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Anime / Glass Fleet

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A crossdresser, a sarcastic space pirate, and a madman emperor all walk into a bar... sounds like the beginning of a joke, no?

Glass Fleet is a 26 episode anime series that is essentially the French Revolution IN SPACE!.

It follows the story of Michel Volban, the leader of the People's Army which plots to overthrow the tyrannical rule of the Holy Emperor Vetti Sforza. To do this, Michel attempts to enlist the help of Cleo, the captain of a very rare and very powerful Glass Battleship. The problem? Cleo has no interest in politics, despite the fact that he's apparently going to someday take over the universe with his ship.

Still, Cleo eventually decides to join sides with Michel against Vetti, but that's where things start getting tricky.

This show provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents:
    • Vetti's foster parents.
    • Michel's father Nicholas was no prize either. It's somewhat downplayed however as he was shown to truly care for his children despite his Stay in the Kitchen beliefs.
  • Action Girl: Eimer and Sylua. Also Michel aka Racine.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Eimer gets a Whole Episode Flashback all to herself near the end of the show, detailing her life as the "Queen of the Slums" and how she met Cleo.
  • Anti-Gravity Clothing: Rachel once wears a thick fur wrap that floats over her shoulders.
  • Asteroid Thicket: The rebels hide behind one in the second-to-last episode.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Usually averted by finding a realistic way to cover up the naughty bits, but in full effect when Rachel tries to seduce Vetti.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space
  • Because Destiny Says So: The prophecy that Vetti and Cleo both receive fairly early in the series.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Nowy.
  • Bling of War
  • Cain and Abel: Vetti and Cleo.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Black Cross.
  • Corrupt Church: The Church of the Black Cross.
  • Costume Porn: Some of the most trippy costumes anywhere.
  • Demoted to Extra: Michel seems to turn less important as the anime goes on, with the focus shifting more to Cleo and Vetti.
  • Did Not Get The Guy: Cleo sacrifices himself or becomes part of Vetti (or something) so the relationship between him and Michel never really goes anywhere past a quick Pre-Climax Climax.
  • Dropped Glasses: Nowy, constantly - and at one point intentionally as an effort to make Eimer laugh.
  • Dwindling Party: The prisoners that help some of the heroes escape all meet their end across their appearances from Bombay's holding the guards off on the prison planet to Gary and Nordeen ramming Conrad's flagship in the penultimate episode.
  • The Empire: The Holy Empire
  • Enfant Terrible: Ralph
  • Fauxlosophic Narration: Each episode opens with some of this from Michel.
  • Forceful Kiss: Vetti plants one on Rachel when he attempts to woo her. She bites him.
  • Freudian Excuse: Vetti's sociopathy is forgiven due to his abusive background.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Cleo.
  • Gravity Sucks: The Black Cross.
  • Harmful to Minors: Vetti, one could also argue for Ralph's sake, but since that seems to be more implied than explicit...
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All the episode titles are similes ("Like ________").
  • It's All About Me: Rather than actually trying to save the galaxy, Vetti is far more interested in prolonging his own life.
  • Karma Houdini: Vetti. Although the epilogue implies that as evidenced by the prophecy and Guilty's explanation, that Vetti and Cleo have (somehow) merged into a single person/entity with seemingly the best traits of both. Or being primarily Cleo but with all his roughness replaced by Vetti's superhuman eminence. This can best by seen by Michel's reactions to him and his knowledge and emulation of all Cleo's mannerisms.
  • La Résistance: The People's Army.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Rachel's sanity rapidly dwindles after falling for Vetti.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: They found out they were related at the same time. However, a few episodes prior had revealed that Cleo did have a sibling, unbeknown to him, but did not say who that sibling was.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Vetti.
  • Mark of the Supernatural: Vetti has one purple eye and one gold one, the first clue that he's not exactly normal.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Eimer and Nowy
  • The Masochism Tango: Vetti and Rachel's later series relationship. Though Rachel's the only one dancing.
  • Morality Pet: Ralph is probably intended to be this for Vetti. However due to the nature of their relationship it just serves to make Vetti look even creepier.
