Hajime Saito

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Plot Summary: Kondo tells Hajime to stay behind with the MC, and it isn’t long before the MC begins to look to him for comfort even though he doesn’t seem to understand the MC’s belief that living is the most important thing. Then the MC learns that her father did not die from overwork like she thought but was actually murdered. This reality is too much for the MC to bear and it is up to Hajime and the others to bring back her smile. However Hajime, an amnesiac, has his own troubles as it seems his memories are at last returning

What I think of him: Hajime presents a calm, unreadable face while hiding his internal turmoil. Hajime has no memories of his life prior to joining the Shinsengumi, and so he clings to his only belonging, his sword; it is only when he is using his sword that Hajime can confirm his existence. He has a subtle tragic air lingering around him. Still, Hajime is a kind man with a compassionate heart for his allies. Since he is quiet he is pretty observant. He doesn’t like to telegraph his emotions, and even when he is made the butt of jokes, he doesn’t really react. Hajime’s swordsmanship is second only to Soji’s

Nickname: None

Charm point: He just wants you to live

Quote: “My life was meaningless… until you gave it meaning. You taught me joy.”

Cuddle, kiss, or push down: Make a pinky promise by a pond of fireflies

Would have eloped with:

  • Kondo, because he’s just so comforting and uplifting

Favorite moments: 

  • Hajime trying to cheer the MC up and ending up showing her how bad he is at cooking (and him pouting about it and then later being teased by the other guys)
  • Everyone working to cheer the MC up in their own ways
  • Hajime taking the MC patrolling
  • In the Written by Fate ending the MC’s decision was very awesome and striking

Worst moments: 

  • So flashback heavy…
  • As much as they emphasize the MC’s depression, it feels like she snaps back super fast (even though they say that she shut herself up in her room for a couple days). It is probably a pacing issue
  • I liked Dr. Yamazaki but he seemed to disappear whenever he was inconvenient, especially in the endings

Worth the price of admission?: I don’t know if I like this route or not. I liked the idea for the route, but I found something lacking in the execution. I was explaining the route to a friend and I summarized a lot of the plot with “and then: stuff, stuff, stuff”. It could have been a pacing issue, but overall I felt distant from the route, as though I were viewing the route through additional filters. Also, I’m not entirely sure I believe the MC and Hajime are in love, or at least not in love in the way that most MCs and their beaus are in love since the MC and Hajime’s relationship smells of mutual dependancy to me. It is definitely a relationship born of grief and picking up each other’s pieces. Still, I don’t think this is a bad route, it just wasn’t what I was looking for

After the main route (POSSIBLE SPOILERS): 

  • His PoV: The main route from Hajime’s point-of-view. Since the main route was so caught up in the MC’s thoughts, this felt pretty illuminating. If you liked Hajime, this was a pretty satisfying PoV
  • Hearts in Training: Even though his past has been revealed, Hajime has decided to remain part of the Shinsengumi, but despite the effort of the guys things are a little stiff and awkward. While on a nighttime stroll with the MC, Hajime’s precious sword is stolen. Hajime says it’s fine if it isn’t recovered, but the MC isn’t so sure and enlists the help of the other guys. This didn’t feel very romantic (until the very end), but it felt sort of neccessary to see how Hajime would re-assimilate into the Shinsengumi and come to terms with his past. So it’s good if you want character development but not so good if you want lots of romance
  • Love’s Command: Things are settling down and the MC is in bliss, but then Saizo must go to Aizu to give an accounting for himself and his past. I just love how all the guys always rally around Saizo and it’s super cute to see how everyone shows him their support when he needs it. Also this shows how far Saito has come as a character when it comes to allowing others to help him. There is also a much more satisfying amount of roman in this one compared to the last story

Notable substories:

Recommended routes: 

  • Soji Okita
  • Ryohei Kimura
  • Hajime
  • Wakasa
  • Eduard
  • Christopher
  • Leon
  • Saint-Germain
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