The Fruit of Grisaia is the first instalment of the Grisaia trilogy, which was created by Frontwing and licensed by Sekai Project. The Kickstarter to fund the localisation was highly successful and achieved the stretch goals of bringing over the spinoff Idol Magical Chiruchiru Michiru along with ports to Mac, Linux and PS Vita. The series has also inspired an anime series which was animated by 8-Bit, and several manga adaptations.
It tells the story of five heroines in Mihama Academy, an isolated birdcage, each with their own reasons for being there. Another student with a mysterious past, Kazami Yuuji, also transfers in. Without a purpose in life, will he be able to find one and help the others overcome their past?
The game presents choices to the player every so often, dividing the story into routes for each of the heroines. Towards the end of the route, there is also another decision which determines the ending. Grisaia is generous in the amount of configurable settings, allowing the player to change things from text speed to window message opacity to system voices. Extras can be unlocked upon finishing a route which features the usual CG, music and movie gallery, and scene replay. There’s also some secret extras which I won’t spoil.
The soundtrack was composed by Elements Garden and has mainly calm atmospheric tracks; even the infamous Tunafish Man has his own theme tune. The vocal tracks have been performed by artists such as eufonius, Chata and Faylan. Grisaia is fully voiced, all apart from Kazami Yuuji. Voice actors from the anime are the same as the game. Along with CGs illustrated by Fumio (Tomoyo After) and Watanabe Akio (Monogatari, Kaminomi anime series) there really are no complaints from the production side.
As for the overall story, I liked that each route had enough time to explore each of the heroines’ past, relate it to the protagonist’s past (which we know little about) and show how they’ve developed as a character while being able to move on. I also enjoyed the amusing dialogue between the characters.
The Steam version of The Fruit of Grisaia is a port from the PSP version, which removes most parts of the H-scenes. For example, it may start with the protagonist and heroine talking to each other, then the scene fades out and the protagonist finds himself thinking back to the dialogue so it’s nothing major to be missing out on. Denpasoft will be releasing the uncensored Unrated Version – we’ve heard that it was in QA.
The time estimate to play this is ‘very long’, it took me 55 hours to play through. It’s a bit of a long ride but well worth playing, especially if you’ve seen the anime since it goes into more depth and the anime has changed a few things. I’m definitely looking forward to reading the next instalment of the Grisaia series, The Labyrinth of Grisaia when it comes out.