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Franchise / BlazBlue

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"The Wheel of Fate is Turning..."
The Announcer, starting a match

BlazBluenote  is a Fighting Game series by Arc System Works, and a Creator-Driven Successor to Guilty Gear. This series has about as large a fandom, if not more, as its technical daddy.

Long ago, the world was on the brink of destruction. The Black Beast had laid waste to the world and was on the cusp of wiping out the human race before six legendary heroes emerged and, using their magic and martial prowess combined, battled the creature. Teaching the secrets of magic to humanity (and helping them with creating a form of Magitek to defend themselves), the Six Heroes worked together to kill Black Beast and saved the world from total ruination. But the cost was great — the battle with the creature left much of the world polluted, forcing humanity to move into hastily constructed cities in the mountains. World governments collapsed, and from them sprang the NOL, aka the Novus Orbis Librarium, to help guide humanity into the future.

Several years later, the NOL has evolved into a full-on dictatorship. A young man named Ragna the Bloodedge, armed with a strange blade, dark magic, a missing arm and a bad attitude begins systematically destroying dozens of Library outposts for seemingly no reason. His incredible strength leads to the NOL saddling him with their biggest bounty yet and declaring him wanted dead or alive. Ragna flees to the city of Kagutsuchi, where he is pursued by all manner of warriors and magicians out for the bounty on his head. He also attracts the attention of Jin Kisaragi, a Library agent with a very pronounced hatred for Ragna beyond any reasonable measure, and Noel Vermillion, a Library lieutenant with a cloudy past sent to retrieve Jin before he gets himself killed.

As the events at Kagatsuchi spiral out of control, a tale of godlike cyborgs, legendary magic, ancient conspiracies, a smattering of Mind Rape and brainwashing, and all manner of political intrigue ensues, with Ragna and his mysterious "Azure Grimoire" being stuck right at the center of it all. The Wheel of Fate begins to turn, but Ragna slowly gets the feeling he's done this all before...

Gameplay wise, BlazBlue is an anime fighter with a strong emphasis on fast gameplay, long combos, and extreme character designs. All the traditional fighting game staples are here, such as airdashing, pushblocking, and lots of meter to play with, as well as the "Roman Cancel" (here called the "Rapid Cancel") mechanic making a return from Guilty Gear. The major area where BlazBlue differs from the competition is the Drive mechanic. Each character uses the Drive button differently, because every member of the cast has a different Drive that informs how they play. Ragna, for instance, regains health with every move performed with the Drive button, while Jin can freeze his opponent solid with sword swipes performed by the Drive button. And that's just the tip of the iceberg- much of this series' depth comes from how each individual character plays around their Drive button and how it informs their lore. Blood Knight Azrael can detect his enemies weak points and then target them for bonus damage with his Drive, Smug Snake Hazama uses his Drive like a grappling hook to shoot about the screen, Hospital Hottie Litchi Faye Ling switches between using her Martial Arts Staff to attack her foes and being a Bare-Fisted Monk when her Drive button is pressed, The Stoic warrior Hakumen uses his Drive to parry attacks... the list goes on. Even the Mu-series, literal Moveset Clone characters, play differently due to their Drives. How each character interacts with their Drive and the strategies that emerge from using give a lot of interesting roster depth, as no two characters play alike.

In 2022, Producer Toshimichi Mori retired from Arc System Works, making the future of the series uncertain.

    open/close all folders 

     Main Titles 

     Side games 

Aside from those, the franchise also has side stories in other media. Listed below:

     Light novels 
  • Blaz Blue Phase Shift
    • BlazBlue: Phase 0: written by Komao Mako, illustrated by BlazBlue's lead artist Katou Yuuki and based on a story from BlazBlue creator Mori Toshimichi was published by Fujimi Shobo on August 20, 2010 (see here). The story begins when Ragna has a chance encounter with Celica A. Mercury, a young lady harboring a mysterious power, and involves the mysteries of the BlazBlue world.
    • BlazBlue: Phase Shift 1: The first sequel was released in April 2011. This time the focus shifts to Yuuki Terumi and a boy named Kazuma Kvar, while also elaborating more on Nine and Trinity before she became Platinum.
    • BlazBlue: Phase Shift 2: Released January 2012, this sequel focuses on Jin Kisaragi's exploits during the Dark War and his eventual evolution into taking up the mantle of Hakumen.
    • BlazBlue: Phase Shift 3: Released May 2012 the focal point character is Konoe A. Mercury, better known as Nine of the Six Heroes, and tells her dealings with the Magic Guild and their involvements in the Dark War.
    • BlazBlue: Phase Shift 4: The fifth novel, released in late September of 2012, this time placing the spotlight on Celica yet again, all the while setting the stage (in a rather major way at that) for later iterations of the series, Chronophantasma in particular.
  • Bloodedge Experience: In June 2014, another prequel story was released, following a new cast that bears quite a few resemblances to the main story cast, though younger versions of a few of them appear too.
  • BlazBlue: Spiral Shift - Hyoujin no Eiyuu (Hero of the Ice Blade): Released in 20th October 2016. This novel tells the tale about Jin's exploits and tribulations during Ikaruga Civil War.

  • BlazBlue: Remix Heart: A manga authored by game writer Deko Akao, drawn by former doujinshi artist Sumeragi and supervised by Mori. It's a prequel to the games set at the NOL Military Academy and stars a new character named Mai Natsume in addition to Noel, Makoto and Tsubaki.
  • BlazBlue: Variable Heart: The sequel to the above, again written by Mori and drawn by Sumeragi. It's set right after the events of Ikaruga Civil Warnote  and once again follows Mai's story who's being hunted by the Wings of Justice.

     Visual novels 
  • XBlaze series
    • XBlaze Code: Embryo : released in July 25th, 2013 on Playstation 3 and Playstation Vita. The story takes place 150 years before Calamity Trigger. It stars Touya Kagari, an Ordinary High-School Student who lives peacefully until a mysterious girl named Es comes to his life. From there, the story explores the hidden mysteries of the world.
    • XBlaze Lost: Memories: Sequel to the above, released in 9th April 2015 in Japan (and summer 2015 worldwide), stars "Watashi" ("Me") in her journey inside a strange dimension named "Phantom Field", along with the mysterious girl Nobody, to find pieces of her lost memories and her missing sister. The story will also explain what happens with the cast of the previous game.

     Drama CDs 
  • BlazBlue: The Wheel of Fortune: Released September 8, 2010, this story takes place in the original timeline (before all of the time loops happened) and stars Tsubaki Yayoi, who's appointed as the secretary for Major Jin Kisaragi (instead of Noel in the games, who doesn't exist here). It retells the "old man's tale" of Hakumen in the second game.
  • BlazBlue: Happy Trigger: The first, Blue Drama Rebel One, released July 2009, and the second, Blue Drama 2 Rebel Two, released December 2009. Both are mostly gag stories involving the Blazblue cast.


     Game Adaptations 
The games also have been adapted to various media.
  • An official monthly webcomic adaptation of Calamity Trigger titled BlazBlue: Chimelical Complex by Haruyoshi Kob. It can be viewed here. It's written in Japanese, however.
  • Blazblue, a new and improved two volume manga adaptation of Calamity Trigger.
  • Calamity Trigger light novel comes in 2 parts, the first released January 2013 in Japan and the second in May 2013.
  • Continuum Shift light novel also comes in 2 parts, the first released Semptember 2013 in Japan and the second in January 2014.

This series has character sheets for each sub-series. Please place all character-specific tropes there.

Page is currently undergoing a revamp.

Rebel 1! ACTION!

