This is where it all started. Before I discovered the gods from the stars, my first love in this newly discovered world of otome games were the brave men of the Shinsengumi, a group of samurai in 19th century Kyoto. It’s a funny thing how I got there. Apparently, my browser had realized that I had started to learn Japanese, and in a well-targeted ad, it showed me the title picture of this particular set of stories. I have to say, I do love it when the algorithm gets stuff right. And here we are, one year and countless stories later, and yet I’ve never written about the Shinsengumi.
The truth is, I needed a break. After reading a few of the stories, I was desperate for something more frivolous, more light-hearted. The stories of the Shinsengumi are good. They are very good. But because of their very nature, they have a capacity for tragedy unmatched by titles set in the modern world, for example. Death is possible every time the men set foot outside the compound; and when they come back alive, there’s still no guarantee that they will be healthy in body and mind. If, like me, you get emotionally invested in characters, that really takes a toll.
But it’s been a year, and I thought I’d pay a visit to my favorite samurai (I know, they are technically ronin, themselves). Maybe with some light-hearted holiday fluff? But first, obviously, I owe you an introduction.
Continue reading “Era of Samurai: Code of Love”
Make the Pain Go Away
Shun is the obligate womanizer that we have come to expect of these stories. He believes in keeping things light and easy with women, because serious relationships are a chore. We know the type; to me, it’s one of the most satisfying, since they obviously fall the hardest. There is evidently usually a tragic love story in their past, where their pure love was betrayed, and now they protect themselves by allowing themselves to love again. Fortunately, this is also what the MC of this story has concluded, so they’re on the same page. Or are they?
Continue reading “Kings of Paradise: Randoh Shun”
Good news! One of the three titles that are currently free on the Love 365 app is Kings of Paradise’s Shirakami Kiyohito! You can check out my review here. His is a good story, so grab that chance to hang out with the coolest cat on the block!
The other two freebies – as if anyone cared after seeing the picture here – are Irresistible Mistakes’ Tachibana Shunichiro, and Our Two Bedroom Story’s Okouchi Minato. Minato (asshole type) was my favorite character out of that series, and Shunichiro’s (smooth operator guy) story is also excellent, especially if you’re looking for more “mature” behavior.
What are you waiting for? Go get those darlings!
The Literal Worst
So, I’m sure you’ve read me go on and on about how the main character’s consent in most stories is not something the writers are actively interested in. Some of the stories are better, and some are worse, but as a general rule, the MC usually meets her roster of suitors through some element of forced circumstances. Sometimes they’re supernatural (she is a reborn goddess who must help some gods get back to heaven) sometimes they’re mundane (her stepfather accidentally rents out the apartment to her and his son at the same time). And sometimes, well, I guess it’s just gonna be human trafficking and slavery.
I KNOW RIGHT?? What an excellent premise for a romance! Who wouldn’t want to be auctioned off to the highest bidder? And yet, this is one of Voltage’s most successful titles. Humans are weird. And I am weird, because I actually read the stuff. So, here it is, the worst of the worst. Have, er, fun.
Side note: this is, obviously, also one of the worst actual titles. The Japanese original is called “A Mischievous Kiss in a Suite Room” (スイートルームで悪戯なキス). Which is also not great, but at least it doesn’t insist on the questionable alliteration. Also, behold the original icon: yes, that is the cage the MC is auctioned off in.
Continue reading “Kissed by the Baddest Bidder”
The Walls Around the Heart
All of the Paradiso Four’s stories have been available for a while, but I was distracted by my lovers from the stars. I’m happy to be back with this title, though, as it is one of the rare games where I’m interested in all of the characters. Which, of course, was what made Voltage’s release schedule all the more daunting. We got one, and only one of these men per month? Talk about taking it slow…
Speaking of taking it slow: this story is a slow burner. It’s been a while that I’ve read a route where the movement of the heart isn’t even mentioned until chapter seven or eight. Thank god I can be so patient. On all fronts.
Continue reading “Kings of Paradise: Shirakami Kiyohito”