No, Thank You!!! Review

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No, Thank You!!! Boxart

Developer: Parade
Publisher: MangaGamer
Platform: PC – MangaGamer*

I am amazed at the continual proliferation of visual novels in the West. With that said, it seems that certain types of titles (eroge, etc) might never be met with the same level of respect. It’s such shame because the content of these games tends to bother people enough to not even give them a shot. In the case of No, Thank You!!! there’s quite a loss as this game delivers a strong storyline and mostly believable cast along with some serious twists.

No, Thank You!!! puts players into the shoes of a young man who is hit by a car while attempting to save a stranger from that very fate. He wakes with no memories, which worries the fellow he saved. As such, this kind stranger decides to take care of him – even going so far as to offer the fellow a job at his bar. Our amnesia-suffering protagonist takes up the name Haru and graciously accepts the job while waiting for memories to return.

For whatever reason, each staff member of the sotano bar is male – and each are pretty handsome. Although Haru might not remember much of anything, he seems immediately aware of the hunks all around. This makes sense given No, Thank You!!! is a BL (boys’ love) game. In more colloquial terms you might call it a “gay game.” In any case, pursuing routes with any of the fellows leads to a ton of interesting circumstances – although Haru himself isn’t quite so lovable. Somehow my very first route ended up taking an immensely serious turn which changed my perception of all future attempts. There are multiple endings per guy and almost all are surprising.

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Without spoiling anything, No, Thank You!!! is probably not the kind of game people come in expecting. Thanks to the recent release of Coming Out On Top folks seeking BL may expect everything is happy-go-lucky funtimes. Do not come in with that mindset here because you’ll be sorely disappointed. The storyline certainly has light moments, but as a whole it bears little resemblance. I found myself disturbingly intrigued as new facets of the tale unfolded, and sometimes was just plain disturbed. It’s a mature game for many more reasons than just the obvious eroge aspect.

Aside from a darker sort of storyline another distinguishing factor of the game is its “No, Thank You!!!” button. This button appears at a few instances during the game and offers players a choice to say “no” to whatever is going on at the moment. The thing is, oftentimes situations aren’t quite clear enough to know what exactly you’re declining. Sometimes clicking it results in a better result than not clicking, while other times not clicking is the right way to go. Because it’s tough to know when to click/not click my best suggestion is to create a save when the choice pops up and then revisit it if you don’t like the result. Of course, there’s also regular dialogue choices included too.

No, Thank You!!! Screenshot 1

One of the most refreshing aspects of No, Thank You!!! is its art. Sure, it’s an anime style as the vast majority of other visual novels but doesn’t fall into the “moe” trap (if you think bara and moe never combine then just check out Dudedle Studio’s NSFW games). In any case, Parade’s artwork is fantastic and the ton of CGs never disappoint. There’s even an option to toggle body hair on and off for characters, though with some restrictions.

It’s hard to emphasize the impact of this game on me without delving into thematic spoilers, but basically I found that having my expectations subverted was a powerful thing. Be warned that some aspects of the game may be triggering (sexual abuse, non-consent, child abuse) and if so that this is just one more in the list of many BL to avoid. Those who can handle the content should give No, Thank You!!! a look. Peeling back the layers of story reveal it to be much more than it initially appears.


Score: 4

4 out of 5 alpacas


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