On her first day of high school, Hinako accidentally bumps into Hikaru, a guy who looks just like her. After threatening her that she’ll have to pay a huge amount for his medical fees, she reluctantly agrees. Turns out, Hikaru is her long lost twin and they are from a Yakuza family. Onigashima family has a long-standing tradition that the son should go to Shishiku Academy and be the banchou. Hikaru hates fighting and all the yakuza stuff. He learns of the existence of his twin sister and her physical strength so, with much blackmailing, Hinako has to attend to Shishiku. Her life as Hikaru starts!
Bros before Hoes
The companies behind Kenka Banchou Otome, Spike Chunsoft and RED, are also involved in some of my favorite games (Dangan Ronpa series, Zero Escape series, and Jyuuzaengi) so I have high hopes for this game. Yet at the same time, I’m like everyone else, wary that this might turn out not worth the hype. Thank goodness, it’s able to live up to it!
If you are expecting this game to give BL undertones, then you’re better off playing a BL game. It’s hard to think about that when I’m fully aware that Hinako is a girl. So even when if the guy teases her as Hikaru, it’ll give me dokis because she’s a she. Hinako doesn’t even fail in reminding that she’s a female.
The story spans an entire school year with April-August as the common route, September-December as the guys’s common route before it branches to either romance or friend endings. When you look at it like that, the story seems short. But the story flows smoothly. There is so much progress in the story in a year’s time frame.
The greatest aspect of the game is the relationship between the characters. They may be delinquents but they never let down a friend in need. That’s why, there are some endings where I prefer the friend end more than the romance end. It puts me in a good mood whenever these guys get along with each other.
I’m pretty disappointed with the lack of romance in this game. But I guess that is what you would expect in a fighting game. At least, it’s not a kusoge. Their camaraderie balances out the romance part so it’s not really a big problem to me. I just hoped there was more especially since the guys’s can be adorable dorks at times.
Hinako only hopes to live a normal high school life. Instead, she learns she have a tsundere twin brother, a yakuza family, and is going to attend a delinquent school as a boy.
I feel bad and sad for Hinako the entire game. She’d been so lonely her entire life. Then her brother appears out of nowhere, used her to his advantage, have impossible tasks to do, and in routes other than Hoou, she isn’t acknowledged by her family. But instead of being drag down by her past and whine, she just does her best all the time.
Hinako can be such a busybody at times. She can’t turn away to someone in need. But I guess that’s because she knows how it feels to not have someone beside you when things fall apart. Her friends had been in difficult and dangerous situations yet she never faltered in helping them.
Another awesome thing about Hinako is that she thinks like a guy. Despite her friends saying she shouldn’t fight because she’s a “girl”, Hinako talks back at them saying, she goes to a fight knowing she’s there to protect, not to be protected. Way to go Hinako!
Whenever I play otome games, I go from least to most favorite character. But everyone in this game is so adorable, it’s hard to choose! I just want to get started on their routes already. 8D
Anyway, I started from the first years to Hoou-niisan.
Totomaru is the first to befriend Hinako but of course, not before challenging her in a fight. Out of the bunch, he is the most eager to fight everyone and be the banchou of Shishiku. Despite being like that, he is a nice and cheerful guy who hates bullying. He values the bond between his friends and would go to great lengths for them.
One of my most favorite theme is about friendship and Kenka Banchou Otome give me the perfect amount of that. I totally enjoy the friend end of Totomaru. Hinako is manly and cool here The conflict is presented in a straightforward way. No fuzz or whatever. The bromance is strong because of the deep trust Totomaru and Hinako have with each other. Besides, even on other routes, Totomaru remains the best friend you wish you have.
Meanwhile, Totomaru’s romance route didn’t make me >///////< . Though I find it cute whenever he fumbles around with Hinako. He has an apparent crush to her from the start. It’s like it’s to be expected that they’ll be together since they have mutual understanding throughout the route.
Despite acting like a big dork all the time, Totomaru is very smart. His head is not just full of incessant fighting but also insights that help them solve problems. Among the guys, he is probably the one who takes his studies seriously.
Konparu is a pretty cold guy towards others but cares deeply to his family and friends.
Playing this right after Totomaru’s end makes this looks like quite a heavy route. Whereas Totomaru has a lighter feel, Konparu has so much going on him, so much burden on his shoulder. Same as with Totomaru’s route I enjoyed the friend end more than the romance end. The friend end is more direct and have lesser drama than the romance end. Eveyrone’s such a bro here. The loose ends are also tied up in the friend route.
While I prefer the friend end, Konparu in love is A+.
I used to want to kick this guy’s face back when I was still in the common route. He is an obnoxious guy who bully Hinako at school by trying to expose her as a girl. Turns out, there’s an even deeper meaning behind his actions (don’t they always). Mirako has trust issues due to some prior experience. But he’s very much committed to his work. He flirts a lot to Hinako despite knowing he’s a guy.
I love his friend end AND his romance end even more! I finally feel the “otome” in the title. Mirako is very sweet and caring. He teases a lot with Hinako but he is sincere with his feelings and I just ASKDLFJLSKDJ. He has that koakuma feel around him that makes him even more <3.
I love it. I love it. I love it! I’m very happy with how things turns out. It’s such a great surprise since I hated him at first and despite how he changed, I’m still pretty meh about him. But it’s a 360 degrees turn once I’m on his route. If Hoou didn’t hold most answers regarding Hinako, I would have played this last instead.
