If you like baps, you’ve come to the right place.
Sakura Spirit is the original English language visual novel debut from Winged-Cloud, and it was released on Steam this past month.
If you’re thinking about buying this visual novel for the story, let me give you two pieces of info. First, I will spoil the entire story. Second, there isn’t much of a story to spoil. I mean, who would read something like this for the story? Oh, and this isn’t child friendly. It’s certainly not hentai, but it’s also not the kind of thing most people will want to be seen reading.
Sakura Spirit follows Takahiro, a high school student who participates in judo. In preparation for an upcoming match, he goes to pray at a mysterious shrine, and by some mysterious power, he ends up spirited away to a world reminiscent of medieval Japan. Well, medieval Japan if it had fox(y) girls and some magic. After arriving, he becomes tangled up in a debacle concerning women’s undergarments, and he is hauled away to jail. One of the human girls is such a generic tsundere that I could tell she was one simply from her cliched character design.
The fox girls, taking pity on his pathetic predicament, decide to help him escape, even putting him up in their mansion. Typical ecchi antics ensue, but it’s pretty tame for the most part… sort of.
So, after that fun stuff, the fox girls help to return him to the shrine, where he hopes to receive help from Tsuyuri, the spirit responsible for transporting him from his world. She attempts to explain the poorly-worded magical capacities of the world, ultimately culminating in the fact that he cannot return home immediately. Shucks.
So, in generic fashion, the protagonist must help out the townsfolk in order to gain their trust and eventually gain the ability to return home. I’ve never heard of a story like this before.
After returning to the town prepared to help with spirit dilemmas, a slime girl is introduced, and unsurprisingly, she slimes the tsundere. And, also unsurprisingly, the slime melts her clothes.
After this little ordeal, the slime girl leaves, and the protagonist explains why nobody is truly at fault in the massive misunderstanding between the fox girls and the town. And then we get some tragic backstory blahblahblah.
Next, the protagonist takes a walk with Narumi, the energetic and scantily-clad redhead. I am also 99% sure that every time she should say “isn’t,” she says “aren’t” instead, which sounds completely out of place. Of course the protagonist always says “got” instead of “have,” which sounds dumb.
After a brief bout in the rain, the protagonist and Narumi decide to change into dry clothes. And since this is an ecchi VN, she changes right in front of him, as is tradition. After that situation, they rejoin the fox girls, tsundere-chan, and the village elder, who are all indulging in a bit too much alcohol.
Taking advantage of her drunken state, the protagonist draws tsundere-chan to the hot spring, where he proceeds to have a casual conversation with her. That’s it. And then he sleeps in a field for some reason.
After being awoken from his slumber in nature, the protagonist and two human heroines decide to train for some reason. And at this point, he also becomes useful by teaching them his judo skillz that killz. That’s all he’s good for.
Okay, the rest of the story isn’t really worth reciting. It’s the same general crap over and over again. After the hot spring scene, it becomes very clear what the main intentions of this visual novel were.
So, in case you couldn’t tell from my uninspired retelling, the story is boring and far from unique. Unless the omnipresent breasts hold your attention for the full duration, there isn’t much in the way of interesting story or dialogue. The art is nice, but that’s about it. The music is repetitive and a bit annoying, so I ended up listening to br00tul kvlt metal instead. Very appropriate.
Now, I have never claimed that my writing is any good, especially with my past attempts at fiction. However, this is just sad. Every time there was a sentence that read a bit odd, I took a screenshot. In the end, there are well over fifty of these. In addition, the narration shifts between first and third person, which is an extremely amateur mistake.
As some examples of wonky dialogue, there were lines such as “In the meanwhile within the village,” “While at my age I already came to understand superheroes were a part of our imagination I still held the desire to use my power for others their sake,” “It aren’t so easy,” and “I doubt anyone wants to hear you daydream about your sister my friend.” Some punctuation would be helpful.
Worst of all, the dialogue and narration sound so forced. Many times characters would have lines that seemed awkward at first, but were fine grammatically. The issue is how roundabout the things they said are, and how unrealistic the manner of speech is.
So, what did this visual novel do well? The art and characters look nice, and that’s about it. The story is cliched and boring, the characters are both one-dimensional and uninteresting, and the music is repetitive and annoying. And then, despite this being an “original English language visual novel,” the English sounds extremely artificial, is written amateurishly, and is filled with typos and grammatical errors. So overall, this certainly isn’t worth the $10 they’re asking for on Steam.
Recommendation: Buy Goat Simulator instead, it’s money better spent. Probably.
Even if you’re looking for some ecchi material, finding an animu or visual novel better than this will not be difficult. As an example (even though I watched it sped up), To LOVE-Ru Darkness is much better at this kind of thing. I
t’s basically softcore hentai. Granted, that’s about the extent of my knowledge of ecchi anime.
So just skip this. Please.