Hira Hira Hihiru launches to rave reviews – an enthralling portrayal of illness, hardship and society 

ANIPLEX.EXE released the visual novel game Hira Hira Hihiru on November 17 for the PC (Steam). The game has had a favorable launch so far, receiving high acclaim and performing well on Steam, with 99% of reviews being positive. 

Hira Hira Hihiru is a fully voiced visual novel game set in a fictional version of Japan’s Taisho Period (1912-1926). In the world of Hira Hira Hihiru, the dead sometimes come back to life – but not as the person they once were. This phenomenon has been occurring for centuries due to a disease called Aerodema. In Japan, those afflicted by the condition are reviled by society due to their decomposed appearance, unstable speech and behavior, and are referred to as “hihiru.” The story follows Masamitsu Chigusa, a young doctor, and Takeo Tenma, a high school student who has moved to Tokyo from the countryside. The two must confront the terrifying Aerodema as it finds its way into their lives. 

Hira Hira Hihiru launched on November 17, receiving rave reviews ever since. On Steam, the game has a Very Positive status out of 150 user reviews, and after playing the game for myself, I understand why. 

Although the main premise of “the dead coming back to life” feels like fantasy, Hira Hira Hihiru straightforwardly deals with the topic of how incurable diseases and mental illness affect the patients who suffer from them as well as the people around them. Falling ill changes your life drastically. Falling ill means never being truly understood. Falling ill can be an economic burden on your family – these problems that the game highlights are all universal issues that apply to any modern disease, and the story makes you reflect quite heavily upon them. Although the game does contain some shocking and violent scenes, it does not rely on extreme content. The refined art, music and text have a heart-rendering impact. 

Renya Setoguchi was responsible for Hira Hira Hihiru’s scenario and planning. His previous scenario writing credits include titles such as Carnival, Swan Song, Musicus!, and the more recent Black Sheep Town, which was released in September 2022. Black Sheep Town is likewise a highly acclaimed title, which portrays the suffocating conditions of a slum. Although Hira Hira Hihiru’s subject matter and setting is different, the sophisticated “Setoguchi-esque” style of the previous game is felt throughout. Both titles explore the difficulties of living in human society through carefully crafted characters. 

Hira Hira Hihiru is available for the PC (Steam). It can currently be purchased at a 10% discount. 

Written by. Amber V based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2023-11-27 12:34 JST)

Ayuo Kawase
Ayuo Kawase

Editor in chief of AUTOMATON

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