Maro no Kanja wa Gatenkei 2

vndberogamescape

Intro:

Maro no Kanja wa Gatenkei 2 is the next part of elf’s current eroge serial about a pure-hearted backstreet gynecologist born in the wrong time period and his quest for big-titted women.

Story: 8/10

Maro 2: Maro Harder picks up right where the first game left off. Maro, a purer man now after the healing in the first game, has resolved to find an eligible marriage partner and sets his sights on new heroine Yukina. Meanwhile Sakimi is still around and is trying to resolve some marital distress caused in no small part by the events at the end of the first game. Sakimi’s relationship with Maro has gotten complicated because of those same events but she decides to help Maro in his newfound love, maybe because at least then he won’t rape her anymore.

Maro 2’s main focus seems to be on developing the relationships between the characters. This is one of the writer’s greatest strengths but this time things don’t always work well. The scenes between Maro and Sakimi are great as expected, but all the truly meaningful development happened in the first game, so while things deepen here in the second game the development mostly isn’t as satisfying as in the true end of Maro 1. However seeing what their relationship blossoms into, the gentleness and mutual trust between the two, is fulfilling in a more subtle way that feels so natural you might not realize it at first. It might not fully hit you until a day or two after you finish the game and sit down to write a review of it for your eroge blog that no one reads. In fact I’m going to retract and literally redact what I just said about all the meaningful development happening in the first game. The development here is just as important and just about as satisfying.

The relationship between Maro and Yukina, and the corresponding scenes which make up most of the middle of this game, are pretty boring. Mostly because Yukina herself is boring and her part in the relationship is just a nice girl who always apologizes for troubling Maro, which is far too shallow and generic to be engaging. Maro for his part is as interesting as always and reading about the pure feelings this clown-doctor-rapist has for a girl is entertaining and oddly sympathetic. But we already saw this, done better too, in the first game with his feelings toward Sakimi. We also get to see how the relationship between Sakimi and her husband, who has started acting a bit odd, develops and this serves as a good exploration of NTR as a fetish, proving again that this writer knows netorare better than any other writer in the biz.

Quite a bit of Maro 2 is almost boring, maybe as is to be expected of the middle game in a series. You would think introducing a new heroine would keep things fresh but that hope dies as soon as you realize Yukina is boring and so is most of the stuff related to her. Not much happens for most of the game in terms of events (unless you find delivering ramen by bike to old people in the neighborhood riveting), since it’s focused so much on relationship development, and the character interactions are hit or miss. Maro is still Maroing and is regularly fucking hilarious, but on the other hand it can be tortuous having to read Yukina’s lines. The reason I opened this paragraph saying it’s “almost” boring is that Maro’s character would keep anything from being boring. Fucking love this guy.

Things get more exciting in the ends, where the writer pulls out his bag of many-colored sadnesses that we saw in Boku no Kanojo wa Gatenkei. Even the earliest ends, though short, have a heavy feeling of nostalgia. The later ends get even better, and by better I mean more depressing. With fewer ends you don’t get quite the range of flavors of sadness as in Gatenkei Girlfriend but each end in this game has its own unique kind of sadness, such as deep-cutting regret, the lingering sorrow of loss, and a kind of bittersweet resolve. All the ends are great in their own way, though some are better than others (the second to last one is by far my favorite). The true end, the one that nets you another “to be continued,” is probably the least interesting of the ends on the surface. However, it gains a lot of meaning and impact when viewed after the other ends, which is how you’re supposed to play the game I reckon, and it also involves Maro being a badass. That’s enough to make it worthwhile.

Characters: 8.5/10

Maro and Sakimi are still great and still great together. It feels so good to spend some time with these characters again. And just how it’s fulfilling seeing their new relationship and how it develops, it’s fulfilling seeing how they have become new people and how they continue to grow throughout the story.

