Love Ribbon is an interesting Visual Novel, because it deals with the taboo theme of forbidden love between two sisters. I like to explore places not everyone would go to. A friend of mine told me about this VN and with me being a Yuri fan, I had to check this out for myself.
Before going into this review, as mentioned before this VN does cover a taboo subject. So, if you are someone who is easily offended by things like incest then I recommend you stay far away from this one.
The story follows Iris, a girl who is moving into a new school that will give her the benefits of the college she wishes to go to. However, she won’t be living on her own as she stays with her sister named Zoey for the rest of the semester, who she has never met before. As soon as they meet, Zoey shows little respect to her after Iris attempts to be nice while also not being afraid to ditch class and badmouth others.
However, that’s not the only thing going on in the relationship. Things start to get tense when Iris begins developing feelings for Zoey. The only issue here is that they are both in fact sisters, so how can a relationship this intimate work out?
Pros and Cons
- Decent story of two sisters who fall in love
- A very nice art style that is used
- The two sisters don’t develop enough to make the story truly enjoyable
- There are only a few characters in the whole VN
We follow the two main characters, Iris and Zoey, with two major supporting characters being the father of the two girls and their professor. I don’t remember much of the professor’s character as he is actually the least developed out of the four. There are a few other supporting characters as well.
Iris is the calm and well-behaved one who is pretty much skipping school to hang out with her sister. However, she is supportive of her sister’s music career and cheers for her when she goes to one of her concerts. She wants to get close to her long-lost sister and wants to know about her life as best as she can and will even go out of her way to skip school to do so. That’s all I have to really say about her, and I’ll get to my main complaint about Iris and Zoey later in the review.
Zoey on the other hand has to be my favorite out of the two characters that are presented. She loves music, plays guitar, and likes to perform in front of people in places like bars and whatnot. It may not look like much from me, but I am a huge music person and Zoey does the kind that I like the most, which is rock music. Although, she does tend to skip school, bad-mouths others, and lies about her age in order to perform in bars so she further her music career.
The Main Issue with the Story
If you want to deal with a taboo theme in a VN, I feel like the character development should matter a bit more for something like this. The only decent thing I found interesting for this VN has to be the idea of its theme, as both sisters know what they are doing is wrong. The two girls are decent characters at best, they do develop but they don’t do it enough to make them interesting throughout the VN.
I think what they should have done, was make the two girls tell their father that they are in love early on. This could have created some conflict between the sisters and their father as they fight for the relationship and such. They could have easily put their time together as well with the two being happy and nothing would really change where other conflicts can also be included as well.
The big issue I have with both Iris and Zoey is that they are sisters who are in love, however, they don't give me an exact reason to really even care for both of them, to begin with
Love Ribbon does not really do that, and it suffers a lot because of it.
This idea, however, would bring a problem with it as it requires an entire story segment to be rewritten. Though I think if this idea was included there would be a bit more character development. This could have made both Iris and Zoey more likable in my eyes and the story more enjoyable too.
Art Style and Performance
The art style is one of the only things I actually liked about this VN as it looks really beautiful. The character models are nice but I had a hard time adjusting to them as the backgrounds don't fit the character models really well to me. Let's take the Danganronpa series, for example, it has an art style that fits with the character models very well and I can feel that it matches very well just by looking at it, I probably should not compare a big budge studio with an indie dev studio but the point is still there, but I got used to them. I tested the game on an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB, AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Quad-Core Processor 3.50, 16 GB of RAM. I came across no issues while I was playing it.
Love Ribbon is a VN that was kind of hard for me to sit through, not because of its theme but because of just how much I did not really care about the characters. Yes, they develop in some ways but it’s not enough for me to really enjoy it to the end. I would recommend it on sale but other than that I really don't see it being worth it, even for Yuri fans like me.
If you do decide to pick up this VN, there is a free 18+ patch available so if you like that kind of stuff, it's there.