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Comic Book / Albedo: Erma Felna EDF

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Command Review #1 cover.

"I have no idea how long the series will last. Erma, herself, is a finite character. She will age, and eventually, die. And not necessarily by natural causes. Unlike most comics, anyone is unreliable (sic) to lethal action and there's no fancy "saves" to pluck'em from the jaws of death."
Steven A. Gallacci, the author of the comic, explaining the premise of Albedo in a nutshell to a fan in a letter written by him in the earlier 80s.note 

Albedo: Erma Felna EDF (or also Erma Felna, EDF, for short) is an American Furry Comic created by Steve Gallacci, who ran it in from 1983note  to 2005 in his Albedo Anthropomorphics furry comic anthology, published in many different companies.

A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far, Far Away... a sector of known space is populated by sapient and humanoid versions of many Earth animals (who have no clue as to their origins). The titular heroine, Erma Felna, is an officer from the EDF (Extraplanetary Defense Force, a extraplanetary version of The Federation), and she begins her military career during a military invasion of a planet named Derzon by the ILR (Independent Lepine Republic, another federation populated by rabbits who are determined to conquer known space--and kill anyone who is not a rabbit).

Unfortunately, the ILR is fighting this in a bloody, but very canny, way as sociopolitical warfare; they are not trying to defeat the Federation in battle as much as they are trying to undermine its political viability. This means the rabbits are attempting to force their enemy to fight in a way that means the maximum amount of collateral damage and civilian death toll on their own side is caused. With this, the ILR hopes to eventually cause enough resentment to weaken the civic structure and make them easy to conquer.

But, as the story is developed, the whole plot is starting to getting more and more complex, as many events and plot twists befalls Erma and her whole society (and probably, the whole universe...)

This is a special element in this series, as the characters, especially Erma, have extensive conversations discussing the socio-political ramifications of their latest battle and struggle to find a means to fight back in the political sphere. In fact, the very idea of a serious and adult Science Fiction political drama with Funny Animal characters, inspired in part by serious political novels like A Very British Coup, essentially gave a major boost to Furry Fandom as this series showed that Funny Animal stories can be so much more than for laughs.

The series is also notable for two reasons:

  • The comic avoids many of the most common cliches of the Space Opera genre, the furry genre or even the sci-fi one like Teleporters and Transporters, Lasers, and even some common ones like space fighters (even regular jet fighter technology is absent here), cool-looking ships, etc. being the technological base being between realistic and futuristic at the same time.
  • It was the first home of Usagi Yojimbo in the very first issues, a fact normally overlooked by many comic book scholars, and sometimes, outright ignored by many people. It doesn't help the author has tried to stay out of the spotlight at times, in an attempt to keep the integrity of the comic intact.

For a relatively niche comic, Albedo has spawned lots of side-stories and related material, published both in and outside the original anthology:

    open/close all folders 
    Main Continuity 
  • Erma Felna EDF: When all began. The story deals with the titular Erma Felna, member of the EDF and her exploits, while fighting a war against the ILR, conspiracies of all kinds and her own personal problems as well. It's split in two different arcs, while the first one is divided into many different sub-arcs and the second one was Cut Short in the middle of the climax.
  • Birthright: Takes place a century after the events of Erma Felna EDF. The entire civilization has collapsed after years of war, and a new hero, Prince Alfon Koshaka, wages a revolution against the invaders of his country, while dealing with the ghosts of the previous era. It is currently being reissued on the Radio Comix website. The story is split into three different arcs and is notable for being published alongside its prequel, albeit by a different publisher.

  • First Impressions: Deals about how Erma meets Toki Zha in the EDF military academy in Danet, Toki's homeworld, when both were cadets. Notable for two reasons: It was originally published outside Albedonote  and also because it was illustrated by other people other than Gallacci, in this case by Mike Sagara, while Mike Curtis wrote the story.
  • Scenes From A Room: Technically an Origins Episode, as it deals with both Erma's parents Eda and Kanoc and also Erma and her brother Tasak's respective childhoods and teenage years, and also deals how Kanoc was traumatized by the ILR, giving Erma the motive for avenging him. Like the previous story, Sagara illustrates the story, while Mike Curtis (former Shanda Fantasy Arts' artist and founder, and also the actual Dick Tracy's artist) writes the story and Gallacci serves as the editor. This is was published by SFA as an stand-alone story and later reissued in Albedo later on.
  • A Day With the Felnas: Like the title says, it's basically a Slice of Life episode between Eda with her sons Erma and Tasak as kids, while having a shopping day on Annaport, the capital of the planet Dornthant. Unlike other side-stories, Gallacci is the sole artist and writer of this story. It was published in the Refractions fanzine anthology and it was never republished anywhere.
  • Making Sound: This is an unusual side-story: Unlike previous ones, it deals with civilian characters not related in any way with any named character from the main continuity and basically it give a glimpse of how civilian life is in the Albedo universe. The protagonists is a fox girl named Maria, a musician, and her friends while trying to make music, an unusual activity in the setting. Originally published in Albedo during the Antarctic Press publishing period.
  • The Seven (Tentative name): A recently announced side-story Gallacci is working right now and deals with a Shiba Inu girl named Arianne, who is the sole survivor of her ship, who was destroyed after a misjump into another, unknown place of the universe. According with Word of God, it will be heavily inspired in Snow White, being the first time Gallacci gives an specific inspiration for something related with the Albedo universe.
  • Erma's Distant Finale (No title givennote ): Takes place 40 years in the future, with a flashback to the past as Erma in her 40s after the end of the first Story Arc (and the entire end of the whole Erma Felna EDF story as a whole, by Word of God). It was written as an interlude between the first and second arcs, when Gallacci was still deciding about resuming the story, since the end of the first arc was originally planned to be the definitive ending of the whole saga.

    Tabletop Games and Modules 
  • The First tabletop RPG game based in the comic, simply named Albedo: The Role-Playing Game. It was originally published in 1988 by Gallacci's Thoughts & Images' self-publishing brand, with Paul Kidd (Scriptwriter of Nightshade (1992) and Shadowrun lead designer for the SNES) writing the script. The game has two different story modules:
    • The Drift: Deals with a EDF ship drifting in space after being seriously damaged in a battle, while the crew tries to survive waiting to be rescued, but not before lots of internal strife happens inside the ship.
    • Zho Chaka: Deals with a revolution in a EDF's banana planet of the same name, while some members are trying to stop the revolution or participating on it.
  • Albedo: Platinum Catalyst: An Updated Re-release published in 2004, with updated rules and it's own modules. It was published by Sanguine Publications and written by Pieter van Hiel and designed by Jason Holmgren and Michael Arbogast. It expands the backstory of all the sides of the conflict (EDF, ILR and Enchawah) and also includes a complete timeline of the previously unexplained events up to the year SD 195, before the Battle of Derzon, the very first battle of the comic. The name Platinum Catalyst was given due to the Milestone Celebration of the comic, who turned then twenty years in that time.
    • Structural Integrity: More than a module it's also an addendum who updates the story up to end of the first Story Arc after the ILR attack on Dornthant, being also the only module whose plot takes place during the second arc. It also explains in a very heavy-handed way what you cannot do in the Albedo universe, in the case you didn't already know.
  • As an additional note, the RPGs are notable, along with Refractions, for being a Universe Bible of sorts for the whole Albedo universe, even if some information can contradict some info used in the comic, especially regarding food and some elements of the backstory.
  • Albedo Combat Patrol 164: A miniatures-based tabletop war game, Warhammer 40,000 style, currently developed by a British company named Sally 4th, and the very first official Albedo product approved by Gallacci himself since 14 years ago, and successfully crownfunded in Kickstarter in October 2018. More information can be found here and here. According with the developers, the game will take place during the First Lepine War, the war Kanoc Felna, Erma's father, fought in his younger days, basically making the game a prequel of the comic.

