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Anime / Saber Marionette J

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"Shogun! Shogun! Shogun! Shogun! Shogun! ... What's a shogun?"

Several centuries after an almost-failed colony attempt, the planet Terra II is a strange place. Its human population is entirely male, born from recombinant DNA and cloning technology, and its hostile surface is home to six widely-separated city-states, each mimicking an earthly culture ranging from medieval Japan to 20th-Century America. Women have not been forgotten among the men of Terra II, though — simple-minded automatons called "marionettes" are built in exclusively female form, and act as servants, entertainers, concubines — and in some cases, infantry troops.

In the city-state of Japoness, which is modeled after Edo-era Japan, industrious orphan Otaru struggles to make ends meet. Too poor to afford a marionette of his own, he runs back and forth through the city trying to scrape up enough cash to live on with a series of odd jobs. In the wake of a mishap during one such job, Otaru finds and awakens Lime — a marionette who acts more like a real person than an automaton, loaded with emotions, curiosity, and an unfortunate tendency to attract trouble.

Otaru soon finds himself the center of a great deal of attention, including (to his shock) that of the shogun. And two more "unusual" marionettes, Cherry and Bloodberry, soon end up in his possession. As a neighboring city-state modeled after Nazi Germany begins gearing up for war with Japoness, Otaru must guide and teach what amounts to three affectionate and rambunctious teenagers — whom he will discover hold within themselves the keys not only to Japoness' long term survival, but to the secrets behind the failure of the colony mission and to the rescue of the last survivor of the original crew.

Saber Marionette J is a series of light novels that are very obscure, and would probably have remained so, had the creators not made a Radio drama taking place 500 years after in the future, Saber Marionette R. R follows Virrey Junior, prince of Romana, and his Marionettes, named after the ones from J. It was eventually adapted into an OVA, and most likely led to the novels getting an Animated Adaptation. The anime starts off as a light comedy, but slowly turns more dramatic as time goes on. It generally has a healthy mix of humor and suspense, and is a Cult Classic to those who watched it, especially in Latin America.

It was subsequently followed by several sequels, most notably Saber Marionette J Again, an OVA revolving around a new Marionette and Saber Marionette J To X, a second and final season. There's also a videogame for the first Playstation called Battle Sabers. It never was released outside of Japan.

A new anime project was revealed by AIC. If a certain image is to be believed, Saber Marionette J Last Story is going to be a lot more faithful to the original novels.

Created by Satoru Akahori and Hiroshi Negishi, director of several Tenchi Muyo! spinoffs.

Please move any character tropes to the proper character page.

Saber Marionette J provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Alternate Ending: For the anime, in J, the Marionettes fend off the Mesopotamia, which has kept Lorelei, the only surviving woman of the Terra II expedition to itself, and come back home with Lorelei. In J to X, the girls sacrifice themselves to stop Hess's Roaring Rampage of Revenge on Earth, but are reincarnated as human babies, allowing Otaru to raise them as a family. In the light novels, Lorelei guards the cloning machine that contains the female chromosome aboard the derelict Mesopotamia, and reveals to Otaru that the Saber Marionettes across Terra II are a part of her test to see if mankind is ready for the female gender. Lorelei also reveals her past with Faust, and that Terra II may be the last foothold of mankind, as Earth has plummeted back into organizing slave castes due to its overpopulation problems, and relays a last ditch broadcast message from 200 years ago that a cataclysm combined of pollution, war, and economic collapse has most likely wiped out civilization. Otaru not only mends her past with Faust, but proves to her that his love is pure, allowing mankind to thrive again. He later grows old with Lime to his last days.
  • Adaptation Deviation: Compared to its originating light novels, the anime is much more Lighter and Softer as an Actionized Adaptation; the light novels touch greater upon moral and ethical dilemmas regarding gender roles, sexuality, and the worth of mankind.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It's left unsaid whether or not the marionettes remember their previous lives. The last episode heavily implies that they don't, however.
  • Affectionate Parody: Planet full of men but not women, good amount of Running Gags, Homosexuality is considered the standard while liking female androids is out of the question, and yet it doesn't always remain a comedy. Parody of Shōnen? You bet.
  • Alien Sky: Terra II has about 5 moons.
  • All There in the Manual: Jokes aside, general information of Lime and the other characters are found in their character bios in the DVD sets for the J series. Among them are full body measurements, as well as code-names and miscellaneous stats.
    • Lime: Measurements (83-55-85cm) Height (5'1'') Weight (99lb).
    • Cherry: Measurements (80-50-80cm) Height (4'11'') Weight (95lb).
    • Bloodberry: Measurements (95-60-88cm) Height (5'5'') Weight (110lb).
  • Almost Kiss: Cherry and Otaru almost share their first kiss two times, but are stopped by Lime's timing.
    Cherry: (thinking) Geez, why does Lime has to be so inopportune?
  • Anime Hair: Of the 1990s variety.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Terra II's genetic science, "maiden circuits" and marionettes in general.
  • Artistic License – Biology: The main dilemma of Saber Marionette J as a whole revolves around the notion that there are no females on Terra II and genetic cloning can only advance the human race to a certain point with no real evolutionary progress. Because the six survivors use recombinant DNA to create all their clones, they overlook the possibility of simply adjusting the sexual chromosome (XY to XX) before the cloning process begins, which would solve the problem of limited birth options. But then that would make the plot of rescuing Lorelei from inside the Mesopotamia using the maiden circuits from three lucky marionettes completely moot.
  • Ass Kicking Pose: Subverted in one episode where Otaru hits a blade-wielding Ronin.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: The Saber Dolls end this way in the episode where the Japoness marionettes are competing in a worldwide tournament for Otaru's affection.
    • Before that, Bloodberry scrunched up an army’s worth of Gartland soldiers into a giant ball-shaped mesh, then pitches it towards Lime who grand-slams it away towards the sky with a giant pipe.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits:
    • The opening of J has a few.
      • It builds Tiger as Lime's rival, and Panther being Bloodberry's. While there are interactions with said characters in the show, most of their bouts happened with the other's designated rival. In fact, Tiger's fateful battle before she was broken was with Bloodberry rather than Lime. The designated bouts eventually did happen, albeit briefly, in J to X when the Saberdolls wrongfully followed an evil clone of Faust in pursuing his Take Over the World plan.
      • It features Bloodberry wielding a quarterstaff and Luchs using a Deadly Disc ability, neither of which appeared in the show.
      • It features a showdown between Otaru and Faust that didn't happen in the show proper.
    • The opening of J to X features the three main marionettes battling beastly marionettes inside castle grounds. The actual battle happens just outside of said castle, with the main trio preventing these villainous marionettes from entering it even being an important plot point.
  • Balanced Harem: Otaru can't decide between the three marionettes and loves them equally. Since they are The Three Faces of Eve, together they make the perfect woman he wants. This is Played With later on.
  • Bamboo Technology: What the six castaways accomplished with just the equipment in their shuttle.
  • Battle Harem: All three of Otaru's marionettes are Action Girls.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The last minute of the first series averted this. Played Straight in the OVA and second series, for the most part.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • In episode 4 of Saber Marionette J Again Otaru says:
    "If you guys were any slower to mature... we'd still be doing what we were doing in the last episode."
    • Hangata at the start of the episodes #1 and #3 of J-X.
  • Bridal Carry: Gender-inverted. Otaru and the gang fall into Gartland's underground CPU facility after getting found out by the Saber Dolls. Bloodberry catches and holds Otaru in this manner before landing and sets him down. When Lime lands, she unintentionally catches Hanagata in her arms, but then tosses him aside.
  • Camp Gay: Hanagata highly qualifies as this, mainly because of his obssession with Otaru, which naturally annoys both Otaru himself and the Marionettes. Obviously, he's also used as the series' Plucky Comic Relief, among others. The following quote is one of the mildest of his rather loud declarations. Then there's him playing "He loves me, he loves me not" with a flower... and eating it. Twice.
