Title: Chuusotsu! 1.5th Graduation: The Moving Castle
Developer: Studio Beast
Release Date: January 17, 2020
Reviewed On: PC
Publisher: Fruitbat Factory
Genre: Visual Novel
Characters in visual novels have a way of leaving a lasting effect on readers, no matter the scope of the project. This is how I felt about the group of characters met in Chuusotsu. Focusing on characters who are looked at as low because they want something different than the cards they were dealt. They overcome these hardships through some heartfelt and comedic means, but it worked. Thankfully for me, their story isn’t over with the release of Chuusotsu! 1.5th Graduation: The Moving Castle. While it highlights more of the previous cast of characters, it continues the trend of following your dreams against all the odds.
Chuusotsu! 1.5th Graduation: The Moving Castle picks up after Chuusotsu! 1st Graduation: Time After Time. Arue is busy doing her best to become a manga artist and prepares to show her work for the first time at a doujin event. The idea of seals comes up often, which in this society means everything. If you don’t know what the seals are, then you should probably read the first story before jumping into this title.
Throughout the story, we see more interaction between Arue and chuusotsu roommates Koiro and Arara. Their dialogue and mannerisms are just as hilarious as before, thanks to the writing. Their relationship is believable, and it only builds off of what was established in the previous entry. However, a new character is introduced named Monami, who is holding onto a secret.
The story is continuously amusing across its 3-hour runtime. While there are many comedic moments, there are some emotional scenes thrown in to help get the player up to speed with Monami’s backstory. Most of the themes focus on being yourself even if you’re afraid you won’t be excepted.
Arue and Monami’s personalities play off each other, and one could draw several similarities between them. However, they each handle their unique situation differently but end up coming to a similar conclusion. It’s not entirely groundbreaking, and the narrative is kept extremely light-hearted, but if you were a fan of the first entry, then you’ll enjoy the story beats of this scenario.
While the illustrations are adorable, and the character’s emotions were expressed through a variety of different poses, there was little to no CGs in the game. I would have appreciated them given that without them, you have a 3-hour story of the character visiting the same areas. That said, the game’s voice acting was terrific and really drove home some of the more comedic scenes to make them all the more entertaining.
Chuusotsu! 1.5th Graduation is very much a kinetic visual novel, and players are simply along for the ride. However, given the price of entry is relatively low, you at least get a compelling story that will hold your attention. If the dynamic between Arue and Monami doesn’t keep you reading, then the perverted conversations these girls have might be enough to hold you over.
There’s not much to Chuusotsu! 1.5th Graduation: The Moving Castle as it’s rather straightforward. The game is definitely for the fans and doesn’t help readers out who try and jump in without reading the first entry. That said, there are a few lessons taught about the world the game is set in and how important it is to surround yourself with people who support you.
This is a must-play visual novel for fans of the Chuusotsu! 1st Graduation, as it not only creates a new scenario that builds on the events established but also gives you more time with this charming cast of characters. Sadly, there isn’t too much outside of that, which has me waiting for a proper sequel to take the series to new heights.
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