Doki Doki Literature Club
Review: A Brand New Day
A Brand New Day is a long mod where Monika doesn't kill the other girls and MC, who is starting to remember his past lives (similar to The Good Ending), tries to save all the girls from their various problems. I would recommend the mod only to someone who's finished all the better DDLC mods and really wants to play more of them.
The Good Ending review
- MC is a lot more entertaining. Instead of being a complete blank slate, he's much more bold and outgoing in his attempts to woo the girls, and it's pretty funny at times.
- The mod in general has great humor. Every subtle dialogue difference from the original game's scenes is a welcome courtesy of MC's new personality, and there are some great memes that had me laughing aloud.
- Despite the above, it doesn't skimp on the serious plot. There's still a threatening opposition, and unsolved mysteries that seem promising (the game ends with a "to be continued" screen). (Update: it's been several months. I don't think it's ever going to be finished.)
- The mod treats MC like he only exists to make the girls happy and doesn't have any rights of his own. The girls treat him badly on several occasions and are never portrayed as wrong to do so.
- It legitimizes keeping important secrets from loved ones for no good reason.
Bad excuses for lying
- It invokes the sexist idea that girls are completely useless in a fight, not just less powerful than boys, but they are apparently so powerless that they don't even bother helping.
- It contains a mild case of statist propaganda.
Why you should be an anarchist
- The nature of Sayori's depression is not represented faithfully. In the base game her depression is about a lack of self-worth and feeling that she's a burden on MC and her other friends. She saw herself as having no value outside of making others happy. But in this mod she doesn't seem to have any problem with making herself more of a burden.
Cons details (spoilers):
- In the scene where he shares wine with everyone (see below), Sayori drinks his entire glass (in addition to her own) while he's reading the bottle and then Natsuki and Monika drink the rest of it before he can pour himself a refill. This would've been scandalous even if it weren't after he's saved almost all of their lives at least once.
- Another time the girls mistreat MC is when he takes them out for dessert and they get him to pay for *all of it* (also, two of them order desserts larger than their heads). It doesn't even make sense unless you just want to laugh about MC's friends being a burden on him (which it really seems like the mod authors do). There's no indication that the girls don't have their own money but MC does.
- The statist propaganda I'm referring to is when Yuri offers everyone wine at the club, but Monika says no, not because they don't want it, but because they're "underage", and she even commands MC to take the bottle and throw it away. Do the mod authors not realize how evil that is? Refusing to break the law is one thing, but stealing and destroying someone else's property? Thankfully, the mod sabotages its own messed up moral by having MC only pretend to throw the bottle away, and later get it out and share it when they all go to his house. He manages to convince Monika to allow it this time by arguing that since they've relived the events of the game so many times, their "real" age is probably around 21 or 22. Still, it's a big problem that no one ever called Monika out for trying to destroy Yuri's property (not even Yuri). What she did in that scene was completely evil.
- When MC goes to fight Natsuki's dad, Sayori and Natsuki both should have been there to help him, but instead they leave him on his own. We can't have our waifus get their hands dirty with something so crass; instead they should expect their 18-year-old boyfriend to overpower a grown man by himself.
- MC is wrong to lie to his friends (about the meta-canon) for the majority of the mod. While he does eventually reveal the truth, it's only after they start to remember it on their own, so the mod still sends the message that it's okay to lie to one's friends if you think the truth would hurt them or that they don't "need to know". And even then he leaves out the part that villifies Monika. While that's a little more justifiable since there's a risk that the other girls wouldn't forgive Monika and might try to take revenge, it's still wrong for him to lie to his friends.
- The scene where MC finds Yuri cutting in the hallway and she punches him in the face and knocks him out is a little sexist. Not only because this was unprovoked physical assault (somewhat defensible as the "reflex punch" comedy trope and with MC's new personality it's believable that he wasn't mad), but also the thought that she actually knocks him out with just one punch. I'm pretty sure that's nearly impossible to do in real life.
- Both times MC stops Yuri's suicide, he takes her knife - which makes sense - but then he never gives either of them back. Granted, Yuri never asks about it, but still, the implication that he plans to actually steal her property is disturbing. It's not like he could actually stop her from killing herself just by confiscating all of her knives, anyway.
There's one last thing I need to mention. There's a release of "A Brand New Day day 12" around somewhere, but it's not a continuation of the story. It's at best a complete waste of your time and at worst a seriously scarring experience. Basically (I won't even spoiler it) the girls kidnap and horrifically torture MC to death, and then it's revealed that "got you - it's april fool's day". I actually couldn't keep going at a point and decompiled the scripts to see how long it went on.
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