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Was planning to get started on my first VN in Japanese today. I picked KonoSora Flight Diary, because I deemed it fitting since the original was one of my first VNs and still one of my all-time favorites, but it's refusing to cooperate with me. Whenever I try to start the game, it freezes at the Pulltop logo and I have to end the process in the task manager. I've tried changing basically every setting in the launcher that appears before the game boots, but I get the same result every time. Any suggestions? (Yes, the computer is set to Japanese locale.)

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guys I solved it I solved it, I finally know why mmorpgs make female armor so skimpy     Sharty's face is just priceless

Picked up, or rather finally started Ace Attorney trilogy on my 3DS. Finished the first game, in the middle of Ep1 of the 2nd game, which is atm a shame because i expected Phoenix to start off veteran

Only for H-scenes. Edit: Most VNs have some kind of flash or pause that occurs at the end of h-scenes... it isn't always obvious, but once you've picked up the knack for it, it is easy to stop th

No idea why it does that. I read console version with emulator and didn't have any problems. 

But I don't remember any problems with running PC version either. If it was locale problem it should crash with error message, not freeze.

Still I consider PS3 version to be superior. Akari's route is much better than pretty lame Himegi sisters threesome scene it replaced. Replacement scenes in other routes are also cute.

Edited by adamstan
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1 hour ago, Seraphim88 said:

Was planning to get started on my first VN in Japanese today. I picked KonoSora Flight Diary, because I deemed it fitting since the original was one of my first VNs and still one of my all-time favorites, but it's refusing to cooperate with me. Whenever I try to start the game, it freezes at the Pulltop logo and I have to end the process in the task manager. I've tried changing basically every setting in the launcher that appears before the game boots, but I get the same result every time. Any suggestions? (Yes, the computer is set to Japanese locale.)

I think I had the same issue with the original game in JP. But I can't remember how I fixed it right now. :wacko:

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I wasn't able to find a Cruise Sign ISO anywhere, and since I don't have any way of playing disc-based games on my PC, I guess I'll have to abandon the idea of that right now.

On the bright side, I finally got the PC version of Flight Diary to work. Not sure why, but it seems to run perfectly with a locale emulator. I hadn't even considered trying that before, since the computer's already set to Japanese locale and I have no trouble running other games in Japanese. Flight Diary is a special case, apparently.

Anyway, I haven't had much time to try it out yet, but I've been slowly (we're talking less than a snail's pace here) moving through the beginning of Hotaru's route. I know a decent amount of kanji already, but I've realized that I really need to brush up on and improve my grammar and non-kanji vocabulary. That said, it's very satisfying to feel how certain things click into place in my mind, and I'm honestly kinda regretting not getting started with reading earlier, however slow it may be at first.

Edited by Seraphim88
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Yesterday I finished first route in Natsu no Ame. It was Rikako's route.

My impressions after that first route are good - it featured some nice character development, a twist or two, and lots of emotional moments. However, I feel like this VN is hindered by being an eroge - H-scenes are, to quote Joyjason's otherwise glowing and enthusiastic review kind of a double-edged sword here. They were not bad, but sometimes their placement felt a bit awkward, and in other places it felt like a story has been bent just to make a room for a sex scene. Also, there was one completely unnecessary pantyshot CG of Tomomi (MC's little sister, who isn't a heroine) It gave me YU-NO flashbacks :P

It might sound like a heresy, but I'd love to see non-porn version of this VN, preferably in NekoNyansoft's format  ;)

It seems like Rikako is kind of main heroine here - she's for Natsu no Ame what Kotori was for Konosora. Let's see how the remaining three routes turn out :)

 

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Right now I'm replaying Tsujidou-san no Junai Road because this game's romance is the best so far until now for me and I can't get enough of it.

But I need to end Aokana, I was almost finishing some weeks ago but got bored at some point in Asuka's route, and I stopped playing Misaki's route because I want to leave her for last since she is best girl, I'll come back to it after finishing my replay of Tsujidou, and I also started playing Chaos Child some months ago but stopped because college, I'll play it probably after finishing Aokana.

I'm still hoping Masaya from Aokana will come back to FC and have his match with Shindou since he deserves it, and his reason for quitting is so fucking stupid, Masaya can't be that pathetic come on, he is the protagonist he needs to shine, this game will disappoint me if he doesn't restart playing FC.

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Yesterday I started Ageha's Midori's route in Natsu no Ame.

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I'm still at the beginning, but I'm already liking her very much. She brings that nice feeling - she's great friend and it feels good just to be around her. When reading yesterday I found myself smiling most of the time :D

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I did remember that my roommate did play Natsu no Ame using ATLAS, and that we still didn't have it translated yet unlike Yosuga no Sora (It's been at already 100% translated). I just hope that sometime we'll have it translated, if only for passionate Hitomi Nabatame-voiced love-making scenes and more importantly Kantoku's art.

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On 7/13/2020 at 6:56 PM, Soul Hunter said:

Right now I'm replaying Tsujidou-san no Junai Road because this game's romance is the best so far until now for me and I can't get enough of it.

But I need to end Aokana, I was almost finishing some weeks ago but got bored at some point in Asuka's route, and I stopped playing Misaki's route because I want to leave her for last since she is best girl, I'll come back to it after finishing my replay of Tsujidou, and I also started playing Chaos Child some months ago but stopped because college, I'll play it probably after finishing Aokana.

I'm still hoping Masaya from Aokana will come back to FC and have his match with Shindou since he deserves it, and his reason for quitting is so fucking stupid, Masaya can't be that pathetic come on, he is the protagonist he needs to shine, this game will disappoint me if he doesn't restart playing FC.

Too bad the group didn't translate it's fandisc as the routes end in a "to be continuted" fashion.

Edited by Stormwolf
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3 minutes ago, Stormwolf said:

Too bad the group didn't translate it's fandisc as the routes end in a "to be continuted" fashion.

Are you talking about Tsujidou? If yes then I couldn't agree more with you, when I was reading Ai's after story I spent as much time as possible reading and rereading each line (my rate was pressing Enter 1 time per 3 minutes ;)) before appearing the inevitable, horrible and cruel "FIN", but then it happened, the game FUCKING ENDED, it's such a shame that things tend to end, but at least this boosted my motivation to continue studying japanese, I think one day I'll learn it and be able to play Virgin Road, I'm still stuck in the basics but am able to understand some basic sentences.

If you're talking about Aokana then the only thing I want is for Masaya to come back to FC, I finished all routes today and he doesn't play a single match which was a HUGE disappointment, the game even kept foreshadowing his match with Shindou, but for what? At least the romance is good, won't hurt seeing more of it in a sequel/fandisk/whatever. 

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Still slogging through Chaos;Head Child

LOL LOOK HOW BAD MY SAVE TIME STAMPS ARE:

Spoiler

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So it's been a little more than a month and a half now that I've been casually reading through this? 

