Uguu Review! Hoshizora no Memoria ‑Wish upon a Shooting Star-

Hoshizora no Memoria

Pray to become star­ry sky tomor­row…

So final­ly, after about 50 years, here’s anoth­er write-up of a visu­al nov­el (I ful­ly admit that I’m absolute­ly damedame). The title of the day is Hoshi­zo­ra no Memo­ria ‑Wish upon a Shoot­ing Star-, a moege/charage by Favorite and one that is avail­able with a fan-trans­la­tion (by Stair­case Subs).

I have to say that the art is sim­ply gor­geous. The deli­cious illus­tra­tions are, of course, drawn by Shi­da Kazuhi­ro. He’s real­ly good at draw­ing absolute­ly heart-melt­ing loli char­ac­ters and cute females in gen­er­al, and hon­est­ly pro­vides one of the strongest aspects that Favorite brand visu­al nov­els have going for them.

Also, beware. There will be major spoil­ers (even if I don’t go too deep into them and most­ly just share my thoughts).

So many cute girls to choose from

Visual Novel Structure

Like every oth­er visu­al nov­el, the “game­play” con­sists of sto­ry-based text accom­pa­nied by visu­als, with choic­es spo­rad­i­cal­ly placed through­out. For Hoshi­zo­ra no Memo­ria ‑Wish upon a Shoot­ing Star, the game starts out with a pro­logue that leads onto a Com­mon Route, which is essen­tial­ly the begin­ning sto­ry bits that gen­er­al­ly remain the same through­out all your playthroughs, that branch off into dif­fer­ent alter­na­tive routes depend­ing on the occa­sion­al choic­es you make (the deci­sion being based on com­mon sense choice, real­ly — just be extra affec­tion­ate to the per­son whose route you’re try­ing to get on). There are a total of sev­en char­ac­ter routes: Mina­hoshi Ausho, Isuzu Aoi, Hisas­a­ki Komo­mo, Hisaka­ki Kosame, Kogasa­ka Chi­na­mi, Otot­su Yume and Mare S. Ephemer­al.

The first three routes I men­tioned could be accessed at any time right from the begin­ning when you first down­load the game. Kosame’s route can only be accessed once you com­plet­ed her twin sis­ter’s route (Komo­mo’s route), while Yume’s route (which, in my point of view, seems to be con­sid­ered the True Route) can only be accessed after com­plet­ing almost every oth­er route before it. Mare’s “route” is essen­tial­ly a alter­nate branch with­in Yume’s route, so you have to com­plete Yume’s route in order to expe­ri­ence some shiniga­mi cute­ness.

For basic plot syn­op­sis, see The Visu­al Nov­el Data­base’s entry:

The sto­ry begins with the pro­tag­o­nist, Kogasa­ka Yoh, mov­ing back to his home­town, which he left behind sev­er­al years ago. Upon arriv­ing, he stum­bles into an aban­doned, sealed obser­va­to­ry, where­upon he encoun­ters a mys­te­ri­ous girl who looks exact­ly like his child­hood friend did years ago. She intro­duces her­self as Mare, a shiniga­mi who reaps night­mares.

Mean­while, back at school, Youh ends up join­ing the astron­o­my club, which is in des­per­ate need of new mem­bers. At night, he con­tin­ues to vis­it Mare at the obser­va­to­ry, all the while try­ing to remem­ber a cer­tain some­one’s name...”

-The Visu­al Nov­el Data­base

(Wow, the first sen­tence sounds strange­ly rem­i­nis­cent of Kanonin space.)

The main char­ac­ter you play as, Kogasa­ka Yoh, is a pret­ty lik­able guy who man­ages to side­step all the idio­cies moege pro­tag­o­nists usu­al­ly have. On top of being com­pas­sion­ate and car­ing, he’s actu­al­ly pret­ty smart and has every poten­tial to be an hon­or stu­dent, though he’s mod­est about it. He comes off as inde­pen­dent, but far from a Gary Stu — as you progress through the sto­ry and learn more about his past and fam­i­ly life, espe­cial­ly in the True Route, you’ll real­ize that the things that make him a good human being can also dou­ble as hin­drances. But over­all, he’s total­ly Kogasa­ka Broh when he’s not pick­ing on his lit­tle sis­ter. I could actu­al­ly iden­ti­fy with him more-so than, say, your typ­i­cal harem pro­tag­o­nist. Also, he’s well-equipped for H‑scenes — I call him the Destroy­er of Chasti­ties. A school­girl does not sim­ply walk away from an H‑scene with this guy with­out being both sat­is­fied and forced to walk with a limp.

