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Visual Novel / How To Date A Magical Girl!

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How To Date A Magical Girl! is a Dating Sim developed by Cafe Shiba. It was released on 1st February 2019.

After clearing your high school, you are enrolled into a magical academy as you have been found to have the potential to use magic.

But be warned—this game is not for the faint of heart; as you progress through the game, you'll encounter demons summoned through the chaotic dimension while dealing with gory murders that seemingly come out of nowhere!

You can buy this game on Steam here.

How To Date A Magical Girl! provides examples of:

  • All Deaths Final: Even within the virtual world, in-world characters who died cannot be immediately brought back to life; the only way to revive them is to reset the simulation from day 1.
  • Alliterative List: The blurb Chicken Stripper 6 opens with when Rei and the player start the game.
    Welcome to Chicken Stripper 6
    Uncut, Uncensored, Uncalled for!
  • All Just a Dream: The entire scenario is revealed to be virtual simulation supporting the player while they are recovering from a coma.
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  • Anti-Escapism Aesop: Subverted. The one who ultimately demands that you return to the real world is 54T0M1, the villain, and the happy ending is one where you choose to remain in the simulation with your girlfriend. Agreeing to wake up from your coma just gets your body hijacked.
  • Bait-and-Switch: During the 50% dates in general, the dialog starts with what seems to be coitus ensuing until the screen fades from black and reveals something rather innocent.
  • Banned in China: An In-Universe example involving an in-series arcade Chicken Stripper 6, which is first described to be banned in over 50 countries.
  • Bookends: One of the first things the game asks of you is to input the name of the protagonist. If you get the Bad Ending, you are asked to do the same. It doesn't matter what you input in the latter scenario.
  • But Thou Must!:
    • The third question of the final exams asks the amount of poison injected to kill Yoshida. You wouldn't even know that specifics of her death, but all three options display '17ml', which happened to be correct.
    • Should you choose to wake from the simulation, the doctor first asks you to try and remember your name. You get a name entry prompt like at the start of the game, but it defaults to "Satomi" rather than "Yuki". No matter what you put in, the protagonist will refer to themselves as Satomi.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: A magical girl can transform by saying "[individual two-worded] transformation".
  • Clique Tour: On the first day of school, the player observes that each section of the room is covered by a clique.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Transforming into a magical girl outfit helps tapping into the wearer's inner power much easier.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Whenever a death(s) happens, the victim is killed in an unusual manner. For example, the first (and unnamed) murder victim is found slumped in a corridor with her internal organs cut out.
  • Cult: The Cult of 9, which are a group of rogue Magical Girls who absorb the powers of others they've killed to find The Greatest Truth.
  • Dating Sim: You can form relationships with five magical girls through hanging out and giving gifts.
  • Dead Man Writing: Subverted. The second murder victim was thought to have written the name of the person who have hurt her, but further investigation reveals that it's the work of the murderer.
  • Detail-Hogging Cover: The title screen and various CGs are quite well-drawn. The in-game sprites, which you'll spend most of the game looking at, are noticeably less detailed.
  • Dies Wide Open: The majority of the murder victims are shown dead with their eyes wide open.
  • Edible Theme Naming: Aside from the leader, the Cult members' names are Lime and Lemon, both named after fruits.
  • Eldritch Abomination: In this setting demons are distinct from magical creatures such as unicorns and familiars (like Hoshi the talking dog), since they come from other planes of existence and need to be summoned. The ones that appear are pretty freaky, and part of the story deals with who could have summoned them and why. It's all irrelevant, since the whole world is a simulation anyway.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: In the end, the whole scenario is revealed to be a simulation created to help the protagonist recover from their coma. They're overstaying their welcome, and all the murders were due to Satomi — an AI named 54T0M1 that has been trying to get the protagonist to wake up.
  • Eyes Out of Sight: The second murder victim has her eyes completely covered by her bangs.
  • Flying Face: One demon that appears when the Cult of Nine start raiding the school has an appearance of a white, floating head.
  • Foreshadowing: The game's choice of visual and sound effects from time to time may tip off the attentive to its true nature.
  • Game-Favored Gender: Downplayed. The protagonist's gender has very little impact on gameplay, but the story's writing is most coherent with a male protagonist.
  • Gay Option: Zigzagged. At the end of the School Festival, Shin confesses his love to you, but before you could have the chance to answer, he is abruptly killed. How this is played out depends on your gender:
    • If you play as a male, it's a subversion; having an option to date a gay man among other girls only for that option to cut short.
    • However, if you play as a female, then it's being the only straight option among other girls to date that is subverted.
  • The Ghost: Hikari's mother is never shown on-screen.
  • A Glitch in the Matrix: There are hints of them in the game such as an early "loading" screen and sudden glitches at untimely intervals, but the player doesn't seem to put them together. In the end, Satomi has to directly spell out that they are in a simluation.
