Maro no Kanja wa Gatenkei is a 2013 comedy netori game (I guess that’s how to describe it?) from elf. It bears minimal to no relation to Boku no Kanojo was Gatenkei, despite all advance marketing going out of its ways to draw parallels, leading many to originally believe this game would be a sequel or fandisk. It does share the same writer, so you know it’s going to be good.
Like the last elf netori game I posted about, in Maro no Kanja wa Gatenkei the protagonist has a scheme to trick housewives into sex. This one’s even more ridiculous: the guy pretends to be a back alley doctor and under the pretense of medical examinations actually just molests them. Again, for some reason this works. The victim in this game is Ayase Sakimi. It also bears mentioning that the protagonist, Hikomaro, is a “maro” character, which is some sort of Japanese culture reference I still don’t quite get. But basically he talks like someone from a previous era, and even worse he wears heavy makeup, lipstick, slicks back his hair, has these weird-ass eyebrows. It has to be seen to comprehend, though even then don’t expect to comprehend it.
The first part of the game involves a number of “rounds” where Sakimi comes in for physical examinations, initially just for a stomachache but our slick protagonist gets her to go through a series of examinations in preparation for having a child with her husband. This amounts to making sure her breasts and vagina etc. are in tip-top shape, of course. During the actual visits it’s up to the player to be slick enough to trick Sakimi. Each examination has a long series of choices and you’ve got to make the right ones in order to advance. Like Wakazuma Mangekyou a lot of the options available are fucking hilarious, but these are usually the wrong choices. Making the right choices can actually present a challenge at times, so there’s a level of game-like enjoyment here. At the same time, however, it’s relatively shallow and by the last round it’s gotten old.
There are a lot of bad ends you can hit if you don’t make the right choices. They’re short but hilarious, though all the humor in them derives from Hikomaro’s theatrical persona so after you’ve seen a couple you’ve effectively seen them all. There are two non-bad ends. The first one ends abruptly after an ero scene. The second one opens up into what I think of as the second phase of the game.
This second part of the game fortunately makes up for the shortcomings of the first part. In this writer’s classic form, the characters and their relationship enter the spotlight, now that this linear section offers an opportunity to really add some substance and development. Even though the first half of the game was played for gags, it actually gets somewhat serious here, or maybe closer to ichaicha. But it isn’t ichaicha either, it’s something more wholesome and substantial. It’s really heartwarming, basically, as absurd as it is in the context of the rest of the game (but the rest of the game is itself absurd, so I suppose it fits). Definitely a weird, cozy sort of feeling. Haven’t felt this way about an eroge or a heroine in a long time. This end, which is the true end, also has an amazingly awesome climax, though unfortunately the resolution that comes in the wake of that climax is extremely truncated and the end comes much too abruptly again. The saving grace here is the “To be continued” at the end of the route. Because I really want this to be continued.
There’s lots of good humor in both of these two disparate sections of the game. The sense of humor is a little unusual. Most of the jokes are either dirty jokes or old man jokes, which both take their own certain type of person to appreciate. There are also some normal jokes, mostly in the second part of the game, and these are among the best ones. Had me laughing out loud and extensively at 5 in the morning. Overall what makes this game so fun and funny is the ridiculous idiocy of the main character, and the crazy shit he ends up doing because of his outrageous personality.
Ayase Sakimi: Not the carbon copy of Gatenkei’s Misaki that I was expecting, what with even promo art blatantly drawing comparisons between the two. In some ways she is similar: she’s a blue collar worker who is tough but gentle and dedicated. But Sakimi is just plain cuter. She’s cute as fuck actually, and she’s innocent and naive to the point of airheadedness. There’s more of a “moe” component with her. This extra dimension of personality elevates Sakimi above Misaki in my personal opinion, and Misaki was already a damn fine heroine.
Maro: I’ve already talked some about the protagonist, since his character is so integral to the game’s story. He’s a weirdo, but a glorious weirdo. Yet there’s more to him than the makeup and the eyebrows. Like many protagonists from this writer he falls under the “lovable loser” category, though in different ways from previous protagonists. He’s 45 years old but still a pure kid at heart. Like he says, he likes being alone and big tits (later he adds alcohol to this list). But he’s really not so comfortable with his loneliness, he finds after spending time with Sakimi. Although he starts off laughable and a little disgusting, you really start rooting for Maro in the true end.
Most of the BGM is reused from Gatenkei. It’s still generic, though they do use one of the few genuinely good tracks from that game. They add a couple tracks, which are both good, and these are the ones you here most of the time. There’s also a new song for the ED, purely instrumental, which is bland. Oh yeah, and I don’t think I caught the wind chimes anywhere in this game. What gives, elf?
Sakimi’s voice actress does a fantastic job. She nails each facet of the character’s multifaceted personality. And above all she sounds cute while doing it. Oh god, just remembering her greetings at Hikomaro’s window makes my nutbladder reach critical levels.
elf has changed artists again. The artist for this game is someone I’ve never heard of, but apparently they did work on some of the Atelier Kaguya games. The art is luckily still great, better than Gatenkei’s actually, though the style isn’t all that different. There’s a lot of CG for such a short game, and in fact you probably spend more time looking at CGs than sprites. Animation is even more refined yet, and the animation in the last ero scene is stunning, far surpassing anything I’ve seen from elf and just about anything I’ve seen in eroge.
The bad news is that there are only two “real” ero scenes, real apparently meaning penis-in-vagina intercourse. One of these at the end of each of the non-bad ends. Most of the ero comes during the medical examinations. Lots of eroge have medical-themed ero scenes, and I usually don’t like them. They’re too… medical. Fortunately in this game the medical pretense is a thin veneer, and what Hikomaro does with Sakimi is really just your normal groping and molesting. No catheters or enemas or any of that shit, thank god. Hikomaro’s an old-school doc, likes to do things with his hands, and occasionally his dick. There are some scenes outside the examinations that might not be fully blown intercourse but it’s still stuff like blowjobs and handjobs. As for the quality of the scenes themselves, I found it quite high. The writing is good, probably the best ero text from this writer, and the context makes everything so much better. A prime example of this is the last ero scene, which the whole second part of the game has been building up to, and as a result it’s so damn satisfying.
Pros: Maro, the eccentric lovable loser; Sakimi is cute as all hell; first half is fun, second half is healing, the whole thing is hilarious throughout; ero is highly fappable
Cons: Too short, including premature endings; the “examination” part of the game goes on too long; coulda used more ero
When this game was first announced and I, along with many others, assumed it would be a sequel or fandisk to Gatenkei I was extremely excited about it. The more that was revealed, the new heroine, the maro guy, it being netori not netorare, the less excited I became about it. Once I got around to playing it I found it initially enjoyable but lacking some of what makes me love this writer, but then the true end came around and took care of all of that. I loved this game. It’s weird as hell and tries to mix gags with serious sentimentality, but it works. It’s just too short. I can’t wait for the next part, assuming that “to be continued” wasn’t one last gag. I just hope elf won’t take as long with it as they did with this first part. As for whether you, the reader, will like this game, it’s hard to say. It’s definitely not for everyone. If you like crazy gags with a heart then give it a shot.