Tag Archives: themes

Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland – Royal Responsibilities

cropped-atelier-megafeature-header-1.pngThis post is one chapter of a MegaFeature!
< Prev. | Contents | Next >


We’ve previously seen how the other games in the Arland series have tended towards being “coming of age” stories; Rorona learned how to respect the balance between tradition and modernity while learning to believe in herself, while Totori endured a more gruelling journey to adulthood than most!

With Meruru’s inherent position of privilege at the outset of the story, she’s obviously coming to her adolescence from a rather different starting point than her two predecessors did. But she’s still got plenty to learn about herself, the things she believes in, the things important to her and, of course, her place in the big, wide world.

Will she grow into the role of a “proper” princess by the time she hits twenty years old? Of course not, she’s got far too much work to be getting on with between now and then…

Continue reading Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland – Royal Responsibilities

Waifu Wednesday: Mitsuru Kirijo

With this week’s podcast celebrating the wonder that is the PlayStation 2, it’s only fitting that for Waifu Wednesday this week we look back on a classic character who made her first appearance in a PS2 game.

Yes, this week it’s the turn of Mitsuru Kirijo from Persona 3, the game that established the Shin Megami Tensei spinoff’s current format. She’s a consistently popular character from Persona 3’s core cast, and has put in appearances in several other games from the series over the years, too — including Persona 4, Persona Q, Persona 4 Arena and Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight.

Better get your grades up, though; Mitsuru doesn’t hang out with anyone who isn’t a Genius, remember…

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Mitsuru Kirijo

Waifu Wednesday: Hanna Olses

Many installments in the Atelier series involve getting to know the shopkeepers of the realm as friends and confidants, not just people who sell you stuff.

After all, a good alchemist always needs plenty of ingredients — and if you have a good buddy happy to slip you a few freebies now and again, then everyone’s a winner, right? Particularly if your alchemy is making life better for the kingdom as a whole.

Such is the relationship between the titular princess from Atelier Meruru and her good friend Hanna, the latter of whom lives a fruitful life alternating between picking any old crap up off the side of the road, and selling said crap to any passing mug.

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Hanna Olses

Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland – A Journey to Adulthood

cropped-atelier-megafeature-header-1.pngThis post is one chapter of a MegaFeature!
< Prev. | Contents | Next >


Most of the Atelier games that unfold over a clearly defined time period are “coming of age” stories, where the protagonist comes to understand the sort of person they really are, and the place they have in the world.

This is especially apparent in Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland, a game whose broader scale and scope than its immediate predecessor makes it ripe for exploring its lead character’s growing sense of maturity, responsibility and self-confidence.

Totori grows up a great deal over the course of her journey — so let’s take a look at some of the trials and tribulations she has to face along her path. Spoilers ahead!

Continue reading Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland – A Journey to Adulthood

Waifu Wednesday: Filly

One of the nice things about the Atelier subseries whose installments unfold in the same setting over the course of several years is that we get to see characters grow and change.

An interesting example of this is Filly, sister of Esty. She’s completely off-screen in Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arlandputs in her first public appearance in Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland and really comes into her own throughout Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland. (At the time of writing, I don’t know if she appears in Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see her show up.)

Let’s take a closer look at this character and her role in the ongoing saga of Arland.

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Filly

Waifu Wednesday: Melvia Siebel

Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland has some wonderful female characters in its cast — each of whom supports the titular heroine in various ways.

One of the most comforting presences early in Totori’s new life as an adventurer on the roads of the Arland region is Melvia Siebel, a character whom we’re led to believe has been a presence in the Helmold family’s life pretty much forever.

Everyone loves a good onee-chan, don’t they? So let’s take some time to celebrate one of the strongest, most badass onee-chans you’ll ever encounter.

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Melvia Siebel

Nurse Love Syndrome: Beauty is Skin-Deep

As we’ve previously explored, some of the core themes that run through Kogado Studio’s visual novel Nurse Love Syndrome include the ideas that people are fallible, that first impressions aren’t always correct — and that becoming overly dependent on someone is usually a bad idea.

The narrative route for Yasuko Yamanouchi explores these concepts from a slightly different angle. Protagonist Kaori Sawai once again finds herself struggling in her early days as a nurse, but this time around the ways she finds herself having to cope — and the things she has to cope with — are a little different from that which we witness if we pursue the route focusing on her senpai Nagisa.

Like much of Nurse Love Syndrome, Yamanouchi’s route is emotionally charged and, at times, a challenging read. Sounds ripe for a bit of deeper reading, no?

Continue reading Nurse Love Syndrome: Beauty is Skin-Deep

Nurse Love Syndrome: Nearest and Dearest

Although Kogado Studio’s visual novels Nurse Love Addiction and Nurse Love Syndrome are available as a set (known as Nurse Love Obsession), they’re actually very different experiences.

While Nurse Love Addiction primarily unfolds in a nursing school and deals with the shared traumatic past of a small group of students, Nurse Love Syndrome, at least on a first pass, is a rather more down-to-earth affair that concerns the struggles of a rookie nurse during her first year on the job.

For anyone who has ever experienced work-related stress and the mental health challenges that presents one with, it’s a difficult and emotional but rewarding read. And there’s a lot more to discover beyond that first playthrough, too. Let’s take a first look at the package as a whole, and what one of the routes through the narrative has to offer us.

Continue reading Nurse Love Syndrome: Nearest and Dearest

Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland – Tradition, Modernity and Belief in Oneself

cropped-atelier-megafeature-header-1.pngThis post is one chapter of a MegaFeature!
< Prev. | Contents | Next >


As our exploration of Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland comes to a close, it’s time to contemplate the game’s narrative component.

As we talked about when we looked at the game’s overall structureAtelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland is somewhat more non-linear than previous installments in the series. There’s a core linear progression based around Rorona’s assignments, but the bulk of the narrative content comes from the wide variety of optional events you can enjoy with the ensemble cast.

Between all those events, you get a good sense of what sort of place Arland is — and who Rorona and her friends really are. So let’s take a closer look!

Continue reading Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland – Tradition, Modernity and Belief in Oneself

Waifu Wednesday: Yasuko Yamanouchi

At the time of writing, I haven’t yet finished a full readthrough of Kogado Studio’s Nurse Love Syndrome, but I did want to show some love for one of its main characters. (And probably some more in the near future.)

For the unfamiliar, Nurse Love Syndrome is a visual novel that explores new nurse Kaori Sawai’s early days on the job, and everything that entails — both good and bad. Yasuko Yamanouchi is a character who is introduced early on as one of the more experienced members of the nursing staff but… well, let’s just say she’s a bit of a character.

And she’s voiced by Yumi Hara, too, so if you ever wanted to hear Yumi from Senran Kagura playing someone who isn’t Yumi for once… well, now’s your chance!

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Yasuko Yamanouchi