I bought this in last year’s 5pb sale along with Yubikiri no Kioku and shoved it in the backlog until now. The full package is Memories Off 6 Complete, which bundles the base game with the fandisc. It’s the 6th game in the Memories Off series, which had typically placed an emphasis on its realistic setting free of absurd elements and natural characters. The first Memories Off featured a protagonist who still feels the effects of the death of his girlfriend. The second game started with a unique situation in which the protagonist and main heroine were already dating. Yubikiri no Kioku (otherwise known as the 7th game) gave the hero a fiancee who sticks to him like glue, a girl who blackmails him for free housing, and a heavy past that ties it all together. This game? It’s a typical school life romance.
Aspiring brides are scary.
Spoiler-free review in case anyone is actually interested in playing this decade old game.
Memories Off 2nd is pretty much a mediocre school drama visual novel centered around Inami Ken, a high school senior who likes soccer but quit the soccer team because they lost. He is currently dating Hotaru, but they become more distant due to her practicing for her piano competition and Ken meets some other girls. He can solve his problems with his girlfriend or ditch her and go for someone else. That’s basically it. Most of the routes are like some dragged out shoujo manga from a dude’s point of view, the music is forgettable (except for Minami-sensei’s theme), the art is dull and the character designs are boring. I don’t see why Memories Off became so popular, because it is a pretty mediocre game all around.
The story consists of generic school drama minus the humour in most generic school visual novels these days. Out of all the routes, the only ones that actually had twists were Megumi’s and Tsubame’s. The other ones either felt like forgettable shoujo manga or forgettable dramas. Stuff that no one cares to find because there’s 214234523 stories just like it. I’d recommend Tsubame’s and Hotaru’s routes because they’re the two mains (and you can branch off into Hotaru’s route from Tsubame’s since the events leading up to their routes are the same) and Megumi’s route because the end was a mind screw. Shizuru’s story was boring, and I don’t even see why Takano was even in the game at all other than to stuff in a tsundere that lacks the moe of one but retains the annoyingness. Tomoe’s route is a maybe since I actually like her character, but her story was predictable as hell.
Characters (links go to individual route summary):
Shirakawa Hotaru is Ken’s current girlfirend. She will misunderstand every time Ken talks with a girl, and vice versa. I finally got used to Hotaru and thought she was ok in her route because she suited Ken, but you may not.
Minami Tsubame is Ken’s summer school teacher who is always speaking in philosophical terms in a monotone voice. She actually left an impression on me because her theme song was nice, but it’s up to you whether you feel awkward going for a teacher.
Soma Megumi is the kouhai character who relies on Ken and has mood swings. Kouhais are usually not my type, but her story was interesting and will become mind-screwy for people who like that.
Shirakawa Shizuru is Hotaru’s older sister, but her route was a b0re and she didn’t have the onee-chan feel. Skippable.
Tobise Tomoe is Hotaru’s friend who you can choose to cheat on Hotaru with quite early. She’s a mild tomboy type who is able to chat with Ken easily and in a drama production. Her route is rather predictable and if you watch dramas you have probably seen it already.
Suzuna Takano is the man-hater who is pretty and good at swimming. The game could do without her.
The music is forgettable and the art uses extremely simple shading. The character designs are extremely dull and with the exception of Megumi who has grey hair, everyone else has black or dark brown hair. Dammit, this is galge! At least give the characters appealing designs if you’re gonna make a boring story!
Overall, I’d say that Memories Off 2nd is a mediocre galge. I don’t see what made it so popular as to have so many damn ports to different systems (latest being the PSP and iTouch). Most visual novels are supposed to have either erotic content or deep, emotional stories, but MemOff 2nd is simply pure high school romance where the drama doesn’t stirr up your emotions or keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s also completely clean and free of 18+ content. If lacking the above two, then galge should at least have a variety of cute and endearing girls that are good to look at. Memories Off 2nd consists of unappealing art and dull character designs. Maybe this was pretty good 10 years ago, but I don’t see why it’s still getting ported to PSP and iPod Touch in this day and age. Tokimeki Memorial got popular due to colorful designs and its dating sim gameplay where you have complete control over the main character, but I seriously don’t see the charm of Memories Off 2nd. Maybe the later games are better, but I’ll wait till later to play them if I ever decide to.
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.
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.
The next girl I went for is Tobise Tomoe. Spoilers as usual.
Tomoe is a girl Ken meets when he was working at the restaurant. It suddenly started raining so Ken walks her to the convenience store with his umbrella. He meets her again at the park where she tells him that she’s in a drama production starring two childhood friends and he promises to go watch her at the end of August. Ken meets her a third time at the restaurant again, and they start dating. Ken decides to break up with Hotaru but she invites him to go shopping tomorrow so he’s like “screw it I’ll tell her later.” The next day while shopping they bump into Tomoe, who turns out to be Hotaru’s best friend. LOLOLOL busted.
The next day Ken goes to find Tomoe, and they arrive at the conclusion “don’t tell Hotaru about anything yet, we’ll figure this out later.” Ken and Tomoe go on a walk the next night and they talk about things. She tells Ken that she can’t be with him after all, since she would hate herself if she stole him from Hotaru. She says that she hates him (in the least insulting tone possible), but Ken just gives her a hug and says that she isn’t honest. She rejects him, and they settle on just being friends. Ken decides to think that this is okay and he’ll love Hotaru again, but if anywhere in the text does it say “my chest hurts,” then something will go very wrong.
Ken skips school (because it is logical to skip school whenever you’re having relationship problems) and sees Tomoe on the street. She makes him call her Toto like how Hotaru does, and they go out to eat. The next day, Ken wakes up early and decides to do some soccer practice despite not being on the soccer team anymore and he bumps into Tomoe who’s jogging. She helps him in soccer practice by throwing him the ball, and then he decides to teach her soccer. Since Tomoe is the tomboy archetype, there will eventually be a conversation about how nobody sees her as a girl (seriously, if nobody sees her as a girl, then what am I?…OTL) even though in galge that’s pretty much “I have an easy time getting along with guys” in female language. Anyways, Ken decides to start waking up early to see Tomoe every day…and that resolve is broken pretty quickly since he overslept the next day.
Ken and Tomoe go to watch Hotaru’s piano competition, and leave after listening to Hotaru’s performance with the excuse of having to work and then they spend time together. Geez, what a serious attempt at trying to stop cheating on your girlfriend, Ken. They take a walk together, and Tomoe reveals that she still likes him. She says it’s too painful to see Ken and Hotaru and suggests that she and him drop the friendship and stop meeting. Ken doesn’t want that so they decide to settle this later after Ken finishes work. Ken finishes work in hopes of seeing Tomoe, but Hotaru is waiting for him instead with news that she passed and got into the international piano comp (the one where she gets to study in Austria if she wins). Tomoe sees this from a distance and then leaves. The next day Ken wakes up early to “go for a jog” and ends up having a chat with Tomoe like they’re bros about their futures. Tomoe only began acting after getting into high school since her parents worked in drama production and they’re like “you don’t even have anything you want to do so go act” and she happens to enjoy it.
Ken and Hotaru decide to go to Tomoe’s house on her birthday, but Ken gets there first so they wait for Hotaru. Tomoe gets a call from her dad and cries manry tears of joy so Ken gives her a brohug but then Hotaru rings the doorbell. This is the only route so far where Ken and Hotaru’s relationship is still going strong for so long, but that’s probably because Tomoe actually knows how to stay calm and handle this properly unlike 99% of girls who will have outbursts or make the dude have an outburst. Tomoe talks to Ken about her problems at acting because she was told that her acting career will end at this rate even though she has no idea what she’s doing wrong. Then she has another chat with him like bros and her problems are solved and she sells him tickets to her drama production on September 1. I think I like how Tomoe solves her problems quickly and doesn’t angst much.
Tomoe goes to visit Ken after work to thank him, but Ken’s like “lol if you wanna thank me give me a kiss.” Tomoe kisses him on the cheek reluctantly. The next day during their morning exercise meetings, Tomoe tells Ken about her dead little brother who also loved soccer and died in a traffic accident coming back from watching a soccer match. That’s why she used to hate soccer, and she also hated acting because her parents were away at work when her lil’ bro got sent to the hospital and didn’t come back until after he died. She didn’t talk to her parents for a month but stopped hating them after seeing her dad emo by himself at night while drinking. Ken holds her hand, and tells her that he will only go that far since they’re “friends.”
Ken goes to play with fireworks with Tomoe since she is bitter about missing the fireworks festival that was mentioned in Tsubame’s route. They go play with them at the beach, and Ken was about to tell Tomoe that he doesn’t want their relationship to end and he still likes her but then her gets cockblocked by a phone call from Hotaru. She’s come asking Ken for a date and they settle at visiting his house. She comes to his house, and demands to play video games although she’s usually not interested, and nearly cries when she can’t beat Ken even though it’s her first time playing and he freaking owns the games. She’s stressed for the piano comp. that’s starting in 2 days, so Ken takes her for dinner and stuff.
In the normal end, Ken and Tomoe stay friends and he goes to watch Hotaru’s piano comp. Hotaru wins the first prize, but then breaks up with Ken because she gets the opportunity to study music overseas. Ken tells her not to go and stay with him, but Hotaru knows that he loves Tomoe more than her. Tomoe shows up here, and Hotaru tells her everything. Apparently Hotaru is freaking psychic and noticed Ken’s two-timing ever since the three of them met at the shopping trip. Hotaru wants to back out and let Ken and Tomoe get together, but Tomoe gives her a scolding about running away overseas just because she can’t get Ken to like her again. Tomoe walks away, and Ken admits that he has no idea who he likes anymore since since he still likes Hotaru and doesn’t want her to go.
Hotaru wants to make up with Tomoe, but she refuses to accept any calls so Ken tries to find her manually. He finds her, and he her that she didn’t mean what she said yesterday and only didn’t want Hotaru to give up on Ken. They go to Hotaru’s house to make up with her, and then Tomoe and Hotaru decide to have a competition over Ken. Ken’s not complaining, since he’s got 2 girls fighting over him. Lol 3p end?
