So, I’m probably late at playing this game since it’s been out since 2005 and the English patch was out last year. There’s probably already a bunch of reviews for this game already, but that doesn’t mean I can’t write one, right? This is my first eroge review, but I’ll try my best.
Due to not reading any reviews before (didn’t want to spoil myself), I took a look at the cover and thought, “Hmm…another high school romance story type of thing? Ah well, might as well play it since it has English patch.” I was wrong. Way off the scale, I might add. Sure, they go to high school. Sure, there’s romance. That is not all. My not doing research resulted in quite a bit of shock when I played Sharin (actually, quite a bit is probably an understatement). I was in the mood for some fluffy, slice of life romance, but instead I got an intense, dramatic and pretty epic story. I was surprised, but not in a bad way. The story hooked me in with way more success than the generic high school romance I was trying to find would.
The story of Sharin is divided into 5 chapters: 1) Beginning 2) Sachi chapter 3) Touka chapter 4) Natsumi chapter and 5) Final chapter. No matter which heroine you choose, you’ll eventually have to go through all of ther plots in one playthrough. It’s a very linear and dosen’t branch, so trying to get an ending with a different heroine requires hardcore skipping. I just went with Natsumi, as I felt it was the most natural since she is the main girl.
The protagonist is Morita Kenichi, a young man who has to return to his hometown for his final exam in order to become a Special High Class Individual. He is tasked with rehabilitating three girls with ‘obligations,’ or their country’s way of punishing criminals instead of jail. The antagonist is considered to be Houzuki Masaomi, the SCHI in charge of the town and Kenichi’s superior.
The three heroines are Mitsuhiro Sachi, Oone Touka and Hinata Natsumi. Sachi was Kenichi’s childhood friend from before he left town, but doesn’t recognize him as he looks different and has a different name. She is described as the ‘energetic type,’ and is burdened with the 12 hour day obligation, which means her day lasts only from 7 AM to 7 PM. Outside of that time, Sachi has to take a drug to be ‘stopped.’ Being stopped is different from sleeping, so she has to sleep in her own time. Oone Touka is the class president, and also the tsundere of this game. She holds the obligation ‘prohibited from becoming an adult,’ and must obey her parental figure’s each and every command. Hinata Natsumi was also Kenichi’s childhood friend, but her personality has changed drastically. Burdened with the obligation of prohibiting contact with the opposite sex (AKA prohibited to fall in love), she never talks and is afraid of other people.
Although I was very satisfied with this game, there are still some parts I enjoyed better than others. I felt that compared to the latter chapters, Sachi’s was somewhat plain. Frankly, I did get bored during the main plot of her chapter (put on auto and played DS), but I didn’t see the ending coming at all. It was a fresh change from the happy resolution I expected. I bawwed at the end of Touka’s chapter, but it had its unsatisfactory parts as well. There were a few crowning moments of awesome and an epic crowning moment of heartwarming at the end, so I liked it better. Natsumi’s chapter felt faster-paced and shed some more light on Kenichi’s past, but she doesn’t get her resolution until the end of the game. Final chapter was just epic and full of awesome moments that show just how manly Kenichi is. Seriously, that guy is manly and actually interesting, unlike the usual nice guy ordinary high school student type of protagonist.
Standard eroge fare, I guess. The sunflower field was extremely beautiful, and some of the natural backgrounds were very good. Other than that, I felt that most of the CGs were just average for an eroge. They’re good, but that’s pretty much expected for any sort of galge. I guess they don’t have a special flavour or style that I really like.
Pretty decent, and fit the mood. There are a few tunes I really like, though. I usually love heroic-sounding tunes, and that holds true for Sharin too.
As you can see from most of my review, I really liked Sharin no Kuni, Himawari no Shoujo. I’m not an experienced eroge player at any chance so I’m easily satisfied, but I strongly recommend Sharin. I liked all the characters–I couldn’t really hate anyone. The story had happy and heartwarming moments, intense and frightening twists and a finale that ties everything together. The depressing situations just make the solutions much more satisfying. The characters, while seeming to fit into a particular type at the beginning, will prove to be deeper and more three dimensional than sticking to stereotypes. I won’t lie–I started playing without much expectations or preparations (did not do the research) so Sharin seemed that much more grand to me, but I would’ve enjoyed it just as much even if I did some research.
And, that was my review. I ought to practice writing, since I’ll be doing more in the future. I’ll eventually have to stop sounding like a noob. I really liked Sharin, so I don’t have much of a sarcastic tone for the review. Anyways, since I was actually looking for a cute, slice of life eroge, I’ll find one to play before starting on G-senjou. I need something to calm down on, y’know. Maybe Shuffle!, or Flyable Heart? Noizi Ito’s art never fails to be extremely moe, and I like the character designs. I’ll also get around to playing the Sharin fandisk, and hope for an eventual Chinese translation for Kourin no Machi, Lavender no Shoujo. There is a limit in my Japanese understanding, and I wouldn’t have been able to understand Sharin in Japanese. Summer school starts on July 7 so I’ll have less free time, but I’ve still got August. I’ll play games to the max before summer school starts! (…probably not possible, considering my grandpa is around, even if my parents aren’t.)