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SHUFFLE! is an H-Game that was adapted into a successful Harem Anime. The series is notable for its vivid character designs, catchy tunes, and interesting plot twists. While still a comedy, SHUFFLE! is far more emotional than many of its counterparts in the harem genre.The series is set in a world much like our own, but which diverged from ours when, about a decade previous to the start of the story, a gateway to the world of the demons and the world of the gods appeared (in spite of their names, the gods and demons aren't any more or less evil or good than humans, the only difference from humans being their ability to use magic and their pointed triangular ears, and the only difference between the gods and the demons being the length of the ears). Gods and demons begin migrating to Earth, and in spite of the presence of magic and non-humans, everyday life continues on much as it had before.The story starts when the ordinary lives of Rin and his childhood friend Kaede is disrupted by the arrival of the king of the gods and the king of the demons, both of whom have decided the human Rin is to be the heir to their kingdoms... meaning that they each want him to marry their respective daughters, Lisianthus (Sia) of the gods and Nerine (Rin again in the Japanese version, Rina in the dub to avoid confusion with the Unlucky Everydude) of the demons. Soon thereafter the mysterious, emotionless Primula (or Rimu/Rim) shows up. Together with Kaede's senpai Asa, these are the five girls from whom Rin must choose his girlfriend.There's also a second season, SHUFFLE! Memories (which is basically a recap of the first anime), an Updated Re-release named Shuffle! Essence+ and three spin-off games: Tick! Tack!, Really? Really! and SHUFFLE! Love Rainbow. The original game, Tick! Tack! and Really? Really! were officially released in English by Mangagamer.Character sheet can be found here.
Really? Really! retcons her not disliking her breasts by having her adjust their size in multiple memories. She always gets called out on it and gets depressed that nobody goes along with it. Though another memory shows that she's about b-cup, meaning the teasing doesn't make any sense.
The scene in the first episode where Kaede gives Rin his lunch while forgetting her own is replicated in the last episode, where Rin is replaced by Primula.
The first and last episodes both show Kaede wrapped in a green towel after a bath.
Break the Cutie: This happened to Kaede when her parents died. She was so hopeless that Rin made her think that he was at fault so she'd at least live to hate him since she was just fading away otherwise.
Covert Pervert: Kareha. Only covert in that she doesn't say out loud what she's imagining. However, whenever a situation that could be construed as romantic or perverted presents itself, she will Squee and glow.
Cutting Off The Branches: Averted. Barring Primula, each girl wins in a different continuity or followup. Lisanthus gets the manga, Asa the anime, Really? Really! is a continuation of Kaede's path while Tick Tack is a sequel for Nerine.
Dark Is Not Evil: Demons here aren't evil. In fact, Forbesii is a really Nice Guy though he is fairly savvy to common anime fetishes like maid and catgirl outfits.
Forbesii: "My wife and Nerine-chan won't let me do chores at home because they're worried about what others might say..."
Rin: "I bet the number of devil worshipers is decreasing..."
Date Peepers: When four people conspire to create the perfect date for a couple, don't expect them to let the date happen naturally.
Driven to Suicide: Killing himself is the ONLY way that Rin can save Asa from dying. It forces her to use all the built up magic in her body to bring him back to life, which was the very problem that was killing her.
Attempted by Kaede in the anime after she learns the truth about her mother's death. She only lives because Rin pulled her back a moment before a truck hit her.
Emotionless Girl: Primula. Though as her own route reveals, its not that she doesn't have emotions, she just doesn't know how to express them. Her actual personality is really very bubbly and cheerful.
Extreme Doormat: Invoked by Kaede. She absolutely refuses to let Rin do any work without Rin taking a long time to convince her.
Eye Catch: Either some happy frolicking cats if it's a happy episode or the girls looking serious if it's a dramatic episode.
Eye Scream: In their flashbacks together, Kaede is seen dropping a boxcutter in such a way so that it slices Rin's eye. He gets better, though.
Eyes Are Unbreakable: Rin's eye suffers no permanent damage from Kaede cutting it by dropping a boxcutter that cuts Rin's eye.
Fan Disservice: Especially later on in the anime: if you see a naked breast, clearly, something is about to happen.
Fanservice: Plenty all around. You see every major female character's breasts at one point or another, with Asa being the first.
Heroic BSOD: Kaede goes into one at her mother's funeral. She no longer had any will or reason to live due to the shock. Another occures when Rin starts spending more time with Asa.
Hexagonal Speech Balloon: The anime frequently uses arrow-shaped boxes when someone is talking, both when they're too far away to be seen, and when they're off-screen.
Idiot Ball: Gets passed around in a few of the arcs, most notably, Asa's and Kaede's.
Ill Girl: Asa and Primula, at least to some extent.
Instant Fan Club: parodied mercilessly. Just look at Kitto Kitto Kaede and Ai Ai Asa.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: When Primula starts to lose control, the experimenters were planning on resetting her emotions to bring her back in line.
In the H-Game, Primula pulls it with Rin. In a really inappropriate moment.
