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On the distant planet of Asclepi, people live within "dimensional fields" (named Drowse Houses) to protect themselves from surreal monsters (Revenants & Poltergeists). They're divided into two groups: Defaulters (those with Talent and Passion) & Monochromes (those without), and currently oppose each other.

To remedy this, 15 Defaulters called the "Chosen" must come together to unite their Virtues to create Harmony, which will eliminate the monsters & bring the two factions together. Each Chosen also has powers & abilities based on their Talent/Passion, and are accompanied by strange beings known as Menagerites.

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The first "arc", Idiosyncratic Mugen, mainly focuses on the main characters' lives and the world around them, before they begin their journey in Deep Dark Destiny.

Which is when many things established gets analyzed and taken apart. Afterwards, things...escalate. A lot.

Swatch Devil isn't a direct sequel, but rather a type of "epilogue".

     Swatch Dream 
Idiosyncratic Mugen
  • Shooting Star Thread: Ray Muncher, a shy artist who lives by himself, befriends five Menagerites over the summer break. Meanwhile, a kind fashionista named Carrie decides to leave the Drowse House she's in.
  • Desert Trinity: David Lee, a stoic but nice soccer player, meets the two siblings of the "Errant" family, Ash & Ellan.
  • Apathy District: Saturn, a successful student in Akira Middle, struggles to tolerate his classmates & teachers. Elsewhere, an "instrumental" music maker named Leon questions his need to help others, while Abbey remembers a significant moment in her past.
  • Sutra Daemon Arcane: Two wandering orphans, Taga & Mariana, develop a gradual bond with Vault Sulphur & his son, Carbon.
  • Neon Carnival Fiasco: Mike Ina, a kid who enjoys video games, enjoys his day at a seemingly popular amusement park.

Deep Dark Destiny

  • Nexus Phanrasy: With each of the Chosen out to complete their role, they meet strange people known as Clergies, who were sent to assist them.
  • Hang Man Phantasy: As more details on the Chosen's quest are revealed, one of them must choose to make a special sacrifice.
  • Discordia Phantasy: Ray Muncher awakens to find reality on the verge of shattering. The only way to resolve this is...?!

Barre Mystery

  • Barre Mister: The only story in this arc. This takes a break from the previous arc, starting by Ray Muncher having his birthday celebrated.

Chimera Puzzle

  • ghostly PROJECT: Ash, Ellan, & Saturn unknowingly summon ghosts. Meanwhile, Jormand, the Tulpa of Quercus, gets David Lee to help with his master, who's been acting different lately.
  • monster REVERT: Taga, Mariana, Carbon, & Vault S. find themselves back in the Unknown World & have become regular humans. Azalea & Caesal realize they can cease the pain of Revenants & Poltergeists.
  • dimensional FLASHBACK: Rosacae, Avenus, Leon, & Abbey find out that numerous Drowse Houses are been destroyed from the inside-out. Taurus, Charlie, & Mike Ina are suddenly placed into a different time-period.
  • ribbon ERASE: Carrie tries to help her brother, Ray Muncher, who has been phasing in & out of reality and memory recently. The two siblings also find Taraxa acting particularly suspicious.
  • umbral WHODUNNIT: Renald & Rubus try to solve the mysteries behind the events today. Spectre also decides to help them, bringing along Ray & Carrie Muncher.

Oblivion Syndrome

  • Shinigami a la Circus: A day later, everyone finds that a number of Drowse Houses have been completely destroyed.
  • Corpse a la Onryo: After learning about the reason about the destruction of the Drowse Houses, our Clergy-protagonists must make some rather heavy choices.
  • Black & White a la Karma: The end of the villains behind this whole mess finally begins.
     Swatch Devil 
Beispieltraum World
  • (Pinocchio) Education: Ray Muncher, his Menagerites, & Spectre find the three Off-Tulpas, in addition to a fourth one named Eric.
  • (Wonderland) Minimalist: Mike Ina is playing a strange game called "Shadow Snatchers", when the protagonist of said game somehow pulls him inside.
  • (Sleeping) Hell: Trying to find Mike, his four family members find themselves within the Afterlife. Ray begins to notice a number of the Clergies are missing.
  • (Bald Mountain) Night:
  • Epilogue Breakout:
The Tales of...
  • Fairy Lights:
  • AR Testers:
  • Deflowering Poppets:
  • Wonderful Prophecies:
  • Heaven & Hell Education:

The Ending to This Long, Dramatic Story

  • Your Dream-You Destiny:

  • The Adjectival Man: From what little information the characters know about him, they decide to refer to the mysterious stranger as "the Birthday Man", since he first messed with them on Ray's birthday.
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  • Abusive Parents: The Chosen's "parents" are...not the best , to say the least. In a world with a normal justice system, these people could be executed or at the very least arrested. Here, they get paid for being such horrible people. The few exceptions are Taurus, Charlie, & Vault.
  • Adult Fear: Uncomfortably large amounts of it, no less.
    • The younger Chosen being unable to receive help or support from people they should be able to trust.
    • Being prevented of a stable life just because you have traits that are beyond your control.
    • Being seen & treated as a monster simply due to your existence.
    • For Taurus & Charlie, having your children leave you due to something you did.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Monochromes are monochrome-skin colored. The Defaulters barely look any different than them. Many of the main characters have a blank-white skin color, though there's a reason for this. It's supposed to make them appear dead...because they technically are.
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  • Ambiguous Situation: Everything about the "Unknown World", as well as details about the four people's lives (Taga, Mariana, Vault S., & Carbon) are mostly ambiguous.
  • Amnesiac Hero: A variation. The Chosen remember much of their lives, though the younger ones notice a few "gaps". At one point, they figure that the Clergies have some to do with it. These "gaps" turn out to be caused by the Chosen mentally censoring out the parts when they died, revived, & saw their own corpses. The Clergies had nothing to do with it.
  • Anachronic Order: Due to the way it's depicted, the events in certain arcs aren't in chronological order. For example, in Idiosyncratic Mugen, "Shooting Star Thread" occur throughout July 24, while Sutra Daemon Arcane goes through around a decade before ending on July 24.
    • Chimera Puzzle is also a bit out of order, though they all occur on August 7. ghostly PROJECT occurs in the late afternoon. monster REVERT takes place around 9:00 a.m.. dimensional FLASHBACK starts in the early afternoon. ribbon ERASE occurs in the late morning, with umbral WHODUNNIT starting a noon.
  • Anti-Hero: As the story goes on, the main characters stop wanting to do anything with the Monochromes & Defaulters. Considering this happens after Deep Dark Destiny, it's not hard to see why.
    • This trait reaches its peak in Oblivion Syndrome. Learning about the "Orgonite" Life System & the pain it's causing Revenants/Poltergeists (which are revealed to be infant/child Menagerties), each Clergy realizes how absolutely irredeemable Monochromes/Defaulters are, and they'll still continue acts like this. It's enough that they may have to commit genocide just to stop them.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Revenants & Poltergeists are stated to be physical forms of negativity, but it later turns out to more subjective than that.
    • Tulpas are revealed in Chimera Puzzle to be the personification of a Clergies' "subconscious wishes". In a contrast to Passion, these are wishes that even the Clergies themselves may not know unless outright stated. The "Birthday Man" decided to "grant" the "Chosen-Clergies'" wishes to create their Tulpa, causing the strange events throughout Chimera Puzzle. The "Pseudo-War" Clegries were far more easier to deal with, as they already had their Tulpas thanks to Charlie using his abilities to create them (he didn't make one for himself nor Taurus, as they didn't think they needed one). Presumably, "Mr. Birthday" did this to give them "closure" after the traumatic revelations of Deep Dark Destiny.
  • Arc Symbol / Animal Motifs: Each Chosen is associated with either a fantastical being or animal.
    • Ray Muncher: Butterflies
    • Carrie: Cats
    • David Lee: Lizards
    • Ash Errant: Mice
    • Ellan: Fairies
    • Saturn: Ravens
    • Leon: Dragons
    • Abbey: Tigers
    • Taga: Phoenixes
    • Mariana: Spiders
    • Carbon: Mantas
    • Vault Sulphur: Ammonite
    • Taurus: Wraiths
    • Charlie: Owls
    • Mike Ina: Flying saucers, and later, frogs
      • This is also true for the Clergies, though it only consists of animals.
    • Rosacae: Hornets
    • Avenus: Scorpions
    • Rubus: Crows
    • Quercus: Snakes
    • Taraxa: Rabbits
    • Caesal: Cranes
    • Azalea: Lobsters
    • Renald: Elks
  • Arc Words: Variations of "shatter", "dream", & "destiny" are used often.
  • The Atoner: In Oblivion Syndrome, Renald tries to redeem himself by finding & destroying the "Orgonite" Life System he was forced to create thousands of years ago. Also for killing the numerous other Clergies after they either completed their own "quests" or found out about his role as a Leader. Except these were beyond his control, and he's trying to find the Life System by himself.
  • Awful Truth: Almost each arc contains one.
    • The reason Ray Muncher was growing stronger & his Menagerites grew weaker was due to his own Passion, which has the unfortunate side-effect oftaking their life energy for himself. They didn't tell him earlier, fearing his reaction & wanting to fulfill his wish for friends. This causes Ray to enter catatonic depression, breaking his Passion & causing his Menagerites to seemingly disappear.
    • Mike Ina was put into a lucid dream world by Charlie, both so he could experience a better life, and to prevent him from committing suicide. He's been asleep for 10 years. This decision caused his siblings, Abbey & Leon, to eventually leave from grief. Charlie is unsure whether or not it was the right thing to do, while Taurus tries to support him.
    • The whole "quest" at the start turns out to be a Suicide Mission to destroy the outside world. Also, each of the main characters are "Clergies", which are walking corpses made from various body parts & other corpses. None of them can die & release Negative Energy each time they're "killed". The Revenants & Poltergeists are implied to be sentient & are in massive pain, and aren't aware of what they're doing. Oof.
    • Chimera Puzzle: umbral WHODUNNIT has a legion of these. Spectre was some sort of protector of humanity, & unintentionally doomed the human race by sending them to the "Unknown World", and made Monochromes/Defaulters/Clergies to act as replacements, dying and losing his mind in the process. To regain his strength, he spent thousands of years "possessing" various Clergies, learning about their secrets. He's currently "possessing" Ray Muncher, who spent the recent arcs seeing Spectre as a friend.
      • The "Birthday Man" casually appears in person, revealing that everything that happened in this arc was because of the Clergies' Tulpas (who are the embodiments of their subconscious wishes). He used the remaining Passion in the "Chosen-Clergies" to give each their own Tulpa. None of the Tulpas themselves were aware of this. Apparently, he "granted" the Clergies' wishes to give them closure...
