Quite often these bondage Otome games fly straight over my head. That’s because they’re normally along the lines of Neo Angelique Abyss or Miracle Train but Hakuouki promised Shinsengumi whooping ass and plenty of violence and maybe even *gasp* a plot! Rather surprisingly, it proved to have all the exact same problems that Eroge adaptations have.
The dialogue is totally yawn-inducing. A bunch of characters staying stock lines with stock character archetypes. Probably the worst is there’s no attempt to spice up the dialogue with some imaginative directing, it’s just a bunch of beautiful talking heads. For example, compare Bakemonogatari to Katanagatari. Bakemono spices up the dialogue with bizarre facial expressions, camera angle and general Shaftism. Katana just gives you dull talking heads. Of course, there’s far more between the two of them than just Shaft being Shaft but you get my drift. These Shinsengumi are just rattling away stock lines that mean very little and are just dull to watch.
Which is exactly the same as Eroge adaptations. The moe characters say a bunch of stock lines to set up that they are a certain character archetype while saying something else equally dull to set up the plot. I can’t really say why this happens with VisNov adaptations because I’ve never played a VisNov, but I have to wonder why this is the case. Why is the dialogue so stunted? An educated guess is that people playing the games want the characters to act in this unnatural way. The reason you play these games is to look at these wonderful idealised versions of the opposite sex, who obviously won’t act like their real life counterparts. But it does leave some really terrible dialogue and characters.
Not that it was terrible or anything. I’m actually mildly interested in the plot of the story and it was impossible to actually get a feel for any of the characters in the episode when all it was was a parade of beautiful hair with a face attached, each spouting off similar lines. As it goes on I hope there might actually be some more bondage semblance of characterisation beyond the character archetypes. But meh, I’m hardly leaping up and down in my chair in excitement. If anything, I’m annoyed Deen put more effort into this then Giant Killing. Because boy do those men look pretty.