By William Haderlie / June 22nd, 2016
|Title||My Boss’ Wife is My Ex|
|Release Date||May 31, 2016|
|Genre||NTR Eroge Visual Novel|
|Age Rating||Adults Only|
*Be aware that along with a frank discussion of 18+ topics, any links in this review will take you to potentially NSFW.*
Netorare, otherwise seen as NTR, is the Japanese term for “cuckold”. That means, a cheating spouse, and when used in that manner it almost always means a genre of anime or manga or visual novels that deals with those themes exclusively. For many people that is a turn on to read about or to see, and as with most other things, Japan has an industry that is devoted to its exploration. This is actually the first NTR visual novel that I have ever played, although I have seen some anime and manga associated with it. So I’ll just get it out of the way that, while this is not a specific genre that excites me, it is not something that I find ethically wrong. What people do with their own relationships is up to them, and to explore things in a safe fantasy setting is generally a good idea to me, as I’ve discussed before. But, let’s get one disclaimer out of the way. Yes, almost everything shown in this Visual Novel is blackmail and hence, illegal. So, don’t try this at home, but you should have already known that. It doesn’t make it invalid to explore in fantasy, though.
As you can imagine with the pervasive office culture of Japan, especially Tokyo, this story having an office setting is pretty par for the course. However, when you go through so many visual novels with a high school setting, including even some Adult ones like Beat Blades Haruka, this can be a nice change of pace. It has been a few months since I have reviewed an Eroge for the site, so it was nice to go back to these types of Visual Novels. To be sure, this one is more like watching a simple porno than something deep and complex like Haruka, but it also has its charm. Instead of going through a 20-60 hour story, you are treated to a little office drama that is only about 2 hours.
You play Tomoki, an entirely unvoiced and almost entirely unseen main character. He seems to be mostly happy with his current office job, but his romantic life has been almost nil since college. Suddenly things at the office start to change with the former boss retiring and his son taking over the business. Tomoki likes his son a lot and enjoys working for him. Until you meet his wife, that is, who is going to be taking over as head of Accounting. You are shocked speechless when you find that it is your old college girlfriend, Shiho. This is extra hard on him because he has never gotten over Shiho, and she is largely the reason that he was never able to be happy in any relationship since.
Things start to get more twisted around as her new policies in Accounting start to make a lot of the office workers uncomfortable. And from Tomo’s view, this only reinforces the resentment he has felt, that she broke up with him because she looks down on him, just like she looks down on everyone else. Finding a sex tape that they had filmed with each other in their younger years solidified a plan in his mind. He would use it to blackmail her into doing whatever he wanted. The fact that he felt justified in helping out his co-workers helped him get past any feelings of guilt over using her that way.
After you blackmail her into having sex with you again in the office after hours, you start to have a choice with how the story progresses. There are two major routes and three different endings for you to explore. The two major routes are whether you will be keeping Shiho to yourself, or whether you will be trading her body in for business progress. Of course, his feeling that she dumped him only to trade up to a more successful person only causes that second option to twist him even further. Eventually, either direction you go, she finally confesses to him that she didn’t break up with him because of his lack of money or family connections, but for another reason entirely. I won’t spoil here why she did, but frankly it did bother me that it was so stupid of a reason. However, I can’t say that it’s unlikely, because it does happen, and in Japanese society I would see its likelihood to increase over it happening in the US.
There are three endings for this title, as I previously stated. They consist of two different “good” endings, and a bad one. The bad ending can be achieved via two different routes, and concludes with Shiho being Mind Broken (another sub-genre of Eroge/manga/anime), and you both being discovered. This results in you being fired and never seeing her again, which is fairly obvious so I don’t mind spoiling that one. One of the good endings also ends up with a bit of mind break, but that one ends up with the relationship remaining NTR, although I won’t go into specifics. The other good ending evolves into a happy romantic relationship for the two of them, although they get to that point in a very NTR way. All around I liked the choices, and for a 2 hour visual novel experience, they felt like they fit in with the mood and the scope.
My final take away from the experience was that it was a small but interesting experience. While not a fan of NTR in general, it still was erotic and interesting. And, while the main character could be a bit reprehensible (especially for one of the routes), Shiho herself was quite a good character. Her voice work is really quite good and all the animation in the game is quite good. Even for small titles like this there is just a huge difference in quality between these and the Visual Novels that are starting to pop up from US development studios. One real letdown for me, however, is that it is only available in Mosaic form. My experience with the title would have been greatly improved without them. And I do understand that MangaGamer’s hands are mostly tied when it comes to that, the source company either provides the art uncensored or they don’t, it still has to be said when providing a review score. The only other minor quibbles I have are that the music is rather forgettable as with the sound effects, and there are almost no Bonus options, only the standard CG and Scene Galleries. But for a price of $14.95, really you are getting what you pay for here. And NTR experiences may be common in Japan, but they are still a bit rare here, in my experience. So overall this is a really good entry to the ever expanding MangaGamer library.
Review Copy Provided By Publisher
18+Adult Visual NovelAppetiteerogeMangaGamerMy Boss' Wife is My Ex!NTRPC