Now for the first game of this new company called “piriri”. There would be absolutely no expectations whatsoever for it, but wait! This is actually a sister brand of UNISONSHIFT! I love their games! Suddenly this seems great!
Story and Characters
So, the story setting is on an alternative Earth, where visitors from another world appeared from a mysterious light. They called themselves “knights” serving a beautiful princess (it always has to be a princess! Knights just hate kings, queens or princes). This day changed the course of history, as their miraculous light spread peace through the land.Interested in this power, many people around the globe gathered. Some asking for their own share, others wanting merely to serve the princess for gratitude or admiration. To better organize this, the gigantic Kamishiro academy was created, where some few talented people were chosen to receive the title of “knights” and participate in a secret tournament in an underground facility. By standing on the sacred battleground, they receive magic armors blessed by the light of miracle. The winners will have any of their wishes granted by the princess’s powers, while the losers will be instantaneously teleported to the surface, with all memories regarding the tournament erased.This is where the heroes of this game come in. They are all childhood friends who got separated very early, but coincidently rejoined at the mysterious school to live together at the same dormitory. When they are summoned to the secret tournament, they become convinced that their reunion was no mere coincidence, specially since they all share the same specific wish.Alright! There’s this “it’s magic” explanation and this can be considered a very cheap plot device, but it fits perfectly here to explain those ridiculous armors, weapons and motivations. On the other hand, Asano Yukitaka – the protagonist – doesn’t standout among the magnificent looking heroines, but he deliberately chooses not to, since he clains that “nothing good comes from drawing attention to yourself”. Huunnmm…At least he is not just a “decoration”.
The first childhood friend Yukitaka bumps into is Saiyonji Kei. While Yukitaka is the smartest in the group, which grants him the seat of “head” of the party, he lets Kei get all the glory on his place, since he doesn’t like to participate in events or make speeches. This combined with Kei’s look and personality makes her extremely popular, even among females, instantaneously becoming the number one “onee-sama”. She is not very pleased by it, mainly because she feels like she is only being used by Yukitaka, and considering her intelligence, it’s impressive how she noticed it. Yes, she is not the brightest, which leads her to be constantly toyed by her friends, specially Yukitaka (that’s right! It’s the male protagonist that does the pranks and manipulations! LE GASP!). Kei’s behavior is the closest to a true knight, as she is very prideful and honest. She was trained in the ways of the sword, which makes her the strongest warrior in the group. She is arguing with Yukitaka all the time, and she is always the one to run out of arguments, but they are on surprisingly good terms and she has a unconditional trust for him.
Azumaya Ruruka is seen as an older sister figure for everyone in the group, which inspires her to act as mature as possible. She has little to no experience in battles, but her natural talent for it makes her adapt her dancing skills to a dual sword style…somehow. However, she lacks some common notions for a fighter, like: Positioning, distance, attack range and others, which can make her very inefficient at times.
Minamihori Asuna is a very short and shy little girl who is considered the group’s mascot. The power up from the armor lets her wield an enormous Halberd easily, which she uses both for attack and defense. She also has the cunning idea of using her clothing to conceal the true reach of her weapon. Regardless, she was not born to be a warrior, as she is too coward and gentle. Her lack of experience doesn’t help either. For this reason, she is always protected by her friends, so now she tries her best to not be a hindrance to anyone.
Houjiyou Touri is the most puzzling among the heroines. She acts like an unexpressive and cynical tomboy who love cute girls, but she is much more into manly men with muscular bodies and tall figures, which makes Yukitaka fall directly on her “strike zone”, leading her to “attack” him many times, both directly and indirectly. In combat, she excels at a fast-paced style with a rapier.The first unexpected event comes when Kei is utterly defeated in a mock battle against a 1st ranked knight. That’s Right! Different from most Galges with battles, this one is not a beauty contest where only girls win for no reason other than their cuteness. Since Kei was the strongest in the group, everyone gets very demotivated. However, they are given little time to think about it, because during the opening ceremony, a mysterious person turn-off the lights and destroys the crests in the armor of many knights, legally defeating them. Not only that, but he also injures Kei and kidnaps the princess. The remaining heroines chase after, while Yukitaka stays behind with the wounded Kei. The girls manage to rescue the princess, but they suspect about the existence of one more criminal who stayed next to Yukitaka and Kei. It’s when more knights are attacked in the battleground by the true culprit, who is revealed to be: YUKITAKA!!Oh Yeah! The protagonist proves to be no “placeholder”. Now I know why he appears in the cover! He mean business and plays dirty to reach his goals, which is why he doesn’t like to standout. It was thanks to the power granted on his armor that he was able to project illusions to fool even his friends, except for Kei, who trusted him so much that she threw her pride away to be his accomplice.
