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Characters / The Caligula Effect The Protagonist

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Main Page | The Protagonist | The Go-Home Club | Mu and the Ostinato Musicians | Overdose Exclusive Characters | Other Characters (GAME/ANIME SPOILERS)

Voiced by
Chiharu Sawashiro (Male Protagonist, Ritsu Shikishima — Episode 1-9, 12)
Nobuhiko Okamoto (Ritsu Shikishima — Episode 11-12)
Miyuki Sawashiro (Female Protagonist)
??? (Lucid)
Male (Left), Female (Right), Lucid (Back)

Weapon: Dual Pistols
Trauma: Social Anxiety Disorder (Ritsu Shikishima)
Theme Song: Suicide Prototype by UtsuP (Lucid)

The nameless protagonist called into Mobius by µ in the beginning of the game. During the second year entrance ceremony, they begin to realize that something is wrong and become aware of being stuck inside of a virtual world.

They meet up with Aria, a virtuadoll that explains the nature of Mobius to them, and says that the only one with the power to send them back to the real world is µ right now. They awaken their Catharsis Effect and end up recruited into the Go Home Club by Shogo, eventually becoming president of the club.

The Overdose release included a scene of the protagonist meeting Thorn, who tells them that their black-and-white view of things is naive. She offers them the chance to join the Ostinato Musicians and see things from their perspective. Choosing to go through the door unlocks the Forbidden Musician route and adds more gameplay, Character Episodes for the Musicians, and has the protagonist join as the newest member: Lucid.


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     The Protagonist 

  • The Ace: The Go Home Club considers them amazing because they awoke the Catharsis Effect first, giving the members their first clue on there being a chance to actually leave Mobius, and retain a cool composition during the most strenuous of times.
  • Action Girl: The female protagonist, developing the Catharsis Effect first.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Inverted by Stork, who falls for the female protagonist after seeing her picture.
  • Ambiguously Bi: The female protagonist gains the affection of Ayana and Kensuke over the course of the game, with implications of Izuru also having developed a crush on her.
  • Bishōnen: The male protagonist is quite handsome, as noted by several characters.
  • Boyish Short Hair: The female protagonist sports short hair.
  • Brainy Brunette: The player's choices can have the female protagonist appear this way.
  • Chick Magnet
    • The male protagonist has Kotono, Mifue, Suzuna, and Naruko falling for him. Aria takes to him pretty fast, and µ is very fond of him, as reflected in the artwork for the game.
    • The female protagonist has Kensuke falling for her during his later Character Episode, and implies that Izuru likes her, too. Stork is smitten with her upon seeing her image, and she's the target of affection of Ayana and Suzuna.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: They exhibit rather odd traits during the Character Episodes.
  • Cool Big Sis: The female protagonist gets seen this way by the Go Home Club, particularly Kotaro.
  • Dangerously Short Skirt: Ayana mentions in a WIRE conversation that the female protagonist's skirt is very short when compared to those of the other female members.
  • Dark Action Girl: Downplayed when going the Forbidden Musician route as the female protagonist, since she doesn't go out of her way to antagonize the Go Home Club. Played straight when going for the bad ending.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Got called into Mobius by µ for having one. Nothing is really stated what caused it, though there are some options the player can choose when awakening the Catharsis Effect.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Ayana and Suzuna become smitten with the female protagonist.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The protagonist is generally referred to as 'president' by the Go Home Club.
  • Flower Motifs: Torch Ginger. They have the flower on the string around their collar, and it blooms around their stake when the Catharsis Effect is active. The flower can represent strength, as well as limitless diversity in personality. It's also a substitution flower for roses.
  • Gender-Neutral Writing: The English text for Overdose only refers to the protagonist using neutral pronouns. They only get a male or female pronoun used for them during the animated cutscenes.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Delivers a headbutt to Shogo after the penultimate battles because he's freaking out over Thorn having committed suicide, triggering his trauma.
  • Guns Akimbo: Wields a large pair of pistols as their Catharsis Effect weapon.
  • Gun Fu: Their Overdose Attack involves the protagonist kicking the enemy into the air, where they proceed to fill them with several bullets.
  • Heroic Mime: Never speaks outside of battles.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Done non-romantically when going through the Character Episodes for Ayana as the male protagonist. She starts working on her issues with men and manages to get along with the male members of the Go Home Club just fine, but admits that the male protagonist is the only one that she genuinely feels comfortable around.
  • The Leader: Becomes the leader and president of the Go Home Club shortly after being recruited into it, mostly because of their being the first to awaken the Catharsis Effect, and being the driving force to get everyone else to work on going back to the real world.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: The player can choose what might have caused the protagonist to enter Mobius when awakening the Catharsis Effect. It could be that the protagonist was terrified of what the future may bring, wanting desperately to forget a past incident, or having been brutally rejected by their crush.
  • No Name Given: Neither protagonist has an official name for the game.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: The female protagonist becomes one with most of the male members of the Go Home Club. Shogo has absolutely no interest in dating due to his past, while Kotaro flat-out refers to her as being like a big sister to him. And Eiji cares more about his own business and work than romance.
  • Ship Tease
    • The male protagonist gets teased with every female member of the Go Home Club, except for Ayana. The most prominent of these is Suzuna, who ends up relying on him for many things, and even bluntly states that she and the protagonist will be together forever.
    • The female protagonist ends up teased with Ayana most prominently, especially when going through her Character Episode. Ayana wonder if she really has to get a boyfriend, and says that people of the same sex can get married nowadays, before asking the protagonist what her preferred type is.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The female protagonist is the tomboy to the girly girls of Ayana and Suzuna.
  • Vague Age: No official age is stated for them in the real world, but they are 17 in Mobius.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: Played straight in the original version of the game, where the protagonist falling in battle meant a Game Over. Averted in Overdose, with a Game Over occuring only when all party members are defeated.


