Glass Heart Princess is a pretty straightforward game and you can finish each character rather quickly, so I won’t be doing a full-blown review of all the character routes. I’ll just explain the set-up, pointers, the basic story + memorable moments + each guy’s route, and my overall thoughts.
The game starts at the end of the heroine’s last summer vacation. It’ll soon be Himeno Kyouko’s last year in high school and so there’s a sense of slight sadness and regret. Her maid, Chiga Satsuki, suggests her making the most out of her last year then and keenly observes that her mistress is well-rounded in every other aspect except love. Both Kyouko and her butler, Masaki Shinnosuke, seem rather startled by this idea (Shinnosuke is literally shaken lol). Anyway, our heroine’s heart suddenly beats faster and faster till she blacks out and awakens in the hospital 3 days later to see a sobbing Shinnosuke and Monji (her father). Their long-time doctor later explains that Kyouko has a rare case of Glass Heart Syndrome and if it goes on deteriorating, she may only have 4 months left. He suggests rehabilitation though it’s not a sure-recover method and if it’s too aggressive she may die instead. Satsuki then (brilliantly) suggests one method: love. Fortunately, her mistress has zero experience in love so she thinks that it would be a good stimulant, in a sense, to train her heart. While Kyouko is apprehensive about this, the doctor thinks it’s a great idea and remarks how “great” it is for Kyouko to have been a novice in love all this while. Both her father and butler would do anything to get her to recover so Kyouko pretty much has to give this a go too.
Kyouko then get a date practice with Shinnosuke, with everything planned out by Satsuki. At the same time, Kyouko trains out 3 times a week. Shinnosuke is in-charge of her physical training, while Satsuki gives her all her (manga, anime, game) collection to teach her the know-how. Physical training will help to up Kyouko’s heartbeat limit. The “lectures” will up her “love intelligence” so that she has more resistance to certain tokimeki events. For both though, there’s the risk of her increasing her heartbeat rate instead if it’s a more demanding workout. The last parameter is Kyouko’s image which can be changed to the liking of the guy. There’s also an option to rest which will help to lower Kyouko’s current heartbeat rate. At the end of each week, her heartbeat rate will be reset to 70.
They also decide to also start finding a love partner for Kyouko at her school – be it students or staff – and Satsuki says that literally, cupid will appear and shoot his arrow ‘cos that’s what the player has to do when you decide on which guy to go after lol. Once that’s been decided, you will choose a “date” for the week for Kyouko, and also how she’s going to train for that 3 times of the week. Throughout the game, there’s a possibility that Kyouko’s heart will “break”. There appears to be 3 chances given though. However, if her heart “breaks” during the middle of a date, be warned that the date will not be successful and you will have to give it a go again. The safest is just to make a save file at the start of each week so that you can reload and redo your plan for the week. Kyouko will also have her three juniors randomly come up to her to seek love advice – I’m not sure if the answers actually affect the game. There’s also a possibility of walking home with the guy and asking him about certain topics. I don’t think it affects the game but it’s fun to hear what their impressions of each other are.
After a series of successful dates, Kyouko makes it safely through the end of the 4 months timeline and it’s described as a miracle. After that, you will go into each guy’s own route. Oh, and Kyouko doesn’t tell any of the guys about her condition (unless I mention otherwise), nor her father as he’d probably break down and faint (again).
Asahina Tenma (CV: Hatano Wataru)
Tenma is the school physician, but he also is able to teach just about every other subject in school, helps out in the school canteen and so on. You can basically catch him anywhere in the school and ‘cos of that, one of the 7 mysteries of the school is that once there were 6 of him seen around the school, teaching different classes. He’s well-liked and popular among the students, and a reliable teacher. Tenma also has a vegetable patch in the school where he grows all sorts of them except for a few he dislikes – such as tomatoes. All you need to know that is that he’s cute and I’m so happy to be playing another game with Hatano Wataru! /shot.
Kyouko first meets him when she’s talking with Shinnosuke in school. Shinnosuke mentions that they’ve expanded their scope to include staff. Tenma pops up at this moment and as they talk, Kyouko starts to get self-conscious with the constant mention of the word “teacher”. She eventually ends up blacking out and wakes up on Tenma’s lap. Kyouko ends up falling in love (or so she thinks) with his kind disposition and asks him to go out with her next time. Tenma is rather happy to be able to go out with the Madonna of the school and cheerily agrees.
Tenma often talks of how doing certain things is “like a teacher” and he’s very pleased when he gets to do stuff like that – such as confiscating Kyouko’s manga lol. His dream is also to form a rugby team full of misfits where they’ll form true friendship with each other – ‘cos it’s his dream to reform misfits like that lol. He also wants the team to have a pretty manager and asks counts on Kyouko for that. He often dodges the topic when Kyouko asks about his past, though he did mention once that his past dream was to become the demon king and rule the world. Tenma’s dates are all pretty cute. Though they’re always in school, he would always try to find something fun and in-season whether it’s roasting taro or building a snow hut. My favourite is probably was when Kyouko goes to find him and he’s sleeping on his couch. She sees that he ate and then fell asleep, as there’s a rice grain on his mouth and she goes to take it off for him. But he ends up nibbling on her finger instead. Speaking of food, Tenma can whip up a full-course Italian meal zomg. And fun fact, Kyouko’s dream on the night of the new year was a parody of Hakuouki pffft. Though Tenma is always cheery, he does warn Kyouko on one occasion to not easily say stuff to lead men on. Eventually, he also tells her that he has something to say to her when she graduates.