    Hanagata: "I'll never let you go! Today is our day of destiny!"
  • Can't Catch Up: The Saberdolls in SMJ series.
  • Casting Gag:
    • The entire Japanese voice cast of Saber Marionette R returned in J, despite R having none of the same characters (they are similarly named Expies), whereas most dubs had little to none of the voice casts return.
    • The U.S. release got R's Lime and Cherry, Maggie Blue O'Hara and Erin Fitzgerald respectively, to play J's Lime and Cherry... until Erin moved to Los Angeles.
    • Cristina Hernández played both Limes in Latin America.
    • In the Filipino dub Cherry is voiced by Aya Bejer, who famously voiced Chiaki Enno (aka Cherry Nai) from Kishin Douji Zenki.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Episode 17: Tiger killing the shogun to then Faust send a giant plasma bomb over all Japoness. After that episode, things go From Bad to Worse.
  • Clothing Damage: Many times, to different characters.
  • Covert Pervert: Cherry may act a modest lady but she's frequently seen daydreaming of "the things Otaru-sama could do to her", most of which seems increasingly sexual. In J Again, Luchs is also this for Faust, but more extreme.
  • Custom Uniform of Sexy: The rather skintight leotard Cherry wore when she was first activated. Lime and Bloodberry's were also whole body suits, but Cherry's was more of a swimsuit with an open patch of nothing in the middle and lots of frills.
  • Damsel in Distress:
    • In episode 4 of J, Cherry invokes it in an attempt of creating the perfect "hero saves heroine" scenario to get a lovey-dovey moment with Otaru.
    • Lorelei
  • Determinator:
    • The Saberdolls, specially Tiger. Too bad it ends with her being impaled, badly damaged, partially amnesiac and shell of herself for the rest of original J series. She gets better in J Again.
  • Designer Babies: All the male inhabitants of Terra II except Hess.
  • Do Androids Dream?: Otaru's marionettes and Faust's Saber Dolls. They have the ability to replicate human emotions and thought patterns, but they're often treated as though they're simply machines. Their maiden circuits allow them to feel human emotions, but it also extends to a form of consciousness once the circuits reach full maturity.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Megumi Hayashibara (Lime) sang all the opening themes and most of the endings. Most because J Again has a different ending theme per episode and each of them are sung in order by Hayashibara, Akiko Hiramatsu (Bloodberry), Yuri Shiratori (Cherry), Ai Orikasa (Baiko), Urara Takano (Tiger), and finally Hayashibara again.
  • Double Take: In the first episode of J Again, Otaru leaves the table to go to work. Lime, Cherry, and Bloodberry tell him goodbye. Just as Otaru was about to leave, he and the Marionettes finally notice Tiger, Luchs, and Panther sitting at the same table.
  • Drama Bomb: The infiltration into Gartland's episodes. The jolt after almost 10 episodes of seeing Japoness, a peaceful and colorful city, to then seeing Gartland and how bad its social situation is, is quite shocking.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: In episode 4 of the Latin American dub, Otaru states Cherry's food "tastes like how his mom used to prepare it". Despite the fact is a plot-point that there are no women in the planet, meaning Otaru shouldn't have a mom. subverted in the American dub where Otaru says this, but then gets confused why he said that before shrugging it off.
  • Dude, She's Like in a Coma:
    • In an episode of J, the three marionettes fell "ill" (actually their bodies started to overload because they were absorbing a lot of energy from a huge underground plasma cloud, simulating a fever) and Otaru, before going to confront the plasma to protect them, while the three where sleeping, gives each one a "goodbye" kiss on the cheek.
    • Gender inverted in an episode of J to X. While they were on a train, Otaru falls asleep and the girls take a moment to talk about how wonderful he is and each give him a "thanks for being wonderful" kiss.
  • Eek, a Mouse!!: All marionettes, save Lime, have a fear of mice.
  • Enemy Mine: In episode 6 of J; Hanagata, Lime and Cherry tried to join forces to avoid Bloodberry from having Otaru for herself.
