Adult Game Anime Review Visual Novel

Sugar * Style – Review | Love Me Ridiculously

Sugar * Style is the latest visual novel from developer Smee to receive an English localization via NekoNyan. Smee, who also developed well-received visual novels Fureraba and Making*Lovers, are known for their lighthearted comedy and sweet romance. And with a title like Sugar * Style you’d expect nothing less. Have Smee served up another tasty treat? Let’s sink our teeth into it.

Man of the House

Sugar * Style begins with our protagonist striking out on his own to attend vocational school. You can rename him if you choose, but I’ll refer to him by his default name, Okibe Kazuki. Kazuki is tentatively enrolled in a computer music program but doesn’t really know what he wants to do. Fortunately, his school has a flexible elective system where he can attend other fields’ classes at his leisure. Due to family connections, he ends up living at the Sunshine Dorm, a rustic building in the mountains where his aunt is the dorm mother. And as these things go, it just so happens all the other residents are cute girls.

None of this setup ever really matters. Sugar * Style is happy to establish the minimum of pretense to throw Kazuki and the various girls together in their dorm and school lives and leave things at that. Even the elective system is simply an excuse to allow Kazuki to visit the girls in their classes. This approach works because the story unfolds primarily through self-contained vignettes. Development comes more from learning about the characters and seeing their relationships with one another evolve than from specific events sequences or exploring backstories.

Hilarious Hijinks

Sugar * Style’s biggest strength is its zany comedy. It’s not clever, but it doesn’t try to be. Most of the jokes consist of taking a dumb idea, making it even dumber, and then turning everything up to 11. Buildups are often accompanied by ridiculous music that sounds like it was ripped from an RPG boss fight, and punchlines come complete with cartoon sound effects. There isn’t much concern for intricate setups or the long game either. Sugar * Style is happy to careen from gag to gag in a runaway train ride of absurdity. And the game pulls it off by going all in no matter how crazy things get. It’s the embodiment of “if the audience is laughing who cares how stupid you look?”, and most of the time I found myself laughing along.

Sugar * Style - Idiot Buddies

All of this starts with Kazuki. As is common for visual novel protagonists, Kazuki is immature, tactless, and more than a bit of a pervert. He has a real entertainer’s flair too though. Kazuki loves a good overreaction and has no problem playing the butt of a joke but is also quick on his feet and just as happy to dish it out. And no matter the scheme, he dives in with gusto, whether that means chasing girls while pretending to be a fire ant or convincing troubled youths that they too can aspire to become mindless corporate drones. He can be a bit cringy at times, but Kazuki’s madlad antics are hilarious and a perfect fit for Sugar * Style’s comedic style.

Sugar * Style - Cringy Kazuki

I could have done with less perversion from Kazuki. Even by visual novel standards, he’s a thirsty boy. His mind is constantly in the gutter, and he regularly says things that would get you fired from many jobs. Since Sugar * Style runs on harem anime logic, the girls are quick to call him gross but still like him in the end. Otherwise, Kazuki isn’t a bad guy. He wants his friends to be happy, and he’s eager to offer his help when someone has a problem. He’s also not afraid to take risks or look stupid if means making someone else smile. Kazuki can even be thoughtful at times in his own clumsy way. Though he’s just as apt to ruin the moment by sniffing something he shouldn’t.

Sexual Content

As you might expect, Sugar * Style doesn’t lack for fanservice and other suggestive content. Particularly early on, the story uses every contrivance to put Kazuki in compromising situations. From walking in on girls in various states of undress to pilfering panties, the usual tropes are all here. Some of these moments have CGs, but not as many as you would think given Kazuki is such a horndog. Most ecchi scenes are driven by Kazuki’s thoughts and actions and the girls’ reactions via text and dialogue. That said, there are a lot of these scenes. Kazuki has a special talent for making almost anything sexual.

Sugar * Style - Ichika and Sexual Harassment

In the Steam version of Sugar * Style, the suggestive CGs are cropped or blacked out. There’s a free 18+ patch available that restores these CGs as well as adds nudity and sex scenes without mosaics. You can also buy the 18+ version directly from Denpasoft. Sugar * Style was originally an 18+ release, and if you play the uncensored version it shows. Each heroine has 4 sex scenes crammed into her route, and sometimes it feels like the rest of the content exists mainly to get you to the next sex scene. The sexual content is mostly vanilla with some light roleplaying, but the scenes themselves are quite long and descriptive. Even if you’re playing for the “plot”, it’s a lot of words worth of boning.

