(Note: Review code provided by Mangagamer)
What do you get when you mix A Kiss for the Petals (Specifically Hanahira) and Kindred Spirits on the Roof while toning down the drama a bit? Well something like Lilycle Rainbow Stage!!, developed by PARTICLE. Read on to find out exactly what I mean.
Genres: Comedy, Moe, Romance, School Life, Yuri.
Length: 30+ hours (Give or take)
The above poster says it all essentially. Some background before going into full detail. I am certain fans of the source material will fill in the gaps in the comments section. So, “LRS” originally started as Drama CDs featuring the couples in the main cover being introduced one by one. Peeps who picked up the CDs got to know the girls, their personalities and how most of them became couples. At some point in the game events are unlocked for each couple briefly summarizing how they hooked up, similar to how it was done in A Kiss for the Petals: Maidens of Michael.
To describe LRS in one sentence it would be the following: “A fun, adorable and relaxing game about seven yuri couples interacting and strengthening their feelings for each other”. We start with a roll call during a picnic introducing everyone to the cast and giving “plreaders” (play-read) an idea of which of the girls is/may be dating. After the OP “plreaders” are taken to the main calendar (more on that in a bit) and the stories continue from there. Each of them are adorable, amusing and precious with some drama thrown in here and there. Nothing too intense. It is just right for people who just want to see girls having fun and loving each other. That is one of the game’s main draws.
To give a preview of what to expect from the couples let us briefly sum up the state of their relationships:
Ayame X Hina: Precious lovebirds who often debate on which of the two is the most precious. Minor signs of possessiveness thrown here and there but nothing dangerous.
Hane X Seira: Cool girl X tsundere rivals. “You are super annoying but I cannot imagine a life without you by my side”.
Mio X Natsuki: “You may be a little sloth but you are MY little sloth”. They have a similar dynamic with Kirari X Anzu from The Idolm@ster: Cinderella Girls.
Ibuki X Alice: “Live-in Maid” trope. Something like Tohru X Miss Kobayashi from Dragon Maid.
Mai X Mayu: “I want to a cool and reliable sister you can count on”. “I love both your cool side and especially your true needy dork side”. Wincest couple.
Waka X Ayumi: Genki X Sweet Devil. Waka is one of the best genki in Japanese media and Ayumi may be mistaken for a Hina clone but is quickly revealed to be a mischievous trickster who likes cute things and playfully teasing her friends and girlfriend.
After getting to know the six aforementioned couples the three main girls take the stage for a while. Eventually the six get more snuggle time but this trio are the definitive main characters. Yuno the aspiring idol, Saeka the kunoichi and Miss Tamaki the college student. These three will get their own brief summaries:
Yuno became an idol because of a promise she made with Miss Tamaki. Struggles with school because of this and wonders whether she can accomplish both successfully all while fulfilling her promise to make Miss Tamaki a proud fan of hers.
Saeka lived was born in a faraway village training under her legendary grandma to become a great warrior. Although she is very kind her strict training, position as a member of the school disciplinary committee and a lack of interpersonal experience make her both admirable and intimidating. With the help of Yuno and interacting with the other girls she slowly learns to find a balance between her true self and becoming more expressive. In short she seeks the answer to the million dollar question: “What is normal?”
Miss Tamaki is in her second year of college studying to become a high school teacher. She applied to Yuno’s school for her internship. While this part of her story is brief I strongly related to her as I had a similar experience during one of my college internships. Remember kids, becoming a school teacher is not easy. Not at all. Anyway Miss Tamaki’s dream is to become a respectable and dependable person that everyone can count on…which is easier said than done considering her short stature, cuteness and carefree attitude (Seriously. Stature aside I felt like I was looking at myself through Miss Tamaki.).
I am certain readers will ask a specific question. My answer without giving anything away is “Yes they are and yes they do. The road there has many paths causing the three to experience many emotions and approach said emotions in their own ways but ultimately the finish line is what some think/hope it is”.
As I said in the introduction the game is like a mix between A Kiss for the Petals and Kindred Spirits on the Roof in content, story progression and gameplay. This is not a story with Bad Ends because everyone including the main trio are already set, meaning the goal of the game is finding and viewing every event on the calendar as they become available. Sometimes “plreaders” will have to look back at previous months to find hidden events (Somewhere around August). There are dialogue options, yes, but as I said the goal is to find everything and see how the stories unfold, meaning sometimes it is recommended revisiting certain events with dialogue options. It is not difficult figuring out which ones to revisit. Events are split between ones centered around specific couples, groups or the entire cast. Viewing them will unlock other events. Keep it up until all are found.
The presentation, graphics and soundtrack, are all fitting of the rainbow in the title, meaning they are cute and very colorful. Everyone has sparkly crytal eyes and Saeka has flowers in her hair (I do not mean literally). There are some sexy scenes (beach and onsen) but otherwise it is a safe game to “plread”.
Overall Lilycle Rainbow Stage!! as is adorable, fun(ny), precious and wonderful. A great game for yuri and open-minded fans who want to sit back and enjoy cute girls doing cute things and being cute couples. If this sounds right up your alley then by all means give the game a go.
PS: There are special bonus events available on specific dates, aka birthdays. Keep an eye out for the girls’ birth dates to find out when to expect them.