THE MEN OF YOSHIWARA: KIKUYA
Release Date: February 1, 2018 (North America)
Developer: D3Publisher Inc.
Platforms: Steam, PS Vita, Nintendo Switch, Mobile (iOS and Android)
ESRB Rating: M (Age 17+)
STORY (from Nintendo Eshop Page)
“A closed island where baby boys are not born… A unique culture that is completely different from the mainland has been flourishing on the island. In the middle of the island, there is a district where men are gathered. Some women just want children. Others are looking for love. Knowingly deceived by a lie, and deceived in return, all in a single night’s dream. In the end, to whom is it that you will be talking of love?”
Okay, so this sounds rather appealing for the likes of me who’s a sucker for +17 otome games (snickers). I dove into the game expecting to have steamy romances with hot courtesan guys. Technically, this game does not disappoint.
When Your Lover is a Courtesan (Prologue)
The story starts with you (MC) helping a male courtesan and his lover escape the island to live a free life in the mainland. Courtesans are not allowed to leave Yoshiwara. Helping them out literally means you’re busting your head off by engaging in an illegal activity that can get you into major trouble when caught. The couple, in return, gave you a good amount of cash and some valuable items as their way of saying ‘thank you’. After acquiring this sudden inheritance, MC then goes to Kikuya on a whim because ya know…where all dem hot boys are!
The art style is extremely beautiful that it was such a treat to acquire the game’s CGs. Tbh they all look great! (some of them are even a tad bit PG rated) Hah. The artist responsible for these character designs is nonother than Hs (pen name). This illustrator is widely known for her hit R18 project, Jooubachi no Oubou.
Can we please take a moment and admire this precious man’s beautiful sleeping face?
CHARACTERS & ROUTES
Some routes are definitely better than others, some are more steamy while others are rather boring so to speak. All of the happy endings consist of you marrying one of the characters and live happily ever after!
TAKAO – Biggest Flirt, Chain-smoker, Knobby feminine knees, Incest(?)
Takao is Kikuya’s number one courtesan. He’s the first ever guy you saw at the courtesan’s procession and was the first guy that captivated you with his breathtaking looks and alluring charms.
In his route, your mother confronts you to stay away from this man because of *cough* #hemightbeyourbrother *cough*. So you get to escape with him to the mainland to sort things out and find out both of ya’lls identities.
TOKIWA – Mole, Green eyes and highlights, Scandalous, has foreign blood.
He’s the second best courtesan of Kikuya and claims that he used to be number one until he involved himself in some sort of scandal – seducing other courtesan’s women (which is a grave sin in Yoshiwara).
During his route, he strives to be the number one courtesan again with your encouragement and reveals a sad backstory of his youth along with the reason why he ended up being sold in Yoshiwara.
IROHA – Manager, Turns into a ‘demon’ when horny
Iroha’s route was probably the steamiest and the most mature among all the routes in this game. His story involves a lot of kissing, bathtub naked exchanges, a few scenes where you get to see his dom nature like beating up a poor courtesan with a stick as punishment (laughs).
There were also a couple of wtf moments in Iroha’s story that totally confused the hell out of me like him turning into an ogre when he gets mad or horny. Like literally! Although his story explained that he was born from a human and an ogre, they never touched up or expounded on “why is this even a thing?!!” leaving this subject in the dark for the rest of his route.
But what the heck, you fell in love with him in the end and that’s all that matters right? (sarcastic laugh).
KAGURA – Best Boy, Samurai, Gets fascinated by everything ‘western’
Kagura was my first route. (I’m glad I played his story first too). This man is serious and doesn’t play around like the rest of the courtesans. He doesn’t want to have sex on first dates too so, you get the gist.
He’s very knowledgeable and if not in the red light district, he spends his free time studying and training (sword fight). His route was a little ‘angsty’ and a little sad but this man, gosh isn’t he just the sweetest! …I believe his happy ending was the BEST in the game. What’s even better was his sequel stories where he becomes a respected school teacher and buys both of you a house to live in. Now tell me, why he’s not deserving the title “Best Boy”.
KAGEROU – Baby, Tsundere af, Virgin.
Kagerou’s route was also one of my favorites, mainly because his story had a little touch of drama to it? (and his CG’s were beautiful). During his route, his sister, who married a foreigner in the mainland tried to buy his freedom from Yoshiwara but he declines the offer thinking he shouldn’t depend on any help and wants to buy his freedom on his own because he has PRIDE & EGO!
He acts really terrible towards you because he’s a baby tsundere who’s got no chill. Lol. In his route, You were also tasked by the manager Iroha to take this beautiful boy’s virginity during his debut.
HAYABUSA – Childhood friend, Big bro, Boring.
Your childhood friend Hayato, went completely AWOL since you last saw him back when you were just a little bean. Now you see him after a long time in Yoshiwara as a courtesan called Hayabusa. He tells you that you’ve grown up into a beautiful flower and thinks you’re hot. You think he is too so you both have this mutual thing going on.
Hayato’s route mainly focused on continuing the prologue story where some policewoman suspects you for your crime (helping a couple elope to the mainland) and catches you red handed. Hayato tries to cover for you and gets arrested instead. He gets tortured badly but then your momma comes to the rescue so everything turned out fine in the end.
This is probably my least fav. route because of how boring the conversations were between you and Hayabusa, plus he only gets 8 CGs in total while others get 16.
YOU – Ngh. Ngh. Ngh. Ah. Ngh.
You are the most annoying MC with no personality whatsoever. The stereotypical otome game heroine who’s too shy to state her own opinions. If not trying to ugly cry your heart out because you miss your courtesan lover, you are out and about Kikuya trying to figure out your hormonal impulses.
The game’s play length wasn’t too long but wasn’t extremely short either. You can literally finish one route in 2-3 hours max. Story-wise, I like the game’s concept (Romancing with hot beautiful male courtesans *chuckles*), Although It would have been nice if there was a “true route” where I can buy all their freedoms? SOB.
I enjoyed about 3 routes (Kagura, Kagerou and Takao’s). The rest is literally “ehh”. The CGs were all beautiful though, I have to give them that. The game design was just sooo pretty and the steamy love scenes do not hold back, which is good. Some of the translations were a little off but only a few.
Would I recommend this game? Yes. If you are looking for a decent +17 otome game with steamy content to pass the time, feel free to dive into the Men of Yoshiwara: Kikuya.