Galge Review – Himawari to Koi no Kioku

himawaritokoitokioku06MORE is a company that made some games that never really drew my attention, but since I played the demo for this one on a whim and didn’t find it horrible, I decided to play the complete thing. How did that go? Coming up next…

Story & Characters

himawaritokoitokioku05Motokura Yuu was a proactive young sportsman who had promising future as a soccer player, but for whatever reason, he just stopped practicing all together, abandoned the academic club and even harmed some of his friendships in the process.013_012Currently, he developed a crush for Tsukinoura Ai, a sweet and innocent girl who has a refined atmosphere. Even though she is very gentle and delicate, she keeps insisting she is a delinquent. Taking all this into account, it is a bit difficult to become closer to her…178_177It’s when Yuu makes an alliance with Ai’s friend, Oginohana Akane. They would help each other conquer their romantic interests. She has feelings for Hayato, one of Yuu’s old friends from his soccer days, who became kinda distant from Yuu after they stopped playing together, so he’s not up-to-date with the latest info about his friend. This naturally makes difficult to give support to Akane, leading her to complain and insult Yuu a lot. It’s during this chaotic relationship that he finds out Akane has an excellent singing voice.390_389Mizuoshi Kana is another of Yuu’s classmate and a childhood friend who is in love with him since always. She commutes to Yuu’s house to cook for him and spends most of her time there like it was just natural for them to be together. She is also a bit of a prankster and loves to tease her beloved one. She treasures the time when they had a bigger group of friends and dreams to go back to that.461_460Looks can deceive, and this applies to Hebita Shiori, who is Yuu’s classmate and not his junior. She is a weird one who doesn’t show interest in others, calling them “ghosts”. She usually stays all alone eating Pocky, but after Yuu attacks her with some “lucky-sukebe” (greeeeat…), they somehow develop a “friendly” relationship.

Routes & Themes

If you’re planning to get this game, here’s the first thing ever you need to do in order to be able to play it properly: Start the game→Select the option “system”→himawaritokoitokioku01Go to the “sound” Tab on the lower part of the screen→himawaritokoitokioku02Look for Akane’s face and give a click at the box beside the word “Mute”.himawaritokoitokioku03There! I just saved you from hour and hours of frustration! Now you can just pretend Akane doesn’t exist in the story! It works, since she isn’t actually too helpful to Yuu’s relationships, either! Unless you’re into this kind of thing, I would never recommend playing throught her route or even listening to her lines! Even if you have a thing for tsudere, she doesn’t worth the pain, since she takes too long to go “dere”, and until then, she is a stupidly annoying bitch!193_192Yes! She eventually falls in love with Yuu, which is to be expected, since she is one of the heroines, after all. However, her change of feelings is not the only predictable outcome in this game, and after a long time making lots of mystery and drama about it, the big reveals come out as nothing special. “Why is Ai so obsessed with becoming a delinquent?” Because she wants to rebels against her strict parents! Duh!029_028Some elements are overly-used plot devices from other famous games. Like on Shiori’s route. If you know the climax of Tsukimiya Ayu’s route from Kanon, you already know exactly what will happen during the whole route of this character.471_470Most routes end all of a sudden, giving you the distinct feeling of “What The Fuck?!”. It’s like the writers just didn’t know the right time to end the story, and they clearly don’t, because the last scenes never give a feeling of closure!

Graphics

210_209I like the art-style by Minamihama Yoriko with the assistance of Tsukuru, it’s the thing I most like about this game. It’s a simple style with a distinct color scheme that almost feels like it was done with pencil. The drawings are not extremely colorful like other Japanese artists, instead, the colors used on the hair and eyes can be surprisingly realistic, which means there’s no one with green hair and red eyes…481_480However, some of the CGs look really awful! What the hell is the problem with this sudden drop in quality? I suppose the bad ones were drawn by this “Tsukuru” person alone…

himawaritokoitokioku07 himawaritokoitokioku08Yes! There are some SDCGs as well. The heads are specially huge in this case, legs and arms are thin like sticks. I suppose they look cute and appealing for those who actually enjoy SDs, but since it’s me, I can’t say for sure…

