In this day and age where graphics and gameplay are clogging up the criteria for what a good game is, let’s take a step back from western traditions and move into the japanese’ guilty pleasure of visual novels where gameplay and graphics are traded off for story and character development.
With that said, I’m going to review Grisaia no Kajitsu but before I go into it, I’m going to explain what this game is. Grisaia no Kajitsu is a visual novel. A visual novel is a different genre of a game which solely relies on story and doesn’t have much gameplay to it except for choosing decisions. These decisions will dictate which character’s story or route you will progress through and will also dictate (in certain games) what the ending will be. If you’re not the reading person, then this game is honestly not for you. Really, the most you can have in even the best of visual novels are a few mini games here and there but most of them don’t even have anything like that. As such, I will be reviewing this game in terms of the remaining criteria which are: Story, Music, Art, and Characters.
Ok let’s get this started with the story. As with usual visual novels, Grisaia doesn’t have a static story. It has 5 stories that splits off with how you, the player, respond to certain situations. While I won’t give out any details regarding the story for this game, I will say that Grisaia has one of the better plot than most of the games I played, and I’ve played my fair share of visual novels. It has 5 very diverse, albeit some of them have clichéd themes or even a bit of morbid topics, different routes.
I also have to emphasize the common route of this game to be one of the funniest and the most fun dialogues I’ve read. There’s this specific English speaking dialogue two characters have which gets really twisted because of how bad their pronunciation is. Almost all of them have great conclusions and memorable scenes all emphasized by the music that sets up the mood, which leads me to the next criteria.
Grisaia has one of the better music collections I know. I personally like about 4 or 5 songs in their soundtrack and all their mood-inducing tracks are great at setting up the proper atmosphere of the scene you’re reading. It makes visualizing the entire dialogue easier and makes emotional scenes feel smoother. They have a variety of upbeat songs for simple scenes to emotional piano arranges for the dramatic parts. I myself love one of the heroine, Michiru’s, character ending song which is called skip because of its rhythmic beat and cute vocals.
Now we go to art. Illustrated by one of my favorite illustrators, Watanabe Akio, the CGs, which are illustrated scenes that would usually be added in a CG gallery, look crisp and clean. The character images also look their role which fits their personality and quirks. There’s nothing much to tell here as art tastes are purely subjective so I don’t want to go into this for too long.
Lastly, we go to the characters. Grisaia no Kajitsu has a wide variety of colorful characters in its cast. There are 5 heroines to choose your role, and while they seem stereotypical, they have hidden quirks that will only be observed in their specific story. The main character is a militaristic man who is stoic yet would have some of the most unexpectedly funny scenes. The side characters are funny and well developed as well. While, on their own, the characters progress the story well enough, the most important thing about this game is the character development the MC has with the heroines and they range from bland at times to really entertaining.
While Grisaia might not be those action packed games that would be featured in magazines or websites, it’s undeniable that it is entertaining by its own right. Despite some flawed logic being thrown for comic relief here and there, this game is pretty well written. With a good soundtrack and voice acting alongside it, I can give this game a good 8.5/10.
Currently, you can buy an english ported version of this game on steam but it has removed the adult content. You can buy the original japanese version but you’ll need to learn a little japanese or search the internet for a localization patch.
Well then, till next time I guess!