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Yume Miru Kusuri: A Drug That Makes You Dream (ユメミルクスリ) is an adult visual novel for the PC developed by Ruf. The visual novel was initially released in Japanese on December 22, 2005 and translated into English by Peach Princess. It was written by Romeo Tanaka and illustrated by Kiyotaka Haimura. According to Peter Payne, founder of Jast USA, it is believed the writers were trying to explore themes relevant in Japan for high-school students.
Yume Miru Kusuri is a visual novel where players read the story and at certain points must make a choice between multiple options. The story branches in different directions depending on what the player chooses. In this case, there are three separate storylines. Each one is focused on a specific girl's relationship with Kouhei. The storylines branch again into good and bad endings. Good endings are recognizable by credit roll after the game ends, which bad endings lack. In addition there is a bad ending if you fail to pursue any girl.
Kouhei Kagami is a Japanese student with excellent grades and a fairly normal social life, but feels empty and transparent inside. The story revolves a pivotal moment in Kouhei's life where three girls more depressed and lonely than himself get involved with him and make his boring life a roller coaster of emotions. Kohei must choose one of them or risk losing all of them to their own despair.
The plot follows the same basic route for the first half of the game. Kouhei goes about his life and interacts with the three main girls: Aeka, Mizuki, and Nekoko. If the player manages to pursue one of the girls successfully the plot eventually diverges.
Ruf initially released the game in Japanese on December 25, 2005 and was later reprinted on March 19, 2009. The game was translated into English by Peach Princess and released April 25, 2007.
- Kouhei Kagami
- Kouhei is the stereotypical average Japanese high school student. He often hears the sound of a train when he is bored or otherwise unoccupied. The player experiences the game through his eyes as the main protagonist.
- Aeka Shiraki (白木あえか Shiraki Aeka )
- Aeka has been a victim of bullying, initiated usually from Kyoka or her friends, for almost her whole enrollment at Kouhei's high school. The whole class tends to laugh at her or ignore her problems, even if not directly involved in bullying her.
- Mizuki Kirimiya (桐宮弥津紀 Kirimiya Mitsuki )
- Mizuki is the high school student council president. To people who don't know her, she is the typical student idol, out of reach to most. To those who do know her, she can be slightly annoying, as she pushes all work onto other people. Mizuki comes from a rich family and doesn't see a future for herself, even the most basic one of living to the next day, something most people take for granted.
- Cat Sidhe Nekoko (ケットシー・ねこ子 Kettoshii Nekoko )
- Kouhei discovers Nekoko outside of his workplace one day. She claims to be a fairy, and enlists Kouhei to help her find the home of the fairies. However, as he associates with her, Kouhei finds that this is not her real problem.
- Misaki Sayama (狭山みさき Sayama Misaki )
- Misaki is a female friend in Kouhei's class. She tries to get him not to interfere with Aeka because she doesn't want Kouhei to be picked on, though she appears to have sympathy for Aeka. Often hangs out with Takeshi.
- Takeshi Iogi (井荻剛史 Iogi Takeshi )
- Takeshi is a male friend in Kouhei's class. He generally ignores what happens in class, being a very lazy and unproductive person, but still knows about the situation with Aeka. He is less sympathetic towards her than Misaki is. Often hangs out with Misaki.
- Kyoka Nanjou (南条京香 Nanjō Kyōka )
- Female student in Kouhei's class. She has a grudge against Aeka Shiraki and is the cause of why the class picks on Aeka so much. She likes to flirt with everyone, especially Kouhei. Kouhei doesn't like her though and gives her the nickname Antoinette, after Marie Antoinette, because of her attitude and personality.
- Aya Kagami (加々見綾 Kagami Aya )
- Aya is Kouhei's stepsister. Kouhei was adopted into the family and has had trouble seeing his family as people who love him. He often makes fun of Aya's flat chest at her age. There are rumors about a scenario ending with her being cut before the Japanese release.
- Hirofumi Tsubaki (椿弘文 Tsubaki Hirofumi )
- Hirofumi is the manager of the convenience store where Kouhei works, and has a friendly relationship with Kouhei. Hirofumi is gay and always goes out of his way to act gay around Kouhei, but draws the line at any touching, usually. He is always trying to get Kouhei to play h-games, specifically those with storylines as that is what Hirofumi likes, regardless of the sexual orientation.
- Gaito Yakushiji (薬師寺概人 Yakushiji Gaito )
- Gaito is a male student who was suspended for a long time before coming back to school. He is supposed to be Kyoka's boyfriend, but she tries to distance herself from him. He tried to cheat on her with Aeka in the past which led to Kyoka's treatment of Aeka.
A fourth route for Aya Kagami has been theorized. Shingo, an official spokesperson for Jast USA, has stated that no such route existed in the Japanese version. Shingo goes on to note that while without official comment from Ruf, there is evidence to warrant it.
Considering that they [Ruf] went to the trouble of arranging a non-blood-related scenario and providing at least some romantic interest between the protagonist and her [Aya] (not to mention giving Aya her own block of scenes in the scene replay extras section) it does seem suspicious,[...]