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Visual Novel / You and Me and Her

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From left to right: Shinichi, Miyuki and Aoi

Life is like a staircase. You just gotta keep climbing. Otherwise, if you start to overthink it, you'll have trouble taking the next step.

YOU and ME and HER note , is a 2013 Visual Novel by nitro+. The game was released internationally by JAST USA on May 5th, 2020, with a Steam release in May 25th.

The story follows Susuki Shinichi, a guy with no unique qualities and whose daily routine frustrates him. He puts his name under a romance novel club at his school, but in reality, he doesn't associate himself with any club. He also has a complex about being stuck in the background and ignored by his childhood friend-turned-class idol, Miyuki Sone.

Although Miyuki was Shinichi's childhood friend, she hides it at school and does not talk to him. She excels at the academy's drama club, and is great with a baseball bat; a skill she practices for the next drama club performance, which revolves around softball. She also loves cats, but unfortunately has allergies to them.

One day, at the roof of the school, Shinichi ends up meeting a pink-haired girl, named Mukou Aoi. Aoi is a denpa girl who has trouble paying attention in class. She walks around with a smartphone with no reception, and her pastime is sending messages to "God" from the roof of the school. She also has trouble gauging distance between people.

The plot begins with Shinichi's attempt to teach friendless Aoi how to socialize with people. Shinichi asks Miyuki for help, and the three of them start to spend time together. As Aoi begins to warm up to Shinichi, Miyuki draws closer to him too, rekindling the suppressed feelings they had from childhood, and pushing the three further into a love triangle.

However, things aren't exactly what they're look like at first glance. And soon, it all goes to hell.

The game is written and directed by Shimokura Vio (Sumaga, Steins;Gate's Suzuha route) and the character designs and art were ilustrated by Tsuji Santa (of Super Sonico fame). The original soundtrack for the game was composed by Hirata Hironobu and features theme songs by Keigo Iwase, Swinging Popsicle, Tada Aoi and Kanako Itou.

Compare Doki Doki Literature Club!, another horror visual novel disguised as a Dating Sim.

YOU And ME And HER contains examples of:

