By Diego Hernandez / September 30th, 2021
|Title||UchiKano – Living With My Girlfriend|
|Release Date||August 26th, 2021|
|Genre||Romance, Visual Novel|
Fall is here and with it, a romance story for the ages in UchiKano: Living With My Girlfriend. To clarify, this special project is brought to us by MangaGamer and a “new” developer, Argonauts. However, while Argonauts might seem new to us, you’ll be glad to know of their close association to MOONSTONE. A developer most adequately known for their own romantic ventures in either Princess Evangile or Magical Marriage Lunatics. Each of these games puts an exceeding amount of emphasis on stories that really touch the heart. There’s no exception here as UchiKano enters the frame with an ever so vibrant art style and a down to earth story. In a year where we’ve had so many action-heavy stories, could this be the one to really slow things down a notch and make us feel good? Or, will it have been all for naught? How does it hold up?
The story is relatively simple. Firstly, you’re a hard-working office worker by the name of Keisuke. You got your degree and a well-paying job, but romance is something of a mystery to you. However, that’s until a certain someone enters the picture once again. To clarify, it’s your childhood friend that you haven’t seen in ages. From there, a tale of reconnecting two humble and incredibly shy souls, and having them go through all the wonders of romance, begins. There may not be a lot of ingredients here to create a memorable tale, but it’s the execution behind it that really makes it stand out. There are way too many times when visual novels pounce immediately on the opportunity to hook two characters up. Slowing things down enough to let us see the awkward parts of getting lovey-dovey might just be the right way to go.
The love interest in our tale is Ayame, and she’s an absolute sweetheart. The moment you hear her voice it’s like you’re being enveloped in the softest blanket imaginable. Everything about her radiates with purity. Furthermore, this only gets better when you witness her silly antics and when she gets up close and personal. All of this, in combination with her already insanely beautiful looks with assets, will make anyone go awooga. In addition, there’s also our main support character, Riho, who’s just a beacon of positivity that really helps get the two of you well on your way to a proper romantic relationship. Her charismatic nature really struck a chord with me and at times made me wish she was a route, more on that in a bit. Above all, the characters do their job and carry the game since there’s no suspenseful story involved.
On the subject of the story, a lot of people will probably be left wondering what is there to even read? While there’s no need to save the world from immediate peril or investigate an underground organization, there is a romance that we need to keep an eye on. It’s Argonauts’ exceedingly pure-and-awkward approach to romance that keeps me reading. Watching Keisuke and Ayame tip-toe around each other and their feelings has its charm. Furthermore, when they inevitably hook up, even if you know it’s coming, it feels as rewarding as playing a longer title. It’s a matter of pacing and Argonauts, along with MangaGamer’s exceptional localization work, really got me being attentive about the way their daily lives went. As a result, it was easy to immerse myself and feel as full of life as Keisuke was. That isn’t easy with a shorter story.
Several elements also perfectly complement the writing. The soundtrack really nails down the humorous occasions and when confessions inevitably come, you’re practically entranced in the moment. In addition, for those moments of true intimacy, you’re looking at a soothing track to really hit the nail on the head. You finally made it and it’s such a rewarding experience to witness a lovely couple like this getting it on. As weird as it is to type a sentence like that, it’s true. It’s a long build up that inevitably leads to a really feel good moment with great uncensored art. What more could I ask for? Argonauts truly figured out how to make me feel so insanely full of positive energy from a story that seemed so obvious from the get-go.
A couple of other things that really demonstrate how wonderful this game is, can be found within the smaller details. Take for instance the UI that includes several quality-of-life options that ought to be in every game. For instance, a take screenshot button that puts all your memorable moments into a designated folder. This is something I clamor for, especially when I get games that aren’t on the Steam store. In addition, the other major option is for perverse aficionados like myself, and it’s the illustrious countdown timer. When you consider how rewarding it is to get to these scenes, having a little indicator for max happiness is thoughtful and amazing to have. Therefore, it’s truly a complete experience from start to finish. However, there are pacing issues towards the end, but it didn’t ruin the good vibes. The whole thing was perfect.
UchiKano: Living with my Girlfriend is a masterful presentation of romance that everyone needs to experience. Keisuke and Ayame’s relationship was pure, full of antics, and I could not ask for anything more. Furthermore, whether you want to critique the writing, localization, characters, art, music, or anything else, to me it’s all perfect. UchiKano is the perfect story to have around when things look bleak as it’ll always make you smile. Above all, I loved the 9 hours I spent with this game, and I can promise you that you will too. You can purchase UchiKano today on MangaGamer’s website for $24.95. It’s worth every penny. Once you’re done, join me in rallying the troops so MangaGamer brings Uchi no Imouto to us posthaste. We need more Argonauts, and we need to see Riho’s smile shine even more.
Game provided by publisher for review purposes.
18+ArgonautsJapanese Visual NovelJVNMangaGamermoonstoneReviewsUchiKanovisual novelVN