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

Foreword: ALL ABOARD THE 12TSUKI HYPE-BOAT

Well, I think there’s one… right?
Pretty much what you would expect as you start the story, this game is from (insert trumpet horns here) minori! Yep! The awesome company who wrote up one of the best titles known to the English community: the ef series!

Frankly, their design is amazing. With all the character design and story aside, music is brilliant, clear, and bold. Art is at its highest quality and very detailed, and even the CG count is stunningly high.

minori is flat out one of the best companies when it comes to designing the UI or the systems of games: some of the other companies really need to follow their example.

Now, when it comes to story… maybe the following review might help you understand how I feel.

Please Note: The following review may contain unintentional but very mild spoilers! While there is little chance that the story will be spoiled, I warn readers ahead of time for the possible slip-of-the-tongue on my part. 

Title: 12の月のイヴ (jyuuni no tsuki no ibu) [Lit. Trans: Eve of the Twelve Moons… Obviously, the “moons” refer to months, but that’s simply how it’s written]
Producers: minori
Release Date: January 31, 2014
VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v12562
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=784949
Game Type: Sci-Fi Drama Novel with the theme of Christmas Eve

Summary: The story starts with Naoto being order to pick up a cake on Christmas Eve. As he does so, he complains to his childhood friend Anzu about how he doesn’t have any family nor a girlfriend on Christmas. As they end the conversation, Naoto is passed by a girl who he thinks he saw somewhere. As he turns around, he sees the girl glaring at him from a distance, and say one phrase that will stay with him forever: “I’ll see you again, in the future“…

Naoto gets up in the morning and starts to head out. However, on the way, he wonders about the word “destiny”. As he does so, he bumps into his childhood friend Mizuka who falls down due to her lack of physical endurance. This is a normal day for the childhood friend trio, who were together since they can remember.

This group then soon includes Yuki, an energetic transfer student with nothing much known about her.

However, as “destiny” ravels out, Yuki is related to Naoto some way…

Story Length: Moderately Long (25 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: N/A (No choices at all)
Comments: A long game with no choices, the game goes through the heroine routes in sequence, but does so masterfully that I’m lost for words. The setting is done very well and believe it or not: these “kinetic novels” are one of my favorite style in visual novels. After all, when you’re reading a book or watching a movie, you’re not choosing which choices to make, right?

Character Design Rating: 6/10
Story Rating: 8/10
Game Quality: Very High
Overall Rating: 7/10
Rating Comments: A good game that unfortunately loses points for small but crucial factors that tie up the story. Overall, the average joe won’t be able to notice these “discrepancies”, but as a critic, I seem to have an eye for detecting them. Nonetheless, a stunningly high quality game with character’s eye blinking and mouth synchronization, as well as special effects in addition to the already high quality and numerous CG was DEFINITELY worth my time.

Character Summary: Let’s go through the characters, in the order they are presented!

First we get to Mizuka, a very lax character shown quickly to have various traits such as having the largest breast size *insert perverted grin here* and also being the oldest of the crew. Despite the age difference between Naoto to be only a few months, Mizuka refers herself as “Naoto’s older sister”, and acts this way as well.

Contrary to her personality of being laid back, Mizuka is extremely intelligent–receiving top grades in her classes. However, her weakness is that her ridiculously low physical endurance limits her to walking to school, and many comical scenes in game show her even fainting at the most basic physical stress (such as running to school when they’re late).

Her intelligence, however, corresponds to her sharpness in detecting changes to the people around her: she quickly notices Anzu’s feelings for Naoto, and uses her own methods to “Keep the 3 together”.

Mizuka’s route has a theme of “memory”.

Next is Anzu, and her name is actually spelled the same way as our half-English, half-Japanese imouto!
From the very beginning, the characters flat out label her as a “tsundere” character, and it becomes obvious for the readers too, so there’s not much confusion in that area.

