Intrigue abounds in The Witch’s Love Diary, Sekai Project’s recent localization of Qoobrand’s visual novel. Given the inclusion of a sorceress in the title and account of two blissful lovers in the game’s prologue, readers might expect a fairy tale-like love story. But Niijima Yuu’s (Natsuyume Nagisa, Kisaragi Gold ★ Star) presence as director and scenario writer might hint at an evasion of convention.
Soon enough, sentiments dwindle for the couple. What was once idyllic affection becomes muted resentment, providing an odd preface that won’t entirely make sense until hours later.
Meet Alice, The Slightly Scatterbrained Everygirl
But that’s hardly the only hook in The Witch’s Love Diary’s storyline. The game shifts to the seemingly everyday life of Alice Nanno, a student at the Hekihou Academy. A member of the school’s photography club and a part-time worker at Dragon Burger, she’s perpetually busy. Despite her hectic schedule, she still makes time for her friends Yakko and Keiko, as well her dog, Qoo.
One evening, Alice, Yakko, and Keiko decided to visit the town’s local clock tower. According to local legend, the towering building is capable of granting visitors a wish. But when the trio makes their way to the monument, they get lost in the city’s dense forest and wander into a beautiful nun who warns of a dragon in the forest. Once they arrive at the clock tower, a mysterious book falls into Alice’s possession, adding another layer of abnormality to the proceeding.
Rose City’s Don Juan
Upon opening the tome, Alice discovers the writings of a confident lady’s man. Pages tells of excursions to love hotels, liaisons with local ladies, teachers, and even administrators at the academy. Naturally, Alice is fascinated, especially since the hookups are with people the character knows. Yet, when she investigates the authenticity of the book’s immodest claims, no one seems to remember the events happening.
Unsurprisingly, The Witch’s Love Diary multitude of mysteries are revealed across a storyline that encompasses six main routes and a quartet of heroines. For many, enjoyment will emerge from the shifting impression of the game’s male protagonist. Initially, we’re led to believe he’s little more than a lothario, who’s disrespectful of those around him, especially elders. But Love Diary toys with our perceptions, as with empathize with each of his romantic pairings.
Alice, Lazy Launder
On the downside, the game’s dialog can be repetitive. The game’s resident nun, Hijiri Suou, is the worst offender, stating that she’s an angel at every available opportunity. Is this done for comic relief, the joke is sustained long after every last drop of amusement has been mined. Whether it’s intentional is debatable since several other character’s exhibit the same trait.
With many visual novels, routes can exhibit a wide variety in quality. Here, there is a collective quality to the novel’s path, with each offering a poignant or at least gratifying romance. That’s not to say, there are some issues. As with most eroge with its sexuality removed for a Steam release, there may be moments where you’ll wonder if the characters actually had sex. Fortunately, there’s a free patch to restore each rendezvous to its R18 status. Alternatively, you can purchase the unedited version from Denpasoft rather than Steam, but you’ll still have to peer at mosaics.
An Indulgent Interface and Stunning CGs
Pleasingly, Qoobrand extends a wealth of options for readers. Beside being able to replay an individual’s line of dialog or revisiting the backlog to review previous pieces of conversation, you can do things like customize the game’s text font. With 120 save slots, you’ll be able to easy revisit important junctions and politely the novel offered its own autosaves. Navigating the routes is also done through a visual map, reducing the complication often associated with path selection. Sekai Project’s localization is thoroughly first-rate. Not only is the script flavorful and free of grammar efforts, the team also adapted many environmental words into English.
Although The Witch’s Love Diary’s regularly recycles assets, the novel is a visual charmer. Aesthetically, character art is bound to draw comparison to Key’s output, with favoring a stylized doe-eyed appearance rather than a more modern look. While there’s a degree of facial expression, don’t expect the multitude of emotions associated with the medium’s most respected works; Diary clearly favors text-based description over graphical representation. That said, the game’s numerous CGs are a delight, flaunting a luxurious amount of detail, and some exceedingly cute panties.
With memorable characters and a multitude of entertaining routes, The Witch’s Love Diary is an appealing read. Eroge fans should appreciate the novel’s variety of feeling, with moments than range from the comical to the bittersweet. Best of all, the game’s map system allows for each storyline to be seen with a minimum of fuss.