Iris School of Wizardry Vinculum Hearts Review (Nintendo Switch)

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IRIS SCHOOL OF WIZARDRY ~ VINCULUM HEARTS

Release Date: October 11, 2018
Developers: OperaHouse Inc.
Publishers: OperaHouse Inc., DIGIMERCE
Platforms:  Nintendo Switch
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

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Fun Fact: The Nintendo Switch version for Iris School of Wizardry ~ Vinculum Hearts was initially released in August 2, 2018 (Japan). But the game has been around since year 2014 as a mobile port.

 

Walkthroughs:

 

STORY (from Vndb):
The Iris School of Wizardry, also known as ISW.
A school where girls and boys blessed with intelligence, talent, and economic fortune gather.

They say, getting into this school is exceptionally difficult, but those who graduate are promised a sparkling future as elite members of every important institution in the country.

The protagonist’ Aria’s parents died when she was a child, she spent her days taking care of her parents old rare bookshop and wishing she could someday become a fine magician like her father was. Then one day a letter came to her. 
It was permission to enroll into ISW.

 

LOCALIZATION
After the disastrous machine translations of Ayakashi Koi Gikyoku, I was so afraid this game will suffer the same treatment. ALRIGHT! SO…luckily, they didn’t do machine translations this time… However, the english subs were still faulty so I’m guessing the translator (obviously) wasn’t a native speaker. I’ve also noticed some translation inconsistencies where in some routes you can technically understand each sentences while the others were left iffy and awkward. Matias and Iris’s routes were probably the best ones in terms of translations. The good thing was that, I was able to tolerate most of it, lol ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ so this didn’t stopped me from enjoying the story. If you’re picky with your english subs though, I would advise against getting this game.

 

ART AND MUSIC
If you’re like me who’s a total sucker for gorgeous, shoujo manga art. You will love this game’s artstyle. ISOW Vinculum Hearts’ artwork was done by illustrator / mangaka Fujinami Mari. You’ve probably stumbled on some of her works such as “Erto bengoshi wa dokusen yoku no kakusanai”  manga (エリート弁護士は独占欲を隠さない) and the recent R18 otome by A’sRing, Furue Yurayura to.

The game’s trailer had an OP song called “The Promise of the Beginning” performed by seiyuu Nobuhiko Okamoto (*´▽`*). It’s not available in the game itself, but if you want to listen to the song, a sample track is available in iTunes, or you can listen to the full track below!

 

Voice Acting

Tetsuya Kakihara “Clyde King” – Victor Frankenstein (Code Realize), Karasuba (Psychedelica BB), Isora Amari (7’Scarlet), Shin (Amnesia)

Tomohisa Hashizume “Matias Archibald” –  Ryousi (Taishou x Alice), Liam Miller (Ren’ai Princess)

Yuuta kasuya “Cyril Grundy” – Piece (Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica), Tomohiko Tachibana (Duel Love: Koisuru Otome wa Shouri no Megami)

Ryousuke Kanemoto  “A-Jay Blackford” – Yuzu (Gunka o Haita Neko), Trias (Captain Earth)

Kazuyuki Okitsu “Keith Knight” Kyrie (Ozmafia!!), Ray (Ephermal),  Motofumi Mashiko (Nil Admirari), Tatsukichi (Yoshiwara Higanbana), Caster (Fate/Extella)

Nobuhiko Okamato “Iris” Hiroya (Period Cube), Manabu Souda (Collar x Malice), Hansel (Code Realize), Yang (Piofore no Banshou), Akira Kougami (Nil Admirari)

Mitsuki Saiga “Ashley Curtis” Sakuya (Norn9), Dantalion (Tokyo Babel)

Atsushi Kakehashi “Lee Fitzwilliam” – Axel (Ozmafia!!), Miyanomori Susumu (Hanayaka Nari, Waga Ichizoku)

 

PLOT AND SETTING
Since the story’s setting revolves around “the fantasy world of magic” I couldn’t help but notice a few similar elements from Harry Potter. One example was distinguishing purebloods from the halfbloods and mudbloods humans. In this game the purebloods are called “almus” while a halfblood is called an “ultio”. “Hide Street”, the dangerous alley of Fonnue city (place where the heroine grew up) was described rather similar to Knockturn Alley and a “summoning animal” was akin to a patronous

