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I am innocent rage I am innocent hatred I am the innocent sword I am DEMONBANE
Kurou Daijuuji is a poor detective living in Arkham City (no, not that one). One day, he's asked by Ruri Hadou of the Hadou Financial Group to search for a magical grimoire. As Kurou searches for the book, he unexpectedly runs into Al-Azif, a pretty girl who turns out to be the grimoire Kurou is searching for. While being chased by the villainous Black Lodge, Al forges a contract with Kurou, bestowing him with powerful magic. Soon afterwards, Al also activates the Demonbane, a Deus Machina owned by the Hadou Financial Group, to combat the mechanical menace from the Black Lodge. With this, the war between the Hadou Financial Group and the Black Lodge begins....A series by Nitro+ with Humongous Mecha and Cthulhu Mythos elements, it began as an Visual Noveleroge for the PC, then was ported to the Sony PlayStation 2 as a non-eroge remake. In full, the franchise consists of:
Zanma Taisei Demonbane: "Demon-Slaying Great Saint, Demonbane", the original Visual Novel.
Kishin Houkou Demonbane: "Roar of the Machine God, Demonbane", the PS2 port of the Visual Novel, also the name of the Anime of the Game.
Kishin Hishou Demonbane: "Flight of the Machine God, Demonbane", the sequel game, with a linear story and player-controllable giant mecha battles.
Kishin Taidou Demonbane: "Embryonic Movements of the Machine God, Demonbane", the first prequel novel, set decades before the original game, focusing on Kouzou Hadou, Augusta Derleth (Ruri's mother), and Azrad, one of Al's past masters.
Gunshin Kyoushuu Demonbane: "Assault of the War God, Demonbane", the second prequel novel, continuing a few years after the first. The One With the infinitely-gigantic Demonbane.
Do Marini no Tokei Demonbane: "De Marigny's Clock, Demonbane", a Dr. West-centered interquel/prequel novel, telling of his life before coming to Arkham City, as well as dealing with the time-warping artifact known as De Marigny's Clock, one of Al's lost page sets, during the original visual novel's story.
Tropes employed in this series are:
Achey Scars: Sandalphon's face bleeds when he gets too upset about Leica.
And Then What?: Sandalphon is asked what he intends to do after he defeats Metatron. He doesn't really have an answer.
Animal Motifs: The Tyrant acts like a cat and has hair like cat ears.
Anime Hair: Everyone, but Kurou stands out when in Magius Style.
The Antichrist: Master Therion, according to one of the trivia pages, translates to 666 in a magic system that assigns numerical values to letters, and he has a personality cult and vast magical ability..
Badass Grandpa: Every image we see of Ruri's grandfather points to him being this. Just look at those muscles, and that hair, and that pose! "Hadou Kozou" at that point isn't Hadou Kozou at all, but a time-traveling Kurou from the future. Yes, seriously. The sequel adds Laban Shrewsbury to this trope.
In Ruri's route, this would have... implications. Ironically enough, this information is only revealed in Ruri's route and she seems fairly okay about the whole revelation. Fortunately, the series states that Kurou is not her biological grandfather, but took up Kouzou's identity after the original Kouzou died.
Badass Normal: Winfield. Stone and Ness get their moments as well.
In a weird mix of this trope and Brought Down to Badass, Demonbane becomes this in Al's route after her apparent death, forcing Elsa to take over. True, Demonbane can't use most of its attacks aside from its fists and Lemuria Impact, but it's still more than enough to take out at least one of the Anticross' Deus Machina.
World of Badass: Excepting faceless civilians, everyone is this. Hell, even Stone and Ness qualify as Bad Ass, if for no other reason than the ability to survive the kind of stuff that would kill anyone else more times than one can count, even when they are at ground zero for a lethal attack!
Because You Were Nice to Me: Al falls in love with Kurou because he is not like her previous masters. Unlike them, he treats her as a human and more than that, as someone important. The souls of her previous masters admit that when they were working together in the past the various pairs shouldn't have treated each other like tools.
Brought Down to Badass : In Al's route, she temporarily dies. While she's gone, Kurou is forced to fight without her. While his performance certainly suffers, he still ends up a rather competent fighter.
Butt Monkey: Kurou does not have much luck with the women in his life. At all.
