Marginal #4, or Magi4 / MG#4 for short, is a fictional idol unit from Pythagoras Productions by Rejet. They are the first of four units introduced, and the cornerstone for the rest of the Marginal #4 franchise.
Originally, they were a unit made exclusively for the 2013 RejetFes, but the popularity of the characters caught on and the rest of the Pythagoras Production characters followed suit. As singers, they're preceded by the duo LAGRANGE POINT, and have juniors in the trio Unicorn Jr. and the later trio Golden Record. In their main situations, the Magi4 boys are joined by their manager, Yue Kataoka, who often tries to keep them on track and serves as their Love Interest in most continuities.
Altogether, the idol group has eleven singles and three compilation albums. A Visual Novel for the group co-produced by Otomate, IDOL OF SUPERNOVA, came out in 2014 with a sequel (ROAD TO GALAXY) and a Rhythm Game (KISS Kara Tsukuru Star Collection) on mobile in 2017. A Situation CD series, Idol of Starlight Kiss, began that same year.
- 1,000,000-Kai no Revolution
- LOVE SAVIOR
- CHU CHU LUV SCANDAL
- REDHOT SAGA
- IV Aile
- Choooose One
- THE BEST Starcluster series
- THE BEST Starcluster
- THE BEST Starcluster 2
- THE BEST Starcluster 3
Marginal #4 contains examples of:
- Age-Gap Romance: The "x-listener"-focused media, such as the otome games and situation CDs (everything but the anime), feature each of the boys romancing their manager, who is old enough to have a job like that, while they are teenagers.
- All There in the Manual: Many details about the Pythagoras idols, how they came to be, and how they struggle with their idol activities are revealed in short stories and interviews. There are also two Drama CDs that expand on their relationships with the other groups and their own members.
- Aerith and Bob: The names in this series are a mixed bag. While you have normal names like Rui, Kira, Chang, or Tsubasa, you also lump them in with unlikely names like Atom, L, R, and Shy.
- Author Appeal: Franchise artist Kirishima Sou sometimes sneaks what she likes in her images. For example, she gives Kira pants that emphasize his butt for Big Bang Fes, fully admitting to being a butt woman when she describes the outfit.
- Bad News in a Good Way: In the early days of MG#4, Atom was convinced that the formation of the group was a case of this, saying that the announcement of putting four relative unknown groups together in order to "polish their talent" was just a fancy way of throwing a couple of under performing groups together and throwing them out once they inevitably fail. The Director insists that she's sincere and wants them to succeed, but under the conditions they were put under, it certainly looked like Atom was correct.
- Bland-Name Product: Skitter for Twitter, which Atom frequents often.
- Break Up Song:
- Within Magi4, there's "Faraway with You" and "O/Z".
- Lagrange Point has "Ima wa Good Night" on their second album, and "Crystal Switch" off their PRISONER single.
- The mixed unit NEBULAS (Rui, Alto, Shy) sings a couple of these. "Only the Stars Know" and "Canary" are their best examples.
- Brutal Honesty: The Director doesn't mince words with them in the beginning. She tells the boys straightforwardly that their individual gimmicks aren't working, but that they'd have a shot if they could collaborate with other people to hone and refine their skills. It hurts them to agree, even though they all want to do their own thing.
- Cast Full of Pretty Boys: It wouldn't be a Rejet series if it wasn't.
- Catchphrase: Each group has their own audience phrase:
- "One kiss to the end of the galaxy!" (to which the audience responds, "With pleasure!")
- Unicorn Jr. has one, too. "To your true self, checkmate!" (Unimates: "Enjoy!")
- Lagrange Point's — "From morning, til evening, from love to you." (Audience: "Thank you very much!")
- Character Blog: They all have in-character twitter accounts. They have conversations with each other there, wish each other happy birthday, and even comment on their seiyuu's birthdays and important events (such as Shy's seiyuu Toshiyuki Toyonaga winning the Seiyuu Award in 2018).
- Character Development: During the first days, Atom was more pushy, Rui was more distant, L made most of the decisions and was fussy, and R stayed in his brother's shadow. Through some experiences at Pythagoras Productions and the training camp they had before UniverseFES, they began to open up to one another and coordinate together as a team, and eventually settle themselves into the roles they have at current.
- Chromatic Arrangement: Atom is red, Rui is blue, R is yellow, L is green.
- Subverted with the other two groups - Silver and Gold for Lagrange Point, and Black, Grey, and Pink for Unicorn Jr. (essentially, monochrome plus pink). This creates some confusion with knowing what color glowstick to wave at their concerts. [note Pink and Aqua Blue for Unicorn; Yellow for Kira's Gold, and Orange for R's Yellow-Orange]
- Classy Cravat: On Rui and Shy in many of their stage costumes. Rui also has his cravat pin with stars in "Hyakuman-kai no Ai no Revolution" and "Mr. Starry Sky".
- Alto, as well, when he sings with them in Nebulas.
- Curtains Match the Window: Atom (Red), L (Green), Rui, Alto (Blue), Teruma, and Yue (Brown).
- Cute Monster Boy: Atom and L play a pair of cute werewolf boys in "Oh my WOLF♥BOY".
- "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Both of their visual novels' openings, "RED HOT SAGA" and "Choooose One", are done by the unit.
- Empathic Environment: According to the boys' contemporaries, STARMATE's concerts were usually accompanied with real shooting stars.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Because of Yue's status as the insert character, most people in canon default to calling her "Manager". But at least Yue has a name; the Director is always referred to by title.
- Fan Community Nickname: In-universe (and in real life too), Marginal #4's fans are "Starclusters". LAGRANGE POINT's fans are "LagJuliet Princesses", while Unicorn Jr.'s fans are "UniMates".
- Friendly Rival: LAGRANGE POINT and UNICORN JR., eventually. When the boys first start out the former is just their straight up rival in IDOL OF SUPERNOVA.
- Gender-Blender Name: Kira, Rui, Tsubasa, and Teruma. The others (Shy, Atom, L, R, and Alto) just have words that aren't even names.
- Greatest Hits: All Pythagoras units have their albums released as "Best of" CDs, featuring all of their singles up to that point.
- Idol Singer: All of the Pythagoras boys are this, if this wasn't made clear enough. Chang implies that he also used to be one—specifically, a STARMATE member— near the end of the "LOVE SAVIOR" short stories.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The Pythagoras Drama CDs follow the naming pattern "[X] on a Night where Stars Fall".
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The boys debuted at UniverseFES on February 13th. In real life, their debut happened at the 2013 RejetFes (which happened fairly early into the year), which UniverseFES was based off of.
- Lucky Charms Title: The main group of course adheres to this trope, but plenty of songs do too.
- My Greatest Second Chance: Because Rui's old idol groupmates were jealous and angry about him stealing away all of the spotlight, his group broke up, and it was enough to make him place all the blame on himself and doubt being on any team. Being forced into MG#4 was probably the best thing that could have happened to him, even if he was slow to accept that his friends and teammates aren't willing to give up on each other.
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: The Director's initial offer to make MG#4 was such: either become part of the project, or risk getting fired. And even if they did join the project, they can't dawdle with it, or else they won't get promotion of any kind anymore.
- Pirate: Their motif for the "Yo-Ho!" single has them all dress up like a group of these.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: In the beginning, MG#4 was just three unsuccessful units that couldn't raise enough buzz on their own. Their personalities also tended to clash a lot because of their different life experiences. It would take working together for a little more than a month before they got anywhere near the dynamic they had after 2013 UniverseFES.
- Real Men Wear Pink: The boys in this series don't even try to be manly, and they're better for it.
- Romance Game: The visual novels are otome. In it, Yue can get with the MG#4 boys (and Lagrange Point and Unicorn Jr.'s groups in the next games) in their Private Route's good endings.
- Santa's Existence Clause: One year, L and R were trying to get Atom up on Christmas Eve so they could have him greet the 25th with the other Marginal boys. The problem was that he still believed in Santa, and if he didn't go to sleep early Atom feared Saint Nick wouldn't come to his house. Not ones to shatter Atom's belief, L bets him a can of Sun Juice and reassures him that Santa is probably going to houses in order of age, and that he'd still come even if Atom stayed up for a little bit.
- Series Mascot: Largely, they serve as this for the rest of Rejet, though Atom is used as the face and representative for the Pythagoras Productions groups.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: L is more socially aware and confident but needy when it comes to his brother, while R is a sweet and shy boy that tries to be independent where it counts. In terms of their own discography, L is likelier to get steamier, seductive songs, while R is likelier to get cute, bouncy songs. You can even see it in the page image; they have the same posturing, but R is hiding behind his mask with a vulnerable expression while L is openly gesturing to the audience.
- Ship Tease: In the official short stories for their major album releases (Hyakuman-kai no Ai no Revolution, LOVE SAVIOR, Masquerade), despite the visual novels and some Drama CDs having the boys explicitly getting together with Yue having them mutually acknowledge their feelings for one another, the subtext stays subtext and the boys do not pursue her. However, they do make their feelings known in various ways.
- Sixth Ranger: The boys at least consider Yue to be this in the grand scheme of things. They even briefly joke about calling their band "Marginal #5" to include her in.
- Stellar Name: As Pythagoras Productions as a whole has space as its main motif, not even names escape it. Many of the songs contain astral themes, MG#4 is conceptualized around stars and galaxies, plenty of the names are related to astronomy, and the company's previous huge success story, Starmate, was also astronomically based.
- Unequal Pairing: Yue and all of the Marginal boys, given that they're manager and idols respectively. Most series with her included will often mention that their relationship has to stay professional in public, if they're an item at that point.
- Word Salad Title: " Koi no AKQJ10!" off of the second Starcluster album. That last bit's supposed to be pronounced "Royal Flush".