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

Foreword: MMOs too OP, I think… That and schoolwork. In fact, I need to liberate myself from all this real-life shit and go hikkikomori-mode for a week or something because holy hell I’m not getting reviews written.

B-but it’s not like I write these reviews for you guys anyways! Don’t get the wrong idea! 

On to the review of this title, I’ll admit that I had this game on my backlog for a long time, but was recently given the incentive to experience it for myself seeing how one of my new favorite CVs, Ichikawa Hinako, who voiced Yuzu from Natsuiro Recipe, also voices a character here. Damn, I need to stop procrastinating other titles I’m currently playing

Overall, this game was excellent when it comes to the story in its most literal sense. Note how I noted “MOST LITERAL”, meaning that as a whole, it didn’t work out well, and I’m here to explain that and more to you guys. Let’s get started right away!

DUE TO THE AGE OF THIS TITLE (>1 year since release), SPOILERS WILL BE INCLUDED! PLEASE READ AT YOUR OWN RISK OF BEING SPOILED!

Title: サツコイ~悠久なる恋の歌~ (SatsuKoi ~Yukyuunaru Koi no Uta)
Producers: Alcot Honey Comb
Release Date: August 29, 2014
VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v15143
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=810572
Game Type: Life-and-Death Drama Romance Novel with heavy themes on Family

Summary: Kano Izumi fought with his step-father… again. After suffering a heavy shoulder injury while his step-father was drunk, he left the house and laid on the streets; hoping to just die there. However, he is reminded of his younger sister, who went missing and his only true regret was that he wouldn’t be able to see his sister again.

However, this would change when a girl who was apparently his classmate came up to him not surprised at his bleeding or his condition, and offered to “pick up” his life for her own, so she can eat him later when the time comes. Izumi was frankly not bothered by this, since he just wanted to die, so he follows this girl who treats him back to health, and starts to live with this strange girl who called herself a mermaid, Shirahase Yuu.

Story Length: Moderate (20 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Very Easy
Comments: Literally one choice in the game which splits into Ruri and Nao’s routes, after which Yuu’s route opens up by pressing “Start” again.

Character Design Rating: 6/10
Story Rating: 6/10
Protagonist Rating: 8/10
Game Quality: Low
Overall Rating: 7/10
Rating Comments: This is quite an impressive rating since when I first started the game, I was expecting a below-average charage. The main problem with the scores being MUCH lower than normal was the unwanted, unexplained, and rather convenient setting of “mermaids” and their logic. If the logic somehow related to the fantasy theory of mermaids that we hold today (e.g.; half-fish living in water, etc…), then it might have been manageable, but as it is, the concept of mermaids really ruined this score. Otherwise, the scores would have been at least 2 points higher in each category.

In regards to character, you know I already came here just to hear Ichikawa Hinako, and I was pleasantly surprised that Nao (who she voices) also had a great personality along with other heroines/subcharacters complimenting each heroine. A relatively decent amount of subcharacters play an important role trying to convey the game’s morals, so that was a great plus.

Though on the other hand, their greatest value was for humor (which wasn’t bad, so I’m not complaining)

Story, as mentioned in the Foreword, has great quality and value in the most literal sense; meaning it had amazing flow, high quality humor, thorough explanation of scenes, and overall just a treat for a veteran such as myself. It’s just quite unfortunate that all of this was ruined due to the concept of mermaids, which was more convenient than actually making a change to the story. In fact, the same concept allowed the phrase “I love you even as I’m being killed”, which was a plus, but I really wish the game delved into this “fantasy” setting of mermaids before using it in such an important manner. More info on this later.

Protagonist is abnormally well designed, as the relatively resourceful character who actually has a hidden side that he himself didn’t know. While Izumi does have a bit more convenient design, the real value for him was because he was the character within the story who comes to learn the value of family in various ways, and really shows the reader the dynamics of this character. For that reason, it would have been nice to have the guy voiced, but eh… What am I to hope in a typical galge?

Character Summary:

Ruri, or commonly called “Nitta” which is her last name, is a relatively mysterious character who is quick to find out about Izumi’s relationship to Yuu, and warns him to stay away. More cold and distant, this character obviously knows something about Yuu that Izumi does not, and reveals this to Izumi personally when there are the string of people going missing.

