Nukige are strange beasts. To date, I’ve lost count of the times where I’ve gone in to a nukige expecting little more than a flimsy excuse for some sex scenes and ended up very much enjoying the company of the characters in what just happened to be a sex-heavy story. And the latest example of this is Chinkamo Twins! from MiliMili, brought west by Love Lab Japan.
If you’ll indulge me in a brief tangent before we get into the game proper, what I’ve just described is something which struck me very early on in my experiences with Japanese erotic games. Back in the late ’90s and early ’00s, when my friends and I were just discovering the joys of illegally downloading translated hentai games through inappropriate use of the university’s high-speed Internet connection, I vividly remember playing through stuff like True Love and Paradise Heights and thinking “gosh, these Japanese devs really make an effort with their porn”.
Indeed, I’m regularly struck by this feeling even today — and, as noted, Chinkamo Twins! is the latest to make me feel this way. A work which it’s doubtless easy to assume is on the level of a “help me stepbrother, I’m stuck” porn video actually turns out to be surprisingly wholesome — assuming you can appropriately deal with the subject matter, of course.
Yes, the first thing that we should probably note about Chinkamo Twins! is that it is an incest story. And the game makes sure to point out that there’s no get-out clause here — this is an incest story between blood-related siblings. So you’d better be on board with that before you jump in here, otherwise you’re going to struggle.
I say that, but of course I don’t mean you need to be on board with real-life incest, because that’s ridiculous. Rather, I mean you need to be on board with the idea of incest as a fantasy — a forbidden taboo which we may not explore in the real world, but which in the realm of fiction we can ponder our feelings towards to our heart’s content without guilt or fear.
By extension, it’s also worth noting that if you enjoy incest fantasies — I do, which is why I was interested to check this game out — it absolutely does not mean that you have any desire whatsoever to act upon those fantasies in the real world. The same is true for any kind of fantasy; supposedly rape fantasies are quite common among women, for example, but this absolutely does not mean that they actually want to be raped!
I feel like the above probably shouldn’t have to be spelled out so explicitly, but given how sensitive a topic incest is, I felt it was probably worth making those things abundantly clear — both so you can understand my perspective on this game, and so that you, dear reader, can feel confident and validated in exploring it for yourself if you feel like you might enjoy it.
But enough of all that. Let’s talk about the game itself.
In Chinkamo Twins! you take on the role of a male protagonist known only as “Onii-chan”. Onii-chan is a teacher, and after he left his parental home to start his own life of independence, his twin sisters Saya and Uya decided to come along with him, even going so far as to enrol in the school where he teaches. We never see the mother and father figure in the story, but from Onii-chan’s narration we can glean that they weren’t bad parents as such, but that finding an opportunity to live independently as soon as possible was in both Onii-chan and the twin’s best interests.
Onii-chan quickly learns to cook rather well, for example, whereas his mother was a terrible cook — a trait which the twins share, with Uya in particular seemingly capable of breaking electrical devices just by touching them. He quickly shows himself to be a responsible individual who is perfectly capable of taking care of not only himself, but his twin sisters also. With one exception.
His twin sisters are failing at school quite badly, across all their subjects, and it’s become of such concern to Onii-chan that he decides to start special home study sessions with the pair of them. Unsurprisingly, they’re not altogether enthused about this state of affairs, but it doesn’t take long for everyone to figure out that there’s the potential for a bit of give-and-take here — if Saya and Uya show that they’re putting some effort into their studies, Onii-chan is, of course, obliged to reward them.
Now, you may be assuming at this point that Chinkamo Twins! would almost immediately jump to the sexual content at this point — but rather pleasingly for the sake of the story, you’d be wrong. All Saya and Uya want is the opportunity to be praised and appreciated by their beloved Onii-chan, and for their efforts to be recognised. It’s clear from the outset that they love him dearly and feel validated by his approval — and, in turn, Onii-chan recognises that his praise is likely to be a good means of motivating them.
The trouble is, the twins are also the jealous type, and as such any time they see Onii-chan talking with an unnamed female teacher who gradually becomes quite a close friend over the course of the story, they start to realise that their feelings may well run a bit deeper. And this is where things start to get a little bit out of hand, since as an indirect result of this jealousy both Saya and Uya end up having something of a sexual awakening, each in their own way.
Saya, for example, inadvertently catches Onii-chan attempting to relieve some stress after a particularly hard day at the chalkface by masturbating in his room; so struck is she by the image that she ends up sneaking into his bed while he’s sleeping and having a bit of a learning experience about the way the male anatomy works.
Uya, meanwhile, accidentally catching Saya and Onii-chan in the act — or rather overhearing them through the door — discovers that the sound of her sister’s voice in the throes of ecstasy also turns her on, and this, in turn, leads to Onii-chan feeling obliged to help her resolve these unfamiliar feelings.
Onii-chan is painfully aware that in all of this, he has crossed a line that you’re not supposed to cross — but neither of his sisters appear particularly bothered by it. It becomes apparent that for quite a while the pair of them have been thinking of him not just as their precious Onii-chan, but as the man they love, also. And, from hereon, the remainder of Chinkamo Twins’ narrative concerns how everyone attempts to square away those feelings and figure out how the family as a whole will be able to move forward in a way that will make everyone happy.