  • The Abridged Series: It can be found here.
  • Adorable Evil Minion: The cute, Victreebel-esque squid-thingy Arakune summons.
  • Aerith and Bob: This game can't decide whether it wants to be Japanese or not. The NOL would certainly appear to be, if it weren't for all the Gratuitous Latin thrown in. While most RPGs have a decent amount of mixing, it still makes no sense why Jin is meant to be English but has a completely Japanese name (though his 'Kisaragi' surname is justified by being adopted (and for that matter them caring far less about blood relations compared to other Duodecim families), it doesn't explain his first name), or why he and Saya have Japanese names while their brother Ragna doesn't. Bang comes from the so-far most traditionally Japanese part of the world, even referring to himself in eastern order, but has a western first name. Konoe A. Mercury and her daughter are the other way around. Also, normal names like Noel, Carl and Rachel are joined by completely made up ones like Litchi, Tager, and Valkenhayn. For the DLCs, we also have Makoto Nanaya right next to Platinum the Trinity, who has personalities that go by "Sena" and "Luna". And let's not forget: Hazama/Yuuki Terumi is working next to a man named Relius Clover. Then everything goes to hell once it's implied that the BlazBlue world is actually supposed to be modeled after this one.
    • The English dub makes things a little more confusing. The NOL uses Latin, Jin and Hakumen use Japanese words, Bang uses English words but keeps translated prefixes (Ninja Style Art:) for his distortions, Carl and Relius use Italian, and it just becomes one big mess of Gratuitous Foreign Language mixed with translation issues.
    • The Japanese makes even less sense when you find out NONE of the cast come from there, and the entire region was nuked into oblivion in a (failed) attempt to destroy the Black Beast.
  • After the End: The "end" in question being the Black Beast's apocalyptic rampage, which shaped what used to be our future world into what we see in the present timeline of the games.
  • Air-Dashing: Similar to its predecessor Guilty Gear, air dashing is a central mechanic to the series that most characters in the roster can perform. A variation called an "instant air dash" can be performed by inputting the command right as a character jumps.
  • Alignment-Based Endings: Both Continuum Shift and Calamity Trigger (and to a degree, Chronophantasma) have alternate endings based upon player decisions during each character story.
  • Alliterative Title: You did read the title, right?
  • All Myths Are True: This game borrows seiðr (here rendered as "seither"), as well as symbolism of Ragnarök and Ratatoskr from Norse Myth. It also has playable vampires and werewolves. Though the heaviest influence is Shinto, with Murakumo (Nu), Susanooh (Hakumen) and Orochi (Black Beast) being integral to the "Groundhog Day" Loop of Calamity Trigger. And in Chronophantasma, the Greater-Scope Villain is revealed to be none other than Izanami herself. Who eventually got 'hijacked' by Terumi, who's actually Susanoo (spelled as Susano'o)
  • All There in the Manual: There is so much of the background information available in the side materials that you can somewhat predict what will happen in the next game if you are up to date with the side materials. Unfortunately, none of them are officially translated.
  • Alternate Character Reading:
    • Many special moves' kanji names in the Japanese version have furigana accompanying them for reading ease. Also true for some kanji in the story texts.
    • Some terms have furigana that is an English (or Engrish) word, e.g 蒼の魔道書 (Ao no Madōsho, i.e Azure Grimoire) is read as "Blazblue" or Jin's Drive, 零刀 (Reitou, i.e Cold Blade) is read "Frost Bite". All of the Blazblue subtitles are all Japanese kanji word with the furigana matching the subtitle.
    • Amane's Drive and Overdrive use ateji: 珠波衣羅盧 means "Sphere Wave Gown Gauze Hut" but can be read as "Supairaru", i.e Spiral. 砕躯龍 means "Smashing Body Dragon" but can be read as "Saikuron", i.e Cyclone.
    • Interestingly, there are 2 different things that go by the same furigana "Chronophantasma": 刻の幻影 (meaning The Phantom of Time) and 居ない筈の者 (meaning Those Who Should Not Exist). "Blazblue" itself is also different when used by Hazama, which uses the kanji 碧 (green) in place of 蒼 (blue).
  • Alternate Universe: Because of the time loops and other things, there are a lot of alternate timelines and "possibilities" in the entire Blazblue verse. Though they're all connected by the Boundary and the Azure, and one element from one possibility may jump to another through the Boundary.
    • BlazBlue Alternative: Dark War is an example of an alternative continuity being showcased. It's an alternative version of the Dark War where Trinity is possessed by Terumi instead of Kazuma.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: A few of them, such as the Eclipse Field (aka Sealed Space) in CP and BLUE in CF. Both are part of major story events: The former is a field where Kokonoe trapped Tsubaki with Noel, Jin and Makoto inside so the three could safely try to stave off Tsubaki's Mind Control by the Imperator without any interference. Said stage has a blue background, covered in flashing hexagons, including the floor. The latter is where Ragna fights Terumi for the last time; it takes place in the Boundary right next to the True Azure (hence BLUE), and as such it has a black background with a shining blue sphere and a black hole-like effect in the middle.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: All over the place, such as with Ragna's artificial arm and sword positioning (that coat of his might conceal the arm, but not the sword), Litchi's long side-tail or Azrael's asymmetrical pants. Nu-13 wearing a wide visor seems to be a way of concealing her Eyepatch of Power during game-play.
  • Androids Are People, Too: Played with. The robot girls Lambda, Mu (aka Noel) and Nu are treated differently by the good and bad guys: Bad guys typically consider them "weapons" or "dolls". Most other characters treat them like a menace or at least someone dangerous. Kokonoe, who's more neutral, at least shows some concern for Lambda while still treating her as a controlled weapon. Hakumen hates them, but not because they're androids. Ragna, while at first thinking of them like menaces, eventually starts becoming sympathetic to them after seeing Lambda and he figures out that Noel is one of the Murakumos. He even wants to save Nu in CP. On the girls' own end, Lambda is almost completely mechanical, while Mu is very close to being a perfect human (since she was raised as a normal girl), and Nu is somewhere in-between (being a Creepy Monotone one moment and a Laughing Mad Yandere the next).
  • Animated Actors: A meta example in Blue Radio where the voice actors of the BlazBlue characters talk normally, but are rendered with the chibi version of the corresponding characters.
  • Anime Theme Song: "ao-iconoclast" by KOTOKO.
    • Continuum Shift continues this by bringing back KOTOKO with the song "Hekira no Sora e Izanaedo"
    • The Updated Re-release Continuum Shift II has "Shinsou", now by Asami Imai (ie Tsubaki).
    • The second updated rerelease, Continuum Shift Extend, features "Sōkyū no Hikari" by Faylan.
    • Chronophantasma uses another Faylan's song, this time named "Blue sanction". CPEX has "Blue desire", by Faylan yet again.
    • Central Fiction has "True Blue", done by KOTOKO again.
  • Anti-Magical Faction: Sector Seven. Downplayed in that they do interact and play with magic; what they're actually doing is trying to control magic through the way they know: science. They believed that as long as magic isn't properly understood and controlled, the rest of humanity will be at the mercy of mages.
  • Anyone Can Die: Characters can and will be killed during Story Mode playthroughs. Although subverted by the fact that thanks to the "Groundhog Day" Loop, characters killed will return to life when the loop resets itself. The sole exception is Lambda-11, who was permanently killed off in the finale of Continuum Shift, at least until she came back in Chronophantasma's Updated Re Release. By the end of Central Fiction, the list of those who are confirmed dead consists of Nine, Celica, Izanami, and Terumi.
  • Apocalypse How: A variant on a Class 1, thanks to the Black Beast. Most of the Earth (at the lower elevations, at least) is still inhospitable to most forms of life, thanks to the high concentrations of seithr. However, unlike most Class 1's, humanity came out with a little extra something: the Ars Magus.
    • Terumi's plan is to bring about a Class 5. Later on Izanami's goal also has the similar scale.
  • April Fools' Day: One about a crossover with Arcana Heart.
  • Arc Symbol:
    • The crest shown as CT's logo appears in a lot of things in the story, such as the Black Beast, cauldrons or the Amaterasu Unit.
    • The CS logo is also Mu-12's crest.
    • The CP logo is revealed to be Master Unit's crest.
    • Ragna's mysterious tattoo on his chest has also appeared in some character's articles such as on Platinum's hood, Minerva's body, Mai's gloves (after she graduated from the academy), and as of CF, Naoto's and Es' bodiesnote  and the Imperator's inner dress. It's likely a reference to CF logo, as well as how the Embryo is situated above the Amaterasu Unit at the beginning.
  • Arc Words: "The Wheel Of Fate Is Turning" hints at the "Groundhog Day" Loop.
  • Armor Meter: The Barrier Gauge determines how much the character can use the Barrier Block, i.e putting up a Deflector Shield that will negate Scratch Damage. If the gauge is depleted, they'll get a penalty where the damage they take will be increased by 1.2 times.
  • Arrange Mode: The "Abyss Mode", debuting in the handheld port of Continuum Shift II, is a special mode where you fight opponents and descend down "depths", where the enemies will be stronger. As you go down the depths, you can acquire different items that can enhance your character so that you can fight enemies easier.
  • Arrogant God vs. Raging Monster: The third game introduces Azrael, a fighter with such phenomenal strength, endurance, and battle-lust that he can fight without any semblance of technique and still knock down virtually anyone who faces him - and that's with his Power Limiter active so that he wouldn't knock his foes out too quickly. Hakumen, a strong and skilled legendary warrior himself, chooses to not engage him in a fight. Later, Azrael runs to Kagura, an ace fighter and Colonel of the NOL; when the two fight, Kagura can get around him with his skill, but Azrael can blow through Kagura's defenses with his strength. Kagura only defeats him by exploiting the fact that Azrael is under a geas that stops him from hurting anyone who isn't attacking him, allowing Kokonoe to teleport him into her special prison. In the fourth game, Azrael frees himself and he and Kagura face each other again; this time the latter puts a better showing, forcing Azrael to unlock more of his limiters. Thankfully Jin comes and freezes him with his sword before he can go further.
  • Artifact of Doom: The titular BlazBlue, aka Azure Grimoire and various Nox Nyctores.
    • The Izayoi in particular poses a threat to Tsubaki if she overuses it, as it'll make her blind and eventually lose her life. This had happened in the past with Tsubaki's ancestor as well.
  • Artificial Animal People: The Kaka clan are a race of Beastkin that were artificially engineered from the genes of Jubei during the Dark War.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The AI has no idea how to fight Arakune. This leads to stupid things such as the AI blocking his Drive attacks note  despite the bar filling if the attack hits, blocked or not, or his Astral Heat going from the worst in the gamenote  to being arguably the best in the game, due to the AI chasing it down and trying to attack it, very often resulting in being hit by the Astral.
  • Ascended Meme: The vocalist for Okkusenman posted a vocal version of Bang's theme on Nico Nico Douga. It was revealed that on the Continuum Shift OST, Bang's voice actor is singing a vocal version of the theme with the very same lyrics as the original version.
    • Continuum Shift's English translation has an achievement called BEES, referencing the "BEEEEEEEEEEEEEES" meme.
    • On the subject of Bang, he references the "Ice Car" meme in Calamity Trigger Reconstruction when dissuading his colleagues from fighting Jin.
    • You can choose from numerous NPC icons for your online profile in Chronophantasma. Hype Dog is one of them.
    • Chronophantasma also allows you to set the (◇)人(∵) emoticon on your D-Card.
  • Author Appeal: Mori likes Sexy Backless Outfit and it shows - main heroine Noel has it in both of her outfits, and he redesigned Es and Mai for their apperance in the fourth game with new clothes that bare their backs.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: Daisuke Ishiwatari did the soundtrack, are you surprised in the slightest? Subverted in the occasion of a Theme Music Power-Up, where the music goes from the rest of the soundtrack's metal to Kotoko's vocal J-Pop.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Most Astral Heats. To perform the Astral Heat, you must have 100% Heat, a Burst Node (no longer the case as of Chronophantasma), having won one round, and your target must have less than 35% Health (i.e, their health bar must be red). Many of them are easily countered or blocked with good timing or strategy. However, there is no more stylish way to finish off your opponent. Every Astral is unique to the character you play as, and all of them are awesome. Observe.
  • Background Magic Field: The seithr is described as this; it is found everywhere in the atmosphere and then used for Ars Magus. In a variation, there's only so much seithr in a given area; once they're all used up, no one can use Ars Magus there until the seithr recovers itself in the area. Also thick concentrations of seithr is harmful to humans. This magic field was originated from the Black Beast and was spread out throughout the Dark War until it covers the whole world.
  • Battle Intro: A given for a fighting game. Some match-ups have special intros that show them interacting with each other; for some of them, they already matched blows before the fight starts.
  • Beak Attack: Unlimited Arakune in one of his Limit Breaks shapeshifts into a black bird and flies forward while drilling his foe with his beak. Regular Arakune can do this too, but only as a normal attack and it does just 1 hit.
  • Beast Man: Aside from the Kaka Clan, there's also other kinds of beastkins such as Jubei, Makoto and Valkenhayn.
  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: Noel, Tsubaki, and Makoto respectively.
  • BFS: Absolutely egregious. Ragna's sword is described as a "massive slab of metal" and is not only positively huge but capable of transforming into a scythe, Hakumen uses a Japanese-styled two-handed sword that's as long as he is tall, Kagura's is so large that it's at least twice as long as he his tall and he can realistically plant it into the ground and lean against it, Bang uses a 55-inch long nail as easily as a cheerleader's baton, and don't get us started on the Murakumo units, who summon swords the size of skyscrapers in their Astrals. Even Jin's Yukianesa counts, as it's far longer than any regular Japanese katana.
  • Big Bad: Terumi aka Susano'o is revealed to be responsible for almost everything bad that happened in the series. note 
  • The Big Bad Shuffle: Continuum Shift establishes Yuuki Terumi/Hazama as the main villain and he's the primary instigator of the whole plot at that point. Then the end of the game reveals that him and his partner-in-crime Relius Clover were working for Izanami, the goddess of death possessing the body of Ragna and Jin's sister Saya, whom assumes the Big Bad position from those two from then on. Then in the fourth game, Phantom aka Nine of the Six Heroes makes her plans known. In the end though, the final villain ends up being Terumi, more specifically, his true identity as Susanoo.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Ragna, Jin, and Saya lived in an orphanage. Jin's neediness led to his possession by Terumi, Ragna got his arm cut off by Jin and was left for dead after said incident, and Saya was kidnapped to be used as a template for androids of mass destruction. Eventually, we find out that Ragna is, by virtue of his Azure Grimoire, a potential beast that once went unto destroying the world, to the point of being called the "destroyer", Jin being the world's "antibody" and Saya being the Imperator of the NOL although in her defense being Possessed by the Goddess of Death would do that to you and your siblings.
    • As of Continuum Shift, the Clover family can also be put in this category. There's the father, Relius Clover, who is obsessed with creating the perfect puppet, going as far as turning his daughter Ada and his wife to puppets, along with being one of the series' two Big Bads. Carl, Ada's younger brother, gets tempted and self-manipulated into performing acts of violence for his sister and does some pretty messed up things at times, all to turn his sister back and to find his father to get revenge.
    • Makoto's family is heavily implied... in fact, scratch that, they're very obviously this, although it's mostly limited to the gag reels and played for Comedic Sociopathy.
    Narration: Mommy ends Makoto's rant with a wicked right cross to the mouth - a textbook example of the famous Nanaya "tough love".
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: The world of BlazBlue is very cynical to say the least, with very few unambiguously good characters. The world was ravaged in the past by an Eldritch Abomination that nearly drove humanity to extinction, and even after it was defeated it left most of the world poisoned and uninhabitable. Humanity was forced to create cities high above the ground to avoid being poisoned and governed by an organization that quickly went oppressive and started subjugating any and all opposition. The heads of said organization are an insane psychopath bent on plunging the world into chaos, a Mad Scientist only interested in creating the perfect being, and a god of death. The only ones willing to oppose said organization are The Protagonist, who has his own personal issues to sort out, and doesn't really give a damn about the world at large (though he is at least growing out of it), a second organization with its own dirty laundry, and a small number of vigilantes.
  • Black Magic: The Ars Magus can be considered one as it's powered by seithr, i.e toxic Eldritch Abomination fumes. Especially, weapons powered with seithr are all potentially dangerous to the user, such as the Azure Grimoire.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Noel, Makoto, and Tsubaki, respectively.
  • Bondage Is Bad: Relius. His Astral Heat tends to put the losing opponent in rather compromising positions.
  • Bounty Hunter: Referred to as "vigilantes" in-game.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Happens in several episodes of "Teach Me, Ms. Litchi" and "Help Me, Professor Kokonoe", as well as the gag reels.
  • Break Meter: The Barrier Gauge and Guard Libra/Guard Primer system in the first 2 games; in the third, only Barrier Gauge system remains.
  • Bring My Brown Pants:
    "A thousand pardons, for you and your excrement both.
    • Shows up twice in in Continuum Shift Extend:
      • Hazama cops to nearly peeing himself when Makoto sends his local plans down in flames during Slight Hope.
      • In Valkenhayn's Joke Ending, after Valkenhayn tells a legend of a creature that makes even Hakumen pee himself (ignoring the Fridge Logic of him being Animated Armor). Ragna comments "You're gonna make me pee." Taokaka then admits that she just did.
  • Butterfly of Doom: In the retelling of Continuum Shift in CPEX, Celica theorizes this as how a character's actions, however small, can have wildly different results; Rachel adds that those different results exist as probability that can be manipulated by Phenomenon Intervention, in other words, the "Continuum Shift".
  • Buxom Beauty Standard: Many comments flying around the game are about aggrandizing big boobs and girls who have them, and either having the flat-chested ones belittling themselves or other people belittling them.
    • Lampshaded by Taokaka. Hilarity Ensues when she names Litchi "Boobie Lady" and Noel "Lacking Lady". Some of her battle quotes enhance the hilarious effect.
      Taokaka: [To Litchi] Hey Boobie Lady!
      Taokaka: [To Noel] Are you sure you're a lady?
    • Lampshaded to a hilarious, gut-busting degree in Continuum Shift during the new "Teach Me Ms. Litchi" episodes.
      Litchi: Tao! Are you alright?!
      Taokaka: [After being electrocuted in front of Litchi, Makoto, Tsubaki, and Noel] Uh... I see three sets of boobies and... one cutting board.
      Noel: [Utterly embarrassed, sobbing] A ... A cutting board? She compared me to a... a cutting board!?
    • Makoto's section of "Help Me! Professor Kokonoe!" confirms this trope to be in play. Kokonoe is, let's just say, very pissed off and jealous at Makoto's boob size... and the latter is number two as shown in the chartnote .
    • In Chronophantasma, Celica is wondering if Ragna believes in this trope, both by getting angry when he calls her "normal"note , becoming enamored by Makoto's large chest, and, if she beats Litchi in a normal Vs fight, she requested Kokonoe to have her breasts enhanced like Litchi so she can impress Ragna.
  • The Cameo: The Bururaji Radio (BlazBlue radio show) features a cameo by of all people... SOL BADGUY. Drawn in chibi style like the other BlazBlue characters.
  • Call-Back: In Tager's Story Mode, when you go to meet the NOL mole, you're given a password to initiate the meeting. The password is "Gnu", but you're also given a second password, "Baa", that initiates the Gag Reel. In Makoto's Story Mode, where she falls into the alternate timeline, she bumps into Tager, who's looking for her. Guess what the real password is?
  • Calling Your Attacks: Expected for a fighting game, but notable cases include:
  • Canis Latinicus: Mostly in the English translation. While some of the Latin used are good Latin (the "Novis Orbus Librarium", i.e "New World Library" being one such example), some others are this. E.g "Nox Nyctores" literally means "night night thing" (with "nycto" actually being Greek, for crying out loud).
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Justified Trope. Terumi's presence in the world is maintained by the protagonists' (mainly Ragna's) hatred of him, so keeping a puppy just for kicking is actually how he keeps himself from simply going poof. Double Subverted in that he goes about his malicious deeds without a hint of remorse or justification, and instead takes genuine enjoyment out of the atrocities he commits. Even if he didn't need to make people suffer to survive, he would still do it because he finds it all fun.
  • Cast Full of Crazy: The cast of the series is a massive Dysfunction Junction on par Neon Genesis Evangelion, with virtually everyone involved in the cast having serious issues. The few truly sane people can be counted with your hands.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Not just in terms of the characters themselves, but also in gameplay: every character has a unique game mechanic that no other character has access to.
  • Cat Folk: Of different flavors. Hakumen and Terumi (being "old guys") tend to call them "grimalkin".
    • Jubei and his ilk are more like Funny Animal cats - that is, their bodies are really like cats, only bigger, and can walk on their hindlegs (but still shorter than normal humans).
    • People from the Kaka Clan are generally composed of Cat Girls. Kokonoe, on the other hand, is a half-nekomata.
  • Censored for Comedy:
    • Kokonoe wanted to put something on Tager's GIGANTIC TAGER, but she didn't think it was practical.
    • Well, first, Kokonoe intended to take Ragna's INFERNO DIVIDER and put it in a CARNAGE SCISSORS. Maybe a little GAUNTLET HADES, to go with. We can only imagine what his HELL'S FANG will DEAD SPIKE... No, really, that was pretty much word for word.
  • Central Theme: The struggle of free will versus predetermination.
    • To a much lesser extent, the conflict between power (Azrael, Terumi and pre-Character Development Ragna) vs. skill (Bang, Kagura, Rachel, post-Character Development Ragna). The game is firmly on the side of skill.
