Foreword: Alright. This is going to be one of the two favorable reviews that I’ll be writing this week. Obviously an older title, This and Mashiroiro Symphony is considered Palette’s best games, and some even consider the two to be on “kamige” quality.
Looking at this title nearly 4 years since last playing it, it really brings back nostalgia to back when I was just a fledgling, and considering this IS my first game from Palette, I think it should deserve some recognition.
Although many people will already be aware of the plot, I’ve went ahead and written this review for “completionist’s” sake (is that even a word?). It’s quite strange how a title like this didn’t receive an anime adaptation while Mashiroiro Symphony did, but I guess it was because this title was just TOO old…
Title: もしも明日が晴れならば (Moshimo Ashitaga Harenaraba) [Lit. Trans: If tomorrow was a clear day…)
Release Date: February 24, 2006 (Sweet Jesus, this was released on my birthday O_O)
VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v100
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=202601
Game Type: Fantasy Romance Novel involving “Ghosts”
Summary: It was just too quick, and no one could have possibly seen it coming. When Kazuki and Tsubasa heard of the news, they both fell into denial… that their precious lover and older sister had died from a simple cold.
From a young age, they were so close and inseparable. Many memories were made, but all three of them truly believed that it wasn’t enough. However, as cruel as fate is, it decided to use death to forcefully tear them apart, and with their lives ruined, Kazuki and Tsubasa lost the luster of childhood as they both spend their days without laughing.
However, somehow, their prayers seem to be answered when Kazuki starts seeing hallucinations. He is greatly startled from these visions, but they somehow implant new hope in them.
Story Length: Moderately Long (25 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Easy
Comments: The first two choices within the game actually doesn’t matter too much, and if you’re a repeat player like me, you’ll know that there will be a “forever-alone bad route” and “Akiho’s Route” available by default. Then the challenge is to actually aim for the other heroines, which is actually easier said than done since I’ve never been able to make all three appear at once (never checked a walkthrough, so not sure if it’s even possible).
The other option is to simply go through the game 3 times…
Go on, I DARE you. Even Chihaya wants you to.
Character Design Rating: 7/10
Story Rating: 8/10
Protagonist Rating: 3/10
Game Quality: Moderate
Overall Rating: 6/10
Rating Comments: So in short, the presence of Kazuki actually ruins the score quite a bit. Even as the protagonist in the middle of all these girls, Kazuki never really acts “strong” as expected of him, nor does anything to really raise the heroine’s flag. There are multiple reminiscence scenes within the game, but none of them really involve Kazuki standing out above others in the eyes of the heroines, and if you actually look at the story itself, all the shitstorm and conflict rises BECAUSE of his poor decision-making and actions.
Heroine scores are superior, but not as high as it should be. The lack of “background story” involving Kazuki for these heroines are scarce or even non-existent (e.g. Chihaya and Tamami, although the latter is kinda obvious to why), and the heroines just falling for him for trivial reasons make them look shallow as well.
Story is the best portion in this title, with superior design when it comes to the conflict each heroine holds when it comes to her relationship with Kazuki. In particular, Chihaya’s and Tsubasa’s stories were more outstanding due to the inclusion of “Conflict with the Self” which seems to be so rare within games nowadays. As ironic as it is, I may have hated Akiho’s route the most, despite being the central heroine because of a couple of things that would be a spoiler if I discussed them.
Character Summary: Right, here we go~
Akiho’s going to be first, and as the introduction shows, this girl was Kazuki’s “Lover” for a very short period of time, until she died from the cold virus. No one knows how she died so easily, and this tragedy crushes the protagonist and Tsubasa.
However, the hallucinations that Kazuki start to see are visions of Akiho, and as he realizes that he can talk and speak to this ghost, both feelings of joy and regret overcome him. The trick however, is that only he seems to be the one who can see this nosy ghost, who can easily pass through walls or talk to Kazuki, who tries his best not to answer, or else he would seem like he was talking to himself.
This comedic element is quickly turned into a climactic one, as Tsubasa also does not see Akiho, and when Tamami reveals the truth to the oblivious girl, things start to get out of hand.
Akiho is considered a central heroine, but she doesn’t really stand out from the other heroines. In retrospect, she’s just one of those heroines considered the “mood-maker” within groups, where her personality usually brightens up the atmosphere. Other than this, she’s just a ghost with a regret of her own which defined her character, and with her route being ridiculously convenient, I didn’t really come to appreciate Akiho’s route.
In a sense, she would’ve been best kept a “subcharacter” except had the entire story revolving around her……..
Damn, that’s complicated.
Tsubasa is one of the two heroines I found favorable, and is actually considered Kazuki’s “second cousin”, meaning that she and Kazuki are only related by a common great-grandparent. The game shows Akiho and Tsubasa’s parents to have passed away as well and orphaned, with no one to take in two helpless girls. This is when Kazuki’s father comes in and accepts the two, and with a bit of conflict, the siblings start to get along with Kazuki too.
