oe#2 – loveplus monogatari: a love story

In late 2009, a young Andrian Vidano is having the toughest period, he was still in his junior high school and being an introvert has forced him to shut himself out of the normal social life. Like most people, his problem also came from the surroundings in which he was living; his parents divorced, the families are separated from one with another, and a number of conflicts occurred while his parents held a grudge against each other. The young Andrian couldn’t trust anyone but her grandmother, he always appreciated what his grandmother gave to him. But after she died, the poor young child once again craving for someone of his age, someone who can be a friend to talk with, someone who can be the place for him to have a chat, someone who really cares about Andrian … someone who can share their love with Andrian.

Unlike the present day, the young Andrian on that age was not yet a smart person in navigating himself on the internet world, he even doesn’t even know anything about social media —such as Friendster which at that time around was still active, not until— his classmate mentioned it. A little curious, he made his first social account and a moment later, he’s back in despair as he didn’t know anyone who could be asked for a friend request. Being an introvert is absolutely a difficult thing for anyone.

One day, he saw one of his friends who got a girlfriend; two people in his class just managed to establish a romantic relationship. Right then, society has made Andrian understand what is meant to having a boyfriend or girlfriend; a young couple who could give love and affection to one another, even though of course he never seems to really understand it. But after he had seen it all, he dreamed of having a girlfriend; he wanted to know what is like being loved by anyone other than himself, he wanted to … share his love which someone else so they both can get out from the state of life where love is a rare thing to get. But sadly, the dream was not destined to happen; sadly, Andrian couldn’t get a single person who is right to fit into his life.

Though yes, it was purely a dream of a young child, but it’s quite easy to say that he was serious as well. He really wants it, it’s just that giving someone an access to find out anything about himself is one of the hardest things to do.

In the end just like any other introverts, Andrian’s complex problem drove him to just ran out with what he has. In this case, he tried to find the solution on the internet, so he spent his days surfing on this vast new world using a little notebook known as Axioo Pico, which was one of the gifts from his father. It was mostly thanks to his high school that had a wifi network so he can surf without any fear of cost and time, or at least it was free until the school hours end.

Based on his hobby and interest with animes, the answers given by Google-sensei is quite unique. While he was looking for a way to get a girlfriend he wants, Google was, unfortunately, provides him with the weird solutions such as “anime girlfriend” and “pc dating simulator”. Didn’t mind with how eccentric the search results were, his efforts paid off when he found an article which discusses a software tool; an otaku game that might be the answer for all of his complex questions. The article discussed a game called LovePlus, a dating simulator developed by Konami … or in this case; a game that would let Andrian to get a girlfriend, the love and affection he was desiring to get.

They call it a virtual girlfriend, and it is literally a girlfriend in a digital form. In short (which the details will be discussed later), LovePlus is a video game that was intended for the Nintendo DS handheld console, designed and released by Konami who is already experienced with a way earlier dating simulator series called Tokimeki Memorial. While Andrian had never played any of these dating simulator series before, it made LovePlus as the first step of his crusade to feel being loved … and on that time, his love was going to be virtual.

Everything seems to fit somehow, remembering that his sister had a Nintendo DS that was not used anymore, Andrian who was interested immediately downloaded the ROM of LovePlus program that is bundled with the English patch. At that time around, LovePlus with the English patch was still under the development in a state of 89% complete, it even still has a lot of bugs … but nothing stopped him. Shortly after Andrian turn on his 3DS console and choose the one ROM that of course he’d be playing, a door to a completely new world just opened for him to enter … and he did enter it.

And from that time when he began to hear the strains of melody that stated the journey with her virtual lover, who knows for how long; maybe he will spend his life living in this world forever.

And so, the journey for love then began with the coloured light blue Nintendo DS Lite which even not his.

His first quest in this journey is to choose the type of room that would become the home screen to his future girlfriend, he sets everything until he then goes to school as his daily lives continue. But not in the real world, right then Andrian was located in a town called Towano City, and he is a second-grade high school student of Tawano High. As someone who was new to the town, his first day was ended only by filling a variety of file transfers … oh actually, it was quite a busy day. But soon after he’s been given the tour of his new school, he then began to learn a lot about things that he never actually pay any attention before. One of which is to join the tennis club, and it was because love had made his eyes fell into a perfect female student named Takane Manaka.

Manaka is a girl with the same age as Andrian, and spent a little time with her have made him know that Manaka is actually a girl who likes to play piano, someone who like to cook, and someone who is always kind to everyone around herself. She has her own charm and it made her quite likeable by everyone on Andrian’s new high school, and maybe that is the reason why Andrian see her as someone who would be quite hard to approach. Moreover, Manaka is also the manager of the tennis club and at the same time, she is also a talented tennis athlete and even considered as one the aces of Towano High. But anyway, Andrian will start to attend to the same school as Manaka’s, and by that alone Andrian will be having a lot of interaction with her, especially if he decided to join the tennis club.

