Otome Visual Novel Releases of May 2016

UPDATED: 15/5/2016

May2016Header

 

New Releases

Title Release Date Platform
Kenka Banchou Otome 19-5-2016 PSV
Period Cube ~Torikago no Amadeus~ 19-5-2016 PSV
Kyoukai no Shirayuki 26-5-2016 PSV
SA7 (Silent Ability 7) 26-5-2016 PSV

 

Apr~May 2016 Doujin/OELVN/Localisation Releases

*All titles are released on PC unless otherwise noted.

Title Release Date Notes
Destiny’s Princess: A War Story, A Love Story [Japanese title: Sengoku Hime ~Jika no Chigiri~]
06-4-2016 Available in English, Japanese and Chinese.
Monochrome Heaven 10-4-2016 Doujin, freeware, English, also for Mac and Linux.
Pub Encounter [Japanese title: Dandy Shot] 13-4-2016 Available in English, Japanese and Chinese.
Ominaeshi no Kage ~Aru Wakamono-tachi no Omatsuri Jijou~ [Link] 15-4-2016 Doujin, sequel/spin-off of Ominaeshi no Kage.
The Men of Yoshiwara: Ohgiya [Japanese title: Gyakuten Yoshiwars ~Ougiya-hen~]
20-4-2016 Available in English, Japanese and Chinese.
Asagao Academy: Normal Boots Club
21-4-2016 Doujin, English, compatible with Mac and Linux also.
C-14 Dating 22-4-2016 Freeware, English, compatible with Mac and Linux also.
Ozmafia!! 29-4-2016 Official English localisation for Windows and Steam.
[UPDATE!] My Secret Pets! [Japanese name: Himitsu no Pet Hatsujou Chuu] 11-5-2016 Available in English, Japanese and Chinese.
Mystic Destinies: Serendipity of Aeons – Tatsuya Route [Link] 20-5-2016 Tatsuya route DLC. English, also playable on Mac.
Seduce Me 2: The Demon War [Link] 20-5-2016 Sequel of Seduce Me. English, voiced, also playable on Mac and Linux. Also on Steam.

 

 

Kenka Banchou Otome

 

Release date: 19-5-2016
Platform: PSV
Age rating: CERO B [12+]
Developer: Red Entertainment
Publisher:
Spike Chunsoft
Artist: Kuromitsu Kinako
Official website: 
http://www.kenkabancho-otome.com/
VNDb link: https://vndb.org/v17750
OP Info
Song title: Ai Suru Mono e Sasagu You ni [愛する者へ捧ぐように]
Vocals: Aoi Shouta, KENN
Composition, arrangment and lyrics: Shikura Chiyomaru

 

* Cast *

+ Main Characters +

~ Minowa Totomaru – KENN
~ Konparu Takayuki – Aoi Shouta
~ Kira Rintarou – Hosoya Yoshimasa
~ Mirako Yuuta – Kakuhara Tetsuya
~ Onigashima Houou – Maeno Tomoaki

+ Supporting Characters +

~ Onigashima Hikaru – Yonaga Tsubasa
~ Sakaguchi Haruo – Kondou Takashi

 

* Plot Summary *

The protagonist, Nakayama Hinako, doesn’t have a single relative. For as long as she can remember, Hinako has been living in an orphanage. Without ever knowing what her parents look like, without making any friends, she graduated junior high school. Hinako went on to enter an all-girls school she had admired.

Then, a lone young boy by the name of “Hikaru” appears before Hinako. He says that he’s her long-lost older twin brother.

Hikaru suggests to Hinako, “can you go to school in my place?”
Moreover, that said school was Shishiku Academy; an all-boys senior high school in which the prefecture’s #1 delinquents attended.

Hikaru belongs to the Onigashima House, which is a crime family with ancient and honourable roots. His strict father decided on Hikaru’s high school and has forced him to go and take down Shishiku Academy whilst in attendance there.

Having learned the existence of his long-lost younger twin sister, Hikaru came up with the idea of sending Hinako off to Shishiku Academy, as he doesn’t want anything to do with delinquents…

 

* My Thoughts *

For those who haven’t heard of “Kenka Banchou“, it’s a series of beat-’em-up PlayStation Portable games in which players take on the role of a banchou (a leader of a band of youth delinquents) and beat up other banchou leading other regions. I’m sure there are some differences from game-to-game, but since I haven’t played a single one, I’m not able to provide any opinions about them. The last game in the series came out in 2012.

While it’s good that they’re trying to make an otome game that doesn’t just focus on romance (I know some people won’t like this, because the point of otome games is romance, really) and hopefully a banchou protagonist could mean a less stereotypical one… but other than those two things… I don’t really care for or even like what the rest has on offer.

Pretty much the bastard child of Kenka Banchou and Kobayashi ga Kawai Sugite Tsurai!!

Pretty much came into existence because chicks dig “bad boys” (I bet these boys aren’t even that “bad”, but anyway) falling in love.

I guess there is some hope in this not being cross-promo crap since Red Entertainment have been doing relatively well for themselves lately, so…

At the very least it doesn’t sound nearly as shit as the next one. Seriously, Kenka Banchou Otome is High Art compared to…

 

 

Period Cube ~Torikago no Amadeus~

 

Release date: 19-5-2016
Platform: PSV
Age rating: CERO C [15+]
Developer: Otomate
Publisher:
Idea Factory
Scenario: Seki Ryouko
Artist: Kuroyuki
BGM composition:
Ozawa Takumi
Official website:
 http://www.otomate.jp/period-cube/
VNDb link: https://vndb.org/v17640
OP Info
Song title: Ibara no Rakuen [茨ノ楽園]
Vocals: Joelle
Composition and arrangment: Ozawa Takumi
Lyrics: Hiyama Nao

 

* Cast *

+ Main Characters +

~ Hiroya – Okamoto Nobuhiko
~ Radius – Maeno Tomoaki
~ Libera – Hanae Natsuki
~ Astrum – Sakurai Takahiro
~ Zain – Hirakawa Daisuke
~ Poyopoyo/Shiki – Toriumi Kousuke

+ Supporting Characters +

~ Demento – Umehara Yuuichirou
~ Ira – Kugiyama Rie
~ Mergo – Masuda Toshiki
~ Jocus – Morikubo Shoutarou
~ Miseria – Hanazawa Kana
~ Domina – Saitou Chiwa
~ Ars – Shirai Yuusuke
~ Silent – Ootsuka Akio
~ Unknown (Nazo no Shounen) – Ishida Akira

 

* Plot Summary *

To find clues as to the whereabouts of your disappeared older brother, you begin to play the online RPG game called “Arcadia” with your childhood friend, Hiroya.

After getting swallowed by a bright light, you then wake up, seeming to have lost consciousness.
You’re now inside the fantastical world of the game.

Amidst your unsettlement by the sudden turn of events, you’re shocked to learn that the only way to escape this world is by playing and clearing this life-risking game.

From the very start, the world had began its collapse. In this already prohibiting situation, you become everyone’s target as you hold the key to clearing the game; having become the “Divine Sword”.

In this adventure, hearts are touched, and grow closer.
Even so, the world continues to collapse…

 

* My Thoughts *

Period Cube started off as a drama CD series; the debut set of releases when Otomate Records opened shop in mid-2015.

Alright, I’m not going to mince words: Period Cube is vomitous to me.

Getting sucked into a game is one of the lamest plot ideas out there. Not even teenage weeb fanfic authors use it that often anymore. I wonder which of these Period Cube ripped off? Sword Art Online? Or maybe .hack? Or Log Horizon?

Even if they desperately wanted to create their high budget Sword Art Online fanfic a game with this premise, it’s really sad (and amazing) how there’s no originality or even signs of trying to innovate the concept. Angels and devils? Wow, they must have really spent all night on that one. The protagonist somehow and suddenly having a super-rare, super-desirable item? Her being in a support role, because otome protagonists can’t be stronger than the “I WILL SAVE U” guys of the games? Would their egos get so badly bruised that they won’t love her anymore? If so, why bother with them, again?

