Thursday, June 25, 2009

[insani] Moonshine Review

Rating: A-

Moonshine is a story of acceptance and "moving on". Featuring two social outcasts as characters, Mai, a ladyboy Japanese kathoey who works as a hostess at some ladyboy pub and the unnamed hero, who recently got fired from his job due to a genetic disorder. Both, feeling unwanted by collectivist society as a whole, strike a very deep bond which ends on a bittersweet note.

Gender similarities aside, the story treats Mai as a half-female (denoting her ladyboy staus) although the character herself looks and feels just like a real one. In fact, this fact is so beautifully hidden that you can be forgiven if you would think that Mai and the protagonist are a heterosexual couple. However, the story isn't really about how or why Mai is who she is. The same goes with the unnamed hero. Practically no attention is given to their individual oddities. Much more emphasis is given to how these two like-minded souls came that close to gay sex.

Sex? The game itself has none. IT is unneded. Let's just say that these two were that close to the extent that Mai could pass her remembrance to our hero via a french kiss (spoiler). But put aside my homphobic jokes and see that this story is not at all about who's gay and whose not. Hahahaha. Actually, the underlying message in this game (for both) is finding redemption in the most unlikely of people and eventually going their own ways as more mature people while keeping their experience as a treasured memory-- because in the end, that's all it was. A memory of the short time they shared themselves to each other.

I personally felt gutted after the epilouge, because they went their own ways. My brain, even though aware of the fact that Mai and the hero cannot possibly be, not even in Japan, was reeling from saudade after playing this one. Not a lot of things bring me into a state of saudade. I first felt it after watching 5cm/sec, and the second, just now. That says alot about this game's emotional impact. It could've had a perfect score, but it's length was a minus factor. The story's only 5 or so chapters long and could be completed in one sitting.

This is Freeware. Download this game from the insani page.

Stay tuned.


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