Foreword: So with the White Album 2 series gaining popularity like mad, I had the greatest idea: if WA2 was that good, why don’t I look up if there’s any other titles that the scenario writers had?
Jokes aside, that’s how I found this title, DameKoi. Written by the same scenario writers for WA2 and the Parfait Series, as well as the Aozora Yakusoku title (not surprisingly, all four of these titles received “the Best Game” labels on Getchu), this title was also very good, and I SOMEHOW managed to finish the entire game within 2 days. It was seriously THAT good. Now I’m contemplating other games by its producer, Hermit, but meh…
…Gotta study OTL;
Title: 世界でいちばんNG（だめ）な恋 (Sekai de ichiban dame na koi) [Lit.Trans: The world’s worst love]
Release Date: November 22, 2007
VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v415
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=485446
Game Type: Slice of Life romance novel with the concept of social taboos.
Summary: Yoshimura Osamu is a very unlucky man. With his wife that left him two years ago for an unknown reason and him being laid off due to corporate downsizing, he now doesn’t know what to do with his life.
Finding no meaning, all he does after he hears that announcement is head to the bar to drink. As he stumbles out into the cold frigid weather afterwards and lies down hoping to simply die, something hot touches his face. He looks up to find a beautiful woman smiling at him with a canned coffee in her hand.
This woman, who introduces herself as Hinosaka Honoka, consoles him even during his misfortune, and tells him to come visit her at where she lived. Osamu falls for her kindness and beauty, and in three months, make preparations to propose to this young woman who he fell in love at first sight.
Turns out, Honoka’s home (or rather an apartment) is a battered, old inn and Honoka herself is not there. Instead, Osamu meets a younger girl in her teens that he somehow manages to insult and get slapped. After some information gathering, Osamu learns that Honoka has ran off somewhere with another man, leaving the daughter (the girl who slapped him a few minutes ago) to take care of an inn and its property.
He finds it in himself to feel sympathy for the girl who seems to only get 4 hours of sleep a day, and offers his help. However, the girl insults him instead, calling him “Mr. Laid Off” (or in Japanese, Risutora) and claiming that she doesn’t need his help. Despite this, she is in critical danger of paying the property’s bills this month (which Osamu learns of later), before Osamu leaves after spending the night at the inn.
Despite this rejection, Osamu decides to force himself within this apartment. Despite the fact that it’s old and battered, its residents are friendly, and he also thinks that taking care of this girl would bring back some of his motivation to live…
Story Length: Slightly short (15 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Moderate
Comments: It seems that the paths are pretty straightforward to Mitoko’s route, but it gives the reader a chance to “diverge” into a different heroine’s route provided he meets all the requirements.
The difficult part of this game is finding the omake stories which involve a harem H-scene. For that, you may need to use a walkthrough like I did.
Note: 5000￥ is about 50 USD, and Osamu is very poor… :x
Character Design Rating: 8/10
Story Rating: 10/10
Game Quality: Low
Overall Rating: 9/10
Rating Comments: Nearly perfect story that placed great emphasis on even the smallest details. Each route’s scenario was very carefully written and had a quality that is nearly good as White Album 2’s scenario (they’re the same writers, so…). Plenty of drama and character interaction, this story did not contain any “unreal” elements like a character randomly falling in love with the protagonist for no reason. I correctly label this game as a slice of life, since you CAN be a hetare (coward) like Osamu, yet have girls falling for you.
Artwork can be better, but hey what am I to complain? It’s from 2007!
Other than that, character design was very well done, with consistent personalities that was present even if the character wasn’t the target heroine. I sincerely appreciated that both Kaya and Himeo were active in the last route between Asami and Mitoko.
First starting off with Mitoko, her name is easy in Japanese, but kinda annoying to spell in English (because of a more common name, Mikoto). First seen as hard-headed and stubborn, she has enough authority and pressure to make even grown men (like Osamu) cower at her feet. From a very young age, she has been exposed to difficult labor, but found herself simply “dealing” with all of it, which includes three of the tenants not paying their rent and her having to work two part time jobs each day to make ends meet.
With the starting of school, she finds herself even more under pressure, and this is where Osamu comes in and promises to support her financially so she doesn’t have to work part time jobs and focus on her schoolwork. Mitoko doesn’t expect much from this stranger, but as she sees how hard he tries in his job or how sympathetic he is, she soon falls in love with someone who is 10 years older than her.
Within her route, much of the taboo arises, where both Mitoko and Osamu finds it very difficult to become affectionate for each other despite their true feelings; others, including the heroines or the sub-characters will not accept such a relationship, and most of the route involves Osamu’s indecisiveness and Mitoko’s crisis as she reaches graduation.