In the True End, Ken and Tomoe still love each other but Tomoe still wants Ken to be with Hotaru. Ken gives Hotaru the ticket to Tomoe’s drama production, but Hotaru doesn’t look happy at all. She fucks up big time in her piano performance and Shizuru tells Ken to leave before Hotaru sees him. He can’t reach her cell at night, so he takes the train to go to her house. On the train, she bumps into Tomoe and tells her everything. They try to find Hotaru but failed so Ken suggests that she go home first. Hotaru sees them and thinks that they’ve been doing something and becomes pissed like in Shizuru’s route (although with actually good reason), saying that they’ve been dating behind her back while she was practicing piano and that’s why she screwed up during comp. She gets pissed that Ken went home after scolded by Shizuru during the comp because she wanted him by his side and calls him cold-hearted. Aiya…then Hotaru becomes all alpha and demands to hear everything from Tomoe and basically tells Ken to STFU lol. Tomoe admits that she likes Ken, but felt that it’s not right that she’s stealing her friends boyfriend. Hotaru gets more pissed and acuses Tomoe of wanting to steal Ken away secretly, although that’s what she’s been trying to AVOID the whole time. Hotaru grabs on to Ken and says that she definitely won’t break up with him (why you so manry now? Should’ve been that manry back in Shizuru’s or Takano’s route where it would’ve actually helped your relationship). Tomoe runs away, and Hotaru begs Ken to stay with her instead and says that they can spend much more time together now that there’s no more piano. Ken tells Hotaru that Tomoe really was trying to back away and get him and Hotaru back together, but he was the one who insisted on seeing Tomoe more. He finally breaks up with Hotaru since he likes Tomoe. Hotaru does not take it well, and goes to Ken’s house the next day, pretending to be still dating. She says that she will go to the same university as Ken so that they can be together forever, giving up her piano studies. Ken rejects her again and tells her to keep playing piano. Realizing that Ken won’t like her back no matter what, Hotaru goes home.
Ken finds Tomoe the next night and confesses to her. She rejects him with the reason she used to reject him all these other times, but he gives her a BIG HUG and…still gets rejected. The next night Hotaru calls him and tells him that Tomoe’s dad collapsed at work and she didn’t go home. He finds Tomoe and hands her the phone, where she finds out from her grandma that her dad’s life might be in danger. Tomorrow she has to act for her drama production though, so she can’t decide whether to work or visit her dad. This is exactly like the time her little brother died and her parents did not visit due to work. After a while, Tomoe mans up and decides to go to the drama production. She calls Hotaru and they make up. Ken gives Tomoe a hug and tells her it’ll be alright.
Ken and Hotaru go to watch Tomoe’s drama production on September 1. The story is about some dude who wants to get an airplan license and his childhodd friend who likes him, but then some girl randomly appears and love triangle happens. After the play, Tomoe takes a taxi to see her father. At night, Ken gets a call from Tomoe telling him that she didn’t make it and they don’t meet for a week. On September 7, the first weekend after school started, Hotaru tells Ken that she always thought Tomoe would suit him more so she never introduced them to each other. She tells him that Tomoe is moving since her mother wants to move back to her family, and Ken runs over to her house. They decide to become lovers for the 10 minutes until they get to the train station. At the station they hug, have their first kiss, and she boards the train. Ken tells her that she can come back any time, and he will wait for her.
In the epilogue, Tomoe write Ken a letter saying that she’ll try to get into the drama college in his town, and she will come back if she does. Ken is working at his restaurant one day after getting accepted into his university, and Tomoe comes back. The End.
That was a pretty good route for this game, since Ken and Tomoe’s relationship actually felt natural and they suit each other. I also like Tomoe’s character so this route was just more fun reading in general. Plus, it’s actually Ken’s fault here for cheating, and the drama made sense since Hotaru didn’t misunderstand and has a legitimate reason to get mad. I’m not really feeling anything for this game, so I’m debating whether to go through Megumi’s route or not.
Hooray, now I’m gonna cheat on my girlfriend with her sister! This time I’m going for Shirakawa Shizuru, who is the onee-chan of Ken’s girlfriend, Shirakawa Hotaru. I’ve had instances where I liked my onee-chan/senpai characters, but Shizuru didn’t have the “feel” like Aki-senpai or Ririko-sama or even Tsubame.
Anyways, Shizuru is the kind onee-chan type who likes to cook and make desserts for her little sister. She also drinks and is a pro-wrestling fan secretly.
Ken goes to the beach with Shizuru, Hotaru, and Shin, where he experiences Shizuru’s “scary” driving. Apparently driving at 110 km/h is enough to make people want to throw up. Unlike Tsubame’s and Takano’s routes where Ken misunderstands Shouta and Hotaru and slowly grows apart, in Shizuru’s route Hotaru is the one who misunderstands. Bascially, Ken went shopping with Tsubame, and their hair got tied together after she tries to hide behind him to prevent a teacher she doesn’t like from seeing her. She tries to untie it so they stand close to each other. Hotaru sees them and basically goes like “YOU’RE SO MEAN HOW CAN YOU STAND SO CLOSE TO HER???” and runs away. Tsubame tells Ken to run after her, but he kinda just stands there and does nothing. Aiya, stupid couple is stupid. Reminds me of those generic shoujo manga that run purely on misunderstandings and self-inflicted drama. Ken is sitting there wondering why he was so stupid he didn’t try to clear up the misunderstanding, and Shizuru approaches him.
