Otome Game Review: Lover Pretend

After being in limbo for several years post announcement, Otomate decided to bring this game back from the dead with a seemingly completely new staff. Unfortunately it did not go as planned and frankly did not go as I had imagined. So keep in mind the fact that I thought this game was terrible and boring which is why it took me a month and a half to slog through it while constantly taking breaks to play other games. Our heroine, Chiyuki wants to be a script writer like her deceased mother but she has no idea who her father ever was. However, her mother left her clues that he was one of the actors in the famous drama script her mother wrote called “Pretend to Love”. Now in her 3rd year in college, Chiyuki has a chance to do some assistant work with a movie and she meets the children of the actors who were in Pretend to Love. In addition she’s now also cast as the love interest of all the guys and like with her mom’s drama is a “pretend lover” with them. With this Chiyuki hopes to find a clue on who her father might actually be.

Kamikubo Kazuma – Kazuma is the dumb childhood friend of Chiyuki and despite being unaware of it at first, he’s had a thing for Chiyuki for a long time like every childhood friend ever. He works as a hair stylist/makeup artist and helps out with the movie Chiyuki is starring in. They pretend to be lovers and go on dates and stuff but Kazuma starts to realize his feelings for her are a lot stronger than he thought. It gets to the point where Chiyuki starts to realize something for him and that she cannot continue being fake lover with him. Before they can discuss their “fake breakup” though, Kazuma gets hit by a car and is hospitalized with 10 year amnesia – he cannot remember things that happened before he entered middle school. Chiyuki visits him in the hospital daily hoping to help him remember things by showing him his graduation albums and talking about the past. At first he’s really angry towards her but then starts to warm up to her. But when he asks her relationship to him she lies and says they were lovers and he’s like no way you got some other ikeman boyfriend  – because he thinks Nishijima is her boyfriend. When the other guys come to visit though, they all tell him that Kazuma and Chiyuki were “dating”.

When all the guys leave it’s awkward since Kazuma has no memories of this and Chiyuki knows they weren’t “really” dating. Kazuma then tells her he looked through his phone message history with her and realized that it’s true maybe they were lovers and at the last his past self definitely loved her. He tells her he may not remember anything but he would like to get to know her now. Chiyuki is basically guilt ridden now and breaks down and starts crying making Kazuma confused as to why. A few days later when Chiyuki comes to visit Kazuma and his mother thinks he should give up being a hair stylist because he broke his arm and it requires a lot of rehabilitation as well as the fact that thanks to his memory loss he’s forgotten all of what he learned about hair styling. She also thinks that Kazuma got hit because he wasn’t paying attention due to being so tired from an unstable work schedule. Since Kazuma has no memories of his desire to be a hair stylist, he agrees to take his mom’s offer to accept a more stable boring office type job instead. While trying to make Kazuma remember his dream of being a hair stylist, she also then admits that they were in a fake pretend lover relationship. Suddenly he has a huge migraine and passes out from the pain and has a dream where he recollects his time with Chiyuki from middle school and how she decided to become a scriptwriter after her grandmother passed away and she was finally all alone.

Unfortunately because his arm is injured, his job no longer wants him to return to do the hair/make up (which is lmfao illegal in america literal disability discrimination but lol Japan.) When Chiyuki tells him that her script got chosen in the competition, Kazuma feels like he’s being left behind and tries his hand at cutting hair again but has no luck and keeps messing up. This makes him angry at himself and her and they keep distance from each other until a few weeks later they go on a date to make up. But even if THEY make up, he basically completely ruins himself for me by admitting that ever since middle school he thought of Chiyuki as a dumb broad and wished only failure on her while lying ad saying he’s cheering on her dream. It’s all because he was so jealous that someone like her could ever get “ahead” of him, and he even wished she didn’t win in that contest. What a douchebag lmfao. Of course because it’s his route, and it’s the end of his route, Chiyuki is all like uwu I forgive you asshole-kun and he’s like uwu I actually fell in love with you through my jealous hatred for you uwu. And then he kabedons her in the aquarium and says he doesn’t want to be a pretend lover anymore and kisses her. TOO LATE DUDE YOU’RE ON MY SHIT LIST LOL. ಠ_ʖಠ But yea now they’re all raburabu and he comes over her place for christmas (but lol she hits him on the head with a frying pan thinking he was some intruder lawl.😎) He’s also completely recovered his arm and returned to work again. He asks Chiyuki to be his model for his next hair/makeup job. In the epilogue he does a bridal hair style practice on her and asks her to some day marry him. Anyway, whatever, she may have magically forgiven you, but I, have not. In the good end, he practices doing her hair and they leave their relationship just as friends. In the epilogue of that one they end their “fake lovers” and Kazuma suggests they become real lovers instead.

