Finally, in Love Again – Shuichiro Momoi – Main Story Review- Voltage Inc

Finally, In Love Again – Shuichiro Momoi

photo 5Following the releases for Yoh and Sosuke and the introduction of Kazuki, the M  C’s ex-boyfriend, it is only natural that Momoi found himself a little neglected by his fans, possibly even a little under-appreciated however when replaying his route I was reminded just how much I loved his story.

Personally when I think about Momo I immediately think of the dialogue in this story, Voltage really pulled it out of the bag for this route successfully creating banter which flows very naturally and adds a realism which can sometimes be lacking in other stories. The fun, competitive relationship between Momo and ‘Ma’am’ is perfectly complimented by some truly beautiful artwork on our male lead (just check out that confident smile). Breathtaking!photo 1

Prologue:

In the ‘Finally, in Love Again’ prologue we meet Momoi and Aki at the same time. The pair of old friends and business partners have been visiting all of the local patisseries in search of the perfect pastry chef to compliment Momoi in the kitchen and take Larme to the next level.

Along the way, Aki and Momoi stumble across our MC and soon find themselves visiting her patisserie regularly in search of the opportunity to speak to her. On one such visit they ask that she deliver their cakes to the table personally so that they can ask for her contact details. Our anxious MC, much to her own chagrin, stumbles on the way to the table, accidentally throwing the cake into an unsuspecting Momoi’s face.

Remarkably, despite finding himself with cake on his face, Momoi is not deterred and when he sees the MC at the singles event he chooses her as his date for the evening without any hesitation. Continue reading

Attack on Titan – Shingeki no Kyojin – Season 1 Anime Review

Attack on Titan – Shingeki no Kyojin – Season 1

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After multiple recommendations my partner and I finally decided to give ‘Attack on Titan’ a try. We’re both massive Ghibli fans and he had watched a couple of episodes of ‘Fairy Tail’ with me on my insistence but this was the first time he had shown a real interest in watching an anime series and I was so excited that we started immediately. Now we’re both desperately craving more and I can’t believe we waited so long!image

The Series is 25 episodes long and each episode is around about 25 minutes in length including credits. Available with Japanese audios and subtitles or as an English dub this series is widely accessible and I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes drama, action and monsters.

Our story starts in Shiganshina a town which is hidden, like the rest of humanity, behind mammoth walls designed to keep out the hordes of giant titans roaming in the fields and wastelands beyond. For a century humanity has kept itself safe beyond these colossal stone constructions, sending out scouts to investigate the outside world but keeping the majority of it’s citizens out of harm’s way.

While most people live comfortably and safely within the walls, safe in their ignorance, there are people who believe that the walls won’t be able to protect them forever; two such people are Eren and Armin. Still only young, they harbour such a passionate curiosity about the outside world that Eren even expresses an interest in becoming a Scout, despite the high mortality rate and much to his Mother’s distress.

On point artwork, flawless animation and a simageoundtrack that could make walking to the shops seem like an epic battle, ‘Attack on Titan’ ticks all of my boxes and left a gaping hole in my life that can only be filled by a second season of this masterpiece!

From the very beginning the series takes no prisoners. Episode 1 and you are barely given the chance to get to know Mikasa, Eren and Armin before you are confronted with the horror that is a titan attack. The fast pace of the season is perfectly complimented by short moments of calm which highlight the pain and hurt of the characters as well as allowing you time to mourn the death and destruction that punctuates every episode. I don’t want to give away any of the story so I will simply write about a few of the characters that I am particularly fond of and introduce you to the titans.

 

imageEren Jaeger:

Eren is easily one of my favourite protagonists from an anime so far. He is hard-working, determined and fiercely protective of his friends and family, resilient and kind, he will do anything he can to help the people around him and his main objective is to save the human race from the Titans before it is too late. Eren feels accountable for the fate of his friends and as such angrily throws himself into every task, sometimes a little reckless and very hot-headed, Eren often runs into a situation before he has thought about it properly, however he has the power to move others to action and inspires loyalty in the people closest to him.

 

imageMikasa Ackerman:

Mikasa is badass, there is no better way of putting it. The adoptive sister of Eren Jaeger and one of the last remaining humans of Asian descent, Mikasa has seen dreadful horrors in her childhood which have given her a stoic and cool demeanour which offsets very well against Eren’s fire. She is probably one of the few people that Eren will listen to and she, having promised his mother than she would,  feels that it is her responsibility to make sure that Eren doesn’t do anything stupid or come to harm. Mikasa cares deeply for her childhood friends, especially Eren and is only shown to shed her cool exterior when it comes to their safety. Proficient in fighting, clever and capable, Mikasa is a force to be reckoned with and when it comes down to it no Titan is a match for her.

