Genre: Visual Novel, Otome
Release Date: March 30th, 2018
In a dark era for PC otome games, a new challenger appears: Majestic☆Majolical, dazkarat’s first visual novel. The developer’s description page hints at them mainly focusing on otoge – of course, I was wary about trying out a game by an unknown brand. Players who frequent the otoge scene are probably aware that most Japanese visual novels are released in consoles nowadays, and the ones rarely published for PC are +18 games that often end up being barely decent, or a complete mess.
My paranoia concerning the game was strengthened after seeing who the scenario writer was. If the name Hiyo rings any bells, you’ve been a victim just like many others. That’s right, the one behind otoges such as Ijiwaru MyMaster, Akazukin, Riddle Garden, and Trick or Alice is in charge of the writing for Majestic☆Majolical. Oh boy.
Still, being the poor, gullible person I am, I challenged myself to check the voice actors working in the VN. To be honest, I was certain that there wouldn’t be any big names in there because the game’s developer is just starting out. I didn’t expect to be persuaded.
I was terribly wrong. Damn you, Kaji Yuuki and Kimura Ryouhei.
The Idocrase family is a prestigious and well-known presence in the magical world. Doted on for their superior magical abilities and capable of taking on the most important tasks, the members of the family are admired by all of the community.
Our main character, Lapis, is unfortunate enough to be the one failure in the Idocrase family. Most of her parents’ magic was passed down to their first children. Thus Lapis, the youngest offspring, had inferior abilities compared to the rest of her family. Even then, she’s determined to try her hardest and become a part of the combat witch department.
The magic exam all students have to take involves traveling to the human world to gather gems from human hearts. These magical gems reflect the human’s feelings towards the witch that collected them. A deeper and darker color gives higher scores on the test, since it represents a stronger attachment. There is a catch, though — a witch mustn’t take too many gems from a human being, or else they will grow too dependent and their hearts will break once their memories are erased and the witch disappears.
Under these circumstances, Lapis begins attending a human academy to extract gems from the other students. She’s not alone in the human world, for her loyal butler, Jasper, and her overprotective older brother, Hauyne, followed her to supervise her and ensure her safety.
Majestic☆Majolical’s plot is simple, but it’s nice to experience the witch narrative after a considerably long time. Contrary to my expectations, the story and romance were relatively tame, taking into account that Hiyo was involved in the writing process.
[spoiler]Mitsuki is an introvert who thinks everyone hates him, despite the fact that his classmates are actually just intimidated because of his icy glare and his handsome appearance. Mitsuki’s only friend is Shiki, a popular model who is also a social butterfly by nature.
Lapis first meets Mitsuki when she bumps into him on her first day of school. Mitsuki falls down, so she drags him to the infirmary as his hand was wounded as a result.
Despite Mitsuki’s attempts to keep Lapis away – since his belief that everyone hates him leads him to conclude that their classmates will hate Lapis too for hanging out with him – she refuses to distance herself and continues hanging out with him.
The beginning of the route is pointless fluff; Mitsuki and Lapis are shown spending most of their time together and Lapis gradually falls in love, even though she’s supposed to only view Mitsuki as a target she can collect gems from. The two of them are so awkward that they’re just silent whenever they hang out. I was extremely bored playing this route because Lapis and Mitsuki literally couldn’t talk to each other and spent the whole time feeling flustered at the mere thought of being close. They mysteriously start liking each other romantically, in spite of their lack of communication.
One day, as the school festival gets closer, Lapis needs to sew a jacket for her class’ haunted house. Since she sucks at sewing it takes her a long time to progress. Mitsuki waits for Lapis and ends up helping her, however it’s already night by the time they finish the jacket, which also implies that the school turns out to be closed.
Mitsuki is actually terrified of ghosts, witches, and anything supernatural, thus Lapis holds his hand while they walk throughout the school looking for the guard. They eventually give up and go back to their classroom, where they confess their love for each other and kiss.
Later on, Lapis is worried that Mitsuki will hate her very essence – as she’s a witch – hence she asks why Mitsuki is so scared of paranormal stuff. Mitsuki explains that his parents died in a car crash when he was 7 years old, and after this event he kept having nightmares with ghosts that blamed him for his parents’ deaths. Over time, his hallucinations stopped but his fear never disappeared.
