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The Asterisk War (subtitled The Academy City on the Water; original Japanese title 学戦都市アスタリスク Gakusen Toshi Asutarisuku, lit. "Academy Battle City Asterisk") is a Light Novel series written by Yuu Miyazaki and illustrated by okiura. A manga adaptation written by the same author was released in 2013. A-1 Pictures released an Animated Adaptation in October 2015. The anime is licensed by Aniplex of America for an English-language release. Yen Press licensed the light novels and the manga for an English-language release and began releasing them in late 2016.

In the wake of an extinction-level event known as Invertia, traditional governments around the world fell, the Integrated Enterprise Foundation (IEF) is organized, and many people born after this event discovered they were to tap into reserves of prana, giving them superhuman abilities or even the ability to use magic. These people are known as the Genestella of the "Starpulse Generation." Our hero Ayato Amagiri is one such person who comes to the titular Academy City on water, Rikka, otherwise known as "Asterisk", to attend Seidoukan Academy (and to possibly find out what happened to his sister, Haruka).

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Asterisk is a famous city which is home to six educational institutions, which engage in tournaments known as "Festas," in which the super-powered students engage in hand-to-hand combat, which is broadcast around the world for entertainment. The winners of these tournaments are allowed to have any wish they want within reason granted.

Please move any character tropes to The Asterisk War character page.


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The Asterisk War contains examples of:

  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council: The student council presidents of each the seven schools have varying degrees of power depending on how they get elected. For example, at one school, the President is elected through a battle tournament, in which case her power over the students is very high. However, at Arlequint, a research institution, the President is typically chosen as a compromise between several powerful factions. However, the Presidents themselves are part of a pan-school council which plays the trope completely straight down to having implausibly broad powers to direct school affairs (even operating their own intelligence services that are at least as powerful as the professional Asterisk police force), answering only to the IEF.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The anime adapts the first six volumes and condenses them to the important plot elements.
  • All for Nothing:
    • In the end, Lester MacPhail's attempts to surpass Julis and become the top-ranking student ends up being a lost cause. He tries to wield Ser-Veresta as part of his efforts, but is utterly shocked to realize that his attempts to wield it have caused it to go berserk.
    • Koichiro Toudou's plan to have Kirin's father Seijiro released proved pointless when Kirin competes in the Gryps Festa with Ayato and releases Seijiro on her own terms.
  • Almost Kiss: Julis nearly kisses Ayato when they're talking at the end of the first season but they're interrupted by Saya and Kirin coming into the room.
  • Androids Are People, Too: AI research has advanced to the point where robots can develop human personalities and emotions. Camila Pareto from Arlequint is trying to get robots to be recognized as actual citizens and not just machinery.
  • Anti-Villain: Nicholas Enfield wanted to keep his daughter Claudia out of the Gryps Festa by using Gustave Marlowe to injure Julis.
  • Apocalypse How: While on the surface, it resembles a Class 1, socially it's a class 2. Society has reverted to a monarchistic system with societies completely subordinate to the IEF.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Each student is ranked by their fighting abilities based on their sportsmanship in Festas.
  • Battle Harem: Every one of Ayato's girls is seriously badass, but when working together, there is very little they can't do. Claudia may have chosen them as her team for the Gryps Festa for this very reason.
  • Benevolent A.I.: Despite their quirks, AR-D and RM-C are nothing short of helpful to their owners and follow their orders, no strings attached.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Ayato rescues Julis from Silas's clutches towards the end of volume 1.
  • Black and Gray Morality: The major characters are not inherently good or evil. On the other hand, the IEFs, the current rulers of world politics, is positive that Despotism Justifies the Means as it is to be profitable to them, and that's before getting into the likes of Rewolf and Arlequint. Only a few characters like Ayato, Julis, Saya, Kirin and Sylvia are in the White area of morality, and this is mostly due to situations in their past that gave them stronger senses of morality.
  • Bland-Name Product: Ayato and Julis have lunch at a WcDonald.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Invoked. The higher echelons of the IEF, originally brought together to aid recovery efforts after the Invertia incident, has instituted a program where anyone in, seeking, or being assigned a leadership position is mentally "reprogrammed" in such a way as to lose all human desire, both good and bad, except for what is in the best interest of making the corporation profitable, and spurring the flow of commerce, by whatever means necessary.
