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Anime / Saber Marionette R

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Saber Marionette R is a three-episodes OVA from 1995, adapted from an audio drama of the same year.

Taking place 500 years after the events of Saber Marionette J, R follows Virrey Junior, prince of the land of Romana, and his three marionettes: Lime, Cherry and Bloodberry. All four are enjoying their peaceful life in Romana, when Junior's older brother Star-Face and his marionettes The Sexadolls attack Romana so he can take over the throne. Junior, Lime, Cherry and Bloodberry decide to stop him and save the old king, while Star-Face sends his Sexadolls to find Junior and kill him.

Saber Marionette R provides examples of:

  • Art-Style Dissonance: The rather cartoonish designs of the main characters sharply contrast with the dark and violent elements of the plot.
  • Awesome by Analysis: Cherry. She's the only one of Junior's marionettes that has analytical and scanning abilities.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: Lime is the youngest marionette of the main three, and is treated as such by the others. Junior even says at one point that she's practically a baby.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Lime snaps hard whenever Junior is hurt or in danger.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In the end of the first episode, Bloodberry arrives to save Junior, Cherry and Lime.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Junior is unable to save his father, and he also fails to stop Star-Face from committing suicide, leaving him effectively without living family. Lime reassures him that he's not alone since she and Cherry are still there, and Bloodberry is revealed in the last scene to be alive.
  • Cain and Abel: The main conflict is Star-Face wanting to kill his little brother Junior, making Star-Face Cain and Junior Abel. Unlike the original Cain and Abel, it's Star-Face the one who dies, though not on Junior's hands.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Cherry is constantly jealous of Lime's closeness with Junior, and she's visually upset at Bloodberry and Junior's Last Kiss.
  • Clone Angst: Star-Face discovers that he, along with every king before him, is a clone of the original Romana King, and that Junior is not a clone, is what causes him to be Driven to Suicide.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: The Sexadolls, who get turned on by hurting others, but also are shown to enjoy it when Star-Face hurts them.
  • Cool Big Sis: Bloodberry towards Lime. In episode 2 she trains her and reassures her its okay to be scared of the Sexadolls, contrasting Cherry who is meaner to Lime.
  • Covert Pervert: Cherry is more polite and ladylike than either Lime or Bloodberry, but the moment Junior gets more assertive she begins to fantasy about him.
  • Cute Bruiser: Lime. She's very adorable and likes to fight. Cherry scolds her in the first episode for not holding back against her opponent in the combat tournament.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to the J series, R has way less humor, more drama and violence, and even explicitly showing the Sexadolls having sex with Star Face, albeit with censoring. It is also darker than the SMR audio drama, which was more comical and light-hearted.
  • Determinator: All three girls fit, but Lime especially, powered by The Power of Love.
  • Diesel Punk: The country of Romana runs by this technology.
  • Dirty Old Man: The old man from episode 2 grabs Cherry's ass, only to get slapped for it. He also keeps asking Junior if he has sexual relationships with his marionettes.
  • Disney Villain Death: The demise of the Sexadoll Brid. Bloodberry falls with her, but the last episode reveals that she somehow made out it alive.
    • In the last episode, this is also the way Star-Face commits suicide.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The scene where Edge takes off Junior's shirt and slashes his chest is reminiscent of sexual assault.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Everyone calls Virrey Jr. just "Junior". Overlaps with Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?, as his name is Spanish for "viceroy".
  • Expy: One would think Junior is one for Otaru, and his three marionettes are younger versions of their counterparts with the same roles and personalities. However, this is subverted since this OVA actually predates Saber Marionette J .
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture : Romana is a stand-in of Rome, or Italy in general.
  • Genki Girl: Lime is overzealous about everything. Junior dotes her on this, but Cherry has less patience with her.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Bloodberry at the end of the second episode decides to throw herself off a cliff with Brid to stop her, knowing that her battery is out of energy, so she has no other way to keep fighting. The ending of episode 3 shows that she survived, however.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: The Sexadolls get turned on while beating someone up. Their relationship with Star-Face is also rife with this.
  • Last Kiss: Bloodberry kisses Junior at the end of episode 2 to say goodbye, knowing that she won't be back since she's out of energy. She gets better.
  • Lettered Sequel: R takes place centuries in the future after Saber Marionette J. 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.
  • Made of Iron: Lime. Her Establishing Character Moment has her getting beaten up in a combat tournament while taking no damage and continue fighting until she wins.
  • Madonna-Whore Complex: Downplayed since it is not outright stated, but this OVA shows Junior and the Marionettes, who are young kids and innocent, as good people, while Star Face and his Sexadolls whom he is shown to molest and have sex with are the bad guys.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Junior has this dynamic with Bloodberry and Lime. Junior is a soft-spoken, sweet, Non Action Long-Haired Pretty Boy who believes in The Power of Love over violence, while Bloodberry and Lime are tomboy Action Girls.
  • Meaningful Name: The Sexadolls are... well, sex dolls of Star Face.
  • Missing Mom: Junior mentions that he doesn't know where his mother is, but he's able to remember her warmth.
  • Older and Wiser: Bloodberry is the oldest of the Marionettes and also the calmest, most mature of them all.
  • Patricide: Star-Face's goal is to kill his own father, Junior, and then to take over Romana. While the two last points fail, he does kill his father before Junior could do anything to stop him.
  • The Power of Love: Because of her maiden circuit, Lime's love to Junior is what powers her up.
  • The Psycho Rangers: The Sexadolls to Lime, Cherry and Bloodberry. They are older, evil, sexier and more sexually aggressive counterparts to the three main girls. The respective masters of each trio are the princes of Romana, and the relationships they have with their masters contrast on how the main girls have a loving and caring relationship with Junior while the Sexadolls relationship with Star-Face is an Interplay of Sex and Violence. Interestingly, Star-Face is also the one who created both the Sexadolls and the main three marionettes.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Lime is the red, Bloodberry is the blue. Becomes apparent when Bloodberry trains Lime.
  • The Reveal: Star-Face finds out the truth about the kings of Romana in episode 3: All Romana king are clones of the original Romana King, including Star Face — except for Junior, who is an actual son of the previous king and born to a human mother. It's enough to drive Star Face into suicide.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: The heroes dress more modestly than the Stripperiffic Sexadolls. This, and the sexually aggressive nature of the Sexadolls also serves to mark a contrast on how Junior and his marionettes are children while Star-Face and the Sexadolls are adults.
  • Slasher Smile: Lime does this when she's in overdrive.
  • Stripperriffic: All the Sexadolls wear little to no clothing. Bloodberry's outfit is pretty much a bikini with detached sleeves and pants. Cherry's outfit seems somewhat modest at first, but then you realize that the dress is cut so high it looks like she doesn't wear any underwear.
  • Super-Strength: Lime's ability. In the first episode, Cherry and Junior felt she overdid it in the combat tournament when she didn't hold back against her enemy. Even Bloodberry, a good fighter herself, is surprised by Lime's abilities when she trains her.
  • The Three Faces of Eve: Lime is the hyperactive Child, Cherry is the girliest and most clingy Seductress, while Bloodberry is the most mature and oldest Wife.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Cherry is the most feminine, polite and domestic of the three marionettes.