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Cardcaptor Rad is a remake a fan fic of the same name by Shade Penn, with a wildly different direction taken, more characters and definitely wordier.

Summary: After his parents leave for an archeological expedition, Rad White is left in the care of his cousin Rachel until their return. Finding a mysterious pink book with the word Sakura on it, and an odd green panel in a cave, things take a sharp left turn as giant robots from outer space show up intent on hunting these ‘mini-cons’, while dealing with recapturing all of the released Sakura Cards.

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A Crossover of Cardcaptor Sakura and Transformers Armada while also being a sort of Next-Gen Fic.

can be found here


This Fan Fic provides examples of:

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    A — G 
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: More like underground tunnel, but the effect is the same. The Autobots travel through it in vehicle mode in Good Night, Sleep Tight, but the Decepticons didn’t bother, and it shows as they can’t move around as quickly.
  • Accidental Hug: Hot Shot to Sideways, Kelly to Rad, and Rad to Mirror, the mini-con, which were all done due to the hugger being emotionally charged at the moment.
  • Accidental Misnaming: Rad used to engage in this, as he called Rachel 'Way' since he couldn't get her name right when younger.
  • Accidentally Broke the MacGuffin: Much like his predecessor, Rad releases all the Sakura Cards.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: From the way Swoop and Grimlock talk in complete sentences, the-not-yet-Dinobots are this.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Though chapters will sometimes shuffle between character POV’s, prominently, Carlos is given POV status in Dash Away Part 1, while Starscream gets to be the POV for the Decepticon scenes in both Rain Forest Parts 1 and 2. In both cases it certainly reveals more about their characters.
    • Fred in Creating Bonds, mainly to show that he’s The Create’s pawn this time around.
  • The Adjectival Man: The hologram girl is simply known as, the hologram girl, or 'the green-haired girl'. It's not until Shielding Ourselves when she finally gets a proper name.
  • Advanced Ancient Humans: The people of the ruined underwater city who reverse engineered Cybertronian tech.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Rad, being Bradley's preferred name, and Ray for Rachel.
    • 'Red' as many have taken to calling Red Alert. He doesn't object, so it's presumed he doesn't mind.
  • Agree to Disagree: Essentially how Rad admits how complicated things are when he tries to argue with Leader-1.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: A variation in a Your Size May Vary kind of way. High Wire justifies why they have 'secret tunnels', and uses them to lead Rachel to the disk keeping all the doors locked. To drive it home, they even meet the other Autobots mini-cons inside!
    • The Sleep also uses this in a movie theater to put everyone to sleep.
  • Alien Non-Interference Clause: Implied to be the reason the Autobots and even the Decepticons don't want people to know about them, and Carlos only got away with taking the mini-cons to the science fair was because people assumed they were part of the fair.
  • Aliens Steal Cable: Surfing the Internet and Hot Shot actually steals cables, complete with a television he rigged up.
  • Aliens Steal Cattle: Maya's report of an 'alien sighting' includes there being a mention of cattle theft.
  • All Planets Are Earthlike: Hot Shot lampshades that he’s at least reminded of Cybertron’s ‘'sky’’ while on Earth, but from Starscream’s earlier POV it’s implied Cybertron isn’t totally similar since he didn’t make a note of there being any trees there when thinking of the organic worlds he’d been too.
  • Always Save the Girl: Rachel ultimately choosing to save the hologram girl than the mini-con.
  • Amusing Injuries: Subverted, as injuries to Hot Shot and Rachel are treated rather seriously.
  • Anatomically Ignorant Healing: Observed early on after a character is injured, as Red Alert has no idea what to do, but it's made clear later on he gained that knowledge of human medical aid.
  • Androcles' Lion: The Dash. It's played a bit more realistically, as it takes a bit of warming up before The Dash comes around to Carlos, but is very attached to him.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Alexis can get like this, and Rachel was especially like this when she thought Rad was hurt in the cave Windfall Part 1.
  • Angry Fist-Shake: Kero does this, mostly at High Wire.
    • High Wire did this at Hot Shot for reminding them that Rachel couldn’t protect him from the Decepticons.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: The first thing Megatron says when he arrives on Earth is this:
    Megatron: (To Rad and Rachel) You will hand over that Mini-Con panel and I shall spare your pathetic lives.
    (When they try to refuse, he outright says he will kill them.)
  • Antagonist Title: Each chapter’s main title references which Sakura Card will be captured.
  • Apocalypse How: The unknown ruins under the ocean, specifically of the 'city-scope' and physical annihilation variety.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The hologram girl's existence served as a digital variation for the full message in Lock It Down, though at first everyone thought it was a Distress Call.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Kelly. She flips Alexis too hard for a martial arts demonstration and immediately rushes to apologize for it.
  • Apologises a Lot: Rad ever since spilling the beans about magic to the Autobots. Every other word is an apology for keeping them in the dark.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Rachel towards magic, despite using it.
  • Arm Cannon: Pretty much the standard with giant robots, who have both this and regular blasters.
  • Armour-Piercing Question: Rachel’s rapid fire Q&A to Red Alert about the orange jumpsuits.
    • Rad and Kero both have one in Sweet Lies
    Kero: (about trusting Alexis and Carlos) That's just it, you're entire arguement relies on an if. Here's something for ya; what if they can't adapt?
    Rad: I...I don't know...But what I do know is that if I can't trust them, then who can I trust?
  • Artificial Intelligence: Despite no one except Maya bringing it up, this is what she is, even choosing her name because she thinks of herself as just an 'illusion', a copy of a girl long dead.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: The martial arts instructor in The Big Picture Part 2, who is heavily implied to be Meiling.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    Rachel (questioning Red Alert about the orange suits): So it’s meant to keep us safe, huh? How much weight can it withstand? What about breathing? And why is it orange?
  • Asleep in Class: Rad does this in Windfall Part 1, complete with getting called out by his teacher and the other kids snickering.
  • The Atoner: The hologram girl has shades of this, especially after the Autobots get the Star Saber mini-cons.
  • Ax-Crazy: Cyclonus, as he gives no compunctions about firing on a car full of humans just because he thinks it’s Hot Shot. It certainly doesn’t help that he’s constantly eager to kill things.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Hot Shot, when he's switched bodies with Rachel.
  • Bad Boss: Megatron. Constantly puts down his subordinates, smacks them around, disregards their opinions...and yet his troops all still follow his lead. It’s quite heavily implied though that Demolishor is very loyal to Megatron, Starscream has a strange Psychological Projection towards him, and Cyclonus just likes fighting.
  • Bad Mood as an Excuse: Rachel when Rad gets in trouble at school. She's so visibly angry that everyone tries to avoid talking to her until the mission has her mellow out.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: Sid and Seth are first introduced throwing rocks at The Dash.
  • Backhanded Compliment: Sideways gives one to Hot Shot, who takes immediate offence to it.
    • Demolishor also does this to Cyclonus, who lampshades it.
  • Barrier-Busting Blow: Megatron tries this in Why So Cirrus? to get the mini-con. Unfortunately for him, the mini-con is being protected by The Shield.
  • Battle-Interrupting Shout: The fight for the mini-con panel in The Big Picture Part 2 is is halted when Cyclonus screeches when The Fight has him in a Neck Lift.
  • Bear Hug: Smokescreen does this to Hot Shot, after Hot Shot convinced The Shield to stop The Time from affecting the base.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Maya’s account reveals that Clow Reed was in her time period, and hit a figurative Reset Button by making the Star Saber and Skyboom Shield dormant again.
  • Benched Hero: Played With. Rachel gets injured protecting High Wire from the Decepticons, but she refuses to allow harm to come to Rad or the other children, and does her best to chaperone even when tired and aching.
    • Hot Shot also plays with the trope, as he’s restricted from going on mini-con hunts, he does do ‘scouting’ missions for several chapters after he gets injured.
