Hello Lady! Complete Edition Review – A Clash of Wills

    Title: Hello Lady! Complete Edition
    Developer: AKATSUKI-WORKS
    Release Date: January 21, 2022
    Reviewed On: PC
    Publisher: NekoNyan Ltd., HIKARI FIELD
    Genre: Visual Novel

Hello Lady! Complete Edition is the first Akatsuki Works game to receive an official English translation. Packing both Hello Lady! and the content from its fandisc, New Division, the visual novel is an interesting pick from publisher NekoNyan.

Hello Lady!‘s set in a world where some people have special powers called Halos. These abilities can vary wildly from strength enhancement to restricted forms of reading minds. Accordingly, supporters and enemies of these people alike have created factions as discrimination and conflicts escalate.

Amidst these circumstances stands an educational institute called Amakawa Noble Academy. The school has a motto of treating Halos and its users, the HMIs, as nobles. Yet, while treating them as superior beings who should be responsible for shaping the world, they still explain that these noble powers demand societal responsibilities.

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The protagonist, Shinri Narita, joins this school as a new transfer student. However, the circumstances behind his joining are a little more complicated. Surprisingly, while the school is divided into a power hierarchy, he stands atop the crowd as one of the now six Etoile-level individuals.

All of the other students are girls, with who he gets a bit physical with from time to time. A part of his personality is that of an eccentric bachelor who worships the voluptuousness of women. As such, expect him to have weird antics from time to time and serious discussions on such topics.

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His peculiarity also includes his profoundly verbose speech patterns. He’s the kind who talks as if he were in a Shakespeare play, and considering the game’s constant references to the English playwright; it’s amusing to see. No matter how banal the topic, he’ll act like a chuunibyou kid who has to act as a tragic, fatalist protagonist.

However, there’s much more he hides behind this surface. As players see the plot unfold, some twists reveal his backstory and motivations. These moments of revelation are the most intriguing in the game, though it also does feature romance and good heroines.

With both the original game and fandisc included, there are six heroines. All five Crowns, the Etoile-grade HMIs who are at the top of the academy’s command, are romance options. Three of them are locked, with one only available after opening the New Division menu. The New Division content also includes a route for Shinri’s maid, and after finishing both, players have access to the Superior Entelecheia, the last route.

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When it comes to the girls, the first options are Tamao and Sorako. Tamao is an athletic girl, and the protagonist tends to treat her as if she were a beast girl. On the other hand, Sorako is a caring girl who may initially seem naive. She’s the first to trust Shinri, and it’s comfortable to hang out with her.

The next heroine is Eru, a younger girl deeply invested in anime and gaming cultures. She can be very harsh to Shinri due to her respect and admiration for Saku. The last of the initial four girls is Saku, who meets Shinri before he enters the academy and can be considered the main heroine. She can’t handle the protagonist’s nonsensical attitude very well and is a character who acts dignified as an example for the academy despite also having a softer side.

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On the fandisc content, we have Mitori, the last of the Crowns. She’s an intriguing woman who seems like the one closest to being a dignified noble in the school. Mitori gets interested in the protagonist after seeing how unique his willpower is.

There’s also the maid Hishia, a young woman whose relationship with her master is often some sort of slapstick. She’s the closest person to the protagonist’s ambition, handling things behind the scenes. Hishia is also responsible for the endings’ hints corner, acting as if she were in a TV show.

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All of the girls are more than what they may seem at first, and, as the player gets through their routes, it’s possible to see other sides to them. It’s also interesting to see how their relationship with the academy and the protagonist go. After all, Shinri’s a sort of eyesore to the academy’s teachings and his personal beliefs may destroy this place where the HMIs belong.

As such, Hello Lady! is a clash of wills, as the protagonist and heroines reveal secrets behind the academy and their pasts. When it comes to the visuals, the characters are designed by Saeki Hokuto, whose previous works include Koihime Musou and Rui wa Tomo o Yobo. All characters have a nice amount of detail with dynamic CGs, with only a few in chibi form. I’m personally fond of how it shows some cut-ins of the protagonist’s expressions from time to time.

The soundtrack composed by Satoru Inohara also complements the scenes’ emotional sides. It’s a nice touch that it’s possible to see the track’s name playing on the bottom part of the interface at any time. This is the sort of feature I wish was part of many visual novels I played.

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With a compelling cast and good use of a setting, Hello Lady! offers a gripping narrative. Its protagonist’s peculiar mannerisms are a fascinating example of a colorful, brilliant choice that profoundly impacts the plot. It’s an engaging, theatrical mix of action and plot twists, though its verbose antics might not be for everyone.

A review copy of the title was provided by the publisher for review purposes

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Ivanir Ignacchitti

Random Japanese games are my jam. Handhelds, RPGs, VNs and PC banzai.