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About this blog

What is this blog? A place to discuss and fangirl about otome and BL titles, since Fuwa is lacking some coverage in these types of game.
How I'll run it? I'll alternate between BL and Otomege, but I'll bring mostly review or short discussions of games. I'll try to bring both old games for the beginners and new games for the old crowd. There's also some meme entries here and there and... yeah.
When? My irl schedule is quite erratic, but I'll try to do it around Wednesday/Thursday. I'll try to post weekly.
About? Of course my opinion is all over the place, but it's not like just because I didn't have interest to play certain titles doesn't mean it'll be the same for you, right? So I'll try to bring tons of different things, even ones I didn't played! ^.^
Suggestions? Tell me! Price: One pretty boy pic.

Entries in this blog

MaggieROBOT

As many (hopefully) of you know, I like to read a lot of different things, providing my stomach and the laws of my country allow it. My VNDB list will never reach Clephas level of completeness, so I'm aiming for something different instead: to have the most random, hipster, no prejudice, unlike any other VN list. Of course, as slow as I am, I can only hope to achieve this dream within the next 30 years or so, but hey I'm still young!

I have conquered otomege, devoured BL, collected EVNs, discovered yuri, threaded in chuuni waters, tiptoed into nakige, read through memeges, tasted horror, and tried my hand with gameplay hybrids. But how can I call myself a Ultimate VN Reader if I never read a single nukige? No, I have to change that. I must to. So I decided to give a chance to the glorious fangame our friendly neighbors Asonn, Arcadeotic, Hanako, HMN, Jptje, Nandemonai, Zakamutt, and other sweeties (because the list is damn long), shared with the West: Maki Fes!

What were the impressions of Maggie, guaranteed 12% female readership of Fuwa, someone who totally didn't went in for the memes and that totally knew something about Love Live beforehand? Find out now!
 

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There's a catchy song in the title screen, pretty much the only song I remember from the game.
 

In Maki Fes!, you play as Matt yourself! The boyfriend (wait, it should be girlfriend if I had to play as myself. Well, I can stick with Matt just fine) of the cute red haired tsundereish Maki! How lucky are you? Nukige convenience is convenient, alright! Not a bad start to be honest, I was expecting something more stupid, but Maki Fes already proved itself as above average intellectual level than my preconceived opinion of what constitutes an average nukige. Anyway, Maki needs to write a song and you, as a good boyfriend, agree to help her get some inspiration. And yeeeeeees, that means lots of porn!

Maki is pretty much the only character you'll meet through the entire game, since more girl means harem or yuri, right? And that's not what this doujinge is about. And she's fully voiced! The actress does a very good job for most part, except during those background moans that goes like a machine gun shooting fast going "a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a" that got annoying after two loops. The art is also quite pleasant to look at, Maki pouting and smiling are just the cutest. I enjoyed her character, but I don't know the original to say if she's going too OOC.

So! The game provide you with the following scenarios, and all of them leads to porn. Yes, some of these choices leading to porn is quite creative, I know. The twist would be if the last option didn't, but that's not what happens here.
 

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Choices, oh choices.
 

If you don't want to be spoilered, stop reading right here! Not that I consider sexual position a spoiler, but hey, there's weird folks of all kinds out there! So let's go over what I get out of each scenes. And no, it wasn't masturbatory material.

"Let's recall our first time!": Exactly what it says on the tin. It was quite a sweet scene, where Matt the protagonist was mindful of Maki, and if she was feeling comfortable. Of course, she had to say the typical "you can be more rough, I know you're holding yourself back", but hey, at least they discussed it! Relationship is all about two people understanding and being respectful with each other after all! Another thing that I have to praise this game is that the classic "Cum inside/Cum outside" option only affect the CG right after it, and not the ending, so I could pick "Cum outside" to my heart's content.

"Wear your maid outfit!": This one was nice too, as far as h-scenes goes. It's a blowjob scene and HEY, it have simple ANIMATIONS (*insert here the face of a surprised girl that never saw a animated VN before)! The translation of this scene was pretty good too, I was amazed with how many different porn sound effects this guy could came (get it? :ren:) up with. It also had a marriage proposal discussion there that I liked, but I can guess 80% of the people that played this game didn't even noticed it.

"Our good luck charm!": This was one of the last scenes I read, so there wasn't much of my patience left. I think it was something about writing good luck wishes on Maki's butt. Yep. Of course, not with a pen or a penis, but with his finger. Oh yeah, this guy goes on and on about Maki's cellulite free butt but this game don't have a single anal scene. For shame, game, for shame!

"I'm hungry!": I can only say one thing. How Maki decided she wanted to feed this guy and do it like this???????????
 

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"Dancing is inspiring!": Probably, but it was the very last scene I read and at that point I just wanted the game to end. Four scenes is my limit for h-scenes one after another. Multiple rounds indeed is a lie. Oh yeah, the scene. I think it was a cowgirl scene and... that's it.

"Use traditional elements!": Was it on that scene that Maki came with the penetration alone? God, that was dumb. This guy have such lame foreplay skill it's a wonder Maki can even come once. Oh yeah, there's pee in this scene, weird that Zaka didn't work on this. How does her pee makes an arc in the air though? Pretty sure you need a penis to do that...

"You need some excitement!": Man, this scene have one weird dick. It looked like a fishing hook. Animating it didn't make it any better. But I think this scene had some well crafted puns cumversation, so it was somewhat amusing.

"I wanna fuck!": (Chorus: FUCK!)* Now that's a scene where Matt truly shines! And Maki as well. How could a forget when she uttered my favorite quote of the game, "My nipples are playing the blues!"? Now that's what I call talented nipples!

*Joke stolen from ZakaTM 

After seeing all scenes, you can finally watch the desired True Ending, that I'll not spoil here. That was... tiring to be honest, but also educational (?) to say the least. It helped me to understand some before unexplored corners of the VN fandom. And I can't really doubt that it must be a nice game if used as intended. Should I be ashamed that this was my first contact with anything related to Love Live? Maybe. But now I can proudly (??) say that my VNDB list is one step closer to perfection. And since I already ticked the nukige checkbox, I can safely remove any other nukiges/games tagged with high sexual content from my wishlist!

...Wait, that one nukige is BL.

...

Guess I'm making a nukige misadventures part 2.


Unrelated PS: No, I didn't forget about Dankaronpa, chapter 4 is halfway done. Maybe next week! ;)

MaggieROBOT

Persona 5 was a game that I was expecting for a long time, given that I'm a fan of the series and Persona 4 was pretty good. Too bad it quickly earned the title of "biggest disappointment of the year" for me. The way people were praising it didn't help either because I was expecting a masterpiece and found something so-so at best. The epitome of style over substance, I played half the game to see that everything I liked in that game some older game in the franchise already did it, and did it better. But enough of those unrelated complaints, as this blog is about gay things. So here comes another one of my many nitpicks: I don't play Persona to self-insert myself in the MC, so I couldn't care less about not having a female MC (although that would be super cool, and at the same time disappointing, as ATLUS let it very clear that the last time they gave us the option her storyline was NOT canon), but please at least give me the option to pick any love interest I want! This is optional, you know, that thing that's you're not forced to pick to go on, so it shouldn't offend anyone, right?

Wrong. Have your blank protagonist that have no info about him except that he's heterosexual. Have fun.

I wouldn't really write a salty blog post about this if at least the girls were as interesting and cool as they were in Persona 4 (even if best bro Yosuke was still the best pairing, just saying). If. The girls from your party are all (okay, maybe not Haru, because I didn't met her) a stereotyped bore, their lines are either predictable or inconsequential things that could have being said by anyone. Okay, that's not only the girls, even your best bro is just a generic bro. And the one girl that aren't in my party that could be a good love interest stole 100000 yen from me when I was barely being able to buy all guns from the shop so of course I wouldn't give that witch a piece of my love. There was only two characters that managed to make me care about them: Yusuke, the eccentric ikemen, and Mishima, our loyal fanboy. But the game only let us be best friends forever, now I'll die for you, but kiss nah that's too much. Game, stop cockblocking my character!!!

 

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But I don't wanna be just friends...

 

But it's not that there's no gay character in this game! We go to Shinjuku, and the Shinjuku Ni-chōme area is a thing after all. But eeerrr... the only gay characters I met in Shinjuku was a very stereotyped pair that appear just for a stereotyped joke scene. Twice even. It wasn't particularly funny in the first time, ATLUS, repeating it definetly won't make it funnier. It actually just rub salt in my wounds because you won't let me date Yusuke!

But what happened with ATLUS these past years? They let me date my childhood friend Jun (that's pretty much Yusuke but more shy and more gay) back in Persona 2. Even when the game didn't have friend simulator mechanics. That game also had Hitler as one of the final bosses in a way that makes sense in the plot, so I guess they could never make a game as amazing as that. Best Persona. But anyway, I guess the problem is exactly the friend simulator thing, that also doubles as girlfriend simulator. You see, no matter what choice you pick, all girls always fall for you, no fail. So yeah, including male love interests means that they would have to make them by the end of the social links all blushy and shy and wanting to hold your hand and... ARGH, BUT THAT WOULD BE ADORABLE, DAMN ATLUS! But like I was saying, the social link as they are now are very poorly implemented. Hell, in Persona 3, you were actually forced to date all girls and four-timing made the game even harder because you could make one of them pissed if you were spending your weekend with another girl. Well, duh. But yeeeeeah, what can I do? The girls keep coming even if I only agree with whatever they are saying just so I can max the social link with her and finally unlock this beast to use in battle:

 

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Wait a minute, that Persona over there was from a guy's social link! But I can't remember any useful Persona that unlocks with a girl's social link............... Why did I even try again? Not that I tried too much in Persona 3...

Hey, but it could be a lot lot worse! Remember No One But You? Okay, me neither, I spent a good time looking for the name of this VN. We have a best friend route there, but it's mostly a joke and pity and pornless route because the poor guy didn't get any girl. Oooooh who would even think of going for him from the start! Althought, looking at the CGs in VNDB, the porn seems to suck anyway. Well, the text always sucks, but in this case the CGs sucks too. And we also have Mass Effect Andromeda! We have option for both gender and orientation, but I hope you didn't want to see the boys/aliens going for more than kiss because the male MC and male love interest is the only combination where the super tame porn included in the game doesn't exists, it just fades to black. Then again, the facial expressions of the characters sucks more than No One But You sex scenes, so guess we didn't lose much here either. And for the final example, a date sim/nukige made by Illusion, of all things, that lets you choose your gender and orientation and clearly lets you make an all-boys harem. Oh right, I just forgot to mention that male on male scenes don't exist in the game, fade to black again, het and yuri are fine though. Yeeeeeep, you can play a nukige without any porn. Why even give me the gay option then?????? Fortunately, the game is for PC so kind people quickly modded the damn thing and now it's a 11/10 ge.

