When I saw the first title created by the weirdly named “COSMIC CUTE” I said out loud: “Man, this sure seems boring. What the Hell! I will just wait for their second game that will already be released 6 months from now”. That was what I did, and it was worth it!
Gleam Garden is a good example on how to do some clichés in the right way. This game has two very commonly misused elements from the visual novel world. One of them is the Magic School: After Harry Potter made a HUGE success in the east (at least the first ones anyway) cleaver Japanese tried to create their own oriental version of the young sorcerer and his magic school. Sadly, most of it are Galges. This means that the story normally is not that important and there is a bigger concern on making many heroines for as many fetishes as possible. This rule is not different here but, somehow, this game managed to get a good plot.
The game follows Hidaka Touji living in a world where a mysterious phenomenon called “Gleam” gives magic powers to people who are subject to high levels of stress. Those people are stupidly called “witches”. It is stupid because there are male witches and it stills sounds horrible even in japanese (Majou = Magic Girl).
Anyway, Touji is a capable government agent working in a special division to capture or kill dangerous witches. However, he decided to change his career to a trainer for witches living in a girls-only school. This is where the “magic school” plot enters.
For his first work, Touji is ordered to take care of 3 trouble-makers while being assisted by an employee. This is where the routes of the game begin. Each girl has a very different type of plot, which is very interesting. An easy way to please everyone.
Izumi SakurakoA tomboy girl who aims to be strong, or at least was what she thought, but she doesn’t know better. For example, she though she had a chance against Touji – a professional witch-slayer…This actually made me very impressed, I was expecting the main character to be a hetare (good-for-nothing) as usually goes in mostly visual novels, but he is actually a bad-ass! Not only he is a very capable fighter, but is also very intelligent. But I think it was to be expected since Akabeisoft2 helped to do the game…But enough on Touji, back to Sakurako: She is actually a childhood friend of Touji! Back with Touji again…Damn it! Even so, what a small world, right? Okey, the game still has its fetishes, so a childhood friend was necessary.
In my opinion, Sakurako is a very annoying character because of how much of a sore loser she is. Since she already knows she can’t win by challenging Touji, she tries to demoralize him by complaining about almost everything he does. She just can’t accept he is stronger and smarter than her, even tough he is already an employed adult with years of experience ahead of her. Sakurako is responsible for the second misused cliché in this game since she is the only one to have a battle oriented Gleam, thus, she has a route focused on battles. It is the most boring route of the game because battle scenes are normally a bad idea on Visual novels, since you will mostly read a description of what is happening, so it’s recommended to make those scenes as short as possible. This is well executed in other routes, except in this one.
Kusunoki YumaA very kind and frail girl with the power of clairvoyance. She has a tragic past related to her family and school bullying that served as a trigger for her powers. Her voice can be a bit annoying sometimes, but what really bothers me is her measures! Take a look at this!How can this still be human? Actually, she made me notice that this artists has a very odd way to draw breasts. Most of the girls have HUGE cleavage, and they also seems that are about to explode out of their shirts. This could seriously hurt someone! I saw that one time in a manga!
I love her interactions with Touji, it’s extremely funny to see her cynical comments and his sharp (and perverted) answers.Her route has some short action scenes, but it’s more of a suspense thriller full of conspiracy.
LunaShe is Touji’s long lost little sister (imouto fetish check!). Ah! By the way: Spoiler alert! (it is pretty obvious though). She tries to be a bitter girl but she fails so much that she can hardly be classified as a tsundere.The reason she acts cold at first is to protect her brother, but since she is a bracon, she can’t help but to say sorry immediately on each time she treats him badly.I feel I would have liked this character more if she had more screen time. But she only makes a brief appearance before entering in her route, additionally, her route is one of the shortest. It also doesn’t help that her route is locked until some endings are archived.Her route is like a combination of the elements from every other route of the game, what was the ideal since it is recognized as the “True Route”.
I usually don’t like Galges with some sort of magic powers in its plot because of how overused this theme is, but I liked this one nevertheless because of how different it was…I mean, like: With a decent protagonist who does stuffs!
I sure have been playing a lot of Galges recently! I blame everything on my fair spare of free time. Damn you!