Mitsuki’s backstory also reveals that his parents eloped and then conceived him. Post-accident, Mitsuki moved in with his grandparents. Nonetheless they’re very protective of him, for they’re afraid that he’ll go off and die just like his parents did. As a consequence of his grandparents’ overprotective nature, they’ve always imposed a strict curfew on him.
At the end of one of their dates, Mitsuki decides he really wants to stay with Lapis, thus he breaks his curfew for the fourth time (all prior times were also to stay with her for longer). Although Mitsuki assures Lapis that it will be fine, at night on the same day he visits Lapis’ house – he’s covered in multiple injuries and bruises, and it’s revealed that his grandfather beat him up for continuously breaking his curfew.
Mitsuki confesses that his grandparents wanted him to study overseas the year after, yet being with Lapis has given him enough courage to make decisions for himself and stand up to his grandparents, for the reason that he wants to stay with Lapis forever.
Lapis and Mitsuki have sex, but Mitsuki has to sneak out before morning comes since Jasper would freak out if he saw them together.
Subsequent to this incident, Mitsuki skips school. Taking into account that he was planning to confront his grandfather, Lapis feels worried sick and runs to his house to check on him. She sneaks into the house and witnesses Mitsuki having an argument with his grandpa. In the heat of the moment, Mitsuki pushes his grandfather, which ends in tragedy as they were standing in front of the staircase.
The story branches out here. The game is pretty short, so I’ll describe the two main ending variants for both romance routes.
Good ending: Lapis hasn’t focused on her task of gathering gems much because she cares about Mitsuki more than about her magical life, hence she breaks the rule of not using magic to make Mitsuki’s grandfather float and save him from the fall. Seeing that Mitsuki looks terrified of her, Lapis apologizes and runs away crying – she believes Mitsuki is going to despise her for being a witch.
Once she gets home, Lapis is bombarded with questions from both Jasper and Hauyne. Lapis got disqualified from the exam since the magic council sensed that she used her magic, therefore she broke the rules of the test. The council states that they need to erase Mitsuki’s memories as soon as possible, and Lapis will be taken back to the magic world to decide her punishment.
Hauyne hates viewing Lapis look miserable, so he gives her the chance to do whatever she wants before he erases Mitsuki’s memory. Taking this opportunity, Lapis goes to Mitsuki’s house and returns all the magic gems that she collected from him.
Fast-forward to Lapis in the magic world feeling depressed and heartbroken. Her eldest brother Chalcedony managed to convince the magic council that she used the magic under urgent circumstances, thus Lapis is only punished with a year-long ban from magic school, nevertheless she doesn’t care, for she only wanted to be with Mitsuki forever.
Hauyne eventually visits her room and tells her that making her sad is what he hates the most. Lapis is the life of the castle and all of her siblings love her; she lights up their world with her smile, hence Hauyne restores Mitsuki’s memory and tells Lapis to go back to him. As it turns out, after Lapis left Mitsuki kept visiting the human house Lapis had been staying at, looking for something important but not remembering what it was.
Lapis reunites with Mitsuki and they’re both ecstatic to see each other again. Following this, Lapis drops out of magic school and stays in the human world. She frequently receives visits from her beloved brothers and also keeps up normal studies in the human world’s academy. Mitsuki and Lapis are determined to be together forever and everything ends well.
Dependant ending: The dependant end is a variant of the good end, yet it’s basically a fluffy bad end – Lapis focused on collecting gems and does actually remember what her main goal in the human world is, therefore she respects the rules and doesn’t use magic to save Mitsuki’s grandfather. He’s rushed to the hospital, but he’s thankfully fine and nothing bad happened to him. Mitsuki, however, believes he killed his grandfather and has hallucinations of ghosts blaming him for his parents’ death again. Since he refuses to believe his grandfather is alive and only keeps chanting Lapis’ name without coming out of his room, his grandfather goes to Lapis’ house and apologizes, then asks her to stay with Mitsuki as he needs her.
Lapis goes to Mitsuki’s house and finds him sitting in a corner of his room, repeating to himself that he’s a murderer. Lapis states that she’ll stay with him forever and he’ll be fine and safe from the ghosts.
Fast-forward to Lapis and Mitsuki waking up together days after the ordeal. Lapis narrates that since she collected too many gems from Mitsuki’s heart, his heart was broken and he depends on her to continue living. Lapis dropped out of magic school to stay with him forever, for the reason that she loves him even if he refuses to ever go outside his room. Mitsuki tells her that whenever she’s away from him the ghosts come back to haunt him, and Lapis answers that she won’t go anywhere.
While Mitsuki’s route focuses on displaying a rather pure relationship, Shiki’s route is its polar opposite.
Shiki is a flirty but seemingly two-faced guy who grabs Lapis’ attention thanks to his charade. She knows he’s hiding something and is interested in him thanks to it. Shiki is basically the lying, deceitful character trope that trends in Japanese games nowadays.
The plot begins unfolding after Shiki confesses to Lapis. She can sense that something is amiss, therefore she doesn’t give him an answer right away and collects a magic gem from him instead. At her home post-confession, Lapis checks on the gem she gathered. Unexpectedly, the stone is cracked. Hauyne and Jasper warn her that it depicts dangerous feelings of love mixed with hatred; however, the gem gives high scores because of its rarity.
Lapis accepts Shiki’s confession thanks to the possibility to achieve a high score in her magic exam by collecting many rare gems from him. Still, rather than outright agreeing to date Shiki, Lapis proposes a test period in which she’ll judge Shiki’s feelings: he has to convince her that his love for her is real before they can start dating. Shiki appears to be thrilled and shows determination to demonstrate that everything he has told her is true.
Over time, Shiki guides Lapis through various couple activities. Lapis slowly falls in love with him, yet she feels doubtful and insecure about it, taking into account that the magic stones coming from Shiki mean that he hates her.
One day, Lapis runs into Mitsuki on her way to school and they have a brief chat. Lapis finds out that ever since she and Shiki got close, Shiki stopped talking to Mitsuki. In the middle of the conversation Mitsuki gets dust in his eye, so Lapis tries to help him wipe his eye with her handkerchief. Right then, Shiki spots the two of them and goes yandere. He forcefully drags Lapis to the courtyard and kisses her.
Following the kiss, Shiki apologizes to Lapis for imposing himself on her. Observing Shiki’s possessive behavior, Lapis contemplates the possibility of obtaining a deep red stone, hence she attempts to gather a gem from him. The gem is colored a strong pink, but has a concentration of dark blue in the middle. Consulting Hauyne about the stone’s color leads him to insist that she backs off immediately, for it means that Shiki loves her so much that he wants to kill her. (Okay…)
Lapis texts Shiki at night because she’s unwilling to give up on collecting his gems, as their scoring is extremely high – which could allow her to claim the best grade in her class – and she’s also interested in Shiki. He picks her up at her house and they walk to the park together, where Lapis accepts his confession and they kiss.
Lapis gradually realizes the stuff Shiki dislikes and uncovers his jealousy towards Mitsuki – Shiki hates being imperfect so he tries to act like he’s fine with everything and does well at all times, however that’s far from the truth. On the other hand, Mitsuki does well in all areas naturally, thus Shiki resents him deeply. Lapis eventually confronts him about his jealousy towards Mitsuki and asks him to just give up his façade and show his true self in front of her, as she will accept him no matter what.
Shiki gets triggered after Lapis brings up her discovery, hence he decides that it’s RAPING TIME. He admits that all of Lapis’ suspicions are true and pins her to his bed. Lapis is rightfully horrified and starts crying, yet Shiki screams at her to not run away since she was the one who said that she will accept him just the way he is. Somehow this convinces Lapis to let herself get raped. Subsequent to the disturbing scene, Shiki leaves the room and Lapis runs out of his house.
Shiki begins avoiding Lapis on the following days. She quickly grows tired of his disappearing act, therefore she corners him and demands that he grows a pair to talk to her. Shiki apologizes for the horrible stuff he did and explains that his behavior is closely tied to his one-sided rivalry with Mitsuki – because of his jealousy towards him, Shiki was the one who convinced all the other students that Mitsuki didn’t like them and didn’t appreciate being talked to. After this brief backstory, Shiki admits that back when he confessed to Lapis, he did it for the reason that he was scared Lapis would be taken away by seemingly perfect Mitsuki.
As Shiki explains the pain in his chest produced by the thought of Mitsuki stealing Lapis from him, he has a sudden realization that he genuinely likes Lapis. Lapis is stunned that he only realized it then, however Shiki elaborates, explaining that he hadn’t perceived the true nature of his feelings because he had never fallen in love before.
