Otome Game Review: The Charming Empire

Hello and welcome to another Otome Game review! I recently finished The Charming Empire (played using Nintendo Switch) and well, it was a nice read and a good game to enjoy the voices of some of the popular Seiyuus. This review will contain spoilers but I will not dive into greater details as much as possible.

Game Details

Release Date: March 2018
Developer: OperaHouse
Publisher: D3 Publisher
Voiced: Yes / Japanese
Language: English / Japanese
Platform: Digital. Nintendo Switch / Steam

The Story

Otome Game Review The Charming Empire Reverie Wonderland

The Charming Empire
is about the heroine, with default name as Amane Kosaka (name changing is available), a simple country girl who lives a peaceful life with her "grandparents." She's enjoying her normal life when all of a sudden, everything has changed. She was taken away to live in the main city, specifically in the empire, by her brother Soshi Amazaki, who's the current ruler. She was given tasks such as learning manners and how to conduct herself as a princess. Along the way, she then finds out what is the real reason why she was taken to the palace and the shocking truth that the governance is corrupted and people are planning to do a revolution against the government.

The Characters

Otome Game Review The Charming Empire Reverie Wonderland

Toki Tanba (CV: Kakihara Tetsuya) - He's your regular cafe owner who owns a very charming smile and is popular among the girls in town. After the private lesson with the tutor assigned to Amane, she sneaked out to explore the town and that's where she met Tanba. She spent more time with him and found out that he's actually leading the group of rebels who plans to destroy the current government.

I'm quite surprised about Tanba's character because he was this big personality behind being the charming cafe owner. In his route, Amane has been persistent to help him run the cafe that he has to sneak out almost every time just to see Tanba. In terms of romance, it was alright. Tanba has been showing his fondness to Amane but been also trying to distance himself because he thinks that he's a rich girl (and in fact, a princess). His normal ending is... quite sad.

Otome Game Review The Charming Empire Reverie Wonderland

Kei Yoshimine (CV: Toshiki Masuda) - He's in charge to teach Amane some etiquettes and academic stuff that she needs to learn. Kei is a well-mannered guy and is 2 years older than Amane. What's behind Kei's upbringing? Well, he's actually the prince of the opposing country. His parents got killed during the war and Soshi brought or kidnapped him to his palace.

Kei is a straight-forward guy. He's so cute when he's shy! He tells what's on his mind and I am amused at how he fought against Soshi on a Swordfight. I love how he became honest with his feeling for Amane! I didn't enjoy his normal ending though...

Otome Game Review The Charming Empire Reverie Wonderland

Koichiro Sera (CV: Takuya Eguchi) - The very tall bodyguard who is almost 24 hours on your side (lol). He's a man of few words and has huge experience in terms of sword fighting. 

Sera is... his tsundere tendencies are high (lol). He's not as honest as Kei but is always on the lookout for Amane (which is very amusing to see). I honestly like how Amane has been quite persistent in talking to each love interest, especially with the quiet guy like Sera. I don't like his normal ending either that I don't know why it was called "normal" when I personally think it is a bad ending (lol).

Otome Game Review The Charming Empire Reverie Wonderland

Kagemitsu Togawa (CV: Toshiyuki Toyonaga) - Soshi's kind-hearted adviser. The three of them (Amane, Soshi, and Kagemitsu) are actually childhood friends. Kagemitsu ended up as Amane's tutor as well. He's soft and affectionate to Amane since they know each other since childhood but has a strong will to take down the government as well.

I love his route because it gives you a definite highlight of their friendship. And honestly, Kagemitsu's normal ending is passable for me compared to the rest of the guys.

Otome Game Review The Charming Empire Reverie Wonderland

Soshi Amazaki (CV: Kenjiro Tsuda) - The current ruler of the country and is your half brother. Some people think he's very strict, some think that he's very kind. He's a hard worker and tries to find his free time to spend with Amane when she requested.

Soshi's route is more detailed and quite longer compared to the other love interest. So I highly recommend playing his route last. And are they blood-related? Yes (half). So... if you are uncomfortable with the idea of a brother-sister romance, his route might not be for you.

For the other 4 routes, he's quite a bastard but became kind at the almost end of each story. I just felt sad that on happy/normal endings on the other guys, its either he'll die or he can't be found. His route's happy ending is the best one that I like among the love interest.

The Music, Arts/Graphics

Otome Game Review The Charming Empire Reverie Wonderland

I love the art style! Can definitely say that the CG illustrations are well-proportioned. But disappointed at how short the CG will appear on the game. I feel like after 3 or 4 frames, boom, the CG is gone...

The background music is good as well. It's not boring and not repetitive. I wish this could have more sound effects though but it is not that bad having less (I guess).

The Game Navigation

Otome Game Review The Charming Empire Reverie Wonderland

I hate that you can't repeat the dialogs. You can only read the log. Other controls are pretty easy to understand since it is indicated on the game screen.

Overall rating and Final Thoughts

3.5 / 5.0

Gave an extra 0.5 on the rating because I really love Otome games with voice. And to think that the Seiyuus involve in this game are popular names! It makes me wonder why Tsuda Kenjiro always gets the villain-turned-to-be-a-good-guy-actually type of character. It was good that I played Yunohana Spring (lol). And Egu's voice acting here... woah I'm so surprised at how deep his voice can go!

The game is not that long. It feels like you are reading a Voltage game in terms of the frame count per chapter. The plot is linear for all the love interest. It's just that Soshi's route contained more details about the whole plot. Can't totally say that the whole story is shallow. It is passable for me. Loopholes are around and at some point, the endings for some characters made me feel awkward for some reason...

It is a good read if you are looking for something different and have an *ahem* kink for sibling romance (lol Japan loves this kind of thing, huh). If you are interested in this kind of story, I want to recommend getting The Charming Empire when its on sale. Its cheaper at Steam, in case that you can also enjoy playing Otome Games thru PC.

Date finished: 25 Sept 2020
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Favorite character ranking: Soshi > Kagemitsu > Sera > Kei > Tanba
Recommended playthrough: Tanba > Kei > Sera > Kagemitsu > Soshi

Thank you so much for reading!

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