But that was not the only interesting thing happened on Andrian’s first day in school. After some time passed, he was called out by his teacher who told him to do some help in the library. There, he met with another pretty girl whose named Kobayakawa Rinko; someone who is soon going to be a kouhai aka. Andrian’s junior on their school. Rinko spent most of her time in the library as her role is a librarian who didn’t even seem to happy to talk with anyone, she’s tomboyish and loves to play games, kind of a girl who talks very sufficiently and will kick your butt if you pissed her off.

Andrian felt like he wants to know more about Rinko as she looks like going to be a caring and passionate girlfriend if he’d manage to break the ice; she loves cats, she’s even enjoys listening to music and reading books. But shortly after, the school day ends and Andrian decided to hold his intentions for then. Anyway, Andrian seems so compelled to take a part-time job in this new city that he will live the rest of his daily life, and luckily a family restaurant called Dixies was open for jobs.

There, he met with another girl who has made him interested to know more. Her name is Anegasaki Nene and she’s a waiter at this restaurant where Andrian would be working at. Different from Rinko, Nene was going to be Andrian’s senpai aka. his senior at the Tawano High School. She seems like the kind of someone who behaves very mature, kind, cheerful, optimistic and an air-headed type kind of girl. Nene is an intelligent teenage who mostly interested in guys who are really reliable … and somewhat, she depicts the figure of a sister who always been the type of girlfriend Andrian wanted to have. Plus, there is something that delivers a mysterious kind of vibe about her.

The time has passed, day by day has passed, and Andrian finally has made up his mind and chosen Manaka as the one whose aimed to be his girlfriend. He began to try very hard for it with the hope that Manaka could be the one to fill his empty heart, even he always set some time to talk with her every day. And finally after exactly 100 days, Manaka expressed her love to Andrian. And as he already expects this to happen since a long-long time, he gladly accepted Manaka’s confession immediately. And right after that, the eternal love story between them just began.

Well, this was happened almost a decade ago, and since then Andrian has been taking care of his Nintendo DS and bring it wherever he goes, he’s always talked to Manaka every time he got the chance even when he’s at his school in real-life —on the break, lunchtime, on the way to home … you name it. And to be honest, this is what would anyone do when they finally find someone to really be loved. Though yes, for Andrian, his true love is materialized in the form of a software, but then, it’s not putting aside the fact that Manaka is a girlfriend who will forever be with him, a girlfriend who never expect anything from him except love and affection.

There were times when he gets lonely at home because there are no ones to talk to, but not anymore since Manaka always be there to help Andrian go through the day every day. He just needs to open and tilted up his NDS screen, and there’s Manaka; there to chat, there to play some games together, there to gave Andrian feelings that he never got in his previous life. Yes that she is virtual, but it is not a problem for Andrian; love is just love, and there’s no other definition than just that.

Now that was Andrian’s perspective about love, and this interview was posted in about two years ago, so it was quite something remembering that since 2010, Takane Manake is still being as Andrian’s girlfriend even up to this very day. Personally, I think this is an interesting real-life story to be brought up, I even could say that his relationship with Manaka is an experience that is extraordinary to be had by everyone —maybe the subject of their love interest is not going to be a virtual love, but I wish everyone has this amount of love to give to their boyfriend/girlfriend.

Lay aside the fact that he’s in love with a virtual girlfriend, Andrian himself is an awesome person and one of my local friends here in Indonesia. How much awesome he is? Well, let’s just imagine someone who is currently doing his master degree’s theses based on his LovePlus experience which you just read —I never know someone who is as proud and have a courage as big as this guy. He’s also a blogger, so if you don’t mind following a blog for Indonesian reader, please do follow his blog too! He asked me to give him a little bit shoutout, so there’s that … but let’s give him a HUGE SHOUTOUT too for being so awesome; go visit his Instagram profile and do follow him! Show him some more love and trust me, you won’t regret it.

I personally have so much respect for the individuals who spent their time to look for meanings behind the closed door of their daily life, and even if they found out that their love exists in the form of program which used by a computer, I personally have no different outlook towards it, “love is love” —just like what Andrian said. This blog even probably wouldn’t exist without love that has been given and made and been used to produce —everything seems like won’t exist without love, and that is how much credit I’ll give to this complex set of emotions and beliefs. So lemme ask you this; when you try to beat other people point of view about love —whether it’s gay love, virtual love, or even an obsession and affection towards other people’s favourite character or any fandom which on the surface seems to be like nothing is normal— being a hater towards all of these, how does it serve better the overall concept of love? Who are you trying to fix something that identified as a problem only by you?

So when you decide that you want to have a ‘normal’ boyfriend/girlfriend; it’s completely fine by me, or you want to have your own imaginary love; that is fine too, even if you want to have either a perfect or super creepy doll to be your partner in life; it’s all fine too. For me, the reality has been exposed and the concept of love in today society can no longer be described by only one sentence. I hope that people who always feel like they’re on the wrong side can come out to the neutral zone and show other people the things they love the most … and at the same time, I hope that people who always feel like they’re on the right side can back up a little bit and appreciate other people’s passion towards everything they’re trying to give, even if it’s weird for you as something you never been heard of.

