I admit we had been a little impatient about Anubis during the whole rest of the game. First of all, he had the cutest character design, and second of all, he was played by one of the voice actors contending for our favorite voice actor of all time...by which I mean there were two of our favorite voice actors of all time in the game, and Anubis's voice was one of them. The other was Miyu Irino, who played Apollo...and the others were Daisuke Ono (Hades) and Hiroshi Kamiya (Balder). So that's actually four, but at the time we started playing the game, Yuuki Kaji was number one, because we'd just started watching Nobunaga the Fool (in which he plays a monkey) and Noragami (in which he plays the extremely adorable (though annoying for several episodes (but still lovable because Kaji-kun is that good)) Yukine).
The game also taunted us about it, because in the Options menu, you can change the voice settings, and for every other character, the options were on and off, but for Anubis, the ONLY option was ???. We had no idea what that meant, and we wanted to find out, darnit! (Athena says that it's possible that ??? was not the only option--she never tried changing it because why would she want to turn the voices off? That doesn't make any sense.)
So after playing through the whole game six times, we finally saw signs of Anubis, and we were getting excited. To be honest, I was a little worried that we'd over-hyped it for ourselves. Fortunately, we had not.
We decided to not skip all the dialogue in the prologue, because we didn't want to miss something important. Turns out, we wouldn't have, but we were reminded that there is one sign of Anubis toward the beginning of the game that shows up every time (if you don't skip it). On her way to...somewhere, Yui hears a sound and peeks into the room she thought she heard it from. It was the nurse's office, but there was no one there, so she kept going and forgot all about it.
Oh right, and there's another sign of Anubis. In the classroom, there are ten desks--one for Yui, Apollo, Hades, Dionysus, Tsukito, Takeru, Balder, Loki, Thor, and...and...*shrug* Yui mentions it to Thoth, who points out that there's not always the same number of students as there are desks, stupid. And Yui says, "But Zeus said there were nine..." "Yes. Eight gods and you. Nine."
Anyway, at the end of the prologue, Zeus makes Yui choose between the student council and club activities, and that's one factor in determining which story you end up following. But this time! after you choose, you get another option. You can say, "On second thought, I think I'd rather not do either one," an option that is clarified later when Yui explains that it would be easier to graduate if they didn't have to focus on extracurricular activities. And so the story of Anubis begins...
On the first day of school, Yui goes to class, and there's a mysterious sound again! She looks to see where it came from and sees something white dash out of the room! She goes to follow it, and runs into Apollo, Balder, and Tsukito, the former of whom is very excited to hear that the school has a real live ghost story. And so they decide that, since the four people who actually go to class won't be able to focus anyway because they'll be thinking about ghosts, they might as well try to figure out where it came from. During their search, they run into all the gods who are ditching class, who are also intrigued and join the search. (Yui wonders why the otherwise apparently upstanding Thor is ditching class, and he states definitively that yes, someone has to keep an eye on Loki.)
They split up, and that's how you know Yui's about to find something. She goes to the forest outside campus and finds! ...an injured dog. "Oh no, I have to help it!" And then a mysterious young man shows up, picks up a giant rock, and gets ready to throw it at the dog. Athena's response was, "Aww, he's trying to put it out of its misery!" Of course, Yui doesn't see it that way, and tries to get the boy to stop, but it's difficult for two reasons. First, he's very sure he's right, and second, he doesn't speak Japanese. In fact, he talks like a Pokemon! A Pokemon named Kaa-barabara. And oh my goodness, Kaji-kun is so cute. The game text gives what he actually says and the Japanese translation, so he says, "Kaa barabara!" and the text has in parentheses, "No, I didn't hurt it!" (Because Yui, seeing the giant rock, figures Anubis is the one who hurt the dog to begin with.) That's also how we know that Athena's guess was right.
