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VN of the Month September 2013 - Yume ka Utsutsu ka Matryoshka


I choose Yume ka Utsutsu ka Matryoshka as VN of the Month. Chephas hesitated between the two, but chose Karumaruka * Circle . Micchi adds Ichiban Ja Nakya Dame Desu ka and some imouto nukige to his set of interests.

 

1. Yahari Game demo Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru. やはりゲームでも俺の青春ラブコメはまちがっている。 [130919] guyzware 1 
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The story follows two loners, the pragmatic Hikigaya Hachiman and beautiful Yukinoshita Yukino, who despite their varying personalities and ideals, offer help and advice to others as part of their school's Service Club, assisted by the cheerful and friendly Yuigahama Yui. It largely depicts various social situations faced by teens in a high school setting and the psychology driving their interactions.
Anime Spin-Off

 

2. Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii wake ga Nai. Happy End 俺の妹がこんなに可愛いわけがない。 ハッピーエンド [130926] guyzware 1 
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The game further expands on the story of the Oreimo light novel series, giving the player, who takes on the role of Kyousuke Kousaka, the choice to follow the story of his complicated life with his younger sister Kirino and their friends.
Anime Spin-Off

 

3. Baldr Sky "Zero" バルドスカイ ゼロ [130927] Giga 1 2 3 4
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When Edward came to in the virtual world, he was in the middle of a battle. A giant humanoid robot (simulacrum) distracted the enemy (virus) which was targeting him by yelling at him. The girl Sakura and him fought off the enemies’ attacks together and then helped out a girl who was being chased by the state army. As he was about to depart the virtual world, he remarked to Sakura that he could not remember his own name. Coming to in the real world, he found himself in a foreign room. He soon met Sakura again. She belonged to the Squall team of the Fenrir mercenary unit and this was their base. In the Southeast Asia State (SAS) where reality and the virtual world are separated, the only way to survive in this never-ending war was to pilot a simulacrum, so he volunteered to join Fenrir.
Action has English reviews

 

4. Himegoto Union ~We are in the Springtime of Life!~ ひめごとユニオン ~We are in the springtime of life!~ [130927] Seven Wonder 1 2 3
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Saizou seems to be a typical student, but he’s actually a ninja-in-training! Maybe destiny had something to do with it, but he met four girls who also had secrets which couldn’t be told to others. They were the blonde transfer student Himeria (who’s actually a princess), his model-like senpai Yuuki (who’s actually a heroine of justice), the beautiful swordsman Hijiri (who’s actually a girl in disguise), and his small kouhai Koharu (who has superhuman strength in certain situations). Himeria revived the local history research group, which became the ‘secret union’.
There are English reviews

 

5. Ichiban Janakya Dame Desu ka? 1番じゃなきゃダメですかっ? [130927] Rosebleu 1 2 3 4
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A slightly old-fashioned wooden apartment called Ittokikan (Maison Ittoki) lies at the top of a gentle slope located nine minutes walk from the train station. It is a place inhabited only by girls who are disappointed with their male siblings. Shou was to be a new resident, but naturally he was refused entry to the apartment. However, he was able to open their hearts with his initiative and positive disposition and was accepted into their group. In turn, they became lovestruck with him and it was suggested that he become an older brother figure to everyone in the household. This prompted the declaration by his non-blood related imouto Hisui that she will stop being his imouto. Could they be satisfied all being second for his love?
There are English reviews

 

6. Imouto Spiral 妹スパイラル [130927] Macaron Soft
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Seiji is a normal male student without a girlfriend, except that he has strange dreams almost every day. One day, he was going to be reunited with his younger sister whom he haven't seen since they were small. However, not one, but five younger sisters were waiting for him! It happened that some incident caused the protagonists from different parallel worlds to disappear and their younger sisters went searching for them. All of them ended up coming to Seiji since he was the same as their brothers. At the same time, strange dimensional distortions started appearing around him, threatening the balance of all the worlds. How will he and his younger sisters confront this crisis?
Production values are on the rise, but story is very subtle, and imouto special feeling is gone.

 

7. Karumaruka * Circle カルマルカ*サークル [130927] Saga Planets 1 2 3 4 5 6
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“You’re the master of this world!” With those words, Kaito was invited by his energetic turtle-toting underclassman Nicole to Seikai Academy’s student council room to join the star-crossing circle. All of the girls in that group are peculiar in their own way. Once every year, on the night of Tanabata, they gather to try to access ‘Karumaruka’. If they are successful, then they would be freed from their curses and their fear of the future.
There are English reviews

 

8. Magical Marriage Lunatics!! [130927] Moonstone 1 2 3 4 5
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Yuuta is just your typical guy who enjoys an ordinary school life with his childhood friend Yuuna. Suddenly one day, a mansion appeared in his backyard, inhabited by the vampire princess Luce. One by one, other other-worldly princesses came to him, all of whom had made a childhood promise to be his bride when they grew up. He didn’t remember the promises, but then Yuuna also joined into the fray and proclaimed that she’s the one who will always be with him.
There are English reviews

 

