Just like fashion that keep on changing, so do エロゲ. Majority of you will probably disagree with me since I often heard people complaining about how エロゲ development has become stagnant and its market is dying. While it is true that there has not been any major change in gameplay and players’ expectation is ever increasing with each エロゲ masterpiece, in my opinion it is all a matter of perspective.
Look at it this way, western clothes(洋服) have remained pretty much the same for a very long time: one hole for inserting your head and two for inserting your arms. Despite of this, new fashions never stop emerging and there are always people out there who thirst for the newest wrinkles. We can take this same logic and apply it here, where fashions to western clothes is fetishes to エロゲ. In other word, it does not matter if the gameplay stays the same or if the story is not as good, but as long as the fetishes that decorate a game are still up to date, there will be people who are willing to buy it.
Fetish may sounds like a big word which usually comes with these images of hardcore S&M, Mind Break and Corruption. However, it can also refer to more subtle sexual/non-sexual preferences such as ツンデレ, 獣耳, 絶対領域, JK, etc. In fact, I remember when I took my first step into エロゲ world, many games have a ツンデレheroine because apparently it was the booming fetish at the time. ツンデレ was then slowly replaced by other デレ such as ヤンデレ and ダンデレ for a short while and they later gave way to the re-emerging of 妹 and the incoming of 男の娘.
Four paragraphs into this article and I have barely touched on the main points which is to introduce three fetishes that I anticipate to take off in the future, particularly in hardcore エロゲ. Yes, it is anticipate in bold because I want to make sure people understand this is what I am expecting but not necessarily what will happen. So don’t come complaining if any or all of them do not happen(・｀ω´・) Let me cut to the chase and introduce these three fetishes:
Clothes Transforming CGs
It is a common practice to give pre-corruption and post-corruption heroines different clothings to signify the change of heart in them. Before getting corrupted, these heroines most often wear frilly dresses that give them images of purity and innocence, while post-corruption heroines will usually have more revealing and sexy garments. However, it was not until VenusBlood -Frontier- (Dual Tail 2012/04/27) that we have CGs scenes in which we are able to see directly the transformation of these clothing .
Now, as to whether or not something this trivial can exactly be called a new fetish, I do not know! Nonetheless, I was very impressed when I saw these transformation scenes for the first time. Personally, I love the falling scene of heroines more than all the pre-corruption or the post-corruption parts, and this holds true for all corruption games that I have played. Speaking in softcore エロゲ term, it is like a scene where a tsundere(ツンデレ) heroine turn from a complete tsun(ツン) to a complete dere(デレ) and I just can’t get enough of it(ღ˘⌣˘ღ). By applying this Clothes Transforming CGs, a heroine falling scene can now be further enhanced by representing the fall visually!
After the introduction of this CGs by VenusBlood -Frontier-, it was adapted by Maika into their next two products: 学園聖戦士セーラーナイト ～正義のヒロイン完全征服マニュアル～ and 新妻特捜パトレイザー ～略奪天獄篇～ , and that make a total of three games with this transformation scene. I am hoping to see more of them in the future.
The current trademark of brainwashed or hypnotized heroines are the Blank Eyes(虚ろ目) which sometimes also known as Rape Eyes(レイプ目). Although these empty eyes do not belong exclusively to the corruption section since they also represent two other situations: broken mind and yandere(ヤンデレ), blank eyes are actually very popular among corruption lovers.
Recently though, I see an increase in another type of eyes: Heart Eyes, which are slowly working their way up to replace the empty eyes, especially in brainwash, mind control and hypnotize settings. As the name suggested, Heart Eyes refer to those eyes with heart mark in them as such:
About two months ago, on the 30th of August 2013, with the release of 淫堕の姫騎士ジャンヌ2～美姫転生～ 2つの世界でオーガの仔種を注がれ続ける物語～ (that is a long name（￣□￣；）), we finally saw for the first time an エロゲ with Heart Eyes in it. Aside from this game, Heart Eyes are found mainly in エロdoujins and original drawings on Pixiv. However seeing how popular these eyes have become, I don’t see any reason why they will not be picked up by エロゲ companies.
Trans Sexual Fiction(TSF) and Possession
TSF and Possession were not major fetishes for a long time, in fact it is still hard to find エロmanga or doujin with these genres nowadays. Despite of this, with the hard work of DATE先生 and Taniguchi先生, two artists whose works mainly revolve in these two particular area, we are slowly seeing an increase in the supply of TSF/Possession manga.
Please take a look at the following bar graph where y-axis represents Issues of Unreal Comic Magazine and x-axis shows the number of TSF/Possession manga in those Issues:
As you can observe from this graph, before 2013-10 we were getting somewhere between two to four stories from this bi-monthly magazine. However on the last issues, Comic Unreal somehow managed to deliver six TSF/Possession entries and whether this was a sign of progress or just a pure coincidence, we will have to wait and see. Nevertheless, if these two fetishes can earn some more supporters and therefore force an increasing in the demand for TSF/Possession goods, there is a big chance these fetish will be adopted by エロゲmakers.
These are the three fetishes that I feel have potential to appear in future Corruption game and I wrote them in descending order, from the one with most potential(Clothes Changing CGs) to the least(TSF and Possession).
Two companies, Maika and Dual Tail have put the Clothes Transformation CGs to use and will most likely use this technique again for their future products. Heart Eyes on the other hand, has only been used once by catwalkNero and unless it is taken up by at least another company, it will be hard for these to become the next blank eyes.
As for TSF and Possession, although there are games with gender bender, most of them are either small games (less than ￥7000) or softcore games that has nothing to do with corruption. It is unfortunate that unlike the other two fetishes which have a strong nuance of Corruption, TSF and Possession do not necessarily involve Corruption. Meaning that even if TSF and Possession were to become popular, it may not grow in the direction that we want it to be.
Well, I guess this is getting long so I will end this article here and Cao~~~ (￣▽￣)ノ