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Literature / Aria the Scarlet Ammo

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Kinji Touyama is no ordinary high school sophomore. Whenever he is "stimulated" by events around him, he switches into a sort of Super Mode called "Hysteria Savant Syndrome", shortened as "HSS" or also called "Hysteria Mode". Kinji attends Butei High School, a paramilitary academy specializing in assault, reconnaissance, escort, etc. — specifically, the offensive-oriented Assault Section. However, thanks to a certain incident, Kinji demoted himself to the more rear-line Inquesta Section and is planning on quitting Butei High altogether. One day, however, he narrowly falls victim to a serial bomber called the "Butei Killer", and his life is thrown into a shock again, with the entrance of one of Assault Section's top students, the diminutive Aria H. Kanzaki.

Hidan no Aria (Aria the Scarlet Ammo, according to the subtitle, or more accurately Aria of the Scarlet Bullet note ) is a Harem Genre series of Light Novels, but also with plenty of action and thrills. The light novels began publication in 2008, with a manga adaptation that began serialization in Monthly Comic Alive in 2009. It also has an anime series adapted by J.C. Staff, which was released in April 2011. (Note that after volume 16, the manga's numbering starts over from 1, with the new part being called Hidan no Aria Spark Out - The Purple Lightning Witch, and chapter 94 becoming "chapter 1" of this new part.)

The light novel series is still ongoing and its ending is not yet in the horizon, making it a significant Long Runner. It has the distinction of being the longest series of the batch inspired by the success of Shakugan no Shana (with their respective anime adaptations sharing studio, director and Rie Kugimiya voicing the uncannily similar main female characters), as well as the only one that is still running.

From 2010 to 2018, it also had a spinoff manga, Hidan no Aria AA (Hidan no Aria Double A, or Aria the Scarlet Ammo Double A), focusing on Akari Amamiya, a first-year Rank-E Butei and Aria fangirl who strives to be on equal footing with her beloved "Aria-sempai". This spin-off also got its own anime adaptation in 2015 by Dogakobo; the first preview can be watched here.

Both series were licensed for simulcast streaming by Funimation and can be watched here and on Hulu. Double A episodes are streamed on the same page as the original series (as episodes 13-24, the OVA being absent from the page).

Aria, Shirayuki, Jeanne, Reki and Riko are also part of the cast in Super Heroine Chronicle.

Spoilers for all three mediums are here!

Provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Shirayuki's sword is pretty sharp due to it being made with a special metal.
  • Academy of Adventure: Butei High is a universal educational facility where agents known as Butei are trained to become crime fighting detectives/mercenaries.
  • The Ace: Aria can be a one-girl assault team, able to handle any situation with nary a sweat, catch any criminal, so on and so forth... but can't cook.
  • Action Girl: Any Butei Girl is trained in combat. Some of the most prominent ones are Aria, Shirayuki, Riko, and Jeanne.
  • Action Prologue: The series kicks off with Kinji Touyama being chased by a remoted controlled segway armed by an uzi, telling him that a bomb has been attached to his bike which will explode if he slows down, also threatening to shoot him if he jumps off. Kinji is then saved by a mysterious twintailed girl named Aria H. Kanzaki.
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Adapted Out: The bit of dialogue where Riko explains Aria's fighting style to Kinji, revealing it to be the famous Holmesian Bartitsu, doesn't appear in the anime's rendition of the scene. The style itself goes therefore unnamed in the anime, although the moves are still the same.
  • Almighty Janitor: Kinji is just a bottom-of-the-barrel Rank E (in contrast to Aria, a top-dog Rank S), just wants to be normal, attends the information-gathering Inquest Side, and usually gets pushed around a bit by females. But he's just Rank E on official records — amongst his friends in Assault Side he is known as an unofficial Rank S, turns into a ladies' man under HSS, and winds up with an army of Action Girls willing to do anything for him.
  • Alternate Character Reading: Abused, along side Gratuitous Foreign Language, to the point where it's not even funny. Some examples are the various Butei specilizations, and an entire section in the fifth chapter of Volume 4.
  • Amazon Brigade:
    • The Ulus Tribe, a 47-woman tribe of which Reki is a member.
    • Hotogi Mikos — all female, each with weapons and supernatural training on their disposal.
  • Animal Motifs: Aria and cats. Evidence are the Leopons, the random purrs in some scenes involving her, and Aria even growling like a cat whenever she's extremely pissed off. In Episode 6 Shirayuki even calls her a "thieving cat" for (supposedly) taking Kinji from her.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Shirayuki's younger sister, Konayuki. As of volume 11, Kaname has officially joined this category.
  • Aroused by Their Voice: Riko imitates Aria's voice to get Kinji into Hysteria Mode via radio, and succeeds.
  • Artistic License – Cars: In the anime adaptation of AA, the BMW 6-series cabrio that gets subjected to Aria's "take key out of its ignition cylinder while car is moving" stunt is replaced by a Nissan March. The anime's version of this scene falls under this trope because while the 6-series had a manual transmission and thus had no locking mechanism in its ignition cylinder to stop the key from being removed while the transmission was in gear, the March's automatic transmission would've been able to prevent its ignition key from being removed without first putting the transmission into Park.
  • A-Team Firing: Akari from Double-A never hits a mark, and in fact tends to be wildly off target. Later it's revealed that she is actually an expert marksman who can fire one lethal shot after another without even really aiming, but since she's a Butei and is supposed to capture criminals, not kill them, she struggles to make nonlethal shots that result in her aim being massively off-target.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Kinichi, Kinji's Not Quite Dead older brother, as Kana. Quite a beauty, eh?
  • Badass Family: The entire Tohyama Clan. The most famous is Tohyama Konzou (Kinji's father) who doesn't even need Hysteria Mode to stop wars.
  • Badass Normal: Even when not under the influence of Hysteria Mode, Kinji shows remarkably good judgement in combat situations, and is capable of intimidating a large number of thugs. Justified, as even bottom-of-the-barrel Butei (which Kinji isn't, much as he might pretend) are trained and expected to be able to deal with armed criminals.
