すぴぱら – Sakura route

To be honest I question whether or not this can be called a route or just part of the entire thing but I suppose we’ve reached some sort of checkpoint, a good time to catch up on reviewing before the post ends up as a 5,000 word wall of text. To the next part of summaries now!

Following off from where we left off, Yukinari comes to school the next day to find a familiar face sitting next to him.

Why it’s none other than Alice! It turns out that she’s a student in the school. As for the answer to the question of how or why is someone who is implied to be very old attending school, we can conveniently answer it with one word: “Magic!”

With a little hypnotism here and there, she manages to blend into the school just fine. The reason for doing so is just because Ange is attending the school and she never properly attended school before anyway. Did I ever mention that in school Alice pretends to be a perfectly normal honor student? Also the reason that Yukinari didn’t see Alice at school yesterday? Because Alice couldn’t be bothered going to school and by the time she reached for her school uniform it was already after school.

Well despite events like that, our dear protagonist Yukinari enjoys his new school life and starts getting familiar with his new environment. Generally along this section we look at some nice and comfortable slice of life. There may be some grumbles by Yukinari that all the women around him are a little too energetic or quirky for his tastes but that’s fine. Seeing as I finally remembered the names of A & B let’s properly introduce them.

The generic male friend A is called Higashino and his childhood friend is called Nishizono, They’re a relatively famous pair in the school and I guess if taking the words of Yukinari, their relationship can be described as what happens if you pair two tsunderes together. A notable trait of Higashino is that he’s famous, or rather infamous for doing things like skipping school then coming back at the last period and somehow pretending that he never left the school to begin with and generally things like such.

On one such day, Higashino invited Yukinari to the school cafeteria, where Yukinari in turn ended up inviting Alice along. They were introduced by Higashino to the “boss” of the school cafeteria.

Introduced as Kamikawa, he’s the chef in the school cafeteria. His scary looks are apparently attributed to being born in a family of yakuza but due to various reasons, he ended up making a living normally. With some chatting Yukinari introduced himself and the reason he transferred, but before he could finish he was interrupted by Kamikawa, he said that he understood everything. What a tragic background Yukinari has, but all he can do is make sure he’s well fed and thus…

For one reason or another I always liked seeing illustrations of food.

Well besides that part that he tends to jump to conclusions he’s generally a good guy, and of course Higashino introduced them to Kamikawa knowing very well that this would happen by doing this he could save on food costs.

Later that day, Yukinari was invited to go watch Sakura act in the movie since she managed to get permission from the director. Yukinari had been interested in seeing things like that for a while so he agreed.

She ended up showing her failures in acting though as the director is fairly strict with her. While talking to Sakura after the filming the director came up to them.

They introduced each other, her name is Kyouko, the director of the movie of which Sakura is playing in.

Though upon introduction she noticed something and asked about the parents of Yukinari. It turns out that she’s actually an old friend of his mother, Youko, going all the way back to their school days as classmates. She said that she’s been meaning to visit Youko but has been too busy with filming to make some time.

That’s most of the events of interest during the slice of life section. There were some other events but we’ll throw them aside for now and move onto the main meat of the story.

On a certain day of Yukinari’s daily life, Higashino talked to Yukinari about an upcoming school event that Yukinari probably doesn’t know of since he’s a transfer student.

The school event is basically like a big welcome event for the new students in the school. It’s really like a mini school festival with all the clubs doing something in order to impress the first years and recruit new club members. And how wonderful, Higashino is the chairman in charge of organizing it. Why he explained all of these things you ask? Of course because he wants to invite Yukinari as a committee member. Since it’s Higashino, there’s obviously some backs but for time being Yukinari was reluctant on joining because of his mother. Higashino said that he’ll give him time to think about it so for time being they split up and go home.

At home while cooking dinner, Yukinari calls Sakura and talks about whether or not he should join the committee. Sakura encouraged him joining it by all means. Speaking of it to his mother he was also encouraged by her to join the committee and that she’ll be fine alone (it’s not like she isn’t energetic anyway).

Thus one day in class, with the support of over half of the class he was elected to become a committee member. Why of all people is Hotaru doing the vote you ask? Simply because of an unfortunate twist of fate. He was praised for his bravery in joining the committee. And thus his execution fate was determined.

