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You secretly join an organization as a shadow of your brother. One of the senior ninjas become your instructor to support you. The feeling of trust eventually turns into something else that you start to see him more than just an instructor. Are you going to hide the secret or tell him the truth? The more you spend time with him, the more he grows on you... The new world of ninja awaits you!
——From the official site

Shall We Date?: Ninja Shadow is an installment of the Shall We Date? Otome dating sim series, developed by Solware. It's actually a Spin-Off of their game Shall We Date?: Ninja Assassin, and some characters from it also show up here. The game itself ran from 2016 to 2020.

The story begins in the Japan of the VERY late Isolationist Era , where the Nagasaki area was the only part of the country open to foreigners. The city flourishes but it's also filled to the brim with corruption , as the merchants take over its power and oppress the people, plus many criminals take advantage of this. As a result, a group of skilled male ninja have decided to take matters in their hands, using their leader's store as their headquarters to keep an eye on both abusive rich people and other delinquents, calling themselves the Nagasaki Vigilantes.

Kaname Shishido, a young ninja man from a very poor village in the mountains near Nagasaki, is a potential recruit for the Vigilantes in echange for monetary help for his beloved home. To seal this deal, he must go to the city itself to properly join them... but in his way there, he stops by to help another village being burned down, and is messily killed off for his trouble. His bodyguard, fighting partner and younger sister Saori survives the incident and swears revenge, but she cannot do it on her own. Fortunately, Saori was Kaname's twin sister and they look alike enough, so with a little work she can make herself pass as her dead big brother.

Unfortunately, while the vigilante group takes her in with open arms without knowing about her gender... they all turn out to be very handsome guys, and Saori will have to choose her ninja instructor among them: the redhead Badass Adorable Ukyo, the quiet Dark-Skinned Blond Eduard, the stand-offish Sexy Priest Asagi, The Leader Makoto, the eyepatch-wielding Kagura, etc. So not only she'll have to keep her female identity hidden, she'll have to sort her potential feelings towards one of her soon-to-be companions. Or maybe, just maybe, even find love outside the group... But at the same time, she must never forget her purposes: to make sure that the Vigilantes will help her village, and to kill the man behind Kaname's murder - the richest, most powerful and most corrupt merchant in Nagasaki, Saburo Suetsugu.

These are the tropes used in Shall We Date? Ninja Shadow:

  • Accidental Kiss: Happens almost at the beginning of Asagi's route. And it's quite the turning point in Haku's.
  • Action Survivor: Saori has just finished her ninja training so she's still not fully cut-out to be an Action Girl, but lives through quite lots of shit.
  • Adult Fear: A case at almost the end of Ritsu's path involves the kidnapping of young children. It's because the wife of a rich samurai went crazy after her son's death, so she had some local kiddos abducted to choose one of them to raise. Saori and Ritsu, who had just joined the Vigilantes, rescue them before the woman hurts any of them and return them to their families.
  • Amateur Sleuth: The Vigilantes often have to indulge in sleuth-like work to gather enough info about their targets.
  • Amazon Chaser: Saori/"Kaname" is a Bifauxnen Action Survivor who must go from a naïve newcomer to an Action Girl. Her potential boyfriends are all very skilled fighters and, in one way or another, will love to see the MC take levels in badass. The ones that fit the most here are Toru (who is actually an Anti-Villain and falls for Saori because he's impressed by her pluck) and Hijikata, who perfectly defines his type in the following words: "I like women who are bold!"
  • Amnesiac Lover: Eduard, if he's the chosen love interest.
  • Angsty Surviving Twin: Saori was quite marked by her brother's murder, but she cannot allow herself to let it show since she's impersonating him. Her levels of inner and outer angst change among routes, however.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: It's through this trope that Makoto unmasks Saori as a Sweet Polly Oliver at the start of his route. Replying to him truthfully is the correct option; the truth will be revealed anyway, but being sincere will earn Saori more points.
    • Saori dealing one of these to Kagura's Split Personality Homura is probably one of the most important turning points in his route, since she asks him if he has any life goals aside of protecting Kagura... and he's stunned into silence when he realizes that he doesn't.
  • Bait and Switch: It looks like Suetsugu will be jailed rather than killed at the end of Ritsu's route... and then he's mysteriously murdered while in custody. The Vigilantes know that it was Toru (save for Shintaro), but they say nothing.
