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Light Novel / A Lullaby Sinister

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I'm gonna need a nap if I'm going to catch the next episode of Hyper Bio-Beats later... Probably going to be the death of me if I do though...
Kaito Inoue

Satoshi Yoshida has recently transferred from the bustling city of Sendai, Japan to a new high school in the sleepy town of Shizukana. Struggling with his newfound popularity, Satoshi tries to adapt to his surroundings, but new friends, new teachers and exams will turn out to be the least of his worries.

There is a dark and terrifying presence in Shizukana High School. While they sleep, it draws students and faculty alike inside a nightmarish version of their school. A presence that seeks to entomb the souls of its victims forever within.

The body count is quickly rising and unless Shizukana High School's ostracized and meager Occult Club is able to purify the darkness swiftly... there may be no one left to save.

A Lullaby Sinister is a bloody and violent horror novel that revolves around the Occult Club and their investigation of what they call the Surrogate School. Originally released as a serial novel, A Lullaby Sinister was released upon completion as A Lullaby Sinister: Carnage Edition with bonus content. It blends comedy, horror and drama and frequently makes references to various video games and anime series.


Not for the faint of heart.

A Lullaby Sinister contains examples of:

  • Absurd Cutting Power: The black hair. One strand is enough to cause deep lacerations by simply touching it.
  • Accidental Pervert: Yunosuke Kawabata. Subverted sometimes but more often than not, Yunosuke gets into more trouble when he's actually not trying to be perverted. Frequently with Sadako Kojima.
  • Adults Are Useless: The school nurse dies at the hands of a kid. A teacher that goes into the school dies in the first night as she goes away from the others she just met, even though her intentions are to protect the kids.
  • All Just a Dream: Subverted. The murders all happen while they dream but its effects are very real.
  • Another Dimension: The events happen in a nightmarish building which the "victims" eventually call the Surrogate School based on its similarities to their own.
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  • Anyone Can Die: Oh boy. Everyone who goes to the surrogate school dies. It's just a matter of time. There is no PIS in A Lullaby Sinister and no one is safe.
  • Beach Episode: The entire Occult Club, with an irritated Hiroshi Tanaka and studyholic Misa Nakamura in tow, go to the beach for no reason other than for this book to seemingly have this.
  • Blind Weapon Master: See No Evil. His eyes are closed shut by rusty cables but he somehow manages to maneuver through the halls of the Surrogate School with little difficulty. Furthermore, trigger him by making a noise and he will make a beeline straight towards you.
  • Bloody Horror: Oh, so much blood!
  • Burn the Witch!!: Except the wrong witch is burned.
  • Cassandra Truth: The main driving force behind the Occult Club's willingness to go it alone. Justified, because who would believe that people are being killed in their dreams.
  • Characters Dropping Like Flies: Main character status means nothing.
  • The Chick: Miyako Kobayashi
  • Class Representative: Misa Nakamura. Takes her job very seriously and is constantly trying to get Kaito to improve his grades. Even goes so far as to study within the Surrogate School.
  • The Corpse Stops Here: Detective Igarashi becomes highly suspicious of Satoshi Yoshida after he was the last person to see Yunosuke Kawabata alive.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Kaito Inoue. The highly charismatic otaku and joker begins a slow descent into madness. It is speculated that he murders Hiro Sasaki and Hiroshi Tanaka.
  • Creepy Child: Mei Kobayashi. Though we never see her, a little girl is frequently heard within the Surrogate School. Usually means that someone, somewhere is about to die horrifically.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Almost every death falls under this.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: It turns out that Miyako Kobayashi's dead sister was the puppetmaster behind the Surrogate School. Contained within Miyako's wooden doll, Mei's spirit bided her time until she grew powerful enough to contact her sister. The more people she killed in the Surrogate School, the more powerful she became. At some point in the story, she possesses Miyako, trapping her in the doll, on the pretense of wanting to have a real body for a day and refuses to give it back. Up until now, Kaito Inoue has been the main suspect but turns out to only be a red herring. To make things worse, when Miyako grows strong enough in the Surrogate School to forcibly choke Mei, Satoshi Yoshida shows up. Wanting to save who he thinks is Miyako, Satoshi burns the wooden doll, and Miyako along with it.
  • Curiosity Killed the Cast: Happens frequently, though Kaito's Genre Savvy nature averts this trope.
  • Death by Irony: Junpei Morioka snaps and aims to kill as many people as he can to free them from the Surrogate School. He begins by killing Nurse Maekawa with a power drill and ends up on its receiving end when he tries to finish off Satoshi Yoshida shortly after.
  • Defective Detective: Detective Igarashi. He's a workaholic and smoking addict. Eventually his wife left him and refuses to allow him to talk to their daughter.
  • Despair Event Horizon: When Satoshi finds out what has happened to Sadako, he breaks down and loses his willpower to continue. Understandable since he just killed his girlfriend.
  • Downer Ending: No one from the Occult Club survives, Detective Igarashi throws his badge away, and Mei Kobayashi gets away scott-free in her new body.
  • Dwindling Party: The Occult Club and supporting cast starts out fairly vast. Until the Surrogate School starts getting its clutches on anyone it can.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: Kaito Inoue professes his hidden love for Misa Nakamura before the two are ripped to shreds by razor-sharp black strands of hair. Kaito did not consider himself worthy of Misa and, instead of risking dragging her down, chose to not voice his feelings.
  • Eldritch Abomination: See No Evil and Hear No Evil. Hiro Sasaki wonders if there is a Speak No Evil. The concept frightens even him.
  • Eldritch Location: The Surrogate School. It has a mind of its own and frequently changes its layout to funnel its victims where it wants them to be.
  • Electric Torture: Complete with screams, urination and liquifying eyeballs.
  • Emotionless Girl: Miyako Kobayashi. This is likely due to the abuse she receives from the students on a regular basis.
  • The End... Or Is It?: the original, non-Carnage Edition ending is this. It is ambiguous as to what happens to Satoshi Yoshida after burning Doll Miyako alive. He is sitting defeated and oblivious to the fact that the Miyako sitting next to him has been possessed by her sister Mei, the controller of the Surrogate School.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: Up until the end, Kaito has been a prime suspect. When he accuses Miyako Kobayashi of creating the Surrogate School, the Occult Club dismisses him. Hiroshi points out that if it was Miyako, it would be incredibly stupid to create the investigation team and draw attention to the Surrogate School when she could kill whoever she wanted with ease. The thing is, Miyako created the investigation team but she is no longer in her body at that part of the plot. Unbeknownst to the reader, her sister Mei has possessed her. Until the very last chapter, Kaito is seen in very compromising situations, leading you to think he has gone insane and is on a rampage. We don't find out that the mastermind behind everything was actually Mei in Miyako's body until the very end. This draws attention to several vital clues throughout the novel and explains Miyako's behavior at parts, as well as the mechanics behind the Surrogate School.
  • The Everyman: Satoshi Yoshida is meant to act as a stand-in for the reader and even Detective Igarashi comments on his averageness, citing it as being a point of suspicion. Quite the social butterfly due to his transfer student status, Satoshi meets plenty of students in Shizukana High School.
  • Eye Scream: Used a few times. Most notably during Nurse Maekawa 's death from a drill through the eye socket. Another instance where someone is electrified to the point of having their eyeballs liquified.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With varying degrees of effectiveness but the Occult Club members definitely warm up to each other as the story progresses.
  • Fore Seeing My Death: Hiro Sasaki watches his own death unfold on his laptop before receiving a “fatal error” message.
  • Foreshadowing: Many instances. A significant plot point can be figured out fairly early on in the story by paying attention. Also, the ending is heavily foreshadowed if you pay attention to the intro when it warns the reader to beware of the night sparrow. The first instance of Satoshi seeing Miyako is after he watches a sparrow through the window.
  • Genre Savvy: Kaito shows an incredible amount of this and it often gets him out of tricky situations. He even goes so far as to think he's the protagonist and often references video game and anime logic.
  • Haunted Headquarters: The students and faculty of Shizukana High School find themselves trapped within the Surrogate School when they sleep. The Occult Club makes it their mission to investigate the Surrogate School and attempt to shut it down in whatever way possible.
  • Have a Nice Death: Hiroshi Tanaka indifferently quotes Romeo and Juliet after stumbling across the corpses of two students, one of which was a known stalker of the other.
  • Heroic BSoD: When Satoshi Yoshida stumbled across his girlfriend and see all of the rusted nails embedded in her body. This is a turning point for Satoshi and ultimately breaks him.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Yunosuke Kawabata. The cowardly pervert has the chance to run away from See No Evil while it is about to kill Sadako Kojima. Instead of running, Yunosuke saves Sadako by throwing himself at the creature. Due to the nature of the Surrogate School's amnesia, the sacrifice is not remembered and this character even receives indifference from the one they saved.
  • History Repeats: A major plot point is that 15 years ago, students at Shizukana High School were dying mysteriously in their sleep as well. It can be inferred that the Occult Club back then was also investigating the Surrogate School, which ceased after Naoto Shimada killed Miyako Kobayashi's sister, Mei. Made more evident by the prequel, An Overture Sinister.
  • Hope Spot: The patron trope of this novel.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Hiroshi Tanaka's dying words to Satoshi can be interpreted in this way. There are several other instances as well.
  • Insane Equals Violent: One definitive example being Junpei Morioka. This person snaps under the influence of the Surrogate School and aims to systematically free as many people as possible by killing them. He kills Nurse Maekawa by stabbing a drill through her eye and attempts to kill Satoshi Yoshida but is violently stopped by Kaito Inoue. Though speculative, it is more than possible that Kaito Inoue himself kills Hiro Sasaki and Hiroshi Tanaka under the same influence.
