[News] “NTT Solmare Releases a NEW Title from the ‘Shall we date?’ Series! …” (Video from Business Wire)

Solmare‚Äč appears to have pulled out all the stops in its latest English-language release, Sengoku Darling. The paid app boasts of tons of new features (tap-to-move characters, movies for all endings, and read-per-chapter, among others) to rival those already offered by Voltage. And while the latter has offered these for a while now, SD does include some of the more popular characters in Voltage’s Sengoku titles (Sakura Amidst Chaos and its so-called free version, Samurai Love Ballad: PARTY) AND some of the non-playable ones, too! This would be welcome news for Voltage players who have been pining for these characters (especially since Voltage’s SLBP ‘Moon Chapter’ isn’t expected to be released in English till next year).

Check it out on Google Play NOW!

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[News] ‘Love, Lies, and a Heist’ (Cybird)

Cybird’s paid romance VN Love, Lies, and a Heist (in English) is finally out! Teasers for the VN and the main characters have appeared in social media over the past week.

Love, Lies, and a Heist top page (Cybird)

LLAAH is available via Cybird’s new Otome Romance Novels app, which initially came out with the paid version of their hit free-to-play title, Destined to Love, at the end of January.

First Impressions

Otome Romance Novels

I’m so glad Cybird came out with a paid app so I can opt to buy complete stories; not so happy that they cost more than Voltage’s. Also, it seems that the plan is to have ONE app to house their collection of paid VNs (as opposed to individual apps for each title). I’m worried that this could mean a byte-heavy and/or buggy app. It already takes a good while to update and load the ‘mother app’ with only two titles so far, and I’ve had to uninstall/reinstall the app just for my paid story to load as purchased.

LLAAH

The story is set in Laurelia, another kingdom in the MidCin (Midnight Cinderella) universe. The setting is more clearly defined than in MidCin as being the 1920s, and since I love this time period, I’m really looking forward to seeing how they depict this in the VN.

Personally, I like MidCin’s artwork more than LLAAH’s (which is closer to DtL’s), but maybe it’ll grow on me.

Download Cybird’s Otome Romance Novels app on Google Play NOW!

[Review] Your ‚ÄėDangerous Seduction‚Äô by Yasumi Arimura (Main Story)

The MC sees Arimura as ‘the most mysterious and scary’ of her criminal housemates, but also the least likely to make mistakes, so she thinks that he’s the best choice for her bodyguard. Surprisingly, he agrees to ‘babysit’ her, but on the condition that he be allowed to do things his way.

And his way included putting a ‘loss prevention collar’ on her.

[…] Mr. Arimura must be unimaginably brilliant […] but why does he act like that?

~ The MC

Arimura operates solely on the basis of pros and cons, with the ends justifying the means. This is why the MC, who helps others even if it won’t benefit her (and even to the point of peril), baffles him. (Not that this exempts him from being the object of her more colorful vocabulary.)

If I wasn’t being paid to do this, you’d be nothing but dirt to me.

~ Arimura (to the MC)

Everyone acknowledges his brilliance, but his cold personality does not help him get along with the other fugitives either. An argument with Ryuzaki over the latter’s choice of clothing at the time (towel only 😂) results in knives, forks, and SCALPELS flying and embedding themselves mere centimeters from the MC. It is also no small secret that Hino considers him an intellectual rival. 

I just hate getting to know people.

~ Arimura (to the MC)

Surprisingly (not), the two find themselves drawn to each other as they spend practically every waking moment together — in spite of Arimura’s best-laid, loss-prevention-collar plans. An accidental date helps the MC see other sides of Arimura that she finds intriguing — the gentleman who knows his manners, the cutie who loves his carrots a bit too much, and the digital vigilante who cares less about money than he lets on. And it doesn’t hurt that he actually looks really good up close…

(All he’s doing is eating, but he’s like a work of art…)

~ The MC

Meanwhile, Arimura can’t help but be attracted to her openly caring and trusting nature which, seemingly contrary to (his) logic, brings her good fortune in the end and prompts him to share more of himself than he ever intended.

