I recently played through an interesting Taiwanese game called Food Girls. It’s a visual novel combined with a management sim about rescuing a street market from closure and demolition. You can read more about it in my feature over on Rice Digital; there’ll be more about it here when I’ve done a few more playthroughs!
As you might expect from the name, Food Girls primarily focuses on your relationships with the vendors who call the street market home. As you develop those relationships — and train up their important skills to ensure they’re making profit — you learn more about them.
For my first playthrough, I mostly focused on the tsundere bubble tea shop owner Bubbles. What can I say? I have a type. (I have multiple types, as it happens, but tsundere is a particular weak point.) So let’s take a closer look!
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Bubbles
Final Fantasy V, despite being one of the most mechanically solid installments in the series, doesn’t get a ton of love — partly because it got localised very late; partly because the quality of those localisations has varied considerably over time; and partly because in the grand scheme of the franchise as a whole, it’s comparatively bastard hard.
After many, many years of saying “I should probably beat Final Fantasy V sometime”, I am finally working on that goal — specifically by playing it on my totally normal, pristine and absolutely definitely completely stock PlayStation Classic that my brother rather generously bought me for Christmas. (More on all that another day, I feel.) And I thought Lenna — or “Reina” as she’s called in the version of Final Fantasy V I’m playing — was deserving of some love.
So let’s give her some love. Our pink-haired princess is one of Final Fantasy’s most capable heroines, so it’s high time she saw some appreciation, I say!
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Lenna Charlotte Tycoon
Anyone who has ever worked an office job will have doubtless come into contact with the particular archetype that Marion Quinn from the Atelier Dusk trilogy represents.
Perpetually overworked, constantly struggling for recognition and seemingly always lumbered with frustrating, thankless tasks despite being highly competent and intelligent, the Marions out there are the unsung heroes of the world. They’re the people who get things done without making a big fuss; they’re the people who you want to keep on the right side of, because they also tend to be the people who have the real power in the grand scheme of things.
We get a glimpse of Marion’s life in Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk, followed by an opportunity to actually work alongside her in Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky. So let’s give her a bit of love for today, shall we? Office party!
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Marion Quinn
Since we’re moving on to Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk later this week, it is, of course, time to appreciate its wonderful protagonist.
The Dusk trilogy of games in the Atelier series has a markedly different feel and atmosphere to the colourful exuberance of the Arland games that immediately precede it. It’s an altogether more melancholy, pensive affair, as this time around we’re looking at a world in which all is most certainly not well.
Thankfully the world of Dusk being on the road to possible ruin doesn’t stop it from featuring some of the most beautiful girls in all of Gust’s history — with one of the most striking examples being our new lead Ayesha. Let’s take a closer look.
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Ayesha Altugle
By popular request (all right, one person asked for it) it’s time for another Warriors waifu. This week, we take a look at Zhenji, also known as Zhenshi, Zhen Luo, Zhen Fu, Lady Zhen or “the one with the flute”.
She’s been a fixture in the Warriors series since Dynasty Warriors 3, and also shows up in the various Warriors Orochi games. In most games, she’s depicted as wielding a flute as her weapon, though in Dynasty Warriors 6 and 9, she swaps the flute for a chain whip — probably a tad more effective in battle, but not nearly as iconic.
She is, by all accounts, a woman of “dazzling beauty”, so let’s take a closer look at who she is and where she came from!
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Zhenji
I’ve been playing a lot of Warriors Orochi 3 lately, so I feel it’s high time we had another Warriors waifu to celebrate.
This time around it’s the turn of Nene, a character who has had several names over the years. While she’s known as Nene in the Warriors Orochi series, she’s also been known as One (pronounced oh-nay), Nei and, probably most commonly when referring to the real historical figure, Kōdai-in.
Like most of the characters from the Warriors series, there’s a variety of interesting things to learn about her. So let’s dive in and investigate!
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Nene
Looking back over past installments of this column, I’m surprised I haven’t given Bianca any love yet. I mean, in Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride, the game in which she first appears, she literally becomes your wife. Assuming you make the correct choices, that is.
Of course, you have two other options for who to wed in that game. But as someone who grew up as whatever the middle-class equivalent of a country bumpkin is, Bianca spoke to me right from the first moment I met her. And I knew right from that first meeting that I was going to wed her.
Them other girls dun’t matter, y’hear? Well, they do, but not right now. Bianca!
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Bianca Whitaker
Since their debut in September of 2020, the girls of Hololive English have well and truly settled into their roles as virtual entertainers, bringing joy to hundreds of thousands of people every day.
Back when HoloEN first launched, we took a specific look at Amelia Watson and Ninomae Ina’nis, but there are still several three more delightful characters in the lineup well worth celebrating. And with the unfortunate (and apparently accidental) banning of Takanashi Kiara’s channel earlier today — a mistake which YouTube-kun has since rectified after implied murderous threats from a certain rapping reaper — I figured it was well worth giving everyone’s favourite phoenix a bit of time in the spotlight.
You can’t keep a good phoenix down, after all — although Final Fantasy might have you believe otherwise — so get your bargain bucket ready and let’s give that bird some love. That came out with potentially filthy implications, but they honestly weren’t intentional. Please disregard.
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Takanashi Kiara
“It’ll all work out… somehow!” is a phrase that can be applied to a wide variety of RPG protagonists from over the years, but Elmerulia “Lulua” Frixell from Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland makes a distinctive effort to make it her catchphrase.
Well, technically speaking the catchphrase is 何とかなるなる (nantoka naru naru), which is a little catchier, but I’m sure everyone reading this is familiar with the challenges of localisation. And, as it happens, in this case, “it’ll all work out somehow” is a pretty accurate translation anyway.
Regardless of whether or not “it” worked out (somehow), Lulua is a delightful character to have around. So ahead of our first steps into the fourth adventure of the Atelier Arland trilogy (yes, I know) I thought it’d be nice to celebrate her a bit. So let’s do just that!
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Elmerulia Frixell
Virtual YouTubers, or VTubers for short, are big business right now, having come from humble beginnings to the worldwide phenomenon they are today.
While the launch of VTuber agency Hololive’s English branch brought the phenomenon to a more mainstream Western audience, a lot of English-speaking VTubers have been beavering away independently on their own projects, quietly building up their own fanbases and developing their own distinct styles.
Now, several of them have come together to form the first US-based VTuber talent agency, under the leadership of broadcaster, streamer and founding Twitch staffer Justin “TheGunrun” Ignacio and YouTuber Phillip “MowtenDoo” Fortunat. Let’s take a look!
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: VShojo