She explains to both Izumi and the readers about the fate of Mermaids, in addition to how she herself is one who has “grown” by eating her own brother. As someone who went through this process already, Ruri always feels bad about Yuu, who is actually her sister and will soon have to do the same; engage in cannibalism just to survive.

Ruri’s route involves the strange woman who Izumi bumps into; Izuna, who is the biological mother of Ruri and Yuu, who seems to have a crazed mind of wanting to kill for fun. It involves Ruri’s pain in the past for being “forced” to eat her twin, along with how she and Izumi was unable to protect Yuu, who was killed by their own mother.

Voiced by Arisugawa Miyabi, while I’m not too fond of this CV, she did an excellent job expressing Ruri’s painful memories and her personality overall. I really appreciated that Ruri’s route was much more melancholic compared to other routes, which was a nice contrast considering this was the route Izumi prepared himself to die. I just wish that within Ruri’s route, the antagonist of this game, Izuna, was answered to; the route in my opinion also ends too quickly.

Next is Nao, a girl who is always bright and friendly, and obviously infatuated with Izumi. Arguably my favorite character in the game, her involvement is when she is also one of the victims kidnapped during the string of missing people. Fortunately, she wasn’t killed like the others, but was more of a bait to pull out Izumi, who successfully saves her with a bit of trouble himself.

This is when the past of the two characters is revealed; as classmates in the previous year who both fell in love with each other, wanted to have a deeper relationship, but ultimately decided to restore their relationship to “just friends” for some reason (it’s quite unfortunate that this reason was not explained; only implied). Fast forward to the current time when Nao confesses to Izumi again, wishing to acquire their relationship further, but that would be too late; Izumi develops a problem of his own which forces them to separate once more.

I came here for this character’s CV, and I leave it quite satisfied that Ichikawa Hinako is quite amazing with voicing and easily has the spots of my favorite CVs. It’s quite a pity she only has a few roles within the eroge genre, and I really hope she voices more characters in the future.

Onto the character herself, Nao has a critical flaw–why did she suddenly decide to come back to being friends with Izumi in the past? It’s implied, but very vague. Along with this, there are some questions not answered in regards to the “male mermaids” and what happened to Izumi at the end of her route. On the other hand, however, the route ending was quite satisfying, how it ends with Nao receiving a mysterious reply after sending countless texts to Izumi’s phone which didn’t receive an answer until then. Kinda like how Angel Beats ended. HHNNNNNNNGGGGG

Last but not the least of the heroines is Yuu, the loli (?) character who reaches out to Izumi lying on the roads almost dead and agrees to “take his life” for her own, so she can eat him one day. She quickly reveals to him that she’s a mermaid who needs to eat someone to become a full-grown mermaid, which makes both Izumi and the reader think she’s cuckoo in the head.

Yuu’s route starts with the same scene where a certain character is committing the kidnapping, and Izumi has awakened as a mermaid ready to kill his own friend. However, Yuu pops in and stops this, which causes this subcharacter to disappear. From this point on, the newly-found siblings are rumored and feared to be the criminals of the kidnapping.

The route picks up speed and involves how Yuu must now eat Izumi to survive, and Izumi himself weakening as well. This is already with Izuna, their mother, breathing down their backs ready to kill both of them. However, with a couple of events involving Izumi’s step-father or Yuu’s characteristics of being the Panties Princess (?!), both Yuu and Izumi grow stronger to the point they become fully independent.

Yuu’s route had a very touching ending, which was enhanced by the fact that after the staff credits and the epilogue, a melancholic soundtrack plays while the game immediately comes back to the title screen of the two smiling; no transition screens or producer logo–the title screen changes from the cold background to a heartwarming CG of the two characters. One of the smallest aspects that the game offers, but it was breathtakingly beautiful and something I’d like to mention.

At this point, I wasn’t sure if the producers were getting mermaids confused with Sirens.

Sexual Content: Low

Comments: Okay, so I think I talked about the good parts of this game too much; let’s get to the bad parts now.

