Games

Enchanted in the Moonlight Review – Spirited Away by Ayakashi Hotties

The Japanese mobile otome games company Voltage Inc. is the latest publisher to jump on the Nintendo Switch bandwagon. Earlier this year the company announced that a few of their mobile Otome Romance titles would be made available on the Nintendo Switch and the first game to make the move is their supernatural romance, Enchanted in the Moonlight. Rather than release one game with all of the characters, the Switch version of the game is split into two titles: Enchanted in the Moonlight: Miyabi, Kyoga, & Samon and Enchanted in the Moonlight: Kiryu, Chikage, & Yukinojo and comprises of all the season 1 to season 3 main stories from the mobile app Love 365. 

Enchanted in the Moonlight was released as a standalone mobile app for Android and IOS back in 2014  and even after the termination of the app in 2018 has experienced a revival as one of the titles on the new Love 365 portal app. In the game you play as a young woman who finds her life turned upside down when she is attacked by malevolent Ayakashi drawn to her unique blood. A group of handsome Ayakashi come to your aid, but there protection comes at a price: they’ll protect you from evil Ayakashi that lust for your blood, but in exchange you must bear their child. With dangerous Ayakashi after your life who will you choose as your defender?


You live a normal life until the day you’re attacked by otherworldly ayakashi, intent on stealing the special power you were born with.
Your saviors also happen to be ayakashi, five very handsome ones!

“We’ll protect you, human. But in return… You must offer your power to one of us.”

Is he only after my power? Or is this love real…?

Official Summary

The prologue kicks off with the MC waking up from a strange nightmare, shaken by the dream she decides to go out into her back garden for some fresh air. She notices that the moon is an odd red color and immediately starts to feel dizzy and just before she passes out two strange figures arrive. In her disoriented state she overhears them talking about her “special blood” but she passes out before she can inquire further about it. The next morning she awakes in her bed and dismisses the events of the previous night as being just a dream, and heads out for work at the local library. Throughout the day she has a series of strange encounters with the various love interests. On her way to the library she is almost tripped by a black cat and is saved by Samon, her close friend who helps manage her family’s shrine. When she gets to work she notices two hot guys reading books in the kids section, one is upset at the depiction of oni in “Momotaro” and the other is making some rather risque commentary about “Little Red Riding Hood”. 

Enchanted in the Moonlight Switch 2

Some bookshelves mysteriously topple over almost crushing the MC, but she is saved just in the nick of time and warned by her saviors to “be careful” in the future. On her way home our accident prone MC is almost hit by a car only to be saved when a giant snowball blocks its path… despite the fact that it’s a perfectly sunny day. A kind bystander helps her to her feet and the MC remarks that he has cold hands. Before she can get too far she encounters one of the men from her “dream” who berates her for not being careful… which freaks her out enough to make a speedy exit.

Once home, a cute fox dives into her bag and eats her dinner, which happens to be Inari sushi. Weak to the wiles of such a cute animal, she carries it into her home and decides to take a bath WITH A WILD ANIMAL!!! The fox transforms into yet another hot guy mid bath… she is reasonably disturbed by this but allows him to lead her into her living room where the men she met earlier are now gathered. They explain that the MC has special blood that has the ability to boost other Ayakashi’s powers, and that many other Ayakashi want her blood so they can increase their abilities, which is why she’s been having so many “accidents” throughout the day. The men promise to protect her from the other Ayakashi, but only if she agrees to have their child. From there the MC can choose which of the seven she wants to be her protector.

Each route focuses on a conflict central to your chosen Ayakashi’s village, so there is little in the way of overlap between routes. In the Love 365 version of the game there are seven love interests to choose from with stories spread over 3 seasons. However, in the Nintendo Switch ports Shinra is excluded, most likely because he is the only character that doesn’t have an season 3 stories.


