Seth Hyde | Character Review | Ikémen Revolution
Seth Hyde (Ten of Spades)
The first truly spicy character I have come across in Ikémen Revolution, Seth Hyde is full of surprises. Rather than sticking to one archetype, the Ten of Spades is somehow a big-sister, big-brother, best friend, knight in shining armour, duplicitous trickster, angsty, possessive-but-also-empowering type. Each time you think you understand Seth a little more, you see a hint of yet another side to this multi-faceted character.
As you poke and prod and pry into Seth’s heart, you’ll soon find yourself deep in an abyss you hadn’t noticed falling into. This route is angsty, dramatic, and steamy. If you’re a fan of the other titles in CYBIRD’s Ikémen Series, but were put off by Ikémen Revolution’s comparatively innocent tone, you may wish to give it another go, as Seth is much more reminiscent of characters you would expect to find in Ikémen Vampire or Ikémen Sengoku.
Tropes: Seth will definitely keep you on your toes as he quickly switches from a doting ‘onee-san’ (big sister) to a seductive flirt. I’ve used ‘onee-san’ rather than ‘onii-chan’ (big brother) as Seth is frequently described as being more feminine and acting like a big sister to MC. Either way, he’s the type to look out and care for MC, although he does have a less-than-sisterly habit of flirting with you whenever you let down your guard. He warns you that men are wolves and you should stay away, but perhaps Seth is the real wolf you should be wary of…
Seth is bubbly, outgoing, and makes you feel at ease as you settle in at the Black Army Headquarters. He reminds you of your best gal-pals back in the Land of Reason; taking you shopping, helping you choose what to wear, and doing your hair. His touchy-feely affection is familiar, comforting even, but it leaves you wondering if it comes from a place of friendship, or perhaps something more romantic.
The juxtaposition of Seth’s flamboyant, seemingly carefree nature and the dangerous, wolf-like attitude he shows when you’re alone leaves you dying to learn more about such an intriguing character. Just as you get comfortable with the bright and cheery Seth, he catches you off-guard with an alluring and dangerously seductive side.
“I wouldn’t let your guard down so quickly. After all, if I were a bad guy, what would you do then?”– Seth Hyde
I found Seth’s character shocking at first. Ikémen Revolution seemed much more wholesome than other CYBIRD games, but Seth immediately dispelled any illusions of innocence. If you like sexy, angsty love stories that are somehow both immediately gratifying and leave you guessing, you’ll find everything you’re looking for in Seth Hyde.
As is befitting of such a mysterious character, Seth’s route is full of drama, conflict, and intrigue. Without spoiling any of the story, there were a couple of parts that I didn’t particularly like, but this just comes down to personal taste rather than the actual quality of the plot.
I don’t typically enjoy having faceless side-characters playing prominent roles in the story (especially when they’re also female), but the fact that Seth was such a refreshing change of pace more than made up for this minor criticism.
I also really liked the MC in this route – she’s strong willed, determined, and pro-active. She seems more mature in this route than some of the others, and much more confident. This leads in to how they handle the whole ‘MC has to return to her world at the next full moon’ thing, which I thought was an interesting take, and probably a lot more realistic.
Story Options: Premium vs. Normal
Story branches: As you progress through the story, you will encounter several sections where you can choose between a ‘normal’ and ‘premium’ option. The premium option is saved to your ‘saved story’ collection (which means you can return to it for re-reading at any time). It’s also extended slightly, with an extra portion included in the scene. However, the normal version is cheaper and can be purchased with in-game resources rather than real currency, meaning you can unlock them without spending any money.
Premium Story: Part 4
I’m not sure how different this story is from the normal version, but it didn’t feel like anything particularly noteworthy happened that would make me want to save it for future reading. I did like the first part, which gives it the two spicy points, and I love how creative the writers have been with Seth’s character and his sexier scenes. But, in the end, I’d say it’s a fairly average premium story that, at best, alludes to some much better content from the previous scene and actually ends a bit abruptly.
Premium Story: Part 10
Held Captive By His Lips
I really enjoyed the first half of this story. The second half is important for the plot, but once you have finished the route, it does lose its impact. The first half, however… well, it’s still good even on a re-read. If you like a bit of angst with your spice, you’ll definitely enjoy this scene. This story is very typical for Seth’s route in that it showcases his flirtatiousness and hints at a darkness he usually keeps hidden behind his bubbly extraversion.
Premium Story: Part 15
All to Himself
A big part of Seth’s character is his unpredictable switching between his ‘sisterly’ and seductive sides. This story highlights this aspect of his character is a charming and sensual scene that I enjoyed re-reading after completing Seth’s route. It has somewhat of a nostalgic feel, while also showcasing one of the reasons why I liked the MC in this route. It also makes for an entertaining story out of context, so it works well as a saved story.
Premium Story: Part 20
A Tender Kiss
This is probably one of my favourite moments in Seth’s route, so I’m glad I have it saved in my collection. It’s very sweet and marks an important milestone in your relationship. As I mentioned in the part 4 premium story review, I really like how unique Seth’s spicy scenes are, as well as his character and route in general. This one did feel a bit shorter than some of the others, but it makes me smile whenever I re-read it.
Premium Story: Part 25
Enough to Last a Lifetime
If you’re here for the sexy content, this premium story is a must-have. Very angsty and very spicy, this scene epitomises the revolutionary maturity of Seth’s route. It seemed to be longer than some of the other premium stories and it definitely retains its appeal upon re-reading. This one is probably my favourite of Seth’s premium stories, and I highly recommend choosing this option here.
I’ll be honest, this ending felt a little anti-climactic. Seth was so unlike any character I had played so far in the Ikémen games and the end of his main route was very dramatic, switching from exciting to angsty but still maintaining a high level of intensity.
The most climactic part of the story happened prior to the story branch, so once I got to this part it almost felt like an epilogue rather than an ending. That’s not to say that an epilogue is necessarily bad, and perhaps the dramatic ending would offer something more exciting, but I just didn’t find Seth’s romantic ending particularly memorable.
It was definitely sweet, and it tied in a lot of the character growth MC and Seth had undergone though his route. It just felt very slice of life-y, which doesn’t really match the tone of Seth’s route as a whole, especially towards the end. I chose this ending because I liked the sneak peek of the photo you receive for completing this ending, and I’m happy with the art, but I’m curious to do a second playthrough of Seth’s route and see what happens in the dramatic ending instead.
Seth’s character is a refreshing and welcome addition to the Ikémen Revolution cast. His route felt like it progressed very quickly in the beginning, which had me very intrigued, but it did lose a bit of steam in the middle. That said, I really enjoyed how Seth’s route was completely different from any other Ikémen Revolution stories I have played so far, especially the jump in spiciness.
Newer otome game players tend to gravitate towards certain character archetypes (perfect princes, domineering ‘daddies’, and grumpy-cute tsunderes), so I wouldn’t recommend Seth to those who are new to the otome community. His personality is very different from the men who tend to take the top spots in player rankings and I’m not sure he would suit everyone’s tastes.
However, if you’re an otome player who wants to try something new, or experience a romance that goes beyond the usual heteronormativity of most big otome games, I recommend playing Seth’s route in Ikémen Revolution. It’s spicy, angsty, and it may just surprise you.
Murata Taishi (村田 太志)
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