Shuffle!: How It Managed To Stay On The Map After 13 Years (Part 1: Characters)

So hi again.

Well, I just finished rewatching this one, which didn’t take long for me to finish due to it’s story managing to keep me on my seat.

I have been craving for a lot of old school VN-adapted anime as of late so this one is also another good one back in the 2000s.

The anime lasted 24 episodes, for at least the main season. Memories is just a recap season except the last ep which is a new one.

I will be reviewing the animes AND the VN, but I will get to the real review later. And also THERE WILL BE SPOILERS HERE AND THERE.

Huh? You thought this is a review. It is still going to be a review, but this is going a long one. I will splitting this review into multiple parts. I will be doing one of the most comprehensive analysis I have ever written so far.

Just for the sake of context, I will tell you a synopsis of the show.

The story works in a fictional world, where humans, demons and gods live in harmony. Tsuchimi Rin, the luckiest human alive, got mixed into one of the most perfect harem he will ever get to live. His harem consists of 2 humans (Asa is human, according to her mom), a god, a demon and an artificial lifeform. (But he will probably get arrested by the FBI for dating that artificial life form) So basically, the 5 of them will fight for that utter disgrace of a guy, when apparently there are probably better men our there. (Totally not jelly whatsoever.)

So, let’s get the ball rolling with some character analysis.

Tsuchimi Rin – How Not To Be A Casanova

I would say, one of the most indecisive and spineless harem character of all time. I have never been so angry looking at this man since Infinite Stratos.

I really have to call him out bad because most of the time he’s either not in the situation, or just waiting around for things to happen and then start working at the last min. It’s not procrastinating, its just his slow character.

He’s face is such a punching bag. I wish the other groupies could just kill him.

When Lisianthus (God) and Nerine (Demon) moved in to his neighbourhood and eventually transferred to his school, I really find it surprising that he has not realize the gravity of the situation. I don’t think he realized that he is in a harem. It’s not that he’s dense or what, but he’s just ignorant.

“Say Ahh~”

The first half he looked like he was going to be Sia for sure, due to how they managed to click with one another, actually looking like a great couple. But things change eventually after Rin kind of chickened out last minute and “want to explore other options”. With Sia dominating Rin with such a significant amount of episodes, the sudden change of tone from him is really just… distasteful. But I guess this move is to queue the entrance of Kikyou, which I will talk about her during Sia’s section of the analysis.

He nearly gave Nerine zero room to perform, but luckily she managed to fight back to gain a bit of the spotlight.

But the most illogical decision he made is eventually went to pick Asa in the end, after Sia and Kaede were pretty much the contenders for the crown. Even though he and Asa interacted quite a bit, but she never dominated or even TRIED to get Rin as much as the other girls. I am absolutely disappointed.

The thing about him dating Asa is that at first it was after everyone had TOLD him that he likes her and should date her. I am really turned off from this behaviour of his. He couldn’t even make up his mind about who he wants to date. And Asa was right: “Come and try again after you are dating me because of me, not because of them telling you.” That line probably was the reason why he manned up and became serious about dating Asa.

But this guy has his strong points. After Kaede mistreating him for so many years, he still didn’t hold a single grudge on her. He is exceptionally kind for some reason too.

One of the biggest decision he made that made me kind of respect him is that, he chose to leave the Fuyou household. I don’t really know why, but I think he finally realized that he was being sheltered in that household for too long, leading him to be overly dependent on Kaede over nearly everything. I would say it is a wise decision, despite being kind of heartless towards the one who took care of him for nearly half a decade.

Eventually he manned up at the critical last few eps, and at least he saved his girlfriend. But I would say in the VN, his character is kind of different.

He’s isn’t as indecisive because technically the player is in control, but his lines made him sound a little more serious about the harem. Which is great, this will not bog down the pacing of the already pretty slow story of the VN.

I would say overall, one of the more shitty male protagonist in the anime harem spectrum. Even the 2nd half didn’t really redeem himself.

