Meiji Tokyo Renka Review + Summary

Originally a keitai game, Broccoli adapts it into Psp with dummy head mic!

The heroine, another bimbotic heroine with a tongue for beef, goes to a festival and is walking around when suddenly a weird magician appears in front of her and tells her to volunteer for his special trick show. He puts her into a box and counts to three and poof! she wakes up later after a deep sleep in some park. The magician finds her and tells her this is the Meiji Era and she is currently in Hibiya Park in Tokyo. Not believing it, she runs to find nobody, no cars and hardly any people. She looks for a train station and gets told by an uncle she’s wearing really shameless clothing so she walks on and on until she gets really lost. The magician chases after her and introduces himself as Charlie, and tells her that he can only send her back the next time  red moon shows, which is exactly one month away. The heroine gets hungry and Charlie suggests they should head to RokuMeiKan, where a party is currently going on and they should sneak in to eat for the day anyway.

Deciding to trust this suspicious magician, she follows him in and sees everyone dancing and dressed in gowns. There she meets Mori Ougai, Hishida Shunsou, Kawakami Otojirou, Izumi Kyouka, Fujita Goro and Koizumi Yakumo. Somehow she’s spotted by the police officer Fujita Goro and he questions her whereabouts. Because she’s lost her memory, she can’t reply anything. She looks around for Charlie but he has mysteriously disappeared and from here on, you have to choose a pair to seek help from.

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OP + CG

Translation:

A kitten loses one thing:
Fantasy falling from history
Led along by spirits,
This is the station she arrives at

And another thing that she loses:
Light that shines into her eyes
The rim of the stained glass
When changed by the shadows of ghouls

See, you who need to be saved,
Try and light the flame of love
Ah, tricking you as I want to meet you,
I called your name

Give me romance, until I can’t breathe
So that I betray my spiralling past
Give me romance, until my feelings break
So that I can accept this rusty fate

Why are the bells of cultural revolution
Sounding so wet?
The magic opened up at your bosom
How much are you going to make me drunk?

If love is sadistic,
I will give it to you until it hurts
Ah, tricking you so I can meet you,
I call your name

Give me romance, so much that my tears won’t stop
So that I kill the future that will never return
Give me romance, so that even if you don’t wish for it,
This ballad that will become a fantasy, will continue

Give me romance, until I can’t breathe
So that I betray my spiralling past

Give me romance, so much that my tears won’t stop
So that I kill the future that will never return
Give me romance, so that even if you don’t wish for it,
This ballad that will become a fantasy, will continue

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Mori Ougai and Hishida Shunsou

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Mori Ougai(red hair) shields you from the policeman and bumps you into a horse carriage. Arriving at a huge mansion, he tells you to stay the night since you cannot remember who you are and where you came from.

Next day, you awake to find Ougai gone to work: he’s a military doctor and Shunsou, an arts student living at Ougai’s place gives you a cold attitude, thinking you’re a shameless freeloader. Ougai returns and takes you and Shunsou for beef hotpot and while you’re burying your face eating, they tell their story of how they met each other. They also tell you about the Meiji era: Its good to return before sunset because after that is ‘Oboro no Toki’ meaning the time when the spiritual world’s border gets hazy AKA spirits etc come out to play and eat people up. A Tamayori, who is a person who can see spirits are rare in this world so the spirits are gradually disappearing.

Then comes three episodes of choosing who to take you around town etc and eventually branching into character routes. Each character has three endings, returning to your own world with your character, staying in Meiji or being alone in the real world.

Mori Ougai

One day after you return, Ougai hugs you and calls you his fiance. Turns out he doesn’t want to marry and uses you as an excuse, so to give you the real right to be a fiance, he makes you study Manners etc to display at the end of the month (the next red moon)

His route focuses on how you think he has some other woman he loves yet is always trying to get close to you (due to his kind friendly character). He brings you around town, treats you to food often and is generally always concerned for your safety. He calls you ‘little squirrel’ to which Shunsou always pokes fun that he sees you as a pet he picked up. On top of that, you always see a beautiful Eurasian woman standing outside the gates so until Ougai tells you that the girl is actually a mononoke (spirit) you resist falling in love with him. This woman is a bakenokami, a spirit that escaped from his novel and roams around. Sometimes they go back into the work, sometimes they don’t, and Shunsou has a similar story.

Ougai has some weird traits like collecting new decorations and stripping naked suddenly because he HAS to bathe(just wiping with a wet cloth though) at a specific time. His personality is that of a kind, generous man and does things without bothering about what others say, but even so, he is famous for being talented in major areas.