  • The Mole: Hector.
  • Muggle Foster Parents: Vetti and Cleo were both raised by these. It went considerably better for Cleo than it did for Vetti.
  • Never My Fault: In episode 15, Hector rejects any blame for selling out the Peoples army to the Holy Emperors Forces in the naive hope that it would end the conflict sooner and give them a position in the Empire. Acting surprised when his former comrades go after his life and when Michel calls him out on what he did.
  • Ninja Maid: Sylua
  • No Indoor Voice: Hizack, once he puts his helmet on. Without it he is The Quiet One.
  • "On the Next Episode of..." Catch-Phrase: "A galaxy in revolution... Renaissance."
  • Parental Incest: Vetti, with both of his foster parents.
  • Pimped-Out Dress
  • Pretty in Mink: There are a few outfits that are fur or fur-trimmed, such as Rachel's floating fur stole.
  • Promotion to Parent: Michel was the primary caretaker for his younger sister.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Happens to Eimer during the prison sequence.
  • Ramming Always Works: One of Cleo's primary tactics with his glass battleship. Also how Gary and Nordeen destroy Gerald's flagship in the final episode.
  • Rebel Leader: Michel Volban
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Subverted by Eimer — she can be a bit of a brat, but she's nowhere near evil.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Several examples are present. Cleo and Michel respectively make up the main pair, though it tends to reverse itself whenever Michel begins to break down and Cleo has to build her back up. Also Ralph and Vetti fit this motif, Ralph being the child and prone to getting emotional while Vetti of course is the adult and the emperor making him more level headed.
    • Gerard and Conrad, Vetti's right and lefthand men, also count. Gerard believes that actions speak louder than words and that the Empire's sheer military might will persevere it while Conrad believes that power alone can't solve anything and pushes for the union between Rachel and Vetti.
    • Eimer and Nowy, the former being bratty and arrogant while the latter is soft-spoken and kind of a dork.
    • Theodoric and Hector are always bickering with one another in the first half of the show. Theodoric believes that might makes right while Hector believes in a more peaceful resolve through negotiations. This ultimately results in the former being killed by the latter after it was revealed that Hector sold out the People's Army.
  • Room Full of Crazy: A somewhat unusual one (in that it's merely covered in roses instead of writing) shows up in "Like a House of Cards"
  • Rule of Glamorous
  • Samus Is a Girl: The person posing as Michel is a girl. The real Michel was not.
  • Sanity Slippage: Poor Rachel really starts losing her mind after her marriage to Vetti. By the end of the show she has turned into a full-blown Yandere.
  • Schizo Tech
  • Self-Made Orphan:
    • Vetti manipulates his foster mother to kill his abusive foster father with a poisoned drink. He then disposes of his mother with a Deadly Hug.
    • Rachel also disposes of her own father and becomes the new Pope in the final episode.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man:
    • Vetti (kind of) is more sensitive to Cleo's manly man. Michel would count as a sensitive guy to Cleo's manly example if she was really a male.
    • Conrad and Gerard.
    • Hector and Theodoric though Hector turns out to be not so sensitive after he's revealed as The Mole and kills Theo.
  • Space Pirates: Cleo and his crew.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Vetti to Michel.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Despite Racine being even more skilled at sword fighting than her brother, her father completely discouraged her from pursuing it, demanding that she acts like a Proper Lady.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: "Michel" is actually Racine Blanche Volban. She took up her older brother's identity after he died in battle.
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: The Pope is not a very handsome man. His daughter Rachel on the other hand is quite beautiful.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: Vetti is rather put out when he finally gets Michel in his clutches only to discover that she's a woman.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After Michel effectively disowns him, Hector has a small breakdown and vows to make his own army and ignite revolution on his own terms. He is never seen or mentioned again afterwards, though it's entirely possible he was killed by his former comrades seeking vengeance or perished when the Black Cross destroyed the galaxy in the end.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Episode 17 and 22 consists mainly of flashbacks detailing Cleo’s parents and guardian and the meeting of Eimer and Cleo.
  • Woman Scorned: Rachel — to the extent that she murders Ralph.