Negligee

When visual novels are still going strong, a particular era that has arrived to Steam brings fort many and various different titles by different developers who want to use this aesthetic to manifest their creative stories. Dharker Studios brings us it’s latest title, Negligee, a story about Hannah who ascends to become the manager of a lingerie shop, but quickly notices that she requires help of one or more assistants. The story revolves around kinky themes, quite a bit of fan service, but has an interesting view on visuals and romantic topics.

“Negligee” is an old term that usually refers to long dresses; it’s a classical word that I feel that suits the game quite nicely. Lingerie in media has been a factor of great marketing and propaganda. It’s been attractive for a large audience and mixing this with the whole universe of anime just bakes a large batch sales and interest. Lingerie has also been a peculiar choice of clothing, as it has been showed to be for everyone, a piece of clothing that shows elegance, comfort and status. The slight issue with Negligee is how it portrays this outstanding design of fabric on anime female characters who don’t have much variation between each other. It would have been interesting to see how different styles of feminine characters can play this role, not in the literal sense of wearing an outfit, but working around this business, as it can demonstrate how much beauty and value there is to it. Nevertheless, the story is interesting enough to keep you in place to its development.

The whole idea of being a manager of a lingerie shop is kind of unique. However it is a regular business model that offers the whole package of work, stress, and the search of relief. It does a good perspective on someone who has a raise in their workflow and how she deals with the new responsibilities, perks, and relationships. The game shows how the characters work around these elements in funny ways although in cases recurring to usual tropes.

In terms of the VN, the game allows you to explore different routes, branching at both expected and unexpected points in the story. Fortunately like all VNs, save points allow you to save time and enjoy as much different paths as possible, and eventually enjoy a “best” or “true” ending, depending of course on the player.

The visuals on the game portray a wide color palette and evolved art style if you take into account previous Dharker Studio games. As for the music and sound FXs, they’re pretty simple but don’t distract from the experience, which is standard. Development has been improved greatly and we can only expect better results further on.

Negligee is an interesting Visual Novel that treats topics of aesthetics and romance in fun ways. All in the perspectives of management of a normal yet peculiar business, not entirely accurate to real life of course, but the sense of responsibilities and organizational values is somewhat in it, mixed with fan service and love stories. This title is probably one of the best Dharker Studios has to offer, and it's worth a try if you're into these themes.