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VN of the Month April 2009 - Heliotrope -Sore wa Shi ni Itaru Kami no Ai-

kivandopulus

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I'll only name Heliotrope -Sore wa Shi ni Itaru Kami no Ai- as masterpiece this month. Micchi finally has Zen to join with his ever-sarcastic comments, and they don't seem to be hyped much about anything this month.

1. Fukai Kiri no Naka de... 深霧の中で… [090403] Caricature
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One day, Yuma, who belongs to the Japanese archery club, receives a call from his uncle, the chief of his hometown village. "We've just built a sports training facility. Do you wanna stay there before it officially opens?" "Yes, let's have a camp for training there." Like this, Yuma and other members visit the town.
Yuma has a girlfriend, Ogino. He thinks about being more intimate with her during the camp. At night, he takes her to an empty room and says, "I wanna be more intimate with you... What do you say?" "Yes, me too." They kiss and finally sleep together...
Five students get involved in a bizarre murder case. Overall, it's a low price story about tragic love in mysterious circumstances. Nothing really fascinates here.

 

2. Hyakko: Yorozuya Jikenbo!ヒャッコ よろずや事件簿! [090409] 5pb. Games 1 
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Torako and her friends find a room of the group called Yorozuya at school. According to rumor, what Yorozuya do are to look for the thing someone lost, give an advice to someone who has a concern, and do research on someone's affairs. Yes, it's more like detective's work. Torako is attracted to Yorozuya and decides to join it (Of course, her friends are also forced to join it). They soon receive a message from the boss of the group, "I'll test your ability. If you fail, you'll be strictly punished..." Well, will Torako and her friends make it?
Anime spin-off

 

3. Hanafubuki ~Sennen no Koi o Shimashita~ 桜吹雪~千年の恋をしました~ [090424] Silver Bullet 1 
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Kazunari joins a school as a scholarship student since he lost his parents a while ago. His school is, however, super-rich and he feels somewhat out of place. One day, he saves a female student, Akasha, who was being chased by someone. Akasha is actually from a rich family and now works as the chief manager of school festival. Like this, he starts working with her...
There is an English review.

 

4. Hara Miko はらみこ [090424] Selen 1
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Haruhito starts living at his old friends' house, a shrine, because his parents traveled abroad on business. His old friends, Mai and Yuu, are pretty sisters, but he have never fallen in love with them since they are like family members to him. One day, Miharu and Iori, Mai and Yuu's cousins, start living at their house due to some circunstances. Miharu and Iori are also pretty, so Haruhito is happy to live with them. However, he soon gets involved in troubles.The god enshrined there suddenly appears in front of him and gives him the power of making babies. What will happen to Haruhito, who's got a strange power, and the heroines...?
There is an English review.

 

5. Heliotrope -Sore wa Shi ni Itaru Kami no Ai- ヘリオトロープ-それは死に至る神の愛- [090424] Hatena 1 2 3 
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There is a mysterious phenomenon that some people are given a divine power, but cursed instead. Yes, those people are found all around the world.
Yashiro is negative and withdrawn. One day, a girl suddenly appears and gives him a sword called "Laevatein". Like this, he gets involved in a battle. As being in a battle, he gradually gets to know what's going on around the world.
A battle for the mysterious island.... A guerrilla group called "Banner".... A mysterious girl called "Iris".... Yashiro's new life starts when meeting Yuzuka, who is a member of the new Japan army. Mitsuba, a member of the Banner, plants herself in front of Yuzuka... Yuzuka, Mitsuba, and Yashiro. What will happen to them in the end...?
There are English reviews. An obvious review candidate for me.

