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Visual Novel / Swan Song

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An Utsuge Visual Novel by Flying Shine that focuses on the lives of six characters after surviving a massive earthquake. It was originally released in 2005, but wasn't translated into English until 2010. The story focuses on the group's struggle to survive in a world where law is no more and nothing is promised. To make matters worse, the earthquake happened on Christmas during a heavy snowstorm, which is not relenting no matter how long the group waits. Access to the outside world is cut off, and no signs of help are noticed, despite the quake being too large for a country to just ignore. Even after the group manages to successfully secure a stable life with other survivors in spite of the quake and endless snow and cold, many problems and complications arise.

The six characters of the original group are:

Warning! Due to the nature of the game, the trope page may contain many SPOILERS even after following our usual spoiler policy. If you are the type of reader who is bothered by them, probably you shouldn't look at this page at all before reading the game.

This visual novel provides examples of:

  • A Father to His Men: Tanomura to the Vigilante Corps.
  • After the End: The "end of the world" event happens right in the prologue.
  • Alliterative Title
  • Apologetic Attacker: Tanomura, when he fights the Vigilante Corps. after they betray him. While he doesn't outright say it, he apologizes for their wounds and how they won't be able to enjoy their hobbies with them.
  • Bandaged Face: Takuma has it after his face being burned off on his assault of the Daichi.
  • Blood Knight: Takuma, with the Daichi.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: One of the bad endings have this. Though the character relations are only revealed in the good end.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Despite already being dark, it gets progressively darker as it continues.
  • Character Development: Of both the positive and negative varieties.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The key that Tanomura gives to Hibari. The gong that was rung on New Year's.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The businessman that survived the quake pulls this off in both his appearances. The first time he appears shows that there were other survivors. The second time he appears, he tells Tsukasa where Tanomura and Hibari went after being exiled.
  • Cloudcuckoo Lander: Aroe. A sadly justified version, as she has autism.
  • Coitus Uninterruptus: Tsukasa waves to Takuma when Takuma sees Yuka giving Tsukasa a blowjob.
  • Crapsack World: Although it was a normal world before the earthquake.
  • Crossdresser: Tsukasa, for a piano recital after his suit got muddy. Not that Tsukasa knew about (or possibly even cared) the stigma of a boy wearing a dress in the first place.
  • Description Gorn: Present in place of CGs when something too disturbing to display otherwise takes place.
  • Death of a Child: The first time a child is shown is when they are trapped in a house and killed in front of the men.
  • Despair Event Horizon: The pictures that appear when changing a perspective undergo a dramatic change late enough in the normal end to show this.
  • Downer Ending: The normal end.
  • Elegant Classical Musician: Tsukasa and his father; although, Tsukasa is only truly able to play with his left hand.
  • Extreme Doormat: Takuma has extremely low self-esteem and just can't stand up for himself. At one point, Hibari literally steps on him. He changes later on—and not in a good way.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Takuma. His desire to get even with the Daichi leads to him becoming a Blood Knight, then a power-hungry warlord, and soon after that a child-killer and a rapist.
  • Fan Disservice: The rape scenes. They really home in how disgusting and traumatising the act is.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Takuma. Starts as a doormat-like otaku, ends up a bloodthirsty warlord.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Averted. The businessman does not take sides in the dispute between the Daichi and the school, and mentions avoiding them both to avoid getting caught up. Not only that, but he's a rather sane—and rather talkative—person. He even refuses to join other survivors just because he finally obtained the freedom he desired.
  • Gone Horribly Right: After Takuma gets drunk and gives a speech about how he'll become a new person and learn to stand up for himself, nobody takes him very seriously. He goes on to prove them wrong by becoming a brutal warlord whom everyone fears.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: When something is gory, it is not really shown in art, just narrated. And when it is really horrible, it is usually only slightly touched upon.
  • Happy Ending: The Good ending, at least compared to the Normal ending. More objectively a Bittersweet Ending, since a lot of people still die, and the survivors, although they seem to be getting along well, are faced with an uncertain future not least because their food supplies are low.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Takuma advocates taking a ruthless stance against the criminal band. While this may be justified against men who are ruthless murderers and rapists in a post-apocalyptic world, he later becomes just as bad as they are.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The policemen. They are revealed to show genuine remorse for their actions, and do their best to help the Daichi.
  • The Hermit: The businessman. Although he only became a hermit after the earthquake.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Everyone at the Daichi temple who died to give those escaping time.
