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Hayama Masayuki is a strange student. Every day, he studies. While those around him goof off or turn to petty crime, he remains an honest and forward looking young male. So, how is he particularly strange? Because he lives in a horrible town, goes to a horrible school and is one of less than half a dozen students in his school who entertain any notion at all of making something more of themselves by going to college. However, you wouldn't know it to look at him because Masayuki pointedly ignores the failings of his hometown and the flaws in his classmates and friends. As the lone nice guy, all his friends eventually left until he had only two companions left.
But it isn't all bad. In a way, the school body admires him even as they fear his new perspective of focusing on the good things in life. Well, they bullied him a little, but since he simply didn't care they eventually stopped. But lately things are getting a little more difficult. After turning his former delinquent lifestyle around, all his relationships changed, for better or worse. As did all his interests. From here on out, how will he put his life back together?
A Profile is a visual novel released by Akabei Soft (now known as Akabei Soft2) in 2005 and the third to be translated into English, following Sharin no Kuni and later G Senjou no Maou. Unlike those two, which were released at a later date, A Profile has a more standard route progression system as it appears the writers had not yet picked up the style of a linear storyline that splits only later in the story.
A fan translation was released by Amaterasu translations on October 4th, 2011.
- An Aesop: Your friends may lie to you no matter how much trust you have in them but you should believe in them all the same.
- Armor-Piercing Question: The speech from Miku starting with “Why did you decide never to run again?”
- Berserk Button: Everyone carefully avoids mentioning Kaine’s sex because they know he won’t react well, giving some overlap with Elephant in the Living Room. There are points where he overreacts to minor things that only have a tangential relation, though.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Attempting to hold a conversation with Riko tends to end up with these sorts of derails.
- Bromantic Foil: Kaine. However, he’s actually more popular than Masayuki despite being a blatant otaku.
- Butt Monkey: Miou
- Catch Phrase: Dunno!
- Cerebus Retcon: Masayuki is so unathletic due to illness.
- Chick Magnet: Kaine is apparently quite popular. And Masayuki would be even more popular if he didn’t always stay with Miou, who is rumored to be a prostitute.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Miou and Masayuki. Lampshaded heavily in her introduction scene where he accuses her of pretending to be a Patient Childhood Love Interest. They did in fact date in the past, but broke up.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Rizu really used to be one during an unstable period during her life.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Riko
- Comically Missing the Point: “Miku has a split personality? Awesome, that means I can have a threesome this summer!”
- The Comically Serious: Miku.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: Kaine appears to have made Rizu memorize the names of every single character that appears in Legend of Galactic Heroes. For those unaware of the series, that's hundreds of characters over about a hundred episodes.
- Cute and Psycho: Riko, played for laughs. She hates making sense and has a tendency to brainwash her children.
- Dysfunction Junction: A norm for Akabei Soft2's works.
- Elephant in the Living Room: People tend to skate around how Masayuki has changed because they know he does not want to talk about his old life. This applies to various things that are obvious to everyone around him, such as his relationship with track.
- Everyone goes out of their way to avoid discussing Kaine being transgender as well.
- Fantastically Indifferent: ”Ah, so you have a split personality that’s in love with me Miku? How interesting. Can I meet her?” Completely serious.
- Fridge Logic: In-Universe, it suddenly occurs to Masayuki that there’s no reason he couldn’t have started dating Miou again after Rizu made them break up.
- The Ghost: Kako, Miku’s younger twin sister.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Miou is extremely jealous of Rizu in Rizu’s route.
- Hooked Up Afterwards: Kaine and Miou. This is implied in one of Rizu's endings, and actually confirmed to Masayuki by Rizu in her other ending.
- Hot Mom: Riko and Michiko.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Miou
- Ill Girl: Miku isn’t supposed to run anymore due to illness. She’s gradually getting weaker and is due to be hospitalized soon. The reason for her illness is that she donated a part of her liver to her little sister, but due to a botched surgery she started to get sick.
- I Never Said It Was Poison: Kaine fails to cover up for Miou because Miou left a hair pin on the roof and Miou says she wasn’t on the roof when Masayuki finds it.
- Lethal Chef: Riko
- Little Sister Heroine: Lampshaded.
Hayama: I’m not marrying you. Want to make sure you don’t fall for me or anything. We’re only stepsiblings, so I thought I should make that clear.
