Jack Jeanne is a high school romance otome and rhythm game developed by Broccoli with direction and art design by famed mangaka Sui Ishida, and published in English by Aksys Game. Show off your performance skills in singing and dancing and help Kisa Tachibana rise through the ranks at the elite drama school Univeil. There’s just one catch she can’t let anyone know that she’s a girl!
- Genre: Slice-of-Life | Stats Raising | Rhythm Games | School Romance
- Rating: ESRB T
- Developer & Publisher: Broccoli & Aksys Games
- Where to Get the Game: Aksys Games | Amazon | Nintendo eShop
- Similar Games: Storm Lover Kai | Backstage Pass
Kisa is about to give up on her dream of becoming an actor when she is given a surprising opportunity to attend the prestigious, all-male Univeil Drama School where her brother was once a star pupil. She is granted admission with two conditions: be chosen as the lead in the final performance and hide her identity as a girl!
Two different rhythm games help you hone your performance skills – singing & dancing. Can you compete at the Jack Jeanne level?
Competition at the school is fierce and the rivalries are real! Will Kisa be able to forge powerful bonds with her male classmates while competing against them?
Will she be cast in the lead role in the final performance at the end of the year all while keeping her secret?
In Jack Jeanne you can romance each of Kisa’s fellow classmates in Quartz: the beautiful Al Jeanne and dancing genius, Sarafumi Takashina; the reserved Jack Ace, Kai Mutsumi; the eccentric script writer, Kokuto Neji; the cool beauty and Quartz’s top singer, Mitsuki Shirota; the outgoing and friendly, Suzu Orimaki; and Kisa’s childhood friend, Soshiro Yonaga.
Suzu Orimaki (VA. Yuma Uchida)
I adore this dork so much 😭 best boy in the whole game. My sweet Suzu-bean~ I have a type and it’s cute and dumb LOL
Suzu steals the show even when he’s not even the focus! Suzu is charismatic and full of energy, commanding attention in any situation. It’s always a party when Suzu is around. While he isn’t the brightest, he’s a hard worker who always gives his all to whatever role he takes on. He doesn’t have the range of some of the other guys, so he struggles with taking on roles where the character has a different personality from his own.
I honestly just love how personable and down to earth he is, Suzu definitely gives off puppy vibes. But, he is so genuine and sweet you just can’t help but love him. His relationship with Kisa is so cute and wholesome, they just work! Of all the routes in the game, Suzu’s felt the most “canon”.
Soshiro Yonaga (VA. Gen Sato)
Childhood friend routes are tough, they’re either the best in the game or the absolute worst… there’s rarely an in between. And, I wasn’t feelin’ Soshiro, sorry.
He is Kisa’s childhood friend and the only character that knows up front that she is a girl, so he is the main person that helps her hide her identity. He is 100% in love with Kisa from the start and it’s kind of painful to watch his quiet pining. Unlike some of the other guys at Univeil Soshiro doesn’t really leave much of an impression.
But, he is extremely passionate about acting and when he’s at his best he truly embodies the full essence of any role he takes on. He has immense potential, but his lack of confidence often leads to him getting relegated to throwaway roles.
Mitsuki Shirota (VA. Gakuto Kajiwara)
Shirota like a toned down version of Sasazuka from Collar x Malice. He’s a sassy lil bean with the voice of an angel. Shirota is the embodiment of the Ice Queen trope, and y’all know I love me a challenge. 😏 He’s a second year Jeanne, and unlike most at Univeil, he’s okay with just coasting by. Shirota spends most of his time honing his singing ability, at the expense of his dancing. Because of his unnaturally beautiful singing, he earned the title of Tressor (top singer). He can be a bit standoffish and blunt, but deep down he’s a softie. He isn’t one to waste his time, so if he’s snipping at you it means he sees your potential.
I wasn’t sure how I would feel about Shirota, his delicate looks honestly didn’t appeal to me in the slightest. But, he grew on me. Definitely top three.
