Literature: Dark Heart High
"Principal Amakusa awaits no one."Dark Heart High
is (or was) a Round Robin
story hosted on Improfanfic. Dark Heart High
is a mangaka-esque story that primarily focuses on the protagonist Yuri Mikagami
, who has been sent to Dark Heart High by her father
who hopes that she'll learn how to be properly evil
during the next four years.
Yuri, of course, objects to this idea at least initially, but doesn't become much more comfortable as the series progresses.
As the series progresses, Yuri must make friends and allies in order to have any hope of surviving until graduation - especially since it's looking more and more like Principal Amakusa has tapped her as his preferred successor!
Throw in a Love Triangle
- not to mention enemies she starts picking up on her first day! - and civilian friends that Yuri still wants to keep contact with, and things quickly start getting complicated.
Unfortunately, it appears as if the series - and possibly Improfanfic itself - has died; it hasn't been updated in several years, although the site still exists. Before this happened, it reached 69 chapters and remains unfinished.
- Affably Evil - Amakusa. Also Troi Mikagami, a lot of the time; he's quite fond of his daughter.
- Altar the Speed - Bala tries for this. He fails.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Just about everyone attending Dark Heart High except Yuri and maybe Leilei.
- Always Save the Girl - Ki tries to set things up so that it looks like this. Purely so that Yuri will fall in love with him and become the perfect Dark Queen, of course.
- Anti Christ - Almost certainly Balabalalde. Yuri probably qualifies as well, since she's the result of a union that's supposed to be completely impossible, alignment-wise. Dark Heart High being what it is, there are probably several others who also qualify, within the student body.
- Arranged Marriage: Played with. Leilei looks like she was set up for one of these. It turns out that the groom-to-be was confusing her with a similarly-named girl at Dark Heart.
- Awakening the Sleeping Giant - Go ahead. Tell Balabalalde, after you've stabbed him, that you're going to rape Yuri. The truly terrifying thing is that Bala realizes that he doesn't take umbrage to this because of how badly it crosses the line - rather he objects because the reincarnated god that he's very slowly assimilating doesn't want to share her with anyone. It disturbs him even a little because this is the first time he's been conciously aware of such emotions. Thankfully, Yuri isn't aware of this at all - or she'd probably break off all contact with Bala right then and there!
- Axes at School - Subverted. The nature of Dark Heart High is such that nearly all students have a weapon of some sort. If they don't, expect them to be relying on magic of some sort or physical prowess.
- Badass Evil Teacher - most of the teachers shown in Dark Heart High. Amakusa actually encourages both this and Sadist Teachers.
- Badass Family - You do not mess with the Mikagami family. Not if you want to live.
- Battle Couple - Several cases. Yuri's parents would be the most obvious one, once you find out that they did fight against pretty much the whole world, shortly after they got married, and haven't lost their touch but Ingram-chan and Kashin also qualify. There are probably several sets on the side of Good; the mahou shojo/kamen pairings seem to attract it.
- Because I'm Good At It - Amakusa, when it comes up. He's the principal because he really is the best candidate.
- Beware the Honest Ones - Yuri may be this, due to her tendency to not be aware that she shouldn't have been able to do something until well after she's already done it which may be due to her Magical Girl traits. It does save Ki's life at one point, though.
Ki: What would you have done if she didn't surrender?
Yuri: *thoughtfully* ...oh. I suppose I would have had to disarm her.
The very casualness of her tone chilled him.
- Beware the Nice Ones - Mahou shojo try to be this. Yuri actually is. So are her mother and grandmother.
- BFS - Kashin goes in for this. His favoured weapons are two huge tower swords that drag around behind him, hooked to his belt by chains. Since things tend to be at least semi-realistic, he probably either spends a lot of time sharpening them or they're enchanted to keep from getting blunted by all that abuse.
- Brought Down to Normal - Amy, for a while, due to Alignment Shock.
