[Review] Your ‘Dangerous Seduction’ 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:

screenshot_2017-01-18-23-11-42-307.jpeg

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?

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[Random] Was A*N*Jell Shu SITS Kota’s fashion peg?

Had been thinking this when I was playing Kota’s MS, and @oocotome reminded me of it with their tweet 🤣

Kota Igarashi goes ‘incognito’ (not really), ‘Scandal in the Spotlight’ (2015) ©Voltage, Inc.

Kis-My-Ft2’s Taisuke Fujigaya goes incognito as Shu Fujishiro in Jdorama ‘Ikemen Desu Ne’ (2011)

[Review] ’10 Days With My Devil’: Shiki Kurobane (Voltage)

I had never been a fan of 10 Days With My Devil, even when it first came out in English, deciding against buying any of the routes after the free preview time and again. Yet, when Voltage offered one of the main stories as a free read on Love 365 for a limited time, I found myself finishing the entire thing in a matter of hours.

The Premise

MC finds herself a step away from literally (yes, LITERALLY) being toast. Scheduled as she was for demise, she nevertheless successfully bargains for a ten-day reprieve, during which she hopes to settle her unfinished business — which is to confess to her office crush.

MC negotiates a life extension, ’10 Days With My Devil’ ©Voltage, Inc.

The Story

As per usual, MC is asked to choose a babysitter from among the hot (demon) romance options who had come to collect her soul. She decides on SHIKI, manly (if somewhat narcoleptic) megane, thinking he was a safe enough bet. And, of course, being constantly in each other’s company brings the two closer than intended. (Read: They fall in love.)

When a demon falls in love, ’10 Days With My Devil’ ©Voltage, Inc.

Shiki has a backstory that at first glance makes him seem awfully cold, uncaring, and weird. Because of this, MC is shocked to discover the reasons for him being the way he is, and that he is actually capable of great love, integrity, and self-sacrifice (for a demon, at that).

Unfortunately (and not surprisingly), fraternization between demons and humans is not allowed — especially not when it involves a human marked for death. In the end, the couple prove their love for each other through difficult choices that still lead to a happy enough end (with a little help from their friends, the other demons).

Would-be demon Cupid, ’10 Days With My Devil’ ©Voltage, Inc.

Why I Like It

Shiki was cold, but not cruel.

Shiki, ’10 Days With My Devil’ © Voltage, Inc.

I hate sadists, especially those who seem to have been written for no other justification than to fill the trope roster. The reasons why he is the way he is also totally make sense, and doesn’t make it too difficult for you to believe he is capable of falling in love with MC.

MC had sass.

Terms of endearment, 10DWMD-style, ’10 Days With My Devil’ ©Voltage, Inc.

And enough of it to —

  • Negotiate her death,
  • Live with an entire household of (sexy) demons without being reduced to a puddle of estrogen, and
  • Know when to stop flogging a dead horse (aka her unrequited feelings for her office crush).

The supporting characters were adorable.

When you have good friends drinking to your success, ’10 Days With My Devil’ ©Voltage, Inc.

They were quirky (and I’m not only talking about the demons here 😂), funny, and kind — just like any other person you may know from real life.

My Verdict

Overall, this was a feel-good story that contrasted with its premise and characters. To be honest, it kind of reminded me of Star-crossed Myth (mythical beings and fighting for your love against death itself), Dangerous Seduction (particularly, Arimura and his tracking device), and Love Letter From Thief X (the fascination with tiny toy collectibles) — only with clunkier, dated art and more low-key otherworldly powers.

The outcome wasn’t too rushed IMHO, even as it left out enough for you to want to check out the sequels.

’10 Days With My Devil’, ‘Star-crossed Myth’, ‘Dangerous Seduction’, and ‘Love Letter From Thief X’ are all available on Voltage’s Love 365 app.

[Review] ‘Diary of a Stepsister’: Masaya Saionji (Voltage)

I’ve generally viewed step-sibling romances askance, alongside teacher-student ones. (✋ Before the activist in you shoots me where I’m sitting typing this…. 👉) Granted, this is an awful, biased attitude of which I try to be more mindful. Still, it’s hard to avoid it when such hookups aren’t the norm.

MASAYA’s main story in Voltage‘s Diary of a Stepsister is one of those lovely, unexpected specimens that manages to disabuse you of your biases — in this case, the notion that this kind of romance is pervy by nature. In fact, I am so fracking giddy and pumped up over playing the route that I have now been compelled to write a full blog post about it — after being on hiatus for more than a year!

The Premise

MC gains an entire household of stepbrothers (and convenient romance options) after her long-widowed mom remarries — and into a fabulously wealthy family, at that.

(Some) sweet dreams are made of these, ‘Diary of a Stepsister’ ©Voltage, Inc.

The Story

Masaya is the popular and sporty fourth Saionji brother, and twin to the cold and highly accomplished third brother, MASAKI. MC is the same age they are, and ends up attending their family-owned school with them. (LOL.)

