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Shining Song Starnova - Review


Shining Song Starnova is a Visual Novel developed by LOVE IN SPACE and Published by SEKAI PROJECT.



Introduction

We take the role of Kaoru Nishiyama, a new producer, recruited by the "Shining Production Company". We enroll in our new and very first job in the entertainment business, meeting the first talents we aimed to make the world's best idols. This goal is a far cry from the actual state of the studio and girls who work there.




Story

When we initially enter the studio, we encounter a red-haired young girl who is rudely greeting us. After you reveal that you are the new producer of Shining production she choked and fled into the higher rooms. By following her way up the stairs you find yourself facing seven girls. These seven girls reveal themselves to be the talents that you will promote and train to become real idols.


The work has not even started before you encounter situations that show that the task at hand will not be as easy as it looks. Each of the girls has their very own character perks and quirks which already proved itself to be a challenge to for everyone to work together.


While the basic setup is done, you start out getting the girls a proper outfit and having them begin their new training routines. While they are out for training, your work is to have the girls presented and promoted in all kinds of events. This varies from photo shoots to model shots, handshaking events, promotional events, all the way up to actual debuts at small avenues.


As the days go on, you start to establish a solid base in the idol business with the seven girls. Teamwork and choreography improve, events and avenues became more important, and as such come the recognition of STARNOVA as a new promising idol band.


On the counter side, the current idol-leading company "Golden Calf " and the person leading the current company, Seiichi Kamijou, are all but joyed to see rivals appearing from a new company and is already plotting his work to keep his number one position with his Quasars safe from harm.


With a special event approaching that counts as Japan's most anticipated event, the Idol election where all the idol bands gather at a single big avenue to perform and have their fans vote for them to become the World's greatest idol with the center getting the title as a goddess.




Routes

Mr. Producer (Kaoru Nishiyama) will eventually elect the definitive center of Starnova, a cornerstone that each idol band has to undergo. This event will trigger player choices selecting between the girls. Whichever route you choose, you will be faced with some harsh events, which will include dark and difficult situations that will test each of the idol's resolve.


There is an exception of one special route that unlocks once all other routes have been completed.





World Presentation and Visuals

Tokyo, the center of this world is presented as the heart of the Idol business. You can say that all known idol companies have their seats in Tokyo and are fighting in the business for their survival.

The background presentation is decently presented, but the same backgrounds are repetitive if not overly used for different events which make the visuals less attractive in term of variety and appeal.


The studio of Shining production is a far cry from being modern and being able to keep up with other businesses, but with the rising of the idol unit, the hope to be able to earn a better-suited place is high.


The avenues, arenas, and the Ultime Tokyo Dome are presented decently. Some side events have good presentations and I do appreciate this change of pace since it gives a break from the repetitive backgrounds of the few Tokyo places.


The characters' sprites are nice, and have a few different clothes throughout the story. Different reactions and positions are variably set with the current subject and exclamations which are good.


Overall all the areas available are fairly presented and some of the backgrounds well detailed, while others did stay more basic to the area. All visual backgrounds, scenes, and character CG's can be reviewed in the main menu as a bonus.




Voices & Music

All character sprites are voiced with some repetitious quotes with other parts being fully voiced except for the producer. Each of the voices contains a good quality of expression and adapted to the current theme of the conversations.


For background music, we have a good number of different tunes, added with two great titles which include two band songs that are a great asset for this visual novel. The other background tracks are a mix of sad, happy-go-lucky, and ambient music that do accompany well with the current situations, which I enjoyed.



Overall Thoughts

Shining Song: Starnova is a very impressive visual novel in terms of providing insight into the inner world of idol work. It presents the true harshness of being an idol and the true difficulties an idol band and group has to go through. It is respectable that this novel helps to shine light on the darker side of the idol industry that is often shrouded with secrecy behind the scenes.


All of the idol girls are unique, each with their own kink and character traits that bring in an pleasant mix in the lot. Each of the girls has their own route, their own background, and difficulties which they do their best to ignore but doesn't always work out. They simply get confronted with real reality, which gives this novel a sense of painful experiences.


Critiques

On the other side, the routes given to each of the girls, typically have them choosing the easy way out of problems versus taking more realistic approaches that should take weeks or months.


The endings of the routes tend to rush past the harsh situations and problems too quickly. I was disappointed by this as it breaks off all the emotions and compassions that we had built up for the girls. Still, the endings are on their own well made. This point is what in my experience in this novel did a bit of a downgrade. Even with each of the routes that have a good and a bad ending, the good endings just felt lacking in impact when compared to the rather severe bad endings.

The NSFW scenes (only available via patch download for Steam version) are a bit wrongly placed inside the story script. When the girls experiences challenges or hard times, this usually queues in the adult scenes. Sure, the girls need empathy and support, but having a sex scene as the problem solving solution each time feels a bit off.



Conclusion

If you wish to experience a novel that goes through the life of a real idol, I think Shining Song: Starnova does this well, showing what is important within a group, the experiences they encounter, and situations that prove themselves to be hard to overcome. Visual presentations are good, the music is great and sprites are decent with acceptable voice acting for each character.

I recommend checking out this visual novel. I found the script easy to read and understand which is ideal even for newcomers in the VN genre. Just be aware that the story endings do tend to rush through the darker story elements too quickly, which could be a turn off for some.



You can find this VN on Steam or JAST


Visit us on our Steam curator group for more Reviews: Visual Novel, RPG, JRPG, Anime


1 Comment


八神
八神
Aug 23, 2023

Looks like who its thats better than I thought XD

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