YU-NO, short for Kono Yo no Hate de Koi wo Utau Shoujo YU-NO (A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of this World, YU-NO), is one of the early classic visual novels. Originally released in 1996 by elf for the PC-98, it remains a highly rated though somewhat dated work and has strong elements of an Adventure Game of the Point-and-Click type.The story begins with the disappearance of the protagonist Takuya’s father, known to the world as an eccentric and controversial historian. Though he is presumed dead, Takuya soon receives a package from the supposedly deceased man containing an odd set of items the purpose of which Takuya does not recognize. After wandering about a little investigating, he winds up at the local landmark Triangle Mountain, which is a large rock of unknown origin that has scholars confused.While at Triangle Mountain, Takuya first runs across a beautiful naked woman who after kissing him suddenly drops dead and vanishes completely. Confused, Takuya is then suddenly confronted by a former friend and colleague of his father named Ryuuzouji. With him is Takuya’s young stepmother, Ayumi, who appears to have no idea what is going on. After Ryuuzouji pulls a gun on Takuya and demands the odd package he received from his father, things take a turn for the bizarre as suddenly space seems to warp and Takuya is suddenly alone at Triangle Mountain.Takuya arrives back home and makes a startling discovery: The device his father sent him is some sort of dimensional hopping device that allows a form of pseudo-time travel via alternate dimensions. After approximately 50 hours, Takuya will be looped back to the mountain at Triangle Mountain without his memories and be forced to explore yet another alternate world. On the bright side, your inventory of items is retained from previous loops, which is pretty much necessary since there are multiple items you need in one route that you can only acquire in another.The following tropes below appear in the first half of YU-NO. After this section of the story is complete, the story undergoes a shift into the True route, which is very spoilery and thus the details are listed in a section below this.The tropes for the true route half of the story are listed separately below the section for the first half of the story. Be careful about which part of the page you are viewing.
Apocalyptic Log: After becoming trapped beneath Triangle Mountain until she grew too weak to escape after figuring out how, Professor Imagawa simply set about recording her last days. Her last entry states that instead of waiting to starve to death she’s going to impale herself on a spike that’s sticking out of the wall as a more ‘dignified’ way to die.
Bat Deduction: Parodied in Kanna’s route when seeing through Eriko’s flimsy disguise again. ‘attractive woman with cigarettes’ and goes through about a dozen steps before Eriko finally yells at him for making an absurd chain of deductions. See Overly-Long Gag for the full chain.
Blatant Lies: If you keep clicking on certain background characters Takuya will hit them and claim they had a mosquito on their face or something, at which point they will thank him while noting he chipped a tooth or caused a compound fracture.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: Takuya will yell at you if you insist on certain actions. He’ll also note that it would be rather mean to make you also press the answer button on the phone after picking it up.
Brilliant, but Lazy: Takuya appears to be doing so poorly simply because he doesn’t care enough about school.
Character Tic: Takuya’s first reaction to finding things is often to smell them. And no, you don’t really get any useful information out of doing so.
Chick Magnet: Takuya. Mio and Mitsuki are after him from the start, Ayumi is in love with him and trying to hide it, about a day’s worth of interaction wins over Kanna. Mio also alludes to how he had a lot of fangirls when he was taking classes seriously and in the kendo club.
Dead Person Impersonation: Ryuuzouji has been dead for a month. The fake made up the curse to explain Ryuuzouji’s attempts to get assistance before finally dismembering him and hiding his limbs and head.
Disappeared Dad: The search for him in fact makes up the majority of Takuya’s motives.
Distant Finale: The endings that are unlocked after completing the True Route all take place after a timeskip of several years.
The Ditz: Ayumi is not unintelligent, but she’s a bit of an airhead.
Downer Ending: Mitsuki dies in her ending. Actually, she apparently dies in all of them. We don’t see what happens in Ayumi or Kanna’s routes, but she’s pierced by lightning in Mio’s route and shot in her own at which point Eriko says that she was destined to die at this time no matter what.
Driven to Suicide: Ayumi in her bad end after ignoring Takuya’s pleas about the true nature of Toyotomi.
Dying as Yourself: Apart from bad endings, Mitsuki breaks out of the mind control before dying.
Fourth Date Marriage: Kanna was just a classmate until suddenly they were basically engaged after two days. At least Takuya had known Ayumi for some time!
