Genderbend Me! Sayonara Demon Dong! What a name. What on Earth is this game? Well, let me explain.
We’ve had a lot of fun with the Pretty Girls series from Zoo Corporation, brought to consoles by the prolific localisers and lovely people at eastasiasoft. Whether it’s playing a round or ten of mahjong solitaire, losing our shirt in a friendly game of poker, playing the world’s favourite casual game or indulging in a bit of classic lady-revealing line-drawing action, the Pretty Girls series has always excelled at providing entertaining casual fun with a mildly sexy twist.
But people of culture will know that there’s more to the titular Pretty Girls than just making provocative noises and changing outfits while you play takes on classic tabletop, card and arcade games. Nope; they all hail from visual novels produced by Zoo Corporation’s imprint Norn and its sub-labels Miel, Cybele and Yumesta. So I thought it might be fun to track down the origins of some of these characters — and see if their original stories are worth experiencing for yourself.
Lewd stuff ahead. But you knew that already.
We begin with Bell, who appears in several Pretty Girls games, including Delicious! Pretty Girls Mahjong Solitaire and Poker Pretty Girls Battle: Fantasy World Edition. She’s a busty demon girl with obvious tsundere tendencies, which hits several of my own personal weak spots almost immediately. And so I was keen to find out where she originally came from.
Zoo Corporation’s visual novels have been around for a good few years at this point, but they’ve only started being localised recently. Rather than going via eastasiasoft — who tend not to do adults-only titles despite having plenty of ecchi games in their catalogue — or localising it themselves, most of them to date have been brought west by Canadian outfit Cherry Kiss Games. Rather admirably, Cherry Kiss Games has been localising many of these titles not just into English, but also Spanish and Chinese, allowing a truly worldwide audience to enjoy a bit of sexy fun.
Anyway, it didn’t take me long to track down Bell, because as it happens she’s the star of one of Cherry Kiss Games’ most recent releases: the delightfully named Genderbend Me! Sayonara Demon Dong or, as it was originally known in Japanese, Saikyou no Maou-sama ga Nyotaika!? ~Hatsujou Yuusha ni Semararemakuru Goku Ero Haramase Quest~ (The Dark Lord Is Feminized!? ~Shared Quest With A Horny Hero~).
This title is only available via Steam at the time of writing, but if Cherry Kiss Games’ past releases are anything to go by, it will doubtless be available via specialist adult storefronts such as JAST USA in short order.
In Genderbend Me! Sayonara Demon Dong, we follow the story of Bell herself — who, it turns out, wasn’t always a busty demon girl. In fact, she used to be a youthfully attractive and somewhat androgynous Demon Lord named Bellfrud, but right in the middle of a climactic final battle with the hero of humanity, Klaus, there was… a bit of an accident.
Bellfrud launches a power-draining spell directly at Klaus, not knowing that Klaus’ special ability — or curse, as he calls it — is to reflect all harmful magic right back at the caster. After talking a big game — something about “turning that monstrous power of yours into that of a powerless woman” — Bellfrud is hit by the spell and, seemingly as a result, quite literally becomes a powerless woman. She can’t use her magic; she can’t fight; she can’t really do anything. And so Klaus, being a heroic type, refuses to kill her in this state; it wouldn’t be fair, after all.
The world of demons isn’t fair, though — and so, upon discovering that the power of the “Demon Lord” is no more, Bellfrud’s subordinate Zord is quick to rush in and take the throne for himself. Demons follow those with power, after all — and since Bellfrud no longer has power, the demons turn to someone who does have it.
Feeling bad that he’s caused such an upset in the world of demons — despite the fact he was originally there to kill Bellfrud — Klaus snatches up the powerless Bellfrud and takes her to safety in a nearby human village. And from there begins a story of Bellfrud — or Bell, as Klaus takes to calling her, much to her chagrin — attempting to get her powers back, return to her original form and give Zord a right good kicking, like.
It’s a fun setup, but it’s worth being aware at this point — if that wasn’t already clear from the game’s title in both English and Japanese — that all of Norn’s titles err heavily on the nukige side of things. If you’re looking for a particularly insightful take on gender identity and transitioning, you’re probably not going to find it here — although there are a few moments that are genuinely quite heartwarming along the way.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for a game that explores the fantasy of what it might be like for a dude to turn into a lady either temporarily or otherwise… well, you’ll likely enjoy what we have here.
