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Visual Novel / Ikemen Sengoku

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The men of Ikémen Sengokunames 

Sasuke: Don't get deeply involved with the people of this time.
Main Character: Deeply involved? Sasuke, I'm going to be in close contact with them for three months.
Sasuke: That is to say, don't fall in love. It might cloud your desire to return to the future.
Main Character: Haha, love? There's no worry of that happening. Have you talked to any of these people?

Ikémen Sengoku: Romances Across Time is an otome Visual Novel by Cybird that started life as a romance mobile app and became popular enough to get an anime adaptation and a Japanese PS Vita port too.

Its protagonist (who you get to name) is a plucky modern-day Japanese woman who recently got her dream job as a fashion designer but has the colossal misfortune to be transported back in time to the late Sengoku Period before she can begin her job. On her first day in the past, she ends up saving the life of Nobunaga Oda, the famous "Devil King" warlord who sought to unite all of Japan, and learns from Sasuke Sarutobi — an astrophysicist who got transported back in time with her too — that not only did she unwittingly change history by preventing Nobunaga's historical death but she has to survive three months in a war-ridden period before she can return home.


And not only has Nobunaga become determined to keep her by his side as a "good luck charm" after her life-saving feat, but there are many other good-looking warlords and warriors she keeps running into who may form deeper-than-expected connections with her that may just interfere with her determination to return to her time.

The Ikémen Sengoku English mobile app was released in June 2017 and currently has ten available routes with more to come:

  • Nobunaga Oda: Known as "the Devil King", he's a powerful and ruthless warlord who's amassed a large number of allies devoted to serving him and an equally large number of enemies devoted to killing him. Aloof and cold on the surface, he nonetheless takes a shine to the main character after she saves his life and is set on wooing her into his bed despite her continual rejection of his advances.
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  • Masamune Date: An adventurous and free-spirited military commander allied with Nobunaga who's known as the "One-Eyed Dragon". He's quite the playful flirt who encourages the main character to live life to the fullest, but also has a more serious and dangerous side as a fettered leader willing to take lives on the battlefield.
  • Yukimura Sanada: A vassal of Shingen Takeda who seeks revenge against Nobunaga. His proud nature frequently clashes with the main character's similarly headstrong ways, but they still find themselves gradually falling for each other in spite of the main character working for his hated enemies.
  • Ieyasu Tokugawa: A cynical, sharp-tongued warlord with no patience for people he perceives as weak, which includes the main character at first. Slowly but surely, however, she gets him to warm up to her and learns more about his past and how it continues to haunt him.
  • Hideyoshi Toyotomi: Nobunaga's vassal and right-hand man who has an intense devotion to his lord and an equally intense devotion to acting as everyone's worried big brother. He starts out suspicious of the main character but soon mellows into a caring brother-like figure to her—only for them to realize that a sibling-like relationship may not be enough for them.
  • Shingen Takeda: A charismatic and smooth-talking warlord who has teamed up with Kenshin Uesugi to kill Nobunaga, the recipient of their mutual hatred. Outside of trying to kill Nobunaga, though, he's a laid-back fellow who loves flirting with every woman who crosses his path, the main character not excluded.
  • Kenshin Uesugi: Famed as the "God of War", his fighting skills and relentless bloodlust are legendary. He also professes to have a dislike of women, but despite that and his sometimes-frightening demeanor, there may be a strange sadness and fragility buried underneath the cold mask that only the main character can touch.
  • Mitsunari Ishida: Hideyoshi's vassal who's incredibly kind, a genius in military tactics—and completely clueless about everything else, including regular meals, proper sleep, and romance. He and the main character take an immediate liking to each other, with her helping him maintain a healthy eat-and-sleep schedule and him teaching her about the art of war.
  • Sasuke Sarutobi: An astrophysics graduate student who got sent back in time along with the main character and became a skilled ninja under Kenshin's tutelage. Despite having a bad case of resting robot face and working for Nobunaga's enemies, he's a kind and surprisingly humorous man who becomes good friends with the MC and constantly goes out of his way to help her.
  • Mitsuhide Akechi: Nobunaga's enigmatic and cunning left-hand man who delights in teasing others and being as shady as humanly possible. After seeing how ill-prepared the main character is for the horrors of war, he decides to take her under his wing and teach her how to survive in the Sengoku era... albeit not without much teasing and mocking of her along the way.

The game can be downloaded on both Android and iOS devices.

Tropes pertaining specifically to the game's characters can be found on the Characters page.

Tropes in the mobile game:

  • A Real Man Is a Killer:
    • Nearly all the warlords are completely used to killing on a regular basis in a war-torn era. The one exception is Mitsunari, who prefers to use knowledge and tactics instead of violence on the battlefield and doesn't want to kill for glory or ambition like many of the other warlords do, and has been unfairly derided as weak by some others for this reason.
    • Mitsuhide speaks against this trope in his route, telling the MC that she should never thank someone for killing someone else and that even if that someone felt it was necessary to kill for the greater good, that still doesn't change the fact that they took a life and that many other lives will be affected by their decision.
  • Affectionate Parody: One castle gacha event parodied Super Sentai/Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers with a chibified cast of Ikemen Rangers (the main character being the Pink Ranger) and their evil-in-name-only enemies competing to get the fabled Sucrose Crystal.
