Galge Review – Natsu no Osananajimi to, Fuyu no Kanojo

natsufuyu11Hey! I’m playing a RPG full of grinding and side-quests. This means I will play a lot of Galges during the whole month. Such a shame that most of the good releases are delayed to the end of October. natsufuyu19Let me start with Nephrite’s first title called “Natsu no Osananajimi to, Fuyu no Kanojo”, which translate to something like “Childhood friend from the Summer and Girlfriend by the Winter”. The idea behind this obnoxious name is that every heroine in this game is the protagonist’s childhood friend (even his little sister consider herself to be one, just to have an excuse to why she can date her own brother). However, this last only during the neutral route that happens during the summer because, once the winter comes, one of them will become his girlfriend, and even if the player fails to activate every flag in the game, he still gets to the imouto’s route (which means her route is the “Bad End”?).natsufuyu15Using seasons as a theme in Galges is nothing new but, while most titles try to give this a special care with things like a cute calendar or important scenes that show the passage of time, this game shows that those things are for the weak and spend most time focusing on SMART PHONES!! Because they are the future! natsufuyu10Seriously! Every character has a tachi-e (standing graphic) holding the damn thing! Even the protagonist! There is even a important plot about the hero’s imouto developing a “Skype” type of software for mobiles and being invited to join Apple (although this is only implied).natsufuyu03The story stars Kanou Seiji, a normal boy without any kind of talents, like most Galge heroes. 10 years in the past he had to move to another city and left his childhood friends who loved him dearly (this also includes a man, so it doesn’t sound so sexy anymore).natsufuyu04But now he is back and his retarded but cute friend Hanazono Karin didn’t change a bit! She still in love with a Tokusatsu show called “Rider Kamen Hell Zeta” (which is the Kamen Rider parody No. 4,892,249,715, if I remember correctly). Karin is a very awkward character that thinks she is still in elementary school (which she is not! I am sure of it! The message in the start of the game said so!), she is always referencing Hell Zeta and doing Rider poses and kicks, which sounds funny, but I really mean “ALWAYS”! She is the type of person you would be embarrassed to stay with.natsufuyu16The next heroine Seiji finds by the beginning of the day is, naturally, his little sister “Yume” (whose name literally means “dream”. Seiji is a pretty normal name but, what were her parents smoking when they named her?). She is a genius hikikomori who has a good reason to be a shut-in since she has a weak body. She stays most of the time in her pajamas and uses a Vocaloid-like app in her smart phone which uses her voice as a basis to convert it to an happy and energetic voice (this would’ve worked much better if she had a negative or angry personality).natsufuyu13Seiji is also attacked by Yoshino Yurari, his big-boobed cousin who loves to hug him. She was his first love and now she works as a teacher in Seiji’s school. She always looks like she is asleep (and sometimes she really is).natsufuyu05Upon coming to his new school, Seiji gets chocked to find out his once stupid-male-friend Koakari Jun now has a cute girlfriend named Hiratou Yoshiko. Since Jun’s girlfriend loves to draw pictures and deeply admires Seiji’s cousin, Jun decides to form a club to work with every kind of pictures and have Yurari assigned as the teacher responsible for their activities.natsufuyu18They decided to make Seiji the president of the club, and this leads Seiji to speak with the student council president, who is Ganjiyouin Atsu (other stupid name you only find in galges). She was a cry-baby in the past, but now is a strong willed girl with a nice body who likes to change clothes inside the council room, everyone knows what happens next…natsufuyu14The final girl to be introduced is a special one. “Schwartz Katz” is a problem-transferred-student who has the most stupid name in this game because the writer had just bought a German dictionary and thought that “black cat” is a ok name in that country. However, this was a very difficult name for Japanese people, so they made her into a “half-japanese” to give them an excuse to add the Kanji for “Hikari” as her given name, but since this didn’t sound nearly stupid enough, they gave the more obscure pronunciation of “Mitsu” to the Kanji.natsufuyu02The really unique aspect of her personality is that she has a uncontrolled sharp tongue, what makes her offend everyone around her, thus nobody wants to become friends with her, making her very lon…WAIT! Where did I saw this before? Well, those two games have the release date really close to each other, so it’s hard to say who copied who, but I should say that Yomi use this element much better in my opinion. Even though I hate the “poisoned tongue” part of her, I must admit that this is what made her depressed part so appealing and complex. While in Mitsu’s case, they didn’t put enough poison in her tongue, what makes her look like a half-assed version of Yomi (specially adding the fact that this game came out one month later).natsufuyu12This game story and characters are nothing special. The protagonist is just as plains as he gets and the heroines, while having much more complex personalities and appearances, are just your generic archetypes of Galge girls. They all look to already have feelings for Seiji since before the start of the game (except for Mitsu, who takes two or three scenes to get there). Even Yume, who was to be a tsundere, already treats her brother as if he was her boyfriend.natsufuyu07Every route is pretty boring since there is no particular conflict or difficult to overcome. It just have Seiji date one of the girls and them she realizes her dreams by doing great things, while the main character watches (Yep! This is one of those games where the protagonist doesn’t need development).natsufuyu17 “Inconsistent” would be a good word to sum the art in this game, while “Mess” would be much more appropriated. There are three different artists working in this title so consistence was not to be expected. This was not helped by the fact that there are some really ugly CGs and tachi-es that can creappy me out!natsufuyu06 They had the same guy color most of the graphics so it could look more like the same art style but, since their styles are too different, it did not work. The color in the hair makes them look artificial, almost plastic-like, what is very distracting, since it makes me think that all those girls are wearing wigs.natsufuyu09Like it wasn’t enough, there is a weird and unnecessary segment where the protagonist watches a TV show called “Nagashimo Everyday” which is hosted by a Hatsune Miku clone called Nefura that speaks in a really high pitched voice that lets me annoyed to death. She is also the one responsible for the “PIN-PON” sound when the game opens, so I wish her dead! natsufuyu20The voice actors do an acceptable work, nothing out of ordinary. The music is ok too, some character themes seem a bit unfitting, like Yurari’s theme that sounds like something from Rival Schools.

I was already expecting that, after XBlaze, the next Galge I would play would certainly give me a huge lackluster feeling. However, was this really what happened when I played this game? I’m sure this was not the case. This game is nothing remarkable, but at least it is harmless. I rather play a galge with boring heroines than play one that infuriates me.

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