Raimuiro Ryuukitan X (Cross): Released by Elf as the sequel to Raimuiro Senkitan, Ryuukitan places the player in the shoes of Inukai Kyoshiro. Much unlike the first game's protagonist, Kyoshiro hails from a well-to-do family with a military background. As such, he is fresh out of the military academy when he is assigned a squad commander position. At first, Kyoshiro is eager to take on his new role, wishing to fight for his country more than anything else. Much to his dismay, he soon discovers that his squad happens to be the Raimu Squad (the same one that managed to turn the tide in Japan's favor during the Russo-Japanese war), and aside from his duties as squad commander, he also has to double as a teacher for the girls under his charge.
Thus the story focuses on the Raimu Squad's new objective, which is to recover artifacts of great power that were lost during the war, while Kyoshiro gets used to his new position and learns to cope with doing more than just military work.
That being said, I am not impressed with this game at all, and see why few even bothered to remember this, despite the large impact created by the first game. The writing is very flakey, and the flow of the story is good at times but lackluster everywhere else. I definitely want to cover all this in detail, so this is on my to-do list for now.
Yukiuta: Requested by one of my readers, I have decided to start playing this game to see how well it compared to Sorauta.
The player takes the role of Hasegawa Akiomi, a second year student in school that likes motorcycles. In a break from tradition, our protagonist is actually quite normal, and rather astute when it comes to dealing with sticky situations. He also has a tendency to look after those around him, mostly developed from having to look out for his younger stepsister, Nano, throughout most of his life.
The setting is actually quite normal, taking place in Tousaka City, covering a good chunk of the month of December. Unlike Sorauta, which had a main plot that encompassed all routes, Yukiuta has elements of its setting that tie the routes together, but nothing as far as a concrete plot. Because of this, the stories seem to be stand-alone, but are interesting nevertheless. Staple character types were used, including the childhood friend (osananajimi), younger stepsister (giri-imouto), and tsundere classmate. So far, so good.
Yoyogi Hitozuma Senmon Gakuin: I picked this one up on a whim, since the title is very funny to me (the title translates to "The Yoyogi Housewife Training Academy"). I'll admit, I dove into this one expecting a pointless yaru game. I was surprised to find that the shallow elements that hitozuma games are so notorious for did not appear at all in this title.
The protagonist is named Sakura Kouji, a freeter (in other words, a person that does not have a career and makes their living from doing random part time jobs) and second son of the well-connected Sakura family. He usually spends his time alone (that is, when not getting grief from his older brother, Shuuichi, and his aunt, Yukari), but maintains a platonic relationship with his sister-in-law, Kyoko. There are other women that are introduced in the story once the cast focuses on the events at the academy.
The academy itself is a place where women go to train in being better wives for their husbands, or when counseling for married couples is necessary. Thus, when Shuuichi disappears, Kyoko decides to enroll in hopes of improving herself as a wife. She manages to drag Kouji along (much against his will), and the story kind of goes from there. Today's featured character will explain this a little better...
Name: Sakura Kyoko
Game: Yoyogi Hitozuma Senmon Gakuin
Voiced by: Maki Izumi
Designed by: SKYHOUSE
Character type: Aniyome (heroine that is the wife of the protagonist’s older brother)
Kyoko is introduced to us as a still-newlywed woman living next door to our protagonist, Sakura Kouji. The peculiar thing here is that her husband is none other than Kouji’s older brother, Shuuichi.
As our story begins, Kyoko’s relationship with Kouji is platonic, though she at times worries and dotes on him the way an older sister would. Kouji for the most part tries to leave her and Shuuichi be, despite the fact that he’s had a thing for her the entire time he has known her. Any attempt at maintaining that barrier is made null when Shuuichi suddenly disappears, leaving an ominous note behind saying he’ll be back in two weeks and asking Kyoko to “improve herself” in the meantime.
At first, Kyoko is distraught and downright depressed, wondering if she had done something to cause her husband to run away. Choosing to focus on improving herself, she decides to enroll into the Yoyogi Housewife Training Academy in hopes of becoming a better wife for Shuuichi. Seeing that she needs a partner, she drags Kouji along to pose as her “husband”.
Things get off to a rocky start between our “couple”, mainly because Kyoko treats Kouji the same way she would treat Shuuichi (a problem further aggravated by the fact that Kouji hates being compared to his older brother, having had to go through that his entire life). Before things get too sour, a communication exercise (involving baseballs, catcher’s mitts and an open field) sheds some light into their own relationship. From that point on, they do grow closer and find it easier to continue the ruse as a married couple when in classes.
As the two-week course comes to an end, Kyoko and Kouji face the end of their pretend-marriage with a tinge of sadness. Kyoko realizes that she’s fallen in love with Kouji, and Kouji tries his best to accept things as they are (in his own bitter, sarcastic way). Shuuichi’s sudden return makes things worse, as he confronts them and asks why they are living together. Standard drama ensues (Kyoko tells Shuuichi the whole story and how it’s all her fault, Kouji berates his brother for leaving Kyoko, Kyoko tries to calm them down but gets pushed away by Shuuichi, Kouji punches Shuuichi, Kyoko runs away).
The resolution is not as bad, however. Shuuichi reveals the reason he ran away was because he had doubts (over his sexual orientation) and wanted to get those sorted out before going into his fourth month of marriage. Having realized that he swings the other way, he wanted to break the news to Kyoko and do the right thing. Kouji is then kicked outside and told to find Kyoko and bring her home. Upon finding her (standard scene in the middle of the rain), Kyoko spills her heart out to him and confesses that even though she’s married to Shuuichi, she’s in love with Kouji. Our couple makes up, gets married for real...and then we’re graced with a picture of what Kyoko looks like two years after her ending.
That's it for today.
"One must not interfere in lovers' quarrels..."