Crowlie

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Plot Summary: The MC chooses Crowlie as her boyfriend, much to his delight and disbelief. Crowlie, the MC, Heartmann, Leonardo, and Oz head to the Emerald City, which Oz left in the hands of Crowlie. When they arrive, Oz proves that he might hold more sway over his former subjects than their current king which greatly bothers Crowlie. The MC wants to care for and support Crowlie, but she has yet to realize that staying by Crowlie’s side might not be a possibility

What I think of him: Having asked for a brain, Crowlie is very intelligent and can more often than not be found in the library, even when he isn’t seeing to his kingly duties. Still, just because he’s smart doesn’t give him any street sense, and Crowlie is definitely an ivory tower kind of guy and he thinks he can use his brain to solve any problem. Still he can also be easily shocked or startled, especially by his own emotions which he is learning to deal with because they weren’t really a thing when he was a scarecrow. Crowlie is the closest thing to a voice of reason that there is amongst the original trio

Nickname: None

Charm point: His attachment to his hood

Quote: “That’s what you want? Someone’s needy. Adorably so.”

Cuddle, kiss, or push down: Work quietly together, maybe in the park

Would have eloped with:

  • Heartmann or Leonardo, because both do their best to set their own feelings aside to support the MC and Crowlie

Favorite moments:

  • Heartmann and Leonardo helping Crowlie and the MC make up
  • Crowlie’s dedication to being a good king and his plans for the gardens

Worst moments:

  • Norton’s creepy moment when he’s talking about how he was the first one to kiss the MC

Worth the price of admission?: This route isn’t bad per say, but it suffers from the same fault that Heartmann and Leonardo’s routes have and that is that they feel a little empty plot wise, and this is because Solmare made the unfortunate decision to save their best source of tension for fairly late in the route, and that makes the first part of the route feel aimless and like a fun tour through the land rather than plot-driven. Crowlie is cute and there’s nothing really wrong with the route, but if you want a story then this is not the place to look

Recommended routes:

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Shinsaku Takasugi

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Plot Summary: The Shinsengumi take the MC in after her home is burned down, and ten days later, just as the MC is making a place for herself amongst them, Hijikata takes the MC out for a stroll in town, introducing her to Shinsaku, the proprietor of Otento, a restaurant that the Shinsengumi members frequent since Shin welcomes them and his soba is the best. The MC asks Takasugi to teach her to make soba so she can cook it for the Shinsengumi and he agrees that he will so long as she promises to only come to the restaurant during the day. Breaking that promises causes the MC to witness a murder and becoming a prisoner of the Shinsengumi’s enemy, the Choshu. Worse yet, she discovers that Takasugi is actually a prominent figure amongst the Choshu

What I think of him: Takasugi is a cunning man who is very at home in the middle of some elaborate (and likely illegal) scheme. He has a well polished salesman face which can fool almost anyone. He is most at home with a book or a shamisen his hands, and he has a taste for fine food and a fondness for poetry. What he is not good at however, is responsibly handling money and he blows through any money he has very quickly. He is a man who has his own idea of what is right and is determined to achieve the world he envisions, regardless if a couple of innocents are sacrificed in the process. He is very perceptive and able to understand the motives of others fairly easily. He has traveled to foreign countries, but while others see only the splendor and wonders of abroad, Takasugi saw the negative things (like rampant opium trade) and that along with his beloved teacher steeled his resolve to keep foreigners from sullying his nation, and he intends to lead the revolution himself

Nickname: Shin

Charm point: He just wants you to live

Quote: “What if all the birds were gone? / We could sleep late each morning / I’d send every crow away / To sleep in, with you”

Cuddle, kiss, or push down: Shamisen lessons, on his lap

Would have eloped with: 

  • Okita, because dammit Okita, you are just so understanding

Favorite moments: 

  • The MC basically taking over while she’s the hostage because she thinks her captors are idiots who have no common sense
  • The raid. That CG. The way Takasugi just tells the MC to live
  • The MC’s agony over her separation with Takasugi
  • The MC’s resolve to leave and reunite with Takasugi even if Hijikata cuts her down
  • Takasugi and Hijikata facing off for the last time in the Written by Fate ending

Worst moments: 

  • Takasugi was maybe a bit too cold and mean after his Choshu connection was revealed. It felt like it was more for the sake of drama than for his character, although you could say that it was also partially the MC’s perception of things since she sees the Choshu as bad guys
  • I want to know what happened to Maro and Gen

Worth the price of admission?: This was a good route, a much better route than I was expecting actually. The other routes in this game (the Shinsengumi ones) really paint the Choshu as terrible guys so I was interested in seeing how they were going to flip things around. Voltage did a really great job. The MC begins the route with the belief that the Shinsengumi are good and the Choshu are bad, but through her interactions with Takasugi, Gen, and Maro, she begins to see that the Choshu are people too, and she begins to learn about what their motives are. But it’s not like the Shinsensumi are completely flipped into being the bad guys; by being uniquely positioned between the two groups, the MC can see that they both are trying to save, protect, and pursue justice, it’s only that their methods and visions differ enough that they are destined to clash. Plus both groups have built up so much animosity that it’s impossible for them to get along. Still, Voltage resisted from making it so the Choshu are just completely misunderstood; while they have good intentions the MC can see that their actions are extreme and they aren’t above dirtying their hands. In the MC can’t decide who, if anyone, is right and decides that morality won’t play a role in her decision for her future. There was a point towards the end where Voltage couldn’t help but vilify the Shinsengumi (and especially Hijikata if you end with the Written by Love ending) a bit, but otherwise I thought the handling of the situation was skillful.

