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I just finished Lucia's route in Rewrite and I found one funny thing (for me) at the ending of the road (which is a spoiler).

Spoiler

The date at the end is November 20th 2011. and it's stated that it's one year after the tragedy. The funny thing (for me) is that my birthday is on exactly November 20th (1995) and I didn't expect to see that date in the VN, so that surprised me.

 

Edited by Mago Ivo

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Finished two VN's, Hakuoki - Edo Blossoms and SakuSaku.

header.jpg?t=1529432810

Edo Blossoms was the second part of Hakuoki after Kyoto Winds which I like quite a bit. This focused on the events after the Shinsengumi left Kyoto and moved to Edo, the former Tokyo. This time marked the decline of the Shinsengumi and as such quite a lot of them didn't make it depending on the route. This felt somewhat fan-discy though - in contrast to Kyoto Winds this wasn't a single branching story, but a collection of 12 after-stories instead, for each hero you could already romance in Kyoto Winds.

In a way this was exactly what Kyoto Winds was missing since this one focused more on the romance part of the chosen hero which was barely present in the first part. On the flip side, if you have 12 different routes with no shared parts, the quality is inevitably going to suffer. The routes were kinda short as a consequence and from a narrative point of view this simply wasn't on par with Kyoto Winds. Major events were often just mentioned in a side note and not played out. I did the routes of Hijikata, Kazama and Saito which were the ones I also played in Kyoto Winds. The routes of Hijikata and Saito felt a bit sameish while the route of Kazama was a bit different. Considering he was pretty much the arch-enemy of the Shinsengumi, it was kinda interesting to see the events from the side of the actual victors of the conflict.

I find this VN a bit hard to judge. On the one hand it simply wasn't as good story wise as its predecessor, on the other hand it had the romance parts the predecessor was missing. While I personally wasn't so interesed in those, I still enjoyed it for what it was. And for the people who were a bit disappointed by the lack of romance in Kyoto Winds, this is certainly a good addition.

Overall rating: 7/10

Though depending on what you're interested in, the grade might be higher or lower.

33666.jpg

I think I started SakuSaku almost 1,5 years ago, which obviously isn't the best sign if I need that long to finish it. An I didn't even read all routes, just the ones of Ann, Yuuri and Konami. So let's don't talk around the bush and directly address the elephant in the room: This VN was just painfully boring far too often over the full length of the title. On the other hand, the heroines were still kinda charming and the character interactions were actually not that bad. The VN just completely failed to gain any value out of its Shinigami sub-plot - there was just not effort put into it and if you make everything light and fluffy it just doesn't grab you anymore. The story had some similarities with Hosihmem, but that one did a better job in that regard. Though the comparison helped me to track down the real top offender of the VN after finishing the first route with Ann.

The music is just dreadful bad - it's basically concentrated boredom in the shape of sound waves. It's a major difference to Hosihmem which had some pretty good dramatic soundtracks. I had a long break after the first route, but when I picked it up again this year and played the routes of Yuuri and Konami, I listened to soundtracks of Stellaris and Passengers instead. While it may sound odd that someone listens to scifi soundtracks when playing a school slice of life VN, the somewhat more melancholic and tense music helped a lot to make the events at least 'appear' more dramatic. It reminded me again how important a good soundtrack is for a VN - it can easily make of break a VN. 

And to be fair, some of the parts were actually decently written. I think the real star in Yuuri's route was probably her sister Hanako. The relationship between those was just adorable and seeing Hanako desperate in tears of unrequited love and fear of losing her sister was just too touching and made her my favorite heroine. Another entry in my list of favorite heroines that didn't get a route. :(

Konami's route also surprised me a bit that they approached the incest sibling drama in a surprisingly mature way. Aoi felt for the first time like a responsible mother to me and she gained more sympathy points from me for that in this route as in the rest of the VN together. Not that Aoi would have looked anywhere near her supposed age though...:blink:

Ann's route was probably the best route regarding the Shinigami sub-plot, though it still left a lot to be desired. Didn't play Tina's route which probably also deals more with that topic.