Voices

186_185The voice-acting represent perfectly the “half-of-a-good-game” nature of this title. Some voices can be surprisingly good, like Hayato’s seiyuu, who can actually give a convincing dramatic scene by screaming desperately and crying like a crazy person on the right moments. There’s also Akane! She is a truly skilled singer! It’s quite impressive! Although I believe all the credits should not be given to her seiyuu – Tachibana Mao, but for Yumeno Yuki instead, who sings her main theme: “First Love”.373_372v2On the other hand, when the game wants to be awful, it manages to do so like it wasn’t anyone’s business! For instance, Kana’s voice (by Kisaka Rio) sounded pretty cute at first, but once I got through her route, she starts to sound more like a mother baby-talking her son, which was quite disturbing for me, giving this game’s genre. Sorry, Freud! I’m really not into this…himawaritokoitokioku04Then, there’s this dude. He’s supposed to be a teacher and I think he is named “Sakamoto”, but I can’t say for sure, since he’s voice-actor suck so bad that he can’t even say his name properly (it sounds like “Sawamoto” but the kanji is clearly for “Sakamoto”). His skills and the quality of his voice is much worse than the rest. Maybe they really wanted to give a voice to this character, but since they run out of money, one of the writers decided to do it himself, unfortunately, since his name is not Ishiwatari Daisuke, the result was horrible!

Music

022_021Some of the vocal tracks are pretty decent! Credits for the vocalist and songwriter Duca and the aforementioned Yumeno Yuki. Too bad there’s nothing special when it comes to the background music. There are a lot of .midi-like digital instruments, which means most of the BGMs sound too artificial.

Conclusion

042_041Why the Hell did I play this game? Maybe it was to let clear in my mind that the games by “MORE” are nothing to be bothered with. At least, the writing was just boring and predictable, instead of being painfully stupid, like most games that manage to piss me off…Wow! That was such a compliment!

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12 responses to “Galge Review – Himawari to Koi no Kioku

  1. I have been writing reviews for two years, and I bow to your ability to write satirically in just the right moments using the right words and right tone of voice. One of the reasons I still follow your blog is for your sense of humor, which I really want to adapt as my own.

    On that thought, looks like we have a pretty crappy game. Nothing mentioned about the protagonist’s soccer and the aftermath? This might as well be a random nukige with a random guy having sex with young girls for no reason, and where’s the fun in that?

    Though I do agree that the art is pretty nice in some cases (and stupidly horrible in others), looks like I’ll be passing on this game.

    • WOW! Thanks! I’m honored to know you want to follow my comedy, although most of the times I’m not even trying to joke about things…like thing with Akane’s voice…
      Galges that have a sudden endings with no real or satisfactory resolution for character’s arcs are common place recently, so it wasn’t actually what most bothered me…
      I hope those Galges start to get better soon…

  2. wooo twas a great time my laptop broke… pretty much I think this year’s offerings arent that interesting for me… well there’s aokana…

  3. I usually stay as a lurker but sometimes I just can’t stay silent when my favorite games and heroine for this year get bashed. I also made a short review about this game as an anonymous on 4chan, https://archive.moe/jp/thread/12871923/#12872107.

    First thing first, I understand Akane might be not for everyone. She treat protagonist like trash , has a crush on MC childhood friend just because “he’s cool” and not honest with her feeling. Just curious did you play her route properly? If you still hate her by then, than this game is really not for you because the whole game revolve around her and made for her ( yes, she’s the real main heroine)

    About the sudden ending, did you read the true route? It’s obvious why the routes ended abruptly because they are not “real” including Akane’s route. All of them happened in the もしも世界 created based from MC memories and there is a “time limit” on that world.

    I would agree the game is really lacking in quality control and production value, there are some typo, broken voice , some characters voice acting doesn’t match , extras are not voiced and sudden drop in quality. Well , MORE is not a big company so they probably don’t have that much budget in their hand but at least they did this game songs and music really well.

