When Ordinary High-School Student Kazuto Hongo chases after a thief, who steals and breaks an ancient mirror at his school campus, he's transported back to ancient China. Are we good so far? Now, take the Romance of the Three Kingdoms story and Gender Flip nearly all male characters from the original epic into action girls of varying degrees of affection for Kazuto, and you get the perfect harem Visual Novel called Koihime Musou, developed by BaseSon. All principal heroines in the game are expies of the (male) generals from the original epic and the former's names are derived from the latter's by reading the original Chinese characters in their names as kanji. Additionally, all of them have a true, "private" name usually reserved for close friends, and several sport a courtesy name. European eroge publisher MangaGamer acquired the localization rights and released an English version on February 28, 2011.A remake of the visual novel Shin Koihime Musou was released with more characters added in from Romance of the Three Kingdoms and following suit by genderflipping them. Not only does it pay more attention to the original epic but it also allows players to choose which faction to ally with, rather than the preset one in the original game. A third and possibly final installment for the visual novels was released on July 23, 2010, entitled Shin Koihime Musou ~Moeshouden~, with the intent on dropping the battle sequences found in prior games for the purpose of focusing entirely on the Unwanted Harem aspect.Two other games exist in the franchise. The first one, Otome Taisen Sangokushi Engi, is a (alas, Japan-only) fighting game for arcade machines and PC. The second, Web Koihime Musou: Battle Maidens, is a web-based strategy game, free to play with microtransactions. It's been jokingly said that it is like Evony, except that it actually has girls. Plans to release the game overseas crashed abruptly when Beanfun, the distributor, had its Europe and US branches closed by Gamania, its parent company.In 2014, a new Sequel to the series was announced, Koihime Eiyuutan, which sees the addition of several new Heroines, based on figures from Romance of the Three Kingdoms.The animated adaptation turns it into Yuri Fan bait by removing Kazuto altogether: there are actually very few notable men in any of the episodes. The anime's plot is secondary to gratuitous but surprisingly classy fanservice and keeps very little from the original novel. It basically consists of the expies of the "Five Tiger Generals" (google it already) coming together from across China to band against the anarchical rule of generic bandits.The anime based on the first game aired in the summer of 2008, and a second season Shin Koihime Musou aired in the fall of 2009. The third season, Shin Koihime Musou ~Otome Tairan~ aired in the spring of 2010. Prior to Shin Koihime, an animated follow-up OVA was released with the seventh DVD volume, set in a modern Japanese high school (but without The One Guy again). A sequel to the OVA was released on July 7, 2010, where the characters went on a trip to a southern island.Depending on region, the broadcast episodes can legally be seen for free at Crunchyroll:
Accent Adaptation - Blood Knight Chouryou in the Japanese version had a Kansai dialect. The MangaGamer translator went on the record saying "[he] didn't really bother with making her speech 'accented' this time around, instead focusing more on the personality she conveyed through it."
Action Girl - Pretty much any girl that wields a weapon, even some that don't, such as Chinkyuu punishing a stranger for getting too close to Ryofu.
A-Cup Angst — Batai and others are jealous of the older girls' large chests
The Alcoholic - Gengan's portrayed as one in Otome Tairan; the locals claim she's seldom seen sober.
Chouryou may be the other; anyone who can gulp down wine like there's no tomorrow probably has to be one.
Alternate Universe - According to Chousen in the first game, Kazuto didn't travel back in time, but rather entered an alternate world, whereas his home is the "real" one. Moreover, Chousen mentions the existence of more than one alternate reality, each with different possible scenarios happening, including the scenario of the original Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Potentially, this implies that every storyline in the entire franchise (i.e. the Visual Novels, the Animated Adaptations, the OVAs, manga and the Omakes) are all canon.
He also mentioned a real "true world" where all the concepts serve as a base for all the "alternate worlds" and that someone in the "true world" might be watching Kazuto, he also mention the creation of other "alternate worlds" based on that world. It's the player, and the new worlds are either the new game pluses or the sequel.
Amazon Brigade - The Five Tiger Generals, but by Shin Koihime, all factions have their little own brigade, even if they're not named.
Kakoton's "Black Knight" brigade in the final episode of season one probably counts; the same goes for Kakouen's "Black Cavalry".
Anti-Frustration Feature - Losing a battle gives you the option to redeploy your troops. This gives you reinforcements to your original troop count.
Babies Ever After - The ending of the Go (Wu) faction in the Shin Koihime game, where all the girls (except Sonshoukou, who's too young, and Sonsaku and Shuuyu, who're dead) become mothers to a daughter each, with Kazuto as the common father.
