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Review of 9 -Nine- Yukiiro Yukihana Yukinoato

Subject9 -Nine- Yukiiro Yukihana Yukinoato
ByVote: 8defunctional on 2021-05-03
ReviewIt's a strange, but familiar feeling, watching a story you've been following and enjoyed over the past 2 years coming to an end.

I remember the first time I randomly came across the cover art of 9-nine-'s first episode on the internet. It was shortly before the release of first episode's English localization. I wasn't and am still not really an avid VN reader, but it captivated me at that moment and knew instantly I had to give this series a go.

I feel a void in myself and it incredibly saddens me to have to let go of this universe and characters that I enjoyed and loved so much and that's enough to tell me that 9-nine- was a memorable and great piece of work.
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Before diving into details I echo other people's opinion that EP 1-3 must be completed before EP4 is even touched on. Mainly because EP 1-3 serve as a buildup for characters and plot to this grand finale of episode 4.

Though some word choices felt strange at times I think it is still readable and the patch installation is not mandatory, however if you're on the more strict side with honorifics then it is recommended.
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Starting off with our new heroine, Noa Yuuki, the kuudere, provides another archetype personality alongside our past 3 heroines. Her childish and dere sides were cute and charming, which was the opposite to what we usually saw from EP 1-3. However, to be quite frank she ended up being my least favourite heroine. Not that I disliked her by any means - in fact she had a refreshing personality I enjoyed interacting with, but her voice wasn't really to my liking. Her cool side voice, which was calm, collected and more on the deeper side, was my preferred tone and her dere side voice was something I couldn't really enjoy. I would honestly be lying if I said that this didn't take a toll on my enjoyment of the final episode. Nevertheless, I think the acting was good and it was more a preference of voice.

Yoichi, with no concrete background info, felt like a shallow character. His motives were simple, his personality felt mostly flat and he simply wasn't a character you could resonate with. And yet, he still ended up being a good villain. Not because of his character or personality, but simply because of his actions. The things he did with Iris to the extreme to make Kakeru collapse mentally were more than enough to make me feel like a part of Kakeru. Iris was similar in that department. Perhaps it was a deliberate choice to make both of them similar since Yoichi and Iris ended up becoming one (literally). In the end, I think we could've explored more into their characters.

Plot-wise, the final episode included a nice twist, though maybe predictable since the first timeline was a little too simple and things went a little too well that even Kakeru questioned himself. Nevertheless, the way they presented this twist, from the CG that looked befitting for the final scene to the jump to the ending MV, which was abruptly disrupted by Iris, was excellent on a technical aspect.

The real plot begins after the twist and where you really start investing yourself emotionally into Kakeru. However, I do think some details became quite confusing if you didn't have complete knowledge and understanding of how the universe and individual artifacts worked. If you're fine with brushing these details off like me, then it won't really present a problem.

One thing that really stands out in 9-nine- is how the VN incorporates you as a player into the story. You don't only watch from the sideline how the story pans out, but instead actively play a role, which makes the read a special occasion.

Coming to the visuals, the CGs were solid and included some great artworks like Yuuki's death scene, Yuuki's corpse scene, ending CG, and last but not least the avengers, assemble scene during the final battle, which was probably my favourite from this episode. However, on the romance department the artworks weren't as great as the ones from episode 3, but this goes for the same for episode 1 and 2. Romance scenes from episode 3 just simply can't be topped in my opinion. The SDCGs were very good as well. Personal favourite being the picnic scene.
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That covers my opinion on episode 4 and I am very much looking forward to the translation of the fandisc, which will be the time for us to say our final goodbyes to this series.