Lecture As Exposition: The first lecture is the history of the gate opening between the human world and the realms of the gods and demons. Another lecture later on refers to medieval alchemy, relating to the development of science and relating to magic.
Manly Tears: For being the King of the Gods, Eustoma sheds quite a few of them.
Marry Them All: Sia also notes that the world of the gods is polygamous, thus leaving things potentially open ended. A couple endings do build on this:
Sia has two endings, one of which involves sharing Rin with her sister.
Tick Tack, a Nerine spinoff, has something similar as an option.
In Kareha's route Kaede and the other original Shuffle girls (apart from Asa, who is basically included in this decision despite her absence) pull Rin aside to let him know that while they're accepting of his relationship with her, they're not going to give up yet. When Rin tells Kareha about it, she just says that she doesn't know if she'd get jealous or not but if Rin wants to she doesn't really have any problem with the idea. She is from the world of the gods, even if she's been attending Rin's school for a few years. In Kareha's epilogue, Tsubomi invites herself into the relationship.
Maybe Ever After: A few endings leave things open for Rin to be polygamous, though the story generally refrains from actually making it canon apart from very specific scenarios.
Mistaken for Servant: Kaede is mistaken for Rin's maid when their new neighbors come to visit for the first time. Amusingly, she happily agrees that's more or less the case while Rin denies it.
Multiple-Choice Past: Inverted with the final choice of Really? Really!, where you're asked by Kaede if you prefer Asa's hair long or short. A few in-game minutes later, Asa appears with the hair length you chose, despite her not even being near you when you answered.
Mythology Gag: The covers of both the anime and the Visual Novels shows our heroines standing among sunflowers, even though they're never shown anywhere else in the series.
New Transfer Student: Lisianthus and Nerine. Primula starts school as well, one grade below the others.
No Antagonist: There's no bad guy, of course, but all the girls generally get along, so there aren't any real conflicts among them if Rin happens to like someone else. So the story is generally pretty free of conflict.
Older Than She Looks: Primula has the appearance of a twelve/thirteen year-old girl. She's actually only one year younger than the main characters, who are in high school.
Ama, Asa's mother also qualifies. She's way older than she looks. It seems like she's as old as Asa, and Itsuki hits on her before they're introduced.
One Steve Limit: There are two Rins. The protagonist, and Nerine, who is called Rin because Lycoris named her after Rin when they met eight years ago. Primula is shortened to Rim to add to the confusion.
The English dub tries to makes things clearer by changing Nerine's nickname to Rina and Primula's to Rimu.
Our Demons Are Different: The only notable difference between demons, gods, and humans is that the two former can use magic and have longer ears.
Panty Shot: The camera is often set far far lower than it has any other reason to be. Funimation's previews of the anime uses nothing but panty shots as the entire selling point.
There's a little kid called Masato who likes to pull up the girls' skirts at the tea shop Kareha works at. She's not very disturbed by it. The temp waitress, on the other hand, is terrified, for the simple reason that she lost her panties earlier.
Please Don't Leave Me: Kaede does this several times to Rin late in the anime. Once while naked and holding him in bed, and later when Rin makes the decision to move out of her house.
Power of Love: Primula is saved via Lycoris/Nerine and Rin's love for her.
In the game, Primula's storyline includes her wiping Rin's mind so he won't miss her when she leaves. The next time he sees her, the memory is miraculously restored. The Devil King gives some elaborate theory as to why this could have happened, but in the end says they might just as well call it... That's right. Primula stays.
In the anime, the Badass Adorable cat that appears in the show-to-commercials transition ends his combo with a Hadoken.
There's a Nyandam transformable action figure at a toy store.
Really? Really! has scenes similar to a certain series' cross-examination. It even has Rin point his finger out and shout "Really!" (which sounds similar to "Igiari", the Japanese equivalent of "Objection") when you present evidence of a contradiction.
Sick Episode: Primula in episodes 12-13, and Asa gets a few episodes due to a childhood condition that comes back full force.
Split Personality: Nerine's clone, Lycoris, is a partial example, and Sia also has the soul of her dead sister living inside her.
Tantrum Throwing: In the Visual Novel, when Rin walks on Primula while she's changing, she starts throwing pillows at him. He mentally notes that if he doesn't leave, she will start throwing heavier things. And when she runs out of heavy things, she will start throwing magic.
Theme Naming: A lot of names are themed around plants, especially flowers.
Theme Tune Cameo: In the anime, the theme song is played in the arcade where Rin meets Primula.
It may even be that she has a spell to summon chairs. It would be useful for dinner parties where more guests show up than you have chairs, but, obviously, Sia has found another use for it.
Wham Episode: Episode 19 is when it becomes obvious that this isn't just another happy comedy harem series.
What Happened to the Mouse?: So, what did happen to the Instant Fanclub each girl developed, anyhow? (Though their absence can be Hand Waved by noting that it would have been Mood Dissonance to have their presence in the second half of the series.) Perhaps explained by the action of the Gonk stalking the main cast every now and then by the final episode he was thanking Rin for choosing Asa making the other girls available, so the Instant Fanclubs were no longer needed to deal with Rin and they simply disbanded.