Is there a love for which you would do anything to see it come true – even if it means throwing everything away?
In Your Arms Tonight is a Visual NovelRomance Game by Voltage Inc, in which the player takes the role of a newly-married woman in her early thirties working at an interior design firm. After eight years of working in the sales department, she finally receives a promotion to her dream job in the design department... and at the same time, after only three months of marriage, she discovers that her husband is cheating on her with another woman.Suddenly she finds herself faced with a decision: try to make her marriage work despite the odds, or risk everything for the chance to find happiness in another's arms.A "Season 2" sequel game featuring the same themes but a new cast of main characters was released in Japan in 2014.
In Your Arms Tonight includes examples of the following tropes:
Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: Genji and the protagonist were High School Sweethearts, but then Genji left the country to pursue his career. He intended to resume their relationship when he came back, but after not hearing from him for twelve years, the protagonist has moved on and gotten married.
Abusive Parents: The protagonist's father is very harsh and controlling. This is made especially clear in Genji's route, in which Akiko and the protagonist talk about how much her father controlled and restricted her back when they were in high school, and the protagonist eventually describes his behavior as emotionally abusive (although not to his face).
Attempted Rape: In Ginnosuke's route, Ai drugs the protagonist and brings in a pair of thugs to rape her, although Ginnosuke arrives before anything can happen.
Anger Born of Worry: Ginnosuke is not pleased with the protagonist after rescuing her from her would-be rapists, particularly given that he'd previously warned her to stay well clear of Ai Yashima.
Kippei Ebihara, the manager of the design division, is strict and demanding of his employees but also fair. He's a very hands-on manager who does a lot of field work himself rather than leading from a desk, and he's very supportive of employees who prove their work ethic and willingness to improve.
Hana Ichikawa, Ebihara's superior and the person responsible for promoting the protagonist to the design division, is also an example, as well as being a bit of a Trickster Mentor.
In Aiba's route, he comes to the protagonist's rescue after Nanami locks her in a shipping container in an attempt to make her miss a critical business meeting. After freeing the protagonist, he rushes her to her meeting on his bicycle.
In Ginnosuke's route, he saves the protagonist from an Attempted Rape arranged by the jealous Ai Yashima.
Bland-Name Product: At the end of Ebihara's POV story, Akiko and the other girls present the protagonist with a "Fii".
A few of the "cheating" routes do a number on the protagonist emotionally. Ebihara's route is an especially bad case.
Kiyoto's route eventually reveals that he suffered a round of this in his past: he was in love with an older woman who casually discarded their relationship in favor of a man closer to her age who could offer more financial stability. The coup de grace for poor Kiyoto was finding a portrait of his lover, which he had painted and given to her as a gift, outside in the trash. This experience is why he has such a cynical outlook on the idea of love.
Break the Haughty: Koichi gets a vigorous session of it on his route. A similar sequence of events, although not quite on as drastic a level, occurs to him in Ginnosuke's route as well.
Atypically averted in the original Japanese version, the prologue of which presents a decision between divorcing Koichi as soon as his infidelity is revealed or trying to make the marriage work. Which routes the player can choose upon finishing the prologue are determined by whether they chose divorce or not: Aiba, Genji, and Soji's routes are only available if you choose divorce, while Ebihara, Kiyoto, Koichi, and Ginnosuke's routes are only available if the player chooses to stay married.
The English translation, on the other hand, leaves the above-mentioned decision in the prologue but makes all purchased routes open to play regardless, meaning that the choice to divorce or not has absolutely no bearing on anything whatsoever.
Aiba has been in love with the protagonist for eight years. He actually did confess to her once years ago, but she mistook it for a joke and he felt too awkward to press the matter any further.
He's beaten in this respect by Soji Higashiyama, who eventually reveals that he's been in love with the protagonist since they were both in high school. He has a better excuse for not saying anything, since at the time she was dating Genji, but even fifteen years later he doesn't manage to cough it up until the very last chapter of his route.
