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Key, etc.
"What does 'Etc.' mean?!"
—Haruhiko Yoshino

Kaginado (literally "Key, Etc.") is a 4-minutenote  anime series animated by Liden Films and created by Key/Visual Arts, first released in October 2021. The anime is a Crossover Gag Series featuring the various Key franchises, namely Kanon, AIR, CLANNAD, Little Busters!, Rewrite and, to a lesser extent, planetarian. The setting of this series features the characters of the aforementioned franchises in form of Super-Deformed designs and interacting each other, with a lot of Mythology Gags, Breaking the Fourth Wall and self-parodies, as well as reused songs and soundtracks of each series. The first season has 12 episodes.

The world of Kaginado is inhabited by the characters of the various Key franchises, with most of the visiting Kaginado Academy. They live their not-so-ordinary lives at the school and in town where a lot of random hijinks ensue. The world itself is observed by Yumemi Hoshino and Ushio Okazaki inside the planetarium.

The final episode of the first season reveals the inclusion of Angel Beats!, followed by the announcement of a second season in April 2022. In the second season, Yuri Nakamura and her SSSnote  try to lure out god and destroy the world of Kaginado, basically the same goal as in their home series, but they repeatedly fail comically. Throughout the course of the series, the SSS and Tenshi become more and more accustomed to the world of Kaginado instead.


Warning: Unmarked spoilers abound for all the series listed above.

Tropes, etc.:

  • A-Cup Angst: It's a running gag that Kud and Sasagesawa are tormented by the show for having flat boobs, although it doesn't stop other Pettanko characters to receive fanservice scenes. When the two try to run for student council candidacy together, they are joined by fellow pettanko Yui, who is under the belief that their boobs will grow bigger someday.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: In episode 3, Sunohara doesn't buy that the katana Kuragaya used to cut him in half in episode 2 is just a replica blade that can't cut.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Episode 1 has Riki accidently blurb an "Uguu~", and Yuuichi points out that Ayu was just playing baseball before. Riki and Ayu are both played by Yui Horie.
    • Episode 11 has Michiru calling for Sayuri's name. Michiru and Mai (and Mei) are voiced by Yukari Tamura.
    • Episode 11 has Saya laughing maniacally, similar to Yurippe from Angel Beats!. Could also be Foreshadowing, as Yurippe herself appears at the end of the very next episode.
    • Episode 18 has Dorj sing AIR's opening theme Tori no Uta, but with cat lyrics. Dorj is voiced by Lia, who has sung various songs for the Key franchises.
    • Episodes 19 and 20 pair Tenshi and Kagari, who often talk one after another. They are both voiced by Kana Hanazawa. While they both look and sound very similar to each other, this also allows to show off how Hanazawa gives them distinct nuances to their voices, as Tenshi has an even softer voice than Kagari.
  • Adaptational Dumbass: Yurippe of Angel Beats!, while freely admitting that she and her organization are "a bunch of morons", was still easily the smartest and most capable of the bunch, possessing great leadership skills and being very good at well calculated strategic thinking in most situations, which allowed her to get one over on Angel and the Student Council on more than one occasion. The Yurippe of this series is more of an impulsive Butt-Monkey and Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain whose plans for "destroying the world" are all crazy schemes that are never met with success, much to her constant frustration.
  • Adaptational Jerkass:
    • Ryou is notably much more bitter and cynical here than her canon counterpart, and she has a big grudge towards her twin sister Kyou for stealing Tomoya away from her. In Season 2, this also extends to her sister's pet boat Botan for not liking her either.
    • Speaking of Tomoya, one gets the idea he doesn't like his wife very much in Kaginado, unlike his canon self. In episode 9, he laments wanting to walk away when Nagisa uttered the word "Anpan" when they met, and mocked her death in the same episode. The writers seem to have noticed this, as in season 2 we have Tomoya and Nagisa sitting next to each other on a bus going to a field trip, and then asleep, cuddling and holding hands on the way home.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In Angel Beats!, Yuri wanted to take over purgatory and basically "free" it from God's rule so that the dead people there could have free reign. When she appears at the end of Kaginado Season 1, she declares her group's intention to destroy the whole world just to spite the God who made it.
  • Adapted Out: Averted with Kappei Hiiragi after 14 years! After being completely left out of CLANNAD's anime adaptations and after being completely excluded, Kappei showed up in episode 13, lamenting his role as the unfavourite of the Visual Novel and alluding to his omission.
  • Advertised Extra: The five main heroines of each franchise, Ayu, Misuzu, Nagisa, Rin and Kagari are heavily advertised and most of the merchandise focus solely on them, but they have very little screentime since Kaginado doesn't focus on any character in particular. Although Ayu is the general exception of this. It wouldn't be until episode 20 where the main heroines (which also includes Tenshi) would have their dedicated episode together...except that Rin is completely omitted from the slumber party and have Riki replace her as a joke.
  • Alternate Self: The same characters from CLANNAD and its spin-off Tomoyo After are treated as separate selves. This is further shown within the credits of episode 6 where After Tomoyo is credited with her sister Tomo but separately from Team CLANNAD. Episode 11 has CLANNAD Tomoyo credited alongside the other CLANNAD characters.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: In episode 16, the SSS members who are sitting in the second bus fail to kidnap the bus for themselves since they are out of their depth against the superhuman cast of Rewrite.
  • Always Someone Better: Yukito is already struggling to earn money with his magic in AIR, but he can't measure up to Kotori who can basically do the same thing as him, but on a much bigger scale. And when he tries to challenge her to a fight, even when empowered by the feelings of his ancestors, his little puppet has no chance against Kotori's parents who use a shotgun and a chainsaw.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: In episode 10, Akiko receives a Sailor Fuku from Koumura-sensei and runs around the school while wearing it, much to Nayuki's chagrin. Nayuki falls so much in despair that she borrows Kaori's Catchphrase and falls into the same depressed state she was in during her own route.
  • Art Shift:
    • This is deliberately done in episode 4, where the girls (and Riki) are drawn in their normal proportions to provide service, rather than in this series usual chibi style.
    • Episode 10 does this briefly again when Kuruguya shoves the loli photos into her cleavage.
