Norn9 – Review summary

Just now I took a look at my bank statement and I went like (; ・`ω・´) (´;ω;`)ウッ… ヽ(´ー`)┌

Everytime spring in Japan comes, they release a load of games and goods, which also equals to my enormous cash outflow, and especially this spring Rejet released 4 new series of dummy-head situation CDs.  It’s tough being in that ambiguous age-zone where you have a growing want-list and a pathetic looking cash inflow.

Enough of my ranting. It’s review time for my super-backlot Norn9.

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Norn9 seems to be an experimental mix of futuristic X hero clan X some love thrown in X mystery X 1D evil guy X fairytale X world war. The bulk of the prologue was from Sorata’s point of view, a young boy from the present world, who suddenly got poofed 100 years back in time to the Taisho era, where he meets a strange girl and ends up on a round futuristic ship called Norn. It is revealed that everyone on the ship has a superpower, and so does the weird girl that brought him to the ship. Sorata’s role ends when he decides which heroine to follow. Rather than an otome game, it’s more like a shounen manga from the point of view of a girl made into a game. And I enjoyed it despite its weird and complicated setting. And there are random CHICKS on board that play the role of doctors, cooks, cleaners, etc, which don’t make sense at all, and how the characters understand what they say is a mystery to me. In some routes the Sorata is even made to live with them rofl.

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Although I didn’t get the point of setting in Taisho since it was going to be of no use to the game anyway, I really liked having three heroines. I usually don’t like voiced heroines but since this isn’t like an otome game, the voicing helped to bring out the personalities of the heroines, which made the interactions between all characters more interesting. After the pink-haired girl boards Norn with Sorata, she’s told they’re heading for America, where they will then be dispatched to various places to help people with their powers. The rule on Norn is to not ask about each other’s personal lives or powers, which presents some conflict between the characters when they try to find out who is the spy among them, as the ship keeps getting attacked out of the blue.

The villian in the game is Yuiga Shirou, who sells weaponry and incites wars all over the world. His foil is Aion, a man-made AI who observes the power-wielders on Norn and decides on whether the powers should belong to them. The world has been “Reset” three times already, and in this period, the 10 of them on Norn has to decide whether to reset civilisation again with their powers or let the world be.

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Koharu

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She’s naive, but not the typical otome game read-stupid-but-written-as-naive kind of heroine. A really innocent kind of naive since she didn’t have contact with people for a long time due to them fearing her powers, and not a fake kind of innocent where the heroine can’t understand the simplest of hints. *ahem* Anyway I like her. She’s cute. In Kakeru’s route she kissed Kakeru first which made me go like (; ・`ω・´) then (*´艸`*). She feared her own powers as it’s the strongest among all of them on Norn, and it’s the fire to burn away civilisation. People used to call her demon so that’s why she didn’t have contact with humans for a long time, until she met Sorata, and couldn’t remember her own name until late into the prologue. Her playable characters are:

Yuiga Kakeru

The brainy one of the lot, he’s rather scheming at times, but always does his best to help everyone on the ship get along even if he has to play the villian. Because he has a hidden face behind his kind words, he doesn’t get along well with Senri whom he bullies and Mikoto who doesn’t trust him. His powers is to give life to plants through his will, so he takes care of the damages to the vegetation on the ship. He also grows the vegetables they eat by hand, rather than by his powers because he feels that growing them with love make them more tasty. Somehow Koharu takes an interest in growing a strawberry plant and he helps her grow it, making for some time to close the gap between them.

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In the dream episode, Kakeru was Snow White’s poison apple, and he often repeats in real life that he is evil at the root and not a kind person. Turns out, Kakeru’s ear piercing was an item implanted by Yuiga Shirou, a man who impersonated Kakeru’s father(died many years ago) to turn Kakeru into a pawn. Shirou wants to get hold of as many of the 9 power-wielders on the ship as he can so he can use them to create war and conflict among the countries. Koharu was also picked up by Shirou before she entered Norn, so she was conflicted when Shirou kidnapped Kakeru.

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While Koharu tries very hard to hide her powers, it’s found out when she tries to protect Kakeru from the robots attacking the ship, and she locks herself up in the room, thinking everyone hates her now. But Kakeru being the bro he is schemes to get into her room and comforts her (・∀・) In the good End, Koharu defeats Kakeru’s vegetation attacks with her fire, and they also defeat Shirou, returning to the city to live together. In Bad end, Kakeru doesn’t come off from his brainwashing and hands Koharu over to Shirou, then disappearing (dying).

