Foreword: Apparently the 7th game from Yuzusoft! Frankly, I’m not TOO knowledgeable about their games, mainly because most of them take a rather long time to finish, while not being significantly superior to other games either. This game followed a similar pattern, but there was one route that I particularly liked. Of course, this will be explained in the character summary section further down below.
What I really appreciate about Amairo is that its setting and even the CG are based on what the staff saw, when they visited my good friend Rayun in Switzerland. He got lots of goodies (holy crap I’m jealous), and even has his name included in the “Special Thanks” section of the credit roll, so I’ll be teasing him about that for a while, huehuehuehue. It just goes to show that Yuzusoft is serious about their games, and making every little detail as best as possible.
Due to the high number of foreign words, I’ll try to use romanized spelling for many of the terms. I hope you could bear with me in that aspect. Here goes the review of Amairo!
Title: 天色＊アイルノーツ (Amairo Islenauts) [Despite the pronunciation, Amairo translates into “Sky Colored”
Release Date: July 26, 2013
VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v12167
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=766730
Game Type: Pure Love Romance Fantasy Novel
Summary: Tooru is a teacher who was about to give up on his job due to several unfortunate accidents. Believing that he is unsuited for being a teacher, he spent his days unsure of what to do until he received a call from his professor during his own college years, who suggested a position of a teacher at the all-girls school on the island of Lyzerugu (romanized spelling). Tooru is still unsure of himself as he steps onto the island and meets a strange girl whose name is Masaki; she is the daughter of the master who owns the inn where Tooru will be staying, but the girl has… kemonomimi (beast-like ears) and a tail? Nonetheless, she seemed friendly enough… Actually, all of the residents on this island are all friendly, but Tooru’s uncertainty haunts him (oh, you hetare character… lol) until he spies a girl who was taking photos of herself in her underwear in a classroom.
Story Length: Long (30 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Easy
Comments: Contrary to what it suggests, there are not 4, but 6 Heroines in the entire game. Only having played Tenshin Ranman, (which also happens to have 6 heroines), I felt as if some of these heroines were rather unnecessary… But I guess that’s just me. Paths also seem to split with the first choice, and you would need a small bit of luck to get to your target heroine’s route properly the first time. Nonetheless, Yuzusoft’s episode skip feature and return to choices feature will greatly help you in this sense.
Character Design Rating: 9/10
Story Rating: 6/10
Game Quality: Very High
Overall Rating: 8/10
Rating Comments: Story rating seem a bit low? You’re not mistaken. Nearly perfect character design rating, with adorable personalities or “interests” that some characters have, I also loved the CV arrangements; Yuzusoft somehow managed to collect my favorite CVs and place them into main heroines, which I found to be a plus. While I’ll get to character summary in a bit, let me first state it right here and now that aside from Shirley’s route, the other routes felt very incomplete and rushed. I felt as if I can see who composed the scenarios for each character.
Character Summary: Six characters… Woo! Here we go now!
Shirley is first. Arguably the main heroine, unless you’ve seen her personality in the countdown videos (on the main website), you’d be surprised at this character’s personality. Shirley is actually a doujinshi artist, and a type who fantasizes about various sexual things frequently. She is rather skilled at acting, too, and will frequently imagine Tooru assaulting (of course, in a sexual manner) another student.
In addition to this strange personality, it is Shirley that was taking “nude-photos” of herself in the classroom that Tooru barges into. It is soon revealed that Shirley sometimes does this “self-shots” in order to learn the correct angles when creating her doujinshi, but readers can see a warm event after this event, where Shirley comforts Tooru, in his distress, about being able to teach on this island. Shirley’s encouragements have an immediate effect, and Tooru leaves the classroom feeling refreshed and motivated. However, he tells himself that who he saw was a fairy, or a spirit, and realizes his mistake on the very first day of school.
Despite such silly personality, Shirley’s past is rather sad; she lost her mother from a young age, and this event unfortunately overlapped with her brother who said their lives on this island may be a dream. Receiving such a trauma at a young age, Shirley locked herself in her room and indulged herself in manga and doujinshi. Despite being talented at drawing in the first place, and winning countless awards for landscape pictures, Shirley does not feel proud of this accomplishment because she admits that “drawing landscape” was one of her ways to let out negative emotions, and being praised for doing so was not a good feeling (imagine being praised for crying or being mad… It’s awkward o3o)
Tooru decides to help this poor girl, who encouraged him in the very beginning of the year. Spending time with her, Tooru teaches this girl that this place is full of “warmth“, and tries to prove this with various ways. Naturally, the girl then starts to fall head-over-heels in love with this person who changed her paradigm.
However, the conflict is that Shirley is unsure about what “love” is; she only knows that Tooru’s statements of “(I do all this things for you) because I’m your teacher“, greatly hurts her inside, and it is not long until she consults her friends about this, who tells her the truth, and suggests asking Tooru to be a model, so the two can spend time together.
What I really like about Shirley’s route is that Shirley “returns” affection for Tooru by learning about his past; she realizes that the reason why Tooru attempted to quit the job of a teacher was because he believed that he could not help a student who was being bullied. This student, whose name is “Natsumi”, soon transferred to another school, and ever since then, Tooru was blaming himself that he was worthless as a teacher.
Shirley decides that she wants to do something for Tooru, and receives help from various people to search for this girl who she knows nothing about; she plans a “Thank you” party (which she calls a “Global Warming Plan”) with the rest of the class (who appreciates Tooru), and even locates and invites Natsumi to offer her own appreciation for her former teacher. Tooru, who is completely unprepared for such an event, breaks down crying in front of his own students.
This is a route where the protagonist and the heroine each give something to each other that strengthen their bonds and confirm their loyalty. Shirley’s route was arguably the best story in the entire game, and possibly comparable to some of the more superior stories that I’ve ever played.
Next we have Yune (Yu-ne) who is a transfer student from Japan. Arriving slightly after Tooru, this character is immediately welcomed by the entire class and soon gets along with the rest of the heroines. Very mature and calm, this character may seem like an ideal-Japanese-woman (Yamato Nadeshiko) type character, but don’t be fooled; Yune is actually a hardcore sadist, who loves watching the blushing faces of not only Tooru, but the other heroines as well.
Yune’s story starts with a strange phenomenon, when this mature and very diligent character starts falling asleep in class. In addition, there also seems to be an intruder within the school properties. The intruder did not do too much damage, but the teachers do not want to risk anything. Foremost worrying about her condition, Tooru soon finds out that Yune was protecting a particular species native to Lyzerugu. She had nursed this animal back to health, but couldn’t find anyone to adopt it as a pet. This forced the girl to live in a tent on the backyard of the school close to the forest; it is also soon revealed that the “intruder” is Yune as well.
After Tooru does all he can to find an owner, Yune becomes very close to him, forcefully making him her master. Her “fake tears” work against Tooru in this sense, and he can only enjoy (?) being taken care of by this loyal girl.
Yune’s history is revealed soon, to show that she is an athlete specializing in high-jumps. However, she once tore a muscle from her foot from an accident, she stopped her practices and decided to keep that history behind her. Tooru, on the other hand, wanted to find out more about this girl, and uses this knowledge to purchase equipment (which wasn’t cheap), and practices according to the teachings of Yune. Yune soon finds out that while she fears high-jumps, Tooru found it enjoyable, and in turn receives support from Tooru, who says he’ll be watching her no matter what. (Kinda creepy, but it sounds pretty cool in the situation).
Yune’s route then dives into her father’s collapse which allows her to make a financial excuse to leave the island, but being unable to completely ignore the existence of Tooru, who she loves very much.
Now we come to the loli character of this game, who is also the cousin of Tooru. The two met about 10 years ago when they were very young, but reunited on this island after Airi transferred to the school that Tooru works in. Tooru’s mom, who knew about Tooru’s whereabouts, decided to “secretly” move all of Airi’s stuff over to where he lived, so Tooru can be a guardian for his cousin who he hasn’t met in 10 years.
