Otome Game Review: Toraware no Palm Refrain

Hello and welcome to yet another Otome game review! I recently finished playing 囚われのパルマ (Toraware no Palm) -Refrain- for Nintendo Switch. I got the chance to snag the game during their 4th Anniversary celebration and the game was discounted to 50% off! I tried my best to make this post as spoiler-free. But I can assure you that I did not go on deeper details, especially everything related to the plot. Also, my Japanese is not very good and everything you'll read is to what I understand it. So I wanna apologize for all the mistakes!

Toraware no Palm -Refrain- was my first ever game from the Toraware no Palm series which is released by Capcom. If I'm not mistaken, this game was originally playable thru mobile (Android and iOS) but got ported into Switch last March 2020. I don't have any background about how the game works but seeing the trailer made me really want to buy this game and I did! :D

The Story

Otome Game Review 囚われのパルマ (Toraware no Palm) -Refrain- Reverie Wonderland

You are walking around the hospital area when you spotted a book and then a guy on the floor, almost lifeless, hearing him said "Melissa." You immediately call for help. A few days later, you got invited to an isolated island, only to find out that the guy you helped out was suspected of being the culprit behind the Ambassador's ambush. He was detained to the island and you got a chance to meet him up close. The guy's name is Chiaki, a lean yet sort of an arrogant guy.

You find out that he doesn't have any memories of what happened before the incident. As you about to leave the island, the jail guard Suda, who assisted you along the way to meet Chiaki, said that you can't leave the island just yet. Since you spotted Chiaki during the incident and you held the book (which was said being the main evidence) and gave to the police, you also was held as a suspect.

And since Chiaki can't remember anything, Suda said that you can help Chiaki by being his "counselor," or the person who can help him solve the case (like an attorney/investigator I think?). So you accepted in order to prove your innocence.

But as you dig deeper, you then realize how deep the case was. Was Chiaki the prime suspect on the Ambassador's ambush? What's behind the book and the name "Melissa"? Was the island is just an ordinary island or does it have something related to the current case? And will the love bloom between you and Chiaki despite the truth about his true personality?

The Characters

Otome Game Review 囚われのパルマ (Toraware no Palm) -Refrain- Reverie Wonderland

Chiaki (CV: Kaito Ishikawa) - He's the only love interest in this game. He's smart, talented yet sarcastic, and a mean guy. He doesn't trust people around him especially you. So when the time came that you decided to tell him your role and reason for staying at the island, he quite loosens up himself to you.

He grew up in Singapore, moved to America, and then spend the rest of his life in Japan. His line of work is related to foreign affairs (and as a translator). He's dexterous - he can write either with his left or right hand (he said its convenient so he could use the other one when the one is injured). He's also multilingual, but most languages that he new are from Southeast Asia.

Chiaki can't remember any details about what happened. But as you investigate and converse to him, he'll slowly remember things and promised to you that he'll only tell such important things to you alone. To be honest, my first feelings for him changed from loving him to hating him (ugh) and loving him all over again. You can see how he'll be so affectionate to you thru words, only to find out that he's just joking around! But eventually, you'll figure out why he has to be like that.

I love how the MC here is so curious about different places within the island and her ideas of giving stuff to Chiaki to make him entertained. The MC will do everything so she could get evidence on her hands and will tell to Chiaki, no matter how Chiaki wanted us to not get involved anymore and tries to shove us away.

Otome Game Review 囚われのパルマ (Toraware no Palm) -Refrain- Reverie Wonderland
Suda (left) and Moji (right). Image source here.

Suda (CV: Takahiro Sakurai) - The oh-so-shady jail guard! Suda is a keen guy and has a passion for good food with an alcoholic drink at the side. The best cockblocker on the game (lol!). When things get interesting or romantic, he then knocks on the door and will tell you guys that it already times up... Suda has a big role in this game.

Moji (CV: Tatsuhisa Suzuki) - The geeky library guy who loves building plastic figures (I assume its like gunpla or something) and can make his way to access the Internet or other information outside the island premises (like a hacker genius). His role in this game is very vital as he'll help you to gather the information you need to solve the case and mysteries.

There are other characters in this game. Take note that this game is not fully voiced (except Chiaki). So mostly you'll be reading dialogs alone for the side characters.

The Music, Arts/Graphics

Otome Game Review 囚われのパルマ (Toraware no Palm) -Refrain- Reverie Wonderland

AMAZING. Everything is freaking amazing! I love how this game is so interactive. The art style is almost realistic that definitely makes Chiaki looking very, very handsome on his CGs. The BGM is relaxing as well. If I remember it right, it changed when I reached Chapter 5 or 6 and I really like the tune even more.

And for sure you guys are aware that you can interact with Chiaki within this game. It's in 3D!

The Game Navigation

Otome Game Review 囚われのパルマ (Toraware no Palm) -Refrain- Reverie Wonderland

The game navigation is easy to understand. Once Suda gave you a mobile phone that you can use on the island premises, you will encounter the app called SABOT. The cutie cactus mascot will tell you everything that you have to remember. The plot-related quests will be marked as "!!" while extras are marked as "!" and be sure to finish them as you play per chapter. With SABOT, you can exchange messages to people, especially Chiaki (it's cute when he uses stickers when replying). You can also check him out as it contains a CCTV feature. I love watching him from time to time! The first time I saw him out from the shower for the first time made me blush (lol)

Otome Game Review 囚われのパルマ (Toraware no Palm) -Refrain- Reverie Wonderland

This game has an auto-save feature but its much better to go to the title screen once you plan to rest on playing so you won't accidentally lose your progress.

Skinship - This is my favorite feature ever! Since you can visit and chat with Chiaki despite the glass in between, you will be prompted to do skinship with him. You can touch his hand, make a pinky promise, touch the glass with your forehead so you can lean closer to him, and my favorite is both of us sharing a song duet together!

Otome Game Review 囚われのパルマ (Toraware no Palm) -Refrain- Reverie Wonderland

Eye-contact - Another notable feature in this game. If you're serious about your statement, look at him directly. If you're feeling shy, look sideways. Guys! Be sure to enjoy these moments especially during the 'Memorial Meeting.' He's such a damn tease and I love it! His dialogs will change depends on what movement you'll do. But take note that there are times that you don't have to tap the screen to get his attention, especially when he's deep in thought.

Otome Game Review 囚われのパルマ (Toraware no Palm) -Refrain- Reverie Wonderland

Mini-game - Yes! There's a mini-game available. You can choose what you want Chiaki to wear for you! If you are a butler-tyle of person, teacher, bad schoolboy, a foreigner from Hawaii, or my favorite, the doctor-type, you can enjoy this mini-game as Chiaki will feed you with Pocky! You have to beat the time limit by eating the amount of Pocky sticks needed. Gosh, this game is so entertaining! And you guys can eat Pocky sticks together too (>////////<)

Overall rating and final thoughts

4.7 / 5.0

Sigh... The feeling of desperation to feel him, hold his hand, and hug him... it still lingers on my system until now! It's hard when you want to hold the person who's so dear to you but you just can't, its so dang frustrating! The feeling of wanting to say out loud what you really feel about him, he'll cockblock you to not say anything because things are so freaking complicated and it honestly made me cry (T^T) I can't count how many times I held my breath every time we talk... And guys, imagine experiencing this kind of feeling on a game. It feels amazing that a certain game can make you feel those emotions...

Definitely a high rating for one of the amazing Otome games I've played so far! Toraware no Palm -Refrain- can give and awaken lots of feelings in you, especially when you really immerse yourself with the suspense and mysteries. Chiaki is such an amazing guy and I love him so much! I can't rate the game as a perfect flat 5.0 because I feel like the endings were kind of rush, but still, all the 3 endings are amazing for their own.

I badly wish the Capcom will localize this game so that more people will get to play this gem! I highly recommend playing this like big time. Now I wanna play the other Toraware no Palm games. I'm waiting for yet another sale (lol!)

Date finished: 24 Sept 2020
Platform: Nintendo Switch

Thank you so much for reading!

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