There has been criticism that the posts lately have been looking like lists. I’ve nothing to say to that, since they are indeed lists. Not that there’s anything wrong with lists in my opinion. But Aero has been bugging me to make a real post, so here it is. An attempt at one at least.
Tooru, a pre-med student, and his imouto Natsuha return home to the village Monobeno for the summer. It’s a small village surrounded by mountains on all sides and situated deep in the middle of absolutely no where, with only one road leading to the outside. In this convenient setting, people live in harmony with youkai, or supernatural creatures. During the festival celebrating the birth of this village, Natsuha suddenly felt sick looking at the dance dedicated to the gods so they all went home. On the next day, Natsuha miraculously grew 10 centimeters and hit puberty, no longer looking like a loli and more like a bishoujo. And so they set out to find out what caused this. Lolis should always remain as lolis right?
[Roughly translated from the official site's story section so I don't have to come up with one]
The common route consists of 11 slow-paced slice-of-life scenes with nothing happening. It felt somewhat boring looking at them doing nothing in particular, but heartwarming at the same time as they become reacquainted with their old home. Then an overly (un)convenient accident occurs which traps them in the village just as Natsuha starts experiencing the changes. They obviously don’t want any outside interference which only complicate things.
While I don’t have problems with the common route, besides that it may have been a bit too slow-paced, I do have problems with the game’s route structure. Simply put, the game has the common route, then 2 Natsuha routes leading to bad ends, and completing them unlock the final true Natsuha happy end route. That’s right, the game has 3 Natsuha routes despite having 3 heroines. Sumi and Alice are sad.
Instead of having hints and glimpses into the main story while maintaining a separate heroine specific story like how the non-true routes usually are, these 2 extra routes felt like incomplete cuts of the main story. They pose many questions, but answers only a fraction of them, leaving you hanging there confused until the final route. In my opinion, good sub routes are supposed to make you intrigued, not confused.
The other 2 heroines really felt like side characters even in their own routes, which are all centered on Natsuha and tells us next to nothing about the route’s supposed main heroine. They have no stories of their own; there is only 1 story in this game, and that is Natsuha’s. Sumi’s route at least gives us some knowledge on the game’s story. Alice’s route tells us almost nothing about the story. It felt painful seeing the protagonist doing everything wrong in these routes leading to Natsuha bad ends, only to somehow come to his senses in the true route. Even if he is happy with the other heroines in their respective ends, seeing Natsuha’s condition in these ends still leaves a bitter taste.
Another thing to note, the romance in this game felt sort of out of place. The couple’s time alone is short, few, and far in between. And the time is spent for H scenes, and nothing else. No ichaicha, no date, no spending sweet time together. It’s like the writers decided to take a break from the story, stuff a H scene in there, then get back to the story after that. The H scenes can be taken out and nothing will be impacted. But I still like them though, even if they aren’t particularly hawt or fappable.
By the way, the solution to the grand problem facing them is one of the easiest I’ve seen. Sibling love can really be unbelievably powerful. Especially deep, deep love between an onii-chan and his imouto that transcends all commonly held ethical values.
Look for yourself since I suck at describing art.
There are moving lips and blinking eyes for all sprites and even in CGs. Sadly, the sprites only have variation for facial expressions, but not for different poses. There is also a scene selector, and it’s not just for H scenes. And the protagonist is voiced outside of H scenes.
Deserving special mention, I give props to Natsuha’s seiyuu for doing such a wonderful job voicing her in every one of her ages.
My main gripe with the game is that, frankly, playing the 2 routes felt like a waste of time. The game’s heavy use of dialects that are distinctly different from standard Japanese and talk of the local religion make it hard to understand at times. It’s definitely not ATLAS friendly. Also this game reminds me of Tasogare no Sinsemilla, which I feel is better done though both lack ichaicha outside of H.
However, if you’re a fellow lolicon then this is the game for you. So much loli goodness here, especially with the extra H patch. Otherwise, I don’t think it’d be a good idea to play this for non-lolicons.
Overall: 65/100 (not a total)
Next up is KOIIMO!! No stupid story to distract me from my ichaicha with my imoutos.