Heroine ranking: Hanako > Ann = Elle > Nao > Yuuri > Konami > Tina > Mio = Aoi

Overall rating. 6.5/10

The VN could have been much better if the writer would have tried to focus more on the Shinigami plot and make it more dramatic instead of keeping everything fluffy and comedic. Hyberion was just an awful written character. Making him a scary badass instead of an idiot clown would have already helped a lot.

Edited by ChaosRaven

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58 minutes ago, ChaosRaven said:

Finished two VN's, Hakuoki - Edo Blossoms and SakuSaku.

header.jpg?t=1529432810

Edo Blossoms was the second part of Hakuoki after Kyoto Winds which I like quite a bit. This focused on the events after the Shinsengumi left Kyoto and moved to Edo, the former Tokyo. This time marked the decline of the Shinsengumi and as such quite a lot of them didn't make it depending on the route. This felt somewhat fan-discy though - in contrast to Kyoto Winds this wasn't a single branching story, but a collection of 12 after-stories for instead each hero you could already romance in Kyoto Winds.

In a way this was exactly what Kyoto Winds was missing since this one focused more on the romance part of the chosen hero which was barely present in the first part. On the flip side, if you have 12 different routes with no shared parts, the quality is inevitably going to suffer. The routes were kinda short as a consequence and from a narrative point of view this simply wasn't on par with Kyoto Winds. Major events were often just mentioned in a side note and not played out. I did the routes of Hijikata, Kazama and Saito which were the ones I also played in Kyoto Winds. The routes of Hijikata and Saito felt a bit sameish while the route of Kazama was a bit different. Considering he was pretty much the arch-enemy of the Shinsengumi, it was kinda interesting to see the events from the side of the actual victors of the conflict.

I find this VN a bit hard to judge. On the one hand it simply wasn't as good story wise as its predecessor, on the other hand it had the romance parts the predecessor was missing. While I personally wasn't so interesed in those, I still enjoyed it for what it was. And for the people who were a bit disappointed by the lack of romance in Kyoto Winds, this is certainly a good addition.

Overall rating: 7/10

Though depending on what you're interested in, the grade might be higher or lower.

33666.jpg

I think I started SakuSaku almost 1,5 years ago, which obviously isn't the best sign if I need that long to finish it. An I didn't even read all routes, just the ones of Ann, Yuuri and Konami. So let's don't talk around the bush and directly address the elephant in the room: This VN was just painfully boring far too often over the full length of the title. On the other hand, the heroines were still kinda charming and the character interactions were actually not that bad. The VN just completely failed to gain any value out of its Shinigami sub-plot - there was just not effort put into it and if you make everything light and fluffy it just doesn't grab you anymore. The story had some similarities with Hosihmem, but that one did a better job in that regard. Though the comparison helped me to track down the real top offender of the VN after finishing the first route with Ann.

The music is just dreadful bad - it's basically concentrated boredom in the shape of sound waves. It's a major difference to Hosihmem which had some pretty good dramatic soundtracks. I had a long break after the first route, but when I picked it up again this year and played the routes of Yuuri and Konami, I listened to soundtracks of Stellaris and Passengers instead. While it may sound odd that someone listens to scifi soundtracks when playing a school slice of life VN, the somewhat more melancholic and tense music helped a lot to make the events at least 'appear' more dramatic. It reminded me again how important a good soundtrack is for a VN - it can easily make of break a VN. 

And to be fair, some of the parts were actually decently written. I think the real star in Yuuri's route was probably her sister Hanako. The relationship between those was just adorable and seeing Hanako desperate in tears of unrequited love and fear of losing her sister was just too touching and made her my favorite heroine. Another entry in my list of favorite heroines that didn't get a route. :(

Konami's route also surprised me a bit that they approached the incest sibling drama in a surprisingly mature way. Aoi felt for the first time like a responsible mother to me and she gained more sympathy points from me for that in this route as in the rest of the VN together. Not that Aoi would have looked anywhere near her supposed age though...:blink:

Ann's route was probably the best route regarding the Shinigami sub-plot, though it still left a lot to be desired. Didn't play Tina's route which probably also deals more with that topic.

