I remember back in 2012 where the chances of visual novels getting localized in the West were slim to none. It’d be once in a blue moon for a visual novel to be released in English. Thankfully, due to the efforts of many great companies and translators, we’re now in a time where Japanese visual novels are getting official English releases left and right. However, there are still titles out there that remain only in Japanese. Today, I’m going to be talking about some visual novels that just have to be translated.
The first thing about Binary Star that grabbed my attention was its art. The game looks downright gorgeous. The game seems to realize just how stunning its artwork is, because there are at least 20 CGs per route, and that doesn’t even include the ones you’ll find in the common route. It complements the overall tone of the game, which is a story that’s filled with so much sweetness that you’ll get a cavity. Of course, there are some more serious and touching moments in the game considering how it starts off and who our heroine is.
In Binary Star, players see themselves as Sorano Fuu. When she was just seven years old, she found her parents dead in the living room. She finds out from a group called the “Angels” that her parents were killed because they were “dealers.” They sold illegal items called “stars” on such a large scale that they were killed for it. After finding out the truth, Fuu vows to atone for her parents’ crimes by becoming an “Angel” herself and protecting those who live in the town of Akatsuki. As it turns out, everyone she meets also has a troubled past that haunts them. Will Fuu and her friends be able to free themselves of their past?
I’m always down for a cute story that tugs at your heartstrings, and with art like that, where can you go wrong?
In Los York—which is an excellent name for a fictional city, by the way—lays a marriage agency named Cupid Corporation. The goal of the agency is to find their clients the perfect partner for marriage. The company’s best worker is the game’s heroine, Lynette. The reason for all her success is that she is an actual Cupid who ran away from home and straight to the human world!
One day, her boss hands her a list of five men who are the “worst of the worst,” so to speak. No matter what the company does, they just can’t find a partner for these men. They dub these people “parasites,” hence the title. It’s Lynette’s job to find someone to marry these guys off to! If she does, she’ll get a promotion. With her help, these men appear on a television program called “Parasite House,” a way to not only get word out about the agency but also to see if there’s anyone at home who might be interested in marrying one of the guys. Can Lynette find a partner for these five troublesome men, or will she actually end up falling in love with one of them herself?
I honestly adore the concept! I also love just how important Lynette is. She’s a literal goddess! You don’t see that too often. I love the designs of each character, especially the men! It honestly looks like a fun game and I really hope we can get our hands on this title in English soon.
Clock Zero follows Kurou Nadeshiko, a 12-year-old who is the daughter of a rich, high-class family. During the day, she goes to school with people like her in hope of becoming a doctor one day. At night, she dreams of another world. In this dream world, it’s the complete opposite of her reality. Rather than everything being pretty and prim, the world is in ruin. After experiencing these dreams, a new transfer student shows up in school. His name is Kaido Takato. There’s just something about Kaido that draws Kurou to him. Perhaps Kaido feels drawn to Kurou too, because he invites her to a club called “Clock Zero.” At first, it’s like any other club. However, one day, Kurou notices that her reality is starting to become like the world in her dreams…
I’ve heard about the famous Clock Zero from a few people in the otome community who can speak and read Japanese. This game reminds me of Hakuoki purely from how many re-releases this game has gotten. To me, that’s a good thing. If a company re-releases a game, then it has to be good. Plus, I’ve seen countless requests for this title to be localized. The game got released on Nintendo Switch, and with companies like Aksys focusing on that system, maybe there’s a chance?
Idol Death Game TV
Got an obsession with idols like I do? Do you also like Danganronpa? Then Idol Death Game TV is the game for you!
In Idol Death Game TV, there’s a yearly competition called “Dream of Dream.” In this competition, idols vie for the center position in a idol group called Project 47. The tenth iteration of the competition takes place at a mansion nestled deep in the mountains. Nothing goes well at places isolated from the rest of the world. As you would have guessed, the idols are fighting for not only the center position, but also their lives. Whoever wins the competition will escape alive with the new position in Project 47.
I’m always looking for a title that takes something cute and completely twists it around, so Idol Death Game TV is something straight up my alley!
If the art style seems familiar to you, then you must have read the work of Sui Ishida, the creator behind Tokyo Ghoul. However, don’t expect the same action or level of gore with Jack Jeanne. This otome game focuses on acting and opera!
You play as Kisa Tachibana, a girl who pretends to be a guy at the esteemed performing arts school known as Univers Opera School. The reason why Tachibana is attending this school is in hopes of reviving her love for the theater. She thinks if she achieves the top-ranking spot in every class at the school, it might be the thing she needs to get that spark back. Of course, attending an all-male school means that at every turn, Kisa will be surrounded by men—men who are all unique in their special little way.
Late in 2019, the Japanese account for Jack Jeanne said that the company behind the game, Broccoli, is looking into bringing the game to the rest of the world. However, there hasn’t been any update on a localization. Yet.
Very little is actually known about the Korean BL visual novel November Boy. I heard about it through Sekai Project back in 2015 when they announced they would be translating the game into English. However, 6 years later, we still have nothing. There haven’t been any recent updates. Many have gone to believe the project was canceled, but without an official announcement from Sekai Project, the localization’s status has been left up in the air.
In November Boy, we follow in the shoes of a young man who suffers from PTSD stemming from an incident that occurred when he was a kid. Now a teenager, he becomes the target of a stalker who is willing to do anything to become close with our protagonist. Sure, the story isn’t anything new, a character who is stalked by a yandere. However, with the game being described as a mystery, it seems that we’ll dive into what drove this stalker character into doing what he does—not that it excuses his actions, of course.
Although the stalker concept is nothing new, I’m always down for a new mystery game to play. Hopefully, let it by Sekai Project or another company altogether, November Boy will make its English debut soon.