Nekopara is a kinetic visual novel by doujin artist Sayori based on a hentai doujin by the same artist and released on December 29th, 2014. The novel follows main protagonist Minaduki Kashou as he moves out of his parents’ place to start a patisserie while taking care of his two pet catgirls, Chocola and Vanilla. Following its release, the game’s appeal and use of an E-mote System managed to gain a lot of praise on Steam and other sites.
Nekopara is based on a hentai doujin titled Neko Para (shown below) by doujin artist Sayori, which was first released on August 11th, 2013. Although the doujin was released in 2013, Sayori already created original character content of the title’s due, Chocola and Vanilla, as early as 2008, with the earliest tracable piece on the English being found on Danbooru from April 15th of that year. However, the main website of Sayori’s studio, Neko Works, was already created in February 2003, making it unclear when the characters were first created.
On November 11th, 2014, an unannounced trial version of Nekopara was released to the public. The next month, on December 29th of that year, the complete version of the game was released and made available for purchase. Although the main site featured the complete game, other areas, such as Valve’s Steam store, only offered a version with the explicit content removed.
Nekopara focusses on main protagonist Minaduki Kashou and the catgirl heroines Chocola and Vanilla. Kashou finds himself forced to take care of Chocola and Vanilla right as he plans to start a patisserie. To do this he gets the help of his sister and their four other pet catgirls. Nekopara is a kinetic visual novel, making it different from the average visual novel in that it offers no choices to the player and thus has only one possible outcome where Kashou gets into a relationship with both Chocola and Vanilla.
Following its release, the game was met with a large amount of praise. 3 weeks after the release, the game had a positive feedback of 97% out of more than 1,500 reviews on Steam. Gametactics gave the game a score of 7.3/10 and HardcoreGamer reviewed it at 3.5/5. The game stands at a Metacritic score of 7.5 as of January 19th, 2015. The doujin also has a score of 7.58/10 on MyAnimeList and more than 3,200 favorites on Fakku.
A game feature that was quickly made fun of was the “chest bounciness” option made available through the game’s E-Mote system (shown below), which allowed its players to determine how often the chests of the female cast would bounce.
Prior and after the game’s release, fanart of the characters was already shared on image sharing websites. The game features more than 40, 55 and 70 images on Danbooru, DeviantArt and Zerobchan respectively as of January 19th, 2015, although most of these images are official artworks such as CG art and wallpapers. The official DeviantArt page for Neko Works, which was created in September 2010, has more than 430 members and 68,000 pageviews as of January 19th, 2015.