Shanao is the heir to the Genji clan which was just defeated by the Heike clan. Everyone keeps trying to fight her but she just wants to live in peace in the mountains. Eventually after many years of training, she finally goes through her ceremony at age 16, becomes Minamoto Yoshitsune and joins her half brother in trying to regain control of Kyoto from the Heike. Only one of her man harem members knows she’s a woman and along the way she ends up fraternizing with the enemy. ( ͡⚆ ͜ʖ ͡⚆) But anyway, let’s be real, you’re here to learn all about the Genpei War.😂 Also because I’m too lazy to type out Yoshitsune, I will be referring to the heroine as Shanao.
Taira no Noritsune – Noritsune gave me massive Shiden vibes because aside from also being a tsundere they shared the same voice actor. Noritsune is basically as I call him, Pink Zenos. Just like Zenos from FF14, he got his ass kicked once by
Warrior of Light Shanao and ever since then he’s been stalking her for a rematch. At one point after a battle Shanao saves him from death by treating his wounds. Even though he was out of it, somehow he managed to figure out that she’s a woman. Despite this, he didn’t care and continued his fierce determination to face off. Ultimately Genji defeats Heike but because they start attacking civilians in Kyoto, Shanao ends up protecting them and going to the Heike with Noritsune. This makes her a traitor to her idiot cousin and his army and after Genji attack Heike again, Shanao and Noritsune drive them off. After this the Heike basically retreat and decide not to go to Kyoto anymore because their remaining people would just get crushed by Genji anyway.
It’s around this time that both Shanao and Noritsune both start having their puppy love feelings for each other and it becomes dorky and awkward for the both of them. Noritsune finally confesses he has feelings for Shanao after a bunch of village kids and Tomomori insist on dressing her up to look like a girl. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)✨ But then his idiot sister Tokiko orders the Heike army to attack the diplomat of the Genji army and instead of a peace treaty all war breaks out. Shanao is knocked out and dragged back to the Genji and has to fight Noritsune once more. But it’s all good FINALLY they can have a test of their reflexes, and pretend that they kill the Heike once and for all by jumping into the ocean together (cause they were fighting on a nice boat.) After this Noritsune and Shanao run away and live in some village together and she can now live as a woman and make Noritsune all hot and bothered as they do some ~bushido in the bedroom~. In the tragic end they stab each other on the boat Romeo & Juliet style and fall into the sea together to die. Anyway I loved Pink Zenos, he was so cute, and because of his one route I ended up buying the Fandisk immediately after. 😂
Musashibo Benkei – Benkei is the 30 year old monk ossan who’s basically like twice Shanao’s age (16). So because of this he had this big “dad” aura not to mention he was just large in general. One of the CGs even had him carrying her on his shoulders like his child… So unfortunately because of that I just couldn’t see Benkei as a romantic love interest. He was just the cool loyal monk guy/dad character, and even when he found out that she’s a woman he didn’t change his behavior towards her at all. This kinda defeated the purpose of even having him discover that she’s a woman right at the start because it didn’t add to any romantic progress in the route. During one of the battles against Heike, Shanao goes into her berserker mode and when Benkei tries to stop her she stabs him several times. After she snaps out of it he passes out and then feeling really guilty about it, Shanao starts taking care of him (and making the rest of her harem jealous 😂). As she takes care of him he starts having conflicting feelings between her being his lord and being a “good wife some day”.
But then because Shanao has Tomomori as her stalker, his brother Shigehira uses his life stealing powers to knock her out and kidnap her to the uguu cage of love at the Heike house. There the two brothers reveal that she has the same powers as them so she belongs with them and succ some energy out of her to keep her in their uguu cage with no energy to escape. Eventually Heike get outnumbered and have to leave Kyoto but being a hentei prevert, Tomomori is like “I’m just gonna make you my wife now” and attempts to sexually assault her. Here I was hoping Benkei would come save her….but of course he did not. Instead, Shanao took matters into her own hands, decided to try to succ the life energy out of Tomomori and it worked. She made him weak enough to steal his sword and then break out of the jail cell. When she finally runs out of the Heike house, THAT’S when Benkei finds her and by that point I no longer cared about him because clearly in this route, Shanao was a self-defending woman who don’t need no man. 😤 So yea more fighting happens and more hentei Tomomori appearances but somehow all this boils down to Benkei wanting Shanao to succ his spirit because he gets jealous. The translation implied that he confessed his love to her but in Japanese he really didn’t and it was all very 微妙 to be honest. Even when she finally tells him she wants to start a family with him he starts babbling about oh no I am your vassal it cannot be!!
