Otome Game Review: Dairoku: Ayakashimori

Akitsu Shino has the ability to see spirits from a young age, so when she grows up she joins a secret agency that keeps track of and handles ayakashi. Her job is to make sure to keep the peace between the various ayakashi districts in the special ayakashi town known as Sakuratani.

Shiratsuki – Shiratsuki is the 9 tail fox spirit who wants her to make him his shikigami from the start. 😏 He’s an old fox so he doesn’t know about modern world words like sexual harassment lol. He lives in the fox district where if a tanuki shows up the foxes start an endless transformation competition so that’s one thing that Shino has to watch out for. Shiratsuki has a floofy tail that Shino loves to floor but he’s ticklish there 😊. He also uses his tail to paint calligraphy but gets in trouble for wasting ink and then sometimes accidentally knocks over items with it. When the fox lady Tamamo gets angry at him for knocking and breaking one of her expensive mirrors, he suddenly drops the grandpa style speech making Shino realize he’s been taking it all this time. He then tells her he intentionally talks like that to look cool otherwise he’s just typical “ikeman” 😂. He loves fashion and asks Shino to help him with buying clothes online from the human world. So Shiratsuki has this old loyalty to his former master and ever since he’s passed away Shiratsuki has been unable to bind a contract with any onmyouji to become their shikigami. To make the fashion contest to well, Shino offers to bind a contract with her temporarily and Shiratsuki of course agrees on the conditions that either of them can break it anytime. When Shiratsuki was just a little fox he ran into an old man and trained with him to become a kyuubi by first becoming his shikigami.

Because Shiratsuki was such an amazing shikigami, the other onmyouji got jealous and killed the old man to try to get Shiratsuki for themselves. The old man’s final words were telling Shiratsuki not to take revenge so Shiratsuki decided to change his life and be less greedy. Unfortunately history repeats itself and a nasty rumor spreads that Shino forced Shiratsuki to become her shikigami so now her well being is threatened. Turns out it’s started by some angry fox shota who thinks Shino is brainwashing them all and when Shiratsuki gives Shino a love letter he gets even more furious. 😂 But then Shino and Shiratsuki talk out their misunderstanding and make up. Unfortunately one of the other ayakashimoris refuses to see the truth and thinks that Shino has brainwashed even the company president into believing that she didn’t force Shiratsuki to be her shikigami. He threatens her to break her contract or else. Just then the fox shota shows up raging and nearly kills Shino until she calls upon Shiratsuki to save her. Turns out the fox shota turned into Shiratsuki and lied to that guy saying that Shiratsuki was forced into becoming her shikigami. The real Shiratsuki tells everyone that he did it all out of his own free will and they apologize to him and Shino. Oh and also then he says he wants to break their temporary contract and instead do a full new one because tbh he just wants to be with his bae forever 😘. Also Shino for some reason didn’t catch on the fact that he’s been in love with her this whole time lmao.

So then they decide to have the official ceremony in front of a bunch of ppl to break the misunderstanding but it’s basically like an ayakashi engagement ceremony cause the fox shota tells the entire city about Shiratsuki’s love confession 😂. Instead of rings, Shiratsuki gives her a special bracelet and explains that in his love letter the song meaning was that he would die for her but for now wants to live as long as he can together. After they seal the contract with the kiss he says they may as well get married now but Tamamo and Kinka tell him they have to put more effort into that ceremony than this lol. In the epilogue, Shiratsuki just wants to cuddle the whole time but Shino has to continue her work as an ayakashimori. 😭🤣 Bad end: Shino and Shiratsuki never manage to resolve their misunderstanding and decide to break off the contract. They try to act normal in front of everyone as she continues her job but inside Shino wants to cry every time she sees him. Friend end: Some nekomata attacks Shino thinking the rumor is true but Shiratsuki tells them it’s not true. Sadly he’s too hetare in this end to tell Shino his true feelings for her.  In the end after one of the patrols she ends up sleeping while cuddling his tail but as close as they are they still haven’t told each other their true feelings. He tells her he wants to see her become a proper ayakashimori and when she does he’ll do a permanent contract with her. My only regret in this route is that I wish he would drop the grandpa speech more than just when he’s threatened by Tamamo 😂😭.

