Every Studio Ghibli Film Ranked From Best to Worst – Top 10 Studio Ghibli Films – The Best Studio Ghibli Films – The Worst Studio Ghibli Films

Much like our recent list of the best and worst Disney films, here is a list of the best and worst Studio Ghibli films. Disney owned distribution rights for awhile for several Studio Ghibli films, but I think that has since changed hands to Gkids. Many people who love Disney films also love Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli Films; after all, they have a lot in common with each other. Both studios rely mostly on making films from well known children’s literature and fairytales. Both studios have a very recognizable animation style. And both studios excel at creating stories that the whole family can enjoy together, cartoons that appeal to young and old alike.

I was surprised there’s not as many Studio Ghibli films as I would think. If you’re wondering why Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is not on this list, that’s because it’s not actually made by Studio Ghibli. This actually gives me an idea for another blog post maybe something along the lines of “10 Anime Movies You Mistake for Studio Ghibli Films.” I can think of 3 or 4 right away without much effort. Nausicaa being the biggest “WTF, Really?!” moment of the bunch. There’s also Wolf Children, My Summer with Coo, Nadia The Secret of Blue Water, and a Letter to Momo which all seem to share Studio Ghibli’s art and story styles. More recently there’s Mary and the Witch’s Flower which I’ve yet to watch but am really looking forward to because of the “Ghibli Vibe”.  Although different in style, you might also mistake other recently successful anime films such as Ko no Katachi and Kimi no Nawa as Ghibli films because when most people think of successful feature length anime films, they immediately think of Studio Ghibli.  I’m also surprised there’s still quite a few legit Studio Ghibli films which I have yet to watch – I will include those at the end of this article. As there’s only a handful of them, I plan to try to watch them and come back and edit my rankings asap.

Here are my picks for best and worst Studio Ghibli films – what are some of your favorite and least favorite Ghibli films? Leave a comment below!


Best and Worst Studio Ghibli Films:

Ponyo

Ponyo is sorta Ghibli’s Take on the whole Little Mermaid thing. It’s a very original and creative take on it, with a lot of imagination and charm. Its charm and originality are what lands it at first place on my list of favorite Ghibli films. Ponyo is a fish like creature who gets caught by a young boy, Souske, who keeps her as a pet. She begins to fall in love with her new master, and as she grows, she becomes more and more human-like. Her transformation causes an inbalance in the sea which creates a Tsunami. Ponyo and Souske must work together to save their village from the Tsunami, which also tests their love for one another, If they can find unconditional love, Ponyo will be able to remain a human with Souske, or else she must return back to the sea. – If you also love Ponyo, check out Lu over the Wall which I reviewed here. It’s very similar and also very cute!

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Kiki’s Delivery Service

Kiki’s Delivery Service is definitely high on my list of favorite Studio Ghibli movies. It features a strong female lead, Kiki, a young witch who is leaving home for the first time, as is customary for young witches when they “come of age” (which is at just 13 years old). Each town can only have 1 witch, and Kiki must strike out to find her own place in the world – quite literally. Taking only her father’s radio, Mother’s Broomstick, and Jiji, her black cat, she sets out on a grand adventure. She struggles at first, an allegory to how we all must struggle to find OUR place in the world. This makes the film so relateable, and the characters are so likeable, that who can’t help but to just love Kiki’s Delivery Service? – Did you know that Kiki’s Delivery Service is actually based on a book by the same name? You can grab the book over on Amazon. It’s out of print and expensive now sadly. https://www.amazon.com/Kikis-Delivery-Service-Eiko-Kadono/dp/1550377884

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Spirited Away

This is one of Studio Ghibli’s best known, and most well loved, featured films. It was the first anime to ever win an Academy Award for Best animated Feature Film. I believe to date, it’s the only Japanese anime to have ever won this award. It beat out numerous other animated films that same year including Disney and Dreamworks. It’s the highest grossing film of all time in Japan, and even beat out Titanic. In 2016 it was voted as the 4th best film of the 21st century which made it the highest animated film on the list as chosen from more than 170 film critics from around the world.

Just because something wins lots of awards though does not necessarily make it a great film — but Spirited Away does indeed fall into the category of greatness. I feel that the success of Spirited Away is due largely in part to the emotional attachment the audience develops towards the young pure hearted characters, as well as the fantasy setting, which is set in a realm of spirits that’s mysterious enough to be edgy/creepy for older kids/adults, while not terrifying like Mononoke, and attention to detail through story writing, the excellent music score, animation, and voice acting.

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When Marnie Was There

When Marnie Was There is also based on a book by the same name. https://www.amazon.com/Marnie-There-Essential-Modern-Classics-ebook/dp/B00KA11ZI0/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=&dpID=51FrFUXIjEL&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=detail This Studio Ghibli adaptation rates higher for me than it does for most other people because I love my grandma so much, which made the bond that the main character shares with her own grandma overwhelmingly sweet and sentimental to me. Everyone loves their grandmas right? But mine is literally like my favorite person in the whole world. So this film really hit me right in the heart. I could watch it over and over and probably still cry each time. Love the song at the end of the credits too. I related a lot to the main character too who is always alone / lonely as I was similar to that growing up. She’s also interested in art like myself, and has a great imagination. Really, just on a personal level, out of all Ghibli films, this one is by far the most relatable to me, even though it’s still a fantasy movie about a ghost :).

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Howl’s Moving Castle

Obviously, Howl’s Moving Castle is based on the very well known series of books by the same name https://www.amazon.com/Howls-Moving-Castle-Diana-Wynne/dp/1442008431 – Though only very, very, very loosely based on this source material… In the original book, Sophie is very sarcastic and independent – She literally doesn’t give a flip about anyone or anything. In both versions they are pessimistic and feel they have no control over their fate, but in the book that quickly changes, and we witness Sophie become more responsible for her own actions and feelings. Sophie in the book also discovers pretty early on that she has magic powers. Howl in the book is a total playboy. There’s no war in the book. The villains are different too. In the book the main villain is the Witch of the Waste who is scorned by Howl rejecting her romantically and is looking to create her ideal mate by piecing together several different men, including the missing prince and Howl’s pretty face. Some find the book to be very funny, while others find it to be dry, because British humor is often very dry indeed. The idealistic love between Sophie and Howl in the film is quite different in the book. The two argue and break up and make up over and over throughout the story. The biggest difference is definitely in the titular character of Howl. In the book we see much more of Howl. Early on in the book it is difficult to like or sympathize for him as he is so vain and breaks so many hearts. But as the story unfolds, we learn the truth is that he is afraid of letting others close to him because he is in fact very sensitive and fragile and a very warm and loving person as well, and instantly we learn to not judge others, Everyone is going through their own struggles in life, and both Howl and Sophie have a lot of demons inside of themselves that they must face, which sadly is a lesson that the film doesn’t care to impart to the audience. In the film Howl instead is scarcely seen as he flies off to fight wars that don’t exist in the book. In the book, he is from modern day Wales, and has found a door to Sophie’s time and world where he has chosen to stay to study magic. This time traveling is completely omitted from the film, just as is equally omitted Sophie’s magical abilities. Instead, in Miyazaki’s version, it is Sophie who we see “time traveling” as she learns about Howl’s past. Miyazaki’s goal was to create a film that shows how love makes life worth living, while the original author’s goal was to create a story about a strong willed female mage which challenged gender and societal stereotypes. Both stories are equally charming in their own unique ways. Miyazaki’s interpretation of Howl’s Moving Castle is romantic and full of charm and innocence and still quite engaging in its storytelling and plot devices. There are some who complain that too many liberties were taken which deviated from the author’s original work, but one could also argue the same is true of Ponyo which is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid or any number of Ghibli or Disney works that are based on books before becoming films.

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Whisper of the Heart

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This is a lesser known Ghibli film based on manga of the same name about a young girl whose only passion is reading, and a young boy whose only passion is music. They are both outcasts and self isolated because they pour 100% of their time into their chosen hobbies. Both wish to drop out of school to pursue their passions full time. And neither one of them really get along with each other when the film first starts out. What I really enjoyed about this film is watching the characters change their thoughts and beliefs, about their passions, but also about how they perceive other people. They also discover they have a lot in common and both help to inspire one another to chase their dreams. Initially they view other people or other responsibilities as a hindrance, taking away time from their passions. But they learn that instead, other people add to your experiences and make life sweeter. Both characters yearn to grow up and become adults, but both are only grade/middle school students. They have a lot to learn. And as the film ends, we watch just how much they’ve matured over their summer. They learn to make time and space in their lives and hearts for other people while still each holding tightly to their dreams of their future. The original manga has not been licensed for US release. There is also a sequel manga that follows the characters as they prepare for their college entrance exams. https://mangarock.com/search?q=Mimi%20wo%20Sumaseba


Grave of the Fireflies

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This film is sad AF!!! There are some who will not like this film because of it being so sad. And also others who will not like this film simply because it portrays the real life events of the bombing of Hiroshima. Japan is the only country to have been nuked by an atomic bomb and the US the only country to have released an atomic bomb. Never again has such a weapon been used in combat because of the devastating long term and long range consequences that spring about from such frightening weaponry. This movie depicts the suffering and harsh realities of the war and subsequent bombing of Hiroshima. Obviously, war and decisions made by a country’s government, is a very politically charged issue. And many lives were lost on both sides of the war. So much suffering occurred that it’s still a tense and delicate subject to people on both sides of the war still today even in modern times. It is hard to watch this film, and even harder to see their suffering, and know that “we” (as a nation / group of nations) caused that suffering) even if it was perhaps necessary at the time of these events. It still doesn’t make you feel good realizing what you’ve unleashed. I’ve seen documentaries with actual real life footage of the victims, I’ve seen them peeling burnt flesh from survivors’ bodies using chopsticks, I’ve seen footage of their shadows burned into the walls, shadows of children playing at playgrounds, shadows of mothers trying to protect their children in their arms. But I’ve also seen movies on the other side of the issue too – Many US lives were lost in the bombing of pearl harbor; many other lives were lost around the entire world from Hitler’s atrocities, and so on. In war there is no clear cut good / bad decisions. You do what you feel you have to do to protect your country and its people, and in bombing Hiroshima, the US was trying to do just that, although it tragically resulted in the deaths of hundreds of innocent Japanese civilians… such as the two depicted in this Studio Ghibli film… We watch them live fearfully, and with not enough food to eat, without any parents to take care of them, and we watch them suffer, fall ill, and struggle at every turn. We watch their own family and friends turn their backs on helping them and realize they have nowhere to go or turn to – an important – although equally political – message in our own modern times with issues with refugees and so on from our modern day wars. To quote the videogame Fallout “War Never Changes” – that’s why a film about a decades old war is still compelling and relevant and relatable in modern times. One of the interesting things about this film, is gaining a new perspective on the war and circumstances around the war. Sympathizing with our “enemy” and seeing just how similar we are, despite hundreds or thousands of cultural differences, at the end of the day, we each love our families, and would do anything to see to it that our families are happy, healthy, safe, and cared for. There is no way to watch this film without crying and forming an emotional connection with the characters. The ability to evoke such deep emotion is a testament to the quality of this film. It is an artful masterpiece with fantastic writing, character development, and storytelling.


Laputa Castle in the Sky

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I just watched this movie last year as part of Studio Ghibli’s and Gkids Ghibli Fest which brought many great Ghibli films to the theater – some for the first time in theaters within the US. I loved this movie. It had great action and a great love story. A lot of things in this film reminded me of my favorite Videogame, Lunar Eternal Blue which I reviewed here and cosplayed as here. Maybe it’s the girl and her pendant, her mysterious origins/past, her dramatic entrance, or the floating city in the sky, or maybe it’s the awesome epic love story. The lengths that both male characters go to in order to protect the person they love – and to help the girl they love complete her mission, or the way in which both film and game are so rich in lore and history and create a strange mashup of fantasy and technology creating a timeless story, that feels like it could take place equally conceivably in past, present, or future. Laputa Castle in the Sky is very action packed and fast moving, but yet, since it centers on these two characters and their love for one another, it can capture audiences of any age or gender.