  • Refractions: A fanzine published by long time SF fan, and fan'zine editor R'ykandar Korra'ti from 1992 to 1996, which includes some information not given in the comics, especially about how the whole anthropomorphic civilization was created, some Word of God-approved fanfics, and some not-so-official information regarding The Creators and the theories regarding them.
  • Steve's Reality Check: A humorous poke at various over-entheusiastic but often awful fan-fiction, usually writers Mary Sue-ing themselves into the scenario and/or ignoring the canon settings for cheesy bad "sci-fi" conventions.
  • Females of Albedo: An erotic portfolio of ten pages featuring many of the named females (excluding, oddly enough, Dr. Kalahahaii and a few others) of the Albedo universe doing artistic nudism. While the whole point of this fanbook is basically for tiltilation, it also includes some extra info not published anywhere, including the full names of many characters and even the time period when Birthright takes place. In-universe, those images are technically leaked "photos" from all those girls published by some pervert somewhere in the distant future. This is the most rarest and the most expensive spin-off ever published by Gallacci, since he only sold this spin-off in conventions and it can cost about $270 dollars in auction sites.
  • Felna Family Portraits: A second portfolio of ten pages, with key characters from the Felna family. Unlike the previous portfolio, this is more a "family photo album", including "photos" of the Felna clan since their younger days to Erma's older ones, and features all their members, excluding Chunti.
  • Command Review: A four-issue Compilation Rerelease of the most of the first arc up to the Ish-tako sub-arc. Includes some additional information and updated art.

Until only recently, finding information about this comic was very complicated and difficult, only in very specialized pages on the furry genre could you find information about Albedo, and yet it was not something that many younger fans knew about the subject. This can be explained by some of the policies the author took to prevent fans from abusing his work, especially during the heyday of the Internet. Now the whole comic has been published on his personal page and also some info can be found in either the author's FurAffinity page and here as well.

Not to be confused with the main, deranged, villain from the Xenosaga series, another younger villain with the same name, a virtual demoness, the Vangelis's album of the same name, a brand of toy trucks or a first-person shooter, or one of the members of the Knights of Favonius. Also, do not confuse this EDF (Extraplanetary Defense Force) with the Earth Defense Force from Space Battleship Yamato, the other Earth Defense Force, orthe Jaleco's Shoot 'Em Up of the same name and acronym.

Compare with Legend of the Galactic Heroes and Appleseed, which deal with very similar topics, except with humans (or cyborgs) instead. Also with Extinctioners, Zootopia and Beastars, franchises with similar premises, except with superheroes, cops and theater actors respectively (and no sci-fi elements).

Note: The article include tropes from the comics, the Tabletop Games, side-stories and the Refractions anthology, canonical or not. It does not include stories or series unrelated to the Albedo universe that were first published in the anthologies, including (most famously) Usagi Yojimbo.


