Rose Guns Days season 1 Review

So, I just played another VN by Ryukishi07, which is Rose Guns Days.
The English patch was released in late January 2013, and you can get it in Witch Hunt Project Page.

Rose Guns Days is another VN by 07th Expansion, which has released popular titles like Higurashi and Umineko. Unlike the previous, this time Ryukishi07 didn't write something magical, horror or fantasy. And also, unlike the previous, this time the sprites of the characters weren't done by Ryukishi himself, but by 3 artists, Suzuki Jirou, Souichirou and Ninagawa Yaeko. (It's not like I have any trouble with Ryukishi as artist... Well, I did until I read how bad he felt about it in Umineko postscript. But sure it looks way better now lol)

Okay then, now let's start the review and watch out of spoilers.
Rose Guns Days takes place in an alternate universe where Japan lost to US and China in WWII, and the two forces kinda took over Japan. Now you have to be able to speak in English or Chinese to live, even though it's Japan.

Julie Hayashibara (or perhaps I should write it as 'Hayashibara Juri'), a young, pure Japanese reporter had the chance to interview the Madam of a revolutionary group called Primavera. The leader of the group, Madam Jeanne, wants to tell a fellow Japanese about the story behind Primavera and its revolutionary movement. And so, the story of the past began to be unveiled....

The story began with a guy named Leo Shishigami, looking around for job after he was sent back from war. He was hoping to see his hometown, yet the whole city has changed. Tokyo was like a foreign country, and the currency is not even in Yen anymore, but a Japanese dollar. Leo was pretty down to see the state of his beloved country was in. The fact that the Japanese suffers in their own land, and they can't even have a decent job for not able to speak English or Chinese, was pretty devastating.

And, the fated meeting happened. Leo met a girl who was chased by group of thugs. As a man of justice, Leo saved the young girl, Rose Haibara, who is actually a madam of a nightclub called Primavera. Rose later employed Leo as a bodyguard of Primavera.

Then a lot of characters were introduced. The other ladies of evening: the small loli-like with big breast Tanashi Meryl, the gorgeous and awesome looking Stella Maiougi; the other bodyguard, Mad Dog Wayne Uedera; the man of finance, who is also Stella's big brother, Richard Maiougi; and Richard's bodyguard, Cyrus Saimura.

Apparently there's a Japanese mafia threatening the club, Crazy Alfred (sorry I forgot his full name) and the thugs kidnapped a member of the club, Claudia Kurosaki. The team of bodyguards went on the rescue! and blah blah blah....

It'll be boring if I tell all the story here, so I'll skip it lol.

Basically, Primavera managed to defeat Alfred. But, Alfred is actually a part of the chain to keep the balance of the underworld. Leo's 'war buddy', Keireiji 'Caleb' Souhei, is actually the Father of the underworld who tries to help his fellow countryman. He threaten every Japanese to stay under his 'protection' (of course, pay for the protection fee as well). Rose, as the Madam of Primavera, who also has a strong sense of nationalism, was also threatened to stay under Caleb's wings. But Rose's sense of justice was really strong and she feels that what Caleb's doing is plain wrong. She refused his offer, and as a result, a lot of company and shop with connection to Primavera went bankrupt. She wanted to take responsibility but instead she got kidnapped and things getting pretty nasty. And suddenly... the end!

Story : 90/100
Unlike the previous novels written by Ryukishi07, this one doesn't have any fantasy or mystery element. I don't know if the later season will have that kind of element, but I think it'll be a letdown if so.
I really like the depiction of this alternate universe. Ryukishi always uses a lot of research before writing his novels, and I think that is very admirable. He wrote fiction with real research, so the alternate universe he made is pretty believable.
Actually, isn't this kind of thing really happening in this world? Even in my country, kindergarten kids started to speak in English and Chinese. I believe in a lot of country (Japan too perhaps) it also happens, as it is predicted that China will be the other big country to rule the world (now it's the states, isn't it? So it's common to learn English in early years.)
Ryukishi also wrote about the hardships of the ladies of evening. He's a male, but I felt like he really got the impression right about the girls. He stated that both the people who went to the war zone, and the people who were left in the country were equally suffering.

In this season, it was not told about Leo's past and his 'war'. I somehow get real interested because Leo stated that he was sent to a country in south, and I think... "Hey, maybe it's my country! Lololol!" My country was under Japan occupation for around 3 years, so I think it's possible.

Coincidentally, one of the wives of my country very first president was also a lady of evening from Japan. Now she has Indonesian name, but she's simply referred as Madame Dewi.

Wait, I'm getting off topic lol.

Music : 80/100
I like the overall music, but I don't think it's really impressive to me.
And, dai really likes to 'recycle' his music over and over again. The music I heard in Higurashi appeared in Umineko, and the music I heard in Umineko appeared in RGD. It's not like I hate the music, but I wish to listen new ones.

Characters : 80/100
I really like the characters and the characterization. Actually in both Higurashi and Umineko, I love every characters, and so do I in this VN. Well, maybe I don't really like Alfred, but when I think about it again, he's not that bad actually.
More importantly, that Phillip Butler...!! Butler is like a carbon copy of Ushiromiya Battler. Dat hairstyle, dat signature laugh, dat booby harem fetish... I think Ryukishi just love Battler to much that he wants to preserve him in his new game.
Aside of Philip Battler, Tanashi Meryl also has a strong resemblance to Houjou Satoko. But her name is Tanashi, and... uh, maybe she's related to Tanashi Miyoko?? In that case, Lambdadelta...?
And her companion, Maiougi Stella also has a strong resemblance to Furude Rika (or perhaps I should say Frederica Bernkastel in the last episode of Higurashi Kai). So, Satoko + Rika = Lambdadelta + Bern = Meryl + Stella??

Art : 80/100
Finally a decent character CG for PC platform!
This time the CG wasn't done by Ryukishi himself. Now there are 3 artists providing their best, making this game looks way better than Higurashi and Umineko. Of course Ryukishi gave the main direction on the character design, but he's not the one who illustrates it. (Maybe Ryukishi draws Claudia... Just maybe)
While for the background is as the usual, the blurred and edited photographs. I have no real problem on it, but it was pretty funny that one of the BG CG showed a modern looking car in the setting of year 1947. Really!

Gameplay : 75/100
Unlike the previous visual novels, which are mostly linear kinetic novel, RGD actually has a gameplay. It's like quick time battle sequence. It was pretty fun at first, but eventually I got tired at it. Anyway, we can skip the battle sequence, in case if you're not really into it. It's an improvement from 07th Expansion, but I don't enjoy it that much. Especially the at the last bit, when I was *pow* *paw* *punch*, suddenly credits, and I was like... "Huh? That's it?" And I lost my interest in continuing the punch and kick.

Overall Impression
I pretty much enjoyed RGD. I think it's really really short though. Maybe it's because it's just season 1. By the time this entry was written, in VNDB there were 15 people voted 9 for this, but no one gave the 10. I personally give it 8, or 8.5 maybe.