  • Expy: The android assassin in J Again #4 is a shapeshifting assassin made from silver liquid metal and is destroyed by extreme heat is of course modelled after the main antagonist from Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
  • Event Title: J to X means Japoness to Xi'an, and the main cast indeed travel midway through the season.
  • Face Doodling: Lime does that to Faust's ubiquitous portraits, when they reach Gartland.
  • Fan Disservice: Hanagata flashes his clammy chest to Cherry, much to her disgust and horror.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture:
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Each of the Marionette trios. Bloodberry and Panther, being the strong powerhouses, are the fighters. Cherry and Luchs, being the smart strategists, are the mages. Lime and Tiger, being the speedy combatants, are the thieves.
  • Gecko Ending: The Manga and Anime go off in a different direction then the books. For example, the true nature of Hess. In the books, he's the original Faust who turned himself into a robot. In the Anime, he still turned himself into a robot, but he's instead a survivor from a previous expedition to Terra II. Averted with the radio drama, which is pretty much a Non-Serial Movie.
  • Hotter and Sexier: The manga version, which brought up the question about why bother making them anatomically correct if you're going to make loving them socially taboo... (Bloodberry's pair of boobs are but two of many unending examples... and Lime is introduced naked.) It makes sense, in a way, because Kotoyoshi Yumisuke is an avid hentai artist, maybe it was on his contract, or just plain Author Appeal.
  • Hot Springs Episode: After Otaru, his three marionettes, and Hanagata complete their mission in Gartland, the group finds an abandoned hotel with natural hot springs. But the episode takes a nosedive in tone when a huge plasma cloud forms and threatens their lives.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Japoness' Guard and Gartland's Sabbelberg are the main qualifiers.
  • Idiot Ball: Possibly every character has one.
    Hanagata: Otaru! Oh, dear! How could you be such a nincompoop? There's no way in Hell you can sneak into Gartlant!
    Otaru: AAAAGH! Stupid, stupid, stupid, so stupid! I'm sorry, I—I...I'M A SUCKER FOR CANDY WITH PRIZES!!!
  • Impostor-Exposing Test: In J Again, Cherry and Luchs encounter who seems to be Otaru, but are unable to tell if he's the real one or one of the shape-shifting robots. Cherry suddenly rips open Luchs' top, baring her breasts at him. Seeing "Otaru" not react, Cherry confirms he's a robot and destroys it.
  • Internal Deconstruction/Genre Deconstruction: the Harem Genre gets this treatment in J to X. Shirase does not approve when he learns about the situation at all. This causes Otaru to have an epiphany, which almost causes him to leave the Marionettes behind so he won't deny them their freedom. It gets better, but in the end none of the marionettes end up with Otaru... at least, not romantically.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: The Mesopotamia itself. After the three marionettes' Heroic Sacrifice to stop the ship destroying Terra II, in a last act of good will the Mesopotamia let the three girls return to their beloved Otaru since the maiden circuits simulated Lorelei's personality and the ship does really love her and wants its new mechanical lovers to be happy.
  • Kill Sat: The Mesopotamia, the colony ship can function as one.
  • Kiss of Distraction: During the fight in Gartland's main control center, Luchs retreats to reboot the main systems by directly hooking herself to it. To stop her Cherry tells Otaru that he must confuse her emotionally. In desperation, the first thing that comes to Otaru's mind is to kiss Luchs. It works and the main computer system is destroyed (though Lime, Cherry, and Bloodberry were upset at the method).
  • Knight of Cerebus: The Saber Beast Leopard.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Happens to Otaru's marionettes in J to X thanks to severe shock trauma by Hess. They snap out of it, though.
  • Last of His Kind: Lorelei is the only female human in the entire series. At least, until Lime, Cherry, and Bloodberry turned human at the end of J to X.
  • Lettered Sequel: Saber Marionette J is followed up by Saber Marionette J Again, Saber Marionette J to X, Saber Marionette R and the manga-only Saber Marionette Z. The letters are the initials of the places where the main characters are located: J stands for Japaness which is based on Japan, R is for Romana which is based on Rome, X means Xian which is based on China, and Z is the oddball as it's the initial of a new starring character, Zero. The first series is followed up directly by J Again and then J to X, whereas R and Z are distant sequels.
