Princess Lover! (プリンセスラバー! Purinsesu Rabaa!?) is a Japanese visual novel, and it is the first title developed by Ricotta. It was first released as an adult game for the PC on June 27, 2008 in both limited and regular editions, and it was followed by an all-ages release for the PlayStation 2 on January 28, 2010. The gameplay in Princess Lover! follows a linear plot line which offers pre-determined scenarios and courses of interaction, and its story focuses on the appeal of the four female main characters.
Princess Lover! has received several transitions to other media. The game was first adapted into three light novels written by Utsusemi and illustrated by Hyūma Kitsuhi. It was then followed by two manga adaptations: the first, illustrated by Naoha Yuigi, began serialization in Media Factory's Media Factory Mobile! service on March 20, 2009; and the second, illustrated by Yū Midorigi, began its serialization in the manga magazine Comic Valkyrie in July 27, 2009. An anime adaptation produced by the animation studio GoHands also began its broadcast in Japan on July 5, 2009, and it was later followed by other networks in the same month. An Internet radio show has also been produced to promote the anime adaptation, and began its broadcast on July 3, 2009.
The gameplay in Princess Lover! requires little interaction from the player, as most of the duration of the game is only spent on reading the text that appears on the lower portion of the screen, representing either dialogue between characters, or the inner thoughts of the protagonist. Every so often, the player will come to a "decision point", where he or she is given the chance to choose from multiple options. The time between these points varies and can occur anywhere from a minute to much longer. Text progression pauses at these points and depending on the choices that the player makes, the plot will progress in a specific direction. There are four main plot lines in the game that the player will have the chance to experience, one for each of the heroines in the story. To view all of the plot lines, the player will have to replay the game multiple times and make different decisions to progress the plot in an alternate direction.
Princess Lover! is the first title developed by the visual novel developer Ricotta. The project is notable as the development team comprises a limited number of credited members. Scenario for the game was provided by Shōta Onoue who has previously worked on titles such as Tactics' Tenshi no Himegodo. Art direction and character designs were done by Kei Komori who is known for his work in various dōjin titles. Komori later went on to create Ricotta's second title Walkure Romanze: Shōjo Kishi Monogatari.
Princess Lover! was first released to the public on June 27, 2008 as a limited edition collected in a DVD playable only on a Microsoft Windows PC. The limited edition included the game itself, and it also included a maxi single entitled "Songs From Princess Lover!". It was later followed by an all-ages consumer console release published by Comfort and released for the PlayStation 2 on January 28, 2010. The PlayStation 2 version entitled Princess Lover! Eternal Love For My Lady will contain remastered graphics, and additional scenarios for Ayano Kaneko, a supporting female character being promoted to a heroine.
List of Characters
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Teppei Arima (Voiced By: Takuma Terashima)
The main protagonist, prior to the series was the son of a happy family whose father was a noodle shop owner. Coming back from school one day he learns his parents were killed in a automobile accident, he is then picked up by his grandfather, Isshin Arima who is the owner of the Arima Financial Combine, which is a very wealthy and powerful industry in Japan. Isshin then demands Teppei to become the successor to the Arima corporation and Teppei is enrolled in the most prestigious private school in Japan. He is a good swordsman and prefers sword drawing techniques.
Charlotte Hazelrink (Voiced by Yuzuki Ryouka)
One of the four main heroines of the series. The princess of Hazelrink Principality, whom Teppei first meets and saves from a carriage incident involving thugs. She likes to tease Teppei and has a cheery nature.
Aside from this, she is in love with Teppei and even asks Teppei to not forget about her in the anime. She also has fairly sized breasts which attract Teppei's attention and she is also childhood friends with Sylvie van Hossen, as shown in the anime she is a little jealous of Sylvie because Charlotte is not Teppei's to be future wife. She has a butler who is very protective of her and will often go to great lengths to protect her. She also has a fiancee in the anime, despite this she does not want to give up on Teppei.
