By Yuishi and Kagachisaku. Released in Japan as “Inkya no Boku ni Batsu Game de Kokuhaku Shitekita Hazu no Gal ga, Dō Mitemo Boku ni Beta Bore Des” by HJ Bunko. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Satoko Kakihara.
As I was reading this book and looking at the inner illustrations, I am reminded that the core audience for this is meant to be guys, and most likely guys trying to relive their past high school history only with much better luck with women. As such, the art is very reminiscent of old-school visual novels: try not to show the guy at all, and if you do show him, make it as little as possible. That can’t quite be done here, because so much of this art is “the perfect date”, which involves things like our young couple making the ‘heart’ sign with their hands, but it mostly fits, as do the covers. The Introvert is the reader. The Gyaru is what we’re here for. Well, that and the happy ending, which this book drags out as long as possible but eventually gets to.
Well, Yoshin and Nanami have finally gotten to the one-month mark, and they’re both ready to confess their terrible, terrible secrets. But before that, they have one last date to go on… or rather, two dates, which they insist is the same date. The first day is her choice, and we see them go to a sweets-themed amusement park, where they see chocolate made, go on train rides around the park, and take cute pictures of each other. The next day is his choice, and they go to a petting zoo, getting to deal with sheep, monkeys, polar bears, and many others, and take cute pictures of each other. Then they go to a shrine, where both basically pray for the gods to watch over them as they confess their terrible, terrible secrets. Finally, we get to the following day at school, where Nanami leads Yoshin to the spot she confessed to him… and says it was all a lie.
I will admit, this book can be a bit trying at times. It is so sweet it’s almost sickness inducing. Not only are Yoshin and Nanami adorable together in the eyes of the reader, everyone else in the book thinks so too. Amusement park employees squee over them. Little kids point out how they’re holding hands. Old folks who’ve been married for fifty years say that the two of them already feel like they’re married. All of this despite the fact that, until the end of the book, kisses on the cheek is as far as they’ve gone. Even the confession, where Nanami admits she asked him out on a dare, and Yoshin admits that he overheard this and knew, is framed adorably, with a “Gift of the Magi” quality to it as they both beg each other for forgiveness and affirm their love. Heck, they talk a lot in this book about what they’ll do when they have kids. These two have it bad for each other.
So yes, this is good, but a bit much at times. What’s worse, there is a 5th book, so we get even more sweetness without the pull of “they’re secretly sad because they think they’ll break up”. What could possibly happen now? Licking ice cream off each other’s face? Who knows?