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Name: Rainy Blue (25.00% in 4 votes)
Type: NVL
Platform: WINDOWS
Company: R.A.N. Software
Release date: 2000
Reviewed by: Lamuness

Rainy - drops of water falling from the sky as a result of the water cycle. Sky is 99% gray which gives a gloomy aura to it.
Blue - one of the primary colors in the additive color theory. Also means sadness.

Rainy Blue is pretty much about the 2 words combined. It's a love story visual novel which deals with an trend Japanese drama/games/anime seem to go towards recently - Death.

The player's name is Hiro who is a high school student very talented in painting, and Hiro has a sporty but pretty childhood friend+girlfriend called Ao. One day, it was raining outside but Hiro was really preoccupied with the painting. Ao felt bored and told Hiro that she would go to a cafe and wait for him at 2pm. Hiro said ok but warned Ao not to overeat or she will get fat. Ao replied with a playful yet cute smile while leaving...

...but that was the last smile Hiro ever saw from her. About 30 mins after, Maki, Hiro's cousin and half-sister, runs to Hiro saying that Ao suffered from a traffic accident while saving a little girl on the road from getting hit by a truck. By the time Hiro and Maki reached the hospital Ao's body was in the morsque area already. Although her body miraculously suffered from no physical injuries at all, her cause of death was severe internal bleeding...(hmm...girlfriend dying...where have I seen this before....Love Forever?) month has passed after Ao's death, but Hiro still felt bad about Ao's death. Nevertheless, Hiro goes to school with his bookpack with a little doll mascot/keychain attached, which is a present Ao gave to Hiro. After school, Hiro went to the art club, picked up the canvas, but have lost all interest in painting (or anything, rather) since of Ao's death. Hiro went home with an empty mind, but every night he has nightmares with his conscience blaming Hiro for Ao's death because he is always too preoccupied with painting and neglecting Ao. The nightmare made Hiro feel worse, and one day Hiro decided to commit suicide...

...just as Hiro takes out his exacto blade, a miracle happened. An eraser was thrown at Hiro, dropping the exacto blade on the floor. Just as Hiro was trying to find out what the hell happened, the little mascot/keychain doll magically came to life and start yelling at him not to commit suicide. The doll explained to Hiro that (she) is a doll sprite and has been watching him the whole time. When asked what the doll's name is, the doll said it's up to the owner (Hiro) to give her a name. Since the doll was a gift from Ao, Hiro gave the doll a name called Aoi. Since then Hiro and Aoi start to travel together with Aoi talking to Hiro when he is alone.

A few days after, another miracle happened...more like a awfully rare coincidence. A new transfer student came to class, but what's miraculous is that this girl, Midori, looks exactly the same as Ao, except for her hair color and her quiet and shy personality.

This is where the game trully begins. Will Hiro be able to gain back his confidence and be able to paint on his canvas again?

I am sure that many of you have heard of Kanon, a love stoy digital novel game released by Key during the summer of 1999. What made Kanon awfully famous is its magical and touching love story. Rainy Blue follows the same genre as Kanon in that it's a novel-type game filled with touching love stories, but Rainy Blue is much shorter in length than Kanon. There are only 3 main heroines (plus one doll Aoi if you consider a non-human to be a heroine) - Maki your cousin and half-sister, Midori the transfer student who looks the same as Ao, and Mashiro, the little girl Ao saved in the traffic accident. If you have cleared all 3 girls, you can go for the final hidden ending, plus an extra Omake Scenario.

The plot. Believe it or not, Rainy Blue is probably the most touching love story in H or nonH game since Kanon. Although the doll coming to life is rather supernatural, but Kanon deals with supernatural issues as well (so that's even). The story in Rainy Blue is **extremely** well rounded with EVERYTHING resolved at the endings, and resolved and a very touching and beautiful way. Like Kanon, the plot development in Rainy Blue does go in a roller-coaster way with ups and downs in the story. Another thing that Rainy Blue did very well on that is rarely seen in other games is that the sub-characters are developed very very well (in terms of character development).

What Kanon does not have (well, at least for the PC versions) that Rainy Blue has is full voice acting including all the guys and girls, or basically every single person in the game. BGM is in MIDI which I think is not bad at all but can't say it's marvellous either. However, I do like the full chorus version of the main title song "Blue Rain."

Graphics. Hehe, the girls are cute (especially Aoi) and the art and color quality is nice, with a few fairly nifty animated effects. However, a few of the CGs have some ouch-ouch angle and proportion problems...if you look at the third picture you will realize Maki's hand is way too small (making it look deformed).

Problems. Believe it or not, but I do have 2 problems with each of the 3 main heroines, one in general and the other about the Hscene. Mashiro...her voice acting is good *but* her voice sounds like a 18+ yr old girl when she is only like 12 or something; and the H scene is rather inappropiate not only because you are screwing an awfully underage girl, but also because she suffers from an innate heart disease, and god aren't you afraid that she will die from a heart attack when you get close to the end of the hscene? mentioned before her hand looks deformed, and I have no idea why but R.A.N. software put in a little climax animation of her raising to the sky during the Hscene...I didn't know if I should be laughing or crying when I saw it. Midori...although she has a very quiet and shy character and does not talk much, her voice acting volume is way too low that one probably cannot hear a thing she says (may be more realistic that way but...), and her Hscene happens way too early and a bit too inappropiately. Anyways, these are not too serious problems and doesn't really affect the beautiful plot development at all...

Overall, Rainy Blue is a very beautifully done love story digital novel with beautiful graphics, full voice acting, and most importantly, a touching and well-rounded love story plot. It's almost a year since the first release of Kanon when Rainy Blue was released, and I haven't came across a single love story Hgame that is this touching. Although it's not as "wow" as Kanon, I must say that the story in Rainy Blue, in terms of Hgame love story, is definitely above average, and prolly one of the best I have ever come across. If you are a fan of pure-love-story Hgames with very little H-content like Love Forever and/or Kanon, then Rainy Blue is definitely worth buying and collecting.

PROS: The most beautiful and touching love story since Kanon, gorgeous and cute girls, full voice acting. Nice OP song (ie everything except gameplay??)

CONS: Game is a bit too short, some CG drawing problems, a few rhetorical problems only if you really think deep into the story.

HIGHLY RECOMMEND TO: Love Forever fans, Kanon fans, people who stress on plot development in Hgames, people who wants to read a well-resolved and touching love story.
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