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Review of Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm

SubjectAo no Kanata no Four Rhythm
ByHelpfulness: 1
Vote: 6
Omikron on 2022-11-12
ReviewA VN with loads of potential and much of it doesn't come to fruition:

+ awesome soundtrack
+ lovely art
+ mostly good comedy
+ mostly good romance
+ it offers a wide variety of characters with destinctive personalities
+ different types of heroines
+ the concept of FC is well thought through and interesting
+ good h for those interested

- a very weak protagonist, he often felt like an utter idiot
- his so-called trauma makes it difficult to take him and therefore many of his thoughts seriously
- trashing the protag and calling him a pervert mostly every chance the heroines (not Asuka) got during the CR
- FC's execution, fights during CR are highly predictable making them plain and boring, no twists (It does get better during the individual routes, though, but not by much as the story leads exactly where one expects them to lead: each heroine reaches the goal she and Masaya set out to achieve.)
- quite a few 'mysteries' were too easy to solve too early in the story e.g. Misaki being the 'boy' Masaya plays with in their childhood.
- the way Kazunari (during the tournament), Saki and Kasumi were portraited: malicious, villainous antagonists, they seemed like demons with their eyes glowing and grinning like possessed madmen.
- The way some characters are introduced and are being narrated and portraited through out the VN doesn't suit the atmosphere this VN successfully manages to create but fails bitterly to maintain.
- as said antagonists play a sometimes more, sometimes less important role, more often than not the whole plot of its story felt lacking.

While reading this VN I had to mute Irina, not because of her voice, but because of her character and I skipped through each and every one of her appearances after having finished the CR. What did I miss? - Nothing at all.
Her whole character practically oozes arrogance from its every pore.

What was the reason behind Saki's introduction to the VN after chapter 3? I felt like it would have made much more sense if she was introduced much later e.g. during the summer tournament (WITHOUT any forewarning) or even during Asuka's route only. Then we would have a twist this VN is lacking.
I'm aware that this requires certain changes to Misaki's route but those would be easy to make.

Saki Inui is Asuka's final boss. The main 'villain' introduced in the CR. The story told on Asuka's route is the one making the most sense as it continues to the tell the story that is built-up in CR.
Now imagine reading Misaki's route first? Saki Inui gets squished in the first round of the fall tournament AFTER she won the summer tournament AND the nationals. By the same person who was defeated by Shindou before Saki defeated him, no less. Yeah, sure. It feels so terribly weak.

Long story short:
It handles a lot of aspects very well, yet, at the same time fails to handle other aspects just as good. Hence, this VN feels like it is all over the place, ridding it of many moments that would otherwise be much more enjoyable.

Heroines: Mashiro > Asuka > Misaki = Rika

Mashiro is my fav, yet I couldn't grasp where her romantic interest in Masaya originated from. To me it seemed like it all of a sudden it was there. Other than that I liked her most as I can relate to her past and her way of trying to deal with it. Aaand she is cute.

Asuka was awesome, too. Liked her a lot as well.

Misaki is the most bothersome of them and her lack of seriousness made her annoying. Still, many scenes were well done.

Rika, while I liked her a lot, felt like a side heroine. Her lack of screentime during the other girls' routes place her last. She doesn't stand a chance against the other three, unfortunately.

Routes: Asuka, Mashiro, Misaki > Rika

Final rating: 6/10
1 point