MAIN CHARACTERS AND ROUTES
Almost all the routes follow through the same plot line. “The heroine starts her new life as a student of ISW, partners up with her love interest during their midterm exams, spends time with him on their summer and winter break (Christmas eve), and eventually ends up becoming King and Queen during graduation day”. I have to say some routes were surprisingly good while the others were just “meh” (shrugs). ┐(‘~`;)┌

(IMO) The story is best enjoyed when played in the route order below:
Clyde — Matias — Cyril — Keith — A-Jay — Secret Route. I’ll try my very best to keep the spoilers to a minimum in my posts below but keep in mind to still read with caution.

spoilersss

 

CLYDE KING
Clyde is ISW’s student council president. He’s a very smart & talented  young lad who’s magical abilities surpasses other wizards of his age.

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In his story, Clyde and Aria became number one in their class rankings after partnering up together during midterm exams. As a treat for the heroine’s hard work, Clyde takes her out on a date to Fonnue city. During their date, Aria opens up to Clyde by telling him how her parents died when she was ten years old and that she’s been living alone ever since. Clyde then promised her that from now on, he’ll be her other half and that he’ll take half of her pain and sadness in life and make sure she’ll never be alone to endure them.

(Fast Forward) During their Christmas break, while Aria was getting presents for all the society members, she recalls a special memory of the day she lost her parents and was crying all alone in the streets of Fonnue. There was a mysterious “prince-like” young boy who approached her and gave her a special white flower, stopping her from bawling her eyes out. Since then, Aria has treasured the flower dearly and now she’s finally decided to give it to someone she holds special in her heart. In the later parts of this story, it was revealed that Clyde was all along the mysterious boy who came to Aria’s aid when she was young and he was waiting all these years for her to remember. Aww. In return, the heroine took the white flower to Clyde and told him she has kept it preserved all this time and now she wants to give it back to that special boy who’s provided her happiness when she needed it the most. There’s more to this story but I didn’t want to spoil too much about it.

I did Clyde’s route first since I haven’t heard Kakki’s voice in a while (laughs). His story was somewhat predictable but it was cute from start to finish. There was really good chemistry between him and Aria and their romance didn’t felt forced at all. I also think his route was a great start for the game as it contained no major spoilers of it’s overarching plot, nor any type of angts or major conflicts and was all just pure smooth sailing, fluff goodness.

 

MATIAS ARCHIBALD
Matias is a member of ISW’s student council who’s known to be very cold upfront. His dream is to become a member of the Imperial Chilvaric Order after graduation.  Matias is also Clyde King’s best friend, and they’ve been inseparable since childhood.

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In his story, Matias and Aria became partners in their midterm exams which resulted them to land on second place, while Clyde (who partnered with Ashley) still first. After the exams comes the school festival, and everyone agrees to hold a masquerade ball for one night. During the event, Matias who dressed up as a knight approached Aria and stretches out his hand as if telling her to come with him, Aria blindly follows and they eventually arrived at a room which resembles an underwater view (through Cyril’s magic). Here, they exchanged words not by talking but by waving their wands to form words in the water with magic. Matias went first by telling Aria she looked like Juliet and she responds telling him “You’re like Romeo then” (I swear I actually love the heroine’s forwardness in this route! lol). After exchanging sweet nothings as if role playing the characters, Romeo and Juliet, both of them ended up kissing each other as Matias pulled Aria’s mask away revealing her face. Aria, not being a total dummy MC knew she was with Matias all along but she still took the liberty to ask him his name one last time after their lips parted. She never got the answer as her knight began to skedaddle the moment their kiss ended. Pffffft! As cheesy as this was, I fully admit that I’ve shamelessly enjoyed this scene A LOT! lmao (*/ω\)

(Fast Forward) Before Christmas break, Matias and Aria went on a date to the city of Fonnue, and Aria was surprised to see a ‘megane’ Matias lol! (her man, wearing adorable glasses). During their date, both of them opened up to each other. Here, Aria tells him how her parents died and how she’s been living alone since she was ten and Matias in exchange, tells her about his eye problems which is his current hindrance of becoming a member of the Imperial Chilvaric Order. It was also revealed in the later parts of his route that it’ll only take a matter of time before Matias goes completely blind. (╥﹏╥)

Matias, I believe was one of the better routes of this game. Besides, having his translations a whole lot better compared to the others’, his story offered great character development for both him and the heroine. This is also the ONLY route where the heroine gets into a *cough* physical relationship with her love interest.(//▽//) 

 

CYRIL GRUNDY
Cyril is the youngest member of ISW’s student council. He is a bright, intelligent, competitive young boy who possess an abnormal sweet tooth.

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After Aria partners up with Cyril in their midterm exams, they ended up still second to Clyde and Matias despite doing their very best. This however, didn’t stopped Cyril from trying harder, not just from studying but he does his ultimate best everyday as if it’s his last. In his route it was also revealed that Cyril has no sense of direction, so he bothers the heroine all the time to help him find his way around the school grounds.lol

(Fast forward) November 17th was Cyril’s birthday and the heroine decided to give him this pegasus feather which was believed to improve your abilities in flying. That night, as Aria hopped skipped her way to see her man, she found Cyril staring at the sky at the  House of White Rose’s balcony. Btw, the “House of White Rose” is the name of their student council house. Here, Cyril tells Aria he’s always been fascinated every time he looks at the stars & asked her how farther up does he need to go so he can reach them. Aria responds and tells him, someone’s probably thinking the same way on the other side and Cyril says he’ll let her know when he finally gets there. Now this dialogue was an implication of how SAD this route’s about to turn out because what happens next was freakin’ heartbreaking! Before Aria gets the chance of handing her gift, Cyril began to collapse on the floor and abruptly started clutching his chest. Aria panics and tells him she’ll call a doctor but Cyril shook his head and painfully spoke out of breath that he just need to take his “pills”. After helping Cyril take his meds, he finally calmed down as he rested in the sofa. Aria on the other hand, curiously took Cyril’s bag of medicine and was at lost for words when she read what’s written on the package. It was medicine for severe heart problems. (ಥ﹏ಥ)

Cyril’s route was probably the saddest in the game. Don’t play his route unless you’re ready for angts from start to finish. I also felt his relationship with the heroine was more of like a little brother rather than a love interest. Not really sure how I feel about his story either. His good and bad endings where pretty much the same. heh (ノД`)

 

A-JAY BLACKFORD
A-Jay is an easy going member of ISW’s student council who unexpectedly has a knack for solving some of the school’s darkest mysteries.

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In his route, A-Jay invited Aria to his villa in Campanula during their summer break. Campanula is a place known for its expensive beach resorts where rich families own most of the luxurious villas in the area. There, Aria was introduced to A-Jay’s loving family who welcomed her whole heartedly with open arms. The next day, Aria takes a stroll with A-jay by the beach and here she tells him about how his family made her reminisce the days back when her parents were still alive, she also told A-jay how she’s been living alone ever since her parents passed away. Her confession, for some reason made A-jay tear up (his manly tears slowly gushing down his cheeks lol) and he tells Aria how he admires her for being so strong.

(Fast forward) One day, while Aria was on her way to get dinner, she stumbles on a mysterious door in one of the school corridors. Rather than entering, she decides not to and walks away to look for A-jay to ask him if he knew anything about the mystery doorway she just recently came across with. While approaching A-Jay’s dorm room, she noticed his door was open and decides to playfully surprise him (ಠ_ಠ) (because why the hell not?! lmao!) She stopped herself when she sees A-jay in the middle of changing and accidentally saw a scar engraved on his back which she recognized as a symbol for dark magic. Because of this, Aria became conflicted with her feelings for A-Jay and grew distant of him for several days. This little conflict was resolved (during the last chapters of his route) when A-jay confessed to Aria his dark but heartbreaking secret. In his confession he explained how he got the scar on his back and how the experience haunted him his whole life until he met the heroine.

I liked A-Jay’s route because although it still followed the same usual plot line, it branched out completely different from the others. I also find A-Jay’s character depth to be quite contributing to the game’s overall plot, although I wished they would’ve delved deeper into his past as his route had a few plot holes that needed some definitive answers (E.g. Cyrus). I’m glad his route’s happy ending was really sweet (ノ´ з `)ノ(It was almost perfect!) though I also find his bad ending quite interesting ^^; (chuckles).

 

KEITH KNIGHT
Keith is the cold commanding leader of the Imperial Chilvaric Order who’s also a guest teacher at ISW for the year.