Anzu is probably the opposite of her older sister, Mizuka: she’s not too great in studies, but very skilled in housework, which is what Mizuka is horrible at. Perhaps because Anzu is so headstrong, she becomes an easy target for Mizuka and Naoto’s sexual or double entendre jokes.

Anzu’s route really begins with a prank from Yuki, when she swaps a DVD of “Small Animals” with an AV (Adult Video; aka, porn). To make it worse, it’s an AV involving “imouto”, which surprises the victims (who are the childhood friend trio).

While the theme of “family” is pretty much absent in this game, it’s within Anzu’s route where their family’s history is most greatly explained. While not resolved completely (so Anzu’s route does seem incomplete), Anzu’s route contains many foreshadows for the last route.

As obvious as it is, Anzu route’s theme is “family”

The last and true route involves our cute and energetic transfer student Yuki! She appears in the opening movies and is placed in front of the box cover, so it’s obvious that she’s not JUST a transfer student who randomly gets along with Naoto, Mizuka, and Anzu.

In fact, Yuki’s identity is revealed very early on, and even after Mizuka’s route (which is the first one you encounter), you are shown the fact that Naoto is indeed her biological father and Yuki herself is an identity from the past who is trying to change her future. This becomes the whole theme in the later portion of the game.

Here’s a spoiler I really hate giving out: Yuki tries to change her past by trying to hook up Naoto, who she knows to be her father, with someone else. She actually has a critical and unknown disease which paralyzes her entire body, and if not treated, it immobilizes the heart and she dies. While Yuki does not know what the cause for this is, she and other characters believe it’s a genetic disorder. This is Yuki’s reasoning to hook up Naoto with someone else, which she successfully performs in both Mizuka’s and Anzu’s route.

Well, why does her route exist then? Obviously because she fails to reach her goal in both routes.

The 3rd time around, Yuki falls into despair, because she does not know what to do. As she learns later, the 3rd time-warp is the last one possible, and she needs to get it right this time or else she will die.

Then she falls in love with her own father: Naoto.

Yuki’s route, which has the theme of “Trust” and “Never Giving Up”, is the main part of the story, while Mizuka and Anzu’s routes are probably just present for fan service.

Did someone say fanservi– HOLYSONOFA$!(@*#^&@ *nosebleed*

Sexual Content: Moderate

Comments: So we have a relatively superior game… but what’s wrong with it?

Let’s just say that minori’s motto is “We keep minority spirit”, yet they still jumped on the bandwagon for the “balloon chest syndrome”… and as strange as it is, I’m not too much of a fan of disproportionate breasts.
That, and the protagonist isn’t voiced :|

Not gonna lie: my thought first went to “Holy crap those melons look heavy” instead of admiring the CG

That’s just one of the reasons. Another is that when it comes to “falling in love”, there’s really no trigger–especially for Yuki. The other two characters, minori made an implied excuse as that “they were together for so long that they just became to like each other”, but I don’t think Yuki fits the bill, right?

But even so, I’m impressed that minori took upon the “time-warp” theme this time. Frankly, such a theme isn’t really an easy one, and many of the companies screw up because of the time paradox.
Unfortunately, minori was one of them too, but they swept that paradox right under the rug so…. meh (Hey, at least they cover it up. Other guys just leave the contradiction in your face)

This CG of the candles look REALLY creepy for some reason.
The fact that the flames actually move in game makes it even more scary.
This is another plus in this game: very realistic CG that’s also animated!

Then again, it’s minori, one of the best game-creating companies out there, so I guess I was a bit more disappointed.
However, I still need to give them credit for keeping a very strong consistency with the “time-warp” theme, which is usually thrown out the window.

Speaking of which… the two childhood friend’s routes do have conflicts unresolved, and the characters having this kind of a mindset to it:

…which isn’t really a plus if you ask me.

As for the protagonist, I felt like he was a little bland. He doesn’t really stand out, and just has his previous relationship with Mizuka and Anzu that makes him the protagonist of the story.

Whoa, what a mess! Did the calm and relaxed Mizuka do all this?

Affection for the Characters: Moderately High

CG Score: 10/10
Music Score: 9/10. Just like ef, there is a very calming and soothing melody dominant.

Addictiveness: Low

Conclusion: So I guess the most things that earns the points for this game is the interface, the system, CG, and the music, and maybe the theme if you wanted to be nice. Otherwise, the story and character design was above average at best. I mark this “highly recommended”, but only for the factors I mentioned to be “very good”. Don’t expect a heart-wrenching or a tear-jerking story you might have seen in ef, but it’s still better than most of your charage.

Let’s all curse Naoto for having a bishoujo on his lap, shall we?

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Comments on: "I’ll see you again, in the future: Review of [140131]12 no Tsuki no Eve" (25)

  1. HYPE… HYPE… wait… hype?! since like what natsusora no perseus I lost hype on minori’s game… TENMON and Eiichiro Yanagi music not withstanding… especially since they went kyonyuu… :X

  2. I do like kinetic novels, but since I’m not much of minori guy, I’ll pass on this one. For some reason I could never get into their works and always found them too melodramatic. The only one I did finish from their line was Eden, but it was ridiculously short. After I get done with updating my list and finish one other title I’m busy with maybe you could give me some recommendations, since it seems like you gotten through a lot of ones that perked my interest (I.E: Sekai to Sekai no mannakade).

    • Going through your own wordpress site, I couldn’t help but conclude that charage is more your type of genre. (Aside from all the other games on non-PC consoles)

      Along with your comment of passing on minori, I make this hypothesis, so I hope you wouldn’t take offense at it.

      Quite unfortunately, I’m not the type to write favorable reviews, if any, for charage. Even with Sekaichu, I was pretty critical about its storyline, despite the attention it received.

      Regardless, I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have regarding any titles, although I am becoming more and more busy even during the summer.

      Have a good day, now!

  3. Jiong999 said:

    While I like time travel/loop plots in general for some reason I don’t seem to like the “Future daughter travels to present attempt to change things only to fall in love with her own father” kind of story. Feels kind of a weak scenario and somehow cliche IMO. The thing with the protagonist’s feelings rapidly change normally only comes from story-heavy or gameplay-heavy games where they are trying to get romance out of the way quickly so they can return the focus to the plot, which is really just poor pacing and writing.

    Speaking of kinetic/sound novels last year’s Chusingura would qualify (there is only one choice in the whole game that barely even count as a choice, imo). Time travel (sort of) is also a plot point, and all 5 routes (Chapters will be a more suitable term) here are directly connected in a linear order, sort of like Higurashi’s looping (hope I am not spoiling anything).

    The greatest thing is that the game’s quality is superb compared to most of the standard eroge out there from a team that is originally consist of only TWO people. (Take one example: Even mook characters like Guy A or Girl B have portraits, something I have never seen before since I started playing eroge.) Looking forward for the FD now.

    P.S. Oh NOES AstralAir why? There goes my July off days to play it. :(

    • Hey, I completely understand your skeptical-ness. When I heard of this title at first, I was like “father-daughter incest…? What’s this, Electra? Bleh”

      But the thing is, in this flurry of crappy games that we have nowadays, even a game like this becomes “good”.
      In addition, all of minori’s games seem to include some moral lesson in each route, and does have a direct drama/climax that’s not present in other games.

      Perhaps games like ChuSinGura are more your type (Have you heard of Koihime Musou?). I don’t blame you because it is for me as well. Assuming that it’s similar to Koihime Musou, I wouldn’t say it’s a “kinetic novel” because of the presence of small but definite side stories that you select. Remember that kinetic novels do not have anything except a linear story that goes in one direction.

