View RSS Feed

Karifean's Blog of Visual Novels

Rose Guns Days Review

Rate this Entry
Rose Guns Days is a visual novel developed by 07th Expansion, written by Ryukishi07.


Rose Guns Days takes place in post-WWII Japan where, in an alternate history, Japan's culture is slowly being eradicated by the overwhelming influx of American and Chinese residents and poor treatment and ensuing poverty the native Japanese have to endure. Solidarity among fellow Japanese countrymen is at an all-time low as everyone is just concerned with getting a decent lifestyle for themselves by winning the favor of the occupying forces.

The story follows an organization called Primavera and its founders and employees as they rise from an alliance of night clubs all the way to a nationalist mafia that aims to revitalize traditional Japanese culture and improve the lifestyles of their fellow countrymen.


The story of Rose Guns Days is told in a flashback from our time as the current Madam of Primavera, Madam Jeanne, decides to tell the story of Primavera's creation and rise to power to a journalist. The tale spans four years, beginning in 1947 and ending in 1950. What makes this a little confusing it that the story is also split into the four 'seasons' in which Rose Guns Days was originally released; however the four seasons do not correspond to the four years.

The first year takes up the first season as well about a third of the second. The second year takes up the rest of the second and roughly half of third season respectively. The third year takes up half of the third and fourth seasons, while the fourth year takes up the rest of the fourth season. It's a little weird having timeskips in the middle of a season like this, especially when they come at points you wouldn't expect them to, but it's not hard to keep up with it either.

The story is entirely linear and there are no branching paths, although at certain points you can choose the order in which certain scenes play.

Rose Guns Days also features a minigame for the fight scenes. It's a very simple minigame, being done with just pointing and clicking the mouse, but it helps the pacing and tone in its own way. And if you really don't like them, you can skip them or even turn them off entirely. Performing well in the minigames is never necessary. They do however give you some pretty cool CGs every now and then.


Rose Guns Days takes a while to really get going, and the tone shifts around a lot. There's a lot of wacky fun (albeit with slightly dark undertones) in the first three chapters and only really starts taking itself seriously near the end of Season 1. Then it goes back into fun mode in the latter half of Season 2, before going back to serious with Season 3... yeah it flip-flops quite a bit especially whenever new characters get introduced. The lighthearted segments are usually somewhat of a low point, but they do make the more serious and gripping moments stand out more as definitive high points.

As for the plot itself, it's a good case of a plot-focused story that is defined by its characters. The story's focal point is always the rise of Primavera and the difficulty the organization encounters as a whole, but it's the characters that push the story forward in a very natural way.

Rose Guns Days also features a rather unique style of narration. It's not narrated in third person, but not from god's perspective either. It's as if the narrator is the writer themselves guiding the reader through the story, giving insights into character thoughts and motivations and writing impressions of them considering the bigger picture, and even breaking the fourth wall entirely at some points. I liked it. It leads you to immediatly reflect on the things you've just read and think about the story some more. Although I can also understand if some people may find this style of narration off-putting.

Technically you could argue there may just be an in-universe reason for this style of narration though since it switches back to first person narration every time we go back to Madam Jeanne and the journalist she is telling the story to, implying that the narrator during the main plot may be the journalist herself. But mostly it feels more like the author is self-inserting himself as the narrator.

Can't help the self-references, can we, Ryukishi07?


As can be expected from 07th Expansion, Rose Guns Days aces this category. It has a very big cast with new main characters being added to the mix even very late in the story, but it never lets its numbers get in the way of thoroughly developing each and every single one of its cast members.

The main female lead, Rose Haibara, gets some of the best character development I've seen in quite some time, going from a naive but earnest girl thrust in the position of a leader to someone who is truly prepared to stand at the top of her constantly growing organization.

Many other cast members also get a lot of development, but even the main characters that don't, like the main male lead, Leo Shishigami, are still amazing characters in their own right.

Some of the characters have rather questionable designs though.

I do have to admit that the abrupt introduction of new major characters when we hit a new year is a little jarring at first, especially during the transition from the first to the second year where at first glance the new characters are way less interesting than the previous main cast. But that feeling didn't last long since I warmed up to the new guys rather quickly. The transition from the second to the third year was even smoother.

My only complaint in this regard would be that some characters didn't play as big of a role as I'd have liked them to, and the ending of the story was a bit too fast, not giving everyone their proper sendoff.


Again as per standards of 07th Expansion, Rose Guns Days has a superb soundtrack to back up its story and characters.

Besides the tracks that are just overall good, each year also has its own distinctly memorable tracks. The more upbeat parts of the first year are characterized by tracks such as It doesn't start without alcohol or Shall we dance? not to mention the first season opening, Love is Omerta. But then there are serious tracks like Duel of Rose in there as well when the momentum gets going.

The later years also have standout tracks like Mission No. 023, Days never to return or Axelle-ratio (my personal favorite track).

And of course every time we return to the setting of Madam Jeanne and the journalist, we're treated to Jeanne's Portrait, a very nice breather and calm before the storm type track.


Rose Guns Days was quite a ride. It turned out to be a lot more serious than I was expecting going into it, but that was just a positive surprise. The cast is great and the soundtrack is equally amazing; my biggest issue with it was that the tension and suspense wasn't always there when it should've been and some potentially interesting characters had a more subdued role than I'd have preferred. And of course, the ending. While there's nothing bad about it per se, it just came too quickly. When the Final Chapter screen came up I couldn't believe it; it couldn't possibly be ending already with so many subplots still unresolved and the atmosphere just not being quite set for it yet. While Last Season may have been my overall favorite part of the game is seriously suffered from negliging buildup towards the finale.

That being said the story had its very high points as well. One scene had me staring at the screen in disbelief and denial at what was happening and the story follows up on that scene wonderfully. The first chapter of the last year was set up and executed just about perfectly as well.

Compared to other 07th Expansion works like the When They Cry series it's a lot more accessible since it doesn't expect quite as much out of its readers and it doesn't have a complicated multi-layered storyline either. It's a rather straightforward story instead, but it doesn't let that stop itself from being engaging and still very interesting to read.

Overall I give Rose Guns Days a score of

8.5 / 10

I'd recommend it to just about anyone.