I think a disclaimer is in order with this game, since I’ve only really finished one route in Seiyuu Danshi, so this isn’t a “full game review” in the traditional sense. However, I kind of feel like I got a pretty good sense of the game as a whole after my first playthrough and I’d like to share my “experience”.
A large part of the gameplay is dedicated to the stats raising, but with elements of a life simulator thrown in, giving players full control of the game’s protagonist, Haato as he navigates his career as a voice actor and his relationships—both platonic and romantic—with the game’s colorful and expansive cast of characters.
When I initially played the demo for Meyaoi Games’s boys love stats raiser Seiyuu Danshi back in 2016, I was excited for all the interesting features, stats raising included. It was a fresh idea at the time and at least in the limited time frame of the demo, the stats raising wasn’t too overbearing and felt much more casual than I expected going in. So, when the final version of the game was released I was eager to see the fruits of the developers’ labors and I’m not gonna lie, Seiyuu Danshi is a pretty impressive game.
- Available for Windows, Mac, Linux
- Price: $32.99 USD
- 5 pursuable male characters (and 2 Secret Characters)
- Gameplay Length: 60+ hours
- Partial Voice Acting
Seiyuu Danshi is a highly interactive game. Heck, I challenge you to find a game that has as many features as Seiyuu Danshi, you step into the shoes of newbie voice actor Haato, as he attempts win the coveted Seiyuu Award or risk getting dropped by his agency. Navigate the ups and downs of the VA world, honing your skills by taking classes at the local VA School or spend time getting to know your fellow VAs and other celebrities as you gain more notoriety in the voice acting industry. The entire game takes place over the course of an entire year as you control every aspect of the protagonist, Haato’s life. Yes, this is a life simulator/stats raising game!
Right, so I am not the biggest fan of stats raisers and life simulators, I find the constant grinding of stats tedious and frustrating. I have played through a few in the past and I noticed that Stats Raising games fall into one of two camps—the stats broaden the scope of the story without effecting the outcome OR they’re absolutely necessary for the advancement of the plot and one misstep will completely lock you out of the “Best Outcome” of the game. In fact, my enjoyment of stats raiser games is directly related to how much of a chore it is to obtain the necessary stats for the “Best Ending”. I understand the appeal, since stats raising gives players more agency in the story, so you feel more invested in the outcomes. However, I have yet to come across a game that is able to strike a balance between stats raising and story progression in a way that felt natural, so I’m usually left too focused on raising stats to even enjoy the story or the characters.
And that’s the biggest issue I had with Seiyuu Danshi, I spent most of my time trying to meet the Voice Acting stats requirements, that I didn’t really have “fun” playing the game. Part of that is on me, because I could have prioritized other aspects of the game, but when a game takes place over an entire year and the devs go out of their way to say that “your choices affect the outcome” I make sure I do everything in my power to get the best outcome, because the repetition of grinding for stats makes starting over a daunting task. Thankfully the game practically gives you free stats via the mandatory VA School activity, but it’s randomized and there were quite a few times when I only netted 1 stat point per visit (which sucks when the max is 10). You have to maintain three main stats to advance your VA career— Technique, Characterization, and Singing. You can also raise stats specific to Haato’s personality by participating in other activities around town like watching movies at the cinema, reading books, or buying certain items, but those are more like secondary stats, so your mileage may vary.
There are also the affection stats which are by far the most tedious, you essentially have to stalk your crush and no one else until you become lovers AND THEN that unlocks a whole new level of affection points that you MUST max out if you want the most romantic end. That means you have to spend every waking moment hunting down your crush, wherever he may be hiding and DON’T MISS OUT ON SPECIAL HOLIDAYS AND EVENTS! You can essentially do what you want in game, HOWEVER, if you want the best ending for any of the routes you have to win the Seiyuu Award at the end of the year, so if you slack too much on the VA stuff you won’t get the best ending. And if you prioritize your career over your boo, you might just land a bad ending on principle…
like I did with Tocchan. I knew going in that stats would be important to the game, so I went in with a plan (as one is want to do with these types of games) and I was able to find a system that worked for me, but damn if it wasn’t tedious as hell.