I've finished the common route, Hinae's route, and currently going through Hana's route, then will do Uki's then Nono's and finally the TRUE route. So ETA completion at this pace should be by September or something :makina:
 

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Welp so much for September lol, I just binged the rest of Chaos;Child last night, meaning Hana's route, then Uki's route, then Nono's and finally the true route.

It's a pretty good VN. Chaos;Child takes place 6 years after the key events of Chaos;Head's New Generation Madness killings and the Shibuya Earthquake, but focuses on a new cast, so an indirect sequel. The protagonist is an upgraded version of Chaos;Head's (first) Takumi Nishijou by the name of (first) Takuru Miyashiro: upgraded in that he's less of an extreme hikkikomori (shut in) who avoided social contact at all costs and was a stuttering mess if he did interact with people, and more of just a typical awkward high school boy with his own hard beliefs on him being a right-sider and everyone else a wrong-sider. A much more bearable protagonist if you ask me.

Takuru is the president of his own newspaper club, with the members being his inseparable ditzy childhood friend Serika Onoe, his naggy but evercaring foster sister Nono Kurusu who's also the student council president and VP of the newspaper club (she's my best girl btw), Hana Kazuki the 'mute' gamer girl who only ever utters "Mmm" and mainly just plays her online ESO2 game in the newspaper clubroom, and Shinji Itou the male protagonist best friend support guy. Other characters include Hinae Arimura: a blonde twintail kouhai who acts very superficially friendly around her friends and Mio Kunosato, the "what if we take Steins;gate's Kurisu and make her completely unlikeable" cold hard facts scientist type.

Takuru used to be a part of Dr. Sakuma Wataru's household: Sakuma is an easygoing doctor who owns his own Aoba Clinic and he adopted Takuru, Nono, and siblings Yui & Yuto Tachibana- orphans from the Shibuya Earthquake 6 years ago. The family eventually grew fairly tight-knit, always gathering for supper to exchange pleasantries about their days under a "keep no secrets from each other" policy. However, Takuru angrily moved out into his own trailer 6 months prior to the start of Chaos;Child after feeling betrayed when the secrets policy was violated against him by none other than Nono (resulting in him calling her Kurusu, her last name, from that point on. Ouch).

As president of the newspaper club, Takuru has a thirst for chasing exotic cases he feels would shake the world. Fortunately for him, a new set of bizarre murders start occurring in Shibuya- and interestingly enough they are dated to occur on the same days as the ones that occurred during the New Generation Madness killings from Chaos;Head 6 years ago! Takuru easily gets hook-line-and-sinker'd and begins to obsess over investigating and solving the case, much to Nono's dismay. The first 6 chapters will meander between Takuru's everyday slice of life with his newspaper club shenanigans, his friends, and his adoptive family as the New Generation Madness Killings continue to make headlines all over Shibuya. Will Takuru be able to solve the case, or is he getting in way over his head?!

Story: 8.5/10. Common route starts off slow with the slice of life and preparing for culture festival but once the term Gigalomaniac makes it onto the screen the story starts picking up. It involves a lot of pseudoscience/supernatural powers that can affect reality jargon and are channeled via Di-Swords (A.K.A. BIG F*CKING exotic supernatural swords) btw so it can feel a bit Chuuni at times. The concept of delusions was interesting. There are a fair amount of plot revelations that change the very nature of characters entirely that can add some "let me go back to this scene now that I know this" reread value. Overall enjoyable.

Characters: 9/10. Takuru was nowhere near as unbearable as Takumi. Nono would probably be on my top 5 heroines if I did have a list. Idk, the student council president + nagging worrywart but legitimately caring older sister type was a complete and utter win for me. Hinae was the guilty pleasure. Hana and Uki were kind of like the filler heroines, but passable.

Art: 9/10. Has that clean modern moe look. Particularly loved all of best girl Nono CGs. Some CGs can look a bit low quality though.

Spoiler

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Nono (right) so pretty uwuu


Music: 8/10. They got some good tracks. The title theme World is pretty up there along with their other works like Steins;gate + (0). Visible Essence is the revelation theme and its quite badass when you do get it. 

Spoiler

 

 

 

!!!SPOILERS!!! MISC. THOUGHTS/COMMENTS (MAJOR MAJOR SPOILERS)
Finally can rant about the juicy bits.

Spoiler

I guess I'll try to go in order. I read common route -> Hinae -> Hana -> Uki -> Nono -> True route based on some walkthrough on STEAM, and yeah it's a pretty good flow. I was so tempted to read Nono's route first because best girl, but I actually am glad I saved her for last. Made the whole revelation about Nono that much more impactful for me.


Common route:

Spoiler

RIP YUI TACHIBANA

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Ok, I liked Yui. Especially after she said she would beat up all the bullies who were bullying her little brother Yuto. There were some MAJOR MAJOR goosebumps to be had when Takuru called Itou to confirm Yui was with him and you could just tell by the way he was talking that something was horribly horribly off. Made even more disgusting when you learn later on who the true killer is. But Itou was a nice distraction. I was truly like, wait wtf are they really gonna make this guy the mastermind, there's no way...

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The killer is one of those three?! The newspaper club room investigation segments in general were decently fun, minus the first one where you had to match the dates with the Chaos;head murders, it's like how the hell are we supposed to know. Btw I was at first hoping for the killer to be Takuru, as in he had a split personality and he orchestrated this entire thing as a game for himself. Well, technically he was indirectly responsible...

Then the writers had the fking gall to kill off Kurusu shortly after while revealing Serika the childhood ditzy best friend as the culprit behind the murders. Probably one of the bigger WHAMS I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing:

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Many manly tears were shed for Nono ;-;. I actually read through Yui's and Nono's deaths on the same day, and it didn't really register to me during the read until I was in bed sleeping. Then it hit me and I mourned for them HARD lmao.

They even had a secondary NPC mourn for Nono, she's just that great a character:

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Amen.

Then to continue beating the dead horse we get slapped with LOL SAKUMA IS ACTUALLY THE BAD GUY, HE WAS WORKING WITH SERIKA THE WHOLE TIME SO THEY'RE BOTH THE MASTERMINDS BEHIND THE NEW GENERATION MADNESS KILLINGS PT.2, OH BTW HE DID THE WHOLE ADOPTING GIGALOMANIACS PURELY "FOR FUN" LOL YOU FELL FOR IT SUCKERRRR

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The level of betrayal felt here was actually really well done. This dude had a cute ass family, but it was all done purely for his research. Just look at some of his quips with his kids:

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Really sounds like a normal parent. The shock factor of this reveal is equivalent to, say, having Naruto's dad actually being the big bad. Or maybe Ash Ketchum's mom being the big bad. Yup. I genuinely never expected Sakuma to be the big baddy. Nono legitimately dies believing in her father and never suspecting him. Very thematically tragic.

