Aoi Shiro is a popular visual novel created by SUCCESS that was released on both PlayStation 2 and PC. While it has some strong yuri themes – for those of you who are not familiar with the term, that is girl on girl action – Aoi Shiro can be pegged as being on the nice part since there are no actual sex scenes portrayed in the game.
This may sound like a big disappointment, but the truth is that Aoi Shiro has so many good points that we cannot simply overlook it. The game has no less than 56 different endings, beautiful art, great music, interesting characters, humor, and a lot of information on things you may not know about Japanese mythology. If you are into tomboys, and you like watching plenty of girl on girl romance, Aoi Shiro makes for a nice teasing game. In short, it may not be an eroge, but it is a nice ecchi to introduce you to the world of yuri love.
Designed as an adventure game, Aoi Shiro blends modern world with a mythical universe where your character – to get things straight from the start, you play as a girl – and your female friends will encounter all kinds of well, mythical terrors. As a horror story, the game has its good parts, and you will have to fight your way through in more than one occasion.
The story starts when the girls from Seijou Girls Academy, members of the Kendo club, where you are the leader, embark on a journey to Shoushinji to train for the summer. Just close to your campsite, there is an island called Urashima, the place where a huge extermination of demons happened some time ago.
The people on the island organize a festival to honor gods each summer, but the beginning of the festival is always marked by powerful storms. The angry waters wash ashore a cute girl who apparently suffers from amnesia. As a good yuri champion, you save her, and from here, the story starts.
What makes Aoi Shiro a great game is the bounty of great looking, personalized characters. Starting with the main character – which you basically play -, Osanai Syouko (Osa) is a good-natured, a little dykish looking girl, captain of the Kendo team. As she does not seem to have any special skills, she compensates by being very hardworking, and her female friends love to tease her all the time. The good part, as you may guess, is that if you play your cards right, you get to romance other beautiful girls from the Kendo team and not only.
Aizawa Yasumi is the manager of the said Kendo team, and despite being involved in the sports business, so to speak, she is far from being the athletic type. She does not exercise too much, as she apparently has little stamina to start with, but she is great at cooking for the other girls. She is quite easy to romance since she basically has a crush on Osa. If you like cute, delicate girls, then she could be the one for you.
Kaya is another nice looking badass chick, who yields an impressive sword and is on a quest of her own. She is kind of your aunt since she is your mother’s cousin. She used to be head of the Kendo team, and you are following her footsteps.
Nami is the girl you find washed ashore at the beginning of the adventure. She is another cute anime girl, who is more like a child; since she cannot talk, she expresses herself through various facial gimmicks, and she can be quite funny and endearing. She glues to you like stamps on a letter, so it is easy to get along with her.
Kyan Migiwa is the sexy tomboy that Osa is instantly drawn to. She is very fashionably dressed, but her carefree personality can be a pain in the ass. She is met by the character as she spends the summer close to the training camp. She can be romanced, and she is worth the effort, too, but Osa has a hard time trying to deal with her when they met because of Migiwa’s arrogant attitude.
Kohaku represents one of the game’s mysteries. It is hard to tell if Kohaku is a boy or a girl, but for the sake of the yuri theme, so present in Aoi Shiro, we like to pretend she is. One of the unforgettable traits of the character is that she keeps an eye closed all the time.
Akita Momoko is another member of the Kendo team. Playful, but determined, she first intended to join the rock club at the academy, but, with no such options present, she finally settled for the kendo team.
These are the main characters, but plenty of others appear along the story. While you will spend an awful lot of time fighting demons and monsters, you will be able to romance some of the girls along the way. The Nami route is the most obvious, but you can also get your yuri kicks off by pairing with others.
Since the game has so many possible endings, you will need to pay some serious attention to the choices you make during the game. The silly banter that sometimes takes place between the girls takes the edge off the horror story that Aoi Shiro actually is. The beautiful female characters will definitely give you nice dreams, and the light yuri scenes will probably whet your appetite for more.
More than anything, Aoi Shiro is a beautiful game. The fact that it is so light on the yuri part most probably has to do with the fact that the game was portable from a console platform (where sex games are a no-no, to start with) to PC and not the other way around.
However, you will enjoy a complex, interesting story, very nicely drawn characters and all the yuri teasing. Aoi Shiro is among the most popular visual novels to date, and it is a very good choice if you just want to take an easy trip on the yuri route.
For better, explicit lesbian love, and much more interaction, we recommend trying 3D SexVilla, a sex simulator for fans of this type of games.