Also, Kannu and Ryuubi in the Shu ending of the PSP game.
Back-to-Back Badasses - Kannu and Chouhi in the season one opening, Kannu and Chouun, Chouhi and Bachou, Batai and Gien in the Otome Tairan opening.
Bait-and-Switch Credits - The opening to season one reveals a person obscured by a snow storm. Many viewers assumed that it was Kazuto; it was really the Fake Ryuubi.
A phoenix was shown in season one's opening; it has never appeared in the series at all.
Bachou speaks like a man and in the "right situation" can be mistaken for one.
Gien's the series stated tomboy.
Big Ball of Violence - Used in the first season and OVA endings, when Bachou tries to steal Chouhi's food.
Big Brother Attraction/Big Sister Attraction — Gien's attracted to Ryuubi due to a striking resemblance to her dead older sister. In an anime-exclusive, Kannu idolized her dead older brother, and her attraction to the Fake Ryuubi is primarily because he reminds her so much of him, until he's revealed to be a Con Man
Big Damn Heroes - Chouun's re-entry in episode 7, everyone's in episode 12 of season one.
Batai in Shin Koihime was willing to go head-to-head in a tug-of-war with Bachou for a piece of meat.
Gengan's just as great a Big Eater herself in Otome Tairan. Perhaps that's how she got her Gag Boobs?
And none of them seem to gain a pound despite eating like horses.
A hilarious aversion occurs when Gengan invites the gang to a second diner after they've already stuffed themselves at one diner. Naturally, Chouhi accepts, while Ryuubi, Koumei, and (of all people) Batai frantically decline with all sorts of excuses.
Blue with Shock - Kannu and Chouhi after they found out the monster that caused them to faint was merely a puppet.
Kada when Sousou threatens to cut off his head in the Shin Koihime finale.
Body Double - In the final attack against Ukitsu, Ryuubi wearing a green version of Kaichou Kamen's mask tries to stab him, but he knocks her down with a magic spell, leaving her dangling on the ledge of his mobile base. But when he takes off her mask, it's actually Choukaku posing as Ryuubi, wearing Ryuubi's outfit and wielding a false sword. The real Ryuubi, wearing a different outfit and wielding the real magical sword, suddenly appears from behind Ukitsu after jumping out of the giant "bento" box Chouhi was carrying, and before he can escape, Choukaku grabs his feet causing him to fall on his back, and Ryuubi hurls her sword at him, impaling him.
Book Dumb - Enshou and most of the En faction. Chouhi might count, since she can't read.
Brick Joke - Played very straight in episode 8 of Otome Tairan: Chouhi develops her double trap again as a way to catch Moukaku. Anyone who've seen the first episode of season one will likely remember Kannu falling for it; in fact, she cements this trope by sneezing herself.
Bridge Logic - Played straight in episode two of season one.
When a girl in this series is broke, you can usually expect a Meido scene to follow.
Cast Herd, Loads and Loads of Characters - A huge number of characters and most belong to a particular faction. Pretty inevitable, really: one thing Koihime Musou inherits from the original novel is a nearly every episode introduces a new character right from the start. Emphasized the strongest in the opening and ending for Otome Tairan, which manages to fit in everyone from the Shin Koihime game, even if it takes them the entire opening to do it.
Cat Girl - Moukaku and the Nanman girls making up her royal household run around in barbarian-style cat outfits. They also end every sentence with "nya".
After Kashin is cured of her feline condition in episode nine of Otome Tairan, she doesn't lose the cat ears. This doesn't help her get rid of the Nanman girls, either.
Censor Steam - Lampshaded a lot in the Hot Springs Episode, partially subverted in the collective DVD volumes, where it's "semi-censored". Shin Koihime manages to enable censorship...through use of rays of sunlight.
Chef of Iron - Sousou in the Shin Koihime anime, but Ten'i fits the bill better (the "Ordinary" type): she originally worked in a tavern, then was brought in by Sousou after hearing how good her cooking is, upon which she unknowingly demonstrates her strength by subduing a raging bull, grabbing it by the horns and hurling it into the stratosphere.
Kashin at the end of Otome Tairan was credited for preparing a HUGE turkey (or at least it resembles one) by Ten'i.
Chekhov's Gun - Remember Ryuubi's sword coming from that dragon when she saved that village back in Shin Koihime, and given to her at the beginning of Otome Tairan? Apparently, it's the only thing that can kill the nigh invulnerableUkitsu.
Kada explains that when a dragon hatches from its egg and ascends into the sky in the middle of a lightning storm, it leaves behind a claw that can eventually become a sword. If that sword is wielded by a someone of noble birth and having a strong will, it can slay any evil opponent no matter how invulnerable.
