Kusarihime ~Euthanasia~

Kusarihime ~Euthanasia~ is a 2002 game by Liar-soft.

vndb EGS

After an accident 6 months earlier in which his father and sister died, Hinokawa Itsuki lost his memories, and has returned to his hometown with his stepmother Yoshino and her daughter Jun, in an attempt to recover his memory. There he meets several of his former friends, and soon enough his girlfriend, Ise, who is not so enthused with the whole plan, also arrives, to bring him back to Tokyo.

The most notable character he meets, however, is Kurame, a young girl with red kimono (and red pupils) and strange speech; she doesn’t seem to remember who is she or where does she come from, and ends living with the Hinokawas, much to Jun’s chagrin, who is very freaked out by Kurame’s uncanny resemblance to Juri, Itsuki’s deceased sister.

Moe?

So Itsuki starts living in the town, going around to see if he remembers something, and arguing with Ise, who wants him to just return to Tokyo. A few days pass like this, and finally she somehow gets convinced, after an encounter with Itsuki (that he doesn’t remember). And the fourth day, a red snow falls, and everybody else disappears. The end.

Well, obviously it doesn’t end there. After that, you can start again, and you start at the first day, only things are a little different; to start with, Ise is now unusually uninterested in Itsuki’s plight. Itsuki also hears about the Kusarihime, a local legend starring a girl in a red kimono.

Kusarihime ~Euthanasia~ is a peculiar and very interesting game, and excels in several aspects. First there’s the graphical aspect, with it’s unique sprite use. Just with that it already makes a better use of the graphical aspect than most of the vns I’ve played. I also liked the characters designs. The soundtrack is another outstanding point; it especially struck the track that plays at the end of the loops. And all these points help bring out the strength of the scenario, the main attraction. The graphical and musical aspects combine to create a truly excellent atmosphere for the plot, which orbits around the mystery around Kurame and the motivations and past of Itsuki’s family and friends, each of one holding a not so apparent at first glance darkness.

Sprites, sample 1

Sprites, sample 2

In the mystery department, Kusarihime does a good job for the most part of being intriguing without being incomprehensible. There’s the mysterious atmosphere pervading everything, but you get the feeling that you can somewhat guess how things works. The clues come at a steady pace, but never too fast.

And then there’s the final twist that comes absolutely out of left field and completely forces one to rethink everything; and things are in the end never completely explained. I don’t think the game really suffers from this, and the endings are pretty nice and satisfactory, but it’s true that trying to make sense out of everything is probably a vain effort. Or rather, you can try, but most of the theory won’t have much support on the game.

Overall, Kusarihime has a very intriguing scenario that is never slow nor gets boring, and manages to create a superb atmosphere to get along with it (it could use less ero, though).

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2 Responses to “Kusarihime ~Euthanasia~”

  1. […] reviews Kusarihime. Liemyx’ Quartett review, 5-6 hours game. Didn’t realize there was an English patch […]

  2. […] don’t even bother to plays with. He is also very clearly influential because his novel Kusarihime ~Euthanasia~ is often cited as the inspiration of several other creators including Ryukishi07 and Kinoko […]

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