Muv-Luv Extra is the first of the trilogy encompassing the Muv-Luv visual novels. It tells the story of an average high school student named Shirogane Takeru and his childhood friend Sumika. At the very beginning of the story, Takeru wakes up to find a ridiculously wealthy girl named Meiya sitting next to him in bed, at which point Sumika walks in to wake him up like always. She doesn't take it well. The love triangle between these two then proceeds forward and completing both is required to unlock Muv-Luv Unlimited, though the official international release drops this requirement and makes both Extra and Unlimited playable from the outset. In addition to the main heroines, there are three other heroine routes and two bad ends focusing on the teacher character and Takeru's friend Mikoto.
Extra is largely written as an Origin Story and thus contains a great deal of foreshadowing. We are introduced to Takeru, the girls he knows, Mikoto and Takeru's two teachers, Yuuko and Marimo. Since the story is written primarily to establish Takeru as your standard dense harem protagonist, it wildly embraces every harem cliche it can find so as to contrast more with the latter portions of the story. Hidden beneath the childhood friends and wacky hijinks are a surprising amount of little details that do not become relevant until far later in the story as a whole.
On September 25th 2015, having gained domestic acclaim and a sizable international fanbase, âge, in collaboration with Degica (a Japan-based e-commerce company and video game publisher), officially launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund an official English localization of Extra and it's sequels Muv-Luv Unlimited and Muv-Luv Alternative. Within less than a day, âge achieved their funding goal of $US 250,000. The campaign concluded on November 4th, 2015, having exceeded the target amount by more than $US 1,000,000. The English version was released on Steam on July 15th 2016.
This work provides examples of:
- Anime Hair: The entire main heroine cast in Extra has bizarre hair. Invoked for contrast with the atmosphere of the later installments.
- Bland-Name Product: Valgern-On, Gameguy, etc.
- Bleached Underpants: The all-ages versions of the trilogy censor the H-scenes. The 2012 PC re-release of the original trilogy is 18+ though, as it was intended to be a support release for newer Windows versions.
- Bookends: The ED of the prequel Akane Maniax, the OP of Extra, and the ED of Alternative, is the same song: "Muv-Luv" by Minami Kuribayashi.
- Cliché Storm: Extra is bombarded by this. Invoked on purpose to contrast the huge shift in mood, seriousness, and darkness as one goes from Extra to Unlimited and Alternative.
- Chekhov's Classroom: You can be sure that all those info-dumping rants by Yuuko-sensei will become important later on.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Possible with Sumika. Meiya also happens to have had a Childhood Marriage Promise with Takeru, but they haven't seen each other in about fifteen years.
- Colony Drop: Referred to◊ in one of Yuuko-Sensei's exam review questions, which asks the student to calculate the kinetic energy of an O'Neill-type space colony falling to Earth and the corresponding energy released upon impact. Another question asks how much nuclear fuel said colony must contain, and what its velocity should be, in order to obliterate the Japanese mainland, given some defined parameters.
- Coming-of-Age Story: Extra is just the beginning of a long, painful road.
- Cool Car: Yuuko Kouzuki's Lancia Stratos, which inexplicably has the classic Alitalia livery painted on competition versions back in its day.
- Cooking Duel: Yuuko hosts one for Takeru's harem, with the winner going out on a date with him.
- Date Peepers: No matter who Takeru chooses as the winner of the Cooking Duel, the other four girls will spy on them during their date.
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Played straight and inverted - Takeru hits Sumika just as much as she hits him, but it's Played for Laughs on both sides.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Invoked. The romcom slice-of-life antics of Extra contrast heavily with what the series becomes starting in Unlimited.
- Pay no mind to the fact that Meiya looks very similar to Mitsuki and Sumika looks similar to Haruka or that Sumika gets hit by a car in "Extra" in blatant reference to Haruka's accident in Rumbling Hearts. Don't worry, this is only played for laughs and Sumika gets better pretty much immediately. As you might have guessed, like Haruka and Mitsuki, Sumika and Meiya are the main heroines in this game. As a bonus, the song "Muv-Luv" is sung by Haruka's voice actress and is apparently, by "Word of God," a song about Sumika. To make up for it, the personalities between Meiya/Mitsuki and Sumika/Haruka are completely different.
