Otome Visual Novel Releases of September 2014

New Releases:

~ Binary Star (4-9-2014)
~ Kin’iro no Corda 3 AnotherSky feat. Amane Gakuen (25-9-2014)
~ Satomi Hakkenden Hamaji Hime no Ki (25-9-2014)
~ Clover Toshokan no Juunin-tachi (26-9-2014)

Ports/Remakes/Re-releases:

~ Torikago no Marriage Divided Route Download Edition: Chapter 3. Souichi & Tsukasa [R18+] [Link] (EDIT: 5-9-2014)
~ Hanasaku Manimani (PS3/PSP  PSV) [Link] (25-9-2014)
~ Kami-sama to Koigokoro (PSP  PSV) [Link] (25-9-2014)

A pretty dull four-a-month this time around. The only game I’m interested in is Binary Star, and that includes the ports. That being said, it’s worth noting that none of the other new releases seem bad– they just fail to grab my interest because of their stories and/or characters not being what I look for. For this reason, I felt a lot of struggle in sharing my opinions on them, so hopefully at least the news itself will be useful. Next month is looking to be bigger in terms of new releases, so there’ll be a lot more to report!

Binary Star

Release date: 4-9-2014
Developer: Otomate
Publisher: Idea Factory
Artist: RiRi
Platform: PlayStation Vita
Age rating: CERO C (15+)
Official website: http://www.otomate.jp/binarystar/
VNDb link: http://vndb.org/v14787

* Cast *

~ Kamiya Yun – Oosaka Ryouta
~ Konomi Rayla – Sakurai Takahiro
~ Haruno Mict – Ono Kenshou
~ Kanou Tchicai – Suzumura Ken’ichi
~ Nanase Izuki – Yoshino Hiroyuki
~ Sakurai Nachi – Aoi Shouta
~ Hyuuga Jiro – Fujiwara Keiji
~ Kurusu Kiri – Ooshima Ryou
~ Niina Michiru – Irie Reona
~ Nazo no Seinen (Mysterious young man) – Toriumi Kousuke
~ Yukino Chiaki – Suzuki Yuuto
~ Asagiri Ayumi – Tsuda Kenjirou
~ Tefutefu – Akahori Kanoko

 

* Plot Summary *

When she was 7 years old, what Sorano Fuu (the protagonist) saw in her living room were the lifeless bodies of her beloved parents, who had died at the hands of an unknown culprit.

Taken in by a group of people known as “Tenshi(1)“, Fuu asks them why her parents were killed. One of the Tenshi said to the young Fuu,

“Your parents were “Dealers(2)“, who are people that sell “Hoshi(3)“. That is why they were killed.”

Her parents were criminal vendors of the illegal-to-sell, taboo Hoshi on a large scale. This truth greatly troubled Fuu, and so she made a vow- to atone for her deceased parents’ crimes.

Now 20-years-old, Fuu is currently a Tenshi who protects Akatsuki(4), a town in Cloud(4).

There was something she saw through the many missions she completed with her colleagues. That “something” is their sad pasts, all of which revolve around Hoshi.

Still bound by the past; their curse, will they be able to break free?

 

1) Tenshi (天遣) is one of the many divisions of the Tenjou Organisation (Tenjou Soshiki), the latter’s purpose being to undertake matters concerning the control of Hoshi. The name itself is an allusion to the Japanese for “angel”, which is also pronounced “tenshi (天使)”. Heavenly themes seem to be prominent in Binary Star, with those high up in the Tenjou Organisation rumoured to be referred to as “Kami (神)”, which is Japanese for “God”.

2) Very similar, if not the same principle as drug dealers in real life. The “Dealers” in Binary Star seem to exclusively be a name for those who partake in the dealings (all of which are illegal, since Hoshi is an outlawed substance) of Hoshi. Some Dealers operate as an organisation.

3) “Hoshi” means “star”, though the kanji for it isn’t used in Binary Star. A candy-like commodity that was created in Cloud about 50 years ago. Those who take it get to see “sweet dreams”, but it adversely affects one’s mind. The description in Japanese is “kokoro wo mushibamu (心を蝕む)”. Without more direct explaining, “mushibamu (蝕む)” can be interpreted literally or figuratively. One definition of “mushibamu” is “to adversely affect”. However, it can also mean literally being eaten away at. I’ve left it at “adversely affects”, since it gets the point across of Hoshi being a dangerous substance.

4) Meaning “dawn”, though it is spelled in katakana rather than its kanji. Located in Cloud, Akatsuki is the town Fuu and her colleagues are tasked with the policing of. Though small, it’s a lively place that’s doing fairly well.