Doctor West is also one, especially if you count all the times he gets "beat the shit out of". In fact, his own creation (Elsa) falls for Kurou and treats her creator like crap, her programming be damned.
Canon: The visual novel has Multiple Endings. In the sequel, it turn out that most of them occur, with exception of the bad ending. This is possible because of time-loops and alternate timelines.
Captain Ersatz: Although there's no clean-cut equivalents and their membership numbers differ, the reputations of the Anticross's members and their overall role in the story is comparable to The Magnificent Ten. Master Therion's vague motives, overall character design, and level of power is also comparable to Big Fire himself.
Cerebus Syndrome: The story starts leaning towards the more Lovecraftian side of things once the character routes start.
Charles Atlas Superpower: Winfield is able to go toe-to-toe with an Anticross sorcerer by virtue of the fact that he's a master boxer. Apparently boxing in Demonbane can make you superhuman.
Chick Magnet: Kurou gets over half the women in the game to go googly eyed for him in one way or another. While being a Butt Monkey at the same time.
Combat Tentacles: It's based on Lovecraft. Tentacles had to show up at some point. And given they are the limbs of Eldritch Abominations, they are very effective in combat. Cthulhu's tentacles in particular are stated to have sufficient power to One-Hit Kill Demonbane.
Conservation of Ninjutsu: You'd think that when the true, full-power Demonbane has the ability to summon every Demonbane that was, is, will be, wasn't, isn't, won't be and can't be to fight alongside it, this trope would be the first thing to come into effect. Thoroughly subverted, as having infinite Demonbanes makes it truly unstoppable.
Cool Bike: Hunting Horror. A flying motorcycle with all the power of a Deus Machina.
Anyone who fights Kurou in the finale of Ruri's route, up until the very last one.
Anyone who is foolish enough to go up against the Tyrant. Except Master Therion, where the joke's on her.
Elder God Demonbane vs anything. Its Athleta Aeternum guarantees that, even in the exceedingly rare cases it can't overpower something itself, it can summon an infinite amount of help from other universes.
Cute and Psycho: The Tyrant. Or at least, she's cute beneath all the bondage gear.
Demoted to Extra: Despite being major characters, Metatron and Sandalphon are nowhere to be seen in anime adaption. Also Alison, who got a whole chapter of focus on her Character Development in the visual novel version only.
Depraved Bisexual: Tiberius, though his preference seems to slant towards women, has some creepy affectionate dialogue for Sandalphon.
Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Done rather spectacularly. Demonbane was specifically made for punching out Cthulhu and his buddies. Ironically, it becomes an Eldrtich Abomination itself when it becomes an Elder God... but a benevolent one.
Dumb Muscle: Caligula. His spellwork basically consists of punching things really hard.
Dying as Yourself: Subverted. Ryuuga dies insane and hating Leica. Or perhaps that was his true self and the boy Leica knew was just a lie. Due to rejecting the idea of dying sane or at peace, he does not reincarnate into the restructured world at the end of Leica's route.
Eldritch Abomination: A few. The likes of Dagon and Hydra don't bother anyone too much but the likes of Cthulhu cause some major brain breaking at first. And then Yog-Sothoth itself is manifested and very nearly annihilates all life on Earth just from existing before taking on A Form You Are Comfortable With.
Eldritch Location: An entire section of the city has been sealed off for being one of these. Any normal person who enters would simply die instantly. The final battle also takes place in a succession of these, as Demonbane and Liber Legis get randomly teleported throughout all of time and space.
Electra Complex: Another Blood wants to replace her mom. To make it more complicate, she comes from an alternate future and thus is not really related to her parents in the present. And since she's a book like her mom, their genetic relationship is hard to judge.
Ending Fatigue: In-universe version. In prequel novel, Nyarlathotep got bored of never-ending battle between Gunshin Kyoshuu Demonbane and Gunshin Kyoshuu Liber Legis (after watching it for strange aeons, even attack that destroy multiverses can be boring...). So she tweak the timeline, kicking whole events of prequel out of canon (and erase those two from reality), result in one that of the Visual Novel.
Most members of Anticross have contempt for Tiberius. Doctor West finds him to be an illogical abomination, and Sandalphon even resorts to Enemy Mine with Kurou to screw him over.
