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Karifean's Blog of Visual Novels

Tokyo School Life Review

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Tokyo School Life is a visual novel developed by M2 Co., Ltd. It's short, but pretty sweet.


Tokyo School Life puts you in the shoes of a nameable male protagonist on a trip to Japan. Shortly after his arrival, he runs into three girls in less than fortunate circumstances, and even more unfortunately, they turn out to be the very people he's supposed to be living with. Thankfully, after a night spent in the fresh outdoors the bad first impressions gradually blow over and they start getting along, going even so far as to treat each other like family.

For the two months the protagonist is set to live here, his goal is to get to know as much of Japanese culture as possible! And to "meet a cute girl". How his trip turns out is all in your hands.


The story is separated into a number of chapters, with the 10th chapter being the part where the story splits off into the individual character routes. The preceding chapters are at first simple introductory chapters and then go on to vaguely revolve around one character at a time. Each chapter from 2-9 gives you a choice which depending on your answer allows you to get closer to any given girl. Chapter 10 is where you're prompted to pick a destination for your field trip, with every possible answer corresponding to a girl whose route you will then enter. You can only enter a girl's route if you've gained enough favor with her through the choices.

Once you've gone through all three character routes, you've essentially cleared the game.

There's also a bad ending if you haven't gained enough favor with any of the girls, but it basically just cuts the story short right there so it's not worth pursuing.


Besides the self-insert protagonists, the three main are the three girls he stays with: Karin, Aoi and Sakura. Truth be told, I was surprised at how likable they ended up being. They easily carry the entire story. The progression of getting to know them is handled rather well; you start off knowing basically nothing about them but you see different sides of them as the story unfolds, especially if you enter their character routes.

They're definitely not the most complex or unique characters around, but they get enough characterization to not leave an unsatisfied feeling, and they fit in well with the kind of novel Tokyo School Life is.

Besides the main girls there are some minor characters, namely Aoi's grandfather, but none of them are particularly worthy of mention, as the story is really all about the three girls.


I'll start off by admitting that as far as I'm concerned the story opens with one of the worst opening chapters I've seen in a while. The way the protagonist comes to Japan expecting courtesy only to "realize" that the people here have tropey personalities straight from an anime and are perfectly willing to let an exchange student sleep in the cold for finding himself in the most cliché situation imaginable for no fault of his own... didn't sit very well with me, especially considering the 'educational' vibe of this VN.

Fortunately this is the last time the story has any such major problems, and the opening chapter is only around 10 minutes long anyways, so with that out of the way let's get to the actual story of this game.

The story of Tokyo School Life is nothing grandiose. It's a simple tale of romance with some drama sprinkled in. The individual character routes all follow the same formula; the protagonist starts falling for the girl, the girl's backstory and/or struggles are explored, and it typically ends as the two confirm their feelings for each other. It's a simple concept, and it works pretty well for this visual novel.

In my opinion, no single route stands out in particular, but none of them were bad either. They were all quite enjoyable reads.


Tokyo School Life is an unambitious visual novel. It doesn't break any molds or do anything particularly unique, instead it satisfies itself with being a pretty standard romance novel. And that's how I feel Tokyo School Life is best enjoyed; if you're looking for the next visual novel masterpiece, give it a pass, but if you're looking for a nice, fun way to spend an afternoon or two, this may be just what you're looking for. It only took me about six hours to complete, and I can confidently say it was six hours well spent.

Fun fact: Despite being one of the shortest VNs I've ever read, for some reason it also has easily the highest number of save slots in any VN I've ever read, with 100 pages of 9 save slots each. I only ever used the first page myself =P

Finally, this visual novel does have a selling point that will have me come back to it probably several times; you can have it display its text in both English and Japanese (including Furigana) simultaneously! This makes it a pretty great asset in practicing Japanese reading and listening comprehension, and since the story of the visual novel generally revolves around Japanese culture, the vocabulary and kanji you learn this way can be quite helpful.

Overall, I give Tokyo School Life a

7 / 10

If you want something that's short, sweet and satisfied with being just that, go for it.

Special thanks to forum member Pumpkin, without whom I'd have neither had the motivation nor opportunity to give it a fair shot!

Updated 02-28-2016 at 01:01 AM by Karifean

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  1. Pumpkin's Avatar
    It's my favourite visual novel so far, I just find it so super sweet. Aoi for lyfe