Dogenzaka Lab Three Otome

Dogenzaka Lab Three Otome

Dogenzaka Lab seem to be setting up an awful ‘guy walks into a bar joke’ with their next three otome games: My Secret PetsDestiny’s Princess: A War Story, A Love Storyand Pub EncounterI can’t think of a punchline of why a destined princess and a bunch of were-pets would walk into a pub but I’m sure the answer would include wistful looking anime men. All three games are currently listed as ‘Available: April 2016’ on Steam so now is a good time to get acquainted with these titles while we wait.

My Secret Pets features a girl who returns home one night to find that her 4 pets (a cat, rabbit, cuckatoo, and pig) have all gained the ability to turn into handsome men. It’s not stated that this is due to magic or due to the mental state of the recently dumped protagonist but hi-jinks will be abound when your no good ex comes snooping around. Because I can’t put this any better, I’ll let the Steam page speak for itself: ‘Will you end up as the owner, or the pet!? Find out what it’s like to live together with animal boys in heat!’

The next otome game takes a more serious and historical approach with Destiny’s Princess: A War Story, A Love Story. Here you play as a princess caught between warring states during the time of the samurai. Your pampered court life is shattered by invading forces, strong warriors, and imposing commanders. Will you be taken off on horse back by your country’s own warrior Date Masamune or be stolen away by the shadow-like abilities of the ninja Fuma Kotaro? Whichever of the 5 men you choose, your love and your country are at stake.

Finally Pub Encounter sees the female protagonist taking a chance on the bar named ‘Audire’ off the beaten path. Here she meets a higher-class clientele with 5 gentlemen that stand out. Each of these would-be suitors ‘are experienced in life and have their own stories to tell.’ This game seems the most down to earth with characters like Yuze Ryunosuke, a man with past trauma that makes him cautious around women and Hodo Yorihisa, who seems kind enough but sees life as something you need to win at. In a nice twist, the men in this game will be older and ‘sophisticated’ which will give the young bucks in usual otome games a chance to sit one out.

All three of these titles are currently available on iOS and android systems and the PC versions will be ports of the mobile games. The good news is that games like Pub Encounter will have all additional content found on the smartphone apps. No price has been listed for the Steam visual novels but based on totals for the dev‘s other mobile to Steam transfer, the PC version will cost less than all of the in game purchases combined. For instance The Men of Yoshiwara: Kikuya had a at least 10 purchasable mobile chapters for a total of $42.60 USD whereas the Steam version costs $29.99 USD. Whatever the pricing might be, these otome visual novels will not be cheap. We’ll keep you informed if any prices are revealed and when the release dates are announced. Hopefully we will bring you our thoughts on at least one of these games (I really want to play Pub Encounter).

Leif Conti-Groome
Leif Conti-Groome is a writer/playwright/video game journalist whose work has appeared on websites such as NextGen Player, Video Game Geek and DriveinTales. His poem Ritual won the 2015 Broadside Contest organized by the Bear Review. While he grew up playing titles such as Final Fantasy VI and Super Double Dragon, he doesn’t really have a preference for genre these days except for Country; that’s a game genre right? Leif’s attention has been more focused on the burgeoning communities of niche Japanese titles, eSports and speedruns. He currently resides in Toronto, Canada and makes a living as a copywriter.