From renowned visual novel studio Key, which brought you the highly rated visual novel “planetarian~the reverie of a little planet~”, comes “Harmonia”, the latest kinetic novel in the series. This review will be a short one, and some spoilers can’t be avoided unfortunately. But there will be a warning before the spoiler.
[I was provided a review copy of this game but it will never affect the outcome of this review]
Brief overview of the story
This is a story of the distant future. An immense war left the world broken and torn.
Ashes covered the sky, the land was stripped of vegetation, and water dried up.
As a result, the human population drastically decreased.
The remaining humans huddled together to survive.
During this time, an emotions-capable robot known as a Phiroid woke up in a decayed factory.
Prior to the war, science created these human-like robots capable of feeling emotion.
As new partners for the humans, the Phiroids promised better lives for all of humanity.
However, upon waking, this Phiroid soon realized that its emotions were not functioning.
Its right hand lacked artificial skin and the mechanical parts showed how its production likely went unfinished.
This young male Phiroid had an innate desire to be with humans.
And so it began a journey to obtain its lost emotions, and wandered across this devastated world.
One day, the Phiroid was discovered by a young girl.
Thinking he was a human, she began to look after him.
She brought him to a small, but pleasant town.
While living with the young girl, the Phiroid slowly learned about emotions.
*Minor Spoiler warning on Thoughts on the Story Section*
Thoughts On The Story
The story was an interesting read from start to finish and to top it all off it has quite a shocking twist at the near end that I did not expect at all. [ I am pretty dumb for not realizing it sooner ]
But then it has some shortcomings. The major thing that I did not like was at the front half of the story, It felt like it was there as a form of filler. The game spends a good amount of time trying to convince the reader that the protagonist is a Phiroid by leading us into thinking that he has zero knowledge of human emotions. But note that the game starts off and introducing the protagonist with him waking up in a factory with Phiroid parts laying around the ground and his right hand is “machine”. I think the introduction is more than enough to convince the reader that the protagonist is a Phiroid, and can save the hassle of beating around the bush of trying to convince the reader even more with facts that he is a Phiroid that does not know what are emotions.
Knowing it’s from Key the story would be sad, and surprisingly I cried a little. [Me crying is very rare] But not because of the story but the music instead. Near the ending “Towa no Hoshi e” queued in and that was when I cried a little. It was timed so nicely.
Nevertheless the whole game should take you around 9 hours to complete. It is relatively short and enjoyable.
Audio and Visual Elements
This is provably the best thing I could think about this game. Itaru Hinoue art is just simply gorgeous. [ Yeah there is “biasness” in my line I have been a long time fan of hers] and the music is just simply wow. I absolutely adore the soundtracks and vocals used in Harmonia. All of them fit into the mood perfectly. If you are intrested they have a DLC Theme Songs of “Todoketai Melody” / “Towa no Hoshi e”. It can be bought on steam here.
To sum up 7/10
I would recommend Harmonia to anyone who wants a sad story to read through with beautiful visuals and music. It is relatively short and enjoyable so not much commitment is needed to complete the whole story.
Official Website for Harmonia – http://key.visualarts.gr.jp/harmonia/