  • Almost Kiss: Happens in Yukimura and Hideyoshi's routes before the characters have admitted their feelings for each other.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: Players have a castle area that they can decorate with items acquired from characters' gachas or special events and can also display and dress up a chibi avatar of their main character and chosen suitor.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Main route challenges and events give you attire that increase your Beauty total, which is essential to win Princess Lessons for more Grace and Gold, and can be used to dress up your avatar.
  • April Fools' Day: For April 1, 2018, the game did a fake promo for a story event in which all the warlords and the MC became giant stuffed bears. Quite a few players expressed disappointment that this event wasn't real.
  • Aroused by Their Voice: The game invokes this on players with its partial voice acting for its handsome men; getting an Excellent result in Princess Lessons causes a chosen guy to say some romantic and/or sexy lines to the player and voice clips are given out as rewards for some events that players can listen to as many times as they like in their Memories. In addition, changing your avatar's clothes can cause your current suitor to compliment or even wolf-whistle you!
  • Been There, Shaped History: Largely averted in the main story routes, as the basic premise is that the history the MC and Sasuke find themselves in has become so different from the history they learned about in school that they couldn't replicate any of the famous historical events they knew even if they wanted to, but Sasuke's route does have a scene of them trying to find out if Masamune really invented zunda mochi — only for Masamune to say that he's never heard of that food but that he'd like to try making it now that they've told him the recipe for it, which causes them to momentarily panic about whether or not they just created some sort of time-travel paradox. A couple of story events also have the MC turn out to be the inspiration/catalyst for some Sengoku myths, like how Ieyasu continuing to use the haori she sewed him even when it began fraying led to the common conception of him being a miser.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: The main character has this with Nobunaga, Yukimura, and Mitsuhide on their respective routes.
  • The Bet:
    • Nobunaga's route has him and the main character agree to a bet that if she can beat him in just one game of Go, he'll let her go back to the future when the time comes, but that he gets to "conquer" a body part of hers for every game she loses. The odds are also rather unfairly stacked in his favor, as the MC doesn't learn until after making the bet that he's a master at Go with no one else in Azuchi being able to beat him. When he falls in love with the MC, however, he calls off the bet and later admits to the MC that he ultimately lost because she conquered the most important body part of his — his heart.
    • Shingen's route has him and the main character agree to a similar bet that if she can go for two months without ever smiling at him, he'll let her go back to Azuchi. If she loses the bet, she has to kiss him. Much like in Nobunaga's case, after Shingen falls for the MC, he tells her that he's lost the bet and sends her back to Azuchi — only to have the MC eventually return to him and give her smile and heart to him of her volition.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Hideyoshi is like this towards basically everyone, but really gets into it with the MC in his route, to the point of calling her his little sister, and thoroughly confusing her about his intentions. (Despite this, he was intended by the developers to be basically the same age as her.) In his Romantic route, as he has naturally vacated the position of brother by becoming her partner instead, the other members of the Nobunaga forces step in and promise to become her brother instead - in her words, a whole army of brothers!
  • Birds of a Feather:
    • Unlike other relationships which really bring in the Culture Clash between the MC's time and the Sengoku period, the MC and Hideyoshi are actually very similar, both being workaholics who want to do everything for themselves and protect everyone else that they can. It even creates a little tension sometimes when they both get dragged into Politeness Judo trying to take care of each other.
    • The MC and Mitsunari are also very similar to each other, being All-Loving Heroes who stick to their idealistic convictions that they can save people without having to resort to the violence or brutality that the other warlords do.
    • A darker and non-romantic example occurs in Mitsuhide's Romantic route when Mitsuhide uses this trope to describe his Teeth-Clenched Teamwork with Motonari and Kennyo because they're all Manipulative Bastards who won't hesitate to do morally dubious things to take down someone who has even looser morals than them.
      Mitsuhide: We are birds of a feather. All of us. To kill a man who doesn't think of humans as humans, we require those who, by their own admission, barely meet the definition.
  • Birthday Episode: A guy's birthday is celebrated in-game with limited-time birthday sets for him that can be purchased through microtransactions for special attire and stories featuring him. Additionally, if his route has been released in the game and he's popular enough with fans, he may also get a full story event about his birthday.
  • Break Them by Talking:
    • In Kenshin's Romantic route, Kenshin does this to Kennyo, telling Kennyo that he knows that he, for all of his proclamations that he's become a demon who cares about nothing but vengeance, still desperately clings to his religious faith and that leaving him alive in a cell with the symbolically ruined remnants of his religion's cassock will break him far more than simply killing him would. Kennyo is reduced to regretful sobbing by the end of Kenshin's speech.
    • In Mitsunari's route, Shingen does this to Mitsunari when Mitsunari's first plan to outwit him fails, telling him that he can't win against him and Kenshin because he only goes for "safe" plans and lacks the conviction to go for risky plans like he and Kenshin do. This causes Mitsunari's newfound confidence to shatter, and the MC has to talk him out of his ensuing Heroic BSoD.
    • In Mitsuhide's route, this happens to the MC when Yoshiaki's treatment of her as a worthless piece of nothing who doesn't even deserve to be listened to breaks her spirit until Mitsuhide helps her overcome it.
  • Bromantic Foil: Hideyoshi on Nobunaga's route and Ieyasu on Masamune's route. Both are the most important supporting characters of their friends' routes and their more cautious natures and initial suspicion/dislike of the MC contrast with Nobunaga/Masamune's often-reckless actions and quick attraction to the MC. In addition, Mitsuhide acts as the cynical loner foil to Team Mom Hideyoshi on the latter's route.
