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"Today, I saw the ocean. I'm not afraid anymore."
Kana: Little Sister (Kana ~Imouto~) is a Visual Novel depicting the story of 15-year-old Kana, a girl who suffers from a chronic life-threatening disease and her older brother, Takamichi (Taka), who supports her and cares for her. The game deals with the relationship between both siblings, which gets more and more intense as time progresses. There is a clear incestuous element later, but which goes far beyond mere physical attraction.
The game has a fairly long history, with its first release by D.O. in 1999. It caused quite a splash in the industry by combining a typical Dating Sim outline with very dramatic plot elements. This went so far that the actual sex scenes are few and far between, and are used more for narrative purposes than for titillation. This resulted in the trend of drama in dating sims becoming increasingly more important than the pornographic scenes, with often full-blown Tear Jerker content and Melodrama. Games of this type are often named "Utsu-ge" in Japanese, meaning "depressing game", which fits the contents nicely.
An English version of the game was released by G-Collections in 2002, with the erotic content uncensored.
Despite being filled to the brim with the cliches that make the genre infamous, the game still has a compelling plot, helped along by Taka's thoughtful narration. It is through his eyes that we see the story unfold, starting in the past, when he and his sister were children. The game covers a time period of about 10 years, in which the characters grow and have to make (sometimes tough) decisions.
- Adaptation Dye Job: Of a sort. Kana in the remade Kana: Okaeri! version has black hair, though she was a brunette in the original.
- Even more sort-of: The artwork from the original had her as a brunette, but this conflicts with the actual game text, which describes her hair as being black
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Yumi admits to it. Taka watches Kana do it, on some paths.
- Big Brother Attraction
- Big Brother Instinct
- Bittersweet Ending: When it's not a downright Downer Ending.
- Particularly the only ending where Kana survives, since her moving out is not necessarily a bad thing. She might had moved out because she doesn't want to be just his sister.
- Bland-Name Product: During the hike up the mountain, Taka states that he was playing "Pork-mon".
- He later shows Kana how to play "Buyo Buyo", the popular puzzle game, at an arcade.
- Broken Bird: Taka, in the Yumi ending.
- Brother-Sister Incest
- Chekhov's Gift: The recording pendant that Taka gives Kana in the very first scene of the game plays a big role in the first ending.
- Dating Sim
- Dead Little Sister: depends on the ending, while she dies in five of the six endings, this trope applies to the Yumi ending.
- Downer Ending: Most of the game's endings.
- Seeing as how Cana's survival hinges upon getting an organ from Kana, all of them are downer endings.
- Five-Man Band: Taka, his three best friends the Big Four/Shitennou, and Kana guesting as The Chick make up one for a brief but memorable rescue scene.
- Golden Ending: Ending 1, where Kana lives.
- Goldfish Scooping Game
- Guide Dang It: Most H-Games feature roughly one path for each character. This game has six paths for two characters, making it much harder to tell which path you're on. One of the endings is also initially locked out, and the game makes more use of counter type variables than flags.
- Hello, Nurse!: No, you don't end up with Mikki in any of the endings.
- Ill Girl: Kana, Cana.
- I Should Write a Book About This
- Multiple Endings: There are six.
- Not Blood Siblings: Kana and the main character. Although they still acknowledge their relationship as incestuous.
- Porn with Plot: A classic example. Many players started playing it for the former, but wound up sticking with it for the latter.
- Primal Scene: Depending on path, either Kana catches Taka and Yumi, which is awkward, or Yumi catches Taka and Kana — awkward doesn't even begin to cover it.
- Seinen: This is still very much aimed at adolescent males, although the tissues will likely be used more for wiping tears.
- Snow Means Death. Kana even promises to make it happen.
- Spit Take: At one point, Yumi meets up with Taka and whispers in his ear, " I'm wet.", prompting a spit-take complete with sound effect. Also in the game, Taka visits Kana in the hospital, and sees a book on her shelf. He asks her what it's about.
Kana: It's about a forbidden love between a brother and his little sister.
- The Caretaker
- Through the Eyes of Madness: In the Yumi ending.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Deconstructed, as the main character knows very well that Kana is mostly so good because she hasn't seen much of the world.
- And this gets even more emphasis in the best ending, where Kana decides to leave her brother in order to experience the world for herself.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: Yumi, although she manages to turn the tide through sheer perseverance and a little alcohol.
- Visible Silence: The conversation gets very awkward if you give your sister an erotic lamp as a birthday gift.
- Visual Novel
- Would Hit a Girl: Taka comes extremely close to this with three girls pushing Kana around at school.
- And literally, to an extent, when Kana becomes hysterical upon learning about her true prognosis; there is an option to slap her back into sanity.