Hira – Hira is a kuudere tengu leader but also extremely lazy and spends most of his time not giving a rats ass about anything and sleeping. He’s a tengu ayakashi but even though he may act like he doesn’t care he’s quite observant. At first his route really bored me until Shino decided to literally chain him down and like his ears thinking his tengu nose would extend 😂👺. She also asks him to help her train her ayakashimori powers so she has no problems taking care of anyone causing trouble in town. She learns that the name Hira is the name of a mountain where he used to live and that they don’t really put much weight into names. He used to enjoy giving names to things but since he’s lived over 1000 years he got tired of naming things that would eventually die. He pretty much acts cold and distant to her but will do subtle things like help free her from her own messed up jitsu, or cuddles her when she calls asleep on his couch so she doesn’t catch a cold. 😏 He gives her a special bracelet that if she’s in danger she can call on him to come help. He gives it to her to use during the ayakashi events that are in the coming days. After Hira wins the drinking contest, he gives her the prize. The climax is some stupid human who wants to sell mermaid meat to humans who want to gain eternal life. Fortunately with Hira’s help Shino stops him but they get into a fight because she doesn’t let him kill the dumb human guy for hurting her. Hira gets pissed that she called him for help but then uses a jutsu to stop him and protect the human asshole.

The asshole turns out to be some rich douchebag son of a higher up and then his father comes raging that his son was unfairly attacked. Her boss and senpai tell her to stay in her room on leave from work until they settle this issue. Shino realizes she’s in love with Hira but Takao warns her that she would just upset him because she’d grow old and die and leave him behind like all the others. Shino then works hard and gets evidence to prove Hira’s innocence so that he’s not executed. She then barges her way into Hira’s room and confesses that she’s in love with him. He’s like oh ok that means I don’t have to hold back anymore and kisses her. He then admits he was jealous of a human family he secretly observed and named,  when he lived in the mountains. Honestly this whole revelation of feelings was really weird cause it felt so one sided to me the entire time so him just being like oh yeah I actually like you too felt so sudden 😅. I guess I’m not a huge fan of these subtle type characters… Most of the time in this route it feel it like he treated Shino more like his pet than a love interest. In the epilogue they decide to go on a date together cause he wants to learn more about what human lovers do. He buys her nail polish in his favorite green color and paints her nails at her apartment. Actually he was really cute in his end… If only he was more like this in his whole route…😔. Bad end: Shino lets Hira escape into the human world and take the punishment in his place instead. She tells him she loves him and he’s angry cause he’s given up on life and now has to wander the earth alone again. Friend end: The case is resolved and Shino vows to continue being friends with Hira.

Akuroou – Akuroou is an oni ayakashi  and warns Shino that some humans who fall into despair can transform into one. Despite being an oni, Akuro (what some people call him) is pretty chill and takes care of everyone like a dad/mom at Makatsuhi village😊. He even feels bad for scaring Shino with the way he looks and tells her he won’t eat her like in fairy tales lol. Turns out oni just wanna have fun and they love manga anime and games with shoujo manga being the latest rage.😂 Shino even teaches Akuro how to use a smartphone and check his messages. Akuro also loves cats and has quite a number of cat goodies. 😸 Even though he’s chill now, he’s had trouble in the past with humans and still has nightmares about it to this day. The two of them often have zashiki warashi kids play pranks on them and braid their hair so they both help each other until it. 😭😂 During their interactions, Akuro treats her really nice almost like a prince, and embarrasses her without realizing it. Only his 2 oni bros notice this and Akuro gets confused when Shino will randomly blush and run off in embarrassment. 😊 So then they decide to take Akuro to the human world to visit for the first time in a while along with the Makatsuhi oni leader Hajun, who was Oda Nobunaga in his former life before becoming an oni. They all head to Akihabara but are told not to touch or pick up any items cause humans can’t see them. Akuro never wanted to visit the human world but he changed his mind because Shino was coming with him.

Hajun tells Shino that Akuro’s heart is trapped in the past and he’s brought him to the human world in hopes to help him get over it, as he has. So the first step is Shino asks Akuro to exchange text messages with her and during this interaction, Shino realizes she’s in love with him. He’s still learning how to use the phone so most of his messages come through all in hiragana. 😄 A few days later Akuro reveals that he was also once a human who hated other people so much he turned into an oni. He had nearly lost himself once outside in the human world, and an ayakashimori at the time stopped him. After that he was banned from visiting the human world and stayed in the ayakashi one, while constantly having nightmares of his past. Many years had passed since then and his visit to Akihabara was fun for him and not a painful experience like before. In the mean time there’s been a lot of incidents of humans getting attacked in the human world, and other ayakashimori divisions think that Akuro is the one behind it. They intentionally go and provoke Akuro to attack others saying it will just be evidence to seal him away. Akuro gets so angry at the provokers that he turns into his true oni form. Before he can actually kill anyone and be truly guilty, Tokitsugu and Shino try to stop him. But then we get the inuyasha style end where she hugs his monster form and brings him back to his senses. Shino’s boss Etsuya also shows up to reveal that the Sakuma division, the one who provoked Akuro, is no longer on the oni attack case. After this he turns back to his usual form, and the other guys leave them alone together to talk. He then tells her that he was part of a group of protesters who got brutally murdered by the police, including himself who got beheaded. ( What a weirdly topical revelation 😳)

On top of this his friend felt guilty for giving directions to the police to their village and killed himself while crying over Akuro’s dead body. After that Akuro turned into an oni and took revenge on many humans until an onmyouji caught him and taught him that his revenge will not bring back the lives of his friends and family. After that Akuro just lived peacefully in Sakuratani until the Sakuma assholes invaded and he realized his heart wasn’t at peace after all. He then figured that it was fine if only he was sealed but they threatened Shino and co. and his rage came back. Anyway they finally stop the Sakuma idiot and Akuro’s long time cat keychain finally turns into a tsukumogami which helps quell his rage. He also realized living in the past felt like a stupid waste of time to him so he finally got over it. He then confesses to Shino that he’s in love with her (in front of her co-workers) and hating humans would make no sense now. He tried to learn all about phones and things like that because he wanted to understand her more. 😊 After the other guys get tired of being 3rd wheels and leave Shino confesses her feelings to him as well. In the epilogue, Akuro stops spending all his time taking care of trouble makers and sets aside some love making time with Shino. 😏 Friend end: Akuro asks Shino to drink alcohol with him secretly during her work shift lol. In the epilogue everyone parties with the onis and gets drunk. Bad end: Shino and Akuro confess their love to each other but another onmyouji comes to seal him. Akuro then asks Shino to do it instead cause he would rather be sealed by her as his final memory. He’s sealed in a block of ice and Shino visits him every day….until one day she kisses the ice block and it shatters..so presumably she broke the seal? 🤔

Shu – I’ve been waiting to play this route since I saw the character profiles because tsundere oosaka ryota snek boy. 🐍Shu is one of the oldest love interests in the game but he’s such a cute dork it’s honestly hard to believe until you look at the character profiles. He’s actually the snake ayakashi boss and does act very bossy but supposedly the one who really leads the snakes is Orochi. Shu absolutely hates picked plums and just smelling one makes him want to hurl. He also has a strong dislike for all the other village chiefs because he feels that all the ayakashi should be ruled by the snakes. So then Shino gets assigned to follow the snakes and keep her eyes on them because there’s a rumor that one of them is planning a coup of sorts. She tries to follow them but gets caught and nearly attacked by a snake guy until Shu steps in and dissolves the situation. Shu also enjoys sweet things so Shino literally bribes him with pudding and buttering him with compliments to participate in the ayakashi events(which is a lie to get them to let her make sure they aren’t up to no good). Unfortunately he’s hell bent on refusing because he thinks he’s the best ayakashi chief and refuses to participate in events the other “crappy” chiefs put on 😂😂😅😭. He decides to give her a chance to talk him into it so she comes over their house again and brings some liquor chocolate as an omiyage. Unfortunately Shu is apparently so easily drunk that even liquor in a chocolate is enough to push him over. Despite Orochi warning him his stubbornness makes him eat one anyway and he immediately collapses🤣.

After this Shino thinks that none of the snake mans are a threat and one of her co-workers probably just misunderstood Shu power tripping. Her mission is over then but Orochi has other plans and has been stringing Shu along the whole time. But then the truth comes out, they were using Shino in order to achieve Shu’s goal of basically taking over Sakuratani. Orochi refuses to back down and takes Shino hostage telling Tokitsugu not to try anything and they promise not to hurt Shino. After Shino starts crying and saying despite her mission she really did want to become friends with him, he feels bad and unties her. He then tells her he wanted to lead Sakuratani because he’s the rebirth of the legendary auspice Seiryuu. But then Orochi explains that Orochi and Shu were once the being Yamato no Orochi but they got split during the rebirth. Orochi wants to gattai with Shu so they can become Yamato no Orochi again and take over Sakuratani. But then Shu is like uh is this gonna hurt Shino and Orochi is like yeah prolly…so Shu is like lol nvm fuck this I’d rather be with my girl. 😏🥰 Just then ayakashimori and snake dudes burst in raging that Shu betrayed them and that Shino is a traitor. Fortunately Tokitsugu and Etsuya arrive in time to calm everyone before Shu goes into DBZ mode. Shu also finds out that if he becomes Yamato no Orochi, he will basically absorb Orochi into himself and Orochi will disappear. Shu drops everything and begs Etsuya for forgiveness and Shino also asks as well on his behalf.

Etsuya tells them all good as long as they write a long essay on why they should never do that again. Some days later he reveals that actually what happened is he saw Yamato no Orochi get slayed by Susanoo and died in the damage…and when he was reborn his soul joined with Yamato no Orochi’s and then split again. So actually he’s just some zako human who just happened to be Orochi-touched in the rinne. 😂😭 Knowing this he decided to stop acting like he’s above everyone and decides to be more humble. Shino then gets him to call her by her name and in return he asks her to call him Shu without the San. He tells her she’s important to him but as usual Shino doesn’t get this indirect crap so Orochi tells him to be a man and tell her directly. Shu then brings her to a pretty shrine and confesses that he loves her. Shino is like damn he so cute I can’t resist 😊 and then Shiratsuki and Akuro pop out like ayy we were here the whole time and keep teasing him 😭😂. In the epilogue, they go on a date together and everyone pretty much helps them out lol it was really cute. ☺️ I’m laughing though cause like the plot literally didn’t matter in this route and it was all about taming the tsundere 😂😂. In the friend end, the other snake dudes get impatient with Shu and abduct Shino taking her hostage first. Fortunately Shu and others find her, apologize and stop the plan ( as well as Tokitsugu keeping the snake guys in line lol.) After this in the epilogue Shu attempts to confess his feelings to Shino but she friendzones him so he tells her he’ll keep trying harder to get her to realize his true feelings lol. Bad end: Shu gattais with Orochi and turns into Yamato no Orochi, beats up everyone, but at the expense of Orochi’s life. After this Shu goes back to normal and becomes very depressed with only Shino visiting him while he’s on stay at home order. He gets so depressed that he asks Shino to stay with him the rest of her limited human life. I think this was one of my favorite bad ends.

Semi Tokitsugu – Tokitsugu is the doS senpai and Shino’s boss, but he really does care about Shino and will totally support her and her guy in other routes. 😌 He’s one of those characters that looks like his eyes are always closed except when shit gets real and he opens them(́◉◞౪◟◉). His other co-worker is Tadashi who is younger than Shino and has a huge crush on Kinka, the cat ayakashi. Tokitsugu has a younger sister but also a younger brother who works in another department at this company. His family is a line of onmyouji so that’s why everyone pretty much goes into this profession by default. He enjoyed learning to be an onmyouji and never felt like it was forced on him. Because he seems too perfect Shino tries to uncover his weakness but has little luck in doing so. The truth is he works his ass off working as late as morning hours, as Shino saw him on her way back from a night shift. To help with the work load, Tokitsugu’s brother Tokitaka comes to temporarily work at their unit. The reason is Tokitsugu wants him to transfer there permanently but Tokitaka doesn’t feel he’s fit to be an ayakashimori and won’t reveal why. Well turns out the reason is because he found out that his family was responsible for the instability of Sakuratani so knowing that Tokitaka no longer felt like he was suitable to be an ayakashimori.

