Moe moe rabu rabu~ Flyable heart and Tenshin Ranman impressions

I’m pretty sure that I have gotten to the point that happy fluffy eroges are no longer able to impress me. However, for reasons unknown to me, I’ve decided to take a look at Flyable heart and Tenshin ranman. Both of these titles are on the lighter side, praised for their art and production values. I’ve only gone through Amane and Sakurako in FH and Sana in TR, but I think it’s enough for me to say something about them.

Both stories were funny at the beginning. FH clicked with me much more than TR, and I especially cracked up at the cake which was made into a life sized replicate of Rodin’s “The Thinker”. However, TR does have its moments, such as when the protag accidentally blasted some people away with laser vision.

As you can see, the graphics are awesome and really compliment the story. That’s kind of expected, since the graphics are major selling points in both stories. There are many anatomy problems in FH, especially with the limbs, but I’ll talk about that in depth when I review it. For now, I just want to rant about this:

Is that supposed to be someone’s chest? Not only is the fabric defying many, many laws of gravity here, but the simple shape of it makes me cringe. It’s like looking at one of Michelangelo female statues or something. Seriously, look at this stuff, you can’t say that they don’t look alike.

The music were also pretty similar in terms of tone, although TR’s soundtrack is more annoying. The systems in both games involve a lot of effects and animation. TR is better in terms of incorporating movements into character expressions, but FH is better in effects overall.

As for the plot… For both routes, I liked the beginning of FH. It was fun and entertaining. The beginning of the drama also kept me interested, but twice, I found myself with a sense of bored detachment by the time I got to the ending. The exact opposite happened in TR. I didn’t like the characters nearly as much as I did for FH, and the little plot that was there was shallow and didn’t keep me interested. The many, many events which simply involve the girl acting cute with the guy without any plot progression is something that I’m thoroughly sick and tired of now. However, I really liked Sana’s ending. It was a bit touching and really make the story better. Although, I have to admit that without the ending, there really isn’t much of a story and at the end of the day I still don’t like Sana.

In the end, I have to say that the moe moe rabu rabu wasn’t a good choice for me. I’ll be finishing Flyable heart, but I don’t think I can stand any more Tenshin Ranman. It is really catered to give the player the sense of spending time with the girl, which is definitely not what I want right now.

Anyone has a recommendation for a story with decent production values and a non-terrifying/depressing but still intriguing plot which contains tastefully inserted comedy? Of the stuff I have on my computer right now, Muvluv and Da capo are too fluffy, 3 days and Chaos;head scares me too much, Swan song seems to be too depressing, and the rest has art that I disagree with. For now, I’ll be watching Revolutionary Girl Utena, which has comedy that is……sigh……I mean, a boxing kangaroo? Really?

See that? See that? I’m whining. I need something awesome to gush about. Somebody give me something, please.


30 thoughts on “Moe moe rabu rabu~ Flyable heart and Tenshin Ranman impressions

  1. If you own a DS, I highly recommend 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. It’s directed by Kotaro Uchikoshi, who was the lead writer for Ever17. The best way to describe it is a slightly darker version of Ever17, coupled with escape-the-room elements. Even if you are not fond of puzzle games in general, this title is worth a look just for the story alone. From what I had seen of the story so far, it’s absolutely fantastic in incorporating psychology and philosophical musings in a closed circle setting.

    • I don’t have one. And even if I did manage to wrench one away from my cousin, the small screen makes my head dizzy. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it though, hope they port it or something.

  2. I just finished playing Galaxy Angel in English. It had a space opera story that was not bad (similar to the Starship Operators anime) and had some solid game play (ever play the PC game Homeworld? kinda like that) and it had some good humor but also nice romance and drama. Never was really too impressive in any category but was well rounded.

  3. Play Swan Song, it’s not that depressing, it even has a happy fluffy ending. It’s definitely an awesome and unique game, one wouldn’t regret playing.
    And yeah, as I said already, read the summary of muvluv extra and start with ML unlimited.

  4. Utena is fucking awesome. I loved that show. I can’t really elucidate well on why, but it’s partially due to the crazy metaphors and visual style of the work, as well as the awesome main character. I hate Anthy, though, lol.

