Galge Review: Himawari -Pebble in the Sky-

It’s been a while, but after suffering through a streak of otome kusoge I decided to play a galge! The good news is, like most galge I’ve been lucky to play, the story was pretty good. The bad news is, there’s no truly happy ending except maybe for one of the girls. And the better news is, this game is available to buy from Manga Gamer in English in December! Anyway on to the review, and remember spoilers ahead so be sure to skip to my final thoughts if you plan to play it. Our story is about Hinata Yoichi, the lone survivor of a space plane SA-DANO80 that exploded on its launch day. He has since lost his memories and has been living alone funded by the Saionji group – the group whose plane exploded and took responsibility. One night he hears a crash near the sight of where that space plane crashed and he finds a UFO pod with a random girl inside. The girl appears to also have amnesia and so Yoichi lets her stay in his house while he tries to figure who or what she is.

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himawari139Alright so before we jump into the swing of things, let’s go back to the year 2048. Well actually let’s go back to a little before that. Sometime in year 202x there was a college astronomy club with the club captain Saionji Akira, and the 2 members Amamiya Daigo and Hoshino Akari. They spent their days building rockets with the aim to go to space. There was also another girl by the name of Toujou Momiji who a long time ago was Akira’s fiance. They were to be married because the Saionji group was doing bad, but neither of them wanted it and Akira pushed efforts to rebuild his company so the marriage was nullified. Momiji happened to run into him again when she tried to recruit Akari for her own solo alien-hunting club but Akari offered for Momiji to join their astronomy club instead. Things seemed like they were going well, but Akari was a jealous hoe and she was raging that Momiji was now taking Daigo and Akira’s attention away from her. It got to the point where Akari set fire to the club rooms, which were back to back and when Momiji tried to rescue her, Akari instead raged and stabbed her. Not only that but Momiji had a metal implant near her shoulder because she suffered from Jakob’s disease. During the stabbing incident, Akari had taken a box cutter and ripped the implant right out of Momiji’s shoulder making her pass out and get hospitalized after Daigo had rescued them both from the burning building. After this incident Momiji was like wtf Akari did this but Akira told her that the room burned down and there was no proof at all. Because of this and other problems with her family name, Momiji’s mom told her to change her name and go live somewhere where no one will know her. Momiji then decided to move to the Miyaura village – the setting for this game and then she ended up marrying Daigo and having 2 kids. Daigo then went missing in action because he had gotten the luna virus (which I will go into shortly) and lost his memories. In the mean time another guy who once served Momiji’s grandpa began to take care of Momiji but she was so mentally broken she called him Daigo. This guy ultimately ended up ending his life as the pilot of the sa-dano80 and Momiji had returned to her home and began calling her son, Ginga, as Daigo now too.

