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Anime / Day Break Illusion

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Day Break Illusion (il sole penetra le illusioni ~ Day Break Illusion note ) is a dark tarot-themed Magical Girl Warrior anime by AIC released in the Summer of 2013.

Akari Taiyo is an aspiring fortune teller following in the footsteps of her late mother. She is very interested in tarot cards and her fortunes have an uncanny accuracy. When she's attacked by monsters, her mother's tarot deck releases its hidden power and Akari transforms by using The Sun card.

Later, she's contacted by the secret magical organization Sephiro Fiore. As it turns out, Akari is from one of the twenty-two bloodlines that wield the power of the Elemental Tarot, magical cards that gain their power from nature. These girls use their powers to protect the balance of the world from the Diabolos Tarot, evil cards that feed on the souls of humans and create monsters called Daemonia.

Unfortunately, those who wield the power of the Elemental Tarot bear a horrible burden, for they are both saviors and executioners...

Tropes associated with the anime:

  • Anime Hair: Oh yeah. Most striking are Akari's hair crescent and Luna's hair strips, but none of the major characters really have plausible styles.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The third Daemonia seen. The smaller insects it creates are also about the size of a bird.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Seira, Luna, and Ginka save Akari from being killed by a Daemonia in episode 1.
    • Priscilla and Meltina step in to save Akari in episode 3.
  • Black Cloak: Cerebrum wears this. It has some blue parts, but is very much in the spirit of the trope.
  • Body Horror: How does Kiyone turn full Daemonia? Cerebrum's torso splits open and releases the nascent Daemonia, which eats her.
  • Breather Episode: Episode 7 is mostly light and comedic Slice of Life, with no Daemonia battles, horrific deaths, or any of the other nasty things that took up most of the preceding screentime.
  • Combat Tentacles: Common. The plant Daemonia uses vines, the ship Daemonia uses anchors, Luna has her vines...
  • The Corrupter: Cerebrum works by telling people that they should give in to their negative emotions, and giving them a Diablos Tarot card to "help".
  • Costume Porn: Low level, but there's a number of detailed outfits.
  • Crapsack World: Anyone can become a Daemonia, even the magical girls who fight them.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: How Seira's best friend Manami died. A Daemonia sucked her toward it like a vacuum cleaner, impaling her through one of its many nails. The worst part? It was the blunt end of the nail, which means her internals are likely splattered everywhere through the air from the sheer impact. The audience gets a Gory Discretion Shot, Seira... not so fortunate.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to the average Magical Girl series. For one, the magical girls actually have to kill the monster-possessed humans.
  • Darkest Hour: The end of episode 10. Luna's been turned into wolf-Daemonia, Seira, Meltina, and Priscilla are unable to fight, leaving Akari to fight Daemonia alone, and then their school is set on fire by an angry mob manipulated by Cerebrum. And then, next episode, Akari learns the Awful Truth about her birth and is cornered by Cerebrum.
  • Deal with the Devil: Daemonia make contracts with their victims in exchange for granting a wish that they may not actually fulfill. Then the contractee goes nuts.
  • Demonic Possession: The monsters called Daemonia latch onto the souls of people who undergo extreme negative emotions, such as jealousy or grief.
  • Downer Beginning: In the first episode, Fuyuna is possessed by a Daemonia and Akari accidentally kills her when her powers awaken. This sets the tone for the rest of the series.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Etia and Ariel are the most obvious (Etia even has a Parasol of Prettiness!), and Akari's and Luna's fashions draw inspiration from gothic lolita as well.
  • Elemental Powers: Less common than you'd think, what with the girls being empowered by the "Elemental Tarot", but still present.
  • Embarrassing Old Photo: The girls' prize for winning a treasure hunt in episode 7 is an embarrassing picture of Akari sleeping as a toddler.
  • Emotions vs. Stoicism: The main conflict between Akari and Seira. Seira thinks it's a hindrance to listen to the Daemonia, as it causes hesitation in battle. Later, Seira seems to prove her own point when she hesitates against a Daemonia possessing a person she knew. Akari then turns Seira's logic around by claiming that the inability to kill a Daemonia after hearing it is caused by a lack of resolve.
  • Evil Knockoff: If episode 8 is anything to go by, the original Daemonia of each Diablos Tarot is an exact replica of the current user of their Elemental counterpart, sporting a negative color scheme.
  • Extra-Strength Masquerade: Dead Daemonia are Ret-Gone, getting rid of the most obvious evidence.
  • Eye Take: The very last thing we see in episode 2 is Akari's eyes widening in horror as a father and son nearly get crushed.
  • Fight Woosh: Right before the second fight, the screen twists into a fancy vortex, and Akari finds herself up against a monster.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: The opening song begins with disembodied bell tolling and a shot of the heroines on a graveyard, then suddenly turns into a Heavy Metal guitar riff solely because of Rule of Cool. The effect is really stunning.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: The DVD bonus episode reveals Luna rescued Akari from a Daemonia before the events of the series, and she passes by Fuyuna when leaving the library. Fuyuna was retrieving a book she left there, which Luna had read and was inspired by.
  • Fortune Teller: Some of the characters are one. The main character Akari, her late mother Hinata, as well as the three women who were Hinata's colleagues and are now Akari's mentors. All of them use tarot.
  • Futile Hand Reach: A fireman does this as Akari runs towards a burning building. He could have stopped her, but instead he just stands there with an outstretched arm.
  • Generic Cuteness: Episode 4 has a certain character being particularly attractive as a minor plot point. It's unlikely viewers would notice if it hadn't been pointed out.