The Gadfly: Takuya likes to pick on Mio just to see her get mad.
Hypnotic Eyes: People with Nairb syndrome can be hypnotized by looking into Ryuuzouji’s eyes.
Ill Girl: Kanna is prone to getting feverish and collapsing.
Immortal Immaturity: Kanna looked the same fifty years ago as she does now, but just acts like a rather withdrawn teenager.
Immortality: It’s mentioned offhandedly that the potential inherent in the Reflector and new approach to history could even lead to this. Takuya’s mother was immortal for some reason and Kanna might be as well.
Yuuki likes Mio, who likes Takuya. Takuya’s response depends on the route.
Ayumi route: The end of Ayumi’s route has Takuya attempt to cut one short by proposing to Ayumi.
On the other hand, during the Kaori branch of the Kanna route the above triangle is subverted in favor of Ayumi knowing that her husband still loves Takuya’s mother and is determined to undo her death in some manner. The implication is that Ayumi was just a friend and a tool.
Also, Mitsuki still likes Takuya and Mio gets jealous of her and feels like they’re competing.
The Matchmaker: Eriko likes pushing Takuya towards Mio. Takuya pushes Yuuki towards Mio, but Takuya doesn’t seem to really care and doesn’t expect it to go well.
Mind-Control Eyes: Mitsuki, as revealed in Mio’s route, though she probably had them the other times she turned out to be a pawn as well.
Multiple Endings: There are four main heroines, each of which has several endings, both good and bad apart from Mitsuki, who only gets bad endings as well as a true route and epilogues. In order to get the good endings, you generally need to have seen the bad endings first and to go rather out of your way.
Must Not Die a Virgin: After lengthy Belligerent Sexual Tension all throughout the route, when Mio appears to have given up on escaping from beneath Triangle Mountain she propositions Takuya. Takuya lets her know he hates death thoughts like that but they go ahead anyway.
Oblivious Guilt Slinging: In Mio’s route, it’s clear that Yuuki is the one who told everyone about the corruption of Mio’s father right from the start and when you see the two speaking along with Mio apparently oblivious you can see his composure go out the window when she says that thanks to this incident she’ll be moving away and thanks him for his support. But it’s actually a subversion. This is the conversation where she figured out for sure that Yuuki was really the one who had done it and presumably just didn’t want to hurt him by pointing it out directly.
The Ojou: Much to Mio’s irritation, Takuya delights in pointing this out.
Takuya: When you think of cigarettes, you think of smoke… when you think of smoke, you think of something drifting about… when you think of something drifting about, you think of a jellyfish… When you think of a jellyfish, you think of the ocean… when you think of the ocean, you think of blue… when you think of blue, you think of the sky… when you think of the sky, you think of clouds… when you think of clouds, you think of white… when you think of white, you think of a white coat… when you think of a white coat, you think of a school doctor… when you think of a school doctor,
Arima Koudai’s status is pretty questionable throughout the story, though he’s considered dead in universe and alive by Takuya. After the true route you can say he’s really not dead or alive since he’s moved himself outside of the dimensional axis in some manner in order to observe creation. He makes no direct appearances.
Professor Imagawa, the third researcher, also died beneath Triangle Mountain some months prior.
Sarcastic Confession: During Kanna’s route and unintentionally. ”Well, then you might as well say she’s a several hundred year old witch from another dimension!” Eriko then confirms the statement. Technically untrue though.
During the early parts of the Mitsuki route it’s implied that Takuya is going out of his way not to interpret Mio’s tsundere behavior correctly. Mio’s route has him really going out of his way not to think about it too much.
Ayumi wasn’t really as dense about Takuya’s feelings as she acted.
Sex Equals Love: Despite being The Tease, Takuya will generally refuse to have much to do with a woman that he is not in love with. If in an emotionally vulnerable state such as after the ‘death’ of his father or after Ayumi is ruined it’s a different story, though.
Temporal Paradox: Discussed and dismissed. When you go back in time, you don’t go to your own past. You go to one exactly like it.
The Tease: Takuya, but only towards Mio and Eriko. He doesn’t know Kanna well enough, Ayumi wouldn’t take it well and he and Mitsuki already had a previous relationship. Push come to shove, he’s not nearly as bold as he pretends.
Third-Person Person: Ayumi on occasion. She does it so Takuya won’t look at her as a woman so much.