Hinako has lots of onii-chan. I’m envious. www
Kira has a really sad childhood. It has something to do with how he dislikes fighting for no good reason. He met Hinako while they were both in the orphanage.
When I was starting out, Kira’s one of my most anticipated route. But I never thought that it’ll be HEAVIER than Konparu. His route is both heart-wrenching and bittersweet.
I’ve mentioned that I’ve liked all the friend ends. I admire their bond as friends and how they truly want to help each other. Same thing happens here. But despite all that, his friend end is the saddest yet. The fact that Kira isn’t able to meet with “Hinako” despite being beside him all this time is tough. Even when he decides to move on with his life and properly look at the “now”, it’s just too bittersweet to watch. Like he isn’t complete somehow. Besides, there’s just way too many problems for Kira, about Hinako, his family, and at school. Like give the guy a break. He’s been going through a lot already.
Meanwhile, the romance end is just as bittersweet. I prefer it more than the friend end obviously. But god, it’s still painful to know about Kira and his family situation. Kira is such a sweet guy yet whenever I think about the other routes, of Hinako not revealing who she is to him and gets happy with other guys, my heart breaks for Kira. This romance end is the much needed ending of this guy. He deserves it. All his life, he’s been searching for Hinako and when he found her, it’s like finding your favorite blanket you thought you lost in a cold day (I’m not kidding. It gives off that kind of feel.)
Doing this route right after Mirako makes this route even heavier and sadder after all the fluffy ends.
I’ve been waiting for this route since the start of the game. 8D
Hoou’s the legendary banchou who took the position in Shishiku in just a month. He’s also the big brother of Hinako and Hikaru. Doing Hoou’s route is a mix of excitement, worry, drama, and sadness. Excited because he’s this alpha male who is huge brocon type of guy. Plus he’s like the last boss who holds the answers regarding Hinako. But I was also worried for the same thing. I didn’t want incest to ruin the fun in the game. This route probably tops all the family drama throughout the story. While the ending is happy, I didn’t feel happy at all. For one, I’ve finally finished a good game. Second, Hinako didn’t get to meet her friends again. After four routes, I’d grown attached to them. I missed their silly jokes, their unyielding trust to each other, and their delinquent ways. Then, on the last route, they’re suddenly cut off… D8
Also, it’s the last route, give me some lovey-dovey moments with Hoou. (屮ﾟДﾟ)屮 I was sad after doing Kira’s and then this. OMG I feel so empty. (╯°□°）╯
Hoou’s route is mainly Onigashima family drama. So while I liked the slow build of romance, by the time their being slightly lovey-dovey, my sadness has been beyond saving.
The reason behind everything in this game. To be clear, there’s no route for Hikaru. I just included him here because it all started because of him.
Hikaru is Hinako’s twin who hated the Yakuza life. He is the one who scheme the whole thing. Honestly, I have a love-hate relationship with Hikaru. We have this older brother who is more otome than his sister. He’d rather switch places with her than go to a delinquent school. For the most part, he grabs whatever it is convenient for him. While it’s funny how he trashes anyone with his sarcasm, it’s annoying to see him acting like a spoiled, entitled brat.
But then again, there are times when he shows that he cares about Hinako (though I’m unconvinced lol). He’s just a massive tsundere beneath it all. And we all know that I’m not good with tsun characters orz. So he frustrates me most of the time. I guess, he’s like the kind of brother who manages to annoy you every single time but cares a lot about you in times of need.
Despite his hatred for fighting, he is a quick-thinker. This trait had saved them a couple of times.
Got to love the battle system!
In the common route, Hinako has missions she needs to fulfill before the month ends. If not, the game will hit a bad end. To fulfill her missions, there are red marks on the map that indicates where a fight is going to be held.
In a fight, Hinako have to “glare”. There are different expressions available, my favorite being the infatuated and cool expression. There’s a fourth choice which goes straight into the fight. Be warned though that if you choose this, Hinako won’t have a handicap in the fight and the buttons come faster.
Going back to the glare, once you’ve chosen an expression, a phrase will appear (it’s fast so you have to remember it quick). Then you’ll have to choose the words shown by clicking the correct buttons. Kinda like how you play a rhythm game. This is the best part of the game. The answer of you opponents depend on what expression you choose. It’s really fun messing with the guys and making them flustered whenever I choose the infatuated look www.
The benefit of getting the catchphrase right is that Hinako have a full HP bar while the opponent has only 75% HP. No real damage if you mess the phrase. The effect will just be reversed. I find this important since having a full HP is necessary to fight because there’s always a chance that I’ll mess up the button combinations.
It can be tedious to do this especially the fights in the common route. You have to do them 5 times after all. I wish there’s such a thing as skipping the fights you’ve won before. Too bad that you can only skip some fights, but only after you lose first. But anyway, it’s fun so it didn’t really bother me. Once you get the hang of it, it can be pretty easy.
Kenka Banchou Otome is far from a perfect game. But it is good enough to be worth your time. I love each and every one of the characters. Despite the lack of romance, I still love how the slow build. I’ve enjoyed every part of the game and I’m sure you would be too.
Company: Spike Chunsoft
Platform: PS Vita