February 20th, 2007, by
Posted in VisualNews
Once upon a time, the English visual novel community was peppered with translations of full works (or, more commonly, demos of full works), without love for smaller, more independent reads. That all changed in 2005 when Insani, one of the more prominent English translation circles, gave birth to al|together, which is, in short, a festival for translations of free doujinshi, or self-made, visual novels, starting with Narcissu — the first localization of a doujin game sanctioned by its original creator, Tomo Kataoka of stage-nana. The nine participants pitched in to create seven titles (with an eighth released a bit later). al|together’s first run helped to break many of the preconceived notions about visual novels held in American otaku society — for example, the infamous “visual novel/AVG = hentai!1! LOLZ” concept, or how the protagonist in any given visual novel (or H-game, depending on who you speak to) would always gain a harem.
Among these wonderful reads is a gem aptly named A Midsummer Day’s Resonance (Japanese: Natsu no Hi no Resonance/夏の日のレサナンス) — a rather quirky visual novel that, as author Kagura Saitoh explains on his webpage Resonance, is the story of a modern-day summer, a rural location, a girl, a rendezvous, a miracle, a cellphone, the world…and love.
Kasumi Kurasawa is your average teenage girl. She confronts her freshman year of high school with an increasing amount of stress, she battles puberty as her mind and body changes, and she’s beginning to ponder about the mysteries of life, the universe, and everything. Everything changes, however, when an accident gives her cell phone the power to connect via a hologram-like screen with two girls from Tokyo. They become friends, but as they do, Kasumi starts to have feelings for Itsuki Mukai, one of the girls she happens to be connected with…
The novel is linear and takes about one to two hours to complete, depending on your reading speed.
The graphics do their work, helping one visualize parts of Resonance. The reason why I say ‘help’ is that many times, you won’t really see what Kasumi’s talking about — for example, a background for a dirt path is the catch-all for walking to and from school. There aren’t any special CGs, either — all you have is the background and the hologram portraits of Minamo and Itsuki. The characters are done well, have a multitude of facial expressions, and blink.
Overall, a decent package for a work of this length, but it could’ve been better, especially given the author’s experience prior to or during the creation of the project – including helping with graphics for GIGA games such as Baldr Force.
The audio in Resonance may be covered by MIDI tracks, but the songs chosen for the novel couldn’t have fit better. The only gripe I have with the audio is during a certain part of the game, a piano song plays; if you listen to that song long enough, it suddenly segues into full-blown techno, so that came off as a bit awkward, given its context.
A Midsummer Day’s Resonance is not voiced.
Seung “gp32″ Park delivers an excellent localization as always, conveying Kagura Saitoh’s work into a sanguine, silly, surreal, yet serious story. Seung manages to keep an active feminine voice, translating Kasumi’s narration into a wonderful read. I certainly can’t find any problems with it.
Long Story Short
A Midsummer Day’s Resonance is a cute read, though there are parts that make the story predictable. It’s recommended for both those familiar with the visual novel format and those who have yet to be introduced to it.
Final Score: 8.7/10
Original post by Spiritsnare, migrated from VisualNews