Review Visual Novel

Otoboku: Maidens Are Falling For Me – Review

A visual novel that features an all-girls school with a crossdressing male protagonist? That’s our destination today! Welcome to Otoboku: Maidens Are Falling For Me! (Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru), an adult visual novel developed by Caramel Box and released on January 28th, 2003. It’s a gem that is of age to drink in most countries! The game was even ported to the PS2 and the PSP in 2012 by MangaGamer, so it’s a must for NookGaming to check it out.

If you are interested in visual novels that feature crossdressing protagonists, we did a review not long ago on a more modern game with a similar premise called Otome Domain.


The story revolves around Mizuho Miyanokouji, who receives a quite peculiar change in his life. His grandfather’s will after passing was for Mizuho to attend the school his great-great-grandfather built, Seio Girls Academy.

With the help of his cousin Mariya and the power of good genetics, Mizuho is able to enroll with no issue in the Academy. Now it’s up to Mizuho to lead his school life without spilling the secret while honoring his grandpa’s weird wish. It feels like this is a quick and weird premise because well, it is.

Hiding he is a man is not an easy task, especially thanks to how quickly Mizuho integrates into the school lives of Mariya and also five other girls: Shion, Takako, Kana, Yukari, and Ichiko. Some of them are quick to see that there’s something more to this new girl, a rising personality in school who gets popular far too fast. Another fact that ends up bringing him to the spotlight is the campaign for the Elder in the school, the most prestigious role someone can have in the academic body. Overall, it’s not the simplest life.


Otoboku: Maidens Are Falling For Me, despite showing its age at times when showing the use of certain social rules, still holds up as a compelling story. It has quite a bit of comedy, which is something I enjoy a lot, but it also uses drama well. Knowing when to use both and not trying to mix them too much is the recipe for a great story. Though I do think Mizuho’s persona rises to the top of the popularity scale way too fast — she’s already all that anyone can talk about from the first day. It breaks a bit of the tension of the story about a boy needing to blend into a new life at a girl’s school, and how quickly he even stumbles onto the path to becoming the Elder.

The atmosphere itself, however, is something to applaud. The story sets the stage for the school as a relic of the war, with a goal to educate high-born girls for a world with new possibilities. And despite all the comedy and drama that ensues, it never breaks that luxurious feeling and instead uses it to show some contrasts and allow different scenarios to be used.

One surprise for me was the lack of dependency on tropes. There’s some obviously, as a game that was super popular at the time and it probably influenced what came after it, but it doesn’t depend on them. Mizuho’s secret, for example, is something that could be fully explored to be full of “that was close” moments over and over. Instead, it seems the story focuses simply on the daily life of these characters. They all have their share of problems and insecurities they don’t share with everyone, just like our protagonist.


Starting with our main girl’s routes, I would like to mention we have a walkthrough on how to get to each of them so you don’t miss out. I’ll just say the choices aren’t always straightforward, but otherwise let that guide handle the gameplay portion, while I talk about the storytelling:

Otoboku: Maidens Are Falling For Me - Mariya


Mariya’s route is a bit weird in my opinion, especially thanks to the fact that they are established at the start to be very close cousins. The route itself doesn’t change that dynamic that much, with a relationship that truly feels like they were close before the story started and will continue to be so. They argue, and they help and depend on each other, but they also make sure to try and prove themselves. She was even the one who started putting dresses on him when they were kids playing together.

What breaks the mold is Mariya confessing she had feelings for Mizuho for a while. The game says she was waiting for him to grow up into a more mature man first and then see how he turned out, hoping he would break out of his shell eventually and choose his own path. This ends up making Mariya jealous though because she wants to have all of his attention for herself. And after talking it out, they join forces to find Mariya’s skills in life and what she wants for herself instead of looking out for her cousin.

Overall, I enjoy Mariya’s character and love that she finds herself in something that doesn’t require our protagonist, which is different from another girl we will get to. That said, it feels weird how she jumps in and out of loving someone for what seems to be a long time. It’s a quite good route but one that left me a bit confused.

Otoboku: Maidens Are Falling For Me - Shion


Shion’s route is one I can highly recommend for those who enjoy a bit of drama and fortunately, I am one of those. Her route focuses on dealing with her family, who tries to control her life and guide her to what they desire for her. It was quite well written, with her straightforwardness helping to get us right onto the path to her mysterious exterior.

I also quite like her role as a sort of advisor and even a “superior” to Mizuho, as she figures out his secret in their second encounter. She is the character you can expect to bring knowledge to the group thanks to two events in her life. The first is the fact she was the Elder for a short while last year, before an illness forced her to stay at the hospital. Secondly, thanks to her health complications, she has to repeat the year so she is an older character than others in her class.

Overall, it’s a good route for those who enjoy drama and to see a quieter character develop into a new version of themselves. As for Shion herself, she gets the highly acclaimed best girl award.

Otoboku: Maidens Are Falling For Me - Takako


If I had to point to one of the characters in the story being a trope character, Takako would be my pick at first glance. A girl coming from a rival family to our main protagonist and starting with no desire to change is a simple premise. And her starting to warm up more after not having to deal with the Elder voting competition is a simple resolution to it.

