I’ve decided to provide overviews of any Japanese language otome games I purchase to help you determine how difficult the language may be. As such, I’ll be translating a portion of the beginning of the game and providing screenshots so you may see how the Japanese text reads. Hopefully this helps you decide if the game is right for you. As always, if you spot any mistakes please let me know down below in the comments. Thank you!
*Character names follow the official website‘s spelling.
*All rights belong to Ruby Party (Koei Tecmo)
Difficulty level can’t be changed. This determines how much of a threat your rival will be at the start of the game. I went with Easy mode because I’m just here to enjoy the game.
With that out of the way, you’ll be treated to a brief manga-style introduction to the heroine’s current life as a 25 year old office worker.
She’s exhausted from work and wants to go shopping, visit an onsen and get a massage, but… she’s so tired and she can’t afford it. That’s when she notices the bar sign above her. It’s called, “The Queen and the Nine Gods.” It’s the same name of a fairy tale she loved as a little girl. She goes inside, self-conscious of being all by herself. All sorts of things happened today… She accidentally shredded her company’s contract and her boss said she’d gone ahead and done it without asking for permission during a meeting.
Her company’s sales figures aren’t doing too good either. She thinks they’ll be laying people off soon, so… she’ll need to look for another job if that happens. But there’s nothing else she wants to do… And there’s another wedding this weekend.. What’s going to happen to her? Maybe she’ll quit… That’s it! She’ll quit! She’ll change her career! The bartender says he knows of a good place to work at if she’s thinking of changing jobs. Would she like to become the Queen of a Holy Land? It’s a job only she can do.
Oh, like in that fairy tale? It’s really a thing? It is. She asks if she can take a look, and he presents her with a contract. Because she’s drunk and thinks the bartender is a funny guy, she signs it. She thinks it’s silly, believing that “The Queen and the Nine Gods” could even be real — And the second she signs her name, a man on a pegasus flies into the bar. She’s made a contract with them, Queen Candidate, he says. “I’ve come to get you.”
“The Queen and the Nine Gods.”
This world is supported by the universe of the Queen and the Nine gods. The Queens are those who are beautiful and kind while the gods are brave and cunning. The chosen Queens and the gods are always watching over everyone. They’re forever watching over the people with a kind, benevolent gaze — Ange collapses. She’d read that book as a child. But what happened in the end?
“Hey, woman. Wake up. Hey, wake up! Shit. What’s your name again?” This is where you name your character. If you keep her default name, Ange, the characters will all say her name. He remembers it’s Ange, and she responds right away when he calls her that. What is with her face? She should feel honored to know that he was the one who brought her here.
Where is she? Ange glances around the room, and he demands she look at him. She’s got some nerve to look away! Ange startles. The guy tells her she looks really dumb, but he’ll let her rudeness slide. He thinks she already knows this, but he’s the Sacred Guardian of Light, Yue-sama. “You’re the woman whose mission is to guide the stars.”
She should be grateful that she was given the privilege of being chosen. So starting from today, she’ll be giving it her all. What? “Yue,” says a new voice. “She’s not going to understand with that explanation. Welcome to the Floating City. I am the Sacred Guardian of Wind, Vergil. And this is the Sacred Guardian of Darkness, Noah.” He’s afraid to inform her that she’s now in a different world.
She’s familiar with the story, “The Queen and the Nine Gods,” correct? She’s been chosen. She’ll become the Queen of the Cosmos and will help guide the world together with them, the Sacred Guardians. Noah tells her to give it her best shot. Ange promptly faints on the spot, startling him. Yue is peeved that she fell unconscious again and tries to rouse her. Then the opening plays.
“I am you. Are you me?” A mysterious voice asks. Who’s that? The voice explains that she had chosen Ange. Her and one other — What? Everything’s suddenly gone dark. Just where is she — Oh, was that… a dream? Nope. Where is she!? “So you’re awake,” says an unfamiliar woman. “Good morning, Ange. Or perhaps, good afternoon? Oh, maybe evening?” Ange stares at her. Um, who is she? “I’m Reina. I’m a Queen Candidate, just like you.”
