[REVIEW] The Men of Yoshiwara: Kagura Main Volume

Yoshiwara Kagura

After being mistaken as the daughter of a rich trader, the MC chooses to spend time with Kagura, one of the top courtesans of Kikuya. He seems cold and indifferent, but after the MC starts to spend more time with him, she discovers there’s more to him than his icy exterior. She starts to get closer to Kagura the man, not the courtesan, and her initial interest in him develops into love.

Kagura’s aloof elegance is what initially draws the MC to him, but throughout the storyline we learn that there’s more to him than just a refined courtesan. Whether it’s his interest in Western studies, martial arts, or even his job as a courtesan, he takes pride in everything he does, and puts in a 100% effort to it. Though he does hide his emotions, he’s honest about his thoughts. He’s respectful to his clients, but has respect for himself as well and doesn’t justify money for everything.

The MC is, like in all the other routes in this game, naïve and innocent. However, I liked her a lot more in this route because of how strong she is. She understands her weaknesses along with her strengths. She makes it clear to Kagura in the beginning that she will not sleep with anyone she can’t love and commit to, and she holds to this standard throughout the entire route. Later on she becomes influenced by Kagura in a positive way by how much effort he puts into everything, and I loved how she started to replicate that in her own personal life.

The romance in this route develops rather slowly. In the beginning of the route, you see them interact more in a courtesan-client manner, but as the story progresses, Kagura starts to open up more and they start acting more like lovers. The courtesan-client aspect of their relationship never really disappears until near the end of the route because the MC is reluctant to cause trouble for Kagura. However, you can see their developing feelings for each other, and I loved how natural their romance felt. They’re both interested in each other in the beginning because of how different they and the worlds they come from are from each other’s, but as time passes their interest turns more into a longing to understand the other beyond what a courtesan-client relationship will allow them to.

I personally think this route is the best written in the game so far. The plot and romance was well written, and both Kagura and the MC have strong characterization and develop throughout the route. You can see how both of them care for the well-being of the other, and I think the ending was extremely well-written, especially for Kagura. I definitely recommend this route, especially if you’ve had reservations for the game so far. It really turned it around for me. Happy playing! >w<

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