Developer: Asa Project
Release Date: 30th April 2010
Age Rating: 18+
Length: 15+ Hours
Links: Official Website, VNDB
Narumi Kousuke is a young man who wishes to gain some independence so scrimps and saves until he’s able to move out and attend Harusaki Accademy in the countryside. However, upon his arrival he’s sumoned to the headmistress’ office where she explains that due to an unfortunate clerical error all of the rooms in the school’s male dormitories are full. Due to the rural location of the accademy, there’s no other share houses or anything they could use so the only solution they come up with is to have Kousuke live in one of the female dorms until the next semester where they find a space. The only catch – he’d have to wear girls clothing and pretend to be a girl (called Etona Mae) whilst staying in the dorm. Distraught at the thought of going home without achieving his goal, he reluctantly decides to accept, and his summer with the eccentric residents in his new dorm begins!
Despite the fact that Asa Project are known for light-hearted romance games I haven’t actually had the chance to play any of their games before this so was going into Acchi Muite Koi (Acchikoi) with no real expectations. I basically picked it up because the heroine designs were cute, the music was great & the story set up sounded like it could be fun. How did Acchikoi fare as a light summer romance?
I think one of the main appeals of this game is the unique point of the protagonist pretending to be a girl in the dorm but also attending classes at school as a boy. This creates two unique sets of interactions with the heroines which was extremely fun. Actually the comedy overall in this game was pretty good now that I think about it.
Minako is a cheerful and kind girl who also happens to be a classmate of Kousuke. She gets on well with everyone and wants to get closer to Kyousuke but her best friend Asa stops this. When it comes to Mae, she’s equally friendly but more open. Minako is a cute heroine and her route was okay but I feel like the other heroines were a bit more memorable, which was a shame because her design is cute.
Asa is Minako’s best friend and is a fellow classmate of Kyousuke. She has a strong hatred of men due to past trauma so is extremely hostile towards Kyousuke in particular. However, Asa gets on very well with Mae and consides her to be a good friend. I think Asa probably highlights the biggest contrast in heroine personalities between Kyousuke & Mae and it makes for quite a funny read at times. Her route could be a little frustrating at times but she was a good heroine.
Kaguya is an ojou-sama uperclassman who doesn’t have too much interest in Kyousuke but immediately tries to enlist Mae’s help in the school’s sewing club, which she is president of. Her hobby is creating cute clothing and she believes Mae will be the perfect model, which of course leads to some hijinks. I actually liked Kaguya a lot and found her very cute, her route was average but not terrible I guess. I really liked her voice actress – she sounded very unique.
Yuuyu fulfils the role of token kouhai and is the energetic, troublemaking type who is always cracking a joke and can be crude at times in the dorm. However, she falls in love at first sight with Kyousuke and acts like a true “恋する乙女” in front of him. This dynamic was genuinely hilarious and was my favourite amongst the routes, Yuuyu herself is completely off the wall when it comes to her sense of humour and, while impossible to predict, is generally equally hilarious and lovable.
The final main heroine is Runa – Kousuke’s younger sister who follows him to Harusaki because she’s worried about him. Luckily she can attend all of her classes online so staying in the girls dorm is no problem so long as she doesn’t reveal her brother’s true identity. Runa is a good imouto and her route was solid – her confession scene was particularly good/memorable.
When thinking about the other characters I think Mae is the one that immediately comes to mind. She’s so cute and the dorm scenes are very fun. I was a little sad that Mae isn’t voiced but I guess because of the Kousuke to Mae switches it makes some sense. The actual side characters are all actually pretty fun and it makes me pretty sad there’s no fandisc for this title.
The artwork by the combination of Panta & Yunagi Seshina was in a style that is definitely ditinct to Asa Project and is one that I personally like and find colourful. There were definitely a couple of CGs that looked a little off but most were decent. I loved the style of SD GCs by Takahero – they were SO CUTE!
I mentioned earlier that the music in this game was notable, what I mean by this is the vocal tracks. The opening & ending songs are pretty good but the insert song by Hana-tan in particular is really good. The BGM was generally pretty decent with a lot of bright and cheerful tracks, I liked Kaguya’s theme especially, but nothing was really notable.
My Score: 7/10
While probably not being what you would call an increadibly groundbreaking title, Acchikoi is still an incredibly solid romantic comedy with the cross-dressing twist adding another dimension to heroine interactions. I do think that the common route is the better part of this title but the heroine routes were generally passable with the girls themselves being very likable. If you want a short, fun and light-hearted game then this wouldn’t be a bad choice.
Overall I was quite happy with this being my first foray into Asapro’s catalogue and hope to get around to some of their other titles this year if I have time.
Thanks for reading!