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Light Novel / Toaru Hikuushi e no Seiyaku

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"Even if we become enemies in war, we will not hate each other. Friendship is forever."
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As a young teen, Kiyoaki Sakagami witnessed the Sky Clan's (Uranus) brutal attack on his hometown. His family was killed in a deliberate air raid and his farm burned to the ground. Comforted by his close friend Mio Seira, he vows to crush the Sky Clan and bring an end to its wars of aggression. Three years later as air force cadets, Kiyoaki and Mio are selected to finish their studies at the Eahanto military academy in the allied Saint Vault Empire. They meet five students from the academy with whom their futures would be intertwined in a region of incessant wars...

Toaru Hikūshi e no Seiyaku (The Oath of a Certain Pilot) is a light novel series written by Koroku Inumura and is the final work set in his Hikūshi universe. It was published in nine volumes from 2012 to 2015 in Japanese. Seiyaku is set a few years after Toaru Hikushi e no Koiuta, and draws a few characters and plot lines from it and To Aru Hikushi E No Tsuioku.

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Like the other Hikūshi books, Seiyaku is an adventure story of air combat, military narrative, and romance. With seven main characters, the novels shift across a wide variety of scenes and locations, from the pilots to the spies and staff planners.


This work provides examples of the following:

  • A Father to His Men: Leo Rosenmüller believes that a commander's most important job is to ensure that he gets his subordinates back home safely.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Karsten Kleischmidt lost an arm when he was shot down in the last war, perhaps contributing to his bitter view of Masaharu that he taught his daughter.
  • Ace Pilot: Kiyoaki and Ilya become the best pilots of their respective countries. Other notables include Achmed from Silvania, and Carnation from Uranus. From volume 7 onwards, ace pilots from Balesteros, Levamme, and Amatsukami show up as part of the 2nd Isla Fleet.
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  • Aerial Canyon Chase: Realizing that battle is lost in volume 4, Carnation lures several Vortex Squadron planes to chase him through the flying fortress' terrain. At least one fighter crashes into the unfamiliar ground, while a second is blown away by anti-aircraft guns sited on the reverse slopes.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Cecile calls Kiyoaki "Aki-chan".
  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: The major military powers of the world use these to extend the reach of their air power. Uranus also has a number of "flying fortresses"—something like Isla from Toaru Hikushi e no Koiuta but with artificial propulsion.
  • Alcoholic Parent: After retiring from the air force, Ilya's father Karsten Kleischmidt took to the bottle.
  • The Alliance: The anti-Uranus combined fleet in volume 9 is made up of contingents from Balesteros, Akitsu, Saint Vault, and Silvania. A token force from Levamme and Amatsukami show up as well.
  • Anyone Can Die: Kiyoaki and Ilya fight alongside some of the best pilots in the world. It doesn't stop them from witnessing their units endure massive casualties and comrades dying in agony.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Crown prince Demistori is hostile towards Nina Viento and the Uranus lower classes. Upon capturing Nina, he talks to her with implications of raping her later.
  • Armchair Military: The top commanders in the Saint Vault military refuse to listen to Balthazar's forecast twice in the novels. The first one was concerning Uranus using a hurricane to mask its attacking forces. The second was a consideration that Uranus would cross neutral territory to attack a fortified defensive line on its flank.
  • Arms Dealer: Mio's stepdad Ethan runs an international conspiracy supplying arms all around the world. By providing guns, this makes belligerent countries more confident in declaring war and enables the justification of Uranus' mission of "world peace".
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: In volume 6, Ilya returns to her dad's place and finds his scrapbook. Inside are all the newspaper articles highlighting her ace status, piloting skills, and achievements in the air force, showing that Karsten is proud of his daughter deep down.
  • Balkanize Me: The Akitsu Federation breaks up into its constituent countries after the western and central provinces suffer from war-weariness.
  • Bandage Mummy: Carnation suffered a unknown incident where his entire body was burnt and has since worn bandages to hide his scars. Despite this he retains his superb skills in flying.
  • Berserk Button: Kiyoaki has an episode upon seeing Carnation's fighter in volume 1. The sight of his family's killer makes him point the flying boat at him before Ilya calls him out on it and corrects the flight path.
  • Book-Ends: Kiyoaki invites Mio to ride in his family's crop duster in the prologue. In the epilogue, Kiyoaki's son Masaaki invites Fio—the daughter of Mio and Raina—to ride in the same plane.