Cherry Blossoms - Where Ryuubi, Kannu and Chouhi make their pact, a la the novel. They also seem to do a lot of their bonding under the trees.
Chick Magnet: Kazuto managed to somehow attract almost every girl.
Combat Commentator - Appears during Enshou's tournaments and in the OVA's student council competition.
Command Roster: Each of the factions has a few characters that fill a specific set of roles within their respective governments.
Leaders: Self explanatory, these are Kazuto (or Ryuubi), Sousou, and Sonken (or Sonsaku)
General of the Armies: Neither as strong as the Champion nor as cunning as the Strategist, they tend to handle the day-to-day running of the military and counterbalance both by providing decisive action as well as reining in the more violent tendencies of the warrior generals. Shoku has Kan'u, Gi has Kakouen and Go has Shuuyu.
Strategists: Although each faction has many tacticians, one of them will generally be responsible for grand strategy and the big picture. They will typically give advice on how to handle upcoming battles. Shokatsuryou (later Houtou) serves this role for Shoku, Jun'iku for Gi, and Shuuyu (later Ryomou) for Go.
Champions: Always outspoken and do not seem to be unit leaders so much as members of their units. They prefer to lead by example rather than by actually leading and, more often than not, are better pointed in the direction of the enemy and turned loose. In Shin Koihime they will generally have powerful offensive supers but few formations. This could really describe a lot of characters, but the most prominent are Chouhi in Shoku, Kakouton in Gi, and Kannei in Go.
Conjunction Interruption - When Chouhi or any of the characters try to object to a plan, they're usually cut off before they can finish.
Cosplay - Done during all of Enshou's ridiculous tournaments.
In Otome Tairan, Enshou cosplays (or more technically speaking, plays) as Sousou during a play, down to the outfit, hairstyle, and flat-chested look (using a Sarashi, which took a lot of work to put on Enshou by Bunshuu) while Ganryou plays as Keifa, and Bunshuu plays as Kakouton. All while Kannu, Sonshoko, and Rikuson play as the Yellow Turban leaders. To top it all off, Shutai plays as the Wishful Projection version of Kannu.
Continuity Nod - Several small events get referenced throughout the anime series. For example in the last episode of Shin Koihime Musou, Chinkyuu has a chess match with Kaku. The latter appears to be winning handily until Chinkyuu's pet dog knocks over the game board. In Shin Koihime Musou Otome Tairan, Chinkyuu has a match with Keifa and Chinkyuu gestures for her dog to disrupt the game again but this time Keifa had one of her comrades distract the dog... Other smaller examples are Enjutsu using the cup that Koumei traded for Ryuubi's sword in all subsequent episodes and the pit traps Chouhi used on Kan'U which is subsequently used on Moukaku.
Covert Pervert - Koumei; she manages to rope in Houtou in the Shin Koihime game.
Gien in Otome Tairan episode nine when Batai tricked her into blurting out (while trying in vain to cover up) quite a few suggestive thoughts she has towards Ryuubi, who happened to be right next to her and heard everything.
Cranial Eruption - Gien gets this as punishment for being "overzealous" with Ryuubi when she was helping her bathe.
Chouun back in Shin Koihime for embarrassing Kannu in front of mooks.
In Otome Tairan, Kannu herself becomes "infected" by this trope after Shutai invites her to play with a lounging cat, and explicitly plays it straight herself at the end of Otome Tairan towards the Nanban Barbarians.
Day In The Life - One episode in Shin Koihime chronicles the Chou Sisters rise to stardom.
Delinquents - Chouryou; Chouhi's like this initially, but calms down a bit.
Gien in Otome Tairan began as one; apparently her ego's so high she wanted to show off her skills by being a troublemaker, which is the reason for all those Cool And Unusual Punishments from Gengan. She cools off and is forgiven by her master after saving Ryuubi from a second Attempted Rape.
Final Speech - Although Bachou's father Batou sustained a fatal head injury from falling off his horse while drunk, he was able to request the way he died be kept a secret because the truth would shame his family.
Fire-Breathing Diner - Gakushin with her mystery meal to Chouhi, Koumei and Mao in the Shin Koihime anime; surprisingly, Gakushin herself seems unfazed by the lava-like heat.
First Name Basis - Somehow, Shin Koihime's first episode is dedicated just to this trope...
Foreshadowing - In Otome Tairan, there's a close-up of Koumei's chipped ink stone. We find out later that Chouhi's the one who damaged it.