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Ichinose Senri

The hikki shota who hates Kakeru for dragging him out of the room everyday to do manual work. In this route his room door gets destroyed by Akito, because no one can stand him being so hikki anymore, so he’s forced to spend more time with the others, especially Koharu and turns into a more sociable person. Somehow seeing Koharu work so hard and try so hard to make friends with him, he gives in and starts becoming protective of her. Having the power of water, he often jumps into the fountain when he gets bullied by Kakeru and takes his rest there. But he gets tired easily when he uses his powers, so when he had to fight against Koharu’s fire, he later said ‘I curse you for making me so worried’ when she finally returned to herself. (moe!!)

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In the dream episode, he was a dwarf of Snow White, but took the form of one of the chicks on board Norn, and Koharu didn’t know it. When the ‘prince’ of Snow White comes to pick her up, he appears to be evil, so Senri as a dwarf inteferes, and flies up into the sky with wings to protect her. When they discover Ron’s plot, they go onto the battlefield and Koharu uses her powers to protect Mikoto, but fearing that they see her as a threat, she runs away. Senri chases after her but since she wanted to be left alone, he leaves her, not knowing that Shirou kidnapped her after that. In the end, Senri either manages to save Koharu from Shirou or he gets trapped with Koharu in a giant bird cage.

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Toya Masamune

Masamune seems to be popular with others who’ve played Norn but I don’t really like him. Senri called him a Closet Pervert and now I know why. When Koharu says something nice he always mutters to himself to ‘control… control….’ and gets embarrassed at small things even elementary school kids won’t. He gets drunk on sugar wth and forcefully smooches Koharu one night, which makes things between them awkward. His power was kind of unknown, but he always has his glove on his right hand and he seems to be able to get some information by contact, such as shaking hands or something. He takes care of the others pretty well and always has to settle some fight among the other rowdy guys. He teaches her things in the library on her request and wears his glasses, making Koharu keep staring at him, which arouses his lecher tendencies -_-

In the dream episode he barges in to save Koharu from Kakeru who was about to give her a poison kiss and takes her away to the castle to live happily ever after. They talk about practising for a real marriage before they reach the island where Aion is. Koharu goes a little mad in this route during the war when Shirou uses her to fight against armies, and to calm her down, Masamune hugs her despite the fire and when he points out to her that he is not getting burnt, she gets convinced that her powers are for saving people and not hurting them. In good end, they live happily ever after just like their dream and think of their future together.

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Stupid perv lolicon. -__- Do you know how much older he is?!

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Kuga Mikoto

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A freaking annoying tsundere type that I hate, but also the oldest of the girls and the reliable one. From the start we are told her power is to erect barriers and she protects the ship Norn with a large barrier, which makes her mentally and physically tired whenever the ship is attacked. Having been raised from a Samurai family, she has  good education and coupled with her powers which makes her revered as a ‘priestess’, she is highly prideful. Being the oldest, her routes are a little more explicit than Koharu or Nanami’s which made me rofl at the fast rate she gave up her body despite always acting like a prude, not wanting guys to touch her or not wanting guys in her room. Despite acting strong, she’s rather weak emotionally and cries quite alot in all three routes. (lol) What I like most is her sense of wanting to save others at her own expense and her way of scolding others, which made me amused and annoyed at the same time. Her playable characters are:

Nijou Sakuya

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Love this guy because he has all the traits I like put together. Princely, obsessive, protective, pretty boy, smart, gentle but forceful when he needs to, he’s the childhood friend of Mikoto with an undying love for her, but keeps in everything due to the promise they made long ago. Mikoto often snuck out of her house to play with him as he was sickly when young, and he followed her around, being protected by her, so he was really happy when he found out that he had powers too. They then decided to protect the world together with their powers. Sakuya has the power to see the future, but it’s not definite, and he keeps it under wraps on Norn, which makes others suspect him when Mikoto got kidnapped, since he is also rather distant from others on Norn. He saw that he would die protecting a girl he loved when he was younger, and told Mikoto, but since she cried a hell lot and got sad when he said that, he wasn’t able to tell Mikoto the girl was her, and she made him promise that he wouldn’t love anyone so he wouldn’t die. This promise later made things really awkward when they grew up, since Mikoto probably sensed his feelings but put it away to protect him. While Koharu gave her some sweets one day, Sakuya takes them, keeping quiet and refusing to return it to Mikoto. He throws the sweets away and Mikoto realises that the sweets must have been something bad. He later gets wounded because of trying to ‘change her future’, which makes Mikoto crazy with worry.

