Follow TV Tropes

Following

Visual Novel / Nameless

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_d23a551c2c46f80e41bd06fc4a9b7b42.jpg
Advertisement:

Eri's been having a rough few years. Her parents are scientists who are continually overseas and only speak to her a few times a year and ever since the grandfather who raised her passed away, she's been living entirely on her own. Her life largely centers on a hobby she's undertaken to combat her loneliness: collecting ball-jointed dolls. In particular, she buys from the brand Crobidoll, which she feels adds something extra and almost human-like to their dolls. Eri's five Crobidolls are the center of her life: she spends the vast majority of her money and free time taking care of them, and has fallen into the habit of talking to them about her day and her feelings to stave off loneliness. While she's made two close friends since starting high school, boisterous class president Soi and the stoic model Shinbi, she's not comfortable sharing her hobby with them, afraid of the accompanying social stigma.

Advertisement:

Then one day, she wakes up to find that five young men have seemingly appeared in her house overnight, each matching the appearance of one of her dolls: cold and reserved Lance, sweet and cute Yeonho, flirty and sophisticated Yuri, kind and mature Tei, and boisterous and straightforward Red. The men all remember being dolls and seem to have personalities reflexive of the "concept" Crobidoll released them with, but have no idea why or how they've become human. Because Eri lives in the apartment beneath the school principal, it's only a matter of time before they're discovered. They concoct a back story about being recently-immigrated family friends and begin attending school with Eri. Thus begins Eri's newly complicated school life, having to balance five Bishōnen while a sinister cloud hangs over their sudden appearance...

Advertisement:

Nameless - The One Thing You Must Recall - is a Visual Novel Otome Game made by Cheritz, who also developed the similar game Dandelion, although Nameless is not stat-based. It is fully voiced in Korean, but has been officially released in English.


This game contains examples of:

