Title: The Most Forbidden Love in the World
Release Date: May 16, 2019
Reviewed On: PC
Genre: Visual Novel
Sometimes, knowing the premise of a visual novel leaves you with a mild idea of what you’re getting yourself into. However, more times then not, I’ve found that the premise description of a visual novel rarely does it justice. That’s what I discovered with the Hermit developed romance visual novel from MangaGamer, The Most Forbidden Love in the World. Sure, there are moments you’d expect, but was I expecting to cry while reading this? No, I wasn’t.
The Most Forbidden Love in the World begins with a dark opening. The main protagonist Osamu Yoshimura has fallen on some hard times and can’t see himself living in this world anymore. Totally prepared to end it all, he is seconds away from suicide when a soft voice pulls him from this dark place. A woman named Honoka invites him to spend some time with her and they become friends. After three months of friendship, Osamu decides it’s time to confess his feelings for her. While they only met a small number of times, he does know that she manages a rental complex called Terrace House Hinosaka. However, when he arrives he’s not greeted by Honoka, instead, he’s met by her daughter Mitoko.
Evidently, Honoka met a man and ran away with him, leaving her young daughter to fend for herself. After some explanation, Mitoko is aware of why Osamu is there and isn’t amused. From here, the story goes to some personal places as Osamu aims to find a job and help Mitoko in any way he can. It’s interesting to see how the story balances the fact that Mitoko was straight up left by her mom and it doesn’t gloss over this point at all. This is something that Mitoko deals with daily as she struggles to let people know how she truly feels. Being as young as she is, Mitoko is constantly trying to be strong in front of others and it weighs down on her visibly throughout the story.
I’m sure you were expecting this story to go a totally different way, as was I, but things get even more hectic over time. You see, throughout the story, Osamu meets a handful of other female characters: there’s his coworker, Kaya Amahi, there’s the wealthy loud girl who’s scheming, but somehow the most caring character in the story, Himeo Sawashima, and then there’s his ex-wife, Asami Kouno, who just so happens to be Mitoko’s teacher. Over time, all these characters will find their way to Terrace House Hinosaka and their adventure unfolds.
The Most Forbidden Love in the World’s story is by far its biggest strength. This is romance drama through and through and everything you’d expect from the genre is here. However, what makes this a solid visual novel overall is the supporting cast of characters. There are three male residents at Terrace House Hinosaka and they are by far the best supporting cast member that anyone could ask for. They each have their own personality that isn’t a cliche trope and they each have a backstory that is revealed over time. I found that each scene that these three characters were a part of made the event all the better and I couldn’t help but appreciate the time the writers put into them instead of just focusing on the romance. Such as some talks between Mr. Retired and Mitoko that really put feelings into perspective from his own experiences.
With that said, the story does juggle the character’s feelings a bit too much over each route of the game. It feels like Osamu is just leading all of them on until the last chapter of the common route, which is not really his fault because the female characters admit they are trying to court him. There are several times that the characters will confess their feelings, but nothing really comes of it. However, the story never shoehorns sexual moments in. So, if you were looking for a visual novel with straight eroge scenes than this one might not be what you’re looking for. The buildup to the h-scene is long and over that time there are plenty of beautiful overdramatic moments of storytelling that will have you in tears.
Throughout the game, players will make choices that will lock them into a route. Playing through each route can take around 25 hours to complete. What interesting about this story is how every character is voiced, even the main protagonist and brief side characters. I feel like this game spoiled me in that regard as I never really cared if the main protagonist was voiced or not, but then I found that it helped scenes out so well like when Osamu’s voiced cracked or when he was laughing with another character. Similarly, side characters even have illustrations which are rare to see in visual novels. There are plenty of different environments that the story takes the player, but they are all pretty basic locations.
What The Most Forbidden Love in the World does well is that it makes the feelings of the characters feel believable. There are reasons why each of these girls has feelings for Osamu and it goes beyond him being in the right place at the right time. He’s a protagonist who puts his feelings before others which often finds him jobless and exhausted. It’s interesting to see how everything plays out and who Osamu ends up with.
The Most Forbidden Love in the World is a surprisingly romantic visual novel with the drama of a soap opera. These characters find themselves on some pretty hard times, but will always celebrate their small victories along the way. The first half of the story focuses on Osamu finding his bearings, but the second half turns the attention on the relationships he’s made along the way. The game’s only real faults are that it uses the same emotional confession between characters too many time which makes the third time a character says, “I love you” feel less impactful. Also, Osamu can be a little playboyish at times which doesn’t fit his character.
The Most Forbidden Love in the World had me hooked for its 25-hour story across multiple routes. This is a game that focuses primarily on the relationship of characters as it builds up to the conclusion of seeing some H-scenes. If you’re looking for a game that is primarily all about harem parties, this is probably not going to be your cup of tea, but if you’re looking for a romance drama with a great cast of characters including supporting cast and a story that might leave you emotionally vulnerable than this is a great fit.
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