In Tokyo School Life you play as an young American who enrolls in a Tokyo high school on a creepy quest to meet girls. Sorry, cute girls as the dullard constantly reminds us. Within moments he has knocked one girl to the ground and accidentally groped her breasts. This moment of such inspired hilarity acts as a warning to unsuspecting players – time to get out.
The demure Sakura, fiery Karin and unspeakably dumb Aoi form the trinity of potential victims. A trio of walking cliches who serve only to fulfill this deranged racial fetishism fantasy. Initially the outrageous breast animations were comical but as the game’s length kicks in even these cease to provide titters. (Yes a very weak pun but please cut me some slack!)
Through first person narration this anime remake of American Psycho becomes increasingly unhinged. When not lusting after his new classmates he is condescendingly describing every mundane aspect of Japanese culture. The early reveal that not only is he lusting after these girls but also dorming with them is the type of contrived scenario that most porn films would be embarrassed to use. These predictable perversions continue with no interesting twists along the way. For a game to rely solely on the story it should be at least slightly engaging but alas. If characters describing fictional manga doesn’t excite you you’re in for a very bad time.
Narrative aside, it’s time to discuss how the game is played: gameplay consists of mashing a button to skip through text. That’s… it. An unlockable image gallery and the grating soundtrack provide the only rewards for sticking with the inane narrative to it’s bitter climax. (A better pun but I feel worse for typing it.) The hateful air of smug lechery hangs over the whole package and even the sterile menus provide a creepy atmosphere to rival Silent Hill.
Playing Tokyo School Life was like finding anime fanfiction written by a serial killer. Erotica and titillation have their place within storytelling but videogames have yet to find a mature way to utilise them. On the opposite end of the spectrum from Mass Effect’s well meaning but uncanny valley alien sexual encounters is this horrible exercise. Visual novels are an interesting genre but this title seems dead-set on trying to prove otherwise. Sayōnara Tokyo School Life, see you in hell.
“It was the breast of times, it was the worst of times.” – Charles Dickens whilst streaming Tokyo School Life, 1855