You think I’m being too harsh? Maybe. But I still got more points of contention…

The cute-mascot-but-actually-a-hot-guy-and-your-big-bro thing is copying Rejet’s Happy Sugar Whatever Now Infected with Idols drama CD series’ Satou. Let’s not forget that Period Cube started as a drama CD series, which just further highlights the copying and lack of originality. Comparatively less egregious is the “find missing bro” thing- it’s already a notable element of July 2016’s 7’scarlet. Were they that short on ideas that they had to use it twice in the same year? Only two months apart from each other? Do I look like a freakin’ goldfish to you, Otomate? Oh, and an online game called “Arcadia” already exists- Arcadia Online. Can’t even come up with an original “game within a game” name. Can’t even check Google for five seconds. Here’s my naming idea for success: “I’ll Pay You to Play Me”.

But not even a travesty like this is without its saving graces. The artwork by Kuroyuki is absolutely gorgeous and the music by Kageyama Shouta is nice. Oh, and the OP isn’t bad.

So to recap:

Pros: Gorgeous artwork, nice music, default name is voiced, system should be reliable unless this is so shit that it has to add “buggy” to the cons list.

Cons: Multiple instances of ripping-off, extremely archetypical childhood friend tsun-der-brain character that I loathe, somewhat boring protagonist relegated to a support role ’cause God forbid she takes on something “not girly” (can’t overshadow her saviour boys, amrite?), of course SOMEONE just HAD to get amnesia, of course the missing NOT INCEST ONII-CHAN holds the key to understanding most of the story- what’s the bet his route will be an expositional info-dumpfest?, unoriginal and uncreative plot and characters, uninspired, lazy badfic feel to the story all up… and the final nail in the coffin- why is there an idol here?

There was no chance I’d ever like this from the moment the drama CD was announced. I remember letting out a long, heavy sigh when Otomate Records mentioned this will become a game. I can only see myself playing this if I lost a bet.

 

 

Kyoukai no Shirayuki

 

Release date: 26-5-2016
Platform: PSV
Age rating: CERO C [15+]
Developer: Otomate
Publisher:
Idea Factory
Scenario: Adashino, Tom, Wakamiya Tasuku, Yuuki Yuno
Artist: Kinako
Official website: 
http://www.otomate.jp/kyoukai/
VNDb link: https://vndb.org/v18159
OP Info
Song title: Shirayuki no Yume [白雪の夢]
Vocals: LOVERIN TAMBURIN
Composition, arrangment and lyrics: aya

 

* Cast *

+ Main Characters +

~ Kumishima Kaine – Sugiyama Noriaki
~ Shinjou Nazuki – Sugita Tomokazu
~ Kondou Yura – Kishio Daisuke
~ Sumifu Shikimi – Matsuoka Yoshitsugu
~ Kakeya Saji – Saitou Souma
~ Zenno Yori – Takemoto Eiji
~ Arima Utsuro – Oosaka Ryouta
~ Ousaki Maki – Morikawa Toshiyuki

+ Supporting Characters +

~ Jouou (Queen) – Yahagi Sayuri
~ Tsukinami Ataru – Uchida Aya
~ Furuki Tsuzuri – Furukawa Makoto
~ Kakeya Ume – Yanagita Jun’ichi
~ Ikari Yumihito – Takahashi Kenji

 

* Plot Summary *

It began with the pomegranate tree.

It was during the summer of my second year of university.
I was on my way to visit “The Mirror of the World Exhibition”.
Coincidentally, that day in the past, I was involved in a falling accident.
However, now that’s just a childhood memory.

At the exhibition, I met 8 guys.
On that night… Tempted by the sweet aroma of the pomegranate which I so love, I ate it.

I suddenly was struck by great sleepiness.
Unable to fight it off, I went to bed. It was then when I heard a sweet voice that made me shudder in disgust.

“Welcome home. Finally, I’m able to be in the same place as you.”

When I shot up awake in the morning, there was a hand-mirror in my hand that I’ve never seen before.
A voice from the hand-mirror- calling itself the mirror’s spirit- in a whisper, tells me to “save the fated one”.

And then, I met the guys I first saw at the exhibition again.

When I drew closer to them, they invited me into the unreal and mad world; the “Mirror World”.
The guys in the Mirror World will only call me “Snow White”, and had crazed expressions unlike when they were in the real world.
I learned of the “Queen” as I became closer to them.

“Capture Snow White.”

The Queen is trying to capture me- Snow White.

The guys’ madness. The Queen drawing closer. I wonder why I’m called “Snow White”, and why I’m being targeted…

“Now it is your turn to have taste of loneliness. Go on, try and escape. I’ll chase you to the ends of the world. I’ll definitely capture you.”

 

* My Thoughts *

Sounds interesting, though I feel like Kyoukai no Shirayuki is one of those games that will go really well or go down in flames. Concept isn’t too original, but at least I can see some effort in very slightly deviating from the norm unlike a certain Cube

First of all, there are way too many love interests. Oh gee, it’s almost as if they’re trying to squeeze as many popular seiyuu in as possible over creating well-rounded characters. Otomate would never do that! Plus the CGs are more ALICE=ALICE and some of the plot points presented here is reminiscent of R18+ Trick or Alice. Neither of which are great games, especially the former.

To use a similar example to talk about my “too many dudes” concern, Yoiyo Mori no Hime had eight guys as well, and had a Snow White theme, though there is a prominent Seven Deadly Sins theme. I won’t delve into massive spoilers, but try and guess how many of the eight guys had key relevance to the overall story. In other words, if I took them out of the equation, can the story still function well? Can the inconsistencies caused by their absence be easily explained away (rendering them pretty useless)? The worst example is the one main character who won’t meaningfully change the entire story whatsoever if s/he were cut from it. I could live with it if s/he were a side character, but main characters are called MAIN characters for a reason.

I feel as though something like a combination of ALICE=ALICE’s tryhard edginess and Yoiyo Mori no Hime’s character issue will happen. This is an industry that struggles to make even one decent, memorable or unique character- I don’t see Kyoukai no Shirayuki being an exception to this observation; certainly with not all eight guys.

To be clear, I’m not saying all eight guys should have equal importance- that’s just a tall order and too harsh. Very few works have multiple main characters of equivalent and lasting importance. I’m saying that make sure every main guy is important to the overall plot (this sounds like a game with an overarching story), even if in different degrees. No main character should be useless to the story or inconsequential if they were excluded. Otherwise, don’t make the game have a prominent overarching story and just make every route very contained.

That all being said, I hope Kyoukai no Shirayuki is an enjoyable game. I’ll keep an eye on the reviews, but I’m not holding my breath.

 

 

SA7 (Silent Ability Seven)

 

Release date: 26-5-2016
Platform: PSV
Age rating: CERO B [12+]
Developer and publisher: Petit Reve
Artist: Mitani Ichiro
Official website: http://www.p-reve.com/sa7/
VNDb link: https://vndb.org/v16295
OP Info
Song title: Silent Ability
Vocals: Terashima Takuma
Composition and arrangment: Isoe Toshimichi
Lyrics: Watanabe Kazuhiro

 

* Cast *

+ Main Characters +

~ Yuuki Ayaka – Shindou Kei
~ Naruse Rei – Terashima Takuma
~ Hyuuga Shouta – Kimishima Tetsu
~ Tachibana Rihito – Mizushima Takahiro
~ Konoe Rui – Yumihara Takefumi
~ Udou Tatsumi – Kuroda Takaya
~ Arthur – Kudou Gaku

+ Supporting Characters +

~ Ms. June – Nakamura Chie
~ Sakurai Sou – Oki Kanae
~ Shiina Kanji – Hino Satoshi
~ Kirishima Yuuto – Tachibana Shinnosuke
~ Makabe Rena – Tomonaga Akane
~ Konoe Hana – Shimagata Maina
~ Naruse Chiharu – Fukagawa Seria
~ Naruse Jun – Inami Nana
~ Udou Mai – Nanase Ayaka
~ Takami Crawford – Sugiyama Noriaki
~ Haizawa Kazuki – Ichiki Mitsuhiro
~ Julius Muller – Morikawa Toshiyuki

 

* Plot Summary *

On her way home along the street she always takes back home from high school, the protagonist, Yuuki Ayaka, gets assailed by a group of suspicious men in black. Totally unable to fight back, she gets taken into their car and kidnapped.

