LoveR's Ichirou Sugiyama and Taro Minoboshi Talk About Dating Sims and Photography Culture in Japan

PS4 exclusive LoveR's Ichirou Sugiyama and Taro Minoboshi discuss the evolution of dating sims and photography in Japan in an interview by Dengeki Online.

By Iyane Agossah

September 28, 2018

LoveR is an upcoming PS4 dating sim with photography elements. The game is directed by Ichirou Sugiyama and with illustrations by Taro Minoboshi. It follows the Photo Kano series and Reco Love, both dating sims by Sugiyama-san which also had photography as their main aspect.

Dengeki Online published an interview with Sugiyama-san and Minoboshi-san, revealing development stories on LoveR and sharing their views on how dating sims and photography changed these past years.

Both Sugiyama-san and Minoboshi-san are quite happy with the positive reception of LoveR on social media. It’s been more than a year since the Sweet Love brand containing the game was announced by Kadokawa Games and Sugiyama-san, and yet they didn’t share info on any of their projects until now, so they were a bit worried.

They also talked about how Japanese society evolved regarding the act of taking photos. More than two decades ago, even without ulterior motives, asking a girl if you could take her photo could land you in hot water, both in real life and in dating sims. Now it’s something considered more natural thanks to smartphones. Speaking of photos, Sugiyama-san wants to make LoveR into a “pure” game and wishes the players will focus on other things than trying to take upskirt shots, though the game itself will have aspects facilitating these, with the girls’ skirts fluttering because of the wind. This is also why there’s no character with a noticeably huge chest this time, unlike with Reco Love.

As for the game’s characters, the main heroine this time, Lilia, is older than the main character and is in the rhythmic gymnastics club. They tried to reflect that in her design and it’s the main reason they went with a twintails hairstyle for her design. As a sportswoman, they thought it would be unrealistic if she wasn’t tying up her hair most of the time.

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Sugiyama-san also mentions how Rinze Himenogi, one of the characters in LoveR, is extremely similar in design with Rinze Himeragi from Reco Love on PS Vita. While she has a similar name and design, her story will be brand new.

The game’s staff also tried their best to replicate Minoboshi-san’ distinctive character design in the game, trying to keep the 2D feel as much as possible.

They also mention how LoveR‘s stories continue even after one of the girls accept your confession, with the voice recognition dialogues taking it into account as well. They thought about putting voice recognition in past games, but these were on portable systems unlike LoveR and talking to their virtual girlfriend in public could be embarrassing for some.

Taking into account the answers for voice recognition and their stories, each heroine has between 4000 and 5000 voiced lines in total.

Both of them would also love to work one day on a reboot of True Love Story, a PlayStation 1 and 2 dating sim series which Sugiyama-san wrote.

LoveR will release in Japan for PS4 on February 14th, 2019. You can also watch the first teaser trailer for the game, and the first screenshots which were revealed at the same time as the game’s official Virtual Youtuber.

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Iyane Agossah

Living near Paris, Iyane is the head of Japanese content at DualShockers. He speaks Japanese, has been watching anime for over 25 years, and plays Genshin Impact mainly for its story. You can reach him on Twitter at @A_iyane07.

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