Visual Novel / sweet pool

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"It's not romance, it's not even love. It's something much much deeper..."

The third Boys Love Game by Nitro+CHiRAL of Togainu no Chi fame, sweet pool begins with the return of Youji Sakiyama to his Catholic high school after being confined in hospital for a year. Suddenly he finds his life changing in unbelievable ways as his fate becomes entangled with his classmate Tetsuo Shironuma, upperclassman Zenya Okinaga and best friend Makoto Mita.

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 heightened 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.
  • all lowercase letters: The original title is written/stylized as sweet pool.
  • As the Good Book Says...: The game's opening line quotes Genesis 1:28, specifically God commanding human beings to reproduce.
  • Babies Ever After: In one of Tetsuo's endings, The Red Road. Part Bittersweet Ending, part Fridge Horror considering the premise.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Kitani's loyalty toward the Okinaga family began with Kunihito saving his life when he found Kitani trying to kill himself. Kunihito picked up him up and began strangling him to force his survival instinct to kick in, then invited him into the yakuza to at least throw his life away productively.
  • Bishonen Line: The Pure Breeds are meat monsters that have crossed it.
  • Blessed with Suck: The parasites give their hosts supernaturally fast regeneration, but... well, the cost is being infested with hideous parasites, and since you can still die of blood loss, a fatal wound will still kill you.
  • Body Horror: Constantly, to the point that this is more of a horror game than a romance game.
  • Cute Kitten: A stray cat keeps coming to Tetsuo's house after he fed it once.
  • Death by Sex/Death by Childbirth: A literal example in one of the endings. Yes, both of these cases happen at the same time.
  • Eye Scream: There's a reason why Zenya's right eye is always covered by an eyepatch.
  • Face of a Thug: Kitani.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Youji's fate in Zenya's ending, with him being Zenya's Sex Slave barely scratching the surface on why.
  • Forgets to Eat: Youji, though it's almost an active choice.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Youji's the Melancholic, Tetsuo's the Phlegmatic, Makoto's the Sanguine, and Zenya's the Choleric.
  • Gorn: Not quite to Saya no Uta levels but damn if it doesn't get close.
  • Gross Is Not Evil: Implied with the parasites. They're disgusting, sure, but all they're really trying to do is breed like any other animal. Onnushi-sama's flesh should have made Zenya an Osu if he willed it, but Zenya was a baby and incompatible with the parasites, and his father knew it; Kunihito's prayers go unanswered because he's blaming the object of his worship for something he did himself.
  • Homosexual Reproduction: The parasites only choose human males for reproduction, as a woman's womb is an obstacle for them since intestines are their habitat. The baby is "born" from both partners. Don't ask.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Zenya's father was once a feared and respected yakuza boss, but now everyone from the yakuza see him as nothing more but a raving madman.
  • 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.
  • Lighter and Softer: While most of the tracks in the Everblue drama CD are plainly depressing, the last track is an exception, since it features the main cast as friends hanging out in a karaoke.
  • 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.
  • Meat Moss: In The Red Road ending, Youji's apartment becomes covered with the meat parasites from ceiling to floor.
  • Mind Fuck: Oh so much.
  • Mood Whiplash: Not in the game but after finishing any one of the depressing and usually downright scary endings the website containing the development 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.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Tetsuo. He got the biggest body and the toughest look. You can even see his body shape through his uniform. If it's not enough, he overpowered Zenya.
  • Multiple Endings: Notable for there being no happy ones.
    • VLG: 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.
    • The Hunger: Makoto's ending. As a mesu, Youji’s body exhales a sweet, alluring scent in order to attract the osu around him. Even though Makoto is not an osu, he is sensitive to Youji’s scent, and it slowly drives him insane. In the end, he rapes and kills Youji, then begins eating his corpse. After running out of his friend’s meat, he starts to devour his own flesh.
    • Diving Deep: Tetsuo's first ending. Youji is about to tell Tetsuo his choice whether to surrender to the Sodomites and let them consume him, or to deny them and live as a human. Suddenly Kitani comes up, blames them for Zenya's death, and shoots both Youji and Tetsuo, killing them. Later, Kitani speaks with Kamiya about Zenya and Tetsuo's past.
