Tag Archives: Tsunako

Waifu Wednesday: Uni

We’ve already covered quite a few Neptunia waifus in our weekly Waifu Wednesday celebrations, but there are still plenty more where those came from.

And with today being the six-year anniversary of the release of Hyperdimension Neptunia mk. 2 in North America, I figured it’s only fitting we show our appreciation for one of the CPU Candidates, the “younger sister” characters who were introduced in this second installment-cum-reboot to the then-fledgling Neptunia series.

We’ve already covered my all-time favourite Neptunia waifu Nepgear, so today it’s all about Uni.

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Cyberdimension Neptunia: Art Imitates Life

The Neptunia series has always, at least in part, been about taking a sidelong glance at elements of popular culture, particularly those related to video games, and Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online is no exception.

Through its overall aesthetic — particularly its art and music — it both pays homage to and parodies a variety of influences in both the online and offline role-playing game spheres, but in doing so it manages to retain a strong enough sense of its own identity to still be clearly recognisable as a Neptunia game.

In fact, through the combination of Tsunako’s distinctive character designs, their energetic scripts and their light-hearted, inclusive nature that draws the player in to the experience, there’s a strong argument for Neptunia games being some of the most immediately recognisable Japanese games on the market today. And I’m all for that.

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Waifu Wednesday: Noire

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.

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Fairy Fencer F ADF: Sights and Sounds

Fairy Fencer F and its Advent Dark Force counterpart represent an interesting melting pot of influences.

We’ve already talked about how the gameplay includes influences from Compile Heart’s own Neptunia series, and how the narrative includes influences from classic JRPGs of yore, but Fairy Fencer F’s diverse background is perhaps most apparent when it comes to its audio-visual aesthetic.

Featuring concept art by Yoshitaka Amano of Final Fantasy fame, character designs by Tsunako of Neptunia fame and contributions to the soundtrack from longtime Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu and his band Earthbound Papas, Fairy Fencer F certainly has some impressively heavyweight talent behind it.

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Megadimension Neptunia V-II: Sights and Sounds

One of the most appealing elements of the Neptunia series for fans is its consistent and instantly recognisable aesthetic.

This is largely the work of artist Tsunako. In fact, the Neptunia series at least partly came about as a result of developers Idea Factory and Compile Heart wanting to give her artwork a more prominent role after her previous contributions to games such as Cross Edge and Trinity Universe.

We shouldn’t understate the other aspects of Neptunia’s aesthetic, though; it’s not just about visuals. It’s also about how the games sound, and between the soundtrack, voice acting and even sound effects, it’s clear that the team behind the series has thought about this just as much as the art style.

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