VN of the Month September 1997 - Comic Road

The best Visual Novel of September 1997 is Comic Road - a shy life simulator of a starting manga artist with a lot of animation and very cute scenes.

1. Akuryou Gakuen Reiko 悪霊学園レイコ [970905] Trush
Reiko Ashura, a young girl born in an ancient psychic family, challenges a strange case by making use of its special ability. Miserable incidents occur one after another at a prestigious girls' high school which are linked to a horrible mysterious occult circle secret.
It's a les insulting eroge. The story is about going around the school and fighting youkai with the help of spiritual abilities. Picture looks rough and is not cute. There are 2 bad endings and 1 good ending and insult scenes are concentrated around bad endings.

2. Innai Kansen 淫内感染 [970905] ZyX 1
Akira Sakaguchi is a physician who has been appointed to a new Hospital. Rumors about his youth and skill spread fast among the nurses. One day Akira accidentally witnesses an improper behavior of his female colleague doctor after operation and can't forget that mysterious sight.
The first bullet in Zyx famous immoral hospital franchise. There is an English review.

3. Winter Kiss ウインターキス [970905] Ucom
You come to winter ski resort. That's a perfect place to find a girlfriend.
There are 8 girls but selection is made on the very first day and then the story just goes automatically. There is full voice here. Besides that it's hardly noticeable. At least the system is ok. An obscure work like most of Ucom works.

4. Eberouge Special ~Koi to Mahou no Gakuen Seikatsu~ エーベルージュ スペシャル ~恋と魔法の学園生活~ [970905] Fujitsu 1

Main character is a 15-years old student who arrives at the magic school. He will meet different female teachers and classmates that he can date there provided that he has required skill levels.
Prequel started in elementary school and was a borefest with rare events. Here events density is higher, but it's still a SIM in the first place.

5. Heart no Kakera ハートの破片 [970912] Excellents
Masato Sakurai just entered high school. He starts to feel dissatisfaction with current life and starts club activity. What kind of girls can he meet?
Command selection ADV. One way road with only number of CG depending on choices. At first four girls scenarios are available, then three more open up. The scenarios are short and unmemorable. Girls are not voiced and that's really bad. There is not enough romance or bonding or smth, more like a nanpa game.

6. Kyouen Etsuraku no Requiem 狂宴 悦楽のレクイエム [970912] Vector
Yasuto Hirabayashi's grandfather died and left him a diary. There was written about the woman and the ring that he could not attain. How is it connected to the classmates that who decided to spend vacations in a mystery mansion?
Multi-ending (six endings) command selection adventure. How to reach each ending in hinted in the help option. There are two heroines but neither can get a happy ending. Game has poor system. Quite a well known fabula since Beast series where a group of students break into pairs and explore the abandoned mansion. Wandering around the rooms takes majority of time.

7. Aethyr ~Tenshi no Ryouiki~ Aethyr~天使の領域~ [970925] Love Gun
Ninomura Shinobu is a medical student who moves to "Rosellen Court" lodging with a lot of pretty girls around. He can't do anything with the ever-present administrator around, but there's a chance now as administrator goes to a trip. But Shinobu also suffers from nightmares that come every night...
It's difficult to say what's reality and what's a dream in the game as those go alternatively same as sweet scenes and dark scenes. But the pattern is the same with every girl and repeating it over and over turns into torture. There are over 30 endings. Branching can be difficult to understand and it takes a lot of time to enter the true route.

8. Roommate ~Ryouko in Summer Vacation~ ROOMMATE~涼子 in Summer Vacation~ [970925] Datam Polystar 1 2
Roommate: Ryōko in Summer Vacation is the second game in the trilogy centering around Ryouko Inoue, your roommate for the time of the story. Ryouko just came from abroad and decided to use her summer vacation to return to Japan. Arriving hot and sweaty from the airport, she rings your door bell and after taking a quick shower tells you all about her trip abroad. For the time being, she'll be staying with you and be your roommate.
There is an English review of this game.

9. Sound Novel Tsukuru 2 サウンドノベルツクール2 [970925] ASCII Corporation
The sequel to Sound Novel Tsukuru for the Super Famicom. The engine for making interactive fiction is identical to its prequel but is more complex. More choices and opportunities for interaction are possible along with superior graphics and sound quality.
Not sure if there pare premade stories there or not.

10. Be Happy! Koi Mau Gakuen BE HAPPY ! 恋舞う学園 [970926] Space Project
Shoji Toki is preparing for high school entrance exam. One of the teachers invites him to a cram school to prepare for exams.
Raising sim about study in the first part of the game. Examination is held by the series of quizzes. After you pass the exam, the second ADV part with map choice begins. Every heroine has her own ending. Difficulty is above average. Graphics is really meh and character design is not even remotely same cute as on the box. Just compare the winking girl in game with the same winking girl on the box...

