A blog for reviews… that's really not much of a blog

Foreword: I hope to have done all the apologies and notifications on the previous post that I’ve made, and bring you the most recent title I finished, Koikake. At this point, I’d like to introduce you to some humor as I did NOT know where the “kake” came from (since the words read out loud is “Koi Shin Ai Kanojo”), then realized the “x” in between and took literally 5 minutes to realize that Japanese call the x-symbol “Kakeru”.

Man, I felt like an idiot.

Well, with me being an idiot and an asshole (?) aside, let’s get to the review! For the most part, I thought this game was pretty plain, boring even to an extent… but only partially. The thing that really kept me going was the absolutely gorgeous music and cute characters, but I finished several hours of the game’s worth in a single sitting because it had so much impact, which I’ll explain a bit further down below.

Furthermore, I warn readers early in advance that this game will contain HEAVY and MAJOR spoilers! PLEASE DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW if you do not want to be spoiled! 

And without further ado, let’s get into the review in quite a while! Here’s Koikake!
(…Shit. I was hoping I could get another review for a 2016 title and this one’s from 2015 T_T)

Title: 恋xシンアイ彼女 (Koi “kakeru” shinai kanojo) [Lit Trans: Romance “cross” New Love Girlfriend]
Producers: Us:Track
Release Date: October 30, 2015
VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v17516
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=857308
Game Type: Slice of Life Romance Novel

Summary: Koutarou is a very introverted guy. Instead of playing sports or actively seeking new relationships, he would rather write his novels and stay inside. Naturally, he loves reading books and is actually quite fluent with writing novels, which even won him prizes when he was younger.

Koutarou has a dark past, however, since he still drags on his first love, which ended pretty bitterly in his opinion, when he gave a letter to the girl, who transferred the next day without telling him. Because of this, he often has humorous “allergies” to cheesy things such as romance or love.

But enough about his past; what matters is now, right? Because the past only makes up our memories; the present and future is what we make of it.

Carpe Diem, amiright?

Story Length: Moderately Long (30 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Easy
Comments: The story has four routes in total, but seem to separate into two “splits” consisting of Ayane + Sena in one split and Yui + Rinka in another. I personally didn’t really like how these splits were pretty conspicuous, but did appreciate that across routes within a split, there was something similar between the heroines (e.g. Love Triangle for the former and the Destruction of the Old School Facilities in the latter).
Character Design Rating: 7/10
Story Rating: 7/10
Protagonist Rating: 7/10
Game Quality: Moderate
Overall Rating: 7/10
Rating Comments: As much as it seems that I’m half-assing these scores, I guarantee that I’m not. It’s just that within each category (protagonist, character, story), everything is splendid and deserving of scores of 8 or 9, but something HUGE cuts down on that score severely and brings it down. Obviously, this will need a more thorough explanation.

Let’s start with Koutarou, our protagonist. Overall, I thought he was pretty boring. He does that have that special talent of being good with novel writing, but not only is said novel only introduced one piece at a time throughout the game (and thus being choppy or readers may even forget the contents of said novel), but it’s literally the only one that defines his “talent”. Basically, for his “talent in story-writing” to be of relevance, I wish he had written at least more than one and have people actually knowing he’s good at writing said novels.

So he’s one of the dynamic protagonists whose design improved due to the Last Route

On the other hand, Koutarou regains much of his points in the “Final Route” due to the reason he becomes MUCH more protagonist-like and becomes a highly dynamic character. There are other reasons as well, but I’d like to keep this spoiler until the right moment.

Characters are very cute (love the artwork!), and colorful. HOWEVER, there is this one character that annoyed the living SHIT out of me and those who played the game probably know who it is. Let’s just keep it at that for now since I’ll be doing most of my ranting of this character in the “Summary” section

Story is kinda bland, me thinks. It’s pretty much the same icha-icha that I expect from the same school-life genre galge, but it wasn’t annoying as I thought it would be. More like, due to how adorable and lovable the characters were in the first place (WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THAT ONE CHARACTER AHEM), I found myself enjoying the various interactions between the heroines and the protagonist. There are several foreshadows and plot-twists that make this game more than just a typical charage, and even some climactic drama scenes, which is why despite the obvious effort placed into selling the characters, I give this game credit for its storyline as well.

Character Summary: Alright. Let’s save the best for last, shall we? How about a reverse order? Yeah! I like reverse order!

So Rinka’s first, right? As the character introduced as the Student Council President voiced none other than Aoyama Yukari (I really wish CVs would keep their names consistent…), she first interacts with Koutarou when she informs that he would need to find other members to avoid being kicked out of the room that he uses as the club. This time, though, no faking names; he would need to find actual members.

