Um, I'm Not Sure How This Game Is Going To Make This Girl My Pet

Illustration for article titled Um, Im Not Sure How This Game Is Going To Make This Girl My Pet

Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo (さくら荘のペットな彼女) is a novel series in Japan that is getting its own game for the PS Vita. A brief demo was on display at the Tokyo Game Show 2012.

The story is about an apartment complex where a strange new tenant arrives. The young girl, Mashiro Shiina, is a genius artist, but socially inept in many ways. The young male protagonist of the story, Sorata Kanda, is designated by the other tenants of the apartment as Mashiro's keeper, and thus begins their pet/keeper relationship.

The Tokyo Game Show 2012 game demo itself was very (very, very) brief. Basically consisting of a character intro, a few lines of dialogue and a multiple choice segment, the whole thing is completed in about 3 minutes. (Probably less than 1 minute if you skip the text)


Gameplay-wise the only unique element is the choice selection system. When a choice arises, the possible choices appear as thought bubbles, with each choice given a corresponding button. If a choice is not selected, over time some of the thought bubbles disappear, making those choices un-selectable. In the demo, the obvious best choice disappears first, so you need to read fast and think fast.

Graphically, the developers Ascii Media Works have opted for cel-shaded CG instead of the standard 2D character image. Unlike a lot of other games that use cell-shaded CG, the have a soft smoothness to them which give them a very natural 2D look while still being in 3D. On the Vita's OLED screen, the game looks quite pleasant.

Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo will be getting its own anime series, scheduled to begin airing in Japan on October 8th. The video game is slated for release in Spring of 2013.

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So wait. If a western game objectifies women it's sexist but if a Japanese game does it it's fine?

Whilst I'm sure, in of itself, this game has nothing objectively wrong in it, but that once glossy veneer of Japan's allure seems to be cracking for me in recent years, at least regarding the Otaku scene, and it's mostly due to the influx of stuff like this. I get it. I'm not the target audience. I just pity the people who are.