Hoshizora no Memoria – vaguely coherent Common + Asuho’s route commentary

Hi, I’m Zakamutt. I’m a NEET and a guy who will do guest posts (primarily about Visual Novels) here  (also, holy batman the batman is prolific. I’m not gonna post that often). I’ll probably have an exhaustive, expressive, and exhilarating bio up on a separate page soon enough, for my ego demands its dues.

As you can see, I enjoy sesquipedalianism to a great extent. Should my verbiage bedazzle you, you may wish to consult a dictionary, or optionally just holler in the comment section.

…Sorry. Time to get to the actual content now, I guess. What content? Well, peruse the title of this post, and your inquiry will be at least partially satisfied.

This night, I finished Asuho’s route in Hoshizora no Memoria – along with Sono Hanabira ni Kuchizuke o 4, part of my go-to series for fap material. — “This night” is, of course, getting increasingly inaccurate as I spend more time on this draft. Oh well.

Kaede and Sara from sonohana 4 in bridal dresses.

I was going to put a hoshizora no memoria picture here, but then yuri happened.

Hoshimemo, as it’s usually shortened, is a romantic visual novel in a high school setting. It’s mostly a pure love story, but has some supernatural stuff thrown in as well (since this is my first completed route, I don’t know how much of a factor it will be in the other routes). As one might expect, this has already been done before, with some frequency. With that said, Making a good title in the genre depends more heavily on storyline quality and execution than having an interesting setting. Does Hoshizora no Memoria have what it takes to break out of the mediocrity of the moe-game trench? We shall see.

To start with, we see our hero, Kogasaka You, meeting a somewhat mysterious white-haired and red-eyed girl at a hilltop lookout at night (amusingly given the placeholder name Loli). Over time, she proceeds to teach him how to have fun and be less antisocial, as he’s been an unlikeable loner in elementary school so far (but with good grades!). Some mockery, such as calling You “Such a nerd”, is usually involved. It ends when You is forced to leave town due to his parents moving (job-related reasons methinks).

Totally not Kanon, nono.

星空 の メモリア's (hey look, I can write japanese!) intro screen after I completed Asuho's route. I believe it's originally blue, but I could be wrong.

The opening screen of Hoshimemo with Staircase Subs’ translation patch applied.

The story proper starts with You, who is moving back to the town where he lived as a child – Hibarigasaki. He and his energetic little sister Chinami are moving to their aunt Shino’s house after finding themselves without anywhere else to go. The reason they have housing problems is that, well, their parents are dead — their mum died not long ago, while their father gave up the ghost some years prior. There isn’t really that much angsting from either You or Chinami, but it’s not completely ignored either – basically, the Kogasakas are moving on. Although previously losing their father might have prepared them for this kind of thing, You does seem a bit too unaffected by the whole losing a parent and having to move ordeal. Maybe I’m missing something here — It’s been a while since I read the common route, and I can come up with quite a few potential explanations on the spot, but that’s my impression for now.

The first days in vn-time are spent on You and Chinami getting properly settled into their new home in what is (mostly) an extended series of boke/tsukkomi routines performed by Chinami and You. They are formulaic to a point, but that doesn’t really stop me from finding them absolutely hilarious. If you strongly dislike running gags, however, this will probably grate on you quite a lot – Hoshizora no Memoria is dosed heavily with them.  Apart from the fun, quite a lot of characterization work is done in the beginning. You’ll meet pretty much every girl (including You and Chinami being mistaken for a couple by two girls you’ll meet later on) before you even start school. Asuho, my love ❤ interest for this playthrough, is introduced as You stops by at a café in which she works — in a maid uniform, no less.

In his free time, You obsessively searches for the girl he remembers from the lookout — interestingly, he forgets her name (hidden from us behind “her”) quite soon due to supernatural shenanigans. After getting settled in properly, You and Chinami start attending the local high school. The second major subplot is revealed as Asuho quickly recruits You for the Astronomy Club Circle (Tenkuru). Yes, we’re dealing with a Club Stub plot. The rest is either related to the supernatural, or focused on specific girls. Apparently, the default route is Asuho’s — there is no normal ending. Someone in a chat I frequent actually raged at the route simply because of this… Well, I am guilty of raging on Shitatori Shiratori’s route in G-senjou no Maou partly due to unintentionally falling into it, so maybe I shouldn’t talk.

Asuho is a lovely, energetic girl (but not too energetic, unlike a certain loli imouto…) with an unfortunate habit of leaning in way too close when she speaks to other people. She tends to go all deredere when alone with You — especially, and refreshingly, during a certain booby situation. She’s likened to a dog by a character, who contrasts her with Komomo who instead resembles a cat (their relationship is what you’d expect). Oh, and she looks way too much like Kirari.

God this took a long time to make. Used the GIMP, because free software. Now right here I realize they might not look that much alike but seriusly read the vns and ugh whatever

…Maybe.

As the Asuho route gets going, the main plot revolves around Asuho rather unsubtly attempting to woo You; You goes along with her efforts, but being unable to really commit due to still having the girl from the lookout that he totally didn’t love at all. This is an eroge, though, so she eventually succeeds — and soon enough, sex happens. The scene is good enough to pleasure yourself to, as are all three of them. Many of the sillier Japanese porn tropes are present, including the total safeness of pulling out, and girls magically always being on “safe days” when the protag fails at this. No condoms. Girls saying no a lot. The usual, somewhat disappointing melange, but not worse than usual — and hell, this is a vn made for the Japanese market; ValuesDissonace applies. The first scene is the most emotionally fulfilling, but all could have been cut if and only if replaced with something of similar intimacy. Personally, I would attempt to emotionally charge scenes more before the sex, then fade out and imply it — using some jokes about… soreness, and general mid-importance story stuffs, would have to be rewritten or cut otherwise.

Eventually, it turns out that Asuho has her own emotional baggage — the theme of the route, I feel, is dealing with your past — whether that be through putting it behind you or simply reconciling with it. Quite a lot of this is done rather quickly at the end, which may feel rather rushed to some. I do not agree, however — I’ve had similar experiences in real life. It’s surprising how quickly you can lose a deep-seated, ugly grudge just by talking it out — if you can muster the courage to do so.

Overall, my experience with Hoshizora no Memoria has been very pleasant so far. Pretty much everything is well-polished, the artwork is beautiful, and Asuho’s route manages to do what it does well. I think I cried at some point (note: this is a sacred right given to all VN readers regardless of gender. Thankfully I read my VNs in private, so I don’t have to let my silly macho ideals get in the way). All in all, so far a good mix of comedy and drama, with delicious, delicious romance and above acceptable sex scenes. The mysterious elements, however, have largely been dropped in this route – not unusual, and an ok choice, but it leaves me wanting to know more. How that goes is presumably what (some of) the other routes are for, though :).

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Posted on May 31, 2013, in Visual Novel and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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