The story really starts when Rinka pushes her limits as president a bit too far and receives too much complaints from the general student population who demand a “re-election”. While this doesn’t seem to bother anyone at first, it’s shown that if Rinka loses, there will be a plan to destroy the old school buildings, which houses not only Koutarou’s Reading Club, but also the Garden that Yui was taking care of.

Quite unfortunately, Rinka does lose out in this re-election in both Yui’s route and her own route. Within Rinka’s route, this forces them to find outside assistance to protect the old school buildings and the garden, and also involves Rinka’s self-realization that contrary to her beliefs, she is lonely and powerless.

Remember that even the people you think might be perfect are still a frail human being.

I said this before and I’ll say it again: Aoyama Yukari isn’t exactly my favorite CVs, and I feel like there were more appropriate Seiyuus for Rinka’s character. However, to give her some credit, Aoyama Yukari did do a very good job portraying Rinka’s emotions in various scenes. Other than that, at least Rinka wasn’t a bitch LIKE THAT ONE CHARACTER HINT HINT

Yui is the adorable loli that I found with joy to be voiced none other than Soyogi Tono, and was designed perfectly to be that “awww” character who always tries her best. Shown first when she was literally talking to the tulips planted outside the old school facilities, Yui actually doesn’t attend this school (she’s too young) but still comes to tend to the flowers every day. This form of dedication I thought was quite admirable.

Yui is quickly shown to have a crush on Koutarou. Reading further down into the story and seeing their past, it wasn’t really that significant, but hey at least it’s something. This leads the poor girl to act flustered with him around and do things that she wouldn’t normally do, such as buying the entire set of books of a random author just to have an excuse to walk with Koutarou. Basically, Yui’s charm points was all over the place.

Like seriously. This character was like MADE for me

Her story admittedly became a bit more sentimental for me, as it’s about Yui’s mother, who passed away. Yui takes great pride in the children picture books that her mother created, and it’s even shown that her dedication to the tulips in the school she doesn’t even attend comes from the fact that it’s none other than her own mother who planted them.

However, in her own route, the plan to destroy this garden is confirmed. Yui and Koutarou work very hard to collect signatures to prevent the removing of this piece of memory and what Yui calls is her “mother’s tomb”, but all their efforts are neglected as the authorities plow through with the plan.

Yui’s route hit me pretty hard with some feels because of this, but do not end here (thankfully). It seems that Yui’s mother was quite the wise person, and left one last piece of glimmering hope for the girl who always did her best.

Personally my favorite character, I found Ayane to be rather attractive despite being the typical tsundere character due to her obvious affection for Koutarou from the get-go. Unlike Yui (who makes up the lack of background with her charm), Ayane’s background story is a bit more thorough and holds much more validity to why she came to fall in love with Koutarou, which added to her design. In fact, even after finishing the entire game, I would probably rate Ayane’s route to be highest of all the other storylines (including the Last Route), merely because its background was so solid and touching.

Ayane’s story starts when the two characters were classmates in middle school. Ayane at this point actually found Koutarou to be more of an eyesore than anything else, since he always seemed to have a very passive and half-assed attitude towards everything. However, Ayane being the headstrong class rep, speaks out of her way during a class recital practice and gathers the contempt of her classmates. This is when Koutarou starts to sing very loudly to the surprise of everyone and then faints, and Ayane later learns that the reason why Koutarou seemed to be so passive was because he had a frail body. From this moment, Ayane’s viewpoint on the protagonist changes 180 degrees, to going heads-over-heels in love to the point she changes schools just to be with him.

So if you had to ask, I’d probably say that Ayane was the best match for Koutarou, not Sena

Despite me liking Ayane’s route the most, I didn’t really find anything else special outside of the aforementioned element when I looked at it in retrospect as a critic. Ayane does participate in the love-triangle with Sena, but this is actually relatively quickly disregarded, much to my disdain. In addition to this, Ayane herself as a character is sometimes less important than even some of the subheroines like Nako (protagonist’s younger sister). I personally think the writers could have done more than what they presented with Ayane

Sena is that girl who Koutarou fell in love with and gave the letter to, only to have her transfer the next day and pretty much leave Koutarou devastated and unable to associate himself with anything regarding romance.

—–WARNING: RANT IMMINENT—–

So the heroine supposedly the center of the entire game and considered to be the central heroine actually annoyed the SHIT out of me the most, and was also the least colorful in terms of personality. In reality, the writers made very painstakingly obvious efforts to “hide” the past of this character as much as possible and even after you get into her route, I was literally thinking aloud “Hmm, it seems that she (Sena) doesn’t really love him (Koutarou)“.