As a result, the group is rewarded with princess Vivian Le Alferia custody, which raises the chances of her granting their wishes. She lets everyone surprised at first with her very innocent and lazy behavior, with almost no trace of royalty on her, but she surprises Yukitaka and Kei even more when she reveals that she knows about their recent scheme, since they used her powers to do it, so she could feel it. She gets interested on the reason why they would get to this point.Yukitaka talks about their other childhood friend, Saiyonji Ui – Kei’s twin sister. Different from Kei, Ui had a strong female charm and charisma. She was physically weak but very intelligent. Her natural aura made all nearby conflicts to cease, which is why everyone gathered around her.
She was a princess and a leader for them, but when they were exploring a forest, she was pulled by a mysterious light in the sky, and ever since, disappeared from everyone else’s memories. They came to the school because its crest looks exactly like the light symbol that made their friend vanish. Vivian express no intention to declassify them since they did follow the tournament official rules. She even confirms that she could bring their friend back if they emerge victorious in the end, motivating them even more.
Themes & Routes
Ok! Now I’ve seen A LOT of people comparing this game with the unholy “KoiKishi – Purely Kiss”. I get where this came from. Just by the first glance, you can feel some resemblances: That game had knighthood and a school to train children to fight against real criminals with medieval weapons and unpractical clothes, where most students happen to be cute and fragile looking girls (with the exception of the protagonist, who btw is the weakest in the group). Said little girls can, for some reason, defeat any muscular and well-trained criminal. MAN! That was some stupid game! I already feel discouraged just by remembering it. But, please give some credits of trust to UNISONSHIFT for how good they managed their action-filled “Ley-line” series.Characters are developed considerably well during the normal route, and then some more during each individual path. Even the coward Asuna can become strong and Kei can also show a very tender side of her, but it’s good to know that Yukitaka himself gets a big character development too.There are some scenes that are repeated between the choices that will ultimately lead to a specific route, but each heroine’s route is very different from each other.The development for every route is excellent! Each one with its own interesting twists. I have just one problem with the plot, and it’s the main villain. 1˚- Its true identity is too obvious, since It is always laughing at the heroes struggles and treating them like idiots since the beginning.2˚- I hate the idea that the villain gets away with a happy ending even after everything it did and without showing even a bit of regret. We need more endings like the one Porky got to himself on MOTHER 3. Where do I get myself an Absolutely Safe Capsule?The “patriotism” in this game also bothers me a little, specially with all this European knights theme, which makes weird that all character are Japanese. It seems out of place, but if you can ignore this, it won’t be much of a problem for the story.
While Koikishi drawings were the one redeeming factor of that title, it had a more “down-to-earth” vibe to it, which made even harder to take the whole “knight in modern age” thing seriously. This game, on the other hand, have an “over-the-top” art style that matches perfectly with the absurd theme of the plot.There are many character designers involved in this project, most artists who worked on previous UNISONSHIFT titles gave a hand to create at least one character. What is incredible is how everyone’s style match so well together! You can almost be fooled to think it’s the same person drawing everything…Almost…Something very easy to notice is how the base designs for the armors are similar to Koikishi, however, here, each armor has different details referent to the character specialty, which is great, as it helps to make every character more unique. I also like the school uniform design, because it’s not too simple, but it doesn’t get ridiculously cute and weird! In other words: It seems like a uniform that would exist in real life.
Voice overs are all excellent as usual, specially for me, since I am a fan of most seiyuus casted here. I like Elena’s work here much more than on her other recent roles. There is also Touno Soyogi doing a great job as Ruruka, who has a “gentle big sister” personality, sadly this is not her best character type, since in my opinion, she is a master when it comes to voicing mischievous and mysterious heroines, like Yukimura Anzu from Da Capo II (thinking back, she was the first Galge seiyuu I became a fan of, such good memories).
This game is great! I love it! UNISONSHIFT is awesome! Koikishi sucks! I bet Juukishi – Cutie ☆ Bullet will suck as much! It’s exactly the same thing, but with guns! Well, it’s worth a review in the future…