The words Nil Admirari mean “to be surprised by nothing” in latin which I guess perfectly the describes the fantasy story & twists that happen in this game. The word tenbin means scales so I’m guessing the title translates vaguely to “the balance of no surprises”. The subtitle refers to the roaring 20s “empire” in Tokyo, that the story takes place in and refers to it as ~gorgeous~ but that’s a coverup for the dirty truth underneath. Kuze Tsugumi’s family has been struggling financially so she’s decided to try to help her family by marrying some rich guy, despite the protests of her clingy otoutokun. Shit gets weird when one night her brother Hitaki mumbles crazy shit and then sets himself on fire. (He doesn’t die just goes into a coma and has a fever at the hospital.) Apparently a book that he read cause him to do this and it’s known from previous incidents according to 2 detectives who come to her house. After this event it seems like Tsugumi sees an aura-like fire on the book when no one else does. They ask her to join their police force unit Fukurou so they can use her powers to help find more of these cursed books(希モノ). They offer her a salary and a place to live and since her engagement appears to be called off, she cuts her long hair off & joins them. Her job is mostly to go around bookstores and check to make sure there’s no cursed books there. And while spending time with the guys at Fukurou, she’s about to learn some things that she was never taught in school ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°).
Migiwa Shizuru – Shizuru’s route felt like the most disconnected route from the entire game. Even his romance with Tsugumi felt disconnected cause it felt like he did a lot of things behind her back to ~not involve her~. Shizuru is the trashy romance novel writer whose books are Hitaki’s favorites. He often goes to maiko bars and now that I’m on his route – consistently attempts to bed Tsugumi. Even Shiori mentions him as someone for the “advanced” 😂. He loves Miso soup and lilac scented cologne. His favorite part on a woman’s body is legs according to his profile. So an incident happens where a woman is assaulted and near the scene of the crime they find one of his books. So they spend the majority of the route trying to figure out if he really did it, and Tsugumi continuously tries to prove his innocence. Also during the route for some reason Tsugumi feels like she needs to be more mature for him and it works a bit too well cause he starts to think that she just wants the D. He thinks that when she went to Ueno park with Rui they had sex but obviously it’s all a misunderstanding since Tsugumi was working to try to prove Shizuru’s innocence. (눈_눈) Somehow after he makes out with her I guess it suddenly makes her fall in love with him and she gets jealous when she sees him with a random lady on the street who calls her an immature little girl. Shizuru’s first novel was a mystery but it did poorly and his teacher Moritsune supposedly ripped apart in front of him.
Sasagoi, who was another pupil at the time (and now runs a bookstore) claims that after that Shizuru vowed to kill him in revenge. Shizuru tells Tsugumi that he burned Moritsune‘s book cause he heard murderous messages coming from it. He also let’s Tsugumi search his room to further prove his innocence…but at the time she didn’t find anything. Best end: While waiting in the park one night as bait, Tsugumi spots Shizuru and runs after him. What she finds instead is Sasagoi stabbing Shizuru instead, and she ends up getting stabbed in the shoulder trying to protect him. Sasagoi then admits to being the Ueno criminal and the rest of Fukurou come to arrest him. He basically wangsts about how Moritsune sensei didn’t notice him or his writing. And then people used him to intentionally write books that would become cursed to use as murder weapons. When they get home Shizuru is mad at Tsugumi for being “bait” in Ueno park, but she cries and says she just wanted to prove his innocence. He feels bad for yelling at her and hugs and apologizes. He also tells her to forgive what that woman said cause it was all part of his plan to separate himself from Fukurou so nobody would be a victim. And so they end up screwing in his room, sadly it all came so fast in the end none of it moved me (and I blame this on the writer cause this is exactly why I didn’t like a lot of routes in Senjou no Waltz.) Also the cg for this scene was so weirdly zoomed in on her eye I could barely see what’s going on. 😐 I thought the route had ended cause all they did was have sex over and over. ..that is until she catches him stabbing a doll and going crazy over some books.