      (Also, let’s try to keep our discussion on this particular title; not on a different one that you advocate :P)

    • Jiong999 said:

      Ha, while I consider myself extremely picky (thanks to loads of crappy games a month) I’m glad that I still get at least 1 or 2 games to play per month and that is sufficient enough.
      Not really saying this game is bad or anything (I don’t bash titles unless they are really really bad, which I wouldnt even touch 90% of the time), but it just happen often when another title catches your attention you tend to forget them. :P

      I see how you define kinetic novel being a linear story, though its slightly confusing whether it can be considered linear when there are things like loop and time travel, where it is not really based on choice or parallel universes and merely the protagonist just get caught up in the flow of events and not because of a player “loading” a save. For me I consider a title “kinetic” as long as the story goes in one direction and don’t require me to load a previous save (whether choices are present or not does not matter because they do not change the outcome in any way.)

    • I like your argument about “kinetic novels”. Let me be a Devil’s Advocate and offer question for you to think about:

      How about games with True Routes? Technically, since the true route is the (only?) “ending” to a game, would you consider games with True Routes “kinetic novels”?
      (I just want to hear your opinion on this)

    • Jiong999 said:

      Wall of text imminent :( Turned out to be longer than I expect.

      All the games I play (well, 90% of them at least) contain true route (sometimes more accurate as Grand Route/Final Route that provides the most complete closure it has to offer, meaning no plot threads left unresolved.) but I don’t consider most of them “kinetic novels” because most of those games are “Complete all other routes” > “Unlock True Route” type where your choices actually affect which route.

      My definition for a game to be a “kinetic novel” if they meet both of the following 2 requirements:
      1) The game does not require the player to make any choices that can directly change the outcome (Going to Route A or Route B). If choices are present, they must not affect the direction of the plot significantly. Abrupt, joke ends or dead ends (the extremely short, you got killed, game over kind) don’t count.
      2) The routes must lead to another in a linear way. Eg: A>B>C>D>E. No Exceptions.

      Let’s take an example, Hello Lady’s Saku’s route can be considered “True Route” but it requires you to clear other routes first, and while you require knowledge from previous routes to understand certain details, they don’t really influence the story in any way. Not to mention the choices you make in the common route greatly affects the plot direction whether you get a bad end or a heroine route, thus is “non-linear” and not considered “Kinetic novel”.

      Chusingura on the other hand, with the tiny exception of one choice which leads to a minor H scene and a non-standard game over in this extremely long game, is otherwise completely linear without any “choices” to make. The chapter select option does not have things like short-stories or what-if scenarios, so we don’t really have any option to “choose” anything as it has a fixed play order similar to Episode 1, Episode 2 and so on and more importantly, the protagonist retains all memories of the previous chapters which greatly influences event in subsequent chapters by his own decision (no player input here) as a result of a time loop which is actually a plot point that is not a result of players loading a save or selecting a different “story”. Thus, I considered it kinetic. The upcoming FD may/may not avert this though.

  4. Hmm… Daughter time travel to hook up her father? It’s… well… not really my cup of tea. Although I like this as it’s Kinetic novel (I mean Higurashi and Umineko are super awesome Kinetic novels), so you have any recommended Kinetic? (Well, I may not be able to play it for some time. Just happen to stumble on old game like Lovesick Puppies last week and got addicted to it ever since – -)

    • Kinetic novels are more favorable than others in my eyes, merely because there’s no inconsistencies.

      As an example. Let’s take a game where there’s 5 heroines. The thing that happens when you hook up with one of the heroines is that the other heroines simply seem to disappear, or the protagonist’s feelings seem to rapidly change from one route to another.

      There’s none of that in kinetic novels, and especially in this game, they found the “middle ground” of the two which was relatively interesting.

      Although admittedly, kinetic novels doesn’t seem to do well in the market due to most of the eroge consumers wanting fapping material… They’re fairly rare.

    • Well that’s the point. And it just like I cheating a good girl for another. It just a game I know but it still make me feel kinda weird every time I finish one route and go to the other.
      So again, got any recommend Kinetic beside this one?