  5. If you don’t mind some more manga recs, I’ve enjoyed Minazuki Suu’s odd style in Sora no Otoshimono and Watashi no Messiah-sama. The distinctive things about his series tend to be deconstructing tropes, and ‘Mood Whiplash’, though he is one of the few that can employ it effectively.

    …looking through your VN list makes me sad about Fate HA’s translation situation. Not really any recommendatins I can give you there, especially with the ‘no-DS’ limitation (though I’d suggest Time Hollow otherwise).

    Not really any suggestions for anime either. I’ve got a minor case of nostalgia recently, though, and rewatched the (Euro) Disney series W.I.T.C.H. How Disney treated it is another reminder of why we can’t have nice things, though.

    • I’ve really enjoyed Watashi no Messiah-sama, although I gave up on Sora no Otoshimono after a few chapters. The funny thing is, I have a few volumes of WITCH, and just yesterday I’ve kind of brushed up on them. Then I saw this. What a coincidence.

  6. You did play Haruuru already so uh. Hm.

    My vote would be on Natsu no Ame. Yeah. It doesn’t run the moe functionality if I recall correctly.

      • Rats so there wasn’t a Chinese translation for that. Wait, I would have noticed then.

        At this point I think a Light Novel would procure more flavor, but then you would lack visuals. Also usually they’re most effective when it’s like, the first volume, brand new, and completely fresh.

        I’m like doh, Natsu no Ame would fit the criterion you’re looking for but the language restriction defeats the purpose.

        I wonder if Mizuiro is in Chinese (2001 NekoNekoSoft, I dig). 😛 I need to locate a Chinese pool and be like “okay I haven’t seen Choux play that one.” I enjoy older properties since they’re less subject to saturation. Well, if I was suggesting going back, go to 1997 for To Heart and remind yourself of how you watched To Heart Remember My Memories and recall your first venturing of Visual Novel awareness. Sure it’s stereotypical but then it’s like oh man, this was 1997 though so it feels really prototype. You’ve tried To Heart 2 indeed, but I didn’t see anything on the original To Heart.

        Hahahaha or be like me and play Princess Maker 4. (Though I haven’t played that since 2006 for the most part.) This doesn’t fall into any of your categories but runs statistical systems like dating sims do. I don’t think you’re seeking a game that runs another system (like an RPG, even if it’s part Visual Novel)

        Though I would be looking for some name brand that you haven’t tried. You mentioned about the trap bodyguard (er C&D), but I don’t see any mention of AXL game attempts other than that post. See if any are in Chinese perhaps?

        Of course asking me, naturally now that I had more time to think about it, I would say go on a trap run like you did two years ago. The traps themselves usually exhibit balanced characterization and implementation and (okay so I’ve went on about this for a good 6 months this year) find a game that isn’t fluffy nor dark.

        Out of games that had traps I can think of that are decent, you already played H2O and otoboku. So then I can think of happiness, koitate, akane iro no somaru saka, and ruitomo. There are other ones … that are subject to being nukige (despite good art). RuiTomo is more language intensive, and has more emphasis/strength on interaction. It’s also significantly harder to read, so this is unlikely.

        In this case Happiness would procure a high density of fluffiness (good art though) and low basis (story, what’s that). It may suffer from what moe moe rabu rabu exerted.

        Koitate would work (considering you even mentioned in on your blog already), and probably akane iro too. I don’t recall you mentioning AXL and Feng in particular (or Windmill for that matter). Both cases have story (I’d rather say premise) with decent production values and a non-terrifying/depressing (completely not there) but still intriguing plot which contains tastefully inserted comedy [shrug, making sure it fit the criterion]. Also fluffiness is avoided, former case using SD images, latter case uh, hm I don’t know what you’d call it.

        Natsu no Ame had like a 0% of being in Chinese (it’s a Sep 2009 release), maybe something in 2007 is more likely, lol. If Mizuiro is really in Chinese I’m going to be amused because that’s what my current attention is on [2010 has a lack of balanced traps].

        Yeah so my recommendations would be Koitate and Akaneiro. Something not super epic on story spectrum (those are hard to come by), but contains simple fun and didn’t suck. I can’t think of a good analogy. If they’re in Chinese I say try these out if you’re lacking on something awesome to gush about. These are the most probable but I have no idea on the Chinese spectrum.

