Date 6 Samurai in Ken ga Kimi [Review]

Ken ga Kimi


This review is made by someone who cannot speak japanese so most of the sentences sounded like:

Someone went from somewhere to somewhere else because someone else said something.

This is what I could decipher::


In the early Edo period, when the peace between humans, youkai and demons was unstable, our heroine Kayo is made to act as the princess on the way from Edo to Sunpu (today Shizuoka) where that princess is to be married to the new shogun after Tokugawa Tadanaga committed suicide. But as this bridal procession will be exceptionally dangerous due to the political uproar and the real princess being in bad health, Kayo has to take her place for the procession. And is accompanied by 6 of the most talented and courageous samurai of the country, who all have their own reasons for taking such a dangerous job and wanting to participate in a sword fighting contest, where they have the chance to win a legendary sword with the power to seal youkai and get a wish granted from the shogun.

But could there be more to this procession and what is the story of each of these samurai?


Of course everyone has their own secrets, but they are not connected to each other so that you can play in any order you like.

Saneaki Kuroba

The most uninteresting character for me was Kuroba.

He is the typical lonely samurai, strong, undefeated, but haunted by regrets of having killed people during his time as a samurai and that’s why he takes this last job, but plans to retire afterwards. Not only is he haunted by his conscience but also the youkai residing in his sword, a girl in high-spirits always hungry for either food or blood, that is nagging Kuroba quite a bit.

He usually is calm, but I wouldn’t describe him as cold, just a bit distant and he likes to stick to himself but at the same time cares for others. So he is kind of the lonely wolf trope and one of many samurai tormented by his deeds. I mean we just left the sengoku era, an era with the most brutal wars in Japan. So Kuroba really brings nothing new to the table. A tormented lonely samurai.


Next I played Sakyou.

The girl of the bunch – I mean apart from the MC.

Though he is on the hunt for oni and can get pretty scary in that process, he still looks and speaks like a girl, and neither the CGs nor himself can or even try to hide that.

And at least the beginning of his route was even less spectacular than Kuroba’s as he is ill for the majority of his own route and rests in Kayo’s room. Why doesn’t her father notice? I don’t know. Maybe he doesn’t worry because he thinks Sakyou is a girl?

As underwhelming as the first chapters of his route were, as surprising were the last. His motive is revenge, thus in his bad endings he gets totally eaten up by it and loses it, so I finally got messed up endings, I have been totally missing until now.


I then figured it’d be time to play a character I’m actually interested in, like Enishi

The redhead flirt who causes the most funny moments in the common route and some well needed comic reliefs. I think without him the common route would have been a lot more boring.

And at last his conflict was one I could finally relate to a bit. No grief about deeds that can’t be undone, no old fashioned revenge no one in the modern times understands anymore, but a good old personal conflict about his role in the family and in the world, about what he wants to do with his life and who he allows to influence his life decisions. I think that is a conflict most people could relate to, not knowing where your place in the world is and being torn between what your parents want for you and finding out what your own ambitions are.

On top of this relatable conflict came his entertaining character, who had a weakness for women and alcohol, thus morally debatable and yet a charming flirt who just wouldn’t give up no matter how cold the heroine would be. Because he falls in love with her pretty quickly what made it hard for me to draw the line between his typical flirt behaviour and when he actually got serious. Because I actually had a hard time believing a drunken flirt. He was eagerly pursuing her, and almost pushy, though her reason for rejecting him after his confession half way in the route, couldn’t have been more clichéd.

Nevertheless I liked Enishi as a character and also his bad endings were nicely bad.


Now it was time to finally tackle the shota Suzukake

The almost annoyingly cheerful, genki and bright youngest lad of the party. Being raised by youkai on a far away mountain he is not accustomed to human conventions and needs to learn a lot – which is at the same time a chance to explain to the player some things everybody knows – like the legend about the 5 magic swords or some traditional japanese sweets – nicely done writers.

Suzukake is nice to everybody including animals and youkai, he believes he can talk to, and even sees spirits. He’s a goody two shoes who doesn’t want to harm anybody but believes he can solve every problem by talking. So that is his mission in life, to make everybody live together in harmony – well good luck with that.

At first I wasn’t interested in him in the slightest, until I saw him smile – naaaaw


As reward for finishing the shota I allowed myself to play the character I was most interested in – the tsundere Kei

He is part of the security guards in Edo, going around looking after everybody. But as he witnesses a father is about to sell his daughter due to his debts Kei intervenes and takes it upon himself to give the money to the debt collectors. And for that reason he would be willing to take any job, no matter how dangerous.

So from the beginning you know, though he acts harshly, often scolds the MC or calls his fellow samurai out for slacking, he is a really good guy at heart. He just takes his job extremely seriously and being strict is his way of showing that he cares.

A really dear tsundere, as you see, who on the other hand gets easily flustered when praised or shown affection.

I think overall he’s rather the emotional type, easily flustered, but also easily angered until he snaps and gets infuriated or even violent.

His conflict felt quite personal to me, but also had a bigger scope than the others. The conflict was personal to him, but once executed could affect the world, which really made it interesting.

I also liked the dynamic between him and the MC. While in other routes I perceived her as almost non existing, in Kei’s route she was even allowed to argue with him and insult him in the heat of the argument. Dealing with a quick-tempered tsundere she was allowed to also act more fiercely, which I highly enjoyed.

Overall I would say his route was the most emotional to me. Because you have to learn to understand Kei’s temper, fight with him a lot, realise the scope of his personal conflict and finally discover that he’s such a good and upright fellow, that him finally finding his happiness makes you cry out of happiness too.


All guides I looked uo recommended to play Tsuzu – whats his name-  last. 

I mean look at the names Sagihara Sakyou Saneaki Suzukake . help! 

He is a travelling samurai, seeking to polish his swordsmanship, but always ends up hungry and without money on his travels. 

He is a genuine nice guy, easily flustered and always friendly.

It’s just a bit weird that whenever he sets out to fight a youkai, the youkai begin to run away and sometimes when fighting he begins to smell weird.

In his route he moves in with Kayo and her father to help out at the busy tea house during the time of the sword festival, to earn money, food and shelter, while he also wants to participate in the contest.

And quickly it turns out that strange powers seem to reside in him.

And these powers made his plot the most interesting to me, though his overall character just was nice – and I hate nice characters – unless they have a dark secret that is. 

Nevertheless I guess he’s supposed to be the true route as he says the name of the game. But I personally would still say that all routes are equal in importance and independent from each other.


At first I didn’t recognize any voice actors – maybe because this game is so ooooold, but the cast is not that bad actually, though honestly no one really stood out to me. 

Oosaka Ryouta逢坂 良太 Suzukake (Nil Ado Hisui; Shigehira Birushana)

Kei KENN sounds like a mixture of Shelby of Cupid Parasite and Kintarou of Yunohana Spring

Ono Yuuki小野 友樹 Tsuzu whats his name (Ignis Cafe Enchanté, Chihiro in Tlicolity Eyes)

Maeno Tomoaki前野 智昭 Kuroba(Kunitka Kimi Yuki, Riku Lover Pretend, Masato Tlicolity Eyes)

Way more noteworthy was the beautiful traditional relaxing japanese music and sound effects, that immediately transported you back in time

And while I liked the design of the sprites and the little detail of them moving during sentences, which is such a small and subtle change, but makes the scene seem so much more engaging, 

I was frankly disappointed by the CGs. The worst thing about them was the timing. The game rather chose to show a CG with only the LI doing something, instead of CGs with them together like holding hands. WHY? That was extremely apparent in Sakyou’s and Kuroba’s route in my opinion, but also  Suzukake lacked some romance.

On the other hand Kei, Enishi and  Tsuzuramaru had a lot of couple CGs and you could almost call Tsuzuramaru’s ending CGS steamy, which earns him my most sexy award.

