Release Date: May 14, 2020
Reviewed On: PC
Genre: Visual Novel
Eroge visual novels don’t always put too much thought into the story’s overall plot. However, some developers wish to complete the experience for the player by incorporating a narrative that they can immerse themselves in. Well, that is before the h-scenes kick in, and then we can forget about all that character building junk. I feel this explains developer qureate’s fantasy visual novel KukkoroDays, which does its best to round out its characters, but that falls apart due to the flimsy story structure and weak character writing.
KukkoroDays begins by introducing us to a nameless protagonist who is working hard to make ends meet. He recently set out on his own and moved into an apartment where he spends his nights reading light novels. One night, a portal opens in his room, and a female Knight appears injured on his bed.
After a while, you finally get some answers and realize that her name is Cattleya, and she is from another world. During a fight with a mighty dragon, the creature used a unique ability that sent her to another dimension. Without much more story building, the two have a few days to send her back.
The story itself is paced incredibly fast. The two jump into gear to look for a way for Cattleya to get home, and coincidentally, she has the power to sense magical items. It’s just one thing after another, though, and the story is simply structured on a “We got this, but now we must do this,” which doesn’t really do much to keep the reader invested.
Given that the pace of the story is fast, you can bet the relationship between these two characters grows just as quickly. Cattleya is pretty easy to figure out as she only cares about nobility and courage. The little things that the main protagonist does seem to catch her, especially after a random incident involving a car that nearly hit some people.
Interestingly, there are some adorable date scenes as Cattleya is taken to the zoo and the arcade. Her curiosity is a good parallel to her usual cold demeanor, which makes it easy to find the entire scenario cute.
The writers really tried to sell the idea that the main protagonist is pinching pennies. He’s almost always bringing up how he doesn’t have money and how hard it’s going to be for him to pay rent. Yet, he’ll pay for items that Cattleya needs because she doesn’t have money.
I don’t know, maybe this idea just hits so close to home, but the whole time I was thinking, “Dude, you’re going to be homeless for this sexy Knight?” The story just continually panders to the idea that if you help a girl enough monetarily or emotionally, she might sleep with you. Well, in this case, she does, but that’s not the point!
The character animations during the story are exceptionally well done, especially for a budget visual novel such as this. Even though Cattleya is the only on-screen character, I didn’t seem to mind since she does such a great job at owning each of the scenes. Her reactions and sense of duty make her a hilarious heroine, and each of the animations expressed those different sides of her.
Sadly, the CGs are not animated, but they are still well made. There are a few all-ages CGs to be found, but the game’s best work might just be the h-scenes. I think I just really like the quality work that qureate pulls off with their character designs and how they don’t seem to hold back with their lewd imagery.
The story will take you a little over 5 hours to complete, with a few different endings available based on the choices that you make. However, the options only impact the conclusion and not the h-scenes, so whatever you chose, you’ll still sleep with her regardless. It’s not tough to figure out how to get the true ending, but you’re going to want to for the sake of the extra scenes.
KukkoroDays is an incredibly average story that puts in a little bit of effort not just to be an ecchi visual novel. However, it’d be tough to catch that thanks to the game’s incredibly fast pacing. If you’re here for the qureate illustrations, then this is some of the best work they’ve put out, but the rest of the game will have you wishing that their storytelling was as good as their artwork.
Review code provided by MangaGamer.
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