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Visual Novel / Muv-Luv Unlimited

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Muv-Luv Unlimited

Muv-Luv Unlimited is the second of the Muv-Luv Visual Novel trilogy and follows where Muv-Luv Extra left off. One day, Takeru wakes up to find that his entire home town is in ruins. In place of his neighbor's house is a crashed Humongous Mecha. Naturally, Takeru begins to have spasms of nerdy joy at seeing real mecha. Since you can only appreciate a destroyed mecha for so long, eventually he begins wandering around the rubble and eventually decides to head up to the school, which looks a little different today. As in, it has become a military base with guards and a massive antenna. Lacking proper authorization or a reasonable excuse for what he is doing in this town, he is quickly arrested and thrown into the military prison until the head scientist comes to visit. Said head scientist is none other than Yuuko, the stranger of his two teachers.

However, all is not well quite so easily. Yuuko clearly does not have any idea who Takeru is, and after a brief conversation, it is established that Takeru is not in the world he knows any longer. Instead, he has been dropped into an apocalyptic warzone where over three-quarters of humanity has been wiped out by the mysterious aliens known only as the BETA. Lacking any other ways to get by or go home, Takeru is more or less conscripted and to his delight will be entering the training program to pilot the mechas. On top of that, he is given a strangely high access to the base's inner workings. As he joins his new training squad, he is shocked to see that they are all familiar faces. They are, in fact, all of his love interests from '"Extra'' as well as Mikoto, who is now definitely a girl. Just like Yuuko, they are alternate versions of the people he knows, and thus they do not recognize him. Strangely, though, Sumika is not there. In fact, no one there has even heard of her. Unfortunately, Takeru has little time to deal with this, as compared to actual soldiers he is dreadfully unprepared.

Unlimited is generally viewed as the point in the Visual Novel franchise when the series begins to get interesting. Not only does it show us how a typical harem protagonist fares in a warzone, it also shows what the other characters can be when placed into a different situation and how everyone is forced to mature. Plot threads are established for the most highly acclaimed part of the series Muv-Luv Alternative which, like similar threads from Muv-Luv Extra will take some time to bear fruit.

Has a continuation of its timeline in the Visual Novel series Muv-Luv Unlimited: The Day After.

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 Unlimited, Muv-Luv Extra 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.

This work contains examples of the following:

  • Ace Custom: Meiya's purple Type-00R Takemikazuchi, though she never uses it. However the concept of having TSFs reserved to individual pilots was ridiculed with the reasoning that pilots have to be able to use any TSF on hand during emergencies.
  • Action Bomb: The Japanese TSF units (and them alone) are equipped with the S-11 Explosive which doubles as a self-destruct system, allowing pilots to go out on their own terms instead of a horrible death at the enemy's mouths.
  • Alternate History: While the Japan of the world of Unlimited/Alternative lost World War II, it was not nuked and instead the mainland had to be invaded, leading to an occupation that lasted until the BETA invaded.
  • Alternate Universe / Alternate Timeline: The opening scene establishes that the divergence takes place in the Hot Springs Episode of Sumika and Meiya's routes, with Takeru warping into the BETA-verse right as they were about to reveal their feelings for him. However, it's later revealed that the Takeru in the Unlimited is actually an amalgamation of multiple selves borne of the various routes you finished in Extra.
  • Anime Hair: Deliberately done by the creators; see Universal-Adaptor Cast below. It is worth noting that the side-stories released subsequent to Alternative have curtailed the use of it, for the most part.
  • Apocalypse How: By the time of the events of Unlimited/Alternative, Eurasia, except for several remote peninsulas have been laid bare and devoid of life, and it was only a matter of time before the rest fall as well (Continental/Total Extinction, quickly heading towards Planetary scale).
  • Arc Words: "Even if your own life is what's most important to you, you can't protect it alone."
  • Ascended Fanboy / I Know Mortal Kombat: Takeru's skills at the mecha arcade game Valgern-On give him an advantage when piloting actual mecha.
  • Battle Harem: As the midway point between Extra and Alternative this is fairly emphasized.
  • Bland-Name Product: Valgern-On, Gameguy, etc. Not to mention the defense companies named in side materials: Lockweed Mardin, Northrock Grunnan, Boening, Mitsuhishi Heavy Industries, Onda...
  • Brain in a Jar: Takeru often sees Kasumi in a room with this. He gets used to it.
  • Breather Episode: After the drama following the cast's first field operation, things dramatically slow down with superior officers at Yokohama Base suddenly being very busy and not issuing the cadets any orders or new training. To shake everyone out of their slump, Takeru convinces Squadron 207 to throw a Christmas party. It's a success and Takeru gets to hook up with the player-selected love interest. However, the light-heartedness of the arc is dragged down by the behaviour of their immediate superiors, Marimo and Yuuko; whose ominous words herald the crushing events of the finale.
  • Crapsack World: After the BETA invasion, humanity is reduced from six billion to 1 billion, a substantial fraction (if not the majority) of the male population is dead from fighting an overwhelmingly-powerful enemy (to the point that the draft age had been lowered and military service for women had become compulsory), and the entirety of Eurasia is overrun by the BETA (with 24 of the 26 existing hives, including the first and biggest, within its confines). North America is (temporarily) safe, at the cost of half of Canada being turned into a nuclear wasteland. Australia, Africa and South America are still safe as well - for the time being.
  • Death from Above: In contrast to the UN and Japanese Army tactics of using orbital divers to break into and shut down hives, the US Army prefers dropping G-Bombs, one after the other, on hives. Only after then are American TSFs sent in, to mop up whatever opposition remains. This ties into the in-universe perception of Americans as having the "shoot first, ask questions later" mentality.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome/Face Death with Dignity: Invoked: All TSF pilots are trained to be prepared for death, so long as their deaths count for something or is something they could be proud of.
  • Eagleland: The US, which was among the very few nations not invaded by BETA due to their nuking of Canada when a hive landed there, is seen by many Japanese as opportunistic.
  • Energy Weapon: The presence of the laser-class BETA (Lux and Magnus Lux) ended air superiority as a viable combat philosophy, and was the reason for the development of the TSFs. In contrast humanity only had conventional weapons. No Beam Spam for humanity here, folks.
  • Expendable Alternate Universe: Averted. Takeru (and the reader) comes to care about his friends very much, no matter whose alternate dimension/universe selves they may be.
  • Expy/Captain Ersatz: Yuuko is a genderbent Shuu Shirakawa.
  • Eye Beams: The signature weapons of the Laser-Class BETA Lux and the Heavy Laser-Class BETA Magnus Lux, and, due to their nullification of the concept of "air superiority", the reason for the development of the Tactical Surface Fighter.
  • Faint in Shock: After Takeru truly realizes that there's a serious possibility of him dying in combat against the BETA, he faints in relief upon learning that the BETA are not going to attack the base he's stationed at. He takes it as further proof of his weakness in comparison to the rest of his squad, and beats himself up over it. However, none of the military cast holds it against him. His Sergeant is uncharacteristically kind and supportive, stating that breakdowns like that are a very common reaction among recruits and no one blames him for it.
  • Gender Is No Object: Takeru is the only man in a six-person unit. Justified in that the men were the first to go out and fight and die against the BETA, and as such, most soldiers are now female (also it doesn't actually make much difference for a mecha pilot).
  • Genre Shift: And how. Goes from harem comedy (with lots of mecha and sci-fi shout-outs) to hardcore mecha.
  • Her Heart Will Go On: Takeru's girlfriend. The song Songs of Distant Earth is about this trope.
  • Humongous Mecha: The "Tactical Surface Fighters" in are Real Robots.
  • I Choose to Stay: Takeru has a chance at the end of Unlimited to join the colonists on the last shuttle. He says no. "I will protect this beautiful world."

