Olympia Soiree is the otome game that no one thought would ever get localized and yet, it’s the latest Otomate title to make its way to the West. Olympia Soiree definitely touches on heavier themes than you’d expect to see in an otome game, but this more mature spin is a welcome change. Follow Olympia, last of her kind as she seeks out her husband to preserve her bloodline. On her journey across Tenguu Island in search of your perfect partner, and along the way learn more about the island and it’s people.
With her entire clan wiped out years ago, Olympia has been isolated for most of her life. Now she lives as the only person on Tenguu Island who can perform the ritual that restores light to a world shrouded in darkness. The heads of each Primary district—Red, Blue, and Yellow—lead a society governed by the island’s rigid class structure. As Olympia travels between the districts, she discovers their wonders and their weaknesses, as well as an entire underground community of shunned individuals whom she becomes determined to help. If she can find the person destined to be her soulmate, she will finally be able to open her heart and reveal her true name, continue her bloodline, and save the world before it is destroyed.
The setting, Tenguu Island is a place with a rigid social hierarchy based solely on a person’s color class. Each class has their own unique roles on the island and the social order is strictly adhered to–the Primary colors (Red, Blue, and Yellow) are at the top of the totem pole and serve as the main governing body of the island, followed by the Secondary color classes (Orange, Jade, Fuchsia, etc.) who are more or less treated as nobility. On the other end of the spectrum are the Versi, those born with “unsightly colors” or multiple color traits who are discriminated against and sent to live underground in Yomi. There is a strong desire among the higher color classes to maintain one’s color, so relationships between the various color tiers is strictly regulated, with many choosing to… keep it within the family to produce children with the most beautiful color traits (which leads to obvious problems). Love matches are rare and women on the island as seen with a few exceptions—one of the side characters from the Yellow clan fell in love with a woman from one of the lowest castes and was exiled to Yomi, while his partner was executed.
Being the last of the White clan, Olympia doesn’t have to adhere to the class system and can choose her partner from any of the existing color classes. Because she was raised on Tennyo Island, away from the color classism of Tenguu, she doesn’t agree with the system and after befriending some of the residents of Yomi decides to change things on the island by traveling between the various districts and getting to know the diverse people that live there.
I’m going to put a spoiler warning in here, though most of what I reveal is addressed in the common route.
At the start of Olympia Soiree only Riku, Tokisada, Yosuga, and Kuroba are available, after finishing those Himuka’s route unlocks. Akaza’s route unlocks only after you’ve gotten the best ends for all of the other LIs. Honestly, you can play the first four routes in any order you want, but for the best experience, I recommend playing: Riku ➤ Tokisada ➤ Yosuga ➤ Kuroba ➤ Himuka ➤ Akaza
This progression eases you into some of the heavier storylines, Yosuga and Kuroba’s routes go hard with the problematic sh*t (which is why I’ve included trigger warnings for each route). Each route focuses on it’s own story, though there are hints at an overarching story, but that doesn’t really come into play until Himuka and Akaza’s routes. There is a Compass Dial that will help determine which endings you are headed toward–the Sun icon indicates “best” choices and the Moon icon indicates “bad” choices.
*I included trigger warnings for each character route, just click the colored bar to open the dropdown and see them.
Character bios used from Official English site
She is the last remaining member of the White, known to the people as Olympia. She possesses the power to bring light to the sun through her dance. She has lived most of her life in solitude on Tennyo Island, kept company by her pet mouse Daifuku. On her eighteenth birthday, she begins her search for a husband.
After the death of her entire clan, ‘Olympia’ (her true name is Byakuya) was taken from her home on Tennyo Island and brought to live on Tenguu Island to live with the leader of the Yellow class Douma at his estate. She like the women before her possesses a special power to bring light to the sun through ritualistic dance, because of this she is revered by the people on the island. She’s mostly seen as little more than a lifeless doll only leaving only to perform her dance, so she’s pretty naïve about the ways of the island . On her 18th birthday she sets out to find a husband so she can preserve her color class by having lots of babies. On her journey she travels between the districts and learns more about the different color classes on the island and starts a letter delivery service to help bridge the gap between those living in Yomi and on the surface.