Sylvie van Hossen (Voiced by Toyoguchi Megumi)
One of the four main heroines of the series. Sylvie is a noble of the Flemish Principality of Eastern Europe. Fiancée of Arima Teppei and sparring partner. She is very skilled in sword fighting and enjoys her spars with Teppei. She is a bit reserved and is trying to understand Teppei being a friend first. She is the elder of the two daughters of the Head of Van Hossen Family, Vincent van Hossen. Maria, her younger sister wants her to marry Teppei. She is best friends with Charlotte, the Princess of Hazelrink. In the 9th episode she admitted to Seika that she could not understand her feelings towards Teppei. She is a hard woman with high standards and has a tendency to be outwardly repulsed by Teppei. She is also the captain of the Flemish military unit called the Horse Riders. She has difficulty expressing her feelings around Teppei and is better with actions then words. She loved her late mother very dearly but was unable to cry at her funeral. Her feelings for Teppei are the same that she has for her mother's memory. While she grew up in Flemish, she has not spent much of her mature like in the nation and attends school in Japan. Sylvie usually dominates Teppei when in a duel, though she just wins by a mere half second showdown.
Seika Houjouin (Voiced by Kato Emiri)
The daughter of the Houjouin company and rivals Arima which leads her to dislike Teppei when he first arrives at Shuuhou Academy. She is the 'Club Representative' of the 'Society Club' at Shuuhou Academy and reserves the right to enroll students in the club only those whom she thinks have what it takes to be eligible for membership of the school's most extravagance club. Outside school, she is a very popular model and at the same time one of the most gifted young fashion designers in entire Japan.
Seika's dislike towards Teppei is apparently stemmed from Isshin's relationship with his-then wife. Due to Isshin's lack of concern towards her, Seika's mother had an affair with another man. When this was found out, Isshin severed all ties with her. Years later, when Houjouin's fashion brand tried to get a contract to sell their products in Arima stores, the contract was flat out refused. It becomes no surprise that Seika harbors hatred towards the Arima's, as they feel that the Arima's has disowned them when it was Isshin's fault for not looking after his wife.
Despite her resistance, she fall in love with Teppei's tenacious nature. However, she is uncertain how Teppei will react and is mostly quiet about it. Seika has a loud and brutal nature.
Yuu Fujikura (Voiced by Matsuoka Yuki)
A maid of the Arima household who sometimes councils Teppei. She had been in an orphanage from a very tender age until Isshin Arima took her in his care and brought her up to be an admirable maid. She has sworn to serve the Arima family to show her gratitude. She feels being privileged to be assigned as the maid-in-charge to serve Teppei, the next heir to the Arima Group. Yuu is also an expert at computer, able to type and work at almost super-human speed. She thinks of Isshin Arima as a father and does have tender feelings for Teppei but feels that she inferior towards him. Of all the girls, she is the most tender and nurturing. Teppei compares Yuu to his mother, to which she feels flattered.
- Isshin Arima (Voiced by Wakamoto Norio)
- The owner of the wealthy Arima corporation and grandfather of Teppei. He takes on Teppei when his parents were killed. He wants Teppei to do as the boy wishes rather than what Isshin wants so that Teppei doesn't run away like his mother did. Isshin has an excellent memory despite his advanced age and only wants to get to know Teppei. He was an entrepreneur during World War II and made his fortune in the aftermath of the war. His company extends into many areas including automotive and metal industries.
- Kanae Kobayashi (Voiced by Dodo Asako)
- Mother of Teppei. She was the original successor of the Arima Group Corporation before she died. She was strong headed and when she fell in love with Kobayashi, Isshin was inflexible and thus she ran away.
- Mr. Kobayashi (Voiced by Kanemitsu Nobuaki)
- Father of Teppei and a skilled swordsman but also a lazy man. The only thing that he fears is the wrath of his wife. He is with Kanae when she dies and dies with her. Teppei believes that Mr Kobayashi and Isshin have similar personalities and that is why Kanae fell in love with him
- Maria van Hossen (Voiced by Miyake Kaya)
- Younger of the two van Hossen sisters. She is lovely and energetic. She loves her father, Vincent, and loves to cling around him all the time. She already calls Teppei by 'Onii-chan' since he is likely to be a family if he marries her elder sister Sylvie.
- Vincent van Hossen (Voiced by Koyasu Takehito)
- Father of Maria and Sylvia. He is a respectable figure in the society and a well wisher of the Arima Group. Teppi's grandfather Isshin Arima has great trust in him and thus he chose Sylvia to be Teppei's fiancée. He is calm, collected, and not prone to emotional outburst or misjudgements.
- Alfred (Voiced by Akimoto Yosuke)
- One of the butlers of Hazelrink. He is a very good fist-fighter and an expert of martial arts. He has sworn by his life to protect Charlotte, Princess of Hazelrink. Alfred is also overly protective of Charlotte. His Name is a reference to Alfred Pennyworth, A butler of Bruce Wayne from the Batman Series
- The secretary of Charlotte's fiancée. She is a busty red-haired woman who is absolutely loyal to Hartmann and jealous of Charolette's position of being Hartmann's future wife. Initially, she is believed to have betrayed Hartmann, but that is proven otherwise when she joins the otherwise alive Hartmann (disguised as a chauffeur) and Charlotte. They kidnap Charlotte and hijack one of Hazelrink's trains. Josephine is particularly resentful towards Charlotte, such as when she groped Charlotte in the shower of the train. However, knowing that Charlotte's life is useful as a bargaining chip against the Arima's and Hazelrink's, she doesn't kill her just yet.
- Josephine is shot by Hartmann when she deviates from the plan when she attempted to kill Teppei and Charlotte. In a twist of fate, Charlotte cast aside her differences towards Josephine and carries her to two of Josephine's henchmen who she befriended, who were by chance medical school dropouts. Josephine was revived by them. When she wakes up, Hartmann is by her side.
- Hartmann Bezelheim
- Charlotte's fiancée. On the surface, Hartmann is portrayed as the most successful businessman in Charlotte's nation and one of the chief traders with Arima's company. He likes to wear glasses and has a tendency to make flashy entrances.
- However, unknown to everyone, he is the killer of Teppei's parents and wants to kill Teppei for revenge. Additionally, he has an affair with Josephine. Although details of their affair remain unknown, it is possible that their relationship is not platonic. Many people believed that Hartmann was killed in the assault at Arima Hill by Josephine's army of 'rebel soldiers' while trying to save Isshin and Vincent. However, it is later revealed that Josephine and Hartmann were in cahoots with each other and that his death was faked.
- Towards the end of the anime, Hartmann shoots Josephine for not following the plan. As losing the hostages would mean that he loses any ground he has, he was forced to kill her to stop her from having her personal revenge. After a fiery speech from Teppei for Hartmann to turn over a new leaf, he tries to commit suicide by detonating the locomotive unit of the train. Before the flames could consume the train, he is ejected and caught by Alfred, who later dumps Hartmann into the river. As he drowns in the water, he smiles, knowing that Teppei was right.
- It's not known how he was saved, but in his next scene, he is right by Josephine's bedside.
- Ayano Kaneko
- One of the members of Houjouin Seika's posse.
- Haruhiko Nezu
- A vain classmate of Teppei's. Haruhiko seems to worship Teppei and Seika and is sometimes overenthusiastic about being their friends. That said, he doesn't hold any ill-intention towards them and wishes to help them in any way possible.
- Erika Takezono
- Another one of the members of Houjouin Seika's posse.
- Mr. Todomura
- He is from the Arima Group Commissions Department.
