Release Date: November 5, 2020 (North America)
Publishers: Aksys Games
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
STORY (From Cafe Enchante’s official site)
When Kotone inherits her grandfather’s Tokyo café, she discovers the shop holds more secrets than anyone could imagine. The café is a meeting spot for beings from multiple, mystical worlds. You’ll meet the king of demons, a humanoid beast, a fallen angel, and more. And when government agents monitoring non-human activities show up at your door, your new café is about to become a lot more colorful.
ART AND MUSIC
I got really excited when I heard Yuuya was in charge of Cafe Enchanté’s overall artwork. I am such a big fan of her works! I’m sure you’ve heard of this artist from her previous otome projects like; Pub Encounter (Dandy Shot), Hanayaka Nari series, Jakou no Lyla, and her latest, Cupid Parasite. On top of Enchanté’s beautiful character designs, the background art was equally first rate, stunning!
The soundtrack for Cafe Enchanté (including the BGMs) was nothing short of amazing. They pretty much blended well with the game’s themes and scenarios. Love solfege was in charge of Cafe Enchanté’s BGMs (their previous works include Taisho x Alice, Shinigami to Shojou, and Clock Zero’s OST) while Tomomi Nakamura arranged and composed the game’s OP and ED themes. My favorite OST was the song, “Eternal” (ED). Listen to the sample track below!
Yuuichiro Umehara “Canus Espada” – Shingen (Ikemen Sengoku), Demento (Period Cube), Renji (Gakuen Club), Benkei (Bilshana Senki), Haruto (Toraware no Palm)
Yuki Ono “Ignis Carbunculus” – Saeki (Collar x Malice), Edward Moriarty (London Detective Mysteria), Hamelin (Ozmafia!!), Tsuzuramaru (Ken ga Kimi)
Kaito Ishikawa “Il Fado de Rie” – Dante (Piofiore Fated Memories), Alan Crawford (Midnight Cinderella), Dimitri (Fire Emblem Three Houses), Tobio Kageyama (Haikyu!)
Junichi Suwabe “Kaoru Rindo” – Van Helsing (Code Realize), Higa (Bad Apple Wars), Ren (Utapri), Jaeha (Yona of the Dawn), Kaname Asahina (Brothers Conflict)
Kenji Akabane “Misyr Rex” – Sasuke (Ikemen Sengoku), Kaminski (Sakura Wars), Kaoru Ise (Taishou Mebiusline)
The only route that’s locked in Café Enchanté, is Misyr’s. That said, you’ll need to finish all four routes before you can play his. My recommended route order is: Canus – Ignis – Rindo – Il – Misyr. I believe you can interchange the first three. Just make sure to leave Il’s route as your fourth before unlocking Misyr’s. Il and Misyr’s story obviously had more plot spoilers compared to the other three.
- headless hunk
- tinman w/ a green thumb
Canus is the Dullahan (headless knight) from the fairy world Medio. Contrary to his formidable appearance, Canus is actually very cordial and good-natured. Much to Kotone’s surprise, most of the townspeople near Enchanté are rather fond of him due to his friendliness and his “always-willing-to-lend-a-hand” attitude. Canus also has a green thumb and loves gardening to heart. If he’s not in the cafe sipping his earl grey tea, he’s probably out in the backyard tending to the flowers.🌼
I started with Canus’s route because I figured, why not go for the headless man first, right? (laughs). Due to his honest-to-goodness personality, it’s so easy to get smitten by him right off the bat. Perhaps, it’s because of his knightlihood that he possesses this sense of altruism in almost everything he does, and I love that this was very consistent throughout the entire game. I also like how he acts very ‘brotherly’ towards his fellow Enchanté patrons.
Out of all the bachelors, Canus’s route was probably the most wholesome when it comes to romance. I thought his relationship with Kotone felt very authentic in a rather fairytale-esque kind of way. His love (for her) was genuinely pure, at best🥰. His route, on the other hand, was a little cliché, plot-wise. The whole Yggdrasil lore was interesting, but how they introduced and concluded the Fairy World’s story was somewhat banal(?) As much as I love Canus as a character, his route was probably my least favorite because of how predictable it was from start to finish. Despite that, I really enjoyed all of the side characters in this route. Vennia and Titania 😚 were so precious that I just wanna have tea parties with them forever!
- hot-headed tsundere
- those abs scars doe?
Ignis is the humanoid beast from the Beast World, Bestia. He is primarily known as ‘the strongest’ of all the inhabitants in his homeland, though he’s not too fond of this title himself. As a firewolf, he possesses the ability of pyrokinesis, where he can control and manipulate fire at will. Ignis may seem hot-headed upfront, but behind his rowdiness lies a gentle and kindhearted persona. He loves meat, and he’s always found munching a huge course meal everyday in the cafe.
