Lover Pretend was released in 2021 in Japan, but despite my excitement it took me months to actually start it, ignoring the rest of my backlog; now I’m finally done, so here we are with my opinions about it!

If you haven’t read my first impression post, let’s talk a bit about the plot first: the heroine, Chiyuki, is a 20 years old college student who wants to become a script writer, as her late mother; she was raised up without knowing her father’s name, who apparently was a famous person and couldn’t risk a scandal. Her mother never revealed his identity, but there’s still hope to find the truth: probably, he was someone involved in the production of a drama scripted by Chiyuki’s mother in those months before her birth, called “Pretend to Love”. But who was he? The director? An actor? The producer?

Fate gave Chiyuki a huge chance: she can work as assistant for a movie, where children of famous actors and drama producers are gathered together; what if someone is her half-brother?!

Along the way, our girl finds herself in situations where she has to lie, pretending to be someone’s girlfriend or hiding the truth; as her mother’s script, she has to pretend to love.

I found this system really cute, even if I usually hate timed choices and I wish I had a few more seconds to think; as you can imagine, since japanese is not my first language, it takes me more time to actually read and choose an answer. But I get it, Chiyuki needs to answer quickly, if she wants to be believed.

I chose Kazuma’s route first, since he’s the heroine’s outgoing childhood friend and he seemed the safest choice; despite his young age, he works as a make up stylist and hair dresser for famous people, so he ends up involved in the drama where Chiyuki works as an assistant.

A series of misunderstandings, lies and people who can’t mind their own business, leads everyone to believe that Kazuma and Chiyuki are a couple, but they can’t deny it or they’ll be exposed as liars.

So they need to act as lovers around everyone.

As you could expect, even if they are both unexperienced and awkward with relationships, they soon realize that they actually secretly loved each other since forever.

But when they were finally making some progress, random drama started! I don’t think it was necessary at all, they were so cute, I could have spent hours just watching Kazuma blush.

Also, the writer randomly decided to ruin him completely, at the very last scene, making him confess something awful. I don’t get why, it makes no sense at all! I felt sad and angry.

At that point, I started to be scared that every character would suffer of the same treatment.

The guy who mostly got my interest at first was the famous actor, Riku: he seemed serious, hardworking and with a nice personality, which is too good to be true. Is he a prince charming as everyone thinks? Just getting a bit closer to him, reveals the obvious truth: he’s an actor because his father forced him to choose this career, but he as no passion at all. Actually, he wants to give it up so badly, he’s ready to pretend, betray and probably hurt someone else.

Even if some situations annoyed me a bit, overall there were a lot of great scenes that made my heart flutter, so I enjoyed his route a lot. The ending was really good.

I wasn’t interested in Harumi, while playing the common route: crazy girls who claimed to be his official fanclub were surrounding him, stalking him and basically telling him what to do, which was a huge red flag in my eyes, it’s not a situation I’d like to be involved in.

But surprisingly, I ended up enjoying his route a lot: he’s shy and lonely, he needs friends who share his same passion for anime and I gladly accepted this role, it fits me! I know how it feels, having to hide my hobbies to avoid being judged by people around me, who belittle that kind of interest as childish. I felt his struggle to show his true self and I admired him, even if it took him a lot of time and effort. Harumi was so cute when he blushed and I loved the confession scene too.

Yukito is a popular model, who is really famous for his carefree attitude and scandals with random women: he’s always flirty, he knows his charms and he acts as he could get every girl he wants.

While talking to him in the common route, I had this feeling that he was actually smarter than he appeared; I’m glad I was right, since that fake personality had no match at all with Chiyuki’s serious attitude, they would have been an awkward couple.

I think he had the best character development of the game, at the end he seemed a completely different person, more mature and true to himself, instead of acting like everyone was expecting him to be; the reason why he’s not related to Chiyuki was kinda funny, the writers came up with some crazy stuff just to make us amused!

Eiichiro was playable as I imagined, he’s kind of the secret route of the game, but sadly, also the stortest. He’s a young scriptwriter and Chiyuki’s teacher, a reliable person with a soothing personality; he’s basically the teacher we all hoped (and fell) for, in school: good looking, nice and encouraging. This route reveals the truth about Chiyuki’s father, so it must be played last and I won’t reveal much about it.

Did I enjoy Lover Pretend?

Yes, a lot! It’s rare for me to like every single character, even if the writers sometimes came up with bad ideas which almost ruined my enjoyement; anyway, all the routes were entertaining, the drama wasn’t excessive and overall the cute/funny scenes stayed in my memory the most.

The “Pretend Time” was an interesting feature, but I absolutely needed to follow a walkthrough, I’m not good at lying and I can’t come up with good answers even in my own language, let alone in japanese! But it was fun, I enjoyed it.

The plot wasn’t properly developed, the truth was just revealed at the very end, while in other routes Chiyuki was like “whatever, he’s not my brother, who cares about my father’s identity at this point”, which is not what I expected; but it didn’t bother me much, I needed a cute game these days and Lover Pretend was the perfect choice.

What makes this game good enough for me, is that I never got bored and I even found myself smiling sometimes, when there was a romantic scene with a beautiful CG: I loved the art and the bright colours, everything was on point.

But obviously, if you’re looking for a deep plot, with a great writing and a strong heroine, you’re going to be disappointed; if you just want to spend some time with handsome guys, who are a bit problematic (nothing bad, just ordinary life struggles), I’m sure you’ll enjoy Lover Pretend as I did.