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Sakura Hitohira Koi Moyou

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For those who are interested, this VN is the latest production by Parasol, a company rather infamous for its incest charage (most of which are middling in quality).   This is one of the few companies where I've actually dropped most of the VNs they made simply because they were boring, rather than because of some inevitable mismatch between my tastes and some aspect of the game's setting, characters or story. 

To put this in perspective, I rarely drop charage merely because they are boring... most charage get boring once the romance starts.  It is almost a default feature that charage romance be trite and predictable, with pointless ichaicha and h-scenes that make very little sense in the context.  Romance in charage just isn't that interesting *Clephas states this flatly*.

I'm going to be blunt... there isn't a whole lot to recommend about this VN as a whole.  That's not to say that this VN is bad... it is just so... poorly handled that I honestly felt gypped after I finished the first path.

First, this game begins with the protagonist moping about the fact that he was forced to split up with his girlfriend, Saya, who turned out to be his sister by a rather nasty man who immediately splits them up after finding out by bribing the police to see Haruta as a stalker.  After that bit of moping (healed somewhat by his yurufuwa osananajimi) he somehow ends up helping the self-proclaimed child director of his school to fight against the school being absorbed by the school owned by his father... with the help of his little sister and his female friends.

Naturally, this means it is harem time.  All the girls are in love with him to various extents *pauses for sighs of exasperation* and he is utterly unaware of all of them except the yurufuwa osananajimi. 

This VN, despite its trope-filled setting, actually had some potential to be interesting as a story... but the inability of the writer to decide whether he wants to be serious or light and comedic (or rather, to balance both aspects well) ruined it for me.  Worse, once the actual heroine paths start... I honestly can say I lost interest in record time, even for a charage. 

Saya's path was funny.  Her weird rationalization of her sexual adoration for Haruta (a quality that has become standard to most VN imoutos nowadays) is fairly hilarious, and her chats with other imoutos in similar situations across the nation are even funnier.  However... that doesn't make up for how... weak the story became the moment I got to the midpoint on each heroine path.

In other words... this was a game with some real potential that was squandered due to an inability on the part of the writer to escape the limitations of the charage genre.

Edit: A lot of the problem with this game, in retrospect, is in the pacing... given a bit more time with the characters before the heroine split, I probably would have been a bit more sanguine about the progression of the heroine paths.  However, I hadn't really developed any affection for the characters by the end of the common route, and that is always a fatal blow for any hopes of enjoying a charage.

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