Title: Majikoi! Love Me Seriously!
Developer: Minato Soft
Release Date: December 25, 2020
Reviewed On: PC
Publisher: JAST USA
To be blunt, eroge is seen by many as a genre that is primarily used to fuel lust, and not much more. While there are undeniably a fair amount of titles that rightfully fall under that category, Majikoi! Love Me Seriously! shows that the genre can be so much more than a cash grab sexualization by utilizing its admittedly bland premise to create an unparalleled visual novel experience.
Majikoi stars the protagonist Yamato, a student at Kawakami High School in Kawakami City. He is a rather intelligent and social young man, whose ultimate goal is to become the Prime Minister of Japan. He is also the head strategist of the Kazama Family, a group of friends who have been with each other since childhood, with the exception of 2 newcomers. The group attends school together and have a base where they all hang out and converse.
Yamato is a fairly unique protagonist. While he is certainly very sexual, he rarely lets it go to his head and dishes out an equal measure of funny antics and needed criticism. He is also neither too cold-hearted nor too nice, as he rides that line between. Honestly a breath of fresh air for the protags I’m used to for these titles.
Majikoi begins with a lengthy common route that introduces the setting of Kawakami City and its colorful, eccentric cast. The common route does a fantastic job of showing players the setting’s utterly bizarre nature through the consistently chaotic characters and generally haywire events that unfold. Once the common route concludes, the game opens up a bit by allowing you to choose who you want Yamato to hang out with.
You can choose to hang out with any of the main girls, which will ultimately land you upon their route, or you can hang out with some of Yamato’s male friends from the Kazama Family. There are also a few side heroines you can go for down the line. Going home and not hanging out with anyone is also an option, but that does not lead to anything special aside from a rather humorous joke ending if chosen almost exclusively.
During the narrative, there is a must-play plot-heavy story route that becomes available once you complete the 5 main girls’ routes. And not to spoil anything but trust me, you will want to play that final route.
The 5 main girls are Momoyo, Chris, Kazuko, Yukie, and Miyako, who are all members of the Kazama Family. While they all don’t get equal amounts of the limelight in the common route, there is far more than enough done with each of them to show players the types of characters these girls are, and their routes, of course, flesh them out significantly.
To be completely honest, I found myself legitimately invested with each route and did not dislike any of them, which, at least for me, is rather rare for an eroge. They all focused on the girls’ plights, motivations, and how they ultimately overcame those barriers. Miyako’s route, in particular, shocked me. Her character archetype is usually one I tend to dislike, but her route capitalizes on her faults superbly. There is only so much I can say about the routes but, there were several times where my emotional investment really got the better of me during certain points.
Once a girl’s route has been completed, you are awarded their after-story, which acts as an epilogue for the routes. These after stories are usually filled to the brim with h-scenes, which makes sense since, with some exceptions, the actual game doesn’t contain too many h-scenes. Unfortunately, however, Chris is the only one of the 5 main girls who does not get her own after story. I can think of a few reasons why, but it still disappointed me a good deal.
The writing in Majikoi is borderline masterful. It perfectly meshes crude, lewd humor and legitimately wholesome, character-driven moments that coalesce to create an intensely exciting package. You should avoid playing if you find yourself turned off by crude humor, but this is an eroge, so you should know what to expect. What makes this humor so damn funny comes from the dichotomy of the blase and high-strung characters constantly losing their shit. The title is never ashamed of itself and goes full-on in with its nasty humor. It is rare for me to openly laugh out loud at an eroge, but this title accomplished that feat countless times.
There really isn’t too much to say other than what you can see in regards to visuals. Majikoi has a fairly typical and casual art style, but that is far from a detriment. The art style’s typicality allows its comfy nature to really settle in with the player, without it feeling too abstract or unexpected. The main girls all have quite attractive designs which the CGs amplify, and the uncensored h-scenes will certainly excite some players.
Majikoi has this truly individualistic charm that shines through from its addicting events and an astounding cast of dynamic characters. The world of Kawakami City felt refreshing, and the Kazama Family’s base felt homely. The slice-of-life nature of this title’s preambles does a perfect job of making you attached to the bizarre normalcy of Kawakami City, and it only makes the actual bouts of character-driven conflict all the more satisfying to see through to the end.
One small feature of this title that I came to sincerely appreciate was its skits. When closing the game window, you are always greeted with a very brief interaction with some of the characters, and occasionally with a character speaking directly to the player. These skits never came off as a needless annoyance due to how often they relished in their own brevity. They just served to further add to the growing list of character-driven charms this title provided.
The soundtrack for Majikoi caught me by surprise. While not every track stood out to me, a decent chunk of them were catchy and perfectly captured the ambiance of the events they were inputted for. The tracks used for the battles were especially hype inducing. The soundtrack is by no means a highlight, but its competence was an unexpected boon to the already enjoyable experience.
As much fun as I had with this title, though, there are a handful of technical annoyances that reared their ugly head every now and then. Firstly, while the localization job here was superb, I did encounter a few slight grammatical oddities. Nothing to lose sleep over, but they were there, as slight as they were. Additionally, my cursor was consistently laggy without fail, which annoyed me initially, but I got used to it. Some players may find the laggy cursor to be more of an active annoyance, however. There are two more pressing issues too, those being sprites occasionally randomly cutting out, and music sometimes stopping entirely if clicking and re-entering the window. Both of these issues were pretty uncommon for me, but they did happen and served to ruin some tension-filled moments.
Majikoi! Love Me Seriously! is, undoubtedly, at the peak of the genre. While it subdues its h-content to tell a story, it has a truly captivating world and cast that enraptures you with their mix of humorous shenanigans and actual conflict. It is also quite a lengthy experience, taking me roughly around 45-50 hours to complete. If you are craving an immersive visual novel experience capped with charm, humor, and intense character-driven plights, then this is a must-play.
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