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11 hours ago, adamstan said:

I'm not sure if I'm actually that interested in console arcs, since they apparently are just extensions made by different(?) writers. Also, given sheer length of the story, maybe I should stick to the english version? ;) I guess that finishing it in Japanese would take me something like half a year :P

 I haven't read them myself, but it seems to be the common knowledge that the console exclusive arcs are pretty bad and make the whole game way too long. The exceptions are the arcs based on the manga created by the original author.

EDIT. I somehow missed it when I posted it, but don't read the annotations unless you finished the first 4 arcs from the main game!

https://www.mangaupdates.com/series.html?id=6399

https://www.mangaupdates.com/series.html?id=6398

24 minutes ago, adamstan said:

But I have to say that PS3 opening song kicks ass

Honestly, almost all openings are pretty good. :yumiko:

Edited by Dreamysyu
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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

I have no idea what any of that was actually saying because your posts are difficult to read sometimes. But please don't assault or sexually harass your coworkers, that's not cool.

15 hours ago, adamstan said:

Hmm... apart from fucked-up h-content, I guess I'm also not good with too depressing mindfuck stuff, like death games etc. (Those two combined rule out things like Euphoria ;)) To give an example - I know that it's rather mild (and I think a talked about it once here), but I got severely disturbed by watching "The Cube" in the highschool (I think I was 16 back then). Not because of the gory bits, but more because back then I found the overall message kind of depressing.

Mystery, violence etc are all fine, as long as it doesn't all spiral down into "All people are monsters, world is fucked-up beyond repair, no hope, no future, no love and it's best to die anyway" kind of stuff ;) Basically - no hard utsuge please.

It's just that after reading WES and finding out that I enjoyed its mystery part, I kind of started to warm-up to the idea of tackling Higurashi one day ;)

Euphoria and Higurashi don't have anything in common... Higurashi is way more focused on psychological horror, while Euphoria is exactly what you'd expect [tho with great story]. Also there is a ton of SoL cutsy stuff in Higu, so you'll be fine. The og anime made Higurashi sound way worse than it actually is!

That said, Umineko is better! But I do recommend reading them in order so you can enjoy some of Umi's twists and references :D

Edited by Silvz
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Oh, forgot to mention. I took my own advice and, with pain in my heart, I gave up reading Adabana. It's great, beautiful, wonderful music. Unfortunatelly, I've been working reading texts all day long, so I didn't feel joy reading it, and since I stalled it so long ago, I decided to move on. Now I'm reading Flowers 3!

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I also forgot to mention, that yesterday I finished Himawari no Kyoukai to Nagai Natsuyasumi. It took me ~90hrs over three weeks, so perhaps half or one-third of my "normal" (translated) reading speed ;)

It was great story about friendship, family and time, with a bit of magical undertones - a little KEY-like.

In my previous post I mentioned Daiya's route - it was quite typical ojousama moege route, but very enjoyable. Then I read Ruka's route - it had very different mood, with a bit of mystery and magic, and quite interesting twist. Tsukiko's route (console only) was again more lighthearted, but it also featured some additional foreshadowing for Yomi's route.

Yomi's route, unlocked after completing those three above, is kind of pre-true route ;) It made the most use of the supernatural parts, and was quite nakige'y. I loved it.

Completing Yomi's route unlocks Hina's, which is The True Route. Hina is much younger than the rest of the cast - when we meet her, she's little girl who just came to the Oboshiro church after loosing her parents (or so it seems), and Father Arakawa is taking care of her - just like he did for Yousuke (protagonist) years ago.

Hina is really cute, and quickly becomes friends with Yousuke and the girls. It's really heartwarming to watch how they all are doting over her in common route and some parts of the girls' routes :abilove:.

Hina's actual route branches off early part of Yomi's route. It covers an (unexpected) link between Yousuke and her and ultimately ends with Yousuke becoming her guardian, and them living in (now closed) Oboshiro church. (I think the conclusion itself isn't that big of the spoiler, since the most interesting parts lie inbetween.) Luckily, Yousuke isn't lolicon, so there isn't any H stuff in this route in any version of the game ;) Overally, this route was very heartwarming.

