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Visual Novel / Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side

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The Gender Flip version of the Tokimeki Memorial Series.

After their big economic failure from Tokimeki Memorial 3, Konami decided to step into the Reverse Harlem Otome Game territory, a genre in expansion at the time, and poured in their grandest ever investment of casting the best voice actors for each character type, paired with opening and ending theme songs by Japanese rock legend, B’z, give birth to the then first installment, now titled Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side: First Love; released in 2002 for the PlayStation 2 with huge commercial success, leading the project to expand into two sequels, various remakes, and spin-offs; 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 all three games' Nintendo DS versions and both versions of the third being the only TokiMemo games to date to receive complete fan translations.

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Basic game play follows the same mechanic as their counterpart series—you're playing as a freshman heroine 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 love confession from your intended love-interest 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 jock, the feminine 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.

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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.

A similar series started up in 2013, titled Tokimeki Restaurant. Rather than a visual novel, it's instead a restaurant management game where you struggle to keep a cafe afloat with some handsome new hire employees — who also turn out to secretly be famous Idol Singers. An anime for the project was announced in 2017. Tokimeki Restaurant ended its service on August 31, 2018.

Seven years after the release of the PSP port of the third game, at the Girl’s Side Days Habataki Watcher event, Tokimeki Memorial: Girl’s Side 4 was announced by Konami for a 2020 release.


