Hello Heroes and Travelers, today we have a special guest post from my blogging buddy and newest otoge recruit, Hazel from over at Archi-Anime!! This is her first ever otome game review and I am so happy that I was able to drag her into otoge hell with me! *rubs hands together* So join me in welcoming her to Nice Job Breaking It, Hero and without further ado, I’m gonna turn things over to Hazel!!
Good afternoon bloggers! Hazelyn here from the anime blog Archi-Anime. Today Naja and I are bringing you a very special collaboration post! This will be my first Otome game review ever, and a very first collaboration post. Hooray for firsts! I’m a bit late to the otome game, but hey, better late than never!
A few months ago I befriended Naja, whom as of late has become a really good friend of mine, I would like to say! I call her the otome queen and my Otome/BL Senpai. I have much to learn, and she has already dragged me down into backlog hell with the amount of games that
must are to be played.
I’ve always wanted to write a review of an otome game, so when Naja senpai approached me to write a collaboration on a route I was both ecstatic and flattered she wanted to do this. She had already gotten me hooked onto Voltage games (bye money!) and I was still fairly a n00b to otome. So far I’ve been spoiled with a lot of great routes! So we decided to try a game neither of us had barely any experience with. I had played one route on the mobile version (Iroha), but I ended up buying it on steam during the Winter Steam Sale because it was more cost-efficient than paying per route.
The game we ended up choosing was The Men of Yoshiwara: Kikuya. There are a total of two Men of Yoshiwara games, the other being The Men of Yoshiwara: Oghiya, in which our MC is vastly different-but more on the Kikuya version of her later.
A closed island where baby boys are not born…
A unique culture that is completely different from the mainland has been flourishing on the island. In the middle of the island, there is a district where men are gathered.
Some women just want children.
Others are looking for love.
Knowingly deceived by a lie, and deceived in return, all in a single night’s dream.
At the end, to whom is it that you will be talking of love? – Steam
Our MC is supposed to deliver a package to the Kikuya in the Yoshiwara district and ends up in a precarious situation. As she delievers this package after her encounter she’s given a chance to pick a courtesan in which she gets to spend the evening with. At this point is where Naja said I should pick the route, so I decided to go with Hayabusa. I picked Hayabusa/Hayato because I thought it’d be a cute story about childhood friends that would fall in love.
First things first. In general, I found Hayabusa’s route enjoyable. I have a few gripes with it, but I’ll get back into that. I did thoroughly enjoy the art of Men of Yoshiwara, the 2D bishies were great, but sometimes I felt that Hayabusa’s CG’s didn’t capture him the way he showed up in the game. His in-game look was byfar the cutest version of him we saw. But the CG’s were okay; but don’t feel compelled to really share them… I also had no problems with the pacing of the development of the love story but there were a lot of WTF moments for me. Some of the wording was just….odd, and I’m sure Naja would agree – we had plenty of laughs about it. But as the title of my post indicates: I felt completely jilted by the ending. It was going really well until the conflict arose and then ended quicker than it even began! I felt that this story could use a few extra chapters instead of ending it with conflict resolution straight into super happy ending. Where was the climax? I felt like we reached it and then instead of lingering there or a slow decline to the end, it just ended abruptly. Even though it was a super happy ending it just felt like it wasn’t enough. I mean, I felt happy, but it was such a bittersweet feeling. Where was that moment of bliss of it coming together perfectly? The “Kyyaa~” fangirl moments were far and few between. I guess it was an good ending, but I wanted more romance. I’m all for smut, but I also love romance leading up to it! The romantic aspect was a bit lacking. It’s occurred to me that Hayabusa seems to just have been an add-on character so maybe they didn’t put a lot of effort into the ending? Who knows! But that is one of my biggest gripes about Hayabusa’s route. Oh, and on another note, I had no idea smutty otome was even a thing till I read some of the stuff that occurred in Yoshiwara…ahem. Anyways.
My other gripe about the game is our MC. I found her laughable. Everytime she said something or thought something I called her an idiot, or completely just scoffed and said “Why!?” She’s incredibly naive, dumb. overall really really inexperienced, and often selfish. There was one scene where Hayato sent her a letter telling her to stay away from the Kikuya for a few days, and what does she do? She drops everything and runs straight for the Kikuya!! I had to stop here for a few days because I was so annoyed. He was concerned for MC because she had a run-in with the law, and just wanted you to stay away for a few days for it to blow over. It’s not like he told you that you couldn’t ever see each other again! But no, she had to drop everything and run for it, and what happens? Shit hits the fan! I’m all for headstrong, but gosh I just couldn’t deal with our MC. I was laughing at her the entire time!
On the other hand, we had Haybusa. Ahh, Hayabusa. Where do I begin? To me, Hayabusa was the saving grace of this storyline; he had less cringey moments than MC. But that’s not saying much to the overall storyline. Hayato was MC’s childhood friend, older brother type, and protector. He had abruptly moved away as a child and they were reunited by chance in the Yoshiwara district. MC learns that he had been sold to become a courtesan and he had intended to go back to you once his contract had ended, in hopes that no one else had laid claim to your heart. But you running into him in the Yoshiwara caused him to to feel a type of way. Okay, he definitely wasn’t perfect but it is what it is. Considering the story line he gave me some feels; but not a whole lot.
What I did love about this story was that the MC and Hayabusa weren’t confused about their feelings for one another. It wasn’t an unrequited love, but a mutual love that had withstood the test of time they were apart from one another. I found that to be the cutest part of the story. Since I haven’t played a lot of routes and otome in general I liked this approach to a love story. Hayato is kind of my type, as he’s the protective type and puts MC’s safety first above everything else.
Overall, Men of Yoshiwara was fun, and I’m glad I paid the steam sale price, because I don’t think it’s worth the $30 that it is going for currently. Hayabusa, although he was a great love interest, was just a decent route and not exactly my favorite. I found his game version to be much more handsome than his CG counterpart. I found MC to be the worst and that’s all I can say about her. However, that won’t deter me from finishing this game in it’s entirety! I’m determined to finish all routes!
That concludes my first EVER collab and first otoge review! I’m quite surprised as to how ranty this turned out because I thought I enjoyed the route; but well the moment I started typing…the rest is history.
Naja is to thank for bringing me into another realm of blogging; figuratively popping my cherry as she has said. LOL. Thank you Naja for asking me to be apart of this collaboration! Head over to my blog to find out what Naja had to say about Hayabusa by clicking HERE. I may have been a bit soft in my review…maybe. Thanks for reading and hope to create more otome reviews on my blog! I’m also looking forward to future collaborations with her and anyone else who is willing to put up with my silliness! 😀