He then threatens to kill Tsugumi while babbling for her not to touch Moritsune‘s books. Turns out he had a cursed book hidden in the ceiling tiles of his room which is why Tsugumi never found it when searching his room. He didn’t want to let go of it because of his loyalty to sensei and apologizes for lying to her. In the epilogue, Shizuru recovers and then visits Hitaki and gives him a signed copy of his book. Otoutokun is so happy he tells Shizuru he approves of him as Tsugumi’s husband. 😂😂😂 Bad end 1: Someone strangles Tsugumi to death (possibly Shizuru? ) Bad end 2: Moritsune‘s rage overpowers even Tsugumi and she ends up stabbing Shizuru before he kills her. He tells her he loves her before he dies. This route had such terrible pacing, that I actually thought it had ended until OH NOES CURSED BOOK WAS THERE AFTER ALL. It also makes me feel dumb for spending so much time with Tsugumi trying to prove his innocence…when he was keeping cursed books the whole time anyway. Sasagoi took the blame but I wonder if Shizuru was involved in some of it during his murderous rampages because of the book as seen in the bad ends. I was so disappointed too because his “relationship” with Tsugumi felt like he kinda coerced her into screwing him?? She had this innocent girl image in other routes, but because her brother happens to like this guy’s books suddenly makes him the best ever. Umm ok. For a randy SuzuKen character, I expected this route to be as good as Alvaro from WoF but sadly it was not to be.
Ukai Shougo – Again this route was a bit disconnected from the main plot but because Shougo is such a cute tsunderella, I forgave him 😉. He’s a rich snotty bocchan who even has a servant that lives on premises to take care of him. He’s not part of Fukurou and pretty much ignores everyone so you barely see him in anyone else’s route. He likes borsch, miso soup and croquet and his favorite part on a woman is her voice so he likes when Tsugumi sings. He’s tsun as fuck and always bitches about something but the ends up doing it (like turning his music down or doing apartment chores.) Accidentally has a lucky sukebe moment and walks in on her about to bathe 😂 He later writes her an apology letter saying he saw nothing and will forget this ever happened. (Except when they’re about to screw he fully admits he saw everything and regrets nothing😂). The big plot detail about Shougo is he tried to kill himself because of the cursed books, and was a victim on the same day as Hitaki. Due to this his family kinda turned their nose on him and his butler is a fucking traitor. Tsugumi keeps catching him burning books that aren’t even the cursed ones. Some drama happens about her going to Nachtigal to spy on Sasagoi and Mozuyama and being hit on by this other dude which makes Shougo super jealous. He gets even angrier at her when she searches his room for cursed books. One night he goes out of his mind and shoots Shiori, and then tries to shoot himself. It seems like he’s being mind controlled but Tsugumi calls his name out and he wavers.
They use the opportunity to knock him down and wrestle the gun out of his hands. Best end: Shiori’s wound is not life threatening and she says that sometimes probably plotting to kill her based on what happened. When Shougo wakes up he remembers what he did and starts crying. He says he was brainwashed by Mozuyama both at school and Nachtigal. He adds that Shiori told him that only those who are gentle and sensitive are affected by books after his suicide attempt. He then cries babbles about his crush on Tsugumi 😂. Needless to say after they both confess their love they screw all night long. A few days later, his butler Kijitani threatens them at gunpoint cause he just wanted a monetary ransom. Sasagoi calls them out to an abandoned warehouse and he pulls out a knife saying he’s gonna kill Shougo. He then admits to writing cursed books for Shiginuma along with other writers. Turns out Oase was behind this and offered money to the butler to hand over Shougo and Tsugumi. He’s unhappy with what Shougo’s father has been doing and decided to try to use Shougo and Shiginuma as well as create fake cursed books. It’s all a set up to make it seem like Shougo will kill himself and Tsugumi, but then they will make it like Oase saves her and takes control of Fukurou. Kijitani also admits he had Shougo move in to the same building as Fukurou to cause them problems to bring them down like Shiginuma wants. Thanks to the knife Tsugumi got from Shiori, she helps cut the ropes to free Shougo.
Just then Shiori and co burst in to help take the bad guys down. Yoshikiri, the news reporter, takes a photo of Oase for proof as well to reveal the truth. Shiori and co arrived cause they got a call from Shougo’s dad so everyone went to follow his car. Before Kijitani is taken away by the police Shougo points out he could have killed him anytime but didn’t. In the epilogue, thanks to the papers Shougo becomes news famous again. 😂 He says he’ll no longer burn books and once he graduates he’ll go study beside his father. He then asks Tsugumi to become his fiance. 💕 Tsugumi agrees but says he’ll also need to convince her clingy otoutokun. Bad end 1: Shougo shoots and kills Tsugumi before shooting and killing himself. Bad end 2: Oase shoots and kills Shougo, but then Mozuyama betrays and kills Oase instead. Tsugumi gets drugged up and becomes Mozuyama’s lab rat. The whole Oase/Sasagoi/Kijitani plot felt so self contained that thinking back about how some of these characters act in other routes it feels so weird. Once you find out Kijitani’s a traitor, it’s really awkward to see him act normal and happy to Shougo and everyone else in other routes. Sasagoi also seems to go from bad guy, to victim depending on the route which was pretty jarring too. The Oase guy shows up in maybe 2 routes and then you never see him again, which you’d think he’d show up more often if he supposedly was more prominent than Shiginuma Takashi.
