Review is finally here, complete with play video!
Of course, we all know why anyone would play this game. Whipping errant ayakashi boys into shape is such a new concept to all the Do.S lovers out there, I jumped on it immediately with one aim in mind, to get back at the otome world for producing trash like diabolik lovers. But whipping your 2D lover isn’t a new concept in itself. NipponIchi created Criminal Girls sometime ago with the same function to ‘punish’ the love interest. Though why is whipping girls Cero D and whipping (ayakashi) boys Cero C? Do I sense some sexism here?
Unfortunately, the game wasn’t as Do.M as I expected it to be and the ideas for the character routes themself were cliche, but integrated with ayakashi to make something new out of them. For most routes anyway.
If you didn’t already know, KLAP is a rom-com wafuu modern fantasy. The heroine Koyomi ends up at an ayakashi school secluded far away from Tokyo because she is the descendant of strong onmyouji family, and has powers to see the application form for being a teacher at the UMA school.
The opening chapter was already silly in many ways and I remember rofl-ing and lulz-ing in the common chapters and also praising some of the sad writing in the character routes. Many themes thrown in there, but generally well done except for the execution of the routes themselves. The story felt kind of choppy – lack of time, lack of budget, whatever it was, there was no satisfactory depth to the game (like duh!). Random romance is a typical feature of otomate psvita games, so let’s just remind ourselves we were only there for the whipping.
And the occasional kisses, if I felt like it.
For ayakashi stories, I would’ve expected a ‘you’re human, I’m not so I will live way longer than you, can both of us take this pain’? kind of sadness but there was no mention of it at all. Rather, (all except for the cat demon and the colleague route) the ‘sadness’ parts were about the guy’s family background or parents not allowing them to be together or some random separation because he has to return to his land. This made me feel that the writing was inconsistent and definitely, I saw 3 similarities for 6 routes, so I will assume that 3 authors wrote 2 routes each.
The fact that the heroine was a teacher made the game appealing, but she stammers like the typical Otomate heroines so often that I almost rolled my eyes out of my eyeholes. At 23, she isn’t able to let things slide off her back. But her role isn’t to be cool and calm and realistic. Her role is to be silly and dramatic to fit in with the atmosphere of the game. She also apologises for having to make them suffer while whipping them. Fine by me then.
3 of the love interests were not very interesting, and their cliche storylines didn’t help me love them but they grew on me when they thanked me for whipping them up as they went berserk. Touma the tengu as the main guy and family man who strives to be the head of his clan, is the bad-boy who is actually a good-boy. Lots of cute scenes with him and he isn’t too bad as the main guy of this game.
There’s also Sousuke the yukionna with a backstory about his family separation and an irritating Kaji for once. Sousuke is pretty Do.S so I whipped him up really good whenever I got the chance. Akito the kappa, rich and flirtatious who decides to love only one was obviously the most boring route for me, since playboy routes never, ever work. But no one can deny how sexy Tachibana Shonnosuke voices his aans~ during the whipping.
After them we have Camil, a vampire who is actually scared of blood and has overcome garlic and crosses. No, actually his thirst for blood activates upon loving somebody and it happens 333 years after his birth and to a human at that. How convenient. Camil is also a gamer and is usually so not into the conversation people give up trying to make sense of what he says. It was disappointing that he turned out this way because I liked his character design the most.
He had plenty of potential to be that kuudere prince, but no, he is nothing like he looks. Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Kanade is a cat demon, an ayakashi born from a dead cat with strong attachment to something at death. There’s so much I can praise about Okamoto Nobuhiko’s nyans~ and unyus~ but I remember more about the annoying bit about knowing that he wanted to get together with his reincarnated owner and she’s just staring him in the face everyday. Don’t irritate your readers like that please. It’s one thing when there’s a mystery and you’re dragging your readers to discover it and another when your readers already know whodunnit and the story isn’t concluding. When you go round with Kanade in the common route though, his cuteness makes for much enjoyment.
The other thing was him regressing into a mere cat and unable to communicate with his lover which was kind of sad, but Otomate style things happen where he poofs back into his ayakshi form overnight, only to live happily ever after. This route could have been better.
The best route was Shion’s route because we’ve never had a dating your colleague route before….. I think. Turns out, Shion isn’t your regular guy as well, and I really liked Sugita Tomokazu as Shion. I like Sugita anywhere anyway, but after playing Reine des Fleurs, he acts with a totally different voice. And yes, you get to beat this guy up as well. With a wad of money, no less. Shion’s story was heartwarming and bittersweet and I actually teared up a little. I’d say, leave him to the last for a nice aftertaste.
The common chapters became boring once you finished one route because the execution of the game made it so that you would have to play everything 6 times, which isn’t very appealing. Each short scenario with the guy of your choice in map selection could have been longer to give the game more depth it needed.
System / art /BG art:
Lovely start screen with the characters reading out the title, but not touch-responsive. The map parts and minigame parts are responsive though, and the entire makeup of the game is very colourful, almost graffiti-like for the school setting and really draws you into this strange world.
BG art was also really lovely, featuring the streets of common Japan but with twists here and there, made to fit the hundred-of-years-old ayakashi living with random daruma installations at streetlights and doors made to look like shrines everywhere. The place, if adapted into an onsen setting in real life would be so beautiful I’m sure it’d be an instant hit with all kinds of visitors local and foreign.
-nevermind my business schemes-
What’s there to complain about Yasutake sensei’s art? Nothing, but there were certain times I doubted the angles of the faces were drawn by him. CGs never seem to be drawn by the original artist sometimes. There were also a few Kabe-dons and Floor-dons and wedding CGs. Needless to say, there’s stripping for Akito’s route since all he ever thinks of is getting the heroine into his bed. Lol.
Not sure why it warranted a soundtrack album. The BGM was nothing fantastic. I really liked the OP and ED themes though. It’s so catchy I have to go “Oo-oo” everytime I sing along with the Op movie.
Final judgement : 3.5 stars
While the art and atmosphere of the game was novel in itself, and I think if expanded on would make a lovely wafuu+modern setting game, the cliches of love simulations made some parts of the story really boring. Of course, the mini game was the best thing about the game, but without it, this game would be as subpar as the rating I’ve given it. Unlike Ayakashi Gohan that also relies on ayakashi and a human heroine to make a love story, Ayakashi was much better in creating sadness for the couples.
But despite saying so, KLAP is a light-hearted game that fits its summer release and enjoyable while it lasts.
Now for the fun part. Enjoy 12 minutes of whipping. Try not to laugh.