Left to right: Saeki, Yuta, Takao, Ren, and Yamato
My Forged Wedding is a Romance GameVisual Novel by Voltage Inc for iOS and Android devices. It's also been very loosely adapted by the company's US subsidiary with the title White Lies & Sweet Nothings.The protagonist, a recent university graduate, has just moved to Tokyo from her hometown in Kyushu in the hopes that family friend Kunihiko Aikawa, a successful entrepreneur, will be able to help her find work.Upon her arrival, the heroine is quickly introduced to Kunihiko's circle of friends: Yamato, the snarky high school teacher; Takao, the kindly attorney; Saeki, the flirtatious scriptwriter; Ren, the quiet scientist; and Yuta, the aspiring comedian. She also learns that Kunihiko's help isn't going to come without strings attached, because each of these men has a problem that only a woman can help them with. If she agrees to help one of them - and only if she agrees to help - then Kunihiko will help her find a job.The trouble is, "helping" means having to pose as the fiancee of a man she's just met.
Yamato quickly dubs the protagonist "Pouty" at the beginning of his route, a nickname which sticks throughout the route and all of his later stories.
The Doorstop Baby in Takao's second sequel is named Nozomu but quickly nicknamed "Nom-Nom".
Animated Actors: The "Commercial Outtakes" is framed as a behind-the-scenes look at the "filming" of the game's promotional video. Everyone retains their usual personalities, and the side story avoids actually breaking the fourth wall by never actually mentioning the game in specific during the story itself, instead being very vague about just what the characters think they're filming an ad for.
Artifact Title: The faked marriage or engagement that gives the game its title only factors into the initial main route for each guy; subsequent content such as epilogues, sequels, and side stories track the continued development of the protagonist's romance with her guy after the ruse has been abandoned and is no longer an element of their relationship. As of the third sequel, appropriately titled the "Wedding Bells" sequel, they are in fact married for real.
The Beard: The game's basic premise. All of the guys have some reason or other for needing the protagonist to pose as their fiancee or wife. Just how serious the need is and how long the deception is intended to last varies from route to route.
White Lies & Sweet Nothings retains the theme but switches the particulars - it's the protagonist who needs a faux husband in order to get her dream job, requiring her to rope one of several men of her acquaintance into playing the part.
Becoming the Mask: Inevitably, the staged relationship in each route quickly becomes more real than the participants had intended.
Belligerent Sexual Tension: Yamato and the protagonist have a degree of this, although it's more on the level of playful bantering from both sides rather than anything more violently belligerent.
Beware the Nice Ones: Discussed by the other characters in reference to Takao, who they warn the protagonist is likely to turn out to be a Covert Pervert. He's not - but he is the one out of the group most likely to have moments of unexpected badassery, such as hauling off and punching one of his relatives for being a crappy parent, talking down a would-be robber while being held at gunpoint, and (in the "Working Couple" side story) playing the role of Crusading Lawyer to the hilt to put a Corrupt Corporate Executive in her place.
Big Fancy House: The Utsunomiya estate in Haruka's route is an enormous traditional Japanese-style manor, complete with The Thing That Goes Doink. It's so huge that Haruka admits even he doesn't know all of the rooms.
Brick Joke: In Kyoichi's route, he drafts the protagonist into posing as his fiancee by having her sign a contract with him under the assumption that he's hiring her for a job. He doesn't hold it over her for very long, however, and the contract is soon forgotten as the protagonist gets to know him and comes to understand his reasons for staging the deception. At the end of the route, the protagonist makes her Love Confession to Kyoichi by telling him she wants to re-negotiate the terms of their agreement and presenting him with a modified copy of the contract on which the duration has been changed to "forever."
Brilliant, but Lazy: Kunihiko comes across this way, given that he's the founder and owner of a successful IT company but rarely seems to do any actual work, instead preferring to hang around his bar, which he started on the side purely as a hobby. His route proves that he can exert serious effort towards running his main business when it's actually necessary, but he seems to have arranged things so that it's not necessary all that often.
