Sharin no Kuni: A Perfect(?) Society

Ah, my first eroge review…

“…There is no such thing as society.”

-Margaret Thatcher (1925)

Sharin no Kuni: Himawari no Shoujo (Country of the Wheel: Girl of the Sunflower) by AkabeiSoft2 is one of those visual novels that left a mark in my heart. It has an amazing story, very likable characters and has the great potential to change one’s views about society.

The Country of the Wheel is a “democratic” state being strongly influenced by a stratum of elites known as Special High Class Individuals (SHCI) who possess complete legal authority over the country.

The story begins when the protagonist, Kenichi Morita comes to the country for his final exam to be an SHCI and is assigned to help three of his classmates to cancel their ‘obligations’-absolute rules given by SHCI due to inappropriate actions that have severe concequences when disobeyed.

As per usual, this visual novel plays like any other, except that this particular game does not present the player with multiple routes. Instead, this game presents the stories in a linear manner, as Kenichi helps the girls cancel their obligations. Choices are presented to the player but only affects the ending of the game and does not affect the overall plot.

Story: The story of Sharin no no Kuni is marvelous, to say the least. It takes all the flaws of a seemingly perfect society and takes them to an individual level (the heroines). It shows the bearing of social systems on common people. (8/10)

 

The most badass antagonist I have ever seen.

 

Characters: Sharin no Kuni presents what can be said to be the best character designs in any visual novel that I have read. The characters appear to be the typical archetypes (the tsundere, the energetic girl and the shy girl), but as the story progresses, these charaters bloom into very believable people that can be said to represent human nature itself. The characters are not overpowering in a sense that the characters are still guided by human reason, and not driven by personality clichés that we see every so often in literary works. (9.5/10)

Sounds and Music: The music fits the overall mood of the game and helps create the feelings needed to fully appreciate the game. It’s funny when the scene is funny, serious when needed, and very moving. (8/10)

Execution: This may very well be the strongest asset of this game. The execution of the plot is excellent in every way. It makes reading a piece of literature about an isolated farming town in the middle of nowhere a very promising experience. The timing of key points in the story is superb. The plot twists are very unexpected. The execution of the plot made me practially glue my eyes to the computer screen. (10/10)

 

CG for Natsumi Hinata, one of the main heroines

 

Art: For Sharin no Kuni, the art quality is fairly good. It has a good amount of sprites, very good backgrounds and captivating CG. For a late 2005 visual novel, though, the art could have been better. (8/10)

*Ahem* content: I don’t consider this to be a part in my ratings of story-oriented visual novels. Why? Two reasons. First: ero content, for me, does not in any way contribute to the goodness of a piece of literature. Second: ero content is just a selling point. It is like an advertisement saying that: “This game can satisfy your cravings for 2D characters, so buy me!” So you will not get any ero rating from me. The case is different, however for some games that I deem the H-scenes to contribute to the actual content of the game.

Overall: Sharin no Kuni is one treasure that comes maybe once in a lifetime. The experience I got from paying this cannot be replaced.

Story (30%)=                       2.4
Characters (20%)=              1.9
Sounds and Music (10%)= 0.8
Execution (20%)=               2.0
Art (20%)=                           1.6

Overall (100%)=                 8.7

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  1. There’s an antagonist in this game? Hmm, I wonder what he does. He looks like some sort of legal attorney. . .

    • Critiquer
    • October 20th, 2010

    Then I really think that you should grade the ero content as well. Who knows, there might be really awesome things in there that can add or reduce the grade of the story.

    • Yi
    • October 20th, 2010

    This does seem interesting. I’m kind of interested in this distopia. On the other hand, I’m not too good with heavy dark themes, and this seems like it could have a lot of that.
    Anyways, love the rating system!

    • Glad you liked it!
      I’m going to post some more if any more new games catch my eye. (Gonna post something about Sono Hanabira soon)

      Anyway, this is one of the best visual novels I have played and I bet those who have played it too would say the same.

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