During the last year of the new millennium, a game released that would go down in the history of otome games.
There were so many TV commercials that I was one day before my thirtieth birthday and looking forward to the release of this game. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one looking forward to this game. I was determined to dedicate the last day of my twenties and the first week of my thirties to this game. I went out of my way to purchase the game from an actual store the day, instead of downloading off the internet. I couldn’t contain my excitement to play this game. The game features smooth moving animation, vocal songs, and many handsome men.
Just press the start button and get your heart pumping over the capture targets.
I was sure I wasn’t the only one who felt tricked by the game’s marketing, so I got on the internet.
—I’m not sure I’m the only one who thought this was a bad game.
—The ending theme was a karaoke version with no singers in it.
—It’s nothing but poorly thought-out, lazy world-building.
—The only smooth animation is in the game’s intro. The rest of the game is really shoddy.
It’s a maiden game with a basic user interface. The karaoke theme song isn’t great, but it’s bearable. The world-building was a bit disappointing, but if you can stand it, and don’t think about it that much, you’ll be fine. As for the animation – only the ‘opening’ animation was drawn by Rubin. They outsourced the rest to a production company no one had ever heard of. The game was a total scam, right? Well, it was my mistake for believing the hype.
However, the real problem with the game is the storyline.
A commoner heroine who lives in the European-style Smola Kingdom, an educational school for both men and women, and a school for both nobles and commoners, “Royal She enrolls in “Smola Academy” as a user of light magic, which is fine. The plot of falling in love with beautifully drawn characters is a staple of otome games, and that’s okay, too.
But the rival villainess young lady was a catastrophic failure.
And when I say the villainess was bad, I don’t mean the character is bad person. The villainess young lady who was supposed to stand in the way of the heroine, Liliana Swarov (also called Lily), is a ridiculously good girl. She is the only daughter of the Swarov estate and is known as the “most beautiful woman of the land.” Because of her status as a baron’s daughter, which is not very high in the aristocratic society, she is kind to everyone. She has excellent grades. She’s going to school with her childhood friend, the daughter of the neighboring territory’s Viscount Clift Roethrigen. When the heroine gets lost in the academy, the villainess is the first one to help. That right there! What’s up with that? The villainess’s job is to attack the heroine, not help her.
The capture targets at the school are the first prince, the Prime Minister’s son, and the second son of the Knight Commander of the Kingsguard. They have been in love with Lilliana since they were children, and the heroine’s job in the game is to ‘steal’ the capture targets from Lilliana.
This is not what otome games are supposed to be about.
The title is “Exciting battles! The Great War in the School of Love” and it’s not exciting at all. Instead, all I feel is the pang that comes from playing something terrible.
To be honest, the heroine is more like a villain than the villainess. I mean, no matter how you look at it, the heroine is just backward-compatible with her rival. The prince and the prime minister’s son are both idiots. And I have no idea why the Knight Commander’s son chose the heroine. If it were me, I would definitely pick Liliana (Lily), the villainess. But despite that, everyone is in love with the heroine. The game is… dumb.
Take the son of the Knight Commander of the Kingsguard, for example. He’s supposed to be a master archer, but he loses a mock battle to Lily. While the heroine comforts him about it, he develops a crush on her. He just blubbers on about how “I just want to protect the weak.”
No. You should be ashamed of yourself for losing to Lily. You’re pathetic. Furthermore, he wants to join the Kingsguard in the future. The Kingsguard Knights protect the king, not just those who are weak.
The Prime Minister’s son is also awful. After losing to Lily in the school speech contest, he is overwhelmed with hatred for her and attacked her way more than he should have. He gleefully harasses the heroine who is not that bright, saying, ‘What, you don’t know this stuff?” He’s a prideful pain in the ass.
And then there’s the prince. He’s a self-righteous prick. To get Lily’s attention, he tries to use the heroine to make Lily jealous. Instead, the prince and the heroine fall in love. Even worse, the prince already has a fiancée, Alice Salvatore, who is the daughter of a Duke. Oh, my God. You’re a total asshole, dude.
The Clifton storyline is the only one that’s marginally good… Lily, at least, has a faint crush on Clifton. But he’s genuinely in love with Lily, so the ending feels kind of lackluster. The plot is just half-assed. Overall, it’s a crappy game.
The internet was raging.
—I was tricked.
—I want my money back.
—I could see it if the Lily was the main character.
—She’s not at all like a villainess. Why did you make Alice the MOB?
—I mean, Prince Charming is an idiot.
—I can’t believe the son of the Kingsguard is so incapable!
—And the Prime Minister’s son!
—Conclusion: this country is doomed.
And so on.
Eventually, this game “Exciting battles! The Great War in the School of Love,” a.k.a. “Exciting! School of Love” was known as “the greatest piece of rubbish” in Japan. It was….
◆ ◆ ◆
“Lady Lis. Lady Alice?”
When I turned my eyes toward the voice that unexpectedly called out to me, I saw a girl there. The girl, who looks like a cute Western-style doll with fluffy blonde hair and piercing eyes, was looking at me anxiously…
“Are you all right, Lady Alice? Are you unwell? It’s your birthday, but if you’re not feeling well, I suggest you go back to your room.”
“Yes… Lady Alice?”
I recognized the girl sitting in front of me, Liliana Swarov, seven-years-old. The knowledge from my past life rapidly flowed into my mind.
“Hey, Lily, what’s my name?”
“Well, um… Lady Alice Salbert, but… are you sure you’re all right, Lady Alice?”
Lily looked concerned again… then I stared down at the pasta on the table.
Alice Salbert. The only daughter of the Duke of Salbert and the fiancée of Crown Prince Zeke. And a close friend of Liliana Swarov, the villainess…
“I’m totally a MOB character.”
I reincarnated as a MOB character from “Exciting! School of Love.”
“Oh, Miss Alice! Are you okay!”
…I remembered my past life while I was eating pasta. Isn’t it usually when you hit your head or had a fever? This is just another disappointing aspect of “Exciting! School of Love”, isn’t it?
But maybe it’s not the game’s fault though.