Because creators love to make light-hearted spin offs, Type-Moon gave us a fandisc sequel to their smash hit Tsukihime! What is a fandisc, you might ask? Think of it as an OVA episode bundled with the DVD/BD release of today’s anime, except with a lot of content. In Kagetsu Tohya’s case, it adds more story to the Tsukihime side of the Nasuverse, along with a very complicated route system. Is it worth playing? Yes, it is, but when I described fandiscs as fun extras, I meant it in Kagetsu Tohya’s case: it’s nothing more, nothing less.
The story involves one of Shiki’s normal days with Arcueid (as if they’re ever normal), except he winds up in an accident. Sounds kinda somber so far, right? The next day, however, he wakes up normally and lives out his every day life. And while most of his days turn out to be light-hearted fun, he also has to figure out his mysterious circumstances. I cannot say more because that would be taking this review into spoiler territory, but I wasn’t too much of a fan of the story. There just isn’t enough content. The highly emotional moments, the very suspenseful moments, and the eerily chilling moments, don’t seem to show up in Kagetsu Tohya much at all. Simply put, there isn’t much emotional drive behind the story. That’s not to say there’s none, but there’s very little, especially considering it’s mostly slice of life. Still though, there’s not much to dislike about it, so at the very least, the story’s decent.
The art is actually a step up from Tsukihime’s! While the character art and backgrounds are similar to Tsukihime’s, the CGs are really a step up in quality, representing a midpoint between Tsukihime’s and Fate/stay night’s level of quality. The music is neither an improvement or a downgrade. While they’re a lot more refreshing than Tsukihime’s tracks, they don’t really approach the quality of Tsukihime’s best (which, as you may recall, was one or two tracks). All in all, the music is more of the same.
Presentation-wise, the narrative is the same as Tsukihime’s. What IS interesting is the frustrating choice and route system. Most days of the game, you can make somewhere between four to seven choices or so. Sounds simple so far, right? Wrong. There’s SO many different permutations, which makes reading the flowchart a very mindboggling experience. Seriously, the flowchart is indecipherable at first (mostly because variables are unclear and you don’t know what you’re looking for). Coupled with missable scenes and CGs, you’re looking at a massive “I need a guide!” type of read. While this is fun for those who prefer to figure things out themselves by giving them quite a bit of challenge, this will likely be extremely annoying for the average VN reader.
Characters are extremely important in Kagetsu Tohya. They’re what make the VN. They’re the only reasons you’ll find any fun in reading at all. Since most of it is just slice of life fun, you NEED characters to carry those parts, but unfortunately, there’s a lot of bad characters, which makes most of the VN fall flat. If you don’t like the Tsukihime characters, it’s hard to see you liking Kagetsu Tohya. To make matters worse, most of the characters don’t get much development, if any at all. Still, Kagetsu Tohya gives the Tsukihime characters the perfect chance to act how they ultimately want to, without having to suffer from their inner demons. And it’s interactions between these characters that ultimately make Kagetsu Tohya a fun read.