  • Lethal Chef: In one episode of J, there is a cooking contest involving the Otaru's Marionettes and the Saber Dolls. The only marionette to successfully avoid this trope was Cherry (being a Yamato Nadeshiko and all). Lime's unpredictability and Tiger's fan-service were able to obtain points even though their cooking was obviously less than par.
  • Love at First Sight: Marionettes with Maiden Circuits experience this with the first man person thing they see upon activating.
  • Love Epiphany: Lime was kidnapped in episode 8 of J. When Otaru worries too much for her, Hanagata insinuates that he loves his marionettes and tells him that marionettes are just machines and loving them is wrong. After a visit to the pioneers museum, he decides to screw the rules and make his own decisions on what's right and wrong; and for him is right to love his marionettes.
  • Love Hurts: Lime, Cherry and Bloodberry, because of all the love Otaru gives to them, they can't understand the pain the Saber Dolls have to suffer through for their love towards Faust, who treats them as mere tools. When they realize it, Lime sees that having a maiden circuit (a heart) not only gives people happiness but also she in a confused, psychotic break takes hers out.
  • Love Makes You Evil:
    • The Saber Dolls. Because of their love for Faust, they would do anything (kill, kidnap, help him take over the world) just to have the chance of one nice word coming from him.
    • The original Faust. He would prevent Ieyasu from rescuing Lorelei just to get her for himself. This ambition of his unfortunately continues to live through his clones via Brain Uploading.
    • The Mesopotamia. It killed almost all the people inside the ship (6 men were lucky to get into the emergency ship and survive) out of possessive jealousy towards Lorelei.
  • Lover Tug of War: Inevitably happens to Otaru a lot.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Bloodberry's favorite method to draw Otaru's attention.
  • Marry Them All: At the end of J, it seems this is the only solution to Otaru's romantic dilemma, as he loves the three girls as much as they love him. In J to X this is subverted when the marionettes become Artificial Humans and Otaru takes them as his daughters.
  • Meaningful Name: The ship sent to colonize Terra II is called the Mesopotamia. In our Earth, that was also the place where the first civilizations were born.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Otaru and his amazing Marionettes (Lime, Cherry, and Bloodberry). Oh, and Hanagata...
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: Gartland, hands down. It is a totalitarian police state governed by a führer, the dictator, his top advisor and marionettes have German names, they attack and conquer Peterburg, a Terra II version of Russia, Faust has a cult of personality centered around him and even start to burn works of arts they don't like there.
  • Mordor: Gartland. The fact that it resembles Nazi Germany don't help matters.
  • Non-Heteronormative Society: Loving marionettes is considered taboo, so the only "right" love is towards another man. Otaru is the only who finds it creepy and would prefer to continue loving his three marionettes despite (or rather because) of Hanagata's affections towards him.
  • Oh, Crap!: Otaru freaks out when he saw how Bloodberry had one of Ponta’s babies tied up like a hostage and quickly releases it. He gets this again moments later when mother Ponta shows up.
  • One-Gender Race: The human population of Terra II, as they're all male except for Lorelei and (by the end of J to X) the three main marionettes after their revival.
  • "On the Next Episode of..." Catch-Phrase: "Otaru, I love you!" It's mostly said by Lime, in an informal and childish way. Cherry says it in a formal and respectful way while Bloodberry goes for the informal, slang way. In the preview of the episode when he understands his feelings, Hanagata says it.
  • Opposite-Sex Clone: Apparently not an option.
  • Out of the Inferno: In both a heroic and villainous manner. The former when Lime rescues Hanagata's brother Yumeji from a burning building, the latter with Faust's Saber Beast Leopard, once it acquires Cherry and Bloodberry's maiden circuits.
  • Parental Abandonment: Whoever Otaru was cloned off never shows up. There are a few hints that it may be Ieyasu.
