When two handsome young men spot the perfect girl to be their first model and make a name for themselves, they’re determined to go for broke and make her shine — but first they’ll have to get her out of her house! Can these two really give an anti-social recluse the makeover she needs to be a star? Or will she be the one to change them in this offbeat romantic comedy?
This review will go a bit deeper into the game in regards to story and the characters. To read my initial thoughts about the game, check out my first review talking about the demo.
First off, the art and the general aesthetic of the game don’t disappoint! The characters have a variety in their expressions and clothing, and while some CGs might look weird — they are mostly well drawn and get the point across of what it going on within the scene, though it is a little strange in terms of anatomy when going through the spicier scenes, but it isn’t really that bothersome. The backgrounds are also well done and show a difference in where certain characters lives, such as with Ema’s room and Miki’s apartment. The opening to the game is also very catchy and there were certain pieces I enjoyed, but voice acting is what I loved the most.
All three of the central characters has such great voice actors that not only projected well during the hilarious moments that it made you laugh, but could also be serious and even romantic when the situation called for it. I don’t know if it is very common in other Japanese VNs, but it was great to be able to save the voice samples throughout the game and look back on them and the scenes they are associated to have a good laugh again! Nevertheless, it is the story and the crazy antics that they get in that makes the story something to really enjoy.
The story starts off with the introduction of its rather pessimistic heroine, Ema Tachibana (her name is changeable) and her lackadaisical life of being locked within home and eating bad food, while maintaining minimal contact with the rest of the human population. This all is due to Ema’s height and her “resting bitch face” that has lead to people making fun of her or just being afraid of her. However, this day is different, as she catches a love confession in the making and grabs the attention of a young blonde man –Miki Hiraizumi– that starts calling her “his muse”. Clearly paranoid, Ema does her best to void Miki but she is pulled back by his friend and potential yakuza member, Saito Shinjou. Now, these two are determined to make a model out of Ema, even if she resist and tries to avoid them. Will they be able to succeed and what will happen to these 3 along the way?
The story might be simple in some aspects, but it is funny and lets the player see that Ema does grow out of her shell, though it different ways. Each route also has it own set of problems and while there are misunderstandings along the way, everything –both internally and externally– is fixed and it is nice to see Saito be honest about his feelings and Miki show his dedication to both Ema and his craft. There aren’t big, dramatic stories in this game and I am completely fine with how light-hearted and hilarious it can be. Yet, it is great to see that with everything that happens, they are still very dedicated to their dream for Team X and don’t necessarily forget about each other when two of them have started dating.
In terms of the 3P route the story gets forgotten in order to introduce that drama that Saito and Miki have been keeping Ema — that they both like her and want her to choice. First off, the placement of the story is a bit weird since Ema had already slept with one of them and there is no indication in the choices that she necessary needs to be putting attention to the other. The fight between the two boys just ends up leading to it and puts Ema in a strange position that she isn’t used and stresses her out even more so. Some of the character types for Saito and Ema are also lost along the way because they do things that are out of content compared to what the player has seen in the rest of the game, though they might be necessary in order for this route to actually move through. I was sort of happy that their friendship wasn’t forgotten in the “true ending” of this route, even if it is a little weird in the end. Yet, the ending I enjoyed most was when Ema knew that this type of relationship was hurting the team and even though she felt guilty about it, she really didn’t have the power in her to change if it meant losing them. It might have been selfish on her part, but it felt very human as well.
FLML has a lot of hilarious endings and it was a riot going through all of them! However, I do want to quickly point out that translation for this game is wonderfully done. Most of the time, the jokes don’t translate well in VNs, but the work within FLML always has me laughing and at things that didn’t need explaining or were translated badly.
Overall, I really enjoyed the game in terms of both its story and characters, and you don’t really need to see all the scenes in order to appreciate its comedic factor. So, if you are looking for a light-hearted and funny game, consider checking it out on Mangagamer or Steam.