D3P had a sale on their otome games and the discount is up to 80% off for some of their games but only 50% off for Hyakka Hyakurou Sengoku Ninpou-chou. I’ve been wanting to play this game ever since I heard that Teita’s doing the art but somehow kept pushing this in the far back of my backlog. Now I have no excuse not to get this with the recent sale! (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧
As the title implies, the story is about ninjas during the Sengoku era. The heroine Enju is the daughter of the head of Kouga and Iga (and is like the bridge between the two warring ninja clans). She, alongside her ninja friends, takes on a job that changes their lives forever. And no, I did not exaggerate that www. The “change” I mentioned is where the whole plot revolves.
The story is pretty linear with some plot twists towards the end. Its outline is the same on every route. But rest assured that it is not some kind of copy-paste game as the changes depend on whose route you’re going after because of the change in perspective.
It has light and funny moments, action-packed scenes, and tear-jerker revelations – that is something I did not expect. I mean, it looked like it’s going to be a simple game, but it spirals to tragedy in some of the routes that left me… well in despair. ಥ_ಥ
There are five routes available. I recommend going through them like I did: Goemon > Hanzou > Kuroyuki > Choujirou > Gekkamaru. The first three I mentioned are somehow related to each other. Just make sure you don’t play Kuroyuki first before either Goemon or Hanzou. Likewise, Choujirou and Gekkamaru are sorta related too. But Gekkamaru has to be played last anyway, being the OTP and all. Though my favorite route is different from my recommended order since it goes like this: Choujirou > Kuroyuki=Hanzou > Goemon=Gekkamaru
Now, onto the routes~
Thanks to the guide I used, I was a bit spoiled about his real nature (but then again, it is quite easy to guess. But there’s more to Goemon than what’s he’s letting on. I enjoyed learning bits and pieces about him. I was surprised quite a few times in his route and made me guess a lot regarding who he is.
While he gets along with Enju, it is actually hard to imagine him as a boyfriend material for her. He is more of an older brother type than a romantic interest. Like in one scene, when they are traveling, they plan on acting out as a married couple. They even hold hands, but once they try to check in at an inn, the owner noted how good their relationship is as siblings. Talk about EPIC FAIL www.
But it is not that I feel like the romance lacks either. It’s just that it develops realllllly slow but steady. It is definitely not the type that will make you dokidoki. If I’ll have to compare, it is more of an old couple kind of love more than a shoujo manga romance lol. I’m not complaining, though! Because I actually really like it. Enju isn’t a shy heroine either! She’s straightforward and honestly conveys her feelings.
I also liked how the line “I want to stay beside you” is used. It is used in such a way that you’ll know they just don’t want to stay because of love but because of how both of them encourages each other. I find it beautiful how they valued their lives and followed the reason to live through the other person who believes in them. They make the line deeper and more meaningful as a proof of how much faith they have for one another.
Hanzou is known as the strongest ninja and is the Dai-Senpai of every ninja. He is the loyal guard of the beautiful Tokugawa Ieyasu (I’m not kidding, Tokugawa here is very pretty).
Hanzou appears cold and distant, so it makes me excited to see him head over heels for Enju. But he proves to be a hard nut to crack. I prepared myself to be disappointed. When he does go into deredere mode, there’s no stopping him with the kisses! Like why does Goemon have only one when he’s the charai character www. Too bad, the game’s stingy and only gives ONE kiss CG in every route! Some don’t even have one. For the other kisses, we get this
With the kissing sound. ( ≧Д≦)
One thing that makes me feel sad in this route is the revelations about their clan and how everyone is forced to face off Enju. Unlike in Goemon’s route where it takes teamwork to solve things, each of them goes to their separate ways.
My heart will forever bleed for Kuroyuki. o(╥﹏╥)o
Kuroyuki is Gekkamaru’s younger brother who left the village eight years prior to the start of the game. Just like his brother, he cares about Enju a lot. Perhaps a little too much since even in the common route he seems to be a bit too attached to her.
I find Kuroyuki kind of creepy and borderline yandere with his obsession towards Enju. He’ll stop at nothing to take down anyone who stops him from being with her. It can also be frustrating how he limits her despite being fully capable of defending herself. Meanwhile, Enju does nothing to improve herself to stand on equal ground unlike in Goemon and Hanzou’s route.
Things get interesting, plot-wise, as more things are revealed. But I’m disappointed in the lack of CG. The number of kiss scenes increased from Goemon’s route yet Kuroyuki got no kiss CG! Are you for real D3P?
Kuroyuki has so many baggage, so his route feels heavy, and he can be annoying with his emo self but I can’t completely hate him because he truly cares about Enju and his feelings are genuine and unwavering in every route.
Choujirou is Enju’s cousin and also serves as his teacher.
I couldn’t wait to be slain with moe once in his route, but instead, tragedy slews me. Plus a lot of other things that got me frustrated in this route.