BAM!!! FUCKING CALLED IT!!!

And really, this is what the game goes to show. Sena never really loves Koutarou as Koutarou comes to love her in return, and everything just becomes this shitty-ass Korean drama style story where the heroine chooses something else over the protagonist NOT ONCE, NOT TWICE, BUT THREE FUCKING TIMES.

I was so done with this game when the game displayed her relationship with the girl-band called “Glorious Days”, because that only confirmed my original suspicions that this character had something shady. There was literally nothing that was pointing towards why she didn’t reply to the letter or got in contact with him sooner than “she simply didn’t love him”.

Okay fine, so she loves something else; that doesn’t make her a bitch.
YES IT DOES

This is because the very reason why she comes back to this place is FOR that very thing she loves more than Koutarou; basically, she was using Koutarou for her own inspiration for making music, purely because she herself found that she was having slumps and lacking ideas when she was creating music herself. In other words, when she was lonely, she would use Koutarou and when she was done, she would throw him away like a piece of trash.

Scumbag Stacy 2 - always Comes to get consoled by boyfriend when lonely chooses something else over him three times

NOT SURPRISINGLY, I found myself absolutely disgusted that Sena even existed and even found myself being disgusted that Mai Goto’s voice for the same reason even though she had nothing to do with the character. Fuck you Sena. Girls like you in real life are half the reason for bad relationships. The other half? Guys who do the same thing.

Outside of her route, Sena doesn’t seem to stand out much, which is quite obvious because of her design to be that mysterious character who betrays the protagonist at the end.

Even this Love-triangle was neglected in Ayane’s route for the same reasons

Sexual Content: Moderate

Comments: So fuck the central heroine because she’s seriously an asshole. Her story doesn’t end on a happy note, either. The last route essentially shows how fucked up society can be, and how corrupt adult minds are. The game ends with the saying that we can only “try our best” which the other heroines (Ayane, Yui, Rinka) show, but that’s a real shitty way to display the moral, though I’ll definitely admit that it was a very effective method full of impact. It’s within this Last Route where Koutarou is voiced and subcharacters play a pretty big role, and while it’s not exactly a satisfying conclusion, it really gave me the impression that Us:track was trying to achieve something that wasn’t a normal school-life galge and be a bit more realistic (I’ll get to this in a bit, further down below).

So basically, while I think highly of the game in general, I still hate Sena for the choices she made, evenmoreso because of her mindset through all of her betrayals. It really plastered shit on the good designs of the other heroines, too, and as a cynic myself, I was already aware of all this before it was revealed; I’m pretty sure it was BECAUSE of my personality and mindset that I was able to see something was suspicious with Sena’s design and predict that something like this would happen.

And that’s pretty much the jist of the game; the game makes you go through four routes to experience what’s more of a happy-go-lucky galge, then hit you hard with a much darker (though this is debatable) story involving Sena literally betraying Koutarou the third time and him STILL “loving her” for almost no reason. (Because I’m pretty sure he came to love her because she was pretty when they were kids). SNAP OUT OF IT, YOU IDIOT.

Or… Or I’m going to cry!

But let’s actually be serious here: the writers probably meant to do something with this. I mean, they created a lighthearted plot for the other three heroines that’s actually decent; there must be a reason for the Last Route to go into the gutter like this. The main problem I really have is that the game gives off the vibe that Sena is indeed the antagonist and I’m very certain the writers had no intention of doing this. This is because there is literally no monologue with Sena; by completely lacking a monologue and the reader not being given Sena’s point of view, it’s very hard to sympathize with her choices when she was split between her band and Koutarou. Simply put, the game needed to EXPLICITLY show that the girl was also suffering from a dilemma, not just have her act a certain way and expect the readers to understand 0 to 100 of the girl’s emotions or thoughts. Since this was not presented, it’s not surprising to result in players like me (and I’m sure other players too) ranting at this character for being a bitch, quite literally.

Though on the other hand, said Last Route where shit gets serious is also probably one of the more better routes with a solid theme and Koutarou becoming more protagonist-like. It specifically displays the moral that this story was trying to convey, to “Always Try Your Best“, to always live honestly and such… so that was a good trait. I just wish the authors really took a second look at their work because they could have improved Sena’s design from very simple tweaks or additions to the story which would have essentially made this game a kamige level quality. In reality, all the other characters were pretty lovable and had a decent story attached with them as well, so it’s very unfortunate that at the end it’s all ruined.