But that's just a first part. After completing little Hina's route, the following part of the true route unlocks from the main menu. It is continuation of Hina's route after ten years timeskip, following the struggles of Yousuke's and Hina's family life and her growing up. It was really nice family-focused coming of age story. I think we could draw some parallels with Matsuri's route from Kazoku Keikaku, although it is a bit different. But the common point of two people with considerable age gap falling in love remains. Here we also get to know more about Hina's family. Daiya, Ruka and Tsukiko also come back as supporting characters. It was quite a ride, definitely pinnacle of this VN. And the ending was very fulfilling.

Art and music is gorgeous. Voices were also nice, I'd just wish that all characters were voiced. As it is, only female characters are fully voiced. For male characters, only three of them are voiced - Father Arakawa, Daiya's grandfather and one other guy who's identity should remain secret, since it's a bit of a spoiler ;) Other male characters are unvoiced and spriteless - those two things combined often tripped me up a bit, since I had to stop for a moment to check if the line I'm just reading is protagonist or one of those characters ;) But that's just a minor complaint.

It would also be nice, if common route had some more variety/branches. As it is now, while it has lots of choices, those choices are just convoluted way to select the route, and in common route they change just a few lines, if anything. So after a first playthrough, common route consist mostly of skipping ;)

I also skipped through +18 PC version. I didn't like placement of most of the H-scenes, and also I strongly dislike the style of HCGs this VN uses, with big focus on the genital area often taking up to the half of the screen. It's fine in the nukige, but in romance story I'd prefer something less obviously porny. Aokana did great job at that with most of its HCGs. So with that considered, I'd take additional Tsukiko's route of the PS3 version over those dubious H-scenes ;)

Time to sum up this horrible wall of text - HimaNatsu is definitely one of the charage gems, and I'm really glad I read it. 8.5/10

 

Edited by adamstan
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While waiting for Higurashi to go on sale, I started to read PS2 version of Yotsunoha, which has arrived today in my mailbox :)

IMG-20210302-153255830.jpg

It is unhookable, but, just like another Hiqosoft's game - Sakura Sakura - it seems to be dialogues-only, so it's fairly easy, since usually narration is the part I find most difficult to read in VNs ;)

Actually console edition of Yotsunoha is quite interesting phenomenon, since it looks like some kind of remake. It ditches map movement system and floating text boxes of PC version, replacing it with standard ADV interface and choices. I'm not a fan of map movement systems, so that's a big plus for me. And another, quite striking difference, is art. It uses completely different art, drawn in different style - especially sprites and CGs. It looks like an old-school anime - which is another plus for me, since I love that style :D  (even despite overall lower image quality on PS2)

Check out those screenshots from prologue. To the left - console, to the right - PC.

gsdx-20210302163948.pngyotsunoha-PC-7.png
gsdx-20210302164455.pngyotsunoha-PC-6.png

gsdx-20210302181913.pngyotsunoha-PC-1.png

Some more comparisons below:

Spoiler

 

PS2 <--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> PC

gsdx-20210302165532.pngyotsunoha-PC-5.png

gsdx-20210302175235.pngyotsunoha-PC-4.png

gsdx-20210302181508.pngyotsunoha-PC-2.png

gsdx-20210302180354.pngyotsunoha-PC-3.png

gsdx-20210302184438.pngyotsunoha-PC.png

 

Also, PC version seems to follow YU-NO in its obsession with pantyshots in CGs :P

The only thing that bothers me in console release is that white font - it's a bit hard to read sometimes. I wonder if it's perhaps emulation issue, since screenshots in manual feature red font, just like in PC version...

Edited by adamstan
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6 minutes ago, Stormwolf said:

Did you learn japanese by stubbornly reading vn's Adam?

Not exactly, but my main motivation to start learning was to be able to read VNs one day. And, in turn, reading VNs definitely improves my Japanese :)  Win-win :D

If I remember correctly, main triggers were bad offical translation of If My Heart Had Wings (unreadable Ageha's route) and lack of translation for Mashiro Iro Symphony

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Reading Chaos:Head

Hmm, what can i say? As expected the story is awesome and you don't know what the heck is going on. But not in a way that makes you annoyed and want to put it down. In a way that makes you more interested in uncovering what's actually going on here. The VN itself is very unimpressive and the only thing it's got going for it is the story. Characters aren't anything special either. Especially the protagonist. He's a waste of oxygen, plain and simple. His sister is cute though and him being an otaku from hell, i find it strange he doesn't recognize the clearly very cliche little sister traits in her. Anyway, it's a good vn if you're looking for a good plot, and reading it is apparently good groundwork before going into robotics notes for example.

Spoiler

And i find it very strange how his mental illnesses even got to this point. I guess mental illnesses are not a serious thing in Japan. Not the first VN where mental issues go unchecked. They tried medicating Takumi, but didn't observe him taking the pills????????? Takumi threw the pills away quite obviously as many mental patients do (because naturally they are sane and the world is not), and his treatments were abandoned...... Jesus christ. Maybe a kid would buy this story out of a lack of experience, but an adult will find that very puzzling.

I guess.. My previous spoiler is redundant now that i finished the game 😂 was a fantastic read and will read it again when noah hits.

Edited by Stormwolf
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[Majikoi - Agave]

Alrighty, I finished it. Phew. This... was something, alright.:footsip:

Spoiler

I'll start by saying my mistake was expecting something serious from this route - it was rather disappointing. I mean, I wasn't expecting them to just ditch Yamato's dream and the fight between political parties. Maybe that was just important for some routes...

I guess the thing is that the vn was trying to take itself too seriously and selling that idea of a well-developed plot (about the Utopia drugs) when it was just too rushed and too out of nowhere. It's hard not to take the vn seriously when it's constantly selling that idea to the reader. If it had mostly funny scenes, I'd understand, but it's just trying to be a good plot when it wasn't. As a comedy vn, I can agree it was enjoyable up to Agave (especially in the common route), but I'll have to give it a 6,5/10. I might be repeating myself, but I feel like something that could've been done so much better is the pacing and duration of each route. While the TE was too rushed (along with the sub-routes, which all needed more time to develop the characters), some main routes were the opposite (like Chris' and Wanko's) and should've been cut in a lot of parts. :baobao:

Another thing that pissed me off was Touma's motive. It seemed to me that they just decided Touma was the villain at the last minute. Like, he did all that just because his father said so? Seriously? Sigh. I don't need a grand motive, but they just presented that and then brushed it off like it was nothing important. :ganbarimess:

Lastly, what's up with the writer and all the rape?? Is that a fetish of his?? Oof...

 

Next vn will probably be either Musicus! or another one that should be super short to read until Musicus is released in English :ezgif-2-df452814b3f1:

Edited by Fujoneko
just deleted a little typo
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Played White Album. I played it in one night since I really liked Ogata Rina (Kinda biased since she seemed like a prototype Setsuna WHO STILL REMAINS MY NO.1 HEROINE IN ANY MEDIA), but while I liked this game enough to burn through it fast, I couldn't honestly recommend it to anyone easily. Objectively, I fucking hate this game as it really threw away its potential, while fucking over what it has left. Yes, I'm disappointed very much so. It shares a lot of themes with White Album 2 but fails to reach the same depths, and even what it has got going for it they do it badly. A love triangle, songs are an important point, and some random side characters that have routes.

The game starts with you already with a girlfriend named Morikawa Yuki, an up and coming idol who looks like kazusa, although unlike Ogata Rina which is like prototype setsuna, Yuki is nothing like Kazusa as she has that typical quiet deredere childhood friend personality. Your relationship gets a bit strained by her always being busy at being an idol, and thats where Ogata Rina comes in. She's basically prototype setsuna but more outgoing, confident, and also willing to step on anything if its for their goal which is the MC. Both of them are in situations where they are initially at a downhill battle with Haruki being already in love with Kazusa and the MC of WA1 already having a girlfriend, and they will both naturally do things that betray their close friend Yuki/Kazusa  for that MC.

