Release Date: 14th Feburary 2006
Age Rating: 18+
Length: 15+ Hours
Links: Official Website, VNDB
From the moment the orphaned Nonosaki siblings were adopted into his family, they have been irreplacable to the protagonist Hatoba Kazuki. They started as friends, progressed to siblings and he eventually began to develop romantic feelings towards the older sibling Akiho.
On the day before summer vacation, Kazuki finally gathers his courage and confesses to Akiho, who accepts and the pair finally become a couple. However, soon after, she becomes extremely unwell with pneumonia and suddenly passes away. Kazuki and younger sister Tsubasa struggle with their grief but eventually make the decision to return to school a few months after.
Once he’s there, he begins to see strange glimpses of Akiho – sitting at her desk, interjecting into his conversations, worrying about the siblings at home. Eventually he convinces himself that he’s not going mad and confronts this strange apparition. It turns out that Akiho has returned as a ghost due to having died with strong feelings of regret.
With his beloved Akiho back before him, will Kazuki and Tsubasa finally be able to get back to normality or is there yet another cruel twist of fate awaiting them?
Kazuki is a second year high school student whom is a member of the gardening club. From being in the same class and club as her, to living with her, his entire life revolved around Akiho so he was devestated when she passed away. He tends to be slightly dense at noticing other people’s feelings but is still a pretty kind guy.
Nonosaki Akiho (CV Nishida Komugi)
Akiho is the older of the two Nonosaki sisters and could easily be considered the life and soul of the party. She’s beautiful, intelligent, outgoing and athletic, generally succeeding at anything she puts her mind to. Her and Kazuki are exceptionally close, even before they started dating and they often quip at each other like an old married couple. She claims that she returned as a ghost because she was worried about her siblings not being able to cope without her but is very light-hearted about the matter.
Nonosaki Tsubasa (CV Miru)
Tsubasa is the younger of the two Nonosaki siblings and is used to spending her life living in her sister’s shadow and is secretly quite jealous of her. While she may be below average at most things, the one thing that she excels in is acting and is a member of the school’s drama club. She has had feelings for Kazuki for many years but, after learning that he loved Akiho, she decided to wholeheartedly support him and Akiho’s relationship. She was unable to see Akiho’s ghost when she appeared before Kazuki.
Minatogawa Tamami (CV Aya)
Tamami is a first year student and is Tsubasa’s classmate/best friend, although, Tamami secretly has romantic feelings towards Tsubasa. She really dislikes men, which includes Kazuki and is pretty rude to him any time they happen to meet. She works as an exorcist for a local shrine and spends most evenings banishing spirits that have wandered into this world. She has little empathy for spirits and tries to banish Akiho the first time she meets her.
Chihaya (CV Maki Izumi)
Chihaya is an unusual girl who can be found taking care of the plants in the gardening club’s greenhouse. Despite wandering on the campus, she’s not actually a student at the school and claims to be an immortal god of misfortune. Chihaya tends to speak in third person and runs away as soon as she sees people, as she believes that anyone that gets too close to her will have despair befall upon them. As she’s spent most of her years living in woodland, she knows nothing about modern technology.
Artwork for this game was handled by Kusukusu, whom has primarily worked on other Palette titles.
The title screen actually starts off as just the background and the heroine sprites are added as you finish their routes. I’m dumb and didn’t take a screenshot before completing the game.
The common route is told in 5 main chapters & 1 side chapter. There’s quite a lot of choices so would recommend a guide.
As with most Palette titles, there’s a sprite viewer but unlike their more modern titles, you basically get to scroll through each sprite that the character has without customising it yourself, if that makes sense?
This game does also have a section where you can view promotional images for the game – this was such a cute feature that I have certainly made use of!
Given that Palette seems to be one of the eroge companies who’s games I play the most and Moshiraba is considered one of their better titles, it’s no surprise that I picked up this game. With its setup screaming naki-ge, did this game deliver an emotionally charged story?
First things first, I will say that the first 4 chapters of the common route are absolute perfection – they’re dramatic, emotional yet also give us good character development and even have a good dash of humour. If the rest of the game was to this standard then it would easily be in my top 5 vn of all time. Be prepared to cry during some of these as parts of these chapters were the areas of the game I found the most heart-wrenching.
However, chapter 4.5 (the bonus chapter) completely kills the mood by inserting fanservice-y H scenes in for each heroine, which I wasn’t a huge fan of (with exception of Akiho). The fifth and final chapter of the common route was your typical “preparing for the school culture festival” which was fine enough but just not quite as good as the game had delivered before.
In regards to characters, I’ll start with Akiho whom is clearly presented as the game’s main heroine. With the way the story was set-up, it was always going to be difficult to write her route in a way that wasn’t ridiculous. I think the writer did the best that they could with her story but it wasn’t one of my favourites, with the ending feeling a little predictable. As an actual heroine though Akiho was that perfect mix of adorable and hilarious. She really brightens up the “daily life” scenes and provides much of the game’s humour. I can see why she was meant to be so popular!
Then we have younger sister Tsubasa, whom is probably the most interesting heroine in the game. She fufils the trope of being a doting and dutiful little sister but almost has a darker, more selfish side to her personality that I found absolutely intriguing. With younger sisters being one of the more popular eroge tropes, it’s difficult to create a character that feels unique like Tsubasa. Her route was probably my favourite in the game – it’s not your typical imouto route or how you would expect her route to go. I don’t want to spoil it but I’d definitely recommend Tsubasa & her route to fans of younger sister characters who want something a little different to read.
Then we have Chihaya, the eccentric minor god who has a hilarious lack of common sense at times. She’s super sweet and I found her to have the other excellent route in the game, which I won’t say much about because ~spoilers~. She’s a good girl though & deserves to be happy!
Tamami is the final main heroine, who easily has the worst route. The romantic progression in her route feels super awkward because of her feelings for Tsubasa and I didn’t really like the direction that they took her route. It is probably the shortest though & her dere side is super cute so it’s not all bad. She’d probably be better as a side character.
There’s actually not too many side characters, with most of them playing their part decently well. The only exception is classmate Ayano, who gets super screwed over. I wish she had a route rather than Tamami!
The artwork by Kusukusu was very nice (especially considering that this game is nearing 15 years old!) and each heroine has enough CGs.
Voice acting was also pretty nice, no complaints.
The music in this game was actually above average, with the extensive use of vocal songs very much appreciated. This really helped add impact to the emotional scenes.
There were 3 h-scenes per heroine, with both the content and writing being pretty average for this type of game.
My Score: 8.5/10
Despite the incredible start to the common route, the game never quite manages to reach those highs again (Tsubasa’s route does come close though!). However, overall it’s still a very good game with memorable heroines + routes and plenty of emotional scenes befitting this type of game.
If you’ve played other Palette games and enjoy their style then you’ll probably like this. Otherwise, fans of dramatic love stories or fans of younger sister characters in particular would likely enjoy this title~
Thanks for reading!
Never played anything from Palette before but this is now on my list. Shame the tone was ruined near the end of the game but I’m glad the majority of it was amazing!
LikeLiked by 2 people
Yeah I wish the game maintained the high standards it set for itself but the whole thing was still a worthwhile read 🙂
I’m slowly making my way through Palette’s back catalog – haven’t been disappointed so far!
LikeLiked by 1 person