The characters, clockwise from the top: Youko, Kiri, Miki, Misato, Touko. Not shown: ability to function in society.
"This is the Gunjou Institute Broadcasting Club. Is anyone alive out there?"
A Visual Novel created by Flying Shine in 2003. CROSS†CHANNEL is an H-game for PC with a clean version available for PlayStation 2 and Playstation Portable called CROSS†CHANNEL ～To all people～, a newer version with added CGs and scenarios for the Xbox 360 called CROSS†CHANNEL ~In memory of all people~, and a reprint edition for the PC in 2012. A translation for both the clean and H version is available from Amaterasu Translations.Self proclaimed "Love Aristocrat" Taichi Kurosu attends a school called Gunjou Institute with his fellow members of the Broadcasting Club. Gunjou is a place for people who, based on an adaption exam, have an abnormally high adaptation coefficient. This means that the government has deemed them unlikely to be able to adapt into society. Taichi himself has an adaption coefficient of over 80, which is thought to be impossible.After a slow falling out between members, Taichi attempts to bring the fractured Broadcasting Club back together by getting them to go on a camping trip together. This trip serves to only fracture the relationships between members even more, ending up a disaster. But as the members make their way back to town, they discover that every living thing has somehow disappeared from the world, leaving only them behind. Taichi tries to convince the others to help rebuild the broadcasting antenna so as to contact other survivors.Strangely enough, the characters were the basis for the highly popular flash game Nanaca Crash.
Bittersweet Ending : Everyone but Taichi escapes the loop, and he's repaired his relationships with all of them and helped fix at least some of their problems. Unfortunately, he himself is stuck in the repeating world, where he rebuilds the antenna every week and broadcasts. It's implied that he may be able to get out, but it's unlikely he will due to a lack of desire to do so.
Taichi: "......my two hundred million cute little wonderful lives."
Break the Cutie: Okay, who doesn't go through this throughout the course of the story? There's Sakuraba, and... that's it, really. And when someone breaks, they either break hardor die, accidentally or intentionally.
Taichi: Are you eating something delicious? This is the Gunjou Institute Broadcasting Club.
[Touko] spat out something delicious.
Conflict Ball: Kiri has a death grip on one for the majority of the game. She does have a reason, but her actions are still not helping the situation everyone is in.
Deconstruction : Isn't it interesting how all these tsunderes, cuckoolanders, emotionless girls and whatnot are all living together in a community for those who cannot function properly in society?
Golden Ending: deconstructed as pointed out by Youko the hundreds or thousands of times Taichi has repeated the game has resulted in countless bad endings for Taichi and there IS no super happy ending out there. And ultimately she is proven right in the game's Bittersweet Ending, where everyone but Taichi gets sent back to the real world, Taichi remains in self-imposed exile, and it's left questionable if a few people who he sends back will ever fully recover and become functional members of society (Kiri manages to accomplish this.)
Dartboard of Hate: Except replace "darts" with "crossbow" and "dartboard" with a doll of Taichi. Though in Kiri's sendback route, the doll is unscathed..
Despair Event Horizon: Taichi suffers some pretty major Sanity Slippage throughout the whole game, but he comes closest to this in Youko's route. After his realization, he finally decides to truly become The Atoner and return everyone to the original world.
Destructive Romance: Taichi and Touko used to be in this type of relationship. Taichi was basically using her as an experiment to see just how much he could break her while retaining his sanity, and Touko was so desperate for love and attention that she just decided not to care, so long as it wasn't with anyone else. And when he decided to break the relationship? Hoo boy...
Or at least that's how Taichi thinks of it in retrospect. At the time, it was an experiment to see if he could be a normal human being. It failed, and part of the reason why is that in a place like Gunjou he has no one normal to interact with. The basics still apply, though, as Touko becomes more and more obsessed when during her route the relationship is restarted.
Downer Ending : Not to the game itself, but some routes end poorly. All of them except maybe Kiri and Miki's. And in Kiri's he comes really close to passing the Moral Event Horizon, and Miki's isn't much better.
Dysfunction Junction : It's important to remember that everyone in this has been deemed unlikely to be able to adapt to society. They ALL have something wrong with them. Except Sakuraba, who is only in the school because he requested to be transferred there after falling in love with Taichi.
Ear Cleaning: In Miki's route. Unfortunately, Miki is terrible with this.
Earn Your Bad Ending: The only way you can get a bad end is by failing either Kiri or Miki's sendback week 150 times.
First Name Basis: Youko and Touko address Taichi this way. For Youko, it's because they've known each other since childhood. For Touko, it's a hint that their relationship is a lot deeper than initially portrayed.