When it seems like Koichi might be cheating again in his sequel and the protagonist approaches him for an explanation, he has none to offer, and won't even directly deny it, which makes him look guilty. He's not, and he never really explains during the route why he didn't defend himself better, although the player can read the most likely explanation between the lines once the truth comes out.
The protagonist cannot tell Ginnosuke that she finally divorced her husband.
Subverted on Genji's route, when Genji's hand is injured during a soccer game. He certainly acts like his career is over, requiring the protagonist to smack some sense into him, but the injury isn't quite that serious and he recovers without incident.
On the other hand, on Genji's younger brother Soji's route, Soji ends up in a car accident which severely injures his right hand to the point that the doctor warns he may never regain its mobility - which would destroy his promising career as a ceramics artist. His ending suggests that with physical therapy he'll recover well enough to continue with his art.
In all of the main routes in which the protagonist is still married to Koichi, she faces pressure from his family and hers to quit her job and focus on taking care of the house and having children. In all such routes, she refuses, as she loves her job and is very good at it; in Koichi's route, one of the few points in his favor early on is that he firmly defends her choice to keep working and refuses to push her to quit.
In Ebihara's sequel, he's tapped for a transfer to another city, leaving the protagonist torn between staying in Tokyo or leaving her job to move with him. She attempts to Take a Third Option by applying for a position in the same city, but when that doesn't pan out, she resolves to quit her job in favor of their relationship. Ebihara, realizing the difficult position he's put her in, declines the transfer so that the two of them can continue working as a team in Tokyo, with plans to separate from Ichikawa designs and start their own firm.
Similarly, in Soji's epilogue, the protagonist grows frustrated with their long-distance relationship, since it means she can't do anything to support Soji while he continues with his physical therapy and doesn't even hear about it when he gets sick. However, there are very few job opportunities in her field in the rural area where he's living. As in the above example, she finally resolves to quit her job and relocate to be with Soji, only for Soji to refuse to hear of it because he admires her work and knows how much it means to her.
Ginnosuke's first marriage failed, among other things, because his wife quit her job to support him. In his sequel, he hedges on the issue of marriage precisely because he's worried that the protagonist will be reduced to "the Hotel King's wife" and little else - and be miserable because of it.
Catch Phrase: Anything that Hana Ichikawa approves of is "A-OK!"
Cigarette of Anxiety: Aiba quit smoking some years ago, but ends up (temporarily) falling off the wagon due to protagonist-related stress.
When Koichi eventually falls in love with the protagonist, he cannot even stand to see her around other men.
Ai Yashima is a gender-inverted example of the Crazy Jealous Guy, in at least Ginnosuke's route. This girl goes far beyond clingy and flies to psychotic. Ai drugs the protagonist and hires two men to rape the protagonist, just because she wants Koichi back.
Late in Ginnosuke's route, believing that the protagonist intends to remain with Koichi, Ginnosuke abruptly cuts off contact with her and makes a show of seeing other women. When the protagonist confronts him, he casually dismisses their relationship up to that point as a fling that he has tired of. Only when she learns that he is planning to leave the country indefinitely does the protagonist realize that he was trying to ensure that she would not be conflicted by any lingering feelings for him.
In Soji's route, after his injury Soji bluntly tells the protagonist that he never wants to see her again. It's because he thinks it'll be difficult for her to be with him while he struggles to recuperate, and he'd rather she be happy with his brother. They sort it out in the end, with some help from Genji.
Darker and Edgier: As compared to other Voltage, Inc. games, IYAT deals with some slightly darker themes and subject matter, from infidelity and emotional abuse to a near-rape.
There are several examples in various routes. In particular, after Koichi is Reassigned to Antarctica in his route, he begins drinking very heavily for a while until the protagonist snaps him out of it.
Same things happens in Ginnosuke's route but that as seriously.
The protagonist herself on several routes, occasionally to the point of blacking out and obliging the man of choice for that route to take care of her.
Featureless Protagonist: The game normally avoids showing the protagonist's face, drawing her from behind or with her hair covering her eyes in CGs. However, this trope is notably averted in the "His POV" side stories, which give the option of displaying the protagonist's sprite.
