Visual Novel: Yosuga no Sora
Following the death of their parents in a tragic car accident, Haruka Kasugano and his twin sister Sora are left orphaned. Rather than live with relatives, Haruka seeks comfort in fond memories of the past and decides to move to the rural house left to them by their grandparents, who are also deceased. Sora, unwilling to be separated from her brother, decides to follow him. Although Haruka is glad to relive memories of the summer vacations he spent at the countryside, Sora is much less enthusiastic.
Haruka reconnects with his childhood friends Nao Yorihime, the neighborhood older sister
, and Akira Amatsume, a miko
. He also befriends his new classmates Kazuha Migiwa
, daughter of a local politician, and Ryouhei Nakazato
, who is in Haruka's class because he ended up getting held back a year. Haruka also meets Motoka Nogisaka, a maid
in the employ of Kazuha's father.Yosuga no Sora
("Sky of Connections") is a visual novel developed by Sphere in 2008, with illustrations by Takashi Hashimoto. The novel averts the standard Unwanted Harem
by having Haruka express interest in a heroine early on in the game. The story then branches off and shows his developing relationship with the chosen girl. Each route is a story of drama, summer love and coming-of-age as Haruka adapts to his new responsibilities as Sora's de facto caretaker and learns how to provide the heroine with emotional support.
The visual novel also has a 2-volume 2010 manga adaptation illustrated by Takashi Mikaze, primarily concentrating on the Sora angle, and published for Comp Ace
, as well as a 2010 anime adaptation for the Fall 2010 lineup directed by Takeo Takahashi using a similar episodic format akin to Amagami SS
: each heroine has an arc dedicated to her, but rather than an Alternate Continuity
to reset an entirely new arc, the next set of episodes features a "What If?
" for Haruka in vying for another heroine's heart.
/expansion fan disk
called Haruka na Sora
contains bonus material, extended scenes and includes scenarios for Kozue Kuranaga, Class Representative
of the twins' homeroom, and Yahiro Ifukube, Akira's Parental Substitute
and Motoka's best friend.
This series provides examples of:
- Artistic License – Biology: Kazuha and Akira being born on the same day from different mothers.
- Chances could be slim, but it's possible that they were conceived in different days, seeing that pregnancy duration is estimated to be around 280 days, with a week or so of deviation.
- Ascended Extra: In the eroge, Kozue has the dubious honor of being constantly Demoted to Extra. Fortunately, the fan disc took the rare step of making her the protagonist of her own route — one which is more or less Played for Laughs.
- Beach Episode: Episode 3 (Akira 3).
- Big Damn Heroes: Nao pulls this off in Episode 9 (Nao 4) when she jumps into a burning bus stop to rescue Sora's rabbit doll, kicking down a large board locking her in after a few seconds of suspense. Not bad, considering that Sora hates her after she caught her presumably raping Haruka many years ago.
- Big "NO!": Kozue does this in Sora's arc after finding out about Haruka and Sora's relationship. Considering how this was framed in the anime, it may also overlap with The Scream.
- Bishie Sparkle: How Kozue sees Haruka.
- Bittersweet Ending: The original visual novel toys with this and then subverts it in Sora's route, indicating that Haruka and Sora have moved to a Scandinavian country before revealing that they are actually just visiting friends of their parents on invitation. The manga and anime both seem to play this straight, however. Especially the Anime.
- Black Comedy Rape: Matoka does this to Haruka in the omake of Episode 7 (Nao/Sora 2) while drunk. Not that Haruka minds it...
- Bleached Underpants: Played straight in the manga, even in such crucial scenes as Nao's "rape" flashback and Nao and Kozue catching the Kasuganos in the act. Averted in the anime, where while not extremely explicit, Motoka is shown masturbating (and implicitly on a frequent basis) and the show has no qualms showing nipples in full detail. Then Episode 4 (Kazuha 4) literally gives the starting act of a sex scene, and Episode 6 (Akira 4) goes all out showing Akira in all sorts of surprising sex positions. Though admittedly, the manga follows the original visual novel more closely than the anime, making the anime an example of Hotter and Sexier.
- Break the Cutie: Kozue's entire Sora Arc experience in the anime. Averted in the manga and the visual novel, where she somehow starts to get better, accepting the twins' relationship and wishing them a safe return after the group of friends the twins made receive a mail through Kazuha from Haruka, promising to return to them one day.
- Broken Bird: On one hand, Sora could probably use a slap or two for her selfish, needy behavior. On the other hand, she's such a psychological mess that it's hard not to feel sorry for her.
