If I had to name a few games that really piqued my interests in Visual Novels early on, Natsuzora Kanata would definitely be near the top of the list (alongside Toheart 2 and Aster). The moment I saw the promo art I went “WHOAAAAAA I GOTTA SEE MOAR OF THIS”. Serendipitously, a Chinese patch got released JUST as I made myself promise to not open Baldr Sky until my exams are over. So of course, I set out to play it immediately. Overall, I’d say that this is a pretty good game, as far as these types of heroine-centered games go, and at the very least I like it more than Tenshin Ranman (I played Sana’s route, got bored, skipped around a bit, got to the ending, and then deleted the game. Sana’s fans can try to murder me now).
The basic premise is that our intrepid (dokan, kind, kinda manly and awesome on occasion) goes to work at an island during his winter break, and interestingly enough that island always has summer weather. There, he meets 3 girls, and then some rabu rabu and supernatural stuff happens. The whole thing is very formulaic, but it’s done well, unlike certain other moeges (cough*tayutama*cough). Despite its short length, the story was a bit draggy at parts, and I admit that I used the ctrl key rather sparingly (something that I pretty much never do). The foreshadowing is anything but subtle, and I’d be surprised if anyone was really shocked by the endings. That said, the story’s touching at parts, funny at others, and the protagonist acts awesome at least once a route.
Chihaya is cute. Really reaaaaaaaaaaally cute. Being the “main” heroine, her story’s also the one that’s the most complicated and interesting. Yuiko (the short haired girl), is pretty cute, but she has basically only one conflict in the story. The promo art seemed to paint Sasara (the green haired girl) as someone who’s kind of mysterious and goes at her own pace, which is why I was disappointed to see that she’s so childish and squeaky, although her route was better than Yuiko’s. But Chihaya? She’s cute AND her story uses all the other interesting elements from the other routes! Pure and unadulterated moe.
MOE I TELL YA!
Now, on to the more technical stuff. The art is moe. Really, really moe. And the backgrounds are awesome. ’nuff said. The music is simple and kinda catchy, there’s a little dash of animation here and there. Everything’s nice and clean looking, and there’s really nothing that I’m going to be picky about.
If you feel like getting a little breath of summer, looking at some cute girls, and maybe feel touched about a story that’s not too stressful, Natsuzora Kanata is a game that follows some well honed eroge traditions and a pretty good time.
P.S.: Futaha is the best imouto ever.