Square Enix Enters Otome Market With Ultimate Kiss Line

By Spencer . October 6, 2010 . 2:26am

When we dug up trademarks for Ultimate Kiss and Soar! Maihane Senior High Theater Department we hazarded a guess that Square Enix might be developing otome games.


And, that’s exactly what’s happening.


Square Enix announced Soar! Maihane Senior High Theater Department for mobile phones today. The leading lady is a stage hand in Maihane High’s theater group. One day, an accident injures everyone at the program except you right before a tournament. This couldn’t have come at a worse time because the club is about to be closed because due to a lack of interest.


The only way to save Maihane High’s theater department is to recruit new male members so you can win the tournament and fall in love. Here are the four potential love interests.


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Kaizuki Hitaka is 17 and popular since he is an ex-idol.


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Hinata Kiryu is also seventeen. He’s a child actor who is a bit innocent.


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Chikage Kiyosato is 16 and the star of a play.


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Narushi Tsukioka is the oldest of the bunch at 18. He’s a script writer with a gentle-than-tough personality.


Soar! Maihane Senior High Theater Department is a free to play mobile phone game. The game uses a microtransaction model where players can buy items, although it isn’t clear what those are.


Soar! Maihane Senior High Theater Department is Square Enix’s first stab at the girl’s adventure game market. We wonder now, since it was trademarked at the same time, if Emperor Saga will be the second.

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  • joesz

    lol! square enix became very famous and well financed nowadays…they are like unlimited pawah! world domination! let’s control the market then the world!

    I hope namco become like them.. someday.

    • ShinNoKami

      In terms of localization, yes, I do wish Namco becomes like Square Enix where only the most obscure of titles never see an American translation however in terms of selling out for the sake of sales as they’ve done with FFVII, no, I wish they never become like Squeenix.

  • Sure, why not. I suppose it would be asking too much for there to be more masculine options in these games.

    • Guest

      no muscular space marines with buzz cuts sorry

      • DDanny

        Oh please, a guy that looks like a guy instead of a flat chested girl would be more than enough.
        It’s not like we are asking for muscle bound manly guys, there are bara games for that anyway.

        • Guest

          lol have you seen Japan lately. Art has now imitated life which has been trying to imitate art. Most men walking around there DO now look like flat chested girls. Metro look is very popular there and they’ve mastered the art of Anime hair.

          • Yes, I have taken note of Japan’s sexual confusion. I’m not asking for a buirdly jock or anything, just someone I could, I dunno, discern as a dude. Why, he could even have a goatee or something! The utter horror.There exists a medium (where most men are) between buzzed space marines and flat-chested prepubescent girls, is all I’m sayin’. All those aforementioned pretty guys are going to lose their boyish looks well before they’re even remotely old, so it just seems backwards to place so much emphasis on them.

            Then again, I recognize that I wouldn’t buy this game anyway and it’s definitely not targeted at me. I don’t even mind the androgynous look, really; it just struck me that every single one of them are.

          • bugmenot35

            A guy complaining the guys in a female targeted dating sims aren’t to his taste… Now, this screams sexual confusion to me! I bet if you asked regular Americans, they’d say real manly men wouldn’t touch that kind of games with a 10 foot pole unless they’re closet gays, the same way reading reading romance novels is considered unmanly and gay.

            That’s really funny to read a guy who likes playing unmanly games talk about manliness!

          • Joanna

            accidentally liked bugmenot’s post. :|

            I just wanted to say, what I find funny is that both of you think there is such a think as “masculinity”.

    • ShinNoKami

      Oh please. The only guy I’d ever date would have to LOOK like a girl.

      • Then you would be bloody welcome to select one of the more gender-ambiguous options. Why am I coming under so much fire for this? Cripes! :P

    • EmmyG

      … you personally enjoy dating more masculine men?

      Well, you’re in luck! Such games *do* exist. In Japan, they’re targeted square at the gay-male market, not the female players. So you’re just looking in the wrong category. :)

      • I’m going to have to contend that this simply isn’t the case; Yo-Jin-Bo had sufficient variety. I’m not bringing my personal preference for “macho” men into this at all, just suggesting that perhaps they should tone the androgyny down a mite with some (not all!) of the characters.

