“Sebastian is at the end of his rope. Tired of the pain, he goes to end his life but stumbles upon someone who is planning to do the same. […] [This game] focuses on mental health and talks about the experience of coming out and being transgender.”
Important note right ahead:
Please note the piece’s content warning, as we will be discussing aspects of it in this article: “This game contains transphobia, suicidal thoughts and attempts, body dysphoria, abuse, and self-harm. Please be advised while playing.”
If you have suicidal thoughts, please get psychological help! Talk to friends, relatives or with someone from the suicide crisis hotlines of your country. There is always someone who can help you.
Also, this review will contain spoilers! You have been warned.
What I love about visual novels is that they can cover a wide variety of topics. When I wrote my features on NaNoRenO this year, I was treated to an amazing mix of genres. From fantasy exploration to sci-fi adventure, it was all there! But as much as I love this diversity, the games that work with a more grounded setting are also great.
“Another Day” is one of those games. This realistic fiction visual novel (inspired by the song “My R” by KurageP) is about Sebastian, a depressed and anxious trans man in his late twenties. After experiencing the same routine day in and day out, he is done with life and decides to commit suicide. In his own words: “I’m done with feeling nothing.”
He goes into the forest to put an end to it all and stumbles across somebody else there: A crying child who is being bullied at school. Sebastian puts aside his deadly plan to help her, and that leaves him to continue on another day. When he goes to a different location, the same thing happens again, and when he tries a fourth time, the people he helped return to dissuade him from committing suicide.
After the first meeting, I figured that Sebastian was seeing past versions of himself, and I turned out to be right on the money. His past selves (him as a child, as a teenager, and as a young adult) remind him not only of the beautiful relationship he had with his Abuela, but also of the reasons he continues to live as well as the choices he made in the past to push himself forward. And they want him to keep doing that, one day at a time.
And so, he does. He starts going to a queer support group, works on his degree, and goes to therapy. His life gets better. He finds a new tomorrow, and thanks to his past selves, he does not kill himself.
There is a lot I like about this game: The graphic style is unique, featuring beautifully drawn sprites and fantastic backgrounds. The writing is strong, and I appreciate that transgender team members were brought on to assist with the production of “Another Day”. According to Kristi Jimenez – the game’s writer and project lead -, Reece Vogel was of great assistance, along with Orpheo Fenn of FaeField Productions.
Jimenez also told me that she does consider the project to be a suicide and mental health awareness piece; it was released in September, Suicide Awareness Month, for a reason. In this regard, the protagonist has also been carefully chosen, because as she said herself: “I thought it was important that the main character be transgender, since mental health is a big issue in the trans community.”
I could not agree more. As a transgender man myself, I saw some of my experiences reflected in Sebastian’s life (especially his parents’ religious transphobia). I, too, sometimes wonder if I am living in vain and struggle to see if there is light. And part of me, like the lead character of “Another Day”, lives to show my past selves that we have made it – and that we can thrive.
I loved “Another Day”. It took me a while to play it due to the severe content warnings (and if that drives you away from the game, fair enough; you have to look out for your own mental health). But if you can take the heavy story to heart, I definitely recommend giving this game a play.
Jimenez has become quite a figure in the visual novel community. From her contributions to various titles to her detailed writing at VN Game Den, she is truly making her mark. Currently she is working on “A Marble’s Muse” and “Winning Hearts: Wrestling Otome”. We are definitely excited to see what she creates next. Thanks for “Another Day”, Jimenez. And a big thank you to the entire team, of course! I definitely found it to be a valuable and even necessary experience. [PLAY]