    • Episode 17 repeats the same premise of episode 4. A close-up on Takamatsu's raging face is also shown in normal proportion, since he's unable to show of his muscles like the other guys.
    • The beginning of episode 20 has the main heroines in normal proportions to show off their pajamas.
  • Back from the Dead: Kanna, Ryuuya and Uraha are visiting the cultural festival and there's no explanation why they are alive and in the present.
    • It could also be applied to Makoto, Misuzu and the entire cast of Angel Beats! given their fates in their own series'.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: The five main heroines of each franchise, Ayu, Misuzu, Nagisa, Rin and Kagari are present in every picture of the ED. Yet they have very little screentime overall, and aside from the first episode, there has not been an episode truly dedicated to any of them during season 2. As of the second season, Tenshi joins them in the ED, although the six heroines aren't all present in every picture and are sometimes split in a couple of them. It wouldn't be until episode 20 (the 8th episode of the second season) that they finally get a dedicated episode to themselves...except that Riki is replacing Rin in that episode.
  • Beach Episode: "Beach, Etc," which is episode 17, the 5th episode of season 2. It largely replicates the "plot" of episode 4's Pool Episode.
  • Becoming the Mask: As seen in episode 21, having been with the other Kaginado characters for so long and having participating in the world's group activities, the members of the SSS have become friends with them and several members fully support the other Kaginado characters rather than sticking with Yurippe. Yurippe herself hasn't realized that she herself has also made friends with the other Kaginado characters.
  • Been There, Shaped History: As it turns out in episode 14, the black and faceless background characters of Kaginado were actually the Angel Beats! characters in disguise the whole time.
  • Berserk Button: Ruining Tenshi's Mapo Tofu results in her summoning her evil clones and destroy the entire fighting tournament competition and the arena.
  • Big Bad: Yuri Nakamura takes this position in Season 2, as she's trying to rebel against the world of Kaginado. But given the efficiency and success rate of the SSS group, she comes off more as a Big Bad Wannabe.
  • Big Brother Instinct: One of the young girls included in Kyousuke's candidates for the beauty contest in episode 10 is Mei, which her older brother Youhei is obviously none too pleased about when he sees her photograph (he's even audibly threatening to kill Kyousuke in the background while Kurugaya is talking in the forefront). On a more serious note, him defending Mei from the soccer team in the CLANNAD anime was also referenced earlier in episode 6, and he casually comments that despite not being doting towards Mei, any older brother would do that to anyone who makes their younger sister cry. When Mei ends her candidate speech with "and toilet seat cover" in episode 22, Sunohara wants the person who taught her this "dumb joke" to show themselves, presumely so he can beat them up.
  • Big Brother Worship: Inverted. Most of the older siblings love their younger sisters a lot, even those who treated theirs coldly in their canon series. Meanwhile, those younger sisters see their older siblings as their Disappointing Older Sibling. Takafumi, on the other hand, still holds Tomoyo in high regard.
  • Black Comedy Rape: Combined with Double Standard Rape: Female on Male. The ending of episode 20 implies that Riki is gangraped by the main heroines of the other Key series. All the traumatized boy has to say is that "The secret garden is only beautiful if the secret is kept". However, whether or not he was actually raped is left ambiguous and open to interpretation, since it's also possible that he was just interrogated by them.
  • Borrowed Catch Phrase:
    • Kaori's "I don't have a younger sister" has been borrowed by Shiori and Nayuki. Shiori uses it as quote to get back at Kaori. Nayuki borrows and repurposes it to "I don't have a mother" after Akiko has turned into an Amazingly Embarrassing Parent.
    • Kyousuke keeps blurting out "Wafu!" While onstage during the Mr. Miss Kaginado Contest.
  • Brain Freeze: In episode 17, Yui, Iwasawa and Hisako end up freezing their brains by eating shaved ice too quickly.
  • Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: The Marine Life Alliance, consisting of Ayu, Fuuko and Shizuru, have been established as early as episode 2, but in episode 10 they disband because they can't agree on one marine product. They make up in episode 11 because they still love marine products, regardless which species. Even though taiyaki isn't a marine product, just fish-shaped cake, which is lampshaded by Ryuuya.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Happens all the time. The characters are aware that they are fictional characters, some of them have knowledge of the other characters' series, and few characters act the way they are because of fan reaction.
  • Brutal Honesty: In episode 4, 10 and 22, Yuichi is the only one of the boys who doesn't hold his tongue, even if it's insensitive to say it.
  • …But He Sounds Handsome: That isn't Tomoyo in the bear costume kicking Midou's ass in episode 11. But vote for her in the student council election anyway.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Sunohara from CLANNAD continues to be this, seen in episodes 2 and 3. In episode 6, the characters are shocked that he's the only one in the room who acts as the Only Sane Man, a reaction he finds quite rude.
    • Kitagawa is treated as if he's a Flat Character version of Sunohara.
    • Yukito can't catch a break as well, notably seen in episode 5 where he is unable to earn any money at the flea market, and is treated as a sex offender in episode 9. In episode 10, the literal poor guy is bribed to help out for the cultural festival, and in episode 11 he's playing a tree during Nagisa's stage play, most likely for the same reason (bribe). In episode 24, when he gets to say something cool for once and he anticipates to be treated as an awesome guy, Yuichi points out that Yukito's an adult and shouldn't even walking with them to school.
    • The girls from Little Busters! (mainly Kud and Sasasegawa since they are the most upset about it) are the only ones (aside from Kagari who is from Rewrite) who remain in chibi form throughout the entire Pool Episode and are upset by this. Splashing cold water on them doesn't change their appearance like the other girls. Doing poses doesn't do it either for them. And when it seems it's because of Buxom Beauty Standard, they are then devastated that even Riki (the male protagonist of Little Busters!) gets un-chibified (twice). The same happens to them in episode 17. To twist the knife even further, some of the boys such as Masato unchibify too, and so do fellow Little Busters! heroine Haruka and fellow Pettanko Tenshi.
    • When she's not unleashing her inner turmoil, Ryou is still this, as evidenced with being hit in the face with a volleyball in episode 17.
