[PC] 9 -Nine- Haruiro Harukoi Harunokaze Mini-Review

Title: 9-nine-はるいろはるこいはるのかぜ
Developer:  Palette
Release Date: 26th April 2019
Age Rating: 18+
Length: ~5 Hours
Links: Official Site, VNDB

Note: Because this is the third game in a series, I will be making reference to things that happened in previous game/facts that players are expected to know before playing this. Therefore, this review will contain mild spoilers for the first two games.

This is the third game of the 9-nine- series, this time focusing on Kakeru’s senpai Kousaka Haruka – a mysterious girl whom appears to be a member of the Rig Veda group of Artifact users, going by the code name of “Empress”. Her ability gave birth to another personality, an outgoing (if a little forward) ojou-sama character whom attracts every male within a close radius. Her true personality, on the other hand, is a shy girl whom almost faints if she even strikes up a conversation with a guy. Her ability allows her to issue commands to others that they must follow.

Similarly to the second game, this title doesn’t spend too much time getting the reader “up to date” with what has happened in previous episodes and jumps pretty much straight into Haruka’s route. This primarily involves working to try and get her to leave Rig Veda and join Noa’s Valkyrie Society. I actually really enjoyed the section of the game where we get to learn more about Rig Veda’s members because they’re actually quite funny at time. As revealed in the previous episode, we also met the group’s true leader so seeing that confrontation play out was interesting.

The thing that generally impressed me about this game was that it felt like the writers had improved on things that were generally weaker in the previous games. It feels like we get more action scenes, showing us the potential of these mysterious abilities, with some fairly well-written. The world-building was also still great, with yet more “mysteries” cleared up (and more uncovered, to be revealed in the final episode?).

I’m also pleased to announce that the romance in this episode is probably the best in the series so far (& definitely an improvement over Sora’s episode). With the main part of the game being so story-heavy, much of the romantic developments are left until very near the end so I guess to some they could feel like and after-thought but I enjoyed this. The game also did a great job with Haruka’s character progression – she’s not really a character that I liked particularly in the previous episodes but after finishing this all I can say is that she’s downright adorable!

One of the things that really makes the 9-nine- series stand out to me is the writer’s use of the actual mechanics of visual novels and how they relate to the story. Probably not the best way of wording it, but if you’ve played either of the other games you’ll know what I mean. This is continued in Haruka’s episode and I found the ending of the game in particular to be pretty interesting in this regard.

As per usual, the production values of this series and impeccable with gorgeous artwork, enjoyable music, great voice acting and a clean system. My only wish would be that Haruka had a couple more SFW CGs because it felt like she had fewer than the other two heroines (although I guess that makes sense when considering her Empress persona, haha).

Similarly to the previous episodes, Haruka has 3 H-scenes, all featuring that Live2D/eMote style of animation. One of the scenes actualy gets a little spicier than usual but it’s still pretty vanilla.

Final Thoughts

My Score: 8/10

With improvements made in most areas – such as action scenes and romance, as well as a truly enjoyable ending, 9-nine- episode 3 is the best in the series so far! I’d 100% recommend it to everyone who has played the previous games as you really do need to play them all (& in order) to get a full understanding of the story.

That being said, I’m very much looking forward to playing Noa’s game at some point soon. I do worry slightly that there is a lot of loose ends to try and tie up in one short game though!

Thanks for reading!

About Zettai Renai

Hello! ヾ(^-^)ノ Sometimes I write about Visual Novels. I particularly like cutesy/fluffy stories~ I also am eternally suffering in Enstars hell(˶′◡‵˶)
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