Friendly Address Privileges - Being given permission to refer to someone by their mana or private name, is a big deal. It implies that you two are either True Companions or like family to them. An entire episode was devoted to Bachou getting permission to use Chouhi's private name.
Gainaxing - Occasionally happens to some of the girls with large breasts, but especially to Kannu (even when slicing a radish and in Otome Tairan when sneezing) and Chouryou (done guilty just by walking).
It especially looks hot on Riten when she's on horseback charging into battle and wielding a huge drill-lance in the last episode of Otome Tairan.
Gender Flip - There are downsides, like Chousen and Himiko being turned into Hard Gay; however, the true aversions are Kada Genka, Saji, Ukitsu and Sonshoukou.
Genius Bruiser - several of the characters have shades of this in the Visual Novels such as Kannu, Chouun and Kouchuu. All of them are pretty formidable fighters but Kannu is essentially her kingdom's Minister of War and runs their military apparatus, Chouun unofficially handles Military Intelligence and covert warfare while Kouchuu is a brilliant civil administrator who pretty much runs the day to day affairs of the provinces under their control freeing Koumei to work on infrastructure improvements and "big picture" projects. In the anime Ryoumou in particular has trained as both a Son Family elite bodyguard and as an apprentice strategist, marrying both Brains and Brawn in one character.
Genki Girl - Kyocho, though she isn't the only one.
Ghostly Goals - In Shin Koihime, the deceased mother of an orphan befriended by Ryuubi and company comes back to teach the selfish Enjutsu not to disregard the living or the dead.
Girl in a Box - Played for laughs in Otome Tairan: Batai hides in a huge box labeled "Bento" (which fools Chouhi enough for her to bring it unquestioningly) so she could tag along with the team's expeditions (and she does it twice, though Koumei sees through the ruse both times). Later done with Ryuubi with the exact same box in order to sneak her towards Ukitsu in the final battle.
Done in a "two-for-one-special" method by Kannu and Chouun in the first season episode two in order to sneak into the bandit's mountain hideout, with a few funny moments along the way.
Girls Are Really Scared of Horror Movies - While it's true Kannu and Chouhi are brave, strong warriors, put a horrifying supernatural monster in front of them, and watch them scream their heads off and run for the hills. Of course, there are no monsters in Koihime Musou. A scary story from Chouun's enough to give them cold feet.
Hidden Buxom — Enshou has to make herself appear this way in Otome Tairan in order to Cosplay as Sousou, and Bunshuu struggles with tightening the Sarashi around Enshou's huge chest for well over a minute in the ensuing dressing-up scene
High School AU - The OVA included on the seventh DVD of all three seasons. Notably, the high school is St. Francesca, the same school in one of BaseSon's previous visual novels, Harukoi*Otome.
Homage - In the OVA, the scene with Kayuu and Chouryou at the cruise ship's bow is a homage to Titanic. It ends humorously though.
Toutaku takes it to the extreme in Otome Tairan: after Sousou refuses to dispense any kind of punishment to her for the supposed crimes of her kingdom, she declares to commit Seppuku. She is stopped by a cunning ploy by Kakuka (who brings out the severed head of the imitation Toutaku), and Chouun, who uses Toutaku's Queen Incognito activities to portray Toutaku as "Tonton the dillusional peasant", making Sousou dispense a different kind of "punsihment" that Toutaku finds more "acceptable".
Sousou could be considered one with regard to Kannu. As of the last episode of Otome Tairan, Chouryou, the Blood Knight, seems to have fallen for Kannu as well. And judging from Kannu's reaction, Chouryou seems to fit this trope well.
Hot-Blooded - Bachou, but to a lesser extent, Chouhi, who can cure colds by going berserk
I Ate What? - Subverted when Ten'i hinted to Kannu's group what the main ingredient in her meat buns were, they freaked-out when they thought she meant people, when really she meant chicken; they're very relieved when they found out that it was the latter. Later on it's implied Bachou might've added something extra to the fish for dinner...
I Call It Vera - Kanu's Seiryuengetsutou (Green Dragon Crescent Blade), Ryofu's Houtenkageki (Heaven Piercer) and Chouhi's Viper Spear among others.
