A blog for reviews… that's really not much of a blog

Foreword: With exams seriously crushing me every week, this is probably going to be either the last or second to last review for a while (I have another game I’m playing right now). Let’s get right into the review. Pretty much another “average” galge, I have mixed feelings about the game because it had the potential to be “good”, but it didn’t turn out so well. Lump of Sugar’s tendency to be inconsistent across the routes is back, brace yourself to be hit with unexplained elements and despite not having too much hope for this title, I was yet again disappointed.

Despite this, it’s not as bad as some of the other Lump of Sugar games. While plot isn’t consistent, its theme is very solid and clear. I guess in that sense, this game was slightly enjoyable…? I also enjoy Lump of Sugar’s prime (and mascot) artist, who seemed to become even more proficient recently.

Title: 世界と世界の真ん中で (Sekai to Sekai no Mannakade) [Lit. Trans: Right between world and world]
Producers: Lump of Sugar
Release Date: January 31, 2014
VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v13224
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=782219
Game Type: Romance Philosophy (?) Novel with themes of identity

Summary: Renri is a motherlike figure to the residents at Erudeshu (romanized spelling). Being the cook and cleaning “chief” (more like the only one…), his days consist of routine activities and sights. However, he believes that this will change with the addition of his little sister Kokoro, who is soon added to the story. As a semi-bracon, Renri is very pleased with his younger sister, who was actually very ill and frail. He constantly worries about her health, and has no time to spare for the strange diary he picked up during one of the cleaning days, which includes a key of an unknown origin.

Little does he know, that this key will lead him to the center of the world, where an object called “Celestial Globe” silently floats… simply waiting… for something.

Story Length: Moderately Long (25 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Easy
Comments: While not straightforward, simple choices encompass the title and should prove to be no challenge for any reader.

This is a “ritual” where Minori’s personality switches as she taps her hairpin.

Note how this screenshot suggests that she no longer performs this “ritual”

Character Design Rating: 7/10
Story Rating: 5/10
Game Quality: Moderate
Overall Rating: 6/10
Rating Comments: No. This is NOT a half-assed rating. It’s just that I’m also confused to how I would even rate this, since some portions of the story was awesome, while some portions were really sloppy and unplanned. Perhaps it’s my bias towards LoS that I rate this slightly higher than “average” (5), but I would say that compared to other recent games, this title would still be slightly better for both story and character design.

Character Summary: Let’s get to the heroines! They are listed in the order I have cleared them, and should also be the order that you should clear them too, since it’ll make the best sense. (Okay fine… you just need to get Minori and Aira first =3=)

First up is Minori. As the heroine who is first introduced in the game, the reader can see that she is energetic and cheerful. Despite this, you can also see that she has a very different personality when she is in school (as shown later in the story), which is done by tapping (?) her hairpin before she enters the classroom. Her personality shift is actually pretty huge, to the point I’m impressed at the CV for being able to pull off both “traits”. Always trying to be of help to everyone as much as possible, she becomes very close to Kokoro due to this trait.

Minori’s route was actually pretty nice. Suffering with a syndrome similar to what I had previously (if you keep up with my posts, you should note that I mention my abnormality in one of them. /spoiler), her route mostly involves her being unable to sleep without Renri holding her hand (because she has nightmares), and soon realizing her feelings for him during this process.

While I do have that empathy-ish type of feeling for this character, it might be that I just love blue hair.

As with a good route, we have a bad one. Aira’s was unfortunately one of them.

More quietspoken than our previously presented heroine, Aira is seen to have little emotions. Most of her sprites reflect this design with little to no changes (of sprites) throughout the story, and it really only becomes more apparent within her route.

Nonetheless, Aira’s route starts off with her music box (Orgol? I don’t know how to spell it…), which has a song that Aira enjoys, but can’t remember much about. Strangely enough, almost everyone doesn’t know about it, nor has even heard of it… except for our protagonist, who recognizes it for some reason.

