Kira☆Kira Visual Novel Review [iPhone]


Kira☆Kira is the 1st Visual Novel I’ve successfully completed on the iPhone. But a word of caution: Just because it’s on the app store it does NOT mean the visual novel is all-ages as other review sites might claim. The adult imagery may have been removed, but all other content remain. The app itself is rated 17+.

With that aside, I’ll keep this review clean enough for a PG rating. So how did it fare?

Kira☆Kira pleases me.


In a nutshell, protagonist Maejima Shikanosuke quits the school tennis club and gets dumped by his girlfriend for being cold and insensitive. He joins the 2nd literature club as a “ghost member” to fulfill the school’s criteria of being in a club, after being persuaded by his childhood friend Isurugi Chie, the club’s president.

Shikanosuke meets main heroine Shiino Kirari by chance when she applies for a waitress position at the same restaurant as where he is part-timing. He finds out that she too is a member of the same club. She persuades him to attend the club meeting, where it is revealed that the club will be merged with the 1st literature club, effectively disbanding it.

There he is introduced to the club’s few active members, Kashiwara Sarina, Mai and Miyuki. All are in favor of doing something memorable before the merger, and following Kirari’s suggestion decides to form the 2nd literature club band, or d2b (short for dai ni bungeibu), with Chie, Kirari, Sarina and Shikanosuke as the core members of the band.

Every band has its humble beginnings.

Punk Rock is the genre of d2b, and with the coaching of one of the members of the game’s most popular punk rock bands, Star Generation’s Tonoya Kenta (who also happens to be Shikanosuke’s classmate), they pull off a stunning performance at their school festival. Impressed by said performance, the leader of Star Generation, Yagihara, arranges for them to perform in Nagoya. The 4-member band then embarks on their live tour, with branching story lines at the end of the tour depending on the choices made over the course of the game.

From left: Kirari, Murakami, Shikanosuke, Chie, Tonoya, Sarina

Major spoilers ahead. Skip this section if you haven’t played the game.


Maejima Shikanosuke

How does it feel knowing YOU'RE the trap?

Protagonist of kira☆kira, and the bassist of d2b. As he made his debut in d2b as a ‘female’, he finds that to maintain the band’s popularity he has to continue cross-dressing while on the tour, resulting in the widespread use of his unofficial female name, Shikako (-chan).

Kashiwara Sarina

A rich but sick school idol, who also happens to be in the same club.

Sarina’s the guitarist of d2b, and despite being the “school idol” she doesn’t seem to be overwhelmingly popular and it is apparent her only good friend is Kirari…but lets put that aside. She is refined and soft-spoken, and despite her family being rich she doesn’t get much spending money, so she’s not spoiled either. She stays in a mansion in the city with her grandfather and her maids.

In Sarina’s route,  she confesses to Shikanosuke at the beach. The group is introduced to her uncle, and they decide to take a detour to work at one of the hotels owned by the Kashiwara group to extend their tour as they’ve run out of money. Their tour ends (Nothing entirely eventful happens. Really).

"You like me, as in, even to the extent of kissing and all th-!?"

Once they return, Sarina comes down with a bad fever, and she is brought to her mansion in the outskirts which is identical to the one in the city for recuperation. No, actually it’s an evil plot by her granddad to keep her from ever going out – she’s prevented from going to school as well.

Shikanosuke pays the mansion a visit and attempts to persuade the granddad to see reason. You are then treated to a long, drawn out affair on the stubbornness of old people, her family background and eventually something clicks and you have a happy ending. 🙂

Happy Endings. You know you love 'em.


Isurugi Chie

Childhood friends. We all have one. 🙂

The leader of d2b, its drummer and the most level-headed of the group. Oh, and your childhood friend. Can’t have a VN without one of those now can you? You’re probably gonna like her. She’s adorable. XD

Her route will see you dealing with her family issues. (Yes, the entire novel’s about family issues. So there.) Her parents divorced (initiated by her dad, who has someone else out there), leaving Chie, with her mother and her two sisters to fend for themselves. She was retained a year because of this, even though she’s a bright student. So despite being a year older than Shikanosuke she’s the same grade.

Rain scenes. Always poignant. Always touching.

Things take a turn for the worse when it is revealed that Chie’s mom, unable to let go of her hatred,  kills them takes her ex-husband to court and sues him for a HUGE amount of compensation. While she’s at it, she might as well sue his mistress as well (and she does). Her estranged father naturally cannot afford to pay, and the resulting arguments only led to a downward spiral of depression for her family.

"I've always loved you. Since I was this little chibi."

Amidst the chaos, love blossoms between Chie and Shikanosuke. Yup, right when you least expect it. They get caught up in some Yakuza event too. XD Shikanosuke privately investigates her dad’s mistress. It’s revealed that she’s already a good number of months into her pregnancy, yet she understands and accepts the hatred directed at her, and continues to work to pay off the amount.

In a nutshell, with Shikanosuke’s support, Chie’s mom eventually drops the case, and Chie comes to terms with her dad’s mistress, and requests that she let him see her unborn brother once he is brought to the world.

Shiino Kirari

The main character you'd do well to reserve for last.

Shiino Kirari. d2b’s vocalist. Also with her own share of family problems, largely due to poverty. Her route gives you some important life lessons: There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, you need money. 😀

Kirari’s route is divided into two parts, a normal end and a true end which is only unlocked after you’ve played through all three heroines. I won’t spoil more, because hers is the longest route (it is the ONLY route in the game that has a Chapter 4), so I can only make it sound bland at best if I attempt to shorten it. The only way you can appreciate it is to play through in its entirety.

P.S. She's also the only one who kisses Shikako. XD

What I will say is, it’s an extremely heart-wrenching experience. XD

Kirari’s normal end will stick with you for a long time to come. But rest assured – the true end won’t leave you depressed. 🙂



Well, now that that’s out of the way, how did it do on the iPhone?

I haven’t played the original PC version, so I can’t compare with that. But for a visual novel ported to the iPhone, it was generally alright. No major crashes (it still crashes occasionally – especially if you abuse the skip function), no sudden bugs. The controls will probably be the greatest headache if you didn’t first look at the help file before starting the game. XD

You can skip read messages with a right flick, all messages with a left flick, read the log with a down flick and hide the text with an up flick. It’s pretty responsive. What isn’t is calling up the menu, which is placing two fingers on the screen simultaneously (they call it a “double-tap”, which can be misleading).  You tend to accidentally activate the skip or the auto message (which is a long tap and release), which can get a little annoying at times.


I think this answers why you see so many hair colors in anime.

This appears to be a complete, unedited port from the PC version to the iPhone, with the only change being the removal of adult CG. This meant that all the bad translation followed it here as well. 😛

I got Jap in my English text~ Just like Ar Tonelico 2~

Bad grammar, spelling errors, contextual errors, you name it. Just one decent editor would have made all the difference. But it’s good for a few laughs.  =)

Oh, I didn't know you were the singing sort Chie. 🙂

The audio is also out of sync with the text pretty often, and it isn’t the phone’s problem. It’s again the insufficient checking done before release. The audio and the text are complete, just the first piece of audio always gets shifted to the last position and it gets played somewhat like in this order:

  1. Text:  1 2 3 4 5
  2. Audio: 2 3 4 5 1

Well, it shouldn’t affect you much if you don’t understand a word of Japanese. But it does get noticeable when you see a paragraph of text but hear only a few words spoken.

I'm sorry, but neither your Romaji nor your Engrish make any sense.


Overall: 8/10

Localization errors shouldn’t deter you from playing this game. It’s basically like an extremely long multi-path book that you can’t put down. The small screen of the iPhone might get tiring over long periods, but the routes presented are well written (save for Sarina’s, which probably ended a little earlier than I’d have liked), and it’s one of the best visual novels I’ve played (not just on the iPhone).

However due to the numerous alcohol, drug and sexual references it is not a VN I’d recommend for the young. In fact, I see little difference after the removal of the CG because you’re still presented with some of the dialogue and even choices during those encounters that could’ve easily been removed were they really serious about reducing the age rating – basically the only difference is the background is a black screen. But human imagination can sometimes think up worse, so they might as well have included it. -_-“


70 thoughts on “Kira☆Kira Visual Novel Review [iPhone]

  1. eehm.. I have a question which bothers me for a while: if you complete one route,do you have to tap on “load”,or on “start” (so that you start all over again)? I’m afraid that if i tap “start” all my saved files will go away and don’t be collected,so that i can never have the real ending. I really hope you can answer my question,allthough my english is very bad :C

    1. Oh, no worries, your save files won’t disappear if you start a new game. That’s the whole idea with Visual Novels – you’re typically expected to start from the beginning again. So click on start as many times as you want. 🙂

    1. Thanks~

      Not likely actually. :\
      If they did, it’ll be in Japanese only.
      Because the original was well-received, they saw a good opportunity to bring it over. The reception for Curtain Call was actually quite subdued. Still, it might be too early to say. Maybe they would eventually. ^_^

  2. It’s ok, lol, I was just wondering, wasn’t expecting you to write one ’cause I asked 😛
    I just skimmed over this thing… I think I’d like mine better, even though it’s not to this quality… I just prefer dark stories 🙂 This one is happy?

    1. Nope…while it does have it’s happy moments (mostly during the common route when the band is being formed and recognized etc.), but when it comes to focusing on the main heroines’ respective stories, things do get pretty dark from there (except maybe for Sarina). 😀

      So you won’t be disappointed if you’re a fan. Haha.
      Just don’t expect it to be a Higurashi or Saya and you’ll be fine. 😛

      1. Well, I can’t expect it to be like those… As I do not know what those are, lol. Sounds interesting but $10 is quite expensive, especually for something on my iPod/iPhone which I don’t use too much :/
        Is there a demo version?

    2. Yes there is, but you’re not going to be able to see any of the routes and the story will stop abruptly. And that typically leaves a negative impression on people. Lol.

      They actually halved the price during their fundraising event last year. Guess it’s a little late now though. XD

      This game still fares better on the PC though. Your eyes get tired quickly reading the tiny text on the screen – at least that was the case for me. 😛

    3. There’s a PC version of the game. 😀
      That’s the original one after all. Just that it’s easier to control using a mouse and keyboard compared to touch gestures (where you tend to overshoot if you skip dialogue etc.).

      1. Nothing on earth is free unfortunately.
        You’re paying taxes for the air you breathe for instance. XD

        There ARE ways to go about that issue…which I won’t discuss. 😀

  3. I downloaded some app Kira*Kira:re or something, and it’s about a sister and brother reuniting… Can anyone tell me how I got here?

  4. What the heck? I downloaded a visual novel off iStore witht the same name, but it’s nothing like this… I’m very confused

      1. Thank you, thank you! I was starting to question my sanity xD
        Do you have a review for that one too? So far I’ve gotten the entire thing for free 🙂
        Sorry, I’m kinda new to posting online and visual novels and stuff lol.

      2. Haha, sorry to disappoint you, but I haven’t played that game yet. ^_^

        This Kira*Kira has more hype and rave reviews, so I decided to attempt this one. 🙂
        Maybe I’ll come around to playing that eventually, but I still haven’t touched other
        more recent entries, like Katawa Shojo. 🙂

    1. I’ll try not to point out the obvious and tell you Google is a very powerful search engine when used correctly. 🙂
      Please understand that there’s a reason why I do not provide downloads or links, because I’ll have no end to fulfilling requests for copyrighted material, which is not the aim of this blog.

      Hope you enjoyed playing Kira☆Kira. ^_^

      1. Ton-kun… i Download the Kira☆Kira Computer version xD in its a trial version… actually i can ask them for a delivery of Free DVD installer of Full Version…

    2. It is still one of the best written (poorly translated) visual novels, even by today’s standards. Which is why it is still a popular recommendation even until today. ^_^ It’ll be great if MangaGamer can accede to your request. 🙂

      1. Oh.. by the way The Kira☆Kira: Curtain Call is the the Kira☆Kira 2 isn’t it?
        I never thought that Kira☆Kira has a part 2 but the Characters from the Curtain Call are Different….

      2. oh and i download the whole BGM and Sound tracks of the Kira☆Kira in youtube … i can make my own slideshow movie in you tube from my Kira☆Kira Picture Collections ^_^

      3. Sorry For too many questions… but is there any other way that i can download it free in Cydia? They say Installous didn’t work

    3. Whoa, take it easy. 😀

      Curtain Call is not a direct sequel featuring the characters from Kira☆Kira, but follows a different band in the same place. I haven’t played it myself, so I can’t tell you the specifics, but you should expect only cameo appearances of the old cast.

      And the slideshow you’re talking about sounds pretty cool – just keep it safe for kids. 🙂

      As to my most-commented anime series…I’d say the one that has the most heated discussion would be Persona 4 – in particular of Kanji. ^_^

      And no, Cydia does not support downloads of applications from the app store. You’ll need to look for other alternatives which I shall not discuss here. 🙂

      1. Uhm… Ton-kun… do you have a Facebook page so a can like them for news on any anime xD?

        So the Curtain Call is not the Part 2 of Kira☆Kira? The Different Character’s are wearing Oubi academy too so they study in the same school!!! ^_^

      2. Sure i’ll keep it safe for kid’s besides i did’t collect the the Hentai pictures of Kira☆Kira, because i don’t want to ruined my favorite VN from that….
        That’s why manga gamer has an adult access…. i wish they give more restriction for the adult access…. even 17 below can see that easily….

    4. Haha, thanks. I wouldn’t call it popular by any stretch, simply just ‘graduated’ from being a blog that only has one reader (me), that’s all. 😀

      You can refer to curtain call as a kind of a “successor” to Kira☆Kira I suppose, because it does take place in the same place. But seeing that the original routes are pretty much complete save for maybe Sarina’s, it’s actually a good idea to start from scratch, so the same powerful emotions might be able to be drawn out with the new characters. ^_^

      Facebook page-wise I can’t really suggest good ones, since I tend to just follow animenewsnetwork, or look at some of the recommendations given from myanimelist based on what I’ve watched.

      Most sites will just ask if you’re above age, but still can’t stop you from lying if you wanted, which can’t really be helped because it’s not right to ask you for personal stuff like your identification number either. 😉

      If you do eventually feel like starting an anime blog, do let me know so I can link you. XD

      1. Ok.. Sure 🙂
        But still i can’t finish the curtain call because it’s a trial version… the manga gamer didn’t respond when i ask for free delivery it’s been a month since i just ask them….
        i’m afraid if i download at piratebay, it could get an “error”,”Filemismatch”,FatalError” or the worst “MALWARE”….
        It’s better to use CD for clean installment, but i can download at piratebay if i have a magic ISO, so after the download… i can scan it with my anti virus and then after i finished scanning and no threats i will wrap it with Magic ISO,so no virus can pass because it’s wrapped… but one thing is my problem… i have no magic ISO, i don;t even know where should i have to download it… even google can’t search it…

        i Really wish i have both Kira☆Kira, and the curtain call…

      2. Hey Ton-kun… do you speak japanese?
        Please teach me if you are…
        oh and ah…. what’s your real name?

      3. Ton-kun, if you have a facebook… please add me as a friend… ^_^ i want to be friends with you that’s all….

    5. Hmm…well, I believe I made clear I won’t entertain any discussions of piracy here. So that’s the first point. 😀

      As for the 2nd bit, I could if I wanted, just not fluently. So that makes me a poorer teacher than google translate.

      I value my privacy, so I’d keep my real name and fb to myself for now (not the sort with thousands of friends in my list, if you get what I’m sayin’). Sorry ’bout that. 😉

  5. uhm… can i ask one favor?
    Can i have some all BGM of this Visual Novel?
    Oh… and By the way, how can i save a page on iPod touch anyway?… i don’t even know what should i do to save my pages that i read…

    1. I don’t have the BGM to this VN, but it shouldn’t be too hard to find.
      It’s been a long while since I played this, but I believe you could bring up the menu with a multi-touch gesture that’ll allow you to save. 😀

      1. uhm ok… but did you know any other else that i can download the free full version, any other website.

