Part 62: Alternate Endings and PK's thoughts on the MaidensExtra Update I: Alternate Endings and PK's thoughts on the Maidens
All right. So, weve completed the game itself and wound up with Aries ending. But there are still 12 other Star Maidens with their own endings to see.
Other than Arie, the only other Maidens that managed to secure more than a single vote in the final poll were Alfie, Mirei, Ruka, and Femiruna. Well take a look at the detailed endings for those four. Everyone else will only get short summaries and their associated CG.
Alfie is up first.
Even Mahiru looks super happy that you can return to Sora.
This is all thanks to your help, Alfie. You trained the Star Children. That was what helped me defeat the last boss.
Ehehe I feel so happy having been able to help everyone. And I was able to go on so many dates with you.
Ill be praying for your well-being from here.
Ahaha It sounds so stiff.
R-Really? But the previous Gods Gift said its a formal farewell
If you stay any longer Ill I want to say goodbye with a smile.
But I dont wanna say goodbye to you.
I know how much you love this world. So I wont tell you to come with me But if youd like Can you give me some more of your time so we can spend it together?
Alfie, I want you by my side, forever. Lets live together, here in Granvania.
That makes me so happy But to you, it will only be 10 years. Will you still stay here, even knowing that?
Itsuki Im so glad I became a Star Maiden
*Following the credits*
She didnt expect to be going back alone. But when Mahiru uses Mireis invention on Sora She can make it appear like I never existed in Sora in the first place.
She can make things like that? Thats fucking with the laws of reality. Technology like that should not exist.
But Mirei How did she know that tool would be needed? Its like she knew this would happen
Knowing Mirei, she probably did. She must have figured wed end up this way.
Now then We have plenty of time together But what should we do on this momentous day?
Then we can chat on the sand.
How about we go swimming? I really feel like swimming today!
All right. Then lets race to the ocean!
She said she wanted to swim But she really didnt know how to.
Ehehe I showed you such an embarrassing side of me
And from my angle, her chest was
G-Gods Gift! Where do you think youre looking?! Thats why the other Star Maidens call you a pervert!
Huh? They really called me that?
But I dont want you looking at anyone elses
S-Sorry. Ill be careful not to shift my pervy eyes elsewhere.
Its a promise then. A-And
A-All right, Alfie! Lets train some more so you can learn to swim today!
Yes, instructor! Ill go wherever you take me!
Come on! Dont round your back! Kick the water!
Instructor! Train me more, please! Oh, but
Yeah Now I can go back to my world. Are you ready, Mirei?
Yes. Ive already taken care of all my research here.
I was able to succeed where I had previously failed in my other research. You are simply amazing.
I havent done anything
No, its all thanks to you.
Take me with you. Take me to your world.
Right Lets go.
*After the credits*
A few years have passed since Mirei came with me to my world She has since become a genius scientist and invented so many different things
Mirei, I brought you some snacks.
Thank you, Itsuki. Im glad you came to see me. Its hard to return home whenever my research piles up Im sad I havent been able to see you
If this is all it takes, Ill stop by any time.
Science is so fun. It has a charm much different from Star Energy. I believe I can make an invention that will surprise the world in a few years.
You really are amazing, Mirei. Youre a genius even in this world.
Heheh. Of course I am.
Youll become a world-class scientist. Though, I am worried I wonder if Im good enough for you sometimes
Dont say such idiotic things. This world is interesting. There is no shortage of subjects I want to research.
That wont change no matter what happens. You are my all, Itsuki. I will research you for the rest of my life So I will never leave your side.
Thank you, Mirei Lets be together forever And one day, it wont be a Star Child I want us to have a normal child.
Heheh. What a wonderful suggestion. That is interesting. I would like to test it out. I dont know what results will await us.
I think I have an idea Im sure well be happy together.
Heheh All right.
Itsuki, will you be joining me in this research until the very end?
Yeah, of course I will. Ill go wherever youll be.
Thank you. You truly are the best research specimen there is
I love you, Ruka.
Wh-What are you saying? I cant just leave behind the other orphans
Even if we do love each other, there are some things we just cant do.
[Orphanage Girl]: Well be okay, wont we?
Wh-Why are you all here?
[Orphanage Boy]: We were worried about you. You need to graduate from this orphanage already. Well be okay Hehe.
Th-This is all so sudden. Im not ready for this
Lets go, Ruka. Here, hold my hand.
