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When Mirei Shikishima goes on a violent rampage during a PR campaign meant to smooth relationships between Liberators and Extars and Non-Infected in her native world, war is quick to break out. But it's evident to those investigating the event that there is far more to it than meets the eye...

The second of the "Valkyrie Drive Girls" arc.

Ragnarok provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Despite his proclaimed love for his daughter, Bankwell treats her like absolute crap.
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  • Actor Allusion: Hunted by Ensiferum and F.R.E.Y.A, Mirei needs to keep her identity secret in case she's being monitored. So when she manages to get a phone call through to Chris in the Pantheon, she puts on a high-pitched voice. There's a few seconds of silence on the other end, before Chris responds.
    Chris: Hibari? The hell are you doing in the Valkyrie-verse?
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Mamori tries to escape the Labyrinth of Amala like this. No, seriously: she Drives herself and runs towards the bars of her cell, timing it so that she transforms mid-leap and slices through the bars. Takes her a few tries to get the timing down: either transforming too early and clattering to the ground, or running face-first into the bars and bouncing off, and then transforming.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Bankwell's death: with a One-Woman Wail in the background he finally succumbs to an overdose of T-Valkyrie, lighting One Last Smoke as his body catches fire and disintegrates into ashes, glaring daggers at the horrified Mamori and disgusted Mirei.
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  • Amplifier Artifact: The signet ring Apollyon gives to Mirei the first time they meet. It amplifies the Dazzling's Hate Plague to the point Mirei goes completely postal on everyone in arm's reach.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: F.R.E.Y.A, a terrorist group under the Dazzling's control which preaches outright Liberator/Extar supremacy.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: The final charge on the Sliepnir is backed by Manowar's Sleipnir, a triumphant ballad that underlines Mamori and Mirei's realization that both Ensiferum and F.R.E.Y.A are rotten to the core, that the whole war is absolutely idiotic despite each side's grievances, and their resolve to stand up to both of them.
    Carry we who die in battle, o'er land and sea! Across the rainbow bridge to Valhalla, Odin's waiting for me!
  • Ax-Crazy: Bankwell may appear ever-calm on the surface, but one look at his eyes makes it clear that he's most certainly not: his stoicism is a shallow mask, born from just barely managing to repress the psychotic hatred he near-constantly feels for everyone and everything. The first time Mirei tries to meet his gaze dead-on, she's hit by a sudden vision of a dark, shapeless thing with More Teeth than the Osmond Family erupting toward her and clamping its jaws around her waist. She realizes afterwards that for a split second, her heart had stopped. Her body believed that she had been killed. Bankwell's Killing Intent is that overwhelming.
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  • Badass Boast: When Bankwell is cornered by Akira and her friends.
    Akira: You're cornered. You're outnumbered, unarmed, and-
    Bankwell: And it would take me all of ten seconds to kill all of you. If you don't believe me, little girl, then Give Me a Reason to prove it.
  • Badass Normal: Akira proves herself to be a skilled boxer even without her Arms powers, and Kasumi is still deserving of the nickname 'Zero Arm.' Bankwell is even more skilled, though: breaking Akira's arm and leg, wrenching her to the ground, and then knocking her out with a stomp to the back of the head faster than Kasumi could even track. He later goes toe-to-toe with Mirei in hand-to-hand combat (over and over and over again...), and though battling her while she's wielding Mamori goes far worse for him he still refuses to stay down, and actually manages to wear her down through sheer tenacity to the point the fight devolves to the two of them barely-conscious, taking turns slugging each other and forcing themselves to stay on their feet.
    • Apollyon as well, capable of matching Mirei in Valkyrie Drive mode with nothing but her sword and armor.
  • The Berserker: Bankwell's fighting style is this, involving sweeping, heavy strikes with all his strength behind them, full-body lunges, and grabbing any heavy object he can reach and whamming his opponent with them. At first glance it's the epitome of sheer, overwhelming Unskilled, but Strong, but over time Mirei starts to see the actual skill involved in it: every strike seamlessly transitions into another one or a split-second recovery, he feigns slow, readable swings before putting on sudden bursts of speed when the opponent is off-balance dodging them. He's not just flailing wildly; it's a calculated fighting style involving an oppressive, relentless offense meant to prevent the opponent from gathering steam and crushing them before they can defend themselves.