  • The Ace: Besides being ridiculously beautiful, intelligent, and popular, Shinichi claims that Miyuki is absurdly talented at anything she tries. Over the course of the game the player learns her talents include calligraphy, softball and acting.
  • Almost Kiss: The very first scene of the game features two in quick succession: first Aoi tries to "get zappy" with Shinichi on the roof, only to be interrupted by Miyuki suddenly appearing. Then, when Miyuki proclaims herself to be Shinichi's girlfriend, Aoi requests that the two kiss to show her proof, only for Miyuki to get interrupted by Yuutarou suddenly appearing.
  • Bittersweet Ending: No matter what the decision at the end is, the result is the same. Despite the player successfully bringing Aoi back and convincing Miyuki to stop, Aoi is forced to leave the world along with the player, disappearing from existence and everyone's memories in the process, and it's up in the air if Shinichi and Miyuki will ever have a happy ending together. Hope however is given through the photo Aoi and the player sends Miyuki that the latter may happen, and, in Aoi's side, she promises to always be with you in the heroines of all other VN's they play.
  • But Thou Must!: If you want to experience the complete game, you have to play Miyuki's route first. Aoi's route will only unlock after you finished it. Meaning there is no way to prevent Miyuki from feeling betrayed by the player and murdering Aoi and Shinichi at the end of Aoi's route.
  • Blackmail: An odd example in which Aoi takes a picture of Shinichi and Miyuki together on the roof and threatens to show it to the class unless they agree to be her friends. The odd part comes in when you realize Aoi doesn't seem to fully understand why this might be seen as morally questionable. At the very least, one gets the sense she's doing it less out of malice and more out of an attempt to get on the "correct route."
  • Blamed for Being Railroaded:
    • The Aoi ending makes sure to let the Player know that Miyuki going crazy and killing Shinichi and Aoi in a jealous rage could have been avoided, if you hadn't played Miyuki's route first, which ends with Shinichi promising to be faithful to her. However, getting to Aoi's route requires you to play Miyuki's route first. Even if the player really only has interest in Aoi, there is literally no way to pursue her if you haven't romanced Miyuki.
    • Additionally, the game blames the Player for not stopping Aoi when she patched the world even though doing so will be a one way trip to one of the bad endings, ultimately forcing the player to let her do it.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: A super meta example near the end of Aoiís route. After Miyuki kills Aoi and severely injures Shinichi, she calls out the player for playing Aoiís route because you had completed Miyukiís first. Since you have chosen Aoiís route after unlocking it through Miyukiís, you have incurred her wrath. You are the one Miyuki is upset with, not Shinichi. As punishment for being unfaithful to her, Miyuki reprograms the game so you cannot save or load another save file or restart the game.
    • And later on she, Aoi and even Shinichi take turns speaking directly to the player before the universe is reset and their memories are wiped. They know you could set up the events that put them in that situation all over again and want to make sure you make good on the promise not to do that.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Two of them, in Yuutarou's younger brother Ryuujirou, and Miyuki's underclassmen Haru. They're actually the same person, and forms a major part of the narrative in the latter part of Aoi's route.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Aoi in spades. And Yuutarou, to a lesser extent.
  • Death Glare: Miyuki's glares are so potent they have their own sound effect.
    Aoi: Um, Shinichi? Miyuki's shooting sparks from her eyes!
  • Deconstruction Game: Of romance games and VN's in general. Aoi's route deconstructs the idea of "CG Hunting", that being the idea that people who read erotic VN's only do so to get to the sex scenes. Aoi shows what happens when a girl is literally reduced to being a sex object, and her plotline is appropriately disturbing since she begins turning to methods like cuckoldry in order to farm more scenes despite the fact that she doesn't want to cheat on Shinichi. And of course, the infamous third and final route attacks people who play visual novels by bringing forth a very ugly truth- that the reader's "love" for the characters is a one-sided and shallow one based on appearance and surface-level characteristics rather than anything deeper. Miyuki shows what real love is like by falling in love not with Shinichi, but with the player, and then becoming a Yandere for them in revenge for them "cheating" on her with Aoi.
    • At several points in the game, you're given the option to input a cheat code that unlocks every CG in the game. However, doing so renders the story permanently unplayable, a jab at players who only care about CGs in Visual Novels. To make matters worse, if you input it near the end of the game, both heroines treat it as the ultimate betrayal, since doing so essentially erases them from existence.
  • Developer's Foresight: There are hidden scenes that will only play if you launched the game after not playing for extended period of time. Up to 10 years. Considering that the game was made in 2013, Miyuki appropriately comments on on how different personal computers are compared to ten years ago
  • Emotionless Girl: Aoi, who sports a constant blank-eyed stare and mostly speaks in a monotone, comes off like this.
