Foreword: Wow! It feels like I haven’t posted in literally forever! I guess I was playing too much MMORPGs recently, but I also had a period when I went to Tennessee for a family vacation too… Well, I’m back now with another review! Titled “Girls in Black”, or GIB for short, this was the most recent Whirlpool game that well… Kinda… okay fine. Pretty crappy. This is weird though, since Whirlpool was able to produce really great titles… I guess they’re also being exposed to the “degradation of quality” as time passes D: In short, the game didn’t really live up to its title “girls in black”, because there was only one heroine who fits that description… out of the 3 available. Despite this, you should read this review fully, because you’ll never guess what this game was meant to be until you do…
Title: ガールズインブラック (Girls in Black)
Release Date: July 25, 2014
VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v14889
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=808111
Game Type: Sci-Fi Comedy Novel with themes of Alien Coexistence
Some of the outrageous paradigms that our alien heroine possesses
Summary: Subaru is your normal, average student who doesn’t really have too many friends. He would rather play games in his room instead of hanging out with others, and occasionally watch his younger sister Sorami pretend getting abducted by aliens. One day, when returning home from teaching a strange person with bunny ears directions, he suddenly can’t move, and finds himself slowly rising! Looking above, he sees that there’s a UFO that’s raining light directly at him! He screams for help, and just in time, a girl shoots the UFO and saves him. As he and the unknown girl fight off the UFO, he realizes this girl who was holding a futuristic gun was none other than his classmate! She, on the other hand, is now forced to erase Subaru’s memory. As fate would have it, Subaru is instead recruited into the organization that is called MIB (Men in Black), which is an organization to support the aliens who currently coexist with humans on Earth. The other options was to get his memory erased, and… Subaru didn’t really want that. Joining MIB, he’ll realize that his life has become a lot more exciting.
Story Length: Moderately Short (15 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Easy
Comments: Easy to clear, consisting of a few relatively obvious options. Two H-scenes for subcharacters appear after clearing the heroines, and an absolute joke episode also appears after you clear the 3 heroines.
Character Design Rating: 6/10
Story Rating: 3/10
Protagonist Rating: 3/10. “Normal” Protagonist always receives a low score. It doesn’t explain why Subaru was admitted to the MIB while other applicants (who consisted of very intelligent individuals) were rejected.
Game Quality: Moderately Low
Overall Rating: 4/10
Rating Comments: So while it may seem like a relatively low score, you’ll understand why after reading the entire review. Continue down to especially the comments!
Character Summary: Let’s get to the character summaries. There’s only three heroines though, so let’s get right to it!
Yukano is our pink haired MIB member who saves Subaru when he was about to get abducted by the UFO in the beginning of the scenes. Always straightforward and hard-working, this girl also ironically plays the “tsundere” role, and believe it or not, the “dojikko” as well. In addition to this “charm”, she also has a tendency to become extremely depressed for the smallest reasons, to the point characters (including Subaru) around her panics when she’s in such a mood.Yukano’s personality changes so much between this and her real, diligent self that I found this pretty funny.
Seemingly the main heroine, Yukano doesn’t really have much screen time in my opinion. Her route involves a subcharacter who is Yukano’s superior, and her past when she “made a big mistake”. While most readers won’t be able to predict what happens in Yukano’s route, players like me who follow Whirlpool’s games will realize the most innocent-looking subcharacters in the game are actually the villain. /spoiler
In the end, Yukano’s route was very uninteresting due to the common reasons that I’ll post below, in the comments section.
(Clearing Yukano’s route opens up the H-scene for Mio, Yukano’s superior)
Sorami is next, an adorable imouto of our protagonist, it’s not until within her route, JUST before they start dating that it is revealed that they’re not blood-related. Sorami is actually considered an “uza-chara” (annoying character) in the sense that most of her lines involve something with “Space Food” (ground up meat and vegetables seasoned and preserved for consumption even in outer space), and being abducted by aliens.
