Foreword: Absolutely hilarious and heartwarming game, Ojounana caught my heart from the first hour of playing it, due to the “Ojousama” or the “lady” being absolutely adorable, funny, and lovable. While you may be exposed to how much Nanami is awesome, I’ll try to squeeze in some stuff about the other characters as well. Despite being slightly longer than other games, this game was also finished in 4 days (I was just lazy enough to not write the review for it until now).
Here you go, guys! Review of “Ojounana!”
Title: お嬢様はご機嫌斜め (Lit. Trans: Ojousama is not feeling well)
Release Date: May 24, 2013
VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v11726
Game Type: Regular Novel with themes of economics and business.
Summary: Hajime is the loyal Vallet (butler) of Nanami Naname, who is a multimillionaire (or billionaire). The only memory that Hajime has of his past is his younger sister clinging onto him after his foster parents died, and because of her expression, Hajime worked hard to become a great butler earning the trust of Nanami-ojousama.
Recently, Nanami has been receiving a lot of confessions. It’s not a surprise, since she is beautiful, good at sports, while being very rich. One thing strange about her is that she expresses little emotions and talks slowly, but other than that, she ranks number one in the school rankings in both academics and athletics. Due to this, one of the requirements to marry Nanami has been to fight Hajime in a duel and somehow win. However, Hajime is not only powerful, he is also very skilled in any form of work. Suitors will have a tough time finding something that Hajime is weak towards.
The story begins with the introduction of several heroines, including Touka, who seems to be in love with Hajime; Otoha, who Hajime is always cautious around, his younger sister Hana, who works as a maid in the same household, and Shiaya, the daughter of the Yukinokouji corporation (rival to the Nanase family) who suddenly asks Hajime to live with her.
A sudden confession?
Story Length: Moderately Long (30 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Easy
Comments: The game itself is very long, but the routes split up into two midway; one hosting the routes for Nanami, Hana, and Shiaya, and the other hosting the routes for Otoha and Touka.
Character Design Rating: 9/10
Story Rating: 5/10
Game Quality: High
Overall Rating: 7/10
Rating Comments: Great Character design that had me laughing from the very beginning. It (the character design) was also unpredictable to a great extent, which earned some plus points. While I’ll go into details of the Character Design in a bit, the story lost a LOT of points due to being much too difficult for a normal person to understand. One of the core themes in this game is “business and economics”, and the readers will see that many of the terms they use are very complex, and the “strategies” displayed are incomprehensible if you have no experience with such topics.
I was unfortunately one of them, and despite being able to recognize some of the tactics (when they explained it), this element was mostly a negative trait for me.
Right. On to detailed explanations. Character design is extremely well done, especially with the fact that Nanami, who happens to be the richest person in Japan, is also very curious and adventurous. Most of the beginning scenes involve her trying to balance a $3000 vase on her forehead, or playing with food utensils during breakfast. She would also stack up a card pyramid, and call out “Extraordinary Powers!”, which is extremely random, but makes the reader laugh nonetheless. Instead of an arrogant pronoun “watakushi” to address herself, Nanami will often use 3rd person perspective, and easily absorb internet slangs and idioms. Her “majide?” (For Real?) is said in such a cute manner that it puts a smile to my face whenever she says it. When she is angry, she will also attempt to do the “tableflip”, but somehow fail every time. Nonetheless, Nanami is an adorable character that will make your experience with this game a great one.
Nanami genuinely wants to learn more about the commoner’s way of life, and the very first scenes involve her coming to Hajime’s apartment to make that very request. Her efforts, which doesn’t really sound genuine at first, are shown as she finds a part time job at a nearby candy store. In her route, Nanami is pushed to the corner, as she is engaged with Shion, by the works of Tsurumi, who is Nanami’s older sister. As Hajime challenges Shion to a duel (which is a requirement to win, in order to marry Nanami), Shion calls for the World Champion Fighter, and Ryouko (2nd daughter of the Nanase family) ambushes Hajime with a gang that dislocates his arm.
Nanami is soon forced so much that unless she marries Shion, she will be in a debt of 100 trillion yen (~$1 trillion). Hajime’s arm is weakened, and he is forced to fight three fighters, which includes the world champion himself. Despite these situations, Hajime wins by the Champion admitting defeat using specific tactics. English readers may feel a sense of connection at this point, as some lines in the fight scene is displayed and voiced in English.
Nonetheless, in order to relieve the massive debt, Nanami leaves her household, selling every bit of her property and belonging to the Yukinokouji corporation, who agrees to “hold” this property. Nanami soon comes to live with Hajime in his apartment, but her route doesn’t end there; her story and battle against Tsurumi has only just begun.
Get ready for a spoiler. Tsurumi, the little girl in the middle (despite being little, Tsurumi is in her 30s), is the mastermind behind everything. Arguably the main antagonist, when the game says “That Person”, it refers to her. She loves money like a madman, and her quote is, “I will do anything to get one more en one second faster”, and the reader will soon come to hate this character for her selfishness and lack of morality. In fact, Tsurumi also tricked other men into giving her money by giving them “fake” love.
