Mugibata Akane, is a 1st year at Hanarenjyaku University of Cooking. Unfortunately, her part-time workplace just went bankrupt and her funds are running low and she can barely make ends meet – so much so that she collapses from hunger one day! Fortunately, Satou helps her out and even offers her to take over his position of managing Meshi Yasou, an apartment for Hanarenjyaku students, as he’s leaving soon. Akane decides to take up his kind offer and so begins her days at Meshi Yasou with its quirky residents.
Issho ni Gohan
Age Rating: Cero C / 15+
Date of Release: 24th January 2013
Voice Cast: Kaji Yuuki, Ono Daisuke, Tsuda Kenjiro, Shimono Hiro, Suzumura Kenichi, Fukuyama Jun, Hatano Wataru etc.
One comes into the game with the expectations that it'll be a light-hearted, comedy romance. Issho ni Gohan is certainly one of the more light-hearted games with an easy-to-digest plot and colorful interface. However, the story is predictable and the comedy and romance moments are either repetitive or lacking in some routes. Taking into account that there are 7 routes in total, or 8 if you factor in the normal route, it is just hard to have to swallow the same plot of Meishi Yasou getting into a crisis and them overcoming it in the same manner - over and over again. Unfortunately, the characters are not enough to make up for this. While all of them are lively
except Nao (who is, fyi, sick all the time) in their own manner, there is not much depth to them and not everyone has a chemistry with Akane. Sometimes the romance comes off as sudden or unnatural, and it doesn't help that the CGs phase out Akane's presence. Speaking of Akane, while she started out okay, being the usual positive heroine, her personality got more bland as the game went on.
The above problems were quite outstanding in Satou's route. From the start, we know that he is an android and it is rather obvious throughout the game. It was particularly frustrating to see how Akane does not suspect anything till the end, and how she committed rather worrying blunders. In addition, Satou asked Akane to work at Meshi Yasou as he was leaving soon but this point never comes back in the game, ever. Personally, I noticed that Satou's character design is similar to Hikari's, but we never find out if there's any meaning behind this. It was disappointing to see all this as Satou is only unlocked after one playthrough, one has the expectation that his route contains something more.
The game has wonderful and notable casts, which is one of its redeeming points... in a way. The cast is grand, but the game does not give them much chance to showcase different sides of their characters. It was really hard to enjoy the game even though you probably have your bias(es) in it. Rei's (CV: Ono Daisuke) demeanor, for example, forced OnoD to scream pretty much 60% of the game. When Rei screamed upon encountering a bug, all I could wish was for him to just stop talking all together. It was such a shame that Satou (CV: Hatano Wataru) had to talk in monotone as well. I get that he was an android, but nothing about him speaking in a bland, monotone voice is applause-able.
As a cooking-themed otome game, there are quiz-like questions, cooking mini-games, and cooking recipes. However, as the cooking parameter does not seem to affect the endings at all, they come off as a bit pointless unless you are personally interested in cooking - in that case, the tips and recipes may interest you. It was frustrating to have to play through the same mini-game(s) again though. Art-wise, the style is clean, colourful and easy on the eyes. However, there is a lack of variation in the CGs. Natsu's CGs collection, for example, is made up of a bunch of headshots.
All that being said, the game does has its enjoyable moments. Riki and Yousuke's routes are probably the only ones with most notable romance. Hikaru's route is fairly enjoyable too, as long as you ignore the whole misunderstanding problem in it. However, the problems are glaring too and hence cut down one's enjoyment of the game. I do not think that this has anything to do with it being a drama CD adaptation, as there have been decent ones (eg. Kannou Mukashibanashi). The problem possibly lies in the way with how the game is presented, and how the simple plot is executed in an overly-simplified way, which leads to so much underdevelopment of the characters.6.0 Issho ni Gohan has its fun moments, but its other problems such as the repetitive plot and awkward pacing come creeping in to spoil the fun. Both the story and the characters are underdeveloped and overly-simplified to the point that sitting on your couch, and trying to finish all of the characters' routes can be a lot of drag and pain. It may be a little better if you actually have your bias(es) voicing any of the characters in the game, but it is best to not expect too much from the game. Unless you're really bored and/or already paid bucks for it (which I did and still regret even now), I'd say you play something else that will actually worth your time, energy and money.