Shizuru basically acts as Ken’s therapist and tells him that if she was his girlfriend, she’d be pretty pissed too if another girl appeared at his side. She pats his head like an onee-chan, but I couldn’t feel the moe OTL If Aki-senpai patted my head, I’d surely…Ahem. Moving on (I think I should stop mentioning girls from other games now). She tells him to give Hotaru a hand-made present to make up, so Ken decides to make her a music box. D’awww. The next day Hotaru coldy refuses to talk with Ken, but he doesn’t give up and tries to make the music box anyways. His room is hot so he goes to make it in the park and meets Shizuru. He’s thinking that his feelings towards Hotaru might have gone cold, but does nto say it out loud and plays the music box for Shizuru. Shizuru looks really sad when she heard the song and then leaves.
The next day Ken tries to call Hotaru to meet with her, but she refuses him so he calls Shizuru to ask for advice. Shizuru reveals that Hotaru will be studying aboard at Austria if she wins the piano c0mpetition (which she likely will). Ken wonders out loud whether he really loves Hotaru or not because he’s kinda failing at this whole making up thing. Shizuru tells him to not give up and pats his head. Just then, Hotaru appears and thinks that Ken is cheating on her with Shizuru because she hasn’t been so gentle to anyone else before. Hotaru runs away crying saying that things are over between them, but Ken doesn’t even try to give chase. He gives the music box to Shizuru, tells her to throw it away and then runs home. I thought Hotaru is pretty annoying in general, but she seems to get worse in each route I play lol.
Ken pretends to be sick to stay home and sleep, and Shizuru visits him at night to feed him ice cream. The next day Shizuru eats at the restaurant Ken works at, and they start chatting happily until Shizuru realizes that she should be getting Hotaru and Ken back together and not just sit here and chat with her sister’s boyfriend. She abruptly leaves and forgets her cellphone. Ken goes to her house to return her cellphone, and she reveals that Hotaru’s piano-playing has been weird and they haven’t talked. Ken gives her her cellphone and touches her hand a little, but she reacts severely and screams at him to not touch her. She apologizes and then runs back into her house. The next day Ken is constantly distracted by thoughts about Shizuru and screws up at work and turns into a creeper at night grabbing girls he mistakes for her LOLOLOL. He decides to call her to see what is wrong with her, and they decide to meetup to explain everything.
They meet at the park but Shizuru brought Hotaru along and tells them to make up. She even kept the music box and tells Hotaru that Ken made it for her. Shizuru leaves and Ken starts acting like a jerk to Hotaru going all “WHY DID YOU HAVE TO COME??” and she goes away cying. Ken’s like “oh shit I’m supposed to chase after her here why am I not moving?” At home he finally realizes that he’s a jerk and he likes Shizuru instead of Hotaru. He wants to know why Shizuru thinks the music box’s song is sad, so he decides to finish making it. One day he is making the music box and gets a phone call from Shizuru. He asks her why she looked so sand when she heard that song, so she decides to meet up with him to tell him (this time without Hotaru because she doesn’t want her to know).
They meet the next day, and Shizuru tells Ken that she used to play piano too and started before Hotaru, but Hotaru was a genius and got a lot better than her. On the day Shizuru gave up piano, she heard Hotaru play that song and realized that Hotaru was better because her songs had feeling. Shizuru tells Ken to finish the music box and give it to Hotaru to make up, but Ken tells her that he can’t stand Hotaru anymore because he likes Shizuru. Shizuru starts angsting abut how she destroyed Hotaru’s happiness because her piano playing is depressing right now due to this whole misunderstanding. She thinks that she’s stealing both piano and Ken away from Hotaru so she runs away. Back at home Ken finally finishes making the damn music box and decides to break up with Hotaru once and for all. At first Hotaru goes all angsty and wonders why it is her sister and not her that Ken likes, but then goes back to the smiling break up she does in the other routes. I guess in each route I dislike Hotaru when she’s annoying and misunderstanding, but I end up sort of liking her during the break up scenes since she stays strong. She tells Ken that Shizuru will definitely like him and runs off.
Ken tries to call Shizuru but she changed her number. Ken meets Shin on the street and Shin makes him tell him everything. He doesn’t punch Ken, however, and tells him that when the new semester starts Shizuru will start giving out her number to her friends so he should be able to find out. Through this, Ken realizes that Shizuru ditched her number in the middle of summer because she is planning to go to Austria with Hotaru. However, Hotaru call Ken at night and tells him that she hasn’t been in contact with Shizuru lately and wonders if he knows something. He doesn’t know anything but asks her if he can go watch the piano competition. He’s certain that Shizuru will show up to watch it too. On the day of the piano competition, Shizuru doesn’t show up until Hotaru is playing. She becomes teary due to Hotaru’s song and then runs away when she sees Ken. Ken gives chase but failed to find her because he ran to the road first INSTEAD OF THE PARKING LOT BECAUSE SHE OBVIOUSLY HAS A CAR. He calls Hotaru to ask if Shizuru went back, and Hotaru told him that she heard her sister and her friend talking something about an airplane. Ken thinks she’s moving away and goes off to find Shizuru. He finally finds her at the part at night (if only people were that easy to find in real life…) He confesses to her once again, and she asks him to give her a week for the answer. Ken finally decides to man up and grabs her, saying that he refuses to let go because it feels like she will go somewhere far away.
Shizuru has basically been angsting about the fact that she’s stealing Ken from Hotaru for the whole time since she likes Ken but she’s the older sister so she can’t hurt her younger sister…well, you get the idea. Ken’s like “screw angsty drama, go KISS SCENE!!” and her kisses her. She stops angsting and finally accepts him. He asks her about the airplane ticket and she reveals that she’s just going on vacation with her friend. Lolololol.
In the epilogue, Ken is at Shizuru’s house, drinking her fruit soups.
Overall, I guess I liked Tsubame’s route better since it had a more compelling storyline/mystery, but Shizuru’s route is more solid than Takano’s route. Everything made sense and went exactly how you’d expect here, and Shizuru is incredibly normal unlike our monotone weird teacher or tsundere. I guess this route felt more like something out of a drama than a galge, but this whole game feels like plain drama with not much moe.
The next girl I went for is Suzuna Takano. Suzuna is the last name, Takano is the first name (even though it sounds more normal the other way around). She didn’t seem all that important so I went for her next.
So Takano is Ken’s classmate. She’s beautiful, good at sports, gets good grades, but hates guys so they all have trouble approaching her. She’s the type that is hostile to dudes but extremely kind to girls and is popular with female underclassmen. One day Ken is walking home from school when he sees a bunch of dudes ganging up on one girl with glasses. Ken butts in to save her, but the dudes punch him and Takano comes in to save the day.
I guess Takano is MemOff 2nd’s kuu/tsundere character or something, since she’s cold towards dudes and usually ignores or treats Ken coldly. She yells at Ken for not minding his own business, when he tried to save her underclassman, and then quietly says thank you like how all tsundere/kuudere girls do. She’s also the school’s swim team’s ace and is really good at swimming, good enough to get into university just for her swimming skills. However, she reveals that she isn’t going to uni and is gonna quit swimming club.
Anyways, nothing happens for the first 10 days of the game or so, unlike Tsubame’s route where some things actually got me a bit interested. All we know is that Takano is some pro swimmer who doesn’t want to do it anymore, and she clearly treats girls 100x better than dudes. She doesn’t even care about Ken, but is kind to Hotaru, his girlfriend. So after some days, Ken feels that he is being stared at by someone in the classroom. That person is…Suzuna Takano. What. A. Surprise. When Shouta asks Takano why she’s staring at her, she simply responds with the much-expected “It’s just your imagination, I have no interest in you two.”
Ken is going home on the train alone, and starts thinking about how Hotaru and him spend much less time together now that she’s practicing for the piano competition. He then starts wondering about whether Hotaru really likes him or not, since he has no special qualities. He has no reason to worry IMO, since he’s a galge protagonist.
Ahem. Back to the game. Ken goes on a walk with his bro Shin, who can tell that Ken is stressed about Hotaru. He then goes on to tell his back story about how he love a girl but then got dumped and she has a boyfriend yada yada. The next day, Ken goes on a date with Hotaru, but starts wondering if Ken likes someone else. Ken also spends time thinking about Takano and why she isn’t going to uni.
Hotaru is sick and Shouta is absent, so Ken is alone at school the next day. He sees Takano at school, looking at the swimming club with a sad face. He tries asking her about it, but gets the “it’s your imagination, it no longer has anything to do with me” treatment. At home, he gets a call from Hotaru who sounds really depressed and asks him out tomorrow. Ken gets the idiot ball and stood her up the next day by oversleeping -_____- He rushes to the date spot but she is no longer there. He waits for two hours but she’s not there so he goes to her house. She’s not home, so he goes back to the date spot and sees Hotaru…together with Shouta. While looking for Hotaru at school, he is approached by Takano. He asks her about Hotaru and Shouta, but she doesn’t know anything either. He tries to call them but they never picked up, so Ken invites Takano out to eat. Since food is the way to anyone’s heart, Takano is more dere while eating, and eats a lot. The food also cost a huge portion of Ken’s allowance, so Ken basically has to live like a hobo for a month just because he treated a girl that’s not even his girlfriend to dinner.
When walking Ken is walking Takano home, she tells him that she actually saw Hotaru and Shouta together. The next day, Hotaru and Shouta are absent again so Ken goes out to eat dinner with Takano. Ken tells Takano about his problems with Hotaru, and she tells him why she isn’t going to university. Basically her parents disappeared when she was young so she lives with her relatives who are poor and their family business sucks, and university is expensive even if they don’t need to pay the tuition so she decided to just help out at their store after graduation. Ken convinces her to talk it over with her relatives instead of just deciding on her own because being a protagonist gives you all sorts of presuasive powers. Takano becomes more dere, which causes Ken to temporarily forget about Hotaru. Takano hates guys (except for Ken) because her father was a dick and left her when she was a loli. Yeah. Ken quits his part time job and decides to put his energy into studying. OTL maybe if I become like that then I wouldn’t have any teenage angst lol.
The next day Ken sees Hotaru and Shouta at school but they run away and disappear. Ken is forever alone and walking on the streets when he sees Takano and Kana. He and Takano go out for dinner, and see a drowning girl while taking a stroll at night. At this point you’d expect Takano to jump in and save her since she’s pro at swimming, but she doesn’t move. Ken jumps in and saves the girl instead. He turns back to Takano to see that she’s standing in the ocean and then collapsed. While trying to get her back to the shore, her necklace falls off. He walks her back home and gives her the necklace back (which is obviously importnat).
The next day, Ken takes a break from school, and gets a call telling him to go to the bridge in town. He goes there, and sees Hotaru and Shouta on a date. He leaves and goes to school, where he finds out that he got called to the bridge by Kana, who wants him and Takano to hook up so she wants him to break up with Hotaru. Takano is absent today, so Ken calls her out at night to ask her why she was absent. Unfortunately for him, she isn’t dere anymore and says “it has nothign to do with you.” He says it does and basically confesses to her, but then she gets pissed because Ken already has Hotaru and this is why men suck lol.
Ken sits on the beach forever alone when Shin comes over to give him advice jsut like a bro would do. The next day, he visits swimming club and sees Takano not swimming he apologizes and she goes home, and Kana tells him that she looks like she’s scared of water recently. Then Ken gets a text from Hotaru saying that she’ll be at his house tonight. At night, Hotaru breaks up with him because he doesn’t love her. She was just consulting Shouta on what to do, and finally figured out that Ken doesn’t love her because he never called her while she was away. WTF HE HAD BEEN CALLING THEM EVERY DAY AND THAT’S WHAT SHE SAYS!??? *facepalm* (I don’t understand girls…*sigh* even if I’m a girl, I still don’t understand) Like in Tsubame’s route, Hotaru goes to Australia.
The next day, Takano is not at the pool. Ken is walking home when he nearly gets run over by a car, and the driver comes out to yell at him. The driver suddenly mentions a daughter that he hasn’t seen in many years and he has a pretty necklace that seems familiar to Ken. Geez, I wonder where else was a necklace mentioned? Ken sees Takano and chases after her, but then the same car that nearly ran him over stops next to her and the guy comes out to talk.
He tries to force Takano in his car, but Ken runs over and finds out that his guy is her dad and he’s trying to take her back. He decides to leave today, but will come back on September 3rd (Takano’s birthday) to ask once again.
The next day Ken goes to the pool again and doesn’t see Takano there. Kana tells him that she went to the public pool, so he goes there to find her. She is sitting next to the pool crying. She decides to go with her dad so that her uncle’s financial problems will be solved, and compares herself with Kaguya-hime who had to go back to the moon eventually. Ken tells her that the problem is not that the soldiers couldn’t prevent her from being taken back to the moon, but that Kaguya didn’t do anything herself (Of course Kaguya did something! She became immortal and went to Gensokyo with Eirin–oh wait, not the same story here).
The next day, Ken waits for Takano at the pool for the whole day, but she doesn’t show up until 1 hour before closing. She tells him that on the day where the little girl was drowning, she remembered that she nearly drowned when she was little, never got saved by her mom, and ended up in the hospital, her mother disappearing on her and she became forever alone. Her father and mother divorced, so she got taken in by her uncle and aunt. She’s there angsting and yelling at him, so Ken jumps into the deep end of the pool and tries to drown himself. Wut.
Then after Takano saves our idiot protagonist, he tells her that he got left alone by his mom when he was little too. So he got assigned some position at the athetic festival, but he fell and fractured his bone so he got replaced. On the day of the athletic festival, he pushed down the guy who replaced him and his mother said, “Who is that child? I don’t know him.” 10 years later, his mom apologized because it was on her mind the whole time. Ehh basically Ken is trying to say that her mom probably has somethign to do and didn’t notice her drowning, not because she’s a bitch and didn’t save her on purpose.
The next day, they go see Takano’s mother. In reality, her mom tried to save her when she was drowning, but then she became mentally unstable so her uncle and aunt took her away. Her mother found another man and left her dad, and her dad was too hobo to raise her so gave her to her uncle. Basically, her hatred of men was a misunderstanding because of all this. Aiya…
Takano sees her mom with her new daughter, but her mom doesn’t remember her. The new daughter is also named Takano lol.
In the epilogue, Takano refuses to go with her father, because she wants to stay with Ken. She fails her university exam, so she continues to practice swimming with a coach. Ken took up soccer again, but failed his university exam so he studies with a home tutor…who is Takano.
Ehhh…Tsubame’s route was folds more interesting. I actually felt something in that route. Takano’s tsun side is boring as hell. I usually complain about how tsunderes go dere too fast, but in Takano’s case the pacing was perfect since her dere side is more entertaining. The plot is forgettable.
SPOILERS for Memories Off 2nd. Don’t read if you actually plan on playing it.
Instead of doing my huge English summative worth 20% of my final mark, here I am sitting in front of the computer playing some old galge. Memories Off 2nd was released way back in 2000 for the PC and Dreamcast, and contains no 18+ stuff. It’s plain and simple high school drama, I guess.
You play as a dude in his last year of high school named Inami Ken. He loved soccer ever since elementary school, but his schools’ team lost the competiton earlier this year so they can’t go on to the next stage. Since Ken is a 3rd year and they lost, he left the soccer team because he would be graduating before their next competiton anyways. So now Ken is lost, doesn’t know what to do, and is bored to the point that he voluntarily took summer classes. Yes, he is THAT bored.
What makes Memories Off 2nd kinda different from other generic school galge is that the protagonist, Ken, starts the game with a girlfriend. I’ll let you imagine Keima complaining about galge doing it wrong instead of trying to put my WTF level into words. So yeah, Ken’s girlfriend is Shirakawa Hotaru, an energetic and childish girl who likes to play the piano. She’s going to some piano competition soon, so she’s practicing hard. She is obviously the main girl, so I’m going to leave her until the end. It’s not like I’m dying to play her route or anything.
The first girl I went after is Minami Tsubame. Since all the girls in this game look plain and not one of them stand out (and the art style just feels old), I went for Tsubame first because meeting her actually left an impression on me. She is Ken’s teacher who likes the wind and lemons. Whatever, Ken is legal in Japan and Tsubame looks as young as everyone else so it doesn’t feel awkward at all. Ken lives in some 2-floor apartment that has 8 rooms. That place is practically empty, and the only other person who lives there is his dropout friend, Inaho Shin. One day, when Ken brought Hotaru to sleep over (no, not in that way), he heard some strange noises in the middle of the night despite the fact that the room next to his is supposed to be empty. He goes there to check, and sees a weird girl looking out the window while holding a lemon, trying to feel the moment when the sea breeze changes to land breeze. Her name is Minami Tsubame, and she just moved in despite the fact that she has no luggage. He’s like WTF and goes back to sleep.
The next day Ken is bored and goes to school, where he is convinced by his friend Shouta to take summer classes. The teacher for one of his subjects just happens to be Tsubame. After their lesson, she invites him outside and buys him a drink. Damn, I wish my teachers would buy me drinks. So standard galge talking happens, and Ken starts to grow more distant from his girlfriend. Did I mention that he has to break up with Hotaru to go for other girls? Yeah, the game is basically about him cheating on his gf. I seem to be way too eager to cheat, since Hotaru annoys me.
One day, Shouta comes over and yells at Ken for being cold to Hotaru. Well, we can all guess what this means. They get into a fight, but Tsubame stops them in time. Sometime at school, Shouta apologizes for getting worked up and tells Ken that when he was in elementary school, he loved an older girl but her father found out and beat him up. The two make up and are bros again. A few more generic days happen, and then Hotaru becomes all sad in the rain because Ken said that dreams are momentary. Hotaru tells him that she will always love him, and her feelings are eternal. She asks Ken if he feels the same way, but he just keeps silent because he is not sure.
Then you spend some more generic days talking to Tsubame about wind and lemons until one night some strange man comes to the apartment with a picture of Tsubame asking Ken if he has seen her. Ken lies and tells him he doesn’t know her, and the man leaves. He also doesn’t tell Tsubame about this (because the guide told me not to). Ken has his mind on his teacher at this point, and keeps refusing Hotaru’s advances to go home together or go out.
Hotaru attends her piano competition, and makes the cut for the next round. Ken remembers something about lemons–precisely, that when he was little he played on a soccer team and they were playing around with lemons with their rival team. Tsubame takes Ken out on a “date.” Well technically, all they did was ride the train and ride back. Tsubame only took the train so that she could stick her head out the window and feel the wind lol. Then on the way back they stop by the beach, and she gets approached by some drunk guy. Ken makes the drunk dude GTFO The next day, Ken goes to school and Shouta acts strangely. He finds it strange that there was no piano sound for the entire day so he goes to the piano room to check on Hotaru. It turns out that she cannot move her fingers, and can’t play the piano. The next day, Ken consults Tsubame, and she tells him that it’s probably an emotional problem.
Ken ignores Hotaru some more, so she goes to his apartment room at night…to take him to the zoo. Why? To see if animals dream or not. *facepalm* I see why I’m so eager to break up with her now. Ken’s like “screw you I’m going to sleep” so she goes home looking disappointed. Is the zoo even open late at night? Anyways, when trying to sleep at the middle of the night, Ken hears some noises from the room next door and decides to check. He sees the strange man who came here before trying to take Tsubame with him. Good thing Ken isn’t an otome game heroine, or else he would just stand there looking shocked. Ken has the balls to basically punch the guy, and make sure he doesn’t come back. Well, maybe doing soccer drills improve your arm strength too…Ken ends up with a bandaged fist, and Tsubame tells him that she moved here with no luggage because she is trying to run away from an arranged marriage. The guy who tried to take her away is one of her father’s students, and is supposed to be the man she will marry.
