By Diego Hernandez / July 29th, 2019
|Title||The Language of Love|
|Release Date||May 28th, 2019|
|Genre||Romance, Comedy, Slice-of-Life, Visual Novel|
The Language of Love is a visual novel that demonstrates a realistic approach to an overwhelming feeling. There are countless instances of romance in today’s media that make creation of a unique tale difficult. However, in an interview with Ebi, a lot of surprising details stand out. For instance, how a standard choice of outside or inside carries more weight than just one differing piece of art. The points made by Ebi are incredibly insightful and with her experience in crafting these stories, it was hard to keep my hype in check. Despite a lot of things sounding good in concept, it’s the execution where it really counts. How does The Language of Love hold up?
Life has as many tragic events as it does wholesome ones. Two heartbreaking scenarios dictate the lives of the main characters of our tale. One must put everything on hold after a life changing accident. The other must move forward in life, quicker than expected, after a poor decision leaves them alone. The canvas for this work of art is hopelessly blank. Nevertheless, when fate brings these two unfortunate souls together the color slowly seeps in. Only time will tell what kind of painting it will be. Welcome to The Language of Love.
Let’s meet the cast. Mitsuki Tanimura is a twenty-three-year-old who previously spent five unexpected years in the countryside with his family. After his mother was involved in accident, he stayed back and helped the family business until things stabilized. As a result, he’s still in high school. In his move to Tokyo, he faces classes that leave him demotivated after his classmates treat him like an outcast for his age. Cram school, where he goes after school to further his studies, isn’t going any better with five years of material to learn if he’s to achieve his goal of passing the university’s entrance exam. The future looks grim until something unexpected happens.
Kyouko Himuro, twenty-four years young, is a waitress at a family restaurant. A model student during her high school years with aspirations aplenty who saw her life slowly derail. A high school romance gone wrong has left her all alone in the world. Furthermore, it’s to the point where her own father practically disowns her. This kindhearted woman now works to make ends meet and not just for herself. An unexpected series of events leads to an equally unexpected meeting.
This is the bridge between our two characters. This small child is Tama Himuro, the six-year-old daughter of Kyouko. As you may be able to piece together, Kyouko had Tama at a very early age. Tama’s father abandoned Kyouko immediately after graduation. This sequence of events is what derailed a higher education and led to her own father reacting the way he did. Despite the circumstances, Tama is a very energetic girl, and it’s that energy that brings Mitsuki and Kyouko together after a run-in at the local park.
Now that the three characters meet, the story takes a kinder tone. In brief, the newfound friendship allows Mitsuki to take care of Tama while Kyouko works in exchange for Kyouko offering Mitsuki tutoring for his important test. All the while Tama flaunts her cute energy and pokes fun at Mitsuki. Whatever feeling of dread that plagued the prologue of this tale is practically gone. The trio gets very close, with Mitsuki and Kyouko getting particularly close.
When we look at The Language of Love and its writing there’s a lot to appreciate. In particular, the ease of being able to immerse the reader into Mitsuki’s point-of-view. The struggles in his life, the hopelessness and overall despair are all easily understandable. Likewise, when Tama and Kyouko both enter his life it’s just as easy to understand the happiness of a life now having meaning.
The writing is brilliant, and the storytelling aspect is worth delving into. There’s a clear message behind the text. It’s positive, insightful, and overall inspirational. While the circumstances will certainly not be the same for the reader and the main character, the reader will absolutely walk away with a new outlook on life and potential romance after reading this story. Granted, the writing wasn’t alone in leaving such an emotional impact, sound had a part on it.
There may not be voice acting in this title, but there is a soundtrack. With a hectic mix of sad and happy moments, it’s important to set the mood right through the sounds constantly. The Language of Love has one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard among Western visual novels. The writing would not have as much significance had it been without this. In particular, the moments between Mitsuki and Kyouko are unforgettable because of it.
An important part of visual novels is within the very term, the visuals. In terms of the art, understandably it’s not the most beautiful in the world. Despite that, the colors blend with the mood of the story and stand out. One instance is a CG with Kyouko that very properly brings the point home of just how physically attractive she is and how Mitsuki is so nervous around her. The backgrounds are simplistic but wonderful to look at and add seasoning to a scene boosted by its writing and sound.
While there’s plenty of good surrounding the main talking points of a visual novel, this one did have a big negative. The story ends too soon. The small victory at the end of the story was quickly negated by the credit sequence. There’s more room for character development and instead you’re just sitting at the end of the road wanting more. A measurable blow to what’s been an interesting read. Likewise, the art isn’t anything to write home about on its own except for a few CGs and the chibis. No visual novel is perfect, but the former issue stings the most.
The Language of Love masterfully displays an engaging story of a pair of characters bouncing back from their past together to create something exceedingly beautiful and motivational. The art might not be the best in the world, but the writing and sounds are noteworthy. At $11.99, I can say it’s another among Ebi’s must read titles. My playthrough ended at 6 hours which Ebi states is the approximate reading time.
Game provided by developer for review purposes.
18+comedyEbi-himelewdReviewromanceslice of lifeSteamThe Language of Lovevisual novel