I can’t read Japanese, so I just want to know if Maeda had any songs in this I should listen to. @ me if you know any good ones! Though unsure if they’ll have any way to listen to them so soon after the game released.
Just finished the game. I think if you love Key’s works, you’ll love it, but if you tend to be more critical and picky (like me) you’ll find a number of issues. It maintains that magical Key atmosphere that people love but the actual writing quality falls short of their better works. Not to say the writing is bad, just definitely not their best. That said, I totally cried at the climax and the whole family love and self-sacrifice themes reminiscent of Clannad were really well done. Like all Key works, the biggest factor ends up being how much you resonate with the themes and story.
Maeda writing lyrics for the grand ending song “Pocket o Fukuramasete”, which is the best song with me in the game. You can search it’s name to listen on YouTube or Nicovideo.
Found the track. Yep; love it! I’ll have to avoid reading the lyrics to it before I get the chance to actually read Summer Pockets.
So I really have no idea why, but it appears the pre-order store exclusive drama CDs are actually included in the game’s voice files. There’s a bunch of stuff towards the end of the koe folder that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, so I don’t know if this is a mistake or something, but I won’t say no to free things.
z0265 - Shiroha
z0266 - Kamome
z0267 - Ao
z0268 - Tsumugi
Soundtrack is being made at the moment, no release date yet.
Na-Ga is doing the cover art.
Will be 3 discs with 48 tracks.
I can’t wait!
Found some twitter posts of people visiting the real life locations in the game:
This person did a comprehensive blog with heaps of photos of locations from the game!
The Summer Pockets promotion itasha is going up for auction on 7/26.
I have yet to play the game, but I hope I enjoy it more than Rewrite. While I did enjoy a large bit of Rewrite, it wasn’t near the rest of the Key family by a long shot. For me, it is the least coherent of the games in terms of writing (waiting to read the new version that is to come out some day in English). I would also put AIR above Rewrite too.
So I still have high hopes for the game and the high rating have me intrigued.
Following the post about the Summer Pockets main menu music trancription (Key Musical Transcriptions), I wanted to talk about the original piece itself.
Similar to the Tomoyo After menu music, this is a piece that kept me from starting the actual VN, and I think that the one thing that both pieces of music share in common is their simplicity in composition. Sure, Summer Pockets has some fucked up chords at times, but most of the time it sticks to regular major or minor chords and fifths, which aren’t something spectacular for a piece of music. And the whole track doesn’t have a single alterned note that deviates from its key signature. And yet with such simplicity of composition, it manages to grip the listener.
Most of the track uses arpeggiated chords and appoggiaturas (musical ornaments) that together with the breathtaking performance of the piece turn the simplistic composition into a complex music interpretation. The alteration of the tempo during the first seconds of the track and the last ones is almost impossible to transcribe, and I pretty much gave up with the transcription of dynamic expressions (forte, piano, pianissimo and so on) because the performer plays such an expressive take on the composition that pretty much every note should have a different dynamics anotation.
Without having yet played Summer Pockets nor knowing anything about its story I can tell that the music evoques a sense of relaxation as if the breeze was caressing the listener while he’s falling asleep on the grassy slopes of the island. The listener could be either alone or with some friends, but I’m pretty sure that the listener is alone by the end, as the duration of the notes becomes longer and longer and the piece ends with a very basic “5-1-5” chord that doesn’t even specify if it has a happy feeling (major chord) or dull feeling (minor chord). It’s as if the end of the VN is going to be the main character being left alone in some bittersweet scene and then the reader has to decide whether that’s a good or a bad ending.
Overall, I can’t stress this enough, but the key to this track’s success is its simplicity and amazing performance. Add a relaxing blue and green drawing to an already relaxing piece of music and you have a perfect main menu.