The problem is Yukina. She’s a terribly dull heroine. Just another meek reserved girl. Oh yeah, she’s got the mandatory masochistic streak these characters always have, what a surprise. She serves plot purposes, I suppose, and through her Maro and Sakimi grow closer, but other than that she’s just worthless. Well that’s not entirely true, she’s also got a couple fappable sex scenes.

Sakimi’s husband actually becomes a full character, or close, in Maro 2. Though he’s still only referred to as “husband” in the speaker tags, probably because we don’t know his name beyond Maa-kun (actually in one end in this game we finally learn his full name). But the Maa-kun we get to know is Maa-kun after he’s, well, broken would be a suitable way to put it. I think NTR fans will be able to relate and sympathize with him.

Sound: 7.5/10

The soundtrack is almost entirely the same as the first game. There might be one or two new tracks, which are rape tracks so they not surprisingly aren’t very good and probably aren’t even trying to be. Other than that there’s also a traditional Japanese type song that might be new but I’m not sure. It’s okay. I gotta say though, NAMIDA still gets the tears going every time even though this is the third game now where they’ve used it for the majority of the emotional scenes. I guess it didn’t get its name for nothing.

Sakimi’s VA hasn’t gotten throat polyps from screaming in a deathcore band or anything, so she still sounds great. Yukina’s seiyuu is competent at voicing a flat character that isn’t the least bit challenging.

Art: 9/10

The artist from the first game returns, and so does Ichikawa Saya, the amazing artist responsible for the art in Biniku no Kaori and Ningen Debris. Ichikawa is in charge of Yukina’s art, and weirdly the art isn’t that good or at least not as good as her art in those other games. A significant part of this is that the character design is quite awful. Her hair is ugly and her tits are oversized. The quality of the art is usually really good, especially in the CGs, where the breasts aren’t as offensive, but an ugly character drawn well is still pretty ugly. Overall I liked the Sakimi-related art better, as reluctant as I am to admit that.

Ero: 9/10

The ero is a significant improvement over the first Maro’s. I liked the molestation exams of the first game, unlike seemingly players the world over, but I’d take a good netorare scene over them any day. And Maro 2 has good netorare scenes. Actually just a few of them, but they’re good. One of the netorare scenes is literally the best-written ero scene I’ve ever read. The situation is a standard one but the presentation is graceful in a way eroge writing, even outside of ero scenes, never is. Ero text is a high level all around.

Given the convoluted relationships in this game the non-netorare scenes all also involve infidelity of some sort. Mostly netori but that fetish/genre is played from many different angles that tickle a variety of corners of the erotic psyche, so there’s a lot of good stuff to be enjoyed. The writer sprinkles some netorare flavor into some of the non-netorare scenes too, as he has done in past games. So that’s a nice bonus. The ero in this game is a pretty thorough exploration of the entire netoru spectrum, so true connoisseurs of infidelity will almost certainly enjoy it. There’s only one medical exam scene, and it leads all the way to sex if you play it right, so that’ll relieve a lot of folks. There’s a lot more coitus in this game.

Overall: 80/100

Pros: Maro is still Maro; Sakimi is still cute; fulfilling development of main pair and their relationship; emotional ends; varied, extremely arousing ero

Cons: Yukina is a shit heroine; scenes revolving around her verge on and sometimes cross over into boring

It’s hard to judge this game, especially with it being in the middle of an ongoing series. I suppose the middle part of a series should develop the concepts introduced in the first part and meant to be concluded in the last part. In that case Maro 2 does a good job. It doesn’t develop the plot much, not that the series seems to have an event-driven plot anyways, but it does a great job developing the characters and their relationships. Yukina was a bad choice. She became a scapegoat to direct at my ire of everything I disliked about the game, but she genuinely is a poor character who had no reason to be introduced to the story. I hope to god she doesn’t appear in future Maros. Unfortunately judging by the true end it’s entirely possible she will. Hopefully she’ll step back into a supporting role and won’t get in the way of Maro and Sakimi.

