Otome Game Review: Gakuen Club ~Himitsu no Nightclub~

I don’t know what I was smoking when I decided to order this game (and Charming empire) for double the price instead of just buying the steam English version on a Steam sale….but I did and here I am with all sorts of regrets. So this will be an Opera House kusoge double feature (or maybe more than a double feature if my backlog is anything to do by.) 😩 Ishizumi Akane is your average high school girl who transfers to a new school. One day when she forgot her notes she returns to the school building at night only to stumble upon an illegal host club being run inside. Turns out the students & teachers all run an secret host club that begins at midnight, with underage students being hosts & serving alcohol. This is all done so that the students can make connections before they go out into the working world…but because it’s extremely illegal, Akane is now forced to work there to make sure she keeps her mouth shut. So now every night Akane is forced to slave away being a maid at this shitty host club until she graduates. 😱

Yamaoka Yuuya – Yuuya is a weirdo who wasted 30 minutes of my life talking about curry and then nearly beat the crap out of a fellow host dude because he got trolled into thinking Akane was flirting with the other guy. He’s really annoyingly possessive of Akane even though they’re not even dating, or have confessed anything to each other. He then flips his shit at Akane when she says the club is more like a “fun activity” for her, because he says its a “job not a game” 🙄. He’s got mommy issues too because his mom died when he was like 6, and his dad was some rando nobody in her family approved of. Even after she died they called her a loose woman, so he heard that kind of stuff every day as he grew up – worsened by the fact they were all bunch of one track minded country bumpkins. One day Akane overhears that the “rando” who is Yuuya’s dad is actually the school principal, which makes Yuuya, Asahi’s half brother. So now the dad wants his 2 sons to compete at the club in who will be his inheritor so Yuuya begins avoiding Asahi, who has no idea what the hell is going on. Akane of course just blindly supports Yuuya the whole time for no reason until one day she just falls in love with him 😂. Anyway, Yuuya becomes number one at the club but then dad is annoyed that Akane is getting too close to him and tells her if she doesn’t keep her distance she will be kicked out of the club. (Honestly they’d be doing her a favor.) She stops coming to the club for a few days after this, and Yuuya asks her why since she shouldn’t be able to just “quit” but she just lies and says it’s because she doesn’t feel well. Eventually she admits what daddy told her, Yuuya gets mad, rages at dad that it’s cause of her he even considered being an inheritor. And so Akane isn’t forced to transfer anymore and they live happily ever after. ٩(•౪• ٩)

Kagurazaka Wataru – Wataru is the template Yonaga Tsubasa tsundere shota and he wasn’t any less annoying than the other tons of games I’ve seen him like this. His whole route and all of his reactions/emotions were so predictable I was basically falling asleep waiting for it to end as soon as humanly possible. Also just like all of Yonaga’s characters like that, he has his “i’m gonna lower my voice from shota to ikebo at will” but he was so annoying with the shota act I couldn’t honestly care less. So I guess he develops a crush on Akane but oh noes suddenly he’s being forced into an arranged marriage because of company relations between the parents. The girl Nagi seems to be all for it but Wataru has no interest in her. He announces to everyone that he won’t marry Nagi and instead will try to improve his family business with his own power rather than connections. He then runs out of hall with Akane and then confess their love and live happily ever after with kisses on cheeks lol. In the epilogue, they ichaicha in some cafe together  and he goes for the non cheekal kiss. I also love the primitive choices in this game where telling Wataru that you don’t want him to marry that rude bitch Nagi, Wataru ends up dumping Akane. ヽ(。_゜)ノ Apparently by telling the dude your feelings he loses confidence in himself and decides to rely on political connections to save his family business.

Kamiki Renji – Renji is the flirty two faced host with an ugly side ponytail that I’ve wanted to chop off since I started this game. While we had mommy issues with the other routes, Renji’s got the siscon thing going on. His sister apparently got married and died and he is eternally angry at her husband and thinks marriage is a curse. 😐 He decides to enter a contest to be able to meet with his sister’s husband so he can find out the truth about his sister’s death. Apparently none of his relatives every talked about why or how she died, so Renji joined the night club hoping to talk to visitors of it to get more info from them. Sure is lovely to have Renji comparing Akane to his dead sister the whole route, so utterly romantic! 🙄 He plays piano at the club and some lady asks him to perform at that concert. So then they find the principal who tells them that his assistant was the one who was married to Renji’s sister. He gives Renji a letter his sister left behind where basically she died from a disease and just wants Renji to continue playing piano. She had asked everyone to keep quiet about it and not tell Renji until he was mentally ready (pro tip: he’s still an immature siscon twat.) Well I guess he gets over his siscon problems and then asks Akane to be his girlfriend and since she has no self-respect of any kind she agrees. In the epilogue Renji plays piano a bigger venues while Akane continues to be his cheerleader. 😐 Ironically in the normal end Renji tells Akane that he’s too obsessed with his sister to return her feelings… this should have been the true end😂.

Minakawa Asahi – So we were spoiled but he’s the principal’s son. Because of that he becomes a close assistant to his father’s work. Unfortunately combined with his club activities he barely gets any sleep and starts to always get exhausted. He then gets all irritable when Akane tells him to rest and claims he can do any task fine regardless of load. Basically he’s a rich spoiled brat since every guy in this game is as terrible as this game itself 😂. Asahi is completely clueless on why his responses are upsetting Akane and it upsets him because he’s had a crush on her since like day 1. Asahi admits he only joined to nightclub to try to bring to light the illegal trades going on in there. He then tells Akane that despite him trying his best to show he can do anything to his parents he failed. Apparently he’s a victim of child neglect and all he ever wanted was his parents to love him. 😐 So turns out the illegal dealings was the dad giving money to god knows who and the reason he dumped Yuuya’s mom is to marry a rich lady who ended up being Asahi’s mom. Asahi says he’ll reveal the truth and shut down the school but then Yuuya walks in and Asahi’s like eh you take the wheel my buraza. Asahi also then says he’s gonna go on a journey of self discovery overseas and then he confesses his love at first sight and proposes to Akane. He tells her he wants to marry her immediately upon his return (・_・;). As usual no-self-respect Akane goes along with this doofus and accepts his proposal. In the epilogue he comes back just in time for Valentine’s day and she gives him some chocolates she made.

Sakai Toma – Toma used to be a child model – but the thing is he modeled as a girl until he grew too big to dress and still look like one. Apparently his shitty mom kinda threw it all on him and forced him into being an anorexic child just so he could fit into girls clothes etc. It’s his dark secret he doesn’t want anyone to know until Akane accidentally finds out when they run into his old fellow actor friend from the past. He also got left behind one year because of being sick a lot and missing school. Thanks to Akane noticing him always eating jelly drinks as “food” she offers him some of her food and turns out he really just loves omurice. After being extremely tsun to her he gets all dere dere and goes to a movie with her. His fans aren’t to pleased with them being together but just kinda stare from a distance and don’t directly bully her thank god. One day his mom calls him saying now that he’s no longer sick from anorexia and has become #1 at the night club, all these new modeling offers are coming back in for him. She tells him to come back home and be a model again but he doesn’t want to be her doll again. He then gets all depressed and starts to be a massive blob all over Akane telling her to make decisions for him – since everyone’s always made decisions for him his whole life. Akane tells him to make his own decision and that she’ll support him as a model if he decides to continue. After she stops whining about holding him back they’re both able to confess their feelings to each other. The route was probably the most straightforward romance route out of all of them but too bad the heroine’s weird actions and attitude kinda killed the mood for me. Only good thing she did was get Toma to properly eat food again and work on maintaining a healthy weight. In the epilogue, Toma is working on achieving his dream of becoming a professional actor. He then has a special night at the club just for Akane where she his guest rather than a maid there lol so they can ichaicha and kiss in privacy.

Takizawa Saku – Saku has a bad case of resting bitch face but tells Akane not to be afraid of him to call him by his first name because he hates his last name. The reason is he’s basically a rich boy whose parents were always at work and he was raised by basically servants. They’d finish their shift and leave him alone at night cause his parents were busy having adultery with their lovers. So he used the time at night to read books and eventually started writing himself. Turns out now he’s a famous writer who’s been working with a woman named Mitsuki Maiko to write novels and gets all his ideas from the woman guests at the club. 😂 During the school festival Saku does some fortune telling and they both realize they have a crush on someone … but they don’t realize it’s actually each other 😂. So comes the misunderstanding drama of oh noes what if they reject my feelings and oh noes he likes someone else etc. Fortunately Saku is direct so they end up confessing their feelings for each other. Things get bad when they run into Maiko herself and she claims that Saku attempted to sexually assault her. She sits down with Akane one day saying she was Saku’s dad’s assistant and also Saku’s babysitter figure. So when Saku was in middle school she was left alone with him at home and says he got so horned up he attacked her. She says the father came home and saved her and as an apology offered to have Saku write novels under her name. Akane says she doesn’t believe Mitsuki but Mitsuki claims that Saku is forever bound to her will so she doesn’t ruin their family name.

When Akane runs into Saku after this, he tries to test her loyalty by acting like he did do it but Akane tells him he doesn’t need to test her trust. He finally puts down his at field and starts crying that someone actually truly understands and cares about him. 😭 Turns out what happened is Mitsuki is a dirty wench who stole his written story, entered it into a contest and won. He got so mad at her he slapped her, so she ripped her blouse open and started screaming to make it look like he tried to assault her. 凸(>皿<)凸 She then ran crying to his dad and the dad who didn’t give a fuck about his son and believed her over him. (Ah yes this 12 year old quiet child who reads books all day is a sexual predator 🙄 The dad knew this was bullshit but went along with it anyway as revealed later!). Also dad didn’t want to ruin the family name with this and all the adultery. Saku is sick of this shit and so he’s been working on being #1 in the club and wanted to write his own book under his own name so he could break free from the stupid bitch. So Saku becomes #1, and tells the principal he wants to be a writer and the principal says that he figured out that Mitsuko’s “books” are actually Saku’s writing. Principal agrees to help him if he tells him all the stuff he heard at the club from the guests and that his debut work be a love story that’s about shitty adults unfaithful to their lovers 😂. The reason is of course because Saku’s parents are rivals of the principal’s financial interests 🤣🤣. Saku turns the tables and says he has dirt on the principal so Saku no longer has to follow the dirt on parents requirements lol. This entire route is like Blackmail ping pong 🤣. Turns out Saku has a recording of a conversation between Mitsuki and his dad where not only does she admit that Saku didn’t do anything, but that she’s been having a sexual affair with his dad since she was 18 lolol. m9(´ڡ`) He also plays this in front of his mom who calls her a dumb bitch and they have nothing to do but agree to Saku quitting writing for her. 😈 After they leave Akane promises to love him more than his parents ever did. In the epilogue Akane let’s him sleep on her lap in his new apartment. Probably Saku ended up being my favorite route, I could really relate to some of his feelings about trusting others after being betrayed so much…that or maybe I was just happy to finally be done with this game e_e.

Well I don’t know why I had any expectations from a mobage port but I guess I was drawn in by melo’s artwork and hoped somehow it would save the game for me. Sadly, it didn’t. The backgrounds were cheapo stock mobage backgrounds you see in every game, heroine is mostly transparent save for Toma and Saku where she felt like she actually made a difference in their lives. Not calling the heroine by the name despite porting to Vita AND adding new dialogue is just baloney. It’s not like they couldn’t afford to have the actors say “Akane” and then just do some copy & paste programming into the script. Some of the CGs that I believe were the “new ones” looked like they weren’t even done by melo..they looked weirdly off so I’m guessing it was some copy cat which honestly defeats the purpose of getting the Vita port. Everything else about the game, the music the setting and general pace was so dull I had to drink caffeine tea to keep awake throughout. The game also highlights basically how SHITTY EVERY PARENT IS OF EVERY TEENAGER IN THE GAME EXCEPT AKANE. Akane’s parents were apparently super lovey dovey while everyone else’s lied, cheated and stole to get ahead while leaving their child to suffer the consequences. I thought the game would be kinda like Last Escort but it ended up being more like a documentary on child neglect. Also once again I’m brought back to the point of the fact that the heroine has no story and she just kinda shows you the other guys’ stories through her POV…which makes the game a lot less interesting to me. (´・ω・`)

If you’re still morbidly curious because of melo’s art (because why else would you bother) you can get the game on STEAM – but beware it does not have the added CGs/scenes – but honestly they weren’t worth the Vita port cost anyway.

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “Otome Game Review: Gakuen Club ~Himitsu no Nightclub~

  1. Lol now I’m a bit worried. Cause I got this game in my steam backlog and my motivation to play has been dwindling. I guess I’ll just play badAppleWars first….or play Gakuen just to see how bad it is.

  2. This game sounds very… boring (and god, siscon ¬_¬). The art is beautiful, but I do not think it’s worth investing just for it. Good art is not equal to a good game, after all.Unless the price of it falls a lot on some promotion on Steam and I have nothing better to play, I think it’s one less on my list.

    1. yea it would need to be on a huge discount for it to be worth anything. if you can read japanese it’s probably even cheaper if you get it via mobile on google play or something

Comments are closed.