Oooooh great job moga! I absolutely love the menu music; it might be my favorite menu music so far! And seeing you make a transcription of it so quickly makes me glad here’s hoping this can open up for more fan covers of the song (though your performance is great too)
Might I suggest mirroring this transcript on the transcriptions topic? I’d move it there myself but this post contains enough summer pockets discussion that i don’t want to move out of here
So I said that, and the negativity and trauma is still a big part of Hairi’s personality, but I figured something out partway through Tsumugi. This guy is Mikorin. From that point I started reading his lines with Okamoto Nobuhiko’s voice, and I think it works really well. This guy is so goddamn moe! Glad this artist recognized that too. The picture is based on a Common event where Hairi tries to tease Nomiki. There’s a couple variations. This seems based on the one where Hairi tries to say he loves Nomiki but gets too embarrassed. Shiroha isn’t there for that one though.
I read the trial.
Better than expected/10.
Music is nice.
Shiroha is really good.
Could do without the map screen crashing the game more often than it doesn’t though.
So far it’s Shiroha > Ao > Umi > Seagull > Wenders > Hydro.
Just gonna assume cowtits goes at the bottom of that, I don’t believe she’s in the trial.
Mildly looking forward to the full in 4 years.
Oh no the poor guy…
Anyways, so far while I’m still in common route, I’m currently really enjoying this novel and translation. I like how it’s story is set on the island and the characters on it are lively, funny, very enjoyable to watch and read and has quickly caught my interests which I really like. I can’t wait to see the official translation to come out later in the future and finish this visual novel entirely.
I loved the mood, I loved the OST, the visuals are God-like level, I loved the characters, I loved Kamome’s route and fairly enjoyed Shiroha’s and Ao’s.
Alka (the main route), I liked much less. It takes way too much from previous Key works, to a degree that I found simply unacceptable. I didn’t really like Tsumugi’s route either, it drags on for a while.
Some characters deserved more story.
Also, I’m pretty sure Tsumugi’s Route and Kamome’s don’t bring anything to the overall story at all. Pretty disappointing, given that Little Busters and Rewrite managed to link all their routes together.
Overall, I’m not sure how I should feel about Summer Pockets. A part of me loved it, another one found it way too disappointing. Right now, I would say I loved it despite its flaws.
I think you’re being a bit generous there. I don’t see how Samapoke’s are done less so.
About Rewrite, I’m pretty confident that I’m not generous. About LB… maybe ^^.
I mean, in Rewrite, each Route depicts the same conflict from a different point of view. If you miss a Route, you miss a chunk of the story and you won’t understand everything because every Route gives important explanations for the main story.
As for LB, maybe not all Routes were useful indeed. But at the very least, the story justifies the existence of these Routes. In terms of story, they may not be useful, but in the overall experience they do serve a purpose.
That’s not really the case with Summer Pockets, where Tsumugi and Kamome are really independant from the rest.
They don’t even appear a single time in Shiroha and Ao’s routes, and it’s not like they were really useful in Alka either.
But again, I loved Kamome’s route and I wouldn’t have enjoyed SP that much without her!
To bring these titles down to Samapoke:
In Rewrite none of the routes are consistant with one another, and none of them have any importance to the main narrative aside from arguably Kotori which sets up some concepts but is still made obsolete by Terra. Some elements from the routes are highlighted in Moon, but that section of the route only exists to pay lip service to the fact the heroine routes existed, though even then it is mostly justified by rule of cool rather than any logic. You could skip all the heroine routes and still understand everything going on imo, especially with all the setup and explanation Terra goes through.
In Litbus only Rin and a tiny bit of Komari matter at all to the main story, and while the heroine routes are supported by the main narrative, it’s not true vice-versa. You could again skip all the heroine routes and still understand all of the true route. Almost all of the heroines get booted out of the story by that point too.
On the other hand, to bring Samapoke up to those titles…
Tsumugi has the entire concept told via the lighthouse, of ancestry and of the tree place, both of which are important to the final routes.