A few members of Black Lodge find excess violence rather distasteful. Titus will kill people far below his level if ordered to, but otherwise finds it pointlessly brutal. Doctor West also finds outright slaughter to be so unappealing that he defects after calling out all of Anticross at once and getting stabbed for his trouble.
Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: In Elder Gods ending, Nyarlathotep express its confusion at Kurou and Al as they continue to fight for humanity after ascend into Elder Gods. The narration make it clear that, to the Ancient Ones, there shouldn't be any good gods.
Evil Counterpart: Liber Legis is the ultimate evil to Demonbane's ultimate good and they have similar but opposite attacks. Metatron and Sandalphon also have this dynamic going on.
Evil Is Deathly Cold: Master Therion's Liber Legis' "Hyperborea Zero Drive" reduces its target's temperature to absolute zero. Also, Caligula's Kraken's main attack.
Ithaqua too, since all magic is technically "unholy".
The bad ending, Kurou becomes Nyarlathotep's plaything. Trapped in a timeloop, he lives in the world that became an Eldritch Location after the the destruction of Shining Trapezohedron. At the end of each loop, he will meet Al but never get a reunion with her.
In Al's route, they don't really bother trying to kill Tiberius. Instead, he gets sucked into the Shining Trapezeohedron. Al and Kurou couldn't see what was in there from where they were, but Tiberius certainly could. What he saw was enough to make the crazed, monstrous immortality freak actually beg for death instead of being sucked inside. Kurou simply points out that after all the horrors he perpetrated to become what he is now whatever is in there surely won't be enough to do put an end to him either.
Faux Affably Evil: Vespasianus. Sure, he's fairly erudite and disturbingly polite for an Anticross member, but his deeds and what he'll do to accomplish them reveal it's but a thin veneer over his Mad Scientist self.
Fille Fatale: Ennea. It isn't really clear if she's as young as she looks, but she does act very sexually aggressive at times.
Gag Penis: Kurou and Therion have inhumanly large members, to the point that they are almost impossible to take seriously. How the girls manage to take them in all the way to the hilt is... probably best not thought about. Fans like to speculate that it's indicative of their magical potential (with the backhanded implication that Doctor West has a tiny one due to using science over magic).
Genre Blind: Nero is indeed the most powerful among Anticross and has no problem fighting both Augustus and Vespasianus at same time. Too bad, she confront them inside Cthulhu, surround by countless tentacles. Since Demonbane start as eroge, it doesn't matter how powerful she is...
Then subverted later on when she kills Vespasianus in the blink of an eye and would've done the same to Augustus if it hadn't already been done for her.
Genre Savvy: The entire civilian population of Arkham City seem to be transplanted from The Big O and Bubblegum Crisis, especially given their in universe reactions to all the crazy shit that happens every other day.
Girls Are Really Scared of Horror Movies: Invoked and averted should you decide that Kurou and Ruri will watch a horror movie. Winfield thinks that Ruri will get really scared and thus the standard scene will take place... but as Kurou and Ruri point out in utter boredom, they see this kind of thing every day and fight such monsters.
In the prequel novel, Demonbane appears as ''Gunshin Kyoshuu Demonbane'', particularly notable for being the largest mecha in fiction, even larger than Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. It grows so large that it pops the universe it's in, and accidentally destroys other universes by brushing against them. Of course, its Arch-EnemyGunshin Kyoshuu Liber Legis is just as big and powerful.
Hypocritical Humor: Tiberius crying rape when Al tries to remove De Vermis Mysteriis from him.
If I Can't Have You: Sandalphon isn't crazy because Leica killed him once. No, he was always crazy and a yandere for her and thus he simply can't accept a Leica who wasn't his big sister.
Vespasianus can revive up to three times by sacrificing one of his familiars.
The Outer Gods are suggested to be impossible to ever kill, even by Elder God Demonbane. Azathoth certainly is, considering the multiverse is its dream, and Yog-Sothoth being space-time itself means that its death would mean the end of the universe. Nyarlathotep actually can be killed, but only temporarily: there are an infinite number of universes out there and Nyarlathotep exists in all of them... it can always come back.
