Update (9/8/2017): The English version is already on sale at Mangagamer’s site. Currently on sale! Go grab it!
I was never interested in R-18 games before Bocchi Musume x Produce Keikaku. Well, I was ~mildly~ interested but the length of the games deterred me from playing them. Bocchi Musume, released last March 18 for digital editions and March 25 for physical versions, is a game from Kalmia8. It is set in high school and with only two guys to go after, I figured this would be a quick play.
How did my first R-18 game fare?
If you’ve watched the opening movie above, you’ll get an idea of what this game is all about.
Ema spends her day alone mostly because of her stature and gloomy aura wards people off. One day, two ikemen approach her and wants to turn her into a model to which Ema replies by… running away!
In other games, you’d get a common route then it branches to a guy’s route. The story here is like one big common route with some side scenes for the guys. The guys’ routes are pretty much in the end and in the epilogue. Like, while producing Ema, she gets to have a moment with one of the guys in the middle of the common route. Continuously choosing/spending time with one guy and you’ll get his best. If for example, Ema chooses Saito first then spends her time next with Miki, you’ll get Miki’s good end. In other words, you can get the good ending of one guy while also aiming for the best end of the other.
One of my worries, when I was starting out the game, was how would they be able to succeed in producing Ema without erasing one of the two guys off the picture. They are a team and have a good relationship at that. It won’t sit well on me if one of the guy’s gets left behind in the middle of the story. After all, each of them is essential to achieve their goals. Thank goodness, both routes remain faithful to their goal without completely ditching one of the two guys.
While this game has only 2 bishies available, it has 20 endings to finish and there’s a bad end right after starting the game! www It’s not really bad ending per se. It’s just that it goes against the goal of the story. Most of the endings are like that. And if you are in for some 3P action, there’s an ending with that too. Though it can only be unlocked once you’ve finished Saito and Miki’s best end.
… are few. I was in the middle part of the story, wondering when will they ever proceed with the romance when one individual (as in a scene with one of the guys) scene came up. I perked up only for my hopes to be crushed down since it’s not even a romantic scene (well, a bit sensual on Saito’s route). It’s fine that they remain true to produce Ema but I’m here for the romance too, not just for the gag and the r-18 stuff.
But I can’t say that the romance is underdeveloped. I loved how Ema didn’t just go “Gee, I like you…I guess.” It’s more on, the longer she spends time with any of the guys, the more she becomes aware of them and appreciates them for who they are. There are scenes where she said that despite being like this (sadist, no-good etc), she finds it amazing how she came to like the guy.
If there’s one thing I’d say to potential players of this game that would be there’s no rape. To which I’m really grateful since the story retains its overall light and playful theme.
But that is not to say that the sex scenes are interesting. Quite the contrary. There’s no setting up moods or whatnot, just jumping straight to the main event. One moment they are bantering, next thing I knew the guy is going for the boobs. Like what the hell happened?? True, if Ema hates it, she would have run away. But she didn’t. In fact, she enjoys it. But the guys’ decide to have sex on their own without actually listening to what Ema has to say. I find it a bit willful on their part.
Once you’ve cleared the main story, an epilogue unlocks which in turn unlocks another epilogue. These take place some days after the best end and unlocks the last 2 CGs in the gallery (It took me a while to figure that out orz). They contain more いちゃいちゃmoments.
There’s an option on the lower left corner of the title where you can turn on or off the H-scenes. I didn’t really bother with it till I remember that button while in the middle of sex scenes. I saved on that part and turned it off. Once off, I couldn’t load my save file with the sex scene again. I read online about other’s account on that and they said that if you turned it off (that is before you get to the H-part), they will still have sex with Ema briefly narrating the event before moving on the next scene.
The biggest aspect of the game.
The humor in this one is PURE GOLD. Not just some cheap slapstick comedy or corny jokes. There are puns and dirty jokes. What I really like though is whenever one of them tsukkomi one another. And the scenes where they put in witty jokes.
I mentioned that the other ends are bad ends. Those “bad” ends are actually gag ends. Like the bad end at the start of the game where Ema chooses to sleep in instead of going to school. On her last day on Earth, the angel told her that her plain life would have changed if she went to school on that day. xD Okay. I know it’s not funny when I’m the one telling the joke but believe me, the jokes here will make you laugh out loud. ww
Ema is always alone thanks to her height and scary features. She isn’t exactly scary despite their claims. I mean, she IS gloomy but isn’t drawn that scary. Ema is bad at reading the atmosphere and lacks common sense. That’s not a surprise when all your life you are living a sheltered life and relying on the internet for your social skills. She barely goes out and relies on her parents’ money.
