Tag Archives: characterisation

Waifu Wednesday: Viese Blanchimont

With Viese having such an important role in Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny, it’s only fitting that we give her a bit of time in the spotlight.

While she may not get out and about quite as much as male protagonist Felt does, she’s the only one who can do “proper” alchemy with actual ingredients; she’s the only one who can make pacts with the Mana spirits; and, ultimately, it’s her alchemy skills that allows Felt and company to stand a fighting chance in the game’s final battle.

And, this being a Gust game, she is, of course, cute. Let’s take a closer look at this charming young alchemist.

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Waifu Wednesday: Noin

Gust has always been good at beautiful girls — one might argue the Atelier series has made it its primary selling point over the years. And, of course, Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny is full of them.

A personal highlight for me on my journey through the game was Noin, one of the first characters that male protagonist Felt encounters upon his arrival in the strange “other world” of Belkhyde, and pretty much a fixture in the party for the entire game’s duration.

There’s a shocking lack of fanart of her on the Internet — even Rule 34 let me down — so I feel obliged to show her some love right here, right now. Let’s do it!

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Noin

Gunbird: The ’90s Anime Shoot ‘Em Up

In conversation with casual shoot ’em up fans I’m acquainted with, I’ve come to learn that Gunbird is one of Psikyo’s most fondly regarded series.

It’s not hard to see why, either. Although the first Gunbird game predates many of Psikyo’s other works, it features a lot of their most appealing elements. We have the multiple endings and strong replayability of Samurai Aces. We have the strong degree of physicality of the Strikers series. We have the overblown narratives of Sol Divide and Dragon Blaze. And the whole thing is topped off with a ton of ’90s anime charm.

Sounds like a recipe for success to me. Let’s take a closer look.

Continue reading Gunbird: The ’90s Anime Shoot ‘Em Up

SeaBed: What You Leave Behind

I reviewed this visual novel over at Nintendo Life — please go support my work over there, then join me back here to delve into the narrative in more detail!


SeaBed from Paleontology Soft is a kinetic novel that first released in 2015. It was localised for PC two years later, much to the delight of Western yuri fans, and in early 2020, it got released on Nintendo Switch, too.

It is, not to put too fine a point on it, an absolutely masterful work of fiction. It’s peaceful and calming yet melancholy, and the evocative, descriptive writing gives the whole experience a pleasantly mature feeling that is a far cry from noisy, chaotic anime hijinks. Not that there’s anything wrong with noisy, chaotic anime hijinks, mind, but sometimes you just want a bit of quiet contemplation to mull over.

So let’s mull it over together, because there’s a lot to talk about. There are likely to be some spoilers ahead, but I’ll try and keep major ones to a minimum, because you should experience this for yourself!

Continue reading SeaBed: What You Leave Behind

Waifu Wednesday: Leila

The Final Fantasy series has, over the years, played host to some of the most well-known and beloved female characters of all time.

And this isn’t a recent thing, either; if you believe the fan theory that the White Mage in the original Final Fantasy is female (a theory which I can’t help but feel Square Enix leaned into somewhat with the sprite design in the remakes for PS1, GBA and PSP) they’ve been there since the very beginning.

And even if you don’t subscribe to that theory, Final Fantasy II certainly brought us some fine leading ladies, such as today’s spotlight character, Leila. Let’s take a closer look!

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Leila

Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana – Narrative, Themes and Characterisation

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Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana is something of an outlier in the Atelier series as a whole, as we’ve already talked about.

Rather than adopting the established structure of “struggling alchemist works in a workshop to craft items, also there are adventures” it inverts this format to “struggling adventurer explores to discover mysteries of alchemy, also there is crafting”.

This change of structural focus gives the narrative scope to be a much more epic affair than many of the other games in the series — but at the same time it doesn’t abandon one of the series’ core principles. Let’s take a closer look.

Continue reading Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana – Narrative, Themes and Characterisation

Waifu Wednesday: Veola

One of the my favourite characters in Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana is Veola, the seemingly rather standoffish owner of the magic shop in Kavoc.

Veola’s sidequest is technically optional, but like most of the “shopkeeper quests” throughout Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana, it’s hard not to get swept along in the soap opera of her life — and how she relates to the other people around her, including protagonist Klein, his party members, bartender Norman and numerous others.

So let’s take a closer look at this rather closed-off young woman and figure her out a bit. Some spoilers ahead!

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Veola