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One day in May, a new chemistry teacher assumes his duties at a Junior College. He is Kengo Inui, a man blessed with a sharp mind, great athletic skill, and handsome looks. In spite of these gifts, or perhaps because of them, his heart is that of a black devil. It was some months ago that he let the devil come out and work its skills on the beautiful women around him, but he had crossed a line then. Now at his new posting, he is finally free to explore his evil passions once more. The hunt is beginning again…
Virgin Roster (出血簿) is a violation eroge published by ZyX in 2002. The title was officially translated for Western markets by G-Collection in 2003. This review applies to the English edition, although utilizes non-conflicting press release from the original Japanese version.
Until the recent advent of MangaGamer and their introduction of several dark minded releases, Virgin Roster was unique among its English translated brethren for one significant reason: you were portrayed in the role of an individual who personified predatory sex. Unlike the similarly themed Tsuki Possession, whose protagonist was spiritually possessed into performing acts of wickedness, the lead of this eroge is a soulless monster who takes pleasure in the brutalization and destruction of women. For the wealth? He devotes more capital into enslaving victims than the activity theoretically returns. To acquire slaves? The women enchained are ultimately disposed, and even while in possession serve little purpose outside of sexual gratification. In search of power? Perhaps from a psychological standpoint, yet due lack of permanent ownership or exuberant monetary return, nothing everlasting or meaningfully liquidated. Kengo Inui unrepentantly destroys lives because of the perverse sensation gained in knowing a life has been irrevocably destroyed. It is an obsession. A short lived thrill. An act of utter evil and eternal damnation.
So why would anyone want to role play an individual who represents a cesspit of humanity? What normal person would find anything entertaining about this? Ultra conservatives and radical Bible thumpers (more often than not the same thing) would have you believe ownership of Virgin Roster should be a criminal offense that mandates prison incarceration. Woe to those unfortunate individuals who might see it as entertainment. Yet ask yourself these questions: Does preference for NAZI Germany in a World War 2 strategy game make you a supporter of Adolph Hitler? Does choosing to be a Sith in the latest Star Wars title make you a heartless monstrosity for portraying an ideology that forsakes goodwill and harmony for the acquisition of personal power? Does killing virtual people in life simulators such as The SIMS make you guilty of premeditated or neglected homicide? Does admiration for despicable villains in Hollywood motion pictures make you a crazed social deviant? Of course not. The absurdity of such allegations insults the rational that people can form distinction from fantasy and reality on their own. You can legitimately find fun in being evil so long as you maintain the strict boundaries of where to be evil, without public condemnation or accusations of hidden immorality.
Naturally there are those who know with absolute resolution, that no aspect of Virgin Roster will be anything close to entertaining. There’s nothing wrong with this, just as there’s nothing wrong with the opposite. Yet even these individuals might consider the aforementioned unique status of the eroge. How many primetime drama shows have the villain actually win? Not just a Pyrrhic victory where evil is overcome next season or in the sequel, but a situation where the criminals attain an outcome that utterly eradicates the heroes once and for all? Here is something that defies the logic of “good always wins” so deeply engrained into our minds. No matter what choices are made through the scenarios of Virgin Roster, the rapist always emerges victorious. From this simplistic arrangement, the entire nature of how the story is experienced drastically differs from others. Kengo Inui, much to the horror of those he victimizes, is a charismatic intellectual at the prime of his capabilities, overcoming every obstacle and exploitable weaknesses that oppose his goals. Evil not only wins, but flourishes stronger ever than before. Experiencing a story from an alternative view does not mean you have to enjoy it, and might possibly expand the horizon of your imagination through the exposure of a thematic notion you deemed too horrible or impossible to conceive.
Having said all this: I shall not deny that first and foremost, Virgin Roster is tailored for an audience interested in fantasy rape and humiliation of the fairer sex. As previously explained, every framework of the plotline caters towards the singular purpose of a victorious rapist. Therefore unlike other eroge where the player ultimately seeks to unravel a dire mystery, conquer an insurmountable challenge, or resolve the terrible crisis plaguing a potential lover; Kengo Inui simply desires immediate sexual gratification and witnessing the devastating helplessness that swells in his unfortunate victims. One must keep this in mind before considering purchase. Character development is minimal, with no attention towards the traditional storytelling function of conveying an underlying morality or ideology at the conclusion. To reiterate again, as I feel it’s very important to underline, the purpose of Virgin Roster is to present an alternative viewpoint in a taboo topic; not relate an awe inspiring saga. Thus direct comparison to other titles is difficult, and often times performed erroneously, due to the massive difference in format. To use an ever cliché quote: “it’s like comparing apples to oranges.”