        Let me know if you encounter them.

      • That’s a bit ironic. In terms of novels, light novels actually have much more visuals lol. I do agree with you in that many series falter in quality/attractiveness after a few volumes though.

        Mizukiro is actually available in Chinese (although the true ending isn’t translated yet, I think?) I really can’t stand that art, so I probably won’t be looking into it. The same applies to To heart, although there’s also a language barrier for that. Anyway, I don’t want something that’s good for its time. I do remember watching the anime to it and liking it though.

        …guh… Princess Maker…… after the weeks I spend going through all four games of that series……I vowed to never go near it ever again………ever………

        None of the AXL games are in Chinese. Although Senomoto Hisashi’s coloring would make me very hesitant even if one was translated. (I have a lot of pet peeves when it comes to art, I know) As for the rest of the trap games… I’m not going near Akane iro (for some reason I just associate Feng with dishwater plot) with a 10 foot stick, but I am looking forward to a ruitomo patch, if it ever comes out. As for Happiness… if it ever gets translated I’d play it just for Jun lol

        There is actually a translation project for Natsu no Ame, although they’re only at like 40% or something.

        Since I just finished Kusarihime, I get the feeling that I should stop avoiding reality… I’ll probably be playing Kirakira instead though…

      • Oh, you mean imagery? I guess the light novels I say had no more than 20 drawn images. Either you’ve encountered ones with more drawings, or that the illustration method the artist uses is much more what’s the word … impactful? Light Novel cover art tends to be eyecatching.

        Yes the art of Mizuiro is really old (I’m on a NekoNekoSoft 2001 to 2004 run). Well, I’m one that goes hey it was good for its time, and all the prototype effects, so when it appears stereotypical, at least it was an earlier incarnation, not as saturated. I’m like wow, 2001 appreciation (or 1997 in the case of To Heart). I find the old art can be outweighed since it presents more efficiency and basic visual novel fundamentals. Then I go oh yes, what a prototype (even though it’s really not at all). That and it’s not really *that* special.

        I gather you didn’t encounter Princess Maker 5 (system was too confusing for me to follow). I never played Princess Maker 1, personally. I had a feeling it was entirely possible you played the series. I might as well play a Softstar Taiwan game at that point. Or go wtf and go really back in time and be like oh hi Tokimeki Memorial [no comment, I haven’t played that in literally 15 years.] Omg that also means I played Cupid Bistro 2 five years ago. Yeah these are in Chinese but … gameplay is totally different and stray from storyline/plot I’m sure. That and the statistical factor ….

        I figured none of the AXL games are in Chinese (no mention of them literally), and I can see how the coloring would bother you. It’s usually the context I find amusing and the ambiance, so even the different art style, good or bad, wasn’t really a detriment I would say. It’s fine that you’re picky on certain art styles that may clash but I was under the impression if the other aspects of the game are good, the art cringe can be outweighed. [Well either way, as you said, it’s not available anyways.]

        I personally didn’t venture in Akane iro for dishwater [I have an idea what this means, but elaborate if possible] reasons as I picked it due to the trap lol (the trap isn’t formulated like the other traps, at all. Then again he doesn’t instigate humor/eccentric/character-design appeal like the other traps either. But I did like the route he was in quite a bit as the role was intriguing). Well, I actually liked the game Feng made [Aozora no Mieru Oka] before Akane iro … but that’s entirely due to “prototype” or “predecessor” reasons. [I’m guessing this one is available but not in your scope.]

        Ruitomo would fit the bill but is also the harder game to translate. And yes, as for Happiness I’d play it just for Jun too, lol. I’m surprised Happiness isn’t translated. Maybe it’s the starforce thing back in 2005? But the fandisc didn’t have that. Hm. Really, it’s not translated? (No percentage? I guess Windmill wasn’t picked.)

        I didn’t mention Hanaotome because I recall that one was constructed enough to not really suck but for that same reason didn’t really pop out either. That and you’d be like omg gardening, lots of gardening, despite the art being alright. This may be possible? *unless there’s an art gripe*. Akira is not like Mizuho or Taeko, but that may be due to the twin sister premise setup infiltration (as opposed to a will or mission). If it’s available, consider maybe trying it. It’s subject to have a weaker plot possibility as it implements more intended humor and properties like that.