Heroine ranking: Hanako > Ann = Elle > Nao > Yuuri > Konami > Tina > Mio = Aoi

Overall rating. 6.5/10

The VN could have been much better if the writer would have tried to focus more on the Shinigami plot and make it more dramatic instead of keeping everything fluffy and comedic. Hyberion was just an awful written character. Making him a scary badass instead of an idiot clown would have already helped a lot.

I'm at the opposite at least with Yuuri. A girl breaking up with a guy because her sister is afraid of not getting to be with her as much anymore? Absolutely fucking ridiculous.

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11 minutes ago, Stormwolf said:

I'm at the opposite at least with Yuuri. A girl breaking up with a guy because her sister is afraid of not getting to be with her as much anymore? Absolutely fucking ridiculous.

I wouldn't say that. Yuuri only did that because Hanako got really desperate and also very clearly showed it to her. Considering Yuuri and Hanako had a history with the burn mark and it was clear that Yuuri had a bad conscience because of it, it wasn't all too surprising to me. It was also more of a 'let's break up for now until Hanako has recovered' and less of a forever. They got together again not much later anyway.

IMHO the bigger weakness of Yuuri was that she seemed kinda cold in their realtionship, while Hanako was all emotional. I had the impression that the writer didn't really know how to continue with Yuuri after he brought them together besides showing some H-scenes. Not exactly a unique problem though, I think I've seen that quite often so far and mostly in pure romance VN's without another sub-plot that could carry the VN. Probably one of the major reasons why in anime the couples very rarely come together before the absolute end.

But this was technically a love triangle, and those are always kinda ridiculous. XD

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2 hours ago, Stormwolf said:

I'm at the opposite at least with Yuuri. A girl breaking up with a guy because her sister is afraid of not getting to be with her as much anymore? Absolutely fucking ridiculous.

Wasn't there something similar in Hoshimemo too?

With the two sisters, I think in one route we had this dilemma and it didn't feel ridiculous

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2 hours ago, N_G said:

Wasn't there something similar in Hoshimemo too?

With the two sisters, I think in one route we had this dilemma and it didn't feel ridiculous

I don't remember how that was.

Well, as long as its written well and you dont have to sit and speculate why, and of course  the reason has to better than the shit we got here.

Yuuri's ending was also more for her sister than the protagonist and her. Well, shitty route is shity route.

Edited by Stormwolf

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Finished Symphonic Rain yesterday, so here are some thoughts.
 

Spoiler

The twist about the rain being a hallucination is interesting on paper, but I think it was poorly executed. I mean, who's seriously going to believe that there's a town where it rains nonstop for years and noone even bothers to use an umbrella? Even if such a town could actually exist and the citizens get used to the rain, I doubt they'd enjoy walking around with soaked clothes all the time. Because of this, it felt pretty obvious that there was some other meaning to it all.

Lise's route: I liked the route, but the ending felt really forced, like they just added drama for the sake of having drama. Even if Grave is an asshole, I sincerely doubt that he'd risk his entire career and freedom just for the sake of "disciplining" Lise.
Fal's route: The "shocking reveal" at the end of the route wasn't much of a surprise. I started thinking early on that she was probably two-faced, since she was acting suspiciously perfect all the time. The thing that disappointed me the most was the fact that Chris gave in to his carnal desires rather than just leave Fal. All in all, I'd say this is one of the few VN routes I've read where I think the bad ending is better than the good ending.
Torta's route & Al Fine: I find it hard to accept how easily Chris forgave Torta, and how he even apologized to her for not noticing what she was going through. You could argue that she did it all in order to spare Chris from the shock of learning about the accident and Arie's state, but he would have to deal with it sooner or later anyway. Learning about it all and realizing that you've been living a lie for several years would most definitely be a much bigger shock than if he'd been told from the start and offered proper mental care. It's a miracle that it didn't break him.
Any way you look at it, Torta was deceiving Chris for purely selfish reasons and thus deserves no sympathy.
Arie's route: Not as interesting as Al Fine, but immensely more satisfying. I suspected for a long time that Phorni and Arie were connected somehow, and all the pieces finally fell into place. I would've liked to see what happened to the other characters (especially Torta) after Chris and Arie were reunited, but other than that it felt like a really nice ending.

