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Random VN: Yurameku Kokoro ni Michita Sekai de, Kimi no Yume to Yokubou wa Kanau ka



Yurayuka was released  in 2017 by Cube, a company that I never got around to messing with (mostly because their other games were nukige, for the most part).  I chose to put this one in my 'rainy day' archive for a time when I wanted something to play that I hadn't read before but wasn't a charage (most games I set aside are charage, since there is only so much virtual sugar I can consume without getting virtual diabetes). 

From the very beginning, this game makes its 'time loop' concept obvious, and a large part of the reason for this is that the focus of this game is not on mystery or mindfucks (the two primary aspects of many timeloop games) bur rather on the emotional aspects. 

The denizens of the timeloop realm, which is an island school with no people there other than them, number five... four girls and one guy (yes, a harem, lol, though there is no harem ending).  The protagonist, Aoi, is a young man with a strong aversion to romance (almost a phobia) that partially comes from his little sister Tomoe's incestuous advances.  Tomoe, is sister is basically a straight-out 'I only need nii-san' imouto character who will do anything to get him to pay attention to her.  Sumire is a sharp-tongued and whimsical (also highly intelligent) young woman who seems to want something from Aoi.  Tsukino is the dorm's 'mother' character, doing most of the cooking and cleaning, as well as generally babying the cast.  The last character, Konoha, is a young girl who is rather dependent emotionally on Tsukino, to the point where her world revolves around her.

Now, this game does do some of the 'shocking revelations' that are common to timeloop games, but most of them are rather obvious or foreshadowed by Kuro and Shiro (the mysterious twins who drop hints during all the paths and don't get involved directly with anyone other than Aoi). 

Now, it is tempting to lump Aoi in with hetare protagonists at first... but since he can generally bring himself to meet the emotional challenges presented in the various paths head-on, it isn't really appropriate to call him one.  He does, however, have a strong aversion to making choices or getting close with other people, up to and including his sister. 

Each path, thankfully, has a completely independent conclusion, in the sense that it isn't required that you see any of the others to grasp the true/canon path (Tsukino's), and, because of this, I have to praise the way they handled the various paths, especially Sumire's and Konoha's.  It doesn't feel like any of the heroine paths are gypped by the way the true path is handled, and it doesn't feel like the other heroines are only a tool to get you into Tsukino's panties (a common habit in many 'true end' VNs). 

I can't really say there is any good humor in this game (a rarity, since most VNs make at least some attempt at humor that I find reasonably close to funny) outside of Tomoe's brocon, which stops being funny if you read her path.  However, there are some good cathartic moments in all the paths, especially Sumire's and Tsukino's.  Tsukino's path's two endings are both tear-jerkers worthy of remembering.

Overall, this game is a decent and somewhat different type of timeloop story that I found enjoyable, though it isn't a kamige by any stretch of the imagination.  It did, however, grant me some much needed catharsis, and that was really all I was looking for when I picked this game out of the cardboard box I had it sealed in.


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