People seem to like Kizuki (桐月), but I find his writing painfully dull, and Concert Note, a fairly generic romantic visual novel with some horror overtones, is no exception.
The first thing to make clear is that all routes, except for the main one of Rito, are complete garbage. Not only the main theme of the work (luck) is completely abandoned there, they are, for the most part, literally about nothing. Wakana has some superfluous trouble with her club-mates which gets solved by itself, while the stories of Shirayuki and Sayori are so generic you can call every upcoming plot-line from their character introduction. Seika’s route, while still pretty boring, is the only one which is not downright painful to read and that’s only because of her interesting personality. Oh, and if you expect to be entertained by high quality romance despite the absence of a plot – forget it. White Album 2 it is not, with romance being depicted as nothing more than a close friendship with some kisses on the side.
Anyway, the only route which is actually about something is Rito’s and it’s… alright. The quality of romance itself is so-so, but the genuineness of the two’s friendship is very well conveyed. On top of that, Rito is a fairly unorthodox, likable character and her apparent genius is, for a change, not only told but also shown. It’s just too bad that the emotional impact of the story only works in the supposedly bad ending of the route with true ending being completely emotionally underwhelming. They went through all that trouble to set up an eerie backstory for the region and then only used it to cause superfluous accidents in school, like someone starting to spread bad rumors or stealing underwear. Then the whole thing is taken care by a sacrifice of a character who is supposed to disappear either way.
In other words, the relationship between the protagonist and Rito is certainly interesting and heart-warming at times, but the hurdles the two are forced to overcome are either redundant or simply underwhelming. Not recommended unless you are really out of anything to read, and even then, stick to Rito and skip the others.
|Rito is an interesting fairly unorthodox character||Turgid prose makes it hard to follow action scenes|
|The genuine friendship between the protagonist and Rito is quite touching||Lack of immersing music|
|Bad ending of Rito’s route is actually quite emotive and even thought-provoking||Slow pace|
|Some characters are redundant to the plot|
|Terrible, excruciatingly boring, redundant side-routes|
|Too many superfluous happenings throughout the plot|
|Underwhelming true ending|