Ore no Tsure wa Hito de Nashi

vndberogamescape • OP

Intro:

Ore no Tsure wa Hito de Nashi is a 2010 romantic comedy eroge. It is the first and only eroge from Whale, a subsidiary of Minato Soft.

Story: 5/10

Ore no Tsure wa Hito de Nashi is one of those generous eroge that tell you in their very title exactly what you’re going to get (“My Lover Isn’t Human.”) The game is a school-life rom-com where all of the heroines are non-human. One fateful night the protagonist discovers not only that his childhood friend Chikae is a witch, but also that a handful of other female students at his school are also not human: a vampire, a werewolf, an android, and…an air spirit? (Cue a million 空気-related puns.)

The story traces the usual school life notes: the protagonist and all of the heroines join a club (the cooking club), there is a school festival, they study for finals, etc. Because the company that made this is a sub-brand of Minato Soft the school places a special emphasis on chivalry and martial prowess, though in this case it’s a yakuza sort of chivalry rather than samurai chivalry. In fact the entire town is run by a benevolent yakuza gang. It’s really just there to add a little flavor to the game, and little flavor that is actually interesting. The special nature of the school also serves to justify a convenient plot device where at the school festival the protagonist and the heroine whose route you’re about to enter into make a vow over a traditional Japanese sipping bowl. It’s a good trick to avoid actually having a relationship develop naturally.

School life relies on the chemistry between the cast and the ability of the writer to make everyday and unremarkable events entertaining. Here they’re extremely, bang-your-head-against-the-wall boring. The interactions feel very unnatural, and the attempts to set up comedic situations (such as the ongoing rivalry between Hinata the vampire and Io the android) are almost offensively transparent. The majority of the time they aren’t funny despite how clearly the writer tried very hard to create a humorous situation. It’s all too calculated and by-the-numbers, and even worse just not executed well. Calculated also describes the context for nearly all of the character interactions: there are cultural festivals, sports festivals, childhood games like kick the can and cops and robbers, conversation games, bets, competitions, challenges, parties, school traditions, tests, etc., etc. The game is an interminable string of manufactured events. This wouldn’t be as much of a problem if OreTsure made them entertaining, but again, they’re virtually always boring. Even worse, since so many of the games and events are devised by the writer or have some unique spin on them, they are usually preceded by long, boring explanations.

What’s particularly egregious is that this constant chain of artificially-crafted events continues into the heroine routes. The first part of each heroine route is essentially an extension of the common route with only the slightest increase in focus on the heroine in question. The vow the protagonist makes with the heroine at the end of the common route is almost always of a platonic variety (rival, sibling, friend, etc.) so if you were expecting romantic development in your eroge you’re out of luck. Instead you just get more boring events for far too long, and then the heroine and protagonist relatively abruptly decide they love each other and start a relationship. Then you get a long string of ero scenes, we’re talking 5-6, with only a little romance, and then about 10 minutes of drama before the route quickly wraps up.

Non-human heroines offer a lot of dramatic potential, which is why there are countless vampire heroines and quite a few android ones (some witch ones too, not sure if I’ve seen any werewolves, and certainly no air heroines, just plenty of airheads.) That was one motivator for me playing this eroge, but the non-human angle isn’t capitalized on at all. The drama always involves the heroine’s inhuman nature, but it’s far too brief and underdeveloped. The only good route in this thing is Alice’s, the werewolf’s. The romance actually develops at a steady pace, and, probably in part because of that, the drama carries some weight and you’re invested in how the story plays out. I even teared up at the end. The other outlier for the game’s formula is the childhood friend route, which takes a different bent out of necessity because the heroine is already in love with the protagonist. The yakuza element also becomes relevant on a plot level, just barely. The route is still terrible, just not as formulaic.

I was very close to dropping this game before even finishing my first route, and again after finishing my first route, and again after finishing my second and confirming it’s incredibly boring. What kept me going, besides being a sucker for a sunk cost, and the desire to complete an eroge I plan to write about, was having read online that the true route is great. By the time I’d finished all 5 heroine routes I had significant doubts about the writer’s ability to write anything great. And yep, the true route sucks. The gist of the major twist, if it can be called that, was obvious from the 2-3 times it was briefly but bluntly foreshadowed in other routes. The idea isn’t all that interesting and the drama falls as flat as always. And the climax of the route is executed in a formulaic way, as is so much of the game. Fuck those guys on EGS, オールクリアに価値あり my ass.