Perhaps because of this, Aira lets Renri listen to her song more often than others. She feels afraid to let anyone else hear it, despite Renri’s compliments, for some reason… which is revealed in her route.

The thing I really hate the most about Aira’s route is that despite having the theme of “singing”, there’s absolutely no insert song at least related to Aira. Seriously LoS? Out of all the designing you can do, you decide to simply leave out an important element in one of the routes… I look back at older games that have 4-5 insert songs for each character.

EDIT: Looks like the Maxi CD that comes with the game has Aira’s insert song. Strange how it appears in the actual game too, so it’s either LoS derped HARD or I didn’t catch it. I’m going to see if I can go through Aira’s route again to see if I can find it.

Third is Kokoro! Despite seemingly the main heroine, I wouldn’t be so quick to make that conclusion: her route is intertwined with Haruka’s route, and they seem to share the equal amount of the spotlight. Quite unfortunately, it is also within their routes where the inconsistency and unexplained element appears (rather bluntly, too…) so I couldn’t find myself able to enjoy their routes as much.

Nonetheless, this adorable loli character with white hair (…? I feel a deja vu) is the younger sister of Renri, and moves into the “dorm” within a few days after the story begins. It is shown that despite being siblings, Kokoro already has some romantic affection towards her brother, who has taken care of her when she was in the hospital.

Similar to her male counterpart, Kokoro seems to have a knack for cooking. Despit only being discharged from the hospital for a few days, she easily picks up cooking from Renri, to the point she makes even a recipe book for Minori and Aira, who learns cooking from someone younger than them. She uses this talent to bake cupcakes as her first “dish”, which is greatly enjoyed by the group–as they comment that it has the same flavor of “kindness” in Renri’s cooking.

Kokoro’s route starts with her memory being hazy. Despite her calling Renri “onichan”, she cannot remember any of their time together even as a child. Kokoro quickly disposes the hypothesis that they’re actually not really siblings, but given the harsh truth when she reads a letter that she wrote–addressed to her own mother saying the TWO of us will make it through.

While I did say that Kokoro isn’t really the central heroine, I’m going to contradict myself and say that her route is the only one where “time travel paradox” occurs, and there’s a deviation from the main story. This element causes the main inconsistencies and “unexplained elements” in Kokoro’s route.

Last is Haruka, an upperclassman who is so smart, that she has her own office with a shower room so she can stay overnight at the school for her research. Throughout the beginning parts of the game, she is shown to have her animal ears and a tail (which also wiggles occasionally), but no one says anything about it until Renri seems to have a “eureka!” moment where he suddenly realizes that Haruka is not a human.

Despite this ignorance, it seems that he’s not the only one–everyone else around him doesn’t realize that Haruka is slightly different than them.

Nonetheless, the theme of Haruka is “distance” (as suggested by the opening movie), where Haruka’s main research, which includes the Celestial Globe, deals with the “distance” between two points… more specifically, between two people. Despite this, when she actually uses the equations of her research and come up with an answer, they are all scratched out. (At this point, I was reminded of the Equation of the Gravitational Force) This greatly shocks the researcher, who is literally refusing herself unconsciously.

Haruka’s route goes deepest regarding the theme of the game (evenmoreso than Kokoro’s route!), but still seems greatly incomplete as the game simply concludes with The distance between two people is “Love” at the very end (really sounds half-assed to me…)

Oh, by the way, Labi from Hanairo Heptagram makes an appearance xD

Sexual Content: Moderate. Personally, I thought much of the sexual content within this story was unnecessary

Comments: A game with good character design, but a rather strange and unreasonable plot gave it this half-way score. In a sense, I’m actually really distressed to report that much of Lump of Sugar is becoming what I call a “charage” (with utmost distaste, too). This is really unfortunate because I really liked the Tayutama series from a long time ago, yet they fall so much from there…

Eh, I’m seriously just ranting now OTL;

There’s really little to say, since the quote “Great game but horrible design” fits this game perfectly–it starts out great, but then ruins the entirety with inconsistencies and unexplained elements. I’ll repeat this for like the umpteenth time, but games like this tend to be even less enjoyable than your nukige, which isn’t designed to contain a solid story.