So even beyond me liking how the plot was handled I liked Takasugi as a character (another rose with thorns type,) and the MC was great and was also perfect for him. Takasugi is the type of person who is so smart that he starts getting bored, so the MC with the gap between what she knows she should be doing to survive and what she ends up doing is plenty interesting for him. She also has a thick enough skin that she’s able to brush of Takasugi’s sharp teasing. All in all, a good couple and a good story (and some really good CGs)

After the main route (POSSIBLE SPOILERS): 

  • His PoV: The main route from Takasugi’s point-of-view. This was pretty interesting because you get to see exactly what Takasugi knows and what he is feeling (contrasting to the several times in the route that the MC mentions that she can’t read Takasugi). Seeing the bond between Takasugi, Maro, and Gen is wonderful, but I’m still in agony since there’s no telling what happened to them. This was a really good PoV route since it made me just want to hug Takasugi
  • Hearts in Training: The MC and Takasugi are on the run. The MC is worried because of their poor financial situation and fears that she is a complete burden on Takasugi. In part I feel like this is nothing but fluff, but at the same time it feels really packed with emotion. One thing that really stood out to me is the way that Takasugi sometimes looks at the MC. In His PoV Takasugi thinks of the MC as piteous several times. When I finished that story I really hated that, but I’ve maybe come to like it by the end of this story since that word/feeling is tied up with all of Takasugi’s knowledge that the MC will suffer greatly because she chose to come with him, but he can bring himself to leave her behind
  • Love’s Command: The MC is hit on by a man who turns out to be an aquantance of Takasugi, who has come to bring Takasugi back to their hometown. Although the theme of this story was jealousy, it only really popped up twice. What I found more interesting was how the MC is really able to see through Takasugi’s motives when it most matters and help balance him out. Also awesome is that the MC completely recognizes that Takasugi is capable of extremist actions

Notable substories: 

Recommended routes: 

Mitsunari Ishida

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Plot Summary: The MC is made into the poison taster for Ieyasu. The MC finds Ieyasu to be a cunning  and cruel man but when she helps the sister of Mitsunari Ishida, a favored retainer of Hideyoshi, Mitsunari saves her from Ieyasu and brings her into Hideyoshi’s household. Mitsunari seems all too prickly but the MC can’t help but suspect that there is something more to him, and her insistence of devloping a friendship with his sister might be her path to learning more about him than she could have ever imagined

What I think of him: Mitsunari has a sharp wit and a sharp tounge to match. He is a strict man and is always ready to deliver a scathing set down. But whatever else might be said of Mitsunari, he is a deeply loyal man, and he always repays his debts. Hideyoshi is the person that Mitsunari most respects and looks up to, and Hideyoshi is the only one who seems to know about Mitsunari’s personal life

Nickname: Fox of Sawayama

Charm point: He so adorably awkward when he’s honest

Quote: “I’m just TRYING to tell you that I want you to stay with me!!! There!! Get something in you head for once, you… you insufferable little manju-girl!!”

Cuddle, kiss, or push down: Make him blush, because it’s easy once you know how

Would have eloped with: No one, because Mitsunari is perfect

Favorite moments: 

  • The MC’s family bullying welcoming Mitsunari when he drops the MC off back at her home
  • The MC encouraging Mitsunari when he is feeling completley broken and depressed
  • When everyone finds out that Mitsunari is younger than the MC
  • The MC ranting at Mitsunari and making him apologize to her
  • Mitsunari following Hideyoshi’s dating tips in the epilogue chapter

Worst moments: 

  • I feel sort of bad for Sakon and his ill-fated crush
  • I don’t think that Mitsunari would fall into as deep a depression or at least that his desire to support Hideyoshi wouldn’t pull him out of it before the MC needed to intervene

Worth the price of admission?: I think Mitsunari is by far the best guy in this game, although if you find tsundere type characters disagreeable, you will not enjoy him as he is pretty classic tsundere; although I usually do not like tsundere characters, I personally really enjoyed Mitsunari. Mitsunari is sharp and jagged in a lot of ways, but his backstory not only explains his behavior but is also interesting. He’s complexities feels a lot more real than some of the other guys who can feel a little thrown together for the sake of drama. He’s just so cute that I want to bully him a little

Recommended routes: