Title: My Girlfriend's Special Place
Developer: Feng, Sekai Project
Release Date: March 13, 2023
Reviewed On: PC
Publisher: Sekai Project
Genre: Visual Novel
My Girlfriend’s Special Place is the first of the multiple Feng visual novels Sekai Project got the rights to bring west. This title is part of a trilogy called Seiiki in Japan, which they translated as “special place.” The idea of each game is to present a single route rather than a single game with multiple choices.
For My Girlfriend’s Special Place, our heroine is Fuyuka Akiyoshi, whose voice actress is Sora Haruka (Reina Kisaki in Kinkoi). The protagonist, Youhei, meets her on the train, but the circumstances aren’t the best. Because of his distraction, he falters and grabs Fuyuka’s ass, which makes her call him a molester.
It wasn’t intentional, but it’d be hard to prove. As such, Youhei decides to obey Fuyuka’s whims, and the girl dares to tell him to be her butler. This situation gives birth to a complicated, messy relationship between those two, but there’s another factor: they’re childhood friends.
When they were kids, Youhei and Fuyuka played together at a time, and the boy even has a photo they took at an arcade in Akihabara. As we learn more about how they felt in the past and their current feelings, we see how their insecurities and miscommunications build up unnecessary walls between them.
The game also introduces the characters who will be the main focus of the upcoming volumes. All of them are cute and enjoyable though a little generic, from the young sister who loves Youhei too much to the older sister who’s a respectable teacher at school and a slacker at home. The most unique of the group is his classmate Maika, an Akiba nerd playing around with her personality traits and occasionally saying Russian words.
When it comes to Fuyuka herself, what the game tries to sell as her unique traits revolves around the idea of appearances. As someone used to haughtiness, she can’t allow herself to look frail. Her pride makes her a conflicted character giving the protagonist mixed signs about her true feelings and not being honest about her true desires most of the time.
As the game alternates between Youhei’s and Fuyuka’s perspectives, we see how unnecessarily complicated their relationship gets. It’s the kind of couple everyone around them would be able to see how they feel for each other by spending some time with them, but they’d still try to hide it and feel awkward about it.
Unfortunately, My Girlfriend’s Special Place is strictly the usual fare for a romance VN. It sticks too close to predictable tropes and never deviates from the basics. As a result, readers already used to this kind of story are likely to feel unenthusiastic unless they love any stories about childhood friends who grew apart and ojousamas trying to keep up appearances.
I’d personally suggest avoiding the all-ages edition if you can. Not only are the sex scenes essential to the overall experience as expected, but the cuts are too abrupt. As a result, the unpatched Steam version feels completely broken at times.
Visually, the character designs by Ryouka are appealing, with a simple outline that makes the girls look cute and refreshing. Fuyuka has multiple attires, including a waitress costume, school uniform, and winter clothes.
All CGs are dedicated to Fuyuka or include her in some way. Also, one of the supporting characters, a girl that goes by the name of Clerk-chan, doesn’t even have a sprite though she shows up from time to time to give Youhei advice.
My Girlfriend’s Special Place is a rather run-of-the-mill, predictable romantic story. Even so, it’s a short story worth a read if you only want a light experience. Considering the format, I imagine the upcoming volumes, Imouto no Seiiki and Gakkou no Seiiki, which Sekai Project has already announced, are similarly comfy products.
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