Aira looks really nice with the dress… Too bad her route isn’t as good :<

I probably have the readers confused about what the hell these “inconsistencies” are, because normally people simply bypass them, or ignore it because the story was “so good”. Unfortunately for LoS, I plan on pointing out the flaws and faults in every single title, because I just want to show that contrast between games like this and kamige like Tayutama, which are, ironically, produced by the same company.

Affection for the Characters: Moderate

CG Score: 7/10. Good CG, but there’s also very little variation. At least the game includes normal CG opposed to many games being dominant with HCG
Music Score: 3/10. Little variations in the theme plus no insert songs, and I didn’t really like either the Opening nor Ending.

Addictiveness: Low

Yes, Kokoro. You can sleep with me :D

Conclusion: For the last time, a potentially awesome game is ruined by inconsistencies and unexplained elements. The latter was already present (to a large extent) from a title called “Gaku Ou”, which was pretty much saturated with them, but the inconsistency of this title stems mostly from a “time warp paradox” within Kokoro’s route, which was HIGHLY unnecessary, or at least unplanned. In that sense, what seemed to be the most insignificant route (aka, Minori’s route) was the “best” route in this game, because it has the steady transition of her falling in love with Renri, with the least amount of contradicting factors.

An adorable scene where Kokoro’s classmates follow her around after learning of Renri and her relationship

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Comments on: "Between Two Worlds: Review of [140131]Sekai to Sekai no mannakade" (9)

  1. I think Kokoro is the best route in the game.

    The other three heroines ending are just the same, they’re all stuck in the world of Illusion. Which is a bad ending for me because we didn’t solve how the characters are inside this parallel world and they just forgot about it and ended up flirting each other.

    It’s weird how Minori is still present in the world of Illusion even though her strong desire is fulfilled. Maybe her reason is same as Aira that her strong desire has changed and her real wish is to be with Renri.

    Okay, back to Kokoro. In her route, we got out of that world. I was happy that Renri and Kokoro got out and I find that as a good ending, because their desire is fulfilled, the characters knows what’s going on with them and the world they currently live in and how to grant their own wish.

    Near the ending of Kokoro’s route, they were talking about going back to the world of Illusion to meet with their friends. It’s a nice thought but damn it Kokoro. You just have to bring that up…

    • That’s actually a good point you brought up there; Kokoro’s route DOES bring up that “nirvana” theme in there, but if I had to argue with that a little bit, it wasn’t really the characters who figured it out–it just all happened all at once.

      Really, the “presence of the two worlds” should have been the conflict there with the two characters fighting against it.

      In the end, it wasn’t too bad, but it wasn’t superb either.
      Low hopes for the most recent LoS game, but considering how it got delayed, I’m kinda iffy about it, lol

  2. hi joyjason are u gonna try 12 no Tsuki no Eve from minori? just asking

    • I do plan on trying it out when I get the chance. However, due to bring pressed with 4 exams in 3 weeks (I had an exam on Tuesday, and Three more next Tuesday, the Monday after that, and the Friday on the same week, chronologically).

      I would try to get it finished before March, but there’s a MASS release of games on February 28th that I’ll probably need to conquer… I think there’s already 3 games that I want to play from that release date…. OTL

      But thank you for your comment! I’ll be sure to move the title up a notch on my priority list! :)

    • i play eroge like from minori, eushully, august,key,cube,yuzusoft alot more, what important for me is storyline and character appeal and arts like minori ahaha. anyway thx for the reply hope you write more review about what eroge u played is interesting to read hahaha good luck in your exam,srry for bad english :p

    • Thanks for the reply and encouragement! It’s great to hear that you’re also following well-known producers, and that alone shows that you’re proficient with Japanese.

