You∞Gaku ~Ayakashi Gakuen no Mirai wa Kaichou Shidai !?~

This game teaches an important lesson: the dangers of choosing blindly what to play.

You∞Gaku […] is a 2010 game by Powerful Soft.

vndb EGS

CM movie

Ryuuji is a student in a school for youkai, to teach them how to live alongside humans. He is a half dragon, but it seems the human half is stronger, since he has no power at all. What he does have is the scorn of his peers, as is the destiny of every half blood ever. The game starts when he is dragged into the You-Gaku, how it’s usually called the equivalent of the student council, which has almost absolute in the school, by Touko, nine-tailed Kitsune and president of the You-Gaku. Ryuuji enters then the council, which has as members alongside Touko his osananajimi Nekoko Iroha, school idol and sweet girl (but with a dark side) Yuki-onna Sekka, and deadpan snarker Zashiki-warashi Konatsu.

Most of the You-Gaku

Ryuuji starts doing miscellaneous tasks, but soon discovers that the actual reason he was chosen to be in the You-gaku was because he has the power to return to reason rampaging youkai; by stress, or other reasons, any youkai can lose their reason and become berserker (something that only comes up then and in an ending). And a little after saving Iroha from such an incident, Touko surprises him, and the school, naming him the next president of the You-gaku.

And just after that the actual plot starts, when a group of western monsters arrives as transfer students, and their leader, a Vampire, announces that they think youkai are wusses, letting humans lead them, and so they will take the matter in their own hands.

What will happen with our heroes? Will they stand up against this affront? Will Ryuuji discover the meaning of love?

Well, the answers may be diverse, but that he will get to score is a given. And indeed he does, with a total of 34 H scenes. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I actually had some (if faint) expectations for this, having liked a certain 4koma manga about a youkai school. What I failed to consider is that this would probably be closer to Rosario+Vampire, which is at best (and being generous) tolerable. And indeed it feels closer to that. Only without decent fight scenes, which are the only saving grace of R+V.

This game has two main trunks, branching just before the western monsters arrive. In the youkai trunk, they demand to be given the You-gaku; our heroes refuse, but compromise arranging elections three months from then. The trunk progresses then as they face incidents and manage events trying to raise their popularity (which was pretty poor), with a chapter centered in each of the three youkai of the You-gaku (Touko stayed at the sidelines, appearing only when she feels like). There’s then a big incident and the start of each route, in which, with greater or (mostly) lesser drama Ryuuji and the heroine start going out, followed by a sequence of several H scenes, one after other; and then the final sequence, which tries (with little success) to be dramatic. And then another H scene for good measure, so as to break any mood the game may have managed to make.

Maybe you noticed the hints in the previous paragraph, but the youkai routes are not very good. Starting with the protagonist: the conventional wuss main character, a spineless guy who is abused by everyone without resisting but that still somehow manages to make everyone fall for him without doing anything, nor noticing. But the badness goes beyond that: the comedy is just not very funny, the action is not very intense (especially since there’s no CG for any battle; or many at all for non H scenes, for that matter), and the pacing is a little sudden. Though on the bright side that means the routes are short, so everything is finished soon (yeah, I’m counting that as a plus).

Most (only) intense CG

And the characters… the three youkai main heroines are actually nice. The comedy is generally not very good, but it manages to take out a few chuckles from one, and could have been better, since the characters have the right qualities for it. Though on that note, no one of the three is the cliché tsundere, or any archetype prone to abusing the protagonist, which makes such abuse somewhat weird.

The Dark Side

So overall, the youkai trunk is not good, but neither is “awful”. Is very lackluster, and I wouldn’t really recommend it to anyone, but at the very least is not painful. Sadly, the same can’t be said about the western monsters trunk.

It begins with Ryuuji going to meet them as they just arrived the country. He meets in the way Lilith, Succubus (afraid of men) and second cutest character in the game. But in a slight accident he dies, and is brought to life by Alesia, Vampire mentioned earlier. Now he needs her magical energy to survive, and so is under her (abusive, as is par for the course) clutches. He moves then with the group (which also has knife-using Witch Bridget, and Wolf-girl and cutest character in the game Misha), which also co-opts the You-gaku, whose other members just accept, and leave without further complain, completely disappearing from the game.

The main theme in this trunk is then how Alesia tries to become the First Mystery, the leader of the Seven Mysteries, a group that serves as counterweight to the You-gaku (something that she did offscreen and without trouble in the youkai trunk); and the relation between Ryuuji and Lilith, who is torn between her affection for Ryuuji and her friendship with Alesia.

At least if you follow Lilith route; though all these situations are presented, they are just ignored and not mentioned again in the other routes. After finishing Lilith you can play Alesia. Already in other routes it was shown that she has a cute side; so a route showing how she gets to grow close to Ryuuji could be interesting. And it should come to surprise of no one that none of that happens, her route instead ignoring everything about everyone and making them an idiot couple almost right from the start. And then Bridget route somehow manages to be even worse, the romance even more out of the blue, and completely forgetting the “monsters” angle. And as dessert, Misha only has a very short route as an omake, and unlocked after Bridget, so you can’t just choose not to play it (unless you use a full save data, I guess).

So it’s clear these routes are not very good. Why? Well, for a start the character are not as nice (Lilith being an exception, as is Misha, who sadly is awfully underused, having very little screen time). The comedy is worse, the tension and pacing is worse, and probably the MC also acts worse. It seems they also got without budget for the youkai, who just disappear, even if by any means they should be still present, or at least show more resistance to the western monsters. (And not necessarily a flaw, but the ero is also more abundant in this trunk, though also more evenly distributed -and also with one scene after everything is finished.)

And something that they share with the youkai routes (which is not really unique to this game, but still a bad point): the main incident in each route, besides any flaws it may have, is peculiar to it, even if there’s no reason it shouldn’t happen every time. It does make the routes distinct, but also creates inconsistency.

Does this not have any good points? Well, the opening is kinda nice (and it plays in the main menu, so you may be actually better off not starting the scenario). The ending credits have a chibi version of the heroine, who narrates the lyrics, which is a nice touch. There are also plenty references to tsunderes, yanderes and flags, if you like that kind of meta referencing. And a Kojiki reference, always a bonus to me.

Or on other lines, you may be a fetishist for the ∞ symbol in the title, so you could not just stand not playing this.

But besides that, the contents range from lackluster to awful. You’d be better off skipping this.

Score: Youkai routes: a generous 5. Western monsters routes: 3.

Most artistic aspect of the game

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