  • Big Damn Reunion: Near the end of volume 9, Kal-el finally reunites with Claire after 6 and a half years of separation. Kiyoaki reunites with Mio but the situation is not straightforward.
  • Bittersweet Ending: A lighter format. Kiyoaki becomes the Sky King, participates in defeating Uranus, is betrothed to Ilya, and encounters Mio again after three years of separation. But thanks to events since volume 2, they both know that they'll be unable to resume their normal friendship since childhood. The last he sees of Mio is her escaping with Raina as fugitives.
  • Brainwashed: Child trainees going through the Uranus intelligence service "Patriot" training go through this to remove their past identities. In volume 9, Xeno threatens to inject Mio with a drug to turn her into a delirious slave with sexual implications.
  • Breaking the Fellowship / Party Scattering: A mix of both internal and external circumstances the Eriador Seven to break up during volumes 2 and 3. Balthazar graduates from the academy and takes up a staff officer assignment. Kiyoaki, Ilya, Kagura, and Raina are assigned to Vortex Squadron in the air force. Mio reluctantly travels to Pleiades during the Sky Clan's attack on Eahanto Island after being outed as a spy.
  • Breather Episode: Kiyoaki and Ilya participating in Vortex Squadron's night parties acts as one, offering a chance to build up camaraderie with fellow pilots.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: Seiyaku takes place over a 5-year period of the main characters' lives, consisting of their last years in military high school and the increasingly important roles they play in the wars occurring in the series.
  • Consummate Professional: Balthazar takes his studies seriously during his academy days, and after graduation entirely devotes himself as a strategist in Saint Vault's general staff rather keeping in touch with the rest of the Eriador Seven. Xeno is so dedicated to his work that he barely spends him with his wife and kids.
  • Cool Airship: A common sight in the military-focused chapters. The novel explains that flying warships are necessary to cross the waterfalls dividing the seas.
  • Cool Plane: Several appear, with a few appearing in previous works:
    • "Eriador" in volume 1 is a Japanese H8K/Type 2 flying boat.
    • In volume 6, Akitsu and Saint Vault assign small numbers of turboprop fighters to their best pilots. Kiyoaki flies the Ikanaga, a fighter resembling Amatsukami's Shindens in Tsuioku but without the gull wings. Ilya uses the Beostrike F1F, with a contra-rotating prop design similar to the British Wyvern.
    • The Uranus Air Force deploys three "Ortega" jet fighters in volume 9, with capabilities reminiscent of the German Me 262.
    • When the 2nd Isla Fleet arrives in the Archipelago region, we see a Shinden Kai and Charles Karino's Iris V fighter. We also see Kal-el's personal fighter "Maestra".
  • Chekhov's Gun: Mio's pet bird Fio seems pretty insignificant as anything more than window dressing. The bird plays a turning role in volume 8, when Mio ties a bag filled with vital intelligence on Pleiades and sends the bird off to seek Kiyoaki.
  • Clear Their Name: One of Kiyoaki's goals for writing Seiyaku in-universe was to explain that Mio and Raina became turncoats because they had no other choice, and in the end their actions enabled the allies to successfully invade Pleiades and defeat the Sky Clan.
  • Crapsack World: With constant aggressive wars, ruinous taxation for military spending, and unhealthy economies, the novel clearly shows that the world is neither a safe nor stable place.
  • Creation Myth: Uranus' story is that two thousand years ago, its people saw the landmass of Pleiades emerge from the Holy Spring and migrated to it, and subsequently as residents of the sky, they would be destined to "rule the sky and earth".
  • Dad the Veteran: Both Kiyoaki and Ilya are the children of distinguished pilots (Masaharu and Kartsten) who fought in the last Akitsu-Saint Vault war. Ilya believes that Masaharu shot down Karsten in a dishonest fashion, which Kiyoaki denies.
  • Dance Battler: The dogfights that Kiyoaki and Ilya participate in are described as like dances.
  • Dead Girl Junior: Kiyoaki's and Ilya's daughter is named Yumiko, in memory of the former's murdered sister.
  • Death from Above: Kiyoaki is said to favor boom-and-zoom attacks in volume 2.
  • Dodge by Braking: Kiyoaki's father performed the in-universe equivalent of Pugachev's Cobra during his air duel with Karsten. In volume 2, Kiyoaki attempts to do the same thing during his mock air battle with Ilya but his plane disintegrates. He finally accomplishes the maneuver in volume 9 during his duel with Carnation.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The bombings of the capital city Misato and Akitsu's food situation in volume 6 resemble Japan's internal situation in 1944-45.