9. Natsu no Osananajimi to, Fuyu no Kanojo 夏の幼馴染と、冬のカノジョ [130927] Nephrite 1 2
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The town of Nagashimo only experiences two distinct seasons due to its topography, with only short periods separating summer and winter. Seiji returned to his hometown at the beginning of summer after 10 years away and was happy that nothing appeared to have changed. Together with his lively osananajimi Karin, fellow proud transfer student Mitsu, onee-san-type cousin Yurari, complete-changed friend Atsu and imouto Yume, they founded the animation club to help the school with events.
There are English reviews

 

10. Noblesse of Rouge ノブレスオブルージュ [130927] ChuableSoft 1
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Toshiya’s twin imouto Rui is part of the student council at Alexandra girls’ school, a school for the nobility, and is highly admired by all students. Rui injured her leg in a training accident and wanted him to take her place until she heals completely. The student council officers (D’Artagnan, Athos, Aramis and Porthos), fondly called the “three musketeers”, are happy to see ‘Rui’ again. Will he be able to keep up this disguise until Rui returns?
There is an English impression

 

11. Rance 01 - Hikari o Motomete - ランス01 光をもとめて [130927] Alice Soft 1 2 3
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This is a remake of the original Rance title which came out 24 years ago. The womanizing warrior Rance is accompanied by his magician slave Sill as they search for the kidnapped noble daughter Hikari. It uses an old-style chip-based battle system, but the layout is pretty polished. It comes with some spiffy BGMs as well. If you always wondered how Rance or Hani came about, now’s your chance to find out.
Localized remake RPG has English reviews

 

12. Sangoku Hime 3 ~Tenka Shinsei~ 三極姫3 ~天下新生~ [130927] Gesen 18 1
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This is a continuation of the Sangokuhime series, with over 350 generals. In addition to the three kingdoms, there’ll be routes for Kouhosuu Gishin (Huangfu Song) and Ryofu Housen (Lu Bu). In the new battle system, up to 18 units can fight simultaneously and there are 6 different general types, which adds more balance. There are also 16 different types of troops which can be employed.
TBS

 

13. Yume ka Utsutsu ka Matryoshka 夢か現かマトリョーシカ [130927] Effordom Soft Crown 1
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Mamoru lives on the island of Shinonoshima, enjoying every moment with his osananajimi Miyako and close friends Isuka, Shiori, Nagi, Aoi and Kazushige. Their time together is irreplaceable to him and he believed that it would continue forever. However, he did not know he was about to fall into the abyss of despair.
He fell into a deep sleep due to a certain incident, and when he woke up, no one else remained except Miyako. Not wanting him to remain in sorrow, she told him about a ‘tradition’ passed down through generations. On the 100th night after the loss of their precious ones, if they are able to gather memories deeply connected with them and offer them to the island’s protective god Wadatsumi, then it might bring their lost ones back. They prepared for the ceremony while clinging on to the belief that it will work.
There is an English impression

 

1 Comment


Recommended Comments

Sangoku Hime 3 is easily the best of the Sangoku Hime series, taking the best of both worlds with an improved battle system over the previous two and better visuals than later entries in the series.  However, like all of the Sangoku Hime/Sengoku Hime series the story inevitably becomes disjointed due to the inherent limitations of a conquest strategy game.

Noblesse of Rouge is an annoyingly long charage that has very little content to it despite its length.  Reading it was pure torture back in the day.

Magical Marriage Lunatics is a classic example of what I like to call 'nerfing the supernatural girls'.  Essentially, all negative elements of the various heroines are weakened to make their relationships with the protagonist easier, and the drama was thus reduced to an insignificant level.  About the only positive thing I can say about that aspect is that there is a bad ending for the witch girl that occurs due to a choice during an H-scene, lol.   Otherwise, it is mostly standard rom-com fluff.

Karumaruka Circle is a game I'd almost completely forgotten in the time since it came out, because I never had an urge to replay it.  Yes, I named it VN of the Month at the time, but that doesn't mean it was kamige material.  For Saga Planets, which is known for its consistent high quality, this VN was on the lower end of its curve, though not its worst game.  If you haven't played other VNs by this company, you should pick them over this one.

Ichiban Janakya Dame Desu Ka is a hilarious VN by Rosebleu, containing the usual slapstic+tsukkomi+sitcom humor Agobarrier specialized in.  It isn't his best work, but it is still quite enjoyable.

Baldr Sky Zero is the first half of the series, a gameplay VN with an 'updated' battle system (for Heart, the battle system returned to the old version) with a polygon instead of pixel style.  While the frenetic pace of Baldr combat was left unchanged, I'm sorry to say that those using translation or parsing tools will find the game freezes constantly, so, despite the difficulty of the text, your best option is to read the Japanese without help.  Unfortunately, this makes the game feel far longer than it is, for those accustomed to using the aid of parsers, lol.  Story-wise, this game is top quality.  It does, however, make for a better experience if you play it with the other half.

Yume ka Utsutsu is a surprisingly (and so I said at the time) decent plotge with a good setting and characters.  Unfortunately, it is also a game that wasn't put together as professionally as one might hope, leading to criticism from those who nitpick to excess.  From what I recall, the untranslated readers association (the nonexistent organization on irc otherwise known as the 'it is only good if I like it' group, tlwiki's fanboys, etc) were bashing it for some reason at the time.  I imagine they had their reasons, but I also remember it annoying me when some idiot sent me a pm with the logs from their irc bashing me personally for liking it.

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