Romance Visual Novel, Tokyo School Life, Launches Today on Steam

Tokyo School Life, a romance visual novel created by M2 and Dogenzaka Lab, is available to download on Windows PCs as of today.

According to its Steam description:

This is the story of your trip as an exchange student in Tokyo and the three girls you meet there. Although you don’t make the greatest first impression, you quickly settle into the kind of everyday life you’ve seen in anime and manga—filled with laughs and tears.
By the time you have to head home two months from now, you might find that you’ve fallen for one of your new friends …

The description is rather cringeworthy. Perhaps the VN is better than its marketing.

Tokyo School Life is voiced in Japanese (“female characters only”), and players have the option to display text in English, Japanese, hiragana, or romaji. An additional selection can be displayed alongside players’ main choice, according to the developers, and Japanese text even has furigana (“readings for kanji”).

You can watch the opening movie for the game above, and see screenshots of it below.

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Dimi Gronnings


With over ten years' experience as an editor, Dimi is Niche Gamer's Managing Editor. He has indefinitely put a legal career on hold in favor of a life of video games: priorities.

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  1. Nin
    February 12, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    It’s like Go Go Nippon except more moe, less lewd, and high school antics.
    0/10 needs more tourism.

    That aside, I don’t imagine this selling too well unless it’s less than $10. Or hilariously bad.

  2. Nonscpo
    February 12, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Dammit I was gonna compare it to Go Go Nippon, oh well you beat me to it ;)

  3. Sergio Nacher Fernández
    Sergio Nacher Fernández
    February 12, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    Looks pretty generic. Could give a pass to something generic if it had content I actually liked, like yuri, but this… Nah.

  4. Kuso Miso
    Kuso Miso
    February 12, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    They sure like the word “you”.

  5. kratoscar2008
    February 12, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    I just hope you actually play as “you” instead of some dude called Jhon.

  6. Shadepariah
    February 12, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    When I imagined visual novels becoming popular in the west I thought maybe they’d do it with old comic book heroes or VERY famous japanese titles. Mangagamer seemed to be making stuff happen and then all the sudden we’ve got a flood of stuff from such distinguished entities as “Winged Cloud”. Here’s to the first impression of VNs in the west, not sappy intelligent love stories or super hero tales but moe moe school girls for 3 hours of play time at $15 a pop. I mean, I’d really be mad but that’s the bedrock of the Japanese VN market too, it just hardly shows up anywhere else.

    tl;dr didn’t see that one coming.

  7. Nonscpo
    February 12, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    I think it has more to do with Clannads successful kickstarter and the ongoing Japanese recession. It seems Japanese publishers and developers will be willing to take more risks!

  8. Nonscpo
    February 12, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    Price will also play a factor with most people too.

  9. Nin
    February 13, 2015 at 3:50 am

    I guess that there simply was a lack of moe on Steam and stuff like Sakura Spirit and Go Go Nippon to fill the void. Even if most people bought it for the laughs, they filled the waifu need or something like that. I personally am not into getting waifus but moe is inherently relaxing, almost in an escapist way.

    I’m curious how as to how a full blown moege like Princess Evangile will do on Steam. While it’s obvious that moe and lewd paved the way for VN’s to get on Steam, it remains to be seen if serious story VN’s such as Clannad and Grisaia keep up the momentum or if the Steam VN market will be ruled by moe much like how nukige seem to keep MangaGamer afloat.

  10. Dimi Gronnings
    Dimi Gronnings
    February 13, 2015 at 5:38 am

    We’ve been interviewing Sekai Project, and they confirm that moege is what the market seems to want right now. I think that’s sad, ’cause there’s so much more to the medium, but clearly there’s money to be made in pandering.

  11. Dimi Gronnings
    Dimi Gronnings
    February 13, 2015 at 5:40 am

    I imagine this would be incredibly useful to someone who is learning or wants to learn Japanese, but I don’t see it being successful outside of that demographic.

  12. Mermadesings
    February 13, 2015 at 7:07 am

    There is always money to be made in pandering. The trick is in balancing the pandering with the good stuff.

  13. Dimi Gronnings
    Dimi Gronnings
    February 13, 2015 at 8:53 am

    I understand why it’s happening – VNs are still a risky venture in the West, so it’s better to go with a “sure” thing – but that doesn’t make it any less sad. We’ll (hopefully) eventually get to a point where we get both the “good” and the “easy” stuff, but we’re not there yet.