Kindred Spirits on the Roof Review

If I had made a list of my  “most hyped localized yuri visual novels of 2016” then the following one would have been on the top of it. Question now is after having played it, was it worth the hype? Let us take a look at Liar-soft‘s Kindred Spirits on the Roof, published by Mangagamer.

WARNING! This game contains strong language and uncensored love scenes between lesbians. This review will not feature risque images so it is safe for work.

kindred-spirits on the roof cover

Alternate Title: Okujou no Yurirei-san

Genres: Romance, School Life, Yuri, Visual Novel

Themes: Ghosts, Exploration of Homosexuality

Length: Medium (Between 25-30 hours)

Objectionable Content: High (Contains uncensored love scenes)

G-Rating: Great

Plot Summary:

Kokonotsuboshi Girls’ Academy of Commerce, a school built on the site of an old castle, known as “Shirojo.” Toomi Yuna spends her time here on her own, until one day her lunch on the roof is suddenly interrupted by a pair of ghosts.

Enoki Sachi, who died in an accident before the war, and Nagatani Megumi, who died of illness thirty years ago. These “kindred spirits” died with unrequited feelings in their hearts, met, and fell in love. They hold an ardent wish to experience their “first time” together before their eternal rest.
…But they don’t know how.

The two haunting spirits enlist Yuna to help them foster more “yuri” couples at the school, to assist girls struggling with their hidden feelings, and with the hope that their successes will help them glean the insight they need.

Sachi's - For Yuritopia - Declaration CG

My favorite CG in the game because of how adorable Sachi fist pumps declaring her goal of creating a Yuritopia. Sachi is also one of my favorite characters.

Before getting to the meat of the review let us go over some nitpicks that do not detract from the overall game but are worth keeping in mind.

  • First, the soundtrack, while pretty good, especially the OP and ED, is limited, meaning that some tunes will be repeated several times throughout the game. More tunes are introduced as the game progresses but for a game this big it could have used a few more tunes.
  • Second, while the game’s voice cast is excellent (to the point that some of them fooled me into thinking they were A Kiss for the Petals alumni), even the “squeaky” ones, there are many scenes in the game that are not voiced. It is kind of like playing a localized JRPG that contains cutscenes not voiced in English. Something like that. The bright side is that the scenes that are voiced are that much more important, from character development, extra fun moments and…”those scenes”.
  • Third, it may be because of my laptop being full but there were a few occasions the speed went down, like a game that runs on 60 FPS dropping to 50 FPS. It did not happen very often so no big deal.
Kindred Spirits on the Roof Cast

So many blossoming yuri couples.

And that pretty much does it for my nitpicks. I will not beat around the bush and say it right away. After finishing the main story I can confidently declare Kindred Spirits on the Roof as being one of the best yuri visual novels I have ever “plread”  (play-read since this a visual novel and all), and I have played several. This game is essentially a story about several young adult women being in love with other women and somehow making their wishes come true on their respective journeys to the gates of…”the promised land” and then having gained enough courage, joy with, trust in and love for one another that they would be ready to open the gates and enter “the promised land” known as yuritopia.

The beauty of how each of the stories is presented/played out is that while they are all chock full of cuteness and fluffiness, the relationships can be taken seriously. They are not  simple romances that are formed in less than a week or a day. They take time. Even though some of the ladies’ love are somewhat reciprocated quicker than others, that does not automatically mean their quest had ended. Far from it. Both ladies in love and love interests have personal and social challenges to overcome, such as social anxiety, self-esteem the “I am gay…?” and the “being in a lesbian relationship isn’t easy” dilemmas to name a few. To some “plreaders” a couple of these challenges/obstacles may not seem like big deals and can be easily overcome but for others who can empathize with these cute and sexy lasses it is understandable how their personal mountains cannot be easily conquered by any means. The “but we’re both girls” yuri genre trope comes up often in the stories but the way they are tackled each time is commendable. The girls notice their love but do not live in a secluded bubble. Basically the writing is great, creating a well done balance between believable and realism with the drama not going overboard…or at least close enough. Yes, even what happens during the month of October is well handled.

Kindred Spirits on the Roof Planner

The Planner, aka the chapter select, sound test and CG viewer screen.

