I had quite the expectations for Kira Kira (considering how it was ranked 2nd on 2ch’s eroge rankings for its respective year), but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. A subject matter that doesn’t interest me combined with unspectacular heroines and lackluster scenarios for anyone other than Kirari took points off the game despite the aforementioned route being pretty great and surprising, as well as the common route being funny and enjoyable. I still prefer Dengeki Stryker when it comes to OVERDRIVE eroge, even if it got very cheesy at times.
The first route I did was Shiino Kirari‘s. That was, admittedly, a big, BIG, mistake on my part since it made the other two routes much less interesting in comparison, since it was the most impactful and shocking route in the entire game. I figured that since Kirari was my least favorite heroine personality-wise, I might as well do her route first. I honestly can’t like her, be it the high-pitched voice, the overly energetic personality, or the lack of common sense that adds more to the annoying factor than the cute factor. She’s also a hard-working, poor girl who gets ridiculed at school for her social status and weirdness, but actually gets really good grades and is supposedly a genius. Her route begins with her confessing to Shikanosuke on stage, and they go out. But shit hits the fan when she suddenly quits her job and loses contact with Shikanosuke. He gets a called from her mother, who tells him that their father set their house on fire out of despair since their debts have piled up to the point that the loan sharks force Kirari to go work at some prostitution job. Kirari tried to save her siblings and her microphone, which resulted in her receiving severe burns and dying at the hospital. Yes, the heroine dies halfway in her route and there is no magical revival magic coming into play. Skip ahead several years and Shikanosuke is now a drop-out after failing university entrance exams and joined Murakami’s band, Happy Cycle Mania. They’re living pretty pathetic lives, especially Shikanosuke, who lives in a shitty apartment and eats instant noodles for meals. Their band goes through a rough stage where their drummer quits to devote his time to his shady, illegal day-job at a casino, and their lead singer is getting offers from a professional company. To top things off, Shikanosuke collapses from malnutrition due to his shitty lifestyle, and his family decides to be supportive and tell him that he can move back in with them and they’ll pay for him if he decides to go back to college. Some final hallucinations of Kirari results in him deciding to stick with his band. His final line?
“With all my love, to this fucking world.”
I then went for Isurugi Chie. Her route was basically about family issues, since her parents got divorced and stuff. I don’t remember too much about her route, except for the fact that it was underwhelming in terms of actual plot and resolution, even though Chie and Shikanosuke’s relationship had the most natural development. I don’t really care for divorced parent drama, especially since the drama was supposedly resolved last year, but suddenly Chie’s mom decides to sue her ex-husband and demand him pay her for child support as revenge. I basically yawned and facepalmed, although a certain subplot about a yakuza daughter and her family problems (resolved by accidentally dumping a pile of shit on her mother) proved to be entertaining enough for a short while, and the school-wide plan to interfere with the graduation ceremony by having the band play the school’s anthem punk-style was a nice way to end things.
Last normal route I did was Kashiwara Sarina, who is the quiet and frail ojou-sama who supposedly has a serious illness. She is actually the least “plot-relevant” member of the band in any route but her own. The main drama in her route comes from a disapproving, overprotective grandfather. Her grandfather was opposed to her being in the band and going on the tour in the first place, so when she comes home from it and collapses, he flips out and decides to bring her to his home in the countryside and withdraw her from school. Of course he prevents anyone from contacting her. Shikanosuke won’t stand for this, so he decides to go to their real house in the countryside and gain the grandfather’s approval. He’s surprisingly calm and composed about this, and keeps his rational thought. It turns out that Sarina’s dad also liked the guitar and ran away from home to marry a sick girl, but the girl died after giving birth to Sarina (who got her illness) and he committed suicide. They find his last words in his final letter and manage to calm the old man down with it, and he ends up approving of Shikanosuke although he still won’t let Sarina go back to school due to her health.
Finishing the above 3 routes unlocks the True route, which is a good ending for Kirari. T’was a fitting end, althought not particularly mind-blowing or as shocking as her normal end. The best part was when Shikanosuke purposely let Kirari’s father die rather than call of help immediately, then feel ridiculously guilty afterwards for basically being responsible for the death of her dad. Her dad was a pathetic drunktard that made their family situation worse, so with him gone, everything starts going much better. She ends up being a professional singer at the end, whereas Shikanosuke goes to college, hunts for ordinary office job, and does normal things in society. The Second Literature Club lives down their school’s history and even attracts people to their school due to how famous it became. It’s not a bad ending at all, and quite happy while remaining on the realistic side.
Kirari’s routes were what made Kira Kira shine. It’s a shame the best route was for my least favorite girl. Although, none of the girls in the vn particularly strike my fancy in the first place. The character designs aren’t to my liking either. MangaGamer’s localization was passable in the sense that yes, you understand what’s going on. No, it doesn’t sound good. There’s typos and awkwardly-worded sentences everywhere.