What I think…

The reason I did NOT want to play this guy’s route initially can be summed up in ‘dumbass’ and ‘loss prevention collar’, and the MC expresses my feelings really well:

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BUT!.. But. But. But! His route was definitely way better written than Ryuzaki’s! (That poor guy deserves so much more than got written for him 😭. And the MC ogles him both in his route and here! Hello again, gorgeous pecs!)

There were only a VERY FEW, TINY bothersome bits here and there, like Arimura’s laptop just being EVERYWHERE (a tablet at least would’ve been more believable since he spent more time outside of their secret base than inside) and missing transitions that left some (miniscule!) gaps in the storytelling. There was also a bit of cheesiness with the ‘rainbow after the rain’ theme (and the cactus), but Arimura is so sexy drenched that you can easily forgive this (especially when he smacks you on your behind 😂). The plot twist — while not totally unexpected — was also executed well enough to create the right amount of conflict and suspense. And then there was this:

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Like Ryuzaki in HIS route, Arimura gets to wear a ridiculous non-disguise. (I mean, come on, Hiro from LLFTX could turn into a GIRL from head to toe when needed!) Dangerous Seduction ¬©Voltage, Inc.

What I loved most about this main story, though, was the characters and their development. Again, I will say that I REALLY HATED Arimura after reading his free Chapter 1 preview. (Yes, look at all those levels of formatting emphasis! ‘Dumbass!’ Grrrr.) So, kudos to the Voltage writers responsible for this, because they managed to turn both my and the MC’s hearts around without our even realizing it.

There’s so much more to Arimura than meets the eye, and his back story unfolded so smoothly to explain why he was so distrustful and preferred to work alone. (Ryuzaki’s was so clunky compared to this, I get a headache thinking about it. My poor action hero!) Having brains and being able to use it has never been so sexy as with this particular geek, and at the end of the day, he really is just one heck of a GOOD GUY.

His relationship with the MC also developed so naturally. I loved that they were ‘frenemies’ first and already had a solid enough relationship by the time they realized they wanted to be more than that, which was already at the very end of the route. Man, they were so in sync!

The MC here DEFINITELY had a mouth on her that she wasn’t afraid to use, and she wasn’t TOO goody-goody to ask Arimura to use his hacking skills to get them a taxi, but she was still your good ol’ MC in some ways…

Use your head before you act.

I’m not guarding you to protect you from your own meddling.

~ Arimura (to the MC)

 

You brighten up this house full of thugs.

~ Kentaro Inui (to the MC)

I do have to mention that there are some fairly graphic (for Voltage) scenes in this route, and while I welcome this more realistic feel to their latest apps, such scenes MAY prove a trigger for some. All in all, though, I’ve never been happier to be wrong about a route (playing Itsuki’s in Butler Until Midnight is a close second)!

Start playing Dangerous Seduction now!

Already playing? Did you like Arimura or not?

[First Reaction] DS: ‘Dangerously Hot Holiday’ – Morning with Masaharu, Yasumi, Asuka (Voiced Stories)

I decided to hold off on playing Hino’s MS till I could get my review of Arimura’s out of the way. But. I couldn’t get enough of these bad boys, so I caved and bought the first part (of three) of each released character’s voiced story.

Here’s my FEELS Rating for each story (as induced by voice alone):


#3. Voiced by Yuki Ono. (Smooth.)


#2. Voiced by Taishi Murata. (Sweet!)


#1. Voiced by Natsuki Hanae. (Most expressive.)

It’s the FIRST time I’ve bought a voiced story in any otoge. I don’t even know if others have these voiced stories. (Congrats, Voltage, you really know how to get us worked up enough to spend more and more and more….) These special stories are priced like Voltage’s other special/sub-stories, which I felt was fair enough; they’re rather short, but they’re VOICED (not just illustrated and coded for play).

