Biniku no Kaori is a 2008 eroge from elf.
Biniku no Kaori is the story of Minami Takuya, a college student who begins working as a live-in tutor for the affluent Mizawa family. It isn’t long before he finds himself embroiled in the family’s affairs…is how a summary trying to make the story sound interesting would go. The problem is that there isn’t much to the family’s “affairs.” The majority of the game is spent living in the Mizawa house and experiencing a series of mostly mundane occurrences. Still, this is relatively enjoyable, partly because of the writing and partly because of the game’s system, which involves moving freely through the house in realtime 3D. The exploration is fun, even if it isn’t nearly as fleshed out as a proper adventure game-style eroge.
There are small suggestions early on that something is happening in the house. However both because the hints are minor and because they’re relatively unintriguing they don’t do much to grab your attention or make you eager to find out what’s going on. I found myself spurred on much more by simply wanting something, anything, to happen after so many uneventful days than by the small scraps the story throws you every now and then. Luckily the story does have the occasional good moment outside of the minimal mystery. There are a few really good dramatic, character-oriented scenes, so you won’t spend all of the common route (which makes up most of the game) wishing for the game to hurry up and give you some answers.
There are three routes in the game but they branch late in the story so they’re short and overlap quite a bit. Otoha’s and surprisingly Kaori’s routes don’t add much to the story other than ero scenes. Saya’s route has major developments that completely change the game. These revelations are good, but I seriously wonder why they would put all the twists in one route when there’s no enforced playing order. If you play Saya’s route first, like I did (actually I did her bad end first, which reveals the same twists, so that was even more annoying), the other two routes feel even more pointless and you’ve missed out on some buildup and foreshadowing that would have made the events in the route better. This is a frustrating flaw in the game’s organization, so if you play Biniku no Kaori make sure you do Saya’s route last.
After clearing Saya’s route you can access an additional scenario. This further elaborates on the story and is really good and enjoyable to read, more so than most of the main story. Unfortunately I thought it was building up to some sort of grand true end, but in the end it just sort of ends without truly adding anything to the story. It just expressly shows what anyone should have inferred after Saya’s route and only presents a couple things that really qualify as new information, one of which felt completely unnecessary. Needless to say, when Fin came up at the end the scenario once again left me frustrated.
Biniku no Kaori has a small cast consisting mainly of residents of the Mizawa house. Most of them are developed to a satisfactory level but nothing beyond that, and they aren’t very memorable. This includes the protagonist. Saya gets some credit for being a realistic tsundere, to the point where that label doesn’t really fit her, although some aspects of her personality, like her views on sex, are still unrealistic. Matsutarou, the head of the house and Kaori’s husband, is the opposite of most of the rest of the characters in that he’s memorable because he’s so fucking crazy, but he isn’t very well developed. The one truly good character– memorable, developed, and likeable– is Kaori.
Biniku no Kaori has a relatively limited (or maybe I’ve just been spoiled lately) but good soundtrack. All of the tracks are good with a few that are really good. Unlike most eroge, Biniku no Kaori also makes extensive use of silence and ambient sounds, which helps create atmosphere.
The voice acting is above average across the entire cast, though to what degree depends on the character. Kaori’s seiyuu in particular did a great job. Saya’s is another noteworthy mention.
I used the phrase “erotic but classy” to describe Aisuno’s artwork, but those words are much more applicable to Biniku no Kaori’s. The art is gorgeous and sophisticated. It’s also very sexy. This is especially recognizable in the game’s many fanservice CGs, which are often hotter than the ero CGs. It wasn’t until playing this game that I realized most eroge are severely lacking in fanservice, probably because they think having ero is enough service as it is. But Biniku no Kaori’s copious panty shots, cleavage shots, ass shots, etc. make me wish more eroge would include similar CGs. Biniku no Kaori has a lot of CGs in general, which I was very grateful for given the extremely high level of the artwork.
The one problem I have with Biniku no Kaori’s art is that all of the males look like aliens. Except for the protagonist, although I’m not ruling out that he too might be an alien under those long bangs that conveniently hide his face.
Most of Biniku no Kaori’s ero scenes are animated. They aren’t fully animated in the sense of having multiple drawn frames, but rather it’s the type of animation where a single image is turned into an animation (don’t know the term for it). Biniku no Kaori makes this work a lot better than other examples of this type of animation, which can often look pretty bad, but it still isn’t comparable to full animation.
The subtitle of Biniku no Kaori is Netori Netorare Yari Yarare. This has led many to think it’s an NTR game, including me when I first heard about it. There is some netorare but not very much and it’s almost entirely found in bad ends. As a netorare fan I found Biniku no Kaori’s amount of NTR severely lacking. Netori makes up a larger component of the ero since one of the heroines is a married woman. But the majority of the ero is either normal sex or normal rape. However I think our Takuya has an NTR fetish of his own since he makes the girls say NTR-like things during some of the otherwise normal and romantic sex scenes.
There’s quite a bit of ero in Biniku no Kaori but it’s nicely balanced with the story, other than more ero being concentrated toward the later parts of the game. The quality of the ero itself is good, but mostly because of the art and animation. The text during the ero scenes is very light on descriptions and heavy on lines made up of nothing but onomatopoeia. It’s also light on moaning and chupa sounds and heavy on characters having conversations, which are often not even directly related to the sex at hand. Lastly, a game with this much ero needs to have background moaning/sucking sounds like just about any modern nukige has. In the end, though, the animation and situations are enough to make the ero in this game quite fappable.
Pros: Gorgeous art; good scenario; good ero; good balance of scenario and ero; Kaori
Cons: Forgettable cast; majority of the story is slow; organizational problems; dissatisfying final conclusion
Biniku no Kaori has a pretty good story, but mostly just because of the twist at the end. And the twist felt like it lost a lot of the impact it could have had had there been more plot building up to it. The ero isn’t frequent enough to make it a nukige, however, so you’ll be playing it for the story (it’s definitely not a charage either). Therefore it’s difficult to recommend the game very strongly. Still, I found it consistently enjoyable despite being somewhat disappointed given all the good things I’ve heard about it.