This is one of the most revolutionary otome games (15yrs and above recomended) because uh, the heroine gets raped by one of the love interests. And not in a bad end but just halfway through the story, mind. Obviously there are no CGs and ero acting like an R18 but…. I’m just “wow did not expect that.” It has a very different taste from the usual ‘ufufufu ahahaha’ Otomate games where things are beautified in the name of love. This is a dark game, and the prologue has the heroine Mana almost getting taken apart so her organs can be sold and later joining a criminal organization of some kind. And I can’t count the number of times she gets stabbed, bad end or not.
Furthermore Mana got kissed by someone when she was 7yrs old, so no first kiss scenes too. One of the love interests actually said “If my daughter was alive she would be a year younger than you so I see you as my daughter.” Now isn’t that a new blend you wanna try? I definitely enjoyed laughing at the reactions of people in the story.
Of course the clumsy trope and the getting saved by the prince on a white horse trope still exists, but maybe because of the setting that the heroine is involved in, the balance between the ‘danger’ of the guys and their attitude towards Mana is well planned. For once, criminals are criminals with foul mouths like “The thing at my crotch is gonna explode” when the guys get together. And they talk about each other’s horrible histories of ‘using’ girls once they’ve had fun and then throwing them away. That’s probably because love interests are 18, 25, 27, 28 and 31 years old – no cherry boys for you I’m sorry.
I wouldn’t have gotten interested in this game if not for Esta’s CV Makino-San voicing a main character, and his character Seravis made me laugh too much because of his sarcasm. Here’s a duet/solo choral sung by yours truly with Seravis’ CV.
The art is done by the same artist who did Koezaru Akai Hana, and the scenario by Matsutake Ume, which makes me reconsider: Makino-san aside, this game was really enjoyable!!!! I’m loving Operetta! Why don’t they come up with more games?! The above song and the BGMs were really pretty too.
I couldn’t resist buying the game’s soundtrack which suits the atmosphere of the game really well, imaging the snow landscapes and nostalgie. Okay I will confess I bought the soundtrack because of Makino-san’s singing. Teheh. But nevertheless, this is my next favourite soundtrack CD after Ayakashi Gohan’s which I bought over a year ago. It cools me down in this terrible summer heat.
My only two complaints with the game is that first, it has some random elements of modernism like playgrounds in the park and bikinis at the beach even though they’re still going around by carriages and on foot. The fact that the writers were trying to make references to Japanese lifestyle also makes it a little annoying since if they were going for a fantasy world, just do it?! But the writers probably wanted to make their reader ‘feel at home’ and so I can overlook something like that because the main story is intriguing.
Second, the heroine looks like 10 yrs old in almost all the CGs except one. I understand that the whole ‘aww he’s so big and I’m so small’ thing makes the whole thing about guys protecting girls gives the reader some form of satisfaction but not when it just makes the men look like lolicons. (though I’m sure, infantilizing women is nothing new in Japan) To make things worse, there are some sexy CGs in the game that really makes me feel a tad grossed out when the guys look like they’re coming on to a kid. Like this:
I like that fact that the heroine Mana has two personalities every route, Light/Darkness route and gives depth to the possibilities of an amidakuji game. There are 24 endings and I cleared them all. The characters themselves are all intriguing and very lovable even if he erm, rapes her, or erm, is 14 years older and had a wife before, however weird that may seem. Sexy guys and sexy writing, I’m not surprised that this game would be really popular if it became an R18.
That being said, the game was predictable for me, though some others were pretty shocked by the story. I predicted 90% of the revelations in the story because I’m annoying that way, so I wasn’t surprised at all when the truth was revealed in some of the routes. The only shocking thing is the rape (I really was) and one sexy CG where Weasley (the ossan) kisses Mana out of jealousy in the back alley and gropes her and lifts up her leg.
I was kinda “Dude?! No you do not” He didn’t of course because he got scared of his lolicon tendencies when Mana called his name in a sexy voice.
The End ‘0’ confused me a little though, but I think it was meant to be ambiguous. There was too much going with the superpowers of the ‘Uta-tsukai’ (Singers) and the gods of Gofer and the ‘Water-Tank’ so I was like “heck, I got the information I wanted so nevermind”.
A little about Mana: Black eyes and hair = Singers. Definitely an ego boost of some sort for Japanese players but we already know that. She grew up in the orphanage who sold the children off once they were 17, though no one knew that, and Mana was about to get hacked for her organs when the boss of Dix, Gilford saves her. Gilford is the boss and he’s trying to change this criminal organisation into one that works well with the new Government, so lots of drug-busting and rebel-killing. On the other hand, the organization against Dix is (some name I forgot) and they’re the (more) bad guys in this game who are refusing to wash their hands off the dirty deeds.
My favourite character would be Rou because his route was the most entertaining (and Yonaga Tsubasa’s sexy voice!!), and since he’s only a year older than Mana, I didn’t have to put up with lolicon CGs.
Rou is part of the assassination squad so there were a bunch of really bloody CGs and I think his character makes the strongest impression with him as the result of drug abuse by his mom. Rou is Mana’s ‘Bro’ in the game so they interact lots and he brings her around the place which makes him easiest to like as well.
Camille was in my opinion the most Otoge-like-man, but in a dark game things don’t go that way, and his confession was way too abrupt for me to like any part of his route. And everytime they were on their way to something, Camille would pull back and be “so that’s the way it goes” which was annoying, since the other guys all had kisses halfway through their routes. Bummer. I had expectations. His character voice acting was superb too, would love to see his CV somewhere around again.
The black horse is Reim, who grew from cherry boy noble to sexy doctor, but his voice stayed the same girly cutesy even in this CG, which made me laugh with tears. They sure know how to destroy sweet scenes.
Gilford’s route was kinda boring because I played his routes last, and because of his personality and voice acting, even his sweet talk sounded like 棒読み which made me kinda hmph.
I was initially really interested in him because his white hair and neck tattoo reminded me of Kiryuu Zero from Vampire Knight (my first love from the 2D realm hehe) but somehow his routes always felt lacking. Besides I’m not really into ‘those kinds’ of relationship. Even if it’s slightly different it makes me grossed out.
Seravis’ routes were so good because of his sarcasm and his never-changing attitude. He at first appears to be the kind who will go all weak once he’s in love but no, his attitude never changes, and Keigo omg. I love guys who use Keigo. He should have been my favourite but because of the age gap with Mana, I considered him a lolicon too and therefore, no. (*´▽｀*)
Let’s not even talk about Weasley’s route because he’s 31 years old and Mana is 17, and there was so much about not treating her as a child and being afraid to lose his family until even though I didn’t want to I was “JUST SHUT UP AND DO IT GG”
Overall a really enjoyable game, it kept me up for a few late nights. The writing was really good, and generally realistic too. Mana isn’t overly optimistic even in her Light routes and she does get used to killing people, and I really liked her as a heroine.
I think this game really suits people who are open to new concepts in otome games and if you’ve gotten used to all those ponies and rainbows that the otoge world has been churning up these few years, I definitely recommend this game!! It has gone right into my ‘favourites’ list under the ‘Hall of Fame’ page!
Hahaha did you say why I’m not playing Root Rexx?
Someone remind me what that is again.
For Tanabata festival today, I wrote “That I will meet more interesting 2D men.” (´･ω･)