First. Damn, that mermaid lore. It’s really annoying and quite inaccurate or at least misleading. It really gave this game both the impact and the originality, but its basis was so wrong I was having a hard time being able to sympathize with all of this scenario. So many questions and inconsistencies fill my mind such as

  • How Ruri’s route shows Izumi surviving and living with Ruri when that wasn’t the case in Nao/Yuu’s route
  • Why the hell mermaids give birth to a female/male twins, with the females being required to consume the body of the male to survive herself (I guess miscarriages don’t happen to mermaids)
  • I also thought it was pretty disgusting how it’s “normal” for female mermaids to have to “mate” with male twin before consuming him, so she can reproduce
    • Then how were the Ruri/Yukata twin and Yuu/Izumi twins born at different times?
  • Concept of half-mermaids which was not explained well
    • How they’re supposed to kill other humans/mermaids to survive, but why Ruri didn’t stop them despite being aware of this fact

Basically, this game had a LOT of holes unexplained because they went ahead and tried to use a fantasy element without laying out the parameters of said fantasy elements. In a simpler sense, think of this game with the concept of Oumonbyou, except much less symbolism. The previously reviewed game still had value since the fantasy element was a direct symbolism; mermaids in this story was not.

No joke; Nao’s route was great until it got to the bullshit mermaid fantasy element at the end.

Second, I hate the lack of romance. Characters were very colorful, but the romance was almost completely absent except for maybe Nao’s route since they had that previous “background story”. As a game which uses the subtitles “Love Song of Eternity”, I kinda expected more in the romance department instead of what this game displayed. I can see how games within 2016 having shitty romance because the writers are crap, but considering how this game had the same writer who also wrote Senren Banka (which was another title I criticized for having no romance), I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised.

It’s not only the mermaid element that was flawed; some other things like Nao’s affection for Izumi disappearing in other routes or how Yuu is killed very early in one of the routes, or even how Yuu was able to intercept Izumi killing Tsukasa in her own route. The game seems to absolutely hate spelling out things for the reader, even though most of the implications made are extremely vague and not a good substitute.

On the other hand, loved the “family love” theme that was present throughout all three routes. It’s incorporated in some way or another even in Nao’s route, which gave this entire game a melancholic but heartwarming atmosphere. Even with all the contradictions and bullshit of fantasy elements, I still praise this game for having a solid theme across all routes and maintaining it from beginning to end.

It’s always nice to see more characters being relevant to the game’s theme. The more the better.

On a side note, it seems that “SatsuKoi” spelled in katakana actually has the characters “殺” (to kill), and “恋” (Love). Didn’t realize this until long after finishing this game and writing this review. (lolI’msodumbbrbcrying)

Affection for the Characters: High

CG Score: 6/10.
Music Score: 3/10. Love how the game has a couple of soundtracks beautifully composed, but Kusuhara Yui (Yuu’s CV) doesn’t sing the last song and Rita just sounds awkward singing a melancholic song.

Addictiveness: Low

Conclusion:

Pros:

  • Pretty good character design which includes how subcharacters were important to the overall story as well. They make an impact in the story, in addition to Nao being my new waifu
  • The game has pretty good humor relating to the heroines, likely to allow the reader to build the affection for each character.
  • In the most literal sense, the game has a “good story”, connecting each scene with a good transition and overall being very engaging. I hope I explained that as a whole, this was not the case, however.
  • Love the moral of “family love” contained within this game. I really like it when games have a specific theme or meaning, which really makes my time spent on the game worthwhile
  • The endings for the routes are well designed. Unlike the games which display the producer logo and return to the same boring title screen, this game offers a smooth transition from the epilogue of the last route into a very heartwarming CG, with a gentle soundtrack to accompany it. Small design, but big enough to be worth a mention and a praise.

Cons:

  • Holy shit all those contradictions. It’s not even subtle to the point most people would just pass by it; it’s almost in-your-face about it, so that’s not going to cause a pleasant experience for most people playing this game
  • Convenience is prevalent in this game, which includes a lot of things such as Izumi’s awakening, Izuna’s repentance, and various others. It just feels unnatural.
  • Romance is almost absent despite the genre of this title.
  • Routes seem to end very abruptly, keeping many things unexplained.

Overall, I was more or less pleased with this title, but can’t call this game “great” due to how many contradictions and convenience ruined the story. I highly advocate players to try this game out if you can’t believe me or think I’m exaggerating, since this negative was quite large enough to disrupt many engaging or climactic scenes. However, I still find great value in most of the heartwarming scenes involving family love, which was the main theme of this game.

Oh, and Nao’s my waifu. Get your hands off.

