As it was written by the same author as Swan Song, Setoguchi Renya (瀬戸口廉也), from Kira Kira I was expecting another psychological study on darker parts of human behavior. What I got instead, however, was a relatively run-of-the mill slice of life vn with a group of, otherwise honor students, deciding to form an anti-conformist punk band for a school event. While darker themes do indeed appear in the last tenth or so of the novel, the majority of time is spent on adolescent slice of life tropes and the somewhat underwhelming rebellion against social norms, more in the form of comedy than serious drama.
I found myself getting tired of the premise and characters by the time I came near the end of the extremely long, bloated common route, the exhaustion from which seriously impaired my experience with individual stories later; especially after I realized that the bigger half of the common route is hardly even relevant to anything in the end.
Then again, individual routes, while not the pinnacle of drama, are fairly interesting and dramatic at times, with Kirari’s even having some darker themes present. Though unlike usual Renya, those themes felt almost out of place compared to the laid-back start and the middle portions of the work. It was also a bit disappointing that the band didn’t factor much into them; I was hoping to see some music-industry related struggles, but in the end, the whole band thing was more about forming bonds between characters than actual music.
Personally, I would have liked Kira Kira a lot more if it had a shorter common route, as, while bloated it still is a relatively well written piece of character drama, tackling issues such as adolescent rebellion, subtle difference between friendship and love, and poverty.
|The anti-conformist atmosphere||None of the characters are particularly attractive as romantic interests|
|The band life is pretty exciting||The first two halves of the band life are pretty much irrelevant to individual routes|
|Good depiction of growing friendship||Most of side characters, and their stories, are irrelevant to the plot|
|Tackles some heavy poverty-related themes||Majority of the plot consists of simplistic slice of life situations|