Title: The Witch's Love Diary
Release Date: July 27, 2019
Reviewed On: PC
Publisher: Sekai Project
Genre: Visual Novel
There’s something about The Witch’s Love Diary that caught my eye. The premise here is quite unique as it follows a mysterious protagonist who the reader learns about through a diary. I’m not sure if you can relate to reading a stranger’s diary, but the experience is rather thrilling. The idea of getting to know their deepest and honest thoughts through their point of view is just something that begs to be explored further. Perhaps I’m just nosy. Nevertheless, reading a diary while playing a visual novel is a new experience, and thankfully The Witch’s Love Diary has been localized so I can be as nosy as I want.
The story follows an average student named Alice Nanno who happens to live in a barbershop. She has two best friends and she spends most of her time with them. One day, her friends suggest visiting the clock tower since it’s known for granting one’s wish. Despite not having a wish, she decides to join her friends and suddenly, a mysterious book falls from inside the clock tower. Being afraid of it disappearing, she decides to keep it a secret and reads through it at night. Some pages are stuck together but when the book starts to glow, Alice is able to read through another chapter. Evidently, this mysterious book is known as the Witch’s Love Diary which is a diary of a mysterious guy named Takumi.
Although its premise confused me at first, I found it enjoyable to read through the many unique independent stories that have Takumi interact with different girls. It’s also important to note that even the side characters have their own route. This way of storytelling is actually pretty unique because we have a guy as a protagonist who romances other girls, but you’re actually reading the whole game from Alice’s perspective. It feels like reading multiple different journal chapters that each contain new events. At first, the stories don’t really make sense, but as the story unfolds it starts to add up after a while. Such as why people from Alice’s circle of friends end up as characters within the journal despite them not having memories about it. It’s this mystery that kept me reading and it does pay off in the end.
Even though there are multiple love stories within the journal, I found that the chemistry was really well written between Takumi and each of the girls, which surprised me given that each girl is entirely different. These love stories are quite short, yet authentic, and more importantly, realistic. I could understand why each girl fell for Takumi since, in all honesty, he is just a very sweet guy. Another thing I loved is that the story leads us into thinking that Takumi is a total jerk who just sleeps with every girl he meets, yet this view dramatically changed as I started to know more and more about him which happened naturally during the story. Each romantic story feels like being a separate event which ends with its own unique song as well as a mostly satisfying conclusion although some might consider it to be bittersweet.
The Witch’s Love Diary works with a map system that lets you freely choose between any desired story. As you go through each story, new stories are unlocked, which show an avatar of the characters waiting to be chosen by the player. When you can’t decide on one, don’t worry, as they will be optional later on. While some of them are pure love stories, there are some that dive a little deeper into the character’s backstories. The game has a nice balance of fluffy romance and serious scenes, and I found them both to be equally as well written. Also, the true ending gets unlocked once you manage to finish the story once.
Every day during The Witch’s Love Diary begins with Alice waking up, going to school, and then end with her reading the diary at night. Although there is a specific story you will have to play through one way or another that makes it feel more like a romantic fairytale, with Alice as the protagonist. Throughout the story, I felt like I wanted Alice to be the protagonist, but more importantly, I wanted her to appear in Takumi’s dairy. Which I’d hate to spoil.
The Witch’s Love Diary has some stunning artwork, but it offers very little animations besides moving backgrounds. However, there are still plenty of different facial expressions available as well as a lot of beautiful CGs that made it hard for me get through the game because I wanted to take so many screenshots to look at later. The voice acting is high quality, even when a girl is mumbling it sounds very natural. Although the protagonist isn’t voiced, he still has his sprite, which is already quite unique for a dating sim. On a side note, I was delighted to see that The Witch’s Love Diary is another visual novel with a lot of setting options for text customization. You can choose your desired font as well as small optional extra settings depending on your preference in the menu.
While playing through The Witch’s Love Diary, I felt like I was reading through a beautiful fairytale — the game’s great writing managed to change my opinion of Takumi as his character evolved through each journal entry. Even though following the journal entries at first might be a little confusing, the mysterious book and the write get explained perfectly to create a well-told story of romance in a rather unique way.
The Witch’s Love Diary has multiple romance routes available that feel like independent stories that break up the main story and are, therefore, quite short. Despite being short, they managed to grip me as I felt like Takumi was a perfect fit for each girl and his connection with them came off as pure. That being said, I can highly recommend The Witch’s Love Diary to anyone who enjoys fluffy romance with a lot of cute girls fueled by stunning illustrations and characters, making it a unique kind of fairytale that only this story could tell.
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