Barktooth Posted July 28, 2016 Share Posted July 28, 2016 Welp, it's over. I've been stalling it for a month because I didn't want it to end, but I finally finished the last route in HoshiMemo. This is, without a doubt, my favorite VN so far (although I haven't read many yet). Giving it a 10/10; it's not an objective rating by any means - there are definitely some things I didn't like about it and objectively speaking it doesn't deserve this rating, but the emotions I felt in certain scenes simply don't let me give it anything lower. I love most of the characters, I seriously can't even pick the best one. Mare, Mystery girl, Asuho, Isuzu are all too damn good. I'm even more greedy than You-kun, need to have a harem with the four of them xD Spoiler And Ren as well. I love the relationship her and Taiga have. I wish her to be by my side forever too! Plus she is the cutest character in the game, IMO. The scenes with the orgel playing "dame ningen, kusukusu" were great. Sorry Mare fans, but she is just a dame uchujin compared to Ren. Mare is cute but I liked her more in the beginning of the game, when she acted a bit cold towards You. She was a mysterious character, since she looked like You's childhood friend and was supposedly a grim reaper. Made me always look forward to those meetings at the lookout. I did enjoy her slowly getting accustomed to You and eventually opening up to him more, though I feel it could have been executed a bit better (she really needs a longer route). Asuho is just a nice person to be around, but her route made me really fall in love; I'm a sucker for osananajimi, after all. Aoi's personality is one of my favorites (along with Setsuna's - who, BTW, NEEDS a route. FAVORITE, get on it naooo!), I like how blunt she is and the sharp remarks were always entertaining. Mystery girl - obviously also an osananajimi, and the backstory is much better developed in her case, so it's no surprise I cared about her a lot. Also, it's not something I think about often since he isn't a kawaii girl, but I am quite fond of the protagonist, Kogasaka You, as well. I couldn't relate to him in some respects, but overall he was a very respectable character and I could easily put myself in his shoes. I fancy the way he reasons things out in his internal monologues; I appreciated every scene in the game where he was in "thinking mode". Actually, all the internal monologue of his was fairly solid. The game would most definitely not be the same if not for him. Now that's not to say I liked all the characters... Chinami. Please, get star cancer and die. Mayaka, screw off with your "yah-hoo". Kosame, Spoiler I don't hate you, but I'll never forgive you for attacking Mare. (And Komomo, I'm eternally grateful to you for stopping her.) Also, while you being secretive is justified, it still irritated me sometimes. Now, as for the routes... Common route was great, it had a nice mysterious atmosphere and I enjoyed the way more and more of the story was slowly revealed. The scene right before the opening really took me by surprise, it was very well done. It did have too many slice of life scenes for my taste, though, and the days where You and Chinami were unpacking stuff after they moved houses seriously got on my nerves. Asuho's route was probably my favorite. Spoiler I really liked the story told from her perspective about the wish card, and how it eventually leads up to the scene on the rooftop and her giving it back to him. When Mare reaps her nightmare at that point.. that is probably my favorite scene out of the whole game. Partly because Onaji Hoshi ni Umarete played (my favorite OST from the game), and partly because of the realization that the wish card was her nightmare striking me in that very instance. I don't know, it just felt like something clicked in my head at that moment... And I started crying. In fact, I still hardcore bawl my eyes out every time I listen to this OST because memories of that scene flood my mind. Komomo's route was entertaining, it had a good story to it concerning all the shrine maiden stuff. It also had a very satisfying ending IMO. Spoiler Kept me on the edge of my seat a bit because for a while I couldn't settle on whether she or Kosame was the one who died. However the revelation itself wasn't striking, and it was instead slowly made more and more obvious it was Kosame. This could have probably been done better. Kosame's route was okay. Personally, I didn't really like the drama in this one and the ending was subpar. We got to see more shrine maiden stuff and the loose ends were tied up, however, so I didn't mind it. Additionally, for some reason, I actually enjoyed the way Kosame teased You-kun. Aoi's route was favorable as well. The drama could have been done better, Spoiler I thought the scene with the telescope breaking wasn't executed too well. The commentary leading up to it and afterwards just wasn't anything special, and the moment itself didn't feel especially powerful. The rest of the route was very engaging, though. I liked the story about Aoi's past and how she got her telescope and rooftop key, them going to the planetarium, finding out that Aoi's telescope is broken, and the general interactions between Isuzu and You. For all that, I didn't really appreciate just how full on dere she went in the route. I would have much preferred her to stay cool even after falling in love with You. Something like kuukuu instead of kuudere? I guess that's not really a thing. But she went too lovey-dovey for my taste. Chinami route... I don't know, man. I think it was supposed to have a good story but I didn't enjoy it at all. Partly it was because of Chinami, and in part because it dealt with the Kogasaka family's affairs, which, frankly, I didn't care much about. Spoiler I wish they'd focus more on Taiga. We don't know what happened to that after the ending. Why the fuck did You not even mention anything about Taiga until this route anyway? I guess discovering the details behind the urban legend was nice, though. Mysterious girl route. My second favorite, I'd say. Spoiler This route was basically where the whole overarching story of the game lead, IMO, so I think it should have been the final/true route, rather than Mare's. You-kun trying to remember Yume's name and searching for her, then eventually getting the wish card back from Asuho and this time rejecting her.. it felt pretty heartbreaking to say no to her, but worth it to find the girl who taught him how to have fun. I was quite fond of the reinvigorated search that ensued after that. I fucking loved the backstory in this route to bits, seriously, we finally get to know the details behind how Yume and You-kun met, how they spent that month together at the lookout, etc. I was looking forward to this the whole game, and it did not disappoint. That scene under the sakura blossoms gave me dem feels. I concur that Yume IS a bit annoying with her older sister act and thinking she always knows better, but it didn't detract from the experience