Otome Visual Novel Releases of July 2016

MonthlyReleasesJuly2016

 

New Releases

Title Release Date Platform
7’scarlet 21-7-2016 PSV
Collar x Malice 28-7-2016 → 18-8-2016 PSV
Dynamic Chord feat. KYOHSO [Fan/Append Disc] [Link]
29-7-2016 PC
[R18+] Mashou Megane 29-7-2016 PC
Tsumikui ~Sen no Noroi, Sen no Inori~ 29-7-2016 PC

 

June~July 2016 Doujin/OELVN/Localisation Releases

*All titles are released on PC unless otherwise noted.

Title Release Date Notes
Love in the Glen Feb 201601-6-2016 → 08-6-2016 English
Seduce Me: A Lesson In Romance [Spin-off episode of Seduce Me] [Link]  14-6-2016 James’ epilogue. Freeware, English.
[R18+] Hikari no Hime Mahou Kitan July 2016

 

 

7’scarlet

 

Release date: 21-7-2016
Platform: PC
Age rating: CERO B [12+]
Developer: Otomate, Toybox
P
ublisher: Idea Factory
Artist: Kurahana Chinatsu
Writer: Kanazawa Tomio
Official website: http://www.otomate.jp/7scarlet/
VNDb link: https://vndb.org/v18162
OP Info
Song title: World’s End Syndrome
Vocals: Oda Kaori
Composition and arrangment: myu
Lyrics: Kanazawa Tomio

 

* Cast *

+ Main Characters +
~ Kagutsuchi Hino – Shimazaki Nobunaga
~ Amari Isora – Kakihara Tetsuya
~ Kushinada Toa – Morikubo Shoutarou
~ Tatehira Sousuke – Sawashiro Chiharu
~ Murakumo Yuzuki – Miki Shin’ichirou

+ Supporting Characters +
~ Hirasaka Yuki – Kobayashi Sanae
~ Susano Yua – Saitou Chiwa
~ Kukuri Yasuhisa – Kishio Daisuke
~ Tsukuyomi Kagura – Takahashi Hiroki
~ Karasuma Chikage – Yasumoto Hiroki
~ Hanate – Midorikawa Hikaru

 

* Plot Summary *

The summer holdays.
A town caged by nature, Okunezato.
One year ago in this town, her older brother suddenly disappeared without a trace.

Shaped like a fragment of the moon, a nostalgic atmosphere permeates the town. It is known for having many legends and folklores. As a result of the continued population decline, the amount of modern-looking buildings have increased in the main street. The town is starting to gain attention due to its status as a “mystery hot spot” amongst the youngsters in the underground scene.

One day, during summer vacation, the protagonist and university student Hanamaki Ichiko is invited by Kagutsuchi Hino- her childhood friend in the same university year level as her- to go to Okunezato in order to look for her disappeared older brother together. Hino had found the “Forbidden Okunezato Club”, a website in which its visitors discuss the mysteries and legends of Okunezato. Taking advantage of the offline meeting between the visitors that will take place during the summer holidays, he suggests to look into her brother’s disappearance during this time. With Hino having pushed her back, Ichiko wills herself to go to Okunezato.

The young men from the Forbidden Okunezato Club website had gathered at the Fuurin Hotel- the live-in chef Amari Isora, the cat lover otaku Kushinada Toa, the med student Tatehira Sousuke and the owner of Fuurin Hotel Murakumo Yuzuki. Others such as the genius middle schooler who assists with managing the hotel, Hirasaka Yuki, the landscape photographer Tsukuyomi Kagura, the unsociable novelist Karasuma Chikage and the video game-loving female employee of Fuurin Susano Yua also become involved as they all get caught up in mysterious incidents.

The “other face” of Okunezato comes to light as rumours regarding the “Legend of the Dead” are treated as though they were fact. Everytime they follow the footsteps of her disappeared brother, mysterious events spark. The true existence of the forbidden grounds, and the legendary flower that only blooms in Okunezato…

The truth behind these incidents lead to a surprising and totally unexpected ending.

 

* My Thoughts *

Aside from the fact that the vibe, the traditional small-town setting with many unsavoury secrets and the “Tips/Hints” system are obviously ripping off the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni series AND yet another pointless inclusion of bloody idols with the whole A-TO/AUK-ZERO crapola… 7’scarlet is easily the best pick of July 2016.