The Cat Returns

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This is a sequel or Spin off based on Ghibli’s earlier film, Whisper of the Heart. I enjoyed Whisper of the Heart more than the Cat Returns, despite my huge massive never ending love for cats. Unlike the author’s own sequel to her manga, this story is not related to the two main characters of Whisper of the Heart, but instead focuses on the story that was inspired by the cat-like doll, nicknamed Baron as he searches for his lost love Louise, who was taken from him by Muto. Despite the name of the film, and it actually really being a sequel, the title is still slightly confusing. A better English title would have been something along the lines of “The Cat’s Reciprocation” or “The Cat Returns the Favor” but that doesn’t really have the same “ring” to it. Perhaps the perfect title should have been “The Cat’s Reply” which could not only mean to “return the favor” but also foreshadow Haru’s ability to speak with cats. Haru saves a cat one day, who wants to return the favor by offering her the prince’s hand – err paw — in marriage. Haru is flustered both by the cat’s proposal and his ability to talk. Cats around her begin acting strangely, bringing her gifts and tokens of the prince’s affection. Haru is cat-napped and taken to the world of cats where she is pampered and treated like a queen. She is given feasts and entertainment and more lavish gifts. As she begins to enjoy her time in the cat world, she begins to turn into a cat. The Baron warns Haru that she will become a real cat, and forget her human self if she does not immediately leave the cat world. The king and prince orchestrate obstacles and distractions to lengthen Haru’s stay in the cat kingdom, knowing that once she is fully a cat, she will become the Prince’s Bride. Will Haru forget her true self and live happily among the cats? Or will she escape and reclaim her place among the humans? Many people think this film is based on the Manga by the same author of Whisper of the Heart, but actually the Ghibli film came first, and the author enjoyed it so much that she made a manga based on the film – kinda neat, right? 🙂 Usually it’s the other way around.


The Secret World of Arietty

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Studio Ghibli’s “The Secret World of Arietty” is based on a popular children’s book, The Borrowers by Mary Norton. This book has entertained children for several generations. But it’s also a book (and film) that can be enjoyed by the whole family, young or old alike. My grandmother told me that it is her favorite book, she told me she first read it when my mother checked it out of the library. I too read the book when I was younger, and I also enjoyed many other film and tv adaptations and similar books and movies and tv series such as The Littles and The Indian in the Cupboard.

The Borrowers and The Secret World of Arietty give you a glimpse at a hidden world right under our noses. The Borrowers are a tiny race of miniature humans who live in our walls and gardens and live off of things we waste or take for granted. If you ever notice a button or a needle is missing, you can bet it’s been “Borrowed”. Of course the human world presents many dangers to Arietty, she must be careful to not be discovered by the humans who could capture her and keep her as a pet or science experiment. At the same time she must be aware of her surroundings at all times. She could get swept away by just a small trickle of water, or mistaken for a mouse and gobbled up by a cat, or crushed underfoot by a horse and carriage. Arietty is of course not afraid of the human world, and instead intrigued by it. She finds the human world fascinating and impossible to resist. Especially when she meets and falls in love with a human boy who is equally fascinated by Arietty’s world. The story teaches us that even though our lives may seem dull and mundane, that all it takes is a change of perspective to be reminded how wondrous life truly is.


The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Ghibli used an unusual art style in this anime, making it quite different from any of their other films. Their intention was to create an anime that looked like ancient Japanese calligraphy paintings and wall scrolls. The tale of Princess Kaguya was unfamiliar to me, but very familiar and loved in its home country of Japan where it is known as the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. This legend has been around for over 1,000 years! It is most famously presented and passed down through ancient Japanese paintings from the Edo period which is what influenced Ghibli’s character and art direction in this film.

I’m not a huge fan of the art style in the anime, and even some of the customs/traditions of the Edo period which the film accurately depicts like women painting their teeth black – SO eww. Interestingly, little has changed as I know even now it’s generally considered to be “unlady-like” for a woman or girl to smile widely thus showing her teeth. That’s why there’s two emoji’s ^.^ and ^_^ – the first one is a feminine emoji and the second is a masculine emoji. I learned that years ago when I used to chat with people all over the world and was told about my “improper” use of the “^_^” emoji. Although I still use ^_^ all the time, and I consider “^.^” to be more of a “playful” smile, sorta cattish or impish or mischievious, or maybe a smile that seems like it has a secret, a smirk or a giggle behind it, where as I feel ^_^ is just pure joy/happiness/amusement/laughter.

Anyways enough about Emoji’s – lol. The strange art style and questionable fashions/traditions of the Edo period are really the only reason this film doesn’t rank higher for me. I do agree that the film looks just like the historical paintings… but it’s just not my tastes personally… That said though, I am extremely fascinated by the story and legend behind this film.

The legend states that an old man unable to have children of his own, found Kaguya one day while cutting bamboo. When she first appeared she was only the size of his thumb, but she rapidly grew much faster than other children. The bamboo cutter took the baby to his wife, where they raised her lovingly as their own child. Ever since Kaguya appeared in their lives, every time the Bamboo cutter would go to work, he would find gold coins in the bamboo stalks and soon the family become very rich. Although initially the family wishes to protect Kaguya’s innocence and youth, it is not long before word spreads of the beautiful young woman and many princes appear to seek her hand in marriage. Kaguya tasks each prince with impossible tasks, knowing they cannot be achieved, because she wishes to remain with her family and maintain her independence. One by one each prince fails to win the hand of Kaguya. Time passes, and eventually the Emperor comes to see the beautiful Kaguya. He falls in love instantly, but Kaguya tells him they cannot be together because she is not from his country. They instead become friends and remain in correspondence. As time went on, Kaguya began acting strangely, especially on nights with a full moon. She would cry and cause her parents to worry. She later reveals to them that she is not from Earth and must return to her home on the moon. The Emperor, as well as her family, do everything they can to try to hide and protect Kaguya who does not wish to return to the Moon. Kaguya wants to remain on Earth. In the end, however, Kaguya must go back to the kingdom of the Moon and leave her beloved family and friends.

Studio Ghibli’s version of the tale differs in some areas – The Emperor in the Ghibli version is more obsessed with Kaguya and Kaguya wants absolutely none of it because she’s in love with a simple boy from her childhood whom her father deems is not of high enough rank for her hand (who never existed in the original legend). In fact she is so repulsed by the Emperor that she cries when he touches her and discovers she has a secret ability to disappear at will. These details were made up for the Ghibli version only. Also at the end of the Ghibli version, Kaguya looks back onto the earth with a longing and sad gaze, even though her robe of feathers was to strip her of all of her memories of her time spent on Earth, the look on her face implies that her feelings and attachments were so strong that she could not forget the people of Earth. – This also is made up in the Ghibli version. In the original legend, Kaguya does in fact forget everyone when she returns to the Moon. In the original legend, the Emperor is so saddened by Kaguya’s death (or disappearance whatever you want to call it) that he orders his army to climb to the top of the mountain “closest to heaven” – There he wishes to burn a letter from Kaguya in hopes that his love and feelings for her will rise with the smoke from the letter and reach her on the moon. He also wanted to burn the elixir of immortality that Kaguya left him because he did not want to live forever without Kaguya by his side. Wikipedia states that the Japanese word for immortality “Fushi” is what Mt. Fuji’s name was derived from. And that the kanji characters for the mountain mean “Mountain abounding with warriors” which is said to denote the Emperor’s army who burnt the letter. The legend also says that the smoke from the letter still rises today (when the legend was created, Mt Fuji was an active volcano and hence produced smoke). I think the original legend makes for a very beautiful unrequited love story, where in Ghibli’s version the Emperor is the main villain whose appearance is what drives Kaguya to pray to the moon for help, after which her people come to “rescue” her from the Emperor. Quite a different take on the tale. I know Japan’s long history and traditions with their Emperor’s being near godlike status, so it’s odd to see a film from Japan depict in Emperor as a villainous character, especially given that in the original tale he was so pure and chivalrous and so in platonic unrequited love / mutual friendship with Kaguya throughout much of their lives.

I can’t remember where I read it now, (I’ve tried searching) but I read a few years ago that there are many scholars who believe that the legend of the Swan Princess / the Swan Lake Ballet is derived from the much older Legend of Kaguya. The main themes are very similar. This wikipedia article gives you a glimpse at the “Legend” of the Swan Princess The “Legend” is apparently much older than the ballet itself.

Here are a few of the similarities:

In these “Swan Maiden” tales, an unmarried man steals a robe of swan feathers from a woman in order to keep her from “flying away” – The maiden then bears children by this man. At some point the children come across the robe their father has hidden, or they ask their mother why she is always crying and go find the robe for her. As soon as she is given her robe she ascends to heaven without any hesitation or thought or attachment for her family or life as a human. Regarding those she leaves behind, wikipedia says this: “Although the children may grieve her, she does not take them with her. If the husband is able to find her again, it is an arduous quest, and often the impossibility is clear enough so that he does not even try.”

Kaguya is pursued by many unmarried men. She is given her robe of feathers when she ascends to the moon, and thus this ascending into the sky, can also be like “flying away”

Kaguya begins crying “always” uncontrollably near the end of her tale and her family always asks her what’s wrong / show concern for her.

Kaguya is given a robe of feathers which allows her to forget her time with her human family and friends so that she has no attachment or regrets leaving them (obviously Ghibli changed this part with one final glance back to Earth from their version of Princess Kaguya)

Kaguya’s family does grieve her but she cannot take them with her.

Kaguya tasks her “would-be” husbands with impossible quests – Even the Emperor himself cannot win Kaguya’s hand. After her disappearance, he sets out on his own arduous quest in the legend which would become the legend and folklore around Mount Fuji. 

The wikipedia article also states that “The swan maiden has appeared in numerous items of fiction, including the ballet Swan Lake, in which a young princess, Odette and her maidens are under the spell of an evil sorcerer, Von Rothbart, transforming them into swans by day. By night, they regain their human forms and can only be rescued if a young man swears eternal love and faithfulness to the Princess. When Prince Siegfried swears his love for Odette, the spell can be broken, but Siegfried is tricked into declaring his love for Von Rothbart’s daughter, Odile, disguised by magic as Odette, and all seems lost. But the spell is finally broken when Siegfried and Odette drown themselves in a lake of tears, uniting them in death for all eternity. While the ballet’s revival of 1895 depicted the swan-maidens as mortal women cursed to turn into swans, the original libretto of 1877 depicted them as true swan-maidens: fairies who could transform into swans at will.”

Kaguya has a special relationship to the Moon (symbol of the night).

The Emperor loved Kaguya (not as apparent in the Ghibli film, but VERY apparent in the original legend where he burns the letter and the elixir of life.)

In burning the elixir of life, he gives up immortality so that he can (one day) rejoin Kaguya in death.  

The Lake of Tears could signify how the Emperor wept for Kaguya (or in Ghibli’s case how her parents wept for her). 

The ability to transform into swans at will could be inspired by Kaguya’s ability to disappear at will. 

There is another tale from Japan with themes similar to Princess Kaguya, Tsuru no Ongaeshi, or the Crane Wife, about a crane who is caught in a trap. She is set free by an elderly couple and to repay their kindness she arrives as a human child, claiming to be lost. She asks them if they would take care of her as their own daughter, and the elderly couple happily agrees. To repay them for their kindness she begins to weave beautiful fabrics which she makes by plucking her own feathers. The fabrics sell for a lot of money and make the family very wealthy. She warns them they must never look in the room as she weaves. But overtime, curiosity overcomes the couple and they steal a glimpse only to find a crane and not a human in the room. With her identity revealed, she tells the couple she had hoped to always  remain their daughter, but she must now return to being a crane. In other versions of this legend, it is not a couple, but a young man who saves the crane disguised as a human. The two soon fall in love. In some versions he is sick and so the crane plucks her own feathers to make the fabric to sell for money to get medicine to save her husband. In other versions the husband is alive and well, but the crane becomes increasingly ill as she continues to pluck her feathers. As she plucks her last feather she must return to being a crane and leave her husband behind as the husband vows he will never forget her.

(source: Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsuru_no_Ongaeshi)

The legend of Kaguya predates the legend of Tsuru no Ongaeshi. You can already see how the folk lore was shifting but still similar to the original tale of Kaguya. From here, the similarities between Kaguya and Swan’s lake are even more apparent.

Obviously both Swan Lake and Tsuru no Ongaeshi feature a bird who has turned human.

Swan Lake’s maiden has lost a robe of feathers, while the Crane Wife has lost her feathers while making robes.

In relation to Kaguya, Once their true identities are uncovered they both must return to their former selves/worlds.

Also in relation to Kaguya, the main character is raised by or falls in love with humans – she then asks them to raise her as their own child. When she is leaving she tells them she never wanted to leave and always wanted to remain their child, but that she has no choice now. In the version with the husband, his vow of never forgetting her, could be similar to the Emperor’s love for Kaguya in the original legend and the lengths he went to even after her death or disappearance to prove his love and rejoin her in death.

As you can see, I had the most to say about Kaguya, despite it not being my favorite Ghibli film, but because of the interesting ancient legend on which it, and many other fairy tales, are based. The Legend of Kaguya predates all other tellings of similar nature which makes it even more interesting from a historical point of view.


Princess Mononoke

I dunno, Princess Mononoke honestly scares the hell out of me… Even looking at this gif scares the hell out of me… This movie is so unsettling… and it’s even “worse” dubbed – because then the lip syncing is all off and then it’s just even more eerie AF…. I think Princess Mononoke definitely has a good story… and it is no doubt beautiful…. and probably Ghibli’s most successful / well known film – I own it, I “like” it (even though it honestly gives me nightmares) – but damn son…. this movie just ain’t right lol…. Am I the only one that finds this movie just INHERENTLY creepy? It’s not even the infamously excessive amounts of blood and violence… it’s little things like this creepy-ass mother bugger right here….

