This review was written by fun2novel and edited for grammar and style by Clephas.
The mystery genre is one of the most interesting and captivating genres in fiction (Clephas: We are all entitled to our opinions). While there are many mystery vns out there, finding one that has an addictive, twisting plo, and a satisfying ending is a difficult task. It is even harder if you’re looking for something really unique and different from the usual murder who’dun’it, detective, mystery plots... Such as something that will make the reader doubt and rethink what they think they know but also gives satisfying answers.
Welcome to Kieta Sekai to Tsuki to Shoujo -The World was Prayed by The Girl Living A Thousand Years- or Etatoto. Okina Seiji comes back to his home town for a visit. After his arrival, he reunites with old friends and makes new ones, goes to school with them, and spends time bonding with them. However, the real reason for his visit is the mysterious death of his mother, and his goal is to find out the truth. Nothing goes as planned, of course. As the story progresses, the mystery grows more and more complex, questions are raised, and more mysteries are uncovered. This is ALL you need to know, as saying anything more than that will ruin the plot. So, if you’re looking for a good mystery visual novel that is not quite the usual kind of mystery, something complex and twisty, this is a game for you. It’s not quite as complex as the Infinity or the Zero Escape series, but it’s definitely worth your time.
In terms of art the game made a few odd artistic decisions. While the backgrounds looks great, and the main characters are all drawn well, some of the characters look as if drawn by a completely different artist than others. On top of that, their sprites look rough and sketched in comparison. CGs have a similar problem due to a strange artistic decision to draw the h-scenes in one style and the other CGs in a different one. The non-H CGs look rougher, almost sketched. These CGs still look good and match the atmosphere, so perhaps it was an artistic decision rather than a budgetary one (Clephas: It is Lacryma... it was probably just a fumble).
Speaking of production values, the music deserves special recognition. The music is superb, with a variety of deep soothing compositions, atmospheric music, emotional music, and perfectly timed moving pieces. However, there aren't a lot of them, so they might come to feel old with repetition. That said, the music is so good that it shouldn’t be a deal breaker for anyone.
There are a few low points in Etatoto’s writing as well. Most of the characters are not especially well developed and leave you much to be desired. Though, this wasn’t a huge deal breaker, as the story was good enough to pull all the right strings. The reason for this is that most of the game's focus goes into the story, rather than the characters. The romantic elements are a bit sub-par as well, since almost every route develops its romantic relationship in exactly the same way, with pretty much the same amount of time spend on each heroine and with the same ‘date’ spot as everyone else... Not to mention, it takes a while for the story to get going. The first few hours were very difficult to get through, but it is still worth it, in my mind. Those slow peaceful times are used to introduce the characters as well as do some clever and obscure foreshadowing about the events to come.
On a technical side, things aren’t perfect either. The auto skip function doesn’t work as expected (Clephas: Lacryma's technical staff sucks), and sometimes it just doesn’t work at all. At other times, it takes a little longer to load the backgrounds after you resume from a saved game. These are relatively small annoyances that could (and most likely will) be patched later; so, thankfully, they don’t become an obstacle for enjoying the experience of the VN as a whole.
In conclusion, talking about Etatoto is difficult without spoiling the intricate details of its plot. It’s the kind of VN where you should avoid searching for more information than is contained within this review. This gives you a good idea of the pros and cons of the game, and with a little patience, a mystery lover will get hooked on what is probably one of the best mystery visual novels in a while.