|YMMV • Radar • Quotes • (Funny • Heartwarming • Awesome) • Fridge • Characters • Fanfic Recs • Nightmare Fuel • Shout Out • Plot • Tear Jerker • Headscratchers • Trivia • WMG • Recap • Ho Yay • Image Links • Memes • Haiku • Laconic|
don't take it personally babe, it just ain't your story [sic] is a 2011 Visual Novel by Christine Love, creator of Digital: A Love Story.
Set in the year 2027, the protagonist is a middle-aged guy called John Rook who, in the midst of a nasty mid-life crisis, switches careers and becomes a high school English Literature teacher. His new school has a zero-tolerance policy on bullying, and to help facilitate this, Rook is (discreetly) given complete and total access to the school's social networking service, including all the private messages of his students.
Can Rook sort out his own personal problems, learn to be a good teacher to his students and keep the lid on his voyeurism?
don't take it personally babe it just ain't your story provides examples of:
- All Lowercase Letters: The title.
- Alpha Bitch: Taylor.
- Ambiguously Gay: Nolan. He says he's just dating Akira to make him happy and have a friend, but it's not clear how much he means it.
- Arc Words: "That's it for the day. Well... as far as classes go, anyway."
- Author Appeal: The reason for Cast Full of Gay
- The Rant: And be prepared to hear plenty of reasons why high school English is awful.
- Big Brother Is Watching: And his name is Mr. Rook. As it turns out, everyone figures but nobody really cares.
- Bilingual Bonus: Akira's mom posts on AmieConnect on the topic of his coming out in Japanese. It roughly translates to "It's about time you did lololol"
- Blue and Orange Morality: The bizarre concept about privacy. Not to mention their sense of humor...
- Book Dumb: Most of the class is doing pretty badly in John's class, and it's probably not all due to his inexperience and the frequent distractions from his actual job. It doesn't matter anyway, because in the end the school imposes a ridiculously generous grading curve to maintain their reputation.
- Brain Bleach: John's normal reaction to thinking about his students having sex.
- Brand X: AmieConnect is totally not Facebook, and 12channel is totally not 4chan (and not 12chan either, you perv)! Amusingly, the former "real thing" is referred to by name towards the end, and the Internet equivalent of a Collective Groan occurs when an (old at the time of the game's publication, much more so by 2027) Interrupting Meme from the latter appears in its equivalent.
- Almost averted by virtue of Did Not Do the Research in some cases.
- Brilliant but Lazy: Implied with Kendall. Then again, it was on the topic of Battle Royale...
- But Thou Must!: The VN stops you at several points and forces you to lurk on 12channel. It does the same thing if you don't read a plot-relevant status update or message soon enough.
- Camp Gay: Akira.
- Cast Full of Gay: Even lampshaded in a message by Taylor
- Chekhov's Gunman: Ichigo Yamazaki shows up as the only non-student on AmieConnect long before she actually has a significant role in the plot.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Taylor, who says some... not-terribly-nice things in pursuit of Nolan. You can chew her out for it.
- Cool Teacher: Rooks.
- Depraved Homosexual: Inverted. The gays in the class are, for the most part, quite sane and well-adjusted, while the heteros have all sorts of emotional issues.
- Driven to Suicide: Isabella... But not really.
- Establishing Series Moment: The moment John Rook comes into class and introduces himself, the students begin discussing him online.
- Expy: Berserker from Fate/Zero revived as a man who avoided people until teaching english literature, just look at John Rook, seems berserker still has his regrets.
- Four Point Scale: The student grades get pushed into this after they're off your desk, so the school will not lose funding.
- Foreshadowing: The 12channel posts and the books Rooks teaches always reflect what's going on with the students.
- Genki Boy: Akira
- Genki Girl: Kendall, who also brings this out in Charlotte.
- Gratuitous Japanese: Akira calls one of his mothers “Mom” and the other “Ka-san” (Japanese equivalent to “Mom”)
- Greek Chorus: AmieConnect. A rare example where all of the characters serve as the Greek Chorus for each other.
- 12channel. And while everyone's anonymous, it appears that some of the characters post on there as well.
- Has Two Mommies: Akira is stated to have a mother and another mother.
- High School Dance: The plot of chapter 6.
- Hot Teacher: John Rook is extremely well preserved for being nearly forty years old, a fact that does not go unnoticed by the students.
- If It's You It's Okay: Nolan finally settles on this when it comes to his relationship with Akira.
- Image Boards: Mr. Rook is a lurker on 12channel, and several cast members are heavily implied to be participating. Imageboard culture mostly hasn't changed over the course of 16 years. Also, Akira and Kendall act out a thread for their big project...
- It's All About Me: Taylor.