  • The Place: The letters in the title actually refers to the nation in which the story is set. J means Japoness, while J to X sees the main cast travelling to Xi'an.
  • The Power of Love: Marionettes with maiden circuits mature faster and became stronger, via the love and concern of their beloved.
  • The Psycho Rangers: The Saber Dolls for the J series.
  • Secondary Character Title: Otaru is the main protagonist whom the eponymous trio follow.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In J-X #3, Hanagata has The Scream when he remembers, that his father is gonna pay him a visit.
    • The rogue Gartland battle marionettes in J-X #4 had, according to Luchs' readout in bad German, wrist-mounted hydrogen bombs just like the Predator in the film Predator.
  • The Reveal:
    • The first of them, at least in the Anime: Why do you think that Lime, Cherry, Bloodberry and the Saber Dolls have emotions? Answer: they have a maiden circuit.
    • Then, several episodes later, again, at least in the Anime, we discover the true purpose behind the Japoness' (and Gartland's) marionettes' construction: to serve as a replacement for Lorelei aboard the Mesopotamia when said circuits reach full maturity.
    • And what about Marine? Simple: she was built with an anti-plasma system and plasma manipulation abilities, which were given to her to prevent the menacing disaster towards Terra II... even at the cost of her life. She survives that, though.
    • And finally, who the hell was Hess? Answer: the first man in the face of Terra II, or the original Gerhard von Faust, depending on the Continuity.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Ponta-kun's babies.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: The marionettes are always built as women, even if they're only capable of functioning as glorified cash registers.
  • Robot Girl: The Maiden Circuit marionettes. Every other marionette falls into fembot instead despite mostly appearing as human, because their behavior can make them seem creepy.
  • Roofhopping: With super-powered robots playing Samurai in Ninja Town from the first episode, there's naturally plenty of this happening.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Enforced on marionettes with Maiden Circuits because of the Love at First Sight programming. However, it's a key plot point that the circuits develop by Lime, Cherry, and Bloodberry interacting and forming bonds with characters besides Otaru. The Saber Dolls were emotionally stunted by Faust, but develop past this trope near the end of J.
  • Sensual Spandex: Lime and her sisters awaken wearing this; Lime and Bloodberry have this as major parts of their normal outfits.
  • Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids: The definition of a "Saber" marionette is being either armed and/or powerful enough to use as a weapon, despite being still more or less human in appearance. The Marionettes with Maiden Circuits are naturally extremely powerful.
  • Symbolic Weapon Discarding: In J to X, halfway through the show, after a gruesome battle, the Sabbelberg ends up sinking in a lake. After concerns, the main cast decides to let it sink as it's "a reminder of war times". Afterwards, the Saber Dolls throw their weapons to the same lake, as part of their Character Development.
  • Team Title: The Saber Marionette J series refers to the Power Trio of Lime, Cherry, and Bloodberry, the proud daughters of Japoness.
  • Terrible Trio: The Saber Dolls in the original Saber Marionette J.
  • Techno Babble: Anything to do with marionettes, "maiden circuits" and plasma energy.
  • That Came Out Wrong: In Gartland, Otaru had to kiss Luchs to prevent her rebooting the principal CPU. Of course this angered his three own marionettes who demand him to kiss them as well. Otaru then say that of the kiss was on the past and they should accepted it as men. Cue Lime's:
    Lime: (sad) But I'm not a man.
  • Theme Naming
  • There Was a Door: Lime, and to a lesser extent Bloodberry, when very focused on something, always pass through Otaru's paper door.
  • The Three Faces of Eve: Lime is the child, being the youngest-looking and acting, Cherry is the wife, as she is the calm Yamato Nadeshiko, and Bloodberry is the seductress, the oldest and most overtly sexual of the trio. Later, this is revealed to be an Invoked Trope: the maiden circuits the three marionettes have represent these three different facets of Lorelei's personality, and were created in order to replace her for the Mesopotamia.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Lampshaded and played Straight. In the Broke Episode, Lime spins an elephant on an umbrella to advertise for a burger stand while smiling. Guess what people are paying attention to? The smile.