Following the moment Shiki acknowledges his adoration for Lapis, he apologizes again and promises to cherish her lots since he loves her. They make up and share an afternoon together.
At night, Lapis checks the magic gem she collected from Shiki that day, but she’s horrified to see that even after everything they had been through, Shiki’s gem still had dark blue in the middle.
Post-confrontation, Shiki leaves his jealousy towards Mitsuki aside and it appears like he’s completely changed for the better. Unfortunately, as Shiki and Lapis keep dating, she collects enough rare gems to pass the magical exam with the best grades of her class. She tries her best to extend her time in the human world, yet Hauyne spots the bottle filled with gems in her room and demands that she goes back to their world immediately. Seeing that Lapis reacts to his orders by sobbing desperately, Hauyne decides to give her another day to do everything she wants to do before leaving the human world.
Good ending: The next day, Lapis can’t hide her sadness and ends up confessing that her family wants her to move away again. Shiki convinces Lapis of letting him talk to her brother. Shiki asks Hauyne to let Lapis stay with him because he adores her; he does the whole Japanese “please entrust her to me” request that boyfriends voice when they want to marry their girlfriends.
Hauyne pulls a “to hell with it” and admits that he’s a wizard. He shows Lapis and Shiki a vision of the future if they stay together – everything Lapis wears and does is dictated by Shiki. Despite this, his yandere senses go off and lead him to choke Lapis to death simply because he felt jealous over her wearing a necklace given to her by one of her brothers.
Shiki is devastated by the vision and questions himself, since he felt that he had changed after getting over his one-sided rivalry with Mitsuki. Hauyne explains that though it’s true that he left that jealousy behind, his extremely possessive side over Lapis is still present.
Shiki affirms that he can change, so Hauyne agrees to give him a trial. He makes Shiki revisit memories of every moment he ever felt dangerously possessive, and each time he experiences toxic thoughts, the imaginary Lapis screams out in agony and collapses. Although the Lapis seen in his hallucinations is fake, Hauyne tricks Shiki into thinking that she’s the real Lapis, who is suffering because of him.
Hauyne tells Shiki that he needs to watch every vision until the very end to stay with Lapis, however Shiki begs him to stop the trial due to the fact that he can’t stand to see Lapis in pain. Hauyne warns him that if they don’t complete the trial he’ll take Lapis away, and Shiki won’t ever see her again. Regardless of the consequences, Shiki accepts a reality without Lapis and just pleads for her to be freed from the torture shown in each vision.
After Hauyne transports everyone back to the real world, Shiki embraces Lapis and cries while apologizing for making her feel pain. Lapis attempts to explain that it wasn’t the real her in the hallucinations, but Hauyne stops her. Her brother then announces that Shiki passed the test – he had lied about the conditions to pass the trial. Hauyne only wanted to make sure that Shiki would put Lapis’ well-being over his own selfish wishes to stay with her. He also states that from the moment he saw Lapis’ love for Shiki, he knew that it would be difficult for him to take her back to the magical world, for the reason that he loves her and doesn’t want her to give up her happiness just to satisfy her family in the magic world.
Following Hauyne’s revelation, Shiki happily clings to Lapis and promises to cherish her forever.
Fast-forward to a few months subsequent to Shiki’s confrontation with Hauyne – Lapis narrates that she spent a long time in the magic world convincing her family to let her stay in the human world. In this long time span, Lapis and Shiki communicated through letters. In the present, she notifies Shiki about the date of her return and is greeted by him at her human home so that they can walk to school together. Shiki decides to be a cheesy boyfriend and brings her a bouquet of roses to welcome her.
Dependant ending: Instead of telling Shiki about her departure right away, Lapis and Shiki go to his house and have sex. Due to Lapis’ clingy behavior, Shiki can tell that she’s planning to leave him, so he starts drugging her with aphrodisiacs every day. Lapis vaguely remembers her brothers and parents crying faces, but her memory eventually fades and only Shiki remains in her mind.
In the epilogue, she lives with Shiki in the human world. She quit the human academy so as to not bother Shiki and decides to stay at Shiki’s home every day, waiting for him to return from school and from work. Shiki brainwashes Lapis on the daily, telling her that she only needs him, and whenever Lapis tries to think of something else he drugs her.
