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"If I were God..."
"I'm saving the world! You oughta try it yourself some time!"
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Eden: It's an Endless World! is a cyberpunk manga by Hiroki Endo set in the aftermath of a global plague that has radically altered the social and economic stature of the world, and tells the story of Elijah, the son of freedom fighter Enoah Ballard, who opposes Propater, a global pseudo-religious organization that tried, more or less successfully, to launch a coup d'etat on the entire world.

Not entirely successful, they kidnapped Elijah's mother and sister to keep Enoah from opposing them too much. Elijah fled Propater by escaping to South America with his father's combat robot for protection. Over the course of the story, he meets and joins forces with a variety of different, well-developed characters, all with their own motivations, problems, morals and ethics, relationships and agendas.

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The story deals heavily with relationships, especially family relationships, religion, drug abuse, death and morality. The complex relationships between characters avoids many forms of easy classification, and many of the characters fail to fall into stereotypical moulds.

Still here? OK, let's dig a bit deeper. The series is perhaps best described as Ghost in the Shell turned Up to Eleven. Eden is extremely violent, filled with explicit sex and nudity, lots of philosophy, even more religion, and moral ambiguity in ways that would make Alan Moore proud. Characters are regularly killed off, beaten, wounded, tortured, crippled, and raped by villains and heroes alike; and the Messianic Archetype, despite the religious overtones, is a minor character.

Eden ran from 1998 to 2008 in the Afternoon magazine, reaching a total of 18 volumes. The series is translated into English by Dark Horse Manga, who publish volumes biannually due to low sales. Titan Books publish the Dark Horse translations in England, while Egmont Anime & Manga handle the German translation and publication.

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Eden: It's an Endless World! provides examples of:

  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Everyone who gets absorbed into the Colloid merges together as part of a mass of data with no identity. That data will eventually be used as a catalyst for the creation of a new universe.
  • Adam and Eve Plot: Averted:
    Layne: Well, you two can't be the only ones having babies! Your children would have to leave this island to meet up with other survivors. Inbreeding would result in recessive gene expression... and then man would die.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: In this case, it's not a human but a giant bacteriophage. Also, the colloid uses the forms of absorbed relatives and friends to convince people to join.
  • Age-Gap Romance: Both of Elijah's major romances feature this element. Loji attempts this with her teacher Kenji, but in the end their status is given a shrug.
  • All-Loving Hero: Volume 9 puts major focus on the female Muslim terrorist Marihan Ishaq, whose express purpose in holding up a Chinese factory was addressing the oppression of the Uyghurs, cares about the lives of her hostages with no intent of actually killing them, betrays the other cells allied with her to stop a terrorist bombing innocents, and is the nicest person in the series who isn't a young child. Too bad she couldn't last.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Maya and Letheia, which adds Fridge Brilliance when you realize that they are not human, and thus, take the appearance of whatever they like. They are not Latinos, they're not African, they're not European, they're just brown.
  • Anachronism Stew: It's the future, so it can be expected that things like USBs will be obsolete by then, but they still make liberal use of floppy disks despite it.
  • And I Must Scream. Anyone infected with the Closure or Disclosure viruses will suffer a very slow loss of motor-functions as their skin hardens and their organs liquefy. Sophia ends up this way when Sheshoan makes her quadriplegic and rapes her repeatedly.
  • Anyone Can Die: Aside from Elijah and Kenji, expect those who appeared in the first volume not last until the end.
  • Apocalypse How: Planetary, at a Societal Disruption level. The Closure and later Disclosure viruses have wiped out a good portion of humanity, enough for society to break off into gang-run crime holes and the militant unified government that oppresses them. The finale nearly takes it to extinction levels, as the gamma rays from the wormhole intended to make a separate universe would destroy all life with changing weather patterns, or create a nuclear winter. The solution humanity comes up with "merely" changes this into extreme climate change that results in the extinction of several animal species.
  • Arm Cannon: Several characters have their arms upgraded to shoot bullets and whatnot.
  • Author Appeal: Endo has an obsession with oral sex... and telling his readers about the dangers of STDs. He also admitted in an afterward that he finds the kind of woman who's tough and can give a mean slap good wife material, something Helena and Miriam are for Elijah.
  • Babies Ever After: Elijah and Miriam and Nathan each have at least one child in the final chapter. And boy, do they deserve them.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Invoked and discussed. In volume 14, Elijah keeps trying to get his girlfriend pregnant so he can at least have a "happy ending" to the misery he's drowning in.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Kenji to Elijah.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Life goes on, and the new universe is created. Conflict goes on, but there's still hope, because the worst already happened
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: And the shades of gray can get really dark.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Next to oral sex and Tsunderes, this has to be Endo's favourite trope. It appears in pretty much every issue.
  • Body Horror: The Closure virus causes the immune system to over-react, leading to the eventual hardening of the skin as the cells refuse endocytosis and exocytosis, covering the body in a solid ceramic shell while the internal organs undergo necrosis and pour out through cracks and holes in the hardened skin. The Disclosure virus is a mutated strain that causes hardening of internal organs as they pour out, turning the entire victim into a vaguely humanoid crystal. Feyman's virus is mild in comparison, but manages to look like it was taken straight out of AKIRA.
  • Book-Ends: The covers for Volume 1 and Volume 18 are of Ennoia and Hannah lying on the flood next to wires and parts of Cherubim.
    • The first page from the manga is Ennoia's parents dancing. The last page is a single panel with Ennoia and Hannah dancing.
  • Car Fu: Elijah rams a car into a cyborg at one point, crushing it into a wall. He then lights the car on fire.
  • Child Soldiers: Elijah, Kenji, and Loji specifically.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Except for those whose motivation is revenge, it has an atrociously low success rate, realistically enough.
  • Cold Sniper: Count the number of times where you see a character shot from a sniper rifle in prone position, performed a bolt action and an empty shell ejected drawn mid-motion.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Right before shooting Miguel, the mob tells him that he could have just asked them for the money to pay for his sister's medical bills instead of outright stealing from them and defecting. While he didn't want to pay off the bills with blood money, he concedes the point before asking them to keep his sister out of harm's way and to ensure her surgery is successful.
  • Combat Tentacles: The Aeons and Demille.
  • The Cracker: Cyborgs are often used as such in the setting, using their minds as motherboards. Experts, such as Sophia, her former husband Jason Li, and Maya, can even jam missiles or create digital illusions to throw others off their trail.
  • Crapsack World: The story already begins with the Closure virus wiping out 15 million people, but in the aftermath, the world gets worse. The division between the poor and the rich grow wider with each passing decade, the dead are repurposed as monstrous cyborgs, betrayal is rampant, and even the people who stay far away from the nonsense of gangs and drugs still have a high chance of death, especially if they're in a country unsupported by Gnosia. Speaking of the virus, it turns from a disease that slowly paralyzes the body into one that crystallizes it, and is able to cover entire cities near the end of the story.
  • Cyber Cyclops: When they appear, You know they're up to no good.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Her: After a four year time skip, Helena is killed because she is standing next to the target of an assassination attempt.
  • Death by Flashback: Played With. Anyone who tells his backstory another character dies pretty soon afterwards. However, flashbacks happening for the reader's eyes only don't seem to trigger a death.
  • Death by Irony: Ennoia begins his journey by taking control of Cherubim and using it to kill his father. His journey ends when Cherubim is instead used to kill him, to stop him from interfering with the Colloid's genetic data transfer.
  • Death of a Child: This world isn't kind to anybody, least of all kids.
    • One flashback showed guerillas forcing civilians to traverse a minefield to make a statement. Focus was put on a little girl who stepped on a mine and wisely didn't move from it, but had her foot shot off to trigger the explosion anyway.
    • The narcotics arc features Cessie being bifurcated.
    • In volume 17, Tito's little sister Maria gets shot in the head.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Helena. Also, Miriam.
  • Demoted to Extra: Elijah, the protagonist of the story to this point, basically becomes this after the mission to save his sister goes horribly wrong. His arc ends with him going into rehab after falling hard into drug use. The main character of the final arc that wraps up the ongoing plot line is his father.
  • Disposable Sex Worker: Entire mansions filled with them!
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Poor Tito. His brother is already involved with gang warfare and his father is nowhere to be seen, so when the brother dies that's not too surprising. After having lost his friends for stealing food from white supremacists, he's already torn, but he gets help from Kenji and company to get his mother and sister out of the gang war's way. While he's able to survive, his sister is near instantly shot and killed by a sniper, with her mother soon following, despite neither of them looking like combatants or like any danger and no reason was given to why they were shot over anyone else.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: When offered a place to join and lead the Colloid by Maya, Ennoia essentially tells him to stuff it, as he sees the entire purpose of the Colloid as insulting to the legacy of the human race. He instead chooses to die on his own terms.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Letheia to Maya, in a literal example of the trope since they are both clones of the same Maya program, but one was put into a female body. She later starts referring to herself explicitly as the opposite to his rationality (nous).
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Victims of the Disclosure virus and all those who chose to become part of it are part of an increasingly unsubtle metaphor for suicide. The old, sick, and hopeless all decide to go into the Colloid when they feel like they have no other option, or sometimes are called to it with visions of family members and loved ones that died. Even the purpose of the Colloid, to send genetic data to create a new universe, speaks to suicidal hopes of having a better life than the one they left behind. The least subtle of these instances is in Tito's choice; he contemplates going into the Colloid when his entire immediate family has been gunned down, but turns against it and goes back to civilization.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Kenji, Sophia, Colonel Kahn and Wycliffe all have various traumas, with Kenji and Sophia being specifically notable. Elijah quickly develops his own.
  • Driven to Suicide: Purposely done to Pedro as revenge for what happened to Cessie. Elijah takes out Pedro's brother, then Manuela, just as they were about to board their escape plane. Having the two people he cared about most offed, Pedro then shoots himself.
  • Drugs Are Bad: A recurring theme throughout the manga, not only dealing with whoever is abusing them but also denouncing the people who keep pushing the drug trade as just as bad for enabling them (which also includes Ennoiah). Reaches its height with Elijah, who starts doing them to cope with Helena's death against the advice of those around him, but falls into them hard after Mana dies. The conclusion of his arc in the story involves him going to rehab to get clean.
  • Emotionless Girl: Letheia has no emotions at all as of volume 11, mainly due to being four years old. Sophia's backstory has elements of this.
  • Enigmatic Minion: Maya, who steals his own body from Propater and immediately joins them afterwards. He's secretly acting as an agent of the Disclosure virus. Maybe.
    Demille: So you still work for Propater?
    Maya: For now.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Elijah believes that even as a criminal he should have certain standards such as not killing people by beating their teeth out with a hammer, cutting their balls off and shoving them down their throat before sewing the mouth shut. He's chewed out by his father's henchmen because criminals do "rule through fear" according to them.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: The disclosure virus.
  • Expy: Sophia is Endo's take on Major Kusanagi (with a boatload of differences) while Maya, as an Enigmatic Minion working as an agent for Propater or rather, the alien virus that wants to assimilate everyone himself clearly parallels Kaworu Nagisa, down to having an Emotionless Distaff Counterpart that accompanies the hero. The Ministry Spy is a Shout-Out to the Yakuza vat-grown assassin from Johnny Mnemonic, only less vat-grown and more evil.
  • Eye Scream: A lot. Helena's eye is perhaps the worst.
  • Failed a Spot Check: What ultimately leads to Mana's death. For most of her rescue mission, the team was aware that the nanomachines placed in her body were rigged to explode if she's anywhere near a satellite signal. The arc ends with them disabling Demille, who held the trigger for the explosion, but more importantly still staying above ground. Jason Li cracks into the system and activates the bomb, killing Mana instantly.
  • False Flag Operation: NOMAD hired an extremist muslim group to raid a Propater laboratory - this was only a guise to trick a Propater scientist-turned-spy help Kenji's brother's mercenaries infiltrate the base in order to have Propater fight back so that their illegal lab was exposed in order to strain Propater-China and Propater-Islamic Alliance relations.