Unfortunately we will never get to see Nono actually confront him since she's either dead or he's dead. A shame. Would've liked to see that interaction.

~~
Serika originally being Takuru's imaginary friend turned real when he got his Gigalomaniac powers from the Shibuya Earthquake with her only purpose being fulfill Takuru's desires thus resulting in her masterminding the New Generation Madness Killings pt.2 so he could solve the case and be crowned as a hero ala Nishijou Takumi from C;H was an OK reveal. Didn't shock me too much, especially since I remember Chaos;Head doing something slightly similar with Shogun and Takumi but yeah. Pretty decent stuff.

 

Hinae

Spoiler

Ok, ngl, I forgot a lot about what happens in her route. Uhhh her family had trust issues so when she got her lie detector powers it made her distant from everyone because knowing whether people are truth or lying made everyday conversation superficial. Hinae and Takuru flirt a bit, he's really easy to read and typically genuine with his interactions so she falls for him a lot, unfortunately murders UNRELATED to the New Gen Madness start happening, Hinae randomly starts seeing her dead brother (who was apparently real booted into existance due to Hana, oops + nice foreshadowing on Hana's power), then Hinae's mom tries to kill her because of the 'you ruined my life, you should've never been born!' trope. Oh no.

Hinae in general is my guilty pleasure character, she definitely bolstered the slice of life interactions with her superficially friendly banter and ability to call people out when they lie, but also when the time is right she is able to provide key insight such as whenever Nono says a lie regarding Senri for them sweet sweet foreshadow points.

Takuru dies protecting Hinae from her mom, and for some reason even though he's dead his consciousness still exists.
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EERIE AS F*CK
That kind of REALLY went over my head until I finished the VN and started reading up on various analyses and reviews. But apparently that was supposed to be a big hint that all the heroine routes are delusions for when they are in a coma between the common route/Sakuma duel and when the true route takes off 3 months after: the routes are all just a looping synchro delusion between Takuru and the heroines. Really really cool concept.

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Nice fanservice shot of Hinae btw. Though, it's technically fan disservice when you learn about the truth about Chaos;Child Syndrome lmao.

 

Hana

Spoiler

Eyyy gamer girl finally gets to talk! I wonder how the VA is compensated, did they pick a lower tier VA/she get less pay since she had significantly less lines to record and whatnot lol. Hana's route was alright. Had some touching moments like how Nono forcing her to join the Newspaper Club actually gave her a sense of purpose and how she genuinely appreciated being a part of something even though she didn't talk at all. Hana in general throughout the various routes is pretty consistent in being the just there to support person, which to her credit she pulls of well and she definitely felt like a part of the team.
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Her muteness was explained as being a conscious result of her power: whatever she says has the potential to real boot based on anyone who hears what she says. She has no control over it, so things can easily get out of hand and so she stays mute.

Annnnd of course her route involves her accidentally summoning portals and monsters from her online game all over the Shibuya. She's thus deemed a threat by the Committee of 300, a Steins;gate SERN equivalent off screen big baddie organization and so Mr. Wakui, previously just an aloof friendly teacher, turns out to be from said organization and tasked with assassinating them and so Hana real boots an attack-on-titan equivalent of a sumo sticker and they do battle.

The Mr. Wakui = bad guy reveal was done pretty well, almost comparable to the "something's off with Itou right when he's about to kill Yui":

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OH SHIT

Speaking of Knightheart, one of the definite highlights of this route is the existence of Hana's online game friend KnightHeart A.K.A. Chaos;Head's Takumi Nishijou. I totally have a hard-on for characters to show up in the sequels so even though I hated Takumi's guts in C;H he was a total badass here:

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LMAO, I TOTALLY BET TAKUMI HAD A DELUSION ABOUT HANA FLASHING WAKUI WTF MAN.

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SUMOOOOOO TIIIIIIIIIIITAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNN

 

Uki

Spoiler

Another filler girl that doubles as the Yui Tachibana replacement. Uki was found in the basement of the Hospital that experimented on Gigalomaniacs and while Takuru spends a good amount of the common route suspecting her of the evils she eventually turns out to be just a little girl who wants to fulfill people's desires. She's adopted by Sakuma and becomes the new little sister of the family.

Her route was surprisingly entertaining due to its nature of being a complete delusional world created to keep Takuru alive after he intercepted and was impaled by an enraged Uki's Di-Sword lunging towards Itou who freshly killed Yui. Takuru is HAPPY in this world- there are some high quality fun slice of life moments to be had and is oblivious to the truth of this world.

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A+ Banter.

Eventually Nono and Serika are able to call out to Takuru in this delusion world and tell him that he needs to wake up or he will never be able to. The reason? It wasn't Takuru who was impaled by Uki, it was Takuru who impaled Uki when he was trying to protect Itou! And this was HER delusional world, not his! So if his consciousness was trapped in her world and she died, it's game over.

Takuru still almost accepts his happy delusional world fate (it's one of the badends actually) before real Uki comes in to fix things. Delusional Uki doesn't accept reality and so they battle.

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Cute lolis with swords

Route ends with either Uki dying for real or ending up in a vegetative state, to which Takuru decides to spend the rest of his life atoning.

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Nono

Spoiler

Yay, best girl time. Also thoroughly enjoyed her route too, no bias included (jk). 

When it comes to VNs with branching paths I always like to see if the choices made make sense in splitting the timelines; in this case Takuru apparently had enough positive delusions involving Nono during the common route that he was able to make it to the Nono vs Serika duel in time to save Nono this time!

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WHOOOOO GO TAKURU YOU'RE SO MUCH MORE MANLY A PROTAGONIST THAT TAKUMI EVER WAS!!@#

NGL I lowkey wanted this route to involve Sakuma more and have Nono learn the truth about his fakeness and confront him about it and then maybe he would see the light and realize that he had a wonderful thing going on with his family and change his ways, but l0lnope Serika offscreens him moments after the above encounter ggez. With Sakuma dead, Nono steps up evermore as the affectionate eldest sister worrying about where the family would live now and even contemplating quitting school to go work so they could pay for living expenses. God Nono is such a great character.

The surviving members of Aoba Clinic: Takuru, Nono, Yuto and Uki then move to a run down dinghy apartment (right next to the cold scientist Mio Kunosato, much to Nono's disappointment). Takuru begins calling Nono by her first name again after a heart to heart session. They lie low and avoid going to school for a while out of fear of Serika, but eventually Hinae and Hana track them down and begin regularly visiting under the guise of newspaper club room activities.

Desperate lovesick loserboy Kawahara Masashi (who was part of Nono - Senri - Kawahara childhood friendship) eventually tracks Nono down as well and goes on a spitballing "your family isn't truly your family, Senri wasn't your best friend, Takuru is a nobody, I AM THE ONLY ONE WHO UNDERSTANDS YOU, THE ONLY ONE WHO LOVES YOU!" like a dumbass in front of the household before finally getting shoo'ed away. This unfortunately causes the group to casually inquire about Senri to Nono, who responds rather awkwardly, causing Hinae to pick up that she's lying about something. Takuru attempts multiple times to find out what and why exactly Nono is lying, but she continues to dodge much to his frustration especially due to the family's 'no secret's' policy.

