Let your wings embrace my heart!

Greetings all! I was planning to do a post about the BL (Boy’s Love) game “No Thank you!” which is being released by MangaGamer… in English! That’s right, it has begun…muahaha! But! I decided to do a little piece on the other BL game in my life, this time the ‘B’ stands for ‘Bird’.
Yup, it’s time for the wonderfully odd dating sim, Hatoful Boyfriend!

Look at them. Aren't they beautiful? Damn right they are...!

Look at them. Aren’t they beautiful? Damn right they are…!

You are the only human left in a world of sentient birds. You attend the elite institution of St. PigeoNation’s. You live out your days like any other highschool girl. Well, that last one is a lie. It’s refreshing how strange your character actually is, she lives as a hunter-gatherer in a cave and seems to be completely at ease in this completely strange situation. But why are you the only human left? Where did every other human on the planet go? And what’s the story behind the missing students at St. PigeoNation’s…?
Well, you’ll have to get all the endings in the dating sim part of the game if you want to find out.
Hatoful Boyfriend has a second part to it know as ‘Bad Boy’s Love’ which explains the setting of the game, how things came to be this way and gets a whole lot darker!
(I haven’t actually got there yet, so this is all based on what I’ve read…don’t you judge me…)
Anyway, here’s a list of the birdies you can swoon over:

Ryouta – a rock dove and your childhood friend. Sweet and hardworking.
Sayaka Le Bel Shirogane – a fantail pigeon and the student council president. Stuck-up and arrogant.
Yuuya Sakazaki – a fantail pigeon and head of the infirmary team. Flirty and suave.
Nageki Fujishiro – a mourning dove and always in the library. Quiet and introverted.
San Oko – a fantail pigeon and captain of the track team. Hyper and strange.
Anghel Higure – a luzon bleeding-heart and member of the manga club. Delusional and eccentric.
Kazuaki Nanaki – a button quail and your homeroom teacher. Kind and ditzy.
Shuu Iwamine – a chukar partridge and the school doctor. Creepy and suspicious.

Sakaya was my first. Just look at those piercing eyes!

Sakaya was my first. Just look at those piercing eyes!

I would totally recommend Hatoful Boyfriend to any Otome game lover. The writing is funny and original, the characters are unique and loveable, not to mention the dark and bloody mystery lurking at the core of the story is a real pulling point!
The game is available on Steam and I recommend Negeki’s route if you’re looking for some sudden feels.

In other news, I’ve ordered a Ryouta body pillow from HumbleBundle.com.
I regret nothing.

Soon, Ryouta... soon. (Although Sayaka would have been preferable.)

Soon, Ryouta… soon.
(Although Sayaka would have been preferable.)

Nostalgia – My memories of meeting the Shinsengumi

This is a little post of remembrance and gratitude to the men of Hakuoki. My first encounter with them was in Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi for the 3DS and since then I’ve developed a intense love and sense endearment to them.

Memories of the Shinsengumi was my first hands-on experience of a visual novel, as they are quite rare in the UK. I knew what to expect from the genre – basically reading a story but my choices can effect certain outcomes and I get to pick a character route to go down. I also expected the focus to mainly be on the romance and the wooing and such, but it seems I was to be proven wrong.
Yes, Hakuoki does focus on romance but it also has it’s own story going on, of which I must admit sometimes went over my head as it involved old Japanese politics (and hey, let’s be honest, I don’t even understand modern day politics) but what I did know was that slowly over time I was becoming attached to the band of sword swinging samurai.

Okita, you're making it REALLY hard for me to like you...

Okita, you’re making it REALLY hard for me to like you…

I say slowly, because the first chapter of the game is just the Shinsengumi deciding whether to kill poor Chizuru or not, and since she saw one of their darkest secrets you guess what the answer was. Of course, that nasty fate was avoided but Souji Okita didn’t do well for his first impression in that chapter. But that was the thing with Okita – He was quite the asshole when you first meet him, but if you go down his route then you discover that he’s not actually that bad and can be quite sweet too. That was something I loved about Hakuoki: Memories – you didn’t get to really know a character unless you stick with them right to the end.
Th story plays out the same each time up until chapter 4, where you will branch off with the character you have the highest affection with. And it’s after chapter 4 when all the heart break starts.

They may just be 2D men to you, but to me they're special friends...

They may just be 2D men to you, but to me they’re special friends…

When the chapter number pops up you have a image behind it for the first three chapters, but on chapter 4 and every chapter after you get a close image of your chosen samurai, from the nose down (it looks better than I describe, trust me!)
It wasn’t long after this on my first play-through – when everything was new and shiny – that my dear Saito got a corruption bar on his profile, and then a cold pulse of fear ran through me. Was his life in danger? Was there a chance that my sweet Saito could die? Would it be my fault? Or was it something that I couldn’t prevent? I began to worry that the image of him on the chapter change would one day disappear.
It was a genuine fear of mine. And I loved it.
I wasn’t expecting such worry, nor was expecting the chance of game overs. Yes, Memories has game overs, as in you die or your beloved dies. We aren’t playing My Forged Wedding here, people!
Points yet again go to Okita for game overs, as there is a choice near the end of his story which can lead to one of his game overs and let me tell you, it’s like a punch to the heart!
You punched my HEART, Okita! My Heart!
Of course, you may need to play through each character’s story several times to get all their CG/Artwork but that’s to be expected from any branching story set up.

