Stepping up their game from having “just” some pseudo incest as seen in Citrus, for example, we’re now exploring a more… let’s call it intense territory with Love Ribbon, featuring the romance between two actual sisters. And what a roller-coaster ride of a story this was!
We’re introduced to our main character, Iris, who is in the middle of getting ready to transfer into a new school and finally live on her own. Just when arriving at her new home, her dad, however, decides to drop the bomb and tell her that she would not only be living with someone else, but she would be living with her own sister – whom up until this moment, Iris had no idea even existed. When said sister, Zoey, then arrives, she literally gives Iris hell for no apparent reason. What a nice way to start out this romance!
I gotta be honest, when I started playing this and got to the point of the two sisters meeting, I was beyond frustrated with all three main characters for various reasons. Let’s start with Iris first. A pampered girl, hardworking, an honor student at school, and has some real bad issues with being way too nosy. The first time she meets her sister, she seemingly just can’t help but ignore all the bad signs Zoey throws her way and just keep nagging her and even searching her room without permission. Then let’s take Zoey herself, with her anger issues, mostly careless and kind of a lone wolf personality. She, on the other hand, was not at all happy to start living with a sister she didn’t even know existed and made no effort in trying to hide just that. She constantly gave Iris a hard time, despite her mostly sincere efforts.
But lastly, let’s talk about the one who made the absolutely worst first impression on me, their dad. Not only did he withhold the very important information of each others existence to his daughters, he also decided to wait until he could just tell Iris over the phone instead of face to face, just to then immediately make her responsible for her sisters misbehavior. Urgh, I wanted to just punch some sense into him.
Well, except for their father, the first impressions the two girls gave off worked as something like a firestarter to get the story going and getting me all involved and interested to see how they would actually get along. The two of them immediately clicked in a very weird way, and I was invested in no time at all.
The story itself takes its time to get the relationship started, giving the two of them enough time to actually get to know—and more importantly—like each other. First as friends, then partly as sisters, and later, of course, as more than that. The incest part plays a big role in this one and does not get drowned out as in works like Citrus. It stays the main focus and eventually becomes the big issue of the work. The whole problem is handled in a more or less realistic way, with the characters first denying, or should we say, forcefully ignoring the matter, just to take a heavy hit when their relation is confirmed. It’s a good thing that this work actually makes you wonder why people are so against these kind of relationships, well, given that the two can’t have children in the first place and didn’t even grow up together.
The way the two girls handle the whole situation is at times quite childish when it comes to their decision-making, but at the same time believable, given their age and their backstories. However, many times you really just wanna slap them across the face, especially if you’re one of the unlucky ones who got to the bad end(s). Unfortunately, the bad end, or let’s say the decision triggering the bad end, would be one of the only things I didn’t enjoy about this visual novel. Let’s just say that the decision you have to make in order to avoid the bad end is a very questionable life lesson. You’re basically forced to go along with a very selfish demand of Zoey’s, instead of taking care of something that is a key element for Iris’ academic future. But if you don’t go along with that demand, the story takes a sudden turn into a very dark alley, and for a long time, you’ll be confronted by nothing but hardship. I just can’t help the fact that I disliked how long this dark atmosphere remained until matters were finally tackled in order to get to a better place. Fortunately, there’s some fluff after to make up for that.
But let’s move on from what I disliked and focus on the many things I did enjoy. First up, there’s a great soundtrack and an amazing art style to enjoy here. Well, I really expected nothing less, knowing that this is done by Razzart Visual.
But my favorite part of the whole visual novel would definitely be the portrayal of the slow-building attraction between the two girls, starting from their first friendly encounters, to some drunk experiments, to the point where they can’t help but be all over each other. The pacing was just perfect, and each of these steps just built up towards the moments of them finally admitting their feelings, and lastly, also expressing them in more intimate ways. And dear God, I think what was featured here were probably the best sex scenes I’ve ever seen in any yuri visual novel.
I guess what really makes a difference is the addition of animated CGs that just work perfectly in H-scenes. I really can’t praise these scenes enough, and I sure hope they will make a return in future visual novels. However, I still have a general dislike of the word “pussy” and reading this in a sex scene that’s meant to be romantic and sweet just makes me flinch every time, but I guess that’s just me…
So, all in all, did I enjoy this visual novel? Hell yeah! It’s also not a lot of money (currently around 10 bucks), and it’s not too much time you’ll have to invest to finish the story. It all in all features a beautiful and interesting love story with a little, or should we say, quite big, twist of the two main characters being sisters. Since the issue is tackled quite nicely in my eyes, it’s a yuri VN you shouldn’t miss.