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Otome ga Irodoru Koi no Essence

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Clephas

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I'm going to be blunt... for some reason, the 'Otome' series of trap-protagonist ojousama-ge by Ensemble seems to be incapable of fulfilling the promise of Otome ga Tsumugu Koi no Canvas in any of its follow-up games.  Koi no Canvas was, for better or worse, one of the single best charage I've ever played, with strong characterizations for all of the characters (including the protagonist) full voices for all characters (later Otome series games all had voiced protagonists, though), and superlative individual paths with an actual story tailor-made to match both the protagonist and the individual heroines.  

Unfortunately, none of the Otome series games since has gotten anywhere close to doing what Koi no Canvas managed, and this one isn't an exception.  I will say that it starts out really well... the protagonist is fully-voiced and capable in his own field (in this case cooking), and his actions throughout the VN show him to be competent... but the romantic portions, the characterization of the heroines, and the actual development of the heroine paths are all... second-rate.  The few good points in this VN stand out so well precisely because the rest is so poorly-done. 

As an example, the humor is actually pretty good, and the protagonist's reactions to most situations are either funny or ones that leave you with a positive impression of him.

Unfortunately, there are certain aspects that absolutely drive me insane reading this VN.  The heroine routes are truncated and devoid of drama (seriously, you can't have ojousama-ge without a controlling parent or a character with major personal issues, but none of that really exists here).  The romance is sudden and makes little sense.  Worse, it is pretty much impossible to develop an emotional connection even to the protagonist, because every time it seems like they might sadden you with his past (he is an orphan, for instance), they deliberately cut it short or interject the protagonist's general lack of care for the issue in question.

After Koi no Canvas, this series has continually sabotaged itself with this kind of BS, and I'm actually crying right now at the sheer wasted potential of the characters in this story.  It is obvious the writer wanted to do more, as well... because there are a lot of signs throughout the heroine routes of cut scenes or abrupt story movements that seem awkward/amateurish.  Considering the experience of this team, even aside from this series, it seems a bit ridiculous that they would have tripped so many landmines in a single game (I mean, one of the writers worked on Sakura, Sakimashita... and that game is very, very good), and I honestly think that if Will wants to stop hemorrhaging cash, it needs to stop breaking up its best teams (the Evolimit team) or letting total incompetents get involved with story and characterization (referring to the Imouto Paradise writer who was also involved with this and the other Otome series games after Koi no Canvas).

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"and I'm actually crying right now at the sheer wasted potential of the characters in this story. "

 

You aren't crying for real... Right? Maybe ensemble will realize its mistakes one day... And their customers as well.

I wanted to play this game, in fact. I was just waiting for you to publish a positive comment, but now I definitely won't (heroine routes with no drama are a no). You recommended Canvas, but that game had Kinishima Ao in the middle and I didn't like his work on the last game I played, even if he just worked on a single route. But I'll still keep it on my wishlist, who knows...

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23 minutes ago, starlessn1ght said:

 

You aren't crying for real... Right? Maybe ensemble will realize its mistakes one day... And their customers as well.

I wanted to play this game, in fact. I was just waiting for you to publish a positive comment, but now I definitely won't (heroine routes with no drama are a no). You recommended Canvas, but that game had Kinishima Ao in the middle and I didn't like his work on the last game I played, even if he just worked on a single route. But I'll still keep it on my wishlist, who knows...

I wanted to cry... this VN obviously had money behind it, even if it didn't have talent that wasn't strangled.  Seriously, play Koi no Canvas, because it probably isn't like anything else by that writer, lol.

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24 minutes ago, Clephas said:

Seriously, play Koi no Canvas, because it probably isn't like anything else by that writer, lol.

But it's not a writer, it's an artist. And worse, I think he's in charge of the whole game. I'll give it a try, but I have to finish Aokana first.

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I think that Canvas will be the best work of Ensemble anyway. Maybe, this game (Canvas) deserves the English translation. I read the post about disputes between writer and producer of this game... And it was a horrible thing. But company continues to develop Otome series. And they seems alright with the sales now. All for the sake of central audience? To be honest, Otome series... Hm... Like a trap in girls school. Each time with a new profession - artist, singer, chef... And now music's teacher. They will try all the options, I think. What will they do next? Don't know... 

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