  • Badass Teacher: Butei High's teachers are almost universally young. They're also rumored to be former criminals, assassins, soldiers, specialists,special forces operatives... and they might still have ties to their former careers.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: The series' opening has Aria in her native England, including the famous Baker Street Tube Station, yet the anime has really no scenes set outside Japan. The particular scenes shown in the opening seem to be the preambles of Aria's travel to Japan, given that she appears with her portmanteau and waiting for a train, but this happens entirely offscreen in the anime.
  • Barehanded Blade Block:
    • Aria performs one in the beginning of Episode 6. Kinji even bothers to hang a lampshade on it.
    • And then Kinji does it himself two episodes later.
    • In the novel, he did with two fingers. And later, he uses a variant of the technique to redirect an oncoming bullet.
  • Battle Couple: Tamamo tells Kinji and Shirayuki that their great great grandparents fought alongside each other.
  • Bayonet Ya: Reki is a sniper, so she doesn't carry sidearms. However, she always keeps a bayonet in case she has to fight on melee.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Joan of Arc (Jeanne the 30th's ancestor) was an Abilty User — specifically An Ice Person — which helped her survive being burnt at the stake.
    • If there is someone famous, real or fictional, expect their descendant to appear at some point.
  • Berserk Button: Let's see...
    • Aria: Do not make fun of her flat chest, her childish appearance, her lack of grace, or Kinji, much less be Riko. She'll blast a hole in you, unless you're bulletproof, in which case she has alternative methods.
    • Kinji: Do not hurt women (especially if he's in Hysteria Mode), talk badly of his (supposedly) dead older brother, hurt his friends, or try to kill him.
    • Riko: Do not call her Lupin the 4th, control her life, treat her as anything but an individual, be Aria, or disobey her once she gives an order.
    • Shirayuki: Do not be a girl near Kinji (especially Aria) or try to kill him, much less seduce him... Long story short: don't do anything with/to Kinji.
  • The Berserker: Oddly enough, Shirayuki.
    • Hysteria Berserk is the Green-Eyed Monster version of this. Also noteworthy is King Hysteria which is activated by threatening multiple females close to a Tohyama (they are refered as the king's pride, referencing lion prides).
  • Betty and Veronica: Towards Kinji, the Tsundere New Transfer Student Aria is the Veronica and the Yamato Nadeshiko childhood friend Shirayuki is the Betty.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Kinji gains the title "Enable" because he has performed supposedly impossible feats such as blocking Sun Wukong's unblockable laser attack with only a knife and a bullet.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • In Episode 3, when the bus with a bomb is heading for downtown, Aria is unconscious, and all seems hopeless, when Reki appears in a helicopter and snipes the bomb on the bottom of the bus.
    • Aria saves Kinji later against Durandal.
  • Big Eater: Aria wolfs down peach buns like there's no tomorrow. And as it turns out Reki can be one as well, downing a gigantic ramen jar in 11 minutes. With a pair of ordinary chopsticks.
    • Riko in comparison seems to be a Big Drinker, with her drinking 20 packs of strawberry milk.
  • Big Friendly Dog: Amusingly enough, Haimaki (Reki's tamed wolf) becomes this when Reki and Kinji start to spend more time together.
  • Blessed with Suck: Kinji's Hysteria Mode, where he becomes a gigolo/ladies' man, but this isn't his ideal self. Made even worse as under this mode Kinji literally can't refuse any request a girl makes... 'ANY REQUEST'. Now think of the options ladies (and guys alike).
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Three major members of Kinji's harem: the blonde Riko, the black-haired Shirayuki, and the pink-haired Aria.
  • Blood Knight: Whether or not Riko's hatred for Aria comes into the equation, she really really enjoys combat a little too much.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Justified by a very advanced ballistic weave in the uniforms for Butei students, which is capable of stopping even the hottest pistol-caliber loads at anything greater than point-blank range. It's not known whether it can withstand rifle ammo. This is averted in the case of unprotected areas.
  • Born Lucky: Kinji or it could be Reki; examples are Kinji winning a lottery due to her presence, getting free food for Reki, and having Reki complete an event despite lacking the money to buy her a dress.
  • Born in the Wrong Century:
    • Kinji notes that Jeanne is this because she is very formal, sends letters with wax seals, wields a zweihander (two-handed sword), wears plate mail, doesn't know what a vending machine is, and dislikes skimpy clothing (even school uniforms). May be justified by being unused to seeing the world outside I-U's auspices.
    • Shirayuki also counts due to her upbringing, choice of weapons, and personality except for that M60 she occasionally brings out against rivals for Kinji's affection.
  • Bulletproof Vest: Butei school clothes are made from bulletproof materials, and they also have SWAT gear if things go dangerous.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Riko has an obsession with H-Games. She also happens to be Butei Academy's most reliable Knowledge Broker.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Aria has some British heritage in her, which is why she has a middle name.
  • Bystander Syndrome: Butei teachers are hands-off when it comes to a student's problems. After all, they're expected to help themselves and each other out.
  • Catchphrase:
    Aria: "I'll blow a hole through you!" or "I'll pump you full of holes!" in the English dub.
    Reki: "I am a single bullet. It has no heart. Therefore, it does not think. It just flies straight towards its target."
  • Canis Major: Haimaki is a giant Central Asian wolf and Reki trained him to obey her in less than 5 minutes.
  • Cat Smile: Riko tends to display one for the mischievous aspect.
  • Censor Steam: Steam serves as a censor in the Furo Scenes.
  • Chick Magnet: Kinji, by some miracle, keeps getting girls, and what's funnier is they all excel in at least one area of combat. He can probably even form his own elite strike team if this keeps up. As of novel 7 said team actually exists.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Shirayuki's ultimate goal with her childhood friend Kinji — graduate together with Kinji, marry him and have 7-8 children with him. However, she goes into a Yandere rampage when she thinks Aria has gotten in the way of her plans and will take Kinji for herself.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Aria and Shirayuki are willing to attack anyone who tries to take him away.
