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Visual Novel / The Labyrinth of Grisaia

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The Labyrinth of Grisaia (Grisaia no Meikyuu) is the sequel to the Frontwing title The Fruit of Grisaia. Declining to follow any ending, it instead follows a path not explored in the game in which Yuuji solved everyone's problems, but does not appear to have romantically committed himself. The beginning of the story establishes that he is unexpectedly attempting to gain a promotion, a detail of little apparent importance given that it is mostly an excuse to examine Yuuji's backstory.

As such, Yuuji is making a report to his direct superior, JB. The flashbacks begin with our second meeting with his deceased genius sister, Kazuki, and how she dominated the Kazami family and how it proceeded to collapse without her. Separated by brief cuts to the present where he talks with JB, the story also proceeds along to show how Yuuji did not have the world's greatest dad and ended up as a terrorist.

Back at Mihama, Yuuji has been uncharacteristically sloppy and left shredded documents containing earlier drafts of the same report. When the girls discover these documents, they naturally begin to go through them and their ever-growing horror continues as they slowly learn what Yuuji's life was really like, until the situation there gets so tense that we cease to get cuts to them around a third of the way through the story.

The story is continued in The Eden of Grisaia, the third and final work of the Grisaia trilogy. As of June 2016, Meikyuu is officially translated and now available on Steam.

Meikyuu was adapted into an hour special, with the rest of the story being adapted and integrated as Grisaia no Rakuen in its first five episodes.

This visual novel provides examples of the following:

  • Actor Allusion: Takahiro Sakurai before has voiced another Japanese teen soldier who is an ace, committed patricide, and a Failure Knight.
  • Adaptation Distillation: While the anime special depicts from Yuuji's childhood to the first time he met Asako, the anime version condenses the Meikyuu storyline in five episodes in the anime version of Rauken.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: After fleeing to a new town, everyone hated Yuuji and his mother, largely because they were victims of an abusive father/husband.
  • Anonymous Benefactor: In Yumiko’s afterstory it turns out Yuuji didn’t get in trouble for going rogue because a certain high level company executive forced the issue. The probable identity of said benefactor is kept mysterious until Rakuen.
  • April Fools' Plot: Michiru and Sachi get together to scare Yumiko on April Fool’s with a tiger snake, but much to her confusion they actually got a real tiger snake.
  • Arson, Murder, and Admiration: After seeing Yuuji has murdered a ‘guest’ with his bare hands and a simple vase Oslo laughs and compliments him.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Asako warns Yuuji that if he’s not careful on the mountain he’ll probably run into some boars and maybe even a bear. Doesn’t happen, though the thought makes him uneasy. No, instead of waiting, the bear comes for him and simply walk into the cabin while he’s taking a shower. It grabs John and simply leaves while he ineffectually shoots at it. Now you know why he doesn’t have a dog anymore, though he does track the bear down and takes out its eye before realizing he can't bring himself to kill it.
  • Black Comedy Rape:
    • Amused by JB’s virginity, Asako throws Yuuji at her and tells him to solve the problem. JB is not entirely unwilling, but thanks to some miscommunications things go in a very weird direction so far as she’s concerned. The whole time goofy music plays in the background while Asako sits back slurping up some noodles. Naked chibi JB is dragged slowly back into the room.
    • In one of the short stories outside the main plot, Yumiko licks a magic potion that switches her body with Michiru's cat, which licked some earlier. The cat goes on a sex spree and Yumiko is forced to give Yuuji her consent. What happened was not pleasant for her when she switched back, but the cat now became attracted to him.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: A man is killed messily fairly early on via bottle to the head. Another man gets an eye ripped out and his skull caved in by a vase because he was too similar to the first guy.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Yuuji has to take care of one for awhile. Her annoying nature nearly gets the better of him until he realizes she’s basically JB in the form of a nine year old and adjusts his behavior accordingly.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Kazuki was very… affectionate. Yuuji was too young to know anything was weird about her until much later.
  • But Liquor Is Quicker: When JB is understandably hesitant about the idea of sleeping with a fifteen or sixteen year old, dirty old woman Asako tells her to try getting herself drunk first if necessary.
  • But Thou Must!: Amazingly enough, in a section of the story devoted entirely to sex scenes, you have to go through the sex scene. Even if the option to say no exists.
  • Callback: Throughout the military school arc, a mildly amused Yuuji mentally compares it to the terrorist training grounds he attended, thinking that no matter where you go a drill sergeant is a drill sergeant. However, this time it’s not a life or death situation, so some casual music is playing in the background. Yeah, yeah, let’s just get this over with.
  • Cerebus Callback: Near the beginning, Kazuki tells Yuuji that it’d be a good idea to train himself to be ambidextrous. It’s useful to be able to do well with your dominant hand as well as do the unexpected. Later, he remembers a somewhat twisted version with Kazuki helpfully suggesting a good way to kill his father with a bottle of alcohol.
  • Cerebus Retcon: In Kajitsu, Yuuji jokes about being able to squeeze into size 8 skirt, but says he's had enough of that for a lifetime. Small wonder given how Heath Oslo dressed him up and treated him.
  • Cliffhanger: Meikyuu ends in the present with JB sending Yuuji a blank text and then not answering any further calls after discovering an information leak. Someone else breaks normal protocol and leans on Yuuji to begin a new mission to snipe a terrorist by the name of Ethan Glow. Only it’s actually Heath Oslo. With Yuuji’s failure to complete the mission, Yuuji is now set for disposal and has been blamed for a terrorist attack
  • Children Raise You: To JB's surprise, taking care of Yuuji actually brought about some major changes in Asako, most of them for the better. Most importantly, she stopped risking her life so much and began playing it safer and more careful, knowing there was someone out there who needed her alive.
  • Child Soldiers: Terrorists like Heath Oslo run a school to raise them. Yuuji excelled there.
  • Conversational Troping: As explained to Sachi, Makina knows perfectly well that Shark Man is destined for a Heel–Face Turn, but she ignores this part of her brain because you’re not allowed to cheer for the villain while they’re still a villain.
  • Third-Option Adaptation: What route of Kajitsu does Meikyuu follow? None of them! The story begins with Yuuji deciding to apply for a promotion and having to assemble documents regarding his past for inspection.
  • Darker and Edgier: Kajitsu at least started off light and was fairly optimistic throughout. Meikyuu gives us escalating child abuse and declining mental health for all parties involved.
  • Date Peepers
    • Yumiko is so paranoid about the prospect of Makina and Amane intercepting her and Yuuji that she stalls on leaving, the first sign of disaster for their date. She keeps looking as the date continues, too, but runs into them by complete coincidence and they drag her and Yuuji along with their shopping, turning it from a date to a bunch of girls just chatting.
    • During Amane’s date, Makina and Sachi rush off to follow her and Yuuji while Michiru and Yumiko follow to keep the first pair from interfering. As always, Yuuji notices immediately.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Amane takes the princess kanji from Kazuki’s name and gives it to her daughter, Yuuki.
  • Deadly Graduation: Want to be a terrorist graduate? All you have to do is kill the person you’re closest to at the school as your final exam.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Wowww, what a prize. I am ever so grateful.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship: Yuuji and Amane’s dad punch each other until the latter can’t stand anymore, after which they start bonding.
  • Fanservice: There’s a bonus sex scene section. No purpose, ridiculous story, little plot.
  • Flashback: Over 90% of the game is just Yuuji telling JB about his life or her occasionally filling in the gaps for places he can't report on due to mental condition.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The majority of the story is set in the past with the assumption that the reader already knows Kazuki died following a bus crash and that his family disintegrated. It’s only after that that we begin seeing parts of the story where we don’t know the conclusion. Even then, though, we know Asako will be dead by the end and Yuuji will have a desire to at least see a normal life for once.
  • Framing Device: Most of Meikyuu barring the after stories is simply a flashback as Yuuji is considered for a promotion and Sachi goes through his trash to read shredded documents.
  • From Bad to Worse: Until the age of ten or so, Yuuji was ignored, yelled at and belittled with his only allies being his adoring sister and a girl in the park. When Kazuki was gone, his father went from verbal abuse to beating his wife, drinking and harassing Yuuji even further. After that came brainwashing and being drugged heavily to make assassination easier.
  • From Roommates to Romance: Much to JB’s horror, she assumed that Asako was simply being motherly and keeping a proper distance, but is bluntly informed that she and Yuuji have been sleeping together. Lots. It started as a birthday present.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Yuuji named his female border collie John.
  • The Glomp: While Sachi and Amane can teach Yumiko to be more domestic, Michiru and Makina’s talents are less helpful. Michiru tries to help her with tsundere talents but almost grows infatuated with Yumiko instead while Makina tries teaching Yumiko tackling hugs.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: It's mostly played for comedy, but no matter which heroine the protagonist ends up with, it leaves the rest of the girls with a somewhat bitter pill to swallow. It is most prominent in the after stories, and mostly takes the form of some (not so) well intended teasing.
  • Groin Attack: Professor Dave’s program is all about letting animals bite him, but apparently he wasn’t expecting to have a snapping turtle attack his crotch while in Germany.
  • He Knows Too Much: Though nonlethal, operatives like Yuuji are not really allowed to retire or have certain relationships, presumably because they know too much about the country's antiterrorism efforts.
  • Ignore the Fanservice: At one point, Asako tries stripping in front of Yuuji to try to get some kind of reaction from him and is offended and depressed when he just tells her she’s going to catch a cold.
  • Innocently Insensitive:
    • In Amane's afterstory, the other girls forgot that Amane is actually pretty insecure about herself and joke about how they're going to steal away Yuuji. She reacts pretty poorly, which isn't confined to just the scene in question.
    • In Sachi's afterstory, Makina, Michiru, and Amane come up with a "couple synchronization quiz" as a fun test on how in-tune Sachi and Yuuji are on the day before their wedding. The quiz actually highlights that the two of them have some rather different perspectives on the future of their relationship, and Sachi actually begins panicking.
  • Jerkass: The neighbors around Yuuji, starting with hating him and his mother for clearly having run away from an abusive man and ending with bitching about how she caused problems to the end by committing suicide.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Sachi goes through Yuuji’s trash at the start of the story and restores some shredded documents related to his past. Later, when he’s talking to JB about how he put it together, she gets annoyed that he wrote it all out longhand and handed it to her rather than just writing the thing on a computer. Plus, while it’s easy to shred a document, it’s not exactly hard to put it back together. Yuuji’s genre blind response is that nobody could possibly be interested enough to bother.
  • Little Sister Heroine: Somehow Chiara becomes Yuuji’s little sister for a bonus scene.
  • Malicious Slander: A judge that is too ethical to accept a bribe is sometimes sent little girls because people think he’s a pedophile. In truth, he just likes helping kids and generally sends the girls back, not having done a thing to them.
  • Marry Them All: In Amane’s afterstory, the group girl conference decides they’ll all seduce Yuuji and become his mistresses. Yumiko refuses to go along with it when she realizes how low her rank would be. They quit when she starts crying.
  • Moment Killer: Every time Yumiko and Yuuji try to enjoy a date together, the other girls wander by entirely by coincidence. When they do have a date by themselves, Yumiko realizes she wishes they were there.
  • Monster Is a Mommy: After blinding a bear, a pair of starving cubs come out and just look at Yuuji.
  • Mood Whiplash
    • Right in the middle of an unusually long flashback of nothing but seriousness and depressing things for little Yuuji, JB suddenly interrupts to yell at him for not being careful to avoid hurting girls feelings.
    • A sex scene turns to comedy and then eventually back to sex.
  • Moving the Goalposts: Asako tells Yuuji that a man who can run fast will be popular in elementary school, so he begins morning runs with no complaints. Next, she tells him a middle school student will be popular if he can fight, so he begins sparring, though he really doesn’t want to and has no idea who he’s supposed to be popular with while living in the middle of an empty forest on top of a mountain. Then she tells him a smart guy will be popular in high school so he should read more and his reaction is simply “Oh come on already.”
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Yes, with those bodybuilder muscles Danny is physically quite powerful. He’s also slow and easy to tire, which isn’t helped by his smoking habit. Big bulging muscles are not very useful for anything requiring endurance or speed.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: As the story continues, the girls become more and more uneasy and unhappy about their decision to read the documents Yuuji shredded. Further, they feel terrible about things they’ve said or done before like saying Yuuji’s martial arts abilities were cool.
  • Mystery Meat: JB hesitantly asks what the weird food in the pan is and why it has a mosaic (though there’s actually no cg of it, so presumably she knew what it was) and gets the answer ‘Deer penis’ at which point JB apologizes profusely to Yuuji for telling him to eat more and demands that Asako eat it herself before she forces Yuuji to try it.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: In the middle of his final exam, Yuuji freezes up and is beaten harshly without attempting to defend himself from his clearly inferior and injured opponent.
  • No Name Given: Early on we hear a lot about JB’s superior ‘Her.’ It turns out the narrative and characters aren’t just being deliberately obtuse: None of them have met her. It’s forbidden.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Averted. When given an absurdly high powered rifle in order to cover an incredibly long distance in a hostage situation, Yuuji aims for the hand of the target. It basically explodes and blood sprays everywhere. Perhaps not lethal, but definitely not a safe, clean wound.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: Amane’s mom is all for her marrying Yuuji since she thinks he’s hot, but her dad won’t accept him, and refuses to meet him. After they have a fistfight, her dad finally approves of him.
  • Playable Epilogue: Each of the girls gets their own afterstory, which are generally light affairs.
  • Police Are Useless: Apart from some token help from a domestic violence shelter, absolutely nobody steps in to help Yuuji and his mother despite all the laws his father is clearly breaking. After they’re dead, the police apparently just toss him at the first volunteer, a man who already had a reputation as a possible terrorist and quite the pedophile aura.
  • Polyamory: Asako and Yuuji loved each other and based part of their relationship on such. He tells JB more than once that he also loves her and will always protect her, even mailing her once a very meaningful declaration of love and nothing else. The five heroines of Kajitsu are also largely included in this by virtue of not following any specific route.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Squadmembers, assemble! Punk general Danny, annoying bimbo Millie, otake megane Robert and aloof cowardly sniper, Kazami Yuuji. United beneath J the motormouth, they’re the Unwanted Children. No, wait, they’re the bush dogs. Yeah! Bush dogs!
  • Rape as Drama: By the time Yuuji’s father tracks down his family in hiding, he’s so cracked that he attempts to rape Yuuji’s mother with the goal of impregnating her so she’ll give birth to another golden egg.
  • Retcon
    • Heart donor girl never existed now. She’s just an alternate personality of Michiru’s. Ignore the inconsistencies.
    • Yuuji is no longer an atheist. He at least hopes an afterlife exists.
    • JB’s ridiculous story in Makina’s route about Yuuji believing he had a devil in his arm has quietly vanished. In fact, if anything, Asako actually urged Yuuji to kill while he found himself unable to do it under normal circumstances. In retrospect, it makes the story she told back then kind of awesome because her boss actually believed such gibberish.
  • Right Behind Me: Annoyed by Captain Garrett’s domineering attitude, Danny begins complaining about her right in the open. Yuuji sees her coming, but this doesn’t save him. Paraphrasing:
    Danny: What’s with that pretentious woman that always hits you? Does she think pretending to be able to read French will make her look better?
    Garrett appears.
    Yuuji: I - I have no idea what you’re talking about. Our captain is lovely, graceful and charming.
    Danny: What, you some kind of masochist that likes being hit? Only way anyone could find that gorilla attractive is if they were a blind idiot.
