“While no single droplet holds much power, as those drops collect, they gain power to bore through boulders.
DEARDROPS – dear drops”
Deardrops is a fun and exhilirating visual novel, about a group of five people, who are of completely different personalities, styles and viewpoints, assembled together as a rock band.
Deardrops follow main protagonist, Suginami Shouichi, former world renowed violinist. Due to a certain incident, he instantly became the scapegoat of parapazzi attacks. Following the reporter’s random rumors and speculations, Shouichi was forced to withdraw from the world stage. He then returns to his old childhood town. Reunited with his childhood friend, he discovered the wonders of rock music through the live house she is living at. He then meets various other people; Gondo, Yayoi, Rimu and Riho, all veteran musicians in their own right. The five of them formed the band, Deardrops, and thus begun Shouichi’s new music ventures.
Because the visual novel is developed by OVERDRIVE, and the fact that it is created within the same universe as Kira Kira, it can’t be help that the both of them are always constantly compared. Let’s have a look at what I think.
Deardrops managed to create a more realistic story depicting about musical dreams and aspirations. Not including the less minor routes of Rimu and Yayoi’s, most of the major plot points in Kanade and Riho’s route are tackled excellently, especially Shouichi’s troubled and vague past.
Which brings me to the excellent characters, Shouichi in particular, is an intruiging entity in the visual novel. During the beginning, only short flashbacks were shown, and it is also shown that his past is still haunting him in his nightmares. Shouichi gets mentally stronger during the course of the game, and he even decided to face his past. The basic outcome of what happened will be revealed during Riho’s route, however, for more relevations and informations in regards to his past, it is recommended to play Kanade’s route too. Both of these routes are cruicial in looking at Shouichi at a more in-depth outlook.
Of all the heroines, Riho is obviously my favorite. She is hopelessly candid and audacious, and would never mince words, especially when judging a person’s musical capability. If it’s good, she gives praises it and if it’s bad, she criticizes it. Aside from Riho’s straightforward dream and the concept of facing oneself, her route also beautifully captures the familial relationships of the characters, and their parent’s acceptability of their children’s dream.
Riho’s route is indeed the canon route, but there is however one other route which could rival Riho’s in term of quality, and that is obviously Kanade’s route. Aforementioned, Kanade’s route brings more of Shoichi’s past to light. Her route is also the most dramatic and heart-wrenching ever, I won’t spoil it but the execution of the storyline is definitely up to par with the canon route.
For Yayoi and Rimu’s respective routes, they are definitely the less major ones. The basic premise of Yayoi’s route is the evolution of her blandness to someone who stands out, no major plot points. I didn’t play Rimu’s route but I’m sure it’s just going to be almost the same.
Another element which makes Deardrops superior then Kira Kira is their graphics. Kira Kira and Edelweiss suffers from slightly awkward disproportional faces. In contrast to that, Deardrops’s artwork are satisfactory, in fact, most of their designs had me doubting that it is an OVERDRIVE visual novel.
In terms of sound quality, most of the BGMs are good but surprisingly non-memorable. It is ironic that most of the live concert songs sound so awesome they completely overshadowed the BGMs. I always love fusion music, and during the latter part of the visual novel, some of their songs features violin + rock at the same time, it’s practically sex to my ears! In my opinion, I would say Deardrops’s songs would put up a good fight if compared with Kira Kira.
As I mentioned here, I like how some visual novel studios attempt to subtly connect all the releases they made, to make it look like every games they made are connected as a whole. Deardrops’s endeavor in doing so results in cameo appearances from Kira Kira. We have Souta from Kira Kira curtain call, and of cause, Kirari from the very first series, making an appearance. The appearances of old main characters make me feels nostalgic of Kira Kira all of a sudden, as it is one of the earliest visual novels I played. That being said, I’m planning to play d2b vs deardrops soon, perhaps once there are some news of it being translated or something..
At any rate, Deardrops is one great find. At first, I thought this game is more about violin and classical music but only then I found out that it is more rock-focused. However, I like it, and I’m sure fans of Kira Kira and rock in general would come to enjoy this game like I did.