It’s all key’s fault
With so many great eroge releases coming this month and an increasing amount of eroge bloggers, I took some time to reflect upon how I had stumbled upon this widely misunderstood genre of games, as well as what influenced my present preferences.
The year was 2003 and some anime about girls in snow had recently come out. It was by chance that I heard it was actually based on a game. So obviously curious as to how other routes (aside from Ayu’s) played out, I downloaded the game with the help of some friends. I was totally surprised and embarrassed when the H scenes popped up, but overall the story (with my limited Japanese literacy back then) captivated me and left me wanting more.
Actually, this was not the first contact I’ve had with eroge. I’ve downloaded OPs and songs without knowing where they came from. The OP that I remembered the most was “Autumn Destiny” from CocktailSoft’s Canvas. There were increasingly more anime adapations of anime, most noticeably Leaf’s ToHeart and CocktailSoft’s Pia Carrot e Youkoso! series. I’ve also seen promos for upcoming games in Megami magazine that I had once dismissed as just ‘porn’. Back then, I didn’t think much of it. Weren’t they all just hentai or dating sims?
Kanon wasn’t the first ADV I played though. It was actually Broccoli’s Galaxy Angel. The structure was the same except for the lack of ero content. You had to make choices and after a while, you’ll be locked into a route. However, it is rare that such games would be produced without a corresponding ero version. The only studio I can think of offhand is Kogado Studio (Angelic Serenade, Symphonic Rain).
Having tasted the high quality of key’s works and being utterly spoiled, I went out in search of more games with good plots and art. This usually meant finding out what recent anime came from eroge and then looking for it or accidentally going on to eroge company sites, such as Studio e.go! and NekonekoSoft. I had picked it up Circus’ Da Capo, August’s Tsuki wa Higashi ni Hi wa Nishi ni and age’s Kimi ga Nozomu Eien (Haruka > Mitsuki). It was at this time that I started liking love/comedy types more and not pure drama types like KimiNozo, where I was appalled at the plethora of bad ends as well as dark themes. At the same time, I realized that there was so much more than just ADVs, even if they didn’t interest me as much.
After a few more months of just getting games that had anime made out of them (Shuffle!, ToHeart2 PS2 version), I decided to do some actual looking for eroge that didn’t have anime adaptations yet. The ones that had the most effect on me were:
- F&C 01’s Canvas2. Genki-kei Kana was one of my favorite characters, reminding me a lot of DC‘s Miharu.
- Caramel Box’s Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru. The first game I played where the male lead was a trap. There’s a lot more of these type of games nowadays and they’re usually full of comedy.
- minori game OPs. Makoto Shinkai does their OPs and they are absolutely stunning. Now, whenever I see a well-done OP, I want to play it.
- UnisonShift’s Nanatsuiro Drops. The anime, manga and game all followed Sumomo’s route and I’m a total sucker for first love story.
When I started this blog late last year, I had actually stopped playing for a while, but I still kept up with Hemi-tan’s blog. I had thought about starting to play eroge again, but I always fell behind on release dates and such. So, I decided to keep track of them on this site. Along the way, I found out about a lot of new companies. Company websites, review sites and promos are now a staple on the internet, so now it’s easier to choose what appeals to me. This is how I come upon memorable games like light’s Tapestry.
It’s been over six years now. Maybe it was fate that I had picked up a key title first and hence, I always play love/comedy ADVs nowadays. Maybe it was because I played Ayu’s route first that I like the characters that I do nowadays. With so many great titles on the horizon, I’m sure this is one hobby that I do not regret having.
It’s all key’s fault.