Plot Summary: Ichika decides to investigate the X-Day incidents from the beginning. This means that she’ll have to work with Mineo, who has flat out stated his distrust for her. Mineo is against the partnership but gives in when Ichika bows her head and pleads with him to work with her. Even though Mineo seems to spend his time avoiding detective work, Ichika soon learns that he has a sad, intimate connection to the April and May X-Day incidents.
What I think of him: Mineo is boisterous and loud. He tries to be an ore-sama, but easily looses his cool. As a former field ops officer, Mineo has both investigative skills and physical strength. Even though he’s the type to act before he thinks, he can also be a little cowardly in that he avoids things that he doesn’t want to deal with. Mineo tends to play the fool since he isn’t as intellectual as the other guys. He is oddly innocent and naive, especially when it comes to girls. Mineo is a huge history nerd and he especially likes the Sengoku Jidai; his eye patch is a visual tribute to Masamune Date and is purely an aesthetic decision on his part.
Charm point: He has the heart of a pure maiden
Cuddle, kiss, or push down: Get pushed down, while he’s drunk and then hold it over his head forever
Would have eloped with: No one
Most enjoyed: I was super invested in Mineo’s character and his personal conflict. Except for one character, Mineo has the most immediate connection with the X-Day incidents, far more intimate than Ichika’s. This connection is tormenting Mineo but he can’t bring himself to move on. So there are three layers of fun in this route: first you have to see beneath Mineo’s surface, then you have get him to move forward, and lastly you need to deal with the X-Day stuff. The stronger parts of the route are the first two.
Least liked: That leaves the end route X-Day stuff was probably the weakest part of the route. It wasn’t bad, it was just not as interesting as the earlier parts of the route, and the route knows it too, the climax of the route is clearly before the X-Day investigation is wrapping up and Ichika gets her collar removed. Of course, big picture-wise, there’s a reason for things being the way they turned out, but that doesn’t help on a route level. Additionally, because the climax and X-Day stuff were out of sync, Mineo’s route had the lamest Tragic Love Ending out of all the routes.
Worth the price of admission?: I really enjoyed Mineo’s route. X-Day wasn’t really the focus of the route, it something entwined with Mineo’s character to the point that Mineo as the character we know could not exist in a world where Adonis didn’t enact their X-Day crimes (as opposed to the other characters who I could envision in stories with different plots).
I said in the review for Sasazuka’s route that it feels like Ichika would most naturally end up on. Similarly, I feel like Mineo is the love interest that Ichika would most easily connect with since he is the closest to her in age, experience, and even personality.
Also this route had the best moment of hinting in the game. I was awed once I made it to the big reveal in Yanagi’s route and had a legitimate flashback to this route.