        Honestly, I think that’s a reasonable stance.

        • bugmenot35

          A reasonable stance, is that you, a man, should not except to be catered to by a game that targets females, because you are not part of the target audience.

          I ‘d wager that many regular people would balk at the idea of a guy wanting to play as a female character and romance guys, and would say that is more than androgynous, and totally gay behavior!

          Just like it’s ridiculous to see women bitch and moan about female characters in male targeted anime, manga and games being ridiculous/unrealistic etc, it’s ridiculous to see guys bitch and moan about
          male characters in female targeted anime manga and games ridiculous/unrealistic.

          The kind of guys guys look up to are not usually the kind of guys girls find dreamy. Master Chief certainly is no heart throb, nor is Marcus Fenix. The same is true of the kind of girls guys like. The cheesecake models guys like aren’t usually looked up to by girls.

          And obviously this game targets teenage girls who are inexperienced. You may not be aware but it’s said that teenage girls don’t like their guys too manly because it’s more threatening to them, and that teenage girls want a cute teddy bear like guy who looks like he’ll be gentle when he’ll take her virginity. For example, matinee actors used to shave their chest hair, because their management thought they’d look less threatening. Look at boybands, or the guys who’re popular with teens girls right now: Justin Bieber, Zac Effron, the Jonas brothers, that Tokio Hotel guy/chick…

          The guys in Japanese games which are ridiculed by male Western gamers are actually much closer to the teen idols currently popular amongst teenage girls than male characters popular with male gamers like Marcus Fenix or Master Chief.

          • Very nice, but rendered irrelevant by the fact that I’m not part of the group you’re deriding here and responding with extremist examples (Marcus Fenix, Master Chief) to get your points across makes them appear cognitively bankrupt and overly dismissive.In a game of this nature, it would be well-served by the diversity (which does not extend to objectified stereotypes of what the West perceives to be “manly,” i.e. Kratos) instead of demeaning the very demographic it seeks to cater to by assuming they all favor the same thing, in which case it might well be best to simply include a single canon option and remove the decision altogether.I have NOTHING against “pretty men.” Quite the opposite. But I DO happen to advocate a little bloody variety in much the same way I do so for the equivalent for male consumers, which often contain options that cater to a breadth of tastes; for instance, the “older woman” is a commonplace archetype. Seriously, what the hell is your problem, because I certainly don’t visit this site to have blanket statements lobbed at me because some people are so blasted insecure after years of slings from homophobic teenage boys. Hell, to deflect your “sexual confusion” barbs, I’m a gay dude.

            Christ almighty, I LIKE PRETTY MEN. I also like everyday blokes with average-to-lanky builds that in no way resemble women but are by no means brawny. But you know what, white flag here. I’m done. This inane war between fans of Western and Eastern art has created a ridiculous stigma in which there is no middle ground, clearly.

          • Joanna

            Your post is just too funny.I play male dating sims, so does that make me a lesbian? I love this double standard you play on gender. Girls can do “manly” things like wear pants and fix cars, but god forbid a male do something “feminine”. If he did, he MUST be gay.Finally, I’d say the same about female characters in male dating sims, most are demure and even the tsuderes become passive when they grow attached. Seems like guys, who are inexperienced, like their girls passive so that she does not threaten his “masculinity”. ;)

    • bugmenot35

      Yes, there should be more manly characters like Effluent Rainfall, a man who likes playing dating sims where he is a girl trying to seduce guys, now that’s the manliest pastime ever.

      OH WAIT

  • Some nice artwork on those full body portraits. :)

  • malek86

    Most of those guys don’t even look like guys.

    • M’iau M’iaut

      Which means every Final Fantasy since VII has simply been ‘spec work’ for this foray?

    • I muste be getting trained at this then, because to me all of them look like guys. I question Chikage his humanity, but not his gender.

    • EmmyG

      Chikage does look pretty girly (the rest, not really – plenty of guys have shaggy hair) but I *like* girly boys. So do a lot of the female players these games are targeted at.

      Not that I’d mind having some variety in the lineup. The more flavors the better, right?