  • Breather Episode: Episodes 5, 8 & 11, which were preceded by fairly intense action-packed episodes. Some of them also double as A Day in the Limelight, giving more character development to the supporting characters such as Saya and Kirin.
  • Bullying a Dragon: While the Genestella are several times more powerful than ordinary humans, they are also a very small minority. How this typically plays out is that the general populace is highly distrustful of super-powered individuals and the laws are heavily biased in favor of normal humans. Indeed, if a Genestella hurts a normal human, it is regarded as a Felony Misdemeanor, even if the Genestella acted to protect an unarmed child from a criminal. Just ask Kirin Toudou, whose father was arrested for defending her from an armed robber.
  • Capitalism Is Bad: The overall subtext of the series. The primary villains are the integrated enterprise foundations, a group of Mega Corps that control the world economy, bringing entire countries to the brink of poverty (Lieseltania included), encouraging the unethical treatment of Genestella for their own purposes, using the Asterisk Festas to extend their political influence and brainwashing their own members to prevent any defiance. For what has been seen so far, its only goal seems to be "profit at any cost."
  • Central Theme:
    • Overcoming limits. Ayato is limited by the seal placed on his powers by his sister, and learns to unlock more and more of his abilities. Julis is limited in her efforts to provide for her countrymen by the influence of the IEFs, and learns to use their own power against them. Kirin, initially, is limited in her development by the stranglehold her Well-Intentioned Extremist uncle and trainer Koichiro has over her life, and has to kick him out of it to get better. Irene Urzaiz is limited as a person by the very Orga Lux that makes her such a powerful fighter, and Ayato must destroy it to save her life. AR-D and RM-C want to overcome the limits of their lack of experience as fighters.
    • Working to save and protect others. Ayato decides in volume one that the purpose he's been looking for is to protect Julis. Julis is trying to relieve poverty in her country. Saya is trying to salvage her father's reputation as a weaponsmith. Kirin is trying to free her father from unjust imprisonment. Irene Urzaiz gave up her freedom and risks her sanity to save her sister from a Leonine Contract, and Ayato has to destroy her Evil Weapon to save her from herself. Camilla Pareto wants to develop self-defense weapons the untrained can use to protect themselves, after insurgents killed her aid worker parents. Camilla's partner Ernesta Kühne wants to win civil rights for AIs. Even the robots AR-D and RM-C get in on it, fighting to achieve Camilla and Ernesta's goals.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Silas Norman tries to assassinate Julis and other Seidoukan students so he can win the Phoenix Festa. Unfortunately for Silas, Ayato rescues Julis and sends him falling to the streets below so Claudia and Eishirou can arrest him.
  • Childhood Friends: There are a few characters who are these:
    • Ayato and Saya were friends when they were young.
    • Julis and Orphelia, before the latter's Face–Heel Turn.
  • The City: The Academy City Rikka, also known as Asterisk City, is where the story revolves around.
  • City of Adventure: Rikka is a city full of <Starpulse Generation> people where duels to compete in ranking take place often.
  • City on the Water: Rikka is an artificial island city based on a crater-lake in North Kanto.
  • The City Narrows: The redevelopment area of the city where gangs and illegal activities are.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: For Ayato, Julis and Kirin. Ayato becomes a top-ranking student at Seidoukan Academy and Julis becomes his girlfriend, while Kirin has to prove her individuality as a swordswoman.
  • Cool Sword: The Four Colored Magic Swords are four sword-type Ogre Luxes, said to be extremely powerful even by Ogre Lux standards. They are:
    • Ser-Veresta (black), wielded by Ayato.
    • Lei-Gleims (white), wielded by Fairclough.
    • Raksha-Nada (red), wielded by Madiath.
    • Wole-Zain (blue), wielded by no one as its compability rate is so high no one as been able to match it.
  • Conspicuous CG: Pretty much any character that does the commentary at the end of the episode, usually Claudia.