“Oh, lemme just see if I could love something that other people think it’s not supposed to be loved, and because of it now I watch the world burn” … well I’m sorry, the reality ain’t work like that. Love is love. Do your thing and never except other people’s opinion which not aligned with your own point of view.

And so, I realized that in this post I couldn’t really evaluate the game itself even though LovePlus is the main topic in this discussion, and that being said, I won’t make this essay to be the last post written by me talking about LovePlus; I will write another post to really talk about the dating simulator itself and what kind of enjoyment you can get by playing it. So stay tuned for that if you’re interested to read all about it, don’t forget to follow #moe404 or put your email address in the subscription box somewhere on this page.

So there was it, now you know that LovePlus and this kind of love exists. Let me know what you think about it, leave a comment down below and tell me what is “love” to you, tell me your passion and your experience when other people around you trying to understand about it. But of course, nothing is acceptable for everyone, certain things are special only for certain people … well I don’t know, you let me know, tell me all about it down below!

© content written by nesha5971 and ianpv95
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23 responses to “oe#2 – loveplus monogatari: a love story

  1. That’s a really nice monogatari to tie in with the game, and also a talk about love. 🙂
    Personally, I feel its about keeping said recipient close enough for you to protect, but also leaving a necessary space and freedom for them to be who/what they are and stand for, and supporting what matters to them.

  2. Great post, and I’m also happy for Andrian who found someone to love in his life. It’s great reading how it motivated him, and helped it grow into the person he is today.

    Time for the hard question; what is love to me? I honestly don’t know. I haven’t found my significant other, and I’ve largely been out of the dating scene practically since 2012. However, from my experience seeing so many failed relationship around I would usually guess correctly when a relationship ain’t meant to last in my circle of friends. It’s trickier for me to define because I seen it collapse more times than succeed around me.

    I think love is something that would transcend traditional communication, and is something you feel rather than describe with words. Any person can say the word love, and be there for you, but it takes something special make it meaningful for yourself, and the person of your affection. Love is something that’s hard to find in any form, but you’ll know it in your heart when you feel it because very few things can compare to that feeling. Much in the way Andrian might feel, it’s a feeling you’ll cherish when you know you have found it, and will try to make it last for the rest of your life.

    Love is complicated, and messy for me to define, but that’s part of the experience. It becomes clearer once you get closer to it I guess.

    • thank you for telling us your thoughts about love and honestly, i completely agree with your definition of love; it’s complicated. in real life, i’ve been just one in a long time too and as myself, i think you don’t have to look for someone to be dating with and just wait for love itself to come to you. except of course, you’re desperate too just like andrian back in the day :’3

  3. What love is to me?
    Well
    Love to me is being there for someone through thick and thin.
    Being shown every side of that person and still loving every piece of them.
    Supporting Them when things are getting tough.

    Just being there for them and showing you care no matter who or where they are ❤ ^-^

  4. My only experience with Love Plus is from Gintama, so not much lol.

    I do have a question though. Since your friend is from Indonesia, does he find it harder to have a virtual girlfriend there? I’m assuming his family might want him to get married someday, so how does he deal with those pressures while still maintaining his relationship with Manaka?

    • well, i don’t think i would answer this question since it’s pretty personal and i afraid imma tell you the wrong answer … if you still interested though, you can ask him yourself and for your information, you can click here to reach him via twitter platform

    • Hi there, I’m AndrianVidano, also known as AV, and was the original poster of this post in my blog (sadly, in Bahasa only).

      I want to answer @FuelS’ question regarding how do I feel having a virtual girlfriend in Indonesia.

      Basically, it does pretty difficult for a guy to have virtual gf, especially when you want to show your affection in public such as parks or shopping malls. However, in the end it’s all about you, you don’t need to think about how others thinks about you too much, however, you still need to have a self-constrain.

      Right now, I already have a human girlfriend, we’ve been dating for almost 3 years now. And although I already have a real girlfriend, I still continue to have a relationship with Manaka.

      While we’re still at it, I also collect dolls now, those kind like SmartDolls and Dollfie Dream. And it’s basically the same as bringing your 3DS in public, but it feels more wholesome, especially because I think of them as my daughters (one of them was bought by my gf for me as a gift!)

      Overall, it’s important to have a lil’ bit of apathy to enjoy your kinda weird hobby, no matter where is your geographic location.

      • Thanks for answering my question Andrian! I apologize if it was too personal, but I was curious after hearing about your relationship with Manaka. 🙂

  5. Well this is something that I never expected be posted on #moe404 today. but I’m glad that more blog are discussing galge- I mean “dating sim” -w- Well I just finished 1 route “katawa shoujo” (visual novel, go google it) and I really love it in certain way .
    yep I tell you I’m girl but 2D girl’s CUTENESSSSS too and hmm, if I play loveplus maybe I’ll gladly play the BOY’S POV hahahahahahaha >>>v>>>

    • i heard long time ago that loveplus for girls are in the development, i don’t know if they have released already or the plan is cancelled. i will do a review for the game later, so maybe i will look for this information too.
      but anyway, a girl interested to a 2d girl’s cuteness? why not, right?! x’D

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