The charm of Tsubasa is that she is a character who tries her best. Obviously inferior to her older sister, this feature becomes her “Conflict with herself” as she fights her own darker desires regarding her relationship to Kazuki. In reality, the various acts she does for Kazuki correspond with her personality and mindset from the time she met him, and how this frail girl was suppressing her own emotions and desires was very pleasing in my eyes.
Then the route gets into how she started “releasing” those emotions, then you have Akiho added to the story and…
Oh man, this girl’s life is a freaking roller-coaster!
As the other favorable character, Chihaya is a strange girl wearing a kimono all the time and introduced to the story when Akiho and Kazuki realize that as the Gardening Club, they did nothing over the entire summer to take care of the flowers within the greenhouse behind the school.
While they expected the ruins of Armageddon, they instead find themselves in a floral heaven as they entered, and bewildered by what the hell happened, they soon find out it was this mysterious girl who took care of the flowers when they were gone.
Chihaya is a strange character indeed, being very introverted and reserved, while seeming to apologize for everything. One thing that Kazuki and Akiho DO know, is that she can see the now-dead ghost Akiho, and this encourages the couple to befriend this strange girl.
However, this is when the greatest plot-twist slaps the readers across the face: Chihaya is actually a “Yakubyougami” (疫病神), meaning she is the God of Injury and Sickness. The extreme contrast of her personality of always trying to help someone with her fate delivers the readers to sympathize heavily with this girl, and as exterminators like Tamami aiming to kill her, Chihaya takes the prize when it comes to the “saddest heroine”.
In reality, her route mostly involves her believing that she is not deserving such happiness like having a family or at the end of her own route, of Kazuki’s affection. This is all added onto how nothing really seems to go right for her, and as the climax approaches, she realizes that her mere existence is harming the one she loves the most.
Last is Tamami, the exterminator girl who is often paired with Tsubasa since she seems to hold romantic emotions for someone of the same gender. While this lesbian-like atmosphere is used more comically, there’s actually some scenes where she takes this affection a bit too far.
Regardless, Tamami holds a grudge for Kazuki himself, mainly because Tsubasa, the girl she really likes, keep talking about him. This strange love triangle is maintained throughout her arc, which involves a very young boy who died and became a ghost himself. This young boy named Minoru seems to hold a negative emotion for someone, effectively becoming someone similar to Chihaya. As the exterminator assigned to the town, it now falls on Tamami’s shoulders to eliminate this boy, but quite unfortunately, the two had grown so close that everyone else needs to step in and resolve the problem.
After this problem, and Tamami finally learns to trust Kazuki, her attitude towards him changes 180 degrees, often trying to appeal to him much to the dismay of Tsubasa. The resolution of this love-triangle is actually a major event in both Tsubasa’s and Tamami’s route, which was a huge plus to pretty much everything.
In general, I appreciated Tamami as a character, but felt that her route swayed a bit off of the main theme of the game.
The girl who is most cold to everyone is actually the one who is the loneliest…
Sexual Content: Low
Comments: Not much I can really say, except that I loved the game for its “plot-twists” and love-triangles. The protagonist could have been better, since Kazuki was just a “donkan” protagonist who didn’t really do much to earn the affection from the heroines in the first place. His setting of being “smart” was also appreciated, but considering how he was never a target of affection for a subheroine (aka, someone other than the heroines so this creates a somewhat of a love-triangle, just like it did in Mashiroiro Symphony), it just makes it seem that it was simply the time the heroines and Kazuki spent that became the source of affection instead of anything else.
But hey, everyone knows this game, right? It’s pretty old but relatively well-known, and if you liked it, you liked it. There’s quite a bit of debate about whether if this or Mashiroiro Symphony was the better game, and if you have your own opinions about this debate, just post it as a reply; I’d love to know what you think.
Both the art and settings are considerably different
Affection for the Characters: Very High
Tsubasa so cute mang
CG Score: 8/10. Kusukusu, in my opinion, was best with this game and not with other games that he?she? worked on, such as the Sakura Strasse series or the Otenkiame title. Sometimes, too fancy isn’t the answer, I guess
Music Score: 6/10. Good music, but there were too little tracks that were on the “bright” atmosphere. In fact, people incorrectly consider this game a “nakige” due to this as well, when it’s not that “cry-worthy”.
Conclusion: A good but very old game from Palette. I wrote this review because I wanted a favorable one in a while, and how do I even expect to get one with the recent titles nowadays? :|
If for whatever the hell reason you never got to playing this title, I highly recommend it, evenmoreso if you are already familiar with Mashiroiro Symphony.