Yandere School – Unlucky in love, lucky in murder
Okay, Japanese pop-culture is responsible for tons of frightfully freaky stuff. If you happen to watch a Japanese TV-show or a commercial, you catch yourself thinking that you’re watching a broadcast from another planet or a parallel dimension.
Anime has influenced the world as well, and now we have such psychological/social archetypes as “Senpai”, “Tsundere”, “Yandere”, etc.
Yandere School is a gaming app available for PC, Android and iOS. And it exploits one of those ominous archetypes.
Who are you, Miss Yandere?
Yandere isn’t a name – it’s a behavioural pattern, typically of a Japanese schoolgirl, distinguished by an unhealthy infatuation with a certain young man. A Yandere relentlessly chases after the said young man stalking him whenever she has a chance.
And it’s obvious that she’s willing to do anything to conquer his love and be with him even if her passion is one-sided…
Meet Akari Furutaka who fell in love with her handsome classmate Makio but unfortunately lacks the courage to confess her tender feelings to him.
You start off in the female students’ bathroom eavesdropping on a conversation between two schoolgirls and one of them incidentally mentions how she ditched her previous sweetheart only to pursue Makio’s attention.
That doesn’t go well with our Yandere-heroine, provoking a jealousy-eruption in her chest.
That’s the moment when you cross Rubicon and go on a killing spree taking your lovely competitors out one by one. Probably it’s just me, but I have a strong impression that the game incorporates elements from such iconic games as:
- GTA – third-person view and gruesome violence with a variety of tools used for dispatching/chopping in half cute Japanese girls (a spade and a baseball bat).
- Hitman – murders must be performed far from the eye-witnesses.
- Metal Gear Solid – there’s a stealth action, particularly when you have to hide the lifeless body of your unlucky rival.
- Assassin’s Creed – apart from assassinations you’re not allowed to attack innocent people otherwise you’ll hear “sound of da police”.
The mentally unstable protagonist changes her outfit according to a current situation, and at one point I noticed a pair of unpardonably cute kitty-ears adorning her little cuckoo-head.
However, the interaction with NPCs gave me some mixed emotions. On the one hand, they are capable of demonstrating panic and fear once they notice you doing your silly homicidal stuff. On the other hand, they look, walk and talk like crash-test dummies brought to life. It kinda kills the overall grim atmosphere.
Clearly, this is an independent game since its quality is bearable but still as far from greatness as pizza pockets and Sprite from being calorie-burning food.
3D models of the structures and characters reminded me somehow of the MMORPG “Perfect World” a short glimpse of which I saw in 2008 (no, I’m not a fan). Nonetheless, I’d like to admit that the animated cloudy skies look more or less realistic and even eye-pleasing.
The game incorporates some graphic novel elements – a gaming genre extremely popular both in Japan and in the weeaboo community. The graphics novel-like imagery is used as a replacement for cutscenes, and I should say they are surprisingly well-designed. The same goes to the game menu, visuals of which deserve an A+ mark.
As for the physics, well… They are decent but hilarious. It looks like a freshly murdered person turns into a jelly substance while you’re dragging it, like a hungry vulture, to bury in the school playground.
The controls are alright though, and I didn’t have any problems with mastering them.
The sentence for Yandere
I accuse this game of having a potential to become a full-scale thriller. The team has everything for it: the plot-line, the target audience and cuteness and horror combined together. What they need is probably more funding.
The full game costs $10, however, the fan community doesn’t want to pay the price, demanding the highest quality at the same time. Spotless logic.
However I, an anime anti-fan, proclaim the game to be a work of a talent with some promising future. All the authors need is a new publisher, some improvements and, of course, your attention.