Shinsaku Takasugi


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: 


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