His route starts off when one of Kyouko’s three juniors, Manaka, gets attacked by someone at night in school. Thankfully, she’s saved when the other two, Miu and Saki, come to find her so Manaka isn’t injured. Another day, a large magic spell of sorts is found drawn on the school grounds in chicken blood. When they have difficulty in tracing the culprit for this, Kyouko offers to be bait while Tenma and Shinnosuke watch over her. No one shows up so they decide to disperse for the night. Unfortunately, when Shinnosuke is waiting for Kyouko, who’s in the washroom, he spots something and dashes off. Kyouko is really alone this time and ends up drawing the attention of the culprit, a male student who claims that he needs her blood to complete the ritual for him to become a real vampire. Tenma comes just in time to save her, but in his true form – a vampire. He knocks out the student, whom he recognises as the president of the black magic club, Miyashita. And though he wasn’t expecting to confess to Kyouko till graduation, Tenma has no choice but to spill the truth to her and asks her to consider if she’ll become a vampire like him and gives her time to think it over. (In case you’re wondering about Shinnosuke, he spotted a chicken and came back with it saying that he’s going to cook it – and Kyouko told him that there’s no meals for him tomorrow lol.)
This case is closed for now but Tenma’s usage of his power draws the attention of others. Two people from his Testarossa mafia family track him down and beg for Tenma to return as their boss. The last time they saw him was with some Asian years ago so they’d thought that he’d kicked the bucket having disappeared for so long. Tenma doesn’t have the intention of returning though and Kyouko enters the room then, so he chases them away. He then takes Kyouko out of school, as he explains that he was sealed in the school after having lost a fight to the school director, and was made to work there. But perhaps after using his power earlier on, the seal has weakened and he can finally come outside. They end up having an enjoyable day but Tenma suddenly senses something and has to leave Kyouko. It turns out that his two men are being kicked around by a rival mafia group, who have been told by their boss to confirm if Tenma’s really still alive. Kyouko chases after him, but arrives when Tenma has snapped and is beating the guys up. He wonders why he’d forgotten this feeling and seeing him like this, Kyouko says that she won’t be with him if this is what being a vampire is like and runs off.
After that, Tenma disappeared from the school as he returned to his hideout in Europe. He only left a letter for Kyouko, asking her to take care of his vegetable patch and the anemone he’d planned to give to her – though she can ignore it if she doesn’t want to. He thanks her for all this time and says that he was glad to have met her. Kyouko and Miyashita end up taking care of the vegetable patch, but Kyouko is soon targeted by Tenma’s long-time rival, Gino, the werewolf boss of the Soldato mafia family. Though Shinnosuke does his best to protect Kyouko, she’s eventually kidnapped by Gino and he uses her phone to contact Tenma. Gino tells Kyouko that the Tenma he knew was cruel and abusive, and he’d suffered heavy injuries the last time they fought and was imprisoned. He’d been planning to have a rematch for revenge all this time though Tenma suddenly disappeared some years back.
Tenma soon arrives and is more than ready to kill himself to save Kyouko. This causes Gino to panic ‘cos he doesn’t want that, but a proper rematch and he quickly tells his men to release Kyouko. When they’re duelling, Tenma is soon overpowered and when Gino’s about to deal the final blow, Kyouko takes the hit. As she feels herself fading out, she says that she shouldn’t have walked away in the first place seeing how she was more than ready to give up her own life for him. Kyouko asks Tenma to ask her the question again and this time she agrees to become a vampire, but only if he returns to the Tenma she knows. Gino had kindly given them time to part ways, but didn’t expect to see two vampires standing before him now. Shinnosuke also catches up to the scene, saying that he’d taken care of all of Gino’s men already ‘cos he got help from connections at the Vatican. This time Tenma overpowers Gino and Gino turns into a puppy as he’s unable to maintain his human form. Tenma offers to take care of him in school and Shinnosuke decides to train the puppy Gino while at it. Now that Kyouko is a vampire, you’ll see that her heartbeat rate is now an infinity sign.
In the epilogue, Kyouko has returned to the school as a physician and Tenma is now the director. At first her father took a shock from the news and had to be calmed down when he said that he would become a vampire like her too. Having just been a vampire for 4 years, Kyouko still has problems dealing with her thirst for blood as she remarks how the students are young, energetic and delicious-looking lol. So Tenma offers his hand for her to drink blood from and he does to same to her too.
Hoshino Kanata (CV: Miyata Kouki)
Kanata appears to be odd and absent-minded and Kyouko often has to teach him about all sorts of things. He appears to always be conversing with the alien figure on his arm and when he says something weird, he’ll quickly pass it off as a joke in his usual monotonous voice. Some of his words are censored out with “beep”s too, probably ‘cos they’re…”key” words.
Having gone through the whole list of students and staff, both Kyouko and Shinnosuke are at a loss. They then hear about the legendary tree from her juniors, that the couple who meets there are destined to be together. They decide to give it a try and that’s where Kyouko meets Kanata. She doesn’t recall seeing him in the list though, and he appears to give her a memory change as she suddenly recognises him as her classmate. Kyouko asks him to go on a date with her, though she has to explain what it means to him. Kanata seems to be conversing with his little alien and agrees, since it’s good to have friendly relations with an earthling.