  • Call-Back: In Masamune's Eternal route, Motonari escapes the heroes by throwing himself off a cliff into a river in much the same way Masamune and the MC escaped Kennyo in Masamune's Romantic route. The MC, after witnessing this, declares that she'd never, ever willingly do something so dangerous herself.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: Sasuke loves cracking jokes with the main character. However, since he says everything with the same deadpan tone and emotionless facial expression, the main character has trouble figuring out when he's trying to be funny — and even when she does figure it out, her ensuing laughter is often over how bad and/or random his jokes are.
  • Canon Immigrant: Ranmaru Mori and Yoshimoto Imagawa were two new characters added to the game's PS Vita version and Motonari Mouri was a new character added to the stage play adaptation. All three of them were eventually added to the original mobile game too.
  • Cash Gate: Some of the Love Challenges on a route require you to buy an avatar item with Gold (or Coins through microtransactions). Most of these challenges are fairly easy to pass as long as you do Princess Lessons on a semi-consistent basis but the final challenge requires 20,000 Gold which, while doable ahead of time, can stymie unprepared new players who don’t have many friends to greet for Gold or a high enough Beauty to earn the most Gold from Princess Lessons.
  • Cassandra Truth: The MC tells Nobunaga and Mitsunari during the prologue that she's from the future, but Nobunaga thinks she's just making it up and Mitsunari thinks she's been addled by the smoke fumes. However, it's subverted later on in the guys' routes: Nobunaga comes to believe her after she shows him her possessions from the future, Masamune quickly accepts her claim as true after interrogating her about it, and the other guys all believe her when she eventually tells them because by then they've grown close enough to her that they know she'd never lie about something as big as this.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: Each route generally starts off light-hearted as the MC gets to know her love interest, becomes more serious midway through the common route when her love interest becomes embroiled in a war, and then either lightens up again or becomes even more drama-heavy before ending on a happy note depending on whether you choose the Romantic or Dramatic ending route.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Some routes have an item introduced early on in them that becomes important later on:
    • Nobunaga's route: The smoke bomb and ground spikes Sasuke gives the MC.
    • Masamune's route: The kimono drawing the MC gives Masamune.
    • Yukimura's Dramatic route: The MC's magazine detailing the fate of the Sengoku warlords.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Most characters have a clear color motif: Nobunaga (black), Masamune (blue), Yukimura (red), Hideyoshi (green), Ieyasu (yellow), etc.
  • Cool Pet: Each love interest has one that you can display in your room and/or castle: Nobunaga has a hawk, Masamune a tiger cub, Yukimura a wolf pup, Ieyasu a fawn, Hideyoshi a monkey, Shingen a bear cub, Sasuke a flying squirrel, and Mitsuhide a white fox. The two exceptions are Kenshin and Mitsunari who have cute pets instead in the form of a cat and rabbits, respectively.
  • Cruel Mercy: Kennyo is spared by the heroes in every route (with the exception of Shingen's Romantic route, where his fate is more uncertain), which always upsets him because he was prepared to die both as penance for the sins he's committed and as fuel to keep his followers' hatred of Nobunaga burning. The 'cruelty' of letting him live is emphasized the most in Kenshin's Romantic route, where Kenshin tells him that the worst punishment he can inflict on him is keeping him alive to reflect on how he thoroughly failed at not only killing Nobunaga but also honoring the religion he still clung to even after abandoning its ideals.
  • Culture Clash: A major plot point in Nobunaga and Masamune's routes is the MC's modern-day ideas of romance and aversion to killing coming into conflict with her love interest's unfamiliarity with present-day relationship norms and willingness to kill numerous other people. Hideyoshi's route has a different culture clash in the form of his vassal-lord relationship with Nobunaga that Sasuke points out can come across as strange to modern eyes.
  • Dating Catwoman: The MC does this in routes where she falls in love with a warlord opposing her employer/landlord Nobunaga.
  • Death Seeker:
    • Before falling for the MC, Hideyoshi genuinely believed that his life had no value except to use it to protect his lord Nobunaga. So while he doesn't seem to have been actively going after his own death, it's made clear that he'd throw it away to save Nobunaga from the slightest inconvenience, and do so gladly.
    • Kenshin becomes one after the MC is almost killed by an assassin sent by Kennyo, planning to wage war against the rest of Japan to protect her from everyone else even if it means his own demise.
    • Yoshimoto becomes this on Mitsuhide's route when the remnants of his clan ally with Yoshiaki in the hope of regaining their lost power. He views his clan's ambition as a doomed dream and asks Mitsuhide to kill him when they meet so that his clan will finally stop fighting, until the MC convinces him that he doesn't have to give up his life just to fulfill some kind of honor or loyalty for people who don't even respect him.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Of the 12 primary characters in this game, the only ones who have not experienced some form of trauma and/or tragedy in their past that led to them having major psychological baggage in the present are the female main character, Sasuke, and maybe Mitsunari. While many of them are still relatively well-adjusted in spite of the hardships they've suffered, the sheer multitude of troubled pasts amongst them highlight just how deeply the constant war and strife of the Sengoku period have affected them and countless others.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Several routes show how class-based discrimination was widespread in the Sengoku era and how the main character's belief in equal treatment for everyone including the low-born that would have been taken for granted in her modern-day time is a highly rare and unusual attitude for someone in the Sengoku era to have.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The Dramatic routes, in contrast to the more light-hearted Romantic routes, have the MC and her love interest needing to go through a good deal of strife and heartache to be together.