Affection for the Characters: High for other heroines, and don’tgetwithinmyreachSenabecauseIwillliterallystrangleyoutodeath. I mean, Low for Sena.

CG Score: 8/10. Beautiful CGs. The soft outlines on the sprites and CGs along with blurring of background on some areas allowed more focus on the characters and gave depth to the visuals.

CGs are pretty amazing, me thinks. Then again there are four artists so…

Music Score: 9/10. Wow, Yuiko sings the ending called “The World that Begins in the Eastern Skies”. I personally love her songs and albums (you should consider searching Youtube or other places for her songs!), and even the Insert Song is sung by her!

Ending (東の空から始まる世界 sung by Yuiko)

Addictiveness: Low.

Conclusion: Sorry if I was a bit exaggerating with the above review with my hate for Sena. However, please understand that as someone who was essentially in Koutarou’s position at one point (I’m not joking; I’ve had a girl literally betray me three times for someone else), all I felt was more pain and anger, which kinda went two ways: Hatred for Sena and Respect for Koutarou. I’m honestly not sure what the writers hoped to accomplish by adding such a poorly planned element for Sena, but at least the other characters weren’t so cringeworthy. Even if this review repels from playing the game, at least play it for the music and the pretty decent artwork, and perhaps the three routes that isn’t so infuriating.

I might go through Yui’s route again just to recover from the trauma

Addition on 4/13/2016: So it seems that I’ve made a mistake on the body of my review; it’s true that Sena did “betray” Koutarou three times throughout the entire game, but the third time is not because of her band, but because more due to her own guilt and stubbornness. Regardless, it’s still a betrayal and just as bad, regardless of her own intentions/mindset.

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Comments on: "Gathering your Emotions and Putting it on Paper: Review of [151030]Koi x Shinai Kanojo" (27)

  1. em… so sena betrayed the mc and left him??? you mean there is no good end in sena’s route?? like an ending where they finally come together as a couple and all ends happily even after those betrayals.to put it simply can you please tell me if there is a good ending to sena’s route thanks a lot.

    • Nijima Yuu (writer for Sena’s route) did get a lot of backlash due to this in all communities; of how it created a NTR-esque environment and was overall uncalled for.

      “Betrayal” does not automatically equal bad route. White Album 2 has LOTS of it and it’s deemed one of the best games ever. It’s how that betrayal is portrayed that makes it good or bad and in Koikake, it turned out to be bad.

  2. Ah… Koikake.
    I just happened to see this review after completing this VN three days ago.

    Yeah, I felt empty after the normal ending, still felt the same when the beginning on the true end, I was kinda happy for the reunion, yeah, it sucked. felt like My heart was torn apart.

    Yeah, I kinda agree on doing Yui’s route, I too will do that one day.
    But Yui was so moe. I died.
    I liked Ayane at least half.
    I dunno about Rinka, tbh.

  3. […] having that one character completely traumatize me from Agumi Oto’s voice, I was admittedly more cautious about the personality of Kohane despite she was not related to the […]

  4. […] having that one character completely traumatize me from Agumi Oto’s voice, I was admittedly more cautious about the personality of Kohane despite she was not related to the […]

  5. playing this right now, language dificulty is quite easy *play eroge for learning purpose, haha…*
    btw, how many endings for sena route? *you mention about 3…?*
    i search walkthrough on the net but found nothing *i’m bad at stuff like this…*

  6. Lijanstein said:

    Ah Koikake. Like it was said, this is a flawed game. But memorable. (RepKiss I’m looking at you whatever you were I couldn’t remember).

    At moments Koikake looked like a better executed Himawari to Koi no Kioku which is an another game that I have mixed feelings about. Love triangles, tsunderes, regrets from the past, singing at festivals, True endings… Though Himawari was stronger on the love triangle plot relevance and a heroine did explain her point of view why she was a ‘delinquent’ it did help that the MC was, to some degree, an equivalent of Sena) – overall it was even more disjointed. Also both games could probably improve if there was one heroine less so we could have a more (no pun intended) detailed story where the axed one is an important part of the plot taking the interesting story bits without the repetitiveness of itcha-itcha dilution. In the case of Koikake the True ending had a solid base but seemed hazy and rushed, almost like a draft. More (pun intended) time spent on it would push the game’s quality much further.

    I remember finishing the Ayane part from the trial (ending with that teary eyed scene) and thinking – Eh, this is neat if they continue strongly in the similar way, this VN will be not just above average but pretty good. Then the empirical skepticism kicked in – how they are going to mess up her route, and lo, behold! they mostly did. Which was a shame because I liked her character. She was a lovable tsundere. But that’s also, most of the time, some kind of unwritten rule.

