Video Game: Yoake Mae Yori Ruriiro Na aka: Brighter Than The Dawning Blue
From left: Feena, Sayaka, Natsuki, Wreathlit, Mia, Mai.
At some point in the past, colonists from Earth established the Kingdom of Sphere on the Moon. Tensions between the Lunarians and the Earthlings led to the Oedipus War, a conflict that left both sides badly mauled. Since that time, the Earth (now unified under the United Nations banner) and the Kingdom of Sphere have shared an uneasy peace...Tatsuya Asagiri is enamored with the moon. Ever since he was very young and met a girl who claimed to be from the moon, he has always wanted to travel there. Fate then drops an almost literal meteor on him when it is revealed that, in an effort to further normalize relations between Earth and the Moon, the Princess of Sphere, Feena Fam Earthlight, will be staying at Tatsuya's house and attending his school as an exchange student...The fourth game of Visual Novel maker August Soft, it has several iterations, including the original X-rated PC game (simply Yoake mae Yori Ruriiro Na), a manga (same title) a PS2 adaptation (subtitled ~Brighter than Dawning Blue~), an anime adaptation (subtitled ~Cresent Love~), and an X-rated collection of side stories for the PC (subtitled ~Moonlight Cradle~). Sentai Filmworks used the title Brighter Than The Dawning Blue for their English subtitled version of the anime. There's also an upcoming English Fan Translation for the PC port of ~Brighter than Dawning Blue~.
Butt Monkey: Jin. In the game, he gets a pan to the face from Natsuki each time he's doing and/or saying something silly; and in the anime, him being punted through windows and having his wages garnished to pay for the repairs is a running gag.
Brother-Sister Incest: Sort of. In the game, Sayaka (actually Tatsuya's cousin) and Mai (adopted) are both available haremettes.
Subverted in the anime, where Mai is related by blood and neither wins.
Fantastic Racism: Most of the Moon people have an hatred of Earthlings due to the bad blood between Moon and Earth. The theme is particulary explored in Feena's and Estel's Routes, with the most blatant offenders among the characters being pre-Character Development!Estel in the game, and Jurgen in the anime:
Estel, a brillant priestess from the Moon who has been assigned on Earth, initially has nothing but scorn and hate towards Earthlings, puzzling Tatsuya whom she showed her kind side the first time they met (she didn't know he was an Earthling at that time). He later discovers she initially didn't have any particular prejudice towards Earthlings: she developed this to cope with her inferiority complex of being an orphan without origins during her time at Silent Moonlight Institute, where other students jealous of her excellence, used this card to destabilize her. Being send on Earth because of her lack of connections didn't help either.
Feena's "fiance" Jurgen from the Moon absolutely detests Earthlings, and tries to put on a smile while at Tatsuya's house, but he has a brief look of disgust while Mai tries to clean off some tea she accidentally spilled on him. He's also very against any kind of relationship between the Moon and Earth.
Impossible Task: Karen, who's the person the King of Sphere has entrusted with judging potential husbands for Feena, and can't approve of Feena and Tatsuya's relationship in Feena's Route (due to him being an Earthling and a commoner), sets one on them: Tatsuya has to defeat Feena in a kendo match. Problem is, Tatsuya has never practiced kendo, Feena is an expert kendoka, and he only has one week to prepare for the match... Feena defeats him, but it ultmately turns out to be a Secret Test of Character, in order to test their determination. They pass the test with flying colors, allowing Karen to fully support them.
Lethal Chef: Natsuki, called the "Carbon Master" because everything she cooks winds up looking like charcoal (even a salad in the anime).
Missing Mom: Mothers really don't fare well in this one: Tatsuya and Feena both had their mothers die (around the same time, no less), and Jin and Natsuki's mother is off training somewhere during the events of the games and anime.
Jin and Natsuki's mom does make an appearance in the last episode of the anime though, at Tatsuya and Feena's wedding.