Eros: Pretty much all the girls you see towards Taichi. Including Sakuraba.
Agape: Nanaka towards Taichi, which Taichi later gives in turn to his friends.
Freeze-Frame Bonus: When Taichi mentions "petting", there is a brief flash of an H-CG drawn in a different style. This CG is actually from one of Flying Shine's other eroge, Shokuzai no Kyoushitsu BAD END.
Futureshadowing: Taichi always enters the girl's bathroom out of habit. Later its revealed that Taichi was made to crossdress his entire childhood as a "doll".
The Ghost: Mutsumi-san, Taichi's and formerly Youko's as well, caretaker.
Good People Have Good Sex: Played with. Most of Taichi's "encounters" are forceful, yet passionate, reflecting his somewhat skewed morality. However, during his second sex scene with Miki, the sex is shown to be incredibly awkward, yet it's probably the one where Taichi cared the most.
Iyashikei: The game has the general aesthetic of this, with Taichi even stating that as the town's theme. But considering the people attempting to carry out the Slice of Life activities are a Dysfunction Junction, things get worse pretty quickly.
Kansai Regional Accent: Tomoki and Misato are hinted to be from Kansai. If so, then they pretty much avert The Idiot from Osaka, as they're pretty knowledgeable, and Tomoki is basically the Straight Man of the guys. Their parents, on the other hand, end up fulfilling the money-grubber stereotype, which ended up in Misato having them arrested.
Leaning on the Fourth Wall : During the second to last week Youko points out that every one of the hundreds or maybe thousands of weeks preceding could be considered a Bad End. Taichi is not happy at the end of a single one, and he's also frequently dead. Along with the entire cast.
Earlier on, Taichi wonders to himself, "Am I some sort of eroge hero or something?"
Left Hanging: There are many plot points left laying around, and even the bonus scenario Tower of Friends doesn't really clear things up.
Limited Wardrobe: Actually pointed out when Taichi remarks on how Youko never bothers to change her dirty uniform. When he asks how Touko is able to keep wearing the same dress while keeping it clean, Youko mentions that it's because she has multiple copies of the same outfit.
Fridge Horror: If you look at Meaningful Name below, "korosu" (kill) sounds very similar to "Kurosu", which is a near homophone with "cross" in Japanese. More crosses appear as alternate Taichi's sanity slips. †††††††††
Multiple Endings : All of which are in a sense canon! However, Youko points out that not a single one has been a good ending to the week. At best he's managed to reconcile with one person, but either everyone dies with Misato and Touko, or he does it in a bad way with Kiri or everyone dies and it was in a bad way and then the reset hit with Miki. There's only one 'true' ending.
Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory : Averted. Taichi can never remember what happened in a past week, but there is the spot safe from resets at the hokora. Notebooks are stored there. Near the end, Youko intends to abuse this to make Taichi forget his plan of sending everyone home, but he mentally breaks her down instead.
The hokora is also the only place where Taichi can send everyone back.
Sanity Slippage : Everyone, but it is most obvious with Taichi. Each arc shows you a more tragic and/or crazy Taichi than the last. It's especially bad in Kiri's route, which gets rather... unpleasant. It's the route that really introduces just how messed up Taichi is, so the writers pulled no punches in making the point. During the final route, you get to see a different version where Taichi uses the knowledge from the notebooks to avoid all the really disgusting scenes. While Taichi may or may not be trapped forever depending on how you look at it, he's at least sane at last.
The Plan: Youko nearly pulls off one in the final week, figuring out what Taichi is up to she aids him without question in sending everyone else back to the real world. Then when only the two of them remain she torches all the saved records from the hokora then captures and plans to kill his "saved" self and live forever in a perpetual loop with him as a phenomena, with his reset self none the wiser to what has happened and incapable of learning the truth. Only a brutal last minute Breaking Speech by Taichi allows him to turn the tables and force her to leave instead.
The Power of Friendship: The game revolves around this. It's friendship that helps the Broadcasting Club live through their problems, even if they can't exactly get over them.
The Power of Love: As Taichi suffers a Heroic BSOD from being alone for so long, he draws upon the very first memory he has: his very own birth. That makes him realize that there was always at least one person in the world who would unconditionally love him, without ever asking anything in return: his mother, Nanaka.
There Are No Therapists: You know it's bad when there's an entire school dedicated to isolating all the crazy people.
Updated Re-release: CROSS†CHANNEL ~To all people~ for the PS2 and PSP and CROSS†CHANNEL ~In memory of all people~ for the Xbox 360. Both versions include new CGs and remove the sex scenes, while ~In memory of all people~ includes two new scenarios.