Meet the Ayakashi of Enchanted in the Moonlight

Enchanted in the Moonlight LI.jpg

The Guys of Enchanted in the Moonlight: Chikage, Kyoga, Shinra, Miyabi, and Yukinojo

Miyabi 

He is the leader of the kitsune clan and the third generation of clan leaders. Unlike the other guys, Miyabi isn’t a full blooded Ayakashi and rather the child of an Ayakashi and a Human. His mother was murdered by a group of Ayakashi that opposed the union between his parents and his father beset with grief left Miyabi with his grandfather. Because of his immense power, Miyabi was enrolled in the Ayakashi Gakuin with the other future clan leaders. Despite being clan leader, Miyabi still gets flack for being half blooded and in later seasons his relationship with the MC isn’t as accepted as it is in the other routes because it is seen as further diluting his family’s Ayakashi blood.

Miyabi is a confident and flirtatious guy, who can be a bit shameless when it comes to his desires. He is my least favorite of the guys early on because he is constantly trying to get in the MC’s pants despite her crush on someone else. He is a bit full of himself and can’t understand why anyone would want to reject his advances… “he’s quite the catch”. Beneath all of that Miyabi is very insecure about his half-blooded status and works twice as hard as everyone else to prove that he deserves to be clan leader. He can be very sweet and compassionate towards others when he isn’t talking about how great he is… He has some of the steamiest stories, since he’s a very sensual being, so be prepared for that.

Chikage

He is a tengu and the current leader of the Tengu clan. When he was a child he was abandoned by his parents and taken in by a group of Ayakashi thieves. Chikage has always had abilities far beyond average and as a result he was chosen to attend Ayakashi Gakuin with the other potential clan leader candidates, leaving behind his former friends in order to gain more power. He excelled in his studies and was eventually chosen to be the next Tengu clan leader. He later adopted Koten, an orphaned tengu boy and made him his new apprentice in hopes of preventing him from having to live a life on the streets like he did.

Chikage has always put power above all else and initially sees the MC as a means to boost his already immense power. He is cold and condescending towards those he deems weak and he is quick to point out a person’s flaws. He has a tough love approach to most things, but he cares deeply about his clan and others (especially Koten). He is very subtle about his affection for the MC early on, but when he does fall for her he is super protective and prone to jealousy, especially towards Kyoga. Because he is a tengu, he likes shiny things and dislikes cats. He is also the Ayakashi with the least experience in the human world and needs help understanding the most mundane things.

Shinra

He is an oni and the youngest member of the Ayakashi group. He is the second son of the previous clan leader and it was his older brother Taiga that was selected to be the clan leader. However, an incident in his past caused his brother to lose his powers and Shinra was chosen as his replacement. While he loves his brother, Shinra has always had a bit of a complex about Taiga, since he blames himself for his accident. He spends most of his time training in order to surpass his brother’s power. When he was younger he met the MC as a child and helped cheer her up when she was upset, as a result he becomes her “first love”.

As the youngest member of the group, Shinra constantly gets teased by the others which annoys him to no end. He can be a bit hot tempered and can be a bit rough around the edges, but like most tsundere he has a secret compassionate side. Children and animals love him and despite insisting that he doesn’t like them. He and the MC butt heads quite a bit, since Shinra isn’t one to admit when he is wrong or back down from a fight, however he does care about her.

Kyoga

He is an okami and the clan leader of the Okami clan. When compared to the others he had a pretty normal upbringing, which is probably why he is so easygoing (he’s the person the MC turns to for advice in the other routes). Unlike the other clans that treat humans with some degree of disdain, the Okami clan is much more open about their attitudes towards humans. His clan is currently in an open civil war with the Tora clan.

While Kyoga is a bit of a flirt, his sense of duty towards his clan and his responsibilities as their leader are his most notable character traits. He may slip in a few innuendos here and there, he never pressures the MC into pursuing a sexual relationship with him (unlike some of the other Ayakashi). He’s actually quite the gentleman putting the MC’s needs before his own, though he does have a bit of a pervy side. Despite his easygoing attitude, Kyoga has a hard time expressing his true feelings and will put aside his needs and wants for the greater good of his clan.

