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izmosmolnar 2011-07-01 13:24

Kara no Shoujo (Innocent Grey Visual Novel)

Spoiler for promotional movie:

So I took the courage to create this thread after Mangagamer finally managed to release the proper release to one of my favorite eroge/Visual Novels, named "Kara no Shoujo" (Girl in the Shell). The translation is done by a fantranslator group (including myself) who began to work on it in 2009 December and after getting a C&D from the developer Innocent Grey in 2010 May started working together with them and with MG. Unfortunately it is a voiceless release as the rights were unrealistically expensive to get for the license (you can see it explained in more detail here), but due to that the price of the game is really cheap (25 Euros), about half the price of the Japanese download release and like third of the original boxed price upon the original release.
It's a quasi-sequel of Cartagra, another Innocent Grey game and they share three characters between them.

It's an investigative Murder-mystery game set in 1956's Tokyo where you play as a widower private detective called Tokisaka Reiji who accepts three cases in the beginning.
At first he accepts a request of a strange, but quite cute girl called Toko who'd like to find "her true self".
After that his old friend approaches Reiji, who accepts to help out the police regarding a series of bizarre, seemingly random murders committed in brutal fashion randomly throughout Tokyo.
And lastly, the principal of the all girls school Reiji's sister also attends to hires him to try getting to the bottom of a few missing girls commuting to the school, who disappeared some time ago without any traces, and as he'd like to keep it confidential asks Reiji to do it under the disguise of a newly employed part time teacher in the school.
Then the story goes on there and gradually goes great as the plot thickens toward its grand scope, connecting more and more together while with the assistance of your detective notebook, you gather clues, draw conclusions yourself, theorize potential suspects, and trying to catch the culprit. It really gives a sense of satisfaction after solving stuff in it, and this notebook system you have to use is pretty stellar.

I hope more people will play it for themselves and see what a good game it is with gorgeous artwork, good charas, solid story and nifty interactive elements. It's my favorite Innocent Grey eroge they developed so far.
Be advised that aside of the erotic content, due to the very nature of murders, there is gore in it and you will have to read murders.

Spoiler for spoiler box to save space telling a bit about some of the characters:

More sample CGs (including eroCGs), and the game itself is available at the official homepage here, and one can also download and try the free trial release too from here.

Blue-kun 2011-07-01 13:42

I'll just post here as well, since I just finished the game earlier this morning. Overall, I don't have much to add to what izmos already said, aside that it quickly rose to be one of my favourite games in the genre. The interactive elements such as the notebook and investigation sequels aren't too hard to grasp, and although they are pretty basic they're also incredibly functional and invaluable to the story, so that's a pretty great point. To people who get interested in it for being a mystery, you might not get the same amount of interactivity from it as you'd get from, say, Phoenix Wright, but rest assured that the writing is -- in my opinion -- vastly superior, which helps setting a fantastic atmosphere throughout the game.

That said, the mystery part of it was really well developed. Often we see games which just toss around a culprit and make him it "because we can". That doesn't happen here -- the story starts off as if it's an unrelated everyday case, but quickly you'll realize just how intricate the plot really is. And to make things even better, it builds up in a fantastic way for the ending, which makes a lot of sense. After reading it, I find everything to be very clear, being able to understand pretty much how and, most importantly, why these things happened. Although, there's one point which we never get to know, but since a "Kara no Shoujo 2" was announced earlier this year, I'm guessing it'll be an important point later on!

Anyway... I could go on about what else is great about this game, but I'll just wrap up giving a big shout out to Sugina Miki's art which is just absolutely stunning. If anyone's looking for a good mature (and based on a realistic setting, no witches here guys, sorry!) mystery story, this one is right up your alley. Sure, it has some slightly violent/gore-ish parts, but it's not something too exaggerated, and I think most of the stuff people feel at these scenes are due to the effects of seeing certain people dead, and not quite how it's being done. It's not overplayed, and it doesn't try to be gratuitously violent just for the sake of it, and for that it deserves a lot of praise too.

I'll wait for a bit more people to post their impressions once the game is over, and maybe we can actually get some discussion going about stuff here. Of course, if anyone gets stuck and needs help, I'm also avaible to help out, since I know some people just don't like to follow walkthroughs (like myself), but may need an extra push or clue.

Cantide 2011-07-11 02:57

Just finished the novel a few minutes ago.


izmosmolnar 2011-07-11 06:01

It's an utsuge (depressing game), so condemning it for what it sets out to do is kinda silly. It's like blaming a comedy game for having good comedy and making you laugh.


Bluemail 2011-07-11 16:58

I tried out the demo version and it was interesting. It already got me theorizing about things. The art is nice and not so typical as in some others. I haven't bought anything from Mangagamer yet, because I'm waiting for the Sonozaki-Futagotachi patch or for the time when I learn to read japanese better before getting Higurashi. And the other releases haven't sparked my interest. I think I could buy this, but still only sometime next year, when I have actually turned 18. :p

izmosmolnar, it seems like you've revealed something that's inside Cantide's spoiler tags... Though in my case it makes me anticipate unrevealing this story even more. Good thing I do have other things to distract myself with, like Rewrite, Higanbana and not the least final exams...

hoarfrost 2011-07-15 19:53

Definitely a game worth buying. Innocent Grey wasn't on my radar but if this is typical of their work they are a group I'll keep my eye on. The interactivity works well with the engrossing plot and the game really works as a holistic artwork.

Don't underestimate how frustrating it can get. I remember scanning the walk through so many times hoping with each new set of choices that I could save someone and being really dismayed when that blood red screen and screeching strings kick in. Unlike torture porn, there's a real feeling of dread that you can't always win.



Of course, if anyone gets stuck and needs help, I'm also avaible to help out, since I know some people just don't like to follow walkthroughs (like myself), but may need an extra push or clue.
At very least, I'd refer to a guide for the crime scene investigations given that a wrong choice might lead to it ending before you gather key evidence and since you don't have a clue what you did wrong, you end up dawdling at a dead end with no idea where to proceed.

Arkanis 2011-07-20 18:58

I got to my first end today, a bad one that is. This game is really beautiful, but very depressing at the same time.
While being aware that the experience would be the same, I feel, the story would give great material for a +18 Anime. To bad this will stay an unfulfilled wish.

Geburah 2011-07-21 15:00

In fact there IS an anime from Kara no Shojo, but seems it butchers most of the story and becomes a porn movie :(

Arkanis 2011-07-23 08:10

That is sad to hear :(

David Watts 2011-08-13 15:33

I started playing Kara no shojo a couple of days ago and I really enjoyed it
but damn when
Spoiler for spoiler:

I really liked Reiji as the main character because he was really reliable
and I liked the relationships he had with everyone they all seemed real

Khu 2011-11-27 08:19

Started playing this visual novel.

Holy shit this is better as mystery. Pretty gory prose, but if you can get past that, excellent writing.

Kanzaki Urumi 2012-01-29 04:35

Sick story, literally. However, at least the music is pretty darn good.

Spoiler for spoiler:

And I hope that KnS2 will not be so excruciating to read.

tiya_novlita 2013-01-01 18:15

This is one of the best interactive visual Novel I've been playing so far. I don't really like how they emphasize the H-scene though, or it's just my preferences. The story is well-paced and intriguing, yet depressing at the same time (damn it I just can't save the character I symphatize with >.<, each one is murdered in a brutal way)

Spoiler for main character:

Spoiler for medical:

Xefi 2015-08-03 19:48

Kara no Shojo - The Second Episode is currently listed on Mangagamer as "Release Date Pending".
hell yes! been waiting for the second episode for a long time now. hope they release it soon now. ^ ^

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