The realm of the otome game is a weird and wonderful place. Sometimes, you’ll pursue a variety of pretty, non-threatening suitors after exchanging a series of group texts. Other times, you’ll look to seduce a lovable single father, or a responsible pet owner.
As for Hatoful Boyfriend? You date pigeons. That’s right: YOU. DATE. PIGEONS.
Odds are, if you clicked on the link you’re already familiar with the premise and just want to know if your favorite fowl took top spot on the podium. So we’ll stop trying to be coo-l and peck our way through this totally non-definitive, very unofficial and very unscientific ranking of all the dateable Hatoful Boyfriend characters.
And remember: love is subjective. All because your haughty husbando didn’t perform well here doesn’t mean they’re any less valid and beautiful in their own feathery way.
10. Ryouta Kawara
When a game is as absurd as this one, it stands to reason that the most down-to-earth character would be the least compelling.
Ryouta is your childhood best friend, effectively guiding you through the early stages of the school year and just generally being the sweetest little avian boi. He works hard to look after his sick mother, and his levelheaded temperament often leads to him acting as a mediator between the more bombastic personalities of his peers.
Don’t let his outward enthusiasm fool you though, he has his own doubts and demons swirling inside, and he remains guarded about his emotions to prevent them all from flooding out at once. I just want to hold him, and tell him it will be okay. Everybirdie needs some TLC sometimes.
9. Kazuaki Nanaki
Are you hot for teacher? On the surface, Kazuaki appears to be a good-natured, responsible homeroom teacher with an unfortunate tendency to fall asleep at the drop of a hat. He’s often found in situations where he’s looking out for the MC, offering to walk her home at night or encouraging her to pursue her interests.
He’s a bit flighty — unintentional bird joke there — but for the most part, just seems to be a good and decent instructor who wants the best for his students. And sure, that’s not an inaccurate summation, and yet, there’s a whole lot more going on within that little birdbrain of his.
His past could be described as tortured… though once you dig a little deeper, you’ll conclude that that’s a drastic understatement. In certain routes, his tale becomes a roller coaster of intrigue that will leave you breathless. If you knew the things he did, you would want to nap too.
8. Azami Koshiba
Carve it into your soul! One of two characters added in the 2014 remake, Azami just oozes coolness. She’s a no-nonsense takoyaki salesbirdie with a mature, reassuring disposition and a sweet ride.
Azami doesn’t take injustice lightly, and will deliver a devastating Sparrow Kick to any who would dare target the innocent. Despite this, she is actually quite responsible, making for a wonderful mentor to the player character. Aren’t you excited to be the protege of a bird?
About the only drawback is that the ending of her route leaves us wanting a bit, hence her modest position in the rankings. Perhaps our dreams of really getting to the heart of this night rider will always remain just that; unfulfilled dreams.
7. Sakuya Le Bel Shirogane
I hope you don’t mind a little extra effort, because if this fantail pigeon is the object of your desire, you’re going to have to put up with being negged into oblivion.
Believing himself to be above all other lowly peasants (and pheasants), Sakuya spends most of his time either putting someone down or gloating about how wonderful he is. To his credit, he is highly intelligent and quite courageous, plus you simply cannot ignore that glorious plumage.
Me personally, I’m not real big on getting trash talked by a damned bird, so I’ve got him lower on this list than many others might. If Sakuya’s fans are anything like he is, I’d best prepare for a brutal tongue lashing in multiple languages.
6. Tohri Nishikikouji
Trying to work out where to slot this golden enigma is a tricky bit of business. At first glance, he could be considered obsessive or even downright perverse. He seems to have some sort of preoccupation with the school physician, Shuu Iwamine — more on him later — but his true agenda remains murky unless you’re brave enough to pursue the matter further.
Based on his own merits, Tohri is a compelling character who you might find irresistibly mysterious. On the other
hand wing, because he is so deeply connected to Shuu, it is difficult not to compare the two in many ways. Needless to say, very few compare to Shuu, so Tohri’s light is dulled somewhat as a result.
Also, tori is the Japanese word for bird, so his name is almost just Bird. That would be like me calling myself Man (full name Manthony?).
5. Yuuya Sakazaki
Oh my! What a dashing dove this is. If you’re sensing a vague resemblance to the aforementioned monsieur Le Bel, that would be because this is his maligned half-brother, Yuuya!
This suave customer considers himself a lady’s bird, shamelessly flirting with the protagonist throughout the game. He is constantly putting up a front, tormented by his own fleeting sense of self-worth, and once you get to know him, you’ll begin to learn that there’s much more depth to him than what he shows to the world.
He just so desperately wants to be loved, caring passionately for all things he considers beautiful. Wearing your heart on your sleeve is an easy way for it to get skewered, however, so please look out for this flirty birdie as best you can.
As the definitive joke character among the cast, your fondness for Okosan will vary. He is a strange and manic fellow, opting to reject any semblance of humanity; observe, not only does he lack an alternative human character model, but he speaks solely in pigeon.
Fortunately, translations are offered for his various cooing noises, revealing vague ramblings that are somehow frantic and eloquent all at once. He loves to run, he loves pudding, and if you play your cards right, maybe he’ll grow to love you too?
If you’re expecting his route to end in the most bizarre and unpredictable manner possible, you will not be disappointed. It’s not necessarily a climax that you will see coming, but once it happens, you’ll probably end up deciding it makes a lot of sense, after all.
3. Nageki Fujishiro
Lumping Nageki with the bronze medal might not sit well with some, as he is quite the favorite amongst the community. Seeming to spend all his time in the library, this quiet mourning dove prefers to keep to himself. If he has his books, that’s good enough, so he’ll thank you for lowering your voice, please.
Like all of the others, he has a secret of his own, and his is quite a doozy. You can’t help but want to know everything about Nageki, how he came to be in the situation he’s found himself in, and what latent desires he holds.
Could your warm embrace be the cure his frail little body so desperately needs? Just don’t squeeze too tight, you’re liable to break him in half. Perhaps just a warm pat on the shoulder and some light reading would be best.
2. Anghel Higure
Suddenly, Anghel Higure appears!!
Fear not for the bloodied spot upon his breast, it is but his coloration — moreover, it aptly represents the burning passion of his crimson heart. If this all sounds a bit extra, that’s kind of Anghel’s M.O., as he is constantly playing the role of some sort of fantasy hero. Bet you didn’t have a chunibyo dove on your bingo card this morning, did ya?
One thing Anghel most certainly is not is boring, and whether you’re just humoring his rants or if you believe he’s onto something, you’re likely to be dragged down the rabbit hole of his bizarre world. Remain steadfast, Apostle of the Blue Sky, for the time of reckoning draws ever closer! *leaps through a nearby window in a dramatic fashion, sending fragments of glass flying in every direction*
1. Shuu Iwamine
Sorry, not sorry. The only correct answer for the top Hatoful Boyfriend cast member is Shuu Iwamine. Not only is he the greatest character in this game, he’s just about the best character in dating sims altogether. Hell, you could convince me that he’s one of the best Legend of Zelda characters of all time. He’s just that damn good.
The moment you step foot in the infirmary, you can sense that your life is in danger, as a sinister presence lurks nearby. This is Shuu Iwamine, the school doctor who resonates with the creepiest vibes. His agendas are many, and perhaps the only thing worse than getting on his bad side would be finding yourself the subject of his interest.
There are a few villains to be found in Hatoful Boyfriend, but each of them are either minor (such as the hilarious Punkgeon gang) or revealed to you gradually. Shuu need not deal with such trivialities, however. He is like a big, fluffy warning sign that shrieks malpractice, and after encountering him you’ll never hear the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy the same way ever again.
We hope everybirdie enjoyed this ranking of the Hatoful Boyfriend characters! Perhaps as our tastes change over time, we may find ourselves gravitating in a different direction, shuffling the order up entirely and giving Ryouta his day in the sun.
Let us know in the comments if we’ve got it all wrong, but please understand that they’re all playing for second: ain’t nobody ever leapfrogging Shuu for that pole position.