Really 700 Years Old: Fiacca and Cynthia Marguerite, both are scientists of the war 500-700 years ago. Justified in both cases where Fiacca has many people as vessels and Wreathlit is only the current one, and Cynthia has been put in a time machine, but doesn't age since time doesn't flow inside.
Another Side, Another Story: At various points of the routes, the story's point of view changes from Tatsuya, to another character (often, but not limited to, the route's heroine), allowing to the player to know the feelings of those characters. Those events are called "Another View" in the game.
Ascended Extra: Midori Tohyama, Tatsuya's classmate, has been one of the possible love interests since PS2 adaption. Estel Freesia also fits, in that she appears in Feena's ending in the PS2 and MC versions, whereas she didn't appear in the PC original.
The Atoner: Priest Moritz, who, in various Another View events, mentions he's in penance for something terrible he did in the past. The nature of his sin is the final Reveal of Estel's Route: he was a noble from a cream-of-the-crop Lunarian house, who, 20 years before, was appointed as the first ambassador of the newly built Lunarian Embassy on Earth. He had a daughter he adored, named Freesia, who, before he knew it, fell in love with an Earthling. Getting wind of this, Moritz forcefully separated them, but later discovered she was pregnant with their child, and she kept it in spite of her father's opposition. The baby was born, but Moritz, not accepting the situation, abandoned it at an orphanage behind Freesia's back. Freesia died from the emotional shock, causing Moritz to deeply regret his actions, and wanting to take back the baby and raise it. The orphanage refused, so he decided to throw away his noble title, and enter the orders, so he could watch over the baby and help as many people as possible. And who was that baby? Estel.
Tatsuya neatly averts it in Estel's Route. He confesses his feelings to her as soon as he realizes them, but she refuses her confession, as, by this point of the storyline, while she has begun to fall in love with him, she still hasn't fully sorted out her Fantastic Racism issues. Tatsuya, realizing this, decides not to give up, and to patiently melt her armor some more before trying again.
Played straight in most of the other Routes, though. Justified in Mai's, as both she and Tatsuya, while having both developed feelings of love for each other, are held back for a long time, first for confessing their feelings to each other, then to tell them to everyone, by both The Promise they did in their childhood days of never revealing to anyone they're Not Blood Siblings, and the fear of destroying the family they form with Sayaka by this reveal.
Cuteness Proximity: Estel, who's a covert dog lover and literally melts upon meeting one. Tatsuya accidentally discovers her secret at the beginning of her Route, much to her embarassement, and it becomes an important part in cracking her armor.
Dead Guy Junior: Estel, whose family name is, unbeknownst to her, the first name of her biological mother, Freesia.
Fan Translation: A work in progress. Erengy Projects, the same group which translated Canvas 2, is striving to translate a worksafe Windows version.
Long Distance Relationship: In Natsuki's Route, after the High School year is over, Natsuki is going to a faraway university in order to follow veterinary studies (and ultimately fulfill The Promise she made to him when they were young). This perspective fills Tatsuya with much anxiety, making it the driving force of her Route.
Reassigned to Antarctica: In the Silent Moonlight Church, being assigned to a post on Earth is considered as this, unlike in the Moon government and the Military where it's considered as an honor. Because of this, Estel initially hates being on Earth and tries her best to be reassigned to the Moon.
In Midori's Route, when Midori tries to take Tatsuya in playing with her instead of doing their school task of collecting trash on the beach, a parody of the Dragon Quest battle sequence will appear, with Midori as the random encounter monster (and Tatsuya is listed as of the "Earthling" Class in his battle stats). Trying to fight or run away from Midori is useless, and even if you insist in doing so, after a few turns the option "Play with her" will appear as all three selectable options.
The same battle sequence appears in the Bonus Scenario "Natural Enemy ~Asagiri House's Strongest Living Being~", this time with Fiacca as the player (she gets the "Mysterious Person" class, and is equipped with a "Soft Hat", a "Cute Dress", and has "Lost Technology" as her weapon), and Sayaka as the monster, who damages Fiacca's Hit Points each time she cuddles her. Fiacca gets utterly defeated.