  • Adult Fear: Have you ever been outside with someone, only to lose them after taking your eyes off of them? Then you know what each of the boys feels like, when they are at the amusement park with Eri on Christmas. She suddenly disappears and they cannot find her. And Nameless' route reveals that the other boys reverted to dolls after Christmas, too. Leaving the boy alone in the world, searching desperately for Eri.
    • About partway through Red's route, Eri begins to have severe memory problems. She cannot remember what happened previously and becomes incapable of forming new memories. Each day, she wakes up and realizes the date is different from the last one she remembers. Every day, she needs post-it notes, to recall the name of the boys she's living with and to function for the day. And then it repeats the next day. Worse than that, there is a montage of Red spending every day with Eri, waking her up with the same question, 'Do you remember who I am?' and explains everything to her patiently. It's horrifying and heartbreaking, seeing a loved one have no way of remembering what happened during the day and having to re-tell them everything.
  • All Work vs. All Play: This is one of the main conflicts between Lance and Red.
  • And I Must Scream: Being a doll has shades of this. While largely the dolls don't seem to be upset by it, possibly because it's their nature, their immobility and helplessness has led several of them to be horrifically abused.
  • Artificial Human: All of the boys are actually dolls that have been brought to life.
  • Beautiful All Along: In Yuri's route, Eri picks up on a bit of his stylishness and starts taking better care of her skin and paying more attention to her hair, makeup, and fashion. In no time she becomes sought after by some of the best looking boys in school.
  • Beneath the Mask: An underlying theme in the game.
    • Eri feels the need to hide her precious hobby from her closest friends, which comes to symbolize her need to hide her true feelings from everyone, especially her parents, so that she can avoid troubling anyone and feel accepted.
    • Lance uses his cold indifference to mask the fact that he feels extremely meaningless and empty inside. Because he's Crobidoll's most basic model, he wasn't given much in the way of personality so that he could have mass appeal. Comparing himself to the other dolls, he feels bland and worthless.
    • Yeonho uses his cute exterior to hide the fact that his past owner's abuse and abandonment have left him unable to trust others and in eternal fear of fresh abandonment.
    • Yuri, despite his carefree attitude has deep internal conflict stemming from the fact that he was designed to try to appeal to all women. Therefore while he's constantly charming and successful in wooing women, he feels that he's lacking in the ability to feel true love.
    • Tei feels the need to always maintain a pristine and perfect front while inside he feels like he's disgusting and dirty, due to his past owner's extreme obsession with purity and bad reaction to his being injured. Because of his deep shame and self-hatred, he's unable to be honest about himself or his feelings.
    • Red while he seems to be happily embracing his delusions of being a TV action hero in the making, it's revealed in his route that he feels that this is a completely necessary front to believe in and maintain, since without it he feels completely worthless and lacking in identity. He needs to convince himself of a world-saving level of importance because without that he feels like he's nothing.
  • Bland-Name Product: Eri's new phone, and the 'Twinter' application count as this.
  • Big Ego, Hidden Depths: Lance, who acts extremely superior and above it all, and Red, who lives life under the firm belief that he is an honest-to-god superhero destined to save the world. Both are much more insecure than they seem. Notable in that they are in pretty much constant conflict but secretly feel inferior to each other.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In one of Lance's bad endings, the antagonists discuss the 'person watching from the computer screen.'
  • Butler Cafe: Banjul is a downplayed example; it's not technically marketed as a butler cafe, but Hobin knows exactly what he's doing by exclusively hiring Bishonen and putting them in that uniform. When Tei decides to utilize that image for a mini cafe at the School Festival, there is a Fangirl stampede.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Natch. Even outside of the dolls, three out of the five non-romancable characters with sprites are Bishōnen and in-universe considered to be such.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In Red's route, Mr Yujin gives Eri a small glass bottle of orange liquid, which he claims makes bones stronger and has the ability to melt fabric. Red takes the bottle later on and it's used as a weapon against Nameless in the secret route, to incapacitate him and rescue Eri.
  • Chocolate of Romance: Features heavily on Red's route, due to it being his Trademark Favorite Food.
  • Cock Fight: There's a lot of tension between Red and Lance and Yuri and Tei respectively, so this trope tends to appear on every route but Yeonho's.
  • Converse with the Unconscious: Tei tends to do this with Eri usually after he's just drugged her. Nameless/??? also engages in it.
  • Crush Blush: Red is particularly inclined to this, though Yeonho and even Lance have their moments too.
  • Cry into Chest: Eri does this on Red's route when he saves her after he's run away and she confesses that she's losing her memory.
  • Declaration of Protection: Red does this rather frequently and on his own route with significantly deeper meaning.
  • Defrosting Ice Prince: Lance's route, naturally.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Lance and Red. For completely opposite reasons.
  • Devoted to You: The dolls to Eri. Somewhat justified in that it's established that there's a clear intimate connection that dolls form to their owners.
  • Drama Queen: Soi is the biggest offender here, especially with boys and tests, although Yuri and Red also tend to do this.
