Cafe Enchante is a fantasy otome game developed by Otomate and localized by Aksys Games. Follow Kotone Awaki as she takes over her late grandfather’s café, Enchanté. Unbeknownst to Kotane, the cafe has a surprising secret—it caters to special supernatural clientele.
- Genre: Fantasy | Supernatural | Romance
- Where to get the game: Nintendo Switch
- 30+ hours of gameplay
- Price: $49.99 (Standard Edition)
- Similar Games: Ayakashi Gohan | Mystic Destinies Serendipity of Aeons | Changeling
Take on the role of Kotone Awari, an absolutely ordinary young woman at a crossroads in her life. She’s working a draining office job and to top things off her beloved grandfather, Souan recently passed. Still grieving her loss, Kotone learns that gramps left her his café in his will. So, she quits her dead end job and takes over Café Enchanté. Not long after taking over she discovers that the shop is hiding a surprising secret—it caters to a very exclusive clientele.
The promotional campaign for this game lied to me. Everything about Café Enchanté gives off wholesome, slice-of-life vibes. But the ACTUAL game is anything but—drama, angst, and a lot of heartbreak. This game gets dark and a few folks might not be ready for some of the heavier storylines. Ignis’s route is especially surprising for how heartbreaking it gets, and don’t get me started on Misyr’s route.
Café Enchanté has 5 love interests. Canus, Ignis, Il, and Rindo can be romanced at the start of the game, but Misyr’s route is locked. After you finish the first 4 routes, you’ll be given the option to romance Misyr. Each route focuses on a character specific conflict, with varying degrees of drama. For the best transition, I recommend playing Canus ⇒ Ignis ⇒ Rindo ⇒ Il ⇒ Misyr.
VA. Yuuichirou UMEHARA
“I vow to protect you from whatever perils seek to obstruct our path.”
The Headless Knight (Dullahan) from the Fairy World, Medio. The removal of his helmet reveals the startling truth, that there is nothing to see or touch from his neck up. Although bearing a suspicious look, the reality is that he is a knight with an earnest and straightforward personality. At times, he even displays a soft spot by extending his hand out to those who are in trouble or to those weaker than him. Canus is a master swordsman, but is also just as adept at handling a spade and tending his garden.
Blerdy’s Thoughts on Canus (Click to reveal)
Of all the bachelors, Canus was the character I was most looking forward to pursuing. I thought the lack of a head would make it harder to get into the romance. But the game gets around the lack of actual facial expressions in a fun way. Canus has flames where his head should be that change color to reflect his emotions. I’m not gonna lie, it was super cute seeing his flames turn pink knowing he was most likely blushing.
Canus is definitely the most imposing of the love interests, but he’s surprisingly really sweet. He takes care of the café garden, helps Kotone with shopping, and is friendly with the folks around town. While he gets along well with Kotone and the café crew, most of the fairies in Medio shun him. He puts up a good front, but he keeps others at a distance. Kotone has to really work throughout the route to get him to let down his guard.
Canus is definitely the best route to pick if you want to ease into the game. His story has fewer stakes and the conflict is relatively light compared with the other guys’ routes. The romance is really sweet. Since there is less “drama” in this route, there’s a bigger focus on the relationship between Kotone and Canus.
VA. Yuuki ONO
“Just know that I’m picky with cooking. You won’t get away with a half-assed meal.”
Demon Beast from the Beast World Bestia. A young, flame-wielding werewolf, widely known as the strongest in Bestia. He has an aggressive nature and a short fuse. He gets into fights often because if this. Despite these traits, others still see him as a non-human who has a strong sense of duty and is usually reasonable. Ignis often displays his kindness by calling things as he sees them. His enormous appetite is generally apparent when anyone encounters him scarfing down plates at the café. It goes without saying that he is a lover of meats.
Blerdy’s Thoughts on Ignis (Click to reveal)
Ignis’s route caught me by surprise. It starts off pretty wholesome and sweet only to hit you with an onslaught of angst and heartache. It’s super jarring considering how tame Canus’s route is throughout. There was absolutely NO warning that Ignis’s route would take such a dark turn. At one point, I was convinced I’d unlocked his bad ending.