From the first day, Tooru was sent a large number of packages, which contained a girl’s underwear. Unsure of what was going on, his posture of deep in thought while holding Airi’s panties was spotted by Airi herself, which causes a huge misunderstanding.
It is soon shown that Airi is actually very shy towards Tooru, but this shyness is not explained. It is unlikely that she “fell in love” at first sight, since she only feels “thankful”for Tooru for taking care of her. Nonetheless, Airi prefers using her cellphone to contact Tooru.
Airi is also very childlike, using “-desu” and “-nodesu” in her statements (this is a behavior of a child), which she is also concerned herself. Being small in both height and breast size does not help her at all, and Airi frequently compares herself to Masaki, who is of the same age, but has a very large breast size.
Airi’s route is very vague, with the affection… just happening. I’m not joking as I say this, but Airi’s attitude changed from “Thank you, oni-chan” (she calls Tooru oni-chan) to essentially “omg I love you oni-chan!” literally within a sub-chapter. In addition, most of the couple’s interaction involves ijime-tsukomi, where Tooru would “bully” (in a friendly sense) Airi, and Airi would reply with a sharp comment. This was very unlike the “pure love” that I expected from this game.
Aside from this strange side-tracking-from-the-main-theme-of-the-game *hint hint*, Airi’s route reveals that it’s not just her physical proportion that is “not mature”–Airi, despite being very intelligent, is also not mature mentally; she does not have life goals, nor have any idea what she wanted to do by coming to Lyzerugu. The end of Airi’s route involves Tooru trying to help Airi what she wants to do in life.
Last, but certainly not the least, is Masaki’s route. Called a Seriansuropu, Masaki is a hybrid of human and beast, which makes her have human-like features, along with a tail and ears of the seriansuropu species. This species closely resembles a wolf. Loves eating, but especially favors donuts, of which Masaki claims “I have a different stomach for donuts”. Masaki’s route starts with the collapse of her own father and the owner of the inn, Owen. While startled, the readers will soon find out that this abnormality is caused by an appendix infection, and simple surgery was sufficient to restore this healthy seriansuropu back to health.
However, the route also shows that due to Owen’s absence, the inn, which doubles as a restaurant, must close. This is when Tooru suggests the re-opening of the shop, featuring Poroporo’s (animal native to Lyzerugu similar to a cow) Tail-meat Curry, which attracts huge popularity due to its unique taste (the people of Lyzerugu has never experienced curry). While opposed at first, Masaki soon finds herself smiling again while she helps the new menu being sold out essentially every day.
Masaki soon feels different about Tooru; she’s not dumb, so she is quick to realize that this feeling that she has is probably love, but in addition to the fact that Tooru is a customer, he is also her teacher. This dilemma soon makes the seriansuropu hybrid to consult her friends, who suggest a wild and unique idea: Instead of asking Tooru to be her boyfriend, ask him to be her master instead! Tooru, who is completely unexpecting this kind of request, ultimately agrees to it after seeing the tears of Masaki. After he approves of their new “relationship”, seeing Masaki’s smile somehow makes him relieved…
But Tooru will soon find out that he is not satisfied with this current relationship, and will ask Masaki for a deeper, more intimate affinity… but gets rejected twice. There is also unknown things about the seriansuropu species that Tooru has no idea about, and he’ll need help to recognize the changes within Masaki.
The game then introduces two sub-characters, who has a route of their own. First is a female elf whose name is Tia Hoenverufen, but the teachers simply call her “Tia” or “Verufen-sensei” because her name is hard to pronounce. Like many others on this island, Tia is also a native, but unlike Masaki, it is suggested that Tia is a purebred.
From the routes of the four heroines above, it can be seen that Tia is a very clumsy character who often spaces out or makes silly mistakes, and in her own route, she is caught sleeping by Tooru himself. While embarrassed, Tooru finds her lenient atmosphere to be very attractive and envious, since his lifestyle has always been the opposite; solemn, strict, and firm.
