Visual Novel: Love Letter From Thief X
Right to left: Riki, Takuto, Kenshi, and HiroLove Letter From Thief X
is a Romance Game Visual Novel
by Voltage Inc
for iOS and Android devices. A Westernized adaptation has also been released by Voltage USA under the title My Lover's A Thief
The player takes the role of a museum curator whose life is turned upside down when the Black Foxes, a group of infamous art thieves, break into the museum where she works - looking for her
. The Black Foxes insist that they need her help to solve the mystery left behind by her grandfather, a famous artist whose hidden work could prove to have priceless significance... and they won't take no for an answer.
The Black Foxes don't seem like bad guys, but is it really okay to fall in love with a thief? Especially when it means lying to the police detective assigned to catch them, who happens to be the protagonist's childhood friend?
Love Letter From Thief X includes examples of the following tropes:
- All of the Other Reindeer: In Kenshi's route, when he gets the protagonist a job as a waitress at his family's restaurant the other waitresses assume that Kenshi is sweet on her, and snub and bully her out of jealousy, doing things like leaving her to figure out how to put on her kimono by herself or causing her to miss meals by "neglecting" to tell her when breakfast hours have changed. This lasts for about two chapters, until the protagonist gets fed up and verbally lays into them for it.
- Beach Episode: The "Beach Cafe LRN" side story.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: The protagonist with both Riki and Takuto, on their respective routes.
- Bilingual Bonus: The name of Atsumu's bar, Le Renard Noir, means "The Black Fox" in French.
- Calling Card: The Black Foxes are known for sending a warning to their target before enacting a theft. It's occasionally used against them by antagonists who send forged warnings to frame the Foxes for things they didn't do.
- The Caper: Several per route.
- Caper Crew: The Black Foxes.
- The Mastermind - Atsumu, who seems to mostly be involved in mission planning, and Riki, who takes the role of leader during their capers.
- The Hacker/The Coordinator - Takuto.
- The Burgler/The Muscle - Kenshi.
- The Con Man/The Distraction - Hiro.
- The New Kid - the protagonist.
- Carrying a Cake: In Kenshi's route of the "Thief Christmas" side story, Kenshi and Kikufuji's chef proudly display the restaurant's special Christmas cake to the protagonist. The moment they ask her to deliver it to the customer who ordered it, you know that it's doomed.
- Chocolate of Romance: In the "A Chocolate Kiss" side story, the protagonist makes handmade chocolate for her guy for Valentine's Day. The chocolates go missing before she has the chance to present them to him, leading both of them to go to rather extreme measures to retrieve them intact.
- Christmas Episode: The "A Thief Christmas" side story.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Tatsuro's new colleague Kuroiwa, who appears during his route, is a very strange woman.
- Conflicting Loyalty: The protagonist is torn between her childhood friend and first love Tatsuro and her growing sympathy for and camaraderie with the Black Foxes. Tatsuro himself is likewise stuck between the protagonist, who he's still in love with, and the law (because like it or not, the Black Foxes are criminals).
- Could Have Avoided This Plot: The entirety of Tatsuro's route in the "A Chocolate Kiss" side story could be prevented if either the protagonist would admit to Tatsuro that she misplaced his Valentine's Day chocolates, or if Tatsuro would admit to her that he found them. When they figure out the truth near the end of the side story, they're both extremely embarrassed.
- Crossover: The "Thieves vs. Celebrities" and "Celebrities vs. Thieves" side stories cross Thief X over with Seduced In The Sleepless City, telling the same story from the point of view of the protagonist of either game.
- Damsel out of Distress: The Protagonist gets a few such moments, especially in Kenshi's route where she punches out a drunk who's trying to molest her, and later has the opportunity to headbutt the villain when he has her captive.
- Dub Name Change: My Lover's a Thief changes the characters' names as part of its shift of the setting from Japan to the USA. Riki, Takuto, Hiro, Atsumu, and Tatsuro become Bryan, Ansell, Hugo, Antonio, and Joey respectively. Kenshi's given name is not changed, but his family name is changed from Inagaki to Ono.
- Enemy Mine: In his "What If..." story, Tatsuro asks the Black Foxes for help dealing with a corrupt prosecutor, and ends up joining them on a mission as a temporary Black Fox.
- Engineered Public Confession: In the "What If... We Were Co-Workers" side story, courtesy of Takuto and his technological mojo. Once the guys have retrieved the ad project that the villains stole from the protagonist's father, Takuto puts together a mock-up including proof of the theft and recordings of the villains mocking the client's product, and swaps it in for the completed ad... right before the villains screen their ad at an industry competition.
- Half-Identical Twins: Hiro and his sister Seiko.
- Hopeless Suitor: The protagonist's permanently friendzoned (if that) co-worker Mitsuru. Unlike Tatsuro, who is the enemy by virtue of his unassailable position in the protagonist's life (close friend, first love, potential love interest), the Black Foxes rarely see Mitsuru as more than a petty annoyance.
- Host Club: "What If... Takuto" has Takuto go undercover as a host at such a club.
- Hot Springs Episode: The "A Hot Spring Trip" side story.
- Ill Girl:
- Riki's younger sister Ibuki has a serious heart condition which often keeps her bedridden.
- Atsumu's late wife. She was always frail, but downplayed the severity of her illness right until the end, and died while her husband was off on a mission.
- Insistent Terminology: The Black Foxes are not criminals, they're thieves. As distinctions go, this one does not hold much water with Tatsuro — or the protagonist for that matter.
