I saved the main heroine for last due to leftover habits from playing Key galge. Hotaru is Ken’s girlfriend of about half a year, but feels that he is being rather distant lately. She is the cheerful, naive type who may or may or may not get annoying for you depending on your preference. I didn’t like her at first, but I guess I gradually (through the course of 5 playthroughs) warmed up to her.
Hotaru’s route is the same as Tsubame’s for a good portion. I just forgot to mention that Hotaru made Ken a teruterubouzu (those things that are hung on the window to wish for a sunny day). Hotaru suddenly doesn’t want to go to the piano competition and Ken yells at her. He promises Hotaru that he will play a song on the piano for her, and she says that if he does it successfully, she will grant him a wish (Hotaru, are you Kyubey?). Instead of worrying about Tsubame and the suspicious man in her route, Ken worries about Hotaru’s competition. She does fine like usual and Ken assures her that she will definitely make the cut. Hotaru, however, looks depressed at the mention of that. Playing the other routes beforehand actually spoils Hotaru’s story since you know that she will go study overseas in Austria if she wins the competition. Anyways, Hotaru gets into the international comp but her fingers become unable to move and Tsubame tells Ken that it’s due to emotional problems. She says that even if Ken can’t play the piano for Hotaru, he can still giver her music. Ken decides to build a music box for Hotaru to heal her fingers.
The next day he hears piano sounds in the school, and sees Shouta and Hotaru in the piano room. Her fingers are fine now, and Shouta sounded like he was about to confess to her so Ken walks away. Ken wonders why it doesn’t feel painful and thinks that maybe he doesn’t love Hotaru, and decides that she’ll be happier with Shouta. Hotaru comes to Ken’s house and drags him to the zoo to see if animals can dream but that’s just an excuse for her to see Ken because he has been ignoring her texts and calls. Ken tells her that he doesn’t want to see her because he can’t be with her anymore. He breaks up with her and she thinks it’s because of Minami-sensei lololol. Ken’s like “it’s ok you still have Shouta” but Hotaru has no idea what he’s talking about. Then he goes the jerkass move and tells her that he never had feelings of love for her in the first place. He spends the next day emoing at home and then suddenly realizes that he’s doing it (life) wrong so he runs in the rain to the bridge where Hotaru confessed to him. Hotaru finds him there and tells him that she will go to Austria to study, and since their first semester begins in September, she will leave on the 26th right after the international competition. She pretended her fingers won’t move because she wanted to be by Ken’s side instead of practicing.
She tells Ken that she knew he didn’t love her since they first started going out. Ken tries to deny this now, but she goes on to saying how Ken looked cool on the soccer field and was smart and kind like a perfect person but she doesn’t know anything so she decided to enter the piano competition to get Ken to notice her. She wanted to become a girl suited for Ken. She tells him a final goodbye and leaves. The next day Ken tells his bro Shin about his problems and gets called an idiot. Well, I certainly don’t disagree with Shin here. Shin sends Ken a paper airplane that says “When will the rain stop?” and Ken somehow concludes from that that what Hotaru and him have always wanted are to be with eachother. Ken had always been afraid of being left behind by Hotaru because she had a goal and he gave up on everything, and decides to grant Hotaru’s wish. The day before Hotaru leaves, Ken finally finishes the music box and goes to her house, but her father won’t let him see her because the competition is tomorrow. Ken screams Hotaru’s name out loud, and her father comes out and goes “WTF are you doing you little punk?” but he just drags Hotaru away to “see if the animals dream.” Her father tries to stop them, but Hotaru pretends to punch her dad and they run away in his moment of WTF.
They sneak into the zoo and Ken tells her that he will always love her. They loudly confess to each other and the police come running in LOLOLOL. The two run away and the police is too lazy to chase after them. At the bridge, Ken gives Hotaru the music box and they hug. The next day she goes to the piano competition and wins first, bust Ken didn’t have the chance to speak to her before she leaves. The next day Ken and Shouta clear up some misunderstandings and it turns out that Shouta didn’t like Hotaru, he was just telling Hotaru about this girl he loved that day (coughcoughTsubamecough). At night Ken finds out that Tsubame moved away.
One month later, Ken is attending school like usual when someone causes a ruckus outside. Hotaru used the track and field chalk to write “I LOVE KEN-CHAN” on the ground and yells it too. LOLOLOL Ken runs out there and hugs Hotaru, asking why she came back. She said that since Ken successfully played a song for her, she’s granting his wish and came back. In the epilogue, they throw Hotaru’s teruterubouzu into the river because it’s supposed to sacrifice itself to grant people’s wishes, and Ken and Hotaru’s wish has been granted.
Yes!! I’m done with Memories Off 2nd! Hotaru’s route was extremely predictable due to being spoiled by playing the other routes first, but it had its good moments. I actually felt something here, and I guess the decision to play her route last wasn’t wrong since she’s the most suited to Ken. They’re an idiot couple lol. Hotaru wasn’t annoying in her own route (and I skipped through the beginning since everything’s the same) and I actually feel sorry for her that Ken has a 5/6 chance of cheating on her. That scene in the rain was probably one of the best emotional scenes in the game, although I didn’t feel 99% of the time so that’s not sayng much.