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VN of the Month February 2001 - Tasogare

kivandopulus

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Tasogare is the only masterpiece of the month and winner by default. But for review I'm picking Lipstick ADV.4 to put an end to my history with these series.

1. Okaeri! ~Yuunagi iro no Koi Monogatari~ おかえりっ! ~夕凪色の恋物語~ [010202] Arco Entertainment 1 2
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This is the story of Youhei Oohira, a third year college student living alone in Tokyo. One summer, he returns to Himegima island for his teaching practice. On the ferry to the island he runs into his childhood friend, Nagisa Shinohara, who gets agitated by the fact that he didn't recognize her. While on the island, Youhei meets other characters, mainly girls, where this story of love and friendship begins.
Five heroines - five hour intro plus two hours per heroine route. Game cost is much lower than average, so it becomes obvious that it's quite a simple nostalgia countryside adventure. There is a mystery on the island which gets fully depicted on seeing all the endings.

 

2. Tasogare 誰彼~たそがれ~ [010209] Leaf 1 2 3 4
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You are part of a special program in the Imperial Army of Japan. During WW2 you were a clone that were subject of tests and special mutations. Liquid were injected into you that helped you develop special powers, like better healing and vision. The most important of all, immortality. You will die eventually if you are exposed to limb/body damage beyond the rate of repair, but anyway you will stay young forever.
Among your hibernation grounds there were also 3 others. One whom you once called friend. For some reason your hibernation was interrupted when your friend tried to kill you. Being almost immortal your brawl was interrupted when 2 girls entered the domain and caused your "friend" to divert attention to the uninvited visitors. Soon you found yourself on the ground and were carried to safety by the 2 girls.
After a few word of exchange you were discharged from the hospital and went home with one of the girls that you saved. Meeting your clone you discovered that you have been dormant for almost 50 some years!
There are English reviews.

 

3. Sen no Tomoshibi no Mukou ni ~Outer Ring Tale~ 千の灯火の向こうに~OuterRingTale~ [010211] Studio Neko Punch
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Year in early 2200s, space pioneering era. Main character Ares is a bounty hunter taking various job on requests. His aim is to save 50 million credits and organize an expedition to the Second Galaxy where his father got missing. There may be secondary goals to help heroines in need, but the journey goes on as long as a star named "dream" keeps shining in people's mind.
Character design is unique, but males are painted just horribly. Missions are almost exclusively of carry, rescue and patrol types. Battles are rare, but very difficult in second half. Heroines stories have a heavy feeling, but everyday talks are light and fun. 

 

4. Believe [010216] Forte
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Main character is born into a family with special powers. His village gets burnt and he flees together with his sister, but the get separated. Boy is saved from a muddy stream by a demonist. As protagonist grows up, he opens a detective office also hunting for demons. Investigation leads him to girls exercising some magical powers and to a young man connected to his village fire.
The few reviews there are claim that game is very confusing and very little is explained. There are killings and lots of insult.

 

5. Kyou Kara Idol ~Imitation Doll~ 今日からアイドル ~IMITATION DOLL~ [010216] Chiffon
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Main character's elder sister who works as an idol suddenly disappears. Her brother who has the same appearance takes her place under pressure of their mother and idol manager at the same time. Main character welcomes getting to know other idols closely, but where is his sister?
Story is comical and mostly consists of running after other idol girls. Sister shows up, but is not available for capture. Number of H events is quite high, but it's not the main aim of the game.

 

6. Mirai wa Bokura no Te no naka ni 未来はぼくらの手のなかに [010216] Shape Shifter
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In girls school there is a legend that on a full moon night there are 13 stairs in a staircase of an old school building instead of 12, and that the curse of the city is linked with these 13 stairs. 
On a full moon night two weeks before cultural festival main character witnesses a girl staying on 13 stairs. Has she got cursed? As school festival draws near, mysterious phenomena occur one by one. Will protagonist be able to lift the curse from the girl with the help of his friends before the festival?
Game is much more of a comedy than a mystery. But love element is thin, it's basically fooling around for the most part of the root, and then sudden confession. The girl that accumulates the most favorability wins. One playthrough is about 3 hours.

 

7. Ragna ラグナ [010216] Nikukyuu
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Scion El is a town that enjoys peace after sealing an evil spirit. But as young prince inherits the kingdom, disarray starts to spread out. Neighboring country enemy forces overrun Scion El. Young king returns to his deprived town and decides to fight against invaders.
Some strategy with units and turn-based army battles. Battles are very poorly done and are too frequent, usually every second day. Girls events feel secondary. 

