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Review of Natsuyume Nagisa

SubjectNatsuyume Nagisa
Natsuyume Nagisa - First Press Limited Edition
ByVote: 8.7demlune on 2020-09-17
ReviewHave you ever had a profound, nostalgic dream, that even if you forget most parts when you awake,
The irreplaceable experience you received within the dream remained forever in your heart?
Natsuyume Nagisa is certainly one of such these dreams.

After a rather brief, yet sweetest dive into Natsuyume Nagisa.
I can only describe the whole journey as diving into a sea of fleeting dreams.
The sea which takes place in the middle of Christmas festival, on the island of never-ending summer.
The land not only occupied by people, but also a colony of penguins, a flutter of butterflies, and a field of sunflowers.
Despite the bizarre setting, the inhabitants perceive that unlikely combination as the most ordinary thing in the island, and live in hazy harmony as if nothing would ever interrupt the eternal phase of peaceful summer.
This is where Nagisa, the protagonist, washes ashore with all of his memories already washed away into the sea,
awakes and aimlessly wanders around this peculiar place, hoping to find a purpose of his existence.

At first, I dived into Natsunagi with relatively low expectation, mostly due to how unimpressive the prologue was. With passable vote scores, and above-average arts, Natsunagi perfectly disguised itself as an another generic moege. It smoothly lured me into the first heroine route, where it bluntly jumped straight into the confession scene without much delay. At that point I fully let all my guard down, and readied to embrace another lukewarm drama & love-story, while being engulfed peacefully in the comfy bubble the story leisurely built.
However, contrary to my expectation, the drama it unfolded told an unusual romance.
The route ignored the trope's conventional build up, but instead directly launched itself toward the sky,
hoping someone could notice the moment of beauty before it quietly disappeared, just like a firework.
The last burst was indeed a captivating moment, but at the same time I somehow couldn't shake off the feeling how "unnatural" the route was.
Furthermore, the deeper I dived into Natsunagi, that feeling became more and more lucid.
While some routes successfully managed to land a well-placed punch into my emotional guts,
and some failed to impress me much with how shallow and jumpy they were.
Nonetheless, all non-true routes share the mutual peculiarity:
the stories are short, the conclusions are concise, yet the themes seem so fickle, and romances are so... fragile.
Through the eyes of Nagisa, I could only express the overall experience as looking into someone's dearest dream:
A dream of a girl who falls in unrequited love,
A dream of a child who yearns for primal love,
A dream of a cinderella who wishes to unite with the prince,
A dream of a cicada who longs to engrave its existence onto the world.
Soon enough, I finally realized the essence theme of Natsunagi. "Dream"

Natsuyume Nagisa has become my most favorite Nijiima's work, solely by the grand solid theme it cleverly built throughout the story. It has such a unique way of storytelling which I adore so much -- gently tell fragments of seemingly-unrelated story, before the final route unites everything concisely in an impactful manner, and told the readers those profound dreams can:
Remedy the wound of the past. Fulfill the mind of the present. Forward the life toward the future.
As I mentioned earlier in the beginning of the review. In fact, I once experienced such unforgettable dream.
In the vivid dream, I met the perfect partner, married and gave birth to the dearest child, always living side by side, and enjoyed our peaceful family life to the fullest.
Still, I deeply knew inside such dearest days could not last forever, and the eternity of happiness shall depart with the arrival of a new dawn. Naturally, the awakening mercilessly crushed my soul and shook my sanity to the core. It was very difficult to accept that everything I encountered is simply a fictitious, temporary existence. The fabricated reality left an unfillable hole in my heart, and devastatingly broke me for few weeks.
Since then, I had tried my best suppressing the bitter memories from reaching daily consciousness, and wished to forget it silently one day.
Until I came across this special summer dream, The dream which changed my view forever.

Natsunagi let my past phantom resurface from the deepest sea of memory, and revived that emotional moment in a beautiful way. It wisely conveyed how those dreams, just like this fictional work, might end up as impermanent imaginations, but the heartfelt happiness I experienced is undoubtedly a genuine feeling, and can fulfill my heart when recalled from the right perspective. True, the abrupt end once brought me an immense pain and prevented me from reminiscing the beautiful moment, it's nonetheless the wonderful journey I experienced with my own heart. It finally made me realize, that the dream we met, the time we spent together, shall forever be the happiest eternity. And even if I forget all the details someday, I will cherish the feeling I got from the dream, and Natsuyume Nagisa forever.
Although I couldn't stop myself to cry because it's over, I will smile too, because it happened.


#1 by kidbuu25
2020-09-17 at 16:45
< report >Thanks for your fantastic review. I fully agree this one is the most beautiful work from Nijiima and Saga Planet. I remember I cried a lot in the true end and Hitsuji's route. And the supper happy feeling I got from the after story light novel. I wish the they would have done a full title instead of the light novel for sequence.Last modified on 2020-09-17 at 16:53
#2 by sakatagint123
2020-11-20 at 18:47
< report >Any chance your major in college is Creative Writing? That was amazing...