark I and II were used by Nu and Lambda in the ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' series.
** Some of the downloadable color palettes in ''Arcana Heart 3'' make references to ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'' and ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' ([=ASW=]'s other works). For example.
*** Saki's DLC 3 palette is [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Ky Kiske/Millia Rage]].
*** Clarice's DLC 3 palette is [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Bridget]].
*** Fiona's DLC 3 palette is [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear May]].
*** Konoha's DLC 3 palette is [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Bang Shishigami]].
*** Kamui's DLC 3 palette is [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Hakumen]]. For a moveset ShoutOut, she gets something of [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Johnny]]'s Mist Finer
*** Mei-Fang's DLC 3 palette is [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Litchi Faye-Ling]].
*** Petra's DLC 3 palette is [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Rachel Alucard]].
*** Dorothy's DLC 3 palette is [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Carl Clover]].
*** Lilica's DLC 1 palette is [[VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}} Morrigan Aensland]].
*** One of Scharl's is Black*Rock Shooter
*** One of Lilica's is [[VideoGame/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness Etna]].
*** One of Heart's is [[VideoGame/{{Persona 4}} Yukiko Amagi]]
** Several of the characters' alternates unlocked through DLC/Online resembles ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'', in particular, Heart as Madoka Kaname, Saki as Homura Akemi ([[LesYay HMMMM...]]) and Petra as Mami Tomoe.
** And even by default, Catherine's color scheme and fighting style resembles [[SonicTheHedgehog Dr. Eggman/Robotnik]]
** Dorothy Albright's overall design (down to the NiceHat) pretty much resembles that of ''VideoGame/BlazBlue''[='=]s Carl Clover. Although, [[OlderThanTheyThink Dorothy comes first]].
** The Xbox 360 achievements are all over the ears with these such as "[[Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar Atatatatatatatatatatatatatata!]]", "[[DirtyHarry Do You Feel Lucky, Punk?]]" and even "[[VideoGame/{{Touhou}} Yukkuri Shiteitte Ne]]".
** Petra is a GunsAkimbo character in ''2'' and ''3''. One of her win poses has her shoot in the sky, followed by DisturbedDoves flying past her. She's obviously a reference to JohnWoo movies.
* SNKBoss: Both Avalonnes. Parace from ''Sugoi! Arcana Heart 2'' as well.
** Parace comes back in the Score Attack Mode of the console port of ''Arcana Heart 3''. OhCrap.
*** She's even worse in ''Arcana Heart 3'' than in the second game.
** Ragnarok in ''Arcana Heart 3'' gets extra points for being a boss designed for an ''entirely different style of gameplay''. And if time runs out, you can't continue.
** The final fight against Kamui in Survival Score Attack: Kamui moves ridiculously fast; showering you with attacks, barely giving you any opportunities to attack or guard. Kamui is also in permanent [[SuperMode Extend Force mode]] and to top it all of she can use Anutpada's [[TimeStandsStill abilities]]
* SuperMode: Arcana Force mode. Can be activated once per round, and provides an additional Arcana-specific benefit.
* TheStoic: Zenia doesn't talk much... most of the time.
* SugarAndIcePersonality: Saki. Aloof most of the time, but after her ordeal was over, she was rather apologetic to Heart.
** Also Zenia. Most of the time super serious, but goes very sweet in front of kids.
* TakeOverTheWorld: Kira's ambition.
* (Pre-)TeenGenius: Kira. Built her own ether-powered [[BlobMonster blob]], and the ether-circuits used to power Mei-Fang. In the sequel, Catherine Kyohbashi is another one, having built the huge robot she controls by herself.
* TimeStandsStill: Anutpada (the time arcana)'s LimitBreak.
* TokyoIsTheCenterOfTheUniverse: Though, the third game's scope expands to all of Japan.
* TokyoTower: The backdrop for Lilica's stage in the first game.
* UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans: Mildred believes that the merging of the two worlds she's attempting will start a new golden age where everything will be a lot better than it is now. The fact that millions of people will die in the ensuing dimensional turmoil? Acceptable losses.
* VariableLengthChain: [[spoiler: Scharlachrot]] uses them. Lots of them.
* WidgetSeries: [[ImprobablyFemaleCast All. Moe]]. [[FightingGame Fighting]]. [[FightingGame Game]]. The fact that it actually stands on its own merits....
* ZettaiRyouiki: Petra's outfit. Long boots version.
** Heart as well. Knee socks variant.
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'''Break Down!'''