In the late 2000’s or so, Looseboy was quite a popular eroge writer for Sharin no Kuni, Himawari no Shoujo and G-senjou no Maou. His main genre was “human drama,” which showed through quite strongly in both of his works (more in the former than the latter). He was also supposed to be one of the writers in Taiyou no Ko (probably dead), a collaboration eroge that was announced at around the same time as Key’s Rewrite, which was also a collaboration with famous names except it actually came out in a timely manner. Anyway, if you’ve been following eroge for a decent amount of time you’ve probably heard of the guy and maybe, at one point, was hyped for his stuff.
He kinda went without attaching his name to anything major for a long time, but came out with Boku no Hitori Sensou last month. Unlike his previous works, this is a medium-priced, single-heroine eroge. It’s also probably better off that way.
It’s pretty obvious that the guy still is still using the tricks he liked to use 10 years ago (holy shit, Sharin is old). The first hour of the game is presented in a novel-style format with vertical text, and is a completely unnecessary bait-and-switch where it makes you think Eiji is the protagonist before revealing that Renji is actually the real protagonist and the former disappears until almost the end of the story. If anything, this part only serves to raise the wrong expectations for the remainder of the game into being suspenseful like Sharin/G-sen, when in fact Bokusen is later revealed to be an honest tale about friendship. I haven’t read the trials so I can’t comment on them, but I assume that this bait-and-switch was used to draw more people to buy the game, since it does seem like the kind of thing that Looseboy sells on.
The setting is on a smaller scale than Sharin or G-sen, being in a town in the countryside. I suppose that makes it closer to Sharin, as well as its structure where it focuses on one character at a time. Renji is already Rumi at the beginning, and he will definitely still be dating her by the end, so there are no branching routes or even any choices in the novel. Since none of his previous VNs were very good in terms of a branching plot (Sharin was almost linear aside from your choice of heroine, G-sen…was for Haru and you know it), this approach didn’t bother me much at all…except that everyone else ended up being more interesting than the main heroine.
But even though there’s only one heroine, the rest of the characters get their times in the spotlight and get some good development. Yuka and Shinobu, in particular, have a touching friendship arc going on that provided some of the most emotional moments in the game. In comparison, the climax and ending stretch were underwhelming and happened too fast. You can barely feel the same catharsis that went on in Sharin, so even though the ending was nice (if conventional) it doesn’t feel as satisfying. The emotional impact peaked at around the middle with the third character’s arc. Also there aren’t any brick-shitting twists and the power of the red herring is a lot weaker this time around.
With that said, the characters, pacing, and flow of the novel are its strong points. The text and dialogue felt quite natural this time around, and the story moves at a decent pace so you don’t get the long stretches of downtime like in Sharin and most of the scenes are engaging and never get dragged out for long. The problem is the supernatural setting, which wasn’t all that exciting, and only served to move the characters and their relationships. Had the game been longer they could have fleshed out the 会 more, and perhaps put its gimmicks to better use. Most of the characters get a personality change in the 会 to presumably show their true character, but that aspect gets wasted since the gimmick thins out with later participants. The battles are kind of just there, but are hardly the selling point.
It may not be the next Sharin or G-sen, and Looseboy probably won’t regain his fame with this title, but Bokusen was overall a solid read. I don’t think anyone was expecting a masterpiece or anything since it’s a medium-price title with one heroine, anyways. But it’s good to know that the writer still has his touch, and the package is still very much a Looseboy work. The other stuff like music and visuals are good, with nice tracks all around and much better art than previous games with this artist. Alpha sure improved his coloring after all these years. The game also has good compression and optimization, keeping a small install size and being so light on resources that my tablet doesn’t heat up like it does with the typical VN.
The ero was boring. There were 5 scenes total, all of the same Rumi, and all quite vanilla. She was cute but the moans sounded more painful than lewd.
P.S. Shinobu is the best girl. She’s also the least romantically involved with the protagonist, which is a refreshing development, to be honest. She had the best interactions with Renji.