Galge Review – Sekai to Sekai no Mannaka de

sekachu29Lump of Sugar, this is a company that has been around for a long time now, and it seems their only rules applying to the themes and styles used on the games they make are “there are none”. So, at the very least, each one of their titles becomes a box full of surprises…kinda…

Story

sekachu25The characters live at the Erdõs dormitory in Kaginomori Academy. The head of the dorm will soon have his little sister joining them, so they decided to clean the whole place.sekachu04This leads them to find mysterious keys and incantation-like words. Eventually those are revealed to be clues guiding them to a secret room with a gigantic object that could be only described as a “Celestial Globe”. This artifact is linked with the truth behind their world and the “real” world.

Characters

sekachu19sekachu13First is the protagonist because, different from many, I still consider Galge main characters to be, well…main. Anyway! For this title we have Oumi Renri, he is so mature, responsible and reliable that the other students living in his dorm gave him the nickname of “mom”. He is a very talented cook, that’s why he is responsible for everyone’s meals. In exchange, everyone obeys him. He cares a lot for his sister, but he doesn’t seem even a bit preoccupied or jealous of her making male friends or even a boyfriend because…he is the onii-chan! Feeling forbidden love since forever is only for imoutos!

sekachu03sekachu07Oumi Kokoro is Renri’s little sister and the (non-secret) main heroine. She has a very bright and positive personality. She spent a long time living in a Hospital suffering from who-knows-what disease. All you need to know is that the few contact she had with people other than Renri serves as an excuse to why she is in love with her brother and why she is so innocent and fragile. She is a fast-learner and always want to help her brother around.

sekachu08sekachu12Tsukidate Minori is the resident energetic-and-dumb girl. She always tries to throw her work to Renri, but always ends up with more tasks than she first started with, and sometimes she doesn’t even notice what happened. Regardless, her grades are actually in the top of the school. This would make her a very interesting “intelligent-girl” type who would avoid the calm and polite girl stereotype. However, she ruins everything by showing her other special characteristic: She always uses a fake persona in school, which is of a “calm and polite girl”, because she wants to build an “ideal-student” image for her.sekachu01bOf course, during her route it gets revealed that there is much more behind this trait than Minori herself is aware of. Not that this makes her any less of a faker…

sekachu20sekachu18Shiratori Aira is a very quiet girl who hardly talks with other people, but it’s not like she is shy or has xenophobia, She even considers everyone at the dorm as friends, she just doesn’t feel like talking with them. For some reason, Renri seems to be an exception to this, and even her can’t quite explain why, just saying she feels “good” next to him. This officially makes Renri the responsible for her, but she can take care of herself just fine, so there’s no real necessity for Renri to look after her, which is why they are mostly seen playing together. This leads to the whole school believing they are dating.sekachu24sekachu23Akane Haruka is a super genius who who got a scholarship and is given her very own laboratory dedicated only for her research, which really puzzles me as to how Minori manages to be the number one at the school ranks…Whatever! Just like most genius from real life, she has terrible sleeping habits and have that slow way to talk. She is the one closer to the secret regarding the Celestial Globe. For some reason, nobody seems to notice her ears and tail, which are a left-over from when she wasn’t human…

Routes & Themes

sekachu02The Globe is related to every heroine on a certain way, it has the ability to give form to people emotions, creating a lot of distortions and creepy effects though each route. It makes for interesting developments for some routes, but some are considerably less than others.sekachu06Some events are connected and shared between some heroines before you enter a specific route, like usual, but it doesn’t take too long to end the normal route. As for the heroines, their routes are good, but to tell the truth, the drama in it feels so unnatural or even forced. Most of the drama scenes consist of cheap events like “curing a bird’s wound and helping it to fly again”.sekachu05There are some weird events too, like “instantly curing the lack of emotions in a girl by giving her cupcakes”. Maybe it’s the seiyuus fault, nearly everyone in the cast are beginners (more about that later).sekachu26Once you see all the endings, a cat (angel?) icon will appear in the “Constellation episode” menu, this will unlock Mitsuba Ao’s route, who for most part is just a sub-chara, but here she becomes a secret heroine! Oh Yeah! I can feel the “otoko no roman”! Her route is a must see!! It’s what I would like to say… actually, it’s just a very short and silly story that really doesn’t add much. It doesn’t even feel like a good reward for completing the game! Therefore, if you were expecting a “true route” of sorts upon completion, you will be disappointed. Every route already explains enough about the mystery behind the Celestial Globe, so I recommend to only play through the routes of your favorite heroines.

Graphics

sekachu17When I played Nursery Rhyme – Lump of Sugar’s first title – I found the graphics to be charming at the time, but with time, I got tired of how little the quality has improved since, which reminds me of Key’s case, where it seems they just learned how to use Photoshop better to improve the coloring, but haven’t worked to improve the drawing itself. For this reason, nowadays I find Moekibara Fumitake’s illustrations to have weak coloring with average shapes and uninteresting designs. But what do I know? After all, there are A LOT of people who buy those games just for Fumitake’s art.sekachu27There are some SD CGs too, but just a few, like one for each heroine. Not like I miss them, but pray tell, why bother to add them at all if there will be so few?sekachu28The designs here are not even a bit impressive and every single one of them gives you a feeling that you have already seen the exact same design before, specially Minori and Ataru! They look so generic that I want to punch them in the face! Maybe then they would look more innovative. Well, this is just the point of view of someone who played too many different Galges.sekachu14

Sounds

The music is mostly good, even though most of it use digital instruments, it doesn’t sound too “stocked” but, to be honest, some few tracks feel very low-quality, even a little “8-bit-like”, not that I hate 8-bit BGMs, but here it feels out of place.sekachu30The truth is, most seiyuus working here are beginners, the only exception being the one doing Haruka’s voice (Ui) who already do important roles in Galges since 2011. Nao’s seiyuu (SAKURA) have worked on a Galge before, but it was a short and weird Nukige. They do a nice job for most parts and manage to make the heroines sound very cute, but you can feel a bit of acting skills lacking when it comes to serious dramatic scenes, but it isn’t THAT bad to the point to bother someone, at least in my opinion…

Conclusion

sekachu21I admit it! I am no Lump of Sugar adept! I played most of their games, but I didn’t particularly enjoyed any of their recent works. However, I must admit that, while I did not love all the characters here, at least there was nothing for me to hate about any of them. There are good interactions between the protagonist and heroines and no one insults or treat each other like idiots. They’re all really good friends, which makes all routes really enjoyable and relaxing to read.

