Visual Novel Theatre: Idol Magical Girl Chiru Chiru Michiru

Let’s establish some facts here.  As you’ve known if you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, I am an incredible specimen of a man.  My muscles are like mountains.  My features are proof that man was made in God’s own image.  My bearing is so manly that some women have claimed to have gotten pregnant just by staring into my eyes.  I am a bastion of healthy masculinity.  A paragon of the male form.  This is not up for debate.

So, I’ve been playing Idol Magical Girl Chiru Chiru Michiru.  Discord will, unless you turn the option off, show others what game you’re playing at the time.  My Discord buddies have been trying to sass me for being so manly and also playing Idol Magical Girl Chiru Chiru Michiru.  But it doesn’t work.  Because Idol Magical Girl Chiru Chiru Michiru is the shit.  I am unsassable on this account.  

I don’t get that whole part of people’s assumptions anyways.  Enjoying something that doesn’t match the box they mentally put you in somehow lowers your quality or something?  I don’t got time for that.  Good works are good works.  

Anyways, we’re here to talk Idol Magical Girl Chiru Chiru Michiru.  Eventually I’m going to find some way to shorten that title in writing here, but I haven’t figured it out yet.  It’s a spinoff of the Grisaia series, which I had no idea about while playing/reading through it, but it does retroactively make some things that happened make a bit more sense.  Although I’ve got like no idea of what Grisaia’s all about, so maybe that’s me injecting too much good will.  Anyways, Chiru Chiru Michiru (got it!) is a visual novel about one of those Sailor Moon-esque magical girls fighting against some evil that has invaded her world.  Except everyone’s a blithering idiot.  And it’s awesome.  

Although right off the bat, that does lead to some ‘your mileage may vary’ stuff.  This is a comedy visual novel, one from Japan, and humor is already really subjective and gets even more so when you’re dealing across cultures.  Different cultures find different things funny, so this may not necessarily connect with you.  And it’s very heavily surrealist comedy at that, which not everyone vibes with.  But I do.  And this hit right on the dot for me.  I loved this visual novel.  It left me laughing at a bunch of points.  In, like, a really manly and attractive way of course.  Because that’s how I do everything.  See the first paragraph.

So, the story opens with our heroine, Matsushima Michiru, an aspiring pop idol that’s not really all that successful at it.  The only venue she plays at is a bar owned and operated by Asako, a weapons- and military ops-obsessed friend of hers.  She’s also constantly accompanied by Sachi, a young woman who always wears a maid outfit and loves sharks.  After a somewhat disappointing performance, Michiru goes for a walk when a talking cat riding a star falls from the sky and lands on her, killing her instantly.  

Well, the cat uses a magic wand to beat her soul back into her body, so it’s all good.  And then it says it’s looking for someone to go be a magical girl, and Michiru wishes it luck.  And then time passes eventually they get back together again under circumstances and Michiru agrees to be a magical girl and hunt down the Seven’s Chaos invading from the World of Magic in order to save both worlds and also have her wish granted.  Except she’s embarrassingly bad at it and can’t focus on anything for more than a few seconds and have almost no magical power to speak of.  And it’s hilarious.  

The Visual Novel is surprisingly solid, presentation-wise.  It’s framed like it’s actually an anime, and you get full animated OPs and credit sequences with every episode, in addition to an anime transformation sequence, complete with barbie doll nudity, as is traditional for magical girl shows.  The art is really good, with a wide variety of backgrounds and the character portraits are pretty dynamic, with some action on them to represent the action going on in the narrative.  It’s also fully voiced.  In Japanese, of course, but I thought it was a really nice touch.  

The writing is competent enough.  The plot is super simple, and you’ll likely figure out most of where it’s going within the first hour or so of the first game.  It’s mostly there as a framework for the humor.  There’s a bit of awkward phrasing or odd concept transitions, likely things that weren’t or couldn’t be translated elegantly from Japanese, and if you’re looking for a big great story that makes perfect sense, you’re likely to be disappointed here.  There’s also a few bits in there that seem to come out of nowhere and not really go anywhere, although now that I know that this is a spinoff of the Grisaia series, it seems a lot of those were in fact references to that.  So maybe play/read that first and come here.  Or just don’t sweat it that much.  Although I’m finding now that the dumb little crapkid from Chiru Chiru Michiru is the main protagonist of Grisaia?  Maybe I don’t want to check that out after all.  I hate crapkids.  But yeah, the overall plot is base and predictable, but that’s not really what I’d recommend coming here for.  It’s really all about the humor.

And humor is always subjective.  Here, it’s downright absurd.  Like, there is one character, Michiru’s hypercompetent magical girl rival, whom you could say is the straight man, but even she is so straight it becomes absurd.  Like, to the point of using the limitless magical powers at her disposal, which can literally do anything she chooses, to simply summon mundane guns to blow her enemies away.  Personally, I love a well done absurd humor.  And this is definitely well done.  And you know, when it decides to pull back the humor, to finally inject a sense of danger and action to it too?  Those are well done as well.

So yeah.  If you happen to have a sense of humor like mine, I’d highly suggest checking out Idol Magical Girl Chiru Chiru Michiru.  But maybe check out Grisaia first, so things make sense.  Except not, because I didn’t know that was a thing until literally like an hour ago, and therefore can’t recommend it.  But either way, don’t sass me.  I am unsassable on this account.  

Visual Novel Theatre-fault

Yeah, let’s talk about fault!  Wow, it feels weird to force myself not to put the capital in there.  That’s how it’s intended, but that goes against everything

Anyways, fault is a visual novel series characterized strongly by its sense of world building and science-based fantasy.  It’s a kinetic novel, meaning that there’s not a lot of choice to be had, it’s pretty much a one-line story.  It runs on the edge of high fantasy, you see a lot of immensely magic-based societies and the plot revels in introducing these incredible and well-thought-out settings, although I would say the story pulls back from the typical trappings of a high fantasy story by placing most of its story-telling emphasis on the secondary cast.  Your primary cast do have a definite story as well, but it’s told slowly over multiple entries in the series, while it’s the people they meet and involve themselves with that move the plot forward within a given entry.  

And as I said, this is a science-based fantasy.  Not… not in the sense that the developers have a great grasp of science or anything, but the stories approach their magic as if it was a scientific discipline.  Kravting, which is what you call magic if you want it to be magic without calling it magic ends up forming the basis of pretty much all society, and works according to a strict set of rules with various ramifications, requires energy sources, etc.  It’s not the easy magic you see in many other stories, although it still does things that are completely wondrous.  These limitations on magic, the rules by which they abide, form the basis of much of the story and setting.  Conflict if frequently driven by the ill-effects of living in a magical society or the need to acquire resources so they can get the spells they need or spells gone wrong, or things like that.  As I said, this characterizes the story, taking magic through to where it’s not just a fantastic wondrous thing but something that mimics real-world phenomena more in an absolutely fantastical way.  

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