Needless to say, the dates with Kanata can be pretty…unique. They can be simply going out to the park where Kanata says it’s his favourite place for “recharging” ‘cos it gets plenty of sunlight, or him asking Kyouko to “save” his comrade inside the crane game and so Kyouko ends up getting a matching alien figure too. But damn, his route is amusing in its own ways. For one thing – his route is full of parodies. Kyouko’s dream on the night of the new year was a parody of S.Y.K. In one date event, Kanata accidentally let Kyouko see something and so he erases her memory and tries to act out the scene of her running into him in a corner with a bread in her mouth lol. You even get to choose choices which suggest other Otomate game titles such as Bakudan, WOF etc. There are more parodies in his route later such as E.T. and mentions of movies like Narnia. ‘Cos he doesn’t seem used to common knowledge, Kanata would often do unexpected stuff too. For example he tried counting sheep a bit too seriously and ended up counting to…3 million. His item for the school festival was alien rakugo (lol?) which Kyouko observed was more as manzai. And his impression of Santa and reindeer was that Santa is the person selling cake at the train station and the reindeer is the one at the cashier lmao. If you’re wondering about where he lives, you can find his place in the forest of the school, through a manhole.
Fortunately, Kyouko still gets to experience some romance with him. No matter the cause or reason, Kanata does end up giving her a ring, and also saves her when she almost drowned. They also got to spend Christmas together after Tenma pushed a tree on Kanata and told him to decorate it with Kyouko and celebrate Christmas with her. Still, even Kyouko can sense something’s off when he starts acting rather gentlemanly to her on one date and kisses her hair. He abruptly stops though and starts saying words like “reboot”. The most memorable date for me was the one where he keeps erasing Kyouko’s memory ‘cos it was really amusing (though burdening on Kyouko). But the “best” CG (and personally, I think his route has beautiful CGs) was the one which happened when he got wet in the rain on the way to Kyouko’s house, so he went to shower. Unfortunately Kyouko’s dad comes home and gets suspicious. While trying to stop him, Kyouko ends up tripping into the bathroom and onto a naked Kanata – CG get, but she also gets a broken heart oops. So needless to say, you gotta have a save slot for this one.
Kanata’s route starts when he invites Kyouko over to his place, as he wants to confirm something. Throughout, he’ll keep closing his eyes before Kyouko and then while she’s mystified, he’ll wonder if he got the timing and atmosphere wrong – maybe it’s just me but I found this so hilarious. Kanata eventually confesses that he seems to like Kyouko, from what he’s feeling recently and from what he read in the books. So by confirming it, he means kissing her but as he does so Kyouko’s heart breaks. She wakes up later, still alive though, and Kanata apologises, saying that he didn’t know humans died from kissing (this misunderstanding lol). Kyouko quickly explains that it’s just her own situation, and learns that Kanata gave her a spare heart. Now that things have come to this, Kanata gets permission to tell the truth: he’s an android made by aliens, sent here to gather information. The alien on his arm is a communication device with the aliens in his home planet. However, he has to do maintenance everyday to make sure that her heart doesn’t overwork and explode – which would wipe out the whole Earth. To do so, he hugs her heart close to his and checks if their heartbeats beat together at the same rate.
However, Kyouko starts to notice something amiss with Kanata after a few days. His language and body movement kinda go haywire and when he sees her home, his outfit switches back to his original one and he blacks out. Kyouko has to shift him in with Shinnosuke, and explain everything to him. To her surprise, Shinnosuke seems to accept it all rather easily and even beams, saying that he’s great with machinery pfft. They soon spot what appears to be the cause – his chest reveals what should contain two green hearts but there’s only one. Kyouko realises that he probably gave the other one to her, and Shinnosuke decides to insert something in Kanata for now so that he can regain his balance. Eventually, Kanata wakes up that night though he doesn’t think that he can continue like this for long and would need to contact his home planet for help so that he can go back and be fixed
(…E.T.). Unfortunately, his energy is low so Shinnosuke decides to contact his connections at Area 51 for help on that. Just when things seem to be going well though, the people at Area 51 turn against them instead as they want to harvest information from Kanata and Kyouko’s heart. Thankfully, Kanata manages to recover in time and takes care of them. However, he doesn’t want to involve Kyouko anymore in his troubles and erases everyone’s memory.
Kyouko wakes up to a “usual” morning, as she has her little alien do her daily maintenance. But she feels that something is amiss after all and after consulting with Satsuki, she decides to go revisit the places her heart feels like going to. She ends up going to the date spots they went to before, but still can’t recall anything vital – that is till she’s at the school’s legendary tree and finally recalls all about Hoshino Kanata. Kyouko dashes off to his place in the forest but the manhole has vanished. She then seeks clues from her alien, which finally says the keywords “shooting star” and “hill”. Kyouko realises that it’s referring to Kanata’s favourite spot. As Kyouko sits there waiting for Kanata, he finally shows up that night but is surprised to see that she remembered everything. Kanata explains that after he erased everyone’s memory, he managed to contact his home planet and they’re coming for him tonight among the shooting stars. As she wonders about the bicycle he has, he adds that they can’t come close to the ground so he has to fly up to meet them – plus he always wanted to ride a bicycle. So he invites Kyouko to ride with him and they fly in the night sky~ Even though he didn’t want to put her in anymore danger ‘cos he liked her, he admits that he also regretted having erased her memories. Kanata wants to try requesting to be sent back to this planet to investigate more on this feeling so hopefully he’ll see her again. Kanata disappears with a flash of light – and then Kyouko panics over how she’s going to get down. He suddenly appears before her again and reassures her that it’ll go down automatically, and his alien tells him that he just ruined the atmosphere pfft.
