Tsuki ni Yorisou Otome no Sahou Review

Hello! Last week has been a hectic week for me. Writing the server for a college project, some other assignments, learning stuffs, and of course, reading Tsuriotsu. And finally, I finished it (except for one route). This one is an obvious charage, though with an interesting take on trap protagonist, fashion designer, and modern pseudo-realistic ojou-sama setting. It is actually my first Navel’s VN and also my second minefield run other than Grisaia no Kajitsu. And so, here is my thought on Tsuki ni Yorisou Otome no Sahou 🙂

Release Date : 2012-10-26
Developer : Navel
English Availability : None Available

Summary

Navel tenth anniversary project. The art is done by Nishimata Aoi and Suzuhira Hiro is back. Multiple writers including Ou Jackson.

Coming from a prestigious family, that didnt want him, in the financial world, Yuusei had been home-schooled strictly and sheltered all his life. Even though he excelled at everything, it was his dream to live a life of a commoner. One day his chance came and he changed his identity to Asahi and entered Fairy Girl’s School, which specializes in female fashion for the rich. As part of his plan, he became the maid of his classmate Runa and worked at her home Sakura-yashiki. Also living there were a proud exchange student from Switzerland, Ursule, a Yamato Nadeshiko, Mizuho, and his childhood Minato, who had feelings for him and was also the only one who knew his true identity. With her help, will he be able to manage his double life in the school and his new home?

Source: Again, shamelessy taken from VNDB

Characters

No, she is not a heroine. In fact, she is a he. Yuusei Ookura (cover name Asahi Kokura) is your usual kind protagonist. But more than anything else, he is also a trap protagonist who is surpringly a competent and professional maid. He is capable and reliable at most things, except fashion design. Coupled with his cute face, he is very popular in the house and well-liked amongst his co-maids. He is usually composed enough to make him a professional maid, but is easiy flustered, which makes him an easy target for Luna to tease. Now, if only the game focuses more on his positive side. As competent as he is, his esteem is too low for my taste. I’m often reminded that he has no talent in fashion design which is why he is abandoned by his elder brother. That in turn forms his low confidence. This is magnified greatly since he is surrounded by people who are talented and hard-working in fashion design. He has potential to become a badass character, but he isn’t because the game decided that the meat of the story is in fashion design :/ He is a great maid, but this is no Hayate no Gotoku.

Another wasted potential on him is his background story. If I have to say so myself, the prologue story is one of the best part in the game. It is very well-written and has massive potential to develop into something. Unfortunately, the writer(s?) somehow forget about it. It might as well never be there and you will understand the story just fine. At least, let him remember fondly about his mother god-dang-it. She is not even mentioned again after the prologue.

Luna Sakurakouji is an ojou-sama who hires Asahi(Yuusei) as her new maid. She is an albino, so her appearance suggests that she is truly one (animesque of course). Because of her condition, she is a bit sickly and hates to be exposed to the sunglight. She comes from a ruined noble family, but her wealth comes from her own effort. She trades stocks. Now she wants to rest a bit from financial world and rekindles her hobby, fashion design. You might have guessed it from stock trading alone, she is a genius. Everything she does, she wants to be the best at it and she almost always is. She can be demanding to others sometimes when she does, but she is still a kind girl at heart. She is always considerate of her friends and her maids. She is not always a serious person though, she really loves teasing Yuusei and Yushe. Also, she is an avid online gamer and is the leader of a guild, from which she became friends with the protagonist’s sister.

Her route is without a doubt the most polished one in this game. First of all, the romance really shows on this one. It has a bit of yuri-like relationship because of obvious reason and the chemistry between Yuusei and Luna is awesomely done, what with her dominant personality but still shows a dere-dere side. The conflict in this route is also well-done, especially since the protagonist really shows his effort. His elder brother also has much more roles than others on this one, which is a plus.

Minato Yanagase is the childhood friend of Yuusei, they live together for sometimes during her stay in Tokyo when she was still a child. Like any good childhood friend, she is in love with him and she is really blunt that she is (during the times she doesn’t know Asahi’s real identity yet). Even the very reason that she comes to Tokyo, enrolls in a design school, and becomes more feminine is because of him. An idol in her hometown, She is an active, outgoing, and friendly person, the genki character. She is a naturally athletic person, given since she grows up surrounded by nature. She is also the only one who knows about Asahi’s real identity.