 

imageArmin Arlert:

Armin is actually my favourite character of the series, I’ve always had a soft spot for the underdog! Armin is physically weaker than the others, small for his age and can be a little timid but he has a clarity of mind and a strategic genius which make him the perfect asset in a battle against the Titans. Naturally curious and inquisitive, as a child Armin fuelled the fire under Eren’s ambition to go beyond the wall, in fact he regularly suffered at the hands of bullies because of his beliefs but it is Armin’s unconventional thinking and strength of heart that allow Eren and his allies to make huge strides towards victory.

To begin with Armin considers himself a burden to his friends and refuses to accept help but he is soon able to see his own weaknesses as assets and begins to use his determination and thirst to prove himself to forge a path forwards. Eloquent and hard-working, Armin is always one of the first to grasp the reality of a situation and he is always ready with a plan.

 

image    Jean Kirstein:

If you were to ask me which character I felt had undergone the biggest change in personality I would have to say Jean. To begin with I    did not like him. His arrogance and determination to save his own hide resulted in him locking horns with Eren almost from the start  and the tension between the two certainly brought out the worst in Jean. Despite his stubbornness, following his first experience in the  field and the loss of a close friend, Jean becomes a lot more malleable and open. He starts to see the world around him in a different  light and his conscience won’t allow him to sit back and watch from the safety of the capital.

Jean quickly proves himself a capable leader and a reliable member of the military, his compassion for the people around him becomes paramount to the cause and his concern for preserving human life is admirable despite all that he has seen. I came to really respect Jean as the season progressed and really can’t wait to see where they take the character going forward.

 

imageCaptain Levi Ackerman

It would be impossible not to write about Levi because I am practically in love with him! If Mikasa is the Queen of Titan killing then Levi is the Knight, Prince, King and God! Mostly expressionless and remarkably calm, Levi gets some of the best lines of the show and easily the most epic action scenes. He is an acclaimed titan killer and the Captain of an elite squad from the Survey Corps known as the the Special operations squad. A brilliant leader with a strong sense of justice who is brusque and straight forward, Levi is well respected by the people around him and has a strong relationship with the members of his team. He is also intelligent, confident and a good strategist. All around awesome, Levi is the man you want on your team when the Titans attack.

 

imageThe Titans:

Describing the Titans without giving anything away is tough, but I will try my best. I suppose the best way to explain a Titan is as giant humanoids ranging from a few metres to 15 metres tall who treat humans as prey not because they need to eat them, but because they are driven by a bloodlust which cannot easily be sated. These zombie like creatures are disproportionate in size and shape which gives them a really creepy appearance and their wide starring eyes and slack jaws make them look kind of crazed. Their movements are exaggerated and often times inhuman and they’re quick too! Pretty nightmarish even if you don’t scare as easily as I do.

 

Alongside the general horde of smiling monsters there are also a few titans known as abnormals who do not follow the usual patterns, some of these even seem to show signs of intelligence which is creepier still! Amongst the abnormals are the Colossal Titan, a Titan so large that he can look over the wall, and the Armoured Titan, a Titan with a thick armoured skin which can break through the walls with minimal effort and withstand cannon fire. Terrifying!

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Finally, in Love Again – Aki Fujishima – Main Story – Voltage Otome

Finally, in Love Again – Aki Fujishima

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Having spent some time cozied up with Yoh and Sosuke; I am finding myself naturally revisiting my romances with the boys of Larme. Let’s start with Aki, the first voltage release for ‘Finally, in love again’ and the most charming of the whole bunch in my opinion (I haven’t yet played Yuto though so who knows what the future holds).

For anyone who isn’t already aware of ‘Finally In love Again’ I will post a proper review of the game itself very soon. In the meantime below is a trailer for the game, the basic principle is that our MC is a 34-year-old pastry chef who has been so concentrated on her career that she hasn’t been on a date in 10 years. With her Mother and younger siblings constantly pressuring her to find someone and her biological clock ticking, the MC finds herself forced to attend a singles event full of people who are all at least 8 years younger than her. Will she fall in love with a younger man?