- Fiction 500: The Mitsurugi Group can casually buy out neighborhoods without a second thought.
- Foreshadowing: Many events and characterization in Extra heavily foreshadow events in the Unlimited and Alternative worlds, such as Miki's incredible ability with archery.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Takeru and Miki. She can't even reach high enough to adjust his stance during archery practice.
- Intended Audience Reaction: Extra is often seen as painfully generic, but if it wasn't for its light-hearted premise and tone, the overall idea of dropping a generic harem protagonist into a battlefield would not work. Similarly, negative reactions to the characters in the first part are also setup, such as Takeru's personality and upbringing working extremely poorly in the world that Unlimited and Alternative take place in. And after what you go through in Alternative, you may find yourself grateful for what you had in Extra.
- Insult to Rocks: When Takeru calls Sumika a slug, she gets so angry that she accidentally does this to herself:Sumika: Gaaaaah!!! Apologize to slugs!
Takeru: Gyahahahahaha!! do you even know what you're saying!?
Sumika: Shut uuup! Apologize to me too!!
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Sumika in Meiya and Chizuru's Routes in Extra. She tries this in her own route, but, being her route, Takeru has other ideas.
- Meiya as well in Sumika and Ayamines route.
- Kids Are Cruel: A big factor in Chizuru's route when the class, and eventually the entire school, becomes convinced she injured Akane on purpose out of jealousy or spite.
- Letting Her Hair Down: Chizuru does this on dates in her route in Extra.
- Lighterand Softer: Compared to Rumbling Hearts, of which it is a spin-off. Also happens to be by far the lightest and most comedic entry in the Muv-Luv franchise.
- Love Triangle:
- Takeru, Sumika and Meiya. Takeru somehow fails to notice the Sumika part of the triangle and is kind of uncomfortable around Meiya since she's so direct and he doesn't know her well.
- Also Takeru, Ayamine and Sagiri in Ayamine's route.
- The Masochism Tango: Takeru and Sumika's relationship in a nutshell.
- Megaton Punch: Sumika's "DRILL MILKY PUNCH!"
- Modesty Towel: Mikoto keeps an Ambiguous Gender by using a Modesty Towel like a woman during the group's stay in the hot springs.
- Multiple Endings: One for each heroine, along with a pseudo route for Marimo and Mikoto.
- Origins Episode: Serves as one for the entire principal cast. Takeru, in particular, returns in Muv-Luv Unlimited as an amalgamation of all the playthroughs you did in Extra, except Sumika's.
- Rapunzel Hair: Almost anyone with long hair will have really long hair. Bonus points to Tama for having hair that likely weights more than she does.
- Rewatch Bonus: A lot of weird scenes will only make sense after reading Muv-Luv Alternative, like why Yuuko makes Takeru label himself.
- Road Cone: As the direct sequel of Akane Maniax, Mitsuki's end in Rumbling Hearts is canon to Extra.
- Seinen: Despite running in Dengeki Daioh, the manga adaptations of Extra, Alternative and Total Eclipse are classified as such.
- Silent Scapegoat: Ayamine's mother, who, as a nurse, chose to take the blame for Dr. Sagiri's malpractice.
- Spinoff: Of Rumbling Hearts. Extra is also the direct sequel of the KNGE side-story Akane Maniax.
- Super-Deformed: In typical âge fashion, characters are drawn as such during moments of levity, as well as in Sumika's diary sketches (see the image on the YMMV subpage for an example)
- Trademark Favorite Food: Ayamine's yakisoba bread, as can be seen in this page's picture. During the cooking contest on her route, she potentially beats out the other girls' highly elaborate dishes by making the best possible yakisoba bread.
- Wall of Text: Tsukuyomi gives one of these along with Motor Mouth about the history of the Mitsurugi Financial Group/Zaibatsu when asked by Takeru what they are.
- Wedding Deadline/Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: The climax of Meiya's route in Extra.