Hey, this isn’t idol practice, this is gay sex! [LIP Lewd Idol Project Vol. 1 Review]

Kairi wants to be an idol so bad, but she’s been turned down by fifteen producers already. She’s about to give up on her dreams when Ranko, a voluptuous redhead, approaches her and offers her a job as an idol. But not just any idol…A LEWD IDOL. Kairi is suspicious of the woman’s proposition, but decides she has nothing to lose. But wait a minute, this isn’t idol practice, this is gay sex! Ranko plans to screw her silly so she can get great sexy photos out of her and launch the lewd idol initiative.

It’s kind of funny, because that premise totally wouldn’t play well if it was a male producer. Tricking a young girl into coming to your “office” that’s really just your apartment is creepy as hell, but if it’s a sexy lady doing the exploitation, it’s fine…right? Truth be told, I was a little weary of the story at first because I wasn’t sure just how…rape-y it would end up being, but it turns out that Ranko is actually a pretty decent business manager and does actually intend to pay her idols. She’s also less of a predator and more of a horny moron. Sure, she hires someone to take unsolicited photos of Kairi in the dressing room, but…uh…it’s fine!

Naturally, there’s some porn suspension of disbelief required, but the dynamic between her and Kairi actually works really well. Kairi does actually want to have gay sex, it turns out, so it’s not as slimy as the set-up might initially have you believe.

One thing that’s really refreshing about the game is that there’s no “b-b-but we’re both GIRLS!!!!” bullshit you have to read through. That is by far my least favorite trope, and it seems to plague a lot of the GL media I consume (and the “we’re both guys!” counterpart for BL, too). But in Lewd Idol Project, Ranko is openly gay, and while Kairi is surprised by how turned on she is by her female producer, she doesn’t get all internally homophobic about it. She constantly says she’s “dying of shame,” but not because she’s with a girl – because she’s woefully nervous about any sexual activity.

It also helps that both of our leads are actual adults. I’ve enjoyed my fair share of schoolgirl lesbian content, sure, but it’s definitely nice to have an adult story that’s actually centered on adults. I especially like Ranko’s design. Her character is stated to be twenty-four years old, but she’s what I like to call “MILF-coded” thanks to her office attire and sultry voice.

Now, to answer the big question: is it hot, though?

Yes! It’s totally silly – like, you have to press a dialogue option in order to make a character climax – but it works. The dialogue itself is plenty steamy, and there’s some gap moe between the innocent Kairi and her growing appetite for lewdness that is just *chef’s kiss*.

Sorry, but I’m keeping it safe for work around here!

The CGs that display during the sex scenes are decent enough. Kairi gets a little cross-eyed in a way that feels less like an ahegao face and more like a legitimate design error. These are pretty minor nitpicks, though, because there’s nothing there that would take you out of the moment. Because the game has partial Japanese voice work, there’s actual moaning playing over the scenes, which does a lot to elevate the sexiness of it all. There’s also the occasional SFX work – you know, the typical squishes and sucking sound effects. Personally, those are always a turn-off for me, but your mileage may vary. It didn’t really get in the way of my enjoyment.

There isn’t much of a challenge here – it seems like the girls are gonna fuck no matter what. There is a relationship meter, but as I played, I wasn’t really sure how it affected what was actually going on between the two. It’s pretty difficult to make their relationship go DOWN – you can really only do that by choosing obviously rude dialogue choices, and even if you do lose a point, the menu allows you to go back and change your choice very easily. All this is a plus in my book, because I don’t really want to be bothered to have to save scrub throughout my porn game or work that hard to get the characters to fuck.

In addition to the typical visual novel/eroge affair, there are a few mini-games sprinkled throughout. You can collect gacha and play UFO catchers as Kairi, and there’s a simple karaoke minigame as well. There’s also a photo mode where you can unlock outfits and locations for the girls and pose them.

The only major complaint I have about the game is that there aren’t many idol songs. Granted, this is an indie game that was funded on Kickstarter, so it’s not like I’m expecting Love Live! caliber of music production and output. But it would be nice to have some actual moments where Kairi is, y’know, singing during the karaoke bits or something. In its defense, though, this is only Volume One and according to the game’s news tab, they have more in store like Live2D graphics.

Sadly, Toffer Team, the folks behind this project are facing a bit of an issue right now. Though the Kickstarter for the game did incredibly well (it raised 369% of the funds!), PayPal decided to lock them out of their earnings, citing “sexual services.” It’s genuinely scary that popular web platforms can bring down the hammer on an adult game created by and for adults and treat it like it’s the equivalent of human trafficking. Here’s hoping that it can get sorted out soon, and that this won’t become a trend with Kickstarter funded lewdness.

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