5) Cloud is the country where Fuu and her coworkers live in. Due to Hoshi, Cloud is in a great state of disorder, and has been deserted by other countries.

 

* My Thoughts *

In spite of the colourful, pretty art, the nature of the plot has a dark, depressing feel to it because of the subject matter. The art style is certainly not interesting, since it’s quite similar to Snow Bound Land, Amnesia, Glass Heart Princess and the like; it’s nothing unique, though pretty. The protagonist isn’t like the typical Otomate ones, though I hope care was applied to Sorano Fuu’s character to avoid making her a Mary Sue. Even so, this already increases my interest in Binary Star. The Tenshi seem to be police-like workers, but their uniforms look more like they’re ready to attend a party! Oh well, this is an otome game, plus I complain about something like this every month. I doubt the unsuited-to-occupation outfit thing will ever change.

Another plus is how the characters are, for the most part, of believable ages in regards to their occupation. I hope that these adults will act like actual adults, not high school heroes with blown-up ages to better suit the setting. Though I’m not partial to anybody in particular, I can’t help but wonder what Fuu’s coworkers have been through, seeing as the plot hints at everyone having their own dramatic reasons for becoming a Tenshi. Tragic pasts can easily come across as puerile, but if executed well, it’ll sure make for a compelling read.

I’m curious about how the story will resolve, especially since it’d be highly improbable that Hoshi will ever be phased out. There’s a vast array of characters working for Tenshi in different ways- it’d be interesting to see how they all work and interact with one another. As usual, the cast is spectacular, but with Binary Star, it’s there a few uncommon names, which is always great as it’s tiring to hear the same 20 people.

Out of the four games coming out this month, I think Binary Star is looking to be the best. Incidentally, Famitsu gave Binary Star a “silver rating” of 31 (9/8/7/7; one point shy of the gold rating). Even though I was already interested in Binary Star to begin with, I felt that it’s worth mentioning, because it’s rare for otome games to get good scores let alone much attention in major video game publications.

 

 

Kin’iro no Corda 3 AnotherSky feat. Amane Gakuen

Release date: 25-9-2014
Developer: Koei Tecmo
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Artist: Kure Yuki (呉 由姫)
Platform: PlayStation Portable
Age rating: CERO B (12+)
Official website: http://www.gamecity.ne.jp/corda3/anothersky/index.htm
VNDb link: http://vndb.org/v13072

* Cast *

*Main Characters*
~ Myouga Reiji – Hino Satoshi
~ Amamiya Sei – Miyano Mamoru
~ Nanami Sousuke – Masuda Yuki
~ Hido Takafumi – Miura Hiroaki
~ Kisaragi Kyouya – Fukuyama Jun

*Characters from Jinnan*
~ Tougane Chiaki – Taniyama Kishou
~ Toki Housei – Ishikawa Hideo
~ Kisaragi Ritsu – Konishi Katsuyuki
~ Sakaki Daichi – Uchida Yuuya

*Characters from Shiseikan*
~ Yagisawa Yukihiro – Itou Kentarou
~ Hozumi Shirou – Morita Kazuichi
~ Mizushima Arata – Kishio Daisuke
~ Mizushima Haruto – Mizuhashi Kaori

*Supporting Characters*
~ Nia – Satou Akemi
~ Sora – KENN
~ Toono – Maeno Tomoaki
~ Alexey Zhukov – Horiuchi Ken’yuu
~ Mikage Ryouko – Oohara Sayaka
~ Nazo no Shoujo (Mysterious girl) – Shimizu Risa
~ Enjouji Aran – Chiba Susumu

 

* Plot Summary *

It’s been two years since Kohinata Kanade’s (the protagonist) childhood friend, Ritsu, left his home town and began attending Seisou Academy in Yokohama. One day, as Kanade and Kyouya lived their ordinary lives, they receive a letter. It was a letter detailing an enrolment guide to Amane Academy, which is in the very same Yokohama as Seisou Academy, where Ritsu attends. With a faintly remaining memory of a boy with the golden string, and a restlessness welling up inside, Kanade decides on enrolling in Yokohama Amane Academy. Somewhat dragged along by Kanade, Kyouya ends up going to Yokohama as well.

