Maro no Kanja wa Gatenkei 3

vndberogamescape

Intro:

Maro no Kanja wa Gatenkei 3 is the third and final game in elf’s series chronicling a clown-doctor’s quest for love and the woman he loves/rapes. It is also the final game in elf’s long history. Originally meant to be four parts, after some internal disruption elf announced that parts three and four would be released as one package in 2015, and at some point the idea of a fourth part’s existence was discarded and it collectively is now simply referred to as part 3. The writer is, as always, Doten Meikai.

Story: 7.5/10

Maro 3: The End of Marogelion begins by backtracking slightly to replay the ending scene of the second game, which is for a reason and the scene, seemingly abrupt and random in 2, eventually takes on meaning but still feels random at the start of this game too. Randomness, disjointedness are themes of note throughout the third and final Maro. Some of the bumpy, up-and-down pacing can be explained by the fact that this was originally two separate scenarios, but only some of it can be. One would be forgiven for thinking this was originally meant to be more than two separate games, and even for thinking it was meant to be several games from several different series.

The first stage of the story retraces a device from Boku no Kanojo etc., with narration shifting to the perspective of one of the villains from the second game. The same purpose is achieved, with the character being fleshed out in a surprisingly sympathetic fashion, more so in this case. Of course, throughout this writer’s writing history one of his fortes has been to elicit sympathy for seemingly detestable characters. Here again we see the sad life of the villain, and his human hopes for life, which have so often been dashed. This section focused on the former-villain’s (he deserves to be called this now) life is surprisingly lengthy, though it is interspersed with brief glimpses of what Sakimi and Maro have been up to, both separately and together. It isn’t the only time we’ll spend with him, however, and there will be other long detours throughout our journey to the final end of this series.

There is time devoted to what are perhaps the closest things to overarching stories this series has: Sakimi’s marital problems with Maa-kun, and, as introduced in 2, Maro’s courtship of the ever-boring Yukina. But this seems aimless, because neither go much of anywhere and there’s no sense that they ever will go anywhere. It feels like a retread of parts of the second game, but at least nothing reaches the peak boredom found in the midgame of that entry. On the other hand, previous highlights of this aspect of the story: Maro’s character, the humor, the developing relationship between him and Sakimi, are not as prominent this time around. The experience is much more even, and unremarkable.

Then there are the other detours. More with our ex-villain, another that treads down the path of a suspense/mystery, and even something that seems out of a classic nakige. Each of these storylines within the larger story has a beginning, middle, and end, so they are complete stories in their own right. Fortunately the plot escapes being truly “episodic” in the worst sense, as each of these stories are so different that they avoid the tedium that accompanies the formulaic nature of episodic stories. And each one is good in its own respect, but the lack of cohesion or clear flow to the story hurts. We get a lot of the classic Doten Meikai elements: character development, mystery, a type of heartfelt emotion, and dark sexual content; however, things are so disconnected that the package doesn’t have the same fulfilling, rounded feel of his other games, where these elements are all brought together so skillfully.

As in the last Maro, and previous Doten Meikai games, there are several bad ends with such substance that they are rightly part of the overall story (and should be seen en route to the final end). These are not as impressive as previously, with perhaps only one that really stands out. Another, perhaps the longest bad end—and the “worst” bad end—really drops the ball on the opportunity to add a little sadness and despair, not to mention some additional depth to the characters’ relationships.

And then we have the final ending. The final ending of the Maro series, and the final ending of elf. Even up until the very end I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what I wanted from the ending of this series; it has been so many things, has taken so many turns, defied a clear narrative direction, that I couldn’t really imagine what a fitting ending would be. How it ends is at once both orthodox, for eroge at least, and unexpected. It works; but it could’ve worked a lot better with more build-up. Given the meandering, varied nature of the plot the ending comes too abruptly and without feeling like the culmination of the game, or even quite the series. Even the events themselves, or at least the exposition of them, are too brief and could’ve easily been meatier for more impact. The ending also kinda cleverly addresses elf’s end as a company, though the cleverness is diminished some by the good-byes/shout-outs/etc. in the credits making the connection a little too overt.

