Since I’m done typing my review for OrgASG, I’ll post my spoileriffic thoughts here. I remember a while back where I couldn’t understand why the Da Capo series was so popular when it was just some school romance moege. Then I played DCII and finally understood the appeal. It’s a good slice-of-life school romance eroge, and is actually closer to a nakige near the ends of the heroine routes. Most of the routes had consistent quality, and the slight fantasy elements and the final route made everything even better.
Spoilers past the cut.
The first route I went with was Tsukishima Koko. It’s a good thing that I did her route first, because I found it to be the worst one, making everything else better in comparison. She’s a nice, shy-ish childhood friend type, which isn’t bad in theory. Except she’s boring. While all the other girls have their own quirks (some of which actually have a proper plot-related explanation), Koko has nothing to her except for being a childhood friend who has been in love with Yoshiyuki since a long time ago. Her route was lackluster because it had to rely solely on bad misunderstandings and the protagonist being more dense and stupid than he usually is in order to prolong the conflict and drama. Yoshiyuki forced himself to go out with Nanaka despite rejecting her some days ago and admitting to himself that he loves Koko. Um, what?
I also felt kind of bad for Wataru since he’s Yoshiyuki’s buddy and also genuinely likes Koko. He has to watch with girl he likes be in love with an idiot who is going out with her best friend. Thankfully Yoshiyuki is a lot less idiotic in most other routes.
The next route I did was Shirakawa Nanaka‘s. It’s basically taking the other side of the Koko—>Yoshiyuki<—Nanaka love triangle by accepting Nanaka’s confession. Yoshiyuki is actually decisive in this route, and the band subplot is seen to the end. It also splits up the band’s friendship temporarily, as Koko can’t bear to see Yoshiyuki and Nanaka all raburabu, and Wataru is pissed about Yoshiyuki not recognizing Koko’s feelings. There’s also a subplot about a sick loli who needs surgery and how Nanaka could read minds by touching other people but loses the ability once the magical tree dies. It’s more eventful than Koko’s route, and I like Nanaka better anyway. She’s the somewhat mischievous school idol who like joking around. She’s popular with guys and always gets confessed to because she likes bodily contact and dudes take it the wrong way.
Then I went for Amakase Minatsu. I think hers is one of my favorite routes, since a) robots are great and b) the build-up, conflict, and the resolution was good. Especially great was how the school decided to throw Minatsu a graduation after she was forced to leave the school by the school committee people. Basically her route was about racism against robots, and there’s a bunch of people who don’t like robots and think they shouldn’t belong in a school with humans. Apparently robots got all the bashing because their creator gave them the ability to have sex, and rumor has it that creepy otaku buy them as sex dolls rather than house cleaners or whatever. Lame reason to bash robots, but normals like to complain about anything they can get their hands on and blow things out of proportion (like that one guy who claimed that Pokemon was teaching kids how to summon demons or something), so I guess it’s rather realistic. Anyway, Minatsu had a great route. Her voice was grating though, and she is somewhat of a classic tsundere that begins off completely tsun, punching Yoshiyuki and all, and then goes into full dere mode at the end. I think I prefer what vndb calls the modern tsundere.
Fourth heroine was Yukimura Anzu, who also had a pretty decent route. Basically Anzu is the loli (-looking) girl who is Koko’s friend and has ridiculously good memory. She likes to tease other people, especially Koko and Yoshiyuki. She’s trying to get Koko and Yoshiyuki together, but in her route she falls for him, and reveals that she has actually been in love with him for a long time. When she and Yoshiyuki start dating, somehow everyone is supportive of them, and somehow Wataru isn’t making a big deal about how Yoshiyuki is now dating Koko’s friend rather than Koko. It’s like they just decided to forego all potential relationship drama, and focus on the plot at hand. Speaking of which, this is probably the route that involves the everlasting cherry tree the most out of the four initial routes. Anzu’s godly memory is a result of a wish from the cherry tree, since Anzu actually had terrible memory when she was young. The cherry tree allowed her to have god-tier memory, all the while making her forget about her life before. Then when the tree dies, her memorization skills disappear, and she forgets Yoshiyuki, as well as most recent events. How does he make her remember him again? Why, go to her house on her birthday and do H things! Her route only has one h-scene, but in this case, less is more.
After doing three of the four above routes, you unlock the routes of the Asakura siblings. first up is Asakura Yume, the younger sister, who I like much better than her sister. Yume is basically a less clingy version of Nemu from DC1, and while I didn’t like Nemu, I like Yume quite a bit. She’s a tsundere imouto who pretends to not care about her brother, but is actually in love with him all along. She pretends to be an honor student at school but is very lazy at home and cannot cook. She has the power to see the future in her dreams, and basically foreshadows the fact that she and Yoshiyuki will separate. The cherry tree dies, and Yoshiyuki disappears before her. Then a few months later, he somehow reappears in front of her all fine and dandy. Yume’s route is more ichaicha than plot, and she gets the most h-scenes out of all the heroines.
Final heroine route is Asakura Otome, which feels like the most canon route since it’s the most closely related to the everlasting cherry tree. I don’t like Otome as much, since she is the perfect-at-everything, doting onee-san type. When it comes to onee-san characters, I prefer them do-S or just cold, rather than the doting type. Also why I can’t stand the motherly type either. Anyways, Otome is a mage tasked with killed the cherry tree if it starts granting impure wishes and things get out of control. It does, and causes various accidents around town, so Otome decides to kill it. However, Yoshiyuki is actually a creation of the tree, since he is the son that Sakura wished for, so he will disappear as well. With some convincing, Otome kills the tree and Yoshiyuki disappears. Two months later, Yoshiyuki magically appears again and they have their h-scene. Why the h-scene in this route was placed at the end I do not know, but it feels like the writers wrote the plot and then realized that they forgot to write the h-scene and stuffed it in the end.
At the end, the real final route unlocks. It’s about Yoshino Sakura, the loli from DC1 who is also a mage. After all these years she still looks like a loli, even though Nemu is dead and Jun’ichi is an old man. She spent her time researching magical trees and trying make an everlasting tree that grants wishes properly. By the time she came back to Hatsunejima, all her friends are married with families and she feels forever alone, so she wishes for a son upon an imperfect cherry blossom tree sample. Yoshiyuki appears and she becomes his guardian. Since the cherry tree went out of control at the end, it had to be killed and Yosshiyuki has to disappear. However, Sakura does some magical things to allow only him to exist again, while sacrificing her memory in the process and ends up wandering an unfamiliar place. I’ve you’ve played the original DC, Sakura’s route will probably be the most impactful. Just think about it. Jun’inchi chose his imouto over his forever loli childhood friend in canon, and then the loser in the love triangle becomes forever alone while watching all her friends get married and have kids. She has to resort to wishing upon a dangerous tree for a son, who has to disappear anyway unless she essentially sacrifices herself for him to live. I cried unmanly tears here.
Overall, DCII was pretty good. The common route got yawn-worthy when I had to repeat it for the 6th time due to early brances, but the actual drama in the routes themselves were mostly well-done and interesting. The problem is the inconsistency of Yoshiyuki’s disappearance. In every route other than Yume’s and Otome’s, he simply feels slightly off or gets sick for a few days when the cherry tree dies, and there is no disappearance drama. It’s strange, and I don’t recall it being explained. The girls are decent, but strangely I didn’t have a strong feeling of HNNNNNG despite DCII being a charage. I didn’t get particularly attached to any character, although things are fun when they are together as a group.
I skipped all ero because I couldn’t stand the decensored penises. They looked very odd, to put it nicely. All of the decensored private parts from eroge licensed by MangaGamer look terrible, so I’d rather they keep on the mosaics. I may be in the minority, but I prefer my ero CGs censored because it’s much harder to nitpick about how terrible a censored object looks.