Funnily enough, even though Period Cube pissed me off with its flagrant ripping off of MMORPG anime and rival Rejet’s Happy Sugar Whatever “last dude being the not-brother in disguise, sorta” concept and the fact that I can’t deny the magnificent schadenfreude I felt upon hearing it was a mediocre title (though I feel bad for its buyers)… 7’scarlet’s “inspiration” by the Higurashi series doesn’t nearly tick me off as much as Period Cube. Perhaps it’s the fact that it utilises uncommon secondary otome game genres, my liking of the basic concept and the fact that there’s clearly effort put into the world-building.

I can’t deny that I’m really curious about what’s going on in Okunezato. Definitely going to play this unless I find the reviews are inordinately bad before I buy the game.

 

 

[R18+] Mashou Megane

 

Release date: 29-7-2016
Platform: PC
Age rating: R18+
Developer and publisher: PIL-VAMP
Artist: Kotomi Youji
Writer: Kyan Yonesuke
Official website: http://pil-vamp.jp/products/mashou/index.html
VNDb link: https://vndb.org/v18292
OP Info

Song title: MADNESS MARCHEN
Vocals, composition and lyrics: Katakiri Rekka
Arrangment: HIR

 

* Cast *

+ Main Characters +
~ Akazawa Karen – Akashi Yuki (Yoneshima Nozomi)
~ Peach – Shinsen Ryoku (Kitayama Kyousuke)
~ Cidre – Kuroi Isamu (Shirai Yuusuke)
~ Doutei – Yajima Noboru (Sudou Shou)

+ Supporting Characters +
~ Ouji-sama (Prince) – Sawa Manaka (Nakazawa Masatomo)
~ Ojii-san (Old Man) – Ide Gorou (may be Iwate Yasunobu)
~ Obaa-san (Old Woman) – Itou Sara (Yokote Kumiko)
~ Sensei (Doc) – Uota Akira (Nozawa Nachi)
~ Otoboke (Dopey) – Akiyama Itsuki (Tsuruoka Satoshi)
~ Tink – Hina Hazuki

 

* Plot Summary *

“As the result of our strict screening process, we very much regret to…”
“*Sigh*… I didn’t get through, again…”

The protagonist Akazawa Karen is a university student who has been facing a series of rejections in her hunt for a job. The stream of rejection letters had been thoroughly bringing her down, breaking her already fragile self-esteem. One day, as she was drowning in her own tears…

Ouji-sama, a moe character, burst out of her favourite hugging pillow to deliver good news.

“These aren’t just any old pair of glasses. They’re “Magic Glasses”. Just by putting these on, you’ll quickly become your “ideal self.””

What the prince claiming to have come from the world of fairy-tales had given her were a pair of completely ordinary red glasses. Though incredulous, when she put on the glasses…

She is totally made over into a straightforward, unambiguously capable woman overflowing with confidence!

“As long as you have these, you’ll have a parade of job offers!”

Karen was very excited and keen, but something this great was just too good to be true…
In exchange for keeping the glasses forever, Ouji-sama says that she has to reform the chaotic fairy-tale world. To get some job offers, Karen swiftly agrees to his terms. Thinking that it’d be a cakewalk with the glasses, she steps foot into the world of fairy-tales.

However, it was a bizarre world full of strange people with no concept of common sense!

 

* My Thoughts *

A crudely sewn patchwork quilt of clichéd gimmicks, topped off with a laughably blatant ripping off of BL title Kichiku Megane. I guess if the idea of two dudes boning each other doesn’t work for you, PIL-VAMP has come to the rescue by making an otome clone with the pointless fairy-tale gimmick that girls love (or it’s an exercise to further differentiate themselves from Kichiku Megane)?

While PIL-VAMP are newcomers, it’s a sister brand of BL game creators PIL/SLASH, also infamous for its darker content. That’s the initial issue I have with Mashou Megane– how gimmicky it all feels even for an otome game using other fictional sources for inspiration. The necrophiliac, Cidre (as a side note, the guy voicing Miki-chan from Bocchi Musume will be voicing this guy. What a difference in character!), is a good example of this, plus the proud dropping of the “bestiality” word comes to mind as well. I’m too desensitised to graphic violence and sexual content to be horrified by either concept. Perhaps playing some of the worst visual novels as classified by the VNDb for shits and giggles has warped me into a terrible human being.

All my complaining aside, the only main character I have any interest in is the prudish Doutei (yes, I’ve stopped laughing at his name. It’s funnier because he’s proud of it according to his sample voice, though in his country, it doesn’t seem to carry to same meaning), as I’m mildly interested in why he’s so against sex. Unfortunately, that hawt sexy babe Tink doesn’t have an obligatory yuri route (c’mon, otome world, now would have been a great time!). Can you believe that?!