  • Corporate Warfare: As befits a good Mega-Corp, the IEFs have their own Private Military Contractors to enforce their goals (made up mainly of Genestella), so this sometimes happens. Defied at one point in the backstory when a couple of them nearly fought a war over the manadite deposits in what became Lieseltania, but the other IEFs joined in and forced a peaceful settlement of the dispute. This resulted in Lieseltania becoming an independent state (in theory).
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Several of the IEF's executive have been involved in conspiracies. Some of these include:
    • Koichiro Toudou, who is all too keen to become a top member of Galaxy, even if it means using Kirin and covering up her father's deeds to have him released.
    • Nicolas Enfield, Claudia's father who wants what's best for her to the point that he attempts to kill Julis to prevent his daughter from competing in the Gryps Festa.
  • Crapsack World: Ooooh, boy. Entire countries have become slums after the Invertia impact event, and the IEF keeps it that way because it's profitable.
  • Crime of Self-Defense: Even if it's completely justified, nearly any attack by a Genestella on an ordinary human is regarded as excessive force by the justice system (ostensibly because Genestella are so much more powerful they reduce Muggles to the Non-Action Guy). Seijirou Toudou was imprisoned this way when he killed a man to protect his daughter.
  • Crippling the Competition: Silas commits assassination attempts on Seidoukan students to the point that they can't compete because if it.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Done regularly in the Phoenix Festa, with some opponents being defeated by a One-Hit Kill.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Episode 8 greatly expands upon Kirin and Saya's interactions.
  • Despotism Justifies the Means: Mixed in with Dystopia Justifies the Means, the IEF actively keeps the world crapsack as it would be profitable to them.
  • Didn't See That Coming:
    • Julis didn't expect Ayato to dodge her flame-based attacks when they first met. But Ayato displays his Amagiri Shinmei Style techniques in front of her and easily avoids the attacks.
    • Silas clearly didn't calculate that Ayato would rescue Julis and wipe out his robot army at the end of volume 1.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Played for Laughs at the beginning of the series. Ayato returns the handkerchief to Julis by jumping up to her apartment balcony... while she is changing. As soon as she retrieves the handkerchief, Julis predictably challenges him to a duel.
    • Lester attempting to use Ser-Veresta as his main Orga Lux by force... which can only be wielded by the Amagiris.
    • Julis investigates the assassination attempts on Seidoukan in volume 1. Unfortunately for her, she gets abducted by Silas and Ayato has to rescue her.
    • Koichiro Toudou, who intends to secure Seijirou's release for Kirin, doesn't exactly think all the way about how his plans would go about. He thought that by covering up the truth about Seijirou's deeds and using Kirin as a pawn in his plans, it would further his goals in securing a high-ranking position as a Galaxy executive and would help Seijirou's release. Cue an Oh, Crap! when Claudia makes him aware of this.
  • Differently Powered Individual: The <Starpulse Generation> (Genestella) are some people born after the Ember Tears meteor shower that pelted the Earth for three days. They are stronger, faster, and heal quicker than normal humans and can manipulate Mana with their Prana (Star-Power).
    • Even among the Genestella there are even more unique individuals, the Strega (female) and the Dante (male) who can link with mana through flesh and blood, making them like magicians with their abilities, however for some reason they are disliked by Orga Lux to the point that only 10 have managed to use one in all of Asterisk's history.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In the beginning of volume 1, Julis challenges Ayato to a duel. The reason? He caught her in a state of undress while returning her handkerchief.
  • Distaff Counterpart: One class of Genestella can use their prana for Psychic Powers or Elemental Powers. Females of this type are called Stregas (Italian for "witch"), while males are referred to as Dantes (seemingly referring to Dante Alighieri).
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The IEF's persecution of the Genestella as a minority is very similar to what the Nazis did to the minorities, especially the Jews.
  • The Dog Bites Back:
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male:
    • Julis trying to outright kill Ayato for accidentally seeing her in her underwear is Played for Laughs. Koichiro Toudou slapping and emotionally abusing his niece Kirin Toudou is Played for Drama and provokes Ayato to intervene on her behalf (eventually leading Kirin to grow a spine and kick Koichiro to the curb).
