Yuri Visual Novel Review: Highway Blossoms

highway-blossoms

Spoiler Warning!

It admittedly took me a while to finish this one, though I finally did, and even though I regret not having slowed down even more to enjoy this one a little longer, I’m happy I can finally talk about this with you~

Story: 8/10 and Characters: 7/10

Set in the American southwest, two girls, Marina and Amber, set their sails to take part in the big gold rush that has been triggered by the discovery of an old gold rush miner’s journal that talks about having bountiful treasures hidden around the area. Picking up the lost hitchhiker Marina, Amber more or less willingly gets herself involved in a life-changing adventure.

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Visual Novel Review – Starlight Vega

Spoiler Alert!

starlight vega yuri visual novel

 

Release Date: April 14th, 2016
Developer: Razzart Visual
Publisher: Sekai Project
Length: About 5-10 hours
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Yuri, Ecchi

Story: 9/10 Characters: 9/10
After more or less unwillingly moving into her grandfather’s old house, Aria , the protagonist of the story, starts hearing weird noises. While exploring the house and trying to find the source of these uncanny sounds, Aria and Melody, her best friend, stumble upon an intriguing-looking gem that Aria can’t help but touch, unleashing a sexy demon from another world by doing so. Since Aria and their new demon friend Lyria end up being stuck together thanks to the powers of what is called a Lifelink Stone, the three are forced to cooperate to get rid of the magic that’s keeping them bound together.

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[Guest Review by Bigbossbalrog] Visual Novel – Aoishiro

aoishiro yuri visual novel

Title: Aoishiro (Blue Castle)
Developer: Success
Year: 2008, 2009 (PC port), 2016 (mobile port)
System: PS2, PC (PC version contains extra content, including redone CGs, an entirely new route, and other content such as a side-scrolling beat ’em up where you play as Kei from Akai Ito)
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Romance, Yuri
Length: 6 routes (Nami, Yasumi, Migiwa, Kohaku, Secret Character, and Grand/Nami route 2, with two small “Gaiden” routes in the PC version). In total, around 65 hours.
Rating: 15+ (Note: Just like its sister game Akai Ito, it should’ve gotten a higher age rating. It’s less dark than Akai Ito, but still has its moments of depressing tragedy and violence)
English Translation: Yes (full PC patch available)

aoishiro yuri visual novel characters

Aoishiro’s plot begins with the kendo team of an all-girls school (Seijou Girls Academy) going to a summer training camp which is being held at a temple near the eastern sea, Shoushinji. The protagonist, Shouko Osanai (otherwise known as Osa, her pet name), is the captain of the kendo team and is not a normal high school student. Besides being a highly skilled kendo ace, she’s also very serious, has a dry, sarcastic, almost mean sense of humor, and is described by her classmates as having a personality very similar to a grumpy old man. Along with the club manager, Yasumi Aizawa (Zawacchi, as her best friend calls her), the young but skilled Akita Momoko (Momo, as Yasumi calls her), and the graceful, yet deadly, vice captain, Ayashiro Sakurai. They intend to have a productive experience, however, dark memories begin to surface in Shouko’s mind. Memories of red tsubaki flower petals, a young girl, violence, and crimson blood. To add further complications to their summer, a young, doll-like girl (whom they name Nami) washes up on the beach without any memory or even the ability to speak. Shouko must confront her phantoms, as well as deal with a friendly but dangerous Oni-Hunter, a pale girl with a single red eye dressed in ancient clothing, and many other obstacles in her path to discover the truth.
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Visual Novel Review: Kindred Spirits on the Roof

kindred spirits on the roof

The Spoilers in this review are all written in white, so whenever you come across some red text saying “Mark text to see spoilers“, just do as the text says and mark the white area below to make the text visible.

