Tester’s Corner: No Thank You Ed. Vol 1

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No, Thank You!!! was my first beta test for Manga Gamer and you cannot imagine how happy I am that it was. The game overall felt like a breath of fresh air for yaoi because it eschews all the sameness that exists in the genre. There are no waifish boys who are questionably over the age of 18 shouting “no homo” while getting pounded and being whiny over trivial matters. No, this game has real men that look like they jumped out of a men’s health magazine, are unquestionably over the age of 18, and all have actual problems to be concerned about. You even get two dudes over 30 if you’re into more mature men. I mean, just check these guys out. They’re all pretty hot.

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The guy in the very front here in the red shirt with a confusing graphic is Haru. Haru is the protagonist who, if you’ve read the summary, was hit by a car and has amnesia at the start of the game. He’s been brought to a bar/detective agency called sótano by Kouichi (far right). The best way to describe Haru is that he is a major pervert. He has a weird obsession with describing sex in a clinical manner as well which is actually more funny than annoying. It’s especially amusing every time he suddenly blurts out “let’s have sex!” at completely inappropriate times. The thing that really shocked me when I first started playing was his lack of angst about his amnesia. It’s refreshing to have a character that throws up his hands and goes “well, this is my life now” and gets on with it.

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This is Hiroyuki, who is the closest thing you get to the fancy-boy waif typical in yaoi titles. As much as he comes off as a little less manly than the others, he is still written like a person and not some sort of stock character. He’s a little messed up because everyone in this game has issues, but he’s actually not annoying most of the time. Personally I think I found his sex CGs to be the most enjoyable. They are probably the most vanilla of the bunch, but they’re still sexy nonetheless. He also has a hilariously odd shirt that he wears when he’s not at sótano. It says, and I quote: “Swing. I go out with boys, I go out with girls, so I don’t have to play with myself.” Yeah. Seriously. You can see it on the game page. Go look.

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The piano man with the slick glasses with an amazing haircut is Ryu. He is also the king of resting-bitch-face when he isn’t jamming out. Ryu is our cool glasses character for the game. He is the most orderly and put together out of the bunch. He has what seemed like the longest route in the game and one of the kinkiest sex scenes. I ended up liking Ryu a lot. I have a thing for glasses and tsundere, so if you’re into that you’ll probably enjoy his route as much as I did. His routes deal with more of the darker aspects of the game so be prepared to deal with some messed up stuff if you choose to pursue him. I suggest keeping tissues around because you’ll probably break down like a little baby at the end, I certainly did.

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This hunk of burning love and general disinterest is Maki. Maki is our resident giant and is mega ripped. Seriously, once you get him naked you’ll be rolling in bara heaven. He’s dark, brooding, and monosyllabic. His back story and in-game routes are really enjoyable. I think it may have been my favorite in the whole game since he is an action movie-level BAMF. As grating as the “I’m not going to say anything and react vaguely” thing can get in characters in any media I actually found myself not hating it. It fits him and the little bits of actual dialogue you get with him fully balance out the nonverbal bits.

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This is our daddy complex character Kouichi. He’s a pretty sweet guy and the head of the detective agency. He doesn’t betray his feelings easily and as you get deeper into the game you realize he is way more in control than he initially comes off. I can’t say I was all too fond of his routes because I don’t have an Electra complex, but they are not at all bad. I did laugh pretty hard when Haru described his dick as “old-manish brown”. He has some of the most strangely adventurous sex CGs in the game; I will say I’m into neither erotic shaving nor dairy items being involved in sex acts but they made me smile from the sheer out-of- left-fieldedness of them.

I haven’t specifically mentioned much about the art in the game it really is top notch. You can probably tell as much from all of the images I’ve included already. I was especially impressed by the penises in the game. I’ve gotten used to other yaoi media having questionably drawn dicks that look something like flesh tubes with pink caps; imagine my surprise when I saw the first veiny, throbbing, mass of cock on screen. I was absolutely ecstatic. The sheer variety is also worth a mention. Every character has a significantly different penis. From Kouichi’s “old-manish brown” dick to Ryu’s questionably described “fashionable” cock they are all special little snowflakes of fleshy goodness.

I want to give a special mention the cute little non-sex CGs that came up occasionally. For context, each of the routes starts out with Haru grabbing the butt of the person you’ve decided to pursue and each of them are visually represented like this. My favorite is Ryu’s where Haru gets the roundhouse kick he so desperately deserves for his shitty behavior.

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These are just so cute I can’t stand it. You get a few of these throughout the different routes and I squealed with delight the first time I saw them. There is so much about the game’s art to love but I loved these to death.

The sound in the game is great. If you haven’t heard the game’s music yet you should go to the game page and watch the hype opening trailer. From the second I heard the main theme I was hooked. None of the music gets boring or repetitive even when you’re hearing it for the umpteenth time. It actually reminded me a lot of a certain ultra-popular all-ages game. The voices are on the same level as the music in how enjoyable they are. There is no character that has a grating and unpleasant speaking voice. As for the sex sounds, I’m going to let this Hiroyuki screenshot speak for me on that one.

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Yeah, they’re good.

Overall the game is worth a play through. It’s especially impressive as it is the first game produced by Parade. The tone does shift back and forth between light and funny, and dark and disturbing but I think it makes this game even more interesting. Each one enhances the other to draw you deeper into the story. None of it feels contrived or out of place either. Since sótano is not just a bar, but also a detective agency, you fully expect to have some sort of noir storyline so the shift doesn’t blindside you and ruin the experience. Even when it delves deep into the most disturbing things you can imagine it never feels like the writers are just grafting in tragedy to push a stagnating plot.

Personally, I think that everyone could enjoy this game. If you like BL you’ll definitely like it and if you aren’t into BL I think you’d be able to enjoy the story. I have to note that even if you don’t like BL you’d probably get a kick out of the onomatopoeia for the sex sounds. At some point during the game I found myself thinking of how to make an electronic song about the game with the lyrics “burble, burble, glop, glop. Haru makes dat booty pop.” Also, all the characters like cats. How can you not want to play a game about people that like cats?

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You should really play this game. The following CG represents the joy you’ll feel about the game when you finish it.

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–MeatSandwichSpecial

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3 Comments

  1. Cute write-up. :9 Thanks for your hard work!

    So, would you really, REALLY recommend this game to someone that isn´t into burly dudes? Like, can you skip the sex scenes and still consider it worth the 40 bucks? :O

    • I think the story’s certainly worth it, but there’s actually a lot of character development (and hilarious lines) in the sex scenes, so skipping all of them completely would probably not work out so well.

  2. ” There are no waifish boys who are questionably over the age of 18 shouting “no homo” while getting pounded and being whiny over trivial matters. No, this game has real men that look like they jumped out of a men’s health magazine, are unquestionably over the age of 18, and all have actual problems to be concerned about.”

    The main reason why I find those lines and phrasings problematic, actually, is that I like bishounen quite a bit. When people describe them as ”not real men” and questionable looking ” regarding their age, where does that leave me? A straight man pretending to be gay with pedophile tendencies? Plus what people refer to as ”real men” seems more about liking a certain kind of men and pretending than those who don’t look like that are not real than anything else, which I find quite restricted, to be honest.

    I’m still considering buying it to support the industry (I want more BL games! I we won’t get these if nobody pays for them) and there may be things even I will like about it. But you have to admit that from I where I am, 40 bucks for a porn game with one character I find hot, another I find approximately passable and two others who basically embody everything that turns me off looks a bit much.

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