Is There Love Beyond the Expiry Date?
Japanese culture has some pretty harsh standards for women, one of which is the age at which they are supposed to be married. Any woman still single after 25 is considered a “Christmas cake”, which obviously nobody wants after the 25th. This is precisely the premise of this game, where our protagonist is an unmarried woman of 34, which, of course, puts her perilously close to becoming an old spinster, and prompts her mother, brothers, and sister to intervene with more or less insistence. Please note that only women have an expiry date. Of course.
What’s the Story?
Her 34th birthday does not start in an ideal manner for the MC. After accidentally throwing a cake in the face of a customer in the pastry shop she works at, she gets into an argument with her boss and quits/is fired. Of course, the flying cake was no accident, as her coworker Sakurako, who is a backstabbing asshole, made her trip on purpose to get her in trouble.
Unemployed, and somewhat worried, the MC comes across her ex, the man who left her ten years ago. The first option is to rekindle the romance with him, which ends the prologue. If she turns him down, she decides to go to the singles event her mother bought her a ticket for.
At the event, she feels uncomfortable, seeing as she is older than everyone else there. To make matters worse, Sakurako is also in attendance and mocks the MC for her age and for being unemployed. Nonetheless, the MC garners quite a lot of attention from some very young men in the room. Fully five of them write her name down as the person they want to go out with…
- Fujishima Aki, 26, owner of Pâtisserie Larme. Both a Steadfast Presence and a Smooth Operator.
- Momoi Shuichiro, 25, pastry chef at Pâtisserie Larme, and an Incorrigible Tease. He likes to be an all-around ass.
- Kobayakawa Yoh, 22, florist. Look at his huuuuge eyes; a Puppy if I’ve ever seen one.
- Kikuchi Sosuke, 26, deliveryman. A not very dark Dark and Mysterious type, he knows more about the MC than he should.
- Tsuraya Yuto, 21, student. Also, the heir to a confectioner dynasty. He comes across as a Smooth Operator, but I don’t know if there are other things hidden beneath the surface.
- Serizawa Kazuki, 38, CEO of “Tarte & Tatin”. Also, the MC’s ex who left her ten years ago. He doesn’t appear in the routes of the other characters, so I know nothing about him.
Why would I date you?
I like the premise of the game, as for one, the MC is an “older” woman, which to me implies that she is at least somewhat of an adult some of the time. Also, the MC is a pastry chef, and I like food-themed environments. The boys are all kinda interesting, except that I loathe – loathe! – Aki’s hair. Seriously, what is wrong with people?
I choose you!
I went with Momoi first, even though he is an ass. I don’t know, I often like the arrogant bastards, even though I don’t usually get the option to “punch them right in the face” during the development of the story. Believe me, Voltage, with Momoi, that was often the only right choice. The only reason I could tolerate some of his behaviour was that it’s a given that he falls for the MC; if I’d had no such assurances, I might have abandoned the route.
My second man was Aki, even if his hairdo is beyond horrible. I like his personality. The storyline was satisfactory, although I found the ending a bit difficult.
I just read Sosuke’s story, and I liked it.