It amazes me sometimes how some potentially controversial titles manage to slip under some sites' radar. Take, for example, the recent Nintendo DS release Vitamin X Evolution. It is a port of a PS2 otome game (dating sim for girls). Every good otome game has a gimmick, and the Vitamin X Evolution's is that players star as a female teacher who can enter a relationship with one of her six male students. Yes – the character with blond pigtails and a skirt is a boy. I'm positive he is a he.
It starts out fairly innocent. The lead character previously taught younger children at a ladder school, a type of school which covers all grades from elementary to high school, and occasionally even college. She's promoted to the high school devision and assigned classroom X, which is filled with troubled students. The task is to help straighten these kids out so they can actually graduate.
At which point you choose to focus attention one of the six students. Here's where things get interesting. During regular classes and such, you will be given options. You can either correct a student when he screws up or ignore his mistake. Correcting lowers his affection for you, but it makes him smarter. Ignoring his blunders leaves him stupid, but he'll like you more. As the game progresses, the student can eventually fall for the teacher. In the end, you can even end up with him.
Like most DS dating games, Vitamin X Evolution features voice acting, CG scenes, multiple male characters in the harem and many save slots. Unlike other otome games, it is nearly impossible to play, and enjoy, if you can't read kanji, hirigana and katakana. See, throughout the game the characters will have tests in various school subjects (Math, Literature, Science, etc…), and you really need to be able to read to pick the correct answer. There's always the Otome-Wiki guides, but those require Japanese literacy as well.
So while Vitamin X Evolution is intriguing with its controversial teacher-student relationships, it is also a bit disappointing for people who don't speak Japanese due to its text-heavy nature.
Images courtesy of D3.