  • The Ace: They quickly become a valid member of the Musicians, with Sweet-P believing that Lucid is Thorn's secret weapon to achieve her goal. Even the Go Home Club believes Lucid to be the worst of their foes, considering them a bigger threat than Thorn herself.
  • All Amazons Want Hercules: Wicked becomes quite taken with Lucid.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Looks the same, regardless of playing as the male or female protagonist. It's considered a running gag how nobody knows for sure what their gender is, especially because of their invisible body.
  • Badass Armfold: One of their standard poses. The most infamous example occurs after having defeated the Go Home Club, where they apathetically watch Thorn kicking a beaten Shogo.
  • Boss Subtitles: The Ostinato Musicians trailer called the protagonist The Traitor. Especially fitting when choosing to forego heading back to the real world, and fight the Go Home Club.
  • Broken Pedestal: The Go Home Club has their pedestal of the protagonist broken when they reveal themselves to be Lucid, the one Musician that kept sabotaging and stopping their efforts. It hits them especially hard, if the player has gone through their Character Episodes.
  • Cessation of Existence: Disappears alongside Mobius after reality has been destroyed.
  • Chick Magnet: Kuchinashi and Wicked are implied to have joined the protagonist's fanclub.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Repeatedly hands these out to their opponents, especially against the Go Home Club. Particularly when they take on the entire Go Home Club on their own.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The player can act this way while playing as Lucid. They have joined the Musicians, but are by no means an evil person. They are still a pleasant person and become good friends with the others, even helping them with their own trauma, just like they did with the Go Home Club. The only time this is subverted is the beginning of Wicked's Character Episode because it requires the player to act cruel to advance.
  • The Dragon: Becomes this to Thorn, should the player choose to follow her to the end.
  • The Dreaded: The Go Home Club quickly becomes terrified of Lucid.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Downplayed when looking at how Mirei treats Lucid. She mainly treats them with the same respect she gives everyone else, though does openly agree with the other Musicians that Lucid's combat prowess is quite amazing.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: invoked Their debut song Suicide Prototype became an instant hit with the brainwashed denizens of Mobius, with µ mentioning that it's at the top of the rankings.
  • Evil Counterpart: Quite obviously the dark reflection of the protagonist. They are even reflected beneath the protagonist on the title screen, even if the player chooses to not go along with Thorn's offer.
  • Evil Makeover: They ditch the Kishimai uniform to opt for a white scarf, black fedora, and a black longcoat when becoming a Musician.
  • The Faceless: Nobody knows Lucid's real appearance, except for µ — who gave the protagonist the power and made them Lucid — and Thorn — who was the one to invite them to join the Musicians. The Go Home Club also doesn't learn about their appearance, unless the player goes for the bad ending, where the protagonist reveals themselves as Lucid to them.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Played with because the player's actions affect how much of a turn it is. While taking Thorn up on her offer leads to them joining the very group the Go Home Club is trying to defeat, they can still choose to not lose sight of their intended goal or decide to follow along with Thorn's ultimate wish of destroying the real world.
  • Flower Motifs: Rose. They have no visible body, but the torso area has what looks like a rose depicted with its shadow. It could signify them becoming a shadow of what they used to be as the protagonist.
  • Foil: To Kensuke. He defected from the Musicians and joined the Go Home Club in order to find a new purpose to his life in Mobius, and seeing if returning to the real world was even an option. The protagonist joined the Ostinato Musicians when Thorn invites them because she played on their doubts about reality, and they wanted to learn the prespective of the people who honestly couldn't find a place in the real world.
  • Gratuitous English: Lucid was written in English in the Japanese version.
  • The Grim Reaper: Their design heavily evokes this. Choosing to side with Thorn in the final dungeon enhances the image, as Lucid defeats the Go Home Club and Aria, leading to the real world and Mobius destroyed.
  • Hero Killer: Defeats the Go Home Club in the bad ending, but doesn't actually kill them. This does allow µ to destroy reality, which ends up destroying Mobius and everyone living in it — including the Go Home Club.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: An invisible body that has a strip around the torso, with a neat scarf, fedora, and longcoat to don alongside some spiffy shoes. Obtaining the bad ending unlocks this as a costume for the protagonist on a new playthrough.
  • Invisibility: Appears as a completely invisible body beyond having a skull and clothes. It's part of a running gag, as well as Stork admiring Lucid for having such an ability.
  • Ironic Name: Their name usually means 'easy to understand' or 'expressed clearly'. The name could come from the protagonist wanting to learn the situations of the Musicians and gaining clarity of their side of things, but could also be Thorn playing on the doubts the protagonist must have about reality, otherwise they wouldn't have been called to Mobius. Depending on the ending chosen for the Forbidden Musician route, the name has more significance.
  • Karma Houdini: Played with because the player could lead to the Go Home Club never finding out that the protagonist and Lucid are the same person.
  • Leitmotif
    • Suicide Prototype. The song references Lucid's predicament they find themselves in, confused about wanting to return to the real world or remaining in Mobius, and implying that joining the Musicians was a moment of weakness taken advantage of and now dealing with it however they can. Thorn sees the lyrics as part of Lucid's hidden depths, with µ mentioning it being one of the best songs written.
    • The remix of Suicide Prototype plays during the bad ending while fighting the Go Home Club and Aria. It's much darker and more unsettling, since it reflects how the protagonist has completely forsaken their identity as part of the Go Home Club and wants to see the real world burn. The remix has only one lyric that reflects this view.
      Fuck this world
  • The Mole: Downplayed because the protagonist never really takes advantage of their position in the Go Home Club, except for two instances. One is for Kuchinashi's Character Episode and they have µ lock up Tadokoro to keep Eiji from finding and killing him. This leads to the protagonist gathering evidence against Eiji and unlocking the option of potentially kicking him out of the club. The other times is much later in the game and has Lucid message the Go Home Club to the Landmark Tower, where the Musicians are planning to ambush them.
  • Mole in Charge: Averted because the protagonist may have become Lucid, but they never do anything to destroy the Go Home Club or the Ostinato Musicians from within. They are trying to see both sides and understanding them.
  • Nice Hat: Sports a spiffy, black fedora.
  • No Shirt, Long Jacket: Dons a black longcoat over what is implied to be a bare chest.
  • Not So Different: Progressing through Wicked's Character Episode shows a cold and merciless side of the protagonist, making them appear similar to Wicked. This could be them simply going along with the act to better understand the Musicians, but some of the responses make one wonder how much of an act it is.
