Release Date: 25th Feburary 2016
Age Rating: 17+
Length: 35+ Hours
Links: Official Site, VNDB
At first glance, Kurumi Haruka is a quiet girl who just wants to live a peaceful life. However, she is being bullied by her classmates at her highchool and is forced to join the School Trip Planning Committee. While there, she meets four young men, whom she seems strangely drawn to. She then receieves a mysterious, somewhat disturbing letter that was apparently sent from her “past self” seven years ago. The other guys in the committee receieve this too but just what could it mean for the group?
Haruka is a very quiet and thoughtful person, who tends to keep to themselves. They identify as androgenous (non-binary). They live with their mother and brother, although tensions run high in the household. For some strange reason, they tend to attract creepy guys often, which makes other girls jealous and caused much of the bullying they face. They tend to look on themselves in a negative and harsh way, believing that they don’t deserve friends or kindness.
Sasanami Ace (CV Toriumi Kousuke)
Ace may initially appear to be a “Cool” character but he’s actually just an airhead who’s probably lost in thought. He’s pretty athletic and is the star of the school’s tennis team. His one true love is the carbonated drink “Karasu Coke”, which he spends hours trying to replicate at the juice bar of the family restraunt the group frequent. He likes Haruka because he finds them nice and peaceful to be around, unlike the others in the group.
Yumikura Neji (CV: Namikawa Daisuke)
Neji is the lovable (?) idiot of the group, who’s full of energy and probably the most outgoing. He’s a sprinter on the school’s athletic team and has ambitions of going to the Olympics one day. He claims that Ace is his rival so is always challenging him to duels/races. Neji takes an immediate interest in Haruka, and quite often attempts to flirt with her.
Kamizato Kyou (CV Suwabe Junichi)
Given his grumpy demeanour and frequent arguments with the teachers at their school, Kyou has been labeled as a delinquent. However, one you get to know him, he’s a pretty kind guy who looks out for his loved ones. He does many part time jobs in order to support his family and especially dotes on his younger sister. His hobby is tinkering around with his motorbike.
Sashino Shuri (CV Kaji Yuuki)
Despite his young appearance, Shuri is the same age as everyone else in the group and is probably the most mature. He’s a member of the school’s radio club but is its ownly member so has moved his tropical fishtanks into the room as that’s his other hobby. He’s generally very friendly but when he’s in a bad mood, he has a tendency to speak without thinking and can hurt those around him. He really wants to help Haruka escape the bullying that has been plaguing them.
Kurumi Masato (CV Midorikawa Hikaru)
Masato is Haruka’s older brother, whom is always there to offer kind words and a shoulder to cry on in hard times. He cares a lot for his beloved younger sibling and worries greatly about their current situation at school He’s a university student so Haruka doesn’t see him much during the day. However, for some weird reason, their mother point blank refuses to accept Masato’s existence, often shouting at Haruka whenever they bring him up in conversation.
Character Design and artwork for this game was handled by Wakatsuki – this appears to be the only game that she’s illustrated for but, looking at her twitter, she seems to do a lot of illustrations for light novels.
Opening: Hourglass – Toriumi Kousuke & Midorikawa Hikaru
Ending 1: Kami-Sama, mou ichidou dake – Orphée
Ending 2: Moshimo Hanashi – Orphée
Ending 3: If no Hakoniwa – Orphée
Ending 4: Kanousei no Memoria – Orphée
The game’s BGM was composed by Procyon Studio, whom have also worked on Bad Apple Wars as well as the Ken ga Kimi series.
I apparently forgot to take a screenshot of the game’s title screen but everything was pretty standard, with that pretty light blue colour scheme used throughout.
Similar to some other rejet games, there’s a fortune telling mini-game when you first start up the game, leading to some cute results.
I actually have a bit of an interesting(?) history with this game, originally I was so excited for it to release that I pre-ordered the animate set. However, after reading the reviews and seeing that this game is incredibly violent I figured that I wasn’t in the mood for playing it & tossed it on a shelf to gather dust. With 2020 being such a dumpster fire I figured that nothing could phase me anymore and decided that this would be the perfect time to play this
piece of trash game.
I will start with what I felt the game did best – the common route. It set up the story well, introduced all the characters nicely and built up mystery that should’ve been solved in the individual routes. It actually focuses a lot on Haruka’s experience of bullying and was a subject that was ~relatively~ well-handled here. As per usual, rejet’s character interactions are some of the most enjoyable parts of their games so the group dynamics are fun. The characters themselves are pretty likable for the most part too.
However, once you get to the character routes, everything literally goes to hell. The story is boring, repetitive, gory and just generally not particularly enjoyable to read. Outside of Shuri’s route, the bullying is never brought up again despite the situation technically not being resolved either which I found inconsistent. The romance in most of the routes is rather weak as well so there wasn’t even that as a redeeming factor.
