Those of you who have been following for a while may recall that friend of the site Matt Sainsbury from Digitally Downloaded has been beavering away at a series of visual novels based on his site mascot for a while now — you can read about the first one here.
I finally got around to making some time for the second volume — and a look at the third one will be following shortly! — so I figured it’s high time we talk about it. Because, much like its predecessor, it does an excellent job of raising some interesting and relevant talking points without becoming preachy about it.
Volume 2, subtitled Meet Lo and Nettie! focuses on the topic of the male gaze, which is a term bandied about so often these days that its original meaning has become somewhat obfuscated. Let’s see if three cute girls can sort that whole mess out, shall we?
Continue reading My Time With Dee Dee, Vol. 2: Learning to Love the Male Gaze
I’ll level with you, dear reader: as a heterosexual man, I’ve never really made checking out boys’ love (BL) media a particular priority — though I must also admit that I’ve been curious for quite a while to see what it’s like.
My past experiences with otome games aimed at heterosexual women have been universally positive, after all (play Sweet Fuse, it’s amazing!) so there’s absolutely no reason why I shouldn’t be able to enjoy a BL title, too. As I’ve discovered since leaving the mainstream side of gaming behind, keeping an open mind and stepping outside of what you might typically think of as your “comfort zone” pretty much always pays off with some memorable experiences.
And thus, when independent developer Studio Senpai reached out and asked me to take a look at their work-in-progress visual novel The Secrets We Keep, I thought this would be a good opportunity to take my first steps into a brave new world. Also, the concept of the novel sounded highly intriguing, too, so that definitely helped! So let’s explore together.
Continue reading The Secrets We Keep: A Modern Love Story