Fuyou Kaede – How Your Ultimate Housekeeper Can Be Your Worst Nightmare

This girl is 2nd best in my list. She’s nearly perfect in every way. Great at cooking, chores and studies. She is probably the only girl I know that is able to multitask everything at once. But her flaws, is she is overly possessive and overly obsessive. She will do anything, and I mean anything, I mean yandere-style ANYTHING to get her man, Tsuchimi Rin.

She’s a great girl, but after her mom’s death, I guess she developed some form of mental health issue that made her a psycho.

She dominates Rin for pretty much the first few eps, and after the arrival of Sia and Nerine, her market share domination is like Nokia after Samsung and Apple came into the picture back in the 2000s.

I liked her for how pure she is at first, but slowly after Rin starts hanging out with Sia more and then Asa in the later half, I pulled back.

The thing is that because she mistreated Rin after her mother’s death was so unforgivable and irredeemable for her that she is willing to dedicate her life for Rin. I guess she’s not just trying to redeem herself, but also a form of apology to Rin’s parents (who died with Kaede’s mom) because of how bad she treated him for nearly a decade.

After Asa and Rin were starting to get pretty chummy, she finally snapped. I think Rin is kind of responsible for Kaede snapping. He had always been very indecisive and he had no intention of telling the other girls that he’s going to pick Asa, and leave the rest of the girls hanging. This lead incredible amount of insecurities in Kaede’s heart, which she tried to bottle down to herself. Everyone has limits and Kaede’s dark side is something you don’t want to be involved in.

“Rin… Where have you been?”

I really disappointed on how they sidelined Kaede so much after Sia and Nerine came in the anime. She only spotlight is only the later half after Rin and Asa is starting to develop sparks, and also she’s in spotlight for the worst possible reason.

In the VN, her psychotic side didn’t really show if you got into her route, and her route is great, but the ending is just shallow. Really lacks an actual conclusion compared to the other girls. She’s the most sidelined main heroine I have seen so far.

This girl had the potential to have one of the best storyline but the writers did not give her a chance to perform.

Lisianthus – A Girl Who Is Willing To Share

This girl is my pick for the entire show and visual novel. She’s probably the most open girl I have seen. She’s fine with polygamy, so let’s say if she was picked, she’s fine with Rin loving other girls too. Sharing is caring? I don’t know, that’s how the gods work.

She can do housework too by the way, but she only is bad at studies, that can be fixed still.

She came in first, meeting Rin at the supermarket, asking some opinions about meat. Rin, who is a pretty massive airhead, did not remember her.

This girl has one of the finest character development in a harem. Dominating literally nearly the entire first half. Their chemistry and interactions were actually great. New watchers will probably incline that: “Yeah, Sia is gonna win this.”

But things will change due to Rin’s indecisive nature and he slowly moved on to Nerine for a brief few episode and then finally settling down with Asa.

But everyone has a dark side. Her dark side is actually her twin sister’s soul living in her body, Kikyou.

The difference between the sisters is the pretty much only the eyes. Kikyou looked slightly more sinister-ish.

Kikyou, who is pretty much frustrated at Sia’s lack of a backbone to find a way to fight her way back into the rankings, decided to join the battle. Which sort of backfired and Rin is starting to distance himself more from Sia as a result.

Sia could have gotten Rin way earlier, but her decision to back off is due to her insecurities. She’s unsure if Rin is willing to live with her for the rest of their lives. Which also why Kikyou decided to emerge.

But I guess she backing off is actually an okay thing, at least she’s isn’t as crazy as Kaede after all. But her backing off is showing a certain aspect of inferiority complex. I can kind of understand how she felt, she probably lost faith in herself, being the perfect bride for Rin.

She also had the potential to have a great story, and the anime pretty much did serve its purpose until she suddenly back off.

In the VN, her route has a proper set up, proper story and background and also a great ending. One of my favourite routes. What I wish is that she could have probably went even more aggressive with her approaches, maybe Rin could have been hers in no time.

Nerine – Another Sideline Character, But She’s Rather Insignificant

Not really a fan of her. Too conservative, too shy and probably talk too less. She’s great at studies, but bad at housework.