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I expected Keith’s route to be interesting because ya..know! teacher x student relationship is always amazing! hahaっಠ‿ಠ)っTo my dissapointment,  his story turned out very bland and predictable.

In his story, Aria partners up with Ashley in their midterm exams. They eventually came in second place in the rankings while Clyde who partnered with Cyril this time was first, and Matias & A-jay settles in third place. Besides being a full time teacher, Keith, was also gathering information regarding the upcoming “Thousand Year War”, where rebellious dark wizards are on the move, started by Voldermort Gillian Griffiths, their chosen leader. For the most part of Keith’s route, it was all merely fluff fillers where he gets to warm up with Aria and his backstory was never mentioned until the last chapters of his story.

(Fast Forward) During their graduation, Aria and Ashley became “class queens” after successfully finishing first place in their final exams. Aria also learned from the headmaster, Demetrius that it was actually Professor Keith who paid for her scholarship so she can get into the school. Keith eventually admitted on ghost paying for Aria’s tuition fees when she confronts him about it. Later that night, he takes Aria to the forest and calls out his summoning animal, a giant phoenix (ಠ_ಠ). Both of them hopped unto the phoenix called Ignis, and they flew in the night to Keith’s villa in Campanula. Here, Keith tells Aria his past story. How he’s an ultio (halfblood) like her and how he was raised by his grandfather in poverty after being abandoned by his parents. He also tells her of his grandfather’s death wish which was to get revenge at Alan Griffiths, the dark wizard who’s responsible for all the misfortune that’s befallen on them. Keith vowed to fulfill his grandfather’s wish but when he became the commander of the Imperial Chilvaric Order, Alan Griffiths was already dead, so now he’s chasing after Alan Griffith’s son, Gillian – the current leader of the dark rebellious movement who planned on waging the ‘thousand year war’ in the kingdom of Clarius.

Alright, I have so many complaints on Keith’s route. Besides having really bad translations, there’s just so much stuff going on! There were scenes that I believe weren’t necessary and are only creating plot holes after plot holes. I recall a scene where Keith mentioned “Aria could end the thousand year war” but after finishing his happy ending I got totally confused since there WASN’T any war nor any kind of fighting going on. I want some intense wand action dammit!!!

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Then I unlocked his “Endless ending” (Bad Ending) and this is where I lost my shit. Because this one made more sense than the other! (ノ°益°)ノIt was in his bad ending that Aria was able to somehow stop the so called “thousand year war”At this point, I just couldnt wait to end my suffering and finish the game. lol

 

LEONORE “IRIS”
(Secret Route)

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I stumbled on Iris’s secret route while doing A-Jay’s route. When Aria sees a mysterious door in one of ISW’s corridors, instead of turning away from it she enters and gets magically warped into a whole new bizarre world. Here she meets a strange boy who calls himself Leonore. Although he acts really childish most of the time, Aria started warming up to him, and they both spend a lot of time together in this little ol’ strange place. However, every time Aria brings up wanting to go back to ISW and the real world, Leonore gets upset and does a total split personality fit, becoming a sadistic murderer with a massive thirst for blood. I’m getting Amnesia Ukyo flashbacks here!

I liked Iris’s route for two reasons. First, it was translated better compared to others and second, I was totally not expecting a secret route in an OperhaHouse game so this one took me by surprise. lol Iris’s complicated character was also explained in detail during his story and Nobuhiko did extremely well as his VA. Although I thoroughly enjoyed his happy ending, just like Keith’s route, his endless ending had most of the answers regarding some of the plot holes in his story. (E.g. his wing shaped necklace)  \(︶▽︶)/ Oh well…

 

ARIA AUSTIN (Main Heroine)

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I actually like this heroine a lot. Aria has proven capable all throughout the routes  of this game and was totally not a doormat. In the prologue, she challenged Cyril to a magical duel because she couldn’t take being talked shit at as an ‘ultio’ (halfblood). I also like that even though she knew most of the students in ISW are talking behind her back because she’s a commoner, she literally shrugs them off and goes “whatever, I’m just thankful enough to get into this school so I dont care what ya’lls think of me”. lol (๑˃ᴗ˂)ﻭ  She’s one very talented wizard who’s special ability is to easily remember everything she sees and read in detail.

It would’ve been cooler if her lines  were translated better because this sassy heroine can walk the talk!