  • Absent Aliens: Besides the furry characters, there's very few no-sapient alien life in any of the planets so far. Albeit later in the series, they found a wrecked spaceship with an female human corpse inside it.
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: This series was famous for this with their aftermath discussions about the sociopolitical ramifications of the action scenes.
  • Action Prologue: The Battle of Derzon was the first battle Erma participated, and marks the debut of both the ILR, the EDF and more or less an explanation of how the whole setting works.
  • Adaptational Context Change: There's many changes between the many events from the original black and white version of the comic and the Color Special remake of the Battle of Derzon:
    • In the B/W version, Erma's reason for breaking with Tavas was because he was trying to bail himself out from the battle along with Erma, while ignoring her own wishes. In the Color Special, while the premise is similar, it was expanded quite a bit by Erma accusing Tavas of being a Dirty Coward while the latter pressed Erma's Berserk Button by mentioned her father Kanoc in the discussion, giving Erma more reasons for breaking with him.
    • The ILR raid to the Andis' spaceport control tower is quite different here in the color version: In the B/W original, the ILR assault on the place took two pages, as we see the entire raid taking place. In the color version, the raid took place in just two panels, but the outcome is more bloodier than the B/W version, as the ILR soldiers executed the ATC operators, while in the B/W version they just captured them, albeit they could have likely executed them off-screen.
  • Adaptation Distillation: There's many differences between the prototype, the original printing and the color remake versions of the Battle of Derzon:
    • The prototype issue is very different compared with the later versions as basically only shows the titular battle without any named characters. All the story is told by a narrator and the outcome of the battle was much grim than later versions. The EDF is refered as only the "Astro Force" and the ILR as the "rabbit forces" instead.
    • The original printing and the color remake sports many differences between them: The dining scene between Erma and Tavas in the color remake doesn't happens in the original black and white print (it was only aludded by Erma, since she was planned to dine with him at first, before she was called for duty). The Tavas' scene with Erma asking her to reconsider her decision on going to war, while planning Tavas to bail her out and him as well is more emotional from Tavas's side in the color remake, while in the original version it was more emotional from Erma's side instead. Some characters which only were mentioned in the original printing finally appears in the color remake. The battle itself is show in more detailed form in the color remake, not to mention being Bloodier and Gorier than both the prototype and the original B/W printing. On the other hand, some scenes from the original printing are shortened in the color remake, like Erma evading ILR fire while trying to reach Derzon's capital city from her mothership and the invasion scene when the ILR takes over Andis' (Derzon's capital city) space port.
  • Aerith and Bob: Besides the alien-sounding names, some of them are really maddening tongue-twisters, especially the ones used by the people of the ILR, we have many human-sounding names from different human languages like German (Erma), Japanese (Toki, Eda, Rojigonote  and Nagai, a minor character), Hebrew (Itzak Arrat), English (Dea, Dale, Joseph and countless others. Hilariously enough, there's a minor character named Bob out there), Nahuatl (Ahuizotl, a character from the Tabletop Games) and many others. Keep in mind, with the sole exceptions of Erma, Rojigo, and possibly the Arrats, all the characters with some kind of Meaningful Name in Real Life were named by Word of God just because he wanted to include alien-sounding names.
  • An Aesop:
    • War Is Hell, No matter for whatever reason you're fighting for, any war affects everyone involved, soldier, civilians and politicians alike.
    • While the fact is barely explored at its fullest, but taking into account what we know about the topic and judging how its depicted in the Refractions anthology: Mankind trying to play the role of God towards their fellow "inferior" species is not probably a very good idea at all, it's not ethical, and will possibly end backfiring against the humans sooner or later.
    • Any organization can be as good or bad as their members can be. That means neither the ILR, the antagonic force of the comic, is completely evil nor the EDF is completely good, as shown in a very graphic way during the last legs of the first arc and during the second one.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The computers, collectively called the Net, are initially artificially intelligent to a degree and work strictly subordinate to the organics. Eventually, the overall personality, installed long ago by the furry civilizations' human creators, starts asserting itself subtly, setting up a political movement with Erma invited on board. Eventually, after Tavas and his cronies stage their coup, the Net eventually goes public with both the EDF and ILR. In doing so, it declares that it will be taking a more active role in political and military affairs, albeit as simply an equal participant with the established authorities in the interest of their survival and their own laws. Furthermore, the only way it can be removed would be for the furries to completely gut their computer control and communications systems, so they are basically stuck with it.
  • Allegory: Both invoked in the story and also by the name of the comic: The name Albedo is the astronomic term for the reflecting power of a surface, in this case of the light reflected by the planets from a star. In a metaphorical sense, the name is an allegory of how the problems of the anthropomorphic society somewhat "reflects" the ones the human society also have, albeit in a warped way.
  • Alternative Calendar: SD (Standard Date).
  • Ambiguous Time Period: By Word of God, it takes place in a distant future, but how far in the future is impossible to pinpoint. In the "Refractions" anthology it's revealed that the Awakening, the event when the whole Species appears for the first time in the planet Arras Chanka, took place in early or in the middle of the 21th century (possibly between AD 2030-2050 in human years). The whole plot takes place possibly in the 23th century, during a time frame of six years, from SD 195, the year of the Battle of Derzon to SD 201 in the last published issued, and Birthright in the 24th century possibly, in the year SD 418 according with the Females of Albedo fanbook.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: It's very obvious something is not quite right with the whole setting, and many characters, Erma included, went involved in the whole mess while trying to find the truth: The fact all the characters were designed by humans is the biggest clue of this.
  • Animal Jingoism: One of the main themes of the series, albeit played in a very warped way: You don't expect rabbits, of all species, being depicted as genocidal Nazi-wannabes doing war crimes as such scale that would make Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin or any human regime green with envy.
  • Animal Stereotypes: Downplayed and sometimes even inverted: While some characters shares some stereotypes associated by their respective species, this is normally by character basis and not applied toward an entire race. Sometimes, many of those stereotypes are even subverted in many ways.
  • Animals Not to Scale: According with Word of God, due to the Creators' manipulations, all the characters are bigger than their Real Life counterparts, but smaller than humans, but this is not evident, much less consistent, when the EDF finds the female human corpse, since she is depicted as being almost the same size as everyone else. The worst offenders of this are Erma and Toki: According with her profile in the Tabletop Games, Erma is about 1.44 meters, making her as small as 11-year old teenager girl, but she looks taller than your regular adult human woman. Toki is about 1.11m, making her in-universe as small as a 6-year old human girl, but she looks only a head shorter than Erma. On the other hand, other characters from smaller species, like Avians (birds), otters, smaller marsupials and similar ones are depicted more or less as it's supposed to be depicted officially.
  • Animesque: Mostly in spirit rather than in character design, since most of the storytelling avoids many tropes regulary used in Western comic books and fully embraces the continuity-based format normally used in Japanese Anime and Manga, including, in a way, the Kishōtenketsu way of storytelling. The Japanese influences became more notable years later in pin-ups, to the grade Gallacci recently tends to sign his pin-up art with his last name written in kanji by using a personal seal, and in the comic itself goes between this and a more grittier look depending of the ongoing plot. By 2016, Gallacci is starting to playing this trope more or less straight.
  • Anyone Can Die: Oh boy, the death toll here is really big, albeit most of the dead are one-shot characters. Until Alfon, Erma's boyfriend kicks the bucket too. Oddly enough, almost all the named dead characters are males. Oddly enough and compared with its prequel, Birthright's death toll regarding named characters, only three named characters dies so far in the whole story: Duwan, a crewmember of the Winkles and Donon, the last one being one of the villains.
  • A Planet Named Zok: The Law of Alien Names is also applied to the planets the characters live as well and we have from the reasonable-sounding ones like Derzon, Danet, and others, to the weird-sounding ones like Arras Chanka, Ish-tako and the ones from the ILR.
  • Arc Words: Khai.
  • Art Evolution: Also overlaps with Progressively Prettier: By comparing Gallacci's first sketches from the prototype issue in the 80s with his more recent designs, you can swear they're were designed by many different artists rather than a single one, as demostrated recently between this older cover Gallacci did in the 80s with a recently redrawn version of the same cover This is more accentuated with Erma, Toki and the humans: Both girls were initially looked bulkier in their first appearances both in their more recent redesigns in pinups, they have more realistic proportions and more prettier faces. The humans, oddly enough, look more Animesque than their non-human counterparts, compared how the human female corpse looked in the derelict spaceship in the 80s.
  • Artificial Animal People: The characters are all sapient and humanoid versions of Earth animals, presumably thanks to the Creators that brought life to their space sector. No one knows who they are or why they decided to put many different races in a single place, and many scientists are trying to find any clue about who they really are. It's eventually revealed that the Creators were humans, who engineered anthropomorphics for the sole purpose of being guinea pigs for a big, unethical social scientific experiment.