[Orphanage Boy]: Yeah! Go go!
*Ruka got shoved towards Itsuki (closer to the screen)*
Ill take care of you as long as I live, Ruka.
Ugh F-Fine I-Ill go with you!
Im ready for it.
C-Come on already. Hurry up and hold my hand. Hold me tighter so I can feel your heart
Its been a few years now since Ruka came to my world
Come on, Itsuki . Help me prepare dinner.
No, the grammar errors havent stopped just because were watching the endings.
The kids are all hungry. Unlike where I was, there are so many more here.
The kids all wanna play right now. What do you want me to do?
Geez You know, people like you are what they call a doting parent.
While Im at it, I wouldnt mind looking after a few more.
Huh ? Wh-Whats that supposed to mean?
It means that I want kids with you, Ruka. Ruka Will you have a child with me someday?
Wh-Wh-Wha D-Dont say that all of a sudden!
Im sure youre just overflowing with love to shower on others.
Im already giving you plenty! Y-You still want more ?
I didnt mean that, just that itd be fun with more kids.
W-Well Ill, um think about it
Hm? Did you say something?
N-No, I didnt. Anyway, lets get dinner ready. Go get to work now.
Itsuki, the kids will leave the nest someday But I want you to always be by my side Ill always be by yours.
That Ill always love you
In case anyone is somehow confused, I believe the implication is that they adopted a bunch of kids and now Itsuki is talking about having biological kids.
Thanks for waiting, Femiruna. Now, lets return together.
Will you really take me to your world?
So long as you wanna go, I will show you an even bigger world.
I gathered the courage to speak with Mother and Father about this.
Is this really for the best? Mother and Father were quite disappointed. Is it truly all right for me to be this selfish?
Its a little late to say that.
I still find it doubtful whether I should really go with you. If you falter for even a moment, I may abandon you then and there.
Just come with me, Femiruna. Take my hand.
I wont let anything bad happen to you. I wont make you regret coming with me. So please, come with me.
Some years have passed since Femiruna came to my world with me I thought shed feel homesick after leaving Granvania, but
I cannot believe this! Do you believe the customers would like such a design? Make the skirt bolder! And the undergarment more delicate!
Femiruna distinguished herself in this world utilizing her different talents
Ohohoho! My designs have garnered even more awards this year, Itsuki!
Can we talk about how there is now a biological beast-person in charge of a fashion/design company? On Earth? Thats going to raise a hell of a lot of eyebrows.
Thats amazing, Femiruna. I didnt know you were hiding such a talent.
When I design Granvanian patterns, I win all the awards. Business is booming. I am almost afraid of how great my own talents are.
I bet. Setting that aside though, Im glad to see how happy you are doing this.
There are still so many things I must try. You will accompany me on my journey.
Of course I will. Theres something I need your help with too.
Do you know what I want from you then?
Wh-Why are you staring at me like that ? What is it you want to ask?
I wanna make you happy for as long as you live.
Lets be happy together, Femiruna. And someday I want us to have a child together.
What ?! I cannot believe you would say such a thing with a straight face. Do you truly believe you can shake me with those words
We will be happy together. Ill make sure of it.
And thats all for the detailed endings. The rest of the Maidens will get short summaries, since they barely managed to get a single vote.
Taruas ending involves her being sad because Boss supposedly abandoned her. She says he kicked her out for moping around and that he was healthy enough to no longer need her help. He also told her to run off and be with Gods Gift because shed be happier that way. Itsuki explains that this was the Bosss way of saying that he accepted Itsuki. Itsuki invites Tarua to his world and Tarua declares her love.
After the credits, Itsuki explains that Tarua was feeling down for a while after they arrived, but eventually took up a job as a delivery girl in Itsukis town. She still wishes she could have repaid Boss for all that he did, but Itsuki tells her that being happy and enjoying her life is the best way she can do that. Itsuki talks about having kids someday (carefully stating that hes not sure when). Tarua states that shell keep delivering letters until she becomes a full-fledged mailman. She also says a cheesy line regarding her love for Itsuki (Youre the only letter that needs no stamp).
Lillith is the only one to appear in the first part of the ending (on the Academy Field). She talks about getting lonely after Itsuki leaves and complains about Lillie forcing her to be the one to say farewell. She starts to cry, but Itsuki says that the future can be changed and invites her to go with him to his world so they wont be separated.
After the credits, Itsuki mentions that Lillith continues doing her fortune telling and is very popular with it. As for their life together, there seems to be a constant pull between the two personalities. Despite what that CG implies, Lillith/Lillie still share the same body. Lillith talks about going on a date with Itsuki today, Itsuki could have sworn they went on one yesterday, Lillith says that that was Lillie and that Lillie also got one more date than Lillith did last month as well. Itsuki mentions that its been a year since they came back to the world and that he wants to tell Lillith something. He tells her about wanting children, Lillith gets freaked out and ends up tripping, which brings Lillie out.
Lillie somehow knows what Itsuki said to Lillith even though she didnt write a memo, so apparently his words are able to reach both of them at the same time. Lillie then gets embarrassed and trips, which brings Lillith back out. Lillith ends it by saying the three of them will be happy together and that they dont need fortunes to tell them that.
Mahiru asks if Itsuki said his goodbyes to everyone, but he says it would be too sad so he didnt say anything to them. The two of them state that theyll go back home and play games together all night.
After the credits, Itsuki says that he and Mahiru continued on with their lives where they left off. Mahiru tries to wake him up by kissing him and tells him that hell be late. She also asks if he loves this rom-com situation. They do the knight and princess thing for half of this part by the way. The topic of child eventually comes up and Mahiru asks if Itsuki remembers the time she thought she was pregnant. She asks him how he would have responded if it turned out that child was real and the event ends with Itsuki saying that he would have responded with Mahiru, lets raise that child.
Reone opens up fully expecting this to be the two of them saying goodbyes. Shes taken aback when Itsuki asks her to go with him and wonders if hes sure he wants her, especially since she cant do stuff like housework. Itsuki says hes fine as long as he can eat her baked apples. Reone declares that shell use the medical knowledge she obtained in Granvania to save as many sick people as she can in Sora.
After the credits, Itsuki states that a few years have passed and that Reone has become a doctor and a prominent medical figure. Reone talks about how busy doctors in this world always are and that she doesnt even get the time to look at the stars anymore. Itsuki points out that shes still able to come home every night. Reone points out that she makes time for him no matter what. Itsuki then asks about the prospect of making new lives instead of saving them. Reone asks him what took him so long to make up his mind and Itsuki points out that he is still sort of a university student. Itsuki asks if shes ready to commit to it right now and Reone gets flustered because theyre outdoors and her brother might be watching from the stars. Itsuki just says that hes confident her brother will look away just this once. Reone says to at least wait until they get home.
Theres a variation of this CG in this ending. The one above changes to this one once Itsuki starts talking to her about having children.
Sue is glad that Itsuki returned alive, like he promised. However, shes also sad because hell be leaving again. Itsuki invites her to go with him to his world and talks about always wanting to come home to her. Sue is pretty quick to agree.
After the credits, Itsuki mentions that its been a few years. Sue also apparently didnt want to leave her animals behind, so she somehow brought them all with her from Granvania (Im sure that wont result in any unfortunate consequences for the local ecosystem). Itsuki talks about having built the large animal hut in the backyard (without permission), so hell probably get yelled at. Sue is happy to have her animals with her and says that while shell take care of them, Itsuki will have to take care of her. She gets lonely when hes not around, so she wants Itsuki to give her attention when he gets home. Itsuki also does the One day, I wanna have a child with you thing.
Farun says shes happy for Itsuki and starts talking about her going back to traveling. Itsuki has to try a few times to interrupt her mumbling, after which he asks her to go with him. Farun wonders if hes really all right taking her and he says that theres no one else hed want to take. She then agrees and says that she wants him to take her on a new journey, together.
After the credits, Itsuki mentions a few years having passed and that Farun has become a dance teacher. Farun wakes him up in bed and Itsuki wonders why shes not out at her dance class. Farun says that its her day off. Itsuki wonders why shes not acting as mature as she usually does and Farun says that its fine because shes the sweet kinda-big-sis-wife. She also has picked up vernacular like Totes (which I think was outdated even in 2012 when the original game released). Farun also mentions that when she went out with the trash earlier, the neighbours called her Itsukis wife, which is why shes started with the big-sis-wife thing shes doing. Itsuki then does the I want a child thing again and Farun says to leave it to Big Sis Farun. They then talk about going on a trip together soon.
Collettes ending starts with her congratulating Itsuki and also talking about the record profits that Collettes Sweet Wheats has brought in. Collette also presents the letter from her grandmother (the permission slip thing she talks about in one of her last Bonding Events). Collettes grandmother told her You cant run a bakery alone. If you find a partner, be sure to make them yours. Collette also has more bread puns for us when she says Ill bake you mine.
After credits (and the bit about a few years having passed), Itsuki mentions that him and Collette leased an old bakery and started working together. Collette shows off all the four leaf clovers shes managed to collect and talks about finishing the Ultimate Breadwinner. More bread puns follow (Dont worry your pretty little bread. I only have a rye for you), and shortly after that Itsuki (once again) carefully approaches the children thing. He says Collette, when you get a little older lets have a family together. Collette says that they need to become husband and wife before that, and Itsuki agrees while saying sometime in the future. Collette also says that its too early for her to be talking about that stuff. They then go back home, to their bakery.
Yuzuha and Itsuki get ready to head to Sora, but Reone interrupts and asks Yuzuha to think it over one more time. Reone says that theres no guarantee that Yuzuha will live longer in the other world. She also asks what Yuzuha would do if something happened to Itsuki. Yuzuha thanks Reone, but says that her mind is made up. She says that her time belongs to her and that shell decide how to use whats left. Yuzuha says that shell never look back or regret her decision and that whatever time she has left is Itsukis.
Theres no intro by Itsuki for this part. Hes just talking to Yuzuha about what shes sketching. Yuzuha asks about how Itsukis studies are going. He tells her that its tough, and the professor is hard on him, but that hes making good progress on his own research. Reone gave him some data before they left Granvania and Itsuki has been using it to work towards a cure for Yuzuhas illness as he studies medicine in school. Itsuki says that itll will only take a little longer to make his breakthrough. Yuzuha states that shes happy and also that she wants to do something to repay Itsuki for everything. Itsuki asks about the possibility of having children with her and vows to her that hell find a cure to her illness. Yuzuha, in turn, promises that shell become well enough to have kids. Yuzuha says that she knows Itsuki will keep his promise, and the CG then pans over to
Yes, thats right. On top of the Harem Ending that I hate, theres also a Mana ending. This game
The Harem Ending will trigger first and it requires you to see all of the other endings (excluding Alfies I think. I didnt test it since Alfie was the second place Maiden). It automatically happens once youve met the conditions. Mirei introduces Itsuki to human Mana just as hes about to leave Granvania, which is how you know that it has triggered.
Apparently all of the Star Maidens went around to the citizens and asked them to contribute Star Energy to the Star God Circle, which was used to revive Mana. Itsuki wonders why Mana was brought back in a human form. Mana mentions a fairy tale she heard from Mahiru about a wooden puppet becoming a real person, but Mirei just says to not mind the details. Mana and Itsuki then say their goodbyes and Itsuki leaves Granvania with Mahiru.
After the credits, Mahiru tries to wake Itsuki up so that he wont be late. Then Tarua jumps on him to force him to wake up. Itsuki wonders why everyone is here to wake him up and Mahiru mentions that she called everyone over because her parents have been out of the house since yesterday. All of the Star Maidens then talk about settling things and want Itsuki to make a choice as to which Maiden hes going to marry. They make their pitches to Itsuki and all take turns asking him to have children someday. They all join together in asking who it will be, but the scene fades out there.
Fuck me Uuuggggghhhh The Mana ending will happen after the Harem Ending has unlocked. You have to answer Theres no one like that when Itsuki says Someones waiting for me .
This ending starts with Mahiru saying goodbye to Itsuki. She says shes choosing to remain in Granvania because of all the friends shes made, the real friends. She gives Itsuki the device that Mirei made in Alfies ending (the one that will erase any trace of her from Sora). Itsuki respects Mahirus decision and the two say goodbye. At this point, Mahiru and Mirei introduce Human Mana. The rest of the introduction proceeds the same as it did in the Harem Ending.
Eventually, the dialogue changes. Mana talks about Itsuki owing him money (from way back at the start of the game). She also says that Shangri-La told her to stay behind (which I guess is a reference to her not staying dead. I cant think of anything else this could mean). Itsuki then says his goodbyes and leaves.
The after credits scene reveals that Mana followed Itsuki and the two are hanging out together like Itsuki did with Mahiru before they got whisked away. Itsuki mentions that Mireis magic tool apparently made Mana take the place of Mahiru in this world, but Itsuki thinks that Manas strange talking/acting is suspicious and might eventually tip people off. Mana insists that shes following Itsuki to collect the money he owes and Itsuki lightheartedly runs off while telling Mana that theyre going to be late for a math test. Mana then chases after him, but also tries to correct the way shes speaking so that she sounds more like Mahiru.
And thats it for endings. With those out of the way, I want to take a moment to give my personal thoughts on all the characters and stuff (for anyone that cares).
~PKs Personal Thoughts~
Arie is my favourite of the characters and has been since the start of the game. I havent really made a secret about that. Unlike with Narika in CII, I dont have any long-winded defence of her as a character or why I think shes the best. I just like her in general. Her route isnt flashy, its just sweet and relaxed. Arie is a very kind and cute character that doesnt get any moments which make me dislike her. I also love her design, especially her hat.
She could have easily been done very badly. I had major concerns about her being overly in-your-face with the religious stuff and her secret hobby thing completely swallowing her. But thankfully those things never grew. They were kept to the background (in my opinion).
The ending does dredge the hobby thing up again and focuses too much on it, which I wasnt a fan of, but I still think it was sweet. Arie makes a point to mention that her love of blades will always come second to her love for Itsuki. Shes enjoying herself, but its clear that she has no intention of letting her passions overtake whats most important in her life. She has restraint.
Shes just a very pleasant character. Overall, I think this was less a case of me liking Arie the most because she really stood out, and more a case of the other characters/routes disappointing me while Arie remained consistently nice.
Mirei was my second favourite and was very close to being my favourite. I think what held her back is that the middle of her route is ass-backwards with its messaging. If you remember back to the part in Mireis route involving her improving the communication device, I mentioned that the general message the game seemed to be putting forward was Just give people what they want from you. It doesnt matter if they abuse you or hurl insults at you or try and drive you out of town. Youre the asshole for not giving them what they want.
Thats a shitty thing to advocate. This isnt a mark against Mirei as a character, but it still soured me on her route. The game fumbled that immensely and I cant bring myself to let it go. Outside of that, I loved Mireis design as well as the fact that shes one of the only Star Maidens with plot relevance. She gets a lot of good moments in the later parts of the story where she takes a stand and follows her own moral compass, instead of just shutting up and following orders. I also liked her mad scientist thing, although I will admit that the game leans on it a little much in her character route. Every sentence out of her mouth is research this and specimen that. It flattens her character a bit since she never really breaks away from that aspect.
This is a choice Im still not sure of. Im not a fan of Yuzuha from a design standpoint (even though it does stand out quite a bit). I also dont like her Big Brother thing or the fact that shes clearly 14 or 15 years old.
But goddammit, I love her route. Sure, its depressing. In fact its very depressing, especially when it starts getting into the stuff about how she sleeps in a coffin because shes acutely aware of her impending death and doesnt want to burden people by making her eventual passing an inconvenience. Lets not even get into the fact that her parents are in a failing marriage that they only seem to maintain for Yuzuhas sake and that makes her think that shes the reason for all the yelling and tension between them because shes sickly and shameful.
I normally wouldn't like that, because depression is a major sticking point in my life and that kind of stuff bums me out when coming from something that's meant to entertain me. But... it does make for a powerful character route. It might make me feel like shit when I think about it, but I cant ignore that its compelling. Yuzuha just accepts her lot in life, Itsuki slowly sparks in her a desire to live, and the message eventually becomes Make the most of what you have and live life to the fullest.
Plus, that ending is probably the best one out of them all in my opinion. Not only does it have a last-second happy ending reveal by using the CG itself, but it also furthers Itsukis character as well. Yuzuhas ending is the only one where we hear about Itsuki working towards a specific goal. Hes not a university student or just standing around while Mirei becomes a great scientist, or Reone a great doctor, or Femiruna a great businesswoman. Hes pursuing medicine. Hes aiming to become a doctor in order to save Yuzuhas life. The cure to her illness is also something that Itsuki (presumably) earns. Its not just a Deus Ex Machina thats dropped into his lap.
If I liked Yuzuha more as a character, she would have easily been my favourite. Its a similar situation to Ellie from CII, where the route is more interesting than the character themselves.
