It’s been a while since I played any otome games but with the Da Capo otome game I decided to get back into it. Similarly with the whole Da Capo series, this takes place on the Hatsunejima island with the never wilting cherry trees. In addition the “magical sakura tree” is there as well. As far as time period, it seems to take place simultaneously as the Da Capo II series would have. With this in mind, characters like Suginami and Shirakawa Nanaka are present in the game as the “senpais” of the main character (and her best friend.)
So let’s begin with a brief introduction. The heroine, (the player) is Koujou Shio. Shio’s name sounds like “salt” but the kanji in her name come from “history” and “cherry tree” so that was probably meant to be purposely ironic. The premise is Shio lives with her brother in a huge house while her parents who are “very much in love with each other” live abroad. The reason is her father got sent abroad for his job and the mother who is so in love with him abandoned her kids and went with him lol. Well at the time the older brother was in college anyway but yea your daughter is umm still in high school? 😯 Anyway Shio’s brother came back to live with her after he graduated and became a teacher at her school – her homeroom teacher to be precise.
Shio has a best friend named Oose. She has these fugly short bangs and a stupid side ponytail. In addition her head is too big for her body and rather than being a good friend who “helps you out” she actually cockblocks more often than I wish she would. But then she’ll be like “OOPS I GUESS I’M A COCKBLOCKER ALLOW ME TO LEAVE LOL!” and then disappears. In addition she blatantly makes fun of Shio for being flat chested and I had never realized it from the promo pic but at the end of the first route I played I was like “damn she looks like a 12 year old loli 😯 ” Anyway, I was hoping Nanaka-senpai would play a bigger role as Shio’s friend but unfortunately we’re stuck with cockblock-chan.
Shio has a special power that when she touches someone, (holding hands etc) they will be able to hear her inner thoughts. Sometimes this can be bad because she may not always want people to know what she’s thinking. Anyway, one day Shio runs into a bunch of guys moving into a new place. She finds out that 2 of them are the same age as her. One is a big butthole while the other one is really sweet and gentle…from there our story begins.
Shinomiya Kouhei – I was originally going to just do Ryohei’s story first because it was the first name on the list but he was pissing me off so I decided to do the nice guy’s route first. Kouhei is one of the youngest Shinomiya brothers and a twin of Ryohei. Unlike Ryohei he has the cute babyface and all the girls fawn around him forming a “little harem” as Shio likes to call it. Despite this, Kouhei always wants to hang out with Shio and always asks her to go home with him and eat lunch with him and his brother. He likes Shio so much that he even goes as far as to try to shoot a 3 point shot in a basketball match so that he can confess to her. Unfortunately he loses and he gets really depressed about it but then Shio urges him to confess to the “girl he likes”. BOY WAS SHE SHOCKED WHEN SHE FOUND OUT SHE’S THE APPLE OF HIS EYE 😆
Things were pretty cool but then Kouhei got all weird and started acting like his brother. In addition he even felt the same pain as his brother even if Ryohei was in a completely different place. I guess he had wished upon the magical sakura tree that he wants to be like Ryohei. The reason behind his madness is when they were looking at old baby pictures, Shio saw a picture of Ryohei as a shota and thought that she may have met him when she was little. In addition Ryohei knew that she hurt her foot at the night festival and what color of hair clip to get her for her birthday. Kouhei got really jealous of his brother and got really depressed and ran off to be under the tree (cause that’s where everyone in Da Capo goes when they’re sad.) Shio found him there and explained to him that she found an old paper airplane that he had made when they were little so yes, the 2 of them had memories together as well and she wouldn’t suddenly pick Ryohei over him. And so with this it’s a happy ending (with a really lame kiss CG). I’ll forgive it though because Kouhei is so freaking MOEEEE and adorable some fangirl inside me kept trying to bust out. :shy:
Koujou Takaaki – Takaaki is Shio’s older brother, the oniichan character of the game. The best part is, he has glasses which I find hot, but he’s not a kichiku megane character. (That role is saved for Kei, read below.) He acts like a very caring and overprotective oniisan but in actuality he can’t wait to bed his sister soon as she becomes legal. 😆 In fact it takes his old college friend to come down to make him more aware of his feelings (along with a ton of alcohol of course.) Meanwhile, it takes Shio’s best friend cockblock-chan, er I mean Oose to make her realize that she wants her oniisan in “that” way too.
