Sweatness and light: The Men of Yoshiwara: Kikuya review

Sweatness and light: The Men of Yoshiwara: Kikuya review

join Ella McConnell for Waifu cloth, a new month-to-month column in which she navigates the murky, cherry-blossom-strewn waters of visible novels, dating sims, and the whole lot in among (reader masochism no longer required but strongly endorsed). [content material warning: sketchy consent stuff.]

With certainly one of my maximum latest visual novel tours having been the cat-fucking creepiness of NEKOPARA, it changed into excessive time to move lower back into otome territory.The guys of Yoshiwara: Kikuya become released on Steam returned in October 2015, with the game formerly having been available on the ps Vita and as a cellphone app. because of the latter and the fact that it prices a whopping £22.ninety nine at full price, I had my doubts – however it’s TOO overdue NOW.

First impressions

let’s begin with the trailer:

with the intention to summarise, the trailer consists of:

  • Copious quantities of red/pink ✓
  • quite, feminine guys ✓
  • Cherry blossoms ✓
  • Butterflies ✓
  • sparkles ✓
  • Dat theme tune ✓

Yup, looks like an otome game all right.

promoting itself as “a popular romance recreation for ladies” on its Steam save web page, it also says:

– This recreation is for You if…

You want to fall in love with warm men

don’t we all?

let’s wrangle us some fancy men.

The tale

In its personal phrases, The guys of Yoshiwara: Kikuya’s tale is as follows:

A closed island where infant boys are not born…

a unique way of life that is completely exclusive from the mainland has been flourishing on the island. in the middle of the island, there’s a district wherein guys are accrued.

a few women simply want kids.

Others are looking for love.

Knowingly deceived via a lie, and deceived in go back, all in a single night’s dream.

on the give up, to whom is it that you may be speakme of love?

A question for the ages, to be sure.

TL;DR: you, the protagonist, stay on an island whose tradition is extensively evocative of the Edo, Meiji and Taisho periods (overdue 1800s to early 1900s Japan). In most routes you take at the least a short jaunt to the mainland, however the fundamental component you’re here for is Yoshiwara, the sakura-strewn purple mild district inhabited by the ones sexy, sexy men from the trailer.

TL;DR TL;DR: all the dick’s at Yoshiwara – go get some.

the game begins with you supporting a couple break out the island as courtesans aren’t allowed to go away Yoshiwara. They come up with a metric shit-tonne of coins (and a fancy kimono) as thanks, that is quite baffling as arguably they could have used that to buy the courtesan’s freedom legally instead of eloping, but whatever – it is yours now.

additionally this bizarre, wall-eyed cinnamon roll is you:

all the better to identify potential husbandos with, my expensive

you are negative and allegedly now not appealing (but, of direction, no otome protagonists assume they’re attractive because in any other case that would cut out all that “Who? Me?” fashion talk).

also you get this before the prologue is even over:

Holy shit

assist. Me.

The characters

The eponymous men of Yoshiwara all are – or were – courtesans at the Kikuya, that is a very fancy brothel. this means your options are as follows:


offering some unused lyrics from Ballroom Blitz

  • Kikuya’s top courtesan
  • Cocky as fuck
  • Smokes like a chimney
  • Possiblyyourbrother
  • “slender compact ankles”

I do like a person with narrow compact ankles


in which are you retaining them?

  • Baka gaijin
  • green highlights
  • excellent cleavage in the sport
  • huge dick in quite a whole lot each path besides his personal (and now not inside the correct manner)
  • MOLE

Molé molé molé molé molé


Oh no

  • Samurai
  • Westaboo
  • Holland
  • “Sweatness”

The facial expression of someone who simply observed Kagura’s other kendo sword


Stiff and claw-like due to being racked with RSI?

  • ~Virgin~
  • described as being “terribly partial to Kagura-san”

And is totally now not jelly while you pursue Kagura-san


Me playing this game

  • manager of the Kikuya
  • Older guy™ (apparently)
  • Baths
  • Swag fit

Wait a minute…


I in my view take into account high pores and skin opacity a big turnoff

  • formative years pal
  • boring as shit

At last, some thing we can agree on!

See no evil: art

the game’s artwork is awesome universal. most of the people of the individual sprites are excellent, even though sometimes sure characters’ expressions make it appear like whatever they’ve been mainlining in an effort to endure your presence has suddenly kicked in with a vengeance.

I don’t have any idea what is in that pipe however please deliver me some because I want some thing to get me through this

If some thing, it appears to be the hands and eyes in particular that cross off track.

Likewise, there are a few lovely CGs (“laptop pix”, AKA the flamboyant portions of art work used to demonstrate key scenes in visible novels) in addition to a few truely weird-searching ones:

What the real fuck?