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17 responses to “Galge Review – Sekai to Sekai no Mannaka de

  1. So… I actually lost my motivation to read this one. Lump of Sugar’s games are growing on me, especially their recent ones.

    • What made you lose your interest? I believe this game is on par, maybe even better than some of their recent titles. Well, in my case, I like their old ones, specially their second game.

      • Same reason actually. Lump of Sugar’s “sugar” is too much for me. I liked their old games better, especially Itsusora. But anyway, since you’ve said it’s better than most of their recent ones, I’m going to give this a try soon.

  2. I’m going to have to agree with Sheltis on this one. After having played Tayutama, which was pretty much the best LoS title (even after Nursery Rhyme), and seeing decent titles like Hello Good-bye, these titles tend to form the standard for me.

    As I hint in my own review (and directly state in yours), LoS has been rather bland with their designing, in more than one way. Perhaps this game was one where everything kinda sucked (because I didn’t like it overall), but in the end, I’ll probably still play and review their games because of how much I love Mashiro and her Tayutai “tribe”.

    • Well, not that I find this game to be awesome (at least, I find it’s better than Gaku Ou or Magical Charming), I think it’s average at best. But I feel so bad when it seems my opinion could make a long-time fan give up from playing the game. Since he is a fan, he might enjoy a lot of things that I don’t, like the drawing…

      • Art is one thing, it’s one of the reasons why I might reconsider picking this up but after reading your review, the story sort of feels like… underwhelming. That said, I’ll probably still play it anyway. Don’t wanna miss a title from LoS. Hahaha

      • You COULD take this chance to play HGB and write up a badass review for it 8)

        Jokes aside, I see what you mean now. Generally speaking, your reviews tend to sound more favorable than mine, so in my perspective, it seemed as if you were praising this game.

        Regardless, I should still make an obligatory comment that when making reviews, it’s YOUR review–not someone else’s. Theoretically, even if you wrote up a rather negative review (since we all know how LoS decreased in quality recently), a wise LoS fan would be able to realize your intention of trying to compare this game with the “better” LoS games.

        Now if you want to appease the people out there who can’t realize that……
        I can’t help you there.

      • I intended to be negative, since this could be a very low-quality game compared with other LoS titles. However, while I think that some technical factors were lacking, the characters and settings were not horrible. Honestly, it is far from being among the worst galges I’ve played recently. That would be Timepiece!
        I seem to be unable to write very negative reviews. Maybe it’s because I already wasted my fuel of fury in other shit-games. Like Fate/Extra CCC. That title was offensive for me…

  3. I havnt played lump of sugar’s old titles, this is my first, but it’s been one of my favourite games ive played recently, didnt read full review cuz im still playing it, came here to check if nao had a route, was happy with that bit,

    Anyways, with the graphics, honestly, their style is quite interesting with the faded like colour, think its very beautiful, just a few of the shapes are a bit distorted, like Aira’s face on some CGs, and Kokoro’s face in most cases
    Well in general i think they did quite well on the graphics

    • Nao’s “route” has less than 10 minutes, has no H-scenes, character development nor revelations about the plot, so if you’re not in love with all heroines of this game, I recomend you to just grab a save data somewhere to unlock it, because I don’t think it’s worth to see all endings just for this little bit.
      It was Interesting to read your opinion about the graphics. I try to let clear my reviews are just about my own opinions and other people might have different ones. That’s why I “almost” always recommend people to play the games by themselves…Well, there are few cases where the game is awful enough to not get a recommendation…

  4. Well, tbh, I only liked Aira and Minori, and Nao, haruka wasn’t too special, and the imouto was kinda, well didnt really like her. But played them all to know the full story

    So yeah I finished it now, don’t really know how to get onto Nao’s route lol, Cant find this “cat(angel?)” icon 😦

    • ops, i mean Nao special, even if its 10 mins im looking foward to it >_<

      • If you didn’t find Nao’s little event yet, it is inside the extra menu, among the options to see CGs and H-scenes, there should be a option to be a screen full of constelations, I think it is called “constelation episode” or something like that. Inside this screen, it should be one incon which doesn’t belong, one that look like a cat. If you click on it, you will be sent to Nao’s route.

  5. Aira nuf said after doing her route uninstalled the game… she’s still my twitter background next to Miyuri who still remains as my twitter banner AND NO IM NOT LOLICON :X well not like shinn87’s degree

    • Totally together with you on the Aira fanclub! My favorite character for that game…Actually, the only character I like in that game!
      I am not a lolicon either. I like those “fushigi-chan” types, but they tend to be lolitas, for some reason…It’s not my fault!
      “shinn87”, huh? I think we could become good friends!

  6. question: how did you get the game in english?

    • Ah! Are you talking about that one screenshot with english text? That was just an edit I did to the jpg file. There’s no english translation for this game right now. Sorry for the misunderstanding…

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