Visual Novel: Hatoful Boyfriend
Yeah, it's that kind of game.Hatoful Boyfriend
(Japanese title はーとふる彼氏) is a game about a human hunter-gatherer girl (named by you, default Hiyoko Tousaka) who goes to a high school for birds, St. PigeoNation's Institute. There, she dates pigeons
The official website is here
, two download mirrors for the free version are here
, and an English translation for the free version is available here
. The English version of the full game can be found here. Thank you for the redirect, moa810
. A remake of the original game is available to buy on Steam
. The second game, Holiday Star
, has an English demo available here
, and the full version can be purchased here
. moa810 is also working on another sequel, and is requesting all fans to send her pictures of their pet birds for a chance at stardom
.Four drama CDs have been released
in Japanese, with some English translations here
. There is a partially translated guidebook
which gives some other information
. Some manga have also been released - Absolute Zero
, high fantasy from Anghel's POV; elaboration on some character background hinted at in Holiday Star
; and some monthly stuff translated by fans
Oh, if you're wondering, "hatoful" is the Japanese pronunciation of either the wasei eigo
word "heartful" or "hurtful", chosen both for this double meaning and for the fact that it starts with hato
(Japanese for pigeon).
Also see the Hatoful Boyfriend Character Page
for tropes specific to certain characters in this series.
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Tropes found throughout the Hatoful Boyfriend series include:
- Affectionate Parody: Of the whole Dating Sim Visual Novel genre. The games contain a lot of loving pokes at adventure RPGs too, especially in Anghel's route.
- After the End: It's heavily hinted at throughout the main game, but only confirmed in the Bad Boys Love route.
- All There in the Manual: The guidebook greatly expands on the characters' backstories, particularly Shuu's/Ichijou Utsuru's
- A Love to Dismember: Doctor Shuu does this to your head if you focus on him.
- Animal Stereotypes
- The ordinary guy is a rock dove, fan-tails tend to be full of themselves, the mourning dove is introverted, etc.
- Fan-artists also do a bit of this by portraying Hiyoko, whose name means "Chick" as in a baby bird, as having short hair and often as a blonde.
- The Hawk Party is composed of warmongers while the Dove party is focused on peace.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Hiyoko's choices for wishes are: "Conquer the world by force, Rule the world from the shadows, or Become a famous artist."
- Audience-Alienating Premise: Deliberately so.
"I wanted to create something that seems ridiculous and crazy at first glance, but that once you look into the world, you would fall into the depth."
- Author Appeal: Oko San is based on moa810's own pet bird; however, real-life Okosan does not like pudding at all.
- Bad End: As usual for the genre if you don't go all the way with any romance. It involves Hiyoko being executed by the Hawk Party. Surprisingly, this ending makes more sense once you've played the Bad Boys Love route. There is also one caused in the demo version by staying in the infirmary to wait for Ryouta. Doctor Shuu cuts your head off and stuffs it in a box. The normal ending for Doctor Shuu might also be considered this.
- Be Careful What You Wish For:
- At Tanabata, if you choose the fourth option (initially not available) for "the mad love of a fallen angel", you'll get exactly that - a crazed bleeding-heart dove named Anghel Higure convinced he's a fallen angel.
- If the player opts into the BBL route, it's revealed that Ryouta and the protagonist wished for a world where humans and birds would no longer fight. Shuu tries to carry out the wish by wiping out the remaining humans.
- Big Damn Heroes: On the Bad Boys Love route, just when things look at their bleakest with a trapped Kazuaki and Anghel dying from poison gas and a broken Ryouta submitting to Doctor Shuu, Oko San and Sakuya show up to help.
- Bishōnen: The ICPSS function renders every pigeon you encounter as a human the first time you see them, and they're all quite pretty. Except Oko San, who is rendered as a bird in a boy's school uniform.
- Bland-Name Product
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: The various clubs at the school include the track team, the student council, and the birdwatching club... which, in a school for birds, basically amounts to voyeurism of (and by) school students.
- Break the Cutie: Happens a lot in the Bad Boys Love route. Ryouta, however, by far gets the worst of it, particularly when the identity of Hiyoko's killer is revealed.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Hiyoko is aware of the ending credits sequence that happens after getting Azami and Blaster together and interrupts it angrily. In Holiday Star's fourth episode she recaps the third one out loud for "the camera", and when Nageki asks about it she says people might have forgotten. He says being so aware of the camera doesn't seem very professional.