 

6. Himegari Dungeon Meister 姫狩りダンジョンマイスター [090424] Eushully 1 2 3 4
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There used to be a war between Maou (king of demons) and humans. The Maou advanced on the territory of humans, but he finally lost his life...
"I'll never die. I'll be back soon and get even with you..."
Though humans won the war, they fearfully confined the Maou deep down underground. World peace was back...
Until one day.....
"Oh, great. I'll take revenge on humans using this new body!"
He was saved by a monster, Lily. His body that Lily chose was, however, too weak to fight alone, so he and Lily decided to go down into the underground labyrinth to get back his real body...
RPG is localized and has English reviews.

 

7. Maji Suki ~Marginal Skip~ マジスキ~Marginal Skip~ [090424] Moonstone 1 2 3 
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I didn't forget... That night, under a bright moon. 
I made a promise with a single girl.
That girl was...
One spring night, I met the girl again.
In order to meet again, the princess had run away from home.
That single girl, who was like a childhood friend.
She hadn't changed a bit; she still looked so young.
There are English reviews.

 

8. Natsuiro Sagittarius 夏色さじたりうす [090424] Bloom Handle
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Just before summer holiday... Oujiro is told to join the Japanese archery club by Aika and Airi, his old friends. As a matter of fact, they are the only club members. There is no choice for him.
There are now three members in total though five members are necessary to carry on the club. Will they be able to get two more members to join?
Despite normal synopsis it's a sure nukige. It starts with lesbian mother molesting every morning and ends up with a full-scale incest harem depending on route.

 

9. Natsuiro Straight! 夏色ストレート! [090424] White Cyc
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There is nothing special at my town... Most people might say it is boring and uneventful. Our friendship is, however, irreplaceable... One summer day, his peaceful life suddenly changes because Tsumuji, a transfer student, says to him, "Anyway... marry?" Her word puts his life into turmoil involving his friends...
Wow, White Cyc went for a normal moege. So common and cliche that it's sickening. The only thing that stands out is a serious approach to baseball.

 

10. Seigi no Kyoushitsu 正義の教室 [090424] FlyingShine Ken
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In some near future, a biological agent released by terrorists has brought humanity on the verge of annihilation.
The disease has the particularity of having prominently acute effects on adult beings, causing the life expectancy to drop greatly.
The story begins with two youth groups arriving at a deserted school. The two communities are suspicious of each other, but somehow manage to cooperate and live alongside. Close by is a shopping mall, and they think of settling down for a while.
Yet, on their first day at that place, a radio broadcast from the Shinjuku Tokyo Metropolitan Government prompts whatever human being still alive to join them.
This announcement stirs conflicting discussions on whether to go, since the place is nearby, at most two or three days away. They fail to reach an agreement, the opponents being reluctant to take unnecessary risks now that they've found a relatively safe haven.
The day after, several members leave. No one knows what happened to them thereafter.
Apocalyptic setting is once again used... just to show violence between two groups of youths. So it's basically a nukige about girls humiliation in somewhat elaborate setting similar to Kansen.

 

11. Shinigami no Kiss wa Wakare no Aji 死神の接吻は別離の味 [090424] Alcot Honey Comb 1 2 3
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"Is there something you want to leave behind for your loved one?"
A young boy and girl lived in a small seaside town. One day, the boy invited the girl to the sea to convey his feelings to her. However, she lost her life in an unforeseen accident. Months and years later, the boy continues to live in the place where his memories with her remain. He can't forget her, yet he must.
Our protagonist, Amamiya Makoto, spends a peaceful everyday life with his younger sister, Shizuku. One day, he meets a mysterious girl, Kohaku, who has deep blue eyes and carries a giant scythe. "Can you see me?" she asks. None of the people around him notice her. "Oh. You'll die very soon, then."
She is a shinigami.
Game is localized and has English reviews.

 

12. Sumairu Cubic! -Suiheisen made Nan Mile? After & Another Stories- すまいる Cubic! -水平線まで何マイル?アフター&アナザーストーリーズ- [090424] Abhar 1 2 
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"The unforgettable summer, starts one more time"
We will Launch with our new wings on this summer again.
There are English reviews.

