Visual Novel: Tokimeki Memorial Girls Side
The Gender Flip
version of Tokimeki Memorial
. After the big economic dropout that was Tokimeki Memorial 3
, Konami decided to step into otome game territory, a genre in expansion at the time. The first game was released in 2002 for the PS2
with a huge commercial success, with two sequels and various remakes after that and forming a franchise of its own: the "Girl's Side" branch. Its sweet, funny, and at times painful atmosphere has gained quite a fan following, with the first two games' DS versions and the third's PSP version being the only TokiMemo games to date to receive complete fan translations.
The game follows the same mechanic as the male versions: you're playing as a freshman in a Japanese High School
, and you'll spend your three years of school time studying, participating in club activities, working part-time, meeting other students (both male and female) and getting closer to them in the hope of getting the confession of love of a male classmate at the place of legend of your High School on Graduation Day.
Each game's cast of characters fits neatly into a standard array of types: the prince
, the studious megane
, the sporty guy, the artsy guy, the fashionable guy, the kohai
, the teacher
... How each type is executed varies quite a bit from game to game, giving players a wide selection
of Love Interests
to choose from. Obviously, there's also the Childhood Friend
, normally considered the True Ending
of each game.
The Girl's Side
games also have a few unique additions: the "Best Friends" mode, where the heroine and a guy have a close friendship that doesn't develop into love (at least in the heroine's side), the "Rival" system, where a female character and the heroine fight for the same guy, and the third game's the "3P"/"PVP" system, where the heroine can date two guys at the same time.
The character sheet is here.
This game provides examples of:
- Accidental Kiss: A mechanic in the second game causes the heroine to have one with one of the guys - which guy it happens with is selected based on the player's answers to the personality quiz on the first day. If it's a guy she hasn't already met, it doubles as a Crash-Into Hello.
- The Ace: Kei Hazuki in TMGS1 and Teru Saeki in TMGS2. They're good-looking, smart, athletic and all-around talented, and as such fill the role of the "prince type" for their respective games. The third game breaks from the pattern by having two "main" guys, the Sakurai brothers, neither of whom quite fit the "prince" mold - Ruka could if he exerted himself, but for the most part he chooses not to.
- Beautiful Dreamer/Sleep Cute: A common source of CG events, such as coming across one of the guys napping at school.
- Beauty Contest: The "Rose Queen" contest in TMGS3. The heroine must win it to obtain certain endings.
- Big Damn Kiss: At the end of the love confessions, used from 2nd Kiss onward.
- Bland-Name Product: One of the date disturbers in the third game is a "producer" who tries to make you join HBK428. In one of the karaoke conversations, you can also suggest singing "Castlemania".
- Book Dumb: Madoka Kijyo in the first game; Harry and Chris in the second, among others. Each game has at least one or two guys who fails exams without remorse.
- Broken Ace: The Ace characters of each game also tend to fall into this trope. Kei in the first game is a mild example, mostly in that he's very introverted and too much of a doormat to say no to people when they ask him to do things even if it means he's so tired he falls asleep during exams. Saeki in TMGS2 is a much more dramatic example.
- The Cameo: All the TMGS1 guys make a cameo in the background in TMGS2, and Arisawa still appears to be working in the same flower shop as in her high school days. In TMGS3, Himuro, Amanohashi, Akagi, and Tsukushi have small appereances.
- Cannot Spit It Out: The Girl's Side games lack the "confess at this spot on Graduation Day" legend used by the main branch games as justification for why everyone wants to save their Love Confession for that specific day. As a result, none of the guys in these games can ever manage to express their feelings clearly to the heroine before that point, and should any of them get close, the heroine proves utterly incapable of taking the hint.
- Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Naturally.
- Chain of Deals: Referenced in a post-shopping event in TMGS3 when the protagonist encounters the Sakurai brothers out shopping. Upon realizing that they forgot to buy shampoo and have already spent their leftover money on takoyaki, they contemplate whether or not they might be able to trade the takoyaki for something else and keep trading until they somehow end up with shampoo. The protagonist considers it unlikely.
- Chick Magnet: A few of the guys in each game. Saeki in the second game is probably the most dramatic example; he can barely turn a corner at school without getting mobbed by fangirls.
- Childhood Friend Romance: In all three games, the protagonist knew one of the possible love interests when they were children.
- Crash-Into Hello: A common method of meeting classmates both male and female, starting with Kei in the first game.
- Continuity Nod: In the second game, Shiho still works at the flower shop, and the museum still does displays of Shiki's artwork. And in the third, Junpei is a big fan of Kei, and you can buy a shirt with his photo in it.
- Coy, Girlish Flirt Pose: Amusingly invoked in TMGS3 in a culture festival scene with Ruka, who specifically asks the protagonist to adopt the pose.
- Custom Uniform: Many of the guys, especially the artsy and fashionable types, make modifications to their school uniforms. Himeko in TMGS2 takes it even further, wearing a heavily customized pink version of the Hanegasaki uniform.
- Cute Sports Club Manager: Tamami from TMGS1. The heroine can also become the manager of a sports club, usually the baseball club.
- Dating Sim
- Delinquents: Jin from the first game and the Sakurai brothers from the third.
- The Faceless: The heroines. The closest thing we get to see of their faces are their super-deformed sprites in the activity sections. In TMGS3, however, there are some CGs that show part of her face.
- Flower Motifs: The primrose legend in TMGS3.
- Genki Girl: Natsumi in the first game; Haruhi in the second. The protagonist of each game also tends to come across this way.
