Bushido is the way of the samurai. It’s virtues symbolise Frugality, Loyalty, Mastery of the martial arts and honour until death. The girls of Kawakami embody these virtues in their values and strive to maintain them in their everyday lives. Today on the VN Completionist we will review Maji de Watashi ni Koishinasai and see whether it’s values hold up in the face of adversity or whether it fails to deliver.
Maji de Watashi ni Koishinasai is a Japanese Visual novel developed and published by Minato Soft in 2009. The Direction and Scenario was done by Takahiro and the art was produced by Wagi. The English patch for this game was written by Yandere Translations.
The game takes place in Kawakami city which is famous for its dedication to its samurai ancestors and martial arts. These two principles are an important aspect of the town and even prevalent within the school life of the residents.
Our Protagonist, Naoe Yamato, is a second year student at kawakami high school along with his group of close friends. Their group is tightly knit and have known each other since childhood, they even have a secret base where they meet up after school. At the start of a new semester, two new students join their group and their daily lives begin to change.
As previously mentioned, Naoe Yamato is the protagonist of the game. Given the title of Master tactician, he is intelligent, assertive, insightful and proactive. He usually helps out the group by deriving plans to help minimise the chances of his friends getting hurt. That being said, he has no qualms about using tactics that may seem under-handed or unethical (much to Chris’ distaste).
The other members of the group are Momoyo, Kazuko, Miyako, Chris, Yukie, Moro, Gakuto and Capt.
Momoyo Kawakami is the successor to the Kawakami temple. She is a master martial artist who loves to fight, rarely finding joy in anything else. She is mostly a carefree person but is rather competitive and arrogant when it comes to martial art due to her unbeatable strength.
Kazuko Kawakami, also known as Wanko, is Momoyo’s sister. In contrast with Momoyo, she is Naturally competitive and has a hard-working, never-give-up attitude toward training. She is a bit of an Air-head and is seen as a mascot for the group.
Miyako Shiina is extremely fond of Yamato, constantly making advances and professing her love to him. Outside of the group, she is seen as rather antisocial but within their group she is very passionate about their friendship and treasures it dearly.
Christiane Friedrich is the daughter of a military family in Lübeck, Germany. Due to her strict upbringing, she has a strong sense of duty, responsibility and rectitude which she strives to uphold in any situation. She has a good knowledge of Japanese history and Bushido but is rather ignorant when it comes to Japanese culture due to her knowledge coming from historical drama.
Yukie Mayuzumi is a first year transfer student at Kawakami High school and the daughter of a master swordsman. She has tasked herself to make one hundred friends but she severely lacks social skills, sometimes scaring people off with her extreme reactions and bashfulness. Despite her low self-esteem, she is kind and cares a lot others.
There is also Gakuto who is a self-proclaimed “nice guy” and womaniser (which is played up for comedic effect), Moro is the otaku of the group and Capt. who is the free-spirited leader of the group.
Majikoi has a large, diverse cast with a lively and fun group dynamic which I feel is one of the strong points of this game. Even outside of the main cast there are so many characters with Hilarious personalities which kept me coming back to read more of their antics. The characters themselves do seem rather one-dimensional outside of the main cast and receive minor development so if you are looking for a game with more deep, complex characters this probably wont be a game for you.
The common route of this game mostly serves as the introduction to the characters and the setting for the game. There isn’t much of an overarching story to this part of the game, it mostly has a focus on comedy with hilarious character interactions and the absurd situations that they are placed in throughout their everyday lives.
The main bulk of the jokes are rather erotic in nature, which for the most part were hilarious but sometimes did border on creepy and distasteful but this happened very rarely and this is more of a personal opinion anyway. The other jokes in this game varied from Self-aware, referential and breaking the 4th wall. They even worked comedy into the choices within the game incredibly well to where I would always pick the funny choices just to see what would happen.
There are some serious moments within the common route which were worked into the story well but were very few and far between. There was definitely more of a focus on the comedic, light-hearted aspects of the common route which was one of the strongest aspect of the game.
The main character routes were for the most part pretty good, this area of the game has a larger focus towards Romance, Action and some drama but the light-hearted comedy was still prevalent. The shift to more action was mostly in Momoyo, Yukie and Chris’s routes with the over-the-top martial arts battles and the shift to drama was present more in Wanko and Miyako’s routes.
The romance itself was okay for the most part. The romance plot lines themselves, outside of Miyako’s, were rather simple in nature but by no means bad because of it. The romance worked particularly well with the rest of the game, contributing to the light-hearted feel by using the character interactions between the girls and Yamato. As whole though I wasn’t particularly invested into the romance in this game as the conflict surrounding them wasn’t compelling enough but were at least entertaining enough for me to enjoy them.
Miyako’s route was the only exception to this where the romance between her and Yamato was actually portrayed in a much more interesting way than the other heroines. The way that they used Miyako’s obsessiveness and dependence on Yamato as a conflict within this route was surprisingly well done and had a well executed resolution.
The game’s conflicts in general were rather simplistic in nature as well but despite this they were by no means lacking in quality. This was definitely showcased well by Miyako, Wanko and Yukie’s routes. Miyako’s route was good in this regard due to the reason we previously explained so i wont repeat myself here.
Wanko’s route was well done because of her character arc about working hard towards your goals and realising when you should look for a new path to it instead of stubbornly failing to achieve it one way, which I personally found to be a very interesting and rather unique.
Yukie’s route revolved around helping her make friends, which alone doesn’t sound particularly interesting but ended up being cute and rather endearing to read (Yukie is also adorable in this route).
The conflicts in general brought out some of the more interesting aspects of the characters previously unexplored by the common route but did very little to actually develop them beyond that or do so in an intriguing or complex way. To the games defence, I don’t think this game was going for a serious tone and wanted to remain comedic and light-hearted similar to the common route.
The Action which was a large aspect of Momoyo, Chris and Yukie’s routes was also surprisingly well done. The combination of the music, CG art and writing in these scenes worked well to give the game a over-the-top, shounen-esqe feel during fights which was exhilarating and fun to read. This was definitely the case with Momoyo’s route where the climax showcase how these three elements work well to create a really compelling fight scene.
Even after finishing all of the main girls routes, this game still has a large amount of story content for you to read. There are sub-routes for all of the other main characters such as Gakuto, Moro and Capt. There are even routes for some of the more minor character such as Chika, Mayo and Kojima-sensei.
These routes were not as well written as some of the main girls routes but were still pretty well done. They gave some character development to those characters who were previously unexplored in the common route but overall they were not as interesting as the main routes but at least fun enough for me to enjoy.
They also have a secret route (which I won’t talk about too much) that is unlocked by completing all of the heroines routes. This route is foreshadowed throughout the entire game, rather un-subtly at points. It consists of the Comedy and Action prevalent throughout the rest of the game.
The plot of this route is kind of over-the-top and silly but was still an incredibly enjoyable read, the twist in the route was also surprisingly well done which I didn’t expect for this game. Sadly the route was somewhat let down by the rather contrived, weak motivations of the antagonist which made the ending rather disappointing.
The art in this game was well done for the most part, it doesn’t stand out in comparison to other games but was well drawn and of consistent quality. The CG art was good, especially the CG’s used for the fight scenes in conjunction with animation to make them more dynamic and exhilarating to read. The sprite art I didn’t feel was up to the same quality as the CG’s, but they did showcase a lot of the characters personalities so I was still satisfied with them.
The music was one of the high points for this game. The soundtrack was large and varied which works well for a game of this length as the tracks never started to sound repetitive and annoying. As mentioned earlier the music also worked really well with all of the fight scenes making more exciting to read. I usually never mention this in my reviews but the opening to this game is awesome, it’s also completely animated which is something you rarely see for visual novels.
In conclusion, if you are looking for a light-hearted, comedy with fun and quirky characters with some action on the side then I would highly recommend this game if the humour is to your taste. If you are instead looking for a more serious, compelling, story driven game then I don’t think this game will appeal to you with its rather simplistic story and underdeveloped characters.
If you did enjoy Majikoi, my recommendations would be the sequel, Maji de Watashi ni Koishinasai! S and the fan disks Majikoi A-1 to Majikoi A-5 (although not all of these games are translated at the time of this review). This choice should be self-explanatory as more Majikoi wouldn’t be a bad recommendation for somebody already enjoying this series.
Another recommendation would be Key’s Little Busters. This game also features a tightly bonded group of friends but rather than a focus on action, Little Busters is much more emotional and story driven which may appeal to those who didn’t enjoy its absence in this game.
My final recommendation for those who can read Japanese would be Tsujidou-san no Jun’ai Road. This game is rather similar in premise to Majikoi but the martial artists replaced with delinquents and gangsters. The comedy is very similar to Majikoi so for the people who that aspect appealed to will not be disappointed.
This concludes my review of Maji de Watashi ni Koishinasai. If you haven’t done so already follow me on social media and make sure to check out the other posts on the site. Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this review and I will see you all on the next VN Completionist.