      • He then goes on to reveal Renald's subconscious wish: To become a Clergy. This is because Renald is Patori, the Monochromes'/Defaulters' Leader who caused the events of Deep Dark Destiny. He wanted to escape his role as a Leader so badly that he used his powers to turn himself into a Clergy. However, this wasn't enough; he still had to do what the Monochromes & Defaulters wanted, despite having opposite feelings about it. Currently, he's now a regular Clergy, and is no longer a Leader.
  • Bald of Evil: The Clergies are completely bald. The male ones, anyway. Completely averted with Taxus & Catalpa, prior before turning into Taurus & Charlie.
  • Beneath the Mask: The Central Theme to Barre Mister & Chimera Puzzle. It's shown that the Clergies have "subconscious wishes", which can be given the form of Tulpas, and also give them abilities based off it. The only one without a Tulpa is Carrie. See Empty Shell below.
    • Ash Errant, Ellan, & Saturn: Wants to see a seemingly lost family member, or in Ash's case, a better version of said family member= Our Ghosts Are Different. Though, these "ghosts" are really their Tulpas.
    • Taga, Mariana, Carbon, & Vault S.: Wishes to go back to the Unknown World= Warp Whistle
    • Azalea & Caesal: Wants to rebuild their formal friendship with the Revenants & Poltergeists= Healing Hands
    • Rosacae, Avenus, Leon, Abbey: Secretly wishes the Monochromes & Defaulters would suffer.=
    • Ray Muncher: Wants to disappear from those he hates.= Ret Gone
    • Taraxa: At first, it seems like The Power of Hate, but he far more open about this. Taraxa's really hiding the fact that he's absolutely scared over the state of the world. This is why he unknowingly changed the state of the world, in a similar manner to Taurus' & Charlie's unintentional illusion.
  • Beyond the Impossible: This is essentially what can create a Cosmic Abnormality. In some cases, simply doing something the Restless find "wrong" can turn anyone into one. Sometimes, they end up happening at random, similar to "glitches" in a video game.
    • Spectre is one due to regularly fighting other Cosmic Abnormalities that attempted to end humanity.
    • Taurus & Charlie were both this, & used to serve Hatchet before regretting it & coming to the World of Asclepi, as their actions indirectly led to the extinction of humanity.
    • Taga & Mariana were this ever since they existed, as came into the world as half-Clergies, instead of through the usual method of making Clergies. They also unwillingly gave birth to the Unknown Leader, which was one of the things that indirectly ended the human race.
    • Ray became one as of Swatch Devil. At one point, he was stripped down to his Passion, but later came back as something made from his once his Menagerites were in trouble. He also did something that shouldn't even be possible: temporarily killing a Clergy. Along with that, since he's made of Passion, he uses it to turn all the Clergies into regular human beings before they enter the World of Caelum (though not before having a well-needed discussion before doing so). Even after that, this doesn't change the fact that him, Taga, Mariana, Taurus, Charlie, & Spectre are still just errors in the universe.
    • Interestingly enough, the "Birthday Man" hasn't been branded as a Cosmic Abnormality, despite how strange his existence is. He's not even given the title of a Clergy after stepping down from being the Menagerites' Leader. He does have a theory about why this is, but doesn't want to think about it...
  • Bittersweet Ending: Three of the major "arcs" end this way.
    • Idiosyncratic Mugen: Ray loses his few friends and sees himself as a monster, but meets his sister, Carrie, after 8 years. David, Ash, & Ellan go out to escape their abusive lives, but are unsure what will happen or how to defend themselves. Saturn leaves his terrible school & befriends Leon, but may risk encountering his father again, and Leon has to deal with the Defaulters' distrust in them both. Abbey finally remembers significant moments & leaves the lab she was forced to work at, but doesn't seem to enjoy what these moments entail. Taga, Mariana, Carbon, & Vault are put out of their "containment", but each are in completely separate locations. Mike realizes he's been in a dream world for years, realizes the reason why, but decides to continue living for those that love him, and goes out to find Taurus & Charlie.
    • Deep Dark Destiny: Each of the "Chosen-Clergies" are alive & safe in Charlie's newly created Drowse House, the "Pseudo-War Clergies'" Geas has been taken away, & the "Harmony" Life System & it's pieces have been destroyed. This doesn't stop the fact that the world is still in ruins. Also, each Chosen realize that they're now empty conglomerate corpses and aren't biologically related to each other. They'll also eventually gain Clergy-powers, since their Harmony-piece was taken out of them. Meanwhile, Rosacae has to deal with the fact that he unknowingly made himself, the other Clergies, & countless Revenants/Poltergeists go through 2435 years of torment.
    • Oblivion Syndrome: All of the Monochromes & Defaulters have been wiped out, due to the collective teamwork of the Clergies putting a NE-infused "Orgonite" Life System into a Drowse House. They won't have to deal with their torment anymore, and will hopefully have better lives from this point. The Menagerites' society now can now be rebuilt. However, this doesn't ignore the fact that they each played a part in committing genocide, which will most likely affect them in the long run. Also, the Tulpas that were "ceased ownership" of are walking around without an identity or purpose.
  • But Thou Must!: This is basically what a Leader's job amounts to. They must use their powers based on what their "citizens" want. This does keep them from being corrupt individuals... but it also strips them of their freedom, unable to take any real initiative or make good decisions that could benefit others. They also can't effect anything directly, so they're basically sitting ducks otherwise.
    • Renald/Patori was basically created to do what the Monochromes & Defaulters wanted. It would've been fine if they didn't make him do some horrible stuff just for their own benefit, leading to them indirectly screwing over the world and others. Small wonder he's been trying to find a way to stop being a Leader.
    • The "Birthday Man" was made for the Menagerites. However, the Menagerites have the strong belief that they'll die someday even with their long life-cycles. After the creating of the "Orgonite" Life System (which turns infant/child Menagerites into immortal abominations that generate Negative Energy for the Monochromes & Defaulters), the majority of them grew depressed & pointless. Even though there were still a select few still willing to at least try to do something about it, the "Birthday Man" was still unable to do anything, leading to him watching the Menagerites & their society slowly rot for thousands of years. This is possibly why he's become so obsessed with the concept of wishes.