Towering over its surroundings in Motomachi, Yokohama is Amane Academy. Concealed by glass, its cold exterior looks as though it were rejecting outsiders. Though frightened, Kanade and Kyouya entered the principal’s office. Waiting for them inside was Myouga Reiji, who’s called the “Ruler of the Academy”. Bizarrely, Myouga recommends Kanade and Kyouya for expulsion right then and there, after he hears them play the violin…

This is a heavenly paradise attended by those with “the talent of being able to play beautiful music” (Maestro Field), but in exchange, have lost something. Now, the wheel of fate begins to turn.

 

* My Thoughts *

Not interested, even if it sounds like I don’t have to play the others to understand this one. Don’t get me wrong- the Kin’iro no Corda series doesn’t sound bad and must have such a long stretch of sequels for a reason. The series frequently receives good reviews from most of the websites I frequent, and even from some fellow otome gaming friends of mine. However, I’m just not really interested in music as a main theme, plus if you strip this bare, idea-wise, it doesn’t really separate itself from the other high school otome games. It might end up being an interesting exploration of what it takes to be a highly skilled musician, adding also how the plot summary implies that it wasn’t an easy journey. There’s nothing glaringly wrong with the story, characters or art. It looks like the kind of game that does no wrong, but doesn’t shout out to me that it does anything memorable as well. At the very least, if I ever have virtually nothing to choose from, I’d certainly start off with the Kin’iro series.

 

 

Satomi Hakkenden Hamaji Hime no Ki

Release date: 25-9-2014
Developer: QuinRose
Publisher: QuinRose
Artist: Fujimaru Mamenosuke (藤丸 豆ノ介)
Platform: PlayStation Portable
Age rating: CERO C (15+)
Official website: http://quinrose.com/game/satomi_2/top.html
VNDb link: http://vndb.org/v15140

* Cast *

~ Inukawa Sousuke – Suzumura Ken’ichi
~ Inuyama Dousetsu – Hoshi Sou’ichirou
~ Inukai Genpachi – Kishio Daisuke
~ Inuta Gobungo – Namikawa Daisuke
~ Inusaka Keno – Tachibana Shinnosuke
~ Inumura Daikaku – Ono Yuuki
~ Hamaji – Eguchi Takuya
~ Chudaihoushi – Kuroda Takaya
~ Hachi – Ichiki Mitsuhiro
~ Yatsufusa (Hachi’s true form) – Ichiki Mitsuhiro
~ Mutsuki – Kouno Marika

 

* Plot Summary *

“Where will the demon sword lead? To battle or to love?”

It is a time of war.

Inzukua Shino (the protagonist) serves the House of Satomi as a warrior. Just as she was about to move on from the sadness of losing her childhood friend, Hamaji, the said childhood friend who was supposed to have died, returns as the fiancé of the House of Satomi’s fifth princess, Princess Hamaji.

“But I’m sure Hamaji died…”

That night, Murasamemaru(1) and the “Kou(2)” bead was stolen. Hamaji and the princess disappeared.

Who is the person who stole the Murasamemaru?
What is the meaning behind this incident?

In order to retrieve Murasamemaru and the bead, Shino once again journeys forth with the Hakkenshi(3).
What awaits them as they chase after the two “Hamaji”?

A second story of the romance ADV based on Nansou Satomi Hakkenden(4).

 

1) The Murasamemaru is a fictional precious sword (specifically, a katana) in Nansou Satomi Hakkenden that summons rain. Literally means “village rain sword”.

2) Kou, represented by the kanji “孝”, means “filial piety”. In Nansou Satomi Hakkenden, “Kou” is the kanji character displayed on a bead, and is one of the eight that make up a juzu (Bhuddist prayer beads). All eight of them are owned by the Hakkenshi- one brother per bead. The other seven are “仁 (Jin)”, “義 (Gi)”, “礼 (Rei)”, “智 (Chi)”, “忠 (Chuu)”, “信 (Shin)” and “悌 (Tei)”. They represent “benevolence”, “righteousness”, “courtesy”, “wisdom”, “loyalty”, “faith” and “brotherhood” respectively.

3 & 4) Nansou Satomi Hakkenden (translates to “Tale of Eight Dogs”) is a story divided into a series of 106 novels, authored by Kyokutei Bakin during 1814~1842. To quote Wikipedia, “Hakkenden is the story of eight samurai half-brothers—all of them descended from a dog and bearing the word “dog” in their surnames—and their adventures, with themes of loyalty and family honor, as well as Confucianism, bushido and Buddhist philosophy.” The name “Hakkenshi” is used to collectively refer to all eight half-brothers, literally meaning “eight dog warriors”.

