At first I thought this game would bore me to death, because it sounded like some modern Cinderella kinda story, only it was set in a high school. Once the mysteries started piling up, though, I got really hooked! Sadly the big reveal wasn’t as…exciting as I hoped it would be. I’m kinda amazed and horrified at the same time. Amazed, because the game’s plot was way more complex than the high school story I expected. Horrified, because I still can’t believe what I read. I guess it’s best to not ask too many logical questions huh…┐(◔ヮ◔)┌ I understand why they chose the “you gotta play all routes first to unlock the true end(s)” option. Play one true end and you know the answer to all the secrets, which makes the other ones less exciting…except for maybe Rei’s true end, which is slightly different. At least you get to know about all the guys’ backstories (some of which were very gruesome), which is what kept me motivated to go through all those repetitive scenes anyway (thank god skipping is easy XD).
This game has amazing bad endings (in good and bad ways) and I can say that I was genuinely disgusted by the bad guy(s) to the point of feeling irl discomfort. At first I thought it would also feature steamy scenes, given its rating an all that, but the reason for that is probably the child and drug abuse featured in the story. I’m still amazed at how Kaburagi got away with being a psychopath for so many years, considering the scale of his project and the number of people involved with his, uh, “research” (not to forget the number of people he has found a way to “dispose” of…), but eh, I guess its just one of those things that I gotta accept. Overall the game was a little too long for my taste, it featured too many side characters and I was kind of disappointed in most rose routes, as they’re essentially just more detailed bad end routes. Plus, Neri’s personality switch was too much, I mean…she’s there for a couple of weeks and does a 360° turn, it’s kinda….(•ิ_•ิ)?? The characters are great though, so overall it was a fun ride. I will fondly remember the great voice acting
and amazing bad endings…
Touya -> Ichiha -> Rei -> Riku -> Haru (-> Haru -> Ichiha -> Touya -> Riku -> Rei)
♡ = favorite character
She’s kind of an idiot. ┐(￣∀￣)┌ I guess that’s the reason why some bad ends were able to turn out as amazing as they did but hmm…XD At the end of the day I had trouble understanding what everyone sees in her. She wasn’t the worst heroine ever, but…I guess I just feel really indifferent about her. I do like her design though, it’s cute.
CV: Takaguchi Yukiko
Honestly, I wish I could say something about her but she’s just such an unrelatable and one-dimensional character to me…I don’t understand her. I’d like to feel sorry for her, but I can’t even do that, she’s just ????????
CV: Hanawa Manami
Major girlcrush. Not only did I fall in love with the design at first sight, I also really love her voice and generally the way she talks…? She is so cute! I was very disappointed when she turned all mean and bitchy on me during my first route, but well…I got used to her change in character the more I played. And frankly, she’s not THAT bad in some other routes & particularly in true end routes. She’s just another victim. Moeka is a sweet girl deep down. When the game didn’t give me a Moeka CG during my dance practice with her I felt so cheated!!! I actually wish there was a friendship route for her. Please
marry me be my friend, Moeka! ;w ;
CV: Miki Shinichirou
At first all I could think of was Gentoku…XD He’s the only teacher who at least tries to be somewhat like a teacher and genuinely cares about the students at all times. He’s a good guy. I don’t blame him for being a coward in some of the routes, because he’s in a really tough spot, seeing as his sick mother’s being held hostage. Speaking of which…I felt deeply connected to that part of him on a personal level. Maybe that’s why I’m so understanding/forgiving…
CV: Okiayu Ryoutarou
The only good thing about this guy is his voice. He creeped me out from the start and it only got worse the more I played. He’s insane, a psychopath, a lolicon and I felt irl discomfort whenever he was involved. Usually I tend to have a soft spot for terrible and twisted characters, but this one….nope. He’s just bad. He was born bad. Garbage.
(in play order)
Touya ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
CV: Maeno Tomoaki
Definitely not my type of guy design-wise. I ended up in his route right from the start anyway, because he’s the leader of the resistance group and they are the only sane people in this school, since they’re opposing the caste system. Or…that’s what I thought, but actually it’s just Touya being very vocal about it every time he witnesses injustice or any kind of conflict between roses and stones. Everyone else probably just went along and joined him because he’s such a manly and cool guy…? Idk!
