Idol Magical Girl Chiru Chiru Michiru: Part 1 (PC) Review

By Sandy Kirchner-Wilson 11.09.2015

Review for Idol Magical Girl Chiru Chiru Michiru: Part 1 on PC

Not every game features the ability to pretend to be notepad and have no audio when minimised… Steam only hosts all-ages versions of visual novels, but "all-ages" doesn't mean "suitable for children," and Idol Magical Girl Chiru Chiru Michiru is no exception. Featuring an abundance of risqué jokes and innuendos, the game is a spin-off of the popular Grisaia series of visual novels created by Frontwing and published by Sekai Project, split into 13 chapters across two game parts in an 'Anime-like' format.

This visual novel provides a humorous narrative detailing the life of part-time idol Matsushima Michiru through her weird and wonderful magic adventure. One day, after a show, she's walking home when she bumps into, of all cliché things, a talking black cat named Nyanmel who's trying to hire magical girls to save the world from the Seven's Chaos. Michiru is reluctant, thinking it might be a prank, but eventually agrees to take up the mantle after being told that if she succeeds, she'll be granted one wish.

Taking place in the modern world, many of the happenings are shown as a news report on TV. The narrative itself is excellent, as it doesn't bombard the player with too many in-jokes. It does its best to balance progressing the story with having a laugh, usually at the main characters' expense. For example, while Michiru is learning to fly it turns out she's rubbish at it. Barely able to hover, she goes on patrol after being convinced it's the right way for her to travel, and gets herself into trouble in a café and thus makes her exit on foot, much to Nyanmel's delight.

Screenshot for Idol Magical Girl Chiru Chiru Michiru: Part 1 on PC

There isn't much gameplay to comment on, which is a shame. It doesn't even provide any game-changing choices which are so popular in current titles like Until Dawn or Telltale's series. Instead it's an exercise in monotony, where the only input is to click to continue reading. It's a good thing the script is fun to read. The artwork plays a huge part in keeping the story alive as it is bright, vibrant, and interesting. Character designs are distinctive and tend to somewhat reflect the character's personality, for example the main character is bright with large eyes, frilly clothing and a twin tails hairstyle and, for fear of stereotyping, has barely an iota of brain power. Occasionally to show off some form of action or funny moment the game uses a small explosion motif window with chibi art inside it that depicts what's happening in the current dialogue. This art is charming and expressive and helps to emphasise some of the more hard-to-imagine moments.

It's also fully voiced in Japanese, so if the voice work is bad, it's hard to tell for a non-speaker. The voices are expressive and fun, with no particular character holding the trophy for most annoying voice. The fact that the actors managed to reflect, to an extent, the emotional state of the character they are portraying helps keep the immersion up. The music is also good, and mostly used to help convey the mood of a scene with light plinky, plonky tunes for comedic effect and darker, more tense ones when an atmosphere shift is important. Each chapter is surrounded by anime-style opening credits and ending credits with vocal tracks. These are surprisingly catchy and hummable, with the typical overlay of English and Romanji subtitles for anyone brave enough to try and sing along.

Screenshot for Idol Magical Girl Chiru Chiru Michiru: Part 1 on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Idol Magical Girl Chiru Chiru Michiru is an extremely competent visual novel that expertly presents its humorous spinoff story with plenty of gusto and flair. It is consistently endearing and interesting, with some great audio work and a bright, clear, vibrant art style that, despite not being very unique, is better than a majority of other visual novels available through Steam. The main downside is the lack of player interaction, which puts the score down to just above average. It provides ample experience for its price as it lasts a good 3.5 to 5 hours at roughly 30 minutes per chapter, just like an animation would be, and should please most visual novel fans out there looking for a lighter read. Hopefully for part 2 things get a little more serious as the battle heats up between the two Magical Girls!

Developer

Frontwing

Publisher

Sekai Project

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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