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Visual Novel / Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito

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Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito (Yami, the Hat, and the Book Travellers), a.k.a. Yamibou

The Great Library: A place where every world is maintained within books. By and large, people can live out their entire lives without ever knowing it exists.

Azuma Hazuki was living out her life as a fairly Ordinary High-School Student in one of these worlds, until her adopted sister, Hatsumi, disappeared at midnight on her sixteenth birthday. Intruding immediately on her shock was a bird-like being called Ken-chan, which had been sent by its master to find someone called Eve...

Yamibou is, simply, the story of the people whose lives were touched by Eve as she travelled through the worlds contained in the books of the Great Library, and their continued attempts to find her. From Lilith, the current guardian of the Great Library and caretaker of its books (that's supposed to be Eve's job); to Gargantua, whose life was forever altered when he witnessed Eve's apparently magical powers during her stay in his world; and finally to Hazuki, who loves her adopted sister and sought to find her at any cost; each had their own reasons to search.


Many have called Yamibou a watershed moment for serious lesbain moments in anime (though it's been played as comedy since at least 1999 in Steel Angel Kurumi, and probably earlier), the recent rise of yuri in anime can easily trace its beginning to the late-2003 run of this show. Humorously enough, many of the people who watched the show for just that reason, and who had glowingly referred to it as the defining shoujo-ai series, absolutely despised the ending. (Several have since attempted to pass the mantle of "defining yuri series" to Destiny of the Shrine Maiden.)

Yamibou is based on an "H"-game by Root with artwork done by Carnelian. The original game's plot is vastly different, lacking much of the yuri due to starring a nameless male main character (who was completely eliminated from the anime.)


This show provides examples of:

  • Airplane of Love: Hazuki watches a plane in the last episode as she reflects on the child she has a feeling she will give birth to, suggesting there's a new love interest to come.
  • All Just a Dream: Hazuki and Hatsumi share a very passionate scene, only to have it turn out to be nothing more than a dream—in the new world at least.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Hazuki has long dark blue hair and shows very little emotion to everyone but Hatsumi.
  • Alternate Continuity: The series itself, compared to the game by Carnelian.
  • Alternate Self: Tamamo no Mae reveals that Youko Meirin is her alternate self in episode 11.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Oborokamenshuu, female ninjas, from the medieval Japan world. Their boss is a big, masked man.
  • Anachronic Order: The first episode is broken into two parts, depicting the very start of Hazuki's quest and a later adventure within it.
  • Ancient Keeper
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Hazuki becomes the new God of the stone age world because she fights and reduces the first one to a pathetic bat-like form.
  • Bait-and-Switch Lesbians: Hazuki never gets her girl, but will give birth to her as a daughter sometime in the future.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Eve's continued disappearances—though this may not be "destiny" so much as a basic part of Eve's character, which makes it all the more infuriating.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: For how much Hazuki puts her in a pedestal, Eve turns out to be quite the capricious character. The time she spends in the book-worlds is her idea of fun, and she doesn't really care about the lives she touches or how deeply she touches them. Eve expresses some admiration for Hazuki's tenacity in chasing her, but doesn't truly love her, and spares no thought for her once they're back in their respective worlds and Hatsumi's existence is wiped out. At the end, Eve just talks about how much she wants to go on her next adventure, showing the experience with Hazuki didn't affect her.
  • Bleached Underpants: The game has explicit sex scenes. The anime merely has copious fanservice in the form of scanty clothing and huge breasts.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Hazuki/Hatsumi, since they are sisters (but not by blood). Implied with Eve/Lilith, as they are seen lying on the floor in a suggestive position in the last episode.
  • Butt-Monkey: Ken-chan is abused for laughs several times per episode (that he appears in). He spent the entirety of episode 5 tied up and upside down, for instance.
  • Cat Smile: Meirin does one when she's thinking to use Lilith to help her increase her magical power.
  • Character Exaggeration: In the game, Lilith is an intelligent and cunning woman, if somewhat of a flirt. Only the 'flirt' part seemed to make the transition to the anime, leaving her a borderline bimbo with a lust for Hazuki that wasn't present previously—though even in the anime she hints at being more intelligent and compassionate than meets the eye now and then.
  • Cipher Scything: The nameless body-hopping protagonist of the game is replaced by the minor character Hazuki.
  • Cute Mute: Hatsumi. Subverted; she actually can talk at times.
  • Dangerous 16th Birthday: Hatsumi/Eve disappears from any world she enters upon turning 16.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Hazuki twice masturbates to thoughts of Hatsumi in episode 7.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: At least in the anime, Hazuki does not get Eve. Instead, she gives birth to her.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: Hazuki and Hatsumi listen to the OP song on the way to school in episode 7.
  • Dimensional Traveler: Eve and Lilith, as the keepers of the Great Library, have the power to get into the book worlds and leave whenever they want. Hazuki is one only because she's with Lilith.
  • Driven to Suicide: Although Ritsuko saves Princess Mariel from Gargantua's possession, Mariel feels she's tainted by having the blood of his darkness inside her and takes poison to end her life.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Hazuki has lots of fangirls at her school who try to give her gifts and letters, or just squeal when she's playing sports; however, if they're not Hatsumi, she's not interested.
  • False Camera Effects: This show is rather fond of Jitter Cam, using it three times in the OP alone.
  • Fanservice: Covering pretty much every sub-category, too.
  • Forehead of Doom: Lilith makes fun of Eve for having a big forehead and gives her a nickname based on it.
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: One story involves a princess who must choose from a selection of princes who are, due to tradition, forced to dress up like frogs and hop around...
  • Friend to All Living Things: Quill.
  • Gainax Ending: Fans are divided as to whether it's this or a Downer Ending.
    • It's actually three endings at once, none of which fit together. In one part, Hatsumi leaves a message, in the next, the message is entirely erased. Many fans nowadays seem to think the ending is supposed to be a Pick-and-Choose-your-ending thing.
  • Gaiden Game: Yamibous visual novel was given one in the form of Koge to Lilith no Nachtmusik. It's basically Lilith having lots of encounters with people in various outfits. Fridge Brilliance dictates that it's probably to make it easier to fit in wherever she goes...
    • Bonus points for some of those outfits being call-backs to some of the older games that Carnelian worked on, like Moonlight Lady and Machine Maiden.
  • Generation Ships: Episodes 10-11 are set in a colonization starship that's been travelling for 200 years. The only surviving members are the children, but the corpses of their parents are preserved for the computer to trick them into thinking they're not dead.
  • Giggling Villain: The Oborokamenshuu are always accompanied by a creepy, feminine giggle that's not clear whether it comes from them.
  • God Guise: In the stone age world, the inhabitants worship a God symbolized by an eyeball. They mistake Lilith for a divine messenger because of her eyeball hat and worship her. She takes full advantage of this.
  • Hair Intakes: Milka has this hairstyle.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Tamamo no Mae is a sassy woman who's always drinking sake.
  • Hot Librarian: In a more literal sense.
  • Identical Stranger: Hazuki thinks Fujihime is Eve. Fujihime looks exactly like Eve, except the former has purple eyes and the latter has red.
  • Idiot Hair: The Butt-Monkey Ken-chan has a prominent and curly cowlick on top of his head.
