Dairoku: Agents of Sakuratani


Review by · December 28, 2021

It’s said that variety is the spice of life, and I’m inclined to agree. There’s a fair bit of variety within Dairoku: Agents of Sakuratani, an otome game centered around ayakashi, or supernatural beings of Japanese myth. Such a premise lends itself well to a fleshed-out, vibrant world, which Dairoku takes advantage of quite often. However, certain areas of the game lack such development, resulting in an experience that is overall pleasant but feels like it doesn’t make use of its full potential.

Dairoku’s protagonist wants a simple but secure government job, but thanks to her ability to see ayakashi, she is instead scouted to be an Ayakashimori: a special agent who keeps the peace in Sakuratani, the realm where ayakashi freely live. The protagonist gets to learn all about this new world and its inhabitants while resolving major conflicts that threaten not only the daily order but the entire world’s stability. These conflicts are drastically different from route to route; the wide range of struggles helps each love interest’s story stand on its own and expand upon the diverse difficulties that Sakuratani and the ayakashi within it face.

Yet out of the six routes—one for each of the five love interests and a sixth “finale” route with everyone uniting—two feel as though the conflicts resolve themselves. Their solutions are unfittingly simple for the stakes at hand. Misunderstandings with dire consequences clear up with little resistance, leaving these routes feeling underdeveloped. The remaining four are handled with far more success, although the finale route is two chapters shorter than the others and feels as such.

Getting to each unique route is a somewhat novel process. The “common” route that leads into the individual stories includes events that always play out, but the player can choose how to spend their time around these events. Using a world map, they can visit one of the love interests or hone their magic skills through an apprehension minigame. Training adds to the protagonist’s “skill level” while visiting the love interests and making the correct dialogue choice adds to their “relationship level.” The relationship levels can continue to build during the individual routes and is a key factor in determining where the story further branches off, leading into either a “romance,” “lost love,” or “friendship” ending.

Dairoku: Agents of Sakuratani screenshot of the protagonist teaching the oni Akuro how to use a cell phone.
Although there’s plenty of action, Dairoku: Agents of Sakuratani is at its best during comedic or heartwarming scenes.

On the other hand, skill level only serves to get players onto the finale route. While this makes sense for the story, the game’s flow chart system makes traversing between chapters with your chosen relationship level parameters incredibly convenient. A lack of skill level requirements causes a further increase in simplicity. This has benefits for clarity’s sake but feels like another lost opportunity to expand the game’s complexity by using the existing minigame to help reach the love interests’ different endings.

The love interests of Dairoku include different ayakashi as well as a fellow Ayakashimori, offering further opportunities to portray the world’s rich variety. From a surprisingly gentle oni to a lazy tengu, players get the chance to meet a colorful cast of ayakashi, which is an innately fun premise for an otome game, especially for mythology lovers. The love interests have distinct personalities and backstories that are genuinely fun to experience and learn about, respectively. Unfortunately, despite the slew of different ayakashi types that appear as side characters throughout the story, none of them have their own visuals. A generic sprite for the kappa, snow women, and other ayakashi who frequent the different routes would have served as a small but highly effective expansion of Sakuratani, which the story boasts as having a highly diverse population.

Dairoku: Agents of Sakuratani screenshot of the protagonist and Shu in the Field of Autumn Leaves.
Dairoku‘s character designs are delightfully charming, making the desire for visual representations of the rest of Sakuratani’s population stronger.

The locales are even less colorful, literally. Although the writing draws attention to the stark differences in sector architecture—and they are, in all fairness, illustrated as such—all backgrounds are painted in the same creams and lavenders, making them difficult to differentiate. The exception is the beautiful Field of Autumn Leaves, with its warm ember-like hues. Although the story would like players to believe the great fujizakura trees are Sakuratani’s most impressive sight, they’re just more purple in a world of purple. The Field of Autumn Leaves is the most memorable area in Sakuratani without contest, although the fujizakura trees could have maintained their color scheme if different colors were used to draw attention to each sector’s uniqueness and further develop the world.

Dairoku: Agents of Sakuratani doesn’t take each opportunity it gives itself for unique worldbuilding based on rich Japanese folklore, but it’s at its best when presenting feel-good resolutions, which it does on every route. It’s not lore-heavy like Olympia Soirée nor is it a grand spectacle like Code: Realize; rather, it’s a simple but charming palate cleanser of an otome game, and that makes it unique enough to add its own kind of variety to the genre’s lineup.


Cute visuals, great soundtrack and voice acting, fun and feel-good story.


Doesn't have much worldbuilding for a game based on Japan's rich mythology, numerous typographical errors.

Bottom Line

A fun but ultimately simple otome game that will appeal to mythology lovers or genre fans looking for a "palate cleanser" in between larger, more intense games.

Overall Score 85
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Niki Fakhoori

Niki Fakhoori

Video games have been an important element of my life since early childhood, and RPGs are the games that gave me the opportunity to branch out of my “gaming comfort zone” when I was a wee lass. I’ve always spent a good deal of my time writing and seeking value in the most unsuspecting places, and as such I’ve come to love writing about games, why they work, how they can improve, and how they affect those who play them.