There are five love interests (and 2 secret LIs) to choose from and they’re pretty standard characters, they each have a well defined personality and I can’t say that I dislike any of them. You pick up bits and pieces about them throughout the game and every so often you’ll trigger an event where you and your chosen love can get closer to one another. There are also special events where the entire cast gets together for group activities like the Ski trip that happens in the winter. Some of my favorite parts of the game were the special events, because they give you a chance to interact with the LIs in a non stats related capacity and I really liked seeing the different character dynamics at play during group outings. You really get the sense that these characters could be friends and while some of the humor was a bit on the campy side, I really did enjoy the chemistry between Haato and the rest of the main cast. However, these scenes never felt quite long enough for me and I found myself longing for the next one during some of the more grueling stats grinding moments of the game.
Despite my gripes about the stats, there were some really fun aspects of the game, like I really enjoyed the Voice Acting Job system and the Auditions—you essentially have to meet a certain stats requirement to take on jobs and when you go in for the audition you have to convey the proper emotion with each line of dialogue. And I’ll be damned if some of the premises for the VA gigs weren’t interesting as hell, like the one where you voice a character who get’s turned into a cat or the butler anime, I’d totally watch some of these anime Haato was auditioning for… I also liked interacting with the NPCs, some even give you mini quests that net you money or items that you can use in-game, kind of like an RPG. And then there are the Weekend Dates where you can take out the guy of your dreams, unfortunately there’s no going dutch and you foot the bill for most of the dates and SOME GUYS HAVE EXPENSIVE TASTES!! But if you stack up your cash from the VA jobs you should be alright financially, and DO NOT forget to pay your rent… if you don’t have enough for your rent it’s an automatic game over.
But enough about all that, let’s get to the part that you all really care about… the SEXUAL CONTENT!!
Seiyuu Danshi is an 18+ BL game, that brings the interactive elements of the rest of the game into the bedroom, by giving players the chance to control every detail of Haato’s romantic liaisons with his lovers. While it doesn’t go into the level of detail of No Thank You, where the player can decide how much body hair is visible and where the player can ejaculate during intercourse, Seiyuu Danshi does incorporate some unique details that I’d love to see more of in future BL games. Meyaoi Games introduces Foreplay Mode which is a mechanic I had seen previously in Camp Buddies and I liked the way Seiyuu Danshi handled it better since it was one of the few features in the game that wasn’t connected to any stats. You can dress the boys up in cute costumes (I was especially fond of the maid costume… A++ work there), but you can also touch, kiss, stimulate with toys, and even use a bit of dirty talk to help spice up each sexual encounter. It’s a simple point and click mechanic, but it was fun to try out different things with each partner and I enjoyed some of the responses. Of course, that’s not all, Meyaoi also gives you the opportunity to choose whether you’d like to be a top or a bottom. Most love interests have a preference, but you can ease them into switching to another role gradually over the course of the game, so if you’re up for a bit of experimentation, Seiyuu Danshi has you covered.
In fact, there’s a lot of fun to be had with Seiyuu Danshi, Meyaoi games clearly put a lot of hard work into bringing this ambitious project to life and based on quality alone this game is more than worth the price of admission. You’ll never get bored with this game, because there is just so much to see and do! The art is nice, I will admit the shift to chibis during the actual sex scenes was more comedic than it was sexy, but the game does have some nice anime styled artwork that will appeal to most players.
Stats raiser games were never my thing, so I grew bored with the monotony of grinding for stats fairly quickly, but for the first few months it wasn’t so bad. The game does a lot to help you through a lot of it, especially the Fudanshi side character who pops up from time to time to give you hints on your chosen love interest (he was a lifesaver) and when you complete certain routes you gain cheat codes to make your subsequent playthroughs easier (which is a blessing, especially the ones that max out stats)! All in all, I liked Seiyuu Danshi, however I don’t know if I’m ready to invest more time into tackling the rest of the game anytime soon, since it really is a lot to get through. But, if you’re a fan of stats raiser games, you’ll definitely enjoy Seiyuu Danshi.
Thank you for reading and Supporting Blerdy Otome! If you like what you see be sure to drop a like or a comment to let me know your thoughts on Seiyuu Danshi!!