Sunday, December 30, 2018

Shiro to Kuro no Alice Twilight Line - Review

Genre: Otome Visual Novel. 
Developer/publisher: Otomate.
Release date: 2018-11-15

Ah yes the FD- or sequel to that rather messy alice in wonderland otome game
from otomate, in case you wonder what I mean by messy again is that
the overall story was too scattered and there was no locked routes
so if you did Nello first you'd basically spoil a plot behind the scenes
or if you did Snow's then well you basically got the best possible resolution.
That doesn't mean the other routes aren't worth doing as it still would fill in the blanks
here and there regarding the characters. So in short when a story would benefit
from restriction they said nah let them pick! which could work if the important story bits
weren't all over the place, like I am sure no one likes getting to Minette mid game
only to find out it was better to do him first since he has nothing to do with the main plot.
Shiro to Kuro no Alice had a story albeit very messy and all over the place!
and even that did not change in its FD's additional scenario.

 -After stories are short and sweet.
- Art and music are excellent.

- unvoiced heroines who still talk to each other as if it was voiced, which
like the original ruined a lot of potential in scenes everyone else is voiced.
- Story is still a scattered mess.

Content wise there;s the after story's ~lover's day~ which gives us a look at their lives now
it covers both white and black happy ends... which is probably what you wanted the most.
Then there's another line... which is basically just an another story...
but with individual endings as well which is where most of the meat of the game is.
There's also the tea party after doing all which is a nice extra for full complete.

Either way I decided to start with Airi's side first mostly because she literally got stuck the worst boys
and Luna with the sweethearts, which made me not very interested in Airi's side.
After stories are like an hour long BUT there's one for each happy end (black and white)!
  so that's basically two hours... whether it was worth it depends on character like
for me Minette's were an utter waste of time but Nero was actually worth sitting through
so I guess it depends but even then I wish they put more effort.
Another line was eh... after 4 routes I got the general gist of the plot and had enough
and actually got sad we didn't get a routes for Rui, Ratt or Nine instead
like they give us new characters try and flesh em out but they don't really get resolution.
Volume wise its about right... if you rush its probably not but I thought the content was fine
and could definitely last a week or two if you take it slow but eh unless one was
invested in the world of shiro to kuro no alice I can't really recommend it
since this is for fans of course, I got what I wanted out of it thanks to Luna side
but still felt it was lacking in someway maybe because they had to split
the lover day scenario to the two happy ends which makes no sense if
the another line scenario also sort of follows up on the bw after???
IMO most of the white afters were the best to me so I wish they'd made it a little longer
even at the expense of the bw after but eh they still managed at making some of it
its just not going to be to everyones taste.
As we know Another line has the same problem as the original game
I am going to recommend Snow's route there for last as it has the most
revelations about Rui, the rest of the order shouldn't matter too much
so just to be safe do Airi side before Luna's with Snow last.

That ends my spoiler free section...

CV: Kimura Ryohei.
Ah yes our friendly neighborhood drug dealer whom you can't really trust
but that's all in the past, now he's the court magician.
I was so disinterested in Minette I just put it on automode and let it roll, not much even happened
and even then it felt like it took forever even tho it was really short. >_>;
I did his afters first starting with black world end:  Minette truly is a cat that got too attached
he'd love to nothing more than embrace her and purr at her side being all loving
so when all the formal / work stuff is going on he has a hard time, Minette is easily jealous too lol.
Minette acted so annoying like a child that couldn't be with his favorite toy cuz of work...
lmao Airi what do you even see in him?! just because he's affectionate or you are his world? sigh.
I really hate these clingy types who throw hissy fits just because they cannot be with them
like come on everyone needs space and it cannot always be fun but Minette really wants to bone her.
White side after on the other hand... wasn't much better but he seemed more tolerable to me
but still insufferable when he act lovey dovey which feels like not getting enough air
because he sucks it up, romance wise I just don't like it because it feels so forced.
Like legit Minette has so many red flags to him and the shit in the previous game doesn't help
i'm not sure if there's anyone that even likes him??? (surely there are right)
Maybe if I was as naive as Airi I could see it but I am not... sorry maybe its because
of his relevance to the plot or lack thereof but there was not much here at all!
I like KimuRyo as much as the next person but seriously a seiyuu does not save
a poorly written character that doesn't even fit into the overall story except as a sub chara.
When there's not much material for a character its natural it ends up like this.........
In Another line he is more of the same as his bw after but seems to be reflective of the past
and does his best for Airi's sake unfortunately he is still an attached cat
they went to silver world with Kalmia and got lost in uro so they were stuck in white world.
They literally babysit him and have a good time while trying to fix the mess...
nothing happens they fix the mirror and go back and Minette fights off joker with his magic skillz.
REALLY THO the childish,clingy and lovey dovey behavior Minette has just makes me wanna vomit
and don't understand how anyone can put up with that the whole drugging thing in the previous
game doesn't make it any easier to like him, sure much like Nello people can change
but Minette... Minette is maybe just not for me! had to mention it twice...