And so the big reveal, courtesy of Serika's mind reading powers? Nono Kurusu- the real Nono Kurusu- died 6 years ago from the Shibuya Earthquake. Senri Minamisawa, a girl who had nothing who looked up to Nono and wanted to become her, awakened the power to shapeshift. She took on Nono's appearance to the exact, and in the heat of the moment burned Nono's body and claimed the body to be that of Senri's. Senri, looking exactly like Nono, would live on as Nono Kurusu. 

Now I didn't find that lie- that "Nono" was actually Senri- to be all that bad. Cuz I knew her feelings all this time were indeed genuine. Naturally we need drama though and so Takuru would blow up in her face about being a liar and a fake and call her out on what other potential things she could be lying about (which is totally valid). (Luckily in the true route, the writers gloss over this and Takuru simply goes "idiot, you should've told me sooner" to the Nono = Senri reveal). Btw, sucks to be Kawahara. The real Nono is long dead so he's been chasing SenriNono all this time, all while having already loudly claiming his hatred for Senri in his earlier outburst. Talk about awkward.

Takuru would go on a heroic BSOD and find life to be pointless at this point, so Serika appears to grant him his wish of ending his life. Nono, having resolved herself to no longer live a fake life and instead be true to herself, appears as her original Senri self and vows to protect her little brother at all costs. This touches Takuru deeply and so he is able to finally forgive her. Serika, staying true to her purpose of satisfying Takuru's desires, knows she has no place in their future and so she makes one last valiant stand as the big bad:
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It's a very touching route. Nono- no, Senri- was a girl who started out with nothing but a best friend whom she looked up to dearly and dreamed of becoming. She eventually did get her wish out of some twisted fate and became Nono Kurusu, but to be fair everything she built up for herself from that point on- her family at Aoba Clinic, her position as student council president and reputation among classmates as the "Empress"- was the result of her own efforts. Admittedly a part of me was sad at the fact that Nono Kurusu is dead, and it did feel weird to have Senri Minamisawa be the true identity of the best girl I fawned over this entire VN. But alas,

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True Route

Spoiler

You just need a couple screenies and 'nuff said:

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Like holy f*ck I know they explicitly said in the very beginning of the VN that Chaos;Child Syndrome was a psychogenetical schizophrenia disorder or whatever that resulted from the Shibuya Earthquake and that the patients didn't realize they had a disorder but man this was by far one of the biggest mindblows I've ever gotten from a VN lol. Let me repost the normal looking screeny of the one above because goddamn I never knew you could make Nono look bad LOL
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Ahhh... much better...

Not much else to say. Takuru takes the fall as the mastermind behind the New Generation Madness Killings and is locked up, but not before succeeding in becoming the first patient to break out of Chaos;Child syndrome and thus allowing Mio to develop a cure for the rest of the patients, and atoning for Serika by real booting her to become a regular normal girl and living a normal life. No problems with this ending.

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Overall: 8.5/10. Legit did not think I would like this sci-fi adv VN as much due to how much I despised Chaos;Head. It was good enough that I actually want to reread Chaos;Head so I can catch up on all the story beats and whatnot, but ahh nvm. Will look forward to reading Robotics;Notes + DaSH when they do come out to EN on the Switch later this year.

I'll watch the 6.5/10 MAL rated anime of Chaos;Child real quick because I like to see things animated even though they'll probably butcher it so bad since only lol12episodes for a 30-50+ hr VN.

E: lol yeah, the anime is only enjoyable as a "let's watch a recap of Chaos;child" right after finishing the VN itself. So many disappointed people who were like I don't get it or it's a rushed mess (which it definitely was, but I obviously was able to keep up and just enjoy seeing everything animated)

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Yesterday I finished Midori's route in Natsu no Ame. It had very different tone compared to Rikako's route - it was much more lighthearted. I'd compare its mood to Making Lovers. For now, I think Midori might be my favorite character from this VN :)  First h-scene happened totally out of the blue, but well, it wasn't something that couldn't happen at all, so I won't complain too much ;) And scenes themselves, while fairly generic, had some nice dialogues in them, so all in all they were nice. By that I mean, there was some love there, not just technical descriptions of fucking coupled with moans and slurps (although those were present as well) :) Also, I really liked kissing CG before third scene.

BTW now that I browsed through CG gallery, it seems that Rikako is the only one with four h-scenes - other heroines have three. And perhaps that fourth one was the one too many? Because, while reading Midori's route, I didn't have that feeling of h-content being forced / squeezed in, or at least not as much as in Rikako's route. Maybe they had better lead-ins (apart from the first one :P )

Now I'm reading Hinako's (osananajimi) route. It's again more serious mood than Midori's. Some people said it was boring - let's see how will it turn out for me.

Edited by adamstan
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12 hours ago, Eclipsed said:

Welp so much for September lol, I just binged the rest of Chaos;Child last night, meaning Hana's route, then Uki's route, then Nono's and finally the true route.

It's a pretty good VN. Chaos;Child takes place 6 years after the key events of Chaos;Head's New Generation Madness killings and the Shibuya Earthquake, but focuses on a new cast, so an indirect sequel. The protagonist is an upgraded version of Chaos;Head's (first) Takumi Nishijou by the name of (first) Takuru Miyashiro: upgraded in that he's less of an extreme hikkikomori (shut in) who avoided social contact at all costs and was a stuttering mess if he did interact with people, and more of just a typical awkward high school boy with his own hard beliefs on him being a right-sider and everyone else a wrong-sider. A much more bearable protagonist if you ask me.

Takuru is the president of his own newspaper club, with the members being his inseparable ditzy childhood friend Serika Onoe, his naggy but evercaring foster sister Nono Kurusu who's also the student council president and VP of the newspaper club (she's my best girl btw), Hana Kazuki the 'mute' gamer girl who only ever utters "Mmm" and mainly just plays her online ESO2 game in the newspaper clubroom, and Shinji Itou the male protagonist best friend support guy. Other characters include Hinae Arimura: a blonde twintail kouhai who acts very superficially friendly around her friends and Mio Kunosato, the "what if we take Steins;gate's Kurisu and make her completely unlikeable" cold hard facts scientist type.

Takuru used to be a part of Dr. Sakuma Wataru's household: Sakuma is an easygoing doctor who owns his own Aoba Clinic and he adopted Takuru, Nono, and siblings Yui & Yuto Tachibana- orphans from the Shibuya Earthquake 6 years ago. The family eventually grew fairly tight-knit, always gathering for supper to exchange pleasantries about their days under a "keep no secrets from each other" policy. However, Takuru angrily moved out into his own trailer 6 months prior to the start of Chaos;Child after feeling betrayed when the secrets policy was violated against him by none other than Nono (resulting in him calling her Kurusu, her last name, from that point on. Ouch).

