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Serialized for Monthly Shounen Ace, Phantasy Star Online 2 EPISODE 0 is a manga series running from February 25th, 2017. It is based on the hit Japanese video game Phantasy Star Online 2 and acts as its prequel, set ten years prior to the story of the game.

Sometime in the future, mankind has undergone a technological revolution thanks to the discovery of a new type of energy particle called "Photons". The pinnacle of this age was the creation of "Oracle", a fleet of Colony Ships whose purpose was to explore the universe in search of new planets to colonise. Yet deep in the abyss of space Oracle soon encountered a deadly threat: the Darkers, an eldritch race who spread across the universe like a virus, infecting and mutating whatever they come into contact with. When the people of Oracle discovered that Photons were the antithesis to the Darkers, they gathered together those talented in photon manipulation into a new organsiation known as the "ARKS" (Artificial Relicit to Keep Species). Using the latest in photon-powered weaponry and equipment, the ARKS are tasked with holding the front line against the Darkers and investigating the root of their evil.

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Among the ranks of ARKS is a girl by the name of Klariskrays II, the successor to the original Klariskrays. She is a member of the legendary Council of Six, a group of powerful ARKS who hold high respect and control among the entire organization. Accompanied by her Talking Weapon, the Clarissa, Klariskrays II seeks out the ranks of the Darkers; specifically, the Dark Falz, Darker beings who create and command the Darkers. When a Dark Falz by the name of "Apprentice" arises as a threat, Klariskrays II sets out on a mission...