        [And of other games with traps … most I can think of were too 18+ emphasized (ugh) despite some the trap’s eccentricity/humor/appeal being on similar levels to say Hamaji or Jun. Protag traps are similar to other protag traps, but not so much side character traps.]

        Alright Natsu no Ame, 60% to go, so Choux can try this! Yeah that won’t happen any time soon. [And yes I’m aware we discussed how Kantoku’s art was a bit reverse in time on official games like this one, but I’m quite certain the content in the game would definitely fit the criterion you stated.] But alas can’t read Japanese.. TAT It’s a 09/30/2009 game so … mathematically that’s an 08/30/2012 finish date [nooooooooo too long]. Well, you’ll notice if it hit 100%.

        I’ll keep brainstorming. When I went on my massive trial version playing run in 2009, it was from character design looks (or just art, basically). Most weren’t … too good on flow (too fluffy or some flaw with momentum or ambience, or too 18+ emphasized), and literally Natsu no Ame was the only one that fit the bill. [That and the game picks you did had nicer art or more feasible content too.]
        Well there was Owarinaki Natsu, Towa Naru Shirabe and the interesting rUGB (rUGP?) system that made it run like a theater/movie having text like subtitles instead. I say if you can’t find something, try something that had an interesting feature.

        *Thinks* I think in 2009 people liked Baldr Sky but I never ventured that so I wouldn’t know. But yeah, to avoid fluffiness, perhaps try a game that has another system and be like whoo, adventure mode.

        I’m aware you mentioned before you liked the art of Mikeou but I can’t think of the games he drew in that garner attention. And even if I did think of them, I would think you would have looked for such already (though that was 2008 or so). I can think of Kissmaou but it wasn’t my cup of tea (did you play that? I can’t remember. I can say I like traps but I don’t mention Shinobu for a reason.).

        I’d much rather suggest something like Hoshiuta. Gushable, Fumio art. Yeah, Fumio! Maybe that’s around, who knows. If this is available, consider this.

        On a personal note I’m venturing Final Approach (2004) but that’s a PS2 game, where translation is nil. [although you did have that post about 11eyes in Chinese and something about the 360? So I’m curious on console possibilities.] Well anyways I run this on my PS2 and read at a snail’s pace multiplied by a slug’s pace and a sloth’s movement rate.

        Lol or go back in time and play Hourglass of Summer and its really inconvenient DVD-PG system (its huge) that doesn’t have save slots, as I do like some PrincessSoft games (much closer to the Visual Novel spectrum than eroge I would say). I certainly find this one feasible (though I read a walkthrough that was so thorough I didn’t need to play further).

        What else is possible … there’s always those Pulltop games too. But since you already played Haruuru, the other ones would be like a dropoff. There was one called Yunohana I believe.

        MOONSTONE was mentioned (well just Gift and the ipod English translation that was particularly amusing). If I recall, Marginal Skip was reasonable, and not so much the case of Gift or Clear. [However, if you did venture that, I could see you mentioning the distortion and the copies. Wait, I think you DID do that … or another blog did.]

        You can go older on Yuzusoft and play something like uh … Bra-Ban. Yeah …. …. … Fluffy. ExE isn’t subject to fluffiness but I have no knowledge on that one.

        Maybe a HOOK game. Not sure on the genre/gush part due to inherent fluffiness, I’m sure.

        In terms of recent games (’09-’10 instead of ’08 and before) I would have said Koisora due to Ruchie / Noto Gao drawings but while the art definitely passes the fluffiness is potentially really high. Not commenting on plot per se.

        You mentioned Da Capo was too fluffy, so what about Suika (not subject to being as fluffy)? [Or take another dimension and run D.C. Girls Symphony and go Otome Game perspective. Though I never ventured Otome games.]

        … yeah I’m getting further and further away from a good recommendation. The more possibilities I think of, the less suitable they are. The ones that you’re willing to try that fit your general criterion aren’t available.

        I didn’t mention more spectacular options because either you’ve played them, already have awareness on them, or aren’t available. So I thought of something more towards the middle, better than decent/average in at least one aspect. Didn’t think art had such a large weight. (more like you really won’t venture on something that art clashes, which is fine).

