Okay okay, this is somewhat daft in nature. But since technically this is “DLC” of the base games. I’m gonna be “reviewing” the hentai and smut sections of Nekopara, “basically all of the good stuff” as My Dad Wrote a Porno puts it. Their words, not mine.
Initially playing Vol.0 didn’t net anything lewd, which was slightly expected since this was supposed to be a before the main story began kinda prologue. Although playing through it did do things I didn’t expect, as I put in my review. It did set up my expectations of what the series would hold in that regard: hot lewd action. Although ironically, the OVA which was launched on KickStarter did state no R18 content. So starting off with Vol.0 didn’t exactly set a trend that I expected.
Which leads nicely to Vol.1, for a VN with lewd sections it was a nice surprise to have story first and then the sex. Probably from the previous eroge games played, it nicely set up the first scene to be more “organic” if that’s a term to be used. With the set up being, the cat is in heat which the VN alludes to in previous scenes. It helped flesh out Chocola (Vanilla following shortly after) as a character, giving the expected romance spiel and the usual “I understand what you said, but my heart believed otherwise”. The pacing of the scene was slightly slow at the beginning, it soon picked up pace as the animated section kicked in.
I don’t how they are animating it, other than potentially boning the images and using squash and stretch. It breathed life into what is usually a dull scene, leaving it all to the imagination. The usual flashes of white are there; no obvious ahegao faces. What makes these scenes more “acceptable” is the inclusion of narrative amidst the sex, with the three of them (Chocola, Vanilla and Kashou) and their interactions. It helps make the non-lewd scenes blend slightly easier. Although I do question how many people have played through this without the lewd content. But this wouldn’t be a “review” if some criticisms weren’t drawn out.
Firstly, the scenes go on for slightly too long. Whilst reviewing it on my light laptop, I noticed significantly dropped frames once Kashou started grinding away. Of course this shouldn’t affect the overall experience, although the OP severely lagged behind the audio. The volume of text in it was slightly too much for something more simple. It doesn’t go into full blown description of the experience or has the tropey “so hot” or screaming “I’m cumming” lines from your typical Hentai. It just lingers on a moment and stretches it a bit too much in what could’ve been a quick affair.
Secondly, Kashou is bit too eager in this regard. It’s like he was written to be person playing who’s only response is “I guess I can’t help it, a guy’s gotta do what a guy’s gotta do”. A bit morose method of putting it, but when the only signs of a relationship come from Chocola and Vanilla, more hints from Kashou should’ve been put in there. Is this nitpicky? Yes, but I would like to see more built up story that revolves around the lewd.
End of the day, does the lewd content feel vital to the story? I’m inclined to say yes. Simply because the story would’ve stopped dead in its track if it just said “and so Kashou started dating his Nekos”. A typical romance pitfall, considering most Anime end with the two dating (minus Clannad After Story, that’s a soul destroying story in itself). The slice of life moments are neat in between, Chocola being as innocent as she is, with Vanilla being the classic Kuudere architype. And with the way it writes the lewd content into the main story, it does a hell of a better job than the VNs of yesteryear where it was expected or it wouldn’t sell. And to give it a score, seven nyas! Not quite the nosebleed inducer I expected, although I got light headed from the cider whilst playing through it.