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Grisaia no Kajitsu is a visual novel released by frontwing in 2011.Growing restless with his unspecified but clearly shady job at the start of the story, Kazami Yuuji requests to be transferred into a normal school. Seeing as he has some emotional issues and a traumatic background, the most that could be accomplished was enrolling him in Mihama Academy, a closed learning environment established to nurture students who find themselves at odds with the world around them. There are only five other students, all of them girls from decently wealthy families who have similarly murky pasts. He quickly integrates himself into the class while the girls begin dropping little hints as to the reason they are in such a specialized and secluded school in the first place.The story is in large parts a romance, but many routes actually set up further events based on Yuuji's own abused backstory and presumed dead sister. While interacting with the girls, he is liable at any moment to be called away to his special part time 'cleaning' jobs at only a moment's notice. His military regimen also puts him slightly at odds with the girls, making it unclear how well he can truly integrate himself into a normal lifestyle.Two sequels to the game have been released: Grisaia no Meikyuu in 2012, and Grisaia no Rakuen in 2013. None of the games have received an official English release; however, the first game has received an English translation patch, and an English patch for Meikyuu is currently in development.Grisaia no Kajitsu is slated to be adapted into an anime, produced by 8-Bit, airing in the fall of 2014. The voice cast from the visual novels will reprise their roles.
Provides examples of:
A Date with Rosie Palms: Not only does the game have next to zero subtlety in the fact that the girls masturbate but Makina's route even has a moment where, on the subject of using Yuuji as "masturbation fodder", Amane and Sachi openly and comfortably admit their favorite fantasies while Amane effortlessly guesses Michiru and Chizuru's and probably Yumiko's as well, leaving her to conclude that all five of them are masochists. Michiru is left in shock she's been picked apart while Chizuru is reduced to a whimpering puddle of mortification. And that doesn't even include the incident on the common route where Amane sniffs Yuuji's shirt and almost starts playing with herself on his bed unaware that he's since entered his room and is casually watching.
The story carries an underlying message that whatever helps you get through things is probably okay, even if they seem wrong. Maybe they will be wrong in the long term, but do what you can when you have to. To wit:
Michiru acts the clown since otherwise she feels entirely worthless. It’s no longer really healthy for her, but at the time she started doing it, it was absolutely critical.
Sachi obsessively obeys all orders because she perceives herself to be selfish and terrible but while this helped overcome her PTSD temporarily it did lead her to attempt to burn down her school when asked to stop the exams. Stated explicitly in this case.
There’s also a firm message delivered by Yuuji: People don’t save each other. People save themselves. A little help is good, but in the end it’s up to the person with the problem to help themselves truly deal with their issues. Doing it all by yourself is something you could spend your whole life on and still not succeed.
Irisu Makina has a different aesop than the other girls. Instead, hers is to rely on others willing to help if you can't deal with the situation by yourself in order to solve it. Otherwise, it will only lead to ruin for you.
All Women Are Lustful: Yuuji is apparently surrounded by rather lusty women. Even his boss flirts with him. Only Michiru seems exempt.
Arranged Marriage: Yumiko’s mother was a small-time landowner who married an up and coming railroad baron at the wishes of her family.
Artistic License – Geography: A highway sign in episode 5 indicates that Interstate 12 is in California. The real Interstate 12 is located entirely within Louisiana, connecting Baton Rouge and Slidell.
The Atoner: After being outwitted and beaten by Yuuji, Michiaki’s world collapses and he tries to understand the suffering he put his wife and daughter through. To his dismay, he simply can’t do it. All his empathy was burned away thanks to his own father.
Attending Your Own Funeral: To make a point, Yuuji fakes Michiru’s death and buries her. She’s quite astonished to hear that people actually do care about her and the letters they left her push her to making a real decision instead of just running away. So then she has a choice to make: Stay dead, or come out of the box?
Authority in Name Only: Supposedly, Makina’s grandfather is the head of the Irisu family. In truth, the Irisu are matrilineal and thus he has no real power to help her.
Babies Ever After: Several endings end far enough in the future to see Yuuji with a wife and children, generally a daughter.