  • Artificial Human: According with both Word of God and what was revealed so far, the anthropomorphics are basically artificial humans with animal features added by their human Creators with the sole purporse of being studied from far away just to see how they can evolve without human influences or help.
  • Artistic License: Even if Gallacci took lots of pains to research each and every part of the elements of the story just to avoid including stereotypical, non-realistic, sci-fi stuff, he sometimes allows some unrealistic stuff to appear, sometimes for the Rule of Cool or for the sake of writing a interesting story:
  • Artistic License Animal Care: According with the Refractions anthology and some scenes in the comic itself, most of the food eaten in the setting is seafood, algae, grains, biomass (artificial meat) and sometimes, salads, something according with the setting everyone, regardless their species, can eat. This could be handwaved the Creators genetically modified their organisms so they could eat any kind of food. On the other hand, and oddly enough, the RPG games and some stories contradict this and it makes painfully clear the characters can only eat the food designed for their speciesnote  avoiding this trope entirely.
  • Artistic License Biology: According with both Word of God and Erma herself, Felines like her are notorious for being quite cyclical in their sexual biology. The problem here is the Albedo's felines had a biology that had more in common with canines, like domestic dogs, rather than real-life felines, when they can only ovulate during sex.
  • Artistic License Gun Safety: During a flashback scene when Erma explains towards some Ekosiak soldiers how she stopped a mouse girl armed with a really big sniper rifle killing lots of innocent people in the streets. Taking into account her size, the recoil of such massive weapon could have killed her before she could even hit a target, despite she's firing the rifle from a tripod. According with Word of God, recoil mitigation and isolation technologies that exist in the setting prevents her from getting hurt.note 
    • In Vol. 1 No. 14 we see both Erma and Toki practicing target shooting without ear protection, a fact that Gallacci stated as an accidental oversight.
    • An ILR crew raiding a commercial vessel shows little to no trigger discipline, resulting in an accidental discharge that leads to a gunfight. Possibly justified as they were poorly trained and intended to be sacrificed by high command.
  • Artistic License Military: By Word of God, each and all licenses of this are more or less intentional mostly to show the alieness between the Albedo universe and Real Life military doctrines. Keep in mind the author is a former USAF member:
    • Erma is possibly guilty of this during the whole story: She begins her career as a flight officer in the in-universe equivalent of the Air Force. She's later promoted to Squadron Commander... while doing jobs in Ekosiak related with the Army and she later takes the command of a battleship (technically a Navy job). This is handwaved for two in-story reasons: She's Kicked Upstairs by the EDF, mostly to prevent her to become an example, as women were not allowed to participate in combat and also, at the end of the first arc, because they wanted to get rid of her, using the ILR attack in Erma's homeworld as a convenient excuse to send her in a battleship to pursue the ILR and expecting her to die in combat.
    • Erma's hair is unusually long for someone working in the armed forces. Justified in her case, as she's one of the few characters with human-like hair and for that reason the EDF doesn't have rules against that.
    • While we don't know if this happens with the ILR due to the fact only males are admitted there, neither the EDF nor Enchawah has any rules against fraternization, allowing anyone to have relationships regardless of their ranks. This is especially egregious with (once again) Erma, since she dates with Tavas at firstnote  and later with Alfon, despite Erma outranks him by a mile, as she holds the rank of Squadron Commander and Alfon is in the lowest rank of the military hierarchy, but no one makes a fuss about them, even with she bears a child with him.
  • Attack Drone: The ACV (Autonomous Combat Vehicle) is a sci-fi version used in this series.
  • Beach Episode: The Ish-tako arc deal with an episode when Erma and Alfon Voga went into vacations to a beach, so they can had hot sex on it, and Erma getting pregnant after that.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Distant Finale is a very bittersweet one: The finale heavily implies Erma managed to stop the war somehow, but the price for doing it was really steep, as while the ending doesn't fully explain what happened with Erma's biological family at all, the whole experience turned her into a very bitter and sick elderly woman at the end.
  • Breast Expansion: A very egregious example of this happens in the Females of Albedo fanbook: Basically all the females included there, even the ones whose bust size in the comics was stated as normal-sized, are depicted there to almost ridiculous levels definitely not out-of-place in a fanservice-oriented series like Queen's Blade or Senran Kagura. Even Erma, who is depicted in-universe as being somewhat flat-chested, is depicted there to having a really considerable bosom.
  • Call A Rabbit a Lepine: Also overlaps with Descriptively-Named Species, as all the names of the species are named with the taxidermic terms used in Real Life: Erma, her family and many cat characters are Felines, the ILR are named Lepines, etc. Oddly enough, they still use sometimes the regular species names at times.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Zig-zagged during the Ish-tako sub-arc: While retaining most of the seriousness from the previous arc, this one is somewhat more light-hearted than other parts from the same series. When the Dornthant sub-arc begins, the things turn sour suddenly in a very heart-wretching way.
  • The Chosen Many: For many reasons, The Net tries to protect many specific people, due to their personalities or their latent psychic powers from all sides, including our heroine Erma.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: All over the place. If the characters aren't discussing about politics, society or any relevant on-story topic, they will resort on this regarding their own origins or anything related with their human Creators.
  • Cool Starship: Averted. Most of the spaceships are cylindric-shaped due to the need to create artificial gravity for the ship. Curiously enough, they resemble quite a bit like the Queen Emeraldas, minus the galleon-esque gondola and being more plain-looking.
  • Company Town:
    • The Enchawah Corp planet of Endly is populated near entirely by Enchawah employees, with notes that it's internal economy is effectively socialist, and since Enchawah is employee-owned and the board of directors is elected by employee-shareholders the government is indistinguishable from a democratic republic.
    • Post-war Erma investigates a planetary government for corruption and is briefly trapped in a remote corporate campus that had bribed labor department officials to send them undocumented aliens and make it difficult for them to leave. While also keeping them in debt to a company store stocked with expensive imports (ironically that's how she proves the corruption).
  • Cosmic Horror Story: Downplayed, but still present here: If we take into account that Humans Are Cthulhu, this is the Driving Question of the whole story: Many of the members of all the three sides of the conflict (EDF, ILR and Enchawah Corp.) are painfully aware they were created by someone or something a century ago for some mysterious reason, and some people are trying to find the truth behind the Creators. When they finally find out the truth, what happens next change the course of the story possibly for worse.
  • Cosmic Plaything: The whole cast, in a sense as the Creators (humans) are behind their creation as a cosmic social research subjects. Also, it's heavily implied Erma is being helped by another group of people probably different from the original Creators.
  • Cloning Blues - Teka Ardehad is a clone of Erma, when the Ardehad family wasn't able to have an biological heir.
    • Erma herself had many cloned sons and daughters, after losing contact with her biological family.
  • Cloudcuckoolander - Kanoc, courtesy of the ILR.
  • Crapsack World: More than Crapsack Universe, as no planet is safe of the ravages of war, with the partial examples of the ILR's worlds.
  • Creator Provincialism: a sci-fi, alien version of this trope, albeit a somewhat contrived version: The titular heroine hails from a planet who is basically, taking into account the way how it is described in-universe, an alien, furry version of Japan, since it shares similar customs and traditions. Her best friend Toki, on the other hand, is depicted as came out from the alien version of the Netherlands, or at least the stereotypical version of it. While there's an alien version of the U.S. (the Independent Lepine Republic), they are depicted as the bad guys, mixed with tropes of the Nazi Germany. Even more egregious the author is a former member of the USAF.
    • In a more meta-example of this trope, most of the animal species who appears in the story are descendant from American, European and Oceanian species and breeds, albeit some stock animals from African countries (hippos, lions, cheetahs, etc) also appears as well. There's almost no animals from Asian countries (like Tanukis). As a rule of thumb, Western species and breeds tends to appear more frequently in the story than non-Western ones. This is finally averted in the upcoming side-story The Seven, since the main protagonist is a Shiba Inu, a Japanese dog breed.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Despite the premise of the comic, this is surprisingly downplayed here: While technically everyone has fangs (or in the case of Rodents like Toki, and the Lepines, really big teeth), those rarely appear in the comic itself, with the sole exceptions of the aforementioned species. Erma herself has them, but hers are very small, and they only appear in few scenes and in official pin-ups. Onni Hitzok is the only character outside Erma, Toki and the Lepines whose fangs continously appear in the comic, especially when he's angry.
  • Death from Above: The ILR tried to wipe out Erma's homeworld bombing the planet with ACVs, but Erma managed, somewhat with the help of The Net, to prevent a total apocalypse against her planet.
  • Death of a Child: Twice:
    • During the battle of Derzon, a Feline mother and her children are killed by an ILR soldier In the Back when he tried to kill Erma and her men.
    • A Lepine boy dies as a result of his injuries during the ILR attack on Dornthant.
