Anime: Shuffle! (シャッフル!)

Shuffle! (シャッフル!) is a Japanese visual novel developed by Navel. It was originally released as an adult game for Microsoft Windows on January 30, 2004. It was subsequently followed by an all-ages release for the PlayStation 2 (PS2) and an expanded adult release for Windows.

Shuffle! has made several transitions to other media. There have been two manga series based on the visual novel. The first was serialized in Kadokawa Shoten’s magazine Comptiq between December 2003 and 2006. The second was a comic anthology published by Kadokawa Shoten between July 2004 and December 2005. Two anime adaptations were produced by the animation studio Asread. The first anime was twenty-four episodes in length and was broadcast in Japan between July 2005 and January 2006. The second series was a twelve-episode readaptation and was broadcast between January and March 2007. Seven light novels, two fanbooks, nine drama CDs, and seven radio drama CDs adaptations have also been produced.

The story takes place in a fictional universe where humans live in harmony with gods, resembling humans with slightly pointed ears, and devils (demons in the English dub of the anime), who have more prominently pointed ears. Despite their respective positive and negative connotations, both races are equally kind and good-natured. Ten years prior to the story, the gateway between the worlds of the gods and devils were opened, and since then, people from all races have been immigrating between the worlds.

The characters attend the multi-racial high school, National Verbena Academy (バーベナ学園) in Kouyou-chou (光陽町, lit. Sunshine Town). This is so humans, gods and devils can interact and learn to live together in harmony with mutual understanding rather than hatred, fear and ignorance. Also, due to dimensional tears (unknown why or how they appear) some members of each race had been transported to one of the other worlds where they married and had children. This is how some of the students with mixed lineage are able to be older than the gateway to the human world like Mayumi Thyme, whose human parent had fallen into the world of the Devils through one of those tears years before the gateway to the Human world had been opened. Or Asa‘s mother, Ama Shigure, who somehow was transported from the world of the Devils to the Human world.

Shuffle! contains a leitmotif of allusions to flowers. All of the characters’ names are references to flowers in some way, mostly genera of flowering plants.

I leave you with a funny scene from Shuffle! Memories (second season), and the opening of the first season!


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