Considering the reaction, it was pretty obvious that there was some backs to becoming a committee member. Well it was Higashino after all. It turns out that you don’t really need to do much organizing for the club events because even if you leave them alone, they’ll probably do things themselves. That’s only the first half of the event though. There’s traditionally a second half which is none other than a beauty contest. The committee Yukinari just joined is in charge of organizing that.

But don’t worry, things don’t end there. Usually all the boys avoid the committee for that reason so the committee becomes all female. But there’s a tradition that if a boy joins the committee, he’s put in charge of finding the participants to the contest. The reason is basically along the lines that it seems questionable for women to decide among themselves who to invite so instead, it’s more comfortable to send a boy to recruit contestants.

Needless to say it’s not such a simple job as many feel reluctant to join in the contest. And it goes without saying that the only boy elected this year is Yukinari so he’s in charge of finding all of the participants. Higashino tells him that he should try to find at least 5 participants.

Now is the time to use Yukinari’s harem connections!

After class he talked to Sakura regarding the the committee. She rejected joining the contest because she’s busy with the filming of the movie but instead she gives him a useful item!

Why it’s a list of cute girls in the school that Sakura has been keeping an eye on along with data about them. Indeed very useful but let’s not ask why Sakura always carries around a list like that.

Thus the journey of Yukinari’s harem beauty contest recruitment begins!

Thankfully being the professional harem meister hard working person he is, he manages to recruit 3 of the 5 people on the very first day.

He cajoled Alice into joining making use of the surroundings and showering Alice in praises

Yuzuki agreed since she can’t reject a request from Yukinari

Kamikawa agreed because… well just because.

wait Kamikawa you say? The yakuza chef from before? Well who ever said that only women were allowed in the beauty contest. In an age of gender equality, clearly we should also recruit men into beauty contests. Yukinari’s harem power knows no limits after all, it even transcends gender and family walls.

After that he hit a rough patch. All of the girls on Sakura’s list refused to participate. Most of the first years refused because they don’t want to stand out. The second and third years refused because they understand how troublesome the contest is.

As he was thinking of how he’d get the remaining two, he was told by Higashino to die trying to get Hotaru into the contest.

And a miracle happened, he managed to get Hotaru to participate since she found it interesting that Alice is also in the contest and he also came out of it alive (for now).

With four out of five recruited, the day ends and during night at his home, Yukinari heard someone ringing the doorbell.

As promised from before, Kyouko came to visit Youko. She bought beer and snacks as well.

They reminisced their school days and generally the past between the two. Along the way, the topic of Sakura was bought up, talking about her refusing the beauty contest because of being busy with the movie.

The next day while going to school he walked into Sakura who asked to join the beauty contest. It turns out that Kyouko called Sakura regarding the whole matter later and as a result, Sakura decided to participate in the contest.

With that, all five members have been gathered. Higashino is surprised about Yukinari’s ability to get all of the schools beauties into the contest but well, what is there to say.

Later on, Higashino and Nishizono get into a fight which began from Higashino commenting that he wouldn’t want to see Nishizono in a swimsuit.

As a result of that…

The next day Yukinari was called by Nishizono to the school early in the morning, Nishizono decided to apply to the beauty contest as well. According to her, Higashino comments that there’s absolutely no way she could win the beauty contest if she participated. To refute it, Nishizono wants to win the beauty contest.

Well with 6 members gathered, it’s about time to explain the details of the contest. They don’t really just line up and then have a vote.

Although the precise contents vary year to year, the rough outline of the event is that every participant will be given 10 minutes to appeal to the audience, though it’s fine if it’s less than 10 minutes as well.

Notably, besides the recruitment of the participants, Yukinari also has the job of supporting them in finding out what to do with the 10 minutes and so on.

Alice decided to play a music instrument, more accurately the violin.

Yuzuki decided to do a shrine maiden dance, the kind you usually see in festivals.

Kamikawa wanted to show off the beauty of his muscles but later changed his mind after looking at himself in a mirror. In the end he decided to do a cooking show of sorts where he creates new dishes and lets some judges taste the dishes. Good ones can be added onto the menu of the school cafeteria.

Hotaru decided to do a magic show where she saws Yukinari in half. Although she doesn’t know the mechanics behind it, that’s fine. At a later date this changed to using a guillotine on Yukinari instead, there’s no need to worry here either though, since she’ll leave it to alice to turn the guillotine into something (hopefully) harmless.

