Bokuhime Project: Nippon Ichi Software Jokingly Apologizes for Missing All-Ages Rating

Bokuhime Project: Nippon Ichi Software Jokingly Apologizes for Missing All-Ages Rating

What is Bokuhime Project and why Nippon Ichi Software made an apology video regarding how the game didn't get an all-ages rating?

You might have recently seen an apology video from Nippon Ichi Software about Bokuhime Project, and having no idea what this is all about. Plus, if you’ve been following DualShockers closely, and I thank you for that, you might have noticed we never wrote about Bokuhime Project, seeing time didn’t permit us to cover this game in the past. If you’ve never heard of it, Bokuhime Project is a brand new IP published by Nippon Ichi Software and developed by Wizard Soft. It was first announced by Nippon Ichi Software in July 2017, all while mentioning its development was halted. As explained in the Yurutto Nippon Ichi #40 stream, Bokuhime Project was initially supposed to be an “infiltration action cross-dressing game”, but to avoid going over budget, it became a visual novel.

Moreover, Nippon Ichi Software first wanted to gauge interest in the game and avoid risks. As such, a manga version titled Bokuhime sama to Otome Shugi, drawn by Daikokudou Ikuya, was first serialized online. Nippon Ichi kept promoting Bokuhime Project over the months, most notably with goods artwork, and Twitter campaigns, promising the game’s development would resume if its Twitter account reached 10,000 followers.

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The follower count was reached, and on July 26, 2019, Nippon Ichi Software announced Bokuhime Project‘s development restarted, for PS4 and Switch. A first trailer was then revealed:

Bokuhime Project has character designs by Fumika Matsushima, is directed by Tatsuya Shiina and the scenario was written by Kento Jobana. The game’s protagonist is Minato Ikusa, who infiltrates a school with 99% of female students to find out what happened to his sister Marisa, who ended up in a coma. In order to get closer to the truth behind the incident, Minato needs to cross-dress as “Erica” and participate in the election for the Four Princesses, the four girls who self-govern the school.

During the game’s promotion and development, Nippon Ichi mentioned how they wanted to do a truly all-ages crossdressing visual novel on consoles and advertised the game as such. Seeing Japanese media in general with similar themes is nothing uncommon, but visual novels tend to have explicit content.

However, now that Bokuhime Project‘s development is nearly complete, it ended up receiving a Cero B rating, meaning 12 years and older. Announcing this, Nippon Ichi published a hilarious apology video, begging forgiveness for “betraying the trust of all grade-schoolers in Japan” who supposedly will be unable to play the game:

Following this apology, Nippon Ichi Software is now advertising Bokuhime Project as an “almost all-ages cross-dressing game”. The reasons behind the Cero B rating are also explained. According to Cero, the game features “kissing, hugging, depictions of sexually-themed delusions, swimsuits and costumes, depictions of bleeding, and abuse”.

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That was a pretty long joke to explain, but I’m looking forward to this game and hope to have the occasion to cover it some more. Bokuhime Project launches in Japan on April 23, on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. It wasn’t announced in the west.

Nippon Ichi Software was in trouble in 2019 after Disgaea RPG’s disastrous launch but managed to get back to its feet and relaunch the game at the end of 2019.