Foreword: Holy shat this game was long.
Because I’m a perfectionist in the most stupidest ways, I have a tendency to have an obligation to complete games created by companies that I know very well. Navel is one of them, and while this game was produced under a different name, Navel Honeybell, I still wanted to get with it because I kinda had a good vibe with it.
Well, in reality, there’s probably a reason why I stick with these producers at all, right?
Turns out, it’s not that great: it’s actually pretty good when it comes to the story, but the characters are actually annoying! Want to know what I found to be annoying? You should definitely read on!
It’s also pretty sad how my 100th post on this site is a relatively negative and critical review… OTL
Title: 空飛ぶ羊と真夏の花 (soratobu hitsuji to manatsu no hana) [Lit. Trans: Sheep that flies in the sky and midsummer’s flower]
Producers: Navel Honeybell
Release Date: April 25, 2014
VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v14061
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=793436
Game Type: Romance Novel with mixed themes of Fantasy
Summary: Keisuke is an orphan who was abandoned by both his mother and father. Despite this, he doesn’t hate them, nor have any negative emotions. Instead, all he can feel is pure and genuine loyalty to the girl who not only saved his life, but gave him a meaning to live. Now, after training vigorously in Europe, he returns to Japan in order to serve the girl who was his first love and now his Master: Konohanamiya Kotoya.
As he becomes accustomed to his school life, he then meets various people who he knows, as well as some who will change his story. However, none of the characters, including Keisuke himself, would be prepared for the shocking truth about the protagonist that starts from a simple letter that looks like a love letter…
Which is actually sent by an Angel, who states that Keisuke is a God and he and his younger sister were playing a game, where Keisuke was challenged to find the younger sister among the humans on Earth. Her descendance to Earth resulted in her memories being spread as “Fragments”, which Keisuke has to collect in order to bring his sister back.
However, these fragments are then implanted in various girls, who are already using its power for a special wish…
Story Length: Relatively Long (35 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Moderate
Comments: Your typical Navel game system, where there ARE a few ambiguous choices determine which heroine you are going to meet up with, and you need to keep a close eye on the story flow if you wish to not use a walkthrough. (Personally, this kind of system is the best for me: not too difficult to the point you’re ripping your hair out, but not too easy to the point it seems like there’s no interaction)
Character Design Rating: 3/10
Story Rating: 5/10
Protagonist Rating: 3/10
Game Quality: Low
Overall Rating: 3/10
Rating Comments: So the surprising thing about this game is that the characters are actually pretty annoying! This warrants a huge minus (as well as of deserving an explanation on the respective sections), and as sad as it is to admit, the characters seemed extraordinarily “fake” and bland, meaning they seem like pictures just cut out of a piece of paper. It was really hard to feel any affection for them.
…With the exception of this character, Meriel, who is actually the Angel and is more of a comical character. It’s really creepy how she laughs “Me~ri meri meri” and despite being an angel, she’s also a baby sheep. (I know. WTF)
On the other hand, the story was pretty nice! Great flow which consisted of a highly climactic ending, the huge minuses I give is that the endings are literally THE SAME, just with different words. The same events happen over and over again for 5 times for each of the 5 heroines, and after the 2nd time, it just gets kinda sickening. Like… my xth time seeing the ending:
1st) Wow, that was a good ending
2nd) Huh? This again?
3rd) Okay what the fu—
4th) =____= Srsly?
5th) *Rapes the Ctrl Button* Y U NO HAVE SKIP FUNCTION FOR END SCENE
Navel also seems to absolutely HATE true endings, because this game really needed one. Much of the story is left unexplained and blank, and leaves the reader wondering mostly “why” the events happened as it did.
As for the protagonist, Keisuke, I’d have to give him a 3/10 because of EXTREME inconsistencies as well as how this character is immediately favored by girls at first glance without reason, and the fact that despite being a butler who is very hard-headed about “being formal” towards everyone, yet uses the informal pronoun “俺” to address himself.
Seriously, what’s being a butler to him, child’s play? If a normal butler really did that, he’d be fired on the spot…
I’m just gonna blitz through the character summaries, not because I hate them, but because they really have nothing much about them in the first place o3o;
Let’s start with Kotoya, the main heroine for this game, as well as Keisuke’s “Master”. It’s obvious to the reader from the getgo that this heroine is absolutely infatuated to Keisuke for some reason (for the reference, this reason isn’t even clearly explained; only hinted), and Keisuke feels obligated to this master so much, that he suppresses his own romantic emotions towards this character with the exception of the Kotoya route.
The two met at the shrine Keisuke was abandoned at, and Kotoya would often come despite her busy schedule to play with Keisuke. In a way, the two are “osananajimi”.
Frankly, Kotoya is a sad character in the sense that her role as a “cute and full-of-jealousy” character only occurs outside of her route, and her own route is full of weird contradictions and imperfect conclusions.
