Like usual, I make a (spoiler-free) post for my final impressions. I have spoileriffic summaries of each route under the Kimi Ga Ita Kisetsu tag.
Kimi Ga Ita Kisetsu Full Remake (“The Season Where You Were” or something along the lines of that), or KimiIta for short, is the remake version of Age’s debut eroge from 1999. Age is the company famous for Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien and MuvLuv Alternative, both very well-known eroge for being full of DESPAIR. I’ve never played the original KimiIta from 1999, so I can’t make comparisons in terms of plot. All I know is that the 2011 version has MUCH more eye-pleasing art. The 2011 remake has new characters not present in the older version, including Munakata Misae and Kazama Touko from MuvLuv Alternative. There’s also MuvLuv Alternative Chronicles – Confession, a side story about Michiru in Muvluv Alternative.
Being Age’s debut game, KimiIta doesn’t have their signature despair from their latter games (assuming that the remake kept the mood and tone of the original). KimiIta is a rather calm and ordinary story about Maejima Masaki, a second-year high school student who is aspiring to become a photographer. He works part-time as the assistant of the famous photographer Kouzuki Mitsuko, and is also childhood friends with the 4 Isumi sisters. KimiIta follows Masaki in the summer of 1998, where he gets a girlfriend (one of the Isumi’s) and is presented the chance of going abroad to study under the world-famous photographer Helmut Newton John in New York.
Rather plain and doesn’t leave and impression, compared to Age’s latter eroge. The structure for KimiIta is like so:
Common route –> get girlfriend (one of the Isumis) –> must decide between staying for girlfriend or chasing after dream abroad (will always choose the latter) –> comes back for vacation in 1999 in the month of girlfriend’s birthday (each Isumi has a birthday in a different season, thus the title), a bit of drama happens –> epilogue.
The 1998 segment is pretty much the same for the 4 main heroines. There’s some sub heroines whose routes branch off from one of the main heroines’, but the structure is pretty much the same. The drama is pretty standard for a not plot-based chara-ge, usually dealing with problems at work, school, or with the family.
The heroines aren’t very unique as far as eroge go, but I liked them enough for KimiIta to be enjoyable overall. My absolute favorites were characters who had major roles in MuvLuv Alternative; if I didn’t play MLA first I probably would’ve enjoyed KimiIta much less. KimiIta also has a pretty large fraction of older heroines compared to modern eroge. If you like lolis or the kouhai-type, KimiIta is probably not for you since the three characters who are actually younger than Masaki don’t act like kouhai/imouto much. The only Age character that I felt the “proper” loli aura from was Kasumi from the MuvLuv series, so Age isn’t very good with lolis.
There’s a total of 8 heroines – the 4 Isumis (main) and 4 side heroines.
Maejima Masaki – The protagonist, who is pretty typical except maybe for the fact that he knows what he wants to do for a living. His level of density changes depending on each route–in some routes he was cool, and in others he is stupid. Since there’s a timeskip in the middle of each route, I guess his off-screen character development changes depending on who he is dating.
Isumi Yayoi – The eldest of the Isumi siblings, Yayoi is motherly and stays home to pretty much act as a mother/housewife to her imoutos. She’s kind, rarely gets angry, and wants to support everyone in achieving their dreams. Four years older than Masaki.
Isumi Michiru – The second eldest of the Isumi siblings, she is the sharp and serious one. She is in the student council of Hakuryou University. Cool on the surface, Michiru is actually tsundere for Masaki. Two or three years older than Masaki, I think.
Since she was the Captain from MLA, I already liked Michiru from the start. The MLA side story that comes with KimiIta is about her.
Isumi Marika – The third oldest of the Isumi siblings, she is Masaki’s classmate and the one to react violently whenever he thinks pervertedly. Unknowningly to Masaki, Marika is the school idol and all his friends like her.
I like her design, but I honestly found her route boring. Her personality leaves the least impression, even though she feels the most main heroine-like.
Isumi Akira – The youngest of the Isumi siblings, Akira is the energetic middle school (never specified, but I’m pretty sure she’s in middle school) tomboy who Masaki sees as a little brother rather than a sister.
Munakata Misae – A second-year student in the Hakuryou High School student council. Misae has a cool image amongst the students and is also an incomprehensible troll. She is good friends with Touko and very protective of her. Misae was a 1st Lieutenant in MLA.
Kazama Touko – A first-year student in the Hakuryou High School student council. Touko is a polite ojou-sama who plays the violin, and admires Masaki for his determination in achieving his dream of becoming a photographer. Touko was also a 1st Lieutenant in MLA.
Aihara Misa – The model that Masaki meets during a photoshoot at Mitsuko’s studio. Misa initially dislikes Masaki for looking like an amateur, but began to become taken by him when he takes great photos of her. Initially appears to be bitchy, but Misa eventually turns out to be a tsundere for Masaki.
Tohno Yuri – An amateur photographer just like Masaki, but is much more extreme in pursing her dream. She came from the countryside and dropped out of school and ran away from home in order to become a photographer. She has no talent, but is very hard-working and becomes Masaki’s co-worker at Mitsuko’s studio.
Kouzuki Mitsuko – Masaki’s sexy boss who is a well-known photographer that studied under Helmut Newton John. She is direct with her criticism and never fails to point out whenever Masaki is failing. She is also strict and doesn’t have much tolerance for failure. She is the older sister of Kouzuki Yuuko from the MuvLuv series.
Helmut Newton John – a famous photographer…who is also a funny otaku gaijin used for comic relief. He speaks in a stereotypical Westerner accent with plenty of Engrish thrown around.
Masaki’s friends – a wacky group of perverted guys who are always jealous of Masaki for having so many bishoujo around him (particularly Marika). There’s like 5 of them as opposed to just one perverted friend, but the most awesome one is Mishima, a guy who writes ero novels about female classmates to his liking.
I like the art this time around much better than MuvLuv’s. The characters are all soft-shaded with pastel-ish colors, which is nice but sometimes bugs me in terms of proportions since in some CGs the body looks too long. I’m not quite sure who the artist for KimiIta is, probably someone Age never used before. I thought it was Miyata at first, but then I played Confession (art by Miyata) and saw the differences. Miyata is probably my favorite artist from Age, although his character designs are plain. Bou’s crazy character designs drawn in Miyata’s style looks wonderful, as shown briefly in Confession. Anyways, in terms of ranking I’d go Miyata > = KimiIta artist > Bou during Muvluv.
Forgettable, but at least it’s not distracting. Not something I’d listen to outside of the visual novel.
Kimi Ga Ita Kisetsu is mediocre to be honest. It doesn’t leave much of an impression, which is understandable for Age’s first game, but you’d think they’d spice things up for a remake over 10 years later. Regardless, I had fun playing through it so it’s not a waste of time. There’s a lot of better, more worthwhile eroge for you to play though, both in terms of story and characters. The best part would be the MLA side story, which I recommend leaving for the end if you intend to play through KimiIta at all. It contains slight spoilers for some KimiIta routes, although if you just wanna play the MLA side story then not playing KimiIta wouldn’t hurt anything.