Visual Novel: Brass Restoration
Brass Restoration is a free Doujinshi Visual Novel
about a high school student named Ryo Takiguchi. At the start of the story he's following in his dead father's
footsteps as an exceptional drummer, but that changes quickly in the prologue when he loses his left arm in a train accident.
The main story starts a few months later when he's released from the hospital. It deals with Ryo's struggles to come to terms with the fact that he can no longer be a world-class drummer, and tries to decide if he loves the heroine that the player has chosen. The player has a choice between four main heroines:
- Minori - Ryo's childhood friend and fellow music club member. Plays the flute.
- Yui - A Tomboy, and another one of Ryo's friends. An excellent singer.
- Yoshine - A rich upper-classman, who's also in the music club. She plays the flute.
- Kouri - An underclassman that Ryo has been teaching percussion. She also plays the piano.
The other characters include Tsubomi, Minori's younger sister; Koutarou, Ryo's good (male) friend; and Yukino, the teacher in charge of the music club.
This VN deals with serious themes and important and powerful choices, but is tempered with a good dose of silly humor. The art is quite good, the writing is decent, and the music is a fitting set of simple piano pieces.
English translation available here
This Visual Novel provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Yui.
- Accidental Pervert: Ryo crashing into Yui and ending up with a handful of one of her "mountains".
- Angst: A game built on the main character losing an arm will have some amount of angst. The girls develop a great deal of angst about their own problems and relationship with Ryo.
- Artificial Limbs: Ryo gets an artificial hand in Yoshine's route. He quickly learns that he still can't play the drums, though, to his crushing disappointment.
- Be Yourself: The main source of angst in Yui's route (with repeated emphasis) is Ryo's struggle to fall in love with Yui for who she is; Yui makes some attempts to act out her idea of femininity, but Ryo says it just comes across as weird. Subverted(?) in the end, where it turns out that Yui had the right idea—by acting as feminine as she can, she succeeds in winning him over. Evidently that was her real self. Huh.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Yoshine will go to any length to be with her beloved Ryo, short of murder. Played for comedy at first, but becomes more dramatic later as she begins to express regret at her more manipulative ploys.
- Big Brother Mentor: Koutarou, to Ryo.
- Big Fancy House: Yoshine's, of course.
- Blinding Bangs: Being, of course, blessed with some of the staples of nearly every old-school Dating Sim Visual Novel protagonist, Ryo's eyes are obscured from the player's view by his green hair.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Among other things, Ryo mentions to Tsubomi about why she isn't one of the characters with a route in the game. Also, watch for the fourth wall destruction in Kouri's route.
- If you choose to go to karaoke with Yui (thus breaking you're agreement to go to the club with Minori), Koutarou will state that affection points for Minori have gone down.
- Bromantic Foil: Koutarou
- But Thou Must: Used and lampshaded quite amusingly at a few points.
- Calling Your Attacks: "FOREHEAD CRUSHER!"
- Can't Hold Her Liquor: Minori becomes tipsy from just one serving of sweet sake...
- Cloudcuckoolander: Minori, and particularly Ryo. The game opens with the dude attempting to punch out the sun, and upon losing his hand immediately mentions a rocket punch or Dangai blade.
- Ryo looks mostly like a normal guy if you can't hear his thoughts. Which you can! While Minori betrays herself whenever she speaks. To make it clearer, let's just say even Ryo admit he's communicating with someone who has no common sense.
- Yoshine also fits this trope. She mistook Ryo and Koutarou's fight for homo-sexual intercourse.
- The Comically Serious: Koutarou is a stoic, white haired bishonen, making his strange taste in literature, the time he's nearly outted as a pervert, or being caught in embarrasing situations all the funnier.
- Curtains Match the Window: Kouri being the only exception.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Ryo.
- Death by Despair: Ryo's mother, after his dad died.
- Digging Yourself Deeper: Go, Minori, go!
"I'm saying Ryo-kun and I aren't like that... but I am a bit... I'm thinking I want to be like that if I can... but I don't think I can beat Senpai. I'm not trying to take him away from Senpai, but I do want to seduce him..."
- Disproportionate Retribution: The employee of the bookstore Ryo goes to in Kouri's route pointing a gun at his head because he didn't buy anything and attempting to kill him.
- Ryo lampshades how absurd it was.
- The Ditz: Minori.
- Earn Your Happy Ending - Something goes horribly wrong in all four routes.
- Elopement: They don't get married (at least by the end of the story), but Ryo and Yoshine run away to Bulgaria in her ending to start a new life.