    • The Red Road: Tetsuo's second ending. Youji decides to accept the Sodomites' will, and he and Tetsuo surrender themselves to them. Both die so the pure breed can be born. When Kitani arrives at Youji's house in order to avenge Zenya's death, he finds Youji and Tetsuo's child.
    • Miracles May - Violin Ver: Tetsuo's third ending. Youji decides he won’t accept the Sodomites, since “to live” as a human didn’t seem like a choice that could possibly be made. Kitani arrives and shoots Tetsuo and Youji, and the two fall off the roof and plunge into the pool. While falling, Youji remembers the car crash and why he lived on: his father was a meat monster host as well and sacrificed himself to save him. Youji decides that he wants to save Tetsuo the way his father saved him. A couple of years after, Tetsuo is alive and well and living with Youji, whose condition has worsened. Youji knows that he doesn’t have long to live, but doesn’t care, as being with Tetsuo these past few years has been the happiest time of his life.
    • Miracles May: Tetsuo's fourth ending. Same as the above, except that Tetsuo's memory was lost after the incident and vaguely remembers Youji, and Youji's fate is unknown. According to Word of God, this is the true ending.
  • Multiple Route Mystery: Each ending reveals more (or gives hints) about the setting, per example the Diving Deep End reveals info about Kamiya and the organization he works for, The Red Road reveals how the pure race is created, etc.
  • Only Sane Man: Kitani in the Okinaga household.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: This is the case for both Youji and Tetsuo in The Red Road ending, since for their child to be born, they must die.
  • Parasites Made Them Do It: Kind of 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.
  • The Punishment: The parasites, more or less. The souls of the damned are stripped of their right to be made in God's own image — that is, to have human forms — which gives them a host of exciting new abilities that are just awful.
  • Rape as Drama: Played to horrifying effects.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Pure Breeds, the parasites' equivalent to a hive queen, have red eyes. They're also exceedingly rare, being the only type of meat monster that can assume a human form. Onnushi-sama was apparently one of them, and the danger they signify is the fact that they can control their pheromones at will to affect even normal humans, and their flesh can seed in humans without exploding them into gobbets of meat if they will it. Tetsuo and Youji's offspring is one. Zenya's also got one under the tumorous growth he hides, due to being force-fed Onnushi-sama's flesh under his eyepatch.
  • 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.
  • Shown Their Work: At one point, the parasites are referred to as "myrmecoleon", ant-lions, referencing a mistranslated Hebrew word in the Septuagint version of the Old Testament. It's also something of an appropriately bizarre animal motif, as the mythical ant-lion is a creature that is half-lion and half-ant, doomed to starve to death because its opposing halves can't eat the same food. Youji's already well on his way to starving to death when the story starts because the parasites make him unable to eat.
  • 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 ships Tetsuo and 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.
  • Together in Death: Youji and Tetsuo in The Red Road ending.
  • Undying Loyalty: Kitani's loyalty to the Okinaga family is utterly unshakable, no matter what weird shit he has to cope with as Zenya's ersatz house-husband, and the story often points out that he'll endure anything for their sake. And then subverted in one of Tetsuo and Youji's endings. Kitani has nothing left but the need to avenge the Okinagas' deaths by killing them, but instead, he finds their child and is immediately overcome with a need to care for him.
  • 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
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Zenya, although like most things in this game, it's not in the typical way, and he loathes his father regardless. He's a failed Osu, having been fed the flesh of Onnushi-sama as a baby rather than being born a host. Most of what he does to Youji, and his hatred of Tetsuo, is rooted in his desire to prove himself to his father and fix, or at least justify, the state of his own body.
  • Womb Level: The whole game is basically one since the interface has conspicuous amount of pulsating veins, along with distinctly organic sound effects.
  • Yakuza: Zenya's dad was a former yakuza boss and his underling Kitani was one as well.
  • 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: Due to the art style, everyone looks like they are in their 20s.
    • Tetsuo and Youji's son. He looks like a young teenager within a day of his birth.

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