  6. hey! i really love vn’s.. so can you please give me a list of them? especially for iphones.. i only have iphone 3g version 3.1.. i hope you can recommend me some visual novels! thanks!

      1. Yeah.. i tried searching this site, unfortunately, MOST of the VNs available on the iphone have japanese languages. I’m not even looking forward to seeing adult scenes. It’s on the iphone ofcourse. I guess they’re protecting their reputation for having games suitable for ages 18 below. But anyway, I’m hoping that I can get some good VNs(in english). I can’t read japanese, and I hate my self for being unable to do so. Anyway, could you give me some really good VNs? I don’t care what genre it is. 😀 thanks Ton-kun!

    1. If it’s on the iPhone, I’d say it’ll be difficult. Haha.
      You’re better off playing the novels on the PC, easier to fast-forward too. XD

      There are a number of fan-translated novels available actually.
      You can look at:

      They have a number of good novels which I’ve played, including Sharin no Kuni, Symphonic Rain and Little Busters! 🙂

  7. hey. i think i have an incomplete game. mine stops at the point where Shikanosuke goes home to Tokyo after being beat up by Yashiro in their bands trip to Nagoya. So I really didn’t understand all about the ending routes here.. can you please help me? is there something wrong? The screen fades to white (from black), then the next would be the Title Screen again! 😦 i just downloaded KiraKira in it’s a 971MB file.. I don’t really have money to buy at app store.. so I just installed it through iTunes.. btw, my iPhone’s jailbroken.

    1. Don’t worry, it’s not an incomplete game.
      Most visual novels are like that. ^_^

      You get premature endings because you selected the wrong choices. 😛
      Try other choices in the route prior to the abrupt end, you might just be able to take the story in a different direction. 😀

      1. oh, so that’s the case! ahahahahaha! i feel excited now. >:) so this game really have a BIG change according to your choices huh.. considering the fact that up to this point in my game, I can still count on my fingers how many times I have answered. Hehe. But oh well, I’ll try again!

    2. Make plenty of saves at the points where you make choices,
      so you can start over from there if you hit a dead end. 😛

      Hope you get the endings you desire on your next playthrough! Enjoy!

    3. Umm… I don’t have this game and I really want it but I cant get it in installous because there’s an error so can you upload that app Kira Kira in installous by using crackulous pleeeeease…..

      1. Sorry, can’t be of help here. For one, I no longer have the game. And if I recall it’s almost 1GB in size, it’s not something that is easily uploaded. I’d advise you to get the PC version instead. Good as Kira Kira is on the iPhone, there are still a few things (such as controls) that are better implemented on the PC.

  8. Hi! I’m really happy that I found this review.
    I first finished Chie’s route and then just now, ended Sarina’s.
    So that means I need to play Kirari’s route twice to see the real ending right?
    Anyway, this is really an awesome VN. Could have been better if they didn’t remove the adult CGs since, like you said, the only difference is you get a black background. But I saw the CGs in a certain site anyway. It’s really hot.
    And btw, I’m a musically inclined person. I play guitar, though I don’t have a band at the moment. That’s why I really liked this VN. I can relate with the story specially when performing. I’ve been in a couple of live show with my band on 1st year college.
    Also while I am at this, I wanna ask if you know of other VNs that has comedy/drama/romance in English. Just as long as the translation is not too horrible. I don’t mind little errors.

    I had fun reading your review!

    1. Hiya~!

      I’m glad you found it useful~! Yes, be prepared for some heartache when tackling Kirari’s route~ T_T Comedy, drama and romance eh? If you haven’t already, Key’s visual novels, Clannad (if only for Kyou’s story, which they messed up pretty badly in the OVA) and Little Busters! would be good places to start.

      Clannad has been fully translated (unofficial patches are abound, the official one’s still pending), while Little Busters! have most of the initial routes already translated. Translations were done by remarkable teams, so the language is almost flawless.

      You could also give Type Moon’s Fate/Stay Night a spin. Especially that final route, Heaven’s Feel, that will unlikely see an adaptation anytime soon. Not to mention Unlimited Blade Works will make far more sense than it did in the movie. 😀

      You could also try other offerings by MangaGamer, such as the Da Capo series. If it’s visual novels in general, you’ll be pretty spoilt for choice really. There’s more out there already translated than you might think. ^_^ It’s the ones adapted for the iPhone that are sorely missing. Don’t blame them though, a niche market is hard to get into.

      1. *Throws 3 Boxes of wet tissues*

        Yo~! I just finished the normal and true ending for Kirari.
        Haven’t felt like this since I watched Clannad! But Clannad just made me teary eyed, yet this really made me cry and happy many times!
        I feel sad to end the game by accepting Onda’s proposal since it’s the only missing CG in my file. Anyhow, awesome VN!
        I forgot to say that I want VN for imobiles, and can’t seem to find what you’ve suggested. My pc is broken that’s why I can’t play Windows version.
        But I’d try them all if ever my pc gets fixed!
        I’m interested in steins gate since I’m a fan of the anime but sadly there’s no English patch for the iPhone yet. ):
        Anyway, I feel dizzy, spent all night finishing Kirari’s routes.
        The ending was truly wonderful!
        Ugh I can’t get over the game! I will play it again and leave halfway in the story line to reduce my aches a bit. XO
        I really get emotional when wonderful shows/games like this end.
        Anyway, once again, nice review! Good thing you didn’t post Kirari’s route! I don’t care being spoiled but it was really an emotional route that I’d regret spoiling myself. XD

        I wish they made all 3 routes the same length with the true ending though.

        I’ve said much!
        Thanks for your time!
        Ja ne~

    2. Yohohoho~! I’m glad you saw it the same way I did. 😀
      If I were to ask you to summarize Kirari’s route while still keeping it interesting, I think you’d have a hard time as well. Lol.

      And yes, I DID wish the other two’s routes were longer as well, if only to extend the joy (and probably anguish as well) of reading. I know they’ve got plenty of books on the store, but it just doesn’t come close to the experience you get from a visual novel, with event CGs and fantastic voice-overs.

      If only they released a patch to fix those issues, it’ll be perfect. But I suppose it’s too troublesome to go through all that text. XD

      Thanks for commenting! And a job well done on finishing KiraKira! 🙂

      1. I agree. Since the mistake is pretty obvious and is not quite confusing.
        (I’m still awake because I played the true ending again.. I just can’t get over it! And also saw the horrible ending with Onda. XO)

        Btw there are soooo many VNs in the AppStore from different companies. But sadly, 9 out of 10 is Japanese! I hate myself for my incapability to read Japanese!
        I really wish they would translate them into English! And not Engrish XD
        I want to try the full Kira*kira which is about siblings. Sadly they don’t have it in installous. Oh well, I hate lite apps and I’m not playing it until I see the full on installous. XD I jut can’t afford the game LOL


        Now I’m really sleepy! XO
        *finally faints*

  9. Are there anymore VNs other than kirakira? Meaning same length story wise for the iPhone? Ive seen the rest some are ok but are there more? Thnx and good review

    1. Thanks 😀

      Well, visual novels in general are rare on the app store (especially the translated ones), so sad to say that ones with similar length that are worth your time playing…currently none. XD

      Of course, if you own a jailbroken phone you might look into ports of Tsukihime and others along its vein…but that’s going slightly off-tangent and into more risky waters. 😀

      VNs are still best enjoyed on the PC (or psp), depending on the length.
      Even kirakira’s original PC version is superior, if only because of the controls (not the crappy Engrish).

    1. I didn’t have a choice, because Shikanosuke wasn’t voiced. 😛
      But it’s honestly funny though, because this is the worst localization
      I’ve seen to go commercial. And some parts are excellent for laughs.

      Makes me all the more proud of the fansubbing community. 🙂

      1. Umm… If you have Kira Kira for iPhone, can you upload it in installous by using hackulous because there’s an error when I tried to download it in installous. Can you pleeeeease do it for me?

Drop a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s