      Regardless, please feel free to communicate in Japanese, English, or Korean (if you know them fluently), as I can understand all three. :)

  3. It’s funny how our favorite routes got inverted since, for me, Minori’s was the worst, while Aira was the best. Maybe because I already liked Aira’s character very much even before entering her route, but I also hated Minori to a certain extent, so this got in the way too.
    Well, I never had a multi-personality like you, but I faked my personality to deal with non-otaku “friends” from school and work. It was tiring and I hated, that’s why I don’t like Minori or anyone who pretends to be different, which probably makes me a hypocrite. Whatever, the main problem with her route was that nothing managed to surprise me. I am NOT very intelligent, but I was able to predict most of what was building-up for a long time during her plot, to the point I got tired and angry to wait for a plot twist I already knew since the begining. What made really predictable was that nothing about her plot had much originally, as most DID themed plots goes exactly like that. What’s more, right now I am playing a game with this same element, but it is many times more interesting and creative (at least, in my opinion), which made my impression of this route even worse…
    Yeah, I find Aira’s route interesting and even a bit creepy. I was also fooled about the insert-song thing, since I almost wrote the same complain as you, but it turns out it plays only during the climax (I think it’s called “Sing a song”). What’s even more confusing was to research for the singer name, since the vocal is credited to Shiratori Aira, but with the kanji for bird on the “Tori” part of her name, so I am not sure if it is her same seiyuu…
    This thing about galges with important song elements but without insert songs are a very common Trope! I’ve read a lot of galges with that were like that! I suppose they can’t afford paying singers or composers.
    Aaaah….Gaku Ou! Such terrible memories I have from that game!
    By the way: Will you still review Lovepotion69?

    • Hi gangrelion! I’m glad you come up to my site every once in a while.

      First thing’s first. I won’t be reviewing LP69, mainly because it’s a doujin game and there’s nothing to review. Yes, it has some very funny elements that people might like, but after I tried CoW (I’ve already played SISTARS) after this game, I decided to simply drop the review because I didn’t find it worth my time.

      Regarding this title though: Yes, we have our differences–that’s what makes us human, right?

      Aira has her good traits, Minori has her bad ones. I guess my true objective with this post was that I was trying to prove that those two characters seemed to be neglected to some extent, since their “theme” seemed to be less significant than the themes for Kokoro and Haruka.

      But I would definitely agree on the fact that the insert song should be used more often. I actually went through Aira’s route completely in order to find it, and boy was it a pain in the behind. Most of the scenes use an orgol (still don’t know if I spell this correctly) version, even when she’s supposed to be “singing” it.

      But a question I wanted to ask was: How did you like the music? I don’t know about you, but the last LoS game I played was Hello, Good-bye (as seen on my site). Compared to HGB, this game was absolutely CRAPPY in terms of music, at least in my eyes, for OP, BGM, and even the ED.

      I thought it was just me, but I could really be wrong.

      Oh, and let’s not try to bring back my trauma from GakuOu TT_TT;;

    • The music, you ask? Well, I find it to be average. I can’t really say it’s horrible, since most Galges are about the same level, and there was almost no track that made me disgusted or bored, but there was one track that was 8bit-stylish that really bothered me!
      HGB had Masami Okui singing the main theme, it was not just spectacular, it was one of the best Galge themes ever! This is not your normal level of vocal songs with some singer that just a few people know about. She is part of Jam project, one of the best music groups of Japan, the elite of the elite. It’s not for nothing that HGB theme was awesome! (Masami-Okui-fanboy-since-ever). Sorry, I didn’t really read HGB yet, so I didn’t hear the BGMs…
      It’s also a funny coincidence that you played through Aira’s route just to find her song, because I played through Minori’s route just to find if she had an acceptable reason to act that way in school or if she was just faking. In the end, even though there were that DID plot in her past, she was really just faking in the present…
      It also reminds me when I played through the route of one heroine from a certain Galge just to see if she really sang something, but in the end, this one really had nothing: http://vndb.org/v11072

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