  • Befriending the Enemy: Since the cards are much more aggressive, this is often Rad's go to tactic. And it's much more apparent when he tries to befriend the Decepticon mini-cons.
  • Being Good Sucks: Rad shows signs of this, but the Dash incident and his guilt about it really brings it out.
  • Beginner's Luck: Starscream believes this of Hot Shot's skill with the Star Saber.
  • Berserk Button: ‘Plushy’ for Kero.
    • As The Sword proves, even the mere mention of Rachel is enough to cause the cards to flip out.
    • Overcast for Starscream.
  • Betrayal by Inaction: In Glowing Teamwork, the Decepticon mini-cons fail to try and intervene after making friends with Rad when Megatron comes for him, leading Rad to bitterly lament this.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The Flower, whose antagonism was completely incidental as she just wanted to cheer everyone at the fair up - right up until Optimus gets between her and Hot Shot. Then she gets terrifying.
  • Between A Rock And A Hard Place: In Sword Play during the mini-con hunt, Hot Shot laments having an erupting volcano on one side and the Decepticons on the other.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The first occurred when Optimus showed up to stop Megatron from attacking Rad and Rachel.
    • The second and third occurred in the desert where in the former the Autobots showed up to save Rachel and High Wire, and in the later they showed up again to save Alexis, Carlos, Grindor and Sureshock, both times from the Decepticons.
    • The third time Smokescreen saved Rachel from being blasted at point-blank range.
    • The fourth time Red Alert and Jolt showed up to save Hot Shot after he ditched them.
  • Big NO: Rad lets out a series of smaller ones that culminates with him screaming this when he gets captured.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Hot Shot says this twice to Scavenger, after the latter severely annoys and riles him up.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Rachel to Rad, but also to the other children she’s responsible for. It's deconstructed though when The Watery uses this instinct to try and kill her by hurting Rad to lure Rachel out.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Hot Shot and Rachel let out one when Smokescreen tells them Megatron sent them a message.
    • The humans and mini-cons all let out one when the Decepticons invade the Autobot base.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: The Cybertronians, with their sparks, and it's heavily implied they have a form of coitus given Megatron's comments about Red Alert and Optimus and Rad asking Sideways if Cybertronians can have families, who says yes but doesn't go into it.
  • Blood Knight: Hot Shot is a mild example: constantly eager for a fight, to go out and fight, and is self-loathing about the fact they need to run away all the time.
  • Fetch, if his Hair-Trigger Temper and unpleasant demeanor are anything to go by, he also tries to get Rad to detail the beating he got from Seth and Sid.
Rad:: I'm not a fighter.
Fetch: Clearly, if you got taken down so easily.
  • Blunt "Yes":
    Starscream (After avoiding hitting Scavenger by accident): Were you just standing there?
    Scavenger: Yes.
  • Book-Ends: Bubble Trouble both begins and ends with Rachel having a dream about a giant robot killing Rad.
  • Bottle Episode: Or rather an equivalent of it: there is only one new location, with a minor part being in Rachel's apartment, and the other is in the Autobot base. The cast is considerably smaller for Glowing Teamwork, with only four good characters being in the spotlight, and the bad guys who interact most with Rad are three of the Decepticon mini-cons, and everyone else being only mentioned or showing up near the end.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Alexis, courtesy of The Sword.
  • Bribe Backfire: Subverted in a rare positive example as the bribe is what allows the Autobots to get Fetch to leave with them before the Decepticons show up.
  • Brick Joke: Rad makes a joke about using The Sweet to make an apple a cake for Kero, only to use The Sweet to make cake for Kero using an apple later on.
  • Bring Help Back: A variation in Shadowbox. Rachel and High Wire go to take out the computer virus messing with the Autobot base, so the Autobots can get back in and drive the Decepticons out.
  • Bring It: Rad calls out The Sleep to take her best shot.
    • The Fight also does this to Megatron.
  • Bruce Wayne Held Hostage: Rad being captured, and he doesn't have the Sakura Cards to escape.
  • Brutal Honesty: When Hot Shot demands to know what Red Alert’s problem with him is, the latter quite bluntly lays out all his faults.
  • The Bully: Sid and Seth.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: The traumatic memory Red Alert has of Starscream cutting off his hand doesn’t even register with Starscream.
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes": When commenting on how random magic is after the Autobots learn of the Sakura Cards, Maya only says "Magic doesn't have rules except the ones it follows."
    Smokescreen: That doesn't really help.
  • Bystander Syndrome: Implied to be the reason no one beside Touya would help Rad. Despite being beaten up in broad daylight.
  • Caffeine Failure: Rachel drinks cups of coffee to get into gear The Time is screwing with her reality perception, but is implied that it doesn't work.
  • Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": When Carlos finds The Dash and takes it home with him, The Dash is very insistently called a fox. Carlos though lampshades it doesn't look much a regular fox.
  • Call-Back: Rad seeing Dash's memory of Rei, who had helped Dash the last time it was injured.
    • Clow Reed being mentioned, and Kero explaining he's the one who originally created the Sakura Cards, then called Clow Cards.
    • The fact Cyclonus had been sent out to search for 'the strange energy readings' is what allowed him to capture Rad.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Rad using the Sakura Cards.
  • Cassandra Truth: Hot Shot’s totally honest account of fighting The Create’s dragon, which is taken by Red Alert and Optimus that he’s mentally unsound.
    • Subverted when he gets Carlos and Rad to believe him, though in Rad’s case he knew all along about it.
    • Hot Shot tries a third time with Sideways. Subverted in that he actually knows about the Wisp.
    • Rad tells Alexis and Carlos about magic in Timewarp Part 2, but the circumstances of it make them think he’s lying to save his own skin.
  • Cast From Stamina: How Rad's magic seems to work, what with trying to use The Time on The Watery to seal her, but failing to do that because his magic drained and he was exhausted by it.
  • Casting a Shadow: The Shadow.
  • Casual Interstellar Travel: Not anymore, since it was explained the Autobots space bridge malfunctioned just as they were going through. The mini-cons though had just as much trouble with their jump to earth.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Rachel does this after having a dream where Rad dies.
    • Rad falls out of bed after having a dream about a robot attacking him and Sideways.
    • Rad gets hit with yet another one in Nothing To See Here.
  • Catch a Falling Star: After Alexis retrieves the mini-con panel, the ladder she’s on breaks and Rachel catches her.
  • Cell Phones Are Useless: Played With. The hills where the Autobots set up base has a natural occurence of disrupting cell reception, but the Autobots can still let others bypass it. And all it takes for Touya to get Sid and Seth running is for him to threaten to call the police on them.
  • The Chains of Commanding: More or less used as a joke, but when Rad is indignant about Rachel punishing him, he asks why she can get away with things he can’t. She says she can because there’s no one around to punish her.
    • More seriously, it's seen in Lock It Down that Optimus has to remind himself that Rachel isn't his soldier, and that he shouldn't resent her judgement because she did as he asked.
  • Chaste Hero: Rad, fitting for his Oblivious to Love mentality.
  • Cheerful Child: Rad tries to come across as this, being very trusting. Touya actually reprimands him for it, telling him he has to be more careful around strangers.
  • Chocolate of Romance: Alexis tries to garner favor with Rachel by using a cupcake, only for it to backfire when The Sweet tampered with the batch.
  • The Chosen One: Rad. Subverted. It was supposed to be Rachel.
  • City of Adventure: Lincoln, since Kero justifies that if the cards are angry they likely wouldn’t go very far from town.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Alexis is noticeably clingy with Rachel, and gets jealous at the slightest bit of attention Rachel shows anyone else.
  • Clip Its Wings: In a roundabout way, given that Hot Shot's favorite tactic ( or rather The Sword's), is to constantly slice in half Starscream's wing sword in their duels.
  • Coincidental Broadcast: Flower Child has Alexis and the Autobots seeing a broadcast from the science fair being messed with by a Sakura Card.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Red face=good, purple face=bad.
