After clearing all the other girls’ routes, you unlock Kagari’s route. Hers is yet another AU, taking place shortly before the harvest festival. The supernatural still exist, but the occult club is still together in this branch world. I’m typing this after I went on an overnight school trip, so I might not remember the details too well.
Kagari enters Kotarou’s class as a new transfer student by the name of Miracle Kagari. She is decidedly strange, and her phrases all came out of the “Transfer Student Handbook.” Despite appearing mysterious and anti-social, Kagari says that she likes humans and came to get to know them better. However, because she has the powers of the Key and can destroy things without touching them and was caught floating in the forest and fighting demons, she got branded as a freak and becomes isolated. Kotarou decides to befriend her, treating her to coffee and exchanging email addresses. She rejects his offers to have fun and make more friends though, because she is content with observing humans.
Kotarou invites her to go to the harvest festival with him, but she rejects his offer and instead, gives him a 10-slot stamp card and tells him to have fun at the festival and collect stamps. Setting aside the question of how this works, Kotarou decides to enjoy himself at the festival. The harvest festival starts, and he goes off to do the usual festival things like visiting friends and playing at stands. He gets stamps on his card from various people he played with, despite it being strange that they would be in possession of one. With each festival day, the world becomes increasingly bizarre as demons seem to become everyday knowledge and the morning TV announcer entirely stops speaking. The festival seems to drag on for many, many days, but the participants decrease with each day. Kotarou finally decides to confront the strangeness and goes to look for Kagari. He finds her in the forest, fighting demons sent after her. She reveals her role as the Key and how she is being hunted, and tells him there is nothing he can do about it. Kotarou is strangely calm and unsurprised by the revelation due to the warped world, and she tells him to go back to the festival and fill up the stamp card.
By the time Kotarou has accumulated nine stamps, the festival was empty, his friends are all unreachable, and there is no longer anything to do. At night he finds Kotori and a few people waiting for a bus, and asks her for another stamp. She no longer has it though, and tells him that it probably materializes when he feels happy and fulfilled. She then reveals that the bus she is waiting for brings festival participants back to reality (out of the infinitely occurring festival) and hands him a festival survey. The bus comes, and what little remains of other festival participants leave.
Kotarou finds Kagari in the empty streets, who tells him that she trapped Kazamatsuri in the infinite festival world to see whether humans prefer to live in a dream and escape from the shitty real life. She gave out those surveys to see how people felt about the looping festival. Kotarou accompanies her to the post office, but the surveys haven’t arrived because the post office workers didn’t stay in the festival long enough. Since Kagari created the loop anyways, she calls the survey comments to her as balls of light. Opinions on the looping festival ended up with the majority of them thanking her, and she cries, apologizing about the fact that she put everyone in a looping festival. She wanted to prove that humans had weak hearts, and then destroy the world with that thought. She apologizes for fooling them before ending the world. Kotarou hugs her, and he gets the final stamp on his stamp. They stay like that until the world ends, and Kotarou wishes for someone, someday, to be able to stand beside Kagari.
A Kotarou in another branch world wakes up in the forest, on the verge of death after running from a seemingly hopeless battle. He felt as if he saw a dream, and despite all possible outcomes looking terrible, gains a glimmer of hope as he faces forward.
That was definitely one of the better routes in HF, if not the best. Then again, with how the majority of the routes were, it doesn’t take a lot to be the best. I wish it was longer and didn’t have a giant chunk without the heroine, but it was fairly good compared to the other AU routes. I was genuinely interested in the looping festival, even if strange looping worlds are kind of a common plot point in VNs. At this point I really wasn’t expecting anything, since Terra had a satisfying, if bittersweet, ending and I don’t want them to tamper with that to make it more fluff or anything. I’m still debating whether I should go play the Rewrite Quest mini-game or not.