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Creator / Gen Urobuchi

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Gen Urobuchi (born December 20, 1972) is a prolific Japanese author in the Visual Novel industry who currently works under nitro+. He is (in)famous for creating dark, tragic settings and plot twists in his stories, in part due to nearly dying in an epidemic when he was younger. (Indeed, as he put it in this interview, the experience gave him "eyesight of the dead".) The work which gave him this fame was Saya no Uta, an H. P. Lovecraft-inspired Visual Novel released under Nitro+. As a result, he has been given the nickname "Urobutcher" by several circles on the internet. That said, he may be trying to break out of this mold; given how he worked on a a tokusatsu series.note  Meanwhile, Thunderbolt Fantasy, is a puppet TV Series


He and Kinoko Nasu of Type Moon are known to be good friends, and have even collaborated on two Fate/ series projects, Fate/Zero and Fate/Apocrypha; they also played together in the Tabletop RPG that would be adapted into Chaos Dragon. He's also worked with fellow writers Ichiro Itano (who co-wrote Blassreiter with him) and Yosuke Kuroda (who helmed the adaptation of Phantom of Inferno), and considers them both his mentors in writing and a major influence on his writing of Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

Compare with Mohiro Kitoh, Lynn Okamoto, Mark Millar, Taro Yoko, Yasuko Kobayashi, Robert Kirkman, Garth Ennis, Chuck Palahniuk, Charlie Brooker, Joss Whedon, Alan Moore, Shiden Kanzaki, and Tappei Nagatsuki for similar authors.


He has worked on the scenarios of the following visual novels:

He also worked on the following light novel series:

And he has been involved in the production of the following series:

Tropes which apply to him and his works:

  • Appropriated Appellation: His Twitter handle (@Butch_Gen) is suspiciously reminiscent of his Fan Nickname.
  • Attention Deficit Creator Disorder: Several series of his have seen his involvement getting rather spotty:
    • Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet: He provided the plot outline and wrote the script for the first episode, then was largely uninvolved with the rest of the series. He at least came back to do the script for the final episode.
    • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: He hasn't been involved with anything related to the franchise after the Rebellion movie.
    • Aldnoah.Zero: He infamously left the series after only writing the first three episodes, claiming to be far too busy with Kamen Rider Gaim at the time. A good chunk of fans who had started watching the show solely for his involvement felt betrayed.
    • Psycho-Pass: His involvement has fluctuated. He was there from start to finish for season 1, but had no involvement with season 2. He was co-writer for the 2015 movie, and handled planning and supervision for the Mandatory Happiness visual novel, but after that, he had no involvement with the Sinners of the System trilogy or season 3. Post-2015, he essentially departed the franchise in favor of Thunderbolt Fantasy and his Godzilla movies.
  • Author Appeal: He apparently likes using ordinary guns in a fantastic setting and to show that they get the job done, if Saya no Uta, Fate/Zero, and Puella Magi Madoka Magica are any indication. Psycho-Pass also counts; even though the Dominators work, they are useless against the Big Bad, so he ends up being executed by an ordinary revolver.
  • Bittersweet Ending, if not outright a Downer Ending.
    • Two of his 2013 works seem to deconstruct the former. The first is Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion, where Homura after a conversation with Madoka, realizes that Madoka may not be alright with her Heroic Sacrifice and that the only reason why she did it in the first place was because it was the right thing to do. So she takes matters into her own hands and rescues — well, kidnaps is a more appropriate word — Madoka and replaces her as the Goddess (making an enemy out of Madoka in the process). Her new universe makes the other characters live happy lives at the cost of sealing away their memories, taking away their responsibilities as magical girls, and, worst of all, betraying her best friend Madoka. And she hates herself throughout for having to go through with it, thus hitting this back to a Bittersweet Ending.
    • The next one, Kamen Rider Gaim: Kouta ascends to godhood by winning the Forbidden Fruit, but in order to save the current world he exiles himself, Mai and the Helhelm infestation to a distant planet far from any source of life.
  • Break the Cutie: If there's an idealist in his story, chances are that person will be broken by the end. The Type-Moon wiki describes this tendency as the Reality Marble Dead End Catharsis: Heaven & Hell Drop, which lowers the luck of all characters in his stories by one rank.
    • Subverted in Psycho-Pass. Akane gets broken briefly after Yuki dies, but gets back to her idealistic self. In the end, Akane nearly gets broken, but learns to understand the cynical side of life while keeping her ideals and still mostly being an idealist.
    • Also subverted in Kamen Rider Gaim, as Kouta suffers multiple breakings but has always managed to bounce back. On the other hand, his best friend, Micchy, was broken completely before the midway point and pulled a Face–Heel Turn. It isn't until he learns the hard way that Being Evil Sucks that he finally recovers at the end.
  • Cool Shades: He wears a pair of sunglasses at every public appearance he makes. The photo on this page is actually an oddity for him, as even most pictures of the man have him with his shades on.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: A good number of his works are influenced by H. P. Lovecraft novels and the cosmic horror genre. He also names Stephen King, another dabbler in cosmic horror, as a major influence (particularly on Madoka Magica).
  • Darker and Edgier: The incarnation of this trope done right. If you're not sure how to darken the tone of your story without succumbing to Too Bleak, Stopped Caring, hire Gen Urobuchi. Under his purview, the darkness levels are practically guaranteed to get ratcheted up several notches. His friend Nasu jokes that he actually is a Reality Warper.
    • In one instance, when sweet pool was being developed, Fuchii Kabura (writer) once asked Urobuchi how the story's atmosphere should be. Urobuchi responded to Kabura that "your audience are all over the age of 18 and has grown up, stop giving them sweet romances", further proving this trope. Urobuchi was later satisfied on how dark and disturbing sweet pool turned out to be.
    • He somehow managed to one-up Hideaki Anno in this department, by making the Godzilla anime trilogy darker than Anno's own Shin Godzilla. How often do you see a Godzilla film where the protagonist's Love Interest dies horribly due to assimilation?
  • Deconstruction: Seems to be a specialty of his, be it deconstructing love (Saya no Uta and Puella Magi Madoka Magica), heroism (Fate/Zero, Kamen Rider Gaim), power (Kamen Rider Gaim), Japanese culture (Psycho-Pass), or selflessness (Puella Magi Madoka Magica). In the case of the Godzilla anime trilogy...all of them?
  • Decon-Recon Switch: In spite of the above, good tends to prevail and outright Downer Endings are generally avoided in his works. It's just that Balance Between Good and Evil tends to be very much in effect and the price of victory keeps the characters and the viewers alike wondering whether it was worth it.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Despite his infamy of being the "Urobutcher", killing off his characters isn't the worst he can do to his characters. He's also known to have his characters being raped, brutally tortured, or chronically turning his characters into literal monsters. In fact, he let some of his characters live, but have them go through emotional and mental suffering either seeing some of their loved ones killed off (Puella Magi Madoka Magica), having their ideal dreams destroyed and/or exposed (Fate/Zero), or all three (Kamen Rider Gaim).
  • For Happiness/Totalitarian Utilitarian/The Needs of the Many: Many of his works focus on, and brutally deconstruct, utilitarian and consequentialist ethical philosophy (see Fate/Zero, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Kamen Rider Gaim, Expelled from Paradise, and the Godzilla anime trilogy).
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Also seems to be a fan of this, especially the kind that becomes obvious in hindsight, as shown in Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet (the "aliens" are actually extremely modified transhumans, and both they and the still-human humans have legitimate reasons to hate each other).
