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Sensei! I Like You So Much! MC and her friends
Image via LaoO Studio

Sensei! I Like You So Much! Demo Impressions

Sensei! I Like You So Much! presents a love letter to fan love.

Among the hordes of hyper specific simulation games, Sensei! I Like You So Much! has a unique — and painfully relatable — angle: a fangirl simulator. In this first effort from LaoO Studio, you play a shy college student with a secret passion for writing fanfiction about her favorite fictional relationship.

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You, the player, create the ship out of characters you can customize to your liking. This sim has you attending social functions by day and writing popular (and sometimes steamy) fanfic by night, nurturing relationships with new fandom friends along the way.

Sensei! I Like You So Much! Gets Fandom

Sensei! hits the high notes of life deeply involved with fan culture, fanfiction being the most obvious example. The fanfic sim portion doesn’t give you total free reign over the written fiction. You are presented with a scenario with your characters plugged into a generated plot, offering occasional choices in dialog or direction. But it’s apparent the tropes and situations presented for your characters were written by someone intimately familiar with actual fanfics. My guardian angel alternate universe fic turned into a fake dating plot, brilliant stuff.

In addition to fanfiction, you get to design an ita-bag and shrine devoted to your ship. You get to buy merch featuring your characters through online shopping and a gachapon (only using in-game money!). The accuracy of real-life fan goods and hobbies is incredibly on point. I was particularly delighted by the shimeji on your simulated desktop I could pick up and drop just like the real thing.

In terms of gameplay, Sensei! is a sim that plays out mostly as a visual novel. You manage resources like mood, money, and writing inspiration to create better fics and buy more merch. The story progresses day by day, giving you a limited time to fulfill commissions and prepare for cons. There is one (surprisingly stressful!) minigame at the convention for fulfilling doujinshi orders at your booth, and Sensei!’s game trailer hints at more gameplay features further.

Most exciting is the presence of dating sim elements. The women who become the main character’s friends (and one who seems to be your hater) look to be ideal archetypes for romance routes. The text is unmistakably flirty at certain moments, earning hearts with a couple of the friends in the demo. A main character obsessed with shipping thrust into her own dating sim has the potential to be a match made in heaven.

Charming Points with Some Rough Edges

Customized characters set in a story moment.
Screenshot by GameSkinny

For fans knee-deep in shipping culture, Sensei! has plenty to delight and entertain you. The customizable characters create a perfect opportunity to plug in your blorbos or your OCs (I took the opportunity to make them my Persona OTP, to my great amusement). The talk sprites for the girls and the background art are full of charm. The chibis are especially endearing — it’s a style that is not in the best place for fan goods in real life! The comments you get on your posted fics are just the right amount of silly dramatic, and nothing is taking itself too seriously. It’s a cozy little world to live your ideal fan life.

However, the demo is lacking in some polish. At times, the English translation comes off as awkward and unnaturally worded, though the Steam page notes that the translation is still a work in progress. It’s unclear if that just refers to the wholly untranslated text (which does appear a few times in the demo) or if that means even the translated text present will receive further updates. And it may be both! Currently, though, while the game’s story and dialog are understandable and manages to be funny, the translation does feel somewhat… off.

The code of the game itself is also a bit janky. Occasionally, I couldn’t see a dialog that was clearly meant to be read as it was stuck beyond the game window. Tweaking the shippable characters after starting a new game caused issues placing those updated customizations in the story art afterward. Clicking on prompts doesn’t feel wholly responsive. While it didn’t ultimately detract from playing the game, hopefully these minor issues will be fixed for the full release.

A Feel-Good Community Experience

Screenshot by GameSkinny

Sensei! I Like You So Much! so far is free of any cynicism about fangirlism. Fandom can be silly and over the top — and that’s certainly present in the fic and comments — but there’s an earnest appreciation of being a fan in this sim. Not only do fanfic authors get love in this game, but so too does a character who can’t draw or write but contributes through their passionate support of creators. It’s a refreshing perspective.

This game was particularly enjoyable for me when I hopped into a voice chat with like-minded shipper friends. There, the endearingly cheesy fanfic prompts and trope-y illustrations were a great opportunity to nudge each other to create content just like that. Even in its current unpolished state, Sensei! I Like You So Much! offers a warm celebration of creating stories and friendships. The demo is fairly robust, running about 2-3 hours.

We hope you loved our article! Check out more similar romance and fanfiction articles on our Column page.

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Catherine Allen
Catherine (or cat) is a freelance writer for GameSkinny, bringing her education background of literature criticism to her lifelong interest of video games. Heavily involved with fandom events like zines, big bangs, character weeks and more, you can usually catch her playing Splatoon or a Persona spinoff. Her fatal flaw is showing up day one for Atlus games before they are inevitably remastered two years later.