I have been wanting to write something about this VN since the second I finished it, but never actually got aroud to it. Now with the TL announced, I figured I might as well write something. Might be a good thing to note that I absolutely adore this game, and it is probably my favorite VN of all time, so I'm a bit biased, just saying.
So, first, an introduction. Kimi e okuru, sora no hana is a nakige made by Cabbit. The game is about ghosts, people who can see them, and their attempt at a life together in a special school that trains its students to handle their powers. The main character, Shuuya, has been able to see ghosts since he was a child, and he has always wondered why. When the mysterious ghost Matsuri approaches him with the offer of a school that can teach him about his powers, he just couldn't say no. As he gets to the school he meets many others with similar powers, and they all seem equally eager to learn what their powers are. But, there is a slight twist. People with these powers are not the only students in the academy. About a third of the student body is also made up by ghosts. Now, this is a big deal, because, well, they are ghosts. Dead people with psychic abilities isn't exactly your ideal classmate. Naturally this causes some disturbance in the classes, but the presence of the ghosts is an absolute condition for the school to operate, and everyone has to handle it if they are going to attend the academy. (Even the headmaster is a ghost, and boy is she an... interesting woman, lol.)
The game is a nakige like I said, but it also has some other elements as well. The entire game isn't constantly story driven, and so people who hate "generic school settings" might be slightly annoyed at certain points in the game, even though these "plotless" moments aren't a dominating factor. Because of the way the game is structured, even normal days at school might suddenly turn into something dramatic, because of the relationship between the humans and the ghosts, as well as the ever present danger of a ghost going berserk. Still, there is definitely a decent amount of slice of life moments in this game, though I found them very enjoyable because of the rather unique take on the setting. Despite the fact that we have a "generic school setting", half of the students in the class being ghosts makes for a different experience. First of, it opens up for new types of humor, (people can't see ghosts, so if you walk alone with one, people think you are jut talking to yourself, for instane,) more drama (there is a lot of tension between everyone because of the ghosts), not to mention that the romance itself in this VN is very unique, as the ghosts can't actually touch anything solid. (I mean, they are ghosts.) So this opens up for a very fresh and interesting take on these overused elements. In addition, the game itself is 10-30 hours long, and with 5 heroine routes with at least 2 endings each as well as a common route, this means the routes aren't too long, so the "boring slice of life" moments in between the story is rather minimal in comparison to other, longer games. Still, despite all of that, you will have to suck it up and get through some slice of life if you want to play this game.
The game has 3 human heroines and 2 ghost heroines, as well as a few other short, special routes that you can unlock upon completing certain endings. The human routes are more similar to what you usually find in general nakige/ charage, and An's route is probably a bit more similar to a moege route at times, but all three human routes still use the ghosts as a part of their main story. The ghost routes, however, are very different from the standard stuff, and on top of that, the two ghost routes are very different from each other, making them both feel quite unique. Also, I have to point out that Matsuri is the "main heroine" in this game, and so she has 3 endings instead of the standard 2, and is a lot more in focus during the common route. Some people might not like "main heroines". I personally really liked Matsuri, but personally would have liked a bit more focus on some of the other routes, like Sekka's and Hinagiku's. Still, Matsuri is a really great heroine.
When I first played the game, I started with the Sekka route, and it just blew my mind. Mainly because Sekka was a character I honestly had no real expectation of at all. She just looked like a normal, cute and shy character who had nothing else to her. But once her route started, I couldn't stop reading.
Each ghost has a reason for... well, being dead. Something ended up killing them at some point in their life, though what this is varies. (duh.) In Sekka's case, whatever it was caused her to become extremely shy around other people, and she is so insecure she can barely even speak to others. She spends most of her time on the roof of the school, staring into the sky.
Shuuya is the only person in the school who actually ended up approaching her despite of her insecurity. He kept talking to her, which made Sekka open up a lot more, but at the same time, this created more insecurity. It's hard for Sekka to understand normal, human relationships, and she doesn't really get what friendship means in general. On top of that, a ghost's mental condition is directly linked to how well they can control their powers, which means Sekka is already in a bit of a shaky spot as it is. This route's entire structure was very unique and interesting.
Sekka's route is probably one of the most dramatic, and in my opinion it's one of the best, though it is a bit on the shorter side, sadly. Reading both her endings in succession is strongly recommended, and starting with the bad ending is the most ideal for sure. The reason for this is that the structure of her route is a bit different from what you tend to see in most games, with the order of how things happen turned a little on its head. In addition, Sekka's bad ending is longer than her true ending, and it also contains important information that will make the true ending even more impactful.
The difference between the human and the ghost heroines in the game might look slightly strange to some people. Why use both? Why not just one? On one side, you have nakige elements and drama, and on the other side you have standard charage material? Why?
Well, this game does a very good job of keeping the two connected. It's not two completely alien entities that exist totally independent of one another. For exmaple, An's route is the cutest and most slice of life driven route in the game, but even this route deals heavily with Shuuya's powers and his attendance at the school, as well as his past and the origin of his powers.
... But really though, most people should just want to play An's route because of how freaking adorable she is. I mean... come on.
Anyways, moving on. The other two human heroines, Kana and Hinagiku have more dramatic routes compared to An, but they are still quite different from the ghost routes. I found Hinagiku's route the most entertaining of the three, mainly because of her character. (Like, because she was a very interesting heroine, not just because she is so pretty! Well, she is incredibly pretty though. I mean... look.)
(The art really is nice in this game.)
I could rant on for hours and hours about the game, but I think I got the most important stuff out of the way. This is a very solid VN, with great characters, an interesting plot and some seriously tear-jerking moments. If you like nakige, you'll like this one.
For the people who can't read Japanese, you should definitely keep your eye on the TL project. (You can show them some love by joining their discord, checking out their website or even offering to help out with the project. All the info you need, as well as the links to their website and discord etc, is here on this link.)
That's about it, hopefully my bias didn't rub off too strongly in the post. (But hey, even if it did, it's my blog so who cares )