 

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I've picked up Trinoline and spent the afternoon reading it. 

Is this the most frustrating piece of fiction in existence? I can confidently say that no other VN, anime or whatever has made me rage so hard, so many times, in a suposedly unintended way. And I'm just about 6 or 7 hours in. 

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Well I finished MYTH after a little work related delay, and thoroughly enjoyed it! It truly was a gem and rather different from what I normally read. I'm thinking I may finally begin Higurashi next as I've read elsewhere that its similar and could do with a little more mind f**k. :wahaha:

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Just finished reading Danganronpa and the sequel Goodbye Despair.

 

Kind of preferred the first one over the sequel though. The original game kept things moving along nicely and the mystery of the school etc was pretty neat, even if there were some super annoying characters (Hiro, Toko and Hifumi in particular). I really liked Kyoko and Byakuya for moving things along because Makoto and the rest of the cast were a bit dense for so called 'ultimates'.

The sequel for me kind of went overboard with everything. I didn't like many of the cast (Chiaki was ace though), some characters went even more OTT and the constant fourth-wall breaking got on my nerves. It felt like, the first was a game but the second was just being silly and just going wild for the heck of it. The mystery felt sidelined until the finale since no one was driving the investigation so much. Really disappointed with the sequel, but, it has left me split because the first half was so bad, but the last two/three cases were pretty neat in their own way and had me wanting more... Yet, I don't want to suffer the annoyances of the characters to get through to the interesting bits...  I don't know.

Well, that's me anyway. :)

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Playing Nurse Love Syndrome, and I cleared one route and I'm at the epilogue of a second one

My impressions so far have been very positive

Like Nurse Love Addiction I like how in depth they go into the nursing field (they go even more in depth since you play as an actual nurse)

So many vns just use their setting as a backdrop so it's nice to see this not follow along those lines

Plus, you can play as an actual adult! Who drinks!

I've put If My Wings Could Fly on the back burner for a spell because it's a lil' underwhelming and the thought of playing a yuri vn with actual adults was too tantalizing to pass up

https://i.postimg.cc/L5Tc4R4L/D3-HAR-g-X4-AAMW-U.jpg

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I'm still reading Da Capo 2, and I'm still in the beginning ,because I have other vns on Steam that I really need to finish. In addition to reading Da Capo 2, I am also hoping to finish Eden, Nekopara 1, Himawari, Shuffle last route, and possibly finish Koi Ga Sakura Doki and Little Busters bonus routes by mid or late June. I do want to buy more vns when I get my Steam giftcard for my birthday, especially buy Sankaku vn which is coming on the day of my birthday. Anyway I hope to make more progress or at least finish a few vns. That is my goal as of rn. I just won't list all of these in my signature lol. 

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Virtue's_Last_Reward_3DS_Boxart.jpg

I finished Virtue's Last Reward last night, and haven't stopped thinking about it since. I picked up the Zero Escape Nonary Games last steam sale, and powered my way through 999. It's funny since I immediately went into reading ever17 after learning that Uchikoshi was involved instead of jumping straight into VLR. Few weeks later, I ended up diving right into VLR.

Ever17 left me craving some massive spoiler plot-twist style games, and VLR didn't disappoint in that regard. 

Spoiler

Acknowledging jumping through timelines, using meta knowledge as a player to defuse bombs and gain insight into character motives / backgrounds. I was ecstatic about having some of the original cast return. I freaking knew that the old woman was Akane from the start, there was no doubt in my mind. Clover was nice to see again, even if she was a little on the revealing side. It's funny that Alice was originally used as a red-herring in the original 999, and even she does a call back to the original with that. I knew Tenmyouji wasn't just some random old guy, and I had chills once I saw that photo of young Akane that he kept. I was like "YOOOOOO ITS ME FROM THE FIRST GAME". All that type of fan-service was so good, I couldn't believe it. And then once the old woman actually reveals herself as Akane with the Morphogenetic Sorrow remix playing in the background, I just had to stop playing the game for a second and listen to it in all it's glory. Jeez.

I can't even listen to that song without feeling my heart ache, I don't get it. All the reveals of the game were crazy, especially the over-the-top explanation of the time loop. I felt like the game was trying to one-up it's predecessor by such a massive extent, but I still enjoyed it. I felt the secret ending was really interesting, and I theorized that it was actually Blick Winkel that possessed K at the end. A little disappointed that it was kind of debunked as not being canon, but... I'll keep hoping for my ever17 x 999/VLR cross-over game. if they really were set in the same universe, I wouldn't even question it.

 

The soundtrack especially left a good impression on me. Same level of atmospheric sounding as 999. Couple of the puzzle rooms didn't sit well with me, but that can't be helped.
This track especially grew on me. It plays all the time whenever there's down time in-between the story. I listened to it plenty skipping through previous choices, and thought it fit very well.

Spoiler

 

This song was so good too. They used it for just about every major explanation for the events of the game.

Spoiler

 

For anyone looking for a plot-twist filled emotional trip, 999 and VLR are the two games to give a chance. They're serious and darker than the standard vn affair, but well worth the time and effort put toward them. I admit that I had to use a walkthrough, and advise doing so to prevent any frustration. Those puzzles were difficult, man. I personally liked 999's puzzles more, but VLR really made you have to think.

I have yet to play Zero Time Dilemma, though I heard it isn't really a visual novel and isn't as good as the other two. I'm a little hesitant to start it, though I'll probably run through it pretty soon just to finish the series off.

On a side note, I'm looking for something light and relaxing to read next. I finished Yumiko's route in Grisaia (for the second time) last week, and understood more about her than when I read her route the first time. Might just be time to jump straight into her afterstory in the next game, but we'll see.
 

 

Edited by dwaif

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I started reading Deardrops yesterday, and the way they're trying to build suspense for the reveal of the supposedly traumatic event that ended the protagonists career, is pretty damn annoying. They've brought it up like a gazillion times by now, and every single character who talks about it is actively omitting information, simply referring to it as "what happened", "that event" and so on, in a completely illogical manner in terms of how a normal conversation would go.

Oh, and this VN also has some of the character traits I dislike the most. A protagonist who just accepts whenever someone criticizes him based entirely on their own values, a heroine who's overly hostile while refusing to explain why, and another heroine who's too easy-going to take anything seriously.
My first impressions are pretty bad, but I guess it can only get better from here.

Edited by Seraphim88

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1 hour ago, Seraphim88 said:

I started reading Deardrops yesterday, and the way they're trying to build suspense for the reveal of the supposedly traumatic event that ended the protagonists career, is pretty damn annoying. They've brought it up like a gazillion times by now, and every single character who talks about it is actively omitting information, simply referring to it as "what happened", "that event" and so on, in a completely illogical manner in terms of how a normal conversation would go.

Oh, and this VN also has some of the character traits I dislike the most. A protagonist who just accepts whenever someone criticizes him based entirely on their own values, a heroine who's overly hostile while refusing to explain why, and another heroine who's too easy-going to take anything seriously.
My first impressions are pretty bad, but I guess it can only get better from here.

Your first complaint is pretty normal in japanese storytelling though, and i agree that its absolute shit and feels very artificial.

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5 minutes ago, Stormwolf said:

Your first complaint is pretty normal in japanese storytelling though

Yeah, this isn't the first time I've encountered this, and it definitely won't be the last. (unfortunately)
This is one of the more annoying cases, though. While other VNs tend to mention it once or twice to tease the reader, this one keeps bringing it up over and over again with the same vague wording. I seriously doubt that the reveal is amazing enough to make all this repetitive buildup feel worthwhile.