    • Ardi is never safe from Rimsi's abuse. When he questions Ernesta why they were programmed that way, she gives a philosophical excuse that a woman would always dominate a man, which he seems to accept. She then quietly mentions to herself that Rimsi is also his Power Limiter.
  • Double Standard: If a guy sneaks into the female dorms, he's punished harshly as a Felony Misdemeanor. Just ask Ayato, who was forced to duel with Julis upon sneaking into her room. On the other hand, if a girl sneaks into the guy's dorms, the guy whose room she breaks into is the one punished instead, and any complaints he might voice are summarily ignored.
  • Dystopia: The entire world is all but completely controlled by a group of megacorporations which forced countries back into the system of monarchic rule and actively work against social safety net programs, and the one place that isn't a crapsack location, Asterisk, is used primarily as a stage for very dangerous martial arts duels and tournaments among the teenage students.
  • Empathic Weapon: The Orga Lux which, unlike regular Lux that are made with Mana Dite, are made with Ulm Mana Dite. They have their own will and personalities. Some can even corrupt their users.
  • Enter Stage Window:
    • Ayato enters Julis's window to return her handkerchief at the beginning of Volume 1, only for her to challenge him to a duel.
    • He subsequently sneaks into Julis's and Claudia's rooms in the girl's dormitory using their windows when he is invited by them to meet.
    • Saya does this to Ayato too, much to his horror due to the Double Standard listed above.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Killing someone in self-defense, even if one is a Genestella, is a serious crime. The IEF executives using their own relatives or children as pawns in their plans, covering up a crime, and hiring someone to kill a princess are even more serious matters, as demonstrated by Claudia when she learns about Koichiro's intentions to corrupt Kirin and when Nicholas plots an assassination attempt on Julis to keep her out of the Gryps Festa.
    • Ernesta is extremely reluctant to work with Dirk Eberwein despite her doing a few shady things like hiring Silas, and the terms of the deal he's proposing her are very tempting.
  • Fantastic Fighting Style: The second volume compares and contrasts Ayato's Amagiri Shinmei Style with Kirin's Toudou Style. Amagiri Shinmei is about five hundred years old, dating to the heyday of the samurai, and is noted to be a little bit slower since it's designed with the weight of armor in mind (Kirin recognizes its age because Ayato's stance puts his hips lower). The Toudou school dates to the end of the Edo period and puts the user in a more upright stance. However, since it's a style developed for the battlefield rather than the dojo, Amagiri Shinmei includes more than just katana moves: Ayato ultimately defeats Kirin by combining katana, spear, kodachi, and hand-to-hand combat.
  • Felony Misdemeanor:
    • Ayato enters Julis's room to return her handkerchief while she is still changing. She ends up dueling with him as a punishment.
    • Seijiro Toudou, a Genestella, kills a robber to defend Kirin and is arrested for it. An example of how the IEF persecutes the Genestella.
  • Filler: The anime's episode 8, "A Holiday for Two, Part 2", which appears to take place offscreen between novel volumes 2 and 3 and consists of new teammates Saya and Kirin taking a vacation day to get to know one another and improve their teamwork.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In volume 1, a cloaked robotic assassin attempts to kill Julis during her duel with Ayato, foreshadowing the possibility that Silas is the one who's responsible for the assassination attempts.
    • In volume 2, while Ayato confers with Kirin after being stuck underground, he suggests that choosing her own path will be better for her to release her father. Guess what Kirin does after that?
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • If Haruka didn't get seriously injured, Ayato would never have gone to Seidoukan Academy to search for her; he wouldn't have befriended Julis, Lester, Saya, Kirin, or Claudia; he wouldn't have obtained Ser-Veresta; and he wouldn't have defeated Kirin to become the top-ranking fighter at Seidoukan and free her from her uncle's grasp.
    • If Lester hadn't attempted to bully Ser-Veresta into compliance, it wouldn't have caused the weapon to go berserk and Ayato wouldn't become the rightful owner.
