One of my first experiences with Japanese culture and anime came from watching Sailor Moon after school. Though the American dub of the series was HEAVILY edited, I was enamored with the series and tuned in every day to see Serena (yes, I know Usagi) and the rest of the Sailor Scouts kicking ass and protecting their city from evil… and Tuxedo Mask, he was like my first anime crush! I can STILL remember singing the opening theme at the top of my lungs much to the annoyance of my mom and brothers, but watching Sailor Moon sparked a love affair with anime and the magical girl genre that has lasted years…
I love me some Sailor Moon, but there weren’t exactly any Black sailor scouts (except for Pluto… I’m gonna go ahead and claim her for the culture), not that that stopped me from wanting to be a sailor scout. But, looking back, I would have loved to have seen someone that looked like me fighting along side the rest of the sailor scouts. So when I came across Xeregha Lopez’s magical girl yuri/otome visual novel, Magical Warrior Diamond Heart it set my little magical girl heart all a flutter!!
The game follows Valerie Amaranth, an ordinary 16 year old who has her world changed when she is given the powers of the Legendary Crystal Warrior Diamond Heart, and tasked with finding a lost princess. Along the way she makes new friends who join her on her quest to find the princess and protect humanity from the monstrous Nightmares.
Magical Warrior Diamond Heart is heavily inspired by magical girl anime—cute outfits, good vs evil battles, romance… the whole nine yards! But, what I love most about Diamond Heart is that it has the diversity and representation I always wanted to see in Sailor Moon. The characters in the game come from a wide range of ethnic/racial backgrounds—two of the main magical warriors, Valerie and Clover are both Black women, but there are also so many other cultures represented in the main cast too! Each character has their own motivations and backstories, which tie into the usual magical girl storylines.
I love the main character Valerie is a bubbly and sweet Black girl who loves sweets and has a heart of gold, always stepping up to defend her friends. She’s kind of a mix of Usagi from Sailor Moon and Momoko from Wedding Peach and is just the cutest little ray of sunshine you’ll ever meet!! There is a romance element to the story and Diamond Heart offers a number of great GxB and LGBT positive relationship options (and if romance isn’t your thing there are friendship routes too).
Magical Warrior Diamond Heart is an ongoing project (Xeregha Lopez is working on a full deluxe version of the game) but, you can play the first 7 chapters which serves as a season 1/demo of the final concept. It’s such a fun game, with cute characters and all the magical girl goodness you can handle! Definitely a must play if you’re looking for a dash of Black Girl Magic with your crime fighting!!
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