  • Battle Couple: Saori and her chosen lover can become this at the end of the routes.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension:
    • Asagi is very rough around the edges, so his route begins as quite the example of this. Keyword being, "begins".
    • Played straighter by Makoto and the heroine, since he turns out to be surprisingly fond of snarking at her to get a rise out of her.
    • Yoshiyuki's route also plays around this, since Yoshiyuki is more of a very sweet but also quite clingy Self Proclaimed Love Interest and that makes Saori go Tsundere.
    • The biggest example, however, is Saori's relationship with Haku from the Shadow Vigilantes, which begins as downright Hate at First Sight.
  • Big Bad: Saburo Suetsugu, the Nagasaki merchant guild's equivalent to a Corrupt Corporate Executive and the one to blame for Kaname's death.
    • In some routes, Suetsugu is Demoted to Extra and other villains take his place: Willem aka the Big Bad of Ninja Assassin does this in Eduard's route, Makoto's Anti-Villain brother Toru does it in Makoto's and Shintaro's paths, Toru's fellow Anti-Villain Tsubaki steps to the challenge in Okita's and Hijikata's stories. And in later routes, Gin Shinonome and Hades are the closest to the trope, ESPECIALLY the latter.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Non-romanced Vigilantes view Saori, the youngest and newest member of the group, as a younger sister type of friend. Woe betide anyone who hurts their little sister.
  • Big Brother Mentor:
    • Ukyo comes off as this if he's not chosen as the love interest, especially in Eduard's route since they're friends from many years ago.
    • Asagi sometimes takes up the role as well, specifically in Makoto's and Toru's routes. And those of his younger cousins, the twins Seiji and Seiya.
  • Big Fancy House:
    • The Meiko Salon is not only a Local Hangout but it's set on the front of a big traditional house in the merchant district, and there are several back rooms used for storage and as the living quarters of Makoto, Kagura and the Player Character (and it can also host many people, as seen when the Edo and Kyoto Vigilantes have to stay over). According to Kagura, Makoto purchased and outfitted it solely with the earnings from his artwork; the guy is that rich.
    • There are several homes like this, actually, like Suetsugu's just as fancy (if not more) Japanese-style mansion and a Western one that houses some Dutch merchants (and where Eduard, as a Dutch-Japanese interpreter, seemingly lives in).
    • Yuzuki's house belong to his very loaded Honest Corporate Executive of a father, and it also hosts the Hirano's Family Business. What the Player Character gets to see from it is lovely.
    • The most lovely brothel in the Red Light District of Nagasaki is located in what's implied to be one of these. It becomes a vital hang-out in the paths of the most morally-anbiguous boyfriends, Toru and Tsubaki. The latter, whose mother was a prostitute, was raised there.
    • In Toru's Sweet Ending, he and Saori are seen in a luxurious Western bedroom that seemingly belongs to a BFH. Justified: they ran away from Japan and he used his smarts to reinvent himself into a succesful merchant.
    • Logically, in routes involving the Shogun, the player will see the game's version of none other than his home, the legendary Edo Castle (now the Tokyo Imperial Palace). As expected, it's glorious.
    • Later in the game, for one or another reason Saori becomes the Nagasaki Vigilantes' link with either the Shadow Vigilantes or the White Roses. Both groups live in lovely Western mansions located outside the city.
  • Bi the Way: Implied for Makoto Zeyo and Haku, fully confirmed for Ukyo, Yuzuki and Asuka/Yuugiri (in story).
  • Body Double: Saori shapes herself into one for Kaname, crossing into Dead Person Impersonation. She at times refers to herself as "[my] brother's shadow" in her inner thoughts.
    • In Ukyo's route, the body double for the Shogun is assassinated in Nagasaki, during a theater show that Saori and Ukyo attend.
  • Brother-Sister Team: Kaname was the leader of the village and its best fighter, with Saori as his partner and bodyguard.
  • The Cameo: The guys from another dating sim by the same company, Shall We Date?: Ninja Assassin, show up here.
  • Childhood Friends: Ukyo, Eduard and Natsume from the Ninja Assassin game know each other since they were kids.