Title: Kindred Spirits on the Roof [Okujou no Yurirei-san]
Developer: Liar Soft
Translation: MangaGamer
Genre: Yuri, Romance, Adult, School Life, Ghosts, Comedy
Length: 10-30 hours
Buy it on Steam

Story: 9/10 and Characters: 10/10
One day, during lunch, Yuna Toomi, a rather antisocial and quiet girl, encounters two female ghosts on the roof. After getting over her initial shock, she finds out that these two are a couple and have been haunting the school for decades now, trying to find a way to leave this world without having any regrets. After a little persuasion, the two ghosts, or rather the kindred spirits, as they force Yuna to call them, succeed in getting Yuna to help them in their quest to built a “Yuritopia” in their school, meaning that they need her to assist young girls in love with other girls.
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[Guest Review by Bigbossbalrog] Visual Novel – Atlach-Nacha

Warning 18 + content

Title: Atlach-Nacha

Year: 1997

English Translation: Not Yet Available

Length: Only one route, but a huge amount of options and ways to approach the story, leading to very dramatically different playthroughs (An average playthrough usually takes about 20-30 hours)

Genre: Horror, Romance, Yuri (Has het as well, though that can be skipped Hatsune-style. The main relationship is pure Yuri.)

System: PC

Gameplay: Very deep choice system. For example, you can choose to avert eating someone or even having sex with them. The game is actually pretty non-linear, so you can choose to do stuff in no certain order.

Developer: Alice Soft

Rating: 18 + (Full-on vivid detailed rape scenes, besides the “regular” eroge content. It’s also extremely violent. For example, one scene depicts Hatsune slaughtering a group of rapists and devouring them. Unlike those horrible rape simulator things, Atlatch-Nacha handles it’s darkness a hundred percent serious.

Background Released by Alicesoft in 1997, Atlatch-Nacha was part of a collection of other Alice games. Proving to be extremely popular, Alice released it standalone in 2000.

Technical: Basic menu system, no voice acting, and is written in an unique third-person perspective.

Trivia: Hatsune is considered iconic in Japan, which means that all other portrayals of the Lovecraftian spider deity are modeled after her.

atlach nacha visual novel yuri

Named after the Lovecraftian spider-god Atlach Nacha, Atlach-Nacha is a romance-horror visual novel created by Alicesoft, a famous H-game company. Considered by many to be one of the most important visual novels of all-time, it single-handedly pioneered the Yuri genre and pushed the boundaries of what storytelling could accomplish to a whole new level. It should be noted, while Atlach-Nacha is loved in Japan, it’s practically unknown in the West.

atlach nacha visual novel yuri

Storyline: 10/10

Taking cues from both Lovecraftian literature and traditional gothic horror, Atlatch-Nacha tells an extremely (I’m talking Ground Zeroes/Phantom Pain mixed with Hellgirl and Spec Ops: The Line dark) dark and graphic tale of betrayal, love, the inner evil of mankind, and the nature of how power can corrupt the best of souls.

In Atlach-Nacha, there is zero, and I mean ZERO, good versus evil elements. The majority of the game consists of evil versus evil conflicts, with only a few characters barely qualifying as moral. The story involves a Jorogumo (a spider daemon from ancient Japan that can take the form of a beautiful young woman), named Hatsune Hirasaka, whose nest has been destroyed by her long-time rival Shirogane.

Hatsune decides she needs to hide from the world in order to restore her powers, since she was severely injured in a fight. She chooses a high school as her new nest and takes what she needs from there. Hatsune feeds by devouring the flesh of humans or consuming the sexual energy that intercourse brings.

The story begins during a stormy night, when Kanako Miyama, the secondary protagonist of the visual novel, is being gangraped at the back of the gymnasium by some male students. However, Hatsune decides to intervene, grisly slaughtering them in a display of gore-ish badassness before literally devouring them.

Initially, Hatsune only saved Kanako because she was planning to rape or eat her herself, but since she’s already satisfied by her previous meal, she decides to spare the young schoolgirl. Hatsune later seduces her, manipulates her. and turns her into her personal tool.

A good portion of the story shows Hatsune interacting with the staff and students of the school, with flashbacks from the past appearing every now and then, which help develop the story and the characters. Soon Hatsune begins to sense Silver, her rival, which leads to her making preparations for the imminent battle.