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Only Yesterday

I thought this was a little bit of a bore. I generally love slice of life and romance films. I’m not sure why this one missed the mark for me. The story is told by a middle aged woman as she looks back on her childhood / early adulthood and reminisces about summers and her first love. Even though the majority of the film felt a little slow – I really really really really REALLY loved the later parts of the film — Especially the ending — One of the most memorable endings of any Ghibli film — or any film — ever. So good. I think overall though, the story suffers from some pacing issues and the constant back and forth from memories/present day. There are cute parts, sweet parts, dramatic parts, but in some ways it just felt like it dragged and droned on and on… That ending though… so emotional!! Loved it.

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My Neighbor Totoro

If you care to read more about My Neighbor Totoro – I did a review after attending the Gkids theatrical release last year. Read my Review of My Neighbor Totoro here.

As for how it ranks against other Ghibli films… Sorry Totoro – cute as you may be – and having owned the film as a kid, and seeing it again recently in theaters – I still love you for how cute you are, and the memorable characters – dust bunnies, cat bus, Totoro himself — but Totoro there’s just one problem, there’s just not much really happening in your film. One interesting theory suggests that the girls are actually dead, and that Totoro is a Shinigami (a spirit that only children can see which will guide them to the afeterlife. A sort of Grim Reaper that usually takes the form of animals or stuffed toys etc) – I think this theory could be plausible. And it would definitely make the movie a bit more interesting. Like Princess Mononoke, parts of Totoro are (perhaps unintentionally) Creepy AF!!… Also after seeing it in the theaters – Catbus has balls… just saying…. WTF? lol. XD Nothing like sitting in one of the front rows and seeing huge Catbus balls in my face as he leaps through the sky. – I have heard that Pompoko also features cute characters with huge balls lol. (though I haven’t seen it yet). Anyways, despite Totoro being the iconic mascot of Ghibli, basically equivalent to Mickey Mouse for Disney, the movie just isn’t that great. I love it for the heartwarming sweet characters, but yeah that’s about it. And the juxtaposition between the beginning and 2nd half of the film, is just kinda creepy. (although admittedly, that’s when things pick up rapidly and get more interesting.)

Studio Ghibli GIF


From Up on Poppy Hill

This film is absolutely beautiful to look at (Just look at the ambience in the gif below, how it perfectly captures the glow of the street lights and sunset) — But that’s about the only nice thing I can say about this film. I found it to be the most boring Ghibli film of all time. — But actually after reading Wikipedia to refresh my memory of this film (I only watched it once, and years ago) — I dunno – the plot sounds interesting to me; I may give this one another watch. The only thing I remembered from the film was the children trying to save their school and club house – which I think took up 90% of the film – and this part was boring to me, watching them clean and repair the building – etc. It just felt dull. I never felt like I cared about any of the characters, and therefore also never cared about their school or club house… But after reading Wikipedia it seems I missed the point of the film, which is a complicated love story. The two below fall in love, but find out that they may be siblings. I won’t say if they actually are – Wikipedia can give you that answer if you’re curious – Anyways the two struggle – first avoiding each other, then trying to remain “just friends” because of their situation – and then deciding that even despite their situation that they will embrace their feelings for each other. Another wiki dedicated to all things Ghibli says that the two also learn the “full story of how their parents met, loved, and lived”. This piques my interest even though after reading wikipedia I now know all of the details and don’t really need to watch the film – I still may rewatch this – and if need be, adjust my rankings of it because the drama honestly sounds like it’d be right up my alley, and that animation is just so pretty.

studio ghibli GIF


Ocean Waves

Well here is my least favorite Ghibli film… I hate it for one reason – The main girl is a total B-… She has NO redeeming qualities, NO remorse for her actions, and she does NOT change her ways or grow as a person at all. She remains this same horrible terrible crazy B– of a person…. But yet the main character falls in love with her and basically bends over backwards, throwing money and time and his emotions etc at this girl… and for what reason? But I know sometimes love and life are like this. Sometimes nice people get sucked in by people like this. Or sometimes love is just so unexplainable and inexplicable that we don’t really know WHY we love some one… Clearly she has no qualities that should make anyone love her. She is manipulative, cold, greedy, and just crazy. I can’t stand her… I want to scream and shake the main character’s shoulders like hey wake up, this girl is not good for you!!… But nope, in the end, they get their “happy ever after” – Man, way to romanticize abusive relationships. Domestic, Emotional, and Verbal abuse does not deserve to be twisted into some grand fantasy romance like this… I just can’t get on board with the characters in this film… They may be the most realistic and adult like of any Ghibli characters…. but I can’t believe how she treats him. Begging / Stealing money, Playing Victim all the Time, Dragging him and parading him like a trophy in front of your friends, Then turning your back on him, etc…. We do see that she is ostrichsized by her classmates too near the end for her behavior being called to light — and I get that the main character is Mr. Nice Guy and feels bad because suddenly she has no friends and everything… And he is also in a similar situation because of rumors that she and her friends started after their trip… but dang… I dunno he’s just TOO nice to her. She really doesn’t deserve someone as good as him. And it makes me mad. LOL. — I guess it’s still an interesting film… I definitely remember it and feel very very strongly about it… so there’s that at least… The movie and the characters are unique… and memorable… just not in a good way LOL.

ocean GIF


Studio Ghibli Films I have yet to watch – In no particular order:

  • Porco Rosso
  • Pom Poko
  • My Neighbors the Yamadas
  • Tales from Earthsea
  • The Wind Rises

Every Studio Ghibli Film Ranked From Best to Worst – Top 10 Studio Ghibli Films – The Best Studio Ghibli Films – The Worst Studio Ghibli Films was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

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Top 2018 PS4 Games For Girls

I did a lot of research for this list. So the 40 2018 PS4 Games below are not ranked in any particular order.

If I had to pick a few favorites it’d be Detroit Become Human, Kingdom Hearts 3, Shenmue 3, Stein’s Gate Elite, Atelier Lydie & Suelle, Yakuza 6, Your Four Knights Princess Training Story, Shining Resonance Refrain, A Way Out, FF7, and Ni No Kuni 2.

This is not a full release list for the PS4 in 2018, but instead a collection of games I thought would appeal to other gamers such as myself based either on story, anime graphics, cuteness, or gameplay mechanics.

Leave me a comment below and let me know what games you’re looking forward to on PS4 this year!

40+ PS4 Games for Girls Releasing in 2018

1.) Moss

A virtual reality game that features a mouse who knows sign language. The environment is beautiful and the characters are adorable.

2.) Ni No Kuni 2 Revenant Kingdom

Ni No Kuni Wrath of the White Witch is one of my favorite PS3 games. So it’s no surprise that I’m eagerly awaiting the sequel from Studio Ghibli and Level 5 on the PS4 in 2018.

3.) Red Dead Redemption 2

It’s not often that I enjoy a shooting game; however, I am quite fond of the original back on the 360. I enjoy the open world environment, myriad of quests, and choice and consequence system. The horseback riding was also fun.

4.) Detroit: Become Human

I think above any other title on my list, I’m most excited about this PS4 Exclusive from the makers of Heavy Rain and Beyond Two Souls. It’s a story driven game where the player must make choices at various points which will fork the story down different branches resulting in different endings.

5.) Shenmue 3

Shenmue 3 broke records when it debuted on kickstarter 2 years ago. Finally the wait is over as the title will launch in mid 2018. In case you missed the first two games, rumors abound about an HD remaster that will include both Shenmue 1 and 2 also arriving on PS4 in 2018.

6.) Knights and Bikes

This quirky cute co-op game aims to recapture the feelings of childhood innocence and fun. You can explore a colorful island, fight baddies with water balloons or race your friends on your bicycles.

7.) Bloodstained Ritual of the Night

This is basically a Castlevania game, except since Kojima left Konami, he’s not allowed to use the name Castlevania anymore. I’m also digging the anime style characters as opposed to the more photo realistic characters the series has been using recently.

8.) Final Fantasy 7 Remake

The wait is almost over for the Final Fantasy Remake with new stories, new visuals, and new combat systems. This is more than just an “HD Port” this is a reworking of the game from scratch, using the same characters, world, and story, but improving upon it in many ways.

9.) The Last Of Us Part 2

This story driven post-apocalyptic action game is finally getting a sequel.

10.) Death Stranding

Kojima’s answer to Konami cancelling his Silent Hills game. It looks creepy AF. So if horror is your thing, check this one out. I’ll be picking it up but I know I won’t be able to play it alone in the dark.

11.) Beyond Good and Evil 2

Fans have been begging for this sequel for years, and now finally, the wait is almost over. This quirky series is best known for its anthropomorphic animals and charming worlds.

12.) Kingdom Hearts 3

I am currently preparing for Kingdom Hearts 3 by playing the Kingdom Hearts 1.5 and 2.5 HD Remix which combines like 8 of the Kingdom Hearts games. I was a big fan of Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 when it first came out on PS2, and am excited to revisit the worlds of Kingdom Hearts again in KH3.

13.) Monster Hunter World

Open world RPG adventure game with huge monsters and a variety of weapons and equipment.

14.) Concrete Genie

Your graffiti creations come to life in this PS4 exclusive.

15.) Anamorphine

Another PS4 VR game. This virtual reality game puts you in the role of a young man trying to recover his memories and make sense of the world around him. The story is about his relationship and his wife’s depression.

16.) Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Hacker’s Memory

This prequel will reveal the events leading up to Digimon Cyber Sleuth as you play as Keisuke, a young man accused of a crime he didn’t commit. He must join a team of hackers to uncover the truth. Over 320 Digimon to discover.

17.) Iconoclasts

This game is full of intricate puzzles and a deeply moving story about faith, purpose, and the challenge of helping people.

18.) Dissidia: Final Fantasy NT

The characters from various final fantasy games return for this fun crossover fighting game.

19.) Past Cure

This story driven stealth game will let players use a variety of skills that blend dreams and reality as they try to help the main character master his new found powers while escaping from frightening horrors.

20.) Shadow of the Colossus

A story of a boy trying to find his lost love. Armed with only a bow and arrow you must battle fearsome giants.

21.) The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia

Based on the hit Netflix anime, this beautiful looking brawler features all of your favorite characters in a brand new storyline.

22.) Under Night In-Birth EXE:Late[ST]

This new fighting game from the creators of Melty Blood and Tsukihime features not only great anime artwork, but an excellent story in campaign mode as well. The game blends story and fighting sequences in a similar fashion as Blazblue

23.) Crossing Souls

This colorful adventure game takes place in the 1980s in California. It features puzzle solving and fighting.

24.) Kingdom Come Deliverance

Kingdom Come Deliverance is an open world first person action RPG with non-linear story and stunning graphics.

25.) Secret of Mana

This gorgeous remake of the SNES classic will launch in February 2018.

26.) Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet

Based on the popular Sword Art Online Anime. This new title features gun-based combat and 4 player co-op or vs modes.

27.) Frantics

Cute animal characters star in this 4 player party game where you must bluff, battle, or negotiate your way to victory.

28.) Yakuza 6: The Song of Life

Yakuza is a spin off of the Shenmue Series. It features a deep lengthy storyline, intriguing characters, and of course crazy, fun, zany minigames, all in an open world. New to Yakuza 6 is the cat cafe and spear fishing just to name a few.

29.) A Way Out

A narrative game that can only be played with 2 players. Don’t worry if you don’t have any friends, you can play online as well as local co-op. The story revolves around 2 men trying to break out of prison. To do so you must make decisions in the story that will help build trust and friendship between the two inmates.

30.) Dollhouse

An interesting game that lets you create your own maps and stories. It seems to be about artificial intelligence. The multiplayer mode says you are fighting for control to be the “dominant mind”.

31.) The Lost Child

The Lost Child is an anime RPG in which you are able to collect over 50 different gods from various mythologies and train over 250 different skills.  It includes both English and Japanese voice overs.

32.) The Witch and The Hundred Knight 2

This cute anime RPG lets you craft new weapons and items as well as recruit minions to fight for you.

33.) Gintama Rumble

This fighting game is based on the hit anime and manga. It will launch in January 2018.

34.) Fist of the North Star

From the developer of Yakuza, this action brawler is based on the hit retro anime and manga by the same name.

35.) Stein’s Gate Elite

This is a remastered version of the original Stein’s Gate game using animation taken directly from the anime based on the first game plus new animation created for this game. The goal was to create a fully animated visual novel (as opposed to still images). The developers are said to have been inspired from Yarudora, a series of fully animated visual novels from the 90s. I would also compare it to School Days HQ which is also fully animated. (and that animation style is why it ranks among our top 10 games for girls). I reviewed the original Stein’s Gate here. I highly recommend it. And since the first and second Stein’s Gate games have both been released in North America, I’d say there’s a good chance we will see an English release for Stein’s Gate Elite as well.

