One thing I will say that is kind of jarring though, is the protagonist. While I know it is impractical and impossible to capture a player created character once you start committing things to a more linear canon, it does take some of the fun out of narrative. That’s not to say what writer Wendy Xu brings to the table is bad, in fact it is spot-on perfect, it is just there are some expectations players might have envisioned from the game that don’t translate into a rigid and defined medium like comics. The protagonist feels a little one dimensional, but serves as a great template for readers to project themselves onto. I really hope later issues continue to keep the protagonist relate-able without giving him too much personality, as honestly like the game itself, it is all about the Dream Daddies.
Ryan Maniulit delivers great work here too, and knows how to draw an emotional moment that doesn’t look forced or awkward. Aside from a key object being obscured by an oddly placed panel, everything sings, particularly the background work. Heavy use of gradients can sometimes be seen as a cheap trick, but here it absolutely works as a way to convey emotions between two characters in the same panel. It feels very anime, and reminiscent of the game. These backgrounds especially shine when their lighting interacts with characters, giving a surreal feeling to the whole narrative.
While most narrative games that have jumped to comics have failed, so far Dream Daddy has succeeded. It is rare that a visual novel gets translated into a fixed medium such as comics and there is a huge risk in expectations from players and readers alike, as they expect two totally different experiences. Based on one issue, it looks like Dream Daddy has began to lay the groundwork for what is going to be a truly unique experience in comics. Once players stop expecting things they are given with games and start expecting a funny and charming narrative, Dream Daddy is going to win a lot of people over.
Dream Daddy is a digital exclusive. You can find the first issue on ComiXology.
This review originally appeared on RoguesPortal.com.