Makino Harumi – Harumi is the ikeman at Chiyuki’s college and has a rabid fangirl fanclub that threatens to kill any girl who would potentially be his girlfriend. 😐 He’s Japanese but has been living in England all his life and decided to return to Japan to attend university here. He was always kind of a loner abroad and started watching anime which made him happy and so he wants to pursue a career in animation…much to his father’s dismay. And once Chiyuki finds out about his anime hobby he basically ropes her into being his otaku buddy and she starts to get into it by borrowing his anime DVDs and also going to a Tearblade collab cafe cause his favorite anime is well…mecha XD. When his classmates catch them shopping at Anifight (lol animate) he’s too embarassed to admit that he’s an otaku so he lies and says he’s just shopping with his girlfriend Chiyuki. Chiyuki has to not only lie about being his girlfriend but also take the “otaku flag” for him cause he’s a chicken ass bitch lmao (and I mean this in a loveable way. 🤭) After this Harumi asks her to pretend to be his gf a little longer because he’s tired of dealing with his fangirls. But yep everytime his fangirls catch him at an otaku event or doing any otaku things, he immediately shifts the blame on someone else and acts like he knows nothing about these anime things. Afterwards he feels like an asshole and even when he manages to make a friend at the otaku event, he hurts the guy by lying saying it was just someone “sitting next to him”.

Chiyuki tells him to stop being a whiny bitch and man up to his hobbies and passion but he just runs away like a sissy ass loser lol. After he and Chiyuki talk things out and make up, he goes to see the guy at the anime club where he yells to all the members that he’s an anime nerd just like them even if he looks like a popular ikeman. His fangirls stalk him to the anime club room and ask him if he’s an otaku and he’s like yea I am what are you gonna do about it. The fangirls get really pissed that he lied to them about being a “gross otaku”. So then Harumi gives one of the otaku guys an ikeman makeover and the fangirls flip their shit but it convinces them to stop bullying people for their personal hobbies. So once that’s resolved the next PITA on the list is dumbass Kazuma, who just like in his own route, is jealous and possessive of Chiyuki and cannot stand the fact that Harumi may be her “boyfriend”. Their “pretend time” owns him and he gives up and meanwhile Harumi enjoys his otaku hobbies with his new anime club friends. But then his dad tells him that his anime hobbies are dumb and so now Harumi immediately decides to drop his anime hobby.  Once again Harumi is influenced by others around him and can’t think for himself, he quits working on the movie with Chiyuki, yells at her saying that “yea I know your mom’s dead but at least she loved you but my parents threw me out overseas wahhhhhh wahhhh”. Like wow holy shit this is the 3rd time you’re a complete fucking jackass to Chiyuki, who was just trying to help you enjoy your hobby ffs. ಠ_ʖಠ

And then this beta incel jut ends up crying like an idiot the next day regretting everything he said while I sit there like “wow this game sure doesn’t want to make me like any of these characters huh?” 😕 So then he argues with his dad and it turns out it was all a misunderstanding on his part and his dad never “abandoned” him. After this he goes to Chiyuki’s place to watch her mom’s movie which his dad directed and ends up crying cause it was so good. He realizes how talented their parents were and also I forgot to mention earlier he ends up confessing to Chiyuki saying he wants to be her actual boyfriend, and not a pretend one. So yea after the movie they end up hugging in her room but my image of him is so bad after all his whining that honestly I just couldn’t get into it. They go to comiket together and cosplay their fav anime charas Gerda and Kai but I’m kinda bummed in the CG we only saw Harumi and no Chiyuki cosplaying with him. I’m legit wondering if Gerda and Kai’s designs are based off the same Gerda & Kai from Snow Bound Land since the names are the same and Kai had the same blue hair lol. In the best ending they both get busy with their college work and then begin jobs as scripwriter/director respectively and make out in her room to make up for all the lost time they spent working lol. In the good end they don’t see each other for years, and they never really become a couple but then Harumi comes back as a mature ikeman and says he’s still in love with Chiyuki all this time and they embrace. Meh overall I wanted to really enjoy this route, but his immature outbursts and not taking responsibility really ruined it for me 😐.