- Hello, Insert Name Here: The EVS system has the player provide the pronunciation of their name using kana, allowing the guys to actually call her by any of a fairly broad selection of Japanese names pre-recorded for this purpose. The tone of voice doesn't always match up with the rest of what they're saying, but it's still an impressive effort.
- Huge Schoolgirl: Shiho in TMGS1, Tatsuko in TMGS2, and Karen in TMGS3.
- Image Song: All the capturable guys have one.
- Japanese Honorifics: As in most of the main branch games, the player can choose what honorifics to use on the dateable guys (and on their female friends), and what forms of address they're willing to accept from the heroine depends on how much they like her.
- Just Friends: A heroine pursuing more than one guy can eventually tell one of them she just wants to be friends. This activates "Best Friends" mode, in which they go out on platonic dates and the friend-zoned guy gives the heroine relationship advice while still clearly in love with her himself. It's up to the player whether the she sticks with her first choice or runs to the arms of her best friend at the last minute.
- Joshikousei: The female characters and the heroine.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: Kei in the first game; Wakaouji in the second.
- Leitmotif: All the capturable characters (both male and female) have one.
- Love Triangle: If the player activates the "Rival" mode or the "Pride VS Pride" mode (where two male characters fight over the heroine)
- Meaningful Name: The second game's PS2 subtitle, "2nd Kiss", may be a reference to how the heroine can kiss the same boy twice if she had her Accidental Kiss with him. And the first game's DS subtitle, "1st Love", may apply if the player follows Kei's route, as the heroine was his first love.
- Mini-Game: A few. There's the three sports festival minigames, the homemade Valentine chocolate minigame and the pillow fight in the second year's school trip.
- Mood Whiplash: In TMGS2, if you're going for Saeki's standard ending, near the end of your third year, he'll ask you to meet up with him and then break up with you in a very dramatic Tear Jerker of a scene. If you know Hisoka's information however, as soon as the scene is over, the next screen says, "That reminds me, it's almost Mizu-san's birthday!"
- Multiple Endings: You can get a love ending, a Just Friends ending, an ending where you reject the first guy's confession and you accept the second... the number is larger with each installment.
- Nintendo Hard: Kei.
- Himuro also may count: her study standards are really high, and missing a single band practice may mean getting kicked out.
- Not Blood Siblings: The Sakurai brothers aren't related. Ruka was adopted by Kouichi's family as a child after his parents died in an accident.
- The Ojou: Mizuki from TMGS1 and Hisoka from TMGS2. Karen from TMGS3 is from a rich family, but tries to stay away from this trope.
- One True Love: The childhood friend endings. In the first game we have Kei, in the second there's Teru and in the third both Sakurai brothers could apply, but the True Ending is probably Ruka's.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: The heroines of the series lack Canon Names. Starting with the second game, they instead receive a nickname from their game's fashion expert - "Daisy" in TMGS2 and "Bambi" in TMGS3 - and this is how they are mostly known within the fandom.
- Parental Neglect: The heroine's parents, although occasionally mentioned and presumably the source of her monthly allowance, never appear or offer any input into anything she's doing.
- Player Personality Quiz: In the second game, it determines the heroine's starting parameters and guy she'll accidentally kiss.
- Rule of Funny/ Rule of Romantic/ Rule of Drama: Like the male installments, it is diluted in around 40% romance, 40% funny, and 20% drama.
- Rummage Sale Reject: The system the game uses for the protagonist's clothing choices tracks which overall style each piece belongs to and how warm the outfit will keep her, but isn't otherwise concerned with whether or not the individual articles of clothing in any way go together. Going out of one's way to dress according to trends and/or a guy's favorite style and color can frequently land headfirst into this trope, especially in the third game, which allows even more layering of pieces and mixing of styles.
- Sailor Fuku: The Habataki female uniform in TMGS1. In TMGS3, it's changed to a blazer.
- Say It with Hearts: The TMGS3 heroine when she's in a close relationship with a guy.
- Secret Character: Each game has at least one. The DS version of the first game adds one (making it two), the DS version of the second game adds two (making it three) and the PSP version of the third adds one (making it five, the largest number of secret characters in any Tokimemo game)
- Sequel Difficulty Drop
- School Play: The heroine can take part in one as the main character in her third year if she's close enough with any of the main guys. The plays are based on fairytales or are actual theatre plays.
- Shout-Out: In the third game, you can buy Shiori (the main heroine from Tokimeki Memorial 1)'s yellow headband and Manaka's white ribbon.
- Strong Family Resemblance: The Sakurai brothers. They even changed their hairstyles so people would stop mistaking one for the other. It turns out later that they aren't blood related, they just happen to resemble one another that closely.
- Threesome Subtext: The "3P" mode.
- Tiger Versus Dragon: Kouichi in the third game has a tiger motif, and his brother Ruka is compared to a dragon. The two of them have a close but complicated relationship which can easily turn adversarial if the protagonist tips them into PVP Mode.
- Umbrella of Togetherness:
- How the heroine first meets Shouta in TMGS2 through sharing an umbrella.
- If the heroine chooses the right option, it's how she meets Akagi. They shelter from rain under one umbrella.
- Updated Re-release: The first Girl's Side game was originally for PS2, but got a DS port subtitled 1st Love, that added a new character (later there was a remake of the DS port subtitled 1st Love Plus that fixed some bugs of the system) The 2nd Kiss game, also originally for PS2, got another DS port with two new characters subtitled 2nd Season. The 3rd Story game was first released for DS and later got a PSP port subtitled 3rd Story Premium, with a new character and animated sprites.