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?
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.