The print edition's front cover.
Owlfred: 'Welcome, darlings to the Niege Research Institute!
" is an illustrated light novel posted on Tumblr. It was conceptualized in 2013, with the first print chapters and online chapters posted in February 2014. Project NRI started as spinoff from Dangan Ronpa
, but has since grown into its own story.
It follows the story of math-hating mathematical genius Yamagi Noriko, while trapped in the Niege Research Institute with 15 other people. After waking up from cryogenic sleep, they are informed that in order to leave NRI alive, they have to kill someone without getting caught. If the quota of five murders isn't reached within four months, the institute director, a robotic owl named Owlfred, promises to blow the place up with everyone inside.
The online novel is updated per chapter.
Project NRI contains examples of:
- Ambiguous Gender: Yuu Valentine. They (haha, gender neutrality) don't even talk, so it's impossible to discern their gender through voice.
- Anyone Can Die
- Closed Circle: Niege Research Institute.
- *Cough* Snark *Cough*
Louise coughed. The cough suspiciously sounded like “meathead”.
- Bruiser with a Soft Center: Scarlach Platzchen may be a huge, muscular excuse for a 17 year old, but he has a passion for making and sharing home-baked cookies.
- Development Hell: This is a project by busy college students, after all.
- Everybody Hates Mathematics: Noriko hates math, yet she is a brilliant mathematician.
- Evil Lawyer Joke: Louise lashes out of these out at Richard Engarde in Chapter 1.
“Just because you know how to rob fat old men of their money doesn't mean you're the most competent.”
- Gender-Blender Name: Louise is a girl's name.
- Human Popsicle: Everyone wakes up from cryogenic sleep in Niege Research Institute.
- Idiot Hair: Noriko has an ahoge (cowlick in-text) sticking up at the top of her head. However, Noriko half-subverts the trope by being one of the more level-headed characters in the story. Richard is also referred to as "cowlick guy" in the prologue, and waxes his hair to hide that cowlick.
- Implausible Hair Color: Kumoki Ame has pink hair. Takasawa Juuri has purple hair, and Yami Hikari has green hair.
- Jerk Ass: Louise Fa.
Louise Fa. I enjoy science, long walks in the beach, and people that don't stick their fucking faces in my business. So don't get all buddy-buddy if you know what's good for you.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the fourth image, where most of the characters are seen, Heisuke Dubois seems to be staring straight at the reader.
- Nuclear Family: Noriko's family is composed of herself, her mother, her father and her little brother Haseo.
- Punny Name: Owlfred. Even his beta name, "Mephistowlpheles" contains a pun.
- In fact, Owlfred is the institute's Pungeon Master, however fowl his jokes may be.
"It seems that a fowl crime has occurred!"
- Stuff Blowing Up: Louise and Juuri attempt to break everyone out by blowing up a window. It fails.
- Talking to Plants: Akiyama Kirika is always mentioned holding and quietly talking to a potted plant. She even gives her plants names.