Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Feb 282020

I wanted something more lighthearted after that last one, so we’re ending this month’s celebration with the game that topped my list of weird visual novels, My Girlfriend is the President.

When an alien ambassador accidentally wipes out the Japanese government, she buys herself time to restore them by brainwashing the entire world into believing a nearby girl is the president. And that girl… is your best friend and neighbor!

My Girlfriend is the President is insane.

The protagonist is one of the few characters let in on the truth about what’s going on due to his immunity to the brainwashing. Almost everyone else considers it to be entirely normal that the president (of the United States of Nippon, because the aliens were a little confused about Earth’s governments) and her cabinet are a group of teenagers… and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

From random English lines to surreal military parodies to Pokémon and JoJo references, it’s filled with weird bits of ridiculousness that kept me entertained.

(And while at first you might think the game has some odd typos, it’s actually a case of them avoiding real country names, so you get things like Rusia and Ameriga.)

Earlier this month, I talked about how a lot of “weird” visual novels lack a true soul. This one, thankfully, has a soul. It has heart. It takes a ridiculous premise and runs with it. My Girlfriend is the President isn’t a bunch of wacky ideas thrown together to be quirky, but a full comedy that will take you upwards of 20 hours to complete.

Parts of this visual novel follow a familiar path. You have the ditzy childhood friend, the sudden arrival of a rival (in this case, President Putina of Rusia; your childhood friend is President Ohama), characters cooking for the protagonist, awkward romantic misunderstandings…

…and in the middle of all of these familiar tropes, you’re also trying to pass bills, dealing with politics, and getting swept up in disputes between aliens such as the loli alien gamer scientist Qoo Little-Little.

The romance parts are a little slow, but the rest of the story is absolute nonsense in the best way possible.

Now, it’s an eroge, and as far as I know there is no all-ages version, so you have to be okay with a lot of sexual humor and some explicit sex scenes (but you can skip through those if you don’t care to read them).

I wouldn’t recommend My Girlfriend is the President if you’re looking for a serious plot, and I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re looking for deep, meaningful love stories, but if you want a wacky comedy filled with ridiculous moments and absurd situations, it might be what you need.

I still need to finish up my remaining routes, but My Girlfriend is the President turned out to be the perfect way to wrap up our first ever Celebrating All Things Romantic month!

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Feb 262020

The next visual novel on my list to play was one I’d been interested in for a while, Lucy -The Eternity She Wished For-.

This visual novel doesn’t feature multiple character routes, but it isn’t a kinetic novel, either. There are choices to make and two different endings based on a choice near the end.

Now, I really thought this was a romance story when I picked it for today’s review, but it isn’t.

You might be able to read some romance into it if you squint, but really it’s a story about non-romantic relationships and moral questions regarding androids. It still has love as a core theme, so it’s kinda like when I reviewed Tacoma during my horror month.

Set in a future where androids have become an accepted part of life, this visual novel places you in the role of an android-hating teenager who would prefer to live without such things.

When he finds a broken-down android named Lucy in a local junkyard, he takes her home and soon begins questioning what differences there really are between a human and an android that acts like a human.

It starts out as a sweet story with some funny moments, but I was surprised by just how emotional Lucy -The Eternity She Wished For- gets. Some parts were quite upsetting, and it was worth playing through for the true ending to see the final resolution that wraps up the plot.

So while it isn’t romance, and while there might be a lot of questioning-robot-sentience stories out there already, Lucy -The Eternity She Wished For- is a good choice if you like those sorts of things and want an emotional story.

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Feb 242020

Japanese School Life is a short visual novel about an exchange student named Brian who is beginning a year at school in Japan, which he’s absolutely thrilled about.

On his first day of school, he befriends two girls in his class, and they decide to show him around Japan and teach him about Japanese cultures and traditions.

This visual novel is more of a celebration of Japanese culture than anything else. There is no particular plot to speak of, just Brian going through his year in Japan and experiencing various things. A couple points introduce minor conflicts, but everything stays light and casual.

Some parts are oddly lecture-like. Brian will ask about a particular custom, and one of the girls will go into a detailed explanation of the tradition and the history behind it.

Still, it achieves its purpose. While it might be a little heavy-handed in that regard, and a couple parts felt a little odd (such at the point where they discussed how we rarely use umbrellas in America), I did come out of Japanese School Life with more knowledge about Japanese holidays and culture.

But this is a romance celebration, so let’s talk about the romance.

A handful of choices determine which route you end up on, and I use the term “route” very loosely. Each choices had a few different lines of dialogue, and the character route you’re on changes how two or three scenes play out. None of the scenes are blatantly romantic, either, making the whole thing feel more like a friendship story with hints of attraction.

Click for Japanese School Life spoilers
There’s not even an actual love confession. The story ends with the camera focusing on the chosen love interest while Brian thinks about how special she is to him.

I finished both routes wondering why they hadn’t just made it a friendship-focused kinetic novel, since it practically is anyway.

So if you’re looking for a cute slice-of-life story meant to teach you about Japanese culture, Japanese School Life does a decent job, but if you’re hoping for an actual romance story, I’d look somewhere else.

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