"It's not romance, it's not even love. It's something much much deeper..."
The third Boys Love Game
of Togainu no Chi
fame, Sweet Pool begins with the return of Sakiyama Youji to his Catholic High School after a long absence due to illness. Suddenly he finds his life changing in unbelieveable ways as his fate becomes entangled with his stoic
classmate Shironuma Tetsuo, eccentric
upper-classman Okinaga Zenya and friend
Sounds like your typical school boys love setting right? Except that this being a Nitro+
production means that the story is also infused with horror of the most potent kind. Filled to the brim with Primal Fear
and Body Horror
, all heighted with a brilliantly creepy soundtrack
, this is definitely not a game for the faint-hearted.
The manga adaptation has been licensed in English by SuBLime.
This game provides examples of:
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Youji, several times. It makes bad things happen
- As the Good Book Says: The game starts with God's command for humans to multiply from the Old Testament
- Babies Ever After: Youji and Tetsuo's true ending. Part Bittersweet Ending, part Fridge Horror considering the premise.
- Big Eater: Makoto
- Blond Guys Are Evil: Played straight with Zenya, possibly subverted with Tetsuo
- Body Horror: Constantly, to the point that this is more of a horror game than a romance game.
- Cute Kitten: A stray cat keeps comeing to Tetsu's house after he fed it once.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Zenya
- Death by Sex/ Death by Childbirth: A literal example in Youji's and Tetsuo's true end.
- Eye Scream: There's a reason why Zenya's right eye is always covered by an eyepatch.
- Expy: Makoto looks an awful lot like Yosuke Hanamura with longer hair.
- Face of a Thug: Kitani.
- Fate Worse Than Death: In Zenya's ending Youji gets captured and raped by Zenya. Timeskip a few weeks or months and Youji is still imprisoned in a dark room, treated as a sex pet, vomiting up almost everything he eats and wondering when he will die. Oh, and when he's finally too tired? Zenya plans to stuff him so that he'll stay by his side forever. Nitro+ doesn't do half-assed bad ends.
- Forgets to Eat: Youji, though it's almost an active choice.
- Gen Urobuchi: Only in a consultant role, though the influence is clear...
- Homosexual Reproduction: The parasites only choose human males for reproduction, as women's womb is an obstacle for them since intestines are their habitat. The baby is "born" from both partners. Don't ask.
- If It's You, It's Okay: Youji feels this way towards Tetsuo
- Ill boy: Youji, to the point that he had to stay behind a year.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Youji
- Later it turns out that this also applies to Zenya.
- Keet: Makoto is usually cheerful and friendly. Usually.
- Love Makes You Crazy: Or pheromones in Makoto's case.
- Ludicrous Gibs: Any animal that eats the "seed meat" born from the parasites explodes into this.
- Mind Fuck: Oh so much.
- Mr. Seahorse: One of the first sign that Youji isn't completely normal is when he keeps giving birth to small living lumps of flesh.
- Mood Whiplash: Not in the game but after finishing any one of the depressing and usually downright scary endings the website containing the Dev team's production notes is unlocked and amongst them, horrors of horrors, is a chibi picture of all the characters relaxing around a kotatsu, including Onnushi-sama note in a Santa suit.. Finishing all the endings will grant you a CG of the cast engaging in a pillow fight.
- Multiple Endings: Notable for there being no happy ones
- Only Sane Man: Kitani in the Okinaga household.
- Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: Youji literally oozes blood whenever Tetsuo is concerned.
- Parasites made them do it: Kinda justified since the parasites are the damned souls from places like Sodom and Gomorrah.
- Parental Abandonment: Youji's parents were killed in a car accident when he was young.
- Playing The Player: See Sadistic Choice below.
- Promotion to Parent: Youji's sister
- Primal Fear: Of the bloody, squicky kind
- Rape as Drama
- Sadistic Choice: Since this game has no happy endings every single choice you make basically just decides how Youji will meet his end.
- Scare Chord: Occasionally.
- Scary Shiny Glasses: Kamiya gets a few of these moments.
- Sleep Cute: Tetsuo
- Smells Sexy: Played completely straight since Youji, Tetsuo and Zenya all release pheromones.
- Stalker with a Crush: Makoto
- Stalker with a Test Tube: Kamiya and co. ships Tetsuo/Youji, for nefarious purposes.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Youji and Tetsuo
- The Stoic: Tetsuo's expression never changes. Youji himself to a lesser extent
- Take Care Of My Innards: Zenya asks this of Kitani.
- Utsuge: The game is infamous for its dark-as-hell and sometimes downright depressing atmosphere, resulting in it being a major Tear Jerker for some players.
- Visual Novel
- Womb Level: The whole game is basically one since the interface has conspicuous amount of pulsating veins, along with distinctly organic sounding sfx.
- Yakuza: Zenya's dad was a former Yakuza boss and his underling Kitani was one as well.
- Yandere: Makoto becomes one out a jealousy. He goes as far as threatening Youji with a knife, and in one ending rapes and cannibalizes him.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: Every time Youji and Tetsuo's relationship takes a step forward, expect the plot to come in and kick everyone in the stomach.
- Younger Than They Look: Tetsuo is a year younger than Youji but manages to hide his age and work part-time as a bartender. In addition, due to the art style, everyone looks like they are in the 20s.