  • Character Development: Quite a bit of it too, particularly in Continuum Shift and Chronophantasma. CP in particular is a good source for this for most of the cast. Ragna becomes more heroic, vowing to find a way to use his Azure to protect people as opposed to using it to destroy as well as be less reliant on a power that isn't his own (Which makes what happens to him at the end even more tragic), Jin becomes less of a jerkass to others (Even around Noel he's simmered down a bit) as well as move past his desire to kill his brother, and Noel herself is far more confident than before, even being able to harness her Mu-12 form at will. Even Hakumen seems to have cooled down as he speaks less harshly to others, and isn't as hostile to Ragna as he was before.
    • On the other hand, Litchi goes from a normally nice lady into a rather pitiful Tragic Heroine with several, but severe, dark elements and flaws that could bring her downfall, though still retaining her sympathy. Carl also went from a murderous kid who'd remorselessly kill anyone for information into an upstanding boy that re-discovered and uses his humanity more and then goes the other way around after he once again focuses on the restoration of his sister to the point he's becoming colder and probably closer to the father that he hated. More importantly, Bang Shishigami goes from your typical Joke Character into a serious, respectable but still occasionally boisterous man.
  • Character Roster Global Warming: The first game only has Tager and Hakumen as the resident Mighty Glaciers, the second game has none, the third adds Azrael and Kagura, and the fourth adds Susano'o. As of the fourth game, that's five against 28 speedier fighters.
  • Cheeky Mouth: Apparent in the story mode sprites, especially on those who face sideways like Ragna or Relius, because the artists didn't bother to animate their chins (except for Tager).
  • Chekhov's Armoury: Shows up in the fifth episode of Teach Me Miss Litchi Reloaded in Continuum Shift. The missing Nox Nyctores will undoubtedly show up in the sequel.
  • Chekhov's Time Travel: Nu-13 dragging Ragna into the Cauldron causes a "Groundhog Day" Loop where the time loops to where the two falls into, i.e 100 years before. Then, in the third game, some days after the time loop is broken, a Time Travel with the Cauldron is used more deliberately by Rachel carrying Ragna to about 94 years ago to do a timeline fix that "makes the history more defined" (long story).
  • Cherry Tapping: Aside from the game having an animation of being defeated by a weak attack, some of the characters have taunts that do a silver of damage and can be used as this, such as Taokaka and Izayoi. Unlimited Makoto gets a new "taunt" where she throws an acorn in a similar way to Dudley's rose taunt.
  • Civil War vs. Armageddon: In the first game, the story progressed as follows: most characters are just minding their own business as it's just another day in their life, with them fighting each other just to resolve their own problems. Meanwhile, Nu-13 the Robot Girl appears and tries to cause trouble... by trying to "merge" with our protagonist, Ragna, then jump to the past and become an apocalyptic monster called the Black Beast. Only Ragna knows of this plot. After the events of the first game, The Heavy bad guy Hazama starts making himself known; in the second game, all of the previously neutral characters are now forced to focus on him. He aims to bring the world back to its "true" state (as he claims that everything in the current world is lies) and by "true", he means "world filled with despair". The fourth game's Episodic Game formula also follows this: Act 1 has people minding their own business again before Nine the Phantom pulls them into her place to direct them to face the "armageddon", the Imperator, Hades Izanami. Act 2 has them do just that, as Izanami is trying to create a "world of death".
  • Clothing Combat: Many characters can use part of their clothes to attack, such as Jin slapping his foe with his long "sleeve-capes" or Azrael taking off his Coat Cape and swinging it out. Amane is all about using his pink scarf in various creative ways.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • Overdrive is signified with the activator's crest glowing blue and the background becoming grayscale, as well as a momentary blue Battle Aura.
    • Distortion Drive is signified with the user's crest glowing white and the background turning into a blue Stock Footage. If done in Overdrive (as well as doing Exceed Accel), the background turns red.
    • Astral Heat is signified with the user's crest glowing white and the background turning black.
  • Color Motif: Word of God states that red represents rebellion, while blue represents order.
  • Combo Breaker: Barrier/Break Burst. Every character also has a counter command usable while blocking (called the Counter Assault), but it uses up 50 Heat in all games (save for in Continuum Shift: Extend where half the total current Guard Primers are also used up alongside the 50 Heat).
  • Comic Trio: Makoto's the idiot that comes up with stupid plans, Noel blindly follows, and Tsubaki can't do anything to stop them. Even more so in the Teach Me, Miss Litchi segments.
  • Cosmic Chess Game: Rachel and Terumi have been waging this game for hundreds of time loops. Rachel is in control with the good guys, with Jubei and (to a lesser extent) Kokonoe as her proxy, while Terumi's controlling the bad guys, with the help of Relius. Until it's revealed that the Imperator is behind Terumi and has been controlling him.
    • The events of Chronophantasma are one between Amaterasu and the Imperator (using Takamagahara). The two are constantly performing interventions to undo events that are too advantageous to the other side.
    • Central Fiction reveals that the entire series is all part of one game between Amaterasu and Terumi (a.k.a. Susano'o). Everything is the result of Terumi's personal war against the Master Unit and his attempts to destroy all that it creates.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: The world of BlazBlue is incredibly hostile to its human inhabitants, being overrun by Toxic Phlebotinum fumes spewed by an Eldritch Abomination that killed around half of humanity. Said fumes have created all manner of terrifying monstrosities and the places outside of the hierarchical cities are rife with them, and humanity relies on said fumes as a source of energy. The Gods of this world include an Ax-Crazy troll with clearly malevolent intentions known as Yuuki Terumi who wants to plunge the world into even deeper hell and is also the one who made the world into what it is to begin with and is secretly its ruler, and a literal death goddess known as Izanami who actually managed to plunge the world into deeper hell. Compared to the aliens and gods from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Extended Universe, the heroic godlike characters like Rachel and Hakumen are rather indifferent towards humanity. Central Fiction goes further by revealing that the original world (dubbed the Age of Origin) was actually destroyed by a war between humans and Prime Field Devices that gained sentience and Turned Against Their Masters, which can all be traced to humanity finding the Susanoo Unit and later the Amaterasu Unit after having dug deep into the Earth and wanting to explore the Boundary, and that the whole universe is at the mercy of a war between the Master Unit and Terumi. And guess what caused humanity to dig deep into the Earth for the Susanoo Unit, leading to all of this? Terumi. Simply put, humanity's little more than his plaything. Also the universe keeps getting time looped whenever a certain event happens.
  • Crapsack World: Life is not kind in this world. To wit, the half of humanity died from the Black Beast's rampage across the world and said monster's fumes destroyed virtually the whole planet's ecosystem. The humans who managed to survive that are now governed by a totalitarian institution known as the NOL. This totalitarianism eventually resulted in several Hierarchichal Cities to defect and form their own sovereign nation, only to be destroyed in the Ikaruga Civil War, which put the NOL's authoritarianism on full display. Furthermore, the government imposes restrictions on anyone who uses magic artifacts known as Ars Magus, and anyone violating them will be killed on sight. And what about the NOL's authoritarianism? It is actually a case of Well Intentioned Extremism, and if they disappeared, random people would be able to start picking up dangerous Artifacts Of Doom, enabling seeds of further war and chaos to spread in this world that is already teetering on the edge of destruction. So it's either totalitarianism, or a world in utter chaos. But it's actually worse than that. The main three characters are traumatized, broken, neurotic and mentally unstable to begin with, and the rest of the cast is similarly lacking in mental faculties. Also, the entirety of existence basically revolves around the Hedgehog's Dilemma, which is the philosophical notion that if you go near other people, you become Hell to them and they become Hell to you, but when you go far from them, you cannot survive. The biggest idealists and those who aren't self-centered jerkasses are basically the resident chew toys and generally laughed at. Furthermore, virtually the entire world's ills can be traced to a master manipulator named Yuuki Terumi, and if you're female, enjoy being broken physically and mentally by him for his own amusement. Adding to it is that he's accompanied by a Mad Scientist who wants to turn everyone else into lifeless dolls so he can be God, and a literal Death Goddess who wants to reduce the whole world into nothingness, who actually manages to do that and it took a lot of effort from the main protagonist to make a new one, and one that's at least livable at that.
  • Criss-Cross Attack:
    • Valkenhayn's Astral Heat, "Blut Vollmond", acts this way: after he somersault kicks his foe to the air, he morphs into a werewolf and starts slashing his enemies from multiple sides, ending with a heavy downward clawing attack.
    • Bang Shishigami, as his Unlimited Form has Chipp's "Zansei Rouga" as one of his Limit Breaks.
    • Taokaka gets this move in the third game, called "Aerial Dancing Edge" where she uppercuts the enemy to the air, then she flies through them multiple times, slicing them with her claws. She ends it with a Diving Kick.
    • Celica as her "Unlimited" self gains a Limit Break where her Robot Buddy Minerva transforms into a plane and knocks the enemy to the air, then flies up and rams them from all sides.
  • Critical Hit Class: Hitting the opponent with Azrael's Drive attacks exposes weakpoints on their person, either high or low depending on the attack. If Azrael hits the opponent with a corresponding Drive attack (or certain special attacks) while these weak-points are exposed, it becomes a critical attack with different properties, such as causing a ground-bounce or being unblockable. One of Azrael's Distortion Drives, as well as his Overdrive, make these weak-points permanently exposed for a set amount of time.
  • Critical Status Buff: If you're low on health, you'll start Regenerating Mana.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: A lot of it since the first game and continues onward, such as the identities of the Six Heroes and what they are like (this one eventually gets delved into in Phase Shift novel series), the past Prime Field Devices, the Master Unit (which only shows itself in CP), and so on.
  • Cryptic Conversation: Used constantly by a lot of characters to conceal important infos. Lampshaded just as much by Ragna:
    "I have no freaking clue what you're saying. Can you speak in human for me?"
  • Cue the Flying Pigs: In Calamity Trigger, Rachel made the claim that Bang beating Ragna is about as likely as Bang erasing all the seithr in the world. Two games later in Chronophantasma, Bang not only can match Ragna blow for blow but also ends up erasing all the seithr from the world, through Kushinada's Lynchpin.
  • Cutscene Drop: Especially for "event" matches in Arcade Mode, a conversation between the characters usually occurs in game before the battle starts. Characters are usually positioned where they will be once the round starts to avoid the need of a transition. After the battle ends, however, characters will teleport back to their starting positions for the closing dialogue, regardless of where any of the characters were on screen when you dealt the finishing blow. The use of certain characters' astral finishes make this even more odd, since opponents that were punched into space or transported into a different room will suddenly teleport back to the fight stage for more exposition.
  • Damage-Increasing Debuff: The "Negative Penalty" will lower your defense, making attacks damage you more. You get this debuff if you're being passive for too long. There's also a debuff that you'll get if your Barrier Gauge is depleted, either through usage or Barrier Burst, that also increases damage taken. Both debuffs can potentially occur at the same time.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: If you came here from Guilty Gear, pressing all four face buttons sets up an Instant Kill. Try that here and you get Barrier Burst (in the first game), Gold Burst (in the second game), and Overdrive (in the third game).
  • Dark Age of Supernames: Many characters are named like this, such as Ragna the Bloodedge, Iron Tager or Azrael.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to it's predecessor series, Guilty Gear (which itself was on the darker end of fighting games to begin with), BlazBlue is way more cynical in tone, to the point of being full-on grimdark. To put things into perspective, the world is a near-complete Hell-hole being oppressed by a corrupt world government, most of the "heroes" are either anti heroes driven by revenge or other obsessions at their absolute best, or extremists who are almost as bad as said corrupt world government and are willing to resort to pretty disturbing means to accomplish their goals at their worst; with the only reason they can claim the moral high-ground is because the villains they're against are that bad. Whatever clear-cut good guys there are usually are either A.) mocked and belittled, B.) have so much baggage that it's a miracle they can still function, or C.) both at the same time.
  • Deader than Dead: Many of the Astral Heats leave the opponent in this state, such as Ragna tearing out the opponent's very soul or Terumi erasing the opponent from existence. Of course, this never sticks. Until Central Fiction where Ragna finally kills Terumi for good.
  • Detachable Blades: In a Shout-Out to Attack on Titan, Hibiki's swords have detachable cutter-esque blades that he's shown replacing at the end of each match round. One of his Limit Breaks also start with him throwing the blades of his swords.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Nu-13 is pretty much the closest thing Calamity Trigger has to a Big Bad, but it turns out in the end that she's just one of Terumi's pawns, and she is quickly discarded. Ironically, Terumi (and Relius as well) are revealed to be mere pawns for Izanami/Saya, as of Chronophantasma, and she discards them just as easily.
    • The fourth game plays with this more clearly, being an Episodic Game. In the Arcade Mode, Act 1 has Nine as the boss, while Act 2 has the Imperator, and Act 3 has... different people (think of Chronophantasma's arcade). The real final boss is in Story Mode, and it's Susano'o, Terumi's true identity.
  • Ditzy Secretary: Noel Vermillion is this for Major Jin Kisaragi. Played with in that while she has low self-esteem and is quite clumsy and not very bright, during fight she can be cold and effective. This is because her weapon, the twin guns Bolverk is a magical weapon that keeps her state of mind in check.
  • Divine Chessboard: Everyone seems controlled by Jubei and Rachel (and Kokonoe to a smaller extent) on the protagonists' side. Just about everything else in the story is being controlled by Hazama and Relius. Except Saya, or rather Izanami, is actually controlling everything, until it's revealed that Terumi, aka Susano'o, is the true mastermind.
  • Divine Conflict:
    • The story of CS is basically about Takamagahara, a nigh-omnipotent machine, trying to overtake Master Unit's control of the world, which involves playing with the space-time continuum. It escalates in CP where the Imperator takes over Takamagahara's controls and Master Unit being forced to do more interventions just to keep the baddies from going too far.
    • In CF, the (now former) Imperator now goes with her plan with bringing out Armageddon while Amaterasu has manifested in the world. Caught in the middle is Noel, who hosts a part of the girl-in-Amaterasu's soul. Also, deep into the story, it's revealed that the reason the BlazBlue world come to be is because of Susano'o's own conflict with Amaterasu, specifically with him wanting to see "his sister" suffer and desiring freedom from "her" control.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Ikaruga Federation has some allusions to the Soviet Union. From the vaguely similar coat of arms (check Bang's outfit), to how it is comprised by cities built on Russia and its surroundings, to how it lost a war and was broken into smaller cities.
  • Double Jump: Everyone can do this. Some characters have Triple Jump and/or other mobility options that let them be suspended in midair for long.
  • Downer Ending: The true routes and the arcade endings for the first two games — every single one ends with the character in question ultimately failing to make a difference, except for Hazama. This is zig-zagged in the third game. The fourth game averts this, instead going for a Bittersweet Ending.
  • Dramatic Irony: Goes a lot, especially in Continuum Shift. For instance, Carl gets calmed down and regained his trust of adults thanks to Litchi... not knowing that Litchi is on the NOL's side and sided with Relius... WITHOUT knowing the reasons for her doing so. And on the other hand, Litchi didn't know there's a certain Boundary-rending Nox Nyctores called "Phoenix Rettenjou" which may be the key to her problems... and it's in Bang's possession, and he wasn't even aware at first. Bang was at least told about its function by Platinum eventually... and then he doesn't even know Litchi's problems. All of this information was known by the audience, leading to things from speculations, assumptions, etc.
    • In the same game, Hakumen's little story that he tells Tsubaki is full of this once you've listened Wheel of Fortune. Especially when Tsubaki said that she envies the woman who inspired Hakumen and gives him the will he needs to fight the Black Beast; that woman turns out to be herself from another timeline. And of course, she never realizes who Hakumen really is.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Newcomer Amane, to the point where Kagura outright confuses him for a woman in their battle intro.
  • Dungeon Punk: Although it also has it's share of Post Cyber Punk and general anime tropes (especially when it comes to Sector Seven), the setting fits squarely into this. Most of civilization has been destroyed, and what's left is controlled by a very dictatorial and almost feudal world government that maintains power by having a monopoly on a sort of artificially engineered magic that is powered by toxic Eldritch Abomination fumes.
  • Dynamic Entry: During special vs. intros, many characters would jump into the scene while launching an attack at the opposition, such as Ragna vs Jin or Makoto vs Noel.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Easily one of the most screwed up casts of fighters ever.
    • Let's see... Jin's either a sociopath or an (incestuous) Yandere. Carl's walking around with the living corpse of his sister and is scarred for life; his father murdered his wife and daughter. Tao's hyperactive and is, well, an idiot; Bang is the Super Hero version of this combined with Testosterone Poisoning. Litchi's got a severe case of Guilt Complex. Arakune lost his mind. Kokonoe comes off as mad at the world. Hazama's a thoroughly despicable being who finds joys in being a malicious Troll to everyone. Platinum has DID and a Guilt Complex. Hakumen's an entirely different level of sociopath and has a massive ego in his abilities. Noel is WAY too emotionally unstable to be serving in ANY military capacity, and Tsubaki is at least crazy enough to off her best friend for a chance with Jin and has a pretty absurd case of Black-and-White Insanity... and then there are the Murakumo Units. Valkenhayn is weighed down with the guilt of his past failings and his duties to Madame Rachel, who comes off as bored and depressed at the world. Ragna has just about broken from all the crap he had to go through, and also comes off as mad at the world due to all of Terumi's shenanigans. And Makoto, who seems well-adjusted compared to the others, is a Pandora's Box of racism issues she's trying to keep shut. Newcomers involve a girl who's Raised by Dudes as a mercenary and thus always have a mercenary mindset when dealing with everything (Bullet), a fight-happy beast of a man (Azrael), and a dude that looks like a lady and too obsessed with doing his own things (Amane). Arguably the most normal of them is Kagura Mutsuki, the extent of whose emotional dilemma (the nature of the Ikaruga Civil War) is concealed behind his lechery. And this is just the top of the barrel!
      Ragna: Dear god, why me? Why do I always seem to attract the who's who of mental illness...?
    • Although almost all of them get better as of the third game. Even then, there is Izanami, The Goddess of Death who is possessing Saya, Ragna and Jin's younger sister and the Murakumo template. She's obsessed with creating a world of death.
  • Dystopia: The current world is this, thanks to the NOL and the Cataclysm Backstory. What the Black Beast didn't destroy, it corrupted with thick seithr, forcing the remains of society to build cities high up the mountains. The NOL, founded in the Dark War as a means to regulate Grimoires, now has its jurisdiction stretched to the entire world and practically becomes The Government that controls almost everything on the world with an iron fist. There are the issues of feudalism and people practically (though not actually) being put in "castes" based on where they live, as well as racism to Beastkins and demi-humans.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Ragna's saga is so full of downers, ranging from him being an epic Cosmic Plaything and The Chew Toy and mostly being a Failure Hero whose actions further the Big Bad's plan or even getting turned into a Black Beast at the climax of Chronophantasma, not to mention the world is very much a Crapsack World with tons of repeating time loops to anull progress. In Central Fiction, with preservation about what he learned so far and self-sacrifice, Ragna managed to turn those around, accomplish something great for himself and the world, and makes the ultimate sacrifice to turn that world into A World Half Full that's recovering and won't repeat any further depressing time loops. Phew.
  • Elite Agents Above the Law: The Zero Squadron (a.k.a. Wings of Justice) is an "unofficial" part of the NOL's army, who answers only to the Imperator. Their job is to watch the other members of the army and find anyone who might rebel and bring them to justice.
  • Empathic Weapon: The Nox Nyctores choose their owners and will protect the owner if the need arises. As seen in Jin's story in Continuum Shift, a Nox Nyctores can cease to activate if it doesn't approve the owner anymore and will even attempt to take over the owner's mind to fulfill its mission. There are only 10 of such weapons in existence until Nine creates the 11 Nox Nyctores; Corpus Sepulcro: Requiem, and all come in different forms and shapes.
  • Ensemble Cast: The plot is very much focused on Ragna and his exploits, but also lends plenty of spotlight and development to the secondary cast as well. Most of them have their own plot-lines going that run independent of Ragna's.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Despite Terumi working with Relius and Izanami, neither of them like him particularly much because of his scheming and unpredictable behavior, and she leaves both of them to their fates when she has no more use for them, noting that Saya might have rubbed off on her when it comes to her contempt for Terumi, which Central Fiction confirms: she's actually the personification of Saya's hatred towards the two who tortured her to hell and back.
  • Everyone Has a Special Move: Par of the course for fighting games, but the game's unique Drive mechanic brings this trope further.