  • Debut Queue: This is the way how many of the characters appears here: In the very first issue of the story the only named character that debuts is the titular protagonist and both the EDF and the ILR, with only a brief backtory of those both armies is given. In the next issue, Dea, Col. Hitzok and Shato appears, Arrat debuts in the following issue, the rest of the Felna family appears until much later, Toki makes her debut until the Ish-tako sub-arc, and so on.
  • Deconstructor Fleet: There's a very good reason why Albedo is this for the Furry Fandom in the same way Neon Genesis Evangelion is for the Mecha genre or A Song of Ice and Fire for the fantasy genre, despite Albedo precedes them for decades:
    • Erma deserves an special mention, at least for the Western standards of the time and for the furry genre as well: Unlike similar heroines (or heroes as a whole) Erma is not a Damsel in Distress, nor another teen heroine who Jumped at the Call, much less someone like Kira Yamato or Amuro Ray who got into the army by accident. Erma is a 25-year oldnote  trained professional soldier who chose that profession by both family tradition and also for carrying Revenge against the ones who tortured her father, and even with that point she controls her emotions very well, to the point of awkwardness. That doesn't mean she lacks emotions, she doesn't let them to stand in her way.
    • The whole premise deserve a mention too: The story avoids glorifying war, showing us instead how hellish is living in a war-torn universe, when both sides are trying to mutually destroy each other by any means.
    • Another interesting feature to consider is the universe in which the characters exist: Unlike other works of the same genre, where the anthropomorphics exist simply because either humans never existed in their settings or any other too simplistic reasons, in this case the entire civilization exists because the humans were the ones who created the whole anthropomorphic civilization and they are the ones who pull the strings from a safe distance.
  • Derelict Graveyard: The wrecked Human spaceship.
  • Destructive Romance: Erma's fallout with Tavas is what drive most of the plot during the first arc, and, at the large scale of the things, it also have very serious ramifications that are still felt a century later by most of the people not related to the relationship between these two characters, since not only their breakout basically caused a galaxy-wide war, but it also almost destroyed their civilization,
  • Distant Finale: Despite the original story ended in a massive cliffhanger due of the death of Gallacci's wife, there's a side-story who takes place many decades after the events from the original series when Erma is already an old woman and a legendary war heroine (or a genocidal war criminal for the ILR, possibly).
  • Doomed Hometown: Dornthant for the Felnas in the first arc and Derzon for the Damahannahaias.
  • Downer Ending: The first arc ends into a helluvah downer one for both heroes and villains: Erma prevents the ILR from completely obliterating Dornthant, her homeworld, but her boyfriend Alfon dies when his aerodyne plunged to the ground after The Net was disabled by Tavas in an attempt to control the whole planet during a coup d'etat, while screwing Erma along the way by exiling her and sending her to pursue the ILR fleet that attacked Dornthant. She also lose contact with both her family and her son, possibly permanently.
    • At the large scale of the things, this could be one for everyone in the cast, excluding Erma and Teka since by Word of God, another war happened after Erma's demise by old age and sickness, making all the sacrifices of all characters completely moot.
  • Driving Question: Three of them:
    • Who are the Creators? The answer is the human race.
    • For which reason their civilization was created from scratch without any cultural basis? Very possibly as a really big, unethical, social scientific experiment and the whole cast are nothing more than guinea pigs.
    • Where are the creators right now?
    • There's another question that happens after the first Story Arc: What happened with Erma's family?.
  • Drop Ship: The EDF uses aerodynes, hovercraft held aloft by nuclear fusion thrust, to ferry troops up and down gravity wells. Erma is an aerodyne pilot, but political intrigues keep diverting her away from flying. They're also so complicated to fly that they need a constant Net connection to act as partial autopilot as discovered by Afon and his passengers.
  • End of an Age: At the large scale of the things, the Erma Felna EDF story is basically the story of the dawn of both the EDF and the ILR, especially during the second arc and the Distant Finale, and how those events shaped the events of Birthright, the immediate sequel.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: In-universe and excluding the Distant Finale and flashbacks, the whole story, at least to the last published issue in 2004, takes place in a timespan of six years, albeit some plotlines and side-stories had different timespans:
    • The Battle of Derzon began in a busy day and the ILR seems to took a whole day to invade the whole planet. The EDF took many weeks to respond and the battle itself also took a whole day from morning to almost evening, at least in the color remake. In the original version, the EDF need a whole night to repel the invasion.
    • The Scenes from a Room side-story took place in a single night in-universe, but the timeframe of the flashbacks took about a decade and a half, more or less, since Erma was born until her teen years.
    • The First Impressions side-story took place about one or two days since Erma arrived to Danet until she makes paces with Toki.
    • A Day With the Felnas took place in a single busy day from late day to night.
    • Making Sound took place in a whole busy day and the morning of the next day.
    • The Time Skip between the first and second arcs were only two months, but due to the changing of publishers, it took half of a decade for the next issue between arcs.
  • Fanservice: Gallacci couldn't resist having semi-nude scenes of Erma and Toki in the shower, swimmng or suddenly having to get out of bed in the buff to show off their beauty.
  • Fantastic Racism: Both sides of the conflict indulge on this, but the ILR takes this to genocidal levels.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Some planets and characters have characteristics from some Earth cultures, despite the whole sci-fi background of the series:
  • Fantastic Honorifics: The honorific system used in the setting is basically a translated version of the Japanese one: Many of the characters uses the "Honorable {insert last name}" honorific for adressing to very important people.note . Other regular honorifics like Lady, Miss, Mr. and military ranks are used too.
  • A Father to His Men: Captain Arrat does not take it lightly when someone hurts his crew.
  • Fantastic Naming Convention: More notable with the demonyms: When a person from a specific planet is mentioned, the naming convention is (Name of the planet) with the suffix "I". For example, Erma, who hails from the planet Dornthant, is called a Dornthanti. Toki (from Danet) a Danetti, and so on.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel: Of the jump drive variety, and even with it, interplanetary travel normally take months.
  • The Federation: The Confederation (ConFed), the EDF (ConFed's military branch), and the Enchawah Corp. (A Zaibatsu-style conglomerate of planets).
  • Fictionary: All the characters speaks and use a language created by the author named simply as "Standard Language". Unlike other examples of this trope, the Standard Language is completely culture-neutral, at least in-universe.note  It's heavily implied the Creators designed that language, not only because it was easier to learn for all the anthropomorphics due to their modified speech organs, but also to prevent the anthropomorphics to find out about their origins too easily. Note that this trope is applied in-universe only, as the language itself in printed form is basically a cypher for English with a simplified grammarnote 
  • Four-Fingered Hands: And they also use a base-8 numerical system to match this, until they find the derelict human spaceship, who uses a base-10 system on the ship's computers for obvious reasons.
  • Four Lines, All Waiting: Basically, the whole remaining of the second Story Arc are composed of this, because the whole story is told from the perspective from the three sides of the conflict: the Extraplanetary Defense Force (EDF), the Independent Lepine Republic (ILR), and Enchawah Corporation.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Taking into account the Distant Finale, it's very possibly the whole thing about the human Creators will never be fully resolved, at least not in Erma's era, albeit its heavily implied it was planned to be solved in Birthright, except that arc was never explained at all, not to mention the EDF, ILR and Enchawah Corp, will collapse and the whole civilization will end going straight to hell. There's an interesting twist in this trope, however: While we know how the story will end, what we don't know is the way it will end, as we don't know the fate of many important characters who have appeared to date. It's heavily implied that some important character is likely to die later, and the only characters who have survived, or at least are mentioned to have survived, are Erma, Toki (by Word of God in his personal homepage), and Teka.
  • Funny Background Event: Just like Shirow Masamune, Gallacci has a quirk about including those in many scenes, especially in scenes when many characters are talking at the same time. Interestingly, most of those "funny" events are useful to understand how the Albedo universe works.
  • Fully-Dressed Cartoon Animal: The entire cast, excluding Avians (birds).
  • Furry Reminder: Zig-zagged: There's a few times, especially during the first Story Arc, when the characters shows some kind of behaviour from their non-sentient ancestors, but this kind of remainder is normally by character-basis, rather than applied towards an entire species.
    • The Tabletop Games dwelves into this as well: The core books explains, while some species keeps some aspects from their ancestors, those aspects aren't always used in full force. The Platinum Catalyst rerelease, on the other hand, avoids this like a plague and the rules outright states any non-human ability an anthropomorphic can had as a race-specific perk (like Felines being able to see well at night, or platypi having poisonous claws like their non-sentient ancestors) are downplayed for the sake of Competitive Balance.
    • So far, one of the few things almost everyone shares with their ancestors are some characters bath their offsprings with their tongues, and some characters of specific species are more "cyclic" (as "being in heat" in specific periods) than humans. This is discussed by Erma with Toki whenErma finds this out the hard way. Also, some species, like Rodents and Lepines, share the Explosive Breeder tendences of their ancestors, albeit in the Lepines' case, this is only applicable on the ILR Lepines, rather than the other rabbits from both the EDF and Enchawah Corp.