36.) Your Four Knights Princess Training Story

A “Raising Sim” similar to games such as Princess Maker and Graduation 95. Gematsu has an excellent article detailing how you will train your princess. Basically it involves scolding or praising your princess at various times, for example during conversations or while exploring dungeons. The story and characters change based on your decisions and how you raise your princess. The princesses each have various parameters that you can train to unlock new skills or increase their stats to help them in battle.

37.) Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists & the Mysterious Paintings

Atelier games focus on gathering ingredients and crafting new items. As you can see from the trailer, they feature beautiful anime graphics, and deep stories. Their gameplay is often long, and at times it can get tedious, however, for those who love crafting and exploring, Atelier offers the ultimate crafting system.

38.) Super Robot Wars X

Gematsu indicates that there will be a southeast asian version of this game with English subtitles. For fans wanting to play these games in English you should be able to import the game from Play Asia. It appears to be a compilation of many different retro Super Robot War titles, better known as Gundamn in North America.

39.) OK K.O. Let’s Play Heroes

This colorful brawler game from Cartoon Network arrives in early 2018.

40.) Shining Resonance Refrain

This is a remaster of the PS3 Shining Resonance Game, part of Sega’s Shining Force/Shining Wisdom game series. The PS3 version was never released in North America. Perhaps the new PS4 remake will find its way overseas. In addition to new graphics, this version includes new story scenarios and gameplay modes.

Top 2018 PS4 Games For Girls was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

The Best Upcoming & New Release 2018 PC Games for Girls

Back in the 90s I barely played PC Games, because so few existed that appealed to my tastes. There were exceptions of course, Torment, Fallout 1 and 2, Baulder’s Gate, Icewind Dale, King’s Quest (and other Sierra titles), Ever 17 (and anything else by Hirameki International), Petz, Black and White, Creatures, Graduation 95, and a handful of other gems that weren’t available on my consoles.

But largely, console gaming was the highlight of my childhood. That’s where all the anime games or JRPGs or story rich games were, especially in the 16 and 32 bit eras, which still remain my favorite gaming period of all time. Genesis, Sega CD, SNES, Saturn, PS1, PS2, and Dreamcast, the majority of my favorite games, still to this day, lived on one of those great consoles.

But nowadays, I barely play console games anymore. Occasionally there may be an exclusive that catches my eye, such as Persona 5 on PS4, or Tokyo Mirage Sessions on the Wii U. I even bought a Wii U just for that game in fact.

But now, so many games are cross platform, and so many people like me, who grew up in the 16 and 32 bit eras are making their own indie games now such as To the Moon, Always Sometimes Monsters, Rakuten, Undertale, etc. This completely changes the gaming landscape. Now PC is by and far my preferred gaming “platform” of choice.

And where once, JRPGs reigned on Consoles, they now thrive on the PC or even on mobile devices, and in the past 5 years we’ve seen a huge explosion of visual novels and Otome games as well on both PC and mobile – and barely any of those have been released (at least in English) on consoles.

Where once the PC had almost no games that appealed to my tastes, now suddenly, more and more each year, I find the PC to offer so many games I want to play that I don’t have the time, nor money, to possibly play them all! I have over 700 steam games already (and a handful on Origin, and about 50 more on GOG, and then of course my old CDs from the 90s which have yet to get released digitally.) And that’s not taking into account the PC’s ability to emulate the console games I own (probably around 300+ games there too). And emulation is perfectly legal as long as you own the original games, which I still do.

This puts the number of games I can play on my PC right now today, without buying a single thing, at well over 1,000 games! — How many of those games I’ve actually played, is probably around 25%, and how many I’ve beaten to completion / all endings etc, is probably like 5%. lol. But the point is, there has never been a better time to play girl games on your PC. If you’re a girl, there’s plenty of games that you should check out on PC. This wasn’t the case 20 years ago; my how the landscape has changed!

Here is a list of games due out in 2018 that are on my radar! I’ve selected these games for one of the following reasons: Decisions Matter, Branching Plot, Multiple Endings, Cute/Kawaii Graphics, Excellent Story, Innovating (or at least really fun) Gameplay, and Customization. If you look for the same qualities in your games, check out the list below. Warning, it’s long.

This list is not in any order – largely it’s sorted by release date, because that’s how I was browsing the games while researching this post.


Sea Dogs

Our first recommendation reminds me of Horizons New Dawn, one of my all time favorite super nintendo games.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/764670/


Sorcery Jokers

This visual Novel Has Some Beautiful Graphics

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/703730/


Til the Dawn, Waiting

This looks sad, and also features animals, a powerful combination to tug at any heart strings

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/761760/


Franky the Bumwalker

Super cute and colorful adventure game that probably doesn’t take itself too seriously.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/761310/


Dragon Cliff

This indie RPG features an extesnive crafting system and city building aspects as well as cute retro graphics.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/758190/


Stunt Corgi VR

If you’re lucky enough to have a VR headset you might like this title that lets you create obstacle courses and watch a cute corgi try to navigate the courses you create.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/665080/


Project Bits

If you like rhythm games, you might like this one with cute anime artwork. Plus it’s free to play.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/581150/


The Mind Hero

An anime visual novel where you help 8 different characters overcome their trauma. It aims to teach psychology inside a video game. It’s also free and features a comic book style.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/502050/


Katyusha

This looks to be a very emotionally engaging and beautiful pixel retro style RPG. The developers have said that the game uses real-life world war 2 letters that were written by soldiers to their families.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/749160/


Battletech

The ability to customize everything about your mechs and the appeal of mecha genres from decades of anime such as macross, robotech, go lion, voltron, evangelion, gundamn, etc, make this appeal to me, despite the more dark realistic graphics. The gameplay looks fantastic. And who doesn’t love giant robots?

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/637090/


In The Valley of Gods

Explore pyramids in this narrative adventure.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/687440/


Villages

This game aims to balance the skills and economy of its players so that they are forced to work together. Sounds promising. Let’s see how that works once the game releases.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/749820/


Grow Bot

This just looks so utterly adorable!

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/661680/


Boyfriend Dungeon

With a name like Boyfriend Dungeon, how could this not make our list? It’s an otome dating sim and hack n slash RPG adventure, where the boys are weapons.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/674930/


The Iron Oath

I am beyond excited for this game! True, it doesn’t have the visual aesthetic that I like, but nearly everything about the gameplay appeals to me greatly! Decisions matter, the guild management sounds fun, every character has a back story. Characters die / perma death, you recruit new characters, I’m ready to play this awesome looking tactical RPG.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/699330/


Living the Deal

Business Management and Life Simulation Game. This one is high on my wishlist (despite how hideously ugly the characters look lol).

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/647550/


Wolf Gang

Play as cute wolves chasing cute sheep in a game which promises unlockable content and character customization.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/761040/


Freedom Planet 2

Furrie fans and fans of old school Sonic games still love the original Freedom Planet, and soon the wait is over for the much anticipated sequel.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/595500/


The Forgettable Dungeon

Co-op Action RPG that you can play with up to 15 friends.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/375810/


Next Up Hero

This MMORPG has some unique gameplay features, such as no healing, except for when you die. When you die, you come back as an “avenger” and can heal other players, until you decide to take over one of their corpses and rejoin the fray. When you die, someone can also take over your character. So don’t get too attached.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/613280/


Leilani’s Island

This super colorful platformer looks like a lot of fun and has a great brightly colored retro style.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/664640/


Sentou Gakuen: Revival

This is an MMORPG Visual Novel. All of the characters in the novel are other players just like you. Not sure how that will work out, but it’s innovative and different – that’s for sure. And that alone makes me curious enough to want to play this one.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/405680/


Dungeon of Zaar

Dungeon of Zaar has a great style, and some fun looking gameplay mechanics including pvp and local multiplayer.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/613590/


Wytchwood

Wytchwood looks absolutely beautiful and the crafting and exploration gameplay mechanics really appeal to me as well.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/729000/


Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

They promise that choices will truly matter in this RPG inspired by D&D and featuring pirates on the high seas.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/560130/


Cyberdimension Neptunia 4

A new Neptunia game, because why not? I love the cute graphics and silly nonsense storylines of these games.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/632350/


Jenny LeClue

I love the handdrawn artstyle here. But what I love even more is that decisions and choices matter and “permanently” influence other “characters” (by that I think the Devs mean in sequels or episodic content that will be created.) The Devs also say that “The goal is for everything to be interactive, to reward players who poke and prod at every last item and object with insight, secrets, and humor.” Which fits my playstyle anyways. Exploration is often my favorite part of gameplay.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/319870/


Tunic

They don’t have much information available. But you play as a fox in a colorful world.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/553420/


Transference

This is a VR game although it’s not listed as requiring a VR headset to play so that remains to be seen. If I’m able to play without a VR Headset (because I don’t own one yet), I’m going to be all over this game. It has a deep “psychological” story. Your choices matter. The Devs say “The choices you make from every angle ripple through time and space, as you learn their story.” – I’m extremely interested in this game – maybe even enough to break down and buy a VR headset if it requires one.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/647570/


Skull & Bones

This must be the year of pirate games. This is the 3rd such game to make my list. You start out very low, and then recruit your own gang of pirates and customize everything about your ship, as you grow your infamousy and riches. You can play alone or with up to 5 players.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/370010/


Donut Country

This somehow reminds me of Katamari, except instead of rolling things up, you’re a hole and you swallow things, and the more things you swallow the bigger your hole gets, allowing you to swallow even larger things. I love Katamari, so I suspect I’ll love this game too. The cute colorful graphics also appeal to me.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/702670/


Wattam

Speaking of Katamari, here is a new game from Katamari’s creator. In this game you explode everywhere. The bigger your explosion, the more friends who come to play. The graphics are super cute, things like frying pans, bacons, eggs, poo, etc all with cute little anime faces drawn on. It’s very colorful. And there’s nothing else like it.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/702680/


Darksiders III

If you’re a fan of the first 2 Darksiders games, the 3rd installment is due out in 2018.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/606280/


Lost in Harmony

They’re hailing this as the first musical runner – but I don’t think it is, because I distinctly remember a game on PC a few years ago that let you run to any MP3 on your PC. But well regardless of if it’s first or not, it looks fun. You can create your own levels, as well as customize your characters.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/509400/


Just Us

Animal breeding, farming, crafting, fishing, foraging, and probably a pretty deep philosophical story about a couple questioning if they’re the only people left in the world after a catastrophic event.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/612660/


Lost in Bardo

Pretty looking pixel game with a philosophical story and puzzle solving gameplay.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/741730/


Jengo

A gorgeous looking point n click adventure paying hommage to many 90s retro games.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/671430/


Chiffa 2

Play as a cute little fox trying to save his best friend, a chicken, from a big bad wolf.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/563600/


OSM Old School Musical

The crazy looking chaotic gameplay and colorful retro graphics make this rhythm game stand out from the rest

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/398030/


Orcish Inn

Very cute survival game in which you farm, build, and manage a tavern.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/533800/


College Days

Visual Novel with some very pretty artwork.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/467700/


Astrologaster

Interesting concept for a game, you cast and interpret astrology charts as a doctor to answer your patient’s questions. I’m kinda interested in astrology (especially numerology (not necessarily related to this game just as an aside)) so my interest in this title is piqued by sheer curiosity. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game about astrology before.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/742520/


Village Monsters

Animal Crossing clone, looks cute, fun, and relaxing.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/679830/


Where Cards Fall

This looks fun, and seems to have a fairly decent story about childhood memories shaping our perspectives as adults.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/589450/


Alone Without Her

A story where your choices matter about a man who survives while his wife dies in an experiment that would freeze them for 1,000 years. The concept sounds similar to Passengers, which I saw last year and rather liked, so I’ll probably enjoy this story too.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/527560/


Miracle Mia

This game looks very colorful and cute.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/608670/


Cursed Lands

For the first time in any Winter Wolves game you can sleep with more than one love interest. The devs say – However, they also caution you to be ready to deal with the consequences of that decision. You can bluff and intimidate enemies in this RPG / Dating sim hybrid.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/758320/


Fault Silence the Pendant

Takes place 5 years before the events in Fault Milestone One

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/487500/


Xaiga Wars

Visual Novel with Very Cute Graphics

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/727960/


A Near Dawn

A Psychological Visual Novel / Point n Click adventure with full voice acting and multiple endings.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/728170/


Unto The End

This game looks both beautiful and challenging, and it also features choices and consequences that change the story of the game.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/600080/


Once Upon a Coma

I love the art style of this game. I’m betting the truth at the end of the story is also pretty sad.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/733210/


Broken Reality

Colorful Adventure Game which is set in a parody world based on the 1990s internet. Cut ads with your katana, collect likes to upgrade your social media accounts to reach new worlds, purchase upgrades, and make new friends. The Devs promise a game with no violence as well.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/757480/


We the Revolution

Fun looking political simulator based on the French revolution.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/736850/


Dodgeball Rising

Cute looking anime style multiplayer dogeball game

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/687580/


Riverbond

Gorgeous looking little voxel game with lots to explore and collect

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/459370/


Kitten Super Adventure

I actually promoted this game awhile back I’m excited because it looks to combine Spyro with Adorable kittens.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/347530/


Mineko’s Night Market

Play as a cute girl, in a cute Japanese inspired world, full of cats! Extensive crafting system, fun mini games, and a market where you can sell anything you make or find. I’m definitely picking this game up!

