[Otome Game Review] Zettai Kaikyuu Gakuen

January 22, 2017 at 3:05 pm | Posted in Games, Otome Games | Leave a comment
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Fujieda Neri is a normal high school girl who lives with her father in a poor living area in Japan. On her seventeenth birthday, after school, she arrives home only to find her house burning down and her father missing. The only things her father left her are a password-locked mobile device and a letter telling her to go and study at Kaikyuu Gakuen, a prestigious school for rich kids. Neri decides to enter the school located in an island, and there, she’s introduced to a harsh caste system within the student body: the queen, whose orders are absolute, is on top of the system; the rose class (咲き誇る薔薇), which gets almost all the privileges, is the highest class a student can attain; the honeybee (名もなきミツバチ), the class where Neri is assigned, is the middle class; and the stone (捨て置かれた石ころ), which is almost similar to being a slave, is the lowest class.

The caste system aside, the school isn’t exactly what it looks like on the surface, and Neri is just about to uncover the secret that the school is hiding……

Characters

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Fujieda Neri is not the heroine that can be considered as a role model. Depending on the route you are in (either if Neri gets promoted to the rose class or demoted to the stone class), her view about the school and its harsh caste system greatly differs. Her actions in the rose route are just so unacceptable that even as the player, you’d want her to face the worst ending there is. On the other hand, Neri is okay in the stone routes. Not a bad heroine, but not exactly a good one either.

First off is the heroine, Fujieda Neri, who is okay… in the stone and true routes. Not exactly notable, just in the middle of what I hate and what I like in an otome game heroine. In the rose routes, however, Neri is bad. Like, really bad. Her actions in the rose route are just so unacceptable that even as the player, you’d want her to face the worst ending there is. It’s so heartbreaking to see the guys suffer because of her. Nonetheless, the rose routes aren’t the true ends, so I guess you can cancel those out? ww But yeah, we got a mediocre heroine for this game.

Takamine Riku (CV: Namikawa Daisuke) is a third year rose student and the Akabara-sama (Red Rose) of the school, meaning that he’s a special student among the rose class who serves the queen directly. He’s a jerk who thinks so highly of himself and I seriously wanted to punch him in the face… until I saw that he’s actually a real cutie in his route! Really, he is just a boy who is too shy to express his true intentions (๑´ლ`๑). Also, NamiDai’s acting as Riku is excellent and it deserves a standing ovation.

Saginomiya Rei (CV: Kimura Ryouhei) is, like his best friend Riku, a special third year rose student called as the Shirobara-sama (White Rose). He is a kind person who is way too perfect to exist. Like, he’s a gentleman, he’s kind, he can play the piano… what more can you ask for? I honestly cannot understand how he’s not fed up with Riku even though that jerk doesn’t do anything but pass all the student council work to him.

Kaji Ichiha (CV: Kakihara Tetsuya) is the resident flirt. Like Neri, he is a second year student in the honeybee class. Ichiha is also a member of the drama club and he is very good at acting. Which is probably the only thing likable about him because I swear, his actions during the entire first half of his stone/true ends just pissed me off ಠ_ಠ

Nanase Toya (CV: Maeno Tomoaki) is the macho happy guy in the same year level as Neri. He used to be from the rose class but he got demoted to the stone class after he decided to found and lead the resistance group who opposes the harsh caste system of the school. His life motto is equality for all so the caste system is just a no-no for him. Aside from having good leadership charms, he’s actually pretty intelligent so even if he always skips class and don’t study, he still gets high scores (please teach me your ways!). Toya is okay but his route has plot devices that I hate the most so it was a bit of a turn off.

Igarashi Haru (CV: Ishikawa Kaito) is my son and the best boy in this game (´ε` )♡. Being a quiet first year student from the stone class who just wants to be alone, Haru is unfortunately always the target of bullying of the upper class ranks. Despite opening his mouth only once in a blue though, his remarks are always snarky and witty and it’s so fun to hear Ishikawa Kaito say them (ノ*゚▽゚*)ノww. Haru is also a natural artist and his drawings and artworks are really good. 100% best boy and best route. The epilogue of his true end legit made me cry ;;w;;.

Other important characters include the Queen whose face is always covered, the school president Kaburagi Souchirou who warmly welcomed Neri into the school, the flirty school doctor Takasaki Edward a.k.a. Ed-sensei, and Neri’s first friend in the school Yagisawa Moeka.

Thoughts

I heard that this game is pretty good so when I started it, I expected another psychological game with a really shocking plot twist. It was all good until I started on the stone route when the game threw all kinds of bitches and bullies and I wasn’t impressed ಠ_ಠ. Fortunately, it does get interesting mid-stone routes, when the mystery starts to pile up and you really just want to know everything asap. You and your guy fall in love with each other, and all’s that left is to uncover the mystery of the school! But guess what. Stone route ends there–right in a cliffhanger–and you won’t be able to see the true ends until you finish all the stone routes like WTH. Way to ruin the mood.

And I can totally see why they have to end the stone routes in those parts. Because the true ends are 80% copy pasta and you won’t have any mystery to look forward to if you already saw one true end and you start on another stone route. The true ends get really repetitive because it’s really just the same thing in every route. If they are too lazy to write different confrontation scenes in each route, they could at least allow us to force skip through them? Because it was so boring to see the same wedding dress thing, the gun thing, and the password thing five times in a row ಠ_ಠ

I really wish that they just focused on the character’s past in the specific routes and fully explained Neri’s past in a separate special route to avoid copy pasta. The past of each guy is very interesting and it would have been better to read on them without suddenly changing the focus to Neri (x5). A seaparate Kaburagi/Queen route would have been good, no?

I feel so bad with saying all those bad stuff about the game, because really, I still enjoyed Zettai Kaikyuu Gakuen. The stone routes and Haru’s epilogue anyway. I mean, the secret of the school had me thinking all throughout and I honestly had at least four nights of seeing Zettai Kaikyuu Gakuen in my dreams ww. I was that invested and excited to know the truth behind everything. I even wrote an entire note about my speculations about the story on my phone whenever I wasn’t playing the game. The concept of the game is very interesting. But yeah, sadly, the cliffhangers and copy pasta ruined it.

As usual, Prototype’s system is my favorite. The skip read is fast, there’s a skip to next choice selection or unread part option, and it’s easy to go back to a previous line by just pressing the left arrow button. Art is also okay (except for that one CG in Ichiha route where Neri doesn’t have a head ???) and the opening and ending songs are beautiful 

Conclusion

The concept of the story is interesting, minus the cliffhanger in the stone ends and copy pasta in the true ends. It’s still a good game. Haru’s route is worth it ♡ 

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