As president of the newspaper club, Takuru has a thirst for chasing exotic cases he feels would shake the world. Fortunately for him, a new set of bizarre murders start occurring in Shibuya- and interestingly enough they are dated to occur on the same days as the ones that occurred during the New Generation Madness killings from Chaos;Head 6 years ago! Takuru easily gets hook-line-and-sinker'd and begins to obsess over investigating and solving the case, much to Nono's dismay. The first 6 chapters will meander between Takuru's everyday slice of life with his newspaper club shenanigans, his friends, and his adoptive family as the New Generation Madness Killings continue to make headlines all over Shibuya. Will Takuru be able to solve the case, or is he getting in way over his head?!

Story: 8.5/10. Common route starts off slow with the slice of life and preparing for culture festival but once the term Gigalomaniac makes it onto the screen the story starts picking up. It involves a lot of pseudoscience/supernatural powers that can affect reality jargon and are channeled via Di-Swords (A.K.A. BIG F*CKING exotic supernatural swords) btw so it can feel a bit Chuuni at times. The concept of delusions was interesting. There are a fair amount of plot revelations that change the very nature of characters entirely that can add some "let me go back to this scene now that I know this" reread value. Overall enjoyable.

Characters: 9/10. Takuru was nowhere near as unbearable as Takumi. Nono would probably be on my top 5 heroines if I did have a list. Idk, the student council president + nagging worrywart but legitimately caring older sister type was a complete and utter win for me. Hinae was the guilty pleasure. Hana and Uki were kind of like the filler heroines, but passable.

Art: 9/10. Has that clean modern moe look. Particularly loved all of best girl Nono CGs. Some CGs can look a bit low quality though.

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Nono (right) so pretty uwuu


Music: 8/10. They got some good tracks. The title theme World is pretty up there along with their other works like Steins;gate + (0). Visible Essence is the revelation theme and its quite badass when you do get it. 

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!!!SPOILERS!!! MISC. THOUGHTS/COMMENTS (MAJOR MAJOR SPOILERS)
Finally can rant about the juicy bits.

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I guess I'll try to go in order. I read common route -> Hinae -> Hana -> Uki -> Nono -> True route based on some walkthrough on STEAM, and yeah it's a pretty good flow. I was so tempted to read Nono's route first because best girl, but I actually am glad I saved her for last. Made the whole revelation about Nono that much more impactful for me.


Common route:

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RIP YUI TACHIBANA

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Ok, I liked Yui. Especially after she said she would beat up all the bullies who were bullying her little brother Yuto. There were some MAJOR MAJOR goosebumps to be had when Takuru called Itou to confirm Yui was with him and you could just tell by the way he was talking that something was horribly horribly off. Made even more disgusting when you learn later on who the true killer is. But Itou was a nice distraction. I was truly like, wait wtf are they really gonna make this guy the mastermind, there's no way...

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The killer is one of those three?! The newspaper club room investigation segments in general were decently fun, minus the first one where you had to match the dates with the Chaos;head murders, it's like how the hell are we supposed to know. Btw I was at first hoping for the killer to be Takuru, as in he had a split personality and he orchestrated this entire thing as a game for himself. Well, technically he was indirectly responsible...

Then the writers had the fking gall to kill off Kurusu shortly after while revealing Serika the childhood ditzy best friend as the culprit behind the murders. Probably one of the bigger WHAMS I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing:

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Many manly tears were shed for Nono ;-;. I actually read through Yui's and Nono's deaths on the same day, and it didn't really register to me during the read until I was in bed sleeping. Then it hit me and I mourned for them HARD lmao.

They even had a secondary NPC mourn for Nono, she's just that great a character:

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Amen.

Then to continue beating the dead horse we get slapped with LOL SAKUMA IS ACTUALLY THE BAD GUY, HE WAS WORKING WITH SERIKA THE WHOLE TIME SO THEY'RE BOTH THE MASTERMINDS BEHIND THE NEW GENERATION MADNESS KILLINGS PT.2, OH BTW HE DID THE WHOLE ADOPTING GIGALOMANIACS PURELY "FOR FUN" LOL YOU FELL FOR IT SUCKERRRR

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The level of betrayal felt here was actually really well done. This dude had a cute ass family, but it was all done purely for his research. Just look at some of his quips with his kids:

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Really sounds like a normal parent. The shock factor of this reveal is equivalent to, say, having Naruto's dad actually being the big bad. Or maybe Ash Ketchum's mom being the big bad. Yup. I genuinely never expected Sakuma to be the big baddy. Nono legitimately dies believing in her father and never suspecting him. Very thematically tragic.

Unfortunately we will never get to see Nono actually confront him since she's either dead or he's dead. A shame. Would've liked to see that interaction.

~~
Serika originally being Takuru's imaginary friend turned real when he got his Gigalomaniac powers from the Shibuya Earthquake with her only purpose being fulfill Takuru's desires thus resulting in her masterminding the New Generation Madness Killings pt.2 so he could solve the case and be crowned as a hero ala Nishijou Takumi from C;H was an OK reveal. Didn't shock me too much, especially since I remember Chaos;Head doing something slightly similar with Shogun and Takumi but yeah. Pretty decent stuff.

 

Hinae

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Ok, ngl, I forgot a lot about what happens in her route. Uhhh her family had trust issues so when she got her lie detector powers it made her distant from everyone because knowing whether people are truth or lying made everyday conversation superficial. Hinae and Takuru flirt a bit, he's really easy to read and typically genuine with his interactions so she falls for him a lot, unfortunately murders UNRELATED to the New Gen Madness start happening, Hinae randomly starts seeing her dead brother (who was apparently real booted into existance due to Hana, oops + nice foreshadowing on Hana's power), then Hinae's mom tries to kill her because of the 'you ruined my life, you should've never been born!' trope. Oh no.

Hinae in general is my guilty pleasure character, she definitely bolstered the slice of life interactions with her superficially friendly banter and ability to call people out when they lie, but also when the time is right she is able to provide key insight such as whenever Nono says a lie regarding Senri for them sweet sweet foreshadow points.

Takuru dies protecting Hinae from her mom, and for some reason even though he's dead he still exists.
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EERIE AS F*CK
That kind of REALLY went over my head until I finished the VN and started reading up on various analyses and reviews. But apparently that was supposed to be a big hint that all the heroine routes are delusions for when they are in a coma between the common route/Sakuma duel and when the true route takes off 3 months after: the routes are all just a looping synchro delusion between Takuru and the heroines. Really really cool concept.

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Nice fanservice shot of Hinae btw. Though, it's technically fan disservice when you learn about the truth about Chaos;Child Syndrome lmao.

