Eri's been having a rough few years. Her parents are scientists who are continually overseas and only speak to her a few times a year and ever since the grandfather who raised her passed away, she's been living entirely on her own. Her life largely centers on a hobby she's undertaken to combat her loneliness: collecting ball-jointed dolls
. In particular, she buys from the brand Crobidoll, which she feels adds something extra and almost human-like
to their dolls. Eri's five Crobidolls are the center of her life: she spends the vast majority of her money and free time taking care of them, and has fallen into the habit of talking to them about her day and her feelings to stave off loneliness. While she's made two close friends since starting high school, boisterous class president Soi and the stoic model Shinbi, she's not comfortable sharing her hobby with them, afraid of the accompanying social stigma.
Then one day, she wakes up to find that five young men have seemingly appeared in her house overnight, each matching the appearance of one of her dolls: cold and reserved Lance
, sweet and cute Yeonho
, flirty and sophisticated Yuri
, kind and mature Tei
, and boisterous and straightforward Red
. The men all remember being dolls and seem to have personalities reflexive of the "concept" Crobidoll released them with, but have no idea why or how they've become human. Because Eri lives in the apartment beneath the school principal, it's only a matter of time before they're discovered. They concoct a back story about being recently-immigrated family friends and begin attending school with Eri. Thus begins Eri's newly complicated school life, having to balance five Bishōnen
while a sinister cloud hangs over their sudden appearance...Nameless - The One Thing You Must Recall -
is a Visual Novel Otome Game
made by Cheritz, who also developed the similar game Dandelion
, although Nameless
is not stat-based. It is fully voiced in Korean but has been officially released in English.
This game contains examples of:
- The Ace: Tei is in-universe the most popular of the boys, widely considered to be the best looking, the kindest, the most mature, and seems to excel at pretty much everything he tries.
- Broken Ace: Of course inside he's a deeply disturbed self-loathing Yandere who is doing everything that he can just to keep it all together.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Shinbi's diary reveals that her childhood was like this before she met Soi.
- All Work vs. All Play: This is one of the main conflicts between Lance and Red.
- Amnesiac Hero: Eri becomes this over Red's route.
- And I Must Scream: Being a doll has shades of this. While largely the dolls don't seem to be upset by it, possibly because it's their nature, their immobility and helplessness has led several of them to be horrifically abused.
- Artificial Human: All of the boys are actually dolls that have been brought to life.
- Beautiful All Along: In Yuri's route, Eri picks up on a bit of his stylishness and starts taking better care of her skin and paying more attention to her hair, makeup, and fashion. In no time she becomes sought after by some of the best looking boys in school.
- Bland-Name Product: Eri's new phone, and the 'Twinter' application count as this.
- Blank Slate: As he is Crobidoll's most basic and popular doll, Lance was designed to be this. According to him the most broad swaths of his personality come from the perceptions Eri has projected on to him.
- Behind the Mask: An underlying theme in the game.
- Eri feels the need to hide her precious hobby from her closest friends, which comes to symbolize her need to hide her true feelings from everyone, especially her parents, so that she can avoid troubling anyone and feel accepted.
- Lance uses his cold indifference to mask the fact that he feels extremely meaningless and empty inside. Because he's Crobidoll's most basic model, he wasn't given much in the way of personality so that he could have mass appeal. Comparing himself to the other dolls, he feels bland and worthless.
- Yeonho uses his cute exterior to hide the fact that his past owner's abuse and abandonment have left him unable to trust others and in eternal fear of fresh abandonment.
- Yuri, despite his carefree attitude has deep internal conflict stemming from the fact that he was designed to try to appeal to all women. Therefore while he's constantly charming and successful in wooing women, he feels that he's lacking in the ability to feel true love.
- Tei feels the need to always maintain a pristine and perfect front while inside he feels like he's disgusting and dirty, due to his past owner's extreme obsession with purity and bad reaction to his being injured. Because of his deep shame and self-hatred, he's unable to be honest about himself or his feelings.
- Red while he seems to be happily embracing his delusions of being a TV action hero in the making, it's revealed in his route that he feels that this is a completely necessary front to believe in and maintain, since without it he feels completely worthless and lacking in identity. He needs to convince himself of a world-saving level of importance because without that he feels like he's nothing.
- Bifauxnen: Shinbi wears the boy's uniform at school and given the prettiness-level of the male cast, she wouldn't be unbelievable as male.
- Big Ego, Hidden Depths: Lance, who acts extremely superior and above it all, and Red, who lives life under the firm belief that he is an honest-to-god superhero destined to save the world. Both are much more insecure than they seem. Notable in that they are in pretty much constant conflict but secretly feel inferior to each other.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Red, in his doll concept and in reality.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: In one of Lance's bad endings, the antagonists discuss the 'person watching from the computer screen.'
- Break His Heart to Save Him: Tei attempts to do this in his route, albeit less by being a flat out jerk and more by avoiding the protagonist and attempting to date someone else.
- Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Lance and Eri on his route.
- Buxom Is Better: A large part of Soi's appeal to men.
