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Natsu no Majo no Parade


Clephas

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Natsu no Majo no Parade is a classic-style 'dotabata love-comedy', meaning that it is partially about romance and partially about what amounts to a situational comedy.  The VN was made by a newborn company called Wonder Fool.  It is based in a world where (mostly female) magic-users called Witches go around helping people (the setting is never really properly explained, probably because the writers were lazy when it came to world-building).

The protagonist, Yukito, is a normal guy whose mother just happens to be a retired Witch... who is the most skilled/powerful Witch in history.  At the beginning, three Witches come to do a journeyman stay with her (sort of like a post-graduation internship) in order to gain full recognition as Witches.  To Yukito's dismay, all three girls are his fiances... apparently due to promises made by his mother while she was drunk and the girls were still children.  While Topia, the youngest of the three, is disinterested in marriage (she likes him as a friend), the other two are quite intent on marrying him, so it ends up being a contest between those two, the protagonist's younger (somewhat yandere-ish) sister, and an upperclassman girl that has confessed her love to him 99 times in the past.

Now, for those of you who are familiar with the love-comedy anime made near the turn of the century, this kind of weird and outlandish scenario will be quite familiar.  It is standard fare for the love-comedy anime and VNs at the first part of the century (generally, the weird 'girls who quickly fall in love with the protagonist and end up living with him' harem-types).  This made it feel somewhat nostalgic for me, even from the beginning.

As a statement of general quality, this VN can definitely be considered to be above the average.  The heroines, the protagonist, and even the side-characters are well-developed, the paths detailed, and the visuals are generally first-class.  If I have a complaint, it is that the issues with Sasha are only touched around the edges in the other paths (seriously, while I figured it out relatively early on, it was still what could be called a shocking revelation).  There is also the fact that Yukito is the only 'normal person' besides Azuki (the least-interesting heroine) in the entire group... which tends to result in him being less relevant outside of the comedy stages than he might otherwise be.

The setting of this VN is swiss cheese... in the sense that it is full of holes.  Don't expect consistency in any way, shape, or form.  Sadly, the world-setting is just lacking in details over all, and there is no background as to how the Witches ended up as 'heroes' (that's essentially what the are).  In addition, for all that magic is so casually used by most of the main characters, there are almost no related CGs, which is always a downer in a good fantasy VN of any kind.  Arisa's manner of speech is also extremely... frustrating.  Her lines are long and drawn out (some of them lasting forty seconds for a single sentence) due to her hesitant manner.

On the positive end... Sasha is one of the single best imoutos I've ever run across.  Her casual assertion on first meeting with the other girls that if her niisan would just throw away his useless sense of morality, they could get married and on with life, her icy cold attitude toward their mother, and her countless perversions in the name of love for her big brother... she was worthy of my laughter from beginning to end. 

In the end, this VN was an amusing side-trip... not one with a lot of depth but one that was enjoyable in general.  I did feel that it could have used some serious 'renovation and expansion' when it came to the setting and a bit more emphasis on the protagonist himself (as opposed to the situation), but that kind of nit-picking is really only for jaded people like me. 

Edit:

For those who are waiting for my Sen no Hatou comments, I don't plan on bothering with it until after Kanojo Step...

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