I Gave My Word - Kannu does this frequently when making promises; Sousou constantly reaffirms her promise to Kannu to get her to "cooperate"
Idol Singer - Choukaku, Chouhou, and Chouryou from Shin Koihime (AKA the leaders of the Yellow Turban Rebellion), complete with makeshift microphones, though we don't actually get to hear them singing during their "live performances" in the game. The anime, however, sports them with magical ones and play this trope straight
Kannu and Chouhi become such in a promotional video before the airing of Shin Koihime
A special DVD release shows this video to be a full-fledged concert, with the two girls soon joined by several others of the Shu Faction: Ryuubi as a third Idol Singer, Bachou on bass, Kouchuu on keyboards, Koumei on drums, and Chouun Kacho Kamen on lead guitar
At the end of Otome Tairan during the victory celebration, the Chou Sisters, Kakuka, Enjutsu, Choukun, Daikyou, Shoukyou, and the Nanban Barbarians perfom as Idol Singers, and sing the ED of Otome Tairan. They are later joined by Kannu, Ryuubi, Gien, Batai, and Chouryou of the To faction.
Imagine Spot — Different characters when thinking about MIA friends
In the Hood — Chouun at various times, though Kannu does this earlier at the beginning of the series
Kashin in Otome Tairan
Also Shuutai when she infiltrated the To kingdom in episode 10 in order to rescue Toutaku; and Kayuu, who turned out to be the mysterious hooded person walking past a grieving Kaku in episode 9, and then making a Big Damn Heroes appearance in episode 10 before taking the hood off
Improbably Female Cast — ...Until the fake Ryuubi shows up...and then it goes back to being one after he leaves
I'm a Humanitarian - In one of Enshou's side-stories in the original visual novel, she gets caught by commoners after the collapse of her country and is nearly cooked and fed to Kazuto. She is only saved by Koumei.
This is a reference to the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which the visual novel is based off of. Specifically, Liu Bei is fed the wife of a commoner.
More than that, Kazuto explicitly references this, probably having remembered it from the novels. However, the commoners would never feed their wives to him. Which is where Enshou comes in...
Innocent Innuendo — In Otome Tairan, when Kouchuu mentioned to everyone that Riri heard Bachou making strange noises when she was alone in her room, Chouun jumps the gun, thinking she was having A Date with Rosie Palms
It Tastes Like Feet — The "antidote" for Kashin's poison, concocted by Shokatsuryou from the ingredients prescribed by Kata. It stinks so bad everyone very quickly pulled way back, with about half of them holding their noses, once it was brought to the main room by Shokatsuryou (who was already cringing while bringing it out). It doesn't help that it's colored green too. Lampshaded by Chouhi, and especially oh so much by Chouun:
It's like you took a pair of underwear someone wore for three years, and you boiled it in cat pee
JAM Project — Or at least Masami Okui herself sings the opening of Otome Tairan, arguably making it sound Badass
Jerk Ass — Chouun acts this way toward Kannu and Chouhi sometimes. The fake Ryuubi, most definitely
Ki Attacks — Kada and his needles, Kousonsan in her fight against Enshou, Gakushin when fighting the stone soldiers
Lap Pillow — Chouhi does this to both her older sisters, Chouryou to Gakushin in the Shin Koihime game
Large Ham — When it comes to beating up bandits, Kannu loves announcing it with hams. Chouun's pretty good at making up fabulous stories and entrance speeches, too
Played hilariously in the Shin Koihime anime: when Chouun introduces Kannu to the bandits by "hamming her up" with embarrassing stuff, she gets a lump on the head from Kannu in response, the bopping hidden by a Relax-o-Vision)
Letting Her Hair Down — Kannu normally keeps her hair in a side-ponytail, but lets her hair down on a few occassions. Likewise, Bachou usually ties her hair in a regular ponytail, but does this trope when she wears a girly dress in one of Enshou's silly competitions
Lighter and Softer - Compared to the original novel and some other "adaptations" such as Ikki Tousen. For one very few characters are outright evil and several of the villains of the original novel have heroic upgrades.
Luminescent Blush — Prevelent with all the girls, though Kannu makes the best use of this trope
Magical Girl — Ryuubi, Kannu, and Chouhi become these in the Shin Koihime Musou OVA. Which is also a Shout-Out to Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z - Aside from the color motifs, Ryuubi takes after Hyper Blossom (complete with the ribbon), Kannu is modelled after Rolling Bubbles (her attack involves shooting "Carbonated Water"), and Chouhi takes after Powered Buttercup (complete with a hammer, with its head made of Daikon).
