Now this is what a true masterpiece should be

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#1 by shaoping
2019-06-11 at 04:51
< report >I am in complete awe at the high quality of this VN. As a nakige it has blown everything else I have seen out of the water. I probably have to bump many of my 10 and almost 10 scores for other VNs down to 9 because the level of perfection achieved in this VN forced me to reevaluate my standards.

To give a perspective if we were to compare the feels moments to the classic Key VNs and Angel Beats.
( This spoiler is for Clannad and Angel Beats)
The Yui departure Scene in Angel Beats, Tomoya reconciling with Ushio only to see her die later in Clanned are perfect enough for many to give those stories a 10/10. However going by this standard I would argue that each and every one of the routes in Sakura Moyu has one of those moments.

Personally I rate VNs mostly only with 8,9, and 10. 8 is I enjoyed the best moments enough to read through the whole VN or almost the whole vn. 9 is for nakige that have executed their best moment very well. 10 is reserved for nakiges with a true route that are tie up their story perfectly. And yes I do follow the recommendation of only 3 10s. I bump the previous 10s to 9.9 or 9.8 when something I find surpasses them. Also if we were to use the Clannad and Angel Beats example I would give Yui moment a 9 and Ushio moment a 10. Since I mainly grade on the best moment and not the overall route, then if I were to follow this metric, I would give Hiyori route a 8.5 9 for the side character arc and 8 for the heroine arc, Chiwa Route a very solid 9, Haru Route a 9.5(If I didn't reserve 10s for true routes I would have given this a 10) and Kuro Route a very solid 10.

I have never seen a visual novel with this level of quality nakige in all routes. An 8.5 with moments of 9, a solid 9, a 9.5, and a 10. I can't how speechless I am feeling about what I just saw. I have seen really good true routes before but they are always accompanied buy one or more mediocre routes or decent routes that doesn't tie into the main plot but this VN has NONE, ABSOLUTELY NONE. There is no way that this doesn't stand out to you guys right! I repeat NOT A SINGLE ROUTE is mediocre they each have moments of perfection within them. Not only that, each Route also reveal more and more of the world and deepens your understanding of the other routes. No character is extra and always plays a major part or is the major focus in at least one route. If you like Nakige(stories that bring the feels) and you don't consider this a masterpiece then I have nothing more to say but if you are like me and constantly are searching for more nakige stories then please give it a try. You will find out what it truly means for a VN to be a masterpiece, a classic that redefines the standards of what's possible.

Highly recommend order of Hiyori->Chiwa->Haru->Kuro for best experience.Last modified on 2019-06-11 at 05:17
#2 by sakurakoi
2019-06-11 at 06:29
< report >Can't help but love how yet again there is what is basically a positive rant for what is supposed to be claimed as a masterpiece.

For after all literary every point or rather the sole point "all routes are flawless" can not be contested due to the little fact that there are no examples. (What is the new standard?)

No context, not otherwise counting any possible arguments, including the very first and foremost criticism that is leveled at Nakige (not stories that bring the feels, that's what Drama is already):

Utterly forced drama. Forget about suspending your disbelief, they demand of ye to accept that the author plays god, a sadistic one. Plenty of premises, one unlikely coincidence after another, characters suddenly acting stupid at the very worst of times and magic, don't forget how arbitrary it can be. It's like the standard for Nakige to violate the human mind with magic which indeed is considered a taboo for many. Why are Nakige literary always "fantasy"?
#3 by shaoping
2019-06-11 at 07:21
< report >Hmm from what you have said it seems that you don't like nakiges that much and that's fine. I am not going to try to persuade you otherwise. I will answer the points you made tho in case anyone else who is reading this is interested.

First let me get my bias out of the way. For me personally if a story is able to present and execute an idea spectacularly than I can overlook its downsides because over time the only thing I remember from my experience of playing a VN is pretty much those tearjerking emotional moments of the story. This is because the reason I got into anime and VNs is that I was surprised at how the stories of some of these VNs were able to emotionally resonate with me in a way that other media just couldn't(clannad was my first anime). Therefore I always look for VNs with a Nakige style and have a strong bias towards them.

I would not say that Sakura Moyu has routes that are all flawless but it does execute its ideas very well in its best moments. Tooya's Arc in Hyori's Route executes the theme of "Keeping a promise". Chiwa's Route's Theme of the "Bond between a foster father(who is bad at expressing himself) and daughter". Haru's Route's Theme of "We should have never have met(kinda like Star Crossed Lovers in a sense)". And Kuro/True Route's theme of "everyone has someone that that would like to become". Each of these themes is then also superimposed on the main plot element of wishes can be granted but you must pay an equivalent price to realize them. These execution of each of these themes in their best moments are why I give the 9,9,9.5, and 10 scores.