  • Big Bad: Apollyon
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Apollyon shows off some masterful acting skills when she approaches Mirei at the peace conference, acting genuinely friendly as she gives Mirei a signet ring courtesy of 'Blackstone Inc'; it's not much, but it's a fitting reward for all their hard work trying to bring peace to the Valkyrie-verse.
  • Blood Upgrade: When Mirei injures Bankwell, he's so infuriated that his next kick to the chest has enough force behind it to not only shred the back of Mirei's shirt, but punch a hole in the wall behind her with the shockwave.
  • Buffy Speak: Charlotte descends into this when she finds Saejima's eyepatch after the crash, followed by Saejima herself. Turns out the eyepatch isn't just for show. Charlotte is so mesmerized in disgust by the empty socket that she can barely talk.
    Charlotte: I ff...I-I found...I found your...your thingy.
    Saejima: (covering herself) Quit. Staring at it.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: For the majority of the story, Bankwell is an entirely normal human. Using nothing but his fists and feet with obscene levels of endurance and strength backing them up, he kills Gen 3 SOLDIERs. As in, people on the level of Momoka, D5 and E3, and more than one. As a member of Ensiferum, it's his JOB.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: Mirei's signet ring: it refuses to come off no matter how hard she pulls, and when she tries to slice her hand off entirely the stone flashes and she passes out, waking up hours later with a pounding headache. She even tries to maneuver Bankwell into slicing it off during one of their fights, and her hand immediately clenches into a fist unbidden and punches her in the face.
  • Cold Sniper: Heimdall, a silent, ruthless sniper working for Ensiferum.
  • Combat Breakdown: As his final battle with Mirei progresses and Bankwell keeps failing to kill her, his formerly-precise fighting style degenerates into wild, savage flailing as he simply plows through any hits she manages to land. And yes: she's wielding Mamori at the time. When he finally manages to knock Mamori out of Mirei's hands, the two take to slugging out out with no regards for defense.
  • Continuity Nod: At some point in the story, Lucifer expresses his respect for Apollyon for her actions in Reformation of Law.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: The closest thing the Pantheon gets to one: Ragnarok serves as an example of what happens when Pantheonic Gods, even relatively minor ones, decide to screw around with mortals without sufficient help from friendly Gods backing them up.
  • The Cracker: Loki's role in Ensiferum. True to the trope, he can hack anything from anywhere with the most primitive equipment, and personality-wise he's...well, he's a piece of work. He'd have to be, for a hobby like routinely hacking the National Sex Offender Registry and adding the names of random innocent people and removing names of dangerous predators. He singlehandedly brought the Bhikkhuni Rebellion to a stop by hacking the Four Pillar Gods and using them to exterminate everyone on the island.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Mirei is on the receiving end of a truly brutal one from Thor in their first battle as he pulverizes her with his warhammer before grabbing her by the hair and lighting her up with a barrage of electricity before chucking her unceremoniously away. She actually dies of cardiac arrest, and it weren't for her Healing Factor kicking in and bringing her back, she would have stayed dead.
    • Later, Mirei handily demonstrates the difference between a SOLDIER, even an outdated one, and a Liberator who has absolutely no clue what she's doing when she ducks Adagio's opening attack and backhands her. Adagio is knocked ass-over-teakettle, unconscious before she hits the ground.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Mamori tries to invoke this in regards to the Arms Blockers: with a network of those up and running, the war is all but over, and there's no more need to fight, because the non-infected don't need to worry about the infected abusing their powers. Lucifer just shakes his head:
  • Darker and Edgier: Than its source material by far. While there were plenty of dark themes in Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid, it was counterbalanced by its nature as an over-the-top Panty Fighter. Combat in Ragnarok is several orders of magnitude more brutal with absolutely zero focus on Fanservice: lacerations, broken bones, burns, punching of wounds, pummeling with chairs and other improvised's more in line with Dragon Ball in terms of violence.
  • Darth Vader Clone: Thor, aka Tsuneo Hiragi. Black Power Armor? Check. Akira's father? Check. Magic Knight? Well, it's an electromagnetic warhammer, but it gets the point across. Anti-Villain? Check, and pulls a Heel–Face Turn. Deep, booming voice? You'd better believe it: there's no voice-altering tech in his helmet whatsoever. His voice is that deep.
