Sometimes it seems all the media you are consuming, whether it be books, games, movies, etc, is dark, depressing, or a little too real. Then something cute and fluffy comes along to break up the monotony, and you are filled with elation. I was in pretty much this exact situation when I began playing A Kiss For the Petals: Maidens of Michael, and it provided what I needed to shake up everything else I had been taking in lately. While this is the Steam release of the game, be forewarned there is a small amount of nudity present.*
A Kiss For The Petals: Maidens of Michael is the latest game in the popular yuri (Girls’ Love) visual novel series, fully translated and published by MangaGamer. It brings back six couples from previous entries of the A Kiss For The Petals series, and throws them together as they compete for a Best Couples contest in St. Michaels Academy. Initially you do not get the choice of which couple you get to witness the story of, and must play through the first route as Risa and Miya. Once fully complete, you can then move on to choose in which order you would like to experience the other five couples’ stories. A welcome option the game presents is giving you a starting point after you finish the first route to pick up at, so you don’t have to replay a lot of content you’ve already experienced. The other five couples present in the game are Yuuna and Nanami, Sara and Kaede, Mai and Reo, Runa and Takako, and Elis and Shizuku.
Each couple’s story sees them dealing with the responsibilities of being Best Couple, and dealing with a different trouble that threatens their relationship. Some may be dealing with jealousy, some loneliness, and one is even showcasing one girl learning how to branch out and deal with making friends. Every route had me smiling due to the endearing relationships you get to watch play out. A couple routes even had me squealing with joy, especially the route of Sara and Kaede. Most of the couples are already established, with the one exception being the duo of Risa and Miya. You get to experience them as they go through their relationship from the very beginning.
The writing is pretty much what you can expect with a visual novel that is solely focused on love and romance. It easily portrays the many trials and tribulations of young love between the girls, and does a good job of represent situations from the serious to the humorous, and at times sad. As with many visual novels, how the story plays out is up to you. Maidens of Michael requires you to make choices along the various romance paths, with every choice you make helping decide which of ending for the relationships you will inevitably see. The two types of endings you can wind up experiencing are the Halfway Endings and the Happy Endings. The halfway endings aren’t necessarily bad, but they are far from the true endings everyone will want to actually enjoy. This is typical of these games, so it is always a good idea to save at every choice just in case you find yourself with the lesser of the two.
As for the art direction of Maidens of Michael, I thought the backgrounds and scenery was really well done. The various environments are vibrant and pop out at you with a lot of color. I wasn’t too keen on the overall character designs of the girls, as this was the one negative for me in the game. You can clearly tell they use a base, cookie cutter facial feature design and they shape the specific girl by changing the hair design, body type, and eye color. While I am not keen on that style, it is sadly something that is commonly used by many visual novel studios. While it is noticeable, I don’t think it harms the game in a harshly negative way, but it is definitely a slight knock against an otherwise beautiful game. Don’t fret though, since you won’t end up confusing any of the girls together as they still manage to stand out. Also the various special scenes are beautifully done, and the cut-out style scenes help portray some great humorous moments with the characters.
The true highlight of this game is the voice acting. In most visual novels I find one or two characters’ voice actresses tend to grate on me or just fit awkwardly for the character type being presented. I didn’t have that issue at all here, and I felt each one was a perfect fit to the character archetype represented. The best of the cast being Sara, as her voice actress made me want to squeal with glee every time she talked. This was most present whenever Sara was excited or happy, and quickly boosted her to being my favorite character in the game. Whether it was Sara, or any of the other main or side cast members, I fell in love with all of them because of the great cast behind the characters. It’s a tough job to portray characters in a way that helps increase the immersion in a game like this, but they pull it off with a excellent execution.
It is easy to have a sugar overload if you decide to marathon a game with this much sweetness, so I personally believe Maidens of Michael is a game best enjoyed by taking breaks between the various routes. Also none of the story presented in the game will take you by surprise or wow you, I can assure you all the routes are super cute and entertaining. If you are looking for a game filled with cute girls in love with other cute girls that doesn’t feel forced or voyeuristic, A Kiss for the Petals: Maidens of Michael is a light, fluffy romp that will have you smiling ear to ear at the end of each couples’ story.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Beers
Code for base game was provided by MangaGamer for review purposes.
*My review for A Kiss For The Petals: Maidens of Michael was written for the Steam version of the game to be posted on Scholarly Gamers website. Due to unfortunate circumstances that caused the game to be removed from Steam (See MG’s official post on it), the review was pushed back in hopes things would be worked out and the game relisted. As of this posting it still has not been relisted, so I will be posting it on my website in full as you can still purchase the adult version on MangaGamer’s website.