Release Date: 30th August 2018
Length: ~25 Hours
Links: Official Site, VNDB
This game takes place at the turn on the 20th century in the Italian port town of Burlone, sometimes known as the “backdoor to Italy”. For the past number of years, the town has been controlled by three different mafia organisations:
- Falzone – the first mafia group in Burlone which controls the largest area (called Falce). They only allow Italians to join their family.
- Visconti – the Visconti family was originally founded by members of the Burlone family who were unhappy at the “Italians Only” policy and wanted to recruit the large number of immigrants living in the town. They are the second-largest mafia in the town and control an area known as Creta.
- Lao-Shu – This group is made up of members of the Chinese mafia “Liu Huang Hui” (六凰会) who were sent overseas to spread the group’s presence in Europe. They are the smallest of Burlone’s mafia and control the area of Veleno but have ambitions to take over the entire town. They are known for there violence and for introducing drugs to Veleno.
The protagonist Liliana lives in Arca, the neutral area of Burlone and has lived a sheltered life in the church there but is pulled into the world of the mafia through a series of incidents. Just what do these three groups want with her?
Liliana is an orphan who was raised by the church in Burlone and knows little of her parents. She prefers to be called “Lily” by her friends and acquaintances. She has been very sheltered and hasn’t ventured outside of Arca very often. She spends most of her time helping look after the other children living in the church and doing other charitable work. Lily is a very polite young woman and is also a great cook, especially when it comes to deserts and pastries.
Dante Falzone (CV Ishikawa Kaito)
After the death of his father a couple of years ago, Dante was appointed as the new Capo of the Falzone mafia. Despite his young age, he is incredibly mature and can appear cold at first. He cares greatly about Burlone and the Falzone family, putting their wishes above his own. He often worries about whether he is doing a good enough job as Capo and living up to his late father.
Nicola Francesca (CV Kimura Ryouhei)
Nicola is the second in command of the Falzone mafia and is Dante’s right hand man. He’s also Dante’s cousin and the pair have known each other since they were children, with Nicola thinking of Dante as a younger-brother. Nicola is a huge flirt and is very popular with women. He’s a very smooth-talker but it can be difficult to know what he’s thinking.
Gilbert Redford (CV Morikubo Shoutarou)
Gilbert is the leader of the Visconti mafia. He is half-American and grew up in Chicago before moving back to Italy with his mother as a boy. He cares a lot for Burlone and its people, leading the people of Creta to adore him as well. He believes that the Falzone mafia have a backwards way of thinking and believes everyone would be happier under his command.
Yang (CV Okamoto Nobuhiko)
Yang was a high-ranking member of a Chinese mafia before he came over to Burlone to lead the “Lao-Shu”. He takes enjoyment from annoying others and seems to live by his own rules, often lacking conventional manners. He’s a very violent person and a skilled warrior, whom is feared by his enemies. He’s impossible to predict.
Orlok (CV Toyonaga Toshiyuki)
Orlok works as an informant and sells secrets to all three mafias. Little is known about his past but he appears to be a very religious person. Outside of work, he seems to have an interest in Lily and often acts in an almost child-like manner. He’s incredibly skilled at fighting with knives.
Artwork and character design for this game was handled by Riri, whom has previously worked on a few of Otomate’s other otome games, such as Binary Star & Yunohana Spring.
Opening: Nocturnal – Mao & Oda Kaori
Ending 1: Kazabana ~White Winter Lily~ – SHOJI
Ending 2: Whispering Hope – Oda Kaori
Ending 3: Fault – Mao
The game’s BGM was composed by Wada Shunsuke, a fairly prolific composer for TV and stage plays, although this is the first otome game he appears to have worked on. The game has 17 BGM tracks.
This game has a pretty standard system but lacks the traditional common route and only has a pretty short prologue.
Most of the routes are locked at the beginning though, with the game having almost an identical “unlocking” pattern as Yuukyuu no Teirblade:
- Only Nicola & Dante’s routes are unlocked at first
- After finishing one of those routes, Yang & Orlok’s routes are unlocked
- Once you’ve finished all four of those routes, Gilbert’s route is unlocked
- Finally, once you’ve finished Gilbert’s route, the “Finale” route is unlocked
Each of the characters have 3 endings – Best, Good & Bad. All have dedicated CGs & ending movies but there are also numerous other “Game Over” type bad endings littered about in each route.
This game does have a “progress check” screen but, interestingly, it only counts endings in routes as progress, rather than the ends of each chapter (and doesn’t really weight the endings particularly “fairly” in my opinion), so don’t be alarmed if you’ve finished a route and it only shows 20% progress.
I actually finished this game back at the start of November so I legit have no idea what took me so long to write this? Anyways, after being disappointed a few times in the past I was hoping that we’d finally get a decent mafia otome game – were my initial thoughts proven correct?
Overall, I do feel like this game really manages to get across its setting well – there’s actually a movie played at the beginning of the game that explains the whole set-up and history of Burlone which I appreciated. I personally really liked the setting and thought that it was fairly unique (I can’t think of any other otome games else set in 1920’s Italy?). There’s also a lot of effort put into the usage of Italian (and other languages on occasion) into conversations; thank goodness for the glossary – although I did laugh that they defined curse words simply as “Italian slang”! I also liked how some of the system features reminded me of an old-fashioned film and feel like there was definitely a lot of effort and thought put into this game by its creators, especially when it came down to these little touches.
Lily is actually a fairly decent heroine and I think that she copes pretty well with the situations she’s thrown into considering the time period and her upbringing. While she isn’t particularly proactive all of the time, she does try her best to make the best of a bad situation and I thought that she could be quite funny at times – was it mean that I laughed when she tried to escape from the Falzone manor by tying her bedsheets together and jumping off the balcony? I also liked that she appears in a fair amount of CGs throughout the game and she actually changes clothes/hairstyle regularly (she’s so pretty anyways!).
Okay, first of our love interests is Dante – whom is your typical Kuudere. Despite his route being available to play from the get-go he almost seems to be the closest thing to a “true” route in this game so that was weird. I actually really enjoyed most of his route and thought that Dante was ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE, especially as the romance in his route was more of a slow-burn compared with some of the others. I literally couldn’t take my eyes off the screen as I painstakingly waited for the pair to get closer. He’s such a good boy!!!!!
Next is Yang, whom I’m going to assume will be pretty polarizing – it may sound stereotypical but you’re either going to love him or hate him. Since I don’t mind violent and trashy characters, I actually loved him a lot and found him to be really fascinating. While he can definitely be incredibly cruel, I did enjoy the way that he just lives the way he wants and doesn’t let anything (or anyone) stand in his way. He’s very hard to read but I do think that he has real feelings for Lily, especially towards the end of his route. Yang’s route is also the most smutty, which was totally a bonus. His bad ending was pretty brutal though.
Orlok was the character I was most interested in before starting the game (he’s so cuuuuute) but while reading his route all I could think was “oh dear, this isn’t going to end well” and the whole thing just kept getting worse for poor Orlok. He does get a happy ending (although it feels a little rushed/convenient) but I’m mostly salty because his only kiss CG is in his bad ending (which was very sad btw). I love Orlok a lot too and think that he’s an angel that deserves happiness. A. Good. Boy.
I actually feel rather bad for Nicola and Gilbert since they’re both really good characters that would probably stand out/ be very popular in most other games but since Yang and Dante are such amazing/interesting characters (and Orlok is an angel who must be protected) they kinda seem almost dull (?) in comparison.
I played Nicola’s route first and generally enjoyed it & found him to be a decent character. Gilbert’s route is locked because of the way it relates to the “Finale” route rather than his story being something that should be locked (does that make sense?) so, while he’s hella cute, I found his route is almost slightly underwhelming in that regard. He’s still probably the overall nicest guy in the game though.
This game actually has a pretty large cast of sub-characters from a wide range of backgrounds and I really liked most of them. It’s funny though how your opinions of them change depending on which route you’re in/which “faction” you’re staying with. For example, I never liked the twins (Lan & Fei) whom are Yang’s underlings at all when I first played the game but after playing Yang’s route I grew to adore them so much and realised that each side in this mafia turf war is just doing what they think is “right”. I definitely thought that this game was good at giving you different “perspectives” on the setting/story.
The “Finale” route focuses on a side character (and also has one of those “true” endings where Lily ends up with no-one and everything is relatively peaceful) and it’s pretty obvious who it’s going to be. I thought this route was okay but there were other sub-characters whom I thought would also have had interesting routes so was mildly annoyed. It needs to be said here that Leo is adorable and I loved him so much – he needs a route if they ever make a sequel/fandisc for this game – it was such a shame that he’s not in any CGs as he had some cute scenes with Lily!
The game’s overall story is pretty decent and I felt that all of the routes were very well paced with none feeling like they dragged on for too long and the game is actually a pretty good length (around 4+ hours per route, although Dante took me almost 6 hours for some reason?). My one complaint would be the use of fantasy/supernatural elements in a couple of route which felt kinda out-of-place and detracted from the main themes of the game.
As I have mentioned in previous reviews, I’m not a big fan of bad endings that turn the characters into yanderes for no reason. However, the bad endings in this game (which are all a decent length and have a couple of CGs) actually feel plausible and the situations featured are all dark and horrific enough that I feel the characters have understandable reactions. It was definitely interesting reading these and I believe that these amplified the “dangerous” aspect of the setting which is something you want in a game like this!
The BGM in the game was of very high quality and I adored it so much that I bought the soundtrack – I really enjoyed how jazzy some of the tracks were. The voice acting was excellent as expected for such a high-caliber cast. Ishikawa is too good at voicing kuuderes and Toyonaga needs to voice more of these cutesy characters.
As expected, the artwork by Riri was absolutely gorgeous. Literally no complaints here and I ordered the fanbook so I can gaze at even larger versions of the CGs. There’s a fair amount of CGs in the game but I almost wish that there were some featuring the sub-characters or perhaps multiple main characters since there’s very few of those.
The system of the game was fine & I liked the “Meanwhile Story” system that lets you view events featuring other characters and perspectives that pop-up all the way throughout the game. It was slightly annoying that there was no button assigned to it though and you have to use the touchscreen to click on the icon but that was really a very small complaint.
My Score: 8.5/10
Finally a good mafia otome game – yay! I adored this game so much and thought that the setting was well-developed, the routes were interesting and the characters were all pretty good. There is a considerable amount of violence and bloodshed in this game though (as they really try to get the “reality” of the situation across) so if you’re not a fan of that then maybe give this a miss.
Since I’ve already bought the OST & Fanbook I guess I’ll just sit here praying for a fandisc – the best endings were all pretty open-ended so you could definitely continue them! A route for Leo ( + Emilio & Robin) would be great too! Since this came out pretty close to the end of the PS Vita “era” at Otomate, it’ll be pretty interesting to see if this gets a switch port too actually…
Orlok > Dante = Yang >>> Gilbert > Nicola
Recommended Route Order
Nicola → Yang → Dante → Orlok → Gilbert → Finale
I’m really not sure what took me so long to get this review out but I just haven’t had time for the blog/games the past week or so 😦 I’m still playing Shiro to Kuro no Alice Twilight Line, albeit I’m near the end (thank goodness!) My next review should be of Dialovers Dark Fate which will probably be up next Friday.
As this will likely be my last post before the 25th, I’d like to take the opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays!
Heard good things about this one. Glad to hear it’s a hit and actually uses it’s setting. Looking forward to getting it eventually myself.
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Yeah, if you’re interested in the setting then I’d definitely recommend ^_^
Happy holidays and thanks for this review!
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I’m planning on buying this game when it comes out in English on Switch, but I keep hearing some bad stuff about the love interests. I don’t mind if the game gets dark, all I care that there’s a happy ending. Anyway, I wanted to know if any of the characters actually sexually assault the MC in their main routes? Bad ends are one thing, but I don’t want to finish the game with a bad aftertaste…
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Hi, as far as I can remember most of the routes should be fine. However, Yang’s route definitely features scenes that would probably be considered sexual assault unfortunately.
When does it come out?
According to Amazon, 8th October
May I ask where did you buy all those OST and fanbook/photo book?
I’ve been thinking of buying them but I can’t seem to find any. Thank you!
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Hi, I tend to buy fanbooks/artbooks on Amazon JP because they usually offer reasonable international shipping.
As for the CDs, you can get them on Amazon JP as well but shipping is expensive if you buy them alone.
Stellaworth & Animate normally stock them but Amazon is probably cheaper overall if you’re just buying one thing. If you don’t mind used copies, Surugaya is usually the cheapest though!
Hope that helps!