Yukinojo

He is a yukibito (the male version of a yuki-onna), his powers are based on ice and snow and his body temperature is much lower than the others. When he was younger he took a trip to the Human World where he fell in love with a human woman. However, since he was next in line for clan head, the elders forbid the relationship and returned to the Mononoke Village. He eventually convinced the clan to allow him to be with the woman, however when he returned he found that she had married another man and lived a full life with him. Heartbroken, Yukinojo closed his heart to others and vowed never to fall in love with a human again, since their lifespans are so different and any romance between them would end in tragedy.

So, Yukinojo in the other guy’s routes and Yukinojo in his own route are like night and day! In every other route but his own, he is sweet, helpful, and an absolute joy to be around. However, when you choose him he is cold as ice (pun intended)! He constantly gives the MC the cold shoulder and treats her like a petulant child, which puts the fear of God into the MC. His personality only changes after he makes the MC cry, after that he’s Mr. Sensitive; he actively makes an effort to get to know the MC and the two develop a common interest in gardening.  It’s an upward battle with this one since Yukinojo takes the longest to warm to the MC and her affections for him.

Samon & Kiryu.png

Since they weren’t in the big group shot, here are Kiryu and Samon!!

Samon

He is a zashiki-warashi who unlike the other Ayakashi you encounter has been living in the human world for quite some time. Because he lacked the power to become the next clan leader of the zashiki-warashi he was sent to the human world to watch over the MC until her powers awakened, taking on the role as manager of her family’s shrine to better keep an eye on her. Since yashiki-warashi are house spirits said to bring luck and protection to a household, Samon’s powers are defensive as opposed to the offence heavy skill sets of the other Ayakashi (ie. shields of protection and healing).

He has known the MC the longest and the pair have a sibling like relationship, with the MC seeing Samon as a big brother. He is kind and caring, taking care of both the MC and the Ayakashi clan leaders. He’s more domesticated than most taking care of the needs of the house and shrine, and he is a master in the kitchen. It’s apparent early on that he has feelings for the MC, however, she is completely oblivious to his romantic affection.

Kiryu

He is a dragon Ayakashi and the current leader of the Ryu clan. His father, the former head of the clan made a deal with a woman with special blood (like the MC) and was the person who sealed away the onmyoji (the antagonists in season 2). Because of this the Ryu are considered to be the most powerful clan in Mononoke Village. As the son of the former clan leader, Kiryu has been groomed from a young age to become its next leader. To escape his controlling father, Kiryu left Mononoke Village to live in the human world, where he studied human life and eventually fully integrated into human society as a novelist.

Personality wise, Kiryu is a kuudere through and through, cold and detached at first, but as the story progresses he warms towards the MC. His clan is perhaps the most prejudiced against humans, seeing them as inferior beings. However, due to his time in the human world, Kiryu doesn’t harbor any of his clan’s negative opinions, rather he feels most comfortable living among them in the human world. Though, he doesn’t like women since most women whether they are Ryu or Human are only attracted to him because of his wealth and power. When he does fall in love, Kiryu is easily flustered.


Review of Enchanted in the Moonlight

Enchanted in the Moonlight is basically the otome games version of Kanoko Sakurakoji’s Black Bird manga. The MC has special blood that brings all the Ayakashi boys to the yard and everyone wants her to have their baby; it’s practically the same story… there’s even a hot tengu.  But, unlike Black Bird, the MC can choose from seven different Ayakashi hotties (six in the Switch release, since Shinra is strangely absent), which makes for some fun narrative differences in the individual routes.