 

13. Tsun na Kanojo Dere na Kanojo ツンな彼女 デレな彼女 [090424] PeasSoft 1 
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Hiroki has a childhood friend, Misato. She always takes a good care of him. He also has a childhood friend like younger sister, Tsugumi. She is a little bit childish, but cute. He lives a peaceful life with them. But one day, his school merges with a girls' school nearby. There is some confusion among students, but they are back to peaceful life soon. However, a big change happens just before summer holiday. A girl suddenly comes to his house and says, "I'm your fiancee...." Triggered by this, his friends who secretly love him change as well....
There is an English review.

 

14. Narcissu 3rd -Die Dritte Welt- [090427] Stage-nana 1 2 3
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A Sequel of Narcissu Series. In this game, there are four scenario which is available to play. In each scenario, a new character will be introduced as well.
There are English reviews.

 

15. Katawa Shoujo [090429] Four Leaf Studios 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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Nakai Hisao is a normal high school student, currently in his final year of high school. One day Hisao finds an anonymous letter in his math textbook, directing him to meet the sender at a given location. The sender turns out to be his crush, however, as she confesses to him, he suddenly collapses. He awakes in a hospital bed, and is told by the doctors that the reason he collapsed is due to arrhythmia, a rare heart condition that causes his heartbeat to sometimes become irregular. Due to this, his parents have enrolled him in Yamaku, a school for (physically) disabled students.
EVN with English reviews.

 

16. Gachi Otome Quintet ガチ乙女クインテット [090430] Team It's Mint
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One day, a strange girl wakes the main character, Kanata, up in a strange room. He is taken to school, but he doesn't remember it at all.
A while later, he remembers the girl introduced herself to him last night, "I'm Ayari. My job is Santa Claus!" Kanata now completely remembers why he came here and feels down, "Ah, I really ran away from that home...."
Game takes place at some kind of fantasy island, but does not really utilize this setting much. It's used mostly to justify H events in different uniforms. Easygoing moege.

 

17. Toradora! Portable とらドラ・ポータブル! [090430] guyzware 1 
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You play as Takasu Ryuuji in an alternate memory loss story with many different endings than the original.
The game also features a minigame where Taiga is the playable character fending off lovesick guys.
Anime spin-off.
 
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1. Furifureフリフレ [090403] Noesis 1 2 
Yui Kurahashi was an innocent young girl born and raised in a rich family that didn’t treat her well.
After getting into a fight with her parents, Yui wanders the town at night.
A friend suggest she join a message board called Free Friends.
With nowhere left to go after running from home,
she turns to the site called “Free Friends” looking for help–unknowing that it was a site for hook-ups.
The one who offers his hand to her is a teacher at her school.
When her teacher meets her and forces himself upon her, their relationship of depravity begins.
In Free Friends you play the role of Yui’s teacher, and the choices you make determine how dark a road the two of you travel.
Will you walk the path of darkness and continue coercing her through blackmail and other means?
Or will you try to play the savior Yui hoped for?
A variety of corrupt and twisted endings await exploration… along with one of hope.
Nukige, only including it because of missable reviews.
 
2. D.C.I.F. ~Da Capo~ Innocent Finale D.C.I.F.~ダ・カーポ~イノセントフィナーレ [090429] Circus 1 2 3 
Alternative setting to Da Capo staging Kotori Shirakawa as the main heroine, with a completely rewritten scenario.
The scene takes place after the graduation ceremony. After being crowned at the school beauty contest, Kotori confesses to Jun'ichi, or rather, she intends to. At that time, something happens to Nemu...
Fandisc


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Heliotrope-  Great theme, horrible execution.  The protagonist is a total hetare, and the pacing is pretty screwy.  I still replayed it last year, but my impression of it wasn't much better.

Hanafubuki- An odd game... just odd.  Not what it seems like on the surface.

Maji Suki- Good game... not great.

