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Visual Novel: Our Two Bedroom Story
Left to right: Shusei, Kaoru, Akiyoshi, Chiaki, Minato

"What are you doing in my house?"

Our Two Bedroom Story is a Romance Game Visual Novel by Voltage Inc for iOS and Android devices. In it, the player takes the role of a young working woman whose mother - single since the death of the protagonist's father when she was a child - has fallen in love and decided to remarry. Not wanting to cause any awkwardness by being underfoot in the newlyweds' household, the protagonist decides it's high time she found a place of her own, and is delighted when her soon-to-be stepfather offers her the use of a house that he owns.

There's just one problem, as she discovers when she arrives to start moving in: the house is already occupied by her new stepbrother. Who happens to be one of her colleagues at the magazine publishing company where she works.

Rather than turn her away with nowhere else to stay, he agrees to share the house, on the condition that they keep it a secret from their co-workers to avoid problematic workplace gossip. But between sharing living space and working together, it's all but impossible not to end up getting closer than either of them expected, with all the problems that comes with it.

The visual novel contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Beautiful Dreamer: Kaoru spends a lot of his spare time napping on the porch, and within the first few chapters of his route the protagonist realizes that she's developed a habit of peeking at his face while he sleeps because he looks so cute.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Minato and the protagonist, thanks to the combination of his arrogant alpha male behavior and his active enjoyment of picking on her until he gets a reaction, and her willingness to sass back.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Chiaki is described as "gentlemanly" and having a "sweet face," and he exerts himself to come across as pleasant and cheerful to his co-workers. His true self, however, is something less pleasant, as the protagonist soon discovers.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: By proxy during Minato's route. Minato delivers a stern dressing-down to Senator Igarashi on behalf of Kazuyuki for giving him up to an orphanage in a misguided attempt to protect him from catching fallout from the then-current affair scandal, arguing that given the choice he'd much rather have grown up with his parents.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Kaoru is terrible at expressing himself. Much of the conflict of both his route and his epilogue springs primarily from his inability to communicate his feelings, compounded by the protagonist's tendency to hold in her own feelings rather than risk burdening Kaoru with them.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: The protagonist sees erotica writer Sousuke Taira this way in Kaoru's sequel. Although his extreme forwardness makes her uncomfortable, after reading one of his stories she comes to believe that he genuinely respects and values women.
  • Closet Geek: Shusei is a closet video gamer.
  • Comforting Comforter:
    • On Kaoru's route, the protagonist also develops a habit of putting a blanket over Kaoru when he falls asleep on the porch.
    • Shusei does it once for the protagonist on his route when she falls asleep at her desk.
  • Da Editor: Akiyoshi is Chief Editor and thus the boss of the rest of the main cast. He's strict and stern enough in this position that the protagonist has nicknamed him "the Growler."
  • Diving Save: The protagonist performs one on Kaoru's route to save a little boy from being hit by a truck. She's nearly run over herself, but Kaoru manages to yank her out of the way. His past girlfriend wasn't so fortunate; she died under very similar circumstances.
  • Establishing Character Moment: One of the first things we see Chiaki do in the prologue is cheerfully accept a gift of homemade cookies from one of his female co-workers... and then dump the cookies in the trash as soon as he thinks no one's looking.
  • Everyone Can See It: Everybody except the protagonist has Kaoru's feelings pegged by about halfway through his route, and the other guys take no end of delight in teasing him about it.
  • Friendless Background: Minato, according to Shusei. He had to move repeatedly as a child and transferred from school to school, leaving him with a lot of difficulty opening up to others or making friends. It didn't help that the friends he had managed to make in previous schools never stayed in touch despite promising to do so.
  • The Gadfly: The protagonist quickly recognizes that a lot of Minato's comments are made with the express intention of trying to rile her up, and indeed he makes no secret of the fact that he'd be disappointed if she kept her cool and went along with the things that he says. Even when she does try her best not to take the bait, he persists until he manages to get under her skin anyway.