  • Combat Medic: Red Alert. He doesn't usually fight, but has no problems taking the gloves off.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Scavenger is not above taking cheap shots. Hot Shot calls out on this, but the mech's reponse is this:
    Hot Shot: (after Scavenger takes a shot at his helm) Just like a 'Con, taking a cheap shot.
    Scavenger: What you call cheap, I call practical.
  • Combining Mecha: High Wire implies that he, Sureshock and Grindor can do this, but haven’t yet as of late.
    • As of Lock It Down, High Wire, Sureshock, and Grindor have now combined into Perceptor.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The fact the cards are called Sakura Cards/Book, and that Rad has the Star Wand.
    • Kero saying he’d picked up ‘mecha’ by living in Japan for a while.
    • The cards are scattered once more by the main character accidently using The Windy.
    • Rad’s dream about the Sakura Cards mirror’s Sakura’s own dream.
    • Alexis telling Rad that the way ‘I like Rachel is different than how you like her’ echoes Tomoyo’s explanation about her feelings for Sakura, including both heroes’ cluelessness.
    • Rad tries to get The Create to like him, so he shows it a picture of one of Sakura's old costumes.
  • Convection Schmonvection: In Sword Play, Hot Shot, Jolt and Smokescreen stand next to an open volcano, that's about to erupt and suffer no ill effects. Hot Shot though makes a note he does not actually want to see if direct contact won't hurt them.
    • Again in the Dash Away three-parter, the Autobots and Decepticons alike suffer nothing more from the Antarctic than just their comms. going offline.
  • Cool Big Sis: Rachel, though she is prone to losing her temper more easily.
  • Cooldown Hug: During the Timewarp three-parter, when The Time makes Rachel keep going even further back in time by making her believe it's actually two days before her trip, she's about to finally crack when Rad gives her a hug and wishes her luck on her exam.
  • The Corruption: The thorn which infected Swoop to turn into Ravenus.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Red Alert has shades of this, when Jetfire is brought up and his hero-worship of Optimus is commented on.
  • Creepy Monotone: In the prologue, there’s a brief snippet of High Wire’s ‘birth’ and when he speaks Rachel finds it deeply unsettling.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Red Alert's recount of his Cynicism Catalyst reveals that Starscream utterly decimated his unit.
  • Curse Cut Short: Strangely, Hot Shot is cut off from saying ‘fragger’ by Optimus, though presumably the latter stopped him because the children were present.
  • Cute Bruiser: The Fight. She managed to hold her own against the Decepticons the first time they met, and when she got turned giant-sized by The Big, she casually managed to Curb-Stomp Battle both factions. She only left because her power source was gone.
  • Cute Kitten: Kero deliberatelys plays this up to get Rad to drop questions about the previous Cardcaptor.
    Rad: You’re just gonna keep playing dumb until I snap, aren’t you?
    Kero: You wouldn’t hurt me, I’m so cute and fluffy! (And promptly hugs him still covered in sap, to Rad’s disgust)
  • Cuteness Overload: Alexis’ mother used to dress her in frilly outfits when she was young because it made her ‘cute’.
  • Cut Himself Shaving: Rad passes off his Facial Horror injuries that he got in Timewarp as just falling on the sidewalk. His aunt and uncle don't buy it.
  • Damage-Proof Vehicle: Averted, as the smoking rubble that was once Rachel's car can attest too.
  • Darker and Edgier: Some of the cards are noticeably much more murderous, though Kero relays it’s because they have so much rage built up in the intervening years.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Hot Shot.
  • Daydream Surprise: In Deep, Dark, Watery End, Rad's experience of using The Fly turned out to be a daydream from falling asleep in class.
  • Daytime Drama Queen: Hot Shot is implied to be one, since the show he apparently watches the most is a thinly veiled soap opera given his comments about it. He watched enough episodes to think that when The Time began doing a "Groundhog Day" Loop that reruns starting airing.
  • Death from Above: Cyclonus tried to invoke this, but Rachel heard him before the missiles he fired could hit them.
  • Declaration of Protection: Rachel. So much so that when she’s hurt she has High Wire, Grindor, and Sureshock keep the children safe.
    • Optimus also makes one to humanity in general, after Megatron mocks him for going into his super-mode to save Rad.
    • Of the mini-cons, High Wire takes his duty the most seriously, up to and including having a Freak Out! when he thinks he can’t be helpful to Rad’s safety after he learns what The Sword almost did.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Played Straight with the Sakura Cards for Rad, but subverted with The Create, who despite being sealed by Rad, chose to go with Hot Shot, the one who actually subdued it thus Zig Zagging this example.
  • Deflector Shields: The Shield, as during its first out all attacks bounced off it.
  • Dehumanizing Insult: In the Dash Away three-parter, Hot Shot essentially calls Red Alert an 'unfeeling machine', which he takes great offence too. Even Hot Shot regrets saying it.
  • Delayed Reaction: Hot Shot doesn’t get why Red Alert and Optimus would go off together, but twisted in that he’s forced to catch up by Megatron with all the subtleness of a brick when he reveals the relationship.
  • Dirty Coward: The Autobots run after securing the mini-cons and children rather than fight, and this instantly brands them cowards by the Decepticons.
    • Megatron calls Overcast this to get a rise out of Starscream.
  • Digital Avatar: The hologram girl.
  • Disappointed in You: Optimus, whose disappointment is something both Rad and Hot Shot can attest to as being worse than him getting angry.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Sid and Seth get back at Carlos, Alexia, and Rad for tattling on them when they were bullying Fred and Billy, by throwing water balloons filled with syrup at them and letting bees get them!
  • Distress Call: What everyone thought the message in Lock It Down was.
  • Do Androids Dream?: Alexis' internal thoughts reveal she used to feel this about the Autobots.
  • Doctor's Orders: Hot Shot is constantly told this by Red Alert, and he really doesn’t like it.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Rad, to the point of despising his real name 'Bradley' for being 'plain.'
  • Don't Wake the Sleeper: Rachel does this, as she doesn’t want Rad to try and stop her from taking High Wire away.
  • Double Agent: Twofold in the same chapter with both Sideways and Scavenger revealing what sides they're really on.
  • Double Speak:
    Rad: (about catching The Create) You know, you’re asking a lot from a twelve-year-old.
    Kero: This is nothing compared to what a ten-year-old could do.
  • Dream Spying: Heavily implied to be how Rachel knew that Ravenus was Swoop.
  • Dropping the Bombshell:
    Rad: What are you saying? That Rachel opened the Sakura Book? But-but-that would mean-
    The Watery: It wasn't supposed to be you. It was supposed to be her; I bet Kero never told you that part, did he?
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Starscream feels this way about Megatron, who passes over him on praise and let’s both Demolishor and Cyclonus keep their mini-cons-which sees as ‘hand outs’- while he’s told to turn his over.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: While Carlos is by no means stupid, he is noticeably less concerned with school, but he does come up with a rather reasonable excuse as to why he, Alexis and Rachel could go on the mini-con hunt to an underground subway tunnel: the panel could be in the mall connected to it, and the Autobots can’t get there without causing suspicion.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Rachel lampshades how attached Rad got to High Wire in such a short time, but reasons it might be due to his issues with Parental Abandonment.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Sideways. Touya Kinomoto.
  • Earth Is the Center of the Universe: Subverted. It's a coincidence, because High Wire chose earth since that's where Rad lived.
  • Easily Forgiven: Subverted. When Rad spills the beams about magic, both Hot Shot and the other Autobots do not take it well. They acknowledge the problems of why Rad didn't trust them, but don't forgive him for it. Not yet at least.
  • The Easy Way or the Hard Way:
    Maya: I will not allow harm to come to [Rachel] or [High Wire]. You will leave or I will continue to fire.
    Megatron: (scoffing) What can you do-
    (Lasers fire at him)
  • Elective Mute: Mirror, the mini-con. He can presumably speak, since it's shown he's able to talk to Sideways somehow, but it's stated that Mirror doesn't talk to anyone else, even when the situation calls for it.
