Writing a spoiler-free article about Muv-Luv is not the easiest of tasks. Even answering questions as basic as “how can a VN be both romcom and mecha war story at the same time” would ruin some of the initial surprises of the story. Despite that, I’m going to attempt to give my thoughts on this series in a semi-coherent way. Bear with me.
You leave the sanitized death and formaldehyde of Organ Grinders behind, entering the anarchy and desperation of the streets. Jake stops a moment to breathe deeply, filling his lungs with motorcycle exhaust, radioactive dust, cordite and who knows what else. He exhales with an expression of wry contentment. The stench and grime tell him he’s home.
JP title: シャイニング ブレイド
Man, I really wanted to love this game. Trust me, I did. The fact that I didn’t drop it after the first 2-3 hours is solid evidence of that. In any case, I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s a quick review of Shining Blade for the PSP and why I feel like it’s the textbook example of wasted potential.
As an attempt to break the monotony of review after review, I’ve decided to instead write an article that’s going to basically talk about my past experiences and thoughts on learning Japanese (focusing on kanji memorization), how I initially got started and kept myself going, and how video games -including visual novels- helped me with it in a variety of ways. Needless to say, as there’s this pesky little thing called “individual differences in language learning”, what I’m about to write should always be taken with a grain of salt. What I’m presenting to you is simply one way out of many, so feel free to adjust it to your own needs as you see fit.
First of all, let me quickly say that Kimi to Kanojo to Kanojo no Koi (“Totono” from now on) is one of those VNs that you must experience on your own, without the use of any online guides. Besides, it’s not exactly the sort of game that you can simply read a plot summary of and call it a day – it’s an extremely personal journey, more so than you might initially expect. Totono addresses no one in particular and every VN lover at the same time: it reaches out to the world beyond the monitor, grabs you by the collar and raises questions that you, as a VN reader, might have considered in the past, but deemed too absurd to take seriously.
So, here are my initial impressions of the trial version of Cosmic Cute’s upcoming visual novel, Gleam Garden no Shoujo. Or as I like to call it, “X-(Wo)Men: The Visual Novel”. This will also be a rough summary of the demo’s plot, so spoilers will be included. In any case, for a mere trial version, this one ended up being pretty damn long.