  • Eternal Japanese: Despite 500 years between them, the only language issues that ever come up are when the main character or Sasuke use a modern reference or when the MC struggles with reading books written in a more ancient script.
  • Everyone Can See It:
    • In Ieyasu's route, all the other warlords in Azuchi simultaneously realize in one scene that Ieyasu has developed a crush on the MC and give him knowing grins. Except for Mitsunari.
    • In Hideyoshi's route, both Mitsuhide and Nobunaga pick up on Hideyoshi and the MC's feelings for one another before they do. Additionally in his Romantic route, it's revealed that there was a betting pool set up based on when they'd finally figure things out and get together (which also helps to explain why Nobunaga had been rather pushy a week earlier).
    • In Mitsunari's route, Mitsunari and the MC's feelings for each other are so painfully obvious that Hideyoshi and Ieyasu repeatedly make excuses to leave them alone together in the hopes of getting them to resolve their UST, and Masamune and Mitsuhide's reaction later on to learning that they've become an official couple is basically a resounding "Finally!"
  • Fake Defector:
    • In Nobunaga's route, Mitsuhide pretends to betray Nobunaga and join his enemies' side so that he can lure them into a trap that he and Nobunaga planned out beforehand.
    • In Hideyoshi's route, Mitsuhide once again pretends to defect to the other side to get information on who tried to assassinate Nobunaga at Honno-ji. He even willingly gets himself locked up to further the perception of him as a traitor.
    • In Mitsunari's route, Mitsunari himself takes on this role in his Dramatic route by painting himself as the culprit behind the village raids that Kennyo secretly committed and then blamed on the Oda forces, to bait Kennyo's Ikko Ikki into abandoning their fight against the main Oda forces to hunt him down and buy enough time for Hideyoshi to find evidence of Kennyo being the true culprit. Ieyasu has to stage a battle against Mitsunari, and even wound him, to make his "betrayal" look convincing enough to the Ikko Ikki.
    • In Mitsuhide's route, Mitsuhide himself takes on this role yet again by fooling Yoshiaki and his forces into believing that he's one hundred percent behind them in their plot to kill Nobunaga and then turning on them at the last moment.
  • First-Name Basis: In the game's English translation, all the warlords call the MC by her first name with no titles or honorifics with the given justification that none of them are big on formalities. The one exception is Mitsunari who addresses her as "Lady", but his route has him eventually start calling her by her first name too in an emotionally-charged scene.
  • Foil: The love rival on a character's route usually contrasts with that character in a thematically significant way. The biggest example of this is Kennyo on Mitsunari's route; while Mitsunari believes that peace can be achieved through non-violent means and has maintained his idealism and kindness in the face of scorn from others, Kennyo has given up on the idealism and kindness he once possessed and believes that the only way to stop the war is through even more bloodshed.
  • Flower Motifs:
    • Peonies, cherry blossoms, and wisterias are a frequent feature on the MC's attire.
    • In Mitsuhide's route, the MC receives a bellflower-shaped hair ornament from Mitsuhide. She doesn't think too much of its significance until she learns from Mitsuhide's vassal Kyubei that the bellflower became a part of the Akechi clan's crest after an ancestor won a battle against great odds after decorating his helmet with a bellflower and an Akechi giving someone a bellflower thus means that they're wishing you to be victorious no matter what trials you face.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Several items that the player obtains from Love Challenges are justified as attire she wears during a special scene with her love interest or as a gift from that love interest to her.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Sasuke warns the MC in the prologue to not fall in love with anyone in the past — but guess who's the tutorial character that guides the player through the process of picking a romance route right after the prologue?
  • Green-Eyed Monster:
    • A very complicated version shows up in Hideyoshi's route as he becomes very uncomfortable with Nobunaga's flirting with the main character, his own feelings for her (and him?) warring with his intense devotion to his lord. And in the Bound to You story event, we find that this jealousy remains after they get together - and that the main character is just as jealous of his own relationship with Nobunaga, to the point of pretending to mimic him.
    • Nobunaga himself occasionally gets jealous in his own route of other men paying attention to the MC, though his reactions are mainly limited to some poutiness and denial of his jealousy. Played for Laughs (and adorableness) in one of his birthday event's stories, where he gets jealous of a teddy bear the MC dressed up to look like him.
    • Kenshin is also prone to jealousy over the MC, and expresses it in a much more extreme manner than the above examples.
    • In Sasuke's route, one of the castle maids who has a crush on Nobunaga gets jealous over how much attention Nobunaga is giving the MC and sends her on a quest that will result in her either falling off a cliff or unknowingly giving Nobunaga a poisonous plant. Fortunately, Sasuke intervenes in time to stop her scheme.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Virtually every character in this game is depicted as a person with deep flaws but sympathetic qualities, with even the characters the main character's chosen love interest opposes being portrayed as having a sense of honor and/or understandable reasons for being on the side they're on. Kennyo comes the closest to being the "black" to the others' gray by pulling dishonorable tactics that sabotage both sides and even cause them to set aside their grudges to team up against him on some routes, but even he gets some Sympathy for the Devil moments.
  • Guide Dang It!: Filling up a character's love meter completely, which is needed to view his epilogue and get a special background or avatar clothes of his, requires you to be nigh-perfect in picking the best dialogue options which is difficult without a walkthrough as a lot of these options look extremely similar to one another.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Played for Laughs in Nobunaga's route when Sasuke is so stunned by the news that the MC is dating Nobunaga that he doesn't respond for a while. He even refers to his bout of speechlessness as a "BSOD".
