Foreword: Happy New Years, everyone! Just as with all new year’s resolutions, I make one today that I’ll spend more time playing VNs and writing more quality reviews for them! :D
Psh, yeah. I wish.
Despite being on Winter break for another 3 weeks, I’m still not getting done with the titles I want to finish. Just by giving up a large majority of chara-ge, I’m somehow catching up to some of the older ones, and with the help of various individuals within the eroge community (Yes, I’m talking about you guys in Anime-Sharing and gangrelion!), I’m ever-so-slowly becoming more and more knowledgeable about games and how to properly review them.
Today, somewhat complimentary to my above-stated New Year’s Resolution, I’d like to perhaps make two reviews. Will I get to 3? … … … Probably not.
Chatting aside, we have, quite unfortunately, another inferior Chuablesoft game. As I’ll say with Chuable’s games, it seems that the ones with the brown logo that says “Medicine for your Mind” is somehow greatly better than the ones with a pink logo (you’ll know what I’m talking about).
Having played Astraythem, Love la Bride, Himegami, and now also working on Sweet Robin Girl, my pattern shows correctly. Let’s see if I can pull off a good review with this title, though.
Release Date: November 29, 2013
VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v12981
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=779720
Game Type: Slice of Life novel with themes of History
Summary: Takaya finds himself dazing around with his childhood friend, Kei’s, company at the summer festival. She was telling him that the weather has been getting bad, and since she’s afraid of thunders, she’ll be heading home first.
Takaya decides he wants to stay a little more, and head behind the shrine to a very old tree that is representative of the goddess who is served by this town. Rain starts falling, and having no shelter except for the tree, it is only a matter of time as a lightning strikes the very tree that stood tall for hundreds of years (for the reference, you should NEVER stand next to a tree during a lightning storm. I guess Takaya lacked that knowledge)
As the old tree groans and falls over, Takaya realizes that the tree is hollow, and inside is a small girl who lies in the rain, naked and shivering. While he doesn’t believe in gods, Takaya feels sympathy for the girl and brings him back to his house (much to the surprise of his childhood friend who visits him the next day), and it is soon reported that this child may be the goddess that generations of people have been serving for thousands of years.
Seeing how close the child and Takaya get in just a couple of days, the town’s greatest officials decide it may be best to let the goddess do as she pleases. Takaya, who is not motivated by anything, reluctantly accepts his fate as he sees the smile of the child and how much it comforts him.
… Until he is then ordered to also allow two more girls to live with him, to support the raising and protection of the goddess; Shiori (his classmate and the miko to the shrine), and Tsubaki (his upperclassman and a skilled swordswoman).
Story Length: Moderately Long (20 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Slightly Easy
Comments: Pretty much clear cut choices, except that Hime’s route and the other three character’s routes are split near the very end. Before that “last decision” (if you play the game, you’ll understand), one of the choices drives you into Hime’s route, while the other will drive you into the respective heroine you got closest with.
Character Design Rating: 6/10
Story Rating: 3/10
Game Quality: Moderately Low
Overall Rating: 4/10
Rating Comments: Average character design, where really it was just… “satisfactory”. The problem, however, comes with the story. I’ll definitely get to more of this in the “comments” section, but I didn’t like Takaya’s design–period. In addition to this, I’ll say this here right now that except for Hime’s route, the other routes are very boring and comparable to your normal “chara-ge”–it only contains the heroine and Takaya’s “ichaicha”, no real story, and obviously, excludes the rest of the heroines.
On the other hand, I actually found Hime’s story to be favorable. I obviously still have some complaints about the personality of Takaya, but I wouldn’t throw this game away as “trashy” either. This is why I recommend any players for this game to just go through with Hime’s route, and continue with the other routes at your own risk.
Character Summary: I’ll probably blab on and on about Hime, so I ask for your leniency as always *bow*
I present to you, the main character of this game: Hime!
Originally a very small child, she’s the center of attention during the beginning of the story, and also the source of Takaya’s shame as he becomes so affectionate for this girl for people to call him her “dad”. This is even after Kei misunderstands him to be a pedophile.
Despite these namecallings. Takaya still pours his affection for this girl, who becomes more intelligent by the day. He becomes very distressed when Hime goes missing a few times, and falls into deep depression when Hime disappears due to a certain event.
As Hime reappears fully grown, he becomes unable to accustom to the changes, which includes him having to still sleep with an attractive girl or having to help her change into her clothes. Perhaps because of his past experience with Hime as a small child, Takaya both finds this now-mature girl to be very attractive… and troublesome.
Already mentioned before, Hime’s route is the most interesting within this game, and is pretty much the only route one should even play if they have no time like myself. (Even if you had spare time, you’d be best off playing other titles instead). Despite being the goddess, this becomes similar to your “deity falling in love with a human” kind of storyline, except it has some catches, including a certain deity known as “Natsu”. Predictable only to a certain extent, it wasn’t the best, but I enjoyed Hime’s route greatly–and how it featured dynamics of not only Hime, but Takuya, Kei, Shiori, and Tsubaki as well.
Next is Kei, who is the childhood friend of Takaya. Originally the first character to be introduced, it is soon shown that the two are actually very close, to the point they will fight over many trivial things as well. As Hime is introduced to the story, Kei becomes like a mother-figure to the small goddess, and this often exposes the three into an awkward misunderstanding to be of a family.