Shout-Out: On 6/27 of the common Route, one of the flyers some people try to give to Mia advertises a pub called the "Ringo Tei": this is the name of the pub in August's second game, Princess Holiday: Korogaru Ringo Tei Sen'ya Ichiya.
Tears of Joy: Estel sheds these upon seeing the kindness of everyone, after the conference she and Tatsuya organized together is successfully over, in the climax of her Route.
Trademark Favorite Food: Cream puffs for Feena. The scene where she eats one for the first time is even treated as if she had eaten an Impossibly Delicious Food, with her gushing about the taste (when the other characters have a normal "delicious" reaction) while Love Bubbles appear in the background.
In Estel's Route, Priest Moritz pulls one on Estel, for refusing to help Tatsuya as a priestess, in contradiction with both her own morals and the dogmas' of the Silent Moonlight Church, just because he's an Earthling. After that, she has no choice but to accept cooperating with Tatsuya in making the Moon-themed conference he was asked to do by his classmates.
In Mia's Route, Feena gets a spectacular one from Mia, as she was about to agree with a plan to have Sayaka used as The Scapegoat after an incident occured in a reception of officials from both Earth and the Moon, for the sake of the Moon-Earth relationship: Mia was entrusted by both Feena's mother and her own to watch over Feena and make sure she wouldn't ever follow the wrong path. As this call-out comes from such a Shrinking Violet, it's acknowledged as a Crowning Moment Of Awesome for Mia In-Universe by Tatsuya. With some extra explanation from Tatsuya, Feena realizes her mistake, and Takes A Third Option that saves both Sayaka and the situation instead.
Because You Were Nice to Me: Wreath plays this trope straight, arguing against killing Tatsuya because he showed kindness to her, and even risked his life to save her from an oncoming car (she could've stopped/destroyed it herself, but its the thought that counts), despite Fiacca's insistence that peace could never exist between the Earth and the Moon.
Beware the Nice Ones: Sayaka seems to get very upset at her siblings, as well as Feena, Mia, and Karen, after their father's study room gets blown up due to the presence of roaches.
Chekhov's Gun: In episode 4, Tatsuya and Mai jokingly mention that their dad was investigating 'alien ruins' and might have been abducted. Sayaka and the President look at pictures of a UFO in passing and suspect it is a new Lunar ship. Then when Tatasuya gets shot in the last episode, aliens save his life (partly because his father had been traveling with them).
Clingy Jealous Girl: Sayaka gets a bit jealous, albeit in a cute, and largely drunk, way, when she asks Karen why the latter has a boyfriend when they already have each other. Sayaka then proceeds to pin her to the ground with a hug.
Both Tatsuya and Takano also suffer from this, although in Tatsuya's case he usually doesn't deserve it, largely due to Takano getting him into trouble with the girls.
Deus ex Machina: In the anime, After getting shot and dying protecting Feena, Tatsuya is suddenly brought back by aliens.
First Girl Wins: Feena is the first girl we see in the first episode, and she also met Tatsuya when they were little kids.
Forgotten Childhood Friend: In episode 5, Feena asks Tatsuya why he's so devoted to going to the moon. He tells her about when he was younger and met a young girl who was from there. They both lost their mothers recently and cried together, but soon after learned to stop crying. Feena's guards find her and take her back, but not before Tatsuya promises that he's going to visit her on the moon someday. Afterwards he realizes the young girl was Feena, who's happy he's kept his promise.
Flash Back: Parts of episode 10 show the moon king's past when he was the same age as Feena, and how he ended up with the queen. Chiharu, who Tatsuya mentioned going to the moon for a brief period posing as a student, was the one who helped encourage the future king to be more bold towards Cephilia.
Foreshadowing: Remember Tatsuya's dad getting kidnapped by aliens as imagined by Mai in episode 5? It turns out that he really abducted, but seems to have made friends with them, as they show up in the last episode after Takano broadcasts everything Tatsuya and Feena were doing on the moon. Said aliens are also present at Feena and Tatsuya's wedding a few years later.
