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VN of the Month May 2013 - Grisaia no Rakuen


With PSP titles there are over 20 normal releases in May. I doubt anything can overshadow finale of Grisaia no Rakuen . Jesus 13th -Ushinawareta Gakuen- , Reminiscence , Tsukiakari Lunch and ChuSinGura 46+1 make fantastic debuts. Clephas highlighted Reminiscence . Micchi adds Magical Charming and Yumekoi to the mix and Zen among others seems to follow Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica F .

 

1. Grisaia no Rakuen グリザイアの楽園 -LE EDEN DE LA GRISAIA- [130524] Frontwing 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
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A boy trying to find the paradise he once lost arrived in a secluded garden at the end of the world, where he found five girls. Not knowing himself what the result would be, he took out five seeds and distributed them to the girls, driven by a sense of duty and perhaps even the faintest murmurings of something like hope. One by one, the girls planted the seeds they had been entrusted with in the ground around them, waiting for the day when they would bear fruit.
But whether or not this day will come remains to be seen - everything hinges on one final struggle to learn where a true paradise is to be found.
Our story picks up immediately after the events of Grisaia no Meikyuu, with Kazami Yuuji having been detained for suspected involvement with an international terrorist organization, lead by Heath Oslo, that has managed to enter Japan's borders with a devastating new weapon of mass destruction in hand. Meanwhile, at Mihama Academy, the remaining students find themselves with time running out - due to financial issues, the school is set to close within the month. Over the past year, though, the girls of Mihama have finally begun to find their own legs, thanks to Yuuji's involvement - are they really just going to bury their heads in the sand and let the world change around them? And are they really willing to let the man who changed their lives slip away without so much as trying to win him back? As the end of their time at Mihama Academy approaches, Amane, Makina, Sachi, Yumiko, and Michiru find themselves arriving at a single conclusion.
How much a group of students can do in the face of countries and organizations far bigger than any individual could hope to be remains to be seen. In the first place, Yuuji's position is far more complicated than any of them could have imagined, as he finds himself embroiled in an elaborate game of super-political chess revolving around both himself and an inconceivable new system slumbering in the depths of CIRS - a system that Yuuji may have more of a connection to than he thinks. One thing is for certain, though - the girls of Mihama are no longer willing to let the world steal things away from them without at least a bit of resistance first. And with help from a mysterious individual known only as Thanatos, they may just achieve their goal...
The final chapter in the Grisaia series, featuring Prologue De La Grisaia, a prologue set before Yuuji's arrival at Mihama; Blanc Aile no Tane, the overarching story's grand conclusion; a smorgasbord of bonus eroscenes; and an after story to the events of Blanc Aile no Tane.
There are English reviews

 

2. Koi Shiyo? 恋しよっ? [130524] Triplethreat 1
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The government took drastic measures to combat the falling birth rate and created Kukuri Gakuen, nicknamed ‘Renai Gakuen’, as a model case to promote love between students. Yuuki’s parents did not outwardly show their love towards each other, so he was never interested in love. However, he was suddenly chosen to attend ‘Renai Gakuen’ despite his wishes.
In this school, students receive bracelets, called "rings", which they must exchange with another student they want to date.
Their exchange is like a confession and the evidence of shared love.
There is an English impression

 

3. Ojou-sama wa Gokigen Naname お嬢様はご機嫌ナナメ [130524] ensemble 1 2 3 4 5
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Hajime had been Nanami’s loyal servant ever since her family took him and his younger sister Hana in after their parents passed away. Every day, he fends off the succession of men from noble families who come to propose to her. One day, Nanami came to their run-down apartment and asked him to teach her the life of the common people. At the same time, a fellow student at Tenshouin Academy, Otoha, asked for his advice in becoming an idol, and Nanami’s cool friend Touka also started acting weird. Then the daughter of the Naname group’s rival corporation, Shiaya, proposed to him all of a sudden. What will happen to him?
There are English reviews

 

4. Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica ~Farewell Song~ 神曲奏界ポリフォニカ ~Farewell Song~ [130524] Ocelot
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A cave-in at a certain ruins resulted in the complete loss of the excavation party affiliated with Maynard University. It happened when they took out ‘something’ from the sarcophagus deep inside. Afterwards, two young girls who were actually founder spirits, Richelie and Esther, visited Phoron and Corticarte and warned them that the spirit-eating ‘harvester’ has awakened.
I lost count of Red Polyphonica titles and plotline a long time ago

 