    The game also had a pretty ubiquitous VN problem of spriteless plot related side characters. Those were quite evident in the Ayane route and Sena’s True ending. Especially, the 2nd case was quite jarring. Made the game feel empty which was quite a contrast to the nice CG’s. I don’t ask for the level of Ef just draw something on the screen if it’s plot related. It doesn’t need a face. Maybe just a silhouette is enough. Not to mention the missed opportunity of meeting again the other heroines/characters apart from Sena and one CG of the Rinka’s antagonist – phone calls are, apparently, enough.
    Introducing a new character that later disappears from the game. Ah yes she gets a phone call. That one CG that is the same as the years pass.

    Now phone calls don’t go to the extent of completely resolving plots (yes, Kanon ending emulator Sakura Nikagetsu I’m looking at you) but they are lazy. Maybe they run out of budget or time. But then cut some of the drag in the middle and not the ending. (Himawari stand in line for the Kanon foxing around too).

    Also this game shared a similarity with Hanasaki Work Spring in one plot detail. Club rooms after building reconstructions are exactly the same and that should be explained to us why – even though we know the real reason – because the CG’s/backgrounds are the same. If anyone knew about layers in photoshop. Change a few details. Change the colors of the walls. Something.

    Yui route suffered from the same outcome in her and Rinka one. She did move on in both cases and the spirit of the her mother’s message was accomplished. Rinka/Yui story could be merged into one making it a better read overall.

    Anyway, when all the flaws and strengths of the game are added it’s an above average game. This post maybe sounds a bit nitpicky, however it’s a missed opportunity. The basics are sound, however the devil is in the details. And phone plot bills. :)

    • Oh my gosh, the savagery of your comment was so hilarious and enjoyable that it completely removed my own saltiness at this game.

      The real problem with romance games nowadays is that it lacks validity in terms of romance. (Aside from love triangles and such) This is mostly present in Yui and Rinka’s route where the heroine doesn’t really have that strong of a background with the protagonist yet still likes him anyways for some mysterious reason.

      On the contrary, it seems that while the True Ending did have this “background” implied to a certain extent, it needed to be clearly expressed. A heroine leaving the protagonist looks like a complete jerk if the game doesn’t present her own emotions and struggles while doing so, and that just gives the impression that Sena’s evil and Koutarou is the reverse-domestic-violence victim who can’t forget her and keeps coming back to be hurt more.

      As mentioned in the body of the review, the game makes very extensive and obvious efforts to try to “hide” Sena’s background aside from her interaction with Koutarou. Her extremely vague taste for music was also enough to incur suspicion that her route involves it somehow, and the mere fact that Sena isn’t as “clingy” to Koutarou as she was archetypically supposed to did suggest additional “foreshadows” that she did not actually love him.

      This is why I praise Sena’s route ((aside from the complete lack of subcharacters and utilization of phone calls for contacting everyone including other heroines); it offers foreshadows to what’s to come and a darker story that’s really needed. But on the other hand, the character itself was absolute shit; no expression of her emotions even at the end made it hard to sympathize with the character’s decisions, and how Koutarou predicts that this character pretty much “got stubborn” and decided to run away a 3rd time made me lose my mind.

      Just make the damn girl a prostitute, will ya, Us:track?
      It also really irritates me that Koutarou still “loved her” even after she ran away the 3rd time.

  7. So, you decided to play this game, after all, huh? I see that this became a pretty popular review with many comments! I don’t have the patience to read all of them, but I’ll assume that at some point, you guys are discussing about how infamous this game has become last year! This got to a point where it reached even someone like me, who currently is not playing any PC Eroges. There was many Japanese communities who hated the shit out of this game, and I got many links to Japanese rants and reviews sent to me by twitter. Since the people on 2ch also decided to be pretty passionate about their hate for this game, the news about it’s awfulness spread in a flash. Thanks to that, it seems that some Japanese databases came to classify this game as a “Netorare” thingy. Yep! All because of that Sena chick! It seems that most Japanese players were not impressed by the other routes or heroines, either, saying they were only “ok”. The Japanese Eroge community created an irrational hate for the main writer, and will probably try to avoid his next works. I’m actually glad this happened, since this guy was one of the main reasons why I got tired of playing Eroges in the first place. You probably know what I mean if you watched my old-ass review for Majokoi Nikki. Yep! It’s that guy! I think he wanted to make a more dramatic and “edgy” romance story showing that not all Eroges have a happy romantic story, and tried to use its super moe-moe art-style to deceive players into thinking this would be more lighthearted. Knowing how most otaku will forgive everything as long as it is a cute little girl, this writer was also confident that the art would save his ass. Hell! Even I am pretty impressed by how the result went horribly wrong for this writer! Guess you can never underestimate otaku. After all, there are guys who would shout “betrayal” and tear up their manga collection just because they suspect there was a “Netorare” element in their beloved manga series! Scary!

