Otome Visual Novel Releases of May 2014

This month, the otome world has the following titles up for offer:

~ Amnesia World
~ ALICE=ALICE
~ Bad Medicine ~Infectious Teachers~
~ Heart no Kuni no Alice ~Wonderful Twin World~

Amnesia and the Kuni no Alice series are like the Da Capos of the otome world (alongside Haku-bloody-ouki) with all their ports, sequels, spinoffs and fandiscs. Enough already! To top off this month’s drought of inspiration, Rejet has jumped on the Wonderland bandwagon with their release of ALICE=ALICE. Romancing your teacher in otome games is nothing new at all, but at least Bad Medicine isn’t a spinoff, sequel, fandisc or port set in Wonderland… Yet.

All of my half-joking cynicism aside, I do find myself intrigued by how Rejet, my favourite otome media producing company, will interpret Alice in Wonderland. I’m not particularly attracted to teachers, but after listening to bits and pieces of the drama CDs, I’m interested to see how the their characters will be expanded in Bad Medicine. Wouldn’t it be nice to play a character-centric game in which the characters are truly memorable and individualistic… rather than paper cut outs that can only speak within the bounds of their moe tropes?

 

Amnesia World

 

Release date: 22-5-2014
Developer: Otomate
Publisher: Design Factory, IDEA FACTORY
Platform: PSV
Age rating: CERO B (12+)
Official website: http://www.otomate.jp/amnesia/world/

 

* Cast *

~ Shin – Kakihara Tetsuya
~ Ikki – Taniyama Kishou
~ Kent – Ishida Akira
~ Toma – Hino Satoshi
~ Ukyou – Miyata Kouki
~ Orion – Igarashi Hiromi
~ Nova – Hanae Natsuki
~ Sawa – Moriya Satomi
~ Mine – Akutsu Kana
~ Waka – Takahashi Hidenori
~ Rika – Yoshida Seiko
~ Luka – Hosoya Yoshimasa

 

* Plot *

This is a story set in a certain fictional world, in a certain fictional country, in a certain fictional town…

It all happened on August 1st.
The protagonist woke up one morning to discover that she had lost all memory of anything before August 1st. She had no idea who she was, what life she had lead and her relationship with those around her. It was then when a young man who called himself a “spirit” appeared before her.

Him and the protagonist headed for her place of work, “Meido no Hitsuji (Sheep of the Other World).” She proceeds to work whilst covering up the fact that she’s an amnesiac.

A few days later…
Plans of the Meido no Hitsuji’s upcoming “concept event” gets around. Apparently, the particulars of this event were proposed by the protagonist herself before her memory loss. With no recollection of the event plans, and no knowledge of the details, the protagonist gets started on helping out her colleagues with the preparations…

 

* My Thoughts *

In Amnesia World, the theme is “Parallel Worlds”. You’re able to choose different between different “worlds” to play in after the prologue: the “School World”, in which you’re a normal high school girl, the “Music World”, in which you work for a music company, and the “Criminal World”, in which you work at a detective agency. Alternatively, you can stay in the “Normal World”, which is set in the “original” Amnesia world. Each world has a different atmosphere and gameplay system.

Absolutely gorgeous artwork by Hanamura Mai wasted on a franchise that should just END already. I haven’t even fully completed the first one! Even if I did, I have little interest in Amnesia World and none in Amnesia’s other cash-grab attempts for that matter. Anyway, if I were the protagonist, I’d go to a doctor A.S.AP. rather than go to work. Amnesia (her specific type is called “retrograde amnesia”, according to my quick Google/Wikipedia info-gathering) can be a sign of serious brain injury or a precursor of brain disease. “Hmm, I can’t remember a thing… I know, I’ll go to work and just look for clues as though this is as trivial as looking for clues where I lost my jacket after a drunken night out. Professional help? Nah, sudden amnesia can’t be THAT serious.” Best idea EVAR. /Sarcasm. Do you know why people go bananas over the Amnesia franchise? Don’t ask me, I have no clue. Can beautiful art and a good seiyuu cast be all what the majority of the market wants? Makes me sad.

