Written by a bunch of students of the highly acclaimed master of Japanese prose, Ou Jackson, Tsuki ni Yorisou Otome no Sakuhou (Nestling against the Moon, the Etiquette of a Lady) is a romantic comedy about a noble bastard who has to cross-dress to attend an all-girl designer school.
The few hour long prologue tells you about the past of the protagonist and his struggles to live in the family of modern nobility, which have their own ideas how “bastards” should be treated. Then all that is rendered redundant immediately as the stage abruptly jumps to Japan, where the now older protagonist suddenly decides to impersonate a maid and attend an all-girl school… for reasons. It kind of made me wonder why they bothered with that prologue to begin with.
The plot from then on consists mostly of humorous interactions between characters and some light-hearted predictable drama toward the end.
Heroines are definitely the highlight of this VN as they are both interesting and likable, with Ursule being my personal favorite. She is so far the only foreigner that genuinely felt foreign to me in a visual novel; the way she misunderstands Japanese language and culture is surprisingly realistic. Male characters, on the other hand, are not the best, with protagonist being a spineless generic wuss and main antagonist, his brother, changing his personality whenever scenario requires it. It is particularly hard to take Luna’s route seriously as, not only the villain acts completely out of character, his plan is so inept he pretty much sabotages himself.
The whole experience is, in the end, entertaining enough, but I would have liked a more carefully crafted plot to get actually invested in the whole thing. The guys who worked on Tsuki ni Yorisou certainly inherited a semblance of what makes Ou Jackson so good, but they are still just a shadow of that guy. Why doesn’t Navel get Jackson himself to write more stuff for them anyway?
|Attractive character designs||Generic predictable plot|
|Charming, likable characters||Boring wuss of a protagonist|
|Foreigner heroine feels genuinely foreign||Villain’s personality keeps changing to suit the plot|
|Some funny moments||Villain’s scheme in Luna’s route is so ridiculous it is hard to take the whole thing seriously|
|You’ll learn things about cross-dressing you’ve never known|