It’s also good to see her breaking away from the things that tie her to her family, seeing as they built her up to an ice queen that followed their commands. It’s the story of our antagonist through many silly challenges, turning herself into someone closer to the protagonist over time. It’s not the most creative direction, but I enjoy a solid execution.

For Takako’s route, I would say it’s worth it to see how the rivalry that was built up at the start was built up. It also shows Takako being a complete boss in confronting those who made her feel locked in time, so good for her.

Otoboku: Maidens Are Falling For Me - Kana


Drama kids gotta stick together, so the moment I realized where Kana’s story was heading, I knew she was gonna be one of my favorites. A soft-spoken girl with stage fright that tries to fight her fears and do what she likes is exactly the premise that can resonate with those reading.

She is also the token cute character in this story, so her real development and quite a sad backstory are also mixed in with some cute slice-of-life moments, where Kana is crazy about finally having an ‘older sister’. This leads to a relationship that starts with a caring compassion for each other, before developing further into revealing Kana’s own insecurities and trauma. And once you get to the ending, you feel relieved about seeing a character that could have easily been just a “cute small girl” trope fight for what she wants to do, despite her fears.

In the end, Kana’s route was my second favorite simply due to how many sides of her we end up seeing, from happiness to fear and sadness to confidence. She is not my best girl because she does look 12 which isn’t for me, but you still root for her at every turn.

Otoboku: Maidens Are Falling For Me - Yukari


Yukari’s route had everything to be at the top of my rating, but it just sends some mixed signals that left me confused. She is the energetic girl of the group and also a close friend of Mariya, being helped a lot by her and both being on the track and field team.

Where my confusion lies, is in which way the story wants to head. While I’m not going to spoil the route, her whole character development lies in her learning to deal with the cards she was given in life. But after finally learning to truly enjoy it, her ending just makes her drop it entirely and throw her talent away for something that wasn’t an interest until now.

It’s a confusing route really, and I feel that Yukari comes off worse after you follow her path. It left me sad to see this happen to a type of character that I usually love to interact with.

Otoboku: Maidens Are Falling For Me - Ichiko


Last but certainly not least, we have Ichiko, the second “cute small girl” of the group, but one that comes with much more depth than I initially expected. The best way to tell you about her is that she’s a bisexual ghost. And that she talks a lot and is very expressive at telling you everything.

Her route is the one I enjoyed the most out of any of them, and that is thanks to Otoboku: Maidens Are Falling For Me’s writing fitting in something that is new but somehow didn’t feel out of place. It was weird to see a ghost in the story, especially one that is so integrated into the main character’s backstory, but she fits in well. Her interactions with the other girls are fun to see, and dealing with her problems was a fun change of pace from the very “normal” problems until now.

Overall, while Ichiko herself looks and acts too young for her to be the best girl for me, her route is certainly one of the best. I would highly recommend anyone that plays this game to try it out.

+18 content

Now, for those who are interested in the “flavor” of these routes, I must say there’s more than I expected. There is the downside of them being quite short though, about 8 minutes at a normal reading speed.

These scenes are mostly vanilla intercourse without much variety. That said, they’re all fully voiced and every heroine has at least more than one. There are even some scenes featuring other characters. It’s surprisingly good for an older game.

Otoboku: Maidens Are Falling For Me is only available on MangaGamer, so no patches are required.

Arts & Crafts

Otoboku: Maidens Are Falling For Me in general has a very big late 90’s vibe to the character design. Most of their faces are quite similar with big eyes and sharp faces, mostly distinguished by their hair color or even their choice of accessories. The game shines best in its CGs, which are really well made and bring forth the strong points of this style of drawing.

The game interface is also quite good, with effects for characters’ speech when necessary, like adding auras over their sprites and even showing a little heart when an interaction goes well. It’s simple but effective. One thing that I feel is a necessary warning is that pressing the skip button doesn’t let it stop at unread text or important CGs or anything, it just skips through. That is a detail I feel was an addition over time with more recent titles, so it’s good to make sure people know so they don’t skip over important details, especially as different scenes can appear in subsequent playthroughs.


Otoboku: Maidens Are Falling For Me! is a long game, it took me about 30 hours to see every ending and also the little omake scenes that come with getting the endings. It was quite a good game. It hasn’t aged that well in some aspects, but it’s still quite a solid recommendation if you are up for it. It brings forth drama and comedy in a great way and doesn’t refrain from trying something new with the tropes they’ve set out to use.


Platforms: PC
Purchase: MangaGamer
Walkthrough/Guide: Click Here

If you are looking for another crossdressing-themed visual novel, you may enjoy Otome Domain.

Many thanks go to MangaGamer for a PC review code for this title.

If you’d like to see more articles from us, please remember to follow us on Twitter🐦 and consider turning notifications on. Or type in your E-mail address and click the button for free email updates. You can also come chat with us on Discord.

Support High-Quality And Detailed Coverage

Want to support the cost of us bringing you these articles or just buy us a coffee for a job well done? Click the Ko-fi button below. You can even find some digital goodies in our shop~!