    • If Ernesta hadn't sent out Silas to take out the strongest students at Seidoukan to win the Phoenix Festa, Julis wouldn't have been kidnapped, Lester wouldn't have realized Silas's true colors, Ayato wouldn't have rescued her after being tipped off by Saya and Claudia, Arlequint would never have been discovered to be behind the assassination attempts, and the deal between Arlequint and Seidoukan wouldn't have gone ahead.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot:
    • Between Ayato and Julis, he's a Master Swordsman while she mainly fights at range with fireballs and booby traps. She has a rapier lux, but it's mainly a weapon of last resort.
    • Also true of the robots AR-D and RM-C: he is a heavy brawler who favors a gigantic hammer, while she is a lightweight flier who fights with guns. That is, until they go all Combining Mecha and RM-C gives up her weapons to AR-D, where he becomes able to shoot the head of his hammer at his opponents.
  • Holographic Interface: They seem to have completely replaced physical cellphones and computers. We never see any device that projects them and they seem to be activated by thought.
  • Human Resources / Super Human Trafficking: Arlequint is notorious for this, and Rewolf has a history of partaking in it as well. The IEF often turns a blind eye to it as long as doing so remains profitable.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Ayato defeats Kirin in their rematch at the end of volume 2/episode 7 by using long sword, spear, and short sword to draw Kirin into grappling range. His Fantastic Fighting Style including these is new to this episode and not referenced again, though it's justified: he explains to Julis afterwards that, while he's trained in spear, short sword, and grappling, he's best by far with the long sword.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Even though he was a jerk to Kirin, Kouichiro does note that she wants to secure Seijiro's release. His prediction comes true when she wins the Gryps Festa and secures her father's release on her own terms.
  • Kick the Dog: Silas wasn't being biased about what he plans to do at the Phoenix Festa because of him kidnapping Julis.
  • Knight Templar: Koichiro Toudou wants to have Kirin's father (and his brother) Seijiro released from prison. His solution drives him into covering up her father's crime and using her to attain his goals and become a top-ranking member of Galaxy.
  • Lady and Knight: Julis is the beautiful princess and Ayato is her noble knight who has sworn to protect her.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Kirin's uncle Koichiro, a Well-Intentioned Extremist and Corrupt Corporate Executive, frequently uses her as a pawn in his plans. However, after Ayato shows up in her life, she begins to stand up for herself and breaks ties with Koichiro. Then after Ayato defeats Kirin, Koichiro reveals that he covered up her father's deeds in order for his niece to come back with him; Claudia threatens to ruin Koichiro's career and the latter becomes even less of a jerkass by volume 11.
  • Laser Sword: Many of the Lux and Orga Lux weapons manifest as this (although not all of them). Ser-Veresta plays the trope completely straight as it functions almost identically to a lightsaber and will melt/cut through anything. Lester notably wields a laser battleaxe instead.
  • Lover Tug-of-War: Ayato is caught in this by Julis and Saya in episode 5 when both girls attempt to claim him as their partner for the upcoming tournament. Lester wisely steps out of the room to avoid the incoming drama.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The Seidoukan students when Ayato ends up touching Julis's breast after pushing her out of the way from a robotic assassin.
  • Mass Super-Empowering Event: The Invertia, a mysterious meteor shower that came out of nowhere (literally: it appeared on no astronomical instruments on Earth prior to impact) and, in the midst of causing worldwide destruction, left behind deposits of a mineral called manadite that is used in the setting for magitek weapons and caused many children born after the event, the Genestella or Star-Pulse Generation, to have superpowers. In volume 7, however, Xinglou Fan claims that this has happened before, and that many legendary figures of the past were really Genestella who became Shrouded in Myth.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Seidoukan is Japanese for "Star Guide Hall".
    • Julis is a variant of Julius, which means "downy" in Greek. Florentia and Renate are Latin for "flowering, in bloom" and "rebirth", respectively.
    • The kanji in Haruka's name (遥) means "distant" in Japanese. Ayato's been distant from his sister ever since she went into a coma. At least until she is unfrozen.
  • Memento MacGuffin: There are several in the story.
  • The Men in Black: Shadow Star serves as the secret police force for Seidoukan.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: One spanning the first volume. Ayato discovers that the assasination attempt on the students at Seidoukan is a plot by Silas Norman to win the Phoenix Festa, who in turn is being used by Arlequint as an Unwitting Pawn.