I had my issues with Touya, as his route features some stuff I’m not particularly fond of – like, for example, the whole “knight in shining armor” situation, with Touya allowing some random rose bullies to beat him into a pulp for Neri’s sake (tho I’ll admit, I got a bit nostalgic remembering Hana Yori Dango XD). I mean HE EVEN HAD A WHITE HORSE AT SOME POINT COME ON PEOPLE. I got so annoyed at the way he and Neri stayed oblivious to their feelings in the stone route, meaning they were stuck at friendship level foreverrrrrrrrrrr. It made me wanna throw my console against a wall. ( ಠ ಠ ) How did Haru endure their denseness so calmly? Touya really managed to win me over in his true end route though. He’s such a dependable and GOOD guy!!! I didn’t expect his backstory to be so disturbing…poor boy. Touya’s rose route was probably my favourite out of all the rose routes. I guess it’s because he and Neri are on opposite sides and their relationship advances much faster in general. Their dynamic was great! I like how they had to meet in
Touya’s room secret all the time…/coughs (*/▽＼*) Also, Touya’s cute when he wears his glasses. :3c
Ichiha ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
CV: Kakihara Tetsuya
My Ichiha rollercoaster experience:
> Another Kakki role, tbh I’ve had enough of him lately…
> I don’t get why this guy’s popular, he’s not even that good-looking?
> Okay he might actually be cute?
> Aw, he’s adorbs!
> Okay no, he’s trash after all.
> But if he could overcome his cowardice he’d be really cute!
> There’s no hope for this guy, he’s trash.
> But also cute.
> But also trash.
> FOR FUCKS SAKE ICHIHA!!!!!!!!! ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)
No, seriously. I feel so conflicted about this guy! I think I ended up liking him a lot more than I thought I would (IDK how Kakki always manages to woo me…), but at the same time I really dislike him. At first he seemed like a….pretty normal (albeit flirty) dude when compared to the others, which I thought was kind of his charm point. But!! He’s such!! A!! COWARD!!! He needed 34958349384 chances to prove himself and even then it wasn’t 100% satisfactory. Seeing him being unable to ignore Neri in the stone route was great. It made me long for that moment when he’d finally decide to not listen to what everyone thinks/says about him and follow his heart instead blah blah….except that moment never came until like the very VERY last minute, GDI Ichiha!!! The bullying Neri had to endure felt ten times worse when compared to Touya’s route, too, because Ichiha participated in that as well!!! щ(ಥДಥщ) I wasn’t particularly fond of his back story either. I expected to like it, since I’m a sucker for sibling stories and Ichiha seemed like he’d be a good big brother. Turns out he was actually kind of terrible LOL. I’m not blaming him, really. He was still a kid back then. Their mother is to blame for abandoning them like that. Still it left kind of a bitter taste in my mouth. He was obviously aware what his lack of action would mean for his sister. (＞＜) The one good thing that came out of his route is probably Moeka hanging out with Neri at Double Berry Café. I guess I’ll have to thank him after all. His rose route was garbage, but I already expected that, given his personality.
Rei(♡) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
CV: Kimura Ryouhei
REISAMAAAAAAAA!!! HIS SOOTHING VOICE IS HEALING ME!!! GDI Kimurasan why do you do this to me. ⁄(⁄ ⁄•⁄-⁄•⁄ ⁄)⁄ I died regularly during Rei’s route, because…his voice is just so….! 30 voice slots are definitely not enough! I need to save each and every of his lines…all of them just sound too good to be true (
that’s cuz they aren’t, it’s only a game shut up, self). I swear, the reason why his route was such an emotional rollercoaster wasn’t because of the writing or its execution, but rather Kimura Ryouhei’s amazing voice acting. I had to scream into my pillow more than once…
Tbh I did not expect much of Rei at first, because he seemed like the perfect oujisama-senpai and I usually don’t care much about those. But when I saw “the other Rei” for the first time I got curious! His stone route was great, but also really painful. It had just the right amount of push and pull (Ichiha, please watch and learn!) and I actually understand why Neri fell in love with him (because so did I…LOL). I particularly enjoyed all the input on Riku’s and Rei’s friendship. Adorable!!! The rose route was kind of…boring in comparison. Overprotective yandere Reisama in the bad end was a nice treat though…ehem (˵¯͒⌄¯͒˵) The big reveal of his parentage gave me even more reasons to hate Kaburagi (not that I needed them, but still). All in all I enjoyed Rei’s route a lot, but…y’know the thing with split personality type of character is that sometimes you end up liking their other self and that’s about as painful as second male lead syndrome in shoujo manga. Like, you know it’s hopeless, yet you sink deeper and deeper and start regretting everything…_(:3_ I really like Rei, but I also really like Shou…I wish Shou could have gotten a happy ending of his own. I mean, technically he got one when he and Rei became one again, but…that’s not the same (also don’t get me started on the issues I have with the whole “merging” thing in general). The last bad end of the true route destroyed me. Shou really loved Neri so, so much. She was his everything and yet the one thing he could never have. Seeing Neri not caring abut him at all made me feel so sorry…just thinking about it makes me wanna cryyyyy. DON’T WORRY, SHOU! ILU 2!!