 

8. Di Gi Charat Fantasy デ・ジ・キャラット ファンタジー [010222] Broccoli 1 2 3 4
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Take on the role of a boy with a crush on Dejiko who, along with Dejiko, Puchiko, and Rabi-en-Rose, gets sucked through a dimensional vortex into a fantasy world. The player finds himself alone with Dejiko in a forest, and she's lost her memory. In this game, players are given a very different view of Dejiko, as the amnesia makes her innocent and shy.
There is an English review

 

9. Piyona Pikona ぴヨナ=ピコナ [010222] Rune
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Main character is a prince of a kingdom, but he is branded ineligible for succession because of magic affinity. He enters "Magical High School" to prove his worth, but decides to rather get himself a harem from girl students and teachers.
Period is 70 days which is painfully long. After that there is chosen heroine ending. Game type is a comedy. Overall game can be enjoyed as a comedy, but the redundant and repeating gameplay leaves only bad impressions.

 

10. C' ~Can't Live Without You~ [010223] Rasen
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Main character has a lover. Both of them have affairs on a daily basis, but from time to time get together. Will there ever be the day when they get the same surname?
Each scenario is short, but true route opens up upon clearing all ordinary routes. Content mostly consist of slice of life scenes. Difficulty level is high because of the flags. 

 

11. Flutter of Birds ~Toritachi no Habataki~ flutter of birds~鳥達の羽ばたき~ [010223] Silky's 1
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Yusaku is a medical school student who has come back to his old hometown to work at the local clinic. During his time there, his earnest nature allows the women of the clinic, both staff and patients, to open up to him emotionally and sexually.
A nakige of above average level, but won't be interesting to those not looking for nakige and country hospital slice-of-life.

 

12. Four Card [010223] Tail
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Main character find all his household items gone after returning home from camping. There is only a letter on the floor saying that his parents suddenly gone to Bahamas selling the house and entrusting protagonist to his uncle's care. He settles at uncle's place under the same roof with four pretty girls.
There are four heroines for capture, but youngest sister does not have H events. Atmosphere is heartwarming and tempo is good, but lack of voicing really hurts in a moege.

 

13. Genjuu Shuushuudan 幻獣蒐集団 [010223] Pinky Soft
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The Highlandy Republic and the Dragon Empire normalized their diplomatic relations through negotiations. In addition, "International highway" was built as a magical defensive means against phantom beasts. 
Aneka is a small town in the northern part of the Highlandy Republic, mostly known for mountaineering. However it has a mysterious provincial guild that takes on requests far more difficult than a normal hunters guild. It is rumored to have a unique secret phantom beast capturing technique. 
Main character travels to Aneka from Dragon Empire and meets phantom beast collector girl Jade.
Once again a crude 3D dungeon crawler with lots of H encounters.

 

14. Lipstick ADV.4 Lipstick ADV.4 [010223] Fairytale 1
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A small detective office in a non-descript back street shopping center, there is Goro Asami, a private detective, competent in his job, with business going well, but not well enough to live in wealth. There is Otomi Kiyosato, a student of Siratori High and the founder of the "Beauty Private Detective Club, one of the stranger clubs in that school, being an absolute pain in the ass by claiming to be Goro's assistant and inviting herself to his office enough to absolutely drive him up the wall.
During this period of relative bliss, an unexpected incident shatters the peace of Siratori High. Mari Kitagawa, the chief manager for the Creative Literature Club, is found dead with massive doses of tranquilizers and sleeping pills in her body. From the location of the body and the means of her death, the police initially declared this to be a suicide, but by the following day, they abruptly change their stance by issuing a cryptic statement that "Her death was not from suicide." Rumors spread throughout the high school like wildfire, and Otomi and her fellow detective club members began investigating the case. Goro also begins investigating this strange case, after being hired by the victim's father. With Otomi's cooperation, each step of the case gradually comes to light. Yet, before the case could be determined to be murder or suicide, Tomoko Andou is found raped and murdered at the thicket of the high school's rear compound. What is going on? Are the deaths related? Who wrote that mysterious notice, "Who's next?" on the board?
I need to see this resolution with my own eyes.