Unlike WA2 where the fanbase is cleanly divided between Setsuna and Kazusa, Ogata Rina is just too good for the MC. Seriously, Ogata's one of my favorite heroines which is what let me power through this crap VN. Ogata Rina brought this game a few scores up for me.

Now let me talk about what I really hated about this game.

Reading the synopsis, you would think this is a story-focused VN, since it has a dramatic love triangle. WRONG. ITS PLAYS LIKE A DATING SIM IN WHICH YOU CHOOSE EVERYDAY WHERE YOU GO. That usually only works with school life romcom that doesnt have a clear-cut story heavy setting unlike this one but in this one its kinda jarring. They even write the dating sim parts badly for me, ITS TOO SHORT. You choose someone to hang out with that day and the scene usually ends 2-5 mins depending on how you fast. The flag system also sucks, you can get locked out of events by simply missing a day you could hang out with them. Also you cant just consistently choose Rina everyday, some dialogue choices are locked behind other activities you do with other characters. I just want to focus on Rina not on the other badly designed characters. EVERYTHING IS TOO SHORT, it tries to write too many scenes while trying to make it short as possible and it sucked. It should have focused on the story aspect and just removed the jarring dating system altogether and removed the side characters since who played this game for someone other than Yuki and Rina. While in WA2, the side characters were good, in WA1 they're cardboard.

The side characters are mostly bad. I don't know about Sayoko the new character you unlock after you finish a game no way Im going back in the game. But the designs for me are atrocious on some characters. Haruka looks like a man, and not in a trap way, she really looks like one of the bros I talk to everyday and that bothers me. While it is subjective, this is the first time I seriously did not like a design too much and hated it. Also Mana looks like a literal child. The personalities of the side-characters are plain and has no depth and why did Yayoi the manager of Yuki even had a route?

I read this story because I love dramatic love triangle and predetermined relationships like having a girlfriend or an ex in a game, yes I enjoy cheating in VN's yes im trash but usually I see a lot of good angst, and warped romance from that and I love reading about fucked-up romances like cheating. However it even doesn't do that kinda properly in this story. In one scene, Rina suddenly kisses the MC, and the MC didn't even think about Yuki that much. While I understand the MC on that route started to love Rina, I'm sure there must be some kind of attachment to Yuki to induce guilt but no, its just one line saying he feels guilty and god damn where's the angst. Atleast Haruki went almost went insane when shit happens. And all that climax leading up to the confession of Rina cheating with the MC was quick. Yuki just slaps rina and fight a few bit and then... end scene. God damn it where is the drama.

The MC is a self-insert in a what should have been a story heavy setting, Usually, if there are predetermined relationships in a VN, the protagonist has a semblance of personality but no, the MC here is a cardboard cut-out with his features that stick out is being a coward in admitting his guilt to Yuki. I guess it makes sense if this really was written as a dating sim in mind but it is simply jarring on how the setting is jam packed with possible stories and it instead becomes a dating sim with a few heavy scenes mixed-in due to its setting.

I'm writing this right after finishing the VN and lacking sleep so I think I ranted a bit too long lol. Time to sleep and read again what I said tomorrow.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Larxe1 said:

Played White Album.

Did you play the old one or the remake? I have remake sitting on shelf waiting for its turn, but I keep hearing worrying things about this VN ;) Some say it's almost like a bit tamer version of School Days - at least when it comes to shitty protagonists ;)

Edited by adamstan
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6 hours ago, adamstan said:

Did you play the old one or the remake? I have remake sitting on shelf waiting for its turn, but I keep hearing worrying things about this VN ;) Some say it's almost like a bit tamer version of School Days - at least when it comes to shitty protagonists ;)

I played the remake. I think people compare it due to its protagonists, both are cheating scum and has little to no redeeming features. But the girls don't have any similarities. In the anime though, the protagonist is really like the school days MC but in the VN he's your basic hetare self-insert MC that is just a tad bit more scummier than general.  Just be ready to plow through a lot of uninteresting crap from side characters if you read it though

Still a good story for me though due to Ogata Rina and interesting if you're an absolute WA2 fan like me lol.

