Title: How to Raise a Wolf Girl
Developer: Sweet & Tea
Release Date: October 11, 2019
Reviewed On: PC
Publisher: Sekai Project
Genre: Visual Novel
When I first saw How to Raise a Wolf Girl as an upcoming visual novel, the premise immediately had me curious. I mean, a story about a heroine who was lost for several years without any interaction with humans was something I would like to see play out. A bonus in this story would be to see some character growth in the character as she opens up to humans and learns to trust. How to Raise a Wolf Girl ends up trying to tell a compelling story through a slice-of-life narrative, and it does pay off in some areas.
How to Raise a Wolf Girl revolves around Kousaka Shuuji, who happens to find a mysterious girl in the mountains while exploring with his childhood friend Kana. Well, it wasn’t like she wanted to be found, she ended up getting caught in one of Shuuji’s grandfather’s traps. What’s strange about this girl is that she is wearing a pair of wolf ears and a tail. They decided to take her with them despite not being sure whether to treat her like a pet or human. She manages to tell them that her name is Sakuraba Iroha, and it turns out she has been in those woods for the last ten years after being lost.
Usually, I dislike heroines who are not very smart and, even worse, are dependent on the protagonist. I seem to find myself getting somewhat attracted to self-confident girls, that’s all. Anyways, a girl who can live without a guy but still keeps him by her side because she adores him is alway a sweet scenario. However, despite Iroha being precisely the opposite as she’s very clumsy and maybe clings too much on the protagonist, it was rather easy for me to fall in love with her helplessness. I could understand Iroha’s situation since she lived in the mountains for ten years. I mean, I suppose it’s normal that she lost a bit of her common sense, and I quickly looked past it.
However, Iroha isn’t the only adorable heroine. I also enjoyed the scenes between Shuuji and the other girls, especially Kana. It’s easy to tell that Kana has feelings for Shuuji, but she still gets along with Iroha and other girls who are also close to him. Still, there are moments where she gets jealous because Shuuji is not a considerate guy, but that makes for some comical situations between the two.
How to Raise a Wolf Girl has plenty of touching moments and unavoidable topics that made Iroha’s life difficult, such as explaining her wolf ears and tail. I was interested in finding out what happened to her and why she got lost in the first place. Her back story is slowly revealed throughout, and it makes for a subtle build-up of information. The affection I started to feel for Iroha’s helplessness, was genuine, and every time she got sad, I couldn’t help but want to pet her and tell her everything would be alright. Luckily, we have Shuuji, who will do that in our place.
A big part of How to Raise a Wolf Girl is its slice-of-life and comedic elements. We get to take a look into Shuuji’s and Iroha’s everyday life. A thing I found adorable was that everyone was so considerate with Iroha despite her being a little bit behind with her studies and mannerisms. But of course, I couldn’t help but smirk at some scenes when Iroha didn’t know the simplest things, yet knows a lot of other useful information such as how to survive in the wilderness. Her behavior reminded me of a domesticated pet, which only made her more adorable.
The artwork in How to Raise a Wolf Girl is stunning and even contains animations such as eye blinking, emotional reactions, and Iroha’s ears moving. The animation of the ears appeared natural, instead of a girl just putting on ears to cosplay. There are plenty of gorgeous CGs available in the game as well, and if I had to pick the cutest one — well, that would be impossible. However, I felt that the proportions of the faces of the characters seem off when shown from the side. I honestly can’t say what exactly bothers me, but the eyes and the whole face look so jarring that I spent more time thinking about what is wrong with their faces than focussing on the text. Still, the voice acting is top-notch, especially Iroha’s stumbling is way too cute to pass on.
How to Raise a Wolf Girl is a light-hearted visual novel that shows the development of a helpless girl who ended up living in the mountains for ten years. Despite her being an airhead, she’s just too adorable that Shuuji and I fell in love with her. I liked every character in this game and could understand their intentions very well, as thoroughly.
The game doesn’t move the genre in any direction and presents a story the fans will expect along with some compelling moments of character growth, or as much as you can fit in a comedic visual novel. How to Raise a Wolf Girl is a high-quality visual novel that tells a tale full of regrets, lost past, and friendship fueled with plenty of slice-of-life offerings.
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