With the popularity of both indie games and visual novels in the west it’s given a ton of fans of what used to be a super niche style of story telling in the west, a way of getting their story out there. Today I’ll be looking at a visual novel that got its start at a game jam last year and the developers decided to expanded and make it a full release. You may notice the title, this is an episodic game which we don’t normally cover in written form until completion. I have decided to try it out as we now have a somewhat different format for visual novels that doesn’t require me explaining the mechanics every time.
*keep in mind. Chapter 0 follows a Kinetic Novel format (no choices) although future chapters may include choices
The story starts with a pretty much naked man with a little girl. Before you call the police these two are demons and apparently this is just how they dress (or at least some). The man is the girl’s (Toko) father and is trying to convince her to take another little girl’s soul. He convinces her by saying that girl is about to die and if someone didn’t take her soul it would be stuck wandering the earth. For some idiotic reason he then leaves Toko to do her first reaping on her own and she ends up saving the girl instead of taking her soul. The girl is missing her ball and Toko helps her find it. Toko then explains to the girl she’s a demon that needs a human soul and the girl takes out a piece of paper and crayon and writes “soul” on it. Toko refers to the girl as “Nadia” without Nadia questioning this. This leads into one of my biggest problems that I’ll get into later.
We now have some sort of time-jump. I’m not sure if what we just saw was a flashback or if we simply did experience a time-jump as I don’t recall the game actually mentioning. Nadia is now a college student that follows the usually high school tradition or staring down the clock for last period. We’re also introduced to her braced friend, Stephanie. Going into hell we see Toko grown up and as we learn from (I forget her actual title) Pellatrix, she has still yet to actually get any souls and is being kicked out of hell. She ends up running into Nadia again once she’s in the human world and Nadia pretty much takes her in. I’m going to stop the story description here and go into some of the characters we’ve yet to meet yet.
Firstly is Ginxhou a glutinous girl (yes despite her looks she is a woman) that brought forth some of the funniest moments in the VN with her ordering of a ton of items at fast food restaurants and how she refers to the workers. Next we have Devon who is Toko’s sister. Despite having no mention of a sister in the past (I can’t remember if an age gap was given and a line mentions “she dresses in silly outfits trying to act cute and Toko wishes she’d act her age”) with her bunny puppet butler Davey. We have more characters but this is our main cast.
I thought the writing style was pretty good but did have issues with it. For some the whole story seemed quite rushed. I understand this was made in a game jam where you don’t have time to put into making an interesting story so from that side I applaud the writers (or writer? I don’t know how many people joined in afterwards if any) but as its advertised to have new content I’m going to have to list it as a negative. Just to briefly describe what I meant, look at how long the CGs stay up (and they stay up as long as they’re relevant to the story). Scenes also go by way too quickly and you’ll especially notice during the climax scene, an issue that Toko solves extremely quickly that I feel should have stayed an issue much longer. Another issue I had was we never properly hear why Toko and Nadia have some sort of connection (I pointed out Toko knowing Nadia’s name but there’s other major things later) I’m guessing it’s because Toko saved her but if Toko has failed tons of missions as Pellatrix said shouldn’t she have ended up saving at least a couple of those? I then thought the paper soul thing but I’m not really sure.
So reading different forum posts and comment sections this appears to be mixed. Some people love the art and some don’t. I personally do like it but have a few issues with it. For one I feel it really clashes with the background art. I’m not really sure why as they are the same style but they don’t look like they fit for some reason. I also didn’t like how almost every character is almost naked and except for Toko and Ginxhou, all the main females have giants breasts. I think these were way too big for their bodies (although I’m not an expert on this topic) and they looked really off. My biggest sadness is I really hate Nadia’s sprite. I say sadness because we need more overweight characters in not just VNs, but gaming in general, that aren’t just overweight so we can make fat person jokes. My main issues with her sprite are her like J-cup boobs and her eyes. I get they were going for the squinting look that say Brock has in Pokemon but I’m not sure if it’s the art style or just not drawn right but it looks more like she has no eyes to me which is kind of creepy.
As much flack as I gave the sprites I really like the CGs. Both the ones following the normal designs and the ones using a chibi style. As I mentioned in the story section though, they don’t stay very long and as far as I can tell, there’s no CGs Gallery even after completing the game which kind of sucks if you liked them (one of them is on the Steam page and another in the OP but what about the rest?)
I personally believe this is where The Reject Demon shines. There is a heavy emphasis on rock in both the story and music. I can’t think of a single song that I didn’t like. Most were pretty good too. The main issue is like the CGs, there is no gallery. I can only assume this is to sell the soundtrack (but then I don’t know why CGs don’t have one so maybe not). My only real issue though was sometimes the sound effects, which often were instrument’s sounds mixed in with the music and sounded a bit weird. Other than that it was great.
Keep in mind: at the time of launch/this review there is no voice acting. I believe I read the devs would consider it however it will never be considered for this review and will only be for future chapters if available at launch.