I finally have the opportunity to write this! Being back in school has NOT been pleasant for my blogging career since grad school has you reading books as thick as the Bible. Someone save me.

On the other hand, I have been able to stream semi-regularly and one of the most recent games I have had the pleasure of playing is Lover Pretend! Since my latest stream had me finishing the common route, I feel comfortable writing up my first impressions on the game, story, and characters, so let’s dive in.

Opportunity to shamelessly plug my YouTube channel.

The Story

Chiyuki is a college student with dreams: One, to become a scriptwriter like her late mother, and two, to find her father, whom she’s never met.

Living alone with no romantic experience whatsoever, Chiyuki struggles with writing stories about love. But one day, on the hunt for clues for the identity of her father, Chiyuki learns that he may have been involved in the production of a romantic drama based on a script her mother wrote before she was born.

In a stroke of luck, Chiyuki lands a job as an assistant for an upcoming film working with the sons of the former staff from her mother’s soap opera. But things take an even more surprising turn when she becomes the main love interest!

Will she be able to find her father and pretend to be in love, despite not knowing anything about love herself?

Aksys Games Official Website

Personally, I found the premise of this story really interesting as a writer myself. I’m no screenwriter, of course, but back in my undergrad years (I sound old, I know), I took a few screenwriting classes. It was hard work but pretty satisfying coming up with my own little screenplays. I mean, they sucked but it was an accomplishment just writing something, y’know?

Anyway, I feel like Chiyuki is a bit of a kindred spirit and I feel as if I will enjoy her journey as a protagonist. Still, I’m also the type to not be so on board with the whole pretend-to-be-in-love trope (like the kind you see in rom-coms) but this seems like it may be a refreshing take on it. I guess we’ll see.

The Art/UI Interface

Take the Options menu for example. Fluffy pink with blue.

The UI is very cute! It’s simple but stylish. It is in sharp contrast to Cupid Parasite’s very busy and flashy interface, I can tell you that much. So your eyes can rest a bit easy. Plus, the font is also quite pretty and clear to read as well.

Unique Features
Pretend Time

One of the defining features of Lover Pretend is the little mini game called, “Pretend Time,” where you are presented with a series of questions or scenarios where you do your best to answer correctly. Some Pretend Times are innocuous enough and won’t result in a bad end since most of the Pretend Times in the common route are there just to boost your likeability towards a certain love interest (I think, that was my impression anyway).

Although, you CAN get a bad end if not done correctly, so be careful and choose wisely! The key to knowing if you’re doing well is too look at the puzzle pieces surrounding your man. If puzzle pieces fall off as you answer the questions, then that was the “good” answer. If more puzzle pieces are added to the screen then you picked the “wrong” answer.

I swear, Pretend Time shot my heartrate up by 100%. I’m so bad with these things.

The Characters

Ueda Chiyuki

I honestly thought she was going to be pretty plain at first. Nice, pretty, kind but sort of a plain Jane but to be honest, Chiyuki has it going on. She can be quite the sassy thing and pushy when she wants to be. It’s only the beginning so I’m guessing I will become more familiar with her character and personality especially as she (we?) confront challenges along specific routes.

Kamikubo Kazuma (CV: Furukawa Makoto)

Dear lord, this boy is LOUD. He is quite the adorable thing though. Kazuma is basically Chiyuki’s childhood friend and certainly acts like it – taking care of her, worrying for her, and rooting for her success. Funnily enough, despite being such a trope, I do believe this is the first otome game where there’s a childhood friend love interest.

Not to mention the fact that Kazuma has the same voice actor as Allan from Cupid Parasite which I still don’t believe but the credits don’t lie. (Or do they because this is unbelievable.)

Sena Yukito (CV: Suzuki Tatsuhisa)

Ah, the playploy of the group. I’ve said before that I can’t handle playboys because they either make me flustered or they’re just a bit too much (not necessarily in a bad way but boy, do I sometimes feel like an eye roll is necessary, haha). Besides his playboy attitude, I don’t have too much of a big impression of him just yet. Still, if I know anything about otome games, I know this type of guys tend to hold a lot of baggage and this time I feel it is in the form of his father. Actually, I could say that about each of the men in this game.

Makino Harumi (CV: Kawanishi Kengo)

When I first saw him, I thought he would be the kuudere-type character who acts cold and seemingly apathetic towards our girl here, but after his introductory scenes, I thought he was a bit on the fragile side. He seems like he will be a bit of a softie at heart (of course). Not to mention, while I streamed the game, someone in chat told me that he is actually the tsundere of the group which is even better in my opinion. Hey, I found tsunderes kind of cute given the right writing and characterization. Plus, this cutie actually starts geeking out about the cutest stuff and seeing that side of him pretty much sold me. Looking forward to his route!

Nishijima Riku (CV: Maeno Tomoaki)

Ah, Nishijima Riku. He was the only one whose seiyuu was spoiled for me (I like guessing the seiyuus before I play the game usually, weird, I know). I could only think of Zhongli (Genshin) and Red Riding Hood (Taisho X Alice) when I first started playing but Riku himself is also a really interesting guy. He is the star actor of the group and is really talented at what he does.

Spoiler: But he is very apathetic about what he does. He acts, but has no passion behind what he does. It’s a bit difficult to pick up on at first, but if you spend some time with him during the common route (thanks Siri for picking choices that led me to him!), you’ll pick up on it pretty quickly.

Asagi Eiichirou (CV: Morikawa Toshiyuki)

Final Thoughts

Okay, so after finishing the common route I think the most surprising thing I can say about this game is the fact that they set up the love interests as if any one of them could possible be Chiyuki’s brother. I kid you not, in Chiyuki’s journey to find out who her father is, we learn that it’s possible each and every one of the love interests’ fathers could possibly be her own.

…not the incest.

Okay, I highly doubt there’s an incest plot in this game but boy, oh boy, do the writers of this game seem to enjoy teasing it.

Other than that, I believe I will like this otome. It feels like it will be chill (and not deceptively chill like Café Enchanté), but I know by now that it’s not an otome game without some angst and heartrending moments so I look forward to whatever that may be.

Usually I would end these with a predictions table like in my other otome first impression posts but I will pass this time. As I mentioned before I only got back to streaming regularly this past month and I have not properly gone back to Lover Pretend. I will say that I do believe Chiyuki’s father is most likely not one of the boys’ father simply because ~incest~. Or we may be going down the good ole adoption route…for someone, so technically there is no blood relations.

Here’s to hoping I will finish the game to find out because I am quite curious to where Chiyuki’s story will lead to.

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