Otome Game Review: Natsuzora no Monologue

There’s a giant white pole in town that everyone refers to as the “tree”. Nobody knows why it got there but one day it just appeared. Our heroine Ogawa Aoi lost her memory 1 year prior when she fainted  near it. It’s all good though because she’s got her science club buddies who want to help her get it back. Sadly their plans are cut short when everyone starts Groundhog daying it on July 29th, the day before the science club was to disband. The reason being because they all secretly wish that the 30th will never come because they all have various life changing situations that will happen the next day. They’re not aware of this though, and they try to figure out a way how to get out of it until they all start realizing why they’re looping in the first place. Skip to final thoughts to bypass the spoiler wagon.

Sawanoi Sousuke – Sousuke is the science club president who every morning runs away from some rabid dog on the way to school. He’s crazy and loud and whenever Aoi choses to spend Groundhog day with him, they give her weird looks. His room looks like a science lab and it’s full of computer and various monitoring devices. He likes high places and at one point Aoi thinks that he’s gonna suicide and tries to stop him, almost falling off the school building roof herself. So then he says he NEEDS her and asks her to “go out” with him….or rather be his science research assistant. Sousuke comes up with the theory that the tree is like a time machine that controls all the time loops. He then takes her to some abandoned science research lab, which was originally owned by his father and was established prior to the tree appearing. His father is the one who figured out that the tree was a time machine but he died 10 years ago. So now Sousuke’s dream is to continue his father’s research so he can go back in time and save his father. Aoi decides to help Sousuke in his time machine research so that she can be by his side. One day while they’re walking home he asks her if she likes somebody in the club. She says yes and he goes “it’s me isn’t it!” and when she says yes, he freezes so out of embarrassment she says “just kidding” and breaks the silence. NOOOO WHYYY ( ಠ益ಠ ). Eventually he completes his time machine which is a “switch” to turn on the tree and use its time machine capabilities.

He then admits that once he saves his father, the science club will “crease to exist” since he originally made the club to research on time travel to save his father. Unfortunately that also means that he and Aoi will never have met either. When the other club members hear about it, they all decide to support him saying that saving his father is more important than forming this club. He’s so happy he cries manly tears and thanks everyone. So then on the day of them flying back, she says she wants to be with him, and soon as he sees the light (from the tree) he realizes that he loves her more than just a science research assistant! Wut. But when they finally get to the past and run into shota Sousuke with his father, Sousuke chickens out and realizes he doesn’t wanna give up his science club or feelings for Aoi….so he ends up not saving his father. WHAT A WASTE LOL. They return back and come a few minutes before their past selves jumped into the past and they watch Sousuke confessing his feelings to Aoi again 😆 They then go to the beach where he realizes that after 10 years he came up with the thought that “gee wiz I’d rather care about the present than the past”.  Then he starts babbling about what love is and Aoi shuts up him by kissing him..TOO BAD ALL WE GOT TO SEE WHAT FEET ( ´_ゝ`). The next day he tells everyone that he’s figured out a way to get out of the loop and then he brags that Aoi is now his girlfriend…THE END. Lol way to leave things hanging. Guess you really do need to play the routes in a special order here after all. After my first run of this game I discovered that some CGs don’t open up unless you’ve played the game at least 5 times. Wut. Go to hell Otomate.

Asanami Kou – Kou sensei is the teacher in charge of the science club whose hobby is putting together gundam models while raging at anyone who hits on Aoi. He’s a cat magnet even though he seems to dislike them and thinks they’re after him. When you hit his route, he informs Aoi that the science club disbanding is his fault, due to financial reasons. Those financial reasons are to be able to pay for his younger brother Shou’s hospital bills. After Aoi meets Kou’s brother, he asks if she can be friends with him. When she visits Shou in the hospital the next day, he has no idea who she is because of the loop. So she gets kicked out of the hospital for being mistaken as a bed intruder but sensei INSISTS that she keep trying to be Sho’s friend. What kind of punishment is this? ( ´_ゝ`) The next day she pleases the shota by bringing him gundam models as an offering and then he asks if she is Kou’s girlfriend. Before she can answer, Kou comes in telling him that there’s no way he can lay a hand on his student. Shou told Aoi that the reason he’s Kou’s only family is because their parents died in a car accident and they were mostly brought up in foster home. Aoi wants the loop to end so that Shou gets better but then Kou breaks the news and says that his brother is going to die on the 30th…and that’s why he never wanted the loop to end. So then Kou and Aoi try to get Shou to believe them about the time looping by telling him how she knows he had a crush on the girl in the hospital room next door. This seems to work, and they tell him that in the next 7 days, before the loop ends, they can do anything he wants. They bring him near the tree right before the time reset and this seems to then prevent him from getting his memory reset like everyone else outside the science club. So now for 7 days they bring Shou to the science club and let him hang out with everyone. On the 6th day, Shou tells Kou that he knows that he’s gonna die and not to try and force him to “live his last few days to the fullest”. Kou then ends up calling Aoi and telling her all of this while crying over the phone. On the last day they all go to the tree together where Shou pushes Kou to confess to Aoi and ask her to be his future waifu….and that was it. Wut. It was more like a 3P end with the 2 brothers than anything to me lololol. So am I to assume the loop ended and the bro died? I mean honestly what the hell..oh well not like I care as he’s like 12 years older than her anyway.

