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YMMV: Queen's Blade
  • Adaptation Displacement: Played with it: As is already explained, the franchise is based in the American Lost Worlds gamebooks, who previously were barely known even in their native U.S., much less outside of it. And while QB is still more known than LW, on the other hand, the unusual success of Queen's Blade in both Japan and the U.S. helped to revive the interest on the older Lost Worlds books whose the characters are based of. It does help Firelight Company (the actual owners of the Lost Worlds franchise) and also Flying Buffalo (the former publishers of the franchise) are Genre Savvy to know that Hobby Japan is a more bigger and powerful company in Japan and HJ also acknowledge the fact their own franchise is based in a foreign one.note  Jill Leonardi, the daughter of Alfred Leonardi (the original designer of the Lost Worlds books) is actually working closely with Hobby Japan designing new matrices for the QB gamebooks, and her name appears in the copyright disclaimer of the Hobby Japan's homepage about QB.
  • America and England Saves The Day: In the Queen's Gate novels, the main plot is solved by the two main heroines, the British heroine Alice and her American partner Dorothy. This reaches almost borderline the Unfortunate Implications territory, since all the Japanese characters that appears in the light novel are the villains and at the end of the story, all of them die along Arunikuf during the final battle. This could be considered pretty ironic if you take into account the authors of the novel are Japanese themselves.
  • Ass Pull: Leina spontaneously gaining the ability to use the powers and techniques of her previous opponents - including Claudette's lightning strikes - during her match against Aldra. It literally came outta nowhere as there was no foreshadowing of any kind. What makes it even more egregious is, they offer no explanation for it and Leina never uses any of their powers again, at any time afterward.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Possibly the only reason why Werbellia The Swamp Witch appears in the third episode of the Vanquished Queens OVAs is because she is the only character that never appeared in any animated adaptation, even in the TV series at the end, as it ends in a Gecko Ending instead.
  • Awesome Music: While most of the incidental music of the two first seasons and the OVAs are rather genericnote  some themes shines towards others, such as the Queen's Blade Theme, played when something important is going to happen, normally almost at the end of the episode.
  • Bile Fascination: An odd case. The very questionable and overly fetishized nature of the opening episodes caused many to decry the show as a whole, which of course got more it attention. The strange part is that the later episodes were much better received than the first couple, which boosted its popularity in a more positive way. However while the first episodes got attention, many kept watching just to see if it got worse, not out of enjoyment.
  • Canon Fodder: Hobby Japan is infamous for not giving straight answers about everything not related about the characters (like the Continent, the war that happened 100 years previously between the Vances versus everyone in the Continent, Melona and Airi's origins, Nowa's biological family, Claudette's biological mother, etc.) They did answered some questions in an (already gone) FAQ in their homepage in 2007 as an interview from the fans with the characters and also with Hans (Hobby Japan's collective Word of God). While some of the answers solves some questions, at the same time Hans berated, in a very Japanese way, about people who asked personal questions, like the characters' ages.
  • Canon Sue: Leina plays with it a lot: At first, she begins the story as an underdog living under the shadow of her more stronger sisters and her mother. Later, after taking a Training from Hell from Echidna, she becomes practically invincible and not only she wins the tournament, at the time the OVAs came out, she's able to wipe out entire armies for breakfast without breaking a sweat. Subverted big time in Rebellion since she become Demoted to Extra thanks of her curse (Both in the anime adaptation and in the Illustrated Stories, possibly to avoid becoming in a female, medieval version of Kira Yamatonote ) and even when she had to face her sister Claudette, Mirim of all people, is the one who defeats her and the final battle against the Swamp Witch, Annelotte and Aldra are the ones who defeated her. In the Vanquished Queens short stories, she is the only character spared from having a Downer Ending, and the "worst" thing she happens to her is being defeated by Claudette and healed by Risty, in a very special way. On the other hand, this is averted really, REALLY hard in the animated adaptation, since she's now the victim of The Swamp Witch herself.
  • Cliché Storm: Played with it: While the whole series uses many cliches from the Heroic Fantasy genre, it also avoid others like Elves Versus Dwarves and the Dark Elves are evil cliche (Echidna per example can be a big jerk, at worst, but not being evil).
