Kurenai 紅 [light]

June 29, 2019
Foreword: Setting, guns and blood were the things that attracted me.
Title: Kurenai
Developer: light
Date: 2003-11-14
VNDB link: https://vndb.org/v5367
Youtube walkthrough: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHAT2UfXhxM&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv_1zimd4jO7eJ4LHc5DnPcj
Synopsis: The world is breaking apart. City is full of suicides, murders and bizarre crimes. City is full of shadows, and main character hunts down such "crimson shadows" that used to be persons. His abilities are trained by a woman of a mysterious identity. Love only exists in fragmentary form in this eternal whirlpool of death.

Game type: Err... bloody?
Character Design rating: 6/10
Protagonist rating: 6/10
Story rating: 7/10
Game quality: 7/10
Overall rating: 7/10
Rating comments: I spent quite some time deciding on how much I like his game. The first and second chapters were really impressive, of masterpiece level. Next three chapters lowered overall estimation. But final 6th chapter remained true to itself and managed to surprise me - for that I want to give it its due. And that's especially notable because of overall weak plot and characters in the game. Kurenai manages to find other approaches to the reader.
Protagonist: We get to see Touya, and we only know that he's a student and a kurenai hunter who fights with a bamboo sword. We also constantly read his thoughts - or rather someone's stream of consciousness. It sometimes falls into philosophy and sometimes into madness category, but it remains amusing to read.
Characters: Nominally there are four heroines - found doll Alice, detective partner Mutsuki and two acquaintances Yuri and Himeno. But Alice is definitely the main heroine here - she's also the only one who gets two endings instead of just one. I've actually only seen her two endings since discovering other heroines is quite confusing in this game as it needs backtracking. I tried to do it once and I failed, so just settled with the main heroine. All heroines but Alice and Mutsuki only make a cameo appearance and are absolutely not memorable. Basically all the heroines have almost the same face, and that does not help either. Alice is a doll who we find on the street. She is loyal to main character as her goshuji-sama. She's the only fighting heroine. She seems to be of such simple personality that last chapter of the game becomes shocking.
Story: There's not much happening in the game, actually. In first chapter we get in our first fight and find doll Alice on the street. In the following chapters there's usually one main perpetrator Kurenai that we need to take down. In the third chapter we get from the streets to the school and meet a whole lot of heroines. Not sure we need school at all in this kind of game. These chapters pay less attention to fights and more attention to spontaneous H events. And I call them spontaneous, because it happens exactly like that. There is no love line or flirt or anything at all. Just at any moment of the narration some girl may instantly get horny, and 10 lines after that there's H event, easy as that. I understand the need of H events for a game to sell, so I actually welcome such approach. This way we don't need to waste time for love. I cut all the H events from the video, and game only became better after that.
Thoughts:
1) I mentioned that this game has other means of attractiveness besides traditional ones. The first is the stream of thoughts. Both philosophy and madness are mixed here. I'd really rather read such thoughts as time fillers instead of some lovey dovey pursuits. The second one is the number of efforts given. Game has FOUR different omake with the last one divided in five parts. The third thing I'd mark is Alice scary monologues. I'm still under impression here, scary as hell.
2) I liked that we get the answers in this game. One strange thing is how protagonist even manages to survive and recover with such serious wounds. His limbs barely remain linked to the body, but in the next scene he's all right again. And game actually gives a very elegant explanation to that later. For the whole game we try to uncover what it means to be Kurenai. We don't get a clear answer, but we get more than just an answer.
Overall comments: This game remains memorable and alive for me. It's quite simple in structure, but impactful. Game is about blood, and it remains true to itself. Heroine's True End does not mean it's a good end, it's just another ending about blood. Blood is main character of this game, and that's what makes it absolutely hilarious. Game is crazy, but rather crazy good than crazy bad like BM0.

VN of the Month November 2003 - Kurenai

June 27, 2019

Clover Heart's , Eien no Aselia -The Spirit of Eternity Sword- and Yukizakura can all be considered masterpieces from certain angles, but they can't beat a real violent story Kurenai

Ochiba no Mau Koro 落ち葉の舞う頃 [Noa]

June 25, 2019
Foreword: Sword apprentice protagonist and two fighting heroines (short swords and bow) were all that it took to lure me to this game.
Title: Ochiba no Mau Koro
Developer: Noa
Date: 2003-10-24
VNDB link: https://vndb.org/v5367
Youtube walkthrough: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuf4kv1b9hg&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv--j9jctcdQ0zRtWU4dw7pU

VN of the Month October 2003 - Lovers ~Koi ni Ochitara...

June 23, 2019

Most of the candidates already got an English review, so I'm choosing the one with the most swordplay Ochiba no Mau Koro . I guess Lovers ~Koi ni Ochitara... is the only game worthy of masterpiece status this month.

Thanatos no Koi ~Inshitei Soukan~ タナトスの恋~淫姉弟相姦~ [Red Label]

June 21, 2019
Foreword: I only picked this game because it has no reviews and scenario writer is Kanno Hiroyuki. Just can't believe he can write some total crap.

VN of the Month - September 2003 - Cross†Channel

June 19, 2019

Cross†Channel is VN of the Month. Tenshi no Inai 12-gatsu is among masterpieces as well. I'm choosing Thanatos no Koi ~In Ane Otouto Soukan~ for review.

Salem no Majo-tachi セイレムの魔女たち [rúf]

June 17, 2019
Foreword: It looked like a semi-historical plot-centered game, so why not sample it, really.
Title: Salem no Majo-tachi
Developer: Daiginjou
Date: 2003-08-08
VNDB link: https://vndb.org/v3679
Youtube walkthrough: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P53wX3hGx64&list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv-sUBbx3VBtkjZ8QS4wiJk4

VN of the Month August 2003 - Natsuyume Yawa

June 15, 2019

It's the month of summer Comiket, so let's try to make it through piles of Doujins together. I consider Natsuyume Yawa the masterpiece and winner by default. I'm reviewing Salem no Majo-tachi , but I've yet to develop my opinion on it. 

Kono Sora ga Tsuieru Toki ni この空がついえる瞬間に [Digital Monkey]

June 13, 2019
Foreword: Apocalypse angel story is enough to bait me as long as there aren't more intriguing candidates, but in July 2003 there weren't any.
Title: Kono Sora ga Tsuieru Toki ni
Developer: Digital Monkey
Date: 2003-07-25
VNDB link: https://vndb.org/v4269
Youtube walkthrough: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLs4Gp5VU4Fv_A5pJN26duNo4X_aEnGCZ-

VN of the Month July 2003 - Komorebi ni Yureru Tamashii no Koe

June 11, 2019

There aren't masterpieces this month. And I'm so desperate that I'm choosing lolige Komorebi ni Yureru Tamashii no Koe as VN of the Month. I'll review a cool angel game Kono Sora ga Tsuieru Toki ni

Sayonara. さよなら。 [Panda House]

June 09, 2019
Foreword: Girl with a huge sword was a decisive factor for me, but game is quite mysterious and curious looking. It's created for the 10th anniversary of Cat's Pro/Panda House. So, is it as enjoyable as D.U.O.?

VN of the Month June 2003 - Sayonara

June 07, 2019

Lolicon becomes the main trend of 2003, so there are less and less unblocked games. Sayonara is VN of the month, but whether it's a masterpiece or not will get clear from review.

Ashita Deatta Shoujo あした出逢った少女 [Moonstone]

June 05, 2019
Foreword: May had zero interesting releases without review for me, so I chose one with the English review already (1). My hope in nakige is crippled, so I wonder if it can be restored with this game, just as it affected this review's author.

VN of the Month May 2003 - Ashita Deatta Shoujo

June 03, 2019

True Remembrance , Ashita Deatta Shoujo and Uchi no Imouto no Baai (Heart) can be called masterpieces. I'm inclined to name Ashita Deatta Shoujo the winner. My review of it follows next.

My Merry Maybe [KID]

June 02, 2019
Foreword: I know game is a nakige, but it has universally high scores. KID visual novels made for PlayStation look very generic and boring to me. Is this the one that finally puts me to shame? 
 
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