 

 

ALICE=ALICE

 

Release date: 28-5-2014
Developer: Rejet
Publisher: Rejet
Platform: PC
Age rating: CERO C (15+)
Official website: http://rejetweb.jp/alice/

 

* Cast *

~ Kuro Usagi (Black Rabbit) – Kondou Takashi
~ Sangatsu Usagi (March Hare) – Tachibana Shinnosuke
~ Chesa Neko (Chesire Cat) – Takahashi Naozumi
~ Boushiya (Mad Hatter) – Toriumi Kousuke
~ King – Shimono Hiro
~ Ura-Alice (Another/Opposite Alice) – Midorikawa Hikaru

 

* Plot *

Unchanging days, where nothing worthy of note occurs.

Nothing exciting ever happens.

Is this really happiness?

“If that’s “happiness”, I don’t want it.” That’s what the other me says.

They say that there is something much, much more fun in this world.

As I was thinking about those things, one day, a brusque white rabbit appeared before me.

“Oi, you. If you’re that bored, you should come here. Well, I guess once you come here, you might not be able to go back. Kuku, there might be something really exciting here that you’ve never experienced before.”

Without hesitation, I answered:

Yes/No

 

* My Thoughts *

While I’m getting sick of Alice in Wonderland interpretations, I’m geuinely interested in what Rejet has to offer- plus the website’s music kicks arse! I hope the game’s OST is something like this. Anyway, I haven’t listened to the drama CDs, so I’d pretty much be jumping into this rabbit hole (haw-haw) blind, save for reading the character profiles on the official website. I’m focused on how you have the option to comply with or deny the white rabbit’s offer. It wouldn’t be much of an Alice in Wonderland story if Asuka (the protagonist) stayed in her world… right? I wonder if this is something like Trick or Alice where there is a “real world” version of the Wonderland characters?

Speaking of which, the characters are also quite intriguing. In typical Rejet style, many of them (okay, ALL of them) don’t seem to be in greatest of mental shape. I also had a chuckle at how the non-human characters have silly blood types- Shiro Usagi is “blood type: rabbit”, Chesha Neko is “blood type: cat”, and so on. One can only hope they don’t develop complications that need blood transfusions, ’cause seriously, I can’t imagine the “cat blood type” being widely available. Might not be such a problem for the immortal rabbit, but the playboy cat may need to think ahead. Also, some of the hobbies were quite amusing, with Chesha Neko’s practically being “mackin’ on chicks” and the Boushi-ya’s being “perving” (specifically, Peeping Tom).

Another thing of note is the artwork. Everyone looks a bit too skinny to me, but the style is unique. It’s a wise choice to pick an artist with an eye-catching style; to make ALICE=ALICE stand out in the sea of Alice in Wonderland games. Some of you may be familiar with Suou-san’s artistic style from the Wasurenagusa drama CD series. Nice to see she got to work on a game! Hopefully she gets more attention and work.

I’m fairly confident I’ll be checking this game out, but not in a hurry.

 

 

Bad Medicine ~Infectious Teachers~

 

Release date: 28-5-2014
Developer: Rejet
Publisher: Rejet
Platform: PC
Age rating: CERO C (15+)
Official website: http://rejetweb.jp/bm/

 

* Cast *

~ Shidou Kaname – Takahashi Hiroki
~ Nagihara Taiki – Terashima Takuma
~ Kuzuha Kakeru – Takahashi Naozumi
~ Kashu Remu – Kakihara Tetsuya
~ Yanagi Ryouta – Itou Kentarou
~ Toujou Kairi – Hino Satoshi

 

* Plot *

“He” was the ideal teacher you looked up to.

There is a classroom (sanctuary) you must never set foot in.

A special lesson with dangerous teachers.

When you learn of the teachers’ true selves, will you be able to handle the shock (pain)?

Now, a forbidden special guidance will begin…

 

* My Thoughts *

I don’t have a “teacher fetish” or otherwise, a proclivity to be attracted to teachers… but I do love “pretending” characters, especially those of a haraguro nature. I’ve listened to the drama CDs a bit, and I can say that I’m definitely interested enough in the characters to see them expanded upon in game format. The plot summary doesn’t “pop”, which would make one unfamiliar with Rejet gloss this over. The characters are the lifeblood of this game, so if Rejet stuffs them up, there is truly nothing else left that would be interesting in the Bad Medicine series. I’ll admit that I’m incredibly biased for Rejet, so I pretty much will play whatever they offer as I believe in them to deliver. I probably would never have touched this if Rejet had nothing significant to do with it.