Ignis is aggressive and straightforward, but deep down he is quite sweet when you get to know him. He has a strong sense of duty and is often found defending those weaker than him. Ignis has earned title of the strongest beast, and is often the target of other demon beasts. However, he vows never to kill an opponent. Unlike the other café regulars, Ignis seems to be the most at home in the Human world. He can often be found skateboarding in the park or eating his weight in food.
He is the youngest of the LIs, so that puts him much closer in age to Kotone. So, their relationship feels much more natural than it does in the other routes. While the other guys are inherently otherworldly in some way, or another, Ignis acts like a normal guy. It’s easy to imagine that if circumstances had been different he and Kotone might have ended up meeting somewhere around town. Also, being the awkward tsun bun that he is, Ignis is much easier to read than the other LIs.
VA. Jun’ichi SUWABE
“Hah. You’ve really gotten used to this odd way of living, haven’t you? This old man doesn’t even know how to feel”
A member of the Government Paranomalism Measures Organization. He’s a man living in the sunset of his prime. His current assignment is to monitor non-human activity at Cafe Enchante, but he also likes to relax and unwind there as a patron. Rindo is known to be a calm and collected gentleman, but the topic of non-humans can illicit a more serious response from him at times. A first glance might give the impression that he’s more comfortable behind a desk than on the field, but seeing him in combat tells another story.
Blerdy’s Thoughts on Rindo (Click to reveal)
Of all the LIs, I was not actually looking forward to Rindo’s route all that much. Compared with the other guys the idea of dating a normal human seemed bland in comparison. Because of his job he is very aware of the threat that supernatural beings pose. So he keeps a distance between himself and the other café regulars and he encourages Kotone to do the same. His route explores the differences between humans and non-humans, more so than the others before it. Touching on something that I thought was missing from earlier routes: like the difference in LIFESPAN between humans and non-humans. Which is rich coming from a guy that is more than half Kotone’s age. I know the others are in the triple digits, don’t @ me.
He’s much older than Kotone (physically) so his actions felt more like something an uncle would do than a lover. Not to mention, his first date with Kotone is at his apartment. While it’s super sweet, I cannot believe a grown man tried to Netflix and chill on the 1st date. A lot of players I know have been singing Rindo’s praises. So I went in with an open mind, but he just didn’t do it for me. But, I will admit that his route had the more interesting conflict.
Rindo’s route, really shows how Kotone is straddling the line between the Human world and the non-human world. As the owner of Enchanté, there is always going to be a part of her life that she can’t share with friends and family. While she doesn’t see it as a problem now, it might be one in the future. I mean look at Rindo, he’s pretty much Agent K from Men in Black. He gave up everything for his job and the only people he interacts with are his coworkers and the Enchanté crew. There’s a lot of emphasis being put on living a normal life and finding happiness as a human. So, they were pretty much hitting us over the head with the foreshadowing in this route. But, that didn’t make the finally whammy any less heartbreaking.
Il Fado de Rie
~Otome Loving Fallen Angel~
“Oh, how are otome games this wonderful?!”
A lover of otome games, the Fallen Angel from the Heavenly world, Caelm. Refined and elegant. He might seem like his head is always in the clouds, but behind this klutzy appearance, he is quite the intellectual. Due to those personality traits of his, Il has a tendency to inadvertently cause trouble for the others, and often need to babysat. For his reason, he usually shuts himself in his room devoting his life to playing otome games. As expected, he has the heavenly singing voice of an angel.
Blerdy’s Thoughts on Il (Click to reveal)
This is where the game really lays it on thick with the tragedy. I mean Il is a fallen angel—there was no way this route was going to be sunshine and rainbows. Il comes off as a bit of an airhead. He lacks basic social skills and he is oblivious to how his own actions effect other people. Il has a much harder time grasping human concepts than the other Enchanté regulars. But, rather than taking the time to actually teach him, the other guys coddle him; treating him like a pampered prince.
Ignis is the ONLY person in the group that calls Il out when he does something “wrong”. But given his less than delicate personality, his “constructive criticism” can be a bit harsh. Misyr on the other hand is overly protective of Il in a way that doesn’t go unnoticed by the others. It’s revealed that Misyr introduces Il to otome games in hopes of helping him better understand human emotions and mannerisms.
I have to say it is extremely meta to have an in game love interest who actually plays otome games. And he isn’t just a casual fan otome—his room is full of limited edition merch and games, he actively goes to otome themed cafes and events, and in the common route he wants to visit a nearby café because a scene from one of his favorite games took place there. But, none of the other Enchanté regulars show much interest, so he spends most of his time shut up in his room or in a quiet corner of the café playing games.
There were moments when he would excitedly explain some aspect of one of the games he was playing and the other guys would just give a polite nod, but otherwise wouldn’t offer much in the way of conversation. The only person who seems genuinely interested in talking about otome games with Il is Kotone and it was super cute to see him going to her for her “feminine opinion” on how best to respond to certain dialogue options in his games. He even manages to convert her into becoming an otome fan. I love the progression of their relationship, it’s just so sweet.
But, man did this route hit me in the feels, HARD! Il’s route is definitely one of the more emotional stories. There were few scenes towards the end where I came very close to shedding a few tears. This is my favorite route in the game, the romance was perfect and the climax didn’t hold back its punches. Making the best ending all the more satisfying. Trust me when I say that Il’s route makes you work for your happy ending!
~Coffee Loving Demon King~
“You may not realize it, but there is magic in effect all over the place.”
The Supreme Demon King of the Demon World, Asmodia. Also known as king of the non-humans. To the extent that some may consider it cheating, he’s an extraordinary individual who can solve any problem with his impressive skills in the art of magic. Being a connoisseur of coffee, Misyr visits Cafe Enchante every day to enjoy a freshly brewed cup. Despite his elevated status, he’s down to earth and cheerful. Every once in a while, he mutters some unsettling things without so much as batting an eye. People sometimes question whether or not he’s joking.
Blerdy’s Thoughts on Misyr (Click to reveal)
This route is locked for a reason, it hurt, y’all. Misyr is in all of the previous routes, but there is always an air of mystery surrounding him. You never really know what he’s thinking, and he comes off as more of a playful big brother type. He actively encourages Kotone’s relationships with the other LIs and he’s not above giving his advice. Even though he’s supportive in the other routes, you get the sense that his feelings for Kotone are complex. During their first meeting he literally says, “I finally found you”. The other routes make it clear that Kotone met all the regulars when she was a little girl. However, the way Misyr acts around Kotone implies that their shared past is much more meaningful.
Unlike the other guys, not much is known about Misyr or the Demon World, Asmodia; even the information about them at the GPM is just first hand accounts provided by Misyr. Whenever someone asks him for details about himself or his world, he either gives a vague answer or redirects the conversation. While Misyr claims to be a tyrannical demon king with immense destructive powers, he goes out of his way to give off the impression that he’s just a really nice guy.
He’s friendly with the café regulars and he takes care to help Kotone whenever she needs a brew tester and he acts like a protective older brother to Il… he’s damn near perfect. But, if I learned anything from the other four routes, it’s that there is always another shoe that’s going to drop and boy is this route a doosy. This route will break your heart, so make sure you grab a couple of tissues.
~ The Heroine ~
With her grandfather’s recent passing, this 19 year old finds herself in the incredible position of being the newest owner of Cafe Enchante. After graduating high school, she held a regular office job for a short time and has come to understand how the world works. She has a personality that’s sunny and upbeat, allowing her to adapt to new environments quickly and easily. On top of all that, she’s quite the cook.
Blerdy’s Thoughts on Kotone (Click to reveal)
The real star of the show is Kotone! ‘m going to have to redo my top otome game heroines list because she is one of my new favorites. THIS IS HOW YOU DO OTOME HEROINES! I am loving the shift away from self insert heroines, because it really gives us a sense that we have some agency in the way the events in the story play out. She’s the most underpowered person in the main cast and she still manages to hold her own in the story. She is allowed to be vulnerable but instead of that being a weakness it’s one of her strengths. Her ability to empathize with those around her is her biggest appeal.
The tagline of the game is ‘Je t’aime juste comme tu es’ which translates to ‘I love you just the way you are’ and that is at the core of who Kotone is as a character. Her capacity for love and acceptance is what makes the café such a warm and inviting place to everyone. Even when she encounters a situation that is seemingly impossible, she faces it head on. Running a café isn’t easy. I like that the common route takes its time to show Kotone adjusting to her new normal. She asks questions and works to decide how she wants to continue her grandfather’s legacy.
