It’s sure been a while since my last post. Been spending a lot of my time studying Japanese lately. So much, that it’s cutting into my eroge time >__>.
Company: パープルソフトウェア (Purple Software)
Game site: しあわせ家族部
Release date: May 25, 2012
Links:VNDB, Getchu, Walkthrough
Kazuki transferred to Amanogawa Gakuen in the middle of the school year. His childhood friend Honoha invited him to the unofficial ‘family club’ where the members pretend to be a family. In addition to the club leader Ougi and imouto-like kouhai Runa, they are soon joined by the robot Misora, the student council leader Mikage, his effeminate classmate Yuuki and energetic kouhai Suzu. For Kazuki, who had lost his family at a young age, he did not understand at first the meaning of family nor the purpose of the club, but he felt at ease with such kind people at his side. Gradually after spending more and more time with them, they become precious to him, just like ‘family’.
[Borrowed from Micchi's blog]
Things start with the very cliché event where basically every club in the school ‘hunt’ Kazuki. The chase somehow leads to him running with a female classmate into a club room. You guessed it, this is the ‘family club’ room. Things only get better; that girl he dragged in with him is his osananajimi. Not a very interesting introduction.
You should be able to tell that this game is very slice of life. The game consists of chapters, with each individual route being around 26 chapters long; the common route takes up 13 chapters. In the common route you’re basically at the family club killing time. How the ‘family’ part of the club comes into the mix is that each day each member is given a position in the family. So every day the members address each other slightly differently each day. THAT’S IT. There’s nothing about how the members bond close together like a family. At some point in the game they mention that they consider the other members as family, and that’s just how it is. I was disappointed by this because I came into the game with thoughts that I would see a very moving story about a family.
The common route lacks any development in backstory and you barely see any form of drama. There are several running gags in the game, such as a guy getting treated as a girl more than half the time and a pudding obsessed girl who keeps exploding stuff every time she tries to make it. Most of them get old very quickly. The only source of comedy I really found funny was Runa’s imouto character. In short, the common route isn’t particularly interesting and doesn’t really do much to draw you in.
Characters and story
Kazuki’s osananajimi and classmate who shows very obvious signs of romantic affection towards him. Though one of the more level headed members of the club, she tends to be rather passive and doesn’t assert what she wants to or doesn’t want to do.
After seeing several scenes of jealousy, a confession appears. The route progresses at a pretty good pace after this, with Kazuki wanting Honoha to be a little less passive. You see some amusing moments where Kazuki tries to get Honoha to reject some of his crazy ideas. And yes, some of these ideas are sexual. Unfortunately this doesn’t last, and Honoha suddenly becomes very insecure after seeing a lady on TV who she calls “mother”. Honoha’s insecurities cause her to become something of an object that lives for Kazuki’s needs. I REALLY hate stuff like this. So Kazuki magically comes up with a solution, but before it happens we get the ‘girl runs onto open road’ scene. This really felt like an cheap trick just to get some emotional drama into things. It’s somewhat touching, but the ending is pretty typical.
Kazuki’s kouhai who calls him ‘onii-chan’. She acts like a bracon imouto, and often fantasizes about about Kazuki. Despite having a very bright an energetic nature, as a child she was very sick. When Kazuki first meets Runa, he mistakes her for “Yui”.
After seeing the first CG of the game, it was pretty obvious that Runa is somehow related to Kazuki. The route starts off with Kazuki reminiscing about ‘Yui’ when Runa suddenly falls ill, which causes him to become more conscious of her. The confession in this route actually gets rejected at first, for a very lame reason which I can’t fully understand. Seriously, even after you learn everything, the reason why the confession isn’t successful the first time is still quite odd. To reassure you, yes, even in the relationship Runa still fantasizes about her onii-chan. When Runa suddenly falls ill, and a sudden confession reveals Runa’s true identity. You slowly learn about Runa’s past, and things are pretty damn emotional. Things end in a pretty expected manner, but it was satisfying how just about everything is wrapped up.
Runa’s route is easily the most touching and also has the deepest story. The link between Runa and Yui is quite obvious, but still interesting and it hit me quite emotionally. Runa’s fantasies are easily the funniest things in the whole game, and should please most of you siscons out there =3.