But not to worry, there is no incest for this is Da Capo where non blood related siblings falling in love is as common as breadsticks at a pizza place. So since they are not blood related one day Shio admits her love to him and says she knows he feels the same way. He denies it for a while but a hug from behind ™ gets his loins stirring to admit his feelings back to her. Unfortunately this doesn’t quite roll well with Oose and she begins spreading rumors and saying things like a “teacher hitting on his sister is disgusting”. By then everyone except for the Shinomiya brothers whisper about Shio and ignore her. Eventually Shio gets pissed and drags Oose to the roof threatening that she will not allow her to spread anymore rumors and get Takaaki fired from his job (since rumors in Japan is the equivalent of committing murder or something.) Once Takaaki admits that he loves shio deeply, Cockblock-chan gives up and as an apology holds a bootleg wedding ceremony for Shio & Takaaki in the classroom. Umm how is this going to help with the rumors? P.S. Cockblock-chan, you’ve now made my shitlist for the rest of the game routes.
Ryunosuke – Omg this arc left me in tears. 😥 I KNEW it was gonna happen and I KNEW what the ending would be like but I bawwwed anyway. ;-; So please don’t read this part because it contains major spoilers. The story is similar to the original Da Capo game story about the cat girl but in this version it’s a dog. Basically a boy who says he knows Shio follows her and ends up staying at her house due to memory loss. He acts a lot like a dog but he always is very loyal to Shio and loves her very much. However as time passes he eventually gains his memories back and it turns out that he was a dog that Shio had rescued a few years back. She couldn’t keep the dog because her mother was allergic so she ended up giving it to an old man to take care of.
Unfortunately a week prior to the story, the old man had died leaving the dog all alone. The dog went looking for Shio but in the cold wet rain it was too much for him and so he curled up near the infamous sakura tree. He thought he was going to die but the tree allowed him to make a wish. The wish was that he could get a chance to say thank you to Shio one last time before his death. When he turned into the boy he completely forgot about this wish because all he could think of was to see Shio. Eventually Shio goes looking for him because he leaves her house after telling her “thank you” and then she finds him disappearing in front of the tree. She then realizes he’s the dog and after his human form disappears, all Shio is left with is the corpse of the dog. 😥 The next day she buries the dog with the help of Ryouhei who is there to help and comfort her. (I swear Ryohei’s been there for her in like every story so far, more on that later.)
Shinomiya Kei – Kei is the Kichiku Megane character of the series. He is voiced by the same seiyuu as Junichi from the recently aired Akaneiro ni Somaru Saka anime. Basically it means he is very cold and aloof and no matter how nice the heroine acts, it takes the entire story to finally “thaw” his cold ice queen king heart. He is also the oldest Shinomiya brother and he is sort of the “father” figure because both of the Shinomiya parents died in a car accident when they were young. Shio first meets him when he becomes her tutor because she’s like failing her exams. Thanks to him she ranks 3rd in the class and after this they get more involved. He even forces her to watch horror movies, which she absolutely hates. 😆 Eventually Shio falls in love with him and confesses her feelings. He tells her that he’ll “go out with her” for a year because he has plans to go to college off the Hatsunejima island next year.
Despite their “boyfriend and girlfriend status” Kei still treats her like a child. Despite her wanting to go on dates with him, hold hands, kiss etc. he acts like he HAS to do it. Eventually after a failed picnic date, Shio goes home depressed and gets hit by a motorcyclist (seriously wtf? 😯 )Kei thinks it’s his fault and gets very upset and emotional at the hospital once Shio wakes up. He then blames himself for it and tells Shio to stop this “dating game” and to never see him again (including the tutoring.) Later on Shio speaks with her brother and Aoi about the accident and finds out that Kei was in the car when his parents crashed – but he was the only survivor. Due to this he has been blaming himself for it and wearing a non-ticking watch from his deceased father. Eventually with the help of Aoi, Shio tricks Kei into coming to see her. She knows he still loves her because he continues to carry a photo of the 2 of them from the amusement park that Cockblock-chan took. Shio gives Kei back his watch and she was able to get it to work again. It’s as if she has “made his time move”. They go on a date to the amusement park and Kei tells her that he won’t be leaving the island for college and will instead attend a university on the island for her. They finally share their first kiss in the haunted house that they went on their first date on 😆
Shinomiya Aoi – Aoi is the “playboy” type of the game. He has many fangirls fawning over him and making him bentos every day. In addition he slacks off a lot, and often skips classes or comes late to school. He takes interest in Shio, well interest in making fun of her. However like a “little boy who really likes a girl, only shows it by teasing her” he makes fun of her a lot. He tells her very serious things, but then immediately says “just kidding!” afterwards making her really annoyed. Unfortunately all the jokes he makes are actually true. It turns out, he was left on the door step of the Shinomiya house and so the Shinomiya parents adopted him as one of their own. Therefore he isn’t related to any of the Shinomiya brothers by blood. In addition, he has some sort of life threatening disease that may kill him when he reaches a certain age.
Due to this, he’s has to get left behind a year and he has no desire to bother with class anyway because he could “die tomorrow”. Shio of course doesn’t know any of this and he somehow ends up asking her to be his girlfriend but he keeps leaving her hanging on dates. She thinks that he’s just messing with her until she finds out about his disease and that he’s basically passed out and had to get taken to the emergency room each time he didn’t show up. One night he is supposed to stay home due to his illness but he runs off to the night festival with Shio. He goes with her to the infamous sakura tree and asks to break up with her because he doesn’t want to be a burden on her like he’s been a burden on his brothers. He says the reason they all moved back to Hatsunejima was so that he could ge better care for his health. Shio is upset but later hears that he will be transferring to a hospital outside the island. She runs to see him and says she will wait for him. A few months pass and he returns to the island in (presumingly) better health. This whole plot felt a lot like the plot for Shiori from Kanon so I guess I didn’t really get too emotional here. In addition, Aoi’s personality is SOOOO annoying I just couldn’t get to like him as a character.
Shinomiya Ryohei – Please note, for best results/feelings/etc play his route last as he is the “destined one” for Shio in this story. I mean yea we know in these kinds of games the routes are usually somewhat self contained, but similarly to how in Under the Moon Lenny was the “main guy” Ryohei is the main guy here. Because of this the story and Shio’s daily life drastically changes due to this so playing it first or in the middle would sorta throw things off. Ryohei and Shio were childhood friends but when the Shinomiyas moved off the Hatsunejima island, Shio wanted to say goodbye but didn’t get a chance. She made a wish on the sakura tree for her voice to be able to reach Ryohei one more time – which is how she gained the ability for others to read her thoughts when they touch her. However with Ryohei, he has always been able to hear her thoughts, whether he actually touches her or not.
When Shio first runs into Ryohei he immediately recognizes her as the girl from the past, but not only that, she was his first love. Unfortunately for Shio it takes the entire story for her to realize that Ryohei was the one who always protected her from bullies when she was a loli (she still look like one 😛 ). In Ryohei’s story, Shio is often bullied by her female classmates and forced to do cleanup duty for all her male classmates. She just pretends like its no big deal and does it without thinking. Ryohei tells her that it’s ok to show your emotions and get angry out loud, there’s no need to take their shit. One day when it rains the stupid bitches destroy Shio’s umbrella and she goes home soaking wet. However Ryohei finds her, takes her home and there she begins crying. He tells her that he doesn’t mind about “hearing her voice” and that just in front of him she doesn’t need to worry about it.
Eventually Kouhei and Oose get tired of seeing the 2 of them act so tsundere around each other and have “lovers quarrels” so they set the 2 of them up in the park with some fireworks. This obviously works and when Aoi even makes a joke saying “why don’t you guys just kiss don’t mind us!” and Ryohei gets annoyed at all his brothers and promptly smacks one on an unpexpected Shio right then and there. 😉 Anyway after that Shio & Ryohei begin to officially date even though they still get teased by Aoi, Oose and Kouhei. One day however Shio wakes up and the whole day everyone can hear her inner thoughts. Even when she’s not trying to project them she disrupts class and everyone stares at her like it’s disgusting. She runs home crying and when Ryohei tries to comfort her she tells him she’s scared and asks him to leave.
When he is told that he scares her, Ryohei gets seriously upset. He gives her the birthday present as well as the little chick phone strap that he’s been carrying from the “girl who he first fell in love with.” The next day Shio feels terrible and tries to appologize to him but he just ignores her and tells her he has nothing to say to her. That day after school the stupid bitches trick her into going to the roof top and they lock her out. Everyone leaves and she is left alone with no cell phone to call for help. It begins raining and she’s once again stuck in the rain. She doesn’t know what to do so she calls out in her inner thoughts for Ryohei to rescue her. Lo’ and behold her thoughts of course reach him and he opens the door from the rooftop and brings her inside. They go into the classroom to talk about the magical sakura tree and their childhood and that they have had a lot of misunderstanding between each other. This of course ends in them kissing alone in the classroom (＊´∀`) Of course the story is a happy ending with the 2 childhood friends finally reuniting together and once again falling in love. It’s interesting but out of all the stories, this one focuses more on SHIO rather than on the MALE protagonist whose ending you’re trying to reach.
Some notes and after thoughts:
- In the omake section there’s a BGM called “Dream of Cherry Tree” which is basically identical to “懐かしい夢” from the original Da Capo soundtrack.
- First run of the game took me about 15 hours. After that it averaged between 3-5 depending if I went to eat dinner or something in between.
- I have no idea why but there was no actual “KISSING” CGs in the game. It was either “implied” or it would show characters’ faces “close together” but no actual mouth to mouth CGs (except one with Ryohei orz). Seriously what the hell is this? I know it’s an all ages game but gimme a break! 😯
- Until I played Ryohei’s story, Kouhei was my favorite but I gotta say I really like Ryohei after playing his route (＊´ω`) I guess I’ll admit Ryohei is #1 for me while Kouhei is #2. After these 2 I’d say I really liked Takaaki’s route. He was such a sweet oniisan (and a really hot one at that lol.) Not a fan of Aoi or Kichiku-megane and the dog story made me cry so much I had to wash my face with cold water 20 times OTL
- Ryohei is a tsunderella boy. But that’s what makes him so moeee when he’s all deredere (＊´ω`)
- Suginami shows up a lot in Aoi’s arc but he just says random shit and then disappears. At least Nanaka had some sort of involvement in the story sheesh!
- Cockblock-chan’s younger brother has a crush on Shio and wants to marry her when SHE grows up. 😆
- Junichi-san from the first Da Capo series comes in as an advice giving grandpa to Shio about the sakura tree. Junichi-san ;____; I almost cried for no reason lol.
Anyway great game. Glad I got to play an otome game without some nasty ass sex scene with horrible sound effects and all that other terrible １８禁 game crap that I can’t stand. It sorta makes you focus on the story more and enjoy it for what it is rather than sitting there going “oh god I hope I don’t have to DO this character” or “oh god I can’t wait till we get to the sex scene!” The worst part is how most otome games also have the stupid rape scenes ugh. That’s something I definitely did NOT miss while playing Girl’s Symphony. I recommend this game to all otome game fans as well as Da Capo fans alike. ヽ(*´∀｀*)ﾉ