Greetings! This is my first post on what will be an ongoing series of posts as I play through the visual novel Harmonia by Key that I recently acquired. Today’s post will only cover chapters zero and one. There may be spoilers, so if you fully intend to play through the visual novel, you have been warned. Now, let us dive right in!
Harmonia is Key’s latest project, and has been generally well received. When I saw it on sale on Steam as part of the summer sale, I knew I had to get it. I started it over the long weekend for Independence Day. Due to a surprisingly busy schedule, I only got through the first two chapters (zero and one). I decided to talk about them, and give my thoughts a little bit. It should be noted this a kinetic novel, so there is no branching path ways.
The zeroth chapter mostly just exists to introduce the main character, an android who is suddenly awakened with limited memories and no emotions. The primary purpose of the chapter is to do world building, as the majority of the chapter is the main character wandering around the desert environment that used to be the earth and finding, at first, an abandoned town. Eventually, he finds his way to an inhabited town at the start of the first chapter.
Or rather, he is picked up and brought to the town’s church that is lived in by a young woman named Shiona. The main character, who is later named Rei by Shiona, discovers her singing up on the stage of the church. The rest of the chapter serves to introduce all the regular characters a little bit and set up the conflicts further. The other characters apart from Rei and Shiona are Tipi, who lives in the library, and Madd, a store owner. Beyond this, not too much happens within the chapters.
The biggest things I already picked out about the visual novel were its themes as well as some point of criticism from other reviewers. The themes quite clearly will deal with emotions and purpose. These are reflected through Rei, who questions frequently his purpose and lack of emotions, something the androids of the universe are suppose to have. The theme of purpose will also likely be explored through religious imagery or topics, since the two main character live in a literal church. The two main points of critique for the English translation was the translation itself and the emotional impact. I cannot say anything much about the emotional impact of the VN, beyond that it lacks the humor heavy start of the other Key novels I have played through (Angel Beats and Planetarian). I am not sure if this will effect the eventual emotional impact, but we shall see. The translation, however, comes off as decidedly awkward at some points. This is clearly an example of the English not translating as cleanly from Japanese. These awkward moments appear infrequently, and are really not that big of a deal.
These are my current thoughts on Harmonia, but more will certainly come in the future as I continue to play through the game. Have you played/read Harmonia? Be sure to comment below, and to check out some of my past posts! Thank you!