 

15. Mitsuru Tsuki 満つる月 [010223] Sirius 1
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Story takes place in the second year of the Taisho era (1914), protagonist is a psychic detective. He is asked to investigate the house of a princess who was about to get married but suddenly had a change of personality and became violent like posessed. To investigate this matter he infiltrated the house disguised as a servant...
There are 13 endings, but many of them are just slightly different and even reuse the same CG. There are 10 heroines for capture. There are few puzzle/mystery elements in the game, so it's useless as a detective story - the approach is ero-centered, 3-4 H scene per heroine. Each heroine has some secret, but a huge chunk of the flow is the same each time, so it gets repetitive very soon.

 

16. Shinohana 紫花 -しのはな- [010223] PL+US
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A quiet mountain village. A boy is found fallen in the waterfall and a girl is found fallen from a mountain there. Both have lost memory. Can village songs and mysterious flowers growing there be keys to their memory?
Zapping system adventure. But this shift between protagonists is used mostly to solve puzzles rather than actually affect story. Each scenario is short, but the number of scenarios is big. The largest disappointment that after all those puzzles and scenarios village mystery remains intact.

 

17. Sokkou Hikaku Jirai Circle 速攻非核地雷サークル [010223] Libido
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Strategy to lay landmines and destroy enemy robots. Main character is a mechanic that assists heroines who manage robots equipped with firearms.
Winning means insults of enemies and losing means insults of allies. A win-win situation. So it's rather a nukige with a mini-game attached. I never expected anything else from Libido.

 

18. Storia ~Ouma no Mori no Himegimi-tachi~ Storia ~逢魔の森の姫君達~ [010223] 1
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The season is autumn, near Halloween. Our hero, Alfonse, and his acclaimed assistant and cousin, Marybell, visit Wolf Wood, a town surrounded by a deep forest. On the surface, their reason for visiting the town is to find material for his novel; however the real purpose for their visit is to search for his friend who had disappeared 4 years ago. Alfonse received a single letter stating that his friend had come to Wolf Wood.
They stop at the town's only inn, Ruu Inn. The only people there are a rich man named Joe Cunningham and the owners of the inn, Erin, Aria, and Caress, who are sisters. No one has heard of his friend, Kirks; however there is a legend handed down from ancient times that every 4 years, a young man disappears on Halloween night... 
The number of events is too small, so romance part is no good. Such hasty romance does not suit serious story development. Other parts besides love are poorly described.

 

BLOCKED
 
1. Wriggling Malice [010204] Guerilla Corps
Looks like just the third part of the very same game.
Boys Love
 
2. Choir Choir~クァイア~ [010209] Rateblack
There used to be a man seeking "immortality". He uses his vast assents to conduct crazy experiments. As a result, "magic" was born. Magic needs a conductor in the form of a card. Mage acquired immortality but for the price of the need to search for new body each time and fall asleep for a long time afterwards. Last time he got into the body of a young Japanese man during Taisho era, and then fell asleep. He wakes up on October 2000...
Card game
 
3. Deathtopia デストピア [010209] Gaia 1
Seiji is a teacher at the West Star Academy with a secret agenda - to take revenge on a female teacher Ruriko for some slight she did to him. Natheless, revenge is dish best served cold, and Seiji first intends to corrupt and turn into the sex slaves three of Ruriko's favorite students Sae, Chisato and Manami using drugs and hypnosis. To that end he gets the help of a yakuza boss Ryouji and another student Yuriko.
Nukige
 
4. Gibo 義母 [010209] Guilty 1 2 3 4 5
When Yagami Yuusuke was just a little boy, he witnessed something which no one should ever see. He'll never forget the scene of his own mother, locked in the throes of passion with a man who wasn't his father. Her adultery caused his happy home to come crashing down and his father divorced her. Ever since those dark days, Yuusuke has been mistrustful of what the concept of 'mother' really was supposed to be.
Now, after so many years, Yuusuke's father has remarried and suddenly he got a new stepmother, or gibo (japanese). The woman his father married was not old, but young and beautiful. When he looked at Misako for the first time, he felt that something had moved inside him. As the days went by, Yuusuke found himself thinking of his new mother in ways that shocked even himself. Could he really accept this beautiful woman as his mother? After all, he already found out what mothers are really like the day when he saw how unfaithful they can be. Punishment may be necessary...
Nukige
 
5. Kimi ga Ita Ano Hi 君がいたあの日 [010209] Noise 1
Our hero has come to a small, ocean side clinic as an intern. Here, he is faced with Kouta Suzukaze, a girl who has been hospitalized with a fatal illness that cannot be cured or even treated with modern medicine. Due to her imminent death, she has closed herself off from the world. Is it possible for you, as an intern, to help her open up? You will get to meet Kouta's rival and little sister, Komichi, along with the hot and seductive Dr. Ryoko Nagauchi. You will be able to hear full-voice narrations and enjoy every scene in full-CG animation.
Nukige
 