  • Domestic Abuse: Karsten's alcoholic-induced rages drove away Ilya's mother, and may have had an influence in shaping Ilya's arrogant and cold behavior.
  • Diesel Punk: With 1940s-era technology and weaponry.
  • Distant Finale: The epilogue is set 15 years after events of volume 9, when the main characters are in their late 30s. After the sales from "Seiyaku" provide much in the way of royalties and controversy for Kiyoaki, he decides to retire from his instructor pilot job in Sylvania and return to his family farm with Ilya and their children. They arrange a grand party where the rest of the "Eriador Seven" and their kids reunite and mingle.
  • The Empire: There are two on the Mittelland continent—the Saint Vault and Harmondia empires.
  • End of an Age: In volume 9, Carnation observes the Ortega jet fighters and ponders about the future of air combat with guided missiles, radar, and electronic gunsights. He realizes that the age of propeller planes is coming to an end, but he does not want any part in it.
  • Enemy Mine: The Akitsu-Saint Vault alliance is signed because they face the mutual threat of Uranus through Hyderabad. Both countries fought a war over control of the islands between them a generation ago and the narrative suggests that they'd still be at each others' throats if there wasn't a common enemy.
  • Escort Mission: In volume 4, Vortex Squadron has to provide air cover for the dive and torpedo bombers attacking a Uranus flying fortress and its covering naval fleet. The allied air forces do the same duty in volume 9 when they are invading Pleiades.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Like the other Hikūshi novels, the countries in this series resemble real-world ones:
    • The Akitsu Federation is Imperial Japan with an internal structure resembling the United Kingdom, being made up of three countries with their own ethnic groups. The eastern province itself is influenced by Japan, while the center and west have a Chinese and Mongolian flair respectively.
    • The Saint Vault Empire is Germanic with a bit of the United States in World War 2.
    • The state of Woongjin Cho with its neutrality policy suggests Joseon Korea.
    • Uranus is reminiscent of the Roman Empire with shades of post-Cold War American military power.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: After the main characters' heroic ordeal flying from Akitsu to Saint Vault in volume 1, they are known as the "Eriador Seven" for successfully breaking through a heavy Uranus naval-air blockade and conducting a sea landing in a stormy night. Their shared experience results in them agreeing to the The Promise at the end of volume 1.
  • Flash Back: There are several scattered throughout the novels:
    • Mio lost her parents in a Uranus air raid when she was eight, before being picked up from a POW camp by her stepfather Ethan. As Ethan frequently relocated for work, Mio never had the opportunity to make friends. When she moved to Kiyoaki's hometown, she had her pet bird "find a friend", and the bird landed on Kiyoaki while he was working on the farm. Then Mio demanded Kiyoaki to be her "servant".
    • Volume 2's prologue explains Ilya's upbringing and why she was raised to be emotionless and arrogant.
  • Flawed Prototype: The Qazvin fighters used by the Valkyrie Squadron were originally developed for the Saint Vault military. While having a more powerful engine than the Beagles that were chosen by the air force, it is considered to be difficult to fly. The Valkyries use Qazvins as the better pilots are able to get used to its difficulties and maximize its advantages.
  • Floating Continent: Uranus' capital city Pleiades is a flying island, similar to Isla from Koiuta. It also has a number of "flying fortresses" acting as small cities and unsinkable aircraft carriers.
  • Fog of War: Hiding within clouds is a common air combat tactic in the novels.
  • Foreshadowing: The seven main characters are assigned in Eriador as such: Kiyoaki and Ilya in the cockpit, Mio and Raina in the observation section, Balthazar and Kagura in the command room, and Cecile in the communications room. This layout replicates the final relationship pairings that coagulate by the latter volumes.
    • In volume 1, Ilya's dream of having romantic feelings for Kiyoaki while conducting a one-on-one dogfight with him over a burning city foreshadows the events of volume 6.
  • Generation Xerox: Kiyoaki's and Ilya's children share the same ambitions and interest in flying as themselves when they were young, although neither want them to follow in their footsteps.
  • Great Escape: A good chunk of volume 5 is about Balthazar, Ilya, and Raina rescuing Kiyoaki and Kagura out of Odin's prison and sending them back to Akitsu.
