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mid as a game but dolls + siblings + tarot - tuberculosis + classical music motifs (here a just wrong dies irae riff of a requiem as a wood wind/vocal duet) meant it was a vibe. + L + cope + ratio
played this forever ago. not to sincere post (i dont like this website very much) but i feel this game is significantly underrated; it offers enough wrinkles in its more traditional narrative and thematic territory that it becomes a very intimate romance, and its usage of the silent protagonist model is remarkably clever for what it is. its aesthetic is, in effect, both a further refinement of the hyper condensed file size wave pixels been working on, now styled like atari, and kind of a refutation of the shallowness of invocations of that very look; made me think how nothing ian bogosts work is. beyond that, kawanakas writing style is crisp if not especially innovative, but her character writing hits where it matters. if anything lacks here its the game design, which is like... a not especially creative or engaging adventure game style working again with very specific limitations that makes up for its shortcomings in this regard with a creative use of its routing/ending cycles. its very smart where it matters otherwise, and the good ending is really warm and evocative. not totally sure what objections one would have beyond not engaging with it mechanically, which, fair, for sure, but idk how much thats missing the forest for the trees... all of the endings are necessary to pursue imo they create a fuller picture when placed in conversation together than taken piecemeal. i really admired so much of it. works in a long tradition of stories about illness as tied to queerness (not an AIDS story, then, but a story informed by the fragility of ones place in the world, about illness and disability and Otherness). i think about how chihiros rumored promiscuity, good looks, and icy personality are communicated in the silent protag framing a lot, esp as it plays into his puppy dog love for yoru, and the way his peers distance themselves from him, and how that isolation informs his illness. very fic-y red thread tied souls; happy to rec tons of BL manga in similar thematic territory lol. i went longer abt this on my blog but didn't log it here-just was reminded how special it is while going through my library.
STEAM REVIEW VOICE i just downloaded this for the character creator