himawari135So let’s talk about Daigo. Daigo flew from  Japan to the moon and everyone thought he was a hero (even though all he did was like fap to porno mags in 0 gravity ಠ_ಠ). When he had gotten to the moon, he confessed his love to Akari but by then Akari was banging Akira and was pregnant with his child. I guess Daigo didn’t take the rejection lightly so that’s why he ended up marrying Momiji instead. He came back to the space station 4 years later to work together with Hinata Souichiro – the father of our protagonist Yoichi. They were working on a project based around the Luna Virus which was a virus they discovered with the samples Daigo brought back from his trip to the moon. By then Akira had built space station Himawari and was hiring people to work there. Souchiro’s project was to use the Luna virus to prove that those who have it can use it to “transfer memories” of other people (like a carrier and a host.) He then used Akari as a test subject because she knew she was gonna die early anyway and even if it was illegal and unethical agreed to it anyway. Akari had the usual ~weak body~ thing going on, and her mother died giving birth to her so she was basically guaranteed to die before she ever reached age 30. She had her first child with Akira, at age 23, and they named the child Asuka. To avoid scandals, Asuka was immediately transported back on earth, despite being the first baby born on a space station. She was kind of like this hidden child of the Saionji group and was basically taken care of and raised by servants and her main butler Johnny – aka Jou-nii – Akari’s older brother.
himawari054In the meantime, she continued to be a lab rat for Souichiro by having him inject her with the luna virus while donating her eggs to him to use in creating clones. Unfortunately picking Akari for this purpose was obviously not such a great idea seeing how she had a major health issue that wouldn’t allow her to live past a certain age. Akira in the meantime basically dumped her at the space station while he went back to earth to work on his space plane – the passenger ship to allow you to fly to & from space. Somehow during all of this Akari got pregnant again, even though she really didn’t want to go through labor a second time because it was so grueling for her body. (I’m still not sure because the all age version censors so much sexual context that it’s hard to tell if she was artificially inseminated or she banged Daigo.) Anyways this is now 4 years after she’s had Akari and she’s close to labor. The only one with her at the time was Daigo and and he gave Akari an engagement ring that Akira had left for her. That’s why Daigo came up here to deliver the ring which has the phrase “A to A” carved on it. This is all a lie though, Daigo made up to make Akari feel less lonely and she was able to see through it. 😢 The two of them then talked about naming the baby and they decided it would be Aoi because of the “blue planet” – Earth – which she always saw from Himawari. Needless to say, Akari died giving birth to Aoi and then Souichiro adopted Aoi as his own child. Some months later, Souichiro created 2 test tube babies that successfully survived – Aqua and Aries. They were both test subjects for the Luna Virus and continued getting it injected into them but Aoi had the virus in her due to inheritance from her mother Akari. The 3 girls spent a lot of time living at the space station, but only Aoi was ever allowed to travel back & forth to earth with Souichiro and she would always tell Aqua and Aries about her adventures on earth.
himawari082The 3 girls were very close  friends until they began to grow up. At age 13, in 2048 things changed. Aoi started to have feelings for her step brother Yoichi and the two of them got into a sexual relationship without Souchiro knowing it so the virus was passed on to Yoichi as well. In the meantime, Daigo, who was missing in action, managed to somehow sneak on to Himawari and ended up spending time hiding in Aqua’s room. He threatened to attack Aoi and Aries if she peeped so she quietly let him stay and be a piss drunk dirty ossan…and well honestly I’m not 100% certain but implications show he may or may not have raped her too =____=;. My only proof of the fact that I think he did is because he began to lose his memories which is a direct effect of the Luna Virus and the only way to get that virus is by liquid contact – be it kissing or well like an STD. Once he started to lose his memories, he began to think that Aqua is actually his former love Hoshino Akari and he completely forgot that he was married with 2 kids. Despite this gross ossan being annoying af the whole time somehow…Aqua falls in love with him. Aqua then finds out that only she is the true subject of the Luna Theory because she’s the only one who got injections and got Akari’s memories. The other 2 were born with powers but were not used for the research. The injections were filled with Akari’s RNA to pass her memories on to Aqua. Akira is pissed that Aqua hid Daigo in her room and then forces Aries to erase his memories from Aqua’s head. Aries can’t do it and complains it’s not fair and to forgive Aqua. Aries then stupidly blurts out that Aoi has a boyfriend so Akira orders Aries to erase Aoi’s memories of Yoichi. Aoi wakes up screaming at them and Aries just says it’s Akira’s orders. Just then they find blood stained words on the floor that say “help me I don’t want to die” and realize this used to be Akari’s room.