Characters: 8.5/10

As always, the centerpieces of the game are Hikomaro, Sakimi, and the relationship between the two of them. Like previously mentioned, Maro’s character and humor are not as pronounced as in past games. I’m not sure if this is meant to depict a growing, mellowing of his character, or if the writer simply couldn’t maintain writing such an eccentric protagonist. It feels more like the latter, especially since the text as a whole is plainer than this writer usually writes. Either way, there isn’t enough Maro in this Maro. Sakimi, on the other hand, holds strong as a character. Literally, we see an even stronger side of her here. Although this strength is a core element of her character, in this game she begins to approach being too perfect, which was never a problem in the past despite Sakimi being such an appealing character and woman.

Maro and Sakimi’s relationship is also not as rewarding. For real this time, all the meaningful development happened in the previous two games. Perhaps this is not really a problem, since this is the ending of the series, but it still means this game misses out on what was one of the best parts of the other games. Instead it feels like this game is cashing in the chips won by developing this relationship in the past two games. Again, not necessarily a problem, and in fact it can still be heartwarming to witness how close these two unlikely friends have become. But early on in this meandering game it appears their relationship has hit a standstill at “shinyuu” and there’s only so many times we can hear them talk about how great of friends they are (I should’ve kept a tally of how often 親友 is used, by the characters themselves no less) before it loses power.

Yukina is unfortunately still around. However, there’s a lot less of her, and we see more of a different side of her, so she’s a lot more bearable than in the last game. It also helps that the supporting cast has been fleshed out with a couple of much better additions. The first is Yokoyama, the enemy-turned-friend. As described, he has the compelling character development and loser-sympathy of Doten Meikai’s other villains and anti-heroes, but is less extreme and more likable; he’s a little more respectable. Then there’s Tomoko, the mysterious little girl who appears in Maro’s life. Despite a prominent spot on both the cover art and title screen she doesn’t actually enter the game until the last quarter. She manages to avoid the annoying clichés, mostly, of loli characters while retaining their charm, and this being this writer, she has more depth to her too. Although I instantly felt cynicism when I saw a little girl on the cover of the third and final Maro game, my expectations were pleasantly betrayed. I also guess Maa-kun is still around, though he is still just short of a full character.

Sound: 7/10

Again, the soundtrack is mostly the same as in the previous Maro games, which is mostly the same as in Boku no Kanojo. I know there is at least one new song, and probably one or two more, but they hardly leave an impression. Worse, they’ve removed the best track, NAMIDA, for some impossible reason (and I’ve removed half a point from the sound score). On the plus side, the wind chimes are back, baby! I’m so glad elf included them again for their last hurrah, they were sorely missed.

The voice actresses for Sakimi and Yukina still do a good job, the former better than the latter, but she’s got a lot more to work with. The only additional VA is for Tomoko, who falls somewhere in between the other two voiced roles. She does a more than competent job.

Art: 8/10

Elf maintained the original artist for the Maro series, but lost Ichikawa Saya. As a result Yukina has undergone a makeover, and as sacrilegious as this is going to be I will admit I like the new version better. Like I mentioned in my review of 2, the original Yukina struck me as a rare miss for Ichikawa. While the remaining artist’s work (their name is Sakagami Umi, might as well mention it) is great, the composition in the CGs is often lacking. There are few CGs that inspire that sense of mystery I love about elf’s characteristic CG composition. Additionally, a lot of the ero CGs are framed in a way that cuts out the penetration, and the scenes suffer for it.

While the line artist is the same as previous games, elf did have to recruit a bunch of new staff for this one (on account of the previously mentioned internal discord, which also helped hammer the final nail in elf’s coffin I imagine). I know that at the least they hired new colorists, as I saw the recruitment posting on their website. The coloring meets the high bar set by other modern elf games, some of the time. Maybe half of the time. Other times it’s noticeably inferior, though still decent by eroge standards. I have the suspicion that elf had new animators on this game as well, because the animation isn’t as good as in past games, despite the upward trend in animation quality in every other game since elf started employing it.

Ero: 7/10

The ero in this game is disappointing in both quantity and quality. As in the first game, and really even the second to an extent, there is an unusual focus on ero scenes that never reach full intercourse. This concept is actually a good one: oral sex and other non-PIV sex acts in other eroge are simply used as foreplay leading to the main event of penetration, so they have an uninspired and obligatory sense to them. They’re pointless. Yet here where they’re allowed to be their own event they’re actually very hot and enjoyable; in this game they’re better than any of the full sex scenes.

