The World God Only Knows

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God to one world, Otaku to the other.

Keima Katsuragi is famous on the Net as "The Capturing God"; there is no Dating Sim that he cannot beat, no heroine he cannot capture—while in real life he's known as "otaMegane" and hates all real girls. One day, he receives a provocative email asking for his help in capturing some girls. He rises to the challenge, inadvertently making a Deal with the Devil to help Elsie, a low-ranking devil, catch runaway spirits. Apparently the spirits only hide in the hearts of troubled girls, and the only way to get them out is by making the girl fall in love. If he fails, the contract will take his head!

Thus begins Keima's daunting task as the human partner of a runaway-spirit catcher, which throws him deep into exactly what he's been dismissing: Real life, and more importantly, real girls.

The series' main purpose seems to be poking fun at different aspects of Dating Sims, or "Gal Games", and playing with various Moe and heroine archetypes, as well as aiming a megaphone at many, many things - hell, pretty much everything ever - and it has its own page to show it. Between its sense of humor and the neat artwork, it's a very recommendable series if you're looking for a comedy manga.

An anime by Manglobe began in October 2010, with a second season in April 2011. Both seasons have been licensed by Sentai Filmworks, with the first season having been released on DVD and Blu-Ray, dubbed.

Page links: Character Sheets | Shout Out Page | Lampshades Page

Has a wiki: Kaminomi Wiki

External links: Official Manga Site | Official Anime Site | ANN (Manga, Anime), Light Novel Translations

Both seasons of the anime can be watched here at Crunchyroll.

WARNING: May contain major spoilers. | Trailers: (PV1, PV2)


The World God Only Knows is the Trope Namer for:
The Tropes God Only Knows
  • A-Cup Angst: Haqua, though only in the bonus chapters and she isn't TOO self-conscious about it.
  • A Day in the Limelight: A number of these: Chapters 11, 42, 122b and 137b are Elsie's, chapter 34 is Mari's, 54 is the nascent Light Music Club's, 56 is Elsie and Haqua's, and 114 is Kanon and Apollo's.
    • In the anime, the entirety of Shiori's arc qualifies.
    • Minami's arc is also mainly from her perspective, as her capture is mainly driven by the over-bloated image she creates of Keima as a sempai. It's notable because the story being told from the girl's perspective is one of the biggest points of her arc.
    • The "XXX After" bonus chapters would count as well, even if they are short.
    • "The World a Lil' Devil Only Knows" chapters and 4-komas are from Elsie's point of view.
  • After the End: The status of Old Hell. The miasma produced by the war against the Weiss makes it impossible to survive on the surface for longer than 10 minutes, forcing the New Devils to live in floating cities.
  • A God Am I: Keima is the god of Dating Sims on the net. Even the Galge industry has to take his presence and influence into account; Hell certainly did.
    • Chapter 86 graces the fact... along with a reference to the Tower of Babel.
  • A Lady on Each Arm: Keima has to endure this in chapter 106 as a Cool and Unusual Punishment.
  • Accidental Pervert: Keima on a few occasions, such as when he walked into Kusunoki while she was bathing.
    • Often subverted though, as he occasionally plans these moments.
      • Most definitely averted since he is not flustered one bit by it and considers their curves as arousing as a wall.
        • As of chapter 121 Keima has walked in on Haqua again, and ignored her.
    • Other times he predicts that such a moment will happen. One could call that planning in some way.
  • Adaptation Distillation: If the first episode of the anime is anything to go by, it's basically almost identical to the first chapter, except that there were no scenes of New Hell (the scenes in question were made into a preview on the Flag 0 DVD).
  • Adaptation Expansion: There aren't many examples, as the anime has been keeping quite faithful to the source material. One example though is Kanon's origins with Citron being something that appeared very briefly in an omake after her arc had already finished; the anime went ahead and developed the backstory even more.
    • Another example - S1 Episode 8, "Coupling With With With With", has doubled the number of perspectives of the same day.
    • Yet another one, Shiori's backstory and store visit. Also some scenes, which are not present in the manga, were added to emphasize the climax of the arc.
  • Affectionate Parody: Hey, did you look at our Shout-Out page yet?
  • After-School Cleaning Duty: Keima meets Elsie for the first time when Ayumi dumps all the after school cleaning duties on him.
  • Alien Lunch: Other demons enjoy Elsie's cooking. Humans... not so much.
  • All There in the Manual: Most of the manga volumes have some extra info on the TWGOK universe, from the history of the PFP to a description of the Underworld.
    • There is supposed to be a manual for capturing the Runaway Spirits. Elsie just accidentally brought a cook book instead.
  • Always Female: The runaway spirits seem to only choose women as hosts. This is explained by the fact that the goal of the spirits is to be reincarnated into the offspring of the girl and therefore must be in the body of the mother. An explanation, however, is not given for why the deities and New Devils from the Spirit Capturing Squad are all female, at least the New Devils whose gender isn't ambiguous anyway.
    • It was revealed in a later chapter that there are no males in New Hell. Although we have seen a few minor male demons (one ran a ramen shop before getting eaten, and Nora's father has been mentioned) so Dokuro may have meant something more like that there are barely any left or that there are no good ones.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Runaway Spirit Squad, including the Chief.
  • Amusing Injuries
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Keima's lessons and tips on gal gaming and character analysis. Though they often go off on tangents or simply don't make sense to anybody but him.
  • Animated Actors: During a special chapter in the middle of the Hinoki arc, the situation is put on hold while catgirl Haqua and bunnygirl Elsea show up as Keima protests. Hinoki is disappointed, and you can see studio lights behind her while she holds up a house model.
  • Animation Bump: The first episode of the second season (the early fight scene in particular) has its animation bumped considerably. Most likely, this is done in order to attract viewers.
  • Anywhere but Their Lips: After hearing Keima's earnest request to love him back, Tsukiyo kisses him on his cheek...while he is "unconscious".
    • And now Keima kissed Shiori in her cheek after she finished her story.
  • Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: Haqua challenges Keima to a board game, on his condition that the loser must do anything the winner desires. After each loss, Haqua pleads "I know I said anything... But not anything! Just not anything, okay!" Keima, however, only wants to ask questions about his situation and Elsie. Haqua finally lashes out at him: "Aren't you even a tiny bit interested in me!?"
    • Inverted in FLAG.111: Keima's eyes seem to ask Akari "Are you going to ravish me?" after being forcefully kissed quite a few times.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: There are a lot of violent girls in the manga. Notably, Tsukiyo's "lady slap" sends Keima flying.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: BMW Theory. In order to qualify as a little sister Elsie must have Blood, Memory, and WONICHAN MOE.
  • Art Shift: A lot of the parody moments. Also, see the Bishonen entry as well.
    • In later episodes, Keima is taking it to Genre Savvy levels, abusing the medium when he needs to shift into another character type.
    • Simone and Casiraghi are almost always art-shifted.
    • The 'Captain and Pupil' segment in the anime shifts to a lighter, more cartoon-y style.
    • Scenes with Chihiro used this a lot, among them a South Park-style and a very Harold and The Purple Crayon-look.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Keima Katsuragi, known in the gaming community as the legendary "Capturing God," has great influence in the Gal Game industry. One time, he and his site were solely responsible for the industry's revitalization while it was on the verge of collapse. Also, he was personally asked to be involved in the creation of a Galge that would follow all of his opinions, but he refused in the end after an epic political debate and intergalactic war.
  • Asexuality: Outside of his games, Keima does not appear to have any romantic interest at all. He pursues all of his "captures" with the same, cold analytic approach, and every action or expression he makes is usually part of his plan. He's not completely heartless, but is largely indifferent to life. He even claims he is in no way sexually attracted to video game heroines and sees such thoughts as below him.
  • Astronomic Zoom: Inverted. Elsie tells Keima Chihiro's their next target, and the camera zooms out as it reverberates.
  • Aw, Look -- They Really Do Love Each Other: As strained as Mari Katsuragi's relationship has to be with her husband, the second she hears an unconfirmed phone call saying he is dying she goes straight to his side, no questions asked. In South America, no less.
  • Awesomeness By Analysis: The way Keima studies for his tests.
  • A Worldwide Punomenon: "Elsie" (NPC) and "Haqua" (Hacker)
  • Axes At School: In the original manga, the delinquent Ryou who fought Kusunoki had a butterfly knife. This was changed in the anime into a collapsible baton.
  • Badass Boast: Keima gives these from time to time.

Keima: There is no 'above'. After all... I am god.

Simone: My heart didn't ache at all, because he wasn't an important man.

  • Blinding Bangs: Tenri in her initial arc, due to being a Shrinking Violet, but she cuts her bangs after the kiss. Diana, who is a Defrosting Ice Queen instead, doesn't have this, even before the haircut.
  • Blush Sticker: Actually, they're quite easy to find.
  • Book Ends: S1 Episode 7, which begins two years ago with Kanon and her bandmates in Citron practicing their debut song outside the stadium, and ends with present-day Kanon singing the song in the stadium after her solo concert finishes.
    • Used again in s2 episode 7, contrasting pre and post-capture Chihiro on her school route.
    • Used at the end of S2, where the ED theme is the OP of S1.
  • Boom! Headshot!: Chapter 115: Fiore attempts this on Kanon to eliminate the goddess inside her. Fortunately, there's a plane of bulletproof glass to prevent the fatal shot.
  • Boring but Practical: This is the basis of Haqua's partner Yukie's method of capturing spirits.
  • Bound and Gagged:
  • Brains and Brawn: The foundation of a good devil/human team. The devil provides physical help to the human, who uses their wits to suppress the gap of the heart.
  • Brainwash Residue: All of the girls Keima "conquers" show signs of this. They just can't explain why they blush whenever the geeky otaku walks by.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: There are numerous instances of this, but a particularly blatant example is when Keima questions the origin of the narration in chapter 26.
    • And the all-time most blatant demolishing of the fourth wall to date comes in Chapter 94. It starts where Chapter 93 left off, but is suddenly interrupted by Elsie and Haqua coming in wearing bunny ears and cat ears respectively, singing a jingle to start a new segment asking for Keima's advice on capturing girls.
    • "Wait. Didn't you watch the first season?"
  • Brick Joke: Keima gets mad at a capture target and so Elsie whips up a bowl of curry she claims will make her turn into a frog. It doesn't quite work.
  • Bridal Carry: Invoked by Vulcan, then lampshaded by Keima.

Vulcan: I cannot move... Carry me.
Keima: Switch back to Tsukiyo and walk!!