CV: Shimono Hiro.
Back in original unlike Minette it seemed like you could really trust Nello but alas
he's an assassin who worked for Asagi, all for his sister's sake.
Nello... has been redeeming himself and works for Airi in the black after
and unlike Minette he is actually a lot more bearable, comedic even. I've honestly never
disliked Nello that much its just that all the shit he did never made it feel right in the end.
Him being able to change for the best in the present was what I liked the most.
The scenes Airi and Nello had were honestly pretty sweet, both seemed to be content
with the situation and try their best, especially Nello. There's still some shit
that follows Nello even now which was to be expected, but they work on it.
This was far more interesting and worth sitting through than the previous after.
White after was more of the same but more relaxing, unfortunately I will probably
never understand how he undid what he did but all is okay now, he has a job at a cafe.
Kanon caused a slight scene, they went on a date at the aquarium... pretty standard but fun stuff.
They helped some lost kid find their mom too... all's well but nothing to write home about.
In another line he was so sweet and caring, like a knight... the bad end there hurt
because he was left alone again. Poor Nello atleast the happy end was good.

CV: Umehara Yuuichiro.
 Probably the only guy at Airi side who redeemed himself but by then it was already the end
he has potential for gap moe but mostly ended up being an uptight bastard who somehow
has it all in Airi's best interest... he was out right terrible at showing it!
Oh and like Snow with Luna, Rain and Airi are bound by a childhood promise...
As usual I did black after first and life for the two queens continues...
the worst part is Rain was almost nowhere to be seen for a little while.
WHY AM I NOT SURPRISED?! he was just out doing his job meanwhile
Airi is all alone and I am just like YOU DICK like FFS even Nello was better at this.
I know people can't always be together and its not gonna be sunshine and rainbow
which is normal since Airi is a queen and has been doing her best but like come on?
Snow has to literally get his ass to Airi because even I am getting sad.
Rain's issue is just not being able to read the air and see that she's lonely
not to mention he's terrible at expressing his feels, even if he's happy for her
he's being avoidant and do the opposite a lover should do.
Well uh Rain continues to work hard and one day Airi runs into him
and his bunny genes go out of control. Airi be all like so cute and pets (same)
while he's all blushy oh stop it. Its like his namedays have all come at once!
 but uh most of black after was just the other chara's getting Rain to be a proper boyfriend
which was amusing to say the least, Rain finally gets to courage to ask Airi
out on her day off... (cute) THIS this right here is the plot of the entire black after
and we get a cute date as a result, which was pretty nice and fitting considering this is Rain.
In the end Rain finally let's her pet his fluffy bunny ear while being all whatever if this is
what you want, in a moe way of course. They make out later after Rain makes his feelings clear.
Well that was something... that delivered. /shrug
 Meanwhile at white side after which I found to be more fitting even if the ending
in the original was quite abrupt, it doesn't seem like there was this rift and Rain
is actually asking how Airi feels and actively at her side maybe its because Rain
accepts this is best for Airi instead of having her put up with being a queen in a world
she didn't grow up in and can be around her friends, felt like they dragged it out with angst
of what was right or not but whatever I actually found Rain to be adorable here!
but eh what does she know about him? he protects and ensures she's happy now
which was basically the whole dilemma/plot here, Rain tries his best for her sake
and wouldn't dare make her unhappy or leave her side. Another route was good
if not only confirm what we already knew. Overall I find Rain to be a very
problematic character... but I still like him I think its cute to be inexperienced like that.