Sakura decided to do a solo play as she couldn’t come up with anything else

Nishizono struggled on figuring out what to do but she mentions that she did the piano and even won some small contests at one point but quit it after a while. Realizing that it would clash with Alice’s performance however, she initially gave up on it. At a later date it was decided that Nishizono would pair up with Alice for a duo performance. For Alice it’s to increase the odds of victory against Sakura (she’s an idol after all, even if not very popular) and for Nishizono to achieve her objective of taking first place. Hearing about Nishizono, Sakura also decided to help Alice and Nishizono practice for the sake of Nishizono’s love revenge.

It’s noted by Alice at some point that Sakura is more or less “perfect” and the opposite of her. Perfect in the sense of being very unlikely to make a wish to her. Commenting that she would be a Cinderella that would get things together even without the help of a witch. Though rather than unsatisfied, she was happy about that.

So in any case pretty much everything progressed smoothly.

However one day, Yukinari walked into Sakura practicing acting for a scene in the movie in an empty classroom. With a (literal) push by Alice, he ends up talking to Sakura. Taking this as a chance, Sakura tells Yukinari that she wants to withdraw from the contest because she wants to focus on the movie after all.

Setting aside the disappointment in Sakura withdrawing by the students since at that point rumors of her participation had already spread around the school, Yukinari himself wanted Sakura to participate in the contest. Noting that Sakura said she could participate anyway if she had a partner to turn it into a duo play, Yukinari begins pondering on where to find a partner.

He, himself can’t become a partner due to his position in the committee. It would be a little biased for him to join Sakura as a partner during her play but he doesn’t know who else to ask either. In the end he came up with the wonderful idea of making a wish to Alice.

The contents of the wish you ask?

To become a girl so he can become Sakura’s partner.

Alice asks whether or not he watched much anime during his childhood and then proceeded to hand him a… magical wand. Reciting the incantations he can now transform into a magical girl.

Fortunately unlike other magical wands, there is no time restriction for the transformation so he doesn’t have to worry about that and it conveniently turns his clothes into female clothes.

Before

After

The price in happy memories he pays varies on the duration of the transformation. Ex, if he only transforms for a short while like what happened when he was trying out the wand, he’d only lose 1 minute or so of happy memories. Not exactly very significant. As usual the rules from before apply. Before leaving Alice’s store however, Alice asks him for what reason do you need to do so much for Sakura? With no solid answer for that question, it struck deeply into his heart.

Now with his new-found crossdressing interests powers he informs Sakura that he actually had a childhood friend besides her who is willing to become her partner. Sakura was overjoyed with her first question being whether or not she’s cute. Though she was also surprised that Yukinari had a childhood friend she didn’t know.

And so, following that Yukinari somehow managed to fool Sakura regarding the partner and Sakura of course decided to participate in the contest again. The story is that Yukinari (female) is a childhood friend of Yukinari who is moving out in a month (despite it being just the start of school) due to various family issues.

The days following that was more preparations, practicing with Sakura and so on. Things progressed smoothly with no real problems to speak of.

On one certain day however, Yukinari decided to invite Sakura to a date.

At the start of the date they found Yukinari’s mother tailing them. Though she was quickly discovered and disposed of. During the date they found Higashino and Nishizono out in a pair which led to even more suspicions that they’re dating, though the two in question fiercely deny it.

Following that they also meet Alice and Hotaru in a pair at the beach, after some talking they separate. They also visit the shrine where Yuzuki is at. I should probably flat-out state here but Yuzuki in shrine maiden clothes turns her into a shrine maiden mode where she’s much more composed compared to her school counterpart.

Though the fundamental personality doesn’t seem to change. It’s also notable that she seems to be catching on with the identity of Alice, Alice comments at one point that if there’s someone who could deal with her in this city, it’s probably Yuzuki.

At the end of the day they decide to visit the sakura forest together.

In the sakura forest Yukinari decides to confess his love to Sakura. Following the flow and atmosphere it would be a scene where Sakura accepts but instead Sakura asks him to wait a bit for an answer.

Yukinari accepts and they go on as usual.

Time passes and it’s about time for the event to happen.

On the day before the event, Yukinari is more or less free so he decides to help Higashino in his work. Higashino gives him the job of wandering around the school and ensuring that the clubs aren’t preparing anything out of line for the event since the responsibility falls onto them if they do it. In addition that, he also gives him the task of taking pictures around the school to use in the school album.

