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Visual Novel / Deardrops

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No Music, No Future

H-Game Visual Novel that was made by Overdrive in 2010 and localized by MangaGamer in 2012.

Suganuma Shouichi was one of the nobles of the violinist world and loved by classical music fans everywhere. Even though he devoted his whole life to the violin, even going so far as to travel to Germany for his studies, unforeseen circumstances force him to move back to Japan forever disgraced. At the beginning of this story, he lives and works at Live House 696 at the request of the owners, his Childhood Friend Sakurai Kanae and her family. Through his interactions with his co-workers and the people who play there, he is exposed to the rock culture of the live house.

One day, he meets the wandering bassist Gonda Eiji. They don't get along, but when Gonda is forced to form a band, he joins as a guitarist along with the ex-drummist, Sadao, Kanae's father. In order to learn this new instrument, he obtains the help of the mostly normal (but fanatical when it comes to the guitar) Ooba Yayoi to be his teacher. Even after intensive training, when the concert starts, he is unable to play to his full ability because of Eiji's overpowering bass. One of the customers he has met beforehand, Kaguya Riho, takes charge of the microphone and sings, easing Shouichi's tension. Even though he recovers in the concert, afterwards, he's so depressed about his abysmal performance and his inability to quit music that he tries to break his hands. Fortunately, Eiji interferes and says that Shouichi was meant to play rock because of his depressing situation and should try playing in a rock band.

Following his advice, Shouichi creates a band with both Eiji and Yayoi and his trusty new guitar Fraulein. The Cloudcuckoolander drummer Rimu joins after the eventful marriage between her mother and stepfather, and a Battle of the Bands with Riho's former band convinces her to join Shouichi's band. Later, they discover that they all have won the same mysterious prize from the same old vending machine in the live house, a guitar pick with the word "Deardrops" written on it. They choose that as the name of their band and go on to conquer the indie rock world!

See also Kira☆Kira, the Spiritual Predecessor.

Deardrops contains the examples of the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Not really abusive, but Shouichi's father, Kippei Suganuma, was the man who initially forced Shouichi to take up violin lessons and focus exclusively on classical music. Not to mention how much Shouichi claims to dislike his father (after all, there IS a reason why he lives at the live house) and as revealed in Riho's route, Shouichi's father was practically obsessed with money and used Shouichi's reputation as a famous violinist to earn and seal business deals with other rich people who enjoyed classical music. And then he more or less disowns his son when Shouchi returns from Germany in shame....
  • All Drummers Are Animals: Rimu, though she acts more fickle than wild. Everyone keeps comparing her to a cat. Her hairstyle even resembles cat ears, which somehow move according to her current emotions.
  • Apologizes a Lot: Kanade apologizes for near every mistake, embarrassment, random unfortunate event, mistake made by someone else... You get the idea.
  • Big Fancy House: Shouichi's former home since he was originally from a rich family.
  • Boyfriend-Blocking Dad: In Kanade's route, Master goes through this. In Rimu's route, it's Tamano instead. Both situations are hilarious, because their lines usually switch between "I'll leave my daughter in your care" and "I'LL KILL YOU IF YOU EVER START DATING, YOU BASTARD!!".
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Rimu, oh so much. We see an... interesting POV from her during DEARDROPS' training camp in the common route.
  • Continuity Nod: Souta Honda, the protagonist of the Kira*Kira fandisc Curtain Call, makes an appearance in Riho's route, claiming to have been on tour with his band SUPER ROCK'N'ROLLERS. Like in his game, he constantly gushes about Yui and how he wants to impress and marry her, prompting Rimu and the others to call him weird. Kirari Shiino from Kira*Kira also makes an appearance in Riho's route; see Cutting Off the Branches.
  • Crossover: with Kira☆Kira in d2b VS DEARDROPS - Cross the Future.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Kirari's True End seems to have been the canon route here as Kirari gets a cameo in Riho's route where she's acknowledged as a famous singer. In this visual novel, Riho's route appears to be the canon route judging by the length of her route (being over twice as long as some of the other heroine's) and the crossover fandisc, which is a direct continuation of that route.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Unsurprisingly Eiji has one of these.
  • Elegant Classical Musician: Shouichi Suganuma, the protagonist, was once a world-class violinist who performed in an orchestra in Germany, and an incident with his rival Johann and his eventual resignation from the orchestra sets the events of the current story. It depends on which route you take whether he goes back to playing the violin or not. Johann von Babenburg, Shouichi's rival, counts as well.
  • Expy: Shouchi bares more than a passing resemblance to Luna Sea and X Japan lead guitarist Sugizo. The fact that both are guitarists as well as classically trained violinists adds more to the resemblance. Rimu also refers to Shouichi as "Suga-sho" which obviously sounds very similar to "Sugizo".
  • Five-Man Band Concert: As if proving that Tropes Are Tools, it's Played for Drama. A Five-Man Band Concert is the visual novel's premise — Shouichi, the main character, has his dream of being a professional violinist shattered, so he returns to Japan. There, meets fellow musicians — just, that they are not Classical Music artists but aspiring rockstars. Predictably, Shouichi gets roped into being part of a rock band and is only then that the Five-Man Band is formed. Shouichi, The Hero but not quite the leader, is the guitarist as well as his guitar teacher Yayoi (the Only Sane Woman). Riho, The Heart, is the singer. Eiji, The Lancer, is the bassist. And Cloudcuckoolander Rimu invokes All Drummers Are Animals because she features a prominent Animal Motif (cats), but is human. The drama part comes very early when Shouichi fails to play the guitar to his own, perfectionist standards and decides to break his hands and quit his first (makeshift) rock band.
  • Friendly Rivalry: Kanade versus Deardrops in her route.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: To Eiji, late in Riho's route when he suddenly quits the band.
  • Goroawase Number: When pronounced individually, the numbers in "Live Space 696" become "Ro-Ku-Ro".
  • Gratuitous English: Like in Kira☆Kira, English swearing is common. In one example, the guy receiving the words, Samejima, didn't understand the meaning even though he was an indie rock star. Eiji loves using this, and most of what he says is in well-spoken English, though quite harsh...
  • The Heart: Despite not being in the band, Kanade, who tends to follow the band, often tries to stop Deardrops' frequent infighting. It's generally not that successful.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Yayoi, who tends to act like Nami Hito. She even says "Don't call me normal/plain!" in some routes. Poor girl can't help but feel insecure at how everyone else around her tends to be more forward and more talented, especially because most of her peers tend to call her 'plain' and her belief that she has nothing else if she never had her guitar and her skills.
  • Jerkass: Shouichi's father is implied to be one. After all, there would be a reason for Shouichi to stay at the live house and not at his own house. In Riho's route, Shouichi says that his father was practically obsessed with money and was not above using dirty tricks to expand and develop their family fortune. In fact, their family only obtained status and wealth through Shouichi's father's constant yearning for money. His philosophy was 'If you do not gain merit or wealth from something, it is useless. Shouichi mentions that even though he did enjoy playing the violin, his father forced him to focus more on it at a young age and when Shouichi becomes world-famous, his father uses that for his advantage when he makes business deals. When Shouichi returns to Japan in shame, his father practically disowns him, setting the events for Shouichi's eventual stay at Live House 696.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Eiji and Samejima although the former is more so. Arguably Shouichi's father is one, because despite how harsh and strict he had been with his son he never sells Shouichi's expensive violin (that's saying a lot, since the man saw no profit being gained from keeping that 'expensive trash') and sells it back to his son (with special conditions) in Riho's route. He also tells Shouichi that what holds the most value in the world was personal bonds, not money.
  • Last Girl Wins: Technically the last girl to join the band but Riho's route is certainly the canon one.
  • Little Miss Snarker: Sakurai Chika, the Token Mini-Moe, can talk down adults, give advice to professional camera crews, and earn the respect of professional bandsmen. She isn't called the 'Queen of Live House 696' for nothing.
  • Multiple Endings: One for each girl in the band, plus one from your childhood friend Kanade.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: Shouichi gets the chance to go back to playing the violin in a couple of routes. He refuses in Kanade's route but accepts the offer at the end of Riho's route.
  • The Power of Rock: Tamano is brought to his senses after Shoichi drags him to a rock concert.
  • Papa Wolf: Master, Kanade and Chika's father, becomes this in Kanade's route. He constantly switches from trusting Shouichi with Kanade and nearly trying to kill him when he sees them sleeping in the same bed in Kanade's room. In Rimu's route, Tamano, her stepfather, tries to fill this role as he wants to earn Rimu's trust. Like Master, he switches from believing in Shouichi to do a good job taking care of his stepdaughter and wanting to tear him limb from limb when Rimu reveals that she's staying over at Shouichi's and when a misunderstanding causes Rimu to cry.
  • Passing the Torch: In Riho's route Shouichi ends up giving his guitar Fraulein to a middle school girl because he felt as though it was meant to be hers. It is also implied that Fraulein's previous owner was Leo.
  • Pretty Boy: Shouichi Suganuma, more or less. Unlike your average VN H-Game protagonist he is actually given a face even in his POV and in most CGs. Nearly everyone in the story lampshades his handsomeness, including Riho's classmates, her teacher who is an avid fan of Shouichi, some other females, and any of the girls in their routes.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Lampshaded. They break up and rejoin in Riho's route only to break up by the end. They get back together in the fandisk though.
  • Slice of Life: Most of the band's time is spent on practicing and bonding (with mixed results).
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Compared to Kira☆Kira, Deardrops is much more idealistic. When they meet in the fandisk, Riho and Shikanosuke have an argument because of their differing views and life experiences.
  • Staircase Tumble: Shoichi caused one of these to happen to his rival violinist Johann by pushing him due to being overstressed which got him kicked out of the orchestra, starting off the events of the visual novel. He actually hesitated at the last moment. Johann decided to hurl himself down the stairs anyway due to being similarly stressed, or at least he thinks so; he can't quite remember what he did in that moment, just like Shoichi.
  • Title Drop: Deardrops is the name of the band, named after a pick each of the band members has and the band is named soon after all the members are gathered.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Sakurai Chika, who also usually serves as the Only Sane Man in the group.
  • Tsundere: Riho towards Shouichi. In her route, it is revealed that she'd been impressed with how he managed to dedicate his life to music and play in a professional orchestra in Germany and was disappointed and angry at him for squandering that chance and returning to Japan due to a certain incident (pushing his rival violinist Johan down a staircase on impulse.). Though unlike most examples, she is surprisingly less violent and more honest than most other examples.
    • Riho does greet Shouichi at the airport with a flying kick in the fandisk.
    • Chika is a tsundere in training.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Shouichi pulls one of these combined with No Such Thing as Bad Publicity in the fandisk. Since it involves fooling everyone he is having a relationship with Kirari Shiino he ends up getting a Dynamic Entry when he returns to Japan by Riho.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Chika practically plays the role of the band manager while still being 10. Growing up in a live house might have something to do with that though.
  • Worthy Opponent: In Kanade's route the violinist Johann, Shouichi's rival in the orchestra, is revealed to think of Shouichi as such. It is implied that he is the same in Riho's route, where he supposedly gives this answer to interviewers in Germany after Shouichi leaves and despite everything.