My review of Kira*Kira
Recently, my attention was drawn to a visual novel that had been translated quite some time ago, but that I hadn’t heard about. I watched the OP for Kira*Kira on YouTube and was interested in the concept of a VN about a punk band going on a road trip. The setup seemed fairly standard; if I were writing a romantic story about a group of people who started a band, I would probably write something similar.
What surprised me was that Kira*Kira went into a lot of depth exploring the issues that were plaguing the heroines in their respective routes.
Changed my view on divorce
Along with a few other articles I read, Chie’s route convinced me to re-examine how I feel about divorce, a subject that I had not really thought about in the past and always assumed that if it ever happened to me, it would be a last resort that would result in all ties being sundered, and lots of awkward meetings in the future. Chie herself has little sympathy for her father and his decision to marry another woman and merely assumes that she has destroyed their family.
But the truth is, we can never really know what goes through our parents’ minds when they decide to get a divorce or have an affair. It isn’t that simple. Not only would we have to be present for every single moment of our parents’ adult lives, we would have to be our parents in order to truly understand why they chose to separate the way they did. No child that I have ever met, myself included, would argue with me if I said that we are different people from our parents. We are our own men and women. Love is a funny thing like that, it’s not simple, straightforward, or pure. Feelings can change over time and no matter how much we might want to rage against it, some things just can’t be undone.
Incomplete information an overarching theme
If there is a theme in Kira*Kira, it actually has nothing to do with rock music or going on a road trip. It’s that, no matter how old we are, we never have all the information about how others feel and it is this lack of understanding that causes drama. I like this theme. It was thought-provoking to me. I described Chie’s route above. In Sarina’s route, it is only at the end that we understand her grandfather’s motivations for not approving the relationship between her and Shikanosuke. They are somewhat complex, but ultimately reasonable. Not only did he not want Sarina to suffer in a difficult hypothetical marriage, but he was also thinking of any children that they might have, who had a chance of inheriting Sarina’s incurable disease.
Kirari’s route, especially the true ending, also has shades of this theme that allowed me to feel more sympathy for her father.
Strange handling of Kirari’s ending
I found it a bit odd that all of the debt incurred by her family was cancelled at the end. Why would it not be inherited by the rest of the family? Why would the loan sharks leave with their debt unpaid?
As is typical of a nakige I was moved to tears by Kirari’s normal ending. I do not know why I keep reading these damn visual novels, but I am sure this will continue until judgement day when the trumpets sound.