What makes us human? A question with as many answers as there are stars in the night sky, and it’s one Studio Élan’s upcoming visual novel, Please Be Happy, aims to tackle (or more accurately, how to be human) with an emotional story of love and friendship. One featuring a rather unique cast, at that.
For those now wondering, no, I do not mean that last bit in any sort of negative way – quite the opposite. For starters, we have Miho, born as a fox but now more human than fox, this poor foxgirl(?) has spent a long time searching for the kind traveler she met back when she was still a fox; a journey on which the latest stop is Wellington, New Zealand. See what I mean by ‘unique’? Oh, and there’s also Aspen, but before we get to her, how about someone with more… bite?
Juliet is old. Really old. One of Wellington’s oldest residents for sure, although I suppose being a vampire might have something to do with that. Not of the evil, vicious breed either. In fact, she seems like a genuinely kind person, never too busy to help those in need. Last, but by no means least, there’s Aspen, a local barista and aspiring novelist who’s also the only human of our little trio. Then again, is she really? Can a vampire and a fox(girl) not be considered human, simply because one has fangs and the other is part animal?
A story of love and friendship, and about understanding not just how to be happy, but how to be human.
After playing a chunk of the recently released demo to get some hands-on ahead of its upcoming release, the answer to that question still eludes me, although I’d be very surprised to find that the point of Please Be Happy is actually to bring about some life-altering reveal. No, this beautiful slice-of-life story – with lovely voice acting, I might add – seems far more focused on spiritual growth, learning that humans aren’t inherently bad, perhaps even experiencing that crazy little thing called love along the way.
More? Nope! Links to the demo can be found below, and believe me, this is a story you’ll want to experience… and I’m basing that entirely on the only-the-first-chapter demo (and trailer), too. We’ll see if my opinion changes after experiencing the entire story, sooner than later I hope, but the demo was certainly delightful.
Please Be Happy will be on Steam, itch.io – where its demo also resides – and Switch, this year.