5. Shitsuji ga Aruji o Erabu Toki 執事が姫を選ぶとき [130524] PeasSoft 1 2
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The private Katsuranomiya Academy is a school full of girls from noble families. Naoya enrolled in the school as a butler on a scholarship and met five rich ladies known as the ‘cinq roses’. They came from different backgrounds, from being a princess to being the daughter of a famous acting family, but they all had something in common. They all are either S or M! Which of them will he choose to serve?
There is an English impression

 

6. Touhikou Game 逃避行GAME [130524] Ex-iT
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One day during class, Akito gazed outside the window and mumbled to himself: “… I want to run away somewhere”. “That sounds good, where shall we go?”. He was surprised by the response and looked over to see his classmate in the neighbouring seat smiling at him. He had never talked to her before, but those words made him want to attain his hidden wishes.
His life changed greatly from that day on. He met a strange girl Nia who seemed to be chased by someone in an alley, was approached by a foreigner Norm who took a liking to him, made friends with a traveler Korone who was passing by on a trip, and was closely monitored by his imouto Mirika who thought he was acting suspicious lately. Thanks to this ‘running away game’ which his classmate Renna had proposed, there are no more boring days. However, he still had a wish to find someone who he loves and run away together to somewhere far away.
Escape game with a girl divided into two main routes. The gist of the game is to realize girl's circumstances and help her fulfil her need. There's not much happening, and scenario feels half-finished without the strong core.

 

7. Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient コープスパーティー 2 [130529] Grindhouse 1
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The nightmare has returned five years after the events of Corpse Party: Blood Drive with an average junior high school student, Ayame Itou, suddenly finding her life turned upside down in the most unsettling way possible. Upon waking from a coma strapped to an operating table in a ransacked and seemingly abandoned hospital called “Amare Patriarcha Crucis,” Ayame realizes she’s locked in without any means of escape and with virtually no memories of her past. She is, however, not quite as alone as she first thought. Others occupy the mysterious hospital, but whether they are friend or foe remains to be discovered. Remains to be discovered…
Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient takes players on a dark and mysterious journey with Ayame and any other friendly faces she can find. Through the deserted halls of Amare Patriarcha Crucis, the party will solve inventory-based puzzles, collect medical charts of deceased patients, and avoid terrifying zombie-like pursuers in order to find much-needed answers, as well as—hopefully—a way out. Titled Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient NEUES in Japan, Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient is the definitive version of Dead Patient with updated graphics and additional scenarios. Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient exists as a standalone story within the Corpse Party series, allowing players to jump in regardless of their experience with past titles.
Game is localized and has English reviews

 

8. Haiyore! Nyaruko-san Meijou Shigatai Game no You na Mono 這いよれ!ニャル子さん 名状しがたいゲームのようなもの [130530] MAGES. GAME
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The story of Haiyore! Nyaruko-san centers around Nyaruko, a formless Cthulhu-deity of chaos (Nyarlathotep) who can take on the shape of a seemingly ordinary silver-haired girl. Yasaka Mahiro is a normal high school boy who is being chased by a fearsome black alien one night, until Nyaruko saves him. She explains that the creatures from H. P. Lovecraft's works are actually races of aliens, and that she has been sent to Earth to protect him from being kidnapped by an alien trafficker. Eventually, Nyaruko and two other Lovecraft-creatures, Cthugha and Hastur, end up being freeloaders at Mahiro's place.
Anime Spin-Off

 

9. Jansei Utahime Chrono★Star 雀聖歌姫 クロノ★スター [130530] BOOST ON
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Legendary idol Chrono used to fascinate people without revealing her personality and then retired.
A few years later idol production "El Sista" is rumored to belong to the same branch as Chrono did. Girls start to compete as winner can learn the secret of Chrono.
Again Mahjong PSP something

 

10. ChuSinGura 46+1 [130531] inre 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
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The protagonist Fukami Suguha visits the historic graves of the forty-seven Akou rounin on New Year's Day, but suddenly blacks out while observing the solar eclipse. He wakes up in the body of an Edo period samurai with the same name and face. Suguha is forced to adjust to life in the year 1701 as history unfolds, while getting to know the forty-seven rounin, whose personal details closely match history--except that many of them are women.
There are English reviews

 