  • Intimate Healing: In order to keep Takeru warm after he's suffering from the after-effects of snake venom, though it turns out to just be a cold, Mikoto sleeps on top of Takeru naked. In the manga adaptation, the snake turned out to be poisonous.
  • Just One More Level!: When one of the girls discovers Takeru's GameGuy, he passes it off as a training simulator, and lends it to the girl along with a different game. This leads to her getting addicted to the game for an entire week until the battery eventually dies.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The setting of Unlimited (as well as the existence of Unlimited itself), which was a surprise and Mood Whiplash to those who played it for the first time when Muv-Luv came out. By the time of the official international release, not only does promotional material make no effort to hide Unlimited's premise, it is playable right from the beginning even without doing Extra first.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: Chizuru and Meiya in their epilogues.
  • Mood Whiplash: Unlimited is a good deal more serious than Extra though overall it's still fairly lighthearted. Still, when the first scene is Takeru waking up in the ruins of his home town it comes as quite the contrast to the silly harem antics from before.
  • Multiple Endings: There's less divergence when compared to Extra, but the endings change depending on who Takeru chooses to romance, and whether he convinces them to leave the plant, or stay and fight with him.
  • New Game Plus: Unlimited can only be unlocked by finishing the two possible endings of Extra's "main route". Averted in the official international release, however, wherein it's playable from the outset, though In-Universe Takeru still experiences Extra first.
  • Not a Morning Person: Takeru and Ayamine are terrible when it comes to waking up. Kasumi starts waking him up in the morning, reminding him eerily of Sumika despite the two having almost nothing in common.
  • Now or Never Kiss: Takeru and Meiya nearly got into one after being trapped in his TSF which had been buried in a landslide. Cue the rest of the squad getting through the rubble and opening the cockpit.
  • Nuke 'em
    • During the BETA invasion the Soviet government retreated all the way to the northeastern tip of Siberia while attempting a scorched-earth policy using tactical nuclear weapons; it didn't work, however as they acted too late.
    • The United States, upon learning of a BETA hive landing in neighboring Canada did not waste any time and nuked the hive to oblivion, turning half of poor Canada into a wasteland.
    • The later US standard tactic of dropping G-Bombs - experimental bombs made with an alien element recovered from BETA hives which are more powerful (and even less well-understood) than nukes - to destroy hives. This strategy was implemented worldwide during Alternative V.
  • "Ray of Hope" Ending: With the failure of Yuuko's plan, Alternative IV, Alternative V, Operation Babylon, is implemented: a small fraction of the remaining human population (possibly including Takeru's girlfriend, whom he can convince to live on) flees the planet, and the rest go out with a bang, nuking Eurasia with the entire G-Bomb arsenal in the hope that the BETA will be stopped from following the survivors. Takeru himself is shown to carry on the fight, refusing to give up, and if his love interest left the planet, she's shown to be safe and sound with her and Takeru's daughter.
  • Redshirt Army: The average survival time of a new pilot against the BETA is eight minutes.
  • Rewrite: The Reveal in Unlimited about Meiya being a member of the Imperial family was changed to being a member of the Shogun's family (the Shogunate still exists there) in Alternative. This change was retained in the later all-ages release of Unlimited as well.
  • Self-Censored Release: The all-ages versions of the trilogy censor the H-scenes.
  • Semper Fi: In sidestory/continuation The Day After, the USMC make a number of appearances in supporting roles. They tend to be more effective than their Army counterparts.
  • Shounen: The manga adaptation, unlike Extra and Alternative, was released as a shounen series.
  • Shout-Out: Muv-Luv has at least three general sources:
  • Shower of Love: Chizuru's H-Scene.
  • Silent Scapegoat: Ayamine's father, Lieutenant General Shuukaku Ayamine, who was arrested, disgraced and executed for prioritizing the evacuation of noncombatants during the Japanese-assisted withdrawal of UN and COSEAN forces from Korea, resulting in a massive toll of military casualties.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: The "Leave" End of each heroine's route.
  • Suck Out the Poison: Mikoto has to do this to Takeru when he gets bit by a poisonous snake during a combat exam. In the game, it turns out the snake wasn't poisonous; in the manga adaptation, the snake was.
  • 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)
  • They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!: It's "Instructor Jinguuji", Takeru, not "Marimo-chan".
  • Together in Death: Invoked by Takeru in the "Stay" End of each main heroine.
  • Totally Radical: An interesting version - due to the alternate history taken by the Unlimited and Alternative worlds, much of the slang that Takeru uses in the Extra world doesn't exist, requiring him to often explain what said slang means to people in those worlds whenever he uses it.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Ayamine's yakisoba bread, as can be seen in this page's picture.
  • Universal-Adaptor Cast: Done on purpose by the creators. Part of the experience of those who played Unlimited without knowing about its setting beforehand is the surprise at seeing Anime Haired girls seen in the typical romantic comedy suddenly thrust into a life-and-death war story.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: Mikoto, who in this world is a girl. Played both for laughs and seriously, as Takeru's initial inability to see Mikoto as nothing but a boy causes him to avoid her, creating even more strife within the squadron against him.
  • Unwanted Harem: Justified in Unlimited, where Takeru is pretty much the only guy that his teammates know that is in the same age group as them.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: During the combat exam, it looks like the squad has finally made it to the target point, when a gun battery suddenly attacks the helicopter supposed to pick them up, requiring the team to take a whole day just to get to the next point and disabling the battery.