In the epilogue, it’s been a few months since then and one day a large package arrives for Kyouko. It turns out to be Kanata, who’s back here for good ‘cos he got told off for not collecting any substantial information and has to redo his investigation again. Kyouko notices that his expressions seem more natural and human-like for some reason, and he explains that he has become human. He gave the excuse that it’s more convenient to conduct investigation with a human body, but in truth he wants to learn more about her on the same level as her – so his whole body is human except his heart which is still mechanic like hers.
Karasuma Yukito (CV: Suzuki Tatsuhisa)
Yukito appears like the cool delinquent student, whom transferred over to this school a year ago, and keeps skipping classes and coming in late. But in actuality he just has difficulty conversing with the other (rich) students as their interests are mismatched – while they go horse-riding and cruising, he heads to the game centre. He’s also skilled with his hands and apparently was taught some magic skills from his grandma.
Kyouko first spots him covering his jacket over a stray puppy in the rain and falls for him. She has Shinnosuke arrange for the puppy to find an owner and to clean his jacket, and returns it to Yukito the next day. After some initial nerves, Kyouko manages to ask him out and while he’s shocked, the bells rings and she takes it as confirmation and dashes off lol. In the end when they meet up that weekend, Kyouko uses the excuse that she was told by the teacher to ask after him since he still hasn’t seem to have adjusted to the school. Though he denies that he needs any help at first, he eventually gives in to Kyouko’s persistence (while blushing) and they start off as friends.
The dates between Kyouko and Yukito are certainly more standard, such as him bringing her to the game centre and her taking him to the museum. Though it’s also not all that standard after all. At the game centre, he’s surprised by how good she is for a first-timer, and Kyouko explains that it’s her first time doing the game – but she had been taught the real-thing by Shinnosuke before. As Yukito is seen with her more, more people at school have also started to talk to him – though it’s mostly hoarding him for information or challenging him. At the museum, Kyouko’s surprised by how well-informed he is on paintings though he also seems uncomfortable with museums. There, she learns from the museum director that they’d received a notice from the Phantom Thief Raven that he’s going to steal one of their paintings. When Kyouko hears the key term “phantom thief”, she thought of Lupin and Nijuu Mensou thanks to Satsuki’s manga lol.
Eventually on one date where they go to an observatory, they’re told that they’re the 10,000th (I think) couple there and are asked to wear wedding clothes ‘cos they want the photos and video for the promotion of their new wedding plan. Kyouko blacks out thanks to the agitation and when she wakes up, she decides that she has no choice but to tell Yukito everything. While she feels sorry for deceiving him, he’s mad instead ‘cos he could’ve killed her unknowingly this whole time. As he’s carrying her back, Yukito confesses to her which surprises her. But since the feeling’s mutual, they are now lovers and Yukito says that he’ll help her with her rehabilitation too. One of the cute dates was when Kyouko asks Yukito to bring her to his home, thinking that it’ll be a good way to test herself. Both his mother and sister eventually start having their own way though which gives Yukito a headache and remarks that it’s more of testing his patience now. By the way, Yukito’s room has Moujuutsukai to Oujisama animal plushies~ ( * ´ ▽ ` *) For Christmas, they decide to buy each other gifts since it’s kinda customary and they end up giving each other the same present. Kyouko’s dream on the night of the new year was a parody of Armen Noir (though to be honest when I saw the red moon, I thought of Bloody Call first haha).
Yukito’s route starts when she’s told to go to the party on behalf of her father that night, as he’s too busy with work. At the same time, Yukito has been showing up less at school so the teacher asks her to try talking to him too. That night, Kyouko goes up to the rooftop garden for a breather and bumps into the Phantom Thief Raven. For some reason, he appears familiar but before Kyouko can see his face, he carries her away and sets off on a glider with her before dropping her off. The next day, there’s new of Raven having stolen a painting from the museum and that the police lost him at the hotel she was at that night. Kyouko decides to go fetch Yukito that morning so that they can head to school together, though when he gets the door she’s shocked to see him dressed exactly like the Phantom Thief. It takes Yukito moments to realise this as he’s still half-awake, moreover his younger sister suddenly shouts something about a glider at him. Inside, his sister tries to make the excuse that her brother is into cosplay (lol) but eventually Yukito exclaims that he wouldn’t wear such a costume if it weren’t for work and gives himself away. With no choice but to reveal the truth, Yukito explains his reasons: his grandfather was a painter though he could hardly get by and somehow eventually made a living by doing counterfeits. One group saw this and wanted to take advantage of this, and threatened him by taking his grandfather’s mother hostage. So his grandfather had no choice but not being able to forgive himself later, he decided to commit suicide. But then while going to see his favourite paintings for one last time at the museum, he met an injured girl and saved her. It turns out that she’s a phantom thief and to express her gratitude, she’s willing to do anything. So his grandfather asked her to steal all of the counterfeit works he drew and that’s how they started to cooperate (the girl by the way, became his grandmother). However, they still couldn’t recover everything and his grandfather passed away, and his grandmother retired 20 years ago. His father continued but injured himself some years ago so Yukito had to take over.
