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Fanfic / Not the intended use (Zantetsuken Reverse)

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Not the intended use is a Slice of Life fanfic written by Zantetsuken Reverse on Fanfiction Dot Net. Originally it was only a Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow and Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow fic, but eventually it turned into a full blown crossover not only with the rest of the franchise, but also with Shin Megami Tensei.

After the events of Dawn of Sorrow, Soma starts his life as a mostly normal college student; however, he puts conscious effort to avert the Bag of Spilling that hit him at the beginning of said game, and starts experimenting with his souls to discover the full extent of their abilities. Soon his friends get in on it as well, and then it turns out that they're hardly the only weirdos in town...

The fic has been abandoned, but it has a number of spinoffs. Those spinoffs include:

Spoilers Off for anything from the source works.

So many tropes to experiment with!

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    Not the intended use 
  • Accidental Innuendo: A few In-Universe examples.
    • Leon's second wife left him because in her words, Leon loved his "long thin whip" much more than he loved her. Leon admitted she's right, leading to the following:
      Soma: You had better be talking about Sara.Explanation
      Leon: (clueless) Why wouldn't I?
    • This particular exchange.
      Soma: I'm going to do experiments with Mina.
      Naoki: [sly grin]
      Soma: [blushing] Magic experiments!
      Kazuya: Is that what kids are calling it these days?
  • Acquired Poison Immunity: One of Soma's souls allows him to eat rotten food. He uses it to keep the fridge clean and make bets with his — clueless at the point — roommates. Unfortunately, it can't do anything about his nut allergy because nuts are not inherently poisonous.
  • Actually Not a Vampire: Soma hits just about every vampire-associated trope; he is hurt by Holy Water and blessed objects, can turn into a bat, summon bats, has Innate Night Vision, Vampiric Draining powers, and can tell apart people's blood by scent. He is even the reincarnation of Dracula. However, he is not actually a vampire; he can walk in sunlight and needs food like anyone else. He still occasionally scares the crap out of other people thanks to this motif, and has difficulty convincing strangers that he's a human.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • A few aspects of the original source material, like how exactly sealing magic works, is more elaborated upon than in the games.
    • The fic also gets into more detail about the lives of all the characters, like Soma's family.
  • Adaptational Dye-Job: The Suou family (Tatsuya, Katsuya, and Kazuya) are said to be redheads, even though in the original material it's auburn. It's generally lamphshaded as Strong Family Resemblance, as red hair in Japan is extremely unusual.
  • Aerith and Bob: A guy in Leon and Mathias's old company was named Stanley of all things. In the 11th century.
  • Affably Evil: The "discount virgin's blood" cult who tried to summon Dracula without human sacrifices. They honestly did not want to hurt anyone.
  • The Ageless: Arikado and Naoki.
  • Alternate Self: All over the place due to the Multiverse. Soma meets and hears about counterparts of the Persona 2 squad, Hammer, and Kazuya.
  • Alternative-Self Name-Change: When at least two versions of a character is a part of the main cast, they use nicknames to tell the difference (Lisa and Ginko, for example). The different versions of Tatsuya struggle to find such nicknames, because there are also the two Tatsuya Sudous to take into account.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Leon Belmont has a millennia worth of blackmail material for most of his descendants, and does not hesitate to use it.
  • Ambiguous Criminal History: Soma's parents have trouble with the Mafia from several countries (at least Icelandic and Portuguese), and they owe them a lot of money, to the point they had to sell their kidneys in the past. Soma for his part is generally uninvolved in all this, but he's aware of their history and is able to tell which country each group comes from.
  • Amnesia Missed a Spot: Soma cannot consciously recall Dracula's memories, but he can recall them unconsciously; for instance, he instantly recognises Leon, and in his dreams, Dracula's experiences are mixed up with Soma's own. That's also how Soma knows what each of his souls does.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism:
    • Despite his family having dealings with the Mafia, and being surrounded by the supernatural and the giant robots, Soma still can't believe Mina when she tells him her roommate is in a crime syndicate. She immediately lampshades this.
    • Later on, Soma delivers this line:
      Soma: Just because I can do something like [steal Bigfoot's soul], it doesn't mean that other weird stuff automatically exists.
  • Ascended Extra: Per Word of God, Kazuya and Naoki were originally only named after SMT characters.
  • Author Appeal: The reason the author wants Mina to use a Whip-sword is because they found it so fun they kept using it even in the late game.
  • Averted Trope: Heavily lampshaded with this line in Chapter 16:
    "I believe you," said Soma [to Mina], breaking the grand tradition of romance movies where the main couple always has a falling out that ends with them falling in love with each other once more.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis:
    • Soma finds some incredible uses for his powers by experimenting.
    • Leon learned how to speak and read Japanese thanks to constant exposure.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Several of Soma's powers are pretty impractical because of this trope.
    • He can't use the soul that renders food non-poisonous to stop allergies. He also needs to keep it equipped the entire time the food is in his digestive system.
    • He can't use the Super-Speed soul in public because it causes shock waves that cause damage and draw attention.
    • Mina points out that since Soma transforms into an albino bat, and they live in a crowded city, several zoologists will notice how unusual that is and will try to capture him.
    • As Celia's building consultant points out, a real lava flow indoors is, if not impossible, impractically expensive and would kill everyone inside with toxic fumes. Castlevania's is handwaved as magic castle shenanigans, but the lava in her castle is faked with colorful lighting. Also, building a castle on top of waterfall-filled caverns will result in some structural integrity problems.
    • How does the Vampire Killer detect the blood relationship with the original wielder even almost a millennia later? Answer is, it doesn't. Instead, it "rewrites" the "default" blood with each new wielder; hence why the Morris family, who are also descended from Leon, cannot use the whip without killing themselves — the whip can't track their connection to the most recent user.
  • Badass Boast: While discussing the dangers of demons turning against their summoners, Kazuya delivers a very casual one.
    Kazuya: I can kill anything I summon.
  • Badass Family: Quite a few of them.
    • The Belmont family has produced powerful monster hunters for almost a millennia.
      • And branching from them are several other badass families, like the Morris and Belnades clans.
    • Whatever weird mess is happening with Dracula's family, Soma, and the Lecarde clanExplanation, they are all undoubtedly badass. Vampiric and magic powers, experienced in intense combat, and easily able to keep up with the Belmonts.
    • The Suou family. The Tatsuya from the Other Side is one of the strongest Persona users in the world, the Katsuya from This Side is not far behind him, and the remaining Tatsuya and Katsuya have picked a few tricks from them. Then there's their cousin Kazuya, who is the most powerful Devil Summoner in the world, and his wife Aoi is a powerful Magic Knight and former rebel leader.
    • Later on, it's revealed that Aoi is part of the Belnades clan, essentially tying all these families together.
  • Badass in Distress: Soma gets kidnapped with disturbing frequency.
  • Badass Longcoat:
    • Soma's, and not just because he kicks ass in it. It's also Made of Indestructium, and can act as a Bag of Holding.
    • Lamphshaded with the Belmont family, who are all vampire hunters in long coats.
  • Badass Normal:
    • Kazuya can't use any magic at all, but he's still the most powerful devil summoner in the world.
    • Hammer was not in the army for nothing.
    • Daisuke is normal compared to the magical insanity around him, but he's by no means a pushover.
  • Bag of Holding: Soma calls his coat "Longcoat of Holding" once because of its Hammerspace properties.
  • Bag of Spilling:
    • Defied by Soma. After Dawn, knowing that he'd probably get attacked again, he kept a tighter grip on the souls he absorbed.
    • Averted with Kazuya, who somehow kept all his gear once he was flung in the modern age after his death.
    • Soma explains that the reason he only brought a knife with him to Celia's castle was because he had to sell many of his weapons to get money for the plane tickets, and the rest would be spotted by the airport security.
  • Balking Summoned Spirit: The first summoned demon we see, from the first chapter, has tons of objections to the tasks he's commanded to do.
    "Henceforth, let it be stated that the truth value of the first statement is equal in value to the statement Left-Parenthesis Left-Parenthesis True AND False Right-Parenthesis XOR Left-Parenthesis False AND False Right-Parenthesis Right-Parenthesis OR Left-Parenthesis Left-Parenthesis True OR False Right-Parenthesis AND Left-Parenthesis True XOR False Right Parenthesis Right Parenthesis STOP The truth va-"
    Kazuya raised his hands up in defeat. "All right, you win. I'm brute-forcing this. Can you perform the first item on the list?"
    "Can you perform the second item on the list?"
    "How many items can you not perform?"
    "The number of items that I cannot perform is equal to the second happy number."
    "…Can you perform the third item on the list?"
    This went on until Kazuya learned that he could not perform the fifth, seventh, eighth, twelfth, fifteenth, twenty-third, and twenty-seventh item on the list. "I assume you want your Magnetite now?" he said icily.
  • The Beastmaster:
    • One of Soma's abilities is to summon animals and have them do his bidding.
    • Maria Renard and Stacey Wren also have this ability.
  • Beat: From What do you mean by 'Discount' Virgin's Blood?, after talking about the deaths that they possibly just averted:
    There was a cold breeze.
    "At least no one died," said Julius.
    "Yes," said Arikado. "That is good."
  • Becoming the Costume: In the Halloween special, a fairy threatens everyone attending the party that she'll turn them into their costumes, but everyone decided that For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself, and just stares at her.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Abraham Lincoln was a vampire hunter.
  • Berserk Button: According to Julius, Leon's is insulting Sara or the Vampire Killer.
  • The Bet:
    • The entire cast is willing to make a bet out of anything. This includes stuff like "who can hold their breath longer" to "who has the craziest backstory". Not even Arikado is above making pointless bets.
    • One Lara Belmont made it in the list of the "Top 100 Stupidest Bets of the 20th Century".
  • BFG: When it comes to guns, Kazuya prefers the big and intimidating ones that can "decapitate an elephant". Given that he fights demons, that makes sense.
  • Blatant Lies: As part of the Masquerade, Soma has to lie a lot to his roommates, but some lies are especially bad. For example, the time he said that he hid a plate of curry under his jacket. Obviously, the lying didn't work at all, as his roommates end up thinking he's a wizard before the Internal Reveal.
  • Blessed with Suck:
    • Soma can no longer stand crowded areas because his hearing is too sensitive.
    • Naoki was granted immortality in his late teens, and doesn't age. While he can pass as a scrawny-looking college student, he cannot get a job without creating a huge legal issue. And even without counting that, he first has to convince his potential employers that he's old enough for a job in the first place.
    • Arikado has several problems with legal papers because he's Really 700 Years Old and obviously nobody would believe such a thing.
    • The Belmonts never whipped their horses, because they were so used to killing monsters with whips that they ended up killing the horses by accident.
  • Bonus Material: There are plenty of Omakes littered in the fic, mainly presenting What If? scenarios.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: The scientists working on the mech suits got so bored of fixing them after each and every fight, that they spent six months developing a self-repair program.
  • Broken Masquerade: Due to Poor Communication Kills, the Supernatural world and the Giant Robot community discover each other. This also happens multiple times for separate individuals.
  • Busman's Holiday: Namedropped when discussing "Eternal Punishment Online"; apparently all the members of the cast that play it have chosen a class that reflects their real occupation. Kazuya is a devil summoner who plays as a Monster Tamer, Julius is a vampire hunter who plays as a Demon Slayer, and so on.
  • Call-Back:
    • Julius, Soma, and Mina spend many hours translating Leon Belmont's diaries. It turned out to be extremely important once the original author got involved. It also turned out to be important in regards to the exact workings of the Vampire Killer.
    • Julius also mentions the Optional Boss of Portrait of Ruin, and how the weapon used to take him down were pies. This was brought up in reference to Soma and Julius getting burned by each other's food, and later weaponized to exorcise Leon out of Soma's body.
    • Julius is trying to learn Richter's Item Crashes. So far, he only managed to use Hydro Storm against a pack of monster rats.