  • Gunship Rescue: At the end of volume 7, the Silvanian forces are about to be overrun by a Uranus fleet. They are saved by the sudden appearance of the 2nd Isla Fleet from Balesteros.
  • Guy in Back: Cecile, Balthazar, Kagura, Raina, and Mio perform specialist duties on Eriador alongside manning the machine guns in combat. Cecile handles the communications equipment. Kagura and Balthazar provide leadership. Mio and Raina handle navigation and astronomical calculations.
  • Hero of Another Story: Charles Karino and Kal-el Albus, who get their spotlight in the To Aru Hikushi E No Tsuioku and Toaru Hikushi e no Koiuta respectively.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Kagura does one for Kiyoaki during the final mock air battle in volume 2. Subverted because the ammunition is paint bullets.
    • In volume 6, Nyutabaru Renkai becomes Kiyoaki's wingman. During the penultimate battle of the 2nd Akitsu-Saint Vault War, he acts as Kiyoaki's shield, taking a burst of Ilya's cannon fire meant for him.
  • Honor Before Reason: When the Akitsu contingent joins the allied forces in volume 9, its commander Jadamba (one of Kiyoaki's former wingmen who used to look up to him) criticizes Kiyoaki for technical desertion and joining the Valkyries with Ilya. Jadamba believes that this decision has put Nyutabaru's sacrifice in vain.
  • Hopeless War: The narrative frequently points out that major countries experience economic problems due to their massive military budgets. This has caused them to wage aggressive wars to feed them rather than downsizing their armies.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Xeno tells this to Mio in volume 2. According to him, the continental countries' thirst for aggressive war and imperialism justifies Uranus' holy mission to dominate the earth and sky.
  • I Have Many Names: The Sky Clan is also known as Uranus or Uranus-Vasilisa. Raina is also known under his agent codename "Hummingbird". His real name is Thomas. Claire Cruz continues to be called Nina Viento except by her closest associates.
  • It's Raining Men: The Saint Vault military uses paratroopers to perform the final moves in capturing flying fortresses after securing air superiority.
  • The Lancer: Liu Wong is one to Kiyoaki in volume 6. He is one of the few pilots to hit Kiyoaki in a practice dogfight and constantly doubts his willingness to shoot at his former comrades in the Saint Vault Air Force.
  • Love Across Battlelines: By volume 6, the second war between Akitsu and Saint Vault is in full swing. Kiyoaki returns to the Akitsu military and is faced with the possibility of fighting Ilya in the skies.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Zeno Kavadis.
  • Master of Disguise: In volume 1, Cecile tells Mio that the Sky Clan's racial diversity gives them a potential to place moles in any country in the world.
  • Military Coup: Kagura along with the Akitsu Imperial Guards carry one out against the current government in volume 8. In the same volume on Pleiades, crown prince Demistori and his hardliner faction remove Nina Viento from power.
  • Miscarriage of Justice: At the end of volume 4, the 2nd Akitsu-Saint Vault War begins after a friendly fire incident. The Saint Vault military police arrest Kiyoaki and Kagura, and torture them under suspicion of being spies. In the next volume, Balthazar, Ilya, and Raina carry out a prison break and get them back to Akitsu.
  • Mixed Ancestry: The Amatsukami pilot Yoshioka Takeo is mixed white and Asian heritage. He is the son of Chijiwa Takeo and Yoshioka Yuki, the main couple from the third Hikūshi series Yasoukyoku.
  • Motivational Lie: When the 2nd Isla Fleet docks at Silvania, its commanders tell the queen they're running on a deficit and have no money to restore their combat capability. The queen formulates a scheme to buy the fleet's debt, but to raise confidence in Silvania's credit, she creates a false story of royal treasures hidden in the ocean.
  • No Name Given: The spy Hummingbird and Sylvania royal successor get their own narrative chapters but the readers don't know who they are amongst the Eriador Seven right away.
  • Nose Art: Several characters sport this on their planes:
    • Kiyoaki: Black rabbit.
    • Ilya: White lion.
    • Carnation: Black panther.
    • Yoshioka Takeo: Beagle.
    • Charles Karino: Seagull.
    • Kal-el Albus: Wind crest.
  • Obligatory War-Crime Scene: Plenty. Soldiers of all countries are said to plunder and burn civilian property and execute bystanders who resist. Captured civilians and POWs are described to be put into work camps. Finally, there are the strategic aerial bombings and deliberate strafing runs on civilians. Kiyoaki's sister was killed by such a strafing attack.