There are also 3 rules he has to follow if not he’d have to quit as a phantom thief and receive punishment from his grandmother: 1) to not let his target (painting) get away 2) to not lay hands on other paintings besides the fakes his grandfather did 3) to always give pre-notice and to wear a black cape and silk hat. This explains why he’d often oversleep or leave school early, but he feels guilty about hiding all this from Kyouko even though he got angry at her for doing something similar. He was hesitant about going out with her since he may drag her into his affairs but Kyouko has no regrets and is willing to support him in any way she can. However, a few days later they sense someone tailing them and Yukito guesses that he must be the target. Kyouko eventually gets really worried when he shows up one night before her doorstep to seek temporary refuge. Security was heavier than expected, plus there were people sent from the police force as well as 4 students from a detective school in Harajuku (Steelwood lol). Though he’d successfully stolen the painting, he spotted more of his grandfather’s at the museum when he was escaping so that means he has to go back. The next day, her father receive an invitation to a legal auction for counterfeits. Among the paintings, she spots the one Yukito is after but that means there are two and there’s a high possibility that the one in the auction is actually the real thing.
Shinnosuke gets a friend to check the one in the auction and it turns out to be real. Kyouko also eventually tells her father everything as he senses something’s up. Touched, he offers to help out in any way. Kyouko observes that Yukito seems to have no intention of relying on her at all and being really worried, she decides to take action on her own to make him quit his phantom thief job. Her father buys the real painting in the auction, and also through connections borrows the fake painting from the museum for a few days. Kyouko then calls Yukito over and shows him the painting, challenging him to steal it from her house. If he wins, she’ll stop interfering and if she wins, he’ll have to quit. If he doesn’t accept the challenge, she’ll expose that the painting is really a fake. Yukito accepts her challenge and issues her a pre-notice. He comes back at night and is surprised to see the painting sitting right at the entrance – till he realises that this doesn’t have his grandfather’s sign so it may be the real thing. Whether he steals this or not, he will break either one of the family’s three rules so he has already lost the bet to Kyouko too. But Kyouko reveals that she actually has the fake one too, and he also tells her that actually this one is the last of his grandfather’s paintings he has to steal. All appears well as they just have to switch and return the real one to the museum – as the hug the credits roll…and breaks as Shinnosuke almost spots a bullet at Yukito ‘cos he warned him not to touch his mistress. Satsuki hits him and later they realise that Shinnosuke’s bullet shot the real painting! To make things worse, while Shinnosuke is depressing over how his mistress has denied his existence and he’s nothing but garbage, he receives a call from his friend saying that the painter is going to see his painting in the museum 3 days later.
Shinnosuke knows someone who can repair the painting though it’ll take some time, so Kyouko decides to return the fake one to the museum for now and have Yukito steal it 2 days later, saying that this incident is a no-count so he can still work lol. Once the real painting has been repaired, they’ll return it. Shinnosuke is extremely sorry and even asks Yukito to call him a “dog” and to make use of him as much as possible lol. On the day of operation, Kyouko gives the excuse that she’ll have her own men help the museum’s security too and in the disguise of Shinnosuke, Yukito and Kyouko are led to where the painting is. Smoke suddenly fills the room and the painting is gone. Everyone panics and runs off to catch the thief but the one who was tailing them from before shows up to catch them red-handed. Left with no choice, Kyouko has to use her last resort and changes (into the costume Satsuki made) and says that she’s his accomplice – Phantom Thief Glass Heart pffft. Finally understanding the embarrassment Yukito feels, they somehow escape successfully with Shinnosuke’s help. Later, Yukito takes out all of the paintings stolen so far and burns it all, since that would’ve been what his grandfather wanted. He also burns his cape and hat in the fire. They finally call each other by their first names and Yukito thanks her for still being with him despite the truth and kisses her.
In the epilogue, both Kyouko and Yukito escape from the hoards of fellow schoolmates on their graduation day. Kyouko’s father also shows up and has pretty much recognised Yukito as his son-in-law and also invites him to stay with them when they start university. Yukito would rather enjoy going to fetch her every morning and head to school together though, and he promises to always be with her from now on.
Masaki Shinnosuke (CV: KENN)
Shinnosuke is Kyouko’s faithful butler and he’s capable and has a lot of connections – but can grow quite useless if Kyouko tells him off. He would pretty much do anything he’s told too and even went to learn piano when a young Kyouko casually asked him to do so. Shinnosuke’s skilled with guns and changes into a different person when he gets into the driving seat – driving really recklessly. He also helps Kyouko with her rehabilitation by going on practice dates with her. But she still has to decide on a partner to go after and Satsuki makes her choose from one of the three above guys. For Shinnosuke’s route, you need to make a save file midway ‘cos if you go on his practice dates, you won’t be able to trigger his other dates that would eventually reveal his route.
Anyway, for the practice dates it’s also pretty standard…or so it should be. That’s ‘cos Shinnosuke has a tendency to pull out his gun at every other minute and thus far he has shot at a cat, a kid, and even pointed a gun at a policeman thinking that he was a pervert. Unfortunately guns don’t work on ghosts so he’s quite afraid of them. He also keeps pushing Kyouko down thinking that the enemy is going to ambush them but it ends up to be nothing and people misunderstand them instead and apologise and tell them to continue lol. Shinnosuke’s always wearing his butler outfit and doesn’t feel comfortable if he doesn’t have dozens of hidden weapons on him. So even when Satsuki suggests him changing outfits for their dates, he has to dig out his casual clothes and have it altered first so that he can hide some weapons in it. Though when he changed clothes both Kyouko and Satsuki couldn’t recognise him at first lol. But it’s not just weapons. When they went to the museum and there was a blackout, Kyouko eventually found Shinnosuke wearing night goggles lol. When doing certain physical training with him, Shinnosuke would (randomly) introduce his different masters to Kyouko though more often than not, she wonders what their specialties have to do with her rehabilitation. For example, he introduces Kurt (Moujuutsukai to Oujisama) as the expert in finding herbs and the skill she gets would be サボり癖 pffffft. But if you haven’t played certain Otomate titles you probably wouldn’t get the jokes, just as how I could only pick up on some of the masters Shinnosuke introduced.
