A few weeks ago, while I was searching for new yaoi/bara doujinshi on the internet, I came across a set of images that depicted three feline characters. The artwork in the illustrations immediately caught my attention and made me start looking for more information. It was in this way that I discovered and started playing Nekojishi, a yaoi/furry visual novel style game. It tells the story of Tian Lao, a young man (furry/kimono fan) whose life drastically changes when, after a dance presentation, he finds out that he has acquired the ability to see the presences of three guardian tigers that desperately call for his attention and help.
Being honest, I started to play Nekojishi thinking that it was going to be a game focused on sexual kemono/furry scenes. But after several hours of gameplay, I realized that was not the case. I found myself a little disappointed when I realized this, but that feeling rapidly dissipated when I continued playing, now taken away by the interesting story of the game and the personalities of its characters.
Trying to learn more about this project, and to gather more information about the plans of its creators, I decided to contact the team behind Nekojishi. It pleases me to announce that they kindly agreed to accept our invitation to a small interview:
What was the inspiration for the visual novel Nekojishi?
The initial inspiration was derived from a piece concept artwork by the character designer of Nekojishiback in 2015, who at the time was already a senior concept artist in the game industry. This artwork depicted a temple filled with guardian tigers (a lower-rank deity in Taoism and Chinese folk religion considered the guardian of the other gods) who took the form of anthropomorphic animals. Being the attendants of Mazu—the patron goddess of the seas— guardian tigers are very popular in Taiwan as the goddess Mazu is widely worshipped by those who came to the island after leaving mainland China. A friend of our character designer (who later became the scriptwriter of Nekojishi), saw this concept art and came up with a narrative of a boy who was suddenly able to see the spirit of a guardian tiger he worshipped. After some further discussion, they decided that it would be a good story for a visual novel, and then plans for Nekojishi began!
Why did you decide on using animal characters (tiger, leopard, leopard cat) as the romance options?
Nekojishiliterally means “cat lion” in Japanese and can be read further as “big house cat” so the name is kind of self-explanatory. The game was made to cater to the furry/kemono fandom, but in the end, we just wanted to make characters who were complex, loveable, and tried to deal with their problems honestly and maturely. We hope the passion we put into them allows everyone to be able to appreciate our game, and through all the great responses we’ve seen from all kinds of people since launch, we think we achieved that. The initial character concepts revolved around a guardian tiger, so it was natural from there to incorporate more feline personas as the other main characters.
As the story of Nekojishitakes place in Taiwan, we quickly came up with the idea of having one of the main romance interests being a Taiwanese clouded leopard (a species that has been extinct since the 80s and is worshipped by some Taiwanese Aboriginal tribes, such as the Rukai tribe depicted in the game.) Leopard cats are also called “stone tigers” by the locals in Taiwan, which is why Leopard Cat is ‘technically’ a guardian tiger for his temple.
What are the plans for Nekojishi? Will you continue to update it, so it includes more content?
We’ve definitely been invested in providing new content for Nekojishi, in fact we just released two new DLC packs for the game on Steam.
- The first is an expansion pack that adds new artwork to the base game and an epilogue chapter that takes place after the true ending.
- The second pack is a Chinese voice pack that adds full Chinese voice acting to the game.
These are both already available on Steam and you can get them together in a bundle for a discount!
We have also been interested in expanding Nekojishiinto other mediums, such as our 4 panel comic strips that we posted online throughout last year, and the light novel Nekojishi Cats vs. Dogs! (Chinese only) which was published in late 2017.
There may be announcements of future Nekojishi related content in the future, so be sure to keep an eye on our social media pages for any announcements!
About how many +18 (sexual scenes) are there in a playthrough of the game?
When we started the game in 2016 via crowdfunding, 18+ scenes were among our promises. However, while working on the game, we felt that the story was honestly better off without them. So as a compromise we decided that we would make two versions of the game, one with 18+ scenes and one without (the Nekojishi Limited Editionhas 3 NSFW scenes, one for each of the main characters).
Both versions of the game are available for free, and the 18+ limited edition can be downloaded from our website at store.nekojishi.tw. We encourage players to play whatever version they prefer, but we feel that it’s best give the standard version a go for the full narrative!
Are you planning on creating more visual novel yaoi games?
We’re definitely interested in making more visual novels in the future, but we’re also interested in developing other kind of game projects. We’ve got some stuff in the works so if you’re interested, be sure to keep an eye on us in the coming months!
Any plans for translating Nekojishito other languages? (Spanish, maybe?)
Currently we have translated the game into English and just released our Japanese translation with the latest patch. There are no other languages planned, however, we have provided a translation tool that lets fans easily make and distribute translations into many different languages.
We recommend anyone looking for these translations to check out the Steam Community for the game and the pinned fan-translation thread for more details.
I would also like to add that Nekojishi has official merchandise that is available in their website. There are keychains, cushions, and dakimakuras(full body pillows with images of the characters) that range from cute to the incredibly sensual and buying any of these items will help this project to continue getting better and staying afloat.
Finally, I invite you to give this game a chance to meet the felines Lin Hu, Likulau, and Shu Chi (I personally loved and will continue to love Likulau, the cloud leopard, to the end of times). It is a game with striking artwork, creative characters, and an interesting story filled with folklore, magic and a good dose of romance that will surely give you a good time.
To download the game please visit:
For more news and information of the Nekojishi team follow them on:
Tell us in the comments is you will be downloading this wonderful game and which of the three felines steals your heart!