  • Morality Kitchen Sink: Only the protagonists and Sylvia are in the White area of morality. Several characters like Claudia are willing to use underhanded means to achieve noble goals. Others like Irene and Orphelia used to be good people until they were forced into villainy by circumstances beyond their control. The IEF is a power-hungry Mega-Corp that keeps entire countries in poverty simply because it's profitable to them.
  • Naked First Impression: At the beginning of the series, Ayato catches Julis's handkerchief from her upstairs window. When he goes up to the window, he inadvertently walks in on Julis in the middle of changing her clothes. The result: Julis invokes the Felony Misdemeanor on Ayato and duels with him.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Silas's attempt to cripple Julis caused Ayato to pull a Big Damn Heroes moment when the latter is tipped off by Claudia about what's happened.
  • Not Afraid of You Anymore: Kirin Toudou allows herself to be pushed around by Koichiro for most of volume 2... until she has a heart-to-heart talk about wanting to release Seijiro on her own terms. Kirin finally stands up for herself, stunning her uncle in the process, and Ayato becomes her mentor. Koichiro seems to realize his foolishness and becomes less of a jerk after he retires from Galaxy and reconnects with his family in Volume 11.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Ayato's understandable reaction when he accidentally sees Julis getting dressed, when she is about to fry him with Amaryllis and when he accidentally grabs her breast while protecting her from a robotic assassin.
    • Lester when he realizes that he isn't worthy of wielding Ser-Veresta.
    • Julis when Silas reveals that he is behind the assassination attempts.
    • Lester when he is beaten up by Silas's robots.
    • Silas when Ayato outsmarts him and when Claudia is about to capture him.
    • Koichiro when Kirin decides to leave her uncle behind and when Claudia threatens him to expose his actions towards Kirin to her mother Isabella.
    • Gustave when Kirin defeats him.
    • Nicholas when Claudia refuses to reconsider her participation in the Gryps Festa.
  • Opening Narration: The anime's first episode has one that describes how the Invertia crashed into Earth and its history that followed:
    "During the previous century, an unprecedented disaster known as the Invertia struck the planet and drastically changed the world as we knew it. The powers of existing nations declined significantly and paved the way for the Integrated Enterprise Foundation conglomerate to seize leadership. As time passed, global perceptions of ethics and principles were forever altered. But despite this turn of events, the Invertia also gave the world new potential. A new species of humans emerged, graced with phenomenal physical abilities, known as the Genestella. The young men and women of the Genestella vie for supremacy in the battle entertainment called Festas. This is Rikka, the academy city on the water, also known as Asterisk."
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: When Ayato decides to cut loose, he's the Awesome and pretty much everyone else is being overshadowed. His Power Limiter is mostly just a plot convenience to prevent him from constantly overshadowing everyone.
  • Playing with Syringes: Apparently, the Geneva Convention does not exist in this world setting. Again, of the academies in Asterisk, Arlequint is the most notorious for this.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: As opposed to some of IEF's Corrupt Corporate Executives like Koichiro, Nicholas and Isabella Enfield are dutiful and level-headed when they do their work.
  • Punny Name: The City of "Asterisk" is named because the city's design resembles a large asterisk.
  • Random Power Ranking: There is an official ranking system of student battle skills and every participating student's names are recorded in a ranking book. This led to those recorded on the first page as "Page Ones". This is ultimately mocked and deconstructed as its repeatedly mentioned that this is not an accurate representation of the strength of each character since multiple factors can determine your placement in the rankings. Examples:
    • Someone might be stuck in their current placement because the opponent(s) that they must defeat to advance just so happened to perfectly counter their abilities.
    • There are those that do not participate in duels either because they wish to hide their true strength, or because they don't care about it (such as Saya, who is on the same level as Julis, but is completely unranked).
    • There are even various power ranking charts on various fan websites, but it's mostly based entirely on favorites of the week and as shown, the rankings on one fansite are completely different than the rankings on another.
