Title: Starry☆Sky ~Autumn Stories~
Release Date: 24th August 2017
Age Rating: 15+
Length: 15+ Hours
Links: Official Website, VNDB
The autumn installment of the Starry Sky series focuses this time on the teachers, probably one of my least favourite tropes. It was always my least favourite of the seasons because I found the characters to be overly dramatic with forced “tragic backstories”. Was it the same thing the second time round?
I will admit that I actually enjoyed the games more than I remembered, particularly the fandisc (which I was never a fan of originally). The characters, while not necessarily my type, weren’t as annoying/unlikable as I thought they were which was a bonus. This is still one of the weaker seasons (in my opinion) but is closer in quality to the others than my younger self perceived.
The one area where I found the game lacking, particularly in the fandisc, was the addition of new characters (Tsukiko’s classmates) who take up so much screentime but are incredibly boring and feel like a cheap version of our beloved three idiots from the Summer games. I find it so weird why they don’t just have the other main characters in the series be side-characters in other seasons and persist in adding these annoying filler characters. It’s probably the cost of the voice acting.
Let’s start with Iku – whom I feel my younger self really didn’t give much of a chance. He’s the typical flirtatious (bordering on creepy tbh) type at first who, of course, has a tragic backstory to show why he has such a twisted view of “love”. I actually found that, despite his reasoning being slightly wack, he actually had some development and was a more interesting character than I initially assumed him to be. He does have a cute side that shows up (very) rarely too!
Kotarou was yet another character from the series that I didn’t particularly warm to. I remember finding him boring originally. After this replay, I wouldn’t exactly describe him as dull but he’s just not really my type? His route was decent enough and I enjoyed the kind of “subtlety” to his romance. I always found it weird that his story differed from Naoshi’s so much in regard to the whole student-teacher romance plot line.
His sister is pretty much the game’s only main side-character and she’s hilarious when she appears.
Maybe the sidebar of my blog gives it away but Naoshi has long remained my absolute favourite teacher route/character from otome games and is probably my favourite guy from the Starry Sky series (despite a surprising amount of competition). He’s the perfect mix of reliable, energetic, funny and adorable for me! His route probably is the most generic of the three, focusing on the taboo of a student-teacher romance but he comes across as more pure than your usual teacher type so he doesn’t come across as creepy at all. Naoshi is a very good boy, who’s story may not be the most amazing, but who’s personality shines through anyways.
As to be expected by now, the voice acting from the series continues to be one of the main draws, with all three main VAs continuing to be prolific to this day. Artwork was genuinely okay, although it did feel a little more “off” in this game compared with the previous two seasons.
My Score: 6.5/10
Despite acutely hating the teacher-student trope in visual novels, I actually warmed to this game slightly more than I remembered. The characters remain the most likable thing about the Starry Sky series, with this season in particular introducing some more melancholy/serious aspects to their personalities.
Naoshi will always remain a firm favourite of mine and is a breath of fresh air to the tired teacher character. If you’re a fan of the trope or are looking for an entry-level game to play in JP then I’d recommend this!
Sorry for the short review this week, I’m low on time to write and don’t have a huge amount to say on this game aside from the fact that it was pretty good despite being more dramatic than I may prefer. I only have the winter game to get around to playing now before I can wave goodbye to the Starry Sky games for another 10 years…
Thanks for reading!