Man from the dawn of time has looked up at the beautiful sky above them in awe, they saw the birds in the sky and they too have wished to reach that seemingly unattainable height they fly to see the world from above.
KonoSora is about people coming together to reach out and grasp onto that dream within their hearts. They not only think of the wonderful sight they dream of the sky above but the friends and the experiences they share along the way.
Today on the VN Completionist, we find out if this game can give us a glimpse of the beautiful sky that these characters are aiming for or whether if fails to reach such seemingly unattainable heights.
If My Heart Had Wings or Kono Oozora ni, Tsubasa ni Hirogete is a Japanese Visual novel developed and published by Pulltop and 5pb. games. It was published in English by Moenovel and the Restoration patch was translated by MeruP. I won’t discuss the patch in detail but it restores the game to have the complete scenario’s including H-scenes but I will warn you that there are come pretty dodgy translations and typo’s in it so you have been warned.
The game follows our protagonist, Aoi Minase who is returning to his home town of Kazegaura after having been in an accident and losing his direction in life. Upon his return, he finds a wheelchair bound girl called Kotori amongst the hills covered in windmills. They then look up to the sky together in awe as they see a glider fly overhead. They decide with the help of his childhood friend, Ageha and their new-found Senpai, Amane to resurrect the Soaring club in order to fulfil Amane’s dream of flying through the Morning Glory.
Aoi Minase isn’t a particularly interesting character. He can be easily defined as a kind and hard-working person but not much else apart from that which is somewhat disappointing.
Kotori is wheelchair bound and is on the verge of quitting school. She starts off as rather stubborn, anti-social and tsundere but these aspects of her character dies down quite a bit and she later becomes confident, charming but also a bit of a cry baby.
His childhood friend Ageha is a cheerful, energetic and flirtatious girl who joins the club in order to help them build the glider.
Amane is their attractive Senpai, who is famous in the school for being a genius and for repeating multiple years to finish the glider she and her friend built. Despite being called a genius she is a bit of an air-head and lacks common sense.
The final two main girls are the twins,Asa and Yoru. Asa is a cute, clumsy air-headed girl who suffers from low self-esteem, whilst her sister Yoru is Cool, Smart but is also nihilist and pessimistic. Yoru is also very attached to her sister who she will even put first before herself in certain situations.
The common route follows the formation of the soaring club which is on the verge of being disbanded. It mostly serves as an introduction to Aoi, Kotori, Ageha and Amane’s characters and Asa and Yoru who are introduced much later. This part of the game has a large focus on Kotori’s character who is on the verge of quitting school and the construction of the glider.
I didn’t really have much of a problem with the common route apart from it was probably longer than it needed to be and it felt like it dragged on a bit, but the characters for the most part were funny and didn’t ever feel bored out of my mind.
The character routes had some significant problems that were prevalent throughout most of the game. Firstly the romantic relationships between the girls were not portrayed well and were not particularly interesting. It felt like the dynamic between the characters never really changed despite them being in an intimate relationship, it just felt the same as in the common route and that was kind of disappointing.
I also felt that all the routes – apart from Asa and Yoru’s – were not well paced. They felt much longer than they needed to be and probably could have been much shorter and been just as effective.
Kotori’s route was good but suffered in various aspects. Firstly as mentioned earlier most of the common route is spent developing her character, this leaves very little room for any character development in her own route so she remained mostly the same unlike the other characters.
Kotori’s route was also poorly paced as mentioned earlier. This was mostly due to the lack of any character development so most of the scenarios felt rather stale and didn’t add much to her route.
She also felt like a damsel in distress for most of the second half of the route. She would have Aoi help her to resolve the conflict in this route rather than doing so herself, which would have been much better as it have helped to reinforce some of the central themes of this route.
Finally, I disliked how this route would introduce heavy amounts of conflict and drama to the point where I felt kind of melodramatic and would always find some convenient way to resolve their problems, which kind of makes them feel trivial.
Despite this, Kotori’s route does have interesting themes about disability and how it shouldn’t get in the way and stop her from chasing after the same dreams as people without one. I thought this was quite heart-warming and was happy to see this in the game.
Amane’s route had similar problems to Kotori’s route i.e. poor pacing and trivialized, melodramatic conflicts but I feel like Amane’s route handled this a bit better. Amane’s route was also the first route to introduce Isuka and the relationship between her and Amane. It also introduces the legacy she left behind, which I felt was the most interesting aspect of the route.
Her route also reveals the motivations of Tobioka who serves as an antagonist to the soaring club in every route and is adamant on having them disband. The reason that is revealed comes across as rather convoluted, unclear and honestly quite poorly written and it does a bad job of justifying his actions and sympathising with him.
Ageha’s route was better than Kotori and Amane’s routes but I personally didn’t enjoy this route as much as the previous two. The route has better pacing than the previous two but was pretty slow at the start.
The conflict in this route was much better written than the previous two routes. This was due to her past trauma from her childhood, which became her motivation to protect the soaring club and help Aoi and the club pursue the dream they all share. This route doesn’t suffer from the forced drama prevalent throughout previously mentioned routes.
A problem I personally had with this route was the relationship between Ageha and Aoi. I didn’t feel like they had enough time together to develop into a proper relationship and it wasn’t presented well. This made it come off as rather forced unfortunately. Despite this I felt the way this relationship was presented was in a way the helped reinforce the central themes of this route but it could have been done better.
Asa and Yoru’s routes – which I’m discussing together as it’s easier – was better paced compared to all the other routes and had much more character development in their own routes. This was mostly because they didn’t have much in the common route so they could be explored more in the character routes which allowed them to flow much more smoothly compared to the other routes.
This route didn’t have a melodramatic and forced conflict which was solved trivially. The conflict revolved around the relationship between both the twins and their relationship with Aoi and who deserves to be with him. The relationship between both the twins and Aoi came across as cute and sincere and complimented the “feel good” nature of the game.
The twins were also interesting characters due to their opposing but unique perspectives on their lives. This affected how they saw their relationships with Aoi and who deserved to be with him. Their romantic relationship was much more interesting than the other characters as their romance felt earnest due to the conflict around their relationship and how they managed to overcome it.
The music in this game wasn’t too special. There was only really two or three pieces that stood out to me. The Art on the other hand was very good and left quite a strong impression. The character designs and sprite art was very good and most of the character CGs were very good too. The landscapes and sky CGs were honestly breathtaking. They left such a strong impression with wonderful use of colour and got across the beauty of the sky and the goal they spent the entire game aiming for which compliments the overall feel of the game very well.
In conclusion, despite the games flaws in certain aspects such as the poor pacing and forced drama, the game succeeded in the kind of “feel good” vibes the game was going for and the feeling of working together to achieve a common goal. The game also succeeded in having some interesting themes relating to achieving their dream and in some routes some very interesting character interactions.
Personally I feel I could recommend this game despite some of its flaws. If you enjoyed this game my recommended reads for this game would be Kira Kira and Hoshizora no Memoria as they both go for this “feel good” style of visual novel and also revolves around a club aiming for a common goal and the experiences they have along the way.
This concludes my review of If my heart had wings. If you haven’t done so already follow me on social media and make sure to check out the other posts on the site. Anyway, thanks for reading I hope you all had a wonderful christmas and I will see you all next year on the VN Completionist.