As usual the Taira brothers cockblock and fight them in the end and Shigehira ends up succing way too much energy out of Shanao turning him into a weird snake man lol. While he’s going berserk, Benkei offers Shanao his life energy so she can win and basically kisses her to give it to her..but we don’t even get a CG, poor ojisan 😂. They then have the longest god damn battle ever, featuring Shigehira who dies and comes back from the dead a 3rd time or something. ಠ_ಠ Shigehira kills his brother with the succ and then gets his ass owned by Shanao. Anyway lol Benkei’s route. In the epilogue, Shanao quits being a warrior and lives as a woman with Benkei. And then things escalate as he suddenly is like “oh right I’m not your vassal anymore uh…time to fucc and become husband and wife I guess?” Lol it was so sudden honestly I just felt no romance in this route at all, especially since the psycho brothers basically derailed most of it. In the tragic end, Shanao defeats Tomomori but forgot about Shigehira and he comes back for the umpteenth time like a snake zombie and succs the life out of her. Before she dies, Benkei grabs and throws her to a boat with allies while he dies fighting Shigehira.
Shungen – Shungen is the sweet childhood friend who grew up with Shanao. Even though his father served Shanao’s father, Shanao doesn’t want to see him as her servant because he’s an important friend to her and she wants them to be equal. Shungen just wants Shanao to live a peaceful life and he’s not happy that she’s going to go to war to support the brother she’s never met in her life. He’s also worried that since her father and uncle had a feud over Genji leadership, that Yoritomo might come after her life as well. They start to get closer as time goes by but then Yoritomo decided that he has relevance and drags the two of them to Tokiwa – Shanao’s mother. Or so they thought, as apparently Tokiwa reveals that in fact not only is she not Shanao’s mother, but her child, the true Genji heir, is in fact Shungen!!!! She was given Shanao as a baby and told to raise her as as a man but no idea whose baby it was or why. Mamma mia, we had a baby swap! Anyway Shanao is pretty depressed after this, but now Shungen knows that she no longer bears the burden of the Genji on her and is like “damn time to hit that. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)”
So after Shungen is revealed to be the true Genji heir to the army, after he leads the team to a victory in battle, Shungen then confesses his feelings of love to Shanao. He tells her that when the war is over, he will abandon his position as the heir and live peacefully with her. Shanao tells him the feeling is mutual and returns his feelings as he kisses her cheek under the moonlight. Unfortunately things don’t last because the kusoGGE emperor, who knows Shanao is a woman, decides she’s going to marry into the royal family and basically kidnaps her away from Shungen and co. Since she’s locked up in her uguu palace, Shungen comes near the palace every night and plays his flute for her to make her feel better. (´;ω;`)
Eventually the emperor is like “if you agree to join me at the palace then you can marry Shanao you like her right and I just want control of Genji!” And obviously that would involve making the Genji fight each other so since Shugen didn’t want this – he asked Yoritomo to pretend to kill him and Shanao to make it look like they both died in battle. In the epilogue, turns out after they fall into the water they quietly swim away and live a life away in peace. In the tragic ending, Yoritomo kills Shanao for real for some reason but Shungen ends up surviving. ಠ_ಠ He then breaks down mentally and goes into yandere mode blaming everything on the stupid Genji clan. He then vows to slay the entire Genji clan in revenge for her. Shungen was pretty cute and his route was really sweet but then got derailed by war as usual and kuso gge emperor and the momentum got kinda lost until the ending.
Minamoto no Yoritomo – Yoritomo is Shanao’s “brother” but of course we found out in Shugen’s route that since she’s not the actual baby of the Genji, he’s not actually her brother after all! Not only that but he basically spends most of the route reciting emo band lyrics about destiny every time you interact with him. When he finds out that Shanao has her killer powers, he’s basically like “I’ll just use him to destroy the enemy army solo.” All the other guys are against this of course, but Shanao is all like “I must do anything for oniisama!!” When the emperor suggests that Yoritomo marry one of the nobles’ daughters, Shanao gets extremely sad and jealous but has no idea what to do with those feelings. When she reveals this to Yoritomo he just….tells her to GTFO lol. ಠ_ಠ Even after he finds out she’s a woman when treating a poison wound, he still treats her the same and there’s absolutely no change in their relationship. This made the route a huge drag. So then as I jokingly predicted, Tokiwa tells Yoritomo that Shanao was a Heike baby stolen from them, raised as a Genji so that she would grow up to kill the Heike leader (who died from some disease anyway lmao.)
