‘The Men of Yoshiwara’ is an Otome app by D3Publisher. You can play the game on your mobile or through Steam. The game is set on an island where, for some reason, only women are born. Since the women can’t find male partners, there’s a special district called ‘Yoshiwara’ where there are male geishas. When a woman reaches a certain age, she chooses one and they become ‘married’. The woman is only allowed to sleep with that geisha. You have just come of age, and are from quite a rich family, your mother is keen for your to quickly choose a handsome man to make your ‘husband’. You head to one of the more well known establishments and are greeted by 5 handsome men. In my route, I chose Ageha, the sweet new apprentice Geisha.
The game has 10 chapters, each chapter has 2 ‘questions’ with 3 options. Each question has an ok, good and best answers, giving 1, 3 and 5 points respectively. You can earn 100 points all together. Below are the answers needed to get 100 points, and the super happy ending
- Don’t scold him
- I hope so too
- Embrace him
- First time that’s happened?
- I like it
- Talk about other things
- Argue with her
- I have to help him
- Turn around
- I am
- Reach for him
- Grab his hand
- I felt happy
- This is just the beginning
- Have courage
- I don’t have a reason
- Don’t cry
- Well, I love you
The Story – Ageha’s Route
After choosing Ageha, you’re body guard insists it’s a bad choice and you head back to Yoshiwara to see the geishas for a second time. Ageha is quite happy that you would have chosen him, but he, and the other geisha know it’s not possible. Everyone seems to think you need an ‘experienced’ geisha. Furthermore Ageha hasn’t completed his training and still needs to go through his “deflowering ceremony” (yes, I did shudder as I typed those words). You and the geishas end up partying a bit, and play a game. You get blindfolded and have to guess what sake you’re drinking, but Ageha takes it upon himself to give you a bit more than sake 😉
Gakuto and the other geisha nearly have a heart attack when they see Ageha kissing you. The night is cut short and you have to head home. A few days later you send a cheeky letter to Ageha, telling him not to kiss any other ladies while drunk. There’s a reply, but then nothing. You find out he, along with Gakuto and another geisha have been reprimanded for what happened. You beg to managers to let you see Ageha but they refuse. You end up visiting Asagiri who tells you that Ageha is okay. The geishas know your interest in Ageha so they help you set up meetings. You find out that Ageha was sold at a young age to cover his mother’s debt and that he’s not allowed to leave the geisha house. You slowly develop more and more feelings for Ageha. You even end up getting a second kiss!
However you find out his deflowering ceremony is coming near. You’re not eligible to be the one who…participates. As you’re a virgin, and the ceremony requires someone with more…experience. In a frenzy you ask for Asagiri to take your virginity, just as you’re about to go through with it you begin sobbing and can’t do it. In the morning Ageha catches the two of you and misunderstands, you chase him and implore him to trust you. That everything you do is because you love him. You find out that there’s an influx of tourists in the district, and some of the geishas sneak out. You and Ageha plan to meet and you take him to a flowery cliff he’s always wanted to visit.
As you head back you find out there’s been a murder, and everyone was in a frenzy looking for Ageha. You tell them that you met him in the district and walked around a bit. The manager is a little suspicious but you pull through, you even ask him to be the one who takes Ageha’s virginity. Asagiri lied, saying that the two of you were in a sexual relationship, and that you now had the ‘experience’ to take Ageha. Everything seems to be going well, but later that night the manager tells you another woman has put herself forward. You leave the geisha house dazed and incredibly upset. You end up bumping into the murderer who cuts you, your body guard saves you in the nick of time.
You wake up 3 days later, and realise that the deflowering ceremony is only a week away. For the next 7 days you slip in and out of consciousness, but one day you awaken to the sound of Ageha’s voice. He escaped the geisha house to see how you were doing. You have but a few brief moments together until the managers bursts in. It’s looking like it might be a bad ending, but everything turns 180! The managers doesn’t wish for rumours about Ageha, and you being hurt to circulate. The manager should have confirmed that you would have an escort at that time of night. As compensation he allows you to take part in Ageha’s deflowering ceremony. (Yes, I am getting sick of typing that).
After the two of you have your sexy time, which lemme say was VERY descriptive, you begin working on buying him. Once everything is settled, he works with you and your mother in your fabric shop. Your mother finally accepts him, and agrees to allow you two to get married. You do, and essentially live happily ever after. There’s also another sexy time scene.
I ended up buying the whole 10 chapters for this game with credits I got from doing google surveys. (Seriously if anyone has android download google surveys!) It cost about $4-5, with the ‘sequel’ being $1.20 and another date episode being $1.20. I can definitely see the story being value for money, it was very detailed and managed to have quite a dynamic storyline without compromising the emotional links between characters. There were little touches to the character animations for example the characters ‘blinked’ and there was lots of expression changes. So as far as Otome games go, this was quite good.
I’m kind of on the fence about this one. I’m not sure whether I actually liked it or not. On the one had, sometimes I felt really uncomfortable with the whole story line, it just felt very very odd to me. It was mainly little aspects that really got to me. For example, the woman on the island were only allowed to sleep with one of the geishas, and it’s explained as being like a marriage, except you have to share your ‘husband’ with like 20 other women(!?) I also felt really uncomfortable with the whole chase for Ageha’s virginity, of course, if you’re in love with someone you don’t want to see them sleep with someone else. But there were just so many rules about how he had to loose his virginity and why MC couldn’t be the one to do it – it just seemed way too much!
Maybe I’m a bit of a prude, although not really since I love my BL hot and heavy, but I found the sex ‘descriptions’/ scenes a little much. I usually play otome to get the sweet romantic feels, with silly things like kisses on the cheek or hugs, but the 1% of my maiden heart that remains was not prepared for this. I think especially the scene where MC is trying to force herself to loose her virginity is quite confronting, there’s a 50 shades of grey novel, on where Asagiri is touching and how the MC “lets out a scream instead of a moan”. I kid you not that is one of the lines.
I don’t think this game is for everyone. While the animations is fantastic and the story well developed, the actual plot does not appeal to all audiences. Scenes can get a little hot and heavy, and you do not want to get to those last two images while you’re on public transport. I’m not entirely sure if I’ll be going through the other routes, however you can read the first chapter of each route for free. I might give Gakuto’s route a try because…well I’ve always been a Gackt fangirl.