Hey, welcome to Good Goings! A monthly series where I celebrate stuff that has happened or is yet to happen in the otaku sphere. The world can bring us down sometimes so it’s important to kick back, relax and remind ourselves of the things we’re happy about. There’s never been a better time to be a geek so pop on the kettle and let’s get cracking with the month’s goodies…
We have a bunch of interesting Kickstarters this month on Otome Corner!
First up, congratulations to Nifty Visuals, the devs behind Royal Alchemist, whose sequel, Royal Order, has almost doubled their funding goal as I’m writing this! Royal Order is another tidy concoction of magic fantasy synthesised with political intrigue and romance! The story follows the uneasy alliance of three kingdoms against a legion of pirates but the crucial reagent here is the gameplay. Rise, O’ Stat-raising Scrubs, Royal Order is marketed as accessible for newcomers and veterans alike and there are crafting and quest mechanics to get your teeth into. The art style is delectable and you can woo three lovely love interests (the holy trinity of rogue, mage, and ice queen) with a customisable protagonist. Royal Order has a provisional release window of late 2023, but the campaign is still running until mid-December so consider supporting them!
After a successful launch of the first two parts of Heart Fragment, Starfield Gaming has achieved their funding goal to bring the full story to life. Heart Fragment’s Complete Edition includes four ‘Books’ and six routes in total, including GxB and GxG love interests. Heart Fragment is a psychological tale about the nature of humanity and confronting your past to reach a better future. The description makes it clear that tragedy isn’t far off so pick your choices wisely… I’m loving the dreamy graphics (you can choose between two styles of sprites and CGs!) and I can’t resist twisty mysteries that play with the reader. Look forward to Heart Fragment’s full release at the end of 2022.
For you saucy BL fans, The Inn Between is a gorgeous game funded over 200%. Come hither for a supernatural romp about a totally ‘normal’ guy with childhood amnesia at a mysterious inn that bridges the human and divine. This is the developer’s first major project, although they’ve collaborated with several other OELVN creators before, so I hope they realise their not-so-normal vision. The Inn Between has an estimated launch of mid 2023.
Medium, a fresh studio gunning for our hearts, has excitingly announced Chronicles of Refugia, a joseimuke visual novel coming episodically via Steam in 2022. Behind the helm are several otome veterans, including Takako Kano (director – Diabolik Lovers/Ken ga Kimi), the striking artwork of Kazuki Yone (Hakouki/Kamigami no Asobi) and sound design of Shinya Naito (Cupid Parasite/Olympia Soiree). A futuristic story set in a wonderland-esque shelter after rising sea levels led to mass-extinction, Chronicles of Refugia sounds bleak but looks wonderful. I already love the steely-eyed Alice, gun-toting proprietress of the Wonderland Casino and our apparent heroine. It’s pretty rare to get a non-romantic joseimuke game over here so it’s pretty exciting that Refugia is arriving simultaneously in Japanese and English!
Mangagamer released their 2021 Licensing Survey results and it’s an interesting read – the abundance of graphs are much appreciated 😬. As has been the case in recent years, about a third of respondents were women and, while the majority of titles from their most wanted licenses were traditional VNs/bishoujo VNs, there were six otome and three BL featured on their most wanted licensing list – not bad Joseimuke Armada!
On the otome side, Yoshiwara Higanbana did well again (#4) but we had some interesting new contenders, including the infamous ‘anti-romanticism’ Club Suicide (#8), Kalmia8’s Les Grande Odalisque (#14) and Chou no Doku (#18), which I know is a white whale for some fans. I think Les Grande Odalisque has a fairly good chance since Mangagamer licensed two Kalmia8 games already and likewise the game is ripe for picking (the Japanese release is January 2022). Besides that, who knows… but fingers crossed!
On the BL side, Mangagamer were on the ball announcing ADELTA’s UUUltraC (#7), a tokusatsu and kaiju themed drama (imagine Power Rangers vs Godzilla) . ADELTA were behind the hauntingly beautiful Hashihime of the Old Book Town and UUUltraC shares its predecessor’s penchant for contrasting the poignant and bizarre. Despite the natural wackiness of a skyscraper lizard going for a stroll, Godzilla movies are distinct products of post-war Japan, examining man’s relationship with nature and technology, and UUUltraC looks to be a similar contradiction as a kaiju story told straight. At any rate, this isn’t your average BL story.
Outside otome and BL, I’d personally kill for Rose Guns Days, Fate/stay Night, and White Album 2 of course, but considering these cult classics have been basically permanent fixtures on Mangagamer to-do list, I don’t have much hope now 😢.
A lovely little game that had me hooked, line and sinker, is Fishing Paradiso, a mobile fishing RPG coming to PC March 2022. To be honest, I was a tad disappointed by the recent Moonglow Bay, wholesome (and buggy) as it was, so I’m hoping Fishing Paradiso with its comfortingly crisp pixel style will soothe like a Fisherman’s Friend.
Now, if you want a tried and true life/farming sim look no further than the brilliant Rune Factory 4 Special, which is finally coming to PC, PS4 and Xbox One on 7th December 2021 – right in time before Rune Factory 5 (Switch) next March 2022! Rune Factory 4 is my favourite sim ever – there is no match in terms of its unique script and that satisfying sense of progression I get when the forces of roleplay and simulation are perfectly in balance. I’ve bought the game twice, have played hundreds of hours between them and, no, I’m not triple-dipping so I’ll leave that honour to you.
I haven’t talked about anime for a while even though I fully intended this blog to be an all-otakuish thing but truthfully…I’ve just been lazy. All well, the third season of Mob Psycho 100 has been confirmed – I still need to finish 2 – but I know I’ll love it already. Reigen and Mob are my One True (Mentor) Pairing and I’m not ready to say goodbye.
There you go. A bunch of things that put a smile on my face and hopefully yours too. Let me know about your own Good Goings in the comments and have a great day!