I’ll always have a soft spot for tsunderes, so I totally dig Ignis’s character from the get-go. He’s also the closest to the heroine’s age, so I thought their chemistry was great. I love that his relationship with Kotone actually played a huge part in his story, where she was in fact, the reason for his so-called “Awakening” (I won’t be expounding on this further, due to spoilers). His story started a little boring at first, but I honestly didn’t expect to enjoy his route as much as I had. The sudden angst in his last two chapters had me on the edge of my seat!
I thought Ignis was such a tragic character. Even though his story was probably ‘tame’ compared to Il or Misyr’s, it was still kind of sad that it surprisingly made me cry. Lastly, I’d like to rave about how his CG collection was the steamiest out of everyone. Like wow! 🥵 *fans self*
- d i l f
- rich daddy-kun
Kaoru Rindo is a man of his prime who’s a high ranking member of the GPM (Government Paranormal Measures). His duty is to monitor Café Enchanté, and keep an eye on all the non-humans who gather there. He’s also a close friend to Kotone’s grandfather, Souan. Besides having the smarts for his job, he is exceptionally good in combat too.
Idk if it’s my thirst for an older LI or just my age talking (lol), but I absolutely loved Rindo’s route to the fullest extent! 😝 Because of the huge age gap between him and Kotone, I was kind of worried that their romance might come off as awkward or forced. Favorably, to my surprise, it turned out quite the opposite, and it was seriously all I could ever hope for! 🥰 It’s really nice to see how natural their relationship developed over time.
I enjoyed seeing Kotone’s musings when she realized she was crushing on Rindo bigtime! 😂 …and their little date episode was just hilariously cute. Shout out to the part where the other four (non-human) patrons gangs up on Rindo, demanding he returns Kotone back immediately, right after their date😂 (I was cackling the whole time during that scene). I also appreciate how mature and reasonable the heroine acted in Rindo’s story. Unexpectedly, this route was really good romantic-wise.
As far as the plot goes, I believe this was yet again, another tragic route not only to Rindo, but also to a few side characters, who were quite prominent throughout the game. Brace yourself for some intense plot-twist!
IL FADO DE RIE
- ships Lupin and Cardia
- p r e c i o u s
Il is a fallen angel from the Heavenly World of Caelm. He is a soft-spoken, young-looking man who loves and adore otome games. Besides his angelic appearance that gets him a lot of attention in public, Il also lacks social perception when it comes to the human world. Because of this, he ends up getting babied and pampered by his fellow Enchanté patrons. He loves to eat anything sweet, and he’s usually cooped up in his room playing otome games.
Il’s character was such a delight! He is perhaps my most anticipated route in Enchanté because honestly, who doesn’t wanna romance a good looking angel who’s obsessed with otome games? (laughs) On top of Il’s silly quirkiness that I absolutely adore, he’s also very tech-savvy, and he can program apps and softwares at ease within an instant. I believe I had the most laughs in the game during Il’s first chapters.😚 His relationship with Kotone was rather cute and endearing. How Il, innocently realizes his feelings for the heroine was just *chef kiss* 👌perfectly painted in this route.
Plot-wise, Il Fado de Rie’s story was hands-down, probably the best one in Enchanté (imo). I had a problem putting the game down for a while because his third and final chapters anxiously drove me into an emotional basket case. Tbh, it was that good (prepare those tissues!). This route also had the hottest and most interesting side characters in the game. Umm, Solitus and Epilogi seriously need their own side routes, come on!
- coffee connoisseur
Misyr Rex is the demon king from the Demon World, Asmodia. He also regards himself as the ‘demon king that can cheat on anything’ and jokes about being the ‘final boss’ in Enchanté. He’s extremely powerful with his magic fitted for destruction. Above anything, Misyr loves Kotone’s freshly brewed coffee, and he always comes to Enchanté everyday to enjoy a cup or two.
Unlike the other non-human patrons of Enchanté, Misyr refuses to rent a room in the cafe, and he never stays overnight. He tells everyone how he’s always tied to his demon king duties in Asmodia but never really talks about the topic any further and would simply brush it off as ‘unimportant’ – making him a little suspicious from the jump. Stepping into Misyr’s route will let you in on all of his secrets.
As expected from Cafe Enchanté’s true-route and poster boy, Misyr’s story pretty much tied together all of the things that happened in other character’s worlds. All of the cliffhangers, and brooding issues that were glossed over in the previous routes, were inevitably addressed in Misyr’s story. In comparison to others, Misyr gets six chapters in the game (yup, his route was super long, though I realized that these few extra chapters were quite necessary in building up the finale they were aiming for).