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In the end you don’t win the contest Ougai has been making you study for since the results are actually decided by one’s household status, you run off but Ougai chases after you and confesses that he wants you as his fiance, whether approved or not. In the good end, the woman returns to his story and you marry Ougai, staying in the mansion and all. Shunsou goes to study abroad so it’s always icha time in the house.

Hishida Shunsou

The cool art student who gets excited suddenly whenever he goes into artist mode, he comes from quite a good family but is freeloading in Ougai’s house. He also calls you shameless when he sees you in your miniskirt school uniform, leading you to change into whatever is available in the house. When he gets excited, he uses words that sounds like he’s seducing someone. He used it on a black cat before (which later became one of his most famous art pieces), on seafood, and on you one day when you were being his model.

His story focuses on how the black cat from his paiting turned into a bakenokami like Ougai’s and you’re always trying to get it back for him because you can see spirits. Although Shunsou initially thinks you’re a pain in the neck, he eventually comes to see helping you as necessary. He comes to get jealous of Ougai, as  in this route you’re still prentending to be Ougai’s fiance, but since he’s a freeloader and respects Ougai, Shunsou is often troubled as to how he should express his feelings.

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Shunsou’s personality is that of the kuudere. When Ougai suddenly gets naked, he often just silently walks off and comes back with Ougai’s clothes, putting it on him, or giving short one word answers to Ougai’s excessive excitement at random things, creating lots of amusement for me. He hates Ougai’s favourite food, which is hot red bean bun on rice, with tea poured over it (urgh) and was forced to eat them on occasions where the heroine runs away.

In good end, the black cat returns to his painting after you talk to it and you go to America with him after his exhibition in Tokyo and get married.

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The next pair is Izumi Kyouka and Kawakami Otojirou.

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They help you escape from Rokumeikan, but you meet Otojirou after a few hours while you’re hiding in a corner wondering what to do. As Otojirou was dressed as a woman, you have no idea and follow him back to a geisha’s lodging and stay with him in that room for a month. Izumi Kyouka’s teacher frequently visits Otojirou (the no. 1 geisha wth) so he has quite alot of contact with Otojirou, whom he knows is a guy, because Otojirou is an theatre actor who always forcefully grabs Kyouka’s scripts to act. Kyouka is a famous scriptwriter despite being so young and the favourite of his teacher.

Kawakami Otojirou

At first I was wondering how would Kousuke Toriumi act out pretending to be a geisha but it turned out to be pretty funny, since Otojirou’s one of those heck-care gruff guys. You somehow discover he’s a woman because he comes home drunk one night and his wig fell off.

His story focuses on how he trains you to become a geisha and his resulting jealousy since you start getting popular with the men who call for geishas, including Izumi Kyouka who takes an interest in your unknown origins.

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One of the plays he’s practising for (written by Kyouka) is a story of a water goddess who wants to go meet her lover in another lake, but once she comes out the village will be drowned. Otojirou’s route focuses on him almost getting swallowed by his character and the heroine saves him from getting too deep into his character.

In good end, he manages to stage a successful performance and he brings you to America with him, with his mobile theatre group as they aim for international success.

Izumi Kyouka

Was honestly quite irritating because I hate tsunderes. He’s the only character who can see spirits like you, and he always has a bunny on his shoulder which you initially thought was a plush toy. Turns out it’s a tsukumogami (spirit that was originally an object) from his mother and has accompanied him since young.

His route was pretty hilarious since they accidentally go into a love hotel of sorts because she thought it was a cafe. He has a pretty good grasp of his spiritual powers and uses it to calm down the spirit that came out from his play (the water goddess in otojirou’s route). He often calls for the heroine whenever he goes drinking with his teacher which pisses Otojirou off quite abit lol. People tease them for being a lovey-dovey young couple.

He has a weird quirk of being a clean freak and if someone bumps into him, he’ll start talking about bacteria and other whatnots. As walking beside a man who isn’t your husband is shameless in old Japan, he got pretty flustered the first time she shared an umbrella with him.

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Despite marrying a geisha not being a very good reputation for him, he marries you because you told him the truth about how you came from another time. In good end he becomes a famous playwright and you, a popular geisha, but he loses his powers as a tamayori after saving the water goddess.

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Fujita Goro and Koizumi Yakumo

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Fujia was about to drag you to the station because you’re dressed in suspicious clothing and you won’t say a thing, but Yakumo appears and brings you to the hotel he’s staying at. After lots of hubba, it’s decided that Fujita will continue to observe you while you stay as a freeloader at Yakumo’s place.

Fujita Goro

There’s gotta be one in every game: the straight-laced saumrai kind. Fujita’s the police officer who caught you in RokuMeiKan, and somehow or rather, he realises that you’re a tamayori. But unfortunately he hates spirits to the core, even though his saber has a spirit residing in it. He’s the head of the Spirit department, and his job is to slash spirits who disturb the citizens of the town.