Kei is also specially skilled in cooking and housework, and often helps Takaya survive his days without problems. She also helps around at her family’s shop, which portrays this character as a diligent girl.
Despite her family’s favor for Takaya, Kei does not find Takaya to be particularly special. This obliviousness is also portrayed by Takaya, who continuously repeats that Kei is “just a childhood friend”.
However, with the permanent exit of Hime in the later parts of the story, Takaya is afflicted with an unknown curse that forces him to engage in sexual activities with not only Kei, but Shiori and Tsubaki as well. Turns out, they all suddenly have feelings for him in return.
Kei’s route mostly involves her trying to help Takaya forget the pains of Hime (which actually happens rather rapidly…), while making him infatuated with her instead. Takaya even admits “…Why haven’t I noticed her (Kei’s) attractiveness before?”
Quiet and timid, Shiori is Takaya’s classmate that he actually does not remember at first glance. Takaya admits that this is due to her existence being very thin, and despite this being very rude (as pointed out by Kei), Shiori says it is the truth and doesn’t say much about it.
Sent by her own grandmother to live with practically someone who is a stranger, Shiori seems to trust Takaya to a certain extent due to his trustworthy personality she observed from the classroom. Despite this, she acts passively towards him–a sign of cowardice or shyness.
Turns out, this is her negative trait. Shiori is very weak in terms of mental fortitude. Quite ironically, this is portrayed best in Hime’s route, where she has a mental breakdown and realizes her own weakness placed on a plate and shoved in front of her face. Because of this, Shiori needs confidence from somewhere…
Last is Tsubaki. A skilled swordswoman who first confronts Takaya after she realizes that something is wrong with Shiori. A little more explanation reveals that she and Shiori are childhood friends, and despite her cold and solemn attitude, feels responsible of “protecting” the timid girl.
This is why when she realized that Shiori is living with another male of the same age, she insisted on living with the group to not only keep a close eye on Takaya, but perhaps also support Hime as well.
Despite her power and skill, she actually finds her weakness while living with the group. As the mysterious character “Natsu” makes her appearance, Tsubaki finds that her hand was shaking, and she could not pull out her weapon properly. This power difference overwhelmed her so much that she begins to train harder than before, in an effort to “make up” for her weakness.
As with Shiori, this “weakness” is portrayed in greater detail in Hime’s route, where Tsubaki’s father, who is greater in ability and strength, fails at attacking the story antagonist (If you want to know who that is, you should play Hime’s route!). This makes the proud upperclassman lose her confidence in her skills, and puts great pressure on her shoulders as she is now forced to face the same enemy that her father failed against.
Oh yeah, she also can’t swim (hue)
Sexual Content: Slightly High
Comments: Okay, let’s get on with my complaints with Takaya.
What the hell is wrong with him?!
Seriously, he’s considered “proactive” in just one scene where he rescues Hime from the rain, and even that doesn’t contribute to his character.
Overall, this protagonist is stupid, weak, indecisive, and negative. Why create this kind of protagonist, whose personality continues even to the ends of heroine’s routes? (Aka, I would’ve been fine with his personality if it was dynamic–he changes from a weak protagonist to a decisive one)
Despite his background, Takaya always needs someone giving him advice/teaching him something, and he doesn’t do anything in Hime’s route. Adding further to this pathetic trait, he has an “alternate” version of himself making negative comments. The game suggests that this negative comments can be turned positive by debating with it, but it misses the crucial point that there’s a reason why this “negative” identity even appeared in the first place. Anyone with even an abysmal knowledge of psychology will sneer at this contradiction and find it disgusting like I did (aka, if you were at least slightly optimistic, which is needed for you to actually “debate” with your negative self, this negative self does not take over your entire thinking patterns as it did for Takaya)
A picture of Hime’s changing scene. For no reason!
All this character does is be at the right place at the right time. There’s nothing special about him, and the girls all “fall in love” with him for the most trivial reasons, Hime included. If any other male was in that situation and protected Hime as Takuya did, things would certainly be different. In short, the protagonist needs some trait, other than “pure luck”, that makes the heroines fall for him.
In addition to this, the heroines also seemed very bland themselves. Obviously excluding Hime (she is pretty much the only character that Chuablesoft can actually advertise efficiently…), Kei, Shiori, and Tsubaki seem way too “normal” or boring to seem to have any difference. They do play a crucial role in Hime’s route, not in their own. In a sense, they seemed more like “subheroines” instead.
Warning: Gore (No not really)
Affection for the Characters: Low
CG Quality: Again with the SDCG. Dump whoever’s drawing those alien-like CGs because that is NOT cute. It’s frankly really creepy.
Music Quality: Moderately High. I actually like a lot of the music within this game. Don’t believe me? Grab a savedata and see for yourself.
Addictiveness: Very Low
Conclusion: Probably a game worse than Love la Bride because that was a game designed only for its characters and this game has failed to keep its standards as a “slice of life” game. Despite this, Hime’s route is actually pretty nice, and recommended for anyone to play. On the other hand, you may find yourself regretting it like I did, if you touch anything outside of that.