  • Clown Car: That 737-350 Plane under Just Plane Wrong has a LOT of things that would not fit within the narrow fuselage of an actual Boeing 737.
  • Combat Tentacles: Well, ponytails used with the same articulation of actual tentacles, but that's what Riko's hair technically is.
  • Crapsack World: The series shows some shades of it — Butei was originally formed as a reaction to skyrocketing crime, featuring teenagers carrying concealed weapons, wearing bulletproof school uniforms, and functioning like police officers.
  • Custom Uniform: Riko modified her uniform to make it more Lolita-style. It also acts as an impromptu parachute.
  • Cute Kitten: The two Leopons from the catching game machine in Episode 3. They're so cute, they make Aria cuter. (One Leopon attached to Kinji's cellphone ultimately made Kinji reconsider his decision to quit Butei High and resume his partnership with Aria.)
  • Daddy's Little Villain: Hilda Dracula, Vlad's daughter, begins to attack the gang in Volume 8-9 of the light novels.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Where the hell do we begin...
    • Kinji: His brother Kinichi (apparently) died saving people from a sinking ship, only for the company to blame him for sinking it. He's heckled and looked down upon by other people for this, forcing him to mull leaving Butei High.
    • Aria: She's a descendant of one of the most famous detectives in the world, and a tool to be used, with her mother Kanae framed as the "Butei Killer".
    • Shirayuki: As a Hotogi she was unable to leave the shrine as a child, got severely punished for meeting Kinji, and was only able to attend Butei High due to her clan's approval. She's also never gone out to eat nor gone shopping with anymore...
    • Riko: As a failed descendant of one of the world's most elusive thieves she's only known as Lupin IV to people who know her well, and as such she's kidnapped and held until she agrees to do the impossible and win back her identity and freedom.
    • Reki: Her native all-female Ulus Tribe can only give birth to females, thus they must find a strong male warrior (in her case, Kinji); they also surrender their sense of feelings to Irokane, explaining their emotionless nature, as well as their freedom — they devote themselves fully to their husbands, even unto death.
  • Deadpan Snarker: A lot of Kinji's commentary in the novels involves this, with him often noting the absurdity of the Butei way of life.
  • Defeat by Modesty: Riko manages to subdue Shirayuki quickly by lifting the latter's skirt.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: By the end of her visit Kinji managed to turn Konayuki (Shirayuki's Annoying Younger Stepsister) from a man-hating Butei to another potential love interest. He even managed to make Reki smile, if just for a moment. Now all these would be a good thing, except he has a Tsundere and a Yandere (Aria and Shirayuki, respectively) to worry about.
  • Demoted to Extra: Kinji went from being the main protagonist in “Aria the Scarlet Ammo” to a minor role in “Double-A”.
  • Deus Sex Machina: Kinji needs to be aroused to activate Hysteria mode.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: A rare heartwarming twist on this trope: When Kinji and Aria helped Riko defeat Dracula, hence reclaiming her freedom and dignity, she was clearly filled with love and gratitude for both of them. After a moment, her professional pride in her Lupin heritage returned, forcing her to recompose herself and declare her rivalry towards them anew; albeit one built on respect rather than hatred this time.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Aria tends to use this trope on Kinji.
  • Dual Wielding:
    • Aria. Riko apparently can too.
    • Though, for Riko, it's technically Quad Wielding.
    • Volume 7 onwards introduces the third Quadra — none other than Kinji himself.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Genetically inherited by Kinji. He can't not help a girl who is in trouble.
  • Dynamic Entry: Has happened a few times, notable incidents involving Shirayuki first slicing the door and trying to kill Aria with a sword, second time pushing down the door and trying to ventilate Aria with an M60.
  • Easily Forgiven: While Riko had her motives, it seems that Kinji and Aria overlook the fact that she tried to kill them earlier.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: SSR combat tends to fall into this category. From the only known battles so far fire>ice, and earth>fire.
  • Every Japanese Sword is a Katana: Contrary to what many seem to think, Aria's swords are not katanas, but a pair of much shorter wakizashis.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Riko speaking French was very hot, to say the least.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: Reki doesn't miss. Even "miss shots" are deliberate (like that one time she tamed Haimaki with a bullet grazing through its back).
  • Expy: In-series, the main girls — Aria, Riko, and Shirayuki — have their first-year expies on the spinoff Hidan no Aria AA in the form of Akari Amamiya, Kirin Shima, and Shino Sasaki, respectively.
  • The Faceless: Anyone outside of the immediate cast, including Kinji, becomes this in the AA anime with the exceptions of the bank robbers on the boat and bridge in Episode 1. The guy who tries running down Aria on the bridge is quite literally drawn without a face at one point.
  • Fall-in Angel: The story begins with Aria parachuting down in front of him to save him, while Kinji discusses just why he wants nothing to do with the trope.
  • False Friend: How Aria saw Reki during Volume 6; when questioned, Reki charged at Aria with a bayonet intent to kill.
  • Famous Ancestor: Ooooh boy, we're in for a treat.
    • Aria is the great-granddaughter of Sherlock Holmes.
    • Riko is the great-granddaughter of Holmes's archnemesis, Arsène Lupin.
    • Jeanne is the distant descendant of, well, Joan Of Arc.
    • Reki is the descendant of Genghis Khan, who also went under the name of Minamoto no Yoshitsune, a famous general in the 1100s.
    • Patra of I-U is descended from Cleopatra.
    • Shirayuki is the descendant of and is actually named after Himiko, legendary shaman queen of Yamataikoku.
    • Aya Hiraga descended from Hiraga Gennai, a Japanese scientist in the 1700s.
    • KoKo, one of the enemies of Volume 6-7, is a descendant of Cao Cao, one of the most legendary warriors of the Three Kingdoms period.