6. Shiiku Chuu ~Zenryousei Mesu Dorei no Manabiya~ 飼育中 ~全寮制メス奴隷の学舎~ [010209] Zero
Monastery is transformed into an academy where orphans and abused children are gathered. New owner decides to use it to satisfy his dark desires and desires of powerful people sending unspeakable requests.
Nukige
 
7. Fragrance Tale [010216] Limenade
In a system created by Gaea, three planets exist: Flaithis, akin to the Heavens, where the angels live, Annwn, akin to Hell, where the demons live, and the Earth-like Rirudahna which lies between the two. Flaithis and Annwn have been at war for many years, and it isn't any surprise that the peaceful Rirudahna, which falls between the two, would be drug into the battle.
A young boy, Liam, who is a student on Rirudahna, is visited by Lugh, the angelic ruler of Flaithis, to find fragrances and mix a perfume with the power to bring the holy forces and demonic forces together in mediation and thus bring peace, and Liam accepts this task. He is visited by angels from Flaithis that aid him in bringing him the scents of their homeland to help his quest, but the demons of Annwn also find out about this plot, and decide to work their own strategy against it, also visiting Liam and bringing him the fragrances of Annwn.
Can Liam create the peace-bringing legendary fragrance "Naveri"? Or will he instead find himself falling for one of his angelic or demonic visitors?
Boys Love
 
8. Punipuni Nyuunyuuten ぷにぷに生乳店 [010216] Airyu 1
As a counter measure against worldwide famine, Japan has taken up milking domestic animals...
Our hero's work and the object of the game: To squeeze a certain amount of milk in a designated amount of time from life forms called Alma, who have taken on the appearance of young girls... This involves more than just squeezing. In order to efficiently extract high quality milk, our hero must administer drugs, properly train and take care of these Alma. These Alma, just like human girls, each have different personalities. If you want to get the most in an efficient way, you've got to treat each alma according to her needs!
There are also relationships to be had with other great looking babes. You'll witness rebelling almas trying to escape, along with other exciting events. Enjoy the fun at this sexy farm! 
Nukige
 
9. Kokan Hunter ~Amai Fukurami~ 股間ハンター ~甘いふくらみ~ [010222] Usagi Software
Goro Goro is the only groin hunter in the world. Today he will wander around the city again in search for shiny legs!
Nukige
 
10. Burugeteki Datsui Shougi ブルゲ的脱衣将棋 [010223] Blue Gale 1
One day, our hero receives a letter from his distant uncle asking him if he would like to come and visit. Our hero heads out for his uncle's estate. Awaiting him are the successive beautiful girls appearing in the "Blue Gale Game". Anything goes! The uncle, who is really into Shogi, (Japanese Chess) tells our hero that he would like him to challenge the girls in a game of Shogi. Furthermore, if our hero wins, the girls have to strip. If he wins all the way to the end, he gets a free luxurious cruise trip around the universe!
Our hero suddenly gets all fired up to play: "I've got to win!"
This is the first genuine Japanese Chess game that you get to play with gorgeous babes. Your opponents are all successive characters from the "Blue Gale Game"; all you fans out there will get a kick out of this! 
Nukige
 
11. Dolls Antique ~Ningyou-tachi no Yakata~ Dolls Antique ~人形達の館~ [010223] Touchable 1
In order to fulfill his father's wishes, our hero has succeeded in his footsteps to become a master doll maker. He has come to the " Doll Shop" to complete his father's remaining unfinished doll, Linea. Starting with the manager, Ayaka, there are many dolls living at the "Doll Shop".
All of these soul-harboring dolls were injured in the past and were saved at one time or another by the owner of the shop. Finally, Linea is completed. However she does not have any emotions when she awakens. At a loss of what to do, the old master reassures our hero by telling him, "her soul has not been perfected yet, so she can learn from the other dolls". With the help of the other dolls, Linea is able to gain a heart. However with the completion of her soul, incidents begin happening... The dolls are suddenly attacked. Our hero takes a stand to defend Linea, who has just begun to feel... 
Nukige
 
12. Hinpyoukai ~Auction~ 品評会~オークション~ [010223] Error
Main character is a vendor at an auction. His goods are of the high quality respected by everyone. The goods are girls. He uses the position of a teacher and trains the finest quality product. This time he moves out of his comfort zone and marks six new women as preys. He receives requests at an auction.
Nukige
 