Genre Savvy: In episode 2, Sayaka, Tatsuya, and Mai yoink Feena and Mia away from a window. Then Jin comes flying out of one of them near where they were standing just moments before. Feena and Tatsuya do this to Wreath in episode 6 as well.
The Glomp: Sayaka does this to Wreath in the last episode.
Gratuitous English: Natsuki's brother yells "Niagara!" right as he falls down a waterfall after being tossed in by her, then developing a leg cramp as he tried to swim.
Heroic BSOD: In episode 7, after both Feena and Tatsuya are told they shouldn't be in contact with each other, both seem very unhappy while separated.
Hufflepuff House: In the anime, everyone who isn't Feena or directly related to her.
If I Can't Have You: While he wasn't in love with her, Jurgen tries to shoot Feena anyway since his plans were ruined. Tatsuya ends up Taking the Bullet instead though, which shocks everyone who was watching.
Imagine Spot: Mai has a few of these, usually imagining herself and her family getting tortured by various characters.
Large Ham: Usually Jin, but Takano sometimes falls into this trope as well.
Not What It Looks Like: In episode 4, Takano is showing Tatsuya some peeping tom videos he took of the various girls taking a bath. Cue his sister walking in on them, and then beating him up while he's in his underwear on the bed. Then Mia and Feena also walk in to see it. Much to his chagrin, both Takano and his assistant have vanished, so it seems to the girls that he was checking them out. They hilariously take their anger out on him, shortly before the misunderstanding is cleared up.
Oh Crap: In episode 2, after Natsuki accidentally lets out that Feena is staying with him, Tatsuya has that look right before all the guys in their class seize him and takes him outside the class to investigate it.
Tatsuya again after he's "busted" watching videos (that Takano took and was showing him) of the girls taking a bath.
Takano also has this look on his face after his assistant ditches him when several of the girls get mad at him for not telling them the island wasn't uninhabited.
Reasonable Authority Figure: Both the moon's king and the UN president are pretty reasonable and generally try not to jump to conclusions when things happen. Even when he's told about Karen's supposed defection, he still orders her to be taken alive, although Jurgen tells his minions to kill her on sight.
Running Gag: Jin getting his pay repeatedly taken away to pay for various damages he causes due to Natsuki's attacks on him. Hilariously, in one instance, his father deducts pay from him for Tatsuya's mistakes in episode 7.
Serious Business: In episode 4, Karen blows up Tatsuya's house to get rid of some cockroaches. Earlier Feena took a BFG and shot it up as well.
Shout-Out: In episode 4 and his appearance in the last episode, Tatsuya's dad carries a whip and wears a fedora, much like Indiana Jones. Also in the 4th episode, Feena goes Rambo on the bugs in the study using a motion detector and a BFG ala Aliens, in order to save her protegee Mia (like Ripley did for Newt); she also calls Karen for reinforcements, who comes in a AliensDrop Ship-lookalike and pulverizes the Asagiri house LV-426-style.
Episode 5 has one for Jaws, when a shark fin appears near the beach where Tatsuya was teaching Feena how to swim.
First, Tatsuya finding out that the little girl he promised to visit on the moon was in fact Feena, who's happy that he's kept his promise after all this time. This also helps explain when Feena visited Earth as a child, and why she didn't get upset with him in the first episode when he grabbed her nose, as he did that to her when they were younger to help cheer her up.
In the second, it turns out that the island they were stranded on wasn't exactly uninhabited, and Takano just claimed it was. Several of the girls are not happy to hear about that, and start chasing after him as he tries to run away. Feena says she still had a good time however.
Wham Episode: Episode 7, which starts going into serious drama territory after the much lighter earlier episodes, and starts with Feena and Tatsuya being largely forcibly separated from each other. It also introduces Feena's supposed fiance, whom she repeatedly tells various characters such as her father that she rejected a marriage proposal to him prior to leaving for Earth.