The Most Anticipated VNs of 2018
5) Shining Song Starnova (Love in Space/Sekai Project)
After the folly of Liberation Day, LIS took some time away from their marquee project to focus on something different: an idol-themed visual novel. Now, media based on Japanese idols has been an easy go-to for most media for the past ten years or so and both App stores for iOS and Android are have a steady flow of idol-themed simulators and games to chose from. With all of that in mind, you’d be forgiven for going into Shining Song Starnova expecting a lighthearted romp with a bunch of ‘cute’ girls that you could maybe romance…and you’d be wrong. Starnova does have its lighter moments, but at its core is something idol-themed media has not seen: a decidedly unromantic take on the Japanese idol industry.
In the midst of a very corrupt industry and atmosphere are several girls that have been spat out or ignored for varying reasons, yet they don’t want to give up on their idol dreams just yet. That alone removes the idyllic gleam from around the main cast: opening up some rather obvious tropes for both deconstruction and expansion. And it also allows for the audience to be emotionally attached to this cast in particular in a way you couldn’t get from other idol games and media. If you want to know what I mean, go watch my playthrough of Starnova: specifically the episode ‘Seven KM Ahead of Zero’. You can literally hear my opinion of the game doing a 180 in real time. That’s all I have to say until we get the full game, but I’m hoping for the best for LIS.