Kaga Haru – Haru is always referred to is KAGAHARU by everyone probably because his name combined could still pass for a last name or something. He’s obsessed with Aoi since day 1 and confesses his undying love to her at least once a day, despite him being immune to memory resets of the loop. Also unfortunately for him, on the 29th originally he woke up late and now thanks to the loop, every day he wakes up and is late for school. The science club then decides to help him not be late by doing weird things like attaching jet engines to his bike 😆 One morning when she comes to wake him up, he sleepily pulls her into bed with him thinking he’s dreaming then he wakes up and blushes like a tomato. Haru’s other secret hobby is painting and Aoi starts visiting and watching him every day when she finds out. So then Aoi starts having these feelings and is like “What does this mean!” and she has to get one of the other club guys to  tell her that she’s in “love”. Oh give me a break 🙄 She attempts to confess to him but fails so basically she spends the rest of the route moaning to herself about how to make him realize she actually likes him back. Sadly her plans are cut short when Sensei tells her that Haru intends to go overseas for 5 years. When she talks to him, he confirms that he’s going to study art abroad and that it’s a really good opportunity for him. Aoi then suddenly turns into an immature brat and starts crying telling him not to leave her. The next day she whines and stays home all day until sensei calls her telling her that Haru ended up crying like a mofo himself because he started feeling guilty about leaving everyone.

Aoi feels guilty so she goes to talk to Haru the next day and he then admits the painting he’s been working is a painting of her. He also then says that he met her over a year ago and she stopped him burning all of his artwork because he was in a major art slump after getting injured. She then wangsts some more (omg stop it already) until he tells her that she’s awright and she can move on without him. She’s finally convinced and as a reward for his services, agrees to be his art model. He then admitted that he was glad that she rejected his confessions because if he had to leave her for 5 years it would be too painful. That’s why he continued confessing to her like a joke in the hope to one day turn his real feelings into a joke so it would be less painful to part with her. He said he didn’t want to leave things hanging so he confessed that he really does love her. If you choose to confess back and ask him to stay with you, this instantly throws you into the Normal ending, he finishes painting Aoi and gives her the painting as a gift. They both then decide that if in 5 years they’re still single, he’ll ask her to marry him. He then gives her a sketch he drew after he met her the day he was gonna chuck his paintings. He says goodbye to her as the tree does its final loop. If you choose to “cheer him on” his overseas trip, the ending is instead him thanking her and they kiss during the final loop. Meh it was sweet I guess but would have been nice to have a 5 years later reunion epilogue or something. Haru was cute but I feel they coulda milked it for a lot more than they did. Oh well whatever Otomate, and your feet kissing. At least the kiss CG here was normal.

Kinose Kazuki – Kazuki gives off the impression that he’s a badass yakuza, but in reality he’s a gentle bear who just wants to hug every cat. He’s also pretty good at cooking and often finds himself in the nice guy position when it comes to Aoi’s feelings. So then one day the science club pres tells them to be lovers so that they can overcome the loop after 30 times or something. So then their daily life continues with them going to school together while saying cheesey raburabu lines to each other, hold hands, go on dates etc lol. So then they both turn into pansies and start moaning about how they’re afraid of “tomorrow to come” and how they wish they would loop forever and ever. 🙄 One day when they walk home Kazuki tells Aoi a story about how he once fell in love at first sight with a girl a few years ago, but she rejected his confession because of his looks. When Aoi tried to tell him to move on and forget about the past, he started bitching that she doesn’t understand his PAAAIHHN and storms off. Dafuq. (ಠ_ಠ)The next day they visit the hospital and Aoi babbles about her memoirs and on the way home it starts raining so Kazuki offers for her to come to his place  (;゚∀゚)=3ハァハァ So then she finds a photo album in his room in his room and when she opens it, she finds pics of herself in it. She starts crying saying that Ogawa Aoi is dead and that she’s not Aoi. He asks her to leave and she runs home crying. What the shit. The next day Kazuki doesn’t show up for school so Aoi runs around looking for him. She then realizes she likes him, thanks to Haru pretty much telling her, and that’s when she finds Kazuki sleeping on the bus stop bench like a hobo.