    • Ayato becomes the top-ranking student of Seidoukan after defeating the previous holder of that rank, Kirin, but it's not because he is necessary a superior fight, but ultimately because they refused to take advantage of his time limit and because they were unaware of his true fighting style. Ayato even notes that his tactic would only work once, and he wouldn't stand a chance against her in a rematch. Regardless of the reasons or the actual difference in strength, he is given the superior rank.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • When a Genestella hurts a human, even if it was in self-defense, the local police will arrest them.
    • As Ayato found out the hard way, walking into a female student's dormitory will result in you being almost blasted to kingdom come.
    • Holding an unauthorized duel on school grounds with a student who hasn't completed transferring to Seidoukan Academy? Then it will be voided very quickly by the local Student Council President.
    • The series also shows that despite the things the Genestella can do, it doesn't mean there are no side effects. Julis cries out in pain when Silas' mooks slash her leg.
    • Koichiro Toudou learns the hard way that when the IEF discovers your attempts to cover-up your own brother's misdeeds and using your niece as a pawn in your plans, it will come back to haunt you.
    • In the Phoenix Festa semifinals, Julis's takes on a Galahadsworth student who materializes classical High Middle Ages heavy cavalry gear, which includes a suit of plate armor that covers his badge and regenerates when destroyed, making it impossible for her to hit the badge with a fireball. She successfully gambles that the armor doesn't actually protect him from the heat of her fireballs, and tricks him into giving himself heat exhaustion.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Despite her sly nature, Claudia Enfield is a moral, just and reasonable Student Council President. When she finds out that Silas has launched a plot to take out the competitors at the Phoenix Festa, she quickly captures him. Later, when she realizes that Koichiro has covered up what happened to Seijiro and is corrupting Kirin for his own benefit, she calmly reminds him that Isabella is a member of Galaxy and Kirin is a valuable asset to Seidoukan. In volume 6, Claudia is understandably disappointed with her father Nicholas for trying to keep her out of the Gryps Festa.
    • Helga Lindwall is a good cop who has previously investigated the IEFs' role in past coverups, such as the death of the previous Festa Executive Committee Chairman, Danilo Bertoni, in a terrorist incident (Gustave Malraux was also involved).
    • For what authority he has, Jolbert von Riessfeld does genuinely want the best for Julis and for his country, but he doesn't think there's much he can actually do, with some reason.
  • Returning the Handkerchief: The whole story begins with our protagonist Ayato trying to return a handkerchief he found floating down from the sky. When he returned the handkerchief he met its owner Julis who was in the middle of changing her clothes. Unfortunately for Ayato, it ends up being a Felony Misdemeanor as he is forced to duel with her after that.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: Ernesta Kühne created AR-Dnote  and RM-Cnote  to be so and wishes for AIs to be accepted the same as humans. Ironically Ardi, the more robotic-looking one, is more emotional than RM-C the more human looking one who's consciousness is nearer to that of a human's. Justified since AR-D has an Ulm Mana Dite in him thus making him like an Orga Lux and have a personality.
  • Ruritania:
    • Various maps place Julis's homeland of Lieseltania on the southeastern border of Germany, the real-life location of the Czech Republic (indeed, it appears to be the western half of it). It used to be part of the Holy Roman Empire and was given de jure independence by the IEF in exchange for access to its Manadite resources, though it is de facto an IEF Puppet State.
    • Irene and Priscilla Urzaiz grew up in an unspecified poor country in southern Europe. Based on their Basque surname and Irene's Spanish incantations, it's probably Spain (or a former part of Spain, given IEF redrawing of borders elsewhere in Europe).
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • Ser-Veresta outright refuses to use her full potential unless Julis and Ayato wield her together, as Lester found out the hard way.
    • Julis's elder brother Jolbert, the King of Lieseltania, refers to Ayato as "my future brother-in-law" in his first scene (over a phone). This is Played for Laughs at that time, but when he meets them in person later (after they win the Phoenix Festa), he suggests a Perfectly Arranged Marriage: he can see their attraction and thinks that they'd make a good couple, but also notes that if Julis remains single, the IEF that runs Lieseltania behind the scenes might arrange her a match to benefit itself instead. (Julis isn't ready to admit her feelings, and Ayato refuses to be "the chain that binds Julis", at least not unless she's willing.)
