Wednesday, May 26, 2010

VN Review: True Remembrance



Many people, up until a year ago myself included, skip over the medium of Visual Novels because of the general image people have of it: H-Games, eroge or porn with text. This is a real shame, since there are tons of great Visual Novels out there where smut takes the backseat and story prevails (kinda like how not all anime focus on sexualisation like hentai does).  Now not to give off an entirely subjective look into VNs, it is indeed true that many works, even those with the most grandiose storyline, have a few H-scenes squeezed in. Sex sells after all, and in a somewhat niche business like this, every penny counts. In my yet-short venture through different kinds of VNs, I stumbled upon True Remembrance, a non-H story that instantly caught my eye.

First of all, True Remembrance is a freeware Visual Novel. That’s right, you can download the English (or Japanese) version without risking prosecution! Here a link to the site of the English localization of the VN: http://trueremembrance.insani.org/ (go to the “get” tab in the site menu).

Quality goes where you least expect it, or at least so for this story. While, as I said, the VN is completely free, True Remembrance has the best English translation I’ve read so far in this medium. 

Story - 9/10
So, enough with the introduction and on to the content! The story is one of magical realism, and takes place in a peaceful, not-so-ordinary town. People that suffer from the Dolor, a disease that causes severe depression, are brought into the town to be cured from their painful memories. They are sent to Mnemocide, people with the power to make others forget, to live with them until the treatment is completed. The story follows a prodigy Mnemocide, named Blackiris, and his patient, a young girl called La.

As the story progresses, you slowly get to know more about the world they’re in. What the city is about, how Dolor works, what Mnemocides are. Questions are being raised, both on an ethical and plot level, and while not drowning the reader in confusion, triggers you to think. 

Art - 6.8/10
I’ll be frank here. There is no way a low-budget production like this is having smooth, high-definition pictures. I found however, that the gentle setting and smooth, rich color patterns gave it some kind of picturesque quality. There is something about settings like this that get me dragged along with the story. 

Sound - 8/10
Excellent and memorable. The OP and ED were reasonably good considering the budget, and the background music is some of the best I’ve ever heard. The only drawback is that the same kind of background music is repeatedly used. As fitting as it was, some variety wouldn’t have hurt. 

Characters - 9/10
While the way the interesting mysteries and touching drama were presented was good to say the least, it wouldn’t have reached the height of its potential with one-dimensional characters. The story is split up in different parts, each from the perspective of either Blackiris or La. By seeing the world through the eyes of both main characters, you get to know them well, as both keep things for themselves and put up masks from time to time. Both the main characters (and most of the side characters) are relatable and feel real, making the experience all the better. 

Overall - 8.8/10
Especially to those shying away from VNs because they want a multi-dimensional and sexless story, I urge you to pick this up. It’s a reasonably short read (a few hours, 2-3 according to the site), is completely free and requires no difficult alterations to your otherwise fully English system (even YOU should be able to do it ;P). In my short journey through the wonderful world of VNs, this one had by far the best translation and strongest character development. The story itself was on par with, albeit completely different from Saya no Uta, my previous, and now shared number one.

1 comment:

  1. I - somewhat reluctantly - got dragged into this by Omurqi and by now I'm eternally thankful to him for introducing me to a medium and a title that I'd have never stumbled upon myself. It was an excellent, quiet and slow-paced read. Also deeply impressing. Very contemplative story - makes you think, but not too much. Thumbs up for this one, it's awesome, I can testify ;-)!

    ReplyDelete