There is a certain room in a certain building in a certain complex beyond the fourth wall; this is about all you need to know, except that the building was marked "Utsuge Department" and was colossal enough and organized enough to have a room for nearly everything, including, apparently, "Unloved Key Haremettes".

"I don't understand it," Misaka Shiori mused. "I suppose my story didn't have anything to do with amnesia or magic or seven years ago, so it didn't really fit in the plot. Still, I do sort of wish I had more merchandise, at least."

"You do get a pretty raw deal, Shiori-senpai," Kirishima Kano said after figuring that calling a younger girl senpai was still acceptable because her game came first. "But you have a couple more fans, at least according to image board name stats, even if there aren't as many as for the other girls. I only get merchandise or fanart if all the other modern-day girls do."

"You have a fanbase," Shiori said. "Don't they call you Kano-rin? And your statistics were nice in Eternal Fighter Zero."

"Yeah, I guess," Kano shrugged, petting the fluffy dog in her lap. "Most people hate me because I'm weird or my ending was selfish. You guys know I wouldn't have said that stuff if I knew she was real, right? I have nothing against Kamio-san."

"Piko!" Potato nodded.

"That's right." Kano petted Potato.

Furukawa Nagisa took a deep breath and concentrated on the melon bread in her hands. "I don't want this to be a show of one-upmanship, but you two have people who like you..."

"Why are you here anyway?" Kano looked at her. "You're the lead haremette. You have all the merchandise, all the screentime, your own epilogue, two seasons of the anime adaptation that's pretty much all about you, and Okazaki-kun's undying affection."

"I guess so..." Nagisa bit her lip.

Shiori put a hand on Nagisa's shoulder. "It's the fanbase, isn't it?"

Nagisa sniffled. "I hate ship hate! E-everybody always says I'm boring and one of the other girls should have won and that my ahoge looks like a cockroach's antennae a-and I shouldn't even be alive!" She broke down in tears. "I know I'm the main love interest, but I-I've never heard of anyone in my position getting this much hate..."

Shiori frowned. "It's possible. You could speak to Aoyama-kun in the magical girls' building down the hall."

"Or any female in a shounen series ever," Kano added.

Nagisa looked up and wiped her eyes. "I guess..."

"We're all here for the same reason." Shiori gave a reassuring smile. "We may all have gotten routes, and we may all get some love, but we get the shaft from fans - and sometimes in the merchandise. Sometimes, not always."

"Yeah, you're right." Kano sighed. "Sorry, Nagisa-chan. Anyway, we all like each other here, right? Death threats from people who wish someone else got their own route instead aside."

Shiori cringed. "My sister has too many scary fans. Kurata-senpai even more so."

"Melon bread," Nagisa whispered to herself. She sat up. "Right! Even if most people don't like us, we have some people who do, and we're lucky in some respects, after all!"

There was a knock. Potato jumped out of Kano's lap and barked at the door. Shiori laughed and pushed herself to her feet. "I'll get it." She made her way over and turned the knob. "I wonder if it's Hoshizono-san or Saigusa-san? They haven't been doing well in the polls..."

As soon as the door was open, Kannabi-no-Mikoto popped her head through. "This must be the right room. Excuse me."

"Kanna-san?" Shiori blinked. "Don't the fans love you?"

"Yeah, it's why they hate me," Kano said, rubbing the back of her head. "Sorry, by the way."

"How rude," Kanna said. "I am not here because of my fanbase. I am here because I haven't got any merchandise! What is wrong with these people? Insolent fools!"

Nagisa looked up from her bread. "I haven't heard of someone the fans love getting no merchandise..."

"That happens a lot," Shiori said with a nervous laugh. "Kanna-san, you could speak with the Kiryuu sisters in the magical girls' building down the hall."

"Or," Kano added, "to any female in a shounen series ever."

"Piko," said Potato.