    • In chapter 11, Kazuya references the toilet incident in chapter 2, and reveals exactly why he spends so many hours on his computer; he's trying to crack the Devil Summoning Program. What followed was a butterfly effect that resulted in Daisuke being introduced to the Masquerade.
    • The Japan Extermination Project from SMT I still exists in this reality, and it's the reason why Hammer quit the army.
    • At one point, a terrorist group sealed all the entrances to Soma's dorm with snow so they could kill everyone inside by starting a fire. Tatsuya Suou and his friends, who live in the same dorm and unaware of the perpetrators (they thought the sealed entrances were a prank by some other students), get extremely pissed with the situation and loudly proclaim that locking someone in a building should be illegal, if it's not already. As the author points out, the Persona 2 cast has been in too many situations involving fires and blocked exits.
    • In chapter 17, it's revealed that the Dark Hour still exists. Soma takes advantage of it to escape a hostage situation.
    • The OCs introduced in chapter 20 are descendants of the main cast of the original Dracula book, which is part of the Castlevania canon. They're trying to live up to their ancestors' legacy.
    • Said group was convinced of Dracula's existence because they heard the rumours that resulted from Soma's kidnapping all the way back in chapter 5.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Daisuke's "MEGA THUNDER CRASH!"
  • The Cameo: What the crossovers started as.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: As said in Chapter 13, Hammer still can't confess to Yoko. He also makes fun of Soma for not confessing to Mina immediately after:
    Hammer (to Soma): So what? Confessing your feelings isn't easy, you know. You should know.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Downplayed with Naoki; a few shots are enough to make him lose all common sense, but not his coordination.
  • Captain Obvious: Soma telling the Mafia members that abducted him and want to sell his organs that they're horrible people.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Soma's Super-Strength and stamina? No magic, just pure workout. He also sharpened his hearing to the point of noticing the slightest of scrapes, putting him in Super-Hearing category.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Daisuke first appeared to be a short-tempered and ridiculously strong, but otherwise ordinary college student. Then it turns out he's a mech pilot.
    • Julius mentions a relative who works as an enforcer for the mob. That same mob kidnaps Soma to keep him hostage for ransom several chapters later, and then he meets that relative. Let's just say they don't get along.
    • At one chapter, Soma accidentally terrifies a bunch of hikers. Several chapters later, it turns out said hikers were the Suou brothers.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Many times, the experiments come in handy later; for instance, experimenting with the Paranoia soul allowed Soma to survive a forceful baptism years later.
  • Clarke's Third Law: Daisuke believes this in full force, which is why Soma had such a hard time convincing him he's not a delusional cyborg.
  • Combo Platter Powers: SOMA. Technically, his only power is to steal the souls of the demons he's killing, but this leads to Power Copying, which means that Soma has an absurd variety of powers compared to any other character in the fic.
  • Commuting on a Bus: Yoko appears in the story rarely and infrequently because she works abroad a lot and can't stay in Japan for too long.
  • Competing with a Corpse: Leon's first wife left him because he still held feelings for his dead fiance Sara, and loves her more than his current wife. Leon admits that she's right on the mark with her accusation.
  • Connected All Along:
    • Hammer turns out to have been a) related to Hector and b) the Antique shop owner from SMT I.
    • Leon and Arikado know each other and consider the other family.
    • Mina's criminal roommate and Julius's cousin both work for the Portuguese Mafia, and Soma's father owes them a lot of money.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Soma apparently found the Excalibur in Aria, because he mentions being able to swing swords with giant rocks stuck on them.
    • Julius mentions that his ancestor Juste once killed his pony by accident.
    • Then he openly wonders how in the world did Trevor manage to court Sypha.
    • Also from Julius, that's where Soma and Mina learn about Maria Renard.
    • Kazuya explains not only the events of his game, but what led to Shin Megami Tensei II as well.
    • Julius mentions Renon from Castlevania 64 as a demon who needed money.
    • When someone reveals that Tsuchinoko was first discovered in the 1960s, Soma regrets that he didn't get to prove its existence in Aria even though he found it.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • The random vampire that attacked Soma and was subsequently killed by him just so happened to be an English teacher in the college he goes to.
    • The Other Katsuya just so happened to open his bakery next to Hammer's shop.
  • Corpsing: In-Universe. Soma had the role of a corpse for a play, and he was criticized because he was clearly laughing.
  • Cosmic Retcon: Naoki and his teacher Miss Takao pulled one at the end of Nocturne to restore the world to normal. However, the two made several mistakes in the restoration, completely screwing up with the dates of several events, like eclipses. In addition, many people ended up being misplaced in time as a result.
  • Covert Group: Deconstructed. The secret agencies don't know about each other, so they end up fighting until the higher ups call them to clear up the situation.
  • Creator's Culture Carryover: Despite being set in Japan, the college where Soma studies comes off as very American, something that the author acknowledges. They admit that no matter how much research they do, they always end up getting something wrong. One particularly egregious example is the fact that there's a full weekend, while in Japan Saturday is a work-day — something that the author should know, because they have played the Persona games.
  • Cross-Melting Aura: Fortunately for Soma, while in soul form, he is powerful enough to be impervious to most blessed objects. However, he can't even get close to the top tiers, like Julius or the Vampire Killer.
  • Crossover: Between Castlevania and most Shin Megami Tensei games (special emphasis given on the original, Nocturne and eventually Persona 2).
  • Crossover Relatives:
    • Tatsuya and Katsuya Suou from Persona 2 are cousins of Kazuya from Shin Megami Tensei I. This does not apply in the A Game of Cat and Cat version.
    • Kazuya's girlfriend Aoi from the same game is related to the Belnades clan from the Castlevania franchise.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Referenced in Chapter 25. When Arikado finally finds out about the experiments, he interrogates Soma thoroughly on what exactly he did with them... Then, after Soma leaves, he collapses from relief that Soma didn't use them to cuddle with hot monster girls, some examples being the Succubus and Alura Une, the latter of which hug Soma as part of how they're used.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Soma got the best ending in Dawn with 100% Completion, Kazuya went for the Neutral ending (like canon), while Naoki chose to restore the world.
  • Cyborg: What the FALCON organization fights.
  • De-aged in Death: Despite having died of old age, Leon Belmont looks like he's in his early twenties, which is when he experienced his most life-changing event.
  • Death Glare: Soma comments that most people don't really have good glares, and he has ranked the top death glares based on which scares him the most.
    • Number 1 is Leon because it's completely out of character for him (he's usually very friendly), is a top-tier badass, and has the age, experience, and wisdom to back it up.
    • Number 2 is Arikado for very similar reasons.
    • Number 3 is Naoki, because his glare reminds Soma of Death, and he can feel the inhumanity rolling off him. He feels Primal Fear at the sight of it.
    • Number 4 is Kazuya because it looks like he knows everything you're thinking.
    • Tatsuya's glare looks like it can pierce souls.
    • Soma would rank Minato's glare just below Kazuya if not for the fact that he looks dead tired all the time. Instead, he ranks it under Julius.
  • Didn't Think This Through: The Team (the descendants of the cast of the novel Dracula) based their research and knowledge on whatever they found on the internet without verifying if any of it was true. As Soma told them, the stuff they found were quite possibly rumours and photoshopped images, and they can't take that as their only proof.
  • Disproportionate Restitution: Enforced. After Julius sets him on fire, Soma declares that anyone who sets him on fire has to treat him dinner, and he is enforcing it.
  • Dramatic Irony: Soma thinks that Kazuya has never seen the inside of a pentagram before. The narration immediately Lampshades how wrong he is. Likewise, Kazuya has no idea that Soma is the reincarnation of Count Dracula. Both are fixed after the Internal Reveal.
  • The Dreaded:
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Leon according to Julius, who's quite surprised by it.
  • Eat the Summoner: What do you mean by 'Discount' Virgin's Blood? mentions this as a possible result of using said "discount blood" for a summoning, when Arikado suspects that it could have worked:
    Arikado nodded. "Although… I do believe that Father would have been furious had he found out where it came from. I imagine that he would have devoured everyone present for the insult."
  • Everyone Can See It: Everyone thinks that Soma and Mina are dating or is surprised that they don't, with Julius, Hammer, Leon, and Kazuya being active Shippers On Deck.
  • Evil Doppelgänger: The Belmonts' standard procedure is to attack them on sight.
  • Evil Tastes Good: Soma generates delicious curry with dark magic. Even if you copy the recipe exactly, the flavour simply cannot be copied, as Daisuke finds out. Of course, since it's made with dark magic, Julius can't eat it.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin:
    • The Agency of Supernatural Investigation.
    • "I can summon demons with a program called the Demon Summoning Program. Yes, I know that it's not a very imaginative name."
  • Extreme Omnivore: The Ghoul soul allows Soma to eat anything as long as it was edible at some point in the past:
    The Ghoul soul made everything taste like it was at its freshest, something Soma was greatly thankful for. A superpower that just suppressed the gag reflex and stopped food poisoning was useful but not pleasant.
  • Familiar: The bat Soma summons acts as one, as it can and will follow all of Soma's orders, including stuff a bat shouldn't be able to understand - like pressing specific keys on the keyboard. Soma can also make it follow the orders of other people in the exact same manner.
  • Flaming Skulls: Julius says that it's "pretty common" for ghosts to look like that.
  • Flash Forward: The chapter where the concept of a support group for the supernatural is first suggested ends with a scene several months later when the group has grown in size and they have a beach party.
  • Food as Bribe: A good chunk of the cast are broke college students, so this works wonders.
    Soma: What? No!
    Mina: I'll treat you to ice-cream.
    Soma: Sure.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: In the Halloween special, all the members of the Supernatural Support Society with the exception of Matthew dress up as something that references their real "profession" - for example Soma dresses as a classic Vampire, Mina as a witch, e.t.c.
  • Friend in the Black Market: Hammer is still an Arms Dealer, and he still sells weapons to Soma and Mina (and later Soma's other friends). He even provides gun lessons and offers money laundering services. He sells bathing products as a front.
  • Full Episode Flashback: Chapter 18 is Soma remembering his visit to Sumaru City.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: During one of the experiment sessions, Soma accidentally walked out of the bathroom naked in front of Mina and all his friends. Cue a lot of yelling.
  • Funny Conception Story: Soma, who is the reincarnation of Dracula, says that he was conceived on a full moon, on Halloween, out of wedlock (though his parents are still together), under a tree where druids used to sacrifice goats, and when he was born the power in the hospital went out and four people died. Kazuya says that he's seriously pushing the Willing Suspension of Disbelief.
  • The Gambling Addict: Soma accuses Kazuya of this, and the latter says nothing to deny it.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: The abilities of Waiter Skeletons and the strange placement of items such as food in walls of Castlevania is explained as preservation magic depending on items being in sufficiently closed containers, such as the walls, and the castle scattering items within itself.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • In this fic, Soma is weak to the Holy element, while in the games he's neutral to it.
    • It's also mentioned at one point that Dracula was a Daywalking Vampire. That's definitely not what the ending of most Castlevania games will tell you, as a ray of sunlight enters the room and kills him. It's a bit of Fridge Brilliance once you remember that said endings have Dracula severely weakened.
    • Mina mentions that in Aria of Sorrow, she was able to get to the Chapel. You need the Flying Armor soul to make it there, because the gap is too big to jump. Meaning it'd be impossible for Mina to reach that place by herself.
  • Genius Bruiser: Since Hammer doesn't have any magic powers but wants to be able to keep up with the others anyway, he did a lot of reading on the various demons, to the point that he can keep up with Kazuya.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Naoki and Kazuya try their best to avoid words that reference Heaven or Hell when cursing. Given their experiences, this makes a lot of sense.
  • Government Agency of Fiction:
    • Arikado works for the Agency of Supernatural Investigation. He has people monitor Soma for his own safety, and he (Soma) participates in their training.