"Whatever! It's better to give the readers a hand!"
- But Thou Must
- If you join the student council then you are forced into the vice presidency. Fair enough: you're the only other person on it.
- A creepy example occurs during Doctor Shuu's best ending in the full version: when he asks you if you love him after he's killed you and is currently carrying your severed head around and interprets her head bobbing up and down in the jar as an answer, since your three choices all say "Yes."
- Cerebus Syndrome: This happens in most routes of the game, although in different ways each time.
- Shuu's route progressively becomes darker the closer you get to the Downer Ending.
- Ryouta's route, while largely lighthearted, has a rather touching and heartfelt ending.
- Nageki's route hits this hard during its final moments, with the reveal that Nageki has been Dead All Along, leading to a huge TearJerker of an ending.
- Kazuaki's, Yuuya's and Sakuya's routes all have a Downplayed version of this.
- Completely Averted with Okosan's route, which is ridiculous from beginning to end.
- The Bad Boys Love route hits this the hardest. From the moment Hiyoko's dismembered head is found in a box, and the route starts for real, the whole game takes a turn for the dramatic.
- Club Stub: The Student Council. If the heroine joins, there are two members. Otherwise, it's just Sakuya, who doesn't seem to be in touch with his class's opinions or even want to be there.
- Coca-Pepsi, Inc.: A religious example. Hiyoko mentions that she comes from "Shint Buddhist" family. Both Tanabata and Christmas are celebrated in this universe. Anghel mentions reincarnation in his ramblings, but his human portrait also has crosses (a symbol of Christianity, a religion, which has nothing to do with reincarnation) and his name means "Angel" -angels belong to Abrahamic religions, not to Dharmic ones.
- Creepy Physical: The doctor, Iwamine Shuu, offers to give you some interesting drugs. He also promises to examine your insides most intimately once he's done preserving your head.
- Curse Cut Short: One of the Punkgeons does this.
- Damning With Faint Praise: In the first scene with Ryouta, he offers to make breakfast for our heroine. Her answer? "Maybe I'll take you up on that, if starvation looms!" Ryouta's cooking is maybe preferable to starvation? Gee, thanks for that vote of confidence... Which is odd, because she says that Ryouta's cooking is delicious if she talks to him during the class hike. Maybe it was just her typical Large Ham way of speaking?
- Ryouta is a vegetarian, and the protagonist can't sit still in class without meat.
- The protagonist is a hunter-gatherer, so one can assume this line describes her pride in her independent lifestyle as opposed to being catered to.
- "That's terrible! I mean, Okosan is a nutcase and I don't know what he's saying half the time, but he really does like pudding!"
- Do Well, but Not Perfect: Tends to be how you get the standard endings for some of the birds.
- Dub-Induced Plot Hole: In the English translation of the demo, Kazuaki refers to the bird in his marked-out photo with female pronouns, implying that she was his dead lover. This became a bit awkward when the full game version came out and revealed that Kazuaki's photo was most likely of his dead brother Nageki. Fortunately, this was corrected in the separate English translation for the full game.
- Dysfunction Junction: Played for Laughs or Drama, depending on the route.
- Extranormal Institute: St. Pigeonation's.
- Fantastic Racism: Fantails towards... well, pretty much every sentient creature. Also, two-sided racism between birds and humans is a huge plot point in the Bad Boys Love Route.
- In Holiday Star the birds running a department store see the human Hiyoko coming in and immediately want her out, since as a human she is low-class.
- Feather Fingers: Bird characters are described (and often depicted) holding things with their wings.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Ryouta and Sakuya on the Bad Boys Love route.
- Foreign Queasine: "Excuse me! One half-dead fried rice, please!"
- Foreshadowing: Quite a lot for a pigeon dating game. See also Meaningful Background Event below.
- The fact that Kazuaki smells of bleach.
- Nageki's route in itself has too many to list.
- Oko San's fantastic speed and a strange concoction that Shuu makes him drink.
- Anghel's rambling about "demon spores".
- In fact, nearly everything Anghel says. By the time you're done with the game, you may find yourself thinking he's the only sane bird around.
- Recurring theme of Ryouta being sickly.
- In Yuuya's route, the infirmary running out of cleaning supplies really quickly. At least, it's foreshadowing if you haven't played Shuu's path yet.
- In BBL route, the game takes a step further and highlights the meaningful words with a different colour.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: The birds actually fit into this pattern quite well:
- Sanguine: Hyper Cloud Cuckoolander Okosan, and optimistic, popular Yuuya.
