[VN] Kara no Shoujo

殻ノ少女

Kara no Shoujo is a disturbing mystery visual novel that while hardly mind-blowing is quite fun if you’re into detective stories and horror.

Release: 2008 (Innocent Grey)
Writers: Suzuka Miya
Japanese difficulty: Easy
English: MangaGamer
Ratings: VNDB (8.09)

Visual Novel

I’d been pretty hyped up for Kara no Shoujo for a long while since I’m a huge fan of disturbing stories and I’ve heard lots about it, not to mention the high ratings, but… I’m not sure if it quite lived up to its reputation.

I certainly enjoyed the dark atmosphere and most of the characters were likable, but the plot, while engrossing at first, began running out of fuel at around the mid-way point, especially when the killers were revealed and turned out to be a bit of a disappointment.

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I had the feeling that while she had a good idea and definitely nailed the disturbing details, Suzuka Miya simply wasn’t an experienced enough writer to craft a satisfying story.

The way the Showa Period is conveyed, for example, definitely pales in comparison to Cartagra, which really made you feel like you were reading historical fiction. And the relationship of Toko and the protagonist just didn’t feel as personal and genuine as that of the two leads in the prequel.

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All in all, Kara no Shoujo turned out to be an entertaining read, but it definitely didn’t blow my mind.

I even assumed I’d gotten an incomplete normal ending when I’d actually stumbled into the true one. It just felt like it was missing a few more twists to become something truly memorable. It definitely wasn’t Umineko.

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Oh yeah, and contrary to what the game might make you think, it’s a linear story with barely any variation between which heroines you pursue (you only get a different ending CG at best, and a bad ending at worst), so that was kind of a bummer. It’s best if you play the game with a walkthrough and pursue Toko from the start while collecting some of the bad ends on the way, or you might muddle the experience for yourself… which kind of happened to me.

The ending heroine CGs and their ero scenes are hardly worth it going through the game multiple times (might as well download save data and check them in the library).

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Positive:
Negative:
Beautiful artwork
The story is not as memorable as it could’ve been
Pleasant, catchy soundtrack
The questions the plot raises are more interesting than the answers it offers
Disturbing, dark atmosphere
The identity of the killers is not shocking at all
Interesting, likable characters
Character routes consist of unlocking a single CG
Engrossing plot, at least in the first half
Offers little unique except for the disturbing details
Interesting, historical setting
Good localization
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2 thoughts on “[VN] Kara no Shoujo

  1. In case you don’t know, Kara no Shoujo uses a lot of plot elements from 魍魎の匣, a detective novel written by Kyougoku Natsuhiko. The major difference is that Natsuhiko uses youkai as themetic atmospheric backdrop muddle and act as cover up for the crimes.

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