Characters: 5.5/10

I described the shortcomings of the cast taken as a whole, like their chemistry or lack thereof. Looked at individually the characters are just as weak. They’re all stereotypes, and there’s nothing about them to set them apart from the many other characters of their types. I’ll provide two examples to justify myself. 1. The childhood friend was so terrible that she made me understand why some people hate childhood friend characters so much, even though they’re normally among my favorites: she is clingy, treats the protagonist as hers, and seems to have no personality that isn’t defined by him. 2. Io is a big-tittied, tsundere android voiced by Hokuto Minami, and manages to be only a fraction as appealing as that description implies. The heroines only benefit slightly from the time dedicated to them in their routes. Alice is not surprisingly the exception here. She’s fairly stereotypical of whatever that Saber-esque archetype is (sword girl? though this one doesn’t have a sword) but by the end of her route is so damn adorable and respectable.

I don’t generally prescribe to this common claim about eroge, but in this particular case it’s true: the female side characters are more appealing than the main heroines. There’s the mysterious fortune-telling classmate Yuuhi and the energetic but terrible lunch lady Ristuko, who actually graduated from the school the previous year, making her just two years older than the protagonist. There are also male side characters: two friend characters, the eccentrically manly principal who’s also the leader of the town’s yakuza (and Chikae’s father), Io’s creator who’s also the homeroom teacher, and an asshole talking horse. They’re all pretty forgettable. One of the male friends almost stands out simply for how completely stereotypical of an “idiot friend” character he is, but the fact that his idiocy is almost never funny precludes that.

I don’t mention anything about the protagonist because there isn’t anything worth mentioning.

Sound: 7.5/10

Finally something I can say something good about. The BGM of the game is quite good and reminiscent of 2000’s eroge that this was just on the tail end of. The daily tracks are good for what they’re there for, most of the character themes are good, and all of the emotional songs are good with some that especially stand out. The soundtrack has a large set of “battle” themes that play during the various games and competitions. Other than a few exceptions, eroge have always seemed bad with battle tracks despite video games having such a rich tradition of awesome ones, and OreTsure is no exception. Speaking of video games, one of the emotional songs sounds like something taken from an epic RPG. It’s fantastic, but I kept waiting in vain for a scene of such dramatic import that it actually felt warranted.

The OP is a pretty good “denpa” style pop song. Does that genre still exist? Maybe apes Nursery Rhyme’s OP too much, and the instrumental version that plays on the title screen shows how much it relies on the vocals. The ED is stylistically pretty stereotypical for an eroge ending, but the vocal melody builds into something quite nice. There’s a good insert song too, it’s just too bad the climactic scene it plays during is so bad it depreciates the song the one time you hear it.

The voice acting is notably poor, however. Hokuto Minami is here and just makes the rest of the cast look bad.

Art: 6.5/10

The art in OreTsure is stylistically mediocre. Quality-wise it’s also fairly mediocre, though at times I was surprised by delicate details or beautiful shading. On the other hand, there are a handful of CGs with jarringly fucked-up anatomy. On the subject of CGs, the use of them in this game is abysmal. Most of the route CGs are in the ero scenes, and the two that aren’t have no impact (of course, common route CGs rarely have any weight to them.) Though that can’t really be pinned on the artist, it’s more just further proof of how little of significance happens in the game ever. A couple of the heroines also have these terrible facial expressions that show up in their tachi-e. In fact, even the normal face for the air spirit Akari is too dopey.

Ero: 6/10

Well, here’s another area where the game isn’t a total failure, and it’s the sex. In a non-nukige. As mentioned before, there’s a lot of ero scenes in the routes. It would suck that they take so much time away from the story, except the story itself is bad in almost every route. The ero here is a touch better-written than other non-nukige: it’s a bit more nukige-esque though it also devolves into bad metaphors referring to sea life and virgin vaginas being like shoes that aren’t yet broken in (OK, that one was in reference to the android, so maybe not so egregious?) The writer has the sense to realize, though, that especially with so many ero scenes you need to do something to make each one worthwhile, so most of them have something notable about the situation that helps with the eroticism. He also has the good sense and customer service to include ero scenes for those two superior female side characters. Fuck yes, sex with the lunch lady!

Overall: 59/100

Pros: Good music; one good route; decent art and ero

Cons: Mind-numbingly boring in the common route and most heroine routes; very underwhelming true route; stereotypical characters; comedy isn’t funny; bad voice acting.

A rare case where I will say that even if you’re interested in playing this eroge I would advise against it. Ore no Tsure wa Hito de Nashi stands out for how bizarrely artificial and structured of an eroge it is. Of course, a lot of school life eroge are extremely formulaic, but this reads like a robot played a bunch of those and tried to create its own. Even weirder, it actually feels like this was supposed to be a passion project. But passion without skill isn’t enough to create something worthwhile. And robots are incapable of passion. That’s just science. (Sorry Io.)

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