In regards to suspension of belief and the fantasy element, Nakige often have magic realism and some level of suspension of belief because there are not meant to be taken super realistically and practically. I think it was one of joyjason's reviews on Niijima Yuu's works that explains this the best. He said that Niijima Yuu's work (and in my opinion all nakige to some extent) are fairy tales. You don't criticize a fairy tale(think Cinderella) for not being realistic enough because its purpose is to convey and idea or moral and not to give you a realistic tale. Thats why I judge nakige routes on if they can execute on an idea/theme well while bringing an emotional impact.Last modified on 2019-06-11 at 07:25
#4 by diabloryuzaki
2019-06-11 at 15:20
< report >i agree that this vn is true masterpiece but if author do more work to complete the world setting in it. have incomplete world setting is okay and it is normal for majority vn but it doesn't mean let the reader feel incomplete when they read true route.

in hiyori route, the incomplete element is not too real but you must rack your brain to keep important information to relate any kind of hint you find in there

in chiwa route, mostly like hiyori but sometime you will feel something weird about her real timeline

in haru route, you must keep calm when meet too much incomplete element. because her route is too complex since it have some relation to toa siblings and kuro route after that

in kuro route, the readers undoubtedly will feel that this vn is very incomplete in fundamental. and i'm pretty sure that almost the readers will get confuse with how the reincarnation cycle in this vn work . not only that i feel it get rushed too in the last part after the real taiga save boku. but that's why i hope we get sequel after that like what happen to astral air.

honestly, when i see people rate this vn to below of 5 is make me oh boy! then why you read it. because this kind of people usually never bother the true meaning in the vn
#5 by diabloryuzaki
2019-06-11 at 15:22
< report >#2 then try realive, it give some sci-fi nuance but still can make you cry. or maybe try to read some memories off series, most of them didn't have magic elemental but still make you cry because it give "painful reality"
#6 by shaoping
2019-06-11 at 18:22
< report >#4 Yes I agree there is still many inconsistencies but pretty much every story has some inconsistency or bad decision by the characters. That's why I like to rate based on how well executed the best moments were in each route. That is why I am still in shock with how amazing that each route has a moment on par with the famous moments of other top nakige. Here are what I feel are the best moments of each route:

Hyori's Route: "The reveal that Tooya's friend's wish is to accomplish her grandmother's promise to play together with Tooya and never forget about her"

Chiwa's Route: Nahato's perspective of the events of the past and Using his last moments to save Chiwa's from death after childbirth(TBH the protag of Chiwa's route is more Nahato than the MC)

Haru's Route: Haru's mother appearing in the graveyard of time: apologizing for what she has done, revealing that she really did love Haru all this time, and encouraging Haru when Haru has lost the will to keep on searching for a happy ending with the MC

Kuro's Route: The reveal that MC knew all along that Kuro was by his side but had hide that from Kuro for his entire life in so that he could fulfill his wish that he and Kuro could both become the same type of life so that they can live together with the same lifespan which allow them to never be separated even in death thanks to life itself being immortal due to the country of night

As you can see almost all of these moments are reveals and most were completed unexpected and unpredictable due to the style of writing and the constant scene shifts. It gives the feeling that as the reader we are trying to put together the pieces of a puzzle to solve a mystery. Yet each time we we completed the puzzle(reached the reveal) we find that the pieces(scenes) that we were putting together did not become what we expected giving us a nice surprise. Also the fact that in each route a side character was given a leading or main role provides a refreshing shift from the cliche that only the MC can save the day.
#7 by ObakeGhost
2019-06-12 at 03:50
< report >Almost every single character has the Self-sacrifice tag. That's how you know it's a good game.
#8 by diabloryuzaki
2019-06-12 at 04:45
< report >#7 well, not all but sometime i think that tag is not defined well in this vn
#9 by onetrueemiya
2019-06-16 at 04:40
< report >Pacing issues stop this work from becoming truly 10/10 imo. Yes, Favourite VNs tend to drag on forever but that's really no excuse for it to do so when it could've been a much tighter work. I tend to binge VNs if I can, with some minor exceptions here and there, but Sakura Moyu came close to making me put it on hold due to its ridiculous bloat. Honestly, if OP2 didn't kick in when it did and Sakura Moyu didn't play right then, I would've genuinely considered putting it on hold.

