Galge Review – Doushite, Sonna ni Kuroi Kami ga Suki na no?

doshikuro06v2“Why do you like black hair so much?” is a LoveSim by Fire Works. If you never heard about them before, that’s because this is their debut title, which could kill a lot of my expectations, but HEY! I also love black and long hair, so there’s nothing to go wrong here! However, it turns out this isn’t a title only about a fetish…

Story

doshikuro07Kamimae Haruto is so crazy for women’s black hair that his parents sent him on a pilgrimage to a sacred mountain where a grotesque black-haired goddess is said to live. However, a sudden snowstorm almost took his life. On his last minutes, he meets with Iwanaga no Ichiyou Hime – the rumored horrendous goddess.Ariesbto_e01_001_00At first, she used a giant mask, but Haruto was able to see her face by making a final request before his death. Nevertheless, Haruto couldn’t care less for her face, since he was already charmed by her magnificent hair. Haruto used his last seconds to praise the goddess and finally, he cursed his destiny for not being able to experience true love during his life time, and how he would like to marry someone as pretty as that goddess. Ichiyou was moved by his true feelings and offered to “exchange vows” with him.doshikuro08The last thing Haruto remembered before waking up on a hospital bed was making an ancient matrimonial ritual. Therefore, that mystical encounter felt like a dream, until a month later, when the goddess of his dreams appeared before him once more to officially become his wife.

Characters

Ariesbto_e01_002_03Upon her second encounter with her future husband, Iwanaga no Ichiyou Hime reveals that Haruto actually died on that day, but she saved him by transforming him into her “familiar”, which means Haruto needs to fulfil tasks given to him by his master in order to receive more of her energy, or else, he will end up dead. Since Ichiyou believes in the “old ways” where women were like servants for their husbands, she doesn’t wish to order Haruto around and asks him to choose which orders she has to give him (pretty weird, huh?). This is because she enclosured herself on those mountains for centuries, which means she also suffers from anachronism. Her speech is also influenced by this, as people hardly understand her at first.Ariesbto_e01_003_02Overall, a very lovely heroine who cares for the protagonist more than anything while still keeping a strong and interesting personality.

Ariesbto_e02_002_03Houdzuki Urara’s family is a traditional clan who has an alliance with the Kamimae family for ages, to the point they even live at the same temple. Consequently, Haruto is Urara’s childhood friend and she is in love with him for as long as she can remember. Sadly, she is really bad at this “love” thingy, since she is the type of girl who would constantly punch her beloved one in the face until he would stop hating her (this actually happens…). “Clumsy” as she is with romance, she was the culprit who manipulated her’s and Haruto’s parents to send him to his death in the snowing mountains, only because the boy would only praise her hair. Obviously, she doesn’t feel bad for the result, since she doesn’t believe in Haruto’s story, after all, she happens to be an atheist…even though she works as a shrine maiden at their temple. Contrary to Ichiyou, she longs for a one-sided relationship with Haruto, where she is always on top, which is why she never gives ears to what her childhood friend has to say, which is why her Catchphrases are “Shut your mouth, Haruto” and “Do sleep-talking once you’re asleep”. Ah! She is also constantly punching him!Ariesbto_e02_003_02Honestly, Urara is not likable. But by making her route, you learn more good stuff about her! Like how she works as a waitress on the café her family owns in order to make ends meet (which means: special uniform!), or how she actually is a huge pervert who loves to play Eroges (just like every single person playing this title! Isn’t this sympathizing?). Doesn’t those stuff make up for everything? No! not at all…Ironically enough, on an alternative time-line where she isn’t in love for the protagonist, she becomes a bit more mature and human-like (but just a little bit…)

Ariesbto_e03_003_02Nakatsukunime No Sakuya Hime is Ichiyou’s little sister, and opposing her sister, she is a vastly known entity who represents beauty and works with the bounds of love. Instead of being arrogant about her appearance and status, she is actually very mature and selfless, which is connected to how she loves and respects her older sister more than anything, instead of showing disdain for her, like every other deity did in the old days. Yes! She is a siscon, but instead of treating Haruto badly, she accepts him almost immediately as she identifies him as “one who is loved by the gods” (people born with exceptional spiritual capabilities to easily communicate with the supernatural). She also judges Haruto’s love to be pure and believes that he would certainly be able to make her sister happy.Ariesbto_e03_002_00Unexpectedly, all those feelings for her sisters are redirected towards Haruto in an alternative timeline, where she is a mere mortal who was adopted by Kamimae family. Sakuya is always betraying expectations, but in a good way, since she avoids many irritating clichés! A very caring, mature and interesting heroine!