Her route has a good amount of icha icha moment and arguably has the best aftermath. Really, the couple growth just shines in the aftermath, though it might be a bit too convenient for good things to just happen again and again. Before the aftermath though… :v

Mizuho Hananomiya is the resident Yamato Nadeshiko. Kind, check. Soft-spoken, check. Coming from a noble ancient Japanese family, check. Is infatuated with anything idol-related, chec… oh wait. One thing for sure, she really loves idol. She even admits that she is a hardcore fan of AKB-48, owning numerous CDs, records, posters, etc2. That’s why she tries to mold her traditional upbringing and idol hobby into her fashion design. She is really good at fashion design and even better than Luna when she has the inspiration. She has bad experiences with men since she is young, forming her hatred towards one, which is just kinda ironic that she grows attached to Asahi(Yuusei).

Her route is the most predictable one. You can even know about it just by reading her character. I cannot say much since her route is pretty normal except one big overdramatized drama at latter half. It also has the least amount of rabu rabu scenes, which is just sad. Her hatred towards men (implying Yuusei) makes a potential chemistry. But rather than interacting with Yuusei and slowly grows out of it, she simply just avoids him entirely, then suddenly realizes that she is okay with him, then back to him like normal.

Ursule Fleur Jeanmarie, also known by her nickname Yushe, is the tsundere. She is a prideful ojou-sama coming from Europe to enroll in the design school. A self-proclaimed rival of Luna, she challenges Luna in many things from fashion design, wealth, born-country, beauty, and even boobs. After seeing the talent of Yuusei as a maid and patterner, she always tries to convince him to leave Luna and comes with her back to her country after the graduation.

Her route opens up with a downer. The story is fine, but the deconstruction of Yushe’s character is just too much for me to bear. Then, a wild drama appears. I drop it. Not gonna finish it anytime sooner, so I can’t say much about it.

If anything, the side characters prove to be more interesting and colorful than the heroines for me (other than Luna), especially the maids.

Nanami Nanai is the maid of Minato. She is in love with Minato and always thinks of her as the most wonderful person in the world. She hates and is jealous of Yuusei Ookura, the love of her master, and Asahi Kokura, the affection of her master. She doesn’t hesitate to tell Asahi(Yuusei) her dislike and antagonizes him in every available opportunity. She elicits an awesome reaction when she learns that both of them are the same person in Minato’s route 😀

Sugimura Hokuto is the maid of Mizuho. In contrast with Yuusei, she is a woman but disguises herself as a man to make Mizuho get used to one. She descends from Indian tribe. Not only her casual dress makes her looks like an Indian gone astray, when she gets excited, she goes Indianese (I don’t know the right word for it, just imagine when an Indian shouts a battle-cry). She also has a myriad wisdom of Indian tribe and likes to advise others based on that. She is always in conflict with Yushe’s maid because she thinks of him as a humiliation. Her weapon of choice is Tomahawk.

Sasha Bucquet Janequin is the maid of Yushe. Like Yuusei, he is a trap. Unlike him, everyone knows about it. He is allowed in the design school because she is legally a woman in her country. A narcissist to the core, he thinks of himself as the most beautiful person in the world. Ignoring his eccentricity, he is perhaps the most level-headed and understanding person in this game. His weapon of choice is Rapier.

Then, we have Risona Ookura. She is the younger sister of Yuusei and a frank bro-con. She is the one who recommends him to Luna, but regrets it when he never comes home. Like Yuusei, she is afraid of Aeon, their eldest brother.

The last and the second best character in the game after Luna is Aeon Ookura, Yuusei’s elder brother. He is a successful fashion designer and is entrusted to be the headmaster of the design school Luna enrolls to. A charismatic person, he appears to be a very charming and is capable to sway the public just by his words alone. In private though, he regards everyone around him based on talent. He believes that talent is the most powerful thing in the world and anyone who has it has the responsibility to the world to utilize it as best as they can. Other people are beneath his eyes, even if they are his own family.

