Why are the Japanese so fixated on childhood friends, anyway? What the Japanese call an osananajimi ("childhood friend") operates on many of the same levels as the "Girl Next Door" and "Girl Back Home" archetypes that have been a staple of fiction for centuries.It's an easy way to establish the kind of relationship between two characters that takes the entirety of When Harry Met Sally to build otherwise.In general, Japanese companies used a "membership-based" model of employment, which was (and is) unique to Japan.
I'll be going over these a lot, but the earliest features you bump into are EVS (Emotional Voice System) and the childhood portion of the game. It's Konami's predecessor to the Vocaloid system (note that the development of Vocaloid started in 2000, and was first released in 2004).For the EVS, all of the Tokimemo 2 voice actresses recorded every Japanese phoneme, and by patching together those files, the game can produce something that sounds like your name, instead of that awkward pause wherever $playername appeared in the script of the first Tokimemo.Please, if you enjoy the site, consider adding us to your Ad Block whitelist—it really does make a difference.Dedicated to the memory of Danny "Parameterdown" Suthivarakom What is Tokimeki Memorial?The game classifies itself as a "Romance simulation" (恋愛シミュレーション), a genre which brings a lot of derision outside of Japan but really isn't all that different from playing The Sims.
In all of the main Toki Memo games, you take on the role of a Japanese high school student from the first day of freshman year until graduation day.Certain names break in the Japanese-only sound system (I remember "Dom" sounding especially heinous), and it has some pretty severe restrictions due to hardware limitations.One girl's voice data devours pretty much an entire Play Station memory card, and you can only have one EVS active per playthrough.While it sounds pretty plain - and it is, at least for the early ones - the games were groundbreaking for their time.They were huge hits (well, except for 3), spawned dozens of imitators, and their influence can still be seen today in games like Harvest Moon, Persona, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and many, many more.It's way easier to dodge bombs in Tokimemo 2 than it was in the first Tokimemo, and even if you do brain fart and let a bomb go off, there's a relationship chart that shows how much the girls like each other, which in turn affects how they're affected by bombs from other girls.