Have you played Aokana – Four Rhythms Across the Blue yet? If not, please go play that before reading up on Aokana – EXTRA2. If you’d like to know more, check out our review. Already played it and love Misaki or Flying Circus? Keep on reading – this is for you.
Aokana – Four Rhythms Across the Blue – EXTRA2 (Aokana – EXTRA2) is a fandisc, directly following the end of the Misaki route from the original visual novel and written by Ryouichi Watanabe who wrote the original route. The whole premise revolves around the final events from Misaki’s story, so unlike our normal reviews, some spoilers of the original will have to be mentioned ahead.
Feelings of a Champion
In the original Aokana, Misaki’s route focused in a way on her feelings about losing. As someone who could seemingly succeed at anything, she was conflicted when finding someone who she believed could grow faster and eventually beat her. Mirroring the protagonist, whether she would continue was in question, until she finally made a comeback.
Aokana – EXTRA2 has a similar storyline but instead looks at the challenges of a winner. After winning the tournament, there are sore losers, and people who find her to be a target to take down. Her friends and rivals are all aiming for her in some way.
While Misaki’s feelings are complex, one point which is often repeated is the players ‘preparing their knifes’ for her, and how she should feel about that. In more basic terms, it’s how players see her as a threat to overcome and will specifically come up with ways to take her down, as she did with Inui.
You may have forgotten that a player called Mayu Ganeko was beaten by Misaki. It was essentially skipped over in the original. Unfortunately, she felt the same – That she wasn’t taken seriously. She challenges Misaki over this. While it has plenty of fun moments around Mayu’s odd relationship with Arika Okoze (and a rather nice CG), she comes across as a serious opponent.
Minamo has her own reasons to challenge Misaki too, and not just her unrequited love for Masaya, who is now dating Misaki. That said, I liked that it more explicitly showed how she felt about Masaya and we see her grow in confidence somewhat from the extremely shy girl in the original Aokana. That she gets a lot more time than before in this fandisc works nicely to set up the upcoming Aokana Minamo If too.
To Play Flying Circus
The complicated thoughts on how other players feel about her and how she feels about them aiming for her isn’t the only factor here. Misaki doesn’t have much reason to play Flying Circus or any life goals. Whether she should continue and her motivations are explored.
Unlike Aokana – EXTRA1, while Aokana – EXTRA2 does have romantic moments and slice-of-life scenes, it focuses much more on Flying Circus. A lot of it is matches or Misaki’s inner thoughts about competing and sports. Even some of the romantic moments involve Masaya’s potential return as a player.
Some of the explanation of Flying Circus was repeated, which will work nicely as a refresher for those who haven’t played Aokana in a while. It managed to add a few new elements too, along with an interesting look at the mechanics and ideas for new tactics. It often mentioned how the sport is evolving and particularly how Inui’s actions had made positioning a much more important element going forward.
I enjoyed this focus on the sport. Exploring her feelings was really interesting and kept me hooked. I ended up playing the entire 5.5-hour visual novel in one sitting. The action scenes with matches were full of tension too and linked nicely with the more introspective segments.
Aokana – EXTRA2 does focus on Misaki, but I was happy to see that a few other characters were highlighted too. We got to see some matches of the people around her, and I was happy to see ‘Prez’ in particular get a moment to shine. Though not everyone had much time, which makes sense with the nature of a fandisc and Aokana’s large cast of characters.
Anyone playing Aokana – EXTRA2 should have played the original Aokana, so will know what level of production values to expect. It’s just as high quality here. Aokana is one of the nicest-looking visual novels around and this one comes with 1440p assets and an option to upscale to 4K.
Aokana – EXTRA2 contains 80+ CGs (not including variations) and 50+ pieces of music including several vocal tracks. Quite a lot of this is the same as the original, but many new CGs have been added. All characters are again voiced, aside from the protagonist.
The content itself is fairly vanilla, aside from some costumes and more adventurous places than the bedroom. Unlike most titles published by NekoNyan, mosaic censorship is used due to the Japanese publisher’s wishes.
There are only a few H-scenes, which fit the sport-focus and short length of the visual novel. For those playing without it, the Steam version still directly mentions sex happening but fades to black. Unlike some visual novels, not much is lost without them in this story.
Aokana – EXTRA2 is a fitting follow-up to Misaki’s route in the original Aokana, with an exciting focus on Flying Circus and the feelings that occur when competing in sports with friends and rivals. Even as someone with no interest in sports, I was hooked. If you enjoyed this side of Aokana, I’d certainly recommend you pick it up.
AOKANA – EXTRA2 IS RECOMMENDED
If you have not yet read Aokana or Aokana EXTRA1, they are worth checking out. The PC version made our top visual novels of 2019 list, which you can read here. If you would like to see more visual novels, you may be interested in our review of Under One Wing.
Many thanks go to NekoNyan for a PC review code for this title.
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A gamer since the days of Amstrad and DOS and someone who has dabbled in a variety of professions. He enjoys a wide variety of genres, but has been focusing on visual novels and virtual reality in recent years. Head Editor of NookGaming. Follow him and the website on @NookSite.