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.
  • All There in the Manual: Some information of the guys can only be found in Habataki Watcher, drama CDs or the typing games.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: If a guy likes the heroine enough, he will give her a wearable accessory. He will compliment the heroine if she wears it out on dates with him.
  • Art Shift: Every game in the series has slightly, but noticeably, different art.
  • 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.
  • The 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 and Kazuma 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.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Every characters get to shout their attack in Pillow Fight minigame.
  • 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.
  • Cartoon Bomb: How the "bombs" are depicted in each game.
  • 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.
  • Character Customization: Somewhat. You're allowed to pick your birthday and blood type, which will affect the heroine's horoscope. In 1st Love and 3rd Story, choosing different rooms will affect the heroine's initial parameters. In 2nd Kiss, answering a series of questions will determine the heroine's starting parameters.
  • 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.
  • The Confidant: The friend-zoned guy acts like this toward the heroine and tends to give her relationship advice.
  • 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.
    • This happens a few times in the typing games, in particular referencing the main games' CG events.
  • Cosplay: The cosplay outfits in the first game's PS2 version.
  • 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.
  • Demoted to Extra: The girls. Nearly all of the guys do get their character image songs but sadly none of the girls ever have any to date. Only the guys (plus Tsukushi and Yuu) get to celebrate their birthday on Girl's Side's official Twitter account and the now closed i-revo's blog. When the first two games were ported to the DS, the girls don't have EVS function.
    • Amanohashi and Chiharu doesn't have their own route in the 1st typing game and are an obstacle to the player if they aim for Kei or Himuro.
    • Hibiya, Amanohashi and Chiharu doesn't have their own Tokimeki Factory and Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side radio drama CD.
    • Masaki only has 5 stages in the 2nd typing game while all the other guys (except Akagi) have 10 stages.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: "1st Love" has many quirks that were excluded by later games. These include:
    • There's only one type of skinship. Later games included multiple skinship types like poke, rub, etc...
    • You can skinship the guy before answering the date questions, though success or failure depends on how much the guy likes you and you need to hold his hand to poke him by the end of the date in front of your house. In later games, you need to answer the date questions before skinship and you can poke the guy in front of your house without holding his hands.
    • You can skinship the guy when he walks home with you after school. The guy appears in the top screen of the DS in later games, so you can't do this.
    • You can skinship anytime you want during CG event, but there are no prompt to tell you if you should poke him or not, and poking at the wrong time may give you blue hearts and purple notes, so is more of a trial and error gameplay. In later games, as long as you touch the touch screen and not the dialog box, the skinship prompt automatically appears and you can safely poke the guy.
    • The guys have a favorite clothing style and favorites accessory and he'll compliment you if you wear his favorite style and accessory on the date. In later games, instead of accessories, the guy have a favorite color.
    • After school, after date and special third date conversations are much more shorter than later games. Later games have longer conversations to help flesh out the characters.
    • If you turn down a guy when he asked you to go to the shrine with him, you can't call another guy to go with you. Later games allowed you to call a guy after turn down invitation from another guy.
    • Except special events like double date and shopping events, the characters rarely interact with each other. Later games have random school events, so the characters interact a lot more often.
    • You can get the guy birthday present if you date him on your birthday, even if the guy is at low affection. In later games, even when you date the guy in your birthday, the guys doesn't give you present unless he is at friendly and higher affection.
    • Birthday presents are fixed order, so for guys like Kei, Sakuya and Himuro, you have to wait until the third year, near the end of the game, to get their special accessories. In later games, birthday presents are based on the guy's affection, so you can receive his special accessory earlier.
    • You can't give a girl her birthday present and there are no information of the girls in the games. The girls also can't give birthday present to you. Later games, you can check her information and may give and receive birthday presents from the girls.
    • You can go to the flea market twice during one shopping session in the game. In later games, you can only go to the flea market once and only if you haven't go to a different shop before.
    • If you've worked at your job for a long time, after December in the third year, you'll get an event where the manager asks if you would like to work full time after graduation. In later games, if you've worked at your job enough, the manager may offers you a full time job early in the game.
    • Unlike the later games, if you join a sport club, the guys or girls will go to see your club's practice match.
    • Different from the later games, kissing the guy during the confession greatly altered the ending's dialogues.
  • An Entrepreneur Is You: The Restaurant games have you build up your cafe, menu, and regulars.
  • 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.
  • Guide Dang It!: The requirements to get the endings of the secret characters are quite ridiculous.
  • 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.
  • Holiday Mode: Quite a few, depending on real-life dates and times:
    • In the game options menu, from Monday to Saturday, the characters will be in their winter school uniform between October to June, and in the summer school uniform between June to October.
    • Also in the game options menu, during Sunday, the characters will be in their casual clothes. On the 24th of December, the characters will be in their party-wear. In the first game, on the 20th of July, the guys will be in their swimwear. In later games, on the first Sunday of August, the guys will be in their yukata.
    • The later games change their title screen depending on if it's day or night. The title screen of the third game has a little icon depending on real-world holidays like Valentine's Day and Tanabata.
    • On the opening screen, all the guys have different voice lines depending on the time of the day and special voice lines on real-world holidays like White Day, Christmas and the player's birthday.