I’m really loving the Maro series. Mainly on account of Maro and Sakimi. They’re both great characters and their relationship and chemistry are top-notch. Maybe it’s because of the serial format, but I feel like I’ve spent more time with them than I actually have. So I care about them and feel happy when they’re together and want to see them end up together and happy. With elf running the show there’s no guarantee of that happening. I think though, that with this kind of story, elf’s kind of stories, it doesn’t really matter if there’s a happy ending or if there’s a bad ending. These are mature stories and just like with life you need to be mature enough to take the good and the bad. This isn’t idealized saccharine moege or needlessly edgy dark eroge. This is the real shit.

14 Responses to “Maro no Kanja wa Gatenkei 2”


  1. 1 T_I August 23, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    can you really call this NTR?

    I think this needs a completely different category.. say something along the lines of.. “WTF IS THIS ELF”

  2. 3 Action Bastard August 23, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    Very interesting review. I understand how you feel about it and why even if I just can’t get into it the same way. Still, an enjoyable read. Keep up the good work!

    • 4 track0 August 23, 2013 at 10:29 pm

      My initial impression of Maro 2 was a lot more negative and I think I agreed (and still agree to varying degrees) with a lot of what you said over on the NTR board. But the boring midgame didn’t piss me off enough to keep me from enjoying the later parts of the game, which I think you said happened to you, and so I really enjoyed the ends.

      Even after finishing the game I was somewhat disappointed because I didn’t think the ends were enough to make up for the rest of the game, but like I mentioned in this review after I let the story sit and spent some time thinking about it my appreciation for it grew exponentially. I’m not entirely sure why but I think I was able to look back and see how Maro and Sakimi’s relationship was developing so well even during the seemingly boring middle part of the story. I’ve reread the last scene of the suitcase end a couple times and each time I choke up and end up liking the game that much more. It’s short and simple but it’s so telling of how much their relationship grew in this game. Well, enough rambling.

      By the way I had a blast reading your summary. Very entertaining stuff.

      • 5 Action Bastard September 1, 2013 at 9:19 pm

        Thanks very much for the compliment!

        I really know what you mean. It’s a sign of how strong the writing and characterization is. The longer the story sits in your head, the better it seems. Even just going over a ELF work to check a point will bring back a flood of memories and feelings, and then appreciation sinks in deeper.

        It’s just, I really want some NTR meat and potatoes from them with these Maro games and I’m just not getting it. That’s certainly not their fault, since it became pretty clear the direction both games were going in for the most part. I still feel a bit disappointed, though, and it’s always easier for me to criticize the parts I don’t enjoy than try to mention and explain all the parts I enjoy. Ultimately, I guess it’s more that I don’t really like nor play many lovey-dovey games and right now Maro is firmly sitting in that category to me. Kinda like how uninterested I was in Saya’s route and the true end of Biniku no Kaori.

        I’m really getting to the point where I’m finding ELF games to be more experience than eroge, which is not necessarily a bad thing but, well, I play eroge and especially NTR eroge for a pretty specific purpose and the overal experience factor of these games start to intrude upon that. >_> I’d really like to see ELF turn their nurmerous talents to a more base game even if only once just to see how it would turn out.

        That aside, I’m enjoying your blog and reviews and really like how you talk things out. Discussion is great and sometimes it can be kinda stagnant in the threads.

        • 6 track0 September 4, 2013 at 7:36 am

          Right on. I’m always up for discussing some eroge, especially since I don’t exactly have anyone irl to talk about Japanese porn games with.

          I totally get wanting a good, straight-up netorare game from elf, especially since there aren’t many brands making good netorare games and here you’ve got a company that could clearly make one if they wanted. While I value that “elf experience” (they really are a unique experience) more than NTR I still feel the hurt of the dearth of decent netorare to just whip your dick out to.

