Foreword: Okay, I lied. I’m sorry TT_TT;; I was really tired from the continuous exams + speech + a report that I had to finish literally back to back, and I had a really bad headache for the past few days (along with the fact that I didn’t get too much sleep)… I’ll make sure I put in extra effort (?) for this review though!
My first game from Rosebleu, I actually had high expectations because of its description that sounded like there was going to be some good drama in the story. In addition to the fact that a friend of mine is a huge fan of Rosebleu, I guess I had my expectations TOO high…
Yeah, it didn’t turn out well.
Turns out, the summary is wrong on vndb.org (why am I not surprised?), and this is actually a slightly inferior game. The only “good points” was that some of the characters were “deredere” to the point of comedy, but aside from all that, this was your typical “harem” game without the actual harem ending. I think I would have some explaining to do, which I’ll get to very soon.
Title: 一番じゃなきゃダメですかっ？ (Ichiban janakya damedesuka?) [Lit. Trans: Must I be First?]
Release Date: September 27, 2013
VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v12479
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=771496
Game Type: Comedy Novel with weak theme of family
Summary: Today is Shou’s moving day, and nervous about the people he’ll be living with for who-knows-how-long, he takes it upon himself to do an panties-fortune telling. Naturally, that doesn’t work out, and he arrives at the destination with his non-blood related sister (and childhood friend) Hisui.
However, there seems to been some misunderstanding. This apartment called “Ittokikan” (roughly translates into “one-time apartment”) is actually meant to be a girls only apartment due to its residents having some bad relationship with their male sibling. Despite this, all of the residents except for the manager, Ruri, finds Shou acceptable and a person who they can trust. In order to convince Ruri that he is a reliable and honest person, they now decide to have a swimming match… However, Ruri is the ace of the swim team…
Aw, sibling love :3
Story Length: Moderately short (15 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Easy
Comments: Pretty clear-cut choices, so unless you’re not experienced with eroge, you should have no problems.
Character Design Rating: 8/10
Story Rating: 4/10
Game Quality: Moderately Low
Overall Rating: 5/10
Rating Comments: First off, superior character design. Two of the characters have a rather… twisted mindset when it comes to Shou, which also happens to twist their sense of logic in various situations. This includes the fact that when Hisui is drenched with water and Shou sees her underwear, her regret is that “I should’ve worn something cuter…” above anything else. This trait is correspondent to another heroine (which you’ll only find out if you play the game :3), and it’s possible to see the two characters occasionally “fighting” over Shou as well.
Character Summary: Let’s see if I can get through with summaries!
First we have Hisui, whose name I found to be very favorable due to the kanji of her name “翡翠”, corresponding with my favorite artist “Izumi Tsubasu” who also goes by a name “Hisuitei” (翡翠亭). Nonetheless, she is voiced by a great CV as well (Oto Agumi), so I found this character to be very appealing from the very beginning of the game.
Considered one of the “deredere” heroines, Hisui is not related to Shou, but insists on calling him “Oni-chan” due to being very close with Shou, and actually being considered “siblings” by law. They are not blood-related, so Hisui actually makes various brazen approaches to Shou, who seems to “accept” it mindlessly. She also has a strange trait of being able to relax when Shou gropes her breasts, which is explained in the story.
As Shou is soon accepted into the Ittokikan, he is then looked up on as an “older brother” figure who is reliable in the eyes of the girls who live there. Unable to fathom having more “siblings”, Hisui then proclaims that she would “stop being a younger sister”, which really implies that she now wants a romantic relationship with her brother-by-law.
Despite this “stubbornness”, Hisui is very caring for Shou, and is actually more mature contrary to her appearance or actions. She understands what Shou is thinking just by looking at him, and willingly gives up her (and Shou’s) life insurance without much hesitation, even before Shou comes to ask for it. She also seems to “believe in Shou” unconditionally, and this trait, my dear readers, is a trait so rare in the human population, that I find Hisui to be the “ideal girl” out there, even above other characters in different titles.
Definitely one of the characters I felt the most affection for, Hisui’s route is unfortunately rather uninteresting due to having not much drama, and Shou simply being “threatened” by a certain individual, and trying to take it upon himself to “protect everyone”.
Finally, Hisui’s name actually translates into a green stone which we know of as “Jade”. (I only know this because Hisuitei has an artbook called “Memory of Jade”, lol)
Next we have Ruri, the manager of “Ittokikan” as well as a classmate of Shou. It is shown in the beginning scenes that Ruri is the unfortunate victim of various perverted jokes that Shou and his friends might play, but is still relatively trusting of Shou for his proactive actions and great empathy.