 

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And now I'll complain that those devs are slowly making their games more gay but it's still not enough gay because I need to title drop somewhere in this post. Let's get out of our confort zone, AAA devs! And yet, some sensitive people complain on how the gay pandering is ruining the industry with our incredible 0.5% of non-indie games that actually gives people a decent and totally optional choice, sure. And it's not like I'm trying to make every game gay, I'm not against that, but I can see it doesn't work well in every single place. Some canon het pairings in single heroine games wouldn't be as perfect if we included more options. It DOES works wonderfully with blank slates MCs like Persona ones, but we need some good guys too. In multiple-times-mentioned Persona 3 I would totally go for a girl anyway, because the girls from my party were mostly good while my best bro Junpei is so bro that he would probably stab me to take my place if I ever let my guard down around him. It would totally be a trap, but not that trap. And I can't risk dying outside the dungeons.

I'll finish Persona 5 regardless, eventually. It's a solid 7/10 game for now (DISCLAIMER: in my ratings, 7 is usually okay, it was entertaining but either had hard-to-ignore flaws or it's a bit forgetable). But I have to confirm that the last two dungeons won't save it of being my least favorite Persona game. Shin Megami Tensei 5 when btw?

Salt out!

MaggieROBOT

It have at least a female protagonist though! Serious now, this short title developed by Alice in Dissonance, and published by Sekai Project, was released back in February and since it's not moe enough and it didn't have any h-scene or censorship, it kinda slip under everyone's radar, myself included. I find it randomly when I was looking for short novels on Steam, but I'm thankful for the amount of adorableness I found in such tiny gem.


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Both Mhakna and Fairy Bell from the title


Mhakna Gramura and Fairy Bell tells the story of Mhakna, a young girl that prays for a Fairy for happier days, just to have her wish granted and then carried to the beautiful and magical Enles Land with her best friend Sebiarno. But there's one condition, they must promise they'll give up on growing. The story is presented in chapter format and each one show a different adventure of the two kids in a fairy tale setting. It made me remember Sekien no Inganock structure but with more hope and less repetition, or a RPG Maker game named AliceMare but happier.

A thing worth mentioning is that, according the developers, Mhakna Gramura is a fairy tale written by Alissyn Rievegh, a Sanne'Ajrizdia-language (a fictional language) author in the world of Fault Milestone, Alice in Dissonance more known series. So it's a story inside a story. I know absolutely nothing about Fault and that didn't hinder my enjoyment one bit. But Mhakna does have some fictional language going on at times, probably the one mentioned above, but it's not hard to distiguish what's supposed to be a greeting and what's supposed to be food. Although halfway through, you get furigana (yes, in english) for some words. But if the idea of having furigana in english hurts your elitist soul, you can switch the the entire game language to japanese in the main menu! You also unlock a glossary by the time you finish the game, but for me it was a bit too late, I barely remember where each word was used.


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Protect these kids' smiiiiiiiiiles


The chapters themselves are pretty short, ranging from two to ten minutes long, 20 chapter total. It really is a very short reading, but unlike the aforementioned Sekien no Inganock, each new side character you met along the way comes back at least once so you get to understand their side of the story and what made them pray for Fairy Bell. More explanations and backstory are also unlocked in the glossary, for anyone that could feel unsatisfied. Of course, nothing is all sunshine and rainbows in this VN so be prepare to be hit with some feels. One chapter in particular was quite sad, and that's also thanks to its well written children characters, who actually act and think like children for 95% of the time.

The art is incredibly good. The game doesn't have sprites, instead the background image transitions along with the lines, enhancing the story book feels. Some parts of the images have very simple animations (like when we can see Fairy Bell moving up and down when she's hovering, rain and tears falling, etc), and that added a lot of charm and uniqueness to this experience. The coloring is very pretty as well. 

And even the music! The tracks are a mix of relaxing and lively tracks, but the music for sad and weird moments also do their job well. Everything in this novel, art, music and story blended together really well. There's no voice acting, but the game is short, so it'll be over before you starting missing voice acting.

 


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Even the side characters are so adorable...


After playing and seeing a lot of dark and gritty games or VNs where sex is your only reward, a innocent, pure and a bit childish game like this was a nice breath of fresh air in between longer reads. Even if it's pretty short, it's well worth its 5 USD price. If you're a sucker for fairy tale inspired stories, like me, this VN is satisfying!

MaggieROBOT

Nitroplus sure is popular and there's always hype surrounding their games. Their imprint Nitro+CHIRAL receives the same treatment by the BL fanbase. And that was one of the reasons that I was afraid to approach their games. Overhype frequently kills anime and manga for me, and I believe that the more a media is popular, the more parroting we see instead of legitimate opinions, I can't even count the times I read reviews that, if you erased all positive adjectives, you ended up with nothing. Even so, I tried to play this game because its plot was genuinely interesting. Too bad it got so easily abandoned halfway through the game.

 

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Game's cover is more badass than the game itself


Togainu no Chi, Nitro+CHIRAL's debut title released in 2005, tells the story of Akira, a champion in some turf war style game, that got falsely accused of a crime. Japan is in a pretty post apocalyptic state and its society is falling apart so he had almost no hope in ever clearing up the misunderstanding. Except a woman named Emma appears before Akira with a deal to free him. And for that, he have to enter another game, this time a battle royale, named Igura. Accepting the terms, Akira travel to the ruins of Tokyo, where Igura take place. The world building is well done and full of good ideas, that unfortunately falls flat when you reach the character routes. The game takes its time to explain all rules of Igura and show all of the weird quirks the game master added just for fun, just to gives us like two fights and then shift the focus of the plot to something else. Of the five routes, only one actually elaborate a bit more about Igura and that ended up being my favorite route. Of course, they tried to tie the Igura plot with the game's true plot, but the excuse they used still doesn't make Igura actually important for anything.

This feeling of disconnection between the beginning and the later parts of the game was so strong that it almost made me want to try the game's trial. Like, the prologue had special portraits for characters that had only one scene worth of appearance (the game have three or so base NPC faces, but these guys are different), three completely useless character had sprites, there's a fighting sequence with some homeless people that acted like wild animals that's never explained or even mentioned again. I do wonder if the game was supposed to be one thing and because some development problems it became something else...

 

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Even Akira is sad with how the game turned out...

 

Now for the characters. First we have Akira, the main character, and mostly a silent badass type of guy. Or that's what we expect him to be based on the prologue. For a said champion, he's overpowered way too easily by pretty much any character that cross paths with him. Add the fact that after 90% of said defeats his opponent states how pretty Akira is and how much he wants to rape him (of course, stating too that he doesn't care if he's a guy), and we have one of the most "damsel in distress" MC I ever saw. The thing he said the most in the entire VN is "let go!", seriously (his "hanaseyo!" just played in my mind). Sure, he accomplish some things by himself, but nothing end game tier. He just goes where the plot carries him, over and over again. And to make things worse, his development is tied to the fact that he should warm more to others and not to his uselessness in combat.

Among our five heroes we have: Keisuke, the clingy childhood friend; Rin, an energetic shota; Motomi, a laid back older guy; Shiki, the edgelord that goes around killing guys with a katana and vanishing the next second; and Nano, a mysterious guy that says a lot of things that doesn't make much sense. We also have bad endings with Arbitro, a super eccentric guy, and his two bodyguards Gunji and Kiriwar, but they're pretty short and not really plot relevant. With the exception of Shiki, all of the others have some character growth. 

Personally, I loved Rin's and Motomi's routes, since it developed well not only each character, but also the couple. You can see them growing up and moving on together. Keisuke is your typical childhood friend route, but his route have a twist that's sadly repeated in every single route, making his route completely pointless if you don't care too much about his character. Nano's route had a good start, but guess he was a bit too detached for a medium length game, so his development was way too rushed in the end. Shiki's route is a complete disaster that I'll talk about in the H-scene part of the review, because his route barely had anything else.

 

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"No love for an older guy, huh", Motomi thought, remembering how N+C put him out of view in the blowjob part of the h-scene...

 

The h-scenes... sigh. There's eleven scenes in total, and only three aren't rape. And they aren't even dubious consent scenes, it's no consent whatsoever. And most of them are totally gratuitous. There are more routes than consensual h-scenes, so... you know what to expect. I could actually forgive such a ratio if this was some dark and dramatic story. It's not. It's the actually the same annoying BL cliché that plagues a lot of older works: rape turned love. Guy A forces himself on guy B (usually the MC) because "he can't express himself very well". But no worries, because the rapist liked the other guy all along. And the one raped can see beyond the abuse, guy A have other worthy qualities. And then, happy couple ending~ Aaaaw, can I vomit already? I mean, what? How can they even call that romance??? I know the game deals with some dark themes, so the least they could do is treat it with seriousness and not like some "cute" shipping material. Although this description here fits mostly Shiki (except one of his bad endings, that actually depicts some sort of mindbreaking), there's one more character that had a rape scene that came completely out of nowhere, for no real reason and it so happened to be the only h-scene of the route... My headcanon is that one of the "drugs" (drugs are never named in those media, huh?) they use actually turns them into rapists, but who knows the right answer.

And when that's not the problem, we have the unnatural dialogue. "But we're both guys!", oh I didn't even noticed, thanks for telling me! "I don't like guys, it's just you!", he's a guy regardless, give up. "I don't care if you're a guy, you have a pretty face!" (actually this particular quote wasn't in a h-scene, but in a rape attempt scene) I thought that was the norm for BL MCs, how is that not gay? The game really goes out of its way to basically say "NO HOMO!" sometimes... There's so many turn off moments that only positive thing I can say about the h-scenes is that Akira's voice actor do an AMAZING job, one of the best h-scenes voice acting I heard.

 

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Nano!!! Please don't sleep!!! I swear Shiki's route is almost over!!!

 

The art is nothing really special. The background can get a bit repetitive with so many gray tones, the CGs are good, better than the sprites, the usual stuff. The soundtrack on the other end is pretty good, enhancing various okay moments to something cool. It sets the mood just right, the song that plays in the bonding/emotional scenes in particular had such a lonely vibe, I liked it a lot. And the good ending song is so beautiful I constantly hear it (and I feel obligated to share it).

And, because it's an old game, I had to add one more section to this review: technical stuff. It's a known fact that this game have some compatibility problems with windows 8.1 and 10. Back when I played it in windows 8.1, I had to do several "tricks" (compatibility mode with windows XP, put it in high priority in task manager) to unfreeze the game after loading a save file. I had to change the tricks (clicking in specific points in the screen, don't ask why) to play it in windows 10, but after some updates it's now completely unplayable for me. Some people had more luck and said tricks still works, others never had any problem, but are you feeling lucky? Nitro+CHIRAL released a new windows 10 compatible version, but, as you can guess, you can't use the english patch in this version.

Another way to play this game is grab the all-ages PS2 version that even added a new route. Even then, I couldn't really bother with reading this again. It's storytelling is so outdated and filled with bad BL stereotypes. But unfortunately there's so few BL translated that this became some sort of mandatory reading.

MaggieROBOT

In one particular thread about otome games, fellow Fuwan Plk_Lesiak said something that made me think. "It looks like a lot of japanese otome games are written by men" (along these lines). I can't really describe why is that, but I have the same feeling. But hey, maybe we're both wrong so I decide to do a little research. I looked into the team of some big japanese otome companies and tried to find their scenario writers. Here's what I found!