 

Hana

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Eyyy gamer girl finally gets to talk! I wonder how the VA is compensated, did they pick a lower tier VA/she get less pay since she had significantly less lines to record and whatnot lol. Hana's route was alright. Had some touching moments like how Nono forcing her to join the Newspaper Club actually gave her a sense of purpose and how she genuinely appreciated being a part of something even though she didn't talk at all. Hana in general throughout the various routes is pretty consistent in being the just there to support person, which to her credit she pulls of well and she definitely felt like a part of the team.
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Her muteness was explained as being a conscious result of her power: whatever she says has the potential to real boot based on anyone who hears what she says. She has no control over it, so things can easily get out of hand and so she stays mute.

Annnnd of course her route involves her accidentally summoning portals and monsters from her online game all over the Shibuya. She's thus deemed a threat by the Committee of 300, a Steins;gate SERN equivalent off screen big baddie organization and so Mr. Wakui, previously just an aloof friendly teacher, turns out to be from said organization and tasked with assassinating them and so Hana real boots an attack-on-titan equivalent of a sumo sticker and they do battle.

The Mr. Wakui = bad guy reveal was done pretty well, almost comparable to the "something's off with Itou right when he's about to kill Yui":

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OH SHIT

Speaking of Knightheart, one of the definite highlights of this route is the existence of Hana's online game friend KnightHeart A.K.A. Chaos;Head's Takumi Nishijou. I totally have a hard-on for characters to show up in the sequels so even though I hated Takumi's guts in C;H he was a total badass here:

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LMAO, I TOTALLY BET TAKUMI HAD A DELUSION ABOUT HANA FLASHING WAKUI WTF MAN.

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SUMOOOOOO TIIIIIIIIIIITAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNN

 

Uki

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Another filler girl that doubles as the Yui Tachibana replacement. Uki was found in the basement of the Hospital that experimented on Gigalomaniacs and while Takuru spends a good amount of the common route suspecting her of the evils she eventually turns out to be just a little girl who wants to fulfill people's desires. She's adopted by Sakuma and becomes the new little sister of the family.

Her route was surprisingly entertaining due to its nature of being a complete delusional world created to keep Takuru alive after he intercepted and was impaled by an enraged Uki's Di-Sword lunging towards Itou who freshly killed Yui. Takuru is HAPPY in this world- there are some high quality fun slice of life moments to be had and is oblivious to the truth of this world.

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A+ Banter.

Eventually Nono and Serika are able to call out to Takuru in this delusion world and tell him that he needs to wake up or he will never be able to. The reason? It wasn't Takuru who was impaled by Uki, it was Takuru who impaled Uki when he was trying to protect Itou! And this was HER delusional world, not his! So if his consciousness was trapped in her world and she died, it's game over.

Takuru still almost accepts his happy delusional world fate (it's one of the badends actually) before real Uki comes in to fix things. Delusional Uki doesn't accept reality and so they battle.

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Cute lolis with swords

Route ends with either Uki dying for real or ending up in a vegetative state, to which Takuru decides to spend the rest of his life atoning.

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Nono

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Yay, best girl time. Also thoroughly enjoyed her route too, no bias included (jk). 

When it comes to VNs with branching paths I always like to see if the choices made make sense in splitting the timelines; in this case Takuru apparently had enough positive delusions involving Nono during the common route that he was able to make it to the Nono vs Serika duel in time to save Nono this time!

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WHOOOOO GO TAKURU YOU'RE SO MUCH MORE MANLY A PROTAGONIST THAT TAKUMI EVER WAS!!@#

NGL I lowkey wanted this route to involve Sakuma more and have Nono learn the truth about his fakeness and confront him about it and then maybe he would see the light and realize that he had a wonderful thing going on with his family and change his ways, but l0lnope Serika offscreens him moments after the above encounter ggez. With Sakuma dead, Nono steps up evermore as the affectionate eldest sister worrying about where the family would live now and even contemplating quitting school to go work so they could pay for living expenses. God Nono is such a great character.

The surviving members of Aoba Clinic: Takuru, Nono, Yuto and Uki then move to a run down dinghy apartment (right next to the cold scientist Mio Kunosato, much to Nono's disappointment). Takuru begins calling Nono by her first name again after a heart to heart session. They lie low and avoid going to school for a while out of fear of Serika, but eventually Hinae and Hana track them down and begin regularly visiting under the guise of newspaper club room activities.

Desperate lovesick loserboy Kawahara Masashi (who was part of Nono - Senri - Kawahara childhood friendship) eventually tracks Nono down as well and goes on a spitballing "your family isn't truly your family, Senri wasn't your best friend, Takuru is a nobody, I AM THE ONLY ONE WHO UNDERSTANDS YOU, THE ONLY ONE WHO LOVES YOU!" like a dumbass in front of the household before finally getting shoo'ed away. This unfortunately causes the group to casually inquire about Senri to Nono, who responds rather awkwardly, causing Hinae to pick up that she's lying about something. Takuru attempts multiple times to find out what and why exactly Nono is lying, but she continues to dodge much to his frustration especially due to the family's 'no secret's' policy.

And so the big reveal, courtesy of Serika's mind reading powers? Nono Kurusu- the real Nono Kurusu- died 6 years ago from the Shibuya Earthquake. Senri Minamisawa, a girl who had nothing who looked up to Nono and wanted to become her, awakened the power to shapeshift. She took on Nono's appearance to the exact, and in the heat of the moment burned Nono's body and claimed the body to be that of Senri's. Senri, looking exactly like Nono, would live on as Nono Kurusu. 

Now I didn't find that lie- that "Nono" was actually Senri- to be all that bad. Cuz I knew her feelings all this time were indeed genuine. Naturally we need drama though and so Takuru would blow up in her face about being a liar and a fake and call her out on what other potential things she could be lying about (which is totally valid). (Luckily in the true route, the writers gloss over this and Takuru simply goes "idiot, you should've told me sooner" to the Nono = Senri reveal). Btw, sucks to be Kawahara. The real Nono is long dead so he's been chasing SenriNono all this time, all while having already loudly claiming his hatred for Senri in his earlier outburst. Talk about awkward.