  • Downer Ending: The best Mamori and Mirei get is that they reunite and escape the war. Everything else plays out exactly as Apollyon hoped: the Valkyrie-verse is consumed by bloodshed, with both sides showing no signs of letting go of their hatred. It comes down to a Conception to forcefully reset the Valkyrie-verse to its pre-Ragnarok state, but even then Lucifer managed to get Momoka as a Godslayer out of the deal, and Mamori is left traumatized by the events: even if the Arms Virus is wiped out, the mistrust and hatred between the infected and non-infected endures, and Apollyon proved that it would take incredibly little for it to erupt into war all over again.
  • The Dragon: Commander Bankwell toward Apollyon. Jimenez to Lucifer
  • Doom Troops: Ensiferum troopers: Saejima even calls them 'Stormtrooper guys'.
  • Elite Four: The Aesir, the highest-ranked members of Ensiferum: Bankwell/Odin, Thor, Loki and Heimdall. It's actually five: Heimdall's sniper rifle is her Extar, Hel.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Bankwell establishes what kind of person he is with his very first line as he and Ensiferum go to break up a protest of Arms sympathizers.
    Protester: You can't arrest all of us!
    Bankwell: We have no intention of arresting any of you.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    Bankwell: Why? Why would you ever want to leave? There's nothing for you beyond the island. Nothing but...hateful leers and cruel whispers. As far as society is concerned, you stopped being human as soon as you were infected with the Arms virus, and curing yourselves and passing toothless laws will not win your lives back. You cannot legislate the human heart; it's folly to even try. The best we can do is create a home for you, where you would live among those like yourselves. Trying to force the issue will only cause more pain! Our existences are irreconcilable, Shikishima! Don't let yourself be suckered by that brat's romantic bullshit! You're a smart girl, you know it to be true!
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • Bankwell to both Mirei and Kasumi: for the former, they are both warriors with Dark And Troubled Pasts, both stoic Determinators, both demonstrating inhuman physical abilities and lack of care for their own safety as long as they're fighting for their goal...but while Mirei's stoicism belies a tender heart and her actions are driven by The Power of Love for Mamori, Bankwell's is a fragile mask: he is in a perpetual state of suppressed, volcanic rage and hate that he only just barely keeps in check at best of times, and he doesn't care for the safety of others either. His motivations are a dark mirror of the latter's: Kasumi's girlfriend Hibiki was traumatized soon after landing on Mermaid and became a shut-in, just like Bankwell's daughter, and both he and Kasumi hardened themselves to make sure such a thing would never happen again. But Bankwell let his rage and hatred overtake him and he lashes out at the world for what happened to his daughter, and when push comes to shove he reveals his rage is far more important to him than she is, striking her down when she tries to talk sense into him.
    • Hel and Heimdall to Lady Lady: they too are hybrids and freely swap between Arm and human form mid battle depending on the situation, and Hel's Arm is a huge anti-materiel rifle similar to Rain's Disarmament Buster. But whereas Lady Lady are flashy and prioritize their freedom over anything else, Hel and Heimdall are silent, unquestioning drones in the employ of Ensiferum. Fittingly, the two teams battle.
    • Loki to Charlotte and Saejima: Charlotte was always nasty and petty on Mermaid, and Saejima is a Sadist, but Loki takes it to an art form, and unlike Saejima's love for her girlfriend Loki has absolutely no redeeming qualities, or limits when it comes to his savagery: his depravity even skeeves her out. His main form of combat is to hide behind a pack of artificial Arms, in the vein of the Adel. When forced into a corner and forced to fight, Loki deploys wrist blades similar to Charlotte's old Arm.
  • False Flag Operation: Apollyon and the Dazzlings work together to fire these off one after the other to make sure the war keeps escalating.
  • Fighting from the Inside: Mirei shows signs of this when she's rampaging. When she pins Akira to a table and is trying to choke the life out of her, Akira realizes she's crying.
    Mirei: Help... me... I can't...!
  • Forced Out of the Closet: A variant: one of F.R.E.Y.A's foulest moves is deciding to dox current and former Arms Infectees, offering protection in return for service. This is directly responsible for the arrests and deaths of countless people at the hands of Ensiferum, some of them never infected to begin with.
  • Freudian Excuse: Commander Bankwell's Extar daughter was cured and freed from Siren, but was horribly bullied regardless when she returned to the outside world, culminating in a group of kids insisting on seeing her Arms form... Her subsequent collapse into Hikkikomori-dom sent Bankwell over the Despair Event Horizon and convinced him that the infected cannot ever truly be accepted back into normal society, and he's bound and determined to keep them 'safe' on the islands. Mirei and Mamori's Wide-Eyed Idealist attitude comes across to him as blithe and short-sighted, and it has resulted in a personal grudge against them.
  • Game-Breaker: In-Universe: the Arms Blockers, Apollyon's ace-in-the-hole. Based off of Rain Hasumi's stem cells that she acquired somehow, Arms Blockers do Exactly What It Says on the Tin: they prevent Extars from Driving in a range measured in kilometers and even mess with a SOLDIER's enhancements as Mirei finds out. While in range of one, the infected are all but helpless, and they are everywhere. It gets to the point where Apollyon starts having them covertly sabotaged in order to keep Ensiferum from wiping F.R.E.Y.A out entirely and make sure the war keeps going.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Heimdall is the name of a male Norse god, and for a while it looks like Ensiferum's sniper is a man too: turns out that not only is she a girl, but she's an Extar/Liberator hybrid in the vein of Lady Lady, with her huge anti-materiel rifle the Arm form of her partner Hel.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Momoka and Bankwell get too distracted fighting each other at one point during the Mêlée à Trois aboard the Sleipnir, allowing Mirei to make a desperate run for Mamori: unfortunately Bankwell notices and stops her by chucking Momoka at her.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Mirei's final charge on the Sliepnir: having failed to convince anyone to stand up to the two warring factions, it's just her and Mamori, then Lady Lady offers to take her there. Even then, it's a suicide charge with Mirei riding Lady J's cycle form and wielding Rain's gun form against literally everything Ensiferum and F.R.E.Y.A is throwing at her. But then a freshly-infected Saejima stops a Jotun from blasting her before Charlotte brings it down completely. Then an entire pack of F.R.E.Y.A gunners are mowed down by a group of Ensiferum defectors, who cheer Mirei on as she zooms past. THEN a flock of Ensiferum's Habroks are wiped out by Thor with a single lightning bolt. By the end, neither side can get anywhere near Mirei.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Bankwell has an evil one in the form of a gash across his nose and right cheek, while Hel has an hideous burn scar that covers the left side of her face and body. Fitting, considering her codename.
  • The Gunslinger: Hel, who wields Heimdall's Arm with fluidity and grace as she leaps and darts around the battlefield blasting away at her opponents.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Fenrir's roars sound like a mix between a distorted wolf's howl, and Mirei screaming in rage and abject torment.
  • Heroic BSoD: Lady Lady find Charlotte after the car chase and subsequent massive crash stumbling around and mumbling a recipe for banana cream pie in a dead monotone.
  • Hero Killer: 'Loki' of Ensiferum, who singlehandedly wiped out the Bhikkhuni uprising and (presumably) killed its leaders. He accomplished this by hacking the Four Pillar Gods and turning them against the uprising. Indeed, the only survivors of the massacre were the Kagurazaki twins, who weren't even on the island at the time, having been spirited away to participate in the Peach Beach Splash water gun tournament.
  • Hidden Depths: Played for Laughs: Saijima's girlfriend inValkyrie Drive: Mermaid has no lines, characterization, or even a name given in-show, and she barely gets any lines in the story. But in a moment that comes right the f*ck out of nowhere, she gets surprisingly angry when Charlotte makes a joke about how she doesn't think they're in Kansas anymore when they get dragged into the Pantheon. She gets right in Charlotte's face, snapping that it's "I have a FEELING we're not in Kansas anymore", it's "No, I am your father", not "Luke, I am your father", and it's ORLOK, not Nosferatu! There's a moment of stunned, confused silence, and then Saijima jabs a thumb at her girlfriend and whispers that she was majoring in film studies before the whole Mermaid debacle.
  • Hope Crusher: Bankwell. Rather than doing it For the Evulz, he genuinely believes crushing false hope for the Arms-infected and non-infected getting along is a kindness.
