FairChild Review

May 29, 2009 at 2:58 pm 12 comments

Fair Child

Company: ALcot
Game site: FairChild -フェアチャイルド-
Release date: December 14, 2007
Links: Getchu, walkthrough, seiyuu listing

FairChild is ALcot’s 4th release and is a pure love story that focuses on the growth of a boy and a group of girls into adulthood.

I was browsing imouto char fansite ONE NIGHT DREAM and noticed that FairChild‘s Kotori got an SSS rating. Remembering that I liked the OP and seeing it sitting on my HD, I decided to do a quick check of the plot and seiyuu. The story about changing and growing up appealed to me and I was impressed with the seiyuu cast, including Agumi Oto, Sakakibara Yui, Naruse Mia and Samoto Fuuri. Hence, I decided to pick this game up and show that it isn’t just ‘that loli game’.

Opening Theme

I love the intro and interludes with the dialogues. These, along with the lyrics themselves, serve to show what type of game it is. Sakakibara Yui does a good job singing this song. There is a second OP for each character, which is the same as the first, except with the interlude dialogue and pictures being replaced with the selected heroine. This is shown at the beginning of the 2nd part of each heroine’s story. The dialogue gives an idea of what kinds of themes will be present in each route.

Scenario

わたしは...一生忘れないと思う
初めて人を好きになることを知った
この夏のことを...

Takanashi Kazuki lost his parents at a young age and after being adopted by multiple families, he finally settled in with the Hazumi household. He lives a peaceful life and he wishes that his life can continue like this forever. However, even if one wishes for nothing to change, it will eventually happen. His past has caused him to seal off his feelings from others and worry about endangering existing relationships.

This is a story of losing things, but also gaining others; a story of changing relationships and sacrifices. This is a sentimental tale of growing up.

FC_CG

「私はあなたさえいれば、なにもいらない」

There are 5 routes in FairChild, each split into two parts. The first part is about confessions and getting together. The second part is about overcoming obstacles and overall relationship and character growth. As mentioned before, the second part has a new OP for each heroine. There are 3 ‘bad’ ends, which you will end up with depending on when in the timeline you make incorrect choices. I say ‘bad’ because while your relationship with your targeted girl has failed, you will learn other things. Actually, to fully complete the game, you must attain the ‘bad’ end in the second part for any heroine, although I highly suggest that you see all three.

After the ending for each part, you will be moved to the title screen. From there, you can select which scenario you want to pursue, so long as you have unlocked it. Upon the conclusion of each part is a short soliloquy by the heroine describing their feelings. I really like these parts.

FC_Scenario_Select

The main theme across all routes is about growing up as an individual, for Kazuki and all the girls. Depending on the route, other themes include friendship and family conflicts. While there are sometimes times I want to yell at Kazuki for not realizing seemingly-obvious things or saying mean things, I understand that his past might have had some effect on his behavior. He also says some awesome things occasionally. Sometimes, I felt that there was unnecessary drama, especially in Kokoro’s route. However, due to the fact that there are no fantasy elements to this game, it gives a very realistic impression of relationships in real life, where problems arise due to misunderstandings and not being true to one’s feelings.

FC_CG2

Sakuya and Yuuhi’s routes impressed me the most. Yuuhi’s route captured me from beginning to end. I consider it one of the best routes I’ve read, even if it was overdramatic. Sakuya’s was simple, but the theme of ‘true friendship’ was nicely done. I think I liked Kotori’s route mostly because I like her character, not because of the story, although I did like some elements. Kokoro’s was sweet, but short. Tobari’s route was a total mess and left me appalled at the ending, which solved nothing. The endings which tell us more about Aine were sweet. I’d take those ‘bad’ ends any day.

Along the way, you’ll also learn more about some of the characters. However, their problems are usually swiftly resolved, so they are more there for advice and support than anything else.

FC_CG3

Micchi’s route rankings:
Sakuya, Yuuhi, Kotori, Kokoro, Tobari

Characters

Takanashi Kazuki

A boy who lost his parents at a young age and ended up living in the Hazumi household. Due to incidents in his past, he does not trust others easily with his feelings and overthinks other people’s feelings.