himawari087Hoshino Akari end: Aqua makes the resolution to tell Daigo the truth about Akari and Aoi, even if it means ruining her chances with Daigo. When Daigo finds out, he admits he knew but was in denial which is why he came back to Himawari. Daigo asks if Aqua still wants to escape the station with him and she refuses saying Daigo should go fulfill his promise with Akari and become Aoi’s dad. Aqua also asks him to pass the ring to Aoi as well. Akira reveals to Aqua that her health is poor due to the hereditary bad health from Akari. He then goes on to say that he used Akari for experiments because she was gonna die anyway. Aqua gets pissed and threatens to shoot Akira with a gun,  until Daigo bursts in and intervenes. Instead he and Akira get into a fist fight because Daigo admits to hating Akira too. Afterwards Daigo tries to run away with Aqua but Akira starts shooting at them. Aqua grabs his gun and uses her power to stop him while he rages that he doesn’t want them taking Aoi from him. Daigo then grabs Aqua and they run away from Himawari together. In the epilogue there’s a flashback to Akari’s final day before her death with Akira by her side apologizing for not coming back to her in time. Before dying Akari tried to tell Akira the name of the child she came up with but all she could say was “A”. Meanwhile back in the present Daigo stupidly sent their path towards the moon instead of earth. 😅 For some reason Daigo’s memories loop to 2034 and he starts calling Aqua as Akari with no recollection of what he did the day before. Aqua realizes he’s thought of her as Akari since the day before their departure when he went to Akari’s old room instead of her own. Aqua realizes that all of Daigo’s kind words to her were meant for Akari because he couldn’t accept her death. When Aries calls them to check on them 5 days later and Aqua tells her about the Akari thing…Aries just tells Aqua to roll with it & become the Akari that Daigo wants. Unfortunately as they reach the moon, the ship crashes into it. They send a help signal but have to wait for 3 days for it to arrive. Aqua also realizes that their ship crashed because of a bug in Aries’ program and she gets horrified thinking the ship that’s set to fly on 8/23 may have the same bug. Aqua says they need to relay the message to Aries before the launch but they have no way to contact her because they’re stuck on the moon with no signal. Daigo suggests they walk to the other side of the moon so they can reach the signal to earth but they only have 24 hours before the airship on earth departs. On top of this,  their space suits can only last them 20 hours so they’d end up dying if they go out. Because Aoi is gonna be on that airship and Daigo made a promise to protect Akari’s daughter he decides to go out and make the signal to earth before dying. Aqua tries to go after him but nearly dies until Daigo helps her up and takes her with him. In the end they don’t make it in time and Daigo dies while still thinking about the past. As he dies,  Aqua pretends to be Akari so he can die in peace. 😭
Upon her return to earth, Aoi was supposed to get her memories wiped by Aries but Aries felt bad so she told Aoi to pretend she doesn’t know Yoichi. Unfortunately it ended up not being an act – because of the Luna Virus – Aoi ended up forgetting who Yoichi as because she had fully inherited Akari’s memories inside of her. In fact she had basically turned into Akari, but in the end nobody really knew it because she ended up dying on the space plane with Yoichi’s parents. So now let’s go into the heroines a bit and their routes.
himawari023Aries – Aries is really kind of a pointless route or heroine rather. It feels rather like she’s just an exposition to move the plot along despite being the poster girl for the game. Most of Aries’ route is spent in amnesia land where she acts like a child and even needs help taking a bath or using the bathroom (???). After Yoichi and Ginga’s rocket fails for the 20th time Aries gets really upset and starts to cry. Yoichi has no idea why she’s upset and that night she asks to sleep in bed with him. In fact after this she seems to act different as if her memories came back. She also asks Yoichi to plant a ton of sunflowers in the park. They plant 350 sunflower seeds in the park but Aries isn’t done. One night while he’s cleaning her room,  he finds an old album.  It’s mostly photos of him and people who he figures are his parents. He then sees a red eyed girl start to appear in all the family photos out of nowhere.  Just then Aries comes into the room threatening to wipe his memory. Yoichi yells at her that even if she wipes his memory it won’t change the past.  Just then Asuka’s dad drops by interrupting the scuffle. He reveals that Aries worked at the same space station as his parents under the Saionji group due to her great talent (as seen when she reprogrammed Yoichi’s rocket.) He reveals that she’s basically a run away from the space station and because she lost her memories they had trouble finding her so they sent Aqua to also look for her as well. That night Aries runs away and as Yoichi finally finds her on the roof she’s crying and blaming herself for the incident. She says because there was a bug in her program, the space plane with his parents and Aoi crashed and killed everyone on board (except him.) Yoichi tells Aries that he forgives her and he’s doing his best to live on. Aries says this is impossible for him to forgive her and so she unlocks the memory of Aoi.
himawari111Yoichi then has a PTSD flashback of being at the crash site in a mountain of dead bodies and finding the body of Aoi – before passing out and then waking up with amnesia at the hospital. The amnesia was of course due to the luna virus aids that Aoi gave to him. He then gets angry and starts to strangle Aries for taking away his loved one, but all Aries does is let him do it while she cries and apologizes. Yoichi then stops himself and says that while he had forgotten everything the last 2 years, Aries didn’t, and she was guilty and cried all the tears for him (up until 2 weeks earlier when the game began and Aries crashed on earth losing her memories too.) The following day Akira stops by thanking Yoichi for finding  Aries. He says that Aries is going back to space but if he wants she can come back to visit. Aries however says she will not be coming back because even if Yoichi has forgiven her, she has not forgiven herself. She asks that Yoichi water the sunflowers they planted in the park on the sight of the plane crash. Yoichi then runs out of his house and yells to her to come back in the summer to make sure the sunflowers are blooming. Aries end: Aries returned the ring she found in the park to Yoichi saying it belonged to his sister. He then figures the only way to save Aries from her guilt is to successfully launch their rocket.  Yoichi then sets top try to find the bugs in the program she wrote. Eventually they succeed and they launch the rocket in space and it explodes into a giant firework that looks like a big sunflower. In the epilogue,  Yoichi goes to the park to read the names of those who died in the plane crash because he forgot his sister’s name. When he gets there though,  he can’t find her name there and has no idea why. Hinata Aoi end: Yoichi choses Aries over Aqua, and she cries about how she’s just an empty vessel that was created to take the Luna Virus into herself. Eventually they do the deed and Aries’ memories get taken over by Aoi’s. Yoichi then has a long dream of being in a big field of blood red sunflowers with Aoi.The tips section follows the Aoi end showing that Aries inherited Aoi’s memories but couldn’t become Aoi…because she had her own personality. Due to this Yoichi wakes up from the dream and tells Aries to live on as Aries not as Aoi as they stand in the big field of sunflowers that they planted.
himawari089Aqua – Aqua feels like the main heroine of the game and I say this only because she was probably the only one with a true happy ending. But then part of me is grossed out at the fact that she might have been raped by a 43 year old man when she was 13 and she was constantly injected with blood of her dead mother in order to continue with the Luna Virus experiment. Like Aries, who has the power to heal, Aqua has the power to manipulate DNA so she can kinda heal stuff but she can also break stuff too but she must touch it directly (which is why she couldn’t save Daigo because they were both barricaded by space suits.) Aqua finds a stray baby nuko and asks if Yoichi can keep it cause they won’t let her keep it at Asuka’s place cause her butler Johnny has a cat allergy. She names it Daigoro and spends the night at Yoichi’s house until Asuka comes running looking for her. After she leaves Aqua calls her lying that she returned to Germany. She also cuts off contact with Himawari in order to be “free” from them. One night the kitten gets really sick so Asuka and Johnny fly him to a neighboring city to get looked at by a vet. Aqua is so upset about this she gets drunk and bangs Yoichi. The worst part of course is she’s so drunk she thinks he’s Daigo and calls him by that name.  Turbo NTR! Yoichi feels bad and goes along with it until his brain subconsciously calls her Aoi. This brings Aqua back to reality and she leaves his room.  Also Aqua’s dialogue implied that Daigo basically raped her despite him being 43 and her being 13. The vita version isn’t r18 but the original doujin game was so make your own guesses how that went.  That night Yoichi has a dream about the past and right before the fated flight he was lonely thinking he’d never see Aoi again so he presumably banged her. During some battle with Ginga, Aqua discovers that her “red medicine” was just blood transfusions. Yoichi offers his blood to her so she can continue fighting him. Afterwards Daigo demands to know the truth on why his father died but Aqua just continues to deny it.