    • Since Asagi and Makoto's families are allies from quite a while ago, Makoto and Asagi are also this. Same goes to Toru and Asagi
    • Makoto has also known Zeyo Sakamoto since childhood days.
    • Saori and Kaname had this with Yoshiyuki. In Saori's case, it can go somewhere else.
    • Yahiro and Ryuunosuke from the Kyoto group, too.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Surprisingly, the trope takes its time to rear its face here. It's not until the appearance of the Intrepid Merchant Yoshiyuki Shingu that Saori gains a Love Interest whom she has known from before she came to Nagasaki.
  • Cooldown Hug: In Eduard's route, when the group is forced to reject an offer to kill Suetsugu depite how much they hate him due to very unfortunate circumstances, Eduard hugs Saori to keep "Kaname" from snapping. She returns the favor by hugging him when the presence of the mysterious Willem BADLY triggers him.
  • Crapsaccharine World: How Nagasaki is depicted in the game, as a very rich and beautiful place that also houses lots of oppression and corruption.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Eduard. Justified, he's Dutch rather than Japanese.
  • Faking the Dead: Toru's Sweet Ending has the Vigilantes helping Toru to fake his suicide and pull this, then sending him and Saori abroads.
  • For Want of a Nail: The routes that have Saori dating guys from outside the Nagasaki vigilantes begin with small changes coming right after the prologue:
    • Toru Nakagawa's route begins with Makoto deciding to not give Saori/"Kaname" an instructor and having her take up missions since the very beginning, leading her to meet Toru directly.
    • Ritsu's route starts with Saori being unable to choose which guy does she want as her instructor and asking Makoto if she can take a little time to take such an important decision. The Vigilantes decide to take turns helping "Kaname" out, and soon she meets Ritsu.
    • Tsubaki's route starts with him and Toru briefly kidnapping Saori because Tsubaki just happened to witness Kaname's murder and Saori's decision to become him, so Tsubaki see her as a potential ally or at least a link with the Vigilantes.
    • Hijikata and Okita's paths start with the two dropping by the Meiko Salon right when "Kaname" is about to choose a mentor. In the first case Hijikata directly tells Makoto to let him guide "this man", and in the second he instead tells Okita to train "him".
    • Sakamoto's route begins when he willingly shows up at the Vigilantes' doorstep and Makoto decides to assign "Kaname" as his partner so "he" can keep tabs on him.
    • In a Vigilante example, Makoto's route begins with Makoto personally deciding to train "Kaname" and be "his" instructor since he immediately realized that "Kaname" was a disguised Saori.
    • The routes that come after Sakamoto's have Saori actually choosing her instructor off-screen, then meeting her love interest after a brief Time Skip.
  • Guile Hero:
    • Ritsu is a mix of Intrepid Reporter and Knowledge Broker who really, really wants to play this role. His biggest goals are to expose Suetsugu's evil and find out the identities of the Vigilantes.
    • Few would've thought that Zeyo Sakamoto would be able to play this trope straight, judging by his first apparitions as an Anti-Villain, but his route gives him the chance to be this through and through.
    • Shogun Tokugawa is also portrayed as this, as the closest to a Big Good in the cast and a Reasonable Authority Figure who never loses his cool. It's next to no wonder that he and Sakamoto become fast friends in the latter's route
    • As Sakamoto's Number Two, Yoshiyuki Shingu plays the trope straight as well in his own route and some others.
  • Half-Identical Twins: A plot point, since Saori's close physical resemblance to Kaname lets her use their looks to her advantage.
  • He Knows Too Much: One of the biggest rules of all the Vigilante groups is that their true identities shall never be known by anyone outside their social circles, lest they will have to kill the person who finds out; the meetings with their clients, i.e, are under disguises or through other indirect mediums. This becomes very important in Ritsu's route, because Ritsu loathes the Vigilantes because his younger brother was executed by them for finding out who they were. At the end Saori has no choice but telling him, and Ritsu decides to help them with their attack on Suetsugu and his associates since he loves Saori and has nothing left to lose; when everything is said and done they offer him to join the group, since the rule doesn't apply to people who become members of said group. He decides to give them a chance and accepts.
  • Heroic Bastard: Yuzuki is the illegitimate son of a Hooker with a Heart of Gold and a rich tycoon, and has been bullied for a good part of his life for it.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold:
    • The prostitutes from Maruyama are portrayed very sympathetically, and it's said that many of them have been forced into it. In fact, in Shintaro's route one of them hires the vigilantes to punish the men who killed her younger sister.