  • Hot Pursuit: Kasumi and company are attacked by Apollyon's forces on the highway, with the aforementioned warlord's minions driving armored trucks and Kasumi and the others ice cream truck.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Bankwell is a firm believer in this; he doesn't even want to try to reintegrate the formerly-infected back into normal society for fear of Fantastic Racism. Of course, he has a good reason for expecting the worst...
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: Saejima and her girlfriend's interactions are full of this, being an S&M couple. When Saejima tell her girlfriend to leave before a fight breaks out and her girlfriend refuses, Saejima blows up at her, insulting her and saying she's a useless weakling who can't fight: this is followed by a translation that reads "If anything were to happen to you I'd never be able to forgive myself, so leave before you get seriously hurt or killed!"
  • Implied Death Threat: Lucifer pulls this off without a word when Akira tries to interfere with Mirei's fight with Apollyon. He shoots a cold glare over his shoulder and Akira is blasted off her feet.
  • Intimidation Demonstration: Akira voices her doubts that Bankwell has killed Liberators and Extars with his bare hands, despite having no superpowers. Bankwell turns to a nearby car and flips it with one uppercut: all of a sudden Akira is a believer.
  • Internal Death Squad: Ensiferum is usually contracted by the World Government with hunting down particularly dangerous Arms-infectees, including rogue SOLDIERs. Only two are known to be infected themselves, the rest are just that badass.
  • Kick the Morality Pet: Bankwell attacks his daughter in a fit of rage, and his subsequent inability to recognize what he had done is the turning point for Mirei, and she goes from trying to avoid him, understand him and talk him down to actively trying to defeat him.
  • Knight of Cerebus: As dangerous as they are, the Dazzlings are still somewhat humorous, and Apollyon makes a few cold wisecracks at the aforementioned sirens' incompetence. There is nothing funny about Commander Bankwell. He's a No-Nonsense Nemesis, to begin with, and shows little care for the idea of 'honor': any Liberator/Extar duo caught out of Drive is pretty much screwed on the spot. Even worse he forgoes the flashy combat styles that we see from most characters in the story: as Akira finds out, his idea of non-lethal combat is making sure you end up maimed at least, and he will do it in as few moves as he possibly can.
  • Large and in Charge: Tsuneo Hiiragi/Thor is the largest of Ensiferum's inner circle, a towering, burly, hulking bruiser of a man.
  • Leave Him to Me!: Subverted: Momoka's fine with Bankwell killing Mirei instead of her so long as she can watch and he makes it hurt. It goes both ways: once Mirei makes it to the Sliepnir Momoka insists on fighting Mirei herself, and Bankwell concedes so long as he can watch and she makes it hurt.
  • Les Yay: Upon realizing that Apollyon has infected them with Arms, Adagio and Aria are less than pleased. But while Adagio and Aria babble their protests, Sonata is simply looking at them with a slight blush on her face. And then after they're cured...
    Sonata: Does this mean we won't be making out anymore? [takes Adagio's palm to the back of her head]
  • Lower-Deck Episode: When the story's not focused on Mirei, the POV is on another group trying to find her made up of minor characters from VDM: Akira, Kasumi, Hibiki, Charlotte, Kouzuki and Miyasato and Saijima. They're about as ragtag a bunch of misfits as you'll ever get, and without their powers they're forced to do increasingly crazy things to avoid Apollyon's forces.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Thor, the Power Armor-wearing engineer of Ensiferum, is actually Tsuneo Hiragi, Akira's father, and apparently he thought Akira had been killed in an anti-Arms hate crime back when she was actually on Mermaid. Looks like Bankwell has a lot of explaining to do, especially for threatening his wife on top of everything to make sure she doesn't tell her husband the truth...
  • Manipulative Bastard: A teamup of Apollyon and the Dazzlings gives us two: Apollyon manipulates the Non-Infected, while the Dazzlings work on the Liberators and Extars.
  • Mathematician's Answer:
    Mamori: So whose side are you on? Apollyon's or F.R.E.Y.A's?
    Lucifer: ...Yes.
  • Mood Whiplash: Mamori's tense escape from the Labyrinth of Amala is filled with this: without Mirei she's pretty much helpless, dodging demons and almost managing to escape...before getting trapped in a room with Lucifer himself playing an Ominous Pipe Organ...who proceeds to hit a few sour notes before calling it quits for the day, greeting Mamori (actually getting her name right when he does), having tea brought to her and having a relatively friendly debate with her before using magic to painlessly knock her out, carrying her back to her cell, and tucking her into bed.