He lives alone in a house with a cat who decided to stay there too, and often rages at Yakumo who infiltrates his house and nonchalently drinks his tea. His route focuses on the robbery incidents in the Teikoku hotel where Yakumo and the heroine are staying at. He suspects her because they think the culprit is a tamayori who is using spirits to commit crimes, since spirits would do anything for the humans they’re attached to.

The heroine often goes to his house, bring food or wine for him and she one day discovers that he’s skilled in cooking.

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One memorable episode is where she brought him sake as gift and when he asked her how she knew how to choose sake, she said she asked the old man at the shop. She described him to the old man as ‘Kouha’ to which Fujita got severely offended and started sulking. Apparently she meant to use that word to mean ‘strong and disliking feminine character’ but in Meiji it meant ‘homosexual’.

When they finally catch the criminal, it was actually a guy who pretended to be a nopperabou (no face spirit). Fujita acknowledges how he enjoys her company and in good end, heroine marries Fujita and lives with him in the house with the cat, with Yakumo frequently invading their garden as usual.

Koizumi Yakumo

The weird gaijin who’s an English teacher at the nearby university, he does research on the spirits around and loves them even though he can’t see them. He was a tamayori when he was younger but he fell into the river and lost his left eye, which resulted in him being unable to see spirits anymore. That’s why he researches on spirits because he wants to see them, and he has a green glass eye to replace the one he lost.

Being a rich guy like Ougai, he treats her to food often and in fact hires her as a secretary and pays her, so she can live in the hotel for that one month. The heroine always thinks he just likes her for her spiritual powers but he always tries to tell her how he’s interested in her as a woman.

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He’s really strange and brings her to a graveyard for a date, to which she freaks out pretty badly. In this route, a female spirit named Kathy makes friends with the heroine and Yakumo investigates the cause of the longing on earth. In the end, the No Face was actually a servant r real life and he had been looking for her for very long.

In good end, they marry and move to a small house where Yakumo continues researching spirits and making a name in the research fields.

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Charlie

Charlie! I loved his character design. In this route, Ougai saves you at Rokumeikan and you stay at Ougai’s place while seeking out Charlie whenever you can. Being the weirdo that he is, Charlie always tells you to give him more of that cold stare whenever he makes a lame joke. He hurries you away and tells you the park is dangerous at night, making you think he’s extremely mysterious. Since he always tells you he has stuff to do whenever you invite him out to play, you can’t help but think he doesn’t really like you and think you’re a bother. He goes around Tokyo performing magic under the name Tenichi, which catches Fujita’s eye.

Once you go to Asakusa on a date with him, but since bumping into Kyouko, Charlie disappears off to somewhere making you angry. Charlie keeps pushing the heroine to other people and asking about her relations with them, so he often gets hit by her shoes, to which he says he’d rather get stepped on (his face). You get closer to Kyouko who likes Charlie’s magic and asks to see him, but after walking around from noon to evening, you can’t find him, making you wonder whether he left you behind in Meiji. But whenever the heroine gets uneasy, Charlie cheers her up by acting stupid or hugging her, which is so sweet, despite him being so super suspicious.

Sometime later the Ougai-Shunsou pair thinks you’re learning magic under Charlie and you visit him in the park, but he’s nowhere to be seen. After a while, you spot Shunsou’s bakenokami black cat and chase after it. It runs into the arms of Charlie who was holding a magic show in Hibiya Park and there’s a large group of people there watching him. Charlie chases you home again.

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In the end, you realise Charlie’s actually also a spirit, but he can be seen to normal human eye because of his extreme powers and he creates a form for himself when he wants to. He came from the fox-charm on the heroine’s bag and has been with her for ten years. In other words, he’s a tsukumogami that came alive to protect her. She has been able to talk to spirits in the urns and antique items (her family is a antique ware trader) since young, but everyone was scared of her, so Charlie sent her to Meiji where there were many more people who could see spirits, so she wouldn’t always be lonely and ostracised.

In good end, since Charlie and you are both ‘normal’ existence in Meiji, both stay and hold magic shows around Japan. In the epilogue, of the good end where she goes back with Charlie to her own time he asks her if she misses the people from Meiji and whether she wants to go back.

Then the screen shows ‘to be continued’… which means-?! A fandisk?!

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This game was a real throw up for a few characters, since they’re all so intriguing, and my favourites are Shunsou and Charlie And of course!! the dummy head mic (/ω\)イヤン

The art is kind irregular, because the facial expression look unbalanced sometimes. But it’s a great adaptation compared to Koi Ikusa which was also originally a keitai game, but has terrible system controls and voice recordings. The anime for Meiji Tokyo Renka is currently in production, together with the serial game.

Wahoo!

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