  • The Empath: When Rad first met High Wire, he left an imprint on the little bot that let Rad understand all mini-con speech, and feel their emotions as a side effect.
  • Enigmatic Minion: Scavenger is shaping up to be this; he was only called in because Megatron needed more soldiers, he doesn't immediately take to the Decepticon side and instead wants to be an impartial observer, quite casually threatens Demolishor to stay out of his way, he has a past with Optimus, and he doesn't take the Star Saber after disarming Hot Shot.
  • En Route Sum-Up: When Rachel's taking High Wire to the Autobots early on, she makes a comment about how the two factions don't like each other, and High Wire gives a very compressed sum-up of the war on Cybertron.
  • Equippable Ally: The mini-cons, though as High Wire’s conversation with Rachel suggests, ‘ally’ might be stretching it at times.
  • Evil Is Petty: While not evil so much as angry, The Shadow nails Rad in the head with water bottles and plastic fish.
  • Evil Laugh: Megatron, Cyclonus, and even Starscream when he got Swindle.
  • Evil Mentor: Scavenger is an odd case, as he was Optimus' teacher before the war.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: Rachel gets these while suffering from her recurring nightmare.
  • Exhaustion Faint: Hot Shot does this. The stress of being teleported back to the Autobot base after being injured had him collapsing the moment they arrived.
  • Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: Defied. When Scavenger confronts Rad about his magic, the former specifically says he doesn't care about how it works nor is interested in knowing.
  • Expy: Openly acknowledged by the author that Overcast is supposed be Skyfire.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Played With. After failing to protect High Wire, Rachel can’t stop herself from letting her tears slip out, to Megatron’s complete disgust, but when he actually charges his cannon in her direction, she closes her eyes in acceptance.
  • Face/Heel Double-Turn: A bit of an interesting variation as it's more that both were double agents already, but Sideways' reveal as a Decepticon prompts Scavenger to reveal he's actually an Autobot.
  • False Friend: So there's someone you meet, who seems really cool and doesn't think you're a kid at all and you might like more than a friend - and it turns out he's actually a Decepticon who just used you and was going to let the Big Bad kill your Cool Big Sis.
  • False Innocence Trick: Inverted as The Big pretends to be angry as part of Rad's Secret Test of Character.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Decepticons towards the humans. Expanded upon, any sort of ‘flesh-‘ variant are for humans, while the Autobots even call the mini-cons 'it' in the belief they were weapons before development set in, and the mini-cons themselves are shown not to be above calling any giant robot a 'bulk' and the Decepticon minis call Rad as an 'it' as well.
  • Fictional Counterpart: CLIP is obviously a reference to CLAMP, being the one who makes Tomoyo's web comic.
  • Fight Unscene: Because it's Hot Shot's POV, he only catches snippets of The Fight's battle with the other Autobots and Decepticons.
  • Finger on Lips: Rachel does the ‘shhh’ gesture as Megatron and Optimus fight in Windfall Part 1, before she and Rad flee the scene.
  • Finger Wag: Rad exaggeratedly does this to High Wire for ‘tricking’ him into convincing Alexis and Carlos to link-up with Sureshock and Grindor, but in actuality it’s a ruse so Optimus doesn’t get suspicious.
  • First Contact: In Windfall, when Rad and Rachel came face to face with Megatron. Their real first contact was with High Wire, a very long time ago.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Maya, the hologram girl, shows signs of this.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: In Changing Paces, when Rad seals The Change, the fact it halts in front of Hot Shot (who subdued it, in part) and takes off gives way to revealing the "Freaky Friday" Flip going on.
    • The reveal about Sideways is dropped just before it happens.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Subverted, despite how it seems to be going when Maya explains to Hot Shot about an alien sighting. Hot Shot's only skeptical because he thinks it's too much like a 'typical' alien sighting, but knows The Wisp exists and they discover the 'alien' in the video can teleport, which leads Hot Shot to having an Oh, Crap! moment.
  • Flying Saucer: Skywarp dons this disguise for what is heavily implied to be him playing a prank.
  • Food Fight: How Rad got detention in Lock It Down.
  • Forced Out of the Closet: In the first timeline in Timewarp, Alexis fears this after her diary is read over the school announcements. Then the Reset Button is pressed.
  • Forced Sleep: The Sleep's M.O, which has proven useful and not useful at various moments.
  • Foreign Cuss Word: What Rad suspects when he hears both Kero and bots slipping into a different language. The context of these situations backs up this suspicion.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Subverted. Starscream not using his null ray cannons is not a case of this, but actually explained as Swindle not wanting to help him.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Rad and Rachel met High Wire a long time ago.
  • Forgotten Superweapon: At first it looks like the mini-con weapons are this, but they’ve just been away for so long that the knowledge about them isn’t instantly remembered.
  • Frantic Object Concealment: Rad often does this for his key or Kero when someone is about to stumble in on them.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Thanks to The Change, Hot Shot and Rachel switch minds.
  • Free-Range Children: Played With. Carlos and Alexis’ parents do care and demand they be kept safe, but because Rachel, a trusted adult and babysitter, is with them they’re more relaxed about letting them go off on their own.
    • Subverted and Played Straight with Rad. His parents left him with Rachel, his aunt and uncle rarely check in on them, but he’s still made to keep in touch with Rachel whenever he wants to go somewhere.
  • Free Sample Plot Coupon: Subverted, since when the Sakura Book is opened, all the cards fly away. Then Played Straight in the final scene of Windfall Part 2, when The Windy returns.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: The Decepticon and Autobot blasers, and the Autobot base has lasers as part of the defense system.
  • Gas Leak Cover Up: How The Sleep’s escapade in the movie theatre is explained away, and there’s a ‘made a bad batch’ excuse for The Sweet.
  • Giant Robot Hands Save Lives: Used in Glowing Teamwork, but left vague as to how far the fall was.
    • Variant in Shadowbox. Mirror is heavily implied to have jumped up to save Rad from falling out a window, and only then does he land in Sideway's hands.
  • Giant Wall of Watery Doom: A brief one, but The Watery uses one to try and take Rachel out.
  • Girls Have Cooties: Rad and Carlos certainly take this view.
  • Glamour Failure: The Dash in general, The Sleep's is more serious; both times.
    • The Fight's Meiling disguise doesn't work on the robot aliens, as it's shown Starscream saw through it the first time, and mentioned they all saw her to their scale with The Big's help.
  • Glory Hound: Heavily implied to be Red Alert's reasoning when talking about his decision to try and take on Starscream, and suffered a nasty Pride Before a Fall as a result.
    Red Alert: We were so stupid.
  • Go-Getter Girl: Alexis; she’s very academically oriented because she wants to be President one day.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: How Smokescreen says his cabin fever affected him.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Scavenger, as it turns out. He saved Rachel!Hot Shot, but is shown even after the truth is revealed to still be unpleasant.
  • Go Through Me: After being blasted off the ground by the Decepticons on their tail, Rachel still crawls on top of High Wire to protect him from the ‘Cons. It does keep the Decepticons from firing at her as they need the mini-con, or at least until Demolishor flicks Rachel away and Megatron’s about to blow her to pieces. Luckily for her, she’s saved by Optimus running Megatron over.
    • When Redline reluctantly pulls a blaster on Rachel, Stella stands between them to calm him down.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: Rad collecting all the Sakura Cards, and the race to find the mini-cons.
  • Great Offscreen War: The Robot War war on Cybertron, despite being a Forever War, is still this. Because of the two small teams on Earth, the focus is lessened from it.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Rad is a mild case; he’s very jealous of seeing his friends with their parents, but is self-aware enough of the fact his parents left him behind because it was his suggestion in the first place.
    • Megatron is a not-so-mild case, as it’s implied he’s very bitter over Red Alert and Optimus’ relationship.
  • Ground Pound: In Flying High, this happens twice; Hot Shot when he falls from the sky, and Scavenger after he trips on The Wood.
