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Visual Novel: A Profile

Hayama Masayuki is a strange student. Every day, he studies. While those around him goof off or turn to petty crime, he remains an honest and forward looking young man. So, how is he particularly strange? Because he lives in a horrible town, goes to a horrible school and is one of less than half a dozen students in his school who entertain any notion at all of making something more of themselves by going to college. However, you wouldn't know it to look at him because Masayuki pointedly ignores the failings of his hometown and the flaws in his classmates and friends. As the lone nice guy, all his friends eventually left until he had only two companions left.

But it isn't all bad. In a way, the school body admires him even as they fear his new perspective of focusing on the good things in life. Well, they bullied him a little, but since he simply didn't care they eventually stopped. But lately things are getting a little more difficult. After turning his former delinquent lifestyle around, all his relationships changed, for better or worse. As did all his interests. From here on out, how will he put his life back together?

A Profile is a visual novel released by Akabei Soft (now known as Akabei Soft2) in 2005 and the third to be translated into English, following Sharin No Kuni and later G-Senjou no Maou. Unlike those two, which were released at a later date, A Profile has a more standard route progression system as it appears the writers had not yet picked up the style of a linear storyline that splits only later in the story.

A fan translation was released by Amaterasu translations on October 4th, 2011.


Tropes:

  • All-Loving Hero: Masayuki always does his best to see the best parts of everyone, though this is not presented as necessarily a good thing.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Miku is rather cool and distant most of the time which is partially to cover up her being really shy.
  • An Aesop
  • Armor-Piercing Question: The speech from Miku starting with "Why did you decide never to run again?"
  • Berserk Button
    • Everyone carefully avoids mentioning Kaine's sex because they know he won't react well, giving some overlap with Elephant in the Living Room. There are points where he overreacts to minor things that only have a tangential relation, though.
    • Nobody talks about track in front of Masayuki. He'll get angry and try to change the subject. Miku, however, will not let it drop and keeps pushing him to run again. When she finally gets him willing to try to run again by telling him she'll be hospitalized soon and can't run anymore, she gets too scared and pretends that what she said was a joke, making him so angry that he flat out walks away immediately and refuses to talk to her.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Conversations with Riko begin normally sometimes, but then she feels the need to start adding disturbing or ridiculous thoughts to it.
  • Bromantic Foil: Kaine. However, he's actually more popular than Masayuki despite being a blatant otaku.
  • Buttmonkey: Miou tends to be the butt of a lot of jokes when Kaine and Masayuki are around.
  • Catch Phrase: Masayuki's friends make fun of his tendency to answer Dunno! to quite a lot of questions.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Masayuki is so unathletic due to an illness that hospitalized him.
  • Chick Magnet: Kaine is apparently quite popular. And Masayuki would be even more popular if he didn't always stay with Miou, who is rumored to be a prostitute.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Miou and Masayuki. Lampshaded heavily in her introduction scene where he accuses her of pretending to be a Patient Childhood Love Interest. They did in fact date in the past, but broke up.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Rizu really used to be one during an unstable period during her life. She even started acting like she and Masayuki were lovers in order to drive a wedge between him and Miou. She burned his diaries from her as well.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Riko seems to feel that it's insulting to have to act normally for more than five seconds at a time, so she'll always turn the conversation in a twisted direction.
  • Comically Missing the Point: "Miku has a split personality? Awesome, that means I can have a threesome this summer!"
  • The Comically Serious: Miku always tries to be serious and intellectual, so Masayuki begins utilizing those traits to make silly situations.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Kaine appears to have made Rizu memorize the names of every single character that appears in Legend of Galactic Heroes. For those unaware of the series, that's over half a thousand characters over about a hundred episodes.
  • Cute and Psycho: Riko, played for laughs. She hates making sense and has a tendency to brainwash her children.