    • Elle is descended from Sherlock's assistant, John Watson.
    • Kinji himself is probably descended from Toyama Kagemoto, who appeared in several Japanese movies and live-action shows as Toyama no Kin-san.
  • Fangirl: Ryou has a lot of these.
  • Fanservice: Expected of this kind of series. One notable example was when Kinji accidentally caught Aria leaving the shower naked. Another one is Riko reaching into her bra and showing almost everything down there.
  • Fear of Thunder: Aria is very afraid of thunder. This does not help when she and Kinji are stuck on a plane during a storm, trying to save it from Riko.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Shirayuki can cook and often does for Kinji. This contrasts with her less feminine rival, Aria, who cannot cook at all.
  • First Kiss:
    • Kinji and Aria, which also works as a "Shut Up" Kiss for Aria to calm her down after she was revived from being critically hit by Riko, and a deliberate Hysteria Mode activation for Kinji.
    • Kinji also takes Shirayuki's to calm her down and of course, trigger Hysteria Mode.
    • After receiving her crucifix back, Riko comments that she even sacrificed her first kiss for a chance to prove herself.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Reki tames a giant wolf into submission using bullets in a few minutes.
  • Foreshadowing: The anime OP has Aria waiting for a train at the Baker Street Tube Station while glancing up at an outline of Sherlock Holmes on the platform wall. This foreshadows to the fact that she is his great-granddaughter.
    • Reki's taming of the wolf can be viewed as this too, considering her later method for 'catching' a husband...
  • French Jerk: Riko, though she's portrayed as more sympathetic and emotionally-shattered than most examples.
  • Freudian Excuse: Riko was forced to join I-U and became a Butei Killer in order to break free from her great-grandfather's shadow, and her family (or rather, Vlad pretending to be one) constantly addressing her as "[Lupin] The Fourth".
  • A Friend in Need: Butei Chapter Article 1: "Trust in your friends and help when they need it."
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Kinji's apartment is really big for a boarding school dorm room in Tokyo. Or, for that matter, a single person residence for anyone living in Tokyo, given the region's notoriously high property values.
  • From Roommates to Romance: Shortly after their first meeting, Aria moves into Kinji's apartment and demands him to become her "slave" (her way of calling him her Butei partner), all while ignoring his protests. Over the course of the series, Kinji and Aria develop romantic feelings for each other.
  • Generation Xerox: Four generations later, Lupin and Holmes are still pitted against one another, with one ordinary surrogate (or at least, he wants to be) in between.
  • Genius Ditz: Aya Hiraga, Butei High's arms dealer, can modify any gun and sell most of the ammo they need. The catch: her modifications usually doesn't reach the client's desired settings (e.g.: Kinji orders a 3-round burst fire selector for his Beretta 92 Inox; her modification ultimately degrades from "up to 3 rounds per trigger pull" to "exactly two rounds per trigger pull").
  • Genre Savvy:
    • Riko is this for the Harem Series. For example, one time, she called out Kinji to a karaoke bar, and when he began to discuss Aria, Riko told Kinji he needed to focus on her, because he was on the "Riko Route".
    • Kinji too, to a lesser extent, due to his exposure to Riko. In Volume 7, Kinji even says "In terms of Riko's games, it would be like entering 'Reki's route'."
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot: Invoked by Riko to get Kinji into Hysteria Mode again in the battle against Vlad.
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Played straight with Aria and "Leopon". When Aria gets scared by thunder, Kinji brings out a Leopon and makes it talk to comfort her.
  • Girls with Guns: The series features a concept named Butei ("armed detective") where highschool students are trained as a middle step between cops and mercenaries. The main heroine, Aria, is a firearms expert.
  • Gun Kata: A variant of this style, known as "Aru-Kata" ("Aru" being spawned from the JP romanization of "Arma", Italian for weapon) is mandatory as per Butei curriculum, The fight between Aria and Riko in Episode 4 showcases this perfectly.
  • Gun Porn: The novels go into a bit too much detail about the guns being used.
  • Guns Akimbo: Aria and Riko. Akari combines this with More Dakka as she uses a pair of Micro Uzi machine pistols.
  • Hammerspace: Shirayuki's arsenal is either this, or part of her powers.
    • Which is lampshaded in the spin-off manga Hidan no Aria-chan.
  • Hand Cannon: Kinji later carries a Desert Eagle Magnum as heavier fire power, just in case.
  • Handicapped Badass: Sherlock Holmes, now over 200 years old, blinded by poisoning, but is still the leader of I-U. Didn't See That Coming.
  • Harem Genre: At least half of the female cast has fallen in love with Kinji and the girls constantly fight over him, both friend and enemy.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: While they're not necessarily isolating, Reki wears a pair of these all the time to block out reality and have the best shots.
  • Healing Hands: Shirayuki is able to do this because of her status as a Miko.
  • Hidden Depths: Riko is the first prominent example (supposedly she just does bad things to continue her family's legacy (see entry for Irony on this very page), but in reality she does so to free herself from the imprisonment, and she is not happy in the slightest with her fate), but many other characters qualify too.
  • Hime Cut: Fitting with her status as a Yamato Nadeshiko and the descendant of a legendary Japanese shaman queen, Shirayuki wears her hair in this style: long in the back, even bangs and sidelocks.
  • Hot Springs Episode: The OVA (Episode 13), which doubles as a field training consisting of Kinji, Aria, Shirayuki, Reki, Haimaki, Riko, and Jeanne, with Tsuzuri-sensei as chaperone and Gouki as driver.
  • Humanizing Tears: Even a battle-hardened Action Girl like Aria H. Kanzaki cannot help but break down crying in the middle of the street after a visit to her mother, imprisoned on false charges of being a serial bomber, ends with said mother having to be dragged back to her prison cell. She tries to fight back her tears in front of Kinji, who joined her visit, only to give in to her soul-crushing grief.
