Wednesday, September 2, 2015

MangaGamer's "lesbian sex game" Kindred Spirits goes viral

MangaGamer's Kindred Spirits by Liar-soft goes viral amidst excitement over a "lesbian sex game" being released on Steam uncut.

English visual novel publisher MangaGamer has announced that Kindred Spirits on the Roof (VNDB) will be released on Steam--completely uncut.  Kindred Spirits is a girls-love title from acclaimed eroge developer Liar-soft, which is best known among the English audience for their English-translated Steampunk series titles--including Sekien no Inganock -What a Beautiful People-Shikkoku no Sharnoth -What a Beautiful Tomorrow-, and upcoming Gahkthun of the Golden Lightning -What a Radiant Brave---as well as titles outside the Steampunk series like Cannonball and Forest.

From MangaGamer's official announcement at Otakon:
The story [of Kindred Spirits] follows Toomi Yuna, a shy girl who prefers to eat alone on the roof of Kokonotsuboshi Girl’s Academy until she learns the roof is haunted by two ghosts who died before they could fulfill their love for other girls! Though the female ghosts are a happy couple now, they can’t pass on until they figure out… how girls make love to each other. Before she knows it, Yuna finds herself recruited by these “kindred spirits” to help turn the school into a yuritopia full of happy female couples so the ghosts can finally… go out with a bang.
Kindred Spirits spans eight months of the school year, telling the story of over 16 different characters through varying perspectives by choosing the date to view. Countless tales of girl-on-girl romances between all kinds of couples are explored as Yuna and her ghostly comrades play cupid in their quest to have the first and last climax of their afterlives.

Like many Liar-soft titles, Kindred Spirits' adult content is fairly tame and non-graphic (the Japanese version doesn't have mosaics), which is likely why it received a pass to be released uncut on Steam.  Sample CG from the game can be viewed on the official Japanese site.  MangaGamer has a preliminary official site up for the game in English (with fewer images).

MangaGamer is excited to be able to bring Kindred Spirits uncut to Steam.  As posted on their staff blog:
It’s great to see our years of effort finally paying off as visual novels containing adult content gain more mainstream acceptance and recognition as a valuable medium for artistic expression. 
This is monumental news for the industry as a whole. Everything will be open and up-front with this release; no off-site patch or workarounds. Kindred Spirits will be sold on Steam completely uncensored. Seeing frank depictions of same-sex relationships welcomed on such a major gaming platform is a true testament to the open-mindedness of our society and the growing desire for mature entertainment that people of all walks of life can enjoy.
Apparently mainstream media outlets are even more excited about Valve's decision than MangaGamer is.

Kotaku: Steam Is Getting An Uncensored Sex Game
PC Gamer: Kindred Spirits on the Roof is bringing "frank depictions" of sex to Steam
Destructoid: Sexy lesbian ghost game comes to Steam uncensored
Escapist Magazine: Steam To Get Steamy With an Uncensored Yuri Game
Japanator: Make it Steamier: MangaGamer gets an uncensored game on Steam
Anime News Network: MangaGamer Offers Kindred Spirits Uncensored on Steam

These mainstream news sites tended to play up the shock factor rather than, you know, talk about the game itself and put Valve's decision in context.

Though the mainstream media coverage has been fairly sensationalized, MangaGamer will surely benefit from the increased attention.  This could be the lucky break that MangaGamer desperately needed to put them on the map and in the minds of PC gamers.  Hopefully curious users will be able to peer through the smoke and mirrors and see MangaGamer for what it is: an English visual novel publisher with a wide selection of titles for many audiences and interests.

You too can follow the media hype by periodically checking Google's list of Kindred Spirits news articles here.

Those interested in yuri titles should also check out MangaGamer's Demon Master Chris and A Kiss For The Petals: Remembering How We Met.  JAST USA's Lightning Warrior Raidy series might also interest yuri fans.


  1. Kindred Spirits is definitely being hyped for the wrong reasons and although the publisher gets more attention, it can backfire if the players are disappointed that what's "uncensored" was pretty tame to begin with. OTOH, Kindred Spirits would have been a tough sell just by it being a yuri-game, which targets even more niche market than eroge. I have conflicted feelings about this. orz

    1. I'm disappointed that MangaGamer didn't take advantage of this attention to secure some preorders. If I were them, I would've rushed out a pre-order page as soon as I realized the press release had gone viral. I think this was a squandered opportunity, though they'll still benefit regardless.


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