- Brother-Sister Incest - Implied and combined with what may be Twincest, with one of the mahou shojo/kamen pairs. Combined with their parents being implied to have done this, too! The villains who find out find it hilarious. The mahou shojo in question insists that it's a case of Reincarnation Romance; the kamen just wants to hush it up.
- Calling Your Attacks
- Honest John's Dealership - Ramidra the Unscrupulous, also known as Liza. Willing to sell just about anything to her classmates - no mater what that 'anything' might be. Most commonly sells devises she's created and, for various reasons, abandoned. These things always have a side effect she doesn't mention.
- Cute Mute - Yuri's opinion of Balabalalde. He can talk, when he's unwrapped - although he's kind of monosyllabic.
- Cycle of Revenge - Yuri captures and kills Laughing Lilly Lightning about half-way through the series. Even though the capture was a genuine mistake ( Yuri thought she was grabbing Amy, when it turned out to be Lilly hanging around Yuri's house on patrol) by the time Yuri realized what had happened, it was far far too late to fix it. So Lilly got used as part of Yuri's school project - and died in the process, because she couldn't escape. (To be fair, it was supposed to be an inescapable death trap.) Lilly's mother goes mad from grief and ends up siccing all the mahou shojo and the kamen on Yuri in an effort to get revenge. It very nearly works and Lilly's mother is deposed and arrested for her actions because the mahou shojo are not supposed to be used as tools of revenge.
- Dark Magical Girl - At least three so far. Ingram-sempai and Amy, both of whom used to be regular Magical Girls before switching alignments. Yuri has been hinted at being a "natural" Dark Magical Girl - one who starts out that way, which is supposed to be rare.
- Declaration of Protection - Ki and Amy, after the Love Triangle gets resolved. They might not be able to have her the way they want - but they can at least stand by her side and give her aid.
- Dojikko - The average Magical Girl, outside of combat. Or at least, the young ones.
- Do Wrong, Right - The whole reason for Dark Heart High. The reasoning goes, the kids attending are going to be evil anyways - they might as well learn how to do it properly.
- Emotionless Boy - Ki and Balabalalde both fall into this. Ki, because he literally has no heart and Bala because of his bindings. Given that Bala's only other option appears to be Homicidal Rage towards anything that isn't Yuri, the wrappings are the best option. (Or at least the best one anyone's come up with so far.)
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones - Yuri realizes this, because she is one of evil's loved ones. The mahou shojo, as a rule...don't; some of them seem incapable of getting it, actually.
- Evil Is Not Well Lit
- Evil Sounds Deep - Amakusa and Troi have deep, resonant voices. Akurei has a scratchy, siblant voice. The Eldritch Horror sounds like he should be speaking *backwards*. One of the instructors at Knight School has a truly terrifying voice, in an apparent subversion. Yuri finds out that the instructor is trying to blackmail Amakusa, and it's implied that the guy had a Start of Darkness after he tried and failed to assassinate Amakusa and ended up Not So Pretty in the aftermath.
- Evil Virtues
- Everybody Hates Mathematics - Yuri is considered weird for not only liking math, but for joining the Future Accountants Club. She seems to get it from her mother, too, and she mentions that she used to help her father with the accounts for pocket money when she was younger. Her father agrees that it's quite evil, but doesn't really see the allure.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good - Principal Amakusa really doesn't seem to understand that, at least starting out, Yuri doesn't have any plans - she's just going along for the ride and trying not to get killed.
- Evil Overlord - Yuri's father and Principal Amakusa.
- Extranormal Institute - Dark Heart High, of course, along with its counterparts, Sakura Arts and Knight School. Plus, there's Zero Academy, for those who want to go True Neutral. Evil Tech, the Academy of Light, Black Soul High and Sugar Valley are also mentioned as lesser alternatives, with Evil Tech students considering Dark Heart's as rivals; Dark Heart students, on the whole, seem to consider Evil Tech students as being barely capable of being bumbling minions.
- First Guy Wins - Balabalalde. And he's the first guy Yuri even properly notices walking in the classroom, too!