    • Diana also did this to Keima twice. The first time chronologically was during the time when she entered Tenri's body to help her and an unconscious Keima.
  • Brilliant but Lazy: Subverted. Keima prefers to focus his intelligence on playing galge - but he's willing to do virtually anything if it means getting to play his games. "Anything" includes getting first in class so that his teachers would not bother his playing games in class.
  • Bucket Booby Trap: During Jun Nagase's arc, trying to make her angry Keima sets up the chalk board eraser variant but fails when Elsie triggers it instead.
  • Bullet Hell: Hilariously invoked in one of the dating sim games Keima plays in episode 12. Even he wonders why a horse racing dating sim suddenly has this in it.
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer: Keima.
    • It's a testament to Keima's abilities that, thanks to his ability at "capturing" girls, he managed to get an award for Elsie that was taken away because Elsie can barely even Poke the Poodle when it comes to being a demon.
    • Elsie would be this, as Hell would see it, but in reality she's dependent on Keima.
  • Butt Monkey: Keima's poor father, who hasn't even had any screen time yet. All we've seen of him is his wife yelling at him over the phone for things he didn't do.
  • Button Mashing: Justified - It LOOKS like Keima's doing this in "God of Conquest Mode", but as Elsie explains, he's just playing those games so fast(complete with after-images!).
  • Buxom Is Better: Played straight and played with.
    • Ryou plays it straight because he only agreed to the Deal with the Devil because of Nora's boobs.
    • Keima plays with this trope a few times as part of his various plans. He will claim attraction to Nora because of her boobs and he needs the reactions that she and Haqua will create to move along his plots. To the best of our knowledge though Keima himself isn't attracted to any girl regardless of their cup size.
  • Call Back:
    • In Chapter 61, Elsie makes hagoromo dolls shaped as Keima and uses them as Ninja Logs to protect him from Nora's attempts to kill him and as a stalling tactic. In chapter 184, Nora makes a hagoromo doll of herself, thwarting an attack from Vintage against her life, and instructs her allies to make a bunch of hagoromo dolls of Keima and his capture target to keep other agents busy while Keima complete the conquest.
    • In Chapter 23, Haqua threatens Keima with killing him once he is done with helping her to recapture a runaway spirit, to which he simply points out that if he dies Elsie will die too because of their contract. In Chapter 100, Haqua talks Nora out of sealing away a powerful runaway spirit and killing Keima in the process by telling her the same thing.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Averted as a cliffhanger at the end of Flag 107.
  • Can't Live Without You: If Elsie dies, so does Keima, and vice-versa (applies to all demons and their buddies, actually). To be specific, they will lose their heads from the chokers they wear. Not Synchronization, since that's the only thing that gets shared.
  • Captain Obvious: When Yui put Keima into a Lap Pillow and said she wanted to talk to him his thoughts simply were 'I'm being seduced!'
  • Cargo Ship: An In-Universe one at that; Keima adores Yokkyun, one of his Dating Sim heroines.
    • Reversed in the 4koma. Tsukiyo's doll Luna expresses its love for her, even going about to kill her current object of interest Keima.
    • Elsie really loves her fire trucks.
  • Cat/Bunny Girl: Haqua and Elsie in chapter 94.
  • Catch Phrase:
    • Keima - "I can already see the ending!", and situational variations on it, when he figures out the last push needed to capture a girl.
    • Elsie - "Loose soul in custody!"
  • Caught the Heart on His Sleeve: Elsie to Keima in Flag 1, to warn him that he'd lose his head.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Chapters 115-117 are starting this.
  • Character Development: Aside from the girls getting through what problems they seem to have, Keima's developed quite a bit as well; it's just a lot more subtle because his obsession with games hasn't dwindled at all. The Keima from the first chapter never would have jumped off a building to save a girl. Granted, he probably knew Elsie would save him, but he was still taking a risk considering how incompetent she can be at times.
    • From chapter 115 onward, he takes it quite hard on himself after Kanon/Apollo get injured by Vintage, and takes it to personal account to find at least one of the four remaining Goddesses.
    • Shown by how you don't see him playing any games after Kanon gets stabbed, and before the story started he played for at least 12 hours every day.
    • Remember how in the first chapters Keima would always say something along the lines of "Real world sucks, the 2D world is so much better"? Well, in a later chapter, he basically says "There is no difference between the real and the virtual. I'll aim for the best ending". He acknowledges the real world (though he still appears to regard 2D girls as superior).
    • During the Mai Festival when Keima realizes that Chihiro has no goddess but fell in love with him naturally without his involvement.
  • Character Shilling: By Elsie to Haqua early. However, it turns out to be a setup to a slightly different plotline than might be expected.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: The Capturing God can beat ANY game. Even ones he's never played.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Mai-High Dance Fest, first set up in chapter 54, and built on in successive chapters.
    • (From chapter 80) Keima: "As if there's a sensor to detect them (Goddesses) like runaway spirits!". No points for guessing what he uses 40 chapters or so later.
    • Seen all the way back in the first chapter, the school's emblem is the goddess Demeter, and her name also appears in chapter 3. Might this have to do with the concentration of goddesses in the school?
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Several of the girls, most notably starting with Kanon. In fact, the arc starting from Chapter 115 has been focused on Keima searching for which among the girls are the gunmen.
    • Nikaido. Not just simply a sadist teacher, she seems to be a full-fledged devil (like Elsie) with powerful skill.
  • Class Is in Room X-01: Averted. Here is a list of some named characters in their respective grades of their schools.
    • Maijima Private Junior High School
      • 3rd year junior high school students
  • Class 3-C: Minami Ikoma
    • Maijima Private High School
      • 2nd year high school students
  • Class 2-A: Mio Aoyama, Yui Goido, and Tsukiyo Kujyo.[3]
  • Class 2-B: Keima Katsuragi, Elsie, Ayumi Takahara, Chihiro Kosaka, Kanon Nakagawa, Miyako Terada, and Asami Yoshino.[4]
  • Class 2-C: Shiori Shiomiya and Aoba Fuse.[5]
      • 3rd year high school students
  • Class 3-A: Kusunoki Kasuga
  • Class 3-C: Akari Kurakawa
    • Misato Hisagi High School
      • Tenri Ayukawa and Nanaka Haibara
    • Naursawa the 3rd Private High School
      • 2nd year class 2: Sumire Uemoto
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Competitive Haqua and possessive Diana.
    • Hilariously done with Luna, Tsukiyo's doll. But then It Got Worse....
    • Hilariously invoked in episode 8 of Season 2. Haqua comes over to file a report of what happened in episode 3 and 4, and asks for Elsie and Keima's help. Keima and Haqua get into an argument over what happened in the theater, and after a few edits, Haqua smashes the mic so that no more edits can be made. Unfortunately for her, the last edit she made showed the Keima doll doing things to Haqua. Elsie then walks in with snacks and "discovers" what they were "really" doing that day when she was by herself, and beats him up a little. Later she nonchalantly walks back inside, then locks Keima out of the house after Haqua leaves.
  • Closet Shuffle: In manga FLAG 154 when the idiotic Ryou allowed Chihiro to enter, Keima had to hide Ayumi so he pushed her onto Elsie's bed and hid her under the sheets with himself. It continued onto FLAG 155.
  • Clothing Damage: When Mars gets angry and attacks someone, somehow the only effect the attack seems to have is to completely strip said someone of all her clothes...
  • Club President: Kusunoki (Girls' Karate Club), Tsukiyo (Astronomy Club), Chihiro (Light Music Club), Akari (Biology Club).
  • Combos: How Keima learns to dance: "L R ↑ ← R".
    • However, the moves bore a strong resemblance to the Konami Code.
  • Companion Cube: Luna, the porcelain doll Tsukiyo holds dear.
  • Completely Different Title: Hong Kong dub title: God of Gaming's Walkthrough in Pick-up. While it sums up the storyline well, would it be a bit too explicit?
  • Compliment Fishing: Haqua pulls a bout of this in chapter 138, when she goes on about how horribly she screwed up in grabbing the Idiot Ball and letting Fiore out of her containment bottle. When Keima tells her that she's important, and that they do need her, she tells him to say it like he means it. Then Diana has to come in and spoil the cute moment.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: What does it mean for humanity to be perfect... Easily one of the deepest conversations in the series.
  • Content Warnings: When Nora publicly displayed the contents of Keima's head.
    • These occasionally pop up in the anime during Keima's rants as reminders they're his personal opinions.
  • Continuity Cameo: Asami Yoshino from the first Light Novel adaptation appears in the anime and here[6] in the manga.
  • Conveniently Seated: The class of 2-B has the majority of the named characters who are in the class sit near each other.
    • Ayumi, Keima, Elsie, Chihiro, Miyako, Asami, and Kanon are in the the three back-rows.
      • The majority of 2-B Pencils sits in the back-left corner of the classroom.
      • Keima sits in the right-center of the classroom. Kinda fitting for the protagonist to be the center of it all.
  • Cooldown Hug/Get a Hold of Yourself, Man! : Elsie gives these simultaneously to Haqua in episode 4 of Season 2.
  • Corner of Woe:
    • Desk Of Woe: Keima cries wholeheartedly and becomes depressed when he can't rescue Asuka Sora from the glitched game in chapter 17. First time he shrinks with the desk, then he goes micro-chibi inside the desk drawer.
    • Haqua goes into the corner in chapter 48 after Yukie tells Keima how Haqua's been talking about how good-looking he is.
      • She enters it again in chapter 144, thinking Keima got an up-towel look at her.
  • Cosmic Deadline: The dawn after the Mai Festival ends Vintage will starts its plan to bring Hell to Earth.
  • Covered in Gunge: Haqua gets covered in some slime during her torture room interrogation.
  • Covers Always Lie: Volume 12 of the manga has Haqua on the cover to mark her appearance in the anime, even though she doesn't appear in the book - cheerfully lampshaded in the 4koma.
  • Cranial Eruption
  • Creepy Child: Airi-chan.
  • Creepy Doll: Luna, the doll Tsukiyo adores and carries around with her. When Elsie made it bigger as part of Keima's plan, even Tsukiyo became scared of her, albeit briefly.
    • Then the post-capture Omake depicts Luna as a murderous Yandere who wants to kill Keima and have Tsukiyo all to herself. Being a doll, though, she can't actually move.
      • That is to say, she couldn't before.
  • Cross-Popping Veins
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Usually invoked by Keima. Especially prominent in chapter 74, where he is apparently beaten senseless by Nora, but he just wanted her to leave so he could play games in peace. When she didn't, he became so frightening that she left at once.
  • Crystal Ball Scheduling: Chapter 95. Elsie doesn't know what might happen if Hinoki's runaway spirit were to resurrect, but the TV show she's watching gives a pretty good idea.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Fiore gets thoroughly trashed by Vulcan in about ten seconds. Rather anticlimactic, sure, but hey, not that it matters that much.
  • Cute Demon Girl: Elsie
  • Cute Kitten:
    • In the anime, Kanon's Stun Guns are shaped like cats.
    • There is a cat with a ribbon that hangs around the school, that Kusunoki later adopts after her arc. He (the cat) later appears during Tsukiyo's arc scaring her and in her omake carrying off Luna's leg.
  • Dances and Balls: Keima attended one at the end of Mio's arc.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Suffering from Dating Sim withdrawal, Keima resorts to "Capturing God Mode" in order to clear his backlog, which allows him to play six games at once at blinding speed while still being able to react emotionally to each one, at the price of what feels like three years off of his life span for every hour he uses it. He eventually starts hallucinating and passes out under the strain.
    • For the record, he uses "Capturing God Mode" for TWENTY HOURS STRAIGHT before hallucinating. That would be sixty years off his life if it actually worked that way. Really, he just passes out from sleep deprivation and not eating (which Elsie calls him on afterwards).
      • Subverted, I'd say. Since afterwards, he uses it everytime he plays in his room.
    • Note the feels part.
    • To divert Nora's attention from Tenri, Keima uses the "Forced Development Technique", i.e.: he gropes Nora's breast in front of Haqua. The end result: Keima burnt to a crisp from the beating.
  • Darkest Hour: Chapter 175: Keima, Chihiro and Ayumi are captured by Vintage, as are all goddesses bar Diana, Lune just gave the execution order and Haqua has the status of a traitor.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: New Hell.
  • Date Peepers: Defied in chapter 103. Chihiro opts not to follow Elsie and Keima after seeing the way Keima shows up for their 'date'.
  • Death Glare: Do not question Hinoki's skills.
  • Deep-Immersion Gaming: Keima does this in the Asuka Sora and Yokkyun episodes of the anime.
  • Defictionalization/Fictional Media/Product Placement: Or some bizarre hybrid, anyway. Kanon's songs in the anime show up in the real world on the album 'Birth', released in March 2011. A while later, in chapter 137b, we get adverts for the album in-universe - which are justified, as Kanon's an idol singer.
  • Demon Head: Keima has his own twist on it. He can manifest the standard version, though.
  • Demonic Possession: There are a total of five stages, dubbed Soul Level 1 to 5. Level 1 is the weakest, with the Weiss not being able to do anything significant; Level 2 is where the Weiss is able to manifest its power; Level 3 is an extension of Level 2, with the growth of the Weiss' power much more apparent and greater details in their forms like an expressive face; Level 4 is when the Weiss is able to manifest itself physically, but is not yet fully resurrected. However, until level four the host doesn't really know, though the presence of the Weiss is apparently inherently depressing, making it harder to get rid of them.
  • Demoted to Extra: In the anime, all the girls Keima "captures" or helps out after their story arc is done. They either play very minor roles, or are only seen briefly afterwards. Only Haqua breaks out from this, as we see her again a few times and she does something with the main characters.
  • Description Cut:

Haqua: The barbarian age is over. We, the New Devils, are intellectual and rational beings.
cut
Elsie: Ah, a fire truck!! (starts fangirling)

  • Design Student's Orgasm: The OPs for both seasons feature some incredibly detailed and stylistic art.
  • Determinator: Keima has (and this is an incomplete list) jumped off buildings, been beaten up (multiple times), has taken jobs working at things he knows nothing about, entered a dojo, and even more extreme things, in order to get the SECOND most important thing in his life- the capture in Real Life. For the Gaming Capture he goes to even greater extremes- using a technique that makes him feel like he loses three years of his life for every hour that he uses it for. It's fair to say that little will stop him getting what he wants.
  • Disappeared Dad: Keima's father, who apparently spends most of his time overseas on business.
    • Well, since Elsie claimed to be his illegitimate child he's probably not coming back.
  • Damsel in Distress: How Keima!Yui captures Yui!Keima. Keima kinda Lampshades the trope too.
  • Dude in Distress: Keima, here.
  • Documentary Episode: Chapter 35 features a documentary about Keima's website.
  • Domino Revelation: Early in the series, Keima finds about New Devils and runaway spirits/loose souls. He is later told by Haqua that the loose souls are actually the souls of the Old Devils. Keima then learns that they are called Weiss and also learns of the Goddesses from Diana.
  • Double Standard:
    • Haqua vs Keima.

Haqua: Still, to threaten a demon... what a human.
Keima: To be threatened by a human... what a demon.
Haqua: SHUT UP!

    • Keima alone is a big contender: male dating sim gamers are pure, female ones are just lustful girls in search of pornographic materials.
      • Not that it's ever portrayed that way in-universe. Female dating sim gamers have never been shown in the first place. Even for Keima, him being pure is his own self-view, while everyone else thinks he's a freak.
    • In-universe example. When Yui decides to cross-dress, she becomes much more popular. When Keima does it himself, everyone thinks he's a pervert (except obviously Yui). Despite other people's judgments about him, he's still portrayed as a Wholesome Crossdresser.
  • Double Standard Abuse (Female on Male): Keima gets attacked a lot by the girls in the series. Played for Laughs, such as his first encounter with Kanon, who zaps him with a kitty stungun (which was perfectly safe for the scene) when he doesn't recognize her, and more importantly (to her anyway), doesn't care.
  • Dramatic Irony: In Volume 3's bonus material, Keima observes that the PFP's high price means it won't sell. Guess whose website's promotion ends up giving it a sales boost?
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Instory example with Shiori getting mad at Katsuragi and killing off the character based on him out of nowhere.
  • Drop What You Are Doing: Mari dropped the tray she was holding when Elsie told her that she is her husband's illegitimate daughter. In the manga the tray had some wares on it while in the anime it was empty.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Instead of getting a medal for capturing seven demonic spirits in three months, Elsie gets a two month paycut. She is awarded a different medal by her chief, but she muses that she's happy with just getting her current job... And the fact that the front was dirty was bothering her. Guess old habits die hard.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Yukie appears in one of the later first season episodes as she passes by Keima's.
    • Yokkyun makes an early appearance in the second season.
    • Tsukiyo, Minami, Airi, Reiko, Sumire with her father, Tenri, and Diana appear near the end of ep. 12 of season 2.
    • Post-capture Yui at the end song of the OVA.
  • Ear Worm: Kanon's songs in the anime.

"BANG BANG"

    • It might be a pretty serious issue if the season 1 ending song (feat. exhausted/half-insane Keima Katsuragi) got stuck in your head.
    • Bonus points for giving Kanon a whole CD of earworms. Specifically Omoi wa Rain Rain and DARLING BABY...
  • Easily Forgiven: Discussed in chapter 138.
  • Easy Amnesia: It's implied that Keima didn't remember Tenri at first because he got hit in the head while in the cave. Even if it was a decade ago, it's hard to believe that he would forget such an event by himself. Also, he was unconscious during the important parts.
  • Efficient Displacement: Do you know why you ALWAYS have to knock before entering the w.c. in a harem setting? It's because there might be a violent, flat-chested devil with her pants down. Expect to receive a Megaton Punch and fly into/through a wall if you've opened it already,
  • Elaborate University High: Maijima High School Academy has: high school building, middle school building, central building, auditorium, sports center, separate library and theater.
  • Electric Torture: What Vintage does to Haqua when they discover that she has tampered with her celestial robe's logs to cover something up.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Tsukiyo in her custom school uniform. Not as extravagant as you'd normally expect, but she qualifies.
  • Elevator School: From middle school to high school; however, you rarely get to see the kohai because the school building is separate.
  • Embarrassing Cover Up: In order to score love points with Chihiro, Keima calls her from Elsie's phone. When Chihiro asks why Elsie can't answer...
  • Emoticon: Keima has a smile emoticon on his face after he sends Nora and Haqua out in "one click".
  • Emotion Eater: The runaway spirits hide in girls' bodies to feed off of their negative emotions. The goddesses feed on love instead.
  • Empathic Environment: At least once per girl.
  • Engrish: The anime OPs.
    • Kodama-sensei uses it a fair bit too. "Nobody has keitai telephone!!"
  • Epic Fail: Trying to clean up a crumb in the second chapter and instead blasting a massive hole through the wall and destroying the house next door.
    • Later in the series, setting test notes on fire by writing too fast.
  • Every Girl Is Cuter With Hair Decs: Ayumi, Mio, Kanon, Shiori, Chihiro, Tenri, Diana, Sumire, Yui, Jun and Akari.
    • Subverted with Airi (and her grandmother, when she was Airi's age) where it contributes to their creepy look.
    • Kusunoki has those little hair loops.
    • The devil girls' skull ornaments may not be cute, but they are striking.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Shiori seems to think so. She wrote two stories so far. The first one pictured two french-named characters (Pierre and Simone respectively) as the heroes while the second one happened in XVIIIth century France.
  • Explosive Leash: Keima is stuck with this job until all spirits are captured, under threat of automatic beheading.
  • Expressive Mask: Not exactly a mask but in the anime, Elsie's skull hair dec constantly displays the emotion on Elsie's face.
  • Expy: From Classical Mythology we get the goddesses Diana, Minerva, Apollo, Mars, Mercury and Vulcan. Who aren't actually the "original" god(desses), but rather their descendants, justifying the Distaff Counterpart bit.
    • Keima looks like Austin Powers, mainly due to the way he dresses.
  • Eye Beams: Keima also shoots one out of his mouth.
  • Eyelid-Pull Taunt: Mari pulls one after a phone call from Kodama in s1 episode 8.
  • Face Fault: Done by the Keima household when Haqua tries to pull the illegitimate child gag.
  • Faceless Goons: Veils are part of the standard uniform for the public safety department. Makes it relatively easy for Haqua to smuggle herself out.
  • Faceless Masses
  • Face Palm: S1 Episode 2 of the anime gives Keima a good one. Immediately after he tells Elsie that there is no possible way he's going to let her come to his house, guess whose mom shows up, happy to see her son with a friend? *headsmack*
    • Keima also does this in chapter 1 of the manga, right after capturing Ayumi.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: Keima pretends to be Tenri's lover, and kisses her to trick Nora.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: Both manga and anime assure the audience Kanon's Stun Guns are safe.
  • Fan Service: In the anime we are often treated to fanservicey pictures after the episode.
    • The manga has its fair share, notably the furo scenes.
  • Fantastic Fighting Style: The Ancient Martial Art Kasuga-Style Life and Death Technique. Practitioners include Kusunoki and Hinoki Kasuga, their unseen father, the students at the Kasuga-dojo, and Keima... kinda.
  • Ferris Wheel Date Moment: During Elsie and Keima's 'date'. Keima being Keima, it doesn't go as planned.
  • Festival Episode: Chapter 53.
  • Field of Blades: At the beginning of chapter 17, as well as the corresponding episode 4 of the first season.
  • Filler: But on a different level... in various ways.
  • Finger-Suck Healing: Subverted in chapter 2. Elsie bites Keima's finger, sucking some of the blood, to fulfill Keima's requirement that siblings have the same blood in their bodies. Keima is freaked out.
  • First Kiss: Ayumi took Keima's first kiss (though his mother got in a good few when he was little).
    • Keima taketh Tenri's first kiss.
      • Keima's lips touched Tenri's, Diana shares the same body as Tenri. By the transitive property, Keima took Diana's first kiss.
        • Again by the transitive property, Keima took Mars' first kiss.
    • The girls Keima captured might count as well, since their gaps are filled with love, which they probably hadn't felt before... it wouldn't be too farfetched to assume that he takes their first kisses.
  • First-Name Basis: Keima mostly calls the girls by their first names. Some of the girls also call Keima by his first name (including Yokkyun).
  • Five-Man Band: The Light Music Club is a literal example, with Chihiro doing vocals/guitar, Ayumi on second guitar, Elsie on bass, Miyako on keyboards, and Yui on drums.
  • Flat Character: Invoked by Keima to explain why a group of thugs isn't dangerous. Unfortunately, he forgot that he isn't in a game...
  • Floating Continent: New Hell is laid out this way, as a number of islands floating above the surface of the old Underworld.
  • Foil: The goddesses so far have tended to act as foils for the hosts in question. The buddies and devils also tend to work like this. For example, there's clever but rude Keima matched with kind ditzy Elsie and perfectionist Haqua with slow, easy going Yukie.
  • Foot Focus: S1's main ending sequence.
  • Foreshadowing: The author has put in a lot of effort into subtly giving out clues for the goddesses and future developments.
    • In Episode 7 of Season 1, during the first song of her concert, Kanon has a flashback to her time spent with Keima which shouldn't be possible because they kissed before the concert and the loose soul was captured, therefore removing her memories of Keima. This was not in the manga. However, this is possibly the studio taking the liberty to hint at what is to come as it has been revealed in the manga that Kanon is the host of the goddess Apollo, resulting in her remembering Keima.
      • In the manga, at the end of the arc, the star analogy is prominent. Elsie comments on how brightly Kanon shines, and Keima noted that Kanon’s like a star. The anime adds on to this by having the stage design use a lot of stars. Also, another way of describing Kanon’s rise to fame is that she’s a rising star. All of this considered, Apollo’s responsible for the sun…a star.
    • In an omake, Yui comments on how a dress would be nice for her groom.
    • One omake is narrated by Tsukiyo's doll. Hilarity Ensues. Until you realize that the doll was controlled by Vulcan all along.
    • Yui's omake sketch. She's dressed like in her capture, but for her image in the lake, it's her image after. Two parts of her, shown in a reflection... Where have we seen that before?
    • In the "4 People and an Idol" OVA. Keima making a mistake on the sentence "She regained her memories".
    • There's a really subtle one for Chapter 169 that's been there ever since Chapter 3. See this bakery? Come Chapter 169, it's been revealed that the school has some connections with Demeter the goddess herself.
  • Freaky Friday Flip: Yui and Keima, the night of their second encounter in school. Although, it seems their manner of speech didn't swap. At first.
  • From a Certain Point of View: Keima attempts to wriggle out of a difficult question using this technique in chapter 139. His questioner is suspicious.
  • Full-Moon Silhouette: Keima and Tsukiyo shared a mid-air kiss at the end of the latter's arc
  • Furo Scene: Elsie in chapters 2 and 102, Tsukiyo in chapter 45, Haqua in chapters 48 and 121, Keima!Yui in chapter 83, Kusunoki in chapters 91 and 97, Hinoki in chapter 95, and Elsie and Haqua together in chapter 144.
    • Tsukiyo's bath scene is brilliant and lovely: A Milk Bath in the Clawfoot Tub and Godiva Hair, then the Milk Scoop, immediately followed by Shy Finger-Twiddling with Leg Curl while submerged at the ideal depth, and Towel Afterbath to finish the combo.
    • Mari Katsuragi indulges in one in the 8th episode of season 1.
  • Game Breaking Bug: The Asuka Sora story is about Keima trying to complete a game filled with them.
  • Gaslighting: Played with in the Tsukiyo capture. Keima uses the same technique,[8] but his goal is not to drive her mad but to break her dependence on her doll as a emotional support so he could fix the gap in her heart. He definitely is messing with her psychologically though.
  • Generic Cuteness: Some minor characters are explicitly drawn to be unattractive (though not quite Gonk level) but most minor characters, despite being stated to be rather plain because most people in the real world are rather plain, do not look that bad.
  • Genre Blind: Arguably, Keima. Although he is incredibly genre savvy when it comes to his targets, he fails to notice the obvious signs involving those girls who are developing feelings for him. It might just be from the way he ignores everything except his games, though.
    • Subverted in Elsie's case. In chapter 102-103 Keima consciously tries to avoid a romantic side-plot with her, though he may have failed... miserably.
  • Genre Savvy: Keima is a master of identifying the stereotypes embodied by his targets and the events needed to "capture" them. Hell gets a little credit, too, for picking out a Dating Sim master in the first place.
    • Indubitably the author, Tamiki Wakaki, himself. Where do you think all the allusions and Keima's Genre Savviness come from?
  • Genre Shift: The first season's OP: 0:00-0:35 is Techno, 0:35-0:58 is Pop, and 0:58-1:30, the conclusion, is Classical.
  • Gilligan Cut: From chapter 2 - Keima flat-out refuses to let Elsie come to his house. The very next scene, Mari's welcoming Elsie to the Katsuragi home.
    • Or chapter 30. "I already said I won't get involved with the 'real' any more. Especially with 'real' women who call you things like cockroach!" Keima rants. Next scene, he's sharing cleaning duties with her.
  • Girl Group: Citron before Kanon started her solo career.
  • Girl Next Door: Tenri Ayukawa, though according to Keima, NOT, since their house was placed diagonally, not next door. Which is later subverted, because she moved into the house right next door. All thanks to Elsie, who destroyed the neighbor's house with her broom.
  • Girl of the Week: Each arc, Keima must romance a new girl, who then forgets the whole thing. Though some start to remember...
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: Keima is quite fond of this.
  • Glomp: Happens a few time.
    • In FLAG 2 Elsie tried to do this to Keima after he agreed to help her (fully clothed in the manga, wearing only her Hagomoro in the anime), he dodges her.
    • Elsie practices a beautiful one in midair in FLAG 22 to Haqua.
  • Godiva Hair
  • Gonk: Airi, the freaking Creepy Child with large slitted eyes.
    • If her grandmother, who looked the same as a child, is any indication, it won't last.
    • Not quite, the gonk is someone who so far gone that it's pretty much hopeless. In Airi's case, just change her expressions and general creepiness and she'll look just fine. Essentially, it is not that far-fetched that she'll grow up to be as hot as her grandma was.
  • Good Is Dumb: Haqua releasing Fiore was a very dumb thing to do.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Diana may be a goddess, but she's blunt, rude, and selfish when it comes to restoring her power.
    • Nikaido-sensei as well, who is powerful enough to seal up a giant Runaway Spirit all by herself, but otherwise lets the other characters do all the work while she acts like a royal bitch. Partly justified in that her mission on Earth seems to be more about catching the "Vintage".
  • Evil Is Old Fashioned: In the past, Hell was run as the traditional fire & brimstone model, with demons gaining strength from the souls of evil people. Then the Noble Demon population rose up and took over, sealing away the "Old Demons".
    • Though Good Is Old-Fashioned seems to be played straight as well, as the way Hell is currently run operates in balance with Heaven and Earth as part of a giant soul-energy recycling process which gives life and energy to all three realms. When the Old Devils began corrupting mortals, it was to gain more energy for Hell at the expense of the balance. With the New Devils in power, the loss of this excess leads to an energy crisis in Hell, causing some to believe that the natural way of things doesn't work.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The primary plot device that propels the series; Keima's contract will not terminate until all runaway spirits are captured.
  • Gradual Grinder: Haqua's human partner Yukie is explained to be a positive example of this in that she works on multiple targets at once, and very slowly gets them to open up to her by visiting them daily.
  • Gratuitous English: The anime openings.
  • Greater Need Than Mine: Ayumi for Chihiro after the sick visit. Unfortunately, her Heroic Sacrifice doesn't pan out the way she imagined it.
  • Green Lantern Ring: The robes of demons can do nearly anything, from creating clothing or making adverts to seeing into the past. They're only limited by their mass.
  • Guile Hero: Keima is not a powerful champion that can force out evil spirits with bulging muscles, instead he plans out his moves way ahead and tops it off with charm he gains from his galges.
    • In a later arc, Keima admits that he cannot possibly fight Vintage and protect the goddesses and everyone else, so he plans to find the goddesses and give them power via love so they can protect themselves instead.
  • Hair Antennae: Kanon and Haqua (even as a child). Strangely enough Elsie disguised as Kanon initially lacks them, though she gets them later.
    • Keima has only one, but in his case it's not Idiot Hair, since the antenna is pointing downwards.
  • Hair Colors: Mio and Tsukiyo (blonde hair), Mari and Nanaka (orange hair), and Nora (white hair).
  • Harem Seeker: In chapter 121, Keima decides to weaponize this - though that only becomes clear in the next chapter.
  • Harsh Word Impact: A beautiful 4 hit combo string in chapter 29: Jab to the face, punch to the stomach, a surge of flames, and a morph spell to seal the deal.
  • Hates Being Touched: Keima's not an extreme example; he will allow himself to be touched if he has to, he just doesn't like it.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Keima, who likes girls just fine... as long as they're digital.
  • Hell Gate: What Vintage is planning to use to create Hell on Earth.
  • Hell on Earth: As revealed in chapter 177, Vintage's goal is to resurrect the Weiss and turn Earth into the new Hell once the goddesses are out of the way.
  • Hellish Pupils: Keima has snake eyes when he asks Elsie "did we kiss?" in chapter 109.
  • Henohenomoheji: Tsukiyo's image of Keima's face with his "sense of beauty".
  • Heroic BSOD: Sort of. After Chihiro called Keima out on his hypocrisy, he immersed himself even deeper into gaming and wouldn't even eat or talk to Elsie. He was then brought out of it half a chapter later by hunger and Ayumi.
    • In Ch. 86, he goes into full mode when he realizes that he's starting to get attracted to a boy, actually a girl in his body, when he's inside a body of a girl.
    • Chapter 102 sees Elsie hit a BSOD after thinking she messed up Hinoki's capture.
    • Haqua suffers one in episode 4 of Season 2, which the loose soul of the week takes advantage of.
    • In Chapter 167, Keima actually goes into one after coldly rejecting Chihiro and being rejected by Ayumi. A bit surprisingly, he agrees with Ayumi that "he is the worst."
  • Hey, It's That Voice!:
  • High-Pressure Emotion: In both anime and manga.
  • Hollywood Tone Deaf: As evidenced in the final episode of the First season. Keima's singing is atrocious. It's so bad it's hilarious.
  • Honor Before Reason: Despite having the girls' memories "erased", Keima still remembers and sticks to his promise to them, i.e; helping them anytime if it's possible.
    • Which might actually pay back, since some of the girls remember the capture, and even if they see him as an n-timing scumbag, he at least keeps on the promises he made. And because he has to capture girls who remember him again, this is rather important as it means there is anything good about him in their eyes.
  • Horned Humanoid: Some New Devils have horns, this denotes that they are from an old, distinguished family.
  • Hot for Student: In one arc, Keima had to court his 21-year-old teacher, who thinks him a genius but troubled kid. Then she kissed him.
  • Hot Shounen Mom: Keima's mother Mari, especially when she lets down her hair.
  • Hot Teacher: Keima's bosomy homeroom teacher Nikaido, with her tall and slender body, who always wears "revealing" clothes. Also, if you enjoy being the "bottom," you'll surely find her "hot".
    • The student teacher Jun Nagase is probably the straightest example - she made all the male students in the class Hot for Teacher.
  • Human Hummingbird
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Keima is this in universe. While the Runaway Spirit Squad's guidelines recommend letting the human partner get the spirit out, Hell really feels Elsie should be more competent.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • From chapter 69:

Keima: I don't want to turn into an undiscriminating enthusiast.
Elsie: (watches him with a stack of games) So it seems.

    • In chapter 108, Elsie protests Keima's accusation that real girls throw tantrums... by throwing a tantrum.
    • Then in chapter 112, Keima proclaims he's not emotional while throwing a tantrum of his own.
    • Chapter 168, after Diana marches an unconscious, swimsuit-wearing Tenri to a naked Keima so she could profess her love for him

Diana: Katsuragi-san, can't you be a little more delicate?
Keima: I don't want to hear that from you!

  • I Am Your Opponent: pronounced by Elsee against a school gang in chapter 18.
  • Iconic Item: A few characters have them.
    • Groups:
      • Runaway Spirit Squad: Both human and demon members have collars. The demon members have hagomoros, spirit sensors, and detention bottles. District chiefs have the arm band.
      • Vintage: Goddess sensors.
    • Individuals:
      • Elsie: Her broom from being a public service devil.
      • Keima: PFP and games with girls in general.
      • Nikaido-sensei: Her spiked collar.
      • Ayumi: Her pink hairband and track shoes.
      • Kanon: Her yellow ribbon and stun guns.
      • Shiori: Books and her hair ties.
      • Ryou (delinquent): Butterfly knife in the manga; Retractable baton in the anime.
      • Haqua: Her "Scythe of Proof/Testament" she received from graduation.
      • Chihiro: Meat buns.
      • Tsukiyo: Luna and her telescope. Pre-conquest, her carpet.
      • Tenri: Bubble wrap and her two ribbons.
      • Ryou (Nora's buddy): A rose holding his notes.
      • Airi: Her straw doll.
      • Sumire: Sweet ramen and her mother's Qipao.
      • Nanaka: Shogi set, especialy keima (the shogi piece).
      • Yui: Her drumsticks.
      • Hinoki: Her megaphone.
      • Akari: Her "perfect human" (the robot).
      • Lune: Her box cutter.
  • Idea Bulb: Whenever Elsie gets a bright idea, a new image pops up - Elsie powering a lightbulb by bicycling, firefly!Elsie, traveller!Elsie following a star, etc.
    • It all started with chapter 10's Idea Candle.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Chapters and episodes are called a "Flag", then the number, and finally words.
  • I Have the High Ground: The New Demons are quite fond of this trope.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Elsie's friend Chihiro, who is pretty much average in every way and knows it.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Despite his constantly-professed dislike of real girls, Keima uses his gaming knowledge to win them over, through varying difficulties. He even transfers (some) of his mini-game skills to real world situations.
  • Image Song: Elsie, Ayumi, Mio, Kanon, Shiori and Asuka Sora all got CDs in season 1, with Kusunoki, Haqua, Chihiro and Jun following in season 2.
    • The second season's opening is effectively Keima's Image Song.
  • Imagine Spotting: Elsie spotting Keima's grandiose fantasies.
    • Keima spots Elsie's dream of eating a plateful of fire trucks in chapter 80.
    • Haqua spots Elsie's comparison between the two of them in chapter 22.
    • Chapter 112: Keima is not best pleased to be the model for every role in Akari's Imagine Spot about the evils of human history.
  • Impossible Task: Keima and Elsie go through countless permutations of routes to capture Asuka Sora. They succeed in escaping the bug... but then run into another: Unreadable text after that point.
  • Fundamentally Female Cast: Aside from Keima, a few men occasionally make an appearance (Nora's partner, Sumire's dad, the P.E. and English teachers, Keima's grandad, etc), but they're outweighed in number and significance by the female cast.
  • Incest Subtext: Keima and Mari Katsuragi (son and mother). In chapter 109, right after asking the same question to Elsie, Keima asks Mari if they kissed before to gather samples of real-life reaction. Her response? Completely surprised at first... then she hugs Keima, saying she used to kiss him many times in the past, and asks if he wants one again.
    • It's not really incest if it's a mother giving her young son kisses on the cheek (which is probably the case for her).
  • Insane Troll Logic: Keima is one of the uncrowned kings of Insane Troll Logic, since he views all human relationships through the lens of galge logic and continually asserts that his games are more important than anything happening in the "real" world. He still manages to "capture" all of the girls, however.
  • Internal Affairs: The Public Safety Department They're in league with Vintage.
  • Invisible to Normals: A lot of what the runaway spirits do can't be seen by people apart from gods, devils, buddies and hosts. However, not everything falls under this and is a large part of Hell's job when it comes to fixing memories or just using their hagoromono. For example, Haqua scolds Elsie for making more work for her superiors because she didn't cloak herself when flying.
  • It Doesn't Mean Anything: Keima excuses himself out of his responsibility to Tenri and Diana, saying "Besides, we haven't done anything but act!"
  • It's All My Fault: Keima says this to himself immediately after failing to prevent Kanon from getting stabbed
  • It Tastes Like Hands: Averted in chapter 6. We will never know.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Chief Dokuro says this about herself, accompanied by a flashback to how she looked during the war against Old Hell. She looked like a skeleton, just taller.
  • Japanese Sibling Terminology: How Elsie and Kusunoki call their elder siblings.
  • Jaw Drop
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Whatever he may say or do to the contrary, Keima isn't completely detached from reality.
  • Jerkass Facade: Sumire's dad doesn't want his daughter to follow in his footsteps and run a failing ramen shop.
  • Joshikousei
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Happens a few times.
    • Keima and Kusunoki enters Hinoki's now corporeal gigantic form in order to find her true self and free her from the Weiss.
    • Keima mentally enters the divination world Apollo created and meets up with Apollo and Kanon.
  • Kaketama In A Bottle: No, it doesn't grant you wishes.
  • Keima Fails Logic Forever: There are numerous instances of this from Keima, mostly from being out of touch with Real Life. For some examples:

"A girl who is a member of the track-and-field club definitely must have her hair tied up!! Don't you know that the girl's soul stays in that tie which holds the hair."
"You won't be able to move if it's not a bloomer!! It's supposed to be a bloomer!!"
"...This is the standard conditions for a little sister to be called a little sister. First is Blood, a blood relationship!! It means that you two have the same blood in you!! Like a sister in law!! Like a protégé!! The weakness of these characters is that in the end they're still unrelated!! And then Memory, the memories of both of you!! It is nothing but the mass number of memories that the family has gathered!! This is the irreplaceable bond of siblings!! And most of all a heart that honors her older brother. Woni-chan moe, an extreme love for her brother!!"
"She has cat-eyes!! She has a light hair color!! You can see her forehead and her hair is in pigtails!! 99%!! She's that type of woman!!" (He turns out to be right)
"The voices of their hearts... You can always hear them!! It's right there on the screen, in the monologue."

    • In the beginning Keima didn't want to capture a real girl and tried to come up with excuses for Elsie why he "can't" do it.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Keima, usually antisocial and snarky, slowly turns into this. Though he has no choice, and his job is to make women fall in love with him, he often changes their lives for the better, in the end, even though all he needs to do is seduce them.
    • Though whether or not he's just doing this because that's what you do in dating sims, or whether he actually cares about the lives he changes, is up to you.
      • Well, he started doing captures after hearing that a Weiss reincarnates as a girl's firstborn child. Before hearing this he was still unwilling to do it.
    • On the other hand, the trope could be on the way to being inverted as of Chapter 113. Keima was a lot more cynical at the beginning.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Now have their own page.
  • Lap Pillow: Keima gets pulled into a few of these.
  • Large Ham: Keima, usually while ranting about games, or when in god mode, complete with various Milking the Giant Cow antics. And speaking of cows, Nora is quite hammy herself.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When discussing a clean floor in ch.19: "The finish is so different! It looks like how it would be in a drawing!!"
    • There's also an example early on where Keima is noting how games nowadays give you a smart sidekick with a distinct personality in order to snub the ditzy Elsie. Elsie is pleased since that fits Keima and he yells at her for thinking she's the main character. With anyone other than Keima, this would be breaking the fourth wall, but it's not.
  • Lethal Chef: Elsie. Her cooking may be normal for the Underworld, but it definitely wasn't intended for human consumption. (Her curses, on the other hand, make good curries.)
    • Sumire, meanwhile, likes making ramen with... odd ingredients, especially those that make it fatty and/or sweet.
    • Keima attempts to invoke this with Yui, hoping to convince her of his clumsiness. It doesn't quite work as expected.
  • Literal-Minded: Elsie. She reacted to the idea of destroying a household... Asking where are they literally going to start the demolition.
  • Lolicon: Averted. Despite the fact that almost all dating sims have at least one loli Keima hasn't had to capture any. The closest he's come were Minami and Akari. Minami is young but not childish and Akari is basically just short. Her arc revolves around something completely unrelated.
    • Of course, with the introduction of Minerva, things may change....
  • Loophole Abuse: Keima and Tenri.

Mari: But Tenri-chan used to live next door!
Keima: They were diagonally across, to be exact.
Mari: Wow, you're so annoying that I can't believe you're my son.