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In the dream episode, he is Cinderella’s prince, and Sakuya was trying his sexy on her, but just as they were about to kiss, Mikoto starts remembering how he would die if he loved someone, so she pushes him away and runs off, crying. Their relationship is hell complicated because they keep trying to protect each other, and in the dream episode, Itsuki made things worse by pretending to be Sakuya. After running off, she knew how much she hurt Sakuya and Mikoto, unable to contain her feelings, hugged Itsuki-transformed-into-Sakuya, telling her she liked him. Unfortunately the real Sakuya was nearby and saw the scene, which made him upset and more obsessive. Sakuya starts being very cold towards her, making Mikoto flustered. She thought that he hated her now that she confessed in the dream, as she had no idea it was Itsuki she hugged. One day Sakuya gets really pissed with Itsuki’s advances on Mikoto and kisses her in his room and gets rough with her, but gets teary halfway and apologises. He gets so remorseful he sits in the rain the entire night, until Mikoto has to hug him and tell him not to bother. Somehow things between them return to normal with the misunderstanding unresolved, but both of them promising to continue to protect each other and live. Before they get to the island where Aion is, Mikoto runs her mouth when she realises Itsuki tricked her in the dream. This causes Sakuya to just fall on the ground and sit there in happiness when he realises Mikoto had wanted to hug him and confess to him (*´艸`*)

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After that, they spend more time together before going to Aion, and Sakuya kisses her hair and all that, asking her oen day if she will go to his room at night, because he wants to hear her properly say the words that she accidentally said to Itsuki. She gets really flustered and they promise to confess properly after everything is settled. On the island, Sakuya is made to show others the future with Aion’s help. They protect the others from Natsuhiko, the one who attacked Norn many times. Mikoto in this route actually cast a barrier on Natsuhiko’s gun, causing it to blow up on him (poor guy), and they go with Reset, returning their powers to Aion. In good end, they promise themselves to each other on that island which looks like a church and in Bad End, Sakuya’s future didn’t change, he died protecting Mikoto from Ron, leaving her with the words that he loves her ;_;

(My bias is soooo obvious, look at the length of his summary lol)

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Kagami Itsuki

A playboy who hits on the girls often, he falls in love with Tsundere Mikoto somehow and quickly beds her, being the creep that he is. His powers is making people see dreams and he can make them stay in the dream until they finish their role in it. He is also the cause of the dream episodes, as he tries to make people who love each other get together. When he was younger, he grew up in a poor family, so he used his powers to earn money, and the powers actually belonged to his sister, which he took over after she died. He hits on Mikoto so much, doing pervy stuff that makes Sakuya whip out a killer axe even in the dream rofl

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In the dream episode, he keeps chasing Mikoto away to look for Sakuya, but she finds him deep in the forest where the fruits of their consciousness are, and she says she wants to stay with him. Their relationships escalates really quickly from then and he beds her one day, stealing her powers to give it to Ron. A real jerk. During Natsuhiko’s attack one day, he covers her and suffers a heavy wound. To make her not worried, he keeps her trapped in a dream where they are living in a small house and having a peaceful life. Somehow Sakuya and Koharu’s voice draws her back to reality and she begs Itsuki to let her return to reality. She then wakes up and goes to Itsuki, taking care of him until his wound recovers. In good end, they return to the city after getting separated from everyone on Norn during another attack, and she teases him about the love letter he wrote to her before. In bad end she doesn’t get out of the dream and as Itsuki fades away from the dream, a fake Itsuki is revived in her consciousness, suggesting that he died in real life.

