Thursday, October 19, 2017

Shinobi, Koi Utsutsu Kanmitsu hana emaki - Review

忍び、恋うつつ ― 甘蜜花絵巻 ―
Game: [Ninkoi FD]
Genre: Otome Game Visual Novel.
Developer/Publisher: Otomate.
Platform: PS Vita.
Release date: 2017-9-28

Yep... its time for another fandisk but in all honestly I don't consider myself being that
much of a ninkoi fan anymore and sincerly questioned why I even bothered.😅
 Like I expected more fanservice but got an actual story about them maturing...
I tried not to be too negative and my final score reflects this, this FD is just fine for what it is.

I had mostly a great time with the original but I am sort of eh at coming back to it after so long...
because after like a month or two I wrote off its vita port as a one off game.
The original was far from perfect as well like it having copypasta problems with Takaie all being like you got no chance make your time! and their being meromero shenanigans with Kaede
slowly falling for her partner of her choice said partners all following a trope too.
I still liked it because of it was brainless fun stuff...
Honestly speaking this FD feels more like a sequel there's fanservice but honestly I found the
graduation story for everyone lacklustre some nice moments here and there but it wasn't worth it
overall. Well I shouldn't complain atleast it got a FD right? i'll just do a general review like the original.

- Everyones getting married... yeehaw.
- More shinobi action if thats your thang, (honestly in a FD I do not want this).
- Music, its nothing memorable but it fits the scene most of the time.

 Art, its still gorgeous but there's a noticeable difference... did the original artist really work on this?
- This is subjective but the overall writing, fluff, comedy all could've been better, overall its meh.
- Too many characters... basically only do your favorite(s).

Most of my rage/discomfort comes from the facts that originally Ninkoi is a very fanservicey game
with the plot sort of just being there, with the FD I expected more fanservice but got
more plot instead to the point this doesn't classify as a FD but a sequel instead.
They did it backwards usually its story centric game > fluffy FD afterwards...
At this point I just feel Ninkoi was one of those one time experiences there was little need
for more but we got it anyway albeit a bit too late for some.

Regarding the OP theme... its okay but I don't like it that much and they should've
 gotten the old singer back. I got nothing against Hisano but her voice just does not fit
with the background music, I liked her work for shirotokuro but here? not really.

The theme of this installment is graduation... honestly speaking I barely remember
much about the original cept some small details and I did not replay it either
because other games have been taking up my time and honestly I didn't find a reason.
Not that plot was ninkoi's strong point yes it has one, the original story(psp) all seemed
 like a light-hearted fluffy otome game to me never taking itself too seriously.
Length? about the same as the original we got fanservice and ''plot'' both of which are
fine but compared to say KBO FD the times I really laughed out loud could be count on a single
hand. The plot varies depending on character but I didn't find the writing to be exciting
because redundancy re: exams/graduating and marriage, its good to see them mature
but I expected more fanservice and was let down.
Disclaimer: no not everything is the same, every guy has their own story
of maturing/problems etc its just some stuff gets predictable to me.
System wise its just select after story... standard VN stuff if you do well in that
mero-mero practice thingy you unlock bonus stories for one of them I am annoyed
because one of them is a flashback scenario which would be better before their after stories.
The shenanigans is why I liked ninkoi to begin with but ever since setsugekka koi emaki
it feels like otomate is trying to make this series take itself more seriously like expand
on the setting in detail but stuff I came here for like fanservice felt dry and/or watered down
compared to the original which is just such a shame.
I expected a fandisc but got a sequel with more plot/lore instead of fanservice.
That aside everyone gets marriage ends! wow thanks no not really, suddenly I appreciate
it when only one or two/three characters gets one, I guess I first realized
this with Geten no Hana but happy endings come in all sorts of variations like marriage
would be icing on the cake sure but when there's 10 characters some difference in the end would be nice.
Sometimes I was just like they're just gonna get married in the end... maybe its better to skip lol. 
It is sad if your fav doesn't get one but isn't it nicer to fantasize a little...?