  • Central Theme: Each arc is centered around a certain theme.
  • Character Development: A key factor in this story.
    • Each character goes through similar developments in Oblivion Syndrome. After learning another Awful Truth that's caused by the Monochromes & Defaulters, it proves to be so horrible that each Clergy decides that they can't let them live after that, as they'll continue causing chaos & torment. From there, they stop caring if they're seen as murderers, only caring about saving everything else from the Monochromes/Defaulters.
  • The Chosen Many: The 15 main characters are called the "Chosen" for this very exact reason. They're meant to come together to bring each of their Virtues together, creating Harmony. Though it really means they're Chosen-Clergies, and their quest is...not that simple.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: A number of the Menagerites are a bit...out there.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The "Virtues" within each of the main characters. They're needed to create "Harmony" bringing peace to the Defaulters & Monochromes. However, the whole thing is a little more complex than that.
  • Cozy Voice for Catastrophes: The "Birthday Man" speaks in a calm & soothing voice. Even when entering the Clergies' mental worlds & dissecting their traits in order to "grant their wishes". To "give them closure", apparently.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Despite how beautiful the planet and Drowse Houses look, Asclepi is not a place you will want to live in.
    Brocken: (after hearing about Ray's school life) Ha...ha...Hoo boy. This planet's...kind of a shithole, huh?
  • Creepy Good: Technically all the Clergies. And the Chosen, who are also Clergies.
    • Also the "Birthday Man". Despite being a tall, smiling man wearing an overcoat and a fedora, (along with his left & right eyeholes being shaped like a star & moon respectively), he really just did his "wish-granting" to help the Clergies understand themselves. He's also very devoted to the Menagerites, even after he had to watch most of them die off while he couldn't do anything.
  • Darker and Edgier: While Idiosyncratic Mugen is already dark due to establishing the questionable world our heroes live in, Deep Dark Destiny (as the name implies) manages to make this even worse.
  • Deconstructor Fleet: Much of the story is aimed to dissect various fantasy/anime tropes. For example, Ray's Passion is centered around his need for friends, so it eventually gave him 5 Menagerites he would bond over summer break. But how does someone receive power from friends automatically? It drains the life energy from his Menagerites, powering him up. When Ray realizes this. he starts to believe he's the same as his tormentors, leading to the shattering of his Passion. Sadly, since Menagerites require the Passion of their Chosen to be in this world, they disappear.
    • Why do some heroes have various powers that don't entirely link up to each other?. It's because they're walking, empty corpses made from other body parts & corpses, creating more "room" for multiple abilities.
    • How do you successfully sacrifice our heroes for a greater cause? By not telling them any facts about it in the first place. And the "greater cause" is either practically non-existent or will cause unnecessary damage to reality.
    • Why are The Heartless made out of negative emotions/thoughts, or in this case, Negative Energy? They're not solely made from negativity. In fact, Negative Energy is simply cognitive energy. The Monochromes & Defaulters simply hate these concepts & emotions. Also, these monsters having their existence solely based on a single concept they're "assigned" brings them unnatural amounts of pain, and most aren't even aware of their own existence. Even further is when it's revealed that they're the Menagerites' children and infants. And since they're not able to age nor entire the Menagerites' homeworld, the Menagerites' society has been crumbling for thousands of years.
    • The idea of Saving the World is explored through the Monochromes & Defaulters. What is their concept of a "world"? How do they see their world being "saved"? What if the world is saved, but not in the way they'd prefer it? The result is not pretty.
  • Demonic Possession: Spectre becomes so desperate to fix his mistakes that, by the time Oblivion Syndrome starts, he apparently fully possesses Ray Muncher to regain his full power & kill off the Monochromes & Defaulters. However, it turns out Ray made the decision to begin killing them off, after learning about what they did to the Menagerites and from everything each Clergy had went through...and then it turns out he only murdered the people who would try to make another Leader to replace Renald.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Saturn goes to school where he's unable to pick subjects he's best at or has an interested in, and is constantly meant to do well in all classes to meet the quota of an "all-around individual". His classmates never try as hard as him, and only go out their way to simply pass classes and graduate. At one point, Saturn's father told him to simply give up his previous goals and dreams in favor of simply succeeding. The result is a well-educated but ultimately unhappy student.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Possibly one of the more satisfying or terrifying moments is seeing these characters lash out.
    • Ray Muncher doesn't do this until much later, and its Played for Drama. Tired of Carrie patronizing & white-knighting him for the past month (to the point where she won't even let him draw), he suddenly & violently lashes out at her, then leaves her for the rest of the story. This is enough to trigger Carrie's Character Development.
    • Once his highly-abusive "girlfriend" threatens to kill his only two friends (that he made on the same day, mind you) if he doesn't come back to her, David Lee begins walking towards her... only to snatch the knife in her hand at the last second & stabs her to death with it.
  • Downer Ending: In contrast to the first two arcs, which were bittersweet at best, Chimera Puzzle ends with three very upsetting reveals: Renald is Patori & was trying to escape his role as a Leader for a long time, and has permanently killed off previous groups of Clergies to prevent them from finding out. Spectre, a former protector of sorts, unintentionally ended humanity & tried to create replacements via the Monochromes/Defaulters & Clergies, but died and lost his mind in the process. The "Birthday Man" appears & reveals he's the Menagerites' Leader and that everything within this arc was due to him tampering with the Clergies' Tulpas, which are embodiments of their subconscious wishes. It's entirely possible that he plans on using them in the future.