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3 hours ago, Seraphim88 said:

Yeah, this isn't the first time I've encountered this, and it definitely won't be the last. (unfortunately)
This is one of the more annoying cases, though. While other VNs tend to mention it once or twice to tease the reader, this one keeps bringing it up over and over again with the same vague wording. I seriously doubt that the reveal is amazing enough to make all this repetitive buildup feel worthwhile.

I remember a manga (which i don't recall the name of) where they started talking about "that new weapon" in that bullshitty secretive way as you mention, just a panel or two before revealing it and saying it's name. It's just stupid.. I don't see the appeal of this. Like many other things, i bet it has origins from an anime or something way long ago which did it 10 times better. You see that often when digging through old anime/manga, that the original stuff did what we now consider silly tropes much better and in a more organic way. 

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22 hours ago, OdaNova said:

The sequel for me kind of went overboard with everything. I didn't like many of the cast (Chiaki was ace though), some characters went even more OTT and the constant fourth-wall breaking got on my nerves. It felt like, the first was a game but the second was just being silly and just going wild for the heck of it.

You'll definitely hate V3 :wahaha:

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4 minutes ago, littleshogun said:

For now what I can say is that the opening usage here is resembled underrated Koi Iru Chuu Lips in which the opening will play whenever the new chapters started.

Ah, I loved Koi Iro Chu!, but this thing was actually annoying :P OTOH "previews" at the end of each chapter were nice. Heart de Roommate handled this whole "episode" thingy better - exactly because it didn't replay the OP each time.

So Damekoi does this too...

 

Edited by adamstan

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34 minutes ago, OdaNova said:

A shame. I will try to give it a fair shot though.

I honestly loved the second game more than the first: the trials are generally a lot better and more unpredictable (with the exclusion of the, erm, fourth?), the twists turn very well around the genre cliches and the knowledge of the first game betraying your expectations, characters are more likable and actually feel more *real* (the first's cast mostly looked like a sum of their archetypes tbh) etc. etc. To me, the first game seemed like a first attempt at writing something like this, while D2 actually let the potential fully shine through. Though Kodaka let them destroy the impression a fair bit with the horrible D3 anime, I still believe D2 to be the best in the series.

But true, it is going overboard at times. And if you disliked that part of D2, well, V3 is basically going EXTREMELY OVERBOARD. With everything. I really liked parts of it but more often than not it felt like Kodaka ran out of decent ideas and was just trying too hard to impress the reader with random weirdness at this point. The feeling intensified with every chapter culminating in the completely nonsense wacko finale. My dominant impression from V3 is that Kodaka is simply too tired from Danganronpa. Still, some parts and ideas of V3 are great so yeah, I wouldn't recommend skipping it.

Edited by novurdim

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Yesterday I finished to...

It's rather obscure charage from 2003 - it had only one vote on VNDB, and 74 on EGS, with average score of 60. It's one of those VNs I stumbled upon while clicking on VNDB frontpage random screenshots ;)

Our protagonist, Takanori Sakai, makes living by doing various part-time jobs. As the game begins, he arrives in the small seaside town of 涼ヶ浜 (no idea how to transcribe it :P), together with his foolish friend Tomoki Mimura, to work for a month in the small inn. He doesn't have any dreams or plans for the future - his days just pass by. OTOH Mimura is pretty carefree, and his main life priority are girls in swimsuits :P During this month, Takanori meets five girls, and maybe this will change his life?

Yep, pretty standard charage setup, but it's worth noting that at least it isn't school setting :P Furthermore, protagonist and three of five heroines are adults. (well, young adults, but still, not teenagers). So let's look at the heroines.

15357.jpg
Miho Ogasawara is first person that we meet during the game. She's highschool student, who came to the town for a week with her friends from history research club - they're searching for local stories and legends. Miho is very serious and hardworking, but also very shy. However, she really wants to change herself. To do this, she later returns, to also work at the inn.

15359.jpg
Youko Saeki is the owner of the inn - that means, she's Takanori's boss. At the first sight, she might be scary and harsh, but has also very caring side to her. She's the game's tsundere nee-san ;) Besides the inn, she also does part-time job as life guard at the beach.

