By Steve Baltimore / September 2nd, 2021
|Release Date||June 28th, 2021|
When JAST announced they were releasing another one of Alcot’s visual novels, Onigokko!, I got really excited. It’s been a few years since I read their previous release, My Girlfriend is the President, but it is one of my favorite visual novels in their entire store. I was instantly impressed with its artwork, and all four of the heroines looked very interesting. I’ve finally had a chance to complete this nearly 30 hour adventure, and it’s time to share my thoughts. Did Onigokko! meet the high expectations I had for it? Let’s find out!
Our story begins as the Phantom Thief Ura, who is secretly Urabe Keisuke, travels to Onigashima Island. There is a fake Ura on the island that is causing trouble and ruining his good name. Ura had earned his reputation by stealing powerful “Mystic Treasures” from all over Japan. These artifacts are very powerful, and if they fall into the wrong hands it could spell disaster for the world. This island is controlled by three legendary families of heroes, as they are supposed to safeguard these treasures. They would love nothing better than to lock up Ura, since he is technically stealing what they are supposed to be guarding, even if he has a good reason. Keisuke and his very thirsty sister, Aoi, must keep their guard up at all times, and work to catch the fake Ura, quickly, before a treasure falls into their hands.
I really loved the overall story of Onigokko! While the story may not be as action packed as one would think from the intro, I loved the amount of world building found here. The game takes the time to establish the lore of the island, the families and the treasures themselves. This is pulled off seamlessly while telling the stories of four amazing heroines. While this story may sound very serious, it is mostly pulled off in romantic and comedic scenes. I felt like I was watching a really good ecchi anime with amazing girls and some quality H-scenes.
I really enjoyed all four of the main heroines here. They are each very different and face their own unique set of obstacles. Akari is an overly serious type of girl, but is also sort of clumsy. She is very determined and wants to be the best at everything she sets out to do. She is easily embarrassed, but that only adds to her cuteness. Kana is a very refined and serious young woman. She has a very small stature and is very shy. There is something very special about this girl as she seems to take on a slightly different personality at times, and has amazing strength. She befriends Keisuke because each have secrets they would like to keep hidden. When you first meet Otome she comes off as a perverted airhead, but there is a lot more than meets the eye here. She is also an amazing young woman and you will see her power and wonderful personality shine all throughout her story. Last, but not least, is my personal favorite, Kureha. I could spend the rest of this review just gushing over how much I like her. She is very tsundere and gets angry very easily, but is really adorable under all of that. She faces many troubles from her lack of money to being bullied by girls at school. I always seem to fall for the petite tsundere girls, but when you play Onigokko! you will see why I think she is very special.
I usually don’t have much to say about the side characters, but the ones found here are very important to the story. They are very well written as well, so they stand out unlike many found in other games I’ve played over the years. Keisuke’s sister, Aoi, is the most important one. She appears in every route, and gives him plenty of support in his mission. She is always very jealous of any girl found with her beloved onii-chan, and sometimes this shows in hilarious ways. Kumakichi is one of the most perverted characters you will ever see. He wears a bear mask over his face most of the time, and is very different from his sister, Kana. The girls usually pay him back greatly for his perverse remarks, but like a true man of culture he just presses on. Otome’s brother, Tamahiko, is not only the class teacher, but quite a siscon. He acts pretty shady around Otome most of the time and does some very questionable actions, but he always has a watchful eye on his precious sister.
Great visual novels always have some great artwork, and Onigokko! delivers in this area. The backgrounds all look fantastic and make the story an immersive experience. The girls all look amazing and their character designs fit their personalities to a tee. The CG scenes are all very nicely done and detailed. Each girl has three or four H-scenes that really drive home the romance part of this story. This is quality over quantity, and given how the romances are handled here, this was absolutely the right choice. Lastly, there are some cute chibi-style cut-ins that I thought really added to comedy scenes. Overall, the presentation here is one of the best I’ve seen in the genre in a long time.
The last thing I would like to talk about here is the sound design. I have to say, I really enjoyed the soundtrack here quite a bit. It has a very Eastern feel to it, which is a given based on the location this story is taking place. There are some very heartwarming tunes for the romantic scenes and some very upbeat tracks for the action scenes as well. The game is fully voiced in Japanese and all of the voice actors do a wonderful job bringing these characters to life. While most of the sound effects here are very basic, some are thrown into the story at just the right moments to make for some comedy gold. This isn’t anything groundbreaking, but it’s a nice touch.
Some folks would probably say Onigokko! is a very basic visual novel, and they wouldn’t be wrong. The thing is, while this title won’t set the world on fire, it’s a quality release on every level. The story, characters and design are all top tier and very enjoyable. I really loved all of the heroines here, and the fact that the game takes the time for you to get to know each one of them intimately before their route is over. Kureha is especially great and will stand out in my mind for a long time to come. At the price of $34.99, I feel like this game is a no-brainer for anyone that loves a good comedy / romance title. This game will certainly deliver for those folks. I would also recommended this one to anyone out there just looking for a great, cozy title to read. I feel like it won’t be long before the Phantom Thief, and this crew of amazing heroines, steal your heart as well.
Game was provided by the publisher.