I’m more inclined to pick up PIL/SLASH’s Shingakkou -Noli me tangere-, since it seems interesting and is widely regarded as one of the best BL titles out there at present. Unfortunately, the writing staff behind Shingakkou has no involvement in Mashou Megane, though Kyan Yonesuke was an assistant writer in Zettai Kaikyuu Gakuen (one of my favourite otome games) and the main writer of BL game Pigeon Blood, both of which are well-received. So perhaps my almost knee-jerk criticism is misplaced and Mashou Megane could turn out to be a lot better than it seems.

I may give the trial a shot, and maybe the game itself if I find it cheap in the future. But right now, it’s pretty much a “no”.

 

 

Tsumikui ~Sen no Noroi, Sen no Inori~

 

Release date: 29-7-2016
Platform: PC
Age rating: All-ages
Developer and publisher: Operetta
Artist: Amatsu Nagi
Writers: Matsutake Ume (main), Nakajou Rosa , Mise Kirin and Kusaki Nemuru (assistants).
Composer: Shiro
Official website:
http://www.ignote.net/operetta/tumikui/
VNDb link: https://vndb.org/v18295
OP Info

Song title: Tsumikui [罪喰い]
Vocals: Makino Hideki
Composition and arrangment: Shiro
Lyrics: Suzuha Yumi

 

* Cast *

+ Main Characters +
~ Anzaki Kaoru – Uchida Mami
~ Nagami Ren – Akabane Kenji
~ Kamiki Morihito – Ono Yuuki
~ Kuga Shiou – Tachibana Shinnosuke

+ Supporting Characters +
~ Kuga Touji – Takemoto Eiji (supporting character with a route)
~ Tai Souta – Enoki Jun’ya (supporting character with a route)
~ Anzaki Tsukasa – Miyazawa Shin’ichi (supporting character with an ending)
~ Kuga Kagerou – Yukishiro Ayano (supporting character with an ending)
~ Tai Motoko – Hirayama Emi
~ Momoyo – Makino Hideki
~ Sen’ya – Oda Toshimitsu
~ Kikyou – Tezuka Yuuko
~ Takai Kakeru – Nasu Tomokazu
~ Aki – Hanamura Yuuki

 

* Plot Summary *

As always, she studied,
As always, she chatted with her friends,
She took the path towards home from high school as she looked up the usual starlit sky.
The protagonist and her peers were pushed to the edge of death by a man overflowing with murderous intent.

The fear and pain of not even being able to make a sound…
Suffering and in agony, the voice that reached the protagonist’s ears belonged to Nagami Ren, a young man who exuded a mysterious aura.

His kiss saved the protagonist and invited her onto a cursed path she cannot return from.

The protagonist of this story, Anzaki Kaoru, had been going through each day optmistically, even though deep in her heart, she bore the trauma of having witnessed her parents being killed by a deviant right before her eyes. However, due to certain circumstances, Kaoru becomes a member of the Kamiki Family, called “oni” by some. To top it off, her saviour Ren tells Kaoru that due to the curse placed on her during her previous life as “Serahime”, she must carry out the “Sin Eating Ceremony”- which involves eating criminals- or else she’ll be afflicted with a horrible thirst and die.

Though troubled by her sudden fate of having to eat humans, Kaoru wills herself to live on bearing sin as long as she can save others by eating criminals…

 

* My Thoughts *

If Matsutake Ume or Operetta had no involvement in Tsumikui, I wouldn’t care about this one bit. I’m not in the camp of those who are disappointed in Tsumikui because it’s not a Matsutake Ume R18+ game- I’m just plain disappointed because it seems so… boring. Koezaru wa Akai Hana grabbed me almost instantly and Sachi no Tenbin had an interesting base concept.

I don’t like how weaksauce it is, first of all. It’s pretty obvious that the protagonist’s cannibalistic curse restricts her to eating criminals, because they don’t want the audience to get alienated by her having to eat people in general. Like how readers got behind Dexter Morgan because he restricted himself to killing criminals (most of the time, anyway) and not just whoever he felt like. It’s OK to cannibalise as long as you pick criminals as your meal? Sure, some criminals are scumbags that will never improve (or rather can’t improve because of their pathologies), but how cop-out would it be if her surroundings are conveniently filled with reprehensible sociopaths just so Kaoru won’t have to face complex moral decisions?

Plus how does the curse know Kaoru’s meals will be definite criminals? What is a “crime/sin” to the curse? Why does this curse assess crime and sin with a human perspective? The presumption on my part is Kaoru will target the “truly unrepentant”, but this all gives me more of an impression of a powerful figure developing a God complex and smiting whom they perceive as sinners rather than a person really scared and controlled by their curse just trying to survive by taking what they can get. Matsutake Ume is a competent writer for the most part, so I’m sure there’s some decent explanation. I’m hoping there’s a decent explanation. I’m hoping it’s a lot better than how it’s coming across to me.

