Natsuyume Nagisa Review
The latest game by SAGA PLANETS is Natsuyume Nagisa, a pure love ADV that takes place during the summer. Koriyama Nagisa wakes up on a island where it is warm even during the winter months, faeries fly about in the form of butterflies and penguins occasionally roam. Without any memory of his past, what lies ahead in his future?
I’m feeling bumpy jumpy~! ><b What a catchy song, although I don’t think it actually fits the theme and mood of the game that much.
Koriyama Nagisa has a dream where he is a penguin and is in love with a girl. He doesn’t want to forget the summer he spent with her. Waking up, he tells his counsellor Okochi Yume about the dream and finds it odd since he has never had a summer vacation before. In fact, he doesn’t have any memories or friends.
It is Kanshasai, when people give cards and candy to others to thank them for everything over the past year. Surprisingly, Nagisa receives a letter telling him to meet in the unused music room. Arriving there, a girl’s voice tells him that she had been waiting for him and that she has a request for him to find three people. They do not have a home nor attend school, and only he ‘who has been forgotten by time’ can find them.
Wandering about the man-made island Hope, he searches for the three girls written on the card: Rougi Maki, Toono Haruka and Mihama Hitsuji. Together, they restart the defunct diving club after Nagisa reads the club diary that the mysterious girl had left him. Once again, he receives another letter from the girl: this time telling him to go to the church overlooking the sea. He finds a locket and some old photos, triggering a dream with a group of four friends playing at a beach.
Natsunagi is composed of 5 routes. You must first play through the prologue before the ‘start’ button appears on the title screen. At this point, you can choose to pursue any route except for Ayumu’s. Ayumu’s story has four chapters and Chapter 1 opens after completing any other heroine’s route. To unlock Chapter 4, you must replay Maki’s route, which will change slightly. Finally, there is a true end which wraps up the story.
The prologue is basically the common route and does a great job of setting up each heroine’s story. Playing as Nagisa, you’re thrust into a dream-like world, not knowing who you are or why you’re there. I was definitely enchanted by the numerous mysteries and wanted to seek out the answer. It’s not often that games will make you feel like you’re in the world, but Natsunagi does just that. Moreover, everything in the prologue is there for a reason, and makes sense when you read to the very end.
The routes themselves are of decent length, with many twists and turns. I had lots of fun trying to guess what will happen next or who people really are. There aren’t many choices and some don’t even affect the story. The route structure is confusing at first, but allows you to follow along with Nagisa’s journey of ‘enlightenment’ (in many ways). It is important to note that Ayumu is the main heroine and her story is the longest and most developed of the five. It’s funny how most scenes don’t occur in the school even though they wear seifuku.
The main themes in the game are dreams, wishes and summer. If you asked me, Natsunagi is like a cross between Little Busters and Da Capo, with some Clannad thrown in there for good measure. Or maybe Penguin no Naku Koro ni. There is definitely a sense of helping out others, learning about oneself and moving forward with life. There may be some bittersweet moments, but there is also a glimmer of hope.
I thought that the way the routes are organized is really well done. At first, I felt that some routes were too rushed or had some unresolved mysteries, but after finishing the game I understand why the scenario writers did it that way. Most of the questions asked at the beginning of the story are resolved by the true end, much better than in Flyable Heart, although there are some that I wish had been explained better. For example, no matter how many times I think about it, Haruka’s route didn’t really make complete sense. In addition, how did the tree come into being and under what conditions does it grant wishes?
Hitsuji’s route was by far the best, and it’s not only because I love her character. The first part of her story is quite fast-paced, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg. When the second half of the story begins, things totally take a turn towards a lot more serious and dramatic side and seemingly minor details earlier on suddenly come under a new light. The reference to Cinderella was brilliant. Ayumu’s story was good too, but the ending was a bit sad. In fact, I liked all the routes and thought that they all tied together well.
Micchi’s recommended route order:
Tsukasa, Haruka, Hitsuji, Maki, Ayumu
Micchi’s route rankings:
Hitsuji, Ayumu, Maki, Tsukasa, Haruka
Nagisa is an average guy, except he doesn’t know that. In fact, he doesn’t know anything about his past since he lost his memories. His name was presumably given to him by his counsellor Yume. However, he thinks it’s too girly and would rather be called by anything else. He lives alone at Himawari Heights and has a precious bike called RUN.
His character is pretty standard: kind, majime, has a sense of humor and is occasionally very AWESOME. Part of the fun of the story was trying to figure out who he really is. I’m not sure how I really feel after knowing…
Ayumu is Nagisa’s next-door neighbor at Himawari Heights and they have been together since they were young. She is quite popular at school, but she has problems being with guys other than Nagisa and Masaki. Really close friends with Nene, who calls her Amu-chan. Likes sunflowers and ecchi books (to know what guys like). She can’t wake up by herself, so Nagisa drops by every morning to wake her up. Fails at doing housework in general. She often says ‘hikuwa~’.
Amu-chan is so cute! She’s quite dependent on Nagisa. Since she’s voiced by Samoto Fuuri, I kept on imagining Asuho and Aoi at certain points in the game. I find it hilarious that she reads ecchi books XD
Similar to Nagisa, no one really knows anything about Hitsuji. One day, she came up to Nagisa and said that she fell in love with him and pretty much clings on to him. Doesn’t have any interest in anyone or anything but her senpai. She works part-time at the open cafe ‘Umineko’. Her pet kitty Nonpori often sits on top of her head.
Hitsuji is so bold~! You can totally sense her energy and raburabu feelings towards Nagisa. Not only that, but she’s also great at singing and cooking! Check out that yaeba! She’s definitely a kouhai I’d love! Hau~ omochikaeri~! Of course, there’s a reason she acts like a cat this way. She looks even better with her hair down… and she looks so sexy in the Santa costume!!!
