Ozmafia!! [Scarlet Route]

scarletSooooo Scarlet

The first thing that came to my mind: “Bloody hell, this sharp looking fellow looks like my waifu Kanato from Diabolik Lovers”.
True, but yet, both have pretty different personalities.
All jokes asides, Scarlet’s personality is wayyy better than Kanato’s.
But I guess this statement depends on what you’re into…

When they first met, Fuka mistakes Scarlet for a girl. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve seen too many traps in my life that I can spot them pretty easily but Scarlet clearly looks like a guy to me. I mean Fuka did not think once that Sou was a girl so why Scarlet? Plus, I’m sorry Fuka but this is clearly not the voice of a grill but anyway, even Kyrie plays along and doesn’t correct Fuka when she refers to Scarlet as “she”. Yes, Kyrie hasn’t changed at all, he’s still a lil’ shit.

Scarlet 1During the first part of his route, Scarlet tells you not to come near him since you’re from rival families. He is a bit tired of the fighting and wishes for things to settle down even if doesn’t really know how.
Fuka eventually learns that he is a man, which kind of offense him a bit. He asks her why did she think he was a girl since he thinks he looks like a guy. She replies: “When I look at you, I just see a girl”. DAAAAAAAAAMN That must hurt, that must really hurt. She also adds ” You’re even girlier than me”. I don’t know what the hell is wrong with Fuka, she doesn’t have a single bit of tact. WHO THE HELL SAYS THAT TO A GUY? Well, I’m not the most gifted person when it comes to social skills but still, I know the basics.
BUT I’TS NOT OVER! Scarlet admits that he is insecure about this stuff and the fact he doesn’t look like a man is worrying him. AND WHAT DOES FUKA REPLIES? “But you’re a perfect girl”… Oh wow, well played Fuka.
If somebody tells you that he feels insecure about something, you either try to reassure him or you avoid the subject, you don’t confirm their worries by telling them what they obviously don’t want and don’t need to hear, especially when it’s not true.

That’s it despise her. I dislike her more than I dislike Tomato Tuna, which is something.

Scar 2So, how does Scarlet reacts to Fuka being offensive as hell? He’s calm, he tells her to stop calling him cute and is more sad than pissed off. He’s the chill master! Props to him for being so calm and collected while dealing with this chick. Furthermore, Scarlet is also insecure about his height, he worries about the fact that he might never grow up. Fuka doesn’t really reassure him again ad tells “but you’re so cuuuuuute, I’m jealous of you”.. Yeaaaaah.. We should make a drinking game where you drink every time Fuka is being offensive.

Anyway, even if Fuka continues to be a total asshole, Scarlet starts to care and worry about her. When she gets into a fight involving the Grimm family, he asks her multiples times if she’s okay and even make medicine for her. SO LOVELY! Because yes, Scarlet is adorable. At some point he gives Fuka and flower but feels bad for killing it. He hates violence so doesn’t use his gun, always tries to find a compromise to solve conflicts rather than using violence. I might have a thing for nice guys actually… I used to think that bad boys were cool but heh… guess I changed my mind.

However, like stated earlier, Scarlet is pretty insecure about himself, he is obsessed with change, wants to grow taller, to be more manly and is worried that people will treat him as a kid and think he’s boring and too normal. I’m really sensible to this kind of “insecurity” problem so yeah, I empathize a lot with him, life’s hard bro.

Scar 3One time when they go outside of town to have a walk, Fuka trips and goes down the hill. He protects her but hurts his leg by doing so. Since walking back to town is going to take too much time they decide establish a camp. Nothing remarkable happens, Scarlet gets a bit friendzonned but heh, we are talking about a girl who mistook him for a girl, I doubt she’ll realize he has feelings for her.

The next day, both of them are attacked by the wolf gang, Scarlet sacrifices himself to help Fuka escape. Fuka asks Caramia and Kyrie to save Scarlet but they first refuse, then Caramia says okay, but she’ll have to join the OZ family. What a douche! He’s like: “you’re too close to him, people are thinking you’re going to join family grim and not our family so, join now and we’ll save him. But then you won’t see him anymore.” So yeah, they save him but Fuka joins the Oz family.

Then, when she meets with Scarlet on a Sunday she completely ignores the shit out of him. Axel being here, doesn’t really understand why she’s acting so cruelly. He again explains her that because it’s Sunday, they are allowed to talk to each other, ignoring him is just cruel and useless. She has no reasons at all to ignore him like that. She says that she knows she is cruel with him but since they are in rival families they shouldn’t have any contact. Humm… So yeah… Fuka is the type of girl that apparently doesn’t understand the meaning of the word “compromise”. It’s everything of nothing at all. But by doing that she’s just hurting herself and Scarlet. Oh well, I’m not the best one to give advice on how you should be living your life and make clever choices but still, that looks like a pretty dumb decision to me.

Scar 4But anyway, Fuka keeps on doing everything she can to avoid him but one night, when she’s out in a casino with Kyrie, she meets with Scarlet who apparently has been doing all he could to speak with her. But she doesn’t want to listen to him and runs away. He chases after her and catches then. He has been wondering why she’s been avoiding him all this time. He thinks he has done something bad or hurt her feelings. THAT’S WHY INSTEAD OF AVOIDING HIM YOU SHOULD JUST HAVE TOLD HIM! Grrrr, I’m mad at her… I hate when people suffer because of useless things like that.

Scarlet blames himself for this. He thinks it’s his fault if Fuka joined the family OZ since she did it to save him. Well, we can play this who’s fault is it game all night, if Scarlet got captured in the first place it was because Fuka can’t fucking walk and fell off the climb. See, I’m pretty good at that game.
In the end, instead of being mad at her, he begs her to stop avoiding him. Wow, just wow. He says that he’ll be happy just talking to her a little. If that’s not pure love, then I don’t know what it is, Scarlet is too pure for this world. Also, going through Scarlet’s subs events and reading what he thought of the situation melt my heart. He has such genuine feelings and gets all happy just talking to Fuka that I’m going to puke rainbows.

Ending 1

Scar 5

One day Fuka meets with Hamelin who seems quite familiar with Scarlet. Later she learns that he is a criminal who recently returned to town Scar 6although he was exiled. Apparently he was the previous Don of the Grim Family who hated guns and violence but changed for some unexplained reasons. Hamelin asks Scarlet if he wants to stay in the family or if he prefers to leave. Scarlet then decides to leave in order to stop Hamelin from being a psychotic douche.
He asks the Oz to take him in their family, which is not an easy task apparently since you have to cut off the skin where the family mark is and put the brand of your new family above. Lovely isn’t it? But according to Scarlet, his mark is special so it will keep on reappearing all the time. So he’s ready to keep on slicing his skin off at any time. DUDE that’s pretty hardcore.

Anyway he joins the family and they fight against Hamelin, they win, the grim family is disbanded and everyone is happy. He confesses to Fuka but falls asleep before he could hear her answer… Who does that? Who falls asleep like that? Especially when you’re in a stressful moment? I’m actually quite impressed by that skill.
Anyway, everyone is happy and now Scarlet becomes the mom of the family scolding everyone and cooking for his children.

Ending 2

Scar 8

In the ending 2 Scarlet can’t resolve himself to betray Hamelin so decides to follow Hamelin’s orders. They start a fight with Oz family. Hamelin orders Scarlet to shoot Fuka, he hesitates but is determined to protect his family, his memories and believes that by doing that he’ll be able to live happily with Hamelin like before. However, Hamelin somehow makes Scarlet shoot him instead and is about to die in a scene so filled with dialogues like ” Why are you always so unreasonable, reckless and making fun of me?”,” Why are you making me suffer?”,”You’re doing it on purpose right?”… and such cute exchanges between Scarlet and Hamelin. Then, Scarlet becomes the new Don of the Grim family while Hamelin is put in Jail. Fuka and Scarlet both don’t really declare they love to each other but keep on seeing each other regularly only for business. I guess that makes then good friends?

Scar 7OF COURSE I PREFER ENDING 1. What’s up with this game giving rather sad endings to the best characters anyway? The second ending isn’t a bad one though, it’s a bit sad, but maybe more realistic. Plus, the situation isn’t craved in rock, their relationship might evolve later on, so all hope isn’t lost.

I like Scarlet. He’s cute, attentive, a blushing Tsundere which is a plus. I don’t really care about the fact that he is a shota. I have nothing against shotas anyway so yeah, that doesn’t really bother me. I’m really wondering how old is scarlet actually. Nothing is told about his age and it is mentioned that Hamelin’s flute can control animals and children but Scarlet is fine so does this mean that he’s not a kid? With a sub even you learn that Scarlet was present when the family were created, so Fuka calls him a grand-pa, which means that he isn’t that young after all. I don’t know if this information is really important, but it could avoid a lot of people[myself included] troubles with the justice, so that’s always a good thing.

Scarlet’s route was refreshing, especially since I played it after Kyrie. Like I thought, I prefer the “nice guy” type to the teasing one, it’s too much trouble.

Shit Ranking of the routes:

1 Sou Scarlet and him are pretty close tho
2 Scarlet I’d just wish for more romance, give me romance
3 Kyrie If only Caramia’s route was better
4 Caramia It was like the 2016 Eurovison contest = Boring
5 Brothel Still not into S&M sorry.

Coming next on Ozmafia!!: I don’t really know actually… Either Axel or Robin Hood, I’m still hesitating.

Rewrite Episode 4: Until We Return to Those Days

I wasn’t ready for this.

Impression

Kagari a cute! A CUTE!

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Rewrite 4 33I’m worried. I’m really, really worried. Above all, I’m feeling conflicted – as wonderful as it is to hear Koibumi, and as bittersweet as the feels were when I remembered the ending to Shizuru’s route as it was played, this episode was everything I didn’t want this adaptation to be. I thought it was really weird when it started off with a saury scene, and the copious amounts of Shizuru in the first half only served to further arouse my suspicions. But even then, I just believed that they were trying to make up for the relative lack of interaction she’s had with Kotarou thus far as she’s in the year below him. I didn’t think much of her appearance when Kotarou visited Esaka, as it wasn’t too unusual for her to be visiting as well. Even after Shizuru told Kotarou about her past, I thought everything would work out somehow and that there was a perfectly good explanation for all of this – like how the Kagari route would be more Guardian-aligned and so they’d need to develop Shizuru because she’d play a big part in it. But when the credits finished rolling and it became obvious that we would be adapting some of the Lucia route, the expression of anxiety on my face turned into one of horror. In other words, I placed my trust in Tensho, because for all its faults, this Rewrite anime has kept me entertained. I was a fool.

It’s Grisaia all over again. I don’t think there’s any other way of putting it – the way things are progressing, we’ll be getting an episode that’s dedicated to each girl. I have two major problems with this. Firstly, I don’t see how this can be called a Kagari route any longer – when they said they were going for a Kagari route, I thought we’d get some common route scenes and then the anime would go off on a frolic of its own by focusing on Kagari. It even initially began with a scene from Moon, right? And everything about the Krivoy Rog battle seemed to indicate that Kagari would be playing an important role that we’ve never seen before, and that her increased involvement would prompt changes to the story in interesting ways – but nothing visible has happened due to Krivoy Rog’s death other than Kotarou having occasional flashbacks to it while wondering what it was. By presumably spending the next four episodes developing the four remaining heroines, we’ll have to sit through weeks of bastardised versions of each route, while at the same time not even touching upon some of the core issues or events that each route offers because we have to stick within the confines of the common route.

Rewrite 4 24This brings me to the second problem I have – how exactly will this be done? Is it even possible to go into (let alone solve) Lucia’s problems without ending up on her route? A botched version of the Chihaya route is somewhat feasible, as they could spend half an episode on Sakuya and the other half with Midou and Fuego attacking the school while ignoring pretty much everything about Gaia. It’s also not impossible to do Kotori as her route is fairly standalone. But I really don’t see how the issues raised by learning about Lucia or Akane are something you can divorce from the plot as a whole, not least of all because Kotarou only does what he does in those routes because he loves them. Conversely, it’s now going to be really weird when all of the occult club members just randomly spill the beans to Kotarou despite not having any close relations with him, not to mention how they’re going to do so without even confirming his allegiances. Having Shizuru reveal she was a superhuman from Guardian just because Kotarou gave her an old music player he used when he was rebelling against his parents is in no way a rational course of action – in the VN, she did so because she deeply trusted Kotarou and had started having feelings for him. On top of that, he’d started showing indications (for example, through the questionnaire) that his world view aligned with that of Guardian.