- Choleric: Dominant and ambitious Sakuya.
- Melancholic: Work-obsessed Shuu and introverted loner Nageki.
- Phlegmatic: Reliable and rational Ryouta and calm teacher Kazuaki.
- Leukine: Hallucinogenic Anghel.
- Gay Option: Hinted at but defied, to the great disappointment of Azami's fans. That is until the Updated Re-release added her as a love interest giving her the "To Be the True Java Sparrow" ending where Hiyoko and Azami form their own motorcycle gang after beating down Buster and a bunch of thug birds.
- Genocide Backfire: Humans attempted to wipe out bird-kind through an artificially created virus, but the virus instead gave birds the intelligence to wage war on humans.
- Genre Shift:
- Ghost Amnesia: Nageki doesn't realize he is dead until the protagonist talks to him. In the BBL route he eventually remembers the reason he was Driven to Suicide, but in all other routes he either passes into the afterlife too early or remains trapped in the library.
- GIS Syndrome: Subverted. Stock photos are used for the bird characters and the loading screens, but they are properly cited in the credits.
- Government Conspiracy: The Hawk Party's Operation Hurtful, which includes the creation of the H5N1 virus. On the other hand, they also get angry if you don't hook up with anyone.
- Hidden Depths: Every main bird character is revealed to have one of these during BBL. Let's just say the dating sim part of Hatoful Boyfriend is just the tip of the iceberg of this game's plot...
- Hold Your Hippogriffs: "Everybirdie", "Nobirdie", "Anybirdie".
- 100% Completion: Getting at least one ending for each bird unlocks the Bad Boys Love route, and completing that in turn gives you a "thank you" picture after the credits a full set of documents in the Library. Getting all of the endings for each bird unlocks a post-BBL epilogue, the last Gallery image, and a Library item with a bonus scene.
- I'm a Humanitarian: The birds have no problem with eating poultry.
- Interspecies Romance: The basis of the game!
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Happens in Bad Boys Love, and is a huge Crowning Moment of Awesome for almost everybirdy involved.
- I See Dead People:
- In the main game, only the protagonist and Anghel can see Nageki, though Anghel only shows this once as an optional scene on his route. During the BBL route, it is revealed that Ryouta can as well. Also referenced in the Drama CD when he talks to his "dead friend" Nageki in the library about one of the seven mysteries of the school: students who draw in library books are said to get cursed. As Ryouta suspects, there is actually some truth to this...
- In the manga, Okosan can also see him, and in Holiday Star it's said that only the pure of heart can see ghosts.
- Killed Off for Real: Hiyoko and Yuuya on the Bad Boys Love route. Although if you get the full ending, you find that Yuuya was saved just in time, and Hiyoko might be revived.
- Killer Rabbit: You will never, ever look at Chukar partridges the same way again. Or King Quails, especially the darker colored ones.
- Kudzu Plot: Bad Boys Love of the original game.
- Leitmotif: Many characters have them, most of them reflect on their personalities while others like Shuu has the Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy.
- Let's Get Dangerous: Let's just say that it's a very good thing that Oko San and Anghel weren't shooed out in the Bad Boys Love route.
Poster on the Let's Play thread: You are now realizing that without Anghel and Okosan, the joke characters, all the main characters and all human life would be gone by now.
- Let's Play: Angie Gallant's legendary let's play of the free demo version might just be the reason you're here right now. She has now done a follow up for the full game.
- Jesse Cox did a brief one as part of his Fan Friday segment.
- Chaotic Monki (a.k.a. Cry)'s Let's Play had a disappointingly short run of two episodes without even finishing a storyline, enticing at least some of his fans to play it for themselves.
- A group of fans known as Team Hatoful has done a series of voiced playthroughs of different routes of the first game - specifically Anghel's, Bad Boys Love, Ryouta's and Sakuya's routes - and has also completed a blind run of HolidayStar. Notable for, among other things, taking Yuuya's Handsome Lech tendencies even further, giving the French Sakuya a fake British accent, making Shuu sound like Severus Snape, and turning Tohri into a German-accented Large Ham.
- Lighter and Softer: The drama CDs and - for the most part - the manga are pretty much played purely for comedy and don't have the same tendency for twists and pathos as either of the games.
- Logging Onto The Fourth Wall: Yuuya suggests you check out the blog of Brian the Pigeon.
