Have you ever heard the myth about cafes that turn back the time?
A magic chair that can send you to another world?
Magical sweets that can change your fate?
If there’s a moment from the past that you want to come back to, maybe you should give it a try.EDDA Café Opening – Part One
A short casual visual novel experience was something I wanted to take on and NSAID Visual Novel’s EDDA Café on the Google Play store fit the criteria for a digestible, sad yet hopeful romance story with a dash of magic.
EDDA Café follows our introverted library clerk, Mina, who lost a loved one in an accident and never came to terms with her grief. Two days before Valentine’s Day, she encounters a barista who invites her to EDDA Café. With a push from her best friend and a hint of blind faith, Mina discovers she is given an opportunity to change her past.
After reading the first two parts of the visual novel, its storytelling, visuals and background music work well together. Even though I enjoy stories where all characters have a moment to truly shine and grow in the narrative, I understand that EDDA Café is a short story and I can’t fault it for only having time to tackle one main conflict and the protagonist’s development. The cast of characters have their purpose and do possess personality shown in their dialogue and character design.
The writing does a nice job in expressing the grief and sadness Mina carries as a burden on her shoulders and offering poetic descriptions of events, for example, in the way the barista Taku pours water into the coffee dripper:
To compliment the storytelling, I like how the visual aesthetic uses simplistically drawn characters in a semi-realistic style with clean lines, rounded faces, substituting glitzy colouring for softer pinks, tan browns, blues and greys, which feels similar to (indie) webtoon comics with a heartwarming plotline.
I appreciate how EDDA Café incorporates some voice acting into the visual novel with two actors playing Mina (Nami) and Taku (Josh Portillo). Improvements can be made through delivery of lines and voice recording quality. For example, Taku’s quality was distorted and sounds as if it was recorded with a smartphone and/or speaking too closely into the mic, which can be corrected by making sure the recording device is set half an arm’s length away from them.
The background music supports the illustrations and shifts according to location to establish changes in mood. Slower piano melodies play with Mina’s melancholic recollections and an upbeat playful song begins once Mina’s best friend, Rin, shows up at Mina’s workplace to hang out.
For my first visual novel by NSAID Visual Novel, at a quick glance, EDDA Café differs from its predecessors in style and content. I found my playthrough was relaxing and a little slow. The mystery of Mina’s past and how she decides to proceed in changing events (or choosing not to do anything) will be interesting to see in the visual novel’s climax and final chapter.
NSAID Visual Novel ‘s EDDA Café is a sad yet hopeful romance visual novel originally created for Valentine VN Jam 2021. It contains three parts with the final part to be available at a later date.