Yeah, it is weird to see Reone ranked this highly. I was very vocal about how creepy it was for her to be constantly comparing Itsuki to her dead brother. But Reones route did turn around about halfway through and ended with a strong finish. Once her brother complex was put to rest, the remainder of her route involving atonement and carrying out the dream of a deceased sibling was very nice.
Also, yes, I think Ive admitted in the thread already that Reone just does it for me in terms of design. Shes hot. I dont think she would have ever come out as my favourite, even without the creepy brother complex, but she would have done better than fourth. The other problem I had with her is the incessant referencing of Japanese drinking laws. Her route has so many moments that involve Reone talking about drinking and how its awesome, only for Itsuki (or Reone herself) to immediately mention Itsuki is too young to drink. It was very annoying, partially because of the fact that the game takes place in a (supposed) magic fantasy world and yet everyone in it adheres strictly to the laws and customs of Japan, a country that has one of the highest minimum drinking ages in the world where alcohol is basically part of cultural heritage.
I loved Alfie, I really did. I thought she was a fun and cute character. I also liked that her route involved the Star Children, who dont get any representation elsewhere in the game (outside of them being walking stat sheets). I love Alfies design, I love the concept of her as a character (a Star Child that was turned into a Star Maiden), but holy shit was her inclusion in this game completely half-assed. No effort was made to accommodate Alfie. She doesnt appear in the story at all, despite the fact that shes the Ophiuchus Star Maiden and therefore should have a great deal of importance to the plot. She gets fewer bonding events than the other Maidens. She gets no side events like the Festival or Starmas. She doesnt even show up in the Harem Ending! The ending where the self-insert protagonist is supposed to wind up in a relationship with all of the heroines specifically to cash in on some baffling wish fulfillment fantasy that weirdos have about dividing themselves among multiple partners.
Theres also the fact that, although the message of Alfies route is nice (Live life to its fullest and Time doesnt determine whether or not you lived a good life), the fact that she only has 10 years to live still leaves a bittersweet taste in my mouth. Unlike with Yuzuha, there is no hopeful suggestion that shell live a long life together with Itsuki. Its just stated that shes only got 10 years and thats that. As happy as the game tries to portray it, all I can think of is Alfie will die when Itsuki is in his late twenties. Then what? Does he move on? Does he remain devoted to only her and live the rest of his life alone? Hes stuck in Granvania, so its not as though he can pick up his old life where he left it. There also wont be Star Children anymore, because theres no longer a need for them or future God's Gifts. Its just depressing to think about.
The rest of the characters are kind of hard to rank. None of them really stood out much to me. For Farun, I liked her design and the generally upbeat personality she had. Unfortunately, her route is all over the place. Shes constantly flipping between cool and collected worldly bartender/dancer that can brush off flirting and has experienced more of her world than Itsuki has of even his own to giddy schoolgirl that squeals and babbles incoherently when a guy compliments her. She also does the Big Sis thing a lot, which I never like (the Onii-chan thing in Japanese media always weirds me out when its used in a romantic/flirty context). I can barely even remember any major moments from Faruns route. Everything just kind of blurs together. I know she did the special love dance at one point. There was also some minor thing about her not talking much to her parents which just kind of lingered in the background and never really went that deep. Thats about it. I know she was supposed to be a character that wore a happy mask to hide her loneliness, but I dont feel like her route really managed to land that.
Sue, I guess? I like Sues design (her coat anyway. Not so much the fact that she wears barely anything underneath it). Her route was okay. It was very depressing, similar to how Yuzuhas was, but I feel as though Sues route never stuck the landing like Yuzuhas did. Sue has abandonment issues because of what happened to her parents. I dont feel like things went much further beyond that. There wasnt really acceptance of death or anything like that. Itsuki just convinces her that hell never leave her alone, even though he has no way of guaranteeing that. After all, Sues parents didnt want to die and leave her alone. It just unfortunately happened and was out of their control. To me, it feels like Sues route is largely about Itsuki replacing her parents. He fills a void in her heart. Im not saying thats necessarily wrong, but I dont think thats the best message to hold up with a young/emotionally damaged character like Sue.
Also, that fucking sexy cat cosplay comes completely out of left field and absolutely destroys the flow of her route. Its so jarring and unnecessary. Its not as though this game is lacking in opportunities for fanservice. There was no need to stick that directly in the middle of Sues character arc.