    • There is a second one named FALCON which is dedicated to fight an evil cyborg organisation.
  • Great Offscreen War: The war between FALCON and the Cyber Hell happens entirely offscreen.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: The spies who keep an eye on Soma at all times not only completely miss that his roommates are supernatural, one doesn't even notice that Soma got kidnapped because he was playing on his phone.
  • Hammerspace: Soma's coat. He even calls it that. Apparently he could always put very large objects in his pockets, strongly implying that it's a natural ability of his.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In-Universe, when Julius realizes that the whip he's been lubricating has been the grave/corpse of his dead ancestor's fiancée all along.
  • Hell Gate: The inside of Persephone's vacuum cleaner.
  • Hero of Another Story: Several characters, starting with Soma's roommates Kazuya and Naoki.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Weaponized. In the battle of 1999, Julius's army backup was compromised entirely of atheists to avoid Castlevania's corruption of their spirits as much as possible. Too bad it didn't work for their bodies too, as those still turned into zombies.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Kazuya is so good at this that Soma calls his skills "arcane hacker magic".
  • Holy Burns Evil: As part of both settings' Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors. Much to Soma's misfortune, who was accidentally set on fire by Julius's Holy Water cupcakes. Likewise, Evil Burns Good, which means that Julius can't eat any of Soma's magically produced food.
  • Holy Water: Julius abuses the hell out of it, mainly because the container keeps refilling itself. He uses it for every activity that involves water other than bathing and cleaning the toilet. As a result, not only is all the water in his body replaced with Holy Water (he's been drinking it for over thirty years after all), he affects the local water grid to the point Arikado decides to steer clear of it when Julius is using it.
    Julius: I think I have Holy Water ice cubes in there somewhere...
  • I See Dead People: Naoki, Arikado, and Soma (when out of his body or using the Ghost Dancers soul) can see otherwise invisible ghosts. There are also several magic items that enable this.
  • If Only You Knew: The descendants of the novel Dracula talk about their ancestors' legacy to Dracula's reincarnation, utterly unaware that there were plenty of other people over the years who also killed Dracula. Soma pondering over the irony of the whole thing.
  • I'll Kill You!: Or rather "I'M GOING TO KILL YOU AND DANCE ON YOUR GRAVE!" Daisuke thought that Soma had destroyed his motorcycle.
  • Improbable Weapon User:
    • After Julius tells the tale of how Johnathan Morris defeated Richter's Shade with cream pies, he reminds Soma of how he used cats and crows when they fought. And then he mentions Maria's doves.
    • At one point Soma had to fend off a cult with a broom.
    • Kazuya's melee weapon of choice seems to be a violin, most likely the Stradivari.
  • Improperly Paranoid:
    • Naoki says this about himself after he threatens to kill one of the Agency's spies, only to realise that this guy was completely clueless about Naoki's status as a powerful demon.
    • The Belmont family is nearing this, as even in the 21st century their house has absolutely no connection to electric or phone lines so that the forces of darkness could not track them. They generated electricity via one of Hector's inventions.
  • In Medias Res: Soma explains over the phone how he turned into a vampire, and the chapter switches to the events of the previous day to describe the incident.
  • Inexplicably Awesome:
    • Nobody is sure where Leon's ridiculous resistance to Holy comes from, including the man himself.
    • How can Aiya's deliver everywhere and anywhere, even if you don't give her the location? Nobody knows.
  • Insistent Terminology: Hammer insists that he rent the guns to Soma, not sold them, and he's right as he took the guns back after the castle.
  • Instant Home Delivery: Aiya's delivers everywhere, regardless where you are or if you game her a location.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Julius with Soma and Mina, who is old enough to be their father. The same can be said for Kazuya, though in the latter case it's mental age.
  • Invisible to Normals: Multiple different things:
    • Ghosts and Naoki's Mark of the Beast. In this case, "normal" includes anyone not linked with the undead in some capacity, which means that most magic users like Julius or Soma (when not using Undead souls) cannot see them either.
    • The Dark Hour is invisible to anyone who doesn't have both spirit and time-related abilities. That excludes almost everyone.
  • Kissing Cousins: Julius's parents were technically cousins, but their last common ancestor lived 300 years ago, so there wasn't much common blood between them.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The fic assumes that the reader knows everything about Castlevania, including stuff like Soma being the reincarnation of Dracula, Sara's sacrifice in Lament of Innocence and Arikado being an alias for Alucard.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Soma says that each soul has a description on what it does - which he remembers instinctually - and there are even hiccups in the translation.
    • Dracula hated the Metroid games because they reminded him too much of the Belmont's quest to kill him. Metroidvania, anyone?
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Nobody tells Arikado about the experiments. It also turns out that he's completely clueless about anything SMT-related.
  • Logical Weakness:
    • When experimenting with reflective surfaces, Mina immediately vetoes Mercury because gathering the amount of Mercury needed would put them in a watchlist. They also veto two-way mirrors, because they have no way to get one. They also can't use a public bathroom (the two live in the dorms) because they are separated by gender.
    • In an omake, Hammer uses the Innocent Devils to become an Evil Overlord. Since he's otherwise a normal human, one of the Agents has no trouble picking up a baseball bat and beating him to death when he's alone.
  • Loophole Abuse: Multiple:
    • The Vampire Killer — long story short, to deal with overly large generation gaps, Richter's descendants stored their blood, so when the whip returned to the main Belmont family, they mixed that blood with the new wielder's to trick the Vampire Killer.
    • The Magical Girl Warrior organisation that Chihiro works for places bounties on monsters, checks the memories of those who claim to have killed them for proof, and then gives the reward. In one case, a bystander (Soma) killed a target before the appointment Magical Girl could get the hit, so she reported that a bystander got lucky and Soma got sent the reward without any memory checks involved. When word spread out, other members of the organisation cooperated with demons and other monsters, set up "incidents" that would draw the attention of the organisation, "stopped" the incident, and the lied that a bystander got lucky and pocketed the money. The organisation eventually closed that loophole.
  • Lurid Tales of Doom: From Chapter 16: Jyoji Hijiri, who writes for an occult magazine, sprouts quite a few stories of this kind that are heard in his profession, and as it happens, they're all completely true.
    Hijiri: They've been rumours among the occult groups that she's been thrown into a television. Don't look at me like that. You have to take everything they say with a grain of salt. They talk about things like ghosts hanging out in apartment buildingsnote , someone killing Bigfoot in Russianote , secret military operations to fight demons in Antarctica, hidden monster hunter villages in Romania, flying cities, shop owners selling gunsnote , giant metal golemsnote , Count Dracula returning, end of the world stuff... you know, things like that. Every once in a while they turn out to be true. But you never know just by hearing them. There are things in this world that are too absurd to be made up.
    Soma: (thinking) There's no way he could have noticed me flinch.
  • Made of Indestructium: Despite everything he put it through, Soma's coat doesn't have a single sign of wear. The others wonder how that's even possible.
  • Made of Iron: Kazuya, despite being a Badass Normal, can take a lot of physical punishment.
  • Magical Girl Warrior: Mina's roommate Chihiro belongs in an organisation of such fighters that take bounties to defeat dangerous demons. Chihiro's outfit comes with Frills of Justice and a Flaming Sword to complete the image.
  • Magitech: The Other Tatsuya is working on creating Persona-powered engines.
  • Masquerade: Soma does his best to keep it, hence why he is limited in the use of his powers. Arikado works for an agency that's entirely dedicated to this.
  • Mirror World: Soma can access it with his Paranoia soul. There, people appear as paintings, so Soma usually uses it to find a quiet place to sit, but then he and Mina start to experiment with its limits. Eventually they find out that Soma can access it from any surface with reflective properties. If it's semi transparent (like windows or water), Soma can retrieve objects from inside, and pass through those surfaces.
  • Missing Reflection: As usual, vampires. This includes Arikado. However, in an interesting twist of this trope, vampires do appear in double reflections, and the same principle applies for photographs.
  • Monsters Anonymous: The cast eventually decides to start a support group for people involved in supernatural matters called "Supernatural Support Society". They even compare it to Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • Monster Roommate: Soma, Naoki and Kazuya are rooming together, and they all pretend to be normal when they're in fact each other's monster. And then it turns out that almost everyone on campus is this trope.
  • Mood Whiplash: The mood is all tense when everyone contemplates the consequences of Soma turning into a vampire, and then it gets even worse when Soma realizes he put a demon, a demon summoner and a dhampir in the same room... And then Leon spots Arikado, happily calls him Adrian and goes in full-blown family reunion mode. Naoki is gobsmacked.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Discussed. Mina's response to Soma complaining how hard it is to swim in his coat is to take it all off.
    Mina: Go kill monsters wet and shirtless. Fulfill some fangirl's dream. And take pictures while you're at it.
    Soma: If you want to see shirtless guys, Naoki's always up for it.
  • The Multiverse: Courtesy of the SMT involvement. There is:
    • The world where the fic happens, implied to be a modified version of the Persona timeline (courtesy of Naoki). Characters refer to it as "This Side".
    • The "Other Side", a.k.a. the Innocent Sin reality.
    • The world where SMT I and SMT II happened. It diverged from the events of the Other Side.
    • Naoki's world of origin. Unknown where exactly he came for, but the Cosmic Retcon he pulled screwed up the timeline royally.
    • The world where SMT IV takes place.
  • Mundane Utility: The whole point is that Soma - and several other characters - use their supernatural abilities for mundane tasks, most usually to save money. Despite the fic being named after a different trope, most of the alternate uses belong here, not there.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Naoki is very scrawny, but he can pin on the floor people three times his size, much to everyone's confusion. Makes more sense when you find out he has Super-Strength of magic origins.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • When the Belmont clan became rich enough to afford a house with two stories, they specifically asked the builders not to install stairs but platforms. They even made a rite of passage out of getting to the second floor without help. The stairs are quite infamous among those who played the NES games.
    • According to Word of God, the "Belmonts never whip their horses" thing references the opening scene in Rondo of Blood, where Richter never whipped the horses on his carriage.
    • There's an online fantasy MMORPG called "Eternal Punishment Online". This is not only a reference to the titular Persona 2 game, but also to Persona 3, that had a game called "Innocent Sin Online", and the former game is strongly implied to be the sequel. As it happens, many members of the cast play this game, and Kazuya is trying to hack it, but it never affects the plot.
    • Kazuya says that the Devil Summoning Program is very hard to crack because it's littered with Black Boxes. That's the exact same problem that the crew of the Red Sprite ran into.
    • Kazuya explains that the Demon Summoning Program works by replicating rituals. This is exactly how the program worked in the original Digital Devil Story book.
    • Naoki discovered his weakness against earth magic and guns when he fought against a cannibal tribe with powers similar to his own.
    • Naoki has a subscription to Ayakashi Monthly.
    • A family friend suggested that Katsuya should be called "Big Suou", Tatsuya "Little Suou", and Kazuya "Tiny Suou". Ulala Serizawa used the former two nicknames in Eternal Punishment, though she never appears in the fic.
    • Kazuya says that his only famous relative was magically generated by rumours. That's a reference to the Ancestral Personas quest in Eternal Punishment, where you spread rumours about the existence of some people in an old tale, and one is related to Tatsuya and Katsuya.
  • Nerves of Steel: Yu's defining trait. Yosuke goes as far as to call them "nerves of titanium".
  • Nice Guy: Leon's defining trait is how kind he is. Even when he's trying to ditch people he feels bad for doing it.
  • No-Sell:
    • Leon is unaffected by anything Holy. That can occasionally backfire, as they want it to happen.
    • Naoki is immune to every element and melee attack type from his game except Almighty. However, this means he is affected by elements not present in his game. He makes sure to keep a list of those.
    • The Suou brothers are not only immune to fire, but any kind of heat.