I mean, I won’t lose anything out of giving the trial a whirl, so I might just do that. However, as things stand, I’m not too interested and I’m put off by this awfully “convenient” curse.

 

 

Doujin/OELVN/Localisation Releases

 

 

Love in the Glen

 

Release date: Feb 201601-6-2016 → 08-6-2016
Platform: PC (Windows, Mac and Linux)
Age rating: All-ages (I would rate it “for teens and up” as it has occasional sexual references.)
Developer and publisher: Sapphire Dragon Productions
Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/459130
Official website: http://sapphiredragonproductions.com/love-in-the-glen/
VNDb link: https://vndb.org/v18877

 

* Plot Summary *

“Love in the Glen” is a romantic otome visual novel/dating sim with a fun interior design minigame. Follow in the steps of Zoe Richardson, an interior designer living and working in Los Angeles’ exclusive and stylish Westside, as she explores the true meaning of love, commitment and passion and how it exists on so many different levels and planes.

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

 

* My Thoughts *

Interesting! I don’t think there has ever been an otome game about interior design before. It’s good to see a game in a real world setting without any of the Japanese companies’ compulsions to add pointless fantastical elements to it. Another huge bonus is how the company states that the narrative is like films by Nancy Meyers– I enjoyed Something’s Gotta Give and to a lesser extent, The Holiday.

As I’ve mentioned a few times, I’m not a huge fan of VNs with mini-games as I choose the VN medium when I just want to listen and read. However, I do think the idea of an interior design game is cute, and it’d be interesting to see if your skills impact the story at all.

It’s too bad that not a lot of information about the characters themselves are available. I hope it’s not just about the trendy upper-class in trendy houses and trendy locales, even if interior design is a pastime and industry often associated with the wealthy. The protagonist looks like an elegant, professional, mature and confident lady- I think she’s quite pretty! Hope she’s as cool on the inside as she is on the outside. – Actually, I’m not sure who the protagonist is. I presumed it was the lady in the grey dress with the clutch for some reason…

The only thing that tugs at me is the reception of Sapphire Dragon’s other games, particularly how they fared with their romance titles. Save for Silver Creek Falls, the games are mixed-to-averagely received. I don’t know if it means it really chooses its players or if it’s simply an average product, but…

I think this Love in the Glen has a pretty good concept, but perhaps I’ll wait for reviews or for at least, more information before buying it.

 

July 2016: I’ve played this game to completion in June and sadly, it’s not a very good game. To slightly paraphrase what I opined on Otome Reddit:

Another game with a great concept, interesting characters (save for the protagonist) but poor execution with a few bugs (some of which that have been rectified with the update). At best, I could say it’s “passable” when taking its RRP ($5.99) into account. I loved the idea of an interior designing mini-game, however; it’s very much “Candy Crush with without the pizzazz and stench of corporate greed” rather than “designing a room/building to a customer’s satisfaction” or even getting to check out blueprints. This was considered slightly misleading to the point the developer amended the description of the mini-game.

Furthermore, the mini-game was incredibly frustrating when trying to go for the endings as they are unskippable. There were many choices- many that didn’t matter and could only be correctly made with trial and error. Regina’s route in particular was ridiculously specific to achieve, even post-update… and the worst part is that her ending is the least satisfying because you spend the least amount of time with her. Speaking of “endings”, all of them were varyingly unsatisfying due to the shortness of the game and the lacking of an individual route structure (the game is more like a linear VN with the endings being meanderings off the road rather than true individual routes)- you barely spend any in-game or IRL time with the characters. Very disappointing.

 

 

[R18+] Hikari no Hime Mahou Kitan

 

Release date: July 2016
Platform: PC
Age rating: R18+
Developer and publisher: Magic House
Official website: http://magichouse.uh-oh.jp/13hikari_1.html
DL Site link: http://www.dlsite.com/girls/announce/=/product_id/RJ168721.html
VNDb link: https://vndb.org/v19038
OP Info

Song title: ???
Vocals, composition, arrangment and lyrics: Trial and Error

 

* Plot Summary *

Long ago, a race of magic users colonised various places and formed a country. Fire magic, water magic, light magic and dark magic. With these four types of magic, the citizens utilised their types of expertise and succeeded in bringing prosperity to their nation.

The Fire Town became active in coal, gold, silver and copper mining as well as smithery and weapon craftsmanship. The Water Town flourished through their developments in agriculture and dairy farming. The Light capital of the country became well-known thanks to their churches and hospitals, as well as for being sacred ground on which clergymen lived. The Dark Village, located in the undergrounds of the country, has become a cesspool from which criminals, black marketeers and assassins come and go.

The protagonist and the princess of this country, Arena Brunclík, snuck out of the castle using the formality of “observing the public” as a guise… but where will she choose to visit?

 

* My Thoughts *

Generic, generic, generic.

I played Magic House’s last title, Natalia, which had a great protagonist but terrible execution overall. It was way too short, the individual routes weren’t really interesting (though the characters themselves are fine) and the pacing was plain odd. I didn’t like how the best artwork by the best artist was used to promote the game, but the in-game art was wildly inconsistent (to their credit, the screenshots warned about this, but you can’t grasp just how bad unless you actually play it). I know many projects have multiple artists, but they at least try to be as consistent as possible and adapt to the main artist’s style. This didn’t occur in Natalia.

But going back to Hikari no Hime… What is there to discuss? The plot summary is basically just setting up the world. It mentions nothing about the protagonist’s motives (the impression is that she’s having the typical “I wanna know what the real world is like!” moment royals in fiction seem to have a lot) or the love interest’s ones. Doesn’t sound like there’s any interesting overarching story. It’s basically “choose a location (read: guy), butter up to the cute guy, bone him”.

Wait a minute… Is this actually a nukige?

Nothing wrong with that, but given everything else I’ve mentioned, I’ll pass.

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Categories: Monthly Otome Release Lists, Otome News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Otome Visual Novel Releases of July 2016

  1. From the Japanese otome titles, the only one that seems interesting is 7’s scarlet. The others look kind of lame lol. Btw, what happened with Collar x Malice? It’ll still release on the vita, right?

    • Hello, otometantei!

      Yeah, tell me about it! Tsumikui has potential but I pretty much don’t care for anything else.

      Collar x Malice is still coming out on the Vita, but it got delayed by Otomate. I don’t exactly know why, unfortunately.

      Thanks for reading! ☺

  2. “Perhaps playing some of the worst visual novels as classified by the VNDb for shits and giggles has warped me into a terrible human being.” Probably my favorite line in this post. Haha

    As for me… nooo Collar x Malice got delayed!! q_q I’m thinking about preordering it, but since I’m leaving the country late August I was hoping it wouldn’t get delayed. Luckily it’s still within the time range that I’m in the country, so I can still get it as long as I choose some sort of express shipping haha! Hopefully. :’)……

    As for everything else… Well, I’m interested in 7’scarlet. I’m waiting for reviews on it first obviously, but it’s premise has captured my attention. I was sad to see Period Cube be, well, not that great so I’m glad I didn’t buy it. Still made me cry a little inside since I’m an MMORPG fan so I was hoping for a game that I could relate to quite a bit but from what I understand since I’m on a budget, I should just skip it entirely lol

    I’ve only played one game by Magic House, and that was Ai no Uta I think…? I checked out Hikari no Hime Mahou Kitan a few times, and when I saw some of the SS and character artwork I was really confused because the differences were pretty glaring. For me it was just interesting to see the differences in quality I guess lol

    Is the otome game reddit active? I knew it existed I’ve just never visited it before haha

    • Hiya, Usagii!

      It’s probably true, though! OK, maybe I’m not a terrible human being per se, but I have been thoroughly desensitised.

      I’m still moderately interested in Collar x Malice, too! Hope you’ll be able to get it and enjoy it. Express shipping is great, but I always feel like I should have been more patient whenever I do go with it.

      While I’m crossing my fingers and toes that 7’scarlet won’t suck (especially if I buy it before reviews, LOL), I’m not surprised that Period Cube was “meh”. I genuinely do feel sorry for those who played it and didn’t walk out of it feeling like it was worth their time, though. It baffles me how anybody expected Period Cube to have even “somewhat good” writing from an author who shamelessly copied multiple existing titles (and some of the material she drew inspiration from wasn’t great to begin with) and pretty much advertised her complete lack of innovation thanks to the site updates. If she can’t even think up of decent ideas, there’s little chance the writing quality is going to blow you away.

      I think Magic House got lucky with Ai no Uta. That artist is quite skilled and from my understanding, probably did the majority or all of the artwork for the game (unless the assistant artists actually tried to adapt to the main artist’s style). If I were Magic House, I’d rather stick to the few competent artists and take much longer instead of pumping stuff out quicker by including less skilled assistants. At least Hikari no Hime doesn’t look nearly as dramatically different in quality like Natalia did. When it gets too different, it’s jarring and distracting.

      Yeah, the Otome Reddit is fairly active! Mostly composed of those who read localisations or English VNs, though.

      Thanks for reading!

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