I think each after story is about 3-5 hours, most of which is spend with them graduating
and working together on a mission, marrying and sexy times(maybe).
Every character basically still has their charm and the comedy's decent
but I feel that's lacking overall it may still be nice to wrap things up though.😅
Its funny there's indeed a story to ninkoi but here I am... drawn to the humor, shameless stuff
and the colorful cast of characters, I don't think the core story is bad I just never expected
otomate to get serious about setting and stuff with setsugekka koi emaki's additional ninjas.
 I mostly did one after story a day for some such as Ukita or Tadehito it took me two days
because simple put I lost motivation and they were a drag in general.
Had there never been a FD err I mean sequel I probably wouldn't have cared... I feel like the past
one and a half week have mostly been an exquisite waste of time except for a few characters.
Going to add this right here and I feel its going to be my trademark line for everything 
otome now its impossible to like every character especially in a character game like this.
Sooo I came here for a fandisk with fluff not a sequel with more plot, its like otomate doesn't know
the difference and whatever plot there was felt stretched out to me, completely uninteresting like
I couldn't even keep focused and just let it auto play and I still understood it if I zoned out.
Of course there's a few nice moments but yeah that's it almost not worth to write about.
 Atleast Garaiya's as adorable and chuuni as ever even outside of his own after story. =w=
 Sadly the seal on Kaede's jutsu breaking was just an excuse to give us this poor excuse of a FD... haha round two? why not! except this time with actual character development.
This is why I can still rate it a 6 out of 10 because even if not what I come here for THEY TRIED.

Depending on how much of a ninkoi fan you are... you may enjoy this or you may not
if you're like me and its been too long its better to pass on it, its hard to write
my thoughts on this, the content in this FD(sequel) is just okay I enjoyed what I could, the end.
Its fine... might have been better if it came out sooner rather than later.

 More ramblings after the jump.

My playorder:
Kirigakure > Ukita > Sasuke > Daisuke > Tadehito > Yuri > Hidetora > Sanada > Hanzo > Garaiya.
No particular order to this since there's no restriction...

I started with Kirigakure Kuroudo... don't start with your faves they say
 but I'll just save Yuri and Garaiya for later then, either way Kiri' gifts Kaede a hairpin
but uh for some reason Kaede still sets off her jutsu. >_>
Oh well... I guess I can't say no to Sakupyon or any other seiyuu whispering sweet nothings
 in my ears but still please I thought we got over most of that in the first game. So with Kirigakure
there's jealousy with how Kaede acts around everyone and Kiri's bro Tadehito...
Kaede sort of can't unsee the third wheel but good thing is Tadehito knows his place, Kiri just wants
Kaede to notice him more... not act the same as always with everyone, I sorta understands his
frustration. In Kiri's defense his reaction is only natural but other than that he doesn't stand out
there was a part that went into Kiri's past and shit but overall it this was pretty boring
even though the two of them matured a lot and got quality sexy times at the end.
Honestly I don't know what I liked about him except his voice... he's too perfect but at the same time
its not all that special so maybe I am glad I did him first, I think compared to the others
Kirigakure was pretty sweet not as horny as the others... ok he had his moments but compared to say
Daisuke he's pretty tame but honestly Kirigakure's more sincere except the jealousy part, overall? meh.
 I did Ukita second... Ukita's still a lazy ass sadly I remember absolutely nothing from him.
It literally starts with Ukita using Kaede as a pillow... >_> Add to the fact Kaji Yuuki talks so
damn slow here I lost count at how many times I jawned and got drowsy. Kaede's freaking
motivating this lazy ass for the most part lol all u need to know is that if they ain't together
 its no good, so marry me plz?  overall Ukita's sweet but his after story took me twice as long
 since he speaks so slow that however wasn't the least of my problems, for it was
the general plot being a snoozefest and Ukita being horny AF.
I no longer know what I saw in him two years ago.... sure he's sweet but I can't put my finger
on it why he's so off-putting for me now... maybe its because he's literally a horny possessive snorlax.
Sasuke's still a cute.
 Sasuke's up next... it pretty much flowed the same as Kirigakure they partner up
and have an exam to master their abilities, he's a tsundere and being a cutiepie in general
but this time he's more upfront with his feels. -w- Sadly then come his parents...
I guess it was funny how Sanada sensei knows who's boss with Sasuke... since he has a bad mouth.
Like Sanada is a teacher and he wants to be respected in that way.
Basically Sasuke just wants to ichaicha all the time, you better be prepared
and well he had the most embarrasing scenes I guess. Also lol power of love, cheese
and family drama the latter sorta went on for too long but yeah asian parents™.
I ain't got much to write about it because sometimes keeping it short is better, like Kiri I found it meh.
Daisuke did not disappoint, just the type of quality smooching I expect in a FD (it was literally the 1st scene lol).
  After that I did Daisuke's... all I remember from the original was that despite him
being a manwhore with a lip piercing he's a real sweetheart and it literally starts
with him announcing their upcoming marriage and them ichaichaing. WOW off to a great start!
Daisuke makes it clear he really cherishes Kaede but here I am being like chotto matte
and before you know it he sets Kaede's jutsu off for being a horny corndog.😅 Daisuke ends up
cheesing his confession and undying loyalty to Kaede infront of everyone cue fangirl screams.
TBH I hardly ever like these overly affectionate characters who force their everything on you
but it was all the more hilarious how he just keeps triggering Kaede cuz I am like SAME.
Idk... story wise by the end Daisuke was still triggering Kaede... turns out he's just testing her
and HE KNOWs and helps her out, they're actually a good team.
Honestly this may have been the best after story yet because he's not one of those guys
and in the end I had this warm feeling and it was just miles better than what's next.
I liked this scene... too bad its a terrible representation of Tadehito's after story.
 Next up is Tadehito aka Kuroudo's otouto... Honestly I've never had an interest in him
not that I remember much from the original either. He just acts like a clingy underclassman
who likes his senpai a whole lot. UwU Now if anything i'll admit they tried with the story but
unlike Daisuke this was just painful... they can't see each other often so he sends letters
but eventually get some time together later, out otouto-kun is very passionate about love but eh
the way it went was just boring as all hell making me wish I'd just skipped it all together
because he was training with some other girl... jealousy but its all a misunderstanding.
Kaede consults her friends about it and they follow that female shinobi who's a little shady
meanwhile I am like where are the mushy scenes with Tadehito? that's what I came here for FFS.
I guess it can't all be sunshine and rainbows and the scenes they did have are nice, naturally
all the good stuff is after the shit's been solved. Anyway this character's never been for me.
The general writing here made it worse, the only redeeming factor is his devotion and passion
towards Kaede but then he acts so childish and all is ruined again because that shinobi bitch
who's been Tadehito's partner comes in and ruins everything for some added drama and want
to kill Kaede over some tokugawa bloodline shit(sorry not paying that much attention).
It may've been better if I actually liked Tadehito because some of the writing re: his reasons 
for doing what he does/being away wasn't bad. 
Tadehito is a good kid who's too nice... he and Kaede didn't deserve this. Anyway as soon
as the whole deal with the shinobi was over it got progressively better but overall
 this was just plain awful cuz bringing in a throwaway character for added drama?
Oh otomate you're so funny NOT, glad this's over with.  (눈_눈)
If you hadn't had your Tadehito fill there's still the bonus scenarios... honestly I don't care.
I guess all the steamy mero mero jutsu scenes went to Yuri, lol.
 So after the previous disaster I did Yuri next... he actively helps and studies with Kaede
unlike Tadehito's sorry ass. Yuri's still a bit of a closet perv but a sweetheart nonetheless
its hilarious how embarrassed Yuri gets but understandable when u know him. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
 Sanada sensei felt like an overprotective dad in this after story... dunno if good or bad
but yeah he's like that even in others just less noticeable so I thought I'd mention it here if at all.
Everyone keeps bullying Yuri because he's ''too close'' to Kaede all the time leading to hilarious
moments but whatever tutoring parts there are still bored me but you know he's lusting for Kaede
behind his glasses and won't let anyone get their dirty pleb hands on her, he's so sweet d'awww.
They both graduate without issue and they early on agreed to get married
 but that doesn't mean it ended early they're qualified shinobi now. Also in all honestly
Yuri has the best meromero jutsu scenes... and the embarrassment afterwards just tops it off.😂
IDK its been 5 routes why haven't the meromero scenes been as steamy as here?
Like Yuri's always been special to me but oh man... only for other people to catch them in the act
when Yuri put the moves on Kaede, lmao not even kidding this whole thing is amazing.
Other than that Yuri's after story was hella fine but storywise? idk a little lacking but the rest made up for it.
The other guys cockblocking didn't even annoy me because for some reason it
just made it all the more entertaining.
The're putting their hands together so it looks like a fox in the shadow behind them.
 Well up next is Hidetora Tokugawa, he's next in line to become/is the shogun but he's a bit
eccentric and his seiyuu is a good fit because sugitan usually voices weird guys, lol. Considering
I never did his route in the original game properly (yes I skimmed through it) this was awkward.
Its sort of like Tadehito... and Hidetora has his own things to do and Kaede has to study
they can't see each other all the time. All things considered it makes more sense here and everyone
ends up visiting the castle for a utage and they did get some alone time.
For some reason for Hidetora's situation is so much more easier to understand... other than that
the mero mero jutsu scenes are back to feeling lacklustre... Hidetora is a sweetheart
and Sanada-sensei approves of it like a good dad. /shot
Unlike Tadehito's sorry ass Hidetora's actually around more and it just feels like its better written
despite political shet including some folks wanting to assasinate Hidetora they got
a lot of memorable moments together but again for Hidetora this type of story makes sense to me.
 Overall this was engaging with the political intrigue even if that was still minor
Hidetora has to be strong for his country, which is why sometimes his odd side shows
in relaxed situations which is more like his true self, I wish I'd had invested more in him
because Hidetora can be a really fun character who's a real sweetheart
oh and Kaede gets pregnant in Hidetora's side stories. =w=
See me after class... -wait never mind.
 Sanada's next because in no way am I saving him for last, never been a fan of
student x teacher stuff and the bias towards him is real so uh let's get this out of the way!
also in most of the routes he's sorta jealous Kaede didn't pick him. >_>
These two are so obviously in love and I am just like just fuck already asdfghfkglvbvhljsf
but then everyone comes in to ruin the moment, normally i'd get annoyed but its extra hilarious here
as usually Sasuke gets punished for not properly addressing sensei, its pretty much a gag now
but eh everyone sorta knows they're into each other now I like the general atmosphere
when everyone's together something which rarely happened up untill now.
Garaiya thought it was a great idea to have a test of courage with everyone so they
purposely put Kaede and Sanada together because they know they need time alone, lol.
Of course Kaede's jutsu goes off because nnngh sensei's so close help! which
makes Sanada seems like he's jealous of Kaede always being so nice to everyone.
I guess his true feelings flipped out while he was affected and you can see how it'll go now
he's totally head over heels for Kaede but he's still a teacher so it still felt a little awkward.
The story was more or less about Sanada, he got to explain his past so for once
I'd say otomate got it right but they had to give it some tension after all because
someone was against their upcoming marriage but everyone always helps out
to make the bias towards Sanada that more obvious, if there's anything
I disliked its that Torikou sounded rather dramatic at times.
They end up marrying and eventually have kids, a boy and a girl... see? I told you
this game was biased? because it just feels complete in almost everything but honestly speaking
as a love interest I don't care about Sanada no matter how sweet he is because its a bit creepy.
First of all he's twice her age(considering the setting this is fine). Sanada knew Kaede as a kid
because he saved her and in all honestly he comes off more as a father figure if anything (especially
in other routes) maybe its because its just falling for your saviour you didn't even know for half
your life but by some string of luck he ends up being your teacher and that's the final straw for me.
I wish I could be more into the it was destiny in otome games where there
are multiple guys it just not fair to have one road out of many so dedicated to one.
Idm the stuff elsewhere but in VN I tend to dislike it especially when I prefer some other dude....
I'm sure there's people that love him to bits but not me... by the time I got to him in the original
I already found my favorites so even if ''canon'' I do not care one bit doesn't help that Kaede's
dreams of being a ninja flies out of the window since Sanada wants to keep her safe
but at this point who cares anymore about that.
 Who's next? that'd be Hanzo... I just want to do him after Sanada because reasons.
 Hanzo would like nothing more than to ichaicha all day... he's really sweet as if he's trying
to make up for something? Kaede can't take it and triggers her jutsu and makes him cry.
Don't leave me! his moe tears be so kawaii UwU untill he snaps out of it and tells Kaede
 she saw nothing and to forget this embarrassing scene, lol good luck with that.
That aside at times Hanzo is so horny for Kaede its making me want to puke
and honestly the only reason that I like him is because he's a tsun-tsun crybaby who is awfully
close to being a yandere and that I preferred his bad ending in the original, lmao.
Plot here was well... Hanzo talking about his past was nice but its just them realizing
what they mean to each other, maybe I need to change myself and oh I can't live without u bby etc.
That part was a bit eh but still sweet and i've seen stuff like this too many times atleast was some
tension with some shinobi not liking Hanzo betraying them and him finishing the job aka killing
Kaede but Hanzo comes around to realize what he truly wants, to protect Kaede because he came to
care for her.Overall it was just a sappy after story and in all honesty i'm glad, I can't really complain
to have some guy be head over heels for the heroine he can't stop thinking about her. xD
Hanzo's route felt like it was ninkoi again but even so... if this was IRL  then i'd prolly 
want a bit of space, Hanzo's still a cutiepie and this is fiction so I can't complain much.
 Now for last... *drum roll* Garaiya! I hope its worth my time.
Apparently I forgot A LOT also he ain't an adorable shota anymore outside of his own story...
so I was like oh you handsome WHO ARE U again. (Some fan I am right?)
Don't worry despite him unleashing his inner dragon or whatever he's still the same inside he just
tries to keep up appearances now...? btw all the girls love him now. Garaiya's still so adorable
he wants to do anything to cheer Kaede up i'm glad I saved him for last. =w=
I'd say the after story had its fun moments but it was still boring, Kaede remembers
Garaiya's near perfect confession because there was typical drama of the two of them having to
reconfirm their feelings but I think Garaiya had one of the least engaging after stories in terms of plot.
Garaiya promises to give her a real ring instead of this clover one in the future when they get married for real.
Also its pretty obvious that the artist isn't the same as the previous games because just look
at Garaiya in general he just looks off and I am not even mentioning his formal wear yet. That aside
I got a little angry at how unnecessarily long Garaiya's after story is, after they got married I was
ready to see the credits but apparently there was still MORE. Maybe I just wanted to be done or
maybe it was because there was so little content overall and i've just seen it all... which wasn't far
from the truth like did we really need Garaiya to be a knight in shining armor one more time.
Also pssssst do everyone a favor and just **** already you two. >_>
Other than that the marriage and side stores were cute... they're communicating through
stuffed animals after a fight! that's totally a d o r a b l e isn't it? but overall it felt like a waste
since anyone could've come up with that in their spare time.

Well after this you can still check out three couple of bonus scenarios for everyone
one of them is a reminisce, nice but a waste of time should've been at the beginning
of everyones after story not pushed away into a sub menu as a bonus.
The other two is basically happy couple life, for some I was like thanks the others lol skip.
There's one more special scenario for finishing all as a thank you, it was pretty funny
like Sanada had some plan to seal Kaede's jutsu but it backfired and now they all
are all over her and fighting for Kaede's love tbh its hilarious.😂  
Too bad it was all a dream... which is fine because if it was real then it'd be scary.

I guess in terms of enjoyment it'd be:
Yuri > Daisuke > Garaiya / Hanzo > Sasuke/Kirigakure > Sanada / Hidetora > Ukita > Tadehito.
More like wut the hell happened?! either way atleast I can say I actually enjoyed some of it
i'm surprised Daisuke managed to get so high in my ranking, I guess i'm trash for him now
but honestly Yuri's my real favorite, he was always special to me and that didn't change.

Final Thoughts
While I did enjoy most of it and laughed at the cheesy stuff but I learned that if I am not
heavily invested in an otome game and it takes almost two years for a FD to come out...
I should probably skip it, not only was most of the plot boring most of the charm had been lost
 but I guess its too late for regrets its clear otomate wanted to force this one on us whether we
liked it or not, we got more even after so long to the point I pretty much wrote off
the original as a one-off game after a month or so I finish it.
 Moving on... maybe I am getting old but I miss the days with simple after stories
that last maybe an hour or two hint hint sangoku rensenki omoide gaeshi, now I just get bored
if there's too much plot even if for the sake of character development and little fluff.
Wait why would I want character development or them fleshing out the story in a fandisc?
Sure... i'd be done quick but I think there's more value in a story knowing where to end
I feel i've matured in terms of that also not everyone needs to get marriage you know
sure its nice but if there's like 10 characters it gets redundant, even in
moujuutachi FD it got old and there were only 6 after stories whoops I went off-topic.
The art was okay but it was blatantly obvious the original artist did not work on it
some CG's looked great and others down right meh so more disappointment.
As for the heroine, she did nothing wrong but Kaede's too pure I guess... atleast
this time she has actual friends and they won't bully her anymore and other chara's are actively
present, I like they don't disappear from the face of the planet but due to them focusing on story
there wasn't much couple stuff and if there was it was watered down compared to the original.
I can't say I can praise the graduation story because half of it just bores me, sitting through the exam
stuff or whatever again and again for most guy, I just started skimming through some
of the more boring parts because ain't nobody got time for that school/mission stuff
it felt most of the fanservice was too little because oh noes got to add in filler plot
of Kaede somehow breaking the seal on her jutsu :eyeroll:. I thought the whole problem
with Kaede's meromero jutsu was solved but for some reason even if it was sealed in the original
game it broke in this game... we never know why but I guess its just an excuse to make
this FD thats a sequel in disguise. Atleast they tried to flesh out some stuff with
the characters to make them mature, some went into their past so that was nice
and I think most will be pleased with that but otomate next time be honest 
and advertise a sequel like a sequel and not a fandisk -there's a difference- , like
 in my opinion while Tadehito's after story was well written its bad for a FD... good sequel wise
as it fleshes out his character story, I just did not expect him to have a crazy classmate.
Like its so nice being seperated from your man half of the time and throw-away female side
characters (with no face) making everything worse by just being there, like seriously
there was little point to her except explain his situation the rest of Tadehito's was good I guess.
The after stories are long too little on fanservice instead more plot, for most its half bad
and half good, the things I liked are just watered down compared to the original.
I'm sad, I enjoyed ninkoi when it was just brainless fun but then they got to make it so serious...

Despite me saying TOO LONG, I think for the price the length is right if you add all the characters
but as of now the only FD this year i've really enjoyed was KgK momoyo tsuzuri and to some
 extent KBOFD that's rather sad isn't it? hopefully tierblade FD will be better. (it was)

If you played the original you'd most likely had a favorite by now
or atleast I hope you do before investing in this, whether or not you like or do every after story
is up to you but if you don't want to or don't like a specific character then don't bother
because you won't miss a thing trust me anyway my ninkoi adventures end here
I enjoyed what I could but for some reason I can't find it to be worth much
or memorable for that matter which is a shame.

Characters ★★★☆☆ (Depends on your favorite.)
Art  ★★☆☆☆ (They tried but next time get the original artist back...)
Scenario/plot. ★★☆☆☆ (Feels like an extension that should never have been.)
Music★★★☆☆(Whatever, its fine.)
System  ★★★☆☆ (Thanks for the bonus stories I guess...)
Enjoyment overall ★★☆☆☆ (Too little too late...)

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