But too many CGs depicted rather insignificant scenes or didn’t display any interactions between the characters,, which made them lack emotion. On a more positive note the artist improved a lot in her CGs in Shuuen no Virche.


So the common route consists of you sitting on a horse for several days until you arrive at your destination. 

I know Ghost of Tsushima is set almost 400 years earlier, but to some extent the atmosphere felt a bit similar. And I know that because I played Ken ga Kimi while my boyfriend played Ghost of Tsushima and instead of breaking the immersion that even enhanced it.

Some music tracks even sound similar. Imagine a calm moment in Ghost of Tsushima, where you can hear the wind in the trees, pick some flowers and this serenity is only interrupted by some occasional mongols aka youkai, bandits, oni passing by, but who don’t really pose a threat to Jin or insert LI name here – because apparently you play on easy mode anyways.

On top of that we have the conflict of the samurai. The question in most routes is in some way or another, when and for what it is worth to wield a sword. So similar to Jin who also struggles to come to terms with his samurai or now more ninja identity, the LIs also struggle to find their way of the sword, how they want to fulfil their duties as samurai or even decide to drop the sword entirely and commit themselves to a peaceful life with their beloved MC.

Because every route splits in the 5th chapter in the ken or kimi path. In the ken path you nudge the LI into sticking to his life as a samurai or wielding his sword for whatever cause he decides as just. Weirdly enough that more often enough bestows a bad ending upon you both – I wonder what the scenario writers want to tell us with that.

If you push him onto the kimi route, he decides to drop his sword or stop fighting and decides for a peaceful life, which will bring you blissful happy endings.

But in general it was hard to predict which kind of ending you will get, which might be troublesome for people who either try to dodge bad endings or messed up girls like me, who crave them.

Ok, that’s not quite it, but rather, this is a rejet game, a game by a company known for messed up and bloody endings, I mean they brought us Black Wolves Saga.

Though I had already heard that the bad ends are not as bad as the usual Rejet bad ends, I still expected blood, death, violence, despair!

But nothing. 

I mean I came prepared, I had expectations.

It’s like when you decide to watch porn but then it turns out it’s Sesame Street.

I think only Sakyou’s bad endings were gruesome in a way, but some other so called bad endings still felt hopeful, even if someone died, you were seldomly left in utter despair. 

Don’t get me wrong, a game doesn’t NEED bad endings, in order to be a good game, it’s just that I think that I expected Ken ga Kimi to be something it is not.

It is not gruesome and to my very surprise – it’s not plot driven

I expected a historical game with a samurai story to be plot driven and fighting heavy. But it’s not. It’s a walk in the park hand in hand with your LI.

In the common route you just travel – here and there interrupted by small insignificant attacks, which don’t pose a real threat. 

The character routes feel weirdly disconnected from the overly long common route, as the common route turns out just to be a chance to get to know everybody, but the character stories have almost nothing to do with what happened in the common route. The procession was just where they met. Cheers to an 11 hours long first meeting.

Ok – I think – the character routes then must rock, this is probably one of these games where they lure you in with a relaxed common route and in the character routes this peaceful fasade breaks and everything will turn upside down.

Well, no.

I would describe the character routes as Edo-slice-of-life, make a depressed samurai happy, heal the wounds of a samurai, help out a doctor, fetch water from the well, talk to a samurai grandma! Serve some soba in your tea house.

The character routes were as down to earth and relaxed as if you were playing variable barricade – just 400 years ago

Only in the last two chapters of some routes some slight action or tragedy came to light.

But most of the so-called twists or revelations could be smelled from miles away, still in the common route. So the individual routes didn’t have a single element of surprise for me.

So no plot, no surprises, mere character interactions.

Then I think – at least the romance must be good!

I mean, they end up together, yes, but some routes even have the audacity to describe a kiss scene without a CG.  In general the romance is very tame. You are lucky when you get a kiss and even more lucky if you even get a kiss CG. For most routes I couldn’t really relate to their love development.