Immortality Talisman: Tiberius' grimoire makes him absolutely unkillable so long as it is unharmed. As a side effect, he is a perpetually rotting corpse.
Improbable Weapon User: Perhaps in Homage to Desperado, Doctor West arms himself with a guitar case with a built-in rocket launcher, which he shoots in the same way as that guy from Desperado.
Large Ham: Doctor West THE GREAT! GENIUS! OF THE CENTURY! *guitar riff*
Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Nya loves comparing the plot to a stage play, even pointing out the different "parts" each character is playing in the overall story. The second game in particular goes nuts with this idea, explicitly calling each universe/timeline to a "story" created by the emotions and actions of the people living in it.
Lovecraftian Superpower: Tiberius' rather low combat abilities are based around him using his decaying body parts as weapons, such as making spears of his ribs or using his intestines as tentacles.
Lovecraft Lite: Despite the overtones of terror and despair that come with being a Cthulhu Mythos spin-off, this is still a Super Robot story, wherein The Power of Love and being Hot-Blooded can defeat even the Outer Gods.
Mega Manning: If something belongs inside her pages, Al can use its ability once she's subdued it. Kurou also gains the support of Cthugha and Ithaqua after managing to force the pair into submission. Not that he can ever admit how he managed to do it.
Meganekko: Leica, Nya, Chiaki and Ithaqua in human form
Mind Screw: Al's Bad Ending. Seriously. Also one of the ultimate powers of the Shining Trapezohedron, which is to summon every Demonbane "that ever existed, could exist, never could exist, and never existed." Don't try to think about that one too hard.
The Ojou: Ruri Hadou embodies this to the point that Kurou constantly refers to her as "the princess".
Only Sane Man: Crossed with Irony and Played for Laughs. Despite the Lovecraftian premise, the sillier moments of the game have Kurou bemoaning he seems to be the only one with a constantly level head.
Papa Wolf: Harm anyone close to Kurou... or even just threaten to harm them, and he will have your head. In Tiberius' case, he settled for nothing less than a Fate Worse Than Death (though you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't think Tiberius deserved that). So you can imagine what awaits Nyarlathotep when Elder God Kurou finds out that the Crawling Chaos has been tormenting his son, with an Elder God Al Azif as his counterpart Mama Bear. They hit the Outer God with an infinite number of simultaneous Lemuria Impacts, completely annihilating every trace of its existence in that universe.
Perpetual Poverty: Kurou is so poor that he considers putting jam on toast and instant coffee to be living it up. He actually cries Manly Tears when Ruri offers to employ him. Averted in Ruri's routes where he becomes rich either by going back in time and becoming Kouzou Hadou and creating the Hadou fortune or by presumably marrying Ruri.
Power Dyes Your Hair: Kurou's hair turns white when in Magius Style. The blond Leica's hair also turns white when she activates her cyborg bits.
Powers as Programs: Spells are described this way: to cast a spell, the sorceror/grimoire/abomination imposes a new law on reality, which they can then activate as they please to achieve an effect. Of course, sorcerors are able to decode and un-write each other's spells as well, so this isn't quite as unbalanced as it sounds.
Power Limiter: Using Demonbane's Lemuria Impact requires the Naascal Code. On the plus side, it doesn't drain any energy.
Pragmatic Adaptation: Demonbane's animated ending is entirely original, made exclusively for the TV series. While it appears to take after Al's good ending, instead of having her drift through space for eons, the Elder Gods Kurou and Al-Azif (from Al's true ending) rescue her and bring her back to Arkham City. The superior quality of the ending is attributed to the fact the animation staff enlisted the aid of the original work's staff for the final episode.
Rasputinian Death: A lot, though certain instances like Caligula and Claudius stick out. The former takes a bullet or shrapnel to the eye, has an arm blown off and recovers before having to be outright exploded before dying. The latter is basically opened up from one shoulder to the opposite hip and has his intestines blown out before finally dying due to being chopped in half. Apparently the disemboweling wasn't enough.
Screw Destiny: Therion and Nya talk a lot about being trapped in the "Wheel of Fate" and act like everything is predetermined. Kurou is the one fighting against that idea. Everything seems predetermined only because Nyarlathotep is time-looping the universe, and it's gone through who-knows-how-many iterations by this point, so Therion and Nya (and to a lesser extent, Nero) all know what's going to happen because they've seen it happen before.