This “forbidden” business in school reminds me a bit of Gekka Ryouran Romance, which is a Rejet title I enjoyed and recommend to those looking for something a bit on the “darker” side of things. Bad Medicine sounds like it’d be dark and dramatic, which I really enjoy in my otome games (hence my love for Rejet).

I definitely will be playing this, in the hopes that I can get a similar type of enjoyment out of this like I did with Gekka Ryouran Romance.

 

 

Heart no Kuni no Alice ~Wonderful Twin World~

 

Release date: 29-5-2014
Developer: QuinRose
Publisher: QuinRose
Platform: PSP
Age rating: CERO D (17+)
Official website: http://quinrose.com/game/alice_twin/plan.html

 

* Cast *

~ Blood Dupre – Konishi Katsuyuki
~ Elliot March – Mogami Tsuguo
~ Humpty – Okamoto Nobuhiko
~ Dumpty – Okamoto Nobuhiko
~ Vivaldi – Kaida Yuuko
~ Peter White – Miyata Kouki
~ Ace – Hirakawa Daisuke
~ Mary Gowland – Horiuchi Ken’yuu
~ Boris Airay – Sugiyama Noriaki
~ Julius Monrey – Koyasu Takehito
~ Nightmare – Sugita Tomokazu

 

* Plot *

Wonderful Twin World is a continuation of “Heart no Kuni no Alice”, and its fandisc. Alice Lidell starts off as lovers, or otherwise, very close to the characters.

She found a place she could call home with her significant other, and remained in the Country of Hearts. All the characters are supposed to be people she knew, but for some reason, the gatekeepers of Boushiya’s (Blood Dupre’s) mansion were people Alice didn’t remember seeing. The gatekeepers, although looking nothing like one another, were twins. One was a narcissist, and the other likes the occult- they don’t lose out to the other characters in terms of individuality.

In addition, there is a storm that somewhat makes people crazy.
The arrival of the “Crazy Storm”. It’s said that anybody exposed to the Crazy Storm will gradually go “funny”. For example, Blood Dupre coming to like coffee, or the Queen of Hearts falling in love with White Rabbit (Peter White) and starting to collect soft toys.

The Crazy Storm is drawing closer to the Country of Hearts.

“Those precious to me will somewhat change.”
Shaken by the imminent arrival of the Crazy Storm, Alice loses her way and ends up in the dreams of the “Strange Egg”.

The storm that threatens to make the Country of Hearts go mad, and the egg’s dream that perplexes Alice…

In a world where common sense has no bearing, what will happen to the realistic Alice and her love?

 

* My Thoughts *

I’d encourage QuinRose to just move on, but they’re like Da Capo now- it won’t ever happen, so I won’t waste my breath anymore. However, at least QuinRose consistently creates other titles, though since I’m largely unfamiliar with them, I have no idea how well the non-Alice titles do. Anyway, it’s good to see the artwork improve. While Fujimaru Mamenosuke’s artwork can’t be called “unique”, it’s nice and does the series more justice, I think.

Compared to the other myriad of sequels, spinoffs and fandiscs, I’d say I’d be interested in Wonderful Twin World if I had played Heart no Kuni. Especially if I liked the original twins, I’d certainly wonder what happened to them. Also, the “Crazy Storm” sounds like it’d be thoroughly amusing. Incidentally, I did have the original Heart no Kuni (or Anniversary, I forget), but sold it in order to get the latest PSP edition. As it turns out, I don’t plan on doing so anymore, since the reviews are hardly favourable, and my otome gaming friends don’t recommend me to. On top of all of that, I’ve pretty much lost interest in the Kuni no Alice franchise as I’m overwhelmed by the sheer amount of games, plus I can think of tons of other titles I’d rather spend my time on.

Maybe if the day comes where I have nothing to play, I’d try out the Kuni no Alice series. Until then, I have no interest.

Advertisements
Categories: Monthly Otome Release Lists | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Post navigation

5 thoughts on “Otome Visual Novel Releases of May 2014

  1. Daeyamati

    Oh QR and Otomate, milking your popular franchises as always I see. I haven’t played any entry in the Amnesia and Kuni no Alice franchises, but every time I see a new release for either I feel less and less inclined to do so. At least Rejet is giving us a unique twist on Alice in Wonderland with ALICE=ALICE.

    • That’s pretty much the exact way I feel as well. At least the Kuni no Alice games seem far less generic than Amnesia’s. True about Rejet also- let’s hope they do a far better job than little cheese’s Trick or Alice!

