Foreword: A game with lots of impact. The game proudly stands superior to its peers, mainly because of its well-designed characters and story. In a great sense, this game was very similar to the Visual Novel — Clannad. However, don’t expect Clannad’s static sprites or CG. You will find much more here.
Title: ましろサマー (Mashiro Summer, lit trans. Pure White Summer)
Release Date: November 25th, 2011
VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v7722
Game Type: Novel
Summary: 10 years ago, there was a time when snow fell during mid-summer. This event was in everyone’s minds, as it was so unreasonable. What could this event represent?
Keiji was abandoned by his parents, and was grown in the care of his grandfather on his mother’s side. In his grandfather’s house, he met his cousin, whose name was Chihiro, and they became like blood-related siblings. After their grandfather died, the two had to support each other.
Keiji, however, has good friends, including Masataka and Haruki. As he attends 2nd year of high school, he meets many other people as well. They are lead together by some force, but what could it be…?
As Keiji interacts with his friends and the people of the “Mystery Research Club”, he will find out the truth about the quiet, but gentle snow that covered the town on that summer day.
Story Length: Moderate (30 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Moderately difficult
Comments: I had to use a walkthrough for this, because I couldn’t waste anymore time after I met the bad end. The choices are actually pretty hard to recognize as well, so if you decide not to use walkthroughs, good luck!
Character Design Rating: 9/10
Story Rating: 9/10
Game Quality: Moderately High
Overall Rating: 9/10
Rating Comments: Stated above, you will be greeted with bursts of laughter from the first hour of playing this game. Each character has a trait that was very attractive in their own way. In addition to heartwarming but unpredictable plot, it will not be surprising to find readers genuinely feeling affection for certain characters.
Sexual Content: Low. This actually gave room to more practical CGs, which was a big plus.
Comments: Great story. A large portion of it, even as a romance story, was completely unpredictable. In addition to the countless laughter you’ll express with this story, the heartwarming stories and attractive characters will surely steal your mind. Even for the most flamboyant characters, you will find that at some point in time, they will play an extremely important role in the stories.
Affection for the Characters: High
CG Quality: Moderate. The artist has a unique drawing style that I couldn’t judge very well. I still have to say that the characters themselves are pretty cute ;)
Music Quality: Highly Superior. From the Opening, you can see the great design of the melody of the entire game itself, and throughout the game, the reader will find that many of the tracks are very calming.
My Personal Thoughts (INCLUDES SMALL SPOILERS):
Mashiro Summer was definitely a good story, but it was bad in the sense that it allowed me to realize some of the biggest flaws in Visual Novels, contradiction of character personality.
Characters in such entertainment is always idealized. This trait in Visual novels and anime is what makes the general Asian Entertainment much more appealing than others.
However, as I’ve stated, these ideal traits are often contradictory. In a simpler sense, it can be rephrased as such: “If the character has personality A, they cannot have personality B”.
This is represented best through the character “Aki”, whose problem consists mainly of the fact that she fears being hated by people, and aims to treat everyone equally. This is the additional reason why she breaks up with the main character in her route, making an excuse that she is “scared that his love might fluctuate”.
In psychology, this kind of scenario is completely impossible to obtain, as anyone who is “unsure about others’ emotions” like Aki, do not allow people to enter their “comfort zone” in the first place. As a conclusion, Aki should NOT have fallen in love with Keiji in the first place, because her personality would have prevented him from being too close with her.
However, there’s always the exception. The only exception that could probably work is if Aki was flamboyant with her feelings when she went out with him, and lost her feelings for Keiji later on in the story. The possibility of this scenario is eliminated by the statement that Aki still loves him (Of course, this can be argued, but in either sense, the scenario still applies).
How do I know this? This is mainly because my own personality is like Aki’s, and I know how my mind works.
This is my suggestion to readers that you should enjoy Visual Novels and Anime, but NEVER. I repeat myself, NEVER aim to make it a part of your daily life.
1) It’s impossible.
2) Such people would be considered “weeaboos” (it has a negative viewpoint)