The art, music, characters (bar Hiyori) and overall atmosphere of the work still shines through though, and that's why I do have it on a 9/10. It's just sadly so agonisingly close to perfection and yet so, so far.
#10 by kiru
2019-06-16 at 06:46
< report >^Japan liked Baldr Sky Dive1+2. A game that somehow managed to put 1 hour of content into 80 hours. It feels like Haruhi's Endless 8 anime adaption.
So it's easy to see, why this isn't an issue there. If you don't like that style, it's obviously unfortunate. I'm in that camp as well.
#11 by shaoping
2019-06-17 at 02:12
< report >#9 A reasonable argument. The pace of Urushibara Yukito work is slower then most VNs. Although it has improved much from Irotoridori no Sekai(no more long common route where nothing is happening). What did you think about the moments I mentioned above in each route? I feel like the fact that every one of them being execute very well makes this 10 worthy since I have never seen another VN that manages to reach this level of execution on every single route.Last modified on 2019-06-17 at 02:13
#12 by shaoping
2020-02-24 at 02:34
< report >link Getchu Award Rankings are out and Sakura Moyu is Ranked #1 in Scenario. When I finished reading this story I knew this would be the best story of the year even though it released at the very first month of that year and I am so glad to see so many others felt the same way. Its truly the best executed story that I have ever seen. It apparently took them 7 years after to first draft before it was released. The time and effort put into the script really shows in the final release.
#13 by lunaflina
2020-02-25 at 21:33
< report >The results were out at the same day as Kuro's birthday too
#14 by Mutsuki
2020-02-28 at 17:09
< report >This game is too long. It feels like it's this way because the writer was being paid proportional to what they've written and nothing else.
There are too many times where they're repeating what they've said over and over again just after 10-20 lines. There's too many times where the magic words 悲しみ, 苦しみ, さみしさ are said so much that they lose all impact. There are too many mistakes/typos/formatting errors for a VN (so many that it makes me feel like they didn't even bother checking the game once).
The pacing is non-existent in the final route. It starts okay and then it goes to nothing nothing nothing and then boom have something really worth reading, back to nothing until the end.

Like don't get me wrong, there were great moments in this visual novel that kept me going. However, 10-15% of it was a drag, a real drag (especially in the final route) that was 2/10 'give up right now' material. I had stopped caring at all what was happening by the end of the final route. Good thing too because the ending was unsatisfying. That bit really sucks though because it makes the game feel much worse that it was because the bad bits start to overshadow the good.Last modified on 2020-02-28 at 17:18
#15 by mdzz
2020-06-30 at 23:12
< report >Checking in to give my thoughts on the work -- [some conceptual/structural spoilers/points below]

I think that the work is grand, filled with mostly good ideas (and some great ones). I don't have anything aside from praise for the actual plot -- the work goes into painstaking detail about its characters, their relationships, and its universe.

However, execution does leave a lot to be desired at times; as some commentors have mentioned, the author has a tendency to write a lot. I didn't mind the repetitive prose (e.g. double adjectives for effect), but moreso the fact that a lot of the same details are repeated within a short time (I recall one instance where the protagonist had something explained to him by three different people in different ways -- ultimately adding little to no new content). I do think that generally, Urushibara is a good writer who can write pretty prose - he just needs to edit his work.

On the point above, I think that the better you are at Japanese (and consequently, the faster that you're able to read), the more you'll be willing to forgive this. If your Japanese isn't at the point where you can read a line (even the often long, filling-up-the-whole-text-box lines) within a few seconds, then at times, it'll feel like the plot goes nowhere for a long time. My speed isn't at the point where I'm able to read the majority of the bulky lines in a second or two (I probably read slightly faster than someone could speak).

When the reader feels that the work goes nowhere, I feel that this work suffers more for it than usual. Since at its core, it's a nakige, it should strive to make the reader feel for the characters. I feel that readers naturally feel less for the characters when they feel that the scenes 'drag on.' I remember distinctively at several points going "this is where the director should cut the scene for ideal effect" (brevity is at times a virtue, especially for a nakige). But, the scene generally went past that logical cut point substantially. As a result, I found myself unable to really "get into" the long, emotional climaxes, since I was under the impression that they were overtly melodramatic.

