Foreword: This was definitely a great find. Komorebi is filled to the brim with the theme of “Nostalgia”. Dictionary.com defines this word as “a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one’s life, to one’s home or homeland, or to one’s family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time“, and this story followed that definition quite strictly.
Overall, this was a great story. I recommend it to many people, especially the ones skilled in computer terms, as they would be able to understand many things.
Title: 木洩れ陽のノスタルジーカ (Komorebi no Nostalgica, Trans. The Nostalgia of Glimmering Sunlight). “Komorebi” refers to the incident where the person stands under a shade of a tree on a bright day, and the sunlight is partially covered by the tree’s leaves. However, the sunlight not “blocked” by this shade produces a glittering effect, which is called “Komorebi”.
Release Date: February 22, 2013
VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v10958
Game Type: Sci-Fi Novel
The nostalgia theme is represented by this old mansion as the group leads Cinema into a forest to see the “Komorebi”.
Summary: The time is now in the 26th century, and Shouta enjoys his days with his group of friends. It has been 50 years after the 2-year war between the humans and machines that once wiped out the entire information technology system, but everything is now done with computers: many things are very comfortable, including the transfer of data, which can be done through a touch of a hand. Now, another race called “Metosera” (メトセラ) exists; they are simply robots with an AI, and a very long life span.
One day, when the usual members were returning to the school (with Akira hacking the school systems and ultimately forgetting her homework), Akira detected a signal that lead them to an abandoned room. Upon further research, the group realized that there was a hidden door behind a heavy shelf. They move the shelf to find a well-concealed door, and opening the door revealed a pitch-black room.
Upon entering, the group stumbles upon something amazing: a humanoid!! The group soon figures out that this humanoid is very old, probably before the 2-year war. Akira reports that the humanoid can be saved, and the group decides to revive this humanoid and take care of it.
Thus begins the story of the humanoid named “Cinema”, and the strong friendship between Shouta and his friends.
The theme of this game: Cinema! Isn’t she just the cutest? ^o^
Story Length: Slightly Short (15 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Moderate
Comments: Okay so… My mind is currently thinking the following: Flou, who is a metosera (and thus a machine), is a main heroine while Cinema is not?! WHY!?!?! *TABLEFLIP* Yes, you heard me correctly. Cinema, who this story revolves around, is not a heroine. That’s rather cheap of Strega, and I really hope they come up with a sequel of some sort, to include Cinema as a main heroine this time >:|
Otherwise, the stories split with the first decision, so make sure to save! :)
Akira, the master hacker
Character Design Rating: 9/10
Story Rating: 7/10
Game Quality: Moderate
Overall Rating: 8/10
Rating Comments: Very good! Artwork of characters is drawn by Norita, who you may all remember from Caramel Box. However, I would have to say that the artwork is better in this game. Regarding character personalities connecting to the actual story, the scenario is written very well: each character’s conflict is described clearly, and is solved in a very concise and explicit manner, by Cinema, and sometimes Shouta. Kaya becomes decisive, Itsuki learns to become honest, Flou learns emotions, and Akira learns to depend on others.
Sexual Content: Moderate
Comments: The great thing about this story in any case, is that in all routes, the respective heroine learns something from Cinema. This is extremely ironic, since Cinema is a robot with only the knowledge of the past. This suggests that the term “nostalgia”, the reflection of the past, is actually beneficial in many cases, even in the real life.
Komorebi, as explained above, is the phenomenon when sunlight “glitters” under a shade; in this case, of a tree.
In addition, the readers will realize that despite Cinema being rather incompetent in some situations, she tries her best in all her work. This makes your own affections skyrocket for this character. Ironically, she is also the one who consults each character or helps them somehow in their conflicts.
In a sense, there was a theme of “friendship” within this story as well, similar to what I saw in Little Busters and even Oreaka. This was a huge plus in character affection, as well as character design as the plot revealed remained consistent with this “friendship”.
Affection for the Characters: High
Shouta performing “surgery” on Cinema. Within the group, he is arguably most skilled with hardware equipment.
CG Quality: Moderate. The quality was moderate, considering minimal details in most of them, and relatively less sprites than other games.
Music Quality: Very good. Most of the music is calm and soothing. I particularly like the Opening song, Eternal Wish, since its lyrics relates to the Nostalgia theme perfectly.
Addictiveness: Low. Despite the game being very good, it is a sci-fi genre that is often hard to come back to. Nonetheless, this title will be distinctively remembered for its smooth plotline and great character design.
Conclusion: A slice of life Sci-Fi novel, that would fit anyone’s tastes. While it may be hard to understand some of the factors of this story, there is an in-game glossary available for players who doesn’t understand its terms.