  • Contested Sequel: The animated adaptation of Rebellion is this: While the TV series improved some parts, like the soundtrack, on the other hand many aspects of the plot from the Illustrated Stories were either changed or removed, and the epic battles from the novels were replaced by only Annelotte and every named heroic character against the Queen's Army and half of the series is wasted on sometimes pointless plot events and Fanservice and the worst part of all the whole plot of the TV series is concluded in the last three episodes, just to finish in a unsolved Cliff Hanger.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Considering the sheer number of hentai pictures based on Cattleya and Rana to the extent that one might not even know there's a legit series and that she has a relatively small role.
    • Melona, if only due to how bizarre she is overall.
    • Also Shizuka.
    • And Airi in season 2.
    • And Lamica and Arane too from the Spiral Chaos games
    • Kaguya for Griminore as her Combat Book sold out within a couple of hours (and this is after the constant delay of her character).
  • Evil Is Sexy: All the female villains.
  • Fanfic Fuel: Due of the many gaps in the characters' characterization and plot, especially anything related about the past of the Vances and how the tournament came to be, not to mention about the rest of the named cast, etc.
  • Foe Yay: Melona seems to have an obsession with Leina, due to how she constantly gets defeated by her and wants to face her personally herself.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With Naruto, of all things, (at least with crossover fanfics is concerned) despise the only thing in common QB has with Naruto is both series are action-oriented, albeit some characters, like Ino Yamanaka, Tsunade, Hinata Hyuga and few other females definitely would not being too out of place in the Queen's Blade universe in any stretch.
  • God-Mode Sue: Echidna. She's been undefeated in over 500 years. Guess what happens to anyone who tries to fight her?
  • Growing the Beard — Despite the Fanservice overload the story unfolds in a rather interesting direction.
  • Les Yay/Homoerotic Subtext: So many to list, as the only characters that are canonically straight are Nanael, Cattleya (since she's already married, and with a son to boot) and Aldra in Rebellion.
    • Leina appears to have a weak spot for Risty, enough to go to great lengths to find her.
    • Menace, despite all the crap Anarista put her on, she still mourns over her betrayal.
    • Airi kisses and gropes both Nowa and Leina. She uses the kiss to suck out their life force but still has a thing for girls.
    • The "Hide & Seek" manga series has a romantic subplot concerning Elina and Claudette's hidden feelings for each other (covered extensively, here).
    • Irma, formerly, towards Echidna.
    • Echidna may have a thing for Leina, and Irma.
      • All but confirmed in Leina's case, though it's heavily implied a lot of it is done because it amused her.
      • Confirmed, via flashback, in Irma's case, which shows they once had a relationship.
    • Dorothy towards Alice, althrough one-sided for Alice, but at the end of the trilogy, she manages to kiss her.
    • Mirim towards Ymir, albeit only in the animated adaptation. In the Illustrated Stories their relation is more of the master-servant type and it didn't go anywhere.
  • Harsher in Hindsight/Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • Nanael's Harem-seeking tendences can be really heart-wrenching if you know what happened with her voice actress precisely for doing that, to the grade she was black-listed from her former agency and possibly from the franchise as default, hence why she doesn't appear in Rebellion and Laila replaces her.
    • Also, the entire scene when Melona rapes Mirim with a dildo-shaped device inside her in the Illustrated Stories is even more harsher if you're played Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, since at the end of the game, Paz has a bomb inside her vagina besides the bomb inside her intestines, and that bomb ended killing her. While the Queen's Blade version of that scene is played for both drama and tiltilation, the Metal Gear one is played for PURE Nightmare Fuel.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Inferred Holocaust: At the end of Rebellion, (at least in the Illustrated Stories novelization, since in the anime adaptation it ends in a Cliff Hanger), The Swamp Witch (or the evil spirit who manipulated Werbellia) is defeated and Claudette returns to her older self after being defeated by Mirim, but is never explained what happened with all the returning characters (excluding Alleyne, whose fate is already implied in the novelization, but make it explicit in the OVAs) who where cursed by her, since she wasn't killed at the end and she's still on large thanks to Airi, meaning that everyone who was cursed, minus Claudette, are still cursed. And even Claudette herself is not safe of this, since thanks of her conquering antics and the Rebellion War because of her while being under the Witch's control means that she needs to defend her title as the queen in the next 4 years, since if she lose the title, maybe she and the Vances possibly will face the consequences for everything she did when she was the queen, even if wasn't entirely her fault.