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Azuma Natsuhiko

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Natsuhiko is my favourite together with Sakuya and is the main guy of Mikoto’s route. Also, he’s the only playable character who is not on Norn, so his story takes a huge turn from the usual happenings, which made his route pretty unique, and tied up alot of the other routes. It’s also hinted in his route that Sorata actually came from the past, a remainder of the Third Reset, rather than from the future, since the era they were in were before the fourth reset. I really liked Natsuhiko, he had so much potential but his story wasn’t well plotted out, and the writers tried too hard to make it into a “I can’t help falling in love with my enemy” shiet.When he first encounters Mikoto on his third attack on Norn, he threatens to kill others on the ship unless she goes with him, but the others come and he quickly escapes. In this route Mikoto doesn’t pair up with anyone and goes to search for the attacker and spy with Sorata. She draws a really childish picture of some gorilla-like thing holding a gun and goes around asking the villagers. Ron sees it and asks for the picture, saying he will look around too, but one day leads her to a weird part of the forest on Norn, and throws her down the ship o.o Mikoto faints out of shock and Natsuhiko catches her, cursing Ron for the rough treatment.

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She awakes on Natsuhiko’s ship and is really scared of him at first because Ron lied that he’s a sadist and she freaked out after knowing what that meant ROFL. Initially he’s cold, threatening her to make her cooperate, and tells her his goal is to kill the power-wielders on Norn, but will spare her if she helps him. She resists, but changes her mind when she hears of Yuiga Shirou and his evil workings in the world. Natsuhiko tries to make her eat, but she says that the porridge may be poisoned, so he eats a spoonful to prove it to her. Acting like a prude, she refuses to touch the spoon and he asks her to choose the spoon or his mouth-to-mouth. If you choose mouth-to-mouth, he pushes her against the wall and uses his sexy threats on her, which freaks her out. After this, still refusing to eat, she says that she hates cold porridge and likes it magma-hot as a lie to cover up saying that the food looks gross, thinking that she shouldn’t be so rude since he made it for her. As a result, the next time he sends her food, its boiling hot lol. Since she’s always raging at him not to come into the room (despite it being his lab) he sends her a big female robot to take care of her, but being stressed out from everything, she freaks out and rages that he shouldn’t scare her with such things even though he doesn’t want to take care of her. So he makes a white chick to take care of her, and the chick has a digital message board that flashes words. It’s later hinted that he actually used the chick to talk to her all the time. (And he probably started liking her from all those heart-to-heart talk since she always hides her true intentions to him)

He brings her to see stars every night since she works hard at erecting barriers to stop Shirou in the day, and Mikoto also realises that he’s not only good in technology and battle, but also knowledgeable about stars, and researching various planetary items. One day she was looking for him to talk about stars, but overheard his conversation about wanting to kill the others on Norn and she gets so conflicted about her drawn to his kindness despite him wanting to kill others, so she starts crying to the white chick. At this Natsuhiko barges into the room and hugs her, and she cries into his chest. One day Mikoto gets confused over whether she should just die since the others will too and is unable to put up a barrier while Natsuhiko and Setsu were fighting Shirou’s army. He takes a hit for her and his ship falls to the ground. He loses his memory and they stay in a house borrowed from the villagers for a while, waiting for his injuries to heal. I was quite suspicious of him at times, like whether he actually really lost his memory and wanted to make use of her like Itsuki or whether he actually liked Mikoto cos she’s the only girl he actually interacted with (lol).

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There they get closer and one night after seeing stars, he asks her what is their relationship and Mikoto confesses she was a tool to him and gets all sad. Even without his memories, Natsuhiko tells her he wouldn’t just protect someone he saw as a tool. Then he says some ‘I love you’ AND IMMEDIATELY BEDS HER. (like wtf Mikoto, weren’t you supposed to be the brainy one) In the morning he gets up earlier to make egg porridge for her and Ron barges in. SOMEHOW Natsuhiko retrieves his memory and manages to deflect Ron’s attack and all three of them go back to the ship. Mikoto starts thinking how nice he looks in his usual uniform and they continue to flirt and see stars until it’s time to attack Aion. In good end, he gives up his weapons and they return their powers to Aion. In bad end, he leaves Mikoto behind to continue pursuing Shirou and never comes back, leaving Mikoto to waste away out of pining for him, and she thinks of the lost future where they promised to research so that their descendants could go to the moon together.

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(What about the World war???? Lol. It was just conveniently forgotten, and actually not only in this route but also in most of the other routes, when they don’t choose Reset. )

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I’m too lazy to write out the storyline anymore :p So I’ll just dump some CGs and write out the summary of the main events.

Syukuri Akito 

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Akito is actually Senri’s blood brother, though he keeps it from him until quite late in the story. In the past, Senri was always made to use his water powers for his village that had a drought, but it took a toll on his body, so Akito stole some of his powers and Nanami, under the orders of her father, was told to erase the memories of Senri so he could be a puppet to be used as and when the village wanted. For this, Akito hates Nanami since he wanted to protect Senri badly. Over the course of his route, he falls in love with Nanami and forgives her, even saving her on occasions and being gentle to her, which made Nanami very confused as to how she should react, since she knows that he holds a strong grudge against her. In the Good End, the four of them live together or something like that.

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This is the dream episode where Nanami as Red Riding Hood keeps rubbing his head and kissing his ears which made him go crazy with embarassment. In a later part, he does the same to her, kissing her ears until she calls his name.

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It’s kinda dumb that in games we always only see half the body, and I always wish there was a function to view the whole design…. and that’s a catch to buy the artbook (^_^;)

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Otomaru Heishi 

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He’s the dumb one of the lot, as in, the one that always gets bullied but is also the cheerful mood maker and often gets angry with the negative Nanami. However he falls in love with her seriousness and tells her about his dream of having a family, and tells her to ‘see the same dream together’.

And this CG (bottom) is one of the days where Heishi got angry with Nanami for not telling her that Ron was the one leaking the information. He just starts running his mouth with some pretty awful things (^_^;) until Mikoto kicks him into the water. It was quite hilarious to see the usually happy Heishi in a foul mood and being so badass even Akito comments on it.

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In Good end they decide to run away to have a future together since if they stayed on the ship, they would be drawn apart when Norn reached the destination. Masamune tries to stop them, but Heishi just kinda attacks him (lol) and he becomes a photographer/flutist while Nanami nags at him not to watse money taking silly pictures.

In Bad End, Heishi becomes a little bit of a yandere and when Itsuki comes looking for them, she erases Heishi’s memories and they all get back onto Norn… Pretty sad, but since she did it to save him, it can’t be helped.

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Muroboshi Ron

The last one in the game… maybe not. In this route Nanami is often suspicious of Ron’s true motives and he keeps trying to make her his lover, saying plainly that he wants to make use of her powers.

His route was hilarious since he keeps forgetting everyone’s names and allowing Nanami to scold him…. but we find out later that one of his eyes is a prosthetic eye made by Natsuhiko in exchange for being a spy on Norn… and his other eye is almost blind, which is why he can never remember the names of others.

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I couldn’t believe Ron to the end, that he was really in love with Nanami, but Nanami’s feelings for Ron were pretty strong. Their relationship is not as complicated as Akito’s in terms of background, but more complicated when determining when they actually started having romantic feelings for each other.

Nanami decides to leave Norn to take care of Ron when she erases his memories and there are two bad ends.

In the first one, she is used like a puppet by Ron whom she obeys without saying anything and ron calls her a broken doll.

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In the other bad end Ron doesnt wake up after she removes his memories, but one day wakes up to kill her, and nanami says that she could remove his memories but not his thirst for blood.

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In the good end, Ron and nanami become lvoers, with Senri coming to visit and asking her if she’s happy.

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Epilogue.

The epilogue is about Aion and Sorata, and it is revealed that her creator was also named Sorata, and this shota Sorata is his descendant. The android aion and her maker originally lived happy like a pair of lovebirds, but since Aion developed a heart,  she was targetted by Yuiga Shirou and other organisations who wanted to use her for reset. They hide in the house and Sorata-the-scientist told her never to speak again, and only to sing, so that no one will know she has a heart. But eventually, thigns got out of hand and when Aion and her pervert scientist lover escaped, he got killed in an accident and Aion was captured by Shirou.

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Upon hearing this, shota Sorata goes back to the original place of the timeslip and gets shot by Shirou. He tells her that she can speak now, since he is not her lover Sorata, but he is himself. And it ends. Abruptly(?)

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I wondered whether Sorata would survive and whether they would choose to reset the world again… I was hoping for a more dramatic ‘we saved the world so let’s party’ thing but we got a background story of a perv scientist and his android lover instead. But despite the ending, the character routes were all extremely interesting and I really enjoyed Norn9… and even though I hate fandiscs, I think I’ll play Last Era.

Other goods I own and support!

…… And an enormous amount of keyholders, rubber straps, face towels, bookmarks and notebooks…. I’m now a hardcore Norn fan.

One thought on “Norn9 – Review summary

  1. Pingback: Jyuuguchi in 2014 | じゅうぐち:

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