  • Hope Is Scary: For Yuka.
  • Hot Springs Episode: One scene has our heroes bathe in gender-segregated hot springs. It turns into a comedy when Hibari leans over the divide to try to bum sake off of Tanomura, and then into another comedy when Aroe leaves the bath to goad Tsukasa into chasing her (and despite Tanomura's subsequent lewd remarks, there is nothing sexual about this; Aroe just likes being chased as a game and apparently forgot that she and Tsukasa were naked and in towels at the time).
  • Karma Houdini: Takuma, in the Good ending.
  • Kick the Dog: Takuma thinks of himself as dirty, that no one could ever love him, but a girl says she loves him because he's dirty. He doesn't appreciate what he has, and gloatingly and mockingly tells the girl near the end that he never loved her at all, causing her to try to shoot him.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The policemen at first, but the mood becomes somewhat more lighthearted after they leave. Then, the Daichi enter the picture and it all goes downhill from there.
  • Last Stand: Tanomura does that twice in the course of the game. In the first one, he successfully beats his opponents. In the second, they have shotguns and chemicals. Also happens when the Vigilante Corps assault the Daichi.
  • Literal-Minded: Tsukasa.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: The entire game mostly uses either depressing or suspenseful tracks, if it uses them at all, leaving the others with little appearance. Fortunately, there's the BGM Player, but that's only unlocked after completing the game.
  • Martial Pacifist: Tanomura doesn't like using force, but he's prepared to do so if there's no other option. And he can kick ass better than anyone else in the novel.
  • Mercy Kill: Aroe's sister asks Tsukasa to do this to Aroe, but quickly changes her mind. Also appears often later on.
  • Necessarily Evil: The Vigilante Corps. at first. Then Takuma takes over and rules with an iron fist.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: Tsukasa doesn't really seem to care when Hibari isn't wearing anything below her jacket after having sex with Tanomura. He also doesn't understand the distress Ryugeju has when he tries to undress her so she wouldn't freeze from her wet clothes. On top of that, he doesn't seem to care about when Aroe is naked, so long as she doesn't freeze.
  • Not with Them for the Money: Yuka to Tsukasa. Subverted, as money is now worthless anyway.
  • Otaku: Takuma.
  • Place Worse Than Death: It's mentioned that some survivors consider those who died to be the lucky ones.
  • Police Brutality: The policemen on the island. Also occurs when Takuma takes over the Vigilante Corps., since he tends to look the other way if one of the members is doing something bad.
  • Police State: The school, after Takuma takes over the Vigilante Corps..
  • The Pollyanna: Tanomura. However, he does acknowledge whenever a situation goes bad, and reacts accordingly. Although he always goes back to Pollyanna mode once the situation ends.
  • The Quiet One: Applies to Tsukasa.
  • Rape as Drama: Of course, this being an 18+ work, some of it is detailed.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Ryugeju seems to think this is the only way to become redeemed. Subverted, as she doesn't die (and gets accepted) in the good end.
  • Sanity Slippage: Takuma, again. His internal monologues reflect this very well, becoming increasingly sociopathic over time.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Even though some Daichi followers fought the Vigilante Corps. to buy some time for others to escape, the survivors were going to die of starvation or the cold unless they went to their enemy. Subverted in the good end, since the Daichi survivors are eventually accepted. It also happens when Tanomura fights the Vigilante Corps. at the church, as chances are likely that he would have been fine if he left with everyone else.
  • Sexual Karma: The "Tsukasa w/ Yuka" and "Tanomura w/ Hibari" sex scenes are presented in a much better light than the others, which are mostly rape scenes anyway.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Very, very firmly cynical, with it bordering on pitch black as it goes on. Pitch black in the normal end, but much more idealistic in the good end.
  • Slowly Slipping Into Evil: Takuma. It's very well done, too: he first becomes a warrior who kills criminals, but then gradually becomes more bloodthirsty and obsessed with power.
  • Stepford Smiler: Sasaki Yuka.
  • The Stoic: Tsukasa. Possibly subverted, as it's shown that he only has a partial understanding of emotions.
  • Super-Senses: Tsukasa's supernatural sense of hearing.
  • Team Dad: Tanomura, both to the original group of five and the Vigilante Corps. before they betray him.
  • Title Drop: Yuka drops it late in the story, as does Ryugeju during her first serious conversation with Tsukasa.
  • Tomboy: Hibari.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Mainly, Takuma. He starts out as a cowardly otaku, but ends up a shotgun-toting leader with a reasonably good grasp of military tactics.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Takuma, again. He becomes more and more selfish, manipulative and violent over time.
  • Vague Age: Tanomura's age is never actually given.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Kuwugata Takuma doesn't understand what it is when his girlfriend says that she loves him. He even initially thinks that she's in love with sex, since he's convinced there's no way anyone could possibly love him.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: The Daichi try this on the Vigilante Corps. when they attack. They succeed holding off the Vigilante Corps. long enough to have everyone escape, but they ultimately lose the battle.