Strawberry Vinegar is a light yuri slice of life visual novel released on January 5, 2016 written by Ebi-Hime with art by Silly Selly.
The story revolves about a nine-year-old girl named Rie whose life is suddenly turned upside down when a demon called Licia enters her kitchen one day, stealing freshly baked cookies. Claiming to have come to reap her soul, she gives Rie a week: as long as she is fed delicious human food every single day, she will let Rie live.
In the course of a week, a friendship (or possibly something more) begins to blossom between the two girls...
Provides examples of:
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When the takoyaki Rie and Licia get at the festival lacks octopus:Licia: He will rue the day that he decided to trick us! Murder and arson are in a category of their own, but when a mere human thinks they can meddle around with food for a bit of money, that's truly unforgivable!
- Berserk Button: We discover Licia's when Rie pretends to be eating her breakfast in order to wake her up.Licia: NOOOO! GIVE ME BACK MY TOFU, YOU MONSTER! I'LL KILL YOU! I'LL REALLY KILL YOU!
- Big Eater: Licia, especially around rice. However, she learns the limits of her body when she gets sick one morning as the consequence of overindulging for three days straight on human food.
- "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: This exchange between Rie and her mother:Mom: Come on, Rie, Licia's eating her natto~ You don't want to lose to Licia, do you?
Rie: It's a competition?
Mom: Of course it is. I'm going to give you affection points throughout the day, based on your behavior. Who knows? If you earn over twenty affection points, I might even give you an autograph~
Rie: That's called blackmail, Mom.
- Buxom Beauty Standard: Licia tells Rie it wouldn't be all that nice bathing with her anyways since she's not "cushiony" like her older sisters, which upsets Rie.
- The Cynic: Until Licia comes into her life, Sakuraba Rie is a cynical and grumpy girl who cares little for her fellow classmates and does not have a single friend.
- Faceless Masses: Used for all of Rie's classmates. When speaking, they are referred to with adjectives ("Ladylike classmate", "Tall classmate", etc) instead of actual names (with the exception of the yuri fangirl Mayuri).
- Food as Bribe: Rie is giving food to Licia in exchange for...not getting sent to Hell. Sounds like a fair trade.
- Food Porn: There is a lot of food in this game. All of it looks amazing. An example from the Steam page. The descriptions alone in some scenes are enough to make your mouth water. On one occasion, even when Rie is describing shaved ice as "cheap" and "artificial" the photo still looks delicious◊.
- Foreign Culture Fetish: Licia's mother loves Japan, to the point where she cosplays around the house and has a bonsai tree in their garden.Licia: It keeps dying, though, since the air in Hell is filled with sulfur.
- Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Rie's stuffed animals have a certain sentimental value to her. She has backstories for her alpacas that would require "a full length visual narrative, two animated spinoffs, several movies, and a slew of manga and light novels".
- Happily Married: Rie's parents never fight despite seeming like polar opposites sometimes. Her mother does occasionally tease Rie's (easily flustered) father though.
- Motor Mouth: Rie's father after Licia returns with Rie from her first day of school.Dad: RieLiciawelcomebackImissedyousomuchhowwasschooldidyouhaveagoodfirstdayanddidRietakecareofyouandidyoumakeanynewfriendsIhopeyouhadagoodtimeandeverythingwentwellmaybeitwashardifJapaneseisnotyourfirstlanguagebutImsureyoutriedyourbestandImveryproudofyou!!!
- Multiple Endings: Your choices throughout the game will influence events in it. There's one at the beginning that will either properly begin the rest of the storyline or have Rie be cast to Hell, cutting your gameplay quite short.
- Never Say That Again: After Licia requests her pancakes with lots and lots of chocolate on them:Dad: Of course you can. Your wish is my command, Milady.
Rie: Don't say that. It makes you sound like a creep.
- Noodle Implements: Rie's mother whispering to her father about what he can do for more affection points. All the audience gets as a hint are Dad's small squeaks and embarrassed "No way!"'s. Rie mentioning she no longer wants to finish her sticky soybeans may or may not be adding to the implications.
- Rank Inflation: Used by Licia in one case:Licia: I feel like I'm witnessing something very, very rare~ Like A+++ rank!
Rie: If seeing me when messy hair is A+++ rank, how would you categorize real miracles, like visions from God or water turning to wine?
Licia: Hm...I'm not sure. Maybe they should be S rank!
- Shout-Out: If Rie refuses Licia's deal:Rie: I know about Dr. Faustus, and I know what happens to people who make contracts with demons.
- Licia mentions that her mother loves the manga Silky Mami and Violet of Versailles.
- Rie knows a concerning amount about the H-scenes in Fate/stay night:Rie: And you don't know anything about mollusks, or carnivorous plants, or honey pots?
Licia: Ehehe...I really don't know what you're talking about. Is it some kind of code?
Rie: I-in a matter of speaking, I suppose.
- The online forum Licia's sister visits where she posts pictures of anime girls and tells people to kill themselves. Licia says her sister gets really mad every time she gets on it, but for whatever reason keeps going on it. A certain real website comes to mind.
- The name of a waitress changes to Sadako after Rie comments on how her complexion and black hair make her look like she should be in a horror movie.
- Time Skip: After the credits, with the exception of one bad ending.
- Video Game Cruelty Punishment: If you refuse to let Licia stay in your house, her older sister will come, prove she was indeed a demon, and reap your soul to Hell as punishment. Ouch.
- Weight Woe: Rie mentions that her father enjoys cooking for her since he is unable to cook for her (already quite slim) mother, who is always on a diet.
- What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Licia tells Rie about a confusing feeling she has upon her return, causing her to turn red and her heart to beat fast, thinking she's getting sick again. Rie awkwardly convinces her it's not, but dodges explaining it to her.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Rie has a rather advanced vocabulary for her age, and a collection of novels that overwhelm Licia because they don't have any pictures.Rie: Please. I'm nine years old. I don't need pictures to keep my mind engaged.
- Yuri Fan: A girl named Mayuri watches Rie and Licia on the bus during their school trip, becoming more and more excited as Licia gushes over her.Mayuri: Ah~ I need to make notes quickly! I'm going to turn this into a epic, original story detailing the true love between two shy, sensitive school girls, and make loads of money at Comiket!