Next up is the gameplay and what better place to start than the Planner. The plot progresses in the following way. The story takes place during different days in a span of seven in-game months. Teddy bear icons indicate main story chapters with Yuna being the central protagonist and the bulk of the story being narrated from her perspective, occasionally switching between Sachi and Megumi. When all the chapters in that month are completed, cherries pop up indicating events centered around the girls the leading ladies met during that month. For example, Yuna and the ghosts meet Seina and Umi in the month of May. That means when the main story chapters are done the cherries pop up focusing on either Seina or Umi during different days of the same month. When all the cherry events had been viewed, the next month begins. There are cherry chapters that take place on the same day as a teddy chapter. This means the “plreader” will see some events happen twice. The bright side is that during the second viewing it will be from another girl’s perspective. For example, Yuna bumps into Kiri in one of the teddy chapters and we see it from her perspective. The second time we view that same event in Kiri’s cherry chapter on the same day it will be from Kiri’s perspective, providing a different experience. Also there are additional scenes before and after the girls bump into Yuna, so basically transitions or segues, whichever the reader prefers. This means that every girl gets a chance to narrate, the ones in love, the love interests and Yuna’s brahs. The headphones on the top right are the sound test and the CGs are unlocked as the story progresses. So yes, thumbs up for chapter selects!

The million dollar question

The million dollar question yuri fans ask casual folks…who are interested.

There are vintage visual novel multiple choice moments. Their main purpose are to get the best ending and unlocking extra (apple) chapters after finishing the final chapter in the month of November.The game is linear though there are brief moments of branching paths when the “plreader” gets to pick which girl to check out first during the cherry chapters. The above mentioned game length is an estimate. It all depends on how fast “plreaders” are. A reasonable estimate is that the game is between 25-30 hours long. I personally clocked in at 51 (excluding the extra events) because I wanted to savor every single moment.

Miki cleaning Seina's dusty sleeve

The moment Seina Maki fell in love with Miki Aihara.

Kindred Spirits’ art style can be best described as charming and tranquil. It has a special charm that makes it stand out. It is difficult to describe but seeing the character designs and especially the CGs (even “those”) calms my mind.

There are several pairings in the game, seven in total. Besides the “Ghostly Duo” there are also the “Wild X Order”, the “Veterans” and “Student X Teacher” (which understandably can be a touchy pairing for some) pairings to name some of them. As previously mentioned all of the pairings are well written (even the last one mentioned). There is a favorite for most yuri fans. As long as the “plreader” is not picky then this game is a yuri goldmine. Speaking of…

There has been a long running controversy regarding sex scenes in story driven visual novels. Not counting eroge because they are obviously that kind of game’s main attraction. Anyway I would argue that the ones featured in Kindred Spirits are justified. See, the love scenes are very simple. Apart from the veteran duo everyone else are “beginners” and the love scenes reflect this. This means no rough stuff. It is all simple and clean lovemaking. Surprisingly in spite of the simplicity the love scenes are still well done in exhibiting a sweet blend of pure passion, exhilaration and steamy goodness. Oh and the conversations between lovers when taking a break from pleasuring each other ranges from adorable to hilarious, especially one in particular that made my jaw drop. Simple yet magical.

Overall, Kindred Spirits on the Roof is by no means perfect but in the end “perfection” is a subjective term. Despite the limited soundtrack, some cutscenes not being voiced and very minor frame drops I had an amazing week playing this title and experienced so many different emotions throughout along with some unexpected surprise moments. I firmly stand by my words that this is one of the best yuri visual novels I have ever “plread”. This is a MUST OWN for any yuri fan who is not picky in what kind of couples they want to see. As for everyone else…if you do not like yuri, this game is not for you.

Learn more about the girls by going here.

Buy the game on Steam or on Mangagamer.

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
This entry was posted in Yuri Video Game Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to Kindred Spirits on the Roof Review

  1. Trans Homura says:

    I do kind of wish one of the scenarios dealt with coming out. Just picture Seina doing that to Aihara’s homophobic mom. You dare call your daughter a faggot you piece of shit

    Like

  2. drinkie1 says:

    25-30 hours? and here i thought you were just enjoying the game a LOT with how many times i saw you playing it XD anyway once i’ve got my new Pc and a few other more expensive games out the way then i’ll be able to buy the game also did i read that correctly “Uncensored”?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. EasyO's says:

    And i thought I took my sweet time enjoying the game at 46 hours for a full clear. ;^_^
    As usual, your review review pretty much hit the bullseye i’d be aiming for if i did reviews and i couldn’t be happier how well received the game was in the western market, hopefully this will spur mangagamer and other localization teams to “bring on the lilies” more often now.

    P.S Hina-chan for president

    Liked by 1 person

  4. oldcityguy says:

    I enjoyed this VN a lot. In particular, the character design felt refreshing. The characters were distinct, attractive, and seemed to fit. It looked like the artist was different for the love scenes. I was surprised a couple of times when scenes were unexpectedly voiced,
    I’m one of those that don’t enjoy student-teacher relationships being depicted. In RL, there are too many icky power issues. In this case, it also used the childish sensei trope, which I also don’t find attractive. That hardly detracted from my enjoyment however.
    Hina was a real charmer and Yuna showed growth as the MC. My favorite character was Aki, slightly sadistic but very supportive of her brash but insecure lover.

    Like

    • OG-Man says:

      Oh yeah. Forgot to mention that. Silly me.

      That’s fine.

      Good choice for a fav in Aki and yes Yuna’s character development was great. Hina is love.

      Like

  5. torvhan says:

    One of the things I enjoyed the most about this visual novel was the conflicts fit with the highschool setting. Much in the same way Hyou-ka’s mysteries just seemed to FIT so well.

    Like

  6. Hal Turner says:

    Brah, details…was there enough yuri to get you hard? Did you jack it? How many wads did you get out of this game, or, better yet, did the game get outta you?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. YunaxGlassesGirl4life says:

    Do you get to choose who Yuna ends up with, or is just her short friend?

    Like

    • OG-Man says:

      You’ll have to pay attention to how Ano and Hina act in front of Yuna and how she reacts to them to find out who is the chosen one. There is only one.

      Like

  8. Lena K. says:

    Oh, I’ve been waiting for this, what a nice read and I do in fact agree with basically all of what you just said (what a surprise right?).

    Though, I am pretty sure Maki and Matsuri are both voiced by the same person who voiced SonoHana’s Eris. Actually, I’m 100% sure of it. I think she might have just used a different pen name or something like this.

    By the way, I also reached the scene you’ve most likely been hyping me about. Well, they did talk about certain heat a lot… and it was… well, how to put it, wonderful… really wonderful. I’m still stunned actually.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. zuneko says:

    I really want to buy this game, but I can’t! >A<

    Like

  10. Kai says:

    Surprise to see that it’s voiced too. Its in my backlog so I’ll get to this title soon.

    Like

  11. This game looks fantastic, albeit pricey af (typical for VNs of this length which is why I can’t justify buying them unless I’m absolutely certain I can afford it and will love it). And given that I’ve been having so much time and difficulty with technology for playing other visual novels like Fate/stay Night and Steins;Gate, I really don’t know when I’d even get to this. Plus, the PC version of Dangan Ronpa is out and the new Blazblue game is coming out soon, and I’ve got a limited budget.

    The one question me and my friend specifically had though for me this isn’t gonna make or break me buying this game, I have to hold off on it for a little while, is how explicit are the sex scenes. I read a review on Steam that said they don’t show genitals, only breasts and nipples in the CGs. And I understand that they aren’t male gazey or hardcore like in SonoHanabira or really any other hentai, but I’m just curious about how explicit they are overall. And are they censored etc.

    Otherwise this was a great review that gave me insight into this game, and we should be good as long as you can answer my question. Thanks for the great coverage as always, OG.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. yurimylove says:

    what an excellent review! For an excellent game! I’ve finished the game, including the November chapter, clocking in at 42 hours — time well spent 🙂 Yuri stories done right, I’d say. If only someone would kickstart it for an anime…

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      Oh yes indeed. An excellent yuri game this is.
      Unlocking all the extra chapters and getting the 100% will take some more hours. It’s definitely worth it.

      Liked by 1 person

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  18. automaticimperfection says:

    !! Super helpful review, I am so getting this too!

    Liked by 1 person

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