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/762940/


Indivisible

From the dev team that brought you Skullgirls comes a new 2D adventure, with music provided by the composer of Secret of Mana.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/421170/


The Eldritch Zookeeper

Raise horrible monsters in this simulation game inspired by Themepark World and Dungeon Keeper

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/654960/


Battle of the Bands

Another visual novel game. This one doesn’t look terribly good to me, but I will play it before passing judgement.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/467710/


Spoxel

Looks quite similar to Terraria. I love Terraria… but I wonder what this game has that will differ enough from Terraria to make me want to purchase yet another minecraft clone.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/746880/


Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass

Colorful little RPG with an Adult Story

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/706560/


The Gardens Between

Beautiful puzzle game with time travel and nostalgia.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/600990/


Knights and Bikes

This charming adventure game is full of nostalgia and looks fun, especially in multiplayer. It’s from the creator of Little Big Planet and Tearaway Unfolded which I loved both of those games, so I have pretty high hopes for this one as well.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/592480/


Rainswept

Love, Relationships, and unresolved trauma? Sign me up for that. 🙂 This looks to have a fairly deep and depressing story.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/772290/


Booth

I have a feeling this game will play like Papers Please or Beholder. You work in a food inspection booth, how you react to NPCs determines your fate and changes the story and endings.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/761350/


Futurust

A hand-drawn point n click adventure game about robots.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/745980/


My Girlfriend

A visual novel in a highschool setting with cute girls.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/467690/


Ciel Fledge

Basically Princess Maker – Which I have reviewed here. I need more Princess Maker in my life, so heck yeah, I’ll be buying this.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/738270/


The Luckless Seven

Visual Novel that differentiates itself from the rest with an innovative card game system.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/433370/


The Last Night

Absolutely beautiful looking scifi game.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/612400/


Echo Tokyo

Dark Visual Novel set in a dystopian Tokyo

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/506640/


Tiny Thor

Colorful looking retro platformer where you throw Thor’s hammer to attack your foes.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/541310/


City Game Studio

Manage your own gaming company

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/726840/


Prehistoric Kingdom

Jurassic Park simulator anyone?

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/666150/


The Adventure Pals

Cute Comical and Colorful little platformer

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/396710/


Deiland

Anime sandbox game with farming and quest mechanics similar to Stardew Valley and Harvest Moon

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/760620/


Warped Reality

Cyberpunk Visual Novel with truly lovely anime inspired artwork

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/604030/


Ooblets

OMG I almost forgot about this game. I remember when it was first announced, and now, the wait is almost over, as it will launch some time in 2018

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/593150/


Reality Raiders

Perhaps inspired by Secret of Evermore and Chrono Trigger, this little indie RPG lets you travel through different periods in the past to understand your present and shape your future.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/671770/


Mystic Destinies Echoes

This visual novel has a somewhat realistic painterly style and takes place in Atlantis.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/721550/


Snares of Ruin

6 Romanceable Ladies. You can form platonic or romantic relationships. How you interact with them determines the flow of the story.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/766940/


Detective Case and Clown Bot: The Express Killer

This point n click has cartoon-network or simpsons esque animation. It probably doesn’t take itself too seriously either.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/711920/


Beavers Be Damned

Cute 2 player Co-Op game where you play as cute beavers avoiding crazy obstacles as you try to build your dam.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/764570/


GNOG

Adorable colorful puzzle game that takes place inside monsters’ heads. Seems to have an emphasis on exploration and puzzle solving. My only concern is it may be quite short as it only has 9 levels.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/290510/


I Saw Her Standing There

Colorful kinda abstract looking action/puzzle game with over 300 levels to explore. The devs say that their game is “about love, death, and pancakes”.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/453910/


Wonder Wickets

Colorful and Cute Miniature Golf game.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/598640/


Dab on Em Haters

Celebrity Vlogger Simulation with cute pixel graphics – Caution this one has explicit insults and hate speech, but that’s kinda the point of the game. Pick which topics to vlog about, then respond to your comments. The goal is to like positive comments while “dabbing” negative comments. (Do you know how old this game makes me feel? I thought dabbing was a thing kids do with their arms for selfie pics, that some football player started. Since when did Dabbing become a negative word? lol. I’m too old for this game. lol.)

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/769060/


CasinoRPG

I actually mentioned this game in a roundup of Casino Simulation Games – It used to be a web browser based game, and now it’s coming to Steam. I don’t know what if any improvements or changes have been made between versions. It’s a city building simulation that lets you build, run, and play in your own casino.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/658970/


Midnight Quest

Very cute looking point n click adventure game.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/698450/


Heroes of Arzar

Cute, free anime collectible card game

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/628190/


Meanwhile

Well, I had never heard of this comic or the author, Jason Shiga, until just now. The art style kinda reminds me of the Oatmeal. Apparently this comic creator incorporates puzzles and choose your own adventure elements into his comic books (maybe similar to the goosebump novels I read as a kid back in the 90s? lol). I’m curious to check this game, and some of his comics, out now.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/714980/


Love Story: The Beach Cottage

I usually don’t play hidden object games – I know a lot of girls love them, it’s just never been my cup of tea. But this one sounds intrigueing because of the sad story. A woman very late in her life (50+) returns to a beach home to execute her deceased father’s final will. She hasn’t been back in this house for over 40 years, and she will relive memories of her first lost love and become stronger in the process.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/770880/


Survived By

This is an MMO Bullet Hell Game with Permadeath. After you die, you come back a little bit stronger as one of your descendants. It says there are different descendants to collect. Might be interesting, although probably also very frustrating too.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/606140/


I Love My Brother

While many readers will be put off by the nature of this story being such a taboo subject, I’ve included it in the list anyways for a few different reasons. 1.) It’s a visual novel. 2.) You play as Beth (a girl) 3.) This makes it an Otome Game. 4.) It’s a game told by reading entries in Beth’s Journal 5.) The journal is full of cute colorful stickers, beautiful handwriting, and other charming graphics. 6.) The story doesn’t bother me that much. Some of my favorite Korean Dramas have that incest component, such as 90 Days Time to Love and Autumn in my Heart. 7.) Little Sister Kana is one of the greatest visual novels of all time. 8.) If the game handles the story tastefully, and doesn’t make it just a raunchy taboo fantasy, there’s potential here for a very sweet and sad love story (such as in the games and Kdramas I’ve mentioned above). 9.) For all of those reasons I will give this game a shot.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/769210/


Sister’s Love

I can’t tell if this game is the same as the one above or not. It also is about a brother and sister in love. Different names though. It’s also told through a journal, although the stickers and graphics in the journal look different. In this one they have a more mature/romantic look, and in the other a more bright colorful cheery innocent look. Anyways it’s included for the same reasons as the above.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/771520/


Maze of Adventures

The retro style colorful graphics in this puzzle game look quite cute.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/766740/


Lunch Truck Tycoon 2

Open World Simulation Game that lets you manage a food truck. I want some street tacos now lol.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/660120/


Nantucket

I don’t really approve of hunting whales and dolphins (IRL), but the game sounds fun anyways. Loosely based on Moby Dick, this game allows you to customize your ship and crew as you sail around the world to hunt Moby Dick, in what they call a whaling strategy game.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/621220/


Ascendant Hearts

Humorous Parody Visual Novel with some lovely graphics that pokes fun at itself as well as the genre.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/595730/


Dude, Stop

I don’t really know if there’s any point to this game lol. People seem to think it’s funny. At least the developer thinks he is funny. Maybe it is, maybe it’s not. But it’s strange, and dares to be different, so it earned a spot on our list anyways. The point of the game is to do the opposite of whatever the developer (narrator) tells you to do, or not, it’s up to you. His narration changes as you play depending on your choices. Make him angry and he will yell at you.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/574560/


Cicadas

I really love the artwork in this visual novel. Cicadas are annoying though. I distinctly remember hating that sound effect in other visual novels (I think Tsukihime used them? I can’t recall which novel it was now, but it talked about it being hot in the summer and the cicadas hissing. And it had this horrible cicada sound effect and no background music at this part, and it drove me crazy.) — Anyways here’s another visual novel with probably more equally annoying cicada buzzing sound effects. PS: I always thought Cicadas were a Japanese thing – until last summer when I heard them in real life, here in Western Pennsylvania. They apparently only come up from their burrows once every 17 years – Thank god because they are annoying AF. And I have a phobia about insects. — I’ll still play this beautiful visual novel, despite my fear and loathing of Cicadas (or insects in general lol).

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/710840/


My Big Sister

I kinda feel like this game is trying too hard to be dark and edgy and “cool”. The character you play as is a 12 year old girl (although the devs can’t seem to decide if she’s 8 or 12 as they make reference to her being 8 as well). She tries to rescue her 19 year old sister after they are both kidnapped. The graphics are cute, but the writing looks like trash. How many 12 year olds cuss like sailors? They say she has a sarcastic playful attitude and that she’s not as scared as her big sister – but still, that seems too much. This game’s script looks terrible and that’s just from the screenshots and trailer. Random explicit words for no reason at all do not make your game more “adult” or “dark” or “edgy” or “cool”. In fact, it kinda makes your game the opposite of those things. Of course, occasionally well timed explicit words can add to the feelings/emotions of a story. But when there’s 3 or 4 expletives used within a 6 sentence paragraph, that’s way too many. Which is a shame, because the graphics and actual gameplay look very nice.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/733300/


Spring Breeze

Chinese Visual Novel (with English subtitles) where you date twin sisters and experience university life in China. I feel this translation and writing may be subpar, but the graphics are really pretty, so depending on the price, it may still be worth checking out. Sounds short. 10 scenes, and only 2 endings.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/692790/


Tale of Toast

Very cute looking free-to-play MMORPG. It promises to not be pay-to-win as the only micro-transactional items will be things like transferring to another server or buying cosmetic only items such as pets and costumes (that do not grant stat bonuses). It has optional PVP and procedurely generated dungeons. It uses a classless system and includes crafting and exploration.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/640150/


FEN: Prologue

Survival game that has you dumpster diving for resources. Cute pixel graphics and a procedurely generated world.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/736830/

As an aside, there’s another game, simply called FEN that will release at the end of the month as well.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/771170/


Foxus

Beautiful game where you play as a fox, doing things foxes do, hunting rabbits, exploring the forests, etc. It reminds me a lot of Shelter 1 and 2 (dunno if it’s by the same dev team, or just inspired by such games though).

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/644130/


Skelattack

Play as an adorable skeleton and his best friend, a cute little bat in this rogue like, where monsters in the dungeons are friendly and human invaders are the enemy.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/605800/


Talk to Saki

An idle visual novel game, where time passes in real time. You type questions to Saki using keywords, and check in on her every day. New conversations happen each day.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/771100/

(as an aside, there’s also a game called Talk to Aya that came out about 2 months ago and is $1.99 on steam. Aya is more “my type” because she reminds me of myself. While Saki is very athletic and outdoorsy, Aya is an indoors type who loves manga.)

