Tag Archives: comedy

How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift?: Moe-Tivational

My arms ache. And it’s all because of this stupid anime.

I’ll be 100% honest with you here, dear reader: my initial interest in How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift?, the new anime from Doga Kobo (Yuru Yuri, Plastic Memories, Gabriel Dropout) was for less than wholesome reasons — as I’m sure it was for many other people, given the provocative nature of the teaser image that was initially circulated.

But after watching the first episode, I signed up for the gym. Three episodes in at the time of writing and I’m already making more positive lifestyle choices. What state will I be in by the end of the run?

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Lucy Got Problems: What’s an ADHD Succubus to Do?

Know what I love? Demon girls. Know what I love even more? Demon girls who are really bad at being demons.

With that in mind, I knew I was going to have a good time with Lucy Got Problems almost immediately, since it opens with the eponymous succubus rather meekly prostrating herself in front of her superior (and unattainable object of desire) Tiamat, suggesting that she had done something very silly indeed.

One might even say she had encountered some difficulties, or problems if you will…

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Space Live: Flawless Fanservice

Sometimes a good palate-cleanser is just what the doctor ordered, and that’s exactly what Space Live: Advent of the Net Idols provides.

Developed as a West-first release by a collaborative effort between Da Capo creator Circus and localisation specialists MangaGamer, Space Live markets itself as a “short and sweet visual novel that will add some kick into your step for the week” — an eminently accurate description.

It’s not a visual novel that’s attempting to say anything deep and meaningful, nor is it attempting to wow you with its technical proficiency, big budget and days-long play time. It’s simply a bit of fun, aimed with a laser-sharp focus at Western fans of Japanese popular media, and it succeeds admirably at what it does.

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Grisaia: Introduction

Frontwing’s Grisaia series, which kicked off in 2011 with the Japanese release of first installment The Fruit of Grisaia, has come to be regarded as a particular high point for the visual novel medium.

Indeed, back in 2015, the /r/visualnovels subreddit voted The Fruit of Grisaia as number one on its list of top 10 visual novels (later republished on GameFAQs), and the community still holds the game in high regard today, as evidenced by its prominent position on the subreddit’s comprehensive diagram of recommendations.

Grisaia’s high ranking on /r/visualnovels’ list was particularly exciting to enthusiasts of the medium, as growing localisation company Sekai Project had already run a successful Kickstarter campaign to bring the whole series West in the twilight hours of 2014 and the start of 2015, potentially opening it up to a whole new audience that was perhaps less familiar with acquiring Japanese visual novels and patching them with fan translations.

But what makes this series so remarkable? Let’s take a high-level look at it.

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From the Archives: Politics Has Never Been So Moe

It occurred to me while compiling last week’s entry on the subject of “genre” that most of the visual novels I have personally played to date (Editor’s Note: at the time of original writing, 2012) have been rather “serious” affairs, dealing with delicate social and psychological issues, more often than not in a respectful, sensible manner.

So it was with some trepidation that I fired up Alcot’s My Girlfriend is the President, an English language release from JAST (Editor’s Note: sadly, seemingly out of print at the moment) and, to my knowledge, the first explicitly “comedy” VN I have personally encountered. (Editor’s Note: again, in 2012)

The premise of the game is absurd in the inimitable manner that only the Japanese can pull off with any confidence: aliens crash-land on “Nippon” (all country names in the game are bastardisations of their real-life equivalents except, oddly, for France), which wipes out the existing government. Then, wracked with guilt, said aliens decide to rebuild society and brainwash everyone as if nothing had happened.

This article was originally published on Games Are Evil in 2012 as part of the site’s regular READ.ME column on visual novels. It has been republished here due to Games Are Evil no longer existing in its original form.

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