    • Yuzuki's mother started as one, later evolving into one of the most popular courtesans from Yoshiwara. According to Aoi and Souji, she still is one deep down and misses Yuzuki terribly.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Saori is rather short and slim, so almost all the match-ups here come off as this. She lampshades it in Makoto and Shintaro's routes.
  • Karma Houdini: While Suetsugu is killed in pretty much all routes, Willem tends to slip away from the vigilantes even after his plans burst.
    • Toru get captured and imprisoned / exiled in Makoto's and Shintaro's routes, and in his own one. Makoto's path subverts it: the Second Season epilogue has Tsubaki ultimately bailing him out
    • Tsubaki is brought down in Hijikata's path and his own.
    • While Gin Shinonome tends to play this completely straight, Haku averts it in both Seiji's route and his own. In the second, only the Shogun's personal intervention saves him from being executed.
  • I Kiss Your Hand: Eduard does this to Saori when she chooses him as her instructor. She knows what the gesture means in other countries and is very flustered, plus she gets scared since she thinks he's found out she's a girl. (He has, but keeps it to himself.) Fortunately, Makoto interrupts to give them their first mission.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Ritsu is this, as the owner/reporter/newspaper boy from a very popular tabloid.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: After he's wounded and ends up recovering his memories as a Child Soldier for Willem's assassin group, Eduard tries to distance himself from Saori and the vigilantes. It turns out to be a mix of this and I Have Your Wife, since Willem has many explosives hidden in a Nagasaki warehouse and can potentially destroy the city...
  • Jack the Ripoff: In Makoto's path, a Serial Killer starts imitating the Nagasaki Vigilantes' methods via killing two innocent girls and two bystanders to get them involved. The women had ties to Makoto, who becomes the biggest suspect; this throws a HUGE wrench in the group, especially between Makoto and Yuzuki, which isn't solved until later - and it turns out the killer is Toru, in an attempt to isolate Makoto and lure him out.
  • Love at First Sight: In his route, Eduard tells Saori that he fell for her like this.
    • In Makoto's path, Toru also declares that he fell for Saori in the same way. His route confirms it.
  • Mighty Whitey: Averted, the Dutch Eduard is just another member of the vigilantes (plus their link with the Dutch trading houses) and is often looked down by people outside the group. Suetsugu, in example, refers to him as "Hairy Barbarian" and when he's believed to be a killer, some locals begin badmouthing all the few foreigners in Nagasaki.
    • Played straighter by Hades, Cerberus and Griffon, three Dutch men from a group known as the White Roses; they're depicted as being better fighters than near all the cast members, who are already really good at fighting to start with.
  • Mind Rape: The "mist" used by a certain murderer in Makoto's route is imbued with hallucinogen medicines, which cause the persons affected by it to see the nearest persons as the people they're thinking of the most at the moment. i.e, Yuzuki breathes some of it during a mission and mistakenly thinks that he killed his beloved father rather than his target (his dad's trading rival and Suetsugu's Number Two), until Wakasa shows up and explains what's going on.
    • A very similar drug is featured in Toya's route, and this time it affects Saori herself. Toya has to give her the antidote through Intimate Healing, and it leads him to realize that she's a girl.
  • Multiple Endings: Each route has a "Normal Ending" (quite happy, at worst bittersweet) and a "Sweet Ending" (the happiest of the two, plus it includes a special picture).
  • Naive Newcomer: Saori has just left her village, gone through the trauma of losing her brother and needs to learn lots of things...
  • Plucky Girl: Saori is as stubborn and brave as she's gentle and kind. It's also reflected in the gameplay: more often than not, the player should choose the most outspoken option to get more points with the chosen lover.
  • Promoted to Love Interest: The game follows the "interactive media" deal described in the main page, by first introducing the cast and then gradually releasing the romance sidequests: that way, charas that are seen in the background of each path at first gain their own romance routes. The strategy includes some "release series", each one featuring three prospect boyfriends (or five, in the fourth batch) whose quests are released gradually as months pass:
    • Series 1, The Revenge on the Evil: Ukyo, Asagi and Eduard
    • Series 2, The Truth of Nagasaki: Yuzuki, Ritsu and Kagura
    • Series 3, The Hidden Story of Nagasaki: Makoto, Shintaro and Toru
    • Series 4, Coming of the New Age: Tsubaki, Hijikata, Okita, Sakamoto, Nobuyoshi aka the Shogun.