 

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Comments on: "I Continue to Love You, Even as I am being Killed: Review of [140829] Satsukoi" (7)

  1. I remember playing this game, probably a few months after it came out so that would be about two years ago. I can’t say it left a very strong impression on me, before reading your review to jog my memory all I could remember was : “crab fights”. After reading your review, I was reminded of some nice scenes of parent-children bonding, like Izumi coming to terms with his step-dad as he lays in the hospital even though he was horrible to him, or his mother’s redemption at the end as she gives up eating her children for immortality (I think?).

    I can’t say I remember much about Noe apart from that one sudden scene in the school’s infirmary, and pretty much nothing about Ruri apart from her playing the “big sister” role. I actually thought before reading your review completely that Ruri was Izumi and Yuu’s real big sister, but I’m probably remembering things wrong.

    Anyway, I understand your problem with inconsistency between routes, it’s something that bothers me a lot as well. Especially when something important and seemingly unavoidable happens in one route (like Izumi growing weaker as his body readies itself to be eaten) but is not even mentioned in the others or causes any kind of problem.

    • Looks like we have the same opinions this time! Your memory amazes me that all the events you’ve listed are fairly accurate; Izuna (the mom) hunting her own children were purely for her selfish desires and hatred (though the ending of Yuu’s route challenges this). You are also correct with Ruri being Yuu and Izumi’s older sibling; it was kept vague because it would be considered a spoiler in addition to how it also gave you an in-your-face contradiction of how Izuna gave birth twice despite her likely not having a partner.

      But those inconsistencies! I sometimes wish the writers can literally come back to this game after it’s finished, but before it’s released, just to see if there are any “kinks”. I understand the producers are busy as hell and such, but a bit of proof-reading can go a long way especially since some of these inconsistencies can be recognized by a toddler!

    • I’ve been reading a few of your older reviews and for the most part we tend to agree on what games are good or not and why. The only reason I haven’t been leaving comments everywhere is that your reviews are pretty thorough and I usually have nothing interesting to add.

      I can’t remember if you answered this question already, but what’s your stance on spoilers in the comments? Obviously you’ve already played the games you’re reviewing but if you prefer to keep your reviews vague on some parts for prospective players maybe I should try to avoid spoilers in the comments as well (not that I expect many to actually read through my walls of text). I kinda like being able to talk about plot or characters without restraint but it’s your blog and I’ll follow your rules.

    • This is an extremely late response and I hope you forgive me!

      I’m not too much of a fan of spoilers in general and try to keep them out of the body of my reviews (hence some of them may seem very vague), but I expect every reader reading the comments to expect to see mild spoilers. I’m pretty adamant about major ones being kept out, but I mostly agree that having “NO SPOILERS” would really limit the amount of discussion you can have.

    • I’m afraid I won’t be able to forgive you that easily, so you’ll have to keep writing interesting reviews to make me keep coming back. I’m especially curious about what you thought about a certain Gin’Iro Haruka in particular…

      I’ll try to limit spoilers in the future, or is there a hidden feature to hide such things in the comments ([spoilers] tags maybe?).

    • I’ll do my best to make that happen! Though the newest one won’t be so interesting >.<;;

      As far as I'm concerned, even I cannot tag spoilers in any shape, way, or form since I'm lazy and use the web-browser form of WordPress. Spoiler tags are also not available for comments either (boo!), and as mentioned previously, I really think a reader has to prepare himself for at least a bit of spoilers in the comments section when reading a review in the first place.

      For Gin'iro Haruka, I currently have the following impression at the moment after finishing Yuzuki's route: Liking the completeness of the story, but it's annoying how it's super long as hell almost to the point of excess; cute characters, but hate how excessive exposure of them makes them lose their value; routes don't seem important and heavily lack impact.

      So basically, the game pretty much stands to be used as an accomplishment once a reader finishes the entire game rather than even to comment much on whether or not the story is good or bad… at least in my opinion. I'll be sure to include most, if not all, of this information very soon in its own review.

    • Harsh words on Gin’Iro Haruka, but I can’t deny the points you mention, especially since while I love the game, I still didn’t finish it (I still haven’t touched Momiji and Bethy’s routes). It’s the same with the previous tonework’s game, Hoshi Ori Yume Mirai, which while better in every way in my opinion, I still didn’t finish either (one route yet to complete) I’ll wait for the review to write a more detailed comment on why.

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