An eye injury on Saeki's route leaves him under strict instructions to rest and avoid eye-straining activities like reading or spending long stretches of time on a computer, which could prevent his eyesight from recovering. Unfortunately, Saeki has a screenplay due, requiring him to choose between his job and his eyesight. The protagonist presents him with a third option, volunteering to take dictation for him so that he can continue to write while also resting his eyes.
In Haruka's route, the protagonist eventually discovers that due to an accident, Haruka has lost sensation in his right hand, severely impeding his ability to perform ikebana. He has continued to create arrangements in public performances, using showier designs than normal to hide his disability, but his family has had another follower of the Utsunomiya style doing the rest of his work for him. By the time he meets the protagonist, he has given up on physical therapy and resigned himself to quitting ikebana.
Childhood Memory Demolition Team: On Kyoichi Kunichiro's route, his true motive for vying to inherit the family estate is so that he can gain ownership of the house he grew up in, in order to ensure that his mother will be able to return there if she survives her surgery. His aunt plans to demolish the house out of resentment against her sister.
Chocolate of Romance: The protagonist's effort to present her guy with homemade chocolate for Valentine's Day are central to most routes of the "Your 1st Valentine's Day" side story.
Christmas Episode: The "Your First Xmas" side story focuses on the protagonist's hopes for a romantic Christmas Eve with her guy.
The Clan: Takao has a huge family, including both parents, his grandmother, four younger brothers, and various extended family members of mostly unspecified relation such as four-year-old Ryutaro and his parents. His immediate family, at least, are depicted as a close-knit and pleasant bunch who quickly embrace the protagonist when she's introduced to them as Takao's fiancee.
Clingy Jealous Girl: Yuri, one of Yamato's students, is infatuated with him. She takes the protagonist's appearance on the scene as his "wife" very poorly.
Clueless Chick Magnet: According to Haruka, Takao never lacked admirers in high school - not that he ever noticed.
Companion Cube: Yamato treats his Roomba like a pet, including greeting it when he gets home.
Cool Old Lady: Takao's grandmother, for whom all of the guys hold respect and affection.
Crazy Jealous Guy: Yuta's apparent major flaw. It's played quite gently for the most part, but he still takes the time to give the protagonist a very visible hickey in a fit of panicked jealousy and doesn't respond well to his friends joking about stealing the protagonist away.
Crossover: The epilogue to Kunihiko's sequel crosses over with Office Secrets - although none of that game's cast appear, Kunihiko and the protagonist attend a gala held by Infinite, the clothing company at which Office Secrets takes place. In Kunihiko's wedding sequel, his friend at Infinite is revealed to be Tamotsu Goda.
Culture Clash: Exploited by Takao in his sequel epilogue - he suggests that he and the protagonist take a trip to Bali together, and towards the end of the epilogue admits that he chose the location mostly on the basis that, unlike in Japan, no one there would find it at all out of the ordinary if they were to hug and kiss one another in public.
Did Not Get The Guy: Unusual for a Voltage game, the Happy Ending for Yuta's route ends with him deciding that he and the protagonist are best off as friends.
Yamato reveals on his route that he grew up being told that his father had died, only to find out after his mother's passing that his father is in fact still alive and currently working as the principal of a girls' high school. Yamato lied about his marital status to get a teaching position at the same school in order to get closer to his father and find out for himself what kind of man he is and if he cared at all about Yamato's mother or Yamato himself. Turns out he didn't know about Yamato at all - she intentionally disappeared from his life when she got pregnant because it would have caused trouble for him, and he's spent the past twenty-odd years hoping to see her again.
Kyoichi's father abandoned his family and got involved with another woman when Kyoichi's mother developed a serious heart condition, leaving Kyoichi with a dim opinion of love and romantic relationships.
Darker and Edgier: Kunihiko's second sequel, in comparison to the others. A disgruntled Aikawa.com employee's accusations of incest and grooming are picked up by the media, and the story snowballs until the company's stock price plummets, and the friends and family of Kunihiko and the protagonist are caught in the flames as well. And then the protagonist starts suspecting she may be pregnant...
Doorstop Baby: In Takao's second sequel, an infant is left at the door of his law firm, and he and the protagonist end up taking care of the baby while they try to locate the parents and find out why he was abandoned.
Drink Order: Beer for Yamato, red wine for Saeki. Takao drinks shochu on the rocks, a preference which he shares with the protagonist and which the other guys joke is an old man's drink.
Drowning My Sorrows: Takao's response to the announcement that Haruka and the protagonist are dating. He proceeds to get completely hammered, to the point where he doesn't noice when Kunihiko starts serving him water.
Engaging Conversation: At the beginning of Takao's route, he gets nervous trying to describe the favor he needs from the protagonist and ends up blurting out, "Please become my wife!" Then he has to hastily backpedal and explain that he only needs a fiancee, and only in pretense rather than reality.
Expy: Ren is basically Wilfred from Be My Princess. Both are quiet blond princes with overbearing butlers, both have a strong dislike for a certain vegetable (broccoli for Ren, carrots for Wilfred), and for both of them flowers hold a special significance. Ren's sequel makes the resemblance even stronger by revealing that, like Wilfred, he also has an older brother who renounced his claim to their kingdom's throne in order to pursue a career in science.
Ferris Wheel Date Moment: In Yamato's route of the "Your 1st Valentine's Day" side story, he takes the protagonist on an amusement park date for Valentine's Day, ending with a Ferris Wheel make-out session.
Grand Romantic Gesture: In Kyoichi's sequel epilogue, he pulls out all the stops to re-do his marriage proposal to the protagonist (the initial proposal having been rather rushed). He rents a limo, custom-orders a dress for her, reserves an entire three-star restaurant, and presents the gemstone for her engagement ring to her in the petals of a rose along with a new contract.
Handsome Lech: Saeki rarely misses a chance to flirt with the protagonist, admire an attractive woman, or otherwise somehow turn the conversation towards sex.
Honorary Uncle: Kunihiko to the protagonist. She calls him "Uncle", as he is a relative, of sorts, who spent a lot of time babysitting her when she was a child and he was in his teens. Their actual familial ties are a little complicated, but suffice to say that they are related — just not by bloodnote The protagonist's paternal grandmother is an Aikawa woman who married beneath her, to her family's disapproval. Meanwhile Kunihiko's father, the current Aikawa patriarch, was adopted into the family.. Dealing with the fallout forms the crux of Kunihiko's second sequel.
Hostess Club: During Yamato's route of the Christmas Episode, several of Yamato's students are discovered to be working for a shady-looking "store" which is implied to be, if not a hostess club, then something very similar (in the general sense of persuading men to spend money by letting them get cozy with attractive female employees). Since Yamato is a high school teacher and his students are thus underage, he understandably feels the need to intervene.
I Didn't Tell You Because You'd Be Unhappy: The relationship between Takao and the protagonist becomes strained during his Wedding Bells sequel when she discovers that the reason he's been so stressed out lately is that his firm is under investigation for possible tax fraud and he'd avoided telling her about it. He kept it from her so as not to worry her, but the protagonist feels that this means he doesn't rely on her, and the fight that results is heated enough that the protagonist goes home to her parents in Kyushu. Once she's there, she quickly finds herself better understanding Takao's side of things when she instinctively avoids telling her parents the details of the fight to keep them from worrying.
Informed Attribute: The quirks that the game tries to assign to the guys don't always match up to how they're actually written.
Takao is often accused of being a Covert Pervert, both in-game and in things like a bonus CG that labels him "Mr. Muttsuri" (from a Japanese slang word that means roughly the same thing as the trope). His relatively few suggestive moments would look downright tame even if Saeki weren't around to make everyone else look like choirboys by comparison.
Yuta is designated the resident Crazy Jealous Guy. He does have moments of jealousy, but nothing particularly remarkable considering that most Voltage guys tend to get a bit possessive sooner or later.
Inter-Class Romance: Subverted in Haruka's route. Despite early indications that Haruka's parents disapprove of the protagonist because of her lower social class, it never actually becomes an issue. In fact, Haruka's mother came from a normal family herself.
It's a Costume Party, I Swear: A variant occurs in Kyoichi's route when his cousin's fiancee calls the protagonist to invite her to a party which she claims is a pot-luck get-together. It's actually the birthday party of Kyoichi's very wealthy grandfather and a much classier affair than the protagonist was led to believe, and it's clear that the cousin's fiancee intentionally set the protagonist up to be looked down on by the rest of Kyoichi's family for showing up with a humble homemade dish and no other gift.
Laser-Guided Karma: Kyoichi's aunt and cousin and his cousin's fiancee are uniformly horrible to him and to the protagonist over the issue of the Kunichiro inheritance, especially when his aunt states up-front that she's planning on demolishing Kyoichi's childhood home purely out of spite towards his mother. When his aunt finds out that he and the protagonist are only pretending to be married, she immediately and triumphantly informs his grandfather... who, after hearing Kyoichi's reasons and the protagonist's defense of him, decides to retract the "first to marry" inheritance rule that started the whole mess. At which point the cousin's fiancee promptly dumps him, since she was only interested in the inheritance herself.
Last Name Basis: Hardly anyone, not even the game's text, calls Saeki by his given name of Takamasa.
Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone: In Takao's first sequel, when the protagonist is temporarily staying at Long Island, Kunihiko gives her and Takao an excuse for some time alone by suggesting that Takao help the protagonist change a light bulb in her room. It goes over Takao's head at first, but he catches on eventually.
Love at First Sight: In Takao's route, Takao's youngest brother is very put out when the protagonist is officially introduced as Takao's fiancee, as he'd run into her briefly beforehand and decided on the spot that they were destined to be together. He gets over it eventually, after Takao makes it clear that he has no intention of giving her up.
Meet Cute: The protagonist first meets Yamato in the prologue while doing some grocery shopping by Kunihiko's request. She has trouble finding the things he's requested, leading to Yamato having to grudgingly help her.
Mistaken for Cheating: For a couple of hours in Takao's Wedding Bells Sequel, the combination of a birthday note signed "Aoi" and the feeling that Takao is keeping some kind of secret from her causes the protagonist to worry that he's having an affair. It's cleared up rather quickly, however: while Takao is keeping a secret, it has nothing to do with another relationship, and "Aoi" is just a (male) co-worker.
Nice Guy: Takao is unfailingly courteous and considerate towards everyone, especially the protagonist.
Oblivious Guilt Slinging: The Maruyama clan is just thrilled that Takao's found himself such a kind, beautiful, wonderful fiancee. Meanwhile, Takao and the protagonist are cringing internally the whole time.
On One Condition: Kyoichi needs the protagonist to pose as his wife because his wealthy grandfather has stipulated that the first of his grandchildren to get married will inherit the entire Kunichiro estate. He retracts the requirement at the end of the route, at Kyoichi's request, and admits that it was a silly requirement that only caused problems for everyone.
Invoked on Haruka's route - he chooses the protagonist as his sham fiancee expecting his parents to object to her middle-class origins, which will give them an excuse to break the "engagement" once it's served its purpose. It's subsequently subverted when the protagonist learns that Haruka's mother came from an ordinary family herself and feels a kinship with the protagonist because of it.
The protagonist's parents occasionally have reservations about her choice of partner, particularly her father, who wasn't terribly happy about his daughter moving to Tokyo in the first place. Of the love interests they have met so far,note Yamato, Saeki, Ren, Takao, Kunihiko and Haruka only Yamato and Takao have met with immediate approval.
Pull the Thread: In Takao's route, his grandmother figures out pretty quickly that he and the protagonist are faking their engagement for her benefit, and decides to play along by booking a wedding venue for them and buying the protagonist a wedding dress. Only after they've actually held a wedding ceremony does she reveal that she knew all along. Rather than being upset, however, she's touched that they'd go so far to make her happy, and indicates that she strung them along as far as she did mostly in the hopes that they'd realize how good for one another they are and fall in love for real. Which is of course exactly what has happened.