Takuru would go on a heroic BSOD and find life to be pointless at this point, so Serika appears to grant him his wish of ending his life. Nono, having resolved herself to no longer live a fake life and instead be true to herself, appears as her original Senri self and vows to protect her little brother at all costs. This touches Takuru deeply and so he is able to finally forgive her. Serika, staying true to her purpose of satisfying Takuru's desires, knows she has no place in their future and so she makes one last valiant stand as the big bad:
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It's a very touching route. Nono- no, Senri- was a girl who started out with nothing but a best friend whom she looked up to dearly and dreamed of becoming. She eventually did get her wish out of some twisted fate and became Nono Kurusu, but to be fair everything she built up for herself from that point on- her family at Aoba Clinic, her position as student council president and reputation among classmates as the "Empress"- was the result of her own efforts. Admittedly a part of me was sad at the fact that Nono Kurusu is dead, and it did feel weird to have Senri Minamisawa be the true identity of the best girl I fawned over this entire VN. But alas,

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True Route

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You just need a couple screenies and 'nuff said:

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Like holy f*ck I know they explicitly said in the very beginning of the VN that Chaos;Child Syndrome was a psychogenetical schizophrenia disorder or whatever that resulted from the Shibuya Earthquake and that the patients didn't realize they had a disorder but man this was by far one of the biggest mindblows I've ever gotten from a VN lol. Let me repost the normal looking screeny of the one above because goddamn I never knew you could make Nono look bad LOL
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Ahhh... much better...

Not much else to say. Takuru takes the fall as the mastermind behind the New Generation Madness Killings and is locked up, but not before succeeding in becoming the first patient to break out of Chaos;Child syndrome and thus allowing Mio to develop a cure for the rest of the patients, and atoning for Serika by real booting her to become a regular normal girl and living a normal life. No problems with this ending.

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Overall: 8.5/10. Legit did not think I would like this sci-fi adv VN as much due to how much I despised Chaos;Head. It was good enough that I actually want to reread Chaos;Head so I can catch up on all the story beats and whatnot, but ahh nvm. Will look forward to reading Robotics;Notes + DaSH when they do come out to EN on the Switch later this year.

I'll watch the 6.5/10 MAL rated anime of Chaos;Child real quick because I like to see things animated even though they'll probably butcher it so bad since only lol12episodes for a 30-50+ hr VN.

 

Worst ending. Your waifu's will now get other husbandos. We all like different type of endings :D

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I've been looking for another VN series that I can binge on my Vita. I did Muv Luv earlier this year, a handful of otomes (still have like 6 more in my backlog) and recently did Chaos;Child

And it looks like I'll settle on Utawarerumono. They apparently released the (translated) second and third Uta games Mask of Deception and Mask of Truth a few years ago but barely released the first game retitled Prelude to the Fallen this year, lucky me :sachi:

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After a somewhat longer wait than expected, the 07th mod for chapter 8 of Higurashi finally dropped a little over a week ago, and I'm now done with that chapter as well as the main series as a whole.

Spoiler

The beginning of this chapter was probably the most boring part of the entire series, what with all the info-dumping and characters without sprites sitting around talking politics and whatnot.
The part with Takano's backstory kinda fell flat for me. It's pretty clear that it's supposed to tug at your heartstrings (there would be no need to go into such detail about her suffering otherwise), but it becomes hard to truly sympathize with the hardships of her youth when you know how twisted and cold-blooded she is as an adult. I mean, we're talking about a person who has no qualms about downright executing children to get what she wants. The fact that she herself, when she's asked to take responsibility for everything that transpired by ending her own life, starts bawling like a baby and pleading that she doesn't want to die, speaks volumes about what a selfish and pitiful person she truly is.
She's "saved" by Tomitake claiming that she suffers from Hinamizawa Syndrome, but that honestly seemed more like an excuse to spare her from having to shoulder the entire burden and repercussions of the failed operation rather than the actual reason behind her actions, considering the fact that she had been obsessed about finishing her grandfather's research by any means necessary long before she even went to Hinamizawa.
I think the best kinds of antagonists are the ones that you can sympathize with to some extent despite their questionable actions, but Takano's utterly unlikeable in that regard. Not once does she care about anyone other than herself and her grandfather, so why should anyone care about her? She's told towards the end that she doesn't have a single ally and I'd say that's a fitting conclusion for a person who does nothing but use and abuse others.

On a completely different note, I've been wondering about what Akasaka's role in chapter 8 would've been like given the fact that chapter 4, which he's the protagonist of, wasn't supposed to be a part of the series originally. Would this mean that they'd just toss this unknown superhero-type character into the mix in the final chapter or that he wouldn't be a part of the script in the first place? Removing him from the story altogether would alter the progression of events quite a bit, so it would be interesting to know how that would've been handled.

Speaking of Akasaka, the whole scene where he rescues Rika from Okonogi and the mountain dogs was quite the chuunifest. In just a few years, Akasaka's apparently gone from amateur to some kind of martial arts god that can easily beat people who have been doing this kind of stuff much longer than he has. Admittedly, most of them weren't combat specialists, but they far outnumbered him and should've been able to easily take him down if they just worked together. Furthermore, there was a group of ten or so mountain dogs just letting Akasaka fight Okonogi one on one without interfering in any way. Normally, they'd also attack Akasaka, or at the very least carry out their objective by apprehending Rika, but instead they chose to just stand around doing nothing, jeopardizing the entire mission for no reason whatsoever. It was fun to watch, but not very believable.

Likewise, the battle at the hill was also more than a little far-fetched. That a handful of kids would be able to single-handedly take down like four full squads of armed professionals by using some homemade traps, is some next level Home Alone shit. Kevin McCallister would've been proud.

One thing that kinda blows my mind is why noone told Oryou or any other influental people (like, say, the yakuza syndicate that's run by Shion's and Mion's parents) about this major event that could possibly wipe out their entire hometown and everyone in it. I mean, it's not like they'd have to inform the entire village, but they could get some well-needed assistance and greatly increase their odds of success by letting a select few capable people know about the situation. Hinamizawa even has a history of coming together against threats from the outside, so it's really odd that they wouldn't use that to their advantage at such an important time. It would fit the story well, to be honest.
That said, the chapter ended without a single casualty for the first time in the entire series, so maybe getting others involved, however logical it would be, would've resulted in a more gruesome tale. I'm generally a sucker for happy endings, so even if things wrapped up a bit too conveniently, I'd say I'm satisfied with the outcome.

Higurashi was a great read with a lot of both expected and unexpected twists and turns, and now I'm, more than ever, looking forward to seeing what Umineko has in store for me.

EDIT: Oh, right, I should mention that I ran into a couple of funny typos and bugs during my playthrough. At one time, they were referring to "the dam conflict" as "the damn conflict", and on a few other occasions, I saw a reappearance of the bug that randomly inserts character sprites where they aren't supposed to be. Here's one example, but the best one is when a delighted Mion forced her way into a scene she wasn't even a part of, blocking the view for several characters while they were discussing important matters. You can see what I mean here and here.

Edited by Seraphim88
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Alright, after some time without updating my reading life, I'm back! I've been reading Kara no Shoujo 2 every day and I would say I'm mid-way through it :) I'm loving it so far! Even more than the first one, I'd say. Besides that, I've been trying to finish Gyakuten Kenji. It's pretty great! I'm starting Mei's route in Clannad, I'm curious to see what's going to happen around her and Sunohara! 

