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Sakura Nikagetsu


Clephas

1274 views

Sakura Nikagetsu is a VN by the company known as Orange Yell. So far, Orange Yell has produced two VNs, including this one, both of them nakige that at times come just short of being utsuge.

First, I should mention that the art is pretty under par in both this company's games, in comparison to the industry baseline (if you exclude nukige and doujin). The reason for this becomes pretty evident when you start reading, and you realize how well-written their games are... and how good the music melds with it. tbh, if I wasn't so sure this company was doomed to go bankrupt because of this approach, I'd have a lot of hope for this company's future, just based on these two aspects of the VN.

The protagonist of this VN is an open and admitted lolicon, a genius 'human breeder' (in the Japanese sense that 'breeder' interchangeable with 'trainer') is locally known for having turned his three local osananajimi's (who were all three of them 'ponkotsu' in the same sense that a car can be a lemon) into 'proper human beings'. He is perhaps the most open and honest pervert I've ever seen in a live-together situation, and the way he takes advantage of every opportunity for a good time (stopping short of actual sex) outmatches that of any other perverted protagonist I've seen in a VN. Combined with the fact that he is a genius, manipulative, and overall all-powerful as an athlete, his perversion is pretty much his only weakness (a big one, as he has virtually no impulse-control).

One of his osananajimis, a girl named Korobu, dies before the story begins in an accident, and one day, in front of her grave, an 'angel' appears and makes a deal with him to allow him to talk to Korobu just one more time. In exchange, he has to 'reform' four new 'ponkotsu' girls in two months' time, or his emotions toward Korobu will be taken away. Being a confident 'oresama' type character, he says yes immediately, of course.

The four heroines are: The ignorant would-be yamato nadeshiko (Hako), the airheaded miko who talks to the doll sitting on her shoulder (Nayu), the cursed hikikomori who can sleep anywhere (Shimai), and last of all... the self-described spiritualist (medium) and ojousama (Mamori).

Previously to joining this company, the writer did a couple of nukige that had surprisingly well-constructed stories (coincidentally, I read one of them early on in my VN career). I remember seeing the reviews from nukige-players that basically said 'eh, I just wanted ero, why are they making me read a real story?' back when I played it, lol. Anyway, he is really good at making you like his characters and making you cry. This VN is no exception, showing off his ability to create a situation and cast of characters that will draw your emotions in and hit you with some good emotional whammies.

About two-thirds of the VN is the fairly-hilarious common route, where the heroines and the protagonist live together and the self-described 'angel' sometimes drops in to be picked on by the protagonist (or so the protagonist, Yasumi, says). The common route is mostly about how the somewhat over-protective Yasumi 'reforms' the girls, teaching them how to wash their own hair, put on their own clothes, and study for school (seriously, to one degree or another, they are that bad). They never do get over having no sense of direction, though.

Anyway, each of the heroine routes took me about two hours to finish, making them about average length for a charage. However, since ichaicha was generally a secondary objective and low in amount, a great deal of story was packed into those two hour periods. I was actually impressed at the degree to which I was emotionally dragged into the situation in each case. That said, this is just a really solid nakige, not a kami-nakige. The 'true' ending is basically a short recounting of the story from Sakura's perspective, where she reveals what she was thinking and feeling during the entire business, and it ends in a pretty sad note.

Overall, I felt that this VN would have had a good chance at VN of the Month if it wasn't for Sorcery Jokers. It is amusing, has a unique protagonist, a solid character dynamic, and some good cathartic moments in each path... just enough to make it a 'pleasant meal'.

Now I have to figure out if there is anything else I should play before announcing the VN of the Month for July...

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