Con Man — The fake Ryuubi; all he does is try and talk a good game and he even fails at that when challenged
To some degree, Enjutsu follows this, who conned her cousin Enshou into giving her Ryuubi's sword in exchange for an invisible garment "only seen by smart people" Though it's important to note Enjutsu tends to be manipulated by her own aide, Choukun And fortunately for the heroines, Enjutsu gets out-manipulated by Koumei
Meganekko — Kaku, Shuyuu, and Rikuson, but Koumei also sports a pair in some Super-Deformed sequences. Shin Koihime introduces Kakuka and Ukin, as well as Ryomou, who sports a unique monocle
Interestingly, Ryomou in Otome Tairan is the only one shown having an explicit case of being Blind Without 'Em. This goes as far as to give some people a false impression she's ill-tempered because of her tendency to squint
Meido — Meido cafes in Ancient China = win...or not, especially when Ryoufu attempts to work in one
Metafiction — According to Chousen, the world of Koihime Musou exists because someone wrote the story of Koihime Musou by looking at the Romance of the Three Kingdoms and wondering what it would be like if Sousou and her generals were all lovers and Sonken and Shuuyu were actually enemies. The bit about the genderflipping goes unstated, but the implication is there.
Kannu and Chouhi's relationship when Chouhi tells people about their "vow of sisterhood" and that they "pledged their relationship in bed"
Bachou and Ryuubi were seen in a "compromising" position in Otome Tairan
Mistaken for Pregnant — Kada mistakes Sousou for this when questioning her about her "illness". Ryuubi in Otome Tairan uses it for comedic effect
Mood Whiplash — Otome Tairan begins with General Kashin being fed what appears to be poison; turns out it can make a person look like a Cat Girl, then it cuts off to Cherry Blossoms
Mooks — The bandits exist solely for the purpose of having their asses handed to them by the heroines in every damn engagement
Motifs: The three factions use several common motifs to distinguish themselves, including:
Animal Motifs: Some of the Shoku generals use prominent animals from eastern mythology like dragons, tigers, and phoenixes.
Chess Motifs: The factions respective strategists are often shown playing Xiangqi, the Chinese version of chess. One's skill at Xiangqi is used to demonstrate intelligence and level of strategic ability.
Color-Coded Armies: Shoku tends to be jade and white, with gold and other colors mixed in depending on the individual personality of the character. Gi is mostly purple and black, although they recruit a lot of vagabonds and mercenaries who wear different clothing. Go is varying shades of red and pink.
Metallic Motifs: Enshou and her retainers are shown wearing gold or gold-plated armor, to signify both her delusions and the great wealth of her territory.
Muscles Are Meaningless - Very few characters are drawn with a muscular physique but some of the more diminutive characters are among the physically strongest such as Chouhi or Kyocho. The exceptions are Himiko and Chousen although for other reasons.
Musical Episode - Done in the second season finale. There's even a sing-off, and a song to stop the war against the Yellow Turbans. In fact, this lead fans to believe season two was a "musical season", which then lead to an OVA of Kann'u and Chouhi singing at a stadium. Apperantly, writing group Go Zappa were quite into music for this season.
Mythology Gag - In the some of the anime endings, the girls are seen wearing new outfits. Several of these are from the visual novels such as Koumei's "fairy" outfit.
Nice Hat - Worn by some of the girls, most prominently Sonken. The majority of the girls get one in the original visual novel's harem ending
In-universe example: Chouun makes a face so that her friends can remember her by. While the camera only reveals the girls' disturbed reactions, the Blu-Ray release decidedly censors her face, preventing the audience from seeing it. It's probably too disturbing that the animators dare not show it
In-game and full Expy example: During the battle against To faction early in the game, Shunran gets shot in the eye by an enemy's arrow. Instead of letting it get her down, as a show of incredible baddassery she takes the arrow out with the pierced eyeball and eats the eyeball, just like her counterpart in the original novels!
Averted for a pun in the first On the Next of Otome Tairan
Averted when Kada questions Sousou about her "illness", mistaking "it" not happening for a month to refer to this
Not What It Looks Like — In Otome Tairen, Koumei stumbles into Bachou and Ryuubi half-naked and in a compromising position, leading her to think they did something together and runs off in embarrassment. It becomes worse when Ryubi starts acting strangely, namely her forced diet after being self-conscious about her figure, leading everyone to somehow think she's pregnant with Bachou's child! Further exacerbated when Ryuubi's found writhing in pain due to food poisoning, which is mistaken for going into labor!
Subverted somewhat in the Shin Koihime anime: the fake Ryuubi stole the real Ryuubi's sword and name to try to become famous. The real Ryuubi appears in Shin trying to find the stolen blade to regain her lineage (and to stop her mother from throwing her into a river). Cue Kouchuu and Bachou barging in weapons ablazing at Ryuubi, thinking it's the fake
Both the Shin Koihime game and anime introduces Idol Singer Chouryou, not to be confused with the Blood Knight Chouryou
Only One Name — Simultaneously played straight and subverted: all characters have their family names mashed together with their given ones, but each has at least two more given ones
This is out of a Translation Convention for all Ro TK adaptations in Japan; where the full name of the character is considered as a family name for all facts and purposes, and the "given name" would be assigned to the courtesy name.
