J-List and our sister company JAST USA have been involved in publishing visual novels and related “love simulation” games since the early days of Windows 95, and I’m happy to see how far the genre has come over the years. Today we publish dozens of great English-translated titles, from the sweet charm of Super Sonico to the time-travel drama of Steins;Gate and the naughty fun of Nympho Sensei Ryoko, which we’re posting for preorder today. The evolution of visual novels isn’t standing still, either. The other day I was having coffee with my son, and he was playing a mobage (mobile game) on his phone called iRoid, a love simulation game published by the Nikkei Group which teaches the basics of stock investing to young people, as they team up with cute girls to buy stock in fictional companies. Another popular game is called Doubt: Which Man is Lying? in which girls go on virtual dates with handsome men and look for clues to determine which ones are being dishonest with them, so they can find the best man to marry.
It’s interesting to explore the ways anime characters usually represent “extreme” versions of human features, the better to create characters who will endear themselves with fans. Rather than be of average build, female characters are often extremely busty and sexy, or else flat-chested but loaded with other “charm points” like the love and loyalty of a childhood friend. It’s almost impossible for a character to exist without having some “hook” to make them stand out: a personality tick like tsundere or yandere, a non-standard speaking style like Osaka dialect, or some other oddity like habitually forgetting to wear pantsu. In fact, the only characters who are normal and ordinary at all are main characters from harem shows, who are designed to be as generic as possible so that we, the viewing audience, can most easily identify with him.
Some visual novels tell amazingly subtle stories about love and pain, while others delve into a Cthulhulian world of horror. Still other games let you relax at the end of the day with a great story that’s more focused on the “naughty” side of things. One such game is the upcoming Nympho Sensei Ryoko, a great new game coming soon in English. Preorder it now and get 10% off!