Greetings Backloggers! This week I covered another Visual Novel, Kansei. The sequel to Jisei, Kansei picks up the story of our mysterious protagonist the day after the end of the previous game.
Like its predecessor, Kansei features full voice acting, a rarity among the short VNs I’ve played. It’s also longer and less linear than Jisei, featuring three endings. One ending only unlocks after completing the other two paths. Players who haven’t gone through the previous game will miss some context for character dialog, but Kansei really stands on its own merits. If this is your entry point to the series, Jisei could be played later and treated as a prequel.
For this game, the action mainly takes place at the mansion of the wealthy, reclusive tech company owner who had hired the team for the previous operation. Shortly after the team arrives on the premesis, said owner abruptly expires, likely of foul play. Suspects include the personal assistant, the I.T. guy, a nosy reporterette, and a nephew soon to be written out of the will thanks to his illegal activities.
Over the course of the investigation, we start learning a lot more information about both our protagonist and the other members of the team. He had a sister; after her murder, he disappeared; his re-appearance three years later (making him eighteen years old in this story) has already begun causing ripples as he is recognized. The twins, too, have quite the past – aside from various con games that landed them in trouble with the law; there’s the implication of a much darker, larger conspiracy involving them. The fourth member of the team remains a total cipher, although there are a few tantalizing hints about government black projects with her also.
Gameplay offers a series of branching decision trees. Some have definite effects on which ending you get, others simply provide additional story information or help you determine the murderer’s identity. The story does feel a bit truncated at the end. There’s a lot of good leadup, but the denoument, when it arrives, strikes with the abruptness of driving off an unseen cliff at the end of a hill. You’re cruising gradually towards a finish, then suddenly it’s all over.
Playing through one path took me roughly ninety minutes. Add another sixty to ninety minutes for the second and third endings (skipping what you’ve already read) to get the True Ending. Developer sakevisual helpfully has a hints section on their website, which takes a lot of the guesswork out of finding the remaining endings.
Backlog Verdict: Good story, good voice-acting, solid writing. If you enjoy VNs or loved Choose Your Own Adventure books, then Kansei is worth a few hours of your time.
Previous Backlog Count: 1,197
Current Backlog Count: 1,195 – Finished Kansei, removed a duplicate game from the list.
Next Week: Long, long before Flappy Bird, there was… Flicky.