Title: アマカノ ～Perfect Edition～
Developer: Azarashi Soft
Release Date: 28th October 2016
Age Rating: 18+
Length: ~20 Hours
Links: Official Website, VNDB
In order to help out his grandparents, the protagonist of this game Yuuki uproots his life in the city and moves to the small town of Yomase-machi, a town that is blanketed in snow for much of the year. While getting to grips with a different way of life, he meets three girls – Sayuki, Mizuki & Koharu. Spurred on by his grandfather, Yuuki decides to try and find love in this wintry tale.
Yuuki spent much of his days just going through the motions and had no qualms about uprooting his whole life and moving to Yomase-machi. He has a lot to learn about living in such a snowy place – such as the correct way to shovel snow – but he’s keen to learn and help out everyone the best he can.
Takayashiro Sayuki (CV Kimura Ayaka)
Sayuki is a classmate of Yuuki and is also a shrine maiden at the local shrine. Her family have looked after the shrine for generations and she is expected to do the same. Being from such a well-known and respected family, people treat Sayuki almost as though she’s above them (leading to the nickname Mikohime). However, this means that most people around her age are too afraid to talk to her, leaving Sayuki lonely and lacking in social skills. She’s a kind-hearted girl who is the first person to offer help but gets flustered very easily when Yuuki tries to talk to her.
Kanbayashi Mizuki (CV Manaka Umi)
Mizuki lived with her older sister in the town until her sister graduated school and moved away, which meant that Mizuki has now moved in with Yuuki’s grandparents. She’s a year older than Yuuki and treats him almost like a younger brother, taking great delight in teasing him. Mizuki can often be found drinking tea and eating sweets whilst sitting cosy under a kotatsu. She’s good friends with Koharu and is popular at the school.
Hoshikawa Koharu (CV Akino Hana)
Koharu is an underclassman who (literally) runs into Yuuki in the town’s shopping district one day. She’s a bright and cheerful girl, although can be excitable at times (almost puppy-like). Koharu works as a saleswoman/waitress at her family’s Japanese Tea House and is particularly adept at making Japanese sweets, having learned from her father. However, she is mysteriously terrible when it comes to making Western sweets.
Character design and artwork for this title was handled by Piromizu, whom is probably most known for their work on the Amakano series as a whole. The SD artist for this title was Akaneya.
Opening: Snow Crystal – Duca
Ending: Only my Love – Ooshima Haruna
The BGM for this title was composed by peak a soul+, whom are probably one of the most prolific composer groups in eroge.
Since this is the perfect edition (which is a free patch btw!), it adds e-mote character sprites (essentially blinking and lip sync). If you enter a certain string of button presses on the title screen then the “Koharu Command” icon appears and allows you to apply a couple of fanservice-y sprite patches.
The choices in this game are map-based, and you basically just continually pick the same girl each time to get into her route. Once you reach a certain point in the story, the game gives you an option to confess to that heroine. If you don’t choose to confess within the given timeframe then the heroine will confess to the protagonist instead, which was a cute little feature.
The affection meter for the heroines is called the Amakano Graph. It actually increases throughout their route (despite their being no choices) and clicking on each heroine’s image gives a little voice line.
When it comes to romantic visual novels, I’m pretty picky. There’s a lot about most moege that I dislike (boring characters, routes that are overly-dramatic for no reason and misplaced H scenes to name a few). That being said, with its wintry setting and pretty artwork, I was immediately drawn to Amakano, was it as sweet and romantic as the title suggests?
To put it simply, yes, the romance in this game is clearly the main draw. Forget over-dramatics as each heroine route focuses on the budding relationship between her and the protagonist, with of course as many fluffy scenes as you’d want in this type of game. I personally enjoyed this a lot and thought the game created a really cozy/relaxing atmosphere which I can see myself wanting to revisit in the future. For those who want a more plot-heavy title then Amakano certainly isn’t for you but the game definitely achieves what it sets out to do.
As with all titles in this genre, the most important thing is the heroines. Amakano does a good job here, making them all unique and appealing in their own way.
Sayuki is definitely not my usual “type”, probably falling under the yamato nadeshiko archetype. However, I found her shyness and the way she opened up to the protagonist throughout the common route to be really endearing. Her route probably has the most “plot”, involving her family and their views involving the lineage of their shrine. I suppose it did take a while for her father to give his seal of approval to their relationship but it made the payoff even better.
Mizuki is definitely edging closer towards the heroines I tend to gravitate towards and her playful, teasing attitude towards the protagonist was hilarious at times. She definitely gives off “onee-san” type vibes and seems almost like the most difficult nut to crack when it comes to seeing her “real” personality but when you get there it’s so good!
Now, Koharu is the heroine that I simply knew I’d like. She’s utterly adorable and her cheerful personality never fails to brighten any scene where she appears. She was easily my favourite heroine from the game!
As far as side characters go, they’re pretty bland. None of them have sprites (even important ones such as the protagonist’s grandparents) which was a little disappointing.
The artwork in the game was of a very high standard, with a decent number of CGs per heroine. There were enough non-H CGs as each heroine had 2 SD CGs each as well. However, I really wish there were some group CGs!
The BGM was fitting and non-intrusive but not particularly memorable. The opening song is very nice though. I thought all three heroines had very good voice acting.
Each heroine had between 5-7 H scenes, which I would agree is a higher than average number. However, this is probably offset by the fact that there’s only three heroines in the game, meaning the overall number is what you’d normally expect. It also kinda follows the trend I’ve noticed with more modern eroge having a higher number of H scenes, which is fine.
The contents of the H scenes themselves were pretty vanilla but actually struck a good balance of between cute, romantic & erotic, with each heroine remaining in character during the scenes and having certain quirks to differentiate their scenes, thus making it seem like the developer actually put some semblance of effort here.
My Score: 8/10
Amakano is a simple game in terms of premise – it involves building a sweet and fluffy relationship with your chosen heroine in a cozy snowy setting. It’s nothing particularly groundbreaking but is well-written and charming enough to definitely make it worth reading if any of the heroines take your fancy.
I actually bought this game whilst it was on sale (what a surprise) but definitely plan on checking out the fandisc and the rest of the Amakano series during the next sale! (Sorry, I’m a real cheapskate!).
Sorry for the short review but essentially if you like the look and sound of any of the heroines and want a relaxing read then pick this up.
Thanks for reading!