- Friends with Benefits - Yasuko and Ki. It's implied that Ingram-chan and Kaishin may be this way as well. At least on Kashin's side of things, anyways. Ingram-chan may not feel the same way.
- Frills of Justice - The mahou shojo in general.
- For the Evulz - A lot of things that the students of Dark Heart High do or attempt to do. Of course, the point of attending Dark Heart is to learn that good villains should have a reason for doing anything, rather than just doing things for the hell of it.
- Galactic Conqueror: Amakusa, possibly. He's said to have conquered his entire home dimension, but we're never told how big it is. He's got a whole planet to himself, at the least.
- Good Is Not Nice - The mahou shojo. They're Warriors of Light. They're the epitome of what Good should be. This does not make them nice people. Especially not when they've been promised all the ice cream they can eat...
- Good Hurts Evil - Troi Mikagami does not like sunshine. Or happiness. Or having his daughter tell him just how much she loves him - even if he does return the emotion. This appears to apply to nearly all the evil characters we see, too. Yuri is an exception, because she's a Dark Magical Girl rather than just pure evil.
- Growing Up Sucks - Between Alignment Shock and Virgin Power, most mahou shojo don't become adult Magical Girls. On the other hand, those who do make it through to adulthood with their powers intact tend to be really powerful.
- Humanoid Abomination - One of Yuri's friends. He/she posseses recently deceased corpses in order to interact with this dimension without hurting him/herself. It's hard on the corpse, though, and tends to speed up the process of decay. This comes into play later when Yuri is briefly killed; he possesses her corpse and shunts her soul into a back-up body he had on-hand, to keep Amakusa's sword from eating her soul.
- Happily Married - Yuri's parents. (Craig's parents may have been this way as well, but we have no way of knowing for sure; we hardly see his mother, and his father is dead well before the story starts.)
- Helping Would Be Killstealing - The reason why Troi Mikagami doesn't just teach his daughter the ropes himself.
- Human Sacrifice - Craig tries a virgin sacrifice, early on. Bala thwarts him, and he gets the crap beated out of him by the seniors for being in their gym. It's implied later that this happens to a few students. And it's implied to be the reason why Lilly Lightning ends up trapped in Dark Heart High's workshop as a ghost. To make matters worse for poor Lilly, the only thing that can free her is the blessing of a truly pure and good person - made in person. Since Lilly is trapped in the bowels of one of the most evil buildings in the world, this is unlikely to *ever* happen. It's implied that Lilly's only other option is to hang around long enough that she loses her sense of self and fades away.
- I Am Who? - When the series begins, Yuri's been kept out of the loop a little; she doesn't actively realize that her father is evil, and certainly doesn't seem to have any powers. And she's definitely not aware that her father was a famous general who aided in the conquest of whole dimensions. She knows he was in the military, though.
- In the Name of the Moon
- Incompatible Orientation - Yuri for Amy. Yuri just doesn't like other girls that way, and is really creeped out by the idea that Amy likes her That Way after having known her for all of a few weeks. They do try dating, once Yuri becomes aware of the Love Triangle, but it doesn't work out.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness - The mahou shojo like to believe this about themselves. It's not always true. Amy proves it. It may actually be true for Yuri, though; apparently looking at her incredibly pure soul was what caused Amy to fall in love with Yuri.
- In Love with Your Carnage - Ki for Yuri, long before he even sees her do anything. He's in love with her potential carnage.
- I Uh You Too - Parodied with Amy.
"I — *thump*"
"I thump you too! <3"
- Kendo Team Captain - Kashin-sempai is captain of the school fencing team. He considers it Serious Business - and for good reason; those who can't, or won't, fight don't usually last long and the forces of Good are no more merciful than the forces of Evil.
- Just Friends - Yuri to all of her would-be consorts since she doesn't even notice their feelings for a long while. It's implied, though, that she was probably in denial about how Amy felt, due to Amy's Stalker with a Crush tendencies.