Kazuki’s senpai and the student council president. Though not an official member of the family club, she is often mixed into their activities. She’s smart and has a very serious nature. It often seems like she does nothing but student council work.
Kazuki wants to lighten Mikage’s load as he thinks that she’s pushing herself. The family club is focused on a lot less as Kazuki visits Mikage in the student council room. As time passes, these visits end up becoming full day stays. In the other routes, the confession was near the start, which made things feel a bit odd. However, Mikage’s route has nice development, filled with awkwardness and misunderstandings, which slowly develop into love. Mikage’s route sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Well things are about to turn. Right after they get into the relationship, one thing leads to another and somehow Kazuki ends up running for student council president. The rest of the route is very lame as you see the two do various activities to promote Kazuki’s image. During this time the two don’t really do anything couple like besides the occasional H-scene. So yeah, the route becomes very boring, despite having such a strong start.
Kazuki’s senpai and the founder of the family club. She’s quite sly and you can never really tell what she’s planning. She also gives off your typical Ojou-sama feel who can pull off almost anything.
I found the start of Ougi’s route to be very interesting. A few moments of weakness leads to the two to awkwardly getting closer to each other. Then a H-scene came out of nowhere. Ougi’s feelings for Kazuki felt VERY unnatural because nothing has happened between the two yet. You learn about Ougi’s family circumstances, which give you a reasonable idea about why she created the family club. Nothing is said in detail, which I found a bit disappointing. When Misora suddenly disappears, it feels like it becomes Misora’s route because Ougi gets a lot less screen time. Misora and her sister (Mihoshi) relate to Ougi in very peculiar way. I didn’t really mind the relation between them, but I can see how some might find it quite mocking. Ougi’s ending is by far the most stupid and contrived of all the endings. Years of emotional pain turn out to be due to misunderstandings and EVERYTHING is solved in one big bang.
Misora is a robot created by the Natsume Research Facility. After Kazuki saves her from hordes of club scouters, she becomes attached to him, and she promptly decides to join the family club. Despite having a very childlike nature, she is very dedicated to her dream.
Kazuki decides to help Misora with some Natsume Research related tasks, and the two supposedly spend a lot of time together. I say ‘supposedly’ because you don’t actually see it happening, it’s just quoted. This made Kazuki’s feelings for Misora feel quite weak. The two get into a relationship and the whole Misora is a robot thing isn’t really considered at all. The rest of the club are strangely accepting of it as well. Am I the weird one out here? The relationship itself isn’t very interesting, but then some hardcore drama appears. At this point the club is reminded that Misora is a robot, mainly because her dream is really something only a robot can do. Though it’s a very typical robot storyline, the bits leading up to the ending where pretty emotional.
Route ranking: Runa>Mikage>Misora>Honoha>Ougi
I’m not really that much of an art critic, but under my standards, the CG for this game were pretty good. The SDCG were also nice. The one thing that bothered me at first about the graphics were the characters sprites. They look a little 3D to me. Just a little bit. After a while I got used to it, but I found it pretty weird for the first hour or so of the game. Well, here are a few samples.
The general settings for this game are what you would expect. No problems there. Loading from the log is basically instant, which I loved.
The most annoying system problem is the icon bar. First off, it’s ugly. But thankfully, when you’re not using it, it fades into the background. Also, you can move it around. The thing is fully customizable, and there are lots of random settings add in. However, mostly likely the only thing you’ll do is get rid of all the crap that they give you by default. I suppose after a while it’s not as annoying, but it seems like a lot of trouble when you can just chuck everything into the right click of the mouse.
As always, I don’t really have much to say about the sound. None of the voice acting felt out of place and the BGMs were fairly ordinary.
Overall: 68/100 (Not a total)
ATLAS: Somewhere between easy and medium.
If you’re looking for a touching story where a group of people become like family, this probably isn’t it. Far from being family, it was hard to say that all of them were even close friends. Besides Runa’s fantasies, the game is quite lacking in the comedy department that one would expect from this kind of game. The romance in Ougi’s and Misora’s route felt quite fake, but the other routes were a lot better. In terms of story, I would only say that Runa’s route and the first half of Mikage’s route can be seen as interesting. The other routes were just too typical and it things didn’t flow well.
If you insist on playing this game, I would suggest only playing Runa’s route, and maybe Mikage’s.