... Natsume died.
Natsume Souichirou's funeral is attended by four of his friends, who all think to themselves that Natsume's death will have little consequence on the rest of the world. But soon after the funeral, a mysterious being named Mamiya starts appearing in their lives...
MAMIYA - A Shared Illusion of the World's End - is a captivating, dark visual novel in which a group of young men struggle against existential dread before the end of the world. Written, illustrated, and programmed by the one-man team Kenkou Land, MAMIYA is split into two parts: FallDown and DownFall. FallDown serves as an introduction to Natsume's four friends, while DownFall introduces a new protagonist and group of characters and expands on the universe. A sequel, DoomsdayDreams, is currently in production.
MAMIYA is a psychological horror story and contains a number of dark and depressing topics, including child abuse, violence, bullying, illness, self-harm, and suicide. Grief, gender identity, and sexual themes are also explored. The game is available on Steam, with Fruitbat Factory providing the English localization. For those wanting to dip their toes into the story before buying the full game, FallDown is also available as a free demo.
Warning: This game has a number of twists that are difficult to talk about without spoiling, so it is recommended to play the entire game before proceeding.
MAMIYA contains examples of:
- Anime Catholicism: Averted. Catholicism in this game is treated realistically. Natsume and Haruki were both raised Catholic and first met as children at mass. Natsume's funeral takes place in a church.
- Arc Words: The page quote, "Tokyo, during the year in which the world was prophesied to endó" which is repeated throughout the work to establish setting.
- Book Ends: In each of the FallDown routes, the characters' internal monologue at the beginning of the route will be repeated at the end of route before they inevitably pass away. It usually comes with a healthy dose of Ironic Echo.
- This also applies to FallDown as a whole. Although MAMIYA has no recommended route order, if the player follows the game's "suggested" route order (i.e. Ryou, Minato, Haruki, Keito), FallDown will reveal an interesting parallel. Ryou's route starts with him finding Keito unconscious in the sea and ends with Ryou dying in the rain. Keito's route starts with him finding Ryou unconscious in the rain and ends with Keito dying in the sea.
- Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Has an unusually high percentage of beautiful male characters for a visual novel that's neither an Otome game or a BL game. Kenkou Land's character design notes state that the main four characters were all designed to be slender ikemen-types.
- Creepy Child: Ryou, Minato, and Haruki's Mamiyas. From DownFall, Samejima's Mamiya, who didn't mind and even encouraged Samejima's violent tendencies.
- Did I Mention It's Christmas?: Despite the story taking place during December, Christmas is rarely brought up. Justified, of course, as Christmas in Japan isn't really a major holiday. The one route that does bring it up frequently is Haruki's, as he was raised Christian.
- Disappeared Dad: Ryou and Midori have a single mother. Although there's no mention of what happened to Ryou's father, it's implied that Midori's father is Arisugawa Osamu, who left their mother shortly before Midori was born.
- As Discussed in the game, the Arc Words, "Tokyo, during the year in which the world was prophesied to end", could refer to two years within recent history: 1999 and 2012. This provides a hint that the stories of Natsume's funeral and the pink house are taking place in two different years.
- There are a number of clues that something is up with Keito:
- His FallDown route is the only one that doesn't end with Mamiya taking him to the Trichiliocosm.
- His DownFall route is a Not Ending. When Natsume realizes that the story isn't ending, he remembers that Keito implied there would be a fifth Friday in the month. The other three routes only had four Fridays in December because they took place in 2012, but Keito's route takes place in 1999.
- Additionally, all the other DownFall routes have a scene where the other three main characters remark on Natsume and his chosen boy's developing relationship. Keito's route lacks that; instead the role is passed to Samejima.
- Natsume and Haruki first met at church mass, as they are both Christian. DownFall introduces another Christian character. Christianity is a religious minority in Japan, so this is an unusually high percentage of Christian characters in the cast. It turns out that Touma, the third Christian, is Haruki's brother.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble:
- Keito is Saguine, friendly and optimistic, but overly idealistic and egotistical at times.