- Bromantic Foil: Ryouhei, who often teases Haruka that he wants to be Sora's escort. Doubles as the Unlucky Everydude.
- Brother-Sister Twincest: Haruka and Sora, more so in the latter's own arc.
- Choose Your Own Adventure: Unlike Amagami SS, Episode 1 establishes all the characters; following that, episodes branch out on particular heroines:
- Kazuha: 2-4
- Akira: 2, 5-6
- Nao: 7-9
- Sora: 7, 10-12
- Motoka: The omakes at the end of every episode (though much of it is told from her perspective).
- Class Representative: Kozue
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Sora, full stop. It isn't particularly helped by catching Nao apparently "raping" Haruka.
- Coitus Uninterruptus: In Episode 9 (Nao 4), When Sora walks in on Nao and Haruka having sex, the latter's reaction is to keep thrusting, though there is a possibility he didn't notice Sora until a few moments later, as he was understandably caught up in the act.
- Caught the Heart on His Sleeve: Sora to Haruka.
- Conspicuous CG: In the anime, most car scenes are blatant ones, as well as train scene, but especially the fans, where it seems the animators spent a lot of time in the initial scene showing the fan on the train.
- Cool Big Sis: Nao, Yahiro and Akira by a few minutes.
- Continuity Nod: The omake includes Yahiro and Kozue as part of Haruka's harem, even though their actual arcs were only included in Haruka na Sora.
- Darker and Edgier: The entire plot of Nao's and Sora's arcs in the anime, especially Sora's. Though the original had some similar content, the romantic drama here is taken to an entirely new level. Especially Haruka's two-timing on Nao with Sora during the latter's arc, a subplot that was played for all it soap opera worth in the anime (the scene where Haruka nearly rapes Nao being a glaring example), but didn't actually exist in the original, where it was impossible to change routes once locked into one. Also, The anime's strange obsession with "caught in the act" scenes, none of which existed in the visual novel.
- In Sora's arc in the original visual novel, there is one point where Haruka shouts at Sora. The equivalent scene in the anime portrays him striking her in the face hard enough to knock her to the floor. Abuse of frail, sickly girls, anyone? Made even more pronounced by the fact that it was extremely out of character for Haruka to do this, which ties in to the next example below.
- In the anime, several of the characters' personalities were altered or changed outright to create a darker tone to the story, Nao being the most affected. While Nao from the original adopted a cheerful demeanor and was largely happy to meet Haruka again, Nao from the anime was brooding and unable to bring herself face Haruka, always coming up with excuses to avoid him. Haruka also seems to have fallen prey to this, becoming more perverted and less responsible in the anime. Even Sora's dislike of Nao is taken Up to Eleven; at one point she is shown typing the phrase "I hate Nao" over and over again in a word document on her computer.
- Finally, while the friction points between the characters tend to work themselves out in the original, Sora's route in the anime left a mess of tangled relations and emotional wounds. For instance, in the original, Nao and Sora managed to resolve their differences about halfway through Sora's route, but the anime has Sora continue to hate Nao right up until the end. Also, Kozue eventually comes to terms with Haruka and Sora's relationship in the visual novel, but the anime leaves her a broken emotional wreck. Note that this example only applies to Sora's route in the anime, as the other routes all manage some form of closure.
- Date Rape Averted: What Haru nearly does to Nao in Sora's arc (Episode 11 (Sora 4)).
- A Date with Rosie Palms — Motoka...one too many times, enough to earn her a fan nickname for it.
- Then there's Sora schlicking herself as she moans for Haruka's name in Episode 10 (Sora 3).
- Deceased Parents Are the Best: Haruka and Sora's parents were killed in an automobile accident.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Sora almost always goes barefoot indoors, removing her socks along with her shoes, because she likes to flex her toes.
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Deconstructed by a past incident where Sora caught Nao apparently "raping" Haruka. Nao genuinely regrets doing it and thought Haruka hated her for it. Turns out Haruka was okay with this — he was just surprised from it since it was his first time — and he wanted both of them to get over it. It helps that the anime is a lot less clear on whether or not the incident was consensual, and Sora is very biased on the matter.
- Erotic Dream: Late in Sora's arc, Haru dozes off in class and dreams that his sister has snuck under his desk to give him a blowjob.
- Expy: Akira and Kazuha are a little reminiscent of another Genki Girl and Ojou team.
- Festival Episode: The summer festival is a common event in the game and anime, usually around the end of an arc.