    • A much more serious example comes in Sasuke's route when the MC is so traumatized by being suddenly thrust in the middle of a vicious battle between the warlords and invading ronin that she holes herself up in her room for five days and doesn't come out until Hideyoshi orders her to go outside for some "retail therapy".
    • Another serious example occurs at the start of Mitsuhide's route when he forces the MC to watch him shoot another man dead on the battlefield so that she'll understand the true reality of the time she's living in. The MC is so overwhelmed by having to watch a man die right in front of her that she faints and has to be carried off the battlefield by Mitsuhide.
  • Historical Beauty Upgrade: As befitting a historical romance game, all the historical figures in this game are far more attractive than their real-life counterparts. It's even lampshaded by the main character reading a magazine during the prologue that describes them as "Japan's Hottest Warlords!"
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: Done with every warlord by virtue of being warlords-turned-romantic heroes, particularly Nobunaga, whose real-life exploits were brutal even compared to contemporaries; while the game begrudgingly admits that he caused his share of destruction, it's always downplayed by characters noting that Nobunaga went out of his way to limit damage or did it For the Greater Good. It reaches Character Shilling proportions when the only people who have anything bad to say about him are the villains.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: The real Kennyo's most notable achievement was withstanding a ten-year siege; the game's Kennyo is the closest thing it has to The Big Bad, callously manipulating monks and peasants and committing atrocities to blame on Nobunaga. This Kennyo isn't completely two-dimensional but he's definitely villainous, especially given the heroes' Historical Hero Upgrade.
  • Hostage Situation: The game takes place in a period where political hostages were common and multiple routes thus have a character or two become hostages for political, diplomatic, or just bait-the-hostage's-friends-into-doing-something-foolish reasons:
    • Shingen's route is noteworthy for having a hostage situation as the main plot: Shingen kidnaps the main character and has her held as a hostage (albeit a very well-treated hostage) at Kasugayama Castle as part of his plan to weaken Nobunaga and his forces.
    • Ieyasu's route reveals that Ieyasu himself used to be a hostage for the Imagawa clan due to his own clan not having sufficient political clout otherwise and the experience was an unpleasant one that left him embittered. Kenshin also takes the MC as a more conventional hostage with the intent of luring out Nobunaga.
    • Yukimura's route has Yukimura offer up the MC and himself as hostages for their opposing sides to prove the sincerity of his larger proposal of a temporary alliance between his forces and the Oda forces.
  • I Choose to Stay: Every route ends with the main character choosing to stay in the past with her love interest rather than return to or stay in the present. Sasuke also chooses to stay in the past in almost all routes, with the exception of Masamune's route.
  • I Love You Because I Can't Control You: Several of the warlords are specifically drawn to the main character's assertive and strong-willed personality. Nobunaga tells her that he wants her because she's the only woman who's dared to defy and talk back to him, Masamune remarks on several routes that he finds the challenge of winning the heart of a spirited woman like her to be appealing, and Shingen responds to her defiantly telling him after being kidnapped by him that she'll make his life as miserable as possible by saying that he likes her even more as a "war goddess".
  • Instant Fan Club:
    • Hideyoshi is very popular with the town girls, who treat him rather like a celebrity crush. Unlike most examples in otome games, however, they're not Clingy Jealous Girls at all, instead being very supportive and helpful to the MC. It helps that there's a good reason why he'd be a better crush than actual boyfriend: when a guy has already promised to give up his life for another, and is only too eager to do so, the future of the relationship doesn't bode well.
    • Mitsunari is also popular with the town girls, even if he doesn't know why. His fangirls aren't as friendly to the MC as Hideyoshi's are, but Mitsunari flummoxes them by innocently stating that he and the MC are in a relationship (without even knowing the romantic implications of his statement). And to their credit, they immediately back down during Mitsunari's birthday story event without a fight when Mitsunari tells them that the MC is the love of his life.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: You start out with 15 closet storage and 10 castle storage and opportunities to get more storage are few and far between. With each character route requiring you to buy at least 5 pieces of attire, each monthly log-in sheet giving you 3 more attire, and each event giving you chances to win even more attire, you'll eventually have to buy more storage to keep everything or pick which items to discard to make room for new ones.
  • In Vino Veritas: In Hideyoshi's route when the MC is struggling to understand how he feels about her, a party is held and she finds out that Hideyoshi tends to be a talkative drunk; she immediately hopes this trope will be in effect. Unfortunately for her, she gets drunk before he does, and he ends up soberly taking her back home. (Though if you get the premium scene, she ends up opening a bit and he shows a little insight into his thoughts as well.)
  • It Was a Gift:
    • On several routes, the main character gives her love interest a handmade gift that they're shown to treasure and keep safe: a drawing of a kimono design in Masamune's route, a stuffed fawn based on Ieyasu's pet Wasabi in Ieyasu's route, a sewn kimono in Hideyoshi's route, and a handkerchief in Shingen's route.
    • It occurs both ways on Mitsuhide's route when he gives her a bellflower hairpin as a parting gift and she later gives it to him as a Good Luck Charm before he goes into battle in his Romantic route.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: The MC's journey through time is triggered by a lightning bolt striking near her and opening up a wormhole. Given that the hows of her time travel aren't the focus of the game's plot, you're not meant to think too hard about this explanation.
  • Love Hurts:
    • A major theme of Kenshin's route, where his past traumatic experiences has caused him to live in constant fear of anyone he lets himself get close to dying. He says to Shingen that being in love feels like being in hell because he keeps having nightmares about the MC dying or fears that he himself will be the one to hurt her.