Batman Gambit: In Yumiko's route, Yuuji plots to overthrow Michiaki from the Presidency of the East Beach Railroad group by getting enough shares from the small shareholders. However, this was just a ruse to catch attention and distract him from the real plan of going after government sponsors instead.
Beach Episode: Right before the route branchings, the cast go to the beach. A miserable time is had by Michiru because the universe hates her.
Be Careful What You Wish For: If you ask Sachi for something without thinking it through or wording it carefully, you might really regret it. Michiru is completely unable to get Sachi to stop calling her 'Michiru-sama,' which is a request she didn't really mean in the first place.
Berserk Button: At the beginning of Michiru’s route, when a well meaning Amane keeps pressing Yuuji about how awkward Michiru is acting, she absolutely blows up without intending to and screams at Amane necessitating the ‘other’ Michiru to save the situation.
Better as Friends: In most endings, Yuuji will admit to himself that Amane is more important to him than anyone he’s really interacted with since his master or JB, but he doesn’t want to mix romance into things. He really does see her as something of a big sister figure.
Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: When the group is stalking Sakaki at the beginning of her route, Makina and Sachi play this to "let off some of the tension".
A Birthday, Not a Break: Sachi’s parents were run over on her birthday and right in front of her. That it was this day of all day really worms its way inside her heart, especially with how she had been acting.
Brick Joke: At the beginning of a Sachi portion of the story she mentions how the principal asked her to water the flowers if they looked unhealthy. Yuuji says that the next time she makes a request like that she should make an insulting reply and then they continue on with Sachi’s whole Extreme Doormat shtick. Skip forward about half a dozen scenes and Sachi interrupts Chizuru as prompted and walks off, much to her confusion.
Brother-Sister Incest: Upon learning how ‘close’ Kazuki was with Yuuji, Amane is pretty squicked. Especially considering the ages of the people in question. Kazuki was apparently under the impression that it wasn’t strange at all.
Bungled Suicide: In the middle of her unrequited love, abandonment and identity issues, Michiru’s cat dies and she swallows a lot of the pills she pretends are candy. Yuuji walks in on her with foam around her mouth and completely unconscious. Not the first time she’s tried, either.
Buried Alive: To make a point about how she should be living in a brutally direct way, Yuuji buries Michiru alive when she request to die. However, he leaves her close enough to the surface to easily escape on her own, makes the lid flimsy, makes sure there’s an air passage and leaves her a phone to call him on.
Call Back: If you read the flashback in Amane’s route and then reread the scene where he turns her down, you’ll see him say that there’s no big sister that would try to seriously kiss their little brothers. Except we know Kazuki did exactly that and more and Amane knows that damn well.
Calvinball: Extreme Sports is apparently a game similar to baseball except it using volleyball as a ball
Comatose Canary: Averted: The transplant girl was awake while supposedly in a vegetative state, but despite her best efforts she could not send any signals about it to her parents.
Compressed Adaptation: The anime speeds through much of the story quite quickly, including cutting some scenes short, skipping others and further removing subplots when they might conflict with later developments.
Crazy Enough to Work: Yuuji points out the ridiculousness of his plan, but proceeds to try it anyway as a last ditch effort in order to save Yumiko from being kidnapped by using a stolen sports car and a frozen turkey.
Damned by Faint Praise: Not that Sachi and Makina notice, but Yuuji describes Tunafishman as ‘Certainly not boring’ and ‘a truly… thought provoking experience.’
Date Peepers: Catching on that Amane intends to follow him on his date with Sachi, Yuuji decides to be obnoxious and boring by having their date be physical exercise. Irritated, she comes out of hiding quickly.
Deadly Distant Finale: Amane’s epilogue skips ahead, in the end placing itself fifty years in the future and includes how both of them died.
Defeat Means Friendship: Talked about and ridiculed. Who would become friends with someone that punches them anyway?
Discretion Shot: When we see the girls try on makeup, they go from best to worst with Yumiko, Michiru and Makina before the girls see Sachi and declare they would pity her too much if Yuuji saw what she had done to herself.
Yumiko's normal end takes place 4 years after the story, the good end 5 years after.
Makina's bad end takes place six months after and the good end 1 year after.