Favorite Heroine:
Luna > Everyone Else

Story

As with most of others of its kind (charage), this VN follows a pretty standard procedure of a common route, branched into each character’s route. No true route nor complicated playing order. The choices are dispersed in the common route, but it’s pretty obvious which you should choose to go for a heroine. But me? I always use walkthrough 😀

The common route can be divided into two parts, the prologue and the common route itself. The prologue tells us about the main character, Yuusei Ookura, and the tragedy that is his life. Being an unwanted child in a prestigious family, his childhood life is not dandy, flowery, or even a tiny bit normal. The scenes in the prologue are also very well-written that it really helps to make me feel genuinely pity and care for him.

The second (and longer) part of the common route spends on the daily life of Yuusei Ookura as he disguises himself as a woman. After the prologue, we have a roller-coaster of scenes to introduce the setting and characters. Long story short, Yuusei wants to go to a design school that is only for women. Since that school requires student to come with a personal maid, he goes to work as the maid (with woman disguise) for a new student in that school, Luna Sakurakouji. It turns out that the house he serves also houses other three new students. Unsurprisingly, all of them are captureable heroine, including Luna herself.22

The common route turns the drama-tragedy tone of the early part of the game into a comedic slice-of-life. Until the summer vacation, Asahi (Yuusei’s cover-up name) interacts with the heroines at school and at home, unwittingly charms them with his kind and actually capable character. The conversations are actually interesting as Yuusei gets to know each characters, the humor is well-done, and the characters are expressive enough to be interesting. Though sometimes it gets too harem-like.

But my actual reason for reading this VN in the first place is not because of Navel, art, characters, or anything, but because the main character here is a trap protagonist 😀 It doesn’t disappoint. The game seemingly always tries to remind Yuusei, “Hey, don’t forget that you are a man”, in every possible opportunity. Like what moody-eyes always said, constant vigilance. The great part (for me) is that the trap setting doesn’t rely on ecchi and moe-blob too much. It has a few here and there to provide a comedic value, but not many enough to be overwhelming. In fact, it sometimes plays a heavy role in individual route where unmasking his identity proves to be an interesting conflict that Yuusei has to overcome in order to be with the heroine. Though this doesn’t apply to Minato since she knows about him.

What makes this VN unique is its approach on the ojou-sama setting. It combines the archaic feeling of the ojou-sama story with a more modern setting. I easily relate to the characters because they are still closely related with the modern world. For example, Luna herself is an online gamer, Mizuho loves AKB-48, and others. Also, outside the house and the maids, the outside worlds seems like your everyday city and school. It results in a more believable than usual ojou-sama setting.

A theme that consistently stays in all routes is the fashion designer theme. The main character and most heroines thrive upon the road of the designer. They go to a design school. x design contest often becomes the center plot of the story. What makes Yuusei degenerates into trap protagonist is also because his drive to become a better designer. So expect a great amount of design theme in this VN. If you are somewhat interested in the same thing, then this VN might be a godsend. Not to me though. Thing is, sometimes the game relies on your art sentimentality to make you care for the characters, which I cannot bring myself to care about. There are also design jargons here and there, such as patterning, but there is an encylopedia for that. Thankfully, as I progress through the story, the plot concentrates more on the drive itself than the fashion. That I can relate to.

The complaint I have on Tsuriotsu is the pace becomes too fast at one point one way or another after the story enters into the individual route. A great charage in my eyes is one where we slowly enjoy the interaction between the main character and the heroine he pursues, filled with memorable boy-girl moments. This will make me truly care for the couple and, when the conflict finally slowly approaches, roots for them. Instead, sometimes conflict appears too abruptly for my taste. It suddenly shows up out of nowhere in the middle of romance.

Also, outside of Luna’s route, I find that Yuusei doesn’t try to resolute the problem actively enough. But that’s more because of the writer introduces problems that is out of his capable reach. In the end, most of the times, either he only becomes a comfort pillow or the problem somehow resolves themselves.

Favorite Route:
Luna > Minato > Mizuho > Yushe

Conclusion

If I sum this up, I’d have to say this VN has many wasted potential. While Luna’s route proves to be a good one, I can’t say much with others. Also, not enough badass moments 😦 I should stop treating every trap game like Aegis, haha. But then again, the common route is actually a good light read and the setting is well-designed that it makes for a much more believable setting than most ojou-sama stories out there. You will even appreciate it more if you are interested in fashion design world.

The Special Things:
– Trap Protagonist in modern ojou-sama setting
– Emphasize in fashion design
– Interesting side characters

Route Finished: All except Yushe
My Verdict: Okay

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