Like any visual novel Hadaka Shitsuji is a game aimed at a very specific demograph and it will not be a game for everyone. If you come into this game looking for a sweet and fluffy game where you are spoiled and pampered by handsome butlers till your hearts content, this is not the game for you. If however, have a sadistic side you would like to explore in a work of fiction and are willing to go down a rabbit hole of sadism, masochistic lust and explore some pretty dark fetishes then maybe just maybe this is the game for you.
In this visual novel you play as Maeda Tomoaki, a down on his luck 3rd year university student who has just lost his job because he ‘helped’ his childhood friend who was being sexually harassed by a customer. Now he has no way to pay the bills and has been sleeping around with girls to get a free feed, but his luck changes when he finds himself a cushy job working at a mansion as the new master of the house for a month while the owner is away. It is an opportunity that almost seems too perfect and soon it becomes clear there is something very wrong about this mansion and the people within it. Will the protag fall victim to this world of debauchery, madness and sin? Well let’s put it this way reader if you play nice with your ‘toys’ you won’t get any of the true or good endings. Believe me I tried on my first few playthroughs, I got sick of hearing from the head butler ‘You were far too kind…’. It is when you start to be cruel and use the butlers as you please that Tomoaki’s true character and nature begins to come out, in more ways than one.
At first he comes across as a somewhat normal man of his age, with what seems to be a few anger issues. As you delve deeper into each route with the butlers or the story of the mansion you discover that he does indeed have quite a sadistic side he has never been able to explore till his hearts content and now that he has been given the opportunity to do so, well it would be a shame to let it go to waste. I will be going through the characters and their routes in the order I myself played them.
Now I have a high level of curiosity and tolerance when it comes to reading about sex and fetishes and it can take a lot to make me feel uncomfortable. My thoughts of rape in yaoi have been made clear in past reviews and I will admit this was one part of this game that I did not enjoy as well as the inclusion of watersports which did make me very uncomfortable and I am just soo glad the game never went into scat territory otherwise I would have definitely stopped playing this game. Once I hit the watersports scene I must confess I was beginning to think yep this game is my limit…. I’m sure I’m not going to regret saying that right?
The butlers themselves were unfortunately very forgettable personality wise, which was a bit of a disappointment to me. There was no real character growth with any of them except that they each played into different fetishes and by the end of any good ending they just became your willing hole to be fucked.
You would think that with everything I have written about this game that I did not enjoy it, but the truth is playing through this game has been a very interesting journey for me and a must confess a journey I am still working my way through as there are still a few endings I have to get as well as CGs. This game has become a welcome escape for me these couple of months, I would even say a healthy outlet for the many frustrations of this year. Just know that if you do go in to play this one it will be a very dirty ride.
This is a manga that hardcore in your face yaoi wise right from the first page and if you are not ready for that then maybe this is not a manga for you, that being said the opening sex scene like the rest of this manga is beautifully illustrated. You don’t know who these characters are which gives the opening pages to this manga an almost voyeuristic feel because the reader has been given no build up as to who these characters are other than the sensual image of the cover and the story synopsis if you read that before starting of course.
As it turns out though this one-shot manga is the classic tale of dubious consent that will either be a guilty pleasure for the reader or a problematic trope within the boys love genre that you may want to avoid if this trope is not your cup of tea. One of the most common story types to come with dubious consent within the boys love genre is that of the man in debt and more often or not this is a debt that has either been inherited from a dead family member or dumped on them by one. See titles like Shounen Maid Kuro-kun and Okane ga Nai for examples of these kinds of stories.
This one shot tells the story of Nayu a young man who’s father has skipped town and left his son with his debt to pay off, as I stated before if you have read this kind of yaoi story before you know the formula. Character inherits debt, ends up having to pay off that debt with either sexual favors to who that debt is to or in more hardcore scenarios ends up as a sex slave or prostitute, these ones are less common though. In this scenario Nayu must become the live in lover of the man who holds his father’s debt, so in a way it kind of reminded me of Okane ga Nai, though unlike an ongoing series like Okane ga Nai there is no where near as much character development throughout the story so again it will really come down to preference whether you will enjoy this manga or not. As a quick guilty pleasure read it was enjoyable for me but if any of the tropes I have mentioned are not to your taste perhaps give this one a skip if you want something a bit more wholesome.
The short answer is that it became a chore and I was beginning to get to the point where I was not enjoying anime anymore, yeah that is a scary thought but it was true. The moment something you love begins to feel like a burden you have to step back and tell yourself, what can I do to bring the enjoyment back for me?
Ever since I started streaming content as my main source of entertainment I have found myself becoming a binger when I sit down to watch any kind of series anime or otherwise. I just can not sit down and watch a single episode of a series these days and the truth is I don’t really take part that often in the current discussions about ongoing anime series ever since I left the r/anime subreddit over two years ago now. The last time I took part in such discussions was during the airing of Yuri on Ice and the debate on whether or not the series was a boys love series or not, if you have read my review on the series you would know my answer to that one and it just might surprise you. This season I even tried to watch a series weekly, that being The Titan’s Bride and well I have already dropped that one mostly for it’s annoying pacing and heavy censorship of the source material.
I know not watching what is currently airing might put me at a slight disadvantage to other anime bloggers because I won’t always be writing about the current hot trend, but with what I focus on here as a whole that being yaoi and boys love I don’t really see that as a real issue. Sorry if this post is kind of rambling and short but this was just something I wanted to write and post.