Era of Samurai: Code of Love

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Company: Voltage

Cost: Pay per route

Synopsis: After having lost her father, the MC is carrying on his legacy and running a small clinic in Kyoto. Even though things are getting violent in the capital as clashes between the “wolves”, the Chonsu, and ronin are becoming more common, the MC’s life is fairly peaceful and removed from the battles. That is until one night when some samurai on the run burst into her clinic, take her hostage, and then set fire to the only home she’s ever known. The MC is saved by the Shinsengumi, the infamous Wolves of Mibu themselves, but the arsonists get away. The MC is taken back to their headquarters and is offered a place to stay at least until the arsonists are caught and she is no longer in danger. Just as she agrees to be their temporary medical officer, the Shinengumi need to move out once more and someone needs to stay behind to watch over the MC

MC: She is the daughter of a doctor who hopes to one day become a doctor herself. She is determined to treat and same whomever she can, regardless of who they are because her father taught her the value of life. She has been somewhat sheltered so her new living situation can be too much for her at times, especially since the only men she has really been around are her father and her father’s elderly patients. Having lived on her own for a while, she is pretty capable of taking care of herself under ordinary circumstances, but she also keeps a low profile and avoids confrontations. She is a pacifist and hates violence and bloodshed. Since the Shinsengumi have a terrible reputation about town and that is all she’s heard of them, the MC is understandably fearful and apprehensive about the Shinsengumi themselves. To her credit, the MC is a capable medic, and when she gets more comfortable she isn’t afraid to hold her ground

Guys:

  • Hajime Saizo: The number two swordsman of the Shinsengumi. He is very calm and quiet, and he moves like a ninja
  • Isami Kondo: The leader of the Shinsengumi who’s ideals caused everyone else to follow him. He’s very fatherly, cheerful, and quick to act (especially behind the scenes) when he needs to
  • Sanosuke Harada: A stoic and brave spearman. He doesn’t talk much and is quick to fight
  • Shin: The owner of a new restaurant, Otento, which is popular among the local girls for its good looking staff. He is courteous , polite, and somewhat of a mystery
  • Soji Okita: The number one swordsman in the Shinsengumi. He is both a perceptive people person and a ruthless fighter
  • Toshizo Hijikata: The “demonic” deputy general. He’s super strict and has a mean glare, but he definitely has many surprising cute points

Impressions: I’m a huge fan of Souji Okita as a historical figure/representation/icon so anything with him or some interpretation of him in it immediately gets my interest; so I’m favorably biased towards this game just on the premise of it being a Shinsengumi game.

Let’s get the inevitable Hakuoki talk out of the way first, feel free to skip this paragraph if you don’t want to hear it. It is inevitable that there are similarities Hakuoki since Hakuoki is just that big and it was the first big otoge in the USA and is probably one of the biggest otoge franchises worldwide so of course it is going to affect things, but Era of Samurai: Code of Love also needs to be accepted as it’s own thing even beyond the lack of the fantasy element. The games play differently, partially stemming from this one being a mobile game with more limitations on it. There is also a matter of the companies having their own flavor. Otomate will do things that Voltage would never think of (like a bad ending), and Voltage also applies its own flavor to things. And let’s just face it, Hakuoki doesn’t own the Shinsengumi people.

The game is very pretty, and Voltage is trying out some basic animations and transitions which work at times but sees just silly at others (and the eye opening and closing transition is seriously overused). The background music is nice enough, and the mix of love interest is pretty standard for a Voltage game with a couple of twists that help it match with some of the well known historical character traits. The voiced videos make a reappearance as a bonus for buying the ending set, but in this case they also introduce a little bit of His Pov into those videos which I found to be a pleasant addition

Although this game won’t make it as one of my favorite Voltage games every, much less otoge, I rather enjoyed it. It doesn’t try too hard to flinch away from the fact that people are dying off screen and I feel that it tries to be respectful of the historical source material, even as it romanticizes it. Of course this game does check off a lot of the boxes on my like list: Soji Okita, traditional clothing, bloodspatter, an MC that is actually useful

Favorite Guy: Okita

Favorite Route: Okita

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