Mamiya: Short vn review (updated 6/05/2021)

So this is a short one because it’s one of those you just kind of have to read it to see if you like it or not. The closest thing that I’d compare it to would be something like chapter 4 in Umineko. Where overall it’s interesting but there’s sections where you wish it would have been shortened but it has a good payoff in the end.

I don’t know much about the writer of this one outside of that they made a boys love vn, and that this one wasn’t one of those. It still felt like one to me, but I guess just having undertones is a good enough pass for people outside of that genre to give it a try. It’s not my first go at one, and honestly it’s now three for three on having interesting plots(though one of them wasn’t really my cup of tea). Though it is the first one I tried expecting something like that.

The soundtrack is all over the place. Which normally sounds like a negative connotation but it wasn’t messily put together, it just had a diverse selection. Sometimes it was a bit too artsy fartsy/on the nose for me, but those are rare occurrences. I appreciate the occasional classical track, and when to switch it up to hype up other scenes. It also understands when to not put a track at all to make specific scenes stronger. I’m honestly surprised they’re not in the extras, or even a soundtrack dlc.
I don’t have much to talk about for the sprite and art work, it’s just not my field. Yeah the boys look pretty, but I don’t know if other titles have are hitting a whole other plateau, but I don’t think there’s anything to complain about. I can say that they do convey the mood correctly, and I always appreciate a continuously changing title screen.

So the plot is split in two parts, Fall Down and Down Fall. Each have a set of routes for the same characters. And that alone can be kind of annoying or repetitive and it did get to me at points but I just went through it because I wanted to see what was next. The routes are kind of meant to be done in order for the first section, so Ryou,Toujou,Mori and then Keito. Mainly because Ryou is the best starting point and he leads to Toujou or Keito well, and Tojou leads to Mori. Though I like the idea of changing Mori and Toujou’s play orders. You lose some novelty to gain something else. Though the only one I really liked was Ryou’s route. Keito technically has some of the more interesting concepts but he’s also kind of annoying, he’s also best to leave last in my opinion.

You get formally introduced to the central character in the end of Fall Down, but everything worthwhile is in Down Fall. The problem with the 2nd set of routes is that a lot of them are pretty toxic and I’ll talk about that later. The 2nd set of routes can be taken in any order. And when given the chance to choose for the third set, pick the second and then the 4th after the first completion. You can do the others if you want but they’re not that interesting by comparison.

This is one of those vns that surprise you more the less you read. It’s still fun to go through and it’s subtle enough to not be blatant but also isn’t pulling anything from their ass, for the most part. And I’m sure there’s at least something that can surprise you. All in all, I gave it a 7+1 if you don’t mind some of the routes like I did. It was a fun read and I’m looking forward to the sequel. Hopefully it cools off from the vocal tracks trying to make you feel something when the scene was written well enough to support itself. The Mamiya sections were my favorite, alongside the protag’s struggle against him. The librarian is pretty cute too.

So for the spoiler section nitpicks.

The initial set routes have an annoying 3 or 4 liner in the end from the spectator. It’s the same in each one, it felt like something I’d read from a Neil Breen movie. That and and the scene that ends Fall Down to DownFall could have been its own small intermission in between the chapters.
It’s done a lot better in the second set of routes. Even though it’s still the same lines, it’s trying to hammer a few points but the most prevalent is just about asking what happens after the happy ending and closing their respecting story.
The toxic relationships in the 2nd set of routes just made me feel like I was reading a young adult’s novel sold primarily to horny women. It was generally just making the protag as an outlet of some sort of abuse to save the other. It’s more of a personal nitpick, I’m just not part of this demographic.
Mori has the least going on, even though it’s a good subject. I felt like maybe he needed a few more pages just to push it over the edge. While Ryou has a lot of shit going on, I feel like he’s the posterboy for this one, even his Mamiya is the most interesting of the bunch.
Both Touma and Nigaki should have more scenes added to them and a better thought out connection between the two groups. I felt it hit hard because I chose Arisuguwa first, and that was a cool reveal and made more sense than the previous two.

This is a future edit. I was thinking about Mamiya again, and I remember not putting in a point because I wasn’t sure but it turns out it was the way I was thinking about it. So a nitpick I didn’t add here before was that it didn’t really feel necessary to have to read all of the routes from 2nd set. Again I’m not in the demographic, other people might’ve liked all the routes, but I mainly enjoyed the spectator sections. If only 2 of any of the 4 routes were required, I might’ve just given it the 8. But this could also be something to akin to all this matters in the end when the plot is actually finished.

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