Stopped myself from playing Zelda Phantom Hourglass non-stop and decided to have a break by playing another game. And I thought, Hiiro no Kakera, why not…? I haven’t gotten around to installing Clepsydra on my PC…
Short intro: Tamaki (the main character) came to live with her grandmother in a remote village due to her parents’ career needs. Arriving there, she was attacked by creatures which no one else could see, and a youth saved her just in time. She later learned from her grandmother that their family is descended from a princess whose job was to seal a demon sword, and she’s the next person in line to take on this role. Thankfully she didn’t have to do it alone, because there were 5 guardian families tasked with assisting her.
Initial impression… main character (I’ll go by her default name, Tamaki) annoyed me in the first 5 minutes of the game, which is not good. Upside, the game’s dialogues are fully voiced, which makes it easier to understand since this game has lots of kanji.
Let’s see, what happened so far… the game opened with an event where there were 2 people talking, and the ‘feel’ of the scene was sad. The narrator was talking to a man whose face was not shown clearly, although the narrator mentioned that he looked sad. The gist of the conversation was the man apologising, and the narrator saying that “this shouldn’t be/happen”. Ok, so far so good.
Then Tamaki woke up from the dream, and wondered why she saw such a strange dream. She’s waiting at the bus stop in a remote village to visit and live with her grandmother (not quite sure why). Her grandmother had said that she’d send someone to fetch Tamaki, and she wondered why the person hadn’t showed up yet.
Then she saw a purple blob thing with big eyes, staring at her from where it was on the ground. After getting past her initial shock because the thing was alive, Tamaki gave it a snack which it accepted and said ‘thank you’ to her in its rather peculiar accent. The thing then went off into the woods nearby. Having nothing better to do (probably…?) Tamaki decided to follow the thing into the woods.
She followed the purply blob deep into the woods and after a while she lost sight of it. And as she tried to get back out of the forest, 3 of the purple blobs showed up… but this time, instead of being small and cute they’re big and they didn’t seem friendly. Tamaki got scared and tried to run away, but she couldn’t really get away from them.
At this exact moment a handsome guy swooped in, silenced her by putting his hand over her mouth, and started chanting. At the end of his chanting, the world around seemed like it had been coloured red, and then there was a flash of light. But whatever he chanted, it worked… the world looked normal again, and the evil-looking blobs were gone. …and Tamaki responded by getting upset at the guy. “Who are you?! What were those thing?! What just happened?!”
…you know, how about saying THANK YOU…? That’s the first act that got me annoyed. Yes, you’re upset and all, but this guy just saved your hide, can’t you at least say ‘thank you’? Sheesh… anyways. Moving on.
The guy then explained that his name is Onizaki Takuma (red-haired guy, if you ever see Hiiro no Kakera’s art), and that Tamaki’s grandmother sent him to fetch her. As they walked to her grandmother’s house, she continually asked him to answer her questions… what were those blobs etc (still not a word of thanks by the way). Takuma then tried to explain that there were gods in everything; there were river gods, mountain gods, lake gods and even gods that dwell in trees (he used kami to describe these). The things which Tamaki encountered were youkai, but they’re also kami. He then explained that youkai, ayakashi (and something else I forgot) are essentially kami as well, as kami didn’t always equal good-natured spirits.
…Tamaki reponded by saying “…I don’t really understand.”, after which Takuma gave up and said that Tamaki’s better off asking her grandmother to explain it to her. She thought to herself something along the lines of how he’s not friendly. …I would be, too, if I just wasted my breath explaining something and the person just dismissed it all saying “I don’t understand.”, and didn’t even attempt to understand. If it’s a difficult trigonometry equation or chemistry reactions I can understand, but… moving on.
So she arrived at her grandmother’s place, met with a kimono-wearing servant girl named Mitsuru, talked to her grandmother who told her the thing that was written in the short summary, and was given a small ayakashi who would guard her (looked like a white cat with fox’ tails, with strange symbols on the forehead). Mitsuru was the one who gave her the ayakashi, and Tamaki mentioned that Mitsuru looked rather jealous/sad…? That’s interesting, I thought…
Anyways, that’s the end of day 0, I think. Now on to the rant.
…I have the feeling that Tamaki is the in-between heroine type. Not the sweet and demure type which is the staple in dating sims, and yet not tough enough to be cool… at times during the game she tried to be assertive, but this actually made her dislikeable to me. Example… when she first arrived in her grandmother’s house, Mitsuru called her with -sama suffix. She asked Mitsuru to stop it, and Takuma joined in, saying to Mitsuru, “She (Tamaki) isn’t like that.”, supporting Tamaki in her request to get Mitsuru to stop. Tamaki responded by saying “But you don’t know me! We just met!” and actually sounded rather rude… Takuma just said he wanted to rest and left after that.
…I hope either:
- Tamaki will improve and actually be a likeable heroine, or
- I’ve been mis-reading everything due to my poor Japanese skill.
Any of the above would be good, apparently since Hiiro employed the “you can’t get guy B until you finish guy A’s route”, and if the main character is dislikeable I don’t know if I’d want to play this game 6 times… 12 times since there are ‘romance’ and ‘tragic love’ ending for each guy.