Yes, really. I know you all know how vehemently I dislike the reading mechanism associated with Visual Novels, so I won’t belabor that here. I will say this – the thing I like most in any media is good characters, and in that Kindred Spirits on the Roof succeeds.
It took me a surprisingly long time to get through the demo (which is downloadable now on the Mangagamer site.) There are 6 scenarios total – the ribbon story with Yuna and the spirits and 5 couples (and an obvious sixth couple, as well.) I expected one, maybe two scenario set-ups as a taste of the story, but the demo gave me a tremendous amount of content. It took me quite a while to plow through the approximately three to five chapters from every scenario.
I’m not going to get into the scenarios themselves – that we’ll save for another time, although I will say that only one scenario was a complete ick for me and one was “meh”. The others ranged from good to excellent. And the final two actually piqued my interest.
But the reason I say “I give” is that by and large, the characters are surprisingly fleshed out. In fact, several times while going through the demo I had a slightly snarky thought and immediately one of the characters – usually Yuna – said the very thing I was thinking. ^_^
I really like the Day Planner as the basis for moving through the stories, but I’ll get into that more in a full review later.
I have two more thoughts just now: Here’s what Mangagamer had to say about the title: “In regards to the title, the “Yurirei” in the Japanese title is a pun which joins the words yuurei (ghost/spirit) and yuri together, so we wanted to come up with a title which preserved this naming sense as much as possible. After much internal discussion between the translator and other staff, “Kindred Spirits” was chosen since it retains the nod to their relationship, as well as keeps the “spirit” pun from the original title.”
I understand their manifesto on this, but “kindred” still strikes me as an strange word choice. “Kindred” means blood relations, something that doesn’t at all express anything like “Yuri.” But then again, gay people still call one another “family.” I’m well aware of the phrase “kindred spirits” so please no more definitions in the comments. It’s just not all that awesome a pun. In fact, it’s pretty meh. I know people who do describe their lovers as “soulmates” although thankfully no one has ever forced me to not roll my eyes at them by telling me their spouse is their “kindred spirit.” And I guess they didn’t want to go with the word Yuri for the slangy quality. and how offputting it might be to non-otaku fans. Every fannish translation has pretty much failed to capture both sense and spirit, as well – such “Gay Ghosts on the Roof”? Seriously? That’s just ugly. This kind of stuff is hard and I recognize that.
Secondly, Sachi says she’d never heard of ‘S’, but tells us she died 80 years ago…that would put it in the 1930s, smack dab in the center of ‘S’ popularity. I wonder why Liar-Soft had her say she hadn’t heard of it?
Ratings withheld until I complete the thing.