  • Gentle Giant: Kaoru Kirishima.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Wataru has a lot of resentment built up for his older brother Minato, and seeing Minato and the protagonist in a genuinely loving relationship with one another only makes it worse since he sees a lot of parallels to his own disastrous relationship with a woman he worked for.
  • Heel Realization: Downplayed in Minato's sequel when the protagonist explains to him that Wataru's behavior toward her is a lot like the things Minato himself did early in their relationship. Minato, seeing his own past actions in the context of someone else treating the protagonist that way, comes to the dismayed realization that he was actually kind of awful.
  • Incest Subtext: For the most part the game completely avoids addressing any of the implications of the fact that, with their parents married, the protagonist and her love interest are step-siblings. Shusei's sequel, however, brings the issue directly into the spotlight in all of its awkwardness, drawing some uncomfortable parallels between the protagonist's relationship with Shusei and the scandalous romantic relationship between a pair of celebrity half-siblings.
  • Innocent Cohabitation: Sharing the house starts innocently, at any rate. This being a romance game, it never stays that way.
  • Intrepid Reporter: The protagonist and all of the guys save Da Editor Akiyoshi are writers and reporters for Seasonelle magazine, and are thus often chasing some story or other, such as the ongoing serial arson case in Kaoru's route.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In Shusei's sequel, seeing how conflicted the protagonist is over the incestuous subtext of their relationship and with her mother obliviously trying to set her up with a blind date, Shusei finally decides that if being with him is making the protagonist miserable then the only thing for him to do is to bow out. When breaking up with her completely fails to make her any less miserable, however, he quickly changes his mind: if she's going to be miserable either way, he'd just as soon she be miserable with him than with some other guy.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Kaoru, whose affection for his cat is the earliest sign that, despite his trouble communicating, he's not unfeeling.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: By Minato's sequel, he and the protagonist have settled into a comfortable level of bickering, and are described in more or less exactly the terms of the trope name.
  • Long-Lost Relative: A subplot in Minato's route revolves around the protagonist and Shusei working together to cover rumors that a prominent senator has a long-lost illegitimate child. It turns out to be the psychology expert that Minato and the protagonist have become acquainted with while working on an entirely unrelated article.
  • The Lost Lenore: Kaoru Kirishima's previous girlfriend was killed in a traffic accident. He saw it happen but wasn't able to do anything to prevent it, and the grief and guilt have left him reluctant to get too close to other people because he's afraid of losing anyone else he cares about.
  • Love You and Everybody: On Shusei's route, the protagonist quickly finds herself falling for him in large part because he's always so kind and affectionate toward her... but since Shusei is nice to everyone, she spends a lot of the route desperately trying to remind herself not to read too much into his casual displays of affection.
  • Media Scrum: At one point on Kaoru's route, the media descends in droves on a police station in pursuit of a particular story. The protagonist takes advantage of the fact that she's smaller and nimbler than most in the overwhelmingly male crowd to navigate to the front and get some photos.
  • Men Can't Keep House: Minato is incompetent in almost every way when it comes to housework. He's mastered the concept of "putting things where they belong" well enough that the house stays orderly, but he lives on take-out and until the protagonist shows him how, he can't even operate a washing machine and simply has all of his clothes dry cleaned instead. Considering his tendency to present himself as Mr. Perfect, the protagonist finds this absolutely hilarious.
    • Subverted big time with Chiaki. At first the protagonist thinks he's hired a housekeeper.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: For a brief period in Shusei's epilogue, the protagonist worries that he might be seeing another woman due to some suspicious phone activity and a mysterious delivery to their house that he won't let her see. Fortunately, it's cleared up relatively quickly: he's been trying to arrange a special date for the one-month anniversary of their relationship.
