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I will go on living.
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In the suffocating city of Calm, 15-year-old Zed dreams of freedom and breaks down doors in his spare time. Wishing to escape from his harsh surroundings, he follows a mysterious gust of wind through a portal to a different world, a world of magic being torn apart by war. Arriving in the peaceful land of Templar, he meets a girl named Roya who is a Shard Caster; a warrior who uses the power of Shards to cast spells and summon Spirits. Zed learns that he too has become a Caster, and decides to fight in order to get stronger and find some meaning in his life. Little does he know that his sickly friend Noah has also been transported and developed powers of his own. They quickly become embroiled in events far beyond their control, with the fate of their new world at stake.

A 2006 anime by Madhouse, Kiba is a dark and often bleak show that concentrates on the characters' growth and survival in times of hardship and injustice, and the search for what it means to be truly free (though still with a healthy dose of action). Despite the fantasy elements, it's definitely not to be taken lightly.

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The show provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Roya. Maybe.
  • Adrenaline Makeover: Rebecca
  • Affably Evil: Hugh and Dukeham
  • Air Jousting: Zed and Hugh in the second opening video.
  • Animal Motifs: Birds for Zed. He always wears an accessory with two feathers on it, his key spirit Amir Gaul has feathered wings and turns into a phoenix at one point, there's a motif in the story involving wind and freedom, his second spirit Rambos is a bird, and in the last scene, Zed is shown having Amir Gaul's wings.
  • Anti-Hero: Zed
  • Anti-Villain: Noah and Gitra. The king of the Beastmen might count.
  • Anyone Can Die
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: When Helic releases Ex-Machina in Neotopia.
  • Badass Longcoat: Zed
  • Bare Your Midriff: Roya (to an almost impossible degree), Aisha, Kira, Molima
  • Beautiful All Along: Noah's opinion of Kira when she takes her glasses off.
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  • Bishounen: Robes of course! Noah to a mild extent.
  • Bishounen Line: In a manner of speaking, as the more powerful Spirits look more human-like than the less-powerful Spirits; this culminates in Amir Gaul, the most powerful Spirit, being a glowing angelic figure.
  • Blood Knight: Glaudio. Zed is one before he decides to start fighting for peace.
  • Break the Cutie: Rebecca's physically manipulated into stabbing her father by her teacher and forced into marriage with Dumas, only to be given to Hugh instead in a plot to get one of the key spirits. Then her father is killed.
    • Then there's Noah, who landed in Neotopia. Despite being rescued by a kindly couple and temporarily regaining his strength, he results in Gale, the couple's son, killing his father due to the country's laws. Then Gale fights Keith and dies along with Aisha, both of whom Noah had befriended, after Noah unintentionally sets everything on fire. Then Noah ends up with some Seekers and finds the key spirit Sachira, causing everyone but Sagiri and himself to die. After he becomes Neotopia's top shardcaster, Hugh attacks the capital and Zed drags Hyrum to him in exchange for the many civilians that are about to be eaten by Spirits. Hyrum kills himself, and Diana and Sagiri appear to die when the building collapses. Let us not forget about the debilitating illness that has plagued him since childhood, which will eventually kill him and renders him practically catatonic by show's end, nor the fact that the thing that started this series of events was his desire to help Zed... who's joined up with the opposition, becomes Noah's enemy, and ultimately takes him down. That kind of sucks. Is he a Woobie yet?
  • Can't Catch Up: Despite Roya being a pretty awesome fighter, she gets frustrated when she has to fight Zed in a joust.
  • Cheerful Child: Sagiri before she becomes a Caster.
  • Chick Magnet: Noah has at least four women fall in love with him during the course of the story.
  • Chosen One: There's a lot of fighting and debate about who is the true Chosen One.
  • Combat Medic: Roya becomes one after a Dream Sequence involving her mother.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Noah does it in his last fight against Zed. He uses five key spirits to fight a Curb-Stomp Battle against Zed.
  • Crapsack World
  • Cyborg: Everyone in Ulbacus
  • Cute and Psycho: Rebecca ends up as one after Hugh marries her to take the key spirit Pronimo and kills her father. Mikki also becomes one after Dumas dies.
  • Dance Battler: Roya
  • Designated Girl Fight: When Roya fights Kira in the Joust.
  • Determinator: Dukeham. He even makes everyone in his army be one too.
  • Deus ex Machina: After Zed is possessed by Tusker, Ginga turns up alive and attacks him with a newly completed Ex Machina, stalling Tusker until Zed and Amir Gaul can break away from him.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Hugh
  • Distressed Dude: Hyrum. Despite him being huge, he completely averts Authority Equals Asskicking.
  • Dulcinea Effect: Justified since Roya reminds Ginga of his dead lover.
  • Elemental Powers
  • Enemy Mine: Zed joins with Noah and Hugh to fight Ex Machina.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Sebastian and Amir Gaul. It's a Next Tier Power-Up when Amir Gaul opens his eyes.
  • Genki Girl: Roya is even pretty energetic while she's Angsting.
  • God Is Evil: Tusker
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!
  • Heroic Bastard: Zed, since it's made clear that his mother became pregnant not long after meeting his father.
  • Holding Hands: Zed and Roya do a lot of this.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Noah's love for Zed at times seems more than just friendly, especially the lengths the two will go to meet each other.
  • Hot-Blooded: Zed and Roya.
  • Instrumentof Murder: Roya's spirit Afkarel shoots lasers out of her harp.
  • Jekylland Hyde: Inverted with Despara. Roya's mother Jesara used a shard to send her soul inside Despara's body, causing Despara to freak out whenever she's near Roya.
  • Karma Houdini: In the end, Elmeida, of all people, is one of the only two to live who can actually be called villains.
  • Knife Nut: Roya dual wields them.
  • Mad Scientist: Bender
  • Mons: The Spirits are monsters that some people have as shards.
  • Mook–Face Turn: One of the beastmen decides to protect Sagiri when she's attacked.
  • Olympus Mons: The Key Spirits and Tusker
  • Parental Abandonment: For Zed's entire life until near the end of the first episode, his mother lives in a mental institution.
    • Disappeared Dad: Zed's father, a Seeker, died from his wounds shortly after impregnating Sara.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Zed and Gitra
  • Phantom Thief: Robes, who becomes the thief "No Face" because he's bored and wishes for a challenge. It's also hinted he may be trying to help out his family financially, since their fortune is somewhat on the rocks.
  • Plucky Girl: Roya and Sagiri
  • Rebel Leader: Rebecca
  • Redemption Equals Death: Rebecca becomes sane again just in time to be stabbed by Elmeida. Near the end, Sara realizes how important Zed was to her as she's dying.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Zed and Noah, though Noah stops acting that way later on. And sometimes Zed seems to be blue while Roya is red.
  • Sanity Slippage: A very large portion of the cast goes insane at some point: Dumas, Mikki, Rebecca, Sara (who goes insane before the first episode and goes even more insane later), Hugh, Noah, Roya's father, Despara, Dukeham, Helic, probably more.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Mikki and Pinot, Zed and Roya at first.
  • Shipper on Deck: Robes for Zed and Roya.
  • Smug Snake: Nudyu. Fittingly, he has a snake theme.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": It seems like almost all the characters would apply.
  • The Spock: Diana, Noah's guardian in Neotopia.
  • The Stoic: Diana and Dumas
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Kira, though only when Noah is involved. Roya and Rebecca have their moments.
  • Summon Magic
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Hugh and Rebecca
  • Tournament Arc: Neotopia's Joust
  • Trapped in Another World: Subverted as Zed is pleased to leave his own world behind and soon settles in.
  • Tsundere: Roya at times.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The assassin that showed up to prevent Zed from becoming a Caster. Never heard from again, and never a word of who sent him.
    • At least in the dub, Zed's mother theorizes that he was from Tusk. No confirmation, though.
  • Whip Sword: Noah's sword.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: It's actually a major motif.
  • Worldof Badass
  • Yandere: Sara is a strange example, being a yandere for Amir Gaul.

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