- Love Letter Lunacy: In Miku’s route, Masayuki converses for a while with a girl called Karen through letters left in his shoe locker. The setup is so cliché that Kaine and Miou don’t take it seriously, especially since Karen forgot to add her name to the first letter.
- Love Triangle: Miou and Rizu both love Masayuki. Masayuki used to date Miou. Things… didn’t work out. Miou is involved in another triangle where she’s obviously still in love with Masayuki and Kaine loves her as well.
- Maybe Ever After: If you don’t choose to sleep with Rizu, there is an ending that confirms they she and Masayuki do love each other, but Rizu is moving out to grow up a little and stop just being his little sister. A similar hint is given for Kaine/Miou.
- The Messiah: Masayuki.
- Mood Whiplash: On occasion. An early example is a cheerful ‘going home together scene’ with Rizu, Miou and Masayuki that is interrupted by Rizu asking Miou if she loves Masayuki. Everyone there knows the answer is ‘yes’ because they were dating at one point.
- Multiple Endings
- Nice Guy: Masayuki is an unnervingly nice guy.
- Not Quite the Right Thing: Two of the routes deal with an example before the story. After Rizu stabs him, Masayuki devotes his time and effort to making her smile again, neglecting Miou in the process. This leads to their break-up, Miou's hatred of Rizu, and her self-destructive behavior.
- Not So Weak: Do not make the mistake of thinking Masayuki is a coward. Just because he’s not making a big deal of you harassing him doesn’t mean he’s a pushover.
- Oblivious to Love: Masayuki looks this way during early parts of Miku’s route, though to be fair she gives out some pretty strange signals.
- The Ojou: Miku. She denies being rich but eventually gives up her protests.
- Otaku: Kaine
- Painting the Medium: “Why the tilde?”
- Pair the Spares: Kaine and Miou, as Rizu informs Masayuki of in one her endings. It's also implied in Rizu's other ending.
- Purple Is the New Black: Miku’s hair is called black, but it’s clearly purple.
- Reality Ensues: Despite Masayuki’s passionate pleas to Miou’s father, Miou’s parents still split up.
- Selective Obliviousness: Masayuki refuses to suspect his friends or see the bad in people.
- Shipper on Deck: Riko is not exactly subtle.
- Shout-Out: To Legend of Galactic Heroes and Star Wars.
- Shrinking Violet: Karen. Which is Miku’s real personality… Mostly.
- Split Personality: Miku. Or does she?
- Stepford Smiler: Subverted: At first it is implied that Masayuki is faking a ‘nice big brother’ personality to make Rizu happy, but in truth it’s just that he became sick of his father and then had a long time in the hospital to sit and reevaluate his life and his relationships. He simply decided he didn’t want to be that way anymore.
- Strange Girl: Miku
- Strange Minds Think Alike: Both Rizu and Riko respond to Masayuki’s declaration that he won’t marry Rizu with the same nonsense words.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: Miku. A complicated case.
- Tall, Dark and Bishoujo: Miku
- Third Person Person: Rizu
- Transsexual: Kaine is biologically female, but never felt like one. Eventually, she started going to school in male clothing and taking male hormones. Contrary to similar plotlines in other stories, however, Kaine continues to be treated as male after this. He gets more female attention than Masayuki despite being pretty open about it.
- Unreliable Narrator: Masayuki insists on seeing the best in people and situations, and this filters into what he tells us.
- The Un-Reveal: The underwear that Rizu accidentally put on when running late for school. We know it wasn’t a thong, but it’s implied to be pretty racy stuff.
- Would Hit a Girl: Kaine thinks Masayuki never fought him because biologically he’s female. But it turns out Masayuki is fine with hitting girls, proved roughly five seconds later.
- Yandere: Miou, though much more on the pitiful side of the spectrum than the crazy side. See also Zero-Approval Gambit.
- Rizu when she was younger. Like Miou, she was also on the pitiful side on the spectrum, but acted very drastically. By the time the game starts, she grows out of it.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Miou and Miku have blue and purple hair respectively, though it’s implied to actually be black early on.
- Zero-Approval Gambit: Miou tries really hard to make Masayuki suspect and distrust her in both Rizu's route and her own.
- which does impress him, at least
- Her possessiveness of Masayuki forced Miou to break up with him.