  • Immortal Immaturity: Lilith and Eve are rather immature despite being thousands of years old.
  • Immortality Begins at Twenty: Gargantua and Ritsuko are bathed in the "Light of Eve" as young children, which causes them to stop aging once they finish growing up.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: There's no indication that Hazuki learned swordsmanship in her world, but she's very good with her sword and can even easily defeat samurai from the medieval Japan world.
  • I Will Find You: The journey to find Hatsumi/Eve drives the plot. Hazuki wants to bring her back to her world, not wanting to let go of her beloved sister/love interest. Lilith wants to bring her back so she'll do her job at the Great Library. Gargantua is madly in love with her and wants to see her again.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot
  • Joshikousei
  • Just Train Wrong: In 2nd episode of the anime there is a scene of an arriving steam train and steam comes out of the sand pipesnote . In Real Life this would just get the sand wet and clog the pipesnote . Besides tha it's totally pointless to sand the tracks when the train has come to a complete halt.
  • Kansai Regional Accent: Ken-chan has this accent.
    • So does Meirin, which makes Ken-chan warm up to her.
  • Kawaiiko: Lilith, among others.
  • Kitsune: Youko Meirin from the medieval Japan world is a fox girl with two tails who can cast fire magic.
  • Like Parent, Like Spouse: The reason behind Lilith's crush on Hazuki is that she reminds her of her father, whom she was in love with.
  • Love Letter:
    • Hatsumi/Eve is given a love letter by a boy in episode 1. Hazuki finds out and harms her out of rage.
    • Episode 7 has Hazuki receive love letters from an anonymous sender. At the end, it turns out that Hatsumi was the sender.
  • Magical Library: The Great Library consists of books that contain every single world of the multiverse down to the smallest detail.
  • Magic Librarian: Eve and Lilith are immortal dimension-travellers with the job of running the library from which all worlds originate.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Hazuki is a normal human girl who's in love with Hatsumi/Eve, who's a sort of deity.
  • Medieval European Fantasy: Gargantua's world of origin (episodes 3-4), a rustic place with kings, princesses, castles and ostracized witches. Weirdly, the witch has a Japanese name, Ritsuko.
  • Milking the Giant Cow: Gargantua usually expresses himself in bombastic body language, kind of as if he was dancing ballet.
  • Minor Major Character: Arya, the silver-haired boy who appears in every world in a minor role and serves as narrator. Is also Lilith's hat.
  • Multiple-Tailed Beast: The kitsunes Youko Meirin (two tails) and Tamamo no Mae (nine).
  • Nice Hat: Lilith's huge black hat with a single giant eyeball.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted, though it's pretty indirect. In episode 7, Hatsumi texts Hazuki before PE, "Uh oh. It came on all of a sudden! Hazuki, do you have one of those?" Hazuki rushes to give her tampons, presumably.
  • Not Blood Siblings: In Hazuki's world, Eve is her adopted sibling Hatsumi, and Hazuki is in love with her.
  • Not Growing Up Sucks: Milka is stuck as a little girl because of magic. She laments that she can't get a lover that way.
  • Nubile Savage: Quill.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Hatsumi is nowhere near as innocent or cute as she first appears.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Azuma Hazuki.
  • Panthera Awesome: Rascalas the white tiger, Milka's pet/friend/guardian.
  • Parental Abandonment: Hazuki and Hatsumi may well have parents, but they never appear, though Hazuki asks her mother a question in the final episode.
  • Pillar of Light
  • Portal Crossroad World:
    • The Great Library is the place from which all the worlds, contained in books, are accessed.
    • The Universal Garden is also a space between the worlds, but the worlds that its doors lead to are random.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Possibly. Fridge Logic suggests Hazuki has spent an improbable amount of time in various books, and it may be more like seven million. Of course, time itself is up for grabs in this series.
  • Reincarnation: Eve is repeatedly born as a child in every world she decides to be a character in. And she will be born again into Hazuki's world, as her child.
  • Ret-Gone: In the last episode, Hatsumi's existence is eliminated from Hazuki's world, reflected by Hazuki forgetting about her and pictures being altered to remove Hatsumi.
  • Ship Sinking: Nothing quite kills a ship like giving birth to the person you're in love with. Hazuki giving birth to Eve is what will happen in the show's future.
  • Short Hair with Tail: Milka has this hairstyle.
  • Shout-Out: Leading to possible Epileptic Trees - Hazuki shares her last name with Io Azuma, a protagonist of ROOT's previous visual novel (also with Carnelian's art), Moonlight Lady.
  • Sidekick Creature Nuisance: Ken-chan with his obnoxious and perverted commentary is prone to getting chastised or ignored by the main characters, especially the ultra-serious Hazuki.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Upon broadcast, the most commonly-viewed fansubbed version of the anime had some rather different ideas on name spellings. Among them were Marieru instead of Mariel, Garuganchua instead of Gargantua, Jiru instead of Jill, and most noticeably, Ririsu instead of Lilith. (Curiously, they did not render Adam and Eve as Adamu and Ibu.) A re-release by a different group in 2007 used the romanizations listed in The Other Wiki.
  • Spit-Trail Kiss: Hazuki and Hatsumi's love scene in the last episode has a deep kiss which leaves a trail of saliva between them.
  • Super-Deformed: Koge-chibi looks like a super deformed Lilith but is a separate person.
  • Tickle Torture: In episode 10, Gargantua tickles Lilith so she'll tell him where Eve is. The tickling is in suggestive places and her laughing looks a lot like she's orgasming.
  • Trapped in Another World: In several worlds, actually.
  • Universal-Adaptor Cast: The characters reenact the plots of several books.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Hazuki's sailor suit doesn't draw much attention from most of the worlds based on ancient time periods. That is, except for Meirin, who calls her out for her weird clothes in a throw-away line.
  • 12-Episode Anime: The anime has 13 episodes.
  • Wagon Train to the Stars: Episodes 10-11 feature a spaceship that's carrying humans to a new planet for them to settle in.
  • Younger Than They Look: Hazuki at 15 is taller, stronger and more mature-looking than Hatsumi at 16.

Alternative Title(s): Yami To Boushi To Hon No Tabibito