Yoritomo also reveals how he’s been dead inside for 15 years after being forced to kill his father and brothers so the Heike wouldn’t kill them first. Shanao finally hugs him telling that he doesn’t need to suffer alone anymore and that she will be there for him. He hugs her back and honestly it would have been a nice scene if it wasn’t for the fact that he basically ignored and pushed her away 80% of the route. And then during one of the battles at the end, Tomomori lets her succ his energy in front of everyone in this NTR fashion which I guess FINALLY makes Yoritomo feel some sort of jealousy and realize his feelings for her. 😂 He gets so jealous that after the battle he asks Shanao to succ some of his spirit. They then furiously make out in such an ero kiss CG that was better than all the other guys which is god damn bias because this route sucked so bad!! Anyway after all the other guys see her going crazy on the battle field and sucking energy from Tomomori they all get scared of her so she temporarily returns to her temple in sadness. But then Yoritomo is like nooo come back babe I need you *emo / romantic song lyric ballad ensues*. He convinces her to stay for him and they then have a final battle with the Heike.
While fighting Tomomori she tells him that his granny basically betrayed their clan by having Shanao raised as a Genji so she would come and destroy that Heike blood line with that same power they both have. Unfortunately this has the opposite effect and turns on Tomomori’s siscon-dar and he goes all hentei mode saying if they both live they should just live together as siblings (́◉◞౪◟◉). At the end of the battle, the stupid Genji soldiers start rambling how they’re afraid of Shanao and they should just kill both Shanao and Tomomori together. Yoritomo of course won’t have this, and with Takatuna and some allied faceless soldiers they come to help Shanao. In the epilogue, Shanao basically opens up to everyone that she’s a woman and not a child of the Genji. Everyone is shocked but immediately accepts it. And so Yoritomo basically becomes the leader of Genji and Shanao becomes his waifu…which is kinda disappointing as it feels almost like a downgrade to her previous role. In the tragic end, Tomomori injures Shanao so badly, she becomes a vegetable. She can’t see, speak or move and she wants to die but Yoritomo refuses to let her die and just keeps taking care of her like his blowup doll. 😐 I didn’t really like this route because it took a REALLY long time for Yoritomo to warm up to Shanao and for half his route he was just like “yea I’ma just use her cause she stronk lol, don’t care that she’s completely out of her mind yolo”.
Taira no Tomomori – Tomomori as we know by now is Shanao’s hentai stalker who wants to have siscon fantasies with her once he finds out that she’s actually potentially his blood related sister. (Turns out she’s his first cousin but more on that later.) Now that it’s his route, he’s not holding back and he literally kisses her right at the beginning of the game when she gets split up from her friends. After the kiss he basically life steals her energy and tries to kidnap her but Shanao gets angry enough to fight him off. Unfortunately because they share the same power, Tomomori is now able to stalk her and talk to her in her dreams ＼(^o^)／ (́◉◞౪◟◉). It’s such a cheat but also like if he had these powers all along, how come he never used them up until this route!? Well the answer is apparently he forgot but then was reminded by Shigehira one day lol. 🤣🤣 So anyway in one of the many boring wars I glazed over, Tomomori decided to come along just to use it as an excuse to kidnap Shanao, bring her to some abandoned shack in the forest and have her succ his energy out through his moobs. The next day he forces her to dress as a woman and tells her she will have to be undercover as a woman and pretend to be his wife. 😂 They have some kyakyaufufu time together and eventually make it back to the Heike estate where Tomo’s dad croaks while calling Shanao as “Rengetsu”.
Unfortunately even though I was excited to find out the truth, the game went back to throwing war plot in my face for several hours before the revelation. It basically boiled down to Shanao constantly going berserk in battle and the only one being able to stop her is Tomomori. So yea because of that she goes “uwu you were the only one able to stop me, I no longer hate you.” And so with the common denominator of “we both have crazy powers and we regret it” they end up constantly sharing each other’s life energy and making out. ( ͡⚆ ͜ʖ ͡⚆) Anyway Tokuko then shows up, the spirit of Tomomori’s aunt Rengetsu inside of her, rambling that Shanao is her real daughter. Ikenozeni, Kiyomori’s step mom (after Rengetsu consumed the real mom) kept Rengetsu locked up away from everyone because she was like an animal, unable to speak or act on her own. Only Kiyomori ever spoke to her, and in order to “please her oniisama” she had a baby (with I don’t even know who) and then ran out one day to give birth. One of the soldiers told Ikenozeni, so she sent the soldiers after her and they killed her just as she bore Shanao. They then took the baby back to Ikenozeni who as we know gave it to the Genji.
