Title: Farther Than the Blue Sky
Release Date: September 19, 2019
Reviewed On: PC
Publisher: Manga Gamer
I’ve never considered myself a rocket scientist, but that doesn’t stop me from being interested in the subject. Luckily for me, Chuablesoft is here to present a visual novel all about it with a cast of waifus to have it all make sense in Farther Than the Blue Sky. It turns out, this is a game that’s quality localization makes it extremely enjoyable and it makes learning rocket science fun.
Farther Than the Blue Sky begins as our male protagonist, Otoya Hayabusa, is supposed to be studying. Sadly, he isn’t the most capable of balancing his school life and hobbies, which is why he sneaks out to go fishing. One night, he comes across a girl by the shoreline named Arisa. After confusing her with someone who is fishing, he finds out that she is a part of a rocket club at his school and is testing some equipment. However, it seems that their town has a feud between fishers and rocket scientist. Well, it just so happens that, as a fisherman, Otoya’s dad forbids him even to mention the word “rocket” in their home. Arisa discloses that their rocket club is on the verge of being shut down unless they get enough members, so Otoya decides to help.
Otoya’s reasoning for helping the club is believable since he is fascinated with the idea of rockets. However, he isn’t the smartest student but has a charm about him that makes him likable. The opening of the story focuses on Otoya gathering four other students to keep the club active. Still, outside sources try to shut them down so they can take their club room as their own. At the school, the most successful clubs have the most say in what goes on. So, they set their focus on launching a rocket better than any of the other clubs.
Aside from the premise itself, Farther Than the Blue Sky has some incredible writing. The game uses play on words as a primary focus for its humor, and it works so well. The back and forth between characters is believable, but Arisa does sometimes take it too far with her tsundere attitude. Otoya has a friendly relationship with each of the heroines who are unique and skilled. There wasn’t a single character from the main cast who I didn’t like and supporting cast is just as great. These characters seemed like real friends, and the tension established with the other clubs felt genuine.
Another considerable focus in the story in rocket science itself. During the game, the character’s will discuss new strategies for launching rockets, and the notes on these strategies show up on the screen. Yes, you might learn something here, but the writing keeps things fun. Each launch offers new ways for the team to improve as they aim for their goals.
Romance is in the game, as you could have guessed, and separated into four routes. Typically, I feel that there is always at least one route that is weaker than the others. However, Farther From the Blue Sky makes an effort to present unique story arcs for each of these girls. Their relationships develop throughout the story, and each route shows how each of the girls spends their time working. Each of the routes contains plenty of content, and I didn’t see one as a weak link, although I did enjoy Honoka’s route the most. There aren’t any real low points that I can point out during the story, but some scenes can drag on a little too long.
Illustrations in Farther From the Blue Sky are colorful and detailed. The team presents a delicate balance of CGs showing H and non-H scenes. However, a few scenes are used multiple times throughout the story, which made them lose their impact, especially after the third time. Still, there is just so much quality writing in this 30-hour visual novel that it’s easy to look past.
The voiced audio is also done well, especially Nazuna’s character who is perhaps the most entertaining of the bunch. Interestingly, during the story, Otoya also turns into a voiced protagonist with an illustration. However, the music doesn’t offer too much outside of some generic loops. Although, the game has a great feature that allows players to look up key terms found in the text so they can understand the definition or use as a reminder.
Where Farther Than the Blue Sky shines is found in its writing. The localization shows how talented the team is, and it’d be tough not to laugh during most of the dialogue. Each character is likable, and their friendship together is believable. While the H-scenes are there, I don’t think I needed them to enjoy the story. There are also prologues for each girl to give an idea of what happened to the couple. After completing, “extra” routes are unlocked, and you can replay scenes, even the rocket science scenes because that’s why you’re all here. However, some scenes overstay their welcome, and the repeated CG scenes make this lengthy visual novel feel longer than it should.
I didn’t know what to expect from Farther Than the Blue Sky. I can see how the premise can seem a little flimsy, but trust me when I say that the cast carries it to be something amazing. With solid writing, beautiful CG scenes, and waifus teaching rocket science, I would say Farther Than the Blue Sky is a memorable adventure.
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