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Yesterday I finished (first part of) Matsuri's route in PS2 version of Yotsunoha. And now I'm not sure how to proceed from here. As you may know, PC version of Yotsunoha has strict enforced playing order - Nono 1 > Nono 2 > Iori 1 > Iori 2 > Matsuri 1 > Matsuri 2 > Arisa (true route?). AFAIK the "2" versions of three girls' routes are kind of alternate versions. But, back to the point.

PS2 version doesn't have such strict system. At the beginning there are Nono 1 and Iori 1 routes available (you can choose which one to read first). Completing them both unlocks Matsuri 1 (and enables route selection screen at the start). After completing Matsuri 1 (that's where I'm currently) everything else gets unlocked at once, and there are four more options available at route selection screen - Arisa, Iori 2, Nono 2, Matsuri 2. And I don't know if it would be bettter to read Arisa's route before Iori's, Nono's and Matsuri's alternate routes (as PS2 walkthrough suggests), or save it for the very end, sticking to PC route order.

PS I'm very disappointed by the fact that best girl Suzuki-senpai doesn't have a route :( (And she actually liked protagonist!)

67514.jpg

 

 

Edited by adamstan
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1 hour ago, Finhir said:

Playing through OMORI right now. It's not exactly a VN but more of an RPG, it's seriously fantastic. I recommend you guys play it for a nice change of pace and some depression ;-;

 

Oh boy, I really REALLY want to play that one :sadsacchin: It's been so long since I ever saw the first trailer, 6 or 5 years ago. I want to play it with my partner tho, so I'll wait a few months! :reasparkle:

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1 hour ago, Fujoneko said:

Oh boy, I really REALLY want to play that one :sadsacchin: It's been so long since I ever saw the first trailer, 6 or 5 years ago. I want to play it with my partner tho, so I'll wait a few months! :reasparkle:

It certainly exceeded the expectations of those who've waited for it. Many people are even calling it a masterpiece. I personally like it better than Undertale.

Aubrey is best girl ❤️

 

th?id=OIP.S45-_3GrnYdtLAtQ7IekyQHaFj%26p

 

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I just finished Yotsunoha

TBH I have mixed feelings about it. Overally it was rather underwhelming experience - maybe I expected too much.

There were many good parts, but it doesn't hold up as a whole - it feels very... scattered? Chaotic? The different parts of the story feel rather disconnected. I guess that's the result of relying mostly on flashbacks combined with lack of narration - this VN is 99% dialogues. That concept worked quite well in another Hiqosoft's title - Sakura Sakura - because there story was more linear and told chronologically. But in Yotsunoha it was often easy to lose track. It's just a simple moege, but it tries to force you to think as if it was some grand multiple route mystery, just to be able to follow the story :P

I think main highlights would be both Matsuri's routes and Arisa's route. The latter was perhaps most consistent, since it happened mostly in the "3 years before" past, without constant jumps - it was just linear story. As for Matsuri's route - I really liked her tsundere character, and her relationship with protagonist was interesting. Iori's routes also had lots of good parts. Nono's route was also not bad, but nothing to write home about, although it also had its share of cuteness :)

Also, for Nono, Iori and Matsuri, their "first" routes are more like an introduction/world building, while the "second"/alternative routes have more proper endings and feel more like "true" endings for those girls. Especially Iori's second ending felt very satisfying :abilove:

 

gsdx-20210310192214.png

I played PS2 version, and then compared it with English PC release. I personally find console version to be better. I like its art style more, and it has better voices (especially Matsuri's voice - she's voiced by Gotou Mai in PS2 version, but she sounds pretty lame in PC version). Not to mention that English PC release has voices only for main four heroines. All side characters are unvoiced.