After the pro­logue is over (which is when Mare “reaps” Yoh’s night­mare), a real­ly well-made open­ing sequence is played:

It’s a crime that they did­n’t update this with the god­dess that is Yume after you unlock her route

The Com­mon Route main­ly con­sist­ed of slice-of-life fun with the Tenku­ru (Astron­o­my Lover’s Cir­cle) and is actu­al­ly longer than the indi­vid­ual char­ac­ter routes. As you com­plete each char­ac­ter route, you grad­u­al­ly unlock a few new scenes that are added to the Com­mon Route con­sist­ing of brief encoun­ters with a “mys­tery girl”, Otot­su Yume, and once you get them all, that sig­ni­fies the unlock­ing of her route. Also, although I’m assum­ing the game has no real bad ends (I nev­er got any), I have no idea what the hell hap­pens if you avoid rais­ing flags before you have access to Yume’s route. As anoth­er tid­bit, as you get clos­er to com­plet­ing all the routes, the time of day on the title screen changes, the last one being a beau­ti­ful star­ry sky — it’s pret­ty neat.

With­out fur­ther ado, I’ll share my thoughts on the indi­vid­ual char­ac­ter routes! Yes, I’m doing the H‑scenes too, which I feel real­ly awk­ward about, but I’m doing them any­way. o/

Look how happy she is HNNNG

Minahoshi Asuho

CV: Samo­to Fuuri

Asuho is the Gen­ki Girl of the Tenku­ru and also serves as its Vice Pres­i­dent that has a total­ly obvi­ous, albeit shy, crush on Yoh. If Mare and Yume did­n’t exist, it’d be easy to start up this game and assume that she’s the main girl upon first glance, even though she isn’t. Just look at her over­all char­ac­ter: her sig­nif­i­cant role in the club, her “I knew you when you were child” rela­tion­ship with Yoh (aside from Yume, Mare, and his sis­ter, Chi­na­mi), her obses­sion and enthu­si­asm with the stars (astron­o­my being the main back­drop of this visu­al nov­el, if the title did­n’t give it away — she real­ly goes well with the VN’s cre­ative usage of astro­nom­i­cal myths), and her extreme­ly roman­tic route (more-so than the oth­er “reg­u­lar” routes) would eas­i­ly make her fit the role of “main girl”, espe­cial­ly since she’s made to be pret­ty eye-catch­ing in the open­ing sequence and some pro­mo­tion­al mate­ri­als. That, and appar­ent­ly I hear her route’s the default route from some sources (I’m not sure though, so if some­one could clar­i­fy for me, that would be sweet).

She’s a real­ly friend­ly and cheery char­ac­ter, and it was always a treat to see her on-screen and inter­act­ing with the oth­er char­ac­ters, espe­cial­ly dur­ing the club meeting/comedy bits and when she would fan­girl about astron­o­my. Get her start­ed on Tan­aba­ta, the zodi­ac con­stel­la­tions, etc. and she’ll be ram­bling to you about the roman­tic myths of the stars all day! Her seiyuu real­ly man­ages bring out her char­ac­ter in the voice act­ing: her voice is just so crisp… full of life and sug­ar. Even so, while that may tru­ly be in her nature, she actu­al­ly has some bot­tled up feel­ings that she hides using that cheer­ful­ness as a front. The main con­flict of her route starts with her mak­ing the deci­sion whether or not she deserves to be with Yoh any less than the girl from his child­hood, and revolves around her par­tial deaf­ness (which, I must add, is nice­ly fore­shad­owed before the reveal) and how it affect­ed her dad and his career. Over­all, Asuho’s route was essen­tial­ly about fac­ing her past and inse­cu­ri­ties, and the emo­tion­al bag­gage that came out along with it.

While her route pret­ty much com­plete­ly fails to expand on any of the super­nat­ur­al ele­ments that were present in the Com­mon Route, so do about half of the oth­er routes that aren’t Yume/Mare. As a slice-of-life, it was a pret­ty well-writ­ten route and peo­ple could eas­i­ly relate to the emo­tion­al con­flict that Asuho and (maybe even) her father were going through.

Thoughts on Asuho’s H‑scenes (perversion/lewdness warn­ing):

Don't fuck with me

Isuzu Aoi

CV: Azu­ma Karin

Hoshimem­o­’s token… well, I dun­no. It’s hard to clas­si­fy her. She’s sim­i­lar to a kuud­ere, but isn’t one. She’s def­i­nite­ly not dan­dere (like our res­i­dent Wah­fuu). And she’s total­ly not a tsun­dere (at least of the flan­der­ized vari­ety). She’s just very… mean, but not evil nor detest­ing. The words that come out of her mouth is just so blunt that it would make The Rock cry. She does devel­op into a much warmer char­ac­ter as her route pro­gress­es, though, because under that cold, cold icy per­son­al­i­ty lies a girl that’s pret­ty much lost. Per­son­al­i­ty-wise, she’s cute in her own way.

TO BE HONEST, if it weren’t for her… inter­est­ing­ly poi­so­nous “friend­ship” with Chi­na­mi (who, inverse­ly, loves the shit out of Aoi) that devel­ops into sur­pris­ing­ly heart­warm­ing lev­els in her route, she’s pret­ty use­less over­all. Don’t get me wrong, I do like her pres­ence strange­ly enough, but her route is total­ly irrel­e­vant to the grand scheme of things (though it has a few plot points that con­nect it to Chi­nami’s route). Her char­ac­ter over­all feels like her only pur­pose is to fill up the space that the Tenku­ru needs to be qual­i­fied as a legit club. She does add to some of the more com­i­cal scenes in the twin’s routes, though. Aside from that, her route does have some tear­jerk­ers and is good on its own. There’s a bit of forced dra­ma here and there, but it was­n’t much of a painful expe­ri­ence.

Her route did have the first appear­ance of Ren (at least in my own route order), so there’s that.

Thoughts on Aoi’s H‑scenes (perversion/lewdness warn­ing):

Where are YOU look at?

Hisakaki Komomo

CV: Miyaza­wa Yua­na

Here we have the first half of our twincest bridgade, miko daugh­ters of Hibarasak­i’s local Seit­en­guu shrine. It isn’t until Komo­mo’s route that any­thing rel­e­vant to Hoshimem­o­’s super­nat­ur­al, astro­nom­i­cal ele­ments (embell­ished with some fan­ta­sy “sci­ence”, sort of) actu­al­ly start to play a part in a char­ac­ter’s arc, and we get to know a bit more about Hibarisa­ki and some of its oth­er char­ac­ters. The back­ground sto­ry between the two twins is real­ly where they start to throw hints and expla­na­tions that allude to the fan­tas­tic effects emit­ted from mete­orites and their con­tri­bu­tion to the earth­ly exis­tence of “grim reapers” like Mare. The super­nat­ur­al aspects that uti­lize astrology/astronomy motifs are some of the unique things that make Hoshimemo an attrac­tive moege< to me, so the amount of rel­e­vance a route had to those were basi­cal­ly equiv­a­lent to my extra enjoy­ment.

Komo­mo her­self is as much of a tsun­dere as she is a bomb­shell. For rea­sons explained in her route, she hates the stars, and is a stu­dent coun­cil mem­ber that often butts heads with the Tenku­ru, although she joins the club lat­er on to “keep an eye on them”. She’s every­thing a char­ac­ter you’d imag­ine in a stu­dent coun­cil would be, plus all the kicks in the face and (cute) angry reac­tions to embar­rass­ment. I swear, get­ting kicked in the face by a tsun­dere should be its own fetish by now.

…well, any­ways, I felt that her char­ac­ter was some­what sim­i­lar to Yoh’s (or Kogay­oh, as she likes to call him) in the fact that she’s extreme­ly inde­pen­dent and refus­es to rely on any­one. She, of course, steadi­ly grows out of this dur­ing her route by learn­ing to depend on Yoh (oh, and by the way, she has a hate/love rela­tion­ship with his princess car­ries). Komo­mo’s route revolves around her con­stant night­mares of falling under a scar­let red sky, and dying, which she pre­sumes hap­pened dur­ing her child­hood. Basi­cal­ly, she thinks she’s already dead. The VN sort of took me for a loop a bit here when they reveal what actu­al­ly hap­pened dur­ing the inci­dent in her dreams, and I like how it expand­ed a bit more on that rev­e­la­tion in Kosame’s route.

Over­all, while Asuho’s route was plen­ty cute (it’s Asuho!) and had its own fair share of heart­warm­ing moments, Komo­mo’s route man­aged to be a tier above it by focus­ing on the cool astron­o­my-relat­ed super­nat­ur­al appeal Hoshimemo has going for it and expand­ing on the set­ting.

Thoughts on Komo­mo’s H‑scenes (perversion/lewdness warn­ing):
[SPOILER]W-where are you looking at

Komo­mo’s sex scenes are pret­ty hot. She has real­ly long twin­tails, and sports shima­pan and thigh-high socks, two of the most token fetish fuel I can ever think of in terms of cloth­ing (out­side of weird­er shit like bondage out­fits, but let’s not get into that). As an off­shoot to what I said ear­li­er about her kick­ing the pro­tag in the face, SHE KICKS HIM DURING SEX AT LEAST ONE POINT. I dun­no, if you’re real­ly into aggres­sive tsun­dere char­ac­ters, you’ll prob­a­bly be into that (thx chi­nese car­toons for mak­ing me kinki­er every day).

The gap between her sex scenes is ridicu­lous­ly short. After your main char­ac­ter is done pop­ping her cher­ry and let­ting her enjoy mini Kogay­oh, we go back to the sto­ry and plot dia­logue… for a total of maybe, what? 5 min­utes? Then they go at it again, this time with Komo­mo get­ting smashed in the bath­tub. It’s pret­ty sexy, but I was actu­al­ly enjoy­ing what was hap­pen­ing in the plot, so my jaw lit­er­al­ly dropped when I heard the H‑scene music start­ing up again.

Oh yeah, dur­ing the bath sex, Komo­mo lets her hair down, and if not for her voice, you could bare­ly tell her apart from Kosame. They real­ly are twins.[/SPOILER]

She's actually holding his arm because his dick made her walk on a limp I'M NOT JOKING

Hisakaki Kosame

CV: Kusuno­ki Suzune

Kosame’s the oth­er Hisaka­ki twin, and the token sadist troll char­ac­ter, though she always man­ages to be friend­ly and sup­port­ive. Out of the entire­ty of the “reg­u­lar” girls, I found her one of the two to be the most amus­ing (we’ll get to Chi­na­mi next) — she takes plea­sure in teas­ing her friends, espe­cial­ly her sis­ter, whom she shares sev­er­al yuri-ai moments with as the Tenku­ru’s only weapon of resis­tance against the stu­dent coun­cil (Asuho being the vic­tim of her yuri-ai raep when Komo­mo isn’t avail­able). Plus, I nev­er get tired of her “ei! ei! ei!” head-chop gag. She gets a notable scene in the Com­mon Route where she seem­ing­ly tries to send Mare off with the Seit­en­gu­u’s nag­i­na­ta, and I applaud the writer for suc­cess­ful­ly slip­ping some good red her­rings in and also a taste­ful­ly-insert­ed yuri-ai kiss between the twin sis­ters.

Much of her predica­ment is explained in Komo­mo’s route, and since you can only enter Kosame’s route after com­plet­ing Mokomoko’s route (as Mare [prob­a­bly inten­tion­al­ly] calls Komo­mo — she calls Kosame “Komame”, if I recall cor­rect­ly), I felt that Kosame’s route served as kind of a “dif­fer­ent point of view” omake than any­thing. Obvi­ous­ly it’s still an alter­na­tive route, but they don’t both­er to do much of a retake of the rev­e­la­tions made in Komo­mo’s route because you’ve already seen it. Plus, it’s pret­ty short in com­par­i­son to Komo­mo’s route, and Komo­mo’s route is as long as all the oth­er routes, which are way short­er than the Com­mon Route.

The roman­tic bits of Kosame’s route uses the famil­iar “I don’t deserve to be with you because I’m ____” con­flict as Kosame’s sto­ry arc, which hon­est­ly isn’t too much of a bad cliché if they approach it in the right man­ner, which I feel the writer suc­cess­ful­ly did. The con­cept itself could be cringe­wor­thy to some, but it’s a real emo­tion­al con­flict that peo­ple deal with, so I think it’s a legit­i­mate sto­ry aspect used in fic­tion that unfor­tu­nate­ly ends up being mud­dled up into a pile of turd at times. With Kosame becom­ing one of Hibari­gak­i’s super­nat­ur­al phe­nom­e­non (a being not unlike that of Mare and Ren due to the shrine’s mete­orite) after basi­cal­ly falling to her death dur­ing the twins’ shared back­ground sto­ry, the route has a strong focus in Kosame deal­ing with the fact that she’s noth­ing more than a ghost (in essence, at least) who has to keep­ing lying to the peo­ple she cares about, and will even­tu­al­ly be sent off one day. There’s plen­ty of decent dra­ma in the route, though I feel the end­ing por­tions feel a bit rushed — to be spe­cif­ic, the epi­logue felt anti-cli­mat­ic after all the pan­icky stuff that hap­pened towards the end, like Yoh cut­ting him­self for instance. It would have helped if the route was the same length as the pre­vi­ous girls — Kosame’s route was way too short, even though it’s one of the good ones.

Oh yeah, there’s plen­ty of gra­tu­itous nudi­ty in Kosame’s route.

Thoughts on Kosame’s H‑scenes (perversion/lewdness warn­ing):

Half imouto meido

Kogasaka Chinami

CV: Mizuhara Kaoru (VN alias: Minazu­ki Ren)

What every moege appar­ent­ly needs to have, to the point where it seems to have become a run­ning-joke: an imouto route. And a blood-relat­ed one, at that. Well, only par­tial­ly blood relat­ed since they have dif­fer­ent dads. That’s right, folks. Not a sis­ter, not a step-sis­ter, but a half-sis­ter. What a tweest!

Chi­nami’s the only focus female that isn’t part of the Tenku­ru, instead, she joined the Okak­en (the Occult Research Cir­cle) because she seems to have an obses­sion with aliens. Chi­na­mi, as a char­ac­ter, seems to pro­duce split reac­tions. Some peo­ple find her obnox­ious and annoy­ing, while oth­er folks like me find her to be an amus­ing and fun­ny pres­ence, and feel that if you don’t find her at least a lit­tle endear­ing, you must lack a soul. I actu­al­ly enjoyed her antics and loved watch­ing her get bul­lied by Yoh, though I do fault her for being pure­ly a gag char­ac­ter most of the time. Oh yeah, and her cook­ing is inhu­man­ly ter­ri­ble.

ONII-CHAN ONII-CHAN ONII-CHAAAAAAAAN

And yes, she’s voiced by the same seiyuu that did Misao’s voice in Lucky Star. Was kind of sur­prised, yet kind of not at the same time. She real­ly brought out the kuso­ga­ki out of Chi­nami’s char­ac­ter.

The best part of Chi­nami’s route is hon­est­ly all the infor­ma­tion giv­en about Yoh’s fam­i­ly back­ground — it’s always good to know more about the main char­ac­ter and his past. Her own emo­tion­al strug­gle when it comes to, well, her­self and how she thinks that she’s a bur­den to her fam­i­ly mem­bers (trac­ing all the way back to the death of their moth­er and even the cir­cum­stances of her birth), made for a decent read. But the part that dragged Chi­nami’s route down was that the romance felt so tacked-on and did­n’t feel nec­es­sary to the route at all. Like, the romance bits seemed like an after-thought and only put in there because it’s an eroge and all the routes need to have some cat­a­lyst for sex scenes. The romance did­n’t inte­grat­ed into the sto­ry very well at all, and you could basi­cal­ly take that part out and still have the same sto­ry, only with­out forced incest.

Despite that, I appre­ci­at­ed that it pro­vid­ed an expla­na­tion about Yoh’s fam­i­ly back­ground and even gave Shi­no some time to shine as a char­ac­ter. Even the minor “best friend” char­ac­ter, Asu­ka, gets to show some hid­den depths for a sec­ond when he men­tions the dis­ap­pear­ance of his own sis­ter being relat­ed to the pur­pose of his club.

Thoughts on Chi­nami’s H‑scenes (perversion/lewdness warn­ing):

EXCELLENT. YEP, EXCELLENT INDEED

Ototsu Yume

CV: Touno Soyo­gi

Final­ly, after com­plet­ing all of the above routes, you final­ly get to do the True Route — Otot­su Yume, Yoh’s child­hood girlfriend!

She’s right up there next to Mare as my favorite Hoshi­zo­ra no Memo­ria char­ac­ter. Not only is her char­ac­ter design sim­ply gor­geous and refined, but she has that oneesan qual­i­ty to her as well as a fun­ny, child­ish side that’s… I dun­no, it’s awe­some, espe­cial­ly cou­pled with her voice, which has this ethe­re­al and lul­la­by-tinge to it. I could lis­ten to her for hours.

Her route is eas­i­ly the best route in the whole VN, though it’s real­ly painful to go through since it’s so depress­ing and quite a few things are admit­ted­ly cringe­wor­thy just for being what they are. While there were good atten­tions behind it and she learns that “cru­el kind­ness” (as the char­ac­ters put it) isn’t the way to go about things, it was hard to see her con­stant­ly push Yoh away (she was­n’t very good at pre­tend­ing, either) so she could die alone with­out bur­den­ing him. At the same time, this was one of those times where I real­ly dis­agreed with Yoh’s approach to things — per­son­al­ly, I would have tried to find out what her dis­ease was before her time was even about to come. I mean, come on, with­out know­ing what’s crip­pling her enough that she’s lived in the “YOU’RE GONNA DIE” ward of the hos­pi­tal for sev­en years and sneak­ing her out to places any­way, know­ing her dis­ease would real­ly be help­ful in avoid­ing any fatal dam­age to her con­di­tion.

Perfect. Yep, perfect indeed.

I’m sure I like you… and that will nev­er change.

There were plen­ty of great things about her route though. Say what you will about Star Can­cer (cousin to Key AIDs) and how much sense that makes when we’re con­stant­ly being assault­ed by what­ev­er the sun emits to some extent whether indoors or out, but when it came down to the moment when she’s on her deathbed, I was near­ly on the brink of being an emo­tion­al wreck (I was­n’t cry­ing, but I was cer­tain­ly tear­ing up some­what). And, oh god, Mare’s sac­ri­fice in order to keep her alive. I love how it ties up some loose ends that were pre­sent­ed in some of the oth­er routes — we even get an appear­ance of Chi­nami’s father, albeit in “grim reaper” form, to fur­ther exem­pli­fy the par­al­lel between Yume/Yoh’s sit­u­a­tion and his and Yoh’s moth­er’s sit­u­a­tion of the past. And I loved how the True Com­pan­ions rela­tion­ship between the Astron­o­my Club mem­bers of old and new (the Tenku­ru) were played up to the max com­pared to oth­er routes, even Asu­ka gets a sig­nif­i­cant bro moment with Yoh.

While it does tie up loose ends from some of the pre­vi­ous routes, the route itself ends on an unsat­is­fy­ing note by leav­ing a bunch of its own loose ends. We see Mare being sent off in order to rid Yume of her Star Can­cer, the cred­its roll, and then we see a mar­ried Yume and Yoh, along with what appears to be a rein­car­nat­ed Mare as their daugh­ter, being a hap­py fam­i­ly and stargaz­ing. Hooray for hap­py ends! Thing is, we nev­er see what hap­pens in-between. The part where Yume is actu­al­ly cured from her Star Can­cer, the part where Yume and Yoh form a real hap­py romance, the part where Yoh ful­fills his promise to find Mare’s mete­orite and bring her back, etc. is nev­er seen. I for­give it to an extent, because appar­ent­ly a lot of these things are shown in the After Sto­ry fan­disc (Hoshi­zo­ra no Memo­ria ‑Eter­nal Heart-), but these are points to con­sid­er since the fan­disc was released waaaaay lat­er — a year after peo­ple had already com­plet­ed this VN. As-is, it left peo­ple with an emp­ty feel­ing, and that’s the biggest thing that drags the True Route down from being per­fect.

Did I men­tion that it’s a crime that Yume has no chibi art­work? I mean, I’ve heard that she gets some of those chibi CGs in Eter­nal Heart, but appar­ent­ly those are infe­ri­or to the chibi art from the orig­i­nal game. I can see why they would want to keep those kind of things away from spoiler‑y char­ac­ters (like how Asch from Tales of the Abyss nev­er got chibi art­work despite being con­sid­ered a tech­ni­cal par­ty mem­ber), but damn, it both­ers the liv­ing hell out of me. She also gets a princess car­ry in the sto­ry, but it was­n’t a CG. Bah.

Thoughts on Yume’s H‑scene (perversion/lewdness warn­ing):

My route is too short!

Mare S. Ephemeral

CV: Kad­owa­ki Maii (VN alias: Mit­su Anzu)

My oth­er favorite char­ac­ter. Before Yume actu­al­ly had pres­ence in the visu­al nov­el, she was my only favorite char­ac­ter. In Mare’s route, Chi­na­mi said some­thing about plans to orga­nize a cult based on Mare. For your infor­ma­tion, I’m a part of that.

She’s tsun­dere, though not in the same way as Komo­mo. She’s the rebel­lious kind of tsun­dere in that she will deny almost every­thing because shiniga­mi don’t agree with Yoh-kuns. hnnnnnng

Sor­ry, was being cringe­wor­thy there. I apol­o­gize.

Any­ways, she’s a focal char­ac­ter in the sto­ry — a self-pro­claimed grim reaper who sends off night­mares with her scythe and is accom­pa­nied by what appears to be a baby drag­on named Kaabou. She’s a fair­ly petite girl that also looks exact­ly like the younger Yume (Yume was stat­ed to be 19 in the sto­ry, so sub­tract that by 7 and give or take a year), because of Yume and Yoh’s wish on Mare’s mete­orite effec­tive­ly “cre­at­ing” her appear­ance. Or some­thing (also, I don’t think any­one knows how old she real­ly is). Most of Mare’s more emo­tion­al moments hap­pen in the Com­mon Route and Yume’s route rather than her own exclu­sive con­tent (one notable instance is dur­ing Kaabou’s “death”, which was absolute­ly heart­break­ing).

Her route is just sort of an alter­nate end to Yume’s route and is pret­ty damn short, ridicu­lous­ly short — it’s only about 30 min­utes long, prac­ti­cal­ly just an omake! It’s pret­ty dis­ap­point­ing, but at the same time it was nice in its own way… her route was just her being cute, sweet ol’ Mare. The real sub­stan­tial Mare route is appar­ent­ly in the fan­disc, and that’s also all about her being cute, but it’s longer, so… that’s a good thing? Jeez, I’m con­tra­dict­ing myself. Welp, cute­ness in a moege is a good thing, screw y’all.

Admit­ted­ly, the romance was a tad bit uncom­fort­able to watch com­ing right out of the Yume route. C’mon man, it’s weird to see Yoh romanc­ing and smash­ing a girl who you just saw as his daugh­ter only 30 min­utes ago. Her route is pret­ty fun for what it is though — all the light­heart­ed loli­con-sham­ing that’s done to Yoh in this route hon­est­ly made me laugh. I’m also pret­ty sure that the bud­get for Hoshimemo count­ed Yume and Mare as one char­ac­ter, because both of their minis­cule amount of CGs com­bined is about equal to the amount of CGs one “reg­u­lar” girl receives.

Thoughts on Mare’s H‑scene (perversion/lewdness warn­ing):

SHIIIIIIT

Other Characters

Hoshi­zo­ra no Memo­ria ‑Wish upon a Shoot­ing Star- has some pret­ty lik­able side-char­ac­ters. The two that real­ly stood out to me was the Club Pres­i­dent, Haru­to Okaizu­mi, who is obvi­ous­ly voiced by Koy­a­su Take­hi­to despite the pseu­do­nym (Aiza­wa Fami). His “SHIIIIIIIT” and over­all eccen­tric per­son­al­i­ty real­ly stood out to me. And while not a major char­ac­ter, Asu­ka Mirai did bring up some intrigue and hid­den depths in both Chi­nami’s route and Yume’s route, regard­ing the dis­ap­pear­ance of his lit­tle sis­ter. It’s not elab­o­rat­ed on much fur­ther, but it’s pret­ty clear that in some routes, his sis­ter makes some brief appear­ances as the Seit­en­guu Main Shrine’s assas­sin, Asu­ka Ima. Appar­ent­ly, she gets a lot of focus in Mare’s After Sto­ry in Eter­nal Heart, and even gets a sprite (she does­n’t have one here, though the game likes to act as if there was one with an awk­ward space that’s clear­ly meant for a char­ac­ter).

DAME UCHUUJIN

Ren needs no expla­na­tion. ダメ人間… クスクス…

Yume goes to school!

Post-Game Content

After com­plet­ing every sin­gle route, you unlock the “Bust­shot Mode” in the Album menu, that allows you to play around with the back­ground set­tings and the dif­fer­ent char­ac­ter sprites as well as their dif­fer­ent cos­tumes. It’s pret­ty fun to tin­ker around with.

Look, it’s lit­tle Yume at school! Now, if only they allowed you to tin­ker with mul­ti­ple chara­caters on-screen. Lit­tle Yume + Mare going to school would be a killer com­bo.

Cute MILF, RIP

Final Thoughts

Slice-of-life can be hit-or-miss, espe­cial­ly nowa­days where one hard­ly has to try in order to find a cer­tain vari­ety of slice-of-life: the ones about cute girls doing cute things. There’s at least one every ani­me sea­son, a hand­ful of mod­ern Japan­ese video games high­light their adorable female char­ac­ters (THE iDOLM@STER and the Ate­lier series being some of the gen­uine­ly good ones), and moege real­ly isn’t hard to find at all in the vast sea of prod­ucts avail­able in Nip­pon’s glo­ri­ous porn nov­el library. In fact, I kind of think the famil­iar vis­age of cute girls doing cute things clogs the ever-liv­ing fuck out of Japan­ese fic­tion in gen­er­al.

But hey, hav­ing cute girls isn’t a bad thing. It’s nev­er a bad thing. A slice-of-life sto­ry rely­ing on the cute female cast, how­ev­er, can be hit-or-miss. The char­ac­ters have to have a cer­tain oomph to them. In essence, slice-of-life is a genre in which the char­ac­ters and gags have to be able to car­ry the show, or else every­thing falls apart like a sog­gy oreo cook­ie. Lack­ing those, if it does­n’t have its own style and visu­als that look nice, what else is there to it? Of course, that par­tic­u­lar oomph that I men­tioned varies from per­son to per­son, so a slice-of-life char­ac­ter that appeals to me may not nec­es­sar­i­ly be appeal­ing to you.

Hoshi­zo­ra no Memo­ria ‑Wish upon a Shoot­ing Star- end­ed up being very appeal­ing to me due to its art style, endear­ing char­ac­ters that pull through the way they’re intend­ed (for the most part), and the sol­id char­ac­ter inter­ac­tion. I did­n’t par­tic­u­lar­ly have high expec­ta­tions for it oth­er than for it to be a fun expe­ri­ence, since that’s what a moege is to me in the end. It’s noth­ing amaz­ing, but in the end, for what it is, I’d say it’s an above-aver­age expe­ri­ence. The gags felt like they were being beat­en with a stick at times, but I nev­er actu­al­ly got bored of them and the comedic moments always gave me chuck­le, at least.

Like a lot of VN fan-trans­la­tion projects that aren’t Gri­sa­ia no Kajit­su (well, prob­a­bly fan TLs in gen­er­al), the fan-trans­la­tion for Hoshimemo leaves a lot to be desired in a hand­ful of spots — thanks to the voic­es, it’s real­ly clear when the dia­logue gets treat­ment not unlike that of dubti­tles. That being said, it’s good enough that I’ll say if you don’t know Japan­ese, the fan-trans­la­tion will suf­fice. Just be pre­pared to have your jim­mies rus­tled with words like oni­ichan and big broth­er alter­nat­ing, since you don’t need to know Japan­ese to get pissed off by that (pick one or the oth­er, dammit!).

True to its title, Hoshimemo con­sis­tent­ly mix­es a pletho­ra of astro­nom­i­cal facts, myths, and leg­ends into its nar­ra­tive and I feel like that’s one of the VN’s biggest strengths and also its main appeal. No mat­ter what the big plot point is, every­thing all comes togeth­er under one roof — the beau­ti­ful, star­ry sky. The theme of over­com­ing the past and look­ing towards the future is recur­rent in each char­ac­ter route, which real­ly com­ple­ments a motif as time­less as the star­ry sky. The music also com­ple­ments the themes and set­tings, as there were rarely any tracks that did­n’t com­plete­ly fit the mood of the scene accom­pa­ny­ing it. But, most notably, a major­i­ty of the BGM gave me a sense that I was real­ly out there look­ing up into the night sky that many of the char­ac­ters seemed to trea­sure. For exam­ple, tracks like “Futari no Mirai” were real­ly atmos­pher­ic, and when that par­tic­u­lar track was accom­pa­nied by the scene where you take Asuho out to the look­out for the first time, it gave me an almost unex­plain­able feel­ing inside. The feel­ing was tingly — both chill­ing and some­what warm.

Ahaha, you have no wiener!

The art­work, as I said, is sim­ply scrump­tious. The char­ac­ters and CGs are real­ly well-drawn and are unde­ni­ably cute — I espe­cial­ly like the super deformed sege­ments and shots of the star­ry sky. Aw man, the star­ry sky, those shots were absolute­ly stun­ning. One point of crit­i­cism is that Hoshimemo has a lot of panty shots placed at the most inap­pro­pri­ate of moments… but meh, it’s an eroge. Plus, the girls have very nice taste in under­gar­ments.

my pen0r

Here’s a pic­ture of Mare in a deli­cious kimono

tl;dr Hoshi­zo­ra no Memo­ria ‑Wish upon a Shoot­ing Star- is a visu­al nov­el that I end­ed up falling in love with. It was an endear­ing expe­ri­ence that man­aged to etch its own spe­cial place in my heart — along with Mare and Yume. I haven’t read the fan­disc yet, but I plan to read it all in Japan­ese at some point. I want to see more of these char­ac­ters again, even if it’s just most­ly them being sexy and cute.

From now on, I’ll be by your side, always.

シューティングスター

13 thoughts on “Uguu Review! Hoshizora no Memoria ‑Wish upon a Shooting Star-

  1. I agree with almost every­thing said here. Mares route was so short 🙁
    And Yumes could defin­i­tive­ly be regard­ed as the true route, even thou I liked Mare bet­ter, and I am usu­al­ly not a fan of Tsuns…

    Mare > The twins(liked both, can’t decide TT_TT) > Yume > Aoi > Chi­na­mi and Asuho were my least liked ones. I too were almost deaf on one ear, and i sim­ply don’t com­pre­hend how that could devel­op into such an issue… And Chi­namis route just felt out-of-place, her char­ac­ter was cool and all, but the very romance in her route were sort off “off” so to speak.

    1. @The Last Melody: Yeah, I think Chi­nami’s route would have looked much bet­ter if the forced romance was removed. Of course, since this is an eroge, it had to be there unfor­tu­nate­ly.

  2. @Mikoto: Well, yeah, that’s what the eroge busi­ness is made off ^_^
    Recent­ly fin­ished G‑Senjou no Maou, it was great so I’d real­ly rec­om­mend that one too 🙂 But it’s not an eroge, at least, I don’t think it is…

    1. @The Last Melody: Wah­fuu played that one. I heard good things about it from him. I’m pret­ty sure it’s an eroge VN since it has H‑scenes.
      As for Eter­nal Heart, I’m total­ly read­ing that in Japan­ese since I hate wait­ing for fan trans­la­tion. :p

  3. @Mikoto
    So every VN with H in it is an Eroge? @_@
    I thought it was VN’s that focused/relied on H that were the ero­ges.

    I can’t read JP, so I have to wait for the TL 🙂

    1. @The Last Melody: That would be a nukige, a visu­al nov­el pure­ly for porn. Any visu­al nov­el that has erot­ic con­tent (no mat­ter how lit­tle) could be con­sid­ered an eroge

  4. @Miko­to:
    That’s a good point. Thanks for mak­ing it clear ^_^

    On a side note:
    Do you have any expe­ri­ence with ITH or AGTH?

    1. @The Last Melody: I’m famil­iar with what they are, but I’ve nev­er used them (which may change in a bit because they sound real­ly use­ful). :p

  5. @Miko­to:
    Darn ^_^ Hav­ing some prob­lems with it, but oh well. Will just have to find some kind of solu­tion some­where ^_^

  6. Are you still here? I don’t sure about it but I will leave a mes­sage any way. If you don’t trig­ger any flags, you will get to Asuho’s route. So may be her being default route is right?

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