Otome Spotlight: Enchanted in the Moonlight
Each week, we discuss a different Otome game available on iOS and Android devices. The otome market in the west has exploded in recent years, flooding the market with translations both good and bad. Someone interested in these types of games can be overwhelmed deciding which apps are safe to spend their money on and which have clearly gone through a quick google translate to grab a quick buck from the unsuspecting. We will break down some of the best examples of otome games in the west, and give interested buyers a guide to selecting the right stories for them.
The summaries below are free of any major route spoilers, and should act as a guide to give a more detailed blurb about each route than what is provided in the app before purchase. Each character whose route is currently available in English is listed below, listed in order of release. Most otome characters fit certain archetypes, so learning which character types you prefer can also guide you to characters in a new game. Some people buy all of the routes of a particular character, some people buy the main route of every character. Sub stories and sequels are not discussed here, and may be discussed at a later date at some point.
This week on Otome Spotlight we’ll be featuring Enchanted in the Moonlight!
Enchanted in the Moonlight was released in June 2014, so we’re celebrating its one year anniversary! This was one of the first Voltage games to feature animations throughout the story and will be kicking off its season two storylines later this month.
EITM, as it’s abbreviated, introduces the player character as a twenty-something librarian whose family owns a local shrine. The MC’s parents are away for an extended period of time, and the prologue starts with a dream sequence. The player is introduced to five mysterious supernatural men, beneath the light of a red moon. Once awake, a day of bad luck and several near death experiences cumulates in the arrival of the mysterious dream men, revealed to have actually visited last night. The protagonist is a human born once every 500 years, whose blood is extremely powerful. If consumed, an ayakashi (basically demon) can gain incredible power.
If an ayakashi were to mate with said woman, however, the child would be the most powerful of the generation and rule all ayakashi. The mysterious men are revealed to be liaisons from the main ayakashi clans, each offering their protection from would-be blood drinkers and bone eaters, in exchange for birthing them this powerful child. Once you select a protector, he marks you with what amounts to a magical hickey, a magical ward from weaker ayakashi.
Each of the characters is briefly introduced in the prologue, but they don’t give you a very clear idea of how their routes will actually play out. Below are spoiler-free guides to each character, so that you have some insight into what their routes will be like, as well as a recommendation. Check the Otome Spotlight: Glossary for helpful explanations of character archetypes in otome games.
What to Expect: First off, Miyabi is very flirty. His route gets a hard PG-13. It never gets really explicit, but he’s a physical guy. When I first saw him, I immediately thought of Inuyasha, and his personality is actually fairly similar. He lusts after you from the start, but his feelings slowly develop and deepen. This route feature a main villain from the snake demon clan. He’s extremely deadly and a poison expert, but he stays behind the scenes until late in the story. The romance really takes center stage here, which I prefer.
Recommendation: Miyabi really sets the tone for this game. His story is indicative of the level of sexual content in the routes, and the “main bad guy” that causes the conflict in each story. Miyabi’s a good lead in character as well, his story gives a good amount of screen time to Chiaki and Kyouga.
What to Expect: Chikage thinks this entire arrangement is little more than a standard business contract. Expect no love from him at first. Chikage does have an adorable apprentice named Koten though. The family dynamic that develops between you three is central to the romance, and is done very sweetly. This is a much more action-packed route though, with Chikage’s secret past catching up to him and a fierce love triangle with Kyouga.
Recommendation: Chikage is stone cold when you first meet him, and that’s a habit he finds hard to break. When he does loosen up, he’s an absolute sweetheart, and that sweetness really balances out all of the action and drama in his route. Another good route to get some insight into Kyouga.
What to Expect: Shinra is a red oni demon, and the youngest of the group. Right away he is made out to be immature and brash. However, Shinra reveals a much more mature mindset when you’re alone, as well as hints of a secret past somehow connected to yours. His brother is clan head, and his interest in you drives most of the plot. A civil war between red and blue onis also affects action. Lots of themes of destiny and childhood love, expect a lot more romance than action here, with the main character being pulled in fifty directions
Recommendation: I have a natural aversion to “young guy” types, but Shinra’s had a lot to offer, and I really enjoyed it. His childhood connections were done really well, and he has a nice amount of depth without feeling like his initial impression is insincere.
What to Expect: Kyouga gets a lot of screen time in most of the other guys’ routes, so if he’s not your first story, you’ll go in with pretty good expectations. Kyouga really plays up the big bad wolf angle, but is also one of the most serious of the guys, once he opens up. He definitely plays the “mature older guy” well, though in his case it’s more of a “big brother” than significant age gap. Ever the bridesmaid, Kyouga faces a love triangle between himself and Aoi, the wolf clan member vying for Kyouga’s position as clan head. At the same time, the wolf clan is in the midst of a tense near-war with the tora clan. This is another action-packed story, with lots of battle scenes.
Recommendation: Kyouga is sweet and flirty, but also very serious and pragmatic. His personality when in love with you is shown in a couple other routes, but seeing him alone gives a lot of explanation for his character. The love triangle in this story is a little weaker in spots, but has a satisfyingly strong conclusion.
Yandere/Kuudere-Note: I label Yukinojo as Yandere hesitantly. Voltage never goes full psycho in any stories, so there are no true yanderes here. Yuki puts on a normal, friendly persona when in public, but quickly reveals himself to be much crueler in private. This seemed the most appropriate fit.
What to Expect: Yuki appears a sweet gentleman, but quickly drops the act once alone, revealing a cold and seemingly heartless personality. He wants you having his baby, and could give a hoot about anything outside of that. I find Yukinojo to be the most enigmatic character. He stays very mysterious deep into his route, and his slow warming up to you is very subtle and natural. His story is interesting as it features a mystic female villain. This story features perhaps the most one on one time, and seems very intimate compared to some of the other stories.
Recommendation: Yukinojo is one of the harder guys to get a feel for while reading. He plays things very cool, but there’s a large payoff to his route, that leaves the player wanting the story to continue. Sometimes the best choices aren’t always obvious, and it might take a couple playthroughs to get his best ending, but Yuki is worth the wait.
What to Expect: Samon starts the story having lived on your shrine since you were in high school. He’s extremely sweet and devoted to your happiness from the start, and isn’t presented as an option in the prologue. In his route, you refuse to choose anyone at first, and you rely on Samon to help guide you through this chaotic turn of events. Dealing with discovering Samon isn’t human, and was more or less sent as a spy, as well as frequent attacks from the tatarimokke clan provide the action in this story. Zashiki Warashi use defensive magic, so Samon isn’t anyone’s first choice to keep you safe, but as your feelings grow, the decision on who to make a pact with gets harder and harder.
Recommendation: Samon is by far the sweetest and most earnest from the start. He has history with the protagonist, and they’re already very comfortable around each other. This is a great route for those looking for a sweet, fluffy romance with just the right amount of magic and supernatural battles.
Enchanted in the Moonlight is a great fit for anyone looking for a supernatural otome game. The translation quality is superb, and the animations in the game are a nice touch. The app itself features Koten’s summer diary, which is as adorable as it sounds, and the music is some of the best I’ve heard from a mobile sim. With Season Two kicking off this month, now is a great time to jump in to the series.