However, Kotone has ZERO experience running a café so she has to learn how to make coffee and essentially goes through training to become a functional café manager. Not many otome games strive for that level of realism… and as someone who had to go through barista training I could really relate to Kotone’s efforts. Making a good cup of coffee is not easy. But, we also get a chance to see Kotone learning about different types of coffee beans and even shopping for supplies so she can feed her hungry patrons. It doesn’t come easy to Kotone, but the LIs are always there to lend a helping hand, whether it’s Misyr teaching her how to brew coffee or Canus and Ignis helping with the shopping—it’s a group effort and it creates some really nice bonding moments.
Overall Thoughts – An Enchanting Coffee Fueled Romance
Lies My Otome Told Me: Cafe Enchante is NOT a Lighthearted Story
They pulled the ol’ bait and switch on us with Café Enchanté. If you only saw the opening trailer and read the game bio on Aksys’s website, you would think Cafe Enchanté was a sweet coffee filled slice-of-life romance—and if that is what you’re looking for, it’s probably best that you don’t play further than the common route. After that it’s all aboard the angst train. Each route starts off pretty sweet, Kotone spends time getting to know each of the LIs and learns more about their respective cultures and worlds and then BAM, the story takes a turn down heartbreak lane. And believe me some of these routes get DARK.
In Ignis’s route especially, I was convinced I was on my way towards the bad ending. But, that’s part of the problem. There are times when it felt like the game didn’t know if it wanted to be a cute slice-of-life romance game about a café that caters to magical beings or a dark supernatural drama, there just isn’t enough balance. The common route did a much better job of establishing the dangers of associating with non-humans while still keeping a lighthearted tone and that was the story I thought I was getting.
Honeybee’s Ayakashi Gohan has a similar premise to Café Enchanté—both focus on a normal human girl living in a place where the humans and non-human beings coexist. Of course, relations between humans and non-humans are pretty touch and go; conflicts do arise between humans and non-humans, but for the most part in Ayakashi the tone is much more slice-of-life in nature. In contrast, Café Enchanté tries to split the difference attempting to deliver a feel good romance with a thrilling second and third act for folks looking for a bit more spice with their otome and in most routes it works.
The Main Cast has an Interesting Dynamic
The family dynamic between the café regulars was absolutely perfect, I really got the sense that they each cared about one another and at least for me the moments when they were just hanging out in the shop together were among some of my favorites in the game. Even Rindo, who is technically an outsider fits right in with their lighthearted banter to the point that I forget that he’s human just like Kotone. Then there are characters like Canus who really shine when they aren’t in the spotlight. He’s usually the voice of reason in the group always stepping in to put things in perspective. But, the same can be said for the others too and I suppose that says a lot about how versatile they are as characters—they can exist both as leads in their own stories and as supporting cast members.
Route Breakdowns and Romance were A Mixed Bag
While I’m not really a fan of the guy, Rindo’s route had the best balance; establishing a relationship that felt natural and then introducing a conflict that both tied in with the existing worldbuilding from the other routes AND felt like a very organic progression for the character. This route had real consequences that don’t just get magically fixed by the end of the game. Then you have Ignis’s route where despite the descent into heartbreak we get, everything is seemingly “fixed” by the time the credits roll.
While all of the routes tell a pretty self contained story, I feel like some of the routes could do with a bit more expanding through a fan disc… maybe? I wasn’t completely sold on the romance in some routes and part of that was because there really wasn’t that much time to fully flesh out the relationships before the plot came bulldozing onto the scene.
Cafe Enchante has Amazing Characters and Worldbuilding
Rounding out the cast are a handful of side characters and while most of them are exclusive to specific routes, there is a bit of cross over. Kariya plays a more prominent role in the common route, but even after his conflict is resolved he stays on as an assistant café worker at Enchanté. Then there’s Kororo, a young demon beast Ignis finds alone in Bestia, he mostly serves as the cafe’s unofficial mascot. But for others, it’s kind of weird seeing a side character in other routes when they were the main antagonist in others. And some of the side characters like Epilogi and Asmodeus were a little too good looking to just be background characters…
I’ve said this before, but I AM A SUCKER for worldbuilding and with a game like this that blends together lore from not one but several different cultures, let’s just say I was in heaven!! But, what I really enjoyed about Café Enchanté is that the writers take existing lore and build on it to create something new. Canus, is a Dullahan, a type of fae that has it’s roots in Irish folklore, but the fairy world of Medio exists within the branches of Yggdrasil, a tree from Norse mythology that connects the nine worlds, then there’s the queen of the faries, Titania who is a reference to the fairy queen in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. There are all these really neat references and it was fun seeing how it all fits together in the context of the world of the game.