Riku Nishijima – Riku is a professional drama actor and 25 years old but he has a secret DYI hobby that Chiyuki finds out accidentaly. He asks her to keep it a secret cause he has his “actor” image to upkeep. Riku is very disconnected from his job as an actor and rather than taking pride in it he just sees it as a job that he must do well whether he likes it or not. That’s why he sees things as autographs as just “writing on paper” and that’s also why generally he prefers his DYI hobby where he truly enjoys himself. He didn’t even really care to audition for this movie role, and did it because his father told him to, but says he will still work as hard as the others for the role – he just doesn’t have the passion for it. Well turns our he really has no passion because he wants to quit show biz! Unfortunately his actor father (who was in Chiyuki’s mom’s movie) is not happy to hear such things so the only way to convince him is to pretend that he’s got a fiance. Riku can’t get any celebrities involved or it will ruin their careers so he asks Chiyuki to be his pretend fiance because well her career hasn’t even started yet so get fucked little girl. Awesome, you’re such a great guy. And for some reason, Chiyuki agrees, because it will give her the opportunity to “talk with his father” which seems like a stupidly imbalanced deal to me but OK I GUESS I’LL ROLL WITH IT.  But you know they don’t want to start any scandals so in front of dad – fiance, in front of everyone else – his assistant.

So Chiyuki basically has to act 2 different roles and deal with his fake jerkass personality…..joy. ಠ_ʖಠ Because she takes too long to pretend to be his lover, he tricks her into “practicing” reading a script with him but secretly records it with a hidden camera saying he now has material to create a scandal to allow him to quit his career. 🙄🙄🙄 So this bullshit basically continues until Sena asks her to go on a date with him and she agrees figuring it would be good practice for the movie. But then Riku lolUgets all jealous and comes running saying that they’re engaged and their pretend time bs somehow convinces him. Chiyuki also finds out he’s an art student at her college and he always looks like the avg college art student – just rolled out of bed, unbrushed hair and covered in paint lol. Apparently that’s his true personality and that’s what he wants to do and his personality as an actor is basically all made up. IDK how this guy doesn’t get tired of acting like a sawayaka ikeman if his real personality is tired artist. His true goal is to basically be a stage prop artist – the kind of stuff you see in a play or a broadway. Ironically when the paparazzi finally catch them, instead of telling them that they are engaged, he just tells them they are coworker friends. WHY MAKE UP THE LIE IF YOU AIN’T GONNA USE IT MY DUDE LOL. And then when he takes her to see his father about the dad thing, the dad just insults her saying the paparazzi thing is his fault which pisses off Riku.

After this Riku breaks off their engagement, then goes MIA for a week creating a designer space studio for Chiyuki. When she finds him passed out on the floor she’s terrified he’s overworked himself but he was just taking a nap lol. He shows her the room he made, then confesses that he’s fallen in love with her and didn’t want to continue a fake relationship with her which is why he broke off their fake engagement. He confesses his feelings to her and asks her once again to be his fiance for real but admits that she will now be dating a starving artist and not a rich movie star. 🤣🤣🤣 Actually it’s rather sad, by the end here he actually became an endearing dork, too bad like 90% of the route he was as much of a douchebag as his shitty father. Or maybe I am just biased to Maeno Tomoaki and if Riku had been voiced by some seiyuu I don’t care for I don’t even know if I would have forgiven his stupidity. In the epilogue he ends up being held back in college for 1 more year for almost never attending classes. They spend xmas together and fucc and then he plans to go work in America for a bit. At the end of the epilogue Chiyuki puts on her paint suit and tries out painting stuff with him in his studio. In the good end Riku gets into the scandal and then secretly asks Chiyuki to be his lover…before vanishing from her life to focus on his acting career then randomly coming back when she is accidentally asked to be an extra on his drama set. Then they hug in front of the entire casting crew and somehow for a while nobody says anything while this is all happening because õtome game˜. (・ัω・ั) Also we never really find out any details about Chiyuki’s dad in this route lol oh well.

Sena Yukito – Yukito is such a charao and the voice Tattsun does for him is my least favorite type so this route was already off to a bad start for me. Yukito is a model and he pretty much hits on Chiyuki from the start telling her to go on dates with him. Eventually Chiyuki becomes his assistant manager and also starts “fake dating” him but all that does is piss off his long time fangirl and gravure model Kirari who is always now up her ass about their relationship. So Yukito asks Chiyuki to pretend to be dating him to get Kirari off his back but then one day Chiyuki sees him doing a “nude model” photoshoot and gets all horned up and falls in love with him. 🤣🤣🤣 He wasn’t even nude!! He just had his shirt open while laying in bed with some random clothed model on top of him lol. 😨 So then when Yukito starts to think that Chiyuki may be in love with him, she blurts out Marmalade Boy style that it cannot be because he might be her half brother ˜! And he’s like nah I ain’t your bro would suck if we had to do some incest relationship lawl and then they make out and confess their feelings to each other. 🤷‍♀️ After this he also rejects Kirari and she wails and cries and says she’ll be a better model than him.

Anyway a few days later he dyes his hair black and then admits to everyone he only acted like a manwhore because everyone assumed he’d be one because his dad was also a huge manwhore. Yukito decided to use that image as a selling point for himself in his modeling career, but he really wanted to be a serious actor. And so in the best end, Yukito convinces the sponsors and gets the role in the movie along with Riku. Also it’s revealed that turns out his dad wasn’t a manwhore – he was just involved with a lot of women for his job, and his marriage with Yukito’s mom was just a political one. And so after all the scandals he decided to quit acting and become what he must – a gay cross dressing bar owner/mistress. 🤣🤣🤣 And so this is proof that Chiyuki is not in any way his sister but he couldn’t explain it at the time because he wanted to get permission from his dad to reveal his identity. Also Chiyuki’s transcript that she entered into the contest to be turned into a drama she wrote with Yukito as the lead actor in mind and asks him to be her actor if she wins. Yukito is so happy he skips dinner to bang her instead. 😂😳 Eh overall Yukito wasn’t bad, he wasn’t hateable like the other guys, but because of his charai shit at the start it was hard for me to like him and take interest…and if only they had revealed that it was all an act….sooner than literally the end, I might have gotten to like him more. Instead I just felt bored and disconnected and ended up having like 1-2 week time span between starting & finishing his endings. It’s a pity because in his omake thing he was pretty cute in his thoughts…so much missed opportunity.

Asagi Eichirou – Eichirou is Chiyuki’s sensei and helps her with her script writing because he’s a famous script writer himself. However, he absolutely hates writing love stories and family dramas. His route feels like basically an extended version of the common route because it branches off there. When other girls in her college find out she’s been spending personal time with him (which she did to make him take a break from always working) they get all bitchy in her face. Seriously this kind of high school shit happening in college in these games just boggles my mind lol. But then after she tells them she has poor communication skills and has no living family they leave her alone. So then Eichirou has Chiyuki meet his mom and turns out she’s completely bonkers. She started having mental illness about 25 years earlier and wanted to divorce Eichirou’s dad so not to burden him and since she was getting worse the dad agreed. After the divorce, Eichirou decided to stay with his mother and his father got all sad n’ lonely and spent time with Chiyuki’s mother…so Eichirou thinks that they are indeed half siblings. In the meantime, his mother went completely bonkers and forgot they divorced an began to just think that her husband is “away on business”. So then Eichirou lied to get his father to return to his mother and then both his dad and Chiyuki’s mom died anyway.