Those couple of scenes are pretty much the only good ero scenes. The few intercourse scenes are lacking. Although I’m not entirely sure why, I’ve got a couple ideas: the context is uninteresting, the writing feels as though the writer in simply going through the motions, and the art problems mentioned earlier where much of the action is off-screen. Because the relationships are static so is the relational component of the sex scenes: they don’t mean anything and they don’t move anything along. That results in some bland sex.

This series had something to do with netoru, didn’t it? Anyone jumping into 3 would be surprised to hear that. There’s hardly any netorare. To make up for this one of the bad ends packs in a long marathon NTR scene, but despite seeming like a recipe for success it also fails. Some of the same problems mentioned above, almost like the writer’s heart wasn’t really into it, and the writing definitely lacks the finesse needed for the erotic. Despite this scene’s high ambitions it comes nowhere close to the second game’s crown-jewel NTR scene. Most of the non-netorare scenes are technically netori but at this point they hardly seem like it. There’s none of that immoral thrill, that’s for sure. In the entire game there is probably only one moment that offers a brief spark of that degenerate decadence of infidelity scenarios.

Overall: 77/100

Pros: Maro and Sakimi are still great characters, despite them and their relationship not shining as strongly; individual, disparate storylines are each entertaining; ending is fitting if underwhelming

Cons: Lacks cohesion; disappointing ero

So here we are. The end of the Maro series and of one of the oldest, most influential eroge brands in the history of the industry. They both go out with more of a whimper than a bang. The final Maro game is an enjoyable but inoffensive and relatively middling affair. It isn’t the swan song it could’ve been. Perhaps the best thing that can be said is that this game closes out the Maro series without a bitter taste in the reader’s mouth; but on the other hand it ends elf’s history with the regret of potential better works the company might’ve still made.

Or maybe they might not have. Was it really possible to make a great game in elf’s decomposing state? I’m not sure. That might explain the mediocrity of this title. Another theory might be that Doten Meikai is simply tired. If he really is Hiruta Masato he’s probably pretty old at this point. His text in this game feels plainer, as I mentioned, and there isn’t much heart in it even at the end; the ending contains what are probably the last drops of soul squeezed from his writer’s stone. If he really is Hiruta Masato he’s probably the most influential eroge writer in the medium’s history. His loss will be a monumental one. But who knows, maybe he will reappear under another pseudonym and with renewed vigor. Maybe he already has and we just don’t know it yet. May Hikomaro’s fate foreshadow his writer’s.

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10 Responses to “Maro no Kanja wa Gatenkei 3”


  1. 1 Anonymous February 6, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    I’m just glad to see you still write about eroge.

  2. 2 Jeff May 17, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    I’m glad this game series is over NTR is a pretty bad if not rotten genre. It’s a game,hentai,manga that disrespects women by sexual abuse.

  3. 3 Jeff May 17, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    and plus I would like to know if she trys to patch up things with her husband. and know if they stay together and the end

  4. 4 Jeff May 17, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    I’ve watched the hentai version both episodes that they based off of the game

  5. 5 Jeff May 17, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    the only reason’s I hate NTR is that there is rape blackmailing kidnapping and a lot of other things involved in them also the make they make it where they fall for the rapist or blackmailer kidnapper on top of it. Well that’s how hentai NTR is anyway. So there’s my reason’s for hating it.

  6. 6 Jeff May 18, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    NTR to some people it’s not bad. they think that until it happens to them. it’s happened to me once 10 years ago that is another reason I hate NTR.

  7. 7 Jeff May 18, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    also I think I might want to play the third game but I can’t read Japanese so it would be pretty hard to play it also I don’t know where I could buy it.

  8. 8 track0 May 18, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    You’re a funny guy Jeff.

    • 9 Jeff May 19, 2017 at 5:42 am

      what’s so funny only a person who has rape tendencies like NTR plus the games turn out better then hentai’s or manga’s. because in both they have a retard for pro tag people will say it’s a fediest but a therapist would tell you the samething but any way who cares right

  9. 10 hentai660 May 25, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    I’ve watched NTR hentai and what I hate about them is when it’s reverse NTR the woman takes back the husband/boyfriend but when it’s the other way around she doesn’t go back to her husband/boyfriend which is BS


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