Ao has the butterflies, which are the central magical construct behind the VN and is important to understanding the rest of the VN.
Kamome only really has the 7, and maybe something about the ability of observation spirits have, but it’s definitely not a big presence on the narrative. Best route though, so I’ll take it.
Though Shiroha is pretty pointless because it gets recapped in near entirety in the true route. Good intro story though.
Plus in the non-heroine routes we get the same justification for the routes existing as in Litbus and Rewrite.
These aren’t massive justifications for the routes having importance, but they’re à la Litbus and Rewrite; basic excuses for routes to exist.
So Key has released 12 side stories for Summer Pockets over the last year, and they’re available for free at http://key.visualarts.gr.jp/summer/special_ss.html. It’s always iffy if these things get translated, and some people are prone to wondering what type of information they don’t have access to. I certainly am not going to translate all of these: I may do a couple, but several of them are just not interesting. So I figured I could at least summarize what is said–and more importantly, not said–to alleviate some possible anxiety. It goes without saying that some of these involve plot points from routes relating to the characters, so I’ll be sorting them based on that.
We learn the story about how Tenzen got into ping pong. In grade school there was a girl and they always competed at stuff, but Tenzen never beats her at anything. The ending is a total fake out where Tenzen makes it sound like she died, but she just moved away and is now a tennis pro. Based on the story, Hairi deduces that she probably had a crush on Tenzen. Tenzen says there could never be anything between them because she’s a washboard. I really hate this one…
It’s a story about Nomiki and Hairi walking around a whole day looking for her water rifle. Because of shenanigans, she can’t keep her balance without the rifle, so Hairi has to hold her hand the whole time. There’s scenes with all the major characters, and it’s just a really adorable story. You can read it here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1DEmgxtEP2OeyZti-xbkGHUb_7S8uJJwZbef5VRYrXuY/edit?usp=sharing
The story is about Kobato and the other heavenly kings being worried about the island’s safety, and they decide they need to train some replacements. That of course ends up being Hairi, Ryoichi and Tenzen. In the end, the chuuni geezers were just over-reacting, so nothing really happens.
This one is a bit interesting because it’s a continuation of what happens when you do all the secret base events. The idea is that the guys get exposed by Ao and Shizuku when they trying to get their hands on some adult magazines, and Hairi and Tenzen get super bumbed out. Ryoichi takes it upon himself to fix their relationships with the ladies. There’s some twist and turns, but it works out kinda when Ryoichi paints himself as the far bigger pervert than the other two.
While out on adventure, one of the wheels on Kamome’s suitcase breaks off. She and Hairi look all over town and find a back-alley shop that sells suitcases. It turns out this is actually where the suitcase was originally made. We transition into a story about how Kamome’s parents had gone to Torishirojima while her mom was pregnant, and they were trying to think of a good name for their daughter. This is one that I probably should translate. One, because Best Girl, but also because it’s neat and not really about anything special at all.
This one’s very light on spoilers, honestly it’s a toss-up whether you see the hints or not. It’s the story of how Shizuku first met Tsumugi. A couple of weeks before summer break, Shizuku went to the island to talk to Shiroha. She gets shut down and ends up at the candy store. She talks some with Ao, Nomiki and Ryoichi, but she gets phased out when the conversation goes in a lewd direction. She walks around at arrives at the light house. Shizuku finds a stuffed bear outside and hugs it while thinking about how she wants to break out of her goody two-shoes attitude. She starts by yelling obscenities at the ocean, but when she turns around, Tsumugi is there looking at her. They talk a bunch and Shizuku comes back the next day. They end up bonding over parts of themselves that they’re uncomfortable with yet the other envies them: Shizuku likes Tsumugi’s hair, and Tsumugi admires Shizuku’s breasts. So to kinda help Tsumugi be comfortable with her hair, Shizuku says she’ll be proud of her breasts. After hearing this story, Hairi also yells at the ocean and tells about his swimming club experience because he wants to be closer with Shizuku and Tsumugi. Shizuku rounds off with a monologue about how the 3 of them had lost their way in a sense, and that maybe it was fate that they all gathered at a place meant to guide peoples’s travels.