The mysterious group is called “unknown”. They’re a crime syndicate composed of members with special abilities and secretly operate all over the world.

Ayaka’s parents are famous researchers and “unknown” are after her parents’ research results, which is apparently why they kidnapped Ayaka.

However, Ayaka is effortlessly saved by five guys, who also have special abilities like members of “unknown” do.

“Who are you all…?”

When asked this by Ayaka, they called themselves “ARK”. Just what are they…?

 

* My Thoughts *

Even though this sounds like a cliché storm, I don’t really have a huge problem with it. However, these kinds of stories don’t really interest me too often. Of course, there’s the “toooo many duuudes” issue again. Petit Reve loves having many love interests, but I know from experiencing Goes! that they bite off more than they can chew.

I don’t really have a lot to add with this one other than the fact that I’ll be passing on this with not a whole lot of prejudice.

 

 

 

Doujin/OELVN/Localisation Releases

 

Destiny’s Princess: A War Story, A Love Story

 

DestinysPrincess.png

Release date: 06-4-2016
Platform: Apple/Android → PC port
Age rating: All-ages
Developer and publisher: Dogenzaka Lab
Official website and Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/447170/
VNDb link: https://vndb.org/v17810

 

* Plot Summary *

The Warring States period in the world just a little different from this world.
You’re the one, princess of a certain country.
In response to the favor from the environment, it has been spent on easy street.

But now, in response to the invasion of demons variant,
Castle lady is forced to the brink Rakujo.

– Were risking their lives, it is ending of love –

~ The plot summary has been taken directly from the official website.

 

* My Thoughts *

Dogenzaka Labs is the original publisher of another smartphone-turned-Steam PC otome game, Gyakuten Yoshiwara.

For otome fans with little experience with Japanese (therefore, a much more limited pool of games to choose from), the concept of dating the Sengoku period’s warlords may not be stale yet. As for this ol’ hag, though… It’s a really tired concept and its ubiquitousness is comparable to trees. Moreover, this particular game’s story doesn’t seem too interesting. I’d be more inclined to finally pick up Geten no Hana if I were to start playing an otome game based on the Sengoku period right at this moment.

More worryingly, the story summary hasn’t been translated well. This is odd, because the rest of the Steam page’s English seemed passable (but still needs polish) to me… It may be true that the number of localised otome games are so low that desperate otome fans will snap it up even if it’s not 100% polished, but if I were the editor, I would seek better quality. Especially on the Steam page, where customers are checking to see if they want to buy it! You’d want that page to be 200% perfect.

I’m definitely and obviously not interested. I hope more interesting Japanese games get localised- and well.

 

 

Monochrome Heaven

 

MonochromeHeavenTITLE

Release date: 10-4-2016
Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux
Age rating: 15+
Developer and publisher: DIGICLA (original Japanese), Twin Project (translation)
Official website: English, Japanese
VNDb link: https://vndb.org/v7916

 

* Plot Summary *

The setting is near future: an Asian country called Kagoku, a city named Higashito. In this bleak, gray city ruined by war, a poor flower-selling girl is purchased from her family by a wealthy young businessman. What does he want with her? To find a bride in the next two weeks before his 25th birthday——the day when, unless he finds a loving wife, he’s cursed to die…

~ The plot summary has been taken directly from the official website.

 

* My Thoughts *

I feel a profound sense of déjà vu every time I read the premise, though I can never work out where I think I’ve come across this kind of story before. I don’t mean anything critical by it; just genuinely trying to work out when and where I’ve seen this.

Anyway, it’s easy to see that this game isn’t for those who prefer more lighthearted fun, given that 20/25 endings are bad ones and one of the key genres is “survival”. This is very much up in my alley, but for those unsure, check all info about it or play the game a bit before reading the whole way through.

I’m definitely interested in the curse, I like the inter-class romance dynamic and I’m certainly digging the overall dark, bleak atmosphere of the game, its characters and its artwork.

The only flaw is the whole “get married in two weeks or die” thing. That in itself is fine, but it’s hard to believe that an agreeable, rich and handsome guy belonging to a high-class family like Akito should have trouble finding a bride. OK, 2 weeks is stretching it (I can’t say for 100% sure as I don’t know the details of the curse), but why didn’t he get married before? For a successful businessman, that seems pretty disorganised of him. I’m sure and hoping that there’s a good explanation- or else it’s going to more contrived than I’m willing to bear.

Since Monochrome Heaven is relatively short (about 60~100 minutes per route), it’s free, it has a bunch of little things I like and the premise is interesting, I think I’ll give this a whirl.

 

 

Pub Encounter

 

PubEncounterHEADER

Release date: 13-4-2016
Platform: Apple/Android → PC port
Age rating: All-ages
Developers: HuneX and Smart Kareshi
Publisher: Dogenzaka Lab
Artist: Yat
Official website and Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/447190/
VNDb link: https://vndb.org/v15250

 

* Plot Summary *

After a rough day at work, you decide to walk a different way home to try and improve your mood. Walking down an unfamiliar street, you stumble across a bar named Audire that seems like it has a nice atmosphere. Unsure of what to expect, you open the door and find a group of high-class older men. What awaits you at Audire?

NOTE: The story of the game is the same as “Pub Encounter” for the smartphone version. “Main & Sub scenarios” of the smartphone version that have been released till March 2016 are included.

~ The plot summary has been taken directly from the official website.

 

* My Thoughts *

Dogenzaka Labs is the original publisher of another smartphone-turned-Steam PC otome game, Gyakuten Yoshiwara and the more recently Steam-released Destiny’s Princess (see above for more information).

Thoroughly outdated, considering the oji-sama boom died out some three-odd years ago. Well, not like that really matters. The translation quality seems to be better (judging by the Steam pages of this one and Destiny’s Princess) and more consistent. That being said, the Japanese character summaries tell you so much more about each guy than the Steam ones. They should have put more effort there! While I’m not averse to oyaji guys, I’m not interested enough to consider them a huge selling point. The story just seems “OK”, but it’s hard to tell because of the simple summary.

To be honest with you guys, this one’s a bit hard for me to talk about since I’m not too experienced when it comes to oyaji games. They tend to be for the smartphone (which I almost never play otome stuff on) or drama CDs (I didn’t go out of my way to buy/listen to oyaji stuff). What I can say is that I like the idea of maturer heroes that aren’t immediately pigeonholed into archetypes. I’m getting sick of the same old, same old hormone-addled immature little boys (both in 2D and IRL, for the record).

On a side note, Ryuunosuke (the gentleman in the middle holding the blue martini) looks very much like Miyanomori Tadashi from Hanayaka Nari, Waga Ichizoku series (also illustrated by Yat) if the latter were to age more. That’s a point in Pub Encounter’s favour, for sure.

Back on topic… In my opinion, I’m not finding that there’s anything totally “wrong” with Pub Encounter. It doesn’t have a flashy or crazy plot/gimmick, so the emphasis will be on the enjoyability of the character interactions. Not sure if I can trust HuneX to deliver. I think I’ll put this far down on my backlog since the gentleman seem OK and I like the setting (I like bars, even though the game calls this place a “pub”). I have a ton of other games I want to play already. Seems like a simple, chill game that’s infinitely more interesting than Destiny’s Princess.

 

 

The Men of Yoshiwara: Ohgiya

 

GyakutenYoshiwaraOhgiyaIMG.jpg

Release date: 20-4-2016
Platform: Japanese Apple/Android → English/Japanese/Chinese PC port
Age rating: All-ages
Developers: Hituzigumo and Dogenzaka Lab
Publisher: Dogenzaka Lab
Official website and Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/447200/
VNDb link: https://vndb.org/v19283

 

* Plot Summary *

Deep in the center of an island lies the Yoshiwara pleasure district. Never does its beauty, nor bustling activity, wane in the slightest.
Full of doubt and wonder, which courtesan will you have chosen by the end of a seemingly endless night?

~ The plot summary has been taken directly from the official website.

 

* My Thoughts *

Dogenzaka Labs is the original publisher of other smartphone-turned-Steam PC otome games such as Gyakuten Yoshiwara and the more recently Steam-released Destiny’s Princess and Pub Encounter (see above for more information).

