UsoNatsu ~The Summer Romance Bloomed From A Lie (Uso kara Hajimaru Koi no Natsu) is an upcoming ‘all-ages’ yuri visual novel from LYCORIS, localized by Sekai Project. It poses an interesting question: Instead of forgetting someone you cared about… do you think it’s possible to simply overwrite those memories with different ones?
These impressions are based on the demo version, which you can find on the Steam page. It’s rather brief, having taken 40 minutes to read through, so this will be a short article. We hope to later post a review after playing the full game, so please keep an eye out for that.
Update: You can find our full review here.
Hot for Sensei
Kaoru has a rather complicated relationship with her old teacher from middle school. She has a crush on her but has been repeatedly turned down. Despite this, they often spend time together, almost like pseudo dates. It’s an unusual relationship that has been going on for two years until one day Kaoru gets her heart broken.
Shiori has a very different problem. She’s an honor student and represents the school. Most would think of her as a success, but she doesn’t measure up to her brother, a doctor. She asks that Kaoru help her to overwrite her memories of him. In turn, Kaoru asks her the same for her memories of her crush.
It’s a rather unusual idea and even Kaoru notes that it’s pretty out there. But it certainly makes for an interesting start to the story, between a very early heartbreak and working to overcome it, along with Shiori’s problem.
The opening is packed with rather emotional moments and it becomes the start of an unusual connection between the two characters. It’s certainly a strong hook and I’m looking forward to seeing where they go with this. If nothing else, I’ve not yet found out where the ‘Lie’ in ‘The Summer Romance Bloomed From A Lie’ comes from.
Kaoru and Shiori
UsoNatsu ~The Summer Romance Bloomed From A Lie is told from the perspective of Kaoru, who certainly has a distinctive personality. She jokes around, doesn’t get flustered easily, and can be a little flirty. Despite this, she’s cold enough to question why someone says they like her. To a point, she fits into the ‘boyish’ role sometimes found in yuri titles, which is added to by her design and the lower pitch of her voice.
Seeing Kaoru who has a seemingly less emotional personality get her heart broken makes for quite a sudden break in character. It built up the connection to the teacher well too, despite such a short amount of screen time together. It makes me wonder if the time spent overwriting memories will expand this further, or focus more on time spent with Shiori.
We know less about Shiori from the short demo. Aside from being an honor student and her issue with her brother, we can see that she’s easily flustered at times. Despite seeming like a rather typical example of the ‘perfect girl’, she’s the one to come up with the unusual idea and push it forward. There’s another moment where she takes a strong action too, though it soon gets dismissed due to being a misunderstanding. I imagine there’s more to her than it seems.
While she’s only briefly seen at the start of the demo, another girl called Riku will get involved later on. It sounds like she’s going to make the situation even more complicated.
Style and Sound
UsoNatsu ~The Summer Romance Bloomed From A Lie is a very modern visual novel, with the Japanese version being recently released. It looks it too, with a 1080p resolution and quite a few nice visual features. It includes animated sprites and CGs, with that slight movement of the body, blinking eyes, and lip sync to speech that help to bring the characters to life. The CGs particularly stand out with moments like hair blowing in the window and moving rain. More generally, the style of the art looks amazing.
The user interface is very nicely designed too, particularly elements such as the backlog. There’s even a convenient chapter summary on the menu.
In terms of sound, background music is used well for effect and is more sparse than some other visual novels, letting the voicing take focus instead. All characters so far have been voiced including the protagonist. Kaoru’s voice suits her character particularly well and her performance stood out during the dramatic moments.
While the demo is short, it was certainly enough to cement my interest in playing the full visual novel. It has an unusual premise that should make for an interesting story and characters I’d like to know more about. The art and sound both seem to be of high quality too, which is always a plus. It was already on my wishlist, but the demo confirmed that it deserves its place there.
The demo is publicly available, so if this sounds interesting, go give it a try yourself.
USONATSU ~THE SUMMER ROMANCE BLOOMED FROM A LIE IS PROMISING
Want to check out more visual novels? Why not check out our review of KamiYaba: Destiny On A Dicey Deadline? Or if you’d like another Yuri title, perhaps OshiRabu: Waifus Over Husbandos might be of interest?
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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.