    • Series 5, Unfolding the Past: Yoshiyuki, Kunihiro, Sanosuke
    • Series 6, Creeping Shadow: Seiya, Toya, Cerberus.
    • Series 7, Entwined Speculations: Seiji, Haku, Griffon.
    • Series 8, The Truth Revealed: Gin Shinonome, Hades
    • Series 9, Blood-stained Wishes: Hayato, Yuugiri/Asuka, Mashiro.
  • The Quiet One: Eduard, to the point that Saori gets nervous around him at first.
  • Recursive Crossdressing: The missions that involve investigating the Red Light District leads to Saori, the local Sweet Polly Oliver, having to actually dress up as a woman to be a Decoy Damsel, much to her dismay for obvious reasons.
  • Red Light District: One of the two RLD's in Nagasaki, Maruyama, is very important in-story since the Vigilantes often have to face criminals there and sometimes take up jobs per request of the prostitutes who work there (often not per choice).
    • The Big Fancy House that host the most luxurious Maruyama brothel is vital in the routes of the initial "bad boys" in the cast, Toru and Tsubaki, who pretty much live there. Tsubaki was actually raised there by his prostitute mother and he also works as the "working girls's" physician.
    • There are many allusions to Yoshiwara, the RLD of Edo. In some cases, Nagasaki girls are abducted and sold into prostitution there so Saori has to crossdress to lure the pimps out and stop them from doing so. It's also said that the most beautiful and popular High Class Call Girl from Yoshiwara is a woman from Nagasaki, and she still cries herself to sleep every night for the son that she had to leave behind...
  • Retcon: The Prologue of the game, featuring how Kaname died and Saori took up his identity, was completely rewritten after the Spin-Off even centered on the twins. ie it begins as with a How We Got Here scene that happens in the Meiko Salon followed by a short sequence in the Shishidos' village (rather than beginning with the twins on the road), it actually includes some choices in the narrative, and removes Saori's arrival to Nagasaki (thus cutting out Ritsu and Haru's first apparitions)
  • Rewatch Bonus: Once the player clear more and more routes, they'll spot story and background details that explain a freaking lot about the characters in other paths:
    • In Ukyo's route, once he declares that he loves "Kaname" no matter who "he" is right before he explains the Batman Gambit he brewed to finally being able to use his commisioner position to bring Suetsugu down, his comments on Makoto "falling in love with other things that a person's gender and his Shipper on Deck antics to Eduard and Saori from before her Gender Reveal take a whole new dimension. Additionally, there's a scene where Yuzuki has a verbal fight with an annoying merchant that insults him for being an illegitimate child.
    • In some routes, Yuzuki makes comments about women being "deceitful". This is very important in his own path: he resents women as a whole due to his mother's abandonment.
    • In Shintaro's route, it's NOT a coincidence that Eduard is pit against Willem (aka his "Forgotten Childhood Friend" of sorts) or Kagura's whole attitude goes from "The Quiet One" to "Blood Knight" all of a sudden (the one fighting is his Split Personality Homura). Likewise, Asagi's path has Asagi straight-up removing Kagura's eyepatch and causing Homura to briefly take over and speak to a rather confused Saori.
    • In Hijikata's route, when Tsubaki tries to sway him to his side, he uses a certain medicine that was developed by the Dutch as a bargaining tool. While the guy is smart enough to not take the deal (and he later confides on Saori that he felt tempted to do it anyway), it's clear that he really needs to have it (and at the end, Tsubaki gives it to him anyway). Later in the path, Hijikata's partner and best friend Okita is seen coughing and tries to pass it as "just a cold"... And the guy's actual path explains that he is gravely sick and pretty much in the last days of his life; in that particular route, Hijikata also mentions said medicine and plans to get it from Tsubaki without defecting...
    • Yoshiyuki's route has Sanosuke, whom Saori had never seen before, mistaking her for Kaname and attacking her and Yoshiyuki FURIOUSLY, cursing "Kaname" out and accusing "him" of destroying his life.. The reason comes out in the guy's proper route.
