I would like to wish everyone out there a happy New Year, and hope 2013 brings good things to all.
As the Mayan Calendar ran out of room and we had no moon/asteroid/Lavos hit our planet to bring all existence to an end, I decided to take some time to write in the seemingly-abandoned journal.
2012: A Year in Eroge
While my reviews add up to a total of three for the whole of 2012. I have played other games during the year that simply have not been worthy of a review for several reasons.
Last time I wrote anything, I mentioned Legend Seven ~Snow White and the Seven Heroes~, which I eventually lost interest in due to some issues I had with the plot structure, despite understanding why it was written the way it was. I won't go into specifics, but meh...
I'll say the highlight of the year was definitely Astraythem, while disappointment of the year goes to Akiiro Renka. I wish I had more to say but there's not much when the other stuff I've seen is along the lines of Ore-sama no RagnaROCK and Kyounyuu Fantasy 2.
2013: What's Ahead
After much deliberation and some mulling over it, I decided to cave and get a copy of GJ's latest release, Hyakki Yakou. Unlike some of the more recent titles (stuff designed around the BOIN concept), Hyakki Yakou once again attempts to play on some character depth while using a setting that seems to be GJ's version of the Russo-Japanese War (with some geographical morphing and changing of countries' names). Suffice to say, the fact that they've gone the way of mecha battles + character interactions made me think of Sakura Taisen and Raimuiro Senkitan (without the singing).
At this point, I'm at a crossroads. I've seen several reviewers gather at specific blog sites, and I'm wondering whether I should do the same or stay here on LJ. Additionally, I'm not sure I can dedicate time to writing reviews for the time being. Turns out that my hopes of more time were dashed post-Astraythem. We'll see how this all turns out, though.
Non-sequitur: Last year I did a proxy of my ideal harem. This year I think I'll write about Imouto characters that I liked.
|Name: Tohno Akiha|
While an acquired taste, Akiha definitely grew on me as I continued her route. The after-stories unlocked by clearing Kagetsu Touya are what really made me appreciate her while allowing me to see beyond the super tsundere she is portrayed as in Tsukihime.
Admittedly, Akiha is a combination of the rich girl (ojousama) and tsundere archetypes built on the foundation of a younger sister/imouto character. She knows what she wants and how she expects things to be done, and leaves little to no room for argument once she's made a decision (further backed by the fact she's the head of the household). At the same time, she doesn't exactly push the envelope to the extent where she becomes annoyingly commandeering.
What probably helps her stand out is that she's the only character in Tsukihime that has a bad ending and a true ending. In a way, it plays into the "tragic" fate of the Tohno bloodline, as if the game were to tell you that Akiha's story does not have a happy ending regardless of what you do.
You also have to love how most characters put Akiha in her own category, most notably Arcueid and Satsuki ("Let the vampires, agents of the church, and even Tohno-kun's sister try to defeat me!").
|Name: Kanzaki Miyu|
Game: Amatsu Misora Ni!
Miyu I found largely amusing because of the fact that there's a dual nature to the way she deals with Amamiso's protagonist. She often does her best to keep things platonic, but also tries to subtly seduce our protagonist or provoke some reaction from him. While she acts as if she does this (especially the former) unknowingly, her connection to snakes due to being a hebimiko suggests otherwise.
Prime example of this would be early in her route, where Miyu gives Takahisa a copy of a new poster released by the company sponsoring Miyu's idol career. Our protagonist declines on accepting it because even he can tell it's a provocative poster meant to be sold to fanboys. Miyu treats it more like an innocent picture and gets upset at his refusal. She even goes to the extreme of accusing him of not wanting to keep a picture of his own sister. Kanna eventually steps in and comments that Miyu's poster does have a "check out this cleavage!" vibe going.
|Name: Roze Argent|
Game: Pygmalion -The Dark Romance-
Like the rest of the Pygmalion cast, Roze earns more symphathy from me than anything else.
To start, Roze is the younger sister of Pygamlion's protagonist (Johaan Argent). She is refered to as the apple in the eye of their parents, while Johaan was hated by his parents to the point he was kicked out of the house while he was still a teenager.
As eventually revealed, Roze actually died several years ago after she fell into a river and drowned. In his grief, a young Johaan called out that he would give anything to bring Roze back. This summoned the demon Bell, who offered to revive Rose in exchange for something. As Johaan was too young to have anything tangible in value, he offered his "happiness" in exchange for Roze's life. While Roze was brought back, Johaan would be doomed to never have good experiences for the rest of his days.
Skipping to the present, Roze decides to visit Johaan to see how he is doing (also in light of his engagement to Julietta). After Julietta's death, Roze tries to keep her brother's feet on the ground, understanding the amount of pain he's gone through most of his life. Still, she is not aware of what happened to her all those years ago, and contributes her health and tendency to come out of things unscathed to dumb luck.
Roze's fate varies depending on how the player goes through the game. The doll, if allowed to develop with low mental health will kill Roze in one such ending.
Another possible outcome is that she'll be sent to a dinner party on a ship on behalf of her employer, only for the ship to explode. Johaan and the doll (provided she has high mental health) agree to give up their own lives and "flesh" to bring Roze back a second time. As Roze heads back home after the death of Johaan, Bell sits hext to her on the train and tries to strike a deal with her as we fade to black.
Conversely, she can just simply go home convinced there's nothing she can do for Johaan, which opens up two additional routes.
|Name: Shindou Mei|
Game: Akibakei Kanojo
My favorite imouto character from the GJ games.
Mei is interesting in that she's infatuated with Shindou Nikita (Akibakei's protagonist) but is afraid to seriously develop the relationship.
It is implied that Nikita is pretty much the only person she's developed any sort of bond to, as she was quiet and an introvert when she was first adopted into the Shindou household. As is common in imouto characters, she is a little on the possessive side, and tries her best to compete with the more "mature" women in the cast.
Something to note is that while Nikita was more than willing to continue his relationship with her, it is Mei who decides that she has some growing up to do before she can permanently be with the protagonist. To this end, she moves out and asks him to wait for her. Of course, as her reason for doing this is to become a "proper woman", she asks the protagonist to become a "proper man" and stop being an otaku/akibakei.
As an interesting aside, Mei was used as the true heroine in the Akibakei Kanojo (H) anime. Considering she has more depth than Ren and Hatoko, the writers chose wisely.
|Name: Touma Kotomi|
Game: Shiritsu Akihabara Gakuen
Kotomi is what I consider a strange twist to several of the tropes that surround imouto characters. She plays on the stereotypes but the circumstances of her route succeed in making her actions tug at the player's heartstrings.
To start, she constantly makes passess at Souichirou and often reminds him that she's adopted. Because the protagonist is her "target", she goes to great lengths to get him to notice her. To Kotomi's dismay, Souichirou at first finds her advances a little creepy.
After the relationship between them is sort of started, Souichirou gets a call from his parents, and while she begs him not to ask them about it he asks his father why they never told him Kotomi was adopted. To his surprise, dad asks why he'd think that, as Kotomi is their real daughter.
There's a confrontation of sorts, with Kotomi confessing that she lied to the protagonist because she really was in love with him. She knew that if she was related by blood to Souichirou, she would never be able to be with him. This is the point I found interesting, as the conflict created by Kotomi's lie is what raises some interesting questions in our protagonist's head, but also allows the heroine to step outside of her normal devil-may-care attitude to reveal a girl that is weighed down by a love that cannot be.
Of course, Frontwing's writers pulled a Deus Ex when the
New Year's Video
While most welcomed the end of the Mayan Calendar with stuff like that website that was based around Majora's Mask, I decided to watch the playthrough for a shoot'em up game that takes inspiration from the book of revelations. =P
That's it for today. Happy new year to all!