  • Everyone Is Related: To an extent; Ragna and Jin/Hakumen are brothers, and their little sister Saya is the Imperator of NOL, not to mention that at least three of the characters are clones of her. In their childhood, they were all raised in an orphanage by Celica A. Mercury, the sister of Nine (aka Konoe A. Mercury) of the Six Heroes. Jubei (also of the Six Heroes) is Nine's husband, and together, they gave birth to Kokonoe, which means that, technically speaking, Ragna, Jin, and Saya are Kokonoe's foster cousins. Additionally, Jubei's genetic template was used to create the Kaka clan, from which Taokaka hails. On Jin's side, he was adopted into the Kisaragi family (one of the Duodecim, the twelve noble houses descended from the first twelve humans to master Ars Magus during the Dark War) and shares a brother-sister relationship with his love interest, Tsubaki (of the Yayoi family, another one of the Duodecim). All of the Murakumo Units (including Nu, Lambda, and Noel/Mu) are clones of Saya.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: The "three NOL Stooges" Noel, Tsubaki and Makoto came from the same school, the NOL Military Academy, as well as their friends Mai and Kajun. Kagura and Jin are also alumni of the school, while Carl dropped out of it.
  • Evil Weapon: Ars Armagus is a lesser form of this. As it mainly uses seithr, using it recklessly would cause seithr poisoning, which may lead to mental deterioration, if not death. Sealed Weapon Izayoi, in particular, "steals the user's light", which may cause blindness, if not death, to the user, although it's more of a "Knight Templar Weapon". Nox Nyctores are even worse: aside from Ars Armagus' effects, they're made by using the parts of the core of the original Nox, Take-Mikazuchi, plus thousands of people's souls, and they actively controls people's emotions holding them.
  • Evil Tainted the Place: In the backstory, the Black Beast ravaged the world while leaving seithr, Toxic Phlebotinum that pollutes the ground and waters, and can cause deterioration of the human body and mind. After the battle against the beast (called the Dark War) is over, most of the world in the lower elevations (including the seas) have been covered in seithr, forcing the survivors to build cities in high mountains to avoid them.
  • Evolving Attack: Starting from the third game, using Overdrive will enhance some of the characters' specials and DD, either dealing more damage or adding some special properties. In the fourth game, the special Exceed Accel techniques are meterless "super moves" that gets stronger and flashier if done in Active Flow.
  • Extinct in the Future: Due to the calamity caused by the Black Beast and the Dark War, the lower elevations of the world (including the seas) have been heavily polluted by Seithr, causing the sea life and several other animals to go extinct.
  • Fanservice: The tie-in manga are made of it; if one of the females is even vaguely pretty, then take it and read that she'll appear in a shot that leaves little to the imagination, and some that leave absolutely nothing to the imagination.
    • The games themselves have Fanservice in spades as well. Mostly provided by the female characters for male players, but female players are fortunate enough to get some from male characters on occasion. The presence of blatant fanservice is enough to get a Lampshade Hanging on occasion as well.
    • The illustrations that one can unlock in the galleries lay it on really thick at times too, again both ways. Ranging from some of the girls laying in bed together, in advanced states of undress, and more. Suffice to say that Arc System Works knows damned good and well that their characters are sexy and are not even remotely shy about showing them off.
      • And that's not even mentioning the material collections where not even Rachel is safe from scantily-clad scenarios, various states of undress, or suggestive shots of her and Noel dripping with les yay. And let's not even get started on the one where she's eating cream dipped strawberries somewhat messily resulting in some...pretty suggestive imagery.
  • Fantastic Racism: Beastkin are typically seen in a derogatory light by humanity in general, with the known cast being amongst the majority of the exceptions. It's telling that, given all the problems Terumi and/or Relius instigated as part of their plans, this isn't one of them!
    • Kagutsuchi was built on top of Lost Town, where the Kaka clan lives, depriving it of sunlight and contributing to their decline, and nobody saw a problem with this a hundred years later. The Kaka kittens all praise Bang as a hero for bringing the sun back.
    • Dark and Troubled Past / Noodle Incident: Makoto's pre-Academy backstory has never been explored to this day, and this problem plagued her even during her tenure. Given how she refuses to remember it, how she was a much nastier person in Heart to Heart, and how being forced to relive it outright shattered her during the bad ending to Slight Hope, the possibilities lead the mind to very dark places.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Just looking at the playable characters, we have normal humans, vampires, a Cyborg, magic-wielding robot girls, an insect-filled Eldritch Abomination, a cat girl, a squirrel girl, a Highly-Visible Ninja, a Magical Girl with 3 personalities inhabiting one body, a samurai whose sword is longer than is physically possible to unsheath, and a werewolf butler.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: While none fit the trope fully, Makoto is undoubtedly the fighter with the greatest offensive potential, Tsubaki fits the mage best, though her Unlimited version is the toughest of the three (15,000 HP to the other two's 14,000HP according to The Other Wiki; in normal mode they all get 11,000 according to Dustloop), and Noel the thief noted for her speed, though her reliance on her magic guns leans towards the mage a little.
    • It's switched around for Mu-12 and Izayoi (Noel and Tsubaki's alter egos respectively): Mu is the mage with her powerful zoning capabilities and low health, while Izayoi is the thief with her quick attacks and high mobility.
    • Also to some extent with Bang's three "apprentices" Carl, Platinum and Taokaka (respectively). Carl is mainly the brute fighter with the help of Nirvana, although he's not without some intricate tactics of his own. Platinum is the mage, being a Magical Girl, although her play-style involves a lot of powerful smashing. Taokaka is the thief, with weak attacks and multiple mobility options.
    • The Six Heroes also hold this dynamic with Hakumen and Valkenhayn being the fighters, Nine and Trinity being the mages, and finally with Jubei and Terumi being the thieves.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Inevitable for a fighting game, many allies and friends fight each other during their the arcade/story mode plays.
  • Finishing Move: Known as Astral Heats, these moves can only be used during the final round, when the opponent has less than 25% life remaining. In the arcade version of Calamity Trigger, only Ragna, Rachel, and Nu -13- have Astral Heats, a fact which, according to Word of God, was related to the game's plot. That is, Astral Heats are only unlocked in the console versions when a character completes their Arcade Mode; with each Arcade Mode being one iteration of the "Groundhog Day" Loop. At the time of the arcade game, only Ragna, Rachel and Nu -13- have completed their "loops" and gained the Astral Heat power. Continuum Shift has raised the maximum health to 35% and allowed their usage in the match point round, but in return you need to burn a Burst. Chronophantasma leaves out the Burst while keeping the "having win one round" restriction.
  • Fixed-Floor Fighting: All fights take place on the same flat 2D arena, with the only difference in stages being background design.
  • Flawless Victory: "Perfect!" Note that Ragna, Hazama and Celica are still possibly able to get hit and score a "perfect" if they manage to heal their own health back to full before they win.
  • Flying Firepower: The Robot Girls Lambda-11, Mu-12 and Nu-13 all have the ability to fly and mainly fight using projectiles (although since this is a fighting game they normally just float at the same height everyone walks).
  • Food End: a couple of Tao's endings and Ragna's joke ending have them eating (Ragna's joke ending naturally involves Tao). Parodied in Noel's Gag Reel in CS, in which her cooking renders everyone in the cast (except Terumi) unconscious.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The prequel novel, BlazBlue Phase 0. If you've played the games, you already know what's going to happen. The Black Beast will be unleashed and nearly cause the end of the world. A group of people whom will be known as the Six Heroes will rise up and lead the remnants of humanity to challenge and eventually slay the beast. Hakumen is Jin. Bloodedge will sacrifice himself to save Jubei. Celica will watch over the Black Beast's remains. However, while we know what will happen, we don't know how it happened, which the novel will explain. There are also stuff that foreshadow things to come in the games, particularly for the third.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Hakumen's Shipuu (Squall) Distortion Drive is a slower, stronger version of Jin's Touga Hyojin (Arctic Dagger) Distortion Drive.
    • Rachel likes to mockingly call Jin "Mr. Hero", seemingly as a jab at his war hero status and his decidedly-unheroic nature. But then she later meets Hakumen and calls him that as well...
    • Amazingly, the two different Japanese covers for the PS3/360 ver of CT. PS3 = Ragna/Jin/Noel. 360 = Ragna/Hakumen/Nu-13. It's technically the same three people on the cover.
    • Lambda plays her "Nox Nyctores detected..." intro against Badass Normal Bang. This brings attention to his nail, Phoenix Wing:Rettenjo, before it becomes important in the next game.
    • A fake (but still made by AKSYS) trailer for a BlazBlue movie had Litchi end up turning evil. Guess what happened in Continuum Shift...
    • There's a reason why Bang's Nox Nyctores has Lord Tenjo's name in it.
    • In episode 10 of the Chronophantasma story, Rachel talks about a book with a beginning and end but with nothing in between and about how a girl is writing and rewriting it over and over again from her memories in a futile attempt to try and reach a better ending. This ends up foreshadowing a lot of the plot twists from BlazBlue: Central Fiction, especially surrounding the Amaterasu Unit. Even before that, Hakumen mentions in CP's Six Heroes storyline that he must "put an end to this God's dream". The phrase "God's dream" is synonymous to the next game's title - Central Fiction, specifically "the dream that God observes".
  • Forgotten First Meeting: The second game reveals that as a student, Ragna met Taokaka while she was still a kitten (although he might remember, she doesn't). In this case, however, their relationship is strictly platonic.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble: Among the heroes:
    • The Optimist: Makoto, Celica, Tsubaki (becomes a Realist later on)
      The Cynic: Jin (becomes a Realist later on), Kokonoe
      The Realist: Rachel, Kagura, Hibiki
      The Apathetic: Ragna (becomes a Realist later on)
      The Conflicted: Noel (for the most part), Tager (at least regarding his past and being Kokonoe's assistant)
    • Also among the Six Heroes: Jubei is optimistic, Nine is cynical, Hakumen and Valkenhayn are the realists, Terumi is apathetic (because he's brainwashed into it), Trinity is conflicted.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Makoto is Sanguine, Jin is Choleric, Tsubaki is Melancholic, and Noel is Supine.
  • Fourth-Wall Mail Slot: Each character who reaches a bad ending in story mode in the second game is treated to an episode of "Help Me, Professor Kokonoe!", where she gives you advice on what you did wrong and how to avoid it the next time around. She's not afraid to berate the player for it, either.
    "If you're one of those players who are like "I don't need help", or "I just want to unlock hidden stuff", or "I'll just look up a Flowchart online", then you can PISS OFF!"
    • There's also the "Teach Me, Miss Litchi!" segments that help explain the story to the player by elaborating some of the backstory of the characters, and what certain things are like seithr, the Boundary, Ars Magus, Nox Nyctores, etc. Despite Litchi being on the opposing side by the end of Continuum Shift... this segment is back in Chronophantasma, and still with Litchi being the host.
  • Freudian Trio: Makoto is the Id and Tsubaki is definitely the Superego. Noel, however, is the Ego by way of trying to balance between the two.
    • Also between the three main characters: Ragna as the Id, Jin as the Superego and Noel (especially after Character Development) as the Ego.
    • The three main villains: Terumi as the Id, Relius as Superego and Izanami as the Ego.
    • Also applies to the other half of the team in Remix Heart: Mai as the Ego, Kajun as the Superego and Shiori as the Id.
    • For Terumi and his vessels: Terumi as the Id, Kazuma as the Superego and Hazama as the Ego.
  • Friendly Local Chinatown: The Orient Town of Kagutsuchi is full of Chinese attribute and people delivering meatbuns or doing Chinese martial arts katas. It's also the residence of Litchi Faye-Ling.
  • Funny X-Ray: The X-Ray Sparks of some characters show some funny tidbits:
    • Taokaka apparently stuffs a fish under her long sleeves. Kokonoe stuffs sweets in the same maner.
    • Hakumen doesn't show any skeleton (being an Animated Armor), instead he just shows some odd Tron Lines.
    • Terumi briefly shows his ghostly features instead of his skeleton.
    • Relius apparently has his arm and a leg replaced by prosthesis.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: In Story Mode during some fights: Ragna can't use any of his D attacks against Unlimited Hazama when he claims his Soul Eater doesn't work on him and pressing the button just stuns him briefly. Jin can only use A and B attacks normally, no special attacks, and his D attacks have a much shorter range and obviously don't freeze when Yukianesa refuses to activate, but he fights the next battle in Unlimited mode when his willpower causes it to reactivate. For more miscellaneous examples, wounded characters start the match with only half health, some fights end when you reduce your opponent's life to 20% or less instead of depleting it completely to emphasize their strength, and so on. These are also subversions of Power-Up Letdown.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In-game, it's possible for anyone to beat anyone else, and the chance of you winning (theoretically) has more to do with your skill than with a character you're playing. Meanwhile, the story is riddled with moments where you win fights in-game and lose them (often very badly) in-story.
    • Good luck trying to reconcile the differences between the term Drive as it is used in-game and in-story. In-story Drives are an ability one gets by pulling the Azure to them with a strong soul but in-game it is just whatever attacks use the D button. The problem is many game-play Drives are either 1) the result of using weapons as opposed to being an innate abilitynote , 2) can change when a character has multiple formsnote  or 3) only makes sense as a game-play abilitynote . And then there’s Ragna’s Soul Eater, which is listed as his game-play Drive but is attributed to his Azure Grimoire in the story.
  • Gate of Truth:
    • The Sheol Gate can be described as this, as it contains the entrance to the Boundary, where all knowledge and experience of every person across timelines gather. Technically, however, said gate is just one of the many Cauldrons in the world; all Cauldrons can give you access to the Boundary. Nevertheless, entering Boundary will give you knowledge - oftentimes too much for a mind of an average person to handle.
    • There's also the Forbidden Gate, aka the Azure Gate in the fourth game. Beyond it is the way to the absolute force of the verse: the True Azure. Es guards it, waiting for the "Man of the Azure" to come out and claim the Azure. The description for this stage says it all:
    "There is the end of all and all of the beginning is ahead of this gate."
  • Generational Magic Decline: The Yayoi clan was one of the 12 families that formed NOL and were extremely powerful, but they panicked when they started producing children with weaker Ars Magus abilities and started marrying within the family in the belief it would make them stronger. The other members of NOL are noted to be disgusted by this, with the head of the organization even telling them to stop. Things have gotten so bad that Tsubaki is specifically noted to not be the first child of her parents, simply the first to survive early childhood.
  • Genre Relaunch: Along with Street Fighter IV, it's responsible for reviving the 2D Fighting Game genre.
  • The Gimmick: Drive, in a nutshell.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Arakune's research tapes reveal that his research into the Boundary and the nature of seithr led him to slowly lose his mind, as well as his original (humanoid) physical form. Kokonoe's story in CPEX elaborates further; He was trying to acquire the Azure for research purposes, but after his Boundary experiments drove him off the edge, ghost Terumi then tempted him with the Azure by telling him to jump into a Cauldron. The rest is history. Hazama later mocked him in CS for being so foolish.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: The Murakumo Units have wings made of blades. For Nu and Lambda, their blades deal a lot of hits when they swing them; Nu is accordingly a psychotic Yandere beneath her monotony, but Lambda is full-on emotionless. Meanwhile, for the more powerful Mu, the blades merge into a single big blade of light when she swings them. In case you haven't been clued in yet: she's a world destroying evil, has the power to pull it off, and fully intends to go through with it. But after she's tamed and becomes Noel's good side in CP, the good, angelic theme of the wings (and the Kusanagi in particular) is played straight.
  • Government Conspiracy: The Ikaruga Civil War turns out to be this. The Ikaruga Federation was indeed going to separate themselves from the NOL... but through peaceful diplomatic talks. Then the NOL makes them look like the bad guys so that they can launch an all-out war on them. Before that, there's also how Saya usurped the Imperator title from its previous holder, Lord Tenjo, who later became the head of the Ikaruga Federation and led to the whole conflict in the first place. Jin Kisaragi also got to be the one to assassinate Lord Tenjo because the other troops who could potentially do so were sentenced with false crimes. This is all done through Hazama's manipulation. Jin himself came to put the two and two together right after the deed... but then Hazama ate his memories.
  • Grapple Move: All characters can do some grab commands on their own that can lead to combos. Some characters have these as their specials, with Tager and Bullet specializing in these.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: Only the Six Heroes seem to know that the only reason the Black Beast didn't make any moves against the world for a year (which bought the Six Heroes the time they needed to teach people the Ars Magus that would eventually defeat the Black Beast) was because the original Bloodedge sacrificed himself to make it go dormant. The rest of the world has probably never even heard of the name "Bloodedge" — until Ragna started using it, of course. This story is eventually told in Phase 0, which also reveals that Ragna and the original Bloodedge are one and the same.
  • Great Offscreen War:
    • The First War of Ars Magus, aka the Dark War, is what greatly changed the world, turning it into a dystopian, magical Feudal Future. It's when the the Black Beast first appears, ravaging the world, and new Magitek system being introduced to the world to counter it, causing whole societies to change. A number of characters hailed from said era, and the war itself is a major plot point for most games. Averted in the Phase Shift novels as they take place slightly before and during the Dark War.
    • The Second War of Ars Magus, aka Ikaruga Civil War, is a war where 5 Hierarchical Cities banded together to form Ikaruga Federation to make themselves stand separate from the NOL; the latter was wholly against it, and thus came the war. Many characters are influenced by the war, if not taking part in it themselves (such as Jin and Bang) and it also creates a few problems in the present. Averted in Spiral Shift novel, which focuses on Jin's exploits during the war.
    • There's also another war stated in CF, the Prime Field Wars, which also tells about the truth of the world. The Boundary Interfaces Prime Field Devices were sent into the Boundary to contact the Master Unit to give them phenomenal powers, but doing so also gave them sentience, and then they were turned into mindless weapons of war. The Master Unit, being inhabited by the first Prime Field Device, got tired of humanity doing it and thus the war broke between humanity and Prime Field Devices. While the PFDs overwhelmed the humans, the latter invented some solutions, including the Izayoi and the very first Black Beast, the latter of which outright destroyed the world, forcing the Master Unit to recreate the world through Takamagahara. That's how the very world of BlazBlue began.
    • Nine also mentions one in Phase Shift 3 that took place during the Age of Origin in which humanity fought against "something" outside of the Logic. Hihi'irokane was created during this war.
  • Guide Dang It!: Unlocked a shiny new Unlimited Character through blood and tears (or bribery)? You'll have to figure out their new moves on your own, as Unlimited Characters do not have move lists depicting their new attacks.
    • Also on how to proceed through the Story Mode and especially getting the characters' various endings.
  • Harmful Healing: In his story in the second game, Sissy Villain Protagonist Jin Kisaragi is wounded courtesy of his encounter with Ragna from the first game. Explanation  He's so badly hurt he can barely walk properly, nevermind fight (which he continues to do quite effectively anyway) and receives a temporary healing treatment of this type from Rachel, so he can go on and fight Hazama. Apparently, it's a last resort and not even the legendary hero Jubei would've been able to handle it, but naturally, being the Determinator he is, Jin manages it.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Done a lot in story mode, most notoriously in fights against Hazama.
    • Nu has a bad habit of performing her Astral Heat in cut-scenes after losing a story mode match.
  • Heavenly Blue: the "Azure" is stated to be where souls of the dead will go; the Azure looks like a shining blue light in the darkness of the Boundary. In other words, a "blue heaven".
  • Hidden Villain:
    • In the first game, the main baddie (i.e not Nu) is not revealed until the end: Yuuki Terumi, under the guise of Hazama.
    • In the second game, Terumi apparently answers directly to the Imperator Librarius. The identity isn't revealed until the end, but it's Saya, Ragna and Jin's sister. Well, to be exact, an entity possessing Saya's body, Hades Izanami.
  • High-Heel–Face Turn: By the end of Chronophantasma, the only former villains that finally stops being Heel are all female. Tsubaki is fully on the good side again, while Litchi did not officially join, she's freed from her manipulator, making her more 'neutral' in stance. However, Saya is revealed to be Izanami and took over as the Big Bad, still taking Phantom with her. Phantom, in Central Fiction, eventually turns out to be only with the villains by force, and is simply planning a drastic way to free the world from the Central Fiction.
  • High School AU: Carl's Gag Reel in Continuum Shift. It doesn't just feature the cast who were former students of the NOL Academy (i.e. Carl, Jin, Noel, Makoto, and Tsubaki), but also Valkenhayn as a Music Teacher, Bang as a Special Ed PE Teacher, Litchi as the School Nurse, Taokaka as a stray cat, Rachel as the vice principal, and Ragna as the principal.
  • Hints Are for Losers: In the second game, in the "Help Me, Prof. Kokonoe!" sections, Kokonoe says in each opening that those who read a flowchart online should piss off. The fact that the sections are made to help the players get the proper ending after they get a bad ending in their story mode also plays with this.
  • Hit Stop: Like most fighting games, each hit will make the animation stop for a split second. Particularly strong hits (such as Hazama's Serpent's Infernal Rapture) mean longer hit stop time.
  • Hoist Hero over Head: Nu, Lambda, and Mu's throws and Tager's Astral Heat.
  • Homage: Word of God states that the general setting of BlazBlue draws inspiration from Trigun.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Compared to its predecessor Guilty Gear, BlazBlue has much more fanservice. Most of the females in the cast receive progressively skimpier outfits in later entries with accompanying art, and most of them tend to start out with fanservicey outfits to begin with. The only females who aren't wearing fanservicey outfits are Rachel, Tsubaki, Kokonoe, Celica and Es.