Screw Yourself: Kuzaku and Another Blood, even official art potray them in questionable manner. This is mostly Another Blood's fault, as she does act very sexually towards anyone she comes into close contact with. It appears that she doesn't really understand the difference between romantic love (of which sexuality is an aspect) and other forms of love.
Sealed Evil in a Can: The true nature of Shining Trapezohedron is a sealed universe that imprison Outer Gods like Azathoth and Shub-Niggurath.
Serial Escalation: Elder God Demonbane's Athleta Aeternum ability can summon countless variants of itself from the multiverse. And not just those exist in the multiverse, it can summon those that shouldn't exist as well.
Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Kurou went through much trouble just to save Ennea. Only for her to die in Master Therion's revival.
Spanner in the Works: In the sequel, if Doctor West manages to somehow defeat Another Blood in their first battle, Nyarlathotep basically goes "Well... um, I have no idea what to do in this case. Uh, here's some random comedic epilogues, choose which one you like best!"
Stable Time Loop: Kurou is stranded in the past with Demonbane after his battle with Master Therion and losing Al. He receives a map to gold veins from a dying Hadou Kozou, impersonates the latter, founds Arkham City on the location of the gold, takes care of the son of Kozou's wife and later Ruri (as her "Grandfather"), and arranges for Kurou to be received into the Miskatonic University and sets into motion Kurou's story (including meeting up with Al, acquiring Demonbane, etc). He then dies afterward at the hands of Master Therion. The cycle is broken at the true ends of each heroine's route.
The Starscream: Augustus and Vespasianus both have aspirations of this.
The Super West Invincible Robot Type-28 Special(s) maybe weak when compared to Deus Machina, but at least it can withstand Demonbane's head vulcan guns. One of the mass production Destroyer Robot even got disabled by Winfield on foot in Ruri's route.
The sequel reveal that Claudius's Celaeno Fragments is just a copy of Laban Shrewsbury's, which also has girl form call Hazuki. Similar to his Deus Machina, the Lord Byakhee maybe fast, but it still can't compare to Shrewsbury's Ambrose.
Super Robot: The Deus Machina are literally "Machine Gods". Most of them are pure magic, but Demonbane is unique: it's a blend of machinery and magic.
Super Robot Wars: Makes its debut in Super Robot Wars UX. Note that UX will obviously not adapt the original Zanma Taisei visual novel, but the Kishin Houkou anime instead, making this the first series inclusion in an SRW based off of a visual novel.
Thanatos Gambit: Nerotries this near the end. Specifically she tries to force Kurou to kill her with the Shining Trapezohedron so that Master Therion won't be reborn and Nyarlathotep's plan will be ruined permanently. Unfortunately Kurou turns out to be powerful enough to stop her without killing her.
Theme Naming: The Anti-Cross are named after Roman emperors. Al's route reveals that Master Therion bears one too: Domitian.
Tsundere: Evidently Al, but the visual novel expands this to Ruri in her individual character route.
Two Guys and a Girl: Odd variant here. Nya seems to like trying to seduce Kurou and Master Therion, depending on her whim, and even though the latter party is aware of this, the usual jealousy one would expect is absent.
Tykebomb: Metatron, Sandalphon and the Tyrant, though rather than being their primary purpose it's a useful (or rather annoying, depending on one's point of view) side effect.
Unknown Rival: Doctor West is convinced that he's Kurou's rival, but Kurou just thinks of him as a pest.
Verbal Tic: Elsa's "-robo" is what convinces Kurou that she really is a robot, apparently.
Villainous Crush: To quote Nyarlathotep in Elder Gods ending, "Then I shall answer you with unforgiving hate, and unrelenting love!".
Vitriolic Best Buds: Caligula and Claudius act like they want to kill each other. After Caligula dies, all Claudius gives a damn about is avenging his death.
You Don't Look Like You: The artist took very deliberate interpretion on Great Old Ones appearance. Atlach-Nacha is a Giant Spider with human torso in place of its head. Cthugha has beast-like body in the middle of massive fireball. Ithaqua first seen as glowing red eyes in the mid of violent storm (Death Walker as called in Call of Cthulhu) but is really a massive dragon.