Title: Adabana Odd Tales
Release Date: June 18, 2020
Reviewed On: PC
Genre: Visual Novel
Japanese myths and folklore have been the basis for many of my favorite films and anime. I find it endearing how creators put their own unique spin on the timeless tales and make them your own. The Liar-soft-developer visual novel Adabana Odd Tales takes this same approach, yet, sticks pretty close to the traditional premise of the source material. Still, the beauty that this game presents doesn’t mask its tragic themes.
Adabana Odd Tales is narrated by a mysterious person on a train holding a book. We are introduced to an amnesiac girl named Shirohime, who finds herself face to face with a dangerous beats. As soon as it’s about to strike, a man named Kurofude appears wielding a paintbrush as a sword and saves her. Kurofude then uses his magic to teleport them into a room that exists in the land of Adabana, which is full of illustrated books.
It’s explained to Shirohime that she and Kurofude are tasked with entering books and ridding them what is known as “Book Worms.” These nasty little creatures put a pause on the story and could potentially even alter the narrative. However, Shirohime has the power to turn them in ink, and Kurofude can change them into the missing words need to complete the story.
The two characters go through a few well-known Japanese fairy tales, which don’t have the brightest outcomes. It gives the story a path to follow as you learn more about Shirohime and gather her lost memories. The romance and tragedy entangled in this fairy tale are gripping in several parts of the conclusion as everything comes to light.
Adabana Odd Tales is an exceptionally straightforward visual novel that can be completed in around 4 hours. While this helps move the pacing along, the character writing can be a bit dry for some of the later chapters. It has an effect where you care more about Shirohime than the other characters and would rather see her story through than the books that the duo has entered to save.
The good thing here is that if you’re in the mood for a William Shakespear-Esque romance, then you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for. Furthermore, if you’ve heard the fairy tales featured in this story before, Adabana Odd Tales presents them in a unique way.
During gameplay, players can make choices that have a slight effect on the outcome of the story. However, some elements of the narrative happen regardless of your choices. In retrospect, even the final decision didn’t carry the weight that it could have.
Don’t get me wrong, the conclusion is excellent, regardless of the ending, but after several big reveals, it didn’t have the impact that I was looking for. Choices also unlock extra content such as the illustration books, but it requires the right choices to be made during the game.
One look at Adabana Odd Tales, and you’ll notice the game’s beautiful artwork. Each character illustration is just a work of art for every character. I also enjoyed the storybook sections where the text in the books was also translated, which is rare during the localization process since it requires updated art assets.
The soundtrack is often soft with a few standout tracks that don’t have the most significant effect on the story. The CGs within the game, although minimal, are just as beautiful as the illustrations, and the backgrounds are just as grand. I was genuinely amazed at the presentation of this visual novel, which gave it the appeal of an actual fairy tale.
Adabana Odd Tales is a romantic tragedy that follows many Shakespearian story beats. It puts a clever spin on Japanese folklore told through the adventures of two complex characters. While the mystery ends up working against the themes of the narrative, the beautiful illustrations and gripping conclusion make this game a truly enjoyable experience.
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