Kai Mutsumi (VA. Jun Kasama)
This is another one that I feel like everyone wants you to like, but just didn’t work for me overall. Don’t get me wrong the sweet supportive senpai trope is nice and all, but Kai is a little too on the reserved side to really do it for me. He is a third year and the Jack Ace of Quartz, which you would think would make him this bombastic guy (like Suzu). But, Kai has pretty much resigned himself to being a living prop who exists only to bring out the potential in others.
I spent most of his route wanting him to do something… other than hang out in the mountains with his animal friends. Actually, now that I think about it, Kai is kind of a Disney Princess. Which I guess tracks because they really packed on the feels in his route. Also, is it me or does he kinda look like a vampire?
Sarafumi Takashina (VA. Takayuki Kondo)
I can admit when I am wrong, I went in thinking I would HATE Fumi. He looks drama queen and yeah he’s a bit of a flirt, but surprisingly he’s pretty chill. His gorgeous looks and mastery of dance make him the center of attention when he’s on stage. And as Quartz’s Al Jeanne, he definitely knows how to slay. But, off stage Fumi can be pretty easy going and isn’t too fussed about formalities.
He knows he’s that b**** and I love him all the more for it. Fumi is pretty observant and I really liked his playful interactions with Kisa. Also, Fumi actually takes Kisa out on dates, which is huge plus and when it comes to expressing his feelings for her, he isn’t afraid to get a bit hands on. 😏
Kokuto Neji (VA.Daisuke Kishio)
Neji is an absolute menace, and I love his chaotic energy! This unhinged gremlin is Quartz’s class leader. He is an eccentric creative who pens all of the scripts for Quartz’s performances. He usually takes on the roles of quirky characters (both Jack and Jeanne roles) and seems to like giving the Jeannes he plays really big tits. Not a complaint, just an observation.
He can be a bit much at times, with his over the top antics, but he has an eye for talent and will do everything he can to bring out everyone’s true potential. His route gives interesting insight into the creative work that goes on behind the scenes for the performances that you don’t get in the rest of the game. Stuff like Neji working with Fumi on costume design for Oh, Rama Havenna or Neji acting out the various roles in his scripts to coming up with character motivations and direction for the others.
His route had a smidge more angst than the others, which was an interesting choice for someone who’s usually so upbeat…
Kisa Tachibana (VA. Yuka Terasaki)
Kisa is one of my new fave otome heroines! She is the gear of Quartz stirring the hearts of those around her. As a child she always dreamed of following in her brother’s footsteps, and often would play pretend with him and her childhood friend Soshiro. She’s not all talk either, Kisa is an accomplished actor, taking on both Jack and Jeanne roles with ease. Like most heroine’s her secret power is the ability to bring out the potential in those around her, while also shining in her own right.
Her enrollment at Univeil shakes up rigid, Jack/Jeanne structure, since she doesn’t fit into just one role, embodying attributes of both. She works hard to make a name for herself at Univeil, but never at the expense of her friends in Quartz. I love how she, Suzu, and Soshiro become the Three Musketeers of Quartz, their friendship is super wholesome and supportive. They actively encourage each other to do better and even hang out when they have down time.
Usually otome heroines get overshadowed by the LIs, but in Jack Jeanne there is no doubt that she is the star of this show! She even gets her own route in the game and it’s honestly the best written in the whole game. Also, a voiced MC, is a win and Yuka Terasaki can SAAAAAAANG!
Jack Jeanne Review
I won’t lie I was a bit worried about the latest otome localization, Jack Jeanne. Contrary to popular belief, not all Black folks have rhythm–I am in fact, miserable at rhythm games–and stats raising can be absolutely tedious. So, I had the enjoyment bar set pretty low for this game going in, but surprise surprise, Jack Jeanne wound up being one of the best otome games I’ve played in a long time! I laughed, I cried, I annoyed my neighbors cheering for Kisa and the rest of Quartz when they won performance after performance!