Tokitsugu doesn’t know about this so Tokitaka didn’t want to ruin his job enjoyment since Tokitsugu became an onmyouji on his own free will and desire. Feeling bad that she can’t help Shino tries to be there for Tokitsugu and getting tired, his perfect image starts to crumble in front of her. Eventually Tokitaka admits to his brother that he saw the secret files in his family’s locker and changed his mind about joining the ayakashimori unit. Tokitsugu says he knew about this too because he’s set to be the next heir of the Semi family. He was trying to fix the stability of everything on his own so Tokitaka and Shino tell him they will help. One day when they’re working together, Tokitsugu and Shino take a tea break where he gives her a necklace from his family’s locker as a thanks for getting him and his brother to patch things up. That’s even Shino realizes that she’s completely fallen for him. 😊 Suddenly there’s panic from a rumor that spreads saying Tokitsugu intends to take over and destroy Sakuratani. The ayakashi start going crazy and destroying everything believing the rumor is true. Fortunately the village chiefs like Hira and Shiratsuki have been trying to calm things down because they believe in Tokitsugu.

Eventually they convince the board of leaders that Tokitsugu is innocent and also in between that Shino manages to blurt out a love confession to him. 😌 Eventually the guy who spreads the rumor comes out all because he was jealous of Tokitsugu. After this Tokitaka is also officially transferred into the 6th unit with his brother. Shino also finds out the necklace where got from Tokitsugu is basically their family’s equivalent of an engagement ring. 😳 In the epilogue Tokitsugu and Shino plan to go on a date but can’t decide where and end up making out in the office (//∇//) 💕 My fav part of that was how after he kissed her, she kissed him back like  BRUH I CAN DO THAT TOO of course all that does is light the fire under his ass ( ͡⚆ ͜ʖ ͡⚆). Bad end: Tokitsugu agrees to quit his job because of the false accusations and take over his family estate instead. The other 3 continue working at the 6th unit hoping that Tokitsugu will return to them again. Shino keeps contact with him and he comes to visit sometimes. Friend end: Tokitaka tells Tokitsugu that he’s returning to the 1st unit and Shino with the 3 of them have drinks together. Completely random fact but in his profile Tokitsugu said he hates cilantro and loves black tea and I gave him a high five in spirit. 🤣🙌 My Spirit animal right here. 🥰

Grand Finale – You basically go around sealing evil spirits with this dumb button press mini game. So Shino is temporarily put on office duties due to mystery targeted attacks, so she gets a bunch of fanmail and gifts from all the ayakashi that she encountered during her patrolling. Turns out she’s a long relative of the original creator of Sakuratani and since only she can see ayakashi, nobody else in her family was targeted. Seems like some deep involved plot between the distant relatives of both Shino and Tokitsugu. Just in case though Tokitsugu has already asked his father to hire guards to secretly protect them from the shadows. 😌 While she stays inside where she feels bad she can’t do anything, her protector beast – a babby tiger, actually lets her pet him. 😸 Anyway this route is so utterly dragged out I could barely focus. They could have used the space here to add more meat to the other guys routes instead of beating around the bush to the ending. They realize the criminal is Kousaka from the accounting team and go talk to him to find out what crawled up his butt. Tokitsugu kicks his ass and then they gotta take care of the snakes going hog wild trying to capture Shino for Orochi’s plan (see Shu route) which Kousaka was influenced by. When they confront Shu he’s like I’ll be the ruler and you can be my princess 💕 lmao. Shino refuses so Shu decides to try and take her by force by doing his gattai with Orochi. Everyone then shows up to help Shino run to perform the stabilization ceremony and somewhere in there Tadashi finally confesses to Kinka but I don’t think it gets through to her 😭😂. My side otp rip lol. Anyway Shino then goes to the core of Sakuratani where she has a conversation with the god asking if someone other than those in her bloodline can protect the town from now on. After this Shino restores to the equilibrium and Kouya regains his full tiger form since she’s awakened her powers. Shu then admits that he’s wronged and decides to take responsibility for his and his fellow snake actions. And well that’s that not even an interesting epilogue..meh.

