Title: Love's Sweet Garnish 2
Release Date: March 15, 2020
Reviewed On: PC
Publisher: Sekai Project
Genre: Visual Novel
Daily life and slice-of-life visual novels can sometimes be just as engaging as dramatic and high-action titles in the genre. It really depends on your preference, which is why the sequel Love’s Sweet Garnish 2 has an already established fanbase that understands its nuances and sense of storytelling. This is a low-tension visual novel, but the adorable romance and charming characters are sure to keep you invested.
Love’s Sweet Garnish 2 takes us back to the cafe Caramella, which has risen in popularity since Asaki has taken over as assisting manager. After his grandma approves of what he has done with the place, he has been gifted the opportunity of more responsibility. The story is mostly about him relying on the people around him to keep this place operation and convince him that he is the perfect fit for this role.
The narrative extends into the character routes themselves, which there are now four of, as the girls have their own small issues and involve Asaki in figuring out a resolution. The story itself is exceptionally low impact as you pretty much are just soaking up all this daily life cuteness from summer till the Christmas holiday.
Given that this is the second entry, I don’t think I have to explain that these stories aren’t driven by their plot as much as they are by their adorable scenarios. Love’s Sweet Garnish 2 doesn’t really try to keep you on the edge of your seat or make you overthink. You’re just here for the cuteness, which it provides over and over again. Admittedly, this was a turnoff for me, but after the opening and a couple of character routes, I began to enjoy the relaxing nature that the story provided.
The scenarios are written incredibly well, especially with the large cast being together a lot of the time. Still, they all stand out in their respective routes, but the balance of screentime is well shared. Ciel and Korons’ routes stand out the most here, but given that they are the newbies, it makes sense. I think reality kind of hits me here, though, given that they are part-timers; I just couldn’t help but wish that they had bigger dreams outside of working at a cafe. Not that it’s bad, but they are just so set on helping Asaki for as long as he’ll have them.
Ciel is your little sister type and fills that role in this entry. She’s eager to help at the drop of a hat and looks up to Asaki. This route is pretty standard fare for this genre, but it’s also the romance that I felt was sold the cleanest. I honestly would have preferred all resources went towards making Rira’s route longer, but I understood the direction.
Koron’s route is just so warm and pure that you can’t help but just appreciate it for what it is. She’s not an overly complicated character, but that’s what makes learning more about her the best part of her scenario. It works for the enjoyment of the daily life visual novel, but I think she could have been given a little more personality in the end as the clumsy shy trope can only take one so far.
The illustrations are all soft with light pastel colors that really sell the dream-like themes. There’s great pacing when it comes to the CGs that show the characters in some rather cute situations. There’s an additional adult patch, but I should say that those scenes are few and far between, so I wouldn’t purchase this game for that alone. You’re really in it for the investment of just spending 20 hours with a group of cute girls.
I think the voice acting is where this game really shines. It’s just so soft and ASMR-like. If you’re having a stressful day or just want to unwind, put this on and decompress. The music is cafe-esque and doesn’t hurt and help the scenes in a way. That’s not a negative; I just wanted to point that out.
Love’s Sweet Garnish 2 is the perfect daily life visual novel. It doesn’t burden you with drama or high-stakes storytelling, but you stay engaged for the adorable romance and charming cast. I could have used a little more substance in the routes, but this ended up being a great sequel.
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