  • Moral Event Horizon: In-Universe: Bankwell's daughter finally screws up the courage to confront the outside world, and tries to tell her father to stop what he's doing. At first Bankwell is calm as he tries to talk her down, but as she continues to argue with him he becomes angrier and angrier before he finally strikes her, knocking her down and screaming at her. It's at this point that Mirei breaks her promise to Mamori and begins fighting him with lethal intent: the moment he attacked his daughter, who he claimed to love and whose condition served as his Cynicism Catalyst, he threw away any claim at being a 'misguided individual' and proved himself to be a rabid, destructive animal who is too far gone and needed to be put down.
  • Motive Rant: Bankwell breaks down screaming at Mirei about how he's pushing for segregation because if he doesn't, innocent people who used to be Extars and Liberators will be horribly mistreated as his daughter was, and that Mirei and Mamori are dangerous because they're feeding people false hope: their talk about coexistence is dangerous because it's tempting and at the same time impossible. As far as he's concerned, they're luring people into a trap.
  • Moveset Clone: Hel and Heimdall fight almost identically to Ryona and Ryobi depending on who's wielding who at the time.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: Mirei and Mamori defeat Bankwell, reach Valkyrie Drive, depower the F.R.E.Y.A forces, and make it perfectly clear that if anyone wants the war to continue they'll have them to deal with. Apollyon takes them up on their offer and utterly trounces them.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Mamori's been captured and brought to the Labyrinth of Amala! But no fear, there's a secret passageway in that was used by LOL Ranger to infiltrate the place and pester Lucifer back during the Pantheonic Rebellion...oh wait, Lucifer closed the passageway and did a thorough search for more vulnerabilities after that little debacle. Oops: looks like Miss Virgin's staying put for the time being.
  • Non Sequitur, *Thud*: Mamori's declaration that she needs to get back to Mirei devolves into this when Lucifer casts Dormina on her mid-sentence.
    Mamori: I don't care what you say: Miss Mirei needs me, and I'm not going to stand idly by (Lucifer snaps his fingers) while my home dimen-dih-deh-ah...buh...p-pudding everywhere...(thud)
  • Norse Mythology: Fitting for a story set in the Valkyrie Drive universe. All the members of Ensiferum's inner circle have callsigns based on the Aesir, Bankwell's being 'Odin'. Fitting, then, that his archenemy Mirei has canine motifsnote  Apollyon's parallel isn't revealed until the very end when she battles Mirei amidst a pool of burning oil: she dunks her sword in it, lighting it on fire, establishing herself as Surtr. Mamori's parallel is a little more tentative, but since the war only kicks into high gear once she's taken out of the picture, it wouldn't be inaccurate to say she's Baldur.
  • Not Herself: Mamori quickly realizes that Mirei had no control over her herself during her rampage. How does she know this? Mirei had struck her when she ran up to stop her, something she'd never, EVER do.
  • Oh, Crap!: Three successive ones from Rain and Lady J as they learn three very interesting things about Heimdall.
Lady J: ...She's infected?!
Rain: She's a hybrid!?
  • One-Winged Angel: Bankwell, in a last desperate attempt to kill Mamori and Mirei, willingly turns himself into a Draugr via T-Valkyrie. Astoundingly, he manages to keep his sanity through the agonizing pain via sheer willpower and hatred toward the two.
  • Pinball Projectile: Both Hel's sniper rifle form and Heimdall's revolvers form do this to almost ludicrous extents. Justified in that there's nothing normal about Arm-based weaponry.
  • Playing Both Sides: Both sides of the conflict are blissfully unware that they're being run by agents of the GUAC.
  • The Power of Hate: Bankwell's bread and butter. Nothing, nothing will stop him from taking revenge on Mirei and Mamori for what happened to his daughter. Not fatal wounds, not moral compunctions, nothing.
  • Private Military Contractors: It's actually not quite clear what Ensiferum is. They're part this and part straight-up terrorists, and AAA, as in the World Government, is so terrified of them that they don't even attempt to get in their way.
