When all hope is lost, and when there’s nothing left to do except despair —
Sometimes, even the most cruel-sounding thing can become beautiful.

Narcissu is a freeware visual novel about two terminally-ill patients at the seventh floor of a hospital. Having been given no choice but to die, they ask themselves where they would like to die — at home, or at the seventh floor of the hospital.

A short, but sweet experience, Narcissu, at its core, is a story about overcoming the despair of death, and how hope can be found even in the cruelest twists of fate. Amid desperation, the two patients marked for death find hope in the unlikeliest places.

While nothing short of an experimental story, Narcissu succeeds in bringing out a plethora of emotions in the reader — a sense of loneliness and isolation, and happiness once the characters find a goal to work for.

Narcissu is a minimalist work, which becomes most obvious with the lack of important characters except the two protagonists. While the male protagonist is a standard reader stand-in, it is the female protagonist who shines the most in this work — a girl given to despair from her years of hopelessly living, yet still holding to the smallest hopes within her.

What truly stands out about Narcissu is its method of making the reader imagine most of the story’s details. The lack of outstanding graphics works in its favor, and it becomes up to the reader’s imagination on whether they will enjoy the piece.

There’s really not much to take an issue for about this work; while it does stretch disbelief in some scenes and the general lack of conflict getting in the way of the protagonists, I find that it’s not much to go about on.

Overall, Narcissu may be short, but the two hours spent on reading it is a rich, though minimalistic, experience.

Overall verdict: 8/10

Possible turn-offs: None