- Lost in Translation: The Pun-Based Title requires you to know that hato is Japanese for "dove".
- Mayfly-December Romance: Yep, this game acknowledges the difference between human and bird lifespans.
- Meaningful Background Event: Blink and you'll miss it, but your first clue that things in this game aren't quite as cheerful as they first seem comes when Hiyoko decides to go for a run: One of the things she passes is the post-apocalyptic remains of a city.
- Medium Awareness: "What's the number in the top-left-hand corner say?"
- Meido: Ryouta dresses up as this, and Hiyoko can join him.
- In the bonus content you unlock by completing Bad Boy's Love, Sakuya and Kazuaki are dragged into it as well.
- The Merch: There are already plans for tote bags, pins, St. PigeoNation ID cards and more. Various styles of St. Pigeonation bags, shirts, cups and even a thong with Yuuya on it can be found at the Cafepress store
- Misplaced Wildlife: Justified: the setting is a prestigious high school for sapient birds, and attracts students and faculty from all over the world. The heroine is still surprised to encounter a mourning dove in Japan.
- Missing Mom: If you focus on Ryouta, then you find out his mother dies.
- Mood Whiplash: The endings of Ryouta and Nageki's routes can come as quite a shock if you've grown used to the game's silly and comedic tone. The Bad Boys Love route in the full version, even more so. The manga, which is largely cheerful absurd short comics, also has several chapters end with Kazuaki explaining the history of the setting - like how a plague swept humankind and killed seventy percent of them.
- Mr. Imagination: Okosan and later on Anghel are prone to mix the real world with their imagination and drag you along their fantasies. It goes even further than that, as this syndrome is rationalized by a scientific biological explanation.
- Multiple Endings: Typical for the genre.
- Norio Wakamoto: In the drama CD, pudding-obsessed Oko San is voiced by Norio Wakamoto. This finally fulfills his wish to be a bird.
- "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: The official website has many of these. People trying to get others to play this game typically have to use lots of these too, as most rational people's initial reaction to hearing about it is something along the lines of "Wait, something like this actually exists?!?"
- Official Couple: It's not definite, but Ryouta seems to be the most canon love interest for Hiyoko as he's the one who stays with her spirit in the hopes of him being able to be cured of his disease and her being able to be transplanted into a body someday in the good ending to the Bad Boys Love route, the last route you can unlock.
- Holiday Star suggests that it's Nageki, or at least has Ryouta fear this, but the Holiday Star route is distinct and doesn't overlap.
- Ominous Save Prompt: This happens at the end of every chapter in BBL. This is also the only time players can save during BBL as well.
- Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The Hawk Party, which apparently meets in a pitch-black room. Coffee, anyone?
- Orphan's Ordeal: Nageki, Kazuaki/Hitori, and Hiyoko. Lampshaded by Angie Gallant in her walkthrough: "Fiction abhors a happy orphan.
- Overly Narrow Superlative: The English download site for the game describes it as "the world's greatest pigeon dating sim".
- Bird of Mass Destruction: The Bad Boys Love route reveals that Nageki harbored a disease that caused all humans who got too close to him to drop dead on the spot, which was the main reason he killed himself. Unfortunately, some of his body parts were saved by Doctor Shuu, who intends to make Ryouta the new carrier...
- The Promise: The Bad Boys Love route is jumpstarted by one.
- Precision F-Strike: If you choose not to falsely confirm Yuuya's alibi after Shuu accuses him of going through his papers, he simply responds with "...shit."
- Pun-Based Title: The title is a mix of hato, the Japanese word for pigeon/dove, and "heartful". The paid version of the game is subtitled "-Hurtful Complete Edition-" as well. Then there's Hurtful Boyfriend and Operation Hurtful.
- Punch Clock Villain: If you don't finish any romantic storylines, a meeting of the Hawk Party condemns humanity and orders them exterminated... then adjourns for coffee.
- Punny Name: The (quail) teacher and (partridge) doctor have surnames punning on the Japanese for "quail" and "partridge". The library freshman's personal name is based on "nagekibato", the Japanese word for "mourning dove". Both the partridge and the quail are operating under assumed names, so this was probably deliberate on their parts.
- Rainbow Speak: On the Bad Boys Love route, several plot-important phrases are highlighted in yellow. Really important things are highlighted in red.
- Real Place Background: The Torimi Cafe, where the summer job scenario takes place, is an actual, bird-themed cafe.
