Both Visual Novels where released by Azarashi Soft with a year between them, the first title in the series came out in January 2017 and the second one 2018. Azarashi Soft isn’t really that big of a brand I’m not surprised if people haven’t heard of them before. The Amakano Series should be their most well known work. Though they are a brand under Nexton which is releated to some higher profile works.
They are on the shorter side for the medium and are part of that small trend of producing shorter, cheaper titles that feature only one heroine. Their original price on release was ~3000 Yen so buying both titles in the series is still cheaper than getting one full-price release of something. Neither of them has any choices which is understandable, since there is no heroine to choose and neither is there some deep story.
The story starts before the end of school for Nozomu and Shiori who are childhoodfriends, while the final tests are on the horizon and it’s time to choose a university or work towards getting a job. Well Nozomu’s parents basically tell him to get his shit together. He tends to oversleep and his grades aren’t that good either. They at least want him to be able to live on his own without worrying all the time and suggest that he should start living alone while still in school.
Shiori overhears a discussion about that between Nozomu and his friend where he is letting show through how he has no idea what to do so far, which Shiori pressured by the fact that soon there won’t be much time to spent together to suggest that he should move in with her for a month. Shiori is used to living alone and in their time together teaches him how to cook, clean and do all the things that are necessary living alone.
That’s how the whole thing starts. Sure that might sound a bit out of the ordinary, but the characters are believable to a point that everything beside the opening might happen in real life. Maybe not all of the ero-scenes though after all some of them are things that happen more in often in this medium than in reality.
There are some scenes which are told from Shiori’s viewpoint so not everything is told from the MC’s viewpoint like in most Romance focused titles. I should mention that the games feature zero drama and there isn’t much comedy either. It’s a quiet and calm story of freshly blooming love to the point that I think both titles are for a very niche audience. Mostly due to the fact that a lot of people might just be bored by what is happening in the story, everything is pretty much just daily life stuff.
They don’t feature any elaborate prose and the scenes in general are on the shorter side and aren’t stretched to get more and more text into them. It’s probably one of the easiest works I’ve read in Japanese so far.
On the other hand both games where the right fit for me lately, since after coming home from a stressful work day they are quite good at calming one down. Both of them feature 7 ero-scenes which sounds like a lot at first. The first game is pacing them quite while during the story, but it felt like in After Days there was less story between them. Tough the amount is really nothing out of the ordinary for a modern VN.
After Days is a direct sequel to the first Aikagi and offers a similar experience to the first one. I wouldn’t say that it’s out of the question that they release a third title in the future. There’s no need to read them back-to-back like I did, since the end at a good point to take a break.
I can’t remember any of the songs that the games feature, but at least the soundtrack wasn’t annoying or anything. The songs are not something I would listen to outside of the VNs though. The visuals from Gintarou are really nice to look at and Yahiro Mami did a good job as Shiori.
I’m not sure to whom I would recommend these games, since most people into slice of life might miss the comedy that those works usually put in there to break the mundane. The only thing besides the daily life stuff is basically the ero. It’s still an interesting work in how it isn’t quite like most other works.
Worth a look for people looking for something slow, calm and laid-back that don’t get bored that easily. I’m sure there is an audience for the kind of experience that is offered by Aikagi even if it isn’t for everyone.
I usually write some tweets about whatever I’m reading and I’m generally pretty active on twitter if anyone is interested. My feed isn’t quite SFW even though I wouldn’t consider it NSFW. (https://twitter.com/xjpegx)