If you’re a fan service enthusiast then chances are that you’ve probably come across one of PQube’s releases before. They’ve localized and published plenty of titles including Gal*Gun 2, Punch Line, and Song of Memories.
Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa is their first attempt at delving into game development and they should be feeling pretty pleased with themselves for how it’s turned out. It’s an absolutely gorgeous visual novel game, featuring a highly entertaining mini-game, and a wonderfully engrossing storyline.
The story begins with your first day at Fujisawa Academy; you’re a transfer student with a rather unusual friend. You’ve made a pact with an adorably cute fox-like demon called Mon-Chan. This gives you the power to see the truth behind lies.
One of the very first characters that you bump into is Nanami, a member of the school’s Occult Research Club, and it doesn’t take long before her exuberant charm causes you to get caught up in a story full of surprising twists and turns.
Schools can be the perfect breeding ground for strange and ridiculous rumors and Fujisawa Academy definitely has some pretty peculiar urban legends. Some of them include things like secret libraries of knowledge, as well as mysterious ghostly figures that wander the halls at night. Of course there can sometimes be an element of truth to these kinds of stories and it’s this truth that you’ll be seeking out.
When you’re investigating, the game will play out like any normal visual novel – you’ll get to select which locations to visit and make the occasional dialogue choice. While many of the different characters you meet will initially seem like the normal trope personalities, the more you get to know everyone the more you’ll realize that there’s far more to them than first meets the eye.
The first mystery you set out to solve seems fairly innocent. There is supposedly a great white wolf roaming around which, if you manage to pet, will bring you good luck. However it won’t take much investigating to begin to realize that there is a surprisingly dark edge to the school.
I won’t go into detail about the various mysteries you’ll uncover as I don’t want to spoil anything, but rest assured that the story is very entertaining and there are a fair number of times that you’ll think that you know where it’s all going only for there to be some pretty surprising twists to the tale.
Try not to get Your Knickers in a Twist
Every now and then you’ll come across someone who definitely knows more than they’re letting on, and it’s here that you’ll have to partake in interrogation battles. This is essentially a match-three style mini-game where you’ll be trying to to fill your target’s Happy Gauge by matching colored orbs. Whenever you select an orb it’ll move to the top of the grid, causing all the orbs above it to move down a space. The more orbs you match the more you’ll be able to strip away the lies and expose the truth while also stripping your opponents down to their undies – I guess that’s one way of exposing the truth!
If you like your fan service then Kotodama is certainly a feast for the eyes. The character artwork is gorgeous, with bright eye-catching designs for each of the main characters. You’ll also get to unlock a range of different racy underwear for each character that you battle; they’re all delightfully sexy.
The mini-game isn’t particularly hard but you only have a limited number of moves to finish off your opponent. It’s a bit of a shame that there’s no real scoring system or leaderboard as that would have greatly extended the replayability of this mini-game as well as letting you see how quick you are at stripping people compared to your friends.
There are a few different endings for you to unlock and you’ll need to pay close attention to what’s happening around you in order to completely solve all the mysteries in the academy. You’re likely to miss things the first couple of times you play through the game but thankfully you can fast-forward through any text you’ve already read. You can’t skip through the mini-game though, which means that it can start to get a little repetitive.
One other negative that I have to mention is that, at the time of writing this, there seems to be a bug that can occur when trying to unlock one of the endings. It causes an interrogation battle to repeat infinitely instead of moving on to the next scene. There are also occasionally moments where characters are speaking but the text box that pops up is just blank. As the voice acting is all in Japanese you unfortunately can’t really tell what they’re saying. Thankfully the blank text box only happens very occasionally and you never seem to miss anything too important. Hopefully these little niggles will be patched fairly soon.
Considering that this is the PQube’s first venture into game development, Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa, is still pretty impressive. It’s a delightfully gripping visual novel, with beautiful artwork, as well as a really entertaining mini-game. It’s a very easy game to recommend to those who love visual novels and enjoy a bit of fan service.
Kotodama The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa Review - Expose the Truth
Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa review code provided by publisher. Version 1.02 reviewed on a standard PlayStation 4. For more information on scoring, please read our Review Policy.