Driven to Suicide: One of the girls of the Basketball club hangs herself after her puppy dies and the rest of the group decides to eat it.
Drunk Driver: Part of Sachi's problem stems from an accident caused by a drunk truck driver running past a red light and over her parents, in front of her.
Dysfunction Junction: Mihama was established for gathering individuals with "special circumstances" on their lives. The students end up forming a group with this dynamic naturally.
Eat the Dog: During the bus crash, one of the girls brought along a small dog. Eventually it died and Kazuki suggested eating it. Her rather direct methods freak everyone out even as they know they wanted to suggest the same. Even Komori, the owner, joined in at the end. However, doing so broke her and she committed suicide a few days later.
Entendre Failure: Sachi provides a hip ointment to an old man, who leers and says his wife will be quite pleased. Sachi blinks in confusion and continues shopping.
Epic Fail: Played for drama in Yumiko’s route. After she and Yuuji flee into hiding, she begins feeling like a useless burden despite Yuuji’s reassurances and tries to learn some housework while she’s out. She burns the stew, spills tea on the table and laundry after it gets rained on, breaks half their dishware and generally trashes the place. When Yuuji gets home, he instantly assumes that there was an attack by her father’s men, which doesn’t help her depression at all.
Epilogue Letter: Michiru’s ending has her and her new friend writing a letter. The contents aren’t really that important so much as the story establishing how everyone involved is getting along with the new arrangements.
Evil Inc.: The Irisu corporation is fundamentally corrupt and cruel. Makina’s father Masataka was the only decent member, so he had a little “accident.”
Exact Words: Sachi will do exactly what you ask of her and no more, so be careful what you say.
Eyes Always Shut: Sakurai, one of the basketball club girls that were stranded during Amane's flashback.
Eye Scream: To disable a crazed man with a gun, Yuuji thrusts his fingers into his right eye socket and grabbing his eye without crushing it.
Adult women have been teaching these to Yuuji throughout the years. Two shining examples are that you should lie to women when the truth is tricky or that it’s not so bad to a replaceable cog in the machine.
Women aren’t really eager to learn the ugly truth. Even if they know you’re lying, they’ll choose to accept the deception as long as they have a reason to do so.
Not too long before the story began, Michiru decided that she had learned the lesson that if the real you sucks, fake a new personality. Better that way, right? The story seems to agree to an extent as well.
Fan Disservice: During the flashback in Amane’s route, she and Kazuki witness the captain having sex with the teacher. With human limbs beneath them that they were going to feed to the other girls.
Fanservice: Considering the time of media this is, is par for the course, but seeing Amane brazenly flaunt her bare rack at Yuuji, less than 10 minutes into it, its rather mind-numbing.
Amane mentions in passing that she has trouble keeping weight off because her body adapted to starvation conditions and keeps trying to pack on additional fat. Obviously, this leads somewhere unpleasant.
When the group begins talking about friends inside your head, Michiru's interest is instantly piqued. She's disappointed when they say they're just talking about imaginary friends.
Reliant on Yumiko's route at least being played second, if not last, but in all other routes, Yumiko is shown to have some unexplained power over the campus's decisions, as well as having more knowledge about the other students than even Yuuji. It's only revealed in her own route that this is because she's the daughter of the owner of Mihama and would realistically have access to all the information on all the others as well as being a huge deciding factor in the building built specifically for her.
Fridge Logic: The concept of the trope is explained In-Universeby Kazuki to Amane as "The reminiscence effect" during her flashback, where the analysis of the information becomes easier after some time has passed, after the brain creates new connections at the processing of the memory.
General Failure: Otsuka ignores subordinates, earns their contempt and wastes men on frivolous and inadvisable strategies. Other departments soon refuse to allow him to use their special field operatives, leaving him with civilian intelligence operatives. While Yuuji is dealing with him and his incompetent subordinates, he doesn’t even get the dignity of serious BGM.
Gilded Cage: Makina and Yumiko lived in one before being forced out. Yumiko considers Mihama to be one, but is happy to be there.
Amane's parents are implied to genuinely care for her and wish her the best. Although they are mostly passed over, Amane only ever says good things about them.
Sachi's parents as well. Despite them focusing a lot more on their job for slightly over a year, they never had any ill intentions and only wished the best for Sachi.