The backgrounds are also properly achieved, albeit nothing unique, however what I actually need to draw attention to is the primary characters’ kimonos due to the fact HOLY SHIT THEY look remarkable test THEM OUT WHAT THE FUCK:

Hayabusa’s kimono confirmed for having greater persona than he ever will

To summarise, all in all it’s quite damn quite.

listen no evil: voice performing and music

there is no voice acting within the guys of Yoshiwara: Kikuya, however thinking about the communicate that’s probable for the satisfactory.

the sport’s song is quite high-quality common, however depending for your tastes it is in all likelihood not going to live with you for lengthy after you finish.

Sounds approximately proper

pleasant described as a sort of mashup of both length-specific and contemporary japanese instruments and patterns, it really works quite well however will in the long run put on away at your staying power because it loops for the Xth time in a scene. but, to be honest i might say this become greater a flaw of the genre as an entire in place of the fault of The men of Yoshiwara: Kikuya particularly.

This, but, completely is

speak no evil: writing and plot

As cited formerly, the sport begins with you getting into some coins and simply so occurring to stumble throughout the eponymous brothel.

After the prologue, you select the person you need to pursue and comply with their specific storyline exclusively, with minor capability variations relying on which answers you pick out in reaction to a few a couple of-choice questions encountered along the way (however more on that later).

every man or woman’s tale has its quirks, however for the maximum component you start as their client, fall in love, after which try to figure out how to go away Yoshiwara and stay your life collectively – bless.

The protagonist herself appears to be the quite fashionable as far as japanese otome video games go: she’s passive, innocent, terminally humble and, of route, a virgin.

really, I don’t assume i will ever be able to do it to myself again

A big, big deal is product of this every time it comes up, without problems to the factor of fetishisation.

besides via Iroha, who simply would not deliver a fuck

a number of the characters are portrayed as thoughtful and understanding in response to the principle character’s inexperience, however a lot of the time it’s all a piece weird.

sort of hypocritical there, Hayabusa – judgey plenty?

in addition to the protagonist again and again getting pressured with the aid of things as simple as kissing (COME ON), there may be a whole lot of sketchy consent stuff to navigate in a couple of the characters’ tales. This mostly seems to come back from Tokiwa when he pops up in other characters’ routes to offer your preferred fancy guy something to rescue you from (ugh), but there are also moments like this:

and even this:

at the same time as the former is one of those often used (however nonetheless problematic) visible novel staples of “I need to but we shouldn’t because of [some propriety-related reason]”, the latter is extraordinarily NO. despite the fact that every other person intervenes rapidly thereafter, it is pretty disappointing to see this form of state of affairs again and again crop up simply to create a few cheap battle.

it’s hard to correctly check the great of the writing as it suffers hugely from negative translation and typos, however plot-clever a number of the characters’ testimonies can be kind of amusing (albeit cheesier than a bucket of ’90s Now CDs).

Plus the chapter titles should do with some work, especially thinking about maximum of the characters’ woeful expertise of anatomy:

I absolutely do not think any caption i am capable of writing could enhance these

different stuff

whatever your thoughts at the guys of Yoshiwara: Kikuya, it can not be denied that the sport is filled with content. similarly to the prologue and every character’s main storyline, there are also date eventualities (shorter memories for that precise man or woman), sub-testimonies, and in a few cases even full-blown sequels.

It did

there may be additionally the frustratingly arbitrary factor allocation mechanic used for “likeability” (i.e how much your guy wants to bang you) to take care of. if you want you get your favored individual’s very last happy ending (which, confusingly, ranks above the so-called “superb glad finishing”), you want to choose precisely the proper choices and also play thru maximum routes a couple of instances.

whilst this is arguably a deep-rooted aspect of the style and there is a quick ahead button so as to facilitate this, I nonetheless maintain that it FUCKING SUCKS and, as a minimum inside the guys of Yoshiwara: Kikuya, doesn’t appear to feature a top notch deal.

Me when I spent hours trying to get that final success and for some motive IT did not FUCKING liberate

in addition to the familiar translation troubles, there also are some outright errors (together with the primary man or woman’s name becoming garbled symbols occasionally). In a moment of high-octane sleep deprivation I wrote to Dogenzaka Lab providing my assist with the previous, but they in no way were given lower back to me (;_;).

who is your husbando though?

Iroha obviously (and interestingly the protagonist without a doubt seems well up for banging him from the start, in contrast to with quite plenty all the others guys).

Or anything’s left of them after gambling this game


if you need pretty anime boys and do not care too much about their questionable hold close of girl anatomy (and, in some instances, consent) then this game is probably for you.

pretty a great deal

Ella McConnell is a writer, editor, comic maker, and recreation clothier – watch her descent similarly into madness on Twitter (ship cat pictures).