He can be really awesome at times, but early on, it was frustrating to see him waver in his feelings. He is afraid of stepping forward and changing because he does not want to endanger existing relationships. Also… Oh what a beautiful boy!

FC_Kotori

Hazumi Kotori

Kotori is Kazuki’s energetic and loving little sister (obviously not blood related). She has a vivid imagination that borders on perversion. Once she starts fantasizing, you can’t get her to snap out of it. She works hard and tries to do things by herself, except at studying which she is extremely bad at. A really good singer. Loves glomping Kazuki from behind and doesn’t mind if he sees her changing or naked since they’re family. Doesn’t like cats.

She’s the reason I thought of playing this game and her mannerisms sure didn’t disappoint me. How can I say no to an ero imouto!? She says some pretty ridiculous stuff and also makes moves on Kazuki. She looks even cuter with her hair down. Hau~ omochikaeri~!

FC_Tobari

Aizawa Tobari

Tobari is Kotori’s best friend and has been playing with Kazuki and her since they were kids. She hails from a rich family who controls a lot of things in town. Her goal is to not only be a Yamato Nadeshiko, but a neo-Nadeshiko. Loves feeling up Kotori, Yuuhi and other girls. Quite the S char. Loves cute things. She’s the sole member of the tea ceremony club.

I used to think her teasing was funny, but by the end of her route, I just felt she was a selfish spoiled child. Ugh. At least Tobarin was cute wan.

FC_Yuuhi

Arisugawa Yuuhi

Kazuki’s classmate who sits next to him, Yuuhi recently came back to Japan from America. She seems hard to approach and has a cool demeanour stemming from her proud and stubborn side. However, she’s a very hardworking girl who often lets her pride get in the way of expressing her true feelings. Loves cycling and gadgets, and plays the violin. She’s also quite fond of Japanese curry. Lives in a mansion and has a maid and butler waiting on her, but she doesn’t like to be called an ojousama.

Not exactly a tsundere, but I guess she’s the closest to one in this game. I didn’t expect to like her that much, but she’s really amaenbou when patted on the head. Really cute.

FC_Kokoro

Hinamori Kokoro

Kokoro lives next door to Kazuki and Kotori. Her window is across from Kazuki’s and she often uses a stick to knock on his window to talk at night. One year older than him, she aspires to be an oneechan that he can rely on. However, she’s a tennen character who is very gullible since she is quite pure and innocent. Great at cooking (especially sweets) and her dream is to run a sweet shop. She’s also very skilled at sewing and designed the waitress outfits for the cafe Traumerei, and Kotori and her own clothes. Helps run her family’s flower shop, as well as takes care of the flowers on the school roof.

Kokoro is my favorite character from FairChild, edging out Kotori and Sakuya. No, it’s not because she’s voiced by Agumi Oto. I just really like her innocence. Drunk Kokoro made me laugh so hard since she becomes so giddy. I also love when she does impressions of other characters out of the blue.

FC_Sakuya

Kagami Sakuya

Sakuya has the top grade in school and is Kazuki’s senpai and the student council president. She doesn’t talk much, is expressionless and has a mysterious aura around her as no one really knows what she’s thinking. However, she is actually a really kind and thoughtful girl. Enjoys eating, especially kanipan. Her stomach is more or less a black hole. Loves cats and owns almost a dozen of them at home, having taken them home after they had been abandoned.

While this character type is usually not my favorite, the combination of her route and her true smile won me over. So adorable >w<b

FC_Aine

Subcharacters

Aine is Kotori’s younger sister and was born when Kazuki joined their household. She looks up to Kazuki, calling him ‘papa-nii’ and loving him just as much as Kotori does. Extremely energetic and playful, she is innocent but also very curious. Kazuki is careful not to let others corrupt her. Due to her innocence, she sometimes helps Kazuki by giving him simple unclouded advice. However, she’s still a little kid and throws fits and does things little kids do, except it’s so much cuter and not annoying like in real life.