  • Future Imperfect: Discussed by Dr. Elaki Kalahahaii in the second story arc when she tries to analize the copy of the book Frankenstein she found in the derelict human spaceship. Since not only they found a human corpse, but also they found from what they look like artificial humans, she thought those humans were her slaves or her masters and the world she came from is very likely a Crapsack World, albeit she correctly deduces the book is supposely to be a work of fiction in the human woman's planet, and it was written during a warnote  She quickly dismiss that theory because, if slavery was allowed in human society, that woman shouldn't never had that book in first place or even being written as well.
  • Genki Girl: Toki and in less degree, Frieda.
  • Generic Federation, Named Empire: With the multispecies Confederation of Planets vs. the rabbit-supremacist Independent Lepine Republic.
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: Especially in the Refractions anthology.
  • Going Cosmic: Especially during the last parts of the first arc and during the second one. The story starts as a somewhat odd mix of Space Opera mixed with hard science fiction, drama and obviously enough, about furries in uniform. After the EDF finds the derelict human spaceship, everybody starts to question their own existence and the fact they were created by humans, with unknown purposes for them.
  • The Gods Must Be Lazy: According with the Refractions anthology, one of the possible main points for creating the species in first place (besides the fact mankind found out they were the only sentient beings in the universe) was because humanity was becoming too lazy and there were too many restless people (aka Scientists) and humankind needed to keep them busy with some kind of "Grand Experiment" (Not to mention for self-preserving purposes)note 
  • Gory Discretion Shot - Steven A. Gallacci loved to abuse this often, with some very gorier exceptions.
  • Government Conspiracy: Lots of them from all the sides of the conflict, including the finding of the human corpse and the Wave-Motion Gun developed with the technology of the derelict spaceship the corpse was on it.
  • Great Offscreen War: The war that happens in the story is the second one between the ILR and the EDF. The first one happened possibly about two decades ago and it's barely explained at all, other that Kanoc (Erma's father) fought on it and it was the first war the ILR fought as an established country.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: A really bizarre meta-example that doesn't technically involve the Erma Felna EDF saga or anything created by Gallacci at all: In one of the back covers when Albedo was still an anthology and also one of the last issues when Usagi Yojimbo was published there before moving to Fantagraphics, the back cover was drawn by Stan Sakai by writting the name of the titular anthology in Japanese.note  The problem here is the fact the name "Albedo" was spelled in Japanese using English phonetics (アルビド)note  rather than using the correct Latin spelling of the word in Japanese. (アルベド)note 
    • In a somewhat straight example, there's many times when the characters, while not uttering "khai"note , they also utter "hai" (yes) or sometimes "hoi!"note  This can be explained as many of Gallacci's friends (Lex Nakashima, another fellow comic book editor who worked with him in Fusion, another comic when Gallacci provided many of the art of it, and the aforementioned Stan Sakai) are of Japanese descent, not to mention he added those words intentionally by his own admision.
  • Gray-and-Grey Morality: As the series goes on it becomes clear that the EDF and ILR aren't completely good or evil. The ILR government has committed genocide, but not all of its citizens support that course of action, most don't even know it happened. While the EDF uses some unsavory tactics to keep planets in the ConFed, and created a weapon capable of destroying the galaxy.
  • Home Guard: Described as such in the comic. Each member planet of the EDF has one for planet, albeit they fill the role as professional armies in the same way a regular army is one for a Real Life country.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: Since the author tries to avoid using human-based ethymology as much as he can, there's many new words that are relevant in-universe:
    • "For Khai's  sake!."
    • "I think you have been very inconsiderate! The hygiene unit  was in poor order and I can't seem to use it uninterrupted."
    • "You sound like you're lining me up for breeding 
    • "Maybe we can get some R & R  (This is a Real Life term used by the U.S. military and it means "rest and relaxation")
    • "Yeah, maybe I should call a PHR " (PHR is the in-universe term for "Psychological Hygiene Review", normally handled by the Net)
    • "Like I said, you got to really learn to relax. Dornthantii mental hygiene exercises  aren't all they're are purported to be.
  • Humanlike Foot Anatomy: With the sole exceptions of Ungulates (like the Arrats) and the Avians, all the mammal characters has humanlike feet and without pawpads (with some odd exceptions).
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: Since the humans are the Creators of them, this is can be considered the case, when they find an abandoned spaceship with an human corpse inside of it, and to fuel to whole thing, they also find a book inside of it: Frankenstein.
  • Improbably Female Cast: Played a bit: For some reason, almost all the plot-relevant named characters of the story are females.note  While there's a lot of named males with relevant roles, most of the storytelling tend to look over the females rather than the males, being the named males the most common victims of the war. This is mostly avoided in the second Story Arc, when all the sides of the conflict receives similar screen time.
  • In Space, Everyone Can See Your Face: Played a bit: Some astronaut suits, especially the ones used by aerodyne pilots like Erma, only cover their mouths and the rest of their heads, but not their eyes, but some astronaut suits plays this trope painfully straight.
  • Istanbul (Not Constantinople): Despite all the characters, regardless where they came from, speaks the same language with some dialectical variations, the names of some planets differs from how the locals call their world and how everyone else call those same worlds. So far, the only mentioned examples are Dornthant (Erma's homeworld) who is named by their people as "Annah", and Dannet (Toki's homeworld) is named as "Charanx" by their locals.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Justified, since kinetic weapons are more effective for destroy entire cities and targets than nukes.
  • Kishōtenketsu: The story follows this in a way, especially during the first arc: The first issues introduces Erma and her setting; during the Ekosiak sub-arc, we know more about Erma's past and her motivations, along with the ones from some of the secondary characters; the twist goes with the fact the entire anthropomorphic civilization was created by humans and the Net, the Master Computer who controls everything, was helping Erma since her young days; and the last two sub-arcs concludes, through not completely ends, the story, when the ILR, the main antagonist force of the comic, obliterates Erma's homeworld and the titular protagonist is exiled from her world.
  • Kudzu Plot: One that can give similar works like Neon Genesis Evangelion or Death Note a run for their money. Basically the whole plot begins straightfoward at first, but at the beginning of the Ekosiak sub-arc, it starts to get more and more complicated to the massive Chronic Backstabbing Disorder and in-universe Paranoia Fuel caused by a ambitious local executive in a attempt to separate Ekosiak from the EDF and the things went further when the human spaceship is found by both the EDF and Enchawah Corp. By the time the second Story Arc begins, the plot is split from each of the three conflicting factions of the story, with their own goals to accomplish.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The side-story In the Beginning, published in the Refractions anthology, the Human Creators wipes out any memories from their existence (but not vital information, like using advanced technology, etc.) from the Species (critters) with the help of drugs. Needless to day, many human scientists were were not amused by that.
  • Last-Name Basis: Justified, due to the military protocol the characters are subjected, but also used in civilian contexts.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: It's very possibly after finding information about the comic, you will end being spoiled by the fact the Creators are humans. In fact, the Tabletop Games makes painfully clear that fact in the prologue of the core book. On the other hand, the 2004 Platinum Catalyst Updated Re-release omits that info entirely.
  • Law of Alien Names: Used here in full force, with some exceptions. (Including the titular heroine)
    • The Unpronounceable: Some names are nothing more than strings of consonants without any vowels, making them incredibly alien for the readers. The best example of this is Teka Ardehad's mother, who is named by their underlings as Lady M'T.
  • Leave No Witnesses: After the first live-firing of the matter conversion weapon cripples but doesn't destroy an ILR warship the EDF fires two more times to make sure the weapon stays secret. It still gets out to the Net and triggers its' next stage.
  • Like Reality, Unless Noted: A very odd case: Despite the premise of the comic, most of the setting feels incredibly realistic, other than the inclusion of Faster-Than-Light Travel, the lack of fighter jet technology, anti-matter, the existence of a Wave-Motion Gun, and Psychic Powers. The same can go as well for the human race: In some point of the Real Life history until the end of the 2010s or later, mankind managed to manipulate genetic material to the grade to create new life forms like the current anthropomorphic civilization.
  • Loose Canon: Both the RPG games and anything related with the Creators in the Refractions fanzine is considered as such, as some elements from both works are canonic, while others are not, despite not contradicting the official canon. This is specially relevant with the RPG games, since many of the elements from it were written by other people other than Gallacci, and as such, he has the discretion to say which stuff is considered canon or not, especially regarding with the ILR in the Platinum Catalysm rerelease, when the ILR's background is flanderized from being space Nazis to borderline space North Koreans.
  • Love Hurts: Almost none of the couples appearing in the Albedo universe (and their families) have a good marital or romantic life due of the war. Erma and Alfon were an exception of this trope, until Alfon dies during the ILR attack over Dornthant thanks to Tavas's schemes over The Net.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Toki, all the way.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The ACVs are able to do this with various results.