Nolan: She really is that retarded about other people's feelings.
- Lampshade Hanging: Rooks rants to Taylor about how much of a Cliche she's being.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The literature discussions and 12channel threads relate to the story. For bonus points, one of the first discussions is about the use of Show Within a Show in the Book Within A Show.
- Leet Lingo: Kendall converses primarily in chanspeak. This is heavily lampshaded in an AmieConnect conversation about how conversations between her and Akira turn out utterly incomprehensible.
- Long Title: It can't be displayed in full when you're installing the game.
- Limited Wardrobe: Akira wears the same shirt several days in a row.
- May-December Romance: A 16/17-year old with a 38-year old.
- Manipulative Bitch: Taylor convinces Akira that Nolan isn't attracted to him, and just hangs out with him because he needs a friend.
- Meta Fiction: Both the books on the curriculum and the anime 12channel foreshadow important events. And just to make things double-meta, Rooks even discusses metafiction in one of his classes.
- Moral Dissonance: It's wrong to be a homophobe and/or a bully but to trick your teacher into thinking that it's his fault that a person killed themselves, constantly send them creepy messages and pretend to be a shinigami is A-Ok! And reading everybody's private messages is okay as well.
- Multiple Reference Pun: "Foreshadowing!"
- Mythology Gag: "J. Rook" was the administrator of the Lake City Local BBS board in Digital: A Love Story. He even acknowledges that his last job was "with computers".
- Nonuniform Uniform: Appearantly, nobody cares about the dresscode.
- No Periods, Period: Averted in the ending with Kendall and Charlotte.
- The Not-Secret: Your complete access to AmieConnect.
- Obligatory Joke: On the forum, Christine Love said, "“All I ask is if you don't like it, come on, at least make the obvious joke ;)”. This paid off amusingly in this review, in which the reviewer observes the similarities between Rook's Backstory and his own.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Yes, you can give one to Taylor. No, you're not going to get one from Mrs. Yamazaki.
- Schoolgirl Lesbians: Kendall and Charlotte, though the latter seems to call herself pansexual.
- Secret Keeper: Taylor, for Arianna. If Rook cites school policy when chewing Taylor out, she'll fire back by threatening to expose his relationship with Arianna. He talks or bluffs his way out of it.
- Shared Universe: With Christine Love's other game, Digital: A Love Story, which is set in the Lake City of 1988. Turns out it Never Was This Universe. In this universe, the Internet evolved from an AI cloning itself, and A Is are a common sight. Digital even features a brief appearance by Eriko Yamazaki, Akira's grandmother and author of some of the books Mr. Rook assigns. (Confusingly, there's also a "J. Rook", despite how young that would make John; perhaps his father?)
- Shinigami: It starts stalking you after the supposed death of Isabella. Turns out to be a friend of Akira's mom, as part of an incredibly elaborate prank.
- Shipper on Deck: That could be you, depending on what advice you give to the various members of the resident Love Nonagon.
- Shout-Out: Rook: "Nothing's really changed at all since then? 'Things aren't different; things are things.' Is that it?"
- Snark Knight / Little Miss Snarker: Kendall, oh so much.
- Stalker with a Crush: Arianna. Ok, not dangerous, but pretty annoying.
- Stoic Spectacles: Rooks.
- Stylistic Suck: The students and 12channers do not necessarily type with perfect grammar.
- Teacher-Student Romance: You can have a fairly platonic one with Arianna or you can dive right into it and make out with her but never more in chapter one.
- Title Drop: During dialogue between Rook and Isabella in one of the endings.
- Played with a bit, in fact:
Isabella: Well, don't take it personally, babe, but...
Rook: I know what you're going to say: but it's not my story, right?
Isabella: No, that's stupid. Why would I say that?
- Too Soon: An In-Universe example. After one of the students commits suicide, Rooks decides that Romeo and Juliet would be rather inappropriate material, and switches to Twelfth Night at the last minute.
- Transparent Closet: One of the characters realizes he's gay end works up the courage to come out. When he does, everyone else is surprised it took him this long.
- Two-Teacher School: We get some evidence of there being other teachers and classes in the school, but Mr. Rook and his class are the only ones to have portraits or speaking lines.
- Umbrella of Togetherness: Arianna's first attempt to get with Rook.
- White-Haired Pretty Boy: Nolan.
- You Bastard: Subverted, or perhaps zig-zagged. You're set up to think you'll get chewed out for creeping on all of your students' private conversations, when in fact you get a far milder lecture on how the concept of privacy has changed.
- You Fail Linguistics Forever: Slang changes almost constantly, the way the students talk and the conversations on 12channel wouldn't look as they do. It would have evolved onto something else.
- Shocking to see this from a creator so obsessed with English as well.