One Night, Hot Springs - A short, sweet visual novel about a Japanese trans woman going to a hot spring with her friends


#1

One Night, Hot Springs is a short visual novel by writer npckc, made for Trans Gal Jam on itch.io. In it, you take on the role of a young trans woman, Haru, who is invited by her best friend to a trip to a hot spring, and must navigate a handful of uncomfortable and awkward situations while she’s there.

There’s seven endings to be seen and I’ve seen three of them now, and I’m really loving this. Despite the awkwardness of the situations it’s genuinely sweet, and has a cast of supportive, affirming characters who are easy to like. On top of this it’s very informative and thoughtful on transness and what it’s like to be transgender in Japan. Also the art is positively adorable. Don’t sleep on this!

You can pick it up here for whatever price you choose. That page also links to a free android version! Follow the writer over here


#2

Oh wow. I didn’t expect this to be so heartwarming and encouraging. Sure, it still talks about how tiring and downright hard it can be to try and exist while trans in society. However, the main message of the game feels like that you will find people who listen, really care about you, and just treat you like a damned human being - and that you should keep those people close.

I especially love the ending you get right at the start if you chose that going to the hot springs would be just too hard for you. In the little epilogue the game has for each ending the epilogue for that ending is that Manami called Haru back and decided to go to a theme park instead of a hot springs for her birthday. The way the conversation on the phone goes with Manami when she asks Haru if she wants to go to the hot springs and this epilogue really convey that Manami cares a lot about making sure Haru is comfortable, and that she really wants her to be there for her birthday trip.

Also, I find it really nice that this ending is just called the “Normal Ending”. The game isn’t saying it’s a bad thing if Haru decides that going to the hot springs is just too hard for her, something like that is a normal decision to have to make as a trans person sometimes. However, yes, one of the endings where you go to the hot springs is called the “Good Ending”. And the game ultimately is saying that every now and then putting yourself in a situation that really makes you uncomfortable can be a good experience. If Haru puts herself out there and decides to try and have a good time and worry less about what other people think, she does in the end seem to have a good time at the hot springs. And she gets to meet Erika who, although being a bit inconsiderate, does really seem to have good intentions towards Haru and view her as a woman. So, the game is still saying that struggling through social situations that can be really really hard for a trans woman can sometimes be positive experiences in the end, but it also understands that sometimes that is just too much and that’s normal.

So yeah, thanks for sharing! I loved this and would echo the recommendation that people try it; it takes less than half an hour for just one play through!


#3

Yeah! I really appreciated the value it places in letting people support you, and in trusting people who want to support you while still being understanding why a trans person might not be so open to it.

I wound up really appreciating Erika’s writing in the end when you wind up spending time with her. You’re given the option to let her ask questions and she understands if you’re not comfortable and if you let her is kind of clumsy in the way people tend to be about it while being totally respectful when faced with pushback. And while she can’t fully understand in such a short time, she’s able to find a point to bond on, and it’s just so nice and refreshing.


#4

Apparently it just got an android version today?

But yeah, this sounds great. Will definitely pick it up and throw the creator some money when I have some.