13. Kawaisou na Fuukei かわいそうな風景 [010223] Authoring Heaven
Main character finds pleasure in watching girls being insulted. He stays as a bystander to the end to see the result with his eyes.
Nukige
 
14. Kurui ~Ryoujoku Kyoushitsu~ 狂い ~凌辱教室~ [010223] Hiyoko Soft (old) 1
Our hero, Yosuke has become an expressionless being caused by the loss of his girlfriend from childhood, Yuki Hinata, who committed suicide. Yosuke enrolls in the university he and Yuki had planned on enrolling in together. Unfortunately, Yosuke's wounded heart never recovers; his condition worsens to the point of him becoming a total recluse. He begins having counseling sessions with a young assistant professor named Kasumi. Even with these sessions, Yosuke does not recover. Yosuke and Kasumi gradually become intimate; without realizing it, they become bound in a physical relationship. For Yosuke, this relationship is nothing more than an instrument to satisfy his lustful desires. Losing himself in these day-to-day carnal pleasures, Yosuke has become enchanted with a reoccurring nightmare... 
Nukige
 
15. Mamotte Agetai. ~Dear My Master~ まもってあげたい。~Dear My Master~ [010223] Atelier Kaguya 1
Our hero has led an ordinary and uneventful life up to this point. One day, 4 beautiful girls suddenly come to our hero's front door; they want to help our hero protect the world from the forces of evil. Obviously our hero is completely bewildered. The world is in grave danger, if they don't stop the reckless use of the weapons that his ancestors help develop. These cycloid girls have been sent to support our hero who has the potential of possessing powerful supernatural powers...
This set up sounds pretty heavy, but this game is really a bright comedy. These cycloids are basically the hero's servants, so he can have sexual fun anytime and anywhere he wishes. Furthermore, this develops into quite the love story with our hero's childhood girlfriend Yui getting caught up in it all. This game is composed of two parts: The school part and the home part. The home training part is especially important; for it is here that our hero's supernatural powers are awakened. Within this game, there are some powers that cannot be awakened simply with serious training. It's your assignment to acquire these special powers and use them in this sexual battle! 
Nukige
 
16. Mission Slave Goumon Yuugi ミッションスレイブ 拷問遊戯 [010223] Mischief
Terrorism is on the roll, so main characters tortures girls to get information useful in homeland security protection.
Nukige
 
17. Neko SM ねこえすえむ [010223] PIL
Main character is walking in the city when a girl with cat ears hands him SM club membership card. There are S, M and VIP courses there, and treatment will vary according to girl's sympathy towards client.
Nukige
 
18. Saigo ni Kanaderu Kyousoukyoku 最後に奏でる狂想曲 [010223] Touchy 1
The main character "Kamijyou Makoto" was suddenly named chairman of "St. Ford Academy" by his grandfather's will. Makoto is a young, studying honor student and is a role model for people. However...contrary to his mild face that seems disappointed, his mind was hit by an unspeakable madness due to the incident that occurred in the past.
His younger sister was killed by someone a year ago. And Makoto knows that their are school girls deeply involved in the incident that made him go into deep despair at this academy. The death of that sister drives Makoto's heart. Occasional strikes of unspeakable cravings. Distrust of human beings. A dark desire to destroy so mush of his reasoning...The face of madness hidden behind the face of an honor student.
A sheet of music that he came across caught his desire intensely. When learned, the words floating in Makoto's chest formed a single word... It was the two letters of "revenge." In order to find out the female student's intentions, they fall into Makoto's hands one by one... Every time he gets closer to the truth of the case, the ripped sheet music gathers at hand...The unknown melody flows through Makoto's memory.
Why was my sister killed? Will Revenge be achieved? And What is the truth the torn song plays?
Nukige
 
19. Shin Nouryokusha 真・脳力者 [010223] MBS Truth
Remake of Nouryokusha with additional heroine Madoka, a runaway girl.
Remake
 
20. 14days [0102] LaplusCube
What's the reason behind protagonist sudden confession to two his sempai?
Boys Love
 
21. Tsukihime Plus-Disc 月姫 PLUS-DISC [0102] Type-Moon 1 2 
This is a fan disc of Tsukihime containing one short visual novel story, two omake stories and other fan materials.
Akira Seo, an underclassman of Tsukihime's Akiha Tohno, becomes acquainted with someone calling themselves Shiki Tohno, and together they set out to solve the mystery of a recent series of murders.
Fandisc


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