On his other dates, Kyouko starts to notice that something’s amiss with Shinnosuke. One night she sees him talking on the phone and appearing rather uneasy. Another day he falls ill which apparently hardly ever happens, and he admits that he gets distracted when he sees Kyouko with other people. And another time when Satsuki has time both read her huge collection of shoujo manga he falls asleep on Kyouko’s shoulder and when he gets up he’s still half-asleep and starts muttering the lines from the manga he was reading. Moreover, Shinnosuke will tell her from time to time that she can’t always rely on him and to be more suspicious of others – ‘cos she’ll be the one to get hurt if she’s betrayed. On the last date, Kyouko’s father calls her back as his guest, Akram, an Arabian prince, wants to see her before he leaves. While Shinnosuke says it’s better to head back then, his actions tell otherwise as he suddenly drags her onto another train and they end up going to the seaside instead. There, he tells Kyouko that it’s their last practice date since there’s only so much he can do and as a final test, he kisses her on her hand. By the way for Christmas, Kyouko’s dad would always dress up as Santa and give her presents as he still thinks that she believes in Santa. Shinnosuke though, thinks that Santa is a criminal who leaves behind suspicious items and always tries to catch him. The first year Shinnosuke came to the household, he ended up attacking Kyouko’s dad and her dad got so depressed that she didn’t get her present – a financial crisis occurred. To avoid that, Kyouko and Satsuki would always try to knock Shinnosuke out before he can do anything each year. Kyouko’s dream on the night of the new year was a parody of Moujuutsukai to Oujisama’s mofu mofu system omg.
Shinnosuke’s route starts when one day, Kyouko’s heart acts up and she ends up fainting. Unlike the previous routes, her illness hasn’t actually recovered as well and now the doctor informs her that the only option left is for her to be hospitalised. When Shinnosuke questions about the research team researching on the cure, the doctor replies that the members mysteriously disappeared. After that, Shinnosuke disappears for two weeks till he suddenly shows up before Kyouko one night. While he reassures her that everything’s okay and even remarks that he wants to have her to himself tonight, Shinnosuke disappears the next morning – literally. Kyouko hears from Satsuki that his room has been emptied out so Kyouko rushes back home and they find a letter from him, thanking them for all this time. In addition, the police appear to conduct a search as they’ve been tipped off that Kyouko’s father’s company has done some window dressing. They find evidence and take Monji back for questioning. Just then, a guy shows up before their house as he laments at how he’d just missed the show. He turns out to be the Kuroe organisation leader, and also introduces Shinnosuke as his secretary, much to their shock. Shinnosuke acts cold and insists that he doesn’t know any of them. Though he’s enemies with Monji in the business field, Kuroe says that he’s more than happy to assist in any ways. In the end, Monji was released due to lack of evidence but the suspicion remains so the company’s stocks crashed and their house and possessions were snatched away. They have to shift into a rundown room and that night, while Kyouko still believes in Shinnosuke, Satsuki replies that while he may have his reasons she can’t forgive him easily.
The next morning, Kuroe drops by to offer to save the Himeno organisation – since it’s not just them but it also concerns all the employee’s livelihoods and their families. In exchange, he wants to marry Kyouko. Kyouko agrees, despite Satsuki and Monji’s protests, but she thinks that she doesn’t have that long to live either so she might as well save the company if she can. The next day, Shinnosuke comes to fetch Kyouko but of course both Monji and Satsuki won’t just see her go. In the car, Kyouko tries to talk to Shinnosuke but he refuses to say much and only questions if she forgot what he did to her 11 years ago – he’d kidnapped her when she was 6 years old. Once she arrives, Kyouko confirms once again if Kuroe is really okay with this agreement, as she still can’t understand why he would want to marry her. Kuroe reveals that she looks like her mother, whom he fell in love with back in their university days. However, Monji married her instead and so he’d wanted to taste the feeling of stealing something important away from Monji. He plans to announce their marriage 2 days later and that day is Kyouko’s birthday. Ironically, when she was young her father panicked when she got close to boys so he told her that she can’t and has to wait for her 18th birthday when a prince on a white horse would come to get her. She certainly never expected her 18th birthday to be like this. Kuroe has her locked in a room till that day and afterwards Shinnosuke enters the room to confirm Kyouko’s well-being. Kuroe reassures him that his wish will be fulfilled 2 days later. However, Shinnosuke is shocked to find out about the marriage and goes to confront Kuroe. He initially agreed to return to the organisation if he didn’t touch Kyouko but Kuroe merely answers that he didn’t force her to do anything. He’ll have her receive treatment too but since she’s just a copy (of her mother) he considers giving her to Shinnosuke once he’s tired of her. Kuroe gives him another chance but Shinnosuke refuses to accept and is knocked out and locked in the basement, as Kuroe still wants to make use of him.