himawari090Yoichi gets into a fist fight with him and realizes the pain Daigo left behind. At night Yoichi makes up with Aqua, and she finally switches to liking him over Daigo. He also agrees to let her suck his blood then jokes that she’s a vampire cause it hurts so much lol. While everything seems happy with them,  suddenly memories of Aoi come haunting him. After falling asleep in bed with Aqua he remembers Aoi returning to him and having no idea who he is. One morning when Aqua is making out in bed with Yoichi, Aries walks in.  Aqua tells her to gtfo and not get in the way.  Aries runs away shocked and Yoichi gets angry at Aqua. Aries goes missing but in the room she’s staying they find a letter addressed to Aqua that Souichiro, Yoichi’s dad left behind. After reading it they discover the Luna Virus had the ability to copy memories but you needed a certain gene for it to work. He then said a weird disease spread throughout Hinawari, one that would erase a portion of one’s memories due to this virus. About 150 people got contaminated with this virus because Souichiro didn’t properly contain it within his lab. If you had the certain gene the virus would be full blown and make someone completely lose their memory.  This is why Aoi completely lost her memories of Yoichi. The reason behind this is she had the gene which was passed down from her mother – Akari. The letter mentions that Souichiro tried to reproduce the gene she had by creating clones – and the 2 surviving ones were Aqua and Aries. His attempts to transfer Akari’s memories to Aqua failed so he tried to do it to Aries. By them Souichiro was growing tired and wanted to quit and end this whole project. He went as far as leaking the info that Saionji group is doing bad things. He then made an agreement to have a guy sneak in on the ship to destroy all the research data. Unfortunately as we know,  the terrorist got caught and killed by Akira. By then Souichiro realized that the virus got full blown in Aoi because she always had weird dreams about Akari’s past.
himawari107It’s said that the virus spread via mucous membrane contact (like saliva) so Souichiro then later found out that 500 people had this virus. So to not spread the virus further they decided to make all the people passengers of the sa-dano80. And he single handedly decided to intentionally put a bug into the program that would crash the airship and kill everyone to stop the spread of the virus….😱 No one thought this was intentional because the airship Aqua was on had a bug too…but that was all part of the plan since Aqua had the virus in herself too. Souichiro knew he was gonna die so he left this letter and the list of people who were going to die. After they finish reading the letter,  Aries comes in angry that they found the letter she hid. Aries just rages that Aqua forgot about her erogge crush and that Yoichi belongs to Aoi. Sigh pls lol. They then realize that Yoichi got the virus from Aoi via kiss and passed it to Aqua. Souichiro had no idea that Yoichi and Aoi were doing things siblings shouldn’t do so Yoichi was never on that ship to begin with. There was no way for anyone to survive that accident. His name was on the list but instead of him the one who rode the ship was Aoi – since she was an undocumented child. He ran to the site of the crash and just saw a mountain of dead bodies in which he found Aoi. He then lost his memories due to the virus he got from her. So now Yoichi thinks his feelings for Aqua were fake. Aries refuses to let Aqua be with Yoichi because she feels that she is the best replacement for Aoi as she’s the only successful person left with the Luna Virus genes. If she takes the virus from Yoichi she would get all of Aoi’s memories back and it’s as if Aoi would return from the dead. Aries then claims that Aqua will never get over Daigo and would later break his heart too.
himawari102Aries then claims she’s been in love with Yoichi even before Aoi by playing games with his records and chatting to him via Internet by using the excuse that she wanted to talk to her. So the reason she wants to be Aoi is cause Yoichi loved Aoi so much. Additionally turns out Luna Virus can cancel out its memory loss with itself proven by Yoichi kissing Aoi the day before launch of the death ship. Unfortunately Souichiro didn’t realize this and by then it was too late to end his suicide. Aqua end: Souichiro rejects Aries and goes to talk to Aoi. After talking through the door for a while Aqua gives Yoichi the old ripped & taped photo of him and Aoi. He then grabs Aqua and they run to the school to the planetarium he made.  There he tries to take her “to the other side if earth”  but fails because the program in the planetarium is unfinished.  Just when they think all hope is lost,  Aries comes through and finishes the program. In the end they’re a couple again and Akira visits and acts like an angry dad seeing off his daughter.  He then takes Aries back to Himawari with him. Aqua and Yoichi realize it’s Aries who finished the planetarium program and thank her. They make up but Aries says she hasn’t given up on Yoichi before she says goodbye. In the epilogue 2 years later Yoichi and Aqua are going on vacation together. Getting on the successor plane sa-dano90 and it’s a step for Yoichi to get over his trauma. Aqua offers to hold his hand and they fly off to Hawaii, California and then plan to visit Brazil.
himawari121Asuka – So Asuka is Akira and Akari’s first daughter who’s been raised by her uncle and butler Johnny. She met Yoichi at the hospital when she was 18 and he was 14 after the Sa-Dano80 crash. The hairpin she wears in her hair was made for her by Yoichi cause she couldn’t pierce her ears.Because Johnny blows up Yoichi’s house with a missile,  he and Aries temporarily move into Asuka’s mansion. Yoichi is thrown in what looks like an underground dungeon. He is then dressed up like a butler to take training from Johnny to give a reason to be at Asuka’s house. Asuka in the meantime joins the astronomy club with Yoichi and Ginga. One morning when Yoichi goes to wake her up he realizes her eyes are red. They’re red just like Akari’s but apparently Asuka usually wore colored contacts.  In the past Asuka slept over his house once and they kissed (or perhaps fucked who even knows with this all age version!)  She’s never done it again and he didn’t want to bring it up.  One night at her house Yoichi comes into her room.  She tells him he should try a double bed experience and pulls him into bed with her. Yoichi feels awkward at first but before he knows it he finds himself kissing her a 2nd time.  He immediately stops because her breath tastes like cigarettes. This is because Asuka is old enough to smoke since she’s 4 years older than Yoichi. The 2048 flashback showed that when Daigo confessed to Akari and she rejected him,  they said 4 years passed when Souichiro said his wife was pregnant with Yoichi. The next day at the club room, Akira starts to smoke and Yoichi rages at him because the smell reminds him of the kiss with Asuka. When Yoichi talks to Akira outside he finds out about how Asuka’s mother died at 27 and Asuka’s health is poor so she won’t love more than maybe 25.
himawari126He tells Yoichi not to get involved with her or else his life will go to hell. Yoichi doesn’t believe him until he finds out that Asuka graduated high school 2 years ago and after meeting Yoichi decided to just temporarily go to the same high school as him. She didn’t think she was gonna live to graduate college so she figured it didn’t matter if she just messed around in hs again. Yoichi is shocked to hear Asuka is actually 20 years old and even more so even he realizes she only has 5 years to live. Before Akira leaves he stumbles upon the broken telescope that the astronomy club left behind – and fixes it. Yoichi finds Asuka’s club membership form and sees she put her real birthday making her real age to be 20, as Akira said. Yoichi runs into Asuka in the town streets and she admits to being 20. He realizes it’s time to stop running her away and asks her to be his great life advice senpai. Asuka hugs him saying she’s not as mature as he thinks. She apologizes for making him rush to grow up for her but asks him to be with her until the end. The two of them kiss a 3rd time and Asuka confesses that when she met him in the hospital she knew he was “without a past” & decided to befriend him because she was “without a future”. They fall into a fountain and get wet so Asuka suggests they go dry off at a love hotel. Yoichi is against it at first,  but decides he needs to grow up and be a man. 😏 I’m laughing though cause instead of fucking he ends up “piercing her ears” umm sure ok 😂. After they bang (let’s not kid ourselves),  Yoichi wakes up to see her taking a post sexy time smoke on the balcony with her contacts out and her red eyes fully visible. She says she started to smoke to prove that she can live past age 20. As they lie in bed Asuka tells Yoichi she was the first baby born in space at Himawari but she was then kicked to earth because Akira and Akari had their issues.
himawari130Because of this Asuka really hates space and didn’t want to join the astronomy club. The next day Yoichi takes Asuka to a space museum and they get to cut the line cause the place belongs to her family. There they get to ride a simulation of the space pod Aqua rode 2 years earlier with Daigo. They’re then taken to a replica room that looks like space station Himawari. There Asuka tells Yoichi that her dad never cared about her and never wanted her since she was gonna die early anyway. Afterwards Asuka says she’ll try to make peace with her father. Asuka end: Everyone has a star viewing party at Asuka’s house where Akira asks if Yoichi wants to work for him someday. Akira also challenges Yoichi to try to live with the fact that Asuka will die soon. And so the 3 months come to an end and Yoichi moves back to his newly rebuilt house. Asuka surprises him telling him she’s moving in with him too. 😂😂 She also tells Yoichi she’s 3 months pregnant…wtf 😲. (Dat be some intense ear piercing…or piercing other things lololol). In the epilogue 5 years pass, Yoichi is 21 with a 4 year old child, a girl named Himawari. He’s also on his way to join the Saionji group after Asuka has died. Also Ginga’s sister Kosmos comes back to the town and tells Himawari that she’s been in love with Yoichi all these years. Honestly, while I’m not a fan of R-18 content, I wish they would at least be less vague with the sexual implications because for once, they actually do make a difference, plot wise, in this game. Like you don’t need to SHOW the porn just be like and then they  fucked and fade to black or something. Every single porno scene in this game is replaced with ear piercing or needle injections 😂.