  • Revenge by Proxy: The Hizen village incident where Kaname died turns out to be this. Ukyo terlls "Kaname" in his route that one of his fellow cops was from there and he tried to stand up to Suetsugu, who had his hometown burned down in retaliation.
  • Secret Keeper: In Asagi's route, he finds out that Saori is a crossdressing girl while at the same time Saori realizes that he's not as experienced as a diviner as he seems. Plus Asagi and Makoto already knew that the "Kaname" expected to joing the vigilantes had a younger sister, so he also realizes that Saori is said sister. After a rather awkward talk, they more or less become this to one another.
    • Another is Makoto. He knows that Kaname had a little sister and, in his route, he soon identifies Saori as her and as a Sweet Polly Oliver. On Asagi's route, however, it's Asagi and not him who finds out first. And he is completely unaware of Saori's act in Eduard's path — to the point that, when everyone finds out, he's mad at Saori less for the deceit itself and more for not being able to see it first.
    • Additionally, Tsubaki's route begins with him and Toru pretty much abducting "Kaname" from the Vigilante's hideout and, almost immediately afterwards, Tsubaki telling Saori that they know she's a woman. A Justified Trope: Tsubaki witnessed Kaname's death and the annhilation of the village he tried to protect.
    • Yoshiyuki is the only one of Saori's love interests that knew her from before she arrived to Nagasaki and can see through her SPO facade, so he becomes this to her too.
  • Secret Relationship: Takes place in some routes, like Shintaro's (where he finds out by accident about Saori's secret) and Ritsu's (where she tells him willingly that she's a girl, but not that she's a Vigilante).
  • Secret Secret Keeper: While Saori's crossdressing act is quite decent, a potential lover immediately sees through it in his own route and others but doesn't tell her... It's Eduard. He thought that she had good reasons to hide herself as a man, so he didn't spill the beans and, in his own route, limited himself to just do things like kissing her hand and helping her when she had to pull Recursive Crossdressing deals.
    • In Shintaro's route, Haru claims that she realized at first sight that Saori is a crossdressing girl and seems kinda enamoured with her.
    • In several routes, Makoto finds out on his own, but keeps it to himself for reasons that differ each time.
    • Hijikata also realizes this near immediately, but he wants Saori to tell him herself.
  • Sex Equals Love: The Epilogues play the trope as straight as it's possible without including outright eroge stuff, but later routes can include it in the story itself if the players play their cards right AND have enough Jades to purchase the Premium stages. (The Normal ones also imply it, but use quite the Fade to Black imaginery)
  • Sexy Priest: Asagi is not only a member of the vigilantes, but also one of the priests of a local Shinto shrine. He's also the only one (at first) who uses anything similar to magic, specifically fortune telling and Shikigami.
    • Later, his cousins from Kyoto show up. Seiya and Seiji not only are really handsome, but very skilled Shinto priests as well and they can use magic as well, though Seiya prefers fighting with a spear.
    • Kunihiro Matsudaira is a travelling priest (actually, the Shogun's brother), and he's extremely handsome.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Seiya and Seiji are pushed into this by their family in Kyoto. The twins deeply care for one another and don't want to get in trouble due to this trope, however.
  • Sibling Triangle: Can potentially take place between Saori and the Nakagawa brothers, Toru and Makoto. Since each guy has his own route, whether she chooses one or another depends on the player.
    • Averted with the twins Seiya and Seiji, as both boys are romanceable but it doesn't look like the not-chosen twin develops feelings for Saori in the other guy's route. Played straighter in one of the Marble Events, and they try solving it via having both boys date Saori. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Generally, Saori is drawn to her love interest for his kindness. If the guy have bad attitudes or are jerks specifically to her, she isn't impressed until she gets to see their Hidden Depths.
  • Shadow Archetype: The Revolutionaries, the Shadow Vigilantes AND the White Roses serve as this for the group.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Saori has to dress up more than once for different reasons, and she always looks cute while doing so.
  • Shipper on Deck: In a sort-of unspoken rule, if one of Saori's prospect boyfriends has a best friend , said friend will support Saori's bid for the guy's heart. i.e., Ukyo is a diehard Eduard/Saori fanboy from almost the start of Eduard's route and from before Saori revealed herself as a girl, and in Ukyo's path Eduard quietly returns the favor by shipping Ukyo/Saori.