  • Dream World: Subverted; despite the title, there's hardly any references to actual sleep. The Drowse Houses are created through the mind of whoever is wielding an object called a "Phantasy Card", but it doesn't put them to sleep. The one exception is in Neon Carnival Fiasco, where Mike I. was put into a dream world by Charlie to prevent him from committing suicide and to give him a more fulfilling life. He gets a persisting, empty feeling once it's all over, but decides to live for the family he has.
    • However, in Barre Mister, each of the "Chosen-Clergies" are within a "dream world" by having their personal-Drowse Houses tampered with.
  • Driven to Suicide: Taga realizes their role early on, & decides to rip out his own piece, with the intention of having his sister break it. He ends up being alive, due to Spectre turning him and the others into normal Clergies, but will live an extensive life of suffering like the other Chosen/Clergies.
    • A bit earlier, it's revealed that Mike Ina was put into a dream world by Charlie to prevent him from doing this.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady / Lady Looks Like a Dude: Due to how their hair is designed, David & Ash are often confused for a girl. Ellan is also mistaken for a guy, but its mainly due to her type of clothing. Quercus jokes about this when he first meets them.
    Quercus: Okay, gotta look for "two feminine-looking dudes". (sees David, Ash, & Ellan walking ahead) Hey! You two look pretty feminine!
    (the three teenagers look bewildered)
    David: ...huh?
    Quercus: Yeah, see, I have to tell "two feminine-looking dudes" something important. It's kind of my mission-statement.
    David: Oh. (he & Ash cautiously walk towards him)
    Quercus: (points at David) No, not you! The guy to your left!
    Ellan:
    David: (turns to see Ellan at his left) But, I'm a guy.
    Quercus: Ha. You know you can't lie to me like that.
    Ellan & David: (gives an annoyed Aside Glance to each other before Ellan walks on ahead)
  • Dysfunction Junction: As you can probably tell from the other tropes in this page, none of the main characters are exactly "normal".
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Revenants & Poltergeists are oddly designed monsters that can create their own personal Drowse Houses, and are described as The Heartless. The Monochromes & Defaulters created Drowse Houses to get away from them in the first place. The best the Chosen can do is incapacitate them to escape. Similar to other eldritch stories, they're not entirely aware of the Monochromes or Defaulters (or even their own) existence. Details below question if they even need to be defeated in the first place.
  • Empty Shell: Revenants & Poltergeists are revealed to be this. They're unaware of what they're doing or whats happening besides feeling intense, unimaginable pain. And later information shows that they're not even aware of their own existence.
    • It's stated that Clergies are just this, though it proves to be false. The only exception is Carrie. Her "guardians" cared so little about her that they didn't even give her a moral compass. She only acts like a Nice Girl because everyone thinks that's how she should act. This also has the side-effect of her saying things she doesn't really mean (namely to Ray), and barely even reacts to trauma. It's even worse in Chimera Puzzle, when she decides to white-knight him, which proves to be a very bad idea once Oblivion Syndrome starts. In fact, the Birthday Man didn't "grant" her subconscious wish because she never had one; her "bond" to keep Ray from regularly disappearing was just her powers, leaving her to be the only Clergy without a Menagerite or Tulpa for a while.
  • Faceless Masses: Monochromes are depicted as without facial features, and their color schemes consists of shades of monochrome. This is meant to reflect how flat they are. Normal Defaulters have a few facial features...but not much else to differentiate them from the Monochromes. They're not as unique as they think they are, and their treatment of the Chosen is hardly any better.
  • Familiar: This is the best way to describe how Menagerites behave. The amount each Chosen has a set number of them, and are based around them in some way.
    • Ray Muncher: Brocken, Owen, Minos, Altair, & Parfest
    • Carrie: N/A
    • David Lee: Rotari
    • Ash Errant: Dante & Reggie
    • Ellan: Obscura
    • Saturn: Hugmin
    • Leon: Locrani
    • Abbey: Olivia
  • Foreshadowing: It's not apparent, but there's plenty of clues that hint at later plot developments.
    • When Ray talks about his wonderful school life, there's a point where you can see lumps of dirt that looks like various things were buried there. In addition, you can see Monochrome-students that appear to be huddled around something. The context behind the latter...isn't pretty.
  • Gainax Ending: Barre Mister. Though later events provide context. Upon realizing he's in an illusion caused by his Drowse House, Ray's mental world turns greyscale, with time seemingly stopping. He walks around until he finally sees a strange tall man sitting on a bench. Said man begins casually talking to him before revealing that he "granted Ray's wish", and that "the others" had theirs granted as well. Ray then begins fading from reality before disappearing entirely.
  • Geas: Patori, the Defaulter's Leader, has given life to the 10 Clergies using this. They must do what he says, or the world will receive a Game Over, forcing them to Restart. He secretly told Rosacae that there's a way to remove it, but only he can do it.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Patori, the Leader of the Monochromes/Defaulters who hasn't been seen so far. But then it turns out he's Renald.
    • A bit later, the "Birthday Man", the Leader of the Menagerites with questionable goals.
  • The Heartless: Revenants & Poltergeists are stated to be born from "Negative Energy". As in "cognitive energy", making the abstract concepts they're centered around more subjective than it initially seems. It's implied that none of them are aware of their actions or even their own existence.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Clergies have many abilities similar to the Chosen. However, they're far more stronger, have strange designs, have questionably powerful Talent-powers, and can even kill Revenants & Poltergeists, whom the Chosen are only able to incapacitate.
    • It's even more horrifying once it's shown how they were made like that. Patori, the Defaulters' Leader, used a Geas to combine various body parts & corpses together to create one, and must follow his orders. This essentially makes them rotting, empty husks.
    • Perhaps the worst part about this is the fact that the "Chosen" are types of Clergies.