- Also, secondary characters Azami, Rabu, Kenzaburo, and Mr. One are apparently actual birds from that cafe.
- Relationship Values: As usual for the genre, although they are not shown to the player.
- RPG Elements
- Played for Laughs as they are not very important: "Hiyoko levelled up! Wisdom increased by 5!"
- They become a bit more important in the full version where you need to boost the appropriate stats to get the best endings for Doctor Shuu, Sakuya, and Oko San. Additionally, Anghel's route features a turn-based RPG battle and while it's mainly used for parody, it is possible to lose it and get a bad ending if you botch it.
- Save Game Limits: The Bad Boys Love route, in contrast with the main Otome route where you could save any time you wanted, lets you save only at certain points in the story.
- Seven Deadly Sins: All of the main birds fit into this if you include the eighth deadly sin that is mentioned on the trope's page.
- Wrath: Kazuaki. He murdered the original Kazuaki, stole his identity, and nearly murdered Shuu to get Nageki back. The original Kazuaki fits into this too, refusing to let people leave the Holiday Star all because of one person.
- Sloth: Sakuya. He sits around and does nothing because he believes it's beneath him. Alternately Pride, by which he can be manipulated and which blinds him to a lot of things.
- Envy: Ryouta. The scene with him worrying over Nageki and Hiyoko in Holiday Star. Case closed.
- Gluttony: Okosan. His pudding obsession, and his Big Eater habits.
- Lust: Yuuya. He hits on girls and uses suggestive language, even if he never does more than comment. Years ago he did something huge out of spite - combined Envy and Wrath - but he's been trying to atone.
- Pride: Anghel. He believes he is a pure servant of God, and his world is based on how HE thinks things should be.
- Greed: Shuu. He only cares for his own knowledge. He was even willing to keep everyone trapped on the Holiday Star to continue his research.
- Despair: Nageki is a mourning dove, whose name means "lamentation" and is a very depressed freshman. The fact he is a ghost that committed suicide after completely losing hope as a result of the tragedies he was forced to suffer further supports this.
- "Oko San used WING ATTACK! It's super effective!" And this is only the first of several such references when Oko San is involved.
- Probably his best, however, is unleashed upon Sakuya on Oko's route if you side with him during an argument between the two: "GIGA...DRILL...BEEEEEEEEEAK!!" Sakuya doesn't have a prayer after that one.
- In addition, Yuuya at one point says "Who the hell do you think I am?"
- For bonus points, as he's dying, Yuuya's last words are 'Later, buddy," again calling back to Kamina.
- Another Pokémon reference in Yuuya's route, followed immediately by a Toy Story one: "Blast off at the speed of light! To the maintenance office and beyond!"
- Brian the Pigeon won multiple Pulitzer Prizes.
- The Bad End if you don't go all the way with any romance has a very specific grim reaper screen!! It also has double exclamation marks!! Like all over the place!! And one of the inventory items is a Nintendo 3DS amongst other things!!
- "Nepotism, ho!"
- OreHato: My Little Nicobar Can't Be This Cute
- The heroine can suggest Night on the Galactic Railroad to Nageki, who replies that he's already read it, though he did like it. This tells you a lot about Nageki.
- Our heroine's in despair! Events that happen when she's late leaving school one day (in the full version) have left her in despair!
- In bright red text: I did not kill <player name>. This is true.
- If you choose to side with Ryouta in the cafeteria, your rage inspires Okosan to flee like a rabbit from a catapult.
- Alternately, siding with Okosan will get you calling him San of the Forest.
- The choice of wishes at Tanabata Festival (Take Over the World, rule the world from shadows, and become a famous artist) could be a shout-out to Adolf Hitler's biography.
- During one of the flashbacks in BBL route, we learn that Yuuya's stepfather killed Yuuya's biological father to have his mother. That totally doesn't remind us of anything...
- Shuu apparently sounds like Snufkin. Which is understandable, considering that he is voiced by Takehito Koyasu.
** The dialog between Shuu and Ryouta about Hiyoko's head in the box is very similar to the final reveal of Se7en.
- Ryouta's battle against Anghel bears a resemblance to a certain video game trilogy.
- How Kazuaki, Ryouta and the protagonist try to defeat Tohri is somewhat similar to the final battle in EarthBound.
- Mister One appears to have access to Inception technology.
