One of the most anticipated Galges for this month, with everything one could ask from a game from this genre: Cute girls, school life, romantic comedy and a cute fairy thing who constantly wants to kiss you…Yeah!
Plot & Characters
In this futuristic world there is a device called “Orka” which lets people interact with a computer interface created directly in their minds. The protagonist – Hayami Tayou (sun) – has one of the most ridiculous given names I’ve ever seen for a Japanese character, but to compensate for this, he got quite a fame on his school, since, for a change, it’s the protagonist who gets to be the student council’s president this time around, and he does an impeccable job, earning everyone’s admiration. One fateful day, he gets a date with the girl of his dreams who he had met in an online chat called KizunaS. They have a “magical day” until she says she will be moving out.
Sometime later, his dream girl transfer to his school (and the same class, of course!) using her real name Hasugase Mina. Tayou gets very excited, until he learns that she was only acting during their date, not being nearly as dreamy as he wished. Nevertheless, the two become friends.
Even being very popular, few people know about Tayou’s little sister Asagao (morning face). Not only she has an even more stupid name than her brother, but she also is an incomparable genius, being able to hack into powerful computers since an early age and earning a fortune with the apps she creates. The only problem is that she is a shut-in, so she depends on Tayou to provide her with obscure products (since she is also a very Ero-Otaku).
Out of nowhere, Tayou’s daily life completely changes when a new app called “Cocoro Function” appears in his Orka device and starts to leak his thoughts to everyone around like it was telepathy, thus revealing he is actually a high-level pervert. Unable to take-off his device and refusing to destroy it leads to his fame being crushed in a couple days. Therefore, he loses his job has seitokaicho (finally leaving this role to a girl).Since it wasn’t chaotic enough, Bell – his browser navigator (which was programed by his sister) all of a sudden becomes sentient and gets a very realistic holographic projection as a body. Together, they learn that many other students are getting different versions of “Cocoro Functions”, causing many troubles around.
To fix this he joins forces with the few heroines who still trust him to form the CFC (cocoro function committee) to help everyone while uncovering the truth behind this mess. Tayou also finds out that by using the points he gets as thanks for helping others he could level-up his cocoro function, making him able to hear the thoughts of others too, so now it’s pay back-time!
This game immediately caught my attention since it shares many elements with one of the first Galges I played: Cocoro@Navi. Both are about an immersive experience with the internet from the future; The protagonists receive a fairy as a guide; There’s a hikkikomori imouto and even the names are similar. This doesn’t mean it is a rip-off, it just have some elements in common, just like it has some similarities with Accel World, but it manages to do its own thing.
This game plot classifies as a “school action with magic powers”. Of course, there is science involved as basis for special abilities, but the explanations available are so far-fetched and vague for such absurd powers that you might consider everything as magic just to avoid having a headache.
This game is very chunibyou, so be prepared to read many unnecessary engrish names for special powers like: “everworld”, “invisible link” or “persona changer” and many others.
It’s so painful to sit though the part Tayou’s reputation gets crushed! I feel so bad for the poor guy! And for this I have to say the writing is very good. While there is some weak points to it, its strong and charismatic characters are easy to relate to and I believe it make up for the bad parts.
There are only two things about Tayou’s condition are not very convincing:
1 – He doesn’t have a good excuse to not break his Orka. I know he will lose many of his precious data, but if my PC was trying to kill me (socially), I would not hesitate to destroy it, and I am a huge PC nerd!
2 – Why nobody notices he suddenly became a ventriloquist? His “Open Window” don’t make his lips move, and this kinda draws a lot of attention. Being one of many event where only characters said to be VERY inteligent are able to notice the obvious. Hell, he could use this to easily make up an excuse and protect his image!There is a problem that happens often when someone tries to write an over-complicated story with over-intelligent characters: You have to be very inteligent as well in order to writing something convincing. I don’t mean Natake, Takashima Eiji or neither Hachiri are dumb, but they sure took the easiest way around: Making everyone else being dumb. Additionally, they also use some complicated and unnecessary words took from the dictionary just to make sure. By filtering this nerd language, we have something like this.
– Hey dude! You have…like, the power to read minds or something, right? So, you should…you know?! Use it!
– Wow! I would never had this idea! You are a genius!
This happens often and it bothers me a lot, specially since Tayou is also subject to this effect, making him look stupid.
Sometimes, there are some weird writing, for example, Tayou will talk about the past of his sister, but them the flashback is all told by Asagao’s perspective, and she isn’t even there during this conversation.
There is also an awkward way to advertise other heroines routes while you’re playing, where the characters talk about an event that only happens in an alternative route. This was to make you curious about what exactly happened on those other routes, but it just ends up leaving you with a sensation that you’re missing something.
Like always, the plot with the little sister involves the imouto being in love with her brother, while he is totally indifferent towards this. This always happens with this kind of story, and I am tired with how repetitive it became, but this time I actually appreciate this because Tayou’s cocoro function (Open Window) makes his interactions with the heroines very repetitive as he always let his imagination and thoughts running wild and gets punished for this. The only exception for this is Asagao, since she is the person Tayou respect and wants to protect the most, during the normal route, he never has dirty thoughts about her and acts like a very mature and reliable person for a change, which is refreshing after watching the same “Love Hina” development over and over.
Talking about this, this is also one of those games with incestuous relationships where EVERYONE is ok with it. I already consider it to be very unlikely that even their closest friends accept it, but when the whole school knows about it and nothing bad happens, it’s a bit hard to believe.
By the way, Asagao is one of those “hidden main heroines”. While the player is made to believe Mina is the most important (specially because of the freaking-long introduction with her) Asagao is in fact in the alpha & omega for this story.
She turns into a completely different person during her route. Revealing to be a very timid and sweet girl who is very clingy to her brother (probably being the heroine with the most lovey-dovey attitude in the game). The truth is that she is only acting for most part of the game, only showing her true personality during her route, which is probably the closest thing to a “true ending” in this game. Explaining and solving everything.
As it was not enough, She is also made to be the “ultimate heroine”. Not only she is a imouto (which somehow is an advantage in Eroges) but she also has the biggest “oppai” and is the prettiest out of every female character in the game, this is not my opinion, the girls say this during an event! She is so exaggerated in her “supremacy” that it feels unfair with other heroines, like with Mina whose main talent is to be a super-hacker, however, she is like a baby playing with MS-paint if compared to Asagao. It’s like they wanted to make sure the little sister character was to become the most popular. What makes me wonder why the hack they didn’t make her the main heroine in the first place.
Once again, the girls don’t give a damn when the protagonist don’t choose them. I don’t mind Mina because she doesn’t look interested on Tayou anymore after the prologue, but Hijiri is particularly weird since she is in the group only because she is in love with him, thinking about him all the time, making It feel very unnatural and out of character for her to act like this. The twins also suffer from the same problem, but not as much.
Yeah, all problems aside, I loved this game since the good parts were really good. If you finished, don’t forget to use a code in the official web-site to get a patch with epilogues for every route. It’s worth mentioning as well that, for some reason, many people from the Galge community loved Bell so much that they are demanding a route for her. Will this result in a second patch? Or will PULLTOP make a fan-disk?