    • Though, what's ironic is that Clergies are the closest thing to a human being in this setting, as the actual human race was screwed over by complete accident thousands of years ago. It could be said that the real abominations are the Monochromes & Defaulters, who are meant to be pseudo-humans, and aren't exactly the best.
  • Jerkass: At first, the Monochromes & Defaulters seem like a generic NPC in a video game, but after a few episodes, it's very hard to not want most of them dead.
  • Kid Hero: More than half of the Chosen haven't reached 18 yet, but are still sent to this adventure. This is because they're easier to take advantage of.
  • Kill 'Em All: In Oblivion Syndrome, each Clergy finds out from the presumed-dead Menagerites that the Monochromes/Defaulters made Renald create a Life System specifically made to torment the infant/child forms of Menagerites by turning them into Revenants & Poltergeists. This had the effect of gradually causing the Menagerites' population & society to dwindle over of course of thousands of years. This is enough for the Clergies to realize that if the Monochromes & Revenants continue living, they can simply do whatever they want without caring what anything "strange" thinks or feels. They come to the tough decision to kill all of them by destroying their Drowse Houses while they're inside.
  • Lighter and Softer: After the trauma that was Deep Dark Destiny, it's a blessing that Chimera Puzzle is slightly more light-hearted. The problems they have seem much more weirder than before. Key word is slightly. Everyone begins to wonder why they're in these situations, & it's eventually shown why this is all happening, putting everything in an entirely new context.
  • Living MacGuffin: Each of the main characters are one. Their role as this requires them to be sent to horrible environments with questionable "people" before manipulating them into going on a suicide mission disguised as a standard fantasy quest. The only reason most of them went on this quest in the first place was because they didn't know and/or wanted a chance to get out of their situations.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Near the start of Deep Dark Destiny, it turns out that the Chosen haven't been told about their journey or even their abilties. This does nothing except frustrate & confuse them once they suddenly learn all this information at once. It also prevents many of them from being able to defend themselves, as they weren't aware of their powers at the time, which doesn't help when they all lose their Talent/Passion abilities at the end of Deep Dark Destiny.
    • It's intentional, as both the Monochomes & Defaulters can harvest the Negative Energy they release each time they die in order to continue creating Drowse Houses.
  • MacGuffin/ MacGuffin Super Person: The Virtues within each "Chosen" Defaulter must be put together to create Harmony. The symbol on their clothing indicates which one they have. It turns out they're not actually "virtues", but pieces of a "Life System" named Harmony. These pieces also turn out to be the reason why they're alive & have similarities to the Defaulters and Monochromes. If Harmony is created, the Chosen will die & reality outside the Drowse Houses will shatter, making their journey more akin to a suicide mission.
  • Meaningful Name: The names of the characters often reflect who they are and/or provide hints for later events.
    • "Ray Muncher": "Muncher" comes from the artist, Edvard Munch. "Ray" has multiple meanings; a beam of light or a type of line in mathematics. Another way to see his name can be "light eater". This references how he's a Starving Artist & serves as a hint that he's "possessed" by Spectre, who's made of darkness.
    • "Ash Errant": "Ash" references his fire & cooking abilities. "Errant" is a word to describe someone as a "deviant", which doesn't add up with his Nice Guy personality. It does foreshadow how his father views & treats him. Also, "Ash E." sounds similar to "ashy". A cruel pun on how his father punishes him when he makes mistakes.
    • "Saturn": "Saturn" is the sixth planet of the solar system, but also refers to the Roman god of agriculture, matching with Saturn's "gardening rake". It's Greek equivalent, Cronus, is infamously known for eating his child Zeus, after learning he would overthrow him. This references how Saturn realized his father got their meat from his previous corpses, which traumatized him enough to become a full-blown vegetarian and stopped coming home.
    • "Mike Ina": "Mike" is another word for microphone, and is also a word in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet. The former hints at his half-brother relationship with Leon, who's associated with music. The latter hints at the "Pseudo-War" his half-father & half-uncle, Taurus & Charlie, have played a part in. The full name also sounds similar to "machina", the Greek word for "machine".
  • The Mentally Disturbed: Deconstructed & played for drama. The Chosen have some serious mental & emotional issues, yet the Monochromes & Defaulters treat these issues like a joke, and even go as far to make them worse for their own entertainment. This is a huge reason why the Chosen even decide to leave in the first place. Following the events of ''Deep Dark Destiny'', they've outright stopped caring about what happens to both sides, and as of Chimera Puzzle, don't even want to be involved with them.
  • Monster Clown: Taraxa appears similar to one, though he's more of a stage-magician. He doesn't particularly like it when someone calls him a clown.
  • Mood Whiplash: Belated Mystery takes a break from all the chaos of the previous arc, even having Ray being able to celebrate his birthday. It then switches to horror of the Nothing Is Scarier kind once it turns out to be an illusion.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: After the Monochromes & Defaulters have crossed the Moral Event Horizon multiple times and never received any real punishment for it, all the Clergies realize in Oblivion Syndrome that it may be better off to kill them off, to prevent them from continuing causing unnecessary torment to other living beings.
  • My Greatest Failure: Spectre regrets the whole fiasco that unintentionally caused the gradual decline of humanity, and feels that he caused of the events in the story by attempting to create "pseudo-humans" aka the Monochromes/Defaulters & Clergies. It's implied that his trollish & seemingly uncaring behavior is so he can make himself into a Hate Sink. Once he got enough power from Ray Muncher, he planned on wiping the Monochromes & Defaulters out, though that would mean completely taking over Ray's mind & personality. Even after Oblivion Syndrome, he still wishes he could've done something.
  • Nice Guy: David Lee is introduced as this, though he acts like this to deal with the amount of abuse & control inflicted by various women-Monochromes, including his "mother". He's also painfully aware that due to how others view him, people assume that he's trying to take advantage of them. But he continues wearing this mask to prevent getting into unnecessary trouble.