    • Soma can move in stopped time.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Once Soma was abducted by a cult that wanted to revive Dracula via "discount virgin blood". Apparently Soma learned a lot more about female anatomy that he ever wanted to know. The incident is fully described in the titular one-shot.
    • Naoki apparently can't keep a job to save his life.
    • Naoki knows where Daisuke sleeps... somehow. He tells Soma he doesn't want to know.
    • Soma gets kidnapped by cults all the time, but we only see a few select instances.
    • Just like in the games, the final battle of 1999 against Dracula.
    • How Kazuya and Naoki discovered each other's Secret Identities. Apparently there were many Cryptic Conversations between the two of them.
    • The story of how Soma's parents met and eventually moved to Japan involves debt collectors, the Mafia, and aliens. One has to wonder what kind of people they are.
    • Apparently, in their effort to take over the world, Cyber Hell uses robot cows of all things. And there's no further explanation than this.
    • One weekend outing of Naoki and Kazuya resulted in Kazuya shooting a pigeon on top of a building with a machine rifle from ground level, while drunk.
      Soma: I should probably ask you guys what you get up to on the weekends.
    • Naoki gets into a lot of drunken fights over the weekends, and he only mentions them in passing.
    • Naoki has fought against the Embryon Tribe. How exactly he ended up in the Junkyard, how he left, why they fought, and any other details are a complete mystery.
    • That guy named Stanley from Leon and Dracula's old knight company did something to have Leon royally pissed off at him. We never find out what.
    • How the events of SMT II are treated In-Universe. Hijiri just said that "he killed God" and did not elaborate further.
    • There was a minor scandal involving Richter's grandson, ten buckets of machine lubricant, and a petticoat factory.
    • There's also an entry on "Top 100 Stupidest Bets of the 20th Century", featuring Lara Belmont, an ordinary bullwhip, a copy of "Indiana Jones and the Raider of the Lost Ark", and every chandelier in the opera house of Paris.
  • Not So Above It All:
    • You'd think that Mina would be the reasonable one, but she gets in on the experiments from the get-go and even comes up with experiments on her own.
    • And afterwards Julius gets involved. He's nearing his sixties and he lets some college kids carry out dangerous experiments in his bathtub.
    • Leon Belmont, who is probably the nicest and most polite person in the story, likes cage wrestling matches.
    • Dracula and Death - especially Dracula - were hardcore gamers.
    • Not even Arikado is above making stupid bets.
    • Arikado is also a hardcore Pokémon fan.
  • Number of the Beast: Kazuya is trying to program something so it has exactly 666 lines of code.
  • Official Couple:
    • Naoki's girlfriend is the "super-pixie" from his game.
    • Kazuya and Aoi (the Heroine) married and had kids in the original timeline. They maintain their relationship when they find each other in the new one.
    • Tatsuya Suou and Jun Kurosu. They never come out to mention it themselves, but Naoki says that he once got into a fight with Kazuya's cousin's boyfriend, who uses Wind magic.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome:
    • A cult once tried to hold a ritual to revive Dracula in Julius's apartment building. The result is obvious.
    • Soma taking down a giant robot in under five minutes.
  • Older Than They Look:
    • Mina comments how obvious it is that Arikado is Really 700 Years Old, as he hasn't aged at all in the ten years she knows him.
    • Leon looks like a young man, but he died at a ripe old age and then stuck around for centuries. Then again, he's a ghost.
    • Kazuya is about 18 years old physically, but his mind is in his 60+ years. This puts quite a damper to his social life, as he doesn't think of the elders as "older than him" - thus coming off as very rude - and he doesn't date because he finds himself thinking that he's "old enough to be their father".
  • One-Steve Limit:
    • The author tries not only to avoid duplicate names, but to even avoid names starting with the same letter. They had a limited success with the latter.
    • The fact that Katsuya and Kazuya have very similar names is explained as both being named after their common grandfather.
    • Double Subverted with the Sumaru City denizens, who have same names due to being alternate counterparts, but are using nicknames to differentiate.
  • Open Secret: Hammer doesn't put that much effort in keeping his real business secret, and Soma with Mina don't even try. Case and point, Daisuke heard about Hammer's real business from a completely unrelated party.
  • Original Character: Plenty of them.
    • Daisuke Higawa. The author said that they preferred making an OC rather than use an established character from a Giant Robot series so it wouldn't mess with the plot.
    • Extending from the above, the other members of FALCON (the mech pilot unit).
    • The spies from Arikado's Agency.
    • The Magical Girl Warrior group. Chihiro is the only named member.
    • Soma and Julius's family members and ancestors (other than the playable ones). They're implied to exist in canon, but the games never give us things like the names of Leon's children, living relatives or information on Soma's parents.
    • The Portuguese Mafia. There are only two named members.
    • The modern-day descendants of the cast of the novel Dracula. They temporarily call themselves "The Team", but hold a vote over whether they'll be called "Shadow Knights" or "New Crusaders" Unlike most other groups, all of them are named from the get-go.their names
  • Our Ghosts Are Different:
    • Leon Belmont is the king of this trope, even In-Universe. He managed to stick around for almost a millennia with his sanity intact, and instead of being repulsed by Holy Magic, he emits it. He also became a ghost due to a ritual he did several years before he died, instead of sticking around out of regrets or whatever, he can travel around as he likes, and can move objects to an unknown degree.
    • In light of the above, the cast discusses the several different types of ghosts they have encountered.
    • Minato Arisato describes himself as a mind projection, but he can still interact with the world around him.
  • Outside-Context Problem: There was absolutely no indication that giant robots were a thing until Daisuke attacked Soma with a mech.
  • Photographic Memory: This Side's Tatsuya Suou can recall entire conversations in perfect detail, no matter how long ago they happened.
  • Pie in the Face: Used as an exorcism method. It's due to their magical nature doing things that regular pies don't. Specifically, being made of dark magic, exorcising holy spirits from the pied object.
  • Playing with Fire:
    • By his own admission, Soma has way too many souls that let him set things on fire.
    • The Suou brothers have this as their trademark.
    • Mina from Yoko how to launch fireballs. Matthew Harker can do that without training.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Arikado's Agency and FALCON clashed because they mistook each other for their respective enemies, despite both being under the government. Not helped by the fact that they're both Outside Context Problems for each other.
  • Power Perversion Potential: From Chapter 25: When Arikado finally finds out about the experiments, he interrogates Soma thoroughly on what exactly he did with them... Then, after Soma leaves, he collapses from relief that Sona didn't use them to cuddle with hot monster girls.
  • Pretty Boy: Acknowledged in-universe when Daisuke calls Arikado "very pretty".
  • Reduced to Dust: This is what happens to vampires when they die, to Soma's relief as this means the cops won't be able to find them.
  • Resign in Protest: The real reason Hammer quit the US army is because he found out about the Japan Extermination Project.
  • Questioning Title?: The What do you mean by 'Discount' Virgin's Blood? one-shot.
  • Quirky Town:
    • Turns out that most people in Soma's environment are involved in something suspicious.
    • Sumaru City is outright called weird, courtesy of the events of Persona 2. The whole doppelganger thing and the presence of demons does not help.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Barbarian Hero Simon Belmont used to work as a seamstress. Also, his bright red hair was the result of dye.
  • Reincarnation: Just like the source material, Soma is the reincarnation of Dracula, and Kazuya the reincarnation of Adam.
  • Related in the Adaptation:
    • Hammer turns out to be descended from Hector. The Innocent Devils have been passed down in the family in the form of statues, complete with magical contracts.
    • Kazuya is cousins with Tatsuya and Katsuya Suou (and his surname is also Suou). There's nothing like this in the games; Persona 2 doesn't even reference SMT I.
  • Remote Control Ruckus: In Chapter 7, Leon Belmont wanted to watch cage wrestling, but his family members had other ideas and he only couldn't contest it because he's a ghost that can't affect the physical world.
  • Required Secondary Powers:
    • Soma cannot be harmed by the souls be possesses and his own abilities, which allows him to use stuff that would be otherwise too dangerous, such as Persephone's vacuum cleaner.
    • Some of Soma's souls, like the Ghoul soul which not only allows him to eat rotten food, but it also makes it taste fresh.
    • The Suou brothers, who can control fire, are immune to fire and heat.
    • Eikichi Mishina, who can control water, is immune to drowning. This has saved his life, as his Persona activated when he almost drowned as a child.
  • Resurrection Sickness: The reason Dracula became addicted to gaming was because when he came back to life in the nineties, his body was in such a horrible shape that he was paralyzed from the waist down, could not use magic and was in absolutely horrible pain. On top of that, abducting young virgins to drink their blood was not an option because he would be detected by the Belmonts. Dracula had to heal the slow way, thus why Death introduced him to gaming, so he could spend the time while recovering.
  • The Reveal: Chapter 4 reveals that Kazuya is a Devil Summoner and Naoki is a Demon of Human Origin. It becomes Internal Reveal a few chapters later, when the two discuss this with Soma.
  • Running Gag: When Naoki explains his powers, he says that he No Sells everything except a specific list of magic types, starting with Almighty magic, Earth and Guns. However, every time he explains this, the list gets longer, and when asked how did he discover that, he replies that he got into a fight with someone who used that type of magic.
  • Schizo Tech:
    • Hector invented an electric chair during the witch hunts, along with a pedal generator to power it.
    • Juste instilled an elevator during the Renaissance.
    • "All the weak monsters didn't stand a chance against Isaac's magical anachronistic laser canon."
  • Sea Serpents: This Side's Tatsuya is introduced dragging a dead sea serpent out at the beach along with his brother.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: A very interesting case with Soma; he is hurt by holy objects because he is the reincarnation of Dracula, but only his soul is actually affected. Soma's body is that of a normal human, so if Soma is not in it, it doesn't get hurt. His body also serves as a semi-effective shield to protect Soma from holy power; his soul out of the body is much more vulnerable.
  • Searching the Stalls: In chapter 2, when Daisuke was chasing down Soma for destroying his motorcycle (which he didn't do), Soma used his powers to hide in the bathroom mirror, making Daisuke search the stalls in vain. Until he opened the one Naoki was in.
  • Second Love: Deconstructed. Leon's first wife was a Gold Digger who thought Leon would be rich because he was a Baron (too bad Leon was broke), and the second abandoned him because "he loved that whip more than he loved her".
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: Soma knows Arikado's true identity, but neither side is willing to bring up the subject. Arikado has no idea that Soma knows, but Julius does.
  • Seen It All: Soma thought that nothing could surprise him anymore. Then Daisuke dropped a mech on him. This happens to multiple characters, who all say something along the lines of "I thought after [X] happened I couldn't be surprised anymore but I was wrong".
  • Senseless Violins: Hammer points out the impracticality of this trope, but Eikichi still hides his machine guns in guitar cases.
  • Serious Business: Chairs for Hector. He won the "best carved chair" competition for the annual fair ten years in a row.
  • Shirtless Scene:
    • Naoki "I love walking around shirtless and I use every excuse I can to do so" Kashima.
    • The scene with Soma experimenting with the vampire's inability to appear in mirrors has him putting on and removing clothes of all kinds... And he accidentally walked out of the bathroom naked.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Small Name, Big Ego: The vampire who attacks Soma introduces herself as "Lady Ruth, Bloodstained Princess, Witch of the Night and his new mistress". She's just a recently turned English teacher who doesn't even know how her powers work.
  • Spotting the Thread: After Soma narrowly avoided being killed by one of Mina's roommates, he tried to look into every weird thread in his college to ensure that this never happens again. It doesn't work, as one of the people he was investigating ends up kidnapping him for unrelated reasons.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Kazuya can appear out of nowhere.
  • Suddenly Shouting: Chapter 2 has a lot of angry people.
  • Suspicious Spending: Defied. Soma has the power to create money when injured, but only in American pennies. As his roommate Kazuya points out, even if he knew where to exchange money, large amounts of money is suspicious for a teenager, large amounts of American currency is even more suspicious for someone living in Japan, and pennies are just odd. It's no longer an issue when Soma's American friend Hammer volunteers to exchange the money (presumably in America, possibly claiming it's from tips), but Kazuya adds that while they'll eat better and have money stashed for emergencies, someone's bound to notice if a bunch of starving students buy a game console.
  • Take That!: Unknown if that was the intention of the author, but after a kidnapping attempt, Soma describes himself as "more drugged than an Olympic athlete".
  • Team Mom: Soma and Naoki treat Kazuya as this, especially since he manages their funds and keeps reminding them to properly take care of themselves. They even call him "mom" sarcastically.
  • Technical Pacifist: Soma refuses to use his powers to fight or harm normal people, but using them for any other purpose is fair game.
  • Terrible Artist: Leon's diary does have drawings, but they're terrible. His poems are also very bad.
  • That One Boss: Implied In-Universe. Kazuya considers killing a skeleton in a closet and stealing his violin to be his greatest achievement. Naoki's response is to take the same sentence and replace "skeleton" with "skeletons", "closet" with "desert" and "violin" with "candle holders". Anyone familiar with the games will realise they're talking about the Fiends. Also, this is coming from the guys who took out Archangels and gods. Naoki even openly admits he has developed a phobia for Matadors.
  • There Are No Therapists: Well, there are, but not any that won't immediately assume that patients complaining about the supernatural aren't batshit insane. Once the SSS (Supernatural Support Society) discovers that their impromptu group therapy sessions actually feel good, Yu Narukami decides to actually become a therapist, which inspires several people to become healthcare professionals for the supernatural.
  • This Is Going to Suck: When Soma is temporarily turned into a vampire, Arikado announces that they'll test what he's weak to to figure out what kind of vampire he became.
    Soma: (resigned) This is going to hurt.
  • This Is Reality:
    • Digital archives don't come out of nowhere; someone has to sit down and transcribe them, and it's long and boring work. On top of that, the archiver needs to have a certain set of skills to be effective, and the archives need to be accessible to any users. Which is why Julius ropes Soma and Mina into helping him digitalise Leon's diaries, which are written in Latin, as they two took it as an optional course in college.
    • The only reason the Belmont surname carried as long as it did was because men who married in the clan were forced to take up the surname, if there were no male heirs. For instance, Simon Belmont had only daughters.
    • Mina to Soma's plan to let his body sleep while he's studying in ghost form: "Your mind needs to rest as much as your body does. If you spent all of tonight studying, you'd still have to go to class the next day. You'd have over thirty hours of nonstop stimulation." Sure enough, Soma crashes.
    • Leon's bad spelling is because in his era there simply wasn't a standard spelling to begin with. Leon did exactly what most Europeans with any hint of education did and used Funetik Aksent in his writing.
    • Kazuya points out that while they can generate money, they can't spend too much of it at once - or even carry it - because people are going to wonder where they're getting the money from. In addition, said money comes in American pennies, which means they'll have to exchange it, creating even more problems. They can only exchanged it through Hammer, as anywhere else they'd get asked where they got so much foreign currency.
  • Time Stands Still:
    • One of Soma's abilities.
    • The effect of the Dark Hour.
  • Time Travel: Both Kazuya and Naoki, along with several other people (such as the Persona 2 cast or Hammer) ended up being displaced in time for some reason. Naoki theorises that it was his fault because of the Cosmic Retcon he pulled at the end of Nocturne.
  • Too Much Information:
    • Kazuya's response when Daisuke asks him why he is programming in the toilet.
      Kazuya: Well, I've been constipated for the past few da-
      Daisuke: Never mind.
      Kazuya: And for some reason, chocolate lubricates my-
      Daisuke: DON'T WANT TO KNOW!
    • Namedropped by a mafia member when Soma informs them that his parents have already sold their kidneys.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Mina is training in how to use offensive magic and guns, so she never ends up being useless, or worse, a Damsel in Distress.
  • Totally Trusting Love Interest: In Chapter 16, when questioning the Contrived Coincidence start of the source work Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, where couple-in-denial Soma and Mina met up in a specific location at the specific time needed to start the plot, Soma asks Mina if their not-a-date was a lure, and she denies it:
    Mina shook her head. "I had no idea that there was a plan at all, Soma. I asked you because, well, I wanted to see the eclipse with you, and the shrine was the best place."
    "I believe you," said Soma, breaking the grand tradition of romance movies where the main couple always has a falling out that ends with them falling in love with each other once more.
  • Undead Tax Exemption: Averted with Arikado, who runs into trouble with banks and drivers licenses.
  • Unexpected Character: In-Universe. Nobody expected Leon Belmont to be around. Soma chokes when he sees him, and Julius with Mina spend a lot of time trying to make sure it's really him.
  • Unfazed Everyman: Subverted. At first it appears that everyone is this - especially Kazuya and Yu - but it turns out they all dealt with a lot of bullshit before, so they're mostly cases of Dissonant Serenity.
  • Unrequited Love: A platonic variant. Leon loves all his descendants, but some of them don't care because he's a ghost.
  • The Unreveal:
    • At one point there's a document with Hammer's real name written on it. Hammer takes one look at it and confirms that yes, that's his real name and that nobody calls him that. We don't learn what his name is. Until a later chapter reveals it's Mark Colin Hamilton.
    • When Soma gets kidnap by the Portuguese Mafia due to his father's debt, he asks how much money it is out of curiosity. The sum is apparently huge, but we never learn the number.
  • Unusual Euphemism: "Discount" Virgin's Blood means blood from menstruation.
  • Vampire Bites Suck: Soma takes full advantage of this to pay back Naoki for breaking his arm.
  • Vampiric Draining:
    • The Succubus soul allows Soma to drink blood in order to heal his wounds. He prefers it for fights.
    • How the Vampire Killer functions; it drains the life out of anything that touches it, including the wielder, unless said wielder fulfills specific criteria.
  • Vampire Variety Pack: As noted in Chapter 15, There are several different kinds of vampires, each with different weaknesses and quirks of behavior.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: That's the impression that Daisuke gets out of Soma and Julius, especially after he figures out that Julius set Soma on fire.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifter:
    • Vampires in general are capable of turning into at least one of the following: bats, wolves, cats, toads, mist and rats.
    • Soma can turn into a bat because he Dominated the souls of Giant Bat and Bat Company. When he's temporarily turned into a vampire, he can do it without the souls and can also turn into a cat and mist.
    • Dracula could transform into mist, a wolf, a bat, and several other demonic forms.
    • Kazuya's pet Pascal can chose between his dog form and Cerberus form at will.
  • What the Hell Are You?:
    • Said word for word when Hikaru (one of the Agency's spies) tries to stab Naoki, only for him to No-Sell it.
    • Daisuke silently ponders this about Soma when the latter shrugged off a Super-Strength level punch.
  • Weapon-Based Characterization: A bit subtle, but there.
    • Soma is only seen using swords (magic not withstanding), though that's partially because Hammer refuses to sell him guns. However, he's never seen using the other melee weapons he had in his games, like spears. Except for Death's Scythe.
    • Mina and Leon have a preference to the Whip-sword.
    • The Belmont Clan uses whips as usual.
    • Soma says that Kazuya prefers swords to guns, but he is only ever seen using guns and the violin he stole from David.
  • Where Are They Now: For a good chunk of the Persona 2 cast. From This Side, Katsuya and Tatsuya are both cops who take care of the supernatural problems, Lisa continues her music career, Maya is still a journalist, and Eikichi has taken over his dad's sushi restaurant. From the Other Side, Tatsuya, Eikichi and Jun are all on unspecified courses in college, Lisa studies to be a translator while working as a stunt-woman, and Katsuya decided to Pursue the Dream Job and open a bakery.
  • Who's on First?: Soma once overheard a conversation between Yosuke and Yu, and he thought Yosuke was calling the other guy "you" instead of his name.
  • Willing Suspension of Disbelief: Kazuya says that Soma is seriously pushing it after being told the exact circumstances behind his birth.explanation
  • You Do NOT Want To Know:
    • Namedropped by Naoki when he mentions that he knows where Daisuke sleeps.
    • When Soma asks Daisuke why he has shovels in his trunk, Daisuke asks him if he really wants to know.
  • You Remind Me of X:
    • Naoki's glares remind Soma of Death's, as they both are devoid of all human emotion (though in Naoki's case, it's only when he's angry).
    • Hijiri reminds Soma of Arikado in that he can see through every single one of his lies.

    Supernatural Support Society 

    A Game of Cat and Cat 
  • Accent Interest: Played for Laughs. Soma and Doctor Dude are incredibly interested in Leon Belmont's accent—specifically, why the hell a French knight speaks English with a Southern US accent (it's because he learned English in Texas). At first, Doctor Dude thinks that Leon is the ghost of an American exchange student who pretends to be a knight to cope with his tragic death.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • Kazuya's surname is changed from "Suou" to "Kawamoto".
    • Julius reveals that Belmont is actually their clan name rather than their legal names, and his actual legal surname is Velthomer.
  • Adaptation Personality Change:
    • Naoki in the first two fics was an eager, enthusiastic, and slightly irresponsible Boisterous Bruiser. Naoki here is more subdued, pensive, and self-doubting, reluctant to get others involved in his problems.
    • Mina has much less self-confidence, with a constant desire to become a powerful fighter, while questioning if her friends trust her with dangerous situations. None of this was present in the previous versions of the fic.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: In this fic, Kazuya's surname is "Kawamoto" rather than Suou, which means that he's most likely unrelated to Tatsuya and Katsuya (unlike the previous ones). That said, there was no indication of them being related in the games either.
  • Adjective Animal Alehouse: The "Inebriated Walrus" is mentioned in Chapter 7.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: An inebriated Kazuya tries to attack some Agents. He apologizes the next morning.
  • Alliterative Name:
    • Kazuya Kawamoto, an Adaptation Name Change from Kazuya Suou.
    • The "Ultimate Chaos Crystalline Catalysis Infernal Inversion Magic" mentioned in Chapter 5.
  • The Alcoholic: Kazuya in his past life. Unfortunately, while the physical addiction didn't follow him in the new one, the mindset did.
  • Alternate Aesop Interpretation: In-universe. Mina notes that the Hakuba Shrine has an unusual perspective of the story of Amaterasu in the cave; while most agree that her hiding in the cave is a bad thing because the sun went out, her family emphasizes how Susano'o's rampage only stopped after she did so.
  • Alternate Self:
    • Kazuya one day just woke up in the body of his version from this reality. He's afraid that he doomed the Kazuya from this world to A Fate Worse Than Death or Death of Personality. The same happened to Aoi.
    • Kazuya outright states that the man who sent him the Demon Summoning Program is Stephen Hawking; or rather, an alternate version of him who was mostly focused on programming rather than astrophysics, but still a renowned scientist. The Stephen Hawking in the fic was the same as the real life one.
    • Word of God is that the Nanashi who appears in Omakes is an alternate version of the one who is to appear in the story proper. The Omake version made all the Massacre choices but chose Bonds to spite Dagda (he would have gone with Chaos, but hates Lucifer even more than Dagda).
  • Anger Born of Worry: In the third Halloween special, Matilda chews out her best friend Eleonora for taking the diplomatic route with a demon instead of fighting, but Eleonora gets her to admit that she was just worried. By the end of the chapter, the audience sees why: neither of them remember, but in their past lives, that same demon killed Leon (Eleonora), leaving Mathias (Matilda) absolutely devastated.
  • Apocalypse How: The different levels are discussed by Aoi and Naoki, when the latter asks her if by "destroyed" she means a terrible cataclysm or the literal end of days.
  • Back-Alley Doctor: Doctor Dude (not his real name) and Mr. Adams run an underground clinic. They are employed by Aoi and the Agency alike. The Yakuza is also occasionaly seen there.
  • Becoming the Costume: In the second Halloween special, Ose of the Ars Goetia (who can make people think they're animals) spices up Nergal's annual Halloween party by making people think they're their costumes.
  • Beneath Suspicion: In Chapter 11, the killer is discovered, and they look like a little girl living on the streets. Kazuya only figures out something's off with her because her breath doesn't fog when everybody else's does.
  • Berserk Button: As a survivor from a postapocalyptic wasteland, Kazuya's is wasting food. So is abandoning allies.
  • Black Comedy: Doctor Dude's office is home to many of these.
    • Aoi walking in and announcing that she healed herself without her rib while holding it out.
    • Aoi's whole gang being held hostage by a group of angry Yakuza dudes who took issue with Doctor Dude's organ harvesting, and talking about what they should do to alleviate boredom while waiting.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: A Japanese cult tried to call itself the Brotherhood of Evil, but in English. They screwed up the synonyms, so they're now the Fraternity of Naughtiness.
  • Boring, but Practical: Aoi's description of Naoki's fighting style, though she notes it only works because it's him and his Super-Strength that's behind it.
  • Brick Joke: At one point Soma thinks that watching a movie dub featuring knights and finding out the knights have Texan accents would be very jarring. Cue Leon a few chapters later doing just that.
  • Call-Back:
    • Naoki's idea of looking for Daisuke is to go beat up people in back alleys, thinking that as a street fighter he probably has a reputation. When Madame Pain calls him out for it, he says that last time he did it, it worked. That was back in his game.
    • Aoi uses teleportation magic, just like in the original SMT.
    • Leon says that he learned English in Texas.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Agent Ninja attempts to do this while trying to restrain Soma, Mina, Kazuya and Julius, but is knocked out before finishing the sentence.
  • The Cameo: Aogami and the Nahobino briefly appear to externally confirm that the Hakuba Shrine seals away the Ara Mitama of Susano'o
  • Career Not Taken: An omake shows what Agent Cowboy gave up by signing up with the agency right out of highschool, a promising and stable future, instead of his current risky government job.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • When Aoi says to her gang members that the police once arrested every female who shared her name, they are very disbelieving.
    • Doctor Dude doesn't believe Leon when he says that he's a ghost from the time of the Crusades, because human souls simply don't remain intact for that long. He assumes Leon is a young man who comes up with crazy fantasies as a form of Escapism to avoid the truth that he's dead. However, Dr. Dude starts changing his tune once Leon starts talking about his family, and his body takes the form of a very old man (presumably what he looked like on his deathbed).
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Magic requires a certain level of belief to use. According to Mina, a ritual found on the internet wouldn't be as effective as the same ritual found in a Tome of Eldritch Lore because the latter seems more authentic. Kazuya, who got the Demon Summoning Program off the internet, has no problems with internet rituals.
  • Clark Kent Outfit: Briefly mentioned when the narration states that an outsider could figured that "Soma could be secretly ripped under that shirt" if they were to witness his strength.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Aoi. During her second fight with Naoki, her strategy is to stun her opponent with lightning, shoot her guns, and stun again, leaving no room for retaliation. She loses the fight after running out of ammo against Naoki's Super-Toughness.
  • Compromising Call: Discussed. When Kazuya, Soma, Mina, and Julius flee from the Agency, they're separated. Once Mina reaches relative safety, she considers texting Soma to tell him that she's alright. She acknowledges that if they're hiding, his phone could give them away, but not telling him that she's safe could lead to some tragic misunderstandings. After weighing her options, she ends up texting him, concluding that even if the tragic miscommunication is less likely, the consequences are more dire, and Soma probably escaped faster than her.
  • Confusion Fu: Aoi's cited reason for using a whip as her main weapon is that nobody knows how to counter them.
  • Cornered Rattlesnake: Soma mentions this by name after he, Mina, Kazuya, and Julius are surrounded by Agents. He notices that Kazuya, the most aggressive of the group, is terrified, and realizes that he thinks they need to fight their way out. So Soma grabs Kazuya and runs.
  • Crossover: On top of the games previously involved, there's now the addition of Digital Devil Saga, Catherine, and Persona 5.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: While escaping from the secret agents, Soma orders Kazuya to stop thrashing with this line:
    Soma: If you don't pipe down and stop squirming this instant, I swear to God I'll shove a spear so far up your ass it'll come out of your goddamn mouth.
  • Cutting the Knot: Discussed. While the Belmont clan generally encourages this approach, Julius tells potential apprentices to refrain during his tests because it can interfere with his ability to assess their skills.
    Julius: And before you think of any clever solutions, keep in mind that this is a test of your skill, not of your ability to find loopholes.
  • Darker and Edgier: The original fic was just Soma and his friends screwing around with their powers. This fic starts with a missing persons case that may or may not be the work of a serial killer.
  • Dead Guy Junior: From the "A Cozy Evening Indoors" Epigraph, One of Leon's granddaughters was named Mattea, presumably after his old friend Mattias who went on to become Dracula.
  • De-aged in Death: Leon once again died of old age and appears to be in his twenties, but when talking about his family his appearance shifts to that of an old man.
  • Deconstruction: Of the standard wish fulfilment tropes associated with shonen, though the author takes care not to insult the genre. Agent Cowboy of the Agency gave up a promising and stable future at Tokyo University to join. As the author comments, he loves his job; it isn't perfect, but it isn't a monotonous nightmare either. The real cost is what he gave up for it.
  • Description Cut: Extended a little. Agent Fireball shudders at the thought of the summoner's plans for evil. Cut to Soma and Mina (not the summoners) making s'mores and talking... and then finding Kazuya (the summoner) playing with his demon dog.
  • Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: In a Halloween extra, Vincent Brooks and Teddie are drinking buddies with Lucifer. They're arguably Cthulhus themselves, since this Vincent became Lord of the Netherworld, and Teddie is a sentient Shadow.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Madama Pain and her gang being kind of bored and awkward while held hostage by a group of extremely angry Yakuza thugs who took issue with Doctor Dude's organ harvesting borders on Black Comedy; especially once they start talking about what magazines they can read.
  • Dramatic Irony: Yoko and the Agency think that the Serial Killer is a demon summoner who controls Fleurity as one of their demons. Thing is, the demon summoner in question in Kazuya, who is not the killer but a completely unrelated third party. It gets even more ironic when Yoko, only knowing that Kazuya is involved in the supernatural and friends with Soma and Mina, tells them that the serial killer is a demon summoner and shows them footage of Fleurity doing errands as proof.
  • The Dreaded: Demons summoners are this to the Agency, because the remote nature of their abilities makes them difficult to find.
  • Due to the Dead: Discussed. According to Aoi, the Culture Clash between Messians and Gaians extended to their funerals. Gaians advocated for harmony with demons, and fed the corpse to demons after their rites, which Messians found sacrilegious. Messians prevented demons from eating their corpses by burning and burying their dead, a custom which Gaians thought overly sensitive. Aoi herself doesn't like Gaian funeral customs, but at least understands why they have them—which is why she finds it distasteful when the killer leaves a dead body out in the open without even using it.
  • Eldritch Location: In Chapter 9, the phrase "eldritch location" is mentioned as an example of non-Castlevania-specific phenomenon.
  • Eloquent in My Native Tongue: Occasionally Julius has trouble with Japanese; for example he ends up calling the Crimson Stone "Red Rock" because he doesn't know how to correctly portray how imposing the name actually is. Of course, Soma immedietely lampshades how underwhelming a name "red rock" is, and Julius repeats the name in Latin asking him if that would mean anything to him and Mina.
  • Embarrassing Nickname:
    • Aoi is called Madam Pain because she accidentally told an English-speaking doctor her name under anesthesia, and he mistook her name for the childish expression of pain, "Owie". He called her Madam Pain from then on, but didn't explain why to anyone but her. Most people assume it's because of the whip.
    • As payback, Aoi stuck said doctor with the nickname "Doctor Dude".
  • Exact Words:
    • Fleurety employs this to jab back at Kazuya. For example, he takes the order for a bowl of jambalaya as an order for a bowl made out of jambalaya.
    • In an omake, Lucifer appeared before Naoki to answer a single question. After watching him squirm and debate with his demons over what question to ask, Lucifer's nurse clarifies that the question has already been decided: Naoki woke up shirtless because Lucifer liked looking at his abs.
  • Failed a Spot Check: After a panicked and tired Soma, Mina, and Kazuya return to the dorms to discuss the Agency hunting the murderer and demon summoners, they realize that they didn't check if Naoki is asleep in there. He is very much awake.
  • Feet-First Introduction: In the second chapter, Naoki identifies his roommates by their footsteps. Soma is wearing old and expensive, but practical boots. Kazuya is wearing equally expensive hiking boots, but walks surprisingly stealthily. And then Naoki realizes that his third roommate is missing when he can't remember what Daisuke's boots sound like.
  • Frivolous Summoning: Kazuya summons demons to make them do basic domestic chores, like cleaning or shopping. The different demons have different opinions on this; some like the work, while others take Exact Words to the next level to get back at him.
  • Foreshadowing: A gang leader refuses to reveal her real name to her subordinates, claiming that the last time she did, the cops were so afraid of her that they arrested everyone who shared her name, even little girls and old women. This happened to the Heroine of Shin Megami Tensei I.
  • Future Imperfect:
    • An extra reveals that King Aquila's legendary feats were actually the plots of LARP events.
    • Another extra shows that the Messians misunderstood Communion, and considers all forms of bread and alcohol to be the body and blood of Jesus. Including twinkies and beer.
  • Future Slang: Kazuya and Aoi sometimes indulge in Nadsat, to the confusion of the rest of the cast. Kazuya mixes this with Totally Radical slang from the 70s and 80s to show that his 90s slang is over forty years out of date.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Discussed by Aoi. According to her, the Messians classify three types of hybrid, depending on what made them part demon. Nephilim are born part demon and part human (as a form of Brand Name Takeover), Demonoids are humans who underwent a Fusion Dance with a demon, and Vectors are humans who were killed by Vectors and came back as one. The Messians are open to more possibilities, and there was a debate over whether ghosts count as Vectors because humans killed by ghosts can come back as ghosts.
  • Halloween Episode: The yearly Halloween specials: Chapter 3 for 2018, 6 for 2019, 9 notes that 2020 was missed, 10 for 2021 (appearing on Archive of Our Own as a standalone piece), 12 for 2022.
    • The first special shows how Yoko befriended the three Jack Bros. as a child, and their annual Halloween visits.
    • The second special shows the cast attending a Halloween party at Vincent Brooks's castle in the Netherworld. A spell goes wrong and Vincent has to wrangle them all.
    • The third special tells a Mikado ghost story centuries after the events of Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse, both the story itself and the events that inspired it. Specifically, Nanashi doing something different during the game.
    • The fourth special shows Soma as a child going trick-or-treating, and his first encounter with the supernatural.
    • The fifth depicts Dracula facing generations of Belmonts through the ages, becoming increasingly incomprehensible due to Language Drift.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Agent Peony in Chapter 7 calls herself useless, because in combat her pacifistic stance isn't useful, but it turns out that she managed to do something right, saving her team from disaster:
    "I already took them…" Agent Peony said in a small voice, holding up a few small vials.
  • Hidden Depths: Dario Bossi speaks seven languages, including Italian, English, and Russian.
    Dario: I speak seven languages! You think you can be an international serial arsonist if you only know Italian?!
  • Human Resources: Doctor Dude has a habit of taking the apendixes of living people (yes, even if they're healthy), and all the organs from the dead ones. It's unclear why he does it, but at one point he states his belief that the human body is nothing more than a bag of meat after the spirit has departed.
  • Human Sacrifice: Why the Agency considers demon summoning a crime. Due to outdated information, they think sacrifice is a requirement, so anyone who summons is guilty of murder. The thing is, they're not exactly wrong - it's very difficult to generate enough Magnetite to summon demons, and killing humans expedites the process considerably. An omake mentions Kyouji Kuzunoha commenting to Tamaki Uchida that the Kuzunoha summoners were recruited into the Japanese Imperial Army during WWII, and were forced by their commanders to feed enemy soldiers, not all of them dead, to their demons, to keep them anchored long enough to be used in the battlefield. Kyouji bitterly explains that's where the Agency got their records on demon summoning, which is why he makes a point to detail Tamaki why it's a terrible idea to use her demon-summoning abilities in front of anyone connected to the Agency.
  • Idiosyncratic Ratings Scale: The scale of "raw physical prowess" - something that normally can be measured with numbers - is explained in terms of "look how many pull-ups I can do!" to "you can punch a kilogram of ice to the temperature of the sun's surface, providing physics don't get in the way". Naoki falls at the high end of that scale, while Soma falls somewhere between "maybe he's ripped under that shirt" and "I'm willing to believe vampires are real if it can explain this".
  • If We Survive This: Subverted in that it happened in a flashback and the characters actually survive; during the Conception, Hijiri convinced Naoki to exchange phone numbers, even though there were no cellphone towers in the Vortex World they're in. Naoki was extremely doubtful that they would manage to go to a world or return the world in a state where they can actually call each other. In the current time, they manage to get through with the promise, but Naoki is extremely hesitant to call Hijiri because he doesn't want him to get involved in dangerous things again.
  • Info Dump:
    • Aoi to Naoki. Lampshaded when Naoki thinks that she loves the sound of her own voice, but still told him in one conversation more than Miss Takao ever told him.
    • Julius complains about Leon's tendency to write down EVERYTHING about random subjects in his hunting journal, like the process of shoemaking in a particular region or the exact geological characteristics of a location, to the point that the descriptions overtake the actual events he's writing about.
  • Internal Deconstruction: In Not the intended use, Soma and co. could use their powers with no consequences, and the Agency either tolerated their antics or were oblivious. Here, Kazuya summoning Fleurety to do his chores results in the Agency noticing and panicking.
  • I See Dead People:
    • According to Kazuya, while some ghosts are clearly visible to everyone, others require certain powers to see; since he can't see this type of ghost, he only knows they exist because demons can see them. Leon is one such ghost.
    • Soma can only see Leon when equipping certain souls.
    • For some reason, Doctor Dude can see and speak to Leon.
  • Jumped at the Call: When Soma, Mina and Kazuya see a strange flash of light at the distance, they immediately head towards it.
  • Keep the Reward: Discussed. Julius is testing candidates for a successor, evaluating both skill and character. When he is hospitalized following a derailed training exercise with candidate 149, 149 applies first aid and takes him to and from the hospital. Julius is grateful but tells her not to expect points, to which 149 basically says that if she said the points didn't matter, it would sound like she's feigning modesty to get more points. She asks him to buy her lunch instead.
  • Language Barrier:
    • Doctor Dude only knows English, even though he lives in Japan. He needs Aoi to translate for him.
    • Julius doesn't know much English, so he can't banter with Dario until Dario switches to Russian.
  • Language Drift: As noted in Chapter 8, language does change over time:
    Because obviously, real knights from the 11th century didn't speak English as anyone without a degree in history or linguistics would recognize, and weren't knights basically cowboys? And the one-size-fits-all RP accent was just as unrealistic as any other dialect that English could spit out, especially since this knight was French, and everyone knew how much the English and French hated each other.
    • An omake shows the interactions between Dracula and the Belmonts, with the vampire becoming more and more unintelligible due to this trope. At one point, he receives "help" that leads him to speak in Totally Radical lines instead.
  • Laser Blade: Naoki needs to slice bread and he has no knives. So he generates the same energy blade he uses when fighting, successfully using it to slice the bread. Unfortunately, the demonic blade also easily slices through the table.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Soma suffers from this. When he pokes too close to certain subjects, an entity within him derails his train of thought and mindwipes him. The demon souls within him know, but no longer bother trying to warn him, since the entity will simply erase Soma's memories again.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Kazuya's tunnel vision is handwaved this way. In the 2D games, objects like demons and humans could only be seen while standing on their tile, so while Kazuya can see and hear distant objects and sounds, he won't notice them unless he's paying attention.
  • Logical Weakness:
    • Naoki is strong, but his weight didn't change after becoming a demon. So he's vulnerable to Aoi's whip-based trip maneuvers.
    • Jun, Lisa, and Eikichi are athletic individuals with special powers, but none of them can outrun Soma on a dark, forested mountain. Jun is fast and can fly, but can't see in the dark and tires easily in the air. Lisa is only a little slower and can sense the earth, but can't see the trees. And Eikichi can see in the dark, but isn't fast or agile enough to sprint down a mountain. Meanwhile, the agile Soma can see in the dark.
  • Manipulative Bastard: An excerpt from Leon's diary argues against this trope, feeling that either people are too unpredictable to fall into the exact role the manipulator expects, and the betrayal isn't worth it when the manipulator knows their target well enough to know their responses.
  • Mark of the Beast:
    • Naoki has notably lost his, but in one chapter he decides to recreate them with black paint as part of a disguise (taking advice from Going Postal that people whill only remember a particularly distinguishing trait instead of all the other details).
    • Agent Fireball - aka Heat - still has his Atma brand on his arm.
  • Meaningful Name: When Naoki tries to find a nickname to use in Aoi's gang, she tells him that a good start is to pick a syllable from his name and work from there. He ends up having to choose between Shi (death), and Ki (Oni). He settles on the latter.
  • Mesodiplosis:
    • "Your Daily Public Service Announcement Against Underage Drinking, or, Don't Drink and Dash": Listing out the details needed to solidify for a good alibi, with the list items connected by Epiphora, Mesodiplosis, and Anaphora:
      "But we still need to get our story straight. How did we get there, why were we there, what were we drinking, what was the name of the—"
    • "Another Chapter of Just Talking": Connecting a sequence of questions with Anaphora of "Where" and Mesodiplosis "you".
      "Where are you from? Where did you learn to fight?"
    • "Prelude to Pandemonium": Should have-s, but didn't's are listed:
      It should have worked. He should have been impressed.
  • Mundane Luxury:
    • After surviving for months in the Vortex World, Naoki finds great pleasure in the humble sandwich.
    • Julius considers safe sleep to be the greatest luxury offered by a hotel.
    • Leon cries when given a piece of cinnamon toast, since as a ghost, he hadn't eaten anything in almost a thousand years.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Kazuya summoning a demon to get his money back from an internet scammer is not this. Packing the demon's contract with chores and demands for coffee and food, however, is.
    • Naoki's Magatama grant him elemental strengths and weaknesses, so he uses one strong against ice to help him with the winter cold. He also uses his laser sword ability to cut bread.
    • Aoi and her gang use buffs and debuffs during spars, maximizing their defense and minimizing their attack, so they can go all out without seriously hurting each other.
  • Murder Into Malevolence: According to legend, the Ghost of Mikado Castle was once an innocent boy from an enemy city who tried to follow his adopted mother to her homeland, but was caught and executed. He rose from the dead and killed the Samurai indiscriminately until his body was sealed in a well. In truth, the boy was Nanashi, an immortal demon hunter who already despised Mikado. He allowed himself to be caught so he could enact a sabotage operation disguised as a haunting.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Resonance, the Persona ability to sense another person's Persona use, returns. It can pick up Soma's use of spells, which makes sense considering they're soul-based.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In Supernatural Support Society, Jun Kurosu was a secret agent with the codename of Agent Lily. He retains that codename as a member of the Agency.
    • After summoning Fleurety, Kazuya eats rice, fish, and fudge cake. In Not the intended use, Soma's first use of the Ghoul soul was to eat those rotten food items.
    • Chapter 2 mentions a vampire English teacher. That's Ruth Byron from Not the intended use.
    • At one point, Soma talks in his sleep about a guy named Stanley. Stanley was a member of Leon and Dracula's company in Not the intended use.
    • In an omake, King Aquila hosts a country-wide festival of games, and jokingly bans someone for being too tall. This is an alignment question in Shin Megami Tensei IV; banning someone who is too tall is Lawful, and allowing them is Chaotic.
    • Agni says that his two hosts before Darius both died too young to let him see the world.
    • Valkyrie declines returning to Valhalla because she heard rumours that Odin is getting involved in another war.
    • Kali says that one of Soma and Dracula's past incarnation was named Gabriel.
  • Named by the Adaptation: The SMTI Chaos Hero's name is Takeshi Fudo.
  • No Kill like Overkill: Naoki tends to waste his power in food of all things, from slicing bread with the demonic blade he uses when casting Deadly Fury, to wondering if he can use Magma Axis to prepare a panini.
  • No-Sell: Jun is unaffected by time stops. Justified because his Persona is Chronos.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • The rookie Agents frequently refer to escapades that they can't prove happened, such as the flying robot shark incident.
    • Leon's diary entries also allude to hunts gone wrong.
    • Soma has some history with the Phantom Thieves. Apparently they helped him out with something, but he adamantly refuses to share more details.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: Years ago, a farmer fished a comatose, amnesiac young man from a river, and hid him from the very suspicious people who asked about him. The farmer then took the young man to a hospital under a false name, and after the young man woke up, urged him to flee the country. This young man was Julius Belmont, and the suspicious people were his backup. As a result of this farmer's courage, Julius spent over thirty years as a homeless vagabond.
  • Not So Above It All: One Halloween chapter shows that if given the chance, Dracula will pig out on candy.
  • One-Steve Limit: Discussed in an Omake. The Hunter Association requires all Hunters to use unique names with no honorifics, to prevent confusion in the midst of battle.
    • Out of universe, Agent Peony was originally named Agent Violet, until Persona 5 Royal came out with a Phantom Thief with a codename of Violet.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname:
    • Doctor Dude is known as that - Doctor Dude. Madame Pain stuck him with this nickname as revenge for her nickname. An omake implies that he is Heat O'Brien.
    • The Agents are only referred to by their handles (for example Agent Fireball). The only exceptions are Eikichi, Lisa, and Jun.
    • The members of Madame Pain's gang use nicknames to refer to each other.
  • Original Character:
    • Daisuke makes his return from the previous fics, though he hasn't had an "on-screen" appearance yet.
    • Most of the secret agents, like Agent Ninja or Agent Peony.
  • Paranormal Gambling Advantage: Agent Lily (aka Jun Kurosu) cheats at cards using his Persona.
  • Past-Life Memories: The first half of the third Halloween special shows a set of five Prentice Samurai discussing a ghost story, and the second half shows their past lives dealing with said ghosts:
    • Four of them are also reincarnations of Castlevania: Lament of Innocence characters. Even though none of them consciously remember their past lives, some echoes remain.
    • Elizabeth can't handle watching executions, since as Lisa, she was executed for witchcraft.
    • Upon killing the undead Nanashi, the former vampire hunter Leon names some methods of disposing of a vampire. He also demonstrates some platforming skills strange for a Samurai, but par for the course for a Castlevania hero.
    • After Eleonora tries negotiating with the ghost, it leaves peacefully, but Matilda freaks out and starts yelling at Eleonora about how dangerous that was. The ghost killed Leon, leaving Mathias absolutely devastated.
  • Period Piece, Modern Language: In A Game of Cat and Cat, Soma thinks to himself that a medieval movie where all the characters speak with modern accents (say Texan) instead of Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe would sound very jarring. A few chapters later, Leon, a ghost who was a Franc Crusader, reveals that he speaks modern English with an Texan accent.
  • Pet the Dog: Soma often chats with the demons he's absorbed and keeps cordial relations with most of them. At one point, it turns out that while most of them willingly continue their service from Dracula's time, at least a Valkyrie wasn't supposed to be, having been summoned to Castlevania with the task of ferrying the souls of the heroes to Valhalla in the case of their deaths on Odin's orders, and expresses a wish to return home. Soma immediately offers to have her exorcized and sent back. The Valkyrie thanks him for the offer, but begs off for the time being since she's heard Odin's preparing for a new attempt at taking over a world and while she has no issue being sent to another war, this time it's affected by the presence of a dangerous enemy that can not only claim the souls of those he vanquishes, but even erase their memories and brainwash them into his service, and she wants to make sure she can remain herself.
  • Phoning the Phantom: When the ghostly Leon first meets Doctor Dude, the doctor is holding a broken cell phone to his ear.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Yoko defies this. The Agency hired her to help investigate a town where Soma is coincidentally attending college. Since she's a vampire hunter, Soma is Dracula's reincarnation, and they both know this, she calls him and Mina up to explain that she's there on an unrelated assignment before any conclusions can be drawn.
    Yoko: If I started hanging around your city for no reason, and made flimsy excuses when pressed for answers, you'd think I was up to something, wouldn't you?
  • Psychological Projection:
    • When Soma and Kazuya are talking about their adventures in chapter 5, Kazuya is disgusted when Soma says he left Mina behind, until Soma specifies that he left her in a safe area. Soma thinks Kazuya is suffering from survivor's guilt because he was away when a loved one died, the same way his past life Mathias was fighting in the Crusades when his wife died. However, it's implied that Kazuya is bitter because an ally abandoned him; the Chaos Hero left his friends to fend for themselves after fusing with a demon he stole from Kazuya.
    • Likewise, Soma misunderstands Kazuya's relation with his demons, since his own more intimate relation with the souls he's absorbed makes him very uncomfortable with the idea of using them as meat shields or cannon fodder. Kazuya retorts that when forming the contract, the demons know full well what they're getting into and they're remunerated for the service, or like Cerberus, are loyal enough to want to protect him with no strings attached.
  • The Queen's Latin: Averted. The Frankish knight Leon speaks modern English with a distinctly Texan accent.
  • Reincarnation: The topic is discussed quite a bit. Kazuya is convinced that a reincarnated individual is the same as their previous life due to his experience with Aoi, who retained all of her Past-Life Memories. This is in spite of him not recalling his own previous life. It's clarified however that Aoi is an exception; most people live very different lives each time and don't recall or share any traits with the previous ones. One cited example is Bhima, who was a Person of Mass Destruction with Unstoppable Rage in one life, and a Shrinking Violet child psychologist in followed. Or how one of Soma and Dracula's reincarnations was an farmer that they share no traits with.
  • Reincarnation-Identifying Trait: In the third Halloween chapter, the five Prentice Samurai discussing the ghost story in the first half are the reincarnations of five people who witnessed the events that inspired the story. The first hints to the audience are:
    • Matilda and Eleonora call each other "Mattie" and "Lili". So did Leon and Mathias.
    • The chapter starts with Stanley complaining about night patrol duty, pointing out that he and his squad of rookies can't handle a competent intruder. Three hundred years earlier, Stella complained about guard duty the same way.
    Stanley: Why are we even here?
    Stella: Why am I even here?
  • Renamed to Avoid Association: One of the Agents used the codename Agent Violet, until Persona 5 Royal came out with a new Phantom Thief with the same codename. The Agent's codename was changed to Peony.
  • Running Over the Plot: Parodied. Agent Pine was originally from a fantasy world still in its Stone Age, and was run over by the world's first truck hours after it was invented. Then a vaguely godlike entity offered her the 'traditional reward' by sending her to a new world (modern Japan, where the rest of the story takes place).
    The same day you invent the truck, you invent vehicular manslaughter.
  • Sarcastic Confession: Joker's idea of an explanation.
    "I masterminded a series of heists targeting the rich, powerful, and otherwise untouchable, effectively but not literally blackmailing them, thereby forcing them to publicly confess their crimes and betray their fellow conspirators. I'm only here because I refused to sell out my crew, and so the bigwigs we targeted can go to jail."
    The other inmates stared.
    "That was a joke. Trespassing."
  • Scare 'Em Straight: In one Halloween chapter, Matilda complains that the local ghost story comes across as a morality tale against carelessness, since the ghost only seemed to kill Samurai who neglected their duties (not counting the ill or injured).
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: Downplayed, of the 'faking a different set of supernatural phenomena with magic' variety. In the third Halloween Special, Nanashi fakes a haunting with creative use of his Resurrective Immortality.
  • Searching for the Lost Relative: In Game of Cat and Cat, it is mentioned that after Julius went missing and was discovered by a farmer, Julius' family did go to look for him, but the farmer assumed the worst (seeing that a bunch of foreigners in expensive clothes were looking for a battered comatose teenager) and led them away, resulting in Julius' family assuming he was dead for 35 years. Nervously, Soma realizes that's probably exactly why Arikado keeps detailed tabs on him.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Everyone has shades of this. One omake had some random character pointing out something disgusting, and the rest immediately get flashbacks of things they've seen that are far, far worse. In another chapter, Naoki in particular almost panics when Aoi asks him how he turned into a demon.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shoot the Dog: Discussed when Mina reveals the process of making Inugamis; you must torture the dog to the point where it leaves behind a ghost when it does, and then enshrine it and appease it with treats. She quotes a saying that the existence of Inugamis proves the existence of evil in the world.
  • Simple Solution Won't Work:
    • Once Naoki realizes that Daisuke is missing, he goes out seeking delinquents in the city who may have recently seen him, as Daisuke is known to get into fights. That is, until a gang leader points out to him that the city is too big for that to work because even though they're all delinquents, that doesn't mean they all know each other.
    • In an extra, after Kazuya discovers that Soma can see ghosts, he suggests looking for the ghosts of the serial killer's victims to track down the killers. The accomplice already closed this loophole by hiring an exorcist.
    • When Naoki asks Madame Pain's gang why they don't dye the walls of their hideout (which was used previously by a cult with a horrendous sense of decor), they reply that the room has no ventilation.
  • Spock Speak: In an omake, Naoki and Soma confront Kazuya's use of this trope. It turns out he's well aware his normal speech is borderline unintelligible, being peppered with Nadsat and the linguistic drift of decades of a timeline that no longer exists, so he uses rigid formal language to make sure he gets properly understood.
  • Spotting the Thread: Demon Summoners have a very specific style of negotiating, which is how Aoi figures out Naoki is more than just a demon, and how Naoki figures out that Kazuya is a summoner.
  • Stealth Mentor: An extra reveals that Arikado was one to Agent Pine. Pine was a runaway from a world where magic was normal and so did not know how to maintain the Masquerade. Arikado spent the next few years pursuing her; every time she made a mistake, he would 'brag' about how he used it to find her.
  • Steel Ear Drums: Averted. Aoi and Kazuya wear protective earmuffs when using guns.
  • Summon Magic: Practically everyone uses a different method of doing this, which is a problem since, as far as the Agency is aware, the only way to do so is to commit Human Sacrifice. Kazuya can generate a limited amount of Magnetite to summon his demons, supplementing it with his blood as payment for their services. Naoki, in spite of being brutally powerful, cannot generate the Magnetite/Magatsuhi he needs to do the same (the Vortex World was saturated in the stuff, and he never learned how to do without), and is interested in finding the means to do so. Soma completely absorbs the souls of demons he defeats, allowing him to directly interface with them to use their abilities.
  • Super Gullible: Reconstructed. Kazuya falls for internet scams, believes in the healing power of crystals, and takes Soma's lies about his powers at face value. The narration notes that he's not dumb, it's just that since he's heard so many ridiculous rumors that turned out to be true, he no longer has a kneejerk skeptical reaction.
  • Sweet Tooth: At one point in Soma's childhood, Dracula took over Soma's body and decided to taste his Halloween candy. Next day, Soma had a terrible stomachache despite having just a few pieces of candy the day before.
  • Talking to Themself: Naoki started thinking that way after spending that long in isolation in the Vortex World. His thoughts usually take the form of discussions.
  • Take a Third Option: One of Soma's souls points out that he could have chiseled the stone away from Excalibur (since that's not technically drawing it) instead of swinging it with the stone still attached.
  • That One Boss: In-universe, Word of God is that the second fight between Aoi and Naoki is this from the other's point of view, respectively. To Aoi, Naoki is an extremely tough boss that can kill her in one hit. To Naoki, Aoi is a fast, annoying enemy that can stop him from using his turn and inflict a Death by a Thousand Cuts.
  • This Is Reality: Inverted. When testing his future apprentices, Julius discourages 'clever solutions' because this is a test and not the real world. He cites a test where he and a student were supposed to keep stealing an object from each other, and the student hid the object in a wall. While it might have worked in the real world, he couldn't assess her skills properly, so she had to take the test over again.
  • Title Drop: Yoko uses the name to explain to the secret agents what exactly chasing after a demon summoner will result in.
  • Trial Balloon Question: Soma asks if Kazuya if he considers someone's reincarnation to be the same person as the original (when discussing Aoi, who was a known reincarnation), and Kazuya answers in the affirmative. Soma, who is Dracula's reincarnation, decides not to tell him this, in case Kazuya judges him guilty of Dracula's crimes.
  • Troll: Agent Fireball is another reincarnate, this time of Heat, but who didn't keep the memories of his previous life. The insane leftovers of Serph Sheffield's soul keep calling him on his cell phone every 6:15 AM to insult and belittle him; Agent Fireball has no idea of who it is or what they're talking about, but since he can't very well abandon his phone, can't trace the calls and even changing his number won't help, he trolls the voice back by completely ignoring what it's talking about and rants about completely random topics.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Kazuya, on the topic of Internet security. Being from a post-apocalyptic world, and from before the internet was really developed or widespread, he honestly has no idea of the very basics, seeing how after being forced to summon a demon to get his money back after being scammed, he immediately falls for another stupid scam and gives his Neopets password to someone claiming to be an inspector.
    • Celia Fortner from Dawn of Sorrow. According to Kazuya, who is the undisputed expert in demon summoning, summoning anything from Hell without a backup plan is practically suicide. A common advice among summoners is to never summon what you can't put down. Kazuya is not suprised at all to hear she was killed by one of her own monsters.
  • Totally Trusting Love Interest: "Another Chapter of Just Talking" has Soma's not-girlfriend Mina want to keep a question secret from him because it involves information he doesn't need to know, whereupon he's asked about how he feels about the secret-keeping by someone else, and he says he trusts his friends, which includes Mina:
    "They'd tell me if it's important," said Soma firmly.
    They walked in silence again, until they emerged from the History building.
    "You trust your friends," said Kazuya. It wasn't a question.
    "With my life," said Soma.
  • Villains Out Shopping: The murderer and the accomplice's first appearance. The murderer adopts a kitten, and they have a debate over what to name her.
  • Visual Pun:
    • Leon - a Crusader - sitting on an Ottoman. As in, the cushion.
    • Soma tells Naoki that just because the latter is a physics major, that doesn't mean he can build a particle accelerator. Naoki "responds" by tossing Soma an eraser (which is technically particle acceleration).
      Soma: Okay, I walked right into that one.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Kazuya is said to be a skilled programmer, but he falls for a basic phishing scam.
  • Weapon-Based Characterization:
    • Subverted with Julius; while one would expect he'd use a whip, due to the fact he spent over thirty years without a whip in his hands, he defaults to hand-to-hand and subweapons instead.
    • Mina uses a Hama-Yumi (that's a blessed bow) traditionally used by Shrine Maidens.
    • Naoki uses Good Old Fisticuffs because he couldn't find anything reliable in the Vortex World.
    • Aoi uses a whip because that's what she learned, they're easy to hide and nobody knows how to counter them.
    • Per Word of God, Kazuya prefers swords and Aleph guns, to fit their Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse depiction.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: In one Halloween special, the ghost of Mikado Castle gives a small metal object to a group of Samurai Prentices. They're later horrified to discover it's the firing pin to their hated teacher's gun, and that she entered combat not knowing it was sabotaged; the ghost was trying to frame them.

Alternative Title(s): A Game Of Cat And Cat