After being killed, Rengetsu’s spirit floated in the life stream until she spotted young Tokuko doing her dream meeting thing, which apparently while you do it you leave your body susceptible to being taken over. Rengetsu’s spirit took the opportunity and jumped into Tokuko’s body, growing up with her and learning how to speak and think for herself – what she could not do in her old body. So now her goal is to take over and spread the blood line along with Shanao and the imperial baby. She kidnaps Shanao is kidnapped by Rengetsu, and in the meantime Tomomori decides to abandon the Heike, and goes to Genji asking for their help to stop Rengetsu’s crazy plans. Tomomori and Shanao end up fighting Orochimaru-form Rengetsu on a tiny boat in the middle of a war with Heike. Fortunately during the battle Tokuko’s kid starts crying for mommy which reawakens Tokuko and she gets control of her own body – revealing that her personality’s been mixed in with Rengetsu all this time. Basically this means that anytime Tokuko was bitchy, that was actually Rengetsu talking. 😂
While she’s still nice Tokuko, she begs Shanao to kill her so that she can put an end to Rengetsu’s bullshit once and for all. Tomomori does the honors and sucks the life out of her while she asks them to take care of her son Mikado. In the epilogue, despite being first cousins, apparently Tomomori and Shanao marry and live with the Heikes. 😂 Apparently their marriage was a symbol of peace between the Heike and the Genji families (which is ironic since technically she’s a Heike baby anyway lol.) Tomomori keeps trying to keep her cooped up in the Heike estate and gets jealous when she wants to visit her Genji friends. 😱 They both vow to live together as humans and not use their powers anymore. In the tragic end, Shanao consumed Rengetsu to stop her, and ended up going berserk and killing a ton of people. This of course makes no sense since Tomomori did this in the good end and was totally fine! Unable to bear the weight of her actions, Shanao kills herself. Tomomori then goes into a rage mode and starts killing everyone else who’s left.
Honestly I have a lot of beef at the end of this route and game after sleeping on it. First of all, if Taira granny was some weird snake monster why did the grandpa bang her, why. Really? Was she a youkai? Also why didn’t Kiyomori have the snake powers. Why was it only Tomomori, Shigehira, Rengetsu and Shanao? Also who the fuck is Shanao’s dad. Rengetsu was like an actual caged animal who couldn’t speak and just made animal noises. Somehow though, she managed to get pregnant and for 9 months nobody said anything and then she just escaped to have a baby? Who even got her pregnant if she was locked up by her step-mom the whole time?? I also really don’t like incest. I know Nightshade had it, and for some reason it doesn’t bother me as much in Noritsune’s as it does in this one. Maybe because in Benkei’s route Tomomori was literally like “yea I’d bang you even if you were my sister (́◉◞౪◟◉)”. I know cousincest is popular in these old timey historical games, but BLEEEHHHH I felt like I was watching an episode of Maury trying to figure out all the blood related connections. 💀 At least that aspect though made the route ironically more interesting than most of the rest that were just “here’s the Genpei war…again.”
Side Chara Ends:
Shigehira – Shigehira acts like a tsundere and somehow that evolves from “I love aniue” to “omg you’re a grill I wuv you now ふん！ uwu”. They play with a bunch of kids but all I remember is him just being a tsundere the whole time.
Takatsuna – Takatuna felt out of place completely in this game to me because of his bright orange hair and huge green anime eyes lol. 😂 But I guess they wanted to give his voice actor, the singer of the OP/ED song some relevancy. Admittedly I kinda zoned out during Takatuna cause sorry but I just couldn’t care about him as a character. (;^ω^)
Tadanobu – Tadanobu’s the himbo of the 2 brothers because all he thinks about is hitting on the ladies and walking around flaunting his moobs and abs everywhere. 😂 After he finds out Shanao’s a girl during their training, he can’t stop staring at her and going kawaii na ぶひぶひ 😂😂 Apparently he became this way cause when he was a shota and would be sad, all the ladies in the neighborhood would comfort him. For some reason finding this out made Shanao OOC jealous and for some reason she becomes some weakling defeated by a bunch of zako NPCs. I guess they just wanted to give an excuse for Tadanobu to be all manly man to “protect” her. 🤦♀️ Basically implies that he saw her as an equal who can fight on her own but the moment he finds out she’s a girl, ZOMG I WILL PROTEC!!
