Eroge, hold the Ero.

Another day, another short Switch game.  This time, Qureate’s KukkuroDays, an all-ages (well, ESRB Teen) version of a decidedly NOT all-ages visual novel the publisher sells in an uncut version on Mangagamer and other purveyors of anime smut.

I’ll lead off by admitting that, for the most part, I’ve always kind of mentally filed all-ages versions of eroge in the same sort of category as decaffeinated coffee.  Sure, it sorta tastes the same but why would you drink it without the caffeine?

Anyway, setting that unsolicited editorial aside, there are a fair number of decaffeinated eroge on the Switch and the Qureate ones show up pretty often in sales.

Eventually, curiosity got the better of me and I spent three or four hours reading through this one, a couple of minutes looking up a walkthrough after I got the Bad Ending, and another few minutes fast forwarding through the entire game so I could make the Correct Choices.

As an aside, the Bad Ending is super depressing and also very easy to get if you aren’t really careful about the branches you choose.  There are two “Good Endings” and the only difference between reaching either of them is a single choice very late in the game, so you can see one good ending, reload a safe and then watch the other one very easily.  Assuming you don’t mess up before that point.

So, what’s an eroge without the ero like?

Well, in this case, it’s one of those reverse isekai / magical girlfriend sorts of stories, where a cute girl from another world gets sucked into Modern Day Tokyo and naturally lands in the bedroom of a painfully Nice Guy who takes it upon himself to help her with her quest to return home and also does all of the cooking and is super supportive and so on.  Naturally she eventually falls for him etc etc.

Oh and she’s a magical knight and commander in the armed forces back where she comes from, and you have to love their uniforms.

There’s armor there.  Not much of it, but it’s armor.

Most of the story happens either in your tiny apartment or in Akihabara, since you live close to it and the gag is that everyone just assumes that your magical knight girlfriend is some sort of cosplayer.

Qureate also sticks ads for their other games in place of some very famous Akiba billboards.  It’s pretty fun if you’re familiar with the city.

Also, very early on in this game you need to go looking for an ancient magical grimoire and I enjoyed the fact that you find it at Book Off.  Honestly, that just makes sense.  It’s where I’d probably go, too.

And, finally, a gag where the magical knight from another dimension has to confront the Ultimate Evil that is the typical arcade crane game just makes this entire game for me.  I feel your anguish, magical knight.

I’m not certain this is quite a put-up-on-the-living-room-TV while your elderly parents are visiting sort of game, because it does have a fair number of inexplicably low camera angles.

There is absolutely zero nudity, however.

This game uses an animation system called E-mote, which I wasn’t previously familiar with.  It gives the character sprites a little bit of motion and some great facial expressions. It doesn’t seem to be quite as ambitious as Live2D, but it really brought the sprites to life.  No examples here because I forgot to capture a video.

While there is absolutely zero nudity in the Switch game, you can pretty easily spot the points at which the caffeine was taken away.

Funny, it just went to the end credits after this bit.  Not sure what reward you were about to get.  Probably some sort of commemorative plaque. Also I suppose this is a spoiler?  NEWS FLASH: YOU GET THE GIRL.

Snarky comments aside, generally there’s a fade out / fade in to the next scene which isn’t too jarring, and there was only one point where the fade was followed up by the main character commenting on something that was obviously discussed while the two of them were offstage, as it were.

Is it great art? No.  Is it a goofy rom-com worth a few hours of reading, with some good laughs to it? Yes.  Should you just buy the un-expurgated version from Mangagamer?  That’s up to you.  I thought it held its own even in this format.

I also have Qureate’s “TroubleDays” title, which is rated M and is presumably a little spicier without being TOO spicy.  That’s another “Suddenly, magical girlfriend!” where the magical girlfriend is a succubus, so cutting that one down to a T rating would probably have been considerably trickier.  I’ll let you know how that one turned out someday.

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