11. CD Girls -Utahime-tachi no Koi Monogatari- CDgirls -歌姫達の恋物語- [970926] C's Ware
A mediocre hero borrowed a CD from a friend with the title "CD Girls". The moment he pushed "play" a little girl jumped out from the CD. Time stops here with only old memories and old love wounds lingering in search of cure.
Scenario is ridiculous and ending is abrupt. Choices can be severe as one wrong answer leads to event end. Game's very short. There's an H-event for each of 3 heroines in the end of their tiny routes.

12. Comic Road こみっくろーど [970926] Cocktail Soft 1
Comic Road is a "life simulation" game, starring a young girl (whom the player names themselves) who dreams of becoming a manga artist. In order to become successful, she has to do more than just draw well; it is important to develop other aspects of her personality, and also keep an eye on the finances, otherwise working too much might deteriorate her drawing skills. Social life, physical exercises, reading - everything has consequences!
Manga training sim. Might be the only of this kind. Highly animated work (3 hours total!) during a period of 3 years. While other companies keep making weird raisig sims and clone dating sims, this is a sim about life with part-time work, skills training, occasional friends gatherings and doujinshi festivals. It may still seem monotonous, but that's basically life simulation, it can't be exciting. This game was largely overlooked at the time of issue, but I think it a very important work to doujin culture, probably same as Comic Party in 1999.

13. Kuroyagi ~Otome-tachi e Sasageru Serenade~ 黒山羊 ~仔羊たちへ捧げる小夜曲~ [970926] E.G.O.
Late 19th century. In a certain place in Western Europe there was a famous house called the Yagi family. Lord Earl was an excellent person as its head.
· · · However, one day the he disappeared. An incident occurred in which all members were found dead. The crime remained unsolved. 100 years have passed since then · · ·
A certain detective tried to bring the truth about this incident up without a request from anyone and vanished without a trace. His best friend is anxious to know about his whereabouts and he steps into the mansion as well. He seems to be a very ordinary journalist, but in reality he has a "witch" as his ancestor.
It's a minor low-price work, but very atmospheric one. It's well depicted as detective gradually approaches the truth behind the incident. He travels in time three days before the incident and can witness its circumstances with his own eyes. Standing CG ruin this atmosphere to an extent. There are five heroines to clear overall. The pacing is generally good but development becomes too fast in the second half. I've tried it game is not voiced at all. There is no opening either. Character designs are mostly ugly, but CG much nicer. I see little interest in plot, it's merely a pretext to enter a house full of girls and see some dramatic resolution only by the end of 3rd day.

14. Metadoll Ai メタドールAI [970926] Petit
2026 AD. Amagi Shiro used to be metadoll robots fighting competition champion back in middle school. Then he abandoned it after his mother and his robot disappeared in the house fire of unknown origin. Now a year later he lives with father and he's returning in the competition on his new metadoll Ai.
Game consists of first raising sim part where we aim for the champion title and then there is mystery adv where we investigate the tragic incident of the fire. Fights are very difficult, especially in the first part of the game, but losing does not seem to affect the flow and the ending. And the culprit of the incident is the evil organization and this ADV scenario is too short to matter.

15. Mujintou Monogatari X ~Gaiden~ 無人島物語X ~外伝~ [970926] Pinpai 1
The story behind Desert Island is that you and six other people (all girls) have been anesthetized and brought to an uninhabited island. You woke up from theanesthetic and found you and your sister is on an uninhabited island somewhere in the Pacific. You and your sister have no clue on how you two got on the island. However, you have soon found a radio inside a hut on the beach. From the radio, you are given the information that you and six other people have been transported to this island under the experiment called "J Project." The company conducting this experiment has informed you that you will have three-month to uncover the secret of J Project. From here on you will begin your exploration of the island to uncover the secret of J Project and gather up girls.
After the main trilogy Desert island story started to adapt to the market. So after R story there was an inevitable X story. But instead of just adding H-events the gameplay was razed to a simpleton level. The game has an English review.

16. Onani -Peeping Boy- 自慰 -Peeping Boy- [970926] Candy Soft 1
You're a high school student who wants to gain some "experience" with girls in your class. And you do this by having conversations with them after school is over. There are five different girls you can talk to, although you can only approach one at a time. If your conversational efforts are successful, you get to see the girl play with herself before you join the fun.
You won't believe it, but there is an English review of this game.

17. Kaitouranma 快刀乱麻 [970927] Imagineer Co., Ltd. 1
Japan in alternative history universe. Shinjuro may be a little young to be the master of a swordsmanship school, but fate didn't give him a choice. Now his position and martial arts skill land him in the middle of serious trouble when the rogue samurai Mikage faces off against the Tokugawa government, and Shinjuro and the small group of swordsmen who train at the school must now protect the town from harm. However, the group won't be challenged until the Tokugawa house calls in a favor, and the young swordsman is forced to duel Mikage himself.
Game has an English Review

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