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general information

In the world of Loveless, everybody is born with cat ears and a tail, which are shed after they have engaged in some form of sexual intercourse, thereby making the ears and tail a metaphor for virginity. Even though they have cat ears, they also have a pair of normal ears as well. This becomes a telltale sign about the love lives of various characters, such as the twenty-three year-old teacher, Shinonome Hitomi, who still retains her cat features.

The fighting style in the series is also unique; fighting can only occur between couples (with a few exceptions), where one is the Sacrifice, who receives all damage, and the other is the fighter, who attempts to attack the enemy couple. The pairing system is used by the author to add romance between the two people in each couple. The special kind of battle used in Loveless is called a spell battle, since attack and defense mechanisms are activated by pronouncing certain words -- spell words -- which have a special ability or meaning in battle context. Fighters and sacrifices are united by their names which are given to them beyond their control, possibly before birth. A few examples of pairing names include "Beloved", "Loveless", "Breathless", "Sleepless", and "Zero". Those who go against their name to battle alongside a person of a different name suffer ridicule from other teams, also both Fighter AND Sacrifice will suffer damage if there is no connection between the two. It is suggested that people are born in pairings and that they don't form a pairing until after they meet, therefore the naming system; the bond between two persons is something that is decided for them before they have the ability to make a different choice. This seems to be a type of caste.