Amaterasu Blog

8Mar/1119

Yume Miru Kusuri Review

It's tricky to summarize this one in a way that doesn't make it sound much better or much worse than it is, but here goes: three stories about helping someone overcome their personal demons and learn to lead a happy life, with you of course.

Each of the three troubled girls is unique and convincingly human. Hence the routes are very different from each other on the surface but share much of the same themes and overall structure. Also, the protagonist and heroines both grow immensely by the (true) end of the routes, leaving all of them with satisfying (true) endings.

Unfortunately, there is a persistent strain on suspension of disbelief for large parts of the game. While never impossible to ignore, it takes effort (or perhaps a really shitty adolescence) to not let it get in the way of empathizing with the characters and their problems. This is mitigated by the fact that a lot of time is spent effectively killing time with slice of life. But I felt that fit the game's relaxed atmosphere, and gave the characterization and (good) comedy plenty of time to do their things.

Score: 7/10

Polarization: High (+2/-3)

Some people will literally laugh at the implausibility of some parts of the stories, while some others will find at least one of the endings deeply moving. Personal experience may be a factor.

Routes/Endings Played: All 3 routes, good and bad endings.

Comments (19) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Now you can move on to the best game ever.

  2. YMK is bad.

  3. Opinions shitstorm starts here.

  4. You’ll need large suspension of disbelief for the drug that makes you dream.

    Afterall, once you know you’re dreaming you’ll have to spin yourself round and round and round.

    Yay.

  5. YMK is far from being the best VN, but it’s my personal favourite. Yeah, it has many faults, and there are a whole lot of exaggeration in it, but its 10/10 in the most important factor for me – it’s close to the human, the protag. acts like a normal human beeing, not as some kind of invincible superhero.

    I found all of his motivates, and actions close to what a read person (me or anyone else) would do, or could do in that situation. In most VN even if the protagonist stated of as the worst scum ever, later he becomes the role model of the self-sacrificing hero. Very few men could do it in the real life. In YMK I met the most realistic character growth ever.

    It’s a lesser miracle that a game with this many H-Scene, actually has a pretty good story, and yes, the world of YMK is like a charicature, with three unbelievable story, but I don’t think that every elements needs to be as real as it can be, ultimately it IS a fiction.

  6. “Though I would hope at least one of those Romeo games (Kana and Yumemi) manages an 8 or higher.”

    Guess that didn’t work out too well, maybe next time.

  7. Well, that about sums up my opinion. I always wondered if I’m the only one that gave it a 7 on vndb, while hearing all the praise for the game. Now I know I’m not alone.

  8. I agree with E.D that the protagonist was really likeable and easy to relate to. Same goes for all the characters and that’s what’s (two apostrophes in a row, yikes) good about YMK.

    The problem is that nothing else really stood out and the whole game is fairly forgettable; there’s no “Wow, this music is really good” or “What a neat little plot twist” (although there is one moment in Nekoko’s route, I’m sure you all know what I mean) so there’s not much to look back on apart from “good game, good H-scenes”.

  9. Did anyone understand what the deal was with the woman and the train delusions? The woman was at the very beginning and the trains could be found at the end of the bad ends.

  10. The woman was never explained but it should be quite obvious what the train’s about if you actually read the parts where he talks about it and about how the girls changed his life.

    Basically, he became a “transparent” (or colorless, whatever it was JAST used) person because he tried so hard to match his family’s expectations, and that put his life on a straight, narrow, artificial, unchanging course. Perhaps it wasn’t clear in the translation (in which case JAST fucked up badly because this is really important), but レール rails in Japanese is very often used metaphorically to refer this kind of strictly preplanned narrow path in life. So listening to the sound of the rails is essentially hearing himself let society whisk him along to do exactly what society expects instead of something he himself wants.

    Though once you understand this, you can have a lot of fun guessing what the woman was supposed to represent. Probably related to his desire *not* to just ride the rails forever and do something of his own free will, something he might feel strongly about for once.

  11. I like the scene when they snort crack during sex.

  12. @Ixrec, that part of the game (about 社会のレール) just clicked into place for me on reading your comment. As I recall, the localized game did get that part right; I think I just overlooked it because I dismissed the first scene as being a parody/shout-out to GE999 due to the obvious Maetel expy.

  13. Considering I’ve never heard of GE999, that is all very plausible.

    Glad to hear they got it across.

  14. Hmmm, this one’s hard at least for me. I’m personally a big fan of Yume Miru since a satisfying ending and an interesting protag are two of my biggest criteria for games. But more than anything else I think Yume Miru is a game aimed at people who probably didn’t have the best high school or middle school lives and can really empathize with the characters. Unsurprisingly the people I have talked to like the route of a character they had common troubles with.

    The main route they kinda bugged me was the the Prez’s route. I’m not entirely sure why, but I didn’t really like it. On the other hand Aeka’s route sent me through the biggest emotional roller coaster I’ve experience in any game so far. Though it might also have something to do with how fresh in your mind the experiences are. Yume Miru is uniquely good at what it does, but if you don’t like what it’s trying to do it’s just a relatively good story.

    I’d be interested in seeing if opinions of the game change based on how old someone was when they played it. Oh also if that was actually a Galaxy Express 999 parody I both respect the game for reference to an awesome classic and am kinda bothered that they choose to use a parody during one of the most character defining scenes in the game.

  15. Oh I do need to ask one thing. At one point a “key flag” appears during an H-scene have you seem that much (outside of truly ero focused games)? Because that threw me for a loop, but some friend of mine told me it wasn’t that unusual.

  16. @Arteas:

    Hmm, now we have something in common, I too think, that Aeka’s route is the best, and the Prez’s route is a very weak one. What bugged me with her route was, that while the other 2 heroine had real problems, her “problem” seemed like a total nonsense, and all she need is just a punch in the face, or a bucket of cold water from above to “solve” her problem (sorry Prez fans)

    About this “key flag”, do you mind telling, whitch H-Scene are you talkink about? I beat the game last about a year ago, so my memories not really fresh, but I can’t recall any choise inside H-Scenes…

  17. He’s talking about the choice during Mitsuki’s footjob which allegedly determines whether you get her good and bad end. I only discovered this due to a walkthrough and it turned out to be true.

    As to being common, tbh that’s the first time I’ve ever seen one.

  18. the first VN that make me cry…

    i wanna know how to translate VN.
    i want to help for muv luv alternative.
    if i can translate i can help you to make quick release.
    email me if you interested.
    my email : [email protected]
    P.S i don’t know how to translate so teach the basic first

  19. I really, really, REALLY do not understand the complaints about things being improbable. Exaggerated, sure, but unbelievable? God no.


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