Sometimes too much of something can be bad for you. Hajime finds this out in KamiYaba: Destiny on a Dicey Deadline. Being obsessed with the idea of finding love, he visits a lot of shrines and gets tons of charms – too many as it turns out. A goddess of matchmaking appears before him, saying some of them worked but came into conflict. Now he’s messed up his own destiny and needs to find love within a year.
Fortunately Urara – that’s the goddess – is here to help. She bestows him with a ‘love scouter’ ability. This doesn’t tell you whether their power level is over 9,000, but it does tell you how close you are to someone via their destiny count. If Hajime can make it drop to 0 with someone within a year, he’ll be able to find happiness. If he doesn’t, he may just remain a virgin forever.
Not just anyone will do though. Due to his situation, only a few candidates seem to be possible. And they all just happen to go to the same elite academy. He has to study hard for most of that year just to get a chance to get into the academy and get close to them.
It’s a task that seems near impossible, but Urara decides to help you. Using her powers, she rewrites everyone’s memory and inserts herself into your life as your little sister.
It’s this interesting premise that drew me to play Kamiyaba. I was surprised to find that while this dilemma spurred Hajime to spend 11 months of his life studying, it took a backseat after the prologue. It was always there, but there was never much concern about not succeeding.
Candidates of Destiny
Transferring into the school, we meet the three destined candidates – Nanami, Suzuna, and Yukari. Their destiny counts vary wildly, with Nanami seemingly unreachable and Suzuna being extremely close to zero. Yukari is the more normal one, despite being the quirkiest character.
Nanami takes center stage in a way. One of the common plot points in all routes is that the heroines are separated from the rest of the school, though often out of respect rather than malice. Nanami is the Prime Minister’s daughter and the other students don’t want to bother her and leave the rooftop as a sanctuary for her.
The same applies to Suzuna in a respect. She’s an idol and despite being well-liked, people leave her alone. She spends time on the rooftop as well.
Considering their stations, the rest of the school isn’t exactly happy when you intrude on Nanami’s or Suzuna’s space.
Yukari is less liked. She doesn’t stand out as much in terms of status but just doesn’t follow social conventions. It doesn’t help that she’s incredibly observant and can make people feel uncomfortable by knowing things about them.
They’re all interesting heroines. Nanami can be overly formal, but she longs to be treated like a normal girl. Suzuna is incredibly kind and loves the idea of love, but she’s easily embarrassed. Yukari openly teases but has trouble understanding people at times despite her powers of observation.
Yukari was my personal favorite. I do tend to like the oddball heroines though. Her brand of teasing humor kept her route incredibly entertaining.
Make Your Own Destiny
Looking at the store page, you’d think that KamiYaba: Destiny on a Dicey Deadline only has three routes. It actually has six. Considering that they all appear on the title screen, I don’t consider this to be much of a spoiler.
Mao, Hanayo, and Urara herself are all available after unlocking their routes.
Mao is your cousin and childhood friend. Caring you for deeply, even outside of her route she always supports you. Hajime does seem quite oblivious to how obviously she’s interested in him at first though. Unlike the main heroines, she doesn’t really have any barriers. She just seems like a cute and normal girl in your class, though she does get overly worried and panicked easily.
Hanayo is Nanami’s childhood friend and bodyguard. There’s a history of long service between their families. Much like Yukari she often teases people, especially Nanami. Love isn’t really something she thought about, being absorbed with work and with supporting Nanami.
Mao and Hanayo are shorter routes than the others. As such, events progress quite quickly with them. It was a pity since both are great characters who I would’ve liked to see more of. Mao in particularly felt ignored outside of her route, as she only turns up occasionally. She’s the only one who doesn’t typically go to the rooftop.
Love and Fluff
KamiYaba: Destiny on a Dicey Deadline doesn’t have a strong plot. It’s more about the characters and their interactions with each other. It’s very much a sequence of slice of life scenes for the most part. Quite often variations of the same scenes occurred too; the group goes to the pool, they go shopping together for clothes, the heroine cooks for Hajime – sometimes the characters and relationships were different, but these often played out in similar ways between different routes.
While I enjoyed a lot about the characters and the slice of life scenes, it was a little disappointing at times that events never led to anything too serious. It was a fairly frequent theme that an issue that could become serious would pop up, but it would then be resolved quickly and without a major problem. Even the overarching issue of needing to get someone’s destiny count down to zero was just checked in occasionally and sometimes even purposely ignored. With that said, Urara’s route was more exciting in terms of plot developments than the others.
In terms of themes, it explored how Hajime was a spark of change to spur personal growth. Characters started to learn new things and move out of their comfort zone, which was interesting to see. There were quite a few touching moments of friendship too. Even when it might’ve caused a problem, members of the group would publicly defend and support each other.
On friendship, there is one more character of note; Taizen takes up the male best friend role. Another childhood friend, he had a lot of comedic moments about his jealousy that had me laughing out loud. Despite that, he supported Hajime throughout.
Red String of Fate
While the same scenes occurred between routes, each one did feel distinct. Most had the same basic structure of a problem holding them back from progressing on the route to a zero destiny count, then overcoming it. Each problem was different though and the characters themselves are all quite different in how they handle the relationship. In Suzuna’s route for example, she dives into a near dependent love that causes worry to your friends.
In terms of how to see these routes, the main heroines are all a simple choice away. The first time playing, there are only three options – to directly choose Nanami, Suzuna, or Yukari. Afterward, more choices open up. As a hint, if you want to choose Mao, you’ll need to backtrack before that choice as a new one appears. Fortunately KamiYaba: Destiny on a Dicey Deadline includes a handy ‘Skip to Next Choice’ and ‘Skip to Previous Choice’ option.
If you’re buying Kamiyaba on Johren or applying the adult patch, you’ll notice the title as KamiYaba: Dicking Destiny on a Dicey Deadline. Each heroine with a full route has five adult scenes, with one being ‘after story’ content. Mao and Yukari only have one scene in the story and one after story scene each.
The content is mostly vanilla, with some scenes where they could be caught in the act and a couple of bathing CGs. One thing that was repeated is all of the main heroines have a solo masturbation scene.
One extra feature here is the climax countdown. This gauge shows when you’re getting closer. It’s enabled by default, but can be turned off in the options.
I’m playing Kamiyaba with the most recent text patch, which I believe at the time of writing isn’t available on Steam. While it isn’t too bad, I do feel that it could use another editing pass.
Sometimes I wouldn’t notice any errors for quite a long time, but sometimes I’d find as many as three in one scene. These mostly tended to be minor errors where one word was swapped for a similar one or another tense – aka follow instead of followed or outside instead of outsider. Occasionally extra words were inserted or missing, such as a missing ‘a’ or extra ‘to’.
Oddly the credits didn’t play at the end of any route either.
Fortunately, it’s all minor, but worth noting.
In terms of localization which seems to be the hot topic at the time of writing, I only had one issue. Mao who calls you ‘Onii-chan’ in the voiced lines calls you ‘Bubby’.
Perhaps it’s me, but this felt incredibly unnatural. Maybe it’s an American thing? Searching the term up, it’s an American corruption of ‘Brother’, but not something I’ve ever heard spoken or read before. I’ve not even heard it in the standard American media that goes out worldwide. More than a brother, it made me think of ‘Bubba’ – which has a very different connotation to some of us who never heard it in person, but saw a certain popular old meme about prisons.
Another way it was an interesting choice was that it seems it was intended to move away from the brother concept of ‘onii-chan’ by avoiding ‘Bro’ or similar as she’s your cousin. Despite this, it used something that still means brother, just in a way that not many people would understand. Just calling him Hajime might’ve been more natural here, with one scene needing slight alterations since it references calling him ‘onii-chan’ (which only made sense in the localization if you knew the Bubby = Brother connection anyway).
Otherwise, it all seemed fine. Keeping in mind that despite living in Japan for a while and studying for a couple of years, my Japanese language skills are abysmal. As such, I can’t comment on the accuracy of the translation. But I think that isn’t too different than the main audience for these types of visual novel localizations – perhaps some knowledge of the language, but certainly nothing approaching fluency. It reads well without issue for the most part to that English-speaking audience.
Sights and Sounds
Graphically KamiYaba: Destiny on a Dicey Deadline is of extremely high quality. The art is beautiful, character design is great and there’s a good variety of character expressions, outfits, and poses.
Animation is used to good effect here. Flipping the background when someone is knocked over, suddenly zooming in and flashes of light are used to give a feeling of movement. Characters occasionally have reactions floating about to show their emotions too – little hearts or exclamation marks for example. Mao has a lot of these in particular due to her personality.
One minor downside is that occasionally sprites are small to show distance. The lines around the edges can appear jagged at these times. It does not happen often though and in exchange, the extreme close-ups are very smooth and detailed.
Other than the main characters, everyone is voiced. The voices all fit the personalities well, from the more deadpan Hanayo to the energetic Urara.
There’s a good range of music too. While none stands out in particular, there’s something for every mood.
Options are nothing outstanding, but certainly better than the basics. You can choose from six font options – I like Noto Sans personally. This comes with the standard options around text speed and auto mode and individual volume controls for each character.
Beyond that, there are some extras, such as the climax countdown which was already mentioned, and whether to set a default cumshot target. Screen effects can also be disabled if these make you uncomfortable.
KamiYaba: Destiny on a Dicey Deadline is essentially a story about love and getting closer to a heroine. Beyond that, it shows a touching friendship that grows between a group who at first just occupied the same space. While it won’t win any awards for the plot, there are some great characters who I enjoyed spending my time with – and that’s often what people enjoy behind this type of visual novel.
KAMIYABA: DESTINY ON A DICEY DEADLINE IS RECOMMENDED
If you are looking for another more comedic visual novel, you may enjoy Renai Karichaimashita: Koikari – Love For Hire or Harem Kingdom. We have also covered a wide variety of visual novels both original to English and localized from Japanese, which you can check out here.
Many thanks go to the publisher Shiravune for a PC review code for this title.
Support High-Quality And Detailed Coverage
Want to support the cost of us bringing you these articles or just buy us a coffee for a job well done? Click the Ko-fi button below. You can even find some digital goodies in our shop~!
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.