Real Men Wear Pink: Takao is frequently compared to a housewife for the amount of thought and attention he puts into housekeeping, such as making homemade cleaning supplies and keeping separate sponges for washing dishes versus pots and pans. The other guys tease him about it a little, but he's never depicted as any less masculine because of the habit, and the heroine occasionally has fluttery moments over Takao's strength and manliness.
Romantic Runner-Up: Yamato falls rather obviously in love with the protagonist during Kunihiko's route.
Royals Who Actually Do Something: Ren is the prince of a (fictional) small European country. He's in Japan to study medicine and work on the development of a new drug which could significantly improve his country's quality of life.
Running Gag: The LI crew suggesting ways Long Island could be improved to draw in the crowds, and Kunihiko reiterating that he doesn't want more customers.
She Is All Grown Up: Kunihiko initially still sees the protagonist as a child. He becomes aware of her as a woman midway through his route, and the realization has a visible effect on the way he reacts to her.
Sleep Cute: In Takao's route, the protagonist goes out shopping and comes back to find Takao and Ryu asleep together. She decides to join them and falls asleep with her head on Takao's arm.
Smoking Is Glamorous: In his first sequel, Takao demonstrates this trope to Yuta, who needs to learn to handle a cigarette for a role he's playing. The other guys and the protagonist comment on how Takao makes smoking look tres classy. The scene actually exists for the purpose of foreshadowing a Character Tic of the sequel's antagonist.
In Takao's route, his intention is to have the protagonist pose as his fiancee only long enough to introduce her as such to his grandmother. He doesn't manage to let the rest of his family in on the charade, however, and when his grandmother's health takes an unexpected turn for the better, the two of them find themselves cornered into their quickly-escalating lie.
Haruka does his best to defy the trope by choosing the protagonist to pose as his fiancee on the basis that her lower social standing will prevent his parents from getting to like her so much that they'd end up cornered into their fake engagement. It doesn't exactly work.
This trope is why Yamato needs the protagonist to pose as his wife - he's a teacher and has specific personal reasons for working at a particular all-girls high school, but the school requires all of its male teachers to be married, no doubt to help discourage teacher-student romances. It doesn't prevent at least one of his students from being very, very hot for teacher. Yamato only sees her as a student, however.
Towards the end of the route, the protagonist learns that Yamato's parents began their relationship while his father was a teacher and his mother one of his students.
Team Mom: Takao mothers anyone who'll let him. Ren is a particularly frequent target.
There Is Only One Bed: Ren's apartment does not have a guest room. He initially offers his bed to the protagonist and tries to sleep on the floor, but finds it too uncomfortable and ends up climbing into bed with the protagonist, after which they end up sharing.
The Thing That Would Not Leave: In Takao's route of the Christmas Episode, Takao and the protagonist's plans for a romantic Christmas evening at home together are derailed when Takao's younger brother Tatsuki shows up unexpectedly, complaining that he's been dumped by his girlfriend. Tatsuki proceeds to invite himself to dinner and refuses to leave, to Takao's mounting frustration.
Trademark Favorite Food: Yamato's is warabi mochi. He says it's because he likes the texture, and compares the protagonist to it, a description which she does not find very flattering.
Trash of the Titans: Saeki's apartment is a disaster. The protagonist insists on cleaning up when she moves in with him, but when she can't keep up on cleaning for a little while, the mess soon reasserts itself.
True Companions: The main cast members are a very close-knit circle of friends. The heroine is soon adopted into the group as well.
Uncle Pennybags: Kunihiko's company is profitable enough that he was not only able to open a bar, Long Island, as a hobby, he's able to keep it open even though his friends are more often than not its only customers. It serves more as their personal hangout than anything else, and Kunihiko occasionally comments that he doesn't want it to attract any more business than it does - that would be too much work.
Verbal Judo: In Takao's epilogue, a man with a gun breaks into the hotel room that Takao is sharing with the protagonist, intending to rob them at gunpoint. Takao calmly talks him down, and gives him legal advice on ways to get financial support to help care for his family and his sick wife, which was the reason he'd grown desperate enough to turn to robbery.