    • Surprisingly, Mitsunari experiences this for a bit on his route. He initially doesn't realize just why he can't concentrate on his work while the MC is around and becomes distressed about it, even emotionally distancing himself from her because he's afraid that his lack of concentration around her will render him unable to protect her and his friends.
    • Played for Laughs in Mitsuhide's route when some town women melodramatically lament that being in love with Mitsuhide is "like a living hell" because he never reciprocates their affections. It becomes more serious when the MC realizes that she's fallen in love with Mitsuhide — who may very well be a traitor to the Oda forces — and thinks to herself that the women might not have been too far off with their "living hell" claim after all.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Spinning a character's castle gacha has a 37% chance of giving you something other than a useless puzzle piece and only a 7% chance of giving you a Premium story that lets you read a specific main route chapter from the character's perspective. Fortunately, the gacha bonuses aren't needed to complete routes and extra puzzle pieces can be sold for Gold, but they can still be frustrating to get if you're a completionist who wants all items and stories.
  • Microtransactions: Buying Premium attire/stories and event-exclusive epilogues (that usually have steamier scenes than the Normal stories) requires real-life money.
  • Mirror Character:
    • Nobunaga and Kennyo, despite being mortal enemies, have a surprising amount in common: both are called "demons" by others because of their ruthless killing of anyone who stands in the way of them achieving what they view as a greater cause, and both also believe themselves to be Necessarily Evil monsters unworthy of love.
    • Hideyoshi and Mitsuhide, in spite of their otherwise polar opposite personalities, both were low-born people who struggled with poverty and discrimination as they grew up, which instilled in them a lifelong determination to make sure that no one else has to suffer the same class-based prejudice they experienced and self-esteem issues that lead them to recklessly risk their lives and believe that it doesn't matter if they die as long as they can help Nobunaga's ideals come to fruition.
    • Shingen, despite loathing Nobunaga, turns out to have a lot in common with him on his route: like Nobunaga, he's a charismatic leader who has a surprising Sweet Tooth and is willing to resort to ruthless methods to achieve noble goals and makes a bet with the main character with the initial goal of making a game out of getting her to willingly submit to his advances until he realizes to his dismay that he's fallen hopelessly in love with her despite not believing himself to be deserving of her love. Chapter 10 of his route even has the main character deliberately "lose" their bet to demonstrate the depth of her feelings for him in a fashion similar to how she does it in Nobunaga's Ch 10.
  • Mistaken for Gay: In Hideyoshi's route, when the main character starts to notice Hideyoshi acting jealous when Nobunaga gets overly handsy, she assumes based on his fanatical devotion to him that Hideyoshi is in love with Nobunaga, not her. She immediately asks him about it, which he denies - but she still seems disbelieving, continuing to call Nobunaga her love rival at the end of her route.
  • Mistaken for Romance:
    • Even if the main character chooses to romance someone other than Nobunaga, she still tends to be mistaken for his lover by people outside of the castle. This becomes especially vexing for her if Nobunaga's enemies decide that the best way to strike him where it hurts is to kidnap his "lover" as a hostage.
    • In Sasuke's route, Sasuke somehow comes to believe that the MC is love with Kenshin. Even after the MC clears up the misunderstanding, Kenshin continues to pretend that he's romantically interested in the MC just for kicks.
    • In Mitsuhide's route, people mistakenly believe that he and the MC are a couple after they start spending all their time together. The real reason for them being glued at the hip is a far cry from romantic — Mitsuhide's keeping an eye on the MC to make sure that she doesn't blab about the conversation she overheard of him plotting to betray Nobunaga — but Mitsuhide plays along with the misconception because it's a good way to prevent others from thinking that there's a more suspicious reason for their closeness. And also because he really has fallen in love with the MC and sees this as a chance to be affectionate with her in a way he couldn't be otherwise, but she doesn't know that at first.
  • Multiple Endings: Each character's route has a Romantic and Dramatic ending. Both endings are happy, but the Dramatic ending follows a more tumultuous path to happiness for the MC and her love than the Romantic one. The game has also begun gradually releasing a third ending, called the Eternal Ending, for some characters starting with Nobunaga that have a radically different plot from the Romantic and Dramatic ones.
  • New Game+: Replaying a character's route lets you view some chapter parts from his perspective instead of the MC's, and completing both routes for a character unlocks a special castle gacha and bonus story from the character's point of view.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • In Masamune's Romantic route, Nobunaga's gift of sugar candy to the MC causes her to be kidnapped by Kennyo when he sees the candy and realizes that the only way she could have gotten such expensive sweets is if she was working for his enemy Nobunaga.
    • In Ch. 5 of Kenshin's route, Mitsunari believes that Kenshin has kidnapped the main character and charges into battle to fight Kenshin and save her. What Mitsunari doesn't know is that Kenshin actually saved the MC after she got thrown off her horse on the battlefield and was perfectly willing to let her go after the battle was over, thinking that she was just an ordinary village girl — but after hearing Mitsunari call out to her, he realizes that she's important to the Oda forces and decides to keep her as a prisoner instead.
  • "Not So Different" Remark:
    • Kenshin's Romantic route has Kenshin himself acknowledge that he's not so different from Kennyo in how his hatred and desire for revenge threatened to consume the better, more moral side of him, and say that Kennyo might have been able to pull himself back from the path of destruction like he did if he had received the support and love of someone like the MC.
    • The MC starts out thinking of the fight-happy warlords as completely alien and incomprehensible to her, but gradually realizes that they're just human beings who laugh and cry like her.