When he wakes up, she confesses her undying love to him only to be rejected. He tells her because he’s still in love with her “past self”, the Aoi before the accident, before she lost her memories. Her current self has no recollection of being his girlfriend, or any of her past memories and he’s just been applying her past self to her current self so it wouldn’t work out. Lol wut. Come on Kazuki haven’t you heard the backstreet boys song “As long as you love me” ( ・´ー・`). So then the club pres has to tell her that Kazuki loves her for who she is, not whether her memories are from the past or present. One afternoon while at the club, everyone notices the tree is like on fire and club pres tells everyone that he’s found a way to stop the loop and that the loop will end in 7 days as usual. Suddenly Kazuki starts bitching that he doesn’t want the loop to end, and when he walks home with Aoi that night she tries to tell him once more that she cares more about the present than the past and that he’s too stuck on the past to move on. He then says he’s forever alone and goes home alone. We then see a flashback when Kazuki first saw Aoi, 3rd year of middle school, and then confessed to her, only to be promptly rejected. However she gave him a ray of hope when she said they should first start out as friends and he was happy just to be by her side. They both then studied for exams together so that they could get into the same high school and despite them not officially “dating”, they did go to a family restaurant for xmas and give each other presents. Afterwards they made a pinky promise to try and go to the same college together and that if they didn’t make it to the same schools, to still keep in touch. So they got into the same high school together, and started calling each other by their first names and to celebrate they decided to meet by the tree and take a photo.

Kazuki had planned to confess his feelings to her once more, but sadly it didn’t go just as planned since she passed out and lost her memories that day in front of the tree. When Kazuki went to see her in the hospital, she started crying saying that she’s not the Ogawa Aoi that he knows and that she doesn’t know anyone or anything. When he tried to say that he only wanted to help her and support her, she bitched at him to leave her alone. So then he didn’t see her for a while until she joined the science club, and he decided to try his best and introduced himself to her once more. Kazuki then woke up from his flashback and started crying remember all the past times with Aoi. In the meantime Aoi runs to him and says that she loves him and she wants him to be happy. He goes on saying that he’s too hung up on her past, and says that it’s his fault that he called her out to the tree that day and made her pass out lose her memories. Aoi tells him that it’s awwright (for like the umpteenth time), and he finally gives in and hugs her saying that he’s extremely sorry for what he’s done to her. He concludes by saying that he’s always loved her and loves her even now. The following day, the last day of the loop, he asks Aoi to be his girlfriend and she’s like “umm but I already confessed to you..you should already know my answer 😆 ” So after that the 2 of them make out in the woods. Finally 10 minutes before the 30th, they go to the tree and soon as the light hits they tell each other “see you tomorrow”. Well half assed ending as usual. Would it seriously kill them to add epilogues? It’s like the 30th is the day of the apocalypse. Anyway Kazuki was cute but when he got all wangsty I was like ( ´_ゝ`)….I mean yea I know he had his reasons but seeing how this game is so hard for me to be part of, it’s only the bad things that stick out lol. In Kaede’s route, he mentions that Kazuki is the only one least at fault for the looping and that he’s not at fault…because in the end he had Aoi taken away from him out of nowhere.

Shinohara Ryouta – Ryo is the kuudere who keeps to himself but if you get on his nerves he’ll be sure to add a snappy remark. He often tends to listen to his portable music player, or read some complicated novel.  Because of this being most of his hobby, he’s terrible at sports. He would be a great host though because during one of buchou’s LRC missions he was to act out as an ero-host which he did REALLY WELL イヤン☆(*´∀`)σ)))))*3゚),・´.、 Sousuke orders the 2 of them to “start getting along better” so that it could possibly stop the loop. So from that day on every dayloop they spend together getting to know each other better (or more like having Ryo be less kuu more dere.) He told her how when he was a shota he once found a baby whale that washed ashore and he got all depressed because he knew it would die soon. It reminded him of himself, who will also die alone. One day when Aoi is in the library some other guy asks to talk with her privately and he tells her to stop “dating Ryo” because he needs to “live a solitary life.” When Ryo sees this guy, he says that he was his middle school friend and but the guy says that “i’ve cut ties with you, have you forgotten why!?” and storms off. 3 days later Aoi starts to realize that all of Ryo’s reactions and responses to stuff she says is the same. The book that he’s been reading he hasn’t made progress in and despite them hanging out together their relationship has not progressed. It’s as if Ryo is also looping along with July 29th. So then when she talks to the friend on the 4th day, he explains that Ryo got into an accident and had brain damage. This damaged his short term memory so basically if he does something, he will forget about it the next day. That means it’s difficult for him to make new relationships because he will just forget his feelings. It’s been getting worse and worse overtime as well. His friend of course got upset because Ryo couldn’t remember anything new that they did together so despite his friend no longer considering him his friend, Ryo can’t seem to remember this and still thinks of them as friends.

This is also the reason that he kept forgetting everything that happened during the 29th, so it’s like his own mind was creating a loop for him as well. When Aoi talks to him about this, he says that even if the 30th finally comes, his mind will forever be looping on the 29th. He asks Aoi not to tell anyone else in the science club or they will really be worried about him. So attempt to give him a memorable event he’ll never forget, Aoi asks Ryo to go on a date with her 😆 At the end of the day they walk on the beach where Ryo accidentally blurts out that he likes her. Aoi’s like 😯 and confirms if he just confessed to her, and he says yes….will you go out with me…and she of course agrees. (*´∀`)むふ♪ Lol probably cutest confession in the whole game >_>. Sadly, because of his problem, he forgets his confession to Aoi and when he asks her if he forgot anything else besides them going on a date, she holds back and says no. (ಥ_ಥ)Even when she then tried to tell him that he confessed and they became lovers, he just told her that they should just stop hurting each other and he left her crying on the beach. The next night she ran to the beach looking for him saying she wants to confess to him one more time and he started yelling at her saying she doesn’t understand his feelings of not wanting to hurt the person he loves. Aoi then told him she doesn’t want him suffering alone and that she just wants to be by his side.  He then says he doesn’t want to forget this moment so he kisses her ヾ( 〃ω〃)ッ キャーーーッ♪ The next 3 days before the loop end they just spend lounging around the club room and not doing anything special. Ryo then remembers that the baby whale got  reunited with its mother and the 2 of them floated out to sea. He then thinks that maybe it’s not that he can’t remmeber new things, but he can’t recall OLD ones instead…and that perhaps his memories will return to him someday just like the whale one. They both hold hands as they watch the sea together and the route ends. Meh kinda feel like I was cut off there! I actually really liked Ryo’s route. It made me teary eyed near the end…well might been bawwing if I wasn’t rudely cut off in the end there!

Watamori Kaede – Kaede is basically the 4th wall route because he basically appears with a new scene depending on how many routes you’ve played in the game. He always acts like he knows Aoi but after saying his witty line he disappears every route. Kaede tells Aoi that the reason the loop is happening is because of her. That she’s afraid once the science club disbands, she will be alone again faced with not knowing anybody, including her own mother. Aoi then tells the other club members about Kaede and they want to try and find him since that would make another person who is looping with them. They have no luck finding him, and Sousuke reports that he checked school records and found nobody by that name in the last 20 years. Kaede then shows up one night and takes Aoi to the abandoned area where Sosuke’s father’s old tree research lab was. When he brought her to the research lab computer room and she got so nostalgic for some reason she began crying. Kaede then explained that the lab was built more than 30 years ago and originally the tree was actually created in this lab.  The reason Aoi passed out in front of the tree was because she was so excited for starting her new high school life that she wished this day would go on forever, and so it wiped her memories starting the “1 year loop”. Once they got to July 29th it started a 2nd inner loop which would go on forever until the end of the  “1 year loop”. If Aoi didn’t join the science club, then she would just loop the “1 year loop” straight until the 1 year reset and it would reset back to her losing her memories again.

This explains why at the end of each route when the 30th came, we just got a brief end because this not only meant us starting the game over, but also meant Aoi starting her 1 year cycle over.And apparently she’s gone through these 2 loops over 2000 times wtf. Does this make her like 2000 years old!? It’s like she’s stuck in limbo 😆 Kaede is also connected to the tree so that makes him indirectly connected to Aoi’s feelings as well. The only way to stop these thousand year loops is for Aoi to be a man and be able to face tomorrow! Kaede offers to help her be genki desu by taking her out on a dokioki wakuwaku date. Actually they then go visit all of the places where the major scenes of all the other guys take place. For example the park where Haru drew Aoi, or the bus stop where Kazuki cried. She then reminisces back to her memory loss and how she started going to school to get away from her mother at home. The following day Kaede says that his parents didn’t want to deal with him so they threw him into the lab where he was raised on the promise that they were allowed to run experiments on him. Experiments dealing with him being able to tell the future…which included a mysterious surgery.  Then one day the scientists discovered that he had the power to change the future when during a lightning storm, a pole that almost fell on him, he wished for it to disappear and it did. The scientists then got terrified of him and locked him in a quarantine room and kept feeding him sleeping medicine so that he’d always sleep and not be able to use his power. Kaede fearing that he might die, ran away from the lab. He was caught and they started referring to him as a number so that he’d lose all his emotions and just be an object. So one night he pretended to fall asleep from the medicine, and that was his opportunity to run away for real this time.

This is when he met Sosuke’s dad and the dad offered to hide him and became his friend. But then Kaede started getting terrified that the guy would tell everyone about him and that in response Kaede might hurt the guy. He began wishing that tomorrow would never come and that’s how the tree was created. And so basically from there, Kaede’s time stopped along with the tree, and was dormant for 30 years until Aoi came along and “woke him up”. This makes Kaede technically 48 years old, but his time stopped his body at the age of 18. The scientists without Kaede were useless so they gave up their research, and eventually Sousuke’s dad took over the lab, which burned down, and now the remains belong to Sousuke. One of the other things keeping Aoi from facing tomorrow is her rocky relationship with her mother. She wakes up every morning hearing her mother leave for work and they haven’t said a word to each other……..in what 2000 year loops now? 😆 To try and fix this part of their relationship, Aoi went to town and bought her mother some cake & flowers, but when she walked into the kitchen she overheard her mother saying that she’s gonna give Aoi away to someone. In other words, abandon her. Aoi dropped everything and then ran away from home to the science club room because that’s the only place that accepts her. When she opened the door Kaede is there saying he felt like watching the moon from the club room, and he comforts her. Kaede then tells her to think of her mother’s feelings and stop being a selfish brat, and the following day she talks to Kou sensei who tells her that her mother was so heartbroken that she cried nonstop. The reason that she avoided her daughter was because she was afraid to hurt her. He then gave Aoi a letter her mother wrote to her in which she basically said that no matter what Aoi remembers, to her, she’s still her daughter Ogawa Aoi and that she only wishes for her to be happy.

After finishing reading the letter Aoi hugged it and began crying. The next morning before her mother was going to go to work, Aoi came downstairs and apologized for her behavior until now. The mother said “Will you finally call me mom?” and the 2 of them hugged and cried. ( ;∀;) イイハナシダナー That day after school Aoi decided to try and make friends, and she got brave enough to talk to a girl in her class about a book she was reading. The girl responded in a good way, excited that someone else shared the same book interests and the two became friends.  I HAVE NO IDEA WHY THESE SCENES BACK TO BACK MADE ME CRY. DAMN ORGEL MUSIC 。・゚・(ノД`)・゚・。 うえええん That night Aoi and her mother made dinner together and they both got so emotional they started crying. (ಥ_ಥ) (ಥ_ಥ) (ಥ_ಥ)Before stopping the loop, Aoi says she wants to let the science club know. The best way to do this is to first tell Sousuke, but turns out Sousuke knew about Kaede and then yelled at him saying that his father died trying to protect him. Kaede asks why he won’t take revenge on him, but he says his father’s death was just a conincidence. Kaede then tells Aoi that once this loop ends, everything will be reset back 1 year, aka this game never happened, Aoi never joined the science club or lost her memories. (Well good end for her and Kazuki but sucks for everyone else lol.) Aoi then tells this to everyone in the science club, and asks them to forgive her saying that no matter what, she will still try to be friends with them again. Kaede congratulates Aoi and thanks her for finally deciding to end the loop, but before he leaves, Sousuke stops him. He tells him that for the next 7 days he will hang out with the science club as a thanks for taking care of them for thousands of years of loops. They conclude their days of fun with a baseball game where Kaede ends up on the winning team. At the end of the day Sousuke came up to Kaede telling him that he doesn’t hate him, and that he has a message from his father – “Don’t cry, tomorrow will be a better day.” Kaede said that if he goes to the same place as Sousuke’s father, he will be sure to tell him thank you. The final night of the loops, Sousuke does their final LRC where he makes everyone go in a circle and admit that they’re ready to stop the looping and face tomorrow.