Aine is soooooooooooooooooooooo cute!!!!!!!! Actually, Aine isn’t really a subcharacter per se, since you end up on her route if you choose wrong, and she has a H scene as well. Not as a little kid, you lolicon! I have to say grown up Aine might be even cuter than Kotori. Aine’s appearances are usually for comic relief.

FC_Aine2

Other subcharacters include best friend and Kokoro-fanatic Yanagi Daigo, cool and level headed Takamizawa Ren, bespectacled dojikko-iincho Asou Minase, high tension Saionji Nanaru-senpai and Kotori and Aine’s mother and cafe Traumerei owner Hazumi Mikoto. They are all really good friends and people Kazuki can count on.

Aside from Tobari, I really liked all the heroines. I had a tough time choosing a favorite. Their character traits and individual problems were identifiable and hence,

Micchi’s character rankings:
Kokoro, Kotori, Sakuya, Yuuhi, Tobari

Graphics

FC_CG4

I really like the CGs in the game. There’s good variety, although some are a little bit off. My main problem is the presence of rough lines when the eyes are closed; It looks weird and unpolished. Lots of backgrounds and tachi-e. I wish there was a bit more character design for the subcharacters as well. Kokoro’s dad Mashiro looks HUGE. During H scenes, there are closeups and panshots across the CGs.

FC_SD

The SDs in FairChild are really cute. My favorite is the one with Aine and Kotori singing a duet. Some SDs are used repeatedly throughout the game, such as Kotori glomping Kazuki, and Tobari or Nanaru feeling up pretty much any girl. You can view the SDs in the CG gallery.

FC_SD2

System

FC_Interface

The game interface is really simplistic, with a text box and buttons for backlog, auto mode and text skip (default is skip previously read dialogue). Initially it was a bit hard to tell who was speaking since there is no indication of who is speaking, however it was obvious after a bit of playing. I ended up liking this simple layout and the pastel blue theme. For those who can’t tell who the speaker is from mannerisms and text color, you can always check the backlog, which shows the character name. One thing that is annoying though is the inability to easily remove the text box. You have to first right click to bring up the menu, then click on ‘remove window’.

FC_Backlog

There are 80 save slots, which was sufficient for me. Options are a bit limited, but keep with the simple interface. Along with the choices, there are times where you choose the heroine from the map select screen. As a heroine’s affection rises, there will be increasingly more hearts shown, finishing with a large heart with wings. Previous selections and current affection levels affect which choices appear. You are usually locked into a route by the beach outing (July 7th). If you do not attain enough affection or make incorrect choices at critical moments, you will end up on one of the three Aine ends instead.

FC_Map_Select

The extra menus (CG, music, H scene and bonus H scenarios) are opened only after you have met the mystery man in the game. He appears occasionally in the map select as ‘?‘. While the dialogue isn’t part of the routes, they’re both scary and funny. He calls Kazuki a beautiful boy. ウホッ!いい男! The CG section includes both normal CGs and SDs.

FC_Title_Screen_New

Every time a route is completed, three CGs of that heroine will be added to the cycling CGs on the opening screen. In addition, the opening theme is originally just a music box version, but as you finish routes, more instruments will be added and it will become like an orchestra upon finishing the game. Feathers will also appear when you are done. I really liked it.

Sound

FC_Music_Mode

There are 48 tracks, including 7 versions of the OP and 2 versions of the ED. As mentioned above, there are 6 versions of the instrumental theme for the title screen. I like that each heroine has both a normal and an emotional theme, which is an arrangement into minor. Both the OP and ED are really well done and the lyrics are thoughtful. Of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the seiyuu. Some of the subcharacters’ seiyuus are a bit bland, but Aine was perfect.

H Scenes

FC_Sakuya_HCG

There are 3 to 4 H scenes for each of the 5 heroines, with one coming at the end of the first part and the rest in the second part. Length is moderately long and each scene has 1-3 positions. Sometimes HCGs are repeated. For a pure title such as FairChild, there sure are a lot of H scenes. There’s actually some times where the H scene happens without a CG or is part of a fantasy. However, the high frequency is a bit more believable than in Rakugaki Over Heart because of the dates changing.