    • Despite the ED, the merchandises and advertisements treat Rin as the main heroine of Little Busters!, the series never actually gives her the proper treatment. Instead, the series makes fun of how she's not the main heroine without actually explicitly saying so. Rin is not mentioned once to be Riki's main love interest, and instead jokes about Kyousuke being his true love. Episode 20 has Rin completely absent from the pajama party of main heroines, where she's replaced by Riki himself. Episode 24, the final episode of the anime, finally treats her like a main heroine.
    • Yurippe's various scheme fail miserably.
      • Notably, the SSS membersnote  who attempt to kidnap the second bus in episode 16 are not only foiled by the Rewrite cast, they don't get to enjoy the beach trip in the next episode at all, since they are buried in sand as their punishment. At the end of episode 17, they are still buried and left completely forgotten at the beach while half their heads are submerged by sea water. Yusa, the one member who is with them in the bus, actually gets scott-free for some reason, is able to enjoy the entirety of beach trip, and is the only SSS member to ride on the second bus for the trip back home even when there's enough empty seats in the first bus left.
  • The Cameo: Happens in every episode. You will see several characters having silent cameos, usually in form of still-frames. Most of the narrators do that in form of their voices. Episode 13 actually focuses on this, where characters who either only had silent cameos or only narration roles during the first season were now given their proper appearance.
  • Casting Gag: Episode 8 is entirely based around Keiko Suzuki playing multiple roles.
  • Chased Off into the Sunset: Combined with Everyone Chasing You. Episode 23 ends with every character chasing after Ayu, so that she can cast the deciding vote for the student council president election. The chase scene is a Mythology Gag to Kanon's (2006) ED animation. While Ayu and her pursuers are running, the sky keeps changing accordingly to the position of the sun and the background changes to various locations from the different franchises, including Torishirojima, which is the location of Summer Pockets.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Episode 2 has a poster of the upcoming flea market in the background. Said market becomes the focus of episode 5.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Episode 13 has a silhouette standing next to the scolded group early on in the episode. This silhoette turns out to be Kappei Hiiragi who has been present the entire episode.
    • Episode 22 has Ayu being stuck in the "self-reflection" room. This becomes important in episode 23, since she's the only character left who has not voted yet, which would make her vote the tie-breaker.
  • Chick Magnet: Lampshaded in episode 9, as the protagonists have quite the harems. Riki goes beyond that, having the biggest harem of them all and being also a Dude Magnet. Kotarou, Yukito and Yuichi are jealous that Riki has been intimate with ten different girls.
    • In the same episode, the boys all refer to Tomoya as "Harem King".
    • Episode 20 takes this further, as Riki easily gets the sexual attention from the Key main heroines.
  • Cliffhanger: Season 1 ends with the SSS revealing themselves to the live audience and Yurippe's declaration to destroy this "god-made" world. While episode 12 is the final episode of season 1, the story doesn't follow up on the ending until episode 14. That's because episode 13 interrupts the story with something completely different.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: A staple by Key, so all characters retain their weirdness from their home series. The most notable mention is Mai, whose Flanderization has her reduced to only saying her catch-phrases, which most of the time don't make any sense. Any outsider would not understand that "Honey bear" stands for "yes" and "Ponpoko tanuki" stands for "no", a Mythology Gag from Kanon. In episode 9, Kotarou later lampshades that Mai got those two catch-phrases from Yuichi in the first place.
  • Combat Commentator: Ohyama and Sakura Kashima take this role in episode 19 for the fighting tournament, with Ohyama being the Large Ham commentator and Sakura Kashima being the stoic and deadpan commentator. Ohyama is also seen doing this earlier in episode 15, when Fujimaki got curb-stomped by Kyou and her arsenal of dictionaries.
  • Comedic Lolicon: Kurugaya is Flanderized into preferring young girls (unlike in her home series where she simply likes to tease cute people regardless of gender or age), and since this is a gag series, it's Played for Laughs. In episode 10, Kyousuke chooses Michiru, Mei, Kud and Shimako as the contestants of the beauty contest, and Kurugaya sneakily puts their photos inside her cleavage.
  • Covert Pervert: Nishizono often gets a nosebleed when she sees naked guys. In episode 10, she's seen switching the list of contestants for the "Miss Kaginado" Contest, which is revealed two episodes later to contain only male contestants in Sailor Fuku. (More specifically, the girls' uniforms from their respective home series.) As of season 2, she's also a massive Yaoi fangirl as evidenced by her practically foaming at the mouth over the Ship Tease between Sunohara and Kappei.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: In episode 12, Shima is seen watching jealously at Dorj being hugged by Misae, to the point that Shima is cracking the wall with his paw. Considering that Shima used to be human... Shima gets jealous again in episode 21, this time it's Piro, who is sitting on Misae's lap.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Yukito vs Kotori in episode 5. Yukito's little puppet gets immediately destroyed by Kotori's parents.
    • CLANNAD Tomoyo in her bear costume vs Midou. Tomoyo defeats Midou with ease.
  • Deadly Euphemism: "Goal!" or "Crossing the goal line", which is used for Misuzu's infamous death scene. It's used as a running gag, and Haruko has to stop Misuzu from crossing the finish line multiple times.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Nishizono keeps verbally jabbing at the other characters in episode 6 while not changing her kuudere character. She also calls out of Kouko's charade at the end of episode 7. Similarly, she lampshades on the inaccurate Elite Four status in episode 13.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Yuri, Nayuki, Kyou, Komari, and Kotori all band together as the decoy heroines of their titles.
  • Defeat by Modesty:
    • Double Subverted in episode 3. The boys aren't bothered that they end up naked because of Lucia's "Extreme Vibration" curse, but once all boys of the "Soccer Club"note  end up naked, Kanata and Shizuru suspend the Soccer Club indefinitely, thus the Neo Kendo Club win by default.
    • Subverted in episode 13. While Kanna gets disqualified in the fighting tournament for stripping herself naked, she also defeats her opponent Kengo with her indecent expore, as his "innocence" cannot take that much stimula.
  • Demoted to Extra: Ryou got this hard after episode 7. Aside from the occasional background appearance, she got one more speaking appearance as Dark Ryou and one more appearance being hit in the face with a volleyball in season 2.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: In episode 11, Midou mistakes Misuzugon (who is Misuzu in her green dino costume) for his grey Earth Dragon and accidently switches them.