- Haruki is Choleric. Cynical and bossy, he's full of self-confidence (for the most part) and surprisingly insightful.
- Ryou is Melancholic, loyal to his loved ones, but pessimistic and has a very low opinion of himself.
- Minato is Phlegmatic. He has a good sense of humor and can get along with anybody, but in order to maintain his social standing he is quick to fold in order to get along with others.
- Hospital Hottie: Mayuri in Haruki's backstory. As a nurse, she frequently flirted with male doctors and other staff for the sense of superiority it gave her. Eventually, she taught Haruki how to seduce women as well.
- Lost in Translation: In Japanese, Natsume's group of friends spell Mamiya as "マミヤ", using katakana to highlight Mamiya's perceived otherworldliness Note . However, the group from the pink house spell Mamiya as "間宮", using kanji and making the name feel more human. Not coincidently, Mamiya Yumehisa spells his surname using that same kanji.
- At the end of the flashback segments showing how the FallDown group and the DownFall group first met, the chosen DownFall member reintroduces themselves to the FallDown member as Mamiya. This time, the katakana spelling, "マミヤ", is used.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The identity of Mamiya. At first glance, they appear to be a supernatural being, but FallDown seems to support the idea that they are a shared illusion appearing to youths with troubled minds. DownFall reveals that the Mamiyas encountered in FallDown were illusions that manifested themselves based on the influence of the members of the pink house. In fact, Ryou and the rest of Natsume's friends were specifically targeted by the members of the pink house to "carry on the message of Mamiya", as children were more easily influenced. However, the identity of the original Mamiya the DownFall group met remains a mystery.
- Morphic Resonance: In addition to the trope above, all of the pink house members' Mamiyas and Mamiya Yumehisa share black hair, a beauty mark under the eye, and green clothing.
- Non-Uniform Uniform: Ryou and Minato only wear their school uniforms properly when attending Natsume's funeral. In their day to day lives, they both ditch the blazers and put on either a pullover sweater (Ryou) or cardigan (Minato) instead.
- One Degree of Separation: Haruki and Mina. Mina, also known as Minato, met Haruki's older brother Touma as a child. Touma later became Minato's preschool music teacher and ended up telling both his brother and his student the story of Treasure Island.
- Parental Neglect: Minato's parents work late and are never home.
- Parental Substitute: Ryou's Mamiya seems to want Ryou to view him this way, referring to himself as Ryou's dad.
- Arisugawa Osamu, also to Kikuchi Ryou. When he was a child, Ryou's mother resented her son and usually pretended he wasn't her child when she had men over. Osamu was the only one of her boyfriends who took an interest in Ryou's wellbeing, bringing him over books to read and taking him to amusement parks.
- Plot-Triggering Death: FallDown begins with Natsume's funeral, leading to his four friends meeting Mamiya and resulting in their deaths.
- The members of the pink house first meet when Mamiya dies and decide to live together because they're the only ones who can remember Mamiya. This turns out to have led to Mamiya's appearance in FallDown, as the members of the pink house worked together to spread Mamiya's illusion to vulnerable children.
- Series Mascot: Ryou's bunny-headed Mamiya. He's used the most often as promo, showing up on the cover of FallDown's Japanese release and as the icon for MAMIYA's Steam release.
- Shared Unusual Trait: Minato has one gray eye and one green eye. This is also a trait shared by Mamiya Yumehisa and all of the pink house members' Mamiyas.
- Significant Name Overlap: The protagonist of DownFall, Natsume, shares his name with the boy who died, Natsume Souichirou. This is because they really are the same person, and Natsume couldn't come up with a new name for himself when he descended to Interfere in the story.
- Training from Hell: Ryou subjects Natsume to this in DownFall so their "sponging" sessions stop being so one-sided.
Mamiya awaits in the Trichiliocosm.