  • Idle Animation: And your character will likely spout a unique line for each opponent.
  • Immortal Breaker: The Trope Namer. The main one is Tsubaki's short sword Izayoi, although it has some other unique properties as an Anti-Observer instrument as well. However, Mai's spear Outseal is also confirmed to be an Immortal Breaker. The main people who get highlighted as being weak to Breakers are Observers, and Rachel even asks Izayoi to be prepared to kill her if everything else goes wrong.
  • Immune to Fate: The "Chronophantasma" are people who have a special existence, possess no fate, and are immune to Phenomenon Interventions, such as Noel, Rachel and Celica. Users of Power of Order can also be this in a different way, by way of voluntarily rejecting interventions, like Jin and Hakumen, and even grants them immunity to Tsubaki's Immortal Breaker.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Just like Guilty Gear before it, many of the characters' clothes fall onto this. They're relatively less "impossible" than Guilty Gear's, however, especially in their Xrd incarnation.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: Ars Armagus and especially Nox Nyctores can qualify due to them being, well, magical weapons, but a few stand out: Ragna's Blood Scythe (a big slab of metal on a stick that can be rotated along its base which reveals an energy scythe... and it's neither an Armagus or a Nox), the Murakumo (big swords which function more as a Transformation Trinket that gives the Murakumo Units armor and flying swords), and Celica's Minerva (a copy of Nox Nyctores Nirvana made by Kokonoe which somehow is even crazier and more agile than Nirvana itself, having its parts transform into different weapons... likely being attributed to Kokonoe's crazy genius).
  • Inconsistent Dub: At several points in Continuum Shift story mode, the English dub track switches from using "Azure Grimoire" to its original name, "BlazBlue," particularly with scenes with Terumi. The written script still uses "Azure Grimoire" during these instances. There are several other scenes in Continuum Shift where the spoken dialogue doesn't match the subtitles. Annoying especially because this was not a problem in Calamity Trigger.
    • One of the biggest examples would be one scene in Arakune's Story Mode when he meets Nu-13 in a sort of Battle in the Center of the Mind and she speaks in her yandere voice but the text is written as she's speaking in the usual emotionless-robot-voice. This is a subversion, as this was intentional.
    • No one can seem to agree on how Arakune's name is pronounced. The English track seems to use "arak-nee" (like the Greek monster Arachne) and the announcer uses "ara-KOO-nay".
      • This may be because the English version seems to have the former as the intended pronunciation, whereas the announcer is never redubbed from the original Japanese, where all the names are pronounced slightly different.
    • Makoto's last name is pronounced in a couple of different ways. Makoto and Noel say "na-nie-ah," but Hazama and the rest in the english dub says "nan-ee-ah."
    • Chronophantasma takes this whole thing even further. There are more scenes than ever before where what the characters are saying doesn't match up with what their subtitled dialogue says that they are.
  • In-Joke: The name of the spinoff game Clone Phantasma is a (not so) subtle ribbing of what "chronophantasma" is: a clone.
  • Injured Player Character Stage: Sometimes during story mode, your player character will be crippled for story reasons, and it is expressed in gameplay by you being unable to use Drive or other things. For example, Hazama shutting down Ragna's Azure Grimoire in CS makes you (as Ragna) unable to use his Drive attacks.
  • Injured Vulnerability: Astral Heats can only be used when the opponent has low HP (in addition to a whole slew of other things).
  • Internal Affairs: The special Zero Squadron aka Wings of Justice of NOL Army is part this, part Secret Police. They aren't officially part of the Army and more of a "mobile judge" that monitors the activities of other squadrons and will not tolerate any kind of rebellion from them. They act under direct orders of the Imperator.
  • In the Hood: Taokaka and the Kaka Clan's method of being The Faceless. In Teach Me Ms. Litchi during the discussion of the "Wings of Justice"; Tsubaki brings up the masks of the order. Jin makes a reference to Taokaka's face why she wears a mask.
    • Also in Continuum Shift, the new story mode Character Platinum the Trinity is always shown almost completely obscured by a hooded cloak. Although as her playable appearance she stopped wearing it.
    • Terumi starting in Chronophantasma wears a yellow Badass Longcoat with a hood that shadows his eyes.
  • In the Name of the Moon: Among NOL themselves they'll have an intro where they chant this together:
    Dispatched in mankind's darkest hour, we, are knights of the Blue Flame!
    • Taokaka quotes the Trope Namer word for word, except she calls the moon "that big, round, white thingy in the night sky".
    • Other characters also use it in some of their Distortion Drives and Astral Heats.
  • Introductory Opening Credits: The openings of each game show the mugshots and the names of the playable characters.
  • I Read That As: Similarly to the confusion around the title of Jam's theme from Guilty Gear ("Babel Nose" vs. "Babel Noise"), Taokaka's theme is spelled as "Catus Carnival" in the soundtrack, but often mistakenly referred to as "Cactus Carnival" by fans.
  • Japanese Spirit: Like Guilty Gear, BlazBlue also displays these traits among its characters. It's arguably more prominent as BlazBlue is definitely more eastern inspired than its predecessor.
    • Ragna the Bloodedge is persistence incarnate. Despite how many times he gets knocked down, he's quick to get back up and continue trying until he succeeds. But he lacks insight as he's mostly motivated by anger than a true righteous cause.
    • His younger brother Jin Kisaragi embodies Talent. An exceptionally skilled fighter who single handily ended a war, graduated top of his class, and became the youngest major within his military. Staying true to his status as The Rival though, he lacks any sort of drive to succeed or improve mostly due to a combination of apathy and arrogance.
    • Noel Vermilion definitely has Insight. She has a steadfast belief in her friends and family and are her primary motivation to succeed. However, since she's a Shrinking Violet, she doesn't have much stubbornness to keep pushing.
    • What's interesting is that all three characters undergo Character Development that helps them develop other parts of the trope and become much better individuals: Ragna gains a nobler cause to fight for, Jin finally has some conviction to succeed, and Noel develops much stronger abilities to help her.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: Mostly by nature of individual story modes. The first game asks a lot of questions, and leaves most of them hanging. While CS and other material does reveal a great deal, enough to help make sense of past events and the time-skips (along with solidifying the overarching plot of the series), it also creates even more unanswered questions. CP, naturally, does a similar thing, although the plot structure is somewhat more streamlined this time.
  • Kill Sat: Take-Mikazuchi, fueled by magic power for extra destruction, but apparently nothing that Rachel can't handle thanks to the Tsukuyomi Unit, with almost no visible exertion.
  • Kill the Host Body: Discussed. Ragna's sister, Saya, has the "Goddess of Death" Izanami occupying her body. As Izanami is "death" itself, she can't be really killed, and thus it is suggested that Ragna should kill Saya instead to deny Izanami a body. Later, however, as the heroes learn the true nature of Izanami - i.e the "other half" of Noel (long story) - the heroes go with a plan of absorbing Izanami into Noel's body to "neutralize" her. This act doesn't kill Izanami, but instead completes Noel into "Saya" with her inheriting Izanami's memories.
  • Knight, Knave, and Squire: The game gives us this archetype in the Stooges of Torifune and its core protagonists.
    • Knight: Jin and Tsubaki. Jin's self-nihilism keeps him from being a pure Knight, but he and Tsubaki are most dedicated to upholding the spirit of law within the world order; Jin in upholding the natural balance (when he's not going crazy-creepy over Ragna), and Tsubaki in the court of man.
    • Knave: Ragna and Makoto. Both have compassion towards their fellows, but they both rely on overwhelming brute force (Ragna more so until he was forced to adapt without his Azure Grimoire). Ragna also overwhelmed NOL branches by staging his assaults at night, while Makoto integrates mind games into her combat strategy; if her statement in Central Fiction is any indication, she is not above fighting dirty, either.
    • Squire: Noel. By far the youngest and least experienced of the trios (and the sole individual common to both groups); she mostly let Bolverk do the fighting until combat with Terumi caused their limiter to malfunction, and she's had to adjust to combat in a natural state since.
  • Knockback Evasion: By pressing an attack button and a direction after you fall, you can quickly roll away from where you fell off.
  • Kudzu Plot: By virtue of having a Jigsaw Puzzle Plot (especially in the first two games; it's lessening in the third and fourth), the story-line is pretty much confusing to hell and back. The "Groundhog Day" Loop and Timey-Wimey Ball only made them more convoluted, and some facts in the later games would contradict with the first game's. Each subsequent games would have a recap of the previous games to help with this, but they're usually trimmed down to their most major, plot-affecting details, leaving minor ones uncovered.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Ragna and Jin are brothers, Kokonoe's a Cat Girl and Tager's creator/boss, Hakumen is The Cybernetic Ghost of Jin's Future from The Past. They barely even count as spoilers, since they're casually mentioned several times in the story and the Fourth-Wall Mail Slot.
    • The Continuum Shift trailers give away that Hazama isn't what he seems. His Arcade Mode opening wall of text casually drops the fact that he's the one pulling the strings.
    • If you bothered looking at the voice list, Jin and Hakumen have the same voice actor. The extended credits played after the True Ending do list them, when The Reveal is done. Same goes for Continuum Shift's credits, which also point out that Hazama is Terumi. The credits in the console version do try to avert this though, by replacing the names of Hakumen's and Nu's voice actors with question marks.
    • As of Chronophantasma, Ragna and Jin's sister Saya being the Imperator of the NOL. Of course, the twist came later... And even Jin comes to realize that Hakumen is himself from another timeline.
    • The Continuum Shift 2 opening FMV shows Noel turning into Mu-12.
  • Laughing Mad: Arakune. He was even prone to fits of this before his transformation when he was still Lotte Carmine, due to the side effects of experimenting on the Boundary.
  • Lag Cancel: Per Fighting Game standards, normal moves' recovery times can be canceled into another normal move (so long as it is stronger than the first) or a special move, then a Distortion Drive or an Astral Heat; you can also sneak in some Gold Burst or Overdrive in between. Some attacks can also be canceled into a jump (Launcher Moves especially), or a dash. Finally there's Rapid Cancel, which instantly reverts you to an idle position and lets you free to do something else, but it costs some Heat meter to perform.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: Distortion Drives have a blue background with the character emblem in white. Astral Heats have a black one with the character's crest briefly overlaid in red. In Chronophantasma, the background goes monotone with the emblem in blue when a character goes into Overdrive.
  • Leitmotif: Like Guilty Gear, every character has one, in addition to the rivalry/relationship leitmotifs for Ragna vs. Jin, Jin vs. Noel, Rachel vs. Ragna, and Litchi vs. Arakune, as well as one for the Mirror Match. Unlimited Ragna also has a unique leitmotif of his own.
    • Continuum Shift adds Ragna vs. Hazama and Noel vs. Tsubaki to the list of rivalry themes. Also for Unlimited Hazama.
    • Extend further adds Carl vs. Relius and Jin vs. Tsubaki.
    • Chronophantasma adds Valkenhayn vs. Relius, Ragna vs. Hakumen, Hakumen vs. Izayoi, and universal themes for when members of Sector Seven or members of the Six Heroes fight each other. Take-Mikazuchi also gets one.
    • Central Fiction adds Kokonoe/Celica vs Nine, Ragna/Jin vs Izanami, Nine/Celica vs Es, Hakumen vs Susanoo, as well as Izanami and Susanoo's boss themes.
  • Lethal Chef: Noel in her Continuum Shift gag reel. Ironically the only person able to stomach her cooking was Hazama. Also appears in Remix Heart where her cooking becomes infamous to her whole academy; Mai, however, comes to like them due to her unique sense of taste.
  • The Lifestream: The Azure is hinted repeatedly to be this; apparently souls, upon the bodies' death, will return to the Abyss of the Azure. It is also a source of energy that can be tapped into, whether indirectly (with Azure Grimoire) or directly (only possible with the Successor of the Azure).
  • Lovecraft Lite: The series teeters between this and Cosmic Horror Story. Although the series resembles a typical JRPG world, its lore is much closer to lovecraftian, such the biggest players in the series being effectively gods whilst everyone else is little more than at the mercy of their whims, the world always resetting, and the Boundary that corrupts anyone who goes through it. In spite of these stacked odds, by the end of the 4th game, two of those godlike entities are dead for good and the world is free from being looped again and again, though not without major prices being paid.
  • Magic Cauldron: the "Cauldrons" (called "Furnaces" in Japan) aren't technically literal cauldrons (they are actually gates to the Boundary), but they're often used like one (or like a furnace would) for creating powerful things, such as Nox Nyctores, Murakumo Units, the Crimson Grimoire and the Embryo. All of them requires sacrifices of souls to make during their "tempering". The Monolith can also work like them, although it isn't a gate to the Boundary.
  • The Magic Goes Away: By the end of Chronophantasma's story mode, the flow of seithr is gone, and the world is reeling from the rapid loss of Magitek.
  • Magic Knight: Many of the swordsmen in the verse have some capabilities for Ars Magus, such as Jin, Kagura, Hibiki and others. If not Ars Magus, they may still display some supernatural power in some other way, like Ragna's Azure Grimoire or Hakumen's power from the Susano'o Unit.
  • Magitek: The Ars Magus uses the seithr in the atmosphere and invented man-made machinations (such as the Grimoires) to be used in everyday life. Ars Armagus are them used as weapons. True magic, such as that wielded by Phantom, is much more powerful.
  • Mana Meter: The Heat Gauge. Hakumen's own is different (see Mechanically Unusual Fighter below)
  • Master of the Levitating Blades: Nu-13 and her clone, Lambda-11, use the magically levitated swords that always accompany them for their heavy attacks. They can also summon up spectral blades for their drive attacks and supers.
  • McNinja: Bang, to some extent. His birth city of Wadatsumi is apparently located near Poland and Ukraine.
  • Meaningful Name: The subtitles for the games are all meaningful in context; see Title Drop below. Aside from that, some characters' names are meaningful: Ragna is the short of Ragnarok (the apocalyptic event in the Norse myth) and refers to the danger that he poses, while Hakumen means "White Face". And so on.
  • Mechanically Unusual Fighter: Hakumen replaces his heat gauge with a magatama gauge which automatically fills (with his drive ability accelerating the fill) and can store up to 8 stocks. While other characters can perform their specials at will, each of Hakumen's specials uses a certain number of magatama stocks. On the other hand, as his specials and Distortions run off the same gauge, he can use his distortions more often on average than the rest. He's also the only character capable of chaining one special into another freely, unlike others who would need to do a Rapid Cancel.
    • Kind of Fridge Brilliance, when you consider Hakumen = Jin, as the latter's heat gauge depletes when he uses his drive attacks and specials too.
  • Memory Jar: Downplayed by Kokonoe. She doesn't save her memories per se, but she saves information and news regarding people and the world as backups, put in her special lab in the Boundary where any reality-warping effect (which may also affect her) cannot reach, allowing her to keep track of what happened in case she gets amnesia.
  • Microtransactions: In the first three games, the Unlimited characters can be unlocked by playing different game modes... or paying a small fee. Likewise, Mu-12 in the second game, Kagura in the third, and Susanoo in the fourth require you to play through the Story Mode to unlock... or again, a small fee.
  • Military Mage: The NOL Academy is both a Military Academy and Wizarding School made for finding and teaching teens with potentials to become warriors of Magitek to serve in the NOL's army. Some of them serves as Praetorian Guard, some as intel units, and a few (like Tsubaki) serves NOL's unofficial black ops unit.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: Subtle, but visible in Story Mode when a character is under the influence of a Nox Nyctores. How much they're Not Themselves at the time varies.
    • Jin, when under the control of Yukianesa, sports a Slasher Smile and gets extremely wide-eyed.
    • Noel's expression becomes completely blank and empty when under Bolverk's influence.
    • And Carl's eyes get shifty when Nirvana controls him.
    • Tsubaki's mind manipulation by the Imperator causes her and Izayoi's eyes to turn red.
    • Mu-12's formerly green eyes glow bright blue.
    • Worth noting that Imperator Saya seems to have these. Last time anyone saw her, she was Ragna and Jin's nice little sister. Then Terumi kidnaps her. Flash forward to today, she shows up as the Imperator, red-eyed and sans pupils (unless you zoom in really, really close. Then they're tiny dots). In Calamity Trigger, Terumi took over Jin's mind and tried to kill Ragna. Which is what has happened with Saya and Tsubaki. But at the end, Tsubaki quietly says "....Noel" when she was at Kagatsuchi port, which suggests that she is fighting Terumi's influence.
  • Missing Reflection: Rachel Alucard doesn't cast a reflection in any reflective surface, be it a mirror, a water puddle or a really reflective floor, due to her being a vampire.
  • Mood Whiplash: In Continuum Shift, after the bad ending, there are some comedic hijinks with Professor Kokonoe!
