[PC] Sekai to Sekai no Mannaka de – Review

Title: 世界と世界の真ん中で
Developer: Lump of Sugar
Release Date: 31st January 2014
Age Rating: 18+
Length: ~15 Hours
Links: Official Website, VNDB

In preperation for his younger sister Kokoro coming to live with him, Renri decides that it would be a good time to give his dorm at Kaginomori Accademy a spring clean. Whilst tidying up the attic, he comes across a strange notebook containing an unusual key. It later transpires that the other students living in the dorm have similar keys, found in unusual places. Whilst getting to the bottom of this mystery, the group of friends discover secrets that may literally change the way they think about the world they live in. A tale of friendship, love and loss awaits those who dare to look a little closer…


Oumi Renri

Renri is a 2nd year student at Kaginomori Accademy and the caretaker of the Erdos dorm. He’s a kind, reliable guy who cares deeply about everyone that stays in Erdos. He takes great pride in keeping the dorm tidy, enjoys a bit of DIY and is a pretty proficient cook so is in charge of making most of the meals at the dorm. However, his kind nature has earned him the nickname of “mom”.

Oumi Kokoro (CV Sakura Aine)

Kokoro is Renri’s younger sister and has spent most of her life in hospital due to chronic ill-health. However, she’s recovered a bit and has decided that she wants to experience a full school life so goes to live with her brother. She’s a kind, cheerful girl with a positive outlook on life and cares deeply for her older brother. Kokoro quickly manages to befriend the other students in the dorm and is popular with her 1st year classmates. Kokoro really wants to help her brother out in some way so she starts learning to cook.

Tsukitate Minori (CV Haruno Iroha)

Minori is easily the most outgoing occupant of the dorm and can often be found chatting with the other girls. She enjoys teasing Renri and the two get along very well. However, once she sets foot on school grounds and goes through her “ritual” of fixing her hair bow, she almost changes into a completely different person. This version of her is softly spoken and the perfect image of an honor student so shocks anyone who knows her “true” personality at first.

Shiratori Airi (CV Aikaze Haruru)

Airi is a softly spoken, almost timid girl who is not great with crowds. She’s seen by many as unfriendly but as she and Renri were classmates in their first year at the accademy, they’re actually very close, to the extent that people sometimes joke they’re like a couple. Airi sometimes clashes with Minori but they are still friendly. Airi’s hobby involves whittling wood to make elaborate sculptures. She carries around with her a strange music box that is actually broken but appears to hold a special meaning to her.

Akane Haruka (CV Ui)

Haruka is the oldest student at the dormitory and is actually a researcher at the accademy, with a special interest in astrology. She has a kind, gentle personality but often gets caught up in her research and falls asleep in weird places. She can often be found watching the stars at night in the attic of Erdos.


The character designs and most of the artwork in this title was handled by Moekibara Fumitake, whom has pretty much exclusively worked with Lump of Sugar. Kanade Nakoto handled the SD artwork and has also primarily worked on other Lump of Sugar titles.


Opening Song: Hoshi no You ni Naritai – Kicco
Insert Song: sing a song – Aikaze Haruru
Ending Song: Recollections – Kicco

The BGM for this game was composed by Angel Note, a company that has worked on a huge number of games over the past 20 years.


The system for this game was pretty simple but effective enough. The only real interesting thing was the constellation system – clicking on each individual constellation will teach you a little about it. If you click the perfectly square one in the middle of the screen after completing the four routes of the game, you unlock a short bonus scene.

Another thing I enjoyed was, of course, the sprite viewer.

My Thoughts

I actually enjoyed the first Lump of Sugar game that I played (Nursery Rhyme) and was excited to see what they could do in their more modern titles. However, if I’m being honest, this game was pretty disappointing in more than one aspect…

I think my main problem with the game is that it’s just pretty confused. It tries to be a good slice of life game, which it actually succeeds in at the start and the common route was a fairly enjoyable read. However, the problems come in the character routes when the game tries to go for a more sci-fi type of story but does an absolutely terrible job in actually making it coherent. There’s a bunch of plot holes and things that just aren’t really explained.

One thing that was pretty interesting was that each heroine’s route could be summed up with one “key word” which was handily mentioned in the opening movie.

Let’s start with Haruka, who’s route focuses on her research into the “Distance” between people. Now, this is not just physical distance but also metaphorical/emotional distance (which doesn’t really make much sense but okay). And the answer to this question is just as cheesy and boring as you may expect. Honestly, this route just felt like a lot of unnecessary drama that was dragged on forever. This was such a shame because Haruka as a heroine was super cute.

Airi’s theme is “Song”, which sounds like it should be more sensical. It’s not. The truth of her route is honestly like the author took plot points from 5 of their favourite anime and tossed them together. At best, the insert song is beautiful and Airi herself isn’t a bad heroine but literally everything else in her route stops me enjoying it.

Minori’s theme is “Friend”, which is actually the most loosely related to the content of her route. Considering the utter drivel I’d read before this, I must admit that I had little to no hope for this route but I actually ended up being pleasantly surprised by it. The “mystery” was fairly interesting and kept me guessing for a while & it wasn’t some overly fantastical story, there was an element of realism that made the route more enjoyable.

Finally, we have Kokoro & her theme of “Live”. This was meant to be the game’s true route, and there were parts that were enjoyable. However, like most of the routes, there was just too many plot holes and I absolutely hated how much of a cop-out the ending was. It really left a sour taste in my mouth and ruined what little enjoyment I had for this game.

The side characters were pretty forgettable but there’s not too many so it wasn’t a big deal.

Let’s be honest here, one of the main reasons to pick up this game is probably the artwork. I’m a big fan of Moekibara’s style so I’m inherintly slightly bias but I will say that this possibly wasn’t the Lump of Sugar game with the best CGs. Some CGs maybe felt slightly rushed? (Much like the rest of the game ^^;;;;)

The BGM and voicing was fine but nothing particularly memorable. The vocal songs in the game are all absolutely top-tier though, with Kicco’s vocals being as strong as ever. The ending song is my personal favourite but I enjoyed all 3.

There were 4 h-scenes per heroine, giving a total of 16. The content and writing was pretty much what you’d expect from this type of game, nothing particularly good/well-done.

Final Thoughts

My Score: 4/10

A bit of a harsh score? Perhaps, but aside from the common route + Miori’s route, I enjoyed very little about this game. I just wish scenario writers would stick to a simpler idea and execute it very well, rather than trying to implement every idea that comes into their head in the same game. It’s a shame because this title did have potential to be a decent enough chara-ge.

Playing this did put me off Lump of Sugar for a few months but I do intend to get around to playing Tayutama soon, which is considered one of their best titles so I won’t make judgements on them as a company until after that.

Overall, despite some good points, I wouldn’t recommend this game. Go spend your time and money on something more enjoyable.

Thanks for reading!

About Zettai Renai

Hello! ヾ(^-^)ノ Sometimes I write about Visual Novels. I particularly like cutesy/fluffy stories~ I also am eternally suffering in Enstars hell(˶′◡‵˶)
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