- Cannot Tell Fiction from Reality: Red. The extent to which this is just an act is debatable.
- Can't Act Perverted Toward a Love Interest: Inverted for Yuri. He's more of a suave charmer with other girls, but since he's more genuinely fond of and comfortable around the protagonist, he lets his lech flag fly.
- Cargo Ship:
- The school nurse is blatantly and obsessively in love with Beatrice, his skeleton model.
- Eri herself eventually falls for her dolls, although unlike Beatrice this doesn't happen until they have human avatars that can return her interactions with them.
- Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Natch. Even outside of the dolls, three out of the five non-romancable characters with sprites are Bishōnen and in-universe considered to be such.
- The Charmer: Tei and to some extent Yuri.
- Chocolate of Romance: Features heavily on Red's route, due to it being his Trademark Favorite Food.
- Cock Fight: There's a lot of tension between Red and Lance and Yuri and Tei respectively, so this trope tends to appear on every route but Yeonho's.
- Concert Climax: On Yuri's route.
- Converse with the Unconscious: Tei tends to do this with Eri usually after he's just drugged her. Nameless/??? also engages in it.
- Cool Shades: Yuri has a pair.
- Crush Blush: Red is particularly inclined to this.
- Cry into Chest: Eri does this on Red's route when he saves her after he's run away and she confesses that she's losing her memory.
- Curtains Match The Windows: Red, Soi, and Shinbi.
- Deadpan Snarker: Lance.
- Declaration of Protection: Red does this rather frequently and on his own route with significantly deeper meaning.
- Defrosting Ice Prince: Lance's route, naturally.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Lance and Red. For completely opposite reasons.
- Devoted to You: The dolls to Eri. Somewhat justified in that it's established that there's a clear intimate connection that dolls form to their owners.
- Dysfunction Junction: See Freudian Excuse for details. Even the side characters have deep-set problems that get hinted at.
- Dumb and Drummer: Semi-example. The drums are Yuri's instrument of choice, but he isn't so much dumb as pervy and self-absorbed.
- Emotionless Girl: Eri becomes this in one of Tei's bad endings when she agrees to let him break her. He also implies she's become The Voiceless as well.
- Even the Girls Want Her: Shinbi. Before the dolls started attending school, she basically had the largest female fanclub.
- Eyepatch of Power: Nameless/???. Although it's more an indication of the level of abuse he's suffered and how disturbed he is than his badassness.
- Family Versus Career: In Red's route, Red and Eri go to an amusement park and come upon a child who's crying because their mother was still taking business calls while at the park with her child. The usual conclusion to this conflict is surprisingly averted by Eri explaining to the child that both the child and work are very important to the mother, and that the child should be understanding of that.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: Yuri and Red in their everyday outfits.
- Freudian Excuse: Pretty much everyone has one.
- Eri has been pretty much abandoned by her parents and the one person she felt close to died.
- Lance was released by Crobidoll no particular preferences or personality in an extremely mass-market release. As a result he has no self-worth and feels utterly replaceable.
- Yeonho's former owner abused him, covering him with scratches while telling him he could be her favorite if only he'd be "a good boy." This has led him to be utterly self-abasing and obsessive.
- Yuri was designed to sexually appeal to all women. This has led him to be completely detached from true love.
- Tei's former owner kept him in his box at almost all times and continually told him he needed to stay pure and clean. When he was damaged by her younger sibling, she was inconsolable and told him he was disgusting and ruined and proceeded to sell him. This has led him to be obsessed with his own impurity and given him a huge obsessive streak.
- Red was designed as an action hero concept and led to believe he had special powers. His identity became totally entwined in this concept, especially as he was never picked up for a mass production. He feels that if he isn't somehow miraculously special, he's nothing.
- Gang of Bullies: The girls that hassle Eri for her closeness with the dolls, especially in Red's route.
- Gratuitous Foreign Language: Soi and Yuri pepper their speech with English, particularly for cheesy terms of endearment like "Prince Sunshine" (Soi), and "My honey," (Yuri). Yuri's also prone to calling women he's flirting with "Mademoiselle."
- Hair Decorations: Eri starts wearing a clip in Yuri's route as part of her Beautiful All Along transformation.
- Handsome Lech: Yuri, although the main character notes that he's much more blatantly lecherous to her while he tends to be more of The Charmer to other girls.
- Hello, Insert Name Here: Unlike Dandelion, you can change the protagonist's name to whatever you'd like, although Eri is the default. Additionally you're asked to put in the name of your first doll which ends up being the true name of Nameless/???.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Soi and Shinbi. Soi even complains the reason her standards for men are so high is because of Shinbi.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Soi does this in Tei's route, and Red does this in his own when he thinks Eri is falling for Tei. Tei himself however, is the grandmaster of this trope, in every route including his own.
- Ice Queen: Lance is a rare male example. His nickname at school is literally The Ice Prince.
- Instant Sedation: When Tei spikes Eri's tea it never takes her more than a minute or two to conk out.