Next is Asami, Mitoko’s homeroom teacher. Very beautiful and the adoration of many of the male students, Osamu comes across this character when Asami sends home a parent-conference letter and Osamu returns it without the knowledge of Mitoko. This is because if the homeroom teacher learned about Mitoko’s daily activities with part time jobs or running an inn without a guardian, she will be referred to the disciplinary committee.
Unknown to Osamu is that Asami is very concerned for the well-being of Mitoko, who seems to be her “problem student”, that she tries everything in her abilities to tame.
It turns out, that Osamu already knows this woman from some place… Where could they have met…?
But nonetheless, being the worrysome guardian that he already is, Osamu relies on this woman very frequently for the status of Mitoko (who also finds this fact unpleasant for some reason). But with Asami’s help, perhaps Osamu can send Mitoko to a very prestigious college…
Third is Kaya, a strange character who doesn’t seem to play much of a role in this series.
Despite this, this character and her route is still designed better than about 90% of the “heroine characters” out there, and involves a love triangle with Mitoko.
Originally a coworker who found no interest in our protagonist, her feeling slowly escalates as she sees the diligence in Osamu (like Mitoko), and her emotions explode when she gets a feel for how powerful this protagonist can be, despite the fact he seems to always apologize for things.
Because of this emotion, Kaya approaches Osamu very brazenly with various sexually appealing acts. Osamu, being the responsible protagonist, tries his best to ignore these advances, but gives in to them after seeing himself how serious this coworker is for him, despite his lack of self-esteem.
Last heroine is Himeo. With a seemingly-haughty personality and her protected background, the game introduces her as a college student who is studying to take over her father’s large company when he retires. Originally, her approach to Osamu involves her trying to convince him to leave his current apartment, since she wanted to buy the land for some reason which she refuses to tell the protagonist.
Osamu’s first REAL interaction with this girl involves an event when Himeo mutters “You might want to think again”, when Osamu is accepted a job for the second time. Curious to what she meant by this, Osamu digs deeper into her word’s meaning, and realizes that the company he’s currently working for is slowly going bankrupt.
In addition to this, Osamu realizes that his new boss would soon become Himeo herself, who hires him in an effort to learn more about him. As with any other storyline that involves the heroine actively interacting with the protagonist, Himeo herself learns various things about Mitoko from Osamu, and ends up falling in love with him as well.
Osamu soon learns that despite seeming to have a “two-faced” personality, Himeo cares deeply for Mitoko, and this dedication moves the protagonist to recognize this heroine’s good traits.
Sexual Content: Low
This is actually a CG that’s repeated over and over again throughout the story. Kinda makes me feel sympathetic for Osamu for being slapped around so much… >_>;
Comments: As described above, the game has the same scenario writers as WA2, which got my hopes up for the title, and sure enough; my expectations were met with a very nice and heartwarming story. Subcharacters add to the affection created for the characters, and many of them play an important role.
In terms of comedy, there are lots of it. Some may be lightly mixed with a dramatic scene (and thus having a strange and unwanted mix-mash), but most of it is high quality and even contains various censored real-life references (such as Mario Kart).
This is actually a very funny and heartwarming scene that shows the affection of both Asami and Mitoko for Osamu; they argue about how worthless Osamu can be, but finally snaps and yells that what they said was “too much”.
In addition, I appreciate that Osamu may be a coward in many cases, but he becomes a very resourceful and proactive protagonist on rare occasions. Because of this trait, the four heroines end up falling in love with him, and it’s even implied that even after his lay-off from his first employment, his meeting with Honoka may have not been a simple coincidence.
Even after the completion of each route, there are two extra routes for Himeo and Mitoko. The former being an extra H-scene involving Himeo as well as Mitoko, but the latter is the final conclusion to the entire Mitoko route, and leaves the reader with a satisfied feeling that makes the game receive an even better score. (For the record, you’ll need to complete all the other heroine’s routes before you get to this final route)
Affection for the Characters: Extremely High
CG Quality: Moderately Low. Despite my rating for this category, I found that with the affection for characters being very high, I wasn’t skipping the H-scenes too much. That actually means something.
Music Quality: Slightly Low. Not the best music, but has a nice tune that compliments most of the scenes presented.
Kaya’s “second” pajamas. If you read the story, you’ll know what I mean.
Addictiveness: High. FINALLY, we have a game that’s actually worth coming back to. The right balance of humor and drama as well as the high-quality plot make this game definitely worth saving for another time.
Conclusion: You can take my word for it that this is a nice game. If you’re like me and want a game with clear-cut story elements that all connect into a plot with good flow, this is the game for you. This is not your average chara-ge or nukige, so don’t expect any of that. If you knew how to choose Visual Novels, this should be on your list to play, even if you’re not a big fan of slice of life dramas.
Most of the endings are happy endings too :)