Otome Game Review: I DOLL U

Amane Aika was told early on to become the best idol there ever was by her parents. Aika was too shy though so her oniichan Manaka said he’ll be an idol for her sake. Fast forward some years later, both of her parents now deceased,  it’s the day of Manaka’s idol debut with the idol group Re;Rise. Aika is getting ready to go see her brother’s performance until she suddenly gets a mystery package from him. Inside she finds his clothes and a wig that looks like his hair with a message that says “don’t ask questions, just go impersonate me” Aika is shocked and decides to go to his band dorm house to check on his whereabouts. When she gets there, she runs into one of the members, Itsuki and he says that if she doesn’t do as her brother says, she’ll ruin his idol career. She decides to put on the disguise and act natural around the other members. Unfortunately for her, her brother Manaka was the only sane one in the whole group. The rest of the group members are a bunch of weirdos and it was their leader Manaka (who they call Aika-kun because that was his stage name) who kept them all together. The manager Yonezawa  finds out the truth from Aika and he begs her to take her brother’s place for a bit until he returns…or else his intestines will explode from the stress. Aika is shy and worried about interacting with her absurd new group but decides she’ll try her best until her brother returns.

The problem is this is the worst idol group ever. They’re busy caring about themselves and fighting instead of caring about their image or their fans.  In fact because of their bickering, they basically ruin their first live performance. After this Aika takes charge and has them work at an “Idol Cafe” and if they start getting rowdy, she jumps in to save the day. They start to respect her after this and even more so after they hear her sing. I guess all those singing lessons she took as a loli (because her father was a songwriter and mother wrote song lyrics) paid off! After a certain time Aika is paired up with one of the guys of the group to help turn him around and change his WILD ways to be a proper idol.

seiya01Moroboshi Seiya – Seiya has the chuunibyou tsundere thing going on, similar to Garaiya in Ninkoi, though unfortunately he’s more ANNOYING than moe. He sits there causing problems with really dumb blog entries, acting selfish towards the group and just being a general nuisance. The other guys all have their quirks but it’s Seiya who actually causes the most grief to the group because while he has great musical talent, he’s generally an idiot. Aika has to constantly run around to him and stop him from posting stupid replies to his fans that will make him look bad. He just gets angry and runs off crying calling her a dumb leader for not understanding his PASSION lmao. /(^o^)\ On top of this, this game has a system where the heroine bumps and accidentally kisses each guy (though any way the player looks at it we are basically forcing ourselves on the guys lmao). So basically because Aika constantly “accidentally kisses” Seiya he starts questioning his feelings and her feelings and “but oh noes we’re band nakama and both dudes!!” ホモォ┌(┌ ^o^)┐Turns out he was raised in America most of his life so when he came to Japan he learned a lot of his Japanese through ANIME AND MANGOS! And because of that he’s actually a closet otaku who’s ashamed of his hobbies and cries when Aika finds out. She says it’s no big deal  and finally understands why he babbles random English all the time. After this, Seiya calls her his “Otaku nakama” because she now knows and accepts his secret! 😄 She tells him that she knows he’s talented so when she compliments him, he gives her the brightest of smiles since no one ever compliments him lol. After the two of them spend time practicing a lot Seiya starts to wonder why Aika is so “soft and smells good” LOOOOL \(^o^)/. He starts unconsciously treating her like a girl until she constantly reminds him like “What are you doing?” www Eventually he gets so jealous of Tsubasa hitting on her that he confesses that he’s in love with her – even if she’s a dude! ┌(┌^o^)┐ホモォ…Aika tells him that he’s just confusing friendship with love. He tells her the only way to find out is to kiss and after kissing her…it makes him fall further in love with her xDDDD.

seiya02He says that he doesn’t care if she’s a man or an alien, he will continue to confess his feelings to her until she returns them! Eventually after helping Seiya with his blog he gets more fans to playfully make fun of him rather than completely hate him. However he still has haters but he says he doesn’t care because he’s used to it. He acts like a little puppy around Aika (ノ´∀`*) always wanting her attention and wanting to spend time with her. He mentions on his blog how he dreams of one day having Re;Rise be backup singers in an orchestra but some obnoxious song writer says that he’s just full of himself. Manager Yonezawa sees this and for once instead of raging at Seiya, he rages at that song writer for being rude. Seiya says he doesn’t care because he’s used to people hating on him but then Yonezawa shits bricks. It turns out that Yonezawa’s family got killed in a car accident and he was the only survivor. When he was at his lowest point, he heard Seiya’s music and got back on his feet. They were both in an agency together so when Seiya quit, Yonezawa came with him and became his manager just so he could have Seiya continue writing his amazing music. Turns out Seiya was one of the top 3 graduates of a famous New York musical academy (much to Aika’s surprise) so Yonezawa wanted the world to recognize his talents. He helped Seiya learn Japanese because apparently it used to be a lot worse than it is now xDDD. And so he rages that Seiya SHOULD care when someone insults his musical talents rather than how people usually make fun of his derpy chuuni Japanese on his blog. Seiya then cries says he’d rather be hated from the start, than be betrayed later on. Yonezawa and Aika tell him that a lot of people love him and want to hear his music.  Seiya then says he’ll do his best and asks the two of them to support him.  In order to thank Aika for her support and to once again try to confess to her, Seiya decides to give her a present. He decides to surprise her by leaving a bouquet of flowers in her room. While there he accidentally knocks off a picture frame which reveals her true identity! Just then, Aika returns to her room (after being harassed by Tsubasa’s lewdness) to find her room covered in flowers with a confused Seiya. He shows her a picture frame of her and her brother and asks “Who is this?”

seiya03Aika realizes she can’t hold the secret anymore so she reveals to him that she’s the sister and her brother was the original “Aika”. He gets pissed why she rejected his confession on the base of “we’re both guys” when she was a girl to begin with. He gets upset and says everything she did up to now was just to be a “good leader like her brother” and runs off. Aika then realizes all his confessions were true and not a misunderstanding. After this even though Seiya didn’t tell anyone her secret, he began avoiding her. And when he does run into her, he calls her “Amane-san” refusing to ever call her “Aika”. One night he sees Aika being hit on by Tsubasa so he gets in a fight with him. Aika tells them to stop it but Tsubasa binds her so she’s unable to move or do anything. At the same time, some paparazzi catches them fighting and takes pics. Fortunately they didn’t get Tsubasa’s face so the incident just seems like Seiya getting attacked by a random person.  The next day Aika goes to talk to Seiya and he sits there crying about how he’s lonely and doesn’t want to be hated (´Д⊂ヽ. He also says how upset he was when Aika rejected his confession and he felt betrayed that he spilled his heart out to her, but she kept her secret from him. To try to make him understand that she cares, Aika kisses him but he thinks she’s just being nice and feeling sorry for him. Seiya has a press conference where he speaks proper Japanese and apologizes deeply for being meiwaku as fuck to everyone. But then he goes and confesses his love to Aika on TV in front of everyone (though he doesn’t mention her name directly & says it’s one sided.) STILL LOL SERIOUSLY WHY WOULD YOU EVER SAY YOU HAVE A GIRLFRIEND/LOVER ON TV IF YOU ARE AN IDOL WTF /(^o^)\!! Aika sees all this on tv and is extremely embarrassed while all the guys & his blog fans are extremely shocked and surprised. Some days later they have their revenge life and before the show, Seiya thanks everyone for being patient with his stupidity. They put on a great performance, but after the show Aika gets a message to meet her brother in the park. When she meets him there, he explains that he had something more important than his idol career and decided to dump it on his sister instead.

seiya04When Aika asks him what that important thing is he refuses to say (because this game wants us to clear all the other routes before we can see the truth end :lol:).Happy End 1: Aika decides to continue being the leader of Re:Rise and continuing her idol career because her brother never did shit for the group except abandoning it. She and Seiya get really busy with work though, so the other guys try to give them some alone time at which point the 2 of them finally confess their feelings. Well, Seiya already confessed but I guess this time Aika finally convinces him that she likes him as well. In the ultra long epilogue, they go on a date and smooch in the park. Happy End 2: Aika decides she’s going to quit being an idol and has other plans for her life. A couple days later Seiya comes to her house cause he got the address from Yonezawa. He can’t stand being apart from her and asks if he can still hang out with her and go shopping and stuff. Aika continues to be a fan of Re;Rise and supporting Seiya as a fan, but feels lonely because they are so distant now. They make a promise to go to the amusement park together but he has to cancel on the day of because suddenly a photoshoot comes up. After this she feels like her relationship with Seiya is just idol and fan and gets depressed. One day when she’s in the park with her friend she sees Seiya with some other chick. Aika gets really upset and realizes she’s really in love with Seiya. He calls her up and asks her to attend his live performance, but despite saying he’ll pay for the tickets Aika says she’ll buy them herself. At the performance he decides to ruin his entire idol career by confessing “I love you Aika” in front of all of his fans. (;^ω^)…..The level of unrealistic is just so absurd I just sat there like ಠಠ ಠಠ ಠ_ಠ the whole time. In the epilogue Aika visits  Seiya at the RR dorms because Itsuki called her saying Seiya is wangsting in his room. Well uh the rest is the same as happy end 1 so I don’t even know what the point of this was. Bad End: Seiya gives up on his feelings for Aika and says he’ll just act like an idol coworker to her.

ruka01Mikami Ruka – Ruka is the perfect idol. He’s good at what he does, loves to sing, and is generally sparkly! Unfortunately, he cannot handle women, and has a rabid fear of them. Being an idol he has mostly well..fanGIRLS so because he couldn’t interact in any fan events, he was fired from his previous agency.  For some odd reason though, being around Aika is A-OK and sometimes he even wishes Aika was a girl because he’s so comfortable around “him”. Has some bird friends that he talks to like some disney heroine. He claims he can talk to them cause he talked to birds a lot as a lonely child growing up. Aika tries to help him get over his woman fear by taking him to a park so he can “look” at women and “get used” to them. Unfortunately it’s a long journey and he pisses off some of his fangirls along the way 😆  One day when Aika decides to go hang out with her friend she gets caught on her way out by Ruka. The thing is, Aika was dressed as her female self so Ruka was surprised. Despite seeing a girl though, he doesn’t shit bricks, and despite finding out that Aika is really a girl he is more excited that ZOMG I’M NOT SCARED OF YOU! He then asks Aika to kiss him because he saw a program that said if you want to get over something you are scared of, you need some SHOCK therapy. She gives in and kisses him but then runs off in embarrassment. After this, Ruka tells her that this will be their secret and he pretty much spends all his time with her, and is constantly giving her loving stares lol. Aika doesn’t know what to think other than being embarrassed but figures Ruka is just excited because she’s like the only girl that doesn’t make him freak out. At the studio before one of the movie auditions they find some dudes saying shit about Reo. Aika steps in and tells them to basically fuck off because they suck and can’t get the part with their own skills.

ruka02Reo comes back and tells them that he failed the audition and they should instead be “fighting on stage during acting” not behind the curtain. After all of them leave, Ruka is so moved by Aika’s bravery – despite the fact that she was shaking the whole time he says that she is his hero. And….then suddenly he asks if he can kiss her again (even though they’re backstage at a studio XD).  Aika is weak to the sexy beast so she lets him, and afterwards he says that this made him realize he’s in love with her. But for whatever reason Aika keeps denying it and saying he’s just confused with his feelings. He says he’ll prove it by getting over his fear of women so that she can see his feelings for her are real. Unfortunately things go bad when Ruka and Aika run into Ruka’s father Mitsuke. He tells Ruka he can get over his fear or women if he just gets a girlfriend or a lover. Apparently Ruka’s fear of women comes from his manwhoring father who had tons of lovers after his mother died. The lovers would then be insane and fight each other with kitchen knives and shit so shota Ruka became terrified of women.  The following day Ruka avoids Aika and seems to be stuttering and terrified around her. He messes up at their radio show so she drags him to a private room and asks him what is wrong with him while he stands there shivering. He gives her a notebook he got from his family house and inside she finds a photo of his father and a woman who looks similar to Aika. Turns out Aika’s mom used to date Ruka’s father in the past and now Ruka thinks that it’s possible that he and Aika are actually siblings. He says he never knew who his mother was and thinks that he might have been the illegitimate child of Aika’s mom and his father Mitsuke. SUDDENLY, MARAMALADE BOY. Ruka is heartbroken because if they are siblings, they cannot be lovers OH NOES! After he runs off, Aika flips through the diary and finds proof that they are in fact not siblings.  While Ruka continues to ignore her, Aika realizes she’s in love with him. Eventually all the guys help them be alone at the amusement park when their job gets cancelled for the day…and that’s when Aika finally explains to Ruka about their parents.

ruka03She says that based on her mom’s diary dates it’s impossible for her mom to be his mom and the reason his dad has her mom’s diary is probably dude was head over heels for her. She ended up breaking up with him cause he was a cheating manwhore back in high school xD. Ruka is so happy to hear they’re not siblings he confesses his love to Aika on the ferris wheel. A few days later comes their revenge concert and they kick ass, with Ruka pleasing his fangirls by actually addressing them instead of hiding backstage in fear. After the concert, Aika runs into her brother Manaka who as usual won’t tell us shit and tells Aika to decide whether to continue being an idol or quit. Happy End 1: Aika chooses to continue being an idol and Manaka tells Ruka to take care of his sister while he ~goes off on a journey~. 🙄  After he leaves, Ruka’s dad shows up and reveals that Ruka’s mom was an actress but due to scandals they had to break up their relationship. Ruka also introduces Aika as his lover even though Aika is like “Wait I didn’t agree to this…” Um what? ಠ_ಠ but then she says she’ll become his lover in front of the dad. I don’t really know what the point of this was, I assumed they were lovers the moment they both confessed their love to each other. Anyway Ruka keeps ichaichaing with Aika in public and during work so she tells him to hold back a bit so that there’s no scandals. He starts to immediately hold everything back and instead he sings all his pent up feelings to Aika in some love song at their house recording studio. In the epilogue while everyone is away, Aika comes into Ruka’s room for the first time to ichaicha. Later one they go to the park where he introduces her to his bird friends as his “lover” and they promise to be together forever. Bad End: Ruka and Aika get caught in a love scandal so Yonezawa asks them to break up. Happy End 2: Aika decides to quit being an idol but keeps in touch with Ruka and continues secretly dating him. They go on a date to the amusement park so to disguise himself Ruka puts on what looks like a fat chocobo head xDDDD. At the end of the night they go on the ferris wheel together where he can finally take his mask off and confesses his love to her 1 more time. Aika kisses him on the forehead and they smooch the night away. The epilogue is the same as end 1. Not gonna lie, I probably wouldn’t have liked this route as much as I did if Kenn wasn’t the voice actor 😆

tsu01Kuroyume Tsubasa – I think this route made me hate Maeno’s voice. I mean I LOVE Maeno’s voice but when you constantly hear a hateable character being voiced by him it starts to affect your feelings for a seiyuu nooo. _| ̄|○ il||li I absolutely hate Tsubasa and I really just hate characters who constantly berate the heroine. Amazon reviewers said he’s the best character, the official staff blog said he’s a tsundere but what I got instead was some oresama douchebag who treated the heroine like his blow up doll. But yea, we’re supposed to be okay with this because he’s the dark lord and that’s what demons do! They are cruel and evil and we just have to deal with it. No thank you. ( ‘д‘⊂彡☆))Д´) パーンAnyway Tsubasa is a demon and well his demon senses can tell that Aika is no dude!He keeps babbling about being some dark lord and that all women will bow down to him and that he will have Aika’s body…but she’s just terrified thinking he may know her secret so she constantly denies his advances. She denies them so much that when she finally says he looks great during his photo shoot he….blushes like a little girl. To get Aika to pay attention to him he keeps telling her to do menial pointless tasks just so she spends time with him….and threatens to tell everyone she’s a girl if she doesn’t do what he says. ┐(´д`)┌ヤレヤレ A few days later at an interview Aika accidentally bumps into Seiya and spills his drink on herself to protect the camera person. Tsubasa then thinks that she’s intentionally doing this so she can “strip in front of other men” so he drags her to his room and…puts a dog collar saying it’s appropriate for his “slave”…….yea this is where my brain took an exit stage left. As Aika began to cry he “changed his mind” and turned the leash into an anklet which he forced on her leg that she cannot remove. It’s pretty much like a “contract” between him and Aika that he pretty much forced on her.  The next day Aika can’t even look him in the face cause she’s so irritated, and rightfully so -_-.

tsu02After the photoshoot where she convinces him to stop being an obnoxious douchebag to the staff he says he’ll try to act better towards those he works with. A couple days later, the magazine with interviews of Re;Rise comes out but they list Aika as the “boring/plain” idol. She’s upset that she’s ruining her brothers image and Tsubasa of course….makes fun of her saying she sucks sigh. Aika won’t let it get her down and says she knows she hasn’t been trying hard enough so she’ll work harder to make a better image for herself. This makes Tsubasa (σ´Д`)σ・・・・…━━━━☆ズキューン!! and he gets all deredere for Aika 😆 Some days later when she says she wants to get to know him more and try to fix their broken relationship he gets even more deredere and hugs her in public. She runs home in embarrassment so he says he’ll gonna punish her. Thinking he will chain her up Aika protests and says if he does so she’ll hate him again – and she doesn’t want to regress. Tsubasa tells her to sit dafuq down, then he takes off the anklet on her foot and instead….paints her toenails. ⊂( ・∀・)ワケ ( ・∀・)つワカ ⊂( ・∀・)つラン♪  Still though all he ever says is slave slave slave god damn son just shut up with the slave thing already. Maybe in Japanese they think the word is hilarious but it just irritated me to no end. Actually it was made worse because while his voice would say “SLAVE” the kanji was 花嫁(Bride) so the entire thing painted an image of “if you marry me you become my sex slave to provide me my demon energy bwahaha” ew. NEEDLESS TO SAY THIS WHOLE ROUTE WAS REALLY PAINFUL TO SIT THROUGH. One night Tsubasa takes her to the underworld to show her his big demon castle and says how much he cares about her. He kisses her on the forehead and explains that kiss on the lips is a “contract” so I guess this is why he constantly said she’s his “slave” because they had sealed a master & slave contract when he made her kiss him earlier in the route. ( ´_ゝ`)フーン

tsu03I guess he falls in wub with her because when the band goes on a picnic together a few days later Tsubasa tells Ruka that he’s SICK with LOVE! (Though honestly he refuses to admit it.) After this Tsubasa gives his fangirls proper fanservice and actually acts polite to his photography staff.  And now here’s where this route just plummets into the twilight zone and I rolled my eyes so hard I could see the back of my head. Aika is taken to the underworld by one of Tsubasa’s contracted servants Peter. Peter tells Aika that Tsubasa sacrifices himself to take care of all his people cause he’s the DARK LORD! Apparently Aika’s singing voice is some magical powerful thing and Tsubasa needs it to survive but because he wubs her he won’t “sacrifice” her for himself. Peter is like GRR HOW DARE U MAKE MY MASTER SUFFER IMA KILL YOU GRR! So then he attacks her but Tsubasa shows up, and protects her, but he’s becoming transparent and shit cause he’s losing his powers. After Peter leaves, Aika agrees to listen to the truth from Tsubasa and he tells her he’s a demon along with Peter, and he’s 999 years old! He explains that demons can’t live long in the human world unless they get vitamins so he gets it either via vitamin juice or “aura” from his rabid fangirls :lol:. So the few times that he kissed Aika, he was just getting nourishment to survive lmao xD. Meanwhile back at the ranch, his dad died because he fell ill due to the song power that apparently Aika possesses. And so there was a coup d’etat at his castle and the throne was taken from Tsubasa who was supposed to be the next in line. Now Tsubasa figured he’d try to use Aika to get his throne back but well all that was kinda thrown out the window the moment he fell in love with her /(^o^)\. Aika realizes that he’s such a sweet guy by ignoring all the other ladiez and only wanting to suck her dry! And so she tells him he can “eat her life energy” or whatever because even if it “hurts” her she knows it’s necessary. And so uh…she kisses him which helps bring him to be a little bit less transparent. To fully get him back in shape, he brings her into his coffinbed (?) and they have such wild sexy time that Aika is knocked out for 3 days daaaayum son.

tsu04And so 3 days later, Tsubasa is back to normal and honestly I think this would have been better if the moment before they did it, he didn’t call her his slave. Happy End 1: Aika decides to continue her idol career. Tsubasa treats his fans properly and his modeling staff with respect. He and Aika end up doing a photo book together and it’s a big hit for her since she wasn’t getting any jobs lately. They reserve the I DOLL cafe for the 2 of them and have some ichaicha time. And then in the epilogue while Aika is taking a day off at home, Tsubasa abducts her through his portal into his room where he chains her up and threatens to whip her and calls her an animal BECAUSE THAT’S LIKE SOOO SEXYYYY. And then he asks her to kiss him, after which he gets all dere dere saying that “hurting her makes his heart ache” umm okay!? 🙄 Yea I know he’s supposed to be a demon but honestly that epilogue was so annoying and uncalled for. Well actually, the entire route just annoyed me to no end ;_; Happy End 2: Aika decides to quit her idol career, and then oniichan shows up and admits he ragequit Re;Rise cause everyone was pissing him off \(^o^)/. He then asks Aika to live with him like before as siblings until she decides to get married. Just then Tsubasa portals his way into her room and continues to visit her like this but then leaving and Aika is confused on what he’s trying to do \(^o^)/ lmao this ending was actually funny. One night Peter takes her to the underworld to show Aika that he’s a hard working dark lord.  When he finishes Aika comes to talk to him and he’s surprised she didn’t understand that the whole time he was trying to….propose to her lol. He says that if she accepts his proposal to be the wife of the dark lord, she’ll be able to survive living here with him. He says he won’t force her decision so he just kisses her for now. The rest of the epilogue is the same as end 1. Bad End: Just in time with the Amnesia Memories release, Tsubasa decided he’s gonna make like Toma, and really make Aika his actual slave who he keeps chained up in the underworld with him. Aika is so brainwashed though that she doesn’t resist and just follows his orders like a doll. Lol whatever, I’m just going to think of happy times with Maeno voicing my Lupin-sama instead of this bastard (´・ω・`).

reo01Shidou Reo – Reo is the nekomimi idol (cat ear wearing idol) and the token shota. Reo used to be a cat ear idol so compared to the rest of the guys he’s like an idol senpai to them. I guess he’s trying to break the nyanya habit so he decided to sing and try to drop the cat act. Unfortunately bad habits die hard and no matter what, he can’t stop adding nyan to all his sentences 😆 That’s okay though cause ReoReo is adorable as all hell so all is forgiven (´ェ`)ポッ  At first he has trouble accepting Aika as the leader of Re;Rise since he’s been in the showbiz for 10+ years as a child idol he gets annoyed when she tells him what to do.He wants to just work on his own and not have to deal with anyone feeling that he works harder than others. Aika doesn’t give up on him and says that despite this she will still do her best to work with him. Reo asks Aika to help him practice his lines for a radio drama and has her read the lines of the girl who is the “lover” or Reo’s character. After he asks Aika to kiss him on the cheek for a more “realistic” acting practice he gets a strange feeling shit ain’t right with Aika xD. A couple days later Aika returns home for a bit and finds a bunch of letters addressed to her brother. Inside is someone trying to get in touch with him but no further details. Reo gets called for an interview one day but they don’t specify about him having to be a nekomimi character. He feels like this is a step in the right direction but when he gets there the  staff says he has to be a nekomimi character. Reo refuses to go out as a catboy so he asks to cancel his appearance. He gets really upset after this because he wants to change but everyone just wants him to be the same catboy character. His radio drama goes really well and the director praises his acting despite him not being his catboy self.

reo02Reo thanks Aika for practicing with him and she decides to join him for some muscle building! When Aika comes into his room and sees that it’s filled with cat things. He admits that he wants to be a cool mature actor but he really loves cats and collecting cat items (´ェ`)ポッ.  Aika tells him there’s nothing wrong with  liking baby nukos and there’s nothing wrong with his catboy image. She says that he can be a cool actor but have a cute cat love gap which will only be helpful rather than hurtful for his image.  Reo gets accepted to act in a Cinderella stage play where he acts as a magical boy who falls in love with Cinderella lol. He asks Aika to practice with him by reading the lines of Cinderella. During the practice Aika “kya’s” and Reo is like wtf a guy wouldn’t make such a high pitched squeal and I always wondered why your arms are so flimsy!! Aika realizes she can’t hide it much longer and admits she’s the real Aika’s sister who is just taking his place because he went MIA. Reo gets pissed saying Aika’s lied and betrayed to him and the rest of the Re;Rise members. Aika tries to explain herself but he’s so mad he refuses to listen. (´・ω・`) Aika loses contact with Reo for a while until comes the day of his play that she goes to see. After the play, Aika runs into the guy who’s been sending persistent letters to Aika’s brother and thinks that Aika is her brother.  Before he takes her away, Reo runs up, grabs her arm and runs off with her. He yells at her for not taking care of herself but after this he continues to avoid contact with her.  At his radio show he gets letters where his fans tell him that his stage play was great and that he’s great even when he’s not in catmode. He also finds out that Aika promoted his radio show and he realizes how much she cared about him, despite her hiding about the fact that she’s a girl. Reo realizes that he needs to apologize to Aika and thank her for what she’s done. Unfortunately when he tries to apologize he just babbles random shit and runs off in embarrassment of his own tsun-nyami :3.

reo03Reo ends up overworking and getting a fever so Aika decides to take care of him.While she lays him in bed, he unconsciously mumbles the name “Hina” and then grabs Aika and kisses her.Aika gets upset thinking that Hina might be Reo’s girlfriend or something. He wakes up and starts tsunnyaming about how Aika is a girl and shouldn’t be alone with a guy etc etc lol. Aika then shows him all these rejection letters she got for job offers to prove that she has been trying and working her ass off to be a good idol in her brother’s place. Aika then asks him who Hina is and he tells her that it’s the name of a cat he had as a child. He was always sick as a child so he spent a lot of time inside with his nuko. He then started talking like a cat to Hina going nyanya so his parents recorded it and put it on youtube…and that’s how he got his break as a child catboy idol. He was told to continue being a catboy idol in hopes that he’d get a big break as a real actor….but due to doing it so long the image just stuck. After this they make up and he says that he’ll practice with her once again but warns her he won’t go easy on her just because he knows she’s a girl.  Unfortunately Aika catches Reo’s cold and gets a fever herself so Reo tells her to stop training and go to the hospital. He also starts to see her more as a “girl” now that he knows the truth and becomes a huge embarrassed dork around her (ノ´∀`*). Some days later Reo gets accepted for a movie role and everyone congratulates him and throws him a party. Unfortunately things don’t go too well because on the day of the movie shoot, a bunch of paparazzi get in the way and ruin everything. The shoot is cancelled and Reo is kicked out from starring in the movie. I mean honestly, this is absolutely ridiculous. He is blamed for a bunch of paparazzi showing up and after he is kicked out of the movie, they write nasty articles calling him a pathetic catboy idol.  HOW IS THIS AT ALL LEGITIMATE LOL. HOW COULD HE HAVE CONTROL OVER PARAZZI JESUS. Yea this plotline is really stupid and he goes to apologize to the director – only to find Aika already there apologizing for him! SORRY MR. DIRECTOR IT’S TOTES’ MY FAULT THAT THIS PAPARAZZI CAME AND RUINED THE MOVIE SHOOT CAUSE NO ONE ON THE MOVIE STAFF COULD AFFORD TO HIRE SOME DUDES TO KEEP THE PAPARAZZI AWAY! I’m sorry, this kind of half assed writing is just oh so irritating. ಠ_ಠ

reo04Anyway the director guy says he can’t rehire Reo cause the movie is a production that involves many people and decisions…however he asks Reo to act in his indy film that he is taking full responsibility of. The film will be played at a foreign film festival and foreigners won’t have a preset image of Reo as a catboy idol so they will judge him a lot better than anyone who knows him in Japan. ┐(´д`)┌ヤレヤレ Reo is so happy that after they leave the director’s office, he gives Aika a hug and asks why she did all this for him.She says it’s because she wanted the director to see Reo’s true talent and skill. After Reo’s solo song performance with Aika at their revenge concert, a dude comes on stage to tell him that his acting in the indy film was a big hit overseas. Reo thanks Aika for her encouragement and then kisses her on the cheek in front of all of his fans and band members on stage…and since no one knows that Aika is a girl except Reo the entire audience is like ┌(┌^o^)┐ホモォ…lmao xD Happy End 1: Aika continues being an idol and Reo constantly showers her with compliments in all their interviews. He has her dress up as a  girl while the guys act like her butlers in a butler cafe to practice for their next gig. That’s when Itsuki spills the beans to everyone that Aika and Reo are dating. In the epilogue, Reo is upset that Aika doesn’t come for cuddles to him so he asks to “practice” all these love scenes from his upcoming dramas/plays. Eventually he admits that he needs some cuddle time and they ichaicha together. Happy End 2: Aika quits being an idol in order to pursue a career in fashion design. Reo gives her a special pass so she can be on the set of his indy film and learn from the pro fashion designer there. He also asks Aika to call him “Reo” instead of “Reo-senpai”. The rest is the same as end 1. Bad End: Reo says that he loves Aika but he’s an idol so he cannot harbor those feelings for the sake of his fans. He wants to continue being a fellow idol with Aika and tells her to forget about his kiss. Honestly I feel like Reo got the short end of the stick compared to the other guys.

itsu01Sakigake Itsuki – I know most people think Itsuk is a kimoi do-M hentai, which he is, BUT THIS IS MY FAVORITE CHARACTER TYPE LOL. Do-M dudes? I want a whole game of them. (🌟ただしイケメンに限る!ww) But most otome gamers are do-Ms who want dudes to pin them against walls/floors/cages so I have to just enjoy the one bone I get thrown every once in a while xDDD.  Itsuki is the do-M hentai who at the start knows that Aika is a girl. He constantly calls her MY DOM(inatrix) because he wants to be her chair while she steps on his balls with high heels and whips him silly 😆 Unfortunately for him, this isn’t KLAP, and Aika has no such hobbies xD  Itsuki is Mr. Perfect and all his staff love him, he gets tons of job offers, he cooks and cleans the house. However he’s very selfish and once he has Aika in his life, he constantly starts to refuse jobs because it gets in the way of his time with her. Aika demands that he do as she says and support Re;Rise’s band activities…and I guess this hits THE SPOT for him and his hentai mode goes off. He then says that he will do as his mistress says which now makes them officially LOVERS! Aika’s like lolwut but figures whatever since at least he’ll help the group properly despite admittedly being a hentai 😆 Unfortunately there’s a reason behind all of this – the poor guy has some serious self esteem issues. Because he’s a “multi-idol” and good at everything, a lot of jealous people try to bring him down. They say that he’s so perfect everyone around him just looks pathetic in comparison. Due to this, Itsuki gets extremely upset at his  “perfect self” that ruins the lives of others….that he ends up sitting alone in his room, surrounded by a bunch of virgin Mary figures and cutting up all magazine/bromide photos of himself. It’s a way for him to “kill his perfect self” over and over to make himself feel better. (Well I suppose that’s better than wrist cutting himself….still pretty bad though.) Aika tries to tell him that he shouldn’t be doing this and that he is not a “problem” and now this starts to waver his train of thought.

itsu02He tells her to forget what she saw and acts like his usual self to her after this. One day they run away from some fangirls and end up at a church. Itsuki sings a song inside and then tells Aika that he was raised in an orphanage and that at first becoming an idol was hard for him cause he kept failing his auditions intentionally due to his masochistic nature. When he became a successful idol he never let his “ego” get the best of him because he finds that his “successful self” is disgusting anyway. The reason he quit his last agency is because being in a group full of failure idols basically satisfied his masochistic tendencies xD When Aika asks him what actually “hurts” him since to him pain = pleasure and he says that the one thing he can’t live without is being able to sing. Itsuki then goes out of his way to find Aika’s brother and bring back info to Aika saying that her brother isn’t coming back and tells Aika in a letter to forget about him. Itsuki then passes out in her room because he spent restless nights playing detective and Aika realizes how sweet he is to her, despite him constantly denying it. Now here comes the thick of the plot: the reason for Itsuki’s do-Mness and constant denial of his self existence is because he was abused as a child -__-. The orphanage he was raised in was owned by a church with the typical Abusive-Male-Priest™   who abused Itsuki, called him a worthless shit who was too “full of himself’. (For all I know he could have been sexually abused, it was very vaguely implied so I’m not sure (´;ω;`)).  Needless to say the only “saving grace” for  Itsuki was his singing  voice so one day during group practice, Ruka asks Itsuki to first sing his solo song. Unable to sing, Itsuki runs off to the church with a pair of scissors in an attempt to suicide. Aika runs after him, slaps the scissors out of his hands and yells at him that he’s not “worthless” and just because he can’t sing doesn’t mean he deserves to die. She then starts crying in anger because she wasn’t there in his past to save him from the abusive priest ass, or call the police to help him. Finally Aika says “well since you want me to command you and I’m your ‘dom’ then I command that you LIVE YOUR LIFE.” Itsuki is so happy that someone cares and that someone is commanding him, that he asks Aika to kiss him to “seal” the deal :P.

itsu03After she does, Itsuki confesses that he loves her. They return to the group and everyone says that even if he can’t sing they still accept Itsuki as their friend and group member. Itsuki gets hospitalized for a few days and then returns just before their revenge concert. After this Itsuki is back to his hentai self but he figures it’s all one sided and doesn’t believe that Aika would ever return his feelings. He then talks her into going with him to some fancy movie premiere event but has her go as a girl and wear a dress. Aika is worried that by having Itsuki be seen with a woman it will ruin his idol career….so he’s like lol okay let’s go on a date instead (๑´ڡ`๑). Turns out he had no plans to go at all and he really just wanted to go on a date with her lol. He takes her to a fancy restaurant and he admits that the day he met Aika, he had planned to quit Re;Rise as well. He says he was gonna be forever alone but AIka puts him in his place and says guess what, I have no parents anymore either but I consider Re;Rise and fans all my “friends” so I don’t feel alone. Itsuki is so moved by her words he stands up and hugs her once again telling her he loves her. He tells her to go love someone else so he can feel the pain (which to him is pleasure) in his heart xD. After his confession he gives Aika a ring asking her to never forget about him and saying she doesn’t have to answer his feelings. Happy End 1: Aika decides to quit being an idol after the revenge performance and goes back to being a normal girl. Itsuki still visits her and brings her food and buys her clothes. He tells her that if she ever gets a boyfriend to throw away his ring and he promises not to cockblock or get in the way. A couple days later, news breaks out that Aika and Itsuki are dating and she has paparazzi at her house. She hides at her house for a couple of days but weeks pass and the paparazzi doesn’t give up. Itsuki gets so upset that he’s caused his bae so much trouble, he decides to quit his idol career and disappear from the public eye. He then goes MIA for a year but turns out he was hiding in some church near Aika’s house :lol:. Aika finds the church on google maps and then goes to see if he’s there and of course he is. She slaps some sense into him (literally) and tells him that she loves him so she doesn’t want him to be away from her. He asks her to give him an order and she orders him to be with her forever (and go shopping with her and make her dinners hehehe).

itsu04In the epilogue, Itsuki brings Aika to the Re;Rise dorm where everyone already found out about her secret and crossdressing. He then proposes to her in front of everyone and she accepts after giving him a kiss. The part after this was kinda weird because Itsuki is back to his idol work and he lets Aika watch in on his radio show. I mean why is everyone ok with this? Wouldn’t they want to keep Aika AWAY from him to not start anymore rumors? o_0 After he does a super hentai love confession to her on his radio show (though he pretends that it’s acting lines from a drama he’s gonna be in) he takes her behind a wall and kisses her (but no kiss CG bleh.) Happy End 2: Aika decides to continue her idol career but Itsuki is less hentaiish around her so now she’s wondering what the status of their relationship is. To try to get him to get mad at her she tries to make him do more menial tasks for her – but instead of making him mad he just gladly does them all. Eventually after asking him to do 99 menial tasks it turns out that the reason he “avoided” her was so that he’d look cool for her instead of being his hentai do-M self. Aika’s like wtf you act like we’re lovers but then make it seem one sided when I’ve already fallen for you anyway! Her final “demand” to Itsuki is to go out with her, and he’s so happy he starts crying :lol:. The rest is the same as ending one. Kinda disappointed Itsuki never got a real kiss CG since he’s my favorite ( ;∀;). Bad End: Just like with Tsubasa’s awful bad end they gave one to Itsuki as well. Itsuki decides to make like Toma and chain up Aika together with him inside the uguu church of love ε≡≡ヘ( ーДー)ノ. When Aika tries to tell him that she loves him, he says that it’s just a lie so that she can escape. Then he babbles that if she hates him it’ll be even better because he trusts hate more than love sigh. ( ´_ゝ`) This is so idiotic because Itsuki loves Aika so much he wouldn’t even think about hurting her like this so yea this ending…lol whatever (・ ε ・). Also kinda mad Itsuki didn’t really get a kiss CG either. The scene of him kissing Aika was just like her closing her eyes and puckering up or another CG of him kissing her….hair? Sigh. I can only assume this was because they had to get a copy cat to draw some final CGs due to the artist’s death earlier this year (´・ω・`).

oniitanAmane Manaka (Truth End) – Aika ends up pairing with every guy for 1 month by request of Yonezawa. Their concert goes well and all the guys thank Aika for everything she’s done for them. Aika decides to quit bein an idol but before doing so, she decides that she will confess to the rest of the group members about herself and her brother’s antics. When the members find out they’re pissed at how irresponsible Manaka was, but Yonezawa tells them their ridiculous antics at the beginning is why Manaka rage quit in the first place. Itsuki also admits that he was the one who pressured Aika into dressing up as her brother. Despite everything though everyone can’t hate Aika because the way she organized and changed this group. They also ask her to rely on them more and apologize that they didn’t realize that she needed help regarding her situation. And so Aika spends various scenes with each guy discovering more and more about her brother. She discovers that 1) he’s probably a vocaloid and not her real brother  2) that someone’s messed with her memories 3) he’s been created to “take” her song because as Tsubasa’s route pointed out – she has some magical singing powers :lol:. Eventually they intercept Manaka and bring him back to the Re;Rise house making him spill the beans. Turns out he’s a “doll” (android is a better word I guess lol) who messed with Aika’s memories to make her think that he is her brother. He was sent by the cultural protection organization (or whatever dafuq that is) to look like Aika so he could watch over her because she was the next person to inherit magical song powers! So after Aika’s mother died, he had Aika hospitalized and then illegally changed her memories using a ~special song~! He even went as far as becoming an idol because Aika said she was too shy to be one. All of this because he just wanted to be her oniichan :lol:. And so when that organization wanted to take Aika for her song powers, Manaka told her to become “him” so that Aika’s “real self” would be MIA while she posed as Manaka. Suddenly he’s like “zOMG AIKA I LOVE YOU, CAN YOU PLEASE KISS ME” and for some reason she agrees to just make out with him in front of everyone. ⊂( ・∀・)ワケ ( ・∀・)つワカ ⊂( ・∀・)つラン♪  In the epilogue they use the password on one of Aika’s family photos to open some site with some magical song that’s so powerful it makes Tsubasa’s demon powers shrivel. AND THEN IT ENDS. THAT’S IT.The fact that Aika is not an idol anymore and the cultural organization might still be after her….WHO CARES ABOUT THAT, AS LONG AS I AM HER ONIICHAN ワーイ♪ヽ(゚ェ゚)ノ

wtfisthisshit

Well no point on trying to justify or understand terrible writing.

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mikulol

Oh idol games, what am I going to do with you? To be honest, I didn’t really have high expectations so while I am disappointed, not to a great extent. Once I heard the artist passed away, I figured the game might be a flop but strangely enough I think the art was the least of this game’s problems. While not on the same level as Possession Magenta, the writing in this game was absurd. Mainly I am not sure what they were going for: realism or fantasy? The problem is the idol group Re;Rise are a bunch of losers and they literally ruin their image from the get-go. Yet somehow throughout the game just by having them work endlessly at a cafe, they suddenly turn their image around?? Really? LOL. What if you didn’t go to that cafe? You would have seen them fuck up on stage and suddenly 1 year later they are on stage again and you’re like “lol really again?” Also the shit regarding Aika’s brother, and the nonsense with Tsubasa just made the whole thing a huge joke. The other thing as all idol games have it – you’re an idol, you need to disguise when in public. Yet in most endings, they’d be all raburabu going on dates in the park and only a few routes actually had them even attempt to disguise. Yet along with this, there was only a few ends where they’d be caught in a scandal because they were “seen together in public”. What is consistency.

There was a slew of system issues that really brought down the game rating for me. For one, we had these weird ass NPCs that had creepy heart faces on them:

Took me an entire route to get “used” to them but I still think they’re weird as hell. There was a “kiss” system where basically you poke the guys face in certain areas to “fill up the affection heart” to then get affection points after. This came up about 3-4 times per route and most of the time it was supposed to be an “accident”. You don’t “accidentally” kiss someone for like 30 seconds in multiple places while imagining them lying naked in bed…. xDDDD. Like wow damn Aika you have some imagination! (´゚ω゚)・*;’.、ブッ I think out of all the characters, only Itsuki had the appropriate reaction to these scenes lol. Also it didn’t matter what your rating was like in that, the guys would react the same meh. The other thing was the music game. Most music games allow you to at least press buttons but this one forced you to “punch” the notes on the screen which was really awkward. Otomate is quickly climbing up to the worst music game company for me, not even UtaPri games were this terrible :/.

Only other things to mention are the epilogues were really long (Seiya’s being the worst offender). Not only that but in both happy ends, the epilogues would just be the exact same thing! Whether Aika decided to be an idol or quit, the final scenes were the same so once you finished one end…you basically skip in the other. And you have to basically get both ends (+ the bad ends) to get the trophy meh. The chapter numbers were constantly reset (like I’d keep seeing the chapter 6 title screen or the ending card screen multiple times so I had no clue which chapter I was on.) While I think Aika is a great heroine for putting up with the group’s bullshit problems, I got a bit annoyed at her constantly denying the guys’ feelings. I mean before they knew she’s a girl, Aika kept going on with the nohomo parade, but once they knew she’s a girl….why are you still denying their feelings? Rather than herself being “I’m not sure I like him” it would be “Oh you don’t actually like me, it’s all a misunderstanding.” Wow who are you to tell other people how they feel? ಠ_ಠ

Also, let’s not kid ourselves, Aika looks like a tomboy loli than a “girl dressing up as a guy”. I am seriously amazed how anyone believed for a moment that she is NOT a girl. I realize Fujiwara Cocoa tends to draw very young looking characters but no matter what wig Aika was wearing or not wearing, she just looked like a 10 year old little girl to me. She’s supposed to be 17.

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Anyway, honestly I didn’t expect much at all, but I’m a bit sad that such a mediocre game ends up being Fujiwara Cocoa’s last work.  I don’t know what the cause of the poor writing is, or if it’s just the bad trope tied to idol games in general (desperate attempts at plot that isn’t the usual idol x normal person scandal trope). Either way, it’s not really a game I’d recommend and if you’re only interested in it for the art or seiyuus the only routes I could enjoy were Ruka and Itsuki. The rest were plagued by bad writing that overshadowed any moe scenes/personality traits the characters had. Seiya & Reo were really cute though when not plagued by their own stupidity/stupidity of the things around them. Tsubasa was awful, the worst route in the game for me. The only upside is the opening song is very catchy \(^o^)/.

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32 thoughts on “Otome Game Review: I DOLL U

  1. Started with Tsubasa…yeah. Amazon reviewers love him? He might have been okay as like some secret route with all the magic & stuff a la Cecil from Utapri, but not as a main route.

    Have done Seiya & about 1/2 done with Ruka now. So far I have to agree with you 100%. It feels sooo unbalanced and rocky. Random make-out minigames during an accidental kiss, very few story choices, super long endings, confusing chapter system, and a heroine who the writers forget to write about falling in love until the very end.

    Plus the creepy heart-aliens monsters. ヽ(///>_<;////)ノ ヤメテー

    The songs are great, though. I love “I Doll U” and the Itsuki/Tsubasa version most so far. Oh, and any scenes where Reo fully becomes a cat.

    1. Yea I had the Cecil feeling too but he was a lot worse and rude than Cecil ever was -_-;

      Lol yea definitely the accidental kiss system like come on how in the world is it accidental that she just makes out with the dude for 30 secons while imagining him naked in bed ROFL x’D
      I hope you’re able to make it through the rest, what a shame to leave this as Cocoa’s first and last otome game.

      1. Yeah, Fujiwara died way too young, RIP.

        It actually goes better when I think of this as one long movie starring other characters. Like Tsubasa is Camus who bosses Yonezawa-Cecil during breaks, and Reo-Syo wants to take off the nekomimi before Natsuki drops by. And Fuuto is talking about what a loser Ruka is and wondering how Baka-Yuusuke got this gig.

        Hey, something’s got to keep me entertained during these long sequences.

  2. I wasn’t expecting much of this game either but I didn’t think it’d be this bad. I thought it’d be some silly idol game but then all this shit about “songs” and “dolls” comes on and I’m like, “wut??” And it wasn’t even written well. They should have just stuck to a simpler plot but nooo.
    I think with chapter titles screens, they were different segments or something, which is why you saw chapter x several times.
    I don’t know if you noticed but there seems to be some connections to Re:Vice[D]. Both Ryouga and Tsubasa are maous voiced by Maeno, and both heroines are named Aika and have blue hair. It could just be a coincidence haha. 😛

    1. yea exactly, they didn’t need to do the whole doll thing. well, the game is called I DOLL U so I guess if they were gonna go with the whole sci-fi thing, I think they should have handled it better. they should have tied the plot more around that, than around “lol this band sucks lets try to fix their problems” plotline.

      and wow I Didn’t catch the reviceD thing at all! then again it’s been a year since I played it. I also noticed they took sound effects/visual effects from NinKoi lol…not sure if intended parody or low budget.

  3. it’s really sad to see Fujiwara Cocoa’s work turn into this… kind of game….
    still sad about her leaving so soon in such young age.

    but yea while I didn’t expect much from the game, I didn’t know there are fantasy elements? when I read Tsubasa’s route, I’m like lolwat this game. also the Vocaloid thingy was really forced, like they’re trying to make a route for her brother but they’re out of ideas so they decided to write anything they came up with :/

    1. yea seeing how there was a delay the brother thing feels like it was either unfinished or shoved in last minute. it was so ridiculous I hadn’t seen this kind of b/s plot in a while. it was like a different level of “kusoge” writing xD

  4. This clears up so much for me. Thanks for the review! I slogged through all the routes translating what I could in my head or on paper. It’s nowhere near a decent level of proficiency, but I can see that I actually got somewhere when before I couldn’t at all. Tsubasa’s route confused the shit out of me. I had no idea why he called Aika a slave with the kanji for bride so thanks for clearing that up lol.

    And that truth end-Idk how but somehow I got it, and the whole time I kept thinking, “SHE MADE OUT WITH HER BROTHER. WTF WHY!???” I didn’t understand anything else from that truth end…and still don’t understand why they made out.

    And YES. Itsuki was the BEST. I just got super freaked out in the beginning when he suddenly was speed talking. Wth was he even saying?

    1. Yea I mean translating for yourself is the first step to learning so I think ultimately it was more helpful for you than harmful 😛

      Yea Tsubasa’s just an ass, there’s not much else to it xDD Well I guess they made out because he wuvs her so much (as a brother and non brother apparently) and since he’s just a robot she can make out with him and its a-OK! 😆

      His speed talking is just his explanation of “if you don’t replace your brother you will ruin his idol career” xD

      1. Awesome haha thanks so much! Hopefully I continue to get better with this:) And yeah..I didn’t understand his route. And you said he was voted the most popular? What is it with Japan and cages? lol and I guess that’s one way to get rid of the incest. And thanks! I literally sat there going, “Well then! Gonna skip that lol” since he spoke so fast.

  5. Thank you so much for the review!
    I’m so confused on what Otomate was trying to go for with this game. After reading your review, it’s nothing like I was expecting (and not in a good way). This whole plot of adding demons and androids is just so random. Like??? I don’t get it. I can see if the game kinda had like some backstory or even like a explanation of what kind of world/setting this game is in, but it just threw these things out there with none of that. Otomate really dropped the ball on this one.

    1. Yea my expectations were pretty low to begin with but they almost went out of their way to make it terrible haha :/ Oh well you win some you lose some with preordering games blindly I guess lol

  6. I didnt really like or hate this game when I played it because as the story was proceeding I started to understand until they had to add a magical voice ,androids and demon WTF ! I thought this game was about idols and shit but nooo they had to add unnecessary things . This game is messed up.

  7. Thank you so much for your review ☆゚.*・。゚!

    I’m so sad to read that this game goes wrong! I’ve only played until the first mini game (that I found a bit harsh whereas I’m a Cytus player (*꒦ິㅿ꒦ີ) ! (rhythm game with the same system)) and really enjoyed the outset of the game, mostly the part with Itsuki who makes me laugh so hard (*´艸`*).

    I don’t mind -some- WTF?! things in games, but developers frequently forgot the most important part: the coherence *sigh* (⌣_⌣”).

    May Fujiwara Cocoa rest in peace. I’m also sorrowful that this terrible game been her last work ੨( ・᷄︵・᷅ )シ…

  8. Poor Fujiwara Cocoa. ;_; I love Inu x Boku SS and was extremely sad when I heard that she passed away. So I was really looking forward to this game but now…ugh.

    To think this had to be one of her last works…

    What is WITH Maeno-san’s character in this game? I love Maeno-san’s voice but his character sounds like big fat loony. >.<

  9. First off, I’ve been following your site for some time, ever since I played Hakuouki and wanted others people’s opinion about the routes. I really like the way you reviews your games, even though I haven’t played 99,99999% of them myself (JAAAAAPANEEEEESE), but was a bit on the shy side to say anything until now lol.

    So, uh, hey, I’m your creepy stalker! Noticeeee meeee seeeempai 8D~!

    LOL

    About this game itself, obviously, it’s another one I can’t even play :v But to tell the truth, I might have some grip agaisnt idol-type stories anyway, so :s
    Particulary because I’m not a fan of the artwork. While I do find regretful the fact that the artist passed away so young and had so much ahead of her life and hope she rests in peace, I can’t say that big eyed loli and shota-looking-characters who-are-actually-older are my cup of tea ><
    It's particulary weird for me because the most guys look just fine, so when Aika is together with them, with the sole exception of Reo, she looks like their daughter or little sister lol
    Also, her appearance reminded me a lot of trap shotas in BL stories D:

    Well, other than that, just as you mentioned, the story of the game seems to be a mess. I lol'ed a bit too hard at the Truth ending, and my mind boggled when I read that demons existed in a VN about idols oÓ Weren't they trying to cram too much (random stuff) into one game?

    1. Thanks for the loyal readership! 😄

      Idol stories are honestly usually riding on the characters because there’s only so much original stuff you can do. Unfortunately as you said they chose to be “creative” in that sense and it only made things worse :/ And yea Cocoa’s art tends to make everyone look 10 years younger lol.

      But she’s supposed to look like a trap shota though since she’s posing as her brother so i guess in that sense, they succeeded? 😄

  10. Ha ha ha ha ha.

    After reading you and Amy (corgienthusiast) I decide to not play this game >___>

    Tsubasa route is the best? Ahh those Do-M reviewer are totally misleading lol. This make think I wonder if Otomate will create Idol theme game again >_>

    1. yea honestly it’s not worth it and totally mislead by Amazon reviews. I mean I know not to take them totally seriously but still! 😄

      I think Otomate might have announced another idol game – Fortissimo – that is about Fuuto’s band (from brocon) Lol

  11. Thanks for the review, had more fun reading it than playing the game itself, probably.
    Just a thing, I know they were selling the game with Fujiwara’s name, but she didn’t do the actual art, just the character designs. The actual CGs are by Otomate’s inhouse ninjas.

  12. For beginner Japanese students, I DOLL U isn’t very easy to translate.  It’s many games are few and far between. It doesn’t have tons of titalating illustrutions. Everyone in I Doll U speaks  in a radically different manner of speech: Tsubasa – Elitist / Snobby, Japanese, Luke- Mainstream Polite, Leo – “Cat” and “Childish” (when he pouts) Japanese, Sayre – Rough / Tough Guy (uses “-ze”  ending a lot) , Itsuki – Extremely polite, and the manager speaks like a nervous guy. If you play Otome for hot guys and mini games than Trigger kiss is up your alley. However if you play because you want to better understand modern Japanese culture, I Doll U is much better.

    Rizu is a troubled group. Being so they have to apologise for their rude behavior. Apologising in Japan is different than the US. After each Rizu blunder, the manager has to buy a lot of expensive candy or pastries (I can’t remenber) and personally deliver them to all the companies that associate with Rizu. He also has to bow dogeze or repeated ojigi style and complains about having to do this so much. Also Rizu must work in the Idol Cafe to show fans they are sorry for their actions. I heard about this way of apologising before but didn’t know the context of doing so. This game helped me understand it. It also help me understand different tones of masculine speech.

    Sakigake Itsuki isn’t a sado-masochist. He does not want to be literally “whipped” or “tied.”   However, its really just metaphorical not literal. He speaks towards the Aika (character) using a lot of keigo (extremely polite) speech and speaks to everyone using polite Japanese. Even when speaking in a “hentai” way, (which in this case, means him being very direct in his feelings for her; Japanese aren’t suppose to be direct with feelings to people they’ve just met) he still speaks using very polite Japanese.  . 

    Also,  I’m not sure if you were joking or not. But Itsuki refers to Aika as “Madam” (or Ma-Daa) not “My Dom.”  Itsuki addresses his fans as “Mademoiselle” and is a master in cooking french food; not to mention he grew up near a French church. So the “Madam” moniker is to allude to his “French” background (a Madam is higher than a mademoiselle, therefore he addresses her that way), it doesn’t refer to a sado-mado term. 

    Anyway do you remember when Itsuki occasionally refers to himself as “俺” instead of  “私”? Aika made note of his pronoun change because it seems out of character for him.  In Japan, the way a character (or person in real life) addresses himself/herself  or others (note how Tsubusa calls everyone, “貴様,” noting his rather snobby tone)  gives you an idea of their personality. Japanese writers are aware of this and write characters accordingly. So his switch of personal pronoun was to show his so called hidden “arrogance.” As “俺” is used by Sayre & Tsubasa and means you are a very arrogant tough guy.  Where as leo, Luke, & Aika (posing as her brother) use the more mild “僕”.

     Secondly, when Itsuki demands that she “give him instructions,” “abuse and dispose him.”  and “he wants her to  be tie him down” ( based on the Red String of Faith Asian belief)  its means that its her/his fate to be “tied together” through  her challenging him in a metaphorical sense. Punishment (or love) to Itsuki means demanding more out of him and never being satisfied at what he does; not spanking him. The priest didn’t molest him. He was verbally abusive towards him because he was the most talented than all the other children (i.e He’s a hater). 

    Due to him being so naturally smart, he become “arrogant” as a child. Rather he was arrogant or not, isn’t very important. The overall idea is that Itsuki was “branwashed”(洗脳) by the priest to think  being proud of ones talents = arrogant.  Therefore the priest would verbally abuse him to “put him in his place” when he was acting “arrogant.”  He refers to the Priest using the “様”honorific and he uses  “与える” ( formal keigo verb of “give” ) verb when speaking how the priest would give “valuable instructions” to him; i.e verbal abusing him to “put him in his place.”   If he were molested, he wouldn’t use any of those honorifics when referring to him. Nor would he believe that pain = love. Which is the recurring them of Aika & Itsuki’s relationship.  She and the priest are the only people who “abuse” (i.e. say he’s not perfect) Itsuki. However, the priest did it because he was a jerk. Aika does it because she must challenge Itsuki to do his best in order to get Rizu famous; if Rizu is famous, her brother will come back. 

    Remember, everyone sees Itsuki as perfect.  The Manager says everybody in the group is “NG” except for Itsuki. The staff constantly praise Itsuki in interviews, photoshots, or drama scenes. Fans also speak of him as if he’s the greatest of all time. Even the members of the group think Itsuki is the “best”. There is only 1 time where the members accuse him of not doing his best. And that  was the “Throat” incident right before he ran to the Church. 
     
    It’s his very heavy keigo (which is is lowering himself to her, really face effacing type of speech)  that offends her. She doesn’t feel like she’s worthy to be exalted in that manner. It’s kind of like how a lot of  Americans over the age of 30 don’t like it when young people call them “Ma’am / Sir.” Or how weird it feels to be a boss over someone who is much older than you. Or if some random dude kept following you and calling you Godess. This is how Aika feels when Itsuki talks to her in that manner.  Like she’s being celebrated for doing nothing. 

    Besides being annoyed by it, she thinks nothing of his subservient way of speaking; because in Japan this is the cornerstone for Keigo. It wasn’t until she see saw him flip out because a staff member implied “Itsuki may not be as perfect as he seems”  then  saw him cutting up picture of himself and tons of Virgin Marys in him room , that she believed he really thought of himself as a lesser person. It wasn’t just the “keigo” talking. 

    Itsuki use of Keigo and polite Japanese (coupled with him being naturally good at everything) means he’s a self-effacing and modest character. In America he’s equivalent is that guy who is talented in everything but if you tell him he’s great, he will say “No, I’m not very good.” But since he’s in an Otome game and they don’t want Itsuki to be a “Gary Stu” so he’s given a strong dose of “Catholic Guilt” (or at least what the Japanese think Catholic Guild” is) to give his character an imperfection. 

    Watching various live action drama, it seems like the Japanese love the idea of giving characters perfect characters like Itsuki some very random dramatic infliction. So its not so much that he’s suicidal. It’s just thrown in there for cheap drama. It’s his suicidal attempt that gives the heroine a chance to “save him” using her strength, demonstrating her love for him. 

    In Japanese Romance there are two types of heroines; one is helpless (needs to be saved by her lover), one is helpful ( using her spunkness to saves those she cares for). Aika is a heroine who saves others. First her brother, then Rizu (as a group), and group members as individuals  through their chosen love path. 

    Remember, everyone sees Itsuki as perfect.  The Manager says everybody in the group is “NG” except for Itsuki. The staff constantly praise Itsuki rather in interviews, photoshots, or drama scenes. Fans also speak of him as if he’s the greatest of all time. Even the members of the group think Itsuki is the “best”. There is only 1 time where the members accuse him of not doing his best. And that  was the “Throat” incident right before he ran to the Church. 

    Also the itsuki didn’t purposely fail idol auditions. But rather he used failed idol auditions to motivate him to become a better idol. The reason he left his old agency is because he was no longer being challenged there. So he thought it would be a better challenge to be in a reject group than go solo. His character profile says he likes to expose himself danger. If we think as a Westerner, you’d expect him to be an adrenaline junkie. But seeing his behavior in game, in Japanese it means he likes to conquering challenges.
     
    Anyway, it’s his very heavy keigo (which is is lowering himself to her, really self-effacing type of speech)  that offends her. She doesn’t feel like she’s worthy to be exalted in that manner. It’s kind of like how a lot of  Americans over the age of 30 don’t like it when young people call them “Ma’am / Sir.” Or how weird it feels to be a boss over someone who is much older than you. This is how Aika feels when Itsuki talks to her in that manner.  Like she’s being celebrated for doing nothing. 

    Besides being annoyed by it, she thinks nothing of his subservient way of speaking; because in Japan this is the cornerstone for Keigo. It wasn’t until she see saw him flip out because a staff member implied “Itsuki may not be as perfect as he seems”  then  saw him cutting up picture of himself and tons of Virgin Marys in him room , that she believed he really thought of himself as a lesser person. It wasn’t just the “keigo” talking. 

    Itsuki use of Keigo and polite Japanese (coupled with him being naturally good at everything) means he’s a talented but modest character. In America his equivalent is that guy who is talented in everything but if you tell him he’s great, he will say “No, I’m not very good.” But since he’s in an Otome game and they don’t want Itsuki to be a “Gary Stu” so he’s given a strong dose of “Catholic Guilt” (or at least what the Japanese think “Catholic Guild” is) to give his character an imperfection. 

    Watching various live action drama, it seems like the Japanese love the idea of giving perfect characters like Itsuki some very random dramatic infliction. So its not so much that he’s suicidal. It’s just thrown in there for cheap drama. It’s his suicidal attempt that gives the heroine a chance to “save him” using her strength, demonstrating her love for him. 

    In Japanese Romance there are two types of heroines; one is helpless (needs to be saved by her lover), one is helpful ( using her spunkness to saves those she cares for). Aika is a heroine who saves others. First her brother, then Rizu (as a group), and group members as individuals  through their chosen love path.  

    Anyhow, I think you got Tsubasa all wrong. The best way to understand him is to relate him to Gackt and Vegeta; both popular “demon princes” among Japanese women. Yeah, Americans are aware of the idea of a tsundere but I don’t think they quite understand how a tsundere speaks in Japanese. Demon  characters  use a lot of old out dated formal Kanji, speaks in a commanding “King/Prince” tone (they don’t teach this tone in school or in books),  and allude to a lot Japanese Demon & Buddhist proverbs. Being so, in order get Tsubasa  you need to be aware of a lot of Japanese cultural notes. But at his core,  Tsubasa (much like Vegeta) is a very socially awkward guy; who doesn’t know how to relate to others or express himself well.So he talks in a very exaggerated  manner to cover up his social anxiety. He refers to himself as demon king and calls others “貴様”  to infer that he feels different from everyone and his ways are different from others.  But he’s really quite nice if you get to know him. His Westerner equivalent is Tom Hiddleston’s Loki.  Part of Tsubasa’s problems in the Idol Cafe and in the group, is that he doesn’t know how to “read” people well; except for Aika.  Aika teaches him to be more observant to understand what people want.   Being so,  I can’t say he’s a jerk. Sayre is the jerk of the group. Therefore his use of the slave kanji should not be taken literally.  Tsubasa is more as a  unintentional snob; as there is an air of sophistication to him. While, Sayre speaks like an uneducated and impulsive brute. 

     Sayre speaks like a thug, uses English randomly, and talks as if he’s shouting most of the time. His nature is irritating to everyone in the group because doesn’t bend to Japanese cultural noms  of humility. His arrogance is insisting he’s the best or at least making it know he wants to be the best. He puts his foot in his mouth b/c he doesn’t think (about the group) before he speaks.  In Japanese, this speech is frown upon and even those who excel are suppose to never acknowledge it (just like itsuki who is considered perfect by Japanese). You will rarely find a Japanese celebrity say  in plain terms that they are “talented” or the “best.” In Japanese he is rude because he is inconsiderate on how his actions effect others. In the US, we’d just consider him a blowhard. He also speaks in a lot of metaphors that sounds strange when literally translated. 

  13. One more thing, Tsubasa calling her a slave comes from the following train of Japanese thought, Aika or Uta (is : 生け贄 (sacrifice; scapegoat, who Aika is the “scapegoat” for her borther) →スレイブ(Slave, not in the American sense of the word, but in the Japanese connotation, i.e meaning they don’t have a choice. Aika wants her brother to return, she has no choice but to be the an scapegoat for her brother ) → 花嫁 (bride, the interesting thing here is that kanji “嫁” in bride is used in the verb 嫁する which means to either “get married” or “shift the blame on someone else,” like Rizu’s success is up to Aika because her brother shift the blame, or group failure for her to solve)

    Japanese people really love pun on words, primarily Kanji that sounds or looks similar to each other. Demon characters are notorious for using a lot of pun-filled language. So again, Tsubasa is a very difficult character translate for those weak in Kanji. Because he requires you not to take what he says at face value and being able to catch those subtleties in Japanese language.

    I’m not a native but I did have a Japanese friend (sadly she moved away) who helped me understand how much puns are used in Japanese popular culture. So whenever I come across something that doesn’t make sense, I look to see if there are anyway a pun can be made using the character. Jisho.org is a pretty good site in listing the several ways a Kanji can be used. Sometimes weiblo helps me out or general Google JP phrase searching. This was the key for me to understand this character.

  14. Wtf did i just read
    Isn’t this an idol game?!
    It feels like a bunch of game characters being shoved into a series
    And why the hell does kennu always get characters with a horrible past?!
    Dark lord wth?! I repeat isnt this an idol game?! The dark lord just ruined maenu’s character
    Itsuki has the best route from what i see
    Hosoyan’s character is just so cute but the ending was just no
    More like all the end looks so sloppy
    And the truth end….
    Android?!
    Why do i feel that they are trying to copy GHP characters so much?!
    I had high hopes for this too~
    Tho it still had it’s good parts of the story
    Thx for going yout way to write the review for this game

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