Only Six Faces — The recurring bandit gangs parody this: the same three bandits — a short guy, a fat guy and a skinny guy seem to be in charge of every bandit gang, but they never recognize the main characters
Out of Focus — Happens pretty much everytime with Kouchuu, despite being an Expy of the one of Shu's 5 Tiger Generals (Huang Zhong), as she usually relegates herself guarding the city while the rest travel on adventures.
Overshadowed by Awesome - This generally involves the Shu generals where they typically can defeat all comers or at most can force a draw (except for games where you are allowed to play as other factions for obvious reasons). It really hits when Ryofu enters the battlefield though; in the anime not even Chouun, Kan'U and Chouhi working together can phase her.
Panty Shot — Many characters; Bachou makes for a very memorable one during her training with Batai, at which the latter laughs
In the first game, however, she manages to fool everyone, sans Koumei and Kazuto, while in Shin Koihime, it becomes a fad when Chouun gets Koumei and Ryofu to wear similar masks. Even Chousen joins in the fun
The mask returns in the Shin Koihime anime. When Ryuubi's so fooled she becomes enamoured with Kacho Kamen and blatantly tells the later undisguised Chouun of such.
Chouun tries the "recruitment" path at the end of the Shin Koihime anime with the Chou sisters; the ending begins dragging because Chouun was late to the party.
At the end of Otome Tairan, Ryuubi gets a green version of Kachou Kamen's mask from the disguised Chouun. In the bid to kill Ukitsu, it's Choukaku who's actually wearing it, and it's enough to fool Ukitsu into thinking she's Ryuubi.
Petite Pride — Sousou and Keifa, who're fairly flat-chested, are instead proud of their bust size, or at least claim to be, stating size isn't the only important factor: shape, color, and sensitivity matter, too.
Potty Emergency — Bachou suffers multiple of these. It's even a large part of episode eleven of Shin Koihime.
The Power of Rock — The battle against the Yellow Turban Rebellion in the Shin Koihime anime finale is fought not with weapons, but with songs. The Chou Sisters vs. Enjutsu, Choukun and Kakuka, though almost everyone else joins in for song powered by friendship
Psycho Lesbian — Sousou is a borderline case, since she does get better, but some of her actions in the first season are ... rather questionable.
Rapunzel Hair — Many of the girls have hair ranging from waist-length to practically touching the ground, even from full standing height. Some, particularly those with the longest, are kept in ponytails. In the Shin Koihime game, Sonken's hair reaches ground level, but she shears it off after Sonsaku is Killed Off for Real
Once in the OVA when the announcers tried to explain why Kacho Kamen was in Chouun's place in one of the contests. Of course, the audience knows it's the same person, but it cuts the conversation short (implying it was supposed to be a secret) and the show proceeds to a much later scene
Used again in the Shin Koihime anime when Chouun is introducing Kannu to the bandits and starts saying something really embarrassing about her. ROV cuts the talk short; moments later, the scene returns with Chouun now sporting a lump on her head
The Rival — Chouhi positions herself as one to Koumei, with all due subtext. Chouhi also has a fierce rivalry with Sonshoukou. And, of course, Chouhi and Bachou's friendly competitiveness
Gien and Batai are bitter rivals as of Otome Tairan
Seme — Chouun asks Chouhi and Kannu which of them is the "seme" and "uke", clearly having her own ideas of their sisterhood, which doesn't help Kannu when Chouhi states she'd rather be the seme of the two
In one episode preview, Kouchuu "teaches" that girls with blond curls (namely, Sousou) are the seme, while girls with a side-ponytail (specifically, Kannu) would be the uke. Man, they really aren't subtle about this, are they?
Serious Business — Eel sandwiches, apparently the main source of strife in the OVA
Sneezing — Happened to Pairen when people mentioned how she had Ryuubi's sword. Also happened to Kada when Chouhi mentioned his name. Used as a Running Gag in Otome Tairan with Kannu being referenced several times in one episode by Chouhi and crew.
Take My Hand — Kannu and Chouun pull this off in episode two of season one
Talking in Your Sleep — Bachou, Chouhi, and Moukaku at various times; the latter two have also been known to bite in their sleep
A Taste of the Lash — Chouhi almost received this in the very first episode as punishment for her constant outrageous pranks. In the OVA, Totaku feigns giving Ryofu's puppy this; the reason is so Ryofu's motivated to win the three-legged race
Team Mom — Kannu, especially towards Chouhi and Koumei; Kouchuu in the visual novel
It appears Kannu doesn't want to relinquish the Team Mom position in the anime, given how she absolutely doesn't want Ryuubi to become the eldest of their sisterhood pact
Considering what Ryuubi is compared to Kannu, it's more or less justified...
