I finally finished an otome game after 120398123 years. Here is my non-spoiler review of Cupid Parasite. The only graphics I’ll show are the title screen, screenshots of the interface, and non-spoiler dialogue and CGs.
Our heroine Cupid works tirelessly to shoot her arrows and create the perfect couples. Unfortunately, more and more couples break up and marriage rates are falling. Annoyed by her father’s (Mars, CV: Mikami Satoshi) nagging and also increasingly attracted to the human world thanks to her aunt (Minerva, CV: Soumi Yoko), Cupid starts to question the way gods operate. In order to prove her father’s backward thinking wrong, she descends to Los York with Minerva’s help and adopts the name Lynette Mirror. She is also joined by a cute mythological beast, Chi-chan. After studying about love at university and graduating, she joins Cupid Corporation (a matchmaking agency which follows through till marriage).
Eventually, Lynette rises to become the company’s top bridal advisor. One day, her boss Shelby Snail (CV: KENN) calls her to his office and offers to promote her if she can successfully match Parasite5. Parasite5 is made up of 5 male customers who have been giving her colleagues and fellow female customers a headache due to their odd personalities and quirks.
- Gill Lovecraft (CV: Kimura Ryouhei): Heartbreak Parasite. Previously shared an apartment with Lynette, and also went to the same university. Can’t move on from that one love of his aka Lynette. Unfortunately, Lynette is unaware of this.
- S (CV: KENN): Status Parasite. Remains anonymous and is represented by Owen Henriot (CV: Kanbara Daichi). A workaholic, obsessed with maintaining his status and being SS at everything. Shelby is mistakenly known as a loving husband, so he wants to get married asap.
- Raul Aconite (CV: Yashiro Taku): Hobby Parasite. A famous Shillywood actor who joined the agency to hone his acting skills for romance scenes. Is obsessed with gods and mythology.
- Keisaiin F Ryuki (CV: Enoki Junya): Appearance Parasite. A fashion designer who has perfect colour sense, and sees everyone as colour hues. If people are not beautiful enough, he won’t identify them. Was told by his sister to join the agency as his designs are lacking.
- Allan Melville (CV: Furukawa Makoto): Stolen Parasite. Owns a luxury pillow store and his customers often have good dreams. He likes going after women who are already attached, hence he often ends up in trouble. Is actually an incubus.
Along the way, Lynette also ends up shooting a show with Parasite5. The assistant director, Peter Flage (CV: Okamoto Nobuhiko), is a mysterious figure who is rather clumsy.
After a common route, it branches into the individual character route. You can easily check your progress from the flowchart. For the first playthrough, you can play either Gill, Shelby or Ryuki’s route. Once you’re done with the first playthrough, Raul and Allan’s route are unlocked. The common route, and all the individual routes have multiple endings. Once you finish all 5 routes, the secret character’s route is unlocked. You need to restart from the beginning, and the game with prompt you with it. The route doesn’t have any choice-making, and it only has one ending. It’s actually quite obvious who the secret character is, but I’ll leave it to you to find out for yourself. You don’t need to follow a strict order. For reference though, I played in this order: Shelby, Ryuki, Gill, Raul, Allan, Secret Character.
I would say that the Secret Character’s end is the most wholesome, and it explained certain points brought up in other routes too. The great thing is that all the ends are worth playing. Some of them are downright hilarious! Personally, I like our heroine the best. But I did end up liking all of the characters more than expected. Some of them overturned my initial expectations, such as Ryuki, Raul and Allan. For example, despite being the youngest of the bunch, Ryuki felt the most level-headed to me at times lol. I did take a while to finish everything as I wasn’t that interested in Raul. However, his route had some really funny scenes so it wasn’t boring. Also I’m pretty surely that his route is mostly responsible for the CERO-D rating. Surprised that it wasn’t Allan’s route?
A recurring element is the 6 types of love. Each guy actually represents each of them: agape, pragma, ludas, eros, mania, storge. In the common route, a trial version of a love type test is created by Claris Tia (CV: Hanamura Sayaka), Lynette’s colleague and roommate. The result you obtain does affect your eventual end, aside from the usual affection parameter. Don’t worry, as you can directly choose the result you want from the second playthrough onwards. I thought that it was nice to see the different types of love represented in an otome game! Generally, I enjoyed the romance for all the routes. Mostly because the usual miscommunication and misunderstandings were avoided! Mythology is also heavily featured, especially in the Secret Character’s route, and it was fun to learn more.
The art was pretty, and I like how the main characters have several outfit looks. Though I must comment on the colour palette. As you already noticed, it’s really colourful, bright and pop. At first, I could only play a few hours as my eyes wouldn’t be able to take it any longer. Towards the end though, I found myself marathoning longer. I guess I got used to it somehow. Los York is obviously a parody of Los Angeles and New York. I’m not familiar with the street sights, but it was amusing to see the play on well-known names (be it places or people!). I actually really liked the music. In fact, each of the main characters had their own background tracks (with vocals). All of them were really addictive, and fitting to each character.
I think the cast is a good mix of usual names vs. the more infrequent ones. Even the side characters grew on me. An interesting point to note is that the newscaster in the game speaks in English (the text is in Japanese). The English was pretty on point! Speaking of which, yes the rating is CERO-D so…there were certainly more touchy scenes. Let me just say that KENN’s voice hit my strike zone A LOT. (Maybe it also helps that when I took the love type test for myself, my result was Pragma. And the romance between Shelby and Lynette as a really power working couple appealed to me. Heh.)
There’s a skip to the next choice function (thank goodness!) which certainly helped me progress faster. It would also stop if you reach unread text.Once you reach the last choice though, you gotta rely on just the skip function. Fortunately, it didn’t waste too much time. Other than that, you can change the font type! Hooray! (I changed it immediately.)
You can unlocks CGs (with scene replays), all scene replays, music, and opening/ending movie videos. After you get each guy’s best end (except for the Secret Character), they would also speak a few lines when you return to the title menu. It’s a pity that there’s no way to replay that! So if you want to listen to them again, maybe make a timely save slot. Other than that, as I really enjoyed all the routes, I wished there were after stories which we could unlock.
Overall, I definitely recommend Cupid Parasite! I guess, I would describe it as the perfect otome game to get you back in the otome game mood. (At least it did for me, haha.)