  • Hot for Student: Each games have at least one teacher as a winnable.
  • Huge Schoolgirl: Shiho in TMGS1, Tatsuko in TMGS2, and Karen in TMGS3.
  • Image Song: All the capturable guys have one.
  • 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.
  • Karaoke Box: One of the series' mainstay date locations.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Kei in the first game; Wakaouji in the second.
  • Knowledge Broker: The heroine's little brother Tsukushi in TMGS1, her next-door neighbor Yuu in TMGS2, and herr female friend Miyo in TMGS3.
  • Leitmotif: All the capturable characters (both male and female) have one.
  • Lost in Translation:
    • A lot of conversations has to be altered, but still keeping the original meaning because of the game's limitations, Japanese puns and the different length between English and Japanese characters.
    • In the 1st game, one of Kazuma's nicknames is his last name written in katakana but with prolonged sound mark, meaning the heroine has the option to shout his name instead. Fan translators chose to translate it as "Su-zu-ka♡" instead, which make it hilarious because Kazuma allows the heroine call him by this nickname even if he doesn't like her.
    • All of Kazuma's E-mails are completely lack of any punctuation and small tsu character, and one of his E-mails is written entirely in Hiragana. Fan translators decided to translate his E-mails normally.
    • One of Mizuki's nicknames is "Mizu-kichi". Fan translators decided to stick with "Mi-zu-ki♡".
  • Love Triangle: If the player activates the "Rival" mode, she and one of her female friends end up competing for the attention of the guy they both like. The third game replaces this mechanic with "Pride VS Pride" mode, in which two male characters fight over the heroine.
  • Luminescent Blush: The sign that a guy is seriously infatuated with you.
  • Match-Three Game: Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side Taisen Puzzle Dama.
  • 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.
  • New Game+: In TMGS3, if Bambi's fashion level reaches level 5, Karen will give her special clothes each
playthrough. These clothes are carried over in the next playthrough.
  • Nintendo Hard: Kei.
    • Himuro also may count: his 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.
  • Novelization: Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side 1 has two novels while Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side 2 has various.
  • Oddball in the Series: Restaurant is a cafe sim rather than a school-focused visual novel. It's also the only installment that features Idol Singers as the main heroes, despite being initally introduced as simple co-workers.
  • 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.
  • Recurring Element:
    • The poster boys of each game have the kanji of 王 in their names and have a part-time job.
    • The studious guys tend to wear glasses, have hair in various shades of green and have at least one CG when they take off their glasses.
    • The sporty guys tend to be bad at academic studies, have a problem with ther sport of choice that can only overcome by the heroine's guidance and have one CG event takes place at the zoo. In all three games, they all require 200 Fitness and 150 Social to get their ending.
  • 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.
    • The clothes from the original PS2 version of the first game are pretty unique, included a shirt with a realistic cat face printed on it or a cat printed kimono.
    • Some of the guys's outfit are this, especially those of Morimura Sakuya.
  • 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)
  • Senpai Kohai: Each games have at least one kohai as a winnable. Winnable Senpai weren't introduced until TMGS2.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop
  • School Clubs Are Serious Business: Most of the winnable guys being members of specific clubs, joining their respective clubs is the only way to get some of their special Events and CGs. Also, School clubs give the heroine powerful special attacks for Pillow Fight minigame, becoming the Club Master and, in the case of sports clubs, winning matches and Inter-High tournaments net the heroine big Relationship Values towards all the guys.
  • School Festival: Perfoming well in school festival increase the likelihood of all the guys toward the heroine. What the heroine does in the festival depends on her club.
  • 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.
  • Shrinking Violet: Sakuya, Kazuma, Chiharu and Tamami in TMGS1.
  • 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.
  • Student Council President:
    • In Girl's Side 2, secret character Kazuyuki Akagi is the Student Council President of Habataki High. Itaru Hikami aspires to being Student Council President of Hanegasaki High, but his overzealous strictness turns his classmates off in the first year. He's elected in the second year, if the heroine has had enough of a good influence on him.
    • Konno Tamao in Girl's Side 3 is the Student Council President until he graduates in your second year.
  • Supreme Chef:
    • Madoka Kijyo in TMGS1 and Teru Saeki in TMGS2 both prove to be excellent cooks, Kijyo because he lives on his own and has gotten used to cooking for himself, Teru because he works at a cafe. Teru gives the heroine homemade cookies and potentially a whole cake for White Day if he likes her enough.
    • The Girl's Side heroines can also display skills in this direction if she has high enough Social.
  • 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.
  • Tsundere: Kazuma and Mizuki in TMGS1, Teru and Harry in TMGS2, Seiji in TMGS3.
  • 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, skinship function, multiple endings and an extra event for each of the obtainable male characters, but the OP, ED and a majority of the voice clips are removed. Later there was a remake of the DS port subtitled 1st Love Plus that fixed some bugs of the system, full voice acting and added new voice clips for the game album gallery).
    • The 2nd Kiss game, also originally for PS2, got another DS port with two new characters, new event for the guys and love mode, subtitled 2nd Season, but like 1st Love, removed the OP and ED.
    • The 3rd Story game was first released for DS and later got a PSP port subtitled Premium ~3rd Story~, with a new character, animated sprites using Live2D technology, extra events for the guys, new scenarios that might happen by the end of the date, Angel and Sweet Devil mode but replaced skinship and love mode with approach and ex-approach mode.
  • Video Arcade: One of the series' staple date locations.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
    • In Girl's Side 1, Sakuya has a fear of water, Kazuma has a huge fear of large cats along with ghosts, and Hibiya is afraid of heights.
    • In Girl's Side 3, Seiji has an extreme fear of dandelion seeds.
  • Woman Scorned: Gender Inverted. If you meet too many guys and ignore them for sometimes, they'll easily get jealous and use a "bomb" against you.

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