By “pure coincidence” (I put those two words in quotations for obvious reasons) Sorami learns of Yukano and Subaru’s secret of being MIB agents and joins the group, half-threatening Yukano that if her memory was erased, all the information about aliens and MIB would be spread across the internet. Despite not actually being a member of MIB, however, Sorami is rather diligent with hiding its secrets from the people around her.
Sorami is your extreme cliche imouto-type heroine in a galge UNTIL the climax, where it reveals her true identity which causes problems for both Subaru and her. While this was a nice element they incorporated (because it is foreshadowed), the climax itself sucked balls and uses “convenient plot”, making her route also pretty crappy.
(Clearing Sorami’s route opens up the H-scene for Yuu, the Alien Research Club president)
Last but not the least is our actual alien Ellie. With bunny ears obviously being visible to everyone at all times, no one seems to notice it except Subaru (it is later revealed that Subaru is very skilled at detecting aliens) and some of the MIB members.
The first encounter with this “bunny girl” is when she asks Subaru for directions on the street, but instead hands him a map of Japan instead. Fortunately, after a bit of discussion, it is revealed that she was looking for Subaru’s school, which Subaru directs without problems. It is later revealed that Ellie is a transfer student to the class that Subaru and Yukano is in, in addition to the fact that Subaru and Yukano will now become bodyguards for this oujo-sama, who is a daughter of a very wealthy weapon-producing company.
Despite being an ojou-sama, Ellie has an astounding love for Japan, and is effectively categorized as a “weeaboo” in my dictionary. Her paradigms for Japan are also severely twisted to the point she uses sayings and idioms incorrectly, and even mistakes various subculture for what is actually true.
Ellie’s route involves Subaru being “tested” by Daniel, who is Ellie’s father and the Chief Executive Officer of the company that specializes in alien technology and weapons. Daniel himself despises Subaru, but seeing how Ellie is happy with him, decides to give Subaru “trials” to pass. Ellie’s route in this sense, was the most interesting of the three routes, except the climax was again, ruined and made the route a lot more crappy than it would be.
Sexual Content: Moderate Comments: Frankly, I thought this was a serious game until I saw that Joke Episode at the very end, then I realized that Whirlpool was trolling me the whole time: this was a game meant NOT to be taken seriously, and was just a joke on their part. The entire game really points to that: silly characters, nonsense plot, strange setting… I really should’ve seen that coming. Simply put, this game is a parody of the Alien Apocalypse and Whirlpool’s “moemoe” analysis of what would happen if such events occurred.
Here’s a screenshot from one of the scenes in the Joke Episode.
Despite this though, there IS effort put into making this seem like a full-fledged game, more specifically, in the heroine routes. The game introduces a new conflict at this point and resolves it, but this process is done in such a short duration that it loses any form of seriousness/enjoyment/meaning and would be better left out instead. Through all of this, I categorize this game as such, a Parody. Yes, you heard me right. A company who usually creates relatively serious games went on a whole new route and created a joke game, just for the lawls. Needless is it to say that players like me will have gotten HEAVILY trolled during the ~15 hours they may have spent on this game, and that was only because we were expecting a serious game.
These kinds of CGs are what makes this game a parody
So as a parody, you might be laughing a lot because there’s a lot of jokes and tsukkomi and all that good stuff, but that’s pretty much it. All three routes are abnormally low quality when it comes to actual plot, and over 80% of each heroine route consists of pure ichaicha that gets quite repetitive. Whirlpool then slaps on a randomly-appearing climax at the end so they can somehow end the ichaicha and try to give the route a conclusion, but the climax is extremely short (mere 30 minutes or less), and very unorganized.
Affection for the Characters: Low
CG Score: 3/10. CG gets a huge cut from the awkward and creepy SDCG this time around. I guess they tried to do something new…? It could definitely be a “joke” on their part as well.
…and Tenmaso really needs to work on something called “vanishing point”
Music Score: 6/10. Strangely enough, the music wasn’t too bad.
Conclusion: A very low quality game from Whirlpool, but mostly because this was a parody, not actually a serious game as we all expected. Did everyone understand that? Probably not, but did Whirlpool’s trolling work? Hell yes it did.
Oh, and Chocola (from Suzukaze no Melt) makes an appearance!