Release Date: 30th October 2009
Age Rating: 18+
Length: ~20 Hours
Links: Official Website, VNDB
The Uryuu siblings Shingo and Sakuno attended the public co-ed Kagami Academy for highschool, however, they are amongst a small group of students sent to the private, previously girls-only Yuijo Academy as part of an upcoming planned merger between the two schools. However, upon their arrival, it quickly becomes transparent that not all of the Yuijo students are happy about their new classmates, the Student Council President Airi especially, who takes an immediate dislike to Shingo and all of the male students.
As the seasons turn from Autumn to Winter, will Shingo manage to settle into his new school, win over the girls and perhaps even find love along the way?
Shingo is overall a pretty nice guy who cares a lot for his younger sister and is always willing to help out those in need. He ends up joining class 2-T as part of the transfer and is voted as one of the class representitives, alongside Airi. He’s a hard-worker and tries his best to get along with the girls in his class. Pannya has taken a liking to him.
Sena Airi (CV Gogyou Nazuna)
Airi is the daughter of Yuijo Academy’s chairwoman and is also the Student Council President. She is very against the male students from Kagami joining her school and has a pretty low opinion of men in general. She’s not afraid to speak her mind and can come across as rude sometimes, however, she truly believes that she has the school’s best interests at heart. Airi comes from a well-off family but she and her mother have a strained relationship so Airi moved into her own (tiny) apartment and has been working various part-time jobs to support herself. She’s very prideful so hides this from others. Airi is good friends with Sakuno and is terrified of Pannya, who happens to like her.
Uryuu Sakuno (CV Agumi Oto)
Sakuno is Shingo’s younger sister and their parents spend a lot of time working so they often end up home alone together. Sakuno takes care of much of the household tasks of cooking and cleaning. However, she can actually be a little scatter-brained and has a tendency to get lost if she’s out on her own. Sakuno tends have a more quiet, reserved personality but manages to make friends with Airi after the latter helps her out after she gets lost. Sakuno cares a lot about her brother and often comes to eat lunch with him at school.
Angelina Nanatsu Sewell (CV Miru)
Angelina, known as Ange, is technically a second year student at Yuijo Academy and a member of class 2-T. However, she’s not a normal student and is currently a “stray maid” – a maid without a master. Her mother (also a maid) knows the school chairman and arranged for Ange to stay and study at the school until she finds her master in exchange for doing some domestic work around the school. Ange is a bright and cheerful girl who enjoys greeting students as they arrive in the morning. She’s very dutiful with her work and has special maid powers such as being able to sneak around unnoticed. Despite her mother being British and spending time in Europe as a child, Ange is utterly terrible when it comes to speaking English.
Amaha Miu (CV Matsuda Risa)
Miu is a third-year student at Yuijo Academy who meets and befriends Shingo. Miu is a caring girl with a love of animals and runs a club taking care of abandoned or injured animals within the school. To fund this, she ends up doing various part-time jobs. Miu always goes around with a strange creature known as “Pannya” (because she kinda looks like a cat and a panda) that likes to sit on her head. Miu is friends with a girl called Sana, who is in Shingo’s class, so she often stops by.
Character design and artwork were handled by Izumi Tsubasu, whom has worked on various titles from Palette, feng and even Key over the years. SD artwork was by Tozakura Nagomi, whom has worked on some Saga Planets games.
Opening: Symphonic Love – Hashimoto Miyuki
Insert Song: Sayonara Kimi no Koe – Misato Aki
Ending: Kimi Iro Mirai – ЯIRE
The 25 BGM tracks in this game was composed by BURTON, whom has worked on various titles for Palette and the Clearrave brand.
Much of the game’s system retains the white/blue colour scheme as present in the logo. There’s not too many choices in the game and they are fairly straight-foward so a guide probably isn’t necessary.
Of course this game had a sprite viewer, similar to palette’s other games. This one features their older version of it but it was still a welcome inclusion.
Another cute addition was the fact that the heroines, Sana & Pannya all had personalised versions of the typical eroge “warning” screen at the start. It was a nice touch.
Back when I first became aware of visual novels back in 2009, this was one of the big releases of the year and I had my eye on it due to its catchy opening and cute artwork. However, I simply never managed to get around to playing it, even though I intended to grab the PSP port at some point too. Oh well, fast forward 12 years and I finally took the time to sit down and play this title, was it worth the wait?
I’ve generally been pretty impressed by all of the Palette games that I’ve had a chance to play, from the older Moshiraba to their most recent 9-nine- series. However, those are more plot-focused titles so I was interested to see what they could do with a more standard slice-of-life romance game.
Overall, I must say that I was incredibly impressed with Mashifoni. It’s a charage/moege of the highest order with a heart-warming atmosphere and likable characters. The romance has more of a slow build-up and the game doesn’t rush the transition from friends to lovers, something that a lot of titles in this genre fail in. Of course, this is an incredibly fluffy and sweet game which I personally enjoyed a lot!
As suggested by the synopsis, the stories in this game aren’t exactly the most unique or ground-breaking but they are well-paced and excecuted well overall. The dramatic parts are handled well and have the kind of inpact you’d want. I’d rather games stuck to well-written, simpler stories than trying something grand and making a mess of it.
Since this is a charage, the characters really do make or break the title. Luckily for Mashifoni, the heroines are all extremely charming in their own way. As a protagonist, Shingo is forgettable but not notably annoying so that’s a bonus.
Airi was the girl I was most looking forward to before playing – I love a good tsundere ojou-sama type character. She definitely surprised me by being more down to earth than I was expecting, and I found the stroyline regarding her living arrangements to be an interesting twist. The romance in her route was probably the best out of the game and I can see why she’s the poster girl for the series.
Sakuno was another heroine that I was pretty sure I would like, being the typical doting imouto character. I liked that she was less hyper-active than many of her counterparts tend to be and thought that she actually brought a lot of humour to the game as well. Sakuno’s route was the right amount of dramatic and almost brought a tear to my eye at parts. A good girl.
Maid heroines aren’t essentially my thing but Ange is honestly absolutely hilarious during the common route. Her route is possibly the weakest of the four heroines but she’s still cute and I really liked her epilogue so I can overlook it a bit.
The final main heroine is Miu, whom I ended up liking a lot more than expected. Her route seemed to be the longest with not one but two main plotlines and because it has the insert song you know it’s going to be emotive (it almost made me cry lol). Miu is utterly adorable and I really enjoyed the interactions involving her & her mother during her route – they were super funny!
There’s not a huge cast of side characters in this title but they all play their roles very well. I think anyone who has played the game will have fallen in love with Sana – a classmate/friend of Airi and Miu’s fangirl who hates men. After reading Miu’s route in particular you’ll be crushed to discover that she was overlooked in the original game. She does get a route in the PSP port (honestly making it the superior version of the game) and I did read that Palette were plnning a PC release with a route for Sana, which I would buy in a heartbeat.
As expected of Izumi Tsubasu, the artwork for this game is of a high standard overall (although you can see how much they’ve improved recently!). It felt like there were quite a lot of character sprites in the game, which was nice. The SD CGs were simplistic but cute too! There was a good amount of CGs per heroine, especially once the SD images were taken into account. I really wish there were more group images though!
The BGM was nice enough but not particularly memorable to me. The opening + insert songs are amazing though & I listen to them a lot. The voice acting was good overall and I’ve realised how much I like Matsuda Risa’s voice after this – it’s just so cute!
Each heroine had between 3-6 H scenes. Normally I’d write here that they were pretty much as you’d expect from this type of game. However, the H scenes in this game were actually pretty well-written and inserted into the story in the correct place. The characters managed to stay in character throughout their scenes and the H-scenes as a whole actually felt pretty romantic too, which was a bonus.
My Score: 9/10
With cute characters, well-written romance and routes that are enjoyable to read, Mashifoni is pretty much exactly what you would want from a moege/charage. It’s definitely a game that I would highly recommend to all fans of the genre (or just anyone looking for some sweet romance stories!), although, it may be worth waiting to see if the PC version with a Sana route ever materialises.
Thanks for reading!