Full withdrawal of my previous remarks about the characters and the routes, while I may have vaguely sensed it at the start and chose to turn a blind eye to it, once getting into it the truth became blatant.
If you look back, during my impressions I talked about how nice it would have been if the route order was adjusted a bit so that Jun and Mishio switched spots, then the order would be perfectly fine and I’d be happy.
Those sentiments shattered a bit before the first route (Mishio) ended.
By that point I had a feeling that I would hate every single main heroine in the story and by the first half of Elizabeth route that feeling became very concrete— this apparently ended up as one of the few VNs of which I disliked every single main heroine in. To ensure no misunderstandings are done, the story itself is fine. Even if the last boss just had to be some classy guy sitting in a throne looking down on the characters from somewhere so high it’s not even on Earth, that’s fine. To begin with it’s in chuuni genre, if you were expecting anything less ridiculous then you’re probably knocking on the wrong door.
However, an important point of any story, serious or not, is that you actually enjoy seeing the characters in the story. How are you supposed to become engaged with the story when you don’t even care about the main characters involved in it? When the entire story revolves around their struggles to survive, not caring usually means that you miss half of the point in the story.
Such is what describes my feelings towards the story. The story itself is perfectly fine, it’s just the heroines whom I can’t really bring myself to like which is the issue for me.
Let’s get things straight, the sub characters are perfectly fine, I can even go up and say they’re likable, even including most of the antagonists involved in the story, after all in a sense they’re also victims of the true mastermind. Well some of them anyway.
However when it came to the main heroines everything goes downhill. In the case of Mishio her character collapses and takes a 180 degree turn once you hit her route, that may be slightly exaggerated however the point is that it was quite different from what I would expect from character development. And yes I do understand that her character reversal is perfectly reasonable as rather than reversing, it’s probably more like returning to what she was. It’s only that it was a little different from what I was expecting.
In the case of Elizabeth… Well I don’t want to come off sounding like a purist but isn’t there something somewhat awkward to know that the main heroine sort of spent most of her life (in the military) making full use of her body in order to survive, assassinate people and so on and to begin with ends up having sex with Ryouga on their first… well second meeting depending on choices while they still had the standpoints as enemies? No, that much was still fine, the issue was because in her route, the entire fuss of personality switch thing it almost felt like they were trying to sell her off as a pure maiden afterwards. Of course they (hopefully) weren’t trying to do so but overall it came off as stupid.
Jun…, Jun when compared to the other heroines comes off as more normal since well, she comes from a normal background and would have otherwise been a perfectly normal girl if it weren’t for the events in the story. So there wasn’t anything in particular to complain about. The thing is, as with impressions, I never took interest in her character to begin with so it didn’t really earn any plus points in my book either. Story-wise her route is a true end of the generic chuuni. The characters put together their efforts, achieve the final tier of power and defeat the enemy with love and friendship! I actually stopped and questioned what exactly Marlene’s route would be if Jun’s route ended this way.
Marlene’s route however was different from the rest. No, let’s be clear here, I don’t really care about Marlene either. But her route, the fourth and final route was exactly what I was hoping for from the story. The spotlight of Marlene’s route was easily stolen by the other characters, towards the end it turned into a clash of beliefs among men, with heroines practically set aside from the story. The spotlight was taken by various sub characters, even Ranmaru(?) got his chance to shine, to be fair the heroines also got their moments of glory but for the most part, the sub characters took the spotlight, at least that’s what I felt.
And that’s great, because as said, the story was mostly ruined by the main heroines. If the sub characters whom I like much more in comparison gets the spotlight, exactly what do I have to complain about? Since it’s the grand and final route, even more so. Therefore while I was on the verge of dropping the story at the first three routes, at the fourth route I was very satisfied, a story like such was exactly what I was looking for after all.
… Did I mention how glorious it felt when our dear last boss decided to practically cut Mishio and Elizabeth off for being useless?
They did survive but yeah, point made.
Summing things up, as usual I’m sure for those who found the characters appealing they would enjoy the story far more than I did but as I failed to do so, I really didn’t feel any attachment for the main heroines so the first three routes were extremely painful to go through. The final route of course was exactly what I wanted: a battle royale with every character having a chance to shine and a confrontation with Ryouga and Rei as best friends before going up and fighting the last boss— together. Of course I’d be happy. Even if it’s technically Marlene’s route but I honestly felt that she got pushed away once you get through the hscenes, a bit of talk with her and her brothers (true) death.
Had it not been for the heroines the story would be all in all great but well, at least the finale made up for everything. Caren’s talk which is unlocked in the extra after you finish all routes was also a very nice touch to wrap up the story.
Overall I’m fairly happy, an extremely negative first half which managed to get canceled out by the spectacular latter half and I’m sure if someone who actually liked all of the heroines played it they’d be more than happy. A good story indeed, next up is Pure Girl.