Rather unusually for a nukige, Genderbend Me! Sayonara Demon Dong is presented from the first-person perspective of its main heroine Bell rather than Klaus. This means we get a first-hand sense of what Bell is feeling as she comes to terms with her new identity and whether or not she might be stuck like it forever.
Rather delightfully, this allows us to enjoy the constantly conflicting natures of the tsundere from the “inside” for once. But probably the most interesting thing about Genderbend Me! Sayonara Demon Dong is how it raises some questions over the matter of sexuality in situations like this.
The sex scenes in Genderbend Me! Sayonara Demon Dong initially come about when Bell and Klaus accidentally discover that Bell’s sweat in her demon form has strong aphrodisiac properties; it seems that in her transition to a female demon form, she has taken on some characteristics of a succubus. So powerful is the “smell” that she emits after only mild exertion or stress that Klaus, normally a rather gentle, kind and endearingly dim sort of man, is completely incapable of controlling his sexual urges.
Consequently, some of the early sex scenes in the game are a little questionable from a “consent” perspective — though upon recovering from his sexual frenzy, Klaus is always very quick to bow his head, apologise profusely and express extreme regret for his inability to restrain his own primal urges.
And on top of that, Bell is immediately fascinated with her new body; not long after being rescued by Klaus and ravaged in an inn room, she sees herself in the mirror for the first time and immediately starts exploring her nude form. Naturally, Klaus walks in at an inopportune moment and more sex ensues… and thus the game continues.
There’s a lot of sex in Genderbend Me! Sayonara Demon Dong — it is a nukige after all. The scenes are varied, fun and very erotic, though; no two are quite alike, and several incorporate some fun, mild fetishes for those into such things: there’s one scene where Klaus walks in on Bell urinating on the floor and things escalate from there, and a scene where Bell and Klaus are caught in a trap, and the stress of the situation causes Bell’s magic to accidentally turn the ropes of the trap into naughty tentacles.
Genderbend Me! Sayonara Demon Dong is probably not a game intended for a particularly deep reading — but there are a few interesting aspects about the game’s characters that are worthy of note. In particular, while Bell protests a lot any time she is in a sexual situation, she has an absolute obsession with becoming pregnant — even in the early hours of her transformation.
As the game progresses and her feelings towards both Klaus and sex change, this only becomes more and more pronounced; this is partly because in traditional fantasy nukige and eroge tradition, the hero’s sperm powers her up every time he ejaculates inside her, but also seemingly out of an honest desire to experience a core part of womanhood.
So intense is Bell’s obsession with this side of womanhood that one can’t help but wonder if it is something that had been on her mind back when she was in her original Bellfrud form; it’s never made explicit, but it’s entirely possible that Bellfrud always had fantasies of becoming a woman and being impregnated.
At the other end of the spectrum, Klaus is the very picture of acceptance and tolerance. Even with Bell repeatedly shouting something along the lines of “I’m a guy” every time Klaus is balls-deep in her, he doesn’t care; he’s attracted to her right now and doesn’t think it matters what she used to be. In fact, he confides in her partway through the narrative that the fact she used to be a guy actually makes her much easier to talk to than other women he has known in the past; he knows that she can relate to some of the things he thinks and feels as a man, even though she’s now a woman.
The way things progress through the narrative as a whole is fairly predictable, so I won’t spoil the details for you here — but Genderbend Me! Sayonara Demon Dong is nonetheless a satisfying and enjoyable erotic short story that will provide a good couple of hours’ entertainment. There are only a couple of choices to make in the game — both of which simply result in an erotic scene being themed around a different outfit — and thus once you’re done with the story there’s little reason to return for any reason other than to enjoy it again.
But while it lasts, it’s a fun erotic story with a good heart to it. So if you’re on board with the nukige side of things — or if you’re just curious about where Bell came from after seeing all her outfits in the Pretty Girls games — this is a pleasant enough way to while away a couple of hours!
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