  • Drunk on Milk: According to Soi, Shinbi once got drunk from drinking ten cartons of milk. She threatens to use this information to embarrass Shinbi should she ever forget her upon becoming famous.
  • Dysfunction Junction: See Freudian Excuse for details. Even the side characters have deep-set problems that get hinted at.
  • Family Versus Career: In Red's route, Red and Eri go to an amusement park and come upon a child who's crying because their mother was still taking business calls while at the park with her child. The usual conclusion to this conflict is surprisingly averted by Eri explaining to the child that both the child and work are very important to the mother, and that the child should be understanding of that.
  • Freudian Excuse: Pretty much everyone has one.
    • Eri has been pretty much abandoned by her parents and the one person she felt close to died.
    • Lance was released by Crobidoll no particular preferences or personality in an extremely mass-market release. As a result he has no self-worth and feels utterly replaceable.
    • Yeonho's former owner abused him, covering him with scratches while telling him he could be her favorite if only he'd be "a good boy." This has led him to be utterly self-abasing and obsessive.
    • Yuri was designed to sexually appeal to all women. This has led him to be completely detached from true love.
    • Tei's former owner kept him in his box at almost all times and continually told him he needed to stay pure and clean. When he was damaged by her younger sibling, she was inconsolable and told him he was disgusting and ruined and proceeded to sell him. This has led him to be obsessed with his own impurity and given him a huge obsessive streak.
    • Red was designed as an action hero concept and led to believe he had special powers. His identity became totally entwined in this concept, especially as he was never picked up for a mass production. He feels that if he isn't somehow miraculously special, he's nothing.
  • Gang of Bullies: The girls that hassle Eri for her closeness with the dolls, especially in Red's route.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: The heart shards, one from each of the boys' routes. Collecting them all allows Eri and Nameless to meet again.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Soi and Yuri pepper their speech with English, particularly for cheesy terms of endearment like "Prince Sunshine" (Soi), and "My honey," (Yuri). Yuri's also prone to calling women he's flirting with "Mademoiselle."
  • Guide Dang It!: The game is overall pretty straightforward in what to answer to obtain the good endings. Getting some of the bad endings is more of a challenge, since some require you to be further along the route to unlock.
    • Violation of Common Sense: Special mention goes to how the player unlocks the second Secret route. First Step: delete your save files!
  • Happily Adopted: The cat, John, gets picked up by Mr Hobin and lives at the Banjul café.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: Unlike Dandelion, you can change the protagonist's name to whatever you'd like, although Eri is the default. Additionally you're asked to put in the name of your first doll which ends up being the true name of Nameless/???.
  • Host Club: In Yuri's first bad ending, he leaves the house to go work at a host club downtown. The only protest from the other dolls is that there's no one to drive them to school anymore.
  • House Husband: Tei acts as this in every route. Yeonho also has this tendency.
  • Irony: Lance and Red constantly clash in every route, and certainly appear to think they are superior to each other. Lance's route reveals that he's actually jealous of Red's unique concept because he thinks his own broad appeal as a "starter doll" makes him replaceable. Red's route, which can only be played after all of the others, reveals that he is jealous of Lance, and he feels inferior precisely because low demand resulted in his type's full release being cancelled.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Soi is a variation in Tei's route (she gives up on her "beloved" (Tei) because she wants Eri to be happy), and Red does this in his own when he thinks Eri is falling for Tei. Tei himself, however, is the grandmaster of this trope, in every route including his own.
  • Instant Sedation: When Tei spikes Eri's tea it never takes her more than a minute or two to conk out.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Genderflipped example in Soi. She's genuinely boy-crazy and has tons of male fans she considers beneath her, but she genuinely falls hard for Tei. A similar thing happens for Yuri on his route, since he still tries to flirt with every woman in the vicinity, but eventually realizes he actually loves Eri.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Justified. Nameless/??? is deleting specific chunks of Eri's memory by magic tied to ripping pages out of her diary. In Red's route when he overdoes it, she starts losing even broader swaths of memory and losing the ability to form new memories.
  • Living Toys: An unusual case. A percentage of all dolls and toys manufactured are self aware. However, they remain inanimate. Some "sensitive" people are able to pick out which ones are sentient.
  • Marry Them All: The True Ending, sort of. Basically all of the different universes fuse, so that the heroine is now living with the romanced version of each boy, despite the fact that they were mutually exclusive in their own individual universes.
  • Mistaken for Gay: In a fit of jealousy when he believes Eri to be in love with Tei, Red shouts out, "I... I still like Tei!" and stomps out of the room. Eri momentarily takes this anguished confession of not being able to hate a romantic rival as something else entirely.
  • Monster Sob Story:
    • Nameless/??? definitely has one.
    • Tei might be the single most dangerous character in the game when he snaps. But that violent instability resulted from horrific emotional abuse and abandonment, and he's so miserable it's hard not to feel bad for him.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The painting of a dandelion on Eri's living room wall is the same one from Cheritz's earlier otome game, Dandelion.