- Epiphany Therapy: Since There Are No Therapists, this leaves Koutarou, Yukino-sensei, or Minori to dispense advice whenever Ryo needs help.
- Not nearly as effective as usual; advice and support might make Ryo feel better for a bit, but since this doesn't resolve his issues at all, he eventually falls back into a funk.
- Everything's Better with Plushies: Virus plushies. Kouri is a big fan, and cheerfully sings their theme song: "We hurt people's bodies, eat their lives, and we go on~"
- Entry Pimp: At least one.
- Expressive Shirt: Kouri's bear purse (when she's in her normal clothes) mirrors her expression.
- Figure It Out Yourself: Koutarou is extremely hands off when it comes to advising Ryo, only saying whats absolutely necessary for a lesson to get through.
- Fingerless Gloves: Part of Yui's normal outfit.
- Finger-Suck Healing: Yui performs this for Ryo when he cuts his finger after being rescued from thugs in an alley way. Ryo reacts accordingly.
- Flashback: Used almost to excess, especially in Minori's route.
- Almost parodied in one spot towards the beginning where Ryo flashes back to a few sentences earlier in his current conversation.
- Game-Breaking Injury: The game is basically about how Ryo gets over his.
- Genius Ditz: Minori, being The Ditz that she is, is still noted to be a great flute player. Also, her class notes are so well-written that her notebooks are sought after by the whole school.
- Get a Hold of Yourself Man: Koutarou may not say it word for word, but when Ryo is in his Darkest Hour, he more or less does this, especially in Kouri's route.
- Heavy Sleeper: Ryo, he sleeps in every chance he gets and has earned the name "Koala man" for all the time he spends sleeping in class.
- Idiot Ball: Ryo seems to have several dozen of these no matter WHAT you make him do.
- Playing with his dead father's drumsticks at a train station and then jumping onto the track knowing a train would be there soon just to get them was a really dumb idea.
- Imagine Spot: Ryo has a few of these to go along with all the Flashbacks.
- Improbable Weapon User: Yukino-sensei uses her sake bottle as a club several times.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ryo is this, he's often a douche to Minori and Kouri, but at heart he is a nice guy who's just lost his way in life.
- Late for School: Occurs and is lampshaded, complete with toast in the mouth, in Kouri's route.
- Lethal Chef: Minori, who often cooks with non-edible or lethal ingredients. She is good at cooking rice, however.
- The school cafateria also seems to have one of these. Serving poor quality, overpriced food where food poisoning is a common occurance.
- In one humorous flashback, Minori is proud of getting a 5 in Home Ec (out of a 5 point scale), Ryo takes a closer look and notes that it is in fact a negative five.
- Lolicon: Ryo explicitly states that young girls are his ideal woman, and in a later scene it's revealed Koutarou may be one.
- Lost Forever: Depending on what choices you make, you might never even meet all the girls in the game. And after Valentine's Day, you have no choice but to follow a relationship with one girl to whatever conclusion it brings.
- Love at First Sight: Kouri, after she saw Ryo put on a drum performance when they were both in middle school. She even came to the same high school for him.
- Love Dodecahedron: In Yoshine's route, Ryo and Yoshine are in love, Minori loves Ryo, Koutarou is in love with Yoshine, and Tsubomi is in love with Koutarou.
- Love Makes You Evil: In Yoshine's route, Koutarou gets insanely jealous when Yoshine falls in love with Ryo instead of him, eventually cornering him with the intention of choking him unconscious and ripping off Ryo's surgically-attached artificial arm. While Yoshine watches.
- Made of Iron: Ryo in Yui's route...well, apart from the whole losing his arm thing.
- Megaton Punch: Yui uses a few of these on Ryo in her route.
- Multiple Endings: Good, bad and normal endings for all the main girls.
- Kouri's endings have specific names rather than the generic "Normal end", "Bad end"...
- She also has 5 endings compared to the 3 the other girls have.
- Manipulative Bitch: Yamaguchi in Minori's route. She more or less uses Ryo to get Minori to go back to the music club and screws with his feelings a little to do it.
- Mood Whiplash: This game likes to swing from comedy to angst to heartwarming moments in the blink of an eye.
- My Greatest Failure: Ryo finds out about one of these in Yui's route. It turns out her friend was a singer who lost her voice through cancer. Yui tried to teach her to play the piano, but she had no talent. They got into a fight when Yui wouldn't let her quit. Soon after, Yui won a singing competition and her friend committed suicide.
- Nice Girl: Minori, Kouri and Tsubomi all qualify.
- No Guy Wants an Amazon: Much of Yui's route deals with Ryo being unable to think of her as anything but a guy with boobs.
- Non-Standard Game Over: Refusing to accept someone at Valentine's day, or failing to get onto anyone's path by then, brings you to the title screen.
- Not What It Looks Like: Except that Yoshine set the whole thing up on purpose.
- Not with the Safety on, You Won't: Subverted. Ryo invokes this against the bookstore owner, who then fires without hesitation. Turns out that that was exactly what Ryo was expecting - the question about the safety was to provoke him into firing. "...You can avoid a bullet if you know when it's fired."
- Oblivious to Love: Koutarou in regards to Tsubomi's affections.
- Ojou: Yoshine.
- Older Than They Look: Kouri, thankfully.
- One-Note Cook: Minori can make rice, and pure evil.
- Parental Abandonment: Of the dead parents type for Ryo, as well as for Koutarou and Kouri.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Yoshine wears one of these to her birthday party. Tsubomi also makes these but we never get to see them.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Although he's the player character, Ryo falls into this category.
- Power of Love: Heavily involved in the good ends.
- Refuge in Audacity: Much of the humor comes from the over the top situations, such as Minori making a meal using bone dust from mad-cow-disease-infected chicken bones.
- Refused by the Call: Ryo nearly becomes the political warrior, Sourinjin, but apparently the Call was meant for another person.
- Single-Target Sexuality: Tsubomi, for Koutarou. The game even lampshades it.
- Shout-Out: This game includes numerous Shout Outs to all manner of anime and visual novels.
- Stay in the Kitchen: The author's views of an ideal wife are very evident, especially in Yui's route.
- Third-Person Person: Kouri.
- This and That: Referenced quite often.
- Token Mini-Moe: Kouri.
- Tomboy: Yui.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Minori looooves her rice.
- Training from Hell: Yui's dojo has such "training" techniques as... getting hit in the head with a baseball bat (only Yui can take it) and getting your back rubbed with sandpaper ("Don't worry, no one's died yet.").
- A Twinkle in the Sky: Referenced in Kouri's route.
- Two-Teacher School: Worse. This game has a One-Teacher School.
- Ugly Cute: An in-game example in the Ill-pin characters, which are stuffed...viruses.
- Undying Loyalty: Arguably Minori to Ryo. In Yoshine's route when Yoshine's trying to drive Minori and Ryo apart Minori still gives Ryo advice on how to work things out, and in her route's bad end she stops hanging around Ryo because she thinks she's holding him back from properly getting over his depression. Then there's the scene where she gets drunk on sweet sake and says to Ryo "Even if the whole world is against you, I'll be on your side."
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: Minori, especially in Yoshine's route. And Koutarou, in Yoshine's route.
- Unusual Euphemism: Go, Minori, go!
Minori: "Um, how far did you get with Senpai?"
Ryo: "We passed Z."
Minori: "Eh... then you two already did this and that, did S and M already, I after the H... You passed the O with the mouth, put many different numbers in front of the P... and now you're resting together with the Z?"..."I've decided. I'll join you two in the P part."
- Verbal Tic: Minori has a habbit of saying "Nyu, Nyu" when Ryo teases her or she's stressed. Kouri also says "Pigyuu/Pigyaa" several times when Ryo picks on her.
- Victorious Childhood Friend: Minori, in (duh) her own route.
- It's entirely possible to win her in someone else's route! On Valentine's Day in Yoshine's route, say you'll accept Minori.
- Visible Silence: Used to excess. Characters will often 'speak' to each other in alternating streams of ellipses, with varying length.
- Wacky Guy: Ryo. He loves teasing and playing tricks on his friends.
- Would Hit a Girl: Ryo, though not out of malice.
- Yandere: Despite (or perhaps because of) her sweet nature, Yoshine sometimes seems this way. When Ryo gets out of the hospital (again), she has the taxi that was going to pick Ryo up replaced with a fake one from her house. A note in the passenger seat implies grim fates if he tries to sit there instead of next to her in the back, and once on their way she happily leans onto him repeating "Love" until he relents. Then there's the time she strapped him to a bed to treat his injuries and nearly got his pants off while Ryo frantically asked her to stop. Or her plot to sneak into his house late at night, knock him out with a shot of anesthetic, and kidnap him. Her complete ease with the extreme measures her family takes against intruders and enemies helps, too.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Kouri.