  • The Final Temptation: When Ennoia gets back to his childhood home, he's pulled into an illusion made by the Colloid that allows him to live out his childhood with Hannah in peace. He only gets out of it when he realizes that Hannah never knew about him killing his own father, so her comforting him over it here gave him pause.
  • Foreshadowing: Cessie tells Elijah that she knew of Manuela once abandoning who would've been her older brother because she wanted to buy more drugs. The same eventually happens to Cessie herself near the end of the arc, as Manuela abandons Cessie at the train station to escape to America with Pedro.
  • Friendly Sniper: Elijah tends to use a sniper rifle as his weapon of choice whenever he can, but he's a very friendly guy.
  • Genius Loci: The Disclosure virus.
  • Gilded Cage: Mana's kidnapping treats her rather well, all things considered. She has full access to food, warm and expensive clothes, still goes to school, and even has companions in Loji and Maya. However, she still can't leave, as if she does the nanomachines implanted in her body will be activated and kill her.
  • Gorn: All the time. Katchua's death and especially Helena's torture stand out though. The realistically depicted torture and torture-murder in Volume 12 is even worse. There's exposition.
  • Grey-and-Grey Morality: The characters, just like the world, are a mixed bag. While there are completely morally good people in the world, there are many more on the supposed side of good who build their power by exploitation, and some on the "bad" side that were only pushed in desperation. Propater tries to make themselves into an all powerful unified international government but have continually exploited and oppressed Latin American countries and other third world nations, Noma, and even the Colloid, which by all means is a deadly disease slowly wiping out humanity, wants simply for humanity to take the next step in evolution.
  • Hadaka Apron: Elijah, of all people, does this to Miriam. Apparently Helena thought it was funny, and Elijah didn't catch the sexual subtext. Then Feng walks in the door, and Elijah goes to get it...
    • He later stops acting stupid and insists on wearing only the apron while he lives with Miriam and Feyman. It's all part of his plan to use Miriam as bait for Propater. One might wonder if he could have found a less lecherous way to get her to leave...
    • At a later point, he also wants Miriam to wear it. (Or rather, not wear it.)
  • Heroic BSoD: When Elijah realizes that Manuela used her own daughter as bait, he despairs. When he realizes said bait was meant to die, he completely loses it and kills Manuela A little later he's hit by the guilt. Marihan's BSOD is longer, but not as prominent.
    • Even more so, when Mana dies, Elijah completely crashes.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In volume 9, Marihan sacrifices herself to prevent a terrorist bombing.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: A lot of the time, when someone wants to right the injustices of the world, they just end up fueling the cycles of abuse that put them in their situations in the first place.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold:
    • Helena, who goes back into the trade during the narcotics arc. Her kindness extends to trying to take other prostitutes she knows are getting a raw deal out of their current employment and into the hands of either more ethical brothels or into a different life entirely. She still fulfills the "love interest" portion of the trope, as she eventually takes fifteen year old Elijah's virginity and starts a brief relationship with him.
    • Subverted with Manuela. She's trying to take care of her daughter and doesn't seem like a bad person, but she makes zero effort to get through her drug addiction when everyone around her tries to help her do so, and she ultimately uses her daughter Cessie as bait to escape to America with Pedro.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Kenji can throw a knife down the barrel of gun.
  • It Gets Easier: At the beginning of the story, Elijah freaks out after killing his first human. Only a year later, he is perfectly OK with killing someone who has crossed a line for him. And then years later, he has become seemingly numb to death, not seeming to care that all the people on a passenger plane were killed to make everyone think Elijah was dead (he seemed more upset that all the time he had spent studying for college was pointless).
  • Hope Spot:
    • During a tense situation, Katchua and Wycliffe are stuck in the middle of a minefield being shot at by an enemy sniper while Elijah is trying to find and kill said sniper. Katchua steps on a landmine and Wycliffe plans to press down on the mine long enough for Katchua to get away, as penance for all the villagers he watched die to the landmines he set up to battle enemy combatants. Riddled with bullets, we see him jump for the mine right as the sniper blows off Katchua's foot. We see a shot of the little girl Wycliffe saw die and think this is the motivation he needs to make it. He doesn't make it and they both blow up.