    • When Tei gives Eri a cup of tea, the cup can be either of two pictures. One of the pictures is of a mug that has the animal forms of Dandelion's love interests on it.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: One of Red's bad ends turns the game into a full blown Sentai show, complete with Tei reading ahead in the script and Yuri complaining about his leotard.
  • Product Placement: The entire game is product placement for Crobidoll, a Real Life brand of ball-jointed dolls that supported the production of Nameless. Aside from Eri, every character with a sprite is a real Crobidoll product. Crobidoll even produced limited-edition versions of the dolls, styled as they are in-game. Red isn't a mass-produced type, and his model was only sold in that limited release.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Tei is nicknamed "Mama Tei" for his domesticity, but is still the most popular of the boys at school. Also, Yuri is very high maintenance to the point of wearing facial masks around the house and constantly worrying about what he eats damaging his skin.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Virtually every interaction between Tei and Yuri gains a lot of depth if you replay them after getting certain bad endings and/or playing through Tei's route. Certain scenes that appeared to be humorous, snarky arguments (like Yuri flipping out at Tei for apparently throwing expensive clothes in the washing machine) are actually very calculated on Tei's end, making Yuri look irrational and foolish so no one will believe him if he ever tries to tell the others about Tei's true nature.
    • After playing through either Lance's, Yeonho's, or Yuri's routes for the first time, the prologue and common route will have added scenes that explain just a bit more story (such as when Soi tried to force Mr. Yujin to date her). It happens again after the second route you play. These are easy to miss, since they fill in logical gaps, but it appears to be Foreshadowing that someone is messing with Eri's memories.
  • School Festival: An important event in each of the routes.
  • School Play: The drama club puts one on in for the school festival, with Red as the lead role. It appears to be a sort of generic action hero story. Depending on the route, Eri or Lance! can end up playing the heroine.
  • Shout-Out: Red calling Eri 'Heroine', and some recycled music, can seem like this to anyone who's played Cheritz' other visual novel, Dandelion. Those two things really count as Foreshadowing about one of the major movers in the game.
  • Slipping a Mickey: Tei frequently drugs the heroine's tea in order to sedate her.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: All of the boys to some degree. Their looks attract so many fangirls that it becomes a daily annoyance and later a real threat to Eri, their genuine love interest.
  • Stock Shoujo Bullying Tactics: Eri tends to get some of this from route to route, as jealous fans of the boys trip her, make fun of her, and push her down. Things get more severe in Red's route where she is kidnapped twice and struck hard enough to induce unconsciousness.
  • Tap on the Head: Happens to Eri in Red's route at the hands of jealous fangirls. It's a wonder no one brings it up as a possible explanation for the constant headaches and severe amnesia she displays later in the route.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: A given in Yuri's route.
  • Those Two Guys: Soi and Shinbi.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Candied Lemon Tea for Lance, carrot cake for Yeonho, Secret Garden Tea for Yuri, and chocolate cookies for Red. When asked, Tei claims his favorite is just tea and coffee in general.
  • True Companions: Soi and Shinbi are in time revealed to be this for Eri. When Eri eventually comes to entrust them with her secret, they're completely accepting. They're also very protective and sensitive to her, and Soi is even willing to give up the first guy she's ever really liked so Eri can be happy.
  • Twisted Christmas: Every route's end takes place on Christmas, in an amusement park. And in every route, either Eri or one of the dolls disappears at the blink of an eye.
  • Two-Teacher School: While Eri's text does state that other teachers exist, the only ones that seem to have sprites and actually play a big role are Yuri, the music teacher who is also one of Eri's dolls, and Mr Yujin, the school nurse who also takes over science class sometimes.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Nameless/???. It's hard not to feel bad for him after all he's been through, but because of the wizard he's become extremely dangerous.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Due to being released with the concept of "Action Hero," Red goes through life asserting that he is a "Hero of Justice" and treats the other characters like they are his partners in a Sentai show. He usually refers to Eri as "Heroine." This is later revealed to be something of an internal defense mechanism protecting his sense of identity. He mostly snaps out of it in his own route.
  • Yandere: Oh boy.
    • Yeonho during his own route, especially in his bad ends, in one of which he attempts to strangle the protagonist so they can be together forever. Due to his inferiority complex he's pretty much willing to accept any kind of abuse as long as he can stay by Eri's side. He begins obsessively texting Eri and pretty much clings to her side continuously.
    • Tei. So extremely that he even crashes one of Yeonho's Yandere ends to out-Yandere him. Since he secretly considers himself disgusting and filthy, he has a secret desire to bring Eri down to his level, usually by hurting her. He works very hard to keep these impulses in check because he also desperately wants her to be happy, but occasionally his sheer level of crazy outweighs it.
    • And of course Nameless/???, whose extreme obsession with Eri is what summoned the wizard in the first place to kick of the events of the plot. His deepest desire is to make Eri remember him, whatever the cost, to which end he tries to destroy any other memories she has and trap her in his own memories forever.
  • Your Favorite: As Eri gets closer to a boy, she'll start picking up his favorite food from Banjul for him.
Top

Example of:

/

Feedback