Let’s see… the story took various twists and turns as it gradually revealed everything about the setting. There were various characters participating in the story with their own motives, this extends even to Hifumi’s own friends. The only real exception to this story as more or less “complete outsiders” is the two juniors that appear here and there. Everyone else seems to relate to the story in one way or another. In reality just about all of them obtained a Tsukumogami by the end of the story.
That was pretty interesting as it showed there was more to what we see at the beginning and some parts which you may have recognized as a “coincidence” wasn’t quite a coincidence after all.
Regardless, the one thing that came off as a fact is that… the women in this story are scary.
And so, speaking of the women, while the story was pretty good… the “routes” weren’t quite as good. More accurately I’m not even sure if there was something you could call a “route”. Let’s be clear here, it’s not as if it’s a story with no branching at all. In fact it may have been better if it didn’t but no, it does branch. Depending on your choices you’ll land on different hscenes but… like… The differences between routes are practically limited to that and some small details as far as I know (after I realized it, I couldn’t quite be bothered to get every ending).
What this means is that the story feels fairly disjointed at times as there isn’t any true “heroine route”. They had to fit developments for the heroines within the main story and probably thanks to that, it felt wrong that despite making all of the choices to one heroine, the next minute the heroine is pushed to the sidelines as the focus is placed on someone else. This was painfully obvious in Aina route where she hardly got any screen time at all.
That said, after you know the backgrounds of Hifumi and the heroines, I’m not quite sure if you’d want to see heroine routes for some of them anyway. Sounds like there would inevitably be some yanderes lurking in the shadows no matter which path you take, not to mention Hifumi technically already had a true love before the start of the story.
… It should probably be mentioned that because of fate they should’ve been reunited even after they lost their memories to Tsukumogami’s as long as… a certain someone didn’t give the girl a “push”.
I can’t say much about the ending of the story because by the end everything mixed together into a huge mess with truth being revealed here and there. It wasn’t bad though, just confusing at times since I swear half of it was just one big info dump with flashbacks to tell the truth behind the story. Such as how Touma and Aina didn’t quite “coincidentally” meet Hifumi and became friends with him. They all had their different motives, as our dear bandaged girl put well, Hifumi’s surroundings is full of liars.
… I actually liked that girl by the end of the story since her craziness was dwarfed by other characters and by then, her craziness was the kind of good craziness… whatever that is supposed to mean.
Overall it was a nice read, though not perfect. Could’ve had more effort in the heroine area, this basically felt like what happens if you only make one true route and then try to branch the true route into heroine scenes as it progresses. Meanwhile the typical development is that you make the reader go through heroine routes which don’t quite give a complete picture of the story and then reveal the true route with everything coming together, sometimes this also means they can just screw having a heroine at all and focus on the story itself. They couldn’t quite do the same here. The idea was nice though I guess, just the execution wasn’t done well.
On a final note I’ll mention that… Aina’s Tsukumogami is CUTE.
Why the hell didn’t those things get more screen time dammit, I could read an entire story of their antics. On that topic I’m not actually sure what was the point of their existence outside of being mascots. In even Aina’s route I only count them actually properly being “used” about two times or so. Well who cares, it’s cute so it’s fine.
Next up is 祝福の鐘の音は、桜色の風と供に as a brief filler before going into other October releases.