Foreword: Whoa, it’s been a long time since a review, but I’m looking to change that today.
Since the beginning of May, I was busy with real-life bullcrap, but somehow made time for my eroge hobbies, and as a goal for this summer break, I decided to go back and play some games I enjoyed the most. In addition to this, I’ll also be going through my backlog while keeping my eyes peeled for new releases. MMORPG is completely out of my scope now, which is kinda sad… Oh well.
Let’s get to this game Kono Aozora ni Yakusoku wo. So my main reason for choosing this game was because of its previous writer’s with the following three games that I’ve played and absolutely loved:
1) Chocolat Second Brew
2) White Album 2
3) Sekai de ichiban dame na koi
(In that order, too)
These three games were amazing, with the latter two fully competent and capable of being called “kamige”. Naturally, that just means that this game would be amazing as well.
With my standards and hopes at its highest possible, I opened this game. Scroll down to see what I thought about it!
Title: この青空に約束をー (Kono Aozora ni Yakusoku wo) [Lit. Trans: A Promise for this Blue Sky]
Release Date: March 31, 2006
VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v182
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=776143
Game Type: Reality-style Romance Novel with themes of friendship
Summary: Wataru lives in a dorm called “Tsugumi Dormitories” on the island of Minami which is actually a girl’s dorm. Due to the low number of students who are actually willing to climb this 218-step hill to even reach the dormitory, all the 5 students including Wataru have bonded closely; and this also includes their supervisor and teacher, Saeri.
The gathering of its residents!
Regardless, even with their lives at peace, they know that with the graduation this upcoming Spring would leave their dorm with a number less than 5, and the school seems to have plans to tear down the dormitories and to utilize this land for something else.
The thing is, this dorm is a place of memories and something the group cannot let go. This treasured place out of reach of society houses some of the best environments and views, and the students (and one teacher) work very hard to fight off its opponents.
Rinna and Saeri not pictured
The story adds one new character into the group, a girl named “Rinna”, who is very cold and apathetic to everything around her. She refuses to even eat with the others, and with this lone wolf causing concern in everyone, Wataru makes a determination to make this girl a part of their group.
Story Length: Moderate (20 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Easy
Comments: Story choices are obvious with character images right next to them. There’s a built-in flow-chart, but that doesn’t really seem to have too big of an effect. Not too long of a story, which actually acted as a negative in our case; the stories seemed rushed instead of taking it slow and having the reader fully understand each scenario before moving onto another.
Character Design Rating: 6/10
Story Rating: 8/10
Protagonist Rating: 4/10
Game Quality: Low
Overall Rating: 7/10
Rating Comments: Despite the relatively low scores, this game wasn’t that bad; it’s just the presence of the lesser routes that killed this score quite a bit. Wataru himself receives a lower score merely because despite all his actions within the game, all of these actions are based on how even at the beginning of the game, all the heroine’s flags are already raised and ready to go. When it comes to “one guy in an environment of girls”, there needs to be a lot more than all the girls being affectionate for him from the get go. While each heroine route does get into the past of the two characters, that’s another completely different story.
Story rating is high for reasons I’ll actually describe later in the comments section.
Right, let’s get started.
Rinna is first, and is the girl who is introduced at the very beginning scenes to be almost naked and passed out in Wataru’s room one morning. Despite this event, Wataru doesn’t even know this girl, nor if he ever dragged her into his room. Obviously, this causes a bit of trouble in the prologue.
Extremely cold to everyone and even to teachers, Rinna’s attitude towards characters in the beginning show her malicious hatred to everyone on the island for some reason. Wataru and his group is definitely not an exception, and Rinna refuses to join or even talk to them despite the fact that they’re all in the same dormitory. This attitude makes Wataru make a bold challenge towards this girl that he’ll definitely make her join his group of friends.
It’s really sad how most of Rinna’s events are focused around the beginning of the game, where Wataru makes a determination to change this cold girl’s heart. After Rinna befriends the members of the dormatory, her heroine route involves her talent, running, and her family/past problems, which are events arguably less interesting than its predecessor.
Rinna’s sprite and most of her CGs involve her wearing an earring with a red gemstone called the “Promise Stone”. This becomes the main topic as Rinna and Wataru start to fall in love, but always seem to have some form of miscommunication (which acts as a humorous scenario, actually)
Outside of Rinna’s route, she acts mostly as Wataru’s “rival”. Both of them are childish to a certain extent and love contests, making them have a solid friendship very early on. It’s also because of this “rivalry” that causes kinks in their romantic relationship, and frankly, this was very pleasing for me. It’s just that as described previously, Rinna’s route in general wasn’t that great–the story revolving around her before she becomes accustomed to the environment was probably “better”.
Next is Umi, a beautiful blonde girl who is commonly called “Wataru’s wife” because of how attached she is to him, and after a bit of reading, almost dependent on Wataru due to her saying “I’m sorry” all the time (even almost excessively).
A great cook and 100% “waifu” material, Umi’s unconditional loyalty, looks, personality, thoughtfulness, and various other traits may easily infatuate the reader into this character, but as other characters will comment, this only seems to be relevant to Wataru and no one else.
Umi’s story was actually greatly shocking even when it looks like your typical “osananajimi route”. It involves both Wataru’s family and Umi’s family, and why anything about their parents is a taboo for them. It also shows why Umi is so dependent on Wataru, and even makes theories on her current personality. This “black-box” past becomes a foreshadow towards their relationship, and even as the two figure out their feelings for each other, the school is still breathing down their backs in an effort to tear down the dormatories.