- Albert Alain Alkan, Sakuya's raven butler, seems very similar to a different hypercompetent butler with questionable motives and a mysterious past. Also, which other badass butler, whose name starts with "Al", do we know?
- Then there is the in universe anime series, Pretty Coore.
- In Holiday Star, apparently Hiyoko and Nageki travel through dungeons deep and caverns old.
- Shuu will watch the festival fireworks, wishing that he could be so grossly incandescent.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Anghel claims that Hiyoko and himself were this in a past life. A more straight example would be Hiyoko and Nageki on Nageki's route when he fades away after realizing that he loves Hiyoko.
- Stylistic Suck: Anghel's manga, some of which is seen in the guidebook, is drawn with more enthusiasm than skill◊.
- Surprise Creepy: Who even knew that a parody pigeon dating simulator could even inspire a Nightmare Fuel page?
- Take Over the World: Two of the things you can wish for at the Tanabata Festival: Take Over the World by force, or rule it from the shadows? (The third option is to be a world-famous artist.)
- When the heroine shows up on the wrong day for class, if you choose to return home, she tells Kazuaki: "I must return to my people with the spoils of war, lay my bloodied sword at the feet of my great king, and celebrate my conquest of all the lands from here to distant Macedonia."
- Talking Animal / Civilized Animal: The birds are not actually wearing anything, as their appearances are taken from real photos, but they do go through all the trappings of civilization.
- Except for the student festival in fall, when your class does a Maid Cafe and Ryota briefly appears with a maid outfit drawn over his photo. This leads to the usual fanart of everybirdie crossdressing as maids, even those in other classes and the staff. Oko also appears in a maid outfit during his route, and the Library menu's post-BBL bonus scene shows Sakuya and Kazuaki as bemaided birds as well.
- And Oko San's ICPSS portrait, while all other characters are rendered as Bishounen, is a bird in a school uniform.
- In the full version, you can see the other classmates dressed up as maids for the Maid Cafe, and Ryouta fills in as a Miko at the local shrine for New Year's.
- During the Radio session for Holiday Star, Ryouta explains that clothing isn't mandatory for birds, who wear clothes for protection against cold, fashion, or ceremonial purposes only.
- Tanabata: You get to see the wishes of the birds you're the closest to and make a wish yourself to Take Over the World, gain the Mad Love of a Fallen Angel, or become an artist.
- There Are No Therapists: The bird society is developed enough to include everything from educational institutions to healthcare providers. However, mental healthcare isn't mentioned a single time in this series, so all the bird characters with personal issues are just left to get even crazier.
- Trademark Favorite Food
- For Oko San, it is pudding.
- When Sakuya asks the player what she loves, she answers "udon". Though she also can't sit still in class unless she's had some red meat, as she tells Ryouta in the first cutscene.
- Twenty Minutes into the Future: In the Bad Boy's Love route, you find out that the game actually takes place in the year 2188!
- Two-Teacher School: The main game has only Kazuaki and Shuu. BBL shows us the principal, but only briefly and not while he is still among the living.
- Uplifted Animal: It turns out that intelligent birds did not naturally come about...
- Wham Episode: Hiyoko's head and decapitation at the start of the Bad Boys Love route.
- Wham Line:
- A massive one kicks off the Bad Boys Love route: "Inside the box... is a.. human's... head.
- "I wonder why he lied about going straight home...?"
- Widget Series: Even by the standards of visual novels, which are already very Japanese, the premise of the game is considered to be very far outside the mainstream box.
- Writers Cannot Do Math: The world's backstory covered in the start of BBL is laid out in more detail in the manga. Nanaki's chalkboard says that there were 102 billion humans alive in 2068. Now, in 2014 there are 7 billion humans alive. How does the population get fourteen times bigger in fifty four years? Can Earth even support that many people? Were they actually spread onto space stations and outposts on other planets and this just never came up?
- You All Look Familiar: The manga lampshades the difficulties of having three white fantails in the cast, and distinguishes them by giving Sakuya and Yuuya accessories in bird form, while Oko San remains "nude". Less present in the actual game where their bird-photo images all have different poses, and of course their human-style portraits are all different.
Tropes specific to Holiday Star include:
- All Just a Dream: During Holiday Star, Hiyoko can discover Tohri's nefarious plot. Cut to her in a cafe with Ryouta and Kazuaki, saying "Crazy dream, huh?". Ryouta falls for this trope and gets told that she was joking. During the shrine visits, Yuuya halfway confesses to Hiyoko that he's not just an Ordinary High-School Student, but chickens out and says he was talking about a dream.