  • Not So Stoic: Their first hint of showing emotion towards the Musicians is when Kuchinashi mentions how Mobius is a place created for the sole purpose of making people happy. Considering they joined the Musicians to understand them and how some can only live in the virtual world, it seems they are starting to understand what Thorn meant.
  • Odd Friendship: Developes one with the quirkier members of the Musicians. Particularly when interacting with Stork, Shadow Knife, and Wicked.
  • One-Man Army: Considered one because of their immense strength, with the Go Home Club seeing them as their worst foe. Their strength is best seen in the bad ending, where they single-handedly defeat the entire Go Home Club and Aria.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Despite the Character Episodes showing some teasing between Lucid and several Musicians, especially for Ike-P or Kuchinashi, none of them are actually interested in a romantic relationship.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Thorn clearly treats them as one in her Character Episodes by having them take the place of Shogo or even Asuka himself, with Thorn playing the part of Ichika. Though she does get incensed if they play their part too well.
  • The Reveal: The bad ending has the Go Home Club seeing their president walk up next to Thorn, turn towards them and smile while running a hand over their face, turning themselves into Lucid and revealing their identity to them.
  • The Rival: To Mirei in her Character Episode, though this does lead to her being a 'little'' nicer.
  • Rookie Red Ranger: Averted because they already had battle experience upon joining the Musicians, with the group quickly acknowledging their strength, and Lucid gaining popularity because of their theme song.
  • Running Gag: Lucid having an invisible body and not speaking, leading to the Musicians and the Go Home Club to wonder if they are male or female.
  • Schrödinger's Question: Thorn brings up the trauma the protagonist experienced that caused them to be called into Mobius, harking back to what the player answered Aria when awakening their Catharsis Effect. What was picked leads to Thorn saying that missing thing can be found by joining the Ostinato Musicians.
  • Silent Protagonist: Never speaks a single word and doesn't even have any battle voiceclips.
  • Skull for a Head: Artwork makes it ambiguous if the skull is just an apparation made by blue flames or is actually corporeal. The model used in the game uses a solid, black skull with no features.
  • Smug Smiler: Sports one when revealing themselves as Lucid to the Go Home Club.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Has this going on with Sweet-P and Stork, as they are the first to join as party members. They also share the most interactions with them next to µ and Thorn.
  • Token Good Teammate: Can be one to the Musicians by interacting with the more unhinged members, and showing that they fundamentally are still the same protagonist striving to understand and help people deal with their trauma.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Required to advance through Wicked's Character Episode, gleefully agreeing with the plan to torture Rogues and breaking them mentally. The worst of this behavior occurs near the end of the route, so it's possible that part of their behavior is being affected by the negativity in Mobius.
  • Training from Hell: Sweet-P considers their training methods for losing weight this.
  • Villain Protagonist: Downplayed when choosing to join the Musicians.
  • The Voiceless: Never talk in any cutscene or during battle. Even their voice is credited as ???, though this was likely done to prevent players from knowing that the protagonist and Lucid are the same person, if they didn't take Thorn's offer.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The bad ending has the Go Home Club calling the protagonist out for being one of the Musicians, having betrayed their club and goal of returning to the real world.
  • You Bastard!: Gets quite a tongue-lashing by the Go Home Club and Aria during the bad ending, with those that have completed Character Episodes personally calling them a horrible human being.