Ten Minutes in the Closet — In Otome Tairan Sonsaku and Shuuyu get into a spat, and Kougai eventually tricks them into going into a storage room together and locks them in to force them to resolve their differences. Next morning they're found sleeping together.
Theme Tune Cameo — In the finale of Shin Koihime, Kakuka has a flashback of her singing the ED after getting out of the shower, and the group performs the OP during their battle of the idol singers
Through Her Stomach — Several times througout the series, but most prominently featured at the very ending of Otome Tairan: Sonken to Ryomou when the last piece of the food the latter wanted was taken by Sonsaku; then Sonsaku attempts one to Shuuyu mouth-to-mouth; then much later Chouryou trying it on Kannu before they are interrupted by Ryuubi.
Tome of Eldritch Lore — In the Shin Koihime anime, there exists a magical book "Crucial Keys to the Way of Peace", with a slight mind of its own, thus even if used for good, will cause misfortune and strife. Was in the possession of the Idol Singer trio and used by them to further their career, and being sought after by Kada to have it sealed away. Ukitsu took possession of it by the end of Shin Koihime, and used it in Otome Tairan to bring the Terracotta Army to life and launch his conquest of China. After Ukitsu is killed by Ryuubi, Kada finally seals it, which in turn causes the Terracotta Army to revert back into ordinary clay statues.
Too Long Didn't Dub — Because all translations insist on using the direct Japanese equivalents of the characters' actual Chinese names, most of the international audience don't even know it's based on Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and those who do have an incredibly hard time following along trying to keep track of who everyone's supposed to be.
Trademark Favorite Food — Just makes sure you don't steal Chouun's leftover menma (bamboo shoots); she loves that stuff. Enjutsu's a huge fan of honey and honey water.
If you look closely at the first ED, you'll notice Chouun is happily eating a huge plate of nothing but menma.
Training from Hell — Bachou puts her cousin Batai through this in Shin Koihime. Apparently, it's a standard training regimen for their family/village martial art style (or so claimed by the former). Said regiment includes (but not limited to):
Bunnyhopping with a big weight tied to one's waist, fast upside-down situps while hanging from a tree, swinging a log, and push-ups while having someone sit on one's back - and all this is just warm-up
Tying oneself to a tree, then jumping into a raging whirlpool - to build resistance against all kinds of movement
Doing a handstand while circling around a volcano crater
Playing baseball against Kouchuu's arrows using a decent sized log as a bat - to improve one's ability to track high-speed projectiles
In Otome Tairan, Ryuubi starts to become conscious of her figure after a few remarks from Chouhi, and begs Bachou (who Ryuubi is surprised to find having the "perfect figure" despite being a Big Eater) to put her through the latter's training regimen, with disasterous results
Troperrific - For a niche series, that's quite the accomplishment.
True Companions — All factions reflect this: their friends/comrades are their family
Tsundere — There's at least one in every faction in the visual novel, but Bachou, Sousou and Sonken stand out the most. In the anime, Sousou tailors to this trope's requirements by the final episode of season one
In the games, particularly the first game, Kannu and Shokatsuryou actually exhibit this quite a bit as well, mainly as Type B.
Unwanted Harem — Subverted: the series should enter the history of anime as one of the few harems without a male lead to speak of. The visual novel plays this trope straight, however.
Well... The visual novel doesn't play it that straight. It's more like an Unwanted Kingdom, and while a lot of girls join you, sometimes desirably, sometimes not... Kazuto definitely wants the ones he goes after, which is any of them you talk to.
Also subverted with Sousou, who seems to not mind it whatsoever, and maybe even enjoys it.
Waif-Fu — Almost all girls in response to going up against mooks, most notably Chouhi, Kyocho and Ten'i. Ryofu's strength is the most extreme, though Chouryou's able to ground Kyocho's flail effortlessly
Walking the Earth — The series is famous for almost always having its main characters on either random adventures, or fetch quests.
We Have Reserves - The vast majority of Enshou's 'strategies' are to charge forward and incur massive casualties. To be fair, this isn't really because she's cruel or villainous, she's just an idiot who thinks she's an incredible commander.
Weapon of Choice - Rather than the standard tropes, the Shu faction tends to favor polearms, the Wu faction largely use swords and the Wei faction bucks this trend by each having their own weapon. Anyone using an oversized regular weapon or toy is probably a comic relief character.