  • Nightmare Face: The "Birthday Man's" face seems normal...until you look closer & see that his left & right eyeholes are shaped like a crescent moon and a star respectively.
  • No Antagonist: Believe it or not, there isn't a real villain in this story. Though, the Monochromes & Defaulters could be seen as the antagonists, due to their treatment & views on what they consider "strange".
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Being surreal abominations, Revenants & Poltergeists are designed in a way that's jarringly out of place compared to the other characters.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Before the huge revelations, there's always the implication something is seriously wrong...but until then, you don't know what.
    • When Ray Muncher tells his Menagerites about his interesting school life, he refers to it as "just bullying". What exactly did this kid go through to refer to his experiences like that?
    • Much of the horror in Chimera Puzzle comes from this. Everyone is walking around having more normal discussions & generally having a good time. They start to have strange new abilities related to their emotional issues, but are eventually solved (in a way). Then they notice the Revenants & Poltergeists have slowly stopped appearing. The "Chosen" Clergies start to wonder why they're outside Charlie's Drowse House, but once they start going back, they become unnaturally afraid to the point refraining from doing so. Then they start to feel that something is watching them, leading to some to hide or stand for an awfully long amount of time...
    • It gets worse once the landscape suddenly becomes similar to the illusion Taurus & Charlie unwillingly created...except some eerie statues & monolithic figures can be found all over it. Then they find out they aren't supposed to have those powers...
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: Quite a bit of the beings here don't exactly blend in with real-life.
    • The Menagerites: They vary in appearance & size, are attracted to Passion, & have similar abilities to the Chosen. Saturn guess that they're aliens of some kind. Even stranger is when they turn out to be [[Shinigami death-entities.
    • Revenants & Poltergeists: Strange abominations that vary in art-style, can create their own personal Drowse Houses, & can only be incapacitated to leave said Drowse House (unless you're a regular Clergy). They also happen to be the Menagerites' children/infants, and weren't supposed to be like this in the first place.
    • The Clergies: Odd people with abilities similar to the Chosen, can "respawn" while leaving behind their corpse, & most have bodies completely made of darkness. They're also types of zombies, albeit ones made from other corpses & bodies of questionable organisms.
    • Spectre: A strange ghost-like being made of darkness who isn't a Revenant nor a Poltergeist. He can alter the space around him to some extent, can shapeshift, & can "possess" a Clergy. It turns out he used to be a powerful protector of humanity, before dooming them by complete accident. He tried to create "replacements" (Monochromes/Defaulters & Clergies), but ended up slowly dying & losing his mind in the process, turning him into the creature he is now. He spent thousands of generations regaining his strength through his "possession"-technique.
  • The Power of Friendship: Not exactly. The first story shows how someone could receive so much power from friends. See Deconstructor Fleet above.
  • Reality Ensues: None of the main characters are automatically cured of their issues just because of the power of friends, love, or bonds. Sometimes, it may actually make things worse for them. It would take a long time for them to fully heal, or at least partially.
    • Once it's shown that Clergies can have Passion & enough allows them to be assisted by Menagerites, the "Pseudo-War" Clergies notice how they never had one, but then remember that they've been in a "fake war" for over 2435 years and were told they were empty. The "Chosen-Clergies", who are far younger, were more likely to have it, despite having experienced trauma themselves.
  • Reality Warper: Life Systems are Moon-like objects that can be implemented with Laws, which can allow one to regulate aspects of the world. They're also implied to be sentient. This power only applies to the Leaders, though.
    • This is also true for Spectre, to the point where the characters hardly question or notice it. He even gives Rosacae the option to remove the Geas on each of the Clergies so they can destroy the recreated "Harmony" Life System to prevent reality from completely breaking.
  • Remember the New Guy?: A "ghost" named Spectre appears at the start of Deep Dark Destiny with hardly any context. And with Ray of all people. And he's apparently relevant to the plot.
    • Swatch Devil introduces a new character named Erik, who is implied to be the Off-Tulpa of Abbey, due to his similarities with Mike Ina. Like the other Off-Tulpas, however, he's turned into a Clergy before the story starts.
  • Resurrective Immortality: The "Virtues" are really parts of a Life System named Harmony. It's pieces, once placed into someone, will "revive" the recipient a few minutes after their death, while leaving behind their previous corpse. It also prevents them from physically aging. There's effect of releasing the user's Negative Energy each time they die. These were put into the Chosen to ensure that they recreate Harmony, without telling them this. It doesn't help that these pieces also take in their Negative Energy released once their Passion shatters, and the combined amount will cause reality to shatter.
  • Ret Gone: Ray's subconscious wish was to disappear, giving him the ability to easily disappear from reality & memory.
  • The Reveal: Part of the Chosens' real journey is having them repeatedly die to Revenants & Poltergeists. The "Virtues" are actually pieces to a Moon-like object called a Life System. Each of the pieces have gradually took in their Negative Energy after their Passion has broken to prevent them from permanently dying, and are the reason they're alive & have Talent/Passion-powers in the first place. Negative Energy is also used to create Drowse Houses, which protect the Monochromes & Defaulters from anything they consider "strange" or "abnormal".
  • Rewatch Bonus: Much of the story has a whole new meaning upon a second reading of it.
    • Ray referring to his school-life as "just bullying" becomes very dark after learning that as a Clergy, he can't die, and is regularly killed for the sake of Negative Energy.
    • Leon's & Abbey's indifference to what happens to themselves makes more sense once its revealed they knew they were Clergies around 15 years ago.