11. End Sleep [130531] Lilac Soft
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Kazuki has lived an unlucky life. His parents passed away when he was young and his relationship with his adoptive parents did not last long. Now an university student, he took up a high-paying live-in part-time job in a mansion deep in the mountains despite being suspicious about it.
When he got there, he met a beautiful girl who wondered if he would become her older brother. Not knowing what she meant by this, he chased after her into the mansion where many other people had gathered, all but one of whom were around his age. Their task was explained to them there: to live there while playing their assigned role. As foreseen by the girl from earlier, Sui, he was given the ‘older brother’ role, while she was the ‘imouto’.
This strange life began without any problems, until one rainy night when the sound of glass breaking echoed through the mansion. They hurried towards the sound and found one of their own had been brutally murdered.
The secrecy atmosphere is great. Hints are scattered in bad endings and afterstories. So good murder suspense story if you like this genre. Still setting could be utilized better, especially compared to Ashita Deatta Shoujo.

 

12. Fuuraiki 3 風雨来記3 [130531] FOG
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Chihiro Sakiki is a rookie reporter who’s still getting his feet wet. Enamored with the land of Hokkaido, he finally makes his way there in order to participate in the “Eimeiten,” a beginner’s division that’s part of a major contest in the publishing world known as the “Shinkouten.” Considered to be the industry’s equivalent of the Olympics, after an article produced for the Shinkouten catches his eye, he finds himself drawn to join the fray, thereby entering the world of publishing.
While not without his worries, his excitement at the new adventures awaiting far outweigh those other sentiments. Unable to hold himself back, with his trusty camera on tow, he hops aboard his trusty motorcycle and heads off in search of the best photo he can take.
As the third part in the series, you know what to expect - a melancholy road-trip with seeing real sceneries and meeting nice girls.

 

13. Jesus 13th -Ushinawareta Gakuen- ジーザス13th -喪失われた学園- [130531] Xuse 1 2
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After a war which wiped out more than half of the world’s population and threatened the existence of the world itself, humans have become a bit kinder. Technology innovations from the war and the discovery of new resources helped overcome the scarcity of natural resources. The black ‘wall’ which had risen to the skies has disappeared, allowing people to return to their hometowns and rebuild their lives. This was when Makina was born.
Many years later, Makina came to the elite private school Wadatsumi Gakuen perched on a cliff on the Bousou Peninsula’s large school town Yatoura-shi. He had been personally scouted and passed the entrance examination. Most graduates end up as part of the Amanor Group, which controls almost every industry in the post-war world. He had planned to be a lawyer, until one day he received a letter telling him that the school’s board chairman and his grandfather, David Almatar, had died a suspicious death. As the acting board chairman, he learned about the existence of the chosen ‘pearl princess’, who is to take the sacrament from the witch’s cave. However, many mysterious beings stand in their way.
There is an English review

 

14. Love of Ren'ai Koutei of LOVE! らぶおぶ恋愛皇帝 of LOVE! [130531] Harukaze 1 2
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School president (emperor) Lukina wins at everything no matter what it is. However, there’s one exception: love. She proclaimed her love for her childhood friend Akito in front of the whole school, and now many other girls are after him as well!?
There are English reviews

 

15. Magical Charming! [130531] Lump of Sugar 1 2 3 4
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Ritsu Natsumoto was unhappy because he had an unproductive summer vacation. One day he wakes up in a strange room where he meets a girl called Orietta, she reveals he is a magic user and takes him to Wizure Mahou Gakuin, a magical school. However, only girls should be able to use magic!
Ritsu starts his new school life while investigating the reasons behind his power.
There are English reviews

 

16. Matsuyuki no Hana ~Snow Drop~ 待雪の花 ~snow drop~ [130531] nostalabel 
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Already fatherless and with no relatives, Kazushi and his sick younger sister Miyu move to a rundown apartment after the death of their mother. Kazushi then leaves school and seeks employment to pay for rent, food, and the medicine that allows his sister to carry on.
Depressing work with H tilt amidst despair.

 

17. Qualiaffordance クオリアフォーダンス [130531] Shelf
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Kazuki is your typical shy boy who couldn’t turn down a request nor doubt others. However, after one summer vacation incident, he became able to see the ‘colours’ of other people’s emotions. Something deep in his heart warned him not to look at it. However, as he became closer to the heroines, the ordinary becomes the extraordinary.
Game is animated and has four-episode hentai, so you can guess where its merit lies. With that cast aside, game has little to offer - rapid development, opportunism, sudden end.