  • Growing Up Sucks: Rad experiences this, lamenting how serious everything seems to get the older he will become. Carlos though tries to defy this expectation.
  • Grudging "Thank You": Rachel to Smokescreen after he saves Rad.

    H — M 
  • Head Butting Heroes: Hot Shot and Red Alert, with the two at odds with one another until the Dash Away three-parter, then they try to get along better.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Rad’s view on the Sakura Cards more harmless spirits, as in his mind ‘no card is useless’ as proven when The Sweet helped him catch The Sword.
  • Heroes Gone Fishing: In Flower Child, both the Autobots and Rad respectively go on a city tour and are forcibly told to attend a science fair for R & R.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: From the way that Rachel focuses on Stella's red hair when she sees her, it may be a bit on the nose.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: When Rad explains to the Autobots about magic and Smokescreen asked why he didn't escape the 'Cons on his own, Rad rather self-consciously admits without his key he's rather useless.
  • Hero of Another Story: Stella, Redline, Servo, and Flat-Out, from the Linkage comics.
  • Here We Go Again!: Rad opening the Sakura Book, thus releasing all the cards and Kero.
    • The Decepticons confronting Carlos, Alexis, Sureshock and Grindor in the desert is similar to the one they had with Rachel and High Wire. Cyclonus lampshades it, but Megatron just tells him to shut up.
  • Hero-Tracking Failure: Played a bit more realistically, as when the Decepticons fire at Rachel in Sleep Tight, the majority fail to hit, but the final shot does.
  • He's a Friend: When Sideways and Rachel meet properly, the latter is spitting mad. Rad manages to settle things by pointing out the former's not so bad, and becomes practically his rallying party to vouch for him later on.
  • Hidden Disdain Reveal: When Rad confronts Sideways, the latter reveals his true thoughts, along with a cruel Did You Actually Believe...?
  • High-Speed Missile Dodge: Cyclonus tried to take out what he thought was Hot Shot, but Rachel hears the missiles coming and everyone gets out of her car in time.
  • Holding the Floor: Rachel does this with Megatron to keep his attention from the escaping the kids and mini-cons. It’s in stark contrast to her freak-out in their second encounter.
    • Earlier, Alexis also did this to Megatron to give the Autobots time to reach her, Carlos and their mini-cons.
    • Hot Shot keeps Starscream's attention on him so he doesn't notice Red Alert retrieving the mini-con panel with I Shall Taunt You...it doesn't go well.
  • Hologram: The holograms in Lock It Down.
  • Holographic Disguise: Mirror, the mini-con's disguise when out of the base. Rad even notes the difference between the projection and actually feeling the metal underneath it.
  • Honorary Princess: The Big, who Rad explicitly equates to a princess, and even calls her one. She's got the look down to a tee.
  • Honorary Uncle: Touya to Alexis, who is close enough to him that she calls him 'uncle' in the same breath as her biological uncle.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: Rad for the mini-cons.
    • A strange variant happens in Deep, Dark, Watery End, where the mini-con of the chapter is the hostage. The MacGuffin in the situation is information the hostage-taker wants.
  • House Husband: Mr. Lopez, who after retiring from being an archeologist became a stay-at-home-dad while his wife worked on her radio show.
  • Humanity Ensues: Because of a "Freaky Friday" Flip, Hot Shot and Rachel switch minds. Hot Shot thinks it’s a chance to know humanity more acutely, but continually finds himself disenchanted; he hates how he has to breathe constantly, that you have to pay for things, that not everything on his soap opera is legit, and can't take care of himself, and even can't handle high levels of emotions in a human body. By the end, he's more than glad to back in his own body.
  • I Believe That You Believe It: Optimus' going along with Hot Shot's talk of a Wisp, to explain away what The Create did.
  • I Can Still Fight!: Hot Shot says this word for word before Optimus firmly shoots him down.
  • Identical Stranger: Non-human example: many characters comment on how Rachel’s car resembled Hot Shot’s alt-mode, so much so that Cyclonus destroyed it thinking it actually was Hot Shot.
  • I Fight for the Strongest Side: While Defeat Means Friendship is the norm for most of the cards, both The Create and The Shield explicity go to Hot Shot as what they had seen a better alternative-even with the fact it's established the Cybertronians have no magic.
  • I Have Your Wife: He's called a pet, but Megatron makes it very clear if his demands aren't met, he'll kill Rad.
  • Improperly Paranoid: Rad and Hot Shot view everyone's borderline suspicion about Sideways to be this. They acknowledge he's rude and shifty, but hasn't done anything to warrant his treatment.
  • I'm Standing Right Here: Maya makes a remark about the Autobots being untrustworthy, while they are right there. They're cool with it, since they want her to trust them.
  • In Harm's Way: Rachel, to increasingly disturbing levels. And in Glowing Teamwork it's quite bluntly spelled out how bad it's gotten.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Subverted when The Sword possessed Alexis in Sword Play. Any time Rad tries to snap the victim out it, it never works.
  • In the Blood: When Kero reveals to Rad that Rachel has magical potential, he questions where it came from, and concludes it must have come from his grandmother due to the improbability of both their fathers having magic.
  • Immortal Immaturity:
  • High Wire, but that is heavily implied to be the result of directly imprinting on Rad’s very childish personality at the time.
  • Even the Decepticon mini-cons aren't immune, since they are easily roped into playing a game of tag.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: How almost everyone views Hot Shot's remarkably improved handling of the Star Saber in-universe. They're right, because The Sword is giving him a power boost.
  • Innocently Insensitive: A minor example: Rachel is being told by Optimus she did a good job defending High Wire against the Decepticons, only for Hot Shot to chime it that she still lost and is confused by why she’s upset by this.
  • Insistent Terminology: In a Cybertronian POV, they call their eyes 'optics', hands 'servos', feet 'pedes', hearts 'sparks'.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: In their first encounter, Megatron demands the mini-con panel, only for Rachel to say she and Rad don’t have it, but he snaps back that Rad is in fact holding it.
  • Interspecies Friendship: The humans allies and the Autobots.
    • Hot Shot explicitly singles Rad out as 'one of his closer friends'.
  • Interspecies Romance: It's very downplayed, but it's clear enough from how The Flower and Hot Shot interact with each other this applies.
  • In the Back: After protecting the kids and their mini-cons, Hot Shot is injured this way by some falling rocks.
    • After running from the firing Decepticons, a lucky shot gets Rachel this way; though just as luckily for her she was wearing the power suit and only ended up with minor bruising.
  • Invisible Parents: Slowly, this trope is being subverted as more and more of the parents are being seen.
  • Invisible to Normals: The Sakura Cards, which is why none no one save Hot Shot, Rad, Kero, and Rachel could see The Create’s dragon.
    • Subverted with The Dash who can be seen clearly by normal humans, though Kero implied that it wasn't strong enough to cloak itself.
  • Ironic Echo:
    Starscream: (flying high and mighty) Do you really think you're worth the effort?
    (Starscream is injured and flees)
    Red Alert: [Starscream] just decided we weren't worth the effort.
  • Ironic Episode Title: The subtitle for the prologue is ‘A Perfectly Normal Day.’
  • I Shall Taunt You: What Hot Shot does to give Smokescreen enough time to retrieve the mini-con panel in Sword Play.
  • I Should Write a Book About This: Sakurada: Clear Card Arc.
  • It's All My Fault: Hot Shot's feelings about not keeping Wheeljack safe.
  • It's a Small World After All: Justified to some degree with Scavenger's arrival. Megatron specifically calls him to Earth, and there were already some implications that Scavenger knew Optimus, and already showed Skywarp had come with him.
  • I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure: Megatron wastes no time in showing exactly what he'd do to Skywarp if Starscream and Scavenger get out of line.
  • I Will Show You X: Starscream snaps this when Hot Shot unknowingly using the same insult against him that Scavenger said before.