Speaking generally, I have to say that I do actually quite like the MC in this story. She makes her age into a much bigger issue than it really needs to be which is a little irritating but if you ignore that she is pretty down to earth, ambitious in her career and independent enough of male influences that she can competently provide for herself, not bad as far as Voltage MC’s go.

I’m not usually a fan of the younger man so I had some reservations about some of the larger age differences in this game however the personalities of all of the characters easily bridge the gaps and I have really enjoyed the MC’s struggle with her own principles, responsibilities and strange hang ups. Plus the character artwork is wonderful and the guys are all around my age which is a bonus!

So let’s talk Aki! Aki Fujishima is the owner and co-founder of Larme, he is 26 years old but mature beyond his years with a cool, professional demeanour which can lead people to believe that he does not become attached to anything. When dealing with professional acquaintances, people in his employ and his customers he adopts a charming façade which is almost impossible to resist earning him the title of ‘Sir Smiles’.

Aki is persuasive but in a very different way from Yoh, he is composed and in constant control of his surroundings, rarely flustered and able to adapt quickly to any situation. Though, sometimes, Aki can be a little brusque and can utter truths a little too bluntly our MC is drawn to that honesty and finds herself enraptured with him almost completely against her will. Continue reading

Finally, in Love Again – Yoh Kobayakawa – Main Story review – Voltage Otome

Finally, in love again – Yoh Kobayakawa

imageA playful puppy with a naughty side

After spending some time with the sweetheart that is Sosuke, it was only natural that my mind wandered back to my favourite Voltage stories thus far and one in particular stands out in my memory as it is so different from Sou’s story but is equally enjoyable. Today I would like to confess my undying love for Yoh Kobayakawa!

For anyone who hasn’t already played a route from ‘Finally, in love again’ here is a trailer for the game. The basic premise is that our MC (a 34-year-old pastry chef who hasn’t dated anyone in 10 years) finds herself, due to various circumstances, falling in love with a younger man. This is the first romance sim that I have played with an older MC and I was unsure at first but I genuinely feel that ‘FILA’ boasts some of the best writing I have read from Voltage so far.

On top of this, I don’t know if it is because this was the first game that I was able to play on the larger screen of my iPad mini or if this is genuinely the case, but I personally feel like voltage really pulled out all of the stops on the artwork this time around and I also really like the general layout of the menus and the addition of the ‘rewind’ button which is particularly useful for us trigger happy people who sometimes push the story on too quickly by mistake.

Unlike some of the other ‘slice of life’ games by voltage, the MC from ‘finally, in love again’ comes across as a hard-working, responsible and genuine human being, reacting to things like a real adult woman would which I find extremely refreshing and the options provided actually coincide almost perfectly with my own instinctual reactions to the situation which is such a rarity!

Now, to begin with I had some reservations about Yoh. I’m not personally a fan of the younger man and the 12 year age gap wasn’t really something I could relate to, plus Voltage’s initial advertising for Yoh’s story made him seem a little yandere which isn’t really my thing. However I was quickly won over by the artwork which is nothing short of adorable, and I haven’t been this transfixed with a character design since I first saw Yuta from ‘Kissed by the Baddest Bidder’. It was almost impossible to resist and I was purchasing the story before I even knew what was happening. After reading his character prologue I was already hooked and I have since devoured every bit of Yoh I could get my hands on! I didn’t want to miss a moment of this fluffy little prince.

Continue reading

Evidence of the Kiss – Scene 3 – Part 2 – Option B

[Selection B]

My blush is so fierce now that I feel faint from the heat. I want to tell him with all of my heart that I have loved him for so long but the words just won’t come while I’m standing here trapped in his gaze. When Tony next speaks there is no sign of his usual confidence, his voice trembles as his thumb gently tilts my face up towards his.

[Tony] “Do you … Do you love me, Eve?” Continue reading

Evidence of the Kiss – Scene 3

Scene 3

Location: Outside the interrogation room at the Police Station (Early Evening)

Leaning against the wall outside the interrogation room I allow myself a sigh of relief, the suspect has confessed and I’m overwhelmed by the gratitude of a case solved and a criminal captured. The interrogation was gruelling and we have all suffered for it but this result makes it all worthwhile. I wrap my arms around myself, raising my eyes to the ceiling and allow myself to be swept away by this feeling.

[Eve] *sigh*

[Tony] “Doing that a lot tonight, huh?” Continue reading