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Phantasy Star Online 2 EPISODE 0 contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: Dark Falz Apprentice is depicted as far more threatening and dangerous than she was in the game. She even has a Hunar form that doesn't exist in the game proper.
  • Adaptational Expansion: This is set around the same time as the period 10 years before Episode 1 happened. However, in this timeline, for whatever reason, the Player Character doesn't appear at all...
  • An Arm and a Leg: In Quest 2, Klariskrays II saves Melphonsina from being killed by Apprentice by slicing Apprentice's arm off. Melphonsina is understandably horrified by the incident.
  • Art Shift: In Quest 1, Klariskrays II lays down a brutal assault on Melphonsina, believing that she is a Dark Falz. When the Clarissa stops her and explains that Klariskrays II has a serious case of mistaken identity, her drawn style changes from a serious, dark style to a very cartoon-like style in the span of a single Beat Panel, accompanied by Mood Whiplash.
  • Ax-Crazy: By the end, Gettemhart loses it. Unable to cope with Melphonsina's death, he deludes himself into thinking that Melrondia is actually her older sister and turns into a Blood Knight who only finds enjoyment in beating up anything in his path.
  • Blow You Away: Melrondia first awakens to her Photon potential by grabbing a Wand in a panic and concentrating, which causes her to blow up a Dagan with a Zan technique. Having discovered this, she attempts to help Gettemhart and Melphonsina by casting at a Falz Appregina clone, but this doesn't make the situation any better.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Even though she gives the Clarissa to Sara, Klariskrays II shows that she's still capable of holding her ground even without her Weapon of Choice. She manages to back Falz Appregina into a corner before she is forced to stand down due to Appregina using Mind Control to use ARKS as meat shields.
  • The Cameo:
    • Afin, Eucreta, Dudu, Risa, and Klotho appear together in a single panel during the introductory segment of Quest 1.
    • Luther makes a minor appearance in Quest 3, since he was the one who orchestrated the Darker invasion on the ARKS Ship.
  • Continuity Snarl: As one progresses through the chapters, it becomes increasingly apparent that several plot points completely contradict similar events in the game. Of course, this is possible because of the Timey-Wimey Ball.
    • Among other things different, the Player Character doesn't appear to send her into the future.
  • Day in the Limelight:
    • Klariskrays II is given a starring role for the manga, which focuses specifically on her exploits.
    • Melphonsina, who is deceased by the events of the game, is also pitched as a main character in the manga.
  • Death Glare: Klariskrays II gives Melphonsina one before she starts beating the crap out of her.
  • Deuteragonist: Klariskrays II and Melphonsina are both considered the protagonist, as the manga is told from both of their perspectives alternately.
  • Disappears into Light: Melphonsina fades into the light after sacrificing all of the Photons in her body in a bid to purify Klariskrays II.
  • Doomed by Canon: Melphonsina and Apprentice.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Klariskrays II during her Heroic BSoD.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The manga's main selling point is to introduce Melphonsina and Falz Apprezina, the "Hunar" form of Apprentice, both of whom would later receive Omegan counterparts in the main game.
  • Every Scar Has a Story: The manga explains where Gettemhart and Zeno got their scars. Gettemhart got the X-shaped scar on his face from attempting to protect Melrondia from one of Falz Appregina's Sword Beams, while Zeno got the scar on his face from having been blown up by Double with the building he was situated on.
  • Explosive Overclocking: Klariskrays II is too powerful for run-of-the-mill ARKS gear. During the battle against Falz Appregina, she is constantly forced to grab new weapons from the battlefield due to all of them burning to a crisp as soon as she uses them because of her immense power.
  • Funny Background Event: During the introductory segment, Dudu can be seen in the background surrounded by a ring of Meseta while Klotho is crying over his gear.
  • Foregone Conclusion:
    • The original Melphonsina makes her debut in the manga. Based on what Melrondia implied in the game, things don't end well for her...
    • Subverted; in the game, the Player Character travels back 10 years into the past (during the events of the manga) and meets Klariskrays II, who ends up sent ten years into the future as Matoi. But this doesn't happen in the manga, because the Player Character doesn't appear at all.
  • Foreshadowing: In a sort of meta sense; the manga ultimately serves as a way to introduce the players to Melphonsina. The manga finished its run just before Melphonsina's EPISODE 5 counterpart was introduced into the game.
  • Heroic BSoD: Klariskrays II falls into a state of shock as mind-controlled ARKS are about to kill her. She doesn't snap out of it until Melphonsina delivers a Rousing Speech during a fight.
  • Heroic RRoD: Klariskrays II burns herself out fighting Falz Appregina enough that the massive amount of Darker particles she's absorbed quickly reaches critical mass and consumes her, causing her to transform into a Falz.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • During the ARKS Ship invasion, Sara attempts to give Melrondia time to escape by distracting Apprentice. This goes as well as one would expect from a 5-year old trying to antagonize a spawn of all evil in the universe.
    • Melphonsina allows the Clarissa to consume her Photons to purify Matoi, killing her in the process. It doesn't work.
  • Heroic Willpower: Melphonsina's feelings for Klariskrays II allows her to resist Apprentice's second attempt at using Mind Control on her long enough to overcome it and fight back.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: For what it's worth, the manga plays up Matoi and Melphonsina's relationship as much as possible as everything short of actual romance. The bond they form is what ultimately convinces Melphonsina to destroy herself to save Klariskrays II.
  • In Medias Res: The very first page of Quest 1 is of a Rappy nearly getting blasted by Grants while Klariskrays II and Melphonsina are battling. The next few pages are dedicated to a minor How We Got Here before returning to the Rappy a few pages later.
  • In Spite of a Nail: For all it's worth, despite the events in the manga differing greatly from that of the game, nothing changes in the end. Gettemhart still becomes an Ax-Crazy Blood Knight, Melphonsina still dies, Matoi still gets sent 10 years in the future, Apprentice is still consumed by Double, and Sara is still captured by Luther and cloned. The only thing that doesn't happen is Eucreta being attacked by Apprentice.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Clarissa is a Genesis Weapon, and is rightly one of the strongest weapons in existence, only rivaled in raw strength by the other Genesis Weapons held by the rest of the Council.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Promo material for the manga assumes readers already know that Klariskrays II is Matoi, which was a major plot point in EPISODE 2.
  • Lighter and Softer: A non-canon doujinshi based on the manga was released by the manga's artist, and features Melphonsina experiencing a time loop, and thus trying to avert the disaster that befell her and Klariskrays II at the end of the manga. Highlights include Melphonsina suddenly declaring a Relationship Upgrade with Gettemhart to get Klariskrays II off her back and Dark Falz Apprentice being a biker gang leader.
  • Magic Knight: Melphonsina's Class combo is Fighter/Techer, and she utilizes Twin Daggers and a Talis in combatnote .
  • Me's a Crowd: Double consumes Apprentice and forces Melphonsina and Gettemhart to fight several clones of Falz Appregina.
  • Medium Blending: During the overview shot of the Oracle Colony Ship, it's evident that the image of the Mothership is a snapshot of the game's opening CG, with a few random Ships drawn over it.
  • Mind Control: One of Apprentice's powers. She first uses it to stop Melphonsina from taking action in Quest 2, leaving her vulnerable. She later uses it during the ARKS Ship invasion to stop Klariskrays II from landing the final blow on her. Melphonsina also falls victim again, but manages to resist it long enough to prevent herself from killing Klariskrays II.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: When Melphonsina is affected by Apprentice's Mind Control, the highlights in her eyes disappears and a ring pattern appears around her pupil.
  • Mythology Gag: The individual chapters are called "Quests", much in the same way Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation called its individual episodes.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Melrondia tries to help by using a Zan technique on a Falz Appregina clone to try and damage it. Unfortunately, it does no damage and attracts its attention, which forces Gettemhart to defend her.
  • Oh, Crap!: Melphonsina gets one when Dark Falz Apprentice shows up and nonchalantly summons a Dark Ragne.
  • One-Winged Angel: When taking on Matoi in the ARKS Ship invasion, Apprentice transforms into a newly-revealed Hunar-equivalent form known as Falz Appregina.
  • Saved by Canon: Everyone else who isn't Melphonsina or Apprentice appears in the game proper, which guarantees that they'll survive to the events of the game.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: In the end, Melphonsina's Heroic Sacrifice to save Matoi from the Darker corruption ends up going to waste, because the Clarissa is unable to completely purify her, thereby only delaying the inevitable.
  • Taking the Bullet: Gettemhart is forced to defend Melrondia from an attack after she casts a Wind Technique at a Falz Appregina clone that only serves to piss it off. The resulting damage leaves the signature cross-shaped scar on his face that is seen in the present day.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: During the ARKS Ship invasion, Dark Falz Apprentice conveniently decides to sit back and watch while Matoi heals Sara's injury.
  • Talking Weapon: The Clarissa has the ability to communicate with Klariskrays II. This is due to the fragment of Xion's consciousness comprising its core.
  • Time Travel: Due to the interference of a time-space distortion during the purification process, Klariskrays II is slingshotted 10 years into the future.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Gettemhart and Zeno are constantly seen getting into amusing petty arguments in front of Melrondia and Melphonsina, but are otherwise on good terms. The ARKS Ship invasion and Melphonsina's death creates a deep emotional rift between the two (much of which can be attributed to Gettemhart's collapsing sanity), and they become enemies.
  • Would Hurt a Child: When Sara, who is a preschooler during the events of the manga, confronts Apprentice in the ARKS Ship invasion, Apprentice retaliates by slashing her across the torso.
  • The Worf Effect: Apprentice's threat level is played up by revealing that she personally killed Atossa and Wolf, two of the original members of the Council of Six.

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