  • I Can Explain: Kinji gets this far in explanations before bullets/melee swings/magic powers start flying around destroying everything around him whenever girls who like/love/have a crush on him attack each other.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Egregiously, the quasi-military setting doesn't lead to an avoidance of this trope - even the teachers casually wave their guns into their students faces.
    • Though this nearly happens at least once, such as in Volume 10 when a first year was sleeping with a fully loaded revolver nearly hits Kinji when it falls.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Kinji just wanted to become a normal student, and later on, this dream of his is completely shattered: when you take down one of the most reclusive and dangerous organizations and win, they won't forget. Going farther in, they know who he is and what he looks like. If he goes to a normal school he's a sitting duck for them. At least in Butei he has a lot of friends to watch his back.
  • I Know Karate: Riko; to a lesser extent, Aria knows her Baritsu Style famously used by Sherlock Holmes.
  • Identity Amnesia: Kinichi, Kinji's supposedly-dead older brother, increasingly starts losing touch with his true self and begins to think he is his crossdressing alter-ego, Kana. Proof of this is when he was called "nii-san" by Kinji, unaware that the latter is referring to him.
  • Idiot Hair: Aria has one that hangs over her head.
  • I Gave My Word: Butei Chapter Article 2: "Complete a Client's Mission".
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Butei High's SSR Side, who wield melee weapons, are capable of this. Just ask Shirayuki and Jeanne. Deflecting bullets is par for the course for sword users, with even Hysteria Kinji demonstrating this ability with a knife.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Kinji, Kana, and Sherlock Holmes can easily do this in Hysteria Mode, but special mention goes to Reki: she can shoot an unlit clamp holding a bomb to the shadowed underside of a speeding bus... from at least 200m away and inside a pace-matching helicopter (think of the down draft on the bullet), through the siderails of the bridge that are flashing past several times a second... thus forcing the bomb to not only detach from the bus but bounce off the bridge to detonate harmlessly in the water. She is said to be able to shoot anything within a 2051-meter radius without missing.
    • Later in the novel, she easily shoots Kinji's jacket buttons regardless whether he is hiding in a building or in a bulletproof van. She can ricochet the bullet more than once or shooting the armored van's window in the exact same spot to break it and still hit the button without even harming or grazing Kinji. And she does all that with just a Dragunov, which usually has an effective range of 800m and without any support tools. When she said she can hit anything within 2051 meters around her, she wasn't kidding.
  • Improbably Female Cast: Applies to the spin off “Aria the Scarlet Ammo Double A” as it only focuses on female characters. While male characters are shown, they only have a few lines and are shown briefly. Even Kinji was reduced to a minor character as he only has brief appearances in a few episodes of the spin off.
  • Improvised Parachute: Riko Mine has specially-made clothes that turn into a parachute. Leaving her flying across the sky in her underwear.
  • In the Blood: Most of the cast is badass because their ancestors were, you know their names from Famous Ancestor from up top. Also in-story their badassness took an even further upgrade due to the supernatural.
  • Ironic Echo: In Volume 3 of the Light Novel, Kinji tells Aria to mind "proper manners in the proper place" when she sits next to him during PE and tries to share a drink. A few paragraphs later he was caught with his hand in Riko's shirt trying to get the pen she stole from him.
  • Irony: Riko "Lupin the 4th" Mine was driven to break free of her unwanted legacy by attempting to kill Aria "Holmes the 4th" Kanzaki. Considering it's the same thing her ancestor did, the only thing she could prove by trying to do so (regardless of the outcome) is that she's worthy of the title she despises so much.
  • Joshikousei: The female students of Butei High wear Sailor Fuku uniforms while wielding their guns and swords.
  • Just Plane Wrong: JC Staff went to town trying to visualize the fictional 4-engined Boeing 737 variant (737-350) from the novels. First, it's modeled after a Boeing 737-600 (part of the Next-Gen series) with 2 extra engines tacked on (again, visualization). The cockpit and instrument layout is from one of the next-gen 737 variants (600/700/800/900). The modeled -600 has a range of only 3225 nautical miles, so it is impossible for it to make the direct 5183 nautical mile journey from Haneda to Heathrow. Almost none of the other variants can make it either, with ranges as low as 1540 nautical miles to just shy of 3500 nautical miles. Only one specific variant has the range, the 737-700ER, with a maximum range of 5510 nautical miles. The CG plane, even without the 2 extra engines is not modeled on this variant as its wings lacks the flared winglets found on all the other variants of the Next-Gen series, with the -600 being the odd one out. Before anyone tries to argue the fact that those winglets were introduced to this aircraft series AFTER they were originally debuted by Boeing (you can find photos of -700/-800/-900's with no winglets because those were taken before the winglets were available), keep in mind that the -700ER was introduced in 2006, 7 years after the introduction of the winglets, and thus all examples of this type come with them standard. And just for an extra bit of trivia, the plane has an All Nippon Airways identifier (ANA). The 737-700ERs was made specifically at the behest of All Nippon Airways, with the only two examples of this type built and delivered to them in 2007, and then retired in 2016 and eventually scrapped in 2017. Finally the 737-350 appears to have been made to represent one of two different planes: The classic McDonnell Douglas DC-8 (quad-engined, single-deck, narrow body), or the modern Airbus A340 (quad-engined, single-deck, wide body), both of which had variants powered by versions of the CFM56 turbofan engine, the same engine that powers the 737 Classic (300/400/500) and Next-Gen series.note . The problem? Neither of Japan's 2 national airlines (Japan Airlines and the aforementioned All Nippon Airways), nor any of the country's other airlines, have owned and/or operated any variant of the A340, and while Japan Airlines did operate the DC-8, they did not operate any variant of the plane's Super 70 series.
  • Knowledge Broker: Riko is one, but she demands payment in the form of H-Games that would be inconvenient and difficult for a girl of her age to acquire.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Kinji throws this around a lot in the novels, and funny enough most of them reference to anime/manga scenarios... now the series does have its own Anime and Manga.