    "Marionettes can't smile!"
  • Wham Episode:
    • J Episode 17: Shogun Ieyasu and Hikozaemon are assassinated by the Saberdolls.
    • J Episode 19: The main marionette trio finally have their final showdown with the Saberdolls. The battle ultimately resulted with Tiger getting badly damaged. Lime, who couldn't comprehend the Saberdolls' continued devotion for Faust despite his mistreatment of them, runs away in grief and gets her maiden circuit stolen, implied to be by Otaru's Master Souemon.
    • J Episode 20: Master Souemon is revealed to be The Mole for Gartland and was in fact the one who took Lime's maiden circuit, which he did so he could give it to his own marionette lover. He is outed and exiled and Lime was restored.
    • J Episode 23: Gartland finally falls thanks to Otaru and co. successfully fending of their invading forces as well as its oppressed citizens' successfully revolting, but the Mesapotamia begins its attacks on Terra II.
    • J Episode 24: Faust and the Saberdolls finally cooperate with Japoness after a much needed Heel Realization. The combined forces of Japoness and Faust's crew head directly to the Mesapotamia, but the main trio of marionettes send their beloved Otaru back so they could perform their intended Heroic Sacrifice.
    • J Again Episode 5: Dr. Hesse is revealed to be alive and frees Faust from imprisonment for "old times sake" and Tiger finally recovers fully.
    • J Again Episode 6: Marine performs a Heroic Sacrifice to contain the plasma storm. Dr. Hesse is revealed to be working with the mysterious man from Xi'an, setting up a Sequel Hook for J to X, and they expose Joy's corruption to the New Texas denizens.
    • J to X Episode 10: Lorelei is kidnapped by the villainous duo of Dr. Hesse and the unnamed Xi'an man.
    • J to X Episode 11: Lorelei's kidnappers turn out to be The Remnant of Faust's former Gartland regime seeking to continue their imperialist ways. They are officially led by a seemingly relapsed Faust (later revealed to be a clone) with the visibly reluctant Saberdolls by his side, but are actually ruled by Dr. Hesse and the unnamed Xi'an man from the shadows.
    • J to X Episode 15: Otaru gets sick so the marionettes and Hanagata call for a doctor. The doctor who responded is the ominous Xi'an man working with Dr. Hesse, who told the girls to look for a rare medicinal plant in the mountains so he could capture them which succeeds.
    • J to X Episode 16: The identity of the ominous Xi'an man is finally revealed; his name Fan and he's the personal tutor of Crown Prince of Xi'an. He fails to gather data on the girls maiden circuit before a Freak Lab Accident occurs which resulted in the girls getting scattered and losing their memories. Fan and Hesse then decided to frame Otaru as a terrorist responsible for the said explosion of the palace lab.
    • J to X Episode 21: The girls' memories finally return and Hesse double-crosses Fan.
    • J to X Episode 25: The girls successfully foil Hesse's plan to nuke Earth at the cost of their own lives. Hesse, as gratitude to the girls for showing him the error of his ways, transferred all the girls' internal and external data on the master cloning device he previously stole before their deaths so the girls are essentially reincarnated as humans.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Marionettes are seen as mere machines; even three who behave the same as humans are not exception.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In the episode when Otaru catches Acquired Situational Narcissism from his celebrity as the hero who saved Japoness, several secondary characters — such as Gennai and Obiichi — call him out for how much of a jerk he's being to Lime, Cherry, and Bloodberry. When Otaru has his Heel Realization and abandons an important performance when he realizes the trio ran away, the secondary characters help him to escape his managers, while warning him he's next if he does anything like this to the Marionettes again.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: When Cherry gets tired of Lime being a Moment Killer in her first episode after awakening, she drafts a random gang of street punks she fought to stage a kidnapping to allow for a Rescue Romance moment. The plan encounters some problems with poorly staged fake fighting and the punks forgetting their lines, and the entire plan collapses when they all stumble across a real gang and their Humongous Mecha.

Alternative Title(s): Saber Marionette J To X