So Yukinari wanders around and takes various pictures of the participants and such preparing for the event.

After night fell he’s told by Higashino that he can go home now, Yukinari receives a text from Sakura to go home together. Meeting up with Sakura in front of a fountain in the school, they get into the conversation of the duo play Sakura is doing. A comedic version of Cinderella of sorts where Yukinari (female) plays the role of the prince, the witch and the sister while Sakura plays Cinderella.

From the flow of the conversation they somehow end up dancing. Although both of them don’t know how to dance so it’s done fairly sloppily.

While dancing though, Sakura decides to confess her love to Yukinari as well. Seeing as it was a perfect chance. Yukinari of course accepts and happily ever after.

With the love confessions accomplished, we move onto the day of the event. All preparations are done and everything as gone smoothly so far.

It’s show time! Everything begins now, it’s time to show the fruits of their efforts! Higashino begins announcing the participants in the beauty contest.

And that’s it.

Before Yukinari realizes it, 3 hours have passed. Alice appears out of nowhere as usual to explain things. As a price of all of the accumulated transformations he lost all memories of the beauty contest. Alice also mentions that it was simply bad luck that the memories of the contest were taken since the memories lost cannot be chosen. Alice informs him of the general outline. The beauty contest was a big success, obvious enough being a happy memory and all. Alice and Nishizono took first place and Sakura took second place.

Alice left the scene and Yukinari decides that it’s fine since although he lost the memories of the event, at least everyone else remembers the event.

After a while Sakura appears and while talking, they see Nishizono and Higashino bantering. As a “prize” of sorts Nishizono makes Higashino call her by the first name as he did in his childhood. Higashino reluctantly ends up agreeing.

Some time more of talking about the event with Sakura, she notes that it’s almost time to film the last scenes of the movie and she has to go. Though before she goes, Sakura and Yukinari kiss, marking the end of the first story.

Picture-wise hand holding is as intimate as they get.

We’re treated to a black screen with sakura petals falling with two people talking. The first story of the “best smile” has ended. But the story isn’t over yet is it? Yes, it’s only the first story, now we move onto the next story.

We are shown a scene early in the story, the second day where Yukinari visited Alice’s store for the first time. When Alice asked if Yukinari had a wish, he denied but Alice remarked that this time he hesitated for a bit. When pursuing it further, Yukinari says that he wants toilet paper but that’s not really something to make a wish for. Alice tells him to go buy it in a store.

Spring, the season of beginning.

To our home town, “we” returned.

Getting off the train station, our protagonist Yukinari has returned to his hometown of Kamakura after a long absence. Next to him is…

..

.

Who?

The girl next to him comments that he must be half asleep still, she’s Yukinari’s younger sister, Rika.

What?

Ahem.

Yukinari quickly recalls it, he also comments how the surroundings seem very familiar. Rika comments that it’s normal since it is his home town after all.

This is about where I stopped to take a breather, let me get this out of my system.

Who?

What?

Huh?

It’s news to me that our dear protagonist had a loving younger sister who is apparently even better than him at housework. Not to mention she does her very best to make sure her precious brother, Yukinari can live comfortably.

That came as a surprise, yup.

Also this sounds as if we’re time looping with a reset button pressed at the end of the story but we’ll see eventually I guess.

Time to return to reading now I guess. Also yay, this post breaks my previous records with a grand word count of about 3,700. I give up shortening my posts, I’ll just do my best to prevent it from being a wall of text and leave it at that. My condolences to those who have to read it.

3 thoughts on “すぴぱら – Sakura route

  1. I wonder how did you recall all these small details about story while was writing all of this, but yeah quite a number of words. You should push your talents into something fundemental like writing a novel by yourself not a review or walkthrough.

    So far, quite entertaining and peaceful story, almost a normal plot for daily life with some little..”magic”. A “hand holding as intimate” is truly such a gentle ending for a route, while I was expecting plot twist to keep us interested. Yet, there’s appearance of imōto from nowhere.. an alternate reality coming on stage?

    • I don’t. I try to write the thoughts soon after finishing while things are still fresh in my mind, after a while I’ll probably only remember the important points and find it difficult to link the timeline together without the help of some reminders.

      And how would I have a talent for writing a novel, to me my summaries aren’t much better than writing the visual novel in English with monotone.

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