Renai Banchou 2: Midnight Lesson!!! is the continuation to Renai Banchou, but this time it features the rival banchou characters from the previous game as well as a few new ones. The set-up is exactly the same, in which the heroine goes to ask for some love advice and so you can pick from the eight characters to be her temporary boyfriend over the course of one year. Since there isn’t much of a plot and it is more event-driven, I would just be doing a general review and so…I don’t think there would be much spoilers? Or I’ll only mention a few to prove my point.
Like the first game, the game system is made up of the normal choices, and then timed choices to answer certain love-related teachings to have you fill up two parameters (favourability and love experience), which will determine which of the three endings you get. I mentioned in the previous review that you can answer the timed choices with any answer you feel but…in this game they tweaked the requirements a little for the endings – so I would say to answer with the best answers at least 3/4 of the time for this? If you are only interested in certain characters and don’t plan to do everyone, I think you’d need to answer with the best answer 100% of the time for about 5 characters if you want to accumulate enough love experience for the perfect end.
Well, the above paragraph would make no sense unless you’re playing the game so moving on~ This time you can choose from the following characters: Host Banchou (CV: Morikawa Toshiyuki), Yankee Banchou (CV: Yoshino Hiroyuki), Fuuki Banchou (CV: Irino Miyu), Data Banchou (CV: Kimura Ryouhei), Do-S Banchou (CV: Suzuki Tatsuhisa), Iyashi Banchou (CV: Suzuki Chihiro), Otome Banchou (CV: Suzuki Yuuto), and Koakuma Banchou (CV: Kakihara Tetsuya). The ones from the previous game would still make appearances (except Tsundere and Mysterious), as well as two new ones (Girigiri, Choi-ero).
From the first game, I quite enjoyed the rival banchou characters already. But hmm, as mentioned in the previous review there isn’t always chemistry between the heroine and the selected banchou. Unlike in the previous game where at least there was great chemistry between Yasu and the heroine (and my favourite route) – there isn’t any such case here, at least in my opinion. Also, it didn’t help that the heroine for this game was pretty slow for most part and that gave rise to drama and misunderstandings. But yet somehow, all of that managed to resolved in the dream ends even though the couple don’t always properly talk it out? It is somewhat resolved in the perfect ends but it felt odd for some. But okay, let me stop being general and go into the individual routes.
I started with Otome Banchou. The good thing is that, there wasn’t too much drama – and I think the issue of “do I see him as just a friend or not” is fair enough. Also, Otome knows a girl well ‘cos he’s…an otome, and so everything was mostly dandy. There were a few scenes when Otome decides to act more of guy such as playing Romeo or dressing in a suit on the Christmas date. But whenever you have to choose the choices, the “correct” ones would be the ones that tell Otome to stay as his own self. With that in mind, I could kind of predict the endings – especially having had a similar experience with Lucian Bee’s: Evil Violet.
But that’s the point of this game right? All of the banchou characters would give you different experiences – but the few following routes fell short and suddenly Otome Banchou’s route seemed so much more fun than before. Right, so I did Host Banchou next and unfortunately his route had too much sudden drama for me. I know that the Renai Banchou games do stereotypes, and the fact that Host’s past was such-and-such and that he has two sides to him etc. was okay. ‘Cos well, after Last Escort I could sort of predict what was going to happen. But then near the end of Host’s route, he pulled out the coward card and of course the heroine being a love novice takes it for real. But yet suddenly, everything is resolved in the dream end, and the perfect end felt a bit forced to me. Umm, basically it was quite a confusing experience.
I did Data Banchou next and his character is nice. But the heroine acted the worst in his route I think. ‘Cos of her, it felt like no wonder why Data is being taken for a ride as he gets jealous of others – and then gets more insecure too which made things draggier. Such examples include the heroine’s attempt to rationalise that she shouldn’t give him his V-day chocolate ‘cos they are not real lovers. This only happened in his route and wow, can you imagine how hurt he was. I can understand that yeah, the heroine has her own insecurities plus she’s a love novice – but the point is that she is supposed to learn more through this experience and I would’ve expected her to pick up on the obvious signs towards the end that Data has fallen for her already. Or maybe I’m asking too much? There was potential for that chemistry to be there, like in Yasu’s route, but no. So basically, while Data’s route had his cute moments, those were replaced by frustrating ones in the end. I still like him as a character though.
Next was Do-S Banchou and while it wasn’t 100% satisfactory, it was much better. Despite his title, Do-S makes a lot of sense in his how-to lectures, unlike the rest where I would sometimes think “but there are exceptions to what you just said”. Even though he wants everything as he likes, he admits that other people are different or that this is just in his case for example. The pacing of his route wasn’t as well-done though so the endings come off as a bit sudden.
Fuuki Banchou’s route was a bit dull for my taste to be honest. He had his cute moments, and I was really amused by his (fail) text messages at the start – but then he gets better at it so you only get to see those for like the first few messages. He’s also all about the rule-book and doesn’t change much in the route – so much so that he says that it’s against the rules to bring in chocolates on V-day, and the heroine has to ask him to “confiscate” them and only then does he take them. Probably one of those times I thought the heroine did good.
After that was Koakuma Banchou and thankfully so – I thought that his route didn’t overdo the drama and was fun on the whole. I mean, yeah there was the drama of the heroine suddenly being conscious of the fact that he had to go out with girls like her now since he’s a banchou – but it didn’t drag out like the previous routes. Though to be honest, I don’t see why she has to get so bothered since if he weren’t a banchou, she wouldn’t even have gotten to meet him in the first place and be together like this now! Anyway, Koakuma is always straightforward and would want to know what’s wrong and when he does, he immediately tries to find a way to cheer her up. Sure, being a koakuma he may lie sometimes, but his playful frankness was also his charm.
Iyashi Banchou, is just as Otome described – he’s a sekuhara character without realising it. To him, touching people is the same as breathing air lol. His character feels similar to D in Lucian Bee’s series, though D is more pure in a sense and Iyashi appears to be touching the heroine on purpose sometimes lol. So while I didn’t enjoy him as much as D (ahem, just a random comparison since D was my favourite), his route was still enjoyable.
The last one, Yankee Banchou, ended up being my favourite mostly thanks to his gap moe I think. Despite his rough and tough exterior, he has his softer side too and gets easily embarrassed lol. The heroine, for once, also manages to catch this point. He’s very straightforward and frank with his feelings and words (except when he’s embarrassed), and he really shows his concern for the heroine through his actions . Oh, and he has one or two secrets of his own, and one of those adds to his gap moe~ I’m glad I saved him for last and that he turned out to be the most enjoyable for me, by coincidence.
I enjoyed the interactions between the brothers (Do-S, Iyashi, Otome; Fuuki, Data) as well as interactions among all the banchou characters as a whole. I think that they improved the system and put more thought into it too. For example, the first game had a common event in February and if you were aiming to complete everyone’s and all their 3 endings – it means that you would have to skip through the same event 20 times. Thankfully this wasn’t the case here so it made the playing experience less draggy.
Like the first game, it makes references to the seiyuu’s traits and even some of their other roles (just that they don’t mention the game title). For example, Iyashi’s route made a reference to D from Lucian Bee’s, and Yankee’s made a reference to Heisuke from Hakuouki. Again though, you don’t unlock much bonus content so feel free to just go after the characters you’re interested in. You may want to keep in mind my
unnecessary rant about the parameters, and perhaps enjoy multi-tasking this light-hearted game with others.