    • Oopsie! I forgot to make some recommendations.

      minori’s more popular title, “ef” is a very good kinetic novel. The only bad news I have about it is that NoNameLosers, who translated the “ef Lite” version and distributed it, are no longer there, so you’ll need to find someone who has a copy if you wish to play it.

      Then again, if you can read Japanese, just find an untranslated copy for yourself.

      Another kinetic novel that I like is a series called Noesis. There’s a review for it on my blog, but I warn you in advance: it does have some disturbing scenes. The good news about it is that it’s completely free (I have the download links up)

      Everyone says that Planetarian was also a good one (by Key), but I’m kinda iffy on that

      I can’t think of any other good ones…
      I’ll make sure to let you know if I can remember any more :P

  5. wow!!
    daughter time travel to hook up with her father is exist!! my fantasize become real!! sugoi!!

    • You just summarized over half of the story xD

      It’s an interesting plot device, but it was also faulty. I’ll probably give out spoilers if I talked any more about it so… :x

  6. I need to put this game higher on my list. Now that i read both gangrelion’s and yours review i am more hyped for this game. I’ll probably play Ef a tale first since that have been on my list for a while. Thought, all those big heavy boobs is kinda over doing it(didn’t they already use that trick on Natsuzora no Perseus)? I really love voiced protagonists so it’s sad that their two last titles haven’t had any.

    By the way, have you played Eden* They Were Only Two, On The Planet, yet?

    • Well, I’m not too “hyped” for the game, but it’s a decent one compared to the previous (PxC *coff*) game I’ve played.

      On that thought, +1 to your opinion that the bust size didn’t really need to be that big :|
      Seriously. The jiggling during the “walk” scenes made my computer lag.

      Man! You have to remind me? Eden* is a title I’ve been scared to get to for some STRANGE reason. It’s on my HDD and ready to go, but I’m just getting way too lazy for it.

      Hell, I’m actually falling REALLY behind with titles recently! I haven’t gotten to Navel’s most recent game, and there’s still 3 other May releases to play! June is even worse! ARRRGGGHHHH

    • Eden* is really short, but damn sweet. I’ve been trying to force feed it to gangrelion, but i don’t think he have taken a bite of it yet(I’m probably not suited to be a jedi)

      Would be awesome to see more Eden* readers here, for all sake make a review if you read it, I’ll promise you my Like.

    • Unlike gangrelion, I’m DEFINITELY going to take a bite of that for myself.

      Strangely enough, artwork like minori’s games or Eden* (nothing too colorful or bright) greatly attracts me. Pink hearts, ribbons, and stars give me the impression of looking at a charage, which is the last thing I’d like to play in my extremely busy schedule.

      Thanks for your suggestion! I’ll see if I can move the title up on my priority list.

  7. You know me…TL;DR =D

    I read somewhere that the H-content for this game is really nice quality. Any thoughts?

    • LOL Just read it when you have the time

      As for your comment, I’m kinda hesitant to answer directly. I’m not too focused on H-scenes, and admittedly, I skipped most of them in this game as well.

      However, I CAN say that some of them are pretty long, consisting of multiple sets of CGs for a single “scene”, so in terms of CG count, I would say the quality is nice.

      (I actually don’t know how to “determine quality” of an H-scene o3o)

    • Well when it comes to determining the quality of H-scenes you…

      …..

      >_____>

      actually, it’s not something that I’ve EVER thought about. I suppose in a nutshell, it would be how much you “use” the H-scene ;D. Of course, there are other factors which influence the quality, such as CG quality, dialogue, mood, etc. However, ultimately it’s down to one’s preferences. You probably already know this, but EGS’s “おかずに使える状況” section is a good indication of a game’s general “usability”. I’m a rather vanilla guy myself, so I stay well away from stuff like rape, NTR, and all that other nasty stuff out there.

      For someone like you, who doesn’t really pay much attention to H-scenes, naturally determining H-scene quality would be a rather foreign concept. Using a rough example, it’s like a guy who can’t get turned on by porn after getting laid so much.

