Being very honest here: After I played “Anata no Koto Wo Suki to Iwasete” I never thought I would care for any other Praline title. It was when I picked this game out of boredom. I never expected nothing quite like this…
The story takes place in the prestigious “Love Love School” (Take a deep breath…This is really the name they went with). This school has an unique system to support romantic relationships between it’s students by giving a lot of privileges to couples. They even make a ceremony during Christmas Eve where those who offer their prays to a goddess statue are said to be blessed with eternal love for each other.It’s already a pretty weird place without this whole love thing, but nobody never complained about it, at least until now, but this year a mysterious group calling themselves Jiyubakushiya (“Fulfilled People Exploders”?) are planning to destroy the dreams of all lovers in the school by demanding the cancelation of the school festival, or else, they will spread terror around the school facility. With no other choice, the principal was ready to comply with them. It was when a group of heroes rose to fight against those who got no girlfriends. They had no real strategy, weapons or experience. However, they did have an idiot as their leader.
And this idiot would be Yamanaka Shoutarou. A genuine fool. But even not being the brightest, he has some incredible skills. He trains frantically every day in the art of fighting! He uses the martial art…of LOVE! He even got a wise and cool master!He is desperately trying to get himself a girlfriend, and even get to the point of practicing confessions in the school’s rooftop. He is the kind of idiot who you just can’t help to like. Specially because his imbecility gives him the balls necessary to accomplish the impossible. This inspires everyone around him. That’s why even people who come to lecture him end up joining him on his crazy antics instead.
Takai Kanae became one of Shoutarou’s most loyal friends since he defended her against some rich girls who were bulling her because how poor she is. For Shoutarou, this doesn’t matter! (specially when she is so HOT!). As a result, she would do anything for the poor fool.
Kamiwazumi Chinami is an eccentric rich lady who happens to be Shoutarou’s childhood friend. She goes around the school riding her trusted horse “Grand Slam” and is always assisted by her Japanese maid, Sugiyama Shinobu, who has to pose as a “gaijin” just to entertain her master. Since way before, she was already in love with Shoutarou and asks him in marriage many times every single day, it seems she is aiming for the millionth proposal…
Yamanaka Kurumi is Shoutarou’s step-sister. She is kinda ingenuous and childish, which makes a nice combination with Shoutarou’s stupidity. She also has enough weird hobbies and habits to be compared with her brother. As a result, they are ALWAYS on good terms, almost looking like lovers, but not quite there. She loves all kinds of animals, and it seems she is even able to communicate with them. But she has a special affection for PENGUINS!
Ebihara Honoka is the teacher responsible for Shoutarou’s class, for this reason alone, she becomes a natural enemy for the protagonist. She is also desperately looking for an ideal boyfriend, but she has a series of problems with her personality and behavior and yaddayaddayadda… Nah! I am not buying it! Look to those watermelons! She can get any men she wants with those!
Kaneshiro Ai is the student council president. She tries to act all serious and responsible, but she has a weak spot for Shoutarou’s pranks and even ends up participating on many of his schemes. The truth is that her daily life would be too boring if not for Shoutarou, which is why she tries to repay him by helping him with his studies. She gets closer to him by doing so, but Shoutarou hates to study, so this doesn’t end well.
Tachibana Erika is a fake-loli teacher who acts like an old lady. She is one of the few flat-chested girls in the game and can only be captured on the special bonus within the first-press edition. Just like Honoka, she is almost 30, but is not much concerned about finding a mate. She actually is pretty confident of her “dynamite body” (her words, not mine).
Routes & Themes
I just love Shoutarou as a protagonist! He is a true “Idiot of Justice” and moves the story forward in so many unpredictable ways. I believe this is what Whitesoft ultimately failed to accomplish with their “Gangsta Republica”. The main differences here is that Shoutarou is actually very proficient and everyone respects and relies on him, which leads him to become a strong leader figure! There is just so much about this guy that I could keep writing for much longer, but the most important part is that he makes me laugh…for the right reasons!Which reminds me: This game is really funny! It’s so rare for me find a Galge this hilarious! They achieve that by using jokes very akin to the style found on movies like “Naked Gun” or “Top Secret”. The environment where Shoutarou and his friends spend their daily lives is filled with stupid and exaggerated things, but while the writer is self-aware about that, the caracters are not, so they are always taking any ridiculous thing they come across as a very serious problem. For example: The Jiyubakushiyas make everyone panic by threating to do the following:
1- They will mix the types of trash just before the collecting day.
2- They will change half of the shoyu in the school dining room for Mentsuyu.
3- For every time they see a couple of students, a female member will yell: “So you were just playing with me after all”!! And them, she will run crying.
When this list is first announced, no one tries to do a “tsukomi”. Instead, they discuss any situation like this with the same urgency the police would treat a terrorist attack.All heroines are very charismatic and funny! It was really worth to see all routes! It’s so rare for me to like all heroines of a Galge, but this is one of such rare cases, as every single one of these girls is very lovely and funny! It reached a point where I felt bad every time I started to “capture” one of the heroines, since I didn’t want to leave the other girls with their feelings unanswered. However, this is where it enters the only major problem I found on this title: The heroines also suffer from indifference toward the protagonist feelings and even their own.Each route is full of funny moments and lots of icha-rabu but, unfortunately, they are just too short and have almost no conflict, It always ends with a “climatic” battle against the Jiyubakushiya leaders, but everything ends up being solved very easily by Shoutarou’s super athletic abilities and Chinami’s money power.Erika’s route was also great and It’s easily the most complete “extra route” I’ve played so far on my “Galgamer” life, since those additional routes usually end with less than 1 hour, but not with this one! The “Giving all my love to the Zashiki Warashi” patch is actually a stand-alone pack with around 350 mb. It has at least 2 hours following a very complete route for “Lolika” with the entire cast participating in the story. It has 2 H-scenes and lot’s of cute loli-sensei moments! I just wished Uhara patch from Hitonatsu No was like that…
Even though there are three different artists working here, everyone seems to fit together with the same coloring style and type of poses. The differences in style also help the characters to stand out from each other.I really like the designs for the uniforms. They are not abnormal, but still cute. Not only that, but the designers also did a good job by arranging each girl with different details on their outfits, making them look very different even though they are using the same clothes. This is way harder to do than it looks, and I respect this!
Something that must be given attention here is that the protagonist is voiced! This shows how they wanted to make this guy their true hero, and I love it! Just a few companies even dare to do that because it’s not just pricy, but it also means their game will take much more disc space, but they did it anyway!
It has been a long time since the last hidden gem I found among Galges, and I was really expecting nothing from this one, but it just turns out this was one of my favorite releases of this month! I hope my future has more pleasant surprises like that!