much or make me dislike her, for some reason or another. I did, indeed, get a bit tired of her constantly ignoring You-kun's advances and rejecting him, though. The scenes served their purpose well at making me depressed, but many a time, I wished Yume wasn't so damn stubborn. I was rather entertained by the first 'ending' of the route, where Mare reaped his nightmare and disappeared due to fulfilling all her promises. The scene where he came to the lookout again after graduating from Hibari-kou was probably the most depressing one in the VN. For some magical reason, Yume's illness got better due to Mare disappearing, and she decided to start over their relationship from the beginning, but I actually still felt really sad at this point. The fact that You-kun forgot all the childhood memories he had of Yume, and that Mare was no longer with him was really heart-rending. I don't think his memories had to necessarily be a nightmare, they only hurt him so much because he kept getting rejected by Yume. If she were to accept his feelings, I think his childhood memories would instead be something that made their bond stronger. Which is why I was overjoyed when You-kun decided that he wasn't satisfied, and got to re-do the route. This time everything turned out right, he sent Mare off but "recovered" her from the meteorite (I guess? Since he made a necklace like the one Taiga has. I wish they would show them looking for the meteorite.) His greed paid off, he now managed to retain his childhood memories of Yume and have Mare by his side; it was a pleasant ending. Surprisingly, I even liked that they became a kind of a family. I mean, it makes sense - after all, Mare came into existence because of the wishes Yume and You made. There are some things I'm confused about though. Spoiler First off, why did nobody in school remind You-kun of Yume's existence after Mare reaped his nightmare in the first 'ending'? Shouldn't Asuho have known about Yume, and have been able to obviously see that You-kun forgot about her? Maybe they tried to tell him about Yume but he just didn't remember anyway... hmm, I doubt that, since I'm sure the decisive Asuho would drag him to the hospital to show him Yume and force them to become friends again. Or did Mare reaping his nightmare somehow also affect the memories of the other characters? The other question would be, how the fuck did he get sent back into the past to re-do everything? I suppose I don't expect much of an explanation on this, it's probably just magic. Dead mom uses THE POWER OF FAMILEHHHHH :^^^^^], it's super effective! Also related, and likely to have no explanation, but I might have missed something so I'll ask anyway.. why do things go differently the second time? Does Kasumi help move things along from behind the scenes somehow? Oh yeah, and I'm still not sure why in both endings Mare disappearing, and her light returning to them, allows Yume to get better. I mean, wasn't Mare born because of their wish in the first place? Wouldn't that mean they got back something they had in the first place? Does that indicate... that if Yume didn't wish for You-kun to forget him, Mare wouldn't appear in the first place, and Yume would have recovered from her illness sooner? Honestly, the story of this route was the best in the game, and it really should be my favorite route... But it didn't have that very moving moment like Asuho's route did. It had some good drama, and definitely gave me lots of feels, and it was the apex of the whole story of the VN. But nothing in this route made quite the same impact as that scene in Asuho's route, so even though nearly everything else about it was better, I'm still relegating it to second place. Mare's route... way too short. Don't get me wrong, I liked it, and I'm still not entirely sure if I prefer this or Mysterious Girl route's ending as the "true" ending. I never thought I'd say this, but I actually wish it had more slice of life. More stuff like the day they spent together at the end. I figure that is what Eternal Heart is for, though, in which case I will withhold my judgement for now. On that note, one criticism of the game I had is the distribution of resources. Did we really need a sprite for a nurse who LITERALLY appears what, twice during the WHOLE game? Some of the backgrounds felt pretty underused too, we only see the docks one or two times in Aoi's route; there is a background for the fucking orgel shop we see once; the school cafeteria is basically never shown after the first few days. Instead of the nurse, I think Komomo/Kosame's father really needed a sprite - and he could fulfill the same role as the nurse anyway since he works at the hospital. Instead of the backgrounds, the game needed more CGs for Mysterious Girl and Mare routes, badly so - although, I suppose they probably had different artists for CGs and backgrounds so one couldn't fill the other's role... but this is the only VN I've read where some backgrounds are used this rarely, so they could have definitely distributed their resources better. Anyways, I'm really sad after finishing this game. I know there's still Eternal Heart, which I will hopefully read (unless I get raped by it being in Japanese), but nonetheless, I already miss the setting and characters. I decided to listen to Mysterious Dream, Chiisaku mo Tsuyoki Kokoro, and Onaji Hoshi ni Umarete - the top 3 OST from this VN - while messing around with the sprite viewer, and FUCK I wailed like a bitch to the point of not being able to breathe, seriously, this game broke me. Took me an hour of sobbing into my pillow to calm down, I just love these characters so much, all the struggles they've gone through and everything that's happened to them, good and bad, and now it feels like I'm leaving them all behind and it's just so lonely, I knew they weren't real in the first place but they definitely felt like they really existed and I want to be with them so much.... This is why this is a 10/10 game, I don't care if it has flaws, it made me cry during that scene with Asuho, and that's not even close to the only time, I cried probably around 10 more times after that too, and it's just indescribable how much I care for these characters, I don't even know if I want to read Eternal Heart because it feels like it will ruin the journey that we went through to get to the end. Haaa... sorry for that run-on sentence, I'm still kind of emotionally unstable lol. I don't cry often, but you know, sometimes it's nice to let it all out, just like how Mysterious Girl says, "if it's painful, don't hold it in, just let it all out". I'll probably start Eternal Heart in a few days, gotta give it some time before that but I'm sure I'll calm down in a while and will want to read it. Damn, I just looked over this thing and I wrote a book; if anyone read until the end, yoku dekimashita - here's Mysterious Girl making a cute face: Spoiler Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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