Yuuya’s Art is Absolutely Gorgeous!
In terms of appearance, Café Enchanté is a really pretty game. The character designs are unique to each character and even when they are in their human forms there are neat little details that giveaway their otherworldliness. Granted some characters like Canus aren’t really able to “blend in” all that well, but that’s part of what makes this game so unique. That and the gorgeous UI which carries over the game’s café theme, with menus modeled after café menus. Café Enchanté a very robust soundtrack with unique tracks for each of the various parallel world and still more to fit in with more emotional moments in the story. The opening theme song ‘precious places, precious faces’ is one of my favorites, and it’s upbeat lyrics and music put you in the mind of a relaxing lighthearted experience. The ending theme ‘eternal’ is just beautiful!!
Vibe Check: How is Cafe Enchante’s Localization?
I took four semesters of Japanese in undergrad and all I have to show for my efforts are a few cheap pick up lines and some basic conversational greetings. So, I am nowhere near an expert on Japanese to English translation (so take this with a grain of salt). But, as far as localized otome games go, Aksys did an alright job with Café Enchanté, nothing is as bad as the pre-patch version of Collar x Malice: Unlimited.
But, that’s not to say that the translation was perfect. There were a few typos here and there, but I want to stress that it’s not enough to really detract from my enjoyment of the games as a whole. Though, in the common route the translators switch from Venir to Vennia midway through and honestly that’s something the QC team should have caught early. And there was this weird thing going on with the spacing—sometimes there would be too much spacing between the words and there were times when the text would be bunched up in a corner without utilizing the full text box.
Aksys tends to go with more by the book translations, so there isn’t much in the way of meme-speak or any lines that’ll probably be dated in a few years. I kind of prefer this since overusing jokes can be a bit distracting and I really just want to enjoy the story.
So the Verdict – Should You Play Café Enchanté?
Heck yeah! I really loved this game and I’m glad I chose to play it before Piofiore. While it isn’t the fluff filled otome romance we’ve been clamoring for, Café Enchanté is chocked full of warm feel good vibes that are bound to melt even the most jaded of otome fans. Like the titular café, Kotone and the rest of the regulars are sure to offer a fun and inviting experience for folks looking for a short respite in these trying times. So grab a warm cup of coffee (or in my case tea), settle down in your favorite chair, and lose yourself in this delightfully charming otome game.
7 thoughts on “Cafe Enchante Otome Review – An Enchanting Coffee Fueled Romance”
I haven’t seen a post from you for a while, so it’s great to see something from you again! I’m really contemplating on getting a switch now… So many great games on there.
Lol yeah it has been a minute, I tend to go quiet over the holidays since I’m with family. But I had to squeeze one more review out before the end of the year.
OMG YES!! I definitely recommend the switch it’s such a versatile system!
Is it worth the price? It looks fun but fairly standard and 50$ (or 63$ in Canada) is a not cheap
Like you said, the price is standard for a switch otome game. In terms of quality, gameplay, and story I think it’s worth what I paid for it.
I’ve bought games and regretted paying for them, but CE is not one of them.
I’m looking forward to playing this one too Naja! <3
One thing I find really alarming which a lot of people dont mention, is that Kotone all met the guys when she was a kid, then after a 15 year time gap, shes now an adult and the guys all decide to date her. Like i know theyre all non-human with really long lifespans and they haven’t changed one bit of their appearance during those 15 years, heck even Kotone’s grandpa was like a father figure to them. But still its really weird and kinda creepy that Kotone all met them when she was a kid and now they can all date her years later when shes an adult. Like, why couldnt the writers just have Kotone all meet them from when she took ownership of the store??
Bare in mind, Im playing the Il route so i havent seen the other’s routes yet but outside of Ignis, since hes the youngest, I have no idea whether Kotone’s relationships with any of the guys outside of Rindo is pedophillic or not