It’s well written like Tsumugi’s route, but it just rubs me the wrong way that they try to demystify Shizuku’s quirk. It’s so much funnier to me if she just is this unexplainable thing.
This story is a bunch of shorter scenes showing Tsumugi’s perspective of what happens in the route and some extra things that occur during the whole holiday montage. As a bear she was always watching over Tsumugi-chan, then she obviously got spirited away. Everyone searched for her at first, but then the war happened, and eventually Tsumugi and the house are left abandoned. She doesn’t want people to forget Tsumugi-chan, and through some means she doesn’t understand, she wakes up as Tsumugi.
On the day when Tsumugi just disappears in front of Hairi, she actually turned into a bear and fell down into a ditch. After Hairi also disappears, the dejected Shizuku happens to fall in the same ditch. Tsumugi gets turned back into a human, and the two talk it out about all the spooky stuff.
The rest of the story is about Hairi and Tsumugi flirting. They make a name plate for the door out of a Pringles lid, and Tsumugi signs it Takahara Tsumugi because she can’t fit her western name. Tsumugi kisses Hairi while she thinks he’s asleep. He wasn’t asleep, so they get really embarrassed then kiss again.
#EX The Bird Wedding (Visual fanbook exclusive)
This one takes place after the Tanabata event. Tsumugi has the idea that she wants to make everyone’s wishes come true to show her gratitude. Kamome wants to do the four kings squat thing, so Ao and Shiroha get roped into that. Shiroha wants a suika bar. Tsumugi ends up making a imitation from shaved ice. Shiroha says it’s far from the real thing but that maybe there is someone who’d prefer this imitation. Ao wants to have a girls’ talk about Hairi, and it goes lewd because Ao-chan. In the end there’s just Shizuku and Hairi’s wishes left. Shizuku wants to hold a wedding ceremony for the two of them. They don’t have time to make any preparation, so it’s a ceremony full of imitations, but Tsumugi remembers what Shiroha said (because Tsumugi herself is an imitation).
This story is about showing what Inari does when she’s not not with Ao and also explain a bunch of stuff about her character. Inari uses ‘boku’ as her 1st person pronoun, but clarifies that she is a vixen. There really was no other way of telling her gender before this story came out, and I always assumed they told us because it helps translators a ton. Another thing they make immediately clear is that Inari is sassy as all hell, even though she speaks in ‘keigo.’ Between scenes of Ao-chan being absolutely adorable, we get the story of how the two met and how Inari gained knowledge of human language. It was 3 years prior, and Inari spotted a human child who was touching the glowing butterflies that animals of the forest usually avoid. This made Inari curious, so she started hunting a butterfly. She attacks a small, faint one, but the memories instantly overwhelmed her. It happened to be Ai’s butterfly, and she ends up seeing the same memory of Ai going into the forest at night to prove Ao was right. When Inari wakes up, she recognizes the girl as “Ao-chan” and understands what she says. Inari kinda overloaded, so she doesn’t remember much of Ai’s memories. She just has Ai’s personality and love for Ao to show for it.
This story takes place right when everyone’s back in school and tells how Shiroha ends up writing the postcard that Hairi receives in the epilogue. She asks the others for help, but they all say weird stuff, so she ends up writing this really convoluted letter. She scraps that, then some of her classmates call out to her and ask what she’s doing. They talk over lunch, and Shiroha gets told to just write the one thing she most wants to say. So meeting Hairi helped Shiroha get along better with people at school, though she’s adamant about Hairi just being a friend.