- Always Night: The oneiric Holiday Star is this, since it's in outer space. And also because Holiday Star is an Eldritch-hive mind composed of troubled wandering souls who cannot leave.
Citizens: "Everyone knows midnight comes after predawn. And after that, dusk, then midnight again, then predawn, then midnight. Time swings back and forth like a pendulum, after all."
- Battle Butler: Sakuya's butler Albert Alain Alkan. Also a typical Scary Black Bird. He is actually an infamous assassin who was contracted to kill Sakuya, but later hired by him for protection.
- Blood Science: Mad Scientist Tohri Nishikikouji uses Anghel Higure's blood to help power his canon and materialize the will and drive of fanboys and fangirls, turning it into an offensive beam capable of destroying buildings.
- Don't Fear the Reaper: The Conductor in Holiday Star is pretty laid back and gives advice like "I dunno, kiddo. We never recommend haunting as a deathstyle choice, y’know? Too easy to go all black and bitter." It's revealed at some point that he is Death, as seen in the Bad Ends, and Hiyoko considers him her friend. They go all the way back to the demo version!
- Empathic Environment: Holiday Star's Mount Pudi has rain on it when the emotionally troubled Nemo/ imposter Kazuaki cannot remember his real name.
- The Throne Room on Holiday Star also Turns Red when The King turns One-Winged Angel in desperation to keep our heroes on Holiday Star.
- Epiphanic Prison: Holiday Star is a place that traps souls who are emotionally troubled and/or weak willed. The only way to leave this place is if enough of the trapped individuals realize they have something worth living for in life/reality/outside Holiday Star.
- Genre Shift: Holiday Star's first two stories are loony absurd adventures, with minor darker hints here and there. The third story is similar, a fantasy-RPG-ish romp. Until the end of that one, and the fourth is nightmarish and aferlife-y.
- Keystone Army: The enormous hydra-like "Increased" King can only be defeated by Nageki using his planisphere to burn down The King's lighthouse.
- Lotus-Eater Machine: The King's lighthouse projects Holiday Star's inhabitants' greatest desires to keep them perpetually happy.
- Lunacy: In the third chapter of Holiday Star anyone watching the lunar eclipse will immediately enter a dream-filled coma/proceed onto the oneiric afterlife.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: In the last two chapters of Holiday Star everyone who watches the lunar eclipse immediately falls unconscious. While unconscious they dream they are riding a galactic railroad, which ultimately leads to the afterlife. In the real world J.B. Leone explains that everyone who watched the lunar eclipse is in a coma due to avian brains being unstable from unnatural development. So is the visit to Holiday Star the protagonists actually visiting an ethereal plane, or is Holiday Star completely imaginary and due to neurons misfiring in their unstable brains?
- Non-Standard Game Over: In Holiday Star this happens if the player chooses a wrong choice during the fourth chapter. This wrong choice causes a character to get absorbed into The King's twisted hive mind, which The King considers living "happily ever after."
- Can also happen if the player fails to transform into a magical girl by flubbing the transformation line in the second chapter.
- Power Crystal: In Holiday Star there are three of them: the garnet, the lapis lazuli, and the topaz. However, only the topaz is the stone which will get everyone the good ending; the garnet and lapis lazuli are fakes.
- Scenery Porn: The entirety of the water color-rendered Holiday Star is this.
- Tastes Like Friendship: Once The King is defeated and his Holiday Star is destroyed, he is left totally distraught and alone. However, once he joins The Migrant and the former Holiday Star citizens on the galactic railroad, they offer him sweets such as caramels and sugar cubes to cheer him up. Other stories in Holiday Star do mention The King/original Kazuaki as a sweets-lover, so perhaps The Migrant and the ex-citizens offering him his favorite foods would mean the start of a new friendship as well as emotional healing.
- Tempting Fate: In Holiday Star, Sakuya proudly boasts that there's no way the thieves will be able to get into the council room. Hiyoko refers to this as "raising a flag", and when the inevitable happens she and Ryouta call it "flag retrieval" - they're terms commonly used to refer to visual novel gameplay.
- Uncanny Village: Holiday Star is a gorgeous place and its citizens and ruler are friendly enough. But why does The King briefly become monstrous looking whenever he gets upset?
- Viral Transformation: Anyone who stays on the Holiday Star for too long will lose their individual identity and become a King/part of The King himself.