- Ladykiller in Love: Genderflipped example in Soi. She's genuinely boy-crazy and has tons of male fans she considers beneath her, but she genuinely falls hard for Tei.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Justified. Nameless/??? is deleting specific chunks of Eri's memory by magic tied to ripping pages out of her diary. In Red's route when he overdoes it, she starts losing even broader swaths of memory and losing the ability to form new memories.
- Living Toys: An unusual case. A percentage of all dolls and toys manufactured are self aware. However, they remain inanimate. Some 'sensitive' people are able to pick out which ones are sentient.
- Marry Them All: The True Ending, sort of. Basically all of the different universes fuse, so that the heroine is now living with the romanced version of each boy, despite the fact that they were mutually exclusive in their own individual universes.
- Mistaken for Gay: In a fit of jealousy when he believes Eri to be in love with Tei, Red shouts out, "I... I still like Tei!" and stomps out of the room Eri momentarily takes this anguished confession of not being able to hate a romantic rival as something else entirely.
- Monster Sob Story: Nameless/??? definitely has one.
- Mythology Gag: The painting of a dandelion on Eri's living room wall is the same one from Chertiz's other otome game, Dandelion.
- Nice Shoes: Yuri gives Eri a fancy designer pair of heels in his route.
- Out-of-Genre Experience: One of Red's bad ends turns the game into a full blown Sentai show, complete with Tei reading ahead in the script.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Tei is nicknamed "Mama Tei" for his domesticity, but is still the most popular of the boys. Also, Yuri is very high maintenance to the point of wearing facial masks around the house.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Averted for Red. He is arguably the most supportive, least (dangerously) unbalanced love interest.
- School Festival: An important event in each of the routes.
- School Play: The drama club puts one on in for the school festival, with Red as the lead role. It appears to be a sort of generic action hero story. Depending on the route, Eri or Lance! can end up playing the heroine.
- Shoe Slap: Lance's trademark move.
- Shout-Out: Red calling Eri 'Heroine', and some recycled music, can seem like this to anyone who's played Cheritz' other visual novel, Dandelion. Those two things really count as Foreshadowing about one of the major movers in the game.
- Slasher Smile: Tei, when he's in full Yandere mode.
- Slipping a Mickey: Tei frequently drugs the heroine's tea in order to sedate her.
- So Beautiful, It's a Curse: All of the boys to some degree. Their looks attract so many fangirls that it becomes a daily annoyance and later a real threat to Eri, their genuine love interest.
- Spoiled Sweet: Soi, one of Eri's friends. She's beautiful and knows it, boy crazy, loud, demanding, and completely has her friends' back.
- Stepford Smiler: Tei. So very, very much.
- Stock Shoujo Bullying Tactics: Eri tends to get some of this from route to route, as jealous fans of the boys trip her, make fun of her, and push her down. Things get more severe in Red's route where she is kidnapped twice and struck hard enough to induce unconsciousness.
- Tap on the Head: Happens to Eri in Red's route at the hands of jealous fangirls. It's a wonder no one brings it up as a possible explanation for the constant headaches and severe amnesia she displays later in the route.
- Teacher/Student Romance: A given in Yuri's route.
- Team Chef: Tei.
- Those Two Guys: Soi and Shinbi.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Candied Lemon Tea for Lance, carrot cake for Yeonho, Secret Garden Tea for Yuri, and chocolate cookies for Red. When asked, Tei claims his favorite is just tea and coffee in general.
- True Companions: Soi and Shinbi are in time revealed to be this for Eri. When Eri eventually comes to entrust them with her secret, they're completely accepting. They're also very protective and sensitive to her, and Soi is even willing to give up the first guy she's ever really liked so Eri can be happy.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Nameless/???. It's hard not to feel bad for him after all he's been through, but because of the wizard he's become extremely dangerous.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Due to being released with the concept of "Action Hero," Red goes through life asserting that he is a "Hero of Justice" and treats the other characters like their his partners in a Sentai show. He usually refers to Eri as "Heroine." This is later revealed to be something of an internal defense mechanism protecting his sense of identity. He mostly snaps out of it in his own route.
- Yandere: Oh boy.
- Yeonho during his own route, especially in his bad ends, in one of which he attempts to strangle the protagonist so they can be together forever. Due to his inferiority complex he's pretty much willing to accept any kind of abuse as long as he can stay by Eri's side. He begins obsessively texting Eri and pretty much clings to her side continuously.
- Tei. So extremely that he even crashes one of Yeonho's Yandere ends to out-Yandere him. Since he secretly considers himself disgusting and filthy, he has a secret desire to bring Eri down to his level, usually by hurting her. He works very hard to keep these impulses in check because he also desperately wants her to be happy, but occasionally his sheer level of crazy outweighs it.
- And of course Nameless/???, whose extreme obsession with Eri is what summoned the wizard in the first place to kick of the events of the plot. His deepest desire is to make Eri remember him, whatever the cost, to which end he tries to destroy any other memories she has and trap her in his own memories forever.
- Your Favorite: As Eri gets closer to a boy, she'll start picking up his favorite food from Banjul for him.