This is an 18+ Review of both the All-Ages and Hentai version of the game. Be advised not to scroll further down if you are below the age of 18.
Genre: Visual Novel
Publisher: Sekai Project (All-Ages), DenpaSoft (18+)
Release Date: May 30th, 2015
Lolinia gives Fruit of Grisaia a Drastik Measure 9.1 out of 10.0 (91).
There are some visual novels in this world that merely tell you a story. Then there are visual novels like Fruit of Grisaia that make you experience it. I went into the game expecting nothing more than a great story, but the depths to which you get to know the characters and their respective backgrounds really make it so that you can’t help but experience the game in its entirety. Fruit of Grisaia is more than a good book you cannot put down; it is a culmination of music, visuals, and emotions that stimulate the senses alongside the words. This may seem like a bunch of fluffy writing at first, but it is the truth. The game truly does stimulate the senses to create a truly breathtaking experience. It took this reviewer 410 hours to initially complete the game due to re-reading and going through the extras constantly and an additional ~220 hours to make notes and compare to the 18+ version.
However, because of how astounded this reviewer is at the game, in order to judge the game fairly, the final score will be an average of scores given to different aspects of the game. Overall, I’d love to give this game a 105 out of 1 (yes, just 1), but that’s just not possible. From here on out will be personal accounts of going through the game mixed with the technical aspects. Minor and some major spoilers will be present, so beware of going beyond this point in the review if you don’t want to be spoiled, especially for the Amane route.
Fruit of Grisaia is an erotic visual novel from the minds of Frontwing and brought to the English language in an All-Ages format by Sekai Project. It is the first of a trilogy of games and is currently priced at $39.99 USD on Steam and DenpaSoft at full price. This is a review of both versions of the game.
From a technical standpoint, Fruit of Grisaia is sound, yet has some bugs in the UI and text. As you progress through each route, occasionally, the text gets caught on itself and doesn’t actually show on the screen. However, if you use the mouse wheel to scroll back text, you will see the missed text there. Sometimes, the text bar would also move up the page, covering parts of the game it wasn’t meant to cover. The game also seems to hate the Steam Overlay. Oftentimes, notifications would be left hanging on the screen. At other times, if you tried to Shift+Tab to the Steam menu, the game would freeze up. The game only crashed on me once the entire time I played it, but when it did, I had to delete the game from my HDD and re-download the entire game from Steam.
While not overly abundant, there were some editing hiccoughs along the way as well as blatantly-overlooked QC errors, but the latter was quite infrequent. When taking a screenshot with F12, whether in fullscreen or windowed modes, the game would minimize. While not a bug (as F12 is supposed to do that, according to the keyboard configurations), it makes it a tad harder to deal with the Steam overlay. In addition to all of that, while this is certainly not much of a problem, the game also had many random screenshot keys. At times, the “I” key, the number pad “0” key, and the “Enter” key would work as screenshot keys. I also feel as if there weren’t enough choices.
Overall Technical Score: 7.6 out of 10.0 (76)
Sound-wise, Fruit of Grisaia kicks the proverbial butt and provides relaxing, emotional music throughout the game. Songs that produced a sense of impending doom; songs that produced joy; songs that produced the need for a hug. This game has them all. Each song felt appropriate for the moment. From the comedy-riddled “Colorful Seeds” to the relaxing “Sky in a Bottle” and the saddening, yet heartfelt “Want to Smile…”, Fruit of Grisaia provides optimal experience for the songs to set the mood. Furthermore, the sound effects were greatly handled. Thunderclaps, doors shutting, and even box cutters being extended and dog heads being crushed were excellently heard alongside the visuals. The sound effects truly made the world come alive. Alongside the sound effects was also the voice acting. During the common route and her own route, Michiru’s voice acting captivated me the most. Every “MukiiiiiiiiiiI!” was delivered with comedic punch and a flair all her own. Amane’s penchant for changing dialects on the fly and Yumiko’s forceful, yet gentle tone also were points of interest with the voice acting. Overall, I wouldn’t want to change a thing about the voice acting.
Overall Sound Score: 10.0 out of 10.0 (100)
Visually, the game is beautiful. The character sprites were done quite well and were appeasing to the eye. I fell in love with little visual effects thrown around throughout the game. When a character was giddy with excitement, the sprite jumped. When the character was mad, the ‘swollen nerve’ in their forehead would appear in giant red coloring. When nervous, the character would have sweat drops pouring out of their head. Little additions as the words were read helped bring these characters off the screen. Seeing a character sprite come in from the side when they were being sneaky or sliding down the screen when they would try to shrink away from the conversation truly added another level of sensation to this visual novel.
The backgrounds were well crafted and plentiful. From the dorms to forestry to building insides, there were plenty of scenes to keep your mind from thinking everything was the same. There’s very little about the visuals that I’d change, other than some places were without visuals. It would’ve been nice to see the inside of Makina’s house or the neighborhood of her half-sister during Makina’s route. It isn’t like they needed to be shown and I can understand leaving some things to the player’s imagination, but when you show the childhood homes of 3 of the other main characters who had flashbacks in the home, it’s kind of hard not to want to see it.
Overall Visual Score: 9.9 out of 10.0 (99)
The characters and stories themselves were wonderfully crafted. Five girls with traumatic pasts gathered into a school where they can retain somewhat healthy school lives and the guy who comes in with his own past circumstances. In this garden, he helps turn bruised fruit into ripe fruit. That’s what the flowery writers would probably say to you about this game, but in all honesty, Yuuji is an asshole.
Yuuji Kazami is the name of the game’s protagonist. He is a grade-A 100% asshole to most people. However, unlike most visual novel protagonists in his position, that attitude of his is mainly due to his own traumatic past. He was born to abusive parents and lived constantly in the shadow of his genius, elder sister named Kazuki. Upon losing his sister to a bus accident, his life only got worse as his father beat him and his mother did nothing to stop him. After his father died (supposedly, Yuuji killed him, but it is said that he wasn’t the one to do so), Yuuji and his mother moved around and she eventually committed suicide. He then went to live with an uncle who caused his life to change forever. Situations (that I won’t go into) led to him being found by a women named Asako who worked for a secret section of the Japanese government. Once with her, he began learning how to kill as an assassin alongside Asako until she died. Her death causes Yuuji to lose the will to kill and he’s given special permission to attend Mihama Academy as a student.
Throughout the storylines, Yuuji is presented as a not truly helpless, rather average guy, save for the secret government assassin job. He can be rather standoffish and smug, at times. He’s also a Jack of all trades. To be quite honest, I highly disliked how Yuuji was written when I first started reading this visual novel. It wasn’t until I got off the common route that Yuuji’s true personality shown through. He is actually a kind-hearted, yet no-nonsense man when you get to know him. A testament to how you need to get to know a person before judging them and shows you just how much care was put into crafting the characters.
Next, we meet Sachi Komine, the class representative who always dons maid apparel. Sachi will never turn down a request from anyone. From creating a backyard barbecue to stopping a test from happening, Sachi never turns it down. Stemming from an accident that caused her father’s death and mother’s vegetative state on her birthday, Sachi aims to be the best ‘Good Girl’ she can be. Funny, quick-witted, always ready to be called upon, and never without some sort of retort, Sachi is seemingly the perfect class representative as well. However, she is tortured by herself over the accident that took her parent’s out of her everyday life. After setting a school on fire, her guardians had her sent to Mihama Academy to further her education in a safer environment. What’s safer than a school that only has four students at the time?
It is then that we meet Michiru Matsushima, a self-proclaimed tsundere and master of ‘Mukiiiiiiii’. Okay. Maybe the last part was added on, but you got to admit that she does that sound well, unlike her try-hard act as a tsundere. Michiru is a blond-dyed hair, Vitamin C-chugging, grade-A idiot. Or so she would have you think. Michiru loves to be the class clown due to how depressed she is. Due to growing up in an environment where most of the adults in her life would constantly tell her that she would amount to nothing, Michiru grew up to view the world completely different than most, leading her to only make friends with one person who was about to commit suicide because she thought it was unfair that the person would die before her. When she eventually lost that friend, her heart gave out on her and she was transplanted a new one, which gives her chest pains every so often. Because of circumstances arising from the heart transplant, Michiru now attends Mihama Academy to complete her studies.