  • Lethal Chef: Aria; this comes up in Volume 3 where Kinji and Aria infiltrate Vlad's castle and pose as butler and a maid, respectively. Kinji cooks while Aria takes the credit.
  • Like Cannot Cut Like: Shirayuki and Jeanne's Absurdly Sharp Blades cancel each other out.
  • Long-Runners: The series is becoming this. The LN started in 2008, with 31 volumes and counting, and the manga did in 2009, with almost a hundred (monthly) chapters.
  • Loss of Identity: What Riko is dealing with for the first 3 volumes, but it gets solved with a little help.
  • Magic Knight: Jeanne plays this role — she wears modified plate mail, wields a zweihander, and can cast ice magic.
  • Magic Skirt: Illustrated in Episode 1 of the anime, even before the opening theme started.
    • Averted in Episode 6, courtesy of an Aria somersault (and they're white).
  • Magnetic Hero: Even without Hysteria Mode, Kinji pretty much got the entire Assault Side (boys and girls alike) admiring him. That, in addition to attracting a different sort of followers.
  • The Magnificent: Kinji, being a badass Magnetic Hero, has quite a lot of titles:
    Aria: "Slave"
    Shirayuki: "Husband" (She wants to be his Victorious Childhood Friend, after all)
    Riko: "Playmate"
    Reki: "Husband" (On account of being both a good leader and fighter)
    Jeanne: "Ally" (With subtle hints of a crush)
    Aya: "Best Customer"
    Hina: "Master" (After all, he defeated her while under HSS back in Middle School)
    Gouki: "Best Buddy"
    Ryou: "Best Buddy" (With shades of Ho Yay from observant girls' POVs)
    Sherlock Holmes: "The man worthy of being my great-granddaughter's partner"
    Kinichi/Kana: "My little brother whom I've always loved"
  • Male Gaze: All over the place. In particular, there are a lot of shots of Aria at just around the waistline, though they're often preludes to her drawing the dual pistols holstered there.
  • Malicious Misnaming: Riko really, really dislikes being called "Lupin the 4th".
  • The Man Behind the Man: The man behind all the crimes against Butei appears to be none other than I-U's leader, Sherlock Holmes himself.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Kinji gets into a lot of these (even from Aria's surprisingly soft flat chest). He accentuates the "Hell" in Marshmallow Hell because it is an easy way to trigger his HSS.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Aria is a solo song in an opera, showing Aria's loner side. This is Lampshaded by Aria herself.
    • Shirayuki's real name is Himiko, which can be translated into "Fire Miko". This is basically her power.
  • Miss Conception: Aria thinks kissing leads to pregnancy — while trying to explain to Shirayuki why she and Kinji kissed.
    Aria: T-true, we did kiss... but don't worry! I didn't get pregnant!
    *awkward silence, then Shirayuki faints*
    Kinji: What?!
    Aria: Daddy said I would get pregnant if I kissed!
    Kinji: Obviously not!
  • Mistaken Message: Jeanne sends Kinji a letter with official seal and such. Gouki and Ryou think it's a love letter. Turns out its a challenge.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Jeanne d'Arc the 30th — The Diamond Dust Witch, AKA Durandal.
  • Neurodiversity Is Supernatural: Hysteria Savant Syndrome is a genetic trait that the main and other characters can use which activates 30 times more neural transmitters than the average person. This means that logical thinking, judgment, and reflexes are risen greater than an average human. It also be based on the real-world medical condition of savant syndrome.
  • Never a Self-Made Woman: A very dark take on this trope. Riko resents the world for not acknowledging her as an individual, but as a continuation of Arsène Lupin's legacy. This drives her to become the Butei Killer in order to accomplish what Lupin never can: slay a Holmes and finally break free of his shadow.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Kinji seems to find a new way of blocking/dodging bullets when it comes down to the wire, from his first time using his knife to catching it in his teeth. Most of the more useful techniques he keeps around.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: With Kinji and Aria defeating Sherlock Holmes and dissolving I-U, its remnants are now free to follow their plans, and each member knows a bit of each field akin to Butei's. In other words: the duo just opened a Pandora's Box of supervillains ready to do whatever they want and with the skills to back it up. Perhaps Kinji and Aria should be grateful for having Shirayuki, Reki, Riko, Jeanne, Hina, Aya, Gouki, Ryou, Misaki and the rest of Butei on their side, otherwise they'd be dead by now.
  • The Nicknamer: Riko. She has a tendency to give a nickname to her friends.
    • Kinji: Ki-kun.
    • Aria: Arian (sometimes).
    • Shirayuki: Yuki-chan.
    • Reki: Rekyu.
    • Aya: Ayaya.
    • Hina: Fuu.
    • Heck, she even calls herself Rikorin.
  • Noble Demon: I-U has shades of this. Some (especially Sherlock Holmes) are this; others... are just plain demons (and in some cases, not just figuratively).
  • Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught: Kinji has to play a soccer game to finish his required credits... It's a Long Story, and since his team — Aria, Shirayuki, Hina, Gouki, Ryou, Riko and Jeanne — never played well before, they get manhandled, until Kinji goes into HSS and tells them in the locker room to do this trope. That's right — Butei use their elite skills (and magic powers) to win a soccer game.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: Kinji, ironically (and perhaps unfortunately for his love life) seems to become significantly harder to seduce and much more focused on the important matters at hand whenever he's in Hysteria Mode, which, since it's triggered by adrenaline and arousal, would be every single time somebody tries to seduce him.
  • Not Himself: "Dark Riko", where she has a strange gaze from her eyes, she uses rough language, and she calls Aria "Holmes".
  • Not What It Looks Like: Kinji often gets into a... complicated position with a girl and gets caught in an awkward situation that others tend to misinterpret in the worst way possible.
  • Oh, Crap!: Plenty to go around...
    • When new villains are introduced.
    • When Kinji meets a new girl who takes a liking to him.
    • When something goes wrong (above two examples, plus the occasional terror plot).
    • When the new opponent isn't human, is a special psycho genius, or is simply killing for fun.
