Company: Voltage (2013)
Synopsis: After 10 years the MC returns to her hometown. All her old friends are still in the neighborhood, only they have grown up. Of course, that includes your first love. While re-familiarizing herself with everyone and the neighborhood, the MC starts to fall in love with him all over again.
MC: The MC in this one is fairly generic. She cute, energetic, caring, and a little bit of a pushover. She wants to be friends with everyone again just as they were when they were little. Back then all the boys had baby crushes on her but she didn’t understand and she doesn’t now that she is grown either for the most part.
- Haruki Tanemura: The sweetest boy. His family runs a flower shop. He’s the nice and responsible one. He always took care of the MC (and everyone else) as a kid. He’s in the karate club and frequently takes up committee duties. He’s sort of the prince of the school.
- Ichigo Sato: One of Voltage’s super tsundere. His family runs a pastry shop. He has always bullied (with love) the MC since they were kids and continues after she returns. He hates sweets but is talented at making them. He is stylish and popular with the girls.
- Johji Chakura: A mix of a dependable big-brother and over-protective father figure. He runs the restaurant/bar above which the MC and him live. He is kind, dependable, and always there to talk with and dispense advice. He is a big history nerd and has a complicated relationship with his family.
- Koh Uraga: A blunt, non-sociable bartender. He is available starting the second season.
- Reiji Uraga A flirt and tease. Also a bartender at Johji’s. He’s popular with women and he teaches cooking classes. He is available starting the second season.
- Rihito Hatsune: The flirty, flighty boy who is a year younger than the MC. His (single) mother runs a music school and Rihito is an excellent piano player. He is the only one of the childhood friends who attends a different school. The MC thought he was a girl when they were younger which always caused him to cry. Now that they’re older, he somehow became the most predatory of the boys.
- Ryuzo Hatta: The brash, loud, and usually dense guy who is a year older than the MC. His (large) family runs the local produce shop. He gives the impression of a delinquent and everyone is scared of him, but he’s just passionate and a not just a little dense. He loves vegetables and is always promoting them, too bad he can’t cook.
- Takeshi Yuno: The quirky quite boy. His family (lead by his quirky grandmother) runs the bathhouse. He always does things his way without regard for what others might think or say. His friends are the only ones who get him (at least they usually do). He loves reading manga and talks history with Johji. He also sleeps a lot but conversely is a star track athlete who is aiming for the Olympics. His childhood ambition was to be a ninja.
Impressions: This was the first Voltage game I ever played so it gives me strong feelings of nostalgia, which works because it has strong themes of nostalgia. This is one of those games that features a type, in this case the childhood friend and runs with it. With the frequent flashbacks to the MC’s childhood we get to see how long the relationships have built up and it gives me the warm-and-fuzzies so bad. Like Class Trip Crush the seasons jump around so we get to see so much of the relationship develop. I find it amazing how the characters mature throughout the series and yet somehow maintain their key characteristics.
Still as much as I love this game, I know that it really doesn’t work for everyone, especially the first season. The majority of the characters start off in their second year of high school, which just feels very young to some people. Additionally the plot lines are very shoujo manga for the most part (there is a good amount of fangirl tension). I love this game, but if you can’t take the high school, shoujo romance don’t pick it up.
Favorite Guy: Takeshi Yuno
Favorite Route: Takeshi Yuno or Haruki Tanemura
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