Hoshikawa Hisui – I really liked Hisui because he was one of the few routes that felt like the romance between him and Tsugumi developed naturally? Well I guess he was a bit attracted to her cause he’s got a bit of a マザコン and Tsugumi seems to really tend to everyone like a mom at the start. Hisui has the same aura-seeing ability as Tsugumi but he can also control it and use it as a weapon. (Honestly I don’t know why they didn’t go into deeper detail about this power.) He’s half Japanese, and his father is from the Netherlands. He likes to read books and study various foreign languages and read fairy tales. He likes sweets and cleaning shoes lol. His favorite part of a woman’s body is the hair (on the head xD). His route starts with the whole sexism banter that this writer loves putting into her games of “women cannot do this, you’re a woman so you shouldn’t do this” etc. But it’s less about sexism and more about the environment that he was raised in. During this route Tsugumi also ends up sneaking into Nachtigal to have private chats with Shiginuma’s wife Shouko. At first she thinks she’s doing something bad, but in reality Shouko really was just a lonely woman who wanted someone to talk to. Her husband is a piece of shit and she has a batch of other issues so she was just glad to be able to have tea & crumpets with a younger girl – surrounded in a house full of disgusting filth, auctions of cursed books and prostitution. When Shiori finds out she demands to know why but Tsugumi swore secrecy with Shouko. Hisui then defends her saying he knows she’s been going there for him because Shouko has the fairy tale book that he’s been searching many years for. It’s a book that his mother had written and is like a keepsake for him.
And so that evening Tsugumi finds Hisui down in the garden area lying on the couch. He finally reveals that since he was the son of a prostitute typically the kids there – girls would become prostitutes and boys would just do like cleaning/cooking etc. However once he got to about 12-13, the workers there put a wig on him and made him serve customers cause he looked so feminine and cute. Because of this, one of the disgusting pedos nearly raped him and that’s when Hisui awakened his fire power and nearly burned the fucker down. Now here I’m like damn you shoulda burned that fucking pedo down, but instead Hisui calls himself a monster because he really wanted to kill a person. IT’S OK BBY, NOBODY WOULD BE SAD IF YOU SET A PEDOPHILE ON FIRE. And also once he awakened this power that’s why one of his green eyes became red. After this incident a lot of workers at the prostitute house were scared of him and eventually his mother ran away leaving a note saying she’s going to a “far away place”. Hisui figured it’s because she got terrified of him and the workers there planned to sell him off elsewhere. Before that happened, Shiori came by finding out about his powers and offered him a position at Fukurou so he agreed. But this is why he considers himself dirty and disgusting, because of what he was raised in and because of his desire to kill a fucking pedophile. Fortunately, Tsugumi’s like it’s ok bby you’re still beautiful to me and kisses him. She also tells him she can’t “not fall for anyone” like he asked because she has fallen in love with him. (*ﾉ∀`*)
This lights a fire under his ass and he’s like ok gurl, I ain’t holding back no more, I wanted you to be a pure maiden but fuck it, let’s just screw and they hump all night long in that garden thing. Would be awkward if anyone were to just like..stroll in there to look at some flowers and sees the birds & the bees 😂😂😂 Best End: Hisui is so smitten by his desire for Tsugumi that he wants to have sex at any opportunity he can find (god damn randy af shota 😂😂😂). Sasagoi also goes nuts and starts running around stabbing random ppl with a knife so Tsugumi and Hisui try to stop him. He attempts to kill himself cause he’s tired of the stress of dealing with shit at his bookstore. Tsugumi tells him to chill out and just write a new book. He gives in and tells them to attend a masquerade ball is throwing that night and that Mozuyama is gonna be there for an auction. They all sneak in and start brute forcing their way to the auction in Takashi’s room filled with cursed books. When they run into Shouko she reveals that Hisui’s mom was her best friend in high school. After they find Mozuyama he reveals that his mother gave herself to him to be used in experiments in exchange for him to not lay a finger on Hisui. She was so sick and overworked that she didn’t live long and ended up dying. Upon hearing this Hisui rages threatening to kill Mozuyama but Tsugumi holds