    • As I read this comment I was laughing so much that my stomach hurt. Nijima Yuu (who seems to be the writer for Sena’s route, at least) really done goofed this time with his unique style of plot twist that really didn’t work out. As I said, while Sena’s route made the game a little better (in my opinion), the normal otaku would hate-rage to no end at the NTR atmosphere that the game creates, although it’s actually not actually an NTR–The girl just chooses something over the protagonist.

      Regardless, this route was, to be fair, poorly done with the complete lack of Sena’s side, to actually allow for reasoning choosing her band/pride over Koutarou

      In short, Nijima Yuu sucked at writing Sena’s route and I think he’s deserving of the hate

    • I know what you mean by “it’s not actually an NTR–The girl just chooses something over the protagonist”, but the explanation from the 2ch community goes like this:

      If the point in NTR lies in the horrible feeling of being betrayed when your beloved one replaces you by someone else right under your nose, Sena’s route is not much different from NTR. Actually, you could say it is the same as NTR, after all, it doesn’t matter that she is replacing you by something rather than someone else, but the feeling of betrayal is the same, and it feels like the whole point of the route was to give this feeling to the player, as if the player would feel excited by it or something.

      Crazy, huh? Well, I didn’t actually play the game, so I can’t really say if this makes sense or not.
      Anyway! By what I read in your review, I never thought you would say Sena’s route made the game a little better, since it looks like it was what you hated the most about this whole thing. Although, I understand it seems like the only route in this game that tried to go further than the regular Eroge story.

    • Yeah, that definition of NTR does make sense. It’s just that I took the definition literally and thought of it as “Sleeping with someone else”, but I can see how the feeling of betrayal might qualify Sena’s scenario as NTR.

      Don’t get me wrong; I still absolutely HATE Sena. It’s just that outside of that, it’s your typical school-life galge that I don’t really enjoy too much, so her ROUTE has some value. Her as a character? It gives me cancer.

  8. I have been a fan of Nijima Yuu’s works ever since Natsuyume and Hatsuyuki so I couldn’t just let this VN slip through. Initially didn’t bother with other routes but concentrated solely on Sena’s. Story was relatively long, maybe a bit confusing (can’t recall the story anymore) and was Nijimaa Yuu-ish to say. Common route starts of normally, then ends giving the reader a mystery to ponder on. Sena’s route was quite disappointing actually. Not a lot of drama, and kind of lackluster. It does pick up slightly at the end though, after Kotarou is dumped the 2nd time (and later the 3rd time). It also ends in the typical Nijimaa-Yuu style, where you’re not sure whether you are happy or sad.

    Aside from that I went through Ayane’s route but I don’t recall if I even finished it. I recently re-installed it and am currently going through Rinka’s route. Yui’s doesn’t really appeal to my eyes, but I did hear her route was one of the better ones. Overall I really do think that the characters are exceptionally unique and likeable, though not so much for Sena’s case. They really have their own personalities and traits and are just not another “route” to go through.

    Regarding the Insert song by Yuiko, I agree that it’s really nice. The OP, ED and generally the BGM is really nice too. Got myself the soundtrack with the Full Chorus version of each song in lossless.

    P.S. I don’t recall what made Sena leave the 3rd time, maybe you could refresh me on that? Was it some trouble with her band?

    • To first answer your question, Sena leaving the 3rd time was NOT because of her band, since the story explains that her band disbanded a while ago. Instead, Sena leaves because she was essentially being very stubborn and hardheaded. Basically, she didn’t want to marry Koutarou because she “decided” that she didn’t love him twice and didn’t want to change that mindset. (At this point, I was going “What the fuck?”)

      So because of that and other factors that led her to look like an antagonist, I absolutely hated Sena’s character design but her route strangely made the game much better (at least improved Koutarou’s design)

  9. Heya, thought I’d bring up that Rinka isn’t Aoyama Yukari. It’s Ai Shimizu, also known by her nickname “kuruma no hito” (‘the car person’) for always using car-brand-related aliases. In case you haven’t noticed, her alias this time is “Toyota Corona”. Though she is better known for often voicing younger characters, this isn’t her first time voicing a senior character. Another one that comes to my mind is Sayuki from Your Diary. Personally, I also disagree with your comment that she did poorly.

    As someone else mentioned, Sena’s route was written by Nijima Yuu who also wrote Hatsuyuki Sakura and Majokoi Nikki, so I kinda expected the painful Sena route. I’m a bit more sympathetic and don’t mind how it ended, I guess.

    • Okay wow, thank you very much for telling me about this. I genuinely thought that the CV was Aoyama Yukari purely from how I remember her voice, and doing a bit of digging around suggests that they’re actually different people. This also means that I’ve been getting confused between Rinka’s CV and Aoyama, so HOLY CRAP.

      Not sure where you saw me saying she did a bad job though; I did specifically mention that she was very effective in expressing Rinka’s emotions and didn’t really criticize anything regarding the character itself. More like, I appreciated how the character didn’t follow standard archetypes.

      I’ve mentioned it, and I’ll say it again; I have a love-hate relationship with Nijima Yuu. I personally think he’s a great writer, but he always manages to find a way to grind my gears and it really pisses me off.

    • Whoops. Nevermind me saying I disagreed with anything. It was too early in the morning and I probably mixed it up with someone else’s comment. Sorry!

      Aoyama has a bit of a hoarse and mature tone in her voice. Sometimes it makes her sound odd when voicing younger characters such as Saki from Hapimea. She’s much stronger on older characters such as Hiyo from Asairo or Aoba from Asuseka. Shimizu’s voice on the other hand is a bit sweeter and softer. This makes her exceptional for loli-type characters such as Sakura from Hatsusaku and Rui from Nakanohito, but sometimes works against her on stronger personalities like Yune from Amairo or Hinano from Pricolle.

      A shame that Yukari doesn’t play many big roles anymore. I don’t remember any major productions starring her as a main heroine since Hapimea’s FD in 2014.

    • Now that you mention it, I can definitely agree with you on the difference of the two CVs. I’ll give myself a time-out for not being able to recognize them apart!

      If that’s the case, then yes; I haven’t heard of Aoyama Yukari for quite a while; the last one being Natsuiro Recipe where she plays a subcharacter.

      I guess I’ll need to look into more works that “Kuruma no hito” (I laughed so much when I saw her list of aliases) voices.

  10. starlessn1ght said:

    Honestly… I think this game would work better as ‘cynical’. Like, there’s nothing wrong with a hope message and saying you have to keep trying until you get what you want. However, Koikake went to extremes: it’s basically saying you should let yourself be hurt by other people countless time, because one day you’re gonna get what you want.

    And I think if the game tried to deny that message, the result would have been much better. Like, instead of a happy end, make Sena explicitly evil and leave Kunimi alone in the end. Also, doing the same with the other girls but in different ways to avoid repetition.

    My reaction when I found out what happened to Sena: WHAT– THE– HECK?! I don’t think there was proper build up at all.

    But then, this game the most lovely CG I’ve seen (despite Sena’s artists kinda screwed up some of her CGs, he couldn’t draw her very well imo.)

    My favorite route was Rinka’s, because, despite being kinda lacking on drama, I liked her smooth development and the romance was nice. Ayane’s route, on the other hand, had close to zero drama (the confession scene was lovely, but the rest of the route, meh…)

    Anyway, nice review.

    • You have a really good point. Perhaps it might have been better if Sena’s route was a “bad end, end of story” kind of thing, but then your typical player would be crying their eyes out about a non-happy ending (though it’s entirely possible to argue that the current ending for Sena isn’t that great of an ending either).

      I think I’d disagree very slightly in one aspect; I really do think the writers botched up Sena’s design to the point in my eyes, she does look evil. As stated in the review, this is due to the complete lack of her own monologue expressing her suffering and dilemma to the readers, and this really gives her the vibe of an antagonist who just uses the protagonist and throws him away.

      Rinka’s route was decent, and I actually kinda appreciated how the game took time to show that Rinka was indeed powerless and frail contrary to the Oh-so-fucking-perfect senpai archetypes. Yui is absolutely adorable andifyoudisagreeIwillslapyousohardI’mnotevenkiddingahahahahahaha

  11. Hello Joyjason. English is not my native language. So I can not join the discussion. But I want you to know that I really enjoy reading your reviews. They help me to find interesting visual novels. Thanks for this.

    • Hello Ihor! Glad to know that my reviews are helpful!