Amane Suou is portrayed as a horny, big sister character and is presumably the most ‘normal’ of the entire student body of Mihama Academy, but ‘normal’ is a very relative term. After all, she wouldn’t be at this special school without a reason. Amane is kind, sweet-hearted, and always feeding someone in the school. She’s always grocery shopping for the lowest prices and wants the best for everyone in Mihama Academy. However, in her middle school days, a camping trip with the baseball club went wrong that caused her bus to go over a cliff and land on its side in a jungle-surrounded valley. This bus accident leads her to living with the remaining baseball club members for two weeks on sparse food, until they start eating the dead. She barely escapes thanks to the help of another baseball club member that sacrifices herself so that Amane could survive. Upon her return to civilization, Amane is called out as being cannibalistic by her peers, even though she never ate the meat in the first place. She attends Mihama academy because of this torture from her peers.
Alongside Amane, Makina Irisu is a bubbly, high-spirited young girl with the attention span of a gnat. Able to change her voice and personality on the fly, Makina is portrayed as the little sister character. She is constantly calling Yuuji “Onii-chan”, which is a close relationship-form of ‘big brother’ in Japanese. Born to the rich Irisu family, Makina seemingly had it made, until her father stumbled upon some documents that made him a threat to ‘national interest’ and he was shot six times. Did I mention that Makina was kidnapped and used as ransom for that? Did I also forget to mention that he was shot in front of her? And that she wasn’t found for six days… alongside the corpse of her father right next to her? In the middle of summer in a hot warehouse? Yeah… After that, she spent six years in the hospital. Upon exiting the hospital, she was sent to Mihama Academy to continue her education.
Finally, we meet Yumiko Sakaki, the heiress of the Sakaki household and the reason Mihama Academy was built in the first place. As proclaimed by Makina, Yumiko is both a tsundere and kuudere. Her father, Michiaki Sakaki (try saying that fifteen times fast), built the school after his attempt at fooling his daughter into thinking he loved her failed and she snapped with a box cutter at her then-current school. Yumiko shies away from most gatherings and will, at times, act as if she doesn’t care about anyone, even herself. However, she truly does care about everyone in the school, to the point of knowing each and every one of the student’s and faculty’s background information. Inside, she is a sweet girl, but as the old adage goes: Every rose has its thorns.
The sex scenes in the 18+ version of the game are nothing to shake a stick at, as you can see. The art by itself is visually stimulating. However, unlike another game I recently reviewed, you also get the joy of sex sound effects in the background. Not only that, but the scenes are also chock full of emotion and a bit of character development. You can honestly feel that it’s not just sex for the sake of sex. Sadly, you don’t get a footjob from any of the blondes in this game like you do in the other one I mentioned. But you do get a gallery dedicated to only the sex scenes, so there’s the happy point.
Overall, the story is great, but each route was quite different. Makina’s route was, in my opinion, the ultimate story as far as routes go. Michiru’s story felt quite lacking and both Yumiko’s and Sachi’s routes were excellently done. While I felt that Amane’s route was done well enough, it didn’t have quite the impact as some of the others and after learning everything about Amane’s past, the story feels quite rushed.
Makina Route: 10.0 out of 10.0 (100).
Michiru Route: 8.1 out of 10.0 (81).
Sachi Route: 9.7 out of 10.0 (97).
Yumiko Route: 9.0 out of 10.0 (90).
Amane Route: 7.4 out of 10.0 (74).
Overall Character and Story Score: 8.9 out of 10.0 (100) [Rounded Up from 8.84. Why up? Cuz Makina pissed. And Amane pissed in her own mouth. 😀 ]
All in all, Fruit of Grisaia is a fantastic visual novel. Although the comedy may be a bit more than “All-Ages”, this visual novel is an excellent example of the genre as a whole. At $39.99 USD on both Steam and DenpaSoft, I feel that it’s a steal, as it provides as much content and re-playability as some $60 USD AAA games. A great story, combined with great art and technical design, makes this game well worth it, in my opinion.
– Michiru’s voice actor
– Amane and Makina piss
– Killer soundtrack
– Invigorating storylines
– Never a dull moment, to be honest.
– A ton of comedy to match great visuals
– Amane’s short route
– Makina’s family
– Arguably… the lack of extremely kinky sex in Yumiko’s route
– No footjobs
– Easily feels like there could’ve been more passionate sex scenes.
PS. Need more games with sex like this that drives the girl absolutely crazy.