    • When it looks like Mana will be able to escape and get the bombs extracted from her spine after defeating Demille, Jason takes full control over the bombs' activation order and kills her just when everyone is distracted.
  • Humans Are Flawed: Leans more towards the Bastards side of the human debate, but this is ultimately the view on humanity we're supposed to take from the story. As cruel as we are to each other and to others, there are still pockets of people willing to do good, and that humanity eventually learns from its mistakes. This is best exemplified in the end with Sophia—despite her being a negligent person in her youth, her disregard and abandonment of her children, and witnessing some of the worst humanity had to offer, she is ultimately the more capable person to direct the Colloid into the wormhole.
  • Kick the Dog: Everyone has their moments, but Elijah killing Manuela manages to stand out. Also, the entire Mana rescue arc.
  • Kid Hero: Elijah for the early parts of the story. He hits the end of this trope when the first timeskip places him at fifteen.
  • Latin Land: The story opens with characters wanting to cross "Los Andes", so either they're near Chile or Argentina. Volumes 6 through 9 take place in Bolivia.
  • Latino Is Brown: Helena, Katchua, among others, averted with Miriam, who's Peruvian and platinum blonde.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Ennoah, Hannah, Elijah, Sophia, Kahn, Wycliffe, Kenji, Helena, Katchua, Maya, Mana, Letheia, Arona, Wendy, Fong, Marihan and Mishima, as well as an even larger assortment of minor characters.
  • Love Martyr: Helena accuses Katchua of this, placing emphasis on the mindless loving. Later on we have the cycle of romance between Manuela and Pedro, on both ends, with Pedro willing to fund her drug abuse and her attempts to cut herself off from him because of love, and Manuela taking his abuse because of the same.
  • Love Redeems: Helena has some interesting views on this (below), compare/contrast Elijah's father's views in the same issue.
    Elijah: I lov...
    Helena: Shhhh! Forgives doesn't make the sin go away.
  • Many Spirits Inside of One: the Colloid eventually gets to the point where anyone absorbed into it loses their identity and becomes a mass of data. Their memories and experiences will still remain, but it is simply accessed from a "database" the Colloid has.
  • The Masochism Tango: Pedro and Manuela's relationship in a nutshell. They sleep with practically everybody else but each other, he abuses her and is violently possessive of her, while she is in the constant process of breaking up and getting back together with him while her addiction consumes her life, to the point where she even refuses help and puts her children in harm's way.
  • Mercy Kill: Katchua was killed after losing her lower body to a land mine, although Helena didn't think it was necessary to kill her.
  • Man on Fire: The explosion version, the flamethrower version and the torture-death version.
    Elijah: Did you not use enough explosives?
  • Men Don't Cry: Note that this is after her lengthy troubling flashback, and prompts his.
    Sophia: So when's the last time you had a good cry?
    Kenji: ...
    Sophia: What? Why do men always give me weird answers to that question?!
  • A Minor Kidroduction: Oddly enough, the story doesn't begin with young Elijah, but with young Ennoah discovering Cherubim and escaping his island home to become someone able to help the world.
  • Multinational Team: Kahn's freedom fighters: Colonel Kahn is Georgian, Wycliffe is Caribbean, Sophia is Greek and Kenji is Japanese. They're then joined by Elijah, who is descended from Americans, Helena, who is from Lima and Katchua, who is Incan-descendant Peruvian. In a later volume, Kahn says he always works with multinational teams, because it's no fun when everyone are the same.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Played with. When two intersecting triangles where one of the catheti in each triangle is the hypothenuse of the other triangle, an third party murders both hypothenuses, leading the remaining cathetus to ally and seek revenge for their unfaithful partners.
  • Night Vision Camera: Despite the meticulous research Endo includes in Eden, he still manages to make a character look through plastic with both far and near -infrared vision.
  • The Nosebleed: Notably averted in early volumes. Hiroki Endo's Face Faults are more expressive. A very subdued version appears later in the series, represented as a tissue paper stuck up one nostril. Endo is rather inconsistent with it too.
  • One World Order: A complicated example. Over the course of the story, we see more and more countries join a single world order. Behind the scenes, it is led by people with nefarious plans, but is also full of people who truly want to do good in the world, like the man who is elected to be the president of it. He realizes that he was he is mostly a figure head, but believes that the world needs to find unity in order for humanity to survive.
  • Only Six Faces: A major issue with certain characters, to the point where characters not only have the same faces but also the same clothes; It's impossible to tell the difference between Naomi and Cheng, the latter of which spends almost an entire chapter without being a name, but appears several volumes after Naomi has become a regular minor character.
  • Parental Incest: Sheshoan really did love her mother...
  • Parental Abandonment:
    • All of Sophia's children, with the exception of her youngest, were given away or abandoned outright as she grew up. This comes back to bite her in the ass when two of them are on her opposing side, with one of them (Sheshoan) making it her life's mission to force her back into her own life.
    • Cessie never got to grow up in a stable household, with her mother becoming a drug addicted prostitute and not exactly having her needs taken care of when she's on one of her rounds. Like her older brother, Cessie is abandoned when Manuela is given the opportunity to escape Bolivia with Pedro.
  • Porn with Plot: There is a plot that requires an extreme attention to detail and knowledge of quantum physics and familiarity with other works by other authors in different genres (none of which are easy to understand) There is sometimes explicit porn or, in fact, a whole subplot about the face of underground porno industry.
  • Primal Scene: Mana, in her single digits, found Gina and her boyfriend Miguel in a rather intense act. It, like everything in this series, ends horribly, as her ratting out Miguel leads to him getting shot, Gina falling into substance abuse, and eventually when she sobers up and enters medicine, her death.
  • Psychic Nosebleed, Subverted: Hacking causes nosebleeds in people who should't have circulatory systems.
    • It's not blood, it's coolant. It's a last ditch failsafe to keep their brains from melting down by flushing the coolant (it also comes out of their ears and eyes) when the heat dissipation can't keep up any other way then forcefully expelling it from the system. And when they run out, their brains cook.
  • Psycho for Hire: The unnamed assassin in volume 7. Considering NOMAD is a mercenary organization, Kenji would be a heroic variation on this trope.
  • The Rant: Each volume has an entire page at the end where Endo rants about something tangibly related, ranging from his work as cook in a restaurant to just ranting on about paraphilia and sex or the Japanese economy.
  • Rape as Backstory: Kenji Considering how completely messed up he is, this is hardly suprising.
  • Razor Floss: One of the weapons of the Ministry Spy.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Helena does not want Elijah's pity.
    Helena: "OHH! But I'm surprised to see that the son of the boss of South America's biggest drug cartel is in a place like this. You know what kind of slums and ghettos I grew up in? All the young men there get their girlfriends using drugs to make them all excited in the sack, see? When the women get hooked on the drugs they'll do absolutely anything for it. So they send their women out to stand on the street. And then suddenly the guys become pimps, without having to move a muscle. If they do very well, after a while they might become the head of their own prostitution ring. Heroin, cocaine... ...that's what killed a lot of my friends in the business. The stuff your father sells, right?"
    Elijah: "..."
    Helena "Then, once they came to the mountains the guerrillas exploited the Indios in the coca fields... ...and when they found pretty young girls like Katchua they'd rape them to while the time away."
    Helena: "You were raised to be so big and strong thanks to the sacrifice of girls like her. Your father must be awfully proud!"
    Helena: "Thanks for saving us, eh? Elijah."
  • Replacement Goldfish, Lampshaded: Kahn tries to use Kenji to replace his son, as does Sophia. Kenji uses Sophia as a replacement for a mother he never actually met, and Kahn to replace his father. The Automater is an interesting take on the trope, grooming young males she finds to replace the sons she never could have.
  • Revenge: One of the ongoing themes of Eden is the Deconstruction of this concept.
  • Science vs. Religion: The existence of cybernetic cardinals suggests otherwise.
    • Also, just about everyone is asked by someone at some point "do you believe in God?"
  • Second Love: What Miriam ends up being for Elijah, after Helena is killed.
  • Single-Issue Psychology: While the Automater and Wycliffe have certain issues arising from single events, the only people with significant psychological problems achieved these through continued physical abuse or continued neglect. Sophia lived through her entire childhood without any help for her continued self-harm and multiple suicide attempts.
  • Six Lines More Waiting: By volume 11, there's Elijah and Letheia looking for Mana, Arona, Wendy and Fong following the trail of Arona's husband's killer, Mishima investigating the disclosure virus, Ennoha's war against Propater, Sophia and Kenji running operations for NOMAD, and whatever Maya is up to.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Honestly, the entirety of Elijah's arc after the Time Skip is this, specifically his mission to rescue his sister Mana. After a very tense mission and the looming fear that the microbots put into Mana's body will activate, everything seems like it's going to work out. Then the head of the operation to kill her detonates the bomb in her neck they thought they had already disarmed. Elijah breaks so hard that his only relevance to the story afterward is when he falls into hardcore drug use and has to go to rehab. His father takes over as the focus for the final arc.
  • Ship Sinking: In Elijah's last arc before the four year time skip, he and Helena get together. Post time skip, they've broken up and shortly after where the story comes back in, Helena gets killed for associating with their real target, her then-current boyfriend.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Heavy on the cynical side. Any morally pure character who starts out such will either have all their ideals shot to pieces or they'll be another victim to the injustices of the world. The ones who struggle and survive in the world's underbelly don't get very far either, and while they still take advantage of others we learn often that their crimes will eventually catch up to them. All that said, the manga ends with a surprisingly hopeful note—despite humanity's many, many flaws, Ennoia dedicates his dying speech to stating humanity deserves a chance to live and overcome their weaknesses, even if it takes entire lifetimes.
  • STD Immunity: Notably averted. Several character, major and minor, catch some form of STDs over the course of the series, and Endo had footnotes, asides and entire panels explaining the need for proper protection and cleaning to avoid STDs.
  • Suicide by Cop: Volume 9: Marihan, in order to be ejected through the window out of the building with the bomb she's carrying.
  • Token Black Friend: When Elijah enrolls in a private school, he soon befriends Nathan, one of the few black students there. Considering that they probably both face discrimination for being the sons of crime lords and their fathers are partners in crime, it's not that improbable. This friend also happens to be the nephew of Elijah's dad's right hand man.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Loji
  • Tsundere: Surprisingly few appear, especially considering the page-long rant at the end of volume 8:
    Exerpt: To me, the definition of a "good woman" is "a woman who's suited to slapping others," and - if possible - then calls you a name like "Coward!" "Creep!" is fine too. I wouldn't mind "Pervert!" either. Of course, if she really thought you were a pervert, I guess she'd give punch rather than a slap - no, she'd attack you with an electric stun gun.
  • The Unfettered: Ennoia Ballard. He sets himself up as the most powerful drug lord in South America so he can keep his family isolated in luxury away from the rest of the world. He states his philosophy as: "People who are really important to you should be treated with unlimited love, and all others treated with unlimited cruelty."
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: What did you expect from an author who wrote that the original ending of Neon Genesis Evangelion "didn't leave [him] unsatisfied"? Volume 11 requires the reader to piece together three separate discussion of quantum physics to understand what is going on.
  • Weapon of Choice: Kenji has a long knife that he regularly falls back on in close quarters combat with great effect. He eventually passes it on to his protege and switches to a kukri.
    • Though he'll use other guns as needed, Elijah seems to prefer sniper rifles over other weapons. He gets rather good with it too.
  • Where It All Began. Everything starts at a small island neat the equator, everything culminates at that same small island near the equator.
  • Younger Than They Look: Sophia looks like a teenager but is really 41, and similarly Jason Li looks like a boy when he's around the same age. It is mentioned that using cybernetic bodies this way is illegal. Then again, what do you do when you in your late teens place your brain in a body that doesn't age?
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: The Mana rescue arc is stuffed with Deus ex Machina and Diabolus ex Machina to keep readers on their toes.
  • Zipping Up the Bodybag: Enoah's in the final chapter.

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