        Now that I re-read the post, I clearly, clearly missed the part about “rest has art [Choux] disagrees with”. That itself cuts the pool down by a lot even without fully knowing Choux’s art style preference lol. There’s actually a lot of possibilities with good art, but then the plot or basis starts to become a question.

        I wonder if an arbitrary doujin would fit the bill. Can’t think of one though. (That and you DID play a doujin a few months back.) Find a doujin with Kantoku art?

        Let us know if there ends up a good pick to venture through and share the impressions. I’m running out of ideas. At this rate you’ll literally have played the basic pool of VNs that are deemed reasonable or at least decent.

        Let’s just finish Kira Kira for now. I haven’t finish my playthrough on that either.

        At this rate I would say venture more Light Novels. Encountering an interesting one is entirely possible, but I’m unfamiliar with the overall pool of it other than the obvious ones that have had anime adaptations.

        I don’t have manga recommendations. I think I read Slam Dunk in Chinese back in the day, considering I have all 31 volumes on this bookshelf ….

        What other types of content are you willing to venture through? Most reviews were VNs so I could only think of VNs. I don’t have awareness of what manga you’ve tried or what genre you’ve ventured. (That and I don’t read manga for the most part.) Thus I ended up thinking of games that have different systems but still had dialog context and some overlying theme. But then again you definitely want the art spectrum there.

        Ooo that was much too long to spend 2 hours on. orz However, I think it’s worth it as venturing new possible content is always interesting.

      • I’ve missed these incredibly long comments lol. Now, let’s see…

        I didn’t mean imagery. It’s just that compared to a traditional novel, which probably doesn’t have illustrations inside, light novels have considerably more graphics.

        I’m someone who looks at overall effect rather than age. Maybe it’s just a generation gap, but I sincerely honestly cannot stand the graphics of older games (like tokimeki memorial or pia carrot). For some reason, I’m ok with Giniro but not Mizuiro. Weird, isn’t it?

        Princess Maker 5 wasn’t released yet at the time of my madness. Since then I’ve vowed to never go near another stat builder of any type ever again. I can’t even play rpgs or anything where you have level up a character without a trainer like I did with Utawarerumono. So that probably means nothing from the Baldr series either, sigh…

        I meant dishwater as it’s nothing special. In terms of foods that are kind of liquidy, many things can be rated. G-senjou is oxtail stew, Parfait chocolat second brew is cream of chicken soup, Clannad is chicken noodle soup, Ever 17 is bubble tea with pearls, cross channel is french onion soup, da capo is apple juice, White album 2 is an ice mocha, Tayutama is stale water, etc etc etc. You wouldn’t want to drink the water that’s been used to wash dishes, even if you won’t get sick from it, right? In that same sense, I get the feeling that I just won’t click with Feng’s games (the same applies to Hook). Aozora no Mieru Oka is getting translated into Chinese, actually, I’ll see if that goes well.

        The translation group is a weird one. Apparently, when they’re really working, they can do a lot a day. But when they’re feeling stagnant, it can go for two months without any progress. So, all I can do is just hope for the best.

        I wouldn’t say that the subtitle structure would be a plus for me though. For some reason, it reminds me of an officially subbed anime. Anyway, I think that a nice textbox does more for me than just a line of words. The pretty pictures (with freakish boobs) and nice effects are definitely enough to warrant a play though.

        I wonder if Mikeou is actually a guy… the back of the artbook says Haruka, but it’s possible that it’s just a guy with a girly name. Hmm… Anyway, that was written a long time ago, and I don’t like Mikeou as much anymore (Nanairo Kouro was especially bad, although kissmaou did look pretty…)

        As for Fumio… … … I thought the art for Tomoyo After was decent but that everything else Fumio ever did was pretty bad. Ah, what am I complaining about, I can’t play it anyway…

        I’ll have to decline on anything that’s not on the PC too. I don’t own any game consols, and the dvd games………. they are completely and utterly impossible for me. I read fast, and being forced to read at such a slow pace while looking at badly compressed graphics which wasn’t that good to begin with is nothing short of torture.

        I played Yunohana, actually. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t all that special either. In terms of food, it’d be lemonade that’s a bit too bland?

        I don’t remember mentioning any distortions, but I did try to play Gift (on the itouch, and then on the computer). Both times, I gave up. Sometimes, there are just stories that you aren’t meant to read…

        Suika is sitting on my computer right now. I have to say that the graphics didn’t age gracefully though . I’m thinking about looking at an Otome game, actually, since starry sky just got translated. The game has nice presentation, but the plot is SO cliched (I mean, the only GIRL in an all MALE school with two CHILDHOOD friends in the same class who are LOVE INTERESTS, then there is a MYSTERIOUS TRANSFER STUDENT who claims to know her… you’ve seen this a thousand times already). On the other hand, It feels…freaky though. I mean, I’m a girl, and I do like guy, but for some reason there’s this weirdness in Otome games that I just don’t get from eroges. Or maybe I’m the one that’s weird.

        Sadly, all the doujin games that Kantoku has ever worked on are yaruges…sigh…

        It’s not that I’m only looking at VNs, but that I’m finding it somehow harder to look at and write about other things. When it comes to stories in general I dabble in pretty much everything. Really, there’s everything from Honey and clover to To love ru to Bloody Monday to Shinshi Doumei cross. For some reason, I’m a lot less picky when it comes to manga art. I mean, I got through Elfin lied, and the art for that was just AWFUL.

        I’ve spent too much time replying too orz but your comments are always fun to reply to lol. I’ll be sticking with Kirakira and Muvluv for now.

  7. on an unrelated note, if you need something to do or read, I recommend the manga Yubisaki Milk Tea, gender bender with a rather good story, the only frustration would be that its not completely scanlated. :/ tokyopop however has published it all.

    As for visual novels, not sure if you have played:
    Saya No Uta
    Yume Miru Kusuri – A Drug That Makes You Dream

    And in all honesty i am just waiting for Muv Luv Alternative.

    • nevermind! Finally looked at your VN list, you’ve played all I have + more. ^^;; all I have are manga recommendations!

      Gantz, Berzerk, H2, Angel Densetsu, Eat-Man, Lovesick, Monster, Shin Angyo Onshi, Venus Cappricio, 3Gatsu no Lion, Alive, Akuma to Love Song, Blood Alone, Gunslinger Girl, Homunculus, Koukou Debut, and The Embalmer.

      • From these recommendations, your love for darker series really shines through~ I’ve been planning to finish Akuma to Love Song for a while now, but I’m a bit hesitant since it’s still ongoing and I know that I’m going to forget to check for updates a month after I finish reading. The same goes for Gunglinger Girl, although I really, really love that series. Anyway, thanks a lot for the recommendations~

  8. Hey, been a while.

    You should try Fortune Arterial, the VN, if you haven’t already, or Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru.

    And recently finished manga called Wakusei no Samidare/Hoshi no Samidare is amazing; a must read!

  9. “I need something awesome to gush about.”
    Go on and read that LN called Utsuro no Hako to Zero no Maria. It’s slice of life, well it can seems like so, I don’t know how to explain it but it’s more like a mystery with dark elements and bizzare things, nothing as scary as Chaos:Head though. The story can be quite confusing at first but the complexity is what I love about it. I don’t think I read a story similar to it ever in both originality and quality.

      • Kusarihime’s has a rather eccentric visual style. The washed out backgrounds and the cut out paper character art is very nice, fits the rather sober mood of the slice of life parts of the story. Then the red starts flowing when gore and reality kicks in.

        I’m surprised that you left out this VN till now, haha

      • I never thought that there was gore. It’s mostly psychological stuff, isn’t it? The atmosphere is definitely fantastic though. I kinda wish 星空めてお would pick up the habit of explaining her stories more though…

      • Yeah, in retrospect, gore is only present in the first death and warehouse scene, just lots of blood… the red snow coupled with its own bgm is a rather pretty imagery though, sort of like blood is flowing everywhere.

        The main enjoyment about Kusarihime, imo, is to experience the pleasures of taboo themes present in the story. I don’t really like open to interpretation stories that much, but I think it’s done rather tastefully in this vn. Not too much wtf, but you get the idea and feel satisfied with it.

  10. Pingback: Flyable Heart review « Calamitous Intent

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