Gratuitous English: Makina and Michiru often slip into gratuitous English statements marked with < > brackets so you can tell without listening to her actual speech. Makina lived abroad a little when she was younger and Michiru is just sort of spacey. They’re both clearly terrible at it, though.
Yuuji: Tell me something. Why do you keep ending your sentences with little bursts of awkward English?
Green-Eyed Monster: Played for laughs in some of the routes. They even have a council of sorts to debate about Yuuji and the girl of the route in question.
Head Pet: Thanks to Yuuji’s influence, Kittymeow decides that Michiru’s head makes for a good perch. After awhile, she doesn’t always notice his presence.
Hope Spot: Every time things seemed to be getting better in Yumiko’s backstory, someone cruel would ruin things. Starting to get along with her mother while her health improves? Her father has a son and begins making preparations to divorce her mother. Takes her back in and acts calm and fatherly? The son died and he suddenly has no heir. Just more manipulation. Try to talk to her new friend about it? Overhear her talking behind her back and laughing at her.
Ill Girl: After giving birth to Yumiko, her mother's poor health kept her bedridden for some time and unable to bear another child.
The girls of the basketball club accident briefly considered eating the corpse of her dead friend, but that was a moral taboo that, even in the situation they were, they weren't willing to break. Then the captain and teacher harvested Komori's dead body anyway and the other girls pretended not to know. Amane didn't realize, but Kazuki kept her from eating anyway. After all this, cruel classmates decided Amane did it anyway and started calling her cockroach.
And played for laughs during Sachi's route. Makina offhandedly comments that Amane is going to "eat" Yuuji, and Sachi promptly starts to list "helpful" advice on which parts would be tastier.
Informed Attribute: During Amane's flashback, everyone in the basketball club is stated to have been in different stages of severe malnutrition, but none of them have different sprites from the beginning of the sequence until the end of it, including the CG's.
Jerkass: Yumiko’s father is a domineering, corrupt businessman who tries to manipulate his daughter with fake kidnapping attempts followed by real ones when Yuuji defends Yumiko properly. Her mother’s family is little better.
Just Following Orders: An excuse for Makina's servants not helping her when she was part of the Irisu main family.
Karma Houdini: Kiyoka gets away with everything in Makina’s good ending. True, she’s now vulnerable to blackmail by Ichigaya and can’t interfere with Yuuji or Makina anymore, but that’s not going to stop her from being an evil bitch in the future.
Kids Are Cruel: Several backstories are filled with at most two decent child aged characters: Namely, the girl narrating it and another girl who was their friend.
Lap Pillow: One of the first things Yuuji is able to make Sachi get interested in is a lap pillow after they walk past some young lovers doing the same.
Last-Second Ending Choice: The routes have only one branch within themselves. One lead to a generally Bad End the other to the Good End. Generally, these choices occur within around the last five percent of the story and are at best really obvious which is the right choice or at worst may require you to think about what the point of the story was.
Amane: But by now, I’m pretty much typecast as the big-tits slut character, you know? Can’t go abandoning my niche this late in the game.
Lethal Chef: There isn’t really one in particular, though Yumiko does have on splendid failure to her name during her route. However, Amane does share her thoughts on the matter: Anyone can cook if they avoid the temptation to improvise and just follow the recipe properly. If someone fails at cooking something, they probably tried getting clever or inventive.
Limited Wardrobe: There’s clothing for school uniforms and generally one set of casual clothing. In a girl’s route, you might see something like Michiru dressing up a little or Sachi wearing normal clothing, but that’s it. For Sachi, it's a small plot point: She was asked to wear maid clothes, so she wears them all the time.
Living Emotional Crutch: There's a long underlying theme about it in Makina's route. Namely, Yuuji depended on Asako to remain something resembling human and when he starts taking care of Makina realizes it was probably the same for her as well. In the present, he gets into a symbiotic relationship with Makina that is more based on need than love.
Sachi always does what she's told, but when Yuuji tells her to not tell Amane about the kiss on the cheek JB planted on him at the school gate. She sends Amane a mail with the subject "I can't say a thing" and the message "And I didn't see a thing". The thing is, she attached a picture of the moment in the message as well.
