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Sharin no Kuni, Himawari no Shōjo (車輪の国、向日葵の少女?, lit. "Wheel Country, Sunflower Girl") is a Japanese visual novel and eroge developed by Akabeisoft2 and published by Palace Game. On November 4, 2009, the translation group on the Visual Novel Translations Wiki released an English Localization patch for it.
Sharin no Kuni takes place in an unnamed country, often referred to as the 'wheel country'. Although nominally democratic, all aspects of society in this country are influenced by an elite stratum of people known as "Special High Class Individuals." Special High Class Individuals possess complete legal authority, using this to confer 'obligations'- absolute rules which if disobeyed will result in one's confinement in a forced-labor camp - upon those whose actions are judged to be detrimental to society.
The country's geographical location is not mentioned, but it is a separate political entity from Japan. It borders a poverty-stricken and war-torn 'Southern Country', whose inhabitants have a distinctive appearance and are often discriminated against in the north.
The events of the story occur in an isolated farming town, surrounded on all sides by mountains. Some years past, the town was the origin of a civil uprising which was suppressed brutally by the government, resulting in a large quantity of orphans and people with punitive 'obligations'.
Sharin no Kuni's story centers around Kenichi Morita, a young man who has been training for the past seven years to become a Special High Class Individual. For his final examination, he has been dispatched to the same town in which he lived as a child. His task: to pose as a student in the town's school and rehabilitate three of his classmates who possess 'obligations', successfully preparing them to re-enter society.
However, this seemingly straightforward examination will force him to call upon all his training, exercise all his wits, and confront the past he fled from so many years ago...
- Kenichi Morita (森田 賢一 Morita Ken'ichi?)
- Kenichi is the protagonist of Sharin no Kuni. Despite being the youngest person to ever become a Special High Class Individual cadet, he has already distinguished himself as a CEO and a combatant in the Southern Country's foreign legion. Often considered slightly unhinged from the latter experience, he has a habit of talking to himself and making jokes other people rarely find funny. Despite his arrogant exterior, he has a strong sense of justice, which often clashes with the values of the country he serves. Being an SHCI candidate, Kenichi is a multitalented genius who is highly skilled in many areas such as Small Arms combat, Martial Arts, Business and Moneymaking, and even Spelunking, and possesses near-superhuman endurance and a charisma which endears him to nearly all whom he meets. He also has a habit of breaking the fourth wall when speaking to himself, referring to "you", though it is revealed later that he is actually speaking to his sister, who is right next to him (although he admits later that it's also due, to an extent, to his drug).
- Natsumi Hinata (日向 夏咲 Hinata Natsumi?)
- Voiced by: Mana Shinjou
- The first person Kenichi meets upon his return to the town, Natsumi is an extremely shy girl who is prone to stuttering and spacing out in the midst of conversations. She is often concerned that she is a bother to other people, making it difficult for her 'friends' - Sachi and Isono - to involve her in anything. She is an orphan as well, and has few hobbies of her own except for taking strolls around the sunflower field outside of town. She is the main heroine of the story.
- Her obligation is "Prohibited from Falling in Love" - considered one of the most severe obligations, she cannot have any physical contact with the opposite sex. Due to her introverted personality, she is hardly inconvenienced by this, and seems to have a fear of being touched above and beyond the consequences of violating her obligation...
- Sachi Mitsuhiro (三ツ廣 さち Mitsuhiro Sachi?)
- Voiced by: Miya Serizono
- Sachi is a girl with an energetic and vibrant personality, at odds with her habits of dozing off at school and procrastinating whenever an opportunity to do work presents itself. She is hardly fazed by Kenichi's exterior and is the first to become friends with him. An orphan, she earns money through internet speculation, and shares her apartment in the school dormitory with a little girl from the Southern Country named Mana. In the past, she had a hobby of painting, but she has not done this since her parents died.
- Her obligation is to have a "12 Hour Day" - after being awake for twelve hours, she must 'stop' by taking medicine which knocks her unconscious for another twelve hours. This medicine is not particularly effective at relieving fatigue, and she often naps for a good portion of the remaining hours.
- Touka Oone (大音 灯花 Ōne Tōka?)
- Voiced by: Sumire Murasakibana
- Touka is the class president, an outspoken and brash girl who has no patience for Kenichi's behavior and often acts violently towards him. She is the worst student in the class due to being prone to careless mistakes, and this clumsiness is physical as well. Due to her obligation, she has a tenuous relationship with her mother Kyouko. She secretly wants to become a cook, but is prohibited from entering the kitchen due to an accident when she was young.
- Her obligation is "Prohibited from Becoming an Adult" - meaning that she must obey every order given to her by her parental figure, Kyouko. Burdened with unreasonable restrictions such as an hour-by-hour daily schedule, and a prohibition from watching TV or reading books except for studying, she often seeks small ways to rebel.
- Eri Nagumo (南雲 えり Nagumo Eri?)
- Voiced by: Mariya Kurata
- One of Ken'ichi's fellow cadets for the position of Special High Class Individual, Eri is considered the most promising of the current cadets. She is only slightly older than Kenichi, but has already obtained a Ph.D. in Law Science. Although dedicated and studious, she has an unfortunate habit of not being the most punctual of people.
- Sepia Uzuki (卯月セピア Uzuki Sepia?)
- Voiced by: Mori Keisuke
- A classmate of Kenichi's, Sepia is the one person able to outdo his eccentricity. He claims to be able to talk to fairies and often speaks about bizarre subjects, inevitably incurring Touka's wrath. A fanatical devotee of Higuchi Saburou, leader of the civil uprising in the past, he resents Kenichi for being a 'dog of the nation'. He is romantically infatuated with Touka's mother, Kyouko.
- Masaomi Houzuki (法月 将臣 Hōzuki Masaomi?)
- Voiced by: Norio Wakamoto
- Houzuki is the Special High Class Individual supervising Kenichi's examination. Despite being lame in one leg from a war injury and walking with a cane, he is an intimidating individual who unnerves even Kenichi. Relentlessly dedicated to society, he is not above manipulating anyone- even his own protégé- to produce what he perceives as the most favorable result for the future of the country.