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I start to see of more familiar VNs as of April 2009 here, so let me comment on this as well.

Himegari - While it have localization, the narration is MTL-ed and thus shouldn't be counted as translation. At least the interface is translated if anything else. This is the first VN when Eushully decided to do SRPG and the result is good so much that they directly copied the system into Kamidori and Amayui along with derived some of the gameplay elements into their other VNs. That said Himegari gameplay here is quite flawed in that to reenter the dungeon you need a resource that was randomly found in the dungeon, and you also need to spend some money to craft the item with money itself are already rare enough in that you only got it as clear bonus. Flaws aside, I hope that someday we'll see this properly translated because I like the gameplay here. Also while VNDB classify this as nukige, I won't treat it as such like Frontier because you'll more focused on the gameplay even though you'll need it to strengthen your character. This VN also spawn first Eushully gacha game in that it adapt the story of this with some modification in gameplay, and the gacha game itself is already closed down.

Shinikiss - Quite gloomy VN, seeing that the MC himself is still coping from his loss of childhood friend. It also got unusual setting in that the main heroine are shinigami who tell the MC that he'll dead soon, although then again it's not quite unusual for Alcot to make the setting are different from the norm (Most of their VNs are always involving some supernatural and the like to a degree). Currently we only have this and Osadai as translated Alcot VNs, although with Nekonyan took care of Clover Days license we'll going to have three Alcot VNs translated in the future.

Narcissu 3 - The main writer of Narcissu was the one who write middle age story which to say are quite different from what he wrote in Narcissu setting wise (The theme is still the usual Narcissu though), so no much to say on that. Also Sekai have the license for this VN, although they only translate the story for the main author which to say might be the wise decision because it's the most similar with previous Narcissu duology. It's still too bad though that we didn't see the rest of the story got translated, but I guess no much we can do on that.

Katawa Shoujo - The most well known OELVN, in that it's actually resembled the usual charage only with disable people and the one who create it was 4chan which as I know are quite a wild one back then. While you can say that it's 2009 release, it take more than two years before we can saw the full version of that back at January 4th, 2012 (I remember the date because one of important event in my family life was happened at that date). Anyway even with on how good and important this VN is so much that it influence other people to make this kind of OELVN again (Which of course would be quite hard to repeat that kind of feat), too bad that I can't add this to my best VNs list in 2012 because after all it's OELVN and my focus is more on translated VNs. It also have Japanese translation, and as for how they response at least it's looking good if I just look at Erogamescape with the average score at around 75. Lastly I would say that this would make a good first VN for most of the people, especially after I see that most people first VNs are this one.

Toradora Portable - Game version of Toradora, and that it add additional romance option which should be good for everyone else who didn't like canon heroine (Taiga). I don't know on how much the involvement that the original writer have in this VN, but at least I see her credit in VNDB which is good enough seeing that there are several anime adaptation VN that didn't involved the original writer (ie Saekano VN).

Furifure - The heroine's hair color is very normal, which to say it's been pretty much the company trademark (Noesis here is in the same group of company with Innocent Grey). As for the story, well it's nukige so just enjoy the sex scenes I suppose. I find that 2nd Furifure more interesting though if only because the heroine did wear other outfit beside school uniform lol, although then again some people may prefer forbidden love between married teacher and high school student. Note that both this VN and the sequel are already translated by Mangagamer.

Da Capo IF - Looks like Circus are also aware on how unpopular Nemu is and on how popular Kotori is, so much that they decided to make the fandisc with Kotori as the main heroine. Poor Nemu though in that her role are more or less as the bad girl in this VN, although then again it might says much on how Kotori's fans didn't like Nemu or something like that and perhaps the writer for IF here may not like Nemu as well. Almost forgot to say that Mangagamer also already had this translated, which says a lot seeing that there's a lot of untranslated Da Capo spin-offs.

That's all for my comment on April 2009 releases.

Edited by littleshogun

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