I won’t spoil the details of how things end up, but as you might expect from a game like this, the outcome is ultimately a positive one. While incest is, of course, taboo in society at large, we’re given the distinct impression that if everyone involved is fine with what is going on and that there’s no exploitation involved, what goes on behind closed doors is absolutely none of our business.
And while it would be easy to assume that Onii-chan is abusing his position of power over his sisters — both as a surrogate parent and as their teacher — it is repeatedly made clear that he is very much the one being swept along by his sisters’ energy. They are the ones who know what they want, and they are willing to fight for it. At the same time, they do at least know that their relationship is frowned upon by society, and so they keep things strictly appropriate when out in public.
It actually ends up being a rather interesting tale to explore, and it’s hard not to feel good for the three of them when they admit their feelings for one another. This is not a judgemental story intended to act as a cautionary tale with tragic consequences; rather, it’s a simple exploration of a fantasy well beyond the initial concept of “what if you fucked your sister” and into what it might actually mean to have a close, intimate relationship with not one, but two family members at once.
In some respects, Chinkamo Twins! actually reminds me of the classic Nekopara. We have a similar concept of a capable male protagonist leaving his family home to live independently, and of heroines who are close to him tagging along. We have the idea of those heroines helping the protagonist to deal with the stresses of his everyday life, and of the protagonist showing the heroines love in return. And, perhaps most significantly, we have some strong influences from animal behaviour.
Throughout Chinkamo Twins! there’s a strong motif of Saya being compared to a cat, while Uya is a dog. And, much as Nekopara shows a keen awareness of the common personality traits of cats, so too does Chinkamo Twins! demonstrate a solid understanding of the relationship people have with these animals.
Saya, for example, is aloof the majority of the time — represented by her rather formal speech and wonderful delivery by voice actress Naruse Nagomi — but also very capable of showing affection in private. She’s not someone who trusts easily, but when she does, she expresses herself openly and warmly. She’s also extremely manipulative, and knows how to handle most situations in a way that will put her at an advantage — though this is never malicious. All of these traits are distinctly cat-like tendencies.
Uya, meanwhile, is energetic, happy and enthusiastic; she likes to show off and be praised for the things that she does. She’s not the sharpest tool in the box, but she has a keen curiosity about the world around her, even if she doesn’t necessarily understand things right away. She’s fiercely loyal, too, not only to her beloved Onii-chan, but also to the basketball team that she’s part of. And while she’s competitive with her sister in all sorts of ways, the pair clearly care for one another despite being polar opposites. Again, all very dog-like tendencies.
There’s even a similar exploration of power imbalance and how it’s not necessarily what it might seem; in Nekopara, the catgirls are all technically the protagonist’s “pets”, while in Chinkamo Twins! the twins are not only the protagonist’s younger sisters, they are also his students. And yet in both cases the heroines show that despite being in a position where you’d assume they’d have less power, they never allow themselves to be downtrodden — nor do the two works’ respective protagonists show any desire to dominate or overwhelm their charges, for that matter.
All in all, the story of Chinkamo Twins! is well-told and surprisingly heartwarming; so long as you’re on board with the whole “incest fantasy” thing, you’ll have a great time.
From a technical perspective, Chinkamo Twins! is a well put together game, also. Of particular note is its excellent use of sound; unlike many visual novels, Chinkamo Twins! makes strong use of stereo panning in its voice acting, so there’s a real sense of physical presence when interacting with the twins — if someone’s standing on one side of the screen, they sound like they’re standing over there. There are also more subtle touches, like looped panting noises during parts of sex scenes where people aren’t screaming out in anime-style ecstasy.
The character designs are particularly lovely; as you might expect from a story like this, the only character sprites are the twins, but they’re both extremely expressive and pleasant to look at. Artist NaeNae’s tendency to draw girls with overexaggerated upper eyelashes works particularly well here, as it gives both Saya and Uya an irresistibly sultry, sexy look about them even when they’re not deliberately trying to get into Onii-chan’s pants. Oh, also optionally you can play the whole game with them wearing animal ears, being in the nude or both.
The translation is very good for the most part; the twins’ varied personalities are well-expressed through the noticeably different ways in which they talk, and the way the text is written in English is a good reflection of the audible way in which the two characters can be heard to speak in Japanese. The whole thing is very readable and well formatted — though a couple of minor typos have crept in here and there.
One thing some readers will pick up on is that the translation of Chinkamo Twins! seems to flip-flop back and forth between referring to what is obviously a high school as “school” and “uni”. Presumably this stems from an abortive attempt to get the game on Steam, since Steam has shown itself in the past to automatically reject any games that feature romantic or sexual content with a high school setting — with no chance of appeal.
It appears that an attempt to get round this was made by repositioning the school as a university instead, though this isn’t consistent throughout the text or the game’s marketing material — and since the game doesn’t appear to have a Steam release planned at this point, it would probably be to its benefit to simply scrub all the “uni” references and just go with the clearly intended “school” consistently throughout. It’s ultimately a fairly minor factor in the grand scheme of things, but it is noticeable.
This small (and hopefully easily patched) niggle aside, Chinkamo Twins! is a good time for those on board with what it has to offer. The characters are likeable, the story is enjoyable and the sex scenes are exceedingly hot. That seems like a pretty optimal outcome for a nukige — so if that’s what you’re in the mood for, you can’t go far wrong with this.
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