  • Just a Kid: How Hot Shot feels Red Alert and Optimus see him. And he’s not exactly wrong.
    • Billy taunts Kelly over Rad seeing her as an 'annoying little girl.'
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks: Hot Shot gets a taste what Rad had to do when he can't say anything about The Fight either.
  • Kiss Me, I'm Virtual: Carlos has a rather noticeable crush on Maya, who is the A.I of a long dead young woman. As she's implied to be experiencing shock and emotional issues, she doesn't notice his crush.
  • Known Only by Their Nickname: Rad, as he doesn’t like going by Bradley.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: The Fight takes off when Rad seals The Big.
  • Laser Blade: The Star Saber is a variation: the blade is three mini-cons, but when it activates, the blade turns into a laser blade.
  • Leave The Two Love Birds Alone: This is Hot Shot's attitude once he learns about Optimus and Red Alert's relationship. He cites personal experience as the reason for his adamance on this trope.
    Hot Shot: It’s nice seeing two bots who are so comfortable together be happy.
  • Legacy of the Chosen: It may not be touched upon a lot, but Rad feels the weight of his predacessor, despite not even knowing who she is. In Seeking Sandctuary, Rad finally meets Sakura, and they talk about his place as the Cardcaptor.
  • Lie to the Beholder: The Fight employed this on herself, but magic users and alien robots could see through it. Everyone else only saw Meiling Li from eyewitness' sketch and Sid and Seth bringing it up when they meet Meiling.
  • Little Boy Seeks Big Girl: What Rad’s dreading about Carlos finally noticing Rachel, but having no idea he should be worried about Alexis instead.
  • Locked in the Bathroom: Rad does this to avoid the bullies that want to beat him up in detention.
  • Logical Weakness: The Shadow is defeated by Rad using Glow to weaken him, and he uses The Windy to freeze The Watery.
  • Long Title: The subtitles for each chapter tend to be longer than the chapter’s main title.
  • The Lost Lenore: A complicated example with Starscream. His memories of Overcast are fond, but tinged with bitterness, to the point where he thinks being able to demolish a forest without Overcast’s face appearing in his mind is a good thing.
  • Love Confessor: During Timewarp, Alexis reveals she has a crush on Rachel, but doesn't say her name. The Reset Button makes her forget she told Rad anything, but he's shown signs that he's retained the knowledge.
  • Lowered Recruiting Standards: How Red Alert initially felt about Hot Shot being on the team to find the mini-cons.
  • Loyal Animal Companion: Rad realizes that Dash wants to stay with Carlos because of the same loyalty it had to Rei.
  • Luminescent Blush: Alexis is often sporting these when she talks to Rachel.
    • Kelly at times when she’s not being Tsundere towards Rad.
  • Lured into a Trap: When Sideways shows their true colors, they trick Rachel!Hot Shot into going with them alone, but only to reveal it was a trap to let Megatron kill her.
  • Madame Fortune: Vanessa's Madame Xanadu persona is a fortuneteller.
  • The Maiden Name Debate: Whether or not half-sisters Joy Meadows and Cindy Newell count as this is up for debate. They presumably married their respective partners, but both named their children after the fathers. Though in Cindy's case, Joy outright states that Cindy hates the 'Newell' name.
    • This has caused some confusion for the Autobots and mini-cons as well, given it's related through Rad waiting for High Wire to remember 'Cecilia Santiago' is Carlos' mother.
  • Magical Boy: Rad.
  • Magicians Are Wizards: A variant with The Create. During Why So Cirrus? The Create gives Hot Shot a cape and hat to take on Starscream, and acts through him like a stage magician. It pulls out several associated tropes, such as Pick a Card, and sending a platoon of doves at Starscream.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Scavenger doesn't even react when he rips the Star Saber out of his arm.
  • Mathematician's Answer: When Hot Shot asks Sideways where he found Mirror, the mini-con, the latter deliberately deflects by asking about 'that pink card' Hot Shot carries around.
    • Sideways also did this in Shadowbox, pointing to his Autobot insignia in response to asking why he saved someone.
  • Mega Maelstrom: The Watery does this in her first attempt to take Rachel out, creating a giant whirpool under the dock where she and Alexis were.
  • Metaphorically True: Two instances of Rad thinking Keeping Secrets Sucks is having to do this. With the first, he and Grindor have to make up an excuse when the mini-con almost blabs about the Sakura Cards, and just pass them off as being 'magic tricks.'
    • The second is when Hot Shot thinks Rad's earnest plea is to him, when in reality it's to The Create, but Rad is forced to use the Sure, Let's Go with That excuse.
  • Mundane Utility: Rad uses The Sweet to change an apple into a cake.
    • The Bubbles being used to clean things.
  • Must Make Amends: Maya's feelings about making up what her society did to the mini-cons.
  • My Fist Forgives You: Implied to be the reasoning when Fetch punches Jolt for tackling him. Surprisingly, he doesn't do this with High Wire, and just yells and harasses him.
  • My Greatest Failure: Red Alert sees his disastrous transport mission in this light.
    • Hot Shot thinks of his inability to protect Wheeljack as this.

    N—Y 
  • Naïve Animal Lover: Carlos is a subversion. He clearly is sympathetic to The Dash when he saves it, but he's well aware that as far as he knows its not only a wild animal, but injured. He makes sure to keep his distance after surveying the damage, and calling it in.
  • Newcomer Saves the Day: Well, they save the humans. Smokescreen kept Rachel from being blasted to bits in his intro, while Mirror and Sideways saved Rad after he'd dealt with The Shadow.
  • Never My Fault: Hot Shot’s firm belief that Red Alert is always the instigator to their fights, which Carlos calls him out on. Hot Shot brushes it off, but in Dash Away Part 2 he finally admits he’s just as much at fault as Red Alert.
  • Never Trust a Title: Nothing to See Here has nothing to do with the Nothing card.
  • Ninja: Sideways strongly evokes this, what with his unnerving quietness, his constant sneaking around, and popping up unheard.
  • No Escape but Down: Due to Delayed Reaction, Rad did not think it through when he caught The Fly.
  • Nom de Mom: Rad, who has aspirations to legally change his name to 'Rad Newell' after his mother's name when old enough. Not out of any malice for his father, he just doesn't want to be a 'Junior' anymore.
  • Nominal Hero: Fetch, and he's this at best, given he's only with the Autobots because Hot Shot managed to bribe him into it.
  • Not a Date: Rad is very insistent that what he and Kelly are on it not a date. No one really buys it but Carlos.
  • Not Afraid of You Anymore: Subverted. For all their bravery, the kids and mini-cons all freak out freak out when the Decepticons get into the Autobots base.
  • Not a Game: Rachel doesn't think well of how the kid's don't realize being involved with the Autobots isn't sunshine and rainbows.
  • Not Quite Flight: How Rad uses The Windy to get him to The Fly, and after when he and mini-con the card kidnapped are plummeting to the ground.
  • Not So Above It All: Alexis tries to pass herself off as more mature than her friends, but she still gets into the race she and Carlos have, plus there’s all the bickering she does with him.
  • No Warping Zone: How security is spruced up after the Decepticons invaded the Autobot base.
  • Now, Let Me Carry You: Perceptor wanting to protect Rachel from Megatron, like she tried to do for him.
    • Its's turned back on High Wire when Rad pulls this to be a distraction for Cyclonus.
  • Oblivious to Love: Rad, both about others and about himself-he wrongly thinks Carlos likes Rachel, but not that Alexis does, and can’t comprehend why no one believes him when he says there’s nothing going on between him and Kelly.
    • Hot Shot shows signs of this, as even Smokescreen points out he can see what’s going on between Red Alert and Optimus.
  • Oh, Crap!: Rachel's reaction when she realized Hot Shot turned off the comm. system.
    • Rad when he falls out of a second story window.
  • One of the Kids: Hot Shot with the children, to Red Alert’s dismay.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. There's Kelly the reporter, and Kelly Li.
