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Genre: Adventure, Casual
Publisher: Sekai Project
Release Date: Jun 23, 2016
Edited by KnightAvenger
The Grisaia series, as a whole, between the originals and Phantom Trigger, have all had their good and bad points. As I have read the novels, I find that I tend to enjoy one series over the other, but, with the release of Phantom Trigger Vol. 3, I felt it was time to go back and relook at one of my previously reviewed Grisaia games in a new light: The Labyrinth of Grisaia Unrated Version. The Labyrinth of Grisaia Unrated Version is an anime, slice-of-life visual novel, developed by Frontwing and later released by Sekai Project, that, while being nearly identical in the story, characters and its visual flair, has readded some previously removed content from the novel on Steam with some mixed results in content additions.
Walking back into a familiar world, the story of The Labyrinth of Grisaia Unrated Version is essentially the same, with some new special bonus added content and redone scenes previously removed from the Steam version. As I pointed out in my review of The Labyrinth of Grisaia, the story is less a whole tale and more of a seven piece story that is divided into smaller sections. These sections felt more of a gift to previous readers and less friendly to new readers, focusing on the events of the previous novel. We have the five main story sections, reflecting if Yuuji decided to date each of the girls after the end of the first Grisaia novel, which are your bread and butter of the tale. Following this is Yuuji’s past, which I actually enjoyed much more the second time around, having some backstory from the first novel. Then comes the short stories, a small set of stories you can read that are more side content but still good for filling in some missing pieces of the story. Finally, they added some new content known as Professor Dave’s Masturbation Station, a small six piece set of content made for the unrated version of the novel that tells some lewd but entertaining side stories not seen before in the story. This content is, without a doubt, the biggest addition to the story and it doesn’t hide its darker nature.
Unfortunately, the biggest issue I felt that held it back in the original review still rears its ugly head here, which is the impact of the storytelling falling towards the wayside once again due to the stories’ lack of any serious connections to the other four chapters. I felt this type of storytelling was really nicely done in some part, as it did allow us to experience what would have happened if we had made that choice in the first Grisaia novel. However, this comes at the cost of ultimately separating the story into fragments and losing much of the building of action and tone when you finish one story and then jump into another. The writing itself is still really good here, and each story, on its own, could be a separate novel, so I can appreciate Frontwing giving the fans plenty of content to read as a continuation.
Diving right in, let us talk about the readded content The Labyrinth of Grisaia Unrated Version brings to the table and why I felt it was a positive and negative experience. On the positive side of things, I felt it definitely added back some much needed missing content, adding some reading time to the novel, which is always nice. I, too, found that some of the uncensored scenes made more sense than in the clean version that left some details out. However, there is also a negative to any positive. In this case, there are pixelated coverings added over certain body pieces during some scenes. This is mostly for the males, which was not a huge issue for me, but, if it supposed to be uncensored content, why still censor something as simple as this?
I do want to bring attention to the completely separate story area called Professor Dave’s Masturbation Station, which is exclusive to the unrated version of the novel. This story area is a collection of six stories that are based around different topics, and, while it is definitely one of those preference types of situations if you check this out or not, it does add another three to six hours worth of content to the novel. It also was one of my favorite additions, as the stories in this collection are characters most of the time separate from the main story, so we get to meet and experience new characters, even if it is in a lewd setting.
With the presentation of The Labyrinth of Grisaia Unrated Version, we’re treated to an anime experience that keeps the level of detail across the whole series, both with its visuals and soundtrack. Visually, The Labyrinth of Grisaia Unrated Version looks very much like what modern animation graphics tend to be, which is nice, as it adds these certain elements to the table. The backgrounds used in each scene are unique and never reused, for the most part, only reshown if a character is in the room in question. The best example of this unique setting is each of the character’s bedrooms, each having this different type of style and decor to them. The characters are pleasant to the eye with very solid animations as a whole, although I do find one issue with the overall animations. As I was rereading The Labyrinth of Grisaia Unrated Version, I found the characters, in terms of the still images used in the adult scenes, to be flat and less animated. This bothered me, as I felt the character’s voice acting was enough to save these scenes, but it just would have been nice to see a change in facial expression as the mood or their pleasure changed when being in the heat of the moment.
Animated to fit the classical tone of the soundtrack, The Labyrinth of Grisaia Unrated Version still holds well to the visuals and scenes going on at the time. Musically, Grisaia, in terms of the soundtracks for the series, is well done and memorable, utilizing many classical-themed instruments, such as the piano and various wind instruments. This helps set the tone for the scenes of the story, giving new life, as even the adult scenes are given this fresh air behind it. The sound effects are still absent, minus the few from the original, but with a few new effects specifically for the adult content. These new effects really help fix one of my issues that I had with the novel previously, giving the sound effects more presence in the story. The voice acting is on point, like I stated in my previous review, although Yuuji still has no real vocal presence, which is something I was hoping to see.
Overall, The Labyrinth of Grisaia Unrated Version is still a great reading experience, keeping the segmented (but the whole story) together with its characters and flair although showing more problems than its cleaner counterpart. The use of multiple characters as context, an excellently written and told story, the addition of hours of adult content, solid visual designs, the unique backgrounds for each area, well voiced and animated characters, the memorable soundtrack, and new sound effects add up to it being a welcoming slice-of-life novel.
- The multiple character perspective and context of characters
- The story is excellently written and told
- Welcoming visual design as a whole
- The unique and different backgrounds of the world
- Characters are decently animated and excellently voiced
- A memorable soundtrack
- Can easily track story completion
- The addition of adult content and new separate stories for it
- The story separation is a confusing element for newer readers
- The CGI pictures feel emotionless, especially during the adult scenes
- Pixelation of certain body parts feels unnecessary
DarkLunarDude gives The Labyrinth of Grisaia Unrated Version a Drastik Measure 8.7 out of 10.0 (87)
For the price of $29.99 (USD) on Denpasoft.com, I can still recommend The Labyrinth of Grisaia Unrated Version to those seeking more Grisaia in their life, but I will advise that this version is geared more towards adults in mind, so be aware of that going in. I also do keep my recommendation of reading The Fruit of Grisaia first if you plan to dive into this one, as the story will make much more sense going in and out of each separate story, aside from the masturbation station content.