The entire storyline is depressing as hell, especially Hatsune’s horribly tragic backstory, as well as the endings that are either huge downers, or very bittersweet. Heck, The game is just one huge tragedy.

While the game is extremely dark for a Yuri product (or game in general), it’s nonetheless fantastically told and written. The game makes huge strides to make us sympathize with the characters, even the bad ones (besides Silver, who is just a monstrous jerk), and doesn’t go with the cliched “complete monster” stereotype that most visual novels go for.

Characters: 10/10

Atlach-Nacha has a pretty large cast of characters, mostly Hatsune’s various victims, so I won’t go into detail about them.

While Kanako is a great character, she not that noteworthy. She’s there to make sure Hatsune doesn’t stray too far from her humanity, and can be seen as a guardian angel due to her morality. Her character is affected by the progress of the VN, and she can turn out radically different in multiple playthroughs. However, Hatsune and her relationship with Kanako carried the entire Visual novel for me.

Hatsune Hirasaka
atlach nacha
“Know your place, pig….”

Atlach-Nacha’s villain protagonist Hatsune Hirasaka is simultaneously one of the most evil, but also sympathetic characters in the whole game. She’s a century-old spider-daemon and extremely powerful, being able to take on a gang of strong men with zero effort. Described as being very polite, if a little strange by her classmates, underneath her exterior, Hatsune is extremely ruthless and cruel. She has no regard for human morality and ethics, viewing them as lesser beings and considering herself beyond human morality.

One way of dealing with a noisy upper-classmate is to kidnap his little sister (giving you the option to rape her BDSM style, while you have her captured), lure him out, and then messily devour him. Despite all of this, Hatsune is very sympathetic, due to a number of reasons. Without spoiling anything, Hatsune is very similar to Ai Emma from Hellgirl, as well as Gabriel Belmont (otherwise known as Dracula, the Dragon) from Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, as a very tragic figure who became a villain due to horrible circumstances and factors that were beyond their control.

Hatsune may be a monster, but she’s only a monster because humans made her one. However, since you can pretty much control her actions, you can make her spare her prey and even help them with their problems. You can also try the more difficult stuff, like wooing your target with your good old-fashioned charm, instead of raping them, which is why I think Hatsune can be seen as far less cruel than the rest of her demon-kin. It should also be noted that, unlike other dark visual novel protagonists, Hatsune doesn’t do these things out of malice or sadism. She does it because she wants to survive.

However, her most redeeming factor by far, is her pure, genuine love for Kanako. While she originally views Kanako as a prey, she falls head over heels in love with her. And this isn’t a “twisted” love like Sengoku no Kuroyuri, Hatsune treats Kanako very well, and they’re honestly adorable together.

atlach nacha
Dawww

These humanizing aspects paint Hatsune as sympathetic, without justifying her evil actions. In fact, the ending is determined by how moral Hatsune has been through the game, as well as how redeemable the play thinks she is as a character and person. Hatsune is one of my, if not my absolute, favorite visual novel characters. Hatsune is a villain, but she’s a very well written, well grounded, and complex one that can be sympathized with very easily. Also, she’s a complete and utter badass.

Yuri: 10/10

atlach nacha
OH DAWWWWW

Atlach-Nacha has tons of Yuri. The main relationship, as I talked about above, is utterly adorable, and I love it. Hatsune is very tender when it comes to her loved one, although there’s some BDSM scenes between them, too (It’s all mutual though). The rest of the Yuri content can be rape-ish at times.

While Hatsune doesn’t need to, you’re sometimes given the option of raping others, both males and female, though she prefers females for sex. If you’re a fan of BDSM, it’s quite prevalent here. There’s also some hetero actions, and if you want to, you can also form a harem….

Sound: 8/10

Atlach-Nacha is very well-known for its kickass soundtrack, as it’s main theme, “Going On”, has been remixed countless times. Containing stirring instrumental pieces as well as lonely, melancholic piano numbers, it’s very diverse and sets the tone of the game. Unfortunately, the game is not voiced. The sound effects are pretty good though, especially the thunder and rain ones.