So now, I get to excitedly look forward to the arrival of PS3’s Hakuoki: Stories of the Shinsengumi – which will arrive the day after my higher history exam, bliss! – Where I’ll get to experience new memories with the wonderful men of the Shinsengumi, and I’ll never regret a single second I spend with them.
Except maybe Sanan…that dude’s creepy…

Diabolik Lovers Part 2: I came for the blood, I stayed for the boys

I’ve finished it! The Diabolik Lovers anime series, that is. In my last post I vented my own opinions about the characters – well, the Sakamaki brothers, anyway – but I hadn’t finished watching the series so any opinion of mine wasn’t totally valid. But now I have finished all 12 episodes, thanks to being unable to sleep last night because of stupid ‘love’ issues (ugh, if only life was an anime, or even better, an otome game! *wink*) So now I can put together a more informed opinion, of which could be better if I had actually played the game.

The brothers are like cake: they look so damn good but are really evil!

The brothers are like cake: they look so damn good but are really evil!

So, remember how before I told you the Sakamaki brothers were all super jerks? Well, I don’t know what happened but around episode 6 something seemed to change; They didn’t seem as bad as before. Of course, they were still quite unsettling and cruel, but they were somewhat…nicer? I don’t think it was a case of me adjusting to their personalities, I mean I hadn’t watched it for some time, so I think the characters did start to mellow out. Even Reiji, king of arrogance, wasn’t so bad! You even saw a distinct change in main vampire Ayato, who actually started to act really sweet near the end!(Honestly, You all make me question my morals! I’m looking at you here, Ayato!)
Even Yui begins to change, growing a little bit of backbone and being more forceful towards the brothers – It’s all in vain, mind you, but you can’t fault a girl for trying!
Now Subaru, He’s amazing! Out of them all he is the only one who isn’t a super jerk, he just plays the strong, silent and distant card and you should love him for it. That’s an order! Subaru should be your favourite, then maybe Ayato because of his sudden sweetening. I cannot deny Kanato. I mean, who could hate mentally unstable, and creepy gothic ‘shota’ types?!
Of course, like other dating games-turned-anime before it (Togainu no chi, Uta no Prince Sama, etc.) Diabolik Lovers doesn’t have a concrete ending, due to the fact that the game had multiple endings based on which character you picked, but I think they handled the ending well for what they could do.

I have a weakness for red hair, white hair, green eyes, red eyes...bloody hell!

I have a weakness for red hair, white hair, green eyes, red eyes…bloody hell!

Diabolik lovers spoke to a lot of my interests, and like I said before the character design is just beautiful. The characters themselves are quite diverse and sometimes difficult to handle, which makes them even more interesting! Diabolik Lovers knows what it’s going for and it hits the target!
Seriously, It has found a place in my heart and I do not regret a single second I spent with it. I really want to play the game! Don’t knock it ’til you try it, bro!
There will be no vampire puns here!

Now, I have to go and buy some Subaru merchandise!

They should get to know us better, right Teddy?

They should get to know us better, right Teddy?

Samurais are stepping into the UK!

Raising Star games company has been known for drawing attention to obscure titles, their main one being the Harvest Moon franchise. Now, they set to break the mould of UK gaming by releasing their new title  Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi

Mmmm...Samurai...

Mmmm…Samurai…

 

Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi follows the story of Chizuru Yukimura searching for her missing father. She happens upon a band of samurai soldiers known as the Shinsengumi, who are sworn to serve the Shogen. They’re also looking for Chizuru’s father. She decides to join them, and uncover the mystery surrounding her father, and perhaps find love amongst these rough devils. What makes Hakuoki so special is the fact that it’s an Otome game for the 3DS. That’s right. A OTOME game. Here, in the UK.

The CG shots even look divine!

The CG shots even look divine!

Otome games (translated as ‘Maiden’ games) are dating sims aimed at girls. While they may not be totally uncommon in Japan, English released ones are practically a myth! Most Otome games are mainly found online (and most of them are indie) so having one released on a console is amazing! Is this the start of a new movement for females? Will we finally have the chance to enjoy being romanced by lovely 2D guys, samurai or not? Because I’m certainly not complaining!

On a less impressive note, JAST USA will not be releasing the major Otome franchise Starry Sky, due to certain issues with prices and voice acting.  The company say that they believe fans would enjoy the option of having the original Japanese voice overs as well as the English ones. Does anyone actually care? Shouldn’t fans be willing to give a little leeway on this matter if it means getting the games released over here?! C’mon guys, think! THINK!