Forgotten First Meeting: The protagonist and Koichi met not long after she was born, due to their parents being friends. Because she was an infant at the time, the protagonist naturally has no memory of this, although Koichi is aware of it prior to meeting her again as an adult thanks to a photograph and hearing the story from his parents.
Friendless Background: In Koichi's sequel, his mother describes him as a solitary child, never able or even willing to try to connect with his peers.
Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: The protagonist has to snap Koichi (in his route) and Genji (in his) out of a profound funk - Koichi when his professional life hits the skids after his affair is revealed, Genji after an injury threatens his career as an athlete.
On Koichi and Ginnosuke's routes, Ai loses it when Koichi starts to withdraw from her because of his growing feelings for the protagonist.
On Aiba's route, Nanami becomes deeply resentful of the protagonist over Aiba's feelings for her. Her jealousy drives her to try to sabotage the protagonist by forcing her to miss an important meeting with a client.
In Ebihara's route, Koichi contacts Ebihara while the protagonist is in the hospital, telling him that she's in critical condition in order to get Ebihara to rush to see her. He then sends the two of them off to have a private conversation, fully expecting it to result in the protagonist leaving him for Ebihara.
In Ginnosuke's route, Koichi begs the protagonist for another chance, but when it's clear that it's too late because she's already fallen in love with Ginnosuke, he accepts it gracefully and admits that it's his own fault for not appreciating her sooner.
Groin Attack: In Kiyoto's route, the protagonist has to knee him in the groin to make him back off when he starts getting too frisky with her at her office.
Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: Koichi's affair is never presented sympathetically, even during his route - it is almost always shown to be a purely physical relationship, and in Aiba's route he goes to far as to tell the protagonist that he is cheating on her because she doesn't have enough sex appeal. Meanwhile, in the routes where the protagonist falls in love with another man while still married to Koichi, it is always portrayed sympathetically as the protagonist finding the love and support that Koichi is not giving her. Of those routes, it's only in Ebihara's route that she consciously refrains from physical intimacy with him because she feels that would make her no better than Koichi.
Humiliation Conga: Halfway through Koichi's route, the protagonist accompanies him to a business retreat... which it turns out his mistress is also attending. Hilarity Ensues, and Koichi ends up conked in the head by a rock thrown by his wife. Then caught between his wife and his mistress when the latter throws a jealous hissyfit... which draws the attention of several of his colleagues. And his boss. Who is the husband of his mistress. In short order he's been transferred to a dead-end position in another department, ultimately sinking so low that he begins drinking heavily - so heavily that the police pick him up for passing out drunk in a public park and the protagonist has to come get him out of jail.
Instant Web Hit: Aiba wins a design award at the end of his main route. His acceptance speech credits his love for a certain someone as the inspiration for his winning contribution. The ceremony was livestreamed and in Aiba's POV story, it's revealed that the speech was a huge hit with the viewers and has turned him into a minor overnight celebrity. Cue the Ichikawa Design Office getting swamped with requests for interviews, much to the amusement of Hana and Ebihara.
I Want Grandkids: Koichi's mother is very keen to see him and the protagonist start having children. On several different routes, she outright badgers the protagonist to quit her job so that she can focus her attention on getting pregnant.
In Ebihara's route, he eventually decides that his efforts to persuade the protagonist to leave Koichi are only making her miserable, and withdraws back into a strictly professional relationship until Koichi deliberately sets the two of them up together and bows out.
Similarly, in Ginnosuke's route, the protagonist's resolution to stick with her marriage eventually prompts Ginnosuke to cut things off with her and leave the country. In this case, Koichi ends up pulling the trope as well: he falls in love with her over the course of the route, but voluntarily releases her from their marriage when it becomes clear to both of them that Ginnosuke is the one she loves.
Aiba is the king of this trope. Nearly everything he does in his main route and his "Another Story" route is out of his desire to make sure that the protagonist is happy, even if it means begging Koichi to treat her right.
Soji stubbornly tries to push the protagonist together with Genji, especially after his injury gives him reason to believe being with him would be too much of a struggle to make her happy. Genji, meanwhile, eventually realizes that Soji is the one she loves, and bows out of the Sibling Triangle even though he's still in love with her himself.
