Laughter Land ラフターランド

Welcome to another BL visual novel post by Yuu!

Today, we have a look at another eroge that features Boy’s Love, by Langmaor. Similar titles by Langmaor are Enzai and Absolute Obedience. I almost thought Hadaka Shitsuji was by them but turns out not. Enzai and Absolute Obedience are also pretty famed “classics” in the BL visual novel community, so feel free to check them out!

Quick synopsis from Aarinfantasy:

Dick is a young boy living in a village who is bored with schoolwork and his everyday life. One day, he attends the village fair and meets a mysterious boy dressed like a court jester called Guillered who offers to bring him to a world called Laughter Land where one’s every wish is granted and there is no work, only play and no one ever grows up. Dick agrees and is brought to Laughter Land.

VNDB

Sadly, there’s no English translation for this underated work. If Absolute Obedience has one, (having played that already) I don’t see why this great work wouldn’t get one, but perhaps it has been overlooked due to its nakige nature, and long story. Some just want to get to bdsm sex immediately and short stories in AO make it more appealing than LL that has intricate weaving plots that require multiple playthroughs to reveal the ‘truths’. In that sense, LL is a thousand times more worthy of an article than AO. Since AO appeals more to below than what’s above. :3 Fortunately for those who know Mandarin, there is a Future Digi translation.

Laughter Land starts off light. But as the tag goes, we have DARK FANTASY. I’m surprised that it’s considered a nakige, but on second consideration, I guess it could be considered as such, not that it made me cry, but it had an end that gave off a good inspiring feeling that is hard to describe, similar to that of other good anime works.

Have you ever wanted to never grow up? It’s a common wish, especially when staying young and free of responsibilties is the easiest and more fun thing to do than taking up responsibilities, being tied down by what you ‘have’ to do rather than being able to do what you want to.

Laughter Land is about Dick, who is transported to such a land, where children never grow. Heard of Peter Pan? Something like that. But with a catch: things take a twist for the worst when everytime they use their “magical gem powers” to make a wish, a name is crossed out in red on a list of their closest ones.

The way the visual novel is made is that, upon completing first main route run through, it unlocks further segments accessible from the title screen, until you play through all of them and unlock the TRUE Guillered end. It’s amazing how this is SO SIMILAR to Little Busters visual novel, where there is a true refrain route and a true end. These kinds of visual novels that offer a true end usually have great truths to reveal that will send shivers down your spine and make you wonder, how the heck did you not realise that. And how everything fits. Good stories made released on Visual Novels have learnt that for an impactful and meaningful story, making use of different routes is key; by having stories tie in in different routes despite the player making ultimately unique choices – and further yet, revealing more truths with each playthrough makes more a great visual novel.

Well, this is all despite that the only reason I picked this up was for BL. Fittingly, for its story, it only get a few but sufficient H scenes closer to the end of each character’s route, most of the time. This is fitting because it allows character development, and the story to play out before the ‘they lived happily ever after’ ending. Unlike AO, which had the sex in the story – they were doing these scenes because it is part of their job to dominate and achieve a certain outcome. It’s just that it appeals to you sexually at the same time ;).

I believe this visual novel is a worthy read for everyone, even if you’re not ‘in’ to BL. It’s not entirely realistic of course, since it relies on magic of gems and such, but it still manages to outline a fundamental part of growing up. Your choices as a player will determine if Dick acts maturely or acts childishly, and whether his gem brightens redder or darkens more purply. And influence the outcome of the story. Dismantling Laughter Land at the end is in essence destroying the part of yourself that still wants to remain a child, who still wants to act selfishly and childishly, and move onward to take on responsibilities maturely, give and take, and commit to improving yourself as a person.

There is also a question on discrimination. Would you hunt down, even kill your friend if his gem is blue? The Forbidden Zone in Laughter Land houses all the blue gems. Where toxic rain falls continuously, where residents live in slums, where drugs and dark organisations are ran. Blue gems cannot use gem magic and are considered the enemies of Red gems. Yet they are just people like the red gems, just that they have matured in heart. Some Blue gems are evil, feeding drugs to kids, killing people, but does not mean all of them are evil. Some of them could simply have a matured heart.

This brings me to a recent Episode 953 of Detective Conan. From which a very good quote:

Even if people look different, when you peel back our skin, we’re all just lumps of flesh and blood. To prove it, every race in the world has red blood flowing through them, just like yours.

(plus, if you don’t mind spoilers, think about what happens after red turns purple, and further down, it turns…) so if you make too many mature decisions…

Hope this perked everyone’s interest in this severely underrated visual novel. It’ll be hard if you can’t read Japanese (or Chinese) though, so, just to let you know that such a visual novel exists, even though it’s BL it can have a meaningful story.

Some teaser screenshots of the visual novel:

Sergi and The Talking Gay Broomstick – trust me, the voicing is so hilarious!

Cornel saying something the wrong way, Dick correcting him, and we see him stumble cutely.

Greg only brings blond females home, and even if it’s a dead body, it’s okay! Just no men! (Ironically, there’s a Greg x Dick route in this visual novel, if you know what I mean… ;))

Warning, child abuse scene below: Sadly, Aby seems to always get the short end of the stick. Easy target to be tricked, tortured, raped.

Reminds me of Stein;Gate time travel machine.

Guillered has a stabbing fetish. Spoiler: Dick’s power is

to revive sealed memories, or so it seems at this route, but the truth is

the ability to copy others abilities. AND this is not even the most stunning reveal yet. Gillered and Dick have a lot more connecting them.

I actually find Guillered really cute. Just real age is kinda old, hahaha. Character background of Guillered. Raised in a cult.

Guillered motivations for Laughter Land.

Guillered will do anything you wish. And love confession time! They had some hot/creepy scenes after.

And the final few screenshots: True End.

By the way, came for the baby uke Ioan:

But ended up loving the story instead. Gave me stuff to ponder over, like Guillered’s words on how people grow, they change and betray.

Sadly, Ioan’s route is not the best, and of course the true end route is the best to read. In terms of my personal favourite character, I guess I’m tied at both Cornel and Ioan. Blame my soft spot for shota.

Hope you enjoyed the read.

~Yuu

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