Dorm Days

Sugar * Style features a common route that branches into heroine routes but puts a couple of twists on this formula. You only have two choices to make. The first is of course which heroine to romance, and you pick by simply clicking on her portrait when prompted. The second allows you to select one of four jobs for Kazuki to take charge of around the dorm. Once you’ve chosen, you’ll find scenes both with your heroine and related to your job interwoven into the common route. The heroine scenes do a nice job of letting you get to know your main girl while still allowing time for the ensemble cast to shine, and the job scenes mean you’ll have fresh comedic bits to look forward to on subsequent playthroughs if you decide to pick a different job.

Sugar * Style - Mao

I quite liked this approach. I prefer a simple and straightforward path to my desired route over lots of mostly meaningless choices. The modular structure of the choice-based scenes complements Sugar * Style’s episodic storytelling, and it works especially well in the first playthrough. The downside is that in subsequent playthroughs the new and old material are mixed together. Skipping previously read scenes isn’t as simple as jumping to a particular point.

There are also two scenes for each heroine where Kazuki gets a chance to snoop around her room. Naturally his top priority is to rifle through the underwear drawer, but you might find other interesting things too. You can interact with various objects in the room by clicking on them, triggering a short scene with the heroine when you do. None of this affects your romance in any way though. If you’re eager to get on with the story you can even skip these sections. I thought these scenes were a nice way to flesh out the heroines’ personalities through their living spaces.

Sugar * Style - Room Inspection

Sweet Romance

After the common route, you’ll enter an exclusive route for your chosen heroine. While there’s still comedy, the focus shifts toward romance. Once again, Sugar * Style is happy to play the cliches—movie dates, awkward first kisses, thunderstorm cuddles—and keeps things lighthearted. There’s occasionally a splash of drama, but problems clear up quickly and often in absurd ways. Kazuki sometimes muses about becoming a better person to support his girlfriend but ultimately remains the same old goofball degenerate.

The result is saccharine romance arcs with lots of endearing moments but not much direction. For the most part, this works well enough. The heroines are likable and it’s easy to smile at the newly minted couple’s many joys, both large and small. I do feel that Sugar * Style starts to run out of steam at the end though. Cute as it is, there’s only so much lovey-dovey time I can take before I want to see something else, and the length of the routes feels padded to justify (in the 18+ version) the number of sex scenes.

The routes all have a similar tone and structure, so variety comes mostly from the heroines’ different personalities. Fortunately, the heroines are all fun, and their personalities are distinctive enough that Sugar * Style doesn’t feel overly repetitive. Kazuki is more or less the same across the routes, but he develops different chemistry with the different girls. One heroine might be easily flustered by him while another can throw his nonsense right back in his face without missing a beat.

Sugar * Style - Kaname Gets Asked Out?

Meet the Sunshine Girls

Minami Mao is the first heroine Kazuki meets. She’s stubborn and feisty, in an adorable way, and a little bit of a tsundere. Her field of study is childcare, and she’s great with kids, but keeps her distance from her peers. Since Kazuki’s first impulse is to mercilessly tease her, this goes double for him. But if he keeps spending time with her, he’ll find she’s an earnest and lovable girl who just needs someone to give her a chance.

Two years Kazuki’s senior, Fuyutsuki Kaname enters as a graceful, prickly, and slightly imperious presence. She’s an accomplished pianist known as “the beauty queen” to her many fans at school. But beneath the icy exterior is a girl with surprisingly cute tastes and quite the playful side. She and Kazuki have a vibrant chemistry, constantly reversing each others’ jokes and teasing in an affectionate game of cat and mouse.

Sugar * Style - Hare is a Tennis Pro

Tennis ace Kusunoki Hare is an outwardly hardworking and confident girl who knows exactly what she wants. She doesn’t have much experience with men though and is often flustered by Kazuki’s antics. She seems focused and down to earth, but as Kazuki gets closer to her he’ll find she’s highly attuned to those around her and has more insecurities than she lets on.

Last but not least, Morisumi Ichika is a naturally kind girl and a skilled chef specializing in bread. She also has a wild imagination and particular ideas about romance, and these can land her in trouble spots. But if Kazuki can manage to set the mood, she’ll spoil him like no one else. Kazuki is a bit too pushy with her, at least for my taste, but this does create some great comedic moments for the pair.