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/731930/


The Pirate’s Fate

Over 300 choices that matter with 45 different romances in this gorgeously animated furrie game.
http://store.steampowered.com/widget/553480/


Stage Fright

This game meshes together 2 very different genres, rhythm and horror game. The better you play, the harder the game tries to scare you and the more difficult the game becomes.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/771470/


MatchyGotchy

Adorable Colorful Virtual Pet Game

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/772700/


The Red Strings Club

Interact with customers as a bartender with a story presenting moral dilemmas and decisions about happiness and the means to obtain it.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/589780/


The Scent of Summer

Virtual Reality Game (VR Headset Required) where you walk home with a cute anime girl.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/778260/


Iconoclasts

Cute platformer with a heart wrenching story.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/393520/


Staxel

Adorable anime voxel farming game, similar to Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/405710/


Lost Sphear

From the creators of I am Setsuna

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/525240/


OK K.O.! Let’s Play Heroes

Super cute and colorful game based on the cartoon network show of the same name.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/680700/


My Time at Portia

Seems to pay hommage to Rune Factory, Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley, Atelier, Mana Khemia, and other similar gaming series

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/666140/


Wildlife Park Remastered Gold

Includes remastered versions of Wildlife Park and Wildlife Creatures. You can train, breed, research, and catch various animal species.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/664120/


Zweii The Arges Adventure

Beautiful looking humorous JRPG from XSEED with tons of minigames and a leveling system that involves eating or hoarding and trading food for better food.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/427680/


Legrand Legacy: Tale of the Fatebounds

This beautiful looking indie RPG pays homage to many great 90s and early 2k RPGs. It includes minigames, crafting, and city building aspects as well as traditional turn based RPG combat.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/556740/


Luvocious

3 games in one. The first is a dating sim/visual novel. The second is more of a traditional JRPG/Dungeon Crawler. The final one is a scifi setting with gun based gameplay. Each with an anime and retro feeling.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/714730/


Dead in Vinland

I’m already sold just by this feature right here “Build your community of up to 14 playable characters. Meaningful choices will alter the relationships in your team and the story. Expect romances, hatred and betrayals!” – But in addition to that, it has a huge world with over 150 maps to explore and more than 150 items to craft as well.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/573120/


Onmyoji

Very colorful and beautiful strategy game set around the characters and stories within Japanese folklore.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/551170/


Dust and Salt

Decisions matter in this narrative adventure game

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/766630/


Egypt Old Kingdom

City Building and Political Simulation in Ancient Egypt.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/646500/


Celeste

Beautiful little platformer with plenty of secrets and mysteries to unravel.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/504230/


Grisaia Phantom Trigger 4

The story that began with Fruit of Grisaia continues in this new installment

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/761670/


Timber Tennis

Cute and colorful pixelart in an online or local multiplayer tennis game.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/321160/


My Life as a Maiden

Cute looking visual novel where you play as the only boy (disguised as a girl) at an all girl’s school. (This theme is done to death in these games, but the nice artwork may be enough to make this one worth picking up as well.)

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/754840/


Melancholy Republic

Decisions matter as you take the role of a young heroine trying to run the country after her father’s assassination in this JRPG inspired indie game with an excellent soundtrack performed by a live orchestra.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/436240/


Ultimate Arena: Showdown

The graphics look a bit crude, but the game seems wacky and different, and fun, and does feature large amounts of character customization.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/757160/


Clumsy Knights

Very cute little indie RPG with an extensive crafting system

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/765360/


YumeCore

This looks cute and colorful, although a bit nonsensical and crazy.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/771240/


Make Sail

Build Sailboats, sail to other islands to gather materials to make better sailboats, and rinse and repeat.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/417200/


Slave Story

Cute anime style game where you play an indie game maker and interact with a cute anime girl.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/736520/


Where the Water Tastes Like Wine

A collection of short stories from authors all over North America

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/447120/


Minotaur

Point n click game with nice anime style artwork and dark story.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/680590/


Soul Saga

Gorgeous looking indie game inspired by classic JRPGs

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/251590/


Mhakna Gramura and Fairy Bells

This is by the same author as Fault Milestone One and apparently, at one point, these visual novels were all books? Hundreds of years ago? Like in real life? I was not aware of that. This is a kinetic novel meaning there are no choices, no branching plots, and only 1 ending. However it is beautiful and part of a very popular series of visual novels. The story is mentioned in several of the games, but only recently has the full text been discovered because the book is hundreds of years old. This makes it kind of an interesting way to preserve history.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/753220/


Fatal Twelve

Another very beautiful looking visual novel with female protagonist.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/620210/


Bacon May Die

Very colorful brawler game with cute little pigs. Customize your pig and fight off hoards of bacon hungry zombies. It looks cute and has a good sense of humor as well.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/646240/


Serment – Contract with a devil

Indie tactical RPG and Dating Sim hybrid with lots of cute anime girls.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/632900/


Final Fantasy 12 Zodiac Age

A remake of FFXII with a few new gameplay mechanics.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/595520/


Foto Flash

This may be similar to Sonicomi which I reviewed here.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/778610/


CHUCHEL

Cute funny little puzzle adventure game with adorable characters.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/711660/


Startup Freak

This game lets you simulate many aspects of building a startup conmpany, from designing your office, hiring team members, researching and developing new products

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/722660/


Into the Breach

Interesting looking strategy/simulation game with mechs and time travel.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/590380/


Mulaka

Action RPG with gameplay similar to Zelda and based on ancient Mexican lore.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/623640/


Scythe

Boardgame with strong focus on faction choice and strategy.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/718560/


RPG in a Box

If you’re looking to create your own games, RPG in a Box may be an alternative to the popular RPG Maker series.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/498310/


Guardians of Arcadia

A very cute anime indie game inspired by classic JRPGs

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/456140/


Shots Fired

Explore with your cellphone, take photos for buzzfeed (fuzzbeed), and avenge your wife and daughter (and reclaim your tv) in this pixel based action adventure game.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/650120/


Episicava

Anime styled episodic visual novel

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/618430/


Toe Jam & Earl: Back in the Groove

The original games on Sega Genesis are some of my favorite childhood memories. Days and weeks on end spent playing with my best friend.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/516110/


Griftlands

It seems decisions matter quite a bit in this cartoon style indie RPG

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/601840/


Omina Mortis

I like the concept of this game, which is basically a visual novel in story book format; however, it is clear English is not their first language. Their steam store description needs help, and if that’s any indication as to the quality of the writing within the actual game, this game may be nearly unplayable. For example the description says: “In Omnia Mortis you will be confused by a tangle on the edge of mystic and action detective that will be fully solved only after multiple passing the game.” – I’m already confused just by reading this description LOL. I get that they meant to indicate it has multiple endings, or “only after passing the game multiple times” or “only after multiple play throughs” but “only after multiple passing the game” sounds really awkward and incorrect as a native English speaker… and I’m still not sure what they’re trying to say with “on the edge of mystic and action detective” – What does that even mean? — Concept seems good – but they really need to hire some English language play testers and proofreaders. Hopefully with enough proofreading and playtesting, this will end up to be a nice game.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/644340/


A Song in the Void

This seems far too short, clocking in around 6 hours of gameplay, but it seems innovative by the fact that every aspect found within the game reacts and grows with the music.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/746900/


Earthlock

Inspired by Retro RPGs of the late 90s, Earthlock looks like a great upcoming indie game. You can also grow trees to bring kittens into the world which sounds pretty cute.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/761030/


Moonlighter

Cute pixel RPG with procedurely generated dungeons and shop keeping elements

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/606150/


Rain or Shine

Very cute looking VR game that requires a VR headset

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/714610/


DragonFangz

A challenging rogue-like dungeon crawler with adorable anime graphics

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/749850/


Love Bites

Visual novel about vampires. Appears to have 2 playable characters (1 male and 1 female) and 4 romance options (2 male and 2 female)

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/617970/


Into Oblivion

A drinking simulator where you mix and drink virtual drinks with other players and bet who will get sick first to earn coins to get new items from the shops to customize your characters.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/618990/


Prisma and the Masquerade

Absolutely gorgeous looking platformer with a female protagonist and orchestra soundtrack.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/544470/


Long Gone Days

Awesome looking visual novel with shooter elements and gorgeous anime artwork.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/510540/


Samurai Forge

A collectible card game with an interactive story that changes according to players’ decisions

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/617350/


Swordart Online Fatal Bullet

A Multiplayer game based on the famous Swordart Online anime.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/626690/


Marie’s Room

Seems to have an interesting story about childhood friendship, perhaps with a few twists and some drama. A bit of mystery too.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/648390/


Movie Studio Tycoon

Select a genre, choose your script, hire and train directors and actors, compete with other studios to win awards.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/630440/


Orwell Ignorance is Strength

This political thriller aims to warn us about how we give and how others use our private and personal information and how such information can be misinterpreted and to what lengths people or our governments will go to to protect us from perceived threats within this information.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/633060/


Parkasaurus

Colorful Cute Dinosaur “Jurrasic Park” Simulation game where you travel back in time to collect dinosaur eggs, and switch to first person to handle dinosaur rampages.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/591460/


The Swords of Ditto

I love the graphical style of this cute little indie Co-op RPG.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/619780/


One Helluva Day

Another interactive fiction game where English is clearly not their native language. Hopefully the game will be proofread and play tested sufficiently because judging from the steam description, the creators struggle with English grammar. Aside from questionable writing and formating, the concept of the game looks promising. You play as a business owner trying to save his failing company, as well as trying to save the world. There are multiple endings, and you can either work together to help other characters, or take advantage of them to achieve your goals. How you work with others, determines which endings you receive.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/603680/


Monmusu

Adorable anime graphics in this free to play game.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/533540/


Secret of Mana

Remake of one of the best SNES games of my childhood.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/637670/


Detective Gallo

Humorous point n click adventure game with a cartoon duck as the hero.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/556060/


Austen Translation

This solo or multiplayer rogue like marriage simulation borrows heavily from various visual novel mechanics

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/706880/


Speed Dating for Ghosts

Cute looking dating simulator by a former Bioware developer.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/746400/


Roguemance

A roguelike pixel game that pokes fun at relationship drama

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/742530/


Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Story heavy open world historical RPG with player choices and consequences.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/379430/


The Longest Five Minutes

Humorous pixel RPG where the main character has amnesia right before the final boss fight.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/504110/


Wandersong

Colorful cute indie game where you play as a traveling bard.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/530320/


Crossing Souls

Colorful retro inspired game set in 1980s California

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/331690/


The Seven Districts of Sin

Short cute visual novel with some nice anime artwork and 9 different endings to discover.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/782190/


A Case of Distrust

Play as a female detective in this 1920s visual novel.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/717610/


Catmaze

Cute indie anime pixel sidescrolling adventure game.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/620220/


Monster Garden

Cute, very short (1 hour per play through) game with multiple paths and multiple endings with over 15 monsters to meet. You can’t meet them all on a single play through which adds some replay value, despite still being a short experience.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/719660/


The Painter’s Playground

Create or collect 2D artwork and trade it in an online marketplace with other players

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/722330/


Card Crawl

Dungeon Crawler played with a deck of cards. Solitaire like gameplay with deckbuilding mechanics.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/745000/


Opus Rocket of Whispers

Indie hand-drawn painterly styled game with an emotional post-apocalyptic storyline.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/742250/


Feudal Alloy

Cute looking indie action RPG with robots.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/699670/


The Forbidden Arts

Anime style action platform adventure game.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/735060/


We Were Here Too

Emotionally charged Co-Op adventure game

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/677160/


Minion Forest

Adorable monster raising game

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/767340/


The Best Upcoming & New Release 2018 PC Games for Girls was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Rhapsody a Musical Adventure Retro Videogame Review

Rhapsody a Musical Adventure is an anime musical strategy JRPG first appearing on PS1 and Later on the Nintendo DS. This review focuses on the PS1 version.

Preface: Okay, while researching some stuff (such as release date, etc) for this review, I discovered there was a sequel, and now I am sad AF because the sequel never left Japan….. Major Heartbreak!

WARNING THIS LINK ABOUT THE SEQUEL HAS HUGE SPOILERS ABOUT BOTH GAMES!!!! READ AT OWN RISK!!! 

The original is one of my all time favorite games. I love all the songs, the heart warming, touching story, the cute characters, adorable graphics, simple grid based turn-based Strategy JRPG gameplay, and use of the puppets in battle.

I greatly prefer the version by Atlus on the PS1, much more than the version by NIS on the DS, because Atlus dubbed all of the songs in English, while NIS only left them in Japanese. If I remember correctly, the version by Atlus let you choose to play them in the original Japanese as well. If it’s a musical, it’s more fun in English, so we can sing along, am I right? 🙂 I still can remember the words/melody to a lot of the songs even though it has been years since my first or subsequent play throughs. NIS also changed the gameplay from a grid based system to a straight forward turn-based traditional JRPG style of combat.

For the purpose of this review, since I prefer the original, and the two games are significantly different in terms of gameplay, this review only covers the PS1 game by Atlus. Now onto the review…

Title: Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure

Alternate Titles (Also Known As): Marl Kingdom, Little Princess Marl, or Marl Okoku no Ningyo Hime in Japan. Also referred to as The Adventure of Puppet Princess.

Genre: Strategy RPG

Publisher: Atlus

Platform: PSOne

Release Date: 2000

Where to Buy: If you want new, factory sealed, you’re looking at $250. Luckily, many used copies exist for under $35. You can check the current price and purchase Rhapsody for the PS1 here.

You can also find the Nintendo version here. Though if at all possible, I’d really urge you to play the PS1 version, it’s just so much infinitely better.

Overall Score: 73/90 81% B- “Very Good Game For Girls”

Geeky: 3/5 – Dated as this game may be, its bright colorful graphics are still quite pretty. The combat is nothing spectacular and it is linear and simple. The big “geek” points go to the fact that the game is literally a musical. The characters break out into song and dance and the soundtrack very much tells us the story. There are well over a dozen or more vocal tracks and all of the characters are fully voiced. Interestingly enough, wikipedia tells me that it was almost entirely a one girl show, what a talented voice actress! She gave voice/song to all except for 3 or 4 of the characters.

