Now before I start I’ll note, this is the sort of story where it’s most enjoyable to play yourself and experience it without spoilers. Therefore by all means play it yourself without looking at the post if you can. Or rather, DO IT.
With the little disclaimer aside, let’s start.
First of all, the drama in the story is fairly generic. Let’s go in the order of which I played the routes in for time being.
In the common route we get the usual stuff, character introductions and random antics until the route split. During the common route one important plot point, and the tool you use to decide whose route you end up in, is a magical pendant that the protagonist Kaname always carries around.
I touched upon this in the impressions as well but, essentially it is a magical pendant that causes Kaname’s wishes to come true. For an example, he wished that tomorrow wouldn’t rain and therefore it didn’t rain.
It may sound like a convenient tool but Kaname is an idiot and no one really pays attention to it. It ends up ultimately as a tool for the reader to modify the direction of the story with. Probably because of this, the common route structure is slightly different from the usual fare.
First there’s the common route, however the common route will branch into two different paths about mid way which I’ll just call common route A and common route B. After that each route will further split into another two routes making for all 4 heroine routes.
Let’s talk about my first route, Suzume.
She’s introduced as a transfer student from an extremely wealthy family and also the principal of the school (as her family owns it). She also happens to be Kaname’s fiancee for some unknown reason but the fiancee matter was annulled on their first meeting thanks to the wonderful effects of the magical pendant.
In here we deal with the usual commoner to rich person problems. After Kaname and Suzume fall in love with each other (they even had sex already at that point) a shocking revelation that after Kaname broke up the fiancee deal Suzume has a new fiancee and they’re scheduled to be married soon.
Typical of this sort of story, Kaname does all sort of things to stop it from happening and ultimately with the power of love and friendship he manages to rescue her from the dirty claws of a mysterious fiancee she had never even met before.
The identity of the fiancee you ask? Well he ever so happens to be Kaname’s best friend Tsukasa who Kaname knew was rich but never knew anything more than that. Meanwhile on Suzume’s side he went by an alias so she didn’t know either.
Obviously just running away with Suzume serves as a solution to absolutely nothing therefore thanks to the cooperation of Tsukasa, they managed to wrap up the situation cleanly. What a tearfully good friend he is. At this point he also states that he has someone else he likes anyway so it’s win-win for both sides.
Next up is Mihane’s route. In Mihane’s route it’s revealed that MIhane was actually an admirer of Kaname in his prime. Namely, when he was still a hard worker at sprinting instead of running away and refusing to practice all day. Despite her telling him to die every time they meet, Mihane actually entered the school because of Kaname.
In the common route Mihane belongs to, Mihane ends up as Kaname’s sister in law as a result of their parents remarriage. As the route develops more and more secrets about Mihane are revealed. Pretty cute story really though there’s not much to say about it other than that.
Next up, Asahi’s route belongs to the same common route as Mihane. In Asahi’s route Kaname and Asahi easily fall in love. Well frankly it doesn’t come as something too unnatural when considering how close they were to begin with as wonderful childhood friends and all.
However I was vaguely expecting some sort of drama to form because of Asahi having a twin sister who is obviously also the childhood friend of Kaname. Amusing that they smacked down that idea straight off the bat. Instead the drama went to an unexpected direction: An energetic but sickly girl drama! Namely it’s revealed that Asahi has heart problems because of an accident during their childhood before they met Kaname.
Asahi was injured when a car accident occurred right in front of her and at that time her heart was apparently somewhat damaged. As she grew up this damage began to cause problems and ultimately resulting in the drama.
Well it’s painfully cheesy with the whole, “If Kaname manages to win the competition in sprinting the 3% chance of success surgery will surely succeed!”
And of course Kaname won and at the same time it succeeded. A cheesy story alright, yep.
Finally there’s the student council president Yuzuki’s route which was… not particularly interesting so I have nothing much to say. Most of it revolved around the school’s dark ages and blackmailing. I couldn’t help but feel that there were easy shortcuts to solving the problem or rather, not letting it happen to begin with.
Can you believe it? The main drama of the story was caused by Kaname not exchanging contact information with Yuzuki after becoming lovers. It just came off as a huge joke to me. In general the common route branch of which Suzume/Yuzuki belonged to wasn’t too interesting in regards to drama. It was more irritating than anything else as I heavily dislike the generic fiancee drama as well. It just seems far too typical of a tool to use for relationships like that.
Up to here the story has generally been good. Good but as pointed out in Suzume/Yuzuki routes, it was at the same time a bit of a hit/miss situation since not all of the routes were fun.
Now of course the deciding factor would be the true route. To begin with, what could the true route be about? Presumably it has something to do with the magical pendant that has been at the core of the entire story but that’s about all that could be said. Or well, at certain points of the story flashbacks were also shown of Kaname meeting a shy girl during his childhood and stealing her first kiss.
So here I took the obvious assumption what the true route would be about: I initially assumed that shy girl to be Suzume but wait, what if she’s a fifth heroine! Not to mention it’s noted that she has unique eyes which Suzume is missing.
As I had predicted, in the true route Suzume’s sickly younger sister Hibari showed up. Things were not completely going according to my expectations however.
