KiraKira is a japanese rock band visual novel developed by Overdrive. Overdrive was a visual novel (VN) company which specialized in rock band or rock culture in Japan. KiraKira was probably complex and detail VN game about life of punk rocker and their mind set which I ever played. You should played this game if you want to become rock musician. The game tells a story about a band group called Daini Bungeibu Bando or in short ‘d2b’. The band members are included Shikanosuke Maejima (main character/bass), Kirari Shiino (vocalist), Sarina Kashiwara (guitarist) and Chie Isurugi (drummer).
Shikanosuke and his friends are study in religious school that banned any wild and rebellious behavior of student can result into expulsion. As result, their club dubbed as literature club in school registration. One day, their school is planning make a cultural festival so Shikano decide to perform some kind music performance that unknowingly from teachers it has rock music genre. Their performance as punk rock band uproar their school festival even teachers unable to contain audiences enthusiasm. The story then move up into Shikanosuke’s gang decision to make a tour visit certain places in Japan.
In beginning of game there a part where showed background event why Shikano-kun interested to punk rock music due he was heavily influenced by his friend Kenta Tonoya and Yagihara from Star Generation band. One day, he attended the Star Generation’s performance and deep impressed to it that lead him decided to made similar punk rock band. Star Generation’s song named ‘Too Fast to Live Too Young to Die’ which part of the game showed how much extensive Overdrive had put research, designing graphic and sounding of punk rock genre in KiraKira. Only people who have passion of punk rock who able to put together this kind of game.
KiraKira’s gameplay was simple where gamer just read sentences showed up in screen until stumbled into option which lead into good end, true end or bad end depend on gamer’s judgment. The storyline was long before it split into three arch but enjoyable due accompanied by perfect music background which fit perfect as sentence rolled down. As result gamer will not easy boring to play it.
One aspect which make KiraKira so special is about cross-dress (not gender bender) life that experienced by Shikanosuke. None of any English translation VN which I ever played has a cross-dress character featured so extensive than KiraKira. Shikano-chan (main character cross-dress version) was result of his/her experience since kindergarten where he forced to wear female cloth which lead unexpected result. his life has been plagued by cross-dress nightmare in middle school that make him decide he will never let anybody know about his appearance in female form. Unfortunately, fate bring Shikano-kun into cross-dress world again due his male alone was like sore eye in female band group. There a lot hilarious situation experienced by Shikano-chan in her female appearance as story progress.
In summary, KiraKira is music animation game which showed some aspects in Japanese music band or industry which K-On! unable to provide in it’s manga or anime. Although, it also little bit mentioned seinen theme which not suitable to read by minor audience. The best way to described it both KiraKira or K-On! were filled each other weakness. You should play KiraKira if you like K-On!.
In middle of game there minor branch which can lead you to this girl if you can make it. No, she is not Sarina although she identical to her.
In matter of fact, there a sequel of KiraKira called KiraKira-curtain call that tells story second generation of literature club after Shikanosuke’s gang graduated from the school. The game has same sound and music quality as original KiraKira. In addition, it has long storyline which need some time to get into ending. Unfortunately, there only one story arch and no branch storyline like previous game. It has been rumored Overdrive rush the KiraKira-curtain call production in favor of DearDrops game. Their next project.
Gamer will play as Shouta in KiraKira-curtain call gameplay. He probably the only one who keep boys literature band alive in his school although it’s popularity far below female literature band. As story progress, he be friends with other characters who willing to help him to revive the glory of boys band. In addition, his effort not gone unnoticed by female literature band too. There a joy and sadness described as the storyline move down.
There also a manga version of KiraKira but nobody willing to translated it into English and no raw version of it floating in web either. So sad. I hope somebody can find the raw and translate it into English in the future.
Lastly, KiraKira series by Overdrive have been translated into English and distributed by MangaGamer (PC) and Mtrix.co (iTunes). Some people told the price was too expensive, but in my opinion it worth equal of money we spend to download the game.