 

For Otomate:

Code:Realize, a very popular JP otomege, was written by five people and the main one is Nishimura Yuu, a male who's a freelancer LN writer. In the game's fandisc though, that's more romance oriented I should add, a woman named Kojima Nao is credited instead.
Collar x Mallice was written by three people, two of them I couldn't find information about their gender. The remaining one, Sahara Yuki, is a woman. She also helped with Rejet's Black Wolves Saga, Ken ga Kimi and Bad Medicine. The director is also a female.
Kokuchou no Psychedelica was written by a team of three females and also directed by a female.
7'scarlet is the first one I found that only one person is credit. And this person is Kanazawa Tomio, male.
Period Cube also has a single person credited: Seki Ryouko, female.
Amnesia was written by two females.

 

For Rejet:

Tokyo Yamanote Boys (at least the first one because it's such a long series) was written by one male and one female.
Tiny x Machinegun's plot was written by Yamada Yuumi, female.
The Dot Kareshi series also have multiple writers, but the main one for the 2nd and 3rd games (the best ones imo) is Urai Anna, female, nice comedy there girl I loved that game.
There's way more games here with very little information about the writer compared to Otomate...

 

For Honeybee:

Re:Birthday Song, jeez, there are ten people credited there, at least the three main ones are female.
Ayakashi Gohan, same as above.
Starry Sky series have less writers, but still, all of them are female.

 

For Kalmia8:

No info about Little Miss Lonesome or Kami-sama Nante Yondenai!, but Torikago no Marriage was written by two females. One look at its VNDB page and you'll see how different the latter is in comparison with the other two games. It doesn't even seem like it's by the same company!

 

For Karin Entertainment (this is not as famous, but just to do a comparison):

Princess Nightmare and Eikoku Tantei Mysteria were written by one female (the same one, in fact). Zettai Meikyuu Himitsu no Oyayubi-hime and Danzai no Maria were written by two females.


So, what can I say after all this research? It seems that as the company gets bigger, we have less females, less information and more Frankenstein's creature of a plot, dear lord, I couldn't get over ten people yet...

MaggieROBOT

Sometimes, I want to pick a game with a setting that I'm not used to read about. It's good to try something different once in a while, right? Medieval, fantasy, steampunk and robot-infested future settings quickly catch my attention, but I need an extra push to try something more mundane, more post-apocalyptic or something like this game. Mafia stories. I understand about mafias as much as know about cars (as in: nothing, seriously I tell them apart by color), but the art was so pleasant to look at, so why not? Of course, the BL part was the other push. Good thing what awaited me was a cool and very badass game.

 

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Why Ugajin (glasses guy) is there with the heroes with locked routes? He must feel so important...

 

The story follows our protagonist JJ (center in the above pic), a famous hitman that always do his job right. One day, he's given an assassination mission by the mafia that pretty much controls the region, King Caesar. Said mafia will probably start a war with the opposing mafia, Dragon's Head, soon, making the choice to involve himself with them a bit dangerous, but the job pays too well to be ignored. Too bad the wrong people were killed, the target escaped, JJ was blamed for all of it even if he did nothing wrong and and now the guys from the biggest mafia around are pissed off. To make things even worse, the wrong people that were killed happened to be the parents of one of our heroes, Azusa, and after he saw JJ in the crime scene he started to follow him around to find a chance to kill him.

Wow, lots of things already happened and this is like 15 minutes into the game. The rest of the game also jumps to one action scene to the other with not very long parts of slow building up in between (some exceptions in certain routes), to keep you always entertained. The scenes are packed with regular gun fights with no absurd tricks or superpowers involved and the author makes the scenes longer giving us a lot of gun trivia. Since I only know about guns through Resident Evil games, I was a bit lost when sometimes the attacks were identified by ammunition and not by character mid fight, but I got the hang of it with time. In fact, the guns are so important that you'll notice that each hero weapon of choice kinda matches their personality.

On the other hand, like a lot of action movies, it's not uncommon for you to be asking yourself "but what about the plot?". Calling it a charage is a lot of stretch, but each route in Omerta have it's own plot and half of the time it doesn't revolve around what happened in the prologue that I described. The intro sequence serves more to introduce the characters and to show you where JJ stands in this whole mess. And before you can pick your choices, he's pretty much avoiding both mafias and living with Azusa in his shadow.

 

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Better not to pick another snarky choice...

 

Not having an overaching plot can be a bit disappointing for some people, but that's not a bad thing in the least! Having a very good amount of heroes (seven in total) with different alignment, the game gives you the opportunity of explore their life in this harsh world and take a look at both sides of the conflict. Your allies in one route are your enemies in another. I felt their portrayal were a bit too much black and white (one mafia is clearly portrayed as the good guys and the other as the bad ones), but some shades of gray in their morality are in fact present.

As for the routes themselves, the game splits into three routes and only then it splits into the heroes. If you decide to ally yourself with King Caesar, you have tsundere boy Kiryu and seductive boss Luca. If you decide to go to Dragon's Head instead, you have manipulative Ugajin and the boss everyone fear Liu. And at last, if you decide to stay neutral, you have the blabbermouth Tachibana, the guy that knows well how the city works Toudou and our bratty cat-ears-haired Azusa. At first, Luca, Liu and Azusa's route are locked, but they only need a single playthrough to unlock. Order is also not enforced, so you can really read in the order you prefer. The only recommendation I give is to read the subordinates of each mafia before the bosses. And if you think that the prologue's arc is the closest thing to call a true route, let Azusa's route for last. Either way, there's one epilogue that takes things from most routes that is the Grand Ending (as the game itself calls it) of Omerta.

 

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The game didn't gave me a threesome route with these guys, and I'm still pissed

 

The characters themselves are interesting even when some of them aren't exactly likable. This game is tagged with "Villainous Hero" in VNDB, after all. But if there's one character that steals the show, it's the protagonist. JJ is one badass guy in the action scenes, and he stays true to his "killing with no hesitation" nature for the vast majority of the novel. Even so, he's also caring and even a bit naive in the "slice-of-life" parts. Seriously, who would thought that a hitman could be this cute? Well, it makes some sense seeing that he's a dork who lived on the run most of the time. Not many opportunities for normal human interaction.

The romance is done in an very uneven way. Of the seven routes, two follows the "MC was swept away by the hero's affection" pattern, one have more of a "close friends that also have sex with each other" vibe (that I liked a lot), one is the villain route so there's more pity than love there (also nicely done), one have that true canon hero vibe since the very beginning of the route so we could see the love already there somewhat and in the last two the romantic development was so fast that I almost thought that I skipped something by mistake. It's good to have some variation, but in at least two of those I felt the romance very unconvincing. Not that I was expecting epic and fluffy romance in a mafia story anyway. Althought I must say that I was very sad to not have a route with a particular side character...

The H-scenes are very good. Like VERY GOOD. The art in it was so good, the voice acting was also very well done, there's some nice variation of positions (the CGs never felt recycled, just changing one of the guys) and the MC is bottom in some routes and top on others. H-scenes alone, of all the BL games I played, this one takes the prize for me. Of course, since most of the heroes (and the MC himself) are no saints, there's rape and dubious consent in spades in there and I felt quite bad about liking some of those CGs aaaaah, some of them used for threat and domination and not for "love" at least. While this is understandable in the setting, 80% of the time this is done to Azusa, that is the weakest guy, so it felt more like picking on the weak. Not cool. 

If you're planning to skip them without seeing even a glimpse of the CG though, unfortunately they're very randomly located in the game. Not that is hard to see one coming... most of the time. There's a PSP port that got rid of all the H-scenes, but, while it was more than welcome with some rape scenes and some replacements were even more gay than the original, if that was even possible, I kinda missed some of the best H-scenes (I have both version: read the PC one and skimmed through the PSP one).

 

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Stop hurting my precious cat boy please...

 

The soundtrack is nothing special. The tracks were cool, but nothing really memorable. Voice acting was quite good, at least for the main characters and the side characters that had more screen time. I could listen to Luca's voice all day, Kiryu's tsun voice is just adorable and Ugajin have the same voice actor as Emiya Shirou from F/SN (and they sound exactly the same) so the H-scene was... funny to listen to say the least. Almost everyone that don't have a sprite have a cheesy or generic voice, but well, they are generic anyway.

Despite all the problems, Omerta was a fun read and very badass. It's hard to make the MC the most likable character, but here they did a good job. Of course, maybe their portrayal of the mafia world is completely wrong, I wouldn't know any better, but eh, just enjoy this piece of entertainment. Because entertainment you can definitely find here. I hope to come back to review the fandisc, but I have to read it first... I can't wait to meet these boys again!

MaggieROBOT

I know no one cares about the Oscars anymore (or ever) but now came the time to prove how The Shape of the Water is the best otomemu ever.

 

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# FAQ

Q) What da hell is an otomemu?
A) It's a short for 乙女ムーヴィ (otomemuvi). It's like a ge, but not really. (This bullshit is copyrighted by Maggie not really)

Q) Why the FAQ is at the start of the post?
A) You wouldn't be able to handle the suspense of not knowing what a otomemu is.

Q) This is unfunny.
A) And that's not a question. The Q stand for question, smartass, ask something and leave your stupid comments in your pocket!

 

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Okay, back in the ge. Oh, I mean the mu. So, the Oscars made me realize how much of a otomege The Shape of Water can be. Don't believe? Just follow me!

 

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  1. It have a silent female MC that was just doing her mundane job when suddenly she found love in the least expected place;
  2. It stars a mysterious aloof guy and only route option and everybody loves the sexy and mysterious trope, right?
  3. We have a totally random sex scene shove in for the same reasons as a lot eroge, whatever they are. It's with side character, so you don't need to fear that any kind of NTR is coming;
  4. It have the token glasses guy that all otomege seems to have but this time he didn't had a route because that's what all animes do, cut routes (in this particular case, I didn't wanted a route with him anyway);
  5. It have a incredibly short gay subplot for the yays because BL is also for girls;
  6. It's a pure love story as the meaning of otome would suggest;
  7. If you watch it with subs, the experience will be kinda like a OELVN with non anime art emulating School Days style so it can totally be considered a ge along with being a mu.

 

So, with this post I hope to clean the slate of the otomemus because Twilight is such a bakamu and 50 Shades a kusomu,  it's refreshing to see a kamige once in a while. Murica also proved that The Shape of the Water was the best VN of 2017 and now I can finally say that Guillermo del Toro is a better VN writer than SCA-Ji. Deal with that, weebs. Cheers!

 

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MaggieROBOT

Hi hi, everyone! It was surely a good week for us BL fans with the announcement of JAST's new BL brand. Think about it, we'll be able to see Sweet Pool uncensored shortly before hitting 50. Okay, enough JAST jokes and N+C in general. Since they're not saying much about Slow Damage, I already reported everything they announced in that thread the other day. Well, guess I sabotaged my own blog, rip. So why not talk about an obscure upcoming game? Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you today Nie no Machi (no VNDB page yet, now I went full obscure hm? But here's the game's main website)!