Rewrite 4 16None of that seems to be the case in the anime – if anything, Kotarou’s shown that he’s primarily being motivated by Akane’s lewd body. It’s also odd that Nishikujou and Guardian would even allow Shizuru to tell him everything about her – the idea in the game was that, if Kotarou is going to be spending the rest of his life with Shizuru, he needs to know who she actually is and what she does. The fact that Nishikujou knows he is a superhuman himself just makes the clearance issues slightly easier. But as things are now in the anime, Guardian should be trying its very best to keep him away from them. It’s really out of character. The anime is trying to do what the routes have never done – the routes leave things unexplained on purpose because the game is meant to be played as a whole. If Kotarou chooses a Gaia-oriented route, he necessarily sacrifices getting to know Lucia and Shizuru. Trying to cram every girl’s character development into what’s supposed to be a Kagari route is exactly what I hoped this adaptation wouldn’t do.

I did enjoy the first half of the episode though, it was really nice seeing Imamiya and finally putting a face to the name for Winter Fang (I think that’s supposed to be Winter Fang). All of the hindsight makes encounters like this really poignant – I kind of wanted them to animate the scene where Imamiya helps Kotarou out from being scammed due to their previous relationship. And in light of who they are, it’s pretty hilarious that Kotarou wanted to bring Akane and Chihaya right to Esaka’s doorstep. I also sometimes wonder whether all the age jokes are intentional or not, with Esaka welcoming visits from a ‘young’ customer to his antique shop and all that. This guy is younger than you? You don’t say, Kotarou. You don’t say.

kazamatsuri bond

Rewrite Episode 3: Welcome, Supernatural Phenomena

Akane is a miracle of the universe.

Impression

Rewrite 3 Img010Today, I got to witness Akane-sama coming out of the shower while wearing nothing but a loose bathrobe. My life is complete. She’s just too perfect. Ravishing a clean and fresh Akane doesn’t even begin to describe all the immoral things I want to do to her. I’m sure that scene was something from the early common route that I’d forgotten, not least of all because there was no sprite or CG for it until Harvest Festa, but don’t worry! I’ll never forget it now. I’m already a fan of the club room scenes because of the beautiful lighting and concept art that’s used for it, but from today I’ll also get to look forward to the many lewd Akanes wandering around in various states of undress. For a studio unfortunate enough to have to animate a scene of students walking in the hallways with terrible CGI, they sure have patrician taste when it comes to best girls. Last week’s camera angles of Akane focused on her thighs and legs, and this time it was her boobs and ass – and it’s not the forced sort of fanservice you sometimes get, with artificial sound effects or exaggeration. It’s just small movements, like Akane leaning back in her chair so a bit more of what’s under her bathrobe is exposed, or her curling up on the sofa in such a way that her blanket hugs her butt curves. I don’t know who’s responsible for this, but they’re doing god’s work.

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Rewrite 3 Img032Anyway. A butler, an old man and a flashy guy were all supposed to appear this episode, according to Tensho. While the butler and old man ended up being Sakuya and Esaka respectively, as many expected, the identity of the flashy guy was a surprise. You’d immediately think it’d be Imamiya, but it was Midou! I have three things to say about Midou. Firstly, I would love a Jasmine reference, no matter how subtle it is. Their relationship is one of those unexpected endgame surprises, and I’m hoping for a mention of her given that the anime hasn’t shied away from embracing Moon and Terra. Second, the relevance of both him and Krivoy Rog to the adaptation (as well as a brief appearance for Sakuya in his true form) indicates that the Kagari route will be making use of the several Chihaya route characters that never had any role in the other character routes, perhaps due to the lack of communication between the scenario writers of the original game – I hear this is something Rewrite+ aims to improve on, alongside adding new character sprites and CG images. Finally, was Midou really flashy? It’s only when he uses Fuego that I’d call him flashy, and just summoning a dog familiar doesn’t quite meet the mark for me, no matter how edgy his character design is. It also felt like the summons itself was rather dubious, both in terms of the cheap animation and the fact that it’s not exactly how the process is supposed to go from what I remember – was he creating it or calling it to his location? I really hope it’s the latter, because from my vague recollections of bird familiars and frog puppets in the Akane route, creating a familiar should take a lot longer than that.

Rewrite 3 Img031In general, I thought it was an odd scene. For an adaptation that’s done so well with depicting Kotarou’s internal thoughts and personality (at least as far as the common route is concerned) I was hoping we’d get to hear more than Kotarou just running and panting from the dog the entire time. A related point is that Kotarou rewrote himself this episode – it was a great opportunity to finally go into detail about his Rewrite power and all the thorns that come with it, but his explanation felt like it barely scratched the surface. The most important thing to take away from it all is that the process is irreversible, and therefore each change must be made out of necessity and nothing else. His legs can never return to the way they were before, and there will come a point where, if he keeps rewriting them, they will no longer look like human legs. As for this scene’s place in the wider narrative, it’s rare that those dog familiars even end up in the real world to begin with – it wouldn’t be surprising at all if Kotarou stumbled across one in the alleyway entrance of the closed space replicating Kazamatsuri, but to see it chasing Kagari was really unexpected. It could be a consequence of Kagari having killed Krivoy Rog – Terrorist Greenpeace are now on the move, and Kotarou having unwittingly told Esaka about his experience might prompt Guardian to take action too. It’s a pity he ran into Midou of all people, actually – I remember a common route scene where a genuinely lost Kotarou was helped out by a kind Gaia cultist, who silently directed him to the exit. If not for Chihaya-san’s tree knight, it definitely would have been a bad end.

Rewrite 3 Img036Shizuru was rather bold in healing his wound and then telling him that his encounter with both Midou and the dog was all a dream. As I said last week, underneath the slice-of-life facade of the common route, absolutely no-one is who they appear to be on the outside. Not even Shizuru. It’s amazing how many subtle things there are to pick up on in all the early-game scenes – the entire Esaka scene is a good example, but even seeing Kotarou enjoy school so much is a little melancholic. Nagai (or Tsukuno, I suppose) is also cuter than I thought she would be, and is equipped with an excellent poker face as I expected. Actually, she probably already knew that Kotarou was in Kazamatsuri High. It’d be more interesting if she ran into Nishikujou one day. I can’t remember why she managed to leave Guardian with her memories still intact, but she’s one of the very few who have.

Rewrite 3 Img034It must have really hurt Esaka for him to have to ask Kotarou what his affiliation was. I mean, the answer clearly won’t be Guardian, or he’d already know about it. His aim was probably to ascertain exactly how much Kotarou knew at this point, because he was able to identify the dog as a ‘familiar’. I guess there was a slim possibility that he’d now be with Gaia – but even if he was, Esaka must be aware that it’d be the last thing Kotarou would reveal to a complete stranger who clearly didn’t recognise Esaka and his status in Guardian. Note that Esaka’s question would be just as valid even if he was absolutely certain that Kotarou was affiliated with Terrorist Greenpeace. It just goes to show that Gaia isn’t monolithic by any means, as we learned in the Akane route – and Gaia is a shitty organisation anyway, both in terms of its people and its goals. I’m sure I made this clear when I covered the game, but Guardian made a far better impression on me in practically all of the routes, even in Terra – and I think that’s what you were supposed to feel, especially given that Gaia treated Kotarou worse in the Akane route than Imamiya treated Bond when he first joined Guardian. Being with Akane is literally the only conceivable reason to join Gaia. She’s just that perfect.

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Rewrite Episode 2: Where Youth Begins

Why is Akane so perfect?

Impression

I hate how terrible the production values are. I hate how rushed and inconsistently paced everything is. I hate how only a select few of all the common route scenes are ever going to be animated. So why am I so hyped? Why did I thoroughly enjoy today’s episode? Why is Rewrite, of all things, quickly becoming the series I’m most looking forward to every week?

If we put aside my love and lust for Akane, I think the answer might have something to do with the OP. And the ED, with all its wonderful Terra references, but mostly the OP. I haven’t been this fucking excited over an OP in what seems like forever, it was fantastic. I can’t believe the entire first scene was dedicated to Kazamatsuri Bond facing off against Kagari, complete with a split-second frame featuring a hospital room and a certain small hand reaching out for Bond – I never thought I’d see that scene animated in my lifetime. And I loved the shots of all the characters, from Esaka to Imamiya to Inoue. Imamiya’s part would have been even more amazing if it’d been him, Kotarou and Nishikujou standing together. Even Mappie and the Rewrite dial from the game made an appearance!

Rewrite 2 Img056I didn’t recognise the last key frame of the OP though – the one with Kotarou sitting in what seems to be a destroyed club room whilst reminiscing about his ‘good memories’ with the occult club members. I mean, it’s very possible that the club room and school both get destroyed during certain late-game events in many of the routes, but I don’t remember it ever being of particular note – not least of all because Kotarou usually had much bigger problems to deal with at the time. Alternatively, it could be something completely original from the upcoming Kagari route, which would make quite a lot of sense as it’s what this anime is supposed to be covering. If Bond is also featured in the OP, however, does that mean we’ll be having certain events in Terra playing a significant part in the Kagari route somehow? During the pilot episode Kotarou even had a painful ‘vision’ of that exact scene, where Kagari cuts his hand and lower arm off as she stands in front of a tree – they really seem to want to emphasise it for some reason. I do agree that it’s a really important encounter as far as their relationship goes, but it’s so bizarre at this point that it’s only going to make people more confused if they don’t understand exactly what they’re looking at.

Rewrite 2 Img050The same issue applies to the breakneck pacing, although there’s reason to believe that things will slow down after this. If you’re an anime-only, the second half of the episode must have seemed like extremely poor writing. And it is – I’m a little incredulous that they managed to make Kotarou gather every single occult club member together within half an episode. A lot of the common route material in between each additional member joining was skipped over. But those who have finished the VN are not only in a position to understand why this has had to happen within the constraints of the adaptation – they’re also able to roughly fill in the blanks themselves as they’ll have run through the common route multiple times (and the most industrious of fans might even have repeated it from start to finish five times to pick up on new foreshadowing and completely reset their Kotarou before starting a new character route). And I thought the scenes that did make it into the anime were done brilliantly – everything from the parfait scene (ONNA NO TEKI, TENNOUJI KOTAROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOU) and the shikigami dreams (TOMOKOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO) to that one scene where Kotarou has Shizuru repeat his lines to Lucia over the phone. Like with the first episode, I couldn’t help but think the entire time how it was a real pity that the animation is such an utter pile of crap, because the banter and dynamic between the characters has turned out to be really, really good. It’s almost perfect, and that’s not just the nostalgia talking (although it has made me want to play through the common route again).

Rewrite 2 Img032I say ‘almost’, because nothing’s perfect. Except Akane. Being this irresistibly sexy shouldn’t be allowed. If there happened to be a genocidal religious cult that worshipped her as a divine prophet, I would join in a heartbeat for her sake. I want to do lewd things to her. I want her to do lewd things to me. Even Kotarou wants to perform horrible reproductive acts together with her, and I suspect that someone at 8bit does too (given how much focus there was on her thighs and legs). I don’t usually care for H-scenes in visual novels, often because they’re not very good and can be jarring at the best of times, but Rewrite is an all-ages game and I really, really wanted some lewds of my snarky, FPS-loving NEET waifu. You don’t know how many times I clicked the ‘ravish her’ option when it came up as a choice during one scene, hoping that something would change if I went for it repeatedly. Sadly, I think Rewrite+ is all-ages too and so I’ll have to content myself with fan art and that one CG from Harvest Festa featuring Akane coming out of the shower. What a semen demon.

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Rewrite 2 Img057If you’re an anime-only viewer, what you have to understand (and you’re most likely already vaguely aware of this, depending on how much promo material you’ve seen) is that every member of the occult club is unlike what they appear to be at first blush, and that Kotarou remains unaware of this for now. Kotori is no exception, as hard as that may be to believe – she can indeed see Kagari standing outside the club room, for example. I won’t fault Kotarou for having spilled the beans to Akane about literally everything he experienced last episode, because at this point he doesn’t know any better, but he might come to regret it in the future. I don’t know what she thinks of the ‘ribbon-clad ghost’ he mentioned, but there is a very high likelihood that alarm bells went off in her head when Kotarou talked about encountering a massive monster in an odd dimension under the school. I’m confined to mere speculation because these events are all anime-original, but Akane probably knows about Krivoy Rog (or at least has a vague understanding of what’s being kept down there). As a result, she’s now been put on a higher level of alertness and suspicion than she’s ever been before at this point in the story, and it’ll be really interesting to see how that changes events in the common route and beyond, if at all.

Rewrite Episode 1: The World or Myself? [First Impression]

My body is ready.

Impression

Shake it now, baby now~

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I’m actually hyped. Is it wrong that I’m looking forward to this adaptation? If it’s wrong, then I don’t think I want to be right. I don’t know whether it’s because I came into this with absolutely zero expectations, or because I was able to pick up on all the subtle foreshadowing that you only come to understand after you play the entire visual novel, but I greatly enjoyed this hour-long first episode. Yes, even the fight between Kagari and Krivoy Rog, as surprising as that was to see. That giant thing doesn’t even appear in all but one of the routes, and given how upfront Tensho and 8bit were about this being an anime-original adaptation from start to finish, I can accept their decision to demonstrate Kagari’s offensive and defensive power in this way. It also served as a convenient method of introducing Pani and Gil, alongside the eerie closed space underneath the school that may or may not have something to do with Akane, so three birds with one stone I suppose.

Rewrite 1 Img094As you’re probably aware of by now, I did a series of posts covering the Rewrite visual novel exactly two years ago. And I repeatedly stressed during my coverage that an anime adaptation of Rewrite would be a terrible idea. I even made a separate post complaining about it when an adaptation was first announced last year. Who wouldn’t? Objectively, it is an extremely hard VN to adapt, let alone adapt well. So it’s with a bit of humble embarrassment that I admit to having liked this episode, although the fact that the adaptation as a whole faces a steep uphill climb has yet to change. It could all too easily go wrong at some point, and I can definitely see many people objecting to the scenes included in this episode alone. In fact, the general opinion on this adaptation will probably vary wildly – that will remain true regardless of whether you’ve read the VN or not, but especially so if that is the case. It’s perfectly watchable with no prior knowledge, but you understand a lot less as a result – for example, the likely reason Kotori was late for school, or odd things about Kotori’s mother and Kotarou’s physical abilities and his almost-unnaturally deep voice. And it’s not like the anime will go out of its way to eventually explain everything to you, because its aim from the very start was to adapt a sixth character route focusing on ‘that girl’ (which is very clearly Kagari, as much as I want her to be Nishikujou). It won’t tell the whole story because it was never intended to, in other words. By introducing enemies like Krivoy Rog without any warning, its target audience is very obviously fans of the VN. And for those who are unfamiliar with it, it’s supposed to be an introduction into hooking you into playing the VN, and suspiciously enough the airing of the anime coincides with the release of Rewrite+, which is a remastered version of the game with extra content.

Rewrite 1 Img023What I’ve also been very conscious of is the fact that my enjoyment of the episode mustn’t be equated with whether it had any objective quality or not. I was less impressed in that regard, especially in light of the terrible production values (complete with the dubious use of CG). It pulled itself together for several important scenes, but by and large the animation really wasn’t great. It can only be said to have done well within its self-imposed restraints, that is, in the context of its one-cour time limit and the absolutely liability that is 8bit. I’m not sure how many episodes a good adaptation of the common route plus a Kagari route would need, but I initially felt it all but signed its own death warrant when it was announced that it had merely 13 episodes to work with. I’m now a little more optimistic given that the slice-of-life facade has quickly been stripped away to reveal the true supernatural plot line lurking underneath, but I still want to proceed with caution. My envisaged plan for a full adaptation would have had no more than 5-6 episodes for each character route, so 13 for the common route and Kagari should be feasible. Hopefully.

So what is Rewrite about? To help with that, I recently found something fun that I thought I’d share – it’s a hilariously spoiler-tastic summary of the entire game that originated from certain unmentionable origins. It’s technically all correct, and as a result it spoils practically everything in the most spiteful way possible, such that if you read it you don’t even know you’ve been spoiled unless you understand exactly what you’re reading. My sides hurt from laughing by the time I got to the end. So don’t read this if you intend to play the game afterwards. If you don’t really care, go ahead and click. It’s 100% true.

Rewrite 1 Img048If you chose not to open that, all you can probably understand right now is that this story has Tennouji Kotarou as its main character, a sociable and physically gifted high school student who hangs out with his childhood friend Kotori, exchanges banter with his classmate Yoshino and is currently being haunted by a cute ghost girl who I’m going to tell you now is named Kagari, because there’s no point hiding it and I also wouldn’t know how to refer to her otherwise. Beyond that, the primary emotion must be confusion, right? And maybe a little surprise, since many works created by Key usually start off with a high concentration of slice-of-life before slowly having the supernatural aspects to the story gradually filter in. If you’re like me and have a love for all cute things, you must have also found Kagari extremely cute, which oddly I also did. I say oddly because I really don’t remember her being this adorable biting on Kotarou’s arm in the VN – although that might be because we only ever get these events from his perspective in the game and he was constantly scared out of his wits back then. The anime also increased the frequency of her appearances by quite a lot, including a cute anime-original one where Kotarou unwittingly gives her a can of Key-branded coffee (heh) which reminded me a lot of the ‘Three Cups of Coffee’ scene in Moon, which I really loved. If you don’t understand, don’t worry. As ever, there are small bits of foreshadowing you can pick up on – there is a specific reason Kagari always chooses his arm to bite on and not anywhere else on his body, for example.

Rewrite 1 Img078

Rewrite 1 Img076For me, my primary emotion was nostalgia. I know it’s only been two years since I finished the VN (my memory is also slightly fuzzy as a result, so I may get things wrong on occasion) but it feels like it’s been forever. No matter how bad the animation quality was, I couldn’t help smiling and whistling along whenever a soundtrack I recognised came up – which was pretty much all of them. Soft Windflower and Daisy are both really good, and of course the TV version of Philosophyz got me all hyped up. It’s the first Key adaptation I’m getting to experience while not having previously been a secondary, and the feeling of recalling all the settings and great scenes (from the park in Kazamatsuri to the Martel Group HQ and the endless hallway in the school) is amazing. Hearing Kotarou speak is weird though, as all his lines were silent in the game except for during Terra, the ‘true’ route (sort of like what Refrain was to Little Busters and After Story was to Clannad). I liked how he tends to talk to himself a lot, or say things in his head even when around other people – many VN adaptations fail to include the many important monologues the main character makes, and this loss during transition is a major weakness that really dilutes many series. So constant narration by Kotarou is a good thing. A very good thing in particular for Rewrite, as it’s important to understand his motives, point of view and personality as the story progresses not least of all because he changes so dramatically as a person in different ways depending on the story route you choose to lead him down.

Rewrite 1 Img014Who else was really surprised that they actually started with Moon?! For those who don’t know, the anime started off with a scene from the Moon route, a very confusing acid trip ‘prelude’ to the true route Terra. I still don’t fully understand it even today, but I sure as hell could recognise it at a glance. Starting and returning to various sections of Moon was, I think, generally accepted to be the best way of handling a multi-route adaptation of the VN, but I never imagined they’d actually do it! And it was such a faithful adaptation too, with so many lines like ‘my body feels extremely light’ or ‘the deserted city stimulates my boyish sense of adventure’ that I remember. And the hill of daisies! And Kagari’s incomprehensible speech! I won’t say any more as so much of the route is a massive spoiler if you know exactly what you’re looking at, but it would be really, really wonderful if they showed a little bit of Moon at the start of each episode – a bit like how the broken robot in Clannad made repeated appearances despite not seemingly being related to the story until the very end. In fact, the entire opening montage was totally unexpected, as well as being very spoiler-heavy. The cut of Shizuru in particular in a white summer dress leaning back on a certain tree rekindled all sorts of feels. That was one of the best scenes in the entire game.

Rewrite 1 Img101I think the general approach to this first premiere was to introduce all the main heroines and several important side characters while setting up a backdrop for the supernatural plot of the show that will later properly reveal itself. If you’d progressed an equivalent amount in the VN, getting up to the point where Kotarou meets Akane, the story would have still appeared as a normal school slice-of-life comedy – so it looks like Romeo and Tensho are aiming to accelerate things a bit to retain interest and progress with the plot. I really love Akane by the way. Kagari is cute, and Kotori is super soft and cuddly, but if you’ve read my VN coverage you’ll know that I gave my heart to Akane a long time ago. I almost felt like I could die happy when she gave an even sexier rendition of the ‘welcome gypsy’ line than she did in the game. I don’t know whether they re-dub lines for adaptations in general – they probably do, some scenes must have to be rearranged or otherwise edited. But that’s great for me, I get to hear more of Akane-sama’s wonderful sexy voice. I’m hopeful that someone at 8bit really likes her too, since the key frame for the occult club room is actually drawn in surprisingly good detail. It was one of the most beautifully-drawn scenes of the episode. Whether or not she had anything to do with Kotarou’s accidental adventure in the closed space they kind of left up to our imagination, although Akane most likely just wanted to fuck with him, really. She’s harmless, I promise. Kind of.

Rewrite 1 Img061

Rewrite 1 Img073Other highlights included a surprise appearance by Chibimoth (the ‘mammoth’), every single Yoshino scene, every single Kotori scene, the famous bicycle scene with Chihaya and a proper design for Inoue at last! A strange roaring dinosaur and Kotarou getting his limbs torn off by Kagari while wearing a suit was also really unexpected for them to include in the very first episode, although if nothing else all this late-game material gives me a bit of comfort that 8bit won’t be ignoring Moon and Terra. Actually, it’s kind of impossible to, given that their aim is to create a Kagari route after all. What really, really pleased me was the emphasis they gave to what I’ve taken to calling the question – the ‘Key’ question (see what I did there) that every single route in the game revolves around:

You have power, and are discontent with this world. Tell me, do you wish to change this world? Or do you wish to change yourself?

Rewrite 1 Img070

Whether Kotarou chooses himself, the world or refuses to choose will essentially decide the character route he eventually goes down in the game. So this is absolutely vital. It’s a major ideological decision that will influence Kotarou’s personality and actions in the episodes to come, and if there’s anything you’re going to take away from reading this post as an anime-only viewer I want to stress that this is really important. Which one would you go for? It’s actually a great bit of directing to have Tensho deliberately not reveal the choice Kotarou ended up picking. It’s almost as if, unlike with Grisaia, he actually played the game this time before making an anime out of it! Or did so much of the episode go right because of Romeo’s influence? He’s the script writer for the adaptation, after all.

I should probably stop now, this post is getting far too long. I might have just gotten myself lost in the nostalgia, but despite having protested quite vocally at the existence of a Rewrite anime I think this could actually work. It could be much better, I’m not going to deny that – the best case scenario would be a full-length adaptation of every single route, because Rewrite deserves nothing less. And the animation is objectively shit. But other than that, for a so-called anime-only Kagari route, I really do think they pulled off the first episode surprisingly well. I’m obviously going to blog this (as this is a sixth character route it feels to me more like finishing something I started a few years ago) but I’ll be doing so with a much more optimistic outlook than I had before. Maybe, just maybe, the glass is now half-full instead of half-empty.

Possibility of Watching: Guaranteed
Possibility of Blogging: Guaranteed

Ozmafia!! [Kyrie Route]

“The vast majority of people are imbeciles compared to me”

kyrie

Kyrie is the Scarecrow of the OZ fairy tale, which can easily be told by looking at his clothes and hair which are scaring the shit out of me. I’m sorry, I’m not a big fan of green hair in general ( expect Shun from Saint Seiya, love u man), but green and purple? WITH A FEDORA? Every time I look at him I see Barney the dinosaur wearing a fancy hat, so sorry, but I’m not fond of his character design. BUT HEH,this is my personal taste, (which is not a mention of quality at all) and furthermore let’s not judge the guy solely on his physical appearance right? Maybe he has a big heart or something!

Ahaha…
If only.

If I had to sum up Kyrie’s personality in a few words I would say that he is one big troll who thinks he’s so clever and the mastermind being everything. I kind of like cocky and aloof type of characters, so why not?

Kyrie 1Kyrie likes to bully Fuka, it’s he’s second hobby after going to the Brothel to “play games”. I still don’t know which part of the Brothel he is going to… He only mentions playing cards there but eh… I’m not really convinced.
The parts of the route where he bullies Fuka are quite funny. I don’t know if it’s because I’m starting to hate Fuka or because I’m an horrible person in general but I genuinely find those moments entertaining.

Although Kyrie looks like he has an high self esteem, he’s actually quite insecure about himself. He acts all mighty but thinks nobody could possibly love him for what he really is and acknowledges that he has an horrible personality and that he is a “cruel man”. When he confesses to Fuka, he admits that he had a back up line in case she refused. He also does that during transferts endings. When I had the opportunity to ditch Caramia’s golden Ass for him, he asked Fuka to dump the lion to go with him. If you accept, he’ll be surprised but if you refuse he’ll say that it was just a plan to make you and Caramia closer. Yeeeeah…

He is a bit jealous too, when Fuka gives plush toys to Caramia and Axel for some unexplained reason, Kyrie is angry because he’s the only one that did not get one. Caramia makes fun of him so he leaves the room saying something like “shut up I’m not angry. Go to sleep I hope you will have nightmares”. That particular scene made me go “oooh, kyrie, you’re such a twat”.

But I think that the most interesting thing about Kyrie is his way of thinking. When it comes down to political matters and practical stuff IKyrie 2 wouldn’t go as far as calling him a Machiavellian character but close. I am quite interested in all this kind of stuff myself so I couldn’t help but to understand and even agree sometimes with Kyrie’s point of view on some political matters.
As for his opinion on love…eeehhhhh… that’s the part where I disagree the most. For exemple he said something like Fuka has to love every part of him and accept all his flaws in order to make the relationship work, implying that he will never change. I get it, though I don’t agree. I mean, sure she has to make compromises, but she isn’t the only one, there’s a reason why its called relationship. Both sides have to be invested to make it work. You can’t let Fuka do all the work, be at your entire disposition and agreeing with all your fantasies, even if she will since she’s a doormat. You have to give too, like the Spice Girls said: “If you wannabe my lover you have got to give, taking is too easy but that’s a way it is”. Here comes me again and my awful music taste, sorry about that.

Kyrie remains quite the sadist. When Fuka asks him what are lovers supposed to do, he says that he will train her to his linking, meaning, “obey me and do as I am pleased”. Well nothing new, they are a lot of hints in the early part of his route that made me think that he is a bit too controlling. He even said before that he likes seeing Fuka’s pained face and hearing her heavy breathing, u know, good stuff.

Kyrie 4What made me laugh is that everyone, even Kyrie himself, does not understand why Fuka chose him. To be honest, I don’t really know myself. I just wanted the CG I guess… That’s why I chose him.
Caramia and Axel are like ” eh, beats me” while Kyrie, asks multiples times if you are sure that you want to be with such a cruel man. Even Fuka does not know entirely why she’s with him. If you decide to quit Kyrie’s route to go with Caramia, the latter will ask you why you are with Kyrie. Fuka can either reply “I love him” or “I don’t know”. In either case it’s the same thing, even if she replies “I love him” she is then unable to explain why she loves him, only saying that he is smart and…. That’s it, I cannot find any other quality to Kyrie, sorry. Oh yes, maybe we can consider him funny as he messes and trolls everyone but in real life, I would have give up on trying to understand this dude a long time ago, good thing he’s a fictional character right?

But my main problem with him is that… Kyrie is such a bitch. This guy is a huge contradiction. He is needy for attention, he talks shit to people and then wonders why he is alone. FIGURES?! At one point Fuka has a hint of common sense and takes Caramia’s defense because Kyrie was again treating him like shit and Kyrie is like ” WHY ARE YOU BITCHING OVER ME AND TAKING HIS DEFENSE?!” and leaves. OH COME ON! STOP ACTING LIKE A KID! Well at least, if you try to screw with another dude Kyrie shows some jealousy, not like a so called Caramia who couldn’t give a single fuck. He acts so jealous that it’s sad to see him pained if you switch to another guy. To be honest, I did not really care about Kyrie while playing his route, but I felt bad when switching to Caramia since Kyrie acted so sad.

I think my favorite “dialogue” with him might be this one:

kiri 1

I genuinely find this sentence funny

I say dialogue but in reality, there’s not really any dialogue between him and Fuka. Most of the time, it’s just Kyrie talking about himself and his vision of the world while Fuka quietly listens to him without really understanding what he meant. Kyrie basically admits that he loves Fuka because she’s dumb. Well, that’s a my interpretation but he says that he loves her because she can’t do anything on her own and has a lot to learn. She’s always happy to do everything you ask her and that’s something Kyrie doesn’t have anymore. Also, she’s innocent and pure which is something that Kyrie appreciates. In other words, Kyrie sees in Fuka, the innocence and freshness that he has lost long time ago, which is a pretty sweet, I’ll give him that.

Kyrie 7

Ending 1

Kyrie gives Fuka a precious pendant that she, of course, loses to the wolf gang. Apparently, losing that pendant makes him go back to his original state which is an happy go lucky guy, smiling all the time who forgets everything. People call this Kyrie brainless, I think he’s nicer this way! But Fuka doesn’t like that (I really wonder why) so she decides to go back looking for the pendant and get captured by Caesar (again). Kyrie arrives with Black hair and his army of crows attacks all the bad guys… I… okay… I guess… humm… He’s hotter with black hair, that’ll be my only comment.

Kyrie 5Then Fuka learns that the pendant he gave her was actually fake. Well to me it sounds like a rather wise choice not to give Fuka anything precious since she’s able to lost it right after. It might actually be some sort of special ability that she has: the ultimate brainless student or whatever. So Kyrie being nice and happy was an act, he was fooling with everyone just for the pleasure to mess with people because he’s a dick and probably bored.

At the very end, Kyrie and Fuka are married and flirting in front of Caramia, thing that I find extremely rude but apparently it’s funny for them. I might not get it, considering the fact that Caramia is or was in love with Fuka I find this behavior horrible, from both Kyrie and Fuka. I don’t think playing with people’s feelings is very fun and too bad that’s what Kyrie’s entire route is about.
Caramia actually tells Kyrie to go hang himself with some spaghetti. I found this line hilarious for some reason, maybe because this whole scene made me cringe a bit. Aaaaah Caramia, if only you were that cool in your own route….

cara

Ending 2

Kyrie 6Same thing expect Kyrie gets rekt by Caesar that tortures him quite a bit. Juuust a bit. Caramia arrives and saves the day however Kyrie does not return to his usual bitch state and stays a brainless scarecrow but Fuka does seem happy with it. From now, on she will remember things for him and in exchange he will support and love her. This ending is quite sweet in my opinion. Well, first, I found it sweet and then I remembered that Fuka is not capable of reading a map, of cooking, keeping something safe or even remembering her way so I’m afraid that this couple is screwed.

But I wonder if Kyrie lied about giving a fake pendant to Fuka in the first ending. If he doesn’t regain consciousness in the second ending, where she doesn’t get the pendant back it only means that he did give her the true pendant. And Kyrie saying “oh me acting brainless was an act” might have been another lie to protect his dignity. Giving the fact that during his whole route, Kyrie pretty much lied about everything, it wouldn’t be so surprising if this fake pendant story was also a lie. But I don’t really know, I’m not an expert in reading’s fictional character’s minds. It is just my theory.

Kyrie 3

Overall I’d say that Kyrie’s route is a good one. Even if I talked shit about him I appreciate Kyrie as a character. I would probably not be able to be in a relationship with a guy like that in real life since I think he’s a little bitch. He likes to tourment the heroine, lies all the time and teases her. It’s quite fun and entertaining to watch somehow, even more if like me, you are tired of Fuka being useless. I do find Kyrie interesting and his point of view on various subject is somehow the same as mine . However, I do not appreciate his behavior towards the other members of his family, insulting them and making fun of them all the time. After a while, it’s not funny anymore, it’s just being a dick. The first ending did not make me laugh but rather embarrassed me more than anything else, showing that Kyrie’s attitude can be really rude sometimes. Well, all the time actually, I’m a bit bitchy and salty myself but wow, this guy is something else.

So Kyrie’s route is a fun play, he is interesting and I wasn’t bored playing it, maybe because I was listening to some good old cheesy music like always. However, I don’t agree with everything Kyrie does but who asked me to agree anyway? Heh, nobody.

Ranking:

1 Sou Still waiting for the happy ending tho.
2 Kyrie For the love of Fedoras
3 Caramia There’s actually a popular song named “Cara Mia”. Interesting.
4 Brothel Made me realize that Bleach actually has a taste.

Coming next on Ozmafia!!: Scarlet, the shota who looks like Kanato from Diablolik Lovers. It’s going to be fun…

Ozmafia!! [Sou Route]

so

I decided to play Sou’s route after the Brothel one because I needed a break. It was either Sou or Scarlet, the two guys who look like kids. Yeaaaah, I know, “But Charibo, they are clearly underage, that’s also a sin!”. Well after the Brothel, I think that I’ve lost all the remaining innocence that I had, I did not had much left but still.
So I decided to go with Sou first because Scarlet really looks like Kanato from Diabolik Lovers. You know, him:

Kanato_Sakamaki

Kanato is my favorite husbando from the whole cast of Diabolik Lovers so good things should be kept for last ahaha.
Ok enough joking, I hate Diabolik Lovers from the bottom of my heart, so when I say Kanato is my favorite, it means that he’s the one that I hate the most. Well, to be honest, Kanato is now a joke for me. If somebody asks me who’s my husbando? I’ll reply Kanato, 10/10, Kanato and his creepy bear, just perfect waifu, wow. Can you even try to compete with my strong husbando game? EH? I BET YOU CAN’T

Ok so look at this face:
Soh 4

She He’s adorable right ? Nothing bad can happen in his route right? I’ve seen the Brothel route so now, I’m certain that NOTHING, nothing can be worst than this route.

Soh 3Sou is some guy who sells all sort of food and sweets on the street, it’s nothing fishy I promise. He looks super friendly at first and I liked his voice. His route basically consists in Fuka going to his shop and eating pancakes while meeting with lots of side characters of the game. Sou is part of the Wolf Gang, lead by Caesar, the bad guy who wants to kidnap Fuka since the beginning of the game. See that kind of dramatic Romeo + Juliett setting? I like that. Fuka accepts it quite lightly and moves on. Since she only meets Sou during the Sundays, when all violence is prohibited so there should be no danger, she thinks.

From that point Sou looks normal, mature for his looks and protective towards the heroine, giving her rational arguments on why she should be careful. Like not jumping into an armed fight without being protected. I guess you can call it common sense but Fuka has proven many times that she doesn’t have any, so any advice from any character is welcomed. So yeah the first part of the route consists of talking about pancakes and other sweets.Sou looks like some kind of fluffy fairy wrapped with honey, after the brothel route, I quite appreciate that.

Soh 2It is quite interesting to note that even if Sou didn’t hide the fact that he was a member of the Wolf Gang, he is quite secretive on his relationship with Caesar. So secretive that even in the end, having played both endings, you can’t really determine why is Sou staying with Caesar. Some subs events reveal that he is hiding a lot of stuff from him and that in the end, he doesn’t really care about Casear.

Sou and Fuka are a lot alike. Even their physical appearance is almost the same and in terms of personality they complete each other. However, if Sou does look like an innocent flower, dumb and nice like Fuka, he is actually more thoughtful than her, aware of a lot of things and for a reason: He lives in the slumps, place where all the bad things like murders and rape happen. He also saves Fuka from Caesar at some point and manages to lie perfectly to his boss without feeling any regret. So yeah, he looks cute, acts cute, but knows what he is doing.

Ending 1Soh 1

Fuka decides to enter the Oz family. Because of that dumb choice she isn’t allowed to have any contact with Sou except on Sundays since he’s a part of a rival family. Furthermore, if she’s allowed to see and talk to him on Sundays, they can’t be lovers, or have any kind of close relationship. Because he can’t stand that situation, Sou asks Fuka to run away with him. She accepts and they manage to escape town and leave a nice little romance for a few days.

Soh 5However, one morning, Caesar has found trace of them and wants to get Fuka back and to kill Sou cuz he betrayed him. They both battle a bit and Sou manages to hit Caesar but instead of running away, he stays and treats Caesar’s wounds, telling him to shut the fuck up while he’s treating him. It’s cute, I’m not joking. I do find it cute.

If only things would go well for those two right? I mean, they are perfect together. BUT NO! Because the next day, Sou becomes ill and Fuka decides to go back in town to heal him. Fair enough, I don’t want him to die, so that looks like a good plan Fuka. She gets scold a bit by the Oz family but just a bit so she doesn’t really care. I don’t know, in Caramia’s place would have been pretty pissed off if some member of my family ran away with a random dude. BUT EH, they are too nice with her…. or they just don’t care… they know that they won’t get the pussy anyway so I bet they don’t care anymore.

Okay. NOW, can they finally be together please?
No they can’t?
May ask why?
He died?

Pardon?

Yes. He dies. Like that *pooof* dead. I’m not even joking. It really happens like that. One night she sees him and he looks fine but the next day Fuka learns by the Doctor that Sou has died. She goes to see his corpse but the doctor explains that the body has disappeared and that only a flower remains in the coffin. Is that real?! WHY DOES THE NICE GUY HAS TO DIE WHEN UTTER SHITS LIKE DORIAN GRAY ARE ALIVE?!

It’s okay…
I’m not angry at you game…
I’M NOT ANGRY OKAY?!
You better fix things now.

Many months later, Fuka sees Sou again at the Meteor Shower Gathering. He says some weird shit about not being able to be next to her, not belonging to her happy future and stuff but all I was thinking at the time was NO! *bangs fists on the table* NONONONONONONO! IS THIS SUPPOSED TO BE THE HAPPY ENDING?! FUCK THAT! So yeah, he leaves her but she is somehow happy since she knows that he will always be in her heart… I guess? That’s what I understood… It’s a little difficult to understand this ending I must admit.
Ok, let’s stop being salty, maybe the second ending is fixing this bullshit? Who knows?

Ending 2

Soh 6The second ending is almost the same thing, however you’re the one getting sick. Kyrie finds you in the forest brings and you back so that the doctor can help you while Sou is put in Jail. IN JAIL. Yeaaah, they are not laughing on this one.
Then Sou appears in your dreams to tell you that he’s going to erase all your memories of him because he need to and that you’ll have to find happiness somewhere else. At the very end he’s with the wolf gang talking casually to Fuka. Of course she has forgotten about all the stuff that they lived together before, whereas he hasn’t. I’m not sure about the rest of the cast but it doesn’t really matter because…

I ‘M NOT OKAY! WHAT’S THE POINT THIS GAME IS TRYING TO MAKE BY PLAYING WITH MY FEELINGS LIKE THAT?! ” FUCKING WITH ALL THE DUDES IN TOWN IS OKAY BUT BEING HAPPY WITH A SINGLE GUY IS A NO GO ?! ” SCREW THAAAAAT!! SCREWWWWW THAAAAT!!SCREEEEEEEEWWWW EVERYTHIIIIIING.

THE PAIN GUYS
THE PAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN
Not the tears because I’m not a pussy who cries for a video game
“Eh, but Charibo, at the end of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon you did…”
SHUT YOUR TRAP MANUEL!!
I have a weakness for characters that disappear in the end OKAY?!

In my opinion, both endings are a bad end so I’m not happy… Well, second ending is better since you can still see Sou every day but what’s the point if Fuka doesn’t remember? That’s a pretty tragic route. BRING THE CANDYMAN BACK ALIVE!

Soh 7

SOU IS FREAKING ADORABLE! Maybe I might be biased because I’ve just played the crap brothel route but I love Sou, he’s just, so sweet. Sure that’s not some hot passionate romance but his story is sad. Although I don’t understand why he has to disappear but I bet it will be revealed in the big ending so for the moment: I LIKE SOU! I’ve only played his route and Caramia plus the brothel one so I can’t really compare with all the other routes of the game, but it sure is better than Kinky route and daddy’s complex one.

Fun fact, Sou’s route did not make me want to sit in the dark and wait until the pain goes away like the Brothel route did. I did not want to end my life by sinking in Bleach like I did after finishing the Brothel route. Which is a good ting… I guess…
I’m a bit sad because, in this review, I couldn’t make as many sex jokes as I wanted to… Everybody knows that sex jokes are the best kind of jokes so I’m a bit disappointed in myself. Even a perverted mind like mine wasn’t able find any kind of sexual implied stuff to joke about in Sou’s route. Oh well, I guess I said that he gives sweets on the street at the beginning, but that’s not a joke, it’s a fact.
If you want sex jokes about candies, you should listen to this song instead, which I dedicate entirely to Sou, never going to forget you man, deep down in the kororo you rest: ? ? ? ?
I like sharing this kind of songs here, now you can finally now my deepest secret: I have the worst music taste in the world…. And I cried at the end of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon… But It’s a really sad game okay?

Provisional ranking of the routes:

1 Sou He’s sweet
2 Caramia Caramia is like a bowl of dry porridge = Boring
3 Brothel I’d rather watch Enzai again.

Coming next on Ozmafia!!: We will try to handle Kyrie, the teasing guy. You can expect a lot of tipping fedoras.

Ozmafia!! [Brothel Route]

“What am I doing with my life?”

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Sooooo
Mmmhh…
I-I-I I don’t know where to start here…
To give you a little taste of that route you should listen to this: ? ? ? ?
This is again, not very subtle tbut it’s not my fault, really.

There will be some mature content in that review but I’ll try remain as classy as I’m always, you know, really classy ( ? ? ?)( ? ? ?)( ? ? ?)( ? ? ?)
However, I just cannot find metaphors for everything. So if you are uncomfortable with subjects like sex, SM, threesome and kinky shit, don’t read.
I initially wanted to see what happens if you meet Manboy during Sundays. Manboy is the one with White hair aka the cute one. White hair is always superior anyway. So yes I thought there was a route where you can pursue Manboy… and there is, however, it doesn’t just involve Manboy but also Dorian Gray and Alfani. Are you ready for some really romantic stuff? Let’s go.

Fuka comes to the Brothel the first time to see Manboy, of course she does not understand what kind of place it is. For those who did not understand, it’s a whorehouse. Yessssss!!! I know… Super cool right. On her first meeting with Manboy he explains that this place is a cafe , where you relax and meet with other people yeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaah, suuuuuuurrrreeee ” relax with other people” . I get it now ( ? ? ?)( ? ? ?)( ? ? ?)
Also you learn that Kyrie is a regular customer, a top customer of this place, like he has a golden fidelity card to the place if I can put it that way. Somehow that doesn’t surprise me at all.

bro 4Then you meet Alfani, he looks like a girl, sounds like a girl but is a guy. It’s a trap people! Anyway, this dude is annoying, the type of guy to add desu ne at the end of every sentence if you know what I mean. Anyway he kind of says that this is a whorehouse and that he is a prostitute but cuz Fuka or should I say Fucka is clueless, she doesn’t get it. Another day, you meet Alfani on the street, I’m almost sure he was stalking Fucka that creep. He asks you if you’re more S or M. If you say S he’ll be happy, which kind of means that he likes being beaten…. OH also, the thing he’s holding all the time? I thought it was some necklace or fabric but nooooo, it’s a whip ladies and gentlemans. Nice, heh? I know and we’re only getting started.

One day, after another visit to the Brothel, Manboy tells Fucka not to come back anymore and says something like he has fallen in love with her. The same day you also meet with Dorian gray who clearly doesn’t look like a respectable man at all. He basically talks shit about Manboy and invites Fucka in the whorehouse. He puts her in a room with that creepy Alfani and even if nothing is shown of course, well… things might have happened. After that FUCKA RETURNS TO THE BROTHEL and there is Kyrie being all “oh what a surprise to see you here” and pays for her. YES! He says: “put her activities on my bill, let her do as she pleases.” I kind of want to see what kind of ambiance there must be during dinner in the OZ family now.

Bro 1But things are still light at that point. Do you wish to hear more?! WEELLL, Fucka goes back to the brothel another time and this time, it’s time for KINKY SHIT! YEAH! YOUHHHOUUU!! Creepy Alfani gives her a whip and tells “I’ll call you master, treat me as your pet, mess me real good”.

MESS
ME
REAL
GOOD

What the hell am I playing?

The next morning this creep explains that he’s doing this because he likes to make people happy. Yeeeeah… By the way you can notice that the dude clearly has bruises all over his body… After a while he says that he thinks of Fucka even when he’s screwing with someone else which is kind of sweet… I guess… Honestly I don’t even know anymore.

At this point I had lose hope, even more when Kyrie did encourage Fucka and said that, heh, it was okay go to the brothel, he’s not going to stop her. So she goes back again and meets with Dorian Gray who asks her if Alfani is nice with her . She replies “ Not so much, he’s good at what he does but it’s not enough”. I have to admit that I laughed really loudly reading this line. What a horny chick. But … I did not expect the following thing: Dorian Gray putting drugs into Fucka’s glass in order to have an “adult affair” with her. So the next morning Manboy asks you again to not go back to the Brothel for your own sake and mentions that Dorian Gray is also abusing him. NICE NICE NICE NICE NICE! OOOH BUT IT’S NOT OVER YET! NOOOOOOOOOOO

First Ending Bro 2

The next Sunday, Fucka GOES BACK AGAIN, because she’s addicted to the D now. And this time, because she says she wasn’t satisfied enough with Dorian Gray, the latter order Manboy to join the party. So OZ4there you go, a nice little threesome. At this point, I was cringing, but more crying than being amused. I take back what I said about Caramia’s route being tasteless, bring me BACK!
But my suffering did not end here. I’d like to say Fucka’s suffering too, but she was clearly enjoying all that kinky stuff. After the threesome, Dorian Gray declares her dead, so that she can be his sex doll for the rest of her life, chained and everything. Even Alfani is like “youpiii then I could have sex with her all the time“. At this point I thought: HEH, she’s going to regret it now. BUT NOOOOOOOO SHE’S OKAY! SHE’S EVEN HAPPY WITH THE SITUATION! After that everybody sleeps with everybody, and there’s actually some quite described stuff that I did not expect seeing in an Otome game. Like REAAALLY precise stuff, I’m not joking here.
After a while, Manboy helps Fucka to take control of the brothel. Dorian Gray is amused by the situation and accepts to let her control the place and becomes her servent.

A nice feature of the game is that you can rename Dorian Gray the way you want when he’s your servant.
So I had fun:

Oz

OZ5

OZ3

I think Dipshit suits him well.

Second ending:

Bro 5Getting this ending after the first one made me realize that the first ending was actually not that bad compared to the second one. In this ending pretty much the same shit happens. Fucka is chained and locked in the mansion. In this end you learn that Dorian Gray kills the sick prostitutes and isolates the pregnant ones until they give birth. Then he trains the babies to become prostitutes. Niiiiiiiice, niiiiiiiiice. Seriously, this is horrible. I cannot express how much I hate Dorian Gray, he is one of the worst piece of shit I’ve ever seen in my life. Of course I’m aware that dudes like him have existed and are probably still existing and it makes me sick.

But in this end Fucka realizes that she has made a mistake. YOU DON’T SAY!? So she decides to escape. She tries but sick Alfani is here and turns into a S, punishing her for trying to escape. So Manboy tries to help her escaping but she doesn’t want to escape at this point. It’s probably because of Dorian and Alfani abusing her that she has developed a deep Stockholm syndrome. The route ends with Kyrie witnessing Fucka’s submission to Dorian Gray. The last sentence pronounced by Dorian Gray is: ” This is the conclusion she wanted”. And I was sitting behind my computer trying to object like: ” no, not really, I just wanted to end up with the nice white hair guy not to witness that kind of kinky shit.”

Bro 3

I must admit that all this sexual implied stuff is quite funny at the beginning but when shit went down I was asking myself what the hell was I doing with my life. Especially when Dorian Gray arrives…That DIPSHIT! So of course I prefer the first ending when Fucka has the control of the brothel and can screw with whoever she wants, but is this a good end in itself? EEEHHH, not really.
But the part that fucked me up the most was when Fucka goes back to the Brothel again, after Dorian had put drugs in her glass. I mean, I can understand if you like having SM fun with that girlish dude but when a guy puts drugs in your glass you go back?!!

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GUUUUUURRRRRL
WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?! WHEN A GUY PUTS DRUGS IN YOUR GLASS IT’S A RED FLAG.
Well, going to the Brothel every week is pretty red flagish in the first place but still.

More than a red flag it’s a black flag it means that you run! YOU RUN AWAY FOR YOU LIFE! YOU AVOID HIM AT ALL COSTS! What is wrong with this girl? Furthermore, I’m sorry but in the OZ family, where she lives, there are 3 hot dudes waiting for her to decide which one she wants to screw. AND IT’S FREE! YEAH! MARK MY WORDS IT’S FREE AT HOME! It’s like going outside in a creepy restaurant to eat some weird shit that you don’t know if it’s not full of bacteria or not, when you can have a deluxe meal at home, with fresh meat, clean and free.
Would you buy expensive tacos in a shit fast food if your dad was a Mexican cook? NO! BECAUSE IT WOULDN’T MAKE ANY SENSE! YOU STAY HOME AND EAT AS MANY BURRITOS AS YOU WISH ( ? ? ?)( ? ? ?)( ? ? ?)( ? ? ?)( ? ? ?)( ? ? ?)( ? ? ?)( ? ? ?)
Aha, I’m having way to much fun writing this, I need to calm down a bit.

You’ve guessed it, I’m not the biggest fan of that kind of stuff. This route looked like a concentration of all the Diabolik lovers content that they did not put in the rest of the routes. I hope there’s a route where I can kill Dorian Gray. I really hope there is. In itself the route is not bad if you’re looking for some fucked up shit. But this route ain’t no romance at all, this is just fucked up things, that kills all your hopes to end up with the nice Manboy.
I laughed first, then I face palmed and now, I’ve developed some kind of allergic reaction to Dorian Gray and Alfani. Whenever I see them in other routes, all my body becomes tense and I can feel the hate overflowing me. Worst thing is, in Caramia route, when you get married, guess who is the priest? YESS! THIS MOTHERFUCKER!! DORIAN GRAY IS THE PRIEST! In french I’would say “Raclure de fond de chiottes” to qualify him, in English I’m going to use Dipshit and Scumbag, which are both doing a great job at describing Dorian Gray.

Coming next on Ozmafia!!: We will move on from all that kinky stuff to find comfort with Soh, the guy who looks like a cream puff.

Ozmafia!! [Caramia Route]

caramia

I finally got the gammmeeeee. I’m going to collect all those damn mafiosos hubandos.

As always, at the beginning of every Otome game, everyone asks himself the same question: Where to start? Who should I pick first? I thought: obviously one of the three main guys who are, in Ozmafia: Caramia, Axel and Kyrie….. Why not going with the one who looks like the prince? You know, the blond, happy, protective guy? The two other choices are the teasing fedora guy and Megane Tsun-Tsun so let’s try the prince type: CARAMIA, the lion of the Oz fairy tale.
It says that he’s the boss of the mafia, which means power and wealth ( ? ? ?)
Also he wears a cape and everybody knows that capes are freaking awesome, like, coolest thing ever, if you don’t wear a cape, you’re only half a man.

capes_are_cool

Furthermore, let’s be honest, he is visually appealing with those cute little fangs man… who can beat cute little fangs…

WAIT A MINUTE!
I’VE SEEN THIS ART STYLE BEFORE!
I’VE SEEN THOSE CUTE LITTLE FANGS BEFORE!

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AYATOOO! NOOOO!
GO AWAY YOU CREEP!
GO BACK TO DIABOLIK LOVERS!
THIS GAME IS PURE OKAY? NOT TAINTED BY ANY KIND OF SIN!
LET ME LIVE A ROMANCE WITH MR. CARAMIA HERE, AWAY FROM ALL YOUR KINKY BULLSHIT!
Thank you.

Before starting everything, I like to mention that the heroine is total limp noodle. She’s basically like Yui from Diabolik Lovers without the masochist tendencies… actually…she does have some interest in… no… Let’s save this for later.
She doesn’t really make her own choices, or really dumb ones like going alone in a forest to free a guy who has been kidnapped by the bad guys. You know, this kind of shit which causes more trouble than anything else, Well, let me present you Fuka! What’s up with that name by the way?
She literally can’t do anything on her own, she can’t even cut freaking potatoes without cutting herself! She believes everything, doesn’t get any jokes, especially sex jokes, in a nutshell, I wouldn’t invite her to my birthday party. Also she basically screws with every guy of the game. If I had to select a song to describe Fuka, it would be this one: ? ? ? ?
Especially the “You’re switching sides like a Gemini ” part. Yup That’s exactly her.

Caramia.full.1533679 (1)Now a word about the structure of the game, It’s quite tiring actually. For all the main guys, including Caramia, there’s two endings for their main routes. Then there’s something called transfert endings. This is a feature of the game where Fuka decides to suddenly quit the guy’s route which you’ve been following since the beginning to screw with another guy; you quit the guy’s route and end up with another one. So if you want to have the full CG gallery for let’s say Caramia, you have to play all the main guys’s routes in order to get his transfert endings. What makes me laugh if that if you decide to cheat and screw with another guy you get one of those pictures ==========>>>
I don’t know about you, but I clearly see that as a motive to cheating!

Honestly I don’t know how to feel about transfert endings since Fukka decides to change her mind pretty quickly and has sex with the guy the same night, while she’s been in a relationship with the first guy for I don’t know… about 2 months and they’ve only kissed. To put it simply I think this song can sum up the transfert endings in Ozmafia. Beware! Cheesy music ahead: ? ? ? ?
You’ll note the subtle lines: “Boom boom boom boom I want you in my room, let’s spend the night together from now until forever, boom boom boom I want a double booom let’s spend the night together, together in my room”. Oh yeah, here, we are going to be reaaaaallly subtle ( ? ? ?)

In total there’s like 6 endings for each guy that you cannot reach only by playing the guy main route. Also, there’s some subs events and additional CG that you can only obtain the second time you play the route. For this review, I’ve played Caramia’s main route and his transferts endings when you decide to screw with Axel or Kyrie instead of Caramia. I’ve also got Caramia’s rival endings, when I ditched Kyrie for Caramia’s golden Ass. However, I haven’t play the grand finale route so yeah, I’ll probably update the post once I finish this route.

Cara 3So Caramia… where to start? He’s the Don of the Oz family, meaning the chief, even if he seems to delegate a lot of business to Kyrie, the fedora boy. He prefers reading to running outside and wears glasses when he reads just because. Him and Kyrie like to bully Tsun Tsun Axel, taking his money to buy food and insisting on how Alex is embarrassed being around you. But that’s the only time where he’s trolling around in his main route. He is quite bossy, devoted to his family. He protects Fuka but without shouting “I WILL PROTECT U NO MATTER WHAT” which is enjoyable. However, when useless Fuka cuts herself he acts like it’s the end of the world, like “OMG DOCTOR PLZ TREAT HER, SHE’S BLEEDING!” Man, she just cut herself trying to peel a potato, chill.

My main problem with his route is that, not like Kyrie and Axel, he did not show any particular interest in the heroine until the confession moment. Sure he’s protective like all japanese bishounens, but in comparison to the teasing Kyrie and the blushing Axel, he did not seem particularly interested in the heroine’s booty. All they did together was cutting potatoes and playing cards. He also gave her a piggy back ride cuz she got drunk after drinking a sip of alcohol. YEAH! A SIP! THE HEROINE GETS DRUNK AFTER A SIP OF ALCOHOL. I don’t know if it’s because I’m an alcoholic or something but I usually need a whole bottle of wine like 14% to get drunk…. not a sip of Gin Tonic. Who the hell orders a Gin tonic anyway Caramia? Such a pussy drink.

Cara5Anyway, for his love declaration, he explains that he first thought of her as his daughter and then started seeing her a woman at some point and I’m wondering WHEN in the hell that changed occurred… but oh well, maybe they were signs that I did not see… I don’t know… So she says she loves him too and he hugs her… step by step I’m telling you. Also, who the hell, mark my words, WHO IN THE FREAKING HELL, TELLS TO THE GIRL HE LIKES: “first I saw you as my daughter”?!!! I have no words, such a lover Caramia… I-I… That’s some deep Oedipal complex here.
The little time the two of them spend after the declaration is the same as before the love confession: no real improvement, I couldn’t see the difference.They play cards, Caramia says he’s busy being the boss, but that he wants to protect you and stuff nothing really romantic. So let’s talk about the Endings instead.

Ending A

Cara 7

Limp noodle Fuka accepts to be in the OZ family and one day Caramia shoots her in the stomach for no apparent reason just because he mistook her for someone else… HEH BEATS ME! Because of that, she learn that before he was a coward and that this incident made him lose all his courage again so now he’s like ” plz don’t hate me”, “I hate myself”, “I can’t protect you” and cries. He also act like a retard. I’m sorry, but being a coward doesn’t mean that you chase after butterflies all day, talking like a 7 years old.

You know what’s the funniest thing about this? He’s actually showing some affection. He’s like “whiiii butterflies are so pretty but you are more pretty , I love you wiiiiiiii” and I’m not joking. So because now he is a coward, for some reason Fuka has to attend the meetings instead of him. And she get kidnapped by a random dude named Hamelein, who is messing with Caramia’s head by playing with his flute. Hamelein’s flute, not Caramia’s… eh..hum… You get the idea ( ? ? ?)

Anyway, Caramia regains his courage after beating the crap out of the dude and BAM WEDDING! BUT OH NO!The non threatening bishie Cesar, who wants to kill Fuka since the beginning , appears. So Caramia is like “meeeh, let’s postpone the wedding I’m gonna roast his ass”. THE END.

Ending B

Cara 8Basically nothing changes just that when you encounter Hamelin, The coward Caramia doesn’t really fight and Hamelin runs away for some reason. So Caramia stays a pussy lion, afraid of dogs, roads, crowed places but he says he’ll be fine if Fuka stays with him.
Fun thing, when you go in your CG gallery, all the guys make audio comments about the pictures you’re looking at. When you pick the picture where Caramia cries because he’s a coward, the voice actually says something like “ooh his this embarrassing, but yes, I once was this man”. YES IT’S EMBARRASSING! This whole personality switch is embarrassing but I guess it’s unavoidable since the lion in the OZ fairy tale is indeed a coward.

Ok so my feelings after those two endings? It was okay…. I guess… maybe? Thing is, because I couldn’t feel any love, meant as sexual attraction not just affection, coming from Caramia during his route both his endings left a strange taste, the taste of indifference with a sip of disappointment . I did not have high hopes for his route since I don’t particularly like the “prince ” personality, but COME ON! At least show us some interest!

Transfert endings

Cara2Fuka can decide to seek attention with Kyrie who actually proposed her to ditch Caramia’s ass for his. This can happen because Caramia refuses to explain her stuff about his past, so she’s like “oh ok, better have sex with Kyrie then”, GURL! GURL!
And the worst part! The worst part is that Caramia who, after learning that Fuka opened her legs for Kyrie, when she was supposed to be his girlfriend, says the next morning: ” it’s okay, he told me, let’s be friends ok? “. OKAY?! DUDE? She cheated on you for no reason and you’re like “oh k , it’s cool”. Man, he did not care that much after all.
If you refuse Kyrie’s proposition he’ll say that it was just a ruse to make you and Caramia closer. YEEEEEEEEAAAAAAHH…. OOOOF COUUURSE! Man I haven’t played Kyrie’s main route yet, but I already know that you cannot trust this guy.

If you choose Axel as your transfert ending, it’s almost the same thing expect this time, Caramia kind of dump you before you cheat on him which is more acceptable… I guess? He basically says that he’s too busy to make you happy and tells you to go with Axel cuz he’ll make you happier which Fuka does right after and spend the night with the guy

Fun thing, Caramia is way more lovely if you switch to him after pursuing another dude. It’s in those times that he is a real beast. If you know what I mean ( ? ? ?)( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?) ( ? ? ?)
Indeed, Caramia is more interesting when you are playing someone’s else route and switch to him. He is lovely, he actually trolls Kyrie and Axel, he is cool and is interested in Fuka, not as his daughter but as his “prey” if I might say this without being too cheesy. In Kyrie’s route he gets mad at him for treating you like shit and making you cry so the two of them actually fight over you. THAT’S WHAT I WANTED! But not in Kyrie’s route. He is what I wanted but not in his route and that’s tooooo baaad.Cara 6

To put it simply: In his own route, he’s a nice guy. That’s it, like he’s kind but if you’re looking for hot steaming passion you better look somewhere else. He showed no interest in the main heroine during his main route so he’s a bit tasteless. It’s like dating your big brother or worst, your dad or some kind of uncle. That’s not my kind of thing so I pass.
In all the other routes, he’s the kind of guy I would go after. I know it’s complicated right? Too bad he can’t be cool in his own route, that’s quite a shame.
However, I do forgive his lack of attention. Why you may ask ? Because he wears a cape… and has cute fangs. Guys, cape and fangs… How can you even compete with that?

Coming Next on Ozmafia!!: The Brothel Route where we learn that kinky does not always rhyme with funny ( ? ? ?)( ? ? ?)( ? ? ?)( ? ? ?)

Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright [Hoshido Path]

SI_3DS_FireEmblemFates

Name: Fire Emblem Fates
Route: Birthright [Hoshido]
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Tactical RPG

JP Release Date: 25 June 2015
NA Release Date: 19 February 2016
EU Release Date: Never

Fire Emblem Fates

scr_29_TOP_RIGHTFire Emblem used to be is a tactical fantasy RPG series where you control a company of units and strategically move them around various grid-based maps to defeat enemy units and advance the plot. This latest iteration, Fates, revolves around the customizable protagonist Kamui as he or she gets drawn into the war between two neighbouring countries, the peace-loving Hoshido and the ambitious, invasion-minded Nohr. Kamui was born as Hoshidan royalty but was raised in Nohr, and the story diverges when the player makes their fateful decision as to which side to support.

What you will find below is a bit of a mixed bag. There are a couple of review-type paragraphs concerning the game mechanics and the controversies surrounding the game, but also my in-depth subjective impressions of the units and the plot (only very few spoilers, rest assured). Of course it was going to get personal. This is Waifu Emblem, after all.

Warning: Light spoilers ahead.

Background

scr_46_TOP_RIGHTAbout two weeks ago, I learned that there was to be no dual audio in the Western release of Fire Emblem Fates. To me, that was the final straw in the string of controversies it’s been the subject of in the run-up to its NA release. The surgical removal of all the other lost content wore my patience dangerously thin, and the dodgy-sounding English dub (if Felicia’s voice was any indication) finally made me realize that I would not be comfortable with paying a premium price for what I perceived to be less than what the full game should have been. There was nothing stopping me from getting my hands on the JP import instead (my local version would be the yet-unreleased EU, so the NA release means nothing to me) and experiencing the game properly through a faithful fan translation patch (admittedly minus many of the support conversations, which will be rectified with the next patch update). So I did. I’ve been playing Hoshido on my daily commute for the past couple of weeks.

scr_1_TOP_LEFTHaving only messed around with DS emulation and R4 hardware in the past, I have to say my self-taught crash course into dumping, extracting, patching, rebuilding and hex editing a 3DS game was a really painful experience, both for me and for my ageing computer. It worked, though – I had another minor hiccup involving the lack of unit sprites in-game due to one of the extracting programs having no unicode support, but everything was solved in the end. My updated 3DS firmware (10.5) meant that, as much as my wallet would have liked me to pirate it, I had no choice but to take the legal route of using a real, legit JP game card and using Homebrew to English patch the text on the fly. I’ve got the Special Edition of Fire Emblem if. It comes with TCG cards instead of the fancy pouch sported by the NA version, but other than that it should be identical. The art book is pretty sweet.

Controversies

scr_55_BOTTOMWaifu Emblem is actually a point of controversy in itself. To clarify my experience, I’ve played the Tellius series, so I know what it’s like at the other end of the spectrum – when supports are bastardized into generic lines of text. But with Fire Emblem: Awakening came what is now often perceived as an attempt to broaden the mass-market appeal of the series, perhaps in a last-ditch attempt to save the franchise from what was then its impending doom – everyone could now be married to everyone else, and you could have kids together. What many purists weren’t fond of was how Fates was waifu-ized even further, in that you could now invite units to your room and literally rub their faces in a Pokemon Amie-type mini-game.

Its alleged removal in the Western release sparked a lot of discussion – some say even more than when Fates was first announced. I can understand the Soleil dialogue change, but no Amie made me stop and think about whether this was something I’d unhesitatingly buy. As someone who was very much in support of face rubbing, I was pretty dismayed. Incest is apparently okay. Marrying and having babies with literal children (I mean Midoriko, not ostensible 1000-year old loli dragons) is apparently okay. But rubbing your waifu’s face – that’s where Nintendo of America drew the line? Really? I can understand why people might not like it. I get where they’re coming from. But what of the people who do like it? If you don’t want to rub people’s faces, then don’t – and leave the people who do want to alone. Removing it is tantamount to saying ‘we don’t like it, so nobody else can have it’. Localization is also sometimes a problem in terms of what happens to some of the text. Sometimes it’s quite horrific.

scr_21_BOTTOMIt was recently confirmed that face rubbing still exists in some form in NA, making use of the Live2D assets in the game to implement a mini-game involving just your waifu. In other words, you can just rub your waifu or husbando’s face. Which is not all that bad, admittedly, because it’s the waifu-specific skinship that I found myself enjoying the most (there are two types, ‘Skinship’ for your S-support and ‘Invite’ for everyone else). But this has its own problems, which I’ll elaborate on below.

No dual audio is where I drew the line. I know I said I played Tellius above, but that’s exactly why I can’t stand the thought of English audio in Fire Emblem any more – and everything in the promo English audio proves that, from the lacklustre ‘I’m Ike’ to the infamous ‘we’ve got trouble!’ from Felicia. Some argue that the lack of licensing rights for Aqua’s song was what prompted the lack of dual audio – but then why not just dub the song and leave the JP audio be? What extra work does it involve to just… not do anything with it? An ‘undub’ has been recently released for the NA version, which I very much encourage everyone to use if you can manage to apply it – but it doesn’t un-censor and clean up the localization (I think a full ‘restoration’ patch is being worked on, but will take time) meaning you lose things like the first type of face-rubbing and will have to deal with terrible puns and memes. Eva tells me the NA version has some dodgy changes even as early as character creation: instead of clear-cut, stated assets and flaws you apparently get descriptions like ‘calm’, ‘robust’, ‘sturdy’ or ‘deft’ and ‘quick’ to pick from. Feels like Pokemon. And aren’t deft and quick supposed to be the same thing?

You get the main, non-lewd benefit if you go for the undub though: the JP voice actors. Kaji Yuki, Ono Daisuke, Nakamura Yuuichi, Sawashiro Miyuki (again!), Mamoru Miyano – the JP cast is full with A-list voice actors, and you’d be foolish to want to miss out on them.

Units

I’m only going to cover the units I ended up being fairly familiar with.

Kamui: I used MaMU with +MAG -LUK, as I learned Dragonstone damage was now based on MAG and decided I’d like to rely on that. It weirdly turned out to be a physical attack that tended to have higher damage, lower accuracy and couldn’t double, which was odd as in Awakening it was a STR-based fireball attack. I’ll probably go for +SKL -LUK in Nohr. MaMU was pretty strong. His prf Yatogami and the Dragonstone transformation made for a nice variety, but even though I set his secondary class to Dark Mage (to complement +MAG, and it was a Nohr-specific class so I wanted to try it out) I found Hoshidan magic in this game to be sub-par overall. So I pretty much stuck with swords in Dark Knight and went through it for Lifetaker. MaMU married Hinoka. I had this ambition to Marriage Seal to the Pegasus line so we could fly together, but reason won out in the end and I went with White Blood.

scr_22_TOP_LEFTAqua: She’s really cute. I initially wanted to marry her, at least until I fell in love with Hinoka. Aqua is surprisingly capable, and didn’t suffer from the crippling lack of STR that Olivia had – she’ll still die in a single hit, but at least she can fight back so long as you aren’t screwed by RNG. I’m also a little more appreciative of the usefulness of refresher units now, perhaps because Aqua arrives very early in Hoshido and I didn’t have to grind her painfully at the end of her introduction map like I did in Awakening to marry Olivia to Chrom. My first and only reset thus far was when Aqua was tragically and prematurely killed in the first Camilla map. Thundertits ruined everything.

Felicia: Not really a fan. Felicia was very useful at the start, and I’ve heard good things about her but it just didn’t work out between us. For some reason I had this urge to use her primarily as a combat unit, and as useful as she was with shuriken debuffs (the ice was cool too) there was… well, nothing she could do that Suzukaze and Sakura couldn’t. I relied on Suzukaze for utility and Sakura for healing, and although my Felicia was versatile in being able to do both their jobs, she couldn’t do them both as well as they could.

Suzukaze: I heard that Saizou was a stronger, sturdier but slower Suzukaze, and that initially sounded like a good trade-off to me. But my Saizou fell behind and my Suzukaze managed to keep up with the rest of my units, so I ended up going with the latter. He’s really useful – I was so happy to learn that shuriken debuffs exist in this game (and conversely, the first time I was hit by one I was devastated). Suzukaze is a little flimsy at times and doesn’t hit too hard in the later stages of the game against promoted and armoured units, but he debuffs and sets enemy units up well from the safety of two spaces away. Also he has a drug-dealing loli daughter named Midoriko.

Cyrus: My Cyrus fell behind for some reason. I don’t like his character design much either, when you first recruit him it definitely feels like he was a mook boss to be killed on sight during his map then forgotten about for the rest of the game. Cyrus hits very well, but never enough to OHKO when he needs to especially in some of the later maps.

Hinoka: Why is she so perfect? My beloved Hinoka has hilariously high RES and SPD, and joins with a nice stat-boosting naginata (which is very odd given that an increase in weapon grades are often accompanied by forced stat reductions) and great growths. Her high SPD combined with Swallow Strike means that she’ll practically always double, even with double-reducing weapons like the steel naginata. My Hinoka fell a little behind in terms of STR stat growths, but she’s still my pega pony princess. In all seriousness, a really reliable unit. I’m putting her through Basara for Rend Heaven but will finish with Golden-Kite Warrior.

scr_35_TOP_RIGHTSakura: She took care of all my healing needs. I started off being a bit conservative with how I used my Spring and Summer Festals until I realized they weren’t actually all that expensive, then after that my Sakura went around healing people every turn with Aqua refreshing her constantly so she could get more exp in. I’m not looking forward to spending money on staves for Elise in Nohr. Sakura will die in two hits, but she’s not supposed to be fighting anyway, nor does she have the STR to. I hear she can change to the Pegasus Knight class, but she’ll never be as good as Hinoka or Tsubaki so don’t bother.

Tsubaki: I actually really like this guy. His supports with Sakura were pretty cute, and I could see them as a couple together so that’s what I did. I wanted to ship him with Kazahana first, then I realized that Kazahana was made out of tissue paper. Tsubaki reminds me a bit of Crowley from Owari no Seraph. He’s basically a male Hinoka with growths that aren’t as good – but hey, it’s a male pegasus! A male!

Orochi: And Tsukuyomi, I guess. I’ll encompass both magic units here because I’ll say the same thing about them – don’t use them. Magic in Hoshido is pretty shitty, honestly. The tomes don’t feel that good, and the magic units themselves are really lacklustre. Tsukuyomi is literally a worse Ricken in terms of both character design and as a unit, and Orochi will hit hard but is also made out of tissue paper. I don’t like tissue paper.

scr_23_BOTTOMTakumi: Takumi is my hero. I wanted to go gay for Takumi. I actually questioned why there weren’t more gay marriage options – and if I could have, I would have swapped to FeMU halfway through the game just so Takumi could impregnate me and give Kanna his god-tier genes. My Takumi was an UNSTOPPABLE WIND OF DESTRUCTION. A bit like Ryouma, except he joined early enough to make a real impact. His prf Fuujin Bow removes all terrain movement penalties and is super overpowered even when it’s not effortlessly shooting flying units out of the sky. I don’t think he’s ever gotten hurt. And he was a vital unit in the first Camilla map (I had some problems with that map, if you hadn’t gathered) where, upon defeating Camilla he gained a perfect level-up. Takumi too stronk.

Oboro: A serious waifu candidate. I didn’t think much of her to begin with, but I grew to love her dry personality and her intense hatred for everything Nohr-related. She’s also one of the few excellent female units in Hoshido. Lance Fighters in general are very strong in this game, as are their abilities – Seal Defence is very useful early on for example.

scr_49_TOP_RIGHTNishiki: I really liked him – and he was yet another excellent male unit. Fox Spirits (and Garou in Nohr) are basically the Fates version of Taguels, but a lot better. At least Nishiki is, because he has Beastbane right when you get him and it’s very useful against the many horseback units you face. A Guard Beaststone you get a couple of maps after he first joins will keep his defences up and thus his health manageable until he’s promoted to Nine-Tailed Fox. I paired him with Aqua for a blue-haired Kinu! In all honesty I just didn’t know who to pair Aqua with, and really wanted to recruit Kinu so they were involuntarily shipped together. Also Nishiki says the best things during his level-ups.

scr_10_TOP_RIGHTRyouma: He is too overpowered. Takumi already breaks the game enough, and then comes along this guy. Is it even fair having him as a friendly unit? I feel like I’m cheating whenever I use him. Once I accidentally placed him within an enemy unit’s range and mourned woefully at the enemy committing suicide by daring to touch Ryouma. Using Ryouma is the equivalent of using a legendary Pokemon as part of your in-game team. He comes with super-high stats and growths, pre-promoted as a Trueblade (i.e. this game’s version of a Swordmaster) and you basically end up sending him to test out certain areas of the map to see what sort of movement the enemy units will make – because whatever happens he won’t die. He’s also a useful Dragon Vein activator. His prf Raijin Katana even hits two squares away! It must be those god-tier genes at work again.

Children: I have to admit, I didn’t use the children all that much. This happened with me in Awakening too, because while playing through their maps and recruiting them was fun, as units themselves they were hard to integrate into what was already a very full company. And while they can theoretically be amazing units due to passing down skills, it’s really not worth it or possible (nor is there any point, given the difficulty level of Hoshido) grinding through classes. They’ll be very useful in Nohr for the map exp and if you pair your units up properly, but I didn’t feel they were necessary at all in this game. That’s partly reflected in how you even recruit the children units – how they explain it off is rather artificial, and it feels like they were shoehorned into Fates because that’s what the fanbase has come to expect from Awakening.

My first two second-gen recruits were Kanna (who was a smaller, loli Kamui) and Midoriko (who felt like a loli aircraft carrier from Kancolle). My Midoriko was super stronk, mostly because I paired Suzukaze with Mozume in every battle (without actually training Mozume) and so Midoriko ended up with Aptitude which meant game-breakingly beautiful level-ups. Her recruitment map was pretty hard though, I ended up getting a game over the first time because I didn’t properly grasp the winning conditions. Matoi and Gurei (aka Not!Cordelia and Not!Gaius) I didn’t use, but Kinu was very useful as a second Beastbane unit. During Nohr I plan to use Soleil (I have to see this controversial support first-hand) and Ophelia (because she’s a semen demon).

General Unit Impressions

scr_2_TOP_LEFTI feel like the Hoshido units aren’t too interesting as a whole. As and when they were introduced, they seemed to follow the pattern of a royal family member joining followed by two of their retainers – and their retainers were sometimes dodgy units or just weren’t too interesting overall. You do get exceptions like Oboro – her and Tsubaki were probably my favourite retainers. Also too many ninjas joined. I guess what I’m saying is that there wasn’t enough variety – and that extends to waifu options too, although the children were all great. Apart from Aqua and Hinoka, I only really gave serious thought to marrying Oboro and maybe Kinu (although it’s not really my style to marry the second-gen units). If I was FeMU I’d have been swimming in great choices though – Hoshido has a wonderful husbando selection. The male units are very much better overall here I feel – both as units and as characters, from Ryouma to Nishiki to Takumi. On the other hand, I’m spoilt for choice for waifus in Nohr – Nyx looks really cute, and as I never married Severa I want to give Luna a go at some point. And of course, marrying Thundertits at least once is pretty much obligatory.

Note that in the Western release, a lot of the names were changed to various degrees. Some are perfectly understandable and a part of romanizing, such as changing Ryouma to Ryoma or Kagerou to Kagero. Suzukaze to Kaze and Kazahana to Hana were both acceptable. Others were a little strange, like Marx becoming Xander, Nishiki becoming Kaden or Aqua becoming Azura. And why did Tsukuyomi become Hayato?

Game Mechanics

Seals: So unlike the infinite re-classing and levelling up of Awakening, there is a limit to levelling up in Fates. You get to go up to Lv 20 for a base class, upon which you can promote using a Master Seal to a promoted class. Then you can go through the promoted levels again to what I assume is a maximum of 20 levels (I haven’t gotten that far yet). The key change is that, unlike with Second Seals, when you use a Parallel Seal in this game your level does not decrease. It stays the same, but any skills you missed out on will be automatically learnt as you progress to the next level. So say I have a Hinoka at Lv 11 Pegasus Knight. I re-class her to Lance Fighter. At Lv 12 she will learn the Lance Fighter skill Substitute, and at Lv 13 she will learn Seal Defence. This is how they’ve gotten around the fact you can no longer decrease levels without promoting, nor de-promote yourself down to an un-promoted unit – so if Hinoka promotes to Lv 2 Golden-Kite Warrior without going through Lance Fighter but then Parallel Seals over to Lv 2 Basara (a promotion option for Lance Fighter), she’ll learn the Lance Fighter skills at Lv 3 and Lv 4 Basara. At Lv 5 she learns the Basara skill Rend Heaven (which is basically Ignis for Basaras).

Non-Degradable Weapons: A major change from Awakening. The way they’ve compensated for the fact that weapons are no longer limited use is through giving stronger weapons handicaps. Iron is generally the highest weapon grade you can go without running into auto-debuffs whenever you equip a weapon. Steel adds -5 to doubling an enemy unit, for example. I don’t know how I feel about this, because it really is annoying the higher you go – you’re basically crippled after using a really strong weapon, yet all the enemy units have strong weapons and there are so many of them. Dragonstone+ for example (though it does have DEF +9 and RES +7) now cannot double attack and slams you with SKL -5, SPD -4 and all stats reduced at the end of the battle. It really hurts.

scr_52_TOP_RIGHTAttack Stance and Guard Stance: So apparently the Pair Up system in Awakening was too broken. I thought it was rather handy, and there was always a sigh of relief when a partner in a pair helpfully blocked an attack for you out of nowhere – but Fates attempts to water it down slightly through separating Pair Up into AS and GS. AS is where an adjacent unit will attack with you as a pair, but they have to be adjacent and not ‘paired up into one unit’ with you in order to trigger it. Pair Up as we knew it in Awakening now only triggers GS, which adds stats to the front unit and will only trigger a block once you max out a gauge which fills up on its own. I suppose this gives it all a new dimension to strategic planning, but it’s actually quite difficult to ensure that everyone who you’d like to be adjacent is actually adjacent – and of course if you pick GS your secondary unit gains very little exp. It’s shaken up yet again by the fact that enemy units can use AS and GS too, meaning that more often than not you end up getting into 4v4 battles which is quite cool.

Dragon Vein: This turned out to be pretty cool. It felt very gimmicky at first, especially in one of the early maps where you had to use it to build a bridge to cross to an inaccessible area, but its frequency and variety in later maps made it quite a fun strategic consideration. For example, there were Dragon Vein alterations where you could cause hidden spike traps to activate in a certain location, or cause an earthquake to inflict damage to all enemies in an enclosed area. Sometimes it worked against you, such as on a map where many enemies were isolated by water and were on boats, and Dragon Vein froze the water and suddenly all the enemy units could rush you. The fact that many enemy generals (in this case, the royal Nohr siblings) could use Dragon Vein too made it very interesting, as they could then alter the terrain to their advantage.

My Castle

scr_67_TOP_RIGHTI thought the whole concept was a little contrived, if I’m going to be honest. When I first heard about the My Castle feature pre-release, I thought Kamui and friends would actually build a massive castle in between Hoshido and Nohr and use that as a base of operations while running around the map. Instead, it’s magically self-contained in the ‘Astral Realm’, where time flows at a different rate and so Kamui’s company can take their time resting up in between each battle, visiting hot springs, cooking food and rubbing faces. It felt far too separated from the rest of the story, and although it was cool to have free movement I would have preferred something a little less extravagant.

Hot Springs

scr_47_TOP_RIGHTThis function seemed completely useless. Was its only purpose so you could look at the naked 3D bodies of your units? And zoom in at them and move the camera around 360 degrees?

By the way, if you play as MaMU you leave immediately when a girl is in the bath – except if it’s your S-support. If it’s them you’ll soak in the bath together and you get to zoom in on them and all that. Cough.

Face Rubbing

scr_3_TOP_LEFTI went into my first face rubbing session (with Aqua) with rather high expectations (and thankfully no-one around me), and after all the discussion I have to admit it was a little over-hyped. It just involves… well, you rubbing their faces with the stylus and them saying some stuff every few seconds. They’re actual sentences, it’s not just moaning. I mean, there is moaning, most noticeably with your S-support (a particularly sinful line from Hinoka was something like ‘I never thought I’d be in this sort of relationship with my little brother’) but if you’re touching your S-support’s face you’ve canonically rubbed a hell of a lot more than just their face, if you know what I mean. Heh.

It’s worth noting that there are two types of face rubbing mini-games. The first is the type you can do with any unit, and this is the JP-exclusive type. You can call any unit in, of any gender (I’ve rubbed Takumi and Ryouma) into your room, and if they’re one of the three designated units that day (seemingly at random, identified with a pink heart) your support points with them will also increase. Just keep rubbing in line with the horizontal meter until the heart gauge fills up. It’s not really all that inappropriate, at least to me. And it’s not like it’s sexist or male-oriented – husbandos can be rubbed too. Rubbing Saizou was fucking hilarious. They can moan as well, and say embarrassing lines like ‘what would Mother say if she knew?’ It’s equal opportunity, you know? Face-rubbing for all.

scr_13_TOP_LEFTThe second is the one also included in NA (and presumably EU, though I don’t know how lewd it gets) and is limited to your waifu or husbando only. It’s also primarily a face-rubbing mini-game, but they blush a lot harder and a lot faster, and you can unlock new events as you continually rub them on a daily basis. For example, doing it three times unlocked an occasional possibility of me catching Hinoka sleeping on our bed when I walked in, meaning I had to poke her awake before I could do anything else. It’s kind of cute.

I can foresee it being a slight problem that the first type of face-rubbing was removed from NA, and that’s because of the no-grind, limited-resource campaign in Nohr. It’s a lot harder, and that means the extra support points you can get from a daily face-rubbing session can end up being pretty important, in all seriousness. After rubbing Ryouma’s face once I found MaMU was eligible for a C-support with him, even though we’d never actually paired up in battle before. With no opportunity to build supports outside of actual maps (since there are no skirmishes in Nohr) I can genuinely imagine the first type of face-rubbing being quite useful.

General Impressions

scr_23_TOP_LEFTI won’t give away too much, but I guess this is where I talk about my main impressions of Hoshido. I’ve heard that story-wise, Hoshido is the weakest of the three – that sounds about right given that I thought it was slightly less interesting than Awakening. Having to choose a side at the point where the story diverges actually became a conflicting experience for me, which was surprising – I knew I wanted to do Hoshido first because it was easier and would allow me to get a grasp of the changed game mechanics and units before the tactical difficulty of Nohr, but part of me did feel like picking Nohr after having spent a few chapters with the adopted family and I genuinely wasn’t sure of what to do for a bit.

Sadly the family I chose to betray didn’t really seem to share the same conflict. Except for Camilla, and that’s only after you lay waste to her, Not!Severa and Belka. I’ve always found it weird that there was such a contrast between the happy family scenes and the ‘you traitor!!!!111’ tone they all take once you pick your side – it felt like they only loved you to the extent that their country allowed. I guess it’s because they were the royal family, and so betraying the country was analogous to betraying them? Marx and Leon had no qualms with crushing Kamui without hesitation when they next met, although Elise and Camilla were a lot more unwilling to do so. What I do know, however, is that it will hurt like hell when I play through Nohr. I’ve raised the Hoshido units with care, rubbed their faces, read through their supports, cheered when they survived an enemy ambush or missed an otherwise fatal blow, paired them up and generally just got to know them better as characters. What will happen during Nohr is that I’ll have to kill them all one by one. And I married Hinoka, meaning that I’ll be forced to fight her as a boss on her very own map. Shit’s going to be heartbreaking.

Hoshido is an easy game. They really weren’t kidding when they said it was newcomer-friendly. I picked Normal/Classic because I was afraid I’d gotten a little rusty, but I found myself quickly wishing I’d gone for Hard/Classic instead. It’s really not very difficult, and the fact that you get free skirmishes (meaning lots of free money and exp) makes it even more accessible. That being said, there’s a lot of room for experimenting and the inefficiency that comes with it all – you don’t know which units are the best when first starting out, and a little leniency can be good. On the whole it feels wrong treating it as a stand-alone game, because even though it’s marketed as one it really has to be considered in conjunction with Nohr and Invisible Kingdom as a whole – it’s just one part of a three-part story, and no extra route discounts or separate physical copies will change that perception for me. So I’ll have to reserve my overall judgment of it until I’ve actually played through the other two routes, but based on just Hoshido it seems that Intelligent Systems haven’t lost their touch since Awakening.

7.5/10