Our heroine Yamada Oscar was given a weeb name by her otaku (and famous actress) mom whose favorite shoujo manga was Rose of Versailles. 😂 Like her mom, she’s also a huge otaku, but she likes a manga called RomaKoi where her favorite dude is Hikaru-sama who she has plastered all over her bedroom. She goes to a famous acting school but there’s a caste system where you have both the rich and the “normal” students attending. Needless to say there’s a huge divide between the two. Because Oscar is great at remembering lines after only reading them once, she gets scouted to join a newly formed acting club called Lumiere. Lumiere was formed by Maki Nozomi, a former member of another theatre group called Soleil. The teacher who leads Soleil, keeps trying to sabotage Lumiere so it’s up to Oscar, and Lumiere to ward off the attempts and win the upcoming acting competition to prove they are a real club who can stand out on their own.
Maki Nozomi – Nozomi is a popular actress but she often dresses up as a man as a revenge on her father who wanted to force her into an arranged marriage. Her parents wanted a son so when she was little, Nozomi used to dress as a boy for a while to the point she thought she was a boy. Even though she knew she was a girl as she grew up, she continued to dress as a boy because she refused her father’s arranged marriage, and the father said he would refuse any man Nozomi ever brought home. Nozomi is popular actress and is in the “rich” tier of kids, however she wants Lumiere to be all about acting, a club that anyone can join regardless of their wealth status. Nozomi has a childhood friend named Ando Reiji, and when she was little they both fell off a tree and she hugged him to protect him from the damage, getting a concussion herself.
As she grew up though, she gets episodes of blackouts and loses her eyesight because of this. Due to this, Reiji feels like he owes his life to her and only has eyes on her….to the point that you actually can’t get with Reiji in this game cause Nozomi is the only one he sees xD. The 2 of them cannot be lovers though because Reiji’ family has served as “butlers” for Nozomi’s family so Reiji would never allow this. Nozomi gets scouted by an acting scout but she refuses because of her eyesight and says she refuses to get surgery for personal reasons(because she wants to make it in time for the competition.) And so for the play they choose to do Rose of Versailles but Oscar is given the role of Antoinette. During practice for the play, Nozomi struggles with her brain illness to remember lines and act them out and she is actually unable to see well. In order to fill in the gap, Oscar offers to play Andre’s role since Reiji is gone and she can learn lines quickly. Nozomi at first wants to disband Lumiere because of Shiratori-sensei saying shit again but Oscar cheers her on and she changes her mind.
Unfortunately Shiratori destroys their costumes/props before their performance but they still put on a good show enough to win a special award. In the yuri ending Oscar ends up with Nozomi and Nozomi decides to get surgery as they キマシタワ！ in her hospital room. In the Reiji x Nozomi end, Reiji disappears from Nozomi’s sight and stops going to school because Nozomi’s dad asks him to do so , so she would stop clinging to the past and get surgery. So instead, Oscar steps in and works hard day and night practicing the role of Oscar for the play. She challenges Nozomi in an acting contest, and everyone is like wtf noob but then realize how good Oscar as gotten to play the character she was named after. And so after seeing her performance, Nozomi gives up the role of Oscar to Oscar instead and goes to get her eye surgery done. Lumiere and Soleil also join forces to do BeruBara together so no more sabotaging bullshit. And so because Oscar puts an outstanding performance they win the competition. In the Nozomi x Akira end, they just say how Akira and Oscar both admire Nozomi together ??? ok.
Eto Akira – Akira only appears to have one ending and it’s with Oscar. At first I was kinda getting tired of all the Nozomi this Nozomi that fanfare so it was nice to see Oscar have a happy ending for once. Akira was all tsuntsun at first but I saw him dere up for Oscar and help her with acting etc. Then like out of nowhere the Lumiere teacher Piere sensei is like you cannot date Oscar! He doesn’t tell him why and even tries to get him transferred to Soleil to separate Oscar and him. Akira is angry and confused and then out of nowhere Pierre is like oh yea actually I’m your real dad! Akira’s been living with his grandparents for a while, and they were very poor so sometimes he would do secret part time jobs in order to try to help out.
So then when one day Oscar searches through her mom’s album, she finds old photos of her and Pierre being lovers. On top of that she finds a photo together of a younger version of herself sitting next to what looks like a young Akira, and they are holding flags that say “brother and sister”. Immediately Oscar is horrified that she and Akira may be related and they are both in love with each other and oh noo incesssttt aaaa. I was rolling my eyes if this was gonna be some gross oniichan ending, but turns out actually while Oscar’s mom and Pierre dated earlier, they broke up and Pierre married someone else and had 2 kids. Unfortunately his wife and daughter, Akira’s younger sister, died in a car accident. That’s when Akira was given to his grandparents and Pierre went off to try to make something of his shitty acting career and instead became a school teacher.
They only found all of this out because they went to Oscar’s mom’s hospital room to show her the album and she explained everything. Apparently Oscar’s mom and Akira’s mom were friends or something, so they often had little Akira and little Oscar play together. In the brother / sister photo, apparently Akira’s sister was supposed to be in it, but she was too young and was crying or something so Oscar apparently volunteered to be in the photo instead. So now that they are relieved they can be lovers without incest, they leave the room and apparently Pierre was hiding there the whole time. Oscar’s mom then rages at Pierre that he’s so full of himself thinking that Oscar might have been his “secret child”. That still leaves the question of who in the world is Oscar’s father then??? Anyway Akira does decide to take up the training at Soleil but only for a few months and he and Oscar officially become a couple. Honestly I was really liking the route then this forced incest plot thing really killed the mood for me :V.
Hatori Yusu Axel – Axel’s main love interest is Mari Arisugawa but unfortunately they are not meant to be because Mari is engaged for a political arranged marriage to Akechi Yuu. Yuu though of course knows this, and a lot of people feel like when Mari and Axel act out their roles, they are acting out their true feelings for each other. Oscar stumbles upon them confessing their love when they think nobody’s looking so she knows from the start. Due to this I decided to do the Axel x Mari end first because it felt the most appropriate. Anyway they are both set to act as lovers in the Berubara play but one of the girls in Soleil, Rika, is like a turbo bitch and is mad she can’t get a main role. She pretends to be this derpy girl with no friends but she’s constantly pulling strings and she creates a scenario where it looks like Axel and Mari were caught doing nasty things in the group’s break room. Turns out she actually had someone secretly drop something on top of them so Axel hugged Mari to protect her…but Mari’s theatre practice clothes were all cut up before hand and she didn’t realize when she put them on. So of course the scene looked bad and all of Rika’s friends started saying how Mari and Axel are defiling the school’s image. Axel gets suspended as well.
Oscar wants to help them because when she was kinda forced to leave Lumiere and join Soleil, Mari was the only nice person to her in a sea of bitches. So now Oscar offers for Mari and Axel to join Lumiere instead and act in their version, albeit on a smaller scale. Meanwhile Rika gets to have the main role in Solei’s version and her partner ends up being Yu’s butler. Since Yu sides with Mari though, the butler, Itsuki, digs up all the dirt Rika’s done and tells her to expect some shit later. m9(^Д^)ﾌﾟｷﾞｬｰ At the play Axel and Mari kind of give their “final goodbyes” during their acting because Axel plans to return home to Sweden and Mari says she will marry Yu because despite not having love feelings for him, she still appreciates all the things he has done for her. However Yu knows that being forced into a marriage of someone you don’t love is not fun, so he tells Mari they will talk things out with their parents and to go after Axel instead. Mari runs after Axel and tells him the news and I guess they live happily ever after?? Then there’s this weird end with Nozomi and Axel which makes no sense to me. I have no idea why out of nowhere Nozomi’s like damn I got a crush on this guy I spent maybe 10 minutes of the entire game with! In this one, Nozomi, Axel and Oscar all go to a ball invited to by Axel’s uncle.
Axel’s uncle also happens to be an old patron of Nobara (Oscar’s mom) so Oscar has been temporarily living in his rich huge mansion with Axel. So they all go to this dance party and there Reiji prepares a dress for Nozomi so she can dance with Axel. She uses the dance as a “last thing” to give up on him after confessing him that he was her “first crush”. They go back to just being theater buddies at Lumiere as usual. The ending with Axel and Oscar was awkward because once Mari found out they were a thing, she shoved her role as Marie Antoinette onto Oscar. Oscar was then bullied for being shitty by the other people in the club and almost ragequit until she got encouraged to try her best and practice. Once she impressed everyone though, that was it! Soleil ended up not doing Rose of Versailles as a deal to not sabotage Lumiere’s idea. So in the end all of that was for nothing (well not totally but still feels like Oscar sacrificed herself for everyone.) On top of that Axel suddenly reveals he’s some foreign spy on Japanese rich kids and was spying on Oscar because she was Nobara’s daughter. But then Oscar like forgives him and he ~goes off without contact to be a better man~ and returns to her a year later and suddenly everyone is happy. Just felt really weird and pointless and the whole part where Oscar constantly undermined herself as a cockblock to Mari and Axel just felt really shitty treatment of the heroine.
Akechi Yuu – Well Yuu is revealed to be the writer of Oscar’s favorite mango, Romakoi. He has been doing it in secret due to him being a rich bocchan and asks Oscar to keep it a secret. So they become really good friends and talk about their manga interests. In the ending with Mari, Oscar feels bad and she wants Mari and Yuu to get along and for Mari to be happier when him. Just then though out of nowhere we get the revelation that Oscar is actually Mari’s half sister who was born after Mari as her mom’s secret love child. Just then her adoptive mom, Nobara decided to adopt her and raise her as her own … But she wanted her to be raised as a normal girl and not some rich ojousama. Once Oscar finds this out she feels betrayed but after speaking things out with Nobara, she decides that Nobara is her mother and she won’t meet with her birth mother after all. Mari found this out and instead is like please call me your oneesama! 😂 Mari and Yuu also realize they’re happier together and Mari breaks it off with Axel. So then in the ending with Yuu, Oscar feels like she doesn’t fit with Yuu but he works hard to convince his grandpa that he wants to break off the arrangement with Mari and be with Oscar instead. Grandpa isn’t convinced until basically Nobara meets privately with him and probably tells him that Oscar is Mari’s sister technically and is fit to be with his grandson. (That or she threatened to spill the beans on the love affair 🤣🤣🤣). Anyway this allowed Oscar to officially date Yuu but sadly we don’t get a kiss cg for him 😭. I kinda expected a lot more from the route that was basically the entire purpose of Oscar’s identity blah. The other interesting tidbit was that the inspiration for Oscar’s favorite 2D man Hikaru from RomaKoi was based on that ghost that roams the school, Charles lol.
Suzumura Kazuki – So apparently Reiji has a secret look alike named Suzumura Kazuki. Apparently he’s yet another spy who has come to the school to uncover the bribery bullshit going on with all the rich kids. He wants to basically bring to light how all the rich kids get anything with money while the regular students don’t get shit. Hmm this sounds familiar 😂. Kazuki one day came into the school and ran into Nozomi and his look alike Reiji. He agrees then to help them uncover the bribery scandal going on. This gets awkward cause Kazuki and Oscar go on a date and get kinda close together. However since Oscar found out his secret he agrees to stop pretending to be Reiji and says he’ll investigate via other means. He apologizes to Oscar and says he just couldn’t tell her the truth but he enjoyed spending time with her. He later reveals the reason he’s doing this is to get revenge for his mother.
Apparently she was a former student here and a rich person. She got into a relationship with some teacher who was after her money and when she lost her inheritance he immediately dumped her. She was also then kicked out of the higher tier track, despite her singing talents. She then had that teacher’s love child, Kazuki. He then for into journalism and pursued studying investigation in order to uncover the truth about the school who hurt his mother. So yea they all get together, bring the principal to the auditorium and expose him and the school and everything is resolved. Kazuki then confesses his feelings for Oscar and they become a couple. Guess the only kiss cgs Oscar really ever gets is with Axel and Akira :s. Too much school politics drama, not enough romance.
Well that was kinda meh. I expected it to be something funny/parody of Rose of Versailles, and maybe to an extent it was ….but mostly just kinda boring school drama. The drama with the “I am your father” and “I am not your birth mother” was really weird and felt kinda thrown in just to have yet more drama. A lot of the plot devices just felt thrown in and nothing really stuck to me. Despite there supposed to be romance with multiple characters, it never felt like they gave enough time for any of it kinda blossom? Or by the time it did, DRAMA REARS ITS UGLY HEAD and suddenly the mood is kinda ruined. Also due to there being multiple routes and some characters feeling “better paired up than others” sometimes mixing and matching pairings felt really awkward. For example I just couldn’t understand the point of Axel x Nozomi when Nozomi is clearly the OTP with Reiji. Anytime you were pairing Mari with someone other than Axel it felt awkward and forced like you were intentionally making her face her miserable choice of being with Yuu (who is a great guy and deserves better than her IMO.)
The one thing that bothered me the most is they treated the heroine like Background Girl A. Despite her working really hard to act in both Soleil and Lumiere, she would constantly undermine herself as ~untalented dumb otaku~. Her otaku jokes were funny and relatable of course, but I wanted to see her evolve and shine and she only got a few opportunities to do so. It was also constantly irritating for her to be like “omg Mari is so beautiful I wish I was like her” and “omg Nozomi is so wonderful I will never be like her”. Like wow can you stop?? You can easily be like her! I know because I saw you shine in other ends! Stop it! I don’t know why she had this low self esteem, she was raised by a very loving mom and always was so happy enjoying her RomaKoi hobbies. Obviously the bitches calling her acting shitty didn’t help, but even before that, she would constantly consider herself a sack of shite when being next to Nozomi or Mari.
Anyway overall kinda bland impression left on me, and even when I would finally feel like I’m enjoying a route, something would come around and ruin it for me. I think if you’re into the original Rose of Versailles series, there’s probably more tidbits and easter eggs you can notice more than me. Unfortunately I never read the series and I don’t know much about it outside of parodies from similar series.
On an unrelated note this is probably the last otome game I am going to play before the next blog anniversary. I have quite a few non-otome games I bought earlier this year I want to get through and honestly with the last few otome games not really impressing me much, I’m really not interested in buying anything new until Bustafellows in December. Doesn’t help that most “new releases” are just ports of old games I was never interested in/games I’ve already played. I’m mildly interested in Cafe Anshante, but I will probably hold off until I see reviews. Real life stress has been horrific since July for me (and not getting better unfortunately) so the motivation to sit through mediocre otome games is kinda dead right now.