There is a wide variety of situations and positions, with the quality being top-notch. ALcot didn’t hold back and tried to utilize a lot of situations that most games do not have, such as doing it outside when their friends are nearby, frolicking on your best friend’s bed and having a loli attempt to do paizuri (with syrup as lubricant no less). I thought they were really well done in general and innovative. One thing that was great was the ability to change Kotori’s panties for her first H scene depending on a choice you make earlier in game (blue shimapan is best).

FC_Omake_H_Scenario

There is an omake H section where scenes are unlocked as you finish each route. Finishing all routes and obtaining the ‘bad’ end for the second part opens up the last H scene. Consider these fandisk material, as all of them appeal to a certain fetish. I personally liked Kotori (sukumizu in ofuro) and Kokoro (mahou shoujo cosplay) the most. Really nice touch.

FC_Kotori_HCG

Overall

All of Micchi’s reviews will be rated by assigning scores out of 10 to each of the following categories: Scenario, characters, graphics, system, sound, and H scenes. Half marks may be given. The scoring is as follows:

  • 10 – Absolutely satisfied
  • 9 – Among the best, only minor improvements
  • 8 – Good overall
  • 7 – Average, a mix of good and bad
  • 6 – Below average, slightly disappointing
  • <5 – Very disappointed

The overall score is a weighted sum (3x Scenario + 2x Characters + 2x Graphics + 1x System + 1x Sound + 1x H scenes) for a total out of 100.

  • Scenario: 8
  • Characters: 9
  • Graphics: 8.5
  • System: 9
  • Sound: 9
  • H Scenes: 8.5
  • Overall: 85.5

This is the first time I’ve finished something off my backlog and I am so glad that I did. The characters are loveable and their problems identifiable. Most of the stories are captivating, enhanced by nice graphics and music. Even the H scenes were innovative. It may still be a loli game, but it sure is a damn good one.

FC_CG5

あの日の落としもの 見つかりますように―

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Nendoroid Nao – Staccato Ver. Sana Ranman

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kresnik  |  May 29, 2009 at 3:47 am

    Hmm, the character design is cute, even much too cute that I can’t bring myself to get this. Of course I can choose to gloat over the material instead, but I can’t seem to find any.. lol

    Reply
    • 2. Micchi  |  May 29, 2009 at 4:48 pm

      Nothing is too cute!!

      Reply
  • 3. accany  |  May 29, 2009 at 4:35 am

    Looks fun. Though FairChild doesnt look like something i’ll pick up even if I wanted to since it’s too loli

    Reply
  • 4. Algester  |  May 29, 2009 at 10:24 am

    FFFF i seriously forgot MANYO made some of the BGM UGH but i do think its in my library im not sure….

    Reply
    • 5. Algester  |  May 29, 2009 at 10:52 am

      TIME TO PROCURE OST @_@ yeah MANYO haha HAHAHAHAAHAA

      Reply
  • 6. m3rryweather  |  May 29, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    The whole “growing up” concept sounds pretty cool. But the biggest and most important question is, “Do they stay loli even when they’re all adults?”

    Reply
    • 7. Micchi  |  May 29, 2009 at 5:44 pm

      It’s not physical growth, so in terms of what happens in game, they’re still lolis. They’re not flat though, just small and the ‘loli’ feel is more due to the art style.

      Reply
    • 8. Kresnik  |  May 29, 2009 at 10:13 pm

      And why did I feel a disturbing doubt in my heart reading m3rry’s question?

      Reply
  • 9. rothmansordunhill  |  May 29, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    I love Kokoro the best.
    I bought that game but I haven’t started to play it yet.

    Reply
    • 10. Micchi  |  May 29, 2009 at 11:57 pm

      Yay Kokoro! >w<b

      Reply
  • 11. RedInf3rno  |  May 30, 2009 at 9:39 am

    Great, in-depth review. I’ll have to check out the other ones later.

    Reply
    • 12. Micchi  |  June 3, 2009 at 11:31 pm

      Take your time ^^

      Reply

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