  • Putting on the Reich: Ensiferum, the anti-Arms task force working to stop F.R.E.Y.A. While they (for the most part) want to protect innocents from Armed Virus-based terrorists, they're so overzealous and oppressive that they end up being little better. Of course, this just gives F.R.E.Y.A plenty of recruiting power, exactly as Apollyon intends.
  • Revenge Before Reason: The wheels come off Bankwell's cooperation with Apollyon when she reveals the GUAC's intention to keep Mamori prisoner for Momoka to use in its name. He immediately turns on Momoka when she attempts to drive Mamori, she attacks him when he tries to kill Mamori, and everything just completely falls apart in a Mêlée à Trois.
    Bankwell: Wrong. She's going to die.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: F.R.E.Y.A., the terrorist organization the Dazzlings are running, and entirely intentially: their atrocities give Apollyon an excuse to crack down on them, ensuring a Cycle of Revenge that will just keep escalating.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Heimdall's Arm form: twin revolvers.
  • Rings of Death: Aria and Sonata's Arms forms: Adagio either wields them individually as homing chakram, or merges them into a single Tira-esque massive one. They're more for show than anything, in order to keep up appearances as a Liberator/Extar team that can lead F.R.E.Y.A: Adagio's initial throw against Mirei misses by three whole feet, and her attempt at close-range combat ends with her flat on her back mere seconds after their 'fight' begins.
  • Running Gag: Meifon asking where Ensiferum's bottomless budget comes from. The first time, it's a legitimate question asked in a serious tone. As Ensiferum unveils more and more insane weaponry and levels of manpower, her tone gets more and more incredulous, until the Sliepnir is unveiled.
  • Running Gagged: The Tokonome/Virgin gag takes a dark turn when Bankwell calls her Virgin and Mirei corrects him.
    Mirei: It's 'Tokonome.'
    Bankwell: I don't care.
  • Sanity Slippage: Mirei starts going through it partway through the story: without Mamori to keep her in check and that signet ring stuck on her finger, her SOLDIER programming starts to resurface and she finds herself beginning to enjoy her battles with F.R.E.Y.A and Ensiferum. Case in point when she's pushed to her limit against Bankwell and takes a massive hit from him...
    Mirei: (wiping the blood from her mouth and staring at it) More...
  • Sarcasm Failure: Akira bluntly says she can't react to the idea of a violent insurrection of those infected with Arms in a way that would do it justice.
  • Say My Name:
  • Shock and Awe: Thor: his huge warhammer can generate enough electromagnetic energy to throw cars and bullets simply bounce off thanks to the field of electricity coursing around his armor.
  • Shoo the Dog: When Mirei first starts falling under the Dazzlings' spell: she can feel something happening to her, and manages to get one last coherent sentence out before blind rage overtakes her.
    Mirei: Mamori...RUUUUUUN! (lunges off the stage and starts cracking skulls)
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Bankwell in spades.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance:
    • The song the Dazzlings sing at the peace conference to drive Mirei berserk? Super Ultra Hyper Miracle Romantic, Valkyrie Drive Mermaid's peppy and cheerful ending credits theme.
    • 'Loki' is a firm believer that he can make any song feared if he associates himself with it. Turns out he's right: the sound of "The Fast Food Song" is enough to elicit panic once it becomes his "LOL I'VE HACKED YOU" Calling Card. Case in point, the Bhikkhuni massacre, where he blasts it over the Pillar Gods's vocal systems as he forces them to attack their friends.
  • Sphere of Destruction: Bankwell's daughter has a very...different sort of Drive from most Extars. Rather than turning into a weapon, her Drive unleashes a dome of purple energy in a six meter diameter around her: it lasts for about ten seconds, during which time it sucks in everything around it with a powerful vacuum, annihilating anything that comes in contact with it. Despite how devastating it is, it's not-unjustly considered to be a horrible Drive, probably even worse than Nimi's: it makes it impossible for her to have a Liberator, for one. Furthermore, it takes everything out of her, causing her to pass out helplessly after it runs its course. Finally, it makes no distinction between friend and foe: anything caught in the radius is in danger. Needless to say, she was thrilled to be cured.
