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VN of the Month May 2014 - Houkago no Futekikakusha

Houkago no Futekikakusha is VN of the Month with Sakigake ⇒ Generation! as another decent game. That's exactly how Clephas considered, and with so few releases in May there's little room for discovery. Micchi in addition to Clochette title has expectations for Majo Koi Nikki and Haruka Kanata.
1. Shizuku no Oto しずくのおと [140505] aiueo Kompany 1 2 3
Manten Aquarium---a secret place nestled in the city. 
Mayumi Nakanobe and Himeno Tamagawa
investigate the urban legend whispered about back in middle school. How much of the urban legend was based in truth?
Where water turns to blood, where the ghost of the dead curator swims---.
Where Mayu may reunite with her missing young sister---.
Where a trivial incident leads to strife between best friends---.
Where a choice may choice is made to part ways---.
Mayu and Hime confront the aquarium's many tragedies.
This summer, will you visit the aquarium too?
Game is localized and has English reviews



2. Golden Marriage ゴールデンマリッジ [140530] ensemble 1 2 3 4 5
“So long as there’s love, then I don’t need money”… that’s a lie! There’s no way that one could live without money. But that doesn’t mean that “pure love doesn’t exist, money is everything in the world”. It is only human to have these feelings, even if one cannot place a value to them. They balance their dreams and reality in this love drama of sorrow and joy, which leads them towards the ultimate end: marriage.
There are English reviews


3. Haruka Kanata はるかかなた [140530] SORAHANE 1
“Could this be… a kiss?”
So uttered the girl as she regained consciousness. She took out a notebook labelled "Wishlist" and checked off an item. The list read "Kiss", "Meet family", "Eat lots of tuna".
"That just now… wasn't it a kiss?"
To clear up any misunderstandings, it was no kiss, but mouth-to-mouth breathing. I had only intended to save her as she lay unconscious on the observation platform, and yet…
My name is Nanami Kanata. All that's left of my family is my sister Yui and our caretaker Asahi, who works as a sister in a nearby church. It was supposed to be just another ordinary day.
"You're back."
When I came home later that day, the girl was waiting for me. Her name was Haruka. We had the same eyes, hair, aura, and blue feathers that served as mementos of our father. It was only natural: Haruka and I were fraternal twins.
It was the beginning of a heartrending love story with a tinge of mystery.
English impression touches only technical side. But even with that cast aside scenario is too loose on the main Haruka route. There's a lot of drama and trauma that only get partially fixed in the end. Resolution is opportunistic, of course. Scenario has high points, but its elements are cooked poorly. If you've run out of decent nakige, it might be a nice one to play with all the patches piled up.


4. Houkago no Futekikakusha 放課後の不適格者 [140530] NostalgicChord 1 2 3 4 5
It’s autumn at Shuuka Gakuen, a full-boarding private school. The first-years have finally adjusted to life at the school, the second-years are enjoying their time, while the third-years are reminiscing with graduation approaching. Itsuka is your average third-year student who likes soccer and hangs around with his close friends: twin osananajimis Asagao and Yuugao, fellow soccer club member and best friend Jun, partner-in-crime Kousuke, iincho Kanade, and homeroom teacher Shiori. There’s nothing particular special, but they enjoy each day happily. But then one day, their lives completely changed.
There are English reviews


5. Kozukuri Shiyou yo Souma-kun ~Ecchi na Musume Demo Ii Desu ka?~ 子作りしようよ ソーマくん ~えっちな娘でもいいですか?~ [140530] Concerto Soft
Souma is a young man who doesn’t like flashy things or things that stand out. His quiet life was turned on its head when a princess from another world came to his room. She told him that if he doesn’t have sex and make someone pregnant, then he will disappeared from this world. The girls around him become more assertive to save their dear Souma. During this short period left, will he be able to choose one of them and impregnate her?
I expected at least an attempt to present some kind of story, but it's just chopped individual routes made for H.


6. Majo Koi Nikki 魔女こいにっき [140530] Qoobrand 1 2 3 4 5
Alice attends Hekihou Academy with her friends Yakko and Keiko, where she's a member of the photography club. She lives alone except for her pet dog Qoo, and she holds down a part-time job as a waitress at Dragon Burger. Her life is busy and content, but sometimes she feels like there's something she's forgetting, something she left undone. Maybe even something important.
One day Alice and her friends visit the clock tower. There, an unusual book falls into Alice's lap: the diary of a mysterious and rather perverted young man. Why do all the girls Alice meets show up in the diary? Why does nobody remember the events in the diary? And why does Alice feel so strongly that she wants to meet that young man?
There are English reviews


7. Sakigake ⇒ Generation! サキガケ⇒ジェネレーション! [140530] Clochette 1 2 3
Shuuho attends Ubutsuchi Academy in the town of Minahama on the shores of Lake Ubutsuchi. He loves games a lot and started up an ‘entertainment research’ club with his younger sister Ririko (who also loves games just as much) and his best friend Atsumori, where they gather to play games after school every day.
One day, the transfer student Anon asked them if they wanted to try playing a game which no one else had played before. Of course they were very interested, but Ririko’s best friend Yuria was openly distrustful of the idea. She was secretly a true ‘magician’ and sensed magical ability coming from Anon. However, since she wouldn’t give such an explanation to them, so she soon gave up trying to convince them otherwise. The five of them began to play the game that’s still in development: “Wizard Generation”.
As soon as they started, they found themselves in the middle of an open field. “Wizard Generation” was an extremely realistic VR game which appealed to all five senses. They were surprised at this unprecedented piece of technology and soon become absorbed in playing the game, even Yuria who did not initially accept it. Soon, the class rep Ouka and Shuuho’s childhood friend Natsume also joined their party. However, while they were enjoying the virtual game, the real world was about to reach a turning point.
There are English reviews
1. Ai Shimai IV Kuyashikute Kimochi Yokatta Nante Ienai 愛姉妹IV 悔しくて気持ち良かったなんて言えない [140530] Silky's 1
Kenji Nishiyama is a fat ugly man that wastes all his money with prostitutes. After losing his job (and money), he decided to blackmail a woman to start a secret sex life with him under the threat of showing her daughters a picture of her husband talking to a prostitute.
Later on he try to use what he got with the mother to get the daughters too but, thought in a way it worked, his relationship with them and the reason they stay with him are very different from what he was expecting.
Nukige has an English impression

Edited by kivandopulus

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Golden Marriage was one of Ensemble's better - yet still stumbling - attempts at making a good ojousama-ge.  There are so many ways this game could have been tweaked to make it better and give it more depth, but Ensemble, as usual, managed to botch it, at least partly.  That's not to say this is not a good VN (it is), but it suffers from issues with the endings and some rather forced-feeling plot twists.

Houkago  no Futekikakusha is a VN I recommend to people who want a 'hard' utsuge.  This game is all about despair-related catharsis.  The situation the protagonist in is one of the worst, emotionally, that it is possible to imagine, and he is already broken when the story begins.  

I still don't understand why anyone bothered to translate the surrealist mess that is Majo Koi Nikki.  While I normally endorse plotge getting translated, I make this one an exception, because it never manages to escape that 'dreamy' atmosphere that kept me from connecting with any of the characters.

Sakigake Generation is easily one of the best charage of 2014.  I say this because, like most Clochette games, it maintains an extremely high level of base quality despite the company's reputation as existing solely to encourage otakus to go out and have children with busty girls (seriously, I'm pretty sure there are subliminal messages in these games).  This is a prequel to one of the company's classic games, Suzunone Seven, taking place two generations before the events in that game.


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