Ruka and Femiruna were close, but not for good reasons. Ruka was winning me over early on. I generally dislike tsundere characters. I find the whole I hate you, except I secretly like you song and dance to be irritating. This character archetype also tends to remain static even after their true feelings come to light. Ruka never completely stops being angry and defensive about her feelings, even when shes married to the fucking object of her affection and raising multiple children with him.
But her route showed some early promise. I liked the idea of Ruka feeling alienated from people because her powers were very invasive, but then eventually learning that forcing people away from her caused them more pain than her powers ever could. The children at the orphanage dont give a shit about Rukas powers or any painful memories that might resurface. Theyre orphans! They care about finding someone that loves them. They want someone to give them the affection and attention that they were denied, either because their parents threw them away or died. Rukas route does have that, but I dont think it carried that to the finish line. We dont get to see the reconciliation between the little barefoot girl and Ruka. The second half of Rukas route is just her random day trips with Itsuki.
Essentially, I feel as though the best parts of Rukas route all happen off screen.
Oh, god. Femiruna. Femiruna had so much potential. There were so many ways you could go with her route. Within the first few events, we get signs of: Her being desperate for real friendship and finding that her familys reputation and status stand in the way of that; Her realizing just how sheltered she is and how little she knows about the world at large; That her parents are emotionally absent in her life because they focus too much on their business dealings; That shes so afraid of losing the one friendship she seems to be forming that she immediately tries to correct her bad habits and snotty behaviour so that Itsuki will like her. Theres just so many things you could do with those threads. So many ways you could wind them together. In the beginning, Femirunas route really impressed me by suggesting that she was going to be a character that simply didnt know any better because of her sheltered upbringing. She seemed like a good person that just grew up without anyone willing to challenge her and therefore developed some selfish/inflated self-importance behaviour. As soon as Itsuki showed that he wasnt just going to be a yes-man and wouldnt put up with her shit, she tried to change herself for the better.
But none of those threads were really followed. Instead, what we got was Femiruna is a masochist.
There was just so much wasted potential with her.
I dont have much to say about Mahiru. Her Plus-induced personality change made her early events a complete mess of poorly done cuts and weird dialogue changes. Her design is also very boring. If we were allowed to choose a Male Avatar or Female Avatar, Mahiru would be that female avatar. Plus, shes a blood relative of Itsuki. There is no getting around that issue in a game where shes supposed to be a viable romantic interest. It might not be as bad as sister/brother, but it comes real damn close. Shes Itsukis cousin that has lived with him under the same roof for years and has known him since childhood.
I dont like Lillie. Ive been clear about that right from the start. Lillie is an asshole for a large part of her route. Lillith is okay, but theres also not much that stands out about her. Shes too caught up in fortunes and the game gives us competing messages from that. On the one hand, were supposed to believe that fates can be changed. But on the other hand, the game constantly shows that Lilliths fortunes are always spot-on.
The split-personality thing is also really annoying. Even in their ending, you can tell that this Lillie/Lillith/Itsuki relationship is a disaster waiting to happen. Eventually the two separate personalities are going to start getting jealous or resentful of each other because of perceived lack of fairness.
Tarua likes to run. I keep making that joke because its unfortunately just about the only thing that happens in her route. Tarua runs, she delivers letters, she likes the Boss. Shes a child, plain and simple. Shes got a one-track mind. That might match up with her Zodiac sign, but the fact that she looks like shes 12 makes this creepy. Like Torri in CII, Tarua doesnt need a romantic interest. She needs a parental figure. She does have one in the Boss, but her route still ultimately ends with Itsuki taking his place in Taruas life, except as a lover instead of a parent.
I dont like Collette. Her route wasnt bad, but it also wasnt special. What really dragged her down for me was the unrelenting attention paid to the fact that shes a child. The game loves to point it out and Collette herself loves to tease it. Tarua feels more childish overall due to her personality, but Tarua doesnt stop at multiple points in her route to tease Itsuki (and by extension the player) about how young and innocent she is and how perverted Itsuki is for thinking dirty things about her. More than any other young character in this game, Collette is the one that screams Im here to appeal to the Lolicon crowd. She even gets several lines in her ending that make it clear that Itsuki will totally keep his hands off of her until shes of legal age (someday, when youre older, in the future, its still too early for me). Her ending may as well have been labeled Jailbait Wait.
At the very least the game avoids overly sexualizing her in costumes and CGs. Yes, that is very faint praise, but its the only praise I can muster.