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Kana: Little Sister
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 11/23/2002

You are Taka Todo, older brother of a terminally ill young girl named Kana. You've always hated Kana for monopolizing your parents' time and affection, but as you grow older you realize the error of your ways. Now all you want to do is protect Kana... and if possible, even do anything and everything you can to save her because she's no longer just your little sister...

Widely hailed as one of the best and most memorable bishoujo games ever to be released in English, I'm happy to say that Kana -Little Sister- lives up to the hype... and then some.

Before you shirk at the ostensibly incestuous title, let me just inform you that: a. I do not like or condone incest in any way, and b. a rather convenient plot twist keeps this game from being truly incestuous. There. You need not be afraid of moral repercussions or anything of the sort when you play this game. That aside, let's get on with the review!

Kana opens with a scene in the hospital. You are visiting your sick little sister Kana, and after some small talk you look back on past events, beginning with your childhood days. You recall being a mean-spirited young boy who'd always try to make things difficult for Kana, and how one unforgettable event changes your perspective. The game progresses in this way, weaving memories of the past with present happenings. The story that you are going to get depends not only on the choices at hand, but also on the decisions you make during the flashback sequences.

My first run through Kana took all of four hours; I played the perfect brother and got a plot that was so sad that three main characters were terminally ill: Kana, Aunt Sumako, and cousin Cana. I felt a slight lump in my throat as I played through this scenario, something which has never happened to me in all my years of bishoujo gaming. There are six possible endings you can get, and there is always something poignant and moving whichever path you take. I was surprised that even the normal (meaning it's non-special) ending was exceptionally done. And yes, it is possible to save Kana's life... and that is considered as the best ending of the game, although in my opinion not necessarily the most beautiful. It took me a few days to get all the endings and CGs, so replay value is definitely better compared to most other bishoujo games. I should also mention that there is a fast-forward and rewind feature that can take you to the next or previous decision point in a flash.

Kana's artwork is lovely to behold. The CGs are very smoothly rendered, and the overall effect is soft and dramatic. Sex is depicted rather mildly especially if you compare it to G-Collections' "Kango Shicyauzo". Kana concentrates more on upper body nudity and facial expressions, albeit penetration scenes are also shown. The regular scenes have the same problem as "Kango Shicyauzo" -- the characters look like they were cropped from some other scene and then superimposed haphazardly on the backgrounds, although in Kana the edges are not as rough. I also thought that the background music and theme songs accentuated the game perfectly.

Kana would have been perfect if not for some minor quirks and details that bothered me. For one thing I found the main plot twist with regards to Kana and Taka's relationship overly contrived. It was too convenient. Then in that first path I took, three of the main characters were terminally ill and dying... they were all related to boot. I couldn't help but feel that the whole sickness theme had been overdone in that instance. In fairness though Kana is overall well-written, it even presents us with more than a few thought-provoking concepts regarding life and death. If you're just after the sex, Kana may not make you happy but if you want something more than this is one game to consider.

Extra features include a CG gallery, an endings gallery, a character profiles section, and a jukebox featuring music from the game.

Kana: Little Sister
Kana: Little Sister
Kana: Little Sister
Kana: Little Sister
Kana: Little Sister
Kana: Little Sister
Kana: Little Sister
Kana: Little Sister
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Review Title:
Kana: Little Sister
Alternative Titles:
Kana ~Imouto~
Approximate Length:
10-30 Hours
Suitable For:
Adults Only
General Rating:
4.5 out of 5 stars
Hentai Rating:
4.5 out of 5 stars
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