Similarly, I don't know how I feel about the anachronistic (?) storytelling. At some emotional climaxes, I felt that I already "knew" what would happen, as Urushibara seems to prefer presenting the outcome, then exploring the "why" behind it. This makes a lot of sense for a mystery novel (and at its core, SakuraMoyu does share a lot of similarities with a mystery novel), but I didn't really like how it worked for a nakige.

I think that this is a work that rewards re-reads, since the world is meticulously crafted. But, it's also a work that I wouldn't want to reread because of how long and repetitive it is.

Ultimately, I appreciated the work a lot for its plot, concept, themes, and some parts of its execution. But, I wasn't able to really "get into" the novel, so it failed as a nakige in that sense (for me).
#16 by Mutsuki
2020-07-01 at 00:55
< report >#15, 'anachronistic' means something out of place for that time period (e.g. guns in the middle ages). You're probably looking for something like 'non-chronological'.

But you've hit the nail right on the head for explaining what I felt was wrong with this game that I couldn't put my finger on.Last modified on 2020-07-01 at 00:56
#17 by kiru
2020-07-01 at 07:15
< report >I honestly don't think ability to read Japanese well or not has anything to do with enjoying repetition. It just breaks the flow and makes you feel like the writer considers you a moron, that needs everything explained three times. Problem really is, this is in part done so people actually get it. You can see that easily with comments for works where it's not done, and people complain about things not making sense even though they do, if you actually read the text and pay attention. Something that seems to be rare, though you could explain it with how typical padding is, that people just don't pay much attention to narration anyway. It's going to get repeated when it's important, so who cares? Works for a ton of visual novels out there...

But really, it breaks the flow. Miagete Goran, Yozora no Hoshi o is a good example. First the writer shows you what happened in the past. Then you get a flashback to the past, showing exactly what was mentioned before, just directly. It's nuts, terrible writing, annoying and most of all: Completely pointless. You could've done without the flashbacks, period. Flashbacks are a trap, that shitty writers fall into all the time. If you get someone invested into what's currently happening, there's nothing worse than 15 minutes of stuff you know about from the past, with absolutely 0 value flying at you every half an hour.

Having certain information repeated again and again is different, but quickly gets frustrating as well. How much of a nutjob is the protagonist, that he needs to get the same things explained again and again? Why do writers have 0 confidence into people remembering what happened 30 minutes ago? Flow. Good writing is enjoyable. Shitty writing is terrible. Simple as that.
#18 by HataVNI
2020-07-01 at 07:53
< report >This is a very good thread. I'll remind myself of this after finishing the gigantic piece of work that is Sakura,Moyu? Easily 70 Hours?
#19 by mdzz
2020-07-01 at 15:38
< report >#17

I'd like to clarify that my point was that being able to read lines faster makes repetition more forgiving as opposed to more enjoyable (less effort extended to understand what went on).

I didn't mind the use of flashbacks in Miagete Goran, nor do I necessarily dislike the use of flashbacks in general (although of course, it'd be cool if the author could avoid them and tell the story some other less intrusive way; a visual novel medium is incidentally the best narrative medium to use a flashback though). I think your point is more with disliking repetition than flashbacks -- and I agree, in a work like SakuraMoyu, repetition is a core part of the work. The work is repetitive with how the protagonist feels about himself and who he strives to be (but I don't think that this is bad repetition - as emphasis is important for developing his psyche, which in turn, is closely related to the themes of the work). I primarily had issue with repetition that focused on what had happened (plain facts of the past), since I don't think anything new was gotten from that (emphasis had no purpose other than reminding the reader of the facts).

I don't think that SakuraMoyu was written well insofar as pacing was concerned. I thought the author was generally a pretty good writer in terms of prose; he also had a lot of great ideas and tied them up in a way that I felt was meaningful and profound. If we're to consider those under the umbrella of "writing," then I don't think that SakuraMoyu was badly written (even the title of the work itself is well-considered and the author develops it well).

#16 - yeah you're right


On another note, I'd like clarification on some plot points if anyone's able to provide them. I kinda skimmed some parts of the true route because I didn't expect it to be like double the length of the other already long routes.

How are the four of them able to (presumably) live together in the same time, reincarnated? I was under the impression that one of them sacrificed their own happiness for the other - but he is presumably there with them. What nuance did I miss?

Relatedly, how does the universe function at the 'end' of the work? Who 'rules' over it? What happened to Azusa? Are there still multiverse versions of the 'true end' cast at the end (i.e. the other heroine ends; consequently, is there still a "King?" There's presumably more than one "Night" right? Does this mean that there's several "Kings/Queens" too? What actually holds all of these universes together?

What actually did "ore" Taiga do to take over "boku" Taiga's role as the King?
Last modified on 2020-07-01 at 15:38
#20 by diabloryuzaki
2020-07-01 at 18:04
< report >#19
reincarnation in this vn work like a one way railroad with one station where station is a gateway to the next cycle. the problem is there is no clear presume in this vn because presume in this vn caused by result from the next cycle, it is more easy if you imagine that future is fixed past that will happen by ignoring time travel relation.

1. "boku" is exist because taiga save him accidentally together with kuro
2. then taiga meet mashiro while he together with "boku" and kuro
3. mashiro said that she is created by azusa but at the same time taiga is tomohito and azusa son so it is impossible that azusa who created mashiro is same like taiga mother
4. after taiga death, mashiro have big responsibility to take a care boku and kuro but sadly it is not going well and it cornered her to become "queen"
5. after see mashiro become queen, boku and kuro meet asahi as the chosen ones to defeat her and the result is queen have been defeated by them. while they try to defeat queen, azusa become berserk that make distorted timeline like at number 3
6. boku wish is to release queen from her role so after his wish fulfilled now he become king. at this time, he create a world where mashiro have happy ending with taiga so that world is recorded in the night. not only that, he have seen a world where he give happy ending to hiyori, chiwa and haru too. btw to reach this conclusion, boku should reject haru in the end right before enter haru happy ending
7. after boku become king, the real taiga experience same events like him but without remember "his previous life" from past cycle be it is "his bad end" or "his happy ending". the important thing is "he realize who is he before he shot himself" because his bullet is not same like boku bullet. that's why he can reach boku after he realize who is he and how his bullet work then go to his first meeting with asahi
8. after taiga use his bullet to boku, now we enter kuro route to let boku and kuro have happy ending

that is how universe work in this vn and the real culprit that make universe into chaos is azusa berserk. and if you want to know how four of them live together at the same time, the answer is simple. everyone that defeat king/queen can have a wish right? and taiga still not use his wish after defeated boku as king. remember that taiga bullet is to bring someone to the best branching point not like how boku bullet do

that's why it is not weird that taiga use that wish to live together with boku, kuro and mashiro after make sure boku and kuro have happy ending. at this point, no one take over boku role as king because there is no point to do that even taiga didn't need to become king to make boku have happy ending with kuro

btw it is more better to not think what happen to azusa because it is pointless, see number 3 unless there is clear reason to give clear different about it we can't do anything to azusa fate after that
#21 by mdzz
2020-07-02 at 01:28
< report >#20

Thanks for the clarification; I'm sure that post will illuminate questions that others might have too.

Provided that, is it correct to think of the events analogous to branches of a tree contained in a "bubble?" -- (with the "bubble" being the limits of that universe). If so, by your first paragraph, do you mean to say that the work doesn't occur in a multiverse-type of setup (i.e. there can be new branches or realities that form as a result of the actions; e.g. bullets making a new reality), but rather, in a more static set-up (i.e. there are branches on the tree, and the branches have and always will be there; we can think of bullets as showing us those existing realities).

If my understanding of this is correct, then the "true route ending" is just one branch -- there's an infinite amount of other branches within this bubble where nothing good actually happens for the characters (and where the other characters die too).

With this being said, what actually holds the universe together still? Is still Azusa, or is it the nameless, talentless descendents of the art family? What ultimately is the first cause, if there is one?
#22 by diabloryuzaki
2020-07-02 at 05:29
< report >#21
If my understanding of this is correct, then the "true route ending" is just one branch

yes, true ending is just one of branches and what we have seen in this vn is how the writer make a story by collecting some branch then connected them by using some events without depending on presume and paradox. it is more hard than make reasonable timeline ending from multiple timeline

With this being said, what actually holds the universe together still? Is still Azusa, or is it the nameless, talentless descendents of the art family? What ultimately is the first cause, if there is one?

remember what happen to berserk azusa, because that berserk azusa itself the answer that you seek and "it can be wrong" if the writer give another solution when favorite release FD for this vn
#23 by demlune
2020-07-02 at 13:51
< report >in case anyone need a complete (chronological) summary of the story you can read below blog
warning : it's long (of course)
#24 by riguru121
2020-08-13 at 23:53
< report >Kirito faced vn protagonist.
#25 by diabloryuzaki
2020-08-14 at 01:13
< report >#24 lol, it is more right to said every Favorite mc have same face no matter what