 

SIDE CHARACTERS
Ashley CurtisAria’s androgynous (lady) roomate who’s rather flirty it’s almost cringy! Ashley was a great NPC, though I couldn’t care less about her character. I’m sure there are others who’d probably enjoy her and wishes for an Ashley route but pffft! I just don’t feel too comfortable of a lady roomie aggressively flirting at you the chance she gets (ಠ_ಠ), it’s just weird! to me anyway.

Demetrius Bishopthe headmaster of ISW with a jolly personality but has a few secrets up his sleeve. Demetrius was alright. He has his own eccentric way of entering a scene like when he slid down that rainbow to announce their final exam (Clyde’s route), or when he magically goes through walls lol or sometimes, even dramatically falling off the sky Mary Poppins style. haha ^^;

Professor Lee Fitzwilliam – one of the teachers in ISW who used to be best friends with Keith Knight. His backstory was only introduced during Keith’s route.

 

TRAILER

 

OVERALL THOUGHTS(°▽°)/
The game’s play length was a bit short. With each route only having five full chapters plus their ending epilogues, you can probably finish one route in two hours sitting (or less). In terms of story, I’ve actually enjoyed a few routes (Matias, A-Jay, Iris and maybe Clyde). Some elements in the story may seem like a cheap rip-off of Harry Potter but after finishing the entire game, I didn’t really feel any kind of HP vibe as far as how its overarching story ended. Comparing it to OperaHouse’s other selections of otome games, I’d say Vinculum Hearts probably has the upper hand when it comes to its enjoyability. The secret route definitely caught me off guard so I’m giving them kudos to that, and the feisty heroine definitely took this game up a notch.(^ω~)

In terms of localization, I’m not going to sugarcoat this one. It is not good nor even close to better. It’s definitely an improvement from what they did with Ayakashi Koi Gikyoku but is it good enough for its full price? Nope. The english translations were still faulty which was a shame since the story was definitely NOT bad at all. Do I recommend this game? If it was translated better I’d say ‘give this one a chance’ but right now, I would advise to wait for a price drop or til’ the game goes on sale.

If you don’t mind bad translations, there’s definitely a good story to enjoy. If you’re a grammar nazi and can’t stand horrible “engrish”, don’t even bother getting this one at all.

Chlo’s Rating: 5/10

 

Iris School of Wizardry Vinculum Hearts – Iris (Secret Route)

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LEONORE “IRIS”

HAPPY ENDING:

**Load Save File from A-Jay’s Route

-Yes (Enter the Secret Door)
-The road I sense something
-I’ll name it for you

 

CHAPTER 3
-Everyone from Society

 

CHAPTER 4
(Create a Save File 1 here)

-Go down the stairs

(Create a Save File 2 here)

-The beautiful spring

 

CHAPTER 5
(Create a Save File 3 here)

-Ask about his necklace

(Good Ending)

 

 
ENDLESS ENDING:

Load Save File 3

CHAPTER 5
-Ask his name

(Endless Ending)

 

 

GAME OVER:

Load Save File 1

CHAPTER 4
-Fly Down
(Game Over 1)

Load Save File 2

-The purple pond
(Game Over 2)

 

Iris School of Wizardry Vinculum Hearts – A-Jay Blackford Walkthrough

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A-JAY BLACKFORD

NOTE: I strongly recommend NOT to start with A-Jay’s route as it contained a lot of spoilers regarding the game’s overall plot.

 

HAPPY ENDING:

CHAPTER 1
-Any (of the choices)
-I should run
-A-Jay do you think so too?

 

CHAPTER 2
-I’ll make up my mind
-Can’t swim well?

(Create a Save File Here)
NOTE:
You’ll need this SAVE File in the later parts of the game.

-No

 

CHAPTER 3
-The house of white rose
-You’re not mad
-Why?

 

CHAPTER 4
-Let’s go!
-Magical Philosophy

 

CHAPTER 5
-There was hope
-Of course!

(Happy Ending)

 

 

ENDLESS ENDING:

CHAPTER 1
-Any (of the choices)
-Solve by myself
-Cyril do you really agree too?