Byakuya is a nice well balanced otome heroine, she pretty outspoken when it comes to her beliefs and she isn’t afraid to go against the status quo. Because she was raised isolated from the others on Tenguu she doesn’t hold the same biases about color class and genuinely wants to make change on the island. She is a bit naive, but she is actively engaged in improving herself and learning more about the world around her. She starts up a mail delivery service to help bridge the gap between people living on the surface and in Yomi. Byakuya isn’t afraid to tell it like it is and there were more than a few times when she sets the LIs straight when they start talking out their ass (she’s especially feisty in Akaza and Kuroba’s routes). And when it comes down to getting physical with the LIs, Byakuya is all for getting frisky! Finally an MC that isn’t afraid of sex! I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, women get horny to y’all! Also, when Byakuya gets close with her chosen boy, her hair changes to match theirs.
VA. Shimazaki Nobunaga
A soldier assigned to the Yomi District patrol unit. His job is to guard the shrine gate leading in and out of the area. He is known for his skill in employing the power of Batsu, which tends to the souls of the dead. Riku is next in line to become leader of the Blue and is very diligent in his training to fulfill this future role.
Riku is from the Blue and a member of the Yomi patrol unit. He is straightforward and serious, strictly adhering to the traditions of the island’s color caste system. As next in line to lead the Blue his duty is to preserve his color and pass on his strong Batsu abilities to his children. While outwardly he’s diligent and straightforward, Riku is really just a big old tsundere, who has a hard time expressing his feelings and not gonna lie baby boy is always two seconds away from being reduced to a blushing flustered mess over his budding feelings for Byakuya and it is pretty cute. I really loved the chemistry between him and Byakuya and while their relationship develops fairly quickly, I did think it felt more natural than in some of the other routes. Riku is more on the awkward side when it comes to romance so there where a few times when she had to take the initiative–there’s a scene where he’s being all coy about being intimate with her and Byakyua straight up pushes him down on the bed.
He goes through the greatest change, gradually learning to accept the other color classes and I liked that his personal growth mirrored the changing social norms on the island. Storywise, this was probably the most balanced and is the perfect route to start the game off on. I didn’t know what to expect from Riku, but he ended up being one of my faves in the game! I am a sucker for cute awkward boys.
VA. Uemura Yuuto
An Outsider who washed ashore on Tenguu Island. He was naturalized into the Green and is currently living with their leader. He retained a good part of his memories, but dislikes speaking about his past. He has a pet from the White Mouse Clan named Paris who is actually Daifuku’s younger brother.
Tokisada is one of the Outsiders who drifted to Tenguu Island from beyond the ocean. Like Olympia the ways of the island are still new to him and he struggles to find a place for himself. While he usually pretty upbeat and cheerful, there are times when he seems withdrawn and more reserved. He still has regrets from his life before arriving on Tenguu and he secretly wishes to return to his homeland (he’s made several failed escape attempts). On the island, Outsiders are seen as “gods”, Jigen and Douma especially, are so much older and wiser and have long since integrated themselves into life on Tenguu, but Tokisada is just so much more approachable. Because of his past, Tokisada is against the color caste system on the island and like Byakuya he wants to change things for the better.
I didn’t expect much going in, but I was genuinely surprised at how cute his route was–both he and Byakuya are innocent buns and their relationship gives off wholesome first love vibes. There was just so much sugary sweet goodness in this route and their relationship just felt so effortless, with their cute ice cream dates, they just vibe. He just wants to spend time with his sweet Onee-san~ I also love that all the other guys (especially Kuroba and Yosuga) become cheerleaders, slipping Byakuya and Tokisada relationship advice–at one point Yosuga offers to give them a room in his bathhouse so they can have sex.
VA. Uchida Yuuma
The proprietor of Yomi’s largest establishment, the bathhouse known as Shikinjou. Yosuga is known as ‘Jigoku-dayuu’, or the ‘Steward of Hell’. He is a powerful man and the de facto ruler of the Yomi District. He specializes in flower divination and is renowned for his hospitality and medicinal baths.