Art: 8/10

atlach nacha
Coming onto the spider-daemon

Atlach-Nacha is a pretty old game. It looks excellent for its age though, all hand-drawn in wonderful Alicesoft fashion. However, it still is an old game, and you can tell. Though to be honest, I prefer the hand-drawn style of Atlach-Nacha to the gimmicky CG of alot of recent Visual Novels.

atlach nacha
Remember kids, don’t trust spider-ladies who offer you candy!!!

Total Enjoyment: 9/10

One of the best Visual Novels of all time, Atlach-Nacha, proves that tasteful, grim, dark VNs can exist. With one of the greatest villain protagonists of all-time, a compelling, dark, tale of evil against evil, as well as true love; Atlach-Nacha proves to be a masterpiece. Though, it shows it’s age at times (If this was 1997 though, it would earn more than just 10/10).

To add icing on the cake, since I’m a big Lovecraft/Cthulu mythos fan, it remains very faithful to its namesake, portraying the themes of terror, horror, and madness very well. In other words, leagues better than Nyaruko: Crawling with Love *shudders*

[Guest Review]: Sengoku no Kuroyuri ~Futanari-hime to Reizoku no Shoujo~


Since the translation of the first Sengoku no Kuroyuri visual novel was finally picked up again, it is now time for the first review of this title, done by Ibara Miko.

Read on if you want to find out what this game is all about, but be aware of the fact that this review might spoil the story for you.
With that said, enjoy the review~
 
Genre: Yuri, Futanari, Eroge
Platform: PC (doujin work)
Length: About 8 hours
Year: 2011
Developer: Kotoba Asobi

General Info: The 1st installment of the Sengoku no Kuroyuri series is brought to us by a doujin group called Kotoba Asobi. It takes place in the Sengoku period in Japan and shows us one of the darker yuri stories.

Story: 9/10
This is the darkest yuri game I’ve ever come across, and it’s exactly this kind of yuri darkness that makes me play this game (mostly the second one) over and over again.
The story is about the yuri sadist princess, Saku, struggling to achieve her personal goals in the Sengoku period. 
Those are:

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[Guest Review] Visual Novel – Akai Ito

It’s time for yet another guest review~
This time, get ready for probably the longest review we’ve ever seen on YuriReviews.
Big thanks to Bigbossbalrog, the author of this post!

Title: Akai Ito (Redstrings in English)
Year: 2004
English Translation: Yes, but text only
Length: 5 routes (Besides the fifth route, which is a good deal shorter. Each route took me around 15 hours to complete.) In total, around 65 hours.

Genre: Horror, Romance, Mystery, Yuri
Platform: PS2, PS3 (was ported to the PS3, and can be bought on the Japanese PSN), PC (Success released a demo for the PC, which only covers the first two nights)

Developer: Success
Rating: 15+

Note: While Akai Ito is officially considered by Success to be an “all-ages” yuri visual novel (it’s rated 15+ by the Cero rating system), that only applies to it having no eroge content. It’s a relatively bloody, dark, and depressing game

Akai Ito’s plot starts several months after the tragic death of the protagonist’s mother. The protagonist in question’s name is Hatou Kei, a perfectly normal high school student. She’s informed by her lawyer that her father, who died in an horrible accident years ago, actually owns property, and that the property now belongs to her, due to her mother’s death. During summer vacation, she boards a train and heads to her father’s birth place of Hemizuka, a small town in the countryside, to see if her father has left behind anything for her. In the twilight, Kei dreams about a mysterious tree and a young woman seemingly consumed in sadness. In the land of Hemizuka, guided by the pale light of the moon, Kei discovers an ancient conspiracy wrapped in her own blood through meetings with a raven-haired demon hunter, the best friend of her late mother, a young girl who’s always accompanied by a white fox, a pair of vampires who appear to be children, and even the sad-looking girl from her dreams. One phrase from Kei’s dream keeps her from falling into darkness, “Someone important to me has vanished.”.

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