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And they did not live happily ever after.
And they did not live happily ever after.

Well while it was long, I thought the story was really good. Honestly I felt like my favorite parts were the 2048 past bit and weirdly enough, the text only story portion with Akira, Akari, Daigo and Momiji. I just wish that story part was actually redone as actual game portion rather than just tons and tons of text like I’m playing Higurashi or something. I’m also a bit sad we never actually did get to see what Akari looked like even though she played a pretty important role in the story. Overall I think ultimately my favorite character is Aqua. I liked Asuka at first, but once I found out Aqua’s passed she really grew on me. Aries irritated me to no end, whether it be before or after she lost her memories. Before losing her memories, Aries felt like this cruel horrible emotionless robot and after losing them just felt like a dumbass moeblob. Asuka I just honestly felt sorry for because her life was so messed up and I’m amazed she tried her best to live through it (even if technically illegally in the end there..😂😂 ). I wanna say “I wish there was less pedobear in this game” but I guess what can I expect when the original game was labeled as a “life with loli aliens (R-18 link)“. It’s good that the Vita version cut all of this out but yea at the same time, because of the vagueness it left a lot of things confusing and unclear so when the question came of did they or didn’t they, I just assumed they did. So I guess ultimately what drew me was the whole space experiments part and the sci fi bits and honestly they could have interchanged the heroines to be older but I guess this is what sells to the male audience in Japan.  Despite this I still think that it’s worth playing, especially now that it’s in English so you won’t struggle with the sci fi terms. The humor was pretty decent as well and I did find myself chuckling at some of the 4th wall jokes by Daigo. My only real complaint is there was not really much ACTUAL romance in the game and it was very much story focused? There was a bit of romance in the end of Aqua’s route and the end of Asuka’s. Asuka’s probably felt like it had the most romance out of all of them but well Aries….yea. For someone being the poster girl she sure got a huge shaft, pun intended. It also kinda made me realize that I guess technically if the game still had the R-18 scenes in it, that would “be the romance” but since that usually flies over my head, once it’s all cut out, you don’t have much left. I mean hell, only Asuka even got a kiss CG (and in it Yoichi’s eyes went missing.) I guess that’s kinda what I missed about otome games – having actual romance – but I did appreciate the well written story – something a lot of otome games sadly lack.

Anyway if you want a good sci-fi story and don’t really care about romance or fluffy happy endings, then I would highly recommend this game for sure.  The voice actors and actresses are all ones you’ve heard in anime back in the 2005~2009 era so if you’re an old fart like me it will sound all very familiar. 😂

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13 thoughts on “Galge Review: Himawari -Pebble in the Sky-

  1. Definitely going to play this. However, I have to wonder if this is just a guys vs girls thing. Do guys really dislike romance and just like the sexy times? Because we’re all human so I don’t see why they wouldn’t like romance….so I’ve always steered clear from galge because I want a heartfelt romance, though I don’t mind the sexy times if it’s relevant.
    Anyways, glad to see this is getting a localization and you’re recommendation, so count me in.

    1. Hello!

      I vaguely remember hearing about this game some time ago but never checked what it’s about. I definitely do wanna support MangaGamer and Himawari does sound interesting…

      Thanks for bringing attention to this game, Hinano! It’s also great to see you do another galge review as it’s been a while (not saying you should do more, BTW, just saying it was nice to see again).

      Now to hijack Leaf’s comment! xP

      While it’s no surprise that many male erogamers place more importance in sexual content compared to the female ones, it doesn’t mean that guys don’t appreciate/dislike romance. If you look at DL Site Girl’s Maniax, it’s clear the reverse holds true to some extent- women tend to place more emphasis on the romance, yes, but many can forego it in favour of straight-up sexromps depending on their mood or preferred VN experience.

      The bishoujoge market is *much larger* than the otome eroge one and as a result, has a wider variety of genres and specialisations to cater to various customer bases. Some examples: SMEE makes slice-of-life chara-moege with a few sex scenes after becoming a couple. Liar-soft specialises in unique settings (their steampunk series by Sakurai Hikaru being popular and most famous) that are much more story-oriented- the erotic content isn’t plentiful and some even consider it “not erotic”. Then finally you have companies like Orcsoft and Waffle that focuses on nukige (porn over plot).

      You’re missing out on some good reads by choosing to dodge the entire galge genre. You just have to look for the right companies (eroge companies tend to stick to their base specialisations rather than otome ones that do dip their toes in other subjects and genres) and the right titles.

      1. I only picked it because Souichiro Hoshi voiced the protag but I guess I’m glad I did since the story was pretty good. There’s a few galges im interested in playing (like Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai) in the future if I clear through my otome priorities first lol

    2. As Laramie said it honestly varies by game. For example ImaImo had a good chunk of romance = but it was also originally an all ages game to begin with. It seems like heavy story focused eroge also tend to focus less on the romance but throw in the ero part as a selling point. I honestly don’t play enough galge to make judgements about companies especially since the only galge selling point to me is “is the male protag voiced or not” 😄

  2. Thank you so much for doing this review! You convinced me to play this game and I’m currently enjoying it…a lot :D,one question,do you plan on making reviews about TYPE-MOON works like Fate/Stay Night,Tsukihime or Mahoutsukai No Yoru? I know that they are Eroges(except Mahoutsukai) but it would be really interesting seeing a review made by you about these games Hinano!

    PS:This site is awesome hehe xD.

    1. thanks for reading! I don’t really prioritize galge/eroge because well most of my audience doesn’t care about those… xD so I’m not as motivated. also honestly I only pick galge if the main protagonist is voiced and it has a Vita port since I play a lot of my gaming outside the house and I can’t really carry my PC with me 😛

      1. Oh I understand now,thanks for the explanation 🙂

        PS: If I remember correctly,Fate/Stay Night has the Realta Nua version that is a PSvita port hehe all the characters are voiced(wich is a plus xD),if you do get curious and check Fate in the future, I’ll warn you that you may not like the main character in the first Route but he get’s better in the second and third one(especially the third,he is almost like a different character),not to talk that the story is pretty good(it’s possible to block the eroge parts in this version lol)

  3. Hey this is a really nice written summary of the game. I played this game on vita. Still struggling with my japanese language but finally managed to end the game. Damn the story was like super good. To be honest i do agree with the lack of romance part since most of the galge that i played are usually romance-centered, but the awesome story and plot from himawari is good enough to cover this.

    One this that still bothering me, if you remember the murder scene in the mansion at an island (i dont really remember all the characters’ names), what with the rounded metal things? Why are they planted on Momiji’s chest and Alto’s arm? And the same thing that the pilot saw from the plane. I still dont get the true nature of this thing. Also about Aries Institue. It seems you didnt really go into details about this in your review.

    And also i noticed that during the party before the launching of the crashed rocket (or spaceship whatever) the pilot had a conversation with Aoi about the true event of the murder. The pilot had an impression that Aoi is not the same as Aoi that he met before. She seemed more mature. Im pretty sure at that moment Aoi already fully changed into Akari. What do you think?

    1. I honestly don’t remember since it’s been a while since I played HImawari. I believe it was something to do with them being clones that were created via test tube like Aqua and co. Aoi never changed into Akari – but from time to time I believe she would have Akari’s memories “take over” her body.

      I’m sorry I don’t really remember the details of the events you mentioned since it was a lot to digest and I was just waiting to see how any of it was relevant to the plot or if it affected it. I don’t usually summarize every single scene in each game cause it just takes too long and I mostly focus on the main story.

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