Today, I’m doing my first long review of an Episode story! There’s a lot to say about this one, so let’s start right away. If you’re an author and want to get a review for your work as well, you can sign up here.
Title: Daughter of the Blue Dragon
Type: Interactive Story
Summary: Lena is the daughter of a Yakuza boss, who is being set up for an arranged marriage. She decides to run away when tragedy strikes within the Blue Dragon gang.
My first impression started off in a good way. The cover stands out because of the red background. I wonder if it would look better without the character at the front because the eyes get a bit lost the way it looks right now. The title isn’t really easy to read but a different colour should be able to change that! Honestly, my biggest issue really is the character. The girl looks a bit misplaced or like a sticker on a great piece of art.
There’s nothing wrong with the title, but there’s also nothing special about it. I did a quick search on the app and found many stories that have “daughter of” in the title. However, it quickly tells me what I’ll see in the story: A female main character who’s the daughter of someone important. That’s a great amount of information in a title!
I misunderstood the summary at first. To me, it sounded like the Yakuza boss is being set up for an arranged marriage but I quickly noticed my mistake. I’m not sure if that’s just happening to me because English isn’t my first language or if it’s a real issue. Maybe rephrasing could make it clearer? However, the summary is interesting and makes me want to find out what the “tragedy” is.
Generally, I’d say it’s an average first impression. All of this could be a bit more attention-grabbing but I’m interested in the story and have a basic idea what the story will be about.
Going into detail
I’ve read four episodes to get a better idea of this story. Let’s have a closer look at them in the following categories!
There really are a lot of characters, so not all of them got introduced right at the beginning. I’d have enjoyed finding out a bit more about the main characters first but I’m also still not really sure who’s an important character, who’re the main characters and who is just a background character. Almost every character seems to have gotten the same attention so far. Since Lena got mentioned in the summary, I’m expecting her to be the main character but I feel like I know a lot more about everyone around her.
Some conversations or even just single lines seem forced. By that, I don’t mean that they seem completely unrealistic, just like the dialogues don’t flow naturally. A reason for that could be that the characters’ personalities don’t really show in conversations. Right now, I’d say that many characters have similar personalities. Their backstories don’t seem to affect them that much. However, every character has a different background story which makes it very interesting to find out more about them!
There’s not so much I can say about the plot yet. The general idea of having a girl run away from her arranged marriage seems good but I’ve seen it already. However, in those four episodes, many other side-plots have been introduced and they could be what makes this story unique! For now, I like the idea, there’s just a lot going on. To me, it seemed like many stories put together into one which can get quite complex at some point. This is also linked to the great number of characters.
In general, the writing style is fine. It wasn’t difficult to read and I could follow the conversations of the characters. The narration was used at the right spots and it was never too much, even though I’m not sure if all of the information given by the narrator was really that important to the story.
Some of the characters talk like you write a text message. By that, I mean that they have several topics in one speech bubble. The other people then reply to each topic in the same order. That makes it seem a bit unrealistic. It’s important to differentiate between written text and spoken text!
The explanations in the middle of the episodes kind of break the story. Imagine diving into a movie and suddenly some ads pop up, it’s a bit annoying. I’m sure there are some people who already know these facts presented in the story. Putting them at the beginning of an episode for those who want to see the explanations would probably make it a better experience for everyone.
The directing is a part of Episode stories that’s really important to some readers. Honestly, I don’t care that much about advanced directing but in this story, there’s an attempt to add some extras which is always good. However, it sometimes feels a bit unsuitable. For example, having zooms in a story can really make scenes better and add to the tension but there needs to be a reason for the zooms. Adding zooms just to have advanced directing doesn’t really make much sense to me. The zooms used in this story sometimes just show a close-up of a character while talking about something as unimportant as the weather.
Another thing I noticed is that the characters in the background of group scenes often don’t move. They just stand there and do nothing which isn’t very realistic. Other than that, I didn’t find any major issues with the directing. Characters go to the right places and get animations that fit their emotions. There aren’t many choices and I’m not sure how much the ones there influence the story, so maybe that’s a part where more advanced coding, for example timed choices, could come in.
Would I continue reading?
To be completely honest, the story didn’t really hook me at the beginning. I had to get used to the quick switches between different characters, times and places. Additionally, I don’t really care about characters, which makes me less interested in what happens to them. The summary already gave away more than what I’ve read so far which makes me wonder when the interesting “tragedy” will happen.
The story is made out of really long episodes that sometimes seem like random scenes put together. I tried looking for one main storyline in each episode but I couldn’t always find one. I’d summarise it as “A lot is going on but nothing really happens”. I wanted to see more action but all the tension that was built up at the beginning got quickly broken with new storylines being mixed into the main one.
However, in the fourth episode, I started to get interested in what’s going on with some background characters. The background stories seem more interesting to me right now but that’s maybe just because I got more information on the characters involved. Someone else might really enjoy this great number of characters but to me it seems really complex, as if you tried to merge several stories into one.
My Final Suggestions
Let’s start with my suggestions to improve the first impression. I already mentioned that I think the character on the cover doesn’t really fit in. Using a darker red for the background might make the eyes stand out more. With a bright blue dragon, there’d be a great contrast that makes the cover stand out and shows me what’s important.
For the story itself, I’d suggest focusing more on the main plot and actually letting things happen. Show the reader some action. Seeing background stories is great but there’s so much more potential for this plot. You need something to hook the readers at the beginning and make them care about the main character. Otherwise, they won’t stay long enough to see how the story continues.
There were many scenes that left me unsure what they had to do with the initial idea of a girl being forced into an arranged marriage. Maybe some scenes could be cut out or put aside for when the new characters really get important in the main plot.
I hope after reading this review, you know that this is not a bad story at all! There are just a few parts about it that I’m not so happy about. It’s a completely personal opinion. I prefer stories that don’t have too many side-plots but I know others enjoy seeing many characters. The story is definitely worth your time and I recommend checking it out yourself. Let us know what you think about it! If you’re interested in more reviews like this one, have a look at this page!