While the story progressed, it was increasingly pointing towards to some sort of crappy love triangle sort of story with the true route sharing large parts of Suzume’s route (including Kaname falling in love with her again) but at the same time also had Hibari talking about their childhood promise to marry, in other words the true fiancee of Kaname is her. Of course the person Tsukasa likes is Hibari. Finally to further complicate things, the same events in Suzume’s route were happening. Namely the entire fiancee business.
I was heavily disappointed in this as, well, I didn’t wait for all this build up just to see a crappy love drama unfold.
But towards the latter half of the story, an extremely unexpected twist was revealed. The initial assumption of the girl being Suzume was actually correct, she really was Suzume. However then why did she introduce herself as her younger sister instead then? Essentially you could say that everything was a farce in order to protect Hibari.
In a nutshell, in order for one to be the successor to the family they require the heterochromia eyes or else they’re disqualified. Typically all of the care goes to the successor for obvious reasons while any other heirs get thrown out to other families, which is in reality what’s happening to her at the time of the story. Because of this, Suzume had the need for Hibari to stay as the heir for the family or else she wouldn’t receive so much medical attention. She used contact lenses and covered up her own heterochromia to spens her life being treated as an “unnecessary” person in the family while Hibari is the official heir.
In order for the story to match, they practically tricked Hibari who was sickly into believing that the stories they feed her are her genuine memories. This is why Hibari recognized Kaname as her fiancee when the person who experienced the event was actually Suzume. It should also be mentioned that Suzume was the one who gave Kaname the magical pendant.
It’s noted that the heterochromia seems to be a result of an extremely rare blood type and the family goes through heavy incest (with branch families and the like) in order to produce a heir with heterochromia. Tsukasa happens to be a distant relative of Suzume so he passes. It’s also probable that the reason Hibari is so sickly to begin with is due to the incest practice.
Finally the magical pendant is touched upon.
Well you see… magic doesn’t exist. Yeah, you’d normally think that way but it’s easy to accept magical settings, especially in this medium. They established it was some magical wish granting machine so you’d really normally just accept it as that. However the truth is different. You see, the pendant is not some magical item, it is… a wiretap and at the same time also a GPS tracker. It was originally given to Suzume who was ignorant of what it was beyond being an accessory so that the SP and the likes could find her.
Yes, that’s the true identity of the pendant after all this damned time. Now we may ask, what were they doing wiretapping an idiot commoner like Kaname after he was given the pendant from Suzume? The answer is simple. This entire story is a stage setup by Tsukasa. The school, the wishes, every single one of them were done by… THE POWER OF MONEY.
Yes, that’s right. Bow down and get on your knees before the power of money, commoner.
Let’s clarify. Tsukasa who fell in love with Hibari decided to try and make her happy. But Suzume was guilty for feeding her all sorts of lies. After meeting Tsukasa they put together a plan, a plan to make those lies into reality.
Therefore based off some childish conversations Kaname and the others talked about during their childhood, they constructed an entirely new school based off it for the sole purpose of the “story”. The reason Kaname gets such an important role is because he is the one that started it all. So he was designated as the “main character” of the dreamlike story.
Through the use of wiretapping, GPS tracking and large sums of money, Tsukasa essentially directed the entire story.
Setting aside the obvious case in Suzume’s route aside where it was relatively blatant…
For an example if Kaname said he wanted a younger sister, Tsukasa would induce his father to remarry to another person causing him to get a sister in law.
For an example, medical records could be forged to make things look critical and “miraculous” surgeries could happen.
Essentially throughout the entire story, Tsukasa was hiding in the shadows manipulating the story. Even certain actions by Kaname were induced by Tsukasa, leading him to the right path.
It goes without saying that I was left to realize how I didn’t manage to figure out the twist at all, not the slightest bit. Pretty rare for a story to be subtle enough to surprise you with something nowadays.
Well the rest is the usual story of Kaname, after finding out the truth, fighting to find a donor for Hibari so that she can be cured. In the end Suzume was the canonical end which is fairly satisfying.
At the end of it I find that it was well worth the time spent on reading. The only part I didn’t quite like was that Suzume sort of deserved more attention. For one she’s cute. For another she’s the long lost childhood friend who stole Kaname’s first kiss (partially forcibly thanks to a certain someone though). Her own route wasn’t exactly satisfying with the entire fiancee fuss and then in the true route, most attention was put on Hibari and Tsukasa so it wasn’t too satisfying in that route either.
I guess I should be happy that she at least managed to confess/kiss Kaname during the true route. If no developments at all happened then I would really have mixed feelings about the route.
Well though, you can’t say the story is without flaws. Despite the interesting MONEY IS MAGIC twist, some things can’t quite be written off as a simple case of money. It ended up as an awfully convenient story regardless but hey, that’s stories of this genre for you. This is basically one of the stories where your outlook on the story changes thanks to the true route. Once looking back you’ll probably notice random interesting hints you may have missed before. Overall it’s a somewhat above average story. Had an interesting twist that I genuinely didn’t expect but other than that it’s hit or miss for the most part.