  2. Ohh Lacal, I loved the way you slammed Amnesia despite me thinking the first game was pretty good (storyline). Since Orion appeared, the heroine just blindly follows whatever he suggests (but again which otoge heroine isn’t like that) and gets many clues about her love life, who are her enemies and all that, and I really liked Shin’s story, though 2-face Ukyo is still my favorite. Toma? ψ(`_´)ψ I’ve not finished ‘later’ since fandiscs are too much of a drag… You know, the thing about I’m quite interested in World actually, but I probably won’t play it since I’m into heavy games at the moment withy strong storylines rather than light games like World..

    As for Alice=Alice I stopped at Boushiya (like VB, Toriumi is put on hold :p) apart from being ‘eaten’ in many different ways and 耳レー プ、 I sure like Rejet’s twisted version of Wonderland’s characters!

    Bad medicine, I’ve only listened halfway through Kuzuha, and it’s pretty dumb… To start with I don’t like school settings and if you notice, I hardly play anything school related. The other CDs may be better, I don’t know since I only bought one, but despite me being a TakahashiN fan, Bad Medicine isn’t doing it for me :/

    Quinrose’s Alice series: Let’s just say I’ll play one of them if Otomate and Rejet stop producing games ( ;;`ω´)

    My turn to apologies for the long comment…. Somehow things always end up this way when we talk on the internet (´∀`)

    • Don’t be sorry, my dear! I always want to hear what other otome gamers think. I like reading long comments!

      I’m glad you found my bad-mouthing amusing, but given that I’ve yet to 100% complete it, maybe I was being too harsh. It’s as you say; a lot of protagonists are like Heroine. However, I still thought it was so stupid she didn’t go to a doctor. At least it should have been like: Go to doctor -> doctor says he has no clue what to do -> the game tells us she underwent some checks/tests/etc. -> can’t determine source so she tries to trigger her memories herself. That would have been way better.

      I get that the protagonists are supposed to be “me”, but what kind of girl would fantasise about being a dumb shit?

      Haha, don’t let Toriumi-san think it’s him that’s making us put his works on hold, LOL. It’s a coincidence! I like his voice, but I wouldn’t call myself a hardcore fan like some of my other mates.

      Maybe I should get around to finishing the Bad Medicine CDs. There are much better drama CDs out there, but I have optimistic hope in the game that their characters will be expanded upon. In typical Rejet fashion! Not that I’d be playing BM in a hurry. I’m more inclined to start listening to ALICE=ALICE.

      I can’t think of a setting I dislike, per se. I usually take a dislike or negative bias against certain tropes or species. Like, I really dislike kemonomimi and I’m sick of vampires. However, Black Wolves Saga is one of the best otome games I’ve ever played, PERIOD. I’m glad I didn’t reject it based on “da kemonomimi”. Don’t get me started on Ayakashi, that’s overdone and burnt to a crisp, too.

      Speaking of QuinRose, I ought to download Kuroyuki Hime. Some of the reviewers complained that there was more focus on plot than on romance. Criticising a visual novel for focusing on the plot? Da fuck? (‘◇’)? Okay, I get what they mean- in otome games, romance is important as well… however, I have no issues playing a plot first, romance second game. Might be nice to read something that won’t make my Swiss cheese brain bleed puke out my brain cells more than my home state’s newspaper.

      • Haha it’s not Toriumi’s fault, just that I’m too preoccupied with Chronostacia to listen to CDs at the moment (・∀・) Chronostacia’s plot is really good and while the heroine is one of those blathering bimbos, with the occasional juvenile oh-Im-so-blushy shiet, I like complex plots and this is one of them.

        Honestly for Amnesia, I was surprised there wasn’t any of those “You’re seeing and hearing a fairy in your head? Ohmygawd you’ve become schizophrenic now!” scenes, and when Orion says if she wants to kiss the guy he will make himself scarce, I thought that was all !@$%!$%$ but it was still overall quite a good game for a 2011 product.

        Oh for that matter, Rejet’s games have always focused primarily on the plot YET I agree bws is one of the best games ever: I mean Rath’s route in Bloody Nightmare was so unfinished. There was hardly any romance! How can people complain about that I really have no idea -_-

        I’m so conflicted about playing Kuroyuki… If it turns out butchered like Satomi I might boycott Quinrose all together (lol) Hope it goes well for you (*^^*)

Don't be shy, leave a reply!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Powered by WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: