In my continuation of Operahouses’s kusoge ports, I’ve finally crawled through (at snail speed) the Charming Empire. As usual, there’s an English version available on Steam but I played the Vita port with some new derpy CGs and bonus scenarios. An empire princess named Kousaka Amane has been living her whole life in the boonies with grandma and grandpa. One day her emperor oniichan orders her to be taken to his European style mansion (in the Taisho era 😂) where she will be forced to learn the ways of royalty so she can become a fit wife and queen. When Amane begs grandma and grandpa to save her they just look away and wave goodbye 😂😂. She gets bored of this shitty life of being locked up studying in her room all day so she finds a hidden exit to outside the mansion and uses it to run into town and meet some hot taisho ikemans.
Tanba Touki – Amane meets Touki when he gets her wallet back from a thief. He runs a cafe and loves to hit on the ladies, especially clueless ones like Amane. She ends up coming back to his cafe daily and ends up kinda working there (for free??) by helping him serve and wash dishes. One day there’s a fire in the building above the cafe and Amane runs out to see if he’s ok but is immediately escorted back to the castle by the royal guards. She escapes and finds Touki who tells her she has no business here and to go back to her rich family – as he had figured she’s probably some rich daughter but didn’t know she’s the princess. He tells her to never return to his cafe again and that her “helping” is just mocking those who now lost their homes to the fire. He later sneaks into her castle and finds out that she’s the princess further saying she will never understand him.
Despite her brother’s warnings, she escapes AGAIN and runs to the cafe the next night anyway 😂. Aaand of course the guards catch her and bring her back again sigh. At the royal ball, Touki sneaks in and asks her to dance with him and says he got her letter where she says she cares about the town and its residents. Realizing she’s not some snotty rich girl he invites her to come back to his store. Suddenly he runs off and oniichan announces to everyone that Amane is engaged to be married to some rando prince of another country. The next day Touki kidnaps her and throws her in his dungeon to be a hostage in order to have her brother meet his demands. He tells her he only got close to her so he could make some monetary gain and hit the jackpot with her being the princess. He says it was all an act but Amane continues to be gullible airhead and deep inside thinks that he truly cares for her. Oniichan doesn’t care that she’s captured so it’s time for plan B where Touki and co. ask Amane to lead them through the palace while they ambush. She refuses so he tells her to just run off to town on her own instead while he and his band of merry men reinact robin hood 😂.
But not before giving her a hug after she babbles how she doesn’t want him to get hurt. Oh no the power of wuv melted his icey heart and she ends up going with him anyway but says she can’t betray oniichan. So they end up fighting, oniichan gets shot and someone sets the palace on fire. While they try to escape the fire they find the brother getting caught in the flames but despite Amane’s pleas they’re not able to save him. And so since her palace burned down, and she’s in wuv with Touki she joins the resistance and Touki has to protect her from all the people buttmad that she’s Soushi’s sister. In the epilogue Touki brags to his cafe visitors that Amane is not his poster girl but his girlfriend. He then asks her to marry him and kisses her in front of the whole cafe.
Yoshimine Kei – Kei is a Tsundere prince from another country that Amane’s oniichan destroyed. He’s been assigned to be her dance and foreign language tutor and he’s pissed off that his life has come down to this. So now Amane has to hear his whining the entire game. He eventually falls for her but is constantly internally raging because she’s the sister of his mortal enemy. Amane doesn’t understand any of his outbursts because it’s not like she had any influence over her brother and she herself is treated like a pet in a cage by never being allowed to leave the castle. Eventually they both talk it out and Amane tells him how after her mother died of an illness, all her friends ditched her after probably finding out who she really is. She says that thanks to Kei she’s enjoyed her life for the first time in a while and he tells her the same. At the royal ball they’re happy to dance together until oniichan ruins the mood announcing to everyone that he’s picked the person for Amane to marry. Amane passes out from the shock and Kei carries her back to her room.
The following day they sneak out of the palace to go to the town festival. At the end of the night, he confesses to Amane that he loves her. He also tells her that when he was little she was one of his marital candidates as told by his parents. He says he wanted to confess before she married whoever her brother decided but Amane is upset because her heart only beats for Kei. 😭 Well it turns out that the servants at the palace have been brainwashing Soushi and that’s why Kei’s country was destroyed. Now that Soushi realized this, they’re angry so they want to overthrow him and make Amane their new doll they can order around. They’ve been trying to poison her through food but Kei caught it every time and threw it away. They almost drug her by force again until Kei comes to her rescue. So after this Amane agrees to join him in resistance against oniichan and she jumps off the boat that was to take her to her arranged marriage. Well lol as it turns out Soushi had planned for Amane to marry Kei anyway and return to his country. He asks that hopefully one day his country and Kei’s country can reconcile. Additionally he gives Kei his dog back, and apologizes for everything telling them to live a happy life. In the epilogue they come back to visit Soushi after a couple of years and work out the truce between the two countries.
Sera Koiichiro – Sera is an awkward turtle who stalks Amane the whole game as he is assigned to be her bodyguard. But now that it’s his route, he takes the extra step and has to literally be in her face the whole time lol. This dude has NO CHILL and he starts flipping shit at anyone who even as much as BUMPS into Amane in the hallway ヽ(。_゜)ノ. So he continues the whole bodyguard bs for most of the route rejecting any attempts for Amane to get close to him. One day he finally tells her that if she becomes the most powerful person then she can overpower oniichan and not be forced into an arranged marriage. When she asks oniichan how he became so powerful, he refuses to tell so Sera threatens him at mouth point. Even though he knows the truth he wanted Soushi to tell her the truth from his own mouth. So then Soushi reveals the king, their father, was killed so Soushi became this by default only to be manipulated by rich oligarchs around him.
Soushi was worried they’d do something to Amane which is why he called her to the castle to keep an eye out on her….and wanted to marry her off so that she’d be safe in another country. Amane says he should have just told her but he says she wouldn’t be able to keep her mouth shut. 😂 Just then the revolutionaries attack the palace and set it on fire. They all escape but they make it seem like her brother ~died~ and so she ends up becoming the leader instead. The revolutionaries tell her they’ll keep an eye on her and if she leads them in the wrong direction they will protest again. Even though it’s the end of the route, even though Amane wants Sera to stay with her he starts rambling how he’s no longer needed and she’s fine without him. ( ´_ゝ｀) Finally after Amane tells him she loves him he babbles about their status difference and confesses he was in love the whole time!! Whatever dude, I can’t be assed to care at this point and I just want your route to end. ヾ(◉ฺ∀◉ฺ。ฺ)ノ
Togawa Kagemitsu – Kagemitsu is not only Soushi’s right hand man, he’s also Amane’s chlidhood friend that she had frogotten about until now. 😂 He’s super protective of her and when her teacher insults her, he literally fires the teacher and becomes Amane’s teacher instead. He’s pretty much head over heels for her since the beginning and while he can be cold to others, he’s always sweet to Amane. Things go downhill when Amane is forced into the usual arranged marriage by oniichan and Kagemitsu is not pleased. One day Amane overhears Kagemitsu talking to a member of the revolutionary group and goes to confirm with him if this is true. He admits that it is, and while they discuss why he’s doing this, the revolution group attacks & blows up the palace lol( and it was all Kagemitsu’s plan!) He refuses to let Amane run to her brother to keep her safe and well he hates Soushi anyway lol. For some reason while Amane was ok with overthrowing her brother in the other routes, in this one she throws a fit saying they shouldn’t do it and begs Kagemitsu to stop. ヽ(。_゜)ノ
So then Soushi bursts in to interrupt their ichaicha and they reveal they made some promise to be all 3 bffs 4 lyfe. But then Amane’s mom died and she was thrown with her grandparents in the boondocks, and she was so sad and cried for days until she forgot about the two of them lol. Soushi then admits he remembered their promise and apologizes for being a cold asshole to both of them. Kagemitsu realizes Soushi was just trying to protect them both and is like damn, I dun goof’ed and now my childhood bff is being attacked. So then more bombing continues and Soushi admits that actually he also staged this because he wanted there to be a revolution to overthrow “him” and all the rich dudes who forced him to do stuff lol. So the palace burns down, Oniichan vanishes, and then Kagemitsu dives in for the marriage proposal to Amane. In the epilogue they go to a festival together. I actually had decent expectations for this route and it was cute at first but then with the whole revolution revelation things kinda fell apart.
Amazaki Soushi – Honestly I barely paid attention to this route because most of what we know about Soushi was already revealed in the other routes. He’s the brother, he’s always rude and cold to Amane, although he lightens up in his own route a bit. He’s also the current “ruler” and the most powerful man in the empire all set up by the rich dudes who needed a scapegoat while they did everything in the background. We know that he dragged her here in order to protect her and marry off to some rando so that the rich dudes who control him wouldn’t get their hands on her. Also Amane acts like a massive brocon even getting jealous of some crossdressing guy who she thought was Soushi’s girlfriend. 😐 So then because Soushi finds a letter with a plot to assassinate him on Amane, he thinks she’s out to kill him like everyone else. He’s had murder attempts at him for a while so he’s paranoid af and now doesn’t even trust her anymore. Amane bawls her eyes out that oniichan no longer trusts her and they can’t be close siblings like the olden days ever again. Buut then he gets all deredere again and asks her to dance with him to show the fruits of her training labor.
Anyway as usual it’s revealed that he staged the entire revolution to overthrow all the oligarchs who’ve controlled him for years. He also reveals that he’s been adopted by Amane’s dad so he’s not really her brother and suddenly they’re both magically in love. Also reveals that dad was poisoned by the oligarchs and they staged it like it was just an “illness”. Most of this info was revealed in Kei’s route and how the rich dudes targetted Amane as their new pawn because they felt like Soushi wasn’t doing as they pleased. And so just knowing Amane’s ~safe~ apparently was happiness for him so his final act is to die in the palace fire while letting Amane escape. Obviously in the good end Amane drags him out with her and they live happily ever after ichaichaing in some apartment while Soushi leads the revolution group (he was actually their leader to begin with apparently lol.) Amane sits around at home waiting for oniichan who she can’t stop calling oniisama even though he tells her they’re no longer “Siblings” but “Lovers” now. Honestly I don’t buy it seeing how much of a huge ass Soushi was in pretty much every other route but suddenly omg imouto I loveth uuu. Whatever, I was happy to be done with this route and this game. 🙄 Also Amane was extra helpless in this route, kya lightning I’m so scawed oniichan pwotect me!! 😅
Just like with Gakuen Club I’d just like to say “why add new CGs if they actually look worse than the originals”. The new scenarios didn’t feel like anything special – I mean I guess the epilogues were kinda nice to have for some of the guys? I will say this though, I never realized how much of a difference good backgrounds make. The backgrounds in Gakuen Club were horrible filtered photos but they actually had properly drawn backgrounds in this game..and it really raised the overall quality of the game. The other thing is at least this game had an on going plot vs GC where there would be nothing until the dude pours out his problems on the heroine. At least the heroine somewhat felt part of the plot being Soushi’s sister so while it wasn’t as boring, the boredom came from the fact that we were forced to watch the game from her pov being mostly stuck in her bedroom. The only route she could really go out in was the first one I played, Touki, (and even that was more an escape if anything) but all the other routes we were stuck watching her mostly sitting in her room the whole time.
A lot of Steam reviews said she’s really dumb, but I mean she’s been completely clueless since she was a child on what is going on. All she remembered was oniichan and being separated from him and then she was thrown into this boondocks farm with her grandparents and abandoned by all her childhood friends once they found out she was the daughter of the emperor. So she spent most of her life alone, her useless grandparents never really taught her much of anything (let alone ever speak up against Soushi) so I think she is what she is. So while I don’t rag on her for being pretty “useless” she was pretty generic and standard if anything and very few parts in the game truly let her “shine”. Also didn’t help that she had tons of “kya I tripped & fell!” scenes but I was so jaded to this I think it didn’t really hit me until I looked through the CG gallery where half the CGs are of her falling/guy catching her mid fall lol. It sorta reminds me of the heroine in the first Nil Admirari game, but without all the ~ye old timey sexual implications~. 😂 I think overall Kei might have been my favorite and while I liked Kagemitsu at first, his tantrum at the end really put me off lol. Touki was a liar, Sera has an eternal wedgie, and Soushi was just a closet siscon.
As usual, no, I do not recommend either this game on steam or its vita counterpart unless it’s on a huge discount sale. While the seiyuus are nice, the game itself is just too generic and will not really leave anything memorable in your mind – a typical problem with mobile to console game ports. Maybe it would be an okay otome game for beginners who aren’t jaded by the many generic otome tropes thrown at them like I am. 😂