Developer: Unison Shift:Blossom
Release Date: 28th May 2010
Age Rating: 18+
Length: <10 Hours
Links: Official Website, VNDB
Have you ever gotten to the end of a character’s route in a game and just sat there wishing that it could be redone – that there wasn’t enough depth to fully flesh out the character and ideas the writers had for them. Well then, Kiminago is here to answer all of those wishes, taking Mayuri’s route from the original Flyable Heart and elevating it to the next level.
Perhaps the most unusual thing about this title is the fact that it can be played stand-alone without any knowledge from the original Flyable Heart. For those who have played the original, certain plot points and why the start of the game is ever so slightly different are things that are more meaningful/satisfying to fans of the original game but new players could easily just jump into this title if they like the sound of Mayuri.
In the original game, which was filled with fantasy elements, Mayuri’s route stood out like a sore thumb for not incorporating these elements into her route as much as the other heroines, mainly because her route themes are grounded in more realistic matters (namely, her strict and old-fashioned family). Giving her a seperate game really allows us to delve into the backstory of Mayuri and her family, showing us just how she ended up as the unique young woman she is now.
One of the things that the game does really well is balance plot progression with romantic progression and we get such cute glimpses of Sho & Mayuri’s relationship! I actually really thought Sho was a great protagonist with a lot of personality in this game and it was really heartwarming to see Mayuri realising that he cared and slowly opening up to him.
As I alluded to earlier, much of this game focuses on Mayuri’s pretty messed up family. They’re incredibly strict and traditional, with high expectations of Mayuri despite treating her like a servant. The story here may be nothing groundbreaking but is well-paced and presented nicely, with lots of little twists as you work your way to the truth lying at the heart of this game.
All of the members of the Shirasagi household were interesting, developed and played their roles well. I have no complaints.
This is pretty much a linear experience, there is one choice, with one bad ending which is worth reading for the plot.
Ironically, the one thing about the game I couldn’t decide if I liked was the ending – it does fit the game but it did make me feel a little underwhelmed at first (the game ends with a whimper, not a bang). However, after some reflection, it would be difficult resolving the game in many other ways while still retaining the realism that the game tried to keep.
The voice acting was of a high standard, I almost wish Sho was voiced but that’s a minor issue. The BGM was mainly from Flyable Hearts with some additional tracks. The opening song (Solitude) is particularly nice.
Again, a couple of CGs are re-used from the original Flyable Heart but I’d say 90% are brand new & this game has a high number of CGs for its length which was,of course, appreciated. The artstyle is as cute as ever!
Finally, H-Scenes. The game has 4 in total (with 1 being from the bad ending). The writing in these scenes was slightly better than usual but overall nothing particularly special. Some people may complain that this is a low number of scenes but as far as I’m concerned, this is the plot-orientated FH spin-off, I assume Flyable CandyHeart probably has more H-Scenes.
My Score: 8.5/10
Overall, this was a great game that shunned the fantastical themes of the original Flyable Heart and focused more on realism. If you’re a fan of the whole “rich and traditional super strict family” trope then this is a great example of how to do these routes right, with a lot of character development. Even if you’ve never played the original Flyable Heart, you can still play KimiNago no problem so no excuses!
I personally really enjoyed this game and grew to love Mayuri as a heroine through the course of the story. This is probably one of the best single-heroine games that I’ve come across.
Thanks for reading!