 CV: Hanae Natsuki.

The mad hatter who's actually not so mad but a cutie-pie instead.
His route in the original wasn't much but was interesting and revealed things about Luna's mom
and how he was frozen in time serving them both. He's not my fav but when I think about it
he comes close, and I found him to be quite well written. I started with blackside after as usual
it followed up on some problems related to their blood, or atleast Kanon tried. Some flashbacks
but the rest was pretty cute. I always feel BW afters are is a little more serious compared to WW's
since the twins are queen now and have duties as with WW they still attend school.
Luna tried to make a plushie again with Kanon's help, I still remember that in the original
its nice they didn't forget that. They both try their best to live as they do.
Fanservice aside there's nothing that wowed me in terms of writing, felt like an extension
that was not necessary since it doesn't really expand upon anything except show us they're good.
WW after was more of the same except without queen responsibilities, I remember
Kanon's WW happy end being rushed so this extension was nice so its not like its pointless
he's a hat designer so the plot was about that while they also go out etc.
I find these after stories so far great to read/watch but nothing to write home about. :/
Another line was cute but half the plot put me to sleep, the bad end really showed
how far gone Rui is and that there's probably no hope for the guy.

CV: Masuda Toshiki.
 Snow's the cinnamon roll who is too pure and too good for this world
and does everything for Luna's sake. I startedwith white world after this time
since it was pretty obvious BW had the better ending. Snow tries his best
to make Luna happy while he continue to research for a better way.
Snow's so sweet and caring to Luna and is literally what anyone would want in a BF. 😭
Their plan to eventually get married is still on track and their every day life has its moments...
Luna is so cute to adjust to it all~ she's a trying girl! its no wonder why most people like her.
They ended up getting married! Snow's a man of his word even Airi and Rain came to visit.
Meanwhile in BW after the two queens rule the land that had its twilight returned
and in terms of romance it was better than Rain's at Airi. Am sorry but like its true.
Minette the shady drug dealer be tryin to sell Luna the good shit... some aphrodisiac
and then all sort of problem happen stopping them from lovey dovey time, Snow got a fever
but not life threatening, Jack darlin still bawwed his eyes out regardless. That got them time
to talk about the past when they were kids... aka my favorite thing in these games not.
Lmao I think its Minette's fault Snow got sick in the first place... 😅
 Another line was the most well rounded in terms of plot/romance and glad I saved it for last
but damn do the writers have bias for Snow or something?


 CV: Okitsu Kazuyuki.
 Ah~ the adorable shy knight who's always tries to be at Luna's side, back to usual
doing BW first because it just seems less happy than the WW afters but it seems
Jack is a special case and it actually was enjoyable because he is such a dork.
Jack goes out of his way to get his hands on fireworks just for Luna he's so sweet
Minette ends up lending him a hand like a true sub character.
That is literally it... much content so wow but atleast it was cute and they're officially lovers now.
WW after was about the same, still cute to see them together there but they have each other.
But then it takes a 180 and Jack's Yan came out and he gets jealous, just want her for herself...
In the end Luna has to confront him and so she still has the pants in the relationship.😂
Jack basically was just scared to lose her but why would Luna ever leave him?
Jack got cute afters but uh he still has potential to let that side out... which sort of
makes me uneasy speaking of uneasy the bad end in another like legit made it worse
but atleast Luna saved it in the afters but i'm kinda worried.
Unfortunately due to his bad end in another line and events in his white after
i've started to look at Jack a little differently, like he's supposed to be this
cute good for nothing dork, master-servant relationship with Luna ever since childhood
but as of this game he is starting to look possessive and a bit creepy. The bad end in the original
adding yandere flavor and in another line he goes full psycho... i'm sorry for being slightly disgusted?
Sure I can accept Jack for who he is, but why are the writers trying to bring the worst out of him???
its not necessary at all, I already liked Jack and him having a psycho side if anything should
happen to Luna does not make him more interesting. IDK! this just leave me with bad after taste
even though his afters were actually pretty sweet but I won't deny the overall writing quality
has gone downhill, I'd prefer the afters to be longer and not deal with bloody bad ends
in another line where the new characters cease to matter as soon as you get a good outcome.


After story ranking:
Airi: Nello > Rain > Minette.
Luna : Snow > Kanon / Jack.

 This is basically a new story set after... uh what? sorry I didn't keep up with info
so I literally went in blind but I figured this continues from Snow's happiest black end
but its just the bw in general... since its clear it takes place after each route.
So Snow finds this book and gets interested when he learns of another world
which is called uro no sekai which basically means detour... aka this ain't important folks.
Uh well they find a boy named Kalmia, they take him in but well it only creates
more questions rather than answers, Minette confirms this is Humpty dumpty
a great magician! who worked for the prev queen, oh who look who makes himself useful. /sneer
Sometime after they meet Joker they end up in this warped place and have to look for the exit...
Normally they use the mirrror to go to white/black world but Uro is another way but longer.
Well everyone has endings but I don't feel like covering much of it as its basically a sequel story
with new route, I went with Nello first since i'm ready to curse myself but it was surprisingly tame
they go around find mirrors and have Kalmia seal them Nello suspects Joker and Rui
plotting to assassinate the queens during the parade. Rui is the one behind it, Joker is
originally from white world but had a crush on an older Kalmia or an admiration
when he met him, Joker dies? fighting off Rui protecting Airi.
The bad end... was pretty sad like Airi dies during the struggle and Nello is all alone again...😭
Kalmia works his magic and Uro no sekai disappears... Nello and Airi live happily ever after.
 Nello's was the way I liked him before the BS in his route in the original happened
so I did enjoy this new route here a lot more!
In Minette's route they just babysit Kalmia and Joker throws a hissy fit at the end... but Minette
works his magic which is almost as good as Humpty dumpty, considering I do not like Minette
the whole thing was a waste of time except for more insight on Kalmia. 
Rain's route here was boring AF... plot only confirms things one might've known as Joker
is Stella and who she/he is whom fell for Kalmia but then shit bricked.
Atleast Rain was a sweetheart which pretty much saved it.
Kanon's route was cute to say the least but this whole plot with Rui/Joker/Kalmia
is getting old yea well we get it Rui you're butthurt since the queen killed his mom
and u want revenge well guess what? even if you get it then what! at this point it would
be great if Rui had a route where we could maybe make him fall for one of the twins but alas.
I say I want a route for Rui but he became completely unredeemable in Kanon's bad end....
but hey atleast for a villain Rui is the most consistent! he beats Asagi by miles.
I've killed the lover and his queen... but still not enough vengeance let's go after the other one.
Jack's route here was alright... I cringed a little at the biting scenes but ugh he's so sweet. T_T
Plot this time was more interesting as Rui staged a coup against the queens...
Rui basically fucked with their minds and they think he's the next king but then by some miracle
the townspeople get a reality check... probably thanks to wizard boi so I felt the overall writing
was alright. Jack's bad end was a call back to Kanon's mad hatter end BUT WORSE!
he went nuts after Rui killed Luna and goes on a killing spree, killing everyone
in his way while he visits Luna's dead body everyday telling her stories how its not enough
and getting nostalgic thinking she'll come back... poor Jack he become like Rui.
Why do I feel they went too far with this one...
 Maybe cuz it Jack it seems I was more invested in this... well last one's Snow
which was alright, we also get to see how insane Alice Liddel was and how
her influence on Luna definitely was not good, plus it makes sense how Rui hates her.
This being the last route I still sorta wish Rui had a route because I don't think
he's wrong at all just misguided, like Toudou Naoya from Haruka6 STILL that
doesn't justify his actions but I guess they cannot be bothered giving new chara's routes
and have to focus on the old ones. We know Rui sorta likes her but VENGEANCE.
What u want with MY GIRL huh?!
This route also had the background info of Rui so it didn't help much but I got bad vibes
from him when he found out who Luna is and that she already had Snow.
Atleast one can't say they did not flesh out Rui! the subplot is thanks to Asagi
for bringing a new herb tea recipe to town which makes people forget and get insane...
thankfully we got our magic boi Kalmia.
If Kanon bad end didn't ruin Rui enough already Snow's route did the finishing touches
like u know shit is about to brick when a guy says; life is just a game u should
follow me if you want to live while clearly wanting to use you for personal gain
which in this case is Luna's blood. I'd be all aboard if Luna met him sooner
and actually had a chance at genuine love but now? noooope.
 In the best end they spare Rui because he's really just a victim he's all like whatever
and gets send back to white world where he lived before getting his memories back
and realizes even he has people who care about him. I find it nice that even Rui
gets to like have an ending where he is saved from his turmoil even if its not a route
dedicated to him and even falling for Luna but let me say that potential was there.
 Well I give the writers this much atleast they got me to pity Rui.
The bad end was sad, Luna dies and Snow loses it and takes it out on Rui...
Snow tries but start to see Airi as Luna so Rain has to tell it to him who
has basically been at a standstill but and offs himself when he sees her ghost.
In the other end Rui kills Snow, Asagi's herb plan succeeds and Rui basically becomes
the king and takes Luna as his own.... he drinks her blood every night while forcing her
to forget Snow with the drug, NO I DO NOT WANT A RUI END ATLEAST NOT LIKE THIS.

Final thoughts.
This fd much like wofr2fd lasted longer than it was but with the otome game drought
and not buying every game without a second thought who really cares?
I wouldn't say this FD was a complete disappointment... only a few afters
I felt were necessary or maybe its just my dislike for certain characters like Minette.
They had to write two afters for each character but maybe they should have just focused on
the one most appropiate and give us something with more volume/value in the one that mattered.
I guess they could not and wanted this whole White/Black flipside thing...
honestly I found the after stories in Tierblade FD to be more worth it
but even so shiro to kuro fd manages to be a step above moujuutachi fd.
The whole point of another line was but to expand upon the world/lore
but seriously it was a chore to get through, we know from the original
shiro to kuro is not exactly known for consistency and it showed even here
the another lines routes are all over the place then its Rui who's the baddie
but in the next its Joker who in the previous already redeem himself. -_- 
Suddenly in a bad end Kalmia's not even he's truly on our side...
the bad ends were especially brutal but to be honest the overall writing is not bad at all
BUT after like 6 routes the scenario itself might get a little repettitive.
It would be nice if we could have romanced Rui like a hate to love thing
THEN AGAIN nevermind Snow's route made me have second thoughts lol.
This series is all about collecting bits and pieces of the story and putting 1+2 together
but it also makes it look like a scattered mess. One thing that annoyed me is that
the OP movie immediately spoils jokers identity / name... >_>
Considering how laid back they were with Haruka's personas and openly detail them on the
official site in chouchou jiken I am not surprised they think we do not care about stuff like that.
I am not the biggest shiro to kuro fan but I am satisfied with what I got... even if its not much
I can only suggest to get this FD if one was actually invested in the world/chara's
which for me was Luna side and am sort of like yea it was fine/neutral about the rest
still a little eh about all the damn bad ends but uh whatever floats your boat.

Characters ★★★★☆
Art  ★★★★★
Scenario/plot. ★★★☆☆
System  ★★★★★
Enjoyment overall ★★★☆☆

Well that was the last otome of 2018 not much on the horizon except
Kenka Bancho Otome 2nd Rumble and Variable barricade.
I think I'm just going to focus on some old otome that still caught my eyes till then.

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