I Was Just Passing Through: Ebihara in Ginnosuke's route. He claims scheduling conflicts for a business trip he was supposed to take to Paris, recommending the protagonist as his replacement. That this gives the protagonist the chance to reunite with Ginnosuke while she's there is purely coincidental! Or would be, if Ebihara didn't also go to the trouble of obtaining and passing along Ginnosuke's contact information.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Genji is a spoiled, narcissistic alpha male who is far too accustomed to people bending over backwards to indulge him, and tends to sulk when they don't. On the other hand, he genuinely values his friends and family and thinks nothing of using his considerable resources to help them (although he may grumble about it all the way), and if called on his self-centered ways, he actually listens and is not too proud to apologise and mend his ways.
Karma Houdini: Koichi's sequel shows that several people, Akiko and the husband of his former mistress among them, feel Koichi came out of his affair scot-free and without suffering any consequences for his actions. Koichi himself is aware how close he is to this trope, especially in his epilogue and sequel, and makes few efforts to defend himself from the criticism he faces from his actions as a result.
Kick the Dog: Koichi is a dog-kicking machine for much of the game. Some particularly notable examples:
Early in Aiba's route he makes a point of informing the protagonist that he just doesn't find her attractive as an explanation for his affair. This is mostly to provide further justification for the protagonist to divorce him, freeing her up to begin a relationship with Aiba, but it also does a number on her self-confidence for a good bit of the route.
Late in Ebihara's route, without discussing it with the protagonist he announces to both his parents and hers that he is going to make her quit her job. When she calls him out on it afterwards and points out that they seem to want very different things out of their marriage and may be better off divorcing, his response is to ask who would cook his meals for him. When the protagonist ends up in the hospital following a car accident, Koichi tells her company not to allow any of her colleagues to contact or visit her.
Near the end of his route, Soji Higayashima tells the protagonist he fell in love with her when they first met fifteen years ago - he went to a movie and saw her alone in the theater, moved to tears by the film they were watching.
In his Another Story, Aiba says it was pretty much love at first sight for him when he met the protagonist eight years ago.
Love Hotel: Aiba and the protagonist end up in one in the "A Day With Him" side story... because Aiba just got drenched in muddy water and it's a convenient place to wash his clothes. While they're there, Aiba decides they might as well make use of the facilities, but their time runs out before matters can progress any further, and they end up waiting until they get home.
In Koichi's route, between the protagonist, Koichi, and Koichi's mistress Ai Yashima. Except that, as Koichi eventually explains, he never loved Ai. Their relationship was purely physical and he quickly lost interest in it when he began to fall for the protagonist.
In Ginnosuke's route, the triangle is between the protagonist, Ginnosuke, and Koichi.
In Soji Higashiyama's route, it's a Sibling Triangle between Soji, the protagonist, and Soji's older brother Genji.
In a couple of routes, the protagonist has to put up with co-workers trading petty breakroom gossip about her, her divorce, and the likelihood that she's sleeping her way into her current professional success. Nobody of any significance ever takes it seriously.
In Koichi's sequel, when the protagonist takes a job for Koichi's company, a young woman approaches her claiming that she and Koichi are currently having an affair - a claim she backs up with a cell phone photo of Koichi naked and asleep. It's eventually revealed that she was put up to it by Koichi's former boss, who deeply resents that Koichi's marriage survived his affair and that he's turned his reassignment into a personal success. The young woman got the photo by drugging Koichi's coffee.
Some of the Pet the Dog moments that Koichi has early in his route turn out to have been designed to help persuade the protagonist to go along with something that he wants. Later in the route he admits that he's good at figuring out what to say to get what he wants out of people.
Kiyoto has some shades of this as well, particularly in his "Another Story" route, in which he uses a pet cat and a damaged painting (which only got damaged because he made unwanted physical advances on the heroine) to manipulate the protagonist into letting him move into her apartment.