  • Shinigami: The Menagerites are revealed to be similar to death-entities. They regulate the Afterlife & are drawn to Passion, something only the Clergies have, as they're the closest thing to a human-being. Thus they're sent to help them realize their Passion, leading to it "breaking" and sending them back to the Afterlife. There, they use it to slowly rebuild their society, which has been gradually ceasing due to the scarce amounts of Passion & the formation of the "Orgonite" Life System.
  • Story Arc: The entire story is organized like this.
    • Idiosyncratic Mugen: Each focuses on a group of characters' and their point-of-view on July 24. It establishes the world of Asclepi and mainly focuses on the protagonists.
    • Deep Dark Destiny: This focuses on their interactions with the enigmatic Clergies, and realizing their role in this world. It goes through July 25-30.
    • Belated Mystery: This serves as a Breather Episode, with Ray Muncher having his birthday celebrated. It doesn't last. Takes place entirely on July 31.
    • Chimera Puzzle: Takes place after the Gainax Ending of Belated Mystery. The characters have strange, new powers that seem centered on their character growth. Begins on August 7 & ends on August 14.
    • Oblivion Syndrome: The Menagerties have arrived and have began destroying the Drowse Houses. Our heroes realize they may have to make some rather tough decisions. Goes through August 8-11.
  • Theme Naming: The characters' special attacks are themed after their Talent.
  • Too Dumb to Live: You would think that the Defaulters & Monochromes would do something besides causing torment to people who are the equivalent to a Humanoid Abomination.
  • Tragic Villain: Quite a bit of the "antagonists". To the point where the "villain"-part feels that it shouldn't be there in the first place.
  • Trapped in Another World: In Sutra Daemon Arcane, it turns out Taga, Mariana, Carbon, & Vault were regular human beings, prior to being turned into Chosen/Clergies and dropped off into the world of Asclepi.
  • Trauma Conga Line: None of the Chosen had particularly great lives, each having to endure the worst parts of Asclepi.
  • Tsundere: Downplayed. Ellan clearly doesn't trust David on their first meeting, but doesn't try to be rude or negative. This is mainly due to her home life & how others decide to "solve" it.
  • Tulpa: Each Clergy have some sort of "assistant" to help them. These have powers that reflect their mindscape, and some even have a more humanoid form. As revealed in Chimera Puzzle, they also double as their Enemy Without, embodying & acting on their subconscious wishes, causing the strange events within the arc. Though, not without permission. And even ''they'' didn't know about this in the first place.
    • It's also stated that Clergies can "cease ownership" of their Tulpas if they decide to.For better context (spoilers) 
    • Swatch Devil builds on the last part. Tulpas that have been "freed" are no longer the product of their Clergy's subconscious wishes, making their existence something of a paradox, and it may cause something to happen. These are called "Off-Tulpas".
  • Unfortunate Names: Each Clergy has a name based on the scientific or family name of certain plants (except Renald). The name "Taraxa" is an...altered spelling of the scientific name for dandelions, to prevent certain jokes from flourishing. In case you want to know... 
  • Wham Episode: From Shooting Star Thread & Desert Trinity, it's shown how the Monochromes view & treat the Chosen. So it's greatly refreshing to see the later episodes that put more focus on Defaulters. Except it turns out the Defaulters aren't any better.
    • The entirety of Deep Dark Destiny can be best described as a myriad of horrifying, disturbing, & upsetting reveals and twists that change the outlook of everything in the story so far.
    • Chimera Puzzle at first seems Lighter and Softer, but later parts reveal that the strange situations they're in are much worst than it seems. Each of the "strange events" were caused by the Clergies' Tulpas. They're also revealed to be their Enemy Without, acting upon their subconscious wishes without even themselves knowing. The person who "granted" the Clergies' wishes is a strange figure named the Birthday Man...who's also the Menagerites' Leader. All this was to give all of them closure after everything they went through, as well as to bring some justice to the Monochromes & Defaulters. He "granted" their subconscious wishes the night after Deep Dark Destiny, entering their dreams and talking with them to help them find it. To avoid suspicion & interference (namely from Taurus & Charlie), he scattered everyone across Asclpei & brainwashed them.
      • There's also the fact that the only ones who didn't receive their wish were Rubus & Renald. The former was because the Birthday Man wanted to give him the choice to either give or keep everyone's wishes. The latter is because Renald is Patori, and had to plan out the events of Idiosyncratic Mugen & Deep Dark Destiny despite not wanting to go through it. Rubus doesn't take this well...
      • And then we learn that Spectre used to protect humanity thousands of years ago. When a "cosmic force" was about to obliterate Asclepi, he sent everyone into the Unknown World without them knowing. Unfortunately, this "cosmic force" never came, and Spectre couldn't bring them back. Even worse was when the Birthday Man came & told him that all of them would eventually disappear in the Unknown World. Spectre slowly went insane, and eventually opted to make "replacements" aka the Monochromes, Defaulters, & Clergies...at the cost of his body, power, & mind. To regain his strength, he enters the body of a Clergy to power himself up...and he's currently possessing Ray Muncher.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: It turns out much of the world is highly against anything considered "strange", including the Chosen themselves. To the point where the Monochromes & Defaulters decided not to tell any details about their powers or quest, and willingly placed them in horrible environments. Keep in mind that most of the main characters weren't told any of this until during Deep Dark Destiny.
    • The Monochromes & Defaulters also have this viewpoint towards the Revenants/Poltergeists, even though none of these monsters have done anything. They formulated a fake war between the Clergies & Revenants/Poltergeists, making them fight for 2435 years.
    • The most ironic & hypocritical part about this the Monochromes & Defaulters don't really count as human beings, yet treat anything they see as "strange" with unnatural contempt. It's shown that Spectre made Monochromes/Defaulters & Clergies to act as replacements for the now-doomed human race, but he made Clergies to closely resemble how they were. And as of Oblivion Syndrome, the Monochromes'/Defaulters' inability to embrace the "strangeness" of other people and the world, along with committing multiple actrocities and being proud of it, is exactly what leads to them all being wiped out.
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