During Sachi's route, Yuuji says in his inner monologue that sometimes Sachi cuts sentences of the others in the middle, changing the subject when she senses that they will ask something too troublesome from her.
Magic Skirt: Kind of a inversion here. During Michiru's route, her skirt, instead of hiding anything, appears to be kept unnaturally up by an unseen force for the sole purpose of flashing Yuuji during their scene in the dorm's vacant room.
Memento Macguffin: At the end of Amane’s route, her granddaughter shows her the present that Yuuji gave her. Yuuji originally got it from Amane, who laughs inwardly when she sees it considering that she put her pubic hair inside it.
The Merch: While watching a show called Tunafishman, they try selling a transformation belt item during the commercial. Except Tunafishman doesn’t transform and he’s incapable of wearing a belt since he’s a fish on legs. Yuuji is oddly susceptible to these ploys.
Mercy Kill: Considered, but averted. The heart donor girl’s father considered turning off her life support, but couldn’t bring himself to do it.
Mook Chivalry: Lampshaded since to someone like Yuuji it makes no sense. Three martial artists and five regular guys try to kidnap Yumiko on her father’s orders, but since it’s just to intimidate her the martial artists came one at a time. It makes him suspicious.
No Dead Body Poops: When the newly rechristened Kittymeow gets hit by a car the heat and prior injuries sustained cause bowel failure quickly after death, just to make it that much uglier of a scene.
No, Except Yes: Yuuji crudely describes the school as a money pit where rich kids that couldn't hack it in the real world were gathered together while their wealthy and guilty parents toss money at the school. When he continues on to say that the treatment the school offers is to let the students lick each others wounds and nothing else Chizuru finally snaps and begins to retort, but the longer she goes on the more obvious it becomes that he's exactly right and she knows it.
No Name Given: The girl that supplied Michiru’s new heart is never given a name. When asked early on, she quite clearly refuses to answer since she feels that she’s not really supposed to be here at all.
Non-Answer: When Amane asked Kazami Kazuki if she was scared, her answer was basically ‘I sorta figured this might happen ahead of time.’ No yes or no is forthcoming.
Yumiko’s route only gets going because her father decides to force her to be his heir. Notably, Yumiko doesn’t have any actual route flags but is rather the default.
In Michiru’s route, everyone suddenly moves out for the summer, giving her and Yuuji two weeks alone to have a fake relationship. Similarly, she only really adopts Kittymeow in this route.
Noodle Incident: Used as a threat against Chizuru. He refuses to elaborate on what he’ll do, only that it will leave Chizuru begging for mercy and that it left JB in tears once.
No Party Like a Donner Party: During the bus crash, after two weeks of starving, the captain and Mr. Ochi were forced to start feeding the other girls one of the dead girls to help them recover. Kazuki knew and refused. Amane didn’t know but passed because Kazuki wouldn’t eat it. Everyone else knew and complied willingly. In a nod to realism, this got them all killed due to intestinal diseases based on their weakened immune systems.
Not a Date: In Michiru’s route, Yuuji slightly relents on his tough love strategy and allows Michiru to come on an afternoon run with him and very clearly doesn’t think of it as a date. Despite knowing his exercise routine and that he surely means it, she gets all dressed up, arrives three hours early and has a cat on her head.
Painting the Medium: When the rest of the class praise Sachi for not refusing a single one the requests ever since she entered Mihama, Yuuji remarks that you could practically see the question marks floating around her head. Guess what is the animation during this scene?
Parental Incest: Yuuji is baffled because Makina's idea of Yuuji as a father figure sounds more like him being her boyfriend. Since his own father was less than stellar, he lacks the experience to call her out on it.
Parental Marriage Veto: Attempted by Amane’s dad. Yuuji beat him up and considered himself the winner of Amane’s hand in marriage.
Parents as People: Unlike most of the rest of the cast, Sachi’s backstory is not filled with terrible people. Indeed, Sachi has perhaps the best parents in the story, but as they grew more successful they had less time for her. They still tried, but they were exhausted. They even thought they were doing it for her since they didn’t really get her lack of material desires.
