Koropokkur in Love ~A Little Fairy’s Tale~ Review – Cute!
Platform: PC (reviewed)
Release: 27th September 2018
Mangagamer is known as one of the biggest English localization companies/publishers with some of the highest quality releases available at the moment. However, did anyone really expect to see them in the position of a developer? Well, I didn´t and yet Koropokkur is an All-Ages visual novel developed by Mangagamer and illustrations by Itaru Hinoue. For 15 dollars, it doesn´t seem too bad for their first project, right? Right.
The Koropokkur live in a tiny village, far away from humanity, prohibited from interacting with any of them. However, it wasn´t always like that. Long ago, the Koropokkur fairies and humans lived peacefully together, sadly only a legend of a fairy becoming a human through love remains of those times. Now the young Asirrera embarks once again on a journey into our realm, though when she finally arrives in Akihabara she accidentally ruins Satoru´s last effort to revive his maid café, effectively ruining him. Naturally, she has to take responsibility for her actions and decides to become his one and only maid. Yet soon after, two more Koropokkurs join her effort and so begins this lovely tale.
Obviously, the story isn´t anything to write home about. Koropokkur aims at delivering pretty much exactly what you would expect from this premise, in every regard. For better or worse though, that´s exactly what it wants to do, after all, Mangagamer didn´t price at 15 dollars without a reason. Instead, it´s a 4 hour long little experience, showing a cute little fairy tale no one can really hate, in order to provide a better entry point for beginners. That´s why there are no H-scenes as well, for example.
On the one hand, it´s pretty much perfect to relax while reading, as the tale about Asirrera job at a maid café, isn´t just cute but wholly entertaining. Mainly because Koropokkurs have the ability to transform into their human form since they´re normally very tiny. However, Asirrera tends to transform back into her fairy form when she´s stressed, making her pretty much the worst fit for a job around human interaction. So a huge source for the comedy factor is seeing her fight against her anxieties and produce more and more misunderstandings, which somehow all end well.
On the other hand, the love story may be as cliché as it gets, as well as the ending, but that´s why one would want to play this after all. It´s one of those cute little tales about true love being discovered, while everyone´s life is going upwards again, without any kind of big evil or real threat. Combined with the fairy aspect though, Koropokkur is able to do enough new things with its premise, like illustrating cultural differences or produce really adorable moments.
To top it off, Koropokkur also features two other main cast members: The fairies Cirta and Haruante, friends of our main protagonist. Naturally, they too are pretty much simple stereotypes of popular anime personalities. Cirta is your typical upbeat, childish, strong character, while Haruante is this mother-like figure. As in many other games, those three fairies work quite well together, since this combination basically guarantees an interesting group mechanic, especially with the whole Koropokkur twist. It´s just cute to see how they all take over roles fitting for their personalities and try to run this maid café without getting caught as fairies.
Unfortunately, while all this works, I still longed wished for more truly unique ideas, particularly because there were quite a lot of untouched themes. As already said, Koropokkur isn´t meant to reinvent the genre and simply tries to deliver a standard experience with a twist, but there already are so many of them. I hoped to see at least a new spin due to the maid café but that too boiled down to a really unsurprising environment. Don´t get me wrong, the dialogues and all that is pretty good and create the right atmosphere, I just couldn´t find myself be impressed by any of it. In every regard, it really is what you would expect from a visual novel as a beginner.
Otherwise, Koropokkur is similar to an ammolite title in terms of quality for the price. While it doesn´t offer voice acting, the art is simply beautiful. Given, you have to like Itaru Hinoue´s style, which tends to be somewhat of a hit and miss thing with some people, but it works exceedingly well with the cute-tone and ideas. For example, the fairie´s chibi versions are simply adorable and almost made entirely for her style. The backgrounds and character art, though there aren´t a whole lot of them, all look great, offer some nice little easter eggs here and there, and show that this whole thing really was a passion project for the team. Naturally, Mangagamer´s English translation is once again great and this time it even comes with the Japanese text.
Overall, I really liked Koropokkur during the few hours it takes to complete it. For 15 bucks you get a really well made little adorable visual novel, with a truly unique background and a whole lot of charm. I only wished for a tiny bit more creativity, despite its goal to deliver an accessible, light entry-point for beginners.
[A Review Code was provided by Mangagamer]