Mythology Gag: Koichi's Another Story is a cavalcade of nods to his main route and its backstory. Among many other things, the Another Story shows Koichi's wedding to the protagonist playing out very similarly to the flashbacks to their wedding in the main route - but in very different context.
Not Helping Your Case: Via a bad case of Cannot Spit It Out - in Koichi's sequel, the protagonist very badly wants to trust Koichi, but between his insistence that they not let his co-workers know she's his wife and his refusal to in any way deny Miss Ito's claim that he's having an affair with her, he doesn't give the poor protagonist anything to work with.
Oblivious to Love: The protagonist, at least where Aiba is concerned. It's obvious to pretty much everyone else that he loves her, but even after he tried to confess to her several years ago, she remains clueless for much of the game.
Office Romance: Of the possible love interests of the game, Aiba is the protagonist's co-worker, Ebihara is her manager, Soji is a supplier, and Genji, Kiyoto, and Ginnosuke are clients on each of their respective routes. In no case is it treated as particularly problematic, aside from some petty breakroom gossip; on Aiba's route, Ebihara encourages the protagonist's relationship with him on the basis that it inspires Aiba to do better work.
Old Flame Fizzle: Genji's attempt to pick up where he and the protagonist left of twelve years ago naturally falls flat in every route other than his own - they were out of contact for too long, and the protagonist's feelings for him have long since faded as a result.
Only Friend: Koichi has only one actual friend, Ritsu Moriyama. Their friendship has lasted as long as it has partly on the basis of their similarities and mutual common ground, but mostly by virtue of Ritsu being a very laid-back person who doesn't bother to get worked up about much.
Operation Jealousy: In Ritsu's route, Ritsu attempts to spur Koichi into cleaning up his act by making it seem like he and the protagonist are having an affair. Unsurprisingly, it backfires.
Perpetual Frowner: Kiochi rarely smiles in any of the routes. An open-mouth smile is even more rare...although this could just be when he's around the protagonist until he falls in love with her in some of the routes.
Perspective Flip: The "His POV" side stories tell the routes from the guys' point of view.
Pet the Dog: Numerous times on Koichi's route, before he properly thaws out.
Picky Eater: Koichi will not eat eggplant, and says that he dislikes black-colored foods in general.
The Proud Elite: Koichi is a successful businessman with a promising career in a major corporation. He is handsome, elegant, and absolutely cold, viewing his marriage as a business contract formed based purely on the practical benefit that both members receive from it. Whether or not he ends up displaying any warmer and humbler qualities thanks to the protagonist's influence depends on which route you're playing.
Subverted in Ginnosuke's route. Ebihara provides the protagonist with the departure information for Ginnosuke's flight to France, and she hurries to the airport... to say goodbye before he leaves the country indefinitely. They don't resume their relationship until later on.
Played straight in Soji's route: the protagonist waits until the last minute to tell Soji she loves him before leaving on a bus, causing Soji to chase the bus down on his bicycle rather than let her go back to Tokyo thinking he doesn't want to be with her any more.
Real Men Eat Meat: Kiyoto says so in his "Another Story" route, protesting the protagonist's vegetable-heavy meals.
Late in Ebihara's route, the protagonist finally has enough of Koichi and verbally tears him a new one, laying out for him all the ways he fails as a husband and exactly why their marriage isn't working.
At the end of Aiba's Another Story, Koichi gets a triple whammy - first from Aiba, then from the protagonist, and then from his own mother.
Reassigned to Antarctica: In both Koichi's route and Ginnosuke's, Koichi's affair is revealed to his company and he's reassigned to another department, into a dead-end position which holds no prospects for later promotion.
Reassignment Backfire: In Koichi's route, at least, his reassignment turns out to be for the best - despite the lack of opportunity for promotion, he comes to realize that he enjoys the work on its own merits rather than only viewing it as a route to further advancement. His sequel proves that it's not all sunshine - a year later, he's still being snubbed by his new colleagues, who view him with suspicion and are quick to attribute any success on his part to backhanded tactics - but his company gives him an official commendation for his work and with the protagonist's help, his co-workers begin to come around.
Genji Higayashima is nicknamed "Japan's Guardian Angel" for his successes as a goalie.