Fortunately Thoth shows up and is able to interpret. He tells Yui, "He wants to kill the dog." And we're like, "Thanks, Thoth, that was really helpful </sarcasm>." Then he explains that Anubis wants to put the dog out of its misery so it can be reborn to a hopefully better life. With great difficulty, Yui manages to convince Anubis that the dog is still alive, so they should try to make its current life better while it still has a chance. So they take the dog back to school, and that's where they meet up with everybody else...and find out how much Anubis hates everything.
Everything except Thoth. And the dog. See, Anubis's job is to weigh the hearts of mankind after they die, to determine if they're good people who deserve another life. Most people aren't. We were like, "Wow, so apparently there aren't any good people in Egypt? What a racist game." But later they clarify that there was just enough bad stuff that it left a really strong impression on Anubis, and he's been traumatized, and that's understandable. He was so traumatized that even Thoth couldn't convince him to go to class, and that's why we hadn't heard of him until now. Anyway, the point is, anytime somebody tries to talk to Anubis, he hisses at them like a cat, and it is soooo cute. (He acts a lot like a cat, even though he is supposed to be a puppy. In the mythology quizzes, one of the questions is "What does the name Anubis mean?" and the answer is "young dog.")
So for most of Anubis's first chapter, he spends all his time guarding the dog from everybody else. Yui convinces him to take the dog on a walk with her (because some light exercise might help it heal faster), and he follows at a great distance. Oh, and they name the dog Kaa, because even though Anubis hates them all, they're understanding and nice, and want to give the dog a name that Anubis can actually say. (Balder suggested Barabara, but since that sounds like being torn to pieces, Thor said no.) Yui gradually gets Anubis to tolerate her presence by not being too pushy, and constantly showing up with food. She learns to understand him much like grown-ups learn to understand toddlers. The dog gets better, and they try to release it back into the wild, but since Anubis won't go with it, Kaa decides to stay, too.
And one day, when Yui shows up for Kaa's walk, then Kaa is like, "No! We're playing!" and Anubis is like, "But I don't want to play with her here!" and Kaa's like, "Too bad!" And starts running away from both of them. Kaa trips Anubis, and Yui instinctively goes to help him up...then remembers that oh yeah, he hates me and doesn't want to touch me. But then! he takes her hand and says, "Thank you!" Or actually he says, "Kaa, barabara!" but Yui knows that it means "Thank you!" (one of the mythology monologues says it's like the words coming directly into your mind), and she was like, "What?" and Anubis says something else, and she says, "Did you just say...?" and he says, "You can understand me?" and they're all very happy, yay! Until...!
The next day (or the next major thing that happens anyway), Kaa disappeared. The whole class spends days looking, and we were like, "Why hasn't anybody gone to the forest where they found him yet? Isn't that the obvious place to look?" Well, eventually, Anubis and Yui do go there, and on the way, Anubis tells her that he knows how hard she'd been looking for Kaa, and that she's been asking everyone for help (Yui adds in her inner monologue that she's been making sure to go to the crowded places that Anubis can't go to). He knows that she's really a good person, and he's not scared of her anymore.
Until they find Kaa. He's dead. Yui figures he must have been sick, and when he was having an especially bad day, some other animals attacked. They were able to treat his external injuries, but had no idea what was going on inside. Needless to say, Anubis is not happy. He was all, "If he was gonna die anyway, I should have just killed him in the first place! I was right all along! You said we'd find him and everything would be okay! You're a liar!" And he was so cute and so sad. And Yui felt really bad for saying it would be okay when she had no guarantees, and she was like, "He's right, I did lie." Anubis takes Kaa away and won't let Yui follow him, so Yui wanders off and is eventually found by Thoth, who demands to know why she didn't show up for class (they found the dog before school). She explains, and Thoth says, "Oh, that's what Anubis is doing." He's mummifying the dog.