She was also a victim of getting sidelined hard in the anime. Which lead me to have close to nothing to write about her. Another reason why is that she’s not really open about herself at all. This creates an invisible wall which is why Rin didn’t spend much time with her.

In the VN, she had one of the more emotional stories and endings. But that doesn’t really warrant her high in my list.

Shigure Asa – How To Be A “Doroboneko” (Homewrecker)

She’s not really high in the list for me too, but she’s the ultimate transformer, from a side character to a full blown lottery winner.

The beginning of the anime, she’s pretty much a senpai character, with zero hints of her intention of joining this Smash Bros game.

But somehow at the 2nd half, she upped her game so much she eventually gotten the 1st prize.

Her personality is overly active, overly optimistic. Quite an opposite to Rin’s. But I guess opposites attract.

She literally had close to zero spotlight during the first half, then suddenly at the 2nd half, she slowly gets more and more airtime. She may be kind of childish on the outside, she’s actually pretty damn mature when she needs to be. Telling Rin to man up towards his feelings.

This is after she released her magical energy, she grew her hair after releasing.

She’s technically a half-demon but her mother claimed that she’s just a human with magical abilities. Her magical energy is too strong for her “human” body to control which is why she has a weak body. Getting sick every now and then. She finally released her energy to heal Rin after Rin chose to cut himself as she is very reluctant to use her powers to save herself.

She’s pretty admirable to a certain extent if we look back at how many times she saved Rin when he was in the slumps. I guess that’s what made Rin eventually fell in love with her.

In the VN, her entrance and approaches are way earlier and way more obvious. Ending wise is also on the more emotional spectrum.

Thyme Mayumi, Kareha, Primula – More Sidelined Characters In The Anime, But Got Proper Routes In The VNs

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Let’s start things off with Kareha.

A god, or should I say a literal angel. She is sidelined as a side character in the anime. The VN had her route nicely planned out and probably one of the sweetest one out there. This girl is absolutely underrated. For those who are new to Shuffle, really need to try her route out.

She is surprisingly decent for a tomboy. She became sidelined as a normal tomboy in the anime, with pretty much the “good friend” of everyone in the group. Her interactions with Rin may be a lot more, but the intentions were pretty much “as friends.”

Her heterochromia is also great. Her route is okay for me, nothing too exciting for me.

She also got sidelined, but probably for the right reasons. Her interactions with Rin may be a lot, since they lived the same house, but it’s pretty much like a sibling relationship. Her past in the anime was shown as an articial lifeform as a form of research by the gods and demons about life itself, and she’s the only perfect specimen from the entire research.

Her emotions were pretty tamed in the beginning, but after she returned to the demon world to recover, she got her emotions and is willing to express herself more freely. By then she became more and more lovable.

I should say it’s a wise decision from Rin for not going to pursue her.

The VN route for her is way deeper, way more developments. Not really my favourite route, but she has a pretty dark flashback.

I think that is it for this part. I am not sure when the next part will appear, because this post already took me nearly an entire day to write, and the next few weeks are getting more and more hectic. The next part I will get into the story review for the anime. The VN will come later but I doubt I will be covering route by route, as it will get too over lengthy and overly spoilt.

So yeah, see you guys in when I feel free to write.

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3 responses to “Shuffle!: How It Managed To Stay On The Map After 13 Years (Part 1: Characters)

  1. Pingback: Shuffle!: How It Managed To Stay On The Map After 13 Years (Part 2: Story) | 紫鏡·

  2. I know what you mean that Fuyou Kaede that at the start while he was living with she tried to like kill him every time he turned around from the day he started living with them as a child. (I would have gotten out of that house as fast as I could), at least at the end he did make his choice. I not even going to go into those groups of people that was fans of each of the girls he was hanging with. It could have been better.
    Also my idea of a harem is not what theirs are. MY idea is harem you end up with more than one person. Theirs Harem is you are hanging out with more than one person that likes you and you have to choice just one.

    Liked by 1 person

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