  • Dysfunction Junction: A norm for Akabei Soft2's works. Masayuki's father was a criminal who would beat him before he died of cancer, his mother is nice but bizarre, his sister stabbed him after he terrified her so badly that she nearly broke and his former life was shattered due to an illness. His best friends are a transexual and a broken girl that has taken to prostitution and his third friend is probably the most normal and functional member of the cast. She simply has distant parents and occasionally alludes to having poor health.
  • Elephant in the Living Room
    • People tend to skate around how Masayuki has changed because they know he does not want to talk about his old life. This applies to various things that are obvious to everyone around him, such as his relationship with track.
    • Everyone goes out of their way to avoid discussing Kaine being transgender as well. Masayuki makes sure to advise Miku on what honorifics to use to avoid pissing him off accidentally.
  • Fantastically Indifferent: "Ah, so you have a split personality that's in love with me Miku? How interesting. Can I meet her?" Completely serious.
  • Fridge Logic: In-Universe, it suddenly occurs to Masayuki that there's no reason he couldn't have started dating Miou again after Rizu made them break up.
  • The Ghost: Kako, Miku's younger twin sister. She answers the phone once, but other than that she merely exists to flesh out Miku's backstory.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Miou is extremely jealous of Rizu in Rizu's route.
  • Hooked Up Afterwards: It's implied in one of Rizu's endings that Kaine and Miou hook up afterward and confirmed in the other.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Miou really wants to stand our and be something special, but she's just an ordinary girl. She gets teased a lot for it.
  • Ill Girl: Miku isn't supposed to run anymore due to illness. She's gradually getting weaker and is due to be hospitalized soon. The reason for her illness is that she donated a part of her liver to her little sister, but due to a botched surgery she started to get sick.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Kaine fails to cover up for Miou because Miou left a hair pin on the roof and Miou says she wasn't on the roof when Masayuki finds it.
  • Lethal Chef: Riko can cook, but she's far more likely to add bizarre inedible things to Masayuki's lunch for no reason whatsoever.
  • Little Sister Heroine: Lampshaded. Masayuki is aware that Rizu falls into this category, but constantly rejects the idea. You even get a chance to give a flat 'no' to the relationship, which is entirely in character.
    Hayama: I'm not marrying you. Want to make sure you don't fall for me or anything. We're only stepsiblings, so I thought I should make that clear.
  • Love Letter Lunacy: In Miku's route, Masayuki converses for a while with a girl called Karen through letters left in his shoe locker. The setup is so cliché that Kaine and Miou don't take it seriously, especially since Karen forgot to add her name to the first letter.
  • Love Triangle: Miou and Rizu both love Masayuki. Masayuki used to date Miou. Things...didn't work out. Miou is involved in another triangle where she's obviously still in love with Masayuki and Kaine loves her as well.
  • Maybe Ever After: If you don't choose to sleep with Rizu, there is an ending that confirms they she and Masayuki do love each other, but Rizu is moving out to grow up a little and stop just being his little sister. A similar hint is given for Kaine/Miou.
  • Mood Whiplash: On occasion. An early example is a cheerful 'going home together scene' with Rizu, Miou and Masayuki that is interrupted by Rizu asking Miou if she loves Masayuki. Everyone there knows the answer is 'yes' because they were dating at one point.
  • Multiple Endings: There are three different girls and, not counting bad endings, five endings.
    • Rizu's endings determine the nature of her relationship with Masayuki. In one ending, she stays his sister and in the other he accepts her as a lover.
    • Miku's endings come down to a choice at the very end, one of which leads to a good ending and one which implies that Miku has only slightly recovered and is forcing herself, which may have drastic consequences.
    • Miou just gets a good ending since her route is littered with ways to hit a bad end.
  • Nice Guy: Masayuki is an unnervingly nice guy. It weirds people out.
  • Not Quite The Right Thing: Two of the routes deal with an example before the story. After Rizu stabs him, Masayuki devotes his time and effort to making her smile again, neglecting Miou in the process. This leads to their break-up, Miou's resentment of Rizu, and her self-destructive behavior.
  • Not So Weak: Do not make the mistake of thinking Masayuki is a coward. Just because he's not making a big deal of you harassing him doesn't mean he's a pushover. Near the end of Rizu's route he gets serious and terrifies an entire gang that isn't telling him what he wants to know.
