Title: アマエミ-longing for you-
Developer: Azarashi Soft
Release Date: 24th June 2022
Age Rating: 18+
Length: ~20 Hours
Links: Official Website, VNDB
In his youth the protagonist Nabeshima Tatsuya was an aspiring painter with a bright future. However, the death of his mentor and a following scandal left him running from the art world and deciding to leave his past behind him.
Moving forward to the present day and Tatsuya is now employed as a Social Studies Teacher and lives a quiet, if a little lonely life. Shortly after the start of the new school year, after an incident, he ends up repainting a mural welcoming the new students. Later that day he meets a vaguely familiar girl standing in front of his artwork who turns out to be the daughter of his late art mentor.
Following this chance meeting and becoming more aware of the two other girls close to him, will Tatsuya begin to move forward again?
Ever since playing the original Amakano game, I’ve been a big fan of Azarashi Soft – their style of heroine-focused fluffy romance games are very much something I enjoy so it should be no surprise that I picked up Amaemi – one of the developer’s newest full-price titles. In fact, I actually pre-ordered this game due to how excited I was for it so did it manage to deliver the sweet romance promised?
Fundamentally Amaemi is pretty similar to the other games in the “Ama” series – romance is the main goal/draw of these titles and, therefore, how much the reader likes the heroines will greatly impact their enjoyment of the game. The main difference (in my opinion) is that this game has a slightly more mature feeling compared to their other games. I was also pleased that the romance felt very well balanced and I enjoyed it a lot, even though teacher-student romances are not my favourite normally – I felt this is helped by the fact that the heroines are quite aggressive in their approaches towards Tatsuya.
The common route wasn’t particularly long but it did a decent job of introducing the story and the heroines in particular. Again, the protagonist being more of a defined character was a nice change of pace to the series in my opinion.
Moving onto the heroines (since they’re the most important thing) and I’ll begin with Saki – the first year student who knew the protagonist from when he studied under her mother. Its made clear from the start of the game that she admires Tatsuya greatly as she asks him to tutor her in art. While Saki generally appears to be pretty calm, mature and sensible, she does get easily upset and sometimes shows her immature side, which is honestly very endearing.
Next up we have second-year student Iroha, whom meets Tatsuya during the mural repainting incident. She’s a typical gyaru – bright, bubbly and extremely outgoing, with a large friend group but her newest interest is getting closer to Tatsuya so she’s pretty flirtatious towards him. Iroha ended up being my favourite heroine (although it was a tough choice!) because there’s literally nothing better than a kind gyaru who is super caring.
Last, and certainly not least, we have Sakuya – the third-year student who has been hanging out with Tatsuya for a year prior to the story commencing. She is an author of historical fiction under the pen name “Sakurazaka Chris” and Tatsuya helps to proof-read her novels. Sakuya is a bit of a mysterious figure, with a cool exterior. However, it’s clear deep down that she cares deeply for Tatsuya and wants to get closer to him. Sakuya was the biggest surprise of this game for me – I wasn’t really expecting to like her but she really won me over and I find her adorable.
Aside from the main characters, there’s very very few side characters and even fewer of these play any real role in the story – further emphasizing the fact that the relationship between Tatsuya and the girls is the main focus of Amaemi.
Another draw for this game is definitely the gorgeous artwork by Oryou – there’s a good amount of CGs per heroine and I’ve always appreciated that Azarashi Software is upfront on their game websites about how many images are in their titles. The SD artwork provided by Marotaro was also utterly ADORABLE and I loved it so much.
It’s also worth nothing that if you have your serial code & sign up to club nexton there’s also a free append patch that adds in an extra H scene for each heroine which was nice of the devs.
Whilst I enjoyed the opening song, the rest of the music from Amaemi was decent but forgettable – definitely nothing terrible though. The good voice acting does make up for this though.
The game system is pretty simple with the choices being map-based, making it extremely easy to complete without a walkthrough.
My Score: 7.5/10
Like many of the other games from Azarashi Soft, Amaemi is an extremely solid romance game with a heavy focus on the individual heroines. I enjoyed the more mature tone brought about by the protagonist’s characteristics and backstory, which only added to the typical formula. Despite not being a fan of these types of romances normally, Amaemi was written in a way that was still enjoyable thanks to the truly likable heroines.
Overall, I feel that all fans of romance games should try out something from Azarashi Soft at some point – they are extremely consistent with producing high-quality games and all of them that I have played have been of at least good standard. I personally enjoyed my time with Amaemi and can’t wait until their next title in December!
Thanks for reading~