As a character, Umi definitely had a unique design. Her good looks was a direct mismatch with her personality, and even outside of her route, she is shown to have large affection for Wataru yet suppresses her own feelings to help him instead.
Nanako is your “student council president” who is quickly shown to have a haughty and sadistic personality. Her interaction with Wataru usually involves threats of some sort as she manipulates the poor boy into doing things her way.
In addition to this, Nanako is ridiculously intelligent to always achieve top ranks in academics and even maintain a fake personality in school of being polite and modest, completely different than her real personality.
Relatively boring when compared with the two heroines above, Nanako seems to have a “romantic” past with our protagonist which is highly contradictory to her attitude towards him now. Nanako’s route is highly ambiguous, but makes HEAVY implications on Wataru’s personality, which was definitely a plus.
Outside of her route, Nanako is almost too supportive of our protagonist who always seems to get in trouble. She looks at him as a younger brother–of course, this paradigm is overturned in her route.
Miyako is one year younger than Wataru, and believe it or not, is considered an “ojousama”. Her grandfather is actually the landlord of the girl’s dormatories that’s now the shelter for the group of friends, and she even has her own mansion on the island that she sometimes visits to relax.
Her relationship with Wataru is again, quite unique. Despite their position, Wataru is actually shown to bully this “ojousama” very frequently. What’s even more weird is that Miyako is very accepting of this frank and imprudent attitude, which suggests a few things regarding her personality of hating formalities.
It’s actually Miyako (often shortened to Miya affectionately) who makes the sexual jokes within the group or play a major role in the comedy, contrast to her background.
While again not as exciting, Miya’s route involves her “project” to follow her now-deceased grandfather’s footsteps when he first found this island. Her goal is to collect all journal entries of her grandfather, but does not know where to search for it–this is where Wataru comes in and lends her his hand.
Sizu is the most quiet character and possibly even the most childish. Despite this, it is shown that she is quite dexterous with many things including cooking, and even with her introverted personality, quite popular in her class.
Sizu is seen to be very trusting of Wataru, and he is at the position of Sizu’s “guardian” despite being only one year different.
Arguably the most boring route in the entire game, I say with enough confidence that at least regarding Sizu, her role in the story is greater outside of her route, than her own route.
In that sense, she seemed more like a subcharacter…
The reason why I found her route bad was because it’s all about Wataru who finds the-girl-who-is-like-a-daughter-to-him to be irresistably cute. This kind of plot happens a lot in games, so I’m frankly not surprised.
Last but definitely NOT the least is Saeri, the homeroom teacher for Wataru and Umi and soon Rinna who also doubles up as the supervisor at the Tsugumi dorms. She is often ridiculed by even her students and especially by Wataru, and even has some form of rivalry going on with Nanako, who is 7 years younger than her.
Saeri takes it upon herself to stop the school from messing with the property, and with her own childish rivalry towards Nanako, she allies with Wataru to dig into the true intentions of the school.
Quite surprisingly, despite not having a good impression based on the beginning portions of the game, Saeri’s route was quite impressive. It’s the only route where the school’s efforts are put to a screeching halt by the teamwork of the group (Umi’s route does suggest that the destuction of dormatories were stopped, however) in addition to her route having the most amount of “relationship taboo”. I was also very pleased with the heroine herself, who transformed slowly from a crybaby into a confident woman and even protected Wataru in return.
This would be her in that transition
Sexual Content: Low
Wow. This game. “High standards”? This game was pretty good!
The comedy in this game, I swear, it’s one of the best I’ve seen. It’s quite expected for games like this, but considering the uniqueness of the characters, it’s as if the personalities of the heroines directed added to the humor. In that sense, the game was extremely well designed since the jokes that the game makes matches up with the heroines’ personalities or pasts.. If that didn’t make sense, just a caution that you’ll be laughing A LOT throughout this game.
Like Rinna here
Next, the ambiguity works to the benefit of this game, since the writers are exceptionally skilled at utilizing a literary term called “dramatic irony”, or anything that the characters of the story do not know, but the reader does. Whether it’s the reader realizing a character’s motives or who is in love with who, the writer makes sure to actually have the reader “see” what’s going on, while making it subtle enough so that in the viewpoint of the characters, it’s not so obvious. Excellent writing right here. When other games use “ambiguity”, they make it so even the readers don’t understand what’s going on, and that’s bad.
Despite this, I wasn’t too fond of half the route in the game not being par with my high standards (This still means it’s better than a typical story in a charage though). Akane’s extra route is also present, but it’s not significant to the story. I guess I really can’t be too picky about this though; I’d take a game like this over any charage any day.
and maybe Umi too. Huehuehuehue
CVs were actually kinda awkward though; there was one CV I recognized right off the bat, but for characters like Nanako, it was pretty obvious that the CV wasn’t exactly experienced.
Affection for the Characters: Very High
CG Score: 5/10. I guess the fact that this game is from 9 years ago does cut into its CG quality. I’d love to see a “remake” of this game though, even though I’m not too fond of some of its routes.
Music Score: 5/10. Nothing special.
JOYJASON! ARE YOU FOOLING AROUND WITH RATINGS?
No! I swear! *cough* I’m… not…
Addictiveness: Moderate. I can see myself coming back to this, but even then it’s quite unlikely. Probably to replay the better routes
Conclusion: A good game from GIGA which is thanks to the exceptionally skilled and proficient writers. While there were few less-worthy routes, this game was definitely worth my time. Now that I’m finished with all four titles from this scenario writer, I should go back to some other games.