When it comes to otome games, you can sometimes see the developers have a canon route in mind. A certain character might appear more prominently in marketing. When anime or manga adaptations comes out, specific pairings may receive more attention. (Alice in the Country of Hearts is a rare exception, as it has specific manga adaptations dedicated to different pairings.) With London Detective Mysteria, it is more than just a game where one character gets preferential treatment. Rather, it is rather forthright about which people matter most.
Now, seeing the names Holmes and Watson might make someone thing of the Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. They’re not those detectives. Rather, they are their sons. Emily goes to the same school as Herlock Holmes and William H. Watson. The two have the exact same sort of personalities as their parents, identical aspirations, and are even already being tapped by police to aid in criminal investigations. Their apartment is even on Baker Street, near their fathers’. For many, they might be the most recognizable characters.
Okay, so they are notable. It goes beyond that. When you begin London Detective Mysteria, the common route puts these two at the forefront. The prologue, which has Emily making her debut at a party being thrown by Queen Victoria, sees her solving the mystery of the missing cat with Holmes and Watson. During the initial chapters, where Emily spends time getting to know everyone and establishing herself at Harrington Academy, most of the dialogue choices have her siding with Holmes or Watson. She finds herself isolated with them at different points. They are her first friends, and part of the narrative has the two of them talking about her even when she is not present to help set the stage.
One of them even ends up embodying one of the most typical otome bachelor tropes. In such games, there are certain stereotypes. We have the mysterious stranger. There could be an older gentleman. Almost all games have someone who is younger than the heroine. Watson fills the role of another kind of character we always see in each of these games. It is not immediately evident, but once you lock in to his specific route, you start getting hints about this tried and true path. Not that it doesn’t work well. It is effective here and he has one of the strongest storylines. It is just that it helps establish him as one of the "main" characters.
There is one thing more thing that cinches it. London Detective Mysteria forces newcomers to follow Holmes or Watson. This otome locks other routes behind theirs. If you want to romance Jean Lupin or Jack Millers, you must go through one of these stories first to acquire it. It is a rather blatant way of putting forward two specific characters and forcing you to interact with one of them. (If you are uncertain as to which to pursue and could go either way, it might be helpful to know that Watson is the one who doesn’t fat-shame Emily in the same way Pendleton does.)
Of course, eventually you can get endings with other people. Holmes, Watson, Lupin, Akechi, Marple, Kobayashi, and Akechi are all there too. A true ending is even possible. But with the structure and attention paid to these characters, London Detective Mysteria feels like it really wants Emily with certain
London Detective Mysteria is available for the PlayStation Vita worldwide. It will also come to the PC.In Japan, you can find it on the PlayStation Portable as well.