Monday, February 2, 2015

Shinigami Kareshi - Re:Birthday Song Trial Summary, Thoughts & Review


....It completely flew over my head that this series released a demo until I saw something on my dash about it. I hope I'm not too terribly late to the party. (*._.) Also, the full version of this game was released extremely recently - January 30th. Basically I've been out of the Shinigami Kareshi loop for a long time since it was announced. |D BUT HEY BETTER LATE THAN NEVER, NO? And thus, I'm here today with a review and my babbles of Re:Birthday's demo.

Main Cast:
Kairi - Fukuyama Jun
Yoru - Maeno Tomoaki
Ame - Matsuoka Yoshitsugu
Syun - Kondou Takayuki
Nami - Suwabe Junichi (ako si Mr. Suave~ //bricked//)

Other Cast:
Zen - Hino Satoshi
Rikka - Tachibana Shinnosuke 

Oh gawd, yes, I approve of the cast. ouo

Before I begin, I found a way to get a lowercase "c" to work, hurrah! Normally, the patch will only let you type a capital case C when caps lock is off by pressing shift C. So start with that to capitalize the first letter of her name. Now if you turn caps lock on, the only way to make a letter lowercase is when you press shift c. Do that with caps on and tadaaaa, lowercase c, enabling you to fully type out "Cocoro." (Or whatever name if you wish that needs a lowercase c). And then don't forget to press enter. c:




Also, to anyone who wishes to play the demo patched in English themselves, everything you need to know about the demo can be found here. And just some things about the demo - you need to set your computer's system locale to Japanese because App Locale doesn't work with it, boo, (if you don't know how, here's a guide) before you download and install the trial. Then the rio file that you replace is found in your C drive. Or you could always not play the patched version; for me, if it's there, then why not? haha.

But without delay, let's begin. Also slightly picture heavy because I love pictures. Click to enlarge images


~Demo~

Prologue

Re:Birthday Song follows the adventures of our heroine, whom has woken up in some strange world with no recollection of who she is. (・_・ヾ A talking owl suddenly appears and takes her under his wing (no pun intended |D), and a self-driven horse and horse carriage appears out of nowhere to give them a ride to his school.


Also, I'm not the first to crack this joke, but I totally agree that I feel like I'm off to Hogwarts. (・∀・)

In his office, the talking owl reveals that he's the principal of a school for Shinigami, aka Death Gods who reap human souls to take them to the next life. He explains that this place is called "Netherworld," a place between Heaven and Hell where lost souls who've had strong regrets in their past life live. Our heroine pieces things together and the owl principal confirms that she's already dead, yet can't pass on because of her regrets, welp. (Which I hope we get to discover in the full version) Since she can't remember anything anyway,  she agrees to attend his Shinigami academy and he gives her the name Cocoro. ( ゚▽゚)

Episode 1

It's now May 5th - one month since Cocoro has signed up for the shinigami academy, and she's no grade A student. In fact, she's having trouble keeping up in her classes and falls asleep in half of them pffff. Her energy seems to be her only good point in school. And then she also has trouble in shinigami-based classes like defense training and demon breeding (or something). She's also fretting about the exam, because since Shinigami rookies work in pairs, she needs to do well on it or she won't be paired or graduate. ━Σ(゚Д゚|||)━

While Cocoro's sitting in the courtyard grumbling about how she got yelled at in class for sleeping, Zen and Rikka - two senior Shinigamis she's befriended (as well 2 of the love interests in Un:Birthday Song) - approach her. Zen whines that she uses a honorific for Rikka and not him *snort* and then teases her that she/you better watch out you better not cry, you better not pout I'm telling you why //smacked// because students who defy the teachers and fail get sent to some room in a back corridor, where they're tormented.


Zen, no, this isn't Bad Medicine gdi. ಠ_ಠ Naturally Cocoro gets a little spooked, and then they're on their merry way pff.

ALSO. I swear to gawd Zen is Ayato Sakamaki. I mean JFC he acts like him, looks like him, even addresses himself as "ore-sama" and just- I would've died laughing if Midorin was casted as him. (*≧▽≦)ノシ))

While Cocoro's off doing some last minute studying, she reviews this one part that totally reminds me of the drama CD series Seventh Heaven.
Singing Shinigami? Tragic story confirmed //smacked// JK I know nothing about them. But anyway, she dozes off and has some dream about being confined somewhere.... Weeeeeeird. Foreshadowing perhaps? 「(゚ペ) But like everyone who crams last minute, she can't remember a thing when she awakes. *laughs*

Exam day rolls around and apparently some new teacher is overviewing the exam - Nami. And he seems fairly lax, yawning and doing as little work as possible pffff. Needless to say, Cocoro does absolutely terrible on the exam - scoring only a mere 2 points. *pats* She hears some students snickering over her score, but she's not sure where it's coming from. But naturally, since she scored so terribly, she's not eligible to be paired up and has to be placed in the special supplementary class instead. And ta-da! Nami is the teacher for the supplementary class. Everyone leaves and Nami-sensei snaps Cocoro out of her shocked stupor eventually, telling her to pack her stuff. But since Cocoro still believes that creepy stuff Zen told her, she thinks something's missing about Nami...


COCORO NO. NOOOO TEACHERS WITH WHIPS - THIS ISN'T KLAP, OKAY? Or god forbid Bad Medicine with their riding crops.

Carrying on, when Cocoro returns with her luggage, Nami-sensei is asleep. *snort* She wakes him up and together they walk to the remedial classroom where they're greeted with a nice, loud, smokey BOOM of fireworks. Courtesy of Kairi. ゚+。:.゚ヽ(*´∀`)ノ゚.:。+゚ (who's the bubbliest of the group) But hey those voices sound familiar... Turns out that Kairi's frog (which Cocoro finds completely adorable, egh) was scouting for who'd be the next person in remedial, and their mocking voices could be heard through the transmission on it. To which Cocoro promptly yells at Syun, that "yankee guy."

*chuckles* Cocoro please.

Yoru - another supplementary student who's the serious type - storms in, but is thrown off when he sees Cocoro. Yeah he's serious but when he's acting that adorable, how can I not want him.

So basically our classmates thus far are Ame the blunt & quiet shota, Syun the rough-mouthed "yankee" tsundere *snort* who's quick to anger, Kairi the cheerful energetic dude who tries to lift everyone's spirits, and Yoru the "cool" dude. And then of course our lazy teacher lmao.

After class, Nami-sensei leads her to the dorm, which is actually a nice, quaint thing. Definitely not some prison dungeon thing LOL. Cocoro has her priorities straightened and is worried that she'll have to share a room with a guy, but Nami-sensei says that she has her own room. And then he cracks this line:

*Scoffs* How rude! COCORO'S CUTE AS A BUTTON. Also, gdi Suwabe, starting up the oyaji charms already! (;-◞౪◟-)

So. Nami-sensei shows her to her room, and there's a kitty in there! Turns out this cat can talk - it's Nami's familiar, Yuyu, actually.
Then poof, Yuyu goes to his human form and whines that there's someone in his room. ;alskdjf Nami makes it clear that it's Cocoro's room now and that he wants Yuyu to help Cocoro with whatever help she needs. So he leaves and Cocoro asks to be friends with Yuyu and if he can help her clean the room. |D

Also, I need to mention that Yuyu is cute. as. heck. Look at him.
;laksdfj. Precious child. Instant fav. Let me wrap him in a blanket and protect him, please.

Later on, Cocoro and Yuyu get called down to quite a lively dinner. From here on out, you learn that the supplementary class is basically a nice way of saying they're the ones in charge of doing chores around the school. And to do so, they have to wake up at 4:00. FOUR IN THE MORNING. WHAT. FORGET THAT NOISE. (╯°Д°)╯︵ ┻━┻ I could not do that, sheesh. And Syun's a total slacker. *laughs* Supplementary kids work in the morning, then do some schooling, and lastly work some more until sunset, eghhhhhh.

Nami-sensei also explained the origins of Netherworld: It's basically a fairy tale of the Founding Shinigami Master.
Story time! There once was an ordinary man whose only treasures were his song and his precious daughter. Yet one day, he fell ill, and although his daughter cared for him best she could, he still passed away. Feeling so much regret at leaving his daughter all alone, his soul wandered aimlessly, his singing attracting other lost souls like him. The man wished a world be created for the lost souls, and so came the Netherworld, the man becoming known as the Shinigami Master. It is also said that souls which reach Heaven will be reincarnated, and so the man always made sure that his daughter's soul would end up there, so that she may be reincarnated again and again.

*sheds tear* It's a beautiful tale (with a lovely music box playing in the background). However, the position of the shinigami master today is nothing but a title, held by some politician - of course, sigh - and selected each generation. The true history of the Netherworld is still uncertain, so that's why the fairy tale was created. ouo

Back in the dorm, Cocoro talks about how she wishes to get along with everyone in the supplementary class, and all that jazz. Yuyu wishes her goodnight, she rolls off to bed, and the demo concludes.

Final Thoughts

This demo was a lot of fun! It was actually quite a bit longer than I expected it to be, but it was fabulous the whole way. Although it didn't give too much away on plot, the trial served as a great introduction to the characters, and I love love love the interactions between the heroine and the rest of the supplementary class. Even if you don't like school-type settings (which doesn't feel too stereotyped imo), the interactions definitely kept it rolling. Now, I haven't played any other Honeybee games (because I'm Rejet trash ahahaha) but I thought the BGM was A+. And the art; I adore Satoi's art. ^_^

Everyone also has fantastic expressions, and I love them so much. The heroine's expressions throughout the game especially are gold.

A quick appreciation post of expressions I've seen of Cocoro in this demo:

These expressions were glorious as well (and one blank space aha)


Let's talk about the little menu thing:
The mascot for one that bounces when a new line of text is read is adorable. It also has your standard visual novel tools: auto, backlog, save, etc. A convenient little button that I've never seen before is "repeat." Basically you can repeat the spoken audio without traveling to the backlog if you wish to hear a line of dialogue again. c: (Especially useful if it's a hilarious moment and you want to play it over and over haha). There are also some keyboard shortcuts that you can use, available in the configuration section. Example, F5 toggles the fullscreen, F8 is quicksave, F2 opens the save menu, F7 is skip, etc. etc. Yknow, just a bunch of different things to play around with. Also, spacebar does not advance the line of text, unlike in BWS. Instead, it gets rid of the dialogue box. XD The auto button is also set at a very nice pace.

I'm really curious about their backstories - watch it be something tragic ahahahaha. But alas, we can't find out until we lock onto a route, because it's taboo to needlessly pry into other's pasts. Regardless, I'll have to add this game to the bucketlist of things I might consider buying because this game seems like it has some nice potential. (Not too sure if I'll get into Un:Birthday though...)

But yes, I thoroughly enjoyed the demo. I recommend it for anyone that wants to give it a go! I hope the full game (if/when I ever get it, urgh (ಥ⌣ಥ))  can meet up to my expectations.

And lastly, here's some Re:Birthday art with some Un:Birthday sprinkled in, because art makes me happy. ouob Sources are the blog and Satoi's twitter. Until next time!

    

3 comments:

  1. Hello! The translator for the demo here. Thank you so much for figuring out that lower case "c" problem. I had so much trouble with that. I'll be sure to mention it in my post and credit you for it! I loved your review too! ;w; thanks for trying out my english patch! I had a lot of fun with the demo so it's nice to know others did too! Hence sort of the reason I wanted to translate it. :D

    Thanks, again!

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    1. Oh why hello! And you're very welcome! It made me a little sad at first that I couldn't type a lowercase "c," but thankfully my experimenting paid off. |D (I sent an ask about it too, though I'm not sure if Tumblr ate it or not lol)

      Glad you liked the review! My speech, I'll admit, was rather informal and spazzy at times, but that means I enjoyed it. *laughs* I actually had no idea Re:Birthday had a demo until I saw you post something about a patch. So on that note, thank you very much for translating the demo!! It was an absolute blast! ^_^

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