My favorite route was Kaname’s, mainly because it was a blast to watch her snowball Kazuki’s jokes out of his control. I thought Kazuki had solid chemistry with all the heroines though. None of the routes are standout, but none are bad either. I found Hare’s the weakest, but she and Kazuki still form a likable couple with plenty of sweet moments to smile at. It just lacked the laugh-out-loud energy of the others.

Rounding out the Sunshine Dorm are dorm mother Tsubaki Kaoru and mischievous schoolgirl Miyamae Erika. Kaoru is star-crossed and seems a bit irresponsible, while Erika, whose presence in a dorm full of college students is never explained, acts as an instigator for many of the gang’s shenanigans. Kazuki also has two male friends at school, Ijuuin Akira and Abe Piroshi, who pop up from time to time to perv out with him or complain about their lack of girlfriends. Though after one scene with them it’s not too hard to see why they’re still single. The side characters are caricatures with no depth, but their main use is as fodder for gags so it works. They serve their purpose well and stay in the background out of the way when not needed.

Sights, Sounds, and Extras

From the opening menu, Sugar * Style establishes a soothing visual style full of soft pastels and cream colors under gentle lighting. Only the heroines and the most important supporting characters have sprites, but the sprites themselves are detailed and polished. Sugar * Style makes each heroine uniquely expressive through her poses and facial features, and constant small changes, and a realistic blinking animation as you converse with them helps bring the dialogue to life. The heroines also each have their own fashion sense, and these complement their personalities. Besides clothing, there’s little variation from the neck down though. This is especially noticeable in the 18+ version.

Sugar * Style’s music is eclectic, and some of it is intentionally ridiculous. Besides the usual lazy lounge music and romantic piano interludes, you have aggressive club beats and intense guitar riffs. The crazy stuff is used effectively for comedy, and the accompaniment to the romantic scenes sets the appropriate mood. I found the music pleasant with one glaring exception. There’s a garishly cheesy sax piece that sounds straight off a Kenny G album, and it needs to go back to the depths of whatever hell it came from.

Sugar * Style uses classic cartoon sound effects, such as dissonant piano chords and dramatic thuds, to punctuate jokes. Unfortunately, the effects have a cheap, low-quality sound and so feel tacky. A few are especially bad. There’s a buzzing that’s meant to sound like insects in summer but made me question whether my speakers were defective.

The voice acting is lively and enthusiastic to match Sugar * Style’s comedic energy. Each heroine has a distinct tone and a cadence that matches her quirks. The actors know how to ham it up too, an essential skill for the often absurd dialogue. Although it’s common for visual novels to have silent protagonists, I wish Kazuki had been voiced. He spouts the most ridiculous nonsense of anyone, and I could see it being wildly entertaining to hear an actor attempt to navigate his outbursts.

After completing your first route, an “Omake” option appears on the title menu. This allows you to view CGs, listen to the BGM, and in the 18+ version, replay sex scenes. Almost half the CGs are sexual, so there’s actually not much to look at in the censored version. Unusually, there’s no option to watch the starting or ending cinematics. It’s not a huge loss, but it would have been nice to have. One feature I particularly liked is that the backlog allows you to jump back to any line with a click. This is even preserved across saving and loading, and I found it useful for reorienting myself when picking up a save.

With the caveat that I can’t read Japanese or speak to the accuracy, the English translation is pleasingly idiomatic. Characters use cringy slang at times, especially Kazuki, but it fits the game’s tone. You might even notice some fun pop culture references. There were a few times I encountered continuity errors. For example, in one route Kazuki complains his girlfriend has yet to say “I love you” to him when she has in the English text. I assume some nuance in the Japanese modes of expressing affection was lost in translation.


Sugar * Style is a rush of silly excitement with a sweet romantic aftertaste. It’s not particularly clever or ambitious, but it isn’t trying to be. And though it has its flaws, the comedy hits hard and fast and the romance is endearing. If you’re looking for something lighthearted and upbeat—and don’t mind a perverted protagonist—Sugar * Style is a solid choice.


Platforms: PC
Purchase Link: Denpasoft / JAST USA

If you are looking for another more comedic visual novel, perhaps Sankaku Renai would be worth checking out. We have also covered a wide variety of visual novels both original to English and localized from Japanese, which you can check out here.

Many thanks go to the publisher NekoNyan for a 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~!