Thoth decides that Yui has to be there for Anubis, and when Anubis says no, Thoth says, "She's going to watch. Deal with it." They manage to come to an understanding, during the process, and Yui never says anything about being grossed out because the mummification process is kind of...well...anyway, then Yui talks to everyone else, and they all want to have a funeral because they all liked Kaa, too (except Loki, apparently, who never showed up at the funeral). After the funeral, there's a very touching still of Anubis crying on Yui's shoulder. He tells her that he realized that he was wrong--he wasn't the only one who was sad, he was just taking it out on her. And he's just so sad because he loved Kaa so much, and oh my goodness, Kaji-kun and the emotion. I cried so hard at that scene.
I forgot to mention about Anubis's voice. Because he talks like a Pokemon and is basically a puppy, Kaji-kun uses a growly voice. Not Growlie the Pokemon, but like...well, maybe like Growlie the Pokemon--it's been years since I've heard a Growlie, so I don't remember what one sounds like--but anyway, he's growling, when he talks. And it's amazing, because usually growly voices are gruff and, like, old-sounding, but this one is just so childlike and adorable! (You can hear it a little bit at the official website. Sample 3 is the best of the examples they have.)
After that, everyone is surprised because...Anubis goes to class! Tadah!! He decided he likes Yui so much! that he wants to learn everything he can about humans. And he's so gung-ho about it that he invites Yui to the library every day after school so Thoth can teach them even more. And he's showing signs of sleep deprivation, because he stays up so late trying to learn more.
One day, while they're having an extra lesson from Thoth about language, Anubis is acting so tired that Thoth can't help asking, "Are you going to be okay tomorrow?" Anubis assures him that he will be, and Yui's like, "Tomorrow? What's tomorrow?" and Anubis is like, "I don't know," and Thoth says, "Nothing to do with you. Forget about it." Well of course, she can't unhear it, so now she's up all night wondering what's going on tomorrow. Fortunately, she has the best roommate ever, who woke her up as soon as Anubis showed up outside the window. Now Yui can follow him.
After a long journey that involved Anubis being very distracted by butterflies and animals, and Yui restraining herself from going to help Anubis the multiple times he fell over (I don't know why Anubis was suddenly so klutzy; maybe it was the sleep deprivation), Anubis reached a glowing tree with a single very red, very ripe fruit at the top. After an arduous climb, he grabbed the fruit, and threw his arms into the air to celebrate his victory! ...and fell out of the tree. Whoops.
Of course Yui can't stop herself this time--she tried to catch him...and succeeded in cushioning his fall. Anubis is all, "What are you doing here? Oh never mind, you're exactly who I wanted to see! Here!" He tells Yui that Thoth told him that if he gives her the fruit, his wish will be granted and they can be together forever. And to show her how much he really cares, he says, not in parentheses, "A...teru." Then he has to try again. "Ai, shiteru." And we were all, "!!! ♥♥♥!!!"
And that, of course, is when the Thread of Fate showed up. Fortunately, Anubis only has two endings. Unfortunately, we figured that meant he had a good ending and a bad ending, and we had already determined that we would get the bad ending first, but we were like, "What!? We have to say no!? Aaaaaahhh!" And then we were like, "We're sorry, Anubis! We'll fix it, we promise!!!" Fortunately, the game designers were not cruel enough to make you say, "Thanks, but no thanks." The choices are "eat the fruit with him" or "accept the fruit (like as a gift, because that's what it is)." So we chose the latter, and Anubis was so happy! And his fetter came off (and the change was visible, too, because he has a bare midriff and his fetter is a navel ring) so now he can graduate and everything...wait. Graduate? Oooohhhh noooo!
Yui says to him, "Thanks, Anubis, but I don't know if we can be together forever. Once we graduate, we have to go back to our separate worlds." Well, Anubis is none too happy to hear about this, so he races back to campus and demands an explanation from Thoth. Thoth is all, "I was going to tell you, but you had to go and earn your graduation way before I thought you were ready to hear about it." Then he says kind of to himself, "It's your own fault, stupid. You were supposed to eat the fruit with her." (The first sentence was paraphrased. He's a little nicer to Anubis than to everyone else.)
