Today on the blog, we have a Bokuten tester’s corner from Xarrias!
Hello, this is Xarrias, and this is my 11th Tester’s Corner for MangaGamer. This is for a game that was announced all the way back in 2014. So, a wait of five years, give or take a few months depending on when this corner goes up. However, despite all these behind the scenes issues with engines and the like, how is the game itself? Let’s have a look, shall we?
Our protagonist, Tomoe, is just your average guy attending your average school in an average town. Well, no, that’s not quite right. Tomoe is… empty. Depressed, damaged, lacking life, whatever you want to call it, he is completely aimless and lacking in passion for anything. He’s drifting through life only because he lacks the effort to die. He doesn’t seek happiness, he considers not bothering others a virtue, and love? Love is the worst thing of all. And living in a town that’s full of churches dedicated to angels and love is just the cherry on top. The school is pretty average asides from being on top of a big hill, however. Life would have continued this way had he not had a chance encounter with one of these mythical angels who needed his help, and also wanted to help him. But why would an angel need his help?
Angels help heal fractured hearts, and they normally do this through the power of song. But when Aine’s guitar breaks, she has to rely on the traditional method of “shooting people in the heart”. But she skipped that class, and it turns out that Tomoe’s only hobby of sorts is archery! Tomoe, however, is highly resistant towards this – doesn’t love just cause more problems for people than it’s worth? This is where the meat of the game is as these two characters argue over the merits of whether it’s better to intervene in the love lives of others or let them sort things out themselves. Your choices, asides from affecting the route you ultimately end up going down, will also affect the lives of various couples in the game, for good or ill.
It was very interesting to see all these different couples come and go. While each of the stories focused on a couple was relatively focused and standalone, you get to learn more about the main characters, like Tomoe and why he feels this way about love, and we get to see Aine, often humourously, learn about living amongst humans. The story itself was very compelling, and while I managed to guess at quite a few things that were only revealed near the end, the journey itself was well worth it.
I’d definitely recommend this game to someone who is interested in something that is protagonist-driven rather than a self-insert, or who is a fan of numerous bittersweet moments, as you’ll find that life and love isn’t always as simple as an arrow to the heart. There are no unambiguous happy endings here, but the game as a whole is great at tugging on your heartstrings. When in doubt, follow your heart! OK, I think I’m done with ‘heart’ related stuff now, but yes, all in all, I had a positive experience with Bokuten, and I hope you find the long wait worth it.