As the final route, I thought it was actually pretty good! It was dramatically well executed, and I appreciate how the romance between Kotone and Misyr was never overshadowed by the heaps of plot twists that were revealed one after another. Misyr’s route was also angst-central, and it was beautiful!😭 I guess I just have this itty-bitty gripe on the ending, what happened to Kotone seriously had me screaming “What? No way!”…
KOTONE AWAKI (Main Heroine)
Kotone Awaki, what an enjoyable protagonist! I’m glad she’s got a personality of her own and is NOT the self-insert kind we sometimes have to deal with in otome games. It’s great that she didn’t get dragged around in the story, and I appreciate that she normally gets the last say when making group decisions. She doesn’t wander around on her own too, and I love that she would ALWAYS seek advice whenever something is bothering her. Kotone’s witty personality was truly refreshing that it didn’t take me long to find her super likable! Her character’s strength (in every route) was her firm conviction in making the best out of every situation she’s pulled into. Never once did she make a decision that disappointed me in the game, so maybe that’s saying a lot?
I also appreciate how relatable Kotone is for working women. Before she took over Enchanté, she had a desk job that overworked her to the bone, making her slave 100 hours a month! 😱(Common Route Bad End) Can you imagine the horror?! I literally felt second-hand anxiety during the scene where her ex-boss was screaming bloody murder at her on the phone. 😩 I’m glad she was able to handle that pretty well, and with class! 👏 Hooray for smart heroines who can handle adult stress! That’s Kotone for you!🙌
SYSTEM AND LOCALIZATION
Idk if it’s just me, but sometimes I thought the translations were a little stiff especially on dialogues that do not have voice-overs. There were a few mistranslated words in the game that gave different meanings in some narratives (e.g. ‘conversation‘ became ‘conservation‘, ‘underdressed‘ became ‘undressed‘. There was even one important line where the heroine said “Let’s go back to Enchante” but was translated as “Let’s not go back” which literally made my head tilt like whaaaat??). Another thing that bugged me was the naming inconsistencies of some characters; Kororo switches to Kokoro, and Vennia switches to Venir (common route). 🤯 It’s probably just a pet peeve of mine, and this by no means took me out of the whole gaming experience. Though, I do believe these issues can be easily ironed out with a better QA/QC.
I’ve got to say, Cafe Enchanté’s UI was one of my favorites! The menu and food items intricately drawn in detail were chic and very fitting for the theme. The interface design was a total eye candy! It’s one of those bonuses that gets you beaming with delight every time you start up a game.
The lack of “Short Stories” in the EXTRA section was a little bummer though. I’m saying this in a positive light as I just can’t get enough of Enchanté’s characters. Perhaps a fandisc of the game can satisfy my insatiable appetite? 🙏
My gameplay for Café Enchanté was around 60-65 hours total. The common route was exceptionally long (it took me three days to finish it, lol). Each character’s story (except Misyr) only last four chapters, though it probably took me 4-5 hours, on average, to clear one entire route 😂. It is a very lengthy game per se, but I wouldn’t say it’s a chore to finish. The chapters can get even more riveting as you go further! The game has two official endings (happy and bad). The good thing is that you don’t have to do the ‘bad ends’ to complete the dictionary or the CG compilation.
Enchanté’s overall story was undeniably captivating from start to finish. With it being a longer game with such elaborate lore, I was impressed by how the plot-pacing in each route never felt contrived. The story just flowed naturally (to me). It was indeed an enjoyable read!
I noticed a slight similarity in Code Realize as far as how Enchanté’s world-building was structured. The humor and angst of the two games were of the same level as well (laughs). This was no surprise since both games were created by the same writer. Though all things considered, I personally thought Enchanté was more polished.
The characters, best of all (including the side charas), were so much fun. Their little quirks and nuances, not to mention their constant banters, were truly golden. It was hard to pick a favorite among the main cast as I’ve enjoyed all of them. I guess I’m more of a “hako-oshi” than having a personal bias when it comes to this game!😂 Jokes aside, I think my favorite routes, story-wise, were hands-down, Misyr, and Il’s. My favorite character, however, (if I have to pick one) was Rindo. He had me at his netflix and chill five-star apartment date, and I think I’m just drawn to his mature personality, I honestly couldn’t shake off his damn appeal. ahah😏
All the side characters in Enchanté have their own individual charms, and I hold them very dear to my heart! Except for Dromi, he can take a seat!
Do I recommend this game? YES
Café Enchanté is an otome game with story-events that beams humor, angst, and romantic niceties. It’s definitely a mixed bag of delight and drama, and without a doubt, one for the books for otome fans!
The direction and writing were top-notch. I believe it won’t take you long to get fully invested in the game’s immersive story. The romance was a breath of fresh air, and while it’s pretty lighthearted, it was always present in a sense that it never took a backseat despite the plot’s staggering twists. The LI’s were all fantastic and very lovable to an extent. Above all, you have a smart protagonist that can think on her own, has common sense and is all the while relatable. Seriously, what more can you ask for? I have enjoyed every bit of this title, and I’m fairly certain anyone who loves the otome genre will do too. By all means, pick this game up or you’re missing out!😘
PS: This game is best enjoyed with a warm cup of coffee paired with your favorite sweets on the side!☕