      As with any other visitors who are a part of my audience, I speak Korean and Japanese fluently enough, so if either of these language is your native, please feel free to use it!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  12. Well I can certainly see where you’re coming from. I had some other issues with this game, which is why my own score doesn’t really deviate from yours, but I was more or less able to sympathize with Sena. Thing is, from the perspective of a writer, it’s probably a bad choice nonetheless; most people won’t be able to relate to her, so this sort of design is not a good choice if you want to appeal to as many people as possible.

    In fact, that’s something that happens a lot with the stuff niijima yuu writes, it’s just that in hatsuyuki/majo koi I was on the side of people who couldn’t sympathize.

    Anyhow, I’m getting off track here… back to Sena. I actually know people like her and to be perfectly honest, I can be similar to her in certain ways. What you say goes along the lines “she never truly loved him,” which isn’t quite true. It’s in fact the exact opposite, he’s quite literally the most important person in her life to her. Her general tendencies to depreciate herself, also being rather pessimistic and in a way socially awkward simply make her do a lot “押しつけ,” which is something I personally hate tbh, but that happens a lot in rl.

    in fact, in the true route, kotarou even more or less explicitly soliloquized about that tendency of hers, and much like me, this is the only thing he ultimately blames her of. Dunno, if you read between the lines, her character gets very clearly portrayed, more so than any other character and I actually appreciated that a lot of the stuff about her wasn’t so blatantly in your face through straight exposition.

    at this point, i feel like I’d write up pages if I were to depict my thoughts on it in detail, so I’ll stop at this point. we could discuss this in more depth on discord or skype if you like.

    • See, that’s probably where we split in opinions. It’s quite fortune that you brought it up since we can have a discussion.

      It’s good to have implications and “in-between the lines elements” within a story, but when it comes down to explaining why something was “good or bad”, you need to be as objective as you can.

      With EVERYTHING, including “reading between the lines” and my rants of Sena being a bitch put aside, it’s still true that she chose her band over Koutarou twice and then left the 3rd time likely due to her own guilt. That’s objective whether or not it was a good or bad trait.

      You can pretty that up with any words or defend her reasoning as much as you want, but the unarguable fact is that she betrayed him for her own reasons and that’s something you can’t fight no matter what. “He raped my wife so I killed him”. Yes, that’s very heroic and everyone including the judge thinks you’re a good person, but the truth is that you still killed someone and need to face the responsibilities of that.

      I’ll be perfectly honest; if the writers (I’m actually quite confident that Nijima Yuu was in charge of Sena’s route, since I have a love-hate relationship with his writing) included at least one scenes with her monologue where she’s struggling with the dilemma, I wouldn’t have ranted like this. More like, I would have been more critical of the protagonist for not being able to recognize the problem.

      But yeah, if you feel like this is worthy of a Skype debate, I’m up to join you

    • I’m not trying to refute what you say in that sense. Thing is, we’re talking about judging the writing and what that writing conveys. To take up your example with the rape, just because someone committed wrong or a sin for selfish reasons doesn’t lower the value of the story in and of itself; what matters is how it’s portrayed. You can write a story with focus on a person who does nothing but act irrational with only subtle hints and analysis by involved characters serving as the readers only gateway to arriving at an understanding regarding said character and that alone wouldn’t determine whether it’d be bad or not at all.

      Yeah, she basically betrayed him but it’s not a meaningless story, there’s value in it. the way it is done serves its purpose just right and to be honest, I wouldn’t have wanted a sena monologue. It’s part of the story that we ultimately don’t get a clear-cut answer in regards to what was going on in her head. This whole “not understanding what others think/their feelings” was a theme throughout the whole game basically and we’re supposed to experience the same thing the MC does. what good would it have given if WE got to see whats in her head while the MC wouldn’t know? The way I see it, that’d be nothing but consolation for the readers and kind of the easy way out. It’d have taken away from the impact and meaning.

      just like kotarou, we have to make our own picture with the bits and pieces of information we have and there’s plenty of that provided throughout the game. the way i came to see her doesn’t really differ much from how kotarou sees her. namely that she’s just very awkward and in a way more selfish than she realizes, with a number of good qualities that come together with that.

      anyhow, my skype name, discord and stuff can be found here:
      http://shinku-translations.net/contact/

    • Looks like we still have one thing to agree upon. I think I’ve given you the wrong impression, but betrayals are absolutely vital to a “good and climactic story”. I think you may have took my ranting at Sena for “Joyjason hates the entire game because of Sena”, which is completely the opposite: Sena’s betrayal made the game more interesting and was what really led me to finish the last parts of the game in a single sitting instead of me getting ridiculously bored by it, but inevitably, it really made me salty at her character personally.

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