Aaaaaaah, I still can’t get enough of this game.
I started playing Kindred Spirits on the Roof again because of the hole left in my heart when reaching the end of Yuna’s story. In my original post, I essentially likened it to Avatar: the Last Airbender, something that you may or may not consider sacrilege, but it honestly did have a similar emotional impact on me. This was my third time through the game, and I found myself drawn to every relationship as if it were the first. I noted each change in each character’s speech as the in-game months moved forward, and I paid particular attention to almost every sliver of foreshadowing and how they tied into the story very well. In this way, the characters I’d grown to know and love so well became a little more real, a little more tangible in my mind.
And this sense was only heightened by the extra scenes. Oh my, those extra scenes. I had already played through about half of them on my previous playthroughs, thinking that’s all there were, but I quickly figured out that some of the decision points you reach in the main story actually unlock different scenes with each choice. I ended up chasing down each main story segment to go through all of the choices, just to make sure I got them all.
And I’m glad I did. Never mind the fact that the extra scenes add about another eight, ten hours of backstory and day-to-day happenings at Shirojo, which would have been good enough for me. I love the alternate perspectives and build-ups and follow-ups to events you see in the game, but what pulled on my heartstrings the most were the two CGs you unlock by pursuing these scenes – two CGs you normally would not see. I was pleasantly surprised when I found these, because, of course, both were fully voiced, and it was nice to hear Yuna and the gang one last time before moving on to the rest of the KSotR media, and I had never actually seen them before. In fact, the last CG (the one I attached to this post) of Yuna and all of the friends she met in the half year since meeting Megumi and Sachi-san almost seems to set up a sequel. Of course, that’s a little unrealistic, because somebody would probably have to die for the series to keep the name “kindred spirits”, and the story wrapped itself up in such a complete way that it makes little sense to keep going, but there was an electricity in the air that was so well developed that you I couldn’t help but want to see more of Yuna and co. in their third year (second for Seina and Hina) and moving forward. There is the manga, of course, and the drama CDs, but for now I’ll let that unrealistic part of me hope.
More than everything, though, playing through KSotR made me reminisce about my own high school days. I don’t think that was intentional, of course, what with the game’s primary focus on yuri couples, but nonetheless I found myself remembering the hallways of my old school, and the closeness that seems to be unique among high schoolers. The extended sequences of the third-years retiring and touring the school reminded me of my own senior year, and brought back feelings of anticipation for the great unknown and a sense of sadness and closure for a chapter in life left behind.
Personally, I generally grade games on their story and music, and as long as it works I don’t really mind what mechanics it uses. Of course, KSotR is a visual novel, so it pretty much can only offer music and a story. Regardless, this story, as I’ve said multiple times in my earlier post, my Steam review, and some Reddit threads, is captivating, joyful, heartbreaking, timid, brash, quiet, loud, scared, and excited. There do exist issues of freezing and very little control over your saves, but neither were problems for me. The music suited the different situations perfectly, though, and in my opinion the combination of wonderful music with such a charming setting more than made up for it.
Unfortunately, I’ve now played through this game three times, once completing it. Steam helpfully(?) informs me that I’ve spent about 29 hours in the last week playing, and I’ve played it so much that I can pretty much place important events in the right places, more or less. I do love this game, though. I am certainly one to replay games that I believe deserve my repeated attention, so for now I’ll set it aside for a few months from now and focus on the series’ other media. I ordered the physical limited edition last week, so now I have the mini artbook detailing some notes on the CG scenes and including some unique art, and I have the four drama CDs waiting to go. My time with game may have to end for now, but I have a feeling this series is still going to keep me busy.