Some emotional and mental traumas will never go away. Ever. You can learn to deal with them better, but they’re not going to just magically vanish, nor will the consequences they’ve placed upon your life.
Being a private investigator is really boring.
Schoolgirl Lesbians: During the bus crash there were a number of somewhat suspect girl pairs, which gave Amane the idea of teasing Kazami Kazuki by flirting with her.
"Shut Up" Kiss: Yuuji muses that this is the one way to quiet a noisy woman, but sadly it carries its own set of consequences.
Sickeningly Sweet Hearts: Amane and Yuuji get a reputation for this largely because Yuuji figures he might as well just go along with whatever Amane is saying.
Spoiled Brat: Makina is a fairly nice kid at heart even if she can be obnoxious. Her little sister Sarina, however, is demanding and entitled. Makina has nothing but pity for her, though, because she remembers being like that herself and knows it’s not Sarina’s fault.
Spot the Impostor: In the common route, Yuuji has to go find Michiru after she nearly collapses. Upon seemingly finding her, he doesn’t recognize her at all and says as much. Not!Michiru admits as much and is surprised to see anyone managed to call her out on it. It’s probably especially surprising since it was done purely through body language.
Take That: Yuuji states several times that Japanese people are too conservative, and that is not always a good thing, and Japan is such a peaceful country that some things wouldn't even be thinkable in other parts of the world, such as a defenseless girl sleep on a park bench undisturbed for such a long time.
Thousand-Yard Stare: Happens after Yumiko and Sachi search for how to make Sachi make Yuuji have sex with her.
There Are No Therapists: Some of the girls have issues that would be genuinely difficult to tackle in therapy, but no attempt seems to have ever been made. Sachi and Michiru in particular have pretty clear and obvious diagnoses, but when they stopped being so troublesome everyone just went ‘Well, looks cured enough to me!’
Threesome Subtext: In a bizarre sense. For Michiru’s ending, she’s sharing a body with the America heart donor girl and they’re basically both always in control. So what exactly does this say about their relationship? According to her ‘Your boyfriend is my boyfriend too!’
Probably subverted: the original Michiru retorts ‘Yuuji's only mine!’ to which the donor girl responds that she's going to sleep, and the narration explains that they have learned new tricks like this. So it seems that Yuuji and Michiru can spend intimate time and that the donor girl is willing to step aside to let it happen.
When Amane launches into a spiel about oral sex in front of Yumiko, the latter’s eyes start glazing over while she makes it quite clear she wants Amane to just stop talking about it already.
Happens when Yumiko tries to teach Sachi how to get Yuuji to have sex with her. It ends awfully for the both of them.
Translation Convention: The girl that Michiru got her heart from was an American, not Japanese, but all the conversations she overheard were Japanese. She says that there would be no point to talking to her parents again because of this fundamental difference between her circumstances then and now. Yuuji ignores her complaints and takes her to see them again anyway. Not that it matters much, since the mother in question knows how to speak Japanese.
Understatement: Yuuji describes the ‘friend of his father’ that took him in as someone that was a bit of a bad guy and profited off exploiting soft people. International terrorist, murderer and pedophile would be a more accurate description.
In-Universe, Yuuji is appalled during the cheesy kids show he’s watching with Makina and Sachi. The hero and villain are themed around beef and fish respectively and fight by tearing their flesh off and attacking each other with it.
In-Universe again, there's a show called Professor Dave's Amazing Animals. While the second half is usually a serious, emotional story about an animal, the first half is described as extreme, cheap thrills. The episode shown has him carrying a bloody part of a cow and having the shark bite his hand so he can show how to get away with the least injuries. Yuuji mentions that there should be a notice saying not to try this at home, but figures that anyone who tries in the first place should be chained to a hospital bed. Yes, this is aimed at children.
Wrong Genre Savvy: When Yuuji wakes up in the morning after first sleeping with Makina, finding that she was gone from the room, he fully expects that she was going to face her mother. After a few moments, he hears her making quite a fuss in the dorm lobby, not even thinking about that.
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Amane's is magenta, Sachi's is pink and Yumiko's is purple, but may be intended to be seen as black. Yet somehow Michiru's (dyed) blond hair is supposed to be a foreigner only thing.