- Intrepid Reporter: Ranko Togoshi, Tatsuro's sister and the protagonist's old friend, is a newspaper reporter and always keen for a potential story.
- Magical Computer/Everything Is Online: Takuto can wirelessly hack into anything the Black Foxes need him to, from security systems onward.
- The Mole:
- Hiro's talent for disguise means that his role is often to get close to a mark in order to either gather inside information or keep the mark occupied while the rest of the Black Foxes are enacting their caper.
- In Tatsuro's route, his colleague Kuroiwa is a mole for the terrorist group the Silver Dogs. Not a very good one, though: Tatsuro has her figured out well before The Reveal.
- Moment Killer: In several routes of the "Hot Springs Trip" side story, especially Kenshi's and Tatsuro's, the guys make it their mission to cockblock the protagonist and her boyfriend at every possible opportunity. In Kenshi's route, they have a pre-arranged, officially numbered team strategy for just that purpose.
- Nice Character, Mean Actor: In-universe example: Kenshi and the protagonist are fans of actress Nahomi Sahara, and they're both equally shocked to find out that she's actually a horrible person who used underhanded means to acquire a famous jeweled ring when its elderly owner died.
- Non Sequitur Thud: Played for Laughs in the Beach Cafe LRN side story, where notorious lightweight Riki learns the hard way that alcohol and heat exhaustion is not a happy combination.
- Not Staying for Breakfast: The night after she and Kenshi sleep together during his route, the protagonist leaves before Kenshi wakes up, believing it was just a one-time thing that she has to try to forget about.
- Orphanage of Love: The Lily Center, run by Kenshi's school friend Ikuo Endo. Endo's father was killed in a fire when Endo was still in school; Kenshi's father was one of the firemen who responded, and his guilt over not being able to save Endo's father led him to make regular anonymous donations to the Center. Kenshi has continued the practice since his father's death, using his share of the profits from the Black Foxes' capers.
- Phantom Thief: The Black Foxes, who steal works of art which were obtained illegally and/or are being misused for greed.
- Pocket Protector: As of the "Thief Olympics" side story, Atsumu owes his life to Takuto's habit of building everything as durable as possible. In this case, a bulletproof handheld game console saves the day.
- Race Lift: Since My Lover's a Thief moves the setting from Japan to the US, most of the cast are redesigned to be Caucasian. The exception is Kenshi, who remains Japanese(-American).
- Red String of Fate: Referenced on Tatsuro's route, and credited with bringing him and the protagonist together after all these years.
- The Reveal: In Tatsuro's route, two reveals happen in short succession: Kuroiwa reveals that she's one of the Silver Dogs, and Tatsuro in turn reveals that he knew and was playing along in order to bust them.
- Romantic Runner-Up:
- Tatsuro is the Unlucky Childhood Friend in every route other than his own, but especially in Kenshi's route.
- Takuto falls for the protagonist during Riki's route.
- Riki himself during Takuto's route, but the protagonist doesn't find out until the proposal sequel.
- Saving the Orphanage: Played with in a brief subplot in Kenshi's route which deals with the Lily Center falling into financial straits after an accident leaves the Center with more bills than funds. The protagonist assumes that Kenshi, who's already been donating to the Center from the money he makes as a Black Fox, will ask Atsumu to set up a heist to earn the money the Center needs. She's surprised when he refuses on the grounds that the Black Foxes only steal to save works of art from being misused, not for money; conveniently enough, however, a mission comes up anyhow and the Center gets the money it needs.
- Shipper on Deck: Kenshi's mother Satoko takes an immediate liking to the protagonist, and makes no secret of her hope that she and Kenshi will get together.
- Shout-Out: In the English localization, Hiro breaks out the infamous "I'm so excited! I'm so... scared!" line from Saved by the Bell.
- Sugary Malice: The waitresses at Kikufuji heap it on the protagonist out of jealousy over her connection to Kenshi in the first few chapters of his route, until she calls them out on it.
- That Didn't Happen: In Kenshi's route, the protagonist encourages him to vent all of his fears about his mother's condition by promising she'll forget all about it the next day... and when they end up having sex, she assumes that also falls under her promise and tries very hard to pretend that nothing happened even though she's in love with him. Kenshi, meanwhile, intended it as a Relationship Upgrade, leading to a period of intense awkwardness between them until the confusion gets sorted out.
- True Companions
- The Triads and the Tongs: The villain of Kenshi's route is a Hong Kong gangster.
- Valentine's Day Episodes: The "A Chocolate Kiss" side story.
- We Named the Monkey Jack: In the "Tatsuro Vs. the Retriever" side story, Tatsuro and the protagonist end up dogsitting a golden retriever who is also named Tatsuro.
- What If?: The "What If..." side stories flirt with this trope - they don't actually depict alternate continuities, but by having the various characters go undercover in different roles they provide a taste of what it might be like if, for instance, Riki was a doctor or Takuto worked at a Host Club.
- Wire Dilemma: On Tatsuro's route, the protagonist is faced with a bomb. Should she cut the red wire, or the green? She chooses green, because the red wire brings to mind the Red String of Fate, and she can't bring herself to cut it.
- Zip Me Up: Crossed with Kimono Fanservice in Kenshi's route. Her first day working at his family's traditional Japanese restaurant, the protagonist has trouble putting on the kimono, requiring Kenshi to help her with it.