    • Leina got a even worse one, at least in the animated continuity if you take into account what happens to her in the canonical end of her episode in the Vanquished Queens OVAs: According with The Swamp Witch herself, her vital energy is being drained out from Leina's body and her remaining days she have to sleep at random times. Since the real Swamp Witch (not Werbellia) is still alive and well at the end of Rebellion, that means, unless Leina asks Werbellia to remove the curse or kills the real Swamp Witch, that means the curse on her will possibly end her kill her sooner or later. Assuming the events of the animated adaptation doesn't Retcon the ones from the gamebooks, this is a stark contrast from what happens to her as the curse the Witch puts on Leina only make her sleep, but it did not drain her life.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Nanael, sure she can come off as racist toward the human race, has a really bad ego and won't hesitate to leave people in need behind, you can't help but feel something for her especially when you find out in episode 7 that she's ostracized by the other angels for not being able to fit in with them because of her wings (and her attitude which was probably developed from being isolated and only having one friend). Besides, her personality is justified given that the majority of angels have the same view as her and come off as hypocritical in comparison.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Illustrated Stories only: The novel implies Ymir (or Melona impersonating her) basically raped Mirim when she tries to improve her Ultra-Vibrating Armor putting a dildo-like device in her nether parts. For obvious reasons, the anime adaptation avoids this and she use the Magical stones in Mirim's armor breastplate and crotch zones instead.
    • The manga adaptation is even worse: While the rape scene was skipped (or happened offscreen), on the other hand she forces Mirim to kill innocent people just because she wanted it and she brokes Mirim really hard in the process.
  • Narm: Find this hard to believe, but if you watch this and your focus isn't on the fanservice, each time the Ecchi aspect seizes control of, well, everything, your going to find it rather ridiculous. Special mention goes to the final battle between Aldra and Leina. One attack blasts Leina across the battlefield, using her sword to slow her down. Where is the camera in all of this? Pointing at Leina's behind. Close up. It's pretty silly.
  • Never Live It Down: Leina is left with lingering feelings of shame and humiliation by the end of the third "Vanquished Queens" OVA. Where, after being captured by Werebella, she was subjected to Rape as Drama. See the related entry in her character section.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The whole franchise as a whole, especially in additional materials, seems to be clear in one thing, regardless the whole Fanservice: If you want to get something in life, you must be ready to sacrifice something valuable for you if you want to pursue your dreams and be ready to face the consequences of your actions, being good or bad. This is even invoked by Alleyne when fighting against Leina in the gamebook continuity. And OH BOY she's right, since basically almost every named character does lose something valuable at the end, especially in the Illustrated Stories. And the Elves are the ones who suffer the most, since Alleyne not only lose Nowa, she also lose her entire Elf Village at the hands of the Swamp Witch and Echidna (in the anime, at least) not only becomes a fugitive, she also lose Irma by being reduced to a cripple at the hands of a brain-washed Risty.
    • Tomoe adds an extra layer on this, at least in the animated series: The Sacrifice something valuable for you part also implies murder. (albeit this was Shizuka's plan from the beginning)
  • Replacement Scrappy: Played a bit with Laila from Rebellion: While she's not exactly unpopular, the fact she was originally planned as Nanael's partner and later ascended as a titular character, while Nanael was Demoted to Extra possibly due to Aya Hirano's sex scandal caused her to become an almost flat character with very few motivations, other than following someone else's orders and having an almost-inexistent backstory (other than being half-angel half-human, and that fact is never exploted anywhere). Hobby Japan seems to be aware to this fact, and that's the reason why Nanael returns in the Vanquished Queens OVAs.
  • Tearjerker:
    • Delicious and well served Elvish-beach-fanservice though OVA 2 may be, hats off to the directors for being able to hold off the Ecchi for three entire minutes to deliver a genuinely emotional and heartwarming farewell between Nowa and her teacher/adoptive-mother Alleyne.
    • Episode 4 when Claudette lets go of Leina's hand.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Basically, we never find out what happened with the rest of the cursed returning characters after The Swamp Witch is defeated, and it's very possible, even with Werbellia being defeated, the real Swamp Witch and her goons are still at large and the cursed heroines will probably remain cursed for the rest of their lives. The only character who managed to break her curse was, ironically, Claudette and she still remains being the queen, albeit with her previous personality she had before being one.