The stories were cute and made the guys even more endearing than I already think they are, thanks in no small part to the seiyuu! However, I was really bothered by the bad mixing; it was difficult to hear the VAs over the background music — which kind of defeated the whole purpose of the voiced story ūüė≠ (Plus Point: Hino’s story had the most variety of BG music/sound effects, some of which reminded me of the Ikemen Desu Ne OST ūüėė)

Still, I do think it’s a GOOD BUY, especially if you’re the type to feel all fluttery watching/listening to Japanese drama or anime l’originale-style (as Miles Jai noted in¬†‘Sexy Anime Boyz’¬†ūüėā).

Have you bought any of Voltage’s voiced stories? Feel like trying the ones in¬†Dangerous Seduction?

As for me, I’m definitely buying the Evening and Late Night segments of these guys’ voiced stories!

[Review] Your ‘Dangerous Seduction’ by Masaharu Ryuzaki (Main Story)

Masaharu volunteers to be the MC’s main bodyguard, but she’s less than happy about being with the ‘trigger-happy’ fugitive 24/7.

trigger-happy

Is that supposed to make her feel better? Dangerous Seduction ©Voltage, Inc.

And at the beginning, there really is very little reason for the MC to feel good about being guarded by Masaharu, who’s not only crazy good at what he does, but also just plain crazy (it seems). He has a thing for counting down to force people to do what he wants, and he’s not above putting the MC at the wrong end of his gun.

The MC gets absolutely no sympathy from him, even though she is (quite understandably) reeling from finding out the real story behind her father’s death and being threatened with the same fate.

Scary. Total asshole. Uses me as practice. Ask Mr. Inui for help. Asshole.

~ The MC’s notes on Masaharu

She’s at once scared of him, offended by him, and attracted to him, especially since…

his-pecs

Getting hot in here, Dangerous Seduction ©Voltage, Inc.

Eventually, the MC discovers the ‘real’ Masaharu — who holds a gun only to protect those who can’t protect themselves — and the story behind the motto he lives by:

… You gotta be heartless to protect some things.

~ Masaharu

What I think…

I like how the MC started out basically hating this gun-toting stranger who said and did nothing but awful things to her, and not being afraid to fight back. Case in point…

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‘I’m not your friend.’ Dangerous Seduction ¬©Voltage, Inc.

She wasn’t this paragon of virtue, which helped me relate to her better. She judged Masaharu and the other guys as ‘bad’ from day one just because of their background, while trusting everyone else completely, even though she didn’t know the complete story or their actions should’ve told her differently. She was feisty, opinionated, and different from the MCs of old — EXCEPT when it came to food:

Bickering with you made me hungry.

~ The MC (to Masaharu)

Masaharu reminds me of Saizo from Samurai Love Ballad: PARTY in that he is a gun-for-hire with a tragic back story. Both of them go up to the roof to deal with these things, and the MC finds them both beautiful and sad as the moonlight shines on their face.

The lonely assassin, Dangerous Seduction ¬©Voltage, Inc.

I loved how neither Masaharu nor the MC were too quick to fall for a pretty face (or sexy body); they spent most of the route arguing and misunderstanding each other. Masaharu had a complicated past that the MC could not hope to immediately understand or accept, but when they finally fell for each other, it was for the perfect reason — both of them had a good heart.

This is not to say that this route escaped poor writing completely; there are several instances in the story that had too much unnecessary explanation from one of the characters, felt forced for the sake of dramatic effect, or just did not make sense.

Still, if you want lots of action and romance (granted, most of it was towards the very end), with lovely bits of comedy here and there, this route will not disappoint.

Start playing Dangerous Seduction now!

Already playing? Did you like Masaharu or not?

[Overview] Dangerous Seduction (Voltage, Inc.)

In a nutshell

The MC, a newbie freelance journalist following in her late father’s footsteps, nearly¬†fails to even begin her career when she (almost!) gets run over by a car, shot at, and kidnapped!¬†Thankfully,¬†the team of fugitives hired by her father¬†successfully save her life each time.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.voltage.g.yougi.en&hl=en

The Dangerous Seduction crew ©Voltage, Inc.

