Nooo, the person I was most looking forward to in Kanuchi Kuroki has been changed – Akuto, Clato’s brother, will now be voiced by Midorikawa Hikaru. Don’t get me wrong, MH is great, but once I’m used to someone’s voice as a character, it throws me off to hear a different one – it gives a totally different feel.
I don’t know why the change was made, but I’m kind of sad about it
I am done everyone’s route except the emperor’s in Kanuchi, and can’t WAIT for Part II, Kunachi ~Kuroki Tsubasa~ to come out…sometime in the spring >.<
Each route in White shows you, or strongly references, the complementary character on the Black side. And the most recent B's Log had pics of the characters, so let's enjoy, shall we?
Clato's twin, Akuto:
An assassin/spy working for the king of Yasuna, he’s kind of a tsundere who is bitter at Clato and acts very cold. He showed up in Kanuchi White quite a bit, and I like him even better than Clato ^_^
Mitoshi’s childhood ‘friend’, Hinoka:
He’s the futoma (sp?) for Yasuna’s king, a fortuneteller who can actually cause what he foretells to happen. They’re very rare, usually only one being alive at a time, and usually they die early. He wasn’t directly in Kanuchi White, but Mitoshi’s route talked about him a lot.
Kasuga, Shin’s best friend:
He was a leader in Yasuna’s army in Kanuchi White. I can’t say more without revealing Shin’s secret, but they are childhood friends. For some reason, Kasuga says he can’t leave Yasuna. He’s very ‘tennen’, pretty much the opposite of Shin, and their conversations are quite cute.
Teo, related to Ouba:
We don’t know much about him, though if he’s Ouba’s son he ran away very young (around 7 if my estimates are right!!) a while after Ouba’s wife died. He’s living with a relative in Yasuna.
Sanato, Ukitsu’s cousin:
A magic-user who holds the other half of a ‘key’ that Ukitsu has. He shows up a lot in White in spirit form trying to make Ukitsu give it to him, and seems like all he cares about is fulfilling his destiny at the Time of Judgement (Shinpan no Toki). He works directly for the king of Yasuna and shows up in other routes as well giving orders to the others.
Kotohira, Yasuna’s ruler:
I have no idea what he’s like yet, since I haven’t played Kugami’s route Apparently he is ruthless in increasing his country’s power, and has no interest in anything else. He has the white wings of the ruling family of Yasuna, but he doesn’t like them.
Even though some of the characters were in Kanuchi White, the Otomate site doesn’t have voice actors up yet ^^;; I’ll add them as soon as I find them (maybe I can get them from the White credits??)
Iyaaa, nagakatta~ Well, I finished two routes in Kanuchi (Mitoshi and Ukitsu), so now I’m pretty sure what most of the routes are like.
After finally finishing, I understand the complaint I’ve heard the most, about the main character. Aki is a normal girl which is pretty normal for an otome game, but here in many of the plot scenes it’s Kayana at centre stage, and often Aki’s not even around. Kayana, whom I really like, is a very strong character with an interesting backstory and she makes a strong impression on everyone she meets. Aki…not really.
Having said that, after playing two routes, and being able to skip a lot of the repeated plot points, it doesn’t seem as bad as it did in the beginning when I was expecting a typical story arc of someone falling for Aki. Maybe it was because of the different route, but I could believe that Ukitsu was starting to like Aki. Maybe it was because I knew what to expect. In this game, the story and relationships are just starting – even at the end of the game, you’re just starting to get a feeling of where the love plots will end up. And at the end, it’s a cliffhanger – like a season finale. If you hate loose ends, you might want to wait to pick this up until the second half comes out.
It’s interesting and rewarding to do repeat playthroughs as well. When you finish someone’s route and use that save to start over, you get several scenes involving them and showing some of their backstory that you didn’t know when you played through before. It’s a little weird because of course now you’re going for someone else, but those scenes are just enough to break up the loong long stretch to where the next character starts getting their specific events.
Oh, now…the gameplay! Yes, this is an Otomate title and it has tons of dialogue. But there’s also the smithing mini-game (is it still a mini-game when it’s a big part of the game?). I love gathering and crafting games. I’m a total nerd for them, in WoW I’m attempting to have one character with each skill maxed, and in this game, it was really fun to complete all the possible weapons and cooking recipes.
How it works is that every day you can go out to an area and gather until your bag is full or your energy is gone. Then when you gather enough, you can make something – though if your smithing skill isn’t high and the item’s difficulty is, you’re likely to fail. You gain skill by smithing easy stuff. Weapons start off using common ingredients and gradually move into rare item territory. You also use these weapons to fill orders. The orders are sometimes for finished weapons, sometimes for ingredients, and the harder they are to get or make, the more money you make. Then you can use that money to buy bigger bags, a fast horse to carry you gathering in a shorter time, or medicine for your grandfather. It also increases your ‘trust’ statistic, which has a couple effects on the game (I only know of one so far). And of course, you have to make enough money to pay your rent etc. to the guild.
There are over a hundred smithing ingredients (I’m not sure how many, but a lot), and each area has only certain items available. What I did was actually draw maps of each area, because ingredients show up the same places all the time. For example, there’s a beach area where pearls are found in a certain empty spot on the beach. If you go into the cave there, you can gather gold. And in the farthest area, there’s a ruin where you can pick up Parthenon Stone and Rune Stone, very rare. It’s annoying on your first playthrough, because it takes a long time to figure out where things are and gather enough for a certain recipe, but one great thing, a total lifesaver, is that you can carry over your money, ingredients, bag and horse into another playthrough. Now that I’m on my third, I have a bunch of each ingredient and probably won’t have to go gathering at all (though I will to get ready for my fourth run through :P) Also, you can gather food items and then cook food (which never fails) that you can bring to recover your energy on your outings and keep gathering.
I don’t want to talk too much about the story because a big part of the game is finding out what Kayana’s history is and about each character. I’ll just finish and say that though I can understand why some people might not like it (Aki’s lack of story, and the very low level of romance), I’m really enjoying it now, and I’m pretty sure I’ll do everyone’s route. Then I’ll start waiting for the second half to come out in a few months…
Hm. So, I haven’t finished Kanuchi yet, but I’ve gotten a ways through it, so I thought I’d put my first impressions down.
Production is good – all the technical functions you expect in an otome game are here – already-read skip and forced skip, quick save/load, replay of dialogue (it works the same way as Hiiro no Kakera, where you actually jump back to that point in time), having a chart of where you are in the story, etc.
There’s quite a bit of dialogue to get through before you first make a choice, and so far (maybe 30-40% done?) there’s only been a handful more.
The story is pretty good so far. Aki is a normal girl who grew up with a foster grandfather who found her on a battlefield beside her dead parents. Her grandfather is a blacksmith in a small village, and when the story begins, she’s 17 and looking around for work to do her share. Her grandfather refuses to teach her blacksmithing, and she can’t seem to find anything near the village. Her friend Seki finds something in the capital city, but Aki doesn’t want to go that far.
One day a guardsman comes to the village searching for a blacksmith and has a run-in with Aki. She doesn’t tell him about her grandfather, but when he comes back, she blurts it out unintentionally. He visits her grandfather and asks him to become the smith for the castle guard, but he refuses and won’t say why. Aki gets mad because they have a promise not to keep secrets from each other, and runs outside. Her grandfather and the guardsman, Clato, search for her because a storm is coming, but her grandfather ends up getting sick. It’s pretty serious, and Aki is told that the doctor and medicine to help him recover fully are quite expensive. She decides to get work, and manages to get a shop in the capital city already set up for blacksmithing.
Unfortunately, though she’s watched her grandfather smith, she has no experience, and is getting depressed. One night she has a strange dream about a long time ago, with a woman who is getting ready to be crowned after a battle.
Aki continues to gather materials and try to smith (unsuccessfully), also meeting the other members of the castle guard.
One day suddenly another consciousness appears *in* Aki, announcing that she’s Kayana Takamahara, who Aki knows as the first monarch of the kingdom and a goddess of war. Aki doesn’t believe her, but doesn’t really know what to think of her new ‘tenant’. Kayana sometimes does things with Aki’s body, so it seems to people watching like Aki is having weird conversations with herself, and is also acting totally unlike her. However, one good thing is that Kayana is very good at smithing, and helps teach Aki so she can actually make things.
A few days after everyone has started noticing this, Aki gets summoned to the castle. The ‘star reader’, Mitoshi, who’s also a member of the castle guard, has recognized Kayana in Aki and has told the prince to call her on the night of ‘Rua’. It turns out that this is the one night where Kayana can exist outside of Aki’s body in her own form, so Kayana goes to the castle alone.
As befits an ancient monarch, one who won her place in battle, Kayana is very straightforward, confident, and expert in swordsmanship. The castle guards, expecting a humble blacksmith, try not to let Kayana through, but she easily beats them and appears before the prince, Kugami. She states that she’s Kayana Takamahara, and Mitoshi says she’s here to stop the war that’s been going on forever. Kugami takes down a royal treasure, a sword that no one can unsheath, and Kayana recognizes it as her own. She easily unsheaths it, and says it’s hers, so Kugami says she can have it (above the protests of his steward).
Kayana knows why she has beein reincarnated, but it’s not too clear right now what that is. She has to wait until a certain time where she can get her own body, so until then, she and Aki coexist in Aki’s body.
That’s as far as I’ve gotten right now in the story.
The gameplay, other than talking to people, involves taking orders and making things for people to get money. Every day you wake up and can move around in your house/shop. My usual routine is to go downstairs and straight outside, where you choose where to go gather materials. Depending on the place, you may take more than a day to get there and back. Once you’re there, you move around on a map and choose to gather materials where you can. At the beginning your bag has only 5 slots, so once they’re full, you have to either stop or choose to throw something out to make room for more. However, you can stack items of the same type, so you can keep going trying to get more of something. Each time you gather some of your energy disappears. When you’re done, you head home. Usually I go straight to the cupboard to dump out my bag, and then see if I can make anything with the materials I’ve gathered so far. After 30 in-game days, I’ve only been able to make one thing eheh.
I also go to the counter to check requests and see if I can fulfill any orders. If not, I then go upstairs and go to my kitchen to see if I can cook anything with ingredients that I’ve gathered (nothing so far). Then I take a bath to renew my energy and give something to my pet. The pet, whose name is Koro, will eat any extra material (food or smithing ingredient), and will lay an egg with something different after a day or two, so it’s good to get different things in exchange for whatever you have an excess of.
Some good, bad, and interesting points:
Hmm, it’s still kind of hard to see with these shots, and I’m not referring to the lack of colour – usually the Kanuchi guys are wearing their casual clothes, which aren’t white. The actual lines of the characters seem less defined. It’s kind of like the difference between (most) manga written for kids and adults – for example, if you compare a Clamp manga with High School Debut. Am I making any sense?
Anyways, that’s enough for my first semi-review of Kanuchi – I am enjoying it, the story seems good, though still mysterious, and the characters all have their own charm. I can easily see myself trying to go through everyone’s route, even the young prince’s, and I’m looking forward to finding out more about the story.
They don’t always wear white! Here’s a little intro on the guys of Kanuchi, coming along in a few weeks for the PS2 from Otomate.
From left to right:
Oba Teo (CV: Nomura Kenji) – A 48-year-old widower and the leader of the palace guard, he has a son who is missing. Very serious, but well-liked.
Ukitsu Watase (CV: Katou Masayuki) – 21 years old, he’s determined to go his own way and has a reputation for being a bit odd.
Kugami Takamahara (CV: Kaji Yuuki) – the 13-year-old king who is sheltered but has been brought up as the next king, he loves nature and peace.
Clato Esta – Miura Hiroaki- Serious and straightforward at 18, he sticks to the rules almost too much. He can be a bit dense in matters not directly concerning his job.
Mitoshi Fresca – Tachibana Shinnosuke – a 15-year-old young man belonging to an aristocratic family, he can read the stars, and has joined the guard in order to get revenge on a former friend who caused his sister’s death through treachery.
Shin Atobe (CV: Aizawa Masaki) – 29 years old, he’s the self-assured ladies’ man of the guard.
I can’t wait for this game! I finally realized why I’m drawn to Ukitsu – he reminds me of Takeru from the shoujo manga Akuma de Sourou (The Devil Does Exist). Either him or Clato will be my first target I think, mwahaha!
Apologies for not posting this last night, I got the pics ready and then…fell asleep. Well, fell into a comatose state with my cat on my legs anyways, it’s pretty much the same. This week…chou tsukaremashita yo…honto ni.
SO Kanuchi! I am very excited for this game, I’m hoping it will embody the great storytelling skill of Idea Factory along with fun gameplay. It’s scheduled for September 25th for the PS2 from Otomate
The main character has grown up with her uncle, a blacksmith, in the small village of Yoruha, but one day he falls ill. A visiting warrior is asking around for a smith, and she volunteers. Thus begins her involvement with the members of the Takamahara guard.
I’ll post tomorrow about the characters in the guard, and a little about the background to the two-part adventure, but this post is just to show the gameplay.
Other than the adventure (visual novel) part, the main character has to work on her smithing skills to make weapons that her customers want. There are 6 types of weapons, and you have to practice and gain experience in order to make higher-level weapons.
All the possible things you can make.
Also, to make weapons you have to gather materials, and depending on what you need, you may have to travel pretty far.
Regions you can travel to for materials.
Once you have everything, you can set about making your weapon.
Choose your weapon type.
Choose your weapon! It shows the materials and the level.
Smithing in progress!
It’s interesting that the character doesn’t actually fight, but she does make weapons for the members of the palace guard. Other than the smithing, you also need to take care of your character by taking relaxing baths and cooking for yourself.
That’s it for tonight! Sorry it’s so short, I’m exhausted.