Jack Jeanne is a whole PRODUCTION, that I honestly could see being adapted into a pretty great anime one day. And given mangaka, Sui Ishida’s involvement, that might not be too far off base, there are some definite anime-esque storytelling techniques at work in this otome. There are times when Jack Jeanne gave me Ouran High School Host Club vibes.
A young woman enters into an elite school and masquerades as a boy while charming everyone and wooing a group of cute boys… hilarity ensues. But Jack Jeanne elevates itself above the usual school romance otome by taking its story away from the played out normal high school setting and drops us into the competitive high stakes of ~✨THEATER SCHOOL ✨~
Kisa Tachibana, dreams of becoming an actor like her older brother, Tsuki. Just as she’s given up on her dreams, she is given the chance to attend, her brother’s alma mater, the highly competitive all boys musical theater school Univeil. There’s just a small catch, Kisa must conceal her identity as a girl and compete with her peers to earn a lead role in the school’s final performance!
Will Kisa be cast in the lead role in the final performance at the end of the year all while keeping her secret?
It’s a simple premise, and that’s okay, a story doesn’t need to be complex to be enjoyable. In fact that really works in Jack Jeanne‘s favor, the story is just the stage, the characters are the real stars and everything in this game works to bring out the full potential of this amazing cast. You get swept up in their journey, their victories, their stumbles, the bonds they forge, and most of all their collective love of theater. You can’t help but root for them! I can’t tell you how many times I actually cheered out loud while playing this game or gasped when something bad happened. I felt their pain as they struggled to reach their dreams, with every setback and obstacle serving to endear me more to these amazing characters.
Jack Jeanne isn’t just Kisa’s story, but that of Univeil, and if you chose you can spend time getting to know not just your peers in Quartz, but those in the other classes. You’d think everyone would be at each other’s throats, but Univeil feels more like one giant family.
There’s Mare and his crew of aspiring Rhodonite Jeannes who give Kisa makeup tips or just pop in for late night sleepovers. Dance lesson invites from Kasai, a newbie Jack in Onyx. Even the tough love from the Amber first years. And who could forget god-like acting prodigy Chui Tanakagami, who seems to have developed an attachment to Kisa (and her talent).
Jack Jeanne offers an interesting exploration on gender and identity, that I don’t typically see outside of indie visual novels. Because Univeil is an all male school it creates an interesting culture that pushes its students to go beyond traditional gender roles. Male students take on both Jack (male) or Jeanne (female) roles, with the top students in each role earning the title of Jack Ace and Al Jeanne respectively.
The Jack and Jeanne roles fall into the usual gendered stereotypes; Jeannes tend to be slight and graceful with delicate features, while Jacks are more hardy and masculine. Typically, once someone is assigned the role of Jack or Jeanne they tend to stay there with no crossover.
Of course, Univeil is well equipped to give their students the skills they need to perform at their peak, by dividing them into one of four classes, each with their own specializations. Rhodonite is known for creating graceful Jeannes and talented singers. Onyx is known for it’s robust Jacks and strong dancers. Amber fosters those with immense talent. While Quartz is a melting pot, taking on students with a wide range of unique talents.
However, Kisa’s arrival shakes up the status quo of Univeil, since she has the unique ability to perform both Jack and Jeanne roles. This makes her a rare talent at Univeil, since she isn’t bound by the usual constraints of the Jack Jeanne structure. But, with the added pressure of having to hide her identity as a girl, she often has to hold back when performing as a Jeanne so others don’t pick up on her innate femininity.
Which kind of makes the romance in Jack Jeanne more compelling. As far as everyone at Univeil knows, Kisa is a guy. So there’s a bit of bi leaning as the LIs start to develop romantic feelings for her as a person. The fact that she is a “guy” doesn’t stop anyone from falling for her, in fact all of them seem pretty drawn to her personality/talent more than anything else. And I get what they were going for thematically, gender shouldn’t matter, love is love. But, the fact that she is a girl and 100% an acceptable heteronormative love interest kind of undermines that message.
IDK, don’t @ me, but I would have loved to have seen Jack Jeanne play out as a boys love that explores these same themes, from the perspective of someone like Mare, who is a more gender fluid Jeanne. But, for what it’s worth, Jack Jeanne is still pretty progressive for an otome game about identity. Though, as far as the romance goes, this game is pretty tame. The “T” rating is not just there for the lolz, expect light kissing and one whole kiss CG in the entire game (yes, I’m salty). Also, there’s a bit of skin during a hot spring visit midway through the summer~ But, the the game more than makes up for the lack of romance with the emotional bonds between the characters–THEATER IS FOR LYFE!!
Romance aside, Jack Jeanne is a bit more interactive than your usual otome game, with a number of unique gameplay mechanics. The stats are, stats. There really is no sugar coating it, grinding stats isn’t fun, sorry. But the game makes it pretty easy for you. Not only are they color coded, but the game tells you upfront which stat goes with each character (ie. Suzu’s stat is Spirit). The game also lets you set stats at the start of each week, so that makes it slightly more bearable, but you’re in for a long ride. The story runs from April to February, split into 6 sections (Newcomer Performance, Summer Performance, Summer Break, Fall Performance, Winter Performance, and the Univeil Performance).
If you’re worried about the rhythm action mechanic, trust me when I say it’s pretty intuitive and there are two types: Song and Dance. I tended to be better at the song rhythm actions, since sliding my cursor left to right is easier than mashing buttons. But, once you get a few under your belt, the dance rhythm actions are a cake walk.
There are three difficulty settings so you can go at the level you’re most comfortable with. For newbies, I recommend the Normal setting, I never got below an S rank in any rhythm action event while using it (I easily got SS). But, Hard is also not too bad for some of the slower songs, if you want a bit of a challenge during subsequent playthroughs. And there are a few built in practices throughout the game if you need them (or you can skip them and leave it up to fate).
There are also extras in the way of Trophy collection and unlocking the Nintendo hard, JACK JEANNE Rhythm Action difficulty (for all the masochists out there). So there is a good bit of content to keep you busy with in the game. But, because of how dense of a game this is I don’t recommend binging this in one go, rather Jack Jeanne is a game you want to savor.
I CANNOT TALK ABOUT JACK JEANNE WITHOUT MENTIONING THE ART AND THE MUSIC! MY GOD Sui Ishida and Broccoli went all out with this game! Every CG is like a damn work of art, especially the performance imagery. You feel the movement and expression of the characters in each image, with more of an emphasis being put on setting a mood or evoking a feeling. There is a grandness to the art in Jack Jeanne that you just don’t see too often in otome games. Of course fans of Ishida’s style will definitely see some notes of their darker style too, but the tone is largely pretty light.
Then, there is the music… you can’t set a game in a theater school and come out with subpar music. Thankfully Jack Jeanne has some of the best music I have heard in a game in many, many moons (yes, I am upset the LE didn’t come with a soundtrack, Aksys, why you do us like that?!) Every single track is a bop, not a bad apple in the bunch! The VAs were killin it in the studio with these recordings! There were times when I was vibing so hard during the rhythm games that I started making mistakes.
The highlights for me have to be Faded Colors from the Winter Performance and the ending theme–I am a sucker for duets and ensembles and both songs showcase the full talents of the VAs. Also the finale ending theme version for Kisa’s route has everybody, even Yuka Terasaki as Kisa, and y’all know how much of a treat it is to have a voiced heroine!
Is Jack Jeanne Worth Playing?
Jack Jeanne is definitely a contender for best otome localization of 2023! This is such a refreshing, immersive, and fun experience! I love all the characters and just want everyone to succeed! The singing and dancing rhythm games really pull you into the action of the game, giving you the illusion that you are performing alongside the cast during Jack Jeanne‘s most pivotal moments.
Which makes every victory that much more satisfying because you have a hand in the success or failure of Kisa and the rest of Quartz. I don’t typically self insert in my otome games, but with Jack Jeanne I really felt like I was a part of the journey. GO GET JACK JEANNE NOW!!
Thank you to Aksys Games for providing a copy of Jack Jeanne for this review.