Demo Impressions: No, Thank You!!! (MangaGamer)

Back in July, MangaGamer announced that they would be releasing two very exciting titles in English – the boys’ love game No, Thank You!!! and otome game OZMAFIA!!. While neither has a firm release date yet (though it looks like they’re aiming for sometime in 2015), No, Thank You!!! now has a rather beefy (pun intended) demo to help gather buzz and allow fans to try before they buy.

The trial edition can be downloaded from the MangaGamer website (the product listing page is very NSFW, so beware before you click) or this blog post if you have trouble creating an account on their site. While the game is for PCs, the game’s translator Haro has posted a tutorial on how to run the game on a Mac (which I myself have done). The demo covers the game’s opening scenario as well as one sex scene for each of the main characters, and will probably take about an hour or so to complete depending on how fast you click through it.

In No, Thank You!!!, you play as the amnesiac protagonist Haru, who takes up a job at an upper-class bar after saving the bar’s owner from being hit by a car (which, subsequently, is how he lost his memories). During his first night on the job, you’re introduced to the five main characters and get a glimpse of the game’s overarching narrative before the game offers you the choice to of whose butt you wish to grab, which then leads into a sex scene with that character taken from later in the game.

The main reason I wanted to check out this demo was to see how the localization fared, and I’m happy to report that I wasn’t disappointed! Haru’s internal monologues are often quite humorous and all of the text flowed really well.

Another pleasant surprise was the fact that text you’ve already read appears in blue – a simple addition, but one that’s really helpful in visual novels when completing multiple character paths. I’m surprised not all companies do this!

Of course, one of No, Thank You!!!‘s big claims to fame is the option to toggle the men’s hair on and off at any time in the game. I’ve never seen a BL game do this before, but it’s great that they’re able to cater to different tastes! I hope more games follow suit in the future.

This doesn’t really sound like sexy fun times to me…

In the interest of being honest, I think it’s important that I also mention a few issues I have with the game so far. Haru is an extremely outgoing protagonist that takes control in all of the sexual encounters in the demo, making him a traditional seme, and nearly all of the sex scenes have some element that makes them not completely consensual. This continues the trend seen in the bar scenes where Haru constantly invades the other characters’ personal space. He often proclaims that he’s engaging in “sexual harassment,” which is a term often used jokingly in Japanese media (and is similarly used for humorous effect here), but personally, I don’t really find a character that is constantly “harassing” everyone to be all that appealing.

Similarly, I would much prefer to see sex scenes where both parties are really enjoying the encounter, rather than the one-sided slant all but Hiroyuki’s takes in the demo. I’m sure the full game sees Haru’s relationship with each character develop to the point where everyone is clearly having fun when they do have sex, but I didn’t really like the way pleasure was depicted as repressed/resentful in the scenes in the demo.

Regardless, I very much want to support the release of more BL games in English, so I will happily pay $39.95 for the game when it does come out. If my impressions have you on the fence, I highly recommend you check out the demo yourself! I would love to hear everyone else’s thoughts.

About Anne Lee

Also known as apricotsushi. Anne can be written with the kanji for apricot (杏), and sushi was the most quintessentially Japanese thing I could think of when I was 13, resulting in my goofy, albeit memorable, nickname.