Nakahiro was a fine writer at best until he finally hit it with Hoshizora no Memoria, which I felt was actually heavily influenced by Himawari at some points. Anyway, to make long story short, it is a pretty good romance-drama visual novel with fantasy and mystery elements.
The story itself centers on Kogasaka You, a guy who moves back to his old town in hopes of finding his childhood sweetheart, his first love. Unfortunately, the time has blurred most of You’s earlier memories and as he finds a mysterious girl, identical in shape to that of his childhood friend many years ago, he starts wondering if she ever was even real.
The plot is a bit slow at the beginning, but a good mix of entertaining light-hearted character banter and persistent mysterious atmosphere eventually paves the way to surprising answers and some really satisfying, tear-jerking drama. It is quite amazing how, despite being mostly school comedy, Hoshizora no Memoria manages to maintain the fascinating, surreal, magical atmosphere from the beginning to the very end, constantly making you suspicious if subtle odd things happening are real or just a figment of an unreliable narrator’s imaginative mind. Not to mention, the great artwork, especially character designs, and tasteful music imbuing this atmosphere even further.
The only really disappointing thing about this vn is that most of its routes other than “the true one” feel neglected, ending abruptly almost as soon as the relationship is established. What makes their pre-mature endings even sadder is that the romance in them is actually very well done, I really wanted to see more of those characters, especially Komomo. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to get the fan disc; it ties a lot of lose ends as well as has some of the best romantic scenes in the story.
Hoshizora no Memoria is a romantic drama with strong, interesting characters, engrossing mysterious plot and a satisfying, tear-jerking story. It might not be particularly mind-blowing, but it does so many things right it’s hard not to like it.
|Fantastic Artwork||Plot is a little bit too slow at the earlier stages|
|Fantastic HCGs||Individual route endings are abrupt and leave one desiring|
|Good music||Mare’s route feels tacked on|
|Great surreal atmosphere|
|Fine story about nostalgic infatuation|
|Strong dramatic moments|
|Many funny and cute setpieces|
|Charming, interesting characters|
|Childhood sweetheart has great presence despite not being physically around|
|Great H Scenes|