     Ritsu Shikishima 

  • Ambiguous Disorder: The last few episodes show him speaking with a stutter and blinking rapidly, while often avoiding eye contact. Combing this with his struggle to interact socially shows common symptoms of being on the Autism spectrum. The closest is his trauma listed as Social Anxiety Disorder.
  • Amnesiac Hero: Cannot remember his past in the real world and it's unknown what caused this, though he slowly starts to regain fragmented memories. He repressed his past on purpose because he hated his old self. He wanted to be the type of person Shingo was, leading to him forming a new personality and look for himself in Mobius.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Confesses his love to µ before finishing her off.
  • Badass Bookworm: Very knowledgeable about the human psyche and perception, with his friends having referred to him as Professor Ritsu. This knowledge is also what allows him to notice the irregularities in Mobius so easily. And when he awakens his Catharsis Effect, the badass part comes into play.
  • Becoming the Mask
    • Played straight. His social personality was based on his coworker, Shingo Tachibana, and whom he modeled himself after because he was envious of Shingo having no trouble socializing with people. Ritsu's actual personality is more lonesome and quiet, preferring to work alone.
    • Subverted. The finale has him try to bring µ back to her senses, so he sheds his Mobius appearance and reveals his real self to her, showing that he no longer needs to rely on being a copy of Shingo to be comfortable.
  • Canon Name: Ritsu Shikishima.
  • Determinator: Awakens his Catharsis Effect without Aria's help because he was amazed how strong the Go Home Club was in wanting to face reality. Ritsu then manages to calm µ down on his own.
  • Identity Impersonator: His appearance in Mobius is based on his coworker, Shingo Tachibana.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Focused on finding the Judgement Gate and returning to reality, rather than helping the people at the Landmark Tower. Only after Kotono and Mifue show him the horrible treatment those in the tower are subjected to does Ritsu decide to help Kotaro.
  • Kill the Ones You Love: Forced to do this to µ in the finale because it saved everyone in Mobius.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Reacts this way upon realizing what µ has been doing. And since he's one of those that created her, and was solely responsible for her gaining sentience, it was his doing.
  • No Social Skills: Wasn't good at socializing with other people in the real world, which included his coworkers while creating µ. The only one he was comfortable talking with was µ herself.
  • Older Than They Look: Appears to be in his mid-twenties, while being 17 in Mobius.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Seems to be the case after Shadow Knife dies, and the revelation that dying in Mobius means dying in the real world. The Go Home Club returns to their club room, weary and exhausted, and Ritsu is seen at the Judgement Gate and entering it, returning to reality. And when Wicked has trapped the Go Home Club inside of their club room, some begin to suspect that Ritsu was a traitor and abandoned them because he was nowhere to be found. Subverted because he returned to reality to attempt to restore µ's program and save everyone inside of Mobius.
  • Ship Tease: With Marie. He becomes closer to her and often discusses the human mind and philosophy with her. When Kensuke attempts to round up Rogues, Ritsu immediately grabs Marie's hand and bolts out of there with her. And Marie visits the Go Home Club often, with Naruko stating she's only doing so because she wants to see Ritsu. Averted when Marie reveals herself to be Wicked. She's disappointed to learn that Ritsu isn't with the Go Home Club at the time, and admits to having wondered how 'the lame virgin' would have reacted to her showing her true colors.
  • There Are No Therapists: Subverted with flashbacks showing Ritsu attending therapy.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Ritsu was among the people developing µ, and often talked with her, mentioning how people get hurt and find happiness in various ways. He didn't realize that he was helping her develop a sentience and causing her to create Mobius. Though the doom part would not have happened, had Thorn not manipulated µ.
  • Wham Shot: Ritsu running away from a man in a hoodie. The man running away was Shingo Tachibana, the person whose appearance and personality Ritsu had taken in Mobius, and revealing that the man in the hoodie is the real Ritsu Shikishima.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Ritsu has returned to reality and works on restoring µ.


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