I said tragedy because the turn of events is despair-inducing. The whole playing hide-and-seek to other ninja groups shifted to some kind of Hunger Games-style battle (or something like that). On top of that, Enju does nothing. She’s like a princess being protected by her knights when you know full well that she is very much capable of fighting for herself. The thing with the routes of her friends is that Enju is continuously supported and babied by them, so she doesn’t try to do something on her own. After being amazed by her resolved in Goemon and Hanzou’s routes, Enju here is disappointing (plus she relies heavily on her jutsu. Whatever happened to the brute force she showed in Hanzou’s route?). I can’t blame her for staying with her friends and family doesn’t really “force” her to stand for herself.
Another thing that got me frustrated hence I label this route tragic is the tragic romance. Sure, I love the slow burn from the previous routes, but the romance stop before it even started. There are only lines and flashbacks of how they missed each other or how they want to spend more time with them etc. But the romance isn’t really picking up. For one, Choujirou is too busy tormenting himself between his duty as a ninja and what he think is right. Halfway through the route and there is still no sign of romance. Then the pace starts picking up, but I was too emotional about other things that happened in the story to pay it attention. Awkward Choujirou is cute, but that’s it. I can’t appreciate the romance when I’m still reeling from the turn of events.
Gekkamaru is Enju’s bodyguard who prioritizes her above everything else, including their ninja village, ninja jobs, even the law of Enju’s father. He never fails to rush over to Enju’s side in every route. Gekkamaru’s also a big worry-wart which is a good surprise when I thought he’d be all serious and uptight based on the box art. He is majime indeed, but he acts like Enju’s mom too which is why the other characters pick on him about that lol.
Gekkamaru’s route has a good balance of everything, the angst, feels, romance, action scenes even the ending! With the previous ones, even if they are “happy” endings, I’m left with some questions and a couple more loose ends, so I’m a bit unsatisfied. Here, everything is answered, and I’m happy with how things turn out.
This route is somehow similar to Choujirou’s route, but despite knowing what will happen with the characters, it did not hurt less. Perhaps it hurts even more. I was devastated with what they had to go through so even when Enju and Gekkamaru have progressed in their romance, part of me feels despair. Speaking of romance, the OTP feels are overflowing! Aaaahh. I loved these two! I loved the slow burn of their romance and how they confirm their feelings, especially Gekkamaru. He said the, probably, the sweetest and most poetic line in the story. On why he’ll always be on Enju’s side, he compares them to the sky and the moon. Enju is the sky, and Gekkamaru is the moon. The moon is always attached to the sky. (Okay, I did not put that romantically lol, but I hope you get the idea (´∀｀))
With my previous knowledge from the other routes, and the added events here, Hyakka Yakurou might have a straightforward storytelling about a Ninja clan, but it gives an insight as to how they live their lives before – putting orders above their lives. And how some people with lesser good intentions use them for their own gain. I just didn’t expect this game to be depressing. orz
Also, I loved Enju. After her not so stellar self in Choujirou’s route, I’m so happy to see her will and determination back. She may be a naive teenage girl who got me frustrated a couple of times throughout the game, but I admire how she finds the strength to go on despite all the happenings and revelations here (the plot twists are too much for her lifetime). I also loved how she and Gekkamaru promised to be each other’s ally and support no matter what happens to them.
Teita’s art is gorgeous and detailed! The moving sprites emphasize it. You get to see those amazing intricate designs since the sprites appear in different angles.
Even the setting is breathtaking. I absolutely adore the falling leaves in the background. It gives off that wafu feel. My only gripe is that there’s not enough CG! Which is such a waste of Teita’s beautiful art.
Even the music is good. I loved the Oriental sound whatever instrument they used. There’s this BGM though that is used during the plotting scenes that made me ???. It has that instrumental sound mix with a kind of beeping tone which kinda put me off track because I thought that’s an alarm or something www. Oh but my fave would definitely be the upbeat instrumental music played during the competing scene between Kuroyuki and Gekkamaru (Oh you adorable beings).
The system is simple. There are mostly two choices, one leads to the happy ending, the other to the bad end. There is a meter used you could see which guys gain affection. Bonus scenarios are also available in each route which I find amusing to watch so be sure to check it out! Frustrating thing, though, is that I’m missing one scene from the game to get a trophy which leads to Platinum. Ugh. I’m pretty sure that I chose all the choices to get the other scenes as what is written in the guide. I even replayed the scenes and all the choices, but I’m still missing them. D: (I’m gonna attempt again to get the Platinum soon.)
My other complaint would be the lack of replay button. I’d like to see some scenes again, but I’m stuck with just the voices in the backlog.
If you’ve read until this far, you might have noticed that while I loved how the romance progresses, it still lacks the “otome” vibe. I wish this is popular enough to warrant an FD because I need more of the characters T___T. Hopefully, with the upcoming English release, more people will be able to enjoy the game! <(ゝω•)~☆