In the distant future, an unexplained event has left the world facing a rise in sea elevation which has left a large portion of the population underwater. In a town that is being slowly enveloped by the rising water, we have Natsuki, the main protagonist who is seeking to find money so that he can buy a cybernetic leg to replace his aging prosthetic that has begun to wear out.
Natsuki knowing about a secret treasure that his grandmother has kept for years heads down into the water towards her now submerged house in search of this mysterious treasure. The treasure that he ends up finding turns out to be a humanoid android who goes by the name of Atri.
Pros and Cons
- An amazing story with great characters that are well crafted
- Multiple choices that lead to different endings
- Beautiful anime art style brimming with life in a post-apocalyptic setting
- Fantastic soundtrack that is pleasing to the ears with its piano tunes
- The pacing at times can be slow
- There are only three segments where your choices matter
- I would have liked to see more world-building
What I liked from the story
The story is presented very well and I loved the setting that was shown. An unexplained sea rise has left most of the population underwater with the remaining people left holding onto nothing more but a slither of hope.
Natsuki lives in a small town that doesn't even have power with the exception of a few areas. I liked how the VN showed us how generators work when used with water to make electricity. They use this electricity to power only a few lights, yet the townspeople are overjoyed by this miracle of light further emphasizing the type of reality that they are in.
The story can get emotional with a few of the themes that it tackles and you may find yourself deeply caring for an android after seeing her perspectives about the world around her. You may never want that feeling to go away as it feels life-changing. Sometimes a new perspective can be very enlightening, and for me, this was very refreshing to get from a visual novel.
At certain points, you can choose between dialogue options which will determine the ending that you will get. There are three endings you can obtain in total, a good, bad, and true ending. In order to unlock the true ending, you will have to complete the good and bad endings first.
Problems with the story
I did have some issues with the pacing as it felt slow where the story just seemed to drag on. This mainly appeared in the middle of the story and I felt that some of the things mentioned were unnecessary and could have easily been left out.
The one thing that helps to make it redeemable is that the characters are very likeable preventing it from being a total drag. I also would have liked to see more dialogue options as we are limited to only three for the entire story. I think having more options would have made the slower parts more interesting and would help make the characters feel more alive.
World-building is another area that I would have liked to see more of as what they do have is quite interesting. I wanted to know how other countries reacted to the world being flooded and how they survived up to this point.
We are in the shoes of Natsuki and he just wants to live a normal life. He is a high school dropout, who was forced out as he could no longer afford his tuition fees. He thought he had nobody to turn to for help until he met Atri, who changed his life for the better, helping him find meaning in his life. He will help others when the time comes and can be quite caring for other people. Natsuki is currently motivated to find money as he has a prosthetic leg that is in need of a replacement.
Atri is a cute android that will help Natsuki with some of his daily needs. She also wants to learn about the world around her and discover new things about herself and people. It’s like watching someone grow up as a child, where they see the whole world differently than adults do. She will show emotions in certain situations, react to certain people, and may end up defending Narsuki from trouble. She helps Natsuki cook and generally takes care of him saying that she is Natsuki’s new leg since he has difficulty doing certain things and is not the best at taking care of himself.
Ryuuiji is a character that surprised me by how well done he is as a character who develops throughout the story. I loved his personality as he is chill when you get to know him and he also helps Natsuki. At first, he came off as a character who did not want to be bothered with but redeemed himself throughout the story. Ryuuji turned out to be my favorite character, plus he knows guitar so that’s an added bonus.
Graphics, soundtrack, and performance
The art style is really beautiful. I loved the amount of detail that was put into it and how well-drawn both the characters and environments are. It was made by the same developers who worked on If My Heart Had Wings which had some of the best graphics that I have seen in a visual novel.
The soundtrack is another thing I found great and well-executed. The piano tunes are very soothing to listen to and never distract from the scene. Everything runs smoothly and I experienced no issues with it. I played on an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB, AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Quad-Core Processor 3.50, with16 GB of RAM.
If you are looking for a good emotional story, then Atri: My Dear Moments is highly recommended. It will take you on an interesting rollercoaster in a world that is barely hanging onto a sliver of hope. The characters take the front stage and are really what makes this visual novel so interesting and is perfect for anyone who likes slice-of-life kind of stories.