An energetic eroge with wacky school hijinks, warrior girls, fighting, and fabulous friendship! This might just be the most fun I’ve had with a school life eroge, although said school life may be a little atypical. Anyway, Majikoi is about a group of friends named the Kazama Family, led by Kazama Shouichi, who happens to call himself Capt. It’s a group of 3 girls and 4 guys who met during childhood, although there will soon be two new additions to the group. All the girls happen to be fighters, while the protagonist Naoe Yamato acts as the tactician of the group. Together, they enjoy high school life in Kawakami City, which holds the famous temple of the same name and has many strong fighters. It’s a city that consists of many people with hidden powers, and even conflicts within the school are resolved with fighting.
As this is largely a (ridiculously eventful) school life eroge, there is no driving plot to speak of. At least not until the individual routes. Majikoi’s strength lies in its hilarious and unique cast with a strong group dynamic, and over-the-top school events that are a direct result of having a martial arts master as the principal and ridiculously powerful (in more ways than one) students. The events in the common route are really fun and lively, without even trying for realism or real life logic. It’s like the common route of Little Busters! on steroids. The pacing is quite good, since the scenes rarely drag on.
The heroine routes have varying degrees romance, and sometimes develop into a more serious plot, but are great in that they don’t lose the liveliness of the common route. The best routes are the ones that hype up into a large battle and bring in hot-blooded moments, since the actual serious plots aren’t that outstanding. In Majikoi, the ridiculous moments are the best. It’s not really designed to bring out strong emotions, but shines in comedy and characters.
There is a true route, which focuses on the group’s friendship and brings forth the most hot-blooded moments in the eroge, since there is a legitimately threatening conflict at play. I consider it my favorite route, since it is the most exciting in terms of plot with conflict. Plus, I largely prefer the focus on group dynamics over one-on-one romance in Majikoi. Not that the latter is bad, since the relationships between Yamato and the girls made sense and felt quite natural in progression from friends to lovers.
There’s a couple of side routes for side characters like the male friends and some female classmates. They’re not really necessary and are quite short, dealing with smaller issues. You don’t miss much by skipping them, unless you want to spend some time with your bros or see an ero-scene with a side heroine.
Well, the characters are definitely what make Majikoi so entertaining. The Kazama family are certainly a fun bunch, not to mention the countless unique side characters that don’t get ignored or pushed aside. Their interactions are really great.
Naoe Yamato – the protagonist, and also the tactician of the group. He’s the one who comes up with strategies and plans. He spends his time building connections with people in order to gain power, and practicing ways of cheating in mahjong and card games. Also has an obsessive love for hermit crabs. A pretty awesome guy, especially for a school-life eroge protagonist.
Kawakami Momoyo – The successor of Kawakami Temple, and crazy strong. She sees Yamato as a little brother, and likes to tease him when she is bored. Momoyo being Momoyo, that is very often since there is a significant lack of people who can match her in fighting. Fighting is her hobby, but she has been prohibited from picking fights on her own, and can only wait for (usually disappointing) challengers.
Momoyo is an awesomely powerful teasing onee-san, who also likes to hit on girls around her because “there are no good guys around.” She’s basically the trump card for every fight, since there is nothing that can stop her. In Majikoi, powerful martial artists can catch bullets and win against the German army by themselves and send blasts into space while NASA just shrugs it off. Her route is less about romance and more about a full-scale war between students. All her eroscenes are in her after story, since her route didn’t leave much room for icharabu.
Kawakami Kazuko – Momoyo’s adopted little sister, who wants to become strong and is aiming for the position of assistant director at Kawakami Temple. She’s the hard-working, energetic type. She is not quite as strong, but she trains hard every day. Her nickname is Wanko because she is like a puppy, and will come running when Yamato blows his whistle. Her weapon is a naginata.
Her route gives her some character development, but I didn’t like the way they did it. I mean, the message made sense in the end, but somewhere down the path they hammer you with the idea that If you don’t have talent, you can’t make up for it with hard work. Plus, every other path (including Lu-sensei’s words in the true route) seem to contradict the message in Wanko’s route. Nonetheless, I love Wanko so most of her route is rather entertaining.
Shiina Miyako – Hopelessly in love with Yamato, she wakes Yamato up every morning by pressing her boobs against his face, and stalks and tries various sexual advances on him. He’s stated mutliple times that he wants to remain friends for now, but that ain’t stopping her! Outside of the group, she is rather cool and aloof. A powerful archer who is also decent at hand-to-hand combat.
Her route brings forth conflict within the Kazama Family, and forces Miyako to develop by opening up to others outside of their group and becoming more social in general. Basically, she has to grow out of her aloof archetype and become more independent rather than just relying on Yamato and friends. It’s one of the more serious routes in the eroge, and decently done. Feels somewhat like Rin’s route in Little Busters! if it went just as planned.
Christiane Friederich – Or however the heck you spell her last name. A transfer student from Germany who has the wrong idea about Japan and still strongly believes in the samurai spirit and justice. She has a strong sense of justice, and initially doesn’t get along with Yamato due to his preference for cheating ways and utilization of the grey zone. She also loves stuffed animals, and wields a rapier.
Her route is the one full of icharabu, and unsurprisingly, features the “daddy does not approve of boyfriend” plot. Her father is a high-ranking officer in the German Army, who will not hesitate to start WWIII if some man gets his hands on his daughter. I’m pretty sick of the disapproving father drama in general, but the route ended up being fun at the end since a group of high school students literally fought against the German Army and then some, and won. It was so out there that it made the most cliche conflict enjoyable.
Mayuzumi Yukie – A shy first-year student who really wants to make friends. However, she looks scary when nervous and carries a katana around due to being the daughter of a famous swordsman, so no one approaches her–with the exception of the already eccentric Kazama Family, that is. She often talks to her cellphone strap Matsukaze, which happens to be some sort of shikigami and was her only friend.
Her route was an action-filled one where a full-scale battle royale tournament took place across Kawakami and its neighbouring city. Aside from that, it also follows Mayucchi as she tries to make friends, beginning with a cute classmate that doesn’t seem to have that many friends either.
Kazama Shouichi – The leader of the Kazama family. He is a guy who is like the wind, randomly going off on adventures and doing unpredictable things. He behaves like a kid and is popular with the girls. Also thinks he is a hero, and doesn’t listen to others. Always seems to help out and steal the spotlight when our protagonist is in a pinch. Completely dense when it comes to the feelings of girls.
Shimazu Gakuto – A muscular guy who likes to work out at the gym and claims to be a nice guy (which isn’t exactly false). He is desperate for a girlfriend (but only wants a sexy older lady–kouhais not allowed!), but women don’t seem to give him the time of the day.
Morooka Takuya – Perhaps the most “normal” member of the group. He’s a shy guy who can’t look other girls in the eye, and lacks athletic ability. He makes it up by being the resident computer otaku and tsukkomi. Also secretly a pervert, and looks great in twintails when crossdressing.
As you see, the cast isn’t exactly small, since I’ve only described the main group. There’s countless side characters as well.
Wow I’m getting lazier by the day, not even bothering to separate the rest into different categories. Music is great when it comes to tracks that get you hot-blooded, with an awesome vocal insert song at crucial scenes. I love the OST.
Art is rather good as well, when it comes to anatomy and such. The CG style and character design is surprisingly ordinary for such a wacky eroge, but I guess samurai girls don’t need such flashy designs. Production value is pretty good. A bunch of side characters have portraits and everyone barring the protagonist is voiced. The opening movie is fully animated as well.
I don’t have many complaints when it comes to the presentation.
A highly enjoyable eroge for those looking for comedy and over-the-top situations, as well as fabulous friendship. It’s by no means plot-driven or serious on a whole, and don’t come in expecting good drama or something (although I found the true to be quite good). The best things about Majikoi are the great character interactions and ridiculous moments. Also fight scenes and samurai girls. I found absolutely no main heroine to be annoying or a bore, and everyone gets their moments of awesome.
Majikoi is probably my ideal slice-of-life (albeit the “life” in question is highly unrealistic).