  • I Work Alone: Hiro Sasaki. He conducts his own investigation of the Surrogate School separate from the Occult Club. Arguably, he is more efficient than them and manages to figure out a fair amount of the Surrogate School's mechanics. Hiroshi Tanaka falls under this as well. He actively avoids people within the Surrogate School, preferring to find more "subjects" for his macabre hobby.
  • Japanese School Club: The Occult Club. Though it is not much of a club by the time the events of A Lullaby Sinister come to play, as Miyako Kobayashi is the sole member. She does recruit a handful more though.
  • Kill 'Em All: The body count does indeed quickly rise.
  • Kill the Cutie: Kaito Inoue. Though he lasts at lot longer than you expect him to.
  • The Lancer: Kaito Inoue.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: The physical education teacher leaves the safety of the teacher's lounge after the Surrogate School's power is cut, making it darker than it usually is. She insists on going alone. Seeing as the breaker is in the basement, this does not end well for her. Kaito Inoue is forced to do this after bumping into Satoshi Yoshida and Junpei Morioka on the Surrogate School's third floor hallway due to the formation of a giant pit in the floor.
  • Little Sister Heroine: Ayaka Sasaki.
  • Magnetic Hero: Miyako Kobayashi. Despite being severely distrusted by the student body in Shizukana High School, the Occult Club president manages to recruit people from multiple class years for the investigation crew.
  • Murder by Cremation: Two instances. Kazuya Goto finds a charred body in an oven and Miyako Kobayashi experiences this first-hand.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Quite a few instances. Yunosuke Kawabata's death. He laments not being able to protect Sadako further and prays that Satoshi does so in his stead right before he dies. Yunosuke is even disregarded by Sadako as being nothing but a hopeless pervert after his sacrifice.
  • Never Sleep Again: People enter the Surrogate School once they hit REM sleep. Inside the school, anything and everything wants to kill them. The Occult Club purposely enters the Surrogate School to investigate but the only legitimate way to stay out is to never hit REM.
  • Never Split the Party: Though it's random who members of the Occult Club will meet within the Surrogate School, they recognize the importance of cooperation. Hiroshi Tanaka and Hiro Sasaki both avert this, preferring to work alone.
  • New Transfer Student: Satoshi Yoshida.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Satoshi Yoshida thinks he is saving Miyako Kobayashi and preventing the Surrogate School from killing again. Instead he does the exact opposite and gives Mei everything on a silver platter.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Hiroshi Tanaka takes pictures of the bodies he finds on his cell phone. He justifies this to Satoshi, saying that it makes it seem less real through a screen and that it helps him cope.
  • No Sense of Humor: Hiroshi Tanaka. This is played upon for gags and is often initiated by Kaito.
  • Off with His Head!!: Shinkichi Watabe by See No Evil.
  • The Only One: Aside from Hiro Sasaki, the members of the Occult Club are the only ones investigating, or even know about the existence of, the Surrogate School. Detectives Igarashi and Kira, along with the Shizukana police force, think they are investigating the work of a serial killer.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: The entire Occult Club, especially with Miyako Kobayashi seeming to be able to tap into occult forces.
  • Otaku: Kaito Inoue. Loves anime, manga and video games to the point of obsession. Frequently makes references to anime series he is currently watching in his everyday conversations. Surprisingly, Misa Nakamura recognizes most of them.
  • Personality Blood Types: The Carnage Edition features this in the character biography section.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Kaito Inoue lampshades this trope. "So the transfer student, the Occult Club Pres, 'Terrible' Tanaka and an otaku are going to save the day? What a crew."
  • Razor Floss: The black hair outside the windows of the Surrogate School are razor sharp. Kaito and Misa find this out the hard way.
  • Red Herring: So many. Most notably, Kaito Inoue begins acting very suspicious, having blood on his hands after Hiro is killed, holding onto bloody knives and dabbling in dark magic for grades. Except he's not responsible for the surrogate school. It can, however, be interpreted that Kaito did in fact kill both Hiro Sasaki and Hiroshi Tanaka.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Surrogate School. The more people that die, the stronger the Surrogate School becomes until all of the evil is released in the form of Mei Kobayashi.
  • Schmuck Bait: Trails of blood, doors opening on their own and whimpers for help are all but commonplace in the Surrogate School.
  • The Smart Guy: Hiroshi Tanaka.
  • This Is Reality: Happens a few times. Satoshi often reminds Kaito that they are not in an anime or video game.
  • Torture Porn: Every single death. Most notably, Sadako Kojima having hundreds of rusty nails pounded into her. These do not kill her, despite having nails through her skull, and Satoshi mercy kills her.
  • Twin Telepathy: The Matsumoto Twins.
  • Wham Episode: When the Occult Club learns that the Surrogate School has existed for far longer than they initially thought. Also that Miyako Kobayashi's sister was the girl murdered 15 years ago by Naoto Shimada.
  • What the Hell, Hero??: Miyako Kobayashi trapped in the wooden doll pretty much says this as Satoshi throws her inside an oven, burning her to death.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Hiro Sasaki's death unfolds exactly as he watched it.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Dying in the Surrogate School means you inexplicably die in your bed. Or wherever you fell asleep.