  • Disappointing Older Sibling: Most of the younger sisters hold grudges towards their older siblings for the things they did in their canon series. Ryou and Haruka still hate their twin sisters Kyou and Kanata respectively for not only stealing the protagonists from them, but for impersonating them while doing so as well. Shiori still hates Kaori for the latter denying the former's existence, Rin is still angry for Kyosuke being romantically involved with Riki, and Chihaya is angry about the fact that fans think of her route as Sakuya's route. Shizuka doesn't even bother to show up because she continues not to view Shizuru as her older sister. Mei, who actually has a normal relationship with Sunohara, is grossed out by him because It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Disguised in Drag: In episode 7, Takafumi disguises himself as Tomo to show his affection for his older sister Tomoyo. This ends up getting him hit in the balls and sent flying into the sun.
  • Dragged into Drag: The contestants of the "Mister 'Miss Kaginado' Contest" have Kitagawa, Ryuuya, Sunohara, Kyousuke, Masato, Kengo and Haruhiko Yoshino in Sailor Fuku. They are later joined by Yuichi, Tomoya and Riki who participate willingly. But the winner of the contest is Hinata.
  • Dreadful Musician: Kotomi's continues her terrifying violin play in the flea market in episode 5. Kyou exploits it by selling earplugs to the customers, which she does again in episode 12. In episode 19, Kotomi participants in the fighting tournament as CLANNAD's strongest character because of her violin. The soundwaves she produces can shatter walls, glass and porcelan.
  • Easily Forgiven: Kyou and Ryou along with Haruka and Kanata seem to have forgiven each other after the events of episode 7, with both sets of twins performing a routine at the school festival in episode 11.
  • Easter Egg: These are plastered all over the anime, either in the background, in still-frames or in some other shape of form.
  • Election Day Episode: Episode 21-23 isa a mini-arc revolving around various Key characters trying to become the student council president. The candidates form various parties and try to attract votes from other students. Yurippe and Naoi believe that becoming the student council president would effectively make them the god of the Kaginado world, which is mostly a school. The result of the election: All candidates share the same amount of votes, with Ayu being the only character left who has not voted yet because she has been confined in the "self-reflection room" the entire time, leading to the entire cast chasing after her.
  • Ensemble Cast: The anime doesn't follow or focus on any particular character.
  • The Faceless:
    • Ushio's face is never fully shown untill the final scene of S2.
    • Tomo's face is completely hidden.
  • Fanservice:
    • Episode 3 features the boys getting all of their clothes destroyed during the soccer game. Meanwhile Kurugaya doesn't get a chance to glimpse some Panty Shots from the girls. Because it's not Ecstasy.
    • Episode 4 being a Pool Episode does this in much higher degree, to the point that the anime abandons the Super-Deformed style to parody this trope.
    • Followed up in episode 17 which has the same thing happen to the girls minus Sasami and Kud along with a few of the guys.
  • Fanservice with a Smile: Invoked by Nagisa, Lucia and Shizuru to help Sanae selling their Furukawa Shop's bread in episode 5.
  • First-Episode Spoiler: Episode 1 parodies the climaxes of Kanon, AIR, CLANNAD, Little Busters! and Rewrite. This sets up not only the tone of the series, but also that Kaginado is not shy to give away spoilers.
  • Flanderization: Due to Kaginado being a Gag Series, some characters have their key traits greatly exaggerated for humor. Most notably is Mai, whose dialogues consist only of her catch-phrases. Also of note are Misuzu who acts even more childish than she did at the end of AIR and she's obsessed with "crossing the goal" (in reference to her infamous death scene), Ayu whose taiyaki theft is almost her entire character, and Rin whose entire personality has been shifted to being pissed off at Kyousuke, Masato and Kengo or somebody else whenever she speaks. The second season continues to do this with the added Angel Beats! characters, with Tenshi being the most notable example, since she keeps eating Mapo Tofu in every scene she appears in.
  • Flat Character: Kitagawa is criticized for being bland and having no real character (especially since he can't compare to the much quirkier Sunohara). When he's running for Student Council President, he's supported by like-minded fellows Fujimaki and Ohyama who are also criticized for being bland.
  • Foreshadowing: In episode 16, it's suggested that Iwasawa, Lucia and Chihaya would sing karaoke in the bus, but we don't get to see it. In episode 18, they sing on-stage.
  • Framing Device: The series begins with Ushio walking into the planetarium, where Jena is projecting scenes from alternate universes (all the canon routes of the games), and Yumemi showing her the world of Kaginado.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: While Summer Pockets doesn't get any character representation, you can briefly see Torishirojima harbor when everyone's chasing Ayu.
  • Gag Series: A comedy series with constant self-parodies of various Key properties. A lot of Breaking the Fourth Wall and they don't even shy on making fun of the very sad moments of the original franchises.
  • A God Am I: Yurippe and Naoi believe that the Student Council President has the power to be the god of Kaginado and they try to become one.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: The slumber party consisting of the "secondary" heroines (Nayuki, Kyou, Komari, Kotori and Yurippe) are all jealous of the main heroines, which drives them crazy. This is also made worse by the fact that several of them share some traits with the main heroines, yet they aren't main heroines themselves.
  • Groin Attack: Episode 7. While Ryou, Haruka and Shiori throw their baseballs right in the gut of their older sisters, Rin throws hers in Kyosuke's balls. Sakuya willingly jumps into Chihaya's ball to get hit in his balls as an apology. Sunohara fears that the same will happen to him, only for that comment to gross out Mei. Tomoyo returns Takafumi's ball by kicking it back and hitting him in his nuts and sending him into the sun on top of that.
  • Hachimaki: In episode 21, Kyousuke, Masato and Kengo wear "I Love Riki" hachimaki on their foreheads.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Unsurprisingly, Yurippe and the SSS give up to destroy the world of Kaginado and embrace living in it instead.