  • Morality Kitchen Sink: It was initially seen as a Black-and-Gray Morality conflict at first, but then the plot and characters got fleshed out significantly so now its pretty hard to pin down who's a clear cut hero or villain. Most cast members are mostly motivated by their own personal interests rather than concepts of "Good" or "Evil", and they tend to fight when these interests clash with one another. The cast ranges from the idealistic, to cynical but well meaning, to the sadistic sociopaths.
  • The Most Wanted: Ragna the Bloodedge, the Anti-Hero of the story, is an SS rank criminal with the highest recorded bounty in the world. At least in the first game, this makes a number of vigilantes and military officials to look for him. In the fourth game, Kokonoe (high member of Sector Seven) reveals that she was once the criminal with the SS rank before she hacked into the government's database to delete the info about her.
  • Motif Merger: A variant: every character has a special "crest" that represents them (you can see them when they perform their Distortion Drives or Astral Heats). One certain character's crest is a combination of two others'. It's the Black Beast's, whose crest is a combination of Ragna and Nu-13's. It's also the main BlazBlue logo.
  • Mukokuseki: Usually averted given the matching looks and nationalities, but certain characters still play this straight, such as Tsubaki Yayoi (who has red hair and blue eyes), Kokonoe and Konoe Mercury (pink hair and yellow eyes, though both are confirmed to be part-Japanese), Hazama/Yuuki Terumi (green hair and yellow eyes), and Amane Nishiki (blue eyes and purple hair). Bang Shishigami, despite looking correctly Asian, is actually not Asian in origin.
    • The world of BlazBlue is post-apocalyptic, with most of the landmasses reduced to seithr covered wastelands and people living in Hierarchical Cities on mountaintops. Genetically the cast includes people from England, Russia, Germany, America, Japan and China among others, but those countries don't exist anymore and years of mingling in the Hierarchical Cities have probably rendered ethnicity as we know it moot. As for Hazama, he's an Artificial Human.
  • Multiple-Choice Future: The world runs on a quantum principle, i.e "multiple worlds" and uncertainty theory where there exist multiple "possibilities" of events and things in the world. Someone with the power of Phenomenon Intervention is able to change something happening with an existing "possibility" for it. Noel, with her "Eye of the Azure", can see through multiple possibilities and "shift" them around (at first unconsciously, later at will), causing the phenomenon called "Continuum Shift".
  • Multiple Endings: At least in the first and second game, there are different kinds of endings each character can find; usually there's the good (canon) one, a bad one, and a gag one. Also, each game has a True Ending that you can see after you meet the good ending of every character (or just specific characters in the second game). In the third game and the fourth, meanwhile, the story is more streamlined, although gag endings still exist.
  • Muscles Are Meaningful: Muscles do a pretty good job of hinting at a character's defensive potential. Tager is built like a brick shithouse, and he has the highest HP and defensive ability in the game. Azrael is another beefcake who can take plenty of punishment, and even Bang with his manly muscles is in fourth for highest HP capacity; Kagura ties with Bang in both muscles and HP. Downplayed a bit with Bullet, who are among the more well-toned girls in the game, and has the same amount of HP as Bang and Kagura above. All of the above (plus Ragna, who at least has some good amount of muscles), also hit really hard compared to other characters (bar Carlnote , Makoto, Amanenote , Naoto and Ninenote ).
  • My Future Self and Me: Depending on the friends you have and how much they like spoilers, it can be strangely unsurprising or Mind Screw when you find out that Hakumen is the future Jin Kisaragi, but he's renounced his Jerkass past to become a different kind of jerkass. In Hakumen's story, it is revealed that the original Jin, the one that was kind to Saya, was in love with Tsubaki. Tsubaki, however, ended up sacrificing herself to save him.
  • My Name Is ???: In CT, Hakumen and Nu's voice actors are listed as ???? in the Arcade credits. It's to hide the fact that they share the same voice as Jin and Noel respectively - the separate twos are related in different ways. In the Story Mode credits, the voice actors' names are shown properly.
  • Named Weapons:
    • Ragna's sword/scythe Blood-Scythe, special among all the other Named Weapons in that it is merely a very good sword/scythe, rather than an Artifact of Doom.
    • Litchi's staff Matenbou, is a normal pole... with shape-shifting abilities.
    • Jin's katana Hyouken / Mucro Algesco (Ice Sword): Yukianesa (Snow Woman); it has the ability to form ice, at the price of sanity.
    • Noel's guns Majuu (Demon Beasts) / Arcus Diabolus (Devil's Arc): Bolverk. It can blast through barriers of any kind and serve as a seal for Noel's emotions that aren't past A-Cup Angst.
    • Carl's puppet Kishin / Deus Machina (God Machine): Nirvana; an automated guardian originally designed as Celica Mercury's custodian. While it was decommissioned after the Dark War by having its core (that is, its soul) extracted, Relius restored it to working order using some motivators acquired via Sector Seven and, later, Ada's soul. Carl has never forgiven him for this.
    • Hakumen's sword Zanma (Evil Slayer) / Interfectum Malus: Ookami (Howling God). It can negate Ars and magical powers, which is how it can easily kill Ragna and Arakune despite their Healing Factor.
    • Murakumo Units' armor/sword dispenser Lux Sanctus (Holy Light): Murakumo (Gathering Clouds). It's just the unit's true form in a BFS.
    • Jubei's sword Mujin (Nothing Blade) / Mucro Somnio: Musashi - Jubei explains that Musashi's ability is that it can cut through objects that can't be normally cut — almost anything.
    • Hazama's Jasou / Geminus Anguium (Twin Snakes): Ouroboros, which takes the form of snake-headed chains. It, apparently, is a Mind Rape in weaponized form; it can break the psyche of anyone it hits.
    • Tsubaki's uniform, book, and sword are her Ars Magus Fuuin Heishou (Sealed Soldier's Garb): Izayoi (Sixteenth Moon). It's a dangerous Ars Magus which steals the light (read: makes you blind and lowers your life) of the wielder who uses it over time. The process is sped up if the Izayoi's power's used in battle a lot. And it's actually a prototype to the Murakumo Units that, once released, gives the user armor and weaponry eerily similar to one as well, referred to now as Zero-shiki Heiki (Zero-Weave Weapon): Izayoi (Sixteenth Moon). The back of the portable unsealed Izayoi, in the form of a big shield with a pike encased, even has the numerals '00' to reflect its prototype status. It also grants the user the power of the Immortal Breaker, able to slay the likes of Observers (Rachel Alucard) though unable to damage those with the Power of Order (Hakumen and Jin).
    • Platinum's and formerly Trinity's wand Raigou (Roaring Thunder) / Arma Reboare: Muchourin (Untolled Bell). It can control and reconfigure matter, but apparently it steals the memories of its user in the process.
    • Bang's... something Houyoku (Phoenix Wing): Rettenjou (Violent Heavenly Summit) Bang's Nox Nyctores is an anti-Nox Nyctores weapon, which means Rettenjou has the ability to destroy other Nox Nyctores. It was only mentioned by Platinum herself once, and it takes the form of his nail. It is also the "key" to the anti-seithr unit known as Kushinada's Lynchpin.
    • Mu-12's Kamigoroshi no Tsurugi: Kusanagi (Sword of the Godslayer Kusanagi) - an improved version of the Murakumo with Noel's power of the Azure.
    • Nine's and later Takamagahara's Gigant (Highlander): Take-Mikazuchi. It is a Kill Sat in form of a gigantic android who can fire a concentrated seithr laser from its mouth, among other things. It needs to recharge every 4 years after it fires a full-power shot. Later Izanami seizes it.
    • Relius' puppet Detonator Fluctus Redactum: Ignis. An automated guardian of Relius' own design, based off of Nirvana, powered by the soul of Relius' wife of the same name.
    • In the same vein of Carl and Relius, Celica has her own puppet - Ex Machina (In Machine): Minerva. Made by Kokonoe using Nirvana as template.
  • Never the Selves Shall Meet: Whether it's the truth or just Hazama messing with her head, it's implied that Noel does not, and is not supposed to exist in the world. In Lambda-11's story, V-11 briefly makes physical contact with her, who starts remembering everything that has happened to her in the past. That's a very bad thing.
  • Nintendo Hard: SCORE ATTACK MODE. To elaborate, you must face 10 opponents on a single continue, with the last 4 being "Unlimited" characters. Oh, and did I mention that the difficulty is even higher than the hardest selectable difficulty in the game? Even if you have a 2P controller to buzz in when you're low on health and save you from certain death, you might not survive this without having an aneurysm.
    • By EXTEND, Score Attack Mode gets lighter in that the AI is just very high and you don't fight any Unlimited characters. On the other hand, say hi to UNLIMITED MARS, where you fight a series of all-Unlimited, all-High AI. Good luck with that, mate!
  • Noble Male, Roguish Male: between the protagonist brothers, Jin is the noble one - being adopted to a noble family, taught in refined culture and became a Teen Genius of the Military Academy, and has a refined fighting style with his katana, while Ragna is the roguish one - he never receives proper education, is only thought ways of fighting by Jubei, grew up to become a criminal and fights brutishly with a big sword. Although both share a certain trait: they care little for the world and they're both assholes (although Ragna shows his heart of gold more than Jin does). Both also have some Character Development to make them more heroic.
    • Chronophantasma also gives Kagura as the alternative noble to Ragna's rogue - like Jin, he's a member of the Duodecim nobles, and the head of his family. Unlike the two, Kagura is a rather Nice Guy who thinks of the people, although he often went overboard with women.
  • Number of the Beast: Appears when Ragna, Nu, and Hazama activates their Azure Grimoire, they start the Invocation with "Restriction 666 released". In Abyss Mode, where you go down in depths and fight increasingly stronger opponents, you can also encounter Unlimited Ragna at Depth 666.
  • Obviously Evil: In the beginning, it's really easy to deem NOL as one, but it turns out that it's another thing. On the other hand, after Continuum Shift, Hazama becomes one so easily. Look at him: Snake Motif, eyes constantly shut, gentlemanly but shady personality who offers Deal with the Devil for poor Unwitting Pawn (poor Tsubaki and Litchi), and openly admitting to the only truth being despair. Need we say more?
  • Omega Ending: The only way to get the True Ending in the first game is to get all characters' individual good endings. Downplayed in the second game where you only need to see certain characters'note  good endings.
  • The Omnipotent: The Amaterasu Unit, pretty much. Other beings can only perform Phenomenon Intervention only in a smaller place and time, and even Takamagahara, whose intervention can affect an entire world, can only alter major events. Amaterasu, on the other hand, can intervene with any kind of details, no matter how small or numerous they are, being only limited by "possibility": the fact that it cannot realize an impossible and/or non-existing event or timeline, only shift existing events and timelines to different possibilities.
  • Order Versus Chaos: A major recurring theme.
  • Orochi: The Black Beast bears a heavy resemblance to Orochi when seen in Hakumen's Arcade mode ending. Its core is The Murakumo Unit (Nu-13), and there was considered a sacrifice for stopping the beast in the name of Kushinada (Celica with the Kushinada Lynchpin) before it was defeated by the wielder of The Susanooh Unit (Hakumen). It was a failed attempt to create The Kusanagi Unit, and destroy The Master Unit Amaterasu.
    • And the guy who made it has an entire snake motif. Ironically, he is Susano'o.
  • Our Souls Are Different: A person's soul takes form of bright blue ball of light. Souls in this game are often used for many things such as creating Nox Nyctores or smelting Murakumo Units. Drive abilities are derived from the soul.
    • Strong souls can protect you from the agony of the Boundary if you fall into it, as seen with Relius, Makoto and Jin. There are also special kind of souls that can control the flow of life, such as that of Celica and presumably Lord Tenjo.
  • Out of Focus: A lot of the supporting characters who aren't connected to the main plot tend to fall into this, especially as the series moves on to a more straightforward narrative and forgoes individual character stories.
  • The Paragon: The Six Heroes didn't just fight the Black Beast, they also rallied humanity to fight with them, with the help of the discovery of Ars Magus.
  • Parrying Bullets: Hakumen can stop most projectile attacks with a well-timed slash from his BFS. It gets even better in the sequel; any time he hits a projectile, a void is created, which will stop all projectiles that hit it. Most of this has to do with Ookami's anti-magic abilities though.
  • Personality Blood Types: Most characters official blood types are:
    • Type A: Jin, Noel/Mu, Tsubaki/Izayoi, Valkenhayn, Relius, Azrael, Celica, Hibiki, Mai (NOL members, mostly)
    • Type B: Ragna, Bang, Kokonoe, Naoto (Impulsive People)
    • Type AB: Carl, Litchi, Hazama, Platinum, Nine (Intellectuals, for the most part)
    • Type O: Taokaka, Makoto (Beastkin). And Bullet, Amane and Kagura.
    • Unknown: Rachel, Tagernote , Arakune, Hakumen, Nu, Lambda, Terumi, Izanami, Es, Susano'o
  • Pervert Revenge Mode: Putting Kagura anywhere near Makoto for any length of time invariably results in this. And hilarity.
  • Phlebotinum Overload: Arakune got too much exposure to the power of the Boundary along with a heavy dose of extra experimentation a la Terumi and got turned into... well, that. Hazama tells Arakune *arcade story* that he was a failed cauldron experiment, a partial Black Beast. "You only know how to devour souls, nothing more." Kokonoe's extra story in CP EXTEND shows how Lotte becomes what he is, with the "help" of Terumi.
    • This is also what constantly endangers Ragna's life due to his Azure Grimoire. Should he overuse it, he potentially can become another Black Beast.
    • In her bad ending in CS, Litchi also takes too much of the power of the Boundary in and begins to lose her memories and sense of identity.
    • More generally, seithr addiction is a major problem among soldiers in the NOL, as they overuse their Ars Magus and end up manifesting some... unpleasant symptoms. If you're lucky, death is one of the ones that comes quickly.
      • Outright physical collapse is invoked if the body processes way too much seithr at once. Terumi liquidates the Kagutsuchi branch in this fashion in Continuum Shift, while Chronophantasma has every cauldron opened in the climax to do this on a worldwide scale. The activation of Kushinada's Lynchpin prevents further corruption, but those already corrupted are still beyond salvation.
  • Phlebotinum Runs The World: ever since the Ars Magus were invented and Black Beast's defeat, almost everything in the world is powered by seithr and Ars Magus. Thus it is a big deal when The Magic Goes Away at the end of CP.
  • Pinball Scoring: A typical one-round score will start in the low billions of points.
  • Place Beyond Time/Void Between the Worlds: The Boundary is this. Specifically, it's where all knowledge and history from all timelines intersect, and where time is inconsequential.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The ultimate Fatal Flaw of the heroes of the story. A lot of the bad things that happened could have been easily avoided if the more knowledgeable people didn't decide at inopportune moments to grab the Idiot Ball (Kokonoe & Rachel are probably the two biggest offenders), or you know, take head and stick out of their own asses and actually tell people who need to know important information. For instance, Kokonoe, though Lambda, telling Noel she's the eye, but follows up with "I don't have time to explain". It could've prevented the whole Mu-12 thing, but no, she resorts to type. Again. How thoroughly this continues into Chronophantasma remains to be seen.
    • This works for misinterpretation on the receiving end, too. "Try to stay away from Captain Hazama" does not mean "charge Captain Hazama with guns blazing", Noellie.
    Makoto: This is all your fault, you know?!
    • Partially justified: Takamagahara wanted Mu to destroy the Master Unit, and would reset if this became impossible. Even Terumi had to play along until he could lobotomize them.
    • Outright defied in Slight Hope, where Makoto learns and gathers information from those around her and uses it to reshape her plans (at least, in the true ending path). Terumi had to throw everything out as a result of Makoto not knowing the most vital fact and his own underestimation of her abilities.
    • A running trend is that a number of these logic-defying errors are typically used to further Terumi's plans outside of the timeline depicted in Slight Hope.
    • Both Jubei and Rachel tell Ragna not to fight Hazama but don't tell him why, with Rachel claiming that it's "difficult to explain." "He has a BlazBlue, and it cancels out yours" doesn't seem like a particularly tricky explanation.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The Nox Nyctores were each made from thousands of human souls used in Nine's human transmutation technique. She was going to release those souls some time after the Dark War as she deemed that they all have done their jobs... but then Terumi killed her before she can do that.
    • There are a number of other things powered by forsaken children (read: souls) in the verse, such as Murakumo Units, Relius' Detonators, the Kushinada Lynchpin, the Crimson Grimoire and the Embryo.
  • The Powers That Be: Master Unit: Amaterasu is frequently said to be this for the entire world.
  • Practical Taunt: Taunting in story or arcade mode completely fills your heat meter (useful in story mode if you have to end a fight with a special move to unlock a given ending, like Tsubaki requiring a Distortion or Astral Finish to unlock her bad ending).
  • Pre-Insanity Reveal: Playing through the Story and Arcade modes for Arakune reveals that the crazy, incoherent, black blob that he is was once a normal human scientist who dedicated his life to study of the Boundary. Even as he was exposed to seithr the closer he came to the Boundary, he became aware that he was transforming, and that he couldn't stop. In his final moments as a human, it was business as usual as he continued recording his research and studied the Boundary.
  • Punched Across the Room: many of the playable characters' moves do this. Azrael in particular specializes in this.
  • Purposely Overpowered: The Unlimited characters, which increase the characters' stats and take away a LOT of their weaknesses.