As if this wasn’t horrible¬†enough, she then finds out that her father had actually been murdered and that the people responsible for it are now after her, too.

Your irises unlock a very important room.

~ The MC’s late father

She is forced to put her trust in this unlikely band of heroes to survive, only to discover that her heart is the one in danger!

The Bad-boy Bodyguards:

[Elite Sniper, Ex-CIA, aka Heartless Jerk]

MASAHARU RYUZAKI (Check out my review!)

screenshot_2017-01-05-17-08-58-291.jpeg

[Anti-social Genius Hacker]

YASUMI ARIMURA (Check out my review!)

screenshot_2017-01-05-17-11-43-276.jpeg

[Flirty Doctor to the Underground]

HARUMA FUJIOKA (To be released after Hino’s. Out now!)

screenshot_2017-01-05-17-14-20-726.jpeg

[Sneaky Spy with a Million Faces]

ASUKA HINO

screenshot_2017-01-05-17-15-25-991.jpeg

[Alpha Leader]

KENTARO INUI (Coming soon! Out now!)

screenshot_2017-01-05-17-17-47-425.jpeg

It took me a while to get on this train because it felt like a mash-up of great games that countless fans felt Voltage shouldn’t have dropped in the first place¬†— My Sweet Bodyguard* x Love Letter From Thief X* x True Love Sweet Lies. *(To be fair, Voltage has given in to calls to revive these titles, at least.) Happily, the stories in DS are grittier and have a more mature feel to them — and this includes the MC!¬†(Good job, Voltage!)

hell-no

‘Don’t matter how hot you are!’¬†Dangerous Seduction¬†¬©Voltage, Inc.

Also, I was really happy that the MC didn’t have to pick who would guard her because this is one of my biggest, longest-running beefs with otoge. In nearly all cases, it is so unnatural for the MC to do this IMO.

All the guys have these (supposedly?) sexy scowls on their faces, but there’s also a lot of comic relief to break the tension in between all that action and romance.

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The Contract, Dangerous Seduction ©Voltage, Inc.

Overall, DS is not much more than an updated version of MSB x LLFTX x TLSL, and I still really wish that Voltage had just kept those titles going. Still, a sassy MC and edgier characters, stories, and artwork are enough for me to take this ride all the way to the end.

Start playing Dangerous Seduction now!

Already playing? What do you think of Voltage’s latest paid app? Which bodyguard-on-the-run¬†is your favorite?

[Overview] Butler Until Midnight (Voltage, Inc.)

In a nutshell

The MC moves to Tokyo to start her dream job with top lifestyle magazine First Lady and unwittingly ends up leasing an apartment that comes with FIVE (hot!) butlers, who were sent by her very rich and powerful estranged father to help her finally become part of his life.

Team Butler:

[Proud, Charismatic, and Ruthless]

YUMA AKAGI

[A Dangerous Gentleman]

AOI SHIRAFUJI

[The Harsh Traditionalist]

TOMOKI MATSUBA

[The Quiet Guy Always at Your Service]

KYO AIZAWA

[The Flirty Genius]

ITSUKI MATSUBA (review)

 

First off, I will say that I have NEVER been a fan of the butler theme. (It’s just me, sorry.) I held out for SO LONG on getting this game.¬†Thankfully, the butlers and their stories were written well enough that I forgot all about their being butlers!

The MC was sweet, brave, compassionate, and determined like every other MC in most of the Voltage/otoge universe, but (again, thankfully) she was not this ditzy, cloying personality like a lot of them are (especially in the older games). She was also smart and outspoken (only in her head part of the time ūüėā), but without being borderline shallow B like the MC in¬†Liar! Uncover the Truth.

All the butlers whose stories I’ve read so far (have only gotten through all the Season 1 stories, with the exception of Aoi — not really feeling him…) have been wonderful, difficult (makes it worth it? ūüėā), exciting men with whom to fall in love. Each of them has this potentially off-putting flaw, but it is such a great relief to be able to help him redeem himself on the road to either your Seductive or Soothing End.

Start playing Butler Until Midnight now!