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
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if, for once, everything went your way? I know I have.
Doubtless many of you reading this have, at some point in your lives, wondered “what’s the point?” and contemplated giving up altogether. “I work my ass off,” the train of thought inevitably goes, “and I never get any recognition for it. Why bother?”
Well, unfortunately I can’t help with your own personal circumstances — my hands are plenty full with my own, believe me — but I can both prescribe and recommend a healthy dose of the new kinetic novel from Nekopara developer Neko Work (under their new Neko Work H label), because Love Cube is one of the most potent pieces of wish fulfilment fiction I think I’ve ever enjoyed.
Some sexually explicit NSFW images and themes ahead.
Continue reading LOVE³ -Love Cube-: Can’t Escape From Crossing Fates
[Editor’s note: as of February 2019, it appears that unfortunately minori is ceasing operations. This article has been left in its original form as published in June 2018 to preserve the original intention behind the series, even if it will likely never happen now.]
It’s wonderful to see that minori’s ambitious Supipara project is moving along nicely.
As you may recall from when we explored the first chapter, Supipara is intended to ultimately become a series of five visual novels, all based around the same characters. Rather than taking the crowdfunding route a lot of current visual novel developers and localisers have been taking recently, developer minori has instead been ploughing its profits from sales of the existing Supipara chapters as well as its eden* project into development of the rest of Supipara.
It’s worth noting, however, that despite the series as it stands only consisting of two out of the five proposed chapters, each chapter stands very much by itself as a complete, self-contained story, and is well worth your time if you enjoy this sort of thing.
Continue reading Supipara Chapter 2: With a Spring in Our Steps
Ayako Orihara is frustrated, in more ways than one.
She’s frustrated at the fact her school’s Occult Research Club, of which she is the only member and current president, is likely to be dissolved if she doesn’t find some new members. She’s frustrated at her relationship (or lack thereof) with her mother. And by God, is she sexually frustrated.
Little did she know how much taking matters into her own hands would change her life over the course of just one week…
This article has some mildly NSFW content after the jump.
Continue reading Seven Days with the Ghost: Fragile, Frustrated and Female
It’s the last Waifu Wednesday before Halloween, so who better to explore this week than an honest to goodness witch?
Alice Kamishiro is one of the central characters of minori’s Supipara, a proposed five-part series of visual novels of which we’ve seen the first in the West so far, thanks to MangaGamer. Although the first chapter isn’t Alice’s “route”, instead focusing on the protagonist’s second cousin Sakura, she still plays an important part in the story as a whole — and is a mysterious, intriguing character in her own right.
As the series continues to unfold, we’ll have the opportunity to learn more about this rather odd girl and her remarkable powers.
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Alice Kamishiro
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.
Continue reading Space Live: Flawless Fanservice
As the Nekopara series has progressed, it’s clear that Sayori and the rest of the team at Nekoworks have become more comfortable and confident with these characters.
With each new installment, the series steps further away from the admittedly appealing initial novelty value of the main cast being catgirls, and further into stronger characterisation, including deeper exploration of the girls’ personalities, backgrounds and attitudes towards one another.
Nekopara vol. 3, the latest installment to be released at the time of writing (though a vol. 4 has already been confirmed), is the strongest episode to date, featuring some truly touching scenes, wonderful characterisation and, if you’re playing the 18+ version, it has to be said, some of the absolute hottest H-scenes in the series.
Continue reading Nekopara: Staying True to Yourself