  • Entitled Bitch: Zig-zagged with Miyuki. On the one hand, anyone would probably be pissed off if the person who swore them eternal love suddenly went after someone else as if nothing happened. On the other hand, Shinichi is a completely separate entity from the player. To him, the Miyuki-route never happened and he never made any promises of this sort. Miyuki admits that she knows this, but still opts to take her anger out on him and Aoi, who has done absolutely nothing wrong, because she knows she can't actually hurt the player who is the real target of her ire.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Of the rumored dozen or so love confessions that Miyuki received since school started, apparently two of them were from girls.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: Miyuki acts like your stereotypical cute Unlucky Childhood Friend in Aoi's route - until the ending in which she reveals she's been hiding under the bed while Shinichi and Aoi had sex and proceeds to kill them and the cat with a baseball bat.
  • Fan Disservice: Many of the sex scenes after the Wham Episode.
    • Shinichi watching Aoi having sex with Ryuujirou, considering the desperate circumstances and how obviously miserable Aoi is about doing it. Subverted somewhat once Shinichi joins in and they have an odd but somewhat decent threesome...until it turns out Miyuki was under the bed the whole time.
    • There are not one but two scenes after the reboot where Miyuki makes the player go through a H-scene with Aoi that are intensely uncomfortable, both due to the context and how extremely strange Aoi's behaviour is in them. Not helped is that one of them is a full scene with Ryuujirou that is the exact opposite of how Aoi actually acts concerning him.
    • Continue rejecting Miyuki in the rebooted world and she'll eventually essentially rape Shinichi while making herself appear as Aoi. Her increasingly unhinged dialogue doesn't help matters.
    • Most infamously, after declaring she wants you to make love to her, Miyuki simulates having sex by the player by viciously masturbating in front of them. Cue an unskippable ten minute scene of her doing this to Liebestraum No. 3, all while her dialogue gets progressively more insane and unhinged.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Haru is only shown in uniform in the auditorium, and is mentioned to work at Yuutarou's family shop. Because he's actually Yuutarou's brother Ryuujirou.
    • Miyuki has a softball bat with her during her first appearance, and is rumored to have fought off a jilted suitor with that same bat when he turned violent. During Aoi's route, she uses that bat to murder Aoi and Shinichi in a jealous fit of rage.
    Shinichi: Alright, well, try not to kill anyone with that thing.
    • In Miyuki Route's Bad End, she becomes a successful actress and plays a yandere student in a TV drama, foreshadowing her transformation in the Aoi route.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: The ending of Aoiís route reveals that Miyuki has fallen in love with the player and is upset that they have chosen another route to play. Once she reveals her sentience, itís quite clear that she is looking right at the player as sheís talking to them. She also chooses to punish them by reprogramming the game.
  • Genre Shift: This is a romance visual novel. However, should you choose to play Aoiís route, it turns into a horror novel.
  • Golden Ending: Played with in a very interesting way. While it is Averted in the main game, considering you can only choose between the Aoi or Miyuki endings and can't go back, inputing a special "cheat code"note  as the phone number at various points in the game will trigger the "100% ending", giving you full CG completion... at the cost of Miyuki and Aoi being erased from existence.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The reader is thankfully spared the images of Miyuki beating Aoi to death with a baseball bat, breaking all of Shinichi's limbs, and then killing him by Groin Attack. Though you end up hearing almost all of it.
  • Guide Dang It!: After Miyuki has the world rebooted, progressing can be quite difficult without a guide. The player is required to specifically say things to Miyuki repeatedly which are meant to butter her up so to give them an out, which is quite easy to mess up given that the player has very little reason to be nice to her, and the threshold to getting such scenes is quite high, making it easy to spend ages repeatedly picking options and getting no result. Continuing after Aoi's erasure is likewise somewhat obscure, requiring you to make a specific choice in one of the many randomly selected scenes the game cycles through, with zero hint there's even anything there.
  • I Hate Past Me: Miyuki hates her pre-Queen Bee days in middle school and how lonely and isolated she was, which is why she initially refused to befriend Aoi.
  • Indirect Kiss: Shinichi gives Aoi a can of tomato juice that he already took a few sips from, and she proceeds to chug the whole thing. After a few seconds of delay, she wonders if that would count as an indirect kiss and asks Shinichi if he's "trying to get on her route."
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Miyuki is obsessed with cats despite her allergies and can't resist their cuteness. Aoi ends up adopting a small kitten she names Eru later on, much to Miyuki's initial chagrin.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Aoi is basically the personification of Leaning on the Fourth Wall. Besides the fact that she's a dead ringer for a character Shinichi sees in an In-Universe game, Aoi literally believes that the world around her is a Visual Novel. She constantly refers to herself and Miyuki as "heroines" and asks Shinichi about whose "route" he wants to get on. At one point Shinichi worries about her standing in the rain only for her to reassure him that there's no CGs that depict her as sick, so she'll be fine.