Despite the passing of several years, the graphics and voice work in Virgin Roster are comparable to recent releases. Some will find fault in screen resolution and color diversity, but the game engine and presentation style most certainly prove the fundamentals of eroge entertainment have not significantly changed over the decades. Moreover the title incorporates limited animation for special scenes, a feature that remains rarely tapped by the majority of publishers despite widespread advent of programs such as Adobe Flash. The lack of variation in paper doll is disappointing, but nonetheless includes a small selection of changing body postures to supplement the usual library of facial expressions. Cinematic illustrations are brightly shaded in a technique that mimics traditional anime cels, which comes as no surprise if you’re aware that industry veteran Masahiro Yamane, best known for his contributions to the Fatal Fury movie anime, was the artist responsible. Given the sinister nature of Virgin Roster, there is a wealth of screaming and pleading, with the portrayal of emotional brake down being a focus. For some this might be a little too realistic, and therefore too disturbing, but one should not argue negatively against something done right. Due to the timeframe of when it was made, the music is MIDI format and grossly inadequate. Acquisition of quality composers and music players eternally plague little league studios such as ZyX, and the older the title, the worst it gets.
Even when ignoring factors brought about by old age and social ethics, other negatives of Virgin Roster are noticeable. While certain victims are broken to assist Kengo in the rape of other women, it doesn’t occur often enough to be a regular feature. For this reason there’s no harem ending, an incredibly odd decision given the nature of everything. Furthermore the player has no control over how the rapes occur, so the encountered assaults are executed in a linear fashion, although several creative from a sinister prospective. Oddly enough, the Japanese to English translation is not word for word, as G-Collection adlibbed sentences or omitted entire phrases. This in of itself is not a terrible thing, since translators accept that perfect transliterations are difficult, but the matter deserves specific mentioning. It should also be stated that among the dozens of similar themed titles released in Japan during 2002, Virgin Roster was considered mediocre among them.
— Central Characters —
Height: 163 cm
Weight: 44 kg
Measurements: 80 – 56 – 84
The richest girl in the school, she has a moody and dour personality. Because of this fact, she has no close friends among the other students.
Height: 161 cm
Weight: 45 kg
Measurements: 86 – 57 – 88
A bright and happy student, she is very popular with the other students for her cheerful outlook and beautiful looks. But what lies under that facade?
Height: 165 cm
Weight: 47 kg
Measurements: 79 – 57 – 83
Shinobu, who is also a junior, is Yuki’s best friend. She hates Kengo as well as all other men. She’s unhappy that Yuki likes Kengo.
Height: 153 cm
Weight: 38 kg
Measurements: 78 – 54 – 79
Hasumi is so smart she’s almost a savant. Because she looks down on everyone else, she has no friends. She was responsible for eliminating the last teacher on charges of sexual harassment.
Height: 160 cm
Weight: 43 kg
Measurements: 83 – 57 – 86
A student teacher at your school, Tomo is a bright, cheerful girl who’s slightly clumsy in life. She’s secretly dating one of her students. She hides the fact that she’s still a virgin.
Height: 169 cm
Weight: 48 kg
Measurements: 85 – 59 – 88
A math instructor at your school, her hobbies include karate and aikido. She has a rather rough personality, and shows no mercy to her students. She’s the older sister of Yuki.
Height: 158 cm
Weight: 45 kg
Measurements: 88 – 58 – 89
A very serious woman who worries, a lot, she’s ashamed of the fact that she never lost her virginity. She worries about this so much that she can’t sleep at night. She gets along well with Kiyoka.
— Scored Summary —
Scenario: 2 out of 10. You destroy everything people hold dear for the sole purpose of hearing them call you “Master” and truly meaning it. Not the most original collection of personalities to enslave, but there’s enough groundwork for someone to actually feel sorry for them or revel their deprivation. Outside of this there’s nothing noteworthy or worthwhile being provided, and clearing all routes only takes an hour if text is skipped. Eight possible endings: one for each heroine except Yuki Yoshikawa, who receives two variations of a similar conclusion.
Visual: 14 out of 20. After making his break in the eroge industry, Masahiro Yamane became an animation director for non-adult entertainment. His professional talent is strongly evident in everything the title visually provides: from detailed backgrounds, to large sized character models, to animated cinematic illustrations. However character designs are forgettable, the quantity of paper dolls minimal, and their color selection clashes.
Audio: 10 out of 20. When they scream, it mostly seems believable. When they’re called upon to perform more favors, they do it with the dejected personality expected. Unfortunately the music is outrageously terrible, effectively counterbalancing the auditory praise.
Erotica: 25 out of 50. With a grand total of twenty-six sex scenes, several surprisingly prolonged, the eroge satisfies all basic requirements. Variety is strictly limited to more realistic situations: thus bondage, drugging and coercion are the modi operandi. As eloquently stated in the title, hymen sundering is a major focal point. Ten of the twenty-six scenes utilize limited animation.
Mechanics: 0 point neutrality. The typical “choose your response” menu system that most eroge share.
Final Score: 51 out of 100. This is a title that I would not recommend to the general population. Virgin Roster, while principally delivering on what it promises, is held back by a large number of negatives. When originally released, the title was largely unique for its taboo concept, but time and the release of better competition has taken away that luster. Having said that, anyone with a curious eye or open mind shouldn’t turn away so quickly, as Virgin Roster has unique features that standout from the crowd.