It is easy to find an otome game where the characters are all lovely-dovey, but it is hard to find an otome game for people who have slightly different kink.
This visual novel, In pupa rebellunt. Et bolat apis. (女王蜂の王房), is the one for sadist and masochist. As a rare gem in the otome game universe, it is a hard candy with soft centre among a stash of gummy bears. Basically, a love story wrapped in hard porn and gore.
This visual novel is composed of two parts featuring two different female protagonists: Menou and Kaguya. Each girl has three routes. Kaguya’s story is way more grotesque, sadistic and masochistic than Menous’, which means it is more worth knowing and playing. Therefore, everything below is Kaguya’s version of the story but not Menous’.
Menou and Kaguya are both part of the bee tribe. These bees take human form, feed on human, and live in a nest in the sky. The male bees are extremely strong and they are responsible for protecting the weak females bees, whose body fluid (honey) is deemed useful and desired by the former.
The beehive is led by a queen. She plans to pass her throne either Menou and Kaguya after her death. Both girls have three different guys that follow them around and help secure their power. This is where the story begins.
Kaguya is clever and calculating. Her genes as a bee are “incomplete”. As a child, she once fell off a cliff in a mysterious accident.
Utsuro (CV: Minoru Shiraishi) is Kaguya’s loyal servant. He keeps a whole lot of bugs that are super multifunctional – killing, healing, drugging, eavesdropping inclusive.
Sumeragi (CV: Shinji Kawada) treats Kaguya like a younger sister. He saved her after her cliff accident. Behind the mask of his playboy and sadistic personality lies the truth about how and why Kaguya becomes the person she is. His motives for aiding her is a secret.
Rin (CV: Tetsuya Kakihara) used to be a slave but was rescued by Kaguya. As a servant, he is willing to give up his life for her anytime.
Rin’s route is the best.
While Rin’s route is made for sadists, it involves sadistic love also. One of the perfect combinations to a perfect grotesque R18 otome game.
Rin is an innocent young boy who is hardly a masochist. He gets dragged into all the killing and suffering just because he is a servant of Kaguya’s. As a result, this character develops the most as the story goes and his before-and-after contrast is the greatest.
At first, this route is like a porn where a lustful teacher “contaminate” her student. Later, it is filled with gore, torture and harsh sex.
It all begins when Rin wants to be strong enough to protect Kaguya by having his eyeball replaced with one that contains devilish power. An eyeball taken out of a conscious living person – the CG is disgusting. Considering how innocent Rin actually is, a lot of CGs here are quite unbearable. Then the devil eye begins to take over his innocent mind, plus he assassinates enemies day and night under Kaguya’s order, he eventually turns psycho and unstable. He would go on a killing spree and force himself onto Kaguya, whom is surprisingly being a bit of a masochist here.
In order to make Rin calm down, the only way is to punish and torture him. Kaguya pierces his tongue, whips him, stings his nipples…sound awful? Not really. She steps on his genital while forcing him to masturbate in a girl’s dress and in public.
Kaguya says she does all this because she loves him and wants to keep his old self. In fact, she does. Kaguya’s romantic feeling for this poor boy is the most obvious and appears the earliest compared to the other two.
Rin route has a total of six bad endings, and the happy ending is not even a really happy one, which makes this character the most complex, the most tragic. Taking the gore and the sex into account, this is a tear-jerking adventure tailored for sadists who expresses their love a little bit differently. A 10/10 experience both sensation-wise and story-wise.
Utsuro is a masochist.
This is the reason why this route involves more pure torture and less sex. He is a grown up bee that longs for Kaguya’s honey. What’s better to torture him? Never let him have what he wants. Rather than pleasuring him too much with “honey transference activities”, it’s better to shame him and shatter his ego.
The shaming can go as far as watching him take a big dump in public after Kaguya forcing him to consume diarrhea bug and forbidding him to go to the toilet. Even when it comes to sex, he is like just a chained dog that serves his lonely master. Kaguya gets pure joy from all these things she does. She is a true sadist here.
This route’s only highlight is the satisfaction and the fun stemmed from shaming a grown up man. There is not much love involved until the very end, so naturally Utsuro’s character hardly develops in most part of the story. Sensation-wise, it’s worth about 6/10, but story-wise it’s worth only 5/10.
Sumeragi is a sadist and a control freak. He wants to take control over every circumstance. He has complete authority over Kaguya’s body. This route is made for masochists.
Sumeragi says he loves Kaguya, but he is harsh to her with all his “taming” as he believes strict discipline makes Kaguya a queen bee. He cannot touch Kaguya with bare hands for some mysterious reasons but he can do so with a queen. This is the reason why he insists on pushing her too far, going as far as raping her together with another guy (though in the end, Kaguya enjoys it) and alter her memories.
He is not all cruel. Compared to the other two guys, he knows how to charm his way into Kaguya’s heart and makes it difficult for her to leave him. In between all the disciplines, he sometimes acts like a prince trying to court a lady while sometimes a big brother like he used to pretend to be. This is a sadistic character well written – calculating and have a keen eye for detail.
Sumeragi’s cruel acts lead to quite a number of grotesque CGs. The most surprising and disturbing must be the one where Sumeragi rips Kaguya open to take her womb away. This is a route that mostly fulfills a masochist’s desire for being tortured and a fan of blood and guts.
Like Utsuro route, romance does not arrive until the later stage. Yet, here the romance part is far more shattering, unexpected and heart warming. More importantly, Sumeragi’s story explains everything about Kaguya’s tragedy and every questions players have in mind in the other routes. Therefore it has a 10/10 both story-wise and sensation-wise.
Before judging how good it is, there is something that an adult gamer must know – when an adult game is good even after taking the sex and the gore out of it, these elements are proved to be redundant and have no point to be there. This game, however, give a good reason for their existence. Except Utsuro route, the story all revolves around disciplining someone to achieve a goal that benefits the person who tortures. The sex and gore here make sense, which is not too common among adult games.
While it spends a considerable amount of time on R18 scenes, it doesn’t forget about romance. The romance is more bittersweet than passionate – a good fit for the slight love-hate SM relationships here. Characters also develop gradually with big contrasts. Whether it’s from a pure boy to sex maniac, or from a sex maniac to being lovely-dovey, these characters surprise players and make their hearts considering their final outcomes.
All in all, this game, or at least Kaguya’s story deserves to be 8/10. The remaining two marks are Utsuro’s fault.
In pupa rebellunt. Et bolat apis. is developed by PURE WOOL. It is now available for PC on Amazon.