Hey everyone! I was asked by Lunaniere to try out a demo of their upcoming English otome game, “Wishes in Pen: Chrysanthemums in August”. Prior to their contacting me, I had not heard of Lunaniere or their upcoming debut game before, but when I read the synopsis and saw the gorgeous art for their in-game backgrounds I jumped at the chance to try the demo. (All game-related images in this post are property of Lunaniere and from their Kickstarter page.)
On that fateful night, little did you know that a simple wish and a careless “yes” would turn your entire world upside down.
The reality you once knew has been replaced with one you’ve only seen in games and movies… The only difference? You’re the character and life is the player.
As time slowly ticks down to the pivotal choice you’ll have to make, will you be able to survive the in-betweens? And can you say goodbye to the ones who matter most?
My Rating: ★★★★☆
First of all, bless you Lunaniere for giving the main character eyes! It always drove me absolutely crazy when MCs would be in gorgeous CGs with one of the guys and she would have crazy long bangs covering her eyeless face. They even took it a step further and give you the option to choose how your MC looks like from 3 choices! I just chose the default for simplicity’s sake. Here’s how she looks like!
The story starts off fairly quickly with the MC being unsatisfied with her mundane life, frustrated that she isn’t enjoying her job anymore, and prefers the more exciting fictional worlds in her video games. I couldn’t help but sympathize with the MC because I completely understood the feeling, wishing for a more exciting and fulfilling life than the one you currently have. Although the plot isn’t original, I enjoy these types of time-travel stories; sort of reminds me a lot of Inuyasha and I was utterly obsessed with that anime. The prologue ended just before you select which guy’s route you’d like to go through – which they wove into the story seamlessly – and honestly, I was so disappointed because I wanted to start reading them already! Even though it was just the beginning of the game, I was already invested in the story and was really curious as to how everything would play out.
Even though I’ve only played the demo (which is only the prologue of the game) I already adore the MC so much. I can relate to her a bit and I absolutely love how she is not timid at all. She’s a bit of a dreamer but is strong, determined, and outspoken. Unlike most MCs in other regular life/modern otomes I’ve played, the one in this game seems more realistic and her personality matches her age. I can’t wait to get to know her character better as well as the guys she meets. When it was time to choose a route, I was torn between Koji and Mitsuki. Pretty much complete opposites, I know, but Mitsuki is just so amiable and kind (plus I tend to gravitate towards characters with silver/white hair – did I mention Inuyasha earlier? haha). Then Koji seems cold and harsh at first, but then he does something nice and someone else says he’s really a softie once you get to know him so that just stirs my curiosity and motivates me to unearth this supposed soft side of him. Haha
As I stated previously, the backgrounds are gorgeous and have the option to be animated, too! The art-style is clean and colorful, and the characters themselves look lovely and have slight animations too, which is more than I was expecting from an otome. I’m used to the sprites having a few different poses and facial expressions that imply movement, but these guys actually do move fairly fluidly, so it was pretty impressive to see their sprites actually walking off-screen and acting as if they were actually walking, haha. The MC also has a sprite visible on the bottom of the screen next to the dialogue box, but I’m pretty sure I saw in the options menu that that’s optional. Unfortunately, the demo did not have any character voices, but I hope there will be for the guys at least in the finished version.
Since this was only the demo I understand that it isn’t the final polished product, but there were a few minor technical issues that bothered me. Firstly, I didn’t really like the font used in the dialogue box because it looked too plain and didn’t seem to fit the tone of the game. It also slightly annoyed me that I couldn’t reduce the opacity of the dialogue box without the text also becoming faded. The text should not be affected when you just want to reduce the opacity of the dialogue box.
Secondly, the end of the scene in the bar where the bartender said he was leaving was odd. Throughout the entire demo, that was the only scene where a character departs but their sprite remained on the screen. It was confusing and felt a bit awkward, and made me question if it was a mistake or if the bartender was eavesdropping on the MC and her friend.
Thirdly, there were quite a few sentences that were half repeated. The sentence would be fairly long, but instead of showing half the sentence followed by the other half, the first half would just repeat again and the second half would appear next to it. It’s a very minor issue but I couldn’t help but notice it after experiencing it several times. And lastly, in the scene where the MC first awakens in the past, the background music repeats like it should but I don’t think it was cut properly because there is a two second pause where the music cuts off abruptly before starting again.
I don’t usually play demos for otomes, but this one was actually really fun and left me wanting more! I really want to find out more about the MC, what obstacles is she going to encounter in this time period, how each of the guys’ routes go, and if my theory about that special kimono in the beginning is true! Haha
Their Kickstarter ends in a few days but they’re SO close to reaching their goal, so if you’re as interested as me in seeing this game come to life, please check it out here! If you can’t back the project, spreading the word about it helps a lot, too!
What ‘type’ of otome character do you gravitate towards? Let me know in the comments! For me, it’s either the arrogant jerk or the cold stoic one. My favorite part about both types is when they finally start to thaw and show their soft center (that sounds so weird and reminds me of chocolate but whatever lol).
Thanks for joining me today for this otome review and I hope to see you again in the next one!