    Anyway, if you ignore the shitty production value this game is one of the best game made this year. I’m going to quote some Japanese guy review “茜を気に入ったならやらないともったいないです、今年最後に良い作品に出会いませんか?”. The game so far is well-praised in Japanese, I hope this game would sell well. So, MORE can raise their budget for the next game.

    • Thanks for your opinion! You are much more polite and calm about this than one would usually expect from someone with 4chan origins.
      Yep! Akane really isn’t for me. The only way for me to enjoy a route with a character like her would be if the protagonist paid her back tenfold (yep, she is not the only one to blame) and even so, she would still need to change her attitude sooner.
      And I reaaaally can’t recommend this game for most people even if her route is fantastic, because:

      “A game with 4 routes but there’s only one route that matters while the other 3 don’t add anything and are a huge waste of time?”

      “The only route that matters features a hateful heroine no one would normally befriend?”

      I can’t say those above are the makings of a good game. If the guys from MORE had a compelling story to tell about Akane, they should have made a game only for her! There are a bunch of really famous and good VNs out there that have this “kinetic novel” style, so there’s no problem with this.
      If she was the only heroine, I would never waste precious time playing beyond the demo version. It would only be a mmater that this game was not for me. I would still give a chance for this company and wait for the day they release a game without a heroine like Akane. However, now they lost my respect…
      Can you imagine how you would feel about this game if you hated Akane, or if Akane wasn’t even in the game? This was how I felt!
      BTW: I am not one of those guys who goes nuts because there’s a female character who isn’t in love with the main character. I would even be ok to play a route where you only work as a cupid for a couple. As long as it isn’t a Netorare, I’m not into that NTR thing, either…

  4. I can’t deny 4chan is the best place to be a dick on the internet but /jp/ VN general is the only decent place I know to discuss untranslated VN in english since other places like VNDB is full of people using machine translation or Fuwanovel is you know…Fuwanovel.

    So, I assume you didn’t complete the game or read the true route? Well, you still have Ai in your title screen so that’s probably it. If i read your other post you seem to loathe “abusive girl” so much and Akane probably beyond your tolerance. I also would say it’s pretty pointless to play this game if you hate Akane because the true route last few scenes won’t have any impact on you if you hated her. As for me, I loved Akane as a character and the true route recollection scene moved me to tears and i still get teary eyed if remembered that scene. The game pictured innocent 青春 romance really well for me.

    As for the Akane should be the only heroine, I think it’s probably because of the market demand out there. I remember Asairo got bashed because it’s only has one route and releasing game with only a single heroine probably will drop the sales a lot especially if the game is made by unpopular company like MORE.

    • Well, that sure was mature of you!
      There are many trends I dislike that are becoming really popular in the current Galge industry (one of such is the “abusive girl”), which is why it has been difficult for me to appreciate this genre…
      However, since this kind of heroines are really popular, I get many recommendations from people who say things like: You need to play this game until the end! It’s a “kamige”! So what if you don’t like this heroine? You will cry during her route! If you don’t cry, you’re not even human anymore!
      There are people who underestimate the importance of “how much you care for a character”. If bad things are happening with a character I despise, I will not exactly be “moved to tears” by watching it.
      Certanly the lack of money is a big problem, but when it comes to kinect novels, I believe the most important part is for you to create a single heroine who gives you the confidence she will be enough to sell the game for you. By including a bunch of useless routes makes it feel like those guys from MORE didn’t have so much faith in what they were doing with this game.

  5. “A or B is the best something ever” I really hate that people pretend to write a review about something as recomendation and the same time be so entitled with their opinon to state something like that.

    • “Someone who pretends to write a review as recomendation”? That sure sounds lame! I hope I never read one of those.
      There was only one time I did a review as recomendation…it didn’t go well at all!

  6. Gangrelion you should go a embrace a Chuuni stories, Garejei reviewed some good ones. Seems that most galge or dramas don’t please you much haha

    • Chuuni have too much battle scenes! I will be waiting until the Galge industry evolves enough to have battle scenes just like those in GGXrd Visual Novel mode (Story Mode), Once this happens, I will play all the new Chuuni games that I can find!

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