Part of the student council along with her best friend Yumi, Tsukasa is in charge of the ‘Midsummer Christmas Festival’. She’s slightly tsundere and sometimes unconsciously uses a high kick on people if they misbehave or if she’s flustered. She’s quite inexperienced in love. Really happy when Haruka calls her ‘onee-sama’.
She reminds me of Amane from FH, although she uses her kick less. Her child form is adorable!!! Not only that, but it makes for some really hilarious situations.
Maki is one of the best students at the school, even though she usually skips class and stays in the forest. Bringing along her own tent, she does fieldwork in the forest near the town that’s supposedly closed off to the public. She uses ‘boku’ to address herself. Cheeky and cool, but weak to being called ‘cute’.
Heterochromia moe~~~~~! Usually different colored eyes means there’s something special about the character, and it’s no exception here. However, I’ll let you find out for yourself in the game. Other than that revelation, I didn’t find much else interesting about her.
An ojou-sama who is the daughter of a businessman who owns most of the island, Haruka is quite the sheltered girl who doesn’t know much about the world. However, she is really curious about everything and is extremely happy when she does things for the first time (including being tsukkomied). She stays with her maid Aria at the church overlooking the sea since her body is weak, so she doesn’t show up at school much. She likes roleplaying. Her dream is to open a kakigoori (shaved ice) house.
Haruka is both like an imouto and kouhai. I really like her yutaka; it’s really cute. She also looks cuter with her hair down. Awwww~
The subcharacters in Natsunagi all have important roles in the story. They include moodmaker Nene, mascot girl Yumi, Haruka’s maid Aria, counsellor Yume and fellow diving club member Masaki. There’s also penguins that walk around the island, as well as a robot penguin! Nonpori is also quite cute.
Nene and Yumi need routes! Nene is kinda like Gumi-chan from FH. Pettanko-senpai Yumi’s voice was a bit surprising at first, but I soon fell in love with her actions. Yuumin-senpai, I’ll go through boxes and boxes of tissues for you! SAGA PLANETS! Please make a fandisk for them!!!
Zen remarked that the game looked like a box of Skittles because of the wide variety of hair colors. Well, I have ‘tasted the rainbow’ and it is oh so sweet!
Micchi’s character rankings:
Hitsuji, Ayumu, Haruka, Tsukasa, Maki
Since my first impression of Natsunagi was that it was a moe-ge, naturally the graphics would be a focus. There were some pretty scenes and fit the mood quite well, but at the same time there were some that felt a bit lacking. Backgrounds were standard, although the school hallway felt bland. Luckily, not much time was spent there. One problem I had was that body proportions and perspectives were off in some CGs (including HCGs). Main heroines had lots of CGs, but subcharacters didn’t really get any. I wanted another one or two for Yumi and Nene. There were plenty of tachi-e variations, especially with their hair tied up or let down. There are no SD CGs aside from those on the map select screen, which are the cute ones used on the official website.
The interface is pretty standard with save, load, skip, auto and backlog buttons. I like how you can use the keyboard to play the game, but moving the cursor can take some time with the arrow keys only. The most impressive thing about the system is actually how the routes are set up. It makes perfect sense and helps progress the overall storyline, while slowly revealing things bit by bit.
There are 100 save slots in the game. If you are locked on to a character route, that heroine’s picture will show up on the saved slot. The date is also quite helpful, as it plays more of an importance in this game than others. I wish there was a quicksave function though.
In the settings, you can change the sound volume and fading, text options, as well as the color and transparency of the textbox and backlog. I kept mine as default.
Backlog is nice and readable.
There are two types of choices in the game. One is the map select where you click on a SD chara on the island.
The other is the usual style of choices. I find that most of these don’t actually matter since they end up the same way. Some they make you choose all the choices eventually anyway. I still tried each choice out just to see the dialogue.
The date change cutscenes are quite pretty. It’s not shown here, but if you play in window mode, the date and character route you’re on will be shown as the window title. In some routes, the story will keep going on without specified dates. In this case, the cutscenes serve to depict time changes.
After completing at least one route, Ayumu Story will be available. This is a submenu from the title screen.
Also, the CG Mode, Memory Mode and Music Mode will be opened. Group CGs will be shown in multiple categories since there are many characters in them. There is a completion tracker on the bottom right.
There are 24 tracks in the Music Mode, including the OP and 2 EDs. I liked all the tracks, especially “Aishiteru to Itte Yaru”. The music really sets the mood, whether it be mysterious, sentimental or melancholic. The OP is catchy, but I felt it didn’t fit in with the game’s setting when used. The EDs were not that impressive. I don’t know if it’s just me, but that slight minor key used in the H scene BGM “Yume no Naka e” bothers me every time it comes up. Of course, I have absolutely no problem with the seiyuus. Agumi Oto does another brilliant job, as does Samoto Fuuri. I also like Mitsuki’s voicing of Haruka.
Each of the 5 heroines has between 3 and 4 H scenes, with 1-2 positions per scene. There’s nothing bad to say about them, but most of them don’t really stand out. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing since the focus should be on the story. The progression of H scenes for Ayumu was well done, and her last one was very pretty. Tsukasa’s second H scene is the definition of jailbait.
I wish Hitsuji Santa gave me presents too!!!
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: 9.5
- Characters: 9.5
- Graphics: 8
- System: 9
- Sound: 9
- H Scenes: 8
- Overall: 89.5
I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that Natsunagi is more than just your standard moe game and it had a very nicely designed system and story. The BGMs helped create the mysterious atmosphere as you learn about each heroine’s past, as well as Nagisa’s. I was totally drawn into the story, especially Hitsuji’s. This is definitely one of the best eroge I’ve played.