Feeling guilty over “taking her father away” an whatnot, Eichirou tried to make up for this by taking care of Chiyuki and helping mentor her in her studies to be a script writer. But after hearing all of this he says he can no longer do this now and she’s like oh ok I guess back to being foreveralone.jpg and working on the movie by myself (even though he has like 4 other ikemans to choose from lmao). But now apparently she has made friends with the bitchy Eichirou fangirls lmao so at least she has that in this route. But then the next day he comes to her apartment to be like “oh actually even though you may be my sister I really am in love with you” and Chiyuki is like “oh yes I am ok with this.jpg” 😱😰 To confirm if they are truly related, Eichirou decides he will do a DNA test and also decides he’s just gonna spend the night at Chiyuki’s apartment. ??? 😨 And then even though he says he won’t do anything to her he ends up kissing her while she’s sound asleep in bed LOL. Several days later Eichirou calls Chiyuki telling her that the DNA test came back negative and that they are not siblings. Lol why didn’t they just do that in the first place… 💀 They go to talk to Eichirou’s mom and she gives them his father’s diary and a letter that he left behind for Chiyuki’s mom before he died. Turns out, there was this other dude named Oohara who went to the same college as Eichirou’s dad Seiji. Unfortunately he got into a car accident which caused massive brain damage and he died shortly after. At the time, Sayuri, Eichirou’s mother was actually pregnant with Oohara’s babby cause she was in love with him initially and not Seiji. That child was Eichirou, and so Seiji proposed to Sayuri saying he wants to “raise Oohara’s child’.

So WHEW INCEST AVOIDED CAUSE TURNS OUT EICHIROU’S DAD AIN’T REALLY HIS DAD SO IT’S OK THAT HE BANGED CHIYUKI’S MOM. 🤣🤣🤣🤣😐 What is this Marmalade Boy? 😂💀 So yea they divorced because Sayuri felt bad that he married her for the sake of her and his deceased friend. And in the letter he left for Chiyuki’s mom he basically says he loved her and so now Chiyuki is like phew, I wasn’t abandoned and hated by my parents, I was just a victim of clowns who don’t know how to use birth control! 🤷‍♀️ Ah yes now we have 2 people traumatized by their idiotic lying ass parnts, most of which are now dead, so of course the best course of action is to fall in wuv and live happily ever after uwu. 🙄 In the epilogue they keep their relationship a secret so it doesn’t raise a stink at college but they tell Sayuri who despite having memory issues seems to be totally fine now. Ook….I honestly don’t even remember how she fell in love with him so quickly or how he fell in love with her so quickly so the entire thing just feels like it’s just forcing a route for the sake of answering the question of LUKE I AM YOUR FATHER. Also the entire thing is ironic because in the common route he just straight up lies saying his father and her mother were never together during the time she might have been conceived…and then in this route he’s just like ACTUALLY…I LIED LOL. The good end was even dumber where they just are like ah yes we think we may be blood siblings so we must be sad and part ways instead of you know..the common sense thing they did in the best end of “let’s do a DNA test!” ಠ_ಠ What a way to end the game honestly….if the game wasn’t forgetable enough all I’m gonna remember now is it’s like some Marmalade Boy ripoff Kdrama. 😨 Thank god I didn’t have to do the bad ends to get the full comp CG yikes.

Yikes

My god did I struggle to get through this game. I wouldn’t go as far to say its a kusoge, but it just has so much disappointment I couldn’t focus through it. I want to start with the biggest stupid complaint I have about the game: The pretend system. Pretend mode feels pointless like the conversations in Reine Des Fleurs. They happen for the sake of “happening” when the whole thing could have just been a regular line of dialogue in a  conversation with a choice. They only pretended to be lovers in literally the first one in the common route of the game…after that they’re just regular conversations that have absolutely nothing to do with pretending. In fact often more than that they are pretending to NOT be lovers so I jokingly called this game hater pretend. 😂 I’ve definitely played games that had a “pretend lover” route and it was handled 10000x better than this entire game with multiple routes. There’s no pretend love in Eichirou’s route even so the route has nothing to do with pretending to be lovers lol. If anything the entire game should be called Compulsive Liar simulator or something because 90% of these pretend mini games have you basically be a lying ass fuck for the sake of holding face because god forbid you tell the truth and discuss the matter like mature adults. ಠ_ಠ

Lover Pretend? More like Liar Pretend….

As someone who personally cannot stand people who do this bullshit, the entire game was just a giant cognitive dissonance for me (me sitting there being like WHY DO YOU KEEP MAKING SHIT UP). So having to go through this several times in every route on top of love interests who just went out of their way to be hateable in some way shape or form. Yukito was the only one who wasn’t particularly hateable, but by the time I got to his route, my brain had mentally checked out and there was nothing that stood out about him or his interactions with Chiyuki. On the topic of Chiyuki, she seemed like a decent hard working heroine, but the fact that you had to make her be a lying ass bitch the entire game basically ruined that entire aspect and made her seem like a dumb immature child who doesn’t know how to handle herself and just has to constantly lie over and over to people’s faces. Even when I would start to think a love interest was kinda cute the game would drop a plot point to make him completely despicable…..or they would make him so irritatingly hateable from the start that by the time I got to the end I couldn’t care less that he’s “not so bad” anymore.

At this rate, Chiyuki may as well have gone for the 2D mans instead 😂

Anyway, waste of good art and voice acting because of poor writing from Otomate as usual. Out of context a lot of the CGs are super cute but then I remember the guy’s route and I’m like WELP. Actually I find it suspicious that in the staff list at the end of the limited edition booklet they don’t mention the writer’s name…🤔 They mention director, producer, system director, artist and chibi chara artist…BUT NOT WRITER. WHO WROTE THIS????? Some Amazon reviews commented that it might be good otome game for those new to the genre, and well maybe it is, I don’t know but I’m sitting here with 12 years of otome gaming behind me and I’m just offput but basically everything lol. You know that feeling you get from a good otome game when a love interest is cute or has fun interactions with the heroine and you’re like aww damn I love em all…yea I didn’t get that here. If anything I’m going to forget this game in a few months other than the Kdrama style true end lol. My biggest regret is getting a limited edition of this game and not say….Cafe Enchante. (´;ω;`) At least now that this is out of my hair I can get back to my RPG backlog by jumping into Final Fantasy 4! 😂

10 thoughts on “Otome Game Review: Lover Pretend

  1. Yikes is right. Well, thanks for saving me however much money this was. The premise for this game seemed cute but it’s a shame to see that almost all of the love interests were pretty bad. And yeah, that’s weird they didn’t list the writer.

    1. I’m on the boat that they basically had a writer, they ragequit, and they couldn’t find a replacement so they got some rando to come write but they asked to remain anonymous and here we are xD

  2. Oh my… Thank you for this review, now I have no regret at all for not getting it ! I had little hope that I wouldn’t dislike it as much as you seemed to but there’s no hope left for that…I understand you struggled to finish it, just reading this was terrible enough lol. This is such a waste though, the game seemed so cute…
    What is the point of turning them into such dislikeable characters ? That is something I’ll never get to understand (」°ロ°)」

    1. I guess they were going for the whole “they must not like each other to pretend to be lovers” but some of the guys clearly had a crush on her from the start, and then for no reason “actually I hated you the entire time” like ???? okay….

      It’s like the person writing it was intentionally trying to write some kind of anti-romance story or something

      1. Personally I already don’t like this whole “pretending to be a couple” thing, for me it’s as if the authors have no idea how to bring the characters together so they use this as an easy pretext, and in the end the romance seems forced. If the characters are nice then I guess it can become a somehow good love story, but making them “anti-romantic” like you said it makes the mix even worse ><
        Wasted potential T-T

  3. thanks for the review, now I feel like i dodged a bullet. I mean I like pretend lovers trope but somehow the plot and promo materials were not convincing me to get it

  4. Oh shoot! I bought this game with limited edition OTL And I haven’t started it yet since I’m trying to lessen my otoge backlogs~

    But dang, the art was pretty and the seiyuus they got were amazing (Furukawa Makoto was the reason why I bought it). Sigh, otomate still being a hit or miss with their otome games (just like with Charade Maniacs) 🙃🙃 Welp, I’ll just play it for the sake of seiyuu bias 😅

    Anyway, thank you so much for reviewing this!

    1. yea I got the limited box too unfortunately XDDD

      I like Furukawa Makoto – but not when he’s yelling like an idiot, which unfortunately was most of what he was like this whole game :S Hope you can still find some joy out of it somewhere lol

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