Bimonia is one of the last Birdlings alive on this earth. The Birdlings see humans as sworn enemies, and Bimonia has been taught to kill on sight.
One day, Bimonia meets Tayo, a human child hunting in the forest. Bimonia fails to kill Tayo, and they instead become friends. Mother will be furious if she finds out, or worse, this relationship may cause tension between the two species to erupt.
The Last Birdling explores Bimonia and Tayo’s fight for their friendship as the world threatens to tear them apart.
This review will go a bit deeper into the game in regards to the full story and character dynamics. To read my initial thoughts about the game, check out my first review talking about the demo.
★ ☆ ✰ Rating: 9/10
It took me some time to finish The Last Birdling, but boy I wasn’t wrong about it being a tearjerker. Due to their friendship, both Bimonia and Tayo struggle a lot and find themselves both outgrowing the mothers’ shadow, but also missing them in the process as they grow up and learn how cruel the world can truly be. It is hard to find anything really happy about the story as a whole, but Bimonia and Tayo always draw back to their brief friendship as the strongest bright point of their short lives, even when the world as ripped them apart as adults. However, before going on with the story, I just wanted to point out that the art for the game is beautiful and this fact is driven even more so with how poignant the last CGs of each ending are. Bimonia’s and Tayo’s growth are also really well through their updates designs, it just doesn’t show their physical growth but their emotional as well as the player comes to see how emotionally draining living seems to be for them now.
As stated before, the story start off with Bimonia walking around the forest as she waits for her mother’s return, but she soon realizes that there is human nearby. She finds that human to be Tayo, a girl around her age that seems to be hunting and rather good at archery. After their rather comical meeting, Bimonia and Tayo form an uneasy friendship since they are both fully aware what would happen if the other’s mother was finds out. From that point, the POV changes to that of Tayo’s and the player is shown the difficult environment that she and her mother live within their village and the darker side her personality takes on as a result. Bimonia’s current living conditions are soon shown and that in a similar way she lives with her mother, who seems to have a hatred towards humans after a Great War and the death of Bimonia’s father.
At the same time, she is very protective of her only child. The story moves to the next time that Tayo enters the forest with the hope of becoming Bimonia’s friend and even taking her in as a little sister, but after an awkward reunion, Tayo comes face-to-face with Bimonia’s mother — Lululu. From there everything seems to be go downhill, as Lululu comes to attack the village and faces off with Tayo’s mother, Airin. It ends up bad for both of them and Bimonia finds herself fleeing her home in order to survive. On the hand, Tayo finds herself becoming part of the King’s guard and tracking down Birdlings, while now taking care of her incapacitated mother. Through their struggles, they soon find themselves struggling to keep living, though fate might have something crueler in store for them.
This visual novel lets the payer feel a brief moment of happiness early on and then beats you with everything unhappy thing that it can throw at you, but there is a subtle beauty in how both Tayo and Bimonia never give up! They are both fully aware that they are at the end of their rope, but they done give up and even when all they want to do is fall down, each of them stands back up and keep living for all the others that they have left behind, as shown in certain endings. This could also be consider a coming-of-age story as both Tayo and Bimonia come to realize that they can’t be together as they wish because of the boundaries put between them by the world, they become deadly aware of this, but that doesn’t stop their friendship, even if it means giving up their life for the other. It’s sad that they can never truly be together like they were as children, but these two friends find harsh compromises in the end, enough to make the player cry. This make their story very human and realistic, even if that isn’t what the player might want.
These two girls might have a complex relationship with each other, but even more so with their mothers. As their only parent, they both look up to Airin and Lululu respectively, but they are also getting to the point where they want to grown up and be independent, which can seem like the main driving force behind the incident that takes them away from their daughters, though in different ways. Lululu is killed and it ends up with Bimonia remembering her mother in a sad way and at times wishing that she has listened to her. Airin ends up a handicap that is slowly losing her mind, which ends up with Tayo taking care of her, further straining their relationship. Tayo wishes a lot of bad things to befall on her mother, but she still loves her even if she can’t take much more of it all. However, when the end appears before them, everything seems nostalgic even they things that they hated, particularity with Tayo.
There are a lot of things I wish I could talk about, but that would be giving too many spoilers away and this story for all its heart wrenching sadness is better to experience on your own because even when everything is down, there is some twisted hope in the end of the line. So, if you’re a little bit of a masochist, consider checking this story out.