Created By: ZakamuttNovember 30, 2012 Last Edited By: ozanielDecember 26, 2012
Nuked

Nakige

A game designed to make you cry that still has a happy ending.

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Trope
Nakige is a Japanese portmanteau for "crying game", applied to VisualNovels. Usually, these games consist of a lighthearted half to start with, followed by a romantic middle, then introduce drama designed to make you cry in the second half, and eventually reach a happy ending (generally ending up with a girl of your choice). Quite a few have been adapted into Anime series or movies.

Nakige are often populated by Bishoujo-style characters and aimed squarely at a Seinen audience. Being VisualNovels, they often contain quite a bit of the erotic content that comes with the territory. Especially successful games, however, are often released with their explicit content cut; some games, such as CLANNAD, never had any to begin with.

While there were predecessors, the genre's breakout hit was Kanon, by Key Visual Arts.

Examples

  • Many of KEY's works are nakige:
  • Symphonic Rain, a musically-themed novel with a built-in Rhythm Game.
  • Katawa Shoujo, a known for being one of the few novels respected by the vn community originally written in English. Somewhat controversial, as every love interest (and the main character) is disabled, and for having an Intentionally Awkward Title.
Community Feedback Replies: 16
  • November 30, 2012
    Zakamutt
    Note that many examples on the Utsuge page are actually considered Nakige. The discussion on that page indicated that someone is willing to make a page, but no-one did. So I did!
  • November 30, 2012
    gamerex27
    The MOTHER games. Also, pretty much every Pixar movie ever.
  • November 30, 2012
    Zakamutt
    I don't think this needs a better name; it's a specifically Japanese phenomenon. Perhaps we should just restrict it to only Visual Novels, as well - is there some supertrope for depressing games?
  • November 30, 2012
    Desertopa
    My understanding is that that the term in Japanese is used exclusively in reference to visual novels, although it's possible I'm mistaken about that. However, it definitely applies only to games; the "ge" suffix, eg. "eroge," "utsuge," "nakige," etc. is short for "game."
  • November 30, 2012
    MorganWick
    Another Japanese trope name, and another trope whose proponent thinks is more medium- or genre-specific than it is. Tell me how this is more specific than "Tear Jerker with a happy ending" and I won't add "Too many Chick Flicks to count" to the example list.
  • November 30, 2012
    shimaspawn
    <Mod Hat>

    You can not launch this trope with this title. Pick something in English.
  • November 30, 2012
    Zakamutt
    To Morgan Wick: It certainly seems to be a special term in the vn community, and does have a special formula associated with it. Is there a super trope somewhere where we can insert this information, if it's not worth its own trope page?

    To shima: Well, in that case Utsuge needs a rename or delete too. Given that the current article is somewhat misleading, I won't be incredibly sad to see it go.

    As for a better title in case the narrow scope is accepted, it's a bit difficult - just "Crying Game" is too wide, and "Visual Novel Fairly Formulaic Crying Game" doesn't quite roll off the tongue. Well, it's not impossible for someone else to come up with something, I guess.

    --

    Edit: There's a minor mention on the Melodrama page, actually. It links to Utsuge, though. If this trope launch falls through, I guess a small edit to that page would be enough.
  • December 1, 2012
    MorganWick
    What parts of the formula are important, though? If it's just a particular kind of plot arc, it's not specific to Visual Novels. If it has to follow an incredibly specific template, or is in some way rooted in the form of the VN or in some quirks of Japanese culture, I might support it as a medium- or country-specific trope.

    Even if Utsuge needs a change, it's not going to get one anytime soon as long as the Trope Repair Shop is horribly backlogged.
  • December 9, 2012
    ozaniel
    I understand that the ending is important, a nakige makes you happy in the end but an utsuge will make you only depressed. Nakiges are following a specific template, it starts lighthearted and you don't know your romance interests except for (usually) the childhood friend.

    Then comes the romantic middle part, this part starts normally when you enter a girl's route and you start going out with her. In this part you will get to know her even more and the first sex scene usually happens there if it has such scenes. This part usually makes you feel good. Small conflicts may also happen in this period.

    Then an event usually starts the drama part of the game. At this point, you usually care a lot about the characters and dramatic events of the story makes you cry. The drama part usually comes from an illness, a death or a forced separation.

    In the end the problem is solved and everything is back to normal. I think this is the part that separates Nakige from Utsuge, Nakige doesn't make the player depressed. I always thought Utsuge and Nakige were the same thing till seeing this YKTTW.
  • December 26, 2012
    Zakamutt
    I guess I've really let this one die for a bit. Anyway, given that it actually is a specific form of plot arc, would it be tropable under a significantly broader scope? I started reading through Romance Arc plots, but couldn't quite find it. I guess maybe I should start a new YKTTW, but at the moment I still feel the concept is pretty hard to really pin down.

    The Wikipedia definition of "The developers at Tactics created a simple formula for a game: a comedic first half with a heart-warming romantic middle followed by a tragic separation and finally an emotional reunion formed what is known as a "crying game". The main purpose of such a game is to make the player feel for the characters and make them cry due to emotional scenarios which serves to leave a bigger impact on the player after the game is over." might be a starting point, though.
  • December 26, 2012
    DracMonster
    Technically, the essence of this is really covered by Tear Jerker. It kinda seems more like a fan speak term for a vn specific Tear Jerker.
  • December 26, 2012
    Zakamutt
    It's certainly a story made for Tear Jerker moments. To be honest, I'm not a big consumer of media in general except for video games, and not that many at that. Thus, I find it hard to remember any examples of the plot type outside of the VNs I've read, but that doesn't mean it's not present. Additionally, to my eye the Tear Jerker page actually describes moments, not really a plot type. Whether that's worth the distinction is up to opinion, I guess.

    As said in recent posts, I'm currently not that interested in keeping the title or vn association.
  • December 26, 2012
    Ekuran
  • December 26, 2012
    Zakamutt
    Hmm, not so sure. That doesn't include the lighthearted start, and actually seems to mostly exist as Earn Your Happy Ending already.
  • December 26, 2012
    TropeEater
    We already have this in the form of Earn Your Happy Ending and Utsuge.

    Motion to Discard

  • December 26, 2012
    Zakamutt
    Meh, agreed. Bye, page!

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable