Amaterasu Blog

20Oct/1017

Kusarihime ~euthanasia~ Review

Kusarihime is surprisingly difficult to describe in any meaningful way, but let's try this: A boy moves back to his old hometown to try and regain his memories, but ends up caught in a mystifying horror/fantasy story. Then, after several rounds of giving the reader things to scratch their heads about, the most critical questions are answered in perhaps the most otherworldly manner conceivable, culminating in an inexplicably fascinating ending of bittersweet tragedy and/or bizarre tranquility.

Most of the pros are probably already obvious, but I can add more: The mysteries remain engaging from start to finish, as there is plenty of variety in the random (yet directly or indirectly plot-relevant) slice-of-life events and a steady supply of far more occult happenings. Best of all, every time you think you have something, anything figured out, the game manages to throw a massive curveball at you. And as implied above, the endings do in fact explain what happened and are quite satisfying. The unique way the game handles sprites (the monochrome ones at least) is also really cool.

There is an irritatingly long list of flaws though. First, some things I really wanted explanations of never got more than a few hints, though the author successfully made me expect this (and only one of them was still relevant by the ending) so I wasn't that disappointed. Second, there are way too many sex scenes. Sure, most of them were justified, but it still felt like something less graphic and time-consuming could have easily filled a lot of the same roles. Third, a handful of the sprites are badly drawn to the point of being distracting, and on rare occasions I got confused because one of them was outright misplaced. Fourth, the side characters are entirely uninteresting in and of themselves, though they serve their purposes very well.

The end result: I was absolutely fascinated by what I saw here, but it failed to amaze me or make me care on a deep emotional level.

Score: 8.5/10

Polarization: High (+1/-3)

All of the aforementioned problems may bother you much more than they did me. In particular, (if the pothole to Gainax Ending didn't tip you off) I'm sure the game saying "fuck your expectations, I'm gonna do this instead" will sit really badly with some people. On the other hand, you may absolutely adore the surreal nature of it all.

Endings/Routes Played: All three major endings, plus some of the bad ones.

Comments (17) Trackbacks (0)
  1. So whats next xD?

  2. Read the main page of the blog, please.

  3. I was very interested in this since I read a mini review, though I can’t exactly say why (I think the peculiar designs had some role). It seems it’s worth it then.
    A question: about how long is it? If not in hours, then compared with others vns (about x Cross Channels, etc).

  4. I’d say it’s pretty close to CC in length, maybe a little longer. Shouldn’t take anyone more than a week or two to finish.

  5. Cross†Channel: 2.09MB
    Kusarihime ~Euthanasia~: 0.88MB

    You sure, Ixrec? Ohohoho~

  6. A lot of CC was copypasta, so maybe after ctrling through all that it ended up at a similar length.

    Important part is they felt like they took a similar amount of time.

  7. Oh wow, this sounds like a huge mindfuck. Throwing mystery after mystery on you then solving some of then at the ending… and then forgetting some. Sounds a lot like Remember11. I wonder if the Kusarihime fandom is also theory-happy. The unique art style is also really engaging IMHO (as are most Liar-Soft games, anyway). Although, from the VNDB tags, the game sounds pretty dark all-around, the kind that has light talk but makes you have that feeling that something wrong is going on… The unpredictability of the game does sound interesting. I guess that this makes it kinda pointless to theorize about the non-existent explanations, because, well, none of then would be right if your description of Kusarihime’s mysteries are spot-on. Anyway, looking forward for your next review

  8. Everything you just said is extremely accurate.

    Except that it probably isn’t *pointless* to theorize, although it’s true it wouldn’t be possible to do it in the usual sense. Rather, one would have to simply invent a possible explanation out of thin air and argue that it’s the most appropriate choice, instead of the most accurate. Would be really neat to see these kinds of discussions though.

  9. Given that Meteor apparently decided on the details of the twist in Kusarihime because “it would be cool,” there is likely no real concrete explanation for anything.

  10. The only thing this review and a little research made me realize: There needs to be more liarsoft translators >.>;

    ~DarkestPhoenix

  11. I’m working on it, but MLA keeps getting in my way.

  12. @DarkestPhoenix The only Liarsoft game worth translating other than Meteor’s and (arguably) Sakurai’s is Angel Bullet. Pretty much everything else is a random quirky joke game and/or Born Freaks.

  13. I’m still hoping Seven-Bridge and Youtou Jiken turn out to be good (and rail-soft stuff ofc, but you clearly weren’t counting that). Also didn’t Sakurai write Angel Bullet or something?

  14. Seven-Bridge is by Meteor

    Sakurai’s only written WAB games afaik

  15. Prolly should’ve mentioned I knew Meteor did Seven-Bridge.

    I read on the liarsoft blog once that Sakurai was involved with Angel Bullet and Megalaughter, and that they somehow tie in to the WAB series (didn’t read the details since spoilers would suck). If nothing else it helps explain why they let her go forward with a whole series of games.

  16. @Ixrec Definitely not the most reliable source in the world, but I checked the Japanese Wikipedia article and Hikaru Sakurai was listed as one of the scenario writer of Angel Bullet at least.

    This review and the others for WAB series definitely fulfill my need to have a vague idea of what other Liar-soft games would be like, so thank you very much for making them. I would be happy to see your impressions on the other Liar-soft game too if you have the time, as even if they’re not as good as the others, at least I and the others would know which one we should waste our money on.

  17. I’m definitely gonna keep reading/reviewing Liar-soft stuff until I get down into the 6.5-7 range, which is probably going to take quite some time (if only because I need to read a ton of non-Liar-soft stuff too).


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