  • Master Race: The Lepines (rabbits) from the ILR are bloody serious about being the rulers of all species.
  • Mature Animal Story: A possible Trope Codifier. A very serious military sci-fi comic with detailed socio-political discussions that has Funny Animal characters.
  • Meaningful Name: A meta-example: Gallacci's self-publishing brand used for publishing the comic in earlier issues (Thoughts & Images) was named after the figurative translation of the author's last name into old Japanese via ateji, which is Translated literally as "picture connection experience". By Word of God, this was a coincidence, since the ateji was commissioned by a friend some three decades after Thoughts & Images was first coined.
  • Mercy Kill: This is what happens after the aftermath of the Chishata massacre, when the ILR gassed out the survivors with nerve gas. After Arrat and his crew manages to reach them, it's too late to do something for them and they have to euthanize them.
    • Happens again in the second Story Arc when a wandering ILR fleet is obliterated by the EDF's Wave-Motion Gun as a means to testing it on them. A lone survivor is forced to blow his fellow crewmember's brains out when he was drowing in his own blood inside his spacesuit.
  • The Metric System Is Here to Stay: Despite being an American comic, especially in the 80s when the comic was first published, all the measures used in both the comic and also in the games are displayed with the metric system, rather than using imperial units. This is because the author was a former USAF member, when by necessity it's mandatory to use those and this is also shown as well in his work.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Averted. According to Steven A. Gallacci, people can only breed (and having viable offspring) with other people of the same species (felines with felines, rodents with rodents, etc.) This doesn't prevent Toki to having sex with every good-looking guy in the universe, regardless of their species.
  • Mobile Factory: The VLCCnote  (now retconned to VLLSSnote ) are the EDF's biggest capital ships are factory-carriers and part of their functions is providing industry to underdeveloped planets.
  • Myth Arc: The story didn't have one at the beginning of the plot, since most of the story was a mix of military drama with some Space Opera parts mixed to the plot, but in the middle of the first Story Arc the story gains one when the derelict human spaceship was found and now the role of some characters is now trying to find the true origin of the Creators and their whereabouts.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The ILR is extremely racist, with a nearly fascistic military-dominated government, and they probably killed more people than the Nazis in their first war alone. They're also combined with type 2 Eagleland stereotypes.
  • No Cartoon Fish: According with Word of God, the only animals that cannot be featured in the Albedo by any means are fishes, whales, killer whales and dolphins (since they need water to survive), cold-blooded beings (like lizards, for obvious reasons) and above all, primates (since they can become more intelligent than the rest of the beings and becoming a serious danger for everyone else, being related to the human beings).
  • No Smoking: And no drinking either: According with the tabletop RPG, the entire civilization doesn't have the concept of smoking or drinking alcohol. While technically alcoholic drink can be created by fermenting fruit, The Net normally discourage such kind of behaviour, mainly because, being mainly their society a spacefaring one, everyone are raised to have "ship discipline", meaning they cannot do things that could cloud their judgement and endangering a whole ship, and by extension, their society. This also causes the side-effect some cultures, like Erma's Dornthant, to have some cultural quirks that are similar to some Earth cultures, like Japan in Dornthant's case.
  • No Such Thing as Alien Pop Culture: Played a bit in the story: While pop culture does exist, most of it is somewhat different because the entire civilization (Be the EDF, ILR or Enchawah) is pretty young and many of the concepts we have for granted in our human society are depicted in a very odd way here. Music for instance is limited to simple tones with no lyrics and usually listened to with headphones. Interestingly enough, the closest thing for a sport (and also martial art) is something named as "stick fighting", a mix between bojutsu and Kendo, except with a large stick rather than a shinai.
  • Obligatory Swearing: Albeit it doesn't reach the Cluster F-Bomb territory since the stronger insult used here by everyone is "shit". Even Erma, of all people uses it at times but, on the other hand, the whole series is very inconsistent regarding the use of strong profanity as there's times when, rather than using "shit", the word is replaced with "poop" instead. Curiously enough in the first issues, it used Symbol Swearing instead, but it was dropped from the third issue onwards.
  • Ojou: Many of them: Erma, her mother Eda, Lees, Teka Ardehad and her mother just like her original, Erma and many others.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted between Albedo and its sequel Birthright: They're two girls named Toki in both series respectively and also two characters named Alfon.
  • Orphaned Etymology: The story tries its best to avoid this trope as much as it can in an attempt to remove any cultural link with any human culture, but there's some slips, being the most notorious one is one during Birthright, when General Rau Tan Theok, the leader of the invading Tosiu forces, does a reference towards "hell", despite there's no concept of hell or afterlife of any sort in the Albedo universe.
    • Another odd slip is in the Scenes From a Room prequel side-story, when Eda names the sleeping bags when they sleep as "futons". Even if you consider that fact her homeworld is the in-universe equivalent of Japan, with similar cultural quirks, the word "futon" (布団) came from Japanese language and none of the characters in the comic speaks any kind of human language.
  • Pardon My Klingon: Also overlaps with Oh, My Gods!, as the word "khai" gets quite some mileage from the characters, alongside more conventional swears like "damn" or "shit", albeit that word stands out for the human equivalent to say God, in this case, the Creators.
  • Physical God: It's implied after the appearance of the derelict human spaceship that the species were genetic contructs created by the human race (The Creators) possibly for investigating how those species can create a society from scratch without any kind of human intervention using The Net as a way for investigate them and keep them in check.
  • Post-Cyberpunk: While the setting is really grim, it's because of the current war the organic characters are waging between. The computers (The Net) are basically tools for both sides and their job is merely passive than active, at least at first.
  • Precursors: The Creators, named in-universe by all the characters in the Albedo universe. They also are known as the Human race.
  • Recap Episode: There's a brief recap of what happened so far at the beginning of the Ish-tako sub-arc. Unlike other renditions of this trope, it also explains some unexplained aspects of the backstory from the Albedo universe, especially with regards about how the both the EDF and the ILR were created and the backstory of Erma's family.
    • The uploading of the previous issues of the comic also works like this, since Gallacci made it clear he will continue the story after he finishes with uploading those issues first, so he doesn't have to write or draw another recap again, as he already did a very brief one once the comic jumped to Shanda Fantasy Arts.
  • Recut: There's three versions of the Battle of Derzon, the very first battle that happens at the beginning of the story when Erma fought and debuted as a soldier. The first one was in the prototype, the second one was in the original printing and the final one was printed in full color, expanding the events of that battle, while making it Bloodier and Gorier as well.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: No matter what kind of attrocities both the ILR and the EDF do against each other, it's heavily implied sexual violence does not exist in this setting, and even if someone does have the concept in mind, it's outright stated that any abnormal behavior is quickly dealed with by The Net (according with the original RPG games, when Gallacci had more input in their making) and any outright psychotic behavior is normally dealed by executing the culprit. This is especially relevant for the ILR, since, as racist they can be, they couldn't even conceptualize the idea of having sexual intercourse, willingly or not, with their enemies, prefering to executing or jailing them instead.
  • Reporting Names: Both the EDF and the ILR has different philosophies regarding this: The EDF uses a mix of the Japanesenote  and Soviet systems, while the ILR, being the in-universe equivalent of the U.S., obviously uses the American one.
  • Retcon: In 2016, Gallacci proceeded on retconning many aspects from the story in an attempt to streamline and expand the personalities of all the characters and eliminating contradictory, or undesirable information for the author, including toning down the power of the Matter Conversion Cannon into something that fits in the setting of the story.
  • Ripped from the Headlines:
  • Schizo Tech: A very odd case, despite the military sci-fi setting of the setting: While the technology level used in-universe is more or less advanced compared with our human technology, on the other hand, especially regarding military technology, there's lots of oddities compared with even Real Life military forces: Despite the EDF, ILR and Enchawah uses more or less the same technology with few variations, on the other hand they lack fighter jet technology (despite having commercial and transport planes for in-planet use), no seafaring technology (Despite some planets like Erma's Dornthant has seas), no anti-air artillery beyond rocket-launchers and oddly enough, no heavy tanks (other than light tanks, AFVs and similar vehicles) and most of the fighting is very much infantry-based.
    • Of course, it's all justified by everyone's lack of experience with war. No jet fighters because they already had space travel and orbital strikes,note  and the RPG explains that the EDF's ground forces prefer mobility to armor so they use troops and vehicles easily transported by drop ships, only Home Guard units use heavy tanks.
    • Also, its heavily implied that most of the technology used in the setting was the same one their human creators used in their era, which means they're using outdated technology from more than a century.
  • Sealed Orders: One issue reveals that there's a specific protocol for dealing with ILR prisoners that is only disclosed after an officer has taken such a prisoner and asked Mission Control what to do. The orders are sent to their Data Pad and consist, essentially, of executing the prisoners, especially if they are ConFed Lepins.
