So, let’s take a moment here to discuss why I don’t review pornography on VNs Now.
I am well aware of the connection between pornography and visual novels in Japan…it’s not a hard link to find. The reality is that you can’t do this without broaching some sexual content and that is somewhat healthy with a few provisos. A scene featuring sexual activity or even sexual fanservice can have its uses so long as its relevant to the overall narrative and to the characters involved. There are plenty of games that do that well and that, simply put, isn’t pornography. It’s a case-by-case thing hinging on the dictionary definition of pornography, which is any work or art where the sole purposes of its existence is the mindless self-indulgence of both the creator and the audience.
There in lies the problem for yours truly. Beyond my well-established Southern Baptist upbringing, the larger issue is that actual porn is bloody pointless. You don’t have to construct a narrative or interesting characters or have any real progression or atmosphere. You can, but that’s not the point of pornography. The point is to get both the creator and the audience off. And when that’s the entire drive behind the development of a game, what can someone say to critique it that doesn’t just boil down to, ‘This doesn’t get me aroused sexually’?
To date on this site, we’ve covered a handful of titles that reach the dictionary definition of pornography: Nekopara Volume 0, Full Service, In the City of Alabast and Cute Demon Crashers especially stand out. The rest of the titles we’ve talked about have also flaunted the line, but have also tried to still have a narrative point: giving me something to talk about. However, interestingly enough, that hasn’t stopped the requests on VNs that are, well, out of my depth so to speak. This game broke me. I wish I could say this is was going to be a strong analysis of what we have before us but…even as I type this; I STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY.
My Magical Demon Lover is an upcoming yaoi visual novel by Y Press Games. It features a young man determine to become the greatest wizard of the age. To do so, he must train under his freakishly young-looking and rather openly perverse great grandfather….or so he thinks. Despite my misgivings, this is the thread I’m hanging off of with one hand to preserve my sanity because the setup is rather Faustian. As the old perv explains, you can’t learn magic from humans: it has to come from a demon. And the only way a demon will teach is if you submit to them sexually.
Now, I know this is going to shock a few people in the audience, but not everyone wants to bang a supernatural creature often connected to eternal damnation and hellfire: shocking I know. So, in a more serious tale, the entire setup because rather Faustian. On one hand you have power and presumably pleasure, but you become disconnected from humanity. In fact, the reality of it is not lost on our protagonist Tristan who slams the brakes hard as his great grandfather reveals exactly what he has to do to achieve his dreams. It’s a nice moment of humanity and development for him: showing that could be more to him than being some demon’s plaything.
But then, there I go ruining everyone’s fun. Let’s get real here, shall we?
I will give credits where its due. Most of the demo is presented in a lighthearted, even comedic manner….although most of that comedy was derived from Tristan getting low-key hit on by his great grandfather. I doubt they’re going to present Tristan’s choices as any real struggle and, instead, a path to an inevitable end. That will come down to the demon you pick Tristan to train under (cough). The three are very unsubtle in their differences and the routes that they will lead to: Romance, S&M and Fetishism respectively.
Could it go into something more substantive from there? Possibly. However, ultimately it’ll come down to whether or not the game scratches the itch of one of the sexual themes it has chosen to work with. I cannot say it hasn’t fulfilled its role on a strictly structural level: the bare plot thread keeps everything connected and logical on a strict narrative level. Tristan’s potential journey is an interesting idea that will ultimately come down to what wins in the storytelling department: letting his journey play out or watching demons ride him into pavement.
So, for me I cannot say I get the appeal but there isn’t anything wrong with the demo as is….well, the Great Grandfather is wrong on so many different levels. He is literally the worst, but that comes down to a moral question that may or may not be addressed in the full game. Without anything to nail it on (shut up), the best I can recommend is that the interested play it themselves and come to their own conclusions.