One of the interesting things about the Neptunia series as a whole is that it doesn’t really have an overarching “big plot” as such, but nonetheless sees each of its characters getting plenty of development.
Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online is an especially intriguing case in that, although it is a spinoff title from the main series, previous examples of which have been regarded as non-canonical, it feels like one of the most significant instances of each member of its main cast “advancing” in their overall development and growth.
In fact, in many ways, the fact Cyberdimension Neptunia does not feature a prominent note that it is a non-canonical installment can lead us to believe that it is a quasi-sequel to Megadimension Neptunia V-II and its predecessor Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory/Re;Birth3, particularly given the presence of characters who were introduced in those games, such as Plutia and Peashy (Victory/Re;Birth3) and Uzume (V-II). And in that context it’s actually a very significant installment in the series from a narrative perspective.
Continue reading Cyberdimension Neptunia: Narrative, Themes and Characterisation
Noire is a consistently popular member of the Neptunia cast, and for a variety of reasons.
For one, she personifies the range of consoles that have, to date at the time of writing, played exclusive host to the games in the series: Sony’s PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, with her younger sister Uni representing Sony handhelds the PSP and Vita. As such, it’s natural for people to feel drawn to her — though quite a fun little twist in the fact that she’s not the franchise’s main character.
For another, she embodies the enduringly popular character trope of the tsundere; that hard-shelled, soft-centred sort of person who puts up an abrasive, sometimes aggressive front but actually just wants to be liked or even loved.
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Noire
The Neptunia series is not only one of the most remarkable success stories in Japanese gaming, it’s also one of the most interesting, diverse franchises out there.
From its humble beginnings as a low-budget RPG with an atrocious critical reception to its current, widely recognised status inextricably associated with Sony platforms, even the most hardened cynic has to admit by now that there’s probably something to this series.
A big part of what has kept Neptunia fresh and interesting over the years is the fact that it’s not afraid to step outside of its traditional RPG comfort zone and experiment with gameplay styles. And, since we already explored the history of the mainline series when we dove deep into Megadimension Neptunia V-II back in 2016, it’s these spinoff games we’ll be looking in more detail today.
Continue reading Cyberdimension Neptunia: Introduction and History
Today, March 16, is the birthday of Japanese voice actress Asami Imai, one of the most distinctive, recognisable voices in modern Japanese entertainment.
Since her debut in 1999, she has racked up an impressive number of roles to her name across a variety of different media. Among enthusiasts of Japanese gaming, she’s probably best known for her roles as Noire in the Neptunia series, Makise Kurisu in the Steins;Gate visual novels, and Ikaruga in the Senran Kagura series.
She’s had an interesting career, for sure — so let’s take a look at it!
Continue reading Happy Birthday, Asami Imai
With the Western release of Vita title Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection, a character-centric idol management game-cum-dating sim-cum-visual novel based on Compile Heart’s popular RPG series, I thought it high time we took a closer look at the game’s cast.
And, since Noire — also known as Black Heart — is indisputably my favorite member of the cast, I figured there was no better place to start. I’m not the only one who favours Noire, mind; such was her popularity in Japan that she recently got her own game: a Vita-based, Sting-co-developed strategy RPG spinoff of the Neptunia series that looks like being a lot of fun. There’s no news of a Western release of that game as yet, but in the meantime, we can enjoy hanging out with Noire (and her friends, I guess) in Producing Perfection.
But who, really, is Noire? Well, let’s ponder that.
Continue reading Goddesses of Gamindustri: Noire