    • Also how Nora justifies leading Runaway Spirit hunts.
  • Love Confession: Both played straight and invoked.
  • Lover Tug of War: When Diana decides to have all the goddesses meet together.
  • Love Triangle/Love Dodecahedron: All the girls saved do not remember falling for Keima, but still harbor feelings for him and get quite flustered when near him. Luckily it seems we're settling on a type 3 Love Triangle between Keima (who does not like 3D girls) and Haqua and Tenri (who both like him, cannot make a confession, and dislike the rival). Elsie, who at first seemed to be the official partner, is becoming more and more Keima's kid sister, in addition to posing as his step-sister.
    • And then it is revealed in Ch. 80-81 that Diana has sisters who are Goddesses as well, and the girls with a Goddess inside do not forget their memories about Keima.
    • However, the Elsie/Haqua/Tenri situation gets a bit of a shake up following the Hinoki arc.
    • Even Diana harbors some feelings for Keima.
    • And Keima lampshades how difficult a Love Dodecahedron can be in chapter 123.
    • It Gets Worse during the goddess-searching arc. First, Kanon is revealed to have a goddess and publically confesses her love to Keima, leading Keima's other targets to conclude he's a two-timing bastard. In the course of the search, Shiori sees Yui attempt to seduce Keima, while Yui sees him with Ayumi, Chihiro and Shiori. Then Vulcan sees Keima in the middle of recapturing Shiori, and tells Tsukiyo...
    • And in the Mercury arc, Keima finds himself caught between Ayumi and Chihiro, with painful consequences for all involved.
  • Loving a Shadow: Keima is a genuine chick magnet, but for the capture targets he usually alters the personality presented to something he knows will appeal to the girl in question. For example, he acts really concerned, supportive and interested in Kanon's problems while for Sumire he acts like the ideal, polite employee. Taken to the extreme with Minami, who basically invents a personality for Keima out of nothing. Averted only with Chihiro and Nanaka, neither of whom he was actually intending to get to love him. And to be fair, it's not like he's intentionally acting, as later interactions with the girls show.
  • Lowered Recruiting Standards: How Elsie became a loose spirit hunter.
  • Luminescent Blush: And how!
  • Magic Wand: The devils on mission get equipped with one.
  • Male Gaze: In chapter 74, a panel focuses on Nora's breasts while she's talking.
  • Man, I Feel Like a Woman: Played with in FLAG.84. Keima's played so many galge that he's become unaffected by women's bodies. On the other hand, he remarks that boobs are heavy, just like in Galge. Then he reconsiders. A chapter later, it's not satisfying him anymore. In the next chapter his manner of speech is affected.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Keima reluctantly gets himself smooshed in chapter 91. Later on in chapter 109, Keima inadvertently invokes Mari's maternal love, and is embraced tightly.
  • Martial Arts Uniform: Kusunoki, her students, and Keima wear this during Kusunoki's and Hinoki's arcs.
  • Masquerade: New Hell does its best to conceal evidence of their existence, and that of the Runaway Spirits. However, Hell's power shortage makes it difficult to completely cover up major events.
  • Matchmaker Crush
    • Inverted in Chihiro's arc.
    • Invoked in the Mai High Festival Eve plot as a gambit to determine whether Mercury's host is Chihiro or Ayumi. He agrees to go to the bonfire with Chihiro and then approaches Ayumi to ask for advice, thereby allowing him to interact with both while keeping them from interfering with one another.
  • Meaningful Name: Among other interpretations, the title "The World God Only Knows" could refer to:

1: How Keima (and Elsie) is the only one who knows what happened between him and the girl he's conquering, who conveniently gets Laser-Guided Amnesia.
2: Keima's nearly-undivided attention to the Game World, at the expense of real life.

Keima: "Wah-- What's with you!! Since when were you there?!"
Elsie: "Um, around page 4."

  • Meganekko: Kanon Nakagawa, Keima's mother Mari, and the single-horned New Devil Fiore.
  • Megaton Punch: A beautiful one in chapter 108, using Georges Méliès' "A Trip to the Moon" as a visual metaphor.
    • Ayumi delivers a Megaton Kick in the first story.
    • And later, after Kanon got stabbed. Keima saw it coming a mile away after she addressed him as "Katsuragi-kun."
  • Meido:
    • Elsie ends up in a maid costume in chapters 5 and 42 (and s2 ep 9's end card).
    • Keima champions the virtues of robot maids during the Akari arc.
    • Ayumi enters the Mai High beauty competition dressed as one.
  • Miko: According to the footage in Chronos Camera's documentary, the USA has become so obsessed with gal games that the Statue of Liberty dons a miko outfit.
  • Mind Rape: Nora tries this to Keima. Everything she does just makes Keima... explode.
  • Mock Millionaire: Mio acts incredibly rich, because at one point she was, until her father died, leaving her poor. This is not very good for her financial, or emotional, well being.
  • Mood Whiplash: Chapter 121: "We are not alone. Kanon is upstairs."
    • On a similar note, chapter 122b.
    • In Chapter 156, the scene switches immediately from Haqua getting tazed with dark magic by people who say they'll interrogate her by any means necessary to Ryou being fascinated by a naked Fiore in a jar.
  • My Name Is Fiore of Vintage: rare villainous instance of this trope.
  • Mythology Gag: In s1 episode 10, a member of the library staff is called Wakaki.
    • Three delinquents from a previous manga by Tamiki Wakaki, Seikesshou Albatross, occasionally make cameos.
    • Akari's dishevelled look and backpack come from Asakura, the main female character of Seikesshou Albatross.
  • Ninja Log: Elsie, of all people, pulls this during s2 episode 4. In addition, Keima pulls this during s2 episode 11 (and less obviously in the original manga).
  • No Export for You: The light novels. The first one has two exclusive capture targets: Tooru Amami and Asami Yoshino.
  • Noble Demon: Though they like to keep some of the trappings of demonic villainy, Hell is pretty much entirely run by these guys having seized control of Hell from more old-school demons in a coup some time ago.
  • Nobody Poops: Sadly averted. Keima decides to spend his last day of summer playing videogames all day long, and so goes to use the bathroom early on... only to find Haqua in there. Keima simply scolds himself for not having realised and walks away calmly while Haqua decides to beat his face in with her scythe!

Haqua: BAKA!BAKA!BAKA!BAKA!

  • No Guy Wants to Be Chased: Invoked by Keima whenever a loose soul target makes the first move, such as Kanon or Nagase-sensei.
  • Not a Date: Thanks to Keima's incurable blindness, or defense mechanism, we have whole new variants.
    • To elaborate: he was manipulated, and then punished, into the date with two, or three depending on how one looks at it, different girls at the same time.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: As a Running Gag, Keima is rarely if ever bothered by what he sees, much to Haqua's dismay.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Used when Haqua and Keima get into an argument about who clung to whom in the theater for her visual report. The two of them fight using the microphone to revise it until it breaks, leaving a perverted iteration of the event on display. Elsie is not happy she was alone while the two of them were apparently doing This and That.
    • Used again when Tenri sees Haqua "mounted" on Keima. Diana swaps over with Tenri and begins to punish him for cheating on Tenri.
    • Yui, a true ojou-sama.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: The conclusion of the Goddess Arc. To articulate, Hell's terrorists tried to overtake Earth. Six of the girls in the story not only remember their time with Keima but now know of each other and the Goddesses they host. Chihiro, though not remembering her conquest, knows of the truth about the girls after having her heart broken by Keima in order to protect her. And lastly, Keima cries alone as he apologies to Chihiro for leading her on and the breaking her heart so fiercely.
  • Oblivious to Love: Unbeknownst to Keima Katsuragi, he is the subject of numerous unrequited crushes.
  • Ocular Gushers: Chapter 78: Not the "spraying" type, but Keima bawled enough to form a small pond when he lost to Diana in Shogi despite intending to win.
    • Elsie may not cry rivers, but she tends to get teary a LOT.
  • Odd-Shaped Panel: Chapter 149 has two pages with the panels laid out in the form of books.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Another of Keima's talents. Seen here.
  • Oh Crap: The look on Keima's face when Ayumi refers to him with an honorific makes it clear he knows a Megaton Kick is coming.
  • Omake: Chapter 94, "Kokkuri 2".
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. There are two "Ryou"s; one is a delinquent while the other is Nora's buddy.
  • Panty Shot: Surprisingly rare for a Harem series, but there are a few.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Elsea does this in chapter 158, during a situation where Keima could really use an ally.
  • Personal Raincloud: Kanon has one as a stage prop in chapter 8 (and in s1 episode 5).
  • Personality Powers: Each girl who harbors a spirit also tends to acquire an unconscious power to match, like an idol afraid of being ignored turning invisible or a school librarian being able to read and memorize every book in the library.
  • Poke the Poodle: Elsie just really isn't all that good at being a demon, and her attempts at being evil usually just end up being funny or adorable.
  • Power Glows: Otoshi-kami Mode Activate!!
  • Power Gives You Wings: The Goddesses.
  • Princess Curls: Tsukiyo. Also Lime (one of Kanon's ex-bandmates in Citron), who has a truly impressive pair of drill-curls.
  • Pro Wrestling Episode: "There's Always a Sun in Your Heart"
  • Proud to Be a Geek: Keima has explained, several times, that he is perfectly happy to be a Dating Sim otaku, and tends to get angry at anyone who would suggest otherwise.
  • Punny Name: The band 2-B Pencils, the initial members are from class 2-B and 2B is a grade of pencil. "Pencils" is pronounced as "enpitsu" in Japaness which sounds like "NPC", so the band could be called "to be NPCs".
  • Put on a Bus: Elsie for Kanon's second arc, for at least 40 chapters. Though she has appeared in a few chapters, she's been effectively written out of the plot and won't likely return until the arc comes to a conclusion.
  • Rashomon Style: Chapters 11 and 12 use a variant. Chapter 11 follows a day in Elsie's life, then chapter 12 follows the same day in Keima's life. Neither sees the whole of what's going on, but the audience does. S1 Episode 8 of the anime not only corresponds with this storyline, but expands on it with short segments focusing on the perspective of Mari Katsuragi, the dragon Elsie accidentally unleashed, and even the Bento monster.
  • Reality Ensues: Turns out that an idol passionately declaring her love for you has negative social consequences. Unlike in the world of games. Also, setting up a perfect plan to date 5 girls at the same day doesn't work well in real life.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: The theme of the series. Applying Fridge Logic from video games actually works most of the time, due to how closely related the games and Real Life are.
  • Real Men Hate Sugar: At least if Keima is to be believed after Elsie tried to bake him a cake.
  • Really Three Hundred Years Old: Elsie and Haqua, but their bodies are underdeveloped. Nora's ten years older, but she's fully developed.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Played with. Kodama lets his students follow their (bizarre) hobbies if they get 100% on tests. He's fair, his challenge is possible, and it still makes the kids get an education... but the only reason he was so happy and actually let the students make their clubs was that that Keima finally didn't get a 100%. He has Keima's less-than-perfect test framed and hung on the wall.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Keima gets these in the first anime trailer.
  • Reference Overdosed
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: During Mio's Arc, the outside bakery is called "DEMETER MAIJIMA", named after Demeter the Greek goddess.
    • And now this comes back in Chapter 169, when it's revealed that the entire Maijima High has a connection to the goddess Demeter.
    • In FLAG 35, the documentary show Mari and Elsie are watching is called "The Awakening of Chronos", named after Chronos the Greek Prôtogenos god and personification of time.
    • The goddesses, the Jupiter sisters, are named after their predecessor relatives from the Roman Pantheon who are also half of the members of the Dii Consentes.
  • Remembered I Could Fly: After a fruitless search for an invisible Kanon, Elsie remembers she can track her through the spirit sensor. An irritated Keima points out she should have remembered that earlier.
  • Right Behind Me: Often done without the lampshading.
    • When one of Keima's plans gets overheard. "So... You have been deceiving me all along."
    • Variant in chapter 81: Elsie tells Keima the truth behind Yui's departure from the Wind Instrument Music Club - much to Yui's discomfort, as she'd just stopped to pick up something she'd dropped.
    • Shiori gets a very good look at Keima in girls' clothes.
    • Ayumi also watches the moment Keima dumped Chihiro. Needless to say, she's not happy.
  • Running Gag:
  • Sacred First Kiss: Played straight... twice.
    • Keima refuses Diana's suggestion to wed Tenri and adds that it was all an act.

Diana: A kiss is something... that is done only with the person you spend the rest of your life with. I'll make you take responsibility for it![9]

    • Upon learning that Keima courts other girls to make them fall in love with him...and that it all finishes with a kiss.

Diana: ...Tenri, you dummy... Why did you kiss that guy... It was also... my first...

  • Saw It In A Game Once
  • Say It with Hearts: Beautiful instance here. Indeed, she can't get inside if he stays in the doorway.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: In the anime Keima's mum gets these when she's about to flip out.
  • School Uniforms Are the New Black: The Maijima High School uniform has a high-class flair to it. Quite reasonable given that the whole school underwent a complete overhaul around 10 years ago and that it used to be an all-girls school. On the other hand, the Misato East High School's uniform is the good ol' fashioned Sailor Fuku.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The old devils, the former rulers of Hell, were sealed away; now that they've managed to break free, they must be recaptured... using cans (jars to be exact, but still played pretty literal).
  • Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can: Spirits and Goddesses.
  • Second Year Protagonist: The associated dynamics play a role in some captures.
  • Security Blanket: Elsie's broom is this for her.
  • Security Cling: Some of the girls did this with Keima: notably Kanon,[10][11] Shiori,[12] Haqua,[13][14]
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • "Such easygoing romance events just lower the level of the product," remarks Keima before he opens the second bathroom door — exposing nude Kusunoki with a towel.
    • "Again? Now is not the time for events with erotic scenes!!" Keima comments, opening the bathroom door again to reveal a bathing Kusunoki.
  • Sempai-Kohai: Conceptualized between Keima & Minami.
    • Also the relationship between Nikaido and Jun Nagase.
    • Kusunoki and Keima.
      • And Hinoki and Keima.
    • Haqua objects to Nora's bringing this out of school.
    • Ayumi has some hostile sempais in the track and field club, who apparently bring back bad memories of Elsie's sempais in Hell.
  • Serial Escalation: Helps that they reference the former Trope Namer in the first anime episode to make a point across. This should tell you something.
  • Serious Business: Keima's inner argument about what should be in the ideal galge. It went from simple suggestions flowing through his head, to a riot breaking out in front of the Capitol Building as the Ruling Party and the Opposition, up to an interstellar war just from his inner debate on what the galge should be like.
    • The chapter about the bugged gal game also fits. In fact, all aspects of gal games are serious business to Keima, and even represent truth.
    • Keima's inner argument returns to determine how to prioritize the Gal Games. From a parent spending QT with his children, to a live broadcast of the political debate in the National Diet of Japan to set what will be Priority A, then to a coup d’état with a new, extreme ideology... It all ends humorously.
    • When the sports festival comes round, Nikaido and Kodama start acting like it's life-or-death, much to their students' confusion. Turns out they had a bet on.
    • Shogi. Turns out it can be as intense as a game of tennis in Prince of Tennis.
  • Six Deadly Sins: The "Six Great Sins of a Heroine". Things that reduce game heroine "value", for Keima: Gluttony, Adultery (Lust), Wrath, Greed, Pride, and Sloth. Apparently, mean green jealousy (Envy) is an exception... in the games.
  • Ship Tease: Chapters 11, 12, 102 and 103 all tease Elsie with Keima quite strongly.
    • Multiple girls get teased with Keima; if we discount the times where he is actually trying to capture girls, Haqua and Tenri/Diana are the biggest offenders. Chihiro has been grinding too: apparently she's the only one who can lay Keima so low with just a few words. Ayumi has been getting moments as well, including the first 'Real' Flag that Keima has noticed, or at least pointed out. On the other hand, the ship-teasing is also used to hint at the presence of goddesses within capture targets, which muddies the waters.
    • Chapters 105-106 can be considered REVERSE ship tease if you look at it this way. Keima's date with Haqua and Tenri/Diana is completely wrecked and he tries to get it over with as fast as possible. Compare it to the one in the previous chapter where he goes on the date to cheer up Elsie and actually tries to make her feel better (despite ruining any romantic interaction Elsie wanted), which goes MUCH better. He DID say Elsie was the only one he could put up with.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Played straight, though justified, with Elsea. She's absent during much of the Re-Conquest arc's events, but that's because she's doing her own part to keep things running smoothly.
  • Shout Outs: Have their own page...
  • Shrinking Violet: Shiori and Tenri.
  • Single-Issue Psychology: The "gaps of the heart" Keima's supposed to fill with love are usually pretty singular neuroses, but it's justified in that the gaps are only such a huge issue because of the spirit inside of them, which exaggerates that gap to take over the person.
  • Sitting on the Roof: Tsundere Haqua, after unintentionally exposing herself to Keima in the bathtub.
  • Sliding Scale of Adaptation Modification: For the anime, it achieves the perfect Pragmatic Adaptation rating.
  • Slipknot Ponytail: Happens to Elsie in chapter 26.
  • Smooch of Victory: The entire point is for Keima to get the girl to kiss him to get rid of spirits, although it isn't the only way. Also, Hinoki makes out with Keima after her spirit is already gone, much to everyone's - especially Keima's - terror.
  • Spam Attack: Chapter 83's Okaa-sama Gatling!
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Haqua is the official spelling of her name according to Wakaki-sensei, and Elsie is the official spelling of Elsea de lute Irma's nickname. Variations like Hakua and Elsee are not uncommon.
  • Spit Take: A spectacular example from Haqua in chapter 48.
  • Spock Speak: Keima's way of speaking in more or less only gal game terms can confuse pretty much anyone who is not very used to his speech patterns or doesn't know gal games well. This scene happens after Keima says that he wants to cheer Elsie up in his own way.
  • Spoiled Brat: Unarguably, Keima Katsuragi. He has 6 LCD TVs, 6+ home videogame consoles, 10+ portable PFPs, and a collection of gal games... in his own personal game library. And where does this all come from? Well, the "M funds". Also, the restaurant where he buys burgers in chapter 96 actually exists. And surprisingly, it's called "Fatburger". Now, from the information collected in the chapter, we can calculate how much he spent from his allowance (depending on which size he bought).

If small (Baby Fat): $2.99 X 250 = $745.5 USD
If medium (Fatburger): $4.49 x 250 = $1122.5 USD

  • Spoiler Title: Chapter 116: "The Sun Goes Down".
  • Stealth Pun: The Captured Girls Extreme Database lists the 14 girls Keima has captured as the suite of hearts. In other words, they are Keima's suite[15] hearts.
  • Stern Teacher: Nikaidou-sensei, Nagase-sensei's senior.
  • Stoic Spectacles: Keima's preferred look.
  • Super-Deformed: Chapter 17's micro-chibi Keima!
  • Supreme Chef: Keima, at least when it comes to Coffee. People who drink it say all other coffee is like mud in comparison.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Despite encoutering people able to read a whole library, centennial devils who aced their exams and goddesses who are at least several milleniums old, Keima is never challenged intellectually. Even worse, despite seeing forthright his tricks and manipulations, some girls are still falling for him, even when it's obvious he's putting up a persona to please them.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Many of them, courtesy of Haqua, but this one stands out:

Elsie: Maybe you're mistaking him with somebody else?
Kanon: Mistaking with...
Elsie: Y-Yeah. It must all be some kind of mistake. All the meeting and talking... And kissing!

  • Swallowed Whole -> Journey to the Center of the Mind -> Battle in the Center of the Mind: In order to rescue Hinoki, Keima wraps Kusunoki with the hagoromo as a capsule, saying to Hinoki that it's a cure to make her smaller again (when asked what it actually is, he says it's a medicine for constipation) and tricks her into swallowing them. Then, it is revealed that they're actually inside Hinoki's runaway spirit, and they venture into the darkness to find Hinoki.
  • Tanabata: The 58th Annual Maijima Shrine Tanabata Festival.
  • Tempting Fate: Chapter 28 has a notable example. Keima rants "That real girl! There is absolutely no way I would even be concerned about her!" Cue Elsie's spirit sensor going off.
    • Chapter 154, when Ayumi is at his house while he's sick:

Keima: (thinking) A visiting event is a treasure trove of plus routes. No matter how you stumble about, there's no way to fail! Right here, in one go... I will max out Ayumi's love points! *cue doorbell*

  • The Glasses Come Off: Kanon's appearance is rather plain... until the glasses come off.
    • When Keima's mom takes off her glasses, however... run.
  • The Load: Haqua's partner, who's only captured one spirit over a long period of time. Until it is shown to us that she knows the locations of many more and has set up a routine to familiarize herself with the targets and befriend them. She's not useless, rather opting for the slow and steady approach.
  • The Mirror Shows Your Goddess
  • The Power of Love: It seals the deal in the whole ordeal. By making girls fall in love with him, Keima can then drive evil spirits out of their hearts.
    • It is also revealed that the goddess Diana is powered by her host Tenri's love. Played with when Keima asks how she is not embarrassed to admit this.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Haqua delivers one to Keima for all of his manipulations. Subverted though, in that she didn't actually mean what she was saying.
  • The Remnant: Vintage. It's revealed that the remnants are actually rooted deeply in New Hell, and that a Chief of the Runaway Squad is a member, as well as many others. Although the Chief is still on Haqua's side, helping her run away and all...
  • The Stinger: The end of s2 episode 2.
  • The Stool Pigeon: It was Haqua's friend, Shari, who sold her out to Vintage. While she may not have known exactly what they were up to, she was aware that Vintage wanted to replace a local district chief with one of their own agents and directed their attention towards Haqua, thereby protecting her own position and avoiding Vintage's wrath. It is unclear how much she regrets this, but her face does have shades of My God, What Have I Done?.
  • The Sweat Drop
  • That Poor Plant: In FLAG 158, while the goddesses argue over Keima a plant in the room is clipped.
  • Terrible Artist: When Keima tries drawing something, this is how it comes out. It may run in the family; his grandfather's attempt at a picture of one of Keima's dating sim heroines is just as bad.
  • Theme Naming: Be it their first name or last name, or both.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: Abused to no end in S2, where it feels like one of Kanon's songs will play in the background every other episode (in a shop, on TV, at a pro-wrestling event...)
  • Theme Twin Naming: Kusunoki and Hinoki.
  • Third Law of Gender Bending: Averted at the beginning, then played straight...
  • Those Two Girls: the girls that are with Minami.
  • Throwing Off the Disability: Ayumi, after Keima deduces her leg isn't really sprained.
  • Title Drop: Keima in s1 episode 12.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Keima to Chihiro. After it's revealed that Chihiro doesn't remember her conquest. Keima tries to sever ties with her to begin with Ayumi. He even makes her cry after she told him that she liked him even before the conquest. It could be argued he's doing this to protect her from Vintage, though this isn't confirmed. Unfortunately, unknown to him Ayumi (who tried to set them up) was watching.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The 2nd anime PV reveals which girls Keima will be capturing...and kissing!
  • Tranquil Fury: Chapter 119 provides us with one example and a half (the other half is pure fury).
  • Trauma Conga Line: Haqua goes through one, brought about by her being Stupidly Honest.
    • To start, she was caught by Fiore because she let her out of her jar, after Keima and Nora warned her not to.
    • After she had to be saved twice, they tell her to keep quiet but she disobeys. The actual reason turns out to be unrelated, but as far as she is aware, this gets herself humiliated, tortured, fired, and nearly mind wiped, at which point she had to be saved, and smuggled back to the human world as a criminal. Break the Cutie is the result, until Dokuro's parting words give her hope. If this were a darker series, she'd be Too Dumb to Live after all the warnings she received.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: Keima is known to do this often; most of them are game-related.
  • Tsundere: Let's see.... We have Keima himself, Ayumi, Mio, Kusunoki, Chihiro, Tsukiyo, Diana, Haqua.... we can say that roughly half of the cast has had their moment.
  • Twelve-Episode Anime: Seasons 1 and 2.
  • Two-Person Love Triangle: A weird take on the theme, since it's a full-fledged type 3 Love Triangle as well. It seems Diana is starting to feel something for Keima. Whether this is because she shares Tenri's body or not isn't clear yet. However they are both very timid with their own feelings and Keima is... well, Keima.
    • And this, by the way, makes two different type 3 love triangles with just three people total. Yes, I know it's mathematically impossible. But Keima is a cheater.
    • Furthermore, we have Keima and Yui managing a two person love quadrangle without Sharing a Body with anyone, with added Screw Yourself thrown in for good measure without actual duplicates.
  • Uncanny Valley: The Akari arc, about a girl trying to make a robot human, deals with this In-Universe. Keima gives the robot a face and everyone loves it. Akari gives it a plastic human head from the anatomy lab and everyone freaks out.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend/Victorious Childhood Friend: Tenri, to an extent. Unlike all the girls before her, her memory is not revised after their (staged) kiss, and she even continues to be involved in the main plot.
    • The situation with her is still evolving, you might want to check again/edit in a few months.
  • Unusual Euphemism: "Forced Development Technique"
  • Unwanted Harem: In this case, it's unwanted by both sides: Keima doesn't like 3D girls, the girls themselves are very embarrassed suddenly being attracted to him. The study-group episode kinda lampshaded it.
  • Vapor Wear: The Kasuga sisters play this trope with valid excuses.
  • Visible Sigh
  • Visible Silence: Shiori, so, so much.
  • Visual Pun: Brands (burando) / swings (buranko) in chapter 42.

