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As you browse the net looking for that sweet hentai, you sometimes come across a piece of media that sounds brilliant but turns out painfully mediocre; not bad, just poorly executed. Yandere – I love you, so I want to kill you is unequivocally average in its delivery and presentation, much to my dismay as the characters and story eventually had me quite intrigued. While the game is a pretty great thriller at times, its low production quality regrettably winds up holding the game back.

Yandere – I love you, so I want to kill you is a 2007 eroge visual novel by developer/publisher Necomarudow, though I’m running the Dark Eye Translations English patch as there was never an official English release. The game follows a week in the life of high school heartthrob Oda Subaru; an arrogant and self-obsessed teenager who decides to finally get some action now that his parents are on holiday for eight days. The story begins when Subaru has his next door neighbor and childhood friend, Miyauchi Saki, over to help him organize his routine for washing, cooking, cleaning, etc. Subaru, being the selfish prick he is, feels like getting his dick wet and woos her into sleeping with him. He bites off more than he can chew, though, as Saki becomes incredibly clingy. She dotes on him constantly and insists on cleaning and cooking for him, hampering Subaru’s ambitions to conquer more women he knows. These other women consist of Kikushite Yuumi, his Japanese studies teacher, and Saitou Maika, an underclassmen Subaru befriended.

The three heroines of this story are all pretty interesting and drive the bulk of the suspense in Yandere – I love you, so I want to kill you. Saki is incredibly possessive and generates a lot of conflict with the other girls. She takes on a scary seriousness when the other girls are encroaching on her territory. In her interactions with Subaru, it’s apparent that they have an interesting, unhealthy relationship; Subaru treats her like a tool, getting her to clean up after him and uses her for sex. Saki is overly obsessive, treating Subaru like he’s her property and she’s the only one he’s allowed to even look at. As you travel down her path, she gets progressively clingier, reaching dangerous levels. Whenever Saki is in a bad mood, the whole atmosphere of the scene takes a scary turn. Maika, on the other hand, is a shy and timid girl who Subaru spends lunch periods with occasionally. Being a grade under Saki and Subaru, she refers to Subaru as senpai, looking up to him since he helps her with a bullying problem she has. Subaru’s Japanese teacher Yuumi likes to be a tease and lures Subaru in, which he plays along with, using her from time to time to play with her body when he gets the chance. What all these girls have in common is that they’re all virgins and become dangerously possessive after Subaru breaks them in, so to speak.

Subaru as a character really grew on me over time. At first, I just thought he was a generic faceless self-insert who was quip snappy, but he turns out to be a real asshole. This dude is a cunt and it’s wonderful having a protagonist who isn’t just plain and boring, which they could’ve easily gone with given the plot. What really sealed the deal for me was a scene when Subaru is having lunch with Maika, as she normally sits alone since she gets bullied quite harshly by her female peers. Maika spills something on Subaru and he freaks out, complaining about how people will give him funny looks. Strictly concerned with how his peers will judge him, he takes this out on Maika in an outburst. Naturally, she’s overly apologetic as she’s familiar with this kind of hostility. The whole scenario perfectly encapsulates Subaru; a facade of kindness that easily cracks when something upsets his presentation.

Speaking of the overall presentation, this game is pretty poor in that regard. Yandere – I love you, so I want to killyou has some pretty glaring cut corners that hurt it a lot. The first thing you may notice is that the menu options and buttons look awfully dated, with overly curved and 3D styled edges combined with an overhead menu in the game that looks straight out of Windows XP. A nitpick it may be, but it’s something that only gets worse as time goes on. The art isn’t great, especially in the close-up CGs where there are some odd angles and proportions. The cutouts for dialogue aren’t terrible, but they only have two states: normal and yandere. The emotions on the faces are instead mostly relegated to occasional close-ups of said faces next to the text box; a decision I’m actually in support of as I’m terrible with names and it helped me distinguish who was saying what very early on. There’s an eerie lack of sound design for a lot of scenes, which is especially jarring in the sex scenes when all you have is a single image scene, the text, and the background music. Amusingly enough, the music, arguably the best part of the presentation, wasn’t made by the team and is royalty-free music by sound production group SENTIVE, who specialize in making all-purpose backing tracks like this. There is voice work present, but only for very select moments in a character’s ending. By and large, there is no voice acting and very few sound effects, which may be a boon to those who find those distracting, but I find that the game isn’t fully utilizing the strengths of the visual novel genre. That said, the few instances in which sound effects are used integrate them quite well; for example, a scene where Yuumi is ringing the doorbell of Subaru’s house as her cutout moves back and forth on-screen can be quite scary when combined with the doorbell sound.

The area that I find most divisive on whether I think this game is worth playing for is the sex scenes. Yandere – I love you, so I want to kill you has horror and guro elements that are actually quite interesting and well-done, though they’re generally rather short. By comparison, the plentiful vanilla sex scenes in this game are so bland and boring, I had trouble even getting aroused by them at points. The biggest problem with these scenes is the lack of sound; it’s just an image and text, so you don’t get any auditory feedback of what’s happen and it just ends up coming off as awkward. This makes the beginning of the game a real slog to get through, as nothing interesting is happening and all you have to keep you going is some sub-par sexual encounters. Admittedly, once the plot picks up and you get a taste of all the girls’ personalities, it becomes quite engaging. I was on the edge of my seat during the more suspenseful scenes, trying to work out who the real yandere will turn out to be. The game isn’t that long, clocking in at around 4 hours. Going through and getting all the endings will bring you up to 10 hours or so, depending on how much you feel like actually rereading the poor first half of the game.

The crazier and violent sexual encounters that occur near the end of a route are pretty cool, but I can’t say they’re worth the time spent getting to them. The main draw to the game are the yandere elements, and these final moments certainly do that tag justice with visceral and bloody horror, but they’re also quite short-lived. One of the girls (I won’t spoil which) in one of the endings stabs Subaru and chops him up, leaves his guts and entrails in a bath and decides to eat him, taking bit and pieces out to cook with spices with. There’s a rather amusing point when Subaru accidentally snaps one of the girls’ necks as he’s getting too rough with her in bed, but doesn’t initially realize it. There are a couple good scenes like that depending on the route you end up on, but these come right at the end of the game and are a weak payoff for the drag at the beginning and the tension of the mid to late story segments. This game would’ve been ten times better if these scenes just went on a tiny bit longer.

All things considered, Yandere – I love you, so I want to kill you is a mixed bag. There’s a lot to hate about this game, but also a lot to love with some well-done and enjoyable moments. There’s tension and suspense when Subaru is in danger of getting caught cheating with these intimidating yandere women, and it’s honestly scary at times when they start exhibiting these obsessive tendencies around each other. It’s not too long a game, so if you have a couple nights free with nothing better to read and want a short, suspenseful, yandere-themed eroge, then give it a try. Just don’t go in expecting anything amazing.

You can check out Yandere – I love you, so I want to kill you along with anything else by Necomarudow at their website here . You can pick up the Dark Eye Translations English patch over at their own website.

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