Books and publications
Princess Lover! was first adapted into a series of light novels written by Utsusemi and illustrated by Hyūma Kitsuhi. The first of the novels, titled Princess Lover! Silvia van Hossen's Romance (プリンセスラバー! シルヴィア＝ファン・ホッセンの恋路 Purinsesu Rabaa! Shiruvia Fan Hossen no Koiji?), was released on November 29, 2008. The second of the novels, titled Princess Lover! Charlotte Hazelrink's Romance (プリンセスラバー! シャルロット＝ヘイゼルリンクの恋路 Purinsesu Rabaa! Sharurotto Heizerurinku no Koiji?), was released on May 30, 2009. Both of these light novels were published by Kill Time Communication and released in regular and limited editions. The limited editions included the book itself and a telephone card; the second novel also received a version with a poster included instead. The regular editions of did not contain the aforementioned extras. A third light novel series, titled Princess Lover! Silvia van Hossen's Romance 2 and also written by Utsusemi and illustrated by Kitsuhi, began serialization in Kill Time Communication's Nijiken Dream Magazine on June 17, 2009.
A 135-page visual fan book for Princess Lover! was published by Max on December 2, 2008. The book contained illustrations and computer graphics used in the visual novel and various publications, introduction and explanations of the story and characters, production design and sketches, and interview with the development team, and also a short story entitled "Little Princess!"
There have been two manga adaptations based on Princess Lover! The first manga series was illustrated by Japanese artist Naoha Yuigi, and it was first serialized in Media Factory's Media Factory Mobile! service for mobile phones on March 20, 2009. A second manga series was also serialized in Kill Time Communication's Comic Valkyrie. The manga, which began serialization while the first was still ongoing, was illustrated by Yū Midorigi and received assistance from Utsusemi, the author of the light novel adaptations.
Princess Lover! was first formally announced in March 2009 via its official website. The anime was produced by GoHands as the animation studio's first production, and it was directed by Hiromitsu Kanazawa and written by Makoto Nakamura. It was first exhibited as a video in a public showing in Akihabara on June 21, 2009, and again at Television Kanagawa's Tvk Anime Matsuri 2009 exhibition in Nippon Seinenkan in Shinjuku, on June 27, 2009. Both events featured a public showing of the anime's first episode along with Umineko no Naku Koro ni, in addition to various other anime for the Tvk Anime Matsuri event. The anime began its televised broadcast in Japan on July 5, 2009 on the Chiba TV and TV Kanagawa broadcasting networks, ending on September 20, 2009. They also released an uncensored version in the webcast section.
On September 24, 2010 a 2-part Princess Lover OVA is animated by Hoods Entertainment under "Public Enemies" name, featuring Sylvia as the main heroine and contains a original story and various erotic scenes. It was released on DVD by the adult anime label L.
- "A Beautiful and Lewd Romance Pattern with Celebrity Heroines In an Elegant Society! Princess Lover! To Be Released on June 27!" (in Japanese). Game-Style. 2008-04-24. Retrieved 2009-07-10.
- "List of Shōta Onoue's visual novel contributions" (in Japanese). ErogameScape. Retrieved 2009-07-10.
- "Outline page at Princess Lover!'s official website" (in Japanese). Ricotta. Retrieved 2009-07-10.
- "Game-Style's Princess Lover! feature front page" (in Japanese). Game-Style. 2008-04-24. Retrieved 2009-07-10.
- "Comfort's PS2's Princess Lover! Eternal Love For My Lady, a Romance Adventure With a Super-celebrity Setting" (in Japanese). Impress Game Watch. 2009-07-11. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
- "Princess Lover! light novels introduction page" (in Japanese). Kill Time Communication. Retrieved 2009-07-13.
- "Princess Lover! Visual Fan Book introduction page" (in Japanese). Max. Retrieved 2009-07-13.
- "Princess Lover! Adult Game Gets TV Anime Green-Lit". Anime News Network. 2009-03-16. Retrieved 2009-07-14.
- "All Eight Titles Participates! "Tvk Anime Matsuri" Begins This Year in Tokyo" (in Japanese). Zakzak. 2009-07-06. Retrieved 2009-07-14.
- Ricotta's official visual novel website (Japanese)
- Comfort's official PlayStation 2 visual novel website (Japanese)
- Anime's official website (Japanese)
- Princess Lover! (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
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