  • Mistaken For Object Of Affection: Early in Minato's sequel, the protagonist meets Minato's younger brother Wataru when she gets home from work and, seeing him out on the veranda, mistakes him for Minato thanks to their very similar looks. Only as she's hugging him does she realize her error.
  • Moral Guardians: The plot of Shusei's route involves a campaign to remove a classic children's story from school reading out of concerns that its heavy subject matter might traumatize kids. When Shusei and the protagonist write an article defending the story's value, it brings the ire of the Moral Guardians down on them to the point of protests around their publisher's building and graffiti on their house.
  • Never Be Hurt Again:
    • Kaoru is reluctant to let himself care about anyone for fear of having to suffer the pain of losing them as he did when his previous girlfriend died.
    • After a couple of bad experiences, Chiaki has become distrustful of women in general, and goes to an effort to avoid making himself vulnerable to them lest he be taken advantage of.
  • Nice Guy: Shusei, who Minato describes as "everyone's happy-smiley pal".
  • Not What It Looks Like: Thanks to a string of unfortunate coincidences, midway through Kaoru's route the protagonist develops the mistaken impression that he and their co-worker Tamaki are dating. In fact, Kaoru barely knows who Tamaki is and is thoroughly baffled when the protagonist tearfully announces that she thinks it would be best for her to move out.
  • Office Romance: The protagonist's potential housemates are also all her co-workers, resulting in an office romance once they begin to fall for each other.
  • One Head Taller: Kaoru is described as very tall, and the artwork shows this trope to be in effect for him and the protagonist. Outside of the complicated logistics of kissing, the protagonist quite likes his height — she can always find him in a crowd, after all.
  • Operation Jealousy: Via third party. Minato's pursuit of the protagonist on Shusei's route is motivated by genuine attraction, but along the way he takes every opportunity he can to shove it in Shusei's face in what is pretty clearly an effort to force Shusei into acting on his own feelings.
  • Parent with New Paramour: The plot is started by the protagonist's mother deciding to remarry. The protagonist privately admits that she's a little uncomfortable with the idea, but her prospective stepfather seems genuinely kind and she wants her mother to be happy, so she tries to be supportive. Which means finding somewhere else to live so that they can have some privacy once they're married.
  • Perspective Flip: The "His POV" side stories depict the events of the main routes from the guy's point of view.
  • Poirot Speak: Bianchi, the owner of Jinbuono, peppers his dialogue with gratuitous Italian. It's particularly noticeable on Shusei's route.
  • The Quiet One: Kaoru is very quiet, speaking no more than he can help most of the time.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The motive of the first arsonist during Kaoru's route is revenge for the death of his girlfriend, who was purportedly Driven to Suicide by workplace bullying.
  • Romantic Runner-Up: Minato develops a romantic interest in the protagonist on Shusei's route, but she's already into Shusei.
  • Shout-Out: Love Letter From Thief X is a body of fiction in this continuity. At least one movie has been made, and recurring antagonist/comic relief White Racoon is getting his own spinoff.
  • The Stoic: Not only is Kaoru quiet, he's not at all expressive either, which makes him very hard to read.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: Kaoru again; as always for the quiet types in these games, his cool and uncommunicative exterior hides a sweet, caring nature.
  • Supreme Chef: Minato's brother Wataru is a professional chef trained in Italy.
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: Kaoru, of course.
  • Trash of the Titans: Shusei's room is as likely as not to be a disaster area, depending on how engrossed he's been in work and/or a video game recently.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Minato and Shusei, as demonstrated in Minato's POV story.
  • What Is This Feeling?: In Minato's sequel, Minato finds himself completely unable to fathom why he gets so worked up over Wataru and the protagonist going out shopping together and taking an unusually long time to come back. He's quite surprised when the protagonist explains to him some chapters later that it was jealousy he was feeling; he'd never experienced the emotion before.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Loyal childhood friend Minato happily informs the protagonist that Shusei is scared of bugs — particularly cockroaches. Later on, the protagonist "motivates" Shusei to clean his room by innocently wondering if there may be bugs lurking in the piles of clothes strewn about.
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