Today we will cover something much longer than what I’m used to covering, not to mention much more relevant to the market: Shiravune’s release of Kuroinu Redux.
Kuroinu ~Kedakaki Seijo wa Hakudaku ni Somaru~ is a 2010 nukige from the Nexton brand Liquid that gained a lot of relevance in the West for its extremely popular anime OVA adaptation from the animation studio Imagin. It was so popular, in fact, that the game received two separate localizations from two separate companies over the span of six years. Let’s look a little at that history.
MangaGamer, known for bringing over titles like the Rance series, Evenicle, Da Capo, and dozens upon dozens of others, announced that they were localizing the title and released the first game of the trilogy in 2017. However, what wasn’t made clear from the beginning was that this trilogy would not include all of the content in the original game, only a portion of it.
Nevertheless, the releases did do well and included uncensored CGs and a solid translation, but there were still grumblings from time to time about the missing content. Time passed, and it seemed as though MangaGamer was not going to receive nor localize the missing content, and the community speculated that the full game would never see an English release.
That is, until DMM-owned company Shiravune decided to announce a re-localization of Kuroinu under the name Kuroinu Redux, which included all of the material MangaGamer’s releases didn’t include as well as the 2018 release of additional content (read: more porn) and other optimizations titled Kai. If you buy the Steam version, you’ll need the patch from Johren to get the full experience.
The only things that Shiravune did not include were the decensored CGs included in the MangaGamer release, which led to a patch from one eccentric fan on F95Zone to restore the scenes included in the MangaGamer releases. However, the new content that was not included in the original trilogy remains censored.
With all of that out of the way, let’s talk about the actual game!
Kuroinu is a story that revolves mainly around the concept of betrayal and the underhanded means the mercenary king Vult utilizes to conquer not only the lands around him—Eos—but also the women that reside there.
The routing of this game is linear (aside from being able to determine the outcome of an H-scene) and follows a rather simple formula: Vult sets out to capture the next fortress on his list, uses some sort of underhanded tactic in order to make it easier for him and his group of “Black Dog Mercenaries” (the namesake of the game) to spread the influence of his newly established “Cuntry.” Obviously, this involves all sorts of depravity, which I’ll get into down below.
Kuroinu is directed by veteran VN staff member Sakamoto Ebito and features a scenario by Asou Ei (known for euphoria, Mi-ko-ko-n, Erewhon, among other cult classics) and some H-scene writing from Izumi Ban’ya, who has done an absolutely insane amount of work from Dark Blue to SaDistic BlooD.
This game is chock full of erotic scenes, and H-scenes often lasted up to 25 minutes, and that was even with me skipping voice lines. I imagine a full scene could last longer than an episode of the OVA if played on auto at the default speed. And there’s tons of intricate dialogue and alluring prose exuding from each corner of the script.
And the subject matter varies widely too, from goblins and their group tactics, to gargoyles, to fat, stinky men, your fantasy-esque erotic novel itch is going to be scratched at some point. Seriously, check out the tag list on VNDB—you’re sure to find at least a few somethings you like.
However, despite all its positives, the game is not without flaws, mostly in relation to the linear layout of each “fortress’s” story. Even with all the erotic content revealing a lot about the characters involved, I still felt as though they weren’t fleshed out enough to be considered interesting. They’re all beautiful, and they have a clear start and end to their arcs, but the journey of reaching that ending and not really feeling how much that depravity and betrayal affected these characters was kind of a let-down. Most of the time I would just think to myself, “Oh, no, I sure hope nothing bad happens! :)” A little bit of variety would have helped the overall story. The scenes were varied in spades, but the story just less so.
Take for example the main character, Vult. He is built up in this extremely one-dimensional way and never really is taken outside of that box. The most actual development he gets is choosing whether some mercenaries or some random suitor get first dibs to use a heroine to their heart’s content.
That’s not to say that he’s an awfully written character, but there just isn’t anything there to make me care about his shallow motives and conquests. Seriously, a little bit of extra plot would have gone far here.
Overall, though, Kuroinu is fantastic game, and I imagine there was much rejoicing finally with the full release. The fantasy setting allows for some insanely fun scenes, and the art alone is honestly enough to warrant a playthrough of the game. Just don’t expect a deep story here—the game goes deep in many other ways.
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