Title: Lilycle Rainbow Stage!!!
Release Date: March, 15 2019
Reviewed On: PC
Genre: Visual Novel
Do you know the feeling when you see a game for the very first time but already have the preconceived notion that you will definitely immortally fall in love with it? That’s exactly how I felt when I first saw Lilycle Rainbow Stage!!!, a visual novel from developer Particle and localized by MangaGamer.
Being a fan of yuri visual novels, it was a given that I would jump at the thought of playing such a cute looking game. I really wanted to take the time to get to know the game’s fifteen different girls and fall for each of them. While Lilycle Rainbow Stage!!! is consistently entertaining throughout the entire game, but that doesn’t come without a few moments of confusion found within the game’s approach to storytelling.
Lilycle Rainbow Stage!!! follows the everyday life of the fifteen girls. They’re all connected to each other since they attend the same school. Throughout the story, they all end up befriending each other in one way or another. You see, after some time they each start to realize their feelings are a bit different towards a certain girl. The game has three main girls named Yuno, Tamaki, and Saeka. Tamaki is a new teacher at their school and also the cousin of Yuno, who is an idol, at the same time as being a student. Yuno and Saeka have been roommates for a long time and that’s how she gets introduced to Tamaki. Saeka is portrayed as a very shy and introverted girl, but she surprisingly starts to get closer to Tamaki. As a result, she ends up getting confused about her feelings because she feels drawn to Tamaki and Yuno at the same time.
During the opening of Lilycle Rainbow Stage!!! I was a little confused. This is because all fifteen girls were introduced at the same time and it was tough to feel connected to so many characters at once or even care about them. However, after the prologue, it does become easier to follow the story as it got divided into episodes and you get to know each girl little by little. Thankfully, all of the girls are different from each other so it’s possible for any player to find a girl that is right up their alley including, the tsundere to the super clingy and quirky types. Of course, all of the girls are extremely cute and it was easy for me to find something that I liked about all of them at the same time as I got to know them better.
With that said, the number of characters in the game meant that there are a lot of couples to keep track of in Lilycle Rainbow Stage!!! So much so, that I felt overwhelmed at times. In order to try and stay on track with the story, I played the game as chronological as possible which still left me confused when couples would change after a short event. With that said, Lilycle Rainbow Stage!!! does not get too in-depth, when it comes to the romance. I felt that most of the confessions and developments were way too sudden and even if they expressed feelings for each other for a long time, the timing still felt off for me. I was also surprised when the girls would confess out of nowhere, without any preparation.
Lilycle Rainbow Stage!!! is a unique visual novel because players can select different episodes from a menu, which is arranged like a calendar. Although you can freely decide which episode you want to play first it is recommended to go play them in chronological order, plus certain episodes only unlock after you’ve finished a specific episode before, so your options are limited. Lilycle Rainbow Stage!!! does offer moments of interaction from the player that allows you to choose a dialog option that will affect the story. These choices end up determining which girl Saeka will get together with, although she can only romance either Tamaki or Yuno. Additionally, it’s possible to replay the episodes and unlock the couple episodes for both couples at the same time — There are also couple episodes available for Yuno and Tamaki. This ends up making the game story feel messy because both couple episodes show up in the same calendar but they’re not happening in the same timeline per se, so it felt like there were three different dimensions available in the same calendar.
As aforementioned, I completed the episodes in the most possible chronological order. What’s not made totally clear is that some episodes that get unlocked take place before the events of the finished episodes. As long as it’s still in the same page of the calendar, it shouldn’t be a problem because it is displayed whether you already read or completed the episodes but some show up up a few pages before. This system caused me to almost miss a lot of episodes, as I didn’t notice it at first, but it also interrupted my immersion at times because I had to jump back and forth.
One thing I really liked was the perspective change that at some point made each of the fifteen girls protagonists even though there are three main protagonists. Throughout the game, there are common and couple episodes available with the girl displayed in the calendar which is important for that specific episode. The colors in the text bar are different for each girl, which made it easier to distinguish them, as it’s required when you’re having so many protagonists in the same game.
As you probably already noticed, the artwork in Lilycle Rainbow Stage!!! is stunning. The illustrations feature many different facial expressions which definitely help with falling for these characters. The animations found in the are top notch there are even a few very beautifully animated scenes that show the sprites blinking. The game’s entire aesthetic is just adorable and this is complemented by the game’s soundtrack.
I’d also like to add that the voice acting was impressive in Lilycle Rainbow Stage!!! as well. Even the creepy and clingy characters sounded natural such as when Ibuki is trying to imitate an undefinable animal. I honestly didn’t even know a normal human being is capable of making these kinds of noises and I absolutely loved it. The voices match to each of the girl’s personality and they all sounded like real high school girls with their quirking and pouting noises.
All in all, while Lilycle Rainbow Stage!!! started out to be pretty confusing for me at first, this didn’t stop me from having a, mostly, enjoyable experience. Sadly, the game didn’t offer the amount of depth that other visual novels have that properly show the evolution of a relationship between each of the couples in the game and the timeline feature didn’t help. With that said, I still ended up absolutely adoring each of the 15 girls.
Lilycle Rainbow Stage!!! might not be everyone’s cup of tea as it’s a yuri visual novel through and through. If you’re looking for a game with a deep plot, Lilycle Rainbow Stage!!! only has light-hearted scenes and only follows the everyday life of the fifteen girls, so expect plenty of slice-of-life moments. I can still recommend this game to everyone who is a fan of the yuri and slice-of-life genres fueled by fifteen extremely cute girls and some beautiful illustrations.
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