The next day, Ken goes to school and hears the sound of the piano. It turns out that Hotaru’s fingers have recovered, and Shouta is standing next to her watching her play. Shouta confesses to her in the piano room, and Ken walks away emoing because Shouta is the one who healed her fingers, not him. Well, there’s nothing to be surprised about because Ken basically ignored all her texts and pushed her away (AKA I chose all the bad answers with her).
In the hallway, he runs into Tsubame, who invites him out at night to play with fireworks. They meet at the promised time, and Tsubame comes out in a yukata. Ken’s reaction is pretty much “I think I’m getting a boner but this is an all ages game so gotta keep quiet.” They go out to the beach and play with the small fireworks on a stick (you know, the ones that you hold and there’s a spark). Ken and Tsubame decide to have a contest to see whose firework lasts longer, and the winner gets a wish. Then Tsubame tells Ken that if the firework doesn’t burn out before burning the entire stick, then your wish will come true. However, her firework always burned out before so her wish of becoming free will never come true. Ken wins the contest, and decides to become Tsubame’s “wind” (“Tsubame” means swallow). It starts to rain, so they find shelter in some shack at the beach. The rain never dies down, so they basically just stay there and talk.
Tsubame tells Ken that she’s not really running away from an arranged marriage, but from her extremely strict father who used to lock her in a room and force her to play piano. The guy who tried to take her away was her father. She had no free time when she was young, and always got forced to go to cram schools and such. When Tsubame was 17, she met a boy when walking home from school. He smelled like lemon, and he brought her on to the train and he stuck his head out the window. He basically said to Tsubame the same things she said to Ken on their train “date.” He also brought her to the place that is now Ken’s apartment to play. She finally felt free for once, and believed that the boy could save her from her crappy life. Then, her father found out and basically beat up the boy and dragged her away. Now she comes back to that place, in search of the boy. Ken clearly doesn’t remember anything like that happening, and knows that he is not the boy Tsubame met before, but she kisses him so he’s probably like “lol I’m not complaining.”
The next day, they’re both down with a cold. Shin comes over and tells Ken that Hotaru came over yesterday, but Ken wasn’t there. Shin asks him if they were in a fight or something, because their relationship seems off. Ken finally confesses that he has no idea whether he should pick Hotaru or Tsubame. Good thing Shin is a bro and doesn’t go crazy like Shouta. Shin even says that he has noticed it for a long time, and askes Ken who he will choose. Well, this is the Tsubame route so it’s no mystery who he chose.
Hotaru comes over, and he breaks up with her. She reveals that she is going to Austria, and tells him to at least watch her performance tomorrow. At night, Ken receives a call from Shouta who says he has important things to talk about. Ken tells Shouta that he broke up with Hotaru, and then the phone battery dies. The next day, Hotaru moves away and we never see her again for the rest of the route. Shouta goes missing, and Ken desperately tries to find him. Shouta gives Ken a call, and reveals that he liked Tsubame too. Wut. He goes all angsty and sounds like he’s going to kill himself, so Ken tries to go find him but nothing comes up.
The next day, Tsubame tells both Shin and Ken to meet her at a cafe at night. However, Tsubame is late, and Ken hears a siren. He then gets a call from Shouta, but the caller hung up immediately. Thinking something is obviously wrong, Ken runs back home to find his apartment engulfed in flames and Tsubame standing in front of it saying that she could not save him. Shouta is still inside the burning building. Ken runs inside to save Shouta, who makes some angsty speech about ending it all and destroying happiness. At this point it’s pretty clear that the boy Tsubame met was actually Shouta, and the apartment was their promised place so Shouta burnt it. Ken saves Shouta by jumping off the second floor. Tsubame realizes who Shouta is and apologizes (because she fell for Ken). Shouta stops angsting and tells Tsubame that what she needs is not the memories of the past but the future (AKA forget about him and go for Ken). The next day, Ken is in the hospital. He tells Tsubame that he will become her wind.
In the epilogue, Tsubame left for a year, but then came back in the summer and reunited with Ken at the place where the apartment used to be. It got burn to the ground and they were too lazy to rebuild it since no one lives there anyways. *insert final kiss CG here*
Ehh I kinda do like Tsubame (especially that CG of her sticking her head out), but her route just got WTF-ish at the end with Shouta. It would’ve been actually dramatic if the route focused on her father instead of Shouta, and have her father be a total S like Houzuki Masaomi. That guy sure brings out the drama in people. Then again, if I want drama that actually makes me feel something, I’d go replay Sharin no Kuni, and not some old game made in 2000 with the generic high school setting that most games of that time period have. By the end of the route I really hate Shouta because of his random mood swings and general unstable angsting. Shin is a much better bro. I also don’t like the main girl, despite her being the canon girlfriend and all that. I’ll be cheating on her again for my next playthrough =D