(Spoilers for Kara no Shoujo 2)
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Spoiler

Honestly, my suspicions are very much centered in Nanako and Naori... Nanako could be even helping him, but I doubt they would repeat the same thing again (at least I hope not).

 

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I finally finished Ouka Sabaki (aka Master Magistrate) and it was a very nice read overall. The combination of a murder mystery with a past Japan Bakumatsu setting, staring the Shinsengumi, was certainly quite unique. It was also the first time I've played a VN with Phoenix Wright style court gameplay. That said, I'm not sure if the gameplay really worked in favor of the VN or against it. While it was certainly interesting, I had the feeling that its somewhat comical execution with the whole 'talking down' and 'showdown' stuff, lessened the dramatic impact of the story a bit. Though that might be just personal preference.

The plot structure of the VN reminded me a bit of Sakura no Mori † Dreamers. There's a very long common route with several connected cases and the heroine routes are more or less just tagged on. The plot itself was actually pretty good. There are four major cases, although the first one could be considered more a tutorial case to learn the gameplay mechanics. What was definitively impressive was how interconnected the cases were. Some events I first thought were relevant for a former case, actually got important in a later case. And some later cases were a direct consequence of the outcome or events of the former cases. That was definitely better as in Sakura no Mori † Dreamers, where the cases had a bit too much of a 'monster of the week' pattern.

Another thing I really liked was the rather large cast of well-made side characters. Almost every case introduced new characters and existing characters could play a different role in the new cases. I was particularly impressed about the voice acting. Not only were all and not just the main characters voiced, the overall quality of it was also pretty good, even the male characters. I'm actually a bit curious about the voice acting royalties of this VN.

That said, not everying was gold. While the character sprites were quite decent for the most part, I can't really say the same for the backgrounds. There weren't too much and most of them looked a bit bland. Ironically, that actually helped to find certain key items in the investigation scenes. XD
The CG's were also a bit of a hit and miss. The black and white sketch CG's didn't really fit to the overly bright and colorful backgrounds, and I would have vastly preferred less but fully colored ones.
The audio tracks also felt a bit sparse and repetitive. This combined with the bland backgrounds and the focus on the court gameplay made the VN frequently feel a bit dry.
In general, the VN felt a bit too light for a murder mystery. Though, on a positive note that also means that I'd recommend this VN to people who don't want a full gloom and doom murder mystery like Kara no Shoujo. But for me personally Sakura no Mori had a stronger emotional impact even if the story of Master Magistrate was objectively better. The routes also felt a bit weaker here, the ones of Sakura no Mori at least had a final epilogue case.

The gameplay nature of this VN also made the matter of prove a bit difficult in some cases. If there's definitive prove to convict a suspect, it can make the case too easy to solve. But if almost everything is guess-work it can be pretty hard to prove. I think the first three major cases had a good balance, but the last one? Sorry, I think if the culprit wouldn't have rewarded every correct guess with a willing confession, a conviction would have been almost impossible without further investigation. Nevertheless, most conclusions and actions felt logical, there was only one thing I simply didn't understand:

Spoiler

When Shimei had Toujou in the court when he revealed his true identity, how could Shimei be arrested by him? I mean, it was the court of Nakamachi where the magistrate of Kitamachi should have exactly zero authority. Furthermore, at that moment he was top suspect of an attempted murder on the shogun. Even if his identity is revealed as a magistrate, he's still suspected of high treason and should have been arrested for that by the Shinsengumi. Why did they follow Kagetora's orders instead? And not to mention that True-Shogun-Loli was also in the court and on Shimei's side. Did I miss something and Kagetora was elected to Tenno inbetween, or why did he suddenly have interregional super-executive powers?

Nevertheless, with the exception of the short and tagged on wannabe routes, I enjoyed the VN quite a bit.

Heroine ranking: Iroha > Rimu = Sakura > Koume >> Shino

Final rating: 7.5/10

I think I enjoyed it as much as Sakura no Mori † Dreamers, so I decided to give it the same rating. Both had rather different strengths and weaknesses though, so the experience itself was different.

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45 minutes ago, ChaosRaven said:

Nevertheless, most conclusions and actions felt logical, there was only one thing I simply didn't understand:

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This is simple and complicated simultaneously.

Spoiler

It's simple because in the end it only happened because he pointed a sword at Shimei and threatened his life (that it got to that point was due to the Shisengumi letting Saito in, but whatever. She's an element of chaos with her every action.).

It's complicated because for all intents and purposes both magistrates had the authority to arrest one another at any time. During court, as one of the suspects, is decidedly one of the times when it looks least legitimate to do so, hence the threat of force. And if you're under arrest, you lose your authority unless your subjects choose to obey you. Which happened in Tojo's case due to, once again, the threat of killing Shimei. Once Shimei is under arrest, then Tojo has legitimacy and does in fact have the authority to retain him, much like he had the authority to arrest him.

Unlike today, authority was vested by the shogun and you'd only manage to hold onto your authority if people obeyed you. If they don't, it's the same as having none, and what matters is the aftermath and not how you got there. Force is what grants authority. Exact same reason why the commander of the Shisengumi can afford to arrest you. His subordinates obey him and not you so long as there is reasonable cause for doubt, and him arresting you is one of the things he can do if he claims you are conspiring against the Shinsengumi.

In short: Because these people all have a measure of authority to conduct arrests, in the moment it'll win whoever controls the "army". The aftermath they can just come up with whichever justification they want and it's fine, due to their role and authority.

As for why the "shogun" did not intervene... Her desire to remain impartial is probably it. There was no saying with absolute certainty that Shimei wasn't a suspect, and especially so if Tojo was innocent. Basically, it's politics and judgements far below her level. Both Tojo and Shimei would be better at investigations and legal matters than her, and both do have authority over the case, so she'd have no business intervening, if she were impartial.

 

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37 minutes ago, Mr Poltroon said:

This is simple and complicated simultaneously.

Spoiler

The problem is that threatening Shimei with a sword should be an almost suicidal action, because it looks like an act of desperation and an indirect confession of guilt. Without being backed by an army, it would be Tojo & Saito against the whole shinsengumi corps, which would have been certain death for them a soon as Shimei wouldn't directly be threatened anymore. Only Takeru as the commander of the shinsengumi should have the power to decide this conflict in that situation. But since they knew each other well, that could have been actually the case.

Still doesn't make sense to me that the Shinsengumi had to pledge to get Shimei free. I think Tojo must have had a higher authority, with Shimei being new and all, otherwise the whole situation wouldn't make sense. I think if the situation would be reversed and Shimei being in Tojo's court, threatening Tojo after being convicted, he would have been killed on the spot or as soon as he'd released Tojo. That said, not even Shimei itself did understand the situation at that point, so it was certainly intended to be quite confusing by the writer. XD

Though it made sense that Koume couldn't interfere, since she wasn't the official Shogun and almost nobody knew about her status anyway.

 

Edited by ChaosRaven
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