Also, Haruka identifying as non-binary was a really interesting concept (this is the first commercial JP otoge to do this I believe) but it doesn’t make much difference to the story.
Essentially Shuri’s route is the only one of the main four (excluding Masato) that I enjoyed, probably because he stays the most true to his character throughout the whole thing and doesn’t have as much weird/gross stuff happen.
As far as the other characters go, I preferred them as side-characters in other people’s routes. What really surprised me though was how much I liked the Kuki brothers (aka the only relatively important side-characters). They had intriguing backstories and I kinda wish that they had routes – they deserve to be happy! Akira was my favourite~
The area where this game does excel the most is in the sound department. Like many of rejet’s more recent titles, this features binaural sound so is amazing when played with headphones on. The fact that the game has an A++++ cast probably helps in this regard but I genuinely can’t find fault with this area.
The music in the game was also of incredibly high standard – from the rejet-esque opening track, to the STUNNING ending songs provided by lasah & even the beautiful BGM everything was a blessing to my ears. I actually bought the soundtrack at the same time as the game for some reason (was there a shop bonus or something?) so I’ve been listening to the ending songs pretty much on repeat, someone save me.
Okay, that’s enough positivity for one post – let’s get down to the real question that this game brings up: Did rejet go “too far” with this game?
In my opinion, yes they did. Having played BWS & Dialovers I’m all too familiar with the darker aspects of rejet games, however, this game takes the child abuse from Dialovers, adds the gore from BWS & then turns it up a notch even further. I’m not disturbed by much but there were some scenes in this game that even I found highly uncomfortable to read.
Of course, Masato’s route is (in)famous for its main plot point essentially being disgusting. Putting this aside (because I honestly don’t even want to go into that), his route was just badly handled as a whole for me. The game’s portrayal of mental health problems (because I’m assuming that his “issue” was a mental health one rather than some magical bs) was horrendous. The worst thing is that I actually like Masato and lament over what character he could’ve been with better writing in a better game. Did he deserve to get a happy ending? Maybe not but as a brocon I enjoyed it either way.
One really picky complaint that I also have with the game is the fact that a lot of really story-important stuff is hidden away in the “Black Post Scenario” within the Special/Extra section of the game. This adds valuable backstory to many of the characters and should’ve been incorporated into their actual route rather than stuck here because I completely wasn’t paying attention to it until pretty much finishing the whole game.
The game’s “grand/true” ending was also a complete let-down – considering that the game is pretty story-heavy you would expect maybe something to clear everything up? Nah, you get a 15-minute beach episode that literally feels like an omake and doesn’t make much sense. They’re obviously banking on us not caring by that point.
While I like Wakatsuki’s art style, I feel like a lot of the artwork in the game looks either stiff or awkward which was a real shame. There’s enough CGs but did the below image really need to count as a CG????
My final complaint was the the game itself ran rather slowly, although this is a problem that I have with pretty much all of rejet’s PS Vita games so is to be expected. At least it didn’t crash! Also, for some reason, all my CG screenshots have a black border on the bottom but the rest of my screenshots are okay? Who knows what went wrong there but I’m too lazy to crop them all – sorry!
My Score: 5.5/10
Despite having initially likable characters and a thoroughly enjoyable common route, Moshikami oversteps the boundary between horror and just plain gross which unfortunately makes it unenjoyable to read for much of the character routes. Shuri is a good boy though!
Shuri >>>> Masato > Akira >>>>>> Everyone Else
Thanks for reading!
Oh boy you played it! xD Thanks for sharing your thoughts, it’s nice to see everyone’s takes on Rejet games in particular. I liked BWS and DWD but most of Rejet’s titles are just too much for me. This is the game where the one guy takes the protagonist’s hair out of the shower drain and eats it, right? Maybe I’m confusing it with smt else lol. A shame there was so much sexual assault in this one. If it didn’t have that I might have checked it out.
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Haha, yes that scene was from Masato’s route & it probably wasn’t even the weirdest thing he got up to lol
I definitely agree that rejet sometimes get carried away with their darker scenarios – to be honest, I probably wouldn’t have pre-ordered this if I knew what it was like.
Ooh, glad to hear that you enjoyed DWD! I’ve been meaning to go back and finish that one at some point this year 🙂
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I haven’t play the game yet and probably won’t in a long time (since I only play on PC) but what….. there’s worse??…. holyheck…
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Sorry for the late reply! It’s been a while since I played this so sorry if I’m fuzzy on anything.
Basically the hair in the drain thing was probably the *weirdest* thing to go down in Masato’s route (although I believe he also collects the heroine’s toenails lmao). But, while clearly creepy, when compared to the mentally and/or physically harmful things he did to the heroine I found it relatively mild I guess? I hope that explanation makes sense! ^^;