    • When two girls who like Kinji meet each other.
    • When any girl meets Shirayuki and tell her they're in love with Kinji.
    • When you get a surprised ambush attack.
    • Being Kinji in all of the above.
  • Ojou: Aria, Shirayuki, Reki, Jeanne, Riko are all some to an extent (they have either a long family lineage, or are descendants of nobles).
  • Older Than They Look:
    • Aria is a high school student that looks like an elementary school student.
    • The landlady of hot springs the gang visits at the OVA — herself a retired Butei and Tsuzuri-sensei's former partner — looks way too young to be in her sixties (and is even voiced by Yui Horie).
  • "On the Next Episode of..." Catch-Phrase: "I'll blow a hole through you, if you don't tune in next week."
  • One Cast Member per Cover: Every light novel volume has one character on the cover, nearly all of them girls as the protagonist Kinji and his crossdressing brother are the only guys with a cover. Prominent girls like those from Team Baskerville are featured on at least three covers while the less relevant girls only have one cover.
  • Otaku: Gouki is a vehicle nut, which helps Kinji and Aria a lot.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Vlad Dracula, an actual vampire who has acquired the ability to mimic the form of humans. He is able to mimic special qualities of humans by sucking their blood, and a Healing Factor from his "Demon Entrails". His daughter Hilda has the same abilities.
  • Passing the Torch: As of Volume 5 Aria has inherited the title of "Scarlet Ammo" from Sherlock Holmes after she and Kinji defeat him.
  • P.O.V. Boy, Poster Girl: While Kinji is the POV protagonist, Aria and the other Butei girls are frequently the center of attention.
  • P.O.V. Sequel: The spinoff AA takes place around the same time as the first season, but focuses on a cast of new characters.
  • Power Levels: Butei have a rank level — for example, Aria is a top-dog Rank S, while Kinji is a bottom-of-the-barrel Rank E (in normal mode, at least — under HSS, however, he has the skills of a Rank S and possibly even higher than that.
  • Prehensile Hair: Riko is able to manipulate her incredibly long ponytails with the agility of actual limbs, and use them to wield knives in combat.
  • Pretty Boy: Kinji is a borderline case; played straighter with his best friend Ryou, who has a legion of fangirls.
  • Running Gag:
    • Everytime Kinji gets another girl to join him, rumors start flying around Butei High on how this happened. Then again, Kinji is like a magnet...
    • There's also the constant destruction his room suffers whenever girls with a romantic interest in him fight each other, such as that between Aria and Shirayuki, as well as between Shirayuki and Riko.
  • Sailor Fuku: The standard uniform of Tokyo Butei High School is a sailor fuku.
  • Say My Name: Riko asks this of Kinji, proving to her that she's no longer just "The Fourth".
  • Scars are Forever: The scar on Aria's forehead will always remind her of how close that bus incident was.
  • Science Versus Magic: Averted — Butei High trains students from both technological and supernatural disciplines, and even encourages team-ups between members of either discipline.
  • Secret Legacy: The Touyamas' HSS have triggers that turn them into ass-kicking machines. The basic trigger for all of themnote  is sexual arousal — Kinji considers this a curse.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Reki — normally, and with new clothing, makeup, and straightened hair.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Kinji and Aria frequently deny being anything more than Butei partners, but their denials are never very convincing with their evident Unresolved Sexual Tension.
  • Shock and Awe: Turns out Hilda can shoot out electricity at her enemies, although the drawback is she doesn't generate her own she just manipulates it like a transformer.
  • Shot to the Heart: Kinji uses this to resuscitate Aria after she loses her duel with Riko.
  • Shout-Out: See the work's page.
  • Shrinking Violet: Misaki Nakasorachi is a stuttering ditz. A definite cutie, though this keeps her stuck as a B-Rank despite being, ironically enough, an excellent Mission Control.
  • Small Girl, Big Gun: Reki and her big-ass sniper rifle.
  • Spell My Name With An S: Though a minor case, there's some debate between Kinji's last name — "Touyama" or "Tohyama".
    • Then there's a case with the primary antagonist organization for the first few volumes, whose run-ins with this trope are compounded by pronunciation issues. Initially, this organization was called "EU", straight from the pronunciation. A few volumes down the road and it's revealed what the name actually means. The name is composed of the letters that the Imperial Japanese Navy and Kriegsmarine used to designate their submarines, respectively. The problem is the IJN used the letter I to designate their submarines, and the English fanbase mistook it as an E because the Japanese I is pronounced the same as the English E.
  • Stock Sound Effects: A non-public domain example; quite a few sound effects come from the sound archives of Hollywood Edge and Sound Ideas.
  • Super-Reflexes: Another of Kinji's HSS abilities. He can stop Jeanne's blade with two fingers, slice Riko's bullet in half mid-flight, and dodge a 7.62mm rifle round at point blank.
  • Supreme Chef: Shirayuki can really cook. And not just your average meals we're talking sashimi, Chinese, and turning left overs in the best late night meals. And she's supposed to be the Ojou.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Kinji makes a comment about his "Dress Scan" ability in the third volume.
    Kinji: By the way, "Dress Scan" is a skill I learned in Inquesta. It is a method to analyze and memorize a person's characteristics in order for investigation to proceed smoothly. There's definitely no ulterior intention here or anything like that. I'm telling the truth.
    • To a lesser extent, everytime Aria calls Kinji her slave when someone tries to take him away from her.
  • Take That!: Riko, being a Genre Savvy H-Game aficionado, immediately dumps away sequels and later versions of some games Kinji bought for her in exchange for information about Aria, proclaiming them as insults to the originals.
  • The Team:As the series progresses, Kinji and Aria diversify from a two-man partnership to a strike team-caliber group:
  • Terrible Artist: Jeanne is good at so much stuff, but she's terrible at drawing.
  • Theme Naming: Kinji and his supposedly-dead older brother Kinichi have this, with Kinichi being "Kin 1" and Kinji being "Kin 2". That's very common in some societies (Romans, for example), and still used sometimes in Japan. But there's more, since 'kin' means 'gold' and their father was a very famous top-elite Butei, so his descendants were called "the G-bloodline" (from 'gold') and given tags, being Kin'ichi G-1 and Kinji G-2; they even made two test-tube kids from his DNA and that of others top-class Butei, a boy and a girl, originally named respectively G-3 and G-4; they later received the names of Kizou (gold three) and Kaname (gold woman). Note that Kin'ichi's female alias, Kana, comes from removing the 1 from his name (meaning simply 'gold').
    • The Hotogi sisters' names end with "-yuki" note , and are all names of kind of snow.
  • Third-Person Person: Riko deliberately invokes her "cutesy" personality by frequently referring to herself in childish third-person.
  • This Means War!: The Light Novel's first seven volumes introduce a few factions. At the end of Volume 7 Kinji and the audience gets to meet all of them...
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Codified in the Butei Charter's Article 9 — "Regardless of the situation, a Butei cannot kill." It's noted that this mostly applies to agents with Japanese licenses and to agents that obtained a license in Washington D.C., and is enforced under those legal jurisdictions directly. Other branches, including the one in England where Aria got her license, are allowed to use lethal force when or if necessary; making the choice not to kill personal preference for those license holders.
  • Those Two Guys: Gouki and Ryou are practically the only guys who interact with Kinji onscreen. They also pop on and off in both the novel, manga and anime.
  • The Three Faces of Eve: Aria is the child (short, irritable, and romantically awkward), Shirayuki is the wife (sweet and demure), and Riko is the seductress (sexy and proud of it).
  • Through His Stomach: Shirayuki tries this with Kinji.
  • Title Drop: First invoked by Kana in Volume 4 of the light novels.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Aria is only 142 cm (just under 4'8") tall.
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • Aria definitely loves (and is absolutely adorable when eating) her peach buns.
    • Riko and her strawberry au lait.
    • Haimaki and fish sausages.
    • Reki and her energy bars.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Riko lost both her parents at age 8, only to be taken in by Vlad, who proceeded to shut her inside a prison cell, taking away her precious rosary (a gift from her mother), and depriving her of even the most basic needs. One botched escape attempt resulted in severe punishment for her, until she was forced to join I-U and slay a Holmes in order to break free of Arsène Lupin's legacy and take back her rosary, her identity and her freedom.
  • True Companions: Butei are expected to help each other out, whatever the situation. It is even encoded as Butei Charter Article 1 — "Never leave your comrades behind"/"Trust in your friends and help when they need it".
  • Turn Out Like His Father: Kinji does not want to become this, but circumstances might say otherwise. An example of such is his upgrade to carrying a Desert Eagle Magnum, a .50 handgun his father used during his days as "armed prosecutor".
  • Two Aliases, One Character: In the Light Novel Genghis Khan and Yoshitsune no Minamoto are one and the same.
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: Vlad Dracula's daughter, Hilda.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Kinichi was (supposedly) killed saving average citizens from a sinking ship. However, instead of treating him like the hero he was, because they didn't want to be sued, the company that owned the ship said the sinking was mainly Kinichi's fault, and that he was a horrible Butei, forcing Kinji to mull leaving Butei; fortunately for him Aria's presence changed his mind.
  • Unobtanium: Irokane, a rare magical metal everyone is fighting over.
  • Unstoppable Rage: In Volume 4, Patra shoots Kinji in the head. Although he manages to use HSS to catch the bullet between his teeth, the shock of catching it knocks him unconscious, blood oozing from his head. Aria, thinking he had died, loses herself to shock, grief and hatred, awakening her Hidan Mode and shooting Patra with the Scarlet Bullet in revenge.
  • Unwanted Harem: The girls attracted to Kinji have a tendency to try to kill each other using their elite training, magic powers, and weapons... with Kinji always caught in the crossfire.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Riko, being the adorable tease that she is, gives Kinji her gaming-coupon after opening her shirt and extracting said ticket from between her firm and ample breasts.
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal:
    • Reki orders Kinji to marry her with a gun pointed at him, on the roof of the school.
    • In Volume 10 we get another one... long story short Kinji has a genetic cloned girl who is more or less his sister, who is yandere for him. Trying to get rid of her he comes up with a ploy to get Shirayuki to act as his sister. How does he doe this?? Bring a bouquet of roses, asks Shirayuki Hotogi to become Shirayuki Touyama, and does this on one kneenote . Shirayuki always wanted to marry Kinji. Someone get the popcorn.
  • The Watson: Aria the Holmes initially chooses Kinji to be her Watson. Later on we're introduced to Elle, John Watson's great-granddaughter who was meant to be Aria's fiancé.
  • Wham Episode: In the manga, we have chapter 45 (immediately after the point where the anime stops) where we discover that the mysterious Kana is actually Kinji's brother Kin'ichi dressed as a girl. There is also chapter 57 which opens with a Flash Forward of Aria awakening as the "Scarlet Bullet", before we go back to Kinji having a Love Epiphany towards Aria and later being shot in the head by Patra when he tries to shield her. Then chapter 58 marks the first appearance of I.U.'s leader a pretty well preserved Sherlock Holmes, whose first action is to shoot Kana in the heart.
  • World of Badass: Everyone in Butei High. That is the point of Butei High; add "become a badass" to standard high school curriculum.
  • Yandere: Shirayuki — early in Episode 2 she displays Dull Eyes of Unhappiness when she suspected Kinji is with someone else. Upon discovering that Aria is freeloading with Kinji, she decides to "exorcise" her twice (first, by cutting her down with her katana; second, by blowing hundreds of holes through her with an M60). Even when she was forced to take Aria as a bodyguard, she still shows contempt for the diminutive girl. And despite the fact they became friends, she'll still chase her down accusing her of taking the lead.

Alternative Title(s): Hidan No Aria, Aria The Scarlet Ammo