    • The Edo Vigilantes also get on this once in a while, with Souji and Aoi being hardcore Saori/Yuzuki fanboys.
    • If Yoshiyuki is the chosen beau, Kagura from the Vigilantes, Yoshiyuki's Benevolent Boss Zeyo and ultimately his Kaientai co-workers will be quite pleased. 
    • Regarding a romanced Cerberus, at the end of the route his best friend Griffon will downright thank Saori for making him happy. If the latter is the one being romanced, the first will also give his blessings. 
    • The Kyoto Vigilantes tend to whole-heartily approve of any of their members' potential romantic relationships with Saori.  
  • Sweet on Polly Oliver: It's a given, considering what kind of protagonist the game has.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: A girl takes on a male identity to punish her brother's killers, join an all-male group and protect her beloved village.
  • These Hands Have Killed: Downplayed: Saori tends to be quite shaken when she kills someone by the first time in her routes but, despite not being a fan of killing people, she keeps pressing on.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe:
    • Generally averted: the action doesn't take place in Edo (the old Tokyo) or in Kyoto (the capital of the Shogunate) but in Nagasaki, located in the island of Kyushu. Justified, considering the time it takes place into, the very important role that the Dutch merchants have in the plot, and how the Ninja Assassin prequel games already take place in Edo.
    • Some paths play it completely straight- some of these include Tsubaki's, Sakamoto's and Shintaro's Spin-Off. Again, it's very justified: in the first case Tsubaki specifically aims to kill the Shogun, in the second Zeyo wants to personally speak to the Shogun AND stop Tsubaki and Toru from killing him, and the Spin-Off is centered on Makoto sending Shintaro and Saori to Tokyo as a part of a plan for their Wedding Day.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Eduard tells Saori in his route that he has this, and only remembers that he came from the Netherlands as a young child and he was found all-covered in blood by a young Ukyo, holding a wooden block that had the name "Eduard" carved on it. The trope is also discussed by Saori and Ukyo, since Saori wants to help Eduard recover his memories but Ukyo wonders if it would be too hard for his best friend.
  • Tyke Bomb: It looks like Eduard was this in the past, as a member of the Dutch assassin group known as "Red Roses".
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal: Since the heroine is a Sweet Polly Oliver, this is bound to happen:
    • In Eduard's path Willem finds out on his own and tells so to Saori, and much later he openly reveals it when cornered by the Nagasaki Vigilantes. The guys themselves, sans Eduard himself, are genuinely surprised, but they aren't angry at her.(Save for Makoto, and that's because she managed to slip under his radar for months rather than anything else.)
    • In Asagi's path, Asagi is performing a ritual near a waterfall and the flames coming from it almost burn Saori's clothes. She panics and tries to cover herself by running into the water, but Asagi follows her and properly realizes that she's a Sweet Polly Oliver (he had thought of it after the Accidental Kiss mentioned above, but since he had other worries at the moment, only then he fully took the idea in consideration). He keeps his mouth shut about it, however, and covers for her when Kagura walks on them and almost blows their cover. The secret is properly revealed at the end of the route, with the Vigilantes being okay with it save for a REALLY FUCKING ANGRY Makoto, who again is less upset for the "secret" itself and more for having been deceived. (Plus he and Asagi are Vitriolic Best Buds, which didn't help his and Saori's cases.)
    • In Makoto's path, it's inverted since Makoto immediately confronts Saori on it, meaning he saw through her act as soon as he met her. (Plus, he had meet Kaname before and already knew that he had a little sister). He lets her stay when she explains what happened and why is she impersonating Kaname, however, and even protects her secret when Shintaro is this close to find out; the group as a whole doesn't realize Saori's gender until she's wounded to protect him.
    • In Shintaro's path, midway through the route he also falls on top of her and lands on her chest. Since Shintaro Cannot Talk to Women he's very flustered, but calms down when Saori explains herself. They tell Makoto and he agrees to keep the secret, so they carry on a more or less Secret Relationship for a while... and then it turns out that in one way or another, it was The Not-Secret (save for Yuzuki, who's more than a bit miffed).
