So, as it turns out, I’m still grounded for loathing the most hyped Galge titles. As punishment, I must play only Galges that are not trying to make anything too profound or complicated, since they got less stuff to piss me off. Which means: More Charages for me! HOORAY! This time around it’s Amakano! Developed by Azarashi Soft, a subsidiary of Nexton, which is a huge brand behind popular names, which at least guarantee this game will be pretty-looking. Now, as for the rest of the package…
Story & Characters
You play as the high schooler Kaigakawa Yuuki, who have recently moved to a dormitory owned by his grandparents.Which means he will be living below the same roof as the mischievous Kanbayashi Mizuki, his senpai at the school he transferred himself to.He also befriends his kouhai Hoshikawa Koharu, the mascot of a tradicional Japanese café. She becomes pretty attached to him and starts to treat the reliable lad as her older brother.Finally, he meets with Takayashiro Sayuki, his classmate who is considered the prettiest girl in the city, although nobody ever tries to get too close to her because of her upbringing as a shrine maiden born in an extremely strict and respected family. Her harsh training and life style made difficult for her to make friends, but since Yuuki didn’t know and didn’t care for her position or her family traditions, he easily became Sayuki’s very first male friend.Now, Yuuki will need to face many challenges, since he instantly became the closest to the 3 most popular girls in the city. Will he be able to date one of them?
Themes & Routes
Although the protagonist gets a default name, you get to rename him. He will never be called by the name you give him, though. In other words: this is a pretty superfluous feature. The only time you will read his name is at his dialog boxes, because Mizuki will always call him “Kouhai-kun”, while Koharu will only refer to him as “senpai”. And how about Sayuki? She is the most convoluted one! At first she will call him “Anata-sama” (respectable you) and once they start dating, she will change this to “Danna-sama” (respectable husband). Such a complex character!What about the supporting characters? How do they call the protagonist? Well, there are no supporting cast in this game. Actually, there are Yuuki’s grandparents, Yuuki’s classmates, Sayuki’s parents, and a few others, but none of them is too important to the story and they don’t get much screen-time, anyway. Nevertheless, they don’t get any graphical representation (tachi-e) and most of them go unvoiced, so you probably won’t even notice them.This even feels weird some times, like Sayuki’s little sister! It feels like she would be important, but she only gets mentioned and nothing more…So, this title’s main feature is the “confession system”, after you get 100% of “sweet points” (actual value used in the game) with one of the heroines, you can choose to confess your feelings to her. Don’t be afraid to get rejected! This isn’t Sugar+Spice, so your confessions will always result in a success! So, what is the point? Nothing much, but if you choose not to confess and keep playing the game like you would normally do, you will eventually reach an event where the girl at 100% will confess her feelings to the main character instead.Therefore, this is just a little extra that lets you choose how the couple will begin their relationship. Many believe this is the most important point in a relationship, but since this has zero influence in the endings, it’s kinda pointless.This is a Charage to the core! The Routes have no big conflicts to them. For instance, The biggest obstacle during Mizuki’s route is the fact she will soon graduate, thus making it impossible for the couple to frequent the same school! Oh NOooooo! I’m so sad for them…Being the main heroine, Sayuki is the one with more drama during her route, which involves her family and their traditions. It’s the most complete route in the game, but this doesn’t mean it’s particularly moving or unique.
Big thumbs up for “Pikosui” who was in charge of every illustration used in the game besides the SDs you see in the Map, which are by Akaneya. Pikosui’s art is really pretty, his heroines are cute but they also look sexy, which is always a plus! Instead of using the ever popular “loli-visual”, he goes for a more mature style, which makes them look more like “soon-to-be-adults”. For once, I could almost believe that warning in the beginning that says all the characters in the game are over 18!Yes! All girls have giant marshmallows for breasts. This must be popular for the majority of Galge players, since it has become pretty common nowadays.
Since most sub-characters go unvoiced, you will mostly hear the 3 heroines talking during the playthough and no one else. Thankfully, they have nice and cute voices, but Namaka Umi and Akino Hana’s voices can get annoying sometimes…
A bit of jazz for H-scenes, a bit of traditional Japanese flute for Sayuki’s theme, “not too shabby” I would say. However, I’m afraid there’s nothing else. Close, but not enough too make the soundtrack interesting.
I wanted a game with likeable characters and a not-too-ambitions plot, and it was what I got. I‘m still a bit sad that nothing surpassed my expectations, though. In the end, this is the bare minimum for a Galge. At least it makes good use of the few elements it got. If you were after a lot of “iccha-love” this is the Galge for you! Another game I would recommend to be played on “auto” while you do other stuff, like writing a review!