Game: Liefdestaal
Genre: Adventure, simulation, visual novel
System: Nintendo Switch
Developer/Editor: ebi-hime | Ratalaika Games
Age Rating:EU 12+| USA Teenager
Price: US $11.99 |UK £9.99 | EU €9.99
Date of publication: 30. October 2020

The code review is used, especially thanks to the Ratalaika games!

Imagine…

For those of you who hear the name ebi-hime and it rings a bell, that is, you are responsible for the game previously viewed on this site, Strawberry Vinegar: a delightful little visual novel with multiple purposes, based on the choices you make throughout the story.

Ebi-Him is back, and the language of love is now available on our Nintendo Switch systems. Already released in May 2019 on Steam, The Language of Love takes us on a journey as the protagonist of the game : Mitsuki.

Meeting with Tanimura Mitsuki

So just hold your romantic visual breasts and dive right in, okay?

Imagine the world…

Tanimura Mitsuki, our twenty-three year old hero, moved from rural Aomori, Japan, to Kawasaki on the west coast of Tokyo Bay.

Mitsuki planned to move to the city and go to university right after graduation, but fate had other plans for him. Increasing circumstances prevent Mitsuki from leaving the sticks… so far.

Wear a mask if you are physically unable to walk away!

Mitsuki is now planning to go to university, but for that he has to pass the entrance exams (a really terrible prospect in Japan, no sarcasm is expected, the competition is tough…).

That’s why our brave hero is currently going to Krama to study and prepare for the university entrance exams.

Imagine a world without…

The big city is not as glamorous as the dream of a young man in the countryside. Mitsuki was rejected and despised by his classmates; he left him on the first day of his 23rd birthday. At the age of 18, all his 18-year-old classmates want nothing more to do with him.

It is the feeling that you completely lose contact with people you used to be friends with.

Also, he hasn’t been able to meet anyone or make friends. When his parents call him every week, he lies and says he’s okay, but he’s so sad and lonely that he spends a lot of time staring at the ceiling on the tatami floor of his apartment.

But one fateful evening, when Mitsuki comes home from school, he meets a small child in need. This little kid lost the key to his apartment; his mother went shopping a few hours ago and still hasn’t come back.

Mitsuki decides to help little Tama, and even finds out that Tama and Mama live in the same house as him!

Isn’t Tama cute? It turns out that Mitsuki is good in the kitchen and he prepares a delicious dinner for the hungry.

When Tama’s mother, Kyoko, finally returns home, the story takes us (and Mitsuki) through the friendship, bond and romance of two people who are considered outcasts by Japanese society.

Imagine a world without tests

This is the essence of what you do when you learn the language of love.

As far as the visual novels are concerned, they are the embodiment of it. Many of the visual novels in which you play require you to make a variety of decisions during the game that can affect the outcome.

If you read my review on strawberry vinegar, you will discover how much Ebi-Haim likes to describe food.

But the language of love doesn’t have that function. It is literally a novel to read over the counter, with visuals (cover) and music to personalise each chapter.

I always like a visual novel with different endings, and then I feel like I have some kind of agency about my character and what happens to him. At the same time I must confess that in the language of love there is something as simple and beautiful as in a graphic novel, pure and simple.

What I really appreciate in this story is the almost incomprehensible view on the structure and culture of Japanese society.

Good Mitsuki: Recognition of gender inequality is the first step.

In Canada (where I come from) going back to school is not considered embarrassing or disgusting when you are older. There are people who like to be looked down on because they have to go back to school, but both times I was in high school I was an adult student and I never felt looked down on because of that.

At the same time, I know that in Japan it can probably make a young man feel worse, and I was excited about that. Especially because Mitsuki has such a mentality that his life is over and he is only twenty-three years old!

Another very touching story concerns the circumstances of Kyoko’s life, our adorable single mother. She became pregnant just as she was finishing her final year of high school; her boyfriend left her dry and big and her family was so traditional that she was abandoned. Kyoko works as a waitress and has trouble making ends meet.

She’s so cute! I just want to give my ex-boyfriend some rest.

The fight is real, and my heart goes out to every single mother: They’re brave souls. Moreover, my heart goes out to Japanese single mothers, I’m sure they are not culturally at the most favourable end of society.

Try not to let imaginary monsters win.

Conclusion

The visual effects are excellent. The few characters Mitsuki deals with are all well-drawn, and the background is so wonderfully Japanese that I often felt I was going back there; I especially liked the Riokan and the work on the hot springs that set the stage for part of the story.

The music is beautiful, it brings the atmosphere of each scene in balance.

Usually it is the story of two people meeting, getting to know each other and then unconditionally supporting and accepting each other. I don’t know about you, but that’s all I ever wanted from a love story.

If you read, you’ll want to take this with you. It’s not that expensive, and if it’s ever sold, consider it a very good deal.

Final verdict: I like it!

Here we go:

Like the download…

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