  • Spider Tank: The Sleipnir, Ensiferum's ace-in-the-hole: an eight-legged walker-cum-Cool Airship with nigh-indestructible armor, sporting a huge Wave-Motion Gun and bristling with machine gun turrets and missile launchers.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Akira strongly resembles her father Tsuneo.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Mirei gains one she comes to call 'Fenrir' when Jimenez pushes her to the Rage Breaking Point. Her Enhance abilities spin out of control, changing from black armored arms and legs and a single cybernetic eye to a full suit of wolf-like armor that looks uncannily like the Berserker Armor. It comes with razor-sharp claws, Monstrous Mandibles with whirling, flensing blades and incredible strength, but Mirei completely loses her shit in this state, screaming and roaring as she wildly attacks everything around her.
  • Suppressed Rage: Imagine a huge metal tanker filled with a highly explosive material. Now imagine the tanker is constantly rattling, creaking, spewing smoke and sparks, and letting off an aura of singular, overpowering dread: if you step wrong around it, send the wrong vibration through the ground, it will explode in an instant and level everything and everyone around it. Heck, even that wouldn't be needed necessarily: the thing could just go at any time. That's Bankwell: the man is insanely, murderously angry all the time, and his efforts to keep himself from lashing out at in a frothing rage only serve to underline how unstable he is.
  • Tears of Blood: Mirei's eyes burst when Thor lights her up like a Christmas tree, giving her these: we get a gruesome description of her eyelids crawling as she regenerates.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Lucifer, by way of funding Apollyon's scheme in exchange for a Godslayer.
  • These Hands Have Killed: Mirei spends a good while after snapping out of the Dazzling's spell staring in abject horror at her blood-soaked hands. It's not the first time she's taken lives, being a SOLDIER, but it is the first time she's torn innocent people limb-from-limb with her bare hands like a rabid animal.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Kasumi when she realizes that she had managed to get the ice cream truck airborne and they're about to go flying off the freeway.
    Kasumi: Oh...Candy Rootbeer Apple PIIIIIIIIIIIE...!
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: A villainous variant with Lucifer: he expressly forbids both sides from interfering with the final battle between Mirei and Apollyon. When Akira tries to blow him off, he telekinetically blasts her backwards.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Charlotte is far, FAR nicer than she was on Mermaid, though she's still got a bit of a acerbic attitude and she squabbles with Kasumi with the best of them.
  • Tranquil Fury: Mirei after seeing Bankwell hit his daughter. She catches his follow-up strike, glaring into his eyes with a blank expression.
    Mirei: Mamori, I'm sorry: I know you hate violence, but I am going to kill this man.
    • Somehow, the Sleipnir manages to give this vibe off when Mirei forces it to land. After transforming to Land Mode, it spends a moment quietly looming over her practically radiant with Killing Intent, while Bankwell, who's piloting it, is staring at her on the viewscreen with a blank expression and Dull Eyes of Unhappiness before unleashing everything on her.
  • "Uh-Oh" Eyes: Mirei's eyes become horribly bloodshot under the Dazzling's ring-empowered influence.
  • The Unfettered: Bankwell has absolutely no limits. No matter how repugnant it is, he will take any action to see his goal through to the end. In a variation of this trope, he takes no joy in his actions, reveals that he has no illusions about what a horrible person he is and regrets a lot of the things he ends up doing, but feels he can't limit himself if he wants to win: every line someone refuses to cross is a weakness that can be exploited. It helps that his reputation as a man willing to cross any line often keeps people from messing with him.
    Akira: You're a monster!
    Bankwell: I'm a monster so that others don't have to be.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Thor is howling for Bankwell's blood when he learns that he has been manipulating him. Unfortunately, his rage isn't 'unstoppable' enough to beat his commander, who rips him a new one Power Armor and all.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Apollyon picked probably the worst time to deliver Mamori to Momoka. True, Bankwell and Momoka wielding Mamori would have utterly devastated Mirei, but unfortunately Bankwell had his own ideas of what to do with Miss Virgin.
  • Use Your Head: Bankwell is a fan of the headbutt: it definitely serves to underline his savage, unrestrained fighting style and his near-inability to feel pain. He and Mirei slam foreheads together at the height of their final battle.
  • Variable Mix: The below-mentioned villain songs usually have vocals from the beginning of Ensiferum's fights to the end. The only exception is Bankwell himself: his first fight with Mirei has the instrumental of Innocence right until Mirei lands a solid hit that breaks his nose. Bankwell's eyes go dead and...