  • Shout-Out: In the anime, the Lux's activation sounds use the lightsaber sound effects from the Star Wars franchise.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Some translations differ depending on the version you read. It's "Ogre Lux" in the anime subtitles but "Orga Lux" in the light novel translation. Also the school with the Mad Scientist hat is spelled "Allekant Academy" rather than "Arlequint" in the novel and anime. It was probably meant to be "Arlequint"—close to the French word arlequin ("harlequin")—but the translators didn't understand the katakana for the made-up word.
  • Sudden Principled Stand: In volume 2, Kirin learns from Ayato that she can find her own path to release Seijiro as opposed to her following Koichiro's advice. When Koichiro tells her to not go near Ayato, however, Kirin draws the line and breaks free from her uncle's influence to follow her own path and join Ayato.
  • Supporting Harem: Julis may be clearly in the lead (but she and Ayato are the only ones unaware of it), but Ayato has several other girls vying for him, and their affections are not very subtle. Still, Ayato is in this to protect Julis and none of the other girls have a chance.
  • Tournament Arc: The Phoenix Festa, in which the top schools compete against each other in matches.
  • Unit Confusion: Irene Urzaiz uses the term "fanega" to describe micro-singularities she can fire at her opponents. The fanega is the Spanish bushel, a measurement of volume rather than of mass, force, or acceleration, any of which would be more apt for a Gravity Master.
  • Unrealistic Black Hole: The "fanegas" that Irene generates with Gravisheath, which appear to be micro-singularities that she fires at her opponents and which can suck objects into them (she destroys Lester's lux this way in volume 3). Even a black hole can't destroy matter and energy: when it decomposes, it releases the energy equivalent of everything it absorbed as Hawking radiation (which follows Einstein's E=mc^2 equation and is a lot of energy, even for small objects).
  • Unwitting Pawn:
    • Every assassination attempt Silas did during volume 1 was allowed to happen by Ernesta.
    • Kirin is used as a pawn by her Evil Uncle Koichiro to become Seidoukan's top-ranking student, expand his power at Galaxy and help secure Seijiro's release. While Kirin knew she was a pawn, Koichiro had no idea that Kirin has her own agenda, wants to release him on her own terms and has developed feelings for Ayato. It backfires on him as Kirin and Claudia are not happy that Koichiro would go so far as to corrupt his niece into becoming Seidoukan's undefeatable champion and resorting to covering up the truth about Seijiro.
  • We All Live in America: Japanese example: Volume 7 has the Girl Group Rusalka try to exploit Contractual Purity to ruin their rival Sylvia Lyynneheym's career by starting a scandal with the rumor that she has a boyfriend. This might work in Japan—Idol Singer otakus can be weird, and their agencies are notorious for controlling their talent's personal lives—but Sylvia (and Rusalka) explicitly has a worldwide fanbase and Western audiences probably wouldn't consider this a big deal. invoked
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Claudia's father Nicholas Enfield, a fellow IEF executive, reveals himself to be one when he gives out his reasons to Claudia. He believed that by sending Gustave Marlowe to attack Julis, she would reconsider her decision to compete in the Gryps Festa. Unfortunately for him, Claudia understandably refuses.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • In Volume 1, Julis calls Ayato out on his Unwanted Rescue but Ayato counters it with an Armor-Piercing Question.
    • Near the end of volume 3, Ayato gets attacked by Claudia after visiting her late at night to discuss more about his upcoming fight. Fortunately he's able to snap her out of it, and she goes to explain more about the Cursed with Awesome nature of her Orga-Lux.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Kirin's uncle Koichiro has no problems hitting her whenever she questions him. Ayato ends up intervening, only for him to be forced into a duel with her to get her uncle to stop hitting her. He ends up losing, then finds out she's the top-ranked fighter at their school, but only because he's still unable to go all out at this point. Eventually, Kirin decides to stand up for herself and breaks ties with Koichiro at the end of Volume 2.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: It is not unusual for the Genestella to have hair colored blue, pink or even white.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Arlequint to Silas at the end of volume 1.


Alternative Title(s): Gakusen Toshi Asterisk, Asterisk War

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