  • Heterosexual Lifepartners: The initial contestants of the "Mister 'Miss Kaginado' Contest" consist of the male best friends of each protagonist and they were chosen because of that criteria. Kitagawa for Yuichi, Sunohara for Tomoya, Kyousuke for Riki (with Masato and Kengo competing who Riki's best friend truly is), and Yoshino for Kotarou (even though the former denies to be the latter's friend). Since Yukito has no male best friend, his ancestor Ryuuya was chosen instead. The winner, Hinata, also serves as one for Otonashi.
  • High School AU: Much like Isekai Quartet, Kaginado follows the same premise of putting Key's various franchises into a high school setting and using Super-Deformed character designs. It's only the actual high school characters who attend Kaginado Academy, but the rest of the characters do live in the same world as them and appear frequently as well.
  • Hotter and Sexier:
    • Ecstasy and Wafter are acknowledged as the R-rated works, to the point that the characters even mention Ecstasy Mode and Wafter Mode as sexier upgrades.
    • Notably, since CLANNAD has no R-rated scenes, this is brought up in form of Fridge Brilliance. Tomoya has sex with only one girl in CLANNAD ~After Story~ (off-screen) and Tomoyo After, respectively, which is why he acknowledges only one girl for each work as his partner. Similarly, Kotarou has zero partners because Rewrite is for all-ages and has no R-rated version.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • In episode 6, when Kyou and Kanata brag about how cute their younger sisters are, Kouko immediately turns on the TV to show Ryou being interviewed, with Ryou revealing how her older twin practiced kissing while masquerading as her. Kanata is disgusted by Kyou, but then the interview switches to Haruka, who reveals that Kanata did the same thing as Kyou, only instead of just practicing, she actually did kiss Riki. Kaori then looks down on Kyou and Kanata for being such disgraceful older sisters, then the interview cuts to Shiori who reveals how her older sister used to say "I don't have a little sister".
    • In episode 21, when Yurippe learns that most members of the SSS have been hanging out with their new friends at Kaginado Academy instead of attending the meeting, she claims that they have been "corrupted". Then Yukito, Saya and Yukine show up, who Yuri has already befriended with. Obviously, Otonashi comments on how she's been "corrupted" as well.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each episode's title ends with "Etc." ("Nado" in Japanese).
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: To prepare her ultimate power, Kanna strips herself naked and flies up to the sky, only for her to be disqualified by indecent exposure. She's oblivious to the effect it creates, leading to her opponent Kengo fainting from nose-bleed, and many of the male characters in the audience lusting over her naked body (barring Tomoya who looks away, and Riki and Yuichi who are unphased by it, all three of them being known to not be virgins).
  • Karaoke Box: More like karaoke bus. The second bus has Ayu and Nayuki sing Last regrets. Kotarou has put Lucia's and Chihaya's idol duet song in the queue. Inside the first bus, Yui asks Iwasawa to sing karaoke as well. Luchihaya and Iwasawa don't get to sing karaoke in this episode, but they later sing live on-stage in episode 18.
  • Kendo Team Captain: Kotarou leads the Neo Kendo Club, which consists of himself, Mai, Lucia and Kurugaya. Sunohara lampshades that none of them are kendo practitioners and they all use swords rather than a shinai. Kengo, who is a genuine kendo practitioner, sides with the Soccer Team because of the blatant disrespect towards kendo coming from Neo Kendo Club.
  • Lady of War: The Neo Kendo Club is mainly comprised of female swordswomen with long, dark hair. Mai, Lucia and Kurugaya. Sunohara asks Kotarou if he's trying to build a harem with that.
  • Last Episode, New Character: The first season ends with the reveal that Hinata, Yurippe and Otonashi from Angel Beats! were in the series the whole time as the Kuroko. Also, Mishio, who hasn't had a cameo in previous episodes, makes her Kaginado debut in episode 12 as well.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: In episode 20, the main heroine pajama party has this in form of Kagari and Riki. Most of Kagari's dialogue doesn't match well with the topics the girls and Riki are talking about. Riki is not a main heroine and he's male, which is only pointed out at the end of the episode.
  • Lemony Narrator: Starting from episode 2, there's a narrator every episode, but they don't necessarily appear in the episode. Some of them also mention that they are done with the narration or express themselves while in-character. The narrators are characters that exist within the various franchises. However, the second season rarely uses opening narrations.
    • Episode 2: Naoyuki Okazaki from CLANNAD.
    • Episode 3: Midou from Rewrite.
    • Episode 4: Keisuke Tachibana from AIR.
    • Episode 5: Sakura Kashima from Rewrite.
    • Episode 6-7: Kouko Ibuki-sensei from CLANNAD. She also appears in those episodes.
    • Episode 8: Yumemi Hoshino from planetarian. She also appears in the episode.
    • Episode 9: Yuichi Aizawa from Kanon. He also appears in the episode.
    • Episode 10: Hijiri Kirishima from AIR.
    • Episode 11: Yaobikuni from AIR.
    • Episode 12: Yuzuru Otonashi from Angel Beats!. He appears at the end of the episode.
    • Episode 16: Misuzu Kamio from AIR. She appears at the beginning of the episode.
    • Episode 20: Akiko Minase from Kanon.
  • Love at First Punch: While most of the heroines have nice, romantic stories about meeting the protagonists, Kagari recounts cutting Kotarou's arm off while Kanade mentions stabbing Otonashi in the chest. Yurippe wonders if shooting Otonashi would have made her the heroine.
  • Love Triangle: The end of episode 17 gives us the triangle between Otonashi, Tenshi and Naoi. Tenshi and Naoi compete for Otonashi's affection, and both of them have given him a lap pillow in the episode. The rivalry between Tenshi and Naoi continues in episode 22.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: Yumemi and Ushio are watching the world of Kaginado inside the planetarium. The world of Kaginado has the characters from Kanon, AIR, CLANNAD, Little Busters! and Rewrite, with most of them attending the same school, yet retain the original school uniforms of their respective home series. There are a lot of fourth-wall breaking jokes and the characters even have (some) extended knowledge of the series they don't appear in. By the end of season 1, the characters of Angel Beats! has also joined the world of Kaginado.
  • Master of Disguise: In episode 12, as stated above, Yurippe disguises herself as the faceless male host of the "Mister 'Miss Kaginado' Contest". Complete with Voice Changeling. We later learn in episode 14 that all the black and faceless background characters were the SSS in disguise the entire time.
  • Meganekko: In episode 21, CLANNAD Tomoyo is briefly wearing her Purely Aesthetic Glasses to evoke the appeal of this trope, advertising herself as the only Key heroine to wear glasses. Which is true, since of all visual novels and games purely made by Key (Heaven Burns Red is a collaboration work done by Key and Wright Flyer Studios), there is no other heroine who wears glasses.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile:
    • In episode 10, Kyousuke mistakes Sunohara for having the same taste as him.
    • In episode 15, "5th Dan" Matsushita denies to be a lolicon.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Thanks to the Pool Episode invoking and encouraging this trope, we get to see un-chibified versions of Touka, Akane, Kotomi, Kyou, Nayuki, Makoto, Minagi and even Riki in their swimsuits. Meanwhile Sasasegawa, Kud and Nishizono do not get their chance to provide fanservice even if they want to, and Kagari completely avoids this trope.
  • Mundane Afterlife: Discussed in episode 14. Yurippe is under the belief that the world of Kaginado must be an afterlife created by a god, and various Key characters comment on how they either died or almost died or are spirits, while characters like Yuichi insist that they are not dead or characters like Kyousuke or Kagari may have created this world themselves.
  • Mythology Gag: Every episode has several of those, and it would be too long to list all of them here.
  • Narcissist: Brought up in episode 6. Kyou and Kanata brag about how much they love their cute little sisters, with Nishizono immediately pointing out that whether it's inherently narcissistic to do so if it's their twin sisters, with Sakuya further commenting that it's like praising their own mirror reflection.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Sasasegawa's signature ohoho can be briefly heard in episode 4.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Yumemi and Ushio are the only characters who are not Super-Deformed. Justified, since they are observers who watch the world of Kaginado.
  • Non-Uniform Uniform: Despite this crossover anime being set in one and the same school, the characters all wear the school uniforms of their respective home series. To hammer this home further, After Tomoyo wears a summer uniform to distinguish her from the CLANNAD characters who all wear winter uniforms.
  • Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Nishizono's younger sister Midori is depicted as an Imaginary Friend. In episode 7, when asked where Midori is, Nishizono claims that Midori has been standing next to her the entire time. Since the others don't see her, they are creeped out by this. Despite this, Riki actually counts Midori as one of the ten girls he had sex with. She actually makes her first appearance in episode 22, but none of the characters are shown to react to her unlike with all the other candidates.
  • Official Couple: Despite being nicknamed "Harem King" by the other protagonists, Tomoya acknowledges only one of the girls as his romantic partner (Nagisa). And in Tomoyo After where it's with Tomoyo. He's also the only one who is content with having only one partner. Furthered when they're seen nuzzling against each other while holding hands, asleep on the bus home from the show's Beach Episode.
  • One-Steve Limit:
    • In episode 6, Nishizono lampshades that Tomoyo's father might have named her half-sister "Tomo", so in case if he accidently misnames one of them, he can shrug it off as a simple mistake.
    • Kanata lampshades that Kanako does not only sound like her, but that even their names are too similar.
    • While not mentioned, Yuusuke Yoshino from CLANNAD and Haruhiko Yoshino from Rewrite appear in the anime. They both even appear in episode 18, yet nobody ever references that they share the same family name despite both of them being commonly referred to by their family name.
    • Similarly, Yukine and Kengo share the same family name Miyazawa. Since the two are generally referred to by their given names, it never comes up.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Despite the series having no reservation for spoilers, Kanade Tachibana is always credited as "Tenshi" ("Angel") rather than by her name. She also has yet to be referred to by her real name.
  • Only One Name: While most of the cast of Angel Beats! are known for having only one name, the Kaginado credits extend this further with Matsushita, Iwasawa, Irie and Sekine, who do actually have full names, but are credited by only their family names instead. Similarly, Tenshi is credited by her nickname rather than her full name. Sekine and Irie do refer to each other by their given names, with an added "-n" to make them sound cuter.
  • Only Sane Man: Sunohara in episode 6. He's the only one who is not a doting older sibling towards his younger sister, and he's the only who has a normal relationship with her younger sister unlike the rest.
  • Perpetual Poverty: Yukito is unable to make a living with his magical puppeteering. In episode 10, he is bribed to help preparing for the upcoming cultural festival with school lunch tickets.
  • Pool Episode: Episode 4 is set at the verse's school pool, allowing the viewers to receive a lot of Fanservice from the female characters... and Riki. The episode accomplishes this by un-chibifying the characters.
  • The Pornomancer: Riki. He has slept with ten different girls in his home series because he's surrounded by so many of them, even compared to the other Key protagonists. This goes so far that even the main heroines of the other Key series are interested in him because he has slept with so many girls.
  • Power Trio: The old and established ones aside, Kaginado introduces a new trio in form of the Marine Life Alliance, which consist of Ayu, Fuuko and Shizuru.
  • Proud Beauty: Riki is quite confident that he would be the winner of the crossdressing contest. Yuichi and Tomoya are not amused.
  • Queer People Are Funny: There are a lot of jokes around the Little Busters! situation (Everyone Is Bi and Kyousuke being treated as the "real" main love interest of the story, even if only the girls got routes) with the rest of the protagonists being confused.
  • Questionable Consent: Yukito is confronted with this in episode 9. Being a hobo with Vague Age and having sexual relationships with adolescent girls, Yuichi, Tomoya and Riki judge him "guilty". Kotarou, being physically 17 but technically almost 30, is also afraid to be treated like Yukito.
  • Really Gets Around: Yuichi has slept with all of his five heroines and is respected for that. Yukito has slept with all three heroines, but is judged by it because of the age gap. Riki has slept with ten different girls, which not only has him earn the respect of the fellow protagonists, the main heroines are interested in him because of the fact that he he has slept with so many girls. In episode 19, it's explicitly Yuichi and Riki among the audience who aren't phased by Kanna flying naked in the air because they are the least innocent. Also, due to Riki's high sex count, Kotarou, Yukito and Yuichi panic and think of ways how to increase their sex count to compete with Riki's, while Tomoya is the only one who thinks that having one partner is enough.
  • Running Gag: In addition to several which are present from their home series', Kaginado adds some new ones such as:
    • Nishizono being a Covert Pervert.
    • Riki being a closet uke for Kyousuke.
    • Yuichi's Brutal Honesty, and Nishizono being a Deadpan Snarker.
    • Riki's promiscuity.
    • Yukito being a pathetic hobo who will do anything for food.
    • Kyou making a profit on earplugs through Kotomi's terrible violin playing.
    • Shima's jealousy of Misae showing affection to the other cats of the Keyverse making him angry enough to crack walls with his paws.
    • Misuzu reenacting the famous "goal!" Scene for comedic effect.
    • Yurippe's schemes ending in failure, usually with her yelling at the top of her lungs whenever it happens.
    • Naoi's subservient love for Otonashi.
  • Say My Name: Episode 24 has all six main heroines calling the protagonists' given names.
    Ayu: Yuichi-kuuuun!
    Misuzu: Yukito-saaaan!
    Nagisa: Tomoya-kuuuun!
    Rin: Rikiiii!
    Kagari: Kotarou.
    Tenshi: Yuzuru.
  • School Festival: Episodes 10-12 focus on the school festival held at Kaginado Academy.
  • School Swimsuit: Featured in episode 4. When in chibi-style, the names on the swimsuits are written in hiragana. But when they are not in chibi format, the names will change into kanji.
  • Second Place Is for Losers: In episode 20, Nayuki, Kyou, Komari, Kotori and Yurippe hold a slumber party for "secondary" heroines, one room next to the main heroines who also hold a slumber party. All of the five secondary heroines are incredibly jealous for not being the main heroine. The two slumber parties are contrasted by each other by the positivity and negativity of their respective parties. On one hand, the main heroines wear proper pajamas and are barefoot (except for Kagari who has a Limited Wardrobe), they consume bakery sweets and juice, they have (mostly) fun conversations and are sitting in a well lit room. On the other hand, the secondary heroines wear tracksuits and socks, they consume junk food and soft drinks, they cynically complain all the time and are sitting in a dark room. This overall portrays the secondary heroines as losers. Episode 22 confirms this trope even more, as the secondary heroines form the Loser Heroine Gang.
  • Secret Circle of Secrets: Parodied in episode 9 with the 21st Protagonist Convention. The protagonists are sitting in a council meeting, have their faces covered in brown paper bags and have the room lit with only torchlights to make the atmosphere ominous. They address each other as Comrade A, Comrade K, Comrade O, Comrade N and Comrade T...except they keep saying their real names before backtracking to their council names. By the end of the episode you have heard every council member's name but Yukito's. The council is seen again at the end of episode 20 (the 22nd Protagonist Convention), this time with Otonashi being added to their ranks (which would make him the second Comrade O).
  • Senpai/Kōhai: Yuichi is respectfully referred to as "Shodai" (which means "First") by the other protagonists, since he's the first protagonist of Key's visual novels.
  • Sexual Euphemism: While the word "sex" is never outright said out loud in the series, the savvy audience realize soon that "partners" refer to "girls they had sex with", due to Tomoya having only one "partner" per visual novel, Kotarou having zero, and Riki having ten, while Yukito is declared "guilty" for having "partners" because of the age gap. Later in episode 20, Kagari uses the word "reproduction" as a substitute for sex, which is significantly less ambiguous, and she even says that Riki is the Key human who "reproduced" the most often.
  • Share the Male Pain: In episode 7, after Kyousuke gets a baseball hit in his balls, Sunohara and the catcher are covering their crotch and looking in fear at the former. After Sakuya suffers the same fate as Kyousuke, Sunohara is afraid that Mei will also aim for his balls. Mei, who, unlike Rin and Chihaya, has no grudge towards her older brother, is instead grossed out by his comment and she abandons the game.
  • Sibling Rivalry:
    • Ryou has a deep grudge on Kyou because of the latter's action in CLANNAD, as well as the fact that Ryou is significantly less popular as a character.
    • Haruka has a grudge on Kanata for similar reasons like Ryou, but in episode 8, she's willing to forgive her. Mainly because Haruka got her comeuppance in the previous episode. However, episode 12 heavily implies that Haruka is still not over it yet.
    • Rin views Kyousuke as her romantic rival and doesn't want her brother to be flirty with Riki at all.
  • Sibling Team: The point of episode 7. The older siblings are the hitters, the younger siblings are the pitchers. The competition is about the bond and trust between hitter and pitcher and accomplish a homerun. Everyone fails spectacularly, while Shizuru and Nishizono don't even get a chance to participate at all. Kouko, who is the referee and not a player, declares herself the winner because she's the only true Cool Big Sis...despite that Fuuko doesn't even appear in the episode.
  • Slapstick: As seen in episode 7, neither gender will be spared by the wrath of the little sisters. You either get a baseball in the gut or in the balls.
  • Slumber Party: Episode 20 has two of them. One room has the main heroinesnote , while the other rooms has the "secondary" heroinesnote . The room with the main heroines hold a proper and fun pajama party with bakery sweets and juice, while the room with the secondary heroines is filled with negativity and jealousy, the girls all wear sports jumpsuits and socks, and they consume junk food and soft drinks instead.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: During the first season, Sunohara, Shizuru and Nishizono appeared in and had more prominent speaking roles in more episodes than a majority of other characters with 6, 9 and 7 appearances in 12 episodes respectively. Some characters were lucky to appear as background characters in one episode, let alone several. Kyou and Ryou almost fall into this given they appeared in almost every episode during the first half of the series, but didn't make any more significant appearances beyond episode 7.
    • Lampshaded in the second season's first episode, in which the characters who had the most appearances become the target of a grudge. Except Shizuru, who's had so many appearances that she is apparently above jealousy.
    • With season 2, Yurippe as the seasonal Big Bad appears in almost every episode of the season, except for episode 19.
    • Throughout both seasons, Ayu is the main heroine with the most amount of appearances and speaking roles.
    • Chihaya still holds a grudge against Sakuya for stealing the spolight on her route.
    Chihaya: It was my route... Why do people call it the "Sakuya route"?!
  • The Starscream: Unsurprisingly, Naoi betrays Yurippe in episode 21, so that the disciplinary committee would arrest her and he would have an easier time to become the next student council president. To be fair, Yurippe was trying to cheat during the election, and Naoi gets immediately his comeuppance by Tenshi who uses a Guard Skill specifically designed to "erase" him.
  • The Stinger: The first season ends with Yurippe, Hinata and Otonashi hijacking the "Mister 'Miss Kaginado' Contest". The cast of Angel Beats! will be included in the second season.
  • Straight Man:
    • Sunohara would often be the tsukkomi to everyone's boke. Kitagawa is noted to lack this trait, hence why Akane tells Kitagawa that he lacks character.
    • Episode 11 has Ryuuya commenting on the absurdity he's witnessing at the cultural festival.
  • Student Council President: Episode 21-23 is a mini-arc where various Key character are running for the high school's student council president candidacy, including middle school students, adults and even animals. All of them do it for personal reasons or are chosen by other characters to be candidates. The new student council president is nobody. All candidates share the same number of votes, and they all chase after Ayu who has yet to vote. However, episode 24 reveals that there is a new student council president, but it's not revealed who that is.
  • Suicide as Comedy: Misuzu is obsessed with reenacting her "Goal!" scene. Since it basically means she would die, Haruko has to keep Misuzu from crossing the goal line. It does make you wonder if Misuzu is Driven to Suicide.
  • Super-Deformed: The series is stylized in chibi format. This is subverted and lampshaded in episode 4 where the female characters (and Riki) are then drawn in normal proportions to provide some Fanservice to the audience.
  • Super Speed: Episode 10 has Akiko in a school uniform outrunning her daughter Nayuki by miles. Nayuki being a member of the track team is by no means slow.
  • Super Strength: Comedically demonstrated by having Chihaya and Nagisa standing/walking next to each other in episode 10. The former lifts an absurd amount of weight over her head that a normal person could possibly never carry, while the latter struggles to carry a box full of light stuff.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: While the shift has become apparent in episode 21, it's in episode 23 that the Loser Heroine Gang convince their fellow member Yurippe to give up on her (failing) quest of destroying the world of Kaginado.
  • Those Two Guys: Kengo and Masato have never been seen apart from one another in any of their appearances during season 1. Averted in season 2 where Masato keeps getting in pose-offs with other muscular characters, and Kengo appearing without Masato for the tournament episode.
  • Tiger Versus Dragon: In episode 6, we have Kyou as the tiger and After Tomoyo as the dragon. And Sunohara is caught in-between.
  • To Be Continued: Featured at the end of the episodes 6, 10, 11, 21 and 22. Funnily enough, the first two times a character said "To be continued", the character was voiced by Yuko Minaguchi.
    • When episode 23 fakes us out that it is the final episode, Akiko (voiced by Minaguchi) pops up to remind us that there's still one more episode left.
  • Token Adult: Yukito is the only male protagonist who doesn't attend Kaginado Academy and is therefore not a student like the others. That's because he's already an adult. Although Kotarou is secretly almost 30 years old, but is physically in his teens. Because of his age, Yukito having sexual relationships with the three teenage heroines is treated as a crime by at least three of the other protagonists. This is addressed again in episode 24, where Yuichi points out how Yukito walking with them to school doesn't make sense.
  • Too Long; Didn't Dub: The official English credits for the voice cast keep "Tenshi" untranslated, although the actual subtitles do translate it as "Angel". The ending card of episode 22 also keeps "Tenshi" untranslated.
  • Trauma Button: The whole Little Busters! team begins to panic when their field trip bus starts to swerve in episode 16. A few minutes later, Otonashi has a freak out when their bus goes into a tunnel.
  • Tournament Arc: Tournament Episode to be exact. Episode 19 parodies Dragon Ball's Tenkaichi Budokai, with each series sending their strongest character to fight for them in the tournament to determine the strongest character of Key. The participants are Mai Kawasumi (Kanon), Kannabi-no-Mikoto (AIR), Kotomi Ichinose (CLANNAD), Kengo Miyazawa (Little Busters!), Chihaya Ohtori (who summons Sakuya to fight for her) (Rewrite) and "5th Dan" Matsushita (Angel Beats!), although Tenshi (Angel Beats!) later joins the battle and wins the competition.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Kagari and Kanade are hardly ever seen without their signature coffee and mapo tofu respectively.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: In episode 7, Takafumi is sent flying into the sun when Tomoyo kicks his baseball back at him and hits him in his groin.
  • Uke:
    • Riki is often treated this way.
    • Kappei is treated as this in season 2, a nod to Sunohara mistaking him for a girl and the BL overtones of Sunohara and Kappei in Kappei's route in their home game.
    • Naoi acts like this towards Otonashi, to the point that Naoi would reduce himself as Otonashi's personal dog/mascot and imagines himself as the Eve to Otonashi's Adam.
  • Undying Loyalty: Subverted. While the SSS were absolutely loyal to Yurippe in their home series (sans Otonashi who discovered the truth later on), they all seemingly eventually lose their loyalty towards her because they found new friends and interests in the world of Kaginado, leaving her alone and by herself. Luckily for her, Yurippe herself already found new friends and gets the support from the Loser Heroine Gang specifically. Double Subverted in episode 23, where it turns out that the loyal members of the SSS just left the meeting room to capture the traitors. Although at this point, Yurippe has already lost her ambition to destroy the world.
  • The Unreveal: In episode 24, it is not revealed who the new Student Council President is.
  • Verbal Tic: The characters who have a Verbal Tic in their home series continue to have this in Kaginado. This is also lampshaded in episode 9. Riki also accidently blurps an Uguu~ due to the fact he and Ayu are both voiced by Yui Horie.
  • The Voiceless: Ushio remains completely silent until episode 24, where she finally speaks for the first time.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Yuichi, Tomoya and Riki willingly enter the "Mister 'Miss Kaginado' Contest" as crossdressers.
  • Winged Humanoid: Kanna is always seen with her wings except in episode 12 and 14.
  • World's Strongest Man: What the 19th episode is all about with its Tournament Episode. It ultimately turns out to be Tenshi.

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