…Enough to finish everyone’s routes. I wasn’t really expecting to like it, since I didn’t like most moege I’ve tried, especially the stuff localized by MangaGamer. Shuffle! was a huge disappointment, and I got bored with Da Capo really quickly. Yet somehow, I finished Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru despite it having even less plot than those two. I don’t really know why this happened at all. I certainly won’t say OtoBoku is higher quality or anything, since there is no plot, the characters are run-of-the-mill moege archetypes, and they stay flat for the entire visual novel. Even the setting can’t be called very interesting, being an all-girls Catholic high school. So why did I actually bother finishing it, and finding myself smiling at some of the endings?
Well, here are some reasons I’ve come up with:
1) I had no expectations going into it, unlike Shuffle! where I thought things were actually going to be good, due to being new to eroge at that time.
2) I just finished Muramasa, and needed something to cool my mind like a simple moege that’s in English and requires no working of the brain.
3) My actual school life is shit right now with annoying projects and pre-exams stress that other stressed people inflict on me, so a peaceful school life with cute girls doing cute things without heavy worries is good for escapism.
4) When I’m procrastinating on projects, my standards for entertainment are lowered considerably.
I guess it goes without saying that slice-of-life eroge with no plot and cute girls doing cute things are enjoyable when your real life isn’t going so well. It’s good stress relief. It’s natural, that when real life is stressful and hectic, an idealized everyday moege life can be quite enjoyable to watch. On the contrary, when real life is dull and repetitive (i.e. summer vacation when I have absolutely no work to do), one strives for adventure and excitement, and turns to complex, engaging plots or hot-blooded chuuni stories. There are wonderful eroge that can be enjoyed no matter what, but most other things require the right mood in the player/reader to be enjoyable.
I still hesitate to actually recommend OtoBoku, since it would be a guilty pleasure of mine at best. Even Neptunia would make a more enjoyable moege with quirkier characters IMO. I glad I have low expectations nowadays instead of heading into an eroge with the “hmph, impress me” attitude.