#1 Ao (I’m summarizing it without spoilers because it’s really dumb)
So this story really shouldn’t be spoilery, but is for an incredibly stupid reason. Sure it talks about Ai being in a coma, but I don’t consider that to be much of a spoiler for anything. The story just follows what Ao was doing the days leading up to summer break: she talks to Nomiki, Shiroha, and visits Ai. They also explain how she had a late assignment to turn in, so she went to school, and that’s why she wears her uniform when you first meet her (She never wears it ever again in the whole game). So the only reason this story is this far down, is because she touches a strange butterfly, and they spill the beans on the big plot twist from Alka. Now there is some room for interpretation, but you have to be pretty dense to not pick up what they’re throwing down.
Ao doesn’t really understand what kind of memory she’s seeing because she sees a child meeting a boy over and over again. At first she feels very afraid but that subsides after a number of times. I wouldn’t be so frustrated with it if they didn’t practically name the characters. They show the dialogue from when Umi first wakes up Hairi with some scrambling like “Hello, I’m…mi” “Hello…U…?” “It’s my name” “Hi, I’m …kahara…iri” Ao says that the memories are too numerous and confusing that she starts forgetting them right away. Then while she’s having a nap before going to work, she feels a presence but gets the feeling it’s not anyone dangerous and keeps sleeping. This is the first time she meets Hairi, so she kinda held onto some of Umi affection for him. I feel like that whole thing is so unnecessary.
So I guess this is the part where Dr. Strange explains how
EndgameAlka is the 1 in 14000605. Like 2/3s is Umi telling of different attempts at spending time with Shiroha, but her power to avoid people is always too strong. Umi was literally playing it like an old-school dating sim: memorizing Shiroha’s schedule and stuff. She describes how she triggers the time leap by thinking about going back and wanting to run away; the world then turns white, and her ears ring, then she’s back at the start of summer. One time, she tries asking Kyoko about Shiroha. She actually asks about Naruse-san’s(Kobato) “daughter” because she didn’t know Shiroha was his grand daughter. Anyway, that leads her to think she should start asking for help from others. So she went to all the other characters; it wasn’t clear if it was one “playthrough” each or multiples in one.
Finally she ends up talking to Nomiki. Nomiki says she’ll make it so they can patrol the island with Shiroha. Nomiki happens to mention how Shiroha’s lately started hanging out with Hairi a lot (This is a Shiroha route playthrough basically). Nomiki and Umi sees Hairi and Shiroha as they’re about to leave for their date on the mainland. Umi gets really confused and upset about how Hairi manages to get close to Shiroha so easily. She runs away crying; she runs and runs and eventually trips on a beach. There Nomiki manages to catch up to her. Nomiki says Umi can tell her what’s troubling her, and if it’s complicated Nomiki can just conveniently forget about the details afterwards. Umi tells Nomiki all about her being Hairi and Shiroha’s daughter from the future and constantly repeating to spend time with her mother. Nomiki lays a hand on Umi’s shoulder and says she’s been through a lot. She also says that Umi’s averting her eyes from Hairi and she should look closer at him before focusing on Shiroha. Nomiki explains that, from what relatively little she’s seen, Hairi is a kind and sincere person. People like that will be very troubled by having to hurt someone else. Umi starts thinking maybe there was a reason for how Hairi acted in the–from her perspective–past. She spends the rest of the playthrough observing how Hairi helps Shiroha. She seems to come to terms with the fact that her father always does what he can to help other, especially Shiroha; she just refused to see it. With that in mind, she starts going back in time again. She doesn’t know what but she feels she leaves something behind when she goes like footsteps in the sand.
So there’s no real reference to when this could be placed time-wise. Umi acts like her initial self, always speaking in desu/masu form, but that’s about it. Also holy shit Nomiki is badass! She just takes care of everyone without batting an eye.
Now hold onto your sonic screwdrivers because this one gets wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey. This story is about Kyoko’s family, past, and relationship with Shiroha’s mother. This is basically an entire character arc for Kyoko, so I’ll focus on the stuff that relates to the main narrative.
So who is Kyoko? She was born as Misaki Kyoko but became Kato Kyoko growing up. Hairi’s grandmother is Kyoko’s adoptive mother, and she took back her birth name when she became an adult.
So the big question that anyone who’s finished Pocket is obviously: How much did Kyoko know? The answer seems to be: Not a whole lot. We get a scene from after Hitomi’s husband had passed away, and Kyoko was talking to Hitomi. Hitomi told Kyoko she would one day be visited by a girl. Even it that’s vague, Kyoko would know when the time came around. Kyoko would need to help the girl by watching over her. Additionally, Kyoko would also be visited by a boy, and she would need a helping hand from him. Kyoko’s job would be to judge whether he’s has what it takes to help her or not.
Now that whole scene could’ve been a dream because Kyoko wakes up saying she dreamed about talking to her old friend but can’t recall when that conversation happened. She hears the doorbell from the main building, and Umi is at the door. This is the first time she meets Umi, and it may also be Umi’s first time meeting Kyoko based on how she acts. Umi quickly takes on all the house chores, and Kyoko worries about why someone so young would do that. Kyoko mentions Hairi will be coming to the island in some time, but Umi wants nothing to do with him. Umi plays around the island and over time seems like she’s enjoying summer like any other kid. Back in the shed, Kyoko is kinda half sleeping, and she sees a butterfly come through the window, then suddenly Hitomi is there. Kyoko mentions how she was right about the girl coming to visit but that she seemed troubled. Hitomi says that Umi should be fine since Kyoko looked after her. Then Hitomi says that she’s going somewhere she probably won’t return from, but that her journey is soon at its end.
Now Kyoko wakes up AGAIN, and it was all maybe a dream. We’re now in the Pocket epilogue. Hairi is there, but Kato Umi obviously doesn’t exist in that timeline. Kyoko has a deja vu feeling about how she previously had refused when Hairi wanted to help with the shed. This time, as seen in the game, they finish sorting all the stuff by the end of summer. Hairi leaves the shed to have a bath, then Hitomi shows up a final time to pat Kyoko on the head and say she should now get back to her own life.
Thank you so much for this summary! I honestly do find these side stories interesting, even the useless ones xD. Some of them, I think they should have been part of the game.
Tenzen’s is stupid, but that actually made me laugh. I was expecting a more serious background, but that actually fits the character better.
Nomiki’s and Shizuku’s are interesting.
I actually like that they explained Shizuku’s “perversion”. It certainly makes the character less “special”/mysterious, but I was really disappointed that she wasn’t more developed in the game. Also, I like her story, it makes her character a bit sad because in the end, she was never able to be more extraverted with the others (aside from Tsumugi and Hairi).
As for Nomiki, well… more Nomiki is always good xD. I loved her passive stance in the story: she’s a Batman of some sort, taking care of the island from the shadows. I really want to see more of this character.
Inari’s story is great! This part should have definitely been included in Ao’s route. Without this story, Inari is literally worthless. Just the cute mascotte.
As for Ao, I really don’t find it that stupid. Ao’s having glimpses of Alka makes her story blend in the grand scheme of things a bit better. Ao’s being peaceful near Hairi because she saw Umi’s memories is touching.
Umi’s side story is the most interesting in my opinion. Her Time Journey was really brushed off in the game! It’s good to get more glimpses of her struggle. This also explains why she stays so passive in the game. I found it really stupid that she wouldn’t even try to spend more time with her mother when they clearly explain, in Alka, that it’s her reason for being “here”.
Finally, Kyoko… I’m a bit disappointed. It doesn’t explain much more than what we already knew.
I thought there would be more to uncover about this character.
Overall, I feel it fills a few plotholes of the story. Reflection Blue should fill even more plotholes, so I’m really looking forward to those new routes (which will probably take a few bits from the side stories).