Everyone says their thing and cries, and Kaede apologizes for creating the cause of their looping. Sousuke finishes off the speeches by saying he’ll do his best and gather all the members back here once more. They all drink and kanpai and I think my favorite quote here was by Haru “Hey maybe if we looped over 1000 times, I had to have been Aoi’s lover at least once!” プッ(※థэథ)∵.*.∵ Kaede then leaves and when Aoi goes looking for him, Sousuke catches up and explains that once the loop ends and everything is reset to 1 year prior, Kaede’s existance will be wiped because he will never have been woken up by her. Additionally, because he’s been looping for so long, his existance has been merged with the tree and so when the tree disappears, it will take him with it. So of course if Aoi decides to continue the loop, Kaede will continue to exist, but if she ends the loop he will be gone forever. Suddenly Aoi starts freaking out OH NOES WHAT SHOULD I DO, bitch you’ve come this far, grow up lol.Suddenly it’s almost time for the final moments of the loop and it feels like it’s gonna loop again because Aoi’s heart started feeling unsure. She then ran through the forest to the tree, where Kaede was there confirming that he will disappear and telling her she must end the loop. So when Aoi makes her decision, the light envelops them and he hugs her from behind saying that seeing her try her best to face a new tomorrow made him fall in love with her. (ಥ_ಥ)Kaedeeeeee     。゚(●゚´Д)ノ。゚ヽ(  )ノ゚。ヽ(Д`゚●)ノ゚。。゚ヽ(●゚´Д`゚●)ノ゚。ウワァァァン!! HERE’S WHERE OTOMATE’S TROLLING COMES IN GAIZ. Instead of getting reset back to 1 year ago, instead everything is reset back to July 29th, Aoi has lost her memories 1 year ago, but instead of Kaede being gone forever HE MAGICALLY COMES BACK AS A 3RD YEAR STUDENT who’s got “dejavu” feeling of being with Aoi. Apparently he was also in the hospital with amnesia like her HURR. WHAT THE FUCK omg. I WANT MY TEARS BACK OTOMATEEEE FFFFUUUU. So not only is everything fucking lovely like it was during the loop, the loop is now over but hey Shou is still alive, Kaede is still alive and EVERYONE’S JUST SPIFFY.  Man just when I was gonna give this game some props for doing a good job with Kaede & Ryo’s routes…f you otomate seriously lol. Do you know what “ending a game” means? Oh yes you do, that’s why you made Clock Zero to make up for the mistakes of this stupid game (ノ ゚Д゚)ノ ======= ┻━━┻

This game uses the same vn style as Higurashi no Naku Koro ni where the entire screen is covered in text. I’m sorry but that completely ruined the game for me. I couldn’t even pay attention to half the time because I’d just be drowning in text and it would cover up all the beautiful CGs and backgrounds and just make me zone out. Like if I wanted to read a book, I’d read a book. There’s a reason this is called a VISUAL novel. We want to see VISUALS not just TEXT. I should have done more research about this because had I known the whole game is like this I may not even have bothered. I wasn’t even able to pay attention half of Sousuke’s route because of the dark screen behind the text, but then I figured out you can make that thing transparent and suddenly the game became less tedious. What a concept Otomate! This is such a pity because I know there are scenes which would have been a million times better if they used the standard otome game text bar format so that I could see the character’s emotions instead of being drowned by text. The art was just so lovely but it felt like a beautiful monument covered in pigeon turd. It’s like I wanted to get into this game SO BADLY but this stupid text kept slapping me away each time. Due to this only the REALLY STRONG routes actually moved me emotionally which was Ryouta and Kaede. All the other routes I pretty much sat through like ( ´_ゝ`) wishing it would end soon. What’s stupid too is the whole story behind the science club president and his LRC. It’s like if he didn’t tell Aoi “go hang out with so and so” she would never have done that and nothing would have happened. I mean obviously something has to happen for the game to move on, but it feels like Sousuke was pretty much the only thing moving the entire game. They make it seem romantically that Kazuki is the main guy, but if you think about, Sousuke’s the one pulling all dem strings.

As a heroine Aoi kinda annoyed me. The way she acted towards Kazuki after her memory loss made me wanna smack dat ho. Also her constant indecisiveness was grating and she pretty much annoyed me even till the very end in Kaede’s route, despite me thinking for a second that she got a little more brave. Basically I think if I had played this prior to Clock Zero, I might have liked it more but since I played it after, I couldn’t stop the comparisons of how much better CZ was.  It’s like Otomate learned from their mistakes and made CZ what it is. To be honest, I’d even shake off the balls ending of this game if the text was fixed to be the standard vn format. I cannot stop emphasizing how much of a huge difference that text format makes. It’s like a jump from really interesting game to a god damn drag. Any funny situations, any interesting scenes, were just completely ruined by this huge block of text in my face because that’s all that was sticking out to me. BLAH. So therefore I cannot give this game a positive rating. I’m sure it’s a good game, but the goodness is underneath a pile of TEXT that’s difficult for me to see. Unless this VN format is something you’re used to/something you like, you will probably feel the same way I do when playing it. That aside, in the end I did like Kaede, Ryouta and Sousuke the most. Sensei was just too pedobear, and Haru & Kazuki just felt shafted to me. The music was also pretty nice, I especially loved the orgel theme (which is like obviously the only reason I even shed any tears for this game.) Did I mention that some CGs you cannot unlock unless you’ve played the game at least 5 times? That meant I had to go back and re-do the stupid LRCs from the start when I had finished to get missing CGs for Kaede, Sensei and Sousuke ( ´_ゝ`). Next time I start an otome game I’ll be sure to find out what kind of format it’s in because I will never ever play a game with this kind of text format again. ( ಠ益ಠ )


17 thoughts on “Otome Game Review: Natsuzora no Monologue”

  1. well for Hiiro, despite the bad grammar and repetitive descriptions, they do have a lot of sweet moments and beautiful artworks so I think u will be able to enjoy it. I personally couldnt agree with the heroine sometimes but…depends on the player. Im not sure which version u r going to play, but the fd is really sweet. I guess the writers involved in that game were better at writing romantic scenes than serious scenes. but for the LRC system, it took me a while to get used to the text window moving here and there on the screen, but I thought that the effects gave the impression of a picture book and fit the game texture since the scenario is written in a more novel way than a game text. but I can see y others dont like it. the text movement does distract the readers sometime. well, if they ever port it to a psp, I think they will get rid of it
    I do understand y u compared CZ and Natsuzora since their key theme is involved with time. I personally felt that CZ was more of a connection between the past, now, and the future while Natsuzora is overcoming yesterday and looking forward for the future that true, the two games both involve time, but treated in a different way. I think that both games have their own good parts that I didnt see one better than the other. to make things short, I like both of them 🙂
    for Miyakoi, I did the psp version so maybe thats y?? but I prefer to battle for myself since I love rpg games:)

  2. ほたる> oh shoot they wrote Hiiro too? ugh I was planning to play that…now I am worried :V well I guess as long as the text doesn’t cover the screen maybe I can tolerate it? XD I had no idea who wrote what but the overall game theme reminded me of CZ a lot which is why I compared it I guess since both were from “Otomate” as a whole.

    The battle scene in Miyako did bore me lol but did you try the PC version of Miyako? They added a lot more romance scenes than the PSP version so maybe that’s why I thought it was so much better?XD I mean I can tolerate most otome games regardless (unless its like hanayoi romanesque) but I just feel that the text covering the screen made such a dramatic difference for me….like a simple change of making it in the text window on the bottom would have dramatically changed some scenes for me. It was almost like a barrier that kept me from enjoying the few scenes that I really liked and was just a huge distraction for me overall.

  3. aw, too bad u didnt like the game…well I knew that u didnt like novel novel games and negative heroines. but I was surprised that u liked Miyakoi because I thought that the text was really a burden and couldnt concentrate on the scenario. I was like GIVE ME A RPG BATTLE SYSTEM SO THAT I CAN SKIP THIS LONG BATTLE TEXT!!! plus it seemed to me that they didnt really have much love events to overcome the long long battle scenes. well, everything just depends on the readers taste.
    and just to correct u, as Yukiru mentioned, Natsuzora and CZ has nothing to do with each other since they are made by different teams. The writer in Natsuzora is the same person as Hiiro who is known for its bad japanese and repetitive text. so the game, well the team, did improve. I guess because they got more money from Hakuoki that they were able to take more time reviewing or editing or something to improve their scenario level. cause before Hakuouki, otomate games scenario were like…yea…really really REALLY bad as u know from Edel Blume. but I do hope that otomate will take more time on making one game and increasing the game quality instead of releasing tons and tons of games

  4. Can I get a link to where you got the guide? I definitely need guides to play otome games.

  5. Actually I’m not biased towards Natsuzora. It has lots of flaws that made the game undeniably unpopular, which is a pity. All of that was pure CZ bias because when you compared the two like that and bash Otomate it kind of felt like the CZ team was getting it too. This was the first review that made me realize you were criticizing Otomate on their management level rather than development team level. Before I thought that you said you liked Beastmaster’s team and wanted to play more games from them so in the other games, I assumed you were criticizing team level. But yeah Otomate management level really needs improvement like you said..

  6. twentyninenights> I followed a guide which pretty much had the LRC set so that you’d get almost everyone’s CGs except like 3 that I was missing so thanks to that, it wasn’t such a hassle.

    Yukiru> Lmfao wow the villains ruined beastmaster for you?? 😯 Guess it really must be up to the person since that didn’t bother me at all xD I’m not bashing the company based on 1 game. I’ve played multiple otomate games that trolled the player in the end (Death Connection, Armen Noir, Edel Blume) so no I am not biased towards Natsuzora. I personally have no idea what teams make what games, but to me each team’s work represents the company. If your teams have unequal contribution and one makes gold while the other one makes shit, then obviously you need to reconsider your staff. Obviously otomate doesn’t care if they produce crap or gold so I believe i have every right to criticize them based on each game they release. It’s strange that you’re saying this now after the reviews I wrote for the games I mentioned above, but I heard you are biased towards this game and CZ so *shrug*

  7. I made the text windows transparent almost as soon as I started playing the game, and yeah the text on top of the faces annoyed me too. For me it wasn’t that bad, it’s really up to person. It’s a pity for the game this ruined the game for you. It’s kind of like how stupid the villains were in Beastmaster ruined that game for me.

    It kind of bothers me when you wrap up Otomate as a whole and bash the whole company when you don’t like something about one game, when the blame should only be directed towards that game’s particular development team or the director. Especially when you bash them for Natsuzora and then say they improved by making CZ so much better.. the 2 games were made by different teams so CZ being better has nothing to do with Natsuzora. If CZ was an improvement over something, it’s of SYK. If you thought Natsuzora was bad, then you could doubt Kami naru Kimi to, etc.

  8. I have try it, but since it gets me stuck on LRC things, the way I must get it with shuffle, is really annoying and needs time. So I’ll just skip halfway in Kinose’s route, and play another game instead. Truthfully, I really love it’s setting and art.

  9. I agree on the SRX art, but hey, it’s power rangers. It’s got to at least be a little funny, otherwise they failed power rangers.

    I guess if I think of Amnesia being like Natsuzora, my excitement just goes down the toilet. But maybe they won’t so stupid and use that awful text format. That way one can at least appreciate the art, or laugh a little if they show us a guy on a mankini. *sigh* I want more mankinis in otome games.

  10. I didn’t really like SRX art style lmfao…but maybe I’ll try it one day. My backlog is still pretty fierce. I didn’t even make it through my summer games and September’s already upon us! I think honestly Amnesia is going to be like Natsuzora because of the heroine not really speaking(?) format or whatever so everyone’s hyping it up but after Natsuzora I’m a bit weary lol

  11. The text format makes this game sound utterly boring. I saw the screens on your tumbrl and it looked awful. Plus the story seems kinda “meh” in most routes, and the pretty art isn’t enough for me. I’ll wait for amnesia if I want a game solely for pretty art. Or I’ll grit my teeth with with psp emu and play musketeer.

    And you’re play the DC version of Grimm, you’re so lucky. I’ve got no luck finding it (T.T). Ah well, I’ll play the power rangers game till I find it. BTW have you thought about playing Scared Rider Xechs? From what I’ve seen it also has a power rangers like theme.

  12. lol yea who knows anymore….the last route was good, it really was….then you know otome pulls their trolling shit on me rofl. it’s like they had no idea how to end it so let’s just have everyone live happily ever after yippie! 🙄

    At least the art & music was nice..but isn’t that how it is with most otomate games? XD

  13. ∪*・ω・*)ノポィッ⌒【☆:*:・オツカレサマ・:*゚☆】
    I agree that text system really ruins the game. It blocks everything including pretty CGs, BGs, and people’s expressions. -_-” When I heard the last route made you cry I had a slight hope, but looks like that’s not the case..? lol.

    Maybe we’ll like Natsuzora better if we play this before CZ. Maybe not.

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