Anubis really did graduate super fast, because they make a point of telling you when the seasons change in this game, and it was only the second season (they don't always go in order). But Anubis quickly decides that it's okay--we'll always be in each other's hearts, just like Kaa. And he and Yui decide to make the most of their remaining time together. Then, just before they say goodbye, Anubis has a new word for Yui, "Suki." Then Yui says, "I love you, too!" and Anubis is like, "I love you more!" "No, I love you more!" and then they laugh. (I have to admit, the bad attitude we've had all week had us going, "Oh, Anubis, you're so cute!" most of the time, but occasionally, he would do something that made us go, "Chiiiildreeeeennn!" in a fist-shaky sort of way. But that last thing was kind of cute. On the other hand, if it were Balder doing it, it would be ugh.)
There's a mythology monologue where Thoth talks about Anubis learning to say "ai shiteru," and how annoying it was to have to listen to Anubis practicing aaaaaall night (that's the real reason he was so sleep deprived). He's all, "Ai shiteru? Well, that's cliched." And there's another one where Anubis talks about learning "suki," which he chose because he figured it would be easier, and then after repeating it so many times he's like, "What does that even mean?" and we were like, "It's so true that that happens!" And I really love the idea of learning languages for the one you love, because I think one of the most important things in life is communication, and I really like to see people making honest efforts to communicate with each other. It kind of makes me want a Japanese boyfriend, so he can learn how to say "I love you" in English for me.
Anyway, then we get the standard ending, only this time when she's back in her world and forgetting everything, before she sees Anubis, she hears a dog barking! Awwwwwwww! Kaa is back! And he's with Anubis, who sees her and starts talking to her. She's all, "It's weird, he was speaking a foreign language, but I could still understand him." And Anubis was surprisingly okay with the fact that she'd forgotten all about him, but like the others, he had faith that she would remember him soon, and she was like, "I did remember making a promise to always be with him." Awww.
Then we went back and got the "better" ending, which actually turned out to be at least as good this time, so that was good. We decided to have Yui eat the fruit with Anubis, and when she took a bite, the red fruit turned gold, and she felt something change. Then Anubis got his god powers back, and he has a pretty cool looking god form, and they held hands and flew back to school. Yui was all, "It was strange--all I had to do was hold his hand, and I could fly!" When they got back, Thoth greeted them first and was pleased that his plan to manipulate Anubis and Yui into sharing the fruit had worked. He told Yui that she was a goddess now. Tadah! And she was like, "Wait, what? Is that okay?" and he was like, "I've seen you in action. You'll be fine. And thanks for getting me out of this babysitting gig." And we were like, "I know that feel, bro." We have a bad attitude. So she and Anubis ran off into the sunset, and finally there's an ending that doesn't have us going, "But wait...isn't she going to die eventually?" (Okay, so I guess in Hades's case that wasn't an issue, and for everyone else we didn't really think that far, except for maybe Loki, and with Balder it was more like, "But isn't he going to die anyway?")
And then! the game told us we unlocked a new voice setting for Anubis--now you can have him speak Japanese! Apparently this setting only applies to Thoth's story and the bonus Miniature Garden scenes, because we tried changing Anubis's voice settings so we could hear the really emotional scene in kaa-barabara, but it didn't work. I was disappointed. But at least for Thoth's story, it looks like they really did have Kaji-kun record two sets of lines. It made it really difficult to make any progress when Anubis showed up, because we kept wanting to go back, change the voice settings, and replay Anubis's lines.
And that's all for Anubis, except that I completely left out the part where he made a mummy doll for Yui that walks and eats and says "mii" (the Japanese word for mummy is miira). In the credits, his voice is listed as ???. This has us very, very curious. And vexed.
Today I'm thankful for getting to go to the baptisms, Anubis's super adorable story line, having played enough of the game that we're pretty sure we won't be spoiled by the anime now, Anubis's super adorable song, and Steve calling us this morning so we could talk to Logan.