Eroge tend to find themselves in a difficult position, with their reputation of being “porn” being a largely contributing factor as to why they rarely get any mainstream recognition.
This is unfortunate, because as we’ve already seen with visual novels like Frontwing’s Grisaia series and the RPGs in AliceSoft’s Rance series, having 18+ content most certainly does not mean that a work has nothing to say.
On the contrary, the freedom to be as “adult” as you like brings with it the opportunity to explore interesting, mature and thought-provoking themes as well as just sexual content. And such is the case with Evenicle, one of AliceSoft’s strongest games to date, both from mechanical and story perspectives. Let’s take a closer look at its overall narrative.
Continue reading Evenicle: Fighting to Keep the World the Same
One of the best things about the visual novel medium is its ability — and willingness — to tackle things that are outside the normal remit of “video games” as a whole.
In the case of Ne no Kami: The Two Princess Knights of Kyoto, a visual novel from small, independent Japanese circle Kuro Irodoru Yomiji, there’s a certain degree of “crossover” in terms of subject matter. We have the sort of “plucky young heroes tackle otherworldly horrors” angle that we’re most used to seeing from more conventional video games, but at the same time we also have some sensitively handled exploration of romantic relationships, disparate cultures colliding and young people trying to find their place in the world.
Of particular note is Ne no Kami’s exploration of traditional Japanese and Shinto mythology, an angle which it takes great pains to point out is only its author’s interpretation rather than “fact”. But this doesn’t make it in any way “invalid”, of course; mythology, by its very nature, doesn’t have any “factual” basis in the first place, and has only survived so long by being reinterpreted and passed on across thousands of years.
Before we investigate the game’s story in detail, then, it behooves us to have a general understanding of the mythology on which it is based.
Continue reading Ne no Kami: Exploring Shinto Myths and Legends