Developer: ALcot Honeycomb
Release Date: 30th June 2017
Age Rating: 18+
Length: <10 Hours
Links: Official Site, VNDB
One evening on his way home from school, Shu finds a strange young girl collapsed on the street. Not knowing what to do, he takes her home to make sure she’s alright. It transpires that this “young girl” is actually an immortal fox spirit by the name of Tomoe who has come to his hometown to dispose of the evil youkai roaming the streets at night. After a particularly brutal fight, her powers are diminished and asks for Shu’s help until they’re restored. Being dragged into a battle between evil spirits, youkai & the exorcists persuing them – just what awaits Shu?
Shu is generally a nice guy & goes out of his way to help Tomoe with her mission, despite how high-maintinence she may be. He used to be in the Kendo club at school but gave that up to focus more on exams. However, he discovers that his sword-wielding abilities may come in use when it comes to facing evil spirits.
Tomoe (CV Sakakibara Yui)
Tomoe is a fox-spirit that ends up staying with Shu. Fox-spirits in particular are known for tricking and betraying humans but Tomoe swears that she wouldn’t repay Shu’s kindness that way. However, she does use her powers to convince everyone that she’s a student at his school. Tomoe speaks in a pretty archaic way & knows little about modern technology, having avoided humans during much of her life. She is very much impressed by all kinds of sweets and desserts though. There is a legend that if a fox-spirit vanquishes a great number of evil spirits that they will become a minor god so that is her current goal.
Amagasaki Kasumi (CV Aji Sanma)
Kasumi is a transfer student and exorcist who ends up saving Shu from an evil spirit. She is incredibly wary of any youkai, so immediately takes a disliking to Tomoe and warns Shu that she’ll cause him trouble. She preferes to work alone and highly discourages Shu from attempting to help her out. Kasumi has a very quiet, almost stoic demeanor. She’s actually a half-youkai (half-Oni to be precise) which explains why she’s such a powerful exorcist. However, she views herself as a cursed being.
Himeji Shion (CV Misonoo Mei)
Shion is Shu’s underclassman and is one of his best friends at school, with the pair often hanging out in the afternoon. The only problem is that she is madly in love with Shu but he just hasn’t noticed her feelings! Even their other friends make jokes about how they’re already pretty much a couple. Shion has a very outgoing, almost puppy-like personality. She works part-time at a coffee shop that Shu likes to frequent. She ends up getting dragged into the supernatural happenings going on after being attacked by a spirit one day.
As far as main heroines go, there are two artists – Masaki Kei (Kasumi) & Sorai Shinya (Tomoe & Shion). Both have worked on various other eroge, including some of ALcot’s other titles. SD artwork was handled by Cocoa.
Opening: Akaneiro no Sora o – Mitose Noriko
Ending: Sore wa Kimi to Tomo ni – Mitose Noriko
BGM for this game was composed by Orikura Toshinori whom is a pretty prolific composer for visual novels.
The system for this game was very simple with no frills, etc. However, there was nothing technically wrong with it.
The game literally only has two incredibly obvious choices so you won’t need a walkthrough for this. There is a True Ending that you can play after finishing the three routes.
Given how much I enjoyed the previous ALcot Honeycomb title that I played (Satsukoi), I had reasonably high expectations for this. However, to not beat around the bush, they were definitely not met & the game in general just felt very short…
Give the game its due, it definitely set the story up nicely & all three of the routes had potential. However, I feel like most were underwhelming at best. Kasumi’s route was actually my favourite overall despite that fact that Tomoe’s is the game’s main route.
Starting with Kasumi, I felt like although she isn’t the type of character that I typically like, I actually found myself warming to her throughout her story. She’s not really just a one-dimensional stoic character and when you get her to open up you can see that she’s a brave young woman facing a lot of prejudice (mainly from herself) from her heritage. Her route may be a touch on the generic side at times but I still enjoyed it much more than I expected to.
Shion, on the other hand, actually had a pretty unique route that explains the lack of depth to her character, which I actually thought was pretty clever. However, even once her “problem” is fixed, she just doesn’t seem to have any personality so I feel like her route was probably rushed in the second half.
Finally, we have Tomoe. It’s quite clear from the game’s promo that she’s going to be the “Main Heroine”. Her route itself wasn’t particularly bad to begin with, and originally ends with a rushed bittersweet ending. Of course, that’s just not good enough & the creators felt the need to add in the true ending, which essentially just gives Tomoe a good ending. It doesn’t really add too much else to the story other than forcing a good ending in there. I think a better thought-out bittersweet ending would’ve suited her whole route better.
There are a couple of side-characters, with absolutely none really standing out in one way or another.
The artwork in the game was generally pretty nice – the side characters do look notably less polished though. There was a good amount of CGs considering the length & price of the game.
BGM was actually pretty nice & definitely had that wafuu feel to it, which definitely fitted the theme of the game. I also really liked the opening song – there’s a Kasumi cover version of it which is super cute too!
Each heroine had 3 H-Scenes, giving 9 in total. Content was the standard vanilla & writing was nothing special/interesting.
My Score: 5/10
Perhaps because of my previous positive experiences with ALcot, this game just didn’t live up to expectations which is unfortunate because the story, characters & ideas certainly had some decent potential. However, much of the routes felt quite rushed and the whole game just seemed so much shorter than what I was expecting, even for a mid-priced title.
Kasumi’s route would be my pick of the bunch but I wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend this game.