What’s interesting with her is how she changes from the reluctant protag to someone who does her best in the things she does. At the start, she always ALWAYS runs away whenever a problem comes up. It irks me when she keeps on blaming everyone for the bad things that happen to her. She never really takes responsibility for her actions despite making choices on her own accord. Over the course of the story, she starts exerting effort and stands for herself. It’s good seeing her appreciating her teammates and her career as a model.
Kaibara Erena did a good job in voicing her. Ema sounds really gloomy at first, though her voice reminds me of a ghost in a horror house ww. As she changes, so is her voice. But the change in voice isn’t that evident since it comes bit by bit. Near the end, she sounds like a normal teenage girl. It had me thinking, “Is this the same Ema when I started the game?”
Saitou is the sadist between the two guys. As expected, he is domineering and have a sharp tongue. Despite being like that he knows his limits and if he ever crossed a line, he feels bad about it and apologizes. He can be overbearing and sometimes Miki calls him out for it. But it’s because he is like that that’s why he can push Ema to the right direction.
Unlike Miki and Ema, Saitou grows in an average household. He works hard to earn money and is good at watching out for any opportunities like that time when he wanted to take the chance of Miki gaining popularity among female fans and having the title Ikemen Designer to push Miki’s designs.
It took me quite some time to like Saitou and his 20-something like voice lol (Now I’m addicted to his voice ww). Because despite being pushy, he is nice guy and only want to the best for their group. It kind of fall back to neutral though when he is being cold and somehow indifferent to Ema after having sex. All the while saying stuff like, “I’ll never let you go.” Or one moment, he’s saying that they don’t need unnecessary feeling. Next thing is that he’s being いちゃいちゃ with Ema at school’s staircase. Duuuuuude I don’t get youuu. Well, he may be the type to bully the girl he likes but being vague about your relationship while making the most out of it is NOT cool man.
In general, I like Saitou especially since he keeps the balance in the group and reins the two. Like you can count on him being on the practical side of things when the other two get lost in their fantasies. His banters with Ema are amusing too.
His ending felt quite incomplete since Miki’s designer goals, which is the primary reason they scouted Ema becomes a minor thing. While his first epilogue is a direct continuation of the best end, his 2nd epilogue feels like a filler end. It’s just them passing days at school and having more sex. Though it’s nice to see Ema actually becoming a model and succeeding through hard work and not just because of sheer natural talent *sideeyeMiki’send*.
The doM and designer of the group.
Miki used to live in the US after his dad sent him there in the hopes of making him manly instead of having a girly hobby. Miki’s designs are the ones you see on the runway and think “how the hell would you be able to wear that!?!?!” His designs are considered high fashion but since most people can’t understand that, they brushed it off as cosplay. But the products he creates are so out of the ordinary that even Ema is horrified when she sees them. Who would even want to wear nothing but leather straps in your private parts?? O_O
This doM may seem like princely and funny compared to Saito but he is a very serious guy. He is passionate about his work and takes pride in it. He works hard for his designs because despite having natural talent, nobody recognizes his efforts except the other two.
The otome vibe is strong in this route. Miki makes time for Ema and is sweet and caring towards her. Ema, in turn, has grown understanding and sensible. She is able to match up to Miki’s eccentricities. She has a sadistic streak so it totally goes well with Miki’s masochistic tendencies. The ending and the epilogues are all satisfying. They are all tied up together and brings a nice conclusion to the game. They don’t just grow over the course of the game but also, all their goals are met in this route.
Got to love the sprite and their many funny facial expressions. I always look forward to their expressions which adds to the comedic flair of the game.
One thing I noticed though is how disheveled the guys look. I’m pretty sure wearing a parka like this doesn’t make you look cool.
The bad ends have chibi CGs that are both funny and cute. They are my consolation for going through so many ends. @_@
As for the CGs, well I’ll let you decide…
Saito is the biggest offender, I tell you. Miki is also bad but at least it’s passable. Saitou’s just… /sigh To be fair, Ema also suffers from weird anatomical positions and proportions.
Another thing is the kiss scenes. They are kissing but THE LIPS ARE NOT TOUCHING. Seriously!?!?! I could count in one hand the number of times where their lips actually touch. :/
Kalmia8 used upbeat songs, very much like the song in the op movie. I liked how they all sound. They’re cheerful and light, just like the game. For H-scenes, they used mostly instrumental jazzy songs to (hopefully) set up the mood.
All in all, Bocchi Musume x Produce Keikaku is a good game. I enjoyed playing it mostly for the main story and the characters. It’s a good choice for people like me who haven’t played any R-18 before. It’s not the best game I’ve ever played but good enough to leave an impression on me.