I finally finished this in 2 weeks, inbetween schoolwork. This is my first Honeybee game and the first that seemed interesting. I have quite a few thoughts about this, and I won’t do a walkthrough, so there will be no spoilers.
As I mentioned in the trial review, this game is pretty easy to go on routes…. Or so I thought. Since there are no character points (like Rejet) or love catch (like Otomate), it was difficult knowing just which route I was on, and even if you chose a selection, you may meet someone completely not related to the character you want to clear. The guides differ from player to player, and I had my own version of a walkthrough as well, so I’d suggest you rely lots on Quick saves. There probably isn’t a set kind of gameplay, since this game follows a real Amidakuji style, but I guess when the male character you’re clearing at the moment blushes or gets happy, you probably chose the right selection. In the end, the only easy thing was deciding whether you were going to an Ayakashi or Human route.
The flow of the game for each (Ayakashi or Human) route is a main prologue and 4 chapters, which then branches out to a bad end or character route. Then each character has good and bad ends.
The storyline was great, not to mention that the seiyuus did a great job portraying the characters. The last time I remember Kaji as a moody character in a game, and NOT a shota would be him as Rath, in my favourite BWS. And Shimono as Uta was his perfect opposite. Ishida as Asagi was great too, but my favourite has to be KishioDai as Kami-Sama. The acting for this game was great. The seiyuu (Tomonaga Akane) for Rin was superb, she had to play 4 roles (shoujo, Human route and Ayakashi heroine and another one in Manatsu’s route) and all of them were absolutely convincing. This is probably the first time I like a voiced heroine so much. The other thing is, while I don’t think they used DHM, you can hear the characters speaking from different ‘places’ in the game: As they move right or left, the sound follows.
In the game, Uta and Yomi are ‘Komainu’, and since I live pretty near a shrine, I took pictures to show you what they are.
They’re like guardians of the shrine, usually placed at the entrance and originates from China. I think.
This one has its mouth open. The other has its mouth closed. Without a doubt, this one would be Uta.
I played it this way: Ayakashi route Yomi-> Manatsu-> Human route Uta -> Haginosuke -> Suou -> Ayakashi route Asagi
And I don’t recommend jumping, since the story flows exactly in the recommended order and the story and EDs get pretty heavy in Ayakashi route, so . Uta->Hagi->Suou->Yomi->Manatsu->Asagi would be good.
I wanted to do the Ayakashi route’s characters first, so I started with Yomi. Ayakashi route starts right after Asagi sends the sakura petal to her. The heroine Akane Rin in the Ayakashi route is cheerful and curious, and her playable characters are her opposites: the quiet and moody Yomi, the adult Manatsu and the last boss mysterious Asagi.
The Human route, again, has playable characters which are the opposite of the moody Rin, the loud and brash Uta, the gentle and helpful Haginosuke and the strange wildcat Hana. This heroine is interesting too, because, being very different from all the stupid Ohitoyoshi Otomate heroines, this Rin is kinda ‘Oh I hate this and that, and I just wanna go home and lie on my bed to read a book, don’t disturb me’. It was interesting to see how her relationships changed her, rather than the standard flow where the heroine changes the male character through her dumbness or persistant character. Also, she learns how to accept Gin for what he is throughout the main route, which was pretty heartwarming.
And not forgetting Suou, who is definitely the cutest character there. (click to enlarge)
I just love all the nicknames he gives to others, and the way he’s always ‘Nyani?!’ or “ochinyai!” “Nyanya?!” and sleeping everywhere he goes.
And strangely, while I always curse Otomate heroines who trip where there’s nothing to trip on, I was pretty accepting when Rin trips frequently in this game. Perhaps because there’s always a reason, perhaps because whatever happens next is cute, I’m not sure, but Rin has to be the best heroine this year despite all the little common happenings.
The main theme in the game would be about how Ayakashi and humans have different life spans, so Rin is often asked if she can accept that she will age while her lover remains the same, and also to her lover, whether he can accept being left behind. The other ayakashi who appear in the game and fall in love with humans also suffer the same fate, so it’s a rather tearful theme running through each route. There is however, also many comedic episodes, like the one with the kappa, which was hilarious.
I bought the limited edition which came with a recipe book of some dishes mentioned in the game. But there were actually only 4 recipes, and I do not really enjoy cooking, so it’s just a collectible for me. (lol) And this Pot Au Feu, came up twice in the game, with one mention being Asagi and Rin making it together in his route. They spent the whole time talking about how to prepare the dish… It was like advertisement for this Pot au Feu or something.
In the end, I tried making this too, but mine didn’t turn out as pretty as Gin San’s, so I’d spare you the horror of a photograph. And actually, Pot au Feu is supposed to be French beef stew, but Ponpokorin’s uses sausages.
The limited version came with a drama CD as well, nothing spectacular…
For Uta’s route, it was not as exciting as the other characters, except after you clear Asagi’s route, which opens up different Best Ends for all the other characters. Uta’s route didn’t have many sweet moments, and since Uta didn’t really take an interest in Rin in the first place, and they did not really interact in a way that created romance it was strange why the both of them would become a couple. My take is that Rin misunderstood her jealousy of Uta for love, but others may beg to differ. And Uta’s route was kinda “I know whats best for you, so leave this place and let’s not meet again” which kinda pissed me off. They sit there and have an argument about who’s to protect who when they should just ask Gin for help. Turns out, Uta wants to fight his last battle and die, which was not a splendid idea, but guys like Uta love trying to be the ‘cool man’ despite being the idiot so let’s applaud him anyway.
And I just love it when Rin takes the initiative.
Yomi. is. so. cute.
While Yomi often says things like “it’s troublesome” and “You’re so clumsy”, he actually gets things done and is a pretty gentle and helpful guy, often telling Tsuzuri to eat his vegetables as well. He is really cute and I believe player will get lots of Kyun~~ moments with him. If you read B’sLog 10, there were cast interviews, and Kaji’s take on Yomi is that he gets jealous at times, but doesn’t show it openly, instead sulking or something, making it pretty fun to see his reactions when he sees Manatsu petting Rin’s head or when she suddenly throws him a question bomb like “Do you have anyone you like?”
Yomi’s route start off with him and Rin really awkward because they had a fight the previous night on Christmas Party day. No spoilers, so play for yourself to know, but I found it amusing and found it hard to choose whether to side with Yomi or Rin. Since Rin was pretty much being dumb with the “girls are this and that, and boys don’t get it” I was actually glad when Yomi did what he did. I found his route much better than Uta’s route.
Uta is the only one whose CGs are all collected if you finish the ends on the first round. The rest of them have CGs after Asagi’s route, meaning that you have to look at the Best and Good EDs again after Asagi to get the CGs. Yomi’s Best End ended up with him crying and saying he knows he died before, to which I was like ‘how is this a best end???’ so I’d definitely recommend you to see his best end again.
Hagi’s route has many funny moments of them trying to keep away the Ayakashi from him. You may wonder why a bright and cheerful guy like him is sobbing away on Rin’s shoulder, but Hagi has his other sides as well, that is not the courageous knight or the prince . His story was pretty deep and interesting, tying up the bits about the strangeness of Ayakashi and family relations very well. The romance between Rin and him was good and convincing as well, and out of the 3 characters in the human route, I think Rin would probably have fallen for him first. And he is bro when he needs to be.
Suou is the cutest thing ever. His loneliness and high-and-mighty attitude makes him an amusing and lovable character, not only to Rin but to all of them. His romance with Rin is pretty sweet, and the little ways which he shows his affection like simply being around her despite having different opinions about things and sulking were really cute. I liked the parts where Rin doubts his affection, since well, I always doubt my cat’s affection. (^ム^)
Manatsu won’t go to top 3 for me, but his route did explain some mysteries. After the four main chapters, Rin suddenly finds herself in love with Manatsu, and the focus of their story is on their past, not on the present, so it’s up to the reader to get convinced about their past. And the relationship between Gin and him is clearly revealed here… and something interesting to do with Rin’s teddy bear Ku-tan as well, that leads into Asagi’s route.
Asagi is the last boss as you would have guessed. His route wasn’t much romance-filed as mystery filled, and I found myself skipping the voices and spamming the enter button to try to know what had been going on in the past 5 character routes. It was a good wrap up, and Honeybee didn’t make stupid excuses about how Rin was born to be a superhero, but rather, it just happened to be her. Realistic in a somewhat-fantasy game.
Asagi’s route wasn’t as tearful as the other routes despite him being the last boss, but it was just kinda sad. While Asagi said that he ‘probably’ loved Rin, I think it was just him watching over her anyway, and not wanting her to get involved in what had happened.
Some minus points:
Ocasionally, Rin and the two Komainu speak to other Ayakashi right in front of Haginosuke (knowing that he can’t see them) and no one’s like “Who’re you talking to?” or try to cover it up. And why are some Ayakashi like Kami-sama, Uta and Yomi, and Sagiri visible, but other ayakashi like the Zashiki Warashi and Kei can’t be seen by Hagi?And Uta and Yomi wear eyepatches to school. Is that alright? The teachers and classmates never commented on that before. Also, Rin never seems to have female friends, or hang out with them after school. She’s just always with her harem.
They’re kinda stingy with the number of CGs for a PC game, and some of the CGs were chibi characters, which didn’t count much for CGs too. Perhaps to make up for that, the Omake mode had much more to see, and the fact that there isn’t a music record corner is probably to make you buy the music collection that releases on Sept 24.
Omake mode had stuff like character designs and other illustrations:
I love Kami-Sama’s shirt. Lol.
I really recommend this game, great job, Honeybee! My favourite would be Yomi, then Suou and Haginosuke. Seeing as it’s so good, I’ll probably be buying and playing Re:/Un: Birthday song as well.
Other Ayakashi Gohan goods that I own and support!