Developer thinks the planned game could be great, but worries about whether or not a fanbase exists.

On the surface, video game developer Nippon Ichi’s Bokuhime Project seems like pretty standard stuff. Main character Erika enrolls in a high school where the student body is made up predominantly of young ladies from wealthy families. Erika’s cute looks quickly earn the newcomer plenty of attention, but there’ still competition from the title of fairest of them all from the Four Princesses, a quartet of classmates considered the top beauties at Yuria Academy.

Erika even has a bit of a dark, tragic backstory. See, Erika’s older sister is also a student at Yuria Academy, but she’s gotten herself tangled up in some sort of nebulous trouble, prompting her younger sister to enroll in an effort to bail Big Sis out of the mess.

All sounds like a typical set of anime or visual novel tropes, right? But there’s one unique factor to Bokuhime Project, which is that Erika, pictured above, is actually a guy.

Yes, “Erika” is a biologically male teen legally named Minato, who’s dressing as a woman to investigate what’s happened to his sister. The exact reason for the cross-dressing isn’t immediately clear, as the game’s official website describes Yuria Academy as being “more than 99 percent” female in its enrollment, which implies that male students are, in fact, admitted too.

▼ Adding more mystery is this illustration of Minato/Erika (left) posing next to his sister, also named Erika, who goes by the alias Akira, which is often (though not always) a boy’s name.

While josou, men dressing as women, isn’t so incredibly rare in cosplay communities, it’s not something that’s commonly indulged in by the lead character in anime-style video games, in which the protagonist is often a largely blank slate for the players to project their own thoughts and feelings onto. Because of this, Nippon Ichi itself isn’t entirely sure that a market for this sort of game exists, which is why it’s asking interested fans to follow Bokuhime Project’s official Twitter account. As the number of followers increase, Nippon Ichi will also expand its content-production commitment, so if you want to help the game get past the planning stage, you can pitch in by following the account here.

Source: Bokuhime Project via Otakomu
Images: Bokuhime Project