Aside from Mitsuki’s and Shiki’s routes, there’s a short third ending for Hauyne. In it, Lapis fails to find a target to collect high-quality magic gems from. She fails the magical exam because of this, but Hauyne hires her as his personal assistant in his research lab. Lapis thinks to herself that although she failed her initial goal, working as Hauyne’s assistant is fun and she’s grateful to have him as her brother.[/spoiler]
Lapis was a great heroine who could stand up for herself and didn’t spend most of her time getting flustered or being useless, unlike many of the main characters in otoges nowadays. Lapis’ personality was a key factor in building the player’s interest in the plot, as the narrative was mostly about her life as a witch and her magical exam. As opposed to visual novels exploring the guy’s backstory or problems in their respective routes, Majestic☆Majolical mainly focused on its heroine’s story and development.
Regrettably, the plot went straight to the point. This is usually something good, yet it was awful for this game since the story was so simple that each route took approximately 4 hours to finish. The plain and straightforward story was both short and unmemorable; besides, neither of the romanceable characters managed to grab my attention. Mitsuki was as interesting as a rock, and though Shiki could be cute at times, his rapist and yandere tendencies were a turn-off. Shiki’s route highlighted his creepy self instead of letting his moe self shine. Because of these setbacks, Majestic☆Majolical’s tale definitely won’t be a reason to remember the VN.
Concerning the game’s visuals – I won’t lie, I had a mixed reaction at first. Majestic☆Majolical’s art isn’t ugly per se, however, it surely takes some getting used to. Although I grew to like it by the time I finished the otoge, the characters initially creeped the hell out of me. I remember describing to a friend how the drawing style gave me the heebie-jeebies. Something about the facial features and coloring conveyed the feeling that the game would be filled with yanderes ready to jump out of my screen and stab me. Shiki’s route did contain some of my initial expectations, nonetheless, it was nowhere near as dark as what I pictured based on the sprites and illustrations.
It’s hard to judge the art, as it’s so unusual, yet the quality was consistent overall – the artist didn’t struggle with angles, plus she nailed the portrayal of different atmospheres depending on the situation – and the coloring was very pleasing to look at, especially in the fluffier CGs. I dare to say the visuals are pretty fulfilling as a whole, and my initial gripes with it are very subjective.
Majestic☆Majolical’s music is incredibly fitting and nice to listen to. The soundtrack isn’t Hakuoki good, nevertheless, it could easily be placed amongst my favorites in VNs. The music managed to set the mood for the magical scenarios and it fit well with the rest of the game’s ambient. I was especially drawn to the OP and ED themes, sung by my gods Kimura Ryouhei and Valshe, respectively. Mystic Labyrinth and Lapis Lazuli are nice songs.
The voice acting was great and I enjoyed listening to everyone. There aren’t many big names involved, yet everyone in the cast is highly talented. The humorous interactions between the characters surely influenced the quality of the voice acting – the cast was able to deliver their comical lines in a goofy way that never failed to crack me up even during unexpected moments. Majestic☆Majolical’s scenarios explore a wide array of emotions, which gives the voice actors the opportunity to deliver their lines in numerous different ways throughout the otoge.
Although I usually never comment on the UI or VN’s system, it’s a must in this case. The scene replay is really sloppy. Instead of showing a list of every scene in a route, you can only replay the scenes that have CGs in them. This threw me off a lot when I tried to replay some funny moments because there wasn’t a way to rewatch them without replaying the game, and even if you want to replay the scenes with illustrations, you can’t see what happened prior to the scenario with the CG. It only lets you read the one moment in which the CG is being shown, but not the dialogue before it.
Majestic☆Majolical vol.1 managed to surpass my expectations, nevertheless I would only describe it as a lighthearted, decent game. The theme and resources used to set the magical atmosphere of the VN are good, however, the story just isn’t strong enough to leave an impression on the player. It feels like a product with pretty packaging, yet lacking content. It’s an extremely forgettable and overpriced otoge that I’ll only remotely remember thanks to the dent it left in my wallet.
As I bought the three volumes together, I’ll still play the remaining two Majestic☆Majolical games – hopefully, they’ll have a better plot than this first entry.
Majestic☆Majolical has a charming collection of side-characters and an interesting, relatable heroine. The art is a bit of an acquired taste, but the colorful and light-hearted atmosphere described by the game is portrayed nicely. Unfortunately, the romanceable leads are bland and boring, and Shiki has a highly distorted notion of what love is. Despite its flaws, Majestic☆Majolical does a great job at reviving the magical universe concept.