  • Quantum Mechanics Can Do Anything: The basis of many elements of the plot revolve around principles of Quantum Theory, including the concept of Observers, parallel events converging into a single reality, the uncertainty principle, and components of string theory that make the current in-universe world "incorrectly arranged." The rest of them (Nox Nyctores for one) are outright magic.
  • Rage Quit: In online multiplayer, the game tries to alleviate this behavior by slapping a "Disconnected" counter on anyone who quits in the middle of a ranked match. However, the counter goes up for both the quitter and the non-quitter of the match, no matter the reason.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Six Heroes: One robot-samurai, one bipedal cat, one ghost/spirit-thingie, one witch, one werewolf butler, and to top it off, a magical girl with a personality disorder (well, that's what she is now).
    • The whole playable cast could count as this.
    • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: In spite of their reputation, The Six Heroes were not a very united force; Nine and Jubei disagreed vehemently over Kushinada's Lynchpin before they eventually became a couple, she and Hakumen dislike each other to this day if Central Fiction can be believed, and her usual response to seeing Bloodedge could be neatly summarised as 'incinerate on sight'. Hakumen himself is at best Vitriolic Best Buds with Valkenhayn and Jubei. And everyone hates Terumi. Even in the present the cast, on the relatively few occasions they are supposed to be working together, seemingly spends more of its time trying to kill each other than stopping the bad guys, which seriously hampers their effectiveness.
  • Razor Wings: The Murakumo units have "wings" made of blades that are used for their heavy attacks.
  • Real Men Cook: Quite a few reasonably manly men in the verse are excellent cook such as Ragna, Jubei, Valkenhayn and Hibiki.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Averted with the Kaka clan; shining red eyes from their otherwise obscured face, yet they're mostly friendly and harmless. Played straight with most other red-eyed characters; especially Nu-13.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: In case you didn't catch on before, the game will even kindly poetically refer to a clash between Ragna and Jin as a fight of "red against blue" in Story Mode.
    • The series' dual Big Bads later Co-Dragons, Terumi and Relius act as a Red Oni and Blue Oni to each other. One the more talkative and active guy, the other the more composed and non-confrontational (but still strong) guy.
    • Before that, in Bloodedge Experience novels, Relius also forms one, this time with Valkenhayn during their time as hitmen; Valkenhayn being a hot-tempered meanie who likes giving in to his beastly nature, and Relius being much nicer than he is now.
    • In the past, Nine and Trinity (respectively) goes with this dynamic. The former being an impulsive witch with a mean streak, while the latter is a kinder, more soft-spoken witch.
    • Also with old friends/Tenjo's disciples Bang and Kagura. One a Large Ham Highly-Visible Ninja, the other a laid-back guy who tends to keep his cool most of the time.
  • Regenerating Shield, Static Health: Like in most fighting games, health bar isn't recoverable, but you can perform a Barrier (much like Guilty Gear's Faultless Defense) that will absorb attacks without doing Scratch Damage. It comes with a gauge, and using it will deplete the gauge; it can recover when it's not used, but once it's empty, you'll take more damage from attacks until the gauge regenerates again to a certain point.
  • Reincarnation: Ragna is believed to be the reincarnation of the Black Beast. They're technically right; his Azure Grimoire has the danger of turning him into something similar to one.
  • Rewriting Reality: "Phenomenon Interventions" are described as such. It works by overwriting current reality with a new one, and can change the state of something from "not existing" to "existing" or vice versa. Only sufficiently powerful beings such as Amaterasu, Takamagahara, Clavis Alucard, Noel/Mu-12 (although she still finds difficulty on controlling it) and Hades Izanami can do it.
    • Beings who are outside the "logic" (such as Valkenhayn) or those who possess the Power of Order (Hakumen, Jin) can resist being "intervened".
    • A limit on Phenomenon Interventions is that it only lets the performer choose between sets of existing possibilities, not making new ones. And cases where the "ideal outcome" is not a possibility happens quite a number of times. Observations (including self-ones), especially, are a way of countering it, as powerful enough observers will make an event "fixed", unable to be intervened in any way; Black Beast for one is described as a "self-observing weapon", which is among the reasons why Amaterasu could only loop the timeline back to when the Black Beast first appeared; i.e the Unit cannot change the fact that Black Beast manifested itself at that time and then wrecked havoc for around 10 years. Another example is the Sealed Weapon Izayoi, that can deploy the "Zanki Barrier", a powerful field that will observe everything happened within and thus, said events are unable to be intervened.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Kaka kittens. So. Cute.
  • Rivals Team Up: The second game's true ending, which has Ragna, Jin, and Hakumen all attempting to work together. Hakumen holds his own until Jin shows up, interrupts the fight, and proceeds to fail miserably. The story was phrased as such that Hakumen wasn't beaten when Jin initially arrived, and before he had a chance to resume, Ragna showed up and defeated Mu, keeping Terumi's Plan alive.
  • Robot Hair: Nirvana has a crest on "her" head in the shape of her hair when she was still Ada Clover. Occasional joke character Mecha Tao has a metal version of Taokaka's hair. The Prime Field Devices including Noel Vermilion all have normal looking blonde to white hair (although as they're actually clones of normal humans wearing robotic armor, it's justified).
  • Rock Trio: In some official merchandise, but altered; Noel is the singer, Tsubaki the bass, and Makoto drums (with Jin on guitar).
    • Nobody Loves the Bassist: Tsubaki's popularity pales in comparison to Noel's and Makoto's in the West. Not so in Japan, where she, according to a poll in 2012, is the no. 1 in popularity, right before Noel.
  • Rotoscoping: BlazBlue's sprites are drawn over 3D models. Not to the same extent as The King of Fighters XII & XIII though, Arc only uses the un-textured 3D models for the outlines unlike SNK which uses the 3D models for colour and shadowing.
  • Rummage Sale Reject: Much like its predecessor Guilty Gear. Comparatively, however, this series comes off as milder; the only characters with "extreme" clothes are Ragna, Jin, Noel, Litchi, Mu and Amane (and arguably Kokonoe and Terumi), the rest are either weird, stylish but simple, or even outright mundane (looking at you, Celica).
  • Sadly Mythcharacterized: The series draws heavily from Japanese myth, but depicts Amaterasu as a machine with the ability to interfere with physics and change the timeline (within limits), Take-Mizazuchi as a Kill Sat and Susano'o as a suit of Powered Armor and a Soul Jar as well as the real body and identity of Terumi.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: This series uses Japanese Mythology names, but their roles differ so much from the original myth. For starters, Amaterasu is the ultimate origin God instead of her parents Izanagi and Izanami (they serve as her functions/Drives instead), while Susano'o and Tsukuyomi are instead its 'guardian units'. As this sentence implies, they're merely 'mechanical' units with tremendous powers that rivals Gods that they're considered as the verse's Gods. Also, Susanoo is a bigger asshole than he was in the original myth and serve as Amaterasu's main antagonist without any signs of developing for better like in the myth, getting a little bit closer to Satan.
  • Saved for the Sequel: The series runs on this. Calamity Trigger does not explain what exactly happened to Arakune, why Litchi is so bent on rescuing him, what Hazama is up to, who he works for, why Carl is looking for his father, what "Amaterasu" is, who the other five of the Six Heroes are, among many other plot details, creating a Mind Screw in general. Continuum Shift answers these questions, but brings up more. For instance, now that we know Carl is looking for his father because he's an absolute scumbag, we learn that he is a Chessmaster villain but nothing about what he wants or what he intends to do. Arakune is regaining sentience, but Litchi is about to do to herself what Arakune did before. Bang has the power to close portals to The Edge but has yet to have an opportunity to use it. And so forth. See also Sequel Hook below.
  • Screw Destiny: A major underlying theme. Ragna is destined to be the destroyer of the world but seeks to become the protector of the Azure instead. Rachel is defying Takamagahara by trying to stop the time loops. Noel is actually the Murakumo unit Mu-12 but renounces the reason for her creation and instead wishes to be a normal human girl; in fact, by the ending of Calamity Trigger, Noel has already told destiny to screw itself. Litchi wishes to save Arakune from his current physical state even though everyone else categorically tells her he's beyond saving. Tsubaki is falsely led to believe that she was meant to be with Jin but Noel is stopping her. Even Terumi, Relius, Izanami, and Nine, their motivation boils down to trying to destroy Amaterasu's meddling within the world. There's a good reason why the announcer's opening quote is "the Wheel of Fate is turning! Rebel 1!"
    • Notice how characters in story deem something as "impossible" and then they're proven wrong. Such as how Rachel thinks Mu-12 is beyond saving and yet Ragna did it - it even shocks and distracts Takamagahara.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Black Beast. Ragna is the can. Nu-13 is the can opener.
  • Self-Deprecation: One of the Quick Messages you can send in to online players in an Online Match is "Anyway, let's go play some Arcana"
  • Sequel Hook: The true ending of the first game, and by extension the rest of story mode, is almost nothing but a sequel hook, up to including obvious picks for future playable characters. And little more than a year later, a sequel was indeed announced. The sequel itself also ends in one, with everyone going to Ikaruga as the next stage of the eventual battle. The third one follows suit with the creation of the Embryo signalling the start of Armageddon and the fourth game, despite being the end of Ragna's story, still has these. Namely, Carl's continued descent into villainy, Rachel beginning a journey to reunite with Ragna and Blood-Scythe disappearing.
  • Serial Escalation:
    • Calamity Trigger, the first game, starts with being a rather standard fighting game, except for its overly absurd Pinball Scoring: You pick a character, go through 10 fights and have to beat an Unlimited character (essentially an SNK Boss) to win the game. But the game has a bonus boss, which is absurd even for Unlimited standards. Story-wise, the story is unclear on many things and the main "villain" (Nu-13) doesn't seem to have much personality or background other than wanting to destroy the world and be with Ragna.
    • Then you can try going through the Score Attack mode, which pits you against all 12 playable characters in the game, all at the highest AI difficulty, with the last four bosses being Unlimited characters.
    • Then Continuum Shift, the sequel, adds two more characters to the roster, one of which comes with an Unlimited mode as a final boss, and thus adding them to the Score Attack mode. That means 14 characters in a row, with the last five being SNK Bosses. Story-wise, the story now elaborates a lot about the characters' tribulations and relationships, the main characters in particular going to face bigger threats than before, and now you can see how Hazama is a dangerous villain.
    • Then Continuum Shift II adds even more characters, but surprisingly its Score Attack mode is reduced to fighting 10 normal characters. The reason for this is (unfortunately) simple: CS II has a second Score Attack mode named Unlimited Mars mode, where every enemy you fight is in Unlimited mode. To rephrase: that's almost a dozen characters, all of which are SNK Bosses.
    • Continuum Shift Extend downsizes the escalation by merely adding one additional character as well as adding more moves to the already-broken Unlimited characters.
    • The final boss of Chronophantasma's story mode is Gigant: Take-Mikazuchi, a colossal Nox Nyctores which fires laser beams capable of leveling cities. Completing the story mode will unlock "Highlander Assault Mode", which will allow you to face the final boss again with other characters. The game also added 8 new characters, including its Extend. Story-wise, the story is now focused more on the plot at large, with its story structure changed to follow the timelines better. The story also sees more event than before, and the main characters have shown their growth. Finally we're treated to a very powerful villain surpassing even Hazama: Goddess of Death, Hades Izanami. CP Extend also gives us Remix Heart Gaiden (side stories from the spin-off manga), extra backstories for Kagura, Kokonoe and Bullet, and more gag reels.
  • Serpent of Immortality: Terumi, who is always associated with snakes, turns out to be very old.
  • Short Range Guy, Long Range Guy:
    • Noel the gun-slinging girl are close with lots of short-ranged friends: Ragna, Makoto, Tsubaki & Kagura, as well as her superior Jin.
    • The sword-throwing Murakumo Units are all close with the short-range brawler Ragna.
    • Rachel the zoner is associated with either Ragna or her butler Valkenhayn.
    • There's also Kokonoe, another zoner, and Tager, her big smashing assistant.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Significant Birth Date:
  • Significant Double Casting: the VAs for Hakumen and Nu-13 are replaced with question marks in the credits. It isn't until the True End that it's revealed that Jin and Hakumen share the same VA's by being the same person, and that Noel and Nu share VA's by being clones of the same person.
  • Silliness Switch: The joke ending for each character's story mode.
  • Simultaneous Arcs: Continuum Shift's canon paths. Chronophantasma's as well.
  • Sinister Scythe: Ragna's sword, Blood-Scythe, lives up to its name during his Astral Heat by turning into a scythe with red energy for its blade.
  • Sink or Swim Mentor: Kokonoe's preferred method of instruction in the "Help me, Professor Kokonoe!" segments. She borders on not helping at all. Due to the nature of the advice room these take place in, this comes to haunt her with a few characters that she HAS to give advice to or they cannot leave. She ends up having a very odd session with Jin, argues with Hakumen, has to yell at Hazama, and only seemed to like about four or five of all of them total.
  • Sky Face: The Kaka see Bang's face in the sky in one of his endings.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Pretty damn cynical. The characters all live in a Crapsack World ruled by an oppressive government, the only person who can actually get any shit done about it accomplishes this by slaughtering almost all of the government employees he sees (and yes, he's the good guy; this is a Crapsack World), and the most idealistic characters either exist for mockery or have so much piled on them that they can barely function. Bastards abound and always get the upper hand for much of the series. Bits of idealism occasionally shimmer through here and there via the characters' true/joke endings. However, Chronophantasma has some of good guys (mostly Ragna, Jin, and Noel plus their allies) get better and more heroic thanks to Kagura and Celica inspiring them to shift to Black-and-White Morality, and Centralfiction ends with them finally defeating Izanami and Terumi for good.
  • Sliding Scale of Plot Versus Characters: The game's story slides along the scale as it goes.
    • Calamity Trigger is heavier on the character side, as the main conflict is still vaguely defined beyond "stopping Nu-13 from destroying everything" and the story mode tells each character's trials and tribulations as they define who they are.
    • Continuum Shift is more balanced, due to having more defined conflict as well as having Hazama/Yuuki Terumi, The Heavy for the whole plot, becoming more active (as opposed to in the first game). All characters still face their own problems, but now all of them are tied to the big plot in some way.
    • Chronophantasma is heavier on the plot side, due to the story mode structure being changed; instead of individual stories for each character, it has a more straightforward story with defined A and B-plots, and the story itself now focuses more on the big conflict (mainly Kagura's side and Six Heroes vs NOL) and not all characters are given the same amount of focus.
    • Central Fiction is once again heavy on the plot side, with only a single continuous story path and the occasional branching side-story. Most of the focus is on Ragna and the main plot although several important plot points involving minor characters are resolved.
  • Sliding Scale of Villain Effectiveness: High. Terumi and Relius are borderline infinite-level with the amount of victories they've achieved, but Chronophantasma started slowly bucking the trend, as Terumi was nearly killed by Hakumen, and then Saya, revealed as possessed by Izanami, ditches him and Relius while only taking Phantom, meaning that even alive, Relius will already lose access to a large reason for his effectiveness (including the NOL now currently being run by the good guys). Central Fiction has a more balanced level as well. While all of the villains are defeated, several of them get very close to succeeding in their goals (especially Terumi who was one fight away from absolute power). Relius also gets exactly what he wants without any repercussion.
  • SNK Boss: The Unlimited versions for each characters are this, especially during Unlimited Mars mode. Also Take-Mikazuchi in Chronophantasma's final episodes.
  • Something Something Leonard Bernstein: The lyrics to Black Onslaught go "barghlegarghlebla WHAT A BIG BIG MISTAKE"
  • Soul Eating: Ragna's Drive ability "Soul Eater" eats the souls of people. In-game, this is translated into Life Drain attacks. There's also the Eldritch Abomination of the verse, the Black Beast, who devoured mass amounts of souls in its rampage. Ragna's source of his ability is the Azure Grimoire, an artifact made out of Black Beast's corpse.
  • Soul Power: At its most basic, the Drive ability is this. Specifically, it is derived from the soul's connection to the Azure. A person can either born with a Drive, or it can be awoken from them after a time. Drives normally uses seithr in the area to work, but if there's less seithr in the area than necessary, then the Drive will use its user's soul to power it.
  • Special Edition Title: not in the games, but in Blue Radio, the title card changes whenever the episode is talking about something different- in the Arcana Heart episode the show is named "Aruraji" while in Guilty Gear episode it's called "Giruraji".
  • Speed, Smarts and Strength: Among the "3 Stooges of Torifune", Noel emphasizes speedy attacks and unpredictability, Tsubaki the Badass Bookworm uses her special tome "Izayoi" to store power, and Makoto uses her sheer strength to deliver hard punches.
