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Memories Off (メモリーズオフ Memoriizu Ofu) is a popular and long-running Visual Novel series by KID, with its first game released in 1999 on Play Station. Trying to follow both fashions of non-hentai visual novel and Utsuge genres started by Tokimeki Memorial and Kanon respectively, the game became the model for the following direct to console visual novels.
Even if the game has never been released out of Asia, it is a cult title for most Japanese visual novel gamers, and has led to many spiritual sequels set in the same universe. All of them follow a similar formule: an Ordinary High School Student has started dating the girl of his dreams... but something happens, and their relationship breaks. The player can try to start over with his ex-girlfriend, or pursue another girl, all of these in a nostalgic and romantic atmosphere with some comedic elements. On the fandiscs, the setting is much more funny and with fanservice elements.
KID started developing a large series based on the first game, with seven games released at the moment and all of them ported to at least three platforms. It also inspired an otome game spin-off, Your Memories Off: Girl's Style. The first five games have also been adapted into anime OVAs.
If you have time, start a character sheet.
Tropes featured include:
- Black Sheep: Omoide ni Kawaru kimi: Probably because it changes its school atmosphere to a cafe one.
- Bishounen: Surprisingly for a galge, Isshu, the protagonist of Sorekara is this.
- But Not Too Foreign: Chloe Kagamigawa from the sixth game, half Japanese and half French
- Cash Cow Franchise: KID, the original company that published the games, entered in bankrupt in 2006, but even now the series games are still publishing under 5pb.
- Compressed Adaptation: The anime adaptations.
- Hair Decorations: Where should we start...? Akaya and Yue have hairbands and Minamo has ribbons (MO 1), Hotaru has two ribbons and Takano has one (MO 2), Mifu has ribbons (MO 3), Haya and Karin have ribbons and Inori has... some kind of clips (MO 4), Akina and Mahiro have ribbons and Asuka has two hairclips in #5 encore, Ririsu has a hairband, Chloe has ribbons and Yuuno has a flower hairclip (MO 6) and Lisa has two hairclips in Yubikiri ni Kioku.
- Expanded Universe: All the games are set in the same universe and are linked to each other. Yue (MO 1) and Hotaru (MO 2) appear in Omoide ni and Sorekara and Kanata (MO 3) appears in Sorekara and T-Wave. There's even a character (Shin Inaho) that makes a secondary role in all the titles of the series.
- Hot for Student: Koyomi from the first game and Tsubame from the second.
- Joshikousei: The uniforms in the first three games.
- Meganekko: Haya from Sorekara and Kazuki in #5 encore.
- Names to Know In Anime: Nana Mizuki's first big dub role was as Hotaru in Memories Off 2nd. She also sung the openings for Omoide ni and Sorekara.
- Portmanteau Series Nickname: Memoff, normally only used in Japan.
- Shout-Out: Karin and Kanata from Memories Off Sorekara are models for a cosmetic line called "LeMU".
- Sleeper Hit: KID was a company that only ported H visual novels to consoles until they released this series. Its success encouraged them to start the Infinity series (Never 7, Ever 17, Remember 11, 12Riven..)