Four Rhythms Across the Blue – Review. Versions bought elsewhere such as Denpasoft are the full 18+ version.
Denpasoft is a software company based in sunny, southern California. They focus is on quality, adult visual novel games from Japan and around the world. Denpasoft strive to acquire titles that fans in the West want to see and enjoy in English. While Denpasoft is a young company, their staff is made up of industry veterans and fans of Japanese bishoujo games of all kinds.
Aokana – Four Rhythms Across the Blue is a visual novel by developer sprite, which takes place in Shitou City where using anti-graviton shoes to fly is as common as riding a bicycle and the most popular sport involves racing and dogfights in the sky. This is a special test city where there are minimal restrictions on flight and each school has clubs surrounding it.
The sexual content itself is, for the most part, fairly standard with two or three sex scenes per character and is quite limited. Mosaics are used for censorship and cannot be turned off.
The story follows a teenager, Masaya Hinata, who used to be obsessed with the sport Flying Circus. Masaya has a history with the sport, but he had his enthusiasm crushed after a certain event.
Masaya is asked to teach a new arrival to Shitou City how to fly. Asuka, the new arrival, falls in love with flight and from there on, ends up getting Masaya to agree to coach the dying Flying Circus club.
Events carry on along these lines. This is essentially a mix between a typical sports anime and a slice of life romance story. It involves training, tournaments and later on – trysts. There is a strong focus on beating strong opponents in the story, combined with a lot of comedy.
Flying Circus itself is an interesting concept. In short, in a 300 meter square over the sea, two players score points by racing between buoys to touch them in order or attacking the opponent’s back. Each player has a second on the ground to guide them. Unlike many visual novels, the battles are described quite well. The sport itself and the concept behind how flight works are also explained in quite a lot of technical depth. The world-building is done quite well in that way.
The common route took me seven hours to complete and diverges into four different routes or a short bad end depending on your choices. Most choices are fairly obvious to avoid the bad end, but in terms of choosing which route you end up on are almost exactly the same. Routes are not locked and can be done in any order.
There was a very short true ending after completing all of the routes. It worked well to finish off the story and did not chose a single route as the true one.
Overall, I felt like the romance was quite weak in all of the routes except for Mashiro’s where I felt that it was done very well. It felt very suddenly pushed in without much of a build-up. Aside from that flaw, I did enjoy the story quite a lot. I found it quite difficult to stop reading at times.