Keima: Thou'est dost not knoweth brands shall not handle thy games.
Elsie: I, I know what brands are! I saw them yesterday too!
*Cue Elsie playing on the swings*

  • Voice of the Legion: "Can't catch me"
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: Keima gives one to Ayumi to capture her again.
  • Wager Slave: See under "Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?," above.
  • Webcomic Time: The manga takes six months to cover three days in-universe - which gets a Lampshade Hanging in chapter 137b.
  • Wham Chapter: Chapter 174. Lune has assembled a team to capture one of the Goddesses hosts during the Mai High Festival. However, she doesn't know who that girl is. The solution? Order her minions to capture all of the girls Keima's conquered before at the festival!
  • Wham! Line: Chihiro's last line to Keima in chapter 155. "I like you."
    • The previous line is overshadowed in WHAM-ness in the very next chapter.

' Ayumi': I heard you.

    • Also in 165...

Chihiro: Please be gentle. It's my first time.

    • Chihiro just seems to be a machine for these. As seen in Chapter 181.

Chihiro: Ayumi, did you know? Katsuragi is a lying bastard!

  • What Could Have Been: There was a one-shot before the series proper began with a number of differences, including no contract, no memory wipe, a seven day time limit on the catch, a more mature design for Elsie, Keima acting and looking more like your average Nerd and less like a Manipulative Bastard and his last name being Imai.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: CAPTURING GOD MODE! Playing 6 dating sims at once.
    • Keima's dilemma on how many heroines a gal game should have is depicted as... first a large-scale debate on political reform, and then a full-scale war between "Solo-Heroine" and "Multi-Heroine" armies.
    • Keima's "Testament" after realizing that he's been turning feminine after the mind-swap.
    • The shogi game against Diana, with sparkling auras, dragons and finishing moves.
    • The baseball game in s2 episode 3.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Heinous?: Elsie uses her demon powers to skip class so she can bake a cake, commenting that she is a bad demon after all.
  • What Would Kami Sama Do?: Elsie in chapter 26.
  • Who Writes This Crap?: Keima on Diana's story in chapter 80: "The plot gets worse the more I hear about it. Coming to me to force a discussion about this? No-one would buy a game with such a poor, cliched setting."
  • Whole-Episode Flashback: Chapters 62-63, recounting how Keima and Tenri first met.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Keima, for the sake of capturing Yui.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Haqua, until the Trauma Conga Line.
  • Wingding Eyes: Keima and Elsie get the Hearts version whenever they... ship their respective cargo. They also get Spirals and Starbursts at various points.
  • Wingdinglish: New Hell's "Hellian" and the language of Heaven the goddesses speak have a similar "alphabet", whether or not they are pronounced the same is unknown. The "alphabet" is similar to the English alphabet. For example, most of the vowels in the "alphabet" Hell and Heaven uses are turned about: "A" and "U" are upside-down; "E" is rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise; "I" has a swirl on top; "O" has a small "o" within it. Most of the words written and/or spoken using that "alphabet" can form English words if one takes time to decipher it. When Apollo made the message in the sky when she was stabbed by Fiore, it was written using the "alphabet" but she used Japanese words.
  • Winged Humanoid: Appears when a girl hosting a goddess love Keima strong enough. The goddess must be supportive though.Other than that, they have no use. Yet.
    • As of chapter 187, Diana has used her wings to fly, whisking the newly-awakened Mercury out of Keima's to fight Vintage.
  • Wistful Amnesia: The girls lose their original memories of Keima after being exorcised... yet tend to blush or react in a similar fashion when they next see Keima, even though they don't know why. It turns out that the girls' memories are sloppily revised with Fake Memories by the Hades Government.
  • Woman Scorned: Keima's mother is really scary when she's pissed off. It doesn't help any that Elsie's cover story is that she's Keima's illegitimate half-sister.

Haqua: One second, Katsuragi. What's the meaning of this... You ignore me while I was nude, but you're interested in Nora!?
Keima: Come again?
Cue severe beating and lots of Baka.

    • Also Nora. Good Lord, Nora.
    • Keima starts using this tactic as of chapter 119 to locate goddess candidates among his capture targets, including Ayumi, who called him Katsuragi-kun right before shooting him off like a missile, and Chihiro, who dumped her coffee on him.
    • Chihiro seems to have become this as evidenced in Chapter 181, but it was her way of removing herself from the love triangle.
  • Working Through the Cold: Keima had to do this trying to determine whether it was Ayumi or Chihiro who had Mercury. Unfortunately it did not go as well as he would have wanted it.
  • Write What You Know: Done with the manga itself (the mangaka was a gamer) and in-universe with Shiori, who is encouraged to do this by Keima.
  • Written Sound Effect: There are a bunch of these in the anime for added humor.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Keima on occasions. Well, not all girls are like they are in the Dating Sim....
  • Xanatos Gambit: Goido Yui Arc: Keima, despite slowly turning feminine to the point of getting into Otome Games,[16] turned it around to his favor by gleaning a heroine's point of view from them, which is exactly what he'd been in need of. It then backfired because now Yui is trying to capture him. She might have a different reason for him than the one Keima (and readers, by extension) sees, but considering the yonkoma, it's very possible that she simply wants Keima to be her bride. Turns out that pretty much was the case.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Keima is definitely a master of this, becoming obvious during the latest Goddess Arc. He is able to turn any situation that goes against him, such as rumors of him dating Kanon to his advantage, as with Kanon, he used it to say that the rumors were false, and that he only loved the girl that he was talking to at that moment.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Yui Goido, although she wants to break free. Post-exorcism, she does - by dressing in boys' clothes.
  • Yandere: Kanon has hints of this during her capture. Notably, she tasers Keima for his lack of interest.
  • Years Too Early:
    • Elsie thinks she has a leverage with her age; she's wrong.

Elsie: Kami-nii-sama is too cold to me!! I'm 300 years older than you, you know!!
Keima: What's with that? I have lived for 10,000 years. In the games.

    • Keima uses it straight when challenging Nanaka:

Keima: It's 100 years too early for you to challenge Master Tenri! First you must duel her student, me!

    • From the members of Kusunoki's dojo: "Hey, you're 100 years too early to ask Toushu [Kusunoki] for a favor!!"
  • Yonkoma: Each volume of the manga has them as an added bonus; their canonicity to the manga's storyline is in debate.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair:
    • Mostly averted; even the devils tend to have natural colours. Keima lampshades it while ranting that his school is not like in a game, and you only get one hair colour.
    • Exceptions are: Kanon (pink hair), Haqua (purple hair), and Nora (teal hair).
    • Aoba Fuse (from the light novels) is shown to have blue hair.
  • You Meddling Kids: Subverted in Chapter 101. The Meganekko New Devil Fiore questions how the Runaway Spirit Squad foiled her attempt to resurrect a spirit, asking "Why are these kids hindering my plan...?" What she doesn't know is that they weren't the ones to capture the spirit...
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle:
    • Keima and Co. succeed in their goal of the Goddess Arc, but Apollo protected herself from Vintage's spell by essentially putting herself into magical stasis, and now they need to find Mercury to break that spell.
    • And then Keima tries to see whether Ayumi or Chihiro has the last goddess. He tries first with Chihiro, only to learn she doesn't have the goddess, while shortly after we see Ayumi conversing with the last goddess.
  • You've Played Too Many Video Games: said by Haqua in chapter 121.
  • Zettai Ryouiki:
    • Most notable Grade A user is Haqua, with her tight stockings and Tsundere attribute!
    • When the girls dress up Elsie for her "date" with Keima she gains this: grade A to B.
  1. While the mentioned company handles gal games in the chapter's context, Level-5 doesn't seem to have a single Dating Sim in its production history.
  2. in logo style
  3. All three are Ojous.
  4. She is from the 1st Light Novel
  5. She is from the 2nd Light Novel
  6. The back of her head
  7. At the time, Haqua is taking Elsie's place as the latter is filling in for Kanon. Keima said the line to get back at Haqua for making fun of him.
  8. altering her environment without her knowledge and denying it
  9. As in, you'll marry Tenri...and me! (Transitive property at work)
  10. (manga FLAG 10) At the day of her concert, still feeling inadequate of her own abilities, she rammed and glomped him
  11. In FLAG 115, still afraid from being almost shot last night, she saw a hooded figure and clinged to him wanting someone to rely on
  12. At the end of her arc, she glomped Keima when the lights went out
  13. (manga FLAG 24) She glomped Keima when she heard a noise
  14. In FLAG 125, Keima did a Cry Into Chest to her after she saved him from being seduced by Yui by kicking him in the face
  15. sweet
  16. Like Bishojo Games, but with boys; for female players instead.