Here, Shinnosuke recalls his past and first meeting with Kyouko: his first memory was of him living alone in the streets. Up till now he has no idea why he was an orphan – but there were many other kids like him around him too. One night, all the kids like him were rounded up by a criminal organisation, which trained and groomed them. It was basically a survival of the fittest and so Shinnosuke did everything as told and finally joined the official operations team – it was then he met Kyouko. Someone with a grudge against Himeno organisation requested them to kidnap Kyouko as a warning to Monji, as being the youngest member Shinnosuke was told to look after her. When he first meets her, Kyouko properly introduces herself and asks for his name too (though Shinnosuke is actually not his real name – not that he recalls his real one). His first impression is naturally that she’s a weird kid, but unknowingly she already had the control over him. She would make countless requests (even to help her with her homework) till eventually his boss told Shinnosuke to give her whatever she wants except to not let her out. Kyouko even asks Shinnosuke to be her butler from now on, since she’d actually wanted one for her birthday so now she gets one in advance. Then, there’s orders for the hostage to be killed the next day. That night, Kyouko asks Shinnosuke to take her to the hospital to see her mother. She was actually supposed to visit her yesterday. Perhaps ‘cos he’s weak to kids, but Shinnosuke eventually agrees and sneaks her out for 1 hour. At the hospital room as Kyouko talks to her mother, she’s told to take 2 pendants and to give them to Shinnosuke as a token of gratitude. Back at the hideout, Kyouko decides to take the pink one and gives Shinnosuke the blue one – she was told by her mother that matching items are proof of a bond, and he’s her butler.
The next day, the hideout is being attacked and Shinnosuke is ordered to bring Kyouko to the main HQ. On their way out, there’s an explosion and Shinnosuke guesses that they’re destroying evidence of the hideout without hesitating to leave behind their own people. He gets caught in the debris and tells Kyouko to escape, though she refuses to do so as he sees him as family already, since he’s her butler. Shinnosuke’s boss spots them and seeing that he’s betraying them, he raises his gun. Kyouko stands in between and Shinnosuke can only feel regretful at not being able to save her. Just then, the men are suddenly knocked out and someone called Masaki comes to fetch Kyouko. Apparently they’d traced their location from their pendants – a transmitter is installed in them. Kyouko orders Masaki to save Shinnosuke and outside Monji is shocked to see one of the culprits with his daughter. But she insists that he’s her butler, plus Monji spots the pendants on them. He decides to tell the police that Shinnosuke is one of them, as he’s thankful that Kyouko got to meet her mother for one last time – though to be honest if he hadn’t kidnapped her she still would’ve gotten to. Apparently, her mother passed away this morning. Though he hates Shinnosuke, his daughter chose him and he’d respect that, plus he doesn’t want to take away her ‘present’ – or rather he doesn’t Kyouko to lose anything else. 11 years later, Shinnosuke has stolen what’s important to her again. But he’d rather sacrifice whatever he has to so as to protect her.
Satsuki wakes Shinnosuke up at the end of his long recollection (her literal words lol) and he finally explains himself. When the organisation he’d formally worked for was on the verge of disbandment after Kyouko’s kidnapping case, Kuroe group gathered it back together and in exchange for its financial support, he would make use of their forces. He’d actually sent them over to Himeno’s household several times, but after realising that Shinnosuke was standing in the way, Kuroe made contact with him. Shinnosuke kept refusing his invitations, till Kuroe mentioned Kyouko. He continued to hesitate, and then set up a research team to find a cure. But on the day Kyouko was hospitalised, Shinnosuke decided to accept Kuroe’s offer with the added condition that he doesn’t harm Kyouko. Satsuki observes that the evidence he left in the house was extremely incomplete, probably ‘cos he wanted to atone for what he did. Eventually, Shinnosuke starts going into his depressed mode and Satsuki tells him to buck up in…rather crude language pfft. She also conveys the message she has from Monji – to make his lie true (the one about a prince on a white horse coming to fetch Kyouko on her 18th birthday). He’d seen through Shinnosuke from the start. It’s also at this moment that Shinnosuke finally realises that he loves Kyouko. Anyway, both of them split up here to make the preparations, though Satsuki does warn Shinnosuke that she’ll only forgive him once. Cue another memory of the past which basically shows Shinnosuke going away for about half a year to England to train himself to become a proper butler.
On the day of the announcement, Shinnosuke suddenly comes crashing in on a white motorcycle to fetch Kyouko. Though of course Kyouko can’t take his hand easily and starts throwing out all her anger at him. He attempts to explain that he’s a real prince now, having asked Akram to adopt him and that the motorcycle is a “metal horse”. He finally addresses her by her name and firmly asks her to come with him. As Kyouko finally takes his hand, Satsuki also appears on screen as she’s in the director’s room and discovers a list of underground dealings Kuroe has been involved in. Shinnosuke’s ex-colleagues also appear to counter any resistance Kuroe puts up. Shinnosuke takes Kyouko away and they stop at the seaside. There, Kyouko releases all of her feelings on Shinnosuke, who apologises and promises not to leave her side again and that he loves her.
In the epilogue, though they’re back in their original house, Monji tells Shinnosuke to take responsibility for all the employees that lost their jobs and fires him. But Kyouko manages to hire Shinnosuke again out of her pocket money – though he’s no longer a butler but an odd-job guy whom Satsuki orders around lol. When Shinnosuke tries to remind her that he’s still a prince, she replies by calling him 王子様（笑）さん omg. At the end, Kyouko offers to help him wipe the windows so that they can finish earlier and have their date. Shinnosuke steals a kiss off her behind the curtains and tells her that he’ll always be with her.