Riku ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
CV: Namikawa Daisuke
Namidai deserves much praise for his performance as Riku, honestly. How does this ossan manage to play a teenager so convincingly?? With Riku being oresama tsundere, naturally I expected to love him lots and I guess I DO love him, but probably not lots – or, let’s say, at least not as much as I thought I would. Riku is hilarious and I enjoyed his bratty attitude, jealousy flings and (childish) banter w/ Neri and others, but overall I couldn’t help feeling that his route lacked…something. He’s surprisingly pure and innocent though, which is very adorable and cute. It’s funny how he gets all those rape and sekuhara accusations in his route, when in reality his relationship with Neri is on kindergarden-level romance most of the time. Like, literally. They fool around in class, play games together in the afternoons and he’s teasing her 24/7. How could he POSSIBLY sekuhara anyone!? XD He’s the guy who bit his own tongue when trying to stammer a marriage proposal to Neri lmao… (｡> ヮ <｡);;
It was kinda fun to see the tables being turned in Riku’s rose route. The mighty red rose dancing to Neri’s tune, because she’s his queen and he’s willing to do everything to please her….lol. :3c Though it’s also a very sad sight, so I’m glad I played it first. It made the stone route’s impact on me all the more powerful. The student council siblings were annoying in Rei’s route already, but they were insufferable in Riku’s. But I have to thank them for being greedy and jealous and terrible, because that helped with Riku’s growth as a person. I do like how he changes for the better thanks to his feelings for Neri. His back story didn’t hit me as hard as some of the others tbh, but I guess I understand why he develops this king complex of his. Seeing him break down when he finds out the truth made me feel a little worried for him in other routes, because there he doesn’t have Neri by his side to hug and comfort him. I didn’t think he’d become a teacher someday and I’m not sure if it really suits him, but the students calling him Riku-chan was cute. :3c
Haru(♡) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
CV: Ishikawa Kaito
MY BABY MY DARLING BOY!!! Haru is the kuudere shota I wanted him to be. So snarky. So bratty. I love him. I LOVE HIM!!! I LOVE HIIIIMMMMM!!!!! Truth be told, his route was a pain in the ass, not because it was bad or anything. Not at all! Is was great! But there was just so much…..SUFFERING. I mean I did expect a certain level of suffering, given Haru’s status at school and all that, but…not like that. (ＴＯＴ) There was much more than I feared and much worse than I feared and generally different kinda content that I feared (both, in good and bad ways). At some point I didn’t care how or why, I just wanted all the suffering to stop and for him to find happiness. I really liked his backstory, because it’s about family and parental love and all those things that always get me. Though to be fair, I did cringe a little at the moments of his aquaphobia becoming worse, to the point of him refusing to drink any liquid or BEING AFRAID OF TEARS what the actual f*ck…is this how aquaphobia works!? Kinda hard to believe (tho I have no experience with those things, so what do I know)…
The funny thing is that even Haru’s good ends came with a lot of suffering. And I’m not talking about rose route ends, which were more or less suffering in every character’s case. Even stone route was…really painful. I guess I get why he’s so indifferent and cynical when it comes to many things – but I really loved and enjoyed his personality a lot despite all that! Plus, he can be really sweet, too! He’s the youngest, yet he pulled off some of the boldest (if not THE boldest) moves in the whole game. HE EVEN INITIATED THEIR FIRST KISS WHILE IN THE BATHROOM I MEAN—-! (灬º 艸º灬) How is he able to make his move(s) so nonchalantly??? My poor heart! What I particularly like about his relationship with Neri is that they’re both so…natural around each other, already talking about how they’re gonna grow old together and all that. They’re equals and treat each other as such and that’s beautiful. Haru is kind of like a cat. He tries to play cool and is seemingly not interested, but deep down he cares a lot and when he shows it you can’t help but AWWWWWWWWWWWWW at how precious he is. Kaito’s voice acting was amazing, too. I really wish he was in more games that I play. I love his voice and I love the way he played Haru.