Jack Jeanne - Switch Review

Jack Jeanne by developer Broccoli and publisher Aksys GamesNintendo Switch review written by Natasha with a copy provided by the publisher.
Estimated reading time: 10 minutes
Hey, you! Yeah, you! The one reading this review. Looking for an otome game that’s blended with a dash of Dance Dance Revolution (The computer keyboard version), a pinch of Persona, and a sprinkle of Zero Escape? You’re in luck, because Japan has whipped up this delicious snack for you.

To be honest I was quite excited to play through this game. Knowing it was from the creators who made Uta No Prince-sama was mind blowing. Having never been fortunate enough to get a translation sent our way, I didn’t think I would ever experience anything close to that series. However, Broccoli has been working on this title and has decided to bless us with this little number.


Our Story Begins

We find ourselves venturing through the imaginative mind of Kisa Tachibana, an aspiring teenager who wishes to follow in her older brother’s footsteps in becoming a famous actor. To do so she’ll have to attend the most prestigious theater school in the country, Univeil. There’s only one problem: this is an all-boys school.

Shot down before she could even get started, she finds herself going to the local shrine where she used to play pretend with her brother and friend. To her surprise she runs into the principal in charge of Univeil. Knowing exactly who she is, thanks to her brother gossiping about his cute little sister, the principal makes a proposal. Tired of old traditions, he decides to grant Kisa admission to the school under the guise of a boy. If she doesn’t get caught, she may attend Univeil.

Now Kisa must prove her worth as an actor and hope to succeed her brother. What better way to pretend than to hide the fact you’re a girl in a school full of talented, wacky, pompous and frivolous men.

Meet the Actors

There are a bunch of students to look forward to, but the ones we get to focus on are your classmates/dormmates. BOYS! Line up all nice and pretty and introduce yourselves.

Shirota Mitsuki

Work Hard, Play Hard
White Haired Storm

A quiet, yet sharp tongued individual who specializes in vocal performance. He prefers to be handed simpler roles, but don't let that dissuade you as he will step up and act out any role given to him with gusto.

Orimaki Suzu

Two Left Feet
Switch On, Switch Off
Red Headed Goof

High spirited and ready to give his all, this junior star in the making will rise to any challenge. Don't let his height intimidate you, he's nothing more than a big goofy dork with a love for fun.

Yonaga Soushiro

Black Lock Beauty

Any one call for a childhood friend? Don't worry, because this short stack is ready to prove his worth in being the best Jack there is. Only problem is he keeps getting female roles. How can your friend prove his manliness when all he can do is act like a girl?

Neji Kokuto

No Escape
Purple Wizard

A Jack of all trades, this crazy student grabs inspiration from the depths of his mind to create the craziest scripts for the other students to act out. Hope you can keep up because you will be thrown into a hurricane of different scenarios and you better act on it.

Takshina Sarafumi

Swan Lake
Wink Master
Legally Not Blonde

Talented in the way of dance, this seasoned upper classmate can show you how to properly land those dance moves. Not only can he move, but he can be a very convincing female with just the right amount of body language.

Mutsumi Kai

Hidden Charmer
Dark and Mysterious
Weak To Children

Tall and practiced, this guy can swoop in and play most male characters with ease. However, he refuses to be the lead in any play. When things get too stressed he likes to wander off to the forest or the local church to regain focus.

To Be the Very Best

At an all male school, for the art of acting, every role is played by guys. Which means even the female roles. But in order to define the difference in boy or girl roles, these individuals are titled as Jack's and Jeanne's. If you are given a male part you are known as a Jack. Any female parts are labelled as Jeanne. The school uses these terms in order to identify these gendered roles.

As a student it is your job to achieve the highest quality as a performer. The more you shine, the better the chance you have at being either a Jack Ace or Al Jeanne. These two titles are given to the main leads of any play. To be deemed either of these two spots means all eyes are on you.

Sometimes students are given roles based on their appearances. Pretty simple, if you're more masculine you'll most likely end up as a Jack, whereas someone who has a smaller and meeker frame will probably get a Jeanne role.

Levelling up those Skills

This isn't your typical visual novel. Not everything is text focused. You do still have to make choices that will gain you points towards characters, however this time around you will be working towards working up your skills in order to improve your acting on stage. How do you do this? Why by attending classes that focus on specific traits.

There are six traits to work towards: Spirit, Intellect, Voice, Agility, Charm or Drama. These traits are a must-have through the story and you will be applying yourself to them during your school week.

As I mentioned before I get a strong Persona vibe when I see a school calendar system in place. This means that you work day by day to gain more levels towards these necessary skills. When your classmates whisper into your ear that maybe you should work on a specific trait for the upcoming performance, sometimes taking their advise is key to getting you through the next stage.

Monday to Friday are your regular school days, with Saturday and Sunday being your free time to go out and socialize. But you are human which means the more you practice the more you become exhausted. A health bar is given to you to keep track on how much energy you can use. Each day you practice it will eat away a bit of your health. So make sure to take 'Rest' days in-between to rejuvenate yourself, otherwise you might find yourself falling unconscious and losing out on several days.

Rhythm Mania

Like mini games? How about ones that test your hand-eye coordination and requires the ability to keep up with the beat? No? Well that's unfortunate because you will have to play through a couple of rhythm sessions. One focused on singing and the other on dance. (No you don't have to serenade the game)

You'll have two moments during your seasonal performance where you'll have to “practice” and “present” these mini set pieces. They will be prompted and you'll have the option to choose what difficulty you'd like to challenge them. The difficulties being easy, expert, and professional.

Once you've played through the song successfully at the end of the actual seasonal performance you will unlock the hardest difficulty being JACK JEANNE. They also display the tempo ace under each difficulty indicating how intense and fast each piece can be with little purple stars.

You will, however, need to play through the song at least once in order to skip it later as it will record your previous score and use that if you wish to skip.

After completing the final performance you will be graded on how well you did and will receive individual awards based on your results. These awards can help improve your standing in school, as well as deepening certain relationships.

Relationships or School Life

Hurray! Lets talk cute guys! As this is an Otome that means you will have to put in some work in getting these guys to notice us! But... How do you do that if you're trying to pretend to be a boy? [Wiggles eyebrows cleverly] Simple! You spend time with them.

That's right! You'll have time during the weekend to approach the gent you have your eye on. Each time you interact with one of our fine, talented individuals, you'll gain affection points, which you can keep track of in the menu screen. The more you spend time with them the greater the chance of gaining a private moment with them.

HOWEVER! There is an extra catch. In order to properly connect on a deeper emotional level you will have to upgrade the specific skill that follows that character. This means you'll have to spend a couple of extra school days to get sempai to notice you. Example: If you have your eye set on the new freshman students you'll have to spend more time on your spirit and intellect if you wish to trigger a special scene.

Thankfully, Jack Jeanne does a great job of keeping track of this in the character menu. Each cutie has a relationship meter for both affection AND skill level. Once you reach a certain point with both you'll unlock the requirements needed to spend an extra special one on one moment with your classmate.

You can also increase characters' affection or skill level by choosing an option during scenes that balance between one side of the playing field over the other. If you find yourself in the middle of an argument and have to choose being assertive or introverted, people around you will act accordingly depending on your response. You can't lose affection so don't worry that you may suffer a negative effect since this game doesn't apply it.

Artistic Glow

I have to say, the art style that this game decided to take was a rather unique one. At first I didn't especially care much for the character designs, but the more I played the more it became appealing.

For a while I had this suspicious feeling that I've seen this art form before. After doing a little digging I discovered that the art director behind the visuals of this game was the mangaka who created Tokyo Ghoul. I always found his characters to be creative, but to have them this expressive was a nice touch. Every character that appears in Jack Jeanne seems to have been dipped in water colours and looks absolutely amazing. Sometimes they remind me of the character design from the Zero Escape series that I love so much. Very fun and eye popping.

Talented Vocals

Big round of applause to all the talented voice actors in this game. At first I thought half of the guys on campus where voiced by girls, but NO, every single character is voiced by a man other than the main character and a small handful of actual females in the story. It takes skillful individuals to be able to fool me. Bravo!

Another bonus that the game has to offer is that it has a voiced female lead, which is rare to see and honestly one of my own preferred ways to enjoy visual novels. Sometimes, I may not be able to fully understand the emotion that's coming through a silent protagonist.

A Finale Worth Seeing

This has to be one of the longest Otome games I have ever experienced, which isn't a bad thing. In fact, this has opened up the possibility to really expend the gameplay experience when playing through future visual novels. Is this going to be the norm for future titles? Probably not, but it makes for a more involving picture book.

To conclude, Jack Jeanne was a chance to immerse yourself in the world of dramatic artsy school life. If you're poor at rhythm games this will be a challenge, but for those who enjoy music and dance this game will be 110% your cup of tea. With a whirlwind of colourful characters, unexpected events and even funnier dialogue, Jack Jeanne is probably the top visual novel of the year so far. This spectacular performance gets my golden rating of 9 out of 10.

Lights! Camera! ACTION!

Score: 9 / 10



Post a Comment

Random posts

Our Streamers

Susan "Jagtress" N.

S.M. Carrière

Louis aka Esefine



JenEricDesigns – Coffee that ships to the US and Canada

JenEricDesigns – Coffee that ships to the US and Canada
Light, Medium and Dark Roast Coffee available.

Blog Archive