    • It is though brought up when Kero makes an offhand remark about there being a Mirror card, and Rad's confusion due to Mirror the mini-con having the same name.
  • Only in It for the Money: Pretty much Fetch's motivation for going with the Autobots, and implied to be the same for the rest of his team.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Megatron pushes Optimus out of the way of The Fight’s attack because he’s the only one whose going to defeat Optimus.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: Kero takes great offence to his portrayal in Tomoyo's webcomic, despite the fact from the description, it sounds spot on.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: The Bubbles. The Watery.
  • Overprotective Dad: Mr. Li, complete with Death Glare and Twerp Sweating when Rad shows up to get Kelly for their Not a Date trip to the movies.
  • Pacifist Dojo: Meiling's dojo, as she makes it clear she's not teaching martial arts to let her students hurt others.
  • Paper Cutting: The Windy of all cards does this to Rad, though she does feel guilty about it after her cool down.
    • The Create also gives Rad one, this one less guilty about it.
  • Parents as People: Rad’s parents being away on an archaeological dig, but made sure he was with a reliable caregiver; Rad’s still got some issues with them though about it.
  • Parental Abandonment: Of the ‘physical here, emotionally gone’ variant as Rachel’s parents were often focused on their own devices than her, and when they did bring her along she was always left by herself. Rad himself calls them flakes for it.
  • Parental Obliviousness: Rad exploits this when stays with his aunt and uncle, in order to sneak out and deal with the cards.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Subverted. Red Alert and Optimus have a brief discussion about how to access Swoop's internal hard drive on his ship but find none of the obvious passwords have worked.
  • People Puppets: How The Sword controls Hot Shot to fight, and notably uses a case of Voices Are Not Mental since The Sword talks through Hot Shot with the bot's own voice.
    • And when The Create possesses that same bot, their voice doesn't change either, only the inflection to mimic a stage magician.
  • Plausible Deniability: Jolt uses this as the reason he said nothing about Rad's magic to Hot Shot-if he didn't know anything then he couldn't slip up.
    • When Rad confronts The Big about letting The Fight hurt his friends, it's heavily implied The Big did not know the extent of what The Fight was doing, just that she was doing her shtick.
  • Plot Threads:
  • Powered Armor: The orange jumpsuits are a very scaled down version, but can protect the humans from laser fire.
  • Power Crutch: Scavenger outright calls Rad out on doing this with giving Hot Shot a crutch with The Sword's fencing prowess.
  • Power Glows: Most the Sakura Cards are described as having a glow around them.
  • Precision F-Strike: Rachel does this twice: the first time she calls Sideways a ‘jackass’, the second time she calls Megatron a ‘dick’. And in Lock It Down she says 'shit' in an Oh, Crap! moment.
    • Rachel actually drops an f-bomb in Changing Paces because Sideways revealed himself as a traitor.
  • Precious Photo: As it turns out, the phot of the not-quite-Dinobots serves as this for Swoop, as it gives him the strength to overcome The Corruption.
  • Precocious Crush: Alexis towards Rachel.
    • Rad is heavily implied to have a crush on Sideways.
  • Promotion to Parent: Rachel to Rad, as she’s his primary caregiver until his parents return.
  • Protagonist Title: It’s called Cardcaptor Rad.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: In his past, Starscream is implied to have been like this, though he’s clearly shown in the story proper to have lost these traits, even while trying to hold himself to it.
  • Psychic Link: Essentially how the mini-cons 'link-up' with bots, but more apparent with the human partners.
  • Psychological Projection: After leaving Overcast for the Decepticons, Starscream tried very hard to have the same sort of equal standing with Megatron that he’d had with Overcast. It comes across a lot like this as Overcast and Megatron couldn’t be more different.
  • Ptero Soarer: Swoop, in his Ravenus mutation looks like one.
  • Pun-Based Title: Almost all the titles include their card of the week format in the title, with one notable exception. The subtitles offer a more accurate description of the chapters.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Rad goes through one in Those Misty Days, complete with Suddenly SHOUTING!. And it completely screws him over.
  • Rapid-Fire "No!": Rad lets out a series of these when he's captured by Cyclonus.
  • Red Is Violent: When Sierra takes advantage of Rad's hatred for Sideways, an aura of red mist manifested around him.
  • Reality Ensues: Just because you've made friends with the enemy mini-cons doesn't meant they're going to save you.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Given a comment Maya makes, she's got the appearance of her fifteen year old self, but is likely in the thousands for her real age. Though granted, that may be stretching it...
  • Related in the Adaptation: Given the author's statement early on about trying to use characters in canon, this was bound to happen. The big one though is Alexis being related to Sakura and Syaoran, the latter's niece, specifically.
  • Rescue Introduction: Sideways' official intro happens after saving Rad.
  • Relationship Reveal: Hot Shot gets lowdown on Red Alert and Optimus by Megatron of all bots when he bluntly calls Red Alert out on the closeness between him and Optimus.
  • Resting Recovery: Rachel after her run in with the Decepticons, and Hot Shot after being injured.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Many (if not all) of the cards hate Rachel and have no problems with attacking Rad because he’s a convenient target, plus Kero explains that Rad’s magical signature is very similar to hers because they’re related.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: When The Time makes the same day repeat itseslf, Rad, Kero and Rachel are the only organics (focused on) shown to be unaffected, as every other human acted exactly like they did in the other timelines, due to magical ability. The Autobots aren't either, due to not being from earth.
  • Rising Water, Rising Tension: The scene in the Underwater Ruins in Lock It Down.
  • Roswell That Ends Well: The 'alien sighting' that is implied to be Skywarp, stages it in Roswell of all places.
  • Secret Keeper:
  • The mini-cons, Carlos and Rachel for Rad, who keep the fact he can understand mini-con speech to themselves. The mini-cons themselves also keep the fact Rad is a magic user.
  • High Wire is a subversion, since he immediately told said mini-cons that Rad was a magic user.
  • Secret Relationship: Red Alert and Optimus. Though it wasn’t quite as secretive as they thought, since some bots could still see it.
  • Secret Test of Character: The Big intimidated Rad to see if he'd run, and he earned her respect when he didn't.
  • Seduction-Proof Marriage: While it's not clear what the level of relationship Optimus and Red Alert have, but when Swoop hits on the latter, he is polite but firmly turns him down.
  • Servant Race: The mini-cons, though they border on Servile Snarker at times.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Discussed and implied to be the reason neither Sid nor Seth are expelled from school after all the tormenting they put everyone through.
    Kero: (about Sid and Seth) I swear, kids today have only gotten brattier. Even the ones I knew weren’t this bad.
  • Shared Family Quirks: Rad and Rachel, even being cousins, are shown to have similar traits in appearance and both having magic. They also have a Guilt Complex.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Rachel comments that Rad isn’t Elliot and High Wire isn’t E.T.
    • Rachel also makes a reference to the Stargate when passing through the Autobot’s ground bridge.
    • Carlos makes a joke about his father having retired from being Indiana Jones.
  • Sickening "Crunch!": How Rachel knows her ankle is sprained.
  • Silent Antagonist: The Fight, who never says a word during her confrontations with the Autobots and Decepticons.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Rachel is clearly more comfortable using curses, though not in range of the children.
    • The fact the Cybertronians go by Unusual Euphemism does not exempt them, as theirs are thinly veiled swears. Lampshaded by the fact when Hot Shot tries to say ‘fragger’ in front of the kids, Optimus immediately cuts him off.
  • Slash Fic: Downplayed for the most part, but openly acknowledged to be one.
  • Sleep Cute: Kero and High Wire. It’s something even Rad acknowledges as significant because the two have always been at each other’s throat. In fact, he thinks it’s such an ‘aww’ moment he snaps a photo of them!
  • Sleep-Mode Size: Kero’s plush form, revealing he has a ‘cooler’ form as a means to get High Wire’s respect.
