Natsuki (なつき/ナツキ - usually meaning "summer" and "rare") is one of four main characters in Doki Doki Literature Club!, a member of the Literature Club, and one of three characters for whom you can write poems.
Natsuki has straight pink hair and pink eyes. She also has a red bow-shaped hair clip at the right side of her bangs, and two red ribbons forming 2 small twin-tails. The rest of her hair is short and she has small bangs to the side of her face and small locks of hair on her forehead.
Natsuki wears the traditional school uniform just like the other characters for the majority of the game, which is a warm gray blazer and underneath it is a brown sweater vest over a white collared shirt topped off with a red ribbon and also a dark blue skirt, white knee socks and white uwabaki slippers with a sky blue tip. If you choose her path on Day 3, she will wear a light pink ruffled skirt with a black trim, a white shirt with short sleeves decorated with a light pink cat face on the left side of her chest and light pink trims along the edges of the sleeves. Under the shirt, two black bra straps can be seen.
She is the shortest character in the Literature Club, a feature that results in people commonly mistaking her for a first year. Her short stature is suggested by the protagonist to be because of her being younger than the rest of the cast but implied by Monika to be from malnourishment.
Natsuki is a brash, blunt, cranky, seemingly arrogant girl with a cute, softer interior as a result of insecurity. While she is impulsive and can speak without thinking, Natsuki truly cares about her friends and, even when she has obvious anger issues, doesn't enjoy fights or arguments with people. Over the course of the game, we see that she worries about Yuri and on one occasion, gives the protagonist a note asking him to help Yuri, fearing that if she spoke out then it would cause more arguments. Natsuki has a hard time expressing how she feels and what she wants. When repeatedly challenged, she often becomes awkward and tongue-tied, then aggressive, and then simply bursts into tears.
Her cute interior also involves a love of manga, particularly those in the slice-of-life genre, and baking. She has been known to store her manga collection in the Literature Club out of embarrassment, and while the rest of the club obviously knows about her interest, she is still hesitant to talk about it. Natsuki also likes cute things, like cupcakes with cat faces. She also likes poems with cuter, happier words, though her own poems are still about sad things, such as being persecuted for your hobbies. Her simplistic writing style puts her at odds with Yuri.
Natsuki dislikes being called "cute," even when she acts as such or does cute things, and will deny any claims from others relating to this; nevertheless, she is much more comfortable exposing her sweet side once she knows people aren't going to tease her about it. Natsuki hates it if she isn't taken seriously, whether it's her writing, her hobbies, or just her overall demeanor. It is likely Natsuki learned to be ashamed of herself and her hobbies, because her classmates judge her and her implied abusive father, making her abrasive nature a coping mechanism. This is also implied in her secret poem, "Things I Like About Papa".
It is shown that she is a very lonely person who desperately craves affection. One example is during the third poetry-sharing session. If Natsuki has liked all your poems to date, she outright asks the protagonist if he thinks her poems are the best, which swiftly shifts to her begging him to say they are, even if he hates them.
- It is implied that Natsuki has an abusive father:
- Natsuki prefers to stay at the Literature Club than her home and is visibly worried about fading into the background if more people were to join the club.
- Natsuki fears what would happen if her father spots her reading "childish" manga.
- The father wants her home no later than a specific time.
- Monika's alterations to Natsuki's negative traits in Act 2 exaggerate Natsuki and her father's relationship, evident by Natsuki's bolded "My dad would beat the shit out of me if he saw this" comment and Monika's "guess" that Natsuki's father does not give her money or lunch as she departs to school, resulting in her malnutrition and short stature.
- Related, Natsuki passes out in the Literature Club room, prompting Monika to give her a protein bar, saying it happens often enough to have Monika keep one in her bag in case it happens again.
- Natsuki's insecurity being the fuel to her tsundere archetype and boastful attempts at superiority as she looks for approval and jeers from others without being laughed or mocked at, a common symptom for victims of child abuse.
- Another circumstantial point, but if the player writes poems for Natsuki in Act 2 the day before and the day of the festival planning, then the interaction between Yuri and Natsuki changes on the day of the festival planning and takes a darker turn: Natsuki apologizes for being so aggressive the day before and leaving the club, and Yuri responds that "No one cares. Why don't you just go look for spare coins under the vending machine out in the hallway." Natsuki is angry at first and tries to speak, but she starts crying and runs out of the club room again. Despite this, the rest of the events for that day proceed as usual, and Natsuki will still give the player her "poem" about trying to help Yuri, stating that she doesn't trust Monika. The jab by Yuri though further alludes to the possible fact that Natsuki's father doesn't give her lunch money and thus encourages the concept that Natsuki's father is abusive.
- Theoretical at best, but by connecting the symptoms of insecurity from real-world abuse victims and how such relationships tend to begin, Natsuki pressuring to go home for dinner after saving her appetite, feeling insecure about her underdeveloped size and stature, and her boasts on how she can overcome such a flaw with minor acts of feat, the father is likely critical of her stagnate growth and wants her to eat all provided meals so his efforts are worth the fortune that Natsuki does not become more dependent on him and become a greater drain on his resources, time, and energy.
- Natsuki's version of "Okay, Everyone!" involves a much simpler tune consisting of a recorder xylophone duet, though it is slightly off-tempo, representing her childish and simplistic nature.
- Her poems are usually the shortest and most "childish" of the group, with playful and simple music, contrasting with the messages of her poems, which are usually more hard-hitting and serious.
- Natsuki is the only one of the main girls who doesn't commit suicide. She is deleted by Monika after she runs from the classroom upon seeing Yuri's dead body.
- Natsuki snapping her neck to the side during her corruption in Act 2 could be disputed as Natsuki's self-destruction, but the act has temporary and inconclusive consequences.
- In the manga "Parfait Girls," Natsuki's favorite character is a girl named Minori, who she claims to be particularly unlucky.
- Dan Salvato has stated that he wishes he could have added more content to Natsuki's character.
- The sprite of Natsuki throwing up may have been inspired by "vomit-chan", a famous Yume Nikki fanart that features the player character, Madotsuki, throwing up.