What might also be due to the almost non existent heroine: she is very shy and seldomly speaks up, so I don’t feel like I know her in any way.

And the other reason might be that the overall design of the LIs was a tad too feminine for my taste. But that is definitely my mistake. Maybe I should pay more attention to buying games with guys I actually find attractive instead of games with guys who all look like teletubbies to me.

And all these teletubbies are traumatised or had a rough childhood, which can miraculously be healed by the MC just saying one sentence (because she doesn’t say more than one sentence in the entire game), like it wasn’t your fault. But you are a nice  guy – and phouf trauma healed! I feel loved and worthy again! Thank you Kayo that was all thanks to you



What did I miss? Why? What did she do?

Well, that was easy. Thanks – I guess?

To be honest I only felt that Kuroba’s, Sakyou’s and Suzukake’s stories were superficial.

But I did enjoy Kei and Enishi and Tsuzuramaru is also there.

Another aspect treated superficially were the numerous side characters, who I expected to play an integral part of the story as they all seemed so interesting and fleshed out – especially these hot ikemen – whisper: see you tonight!

But sadly they also were of little consequence for the plot overall – wait, there was no real 

overarching plot – ok nevermind


Luckily they took some time in the FD to give the side characters more room.

Apart from that the FD adds more common route to the game, accompanying the LIs on their way back or helping Kayo win a restaurant competition – whoo more slice of life without kiss scenes!

Because only after you’ve read these slice of life stories, the after stories for each character unlock, containing little sequences after the different endings and some more childhood stories.

And I still am hopeful “a FD serves the purpose of finally giving some romance to plot driven games, this is gonna be super romantic”

No Lin! When will you learn!?

The FD is not romantic. It really isn’t more than yet another slice of life story after each end, but no significant relationship development or little plot, not even a kiss CG, not even a steamy or slightly suggestive scene.

This is a FD for fans of the characters and their slice of life interactions. That is not a FD for me.

Still the FD manages to tie up some loose ends, but as I only looked into it briefly, I can’t say too much about that – maybe I missed a steamy scene? Please tell me!

The other aspect I wished would have been more fleshed out is the fantasy aspect.

All we know is there are oni, who are like humans, just oni –

And youkai, who also can be intelligent. But the existence of these two fantasy creatures doesn’t really add a new layer to the story. Youkai are mostly treated as monsters, oni as enemies – tadaa – here is some world building for you

There is magic, and that also plays a decent role, but how it works..that depends on how convenient it is for the plot! But why bother explaining it


Or maybe I just missed why Suzukake and Hanzou can practically beam themselves because I don’t speak Japanese and the game is hella difficult.

Most sentences looked like this to me ????? の ???? です。

I couldn’t even read the freaking menu!

Especially the prologue of the game made me feel as if I was a beginner again..

What is these? Do they do this on purpose? Does this old man, I couldn’t remember the name of even if my life depended on it, just want to make me feel frustrated? Please stop!

But later in the game, they all chill a bit more and talk know ordering tea. That word I know.

So if you want to be sure to understand everything, I would only recommend this game to advanced learners or learners who seek a challenge or want to learn some old-fashioned Japanese. Insert japanese polite thanks here

But on the other hand that also means you not only learn Edo Japanese, but also interesting facts about the Edo period, how it was structured, there were border controls or christianity was forbidden – nice!


Is Ken ga Kimi a bad game? Not at all

Is it as good as I thought it would be? Not at all

I think the main problem was for me that my expectations were off.

For me Ken ga Kimi is at its heart a slice of life Edo period game, that finds convenient solutions for clichéd problems delivered by a MC who is only there to heal the LI’s trauma by saying something nice and won’t even earn a kiss CG for that.

That sounded too negative, give me another try:

Ken ga Kimi is for people who enjoy a relaxed traditional Japanese adventure, with slight fantasy elements, and that is mostly character driven and tells slice of life stories of the life of samurai.

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