 

18. Reminiscence レミニセンス [130531] Tigre Soft 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
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Shimazu Hidetaka is the very definition of a broken man — the events of five years ago have left him with a broken family, a broken mind, and a broken spirit. And to add icing to the cake, he's pretty much broke. But a proposal from his saviour makes him decide to put the pieces of his life back together.
Little did he know that he'd also start putting together a much larger jigsaw puzzle: one of Hopes and Dreams, lies and deceit, and the remnants of a long-forgotten era.
There are English reviews

 

19. Shirogane Otome シロガネオトメ [130531] MANATSU_8
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On a small hill located on the outskirts of Ibushi-chou stands the Shirogane Shrine. It is owned by the Hisakawa family, who take care of two girls… or rather, one girl and one trap. Yuki is a boyish maiden who is very popular among the students at Akishino Central School. Tsubasa is cute enough to be granted entrance to the girl’s school as an exception. They have been together since they were kids, so one can never find one without the other. Despite their genders, they sleep in the same room and play together. Even though Tsubasa viewed Yuki as being more than a friend, he would not let their relationship go beyond that.
One day, while they were walking home, they came upon a starving miko Sarasa. She told them she was an exorcist who was chasing after a powerful apparition called the ‘maou’. Since there was a high possibility that the maou would infiltrate the school, she temporarily stayed at the shrine with them. She had Yuki’s full support since she wanted a change from everyday boring life. When Sarasa found out that there were students (including Yuki’s friends) who were possessed by other powerful apparitions at the school, she asked for Yuki’s help. Yuki gladly obliged since she loves bishoujos, and she even has a special ability which no one knows about.
Yuri harem comedy parody. SOL scenes are somewhat boring and serious part remains a parody. Yuri harem is a rare genre on its own, and realization is worthy if you can stand all kinds of trap jokes that are inherited from previous trap game.

 

20. Tsukiakari Lunch 月あかりランチ [130531] Ex-One 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
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One day Shiki Haruhiko came to his senses in an unknown place.
Soon he learns that this is the Starlight Academy that exists only at night, and that it is impossible to escape from here.
He comes to know four girls who came here from different worlds, and becomes their teacher. Another girl who calls herself "witch" suddenly appears and tells him that he must make the four girls graduate to fulfill their wishes to be able to return to his world himself.
A girl from a world of endless war, Migiwa Fuyu.
A girl from a world where machines manage humans lives, a world without any conflict, Sumeragi Natsuno.
A girl from a world where people fight demons with swords and magic, Avril Poisson.
And a girl who lost her memories, Aki.
His four students are different from ordinary humans, with disordered senses of values and self-awareness. It may be more than Haruhiko can handle, so in order to gain confidence he declares: "I, the wizard of Oz, will grant your wishes!"
There are English reviews

 

21. Yumekoi ~Yume Miru Mahou Shoujo to Koi no Jumon~ ゆめこい ~夢見る魔法少女と恋の呪文~ [130531] Parasol 1
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Akira takes care of his younger sister Kurumi while their mother is away on business. One day a girl named Kurumi arrives and claims to be a magical girl from the magical world parallel to our own. She's the alternate reality version of his own sister Kurumi. Kurara, Kurumi's guardian mascot character arrives and explains to Akira that Kurumi has actually run away from home and she must bring her back! To make matters worse three Dream Flowers have followed her to our world. They have the power to make ordinary girls into magical girls and they must retrieve them at all cost.
It's too late however because the missing Dream Flowers have already entered Akira's sister Kurumi and two of their friends, Sakuya and Mei and because our world is a world of science the magical power in them is out of control, they cause the girls to have overwhelming sexual desires. Now they must use their magic to make the flowers bloom in order to graduate from being magical girls and return the Dream Flowers to the magical world.
There is an English review

 

BLOCKED
 
1. Muv-Luv Alternative - Total Eclipse マブラヴ オルタネイティヴ トータル・イクリプス [130516] Age 1 2
Total Eclipse is set in the same world as Alternative, at Alaska's Yukon base, test site 18, where first-class staff from all over the world regardless of country gather to work on new Tactical Surface Fighters.
The main characters are engineers and pilots and it features many TSFs that failed to show up in Alternative.
Fandisc
 
2. Hai ka Ochiba ka Nakigara ka 灰か落葉か亡骸か [130519] Nekojita Renmei 1
The protagonist is a girl who has lost her father and she feels kinda crazy about it. She can't play her piano because she would remember her father and tremble in fear over it. But she meets a novelist in a park where supposedly the dead come to lay rest. They become friends, but the novelist seems to harbor something far deeper than the protagonist's angst. So she wants to help him instead. 
Doujin, but with an English review
 
3. Josou Kaikyou 女装海峡 [130531] Nounai Kanojo 1
Tajima Yukito needs to collect plant specimens for his research. Asking help from Hibiki. He comes to the island where Hibiki was born, but suddenly a storm causes their ship to crash. They awaken on an unknown island. They find two of Hibiki's friends who had gone missing, Fujikiri Nao and Munakata Meguru. Nao and Meguru say that they are trapped at secret location by the power of God. Possibly because Nao and Meguru did a ritual halfway. It's made it impossible for them to leave without finishing the ritual. According to old tradition in order to finish the ritual Yukito must mate with one of 3 traps, but Yukito is too embarrassed to do it. Now he must do it or they can't leave the island.
Boys love trap game, but realized it too late, and there's kind of English impression

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As he said, it is hard to overshadow the conclusion to the Grisaia main series, but there are a number of excellent games that came out this month that he probably wasn't aware of.  

Ojousama wa Gokigen Naname- This is a game I greatly and dramatically underestimated at the time and was Ensemble's last truly good game.  Despite its appearance, this game is neither a charage nor a moege.  It is a strong plotge focusing on the kind of dirty dealings and multi-layered crazy emotional reactions that you'd normally see in a soap opera.  

Chusingura- I'm pretty sure everyone knows this one, even though the translation sucked.  Thankfully, I played it without a translation and it was good, even despite the whiny Re:Zero type protagonist.

End Sleep- This one is a decent horror VN based in the traditional setting (an isolated western mansion, lol) with some pretty horrifying killings, regardless of the path.  Ironically, my favorite path turned out to be the one that you'd least expect.

Jesus 13th- A decent chuunige (sorry, doesn't go beyond decent) with ties to the Cthulhu Mythos.  It has its high moments, but the fact that I never replayed it should tell you everything you need to know.

Love of Ren'ai Koutei- This game is a straight out kusoge.  It had potential, but it tried to mimic aspects of Majikoi without managing to bring them to life.

Magical Charming- One of the many duds put out by LoS when they try to get 'creative'.  I dropped this one a third of the way through because I couldn't stand it anymore.

Reminiscence- The erstwhile sequel to the Akagoei series, based several centuries later in two connected arcologies, Hope Town and Dream Town.  The protagonist of the story is a forcefully-retired negotiator turned teacher who gets forced to return to his old dream profession.  For fans of Akagoei, the storytelling will be extremely familiar, but it needs to be said that it is a different game with (mostly) different characters.  For people who just want to know what the best path is, Aki's path is the single best imouto path I've ever encountered in a VN.

Tsukiakari Lunch- I can guarantee that 90% of the people looking at this month will have discounted this game.  

 

 

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Shitsuaru - Another ojou-sama VN from same company that Sol Press licensed, although until today Sol Press still didn't manage to release it. Other than the localization circumstances and that it has both of sadist and masochist, no much that I can say here.

Josou Kaikyou - It got the translation patch at 2019, and I only note the release as trap nukige (And looking from my VNTS Review back when I wrote that at the release time, my attention goes to HGB) so no much I can say in regard of that.

ChuSingura 46+1 - The MC was somehow struck to the past with the 47 ronin that was destined to be executed according to Japanese history, and that the ronin here is all female (Obviously). It was localized, although since the company is not quite trustworthy with the translation was apparently quite bad and more importantly there's no sex scenes in the translated version, this VN was rarely discussed as the result even though it's quite well-received and that it's been localized ever since back at 2016.

Reminiscence - It's Kinugasa's VN, so you know what you should expect regardless on how good the setting that he created for his VNs. In case you need the reminder, it's good comedy writing along with his incapability at writing the ending.

Grisaia no Rakuen - Well you know on how I keep saying that I treat both of Meikyuu and Rakuen as the fandiscs of Kajitsu, and my statement here is especially true for Rakuen here. That said even with a lot of issue, I can say that I understand some fans and the writer didn't get what they want in Kajitsu (Personally all five heroines routes in Kajitsu are conclusive enough, and so I did find a certain reunion in Rakuen here is sort of unnecessary here (It looks more like fanservice instead of touching moment to me)) and so the writer did write his favorite type of ending even though it's not quite fitting to this kind of VN.

Well no much that I can say in regard of this month, so that's all for my comment in regard of May 2013 releases.

Edited by littleshogun
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