 

CHAPTER 2
-Wait a sec
-Want to swim with you
-No

 

CHAPTER 3
-To the salon
-You don’t hate me
-Me too

 

CHAPTER 4
-Can’t leave him here
-White magic for defense

 

CHAPTER 5
-I couldn’t forget
-Didn’t know what to do

(Endless Ending)

Iris School of Wizardry Vinculum Hearts – Cyril Grundy Walkthrough

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CYRIL GRUNDY

 

HAPPY ENDING:

CHAPTER 1
-Answer honestly
-I should run
-A-Jay do you really think so too?

 

CHAPTER 2
-Y-yes
-natural science of magic

 

CHAPTER 3
-Get mad
-Look around
Planetarium

 

CHAPTER 4
-Nothing really
-About ultio

 

CHAPTER 5
-Forest

(Happy Ending)

 

 

ENDLESS ENDING:

CHAPTER 1
-Any (of the options) 
-Solve by myself
-Cyril, do you really agree too?

 

CHAPTER 2
-No
-Music class

 

CHAPTER 3
-Don’t get mad
-Cyril?
-Professor’s cafe

 

CHAPTER 4
-Going to Fondue
-Relation with A-Jay

 

CHAPTER 5
-Central garden

(Endless Ending)

Gakuen Club Review (Nintendo Switch)

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GAKUEN CLUB

Release Date: August 30, 2018  (North America)
Developer
OperHouse, D3Publisher
Publisher: Dogenzaka Lab, D3Publisher 
Platforms: Steam, Nintendo Switch, Mobile (iOS and Android)
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

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This game’s localized version was originally released May 10, 2017 in PC (Steam) platform and  a month later ported to mobile platforms (iOS and Android) in June 12, 2017.

 

Walkthroughs:

  1. Renji Kamiki
  2. Wataru Kagurazaka
  3. Toma Sakai
  4. Saku Takizawa
  5. Yuya Yamaoka
  6. Asahi Minakawa

 

STORY
Our heroine is entering her junior year of high school when she finds out she will be suddenly transferring to the famous Kirika Academy located in the city due to her father’s new job. 

She is quite excited about starting her new school life, but she stumbles upon a secret night club that is being operated after school hours, and gets herself roped into working the kitchen…

As she grows closer to the other wait staff of the night club, she learns of their past, and finds herself becoming more and more involved in a complicated web of human relationships and romance…

 

ART AND MUSIC
Perhaps one of the pros that initially attracted me to Gakuen Club was the game’s artwork. These lovely character designs were done by the popular Japanese illustrator “Melo”. Her other famous works are Suuran Digit and Taishou x Alice. You can view the artist’s website here.

Fun Fact: Gakuen Club’s PS Vita version gets an awesome opening theme, with a song called “UNMASKED” performed by the artist, Mao Uzuki. You can listen to the track below, or watch the video here.

 

Voice Acting

KENN “Minakawa Asahi” –  Fuuto Asahina (Brothers Conflict), Yuuto Kujo (Beast Darling), Kintaro Katagiri (Yunohana Spring!), Totomaru Minowa (Kenka Banchou Otome)

Tsubasa Yonaga “Wataru Kagurazaka” – Hikaru Onigashima (Kenka Banchou Otome), Yakumo Tachibana (Vitamin X-Z)

Kensho Ono “Toma Sakai” – Hozumi Kohinata (Prince of Stride), Mict Haruno (Binary Star), Kurokono Tasuke (Gintama)

Mark Ishii “Yuya Yamaoka” – Lev Haiba (Haikyu),  Chrono Shindou (Cardfight! Vanguard G)

Yuuichirou Umehara “Renji Kamiki” – Demento (Period Cube), Shingen Takeda (Ikemen Sengoku), Shinobu Kurosawa (Dynamic Chord)

Kosuke Toriumi “Saku Takizawa” – Hajime Saito (Hakuoki), Poyo-Poyo (Period Cube), John Watson (Code Realize), Shuu (Diabolik Lovers), Toyotomi Hideyoshi (Ikemen Sengoku), Kagiha/Lawrence (Psychedelica Series)

 

MAIN CHARACTERS (No Spoilers)

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All the romanceable characters are shotas (laughs) so If you’re into this archetype, I believe this game is for you!  Personally, I’m not into the whole “young love”, or the “innocent-high-school-trope” thing. I like my men more mature and older (Darling, don’t we all do?! *chuckles*) – So as far as the romance goes, it was a little hard for me to get really enthused by these characters.( ° ∀ ° )ノ゙

I don’t think there’s a specific route order you have to follow, so by all means start with any character you like. If you want route recommendations, I suggest playing in this order:  Wataru — Renji — Toma — Saku — Yuya — Asahi.

 

RENJI KAMIKI – a senior in Kirika Academy who’s also a talented young pianist. 

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I did Renji’s route first because he was the best looking of the bunch, and the tallest! (kinda makes him look more mature than the other boys) lol (*/ω\) Renji is the flirty, outgoing type guy. He’s the boy you’d want to introduce to your folks because you’d know they’ll instantly like him. In his story, he’s not only very popular among the girls in the academy but also with the secret night club’s VIP guests (mostly women). Although Renji stages beautiful piano performances in a professional manner, he felt as if his music lacked something very important – and this sometimes puts him in a foul mood. Playing his route will let you discover Renji’s struggles that haunted him all his life and kept him from expressing his true self through his music.

Renji’s route was okay, it started good, got a bit repetitive and boring in the middle and ended in a rush. I may have enjoyed a few romantic scenes due to his flirty nature but overall, I thought Renji’s character was a little distant towards the heroine and I don’t think they really connected in his story.

 

WATARU KAGURAZAKAA very cunning and clever freshmen of Kirika Academy.

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Wataru is the youngest member of Kirika Academy’s Secret Night club. He’s a cheerful character, who knows his own appeal and tends to use it at his advantage. He aims to become number one in the secret night club rankings to help him gain and achieve a personal wish. In his story, Wataru hits it off with Akane but then angst follows when his uncle forced him into an arranged marriage to gain company relations and to help their family business.(#`Д´)

Wataru is the most shota of all the shotas in this game lol. His route wasn’t so bad although I didn’t really cared much about it as it was plainly predictable from start to finish. His relationship with the heroine was good if you like the typical high school romance involving a young tsundere with a spunky attitude. His tiny squeaky voice didn’t help either and only got me more annoyed while going down his route. If anything, it made me feel like a cradle snatcher! 

 

TOMA SAKAIan unfriendly, handsome looking boy who’s frank remarks always stand out.

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Toma is a kuudere, he rarely talks and would only SIGH most of the time. In fact, you’ll hear him sighing all throughout the game (even in other routes). lol (っ´ω`)ノ Despite his unfriendly nature, he still remains close pals with his buddy Asahi Minakawa. In his story, Toma was revealed to be a child model who used to be really famous in the entertainment business – (this explains his very charming physical appearance). However, due to some internal family issues he’s been struggling with since childhood, he eventually developed health problems which lead him to quit his modeling career.

I never expected I’d enjoy Toma’s route but I actually found it surprisingly better than the others. Maybe it’s because I’m a total sucker for kuudere characters? haha It started really dull though but I’m glad it got better towards the ending. I liked his relationship with Akane and the way he opened up to her seemed very realistic, not to mention cute!

 

SAKU TAKIZAWAbookworm, a man of  few words who possess a unique mysterious personality.

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Saku’s route was probably THE BEST one in Gakuen Club. Wow! This megane really got my full attention. uwu (*ノωノ)  Saku maybe a man of few words but he is one attentive fella with very good listening skills. He offers logical advises to the night club’s VIP guests’ personal problems – this is one of his distinctive charms that gets people drawn to him. In his route, it was revealed that Saku’s parents were famous movie stars (his dad a film director and mom, an actress). You’ll also get to discover how he was raised all his life without receiving a single love from neither of them. SOB (╥_╥)

I find his story rather dark but very engaging at the same time. It started interesting enough to keep you going and ended with a great finish. Although going down his route was emotionally heartbreaking, his romantic events with the heroine never took a back seat and I enjoyed every scene they’ve had together including their cute exchanges in the library and their fluffy moments of confessing each other’s feelings during the school festival. All in all, this route was a perfect 10.

 

YUYA YAMAOKAa handsome, hardworking senior in Kirika Academy with a concerning dark past.

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Yuya was sort of a mysterious character at first. I’ve asked myself a couple of times, what’s so special about him? …and why is he even in the secret night club? To give you a non-spoiler answer; Unlike the other guys who are famous for their high status in society, Yuya is actually just an ordinary dude with a handsome face. lol He does have a dark secret up his sleeve which you’ll get to discover going down his route.

I have mixed feelings towards Yuya’s story. For the most part, it was all fluff fillers which aren’t even relevant. Yuya’s character was also very deviant compared to the other boys. He can be a jerk sometimes and annoyingly emo and I’m not even sure if his relationship with the heroine was genuine enough to last. haha! I did feel bad while reading his backstory (during his monologues) and I like how the VA Mark Ishii carried this character’s complex personality. It’s a shame he doesn’t have a lot of otome gigs!

 

ASAHI MINAKAWAthe son of the headmaster in Kirika Academy, who’s also in Akane’s class.

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Asahi is the heir of the Minakawa Group, the powerful conglomerate that runs Kirika Academy. He is bright, energetic and of course very popular at school. Besides being the genki guy who won’t leave you alone, Asahi Minakawa is also dat-one-character who’s born with a silver spoon in his mouth. His route was mainly him struggling to keep up his wealthy family’s high expectations.

I think playing Asahi’s route last, was a good choice since it contained most of the spoilers in Gakuen Club’s overall story. Other than that, his character development turned out very bland, dull and somewhat predictable. The romance was there but because of Asahi’s jolly-ol’ personality it felt a little forced, like there’s no motivation behind his feelings for Akane, at all. Also, His open-ended happy ending made me flip. (メ` ロ ´)

 

AKANE KOIZUMI (You) – Main Heroine
Akane is your typical transparent heroine. There’s nothing special about her. She doesn’t have any likable trait whatsoever, and was just blindly following and supporting most of the guys in their routes except maybe Saku and Toma’s, where her support actually made a  significant turn on how their stories were concluded.

 

TRAILER 

 

OVERALL THOUGHTS? ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ
Well, I didn’t  really have any high expectations from this game. I first played it on mobile, where I only did Toma’s route and got bored with it half way through. Perhaps playing it on the Switch the second time around made all the difference? The game’s system was very comfortable whether you play it handheld or docked. I played it on tv while my console was docked, so this, somehow prevented me from falling asleep! lmao.

The average play time in completing one single route was a good 2-3 hours (auto mode), though it took me a week to finish this game as I keep putting it down (ーー;). Most of the routes were boring as hell except for maybe Saku and Toma’s. These were the only two routes I’ve enjoyed, Saku being my favorite. I liked how all of the routes focused on very human stories and events, instead of the usual superfluous fantasies in otoges. Don’t get me wrong, I still love those good ol’ reverse harem fictions, but this was good change of pace.

Overall, Gakuen Club isn’t as bad as everyone assumed it to be. It had a couple of pros such Melo’s gorgeous art and not all the main characters sucked.^^ Do I recommend this game? Yes, but only if it’s on sale. I’m pretty sure you’ll at least enjoy one route (Saku’s Route). Each of the character’s stories do bring up realistic conflicts, which was a plus point to me. It’s a  very simple high-school themed visual novel though, so don’t expect it to be mind blowing or anything of the sort (chuckles).

Chlo’s Rating: 5/10

Gakuen Club – Asahi Minakawa Walkthrough

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ASAHI MINAKAWA

HAPPY ENDING:

CHAPTER 10
-Talk about a memory.

 

CHAPTER 11
-Maybe it was bad?

 

CHAPTER 13
-That hurts a little…
-That makes you Asahi

 

CHAPTER 14
-Congratulate him

(Happy Ending)

 

 

NORMAL ENDING:

CHAPTER 10
-Force the conversation

 

CHAPTER 11
-It’s a good thing!

 

CHAPTER 13
-What don’t you want?
-You’ve started to soften

 

CHAPTER 14
-Continue the conversation

(Normal Ending)

 

Gakuen Club – Yuya Yamaoka Walkthrough

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YUYA YAMAOKA

HAPPY ENDING:

CHAPTER 5
-I don’t know

 

CHAPTER 8
-Fight for it

 

CHAPTER 9
-Don’t say anything

 

CHAPTER 13
-I haven’t been feeling well

 

CHAPTER 14
-Be honest with my feelings

(Happy Ending)

 

 

NORMAL END

CHAPTER 5
-Because it’s you.

 

CHAPTER 8
-Give up.

 

CHAPTER 9
-Tell him I’m worried

 

CHAPTER 13
-I can’t tell you

 

CHAPTER 14
-Keep doing as I’ve been told

(Normal Ending)