{Otome Review} Dangerous Relationship~Dogenzaka Lab {18+}

Dangerous Relationship follows the MC, who is a makeup artist, as she gets into relationships with celebrities full-well knowing it could cause a scandal and ruin their careers.

General Information:

  • Where to get: Steam page
  • Cost: $16
  • Love Interests: Five (male)
  • Endings: Ten
  • First play through time: Roughly two hours
  • Time to get all endings: 11 hours


This Dogenzaka game actually surprised me in that is isn’t terrible. It’s not great, but it didn’t make me want to punch something either. At this point, I think that’s a step up for Dogenzaka games. A sad step, but a step nonetheless. The game gets pretty mixed reviews on Steam, probably since there’s just a “recommend” or “don’t recommend” option. This game falls in-between.

The MC is a professional makeup artist who gets hired on to be the makeup artist for the various guys in the game. She’s a contract worker, so that’s why she can work with multiple guys in the same route. Since all of the guys are in the spotlight, that means that any of them having a girlfriend could cause them to lose their (female) fans. In terms of professions the guys have, there’s an idol, an actor, a singer, a model, and a comedian. I never really considered a comedian having so many female fans that a girlfriend could ruin that, though it makes sense.

Dogenzaka threw me another curve-ball and made all but one of the guys…actually okay? Usually with Dogenzaka games, I’m scrambling to find one guy that’s decent out of the lot, but here, all but one of the guys are okay. Sure, as per all Dogenzaka games, they’re sex-crazed, but they weren’t nearly as forceful as Office Lovers (except Kei). Each guy’s route explores different potential problems that could arise such as co-workers who want yo man, fans who want yo man, fans who want yo head, Kei being a turd, etc., and while sometimes drama can feel like drama for drama’s sake, here it made enough sense. I found myself enjoying a lot of the drama because they seemed like real problems celebrities could have.

Also, reiterating above. This is a Dogenzaka game, so they bang each other. A lot. Anyway, onto the characters.

Ryouhei

Ryouhei is an idol. Naturally, an idol would have a lot of fans. You two bond over you not being super into him because of his fame. It was a pretty stereotypical “famous person + not-famous person” romance. Ryouhei had some really cute moments, and I felt like he really did like the MC.

Subaru

Subaru is a singer who is known for his rock music. You’d never know it if you met him. He’s very mellow and polite, and his lyrics supposedly convey deep meaning, both things that people don’t tend to expect from rock music. Subaru is the most self-reflective of the lot, and his route deals with a bit more of the personal problems that can arise from fame. It was a nice branch off from the other more dramatized problems.

Akira

Akira is a comedian, and for some reason, he really likes the MC in every route. It’s a sort of “love at first sight” thing, but since he’s so genuinely nice, it made me feel bad turning down his advances (especially in Kei’s route). As per Dogenzaka standard, this attraction to the MC on another guy’s route caused him to be a turd in other’s routes, but even so, he’s overall an okay guy; his actions in other routes was a just bit of a turn-off.

Taiga (angry, as he often is lol)

Taiga is my boi. He’s also the model of the group. On-screen he’s really personable, but off-screen he’s a jerk. Taiga starts a jerk and pretty much stays a jerk, but he still falls for the MC anyway and shows he cares a lot. I feel like many games try to undermine jerk characters by making them be mean but really nice under it all and the MC changes him for the better. With Taiga, while the MC changes him for the better, he doesn’t lose his sense of self. He stays a jerk. He stays unpleasant. But she helped him get over his insecurities so he genuinely cares for her and wants to be with her over all the other models he works with. I found the relationship to play out unexpectedly, and it was just really sweet. It really isn’t a relationship I can say I’ve seen almost at all, but the closest one I can think of would be Sasazuka in Collar x Malice. This isn’t a Collar x Malice discussion, so I won’t go into detail here (maybe a future post about their character type? Hmm…), but know that if you’ve played Collar x Malice, they share similarities. Though, as per Dogenzaka standard, he is way more forceful than Sasazuka.

Kei. You can’t tell me from this angle he doesn’t look like an elf. I can’t unsee.

Kei is an actor who is also a rapist. There’s literally no better way to put it. He is a jerk, who stays a jerk, and has no redeeming qualities. While Taiga genuinely loved the MC, Kei is just using her for sex. It never gets better. He also has a brother, Soh, who is nicer and likes the MC, BUT NO, WE CAN’T GET WITH HIM. He even asks the MC out and she says no! WHY?! At one point, Kei literally ties the MC up and assaults her as she’s crying and wanting him to stop. No matter how one words that, that’s clearly rape. Dogenzaka games often sit on the fence between “rape” and “not that consensual, but not entirely un-consensual”. Here, it’s just straight up rape. Kei is on par with Heiskue in The Amazing Shinsengumi. This game was doing so well! All of the other guys are fine! Kei just had to go and ruin it.

Play Order:

I feel that Ryouhei>Kei>Akira>Subaru>Taiga is a good order. This way Kei isn’t first but isn’t too far in, Taiga is last, and Ryouhei is just a good introduction route.

Should you play?:

Soh. AKA a good boi who the MC should have gotten with.

This is one of the less terrible Dogenzaka games. I had a pleasant experience most of the time and all of the guys are fine except Kei. The plot isn’t super in-depth, but I doubt most people go into this game expecting something deep. Kei is really the only thing here that is bringing this game down. Okay, the sex scenes are also a problem. I didn’t mind them being there, but there were just so many that it felt like it was detracting from the plot. It’s a fun celebrity romance game, but it’s not worth $16. It is however worth the 85% sale price of $3.19.

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