Yosuga is the master of the bathhouse in Yomi and a shameless tease! He is the law and order down in Yomi and serves as the district’s unofficial leader, handling things from minor disputes to drunken surface dwellers harassing his people. Despite flirting it up with Byakuya and supporting her through her great husband search, everything else about him is shrouded in mystery. Yosuga always seems to know more than he lets on and rather than just give anyone a straight answer, he’s more likely to just tease you to death first. He reminds me a lot of Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle (the book not the film), at first blush he seems like the ultimate tease, but in reality he’s really quite selfless and sweet. He secretly does nice things for Byakuya like building the mailbox for her delivery service and he sneaks her konpeito to cheer her up when she is discouraged. And any man that can cook delicious food is A-OK in my book (the food porn in this route had my mouth watering)!
I was not expecting much from Yosuga, since flirty types rank low on my otome LI list, but I ended up really liking his route! Yosuga’s situation is very similar to Byakuya’s (sans the baby making stipulation) and it was nice to see him let his guard down and be himself around her. If I had one complaint, his constant desire to die really put a damper on things for me, I had enough of that with Kei in Collar x Malice–I didn’t like it then and I certainly don’t need that here (Olympia Soiree has plenty of drama as it is).
VA. Sugita Tomokazu
The deputy director of the Kotowari and a doctor specializing in the field of immunological medicine. Though sharp-witted, he often lightens the mood by taking on the role of Olympia’s big brother, teasing her every chance he gets. Deep down, he resents the hierarchy in which people are confined to classes by their color traits.
Kuroba is a young doctor from Yomi’s Black class who despite being the lowest status on the island was able to rise above his lowly beginnings because of his big brain–he tested highest on every IQ test. He’s a brilliant doctor, specializing in finding a cure for Haku–Tenguu Island’s version of flesh eating virus–and he provides free medical treatment to the residents of Yomi. He serves as Akaza’s 2nd in command at the Kotowari and is very vocal about his dislike of the color class system on the island. He’s very flippant about most things and tends to be on the cheeky side, teasing the hell out of his cute “lil sis”, Byakuya. He tells her that the way to bag a good husband is to drop her handkerchief and wait for a hottie to pick it up (which she does) and then he legit turns around and picks it up all “sorry miss, did you drop this? 😏
I love Kuroba as a character, but the writers did my bae wrong with this route–literally ever cheesy romance drama cliché in the book is in this route and it hurts. From ridiculous misunderstandings to love rivals, its all here and Kuroba deserved so much better than that! There is a side character in this route that I would love to yeet right off the island, but karma gets him in the end. I loved the chemistry between Kuroba and Byakuya, especially how sassy she gets with him when she thinks he’s having a go at her. But, he can be sweet and you get the sense that he cares more than most about certain things, his status just doesn’t allow him as many freedoms–the saying “You have to work twice as hard to get half as far” comes to mind a lot with Kuroba… and irony that he is in the Black color class is not lost on me.
VA. Horie Shun
A young boy known as ‘The Undertaker’. He possesses the power of Batsu and uses it to transform the souls of Yomi’s deceased into crystals known as Shou. Since he rarely speaks about himself, very little is known about him.
Himuka is the quiet kid who sits in the back of class doodling in the corners of all his notebooks. No one knows anything about him and you’re not even sure you’ve ever heard him speak. He mostly keeps to himself, though he’s always lurking just out of sight, watching everything you do. Himuka is a huge Olympia fanboy to the point that he practically breaks down in tears every time she talks to him. When he isn’t simping over Byakuya, he works as the island’s undertaker taking care of the dead in Yomi, by transforming their remains into Shou (soul stones used to power the Sun). He’s very efficient at his job, but because he works so closely with the dead most of the folks on the surface shun him, so he lives alone in a small cabin by the north beach. Most of the time, he’s a shy recluse who doesn’t really engage much with the rest of the world, but whenever some one threatens Byakuya he’s quick to do whatever it takes to ensure her safety.
His route is very story heavy delving into the lore of the world and Byakuya’s role in it, and while there were some cute moments between the pair, I felt like their relationship wasn’t really at the forefront. Himuka is a cute character and all, but I just wasn’t feeling the romance between them. Friendship absolutely, but anything more than that felt like a stretch. I just could not see him as a love interest, he felt more like someone that needed to be protected–though I will admit that passion fruit scene in his route was hot af.
VA. Matsuoka Yoshitsugu
The young director of the Kotowari, an organization that remains neutral to all colors. He issues a decree to protect Olympia to help her with her search for a mate. He is known as “The Iron Mask” due to his calm and collected manner. He appears to be devoid of personal feelings, though he does what he can to help Olympia in her times of need.
Akaza is from the Red and is the leader of the Kotowari, the impartial record keepers of the island. From the start he seems like the best husband candidate for Byakuya and most of the folks on the island ship them super hard. Akaza even offers to “take responsibility” and become her husband if she can’t find anyone better, which immediately puts him on her sh*t list, because she wants to marry someone for love, not out of obligation. He’s actually quite the catch–handsome, work oriented, and he wants to take down the color class system–though he does come across as an emotionless robot at times, earning him the nickname, “The Iron Mask”. Akaza is just so blunt and matter-of-fact about everything, that it’s hard to know exactly what he’s thinking, much to Byakuya’s frustration.
A lot of their relationship was Byakuya denying her feelings for Akaza only to be charmed by him doing something super sweet for her in the next scene–like when he cooks for her (any man that can cook is husband material in my eyes). She eventually succumbs, just in time for the plot to kick in and that’s when things get predictable. Almost every “reveal” I could see coming a mile away and the big finale was just kind of OK for me. The central conflict is directly connected to Akaza and Byakuya’s relationship, so it feels like a more cohesive story when the plot ramps up towards the second half of the route. Honestly, I tend to hate the canon LIs in otome (they’re just so bland) but, I really liked Akaza.
The Olympia Soiree Soundtrack is Fire
I usually don’t pay much attention to music in otome games, but I will readily admit that Olympia Soiree has an amazing soundtracks. There are 24 BGM tracks, an OP, and two EDs (one for both the Best Ends and Bad Ends). The OP, Tatoe Tomo ni and the EDs Dare yori mo and Hitokoto were done by ENA.I am so glad that Aksys is giving us a soundtrack CD, because I could really see myself listening to the music from this game while I relax or write.
Short Stories Expand on the Characters and World Building
Olympia Soiree has 30 side stories that expand on the main story and characters giving more depth to the world of the game. Each LI has an epilogue that continues the romance between Byakuya and her chosen husband after the events of the main story–from intimate moments in bed to a sweet dates, each one is super cute (and a little steamy). There are also character introductions, that are set up like mini interviews that give more insight into the LIs likes and dislikes, and some of them were downright hilarious (especially when the LIs talk about their favorite part of their partner’s body). Lastly are the Memoirs, which are written accounts of the lives of key characters (main and supporting) that give insight to their motivations throughout the story and in some cases offer explanations for things not addressed in the main story.
Olympia Soiree is one of the prettiest games I’ve played all year! It’s the same artist that worked on OZMAFIA!! and Diabolik Lovers and I really liked the character designs–some lend themselves to more traditional Japanese styles while others have a more modern look.
The story borrows elements of Buddhism and Shintoism for it’s world building and lore, so it makes sense that mandalas would be used heavily in the UI. Mandalas are everywhere from the rainbow colored motif of the backgrounds to the opening title screen and more.
But, I think the feature that stood out to me most is that the title screen changes to reflect the time of day. I pretty much played the game whenever I had a spare moment so I got to see all the variations and my favorite is the afternoon–there is just something really pretty about sunset.
I want to start things off by saying that Olympia Soiree is not for everyone, the game deals with some heavy topics that may make some folks uncomfortable–Yosuga’s route in particular deals heavily with sexual assault and some of the bad endings involve Byakuya in non-con situations. Not to mention Tenguu Island’s strict color caste system that leans heavily into societal bias and class based discrimination, that while not based in real world race politics has some aspects to it that made me feeling some type of way:
Some routes deal with these topics better than others, tackling the island’s biases in ways specific to that route’s love interest that often foil one another. Riku’s route deals with someone of privilege addressing his personal bias, while Kuroba’s and Yosuga’s routes delve into the perspectives of members of the marginalized color classes on the island and the hardships they face because of their status. Tokisada’s route gives an outsider perspective on the class politics on the island, while Akaza’s route deals with someone from within one of the upper color classes using their privilege to actively dismantle the system.
I’m always wary of how fantasy media deals with class/race politics, because there is an inevitable sanitization process that undermines any underlying message the writers are attempting to get across, BUT, I was genuinely surprised at how well it was handled in most of the routes in the game. The internalized bias and discrimination is given the appropriate weight and at no point did I feel like the class system was presented as the gold standard of living on the island–in fact, clinging to the old norms is quite literally making the island weaker. Olympia Soiree is a testament to the power of change and how each person, no matter where they fall within the social structure can do their part to make things better for others. However, my biggest issue with Olympia Soiree is that it tries to do too much at once and never full commits to any of its many themes and storylines.
The story borrows elements from Japanese creation myths and Shintoism—the women of the White clan are worshipers of the goddess, Amaterasu and perform a ritual dance to her to keep the sun shining over the island. Other figures from mythology and Japanese history make appearances throughout the story and the writer took a lot of liberties with the source material, blending the lore into the worldbuilding (even if some of it is more than a little problematic). I’m not gonna lie, I really enjoyed the depth of the world building and more than once I stopped playing to look up more info on the lore. But, this aspect of the story doesn’t really factor into the story until the last two routes in the game, so it’s importance is largely lost in the early routes, since it isn’t the focus. Which is a shame because all of the moving parts are interesting enough in their own right to carry the story all on their own, it’s just when you try to mash them all together into a cohesive story that things fall apart. That said, there is a lot to love about Olympia Soiree.
The characters are all great and for once I can honestly say that I enjoyed all of the love interests and their routes–Kuroba and Yosuga being my favorites. Olympia is a fantastic heroine, she has a strong sense of justice and I love that she is not above taking charge an calling the LIs out on their BS. I think she was at her best in Akaza and Riku’s routes since that is where she really gets feisty with them and we stan a strong heroine here! One thing I didn’t like was how often Olympia wound up in “damsel in distress” situations (read: non-con), but those are mostly reserved for the bad route endings. The LIs are all pretty good and I liked their portrayal throughout, though I think Himuka didn’t give me “love interest vibes”, he felt more like an elevated extra and while he’s sweet I liked him better when he was in a more supporting role. On the flip side the side characters were a bit of a mixed bag. One of the side characters Kaina, I loved and desperately wanted him to be a love interest, because he’s just so sweet and funny (and the leader of the Red, Jigen had some serious daddy vibes) and Camelia is a rare example of a supportive otome bestie. But, then you have characters like Kanan and Nagusa who are the absolute worst–I wanted to punt the two of them into the sun–they’re the main cause of most of the bad endings in this game.
Olympia Soiree doesn’t shy away from sex, in each route Byakuya can bang her bae and while it’s not as explicit as say Fashioning Little Miss Lonesome, the sex scenes get pretty steamy. So, if you’ve been wanting a bit more spice with your otome, Olympia Soiree has you covered and then some. I love that Byakuya gets just as into it as the guys and in some cases *cough* Riku’s route *cough* she isn’t afraid to go for it and push her bae down–she’s out here looking for her baby daddy, there’s no time for being coy. I welcome the more mature romance–I’m grown and I am so over naïve blushing MCs of high school romance otome. I’m all for cute dates, but I need a bit more… if you know what I mean. Though, with that being said, this game does use sexual assault as a plot point a bit too liberally. It’s never between Byakuya and the LIs so that is a small blessing, but many of the bad endings feature Byakuya being sexually assaulted by someone else. Yosuga’s route especially was a bit hard to get through because of how prevalent sexual assault was in the story.
So, I am genuinely surprised Olympia Soiree got localized, because this game is a doosy–color discrimination, a dash of misogyny, and tragedy around every corner, and yet I can’t say I hated this game. For every questionable story element, there were at least five more things to really like about it, whether that was the phenomenal worldbuilding, the interesting characters, or the gorgeous visuals, Olympia Soiree was a fun experience. I want to stress that this game really isn’t for everyone and I strongly recommend paying close attention to the content warnings, because some of the topics will make some folks uncomfortable. But, if you’re looking for a more mature otome romance, Olympia Soiree has you covered!
Thank you to Aksys Games for providing a copy of Olympia Soiree for this review.