Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Feb 152023
 

Today I’d like to talk about a short visual novel called *deep breath* I’m a love interest in my childhood friend’s reverse harem!!!

Now, despite how the store page describes it, this is not an otome in any way, shape, or form.

When the description says it’s “a not-so-generic otome game” and “a spin on your average otome game,” what it really means is that it’s written with the idea that you are playing from the perspective of a love interest in an otome game while your friend is the main character.

You are Geum, a teenage boy whose best friend Emily is supposed to be an otome game protagonist, with two other guys she could become interested in. However, you don’t think they really love her, so you decide to either win Emily’s heart first or make the two guys fall for you instead.

In other words, you play a male protagonist with one female and two male love interests.

I’d go a step further and say I’m a love interest in my childhood friend’s reverse harem!!! is stronger without its meta elements. Jokes about Emily’s nickname being MC or Geum noticing she seems to be looking at invisible choices in the air are good for a smile, but this visual novel is at its best when it focusing on the routes themselves.

The routes are split, so early on you decide if you want to try to win over Emily or the guys. Choices that favor any of the three characters still show up regardless of which path you pick, so I’m not sure why it’s split at the beginning. Once you do Emily’s route and at least one guy’s route on the same save file, you’ll also unlock a polyamory route (although it’s more like a harem).

No matter which route you’re on, you get a variety of cute scenes as you pursue your love interest of choice. While simple, the stories are sweet and heartfelt, and it has quite a bit of variability in the outcomes.

That’s part of why I feel it would be stronger if it didn’t try to play into the idea that Emily is an otome game protagonist. The actual routes here are sweet and humorous enough on their own without breaking the fourth wall, and the premise works fine on its own.

I’m a love interest in my childhood friend’s reverse harem!!! is very short and will probably only take you a couple of hours to beat, but it’s a sweet visual novel with more heartfelt romance than I expected.

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  8 Responses to “Celebrating All Things Romantic: I’m a love interest in my childhood friend’s reverse harem!!!”

  1. I keep saying I’m going to make a list of all the longest visual novel titles and decide which one is the ultimate, longest one. This title would make the list. It’s literally not even a title, it’s a sentence. Come on, Japan!

  2. I haven’t played the game, but I feel like the biggest draw to the game that makes it stand out is the title and meta elements, so to me it makes sense that those are at least somewhat of a focus even if you feel like it detracted from the game overall… because without the ridiculous premise, would many people really have taken a second look at this?

  3. It sounds interesting conceptually and, without having played the game myself, I think I would agree that the meta jokes would get tiresome after awhile. On the other hand though, I think if these ideas were applied in a more serious setting, it could be fun and intriguing. A person comes along that always says all the right things sounds like it could have the makings for a horror story of some sort.

    • Now that you mention it, I feel like it’s more common to see that sort of element come up in horror (DDLC, for example, or how Doodle Date handled its premise) than to just be played for comedy in an otherwise normal romance story.

  4. Not gonna lie at first i was like “Wow, YOU are a love interest in your friends harem game?!”

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