- Laughably Evil - The harmless variant: Minions in general. The students from Evil Tech. Craig and Yasuko are warned that this is what they're becoming. Craig takes it seriously; Yasuko takes offense.
- Let's Wait Awhile - Yuri to Bala, after things get cleared up. She's got too much she wants to do first, before she marries anyone.
- Love Makes You Evil - It's implied that this is kind of the whole reason why Amy fell and became a Dark Magical Girl at all. Too bad that Yuri doesn't return the feeling.
- Love Triangle - Comes close to verging on a Love Dodecahedron, really, before it's resolved. Ami, Ki Tamaida and Balabalalde all love - or at least want - Yuri. But Ki is, at least for a time, in a sexual relationship with Yasuko (who is one of Yuri's enemies).) To make matters more complex, Yuri isn't even aware of the triangle for a very long while. Amy eventually partially resolves it herself, stepping aside in favor of Bala since she would rather see Bala with Yuri than Ki; she also acts as a semi-Shipper On Board later, when things get complicated after Bala proposes to Yuri (sort of) and she doesn't take it well, helping soothe Bala's hurt feelings.
- Magical Girl - A multitude. Yuri, Amy, and Ingram-chan - not to mention anyone enrolled at Sakura Arts.
- Malicious Slander - You'd think that, being filled with evil students, Dark Heart High would run on this. Ironically, the majority of the rumors are usually true. This proves to be a problem when Yuri is accused of, ahem, getting around.
- Maximum Fun Chamber / Robotic Torture Device - Appears to have been Yuri and her group's project, for Workshop class. They got a very good grade on it, with bonus points for providing their own 'test subject'.
- Moral Myopia - Kashin-sempai shows Yuri that, while some of Dark Heart High may not consider civilians or the Warriors of Light to be anything like as good as them, the reverse applies, too; the mahou shojo really don't see villains as people and he doesn't think most of them ever will. He doesn't discuss whether or not it's a bad thing over all; he's just warning Yuri that the mahou shojo and kamen will not show mercy if Yuri is caught on the mission she's being sent out on the next day. And since Yuri isn't the sort of person to believe it just because she was told it was so...
- Murder the Hypotenuse - Amy considers trying this on Ki and Bala. She abandons the idea, since Bala is way out of her league and Ki doesn't die that easy. Plus, there's the fact that Yuri would never forgive Amy, if she found out.
- My Girl Is Not a Slut - Subverted. Troi Mikagami absolutely believes that Yuri has been sleeping around, when he hears that there's a rumour to this effect. This is because he's been conditioned by his years at Dark Heart to believe that all rumours are at least partially true. He's still not happy about her reputation, though.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast - A lot of the other students, especially ones who just show up for one scene and then are never mentioned again.
- Nobody Thinks It Will Work: Yuri's parents. For good reason - an Evil Overlord and a Magical Girl aren't supposed to get married! And never mind having a *kid* on top of that!
- No Points for Neutrality - Subverted. It doesn't look like being neutral makes you inherently weaker than being good or evil; it's just a lifestyle choice. Of course, both sides consider the neutral schools to be more than a little crazy, but they acknowledge that the neutrals are needed - it's not like either good or evil can be trusted to judge inter-school competitions fairly, after all!
- Obfuscating Stupidity - Yuri, to her classmates. In reality, she falls more into Beware the Nice Ones.
- Older than They Look: Leilei looks like she's Yuri's age - maybe a bit younger. She's been taking care of Balabalalde for, it's implied, most of his life and has a college degree. When asked about this, her answer is that no one *asked* her age.
- Ordinary High-School Student - Yuri, at least to start with.
- Poisonous Friend - Amy, at the start. She gets better - a little, anyways.
- Post Rape Taunt - One of Bala's rivals threatens to do this to Yuri. All it ends up doing is pissing Bala off enough that he stops holding back - which isn't good for the rival...
- Protagonist Journey to Villain: Yuri gradually becomes darker as the series goes on, partly as a means of survival. It's implied, in flash-forwards, that she will eventually succeed Amakusa as principal of Dark Heart High.
- Real Men Wear Pink - Balabalalde wears a pair of silver cat-charm earrings that Yuri gave him. The other students quickly learn not to comment on their presence or absence.
- Reincarnation Romance - Yuri and Bala. Maybe. Bala certainly seems to believe so.]] And one of the mahou shojo/kamen pairs says they're this. And the mahou shojo half doesn't seem quite smart enough to pull off a lie like that, considering that she keeps blurting out all sorts of stuff her kamen really wants her to keep quiet about...
- School Nurse - Varies between 'chibi', 'sultry', 'body builder' and 'feeble old lady'. They're all the same person, though.
- Sealed Evil in a Can - Balabalalde has the majority of his powers sealed so that he can mature into them without destroying the world in the process. He gets unsealed for school tournaments, but that's it - and even then, he isn't fully unsealed. There's one last seal tattooed over his chest. Amakusa and several other teachers also have their powers sealed - like Bala, this doesn't make them any less dangerous. Later, Amy gets her powers sealed to keep from overloading herself. In-universe, the need for such seals seems to be seen as a sign of being an extreme Badass.
- Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can - Balabalalde is supposed to be a god reborn, heir to the power of both the Wargamere and the Aghërúkk clans. He's powerful when he's sealed. He's terrifying when he's partially unsealed. No one knows for sure what will happen if he's ever fully unsealed, but everyone's positive that it's way too early for that to happen.
- Secret Legacy - Several. Yuri's mother is a retired Magical Girl. Her grandmother is a still active Magical Lady. Yuri's father may also count, considering that she was only vaguely aware of his activities when she was younger. Craig looks like he subverts this until he's told that his father was actually a rather poor minion to Yuri's father. He then becomes much more serious, researches his family line, and discovers that his grandfather (great-grandfather?) was actually someone who was feared and respected the way he thought his father was, and the way he wants to be.
- Shout-Out - So many. One of the most memorable is a scene where Principal Amakusa is on the phone with a parent who wants to transfer their child to Dark Heart High...
: I don't care
if your son is being bullied by this Plotter boy
. He would be treated just as badly, if not worse, here. Further, your son is already attending one of the finest wizarding schools in Europe; we cannot teach him anything here that he would not already be learning there.
- Small Girl, Big Gun - Ingram-chan.
- Subject101 - Basic Villany 101. Among others.
- Sunnydale Syndrome - The Muggle world isn't covered much, but the fact that Yuri - who is a dormant Dark Magical Girl in her own right - never noticed that there were schools for Magical Girls (never mind schools for evil) implies that there's either this or an Extra-Strength Masquerade in place, considering that the students of Dark Heart High are required to perform one act of unquestionable evil, either solo or as a group, to prove that they're worthy of being admitted for the next year of classes every summer. No explanation, as yet, as for why; possibly, it's just traditional for the magic-side of the Masquerade not to involve the Muggles, and the Muggles just don't think too hard about these things.
- Considering that the mahou shojo appear to have no prohibitions against fighting in public, it seems like it's more 'tradition' than anything else.
- Tell Me About My Father - Kurosawa-sensei tells Craig the truth about his father. He's not happy to find out that, rather than being the well-respected villain he thought his dad was, his father was actually a minion for Yuri's father - and so bad at it that he got fired. Of course, his father did die in the process of trying to capture or kill the Big Bad that did him in - so presumably he redeemed himself a little.
- Transfer Student Uniforms - Yuri, for the first day. Her father soon amends this.
Troi Mikagami: "I figured since you insist on wearing a fuku to school, you might as well wear the right one."
- The school uniform later becomes a minor plot point, as only Yuri and Balabalalde wear it. This serves to clue the reader - and Yuri - in on who the mysterious new boy is.
- Transformation Sequence - Mahou shojo in general. Yuri is very embarrassed by hers - but hers does involve what are implied to be tentacles for naughty purposes.