Tsugunobu – Tsugunobu finds out she’s a woman when he just walks into her cleaning herself. After they watch the moon together privately Shanao goes all ずきゅ～～～ん over his smile and tells him it’s kinda cute which makes him blush. Suddenly Tsugu’s torn between being the responsible mature brother and acting like his horny himbo otouto-kun. And of course in the following battle we boil back down to “I shall protect thee~” but at least he respects her and kisses her hand rather than the younger bro who’s just like going right for the cheek kiss. Anyway from the CG I saw on the promo site seems like he’ll get more action in the FD anyway.( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
I thought playing a historical game in English would make me understand things better but no, not really. Most of the historical war stuff basically flew over my head anyway and they forced the war thing down my throat so much I just glazed over until the next cute romantic scene finally would happen. 😂 The only thing I remembered is Go Shirokawa, the emperor, sucked bad and was probably the reason most of this war bullshit even happened. I mean ultimately if you aren’t a Japanese history fan most of these types of games are “some fighting happened and then they kith” 😂. The romance scenes sometimes felt like breadcrumbs thrown at me in between all the war stuff. Like I get it, they were trying to base the plot on the war and that’s fine and dandy – but still there’s plenty of games that have historical plot and can still throw in some good romance. Still, I enjoyed the characters and even some of the side characters that don’t have a route until the FD which made me want to buy the FD soon after. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)✨ To be fair, they did cover the historical war aspect pretty accurately (save for the original parts to incorporate Shanao into the story), which is rare for Otomate who frequently makes shit up.
Unfortunately there were some additional annoyances like how there was clear bias towards the Taira brothers vs other characters. Especially Benkei who got derailed by them in his own route and Yoritomo who basically had barely any screen time outside his route. There was also a lot of cute otome-esque scenes that never had any CGs and definitely deserved one (´;ω;`). On the topic of visuals, the only women in this game who had a sprite were Shanao and the Taira sister Tokuko. None of the other women had a sprite and there was barely any women to begin with. I know it’s a war but….it was really strange. The battles were also extremely long and just kept going on and on and when you’re just watching 2 sprites on screen talking with cling/clang noises it gets repetitive and boring fast. The game also had a lot of repetitive scenes that I swore I saw in another route, but because there was maybe 1 or 2 different words or 1 different character in the scene, you had to watch it all over again (or force skip unread dialogue). The loading times for jumping to next choice were also annoyingly long. And finally, a localization only issue, but some stuff was really jarring, and ~creative~ (like the kind of shit I’d say in my blog but I’d never use in an official translation 😂).
I liked Shanao as a heroine especially in the first route. Seeing her kick ass on the battle field and talk back to Noritsune was really refreshing. Unfortunately the battle scenes got stale and repetitive for me, so the novelty of her kicking ass also kinda tanked along with it. Not only that but it also bothered me that at the beginning of the game she has the whole “I will fight like a man, I will not become a concubine and suffer like my mother”…but at the end of the game she basically is like “nah I quit, gonna just marry and be a house waifu.” The only ends where I thought it was ok was Noritsune and Shungen because they essentially had to run away from war to keep on living so it made sense that she had to drop the whole battle waifu shtick. But in endings for Yoritomo and Tomomori, the war ended, but she could have still kinda been helping out with stuff but she basically resigned to just being the uguu waifu that they were going to ~protect~ (though to be fair at least she still kept her spunk with Tomomori in his end.) The biggest WTF was Benkei because as I mentioned in his route, I didn’t feel any particular romance between them and then suddenly “I am going to become his wife now..uwu…” W H A T. Ok. 🤪 Could have been weird localization thing but it definitely came out awkward to me.
Overall because the focus was so heavily on war and with the repetitive common route scenes, a lot of the game was a huge drag for me. I really wanted to like this game but I just found myself zoning out at the exact same war story in every route with the differences being only the (few) interactions with the heroine and the love interest. Maybe it would have been better for me if you were at least able to skip the majority of the battles (except maybe the final one where you truly saw the differences). If you love war/historical stuff it might be more enjoyable, but I found myself more bored than anything. It’s kinda why I didn’t get the game back when it came out in Japan but I figured since it was on sale for $20 I would just get it. Turns out it really just wasn’t for me – but I did enjoy Shanao at least, she was definitely a great heroine. If only they had done the romance closer to Nightshade level, I think it would have been a little bit better. In the end only Noritsune, and Shungen stood out to me as the “otome” routes while Benkei and Yoritomo got derailed by hentei stalker Tomomori, who was an even bigger stalker in his own route. (́◉◞౪◟◉) To be fair Tomomori had a huge plot dump in his route but a certain revelation kinda dampened the excitement for me. I did get the fandisk though, so here’s hoping the romance I wanted will be in there instead…especially with the side characters who I especially enjoyed more than some of the main ones (looking at you T-nobu brothers 🥰)
P.S. This game has incest in 2 routes so if that’s not your jam, maybe give it a pass. 😂 Oh and before anyone gives me the “Why did you play this you hate historical games!!!” nonsense my response is: