Second last route! This time I went for Soma Megumi, a girl the Ken meets at his part-time job at Ressac. She’s a bit clumsy, gets depressed easily when she makes a mistake, and quite frail. She goes to the same high school as Tomoe, which is also the HS that Shin and Shizuru went to and where MemOff 1 took place.
Their interactions take place mostly at work where she screws up and Ken helps her. Ken sees her as a reliable person usually, so he thinks it’s weird when she messes up and gets depressed. The work staff of Ressac go to the beach, but Megumi gets dizzy on the way back. The next day someone at Ressac developed the pictures but when Ken shows them to Megumi, she doesn’t seem to remember going to the beach. Ken asks her if she’s fine since she became dizzy, but Megumi just goes “huh?” and changes the topic. Ken sees her with a sketchbook at the park, and she tells him that she’s in the art club. She lets Ken see her previous drawings.
At work, Megumi asks Ken if he has a girlfriend and he answers yes. Then he asks her if she has a bf…and SHE DOES. I’ll let Katsuragi Keima complain here about heroines who already like someone that’s not the protagonist (come to think of it now, doesn’t this game seem to break Keima’s moe rules a lot?). Ken goes into the employee area to hear Megumi arguing with her boyfriend. She mutters something about how there are no feelings that don’t change and leaves. The next day Ken sees Megumi and her bf arguin in person, and it is revealed that her bf broke up with her. Megumi becomes rather depressed and she tells Ken that it’s very tiring to put up a sociable front in front of others. However, the next day she is completely fine and energetic. Ken finds this a bit strange, but arrives at the conclusion “girls have constant mood swings.” After getting home from work, Ken finds Megumi standing in front of his apartment and she collapses. He brings her to his room, and finds it weird because today wasn’t all that busy and she looked completely healthy when she left Ressac. She recovers quickly and goes home by taxi, but Ken finds some doggy keychain in his apartment with the letter “N” on it. He concludes that it’s probably Megumi’s but wonders why the letter is “N” and not “M.”
The next day Megumi collapses at work and Ken sends her home. He realizes that he wants to protect the frail Megumi, but he also likes the side of her that is strong and sociable. Her two sides are complete opposites. Megumi takes a break from work, and Shin tells Ken of a rumour that she has a split personality. He knows her ex-boyfriend because they went to the same school, and he broke up with her because he could not stand her extreme personality changes. Shin also tells him that before worrying about Megumi, he should worry about himself (and Hotaru). Ken takes a day off from work to research split personalities at the bookstore (READING THEM BOOKS WITHOUT PAYING, LIKE WHAT I ALWAYS DO), and bumps into Hotaru. They promise to meet together an hour later at the station, but Ken got too absorbed into reading and forgot all about it. He rushes to the station, and Hotaru asks him why he’s so intent on researching. Ken says he’ll tell her eventually.
At work Ken finally remembers to ask Megumi about the keychain, but she says it’s not hers. He asks her if she feels any better, but she responds coldly and gets to work. He and Shin invite Megumi to walk home with them, but she rejects them, saying that she doesn’t trust them to not follow after her. Hotaru goes over to Ken’s house, and she knows that Ken’s been researching for Megumi. Ken tells her that he cannot leave Megumi alone because she’s relying on him, and Hotaru runs away, wishing that he would pay more attention to her. Later, he sees her at the park with some guy and misunderstands. At work Megumi invites him to walk home with her, and she tells him that she wants to become an artist in the future and joined the art club after seeing a really good painting. However, her skill isn’t as good and her self-esteem is low. Ken asks to see her sketchbook again, but she shows him a different one with sad drawings. The next day it’s raining so Ken walks Megumi home with his umbrella, but they bump into Hotaru on the way. Hotaru runs away and Ken chases after her, giving his umbrella to Megumi. Hotaru yells at Ken about Megumi, so Ken brings up the guy he saw with Hotaru. That guy is actually her piano teacher lol. The next night Hotaru calls Ken and they pretend nothing happened, but she tells him about the chance to study overseas if she wins the piano comp. They promise that if Hotaru wins the comp, they will break up and she will go overseas, but if she loses she’ll stay as Ken’s girlfriend since she has nothing left anymore. She wins and they break up.
Ken sees Megumi holding a huge briefcase, and stalks her all the way to the hospital. He loses her there, but sees her walking out of the hospital without the briefcase. He sees the nameplate of one of the rooms, and it reads “Souma Nozomi.” Inside is a girl who looks exactly like Megumi. A nurse reveals that Megumi is Nozomi’s older sister. Megumi doesn’t have a split personality, she has just been switching with Nozomi at times. However, Ken has no idea which one is Megumi and which one is Nozomi.
The two go on a date, and Ken confesses that he has liked Megumi…until a few days ago. He asks her who is she, but her body starts acting up so he sends her to the hospital via taxi. The one who gets sick easily, clumsy, and relies on Ken a lot is Nozomi. The more social, stronger one (the one who has been rejecting Ken’s offers of walking her home) is Megumi. Nozomi has been sick so Megumi offered to switch with her so she can go to school, make friends, etc. She has to come back to the hospital for 2-3 days each week though.
Megumi tells Ken to be with Nozomi since she thinks Ken likes her. Nozomi was the one who talked to Ken about her future and went to the beach with him. She leaves, but Nozomi tells Ken to go after her since she likes Ken too. Ken finds her and she asks Ken whether he likes Nozomi or Megumi. Ken has no idea lolololol but he said that he liked her when he was with her and knows she feels the same too. Megumi cries, telling Ken to stop saying such kind words since she doesn’t deserve him. She confesses that she decided to switch with Nozomi out of pity because she wanted her to experience the outside world, but then enjoyed hospital life because her mother was more gentle to “Nozomi.” She was jealous of Nozomi because her parents only paid attention to her. Ken uses his protagonist persuasive powers to calm her down, and she tells him that she cannot be with Ken because he can’t decide which one he likes. It’ll be painful for her to see him and Nozomi together, so she gives up on him.
Back at the hospital room, Nozomi tells Ken that she’s jealous of Megumi because she was good at everything and made friends easily and whenever people compared them, they prefer Megumi. Ken was the first to tell her to be herself so she ended up liking him, but then realized that she met him as “Megumi” so he likes Megumi. Ken confesses to Nozomi the same way he confesses to Megumi TROLOLOL. She thanks him and he goes home. The next day he goes to visit Nozomi at the hospital but he sees her and Megumi talking so he stands outside and eavesdrops. They tell eachother about themselves and say that Ken can definitely make a decision.
In the Megumi end, Megumi hears the train approaching signal (signal that makes the cars stop and let the train pass) and runs off at work. Ken goes after her and sees Nozomi walking on the train track. He yells out Megumi’s name, and the train hits Nozomi. Woah, talk about a depressing way to solve at love triangle OTL In the epilogue, Megumi believes that Nozomi died because of her and developed mental problems that made her become hospitalized and gets attacks like Nozomi’s. Ken drags Megumi out to the park, saying that she’s completely fine and not sick. He asks her what Nozomi’s last words were, and she tells him that they were “don’t suffer because of me, go love him.” Ken tells her that this is no one’s fault and she asks him to wait for her until she recovers.
In the Nozomi end, Ken yells out Nozomi’s name instead and Megumi pulls her out of the way as the train is approaching and gets hit instead. In the epilogue, Nozomi is recovering from her sickness but is rejecting Ken. She is blaming herself for Megumi’s death, since that day she was emoing while walking and was already on the train tracks when she realized it. Ken’s like “Even if you emo, nothing will change so ACCEPT ME!!” Nozomi decides to start drawing again, but this time her drawings are much less depressing and look like Megumi’s.
There is a third ending available after seeing at least one of the two above endings. It is called the Hope ending (the characters for Megumi and Nozomi make up “kibou” or hope in Japanese). In the the Hope end, Ken pulls Nozomi out of the way and he gets hit instead. In his state of unconciousness, he dreams of the time he first met Megumi at work, but the girl introduced herseld as Soma Nozomi. He survives and wakes up in the hopital, but has temporary memory loss. Shin refuses to tell him anything and doesn’t know who Megumi is. He walks out of the hopital room and sees the room that Nozomi was staying in, but the name says “Soma Nozomi” where “Nozomi” is written with the characters for “kibou” instead of just the character “bou.” Nozomi comes out and brings Ken to the park, telling him about their relationship since he forgot. She shows him her self portrait, and he remembers about her. He says that “she is his hope.”
I thought Megumi would have a boring route, but it was actually pretty interesting. I liked it until the endings because that’s just a horrible way of resolving a love triangle. The Hope ending was complete “WTF” since apparently Megumi and Nozomi merged? Megumi likes cats but dislikes dogs, whereas Nozomi liked dogs. The Nozomi (written as kibou) at the Hope end liked both and has experienced both the things Ken did with Megumi and Nozomi, so Megumi and Nozomi have become one person? Or was the whole thing a dream and they were one person to begin with? OTL Hope ending was confusing as hell, and the Megumi and Nozomi ends were unforgivable with how they made Ken choose. Just give him a 3P ending like in Tomoe’s normal end!! If I had to choose though, I think Nozomi is the “true” character of the Soma route since she is the one Ken meets first and the name of the girl in the Hope end is “Nozomi” even though the characters are “Megumi” and “Nozomi” combined.