15356.jpg
Satomi Mimura - Tomoki's little sister, with serious brother complex. She unexpectedly arrives at fourth or fifth day, because she couldn't stand being separated from "nii-chan". Token loli heroine :P Besides that, she, together with her stupid brother, serve as a comic relief - she often fights with Youko, accusing her of overworking her nii-chan, and having too big tits :P

15360.jpg
Kyouko Shiraishi is another part-time worker at Youko's inn. Always cheerful and hardworking - but is it all that there's to her?

15355.jpg
Mari Kitazawa - mysterious girl, that sometimes can be seen on the cliff or on the beach, always wearing the same black dress, wordlessly staring at the sea. It turns out, that she still mourns the death of her fiancee, who drowned three years ago while saving little girl during the storm.

 

******** (routes summary below, light spoilers possible) **********

First route I played was Miho's. She's very cute and likable character. Miho pretty quickly falls in love with Takanori, however he thinks that he's "unworthy" of her, afraid that he will "taint" her. Of course, pure and shy Miho thinks that it's her fault, and that he hates her. Because of this, he had to be scolded by Youko - TWICE, and her rants were epic :D "Do you think she doesn't have her own will? That she's just a doll? Bullshit - you're just protecting your pride!".

Next was Youko's route. She's loved by townsfolk, always ready to help others, but she doesn't let others to do anything for her. She turns down marriage proposals, as she doesn't want to abandon her inn, which she treasures above all else, 'cause she inherited it from her late aunt, who raised Youko after she lost her parents. She's also filled with regrets for going to Tokyo after graduation, so she wasn't there to help her aunt - that's why now she sacrifices herself for the sake of others. Seeing all this, Takanori wants to help her somehow, but it won't be easy to break through the walls that Youko built around herself.

Satomi's route is about growing up and "graduating" from her brother complex. When it comes to the love matters, she's even more clueless than Konomi from Princess Evangile ;) Route itself is actally not bad, but it could do without h-content (or they could make her less loli...)

Mari is very difficult to approach, because she's completely lost in her grief. She rarely speaks or shows any reactions at all. This route was really good and emotional story about getting over tragic loss and starting to live again. It was much better that the three previous ones. Also, it's the only route with two possible endings.

Kyouko's route is another highlight. Her cheerful face masks some great suffering - she's very poor, working herself almost to death with three part time jobs.
Her parents were victims of bus accident when she was still in middle school. They haven't died on the spot, but fell in coma. After almost a year in hospital, they passed away, and Kyouko was left with huge bill... But that's also not the whole truth. There are several twists in this route and lots of drama, but the ending felt quite satisfying - I'm glad I saved this route for the end.

*************************************************

First three routes (Miho, Youko and Satomi) were not bad, but had some pacing issues. They lacked proper build-up for h-scenes, which happened a bit suddenly. Especially first Youko's scene came totally out od the blue. Also, scenes themselves were pretty meh, with rather stiff writing dangerously close to Ikea sex trope ("put the peg A into hole B") :P So those routes are what I'd call "standard eroge" routes. However, Mari's and Kyouko's routes are waaaay better, wandering into nakige territory. There are three different writers credited for this game's scenario, so that may be the cause.

The art is very nice. Characters have blinking animations both for sprites and CGs - I loved it. Voices are also good. However, the game feels a bit empty, because only main heroines and Mimura are voiced and have sprites. Also, music is almost nonexistent, because there are few tracks, and they don't loop, so for the most of the time game is silent (unless your reading speed is fast enough, but that's not the case with me ;)). Ending song is very nice. Also, the game marks already read text and chosen choices - neat feature.

I read this using ITHVNR + ChiiTrans combo. ITHVNR hooks it without any problems. As for the difficulty - I'd say it was on the similar level as ToHeart - there were certainly some things that I've missed, but it wasn't too hard to follow.

So, after first three routes I was a bit disappointed, but Mari's and Kyouko's routes redeemed it a bit. So finally, my score ends a bit higher than EGS average - 7/10.

 

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