Monika's menu screen image.
|Voiced by||Jillian Ashcraft|
|Born||22 September 1998-1999 (age 18)|
|Hair color||Coral brown|
Her name is not a Japanese name; it’s an alternate spelling of Monica, an occidental name of Latin origin. While the name fits into Japanese phonology, Dan noted in the DDLC Fanpack that he intended to evoke a subtle feeling in a reader that Monika was out of place from the other characters.
Monica was the name of the mother of St. Augustine, but the origin of the name itself is unclear. Etymological theories proposed include Ancient Greek μόνος (mónos, "alone") and Latin moneō ("I advise") among others.
Monika's uniform differs from those of the other girls in a few ways, reinforcing the theme of her being out of place. Her shoes are tipped in pink instead of blue, and her stockings are black instead of white and longer than those of the rest of the cast. Monika's sprites in-game are also the only ones to face the screen directly instead of at a three-fourths angle. She is also the only girl who has a realistic hair color. Like Yuri and Natsuki, Monika has a pair of hair intakes (a hairstyle in which there are arches on top of a character’s head resembling cat ears or car hoods).
Monika is an outwardly sweet character who cares about the well-being of her friends, but as the game progresses begins to favor the main character over the rest. She's a very philosophical individual, writing poems with deep allegorical content and discussing many topics beyond superficiality in Act 3.
She is the only one of the four heroines not designed to fall into a character archetype commonly found in the visual novel genre, but many have interpreted her to be a yandere character, an archetype of someone who will do anything to be with their love interest, including murder. At the end of Act 2, she pokes fun at this archetype, calling Yuri a yandere instead.
Monika is the only character who knows that she and her peers are fictitious, programmed entities in a game and uses this knowledge to her advantage to get closer to the player. However, Act 4 suggests that this is not specifically a trait of Monika's but a side-effect of being the president of the Literature Club.
In a livestream celebrating the first anniversary of the game's release, Dan Salvato explained his design choices regarding Monika. Monika was intended to present as a faux semi-serious guide character through "writing tips of the day" and occasionally breaking the fourth wall. She plays along with the story up until the end of Act 2 as she understands that her best chance at being with the player is to not immediately shatter their immersion with the game. She approaches the world in which she lives as if it were any ordinary game in which a player would have no emotional investment in its characters and thus have no adverse reaction to misfortune befalling them. In reality, however, most players of Doki Doki Literature Club! become quickly invested in the characters, leading to distress unforseen to Monika when they meet their ends.
- Salvato, Dan (dansalvato). “September 22nd” 16 Nov. 2017, 4:02 PM. Tweet
- dansalvato#4807, Discord message, 12 October 2017.
- dansalvato#4807, Discord message, 5 October 2017.
- dansalvato, Twitch livestream, 22 September 2018.