Release Date: August 5, 2021
Reviewed On: PC
I feel like the Days series of visual novels from developer qureate are becoming more and more frequent in the west. In their newest title, IdolDays, we get a bit more of the same, but with the slight benefit of an interesting plot to turn a tough girl into an idol. Don’t let the premise fool you; this series is still up to its same tricks, but it’s more or less comfort food at this point.
IdolDays introduces our nameable male protagonist who is down on his luck at the idol agency he works for. He has no real prospects but knows the ins and outs of the idol industry without having an idol to manage. That is until he’s moping around the park one day and hears some beautiful singing. The voice belongs to Tsubaki Akanesaki, but she wants nothing to do with him or his thoughts of signing her as an idol.
After being shot down, he goes to work only to learn that Tsubaki will be working for his agency. This gives him the chance to train her while pushing her to use her singing ability to become an idol. As seen in other Days titles, the two leads need to be as close together as possible, and we learn that Tsubaki has just been evicted. You probably guessed this by now, but she moves in, and by the morning, the protagonist has already walked in on her changing.
I feel like qureate pride themselves on writing cliches into their ecchi titles. Instead of focusing on unique lewd CG situations, they invest a lot of time into Tsubaki’s backstory. She’s a badass and has been fired for punching her boss for using his position of power to grope female coworkers. Evidently, she holds onto years of struggles that make her a loose cannon to those around her, but she is also willing to open up quite quickly, making it apparent she just wants someone to talk to.
This focus on character growth is easy for someone like Tsubaki, who can really only improve from where she started. However, it’s great how nothing she does is out of character. Once she decides on something, she gives it her all, and if she doesn’t like something, she’ll fight. This leads us to her more romantic side, which stems from her subtle attempts at human interaction. Maybe I’m thinking too much on it, but I really wanted to give this release a fair review without simply glossing over the details.
In this entry, the choices do somewhat matter for optional endings. The two true endings available depend on if you make the correct choices, but it really doesn’t matter for the overall plot. However, I appreciate the lengths that the romance takes to kick in. The leads take their time to get to know each other, and while most of the spotlight is on Tsubaki, the male protagonist gets to whine about how he’s going to be the reason the idol agency fails.
The low-effort plot is presented with some great character illustrations for Tsubaki at least. She’s actually the only character in the entire game, which is fine cause I doubt a supporting cast would help this narrative in any way. I like her range of expressions, though, given that her emotions are all over the place. The CGs are all great, most of which are tied to the optional adult patch. The patch also replaces some of the all-ages CGs, which I actually liked from the Switch version.
Throughout the story, we follow Tsubaki as she understands what it takes to be an idol and its weight on your mental life. The two characters learn to overcome some situations together, but it’s extremely surface level, and nothing will surprise you. One thing I’d like to highlight is that the commas in these visual novels aren’t followed by a space. This is the same in every release, so I’m not sure what is going on there.
IdolDays is yet another entry in this series, and it doesn’t try to be anything else. Maybe I’m just getting used to them, but I enjoyed the ups and downs this story presented, along with the goal of overcoming the hand you were dealt in life and facing your fears. It’s just a low impact, short romance, and nothing more.
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