  • Sleeping with the Boss: Megatron quite crudely implies this with regards to Red Alert and Optimus’ relationship.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Out of the core cast, only Rachel, Alexis and Sureshock are female. Maya is added to the main cast later on though.
  • Soaperizing: Focus is noticeable more on character than action.
  • Solar and Lunar: Kero explains that the cards go by alignments to either the sun or moon, and activate during the appropriate time of day.
  • Someone Has to Do It: Rachel's reasoning to go out and get rid of the interference the Decepticons caused when they got into the Autobot base.
  • Spanner in the Works: In Shadowbox, the Decepticons come up with a plan that works. Almost. They didn't count on the humans being on base.
  • Star Power: The sealing wand's power, presumably as a hold over from its series, given its name remains the Star Wand.
  • Stellar Name: Stella
  • Stern Teacher: Meiling. Despite her obvious favortism toward Kelly and Alexis, she's crtical of even them when they mess up, and hard-pressed for everyone to follow the rules of her dojo.
    Meiling: Leave your troubles outside of my dojo. Though be warned (gives Sid and Seth a Death Glare) if you cause any disturbances you will not be allowed back.”
    • Rachel's teacher Professor Paaswell also cements himself as this with his little speech to his class about proper student conduct.
  • Sticky Situation: Rad does this when fighting The Sword, using The Sweet to trap it.
  • Stolen MacGuffin Reveal: The misunderstanding about why Stella stole Rachel's bag, revealing it held the remains of a Seeker Bug.
  • Stray Shots Strike Nothing: Averted. The mishap in The Big Picture Part 1 with Cyclonus firing on The Fight because she was hanging onto Starscream and continues on firing even after Starscream and Demolishor have warped out.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Rad notes this about Kelly and her mother, equating it with the fact the woman looks like an older version of Kelly.
  • Subordinate Excuse: Demolishor to Megatron, or at least Starscream thinks so.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Red Alert; blunt and harsh, but has his moments of being awkward and kind, he also comes with a Cynicism Catalyst backstory.
  • Supernatural Sensitivity: Rad's ability to sense the Sakura Cards, and the cards themselves can let him 'feel' their emotional states.
  • Super Speed: The Dash, and the power it grants.
  • Sword Fight: Subverted, as Rad spends most of his time running away from The Sword rather than engage it.
    • And while The Sword's debut didn't have it getting one, it does make the most of it when Hot Shot lets it voluntarily possess him and it takes on Starscream, rendering their two encounters with a Clean Cut through the latter's wing sword.
  • Sword Plant: What Scavenger does after disarming Hot Shot of the Star Saber.
  • Symbolic Blood: In all instances where the robots get cut, they bleed oil, such Megatron getting his antler and tread sliced, or Scavenger having the Star Saber stabbed in his arm.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: A strategy Rad employs if he can, in getting the Sakura Cards running rampant not to hurt anyone or destroy anything.
    • How Rachel gets Swoop to fight off his corruption, essentially.
  • Take My Hand: How Rachel gets the kids to trust the Autobots.
  • Technicolor Hair: Hot Shot lampshades it when the hologram girl first appears.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: Maya asks the difference between a warp gate and a warp drive; she gets told while the former is stationary and must be manually operated to go to destinations, the latter doesn’t have that flaw and is operated by thought alone, making it valuable and rare enough that they suspect the unknown bot on earth is Skywarp despite never saying his name.
  • That Came Out Wrong: In keeping with Rad's Chaste Hero status; when he makes an innocent remark about dreaming about Sideways, he doesn't understand why Kero would look at him oddly, but defends saying that their friends and it's not weird.
  • That Man Is Dead: Ravenus, as when he's confronted about being Swoop, he snarls this in response.
  • That Was Not a Dream: Enforced, as Rachel is revealed to have tried to make herself believe that the events of Return to Sender were just a nightmare she had.
  • The One with...: How the subtitle for Glowing Teamwork is named.
  • Theme Naming: Many of the chapters’ main titles are in some way named after the card featured.
  • Time Stands Still: The Time employs this when the Autobots try to get him, but it's only a distraction so Rad can seal him.
  • Trouble Entendre: Sideways pulls this off, but only Scavenger really understands the meaning, forcing him to reveal his true allegiance to save Rachel!Hot Shot.
  • The Unfettered: Decal, who has only one goal, and is willing to do anything to accomplish it.
  • Unnamed Parent: Rad’s mother Cindy and Rachel’s mother Joy are given names, but their respective fathers are conspicuously unnamed.
    • Seems to be enforced with the case of Rachel’s father, as in the narration itself he’s never referred to anything other than ‘uncle’ or ‘dad’.
    • Same with Carlos’ mother Cecilia, but his father is only addressed as ‘Mr. Lopez.’
    • And for plotty reasons, Mrs. and Mr. Li, Kelly’s parents.
  • The Unseen: Rad’s father, Rachel’s father, Carlos’ mother, Alexis’ parents.
    • Skywarp, though he may also count as The Ghost since he's just out of sight, both in the video call between Megatron and Scavenger, and isn't around when the latter arrives on the moon.
  • The Un-Smile: Red Alert pulls one in the Dash Away three-parter, which Hot Shot even calls unsettling.
  • Vehicular Assault: Optimus does this twice to Megatron when he threatened the kids and Rachel.
    • Smokescreen in his first appearance tries this on the kids, their mini-cons and Rachel.
    • Sideways came dangerously close twice to hitting Rachel.
  • Video Phone: Played With. The first time, Optimus calls Rachel on the base's computer, but only her voice is heard. The second time, Megatron completely appears on the computer.
  • Villain Teleportation: The unknown Decepticon on earth who is heavily implied to be Skywarp.
  • Weirdness Censor: Several instances, such as The Sleep putting everyone to sleep in a movie theatre passed off as a prank, The Flower’s petal shower on the science fair as a supervisor’s tactic, or even outright seeing Hot Shot floating in mid-air on The Create’s dragon is passed off as ‘weird alien stuff’.
  • We Need a Distraction: Hot Shot's plan for Rad to catch The Time is for all the Autobots to keep The Time's focus on them, while Rad sneaks up on it.
  • Wham Episode: The Big Picture Two-parter ends with The Fight escaping with a mini-con panel, and Scavenger saw Rad using magic.
    • In Timewarp Part 2, the cliff-hanger ends with Rad and Kero deciding to tell the Autobots about the Sakura Cards.
  • Worthy Opponent: It's implied this is how The Sword may actually feel about Starscream.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The Decepticons certainly have no problem with this.
    • High Wire and Smokescreen just narrowly avert this in the prologue and Good Night, Sleep Tight.
    • Megatron's very explicit attempt to kill Rad.
  • Written-In Absence: In Glowing Teamwork, both Red Alert and Optimus are not present for the whole chapter. Hot Shot explains they went out for equipment, and there's just radio silence, which leaves them on their own when Megatron tells them they have Rad.
  • You Are Grounded: Rachel does this to Rad, then switches it up with no T.V. the next time he messes up badly.
  • You Are in Command Now: Downplayed. In Glowing Teamwork, Hot Shot took command while Red Alert and Optimus were gone. He got Smokescreen and Rachel to stop bickering, and came up with a plan to save Rad.
  • You Are Not Alone: Smokescreen says this to Hot Shot as a pep talk.
  • You Are Not Ready: Kero’s reluctance to talk about the previous Cardcaptor comes across as this.
  • You Didn't Ask: Rad is severely annoyed whenever Kero tries to pull this when he doesn’t tell him about how a card works.
    • Jolt also pulls this on Hot Shot in Dash Away Part 3.
  • "You!" Exclamation: Megatron calls Rachel an insect when he recognizes her, but the effect is the same.
  • You Fool!: Megatron's especially fond of throwing this insult at his troops.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: Hot Shot demands Rad to be turned over after he sends the mini-cons to Megatron, only for the latter to go back on their deal. To no one's surprise. In fact, Hot Shot actually planned for that.
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