  8. Hello! It looks like you’re busy recently, so I’ll “try” to keep this short.
    Your PC seem to have the same “black-vertical-line” error as mine when taking screen-shots with the printscreen button, but I am annoying to the point I cut those off.
    Very glad you liked this game…well at least you didn’t hate it, this is good enough! I remember to be playing Super Heroine Chronicles during the period I was reading this…Yes, those were some dark times for me, so this game was able to save me a little back then, as most of other new titles at the time were not too good.
    It’s true that, when it comes to story, “the scientific logic go take a long walk in the park”, but the characters and elements within the plot manages to keep themselves serious enough during the right moments in order to create a good atmosphere. There are other games that become too filled with silly concepts, stupid elements and horrible visuals making it difficult to take it seriously.
    “when it comes to “falling in love”, there’s really no trigger–especially for Yuki”. Well, there are so pretty vague Galges out there when it’s about the trigger for romantic feelings, and those Eroges are usually considered to be awesome by most. I think few people care for that, since the goal of games like these is to escape to a “reality” were one is surrounded by cute girls in love with the person. Things like “reason-for feelings” would just be unnecessarily complicated for most people.
    “but they swept that paradox right under the rug so…. meh” Hunmmm…The protagonist DOES try to give a scientific explanation by the end of the story, and that part was confusing as hell! Anyway, funny for you to talk about this game, because I was just remembering it recently and thinking: “It would be pretty interesting if there was a game with characters who got a STD”. On every single game, anime or manga, the disease is always vague or fictional and it always get a cure in the end, but I’ve never saw a Japanese story about this, much less a Eroge, which would be spot on, since this genre is all about sex with innocent-looking girls. I think minori would be perfect to make such a game, since they are able to make serious stories without making it too forceful on the reader.
    “Don’t expect a heart-wrenching or a tear-jerking story you might have seen in ef”. Funny for you to mention that, as I have never shed a single tear when reading a Galge. I don’t mean to say that “I manly, you sissy!” or anything like that! I DO cry when watching/reading/listen to other media, but I still have to do so for Galges. That’s why I may be unfiting to analize nakiges, like the games from SAGAPLANET games, for example.
    WOW! This became a huge text! If it wasn’t so full of references to your post, I would make this a full fledged post for my blog! Sorry about the long comment…

    • Hey, it’s still shorter than my review! XP

      Regarding that though, I don’t really cry in anime either. Frankly, I didn’t even cry in any of the Key titles. Heck, Angel Beats (anime) didn’t make me cry either.

      Now when we get to Clannad (anime), I was like a baby. I don’t know why, but that series made me cry a lot and even after watching the same scene 5 times, I still shed a tear or two.

      It’s all dependent on the individual, I think, when it comes to “crying from a story”, so while I do label the “ef” series as “heart-wrenching”, I’ll admit that I didn’t really cry while reading that series (although it’s a very good one!)

      I think minori had another title before this called “Natsuzora”. Have you played it, by any chance?

    • “I think minori had another title before this called “Natsuzora”. Have you played it, by any chance?”
      I sure did! Aaah! Good times! I did not have a blog back then, so my only option were to go to a open doors all-you-can sushi bar with my friends to talk about the weird incestuos game with giant boobs everywhere. I really have no shame! I think this was minori’s “down-fall” to the Oppai world! Even so, I think it was a rather good story! I mean: It was one of the only two games where incest is treated as something wrong for the sake of drama. I also appreciated how the imouto was not pure and innocent, it’s good to see writters breaking some “rules” to make the story more interesting.
      The only other game I saw treating incest as an actual taboo was Yosuga no Sora, and now that I think about it, the setting of those two games are very similar (except for the supernatural powers), maybe this is why the rest felt so boring to me. I find this newer title to be much better!

    • “I’ll “try” to keep this short”

      I’ve never seen a so short comment before.

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