When Ayumi isn’t around, Yu-No takes up the torch on this one. When Ayumi does reappear, she’s no longer attempting to distance herself and drops the third person speech until her final moments.
Tsundere: Mio. Lampshaded quite early on. In her route, Takuya largely acts as a tsundere to her as well.
Wild Card: Kaori works for Ryuuzouji and just seems to be in it for the money, but she’s also willing to make deals with Takuya that you can’t progress through the game without accepting as well as consoling him, both euphemistically and otherwise, after the confrontation with Toyotomi goes wrong. In Kanna’s route she blatantly sets you Takuya up to take the fall for her when stealing from Geotechnics.
You Can't Fight Fate: Certain events are destined to happen and while others can be averted, if you used time travel to do it then you’ve just created another parallel world because you can’t really change the past.
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Kaori’s hair is green, Kanna’s is blue and Eriko’s bright red, but somehow a blond is clearly identifiable as being a foreigner.
The True Route
After successfully gathering all the orbs he needs, Takuya is suddenly whisked to another world filled with a beautiful but strange forest, where he runs across a woman who either cannot or will not speak, though she understands what he says. Though he simply wishes to go home, the local knight is dying and presses him to take up watching over the land until he manages to return home, after which she dies, leaving Takuya and the silent girl alone.After a brief period of angst and desperation, Takuya eventually settles into his new life. He and the quiet girl, Sayless, quickly fall in love and begin living together. Unfortunately, according to the late knight, Illia, Sayless is a priestess from the Imperial Capital whose duty it is to be the vessel of God in four years’ time in order to save the land from an imminent catastrophe. Surely things cannot continue so peacefully forever?
Always Save the Girl: Takuya is determined to rescue Yu-No despite the world apparently depending on her sacrifice.
Androcles Lion: Takuya takes in a nogard, raises it and protects it at the quarry. In return, when it is fully grown it rescues him from the collapsing quarry.
Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: Takuya captures a woman who instantly accuses him of being a pervert and rapist. Considering she’s naked and he ties her up she kind of has a point, but then she seems kind of annoyed when he declares he has no intention of doing anything like that to her. In fact, she seems to want him to do it.
Chick Magnet: Takuya still. Sayless falls in love at first sight, Sala instantly wants to bone him, his daughter seems to have the hots for him and he wins over rebel leader Amanda in short order as well. Clearly, his powers are not to be underestimated.
Cute Mute: Sayless. On the other hand, he can read her mind occasionally and she speaks right before dying.
Daddy's Girl: Yu-No. Sayless never seems to feel left out or anything, but her daughter does indeed develop an attraction for her father. She also felt like she was competing with her mother.
Gainax Ending: The true route whisks Takuya off to an alternate world where he starts living with some mute girl and goes on an adventure. The ending itself has Takuya and Yu-No as apparently the original Adam and Eve.
Go Mad from the Isolation: The being that is puppeteering Ryuuzouji, most likely. It doesn’t remember its origins or its name or anything, only that it’s alive.
Immortality Begins at Twenty: In appearance, that is. It actually only takes them a few years to reach that age in appearance at which point they stay like that for a few decades. This also means that most likely Kanna is not actually immortal. In fact, by fridge logic, she may not even have that much longer to live.
Is It Something You Eat?: In the epilogue Yu-No has no idea what friends are despite being physically around fifteen or so. Takuya has been worrying that she might be too isolated from human society.
Lemony Narrator: Takuya has some interesting things to say if you keep checking things out or try doing weird stuff.
Parental Incest: Takuya has sex with Yu-No at her request near the end. Unlike all the other sex scenes, this one gets a discretion shot before any penetration occurs. A bit of thought about the story will also reveal to the reader that Amanda is Kanna’s mother, making Kanna another example in hindsight.
Save Both Worlds: Half successful. It’s noted that due to the cyclic nature of the universe Dela Grante may be successfully saved one day, but it wasn’t this time.
Sdrawkcab Name: Nogard is dragon backward, but they’re basically large lizards that eventually metamorphose into winged humanoids rather than actual dragons.
Surprise Incest: It’s never stated outright but Amanda being flung fifty years into the past and having a daughter is a pretty clear indication that she had a daughter, Kanna, and that the father was most likely Takuya. The two of them never learn that, apparently, but the reader will figure it out.