Review: The Reject Demon: Toko Chapter 0 — Prelude

toko I had no idea what to expect when going into this Western-developed VN, but what I got was a fast-paced and entertaining, if flawed, read with bonus PG-rated girl-on-girl action.

What you might not realise at first is that this is a yuri, or at least shoujo-ai, game. It follows Toko, the “reject demon” of the title, who has been kicked out of Hell for failing to ferry a single soul to the afterlife. Exiled to the human world, she literally bumps into Nadia (what’s with this trope? I suppose it gives an excuse to have a CG with two girls smooshed against each other), so I’m not really complaining), a girl who she’d saved from death as a child. Together they encounter various enemies who seem out to get Toko, but why are they so interested in a reject like her?

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Smoosh.

This is a “kinetic novel”, meaning that there are no choices to be made. The story weaves its own lore surrounding Hell and the demons that inhabit it, and there are some fairly fun and interesting ideas here. It’s also well written and humorous, with some funny self-referential jokes and innuendo. Unfortunately it’s all extremely rushed. Toko and Nadia’s relationship is given very little time to develop, and the same goes for the relationship between Toko and her sister. There are so many characters introduced in so little time that we’re barely given time to get to know any of them.

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Hur-hur-hur.

The rock aspect, which is to be integral to the plot, was introduced quite a way into the story. It was like it was intended to be a twist of some sort, however it came across as the writer having somehow forgotten to mention a key part of the story. By the end of the game the lore, involving souls and their links and manifestations, is still fairy confusing, probably because they’ve added too many concepts all at once at the beginning without having the time to flesh any of them out properly. The stuff with angels should definitely have been left for a later game as we had enough to deal with already with the different demon divisions without adding angels to the mix, too.

Since it’s the first chapter of a planned episodic story, I’m hopeful that the devs will take the opportunity to work out these pacing issues and develop the characters further in later installments, as this prelude definitely piqued my interest despite its flaws. And, while the frenzied pacing worked against the story in most regards, it did give energy to the battle scenes. I could totally see this being made into an anime what with the bizarre battle scenes involving puppet rabbits and giant-breasted spirits coming out of guitars.

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Yes, yes we do.

The character designs are really unique, especially with Nadia being fairly chubby. The art styles don’t always look cohesive, but they complement each other, and there’s some wonderful outfits from Devon’s gothic lolita dresses to Nemmy’s magical girl look. The backgrounds are nice, too, and although the colour palette throughout is dark, this suits the themes of hell and demons well. While the characters are unvoiced, the music throughout is good and especially complements the battle scenes when it builds to a crescendo of different instruments. However, since this is a VN with a musical theme, I would have liked the music to be slightly more memorable.

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Seriously, don’t mess with Ezra.

In summary, The Reject Demon is a bizarre and entertaining little game, but it’s unfortunately let down by rushed pacing and the confusion that comes with trying to pack too much in at once. However, I’d still recommend it if you’re looking for a fun, fast read.

Related Links
Buy The Reject Demon: Toko Chapter 0 — Prelude on Steam
VNDB
Steam Curator: Visual Novel Fans 

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