Voltage Japan Sale PSA

Real life’s still eating all my reviewing time, but I did want to give y’all a heads-up.

This weekend Voltage Japan has discounted main routes, sequel routes, epilogues, and special stories for eighteen routes.

It’s a little overwhelming, quite frankly, but what surprised and pleased me the most is ALL the “Another Story” and “His POV” routes are only $0.99 in the US iOS store.  These routes rarely go on sale, and I’ve never seen them this inexpensive.

The In Your Arms Tonight Another Story routes are just as long as the main stories and some of them are really well done.  Many of the different His POV for different apps really add to the story too so I’d go ahead and give them a try as well.  Check out my review archive if you want more particulars.  🙂

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Our Two Bedroom Story Tsumugu Kido Impressions and Review – Spoiler Free

Basic Premise: The MC moves into her new stepfather’s house at the same time her stepfather’s nephew, Kido, arrives claiming sole rights. She also receives a promotion to Seasonelle magazine and teams up with a new hire. Named Kido.

Positives

  • The word choice and localization that provide characterization are fantastic. All the characters’ commentary and interactions are good and click with the other routes. Watching Chiaki pine for Kaoru never gets old.
  • The MC is priceless. While she comes across as more everyday than, say, Metro PD‘s or Queen’s Gambit‘s protagonists, her snarky observations and measured decisions about what behaviors to let slide and what needs to be called out give her an intelligence and agency I adore. When the MC starts mockingly imitating Kido’s regional accent I shrieked in glee. She also sticks to her plan to move into a new apartment despite Kido’s half-hearted offer to let her stay in the house.
  • Kido is such an odd duck. As the MC says, he’s “a slob, and a cheapskate, and mean,” he falls into none of the archetype categories, and I couldn’t predict what his back story or actions would be. He was confusing and layered and I HAD TO KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON. Also, his unimpressed face is my favorite sprite ever.
  • The relationship between these two veers between open hostility and friends who like to prod each other for most of the story. It never felt unhealthy or abusive to me though. Yes, Kido tries to bulldoze the MC into doing what he wants at times and lists what he thinks are flaws to her face. But she pushes back, gives him a frank assessment of his faults, and – importantly – does not blame herself for his behavior. In the end, these two only agree to start dating; they’re not swearing grandiose oaths of undying devotion. Good grief, I love whoever did this story and localization.

Negatives

  • Having such believable interactions backfires in one case. Kido repeatedly tells the MC to butt out of his business. I too hate having nosy people poking in my affairs so my natural reaction would be to choose “you got it – call if you need anything” options and leave him alone. The MC never does anything too meddlesome, but it is a little annoying.

Bottom Line: Recommended. While not very romantic, the unique characters and funny repartee make this a great read.

Voltage’s Our Two Bedroom Story is available on iOS and Android.

Our Two Bedroom Story Kaoru Sequel – Spoilers

Like Kaoru’s main route, his sequel has several quiet, unique, believable character interactions and moments between the two leads broken up by many “what-the-heck?!” moments. Super spoilery details below!

***Spoilers Ahead!***

I spent much of the route yelling in frustration at the screen. The whole plot centers around a new contributing writer’s obsession with the MC.

  • Taira says he will only write erotic stories for Seasonelle if the MC’s his project manager.
  • He shoves her down on a couch and tries to make her act out one of his stories. (If someone tried that on me, they’d be nursing a bloody nose before I slammed the front door and reported ’em.)
  • He shoves her against the wall and refuses to let her go.

At this point, Kaoru has found out what Taira’s doing and wants the MC to tell their boss. She says: “I don’t want to quit because it would be the same as admitting I can’t do the same job as a man. It’s the same thing as being told, ‘Women are weak, so you have to quit…I’ll talk to Mr. Taira about it.’”

No. No. No. NO. Gender does not matter in this situation. This could be two men, two women, or a woman harassing a man, and the victim should still get the **** out and protect themselves. The MC takes no steps to protect herself. She never tells her boss, has no self-defense or weapon training, AND still goes to meet Taira at his home BY HERSELF. She never even tells him off.

Kaoru finally snaps and tells the MC that Taira could really hurt her and that she should stop seeing him before he does. The MC freaks out at Kaoru’s freak out, but refuses to stop seeing Taira.  At this point, Kaoru says: “Go be with him.” I was horrified at first, but then it made sense. If I kept telling my friend “seriously, he’s dangerous, be careful,” but she kept going back, I’d assume she had feelings for him too.

Taira continues to proposition her, keeps touching her, tells her she’s the inspiration for his stories, and then gives a public speech saying the same. He only backs off when Kaoru shows up and says: “I’m sorry, Mr. Taira. But she’s mine, and I’d like her back now.”

Oh. I see. It’s totally acceptable to stalk someone if she’s single, but if she “belongs” to someone it’s not okay. I suppose the MC should go get a shiny dog collar that says PROPERTY OF KAORU in large letters. That’ll make it clear for all the forceful perverts. *headdesk*

Yet, for all it’s problems, the underlying concept is sound. The MC does not change much (though I do appreciate that in the regular ending she understands why her actions ticked off Kaoru), but Kaoru struggles and evolves beautifully. I love the last chapter.  If Taira had kept the same over-the-top flirtatiousness without the unwanted physical advances, this route could have been one of my all-time favorites.

Voltage’s Our Two Bedroom Story is available on iOS and Android.

Our Two Bedroom Story: His POV Impressions and Review

These reviews assume you have already played Kaoru, Chiaki, and Akiyoshi‘s main routes and makes no attempt to keep those plot unspoiled.

Apply to all the Routes:

  • The main character does not have a sprite. To keep the male lead from talking to the background, the guy’s sprite appears. After seeing the MC in the In Your Arms Tonight and Speakeasy Tonight POVs, it took a while to adjust.
  • The story has no choices and only one ending.
  • Therefore I would wait for a sale – even for the routes I recommend.

Kaoru POV

Positives

  • The word choice and editing are among the best I’ve found in a translated game. I hope whoever did this continues to work with Voltage.

  • The judgmental cat makes me laugh.

  • Kaoru doesn’t compare the MC with his dead girlfriend. She doesn’t feel like a substitute or replacement.

  • The final chapter. No, I’m not going to spoil it for you.

Negatives

  • Kaoru’s “I thought I was the only one who got hurt because it was my memento that got broken” remark does not gel with the earlier chapter’s commentary.

  • The cat walking scene from the main route is retold.

Quotes

  • Kaoru: I know she was about to say something important. I guess that’s my cue to come out with some reassuring words and stuff.

  • Me: Ha!

Overall: Recommended. This route goes a long way towards amending the flaws of the main route.

Chiaki POV

Positives

  • I was happy to find the MC had moved out. (I never played Chiaki’s main route.) Good for you, MC!

  • Drunk MC is funny.

  • The conversation between Chiaki and Akiyoshi is really good.

Negatives

  • The view point of this story shifts. Some of the time Chiaki’s narrating events as they occur, and some of the time it’s as though he’s looking back at past events. It’s off-putting.

  • What’s going on with Chiaki’s neck? His missing mom must be a giraffe.

  • Chiaki still creeped me out at the end. Like once he tired of the MC he’d be back to using her and others.

Quotes

  • Chiaki: I really don’t like women anyway.
  • Me (having just finished Kaoru’s route): No kidding.  XD

  • Chiaki: I was being a real jerk, but she’s not going to bring that up, is she?
  • Me: Nope, but I will.

Overall: Not recommended.

Akiyoshi POV

Positives

  • It feels like the same translator who did Kaoru’s route also did Akiyoshi’s. It’s well executed.
  • Akiyoshi’s thoughts and emotions are appropriate for his age and position. He comes across as a grown-up.
  • Everything I like about the MC in Akiyoshi’s main route shines in this one. I find her funnier and more believable too.

Negatives

  • The two “I do not deserve happiness” moments feel too melodramatic when compared to the tone of the rest of the route.

Quotes

  • Akiyoshi: …are Ando’s wife and a young boy. She’s lost a lot of weight since her husband died.
  • Me: Considering she was heavily pregnant however many years ago that was, I should think so. XD

Overall: Recommended.

Voltage’s Our Two Bedroom Story is available on iOS and Android.

Our Two Bedroom Story’s Akiyoshi Route Impressions and Review

In case you missed it, here are my general impressions of Our Two Bedroom Story.  Now, on to Akiyoshi’s route.

Positives

  • The MC has independent professional assignments she handles competently.
  • The MC stands up for herself when she should.
  • Akiyoshi acts like a grown-up, and the relationship progression feels believable.
  • Akiyoshi has his hair out of his eyes.  Petty, yes, but still a plus for me.

Negatives

  • Two painful “anatomy doesn’t work that way” sprites pulled me out of the story. The interviewee’s face is wonky, and Akiyoshi’s hand is creepy. One section is twice as long as it should be compared to the other sections, and it’s present nearly every time he’s on screen. I turned the text background all the way black to block it and tried to forget I’d ever seen it.
  • While she usually makes sensible choices, the MC has a couple of stupid moments.  First, she presses a personal topic with someone who is giving off “I don’t want to talk about this” vibes.  Second, she walks home alone and tipsy at night. After she said she was going to call a cab.  Come again?

Overall: Finally, an Our Two Bedrom Story route I can recommend without major caveats.  After the last two, I was pretty underwhelmed by the whole app; I’m glad I stuck with it long enough to try Akiyoshi!

Voltage’s Our Two Bedroom Story is available on iOS and Android.

Our Two Bedroom Story General Impressions and Review

Once I came out of the Benadryl daze, I realized I had yet to give a general review and impressions for Our Two Bedroom Story before detailing individual routes. Oops. Here you go.

  • The MC’s career is interesting.
  • Each route has fewer chapters compared to older Voltage titles. That sounds like a negative, but I really appreciate it. The plots feel well-paced, and I was never bored by extra padding.
  • The setup feels forced and disposable: “Hello, my dear daughter, here’s the man you’ve never met that I’ve decided to marry. No, I won’t invite you to the wedding. Or visit you once you move out.” Thanks, Mom, I feel so loved.
  • I could justify the roommate idea for three of the step-brothers, but not with all of them. Living with Minato and Chiaki screams “BAD IDEA.” The MC is doing well at her firm; she should be able to afford her own place.

Now, for the individual routes:

Voltage’s Our Two Bedroom Story is available on iOS and Android.

Our Two Bedroom Story’s Shusei Route Impressions and Review – Slight Spoilers

Up next on the Our Two Bedroom Story tour is Shusei. Overall, I enjoyed his route.  I found Shusei himself less compelling than Kaoru, but the story had much fewer “wait a minute” moments.

Positives

  • The banter between the MC and Shusei can be adorable. They feel like friends before any romance starts.
  • Shusei is kind and functional already. He doesn’t need the MC to fix him.
  • The parents are mentioned throughout the story.

Negatives

  • The MC keeps describing Minato as secretly kind. He’s not. It feels like the MC wants to will him into being something more positive than objectively assessing his behavior.
  • Every so often, two of the guys talk about the MC like she’s a thing. It doesn’t go on for long, but I wish the MC would point out that she was her own person who could make her own choices, thank you very much.

Spoilers Ahead!

  • The MC is harassed by an interviewee, and she returns to apologize to him. No…just no.  Shusei tries to take the blame as well, saying he should have been there.  The only person who does not take any responsibility is the harasser. You have got to be kidding.

Recommended to those looking for a sweet, angst-free story. Voltage’s Our Two Bedroom Story is available on iOS and Android.