Isaac Newton | Character Review | Ikémen Vampire

As cute as a hedgehog, but just as prickly — Isaac Newton came back to life as a vampire so he could continue his studies in peace. All he wants is a quiet place to conduct his research… at least, that’s what he says. Despite his spiny defences, you sense a gentle, awkward kindness to this shy genius – one that you’re determined to understand, regardless of how much he tries to push you away…

Second playthrough: I’ve now completed two playthroughs of Isaac’s route, so this review will include a comparison of both his Romantic and Dramatic endings, as well as mini-reviews of each story branch, to help you decide whether to choose the ‘Normal’ or ‘Premium’ story option.

Ratings
Cute, shy boy with a gooey inside (dere), but still a bit prickly on the outside (tsun). His route felt more on the ‘innocent and youthful’ side, especially compared to other IkeVamp love interests.
There are a few standout ‘spicy’ scenes (and Ikemen Vampire is generally a more mature game), but Isaac is a relatively ‘sweet’ character compared to his naughtier housemates.
Distinctive design that adds a unique flavour to the cast. Loved the sakura imagery (which suits his more innocent personality), and the ‘Aberrant’ side adds further complexity to his character.
Compelling storyline that introduces new vampire lore related to Isaac’s character, plus lots of interesting references to the original historical figure. Critique: some plot conflict felt forced.

Character Design

Similar to:
Tokugawa Ieyasu (Ikemen Sengoku) – Grumpy boy
☆ Yves Kloss (Ikemen Prince) – Pretty little tsundere
Artem Wing (Tears of Themis) – A man without peer

Isaac is a smaller, lithe man who’s less traditionally-masculine than some of the other residents of the mansion, adding some aesthetic variety to the cast. In the first chapter of his route, Isaac is described in a beautifully-poetic passage that likens him to cherry blossoms – a youthful man in the spring of his life.

Napoleon says he thinks of Isaac as a younger brother, and that he’s awkward and defensive because he’s uncomfortable in his own skin. It seems that Isaac intentionally isolates himself, but he seems far too startled whenever MC comes close for it to be simply due to his shyness…

Shota / Dandere / Tsundere

Isaac’s dynamic with MC requires her to take a more proactive, dominant role. He has a lot of difficulty expressing himself – particularly in earlier chapters – and actively tries to push her away (tsundere). He’s also a fairly innocent character (except when he very much isn’t), so he needs assistance from others when his problems stray from the familiar realms of physics, and venture into areas he isn’t such an expert in… like love, for example (shota).

I’m typically not quite so interested in characters who have a younger feel to them, or who seem to be fairly naïve when it comes to matters of the heart. I also find that these painfully shy love interests can be frustrating, as they struggle to communicate with MC, which naturally causes all sorts of problematic misunderstandings.

However, I actually liked Isaac a lot more than I thought I would. I empathised with the struggles that turned him into a ‘Dandere‘ character, and even though MC had to be pretty persistent to break down his walls, I felt that their relationship became fairly balanced by the end of his route.

In general, they seemed to be a perfect match for each other, and it was entertaining to see the other characters spectate them in much the same way as the player (i.e. face-palming whenever Isaac and/or MC completely misread the situation).

If you’re prepared to work for your love, then Isaac is worth the effort. Despite not being my usual type, his route was so expertly written that I found myself falling for him anyway. He’s an adorable sweetheart who has trouble saying what he means, and he’s deeply sensitive, so you’ll need to work hard to reach his mushy centre.

However, he also has a more passionate side – and, once he sets his mind to something, it takes a lot to make him back down, so there’s plenty of layers of nuance to enjoy unravelling as you play Isaac’s route in Ikemen Vampire…

Artist: Shiro Yamada – is the character designer for Ikemen Vampire (and Ikemen Sengoku!), and I highly recommend following their Twitter and/or Instagram account if you enjoy the designs in these games. On each character birthday, Shiro Yamada has posted art to celebrate, so you can scroll through their posts to find birthday artwork of your favourite characters!

Voice Actor

Aoi Shouta (蒼井 翔太)

Also known for voicing:

  • Ai Mikaze – Uta no Prince-sama
  • Gerald Stuart – My Next Life as a Villainess: All Roads Lead to Doom
  • Hyde Jayer – Visual Prison
  • Elta – Granblue Fantasy
  • Snow White – Taisho X Alice
  • Mori Ranmaru – Ikemen Sengoku
  • Ortho Shroud – Disney: Twisted Wonderland
  • Yasuhiro Isshiki – Collar X Malice
  • + more!

