There are not many sci-fi Japanese visual novels with yuri in them so it’s cool that there are some in the West including the one I am about to review, Rising Angels: Reborn.
Genres: Science-Fiction, Mystery
Themes: Leadership, Space Exploration, Yuri
Developer: IDHAS Studios
Length: 6 hours
Plot Summary: Despite brilliance and skill, Natalie Puccile, a Special Investigations and Tactics officer with the Katajion Directorship, has spent her career watching over a listening post in the middle of deep space. After the orders that she has always dreamed of finally arrive, she finds herself in charge of a small destroyer and tasked with discovering the fate of a missing research team investigating an ancient civilization.
Rising Angels: Reborn is the first major game in the series even though it is the second one made with “The Red Rose” having come before it, “Hope” being a remake of Red Rose and “Fates”, the sequel to Reborn soon to follow. The game is like a combination of Star Trek and Phantasy Star as there is an emphasis on intergalactic exploration and spaceship doodads over action and different species that remind me of the latter sci-fi video game franchise.
Besides the main mission and the dangers within it the strongest theme in the game is leadership. Natalie is put in charge of the entire crew of the ship and with it comes the relatable ups and downs found in such a position. Yes the drama in the VN can be drawn out and exaggerated at times but it is safe to say that the example given of how difficult it can be to lead a team of people with entirely different philosophies, goals, worldviews and in this game’s case, races can be quite hectic. It also shows that in such an important position difficult and usually unpopular decisions will need to be made and the time to make them can sometimes be quite short further pressuring one in command. However, the game also teaches that reliable and trustworthy allies must never be taken for granted but also in a scenario like this keeping one’s senses alert at all times is to be expected both on unknown planets and on board the ship. While the main story and reveals are nothing mind blowing or revolutionary the themes are presented well enough to keep readers interested when not focusing on the plot. Basically a straightforward Star Trek episode with a crew consisting two humans, a dragon woman, an angel, a demon, a hobbit, an elf, a cat girl and a lycanthrope that have a hard time agreeing with one another for several reasons.
The gameplay is standard VN fare with occasional decision making. The initial choices do not impact the story much but later ones most certainly will as there are multiple endings with one being canon.
The backgrounds and character are solid and the soundtrack is pleasant to the ears with a sweet OP and nice background tunes.
One does not often see a yuri pairing between a woman and a dragon woman but that is the romantic subplot here: An initially brazen and elitist leader and a spunky lieutenant with a warrior’s code and self-confidence that needs a bit of work. The rest of the crew is equally…spontaneous let us say.
Overall RA:R, while not earth shattering but it does showcase a promising concept in the sense that it gives the interested an idea of what to expect in the more expanded sequel. As a story it is both straightforward and interesting and the yuri’s nice. The game is free so it cannot hurt to give it a “plread”.
- The interested can download the game at the IDHAS Studios main site.
- There’s also the Steam version with an additional yuri romance route.