- First Kiss: Haruka and Kazuha in Episode 3 (Kazuha 3), initiated by the former. While it seems Kazuha would resist, she actually gives in and implied her feelings to him in response. Likewise, Akira willingly gives this and more in the Furo Scene of Episode 5 (Akira 3).
- Follow the Leader: Played with — while it seems like it follows the story-telling plot from Amagami SS, where after one arc is over the series retcons the entire thing to give way for the next one, the anime adaptation for this visual novel has branching episodes, each fork representing different choices.
- Foreshadowing: The Motoka omakes show bits and pieces of the main heroines' plots. To note:
- When Sora comes out underneath Haruka's desk and the next scene has her and a few other girls eating a lollipop.In the Sora arc, she gives her brother a blowjob during class.
- When Sora and Nao get into a brawl with the shed on fire due to lightning, it features the same scene but this time, Nao rescues Sora's rabbit doll from the burning shed in Nao's arc.
- For a split second, the twins were drowning in a lake all Super-Deformed. During Sora's arc, they do nearly drown in the lake.
- Gainaxing: Quite a bit in the anime, especially the second ED, which has Nao/Motoka/Yahiro all bouncing their goods in unison.
- Gender-Blender Name: The fact that Haruka and Sora are both unisex names with feminine bases just makes the whole thing weirder.
- Genius Ditz: Akira's usually a klutz, but she's extremely perceptive when it counts.
- Genki Girl: Akira. So much so at one point she collapses from exhaustion.
- Girlish Pigtails: Sora, at least half the time, and Kozue.
- Hair Antennae: Haruka, Sora, Akira and Yahiro.
- Half-Identical Twins: The Kasugano twins, with the only real differences between them being height, hair length and gender.
- Head Pet: Akira's cat◊.
- Heroic Bastard: Akira
- Hilarious Outtakes: The Motoka omakes, although some scenes serve as foreshadowing for key events in the main girls' routes.
- Hotter and Sexier: Compared to most post-midnight anime. Whereas most networks still shy themselves from showing uncensored nipples after midnight, Yosuga no Sora dares to go the whole nine yards and show full sex scenes on network TV, akin to HBO's Rome and The Sopranos. Also, the anime as compared to the visual novel, somehow managing the exact opposite of most visual novel-based anime.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every episode works in the name of a character or two while keeping the title an actual sentence. A prime example is Episode 4 (Kazuha 4) — while translated as "Haruka's Heart", in katakana it's spelled "harukazuhaato", containing both the names of Haruka and Kazuha, the Episode's main players, in the title.
- Idiot Ball: Why didn't Haruka's grandmother confirm with Kazuha's parents whether the babies were switched instead of telling Akira in her diary?
- Ill Girl: Sora, but it never really comes up, except in the manga. One early scene in the anime has Sora spend time at the hospital when she was younger. Haruka also briefly mentions this during Sora's arc. The visual novel plays this straight for backstory reasons, containing an entire extended scene composed of nothing but Sora's recollections of her time in the hospital.
- The Immodest Orgasm: Motoka, which is unfortunate given that she lives with her parents.
- Innocent Fanservice Girl
- Akira pretends to be this. But from the looks of it, she's very well aware of what she's doing.
- Sora is this to an extent, especially in her own arc (though she isn't all that innocent by that point).
- Interrupted Intimacy
- Why the already clingy Sora has a special hate for Nao — she walked in on them having sex several years prior. And in episode 8 (Nao 3), it happens again.
- Taken Up to Eleven In the anime in, well, Episode 11 (Sora 4), in which Nao and Kozue walk in on Haruka taking his sister from behind in the entryway of their house. At the exact moment Sora gets an orgasm.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: There are elements of this in Nao's acceptance of Haruka's relationship with Sora in the latter's arc. Reinforced by the fact that she tries to remain composed even as Kozue was having a mental breakdown. Also, Sora's reason for trying to commit suicide near the end of her route takes this Up to Eleven. She actually tries to drown herself just because she thinks she is a burden to Haruka. But then, The girl has some obsession issues...
- Little Sister Heroine: Sora — possessive and prone to thinking of him during "special" times, and an actual blood sister.
- Luminescent Blush: The default expression of the girls when they're near Haruka. Especially Kozue.
- Mad Libs Catch Phrase: Arguably, Sora's "-taku nai" ("I don't want to..."), though this rapidly disappears in her arc.
- Meganekko: Nao
- Meido: Motoka
- Miko: Akira, with Shrines and Temples to go along with it.
- A Man Is Not a Virgin: Naturally, being an eroge and all; not even the Anime of the Game is immune to this (see Bleached Underpants below). However, Sora specifically dislikes Nao for this reason.
