Dear readers, I am about to embark on an experience unlike any other in my 30 years of life: I’m going to date a virtual girl in New Love Plus+, the newest game in the (in)famous Japanese dating-sim series. But even before I start, I find myself at an impasse. Which of the game’s romantic foils should I date?

Now, I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t played dating sims before—they are the best tool I know of for improving your Japanese through gaming—but the Love Plus series is a totally different beast from what I am used to. Most dating sims are all about getting the girl—upping your stats, joining a club, asking girls on dates, and learning their likes and dislikes. In Love Plus all that is just the prologue of the game; it doesn’t really start until you have a virtual girlfriend of your very own to go on real-life dates with.

However, before I get to that point in the game, I must choose which of New Love Plus+’s female leads I intend to pursue a relationship with. And while I could choose on my own, I’d much rather leave that choice up to thousands of random strangers on the internet you. So here are our three possible choices for high school romance.

Manaka Takane


A member of the tennis club, Manaka is a junior in high school like the player character. She comes from a wealthy family and has led a very sheltered life. Normal things like getting fast food, hanging out with friends, and watching TV are all new to her. Moreover, because of her good grades, the other students don't find her very approachable and thus she has few friends. Her hobbies are baking and playing the piano.

Rinko Kobayakawa


Rinko is an underclassman and a member of the library committee. She is always seen wearing her headphones and has an abrasive personality. However, her outward attitude is just a way of coping with being unwelcome at home, thanks to her father’s new marriage. It's so bad that she avoids going home after school and instead wanders the streets aimlessly at night. Her hobbies are punk rock music and fighting games.

Nene Anegasaki


Nene is a high school senior and thus a year older than the player character. She has a big sister-type personality and is generally supportive—and thus will help those who ask for it. Other than that, she works part-time as a waitress at a chain restaurant. Her hobbies are house cleaning and horror movies.

Alright people, it's time to vote! (And feel free to argue your choice in the comments below.)


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