Each route deals with a conflict specific to that route’s love interest, so while the basic framework is the same in each route the narrative is completely different. This gives the characters’s personalities a chance to really shine in their respective stories and allows for some great character growth moments for each of the guys. The main stories are more of an introduction to the characters and the world of the game establishing the various Ayakashi clans, where they fit in within the social structure of the Mononoke Village and how the MCs and her chosen love interest’s relationship affects that Ayakashi. There is usually a minor internal conflict between the MC and her Ayakashi lover as they get to know one another and eventually fall in love, which takes up the first half of the story. Then around the midway point an external conflict/villain shows up to test their relationship. Later stories have the same basic premise, they just up the ante in the drama department.

This is one of the few Voltage games where I genuinely like each of the love interests… maybe not their actual routes, or their portrayal in said route (I’m talking about you Yukinojo), but overall Enchanted in the Moonlight has some pretty compelling love interests. Like, I love Chikage as a character, but even I can admit that his main story is kind of lackluster or Yukinojo who I love in every other route but his own. Miyabi is not my favorite character, since I am not a fan of flirty characters, but, he does have the strongest stories in the game and his growth over the course of the series is the best in the entire game! So, if you hate a character’s main story, I strongly recommend playing their subsequent stories (which is easy with the Switch port since it has all their season 1-3 main stories in one place).

Enchanted in the Moonlight Switch

I am a sucker for supernatural romance media, but I especially love anything to do with folklore and mythology, so Enchanted in the Moonlight was right up my alley. Voltage does a great job of blending together the modern Japanese setting with the supernatural elements. The writers adapted a lot of the characteristics associated with the various Ayakashi into quirks for each of the guys. Chikage is a tengu so he has a tendency to get distracted by shiny objects and he hates cats (which totally reminds me of the Nekoma/Karasuno rivalry in Haikyuu). Then there’s Miyabi who initially meets the MC after he eats the Inari sushi in her bag, foxes who are the messengers of the Inari shrine are said to be fond of fried tofu (which is a staple of Inari sushi). There’s even a running gag about a kappa side character that “dislikes” cucumbers, traditionally the favored snacks of kappas unless they have been dipped in honey. I dunno, it was just really cool to see the lore rolled into the characters’s personalities in a way that felt so natural.

The MC, like most in most Voltage games changes to suit the needs of whatever route you’re on, which depending on your tastes can be a good thing or a bad thing. In Kiryu and Shinra’s routes the MC is a bit more headstrong leading to some fun interactions between her and those love interests. She can get downright sassy, and I like seeing her stand up to the guys when they are being unreasonable. She has a few stubborn moments in Chikage’s route as well, but she does most of her shade throwing internally. Whereas in Samon’s route and Kyoga’s route, the MC seems much more mellowed out since she’s not constantly butting heads with anyone. And… in Yukinojo’s route she’s your run of the mill love sick heroine (this is by far my least favorite version of the MC). Because they adapt the MC to complement the LIs your mileage may vary depending on which routes you choose.


final thoughts 2

Enchanted in the Moonlight is one of my top 10 favorite games titles from Voltage’s Otome Romance line and I am glad to see it making the move to the Nintendo Switch. The new port updates the game’s interface and houses all of the season 1 and 3 stories, but the biggest perk is that getting the Switch ports saves you money. If you want to get all of the available stories for just Miyabi in the Love 365 app it will set you back $29.89 (4 main stories at $3.99 each & 7 epilogues/POVs at $1.99 each). Each version of the switch port is $19.99 and you get three characters per game, so for just 39.98 you get all of the main stories for six characters saving you $139.36… yeah totally worth it for that alone!

But, even more than that, Enchanted in the Moonlight is a solid otome game with great characters and a story that will keep you invested from start to finish! Voltage does a great job of modernizing the Ayakashi and their mythos with some great world building early on and each new story adds new layers to the world of the game.  Each route touches on a different aspect of the Ayakashi world and a fresh take on the MC and her interactions with the supernatural world. I highly recommend giving this game a try if you have the chance, especially Chikage, Miyabi, Shinra, and Kyoga’s… just try them all… (except I low key hate Yukinojo’s main story…) All in all, Enchanted in the Moonlight is totally worth a playthrough.

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