- Mood Whiplash: The omakes at the end of each episode is... out of place with the episode preceding it. It gets even more ridiculous when the chibi-like figures shape-shift, such as Motoka's snakish figure in episode 3. Or Akira's head being large. Coincidentally, these are also seen in the second ED.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Nao thinks she might have raped Haruka, carrying the guilt of it for years before things clear up. Also, Haruka in Sora's arc when the implications of his new relationship with Sora sink in after Nao and Kozue find out about it.
- Near-Rape Experience: In the anime, Haru nearly rapes Nao in Sora's arc at a Love Hotel due to his frustration over his sexual attraction for Sora. He stops, however, after hearing Nao crying and screaming for him to stop.
- Half Identical Twins: Subverted — Kazuha and Akira share the same birthday and father, just not the mother.
- Non-Standard Character Design: Akira in the omake has a very large bobble-like head.
- Norse by Norsewest: In the manga, it's implied that Haru and Sora ended up moving away to somewhere in Scandinavia where they could finally live together in peace..
- Not What It Looks Like: Used and abused frequently.
- Oddly Visible Eyebrows
- Ojou: Kazuha, who naturally comes with a Hime Cut.
- Omake: A brief sequence at the end of each episode with Motoka as the protagonist.
- Parental Abandonment: Akira was abandoned by her father into Yahiro's care, much to the ire of her sister Kazuha — at least not openly, because it would hurt Kazuha's mother more than he already has. Then it turns out that Kazuha's mother raised Akira all along in lieu of her since-deceased biological mother. She has also given Akira a pendant as a reminder of maternal love, only to start neglecting her because of the implications of Akira being her husband's bastard daughter, though they eventually reconcile at the end of the latter's arc.
- Porn with Plot: Being an eroge on one hand, and an anime based upon an eroge on the other, it's kind of to be expected for it to contain porn. It also has surprisingly in-depth plot lines and doesn't portray the relationship between Haruka and Sora as some Excuse Plot for fetishistic wish-fulfillment but shows both how much it torments Haruka that he's having a deviant relationship with his sister as well as the issues that have played a part in shaping Sora's inability to make the same reflections.
- Right Through His Pants
- Running Gag: Haruka really has trouble remembering which pocket he put his cellphone in.
- Scenery Porn: May overlap with Ghibli Hills.
- School Swimsuit
- Sequel: Haruka na Sora, an expansion for the original eroge expanding Sora's options with Kozue and Yahiro.
- Shipper on Deck: Ryouhei is this for Haruka and Nao.
- Smashing Watermelons
- Squick: In-Universe, Haruka was revolted and ultimately driven to tears at the sight of Sora masturbating while moaning out his name in Episode 10 (Sora 3).
- This can also be summed up as Kozue's reaction upon discovering Haruka and Sora's relationship.
- Stepford Smiler: Akira's cheerful mask fades when she's alone, when she's reminded of her mother, or when she sees Yahiro. The latter has her coming close to breaking down. In a way, her personality mirrors that of "Sayori-hime", the local goddess whose shrine she works in.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: Sora in the visual novel.
- Super-Deformed: The Motoka omakes.
- They Do: All the girls in their respective arcs.
- Tsundere: Primarily Kazuha, but Sora as well, occasionally, including twintails while wearing her school uniform.
- Twelve-Episode Anime
- The Unfavorite: Kazuha is certain that Akira this. She turns out to be wrong.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Initially between Haruka and Kazuha, though very quickly resolved. An even faster resolution occurs between Haruka and Akira. It took only half an episode for Haruka to remember her and for Akira to jump him in the bath. In the original visual novel, this is largely subverted, as the sexual tension tends not to be very pronounced in most routes until the scene where the actual act occurs. Played straight in Sora's route, however.
- Untrusting Community: Notably averted — the members of the community in general were greatly indebted to the Kasuganos' grandparents and are more than willing to help them out. In Sora's arc, the main reason the Kasuganos decide to leave was due to the taboo nature of their relationship (and the fact that Nao and Kozue caught them having sex). In the original, there is indication that they decide not to move for this very reason.
- Yandere: Sora, in the latter half of her own route. She becomes so obsessed with Haruka that she literally ceases to care about anything else, to the point where she walks out on the porch in a sheet while Haruka is nervously conversing with Nao and Kozue, who have dropped in for a surprise visit, and rudely tells them to leave so that she and Haruka can go back to having sex (in so many words, and more). Kozue does not take this well. She is a notably non-violent example of this trope, however.