  • Running Gag: Nobody that isn’t from Japan can even come close to getting Yuuji’s name right even if they can remember it. Danny calls him Shorty, Millie calls him Jeannie (from the ji in Yuuji) and Robbie calls him some incomprehensible mangling of his actual name. Eddy actually can and does get his name right, but he’s usually too busy calling him teacher to use his name.
  • Screamer Prank: On Michiru's after story, Yumiko falls pray to a screamer video when surfing the net.
  • Sex for Solace: Sometime after Asako's death, JB and Yuuji realize they aren’t moving on as well as they had thought and comfort each other in perhaps the only way they can. Unlike most examples of sex between close people in the story, this was clearly extremely unhealthy and just makes things worse.
  • Sex Is Good: Just about everyone has a strong sex drive and this is portrayed as basically a good thing. JB is actually laughed at for being hesitant regarding sex and treated like her virginity is something shameful!
  • Sexual Karma: Once you've got mutual feelings going, sex is apparently supposed to follow soon after. And lots of it too. Mind you, mutual feelings don’t necessarily need to be romantic love. There's one notable exception: After Asako dies, the Sex for Solace between JB and Yuuji is incredibly self-destructive and poor. It was an awful, awful idea.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns
    • The first time JB interrupts Yuuji’s story, it’s to have more characteristic banter. The second time, her interruption is nothing but silence and a depressed look even though she already knew everything Yuuji was telling her.
    • The story then switches back to the girls that were joking and laughing before and they’re also all silent and wishing they hadn’t gone through Yuuji’s trash. Several attempts are made to resist the humor being quietly murdered, but not even Makina or Michiru can raise the mood. Further cuts to them have their own psychological wounds being brought up including lovely questions like “Why didn’t he just commit suicide and save himself the trouble?”
    • Eventually, the clowns are slowly let back into the room after Yuuji is found by Asako and JB. However, they’re different clowns than before: Amane and the others don’t appear again during the brief intermissions.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Immediately after a man is beaten to death and partially mutilated, a pretty if slightly discordant music box starts playing. A terrorist walks into the room and laughs about the mess in the room, impressed with what happened.
  • Stacy's Mom: Makina and Yuuji agree that Amane’s mom Kotone is needlessly sexy, causing Amane to worry about competition with her own mother. According to Yuuji, Amane doesn’t need to worry about him stealing Kotone away from her dad because if anything she’s going to try to steal him from Amane.
  • Super-Deformed: Right in the middle of the first comedy scene in hours and hours of reading, the scene cuts to chibi Asako observing everything going on while quietly snarking to herself and commenting on Yuuji’s performance. Chibi JB attempts to escape, but it's no use: She's slowly dragged back into the pit.
  • There Are No Therapists: What, counseling for the kid that killed his father and found his mother’s hanged body? Bo-ring! Off to the pedo terrorist you go, lad!
  • Translation Convention: Though never stated, somehow the reader may find it improbable that not only do a bunch of thugs on their way to an American military school speak fluent Japanese, but also refer to the only Japanese guy on the bus as Chinese. Yuuji apparently forgets that he’s not speaking Japanese at one point and Danny has to remind him that he has no idea what Chizuru has been yelling for the past couple of minutes.
  • The Pen Is Mightier: Somewhat of a favored murder method of Yuuji, back when he was still a brainwashed child soldier/assassin of Heath Oslo, he killed several of his targets with a ballpoint pen.
  • Unequal Pairing
    • JB is crushing pretty hard on Yuuji, though she’s both his boss and something of a mother figure to him despite certain events between them in the past.
    • Turns out Asako and Yuuji also had a thing going, apparently even including mutual love.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds
    • Asako and JB’s relationship is pretty similar to the one that Yuuij and JB have: Lots of squabbling and sniping.
    • Yuuji’s only male friend shown is a big black American teen a bit older than Yuuji. During introduction, Danny calls him by a girly name and Yuuji basically responds “Shoulda known that some black punk would have shitty hearing after listening to all that loud trashy music.” This polite correction endears him immediately and the pair end up in an operational cell together.

Alternative Title(s): Grisaia No Meikyuu