  • Spontaneous Weapon Creation: It's implied that the Kaka Clan's claws are of this nature; that is, they have the ability to produce them, rather than them being retractable. Taokaka (the only playable example of the species so far) seems to be able to produce them in a number of shapes.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: The background uses mostly 3D models while the characters you play are sprites (rotoscoped sprites but still).
  • State Sec: The Zero Squadron is an unofficial branch of the NOL Army who acts as the executor for their "dirtier" jobs, such as hunting their own rogue members. Their existence is known only to the NOL Army and is often called "the squad nobody likes". Tsubaki Yayoi is part of such a squad.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Many characters have broken powers that never show up in their gameplay. Terumi can Mind Rape anyone hit by his chain. Mu can create anything (including time and space) out of thin air. Hakumen and Jin can erase anything they want. Ragna can devour the desires of others (which translates to stealing memories). Be glad they limit themselves most of the time.
  • Stripperific: First, we had Litchi, who always took the time to move the upper half of her dress out of the way so we could see her ample chest and legs better, as well as Noel. Then we got Mu-12, whose outfit consists of a metal thong, some shoulder pads, and a sort of Breast Plate that still allows for a bare midriff. Then there's also Makoto. Nine's mage garb also apparently shows off a lot of her cleavage... but only when she's being The Phantom in Central Fiction, her garb covered more when she was still being sane in the Dark War.
  • Super-Deformed: In Teach Me, Ms. Litchi! and Help Me, Professor Kokonoe! sections of the games.
  • Super Mode: Several characters have a super mode as their super moves, such as Ragna, Bang, Hakumen, and Tsubaki. And in the third game, the Overdrive system makes everyone has a super mode.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Mu-12, the console exclusive character for Continuum Shift, is Noel after being turned back into her original Murakumo form by Terumi.
  • Supporting the Monster Loved One: Litchi's old friend, Roy Carmine, got into a Freak Lab Accident due to him pursuing forbidden knowledge, and became an Eldritch Abomination called "Arakune". He's an insane Blob Monster whose Horror Hunger forces him to prey on animals and occasionally humans. Despite that, she still tries to Find the Cure! for him, including corrupting herself with the same kind that he succumbed with in order to understand his condition. This gets her in trouble in the second game, where said corruption catches up to her, and she still can't find any way to curb it; as she's persuaded by Hazama to accept his deal for a cure in his organization, NOL, she reluctantly agrees, if only because she's exhausted all of her other options. Some good guys (notably Rachel and Kokonoe) called out to her about supporting Arakune, saying that his condition is basically irreversible and that she shouldn't worry about him any more; by the fourth game, it's revealed that Roy didn't really want to be saved, either, and convinces Litchi to go back to the people who needs her as a doctor.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: A rare case where the entire franchise is one. Due to legal issues, Arc System Works lost the rights to be able to develop more Guilty Gear games for a brief while. During that duration, ArcSys ended up creating BlazBlue as their new flagship fighting game franchise. This was especially apparent in the character designs and archetypes, which for some characters felt like complete 1:1 comparisons with the mainstays in GG right down to the aesthetic of the world.
  • Sword and Fist: Many characters who wield swords are also capable of hand-to-hand combat, but most prominently Ragna, who has a Power Fist in addition to his BFS.
  • Symbolic Wings: the Murakumo Units Lambda 11, and Nu 13 have flying swords as their main weapons; said swords generally float behind them in a winglike formation.
  • Technical Pacifist: Hazama insists to Noel that he's not really the fighting type.
  • Technicolor Blade: A few blades in the game come with odd colors, such as Jin's light blue one (due to being literally made of permafrost), Kagura's black one or the red and green blades thrown by Nu and Lambda respectively.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: This is implied to happen between some the Six Heroes. Nine had to Mind Control Terumi to make him cooperate, and as CF revealed, she doesn't like Hakumen that much.
  • Tender Tomboyishness, Foul Femininity: Gender-inverted with Ranga the Bloodedge and Jin Kisaragi. Ragna's a pretty gruff character with serious anger problems but is a decent guy when he's not being pushed around. Jin meanwhile is very much a Bishōnen but is also a massive jerkass and a borderline Sissy Villain.
  • Terminator Twosome: In the backstory (and, by extension, most of the endings), the Black Beast passes one hundred years into history and attempts to slaughter the world, only to be thwarted by Jin following it after getting upgraded into Hakumen.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: In most cases, this would be grouped with storytelling tropes; however, all instances occur in gameplay. Especially Bang's exclusive "Fu-Rin-Ka-Zan" theme that plays whenever he activates his Super Mode.
  • Theme Naming: Tsubaki and Jin's surnames (Yayoi and Kisaragi, respectively) are traditional Japanese names for months of the year. In Continuum Shift, it is revealed that the twelve families that serve the Imperator called "The Duodecim" all have surnames that are traditional Japanese months.
    • Everyone has a bit of this in their attacks: Litchi has attacks named after mahjongg hands (Thirteen Orphans, Four Winds, All Green), Carl's attacks are musically-themed (Cantata and Crescendo), Rachel has quite a few flowers (Baden Baden Lily and Sword Iris come to mind), Bang has his "Secret" and "Forbidden" techniques, etc.
    • The Murakumo Units are all named with one Greek letter and a number, with the number being the letter's position in the Greek alphabet.
    • Even the games themselves have subtitles which start with C (Calamity Trigger, Continuum Shift, Chrono Phantasma, Central Fiction).
      • In addition, the second and third games also have names regarding Time (Continuum Shift refers to both the Time Space Continuum and Paradigm Shifts. Chronophantasma as a whole means "the phantom of time".)
    • The Hierarchical Cities are named after deities in Japanese myth. Like Ibukido (after Ibukido Nushi, meaning "breath-blowing lord") and Kagutsuchi (after Hi-no-Kagutsuchi, the god of fire).
  • Theme Table: Every playable character has a Drive except Nine, an Overdrive and an Astral Finish that are unique to each character (except for Nu and Lambda). Almost every one of them also has Significant Birth Date, a special crest, as well as listed hobbies, likes and dislikes. In particular, Amane has variations for the Astral Finishes he does to each opponent, as does Relius for his own AF.
  • Theotech: The 3 top gods of Japanese myth (Amaterasu, Tsukuyomi, Susanoo) appear in this game as powerful machine-esque artifacts, called "Sankishin" ("3 Shining Gods"). Amaterasu is a giant satellite that creates and controls the whole world, Tsukuyomi is a gigantic shield that's meant to "protect time" and Susanoo is a suit of Powered Armor that has the power to "cut time".
  • There Are No Therapists: The world of BlazBlue could benefit some therapists, really. Even Litchi, who would look like the closest to be the therapist, also needs one. Either NOL put a ban on therapists or there are just none...
  • There Is a God!: The discovery of Susanoo Unit led to humans recognizing that said unit is responding to a higher unit out there, allowing humanity to find out that, yes, there is a god. Said god, the Master Unit Amaterasu, was implied to be the one who created the whole world. Played out darkly, however, in that humanity messing around with the Master Unit and the Prime Field Devices used to search it ends with the whole world being destroyed (after a series of events) and the Origin (the first PFD who bonded with the Master Unit) has to reset the world.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill:
    "It's The Only Way To Be Sure: Complete a 20-hit combo after already winning the round."
    • Astral Heats. Flashy finishing moves that are by no means practical, but are fun to look at.
    • Go watch Arakune's "Help Me, Professor Kokonoe". They will tell you the sad truth.
    • Tager players love to attempt this.
  • They Call Him "Sword": The Murakumo Units are all named after the legendary sword in the Japanese myth, Ama-no-Murakumo. In particular, Mu-12, the upgraded version, is called Kusanagi, Ama-no-Murakumo's second name. Also the case with Bullet, as well as Jin (his name means "sword").
  • Title Drop: All four games do it within the Story Mode, to describe a particular plot device.
    • BlazBlue: Also known as the Azure Grimoire, the power that Ragna inherited to defeat his enemies. The version he possesses is a fake created by Terumi, who also holds a fake BlazBlue. The real BlazBlue is owned by Noel Vermillion after she became Mu-12.
    • Calamity Trigger: Name-dropped to describe the event of Ragna and Nu falling into the Cauldron, recreating the Black Beast. Later, however, it also describes the "Successor of the Azure", i.e Mu-12 (aka Noel).
    • Continuum Shift: An endless time cycle created subconsciously by Noel and managed by Takamagahara, where every single possibility that could occur occurs parallel to each other, and the latter decides which possibility is canon by Observing it. The Continuum Shift ends when Hades hijacks Takamagahara.
    • Chronophantasma: A catch-all term to describe people or things that exist in a timeline where they shouldn't, prominently Celica.
    • Central Fiction: Ragna himself, also known as the "dream that God observes".
  • Token Evil Teammate and Token Good Teammate: Just to make sure this doesn't fall into Black-and-White Morality, you'll find these at the end of the series. On the good guys, Jin and Kokonoe are still colossal self-serving assholes despite opposing Terumi, with Jin possibly getting a bit better to stop being a Token Evil one (thanks to Jubei) while Kokonoe gets even worse... On the bad guys, there's Litchi who still retained her sanity, her motivation being Forced into Evil as well as still capable of (and will) acting kind and motherly. And Chronophantasma now adds Azrael for the Token Evil ones, for having too much lust for battle and who would be more than likely to cause friendly fire, even for Sector Seven.
  • Too Awesome to Use: It is possible to fall into this trap with Barrier Burst.
  • Too Desperate to Be Picky: This very trope leads to Litchi making one of her hardest decisions in the game's story. Her friend, Arakune, was mutated from the effects of the Boundary and becomes an Eldritch Abomination, and as a doctor, she tried everything she can to find a way to cure him, including giving herself some Boundary corruption in order to understand his condition more. But that gets her mind slowly being deteriorated, with the risk of becoming just like her friend; she tried finding help from her old colleague Kokonoe, but the latter refuses, saying that Arakune's condition is basically irreversible and Litchi shouldn't corrupt herself in the first place. This gets Hazama's attention, who tempts her with a potential cure within the NOL's technology, in exchange of joining his side. As she's out of options, she reluctantly takes his offer, even with her knowing that Hazama is hardly trustworthy. This makes her part of the antagonist side, which continues to the third game; she does, at least, seem to be better off condition-wise, but Arakune's problems remain even then.
  • Town Girls: For the three "NOL girls": Noel is the femme, Tsubaki is neither and Makoto is the butch.
  • Training Stage: The "Lessons" stage, appearing first in Continuum Shift: It's a place completely separated from the rest of the verse, and serves as the main stage for the Tutorial Mode. In CS it has a very Virtual Reality-ish grid in the walls and floor, however, the Chronophantasma and Central Fiction versions are more elaborate.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Jin Kisaragi and Noel Vermillion share this. Both cannot remember certain events before the Civil War, which causes some issues.
    • Justified in both cases; She was only five years old, and Terumi ate his memories.
  • Troperiffic: A big part of BlazBlue's charm is that contains an absolute plethora of tropes and stereotypes common in Japanese media, especially Anime, and flips them, tosses them, turns them inside out, deconstructs and reconstructs them. It's also laden with shout-outs, homages and memes, near-constantly referencing other works. And it's wonderful for it.
  • Unblockable Attack: The Crush Trigger mechanic added in the third game. It breaks regular blocking as well as drains a lot of Barrier Gauge if blocked with Barrier, and with their different properties per character, can be used to continue combos. It consumes 25% Heat, however.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Tsubaki. Hazama's {partial} revelation that she wouldn't have been so unlucky had Noel never existed was the deciding factor in her Face–Heel Turn.
  • Unreliable Narrator: It's safe to say that if the Narrator's talking, things have stopped being canon and a possible funny moment is about to ensue. For example, In one Taokaka ending, she ends up as the apprentice of Bang. That part is canon. What isn't, is when he says she'll become a great ninja, and then descriptions for an epic ninja movie starring Taokaka, complete with Jin as a mysterious man and boobie lady Litchi as the villain behind the entire plot. After this long description? "... Okay, that was a lie-nya."
    • Rachel gives an accurate, but extremely lemony account of Hakumen's history in his Arcade mode ending.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Poor, poor Tsubaki. And Litchi. Later Terumi and Relius for Izanami. Also, anyone Terumi and Relius talk to, save for Saya.
  • Urban Segregation: the Hierarchical Cities often has this general structure: as the cities are built on mountain ranges, the high elevation belongs to governmental offices and top class families, while the middle elevation is inhabited by average working-class people and economic activities, and lower levels are basically slums and shady places where low-class people live.
  • Vague Age: Despite the setting having a specific calendar, characters with stated birth dates, and the plot going forth and back in timeline events, none of the characters have canon ages (except Noel); one can make up which character is younger/older than the other, but even this isn't a safe assumption if there's no cemented ages to go by.
  • Violence is the Only Option: Due to being a fighting game, many deals are situations are solved by fighting each other, even when they don't necessarily require it. Sometimes justified when the combatants are just dense, but sometimes it isn't.
    In Hakumen's CF act 2 arcade play
    Hakumen: Simply playing with words will not dispel my doubts. In that case...
    Valkenhayn: Confirming this with the quickest method saves us from a lot of trouble.
  • Visible Invisibility: One of Arakune's moves renders him a vague distortion of the background.
  • Voice of the Legion: Considering his background, this trope is just icing the cake on how freaky Arakune is. For a less synchronized version, listen to Ragna when he's under the effect of Blood KKain.
    • In one of the Story Mode Bad Endings The Black Beast speaks with the combined voices of Ragna and v-13.
  • The War Just Before: The Ikaruga Civil War, set 5-6 years ago from the present, becomes important in the third game as many characters deal with its aftermath, namely Bullet, Kagura, Azrael, Kokonoe, Tager and Bang. Jin in particular is the man he's now partially because he participated in the war and became its "hero".
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: The cornerstone of Ragna and Rachel's Ship Tease is protracted exchanges of snark, with the very occasional sweet moment.
  • Wham Episode: Continuum Shift's True Ending is nothing but a non-stop marathon of Whams. Probably the biggest one is the revelation of the Imperator Librarius. It's Saya in case you were wondering.
    • Then Chronophantasma manages to top its previous installment; the biggest one being Ragna starting to lose his mind and turning into a Black Beast thanks to Izanami's machinations.
  • When It All Began: The whole world becomes what it is now because of the Black Beast appearing 100 years ago and the Dark War that quickly follows. This event is talked and referenced a lot, and several important characters are familiar with the event. Although there are still mysteries that originate before the Dark War such as how Terumi becomes what he is now or where the Three God Units come from.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: The Nox Nyctores amplify the psychoses in their users, turning them insane. Or, if you're less unlucky, just purging your memories and reverting you into an emotionless robot. Only those who have great willpower and/or certain synchronicity with them (such as the Six Heroes) can use it without facing the side-effects.
    • Unless you're Noel, in which case they suppress part of your emotions and keep your inner Omnicidal Maniac from getting out.
  • Wizarding School: the Ishana School of Magic mostly shown in flashbacks around the Dark War. Nine, Trinity and Celica used to take education here, as was Kazuma Kval.
  • Worldbuilding: this series has lots of them, often shown through Exposition in story modes or Teach Me, Miss Litchi episodes.
  • World of Badass: Well, this IS a Fighting Game, after all.
  • World of Ham: Nearly every character (except Rachel and Litchi, for the most part) gets the chance to partake of the scenery. Terumi goes back for seconds, and thirds, and fourths, and fifths... Oh yeah, and then there's Bang. Even the announcer gets the fair share of it, and the playable characters (including Bang) can be announcers too!
  • World of Jerkass: There's not too many characters who aren't jerks or self-interested, and more often than not they're Butt Monkeys who suffer constant abuse, whether it's played for laughs or for drama. Hell, even Ragna, the resident Jerk with a Heart of Gold, gets kicked around by characters worse than he is.
  • World Sundering: In the past, the whole Dark War had devastated the world, and the creation of Hierarchical Cities was done as a means of recovery. The cities were made on high mountains because the lower elevations are covered in thick seithr, which are harmful to humans.
  • Your Brain Won't Be Much of a Meal: Arakune (sort of) says this when given the chance to consume Bang Shishigami when the former wins.



Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Blaz Blue


Blazblue's Lore

In his Top 10 Worst Cartoons Based On Video Games videos, Nick Cramer tries to explain the complicated plot of Blazblue in his seventh entry (BlazBue: Alter Memory) only for it to drive him into a mad rant, about it's overly complicated storyline.

How well does it match the trope?

4.55 (20 votes)

Example of:

Main / KudzuPlot

Media sources: