So, for my first guest review, I’ll review a title that has been mentioned on the site before and has been on my radar ever since. Sisterly Bliss -Don’t let mom find out- is its full title, but I’ll be referring to it as Sisterly Bliss to save keystrokes. I will try and keep this review as spoiler-free as possible, but I will talk about a couple of the endings, so take that into account before reading.
Let’s start with the most standout thing for me. The artwork here isn’t as detailed as some other visual novels, but Sisterly Bliss uses this to its advantage. It certainly looks unique amongst the sea of other visual novels. This limited art style allows for flexibility and allows its characters to express a wide array of emotions and expressions—some not entirely pleasant—without breaking any immersion. The simplistic style allows for some incredibly beautiful CGs. Entirely though use of shading, a scene can be as detailed or simple as the artists want it to be.
The art style also contributes to a few choice scenes to make them more… creepy. There is some rather disturbing imagery down some of the routes, and the art enhances the intended feel of these scenes.
Itchika is the more mature of the twins. She is intelligent, studious, and not very athletic. She is vice president of the student council and takes her work on the council seriously. She constantly spoils her sister and does everything she can for her.
Futaba is the childish half of the twins. She is athletic, sociable, and does not take her studies very seriously. She’s in the tennis club at her school and very much enjoys sports. She struggles to do basic tasks on her own without her sister there for her.
Yuri is a childhood friend of the twins. She loves to tease the twins on how close they are and is very intuitive. She’s in Itchika’s class and seems to know how the twins truly feel about one another.
Saki is another childhood friend. She’s in the tennis club with Futaba and regularly plays matches with her. Saki, though seemingly more obvious to the twins feelings, loves to see them get along and often acts as a rock for Futaba.
I absolutely loved the writing and story here. Granted, the fact it’s about incest might turn off a few people from even trying the game, but the fact it’s an incestuous relationship is entirely a part of the story and a major conflict. It also broaches the topic of incest in society with its different endings. Since this visual novel is not kinetic, your choices in the first half of the story will greatly influence the second half, including which sister’s perspective you follow.
The story starts with Futaba and Itchika going about their normal routine at home and at school, with Itchika spoiling Futaba almost like a human would spoil an incredibly cute puppy. At school, Itchika eats the things Futaba doesn’t like and generally treats her like a child, which Futaba happily accepts.
The story really kicks off when the twins’ mother gets upset at them and forces them to spend time away from one another. Their mom thinks they are growing too codependent of one another, so their mom forces Itchika to stop spoiling her sister in an effort to make her do things on her own. Due to this, though, the twins really have to come to terms with their true feelings for one another.
After this, it’s up to the player to choose how to proceed. Do you have Futaba chase Itchika? Do you have her avoid Itchika to make her truly realize how much she loves her sister? It’s up to you. A big flaw I have with this structure though is that there is no in-between. For the latter half of the game, you take control of Itchika or Futaba based on your choices, then are given a single choice to determine your ending.
Speaking of endings… ooooo boy. There’s a 50-50 shot you’ll either be greeted with a bad end or a good end, with either sister. While I was satisfied with the good endings for both sisters, I really cannot tell which bad end is worse. I’m going to discuss the bad ends a bit, if only to warn you fine readers.
Let’s discuss Futaba’s bad end first. Her bad end involves a choice you make to stuff away Itchika’s feelings, with her stating that they were wrong and could never happen. This comes after she admitted them to Futaba just hours earlier. This causes Futaba to try even harder to get her sister to admit she loves her, with her going so far as to literally rape her sister to try and get a love confession out of her. After, Itchika still won’t admit it, so Futaba goes all yandere on us and wants to remove everyone else so Itchika can focus on her, though she scraps that plan. Futaba decides to try again to get a love confession out of her sister by once again raping her in the middle of the night. This, again, doesn’t work, with Itchika completely spurning Futaba and rejecting her love. Futaba snaps and stabs Itchika, causing her to bleed out, then she kills herself. That’s right, this ending turns out to be a murder-suicide.
Itchika’s bad end might be worse by a slim margin. With Itchika’s bad end, she embraces her mutual feelings with Futaba, though, she goes wayyyy too far with it, and her love warps into something twisted. Instead of loving Futaba as an equal, she instead takes control of her, essentially turning their relationship into an emotionally abusive one. She starts “training” Futaba to respond and admire only her and to let Itchika touch her in a sexual manner whenever Itchika desires. This eventually boils over when Itchika’s normally fantastic grades sink well below what they were, due to her constantly thinking of Futaba. Futaba gets sick around this time due to the sexual torture Itchika puts her through on a daily basis. The twins’ parents opt to have Itchika switch schools, and she does NOT like the idea of being away from Futaba, so she kills her parents by shoving them over a waterfall. After, she operates under the pretense of Futaba being terminally ill to keep her from going to school and keeping her locked away at home as a sex slave. I’d show you the final image from that, but trust me on this, you don’t want to see it.
Now, these two bad endings have morals in them that can be applied to any relationship. Be honest with your feelings and treat the other person as you treat yourself. So at least we walk away from these endings with a lesson?
I highly recommend this visual novel for its superb writing and presentation of two people with mutual feelings trying to figure out how they can be together in society. One of the good ends touches on how the twins have to convince everyone that their love is not something to be shunned.
The music in this visual novel is good, with most of it being orchestral and really tugging at your heartstrings. Some are more intense, with a more synthetic vibe to it. The soundtrack doesn’t exactly stand out, however. It gets the job done and is certainly a pleasure to listen to while you’re playing the game.
Needless to say, this game is 100% yuri. There are only two male characters in the entire visual novel, that being the twins’ father and a teacher (who Yuri hilariously blackmails in one scene). The full-on sex scenes here are wonderfully drawn, and the text that goes with them gives the happy scenes a very romantic vibe. The good H scenes are written in a way that makes it feel like it’s two new lovers joyfully expressing their love for one another.
The bad H scenes are exclusively down bad routes and feature much more coarse and disjointed language, which is appropriate, but the complete tonal shift and use of different vocabulary is something I greatly appreciated.
Sisterly Bliss is a visual novel I do not regret playing through to 100% completion – even the bad ends. I walked away from this with a somewhat different mindset about incest and with good life lessons for a healthy relationship. True love is something a blood relation can’t stop, and as highlighted in the visual novel, it will take work to get people to accept the love between these two.
Please consider checking out my yuri-themed writing project! I’d love your input!
Thank you for the review. From what I can tell, this VN is quite similar to “Love ribbon”, which I liked very much. So I think I’ll try this one as well. Also, I read first 2 chapters of your book and I want to read more! No complaints so far, very interesting to say the least. I wonder, was you inspired by VN “The tower of five hearts”? The world is similar with 5 animal races and lesbian princess as a main protagonist.
First, thanks for reading! Glad you liked the review! And you are correct. After I finished Five rHearts I felt like it was a wasted concept. I wanted to massively expand on it with some drama and action. I’m currently working on the other chapters, so stay tuned for more!
Glad to hear it and definitely looking forward to read more! Thanks.
Great review! Thanks for that, cause it helped me make up my mind about this one.
While it looked tempting at first I think I am going to have to pass on it because of the severity of the bad endings.
Just not my cup of tea this time. I know I am missing out on the good parts of it, but would rather not stray into those unpleasant parts.
So thanks again! 🙂
you spoiled the game with that picture of Futaba with blood over her like cmon man not cool
Just forced myself through the 4 routes, because I bought it. Honestly, I don’t think it’s a great love story at all. This is pure eroge with objectified characters that aren’t human for a bit. Their relationship and personality simply aren’t realistic and definitely feel tailored for a male audience. So if you are after some hentai frills, why not, but I was fooled thinking that would be anything like love ribbon, which far from perfect, actually convey some emotions. Also, the VN could have had twice as much drawings. A lot of actions narrated in the text really lacked their visual counterpart.
That’s pretty much how I felt. The characters aren’t believable and the details of the situation are left deliberately fuzzy so that they won’t get in the way of your perfect fluffy yuri incest fantasy.
Which is fine, if fluffy fantasy and h-scenes is what you want, it’s just not much of a story.
For a plot-focused reader the bad ends are a slight improvement, as at least then there’s something of an arc/development. You can see things starting to go wrong and as they continue down that path events spiral to the eventual conclusion. It’s much more of an understandable progression than the good end paths where things just happen because they happen and then decide that they’re happy.