 

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Dying was never so festive. Wait, WHAT??? (I'll explain in a minute)

 

Okay, I'm saying it's obscure, so how the hell I found out about it? In fact, this debut game from Zombilica was featured in the last edition of Cool-B, a japanese magazine about BL and girl games. If you played any japanese BL game, you probably already stumble in some special artwork of it made for this one magazine.

And what exactly is it about? It follows the story of Hisora, that after following a young man dressed in mourning clothes he fell into another world. Oho, I'm not really a fan of isekais, but with a harem of pretty boys I can change my mind... Too bas this another world is pretty much a town occupied by only by spirits of the dead. The safe place is an inn occupied by... people that fell into a coma in the world of the living and end up trapped there. So our boys must found a way to escape this spirit world. And something tells me that them being half dead won't stop the author to kill some of them noooooooooooo.

 

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Our heroes in adorable chibi form: Naruomi, Hisora (MC), Asuku, Mio and Koko

 

The character's designs are simple, but charming. Personally, I loved Hisora's hair, that in some CGs looks kinda purplish. And I'll bet that the best boy will be.......... Ouya!

 

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Okay, joking or not aside, between our available romanceable options...

 

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I'll think I'll bet on Mio (third one). I mean, look at the others! Poor Asuku (the first one) looks dead inside, the second one's name is Koko da hell dude, and the fourth one Naruomi seems good too, but he'll probably won't be as adorable as the smirky bastard besides him, RIGHT? How can someone even doubt such a pure and gentle smile? /s

 

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I like bitchy love interests in VNs, I may have problems. But, if we looks again into the first image I put here... seems like we have a secret love interest there. Hmmmm... The voice actors were revealed already, but no samples available.

The scenario is written by Toritani Shizu (鳥谷しず), and the art is handled by Rinno Miki (厘のミキ). The game is slated to be released in 2018. Meanwhile, let me get addicted to the song of the PV (careful, there's 2 NSFW CGs there. They're censored, the camera quickly pans to a more safe spot of the CG and they last for about a second each, around 1:04~1:05, but still, don't get fired for nothing! The song is pretty cool nevertheless)!!! I'm planning to get the game whenever it's available so I'll be back with impressions! Eventually! (if I can hook it to use a parser, that is)

MaggieROBOT

It took me only a minute to come up with my random username. That is because I love stories with robots, even more if they are love interests. Their struggle with the fact they are not human despite looking like one or acting like one is something I really enjoy to read, and cry while doing so. And that's what pulled me towards this otomege by Tetrascope. The complete story of this game is split across 3 games: the free edition, that have the base story and it was translated by people from Fuwa; the paid edition, that adds 18+ content and one additional route, untranslated; and the short append story called "Sweet Present for Shin", also untranslated. I checked all of them, and my experience with them was mostly pleasant, even if not all three parts were absolutely necessary.
 

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From the intro movie

 

The story starts in distant future Tokyo, where robotic engineering is advanced enough to have robots indistinguishable from real people around. Although, when I say indistinguishable, I meant physically, since most of them don't possess any way of make rational decisions or emotions. They all follow the strict program built into their heads. Our hero Sakuya is the sole exception. Created by the genius scientist that also the father of our protagonist Akane (you can change her name, this is the default one), Sakuya is so human-like that the biggest robotics company don't waste a chance to strike a deal with our girl to buy him for science.

The setting is pretty well crafted, with topics like unemployment, sexbots, and anti-robots movements on the rising being touched at least once in the novel. Sadly, the novel is short and its focus is in the romance between a human and a robot, so all of these questions are pretty underdeveloped. We know those problems exist, and that they are too big to tackle in a novel so short, but not much discussion about it is done either.

The romance in the first route, the one in the free edition, in the other hand is pretty sweet and satisfying. Sakuya is simply the cutest boy in terms of personality I ever met in a VN. And he's not even human. He's pure, gentle and caring, sometimes naive and sometimes mature. It's easy to forget that he's an android, and that also happens with Akane and Sakuya himself. And the fact that he's not human, but also too emotional to be a robot, it's the biggest source of drama for our characters.

 

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Sakuya's asking to hold hands, WHERE'S THE CHOICE SO I COULD SAY YES???

 

As Sakuya struggle with what he should be... Our protagonist Akane takes the long and dense road. She acts like our usual shoujo manga protagonist, with all of the "what is this feeling?" type of things... except she's supposed to be 23, so usually she comes across as childish. In fact, Sakuya constantly gets right what she's feeling and the only thing about human interaction he knows is mostly through movies. So yeah, originality is not her strongest asset.

Last but not least is Shin, Akane's childhood friend. At first you'll think he'll provide some love triangle drama, but that not happens here. Instead, he serves as a good foil for Sakuya. While Sakuya is a robot who looks like a human, Shin is pretty much a human who looks like a robot. He's always calm and composed, almost emotionless. His sprites have very little variations in expression. Even when he's talking about his memories or feelings, he's as blank as ever. The game is not voiced, so we only have to imagine how monotone he must be in those scenes. But despite all that, he does provide some interesting interactions with Akane.

 

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All flashbacks are in this style, making everything even more cute

 

Now, let's cover what you'll get in each version. The free version is the essential one if you're interested in this game. It covers pretty much everything I said up to this point. There's no sex scenes in this version, but they are implied, and that's more than enough in this game. The paid version adds not only the porn, but also a new route and three new extra stories (that you can access in the extra menu after clearing certain endings). Is it worth though? Short answer: no.

The porn that was added in the free version route is alright. We can see both Akane and Sakuya on screen, and Sakuya is as gentle as you would expect of him. But let's remember, he's a robot. Even he says at some point that he doesn't feel any physical pleasure from the act. So his face is mostly lacking in expressions, except when he reacts to Akane's reactions. It's porn that focus only in the girl again, but this time the boy really cares about how she's feeling it.

The new route... it's very subpar. Most of all because of the route structure, that tricks you into thinking it's a route for Shin when it's not, and it's ending, that shift the tone of the novel to the point that I wondered if the author even cared about the character development they build until said point of the story, because they shattered it to pieces in an absolute ex Machina way. Good thing I read this first, I would have hated to finish the game in this route. Needless to say, the porn of this route is just as bad. The extra scenes are fun though, but you won't lose much if you decide to pick the free version. This version is only recommended if you want to support Tetrascope, the game is just 800 yen on DLsite, it's pretty cheap it won't hurt. It's untranslated, but the free game section subs did appeared for me even in the paid version.

 

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Young Akane, Shin and Sakuya in "Sweet Present for Shin"

 

And finally we have Sweet Present for Shin. This is the closest of a route for Shin we'll ever get, and it was as sweet and cute as the original game. It happens 5 years before the main game, but it's better appreciated if you play after it. Finally we can see Shin a bit flustered! It's very short, but still have three endings and one epilogue that ended my time spent with Sakuya, Akane and Shin in a pretty heartwarming note.

Sakuya had everything that I like: robots, robot drama, cute characters and romance. Even if the paid version route was pretty bad, it wasn't enough to diminish my love for this game. Moe robots are the best!

MaggieROBOT

Or: These game characters should learn to stop worrying and love the dong

 

Disclaimer: The following opinion is genuine. But I like to express myself in creative ways after so many mostly serious posts, so shit ensues. A review will be up next week, please keep supporting this blog.
 

After so many dicks, I looked back to my complete VNs folder and tried to do one of the most dumb things a fan can do: compare not completely alike games. Bl games comes in all kinds of packages, with different plot genres and structures, but as long as they are under the same umbrella definition of BL, I noticed they all share the same types of mistakes. Misses that I found in BL anime and manga too. Of course, when I say all I don't mean AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALL of them, but I'm trying to raise awareness of the problems that I usually spot in the majority of the popular releases. I already saw every one of those pitfalls being avoided in mangas, so there's hope in this world. 

Since Fuwa surely love some top X, I'll organize it in some top 5 countdown fashion. Do notice that I'll not tackle what I see in doujinshis here, because seriously, who wants to fix the fantasy world of short doujins? Hell, if everything they did there had 100% realism, instead of 17/20 pages of porn we would get 17/20 pages of (trying to) pay bills.

But enough sadness, let's get this over with!


5) Girls

Okay okay, maybe lots of people don't want tits in their BL works, but unless we're on a prison/gang/old army/all-boys school/world where mpreg is a thing (90% of the games are out already...), we need some of them! Of the works I read, if I happen to see some girl, one of the following happens:

  • She's some character's mom. Then she dies/is murdered and the guy angsts;
  • She's some character's sister. Then she dies/is murdered and the guy goes into a roaring rampage of revenge (in both cases, she dies within the first five minutes of the novel);
  • She's the main villain. She eventually dies;
  • Plot twist, she's actually male! Because of this maaaaybe she can survive.

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She totally confused me for a second...

I would love to see some day a BL story where the MC have some female best friend and they talk about boys together aaah~
 

4) Porn that doesn't sound like your average BxG h-scene

Seriously, if some games didn't keep reminding me that both participants have dicks, I would think that I was reading some R18 otomege. Even some CGs seems like the guy on top is totally hitting the wrong place, artists, please get basic anatomy right thank you. I wouldn't copy a whole scene of this type here because effort, but it's as full of "yameteeeee, yaaaaaaa, Ryou-kun (random name) dameeee" as you're expecting.

And what's the deal of only the guy on the receiving end feeling it? Draw some expressions on the other guy too! It almost looks like that while the uke is having the time of his life, the seme suddenly realized that he'll probably die before Kentaro Miura finishes Berserk. Probably he and all of us, actually.
 

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Not BL, but I'll never forget Akihito pulling a Sad Affleck in the middle of the porn years before Sad Aflleck was a thing! 
(Image edited by ESRB)

 

3) Characters that actually identify themselves as gay/bisexual

Okay, we get that social stigma exists and all that... But BL VNs are usually more "edgy" than Yuri ones... Sometimes society collapsed already, what are you waiting for, you dummy??? "Oh, I'm totally not gay, it's just because it's you!" Yeah sure, Jun-kun (random name) only liked Kou-kun (random name), not a single woman (they exists? See point 5 above) or guy before. Or after. You're really not gay, Jun-kun, you're Kousexual apparently.

The scenario is even worse for bisexual characters. Remember any? Exactly.
 

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Just kidding, I remember him! In fact... Everyone is bi in this pic. This is one bitastic game!

 

2) Condoms

Eeeer, just because none of you guys can become pregnant (if mpreg isn't a thing in their world, that is) doesn't mean it's all okay... But maybe if they DID try to use one, the following could happen, so guess in the end it's all the same...
 

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FINISH HIM!
(ESRB attacked again, thank you for your understanding)

 

1) Lube

Dude, seriously, ouch. Just... ouch.

MaggieROBOT

Hey there! Today let's talk a bit about drama CDs, a kinda add-on to the stories of some visual novels that's super popular in otome and BL fandoms. I'm talking about these two particular fanbases, but it's not uncommon for light novels, manga and anime series, or video games from all kinds of genres to have side stories released in this format. And we even have original stories released like this.

Drama CDs, or audio dramas, are exactly what it says on the tin. An audiobook of sorts with dialogues, inner thoughts of characters and narrations, read aloud by the voice actors of the media in question. Visual Novels without the visual aspect. The perspective can shift from character to character from time to time, and you'll know when it happened when other person starts narrating. If the main character is unvoiced in the main game, common in otome for self insertion reasons and such, these drama CDs are our chance to finally hear their voices.

The big otomege japanese companies, like Otomate and Rejet, release drama CDs for most of it's popular series. And they are frequently announced in their big events, with the presence of the voice actors in question, to the fangirls' delight. I must admit that, since I started following these things, I learned quite a few names of voice actors and even when they use alias (more common in BL than otome, whyyyy is thaaaat), they don't fool me anymore.
 

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Related links given to me by CDJapan when I was looking for drama CDs. Not only I recognize four of these names, but I also know a bunch of previous roles of three of them.
 

There's some different types of drama CD as well. Some features interactions between characters with a short and simple storyline. They are usually called talk CDs. Some otome games that have this type of drama cds are Amnesia (CD's name is "Meido no Kuni no Amnesia"), Hakuouki ("Chizuru Yuukai Jikenchou") and Arcana Famiglia ("Il dolce Regalo").
 

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Cover of "Chizuru Yuukai Jikenchou". The harem is strong with this girl...

 

We also have the otome CDs that, unlike the talk CDs, have only one guy speaking with you or his inner thoughts about you. I mean, the main character. So yeah, an entire CD of your favorite guy whispering in your ear, I can see the appeal. You can usually recognize one by their name pattern: "Series name Vol. X - Character name". So just pick your favorite character and press play to enjoy! Series that have this type of CD are Diabolik Lovers (for masochist girls) and Norn9 (this game have three MCs, so the drama CDs are divided by girl, a track for each one of their love interests)

Together with the otome CDs, we also have the character CDs, that features one of the guys singing instead of talking. Sometimes we have duets, but it really depends on the series. The naming pattern is similar to otome CDs, but it usually have "character CD" specified. As examples, we have Collar X Malice and Code Realize.

 

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Cover of Norn9 Trio Drama CD Vol. 1. Guys of all ages to please everyone!

 

Now if you want something more... spicy, they also got you covered, with the R18 otome CDs. If you didn't press ctrl in all h-scenes you came across, you know what to expect here. Moaning, kissing and all those other background sounds. I never came across any game that had an extra CD like this, maybe they didn't wanted to ruin the pure maiden image, it's more common for these CDs to contain original stories. But I did saw the opposite happen actually, an original R18 CD turned into an otomege. Meet Jooubachi no Oubou!

For BL... we have pretty much the same things except the otome variation. The biggest BL company, Nitro+CHIRAL, sure love to make comedic and ecchi ones, but Karin Chatnoir Omega released even the singing variation for their series Omerta.

As one can guess, all of them are in japanese only. It's a fun way to practice your hearing, but never fear! We also have fantranslations for some of these titles, so don't let it discourage you!

 

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Just don't do like fujoshi Kotone Fujisaki from Keijo!! and listen to your precious BL drama CDs in public. Unless you control very well your reactions...

 

Now that I informed you about this world of voice actor fangirling, let me share my opinion about this. Yes, eargasm is really important in my games. I play lots of unvoiced stuff, but damn, a good voice acting can really make some okay scenes be a lot better (looking at you, Togainu no Chi). And I can count two times when it was a great deal for me...

First time: I usually research a lot about my game before buying because I hate to waste my time and money in things I know I'll dislike halfway through it. The one and only thing I didn't look about too much was Code Realize, and I even paid almost 40 USD for it, because a) I love steampunk; b) art is gorgeous (art is a big deal for me); and c) Suwabe Jun'ichi was in the cast. Yeeeeeep...... And it was worth every cent in the end, thanks nihon gods.

Second time: I just started playing Omerta, the game was casually showing us the boys and stuff, that usual prologue stuff. Then this blond god appeared before my eyes...

 

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My nose sustained major damage by excessive bleeding

 

Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn, he seems like a good candidate for best guy of the game. It was already good, but then he started to speak (voice sample)...

Holy shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit, the flood, I didn't even need a h-scene, take meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

*Cahan*, forgive me. And what about you guys? Do you have any voice actor you like a lot? Share with me while I hear this cover of a Vocaloid song by DMMD Ren's voice actor nonstop!

MaggieROBOT

Hi, ladies and gentlemen! Today, I bring you a bit of history and information about the origins of some BL related terms. Of course, I'm not the supreme autority in japanese BL culture, very far from that, in fact I did a lot of research for this post, so feel free to correct any mistakes, I would love to learn more about it!

 

Let's start with the main one. What's Yaoi? In the west, is the most generic term to describe works that have romance and usually sex between two males. By now, you must have noticed that I never use this term, be it in this blog or around the forums. Why's that? Because it's a short for the expression "YAma nashi, Ochi nashi, Imi nashi" that roughly translates to "No climax, no ending, no meaning". Pretty much our classic "porn without plot". It was a term used by two manga artists in the '70s to dismiss poor quality doujinshis, and this was appropriated by early BL authors when the genre started to go beyond fanfiction of popular shounen series. Yeah, sure, the low quality and no plot parts are pretty much true for tons of male on male doujinshis I found around in the internet, but BL as a genre now is a lot more than just this! It's natural to distance itself of this old label now. Even if the fans accept it by learning how to laugh at themselves... I still prefer a serious label any day. Japanese sites that sells games and manga magazines all tag those works as BL now, so yaoi is way less used over there, except for refering to parody doujinshis and such. Here in the west, on the other hand, I see the term all the time used by either long time fans that didn't bother to switch out the term they got used to or by people outside the fanbase. Looking around here on Fuwanovel or VNDB, places where the bishoujoge fans far outnumbers the BL fans, like pretty much any other VN discussion place, I see the yaoi term being used quite a few times. Okay, in VNDB maybe it's because the tag is named like this and it could be too much unnecessary work to try to change it now, so they're forgiven for now.

 

Now now. What if a work have romance between two guys but no sex? Yaoi was for porn without plot, but what should we call the works that don't have porn either? Are you guys familiar with the expression Shounen Ai? Here in the west, that's exactly how we call these kinds of work! Well, too bad it's not exactly right. You see, Shounen Ai was a term to describe manga that were inspired by tanbi literature. These stories (both Shounen Ai and tanbi) were about the pursuit of beauty in the form of romance between a older man and a pure and innocent younger one (read as: teens, late teens or young adults. Younger than this is shotacon), with flowery language and unusual kanji. Meaning, the term Shounen Ai in Japan actually refers to pederasty (and that means "love of boys" in greek). Sure, these manga didn't exactly have any porn in it either, but the association of "no porn" and this term was never a thing in Japan. And they don't even use this term anymore, since this is pretty much a dead type of manga style anyway, much like tanbi. They call everything BL and the rest of the tags that gives away if it have porn or not.

 

But what about Bara? The even-more-niche gay romance works, usually created by gay men for a gay audience, full of very masculine guys? Are they also known by the name of BL in Japan, even if they are so different of their female oriented counterpart? No, they aren't called BL... and not Bara either. Bara probably comes from the name of a early popular gay magazine (that's not sold anymore) called Barazoku (translates to rose tribe). But that magazine didn't focus only in manga, it also contained news, short stories, interviews, pornographic pictures and even some space for personal advertisement to search for a romantic partner. It was the first gay magazine to be sold in popular bookshops of Japan, so that's maybe why the association was made. Hey, even BL was once called June, because that was the name of one of the earliest magazines for BL works! Well okay, that was some milestone, but guess japanese publishing industry don't use the association. So, what are more masculine guys romance games/manga called? Guess... ML, or Men's Love. Yep. Although, for manga, they also use Geikomi (as in gay comic). So yeah, if you ever want to look for this type of content in japanese sites, you know what you need to look for.

 

Not BL, but still interesting to mention, maybe the origin of the Yuri term... was a column of Barazoku that tried to appeal for lesbian readers named Yurizoku no Heya (Lily tribe's room) back in the '70s. And yes, Shoujo Ai is used in a similar manner than Shounen Ai, to refer to works that deals with pedophilia (I never saw a yuri manga with a lolicon girl though... but I'm still a yuri noob, there's still much for me to see). Unlike all other BL terms though, Yuri is vastly used in Japan, but GL (or Girl's Love) sometimes pops up here and there.

 

And now, to wrap things up, what's my opinion about all this terms mess? Frankly, I'm a bit torn... I really dislike the misuse of the terms, but how can little me do something to change such widespread terms in the west at this point? I'll also not even try to correct every single person that uses yaoi instead of BL, but now you know that it kinda annoys me a bit. The most important thing is that we can understand each other, even if we use different terms, but at least I tried to raise awareness so you don't embarrass yourself in your trip to Japan. Cheers!

MaggieROBOT

I'll admit that I only picked up this otomege because I grew up playing RPGs and I have a soft spot for 8bit era games, even if I was born when that era was looong gone. In the end, the game itself have no 8bit whatsoever, aside of the menu, nor does it have "many H temptations" like the VNDB summary suggests, but it DOES have a lot of RPG-style fun that made me satisfied in the end. (OBS: VNDB says that the translation is partial, but it's actually complete already, for all three games.)

 

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Second game's title screen

 

Dot Kareshi is a series of three short VNs by Rejet that tells the story of a girl that played lots of RPG (totally not me) but sucked hard at them (totally not me, seriously this time). Then, she ended up inside the game by mysterious circumstances and found out that the characters she controled become corrupted by her terrible play style. All three games follow the same formula and not even once the game explains to you how the hell you ended up in that situation. Even better, in the second game it pokes fun at itself because of this lame plot device and by the third game they're not even trying. Just by this, you can see what these games are all about: comedy. The game is constantly making jokes about various RPG tropes and situations that I often run across when I played these types of games myself. The corrupted personality of the guys? I would probably have created some of those myself, like the Wizard that was always angry and feeling neglected because the girl always skipped his magic effect animations.

 

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Token shota, look how adorable (?) he is.

 

The routes work in a very easy way. Pick the boy you want, clear the quest associated with him and try to score points with him along the way. Don't worry, no gameplay involved. Just don't expect chuuni level of description in the battle parts of the quest, as they are narrated by the characters themselves, describing what item and magic they used or merely saying something like "ha!" when they used physical attacks. Each route have two endings, "stay in the game" and "get out with your boy" and which one is the best depends on the boy, as I see it. But the game thought that getting out was the best for everyone, since it requires you to max the guys affection... And that's another easy feat, because the game have a status screen, so you can pick a choice and see this screen to check how many points you got. Oh, but if you score way too few points, you get a more or less harem (bad?) ending that's really worth to see, especially in the second and third games.

About the boys, the cast includes lots of classic RPG classes in the first two games. The first one gives you a Thief, a Wizard, a Hero and a Priest. The second gives you more unusual choices, like a Dancer and a Beastmaster. And when they run out of ideas, the third game gives you the "villain routes", with options like a Slime and even the final boss, that, this time, got corrupted by the action of the girl indirectly. Like the rest of the game, they also are massive jokes. Take one trait of them, usually the one that got warped by MC's gameplay, and exaggerate it a lot. You got the gist of the boys's personalities. The games are very short so the jokes never felt overused and I laughed a lot of the boys interactions, especially during the second game. The party only reached the end of the "game inside the game" because MC was controling them, because geez, they're a bunch of idiots (in a funny and not enfuriating way)!

Unfortunately, if you're looking for romance with your fantasy boys... Better look elsewhere, it's the weakest part of the game. Firstly, the main character simply don't exist. She's referred as "You" (but it's totally not me!) every time and she doesn't have a single speaking line. Not only she's unvoiced, she only reacts with exclamation marks and other color coded symbols (like a red one for anger and a pink one for embarrassment) that appear in a bubble at the side of the screen. She actually appears in CGs, but it's always the same generic girl with a shadow covering her eyes. On top of that, because the game is super short, there's like no development in the romance. Sure, you can say the guys are in love with her already because they wouldn't be able to do anything without her, literally. But what about the girl? We have hug and kiss CGs for most of the normal and best endings, but we'll have to just believe that things went well between them... somehow.

 

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This line only appears because it was right after a choice. Usually, the protagonist don't say anything.

 

Speaking about the games in separate now... Please note that they have completely independent stories and can be read in any order. The first chapter was the weakest one. I had a few laughs through it, but the perviness of the boys was a bit tiring and not very funny. Thief's (yeah, no one have a name, only their classes, FF1 style) character was also supposed to be all flirty, but he never convinced me, so his character felt a bit bland. My favorite route ended up being Wizard's, simply because the conclusion of his battle was priceless.

 

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First four boys

 

The second chapter. THE SECOND CHAPTER. Now, this one is good and definetely the best. It's very very funny, I can't even choose my favorite part of it. Knight is surely the best boy, but meathead Monk is a pervy executed in a way more ridiculous and funny than the first chapter cast. Even the weakest route, Beastmaster's, because he's an ass sometimes, ended up being really enjoyable because of Knight and Monk. And Dancer's random dances just adds to the mess that it's this party. Believe it, they managed to ruin all the sexiness that could be an hot spring scene and I loved it.

 

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These guys together are way too funny

 

The third chapter is also pretty good, but not as funny as the second one (but still funnier than the first). Why's that? Because somehow or other they decided to make the villain routes... the most moe ones. The guys are so adorable and harmless, I wanted to protect them all! Of course, the game also make fun of their harmlessness, and I laughed, but it didn't stopped me to find a certain tsundere extremely cute. And just to mention, there's not only villains in this chapter, there's also an NPC named only Villager. He's da man, I'm only saying this. Just leave the "bad" ending for last!

 

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The one in the right is not a girl, it's one of the heroes. Actually, it's not a guy either, it's a slime!

 

Soundtrack is fine, and some songs even have some 8bit beats that add to the charm. Voice acting is really good, as expected of some well known names in the cast, like Hirakawa Daisuke (Saint Germain from Code Realize), Toriumi Kousuke (Saito Hajime from Hakuouki), Namikawa Daisuke (Sasazuka Takeru from Collar x Mallice) and Sugita Tomokazu (Kitagawa Yusuke from Persona 5).

In the end, Dot Kareshi was an overall positive experience, even more after I finished the first chapter. But even then, it worked well as an introduction to the game. It's a short journey, more or less 2,5 hours for each game (may vary, I'm a slow reader), but full of laughter and a bit of nostalgia, of my own time playing fantasy RPGs. And moral of the story: treat your RPG characters well!

  • Recommended if you like RPG and short comedic novels.
  • Skip it if you want important romance plots and a protagonist that actually exists.
MaggieROBOT

Or: The ballad of the girl that couldn't control some borderline shotacon impulses.

 

Hiii guys and gals! This week I'll just post this quick rambling because I have tons of studying left to do for my master's degree entrance exam. So let me tell you a short story about something I love in VNs: pretty boys. (Don't worry, there's moege too, the title isn't a lie like the cake)

Okay, it's not like I don't like 2D pretty girls. They're awesome too, in their ways, but... I don't know, my eyes just got pulled to the boys, in all the wrong places.

I read tons of varied stuff. I don't put a link for my VNDB list on my profile because that wouldn't help anyone in giving me recommendations. Even I never found a pattern in that list, an amalgamation of otomege, BL, galge, Yuri, OELVN and one obvious troll VN made purposely bad but still so bad it's so good. BUT! I noticed I never read a single moege. Of course, my (preconceived) opinion of them are that they are boring and have way too many routes and excessive length. I'm a completionist, but read all routes in a moege seems like a chore I'm not sure I want to go through. But preconceived notions are bad, like real bad, so I started to look for something that picked my interest.

And I stumble upon something called Haruoto Alice * Gram. Judge me all you want, but I clicked in it just because this adorable Hatsune Miku expy in winter clothes! Kyaaaaa~ Because first you see the heroines, then if the game is shit.

 

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Okay, the character design is already pleasant enough for my eyes (wait, but all moeges have cute designs, that isn't the problem with them!)! I mean, these girls are all kinda cute!

 

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There's one more, but she was too meh, I didn't bother with her too much. Okay, their tits are a bit too balloon for my tastes, but I can easily ignore this. I'm determined to give some moege a chance, I can't give up so easi...

 

I kept scrolling the vndb page...

 

And stumble on... him.

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KYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! OMG, SO CUTE!!!! WHY THERE'S NOT A ROUTE WITH HIM HERE?? A TRAP ROUTE IS FINE TOO!! I WANT HIM!!! DAMN, WHAT A WASTE!!!

Wait, this is a moege... Of course... there's no route with him...

 

I gave up on my moege quest. I'm too far gone.

MaggieROBOT

Before I read this 2011 game from Pil/Slash, a developer infamous for doing weird shit, I heard several people in the BL community say that this game is like the kamige of BL games. Sure, I took it with a grain of salt, since fanbases in general hyper-inflate scores like no tomorrow. Even the most popular Nitro+Chiral BL games are good but nowhere near kamige level. I accepted it and started this game, one that felt very different from your average BL right from the start.

Turns out that they were right about the kamige-tier thing.

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The cover with our heroes.

Written by Kusaka Matsuri, same scenario writer of Black Cyc's Gore Screaming Show, Shingakkou tells the story of Michael, a boy enrolled in a boarding religious school going back home for Christmas Eve... only to find his family murdered, an inverted cross painted with blood in the wall and the entire house burning down. And all of this is like, ten minutes into the game. With only his twin brother Gaby by his side, Michael turns his back on God and go back to the school only to get his revenge, because is there that the possible culprit is hiding, along with a secret cult that worships the devil.

Despite the anti-religious feel of the prologue, and good part of the common route where Michael mocks internally all his old habits that he's only reproducing not to be expelled, the message of the game is really one of love and forgiveness, a journey where Michael needs to learn to believe in God, other people and himself again. It's really incredible the amount of development he goes through the novel, I was almost shocked when I went back to the common route after finishing a route and saw irritable Michael again. And fortunately, said development isn't just him growing a spine, because he have one from the start. And I'm not a religious person myself, but even then I found the message (and the endings) extremely beautiful and touching, and not a propaganda of sorts, like some exorcism themed movies.

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Gaby is the one on the left, Michael on the right.

But! Before we can go to those positive messages, we have to pass some horror stuff. And with "horror stuff" I mean: bizarre surreal images flashing, unknown sounds interrupting the conversation, jumpscares, cute (but in the end not really) laughing coming from nowhere, tons of allucination sequences, have to hear a character called Lucifer say things he wasn't supposed to know and even the music stops when he does so. Remember to play it in bright places! Seriously, the slice of life parts are the calm before the storm and you'll feel it. There's always that sense of dread after the story takes its turn for the worse so Michael (and you) is constantly unease. So the balance SoL/Plot is handled pretty well. And of course they have to turn it up the horror part for the bad endings, making Michael goes insane with some supernatural brainwashing, showing us all types of surreal scenarios. And when you're feeling all down for failing the choices, the Devil even appears on screen to laugh at you. My first bad ending was almost a traumatizing experience.

Speaking of the supernatural, lots of occurrences are blamed in the "powers of the Devil" and, lacking other explanations, Michael and you're kinda forced to believe that it exists and it can totally screw you over masterfully. If you're looking for a story where every single occurrence of mysterious shit is explained, better look elsewhere. Although I could argue that explaining stuff here would kinda ruin the atmosphere...

A thing worth mentioning is that the game have a "grotesque switch" to censor the worst CGs (even if there's nothing really gory here, just nightmare inducing). But this also blurry the text of said parts, so for the sake of the experience, bear it and leave it on.

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Speaking of jump scares... This screams really pierces your ears.

Now to the routes. We have five guys to choose, but only three are available at start. My recommended order of the first three is Leonid (long white hair), Cecil (short brown hair), then Neil (red hair). While I agree the last two should be locked, forcing you to play all of the first three seemed a bit too much for me. Finishing the game once is enough. Sure, all of the routes offer you something nice to read, but this VN is not a multiple routes mystery. There's one culprit and he's correctly guessed in every single route. So why this huge lock is in place I have no idea. The first routes can be a bit slow, especially if you go with my recommended order, but the game REALLY picks up when you reach Neil's route. There's some repetition even in the characters routes, but this game features one of the fastest skips I ever saw. But at least the game provides you with some choices that you can pick whatever you want and see some different scenes (that are very far from the choice itself, and not just some "different hero reaction right afterwards") that don't really affect the outcome of the story.

So why did I put the two slower routes first? Because Leonid's twists works better if you read his route first. Cecil is a nakige-like (there's still horror parts, it's not all fluffy, but it's full of feels) route that can be read at any point. And Neil's the one most strongly connected with the main plot. So it feels a lot better to read all the plot at once, since the last two routes are also super plot heavy. And weird. Good weird stuff.

The relationship between the characters moves in a pleasant pace, with their romance gradually kicking in. There's plenty of time for them to know each other and the sex scenes are usually located in the end of each route. It's nice to see the romance actually growing and not starting out of nowhere leaving you to believe that the heroes fall for the MC at first sight. Maybe some of those interactions are kinda overlong, but nothing in an annoying level. And since the boys grew in a religious school and the story happens in the '50s or so, expect them to be a bit torn about liking other boys, "this is a sin" is a sentence you'll see multiple times.

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Aaaaaaaaw...

Sex scenes are divided in three categories: vanilla, rape and weird shit. They aren't thaaat important to the plot so it's safe to skip them, just remember that they happened, but I must add that at least the ones in the weird shit tier (one in a character's route, another in a bad ending) are completely disgusting and involve some non-human beings (just allucinations, but still horrible to look at) and should definitely be watched for nausea reasons. Disclaimer: I'm a bit weak so maybe it's not that bad...