Tia’s route starts when Tooru finds out that Tia wants to experience love, but does not have a partner. Because the “nosy” (in a good way) protagonist Tooru is, he asks around the inn that he stays, about how Tia is, in the eyes of other male elves, which seems to be the restriction of her race. (Simply put, Tia is only allowed to marry another elf)
According to the answers, it seems that Tia herself is relatively popular, but many male elves are driven away by Tia’s strange tastes in essentially everything; clothes, hobbies, lifestyle, etc… In addition, it seems as if Tia does not want “marriage”, but “love”.
Despite this, Tooru finds this clumsy elf to be very attractive, and using a canceled date as an excuse, he asks Tia to be his girlfriend. However, the two agree on a “pretend relationship”, while each of them realize that they both do not want fake affection. While not as drastic, this element creates an atmosphere of “Romeo and Juliet”. As the “Flower Conference” draws near (It’s an event where elves gather and become united with the symbols/meanings of a flower), Tooru decides that even as Tia refuse to marry, he must act to change her mind.
The second subheroine is Konoka Hinomiya. She is actually what’s called a 彷徨人 (Kanatabito) [Lit. Trans, a person who wanders], who suddenly appeared in front of Tooru on his trip to the lake, while the girls were in the hot springs. Unsure of what the heck happened, what Tooru DOES know is that he is deeply misunderstood by the girls who return, as a naked girl only slightly older-looking than Airi was on top of their homeroom teacher.
Nonetheless, Konoka plays only minor roles in other routes, being the supporting character who comments, usually, on the sexual elements between Tooru and the respective heroine. It is shown that Konoka is selfless and quiet, which makes her have an atmosphere similar to Yune.
Konoka’s route starts with her feeling of “appreciation” towards Tooru, as he decides to take responsibility for the girl’s well-being, both at school and at home. This kind of affection makes Konoka very appreciative, and as she realizes that Tooru teaches her many “emotions”, this fact encourages her to do something for Tooru. One of the things she does is make Tooru a lunchbox, but the ultimate irony of her cooking is that when her cooking looks horrible, it tastes delicious, while if her food looks delicious, it would taste very bad.
However, even as Konoka faces these failures, she refuses to give up and receives help from the other heroines to successfully make a lunchbox that becomes coveted even by other teachers, and Tooru starts to enjoy this girl’s company, and her affection for him.
Konoka DOES have a past history that is related to her rescue back at the lake, but frankly, it sucks. This character is very cute and lovable, but her route (other than the icha-icha midway), does not make sense, and isn’t something of great value.
Sexual Content: Moderately Low
Comments: I think I said too much in the Character Summaries, LOL!
Despite this, there are two things I haven’t mentioned yet. One element, which I sincerely appreciated, was that the “teacher” element that Tooru possessed from the very beginning of this game, was kept intact until the end. Whether it was hiding the relationship due to social taboo or the heroines being unable to confess their love because of their previous relationship to Tooru as a student, it played an important role in “teasing” each character, which fired up their affection even more. As an example, you could see the heroines masturbating to SOME relation to Tooru; it may seem strange at first, but I believe this kind of element is a great representative for the heroine’s feelings toward the protagonist.
The second thing I haven’t mentioned is that there are no “true routes”. Personally, I was hoping that the “mystery behind Lyzerugu” would be revealed, or at least have some “final route” where Lyzerugu is in a state of crisis, and Tooru works with other people to solve it. The two extra routes were indeed a nice bonus, but I guess I wanted to see some “nice conclusion” or a “wrap-up” of the entire game in a single story.
I really appreciate the animation that this game has; there’s so many of them x3!
Affection for the Characters: Moderate
CG Quality: Moderate
Music Quality: Very Good
Addictiveness: Low. Quite unfortunately, despite the game being very highly ranked, it is not something I would readily come back to.
Conclusion: A great Yuzusoft game with plenty of animations, laughs, lovable character design, and drama. Not the best storyline, but Shirley’s route is indeed worth playing, and now I thoroughly understand why Yuzusoft is one of the more popular companies for eroge now.