  • Kid Hero: In an industry where most protagonists are under 18, he mostly avoids this, with the exception of Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet. Kamen Rider Gaim deconstructs the concept as kids are the ones to get powers because the villains are exploiting their immaturity for all its worth, yet at the same time the kids often act more maturely and selflessly than the adults do.
  • Kill 'Em All: Hence his Fan Nickname, "Urobutcher".
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • Expelled from Paradise is one of Gen Urobuchi's lighthearted works and it did not contain any deaths, tragedy, or other shock value while maintaining some of his theme of complexity of human nature and subjectivity of happiness at the same time.
    • Fate/Accel Zero Order, a crossover event between Fate/Zero and Fate/Grand Order whose main story is written by Urobuchi, is notably far more idealistic than the original Zero; this is because one of the main allies of the player is a Future Badass version of one of the Masters, and thus can Set Right What Once Went Wrong. Only one of the Masters dies, the most overtly evil of them, and while all of the Servants still die the heroic ones are all either killed honorably or allow themselves to vanish due to the Holy Grail War drawing to a close. However, it's still a very serious story, especially when juxtaposed with the Denser and Wackier events for Grand Order that Nasu loves to write.
  • Phrase Catcher: "Dammit, Urobutcher" and variants. Normally uttered by the viewers upon the (inevitable) Wham Episode that starts the Cerebus Syndrome.
  • Rape as Drama/Rape as Backstory: He is not above using rape as a source of drama, including young children.
  • Romanticism Versus Enlightenment: His works are usually heavily favorable towards the enlightenment side thanks to utilitarianism as a common theme in his works. However, said utilitarianism are usually deconstructed from the enlightenment perspective, noting how many utilitarians who try to create a better world for the many end up with their plans either backfiring or benefiting no one but themselves. Some of his works have antagonists from both sides of the spectrum, although most of his protagonists are usually from the enlightenment side. spoilers 
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: His works stand heavily on the cynical side of the scale, sometimes to the point of being nihilistic, but he says that he used to write works that still have a glimmer of hope in them. That being said, some of his works have demonstrated a gradual progression away from the cynical end of the scale; see immediately below for details.
    • Though Fate/Zero deconstructs heroism, the final conversation between Kiritsugu and Shirou shows that Kiritsugu at least saved Shirou, who would go onto try to be a hero like his father. Unlike Emiya who got nearly nothing for his struggles, Shirou does manage to make the world better in some routes of Fate/stay night. Emiya also does save the world by preventing Kirei or others from making a wish with the Holy Grail, which would bring destruction to the world, though Emiya does not get world peace like he wanted.
    • And then Puella Magi Madoka Magica ends on a double-barrelled middle finger to this trope, making the whole thing Zig-Zagged across his general body of work.
    • Gen Urobuchi seems to have some respect for idealism now, as Akane shows in the end of Psycho-Pass by keeping and believing in idealism throughout the whole series and then giving a speech on it to the Sibyl System.
    • And, finally, Gen appears to show full respect for idealism now, since the ending of Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet had Ledo fully embrace the idealistic way of life on the Gargantia, and is also willing to make peace with the Whalesquid.
    • Kamen Rider Gaim continues this, as the most blatant anti-idealist speeches are given by either Sid (who is a Hate Sink and a Slime Ball) or Mitsuzane (who's become quite insane by the time he does so); and our hero Kota eventually more-or-less declares that his enemy is cynicism itself.
  • Shout-Out: Django is filled with tons of Shout-outs and homages to Spaghetti Western works. To give you an idea, the female protagonist's name is Franco il Neronote  (黒のフランコ), and that's just the beginning.
  • Spaghetti Western: Django, which is also a Space Western.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!/True Art Is Angsty: He is also definitely on the side of those who consider happy stories to be unrealistic, to the point where he has actually suggested that Lighter and Softer stories, by definition, contradict the laws of nature and are therefore difficult to write and impossible to believe.
    "I am full of hatred towards men's so-called happiness, and had to push the characters I poured my heart out to create into the abyss of tragedy.
  • Straw Nihilist: In his earlier works were much more bleak in tone even when compared to his most recent works.
  • Tear Jerker: Invoked often as he usually breaks the idealists in his stories.
  • Too Happy to Live: The characters he often kills off (or if he doesn't kill them off, makes them suffer) happen to be the happiest, friendliest, and most optimistic characters.
  • Unlikely Hero: Not only is he fond of this trope, but in an interview, he admitted that the people he view as true heroes are often these.
    A hero is one that doesn’t want to be a hero. A hero is a one with all the possibility to make the choice but take the responsibility of the moment. And it’s really something hero has got to do. For example, in 9/11 some of the plane’s passengers fought with the terrorists. In Fukushima’s radiation leak, some people went and tried to fix the nuclear plant and died. But they have to do it. They are heroes. They don’t try to be heroes. They take responsibility and try to do what is right.
  • Walking Spoiler: By the time he started to work on Puella Magi Madoka Magica the man himself had become a real life example of this trope, in that his involvement in the writing of Madoka Magica alone gave the part of the audience aware of his track record a rough idea what to expect from it. Urobuchi himself apparently was aware of this, as he initially intended his involvement to be kept a secret, and when this failed he tried to mislead the audience by promising a heartwarming story.
    • Kamen Rider fans had the same reaction when Kamen Rider Gaim was announced, though in this case he didn't deny it and even said that he took some of the darker previous Kamen Rider series as influences, while his associates joked about how kids would dislike drinking orange juice (referring to Gaim's fruit theme) by the time the Wham Episode kicked in.
  • Yaoi Fanboy: Maybe. In an interview he stated that if he wanted to he could create a Boys Love series. However he did had a hand in forming Nitro+CHiRAL, along with developing Togainu no Chi and sweet pool.
  • Yuri Fan: Seems a certainty with Les Yay in Puella Magi Madoka Magica and outright lesbians in Psycho-Pass.


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