Ariesbto_sd13aTatarime Mizuha is a chuunibyou, but who wouldn’t be one when you got a surname that sounds like “cursed eyes”? Likewise, she believes to be possessed by the Death-god “Gouma”, from who she claims to have received the “death-touch” and the power to see visions of future deaths. Those powers are supposed to manifests in her right eye and right hand, which she hides with an eye-patch for medical use and some bandages. By taking those off, it’s revealed she uses a colored contact-lens and some doodles she did with a magic pencil. The first and last time she meets with the protagonist is when she was performing a ritual to get rid of Gouma, ON HIS TEMPLE! She lit a huge bonfire and screamed a bunch of gibberish during the night, which made easier for them to call the police on her, and that was it for her…Ariesbto_e04_002_01However, in an alternative timeline, Haruto decides to take on the matter himself by pretending to exorcise Gouma from her and charging money for the job. Unfortunately, Haruto’s plan backfire on him when Mizuha falls in love with him for how cool and mystical he was during the ritual and begs to become his disciple. This culminates in her forcing her way into the Kamimae residence, but this is actually related to some family problems she has. By choosing to involve himself in this matter, Haruto finds out he was actually involved on it from the start. Mizuha is usually a clumsy, dumb and reckless girl, but she is surprisingly mature and sharp when she needs to defend her hobbies and family (specially her grandmother).

Themes

Ariesbto_e01_001_04This could be a beautiful love story about “accepting yourself”, or about how a “flaw” is not actually something bad that needs to be “fixed”, as it can even bring fortune. Of course, it could also be about “true beauty”. But, since this is an Eroge, and since the player cannot see the “beauty that is inside” through Haruto’s eyes, we get a convenient excuse to why Iwanaga No Ichiyou Hime’s appearance is actually pretty stunning.Ariesbto_e01_009_03You see, during the ancient times when gods were closer to humans, the standards of beauty were completely different, which means huge lips, tiny eyes, flat chest and big nose were the ideal elements to a woman’s face, while someone like Ichiyou – whose got complete opposite features – was constantly insulted and humiliated. This is pretty typical for this genre, but at least, there’re some good points to it. For one, the gap with Ichiyou’s inferiority complex is usually cute and amusing to watch (Specially the way how she feels bad for every other female around her, since they are almost as “ugly” as her).Ariesbto_e01_006_05Obviously, this lame-excuse also comes with many plot holes. For instance, Sakuya explains she is still beautiful for the present era because she made many reincarnation-circles to take on the ideal forms of each era, but when we see a flashback from the ancient age of gods, she still looks the same…Ariesbto_e01_013_00Also, they try to pass Ichiyou as the ugliest shit ever during ancient Japan, like she was so ugly for those people, that she was treated like a freaking monster. Sorry! This isn’t convincing. It’s just silly! When I think about ugly people, I think about those who are ugly enough to be considered ugly anywhere and anytime. Like this old lady here:doshikuro09v2

Routes

doshikuro01The game is divided by 3 different “Seasons”. You start from the 1st season, naturally! Following by the 3rd season, naturally? No! In fact, this is pretty confusing! The 1st season essentially works as an introduction to most of the characters and has routes for Ichiyou and Urara, while the 3rd season has less supernatural elements and is more focused on the theme of family bonds, with routes for Sakuya and Mizuha.Ariesbto_e04_003_00While my favorite heroine in this game is Ichiyou, unfortunately, she needs to share screen-time with Urara, which is why my favorite season is the 3rd one, being quite a enjoyable season on it’s own merits, since it has a very heartwarming atmosphere with the ever-growing friendship between Sakuya and Mizuha, who are both interesting and charismatic characters. But more importantly, it’s also the season where Urara appears the less!Ariesbto_e02_004_04Finally, the 2nd season gets unlocked by completing everything else and it’s where the love-story between Ichiyou and Haruto gets a real conclusion. It’ also where the alternative timeline gets explained, thus, it can be considered a “True Route”.