For the record, this game is a spin-off of the original Gyakuten Yoshiwara game. It looks like the two aren’t directly related in the sense that you have to play the first game to understand the second one better.

Anyway, I honestly don’t have much to add for this one. I’ve never been interested in this series, and this Ohgiya doesn’t sound like it’s going to change that. Moreover, why bother making the main setting of the game a pleasure district if you’re restricted by rating censorship- thus, not being able to depict all of its goings on (not just the sexual aspect) freely? In addition, I thought male prostitutes of Yoshiwara served male clientele…

If you want to play a good otome game set in Yoshiwara and have a confident grasp of Japanese, I highly recommend the R18+ Yoshiwara Higanbana by MariaCrown, though the protagonist is the sex worker rather than it just being the typical “normal, innocent girl wooed by silver-tongued biseinen hookers”. As for a good game in which the men are prostitutes and the protagonist is just a “normal” girl… I’m still looking for one.

 

 

Asagao Academy: Normal Boots Club

 

Release date: 21-4-2016
Platform: PC, Max and Linux
Age rating: T [Teenagers]
Developer and publisher: Illus Seed
Official website and download: https://illusseed.itch.io/asagao-academy-normal-boots-club
Steam Greenlight page: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=335773141
Kickstarter page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cheratomo/asagao-academy-normal-boots-club
VNDb link:
https://vndb.org/v19304

 

* Plot Summary *

When things in her life get to be too much to handle, Hana Mizuno transfers to Asagao Academy to start fresh. Once there, she runs into the Normal Boots Club – a group of handsome, competitive gamers, and the most popular guys in school. And they need her to compete in this year’s gaming tournament!

~ The plot summary has been taken directly from the official website.

 

* My Thoughts *

Ordinarily, a premise this painfully bad and lame would be an immediate “NO!” from me. A “normal” girl surrounded by a bunch of elite (and of course, bishieeeee~) guys that somehow need your her help due to some laughably lame contrivance? It’s like the exemplification of shitty shoujo manga and otome plots that would make me throw up if I weren’t so busy laughing at it.

However, this is clearly parodial or at the very least, meant to be played mostly for laughs (at least, I really hope it is), so I’m not reacting in the usual way I react to plots like these. It reminds me of Doki Doki Love Stomp: What does the Heart Say That My Muscles Cannot?, which is an obvious parody of otome games and to a lesser extent, anime clichés. It was a lot of fun and more enjoyable than many of the “serious” otome games that had been coming out. Just the mere possibility of it being as light-hearted and fun as Doki Doki Love Stomp is enough to make me want to play this, even though I have little knowledge of Normal Boots and its members.

For those wondering, Normal Boots is a group of well-known video game critics and/or video game-related content creators that have a large following; particularly on YouTube. Its members (at the time of writing) are JonTron, PeanutButterGamer, Continue?, Did You Know Gaming, Satchbag, ProJared and The Completionist, all of whom will be dateable options in Asagao Academy.

I don’t know how accurately the Normal Boots members are depicted, so if I do play this, I’m walking in with the intent to play this with the mentality of “I’m going to play a silly (in a good way) otome game” rather than “W00t! I’ll get to romance me fave Normal Boot dude!” I did notice that they weren’t drawn to look “younger”. The men definitely don’t look like high school students, which just adds to the silliness.

Given its recent Greenlit on Steam and how it managed to receive $26,743 on their Kickstarter, there might be much more hype and interest behind this kind of thing than I had imagined. Either people have an appetite for silly humour or the Normal Boots guys have a ton of fangirls. Maybe both…

Whatever the case, it looks like the “dumb fun” I wish there were more of in the otome world. It’s not an “I MUST PLAY IT NOW” game, but it’s on the backlog for sure.

 

 

C-14 Dating

 

Release date: 22-4-2016
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux
Age rating: 12+
Developers and publisher: Winter Wolves
Artist: DejiNyucu
Writer: KittyKatStar
Official website:
http://winterwolves.com/c14dating.htm
Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/451640/
VNDb link: https://vndb.org/v14814

 

* Plot Summary *

C-14 Dating is an otome dating sim that combines archaeology, friendships and love.

You play as Melissa Flores, a 3rd year anthropology student participating in a summer archaeological internship. The field school takes place in Belgium, over 5000 miles away from your native California!

Okay, it’s a little bit out of your comfort zone, and the fact you’ll be staying in an unfamiliar country for two months can be nerve-racking, but you couldn’t pass up such a learning opportunity! You get to excavate at an authentic prehistoric site, which has uncovered Neanderthal remains in the past.

Maybe you’ll dig up some bones, or even unearth tools that were manufactured by early humans. And of course, you might forge friendships and find romance during your stay…

~ The plot summary has been taken directly from the official website.

 

* My Thoughts *

Finally, I get to date Indiana Jones!

Jokes aside, I think this game sounds very interesting, being the first otome game centering around archaeology! It’s an ADV x SLG hybrid, meaning that there will be simulation gameplay aspects between the visual novel format storytelling. I’ve mentioned this many times already, but I generally avoid SLG/RPG elements when I play visual novels because one of the reasons I’d pick up a visual novel is to sit and read. At least the archaeology mini-games are optional… Then again, I just feel it wouldn’t be fair to rate a VN with gameplay elements if I skipped them. It’s complicated.

Furthermore, I have little experience with Winter Wolves games; the only one I’ve played being Love & Order, which is a terrible game that wasted its potential and beautiful artwork- and I’m being nice, here. I know it’s only one game, so I won’t write off Winter Wolves yet… However, I’d be lying if I said I’m not apprehensive.

So I’ll wait for more reviews and see how I feel about it once I’ve read enough of them. I want to support OELVN devs a lot, but not if the games are Love & Order-tier bad.

 

 

Ozmafia!!

 

Release date: 29-4-2016
Platform: PC
Age rating: 15+
Developer and publisher: Poni Pachet (original Japanese), MangaGamer (translation and English release)
Artist: Satoi
Scenario:
Yuumas
Official website: http://mangagamer.org/ozmafia/
Steam link: http://store.steampowered.com/app/303290/
VNDb link: https://vndb.org/v7833
OP Info
Song title: I Love You More
Everything performed by Article One

 

* Cast *

+ Main Characters +

~ Fuuka – Hanamura Akiko (only certain parts)
~ Caramia – Shingaki Tarusuke
~ Kyrie – Okitsu Kazuyuki
~ Axel – Kakehashi Atsushi
~ Caesar – Kirimoto Takuya
~ Sou – Iguchi Yuuichi
~ Scarlet – Ichiki Mitsuhiro
~ Pashet – Fujii Kyouko
~ Robin Hood – Fujinami Satoru

+ Supporting Characters +

~ Hameln – Hara Hideshi
~ Hansel – Enoki Jun’ya
~ Gretel – Nozuki Masami
~ Ande – Uchiyama Yuki
~ Æling – Kurumatani Eri
~ Melisus – Okamoto Kousuke
~ Dorian Gray – Honda Hiroyuki
~ Alfani – Yamaguchi Kazuya
~ Manboy – Awazu Takatsugu
~ Heidi – Toyoshima Taketo

 

* Plot Summary *

Our heroine awakes to find herself in an unfamiliar land. She has no memories at all, not even knowing her own name.

To make matters worse, the first person she meets is out to kill her.

Our heroine runs for her life through the unknown streets, only to run headfirst into another stranger. Fortunately for her, this man is the don of the mafia famiglia Oz. With no love for would-be murderers of innocent women, he drives off her attacker and takes her underneath his famiglia’s wing.

This is hardly the end of her troubles, however. Famiglia Oz is but one of many different mafia famiglie in town, and bitter conflicts for territory rage eternally between them all. Only on Sundays does peace return to the town by a mutual compromise, and come the next day the battles continue anew as if they had never ceased.

It is in this war-torn town that our rootless heroine must find her way. Who amongst the mafias simply seeks to use her for their own ends, and who can she truly come to trust… and even love?

~ The plot summary has been taken directly from the Steam page.

 

* My Thoughts *

NOTE: This is the original PC version. That means the game is around 75% voiced and the extra content in the PSV port Vivace won’t be present.