  • Opposites Attract: A major theme of Masamune's route is how he and the MC manage to make a relationship work between them in spite of their wildly different opinions on war and what exactly constitutes a relationship. Interestingly, the two are actually very similar personality-wise to the point where Ieyasu comments on them being a perfect match in recklessness, but that doesn't stop their different ideals from creating conflict between them.
  • Orwellian Retcon: Shortly before Sasuke's route was released, the game's prologue was revised to include three new characters (Ranmaru Mori, Yoshimoto Imagawa, and Motonari Mouri) that hadn't been in any previous routes or stories outside of the game's PS Vita and other adaptations. This was done so that the introduction of these characters in Sasuke's route wouldn't come entirely out of left field.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • The first major sign of Nobunaga's Hidden Heart of Gold on his route is when a group of children scare off the rabbit he was planning to hunt with their own clumsy attempts at hunting and he, instead of scolding them like the MC expects, teaches them how to hunt better so that they won't starve.
    • Subverted with Kennyo on Mitsunari's route when he gives a poor man a bag of coins after learning that the man can't afford medicine for his sick son, only to muse out loud after the man leaves on how this act of kindness will be All for Nothing because he plans to raze the man's village with no survivors remaining. Kennyo does get straighter Pet the Dog examples too, though: he saves an injured stray cat in Mitsunari's route solely because he couldn't bear to see an animal suffer, and he pretends to have no association with his spy Ranmaru in Sasuke's route so that the Oda forces won't execute or banish Ranmaru for being a double agent.
  • Play Every Day: You get five free chapter tickets to read the story and one free spin of the castle gacha every day and they don't stack, so to make the most of them, you have to log in every day and use them up. Additionally, logging in to the game for the first time each day gives you a reward that can be gold, chapter tickets, special pieces of attire, or other useful items.
  • Rescue Romance:
    • Nobunaga becomes quite taken with the MC after she saves him at Honno-ji without any expectation or demand of a reward in return.
    • Yukimura, Kenshin, and Sasuke's routes all feature them saving the MC from some unpleasant men's attentions in the first chapter. Sasuke's route also has the reveal that the entire reason Sasuke went to such great lengths to protect and help the MC is that she was the one who saved his life first by instinctively pushing him out of the way of a lightning bolt strike just before they got sucked into the wormhole.
  • Rule of Funny: The collection event stories where Sasuke persuades the Oda, Takeda-Uesugi forces, and Kennyo to all participate in some silly/wacky activity like game competitions, seduction lessons from Shingen, or a creative reinterpretation of the "Romeo and Juliet" play, run on this. Yes, these characters would never actually agree to do these things in the main story universe, but why let logic get in the way of mining the comedic gold of all these warlords struggling to do modern-day stuff without killing each other for all it's worth?
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • In Nobunaga's route, he tries to force the main character into one by giving her his sword and then threatening to shoot her with his rifle if she doesn't kill him first, to prove to her the necessity of killing in the Sengoku period. The MC, not liking either of these choices, takes a third option by reasoning with him that he hates wasting resources and killing his lucky charm would be doing just that. Nobunaga laughs heartily at her unexpected choice, but concedes that she was successful in persuading him to spare her.
    • In Masamune's Romantic route, Kennyo holds the main character at swordpoint at the edge of a cliff and tells Masamune that if he throws himself off the cliff, he'll let her go, but if he doesn't, she dies. Masamune takes a third option by telling Kennyo to go ahead and kill her, sensing that Kennyo still has enough of a conscience left to be unable to kill her right away, and he and the MC use Kennyo's moment of hesitation as an opportunity to jump off the cliff together and swim to safety away from him.
    • In Mitsuhide's Romantic route, Yoshiaki takes the MC hostage and tells Mitsuhide that he can either swear his loyalty to him to save the MC's life or refuse and watch Yoshiaki kill the MC right in front of him. The MC neuters this sadistic choice by using her self-defense training to lock Yoshiaki's knife-wielding hand between her bound hands, leaving Mitsuhide free to shoot him dead with impunity.
  • Screw Destiny:
    • In Yukimura's Dramatic route, the main character is horrified when she reads in her magazine from the future that Yukimura will die protecting her and decides to defy this fate by returning to her time even if it means breaking his heart. While this doesn't fully work because her return only makes Yukimura's eventual fate slightly less grim and she has to go back to him, Yukimura responds to learning about her magazine by throwing it in the fire and telling her that they can shape their own happy fates together without it being decided by some piece of paper.
    • In Shingen's route, the main character becomes hellbent on saving Shingen from his historical death and she declares to Sasuke, "If fate thinks he should die here, then I've got words for fate. And until his last breath and mine, I'm going to fight."
    • In Mitsunari's Dramatic route, seemingly everything in the universe does its best to force Mitsunari and the MC to go to where the wormhole will send the MC back to her time by cutting off all other possible paths they could take, but Mitsunari manages to outfox them with an Indy Ploy.
    • In Sasuke's route, the MC's belief in this comes into conflict with Sasuke's You Can't Fight Fate attitude. She gets upset when she realizes that Sasuke's upbringing has caused him to accept any parting from someone he's grown friendly with as inevitable and "fated" because she can't just accept that they might have to part someday solely due to the whims of fate.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Side Bet:
    • In Nobunaga's route, Mitsuhide and Masamune make a bet on whether the MC will fall in love with Nobunaga and be left in tears or Masamune will steal her away instead, much to the MC's annoyance who makes her own bet that the world will end before she falls for Nobunaga. (Spoiler: all three of them end up losing.)
