By Quentin H. / January 25th, 2019
This is Part Two of a two-part series. You can check out Part One here.
Frontwing, who has previously developed numerous visual novels such as the Grisaia series and ISLAND, [OR Note: You can check out our ISLAND review here] has started a new series called Loca-Love. In this first installment, Loca-Love: My Cute Roommate, Frontwing tells the ‘sugary sweet love story’ of Aoi Ichitaro and Kojika Hiwa as fate and misfortune -and a courageous, fateful, invitation by the shy Hiwa- causes them to become roommates and potentially more.
In this two-part interview series, I interviewed both Hotenboshi (Loca-Love: My Cute Roommate‘s director) and Kei Hozumi (the game’s scriptwriter) to discuss Loca-Love, what it was like writing and developing it, how they balance the sexual content with maintaining a plot, and more. And once or twice, Lulu, with Frontwing Public Relations, jumped in as well!
You can also check out our 18+ review of Loca-Love: My Cute Roommate here.
Finally, Loca-Love: My Cute Roommate is available NOW for purchase on Steam.
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.
Operation Rainfall: Introduce yourself to our readers please. Who are you, what role did you play in creating Loca-Love: My Cute Roommate, and can you tell us a brief bit about your career?
Kei Hozumi: My name is Hozumi Kei, and I’ve been working as a writer for about 15 years. For Loca-Love, I came up with the original concept, and was in charge of writing the story.
OR: Where did the story plot[line] of Loca-Love: My Cute Roommate originate from?
KH: Director Hantenboshi gave me the idea for a classic, beginner-friendly series of romance games tied together by a specific theme or location, so I built the concept around that. For My Cute Roommate[,] I was instructed to make the story as soothing as possible, which is why Hiwa’s personality and looks turned out the way they did.
“This may be a given, but I think it’s important that the story develops across scenes.
To keep the scenes engaging, it’s also important to write likable characters that the player can fall in love with.”
OR: What was the creative writing process for Loca-Love: My Cute Roommate for you like? How long did it take you to write the script for Loca-Love: My Cute Roommate?
KH: I don’t remember it that well (haha). I think the writing itself took about a month and a half. Though, if I include the time spent coming up with the plot and writing up instructions for the CGs, it took a bit longer than that.
OR: What freedom did you have to define Ichitaro and Hiwa and their personality and interests, and how much of it was given to you as a framework to develop within?
KH: Basically, I’m free to write them in whichever way I want. At the planning stage we already decided that Hiwa would be “the younger coworker” and “the soothing type”, so during the writing process I simply fleshed out those concepts. One idea that originated with artist nanaca mai was Hiwa’s hairclip. I worked that into the story after seeing the character designs. As for Ichitaro, he’s just a normal guy, but I gave him the kind of personality and background that would allow him to potentially have relationships with either of the three heroines.
OR: How did the story of Loca-Love: My Cute Roommate evolve as you were working on writing it? Is the end product very different than from where you started? If it is different, how is it different?
KH: I don’t think there are many things that changed in My Cute Roommate, other than the exact way in which the climax played out. Oh, there is one thing! At first, Yachiyo was going to appear in her casual clothes, but we decided to save that for her own story, so in this volume she only appears in her priestess robes.
OR: There is sexual content in the ‘X’-rated downloadable patch and in the Japanese version. How do you construct and write the different sex scenes to make them not feel like they are repetitive of each other?
KH: This may be a given, but I think it’s important that the story develops across scenes. When a girl is a virgin at first and slowly gains experience in love and sex, it’s important to portray her personal development. So, none of the X-rated scenes are the same. To keep the scenes engaging, it’s also important to write likable characters that the player can fall in love with. Then, they’ll automatically get drawn into the scenes, especially if they contribute to the characters’ development like I just mentioned. (That’s what happens to me, at least)
“Romantic conversations and sex are both essential parts of a couple’s communication; the latter is like a deeper extension of the former.”
OR: Are these sexual scenes written separately from the main plot and then integrated into the overall romance storyline or not?
KH: Lately I’ve been writing them separately, only after finishing the slice of life scenes, because writing sex scenes can be a bit tiring. (Haha) I do try to keep an overview on the whole story while writing, thinking about where I’m going to insert the scenes beforehand, as well as what is going to happen in them exactly and why. So I think it’s no problem to write them separately in this way.
OR: How do you balance writing the explicit sexual content with keeping the romance elements intact between Ichitaro and Hiwa so that the romance doesn’t disappear into the sexual content?
KH: In my mind, there isn’t really a clear boundary between the two. Romantic conversations and sex are both essential parts of a couple’s communication; the latter is like a deeper extension of the former. To be honest, the main reason why there isn’t even more sexual content is because it requires more CGs, but there’s a limit to how much content we can produce. (lol)
OR: Are there any story writing elements that you wanted to include, but you couldn’t? Why were they not included?
KH: Not in particular. The framework of the game was decided at an early stage, so I think we managed to deliver exactly what we set out to create.
OR: Donald M. Murray once wrote “All my writing -and yours- is autobiographical.” What of yourself and your life do you see that you wrote into this story?
KH: I didn’t feel like any elements in the game resembled my own life in any way, but maybe the way the characters care for each other and are honest with each other regarding their feelings, represent the values I was taught by my family. In that regard, my personality might be showing a bit in the characters.
OR: Could you see yourself developing more about these characters in the future? Or was their storyline wrapped up, in your opinion, by the end of “Loca-Love: My Cute Roommate”?
KH: That wholly depends on Frontwing, my client. (haha) If they commissioned me, I’d be very happy to write as much as they wanted.
Loca-Love: My Cute Roommate is available NOW for purchase on Steam.
Are you looking forward to the next installments of the Loca-Love franchise? What do you think of the game’s storyline?
Let us know in the comments below!
Adult Visual NovelfrontwingKei HozumiLoca-LoveLoca-Love: My Cute roommatePCSteamvisual novel