However, she still refuses to let Shou live in the dorm, because of her past where she was almost raped by her older brother. This event caused such a trauma that she refuses to meet her older brother, and her parents rubbed salt on the wound by making it as if such events never happened.
This forces the poor girl to hate her family and leave her household to live a commoner’s life and run a dorm for girls who share similar feelings as her. Shou’s arrival doesn’t really help her memories, and despite having a positive impression on our protagonist, Ruri refuses his entrance.
However, with the help of Hisui, who says she’ll also leave along with Shou if he’s kicked out, Shou makes a final compromise and challenge Ruri to any form of contest, so he can prove that he is “reliable”. Ruri naturally challenges him to a swimming match, of which Shou does not have any chances of winning. However, various elements will assist him in the way, and everything works out in the end.
After the swimming match, Ruri becomes so attached to the protagonist that she’ll refer to her former classmate as “Oni-sama”, and offer her utmost respect to the protagonist.
Third we have our older-sister character, whose name is Kohaku. Despite being beautiful and admired by various males all over school, this apparently “cool” character is actually extremely easy to manipulate, often being tricked into doing things with a single provocative phrase. This makes her friend Yuki, as well as Shou himself rather worried that she’ll be caught into doing something she doesn’t want to do in the future.
As the oldest member in the Ittokikan, Kohaku becomes the “older sister” for everyone else, and readily accepts Shou as her “younger brother”
Ironically, Kohaku herself hates her biological younger brother. This is because she believes that it is her younger brother’s very presence that made her relationship with her parents bad, and lead her to being alone in this dorm. This is why as she realized Shou’s reliability, she soon becomes attracted to this underclassman, who crushed her paradigm about a “younger brother”.
Kohaku’s affection for Shou really explodes during one of the events when Kohaku becomes severely ill. Getting out of bed trying to get some water, Kohaku falls to the floor and realizes that it’s very lonely without someone nearby, and faints while wishing to see Shou. Naturally, the next scene involves Shou “magically” (no, not really) appearing and taking care of Kohaku until she gets better.
Last is Kaho (she’s the girl on the left). A quiet and reserved girl, Kaho’s first interaction with Shou involved her rushing out of her room after a spider crawls on her back. She dives into Shou’s arms in that scene, where Hisui immediately takes the spider and releases it out into the lawn.
Kaho also readily accepts Shou as one of their “family” members due to the fact that Shou always tries to help her around. One of the prime examples was a time when Kaho has a certain secret that Shou realizes, and is determined to figure out no matter what. After such an event (which was in my mind, pretty trivial), Kaho starts to trust Shou more and more until she soon feels affection for him.
However, Kaho’s past is then slowly revealed, which (with the help of Akane, who is on the right and is Kaho’s friend) explains Kaho’s current personality and her relationship with her brother. Shou tries multiple ways to “restore” Kaho’s emotional scars, and may have to rely upon an extreme tactic to do so.
Sorry guys…. Hotaru is NOT a heroine. She’s paired up with Ruri though! :D
Sexual Content: Moderate
Comments: A lot of what I like to call “burst humor”, this is an uncommon trait in visual novels, and I use it to define jokes or humor that make the reader laugh (out loud) spontaneously, but has really no effect on the story, nor does it leave an impression. As an example for this game, I found myself laughing at several places, but that didn’t really last long, nor do I remember why I laughed. This makes a game seem rather shallow, and slightly half-assed at times.
Other than that, I appreciate that despite Shou being active and often taking the initiative, he cowers when it comes to “breaking the bond of a family” with the respective heroine. While this “cowardice” may seem like a negative trait, his past with “family” allowed this hesitance to become part of his personality, and made him seem much more realistic (as in, someone from a real life situation).
Characters clamoring over Shou was very enjoyable, especially because Shou would often return the affection with a donkan response. The game explicitly states that his “gentleman-ness” is often unnecessary, as Shou explains that he will properly escort a female classmate home if she misses the last subway, despite the common knowledge that if this does happen, the female classmate would first call a relative or a friend instead (This implies that the girl would want to spend time with him, and Shou can’t realize that).
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! I WANT TO GROPE TOO
Affection for the Characters: Moderate
CG Quality: Low-ish
Music Quality: Moderate
Conclusion: My first Rosebleu game that left a generally good impression. Although it could be better, I now see why some of my friends favor titles created by this company, and will definitely follow up with their more older titles and keep an eye on future releases.
and the easy-to-manipulate Kohaku-oneechan