Hatou Manabu (nicknamed Gaku) has a very odd friend at school named Marii Yukari. Yukari has purple eyes and a bizarre way of looking at the world: she sees all other living things as robots. This has not always worked out well for Yukari, even costing her a best friend when she was younger. However, Yukari insists that the things she says she sees is true, and her vision seems to give her insight into the abilities of others.Gaku thinks she's just weird, but she soon realizes that Yukari has unexpected talents. It seems she can fix anything, and even the police come to hear her insights. It turns out that Yukari's purple eyes are not unique in the world! However, there is one important distinction among those who see humans as other objects. Do humans appear as unimportant as objects, or do those objects appear as important as human beings?Starting as a seemingly lighthearted series with a sci-fi premise, it quickly makes good use of said premise, turning much darker soon enough. The fast genre shifts and the surprisingly accurate use of physics concepts are some of the most prominent characteristics of this work.The original work comes in the form of a novel, written by Ueo Hisamitsu, which consists in a single volume. The series also has an ongoing manga adaptation currently being serialized in Dengeki Daioh.
Murasakiiro no Qualia contains examples of the following tropes:
Accidental Kiss: Hatou and Yukari's first meeting falls into type 2 of this.
The Atoner: Gaku. In the vast majority of worlds she denies herself happiness to try to solve Yukari's murder. She has endured numerous deaths, alcoholism, rape (implied), and who knows what else in pursuit of her goal. All because she helped Alice convince Yukari to join JAUNT.
Bad Future: Hatou dies young and in not-so-nice ways in many of the parallel worlds.
Ultimately, despite having characteristics that could make one consider it as a "good life", any future that doesn't have her achieving her goal of finding Alice is considered bad and a rejected possibility.
Chekhov's Gun: No one would have imagined the cellphone Hatou innocently wanted to buy would end up being used to re-attach her cut off arm and become a embedded means of communication with Yukari. But that's not where its usefulness ends. It also becomes the means through which Hatou can interfere with the parallel worlds by communicating with her alternate selves.
Covert Group: JAUNT is exactly this. A mysterious group that nobody knows about, apparently backed by the American government, which has no qualms with stealthy blowing up airplanes to keep their secrets... secret.
Cursed with Awesome: Gaku's cellular phone arm. She can use it to talk to parallel versions of herself. And it functions as a normal phone, too. But she is its battery, and overuse leaves her physically drained. She keeps sugary snacks on hand after she loses two pounds in one day from making too many calls.
Dark and Troubled Past: As a child, Tenjou fell off a jungle-gym, getting her body fatally wounded. And that's when the traumatizing part begins. Completely conscious, she then watches her best friend replacing her "damaged body parts" with jungle gym parts. This obviously still doesn't sit well with her for long years after. Justifies her acting as a jerk toward Yukari.
Despair Event Horizon: Hatou comes dangerously close to this after Yukari's death, escaping it by hanging to the glimmer of hope she found in the form of Alice and becoming the Determinator. She crosses it completely by Ch 13, willing to kill whoever JAUNT sends to get Yukari.
Yukari easily and literally disassembles the serial killer, and the killer's head continues to work normally while Yukari tries to find the bug in her. At least until Yukari gets annoyed and shuts off her speech. Yukari then puts her back together just as easily.
Failure Is the Only Option: Somehow, in every single possibility/world, saving Yukari seems to be this. Whether or not it really is or whether Observer's Theory is really the concept to blame for it, it has yet to be seen.
Failure Knight: Hatou. She's trying each and every possibility/world out of a supposedly infinite amount in order to save Yukari. So far, she's only breaking herself further by watching her efforts turning out to be completely futile and Yukari dying again and again.
"Once more, from the beginning, let's test every path, just like light. All for the sake of that single answer. After all, what other purpose does my existence serve?"
Fanservice: The manga gives a long focus on the Accidental Kiss when it happens (and shows it multiple times). There's a pool scene in the first chapter, a shower scene in chapter 6, and a completely plot relevant nude scene (with Gaku's arm inadvertently hiding her chest from view.) in chapter 11
Foreshadowing: The first few pages foreshadow the darker nature of the series, despite the lighthearted start.
Tenjou's claims regarding the frightening nature of Yukari's eyes and the perspective of the world that comes with them.
Freak Out: Alice when she sees Gaku in chapter 11.
The Greatest Story Never Told: Only Hatou knows what happens in all the parallel worlds/all the possibilities, due to being able to communicate and share memories, knowledge and experience with her alternate selves. Thus, no one else knows the whole story.
Heel-Face Brainwashing: Yukari does this to a serial killer-or more specifically, debugs her after disassembling her so she becomes sane.
Magical Eyes: Yukari's purple eyes see the world differently than everyone else. She sees all living beings as robots, and as a consequence, her perspective is imposed on the world, leading to humans working as robots to her - she's able to fix them using mechanical parts, dismantle them (which would be the equivalent of cutting someone up for anyone else's eyes) without even any bleeding and change the programming in their brain.
Yukari isn't the only one. Alice sees equations as pictures, which makes it possible for her, an 11-year-old child, to quickly understand and solve university-level mathematical problems. However, she can only express the solutions verbally, since she has no idea how to write mathematical expressions without drawing a picture instead.
The Multiverse: From some point of the series onward, Hatou can interact with all the parallel worlds. Each of these is one of the infinite possibilities for the flow of events that didn't get determined in her world.
Quantum Mechanics Can Do Anything: While actually accurate in its explanation of physics concepts, as a science fiction, it abuses physics, and in particular quantum mechanics, to quite some extent.
Quantum Physics: Concepts which the series uses to great effect. The Wave-Particle Duality, the Wave Function Collapse, the-much-loved-by-fiction Schrödinger's Cat thought experiment and the Copenhagen and the Many Worlds interpretations of Quantum Physics. All of these are mentioned along with a simplified explanation and end up being core concepts to the series, which abuses them by applying them to the macro-world.
Sacred First Kiss: Gaku accuses Yukari of stealing her first kiss (which she did), but waves it off when Yukari takes her joke seriously.
Save Scumming: Hatou. From the moment she can contact her alternate selves from parallel worlds, she is akin to a quantum computer, being able to find out all possible outcomes and pick the one she's interested in. She basically has unlimited lives/save files, even if she happens to die.
They Know Too Much: JAUNT blows up the entire plane in order to dispose of Hatou and Yukari's family, who were traveling to America, because they were prying into the incident that resulted in Yukari's death.
Trauma-Induced Amnesia: An uncommon variant where said amnesia doesn't happen right after the fact but several years later. To get over her childhood trauma caused by Yukari's Magical Eyes, at least in one of the parallel worlds, Tenjou, sometime in between the last year of middle-school and age 25, chose to re-observe her past and completely forget about those troublesome and traumatic events.
Wham Episode: Chapter 6 finally reveals the peculiarities brought along with Yukari's eyes. And... they're creepy, at the very least.
"This is the point of no return. You have been warned."
You Can't Fight Fate: Hatou mentions this in chapter 13. According to her, it might be the reason she can't save Yukari no matter what. Complete with a neat mention of the Observer's Theory as well.
You Kill It, You Bought It: Intentional and rather peculiar variant in that we see one Hatou murder one of her alternate world selves to then take her place as what we could call the "main" one. In truth this imagery is akin to rejecting a possibility/world, but being presented in this way just makes it quite a bit more powerful a scene.