 

* My Thoughts *

For those not in the know, this is the sequel of Satomi Hakkenden. Even though it’s a sequel, it doesn’t look like the first one has to be played to best enjoy Hamaji Hime no Ki. A lot of QuinRose’s stories revolve around existing works, which give off a lazy feel to it. Furthermore, they seem hell-bent on releasing at least one thing per month. They do have a loyal bunch of fans who willingly buy the same game a bunch of times, after all. Due to this monthly releasing system, I worry for the overall quality of the product. I’m certain many corners must be cut and that many things get rushed because of their goal. I’m only vaguely familiar with Nansou Satomi Hakkenden, so the fact that this game is based off of that isn’t a strong pulling point for me. Everything else is basically the same as most other games QuinRose has released, so I feel like a broken record now. Doesn’t sound terrible, but the distinctly manufactured feel of their games further discourages me to buy into their world.

 

 

Clover Toshokan no Juunin-tachi

Release date: 26-9-2014
Developer: Mio
Publisher: Mio
Artist: Asahikawa Hiyori (朝日川 日和)
Platform: PC
Age rating: CERO B (12+)
Official website: http://www.mi-o.jp/product/clover_library/index.html
VNDb link: http://vndb.org/v14810

* Cast *

~ Itsuki – Namikawa Daisuke
~ Shuu – Abe Atsushi
~ Aoi – Satou Takuya
~ Natsume – Konishi Katsuyuki
~ Riku – Hanae Natsuki
~ Shikimi – Hamada Kenji
~ Kuu – Kobori Miyuki

 

* Plot Summary *

On the corner of a modern town, on higher ground atop a hill is a Western building, old as though it were left behind by time. Closed for many years, it is a private library called “Clover Library”. Loving books from a young age, Aikawa Chihiro (the protagonist) wishes to one day have a job involving books. She earns the job of a live-in custodian of the Clover Library.

With a look like that of on old photograph, strange and impossible things occur there, one after another.

The sense of being gazed upon, even though nobody should be inside. Books that moved before one knew it. Large, large shadows peering through the window. Finally, at night, people that come out of nowhere who call themselves “frequenters since the olden days”.

Surrounded by these individuals- all of whom possess distinct personalities- Chihiro prepares the library for its opening day. Eventually, she’s no longer able to suppress her suspicions and confusion over the continuous occurrences of strange happenings, as well as the truth behind who or what these regulars really are.

Struck by her question, this is their reply:

“I’m sorry. We kept our mouths shut about it. We are not human.”
“In truth, we are actually books.”

 

* My Thoughts *

A cute idea, with adorable artwork to suit it… which both combine too well in giving Clover Toshokan a very juvenile feel, in spite of most of the characters being adults. I’m not saying that lighthearted games are bad, or even games targeted towards a younger audience can’t be enjoyed by people around my age (over 18). I’ve never played a Mio game (as far as I can remember), so I’m not really able to comment on what to expect. I admit I’m curious about the true nature of Clover Toshokan, but enough to spend my time and money playing through the entire game? No. Moreover, none of the characters really grabbed my attention. The three main guys don’t seem interesting at all, which definitely takes away from the worth in playing an otome game! Clover is different from the typical fare that’s been coming out all year, so those looking for something outside of past Japan, vampires or high school settings with a single lacklustre gimmick slapped onto it might find this worth your time.

I’ll pass on this, though I hope Mio’s interesting idea pays off for them.

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Categories: Monthly Otome Release Lists | Tags: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Otome Visual Novel Releases of September 2014

  1. scorlight

    Hello ^^ I wonder if we can translate ur otome released schedule posts and post them on our forum? Of course we will write ur name in that post. We will also gather information from various sources but mainly from ur blog. Is that fine with you? Thank you!

  2. Pingback: [NEWS] Otome Game Releases - Tháng 9/2014

  3. Binary Star playthrough reporting in – very good game. Characters are absolutely wonderful. I was only interested in Tchicai but I’m gushing over Yunyun after finishing his route (*´∀`)

    • Hello!

      Thanks very much for the report! I’ll be looking forward to your review, if you’ll be writing one. 🙂 Now I know more than ever that I definitely must get this game very soon!

  4. I was interested in Clover Toshokan since I saw its article in Bslog I think. But the characters are deep voiced despite looking so young and it made me kinda 😮 hahaha.

  5. Marianne

    I just wanted to say I’ve been going through most of your blog for the last several days and I don’t tire of reading all your thoughts for the upcoming new games! I think I died at ”it may surprise you that I have absolutely no interest in this game” XDDDDDDDD (can’t remember which post that was). Anyway, I’m off to read the rest now 🙂

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