Also, PS2 version features lots of cute, romantic scenes of kissing, lap-pillowing, hugging etc etc which, to my utter disappointment, were mostly absent in PC version, in favor of H-scenes. Most of those H-scenes felt really shoehorned in, placed completely randomly. (When I saw first scene, where, instead of romantic kiss from PS2 version they went straight to blowjob, I facepalmed really hard...) :pantsu::nou:.

Also, PS2 version has much more CGs in general - not just H-replacements, but also "normal" event CGs. PC edition has 94 CGs (including H-scenes) while there are 137 on PS2. 

Overally, I think it's something like 7/10 in my scoring system. Had some very enjoyable moments, but fell short as a whole.

Edited by adamstan
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Reading Robotics Notes. It's interesting to see the cameo's and stuff connected to the other titles in this. But i can't really praise this games story too much. Both the story and the characters are quite boring, sadly, and full of predictable cliches. Kona is best girl by far though ❤️ xD

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Today I started reading Folklore Jam.

It's one of the earlier Maruto Fumiaki's games. It seems quite different from others (White Album 2, Damekoi, Kono Aozora ni Yakusoku o, Parfait) because it doesn't have romance as its main focus - it's mystery VN, and it seems that there will be both "normal" crimes as well as some supernatural stuff - after all, main characters are members of "Occult club" ;)

I really loved Kono Aozora ni Yakusoku o, so, before reading White Album 2 I decided to read some more of those "lesser" Maruto's titles first. And Folklore Jam caught my attention because its initial premise seems a bit similar to World End Syndrome, which I finished recently :)

Today I finished first chapter of FJ, and it was nice. A bit of mystery, a bit of comedy - and, even though it's one of the earlier Maruto's titles, he already is pretty good at writing amusing character interactions.

I also like the way this VN looks and sounds - backgrounds are very nice, as well as music and voices. Character design is a bit... uhm... unusual, but I think I'm already getting used to it ;)

6628.jpg

And it's great that even though not all characters have sprites, it seems that everyone (apart from MC) is voiced.

Looking forward to it :)

Edited by adamstan
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14 hours ago, bogdankl said:

just a quick question, do you guys ever take notes when reading a VN to keep up with what's going on? I started reading dies irae and I swear can't keep track of anything

I do, but mostly because the ones I've been reading are for my vn reading club and I like to take some notes for my little reviews on this thread haha

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I just finished reading Harmonia and boy, it was kinda disappointing ngl :footsip: I was expecting more from Key, but it just felt like they recycled a lot, from the art (I know it's the same artist, but still-) to the plot. Even though I know it's the same artist as their other vns, it felt very generic when it comes to Key's works.

There were two main things I HATED in this: the writing and the voice acting. The writing was just so damn plain it hurt. I know he's a robot and all but I don't know, they could have written it better; the voice acting was painful to listen to, oof- I tried to, but I had to mute all of their voices;;; :haha:

Spoiler

So, at first, I was really mad at Shiona for being so cruel and ruthless to Tipi when she was just a child who had her parents missing and wanted some human comfort.  Like, chill, Shiona! Ugh... :ganbarimess:
Then, I found the truth. It kinda forced me to forgive her and all but that chapter was the one that also gave me false hopes, aaargh :sadsacchin: Basically, because Shiona was acting all yandere-ish, I thought that maybe Key would experiment a little and try expanding, but nope, they just make up after some chapter and everything is happy... Typical Key.

I ended up suspecting Tipi of being a Phiroid in chapter 5 because of all that knowledge abt the books and her not needing to eat after all this time, so the fact that everyone was a Phiroid was a nice twist, I liked it.

I was expecting a different ending, that's for sure. Rei just ends up dying?? I thought he'd be the Doctor who brought them back to life and everything :baobao:

Overall, I'd give it a 7/10. It wasn't anything special, but it was a nice little story, good enough not to be a 6 or lower.

I'll probably read Soundless next! 

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