A prolific Japanese author in the Visual Novel
industry who currently works under Nitro+
. He is (in)famous for creating dark, tragic settings and plot twists in his stories, in part due to nearly dying in an epidemic when he was younger
. (Indeed, as he put it in this interview
, the experience gave him "eyesight of the dead".) The work which gave him this fame was Saya no Uta
, an HP Lovecraft
-inspired Visual Novel
released under Nitro+
. As a result, he has been given the nickname "Urobutcher
" by several circles on the internet. That said, he may be trying to break out of this mold; one of his latest projects was a tokusatsu series.note
He and Kinoko Nasu of Type-Moon
are known to be good friends, and have even collaborated together on two Fate/
series projects, Fate/Zero
. He's also worked with fellow writers Ichiro Itano who co-wrote Blassreiter
with him and Yosuke Kuroda who helmed the adaptation of Phantom of Inferno
and considers them both his mentors in writing and a major factor in his writing of Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
Compare with Mohiro Kitoh
, Lynn Okamoto
, Chuck Palahniuk
and Joss Whedon
for similar authors.
He has worked on the scenarios of the following visual novels:
He also worked on the following light novel series:
And he has been involved in the production of the following series:
Tropes which apply to him and his works:
- Appropriated Appellation: His Twitter handle (@Butch_Gen) is suspiciously reminiscent of his Fan Nickname.
- Author Appeal: He apparently likes using ordinary guns in a fantastic setting and to show that they get the job done, if Saya no Uta, Fate/Zero, and Puella Magi Madoka Magica are any indication. Psycho-Pass also counts; even though the Dominators work, they are useless against the Big Bad, so he ends up being executed by an ordinary revolver.
- Bittersweet Ending, if not outright a Downer Ending.
- Two of his 2013 works seem to deconstruct the former. The first is Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion, where Homura after a conversation with Madoka, realizes that Madoka may not be alright with her Heroic Sacrifice and that the only reason why she did it in the first place was because it was the right thing to do. So she takes matters into her own hands and rescues — well, kidnaps is a more appropriate word — Madoka and replaces her as the Goddess. Unfortunately, this action is bound to make the two enemies someday, thus hitting this back to a Bittersweet Ending.
- The next one, Kamen Rider Gaim: Kouta ascends to godhood by winning the Forbidden Fruit and takes away the Helheim infestation offworld; however, Earth is still recuperating from the invasion and there's much to fix after the Yggdrassil Corporation's secrets were leaked.
- Break the Cutie: If there's an idealist in his story, chances are that person will be broken by the end. The Type-Moon wiki describes this tendency as the Reality Marble Dead End Catharsis: Heaven & Hell Drop, which lowers the luck of all characters in his stories by one rank.
- Subverted in Psycho-Pass. Akane gets broken briefly after Yuki dies, but gets back to her idealistic self. In the end, Akane nearly gets broken, but learns to understand the cynical side of life while keeping her ideals and still mostly being an idealist.
- Also subverted in Kamen Rider Gaim, as Kouta suffers multiple breakings but has always managed to bounce back. On the other hand, his best friend, Micchy, was broken completely before the midway point and pulled a Face-Heel Turn.
- Cool Shades: He wears a pair of sunglasses at every public appearance he makes. The photo on this page is actually an oddity for him, as even most pictures of the man have him with his shades on.
- Cosmic Horror Story: A good number of his works are influenced by HP Lovecraft novels and the cosmic horror genre. He also names Stephen King, another dabbler in cosmic horror, as a major influence (particularly on Madoka Magica).
- Darker and Edgier: If you're not sure how to darken the tone of your story, hire Gen Urobuchi. Under his purview, the darkness levels are practically guaranteed to get ratcheted up several notches. His friend Nasu jokes that he actually is a Reality Warper.
- Deconstruction: Seems to be a specialty of his, be it deconstructing love (Saya no Uta and Puella Magi Madoka Magica), heroism (Fate/Zero), power (Kamen Rider Gaim), Japanese culture (Psycho-Pass), or selflessness (Puella Magi Madoka Magica).
- Fan Nickname: "Gen Butch," "Gen the Butcher," "Urobutcher."
- Fate Worse Than Death: Despite his infamy of being the "Urobutcher", killing off his characters isn't the worst he can do to his characters. He's also known to have his characters getting raped, being brutally tortured, or chronically turning the characters into monsters literally. In fact, he let some of his characters live, but have them go through emotional and mental suffering either seeing some of their loved ones killed off (Madoka Magica) or having their ideal dreams destroyed or exposed (Fate/Zero).
- For Happiness/Totalitarian Utilitarian/The Needs of the Many: Many of his works focus on, and brutally deconstruct, utilitarian and consequentialist ethical philosophy (see Fate/Zero, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Kamen Rider Gaim).
- Grey and Gray Morality: Also seems to be a fan of this, especially the kind that becomes obvious in hindsight, as shown in Suisei no Gargantia (the "aliens" are actually extremely modified transhumans, and both they and the still-human humans have legitimate reasons to hate each other).
- Kid Hero: In an industry where most protagonists are under 18, he mostly avoids this, with the exception of Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Suisei no Gargantia. Kamen Rider Gaim deconstructs the concept as kids are the ones to get powers because the villains are exploiting their immaturity for all its worth, yet at the same time the kids often act more maturely and selflessly than the adults do.
- Kill 'em All: Hence his Fan Nickname, "Urobutcher".
- Lighter and Softer: Expelled from Paradise is one of Gen Urobuchi's lighthearted works and it did not contain any deaths, tragedy, or other shock value while maintaining some of his theme of complexity of human nature at the same time.
- One of Us: Transcripts exist of him, Kinoko Nasu, Ryogo Narita, and a few other authors getting together for a tabletop RPG. Naturally, Urobuchi plays a dark, morally ambiguous sorcerer, while Nasu plays a fair-haired Knight in Shining Armor. He has also mentioned that his favorite TRPG is, to no one's surprise, Call of Cthulhu
- He's even a fan of Equilibrium in which he even made a Visual Novel fanfic of it entitled, Jouka no Monshou.
- In the German event AnimagiC 2013, he said that he gets inspiration by playing eroges.
- He is also a big fan of Kamen Rider (notably, of Kamen Rider Black during his youth), thus his contribution to Kamen Rider Gaim.
- Phrase Catcher: "Dammit, Urobutcher" and variants. Normally uttered by the viewers upon the (inevitable) Wham Episode that starts the Cerebus Syndrome.
- Promoted Fanboy: He is a noted fan of the classic Kamen Rider series, and serves as the head writer for the currently airing Kamen Rider Gaim.
- Rape as Drama/Rape as Backstory: He is not above using rape as a source of drama, including young children.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: His works stand heavily on the cynical side of the scale, sometimes to the point of being nihilistic, but he says that he used to write works that still have a glimmer of hope in them. That being said, his recent works have demonstrated a gradual progression away from the cynical end of the scale; see immediately below for details.
- Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!/True Art Is Angsty: He is also definitely on the side of those who consider happy stories to be unrealistic, to the point where he has actually suggested that Lighter and Softer stories, by definition, contradict the laws of nature and are therefore difficult to write and impossible to believe.
"I have nothing but contempt for the deceitful thing men call 'happiness', and find myself with no choice but to push my characters, whom I pour my heart and soul out to create, into the abyss of tragedy."
- Though Fate/Zero deconstructs heroism, the final conversation between Kiritsugu and Shirou shows that Kiritsugu at least saved Shirou, who would go onto try to be a hero like his father. Unlike Emiya who got nearly nothing for his struggles, Shirou does manage to make the world better in some routes of Fate/stay night. Emiya also does save the world by preventing Kirei or others from making a wish with the Holy Grail, which would bring destruction to the world, though Emiya does not get world peace like he wanted.
- And then Puella Magi Madoka Magica ends on a double-barrelled middle finger to this trope, making the whole thing Zig-Zagged across his general body of work.
- Gen Urobuchi seems to have some respect for idealism now, as Akane shows in the end of Psycho-Pass by keeping and believing in idealism throughout the whole series and then giving a speech on it to the Sibyl System.
- And, finally, Gen appears to show full respect for idealism now, since the ending of Suisei no Gargantia had Ledo fully embrace the idealistic way of life on the Gargantia, and is also willing to make peace with the Whalesquid.
- Kamen Rider Gaim continues this, as the most blatant anti-idealist speeches are given by either Sid (who's a Hate Sink) or Mitsuzane (who's become quite insane by the time he does so); and our hero Kota eventually more-or-less declares that his enemy is cynicism itself.
- Spiritual Successor: Is taking up the Kill 'em All mantle left behind by Yoshiyuki Tomino, who has since gotten better in his homicidal tendencies.
- Straw Nihilist: In his earlier works.
- Tear Jerker: Invoked often as he usually breaks the idealists in his stories.
- Too Happy to Live: The characters he often kills off (or if he doesn't kill them off, makes them suffer) happen to be the happiest, friendliest, and most optimistic characters.
- Trolling Creator: He has gained a reputation for this with Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Iyashikei he is not, and the term somewhat becomes quite memetic and synonymous in ironic sense to his name in the fandom.
- Unlikely Hero: Not only is he fond of this trope, but in an interview, he admitted that the people he view as true heroes are often these.
A hero is one that doesn’t want to be a hero. A hero is a one with all the possibility to make the choice but take the responsibility of the moment. And it’s really something hero has got to do. For example, in 9/11 some of the plane’s passengers fought with the terrorists. In Fukushima’s radiation leak, some people went and tried to fix the nuclear plant and died. But they have to do it. They are heroes. They don’t try to be heroes. They take responsibility and try to do what is right.
- Walking Spoiler: By the time he started to work on Puella Magi Madoka Magica the man himself had become a real life example of this trope, in that his involvement in the writing of Madoka Magica alone gave the part of the audience aware of his track record a rough idea what to expect from it. Urobuchi himself apparently was aware of this, as he initially intended his involvement to be kept a secret, and when this failed he tried to mislead the audience by promising a heartwarming story.
- Kamen Rider fans had the same reaction when Kamen Rider Gaim was announced, though in this case he didn't deny it and even said that he took some of the darker previous Kamen Rider series as influences, while his associates joke about how kids will dislike drinking orange juice by the time the Wham Episode kicks in.
- Yuri Fan: Seems a certainty with Les Yay in Puella Magi Madoka Magica and outright lesbians in Psycho-Pass and Suisei no Gargantia.