    • In Ritsu's path, Ritsu once catches "Kaname" at night in a female disguise. To keep her secret as a whole and throw him off the Vigilantes' path, she willingly reveals that she's a woman (she had already told him about Kaname's murder), then says that she's searching for the Vigilantes after they rejected a request from her to kill Suetsugu as revenge for her brother. Ritsu is impressed by Saori's "act" as a guy, then decides to help her if she needs it and becomes her Secret Keeper. When he faces Toru and barely survives, Saori seriously ponders returning home to protect him (she doesn't, however) - and she tells Makoto about it first, then the rest. They all take it in stride.
    • In Kagura's path, as his Split Personality Homura is wreaking havoc in the back of the Meiko Salon and Saori is trying to deal with him, he slashes her robe open and sees her chest. Both Homura and Kagura are surprised but Saori manages to convince them of not saying anything, ultimately becoming Homura's Morality Pet. Much later, she willingly reveals it to both the Nagasaki Vigilantes and Kinshiro and Wakasa from the Edo ones: it turns out Eduard and Makoto had figured out yet kept their mouths shut, then everyone else takes it in stride (though Yuzuki is again kinda miffed), with the Edo guys stating that there are ladies in their group already (alluding to the Ninja Assassin Player Character).
    • In Yuzuki's path, she willingly reveals it to Yuzuki when he, believing him to be a guy, gives her a Love Confession. By doing so she presses both of Yuzuki's berserk buttons (being a woman close to him and betraying his trust), but after he gives her a huge What the Hell, Hero? for lying to him, he lets her explain her reasons and agrees to be her Secret Keeper, ultimately going through enough Character Development to forgive her (and say that he loves her for her person and not her gender). They later reveal it together to Makoto (who already knew), the other Vigilantes, and the Edo Vigilantes Aoi and Souji.
    • In Ukyo's path, Ukyo doesn't know Saori is a Sweet Polly Oliver but falls for "Kaname" anyway, and confesses his feelings in front of everyone as he explains a huge Batman Gambit he's brewed to take down Suetsugu. Then Saori reveals that she's a woman right there, and everyone takes it more or less fine.
    • In Tsubaki's path, Tsubaki and Toru already knew about Saori and her "Kaname" identity since Tsubaki witnessed Kaname's death and Saori's decision to become him and told Toru about it. After Willem also realizes it and openly refers to her as such during an encounter with Suetsugu, Saori decides to willingly tell the Vigilantes her secret before they attempt to kill the tycoon, and they all react differently: Makoto and Eduard had already realized it; Ukyo, Yuzuki and Asagi take it in stride, Kagura is confused, Shintaro is shocked...
    • In Toru's path, Saori gets to meet Toru when she's in a Dirty Harriet mission in the Red Light District; Toru is charmed by her spunky attitude and intrigued by her strong reactions to Suetsugu's proximity. The moment he sees Saori in her normal boyish clothes in the streets, he recognizes then and confronts her, testing her reactions in several different manners (describing their encounter, claiming that Suetsugu is coming, stealing a kiss from her...)
    • In Hijikata's route, almost at the beginning Saori trips on Hijikata and falls on top of him. Hijikata imediately realizes the truth but keeps it to himself in hopes to see Saori's fighting potential, plus he hopes that she'll tell him her reasons willingly. It later turns out to be another The Not-Secret situation: Okita and the Vigilantes realized on their own too and kept the secret until none other than the Shogun (aka Hijikata and Okita's direct boss and the Big Good of the game) meets up with them and officially explains everything.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: If the player chooses Eduard as Saori's instructor and love interest, one of the first things she does is notice how beautiful his Purple Eyes are.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Aside of Saori, there's the actor Hotaka (originally from the Ninja Assassin game) and later Asuka/Yuugiri from the Kyoto Vigilantes, who takes it to downright Even the Guys Want Him levels as he has both women and men swooning over him in-story.
  • Yandere: In Makoto's route, a Rich Bitch who had been turned down by a handsome man from the country became this and started killing any girls who got close to him. Yuzuki and Saori are sent to deal with her, and when she attacks Saori directly she straight up kills her, much to Yuzuki's approval.
    • Saori's love interests themselves tend to avert it, despite being rather clingy at times. The closest would be Hades from the White Roses, and the guy is already not well in the head for completely unrelated reasons.