True to formula, being seen with the ‘Saionji Princes’ brings grief to regular-chick MC, in all the J/Kdrama ways possible. Masaya to the rescue, with both fists —

Her knight in school uniform saves her from a bunch of idiot schoolmates, yakuza-style, ‘Diary of a Stepsister’, ©Voltage, Inc.

And charming personality, winning the other students over to MC — and all with MC being none the wiser.

Things are going swimmingly, until the twins’ all-around rival appears to make a play for MC as well. And, you know it, this pushes the two leads to confront their feelings and find their happy ending.

Dare to tell the truth, ‘Diary of a Stepsister’, ©Voltage, Inc.

Why I Like It

Masaya is totally likable, in spite of his temper.

He’s hot, but a complete gentleman. Is pure and has zero ulterior motives. ‘Diary of a Stepsister’, ©Voltage, Inc.

Teases MC, but not offensively so.

Rating MC’s look, ‘Diary of a Stepsister’, ©Voltage, Inc.

And is 💯 dependable.

MC is equally embraceable.

None of the over-the-top squeamishness over marrying into mind-boggling wealth or dealing with first-time feelings. Nor was she annoying in asserting herself when dealing with mean schoolmates or a creepy suitor.

All the supporting characters are refreshingly agreeable.

The entire, newly-merged household are normal people, without any melodramatic hang-ups, eccentricities, or whatnot. Heck, even Rival Boy and Rival Girl are sympathetically portrayed.

MC and Masaya’s relationship also develops sooo naturally…

As they work together in the soccer club. By the time they wake up to their romantic regard for each other, it already makes perfect sense because they know and complement one another so well.

My Verdict

Overall, I found this route even better written than some of the ‘adult’ ones.

‘Diary of a Stepsister’ is available on Voltage’s Love 365 app.

[Review] ‘Down the Voltage Rabbit Hole’ (fanfic) by @emilyplaysotome (Tumblr)

Voltage is such a popular romance mobage developer that it has its own fandom, which gobbles up its games faithfully with every release. Needless to say, the same fandom can’t help but regurgitate the characters and their stories as fanfiction, especially since the games have the player be the main character (MC) who is romanced by others in the reverse harem. As with other fandoms, most of the Voltage fanfic out there are not much more than a written expression of their writers’ fantasies. Still, there are many notable exceptions, created by writers who actually want to TELL A GOOD STORY about ‘every(wo)man’ (or in this case, ‘everyplayer’), and not just a self-gratifying one starring OC versions of themselves.

One stellar example of this that I read recently was ‘Down the Voltage Rabbit Hole’ by @emilyplaysotome on Tumblr. As the title suggests, we have a protagonist (Naomi) who mysteriously ends up in an otoge ‘Wonderland’ of sorts, and the story is all about her (mis)adventures in an ‘otomeville’ world that she has to outwit, outplay, and outlast (in a manner of speaking) so that she can get back to the ‘real’ world.

Just like RL players, Naomi (or rather, her 2D incarnation, ‘Ami Mizuno’) has her choice of ‘perfect’ otoge ikemen in her ‘bizarro’ Japan, except she’s with them ‘in pixelated flesh’. She spends 50 chapters vacillating between her sensible desire to go back to her world and the heady temptation of staying to find real love — and WHO — among a roster of lovers that she eventually narrows down to three. As if trying to find out how to return to 3D wasn’t crazy difficult (read: impossible) to begin with, there is a powerful persona who further complicates things for her.

Spoiled for choice ©Voltage, Inc.

In the beginning, it was difficult for me to sympathize with Naomi. To me, she at first seemed full of herself — and not at all grateful for the fantastical chance that exists only in otoge players’ dreams (yes, the outrage). For the first time, I found myself reading a fanfic whose protagonist was someone I couldn’t really root for.

Yet this is exactly what’s remarkable about this Voltage fanfic. @emilyplaysotome turns the ‘genre’ on its head, using Naomi to challenge game developers’ (Voltage’s, in particular) concept of the otoge MC, ikemen, and romance stories. Her protagonist is a ballsy and successful career woman who doesn’t shirk from playing ball (or tangling horns) with men whose only perfection is their physique. (And while similar to Liar!‘s MC, she is not ditzy or shallow.)

Yes, just like real life and real people, none of the characters (least of all, ‘Ami’) are perfect (some have funky bodily odor, others suck at making love); neither can the choices they make be judged in black and white. Even the ending can be just like RL — happy, but not quite ever after.

@emilyplaysotome masterfully kept so many readers like myself glued to their smartphone/computer screens week after week, totally unaware (or uncaring) that 20 chapters had become 30… 40… and then 50, waiting for the next Voltage ikemen to appear or the next twist in the story. By the last few chapters, I was startled to recognize how much Naomi had grown up psychologically and emotionally… and that she was finally READY to give and receive the right kind of love.

DTVRH was a funny, sad, dramatic, fantastical, emotional rollercoaster ride full of our favorite Voltage ikemen, as well as surprising twists and turns. It takes a critical view of these games, reminding players (especially the younger ones) to be realistic and wholesome when it comes to RL relationships, and giving developers something to think about for future games.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable and unorthodox read with a most satisfying end, and I encourage all of you to check it out on Emily’s Musings, if you haven’t already.

[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?