    • In volume 6, Saint Vault submarines torpedo transport ships carrying Akitsu civilian refugees.
  • Off-into-the-Distance Ending: The final epilogue scene has Masaaki and Fio flying off into the summer sky, with the implication that a new generation of pilots are born.
  • Oh, Crap!: Most of the combat pilots have this reaction frequently, due to a loss of situational awareness or being a victim of attack from an unexpected direction.
  • Old Soldier: Kiyoaki learnt how to fly from Achmed, the pilot who brought the last successor of the Silvania monarchy to safety. Charles Karino taught both Kal-el and Takeo in advanced flying tactics.
  • Paparazzi: Utaguni Tokiwa is a journalist from the Akitsu Daily, appearing at the academy in volume 2 to write a news article on Kiyoaki and Ilya. She stoops down to awkward questions, such as whether or not the two would be willing to kill each other if Akitsu and Saint Vault went to war again. Kiyoaki is offended enough to storm out of the interview with Ilya in tow.
  • Parental Abandonment: Kiyoaki lost his parents in an air attack three years before the present. Mio also lost her parents in a similar air attack before that. Cecile's parents also died under similar circumstances. We later know that her parents were the rulers of the former kingdom of Silvania.
  • Passing the Torch: Achmed hands over command of the Valkyries to Kiyoaki before being shot down by Carnation.
  • Praetorian Guard: Akitsu's royal guard force is an independent branch of the military, complete with an infantry division, 4 heavy cruisers, 100 fighter planes, and a personal bodyguard for the royal family itself.
  • The Promise: The "Eriador Seven" take an oath at the end of volume 1: even if they become opponents in wartime, they will not hate each other; their friendship will be forever.
  • Proxy War: Uranus itself does not declare war against the countries it fights. Rather, it "loans" out its air forces to a belligerent country, with the condition being that the beneficiary falls under Uranus' sphere of influence. From volumes 1-7, the Hyderabad Cooperative Union is the main proxy; and from 8-9, Uranus backs the Harmondia Empire to invade Saint Vault.
  • Private Military Contractors: The Valkyrie Squadron is a mercenary unit made up of the remnants of the Silvania Air Force. They aspire to return to their country and restore the kingdom.
  • Puppet King: After Claire is elected as Uranus' new queen, she holds no real power (similar to her position in Koiuta). Illustriali holds the religious and political power while Demistori holds supreme command of the military.
  • Puppet State: Countries employing Uranus' air forces get turned into this through immigration and colonization of the clients' territory. Kiyoaki's home island of Mesus is a protectorate of the Akitsu Federation.
  • The Quiet One: Ignacio towards Mio during their first formal meeting.
  • Race Against the Clock: Near the end of volume 1, the last Uranus attack on Eriador sends shrapnel into Mio's thigh and severing an artery. The characters realize that she will bleed out and die within minutes if the flying boat doesn't land and get Mio to the hospital.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Vortex Squadron is one of Saint Vault's best air units, but its members conduct themselves as unprofessional and boorish outside of the cockpit. Squadron leader Leo only tolerates this because he knows that they're competent in battle.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: After entering the military, Balthazar finds one in his immediate superior Colonel Andy Bott. Unlike the other superiors, he is willing to accept Balthazar's unorthodox force estimates and judgements.
  • Red Baron: The best combat pilots in the Archipelago region are informally titled the "Sky King". Past holders include Achmed, Carnation, Masaharu, and Karsten. Kiyoaki attains this position by volume 9 after shooting down Carnation.
  • The Revolution: In volume 9, the lower classes in Pleiades stage a revolution that overthrows the old nobility involved in pursuing Uranus' hubristic holy mission, indirectly supported by the allied armies' attacks on the city's airbases and military installations.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Kagura and Balthazar do this in volume 8. Kagura launches a coup against the government interested in continuing the war against Saint Vault, but she would be committing treason in principle. Balthazar unilaterally proposes sending out a ceasefire agreement after hearing about this coup, acknowledging that he would take a demotion in consequence.