Ginnosuke Oguri is known as "The Hotel King."
Remember the New Guy: Ritsu Moriyama, Koichi's best (and only) friend, appears in none of the content released prior to his own Expansion Pack, including Koichi's route, sequel, and Another Story. In spite of this, Ritsu's route establishes that he and the protagonist met shortly prior to her marriage to Koichi, and that he attended the wedding.
Aiba is in love with the protagonist in every route, although he only occasionally admits to it.
Koichi ends up in this role in Ginnosuke's route, realizing only too late how much he values the protagonist as his wife.
Genji ends up in this role in Soji's route: he very much wants to rekindle his previous relationship with the protagonist, but after twelve years without hearing from him, she's moved on, and by the time Genji makes it clear he's serious, she's already falling for Soji.
Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In Ginnosuke's route, the two thugs who Ai Yashima recruits to rape the protagonist quickly rethink the whole thing when Ginnosuke shows up and they realize who he is. It's heavily implied that this is at least in part because Ginnosuke is much better-connected in underworld circles than Ai is.
Sexless Marriage: Three months into their marriage, the protagonist and Koichi have not once had sex, and he sleeps in his office rather than sharing a room with her.
Sexy Spectacles: Ebihara normally wears contacts, but in his "Another Story" route he occasionally dons glasses when he's in a more casual mode outside of work.
Ebihara plays this role in a couple of other guys' routes, in a reserved fashion. In Aiba's route, he encourages the protagonist's relationship with him because it improves the quality of Aiba's work. In Ginnosuke's route he's initially opposed to the protagonist getting too close to Ginnosuke, but towards the end of the route he first gives the protagonist the departure information for Ginnosuke's flight out of the country, and later arranges for her to meet Ginnosuke in Paris.
Slasher Smile: In Ginnosuke's route, Ai flashes one to the protagonist if the protagonist attempts to stop two thugs from killing Ginnosuke.
Sleepyhead: Ritsu can and will fall asleep at the drop of a hat, even in the midst of a conversation. The protagonist mostly finds it kind of amusing, although he gives her a bad moment when he nods off in the bath and causes her to worry that he's about to drown himself.
Stay in the Kitchen: Koichi's mother Sachie has very firm and old-fashioned ideas about the proper role of a wife, and frequently badgers the protagonist to quit her job in order to focus on housework and having children. In Koichi's route and Aiba's "Another Story" route, the protagonist learns that Sachie quit a teaching job that she loved in order to be a "proper wife" once she married Koichi's father, who is unfaithful to her, explaining some of Sachie's bitterness and hostility.
Teacher/Student Romance: One-sided Hot For Teacher variety. Ritsu is a high school physics teacher, and some of his female students are obviously taken with him. He mostly resorts to hiding from them.
What Is This Thing You Call Love?: On his route, Koichi admits that he really doesn't understand love and isn't sure he's capable of loving another person. He chose the protagonist as his wife because an incident when they were very young children has left him convinced that, if he's capable of loving anyone, she is probably his best chance.
The "Another Story" routes show how each character's route would play out if the protagonist's initial decision about whether or not to divorce Koichi were reversed. For example, Aiba's main route is a "divorce" route, and his Another Story plays out while the protagonist is still married.
Koichi's Another Story takes a slightly different angle, showing what happens if she met him under different circumstances and decided not to agree to the arranged marriage in the first place.
Koichi is always unfaithful to the protagonist, kicking off the whole plot. His mistress, Ai Yashima, also turns out to be married to his boss.
On several routes, the protagonist also begins a romance with someone else while still married to Koichi.
Koichi's route reveals that his father has carried on a long-standing relationship with another woman, which both Koichi and his mother know about and which his mother refuses to acknowledge, contributing to Koichi's rather skewed ideas about what marriage entails.
In Genji's "Another Story" route, the protagonist's friend Yukako also has an affair with a married man.
Your Favorite: In Koichi's sequel, the protagonist marks the turning point in the difficult patch her marriage is going through by making a batch of chicken stew, Koichi's favorite dish, and leaving it in the fridge for him.