  • Shellshocked Veteran - Many characters, especially Kanoc and his daughter Erma in her final years of her life.
  • Shown Their Work: The author is notorious for taking lots of pains about researching every single piece used in the storytelling:
    • One of the aspects Gallacci took a special effort is regarding space warfare: Since there's very few serious literature outside regular science fiction regarding the topic, he interpolated info from the current human space exploration technology used actually and military information used in other branches like the Navy and the Army.
    • Being the author a former USAF member, all the military lingo is the same one used in Real Life, mixed with astronaut lingo as well for obvious reasons.
    • Even the kind of food the characters eat is painfully researched, as the characters eat between vegetables and a mix of algae, sea food and "biomass" (basically artificial meat, mostly to avoid Carnivore Confusion), being those being easily mass-produced for the cheap.note 
  • Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality: A very odd subversion happens here: Technically speaking, women in the EDF are supposed to have minor roles inside the organization, but at the end almost every named female in the EDF does more for them than any other female other than Col. Hitzok. This is even more egregious in Birthright, as despite Alfon Koshaka being the main character, his girlfriend Jenna and Toki and Kala later on does more heroic stuff than any other male in-story.
  • Space Fighter: Subverted, as the unmanned ACVs fills the role well. This is was intentional, as none of the sides of the conflict wants to risk their pilots into the dangers of the outer space and drones can do that role better than living beings.
  • Space Is an Ocean: Most of the space battles resemble more like underwater warfare with submarines rather than with battleships.
  • Spell My Name with an S: A non-translation version of this trope: Gallacci is notorious for having a somewhat bad spelling, not only in his writing, but also regarding many of the most alien-sounding names used and he can't ever decide which is the correct spelling of many names. Word of God admits that spelling has always been his weak point.
  • Strange-Syntax Speaker: Due possibly to the Translation Convention used in the series, all the characters speak using a very weird syntax, making the dialogue sound a bit more alien.
  • Subspace Ansible: Averted, interstellar communication uses "message torpedoes" that are essentially hard drives mounted on rockets with jump drives that have enough storage capacity to hold practically the entire contents of the local Net.
  • The Thirty-Six Stratagems: Zig-zagged and discussed by Word of God in additional materials: Both sides are complete amateurs regarding military strategy and until the second ILR-EDF war, their tactics didn't go beyond attack, invade and raze anything from the opposite side. By the time the second war came in, both sides came with more sharper tactics:
    • The ILR uses the 20th during the Battle of Derzon, just to cause chaos inside the ranks of the ConFed by causing lots of collateral damage during the battle on their own civilian population. The same stratagem is used during the Ekosiak uprising by Aito Zho to stir the flames of the rebellion on the people of his planet. Too bad his plans backfired against him at the end. Also, the ILR used the sixth during the attack on Dornthant using Barlahan's ship as a decoy so they can both use the Hassakennal cluster weapon and get rid of a undesirable person inside that ship, in this case Ipcha Tankannahai.
    • Tavas makes use of the first and third stratagems during the ILR's attack on Dornthant: In the case of the first, Tavas concealed his real motives why he had allowed ILR to attack the planet, several of these motives dating back five years before the battle of Derzon, in order to deal some several blows against Erma and take revenge against her. In the case of the third, Tavas used the ILR fleet to become the leader of the planet through a coup d' état, at the cost of the lives of Dornthant's inhabitants.
  • Title Drop: Used when Erma and some EDF members found the wrecked human ship and they aren't able to see it from outside.:
    EDF Officer: The pan-spectrum Albedo on it is almost zip.
  • Time Skip: Used continuosly during all the series, partly because the comic avoids Comic-Book Time, albeit the passage of time is very slow and partly because due of the relative "slowness" of the Faster-Than-Light Travel technology, many scenes and plots can take weeks or months.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Except in this case, the tomato is the entire cast when Erma and many members of the EDF, ILR and Enchawah finds out the truth about the Creators, who were human beings, meaning they were created by them, albeit that fact was already rumored centuries before Erma was born.
  • Transhuman Aliens: According with Word of God, the whole anthropomorphic society is basically this, as they are basically chimeras, beings created using human bases and adding animal features. In other words, the Creators (mankind) created their own aliens just for studying from a safe distance.
  • Translation Convention; None of the characters speak English (or any human language) and sometimes during the series there's some characters (Erma included) who speak in a invented language by the author. This is also not exclusive from the language used in-universe either: The whole setting uses base-8 numerical system, but it is translated to base-10 for the sake of the readers.
  • Unusual Chapter Numbers: Also overlaps with Episode Code Number, as unlike other many American (or Western, as a whole) comics, Albedo uses an interesting numbering system for the whole story: Rather than the numbering being resetted each issue, the numbering is continued in the following issue. Also, the current Erma Felna EDF saga uses the code "EF" (Erma Felna ) plus the number of the page, (p.e EF154) for identify which part of the story and which page we are talking about.
  • Used Future: There's hardly any "shiny" stuff in this comic. A lot of vehicles wouldn't even look out of place in a modern day military base.
  • Visible Silence: Used during the Ekosiak sub-arc during a small subplot when Lt. Denka, a girl loyal to Col. Hitzok was facing rebel forces inside a space station. In this case this was a deliberate artistic choice to indicate that while the characters might be talking aloud, they can't hear each other, so neither can the readers.
  • Wham Episode: Two of them, and both are the biggest ones from all the plot, and also overlaps with Game Changer:
    • The very first one and the most important one is the discovering of a derelict ship with human corpses inside it, confirmating the theory of the Creators. Not only the discovery of such a ship causes a giant aftershock in both the EDF and the ILR, it also changes the course of the war for the worse when the EDF reverse-engineered the technology of the ship and designs a galaxy-destroying Wave-Motion Gun for using against the ILR.
    • The ILR attack on Dornthant, Erma and her family homeworld. Not only it marks the end of the first Story Arc, it also changes the established status quo by killing Alfon, Erma's second boyfriend, separating her family from her possibly for good and causing her to be exiled from her homeworld as retalation for trying to stop the attack as a part of Tavas' False Flag Operation.
  • Wham Line: The Distant Finale published between the first and second arcs also includes an epilogue featuring Dr. Kalahahaii running away from the EDF after the ILR stole the info regarding her discoveries of the human ship from her brain using a Talent spy and now the EDF tries to silence her. The Enchawah family, the owners of Enchawah Corp. on the other hand, not only they try to help her, but also managed to translate the book found in the human spaceship:
    Lida Enchawah: Finally, we have a reasonable translation of the book you found. It appears to be some kind of fantastic fiction. You might want to read it: Frankenstein.
  • War Is Hell: The story doesn't stop hammering the readers about how hellish is about living in a setting on almost perpetual warfare and how the war affects all the people involved on it, regardless their positions on society. Even the ILR avoids the War Is Glorious trope, because they are fighting for both showing their own superiority and their own survival.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Exotic adaptions of "jump" physics produces a matter anhailation effect that can be used to create a short of super laser. The development of it appears late in the series and first use would have been in the unfinished third SFA issue. In Birthright, Steve jumps the shark with it in the second story arc, exaggerating the effect badly (and will rewrite that with a notation in any reprint)
  • We Are as Mayflies: Downplayed a bit: By Word of God, the anthropomorphics were designed to have a moderate lifespan, unlike their non-sentient ancestors, to approximately 60 years old. This became a plot point when we see a very old Erma at her sixties in the Distant Finale.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: A non-deadly example discussed in a meta-way by Word of God: Gallacci has discussed about the morality and the general culture of the anthropomorphic cast compared with both the human race and their non-sentient ancestors and his point has always being the fact they have a different behavior completely different from both human or animal ones, making them, for all practical effects, a complete and distintive alien civilization in most aspects.
  • A World Half Full: Basically, The setting is a war-torn universe and the characters frequently expose corruption and conspiracies of any kind, just to find their efforts nullified by the same system they're fighting for and their efforts went for nothing at the very end.
  • World of Funny Animals: A very dark and deconstructed take on this trope.
  • Wutai: Dornthant, culture-wise.
  • You Mean "Xmas": Even a very dystopian setting like Albedo has an equivalent for Christmas, at least as explained in the Scenes From A Room side-story or at least in Erma's homeworld. The equivalent there is named "Day of Planetfall" and just like its human counterpart, gifts are given as well.
  • Zeerust: Surprisely, this is mostly averted: For some bizarre reason, Gallacci has a knack for unintentionally predicting many technological trends in the comic, when those trends were considered sci-fi stuff in the earlier 80s like smartphone and tablet-like devices connected to a wide net, and many similar technologies, but, at the same time, this is still played straight in a way, as many of those trends that appear in the comic look very different like our current ones, like the aforementioned data pads are bulkier and heavier compared with an iPad or an Android tablet.