Doumyouji Gai (CV: Matsuoka Yoshitsugu)
Gai is the 10-year-old fiancee of Kyouko, and both their fathers are long-time friends. Though actually, Kyouko’s father merely mentioned that both of their children can marry when they grow old and they weren’t serious. But Gai took this seriously all along and Kyouko can’t bring herself to refuse those puppy eyes (not that she could see his eyes) and says that they can get to know each other first. He’s earnest but timid and wants to do his best for Kyouko. That’s why when he witnesses Shinnosuke swiftly take down a pickpocket, he’s impressed and asks to be his disciple so that he can be strong enough to protect Kyouko. Shinnosuke is eventually persuaded as he seems to like the idea of being a mentor and starts to train Gai. He thinks Gai is capable but the kid has some confidence issues. Now here’s where the endings split. If you don’t do the last date with Gai, Gai eventually asks Kyouko out on Christmas and promises to become a man worthy of her. Kyouko is moved and so he asks her to continue to watch him from now on. This is the happy end with 10-year-old Gai.
If you choose the last date, Shinnosuke has purposely set up a “stage” for Gai to show his skills off and to hopefully be more confident of himself. Thing is, he called for two real burglars in and hid weapons for them to use. Though Kyouko is reluctant to cooperate, she eventually does as told and asks Gai to save her. Pushed by this, Gai takes the stun gun and knocks out one of the burglars. And then to everyone’s surprise, he swiftly uses the gun and knife too and eventually takes down the other one too. Shinnosuke appears and applauds Gai’s performance but Gai gets mad as he thinks that he was laughing at him in the shadows. He feels betrayed that both Shinnosuke and Kyouko deceived him and runs away on the verge of tears while crying out that he hates them. Kyouko decides to go and apologise to him the next day but apparently he moved back to his home overseas due to the shock!
It’s only 8 years later that Kyouko receives a letter from him, saying that he will come to fetch her. She’s taken over her father’s position (I presume) but she still hasn’t completely recovered from her illness and also ‘cos of what happened with Gai, she feels guilty and can’t really step forward into a relationship. When she arrives home, a shaken Satsuki grabs her and begs her to change into a wedding dress lest something happens to her collection. Though confused, Kyouko tells her to calm down and does so. Then she hears noises coming outside and sees Shinnosuke falling to the ground. Kyouko is then grabbed by the waist by a man as he sits on top of Shinnosuke. She soon learns that he’s actually Gai, and he tells her that he’d been training these 8 year to take revenge on them. He sees that she’s still single though he’d thought that she was together with the hetare butler at first. That’s why he wanted to defeat Shinnosuke and claim her as his own. Gai asks Kyouko to become his and he’ll tease her for the rest of her life as his revenge. (Of course) Kyouko agrees, even though she found the situation scary at first she can’t seem to refuse. Gai kisses her and seeing her reaction, he promises to do more and won’t stop even if she begs him not to.
OMG ISN’T HE LIKE ERIK BRB DYING.
To sum it up shortly: I enjoyed this game a lot more than I expected that I would. Sure, it was shorter in length compared to the length I’m used to but I was entertained for every moment I was playing the game! I enjoyed all of the routes. I kinda expected some of the plot for them but that was mostly for Tenma’s and Kanata’s. I really loved reading about the first meeting between Shinnosuke and Kyouko. And well, the whole character cast was colourful and lovely! All the guys have their awesome points, though I admit the moments when Shinnosuke starts depressing tickle me the most. Kyouko was a great heroine and her monologues were fun to read, especially her tsukkomi lines of her two subordinates lol. Also, I think it’s interesting to note how she’s a heroine admired in school? She’s perfectly well-rounded to be honest, except in love. But that’s partly thanks to her dad and Shinnosuke. Her juniors etc. just reflects how popular and idolised she is. And Satsuki…Satsuki is one of the best otome game characters made, seriously. But the biggest surprise was definitely Gai. Omg. I realise that I would be spoiling people who haven’t played Moujuutsukai to Oujisama by making this comparison but I’m sorry, I had to mention it even in strikethrough ‘cos my heart was screaming that. That was the one and only time my heart really screamed alongside Kyouko’s poor heart. (Definitely looking forward to Matsuoka in Getsuei.)
Graphics were pretty (a given for Otomate?), the system was easy enough to pick up, and both OP and END are surprisingly addicting. I never skipped the credits roll at all ‘cos for each guy’s end they played the guy’s solo version. (For Gai’s they played the version with all 4 of them singing.) Parodies were hilarious and I think people would enjoy picking up on them. Many scenes that weren’t based on parodies, were funny too. Sure, some parts can be cliche but I see GHP as a not-so-serious game building on these parodies – I don’t consider it a problem. The only point I would pick at is: why didn’t anyone suggest Kyouko getting a heart transplant as a last resort? Unless I’m missing something. ;;
Overall, it was a very light-hearted, comedy romance. If I have to state a play order, I would suggest the order I did (Tenma, Kanata, Yukito, Shinnosuke, Gai) – though Tenma and Kanata can be interchangeable. I would really love for GHP to have a fandisk. I think Shinnosuke and Tenma’s pasts are worth expanding on – especially when the school director’s identity is still such a mystery! Kanata’s would probably still be revolving around his investigation. I’m not so sure what Yukito’s could involve but he’s an adorable character anyway. And of course, I want more of Gai. His route was really short compared to the rest so I’m ready for anything, and everything. For people who think they’d enjoy such a game, do check it out and I hope that you’d enjoy it as much as I did!