    • bugmenot35

      Says the guy with a female character as his avatar… I think most people would agree that’s not manly at all.

  • Pichi

    I would try this out. The art is pretty good.

  • WonderSteve

    Oh my god.

    I guess the female market is so big that even Square cannot ignore.

    • ShinNoKami

      You just realized that now? Cmon. Shirtless Sephiroth in Dissidia didn’t clue you in on that? And the collection of possibly slashable bishonen in Kingdom Hearts? Get with the tiiiiiimes~

  • gatotsu911

    The Ultimate Kiss: so pleasurable your HEAD WILL IMPLODE from the kissing.

    • gatotsu911

      There was a raunchier line I could have gone with there, but also (I think) less funny. Though perhaps someone else will run with it.

  • evilmoogle

    feminine man.
    Reminds me of final fantasy.
    oh wai…

  • puchinri

    They remind me a lot of the Starry Sky characters. But at least a good number of the Starry Sky guys don’t make me question their gender.

  • I’m puzzled by the comments asking for more masculine guys. These sorts of games aren’t made to appeal to male players, after all, they’re tailored to what Japanese girls find attractive.

    • M’iau M’iaut

      It’s just interesting to note cultural differences sometime.

      Of course I’d expect characters like this in an otome date sim. Guys look for their own tropes in a harem anime so I ain’t gonna deny the reverse!

      However, I will make note when the most masculine looking Final Fantasy cover character from VII on is Lightning and high among the “I know I’m a fricking bad ass” characters in that same period is bloody Shantoto the Tarutaru.

      • malek86

        I’d just like to point out that I, for one, wouldn’t mind seeing a harem anime where the girls aren’t the usual stereotypes.

        • M’iau M’iaut

          I think something that could allow for different stereotypes is to add a few years on to the ages of the characters — thinking here along the lines of that P5 ‘dreams’ post.If you keep the kids in high school, the only adult (or at least older character) tropes you’ll see are the sempai and the unmarried teacher. Most underused character archetypes are adults with varying life experiences that have shaped them.Hell, if you really want to shake things up from a character standpoint, marry them off. Few things can impact interactions/events among a group of people more. And by this I am thinking far more than Agarest War or DQ V which are used as little more than a character creation tool. Just about the only game I can think of that used such a method (stateside at least), was that Rune Factory played in two parts.Persona seems so suited for such a thing, where the events and people you interact with in the first chapter, changes what happens in the second half — and they’ve dabbled with the concepts in both P2 and DDS.

    • Roses4Aria

      Exactly. The androgynous look is pretty big over there. Although I have to admit that it’s unusual for every single guy in the game to look that way. Usually they try to vary the choices a bit so that there is a guy for every taste. :)

      • M’iau M’iaut

        That might just be because in this game it seems they ALL are members/potential members of the drama club. You don’t have the sports type, student govt’ type or the member of the “go home early” club competing for your love and affection as it stands now.

  • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

    Turns out, these are all reverse traps. After it’s established that they’re girls, they reveal that these are all FF protagonists in disguise who have been gender-swapped and body-switched with each other. And they’re all entangled in a love-polygon with each other instead of with you. What a tweest.

    I tell you, it’s only a matter of time before they pimp out their characters like SNK with Days of Memory and Itagaki did with DoAXBV.

    • And to add to that twist, this game is actually FFXV.

  • I would recruit Kaizuki… Well I wish the best for the game, though choosing the mobile platform…

  • Roses4Aria

    Yay! Now if only they would start bringing these over here…

    Actually, I’m kind of surprised at this. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told by otome game bashers that visual novel/otome games are a dying breed, even in Japan. I didn’t completely buy it, because it seems as if more otome games are being released than ever, especially on handhelds. If such a decline were true, it makes you wonder why a company like SE would take such a step. Maybe western otome game fans have a reason to be (cautiously) optimistic.

  • BadenBadenPrinny

    The one market where squeenix can’t fail…

  • At first I thought that Kino from Kino’s Journey.

  • as if Final Fantasy 13 wasn’t bad enough

  • Let me guess…this will just be forever be in Japan and not going to be released outside? ;A;Aaah…I always wanted to play otome-games. All those bishies… T_T (lawl)



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