Kotoya’s wish that’s revealed on July 7th is for “Kei-kun to always be himself”, meaning that she wishes Keisuke to act like when they were children. She continuously asks Keisuke to call her “Kotoya”, and becomes displeased when he cannot bring himself to address her other than “oujo-sama”.
Mea is next, and like Kotoya, is a sad character that her route was really nothing about her, but about Mea’s younger brother Jun, who is a good friend of Keisuke.
Jun is actually a very talented baseball player, being able to throw pitch speeds of over 150 km/h (for the reference, the world record was set during 2011, when one pitcher managed to throw a ball at slightly over 170 km/h). Despite this, Jun is expected to become the next successor to the Fujigasaki family, which he doesn’t want to do: he wants to play baseball with his team.
Mea actually agrees to “buy time” for Jun in this sense, by taking over the role of the successor to the heir while Jun enjoys baseball. The story revolves around how Jun feels sorry to Mea because of this, and how the siblings’ relationship was just the two characters being stubborn.
Mea’s route was arguably the least climactic and most annoying; aka, the worst route. In addition to the fact that I don’t like her CV that much, I was pretty much CTRL’ing her entire route
Next is Kirisame Yuu, who is a very quiet character introduced by falling on top of Keisuke, when her groin stuffs Keisuke’s face and you-know-the-drill. Instead of screaming though, she’s relatively calm about this event, and gets closer to the group pretty much because of this accident.
Yuu doesn’t seem to play a role in other routes except as a comparison for her unusually large breast size, which earns the envy of various characters.
Yuu’s route itself is actually quite interesting, of how this seemingly-emotionless girl is very talented at singing. Her wish was to “be able to sing again”, which was granted by the fragment.
The major thing I hate about Yuu’s route is that it never displays her CV to be singing. Heck, there’s a soundtrack exclusive to her route called “NINA & YOU” that’s considered to be Yuu’s song, but it doesn’t even have vocals.
So basically, we have a character whose entire route revolves around her dilemma about singing and the game doesn’t even include a song with her vocals on it.
*Insert Tableflip here*
Next is Shiina’s route, which I think was probably the best out of the 5 routes. I say this for several reasons:
1) Her route involves a subcharacter who is the reincarnation of the Goddess or the “Imouto Megami”
2) Shiina’s route involves a life-and-death drama which results in a “direct sacrifice” of Keisuke, unlike the other routes which only “sacrifices” the fragment.
3) aaaand she’s loli.
Originally, the two characters meet in the back garden of the school, where Shiina takes care of the flowers and talks to them. As Keisuke comes along and acknowledges how flowers have consciences, Shiina starts to call him “Seirei-san” (Mr. Spirit) because she then believes that Keisuke would be able to talk to flowers as well.
With a very fragile body, it’s rather obvious with the above summary what’s going to happen in her route. I guess in that sense, her route was pretty plain too…
And last is our chuunibyou heroine Ran.
Similar to Shiina, her acceptance involves Keisuke acknowledging that she’s actually a magician as she claims she is, instead of thinking she was just cuckoo in the head. This makes the girl who calls everything “Qualia” become attracted to Keisuke, who she mentions has a lot of “Qualia”.
Ran’s route is actually pretty random and completely throws the main theme of “wishes and searching-for-the-lost-sister” out the window as a subcharacter antagonist is presented to oppose the couple. Like Mea’s route, Ran’s route deserves a 0/10 in terms of story mainly because of the inconsistency in theme and how it brings in unnecessary elements.
So this is the “Goddess” or “Imouto Megami” that the game talks about. Wondering who she is in her human form? (Hint: Hair Decoration and CV similarity)
Sexual Content: Moderately Low
Comments: So regarding characters being annoying? Good question!
Have you ever seen someone in real life who is excessively humble, to the point you think they’re just being a bitch?
Like this one, except she IS a bitch
Same here. The characters are just so incredibly lacking self-esteem that they’re always mentioning how they’re not worth to be around Keisuke, and even sometimes how they’re not even worth being alive. Again with the similar (or exact same) endings, if it happens once or twice, then that’s fine.
The game literally has over 50 instances of the heroines being depressed for the smallest reasons of them “being worthless”, like an emo kid.
Then Keisuke says his protagonist crap “Oh no, I love you so much!” and BLEH.
I admit I threw up in one of them.
Then the characters seem too fake: as if their personalities were just listed out on bullet points when each heroine was being designed, and the writer just plastered all those bullet points together into one story.
Affection for the Characters: Very Low
CG Score: 5/10
Music Score: 8/10. As strange as it sounds, the music was quite decent. I’m particularly fond of the opening music, titled “Sorahana”
Addictiveness: Very Low
Conclusion: A relatively poor game from Navel Honeybell. The story itself is actually quite decent, but gets repetitive to the point it seems as if the producers want the reader to get sick of it. There’s very little planning done for the characters, who may appear to be quite annoying to readers like me. No true route to wrap up the story, and the only good thing about this game is the music.