Karakara is a Visual Novel centered around our protagonist named Leon on his daily routine to keep his diner afloat. He lives in a world where humanity nearly drove itself extinct and most of our technologies are lost, with what few remain being gone forever if it breaks down considering no one knows how they operate. With so few humans left, the new main inhabitants of the sparsely populated planet are humanoid creatures with tails and animal ears. It is a rather grim intro to an otherwise laid back game with little in the way of conflict.
Our dopey looking character Leon is the only human we’ll see and accompanying him is his live in employee Lucia. The both of them work day in day out in the diner located in the middle of nowhere where they deliver to a far off settlement. They pull in enough cash to make ends meet but are desperately looking for an additional employee to help around. On their way back from a delivery they encounter an odd, pink haired girl lazily sleeping on her suit case on the side of the road, their staff problem is thus solved yet a slew of new problems will soon arise from their new hyperactive employee named Aisia.
If you are hoping to find out more about the world and the state of things, you’ll be sorely disappointed. This is a slice of life novel meaning that it has more of a focus on normal mundane tasks and is all about the characters. It does occasionally throw in the out of place moody monologue which always seemingly comes out of nowhere and makes the tone feel unnecessarily disjointed. Most of our time will be spent enjoying the company of your two employees whose personalities vastly differ. Lucia is more reserved and collected while Aisia is clueless and always overactive.
Occasionally you’ll also go into the settlement and meet the catgirl sheriff Cullen. These three are the only characters of the game and are all fully voice acted. Leon has no voice actor but he still talks plenty via text and you will have no control over him. There are no choices or multiple endings to experience here. While nearly always lighthearted or humorous this is in its original form an adult novel so there are sex scenes if you bought either the R18 version or the uncensored patch to copy over your Steam game that adds them back in.
In all honesty the sex scenes kind of harmed the narrative since it is pretty hard to go back to seeing Aisia as the “innocent” girl after the borderline sexual assault she pulls off. That scene was really early on, destroying her character’s personality before she got a chance to build it up. After that H scene they see her sleeping saying “Aww, she’s just like a child” and suddenly go back to trying to build up that innocent/naive archetype. Then our character Leon goes outside, stares at the sky and once again starts with his usual bleak monologue. Karakara has a serious problem with the pacing of its tone and adding sex scenes only muddy things up even more.
Do not pay attention to the description of the game, there is nothing deep or philosophical here, it is just catgirls and fanservice. There is nothing wrong with that but when they try to move away from both those things they simply don’t pull it off well, often feeling completely pointless and out of place in this peaceful story. With that being said it is still not a bad game, it just lacks direction and is over without anything noteworthy ever happening. Karakara lasted me a bit over three hours and that was with the adult scenes.
I did really like the art for both the dry, desert environments and the characters as well. One thing that I found neat was the pseudo animations when they are talking that reflects their emotions as they say a sentence. By default, the text is in both Japanese and English though you can change it to just one by accessing the options menu. After beating the game, you unlock the extra menu to access all of the music and art. There is no reason to replay it afterwards. Overall Karakara is just a really average visual novel that tries to add something more to their slice of life story but end up floundering.
Link to R18 Adult Version: Karakara18+
All ages version