Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Bungo to Alchemist

Go To
The person depicted on the logo does not appear in the game.
Bungo/Bungou to Alchemist (文豪とアルケミスト), or BunAru (文アル) for short, is a browser Card Battle Game developed by DMM released on 1st November 2016, with a gameplay revolving around RNG-based battles and collecting characters of various types and rarities. Sounds similar?

However, instead of controlling Anthropomorphic Personification of historical Japanese objects, players assume the role of an Alchemist and control famous Japanese authors (文豪, bungō) against an unknown force known as the Taints (侵食者, shinshokusha), which has corroded literature and made them disappear from people's thoughts. The player can either send authors to delve into tainted books to destroy the Taints inside and purify the books (有碍書, yūgaisho), or delve into an ensouled book to gain more authors (有魂書, yūkonsho).

In April 2020, the game receives an anime adaptation entitled Bungo to Alchemist ~Gears of Judgement~, part of the Spring 2020 Anime lineup.

Not related to Bungou Stray Dogs.

Has a character page under construction. Currently Needs Wiki Magic Love.


Bungo to Alchemist features the following tropes:

  • Always Accurate Attack: While normal hits have a chance of missing, critical hits are guaranteed hits.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Upon reaching a certain point when strengthening the authors, you'll be able to unlock an alternate outfit for them. Some events also have alternate outfits as rewards.
  • The Anime of the Game: One released in 2020.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The desperation attack and the dual attack.
    • The former allows the authors to attack an enemy for massive damage, however it requires the authors to be in a weakened (耗弱, moujaku, attained after receiving enough damage, shown when the author has a blue sign) or breakdown (喪失, soushitsu, attained after taking some damage when weakened, shown when the author has a purple sign, author may die at this state) state, and since the author is unable to attack during weakened and breakdown, it's basically a Death-or-Glory Attack.
    • Advertisement:
    • While the latter doesn't require a weakened/breakdown state, but 2 authors getting a specific bar which is gained by taking damage filled up, due to the randomness of the battles, there are chances that the bars might be used up in a battle which can be defeated by normal attacks instead.
  • Back from the Dead: All of the authors are already dead in real life, and in layman's terms, the alchemist's job is to reincarnate them, so they're technically this.
  • Badass Adorable: The younger-looking authors.
  • Badass Bookworm: Basically all of the cast, since they're authors.
  • Bishōnen: Almost every single writer can be considered as this, save for a few exception.
  • Bloodless Carnage: The authors don't bleed when they're injured.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: A lot, if not most of special dual attack lines are this.
  • Bottomless Magazines: The bow and gun classes; though their attacks are more realistic than most examples by missing from time to time, they are still never depicted as running out of their respective ammo or even having any means to store the arrows/bullets when they go out to battle.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Due to the nature of this game, this was inevitable.
  • Cast Herd: The authors are grouped based on their literary factions or movements.
  • Coffee Shop AU Fic: Achieves this in canon twice with Café Royale and Café Noir events, which are basically writers exploring and keeping Taints out of Coffee Shop AU Fics, the latter of which is written by Kume Masao.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Most of the time, the player is referred as librarian.
  • High School A.U.: The event An Encouragement of Learning is basically this. Some authors' alternate outfits also have them wearing school outfits.
  • Clothing Damage: Downplayed. While it is a visual representation of the authors' condition like in Touken Ranbu, it is much less subtle, with only few torn parts and dirt instead.
  • Combination Attack: During battle, the authors have a gauge which increases when they take damage. When 2 authors have a full bar, they will perform this, dealing a huge amount of damage to all enemies.
  • Chromosome Casting: Not just the characters, all the actors voicing them are male. The only exceptions are Romi Park and Rie Kugimiya as Edward Elric and Alphonse Elric respectively, but they're not characters native to BunAl canon.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: After a battle in a node, the game will show 2 buttons, with the left being continue into the next node and the right being return. Due to how similar they look (the only difference being the kanji on it), some players might accidentally click the opposite of their intended decision. This could be dangerous when an author is in a breakdown state, as they might be Killed Off for Real should the player continue (luckily the game would give you reminder when you decide to continue upon having a heavily injured author, potentially avoiding such situation, and if you're on auto, the mission will simply be aborted).
  • Death-or-Glory Attack: The desperation attack. See Awesome, but Impractical.
  • Deliberate Injury Gambit: The base behind the dual attack, as in order to be able to perform the dual attack one must be injured enough.
  • Dress-Coded for Your Convenience: Authors belonging to literary factions will likely dress in matching clothes or wear matching accessories:
    • Ozaki Clan: Kimono Fanservice with autumn-leaf-pattern haori.
    • Decadent: Biker fashion.
    • Neo-Thought magazine: Classy Cravat with jeweled fasteners.
    • Neo-Sensation: Plain kimono with checkered scarves.
    • Proletariat: Steampunk fashion.
    • Shirakaba: Mostly white clothes in a Princely Young Man style.
    • Mita Bungaku magazine: Waistcoat of Style.
    • Kitahara Clan: Student-style kimono with shirts underneath.
    • Masaoka Clan: A cluster of camellias worn anywhere on the body.
    • Morning Star magazine: A crescent-moon-and-star badge.
  • Excuse Plot: The "purifying books from the Taints" plot of the game can be considered as this, as the game is more of you collecting Bishōnen authors so far.
  • Fake Difficulty: The branching requirements can sometimes be this. Upon reaching the Ni-shelf, 2 of the book needs 3 of the same weapon types (blades for Ni-2 and guns for Ni-3), which basically force you to train another if you don't have enough leveled authors of said kind.
  • Gameplay Grading: The game would grade you after you purify a book (obtainable by reaching either a dead end or the boss) with various scale (Great, Good, Pass, and Fail), with failing obtainable by retreating or unable to defeat the boss.
  • Historical Domain Character: All of the playable characters in this game are famous Japanese authors and poets from the 20th century.
  • Historical Beauty Update: The writers clearly look very different from their real life selves. This could be explain by that it is their souls that are summon from books.
  • Historical Badass Upgrade: They're also capable of fending themselves against Taints with their Weapon of Choice. One of them has twin shotguns as their weapon!
  • Lady Not-Appearing-in-This-Game: The eyeless man in a kimono reading a book on the game's logo.
  • Level Grinding: One of the maps require a specific level requirement to pass, but this is much more noticeable on the further maps, the enemies there can be pretty hard.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The game is planned to feature 78 writers.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Some of the authors are this, but particularly the writers of the Aestheticism movement. The longest hair belongs to H. P. Lovecraft, with his sleek black hair reaching his heels.
  • Magic Librarian: The player, as they're also an alchemist who have an ability to summon authors to this world.
    • The head librarian, but his powers are too weak and unstable to actually summon any author.
  • Morph Weapon: The authors are normally seen with a book representing their works, which turn into weapons upon delving on a tainted book.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Everyone.
  • Non-Entity General: The alchemist/librarian, just like the saniwa and the admiral.
  • Our Souls Are Different: The souls in this game are resources for improving the stats of the authors, which are obtainable in tainted books and have different kinds.
  • Portal Book: The tainted books are Type 3 of this trope.
  • Play Every Day: The game encourages this with daily missions and a special shelves where one can farm for resources to strengthen the authors on certain days (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) or experience points (weekend).
  • Random Number God: Much of the gameplay depends on this.
  • Selective Memory: The writers reincarnated has blurry memories of certain events in their previous lifes, especially those happened around their late years. It's suggested that the stronger the writers get, the more memories they can regain.
  • Skill Scores and Perks: The Blossoming mechanic allows authors access on a skill/perk tree that varies on each weapon type. Each perk give a certain amount of stat boost, and as you progress further on the tree the boost gets higher, with a cost of certain types of resources (souls and gears). The skill/perk tree normally follows a linear progression, with few branches and some level prerequisites. There's also a perk which unlocks an extra voice line and another perk that unlocks an alternate outfit, which are both locked under a level prerequisite and stat boosts.
  • Shout-Out: The shelves' names are based on the Iroha poem.
  • Shown Their Work: For a game with Historical Domain Character as the basis, it provides more than enough references to their history and works.
    • All of the tainted books are named after the works of the authors.
    • Some of the authors' book covers are based on their real-life counterparts, such as Hagiwara Sakutarou's.
    • Some of the authors' weapon designs are also based off their works and the themes on said works, such as Kobayashi Takiji's blade being a reference to the Crab Cannery Ship, and Tokunaga Sunao, a Proletariat writer, wields a sickle and a hammer.
    • Most of the interactions between the authors are based on their real life relationships.
    • The background of the Blossoming page is based upon the script of Rashomon, a famous short story by Akutagawa Ryuunosuke.
  • Spiritual Successor: Very obviously one to Touken Ranbu with the basic premise of commanding good-looking historical figures to protect some aspect of culture from destruction, and can be seen as a "sequel" of sorts, covering the historical period that TouRabu, with its exclusive focus on ages of swords and samurai, cannot cover.
    • And then in 2019, it also gets a spiritual successor called Namu Amida Butsu! -UTENA-, which resembles this game more than it does TouRabu
  • Super Move Portrait Attack: The authors get this during the desperation attack and dual attack.
  • Weapon of Choice: The authors are classified into a certain weapon type based on their works.
    • Blades: Authors of pure literature.
    • Bows: Authors of Naturalism works.
    • Whips: Authors of popular fiction.
    • Guns: Poets and writers of children stories.
    • Equipping a ring will change the author's weapon. The changed weapon is usually based on whether the author composed for a different genre (i.e. Akutagawa also extensively composed poetry and even had a poetry collection, thus his ring weapon is gun).
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: The authors have a hunger bar which goes down each time they battle on a tainted book(roughly 7 battles for a full bar), and when the bar is empty (which is attainable during battle), they will get noticeable decrease in performance (in battle) or unable to be employed (outside battle). The player is able to fully restore the bar by feeding them.
  • You Require More Vespene Gas: The primary resources of this game are ink (to heal/transmigrate authors), food (allows authors to go to sortie), ensouled books (allows an attempt on transmigration), and governors (allows instant transmigration/healing), with the former 2 having a regeneration Cap which is scaled based on the player's level. The game also has coins which allows you to buy furnitures to decorate your office.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: