Tag Archives: The Fruit of Grisaia

On the Age-Old Question of Video Game Violence

Over at The Well-Red Mage, which you should really be reading if you enjoy thoughtful and well-considered writing about games without sociopolitical showboating, the Mage posed an interesting question.

It’s one we’ve been over many times since the medium’s inception, and yet at the time of writing, it’s once again a hot topic thanks to recent gun-related atrocities and the surrounding discussions.

So let’s talk about it a bit. I am, of course, no expert on psychology, so I’m not going to speak for anyone else; instead, I’m primarily going to focus on my own experiences here, and contemplate how they perhaps came to be. Feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments, and be sure to drop by the Mage’s site to see some other takes on the matter.

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The MoeGamer Awards: Best Waifu

The MoeGamer Awards are a series of made-up prizes that give me an excuse to celebrate games, concepts and communities I’ve particularly appreciated over the course of 2017. Find out more and suggest some categories here!

Today’s suggestion comes to us from Annie Gallagher, longtime friend of the site and self-described trans feminist philosopher, critic, gamer and otaku. Check out her site Guardian Acorn for some insightful writing on games, anime, politics, music and all manner of other goodness. Also, she likes Time and Eternity, which I really need to write about in more detail on here sometime because it’s vastly underappreciated.

I digress. I was sort of dreading someone suggesting “best waifu” as a category because it’s such a difficult decision to make what with all the incredible female characters there are in Japanese games and visual novels. Even if I narrow it down to just, say, this year’s Cover Games, which is what I’m going to have to do, it’s still a very difficult task! But, well, I’ve started down this road now, so I will not falter. Much. And… and… no, it’s not you, Midori, that wouldn’t be right and proper, would it?

And the winner is…

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Grisaia: Yuuji – The Boy Who Was Broken

The Grisaia series may explore its five main heroines in considerable depth over its duration and various routes, but ultimately, the central character to the overall narrative is protagonist Kazami Yuuji.

Yuuji is one of the most distinctive, memorable and unusual visual novel protagonists in the entire medium. Through The Fruit of Grisaia’s exploration of him over the course of the five heroines’ routes, we learn a few details about him and his mysterious past. If you had come to the series completely blind, this would have the effect of gradually shifting your expectations: what might initially appear to be a relatively conventional high school-themed ren’ai (romance) visual novel slowly reveals itself to be much, much more complicated than you might expect.

And then you come to The Labyrinth of Grisaia, whose “Grand Route”, also known as The Cocoon of Caprice, finally gives us some concrete answers about who Yuuji is, why he is the way he is and the circumstances that brought him to Mihama Academy in the first place.

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Grisaia: Amane – The Girl Who Learned to Say Thank You

The Fruit of Grisaia doesn’t really have a “true” route or “true” ending as such, since the important plot threads are scattered across all the different girls’ stories.

But if there’s one path that stands out as being of particular importance to the overall backstory of the series, it’s that of Suou Amane. Not only does her route give us some insight into protagonist Yuuji’s mysterious past, which doesn’t get explored in detail until The Labyrinth of Grisaia’s Grand Route, it also introduces us to an important secondary character that, throughout all the other stories, is only hinted at.

Consequently, Amane’s route in The Fruit of Grisaia is a good one to save until last, since it provides a good means of wrapping up that game’s story and a pleasing sense of “closure” to the experience. It also provides some important context for The Labyrinth of Grisaia’s main plotline and an exploration of, for my money, one of the series’ most interesting characters.

Oh, and it’s also worth noting, perhaps more than any of the other characters, exploring Amane’s character particularly benefits from playing the 18+ version of the series, for reasons that will become apparent.

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Grisaia: Sachi and the Maid’s Burden

When we first meet Komine Sachi in The Fruit of Grisaia, she’s introduced almost as a caricature: she plays the role of “the perfect maid” to everyone else at Mihama Academy, right down to wearing a maid outfit when she’s not in school uniform.

But it doesn’t take a great deal of perceptiveness to notice her behaviour isn’t what you’d particularly call “normal”.

Specifically, it’s apparent pretty much from the outset that Sachi’s unusually compliant nature and tendency to take things literally is something out of the ordinary. Protagonist Yuuji isn’t quite sure what the exact problem is to begin with, but it gradually becomes clear to him as he starts to spend more time with her.

“She resembles me,” he says at one point. “Organising her life around diligently following orders, she never allows herself to doubt them, let alone defy those who make use of her. And almost as an extension of that, her ‘private’ activities are little more than the bare minimum routines of daily existence. Looking at Sachi, I’ve been seeing myself… and the discomfort I felt was a reflection of my uncertainty about my own way of life.”

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Grisaia: Yumiko – The Girl Who Learned to Be Loved

When we’re first introduced to Sakaki Yumiko in the common route of The Fruit of Grisaia, it’s clear that she is both troubled and likely to be trouble for protagonist Yuuji.

When Yuuji first attempts to introduce himself to her, she initially tries her best to ignore him, and subsequently goes to slap him when he persists. This eventually escalates into her lashing out at him with a box cutter whenever she sees him, a fact which Yuuji’s fellow students just shrug off as being “something she does”, because they’ve all been through it too.

Yuuji, being a certified badass, shrugs off Yumiko’s attacks without injury easily, and eventually they stop altogether, though she still proves herself to be a prickly individual who is generally unwilling to interact with others.

Except, of course, it’s not that simple.

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The MoeGamer GameCast: Episode 2

In this episode, Midori, Yumi, Penelope and I talk about whether it’s professional to cover your eyes at the prospect of boobs, one of the most well-received anime in the current season, Steam Greenlight and more.

The GameCast as a whole has had a few minor refinements since Episode 1. Music should now loop properly rather than fading out and starting again every couple of minutes, and I redid the interface buttons I wasn’t happy with.

Screenshot 2017-02-11 19.04.29.png

Music, as before, is by watson of MusMus, and the font is the work of Style64.

Something special coming for Episode 3 that I didn’t have time to implement in this one. Please look forward to it!

Download for Windows (99MB)
Download for Mac (102MB)
Download browser version (untested!)