Well what can I say…it’s a character game. The setting is great, the characters for the most part, including the side cast is pretty great. Another thing that really stood out was the music bgms, which I really liked this time! The voice acting was especially good in this one particularly because Oosaka Ryota, Susuki Tatsuhisa and Toyonaga Toshiyuki played the type of voices I love the most from them ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°). The unfortunate part, as many Amazon reviews have mentioned, is the story. While the idea and setup is good, they really rush it at the end. The worst offender was Shu’s route where they easily resolve the story and then try to shove all the romance/cute stuff at the end lol. There was no good “pace” of having Shino fall in love with the guy except maybe in Akuro and Tokitsugu’s routes. All the other guys it felt very “at the end” or was so subtle the dude was literally like “don’t you have the same feelings as me!?” (;^ω^)… It’s such a shame because I really wanted more cute stuff with the guys, but even in the character profile omake…there was nothing sweet/romantic said to the heroine. It was just like “I like x and hate y”. The grand ending was anything but grand and felt dragged out and boring. Some of the side characters were so great I’d love for them to get FD routes or hell just another game with a different heroine who gets to date the side cast instead (well except the 2 oni guys they’re annoying lmfao 😂). If they just added a little more focus on the romantic development this would have been a really great game in my opinion. There was nothing creepy or assaulty or really nasty in the bad ends, and the only other annoyance is having to make sure you pick every choice/see every scenario in the game or you won’t unlock the bonus CG above. Actually my game bugged out and despite having done the 100% completion check it took me several tries to get the CG to pop up – was rather frustrating lol.

Some people probably came to this game for the Suoh art but if you look at the completion CGs vs some of the CGs in the actual game…makes me wonder if some Otomate staff did the coloring while Suoh just did the lineart/sketches. Some of them feel very plainly colored and a few of them like this one felt almost…awkward – not to mention a really half assed background. The backgrounds in the game looked like something generated out of google sketch or whatever but it didn’t really bother me except in some of the CGs like that one where it just felt so weirdly empty. For play order there really isn’t anything story spoiling in my opinion nor is there a “locked” character but if you want to play from least cute to most cute route I’d say Hira→Akuro→Shu→Shiratsuki→Tokitsugu→Grand Finale. And on an unrelated topic, I had bought a new tablet before playing this game, so I ended up doing some doodles during my playthrough which was a lot of fun. ☺

 

 

9 thoughts on “Otome Game Review: Dairoku: Ayakashimori

  1. Thanks for the review and for making me laugh. Ive been getting into bleach lately, and I lol’ed when I saw your comment about characters who only open their eyes when the situation is about to get down. (BTW the character I’m talking about is gin) and that gc at the end looks like early 2000s otome game gc on pc.

    I’m probably the one only who is not a fan of Suoh’s art tbh. I find that the character’s faces look samey. They do look more distinct In this game however.

    1. I was thinking of Chichiri from Fushigi Yuugi, he’s the first “closed eyes guy” that pops into my head lol

      I never played Bad Apple Wars because I heard the story was also weak and was not a fan of Suoh’s art but I do think it’s pretty interesting after having played this. That said I wish they put more efforts into coloring the CGs, some of them really felt lacking :S

  2. Your doodles look so cute😍. Also your review is as fun as always. I follow your blog for a while and this is my first comment. Your blog is my favorite otome blog and continue with it 😃

  3. hi hinano! thank you for your review. i’ve been a long time reader and this is mt first time commenting. i’m glad to see you liked this game!

    i’ve been keening on this game since it was first announced because of Suoh’s art and Toyonaga voicing the poster boy + singing the theme songs. i was initially unsure whether to preorder the game because i feared it would turn of bad, then the pandemic happened and JP Post stopped all shipments to my country. so i haven’t had the chance to order the game >_>

    i saw the low ratings on amazon and was worried about it, but after reading your review, i’m convinced i’m gonna buy this game ❤ (probably from amazon since they offer direct shipping). i don’t mind a weak story as long as the characters are lovable 😀

    i also saw your doodles on twitter, they’re very cute!

    again, thanks for your review. hope you have a nice day/evening!

    1. Thanks for being a long time reader and commenting! 😀

      The amazon reviews are low because as I mentioned the story is pretty weak but if you can enjoy the characters I think it’s worth the play especially as you said you like Toyonaga and Suoh’s artwork.💙

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