Tsurumi is Hajime’s biological mother. This explains why Hajime’s blood matched so well with Nanami’s, and that explains why Hajime regularly extracted blood and saved them for when Nanami may need it. Tsurumi was actually in love with an artist and had his child, but the family was against the marriage, and took the child away when it was born. Of course, Tsurumi never saw her beloved again after that, since he died of a heart attack after finishing what is now the family portrait of the Naname family.
The reason why Tsurumi acts so coldly and heartlessly is because she is blinded by her love for Hajime. While not a romantic love, it is genuine love that a mother feels for her son. Her reasoning is that if she becomes the world’s richest person, she will not be oppressed by anyone. She sincerely wishes to pass her fortune down to Hajime, who she loves dearly and wishes for him to have a happy life. This is why when Hajime was ambushed by Ryouko, Tsurumi fell on her knees and begged for Ryouko to spare Hajime. Of course, Hajime does not want riches, so he believes that his mother is indeed, evil. Even after this relationship is revealed in Nanami’s route (revealed only temporarily) and Hana’s route (in detail), Hajime demands that Tsurumi have nothing to do with him, despite being his mother that he wanted to see dearly.
In the end, the two family members have a complicated relationship, where Tsurumi starts to treat Hajime like her real son, but Hajime is too embarrassed to reply to that affection.
Shiaya is next, and she is a high-class lady just like Nanami, and is the direct successor to the Yukinokouji corporation when her father dies. Normally, it needs to be the son that inherits the company, but because Shiaya’s little brother, Shion, is too young and immature, the company’s rights are passed down to her. I’ll say this right now; whatever your experience with Shiaya in other routes, throw them away. Despite me showing you a screenshot of Shiaya and Hajime hugging each other, this scene is when Hajime “utilizes” the name of the Yukinokouji corporation to oppose Tsurumi. This scene is when Shiaya agrees to “give up” on Hajime, because he confesses that he loves Nanami.
In reality, Shiaya is actually a hardcore masochist and a yaoi fanatic in addition to being an otaku. In her mansion, only the most trusted individuals are allowed into her room, mainly because it is filled to the brim with “Yami-shitsuji” materials; she is a fan of that series, and had a love-at-first-sight experience with Hajime because he was stunningly similar to the main character. This is why the girl who cannot speak directly to males asked Hajime to live with her. In her route, it is shown that due to Hajime’s sadistic personality, the two actually get along pretty well (even though it does take Hajime a long time to get used to it).
Shion is the younger brother of Shiaya, and is extremely boastful. Raised without any form of discipline, Shion is also physically very weak, and hides behind other people in fights. He is unable to properly face Hajime or even bullies for that matter, and despite being engaged to Nanami, he only agrees to the arranged marriage to “…screw up Nanami and throw her away, like you (Hajime) did to my sister!” This is a character that will make you want to punch your screen, but don’t fret; Karma gets him GOOD in one of the scenes, which will give Shion his just desserts.
However, in Shiaya’s route, Shion becomes one of the major characters, who learns fencing from Hajime himself, who he hates with a passion. Shion learns under Hajime in order to find more weaknesses, but instead realizes that he and Hajime are in different dimensions; Hajime cuts through a target with a single strike of the rapier that Shion could not dent in two days.
Despite hating Hajime with a passion, Shion slowly starts to become affectionate towards him, as Shion sees Hajime in good relations with his sister, and also learns many valuable lessons from him. Shion rapidly grows to a point he fends off bullies, and even stands firm against a malicious teenager who points a blade at him, to protect Otoha’s younger sister, Ayaka. His growth climaxes as his misunderstanding of Hajime and his sister’s relationship pushes him to challenge Hajime to a duel. Despite being knocked down many times, Shion refuses to give up and manages to land a solid blow on Hajime, who admits his defeat. In the same route, Shion is made the successor of the Yukinokouji corporation after his father saw how much his son grew in a short amount of time.
Hana is the younger sister of Hajime, and works as a maid in the same household; the Naname Family. While not as able as Hajime, Hana does her best in all of her tasks, and loves drawing: her goal is to replicate the Nanase Family Portrait that hangs in the dining room, but something just doesn’t work out when she is trying to draw Nanami’s grandfather’s face.
Deeply affectionate towards her older brother, Hana is very stubborn on receiving “Ni-san dakimakura” or “Ni-san body soap”, when the siblings return to their apartment from having a time off. Her affection for Hajime began way back when the siblings lost their foster parents, and needed to be separated. However, Hajime did all he can to stay with Hana, and this action amplified Hana’s affection for her brother.
Hana’s route is rather bland, however, and the only largely noticeable thing is that it is only in her route that the benevolence of Tsurumi (Hajime’s mother) is shown. Of course, it is revealed quite early on that the two siblings are not blood-related, and there is very little taboo that takes place from the sibling’s romantic relationship.
A talented singer, Otoha is a strange character. Originally, Hajime was cautious of her because she saw him during one of his “underground works”, and Hajime was afraid that Otoha may report what she saw to someone. On the other hand, Hajime’s continuous caution was noticed by Otoha, who then believed that Hajime was someone who would blow her cover as a formerly popular soprano singer. This double-misunderstanding creates many conflicts between the characters in the beginning.
Otoha, despite being extremely proud and haughty, is very affectionate towards her siblings, who she supports with continuous part time jobs. She was placed in poverty as her father became unable to pay off a large debt, and had to run from the debtors who tried to take advantage of her. Even in her situation, she keeps her head high, and even boasts to Hajime that she will “show him (her) light”.
Otoha’s dream is to become the top idol, and drags in Touka into it as well, seeing how Touka has a loud voice perfect for being a singer. The two receive the help of Hajime, who tailors an outfit for the pair. Their stage name, “Dokimeki Pure Otome” immediately attracts thousands of audience, and most of the route involves Hajime being afraid that Otoha would “go somewhere far away”. However, Otoha declines all offers from studios, and decides to stay as an indie Idol group with Hajime and Touka. She even turns down a scholarship to a music school, however, this enrages Ryouko, because the scholarship was provided by her company, and Otoha turning it down made their corporation look bad.
Refusing to broadcast Otoha and Touka on public networks, Otoha takes on the challenge and uses the internet to spread their fame. Translated into multiple languages, Hajime sets up a stream for users all around to see, and presents the results to Ryouko, who cannot say anything but stare blankly at the huge popularity of the two girls.
Arguably the most uninteresting route, Touka’s route consists of a series of weak relationship elements that lead up to a conclusion that doesn’t seem to have much in it. As the route will explain, it is Touka that is the opponent for the “White Board Diary”. As a daughter of the dojo that Hajime was trained in, the game mentions that the two are “osananajimi” in one of the scenes, but this relationship is not mentioned anywhere else. Despite this, Touka is in love with Hajime for some reason (her affections are unfortunately unexplained), and adds to the comedy because Hajime, being the stereotypical donkan protagonist, treats Touka like a male, which also happens to be a pet peeve for Touka.
Ironically, Touka has been confessed to by many girls, due to her loud voice and brave personality. She, however, has no interest in homosexuality, but still replies diligently towards these girls, explaining to Hajime that these girls are “…only getting a feel for what a relationship…” is.
Despite this, she holds a complex where she wants to become more feminine. Her chance is given with the appearance of Otoha, and the two form the “Dokimeki Pure Otome” idol group that soon become a success. Despite being against it at first, Touka’s father and grandfather soon approves of this future, seeing how Hajime would take care of their precious daughter/granddaughter, and both of them believed such an experience is not a bad thing at all.
Touka’s route consists of mostly being uncertain about herself, and how the group (Touka, Otoha, and Hajime) can split up as she hears the new of Otoha receiving a scholarship to a music school. She becomes unsure of how to act towards Otoha and Hajime, but soon realizes that if she doesn’t want the group to break up, she should be the one to keep it intact. Her growth from an indecisive lady to a brilliant idol amazes both her father and grandfather.
The “Tokimeki Pure Otome”! For the reference, “tokimeki” refers to the sound of the heartbeat in a sensually excited state, and “otome”, as anyone knows, is maiden.
Sexual Content: Moderate
Comments: Nanami is really, really cute. If you understand the things she’s saying, it’s even more of a bonus. One of the things I found bad about this story, however, is the usage of the business and economics, which is actually really hard to understand. While I understand the selection of a theme like this for the particular game (since “Ojousama” refers to a lady of wealth), I feel as if the elements should have been more clearly explained, or at least had an in-game glossary like many other games had.
In addition, there seemed to be no collective theme throughout the game. Most of it was focused on fighting Tsurumi or some other corporation, but all that disappeared in Shiaya’s route, and became insignificant in Touka’s route as well. The fact that the game split up the 5 heroines into two “paths” (one for Hajime vs. World Champion, the other for Hajime becoming the manager for Otoha and Touka), which also doesn’t seem to match up was another disappointment.
I did appreciate the consistency in personality, however, since I was automatically saying “Oh~ so that’s why she acted like that” when Tsurumi’s past was revealed. Shion’s growth was also something I found very attractive and admirable, and in this sense, the subcharacters shined more than the main heroines themselves.
It’s amazing how Hajime faces 4-5 thugs at once O_O
Affection for the Characters: Moderate
CG Quality: High
Music Quality: Low
Addictiveness: Moderately Low. Some of the routes are interesting and fun to come back to, but some routes like Touka’s is rather boring.
Conclusion: A decent game by ensemble. There’s really no central theme, and the story goes off on a tangent very frequently, but the beginning parts of the story is filled with moments of laughter. Towards characters like Nanami, readers may feel lots of affection as well.
If I didn’t say so already, Nanami is so cute~