    • In Hideyoshi's route, it's revealed after Hideyoshi and the MC finally get together that Hideyoshi's vassals had been making bets on just when they'd get together.
    • In Sasuke's route, the MC notices after Sasuke introduces her to the Kasugayama warlords as his "friend" that some of them are passing money between each other. (In this case though, they really are Just Friends. For the moment.)
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: The game makes some concessions to the Cynicism side of the scale with the main character having to accept that there's no way for her to avoid war or prevent her friends from killing others or risking their lives on a daily basis no matter how much she wishes otherwise, but still falls firmly on the Idealism side of the scale overall with every route ending happily and no main characters being depicted as truly evil or irredeemable in spite of their conflicts with one another.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Several routes have the heroes feel sympathy for Kennyo in spite of the terrible things he's done. Masamune and Kenshin feel this way because they view Kennyo as no different from them, Mitsunari and the MC because they're All Loving Heroes who recognize that there's still some humanity left in Kennyo, and Shingen because he and Kennyo used to be best friends.
  • Socialization Bonus: Greeting your friends daily earns you 20 gold per friend (up to a maximum of 50 friends and 1000 gold) and befriending other players during story events adds one-fifth of their Glamour to your total Glamour which is absolutely essential to completing more than one or two event endings.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Destined to Love, an earlier mobile app from Cybird that also featured a heroine unexpectedly traveling back in time and falling in love with a famous Japanese historical figure (or the one love interest who came from the same future as her).
  • Tempting Fate: The MC's reply to Sasuke's warning in the prologue to not fall in love with anyone from the past that he has nothing to worry about because none of the men she's met have been remotely appealing to her. Further amplified on Nobunaga's route where she declares early on to Masamune and Mitsuhide that the world will end before she falls in love with Nobunaga.
  • Time-Travel Romance: If the "Romances Across Time" subtitle didn't make it clear already...
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: In some routes, Sasuke and the MC don't have to worry about their actions changing the future with the implication that the past they "changed" is part of a divergent timeline separate from their original timeline but in others, it's made clear that they have unknowingly changed the timeline they came from.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The previews at the end of every fifth chapter part often spoil major plot points for the next chapter parts. In particular, do not read the previews in Hideyoshi's Dramatic route if you don't want to be spoiled well in advance about almost every single plot twist.
  • Triang Relations: Every released route so far has had one guy other than the route's actual love interest develop an unrequited love for the main character, creating a Type 4 Triang Relations situation. Fortunately, the guy left out is usually content to let the main character be happy with her beloved — except for Kenshin in Ieyasu's route, but Ieyasu is quick to shut down his attempts to create a proper Love Triangle with the MC.
  • Untranslated Title: Unlike with Cybird's previous localized games Midnight Cinderella and Destined to Love, Ikémen Sengoku is kept as the main title of the English localization even though its subtitle Romances Across Time could have worked as the main title itself.
  • Up to Eleven: Cybird gave Shingen's route a 11 for Drama in their dev notes on it. Then they apologized for giving Shingen's route that rating after learning that Kenshin's route was even more drama/angst-filled and had to give Kenshin's route a 11+ Drama rating.
  • Vague Age: The warlords all look like they're in their twenties or early thirties in spite of their real-life counterparts varying wildly in age with a 46-year gap between Shingen and Yukimura's ages. Cybird has officially stated that the warlords' ages are exactly what the players want them to be to prevent players from feeling like they're dating someone uncomfortably younger or older than them.
  • Viler New Villain: Motonari Mouri and Yoshiaki Ashikaga are this to Kennyo in later routes. In contrast to Kennyo who wants revenge on only one man for personal reasons and is shown to be genuinely loved and respected by his followers, Motonari wants to see the entire world burn even if it means the massacre of thousands of innocent civilians and Yoshiaki is a petty, power-hungry man who treats everyone around him like dirt and will unhesitatingly use his own followers as Meat Shields to save his skin.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: Progressing through character routes and events gives you items you can use to dress up your avatar or decorate her room. Each of these items also increases your Beauty, a stat that helps you succeed at Princess Lessons.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds:
    • Kenshin and Shingen. Despite being famous historical war rivals and Kenshin repeatedly insisting that he sticks close to Shingen only for the opportunity to kill him one day, the two have a deep respect of one another and Kenshin, for all his "I'll kill you" talk, freely invited Shingen and his vassal Yukimura to stay at his castle after their homeland got conquered by their mutual enemy Nobunaga.
    • Hideyoshi and Mitsuhide. Hideyoshi constantly criticizes Mitsuhide for his shady behavior and Mitsuhide takes any and every opportunity to pick on Hideyoshi about his mother hen tendencies, but at the end of the day these two unwaveringly trust one another even when they seemingly have no reason to.
    • Ieyasu and Mitsunari. On the surface, their "friendship" appears to be much more one-sided than the above examples with Ieyasu constantly insulting Mitsunari at every turn and Mitsunari blithely interpreting his insults as compliments. However, Mitsunari's route makes it clear that Ieyasu really does care for Mitsunari underneath his acerbic exterior and his criticisms of him stem from his frustration that such a gifted person like Mitsunari lets himself be pushed around by others.
  • War Is Hell: The MC and Yukimura believe this, in contrast to the other war-loving characters.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Shingen and Kennyo used to be friends until the latter became increasingly consumed by his rage and hatred toward Nobunaga.