Story

“I prefer things that I can understand– you’re an enigma”

– Isaac Newton (Ikemen Vampire)

In general, I’m a huge fan of the writers and localizers for Ikemen Vampire. The game has a signature melodramatic style that often reads like poetry, and that I absolutely love. Isaac’s route was no exception to this rule, and I particularly enjoyed the writer’s way of describing visual moments, like the early scene with Isaac in the hallways (with the cherry blossom imagery), and a later scene with Isaac and MC at the fountain.

I also like how many references are included to the historical figures the love interests are based on. Aside from the obvious mentions of gravity, there’s also a moment in the story where Isaac and MC discuss rainbows, and how the colours came to be identified. Isaac Newton is who we have to thank for rainbows as we know them today, so I liked that there was an allusion to his broader scope of work, even in such a seemingly innocuous (but romantic) scene.

On the whole, I enjoyed the story in Isaac’s route, both romantic and otherwise. It was fairly evenly paced, with a turbulent relationship that would progress and regress, and then progress again – keeping the reader on their toes throughout each chapter.

I did sometimes find the regressions in their development a little frustrating – and occasionally the conflict between Isaac and MC felt like it was forced a little too much, to prolong the drama – but, so long as you remember it’ll all work out in the end, the payoff will be worth the wait.

Story Structure

Story Branches: In Ikemen Vampire, the character routes will intermittently prompt you to undertake an ‘avatar challenge’. This essentially means you’ll be offered two avatar attire options, one ‘normal’, and one ‘premium’ – purchasing and equipping one of these attire options will unlock the corresponding type of bonus story.

Normal‘ attire can be purchased with ‘gold’ — an in-game resource acquired through minigames and log-in bonuses. This is a much easier option for free-to-play gamers, but the story isn’t saved to your ‘Memories’ for re-reading later, and the bonus story you receive is typically shorter, and less romantic than the premium option.

Premium‘ attire has to be purchased with ‘diamonds’ — an in-game resource that can technically be acquired for free by collecting event rewards and log-in bonuses, but it’s typically purchased from the store with real-world currency. The appeal of these premium story options is that they’re saved to your ‘Memories’ for re-reading at any time, and the bonus story you receive tends to be longer and more romantic.

His Side Stories: After clearing certain chapters in a route, you’ll be allowed to purchase an optional ‘His Side Story’ from the story progress page. These are unlocked with ‘keys’ (a relatively difficult resource to acquire), or diamonds, if you don’t have enough keys. These side-stories take place during the same scene as their associated chapter, but they’re told from the perspective of the love interest, rather than the main character.

Story Options: Premium vs. Normal

Below is a list of reviews for all of the ‘attire challenge’ branches and optional ‘His Side Stories’, to help you choose when to spend your diamonds, or when to save them for another day…

Chapter 3 His Side Story
Beyond Infinite Calculation

Sweet: 4/5
Spicy: 0/5
Recommend: Yes

Despite taking place early in the route, this side story is an adorably sweet moment that grants some interesting insight into Isaac’s character. It feels different enough from the main story version of the scene (written in MC’s POV), that it’s not just the same moment rewritten in Isaac’s POV with a few extra lines inserted. Furthermore, as Isaac is still quite shy around MC at this point in the story, his inner monologue is far more talkative and eloquent than his dialogue.

Chapter 4 Premium Story
Scholium: That He Has A Pretty Smile

Sweet: 3/5
Spicy: 0/5
Recommend: No

If you’re an Isaac fan and want to collect his premium stories, then you may want to purchase the premium version of ‘Scholium: That He Has A Pretty Smile’, as it’s a sweet moment in the early stages of the route. However, if you’re looking to save your diamonds, or you’re not sure about Isaac yet, then the normal option has essentially the same impact and overall tone.

The premium story option has a small bonus portion to the scene that is pretty cute and ties in with the context (after reading the normal version I could pretty much guess the extra content based on something Isaac and MC say), but aside from adding a small dash of awkward, blushing romance to what was already a sweet moment, the premium version doesn’t add much that you can’t get from the normal version anyway.

As for a standalone scene, it is somewhat nostalgic to re-read later, but it is a bit contextual compared to some other premium stories. There is a reference to a major event in the earlier chapters of Isaac’s route, so it could be useful as a reminder of his story, but there are other premium stories available later in his route that are much sweeter, spicier, and even include a re-cap of prior plot points.

Chapter 8 His Side Story
Feelings That Refuse to Cool

Sweet: 4/5
Spicy: 0/5
Recommend: Yes

I loved this side story. Isaac’s inner monologue is a delight to read and witnessing him struggle over what to say and how to express what he wants to MC just made me fall for him even more. I particularly loved the final part of the scene with Arthur, and reading what Isaac was thinking when he decided to step in and help MC.

I think, as a shy, socially awkward character, Isaac’s side stories offer a lot more than other characters who find it easier to say what’s on their mind. As Isaac struggles to communicate, reading the scene from his perspective reveals much more about his thoughts and feelings than any mere glimpse we might get from the main story.

Chapter 10 Premium Story
Lemma: That He May Be A Tease

Sweet: 4/5
Spicy: 1/5
Recommend: No

I did feel that the premium version had a slightly better flow to the dialogue – and more clarity on Isaac’s behaviour – but, there wasn’t so much of a difference that I would wholeheartedly recommend the premium version of ‘Lemma: That He May Be A Tease’. It’s definitely a cute scene – so Isaac fans may wish to purchase it to add to their collection of saved stories – but I found the normal version to provide essentially the same experience (except for the 1 point on the spicy rating, which comes from the extended portion included in the premium story).

Chapter 14 His Side Story
A Potentially Counterfeit Love

Sweet: 4/5
Spicy: 0/5
Recommend: Yes

I said this in both of the previous ‘His Side Stories’, but Isaac’s perspective is adorable, and substantially enhances the overall experience of the scene. I can’t get enough of his awkward musings about whether or not he should hold MC’s hand, or how best to make her happy. Reading the way he thinks of MC is sickeningly sweet, and only makes the chapter more romantic.

Chapter 15 Premium Story
Theorum: That I Wish I Never Had To Leave

Sweet: 5/5
Spicy: 1/5
Recommend: No

There’s a flashback montage in this scene – which works well in a saved story, as you get a refresher on the most important scenes without needing to re-play the entire route – however, it wasn’t too different from the normal version. It’s a fairly iconic moment in the route – with a stunning setting for such an intimate scene – so, if you’re interested in purchasing premium options for the purpose of having them saved to re-read later, then this premium option works well in that regard, as I definitely enjoyed revisiting this moment after completing Isaac’s story.

However, in terms of an original experience in the context of the route, there isn’t much difference between the normal and premium options, with just a few extra lines at the beginning of the scene. This extra portion adds a little bit of tension before the relief of the quiet intimacy that follows – along with a bonus romantic moment – although this was quite brief, and largely overshadowed by the more dramatic romance in the rest of the scene — which is why I wouldn’t recommend going premium, unless you’re dedicated to collecting all the memorable moments from Isaac’s route.

Chapter 18 His Side Story
Pretty as the Planets in Motion

Sweet: 3/5
Spicy: 2/5
Recommend: Yes

Reading this scene from Isaac’s POV provides a completely different experience from the main story version. His actions make much more sense – going from simply shy and awkward to understanding exactly how taxing his ‘Aberrant’ condition can be. Even if you’re not head over heels for his character, this side story is worth it for plot, and the extra insight into Isaac’s behaviour.

The first half is much sweeter than the second, but the entire story is riddled with angst, so be prepared for a difficult but fascinating experience. I’ve generally found Isaac’s character far more interesting after reading his side stories, but if I had to pick just one, I think ‘Pretty as the Planets in Motion’ does the best job of exposing the reasons behind the things Isaac says and does in the main route.

Chapter 19 Premium Story
Converse: That It Was What We Wanted

Sweet: 3/5
Spicy: 5/5
Recommend: Yes!

Not only is this perhaps the most memorable scene in Isaac’s route (at least, for me it is), but the premium version is substantially better than the normal version. I chose premium for this story in my first playthrough (and normal in the second), so I was confused when I read the normal version, because it seemed much more boring and significantly less eventful than I remembered. When I then re-read the premium story, I realised why. If you only purchase one premium or side story in this route, make sure it’s this one! It’s not often that I notice such a distinct difference in the overall experience of the scene, so I highly recommend opting for the premium version of ‘Converse: That It Was What We Wanted’.

Chapter 20 His Side Story
Reflecting on Refractory Dilemmas

Sweet: 5/5
Spicy: 0/5
Recommend: Yes

I think I may have enjoyed some of these side stories more than their main route equivalents, and ‘Reflecting on Refractory Dilemmas’ is a prime example of this. Isaac’s conversation with Dazai followed by the ‘door’ scene with MC, interspersed with the ‘Hedgehog Dilemma’ reference, honestly gave me goosebumps. This entire scene was beautifully written and structured in a way that gradually built in intensity, as Isaac transitions from uncertainty and fear to determination.

As with the previous side stories, reading from Isaac’s POV provides insight into not only his character, but also his dynamics with the rest of the cast that I wouldn’t have learned from only reading the main route in MC’s POV. I didn’t want to recommend every ‘His Side Story’ in this route – as I know they’re relatively expensive – but so far I’ve sincerely enjoyed each and every one of them, and they genuinely offer an enhanced experience that can’t be gained elsewhere in the game.

Chapter 23 His Side Story
Fighting Against Inertia

Sweet: 4/5
Spicy: 0/5
Recommend: No

While I loved this scene – and I’m glad I have a saved version to re-read later – I don’t think ‘Fighting Against Inertia’ added much more than I already gained when reading the main story version of the same scene. Isaac has started to open up more by this stage in the story – so the things he says are aligning more with the things he thinks – which is satisfying in terms of character growth and story progression, but, unfortunately, it does also mean that the scenes in his POV aren’t too different from the main version in MC’s POV.

If you’re an Isaac fan, and you’d like a souvenir of this climactic moment in the story, then you may wish to purchase ‘Fighting Against Inertia’ – however, if you’re looking for an alternate perspective to add further insight to the story, I’d recommend saving your keys and diamonds for other side stories, instead.

Chapter 24 Premium Story
Postulate: That I Will Never Leave You

Sweet: 5/5
Spicy: 5/5
Recommend: Yes

Rather than having only one extended portion inserted into the scene, ‘Postulate: That I Will Never Leave You’ had several extended moments, making multiple parts of the story far sexier, and much more romantic. This premium story takes place at the climax of the romantic plot in Isaac’s main route, so it works well as a saved story to re-read later, and it has an abundance of both sweet and spicy moments.

If you’re not a fan of explicitly-worded spicy scenes, then you may want to opt for the ‘Normal’ version here, as most of the particularly graphic lines are only included in the ‘Premium’ version. The normal story contains most of the same events, but it’s merely implied, rather than explicitly stated. Therefore, if you want to indulge in the sexy parts of this story, then you’ll need to choose the premium option for the full experience.

Romantic Ending – His Side Story
Our Future Is Cast In Rainbows

Sweet: 5/5
Spicy: 0/5
Recommend: Maybe

This side story feels more cohesive than its counterpart in the Dramatic Ending – i.e. less like a ‘highlights reel’ and more like an uninterrupted clip from the overarching ending. If you enjoyed Isaac’s Romantic Ending, and you want a memento, then I’d recommend getting this side story – otherwise, it’s relatively expensive, and I don’t feel that it adds much to the overall experience that I couldn’t get from the main route version of this scene.

Dramatic Ending – His Side Story
Love As Undeniable As Gravity

Sweet: 4/5
Spicy: 4/5
Recommend: Maybe

This side story felt like a ‘highlight reel’ of Isaac’s Dramatic Ending – it doesn’t particularly add much that wasn’t already in the main story – but it allows players to revisit the key moments of the ending, without needing to re-play the entire route. I don’t necessarily think it’s worth the price tag, but you do also receive an exclusive avatar, so I’ll leave this recommendation as a ‘maybe’. If you enjoyed Isaac’s Dramatic Ending, and you don’t mind the cost, then it’s worth purchasing to keep as a memento – otherwise, you can skip this side story and not miss out on anything too important to the story.

Endings

Romantic

Sweet: 5/5
Spicy: 1/5

Despite the lack of any spicy finale scene, I absolutely adored Isaac’s Romantic Ending. It focuses more on just the two of them (whereas the Dramatic Ending has more heart-warming moments with the rest of the mansion), and it’s suitably romantic for a Romantic Ending.

I loved how the earlier allusion to Isaac Newton being the one to name the seven colours of the rainbow was brought back for a finale so adorable that even my yandere-loving heart did a little squeeze.

The CG is similarly adorable – which has its own appeal – but I admit that I personally prefer spicier CG’s. Still, Isaac is, on the whole, a more innocent, sweet love interest, so I felt that this wholesome style of ending was well-suited to the overall tone of the rest of his route.

However, it is lacking in the ‘spice’ department. So, if you prefer Isaac’s cutesy side and you want a heart-warming finale, then this is the ending I recommend for you.

Dramatic

Sweet: 5/5
Spicy: 5/5

This ending is perfect for Isaac fans who like the ‘wolf’ part of ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’. The non-romantic plot of this route is resolved in the final chapter of the main story, so the ending can focus on the resolution of the romantic plot.

From bittersweet, to heart-warming, to passionate and sexy, Isaac’s Dramatic Ending has a little bit of everything – except for his typical, awkward shyness, that is. If there’s one thing this ending is lacking, it’s Isaac’s gentle hesitancy… but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

After a tumultuous route rife with miscommunications and misunderstandings, it felt satisfying to finally see the couple let loose and feel more confident with each other.

I generally enjoyed this ending – and I love the CG that comes with it – so I can wholeheartedly recommend it for Isaac fans looking for a passionate, self-assured finale after a route’s worth of character development.

Recommendation: I enjoyed both of Isaac’s endings, so my recommendation largely comes down to personal preference. There’s an ongoing theme in Isaac’s route about his ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ type personality; he’s typically a sweet, gentle character, but – when he loses control of his instincts and sense of reason – he becomes dangerously passionate (hence, the ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ moniker).

If you prefer his more intense, spicy side, then I’d recommend the Dramatic Ending. It does gloss over their ongoing future plans, but the fact that it focuses more on the immediate moment and their unbridled love for each other only acts to heighten the passionate tone to this finale. I personally liked the final CG in this ending more, and I’m generally a fan of spicier stories, so I can confirm this ending will deliver if you’re looking for something more mature and steamy.

On the other hand, if you’re more invested in the sweeter romance in Isaac’s route, then you’ll likely prefer his Romantic Ending. Despite preferring the CG and final spicy scene in the Dramatic Ending, I think I actually enjoyed Isaac’s Romantic Ending more, overall. It does skip over the immediate events after the conclusion of the main route, but I loved seeing the payoff for Isaac’s character development, and I felt it did a better job of wrapping up some of the ideas introduced earlier in the story.

TL;DR – If you’re a hardcore ‘sweet’ fan, then I suggest choosing Isaac’s Romantic Ending. If you’re a hardcore ‘spicy’ fan, then I recommend Isaac’s Dramatic Ending. If you’re on the fence and don’t know which one to choose, then I’d say Isaac’s Romantic Ending felt like the most natural conclusion, as it matches the overwhelmingly sweet tone of the rest of his route.

Final Thoughts

Work hard for a sweet reward – Isaac is difficult to approach, and will require some proactive persistence to push past his prickly defences and reach his gentle, sensitive heart. However, he’s worth the effort, and I enjoyed the journey of getting to know such a complex, nuanced character.

If you prefer to play a more proactive MC who has to take charge with a love interest who seems a little more innocent, or naive, then you’ll likely enjoy the dynamic between Isaac and the protagonist. There’s the classic ‘Shota’ archetype scene where MC has to nurse the love interest when they come down with a cold, so there’s plenty of story content to appeal to otome players who like to take care of their love interests.

The non-romantic plot isn’t quite as memorable as the romantic scenes between Isaac and MC, but it does serve to add further dimension to Isaac’s character and backstory, and I found it interesting to learn more about why he behaves in such a defensive way, and why he’s so determined to isolate himself.

While there are a couple of standout ‘spicy’ scenes in Isaac’s route, they mostly occurred during premium stories, so the majority of his main route is much more on the sweet and wholesome side. Despite Ikemen Vampire generally being a more mature game, I didn’t get quite the same level of vampiric sex appeal in Isaac’s route – so I definitely recommend it for the sweet romance and intriguing story, instead.

You’ll like Isaac Newton if you like: Younger, innocent love interests; prickly tsunderes with a gooey centre; having to work hard for your love, with a satisfying payoff in the end; stories that focus more in the relationship between MC and the love interest than the non-romantic plot; and historical otome games that include creative references to the original historical figure…

Screenshots

Game Info

Game Name: Ikémen Vampire: Temptation in the Dark | イケメンヴァンパイア・偉人たちと恋の誘惑
Developer: CYBIRD / Ikémen Series
Publisher: CYBIRD / Ikémen Series
Platform: Mobile
Age Rating: 17+ / Mature
More information: here!

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