  • Secret Art: In the novel's setting, post-stall maneuvers like Pugachev's Cobra are considered accomplishable by a rare few. They're rare enough that most pilots consider them fantastical and impossible to perform in real combat.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: Chijiwa Takeo died in battle at the end of Yasoukyoku. The existence of Yoshioka Takeo confirms that Yuki was pregnant with him in the latter parts of that series' second volume at least.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: At the beginning of volume 8, Kal-el asks Kiyoaki and Ilya if they are a married couple or lovers after seeing them embrace, resulting in an awkward silence and denial.
  • Sheltered Aristocrat: Claire continues this lifestyle, being largely restricted to the grounds of one of the royal villas. Subverted when Mio becomes her personal maid and begins to take her out on pleasure trips and shopping.
  • Silly Reason for War: At the end of volume 4, the 2nd Akitsu-Saint Vault War breaks out due to an Akitsu warship bombarding Saint Vault troops landing on Mesus Island. This incident seemingly becomes an excuse for two allies to wage total war on each other. It's implied that Uranus manipulated the countries to fight each other after suffering defeats from the two allies.
  • The Spymaster: Zeno Kavadis is a diplomat from the Harmondia Empire. Maybe not. He also calls himself the undersecretary of Uranus' foreign affairs ministry and the head of their intelligence service.
  • Straight for the Commander: In volume 6, Ilya shoots down flight commander Maorong before engaging in a one-on-one with Kiyoaki.
  • Succession Crisis: The old Uranus king Ortega dies in the middle of the story. It sets off a succession crisis between the conservatives represented by the crown prince and the liberals represented by Nina Viento.
  • Suggestive Collision: During Eriador's first night stop in volume 1, Ilya takes a skinny dip and falls asleep on the shore. A few minutes later, Kiyoaki also takes a skinny dip and trips on Ilya while walking back in the dark. When Mio wakes up to investigate the commotion, she is not impressed.
  • Super Prototype: Akitsu, Saint Vault, and Uranus begin to deploy small numbers of turboprop planes by volume 6, which have higher speed and horsepower over piston engine counterparts.
  • Supreme Chef: It seems that Claire has learnt how to make Ari-men and cooks it for the household staff. The main characters love Mio's cooking in volume 2 and miss it dearly. Ilya is one with regards to confectionaries. Her skills in volume 7 help save a food stall that was about to go out of business.
  • Taking the Bullet: Claire asks Mio, Raina and Ignacio to accompany her for an evening walk. They're attacked by knife-wielding assassins but they are driven off. Mio unintentionally takes two bullets meant for Claire.
  • Teen Superspy: Zeno's Patriots are a small unit of teenage operatives able to carry out extreme and difficult tasks. They're trained and drilled from childhood under cruel conditions to become highly competent. "Hummingbird" belongs to this group.
  • They Died Because of You: Xeno tells Mio that her stepfather assisted the air attack that lead to the death of Kiyoaki's family. This knowledge wears on her the next time she meets him after winter break.
  • Time Skip: There are variable time skips from several days to months in between the volumes. For example, volume 7 takes place six months after volume 6.
  • True Companions: The main characters after volume 1.
  • A True Story in My Universe: Similar to To Aru Hikushi E No Tsuioku, Seiyaku exists in-universe as a set of memoirs written by Kiyoaki two decades after the Uranus War. One motivation was to clear the names of Mio and Raina, whom Saint Vault continued to regard as traitors.
  • Vehicular Turnabout: Both Akitsu and Saint Vault capture two Uranus flying fortresses and add them to their arsenals. The Akitsu vessel is named Suzaku and the Saint Vault one Odin.
  • Villain Has a Point: What Xeno says to Mio about the nature of modern war as a series of resource and land grabs is technically true.
  • War Is Hell: The novel graphically describes the effects of war on the soldiers and civilians from the agonizing deaths and POW camps to the civilian evictions and forced work camps. The reader learns in volume 5 that after Saint-Vault captured the flying fortress Odin, the Uranus civilians had their properties seized and resold to settlers. The subsequent volume graphically shows the effects of strategic bombing in Akitsu with the burnt buildings, homeless civilians, and lost family members.
  • Weather of War: The Uranus fleet attacking Eahanto Island take advantage of a hurricane to conceal themselves and launch a surprise attack.
  • Where It All Began: The epilogue is set on the Sakagami family farm, the same place as the prologue.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Mio is afraid of flying and freaks out when Kiyoaki takes her for a ride on the crop duster during the prologue.
  • Worthy Opponent: During the air battle in volume 6, Kiyoaki's former squadron leader Leo lines up with his plane and salutes before beginning a one-on-one dogfight with him.
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