  • Hope Spot: If you spend your time studying outside your room to improve your stats, you get a bonus to that increase if it's raining. The game has a habit of situating events during rainy days, which can be a disappointing outcome if the player had planned to study then.
  • I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: Referenced in Yui's 30% date, where one of the clothing items a store clerk pitches to Yui is a dog-themed clip that makes her look like a puppy so precious, even boys would want to take her home with them.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Doable by doing well in all grades. They don't have to be perfect, but if each of them are at least B-grade, Miyu will ask you out on the date during Magical Girl's Day, compared to other girls requiring A in their respective area.
  • Last-Second Ending Choice: For all the interactions you've made and skills you've developed, the only choice that really matters is the last, which affects which of the Multiple Endings you see.
    • Bad Ending: You follow Satomi's orders and wake up from the simulation. You make a full recovery from your coma and are asked to recall your name. No matter what you put, you will identify yourself as "Satomi", implying the AI has taken over.
    • Happy Ending: In choosing not to awaken, you can request that Satomi reset the simulation so you can live your life in the simulation with the girl you've chosen to romance. After the reset, you decide to remove Satomi from your newfound life — by stabbing at the operation site on your skull to destroy her AI chip.
    • Mystery Ending: You choose not to awaken, and opt to romance Satomi at the very end. After a moment of deliberation, Satomi agrees on the offer. Your time spent with her is cut short when the treating team in the real world catches on to Satomi's rogue actions and pull the plug on the AI, but you make a full recovery with no ill effects.
  • Love Potion: You can concoct two versionsnote  of them in the Alchemy Lab, but you have to be the one drinking it, and its effect raises the affection rate of the girls you interact with.
  • Magical Girl Warrior: Downplayed in that as evil is a rare occurrence, a magical girl would spend most of her time contributing to society rather than engaging in combat.
  • Magic Idol Singer: Many graduates spend their early careers on the entertainment industry; it is the most popular option among them. They can improvise with magic for flairs and effects as well as enhancing their talents.
  • Medium Blending: At the end of the game, when the nature of the world is revealed as a simulation, there's a shot of a real-life hand holding the Cutie Star manga, and when the protagonist wakes up, the background is a retouched photo of a hospital room, instead of a drawing like all the other backgrounds.
  • Mood Whiplash: Each grim event comes out of the blue and wraps up rather quickly, leading to a dissonance in tone between these events and the rest of the game in between.
  • Ominous Visual Glitch: The game gets eerily glitchy whenever death is encountered or referenced. For the latter case, the respective CG scene sometimes flash in.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Due to the events being generic, sometimes, when the player spends time with one of the girls, she may do things that does not reflect her character. For example, Rei, who develops a distrust in men, falls for a shady man's deal involving used ice-cream.
  • Potty Dance: Sometimes, when the player spends time with one of the girls, nature calls them at a bad time. The player desperately try to hold it in, but hopping up and down makes it too noticeable.
  • Road Apples: During Yui's 20% date at the forest, what the player thought to have found the Devil's Essence is implied to be an excretion instead, as Yui packs it away carefully. The player washes their hands thoroughly afterwards.
  • Running Over the Plot: The protagonist is actually recovering from a coma after getting hit by a car, with the world of the school being a simulation to facilitate the recovery process.
  • Shop Fodder: You cannot drink a Sucker Potion for any effect, but present it to a shopkeeper, and they'll be compelled to buy it for a high price.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The history lessons state that several historical figures such as Cleopatra or Amelia Earhart were magical girls, a notion that was briefly explored in Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
    • Satomi’s heart-shaped pen is similar to the one Monika has. It’s a subtle clue that she’s the villain.
  • Show Within a Show: Cutie Star, an ongoing magical girl manga series well liked by the player.
  • Surprise Creepy: After settling into the game, the first horror is a gigantic brute demon terrorizing the school. But that is just the tip of the iceberg.
  • Tempting Fate: Just the day before Christmas, the player hides themselves in their house, thinking to themselves that by staying indoors, another girl wouldn't die like the first two. Then they received a strange text from the third girl.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: After Rei and/or Kaori's deaths, the player dreads in anticipation as the next girl texts them a random message, knowing she's next on the death list.
  • Victor Gains Loser's Powers: The Cult of 9 seems to be capable of this, as the murdered girls were also drained off their magic.
  • When Trees Attack: Sometime in early second semester, the player has a premonition on Hikari being in trouble at school when an unusually placed tree is revealed to be a demon.
  • Wizarding School: Every potential magic-usernote  have to attend the school to hone their powers.
  • Written by the Winners: When talked to in the teacher's office, Izaline recounts how a "heroic" Magical Girl's victory over a demon's camp was found out to be her getting rid of disease-ridden outcasts, yet still being upheld for her bravery.