When I learned this game had the following criteria:
1) Protagonist has no inner monologue nor thoughts
2) It’s fully voiced
I decided to play it. Except it only took off the second time, this December 2015, when I started after I’d tried it a year ago.
A year ago I was learning Japanese and then I stopped. I returned to it in December 2015, because I learned Memrise had an android app. I’ve always had a soft spot for Memrise and always hated Anki design/looks with a passion.
It’s not logical, Anki might be better programmed, but I despise its whole being. Memrise has plants, colors and pins and prettiness, and if I’ve learned something it’s that I’m weak to pretty (⌒▽⌒)
Harmed with that I started doing JLPT kanji from English to Kanji. Did it until N3, got bored, jumped to Joyo Kanji where I was learning English to Kanji, got bored again; jumped to English to Kana to Kanji and I stuck around. I like knowing the readings, I don’t like just the English keywords because I feel, personally, that I’m not learning anything.
Armed with that and my previous knowledge and experiences (years of watching Anime subtitled) I started the game dreading its existence.
I remembered hating the game because I could not understand anything, really.
Pleasant surprise: my ears are very good and I knew a lot of spoken, informal Japanese.
I didn’t understand everything as I chose Toma for my first route, because I expected to dislike the dude, but I was understanding things through context. It was a good thing I started with this one: it’s the easiest route. She sleeps, she wakes, she eats, she sleeps more, she wakes some more. It was light, fluffy and the things that did happen I understood from context/checking on dictionary.
Then I died laughing because a dog cage was introduced and it became so ridiculous I guffawed at everything Toma said. He’s an yandere, he’s also pretty blind because he only noticed things like her being pretty, her hair and fingers, after being in a cage. Make of that what you will.
I didn’t feel it was hard and I was feeling real good until I chose Ikki next, because I knew I’d dislike him since he’s a playboy type. If Toma was a 1 out of 5, Ikki was a 3 out of 5 in difficulty. More of a jump than I expected. I got very angry at Ikki, to the point I had to stop gaming because I was fearing for my PSP life. People on Twitter said my lack of Japanese was making me misunderstand him. Peeved at that, I took upon myself to finish N5 and return to the game. For 2 weeks I studied like crazy just so I could see if I was understanding his story well.
I hated him even more after I restarted his route and understood more. Ikki acts cold and cruel to her in front of his fuck girls, but all mellow and nice in private. I could never forgive his callous treatment of her in public. It was such a shitty move he became lower than Toma in my opinion.
His storyline was also much more evolving than Toma and harder. Funny thing: I hated him so much, I did my choices so right, I skipped any plot the first time playing and side stepped everything into an ending I was supposed to have triggered other things like her reason for leaving/them breaking up. Phew. I laughed a lot, it was a testament of my ability to dodge and say no to him (⌒▽⌒)
His story was ridiculous with his magical eyes that make girls all ラブラブ over him. Sure, Orion may be a spirit (I thought he was a space alien www) and the protagonist may have amnesia because of him being inside her, but outside that the game was so normal any such magic felt very intrusive to be honest.
Next I decided to go with Shin, my favorite after Orion (shotas win all for me), and the reason I did not go last with him was I read he was a bit disappointing.
Shin route was a 2 out of 5 in difficulty but what bummed me was it started full of ラブラブ and then Shin disappears for a very large portion of the story, returns and the story becomes a mystery solving instead of more cuteness with him.
Where things got tricky was: Kent.
Kent is a 5 out of 5 in difficulty. Maybe a 6 out of 5. He speaks logically and very intelligently, which means I did not understand most of his normal speeches but I sure did the love scenes, which are the ones that count!
For Kent I grinded again but still wasn’t any good, so I shrugged and continued till I finished.
One thing: Waka speeches in Shin route were 99% incomprehensible to me, but since he wasn’t the focus (not a romance option) I didn’t feel I was losing much. I understood it was funny the parts I could, but that’s as far as I got (like him saying the customers are the enemies and to defeat them o(^▽^)o ).
Ukyo was… So surprisingly easy I was WTF. I was expecting to grind more, but the magical explanations were pretty understandable for my ears. Again I relied 80% on my ears for the game, picked up a bunch of readings, and by the end of the game I could semi read the heroines few monologues that appeared. I didn’t do the side stories because of them being fully monologue from her side.
Ranking of difficulty of game overall: 5 out of 5
Ranked from lowest to highest difficulty: Toma> Ukyo> Shin >Ikki >Kent.
Rank of the guys: Orion >Kent >>Shin>>>Toma (he had a shota self so that earned him extra points) >Ikki >Ikki’s whole fanclub/Rikka
Recommended to: Beginners with lots of Vocab but weak kanji.
I’d say this game is good for beginners that don’t know how to read JP but can understand spoken. I do consider myself one, this is as far as I’ve gotten on my studies, since before I’d only done English to Kanji and learnt Hiragana and Katakana.
This felt good to get of my chest so hopefully I’ll do more once I play more games because this is my very first played and finished game in Japanese. What a victory it was for me.
I’m doing this because maybe it’ll help others. It’ll also be good for me. I tweeted a bunch while I was playing but tweets disappear with time, so this is a good way to get my opinions down pat.
If your opinion is different from my mine, I’d love to hear it! Though if it’s about the guys, or how I didn’t like one of your waifus/husbandus then don’t even bother. It’ll be delete at first sight.
Happy gaming and learning!
Have you heard about this game before? Have you played it? If so, I’d love to know what you think of it!