- Training from Hell - Many of the classes Yuri and the other Dark Heart students participate in. The PE classes are especially prone to this, although the teacher isn't allowed to actually kill the students (usually). Dark Heart High itself qualifies as this, too.
"Dark Heart High is a place wherein all can learn and have a HELL of a time doing it!"
Yuri ignored the disclaimer at the bottom which exhorted something about the last line being occasionally literal (though in a good way), and something about Survival Primers and Non-Humans Clauses.
- Torture Cellar - The Workshop class. Also, detention.
- True Companions - Yuri gathers these. It works, because she's just so earnest about it that those she pulls in are too bewildered to argue.
- Turn Out Like His Father - Craig is warned about this. It's not a good thing, since his father was a second-rate minion who died ingloriously. Hearing this is enough of a shock to turn him around and start him on the road to becoming a serious villain.
- Unholy Matrimony - Well, the kids at Dark Heart High had to come from somewhere... Yuri's parents don't really qualify since Yuri's mother was a Magical Girl when she and Troi Mikagami met and it's never stated when - or if - she stopped being one or if she just retired. On top of that, it's implied rather heavily that she never did switch alignments - the banns for the Mikagamis' marriage isn't posted in any of the evil/evil or evil/neutral registries; presumably there is no evil/good registry.
- Weirdness Censor - Most of the Muggles appear to have one. Yuri's friends try really hard to keep theirs intact. It doesn't work.
Reika: "Look, dark shadowy nightmare beasts from beyond the fields we ken just don't exist. And even if they did, they wouldn't settle down in Japan and raise middle-class families. Demons aren't real, magic's not real, giant two headed dogs that crash into children's birthday parties aren't real..."
Yuri: "Actually, Cerebus-chan had three heads, remember? And Dad was just looking after him for a friend. He was really sorry he'd chased us afterwards."
Reika: "Right. Fine. And he wasn't real."
- With This Ring - Subverted. It's a big deal to Balabalalde, but his presentation...could use some work. Yuri does keep the ring after she says 'not yet' though...
- What the Hell, Hero? - Yuri, to Bala after he kicks a cat. Amy to Bala again, after he proposes - well, more demands that Yuri marry him - and she refuses; Amy points out that up until that point, Bala had barely done anything to indicate to Yuri that he was interested in her, which meant that the marriage proposal came literally out of nowhere. He's semi-repentant in both cases, but doesn't seem to quite understand why Yuri's mad, the first time; after all, he's evil. Kicking cats is what he does - isn't it?
- Ki gets one of his own, from Yuri, after he nearly kills her two best friends when they temporarily turn into werewolves and start attacking Yuri. He's surprised that she even objects, then realizes that as far as being emotionally prepared to deal with evil, Yuri's where he might have been back in kindergarten.
- Writing Lines - Can be a form of punishment. Kurosawa-sensei appears to prefer essays. Probably because writing lines doesn't make you think; she wants her students to learn from their mistakes.
- Yandere - Amy. Dear god, Amy. Barely worth spoilering, too, since it's an obvious trait from the moment she meets Yuri.
- You Are Worth Hell - Implied for Yuri's parents considering that they are stated to have had to fight off whole armies shortly after they got married. May apply to Amy as well, since she's willing to plunge into an alien environment just to be with a girl she's only just met.
- You Killed My Father - Craig to one of the Big Bads, in a Crowning Moment Of Awesome that sees him lobotomising the villain in question.
- You Cannot Grasp the True Form - Pulled by the Eldritch Abomination that controls the Future Accountants Club, to explain why he appears to be a few tentacles, inside a very tiny gold box. Turns out the box is the only means he has to actually work with the dimension Dark Heart is located in, without breaking things. Like the dimension itself. This becomes a plot point (of course) when Kashin and the Eldritch Abomination duke it out over who gets to have Yuri in their club. Kashin-sempai wins, first by negating the Eldritch Abomination's combat powers (temporarily) and then by trashing the box and closing off access to this dimension.