Without getting into spoilers… I’ve already played Ozmafia a while ago, and honestly, it’s a pretty average game that wanted to do more things with its (interesting) ideas than its amateur writer was able to handle at once. Again, it faces some issues that “too many characters” games tend to, though to a lesser extent due to the fact that individual families had their own plots (i.e., multiple characters weren’t vying for significance at the same time) and it wasn’t until mostly the end in which you see there is more going on overall (which is when things got… iffy, to put it without spoiling).

While Caesar is the best-looking and Robin Hood has the nicest voice… Kyrie is the best boy. No questions, no exceptions.

All-in-all, as long as you’re not expecting to get your mind blown, you’ll have a fun time with Ozmafia. I’ll end up buying the English release anyhow to show my support… and hope for better otome games to get a chance at localisation.

 

 

[UPDATE!] My Secret Pets!

 

MySecretPetsHEADER

Release date: 11-5-2016
Platform: Apple/Android → PC port
Age rating: All-ages
Developer and publisher: Dogenzaka Lab
Official website and Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/447180/
VNDb link: https://vndb.org/v19071

 

* Plot Summary *

When you return home rejected the evening after being broken up with by your boyfriend, waiting for you are four handsome men…who are actually your pets! Cue a fierce battle for the love of their beloved (former) owner — you! But watch out for the reappearance of your ex…

 

~ The plot summary has been taken directly from the official website.

 

* My Thoughts *

Now this is something different. Pets becoming human-like but retaining some of their animalistic traits is so cute! It’s such a lucky coincidence that they get to keep their cute animal traits but still be hawt guys! Also, I love how sudden and totally unexplained the pet-to-human transition is. I don’t like it when too many complex details are thrown in, because I’m too busy fangirling to think straight, LOL! It’s so cool how all the pets love the protag-chan so much- she must be a really cool and unique girl. Plus I hope the ex character is hawt… I have no idea why he’s back and what he’d want from the protag-chan, but I really, really hope he’s not back to cause trouble! But then again, shoehorned in conflict is the best!

 

 

Hahahaha, God no. I’m only messin’ with you guys. This game is derivative rubbish at best.

These kinds of games is the reason why the otome fandom get mocked as brainless moetards. I don’t need My Secret Pets to help cultivate this image; Diabolik Lovers fulfils this role pretty nicely, thanks.

Talk about completely uninteresting and clichéd.

Talk about the price reflecting the value of the game.

This game took as much “work” to develop as it took me to create a post about it.

Oh, and before the ironic hipsters come here and start prattling nonsense about this “clearly being a parody”… It’s not. Japanese otome devs seriously chew through cliché after cliché with a straight face. They can toss their creative dignity into the fire for the sake of making a quick buck.

“Integrity?” Who is that? Do otome customers like that guy? Is he moe enough for our next project?

 

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Categories: Monthly Otome Release Lists, Otome News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

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25 thoughts on “Otome Visual Novel Releases of May 2016

  1. lol i love thoughts www
    kenka bancho otome is the only game i’m getting this month, coz i didn’t want to spent money on period cube *cough* *cough* sword art online, Shirayuki is just… the story doesn’t interest me and the art too.

    • Hello!

      Thank you, I’m happy you enjoyed the post!

      It seems like every otome fan I know is interested in Kenka Banchou Otome. I feel lonely… I hope you enjoy it! =D

      • yeah some of my friends are also getting it but some just says the story isn’t interesting XD
        i hope i can enjoy it (i hope it’s worth my long time hype) i hope you enjoy games u buy this month~

  2. I played the PC version of OZMAFIA as well and while it didn’t blow my mind… I’ll probably end up buying the game just to support it. I did the same with the other otome games that got localized (amnesia: memories, norn9, code:realize, hakuouki). Played them before, bought the english anyways because the interest in the market means we might get better games in the future. It’s too bad the Beastmaster kickstarter didn’t go so well, but I wasn’t too surprised to see it fail I guess. I dunno, but I guess I just didn’t have my hopes up too high for that 150k goal lol.

    As for this month… not too much I’m interested in! I did play Monochrome Heaven waaayyyy back in the day when I first started playing otome games and I was more interested in the doujin circle. I don’t remember it at all though lmao so I might go back and play it again. I have the same feeling about Kyoukai no Shirayuki. It’s either gonna be ‘oh my god this is unexpectedly amazing’ or ‘jesus christ I’ll never get those hours I wasted on this game back in my life’ hahaha xD although regardless I’m curious because I enjoy the premise, I am not a huuuge fan of the artwork :\ which seems shallow of me but I can’t help it haha! SA7 doesn’t interest me at all, and Period:Cube sort of interests me (the whole getting sucked into a game premise doesn’t bother me too much) but I’m waiting for reviews on that. As for Kenka Banchou Otome… I kind of forgot it was coming out this month lol.

    As usual great post! I always look forward to your Sunday issues and your monthly issues 🙂

    • Hi Usagii!

      I wasn’t surprised to see the Beastmaster Kickstarter fail, either. My God, that $150K goal was lofty as… I didn’t contribute as I don’t have an interest in that series. I hope this won’t hurt other possible otome game Kickstarters.

      Same here! May 2016 did have some pretty much awaited for titles coming out, but it’s sad how none of them interest me enough to buy it on the spot. I guess my wallet is happy!

      I just get a distinct ALICE=ALICE flashback with Kyoukai no Shirayuki, though I’m sure the latter will be better. Kinako’s artwork (though it’s great how the protagonist doesn’t look overly thin) has quite a few similarities with Suou’s, plus there’s the Alice in Wonderland theme. Makes me think Otomate was trying to rip Rejet off again, haha… I try not to judge by artwork alone, but since it’s called a *VISUAL* novel, I can see why one would. I just repeat to myself that good artwork can’t save a shitty story, but a good story can make bad artwork seem inconsequential.

      Thanks for the kind words, and I hope my posts continue to be useful to you. =)

  3. Pingback: The Sunday Otome Gaming Mail: Issue #11 | Purple Nurple Wonderland

  4. Oh my gosh your post made me laugh like a hyena x’DDD you’re so funny!! ❤

    It's great that more otome titles are getting localized, but so sad that it's not the really good ones. My first interaction with otome games was with Voltage Inc games, which are for mobile, and after playing others which were infinitely better, I don't think I want to buy Voltage games any more. Some routes are good but the majority are SO much copy pasta, shitty story and stupid mc that I don't want to deal with them any longer.
    I was relieved when I could play better games like Hakuouki, Code: Realize and Sweet Fuse. Heck, even some free games are far better than Voltage games. Anyway, I'm not sure about what to do with Ozmafia…I want to support more otome titles getting localized but I read somewhere that Ozmafia has cheating and that's something I can't stand ;__; I've still got to play Norn9 which I heard it's quite good and maybe wait until another otome that catches my attention appears because I'm not really pumped up for this month's releases either :c Maybe C14 dating, but the only otome I liked from them was Winter in Fairbrook, so I don't know what I should do. Decisions, decisions xD

    I've been studying japanese for a while now and am thinking of buying an otome for psp or ps vita but I wonder which one would be not too difficult for me to understand ;w; If you don't mind do you have any recommendations?

    Anyway, great review!! Your thoughts were the best part XD

    • Hello otometantei!

      Love the username and thanks for the kind words. Here I thought I probably sounded more angry than funny, but I’m glad people seem to be finding it funny. =)

      My sentiments exactly- I want good games like Black Wolves Saga, Chou no Doku Hana no Kusari and Koezaru wa Akai Hana go get localised. I don’t have much experience with Voltage games, since I don’t ever play otome games on my mobile- I generally stick to PC and my handhelds. Plus like you mentioned, the story quality, and to me, the huge “MC = YOU” factor doesn’t help things along.

      While I’m sick of the Japanese community’s obsession with Hakuouki (I bought the localisation as a show of support), at least it’s not a *bad* game. I haven’t played Code: Realize but the summary doesn’t seem riveting nor do I like the characters much, so I passed on it. Maybe now that it is in English, I’ll pick it up as I can speed through English as it’s my native language. I have Norn9 in Japanese, but I haven’t 100% completed it as of yet. I think it’s severely overrated and is practically adored as a charage even though it sounds like it has a prominent overall plot. As for Sweet Fuse/Bakudan Handan, I bought the localisation a while ago, but I’ve yet to play it! I hear mostly positive things, but I suppose it doesn’t get the type of hype like Diabolik Losers are Amnesia gets because it’s not MOOOOOE~~~ enough.

      C14 Dating sounds very interesting, but I don’t really trust Winter Wolves after my terribad experience with Love & Order… but since I know it’s unfair to judge a brand in finality by just one game, C14 Dating may be the one of the Winter Wolves games I’ll give a go. I’ll say! It really is “decisions, decisions”.

      As for Ozmafia… Without getting into heavy spoiler territory, yes, there is some cheating, though in a few instances, it’s more like Fuuka dumping one person and going to the next. I’m OK with cheating in my romance games as long as it’s portrayed well. In Ozmafia, it’s not. The cheating thing felt more like a gimmick and I couldn’t stand how Fuuka managed to walk out of most (if not, all) instances relatively unscathed. As typical with bad/mediocre otome games, the protagonist is never at fault for anything, because she’s too naive/innocent/dense/whatever crap excuse to know better. Just because you didn’t mean to hurt someone, doesn’t mean you didn’t hurt them and it certainly doesn’t vindicate you from all wrongdoing. HOWEVER, it’s been three years (or more) since I played Ozmafia, so perhaps I’m misremembering some aspects.

      But yes, May 2016 is one of those months that sounds like a lot is going on when really, we’re looking at four mediocre~bad-sounding big budget games. I’m I’m going to pay $50~60 for a game, I expect WAY more than a glorified, crappy light novel rip-off, a borderline cross-promo, a super cliche secret agent story or Yet Another Crazy Boys in Wonderland title. At the very least, Kyoukai no Shirayuki sounds like some thought went into it but it has a lot of issues that will undoubtedly drag it down.

      I don’t mind at all! For Japanese learners, I think it’s less about specific titles and more about what to try and what to stay away from. My general recommendation is to stay away from games that deal with complicated topics (such as politics) and games rooted in Japanese history and tradition (these ones tend to use archaic words and have more kanji). The best place to start is with pretty much any high school game and titles that focus on real-world settings, but Starry Sky is especially friendly. honeybee games in general are learner-friendly, in my view- with the possible exception of Ayakashi Gohan. Of course, some simple-sounding games are hybrids with less learner-friendly themes and genres, so watch out for that. Starry Sky is great- they use modern Japanese, the plots are very simple, relatively predictable, it’s voiced and there are a load of English reviews of it floating around on the net to cross-reference.

      That’s another thing; even if you pick something that sounds a bit harder than your current level, if you have a very detailed English review to cross-reference, you can work out how much of the context you’re grasping. Sites I find good in this capacity are Chocolatemix, Love-colored Sky, Yume Miru Sekai and Kisscoma. The obvious disadvantage would be potential spoilers, as well as the fact that not every game gets reviewed in-depth. Another piece of advice I’d offer is to have a Japanese English dictionary that allows you to search in romaji like Jim Breen’s dictionary. This way, you can type what the character said, reference the text with the search results and learn new words, phrases, etc.

      Hope this helps! Thanks very much for reading! =)

      • Thanks so much for the reply!!

        Ah yes, I happen to also love mystery games apart from otome so I though otometantei would be a nice name, thanks for the compliment 😀

        Gosh, yes, I happened to play Black Wolves Saga (with a lot of patience and reviews lol) thanks to a friend who lent it to me and it’s one of the best I’ve ever played (I LOVE GUILLAN). I really wish it was localized too ;__; this one and others I hear are very good.

        Voltage games tend to get really repetitive and boring. There’s a lot of copy pasta, and when I say a lot I mean A LOT. There’s also these stupid kind of scenarios where everyone falls for the mc because she’s OH SO SPECIAL and the MC HAS TO BE PROTECTED and all that boring stuff -_- they’re not really quality otome like the ones that are released on psp/ps vita or pc (I think the fact that they are sold as separate routes, which tend to be quite short, adds to the lack of quality too) but Voltage’s pretty much one of the few companies who localize japanese otome :c

        Aaah, yes, I liked Hakuouki a lot but it’s true that they keep releasing new stuff for it… I’m thankful that the PS3 version included the fandisk (especially because of Heisuke’s scenes <3) but I really hope otomate localizes new otome games instead of just different versions of the same one.

        Code:Realize is very good, I recommend it 😀 it kinda feels like Fullmetal Alchemist xD but the heroine is one of the best I've ever seen in an otome. Sweet Fuse/Bakudan Handan was great for me!! Some routes are EH but it was refreshing having a heroine who actually got angry at the guys whenever they insulted her or did something stupid xD. As regards Norn9 I got it in english but still have to play it :3 LOL DIABOLIK LOSERS x'DD With Amnesia I liked the game but Ikki's and Toma's routes were so so; also the heroine…not very good. Kent and Ukyo had great routes imo, though ❤ and the art and music were fantastic!!

        You have the same problem as me with Winter Wolves xD I bought like hmm 4 games from them, I think? And Winter in Fairbrook is the only one I can say I really enjoyed. The others were okaaaay but not that great. Glad I didn't get Love and Order and Always Remember Me, though, they've got terrible reviews. C14 Dating looks interesting, nonetheless. Maybe after reading some reviews I'll decide what to do 🙂

        Oh gosh, thanks so much for this info on Ozmafia!! Now I'm definitely not buying this. NTR is a genre I can't stand ;__; and apparently this game is not only full of NTR but also full of writing inconsistencies so…yeah, won't buy it.

        I understand what you mean, there seem to be a lot of otome games full of copy pasta or the same themes over and over again. No originality… I may have lost count of all the Wonderland stuff I've seen, to put an example.

        Thanks for the suggestions! Ah, if you don't mind, may I ask for other suggestions but for psp and/or vita? ;w; I have a pc but it's a laptop and it works so so but my main computer is an Imac. I have my eyes on Shinobi Koi Utsutsu because I've been reading pretty much everywhere that it's a great game, but I don't know if it'll have too many complicated kanji ;w; I'm also interested in one of the most recent ones: Nil Admirari. But I'd love to hear you opinion if that's okay 🙂

        Also, true! Reviews help A LOT!! That's how I was able to enjoy Black Wolves Saga to the fullest 😀 Thanks so much for the tips and links!! ❤

        • No problem! I’m happy to have helped.

          Glad you enjoyed and played BWS. Bloody Nightmare is one of my favourite otome games ever! Not a great choice for beginners though, haha.

          I usually hear good things about Code:Realize, so perhaps it’s not as dodgy as I’ve made it out to be in my mind. I just remember being thoroughly underwhelmed by the lacklustre plot summary on the Japanese website. I’m definitely going to get to Sweet Fuse, especially since the protag sounds like she has an IQ higher than a single digit and has a personality that isn’t like 90% of other otome protags out there. I’m not touching that Norn9 localisation since the translation seems crap (plus I already have the Japanese one).

          Yeah, it’s not too steep of an “investment” when it comes to Winter Wolves games since I’m more used to the higher prices that the Japanese ones demand. However, money and time wastage is something I’d rather avoid! 😉

          No problem about Ozmafia!! I’m fine with NTR (though the types with more emphasis story can produce some pretty interesting dark romance stuff), plus it’s more a gimmick in Ozmafia!!’s case. As cruel as this sounds, you can definitely tell that the writer is an amateur; not too experienced with professional VN writing. It had a “slightly-better-than-doujin” feel to it. Then again, many otome game writers aren’t what I’d call “skilled at their craft”. It’s not a horrendous game, but it’s fairly overrated. I can guarantee that without Satoi’s art, it may not have received as much attention. Satoi is still popular today, but when Ozmafia!! was announced, that was when Diabolik Lowlives mania was in full swing. Whatever the case, Ozmafia!! had some interesting ideas, but the shonky writing let it down.

          I’ve given up on crossing my fingers and toes for some sign- ANY sign- of innovation, creativity or thinking outside of the box when it comes to otome games (and VNs in general, though eroge tend to fair slightly better due to higher amounts of games produced). All I ask now is for competence and a plot that doesn’t blow a hole in my brain and cause what little intelligence I have left to seep out. That’s a surprisingly tall order now, for a variety of reasons.

          I’m sorry, I didn’t make it very clear- a handful of honeybee games can be played on PSP/PS Vita, even the older ones (since Starry Sky was SOOO popular at one point, it got ported to hell and back). I really can’t offer specific suggestions, because I mostly play PC otome games. However, I’ve entered “PSP/PSV high school otome game” in the VNDb search, so I’m sure that most titles you pick from the results should be OK.

          I would only advise that you check the other tags that could indicate some difficulty. I hear Kin’iro no Corda is a good series. It’s about music and is set in high school, so I don’t think it should be difficult to understand. Prince of Stride sounds pretty straightforward, as do the light-sounding Koibana Days and Hatsukare Ren’ai Debut Sengen. If you’re interested in one but are unsure, just let me know and I can read up about it and get back to you. =)

          I haven’t and won’t touch Shinobi, Koi Utsutsu because the plot put me off, so I’m afraid I can’t offer advice on if it’d be a good learning choice or not. If Nil Admirari sticks to more archaic Japanese (due to being set in the Taishou era. For example, some words may be written in ateji rather than katakana- like for coffee, “珈琲” instead of “コーヒー”), I’d advise against it until you’ve at least reached an intermediate understanding of Japanese.

          Hope you can find a PSP/PSV game you’d like to try!

      • Thank you very much for your reply and all of the suggestions!! ❤

        Yes, I think I'll wait a bit more for Nil Admirari. There were some videos on youtube showing very short scenes of the game and even then I couldn't understand most the kanji :'D so nooope.

        I decided I'm most definitely getting Storm Lover V (it's on the vita, yay!!). As regards Starry Sky, I actually was able to play ~In Spring~ thanks to an english patch some years ago, so I could understand it but I didn't like the heroine that much…too freaking naive, and the premise of "one girl in an all-boys school" is a bit boring for me unless the girl isn't "pure and innocent" ;w; I heard the other Starry Sky games are better, though.

        I'd actually love to get Root Rexx but sadly US Amazon doesn't sell it, and I can only get games that are available there at the moment (´;д;`). I checked some from the list you shared with me and I think the ones I'm most curious about are Prince of Stride, Koibana Days, Nekketsu Inou Bukatsu-tan Trigger Kiss, Hatsukare☆Ren'ai Debut Sengen! and Houkago Colorful*Step. Have you played any of them? Or know if they are good? Thank you so much for taking your time to answer, you're really kind! I hope I'm not a bother (๑•́ω•̀๑)

        • No worries, I’m always happy to help! =)

          I can’t speak for Storm Lover or any of its iterations since I haven’t played it, but it doesn’t sound complex. I’ve played all of the Starry Sky games (PC versions), and you’re definitely correct in what you’ve heard about the other seasons being better. in Spring in terms of plot is done-before garbage. I like Summer the most (though more After Summer than in Summer and I still wouldn’t hold it up as much as my favourites) and Autumn is slightly maturer but still nothing to tell your grandkids about. Winter was very “meh” to me; not really sure what honeybee wanted to achieve there. I LOATHE the “one girl in an all-boys school” thing as well. It’s amongst the laziest and trashiest shoujo plots out there. Plus Tsukiko is boring at best and frustrating at worst. So I can see why you’d want to skip the rest of Starry Sky altogether.

          Unfortunately, I haven’t played any of the games you mentioned, sorry! At the very least, I can say that none of them sound difficult to read. You’ll likely find reviews of them too that you could use as guidance or skip the spoilers to further gauge if the games are your thing. I heard that most of the games you mentioned aren’t “amaaaziiing!”, but enjoyable. Nekketsu and Prince of Stride apparently aren’t as romantically-focused as most other otome games, so if that kind of thing is a problem for you, I’d avoid.

          A couple of people I know who played Hatsukare said it’s light and cute, recommending it to me. A good friend of mine played Root Rexx and said it wasn’t good, so maybe you’ve dodged a bullet? As for Koibana Days… I’ve heard little about it so that makes what I’m about to say even more unreliable, but I remember it being slightly polarising; some don’t like the mini-games, some did, some didn’t like the plain premise, some preferred it… Finally, for Houkago Colorful Step, I hear it has a long common route and little focus on the individual guys, supposedly being a subpar~average game all up. From what I came across on the Internet at the time, the Culture Clubs game (Bunkabu) is regarded as better than the Sport Clubs one (Undoubu).

          Hope I can still help and sorry I can’t offer more personal viewpoints!

      • Again, thank you very much for all the suggestions and info 🙂

        Yeah, I loathe the “one girl in an all-boys school” thing as well. Especially because they usually make her super dumb and pure and I’m like (ノ`Д´)ノ彡┻━┻ UGH!! But I the guys in Starry Sky Summer look interesting so I may give it a try sometime!! 😀

        Shame to hear Root Rexx might not be very good after all, I was drawn into it because of the art (Karneval’s mangaka!) and some of the seiyuu (Okamoto Nobuhiko, Yonaga Tsubasa and Kakihara Tetsuta). Oh well, I’m sure there must be better games ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        I don’t mind games focusing more on the story as long as the romance appears somewhere x’D like in Hakuouki 😛 I think I’m mostly decided on getting Re:Vice [D], the story seemed pretty interesting, I heard it was good (especially because of the heroine), Okamoto is there ohoho, and the OP is sung by Nano ❤ ❤ ❤ Probably not a good game to start practicing my japanese with but it won't be the only one I'll ever buy so that's ok 🙂

        Thanks a lot for all the suggestions!! 😀

        • You’re very welcome!

          Starry Sky is definitely not the game for those who want a great plot, but IMHO Summer is the most fun (especially the fandisc) and Autumn shows some attempt to have a more dramatic and meatier plot. They’re not long gams, so not a lot of your time is demanded.

          Re:Vice[D] is an interesting one; I’ve yet to decide if I’ll read that yet. It sounds like one of those games that will be great or terrible; no in-between. The protagonist sounds awesome. I don’t think Re:Vice[D] should be too hard to read?

          See you around! =)

  5. Period cube might be ok cause it has an RPG system which makes me think of Real Rode and that game was actually a lot of fun. But being an active mmo player I guess I can relate to MMO-related otome games more than anyone else. I never saw Log horizon or .hack or Sword Fart but I am enjoying the currently airing Netoge no Yome etc. soo I think I won’t write it off just yet. well I’ve preordered it either way (preordered every new game except SA7 cause I have 0 faith in puchirave) so we’ll see how it goes!

    • Thanks for reading!

      The fanfic-esque “sucked into an MMO” thing isn’t the worst part of Period Cube to me, but it is high up in the “Why I Won’t Touch This” list. Plus I don’t play MMOs at all, so yeah… I also think that if I wanted to play an MMO, I’d just go find one rather than play a half-assed one by an otome company. Then again, this kind of thing is probably why a handful of otome gamers DO want to play Period Cube. I don’t get it, but I hope you and those players enjoy the game. In fact, Period Cube wouldn’t be so bad to me if it was just a SAO/Log Horizon/hack rip-off alone.

      I don’t blame you for having 0 faith in Petit Reve. I’m willing to give them one more chance if any future game is intresting enough… But once they blow their second chance, I won’t ever touch their products again without a mountain of evidence that I won’t be wasting my money.

      Thanks again, and I hope you enjoy your May games! =)

  6. While I most likely won’t be able to read it I preordered Namlich Shirayuki cuz of this PV:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IDQOTvqU5E&index=2&list=PLXy8dwD9UN_m0bAyuECXMvGqbUmGqLZQT

    Haha it gave me goosebumps! I really hope it turns out to be worth the purchase but even if not, I’m glad to have bought it.

    Kenka looks awesome and I don’t mind that there’s like no romance. I live for well-written stories.

    Really want to try SA7 but the plot is generic af and sounds like those mobile otoge.

    Taishou x Alice and Black Wolves Saga are what I’m waiting on. Tierblade looks freaking amazing as well and the two samples of the OST they have pumped me up for that game.

