As a fan of video games, anime, comics, and everything else nerdy, I love to discover new stories to satisfy my craving for adventure. Too many times, the search ends with more of the same old, same old. Sure the story might be different, but the characters usually end up being the same old cookie cutter stereo types. Sometimes that is okay, but I always crave something different.
Recently, I was introduced to a project that really grabbed my attention. Love Despite is an up and coming Visual Novel project that was created by a small group that focuses on the Takahashi Recovery Academy, a school for the mentally and physically disabled.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with Visual Novels, They are basically a work of interactive fiction, featuring mostly static graphics, most often using anime-style art or occasionally live-action stills (and sometimes video footage). As the name might suggest, they resemble mixed-media novels or tableau vivant stage plays. They are analogous to a digitized version of a Choose Your Own Adventure novel. (description taken from Wikipedia)
One of the great features about the Love Despite/Takahashi Recovery Academy is the website itself. When you first visit, it seems as though you are actually viewing the school’s site. Immediately, you are welcomed with school announcements and a calendar of events (Although the site is still under construction, you can check back constantly for updates). From there you can navigate the pages to view the mission statement, learn about the various activities that are featured, experience the campus (under construction), inquire about spotlighted characters, and meet the faculty.
What I love about the site is that it immediately transports you to the academy. As an outsider looking in, you are absorbed into the academics and events. You almost become a supporting character that sits in the background as the character lives unfold before you.
The writings on each page embody that which you would expect from a real school, which brings a level of reality to the project. The exquisite artwork is really awe inspiring. As an example, navigate to the spotlight page and click on Kasumi Nakano. Not only is the character design beautiful, but the background detail is breathtaking. If the final product has half of the attention to detail it is sure to be a huge hit!
For more news and events related to the project, be sure to click on the Development Blog and Community Forum links in the bottom right corner. While you are there, be sure to show the team some love by giving your feedback. They obviously put a lot of hard work into creating such a beautifully designed visual novel project and deserve some praise.
What are your thoughts? Please share them in the comments below, as well as in the Forums section of the main website!
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