  • "Get Out of Jail Free" Card: The Ret-Gone effect is surprisingly convenient for all main characters, allowing them to kill their targets with no legal consequences. Akari would have been institutionalized for psychotic murder in the first episode without this effect (because who would have believed that her cousin turned into a murderous demon?).
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Seen on the possessed people.
  • Mundanger: being bankrupt, driven to suicide from mounting debt, being unable to be a proper parent to your child, and losing your most loyal friend. If this anime is meant to be a Seinen, it hits right in the feels.
  • Neck Lift: Akari's neck seems to have a strange attractive force; both enemies in the first episode try to strangle her.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Cerebrum trapping Akari in a "Groundhog Day" Loop and forcing her to relive the day she killed Fuyuna over and over was meant to break her spirit, but in the last loop Fuyuna reaches out to Akari instead and they have a heart-to-heart talk, finally allowing Akari to understand why Fuyuna became a Daemonia and to come to terms with her cousin's death, and that grants Akari the power to break free of Cerebrum's illusions and finally defeat him.
  • No Body Left Behind: A step further than usual; Daemonia hosts are outright Ret-Gone after death. Though the corpse sticks around long enough to guilt whoever killed them.
  • No Ontological Inertia: If a Diablos "counterpart card" is annihilated, all Daemonia that came from that Diablos card will vanish. The only way to annihilate a counterpart card is if the card's corresponding Elemental Tarot user defeats the counterpart, causing both user and Elemental Tarot card to be annihilated as well.
  • Noodle People: Everyone is so spindly.
  • Older Alter Ego: Most of the Magical Girls—especially Akari—take on a somewhat older, more mature appearance when they transform.
  • Omniscient Council of Vagueness: Leguzario, the indeterminate entity/entities in charge of the Elemental Tarot users. They only communicate with humans indirectly through Laplace and Schrodinger, and as far as we've seen all they ever see of Leguzario is what appears to be a room full of talking pillars. Also, they're Running Both Sides.
  • Painting the Medium: Static appears when there's a Daemonia nearby.
  • Ret-Gone: The fate of all those taken over by Daemonia; once they're destroyed, all evidence of their existence disappears for those who knew them in life.
  • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Only Elemental Tarot users remember the victims of the Daemonia.
  • Running Both Sides: Leguzario funds Sephiro Fiore and orders Cerebrum about, although they seem rather dismissive of his goals.
  • Sadistic Choice: Cerebrum forces Seira to choose whether to kill the Daemonia-fied Luna, or to never get her powers back (and probably get killed by Luna). Akari takes a third option, giving herself up to save them both.
  • Sea Monster: The Daemonia in the thirst episode initially takes the form of a giant mass of flesh and tentacles attached to a ship.
  • Sequel Hook: The anime ends with enough mysteries to leave open the possibility of a continuation. ** Indeed, the show is getting a sequel in Web Serial Novel format.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Episode 3. Akari, who for some reason is able to listen to the remaining humanity inside a Daemonia, tries to find a way to reverse the transformation. She doesn't find a way. She gives up, and accepts the burden of killing people.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Ginka is the most lighthearted of the four girls, and makes a Heroic Sacrifice in episode 8 to seal the Temperance Diablos Tarot. This marks the start of an already dark show getting even darker, though fortunately she does come back.
  • Shoot the Dog: The only cure for being possessed by a Daemonia is death.
  • Shower of Angst: Seira and Luna have one after killing the Daemonia in the second episode. Ginka is a bit more accepting about it.
  • Shown Their Work: There's some perfectly accurate discussions of tarot in-show, and the On the Next previews even go into detail about the symbolism of the Major Arcana cards. There's still some small errors though, like calling the Magician the first card in Tarot and standing for infinite possibilities. Well no, that would be the Fool.
  • Synchronization: The Diablos "counterpart cards" have this relationship to the user of their Elemental Tarot counterpart.
  • Talking Animal: Laplace and Schrodinger. Can't have a Magical Girl series without the mascots.
  • Tree of Life: In-universe speculation is that everyone has a connection to the Tree Of Life, which represents fate. Daemonia work by taking over a person's Tree Of Life, essentially changing their fate. The Tree Of Life is also said to be the origin of the Aeon Tarot, predecessor of the Elemental and Diablos Tarots.
  • Tsurime Eyes: Everyone gets sharper eyes after transforming. Kind of scary in the case of Seira, who has tsurime to begin with.
  • Unnecessarily Large Interior: Sephiro Fiore's base mostly has reasonable dimensions (if designed for more people), but the hall leading to the portal is absurd. That room itself is quite large, but that could be down to needing room for the machinery.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: The Tarot reading in episode 7 foretells a difficult future awaiting the girls.
  • Villain Teleportation: Cerebrum can teleport even outside of Daemonia space.
  • The Virus: The Daemonia are explicitly compared to a disease.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 8 ends with Ginka performing a Mutual Kill on her counterpart card, resulting in both disappearing.
    • Episode 9 follows this up with Cerebrum turning Luna into a Daemonia.
    • Episode 12: Luna returns to normal, and Ginka makes a seemingly Unexplained Recovery. (Said recovery is explained next episode.)
  • Wham Line: Cerebrum has one near the start at episode 12: "I want to mate with you."
  • Whole Episode Flashback: The DVD bonus episode takes place before the beginning of the first episode.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Before her death, Hinata tried to keep Akari away from the fate of their bloodline. But the Wheel of Fortune can't be stopped.
  • Your Soul Is Mine!: Cerebrum gets paid in souls.

Alternative Title(s): Genei Wo Kakeru Taiyou, Il Sole Penetra Le Illusioni