By Steve Baltimore / March 11th, 2021
|Title||Majikoi! Love Me Seriously!|
|Release Date||December 25th, 2020|
|Age Rating||All Ages (Steam), 18+ (JAST USA)|
I was pretty excited to finally get a chance to check out Majikoi! Love Me Seriously! when it released in December of last year. I had heard about this one for years, and I managed to keep myself from being spoiled while waiting on the official release to arrive. I always like to go into a visual novel like this as blind as possible to get the full experience. Let’s see if it was worth the wait.
This action comedy follows a young man named Yamato and his group of friends, known as the Kazama family. They are a very talented group of individuals, in fact, the five girls in the group are such strong martial artists, they could likely take down an army by themselves! They all attend Kawakami Academy. This is a very competitive school. Any disputes are decided through a very unique duel system that most would find over the top. We will now learn about their daily lives. Yamato will discover that one of the girls has a special place in his heart, or that he really loves hermit crabs!
The common route in Majikoi! Love Me Seriously! is one of the longest I’ve seen in a visual novel. This is a good thing, however, since it takes a lot of time to introduce all of this very eccentric cast and the crazy world that they live in. I’m, honestly, very impressed with how deep it goes into most of the characters’ backstories and it made me feel like I knew them by the time it was time to start the heroines’ routes.
The five main heroines in this game are all just simply amazing. I had a blast exploring each girl’s route and getting to know them. Each one has an amazing backstory and it’s very easy to fall in love with any of them in a second. These girls may be the most beautiful girls around, but they are also the most badass! Let’s take a few minutes to meet each of these great characters.
The oldest is Momoyo. She adopted Yamato as her little brother and can be very daunting to him, at times. In combat, she is probably the strongest character in this universe, by every possible measure. She is terrible with matters of money and studying is certainly not her strong point. She has also been known to steal the hearts of girls as well as young men that never had a chance. Miyako loves Yamato more than anything on this Earth, despite his constant rejection. She would basically do anything for the man, as she is madly in love with him. She was bullied terribly as a child, and the group accepted her as a friend. This makes her very defensive of the family as a whole. Christiane Friedrich (Chris) is a German transfer student that is obsessed with Japan. This obsession comes from watching tons of samurai dramas. She believes that justice should come before anything else. This puts her at odds with Yamato at times, since he does whatever is necessary to protect his friends and family, fair or not. She is an amazing fencer and always tends to end up in some rather unique situations with Yamato. Next up we have the newest member of the group, Yukie. She is a first-year transfer student that has tasked herself with making a ton of new friends. This isn’t going to be easy for her, though, since she is every shy. She eventually gets up the courage to ask the Kazama family to be her friends and they accept, after some teasing of course. She is one of the greatest swordswomen in the world and, with Yamato’s help, she may just get over some of that shyness. Last, but not least, my personal favorite, Kazuko. She is the adopted little sister of Momoyo, whom she greatly respects, and works very hard, everyday, to become a great martial artist. She has the most positive attitude of any character I’ve ever seen, to the point that it is infectious. Her route actually sparks debate among fans due to its ending, but I can honestly relate to it on some level. It’s rare I find a girl that really pulls at my heartstrings, but Kazuko did that and more.
While the main cast in any visual novel is expected to be awesome most of the time, most have lowered expectations for the supporting cast. I can safely say that Majikoi! Love Me Seriously! has the best supporting cast of any visual novel I’ve ever played. Their rivals from Class 2-S are amazing in their own rights and they add so much depth here. This is one of the most over-the-top group of characters I’ve ever seen and I really want to see more of them when I get a chance. The other members of your class are quite fun as well. Suguru’s obsessed with women; the adorable class rep, Mayo, tries to keep this wild class in line; and their wild teacher Umeko Kojima uses her whip to keep the peace.
The gameplay here is divided up into two main parts. There is the common route which does have some decisions for the player to make. You can actually end up with a bad ending here if you make certain choices. After the common route is over, you will be given a choice of who you want to hang out with each day. Keep hanging out with your desired heroine and you will most likely end up on her route. Some routes will only open up after completing other routes. There are also many variations of CG images that the player can unlock with certain choices as well. Completing routes will unlock standard gallery things as well as an after story bit for the main heroines.
As with everything else in Majikoi! Love Me Seriously!, the artwork here is outstanding. The character sprites are nicely detailed. Their facial expressions bring out the emotions of certain scenes and there are even some stylized animations thrown in for more impact. The backgrounds are all nicely detailed and add to the immersion in this world. CG images are all top quality and the H-scenes are nicely done as well. The eroge scenes here are more about quality than quantity. They fit into the story nicely and do not feel forced or drag things out unnecessarily.
All great visual novels have to have top quality voice acting, and Majikoi! Love Me Seriously! totally delivers in this area. Each member of the cast brings these characters to life and gives them a ton of personality. There is one major drawback to this release, JAST USA wasn’t able to license some of the voice acting from the original game. Getting some of this work out of Japan is a nightmare. There is a handy fan patch floating around out there that will fix this issue. I cannot link it here, but it’s super easy to find and apply. On top of the great voice acting, I love the soundtrack in this game. The slower tracks like “Everlasting Tama River” really give some scenes more meaning, and tracks like “Competing Youth” are hard hitting, getting you ready for the craziness you are about to witness on screen. Add in the fantastic opening and ending tracks, and I honestly hope JAST can put this soundtrack up for sale at some point. It would be a great pickup for anyone.
There’s really nothing else I can say about Majikoi! Love Me Seriously! This is one of the best visual novels I’ve ever read. The characters are all amazing, the voice acting is top tier, the artwork is stellar, and the soundtrack is fantastic as well. This one is well worth the $39.99 price tag. You can also pick up an All Ages version of this on Steam for $34.99 and snag a patch from JAST’s site, if that is more your style. This one will give you well over 40 hours of gameplay, if you decided to tackle everything there is to see. I have no issue recommending this to any fan of visual novels. There is nothing else that mixes character work like this with action and comedy in such an amazing way.
Game was provided by the publisher.
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