    • Hiya, Leaf!

      Kyoukai no Shirayuki is certainly the game that holds the most promise out of the four May releases with its interesting ideas… but I’m still skeptical since I’m getting ALICE=ALICE recollective nightmares. I hope you enjoy it all the same, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!

      To be honest, I’m fine with my otome games lacking in romance. I mean, Black Wolves Saga: Bloody Nightmare is one of my favourites, after all. With a few tweaks, it could easily be sold to a multi-demographical market.

      SA7’s true crime is sounding “blah”. Being horrendously crap has its own ways of enjoying it, but being boring is a painful thing. LOL, “mobile otoge”… so true! xD

      I definitely want to get Taishou x Alice: all in one and the BWS port is a given. 😉 I’ll also be getting the Zettai Kaikyuu Gakuen port, since that is on par with Yoshiwara Higanbana as my favourite 2015 otome game (not that I played EVERY single 2015 otome game, but still)!

      I’m not sure what I think of Yuukyuu no Tierblade yet. I like how it sounds sci-fi; that’s rare in the otome world. I doubt it’s going to be hard sci-fi (I hope it’s not; I can’t imagine otome writers being able to pull that off), but it could open up some interesting doors if it goes very well.

      Thanks for reading and for your support, my friend!

      • Haha never heard of ALICE=ALICE so I had to look it up and wow I can see what you mean!!
        I hope it doesn’t go that way considering the reviews I read for ALICE=ALICE but if it does oh well. I need more study practice 😛
        Yep, hit the nail on SA7^^
        OMG yes I completely forgot about Gakuen port! I really want that as well.
        Tierblade could work. I honestly am not expecting too much since lol they can’t really write too well….
        however I did really enjoy Code Realize so maybe they can do smt decent?
        Awww not at all, Laramie! I’m just sad that I haven’t been able to read all of your posts due to classes but I promise to catch up on those because you really make great posts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • I strongly recommend ZKG (obviously, LOL)! I don’t think your Japanese has to be too advanced to understand this, though some parts get only slightly complex… can’t say more due to spoilers!

          Thank you for your kind words! All the best with your coursework, and I also enjoy your content as well. =)

  7. ciel

    First time commenting (we talked a bit on /r/otomegames, i’m sealbutts there!), but thanks for the list!

    All your reasons above was actually enough reason to push me to order Period Cube, ironically haha. I think for novelty sake, people who like MMOs generally enjoy the novelty of it, no matter how many iterations we’re put through – I’ve pretty much watched all of them, SAO, .hack, log horizon, accel world, no game no life etc etc etc etc, and the novelty never really gets old for me since there’s always enough things different. Just the entire idea that it’s finally a reverse harem is enough for me to whip out le olde credit card lol.

    I’ve actually been reading the writers’ moba-BL game, Second Secret, and she’s actually pretty good at developing characters (granted, the protag in that game is actually a pretty badass kuudere type – why can’t we get more otoge protags that have their own opinions and are done with people’s BS!?), so just purely from a charage standpoint I’m pretty sure I’ll enjoy Period Cube. I’m intrigued by their individual reasons for even playing MMO in the first place, since all the boys come from fairly different backgrounds. I also laughed about the idol thing though – I was like, yes okay we totally needed the kuudere to be an idol because that’s not totally farfetched at all, just perfect ;D (that was so unnecessary but also the idea that an idol plays MMOs in his free time is so amazing). THE ONIISAN THAT IS PROBABLY A SECRET ROUTE THING MADE ME WANT TO DIE i was like otomate are we really gonna do this again, really? I bet I won’t be able to get the true ending until I romance my oniisan, just watch.

    Other than that I’ve also ordered Kenka Banchou because I needed something more light hearted and any game that has CV. Hosoyan and KENN is an instabuy for me, ngl…I’m pretty shallow when it comes to seiyuu…

    I hope June treats you better though!

    • Welcome, ciel! Great to see you here as well. No problem; I hope you continue to find my lists useful!

      About Period Cube, a part of me is like “I genuinely can’t empathise with why people would give this soulless market-research-in-game-form the time of day and don’t get bored with the same shite being resold”, but another part of me is like “But one of the best things about being in a fandom is getting the different perspectives on the same topics. Plus there will be people who enjoy this, so it’s not all bad.” It’s fascinating how my (long) list of “cons” is a list of someone’s “pros” that may even influence a purchase! Just goes to show how different viewpoints can get.

      While I’ll concede that the “sucked into an online game” thing is one of the notable drawbacks of Period Cube in my eyes, I still wouldn’t be as averse to it were it not for how “100% artificial and soulless” it feels (for lack of a better phrase). It feels so paint-by-numbers and lacking in any love, effort or passion. In addition, I hope Otomate won’t get into the habit of ripping off anime/light novel plots when they’re not actually making official otome games of them (unofficial- Bad Apple Wars = Angel Beats, official- the Gakuen K Otomate games).

      I’m not too familiar with Seki Ryouko’s writing (while I have played games with her involvement, there’s no way to tell which parts of the story were her responsibility and such), though her VNDb page and blog states that she’s mostly had partial involvement in Rejet otome games with Otomate’s Jewelic Nightmare and Period Cube being her main contributions. I’ve been interested in Jewelic Nightmare and have been meaning to play it. While it got average reviews, it leans on the positive side of the spectrum, so I’m expecting a decent read when I eventually get to it.

      You’re right in praising how the boys come from different backgrounds. I can only imagine my rant being more irate if they were all from the same neighbourhood, the same school in the same class and apparently even taking the same elective subjects, because there’s no way that love can blossom without seeing someone 24/7. orz That would have been 101% lazy writing.

      LOL, watchutalkin’ about; people with low social skills are natural idols! xD Seriously speaking about the cool(undoubtedly dere) idol guy, this is one of the reasons I loathe the idol trend. Idols are not necessary here but since extreme idol fans are so good at emptying their bank accounts, here the trope is. Just the fact that an idol plays an MMO screams “a geeky girl’s shoujo manga rose-coloured dream”. I can just imagine the devs smiling and nodding at their idea; thinking, “Hook, line and sinker, suckers!” If there turns out to be a good reason for this all, I’m willing to open my mind, however.

      On the subject of charage, while I know the business-minded reasons behind their lack of innovation… I still wish charage actually did more interesting things with its characters other than picking a moe trope and making superficial modifications to avoid a copyright infringement lawsuit by the initial archetype/trope maker. It should be logical- if your game is CHARACTER-driven, make the CHARACTERS interesting and memorable! This is my main issue with archetype reliance and moe tropes- it’s essentially the same route and story over and over and over again with just aesthetic changes. Some people don’t mind this (the osananajimi, tsundere and yandere fans come to mind and it’s worse when these tropes get blended together), while others- like myself- do get tired of this quite quickly and can even grow to resent a trope for a time… even though it’s not the gun’s fault, but the gunman’s.

      The thing is, I rarely take issue with the actual trope itself (other than temporary annoyance)- in an otome context, I’m indifferent to tsundere, kuudere, yandere, do-S, megane, etc. Though I lean towards the negative with incest routes (more those that try to use contrived non-blood-relation cop-outs), and outright dislike 90% of osananajimi and idol characters/media- especially with otome/female-targeted titles.

      In a happier discussion, I’ve been noticing some cute CGs of Kenka Banchou Otome on Twitter. There’s this one where the blond guy and the protagonist are drinking an energy drink together with big smiles; looking so happy to be in each other’s company. Nice to see a game in which an army of kiss CGs aren’t used to “prove love”, thereby missing the point of good romance writing (though those said CGs can also be chalked up to easy fanservice).

      June is slightly better. It’s practically all ports except for Blackish House Side A… which I instantly got a negative opinion of because of how gimmicky it is. But the Zettai Kaikyuu Gakuen port is something I want to support, since it has a pretty good story and the characters are interesting, amongst other advantages of the game. The port with all Taishou x Alice games in one is a nice idea, plus I could stand to try the Koezaru port as well, since I’ve yet to play the news routes not present in the PC game.

      Thanks for reading and commenting! =)

  8. Pingback: The Sunday Otome Gaming Mail: Issue #13 | Purple Nurple Wonderland

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