Masaomi, Kaname, Tsubaki and Subaru’s routes~
|WHOA I ACTUALLY FINISHED THIS BEFORE THE ANIME ENDED. Yeah, I meant to have this out before the anime started, but I get distracted. Anyways, this was a great game and there are quite a few differences from the anime. Or at least, the characters are fleshed out a little here.|
Ema’s mother died shortly after giving birth to her and so she’s lived alone with her father, Rintarou, for all of her life. Rintarou’s occupation is an adventurer. …Lord knows what that entails, but apparently he’s famous for it. However, one day he gets together with a woman named Asahina Miwa and being a considerate daughter, she goes to live with Miwa’s 11 (though there are actually 13 altogether) sons/Ema’s soon to be step brothers in some high class apartment complex to give Miwa and her father some alone time. Romance ensues. Ema also has a… random talking pet squirrel (though only she can hear it talk) named Juli that gives her advice. However, this squirrel is voiced by Hiroshi Kamiya, thus making him amazing.
As for Ema herself, she’s… kind of your average heroine I guess. Ema is kind, caring, and pretty mature (though she has her moments). Oh, she’s definitely naive and she gets carried away with excitement sometimes. She also places a huge importance on family (which is just as well since that’s totally the theme of this game) and she absolutely loves cooking and cleaning. I guess what kind of sets her apart is the fact that she’s a gamer and she watches anime.
…So I had a hell of a time trying to memorize which brother was which when the game first started throwing names around, so here’s a list with ages. Since the games takes place over the period of a year, the ages reflect how old the characters are at the beginning of the game. This is pretty much the same list I had on the first post of the anime, so feel free to skip this.
Other characters include Mahoko, Ema’s awesome wingman best friend, and Sasakura, a guy from their class/ yet another guy who’s in love with Ema.
WARNING: Massive text walls ahead.
So like I said above, Masaomi is the eldest brother, who works as a pediatrician. I was totally expecting him to be a boring ossan, but he’s one of the most caring of the group and all around good guy (…which isn’t as boring as it sounds). His route was just pure fluff and honestly, the whole age difference thing wasn’t even an issue. Ema first meets him even before she learns that they’re family after Wataru steamrolls into her on a bike while she’s heading to the complex. Masaomi is the one to make sure that Ema is okay.
Kaname is the third oldest brother, a carefree guy who doesn’t seem to take anything seriously, and a total playboy despite being a monk. So Ema is no exception, and it takes him about 0.0005 seconds to hit on Ema when he’s first introduced. However, Kaname DOES care a lot about his family and he does take his job seriously at times. …Kind of, since his temple is more like a host club (or at least that’s what his brothers say). …Having these kinds of characters voiced by Suwabe Junichi should come with a warning label or something. Holy crap I think my heart stopped a few times from the combination of Suwabe’s voice and his character lines.
Oh, besides that though, Kaname’s route was really stressful for me since you’re not allowed to raise the family love level too high and I was really close to the limit OTL. …And then despite not being allowed to raise the family love, a lot of Kaname’s events start off with characters who aren’t him interacting with Ema, so I kept thinking I had accidentally gone into some other route and panicked. The character was great, the amount of stress this route gave me trying to stay on it wasn’t. (…Though I probably wasn’t in any actual danger of falling out of it, it only seemed like I was.)
Tsubaki is the eldest of the triplets and a siscon otaku. He’s really pushy with Ema (and kind of an idiot), but it’s actually pretty adorable. …As long as you ignore the fact that he totally has a rather unfortunate poster of Kirino in his room. He’s also a popular seiyuu as well, and voices roles in all sorts of anime, drama CDs and games (…including BL and otome ahahaha). Anyways, like I said, this route was adorable and actually pretty amusing since Tsubaki does things like mention ‘flag raising’ and the importance of zettai ryouiki during his date events. Truly, he has his priorities straight. There’s a room event too where Tsubaki gives Ema some “seiyuu service” by counting sheep to help her fall asleep (only he counts Azusas). …Which reminded me of this, which made it very hard to take seriously. Long story short, this route was a lot of fun for intentional and unintentional reasons. I didn’t even mind all of Tsubaki’s angsting.
It’s Ono Daisuke! Subaru is a university student who’s really good at basketball and really bad with Ema. Between his family and his sport, Subaru’s life has just been a sausagefest and the guy can barely form a complete sentence when Ema and him first start living together. This route is pretty adorable though thanks to Subaru’s lack of experience (not that Ema has any either). He’s rather honest with his feelings too. It’s a cute route, overall~.
Though I admit to getting bored near the end. OTL
…So Masaomi’s route was a really pleasant surprise and a good place to start, considering that I was expecting a gross ossan and the game only got better from there. I kind of got bored with Subaru towards the end, which is what took me so long to finish this post but each route had great parts to it. Every brother had his own appeal and chemistry with Ema. There wasn’t a real storyline to this game, but it was just so adorable!!! Hell, even without the romance, the family aspect of the game was SO DAMN HEARTWARMING. Ema was like the daughter Miwa never had and watching Miwa dote on her was absolutely adorable. The family interactions without Ema were really great too. The brothers had their own interactions with one another even outside their routes, you learned something new about their family relations or characters. I have no complaints about any of the characters~. The art and music was cute too. Maybe it wasn’t my taste (though this whole game’s genre wasn’t my taste since I’m not that big of a brocon myself and I generally like darker things), but I don’t regret playing it in the slightest! It’s definitely the best otome game I’ve played from Otomate in a while. …Though it’s definitely not the perfect game. There were some parts where the Ema would go “oh, -fill in blank here- has left” or ask “Where did -fill in blank here- go?” when their sprite would be right in front of the screen still. (This wasn’t a huge deal, and was actually kind of funny in a way).
Also, the triggers for some events are ridiculous. (…Though all my suffering here was my own fault.) For some events, you needed to do a certain action with a certain person on a specific date. I can’t even count how many of these I missed and had to go back to get since you need to trigger every event in a route in order to get the best ending. And some of them are extremely specific (like one, you need to watch a certain type of movie with Futo within a certain time frame (not that I’ve talked about his route yet), or you need to go to Kaname’s room on a very specific date in February). …Which is really hard to know if you’re not using a guide or stalking the guy week after week and completely ignoring everything else. I could have avoided this stress if I had just followed the guide for everything, but I got overconfident in my scheduling capabilities and had to go back a bunch of times. I did learn eventually though. So my advice: PAY ATTENTION TO THE GUIDES. Though uh, apparently some guides are blatantly wrong (or at least with the required family love levels), so don’t pay attention to the guides. But hey, I made it through okay, so it can’t be THAT difficult. ヽ(´ー`)ﾉ Actually other than that, the play system wasn’t as tough as I thought it would be.
So I just have Hikaru’s route left to do (which should be soonish since he doesn’t even appear until like halfway through the game) and then I’ll get around to part 2.