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Review: Yosuga no Sora

The title screen is rather plain.

I had planned to play this for a while, but I was waiting for the English patch. While a 50% fan-translated patch should be released by trjr next month, it’s always delayed so I said “screw this” and went for the usual ATLAS-helped play-through.

Yosuga no Sora is an incest story, and while I really don’t have any incest fetish, the art is drawn by Takashi Hashimoto, who has an appealing style (at least to me), with a lot of soft, almost pastel colors.

It’s a typical harem VN, except that Haruka Kasugano, the protagonist has to choose a heroine very early amongst five different girls: Nao, his meganekko childhood friend, Akira the local miko (also a childhood friend), Kazuha, a wealthy classmate very protective of Akira, Kazuha’s maid Motoka, and the “main” heroine his twin sister Sora. Sora’s arc is typically considered as the “real” arc and is only available after having cleared another route.

Release Data
Full title: Yosuga no Sora – In solitude, where we are least alone
Developer: Sphere
Language: Japanese
Age rating: 18+

Haruka and Sora Kasugano just lost their parents in a traffic accident. Since they are alone, they decide to live to their grandfather’s empty house, in a small village they visited during their childhood. While Haruka has a lot of precious memories there, Sora is extremely reticent.
There, they will meet old acquaintances and eventually make new friends.

Yeah, there’s nothing particularly new or original there. Of course what is important is the execution and the characters.

They just arrived and Sora's already sulking. Tsundere, much?

Story and Dialogue
One word: too short. The execution feels overall rushed. Considering this is a romance story, it’s important to slowly build the relationships between Haruka and the heroines. And sadly, they all fall to him immediately, and almost literally orgasm by its sheer presence. They do have some secrets though and certain arcs are intertwined with each other (Akira/Kazuha and Nao/Sora), but really, the problems’ resolution is so fast that you can’t avoid to snicker sarcastically at how quickly the girls throw themselves at him. And there I thought the Tohno Gland was unique…

Considering the theme of the story, you would expect some kind of moral debate about incest. Why is it wrong? They haven’t been raised together, they fell in love, so why mustn’t they to consummate their love? Don’t expect much on this side either – except a bit of angst and drama.

They are definitely *too* close.

Aside from Sora, the characters are not very detailed. Actually, they might be, but their arcs are too short for the characterization to really take effect and they’re in the end more archetypes than anything else. Akira’s the cute bubbling girl who hides behind her smile, Kazuha’s the proud ojou with a heart of gold and so on…
Haruka in particular suffer from this. He doesn’t have any particular reason to fall in love with any heroine (again, Sora’s an exception – her arc is vaguely more detailed) and he doesn’t have any real personality. We just know he’s cute, studious and kind. Oh, and he’s really torn out between his morals and his attraction to Sora. Yup, that’s all unfortunately.

Ryouhei's passes on Sora are really too enthusiastic.

CGs are drawn by Takashi Hashimoto and are very pleasing to the eye. The resolution is medium (800×600) and the total number of CGs is quite low. Don’t expect the ten thousands of pictures you can find in minori titles or even Fate/Stay Night. Still, both the style and color choices blend well with the atmosphere.

Composed by Manack, the soundtrack overall favors sad, nostalgic tracks. It can be quite heart-wrenching during the saddest parts of the game.
As for the cast, the main duo is voiced by rather experienced seiyuu, Hiro Shimono and Hiroko Taguchi (who respectively voiced Hiro and Miyako in ef) and the other actor’s performance is excellent. Akira’s actress, on the other hand, has a very high-pitched voice which genuinely made me cringe at times, like a chalk on a black board. *shudder*

Yosuga no Sora is Sphere’s first title. As such, they needed a strong impact visually speaking. They did manage that, as the graphics are very pleasing. However, it would have been a better idea to scrap every route except Nao’s and Sora’s to make them longer and further develop the characters, especially Haruka. Among six main characters, Sora’s the only one with a visible amount of depth (which isn’t that much either). It is enjoyable, sure, but there are better VNs out there to play. If you happened to have watched the anime adaptation, don’t hope to find more here – the game doesn’t add anything except explicit sex scenes.

To summarize, play this VN if you have time, but don’t delay Little Busters! or Demonbane for that. Well, or if you’re a twincest fan, that is.

And now they're busted.