True Remembrance is a short little VN translated by the guys at insani (who also brought over Narcissu). It has a feel that’s almost never present in a visual novel. After the exciting, mysterious, and suspenseful Ever17 (yes, I’m well aware it’s not always exciting or suspenseful), why not read something relaxing? Because that’s exactly what True Remembrance is: a very relaxing and quaint visual novel that’s great to read in a cozy armchair.
The plot involves people called Mnemonicides who help people with troubled pasts by erasing the unpleasant parts of their memories. Aside from this, the setting is as “ordinary” as you can get, as insani’s page goes. The plot is nothing profound in and of itself, but it definitely is very laid-back. And that’s what’s great about it. It’s a plot that’s never really boring but at the same time is still capable of being calming. Near the two-thirds mark, the story’s mood changes: it starts to get sadder and a bit more suspenseful. While this isn’t necessarily bad, it ditches the original laid-back, quaint feel that the rest of the novel had. Even so, by that point, the story becomes so engrossing that changing the story’s earlier feel won’t affect the plot’s strength by a lot.
Right from the getgo, you learn that many characters carry emotional baggage. A lot of emotional baggage, for some. And yet, the emotional baggage doesn’t hurt characterization. All of the characters are endearing, all of whom seek to solve their own problems, not run away from them. And all of them seek some sort of bonding. It’s through this that readers can also bond with the characters; it feels natural to care for much of the cast. However, at times it can feel like characterization changes depending on where the plot is going. It can be annoying at times, but it’s okay for the most part. With a cast this charming, it’s hard not to care for them, regardless of plot.
The game’s art is, by itself, not very outstanding. The character art isn’t too detailed. I feel like the characters look more like colored sketches than any sort of finished product. The background art, meanwhile, consists of what seems like photos sent through some photoshop filters. The CGs aren’t much better than the character art, but at least everything is hand drawn. Nonetheless, this art style goes with the game’s theme very well. Simple art for a ‘cozy’ novel? It works out surprisingly well.
The music is actually pretty good standalone. Most of the songs have a quiet, peaceful, and most of all quaint vibe to them. They fit perfectly with the game’s atmosphere. The other songs come into play when the mood is appropriate (but in this case, different than normal). While I can’t say that music is very memorable (I couldn’t remember any of the tunes until I started looking them up again), they’re definitely great to listen to while reading.
The presentation is very strong in this title. The narrative, in particular, is very different from normal visual novels. Sophisticated word choice and sentences made True Remembrance read less like a visual novel and more like an actual novel, at times. I know I mentioned how the visual novel medium is something unique and interesting, but True Remembrance certainly does not stray too far from the medium. In fact, the narrative also complements the game’s gentle atmosphere. Actually, that’s what the visual novel itself feels like; a short, pleasantly quaint read that one can feel cozy from just reading. While some may be asking if a feeling such as quaintness can be too overbearing, that’s not the case for True Remembrance. Its feel, tone, mood, and atmosphere certainly help make True Remembrance great.