  • Love Confession: The game starts because of a love confession gone wrong: due to the rumor that two people will share eternal love if they kiss on the school roof, Yuutarou asks Shinichi to unlock the door so he can ask Miyuki there to confess to her. Upon arriving first, Miyuki finds Shinichi there in a compromising position with Aoi and assumes he was the one who asked her to the roof.
  • Love Triangle: The main story focuses on the blossoming romance between Shinichi, Aoi, and Miyuki.
  • Meta Guy: Aoi is an unusually serious take on this trope, bordering on Deconstruction: she spouts terms like "event flag" when important events happen and describes herself and Miyuki in terms of popular visual novel tropes because she can't interact with the world around her in any other way, because she truly believes the entire world to be a game. As such, she essentially has no social skills or friends, and as such, she is completely isolated from other people at the start of the game. This is because Aoi's an agent from the God she messages and thus aware of the world being fictional.
  • Minimalist Cast: There's only five characters total, Shinichi, Miyuki, Aoi, Yuutarou and Haru. Six, if you count yourself the player.
  • School Idol: This is basically how Shinchi describes Miyuki. Beautiful, smart, athletic, and with a talent for acting, Miyuki is extraordinarily popular and is rumored to have received over a dozen love confessions since the school year started. Shinichi thinks of himself as a nobody next to her, which is why he's so stunned when she declares to Aoi that he's her boyfriend.
  • Shout-Out: In her Golden Ending, Aoi references some of the Nitroplus games she'll be reincarnated to, namely Phantom of Inferno ("A soft-spoken assassin"), Demonbane ("A grimoire in human form"), Tenshi no Nichou Kenjuu ("An angel with a gun"), Gekkōu no Carnevale ("A doll with amnesia"), Sumaga ("A witch who protects the world"), and Super Sonico ("A bassist in an all-girls band").
  • Shrinking Violet: Haru, Miyuki's kouhai, is super shy in contrast to her great acting skills.
  • Sitting on the Roof: The roof of the school is a major setting where several scenes take place.
  • Story Branch Favoritism: Downplayed, as the ending is technically the same no matter the final decision, but the game leans on Aoi's ending considerably more. Not only is the player picking her given more leadup considering their actions till then, but it provides far more of a thematic resolution to the story and even acts as a Stealth Prequal of sorts to other Nitro+ games, as well as having its own unique CG.
  • Tears of Blood: Yuutarou has a sprite like this but it's more of a comedic Manly Tears gag turned up to eleven rather than actual tears of blood.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Aoi takes a liking to Yabaley's tomato juice after Shinichi offers her a can.
  • Trickster Game: Despite some strange metafiction sprinkled throughout involving Aoi, the Miyuki's route, the first route of the game is a fairly normal romance story. After the player decides to do Aoi's, however, a series of strange questions begin popping up that, if chosen incorrectly, suddenly lock the player into replaying Miyuki's ending. Because Miyuki's actually fully aware of the events of her route, and intentionally trying to sabotage you. Once she reveals herself, she hijacks the game and intentionally removes the save feature, just to ensure you can't fight her.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Much of the plot results from Aoi updating the universe so Miyuki and Shinichi can be together, since this is "Miyuki's route." The problem is, this means Miyuki can't be happy unless she's dating the player and she knows it.
  • Wham Episode: The "Happy Birthday" segment at the end of Aoi's route has a series of revelations which utterly shatter how one perceives the story.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Miyuki and later Aoi and Shinichi call you out for the choices you make and the effect they had on the cast. Borders on a "The Reason You Suck" Speech by the time you gather all three on the rooftop to reset the universe one last time, as Shinichi asks you to actually stick to one route and stop hurting the two girls but assumes you're going to use backup saves and the like to cheat out of your promise.
    • If you enter the number to revive Aoi early in the game, before you're supposed to know it, Aoi tearfully calls you out for cheating and breaking your promise before inputting the cheat code and erasing the story from the game.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Yuutarou's brother, much to Yuutarou's dismay.
  • Yandere: A rare example. Miyuki spend the entire game as a sweet girl longing for love. However, playing Aoiís route reveals something else about her. Miyuki is in love with you, the player. She believes that you actually love her and is quite upset when you chose to play Aoiís route. As punishment for your betrayal, she kills Eru the cat and Aoi and attacks Shinichi. She gives you one chance to declare your love for her, but both choices are in vain as she will not believe you if you do say you love her. To further punish you, she reprograms your game so you canít save or load another file or restart the game.

Alternative Title(s): Kimi To Kanojo To Kanojo No Koi