  • Oblivious Mockery: In Miku's route Mayasuki is given a love letter left in his locker. Naturally Miou, Rizu, and Kaine begin mocking him viciously believing it is a prank, not knowing the person who wrote it is close by. In fact, it was Miku who wrote it and was literally right next to everyone as it was going on. She subtlety reminds Kaine about this event later on in the route much to his embarrassment.
  • Oblivious to Love: Masayuki looks this way during early parts of Miku's route, though to be fair she gives out some pretty strange signals.
  • The Ojou: Miku. She denies being rich but eventually gives up her protests.
  • Otaku: Kaine likes to act goofy and silly, emulating the sort of protagonist who can do things if they really try. He knows he's really just halfassing it though.
  • Painting the Medium: "Why the tilde?"
  • Pair the Spares: Kaine and Miou, as Rizu informs Masayuki of in one her endings. It's also implied in Rizu's other ending.
  • Purple Is The New Black: Miku's hair is called black, but it's clearly purple.
  • Rape as Drama: In Rizu's route, it's strongly implied that her bully was raped offscreen right before the climax, which sends her from intending to repent to intending to force Rizu to take some drugs.
  • Reality Ensues: Despite Masayuki's passionate pleas to Miou's father, Miou's parents still split up. He did manage to impress her father though.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Masayuki refuses to suspect his friends or see the bad in people.
  • Shipper on Deck: Riko is not exactly subtle. Oddly, though, she'll push him towards any of the three girl.
  • Shout-Out: Kaine forces Rizu to memorize every character in Legend of Galactic Heroes and later Masayuki thinks he's dreaming and begins to act like Darth Vader.
  • Shrinking Violet: Karen is too shy to speak in front of Masayuki. Which is Miku's real personality... Mostly. Despite this, she's the only one with the nerve to keep asking Masayuki about track.
  • Split Personality: Miku claims to have a split personality named Karen. Or rather, her wording actually indicates that she views both Miku and Karen as personas that she uses to express different parts of herself, though she does tell some outright lies.
  • Stepford Smiler: Subverted: At first it is implied that Masayuki is faking a 'nice big brother' personality to make Rizu happy, but in truth it's just that he became sick of his father and then had a long time in the hospital to sit and reevaluate his life and his relationships. He simply decided he didn't want to be that way anymore.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Both Rizu and Riko respond to Masayuki's declaration that he won't marry Rizu with the same nonsense syllables.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: Miku acts aloof and uncaring, but it's clear she cares a lot about Masayuki despite her distant attitude.
  • Third-Person Person: Rizu's constant use of the third person is rather recognized in story. At one point early on she uses 'atashi' instead to refer to herself and Masayuki instantly begins paying attention.
  • Transsexual: Kaine is biologically female, but never felt like one. Eventually, she started going to school in male clothing and taking male hormones. Contrary to similar plotlines in other stories, however, Kaine continues to be treated as male after this. He gets more female attention than Masayuki despite being pretty open about it.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Masayuki insists on seeing the best in people and situations, and this filters into what he tells us.
  • The Unreveal: The underwear that Rizu accidentally put on when running late for school. We know it wasn't a thong, but it's implied to be pretty racy stuff.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Kaine thinks Masayuki never fought him because biologically he's female. But it turns out Masayuki is fine with hitting girls, proved roughly five seconds later.
  • Yandere
    • Miou, though much more on the pitiful side of the spectrum than the crazy side. She's incredibly frustrated with Masayuki for first ignoring her and then dumping her to make Rizu happy, so when he begins showing more interest in Rizu she starts harassing her in more and more harsh ways.
    • Rizu when she was younger was fairly unstable thanks to Masayuki. She acted very drastically to force Masayuki to break up with Miou, though by the time the game starts she's grown out of it.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Miou and Miku have blue and purple hair respectively, though it's implied to actually be black early on.
  • Zero Approval Gambit: Miou tries really hard to make Masayuki suspect and distrust her in both Rizu's route and her own.


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alternative title(s): A Profile
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