Graphics

Ariesbto_e01_011_05Nothing impressive, but nothing bad. Satsuki Misuzu’s art is cute, but it’s a pretty standard style. At least, there’s not as many problems with perspective and proportions as I am used to see in most Galges. I also appreciate that this game has only one artist, because it makes everything more organized and professional.Ariesbto_e03_009_05Yes! As some have pointed out before: Even though one of the main themes is “black hair” most of the hair color you see in the heroines are actually a dark tone of blue or green. I don’t mind this! I remember the developer who used to make Galges with mostly black haired girls, and they are basically dead now. But rest assured! The people who made a pre-order can get a patch that makes every hair in the game truly black!!

Music

Ariesbto_e03_007_03Some pretty relaxing tunes, not too bad, but there’s not much variety, and some moments end up not getting appropriate BGM, like some dramatic and serious events that have a happy sound for daily-life moments playing at the background. It can get awkward sometimes…

Voices

Ariesbto_e04_022_00The voice acting is pretty good most of times. I like how Ichiyou uses an archaic dialect, but during the first hours of the game, I felt like even her voice actress (Ogura Yui) didn’t seem to understand exactly what she was supposed to be saying (this gets fixed later, when Ichiyou upgrade her Japanese to be closer to the current one).doshikuro03Momose Poko’s voice is too darn cute and childish to fit the character of a cursed death-god that Mizuha is trying to be, which ironically is great! Since the fact she wasn’t born with a super cool and grave voice feels even realistic. However, there IS an entity who is supposed to be badass and should be taken more seriously, but the dub is also by Poko’s cutesy voice, which doesn’t work…Ariesbto_e01_004_01It seems Ogura Yui also had hard times saying “Nushi-sama” repeatedly, since sometimes it sounds like she is saying “Onee-sama”. Once again, Momose Poko doesn’t get behind when she misspells “Kill” as “Akiru” when she needs to shout it repeatedly and quickly. This is hilarious for me, as it sounds similar to “飽きる” (Akiru), meaning: “To get bored”.

Conclusion

Ariesbto_e01_010_01Yes, this story doesn’t deserve any award! It’s full of plot holes, bullshits and Deus Ex Machinas to help tying the plot together, but this doesn’t mean this game doesn’t deserve any praise. I like most of the characters and I also appreciate how they tried to use different elements from the usual stuff we see in Galges. For instance, Ichiyou only transfers to Haruto’s school at the final 2 hours of gameplay, because school-life isn’t actually important in any route!Ariesbto_e05_002_00A pretty good game if you consider it was the first title by Fire Works. I will look forward for their next title, especially if there’s no Urara in their next one!

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7 responses to “Galge Review – Doushite, Sonna ni Kuroi Kami ga Suki na no?

  1. The ideal form of this era is a twintailed imouto. I am thankful for being born in the Golden Era.

  2. Actually I really liked this game, specially how are they take steps until having sex, like holding hands at first, then kissing on the cheek another day, then lips etc at the ichou’s route (I’m not counting the first fail as sex). While its not great, I think its better than most of moeges, but seems like no one cares about this since they are not interested in “black hair”. If it had a different title, I’m sure more people would play this and enjoy.

    Also I have to say that Ichou’s VA made GREAT job at her h-scenes, those moans were too hot for a human like me.

    • Yes! I feel the same about how it’s important to set the mood instead of just jumping ahead to H-scenes, and the developers behind this game understand this, which I appreciate.
      For those who seek for a solid storyline with a intriguing plot, this is not the right game. On the other hand, this is a pretty good game for those who enjoy slices-of-life with cute and amusing things.

  3. Charage with a theme of black hair and deity…

    Well, it all seems too predictable and after reading your review, it seems that it actually is. Won’t be playing this for the same reasoning as explained in Micchi’s post: not even black hair and if it’s a theme, then it’ll become inconsistent in the long run or turn out crappy.

    notthatIalreadyavoidcharagethoughIbetyoudidntexpectthat

    • To be honest, the first time I heard about this premise, it reminded me of that one episode from Scrubs: But, for my surprise, it was not nearly as silly as that. This game is a very good choice if you want a heartwarming charage. There’s even more depth for the characters than the usual.

      • Holy shit, you’re not even in the US and you know about Scrubs? That show is freaking hilarious and I thought it was only us ‘muricans knowing about it.

        That’s funny as hell.

      • I’m personaly more impressed to see you saying you like something that’s not Galge! I think it’s the second thing, the first one being the Gameboy Advance stuff!

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