The vanilla ones are kinda charming since they are a bit awkwardly cute. Unlike most VNs that I read, the boys are a bit confused at how sex should goes. And that's perfectly normal, since they're innocent 16 or so years old boys that lives in a seminary with pretty much zero exposure to anything sex related (of course, because they're all goody two shoes, but the deliquent Neil is a completely different story and he actually have some experience). In one particular scene, the kissing just stops and Michael even wonders what he and his partner should do next. And also, you can pick who's the one that will be on top, a fine addition that pleases both people that want the MC to have the upper hand in the relationship and people that thinks it's weird tiny and cute Michael to top his tall senpai. And for sensitive people, look at these guys. Half of them are kinda girlish (Cecil is the most), so no excuses! Imagine some flats and play the damn game!

The rape scenes... In fact, this game have a rapist route. I had pretty low expectations for this route, since one thing I really hate is rape-turned-love (when brainwashing and drama are NOT involved). But this game surprised me yet again because the rape scenes were handled with the necessary seriousness. Some particular scenes were disgusting to see and a bit painful to hear the voice acting (and it wasn't because it was bad acting). It was very very heartbreaking to see the victims confused, avoiding other people, feeling guilty and crying of shame. So when the victim decided to actually end the relationship because there's no love in it, my opinion of the route improved greatly, because sadly this development is incredibly rare. And this route's ending is so beautiful, bittersweet and satisfying that was one of the best endings of the novel, even better than the true ending.

Another thing worth mentioning is that this game also contains incest. Twincest, in fact. And the excuse they gave to it is nothing like "but they're not blood related" (well, they're twins, that wouldn't work) or "it's fine because it's true love" and it was weirdly good for me. Just be prepared for some surreal, dream-like sex scene.

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Cecil is asking who should top. And after this question they tossed a coin, seriously.

The art is a bit old shoujo manga style, and that maybe isn't for everyone, but it grew on me kinda fast. The sprites have lots of facial variation and even some minor characters have sprites, which is a plus. And we also have corpse-like-people sprites for some allucination sequences. It's super creepy.

The music are all very good, using chorus to some great effects, be to sound solemn or creepy. Except the ending song, that is some upbeat thing that have nothing to do with the game, except maybe the routes that end very happy, but oh well. Voice acting was also very good, everyone is full of emotion and even the side characters do a nice job. Michael is probably the best, but damn, that principal was two times more annoying because of the voice acting. Lucifer's chilling voice is another worth mentioning, since the secret society parts wouldn't be as terrifying without him.

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Quote aside, this is the kind of CG that keeps flashing.

Without spoiling too much, I need to share a few words about the ending(s). The villain was fearsome, I liked who they choose to be the culprit and see his plan working left me at the edge of my seat. But his motivation is really hard to get. His character as a whole is a bit hard to understand. The game gives you lots of backstory, and what happened to him over the years, for you to think about, but the workings of his mind was a bit beyond me. Of course, read with the possibility that maybe I'm a bit dumb.

In the end, Shingakkou was one of the best visual novels I ever read and I really wanted to find another that packs such a powerful punch. It was pure when it was supposed to be pure and scary when it was supposed to be scary. The characters were amazing and the plot was good not only comparing it with the other BL titles I read (that would be an overkill for them), but even with other bishoujo eroges I played. BL titles are a bit niche, I know, but I can't recommend this game enough.

  • Read it if you like horror and mind fucking in general.
  • Avoid it if you dislike long novels (some parts drags a bit), incest, pedophilia and some questionable religion talk (Lucifer is the worst offender, obviously).
MaggieROBOT

Hey everyone! Today I'll talk about one of the most popular japanese otomeges from one of the most popular japanese developers: Hakuouki! Seeing there's tons of releases/sequels/prequels/spin-offs of this game, in different platforms even, I'm doing a simple guide for everyone trying to start your journey but have no idea where to begin.

First, what is Hakuouki? It's a game by Otomate/Idea Factory, released back in 2008 for PS2, it tells you the story of some beautiful men in the Shinsengumi (that is, long story short, a special police force of the late shogunate period, 1864). The name of the guys are all from real existing persons, but some extra supernatural elements like demons and vampires were throw in the story for fun. If you're a fan of stories set in Japan's past so this game is just for you because the atmosphere is the best part of the game! Also with you like katanas. The main character is a bit bland and mostly useless, but the samurai boys are interesting enough! The fights are also fun, not super epic chuuni style, but good with some tragedy stuff. Also good to note is that it was first localized in 2012, a time where otomeges in the western market were still rare.

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Anyone wanted long haired bishies? They're all (except that second one from the left) so beautiful~

Still with me? Want to give it a go? Okay! Let's put things in order!

Looking at the english versions, the very first you should get is one of the following
    1) the Android or iOS version that's named simply "Hakuoki"
    2) the Memories of Shinsengumi version for 3DS, that have some side stories that wasn't included in the first PS2 version (that's also not included in the Android/iOS version);
    3) the Stories of the Shinsengumi version for PS3,  that also includes the fandisc (there's actually NO other way of reading the fandisc in english outside of this version); 
    4) the Steam version (the age check is because of violence and not porn), although I advise against this one simply because this version (also available for PSVita) was split in two parts AND PART TWO WASN'T LOCALIZED YET! YOU'LL ONLY BUY HALF THE GAME! Supposedly there new routes here, since it's a remake of the original, but you'll have to wait until next year to see the full game, or you can just pick the other versions. Part one's name is Kyoto Winds and part two is Edo Blossoms.

That's enough to understand the general idea of the game. Did you liked and want more? What's the next step? If you bought the PS3 version, read the fandisc, Hakuouki Zuisouroku, since it expands some stories of the main game (those stories aren't sequels, they happen in the middle of the first game)! And of course, there's some extra short stories for each of our guys, including ones that weren't available first time around! It's fun and fluffy most of the time, to break the serious atmosphere of the main scenario (Well, that's what fandisc are for...) ^.^ Unfortunately, you need to understand japanese to keep going...

Next entry in your journey is Hakuouki Reimeiroku, a prequel. The catch here is that title is not an otome. WHAT? Yeah, you read that right. The protagonist is a guy (no, sadly no BL), there's no romance to be found here and the focus is actually fighting, bloody fighting, even with the MC loses tons of them. And honor, friendship and loyalty stuff. Pretty cool actually, especially for people that don't play otomeges for romance! There's plenty of versions for you to choose (DS (should work with an emulator), PSVita and PS3), but no PC (I noticed that otomate seems to hate PC for some reason... ¬¬).

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With no girls around, no BL is a waste of ikemens...

After that, comes Hakuouki Kaikoroku, a mobile game that expands even more the lore of the original. It's like a second fandisc, with more short stories and tons of interactions between our characters.

And, with that you just finished the main dish of the Hakuouki series! Wait, there's more? Well, of course, let's go over the spin-offs! I should note that all of them are completely useless to the lore, so only play them if you end up being a Hakuouki completionist.

On the serious side, we have the Urakata Hakuouki games (the first one and its fandisc). It's set in the same world of the main series, but with a new MC and new boys (all of them still based on real people). Weirdly enough, you can actually start here, since the story here is mostly recycling some ideas from the first game. So either you play this if you really REALLY liked the original's ideas or start with this title. This game also have RPG elements, something that didn't let the otomege fanbase all that happy...

On the silly side we have three more games: Hakuouki Yuugiroku and its sequel, just a collection of mini games with chibi characters and some short stories and CGs in between (but I don't think it's worth playing these for the story), and Hakuouki SSL, an officially made fanfic-of-sorts high school AU story. Yes, really. It's cute and happy, unlike the more serious main game, so if you want some giggles, this game is good enough.

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Blush boys in a doki doki school scenario

And that concludes aaaaaaaaaall entries of the Hakuouki series. Phew! Was it worth? That's for you to decide. Lots of fans of the series were a bit annoyed by the constant milking of the frachise by otomate, but I think they finally stoped. I just hope they don't do same with Code Realize, bc I'm following this series for now, and I don't need more games than I can buy... In my humble opinion, a good place to stop is either after Reimeiroku or Kaikoroku. Or before Reimeiroku, if you're in for the romance.

Oh... there's still all those anime adaptations to talk about... Eer, this blog is about gaming so I'll stop here! For now. Next time, in BL news, I'll try to do my first review! :sacchan: Until then!

MaggieROBOT

Hi there, guys and gals! Part 2 of my Kickstarter special, this time with some BL titles! What new things these guys will bring us? Let's find out! Again, I'm only listing projects that were 100% funded already, but it's never too late to follow them!

OBS: Seiyuu Danshi also fits here, but since I already talk about it in the last BL post, I'll skip it for now.

 

Sentimental Trickster

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DEMO ON THE OFFICIAL SITE

Let's start with a normal slice of life college stuff, that seems to be unusual for BL games whatever the reason. This game follows shota MC Haru trying to adapt to a new city and a new home. But then he meets a bunch of new guys and then everything works out... I hope so. Haru seems to be kinda bratty and sarcastic, so I wouldn't be surprised if he actually start picking fights and be all snarky with his love interests... The art seems a bit outdated, but old shoujos also have it's charms, right?


1st degree

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DEMO ON ITCH.IO

Anyone remembers them? They posted here on Fuwa some months back, and I'm following it since them! It's story is about a psychopathic detective that decided to dirty his own hands to solve a case. One thing that draws attention in the KS description is this sentence "Who will he [MC] choose to love, and who will he resolve to kill?". Yep, in this game we have to KILL THE REMAINING LOVE INTERESTS TO SEE SOMEONE'S GOOD ENDING. Dear god, can I handle this? Oh, and did I mention we have a threesome route? Not everything is blood and tears here XD The game is expected to release in early 2019.

 

Full Service

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DEMO ON THE OFFICIAL SITE

Well, how about we talk about muscular bara guys now? This game tells the story of average MC Tomoki and his chance encounter with the dudes that work in a spa, and then becomes a regular there. Seriously, you can even pick who's gonna massage you there. But this is not a nukige (I think), we'll have plenty of other activities to choose in MC's free time! And of course, he needs to work too, massages aren't for free (maybe in the good ending, but...). The game is expected to release in January 2018.


Chess of Blades

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A loli in a BL game? She's the villain, I'm calling it now!

DEMO ON ITCH.IO

Last week, I brought you a masquerade otome. Now, I bring a masquerade BL :3 Guess I just love the theme. Anyway, this game is about a murder that occurs in a ball and our prince-like MC Rivian will have to solve the mystery. And maybe find something more there. The game features 3 boys and 2 versions, one PG13 and other R18, for you to choose. I really loved the art of this one! The game is expected to release around Christmas, wait, this is later this week! Yay!


And that concludes my KS special! Next time, with otomege, I'll teach you guys how to make sense of Hakuouki's releases. Until then!

MaggieROBOT

Hi there, guys and gals! Otome time again! This week I bring you some interesting titles I found in Kickstarter. If we can support Sekai Project, why not support some indie companies that need the money to release their projects? Well, this time I'm showing only project that were 100% funded already, so let's support them after the release, shall we? All of the following have demos, so we'll know what to expect. Here's my selection:

 

The Masquerade Killer

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DEMO ON ITCH.IO

A mystery game set in the Victorian era. Here, the main character wants to solve a murder while attempting to blend into the upper-class society of London! How glamorous, hm? The MC is supposedly cold and lacks empathy, so it'll be interesting to see how she'll warm up to the love interests. Speaking of them, the game features four options: two boys, one girl and one non-binary, so everyone can be happy! The game is expected to be released in February 2018.

 

Caramel Mokaccino

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DEMO (ALPHA) ON ITCH.IO

A game about an university student who loves her friends and coffee (wait, is this about me???). MC settles her new life in a new city and it's your job to decide what she should do in her free time! Judging by what I'm seeing, choose to work to catch your pretty boys! It's your good old status rising VN. Apparently it will feature friendship routes as well, and it will be three boys and two girls!
 

Zodiac Axis 

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DEMO ON THE GAME'S SITE

According with the developers, Zodiac Axis is a fusion of suspense, romance, and supernatural fiction with a splash of psychological horror. The sprites, the background and the UI are all pretty nice!!! And they're promising us 50+ hours of gameplay. Wow! The game features five guys and loooooots of choices. Damn... I hope a walkthrough will be available... The game is expected to be released in November 2019 (well, the game is pretty long...).
 

Silent Voices

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Yes, It would be dangerous bc I wouldn't want to spread your cuteness to common peasants, but I would gladly accept a robot hero here...

DEMO ON ITCH.IO

This is the one I'm following for the longest time >.< Everything about it is just so cool! It's a sci-fi game about a war between two countries, and everyone living in them is a victim either of the dark experiment the government is funding or the widespread prejudice. The game features two protagonist, one that you'll control and use to pick your love interests (that, btw, are all INCREDIBLY CUTE!) and the other for you to see what's happening in the enemy country. A very interesting approach! Also, the routes are tied to a pair of characters, instead of only your love interest. Meaning, you can only end up with one, but you get TWO characters worth of backstory and importance! It have four boys and one girl as love interests! And did I mentioned that this game will be FREE??? The initial release date was set to December 2017, but even if it's delayed I'll wait patiently.

 

And that's it, folks! I had a lot of fun writing this post, so I'm thinking of doing the BL version next! ^.^ Until then!

MaggieROBOT

Yo people! I'm back! This time, I prepared a list of VN hybrids for everyone who appreciates a bit more than just picking choices and still wants some boy x boy action. This list is rather limited, sadly, but I still manage to find a game to each degree of gameplay you might like! Here we go!

I want just some stats rising and manage daily life: Seiyuu Danshi
This counts? Yes, it does. Some people just play Persona because of its "Friend Simulator" mode. But unfortunately, Atlus didn't give us the option to date boys in their game while playing with the male MC (actually, you CAN hook up with your childhood male friend in Persona 2, but that game is very different from newer Persona, I still recommend it though). So, how about we, instead of living the life of a high school kid, live the life of guy trying to become a voice actor? That's what this game promises you. But what will you do to make your wish come true? Train a lot? Take tons of jobs? Or leave it all to chance and only date every single guy you encounter? You decide! This game features an interactive map and even have side quests! And the most interesting/different feature is the foreplay mode, you know, a part of the h-scenes BL games loves to neglect, totally interactive here! The game is NOT OUT yet, but their KS was successful and you can play the demo in english already!
 

I want RPG battles: Angel's Feather

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This game got you covered! It have swords, princes, fantasy aspects, angel magic, map movement, all your good old RPG have! Sure, it looks a bit outdated (it's from 2003 actually), but this is inda charming like that, right? At least for me. It have plenty of romance in the plot and all sexual content is avoidable, if you're not in the mood for it (it happens). Only in japanese for now, but there's people interested in translating this in BL-oriented forums, so maybe we'll have a patch soon? Let's pray! Supposedly, there's an OVA of this, but it's too rushed >.<

 

I want Point and Click/ Adventure style: Bizarre school exploration of Kazuma and Kugayama

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From doujin circle Sakuraprin, this game may have better porn than exploration. But the horror atmosphere they create, even with 8 bit graphics, is outstanding! Well, they clash a bit with the CGs and sprites, but we can't complain about their voluptuous guys (dem thighs) and fantastic ahegaos. In this game, not only we interact with the creep school scenery, but also with our hero Kazuma. We can raise our affection points with him... poking him. Just don't be rude, guys. And be prepared to CG hunt, because they stuff their game full of CGs! Also, this game is free!

 

I want fast minigames: Chiralmori
Nitro+Chiral, the giant of the BL market, wouldn't be out of this list. Before making DMMD fan disc (that also have minigames, but you have to actually read DMMD first to fully appreciate all there is here), they released this short cute game. It's pretty much a glamurous poker and tetris game with TnC and Lamento characters, without sexual content, but can a fan of these series really ignore this adorableness? It's good to kill some time and a way to not waste money in poker. It also includes a typing mini game, but... I have no idea how this works, nor why N+C have such a obsession with typing mini games...
 

I want something really unusual: The Chiral Night Rhythm Carnival
How about some BL themed Guitar Hero then? No, seriously.

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Released back in October, this game contains music from the four major series of N+C and a story mode that put all the boys from those games together, Chiral Cafe style. No sexual content, but still a very fun game! Sadly, there's no sign of a hard copy and N+C site doesn't ship to my country, but there's a demo available in their homepage that contains the intro songs of the four games! If anyone ends up playing, feel free to ask for my high scores for comparison hehehe! I'm not that good though.

Anything else? Not VNs, but you can also find your share of BL in Dragon Age or Mass Effect series. Naturally, they have tons of gameplay.

Those should keep us occupied for a while, so let's end here! Next time, otome news: and KS campaigns! Until then!

EXTRA: If you want a bit more action with gay subtext, try Metal Gear Solid. It's glorious!

MaggieROBOT

Sup dudes! This time, let's talk about otome games! This time, I promise I'll provide 100% doki doki SFW links! can be a pure maiden sometimes too, you know?

I made a list of titles that big names of the otome market will give us next year, so you (we) can start saving money! After all, to get the full experience, you'll need first a PSVita (I guess it's not really hard to find a cheap used one around now since normies think that Vita doesn't have any games). Again, some titles are japanese only (for now, that's what I hope)!

I'll start with developer Otomate, and as always they are showing us that they have some Unlimited Budget Works, so they are promising us NINE new titles (not bad). So I'll share my highlights! First, we have Fortissimo, our mandatory "MC manages band of idols". And our idol boys are as flashy as expected. There's not much in the site yet, can we expect some musical-like story?

Then, we have the super charming Variable Barricade, a game where the guys proposes to you in the first five minutes, but... the protagonist is too tsundere to accept XD  Of course, they won't give up so easily, but it's interesting to have a game where the guys have to fight for your attention after being downright rejected! This one will also be available for PS4!

Okay, if you don't have a Vita nor wants to buy one, but so want some pretty boys, you can try Library Cross ∞, that will be available (only) for iOS and Android. Here's the catch: you and 9 guys (yep, 9) awake in a strange library-like world, and the only way to escape is... to finish a book by defeating a youkai before the time goes out. Apparently the book also gives orders to them, so maybe it writes itself after the guys do something? Interesting premise!

On the english side, our dear Aksys Games will bring us the following: 7'scarlet, a multiple route mystery involving the disappearance of MC's older brother and her involvement with weird legends and creep folklore stuff... (we even have Garry from Ib as a hero... /okay, reference mode off)Code: Realize's Fandisc aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah I'm so excited for thiiiiiis!!!! And that illustration at the siiiiiiiiiiiiiite!!!! *cough* sorry (I can still finish Lupin's route until then, wish me speed!!!!). It have new scenarios for our five boys and two additional candidates; and lastly we have Kokuchou no Psychedelica AND it's sequel Haitaka no Psychedelica! The art and the colors of the first one are truly mesmerizing and incredibly stylish, but the second one is the one I'm betting all my chips (unfortunatly, I'm not sure if it's a direct sequel or not)! I'm mean, it's a gothic fiction, with medieval setting, fantasy, utsuge and it have a reverse trap MC. SUPER SOLD!

So people, prepare your wallets! And let's discuss more next year! Or complain if any of these is delayed.

Next time, a BL themed... rhythm game???? Until then!

MaggieROBOT

Wooooooo, first blog entry! Welcome to the otomege and BL paradise on Fuwa! Let's discuss new games and old games, and maybe bring new people to enjoy our little (in Fuwa at least we are the minority...) world!

I planned to starting writing next week, but you know what? I found out that some BL developers are actually releasing games this year! (The majority of them loves to make teasers with no release date whatsoever, you know who I'm talking about...), so the hype made me change my plans. Note that those some of those are japanese releases, but I guess it'll not be a problem for some and the rest of you need to know some new names to beg MG to localize right? Or just look at the CGs, no japanese required for that. (Warning: if you click around too much in the companies' website link I provided below you'll probably find something NSFW, like the CGs from the game, so be careful!)

So. We have Fukushuu Teikoku, from newcomers Fetish. It tells the story of Wilfried Helmut, a guy that makes a deal to seduce some key players in the enemy's army to clean his name. Contains sexual slavery (MC doing it), hypnotism and lots of army uniforms, if anyone is interest in a more dark feel. It's at least interesting that's possible to coerce some guys that are more "manly" than the MC. No big names in the team, but the seiyuu of the bara guy also voiced Mink from DMMD, in case anyone liked his voice.

Another title is Paradise, from Pil/Slash of Pigeon Blood (in)fame, coming tomorrow, yay! Guys win some dreamy trip to a tropical island, but then something happens... If you played danganronpa 2, you know that you CAN'T trust that people will be friends forever while trapped on a island. And, knowing Pil/Slash, expect something really really weird to happen! But they usually do a good job handling horror themes, and this project is a collaboration with LOVE&DESTROY, the dj circle that made Cage Open, so they have experience with trapped scenarios. Unlike Fukushuu above, this MC is always bottom. A shame, considering that in Shingakkou the pairings were reversible. This is the one I'm hyped the most!

If you want something in english, I hope you like entering some weird mansions. MG released the english version of Hadaka Shitsuji back in October, so you can already read this insane black comedy with no mosaics at all. This game is pretty infamous, and full of sadism, but it does have some merits. One guy made pretty much everything here, and he made sure that every little weird fetish he have is there. There's big and small guys, short and long haired, bright and gloomy, just pick you favorite and prepare to be on top! Noteworth: male ahegao is da best.

But if you want to be sadistic with the master of the mansion too, and not just the poor butlers, you can try Beyond Eden, also available on Steam! And you can also practice your korean, since it have korean voice acting. This MC here is the only reversible of the bunch I said.

The year didn't ended yet, so there's still time for Full Service full version and Luckydog1 sequel to come out! When? We'll see (or not).

And wait. All of these games are a bit... weird? What other people will think of us???? Maybe I should have look to some fluffy stuff too...

Anyway, what about you guys? Know a title I overlooked? Share with me! ^.^

 

Next week, otomege's hype for 2018. See you there!

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