Written by two very ‘meh’ writers, Hino Wataru (日野亘) and Shuudou Jou (衆堂ジョオ), Rui ha Tomo wo Yobu (Birds of a Feather Flock Together) is a light-hearted mystery story about eight ‘cursed’ individuals who end up becoming close friends precisely because of their unfortunate fate.
The main problem with Rui ha Tomo is that it simply refuses to go along with its plot and boggles you down with only mildly entertaining repetitive comedy bits which seem to never end. It’s so bad that Rui’s, Atori’s and Koyori’s routes are so unrelated to the whole curse premise that it’s hard to look at them as anything other than filler. What’s worse is that those routes barely concentrate on the character of their respective heroine either, most of the plot bogging down to the whole group getting involved in something completely irrelevant and credits starting to roll pretty much out of nowhere.
The actual story only finally kicks in the Iyo’s and Akaneko’s routes, and overwhelms their characters to the extent you actually forget whose route you are supposed to be playing through, as again, the novel hardly gives you any character introspection or actual romance. The main story of the curse is, I suppose, adequate, but neither shockingly surprising nor particularly memorable. And it’s likely that by the time you’ll be reading those last routes you’ll already be pissed off by the filler-like nature of all the previous stuff you were forced to sit through.
What makes the novel bearable though is that its characters, while not especially deep, are still charming enough to keep you from killing yourself from all of their repetitive jokes. With the exception of Akaneko I guess, there is just no way to take her seriously when over 70% of her dialogue consists of nonsensical jokes and pop culture references.
Anyway, unless you are particularly interested in a certain heroine, I recommend to skip through Rui’s, Atori’s and Koyori’s routes altogether and only go for Iyo and Akaneko where the actual story lies. Though, to be frank, you wouldn’t lose much by skipping this vn altogether as even its “best” moments are pretty forgettable.
|Good attractive character designs||Nonsensical jokes make it hard to take some characters seriously later|
|Almost no deformation in CGs||The lousily written individual routes don’t allow otherwise charming characters reach their full potential|
|Fine background music||The repetitive nature of humor makes it get old very fast|
|Likable characters, when they are not repeating the same damn jokes||The work simply refuses to go along with its plot concentrating on irrelevant digressions|
|Nothing particularly unique or interesting about the story|
|A few logical fallacies with how the curse works|
|Slow, lethargic pace|