Key are often credited as the company who set the standard for this genre of visual novels, and continue to be regarded by many as one of the best visual novel developers in the world.
Of all of Key’s releases, is certainly one which continues to be held in high regard by Japanese readers all these years later.
This is usually accomplished by starting the reader off in an environment where they can peacefully interact with the characters with some light-hearted comedy scenes, before descending into character-oriented drama which manipulates the reader’s attachment to said characters for maximum emotional impact.
Key have this down to an artform, and continue to inspire these emotional reactions in readers to this day with each successive visual novel they release.
It especially shines through when it comes to the protagonist’s internalised thoughts and feelings.