  • Too Cool to Live: Shizuka
  • Unpopular Popular Character - While Nanael is widely considered by many characters to be an annoyance, the fans seem to think otherwise.
  • The Untwist: As the plot of Rebellion advance, many of the most "mysterious" stuff surrounding some of the main characters are pretty obvious to deduce by just looking closely:
    • Aldra and Annelotte being sisters: Both having the same hair color, both being half-demons and both having their names beginning with the letter "A".
    • The Swamp Witch being Aldra and Annelotte's real mother: After reading Aldra's backstory, we know her mother was a demon and her father was an human, and Werbellia fits the description given by Aldra.
    • The Rebellion's version of Ymir is NOT the real one: Even if she was a greedy jerk in the prequel, she still has morals and she never fall too low, like raping Mirim in the Illustrated Stories, not to mention her personality doesn't match with her previous self. The twist is Melona was the one impersonating her and imprisoning the real one.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • While not as notable as other series, there's a notable point of contention about some plot points in both the gamebooks and also the TV series regarding the Vances, especially Leina, at least for some Western viewers: Most of the drama and tragedy from Rebellion could be avoided if Leina should had a bit of common sense regarding her own family, since it's very clear she already knows her sisters aren't exactly the nicest people around, especially Claudette, who she already knows all the crap her sister has to endure due to the fact she's an illegitimate daughter. This is for the same reason like Sasuke Uchiha, albeit not as harsher as the Uchihas: Due to her filial piety towards her own family, even if Leina's own family is NOT perfect in any way and even her own mother even acknowledge that fact in a flashback scene in the second season. This is even more notable in Rebellion as Leina is never seen to take the blame for the all the aforementionated events, even if her sister Elina almost got executed due to this. This is somewhat subverted for two reasons: The first one is,even if Leina decided to not forfeit the title or someone else even won the tournament, the events of Rebellion could still happened in some way or another anyways and the second one is Leina NEVER reveals her real identity towards the Rebellion's Army, especially towards Annelotte, as the latter has a grudge against her sister Claudette for killing her human family and she still hides her face from the real world at the end of Rebellion.
    • Another weird subversion is during the oil wrestling duel between Leina and Echidna in the first season: Many viewers complained why Leina didn't run away from that battle when she was losing against Echidna, in the moment she was expelling all the audience from the battle. At first it was somewhat evident it could be considered as an act of utter cowardice for Leina to running away from a battle she chose to fight, even if her opponent is a person who has never lose a battle in her life and she could had killed her if she wanted. In the DVD version, it turns out that scene was a Plot Hole and it was retconned to Leina being unable to run away because she was unconscious in that moment.
    • While this also overlaps with Informed Flaw and also Misaimed Fandom from the Japanese side, another weird subversion is the fact how Hobby Japan describes the dwarves like Ymir and Eilin. The way how dwarves are depicted in the franchise is the same how the dwarves were depicted in The Hobbit, since the dwarves are supposed to be an analogy of how Jews were depicted in Tolkien's times.note  The subversion came with the fact, while Ymir and Eilin are in fact somewhat greedy, it's normally Played for Laughs, they're not of the Proud Warrior Race Guy kind of character, except when Dwarven weapons or jewels are involved, and, at least in Ymir's case she's truly heroic after all in Rebellion and she was responsible in helping Mirim on defeating Claudette.
  • Villain Decay: when Airi gets a Morality Pet. It turns lethal for her when she's unable to feed before facing Aldra because of Rana.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: GONG's official YouTube uploads of the show are only rated TV-PG, except for the third episode which somehow managed to get rated TV-Y!
  • The Woobie:
    • As a child, Nyx was abused and humiliated by Elina. In fact, her reason for entering Queen's Blade is partly to get revenge. She also subjects herself to a creepy, borderline-rape relationship with her sentient weapon, Funikura, because she thinks it's the only way she can win. And then she loses.
    • Florelle was an orphan who grew up in the streets until Claudette saved him. Despite his tough childhood, he still puts on a cheerful smile.
    • Tomoe has her friend slaughter in front of her, is forced to kill her friend who doesn't get revived and she gets cursed and loses her eyesight.

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