If you were curious about the newly announced PS3 exclusive by Nippon Ichi Software If You Thought it Was a Harem Heaven, it Was a Yandere Hell, and hoped to know more about it, I come bearing gift, as the developer sent us quite a lot of information and a nice batch of screenshots and artwork to introduce the game.
This time around Nippon Ichi is temporarily setting the JRPG genre aside to explore the classic visual novel style, even if this one promises to have a bit of a twist, at least in its characters.
The story is about Yuya Kisaragi, vice president of the Local History Study Club in the high school he’s attending. Unfortunately the student council orders him to submit some kind of achievement during the cultural festival, otherwise the club will lose its clubroom.
Yuya finds himself with the mission of creating a mascot character to publicize the club before the beginning of the festival, and to find a club member that stands out from the rest to impersonate it. He will be “helped” in his task by Haruka, Kanna and Sayuri, his closest childhood friends.
Initially the idea of the mascot character seems good, but preparation slows down and things start going wrong…
Besides the general story of the game, we also learn something about the characters (the pronunciation of the names might be different from the official one, as translating names from Japanese without guidance on their spelling is tricky):
Haruka Arisue: she’s bright and cheerful and always acts before thinking. She tends to see herself as the valiant hero that attacks the villains without restraint, but she’s usually seen as a minor inconvenience by her targets. Haruka is an absolutely terrible student, has no aesthetic sense and can’t cook a scrambled egg, but she’s awesome at a variety of sports. She’s described as a “triple trheat: loli, big breasted and single” (no, I’m not making this up).
Kanna Totomi: she is a cool beauty, but lacks the motivation to do anything relevant. Even hanging out with her friends is too aggravating for her taste. Basically she’s a hopeless case of shut-in. Kanna is the president of the Local History Club and she’s described as “unlucky, black haired genius heroine.”
Sayuri Miyasu: she’s the daughter of a high class family that has been the cornerstone of the town for generations, proficient at both academics and sports. She’s always calm and composed. The protagonist normally is able to sway Kanna and Haruka, but with Sayuri he’s at a disadvantage. She’s described as “cooking and sewing versatile princess heroine”
Yuya Kisaragi: he’s a hopelessly indecisive second year high school student and the vice president of the Local History Study Club. He has known the three young ladies mentioned above since childhood, but he can’t decide whether to keep them around or to cut all bridges. His parents died when he was a kid and he currently lives by himself: He’s described as follows: “noteworthy features: absolutely none! In other words, your usual hero.”
Shizuka Kujo: she’s the president of the student council and she’s initially hostile to the members of the club, but she slowly starts supporting them over time. Hence, she’s a tsundere. Shizuka is strict and stern with the students, but still cares about them. She’s described as “tsundere student council president.”
Kayako Yujiki: described as “beautiful older sister-type,” she’s adored by many of the male office workers around her. Even though she seems mature, she has a hidden goofy side.
Izaemon: designed by Sayuri and worn by Haruka, this costume is based on the local land god, which is a dog-god. The costume wears a red apron, and Haruka has become the talk of the school thanks to her ability to juggle while wearing it.
Gameplay is what you’d expect from a visual novel, with the player having to make dialogue choices during the story in order to affect the reaction of the heroines and the ending. The system has been purposely designed to be extremely simple.
The right (or wrong) choices will be reward you with special scenes, some of which will be a tad on the naughty side, like an accidental peek while one of the girl changes, playing with a girl’s underwear in the school’s bathrooms (and she looks happy, and no, I’m not making this up. This is exactly what the press release says, word by word), spending time with the beautiful Sayuri on the roof and more.
If You Thought it Was a Harem Heaven, it Was a Yandere Hell will be released in Japan on April 24th. Considering that it’s a Nippon Ichi game it could even be localized. We sure don’t get many visual novels for PS3 around here.