Wish -Tale of the sixteenth night of the lunar moon- is the kinetic visual novel from the doujin developer Migiha. The story revolves around a group of people capable of using a secret energy known as Prana, which has the ability to manipulate objects and do all kinds of magical things. Of course, things are not all as they seem for the main character, Tenka, who has been unable to harness the power of Prana until a chance encounter with his adoptive families cursed katana. The story itself seems to be influenced by Type-Moon’s style of games (think Fate/Stay Night), but with a bit more of a doujin feel to it. Fans of really long kinetic novels may want to try this one on for size.
The story of Wish -totsnotlm- is one that follows the character Tenka as he falls in love with a mysterious girl after developing a power known as Prana. He is your average guy adopted into a strange family that has the ability to use a strange magical power known as Prana. This Prana is a mystical energy that allows its users to basically do any kind of magic that they need. However, it takes a lot of training to become a Runemaster, which is essentially a person powerful enough at using Prana effectively. Tenka, however, is unable to use this power and must watch from afar as his adoptive family is able to do things that he can only dream of. Until one day when he is cut by a mysterious Katana at the shrine where he lives.
The story itself is incredibly long, with just the Prologue taking 2-5 hours to get through, and there being numerous actual chapters after that. As a Kinetic style visual novel, the story is told dialogue box by dialogue box, with pictures and not too much interaction from the player. Unlike a visual novel, a kinetic novel has no player choice at all, and progresses the story in a linear fashion. What makes Wish a bit better than usual is that as you unlock chapters, you’re able to choose them from the menu in game, making returning to a point quick and easy, rather than having to review pages of save files to one you might have saved at the beginning of a chapter.
While playing Wish -totsnotlm-, I thought that the story was really well written. Like, not in a ‘this is a lot of content’ kind of way, but it was actually an enjoyable read. There were some things that I thought were a bit strange, namely that a bunch of teenagers living at a shrine were getting drunk and partying every night while legally buying alcohol at a convenience store somehow. But still, content aside, well-written is well-written. In this case, I should say that it was also translated in a pretty professional manner.
I think that anyone that has the attention for long visual novels will probably really enjoy the story in Wish. If not, they may want to avoid this one. However, it’s quite an interesting read, even with some things that I think make not a lot of sense, particularly when it comes to characters lifestyles.
The art style in Wish is a bit of a mixed bag. It definitely gives that doujin feel to it, considering that a lot of the character art looks like fan-art and not a top-tier production. Even more, the backgrounds look as though they are photographs put through like three different filters, rather than actual art. It’s a very strange art direction, but even so, it still has moments where it works out really well.
A lot of the time, you’ll be seeing portrait images of characters above a background of whatever the scene is. The text, like some forms of visual novel, takes up the majority of the screen, unlike some where it is a text-box at the bottom of the screen. This type of Visual Novel works pretty well, and the style isn’t one that I see too often. Hanachirasu was the last VN of this type that I remember reading.
What I really liked about the character art is that it does a lot better at angles rather than as a portrait view. This is quite interesting as I think a lot of people would find it more difficult to draw angled characters than portrait characters. Perhaps it has to do with the art-style itself more than the actual quality of the art. But still, it’s something that I thought was pretty cool.
The backgrounds though, they’ve pretty much convinced me to not use filtered photographs in any visual novels that I might develop. I really didn’t like the look that they gave each of the scenes and I felt that they removed some of the value in each scene. With drawn backgrounds, you can do things to help give more of a presence to the feeling of a scene, which I felt that these filtered photos didn’t do all that well. Like early on, there’s a fun scene in a supermarket, but the weird effects kind of go against that feeling.
When it comes to the audio in Wish -totsnotlm- it is something that is there. It isn’t particularly memorable, or it might just be that I don’t remember it. There isn’t any voice acting in the game, but it does feature a pretty decent soundtrack. It’s just unmemorable.
Overall, Wish -Tale of the sixteenth night of lunar month- is a pretty decent Visual Novel offering from Culture Select and developer Migiha. Some gamers may find this a bit long, and the non-interactivity will be a bit of a put-off for people looking for something more substantial. However, it is a pretty decent story and fans of the genre will enjoy it for that.
Rating: 7 /10
Wish -Tale of the sixteenth night of lunar month- is published by Culture Select and developed by Migiha. This review is based on the PC version of the game as provided by Culture Select for the purposes of review. You can buy it in the Steam store for ~$8.