I spent the weekend recuperating from whatever’s been floating around, so it’s been a productive one, so to speak. For one, I rekindled my love for otome games! Japanese dating sims such as Angelique and Harukanaru Toki no Naka de formed a significant portion of my teenage years, and even though I wasn’t able to play them due to my complete lack of Japanese knowledge and disposable income, I did so much research online (thank you fan translators) and gobbled up whatever OVAs which were eventually made to satisfy my girlish obsession. I guess in a sense I’m paying it forward this time. I never thought I’d have so much fun with one now that I’ve grown to be an adult who’s cultivated a cynical view towards the typical damsel-in-distress main characters.
Anyway, I came across My Strange Lovers (Android | iPhone), and promptly downloaded it onto my phone. It’s free to play, but you have to advance with story tickets – those are exchangeable with points you collect while fulfilling other activities, but I got so fed up with the constant pauses in the game telling me I had to top-up my story tickets that I bit the bullet and bought the main story for all characters at SGD $14.11 (with a 30% discount). Dipping my toes in the free play gave me a pretty good idea of what all available-for-romance characters were like, and surprisingly they all seemed interesting to me. You can also select specific characters to pay for their stories if you only like one of them.
Anyway, let’s get straight to the prologue:
I resistered my name as Anon, because I’m bad at naming things. I’ve always said that my cats will be named Cat #1 and so forth. Therefore, it stood to reason that anonymous main characters in dating sims are named Anon.
The story goes that I’m in need of a good rental but don’t have money. Luckily, I came across a sign promising cheap rentals, whereupon the realtor Yoshii-san literally forced me into his office. Personally, I’d be very alarmed, but Anon!me seems to have no sense of self-preservation. Listings are tossed out due to cost, until Yoshii-san suggests living in a shared house. Apparently, rent is free if I simply take care of the housework?? WHAT’S THE CATCH (other than the guys hur hur). Looks like this shared housing will be with an entertainer, a salary man, a college student, and a college professor.
One week later, I move into my cute bedroom and no one is in the house, as warned by Yoshii-san. I hear a noise, and am accosted by a Man in Black. But never fear, because someone comes to my rescue and sends the man flying in one punch. What a coincidence! Introductions are made with my saviours:
A few words were exchanged after they found out that I, a female, agreed to live in a shared house with four other men. You get a sense of the different characters’ personalities. Such as this asshole:
The prologue ends with them asking me who I want to buddy up with to familiarise myself with living in this shared house. Time to choose a love interest!
Before I end this post, here are the character bios which show that each character’s name is very much a hint for their animal form: