Plot Summary: Ichika wants to understand Adonis’s motives for the X-Day crimes as a whole so Yanagi invites her to work with him since he’s the one sifting through all the data. Ichika eagerly agrees, but it doesn’t take her long to realize that Yanagi might have asked for her assistance in order to shield her from getting to close to the case. Ichika, with her thirst for answers, isn’t having any of that, no matter how much it seems like she might have previously met Yanagi.
What I think of him: Yanagi is the group dad and the glue that holds the team together. He’s calm, collected, and the first to step in when things start getting hectic. He’s a quiet man with a talent for housework and cooking. Yanagi was a police officer in the vaunted Unit 1. Although he has a quick mind for deductions, Yanagi is just as likely to rely on his instincts. Despite his personal experience, Yanagi maintains what he himself terms “a naive desire” to save everyone.
Charm point: With his past as a delinquent, Yanagi has just a bit of gap- moe which comes out in the present in the way he gets hot-blooded over Ichika.
Cuddle, kiss, or push down: Take him down, because if you take the lead, he’ll follow.
Would have eloped with:
- Kei Okazaki, because dammit, I just want you to be alright
- Kageyuki Shiraishi, because he actually turned out to be a decent guy in this one
Most enjoyed: This is a great route for Ichika as a character, and Yanagi makes an excellent partner for her development. They’re the two furthest apart in terms of experience, and even Ichika views their partnership more as pity as first. But Yanagi is pretty tentative at times and this allows for Ichika to push through with the force of her personality. This route could have very easily have turned into Yanagi leading Ichika around by the hand, but instead she manages to be the one pushing Yanagi forward; so while he has the experience, she is the one with the drive for results.
Least liked: The prior connection between Ichika and Yanagi felt forced in for the sake of this route exclusively as opposed to something intrinsic to both of their characters. It seems like it was a big deal to Yanagi especially, but I never got the feeling that he previously knew Ichika in the other routes (or if it was there it was too subtle for me to catch on). Things could have easily been solved on Ichika’s part if she mentioned having a reoccurring nightmare in the common route or in the other routes, just something so that when you get to Yanagi’s route it isn’t like “oh yeah, and I’ve always had this one nightmare”. Ultimately I felt like their connection paid off, but I was super skeptical at first.
Worth the price of admission?: Yanagi’s route is an excellent final route. Almost all the loose ends get tied up (to be finished by the crimal chapter) an you finally learn the identity of who collared Ichika. There was also a great deal of effort put in to what was going on with the other guys. In particular Kei and Kageyuki get full closure to their character arcs shown in their own routes (Kageyuki’s was actually more satisfying in a particular manner). Takeru also gets some closure (along with a certain side character that made me nearly burst), but since his and Mineo’s cases get solved almost by chance through the efforts of Ichika and Yanagi, they’re sort of at a lost for a bit of the route.
On a side note, I’m sort of disappointed that you can’t get killed by all of the (hostile) executors in this route. I was looking forward to it.
I find Yanagi to be pretty fascinating conceptually because he’s clearly the lead guy, but he goes against all the poster boy tropes I have come to expect since he’s both a pretty quiet guy and the last available route instead of the suggested opener. This is probably less uncommon than I think considering how little otoge gets brought over, and I have been trained by Voltage to think of certain types as the lead, but I thought it was pretty interesting.