Sakura Angels is another installment in the series of visual novels by Winged Cloud. You may be familiar with my reviews of Sakura Spirit or Sakura Santa. Well, this was the second piece in the series that I experienced. I originally wrote a review back then as well, but I figure if I’m “playing” it again for a video review, I may as well write up another one of these to be up-to-date as well. Just know that this is, once again, primarily a fapbait fanservice visual novel making an effort to write the characters into suggestive and/or embarrassing situations.
The basic plot has you playing from the point of view of Kenta, an averagely average high school student that doesn’t really have much in the way of friends or extra-curricular activities. One day on his way to school he notices the town gets suspiciously empty as a painful headache sets in. He then inexplicably comes face to face with a large, doglike shadow creature. He’s nearly torn to shreds but at the last moment is saved by a mysterious flash of something. He opens his eyes to see he has been rescued by two girls wearing fantasy garb. He questions them and they inform him they have been sent to protect him from these shadow creatures. They were originally doing so from afar, but this one got so close that they had no choice to reveal themselves to him. They are Sayaka, a lighthearted, bubbly girl, and Hikari, a stern yet sometimes shy girl. They tell Kenta that they can’t reveal much to him, but that basically they are his guardian angels and use music to fight off these evil beings. If that’s not enough, they now need to take more extreme measures to stay close to him, which means getting themselves enrolled at his school so he can’t leave their sight. I won’t spoil the events and antics to come, because that’s mainly why you’d want to read on, but who knows what kind of sexy, wacky situations will follow?
You also are able to do a few things as the player here. There are certain parts where you’re asked to choose between two or more options in order to continue, which will change the immediate following events respectively. You can also initiate skip mode to skip over previously read parts and stop at choices to easily access the different choices on repeat readings. You can also set text speed, set an auto text speed to let it advance without clicking, adjust various audio levels, save and load your game, and even hit the scroll wheel to make the text area transparent and enjoy the entirety of the picture. Every now and then you’ll get a specially drawn picture for an event in the story. These images are saved in a gallery that can be accessed at any time via the main menu. There are three different endings you can acquire. One is by choosing mostly Sayaka in the character choice moments. The other is for choosing mostly Hikari. And the third is if you choose both equally.
The main drive of the game as fapbait works just fine. The girls are cute and pretty sexy. They get into some lovely predicaments. And also I think there’s enough characterization to make it feel like you’re not just fapping over porn. You’re getting some context and emotional attachment to your fapping. Plus, you can play it with one hand, which is a necessity. I think the main character is human and relatable enough here as well, which is a big improvement over Sakura Spirit. I’ll admit that it has a bit more depth and darkness than I expected or even remembered from the last time I played. The pace also keeps decently, switching between moments of exposition or seriousness, lighthearted goofiness, and action or normal everyday happenings. It doesn’t flow in the smoothest way, but it at least doesn’t drone on too long in any one of these things. It also has some decent music in it. I found some of the tunes getting caught in my head and the battle theme is pretty cool.
The issues start to crop up when you see the seems of this design, though. There are enough expressions and poses to make the girls feel different and somewhat animated, but the backgrounds are few and far between. While there’s a night and day version of the streets, there’s not a rainy day variant. Nor is there one of the other area where it’s supposed to be raining, yet the special gallery image you get in the middle of the scene has rain so it’s just jarring. You’ll also find the replayability is rather low. The second playthrough trying to get the ending for the other girl yields only a few instances of different dialogue and happenings before reuniting with the standard story you already read, so you’ll skip a lot just to see a few new bits. And getting the dual ending for the third time is even less new content. Honestly, I also felt that only Hikari’s ending felt satisfying. The other two felt a little unsatisfying and sad, personally. But maybe I’m just biased. And, as I have to point out, this is not a game. It’s in the game section of the Steam storefront as well as in my library, but it’s not a game. It’s a visual novel. And if you look at it as a game… it’s a pretty bad one.
The thing is, Sakura Angels IS a fine fapbait visual novel. Sure, it’s a bit of a victim of its time, being that now you can get full on uncensored adult content in Steam games, but it’s still a nice time for making your fap sessions not feel so empty and lonely. You might find it sad to get attached to fictional anime girls, but at least you won’t feel the same sense of wasted emptiness every time you finish as you might with porn. Maybe I’m reading too much into things and projecting here. I’m a pretty pathetic and horny dude myself. But still, for ten bucks, you could do a lot worse. Especially on STEAM of all places. What you see here is what you get, and it works. Happy Valentine’s Day!