Anyone remember HuniePop? Despite being a very silly and sexually based visual novel, the addition of puzzle elements within a visual novel dating sim gave gamers a lot to love about this popular title. Developer Art Co alongside PQUBE seemed to have also loved HuniePop and possibly the Higurashi franchise seeing as how their latest game takes themes from both. Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa is easily one of the most bizarre visual novels we’ve played here at Honey’s Anime, but let us tell you this, that is actually a positive thing. If you care to find out, you’ll have to read below for our full review of the PC version of Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa!
What to Expect
Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa is a visual novel with a puzzle element included. Players will need to invade the spirits of characters to remove them of their clothes—not joking—to make them confess their hidden secrets. You’ll also need to engage in a dark narrative that—at times—will seem normal and comedic with a sudden shift out of nowhere towards a darker theme. Can you unveil the reality of those within Fujisawa Academy? With your power, only you stand a chance at finding out what dark secret lies within this educational facility!
You’ve just transferred to Fujisawa Academy and are looking forward to enjoying a calm and quiet student life. Unfortunately, within the hallowed halls of this school lies a dark mystery that seems to be waiting to overflow. With the students involved and no one able to find the truth in this academy, it will be up to you to use your power known as Kotodama. Unveil the lies and truths within people’s souls to find out what is going on in Fujisawa Academy.
When you think of visual novels, you probably assume titles that just have you reading and occasionally making a choice to affect the story. You’re not wrong for assuming that as 99% of visual novels do just that with their games. However, in the past, we’ve seen several companies make visual novels with elements that added either RPG elements or even puzzle elements. HuniePop was a visual novel that acted as a dating sim and a Tetris-like title to gain favor with the girl of your dreams. While it seems ridiculous on paper—and was kind of silly in execution—HuniePop showed the world visual novels could do other things. Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa aims to be added to that list by giving players a strong visual novel experience alongside a puzzle theme as well. Does Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa have what it takes to be a VN that changes the game up but in a good way? We shall find out in our review of Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa for the PC!
The idea of Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa is pretty simple. Players assume the role of a protagonist—whose gender can be chosen upon the beginning of the game—who has made a pact with a demon fox allowing them a special power called Kotodama. They will need this power as the school they’re attending is filled with a dark mystery that lies not only in the school itself but those attending as well. We won’t spoil something big about Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa, but we will tell you now, it’s not as cute as you might initially think. Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa almost has a theme similar to Higurashi or Doki Doki Literature Club as things get dark…quickly. Let us digress though and talk about what you really want to know about, the gameplay.
Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa plays like a visual novel fused with themes found in HuniePop. As you progress through Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa, you’ll read through dialogue and make choices, but you’ll also be using your Kotodama power. Thanks to your spirit pact with a fox demon, you can invade into the minds/hearts of others and unveil their hidden secrets by stripping them down, literally. The puzzle elements involves matching just three colored icons—or more—to make combos that raise an affection gauge with the character you’re invading. Based on their attitude and style, some colored gems—which each represent various attributes—raise the gauge faster. You have a specific number of turns to get to each level—the levels are represented by clothing coming off—with extra turns added upon passing a threshold. It’s a very simple set up, but there’s a lot of fun to be had trying for big combos. Plus, you can play through the puzzle game part of Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa in the main menu and choose from different underwear for the characters and raise the difficulty as you progress through the story.
The beauty of Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa is that—like most visual novels—replay is a must. There’s a lot of mystery elements to Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa and only beating the game several times will lead you to a true ending. You’ll want that true ending as well seeing as how Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa is truly a captivating mystery tale with some truly big twists that you won’t see coming! Again, no spoilers, but be prepared for plot twists you wouldn’t have guessed coming.
Another element we really enjoyed about Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa is the art style. While Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa clearly is going for an anime theme, there’s almost a western influence in some of the character design which makes for some truly unique designs. Some characters don’t look that impressive—the side characters look terrible compared to the mains—but it’s not enough to ruin the overall look to Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa. Equally, some of the CGs in Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa are truly creepy and powerful.
If we had any complaints about Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa it would come in two forms. The first is the voice acting from some of the characters. For whatever reason, some voice overs sound like they were phoned in or done in very echo filled rooms degrading the feel to Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa. Our other minor gripe is the puzzle games themselves aren’t too difficult. While you can up the difficulty of the puzzle game outside the main story, during the story, the puzzles rarely are difficult. There is some luck involved with occasional moments where no moves could be made, but often that wasn’t enough to make us lose.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa should be the template for all visual novels of the future. Mixing in multiple gameplay elements with the usual visual novel theme was an ingenious idea and while the puzzle elements in Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa might not make you rack your brain too hard—it is a very simple set up—it allows you to not feel bored after hours of just reading text and making occasional choices. Add to this a solid story with several big twists the more you complete it and Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa ends up being one of the best visual novels we’ve played in quite some time. If you loved HuniePop but wanted a more serious—and sometimes darker—themed story with mystery elements, you absolutely need to buy Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa!
Puzzle gameplay mixed with visual novel themes makes for a fun VN that doesn’t get boring or repetitive
Unique art style that feels like an anime and an American themed drama at the same time
Great story with a rewarding narrative
Multiple playthroughs reveal a grander story that truly hits some solid notes
Solid OST with decent voice acting
Sometimes some of the voice acting seems phoned in
Isn’t a particularly hard puzzle game
Honey's Final Verdict:
While we don’t dislike visual novels, we can’t deny that their style of gameplay can become quite…repetitive. That’s what made us love Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa. Not only does it fuse several gameplay elements—well, at that—but it still retains what makes a visual novel a visual novel, strong narrative with fun choices and multiple endings. Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa is one of those visual novels we will always recommend to gamers who need a VN that breaks the mold and we hope more companies learn to do this with their future creations. Are you now excited to pick up Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa? Comment below why—or why not—you are as we would love to hear your feedback. For even more game reviews and all things anime related, be sure to keep stuck to our hive here at Honey’s Anime!
Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!