She got here yesterday, one day before she did. She’ll tell her what she knows. What would she like to hear about? Reina asks her to listen closely because she’s only going to give her a basic rundown. “Where is this place?” Ange asks. This is the Floating City. It’s a mysterious continent that drifts through the cosmos. Reina’s surprised herself to be telling her that this legendary place actually exists.
What are the Queen Candidates? Reina says that the candidates are those who have been chosen to become the Queen of the Cosmos. She’s familiar with the story called “The Queen and the Nine Gods,” right? They were both summoned here to become Queen. Ange stares at her. What this person is going on about? Next, she asks what the Sacred Guardians are. Reina explains that the Sacred Guardians are those who serve the Queen and direct their powers, which they call Sakuria, toward the world. The Sacred Guardians are the Gods that appear in that fairy tale.
Ange peers at Reina and wonders if she’s alright in the head. “Reina-san… was it? Just who exactly are you?” Reina says she can drop the honorifics with her. She was working in the same city as her, and she’s twenty five. She supposes her being a Queen Candidate makes her Ange’s rival. The next project is a global one on a one 10 billionth scale… although they’re on a short break at the moment.
Ange asks if Reina knows where her purse went. She’s got her phone and everything in there… Reina doesn’t know. Her purse also went missing. Where could it have gone… That reminds Ange: she’s wearing really fancy clothes… She asks Reina if this is reality. Reina isn’t sure. But she thinks it is, because one night she went to bed and nothing about her situation had changed the next morning. With all of those questions out of the way, Reina says they can lay off the keigo with each other since they’re the same age. And she’ll be calling her Ange from now on.
In any case, it turns out that that what she believed to be just some fairy-tale is actually reality. She was stunned. Reina was worried about her job back at her company, but she’s put that behind her and moved on. “And starting today, I’ll be competing against you. I don’t plan on losing!”
Story and Gameplay:
The game boils down to Ange and Reina competing to develop their respective continents using the powers of their Sacred Guardians. Whoever develops their continent the furthest during the exam’s time window will become the Queen of the Cosmos, guiding the stars of the universe. Ange and Reina have a friendly rivalry with each other and each of them stand out in their own ways.
While you can romance any of the Guardians, this doesn’t follow your standard otome game formula. Gameplay consists of managing a schedule to develop your continent while making time to spend with your Guardians. I haven’t gotten very far myself, so I don’t know much else beyond that.
If you’d like to know more, you can check out their official website.
I personally thought it was easy to understand. I have no idea where I’m at JLPT-wise. So far, I’ve played Beastmaster and Prince and a good chunk of Dance With Devils, but I had to look up a lot more words in those two compared to Angelique Luminarise. Granted, those titles have more fantasy terms.
Luminarise has its own share of fantasy terms and lore, but it wasn’t difficult to understand. The name of the city (飛空都市) could be tricky for beginners who are still learning kanji. I translated it as “Floating City,” although I’m sure you can leave it as is or even call it the “Flying City.” 守護聖 (Sacred Guardian/Patron Saint) was also new to me.
There weren’t any instances that truly stumped me — and I’m someone who struggles with grammar. Cyrus’ keigo wasn’t difficult for me to understand either. His little survey stood out in particular because it was filled with questions you’d find in a beginner Japanese textbook:
The only time I had to pause and go over some grammar points was during Cyrus’ explanation of the Queen Exam. There’s plenty of technical terms throughout, but it’s nothing a dictionary and a search engine can’t help you with. I’ll also be reviewing this game and discussing the mechanics more in-depth, so hopefully that helps clear up any confusion for you in that section. The manga-style introduction goes by pretty fast too and you can’t rewind it, so I had to take screenshots and go back to read what I missed.
At the end of the day, if you’re new to playing otome games in Japanese, it’s going to be challenging no matter what you start with. But if you stick with it, you’ll get through it. And if you decide you don’t want to learn Japanese anymore or you’d rather play otome games in English, that’s perfectly fine too! Just have fun!
If you would like to purchase the game for yourself, you can do so either on the Japanese Nintendo eshop or from various online retailers such as CDJapan, Playasia or Amazon Japan.
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