Jisei (video game series)

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Jisei
Genres Horror, Mystery, Supernatural
Developers SakeVisual
Publishers SakeVisual
Platforms Microsoft Windows
Mac OS X
Linux
Year of inception 2010
First release Jisei
June 6, 2010;
3 years ago
 (2010-06-06)
Latest release Yousei
February 1, 2013;
14 months ago
 (2013-02-01)
Official website www.sakevisual.com

The Jisei series is a visual novel series created by SakeVisual for the Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux platforms. [1]

Gameplay[edit]

Each game in the Jisei series plays out as a mystery novel, with the player examine their current location to find clues. The player also can talk to people and get hints. The player can access an in-game notebook to keep track of all clues and hints found so far.[citation needed] As of Yousei, the player can use Kangai's phone to send and receive messages from other characters, serving as a hint system.[citation needed]

Story[edit]

Setting and characters[edit]

Set in the fictional town of Edgewater, the Jisei series follows the protagonist: an unidentified American teenager who later takes the codename "Kangai". Kangai has a strange psychic ability: he can relive the dying moments of any dead body he touches, as well as sense when someone nearby has died. Shortly after he returns to his homeown in Edgewater, Kangai meets three other people who are part of a government agency: Aki Mizutani, the group's brash and impulsive leader; Naoki Mizutani, Aki's younger twin brother and the group's voice of reason; and Li Mei, a quiet girl with an unsettling aura around her. Kangai learns that all four have similar psychic abilities, called kansei—Aki can speak directly into anyone's mind, using it to either talk to another kansei without speaking or persuading "normal" people subconsciously; Naoki can remember anything he has experienced, making him useful for undercover work; and Li Mei can sense the emotions of those around her, so much that she has to sort out which emotions are hers and which aren't. They are part of a government agency under supervision of Mikolaj Gurski, a police detective.[2][3][4][5]

Jisei[edit]

Jisei: The First Case
JiseiCover.jpg
Cover art depicting series protagonist "Kangai"
Developer(s) SakeVisual
Publisher(s) SakeVisual
Writer(s) Ayu Sakata
Series Green Tea Line
Jisei series
Engine Ren'Py
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
Release date(s) June 4, 2010
Genre(s) visual novel
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Download, CD

When Jisei begins, the protagonist wakes from a nap inside the café, and suddenly feels ill. Heading to the restroom, he discovers a dead woman on the floor, with a knife in her chest. He touches the woman to experience her final moments; he finds out that someone had suffocated the woman. When the protagonist comes to, he finds Jennifer Bergstrom watching him, claiming him as the murderer. Detective Gurski, who happened to be at the café coincidentally, decides to question everyone present—Chance Jackson, Jennifer Bergstrom, Kizaki Suitani and the protagonist.

Determined to prove his innocence, the protagonist questions the suspects present and examines the café. He discovers used duct tape in the trash in the men's restroom. After collecting all clues, the protagonist converses with Gurski about it and identifies the culprit. It turns out that the culprit is Jennifer Bergstrom, and that the victim is Sara Blackmoore. Both women were employees for Biodev Imaging, and Sara had stolen research from Auten Engineering, Biodev's competitors, for Bergstrom. However, Sara decided to double cross her employer in favor of a third party that offered her more money. When the protagonist, Gurski, and Kizaki confront Bergstrom, she tries to run; the others manage to trap her, however, and she confesses. Detective Gurski snaps a pair of handcuffs on her wrists and leads her outside. Kizaki, who says his real name is Naoki, wants the protagonist to help him finding out who the third party Sara mentioned is. Later, Naoki's twin sister, Aki, shows up personally and offers the protagonist to work with them. However, she makes clear that he needs their help more than they need his.

In the epilogue, it is revealed that Chance played a double role as well. She calls someone, telling them that she could not get the USB drive they wanted. Then she claims that she found someone the person has been looking for—the main protagonist.

Kansei[edit]

Kansei: The Second Turn
KanseiCover.jpg
Cover art depicting detective Mikolaj Gurski
Developer(s) SakeVisual
Publisher(s) SakeVisual
Writer(s) Ayu Sakata
Series Green Tea Line
Jisei series
Engine Ren'Py
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
Release date(s) July 11, 2011
Genre(s) visual novel
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Download, CD

After the events of Jisei, the protagonist finds himself tangled in another murder case when the owner of a high profile corporation dies under mysterious circumstances. This time, however, he's forced to team up with a group of kids with abilities as strange as his own. Early in the game, Aki gives the protagonist a nickname, "Kangai", as he wants to keep his true name hidden.

Aki drives Kangai, Naoki, and Li Mei to the house of William Auten, the chairperson of Auten Engineering. There, they met Mr. Auten's assistant Sophia Millerson, as well as Detective Mikolaj Gurski, who was invited because he solved the murder case the day before. Furthermore, Kangai meets the reporter Marissa Klein, Mr. Auten's nephew Liam, and the IT guy Kevin Nealy. When Kangai and the others are asked to go into William Auten's office and Mr. Auten sees Kangai through a camera, he seems to recognize him and wants to throw him out of the house. He is frightened of him and he does not want to meet him any more. When suddenly William Auten is found dead in his office, Kangai has to solve the case. While he is looking for clues, he learns from Li Mei, that she, Aki, and Naoki work for the government, that they are on probation for past crimes, and that Detective Gurski is their probation officer.

Kangai finds an SD card in a box in Mr. Auten's museum. Shortly after, it turns out that Kevin has poisoned Mr. Auten. Kevin takes Li Mei hostage and threatens her with a knife. Suddenly Detective Gurski comes into the room, he calls Kangai Alex. Together they are able to catch Kevin and to arrest him. The next day Detective Gurski comes over to tell Alex and the others that Kevin has confessed and that Liam has disappeared.

In the epilogue is Liam who has obtained some things for Chance. Judging from their conversation it could be that Liam and Chance are siblings or half-siblings. After Liam has given her the things which she wanted to have for years, she lets him leave. She tells him that he should enjoy the rest of his pitiful life. According to her there is not much left of it after all.

Yousei[edit]

Yousei: The Third Investigation
YouseiCover.jpg
Cover art depicting Aki (left) and Naoki Mizutani
Developer(s) SakeVisual
Publisher(s) SakeVisual
Writer(s) Ayu Sakata
Series Green Tea Line
Jisei series
Engine Ren'Py
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
Release date(s) February 1, 2013
Genre(s) visual novel
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Download, CD

While researching his past at the local university, Kangai and the group soon find themselve in a race against time to catch an "old enemy" responsible for killing one of the university's professors.[6][7]

Development[edit]

The games were created with Ren'Py. Several known voice actors were involved such as Kira Buckland and Micah Solusod.[2] The opening theme songs, "Calling To The One" for Jisei, "Escape" for Kansei, and "Redemption" for Yousei were recorded by Aural Wave.[8][9] However, the opening video in Yousei was not included due to technical problems.

Staff[edit]

Role Game
Jisei (2010) Kansei (2011) Yousei (2013)
Writing/Programming Ayu Sakata
Character design/art M. Beatriz Garcia
Music Marc Conrad Tabula
Opening theme Aural Wave
Backgrounds M. Beatriz Garcia Sandra Lane
Proofreading Dennis Elliot Darien A. Lee
Beta testers n.a. Sarah Galbraith, Jané Peens, Marcel Weyers, Elsa Whitney

Voice actors[edit]

Character Game
Jisei (2010) Kansei (2011) Yousei (2013)
Detective Mikolaj Gurski Chris Niosi
Chance Jackson Kira Buckland
Jennifer Bergstrom Morgan Barnhart  
Naoki Mizutani (Kizaki Suitani) Micah Solusod
Aki Mizutani Apphia Yu
Li Mei   Cherami Leigh
Kevin Nealy   Zach Holzman  
Liam Auten   Matt Alan  
Marissa Klein   Melissa D. Johnson
Sophia Millerson   Karen Hayman  
William Auten   Robert Bruce Elliott  
Girl (Kangai's sister)   Mindy Owen
Aaron Vanich   Edwyn Tiong
David Sawicki   Clifford Chapin
Nathan Holm   Chris Cason
Shawn Tasse   Kevin M. Connolly
Jupiter Celedon   Erica Mendez
Woman (Schulz)   Karen Kahler
HP Worker   Greg Nugent
School Worker   James Goins

Marketing[edit]

[10]

Reception[edit]

Jisei received moderate to positive reception. It received a score of 90/100 on Gamertell, with reviewer Jenni Lada writing "Jisei goes above and beyond. It feels incredibly professional, and more like a major developer's accomplishment than that of a fairly new independent developer. The character art is wonderful, the voice acting appropriate, the story interesting and the general gameplay mechanics well executed."[11] Mania.com gave the game similar praise, calling it "An engaging visual novel from a promising new group."[12] Indie Game Reviewer scored the game 3/5 stars, noting that "Jisei contains gorgeous visuals, and some really solid writing, but comes up just short of greatness due to its length and the overall lack of things to do."[13] Gamezebo likewise criticized the short gameplay length, stating that "It feels like it's all over much too quickly and most people will feel quite short-changed."[14]

Kansei received mostly positive reception. It received a score of 93/100 on Gamertell, with reviewer Jenni Lada writing "Length aside, Kansei is a a really beautiful game. It is a much improvement over Jisei in terms of interactivity and plot, with a story that is more intriguing and has additional twists to discover. Not only that, but it looks and sounds beautiful. It’s a wonderful visual novel and quite involving."[15] Kansei was chosen to be the English Visual Novel of the Year in 2011 by VNs Now!.[16] Others have criticized the game's mystery elements. Visual novel reviewer anonl called it "a clear step up from Jisei, but the murder mystery is still lackluster." [17]

Yousei received mostly positive reception. It was praised by IndieGameMagazine, saying that it is "sakevisual’s most polished release to date".[18] Yousei was given 8/10 points by VNs Now!, saying "Yousei is still one of the strongest EVN you’re going to play this year and more than worth the asking price".[19] GamerTell gave a rating of B to Yousei, saying "What made Yousei so fun and enjoyable was it’s cool voice acting, realistic characters, great story, multiple endings, and replay-ability." [20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About Us". SakeVisual. Retrieved 2013-07-08. 
  2. ^ a b "About | Jisei - A supernatural murder mystery game by sakevisual". Sakevisual.com. Retrieved 2013-07-08. 
  3. ^ "Characters | Jisei - A supernatural murder mystery game by sakevisual". Sakevisual.com. Retrieved 2013-07-08. 
  4. ^ "About | Kansei - A supernatural murder mystery game by sakevisual". Sakevisual.com. Retrieved 2013-07-08. 
  5. ^ "Characters | Kansei - A supernatural murder mystery game by sakevisual". Sakevisual.com. Retrieved 2013-07-08. 
  6. ^ "About | Yousei - A supernatural murder mystery game by sakevisual". Sakevisual.com. Retrieved 2013-07-08. 
  7. ^ "Characters | Yousei - A supernatural murder mystery game by sakevisual". Sakevisual.com. Retrieved 2013-07-08. 
  8. ^ "Aural Wave - Calling To The One". Retrieved August 28, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Aural Wave - Escape". Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
  10. ^ https://dischan.org/devblog/2013/07/sakevisual-visual-novels-added/
  11. ^ "Jisei Visual Novel Game Review (Gamertell)". 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-28. 
  12. ^ "Jisei Visual Novel Game Review (Mania)". 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-28. 
  13. ^ "Jisei – The First Case: Someone’s Been J-Popped. Can You Discover the Killer? Gambatte! (Indie Game Review)". 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-28. 
  14. ^ "Jisei Review (Gamezebo)". 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-28. 
  15. ^ Jenni Lada (July 20, 2011). "Review: Kansei for Windows, Mac, Linux". Retrieved August 28, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Visual Novel of the Year". 2012. Retrieved January 4, 2011. 
  17. ^ anonl (2013). "[review] Kansei". Retrieved June 27, 2013. 
  18. ^ Berkley, Kim (February 8, 2013). "‘Yousei: The Third Investigation Review’ – Memento Mori". Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Yousei: The Third Investigation Review". 2013. Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  20. ^ Moen, Jessica (24 February 2013). "Review: Yousei for the PC". GamerTell. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 

External links[edit]