          Maro is probably elf’s most esoteric game yet, I feel. I don’t know who it’s supposed to be aimed at and if there’re even many people it much appeals to. I’ve got peculiar tastes though so when a weird game hits the right spots I get pretty fanatical about it. And I’m a sap for romance, like that fucking yobai scene at the end of Maro 1.

  3. 7 Mazryonh September 9, 2013 at 12:33 am

    If you like Ichikawa Saya’s art, are you going to review Jokei Kazoku and its sequel(s), which were also illustrated by its artist?

  4. 9 Paru March 31, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Finished 2 and I gotta say that the true end is fairly…harmless. Though the sex scene beforehand was so amazing it wasn’t even funny. One of the best I’ve ever read in my life.

    Overall I think I enjoyed it more than the first one because of the sexual tension between Sakimi and Maro and their very nice subtle development/relationship shown in this game.

    Though it does beg the question….why in the world did they even introduce Yukina? I feel like her only role is to be used as a plot device for Maro to develop more and for more sexual tension to be brought to Maro and Sakimi (which I enjoyed very very much). Funny how damn well done this couple is, it’s just so…natural I guess is the word. Can’t wait until the third game and hope it comes out soon.

    • 10 track0 April 2, 2014 at 9:40 am

      Thank you for your comments. It’s really cool to see someone else who not only likes the Maro games but seems to like them for many of the same reasons I love the series.

      Yeah the true end is anticlimactic. It’s all about dat suitcase end.

      Who the hell knows what the deal with Yukina was. Like you said it’s possible she was only a catalyst for further development between Maro and Sakimi. It’s also possible she has some greater importance that we’ll see in future games (please god no–just let her disappear).

      elf announced a little while back that they’re working on the third and fourth games (no indication of when they’ll actually come out). I’m unsure of the significance of announcing 3 and 4 at the same time: whether this means they’ll be bundled together and/or whether they will be the final games in the series. Regardless, they can’t come soon enough.

      • 11 Paru April 2, 2014 at 10:26 am

        2 more games eh? Well hopefully the series doesn’t drag on too much because as much as I like how unique it is, we don’t need things to get stale =p

        I believe the true end of the series will probably be fairly happy just because of how silly the game can be (and it’s a rather light-hearted NTR). Possibly bitter-sweet but I can’t imagine a sad ending given the tone. I won’t lie I realllly want Maro and Sakimi to end up together, but I won’t complain too much if that doesn’t happen as long as it’s done well.

        Though I’m sure it will have an alternate dark ending like suitcase for people who love that stuff (not me haha). Boku no Kanojo wa Gatenkei is already destroying my soul. I’d prefer it not get that depressing.

        • 12 track0 April 2, 2014 at 6:48 pm

          Four games seems the right length. That would probably put the series around the length of one full-price eroge. Part of me wants it to continue forever but the rest of me hates anything that drags on and milks a premise, and it’s best for it to end in a timely manner.

          I agree that the end probably won’t be a bad end. I don’t think any of the writer’s true ends end badly. Gatenkei’s is the most depressing and as you saw even that one is a good end, if not a perfectly happy one.

          No doubt there will be some more bad ends before its all over and we get a good ending, and that’s how I like it. I’m kind of a pussy: I like depressing stuff but I want things to ultimately end okay. It’s also why I like nakige like Air or Clannad where you have to go through some really sad shit but then get a happy end.

          • 13 Paru April 2, 2014 at 9:02 pm

            Yeah I don’t necessarily like cop out or deus ex machina solutions but clever happy endings after a lot of stress do provide a lot of much needed relief.

            Funny thing about Gatenkei is it had the kind of ending I expect Maro to sort of have, like really goofy kind of. It didn’t seem fitting for the tone of the game at all, but that kinda thing might work ok with Maro.


  1. 1 NTResting Reviews! - Page 4 Trackback on August 23, 2013 at 10:55 am

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