Sweetie: 5/5 – the graphic style is so cute and colorful, the characters are very full of emotion and there is a ton of humor, as well as romance, and a message about the meaning of family, and morals, and just… everything. Also strong female leads, which was pretty rare “back in the day”. This game is a must play for all girls.

Overview: 10/10 – There is simply nothing else in the world like this game. It’s an anime musical JRPG. It has adorable graphics, touching, amusing, and likable characters, and is brimming with “feels and emotions”. From a technical standpoint, there’s really nothing ground breaking here. It is very typical of gameplay in most other Strategy JRPGs of its time. But the music and characters set this game apart and make it an extremely unique experience.

Gameplay: 5/10 – Gameplay isn’t bad, but it’s not the reason you play this game. This game is very easy and simple. The main character takes a back seat, supporting her army of puppets who move around a grid and use various items, attacks, and abilities to thwart their foes. It’s a linear game that takes you from point A to point B, pretty monotonously and mindlessly. This game is carried by the music, voice acting, memorable characters, and touching story. There are different costumes you can find and different puppets you can add to your team, but other than that, it’s a pretty straight forward experience if you’ve ever played any other Strategy JRPGs before.

Story: 10/10 – Cornet is a kindhearted girl who has a magical gift in that she is able to communicate with dolls and puppets. One such doll is Cornet’s faithful sidekick, Kururu. Kururu has guided the young Cornet all her life. Cornet is often lonely as her mother passed away at an early age. However, despite her loneliness, Cornet remains cheerful, kind, and helpful to all of the villagers in part thanks to her puppet friends. She is regarded as a simple and sweet girl, and many of the villagers take pity on her for not having a mother.

Although she is just a common girl, Cornet has fallen in love with the Prince. Unrealistic as her love may be, Cornet has always believed in “dreaming big” and her innocent outlook on life leads her to hope that anything is possible.

Cornet isn’t the only one with eyes for the prince however. A beautiful witch appears in the kingdom one day with her sights set on the prince. When the prince refuses her advances, the witch casts a spell on him turning him to stone.

Thus begins Cornet’s series of quests to reverse the witch’s curse. The witch has many henchmen and lackeys who try to interfere in Cornet’s plans.

As she travels, Cornet will make new friends and enemies, both human and puppet alike. Also she will learn more about herself, her mother, and her unique gifts and talents.

Characters: 10/10 Cornet is the star of our show, a simple, pure hearted girl who can talk to puppets. She lost her mother when she was very young and has mostly been raised by a strange talking puppet named Kururu.

Prince Ferdinand is the prince who early in our story is turned to stone. Cornet and Marjolly are both in love with the Prince.

Marjolly is a wicked but beautiful witch who vengefully curses the prince when he refuses her romantically. Marjolly is also not very skilled at magic, and somewhat of a “bumbling idiot”. Her spells often have very unintended consequences and/or back fire. She is often less “evil” feeling and more of a “comedic relief” despite being the main villain in the game.

Kururu is a “living doll” who has always watched out for and guided Cornet. The two are extremely close. And there is a secret that Cornet does not know about her puppet friend.

Etoile is a wealthy and beautiful, but ill tempered and spoiled girl who is close to Cornet’s age. Although she is “better than” Cornet in almost every way, she still feels jealous and inferior and threatened by Cornet. The two have an interesting love/hate relationship, frenemies if you will.

There are many other delightful and wonderful characters as well.

Graphics: 7/10 – Although dated severely, the graphics remain bright and colorful and still attractive, even 17 years after its initial US release. Also in a time when retro gaming is very popular, and pixel art is “in” – what was once old, is now hot again. An interesting thing to note, although there are many, many cutscenes, these are done with the same sprites and pixel graphics as the rest of the game, unlike other anime games of that time such as Persona and Lunar which use a more hand-drawn or anime style for their cutscenes. This in one way helps keep things cohesive and flowing well from one moment to the next, however, it does result in less detailed cutscenes. The sprites are still adorable and animated and capable of conveying a lot of emotion despite the simple sprites. I would love to see a new release with anime cutscenes (like Lunar and Persona) and/or celshading used throughout the game and cutscenes (such as with Catherine).

Music: 10/10 – Easily 10/10 – one of the most memorable soundtracks of all time because of the huge number of vocal tracks and how they tie in so closely to the story – in fact, they ARE the story. Many of them are insanely, like seriously insanely catchy!!! I love the songs in this game!!

Voice Acting – 10/10 – They sing and act, and as I mentioned, one girl gives voice to about 6 of the main characters – very talented!  If you hate dubs (which trust me, I usually do too!) you can also play with the Japanese audio. 🙂 But then you can’t sing along, or as easily get the song stuck in your head the next day lol.

Replay Value: 3/10 – It’s linear, and simple, and the only reason you will want to replay is to re-read the heartwarming story, and hear that awesome soundtrack again. I’ve replayed this at least 3 or 4 times now and love it every single time – but objectively, yeah there’s really nothing here story or gameplay wise for increased replay value.

Overall Score: 73/90 81% B- “Very Good Game For Girls”

Rhapsody a Musical Adventure Retro Videogame Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Assassination Classroom Anime Review

Title: Assassination Classroom
Genre: Comedy, Action, Slice of Life
Studio: Lerche
Original Release Date: 2015
Based On: Assassination Classroom Manga by Yūsei Matsui
Length: Season 1 is 22 episodes, Season 2 has 25 episodes, for a total of 47 episodes. There is also a spin off series called Koro-Sensei Q and several animated and live action films and OVAs. There’s even a game (only in Japanese) by Bandai.

Where to watch: Crunchyroll has season 1. But they do not have season 2 Funimation has seasons 1 and 2. You can subscribe to both Crunchyroll and Funimation – and some other anime/scifi networks for $9.99 a month in a new service called VRV at https://vrv.co/. They both also have Koro-Sensei Quest. From what I can tell neither of them have the movies or OVAs available.

Overall: 60/70 86% B “Very Good Anime for Girls”

Geeky: 5/5 The comedy and action in Assassination Classroom will appeal to fans of any gender. The animation and character designs are unique, and there are a number of pop culture references and jokes that will appeal to fans of geek or super hero culture.

Sweetie: 5/5 Surprisingly, this may not seem like a “sweet” anime at first glance, but Koro-Sensei is adorable, and also a very good, thoughtful, kind teacher who loves his students. This anime is full of just as many heartfelt moments as it is full of comedy and action.

Overview: 10/10 Assassination Classroom is first and foremost a slice of life anime. Each episode focuses on a different student or faculty member and how Koro-Sensei helps them with whatever turmoil they are experiencing while at school. Assassination Classroom is also very much a comedy anime, as if you can’t tell by just looking at the design for Koro-Sensei. He is a murderous demon lord with a sweet tooth, love for super hero movies, and kind heart, but that still doesn’t mean he won’t destroy the earth. Although Koro-Sensei may be a villain that the other students must defeat, it is hard to not fall in love with Koro and his classroom. Each episode does have action, with the students trying to defeat their teacher, but each episode also is full of tender sweet moments, and lots of very wtf moments and comedy as well.

Story: 8/10   Koro-Sensei destroyed 75% of the earth’s moon, and his next target is to destroy the earth. Koro has made a deal with the government, he proposes that he be allowed to teach a classroom of students and that the students be given special weapons and special training in order to kill Koro-Sensei. If the students fail to kill Koro-Sensei before graduation he will destroy the earth.

Koro-Sensei is not such a bad guy though. He earnestly wants his students to succeed in defeating him. He also takes interest in each of his students, wanting to ensure they have a happy school life. The students he is teaching are part of Class-E referred to as the “Garbage Class”. The lowest scoring students, as well as delinquents and trouble makers of their school.

No one believes these students will amount to anything, and the principal even believes these students must not be encouraged to succeed because it is imperative to make an example out of them to motivate the other students to perform better or else they too may end up like the students of Class-E.

This is where Koro-Sensei disagrees. He absolutely believes that his students are smart, talented, capable, and just as deserving as the other students in the school. While many other students and faculty members seek to make life harder for the students in Class-E, Koro-Sensei seeks to make their lives better.

Koro is joined by additional faculty members, appointed by the school or by the government, to further train the students to kill Koro before the deadline. New students also come to the classroom as well. They all begin to get along and begin to experience a happy school life under Koro’s guidance.

Koro could best be described as a squid like creature. He makes (ridiculously cute) squishing sounds when he walks, has a sweet tooth, and unique super powers. He can travel at mach 20 speeds, regenerate his tentacles, clone himself, change forms, shed his skin, and other unique abilities that make him nearly impossible for his students to kill.

Little else is known about Koro-Sensei. As the story goes on, more is revealed about his past, his connections to the school, and the real reason why the students must defeat him before graduation. Note: I haven’t finished watching this anime yet, but that’s basically what the synopsis from wikipedia explains as the story. I’m up to episode 16 out of 47, so there’s still a lot to learn.

Wanting to learn the real reasons behind Koro-Sensei’s request to teach at that school, and learn more about Koro Sensei himself keeps the story moving, and keeps the viewer interested with morbid curiosity.

However, the story does at times move a little slow, like most slice of life anime. There are a lot of filler episodes, and after awhile, it becomes a bit predictable. My friend also likes to point out how unrealistic the story is, because if the moon was destroyed it would have a major impact on the Earth, and thus make Koro’s threats to destroy the Earth a moot point. This in no way detracts from the enjoyment of the show, but in trying to be objective, I would say those are the flaws of the show.

Characters: 10/10 One really unique thing about this anime is how each episode highlights a different character. You come to know the back stories of all 27 of the students, faculty members, and Koro-Sensei. There clearly are 2 or 3 students that are more “important” than others, but overall, each of the characters are given a chance to shine, and each of them are fleshed out in detail with their own troubles and school-life struggles which Koro guides them to overcome.  Each character is so unique that they even (very slightly) alter every single opening theme song animation to include the new students. You get a sense that the classroom is like a close family. Koro begins doing exceptionally nice things for his students, taking them on trips, planting a garden, building a swimming pool, and of course encouraging them to stand up to the other students who bully them in the school. Character development is one of the key things that keeps this anime moving, watching the students in Class E begin to believe in themselves, and come together with a common goal (to kill their teacher.).

Art: 6/10 – Some of the character designs seem kinda wonky… but they are actually done in a style similar to the manga. Koro is super cute, and most of the students look distinctive. The animation style is clean, but simple, and not overly detailed. There’s nothing mind blowing about the animation, but it is still modern, clean, and fresh.

Voice Acting: 10/10 – Koro Sensei alone has one of the best voice actors, with a very distinctive evil laugh, that is more cute than it is terrifying. The other cast members are also very talented, but less memorable than Koro.

Music: 6/10 – The music is a bit hit or miss. The first opening and ending themes are really catchy. I’m not as much a fan of the 2nd themes. Background music is good, but not overly remarkable.

Overall: 60/70 86% B “Very Good Anime for Girls”

Assassination Classroom Anime Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Sekai Project Visual Novels Featured in New Humble Bundle

Sekai Project is one of many companies localizing Visual Novels into English. And for the next 2 weeks you can get 17 Sekai Project Visual Novels for $12. That’s less than $1 a game. (or pay less and receive less games) And it supports charity too! Feel good and score some awesome Visual Novels with the new humble bundle.

https://www.humblebundle.com/sekai-project-bundle

Pay just $1 to receive:

Fault Milestone 2
KaraKara
NekoPara Vol 0
Ame no Marginal – Rain Marginal

Beat the average (currently $10.16) to receive:

All of the Above PLUS
NekoPara Vol 1
Idol Magical Girl Chiru Chiru Michiru Part 1
Marcissu 10th Anniversary Anthology Project, Plus Season PASS DLC
Fault Milestone two side:above
Sound of Drop -fall into poison
Highway Blossoms (a Yuri game (girl x girl game))
Japanese School Life

Pay $12 to receive it all:

All of the Above PLUS
NekoPara Vol 2
Wold End Economica – Complete Edition
Idol Magical Girl Chiru Chiru Michiru Part 2
Memory’s Dogma Code:01
Robot Double – Before Crime After Days Xtend Edition
Sunrider: Liberation Day – Captain’s Edition

That’s a whole lot of visual novels for not a big price! I only had 3 of these currently in my collection (and almost all of them wishlisted). I am super excited about this bundle and can’t wait to start playing.

Robot Double sounds incredibly interesting to me from the brief description. It states that unlike traditional Visual Novels, there are no clear cut choices, but instead you control the story purely through your emotions.

If you’re interested in grabbing this bundle for yourself, check out https://www.humblebundle.com/sekai-project-bundle.

Sekai Project Visual Novels Featured in New Humble Bundle was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

The Red Turtle Anime Review

I just purchased and watched “The Red Turtle” last night. The silent animated feature length film was done, in part, by Studio Ghibli, famous animators of feature length family favorite anime films such as My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away, Ponyo, and The Cat’s Return, just to name a few.

I have to admit, I didn’t really do my research on this title (and didn’t realize it was a silent film until I began watching it), but every time I saw a preview, I just wanted to see it oh so badly. When I realized I could buy it for only $10 more than the “rental” price ($15 vs $5) I immediately purchased it.

For about the first 20 – 40 minutes of the film, I felt disappointed and disinterested; that quickly changed as the plot began to advance, and by the end I was so emotionally invested that I was crying.

Read on for the full review below.

Title: The Red Turtle

Studio: Studio Ghibli

Release Date (theatrical limited release) : January 20, 2017 (dvd / bluray) : May 2nd, 2017

Length: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Geeky: 3/5 – The beautiful artwork has a story book like quality while the musical score helps covey the feelings of the wordless cast of characters.

Sweetie: 5/5 – Without any voice, this movie still manages to tell an uplifting, wholesome, sad, touching, and romantic tale. This film reminded me of the Song of the Sea (which I also HIGHLY recommend and will eventually get around to reviewing). It also reminded me of a silent “Little Mermaid”. Or a little of the Tom Hanks “Castaway” film or Swiss Family Robinson.

Overall:  42/50 84% B “Very Good Anime For Girls”

Story: 8/10 If you’ve watched any of those films, you can guess some of the themes present in the Red Turtle, a story about a man shipwrecked on an island trying first to leave the island, then coming to accept his new life and live off the land.

There’s really several stories within the story here if you’re paying attention. At first, it is just the man and the sea and land and creatures there of. But a miracle occurs one day, turning a lonely devastated man, into a protector, caregiver, lover, and eventually father.

It’s a very circle of life tale. You watch all of the characters as they age, grow up, grow old, while witnessing their triumphs and struggles as they evolve and grow.

Although there are no words, and it takes some getting used to (at least for me; the only other silent film I’ve ever liked is Wall-e.), if you keep watching, you will eventually fall in love with the characters, and by the end it will leave you in tears, as it did for me.

It does start slow. I think the first 30ish minutes of the man being alone on the island could have been cut down to about 10-15 minutes and still conveyed the same point, that he is unable to leave the island, that he is angry, cold, bitter, and vengeful, etc. — Still after the appearance of other humans, we witness how their love for him changes the man into a much different and better person.

Characters: 8/10 : The characters have no names, and no real back stories. It’s never explained exactly how or why things happened the way they did; whether that was intentional to allow you to insert yourself into their shoes, or just the nature of the silent story telling format, it doesn’t matter because the characters are still incredibly real, raw, and full of emotion and personality even without back stories and without voices. I felt an immediate connection to the characters and felt myself emotionally invested and caring about what fates and circumstances fell upon them.

Animation: 8/10 – Although it’s not done in any kind of “traditional” anime style (big eyes, fantasy hair colors, etc), it still has charm. The sea, the starlit sky, the forests, the land, and even the characters. This film had to rely 50 / 50 on music as well as animation to tell the story. The characters’ movements had to convey their emotion. This is no easy task, yet it is one that this film excels at. Whether it’s capturing the curiosity of a small child, the desperation and isolation of a lonely man, the love and tenderness of a woman, or the animals who share the island with the small family, there is no shortage to emotion and charm in the animation.

Music: 10/10 – Think of this as basically Fantasia meets the Little Mermaid. The music score, when music is present, is vital in telling the story. Many times throughout the film there will be little to no music and only ambient noises and sound effects. This makes the power of the instrumental musical pieces even more powerful when it is used to convey the emotions of the cast or even the power of nature itself.

Overall:  42/50 84% B “Very Good Anime For Girls”

The Red Turtle Anime Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Big Fish and Begonia Anime Review

Overview:

Big Fish & Begonia (also known as Da Yu Hai Tang) is not technically an anime since it is from China instead of Japan; however, it is a beautifully animated fantasy adventure with a lot of heart. The quality of the animation is on par with Disney or Studio Ghibli.

The story has a few plot holes and pacing issues, but overall, the emotional impact of the story telling makes this film a must watch. The story may feel familiar if you’ve watched Disney’s the Little Mermaid, or another Chinese animation from the 90s, Chinese Ghost Story. Despite the similar concepts, Big Fish & Begonia still manages to add its own unique twists and takes on concepts of forbidden love and reincarnation.

Big Fish Begonia Anime Review
Big Fish Begonia Anime Review

Review:

Title: Big Fish & Begonia (Da Yu Hai Tang)

Release Date: July 2016 (China) (Not yet licensed for North America)

 

Production: Bejing Enlight Media

Geeky:  5/5 – The production values are top notch. The quality of the animation, music, and acting are all on PAR with Disney or Studio Ghibli. Many consider this film to be the “dawn of animation” in China. It took 12 years to complete, and the level of dedication, time, care, and skill that went into making this film really shows.

Sweetie: 4/5 – I did decide to deduct one point for a few major plot holes and pacing issues. However, the themes of love (often times unrequited), life, death, and reincarnation make this film very “sweet” indeed. I was not expecting to cry as much as I did by the end!

Overall: 47/55 85% B “Very Good Anime For Girls”

Big Fish Begonia Anime Review
Big Fish Begonia Anime Review
Concept:

Concept: 10/10 I am in love with the concept behind this film. I am a huge fan of Chinese Ghost Story and also the Little Mermaid.

I even prefer the old 80s Japanese version of the Little Mermaid over the Disney one (blasphemous, I know, right?). Don’t get me wrong, I love Disney’s Little Mermaid too. But the reason I love the non-Disney version so much is because of how sad it is.

Spoiler for the Japanese Little Mermaid below:

Big Fish Begonia Anime Review
Big Fish Begonia Anime Review

I know this sounds horrible to some people who always insist on watching movies with a happy ending, but I’ve always loved tearjerkers, even as a child. There’s just something so touching and sweet about this tragic tale. It also happens to follow the original story more closely as well.

So if we combine that 80s Little Mermaid with Chinese Ghost Story, we get something very similar to Big Fish & Begonia. Chinese Ghost Story is another beautifully animated Chinese film. (The animation was done by a Japanese studio). The story involves a young man who finds himself lost in a literal “Ghost Town”. All of the city’s inhabitants are spirits who have passed over. There, he meets a beautiful woman who also happens to be a ghost. Eventually the two of them fall in love; however, the only way for them to be together is for both of them to reincarnate back on earth.

Story:

Story: 7/10 The story of Big Fish and Begonia revolves around Chun, a young girl who has just become an adult in her society. Chun is from a mystical world. The movie describes the world by having Chun narrate that they are not gods, nor humans, but “others”.

In this mystical world, all adolescents become dolphins and journey to the human world for 7 days as a right of passage. During this time if they should come into contact with humans, they will not be allowed to return back to their own world.

Big Fish Begonia Anime Review
Big Fish Begonia Anime Review

However, a sea squall occurs which traps Chun in a fisherman’s net on her last day on Earth. The past few days, she has spent observing the humans and their world, especially one young human who loves the sea. This human sees that Chun is trapped in the net and swims out to save her.

Although he is able to free Chun from the fisherman’s net, he drowns in the storm. Chun tries to save him, but is only able to retrieve his ocarina. Chun can’t forget the young man or his grieving family even when she returns back to her own world.

Chun discovers that there may be a way to revive the young boy and return him back to his world. She trades half of her life in exchange for his. In doing so, she also irreversibly links together their two souls. Should one of them perish, so shall they both. To complicate matters, his soul must remain a fish until returning back to the human world. In Chinese legends, there was a big fish who could fly through the skies. Thus Chun names him after the fish of legend, Kun.

Big Fish Begonia Anime Review
Big Fish Begonia Anime Review

Many sad things happen along the way, but Chun resolves herself to complete her mission, even if it costs her her own life. As much as Chun cares for Kun, there’s another character who equally cares for Chun. He is her childhood friend named Qiu. With the same resolve that Chun takes to protect Kun, Qiu takes similar resolve to protect Chun, also willing if necessary to trade his life for hers.

Overall, I really enjoyed the film and loved the concept and story. My complaint with the story is the introduction of minor characters halfway through. They abandon certain concepts they have introduced, and create inconsistencies and plot holes. Here are a few examples.

1.) In theory, Chun should not have even been able to return back to her world. Contact with humans was forbidden. Yes, her world begins to suffer, and everyone turns against her. But, when the film starts, her mother warns her not to let the humans see her and tells her that another girl just took the journey and was unable to return for breaking this rule.

2.) At one point, a villain will escape into the human world. (You’ll know what I’m referring to if you watch the movie). After escaping into the human world, we never see or hear from this villain again. You would think it had some motive for wanting to go into the human world and that some consequences may occur in the human world as the result of introduction of this character. We’re never shown exactly what those consequences are.

Big Fish Begonia Anime Review
Big Fish Begonia Anime Review

3.) When returning to the human world, all memories are supposed to be erased; however, that doesn’t seem to happen. There’s also the issue or significance of the necklace that Chun is wearing at the end, that I don’t recall being explained. It seems the creators want your attention to be called to the necklace from the swinging and shining animation and camera zoom and pan given to that scene. What significance exactly did the necklace hold?

This next bit might be a Spoiler for the end of Big Fish and Begonia

Big Fish Begonia Anime Review
Big Fish Begonia Anime Review
Characters

Characters: 8/10 Qiu makes this film for me. He begins as a bit of a child-like impish, practical jokester. By the end of the film, he has matured so much, and sacrifices so much as a result of his love and desire to protect Chun.

Chun likewise grows as a character, with her resolve to protect Kun. She goes against her elders, her mother, the people of her village. She is shunned as a result of breaking the laws of her people. While it would be easy to harbor a grudge against the people who have cast her out of their tribe, she instead endeavors to help them when tragedy befalls their home.

Chun also realizes what she was warned, that we cannot ever truly atone for our sins. As a result of helping Kun, other people begin to suffer. She realizes the weight and consequences of her actions; however, it is too late to change course.

Big Fish Begonia Anime Review
Big Fish Begonia Anime Review

Qiu learns a similar lesson. He asks how to save and help Chun, but the answer he receives eats away at him. He asks a shopkeeper if he has anything that can make him forget his sadness. The shopkeeper offers him a drink, but he warns it will also take away his happiness. He learns that in order to have happiness, you must also experience sadness.

The minor characters are also sources of wisdom and have a lot of heart, especially Chun’s grandparents who help her even after their own death.

I did deduct 2 points because there are some characters that are forgotten and abandoned, and even Kun himself feels underdeveloped as a character. It was hard for me to like the relationship of Kun x Chun because so much more development had been put into Qiu compared to Kun.

Big Fish Begonia Anime Review
Big Fish Begonia Anime Review
Production Value:

Animation: 5/5 This is one of the most beautifully animated films I have seen, not just from China, but from anywhere. It blends beautiful 2D and some nice 3D animation techniques. The fantasy world and characters are all unique and mesmerizing.

Voice Acting 5/5 Big Fish and Begonia is a very emotional film, and to pull that off, it makes use of talented voice actors who can capture and convey their feelings of love, guilt, grief, and despair.

Music: 3/5 Music also has a Disney-ish feeling and helps tell the story. I especially liked the song during the ending credits. There a few Disney-ish feeling “song/dance” skits, which can sometimes detract from the mature and dark feeling of the film; these are brief, but not as well handled in my opinion as similar scenes in Chinese Ghost Story, which makes great use of music interludes to tell their story. The music also doesn’t feel that memorable in Big Fish and Begonia, but it is overall, quite lovely.

Overall: 47/55 85% B “Very Good Anime For Girls”

Big Fish and Begonia Anime Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Beyond Two Souls Similarities to Stranger Things

I just did a guest post over on thenerdmentality.com regarding my thoughts on the PS3 game “Beyond Two Souls“.

Did you know this game has many things in common with the TV Series “Stranger Things”?

For example, both Beyond Two Souls and Stranger things focus on a young girl with strange powers. In both cases, they are raised by a government figure who at first treats the girl as if he was their father, in order to gain the girl’s trust and help her learn to use her powers. In both cases, the government uses the girl to open a portal to the other side which has unintended consequences of letting spirits cross over into this world. Also in both cases, the girl runs away, only to be hunted relentlessly by the government throughout both stories.

As for the actual gameplay, story, graphics, and soundtrack itself, and how it compares to Quantic Dream’s other games such as Heavy Rain, why not head over to thenerdmentality.com and check out my full review of Beyond Two Souls.

Thank you to the nerd mentality for letting me guest post for you guys, and thank all of you readers for looking!

Beyond Two Souls Similarities to Stranger Things was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Humble Bundle Birthday Sale = Free or Heavily Discounted Games for You!

Humble Bundle just kicked off their annual birthday celebration which will run for the next 11 days featuring hundreds of discounted digital PC games from both AAA studios and indie developers. Some of the savings are up to 75 or even 90% off. In fact, they’re even giving you a free game just for visiting the website and registering or logging into your account.

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