Aisuno! (ice-no? ice-snow? either way a pun on 愛すの) is yet another eroge from doujin circle Artemis and scenario writer Tenki Ame. I promise it will be the last one for awhile. And don’t worry, I have been playing other eroge since my last update, just translated ones and nukige that I probably won’t be reviewing.
Like many stories in otaku media Aisuno begins with the protagonist, Tomokazu, meeting a strange girl, Saki, who he apparently knew in his childhood. He doesn’t remember her. Like most girls from your past Saki apparently made a promise to marry Tomo. He doesn’t remember it. Naturally she ends up living with him, and from there the game flow is like other Artemis games. Most of the story is daily life scenes with lots of jokes and sex, and a little bit of fluffiness, (you get to choose what scenes you see by selecting different locations on the map of Tomo’s house) and at the end of the story there’s some drama. This formula works well and Aisuno executes it well.
The humor in Aisuno is really, really good. Tomo and Saki have great chemistry and they switch up the boke/tsukkomi roles enough to keep the jokes varied. The unfortunate part of the daily scenes is that the romance is insufficient, or at least it was for my liking. I was expecting an ichaicha game but Aisuno doesn’t qualify as one in my opinion. The main reason for the lack of romance is that Tomo has a cold personality so he isn’t very forthcoming about his affection for Saki. However when it does come out during a few scenes and toward the end of the game it results in an overpoweringly cute moment for the couple, which makes me wish all the more that he showed it more often.
There are two weeks where you get to select scenes from the map and shortly after that the drama kicks in. It’s somewhat heavy, but doesn’t last too long so it never gets the chance to reach melodrama levels. The drama is nakige-esque, so as a fan of nakige I liked it, but unfortunately it doesn’t have the thematic depth of Siskon or even Nee Summer 2. The major end game development managed to avoid being either of the two twists I was expecting, although it was something of a combination of the two. It’s sufficiently foreshadowed but still could have been more satisfying with a little better foreshadowing.
Because Aisuno is a Tenki Ame game I need to talk about the writing. It’s as excellent as I was expecting. The quality and quantity of word play didn’t leave me disappointed at all. Same goes for the imagery and metaphors. Of all the Tenki Ame works I’ve read this one had the most jokes that went over my head. There were also some that I barely got, which were enough to give me a sense of how high level some of the humor is. I still think Tenki Ame’s writing gets better the with each game he writes (although I hear quite the opposite about his newest one) so Siskon is still my favorite, followed by Aisuno.
Akino Saki: Saki is a genki, deredere, and perverted girl. Her personality is fun and multifaceted. She’s cute enough to drive a heroine-centric game, and playful enough to drive a gag-centric game. Considering Aisuno is a combination of both she makes the perfect heroine for it.
Tada Tomokazu: Romantic tension necessitates that a deredere girl be paired with a cold or outright tsundere guy. Tomo is closer to the former. He teases Saki and usually takes the role of tsukkomi in their interactions but his rejection of her is more uncaring than it is hostile. He’s a little more honest about his feelings for her in his introspection. Tomo introspects a lot, which seems to be common among Tenki Ame protagonists, and which is something I enjoy. It really helps to flesh out the character.
The soundtrack is by Little Wing but it’s really disappointing. There are only seven BGM tracks, and to make matters worse most of the game is spent listening to only two of them. These happen to be the most mediocre songs so they get annoying fast. The couple piano tracks that play during important scenes (not very often) are pretty good, and the ero scene song, another piano piece, is decent. The OP is a solid, but standard, pop affair.
The voicework is very good. Saki is the only voiced character (Tomo being the only other character, and like most protagonists unvoiced) and her voice actress does a great job. Her seiyuu has an easily recognizable voice, and unfortunately the only other game with her I’ve played was an NTR nukige. But after managing to disassociate her from that I was able to appreciate the quality of the work she did in both the normal and ero scenes.
I really liked the art, mostly because of the coloring style. That and Saki’s perfect breasts. Saki’s character design in general was really appealing to me. The CGs, most of which are found in the ero scenes, also have great attention to detail. If I had to describe the art (and I do, since this is a review) I would say it’s erotic, but in a classy way.
The art, voice acting, writing, and Saki’s breasts all combine to make for some high quality ero. The situations are pretty standard stuff but I think Saki’s character adds a certain spark that makes them more arousing. Namely her perversion. Sure, there are other perverted female characters in eroge, particularly in nukige, but Saki’s perversion is innocent like a young boy’s rather than lecherous like an old man’s (which is how I would describe most other perverted eroge females). Unfortunately Saki still occasionally succumbs to the clichés of eroge females. Not the perverted ones, the ones who are overly shy around sex. There are 14 ero scenes, which is a ton for a short game, but they’re spaced nicely between non-ero scenes and you won’t see all of them in one playthrough.
Pros: Amazing humor and writing; great art and ero; Saki is cute and has nice breasts
Cons: Disappointing soundtrack; not enough ichaicha; lacks solid thematic direction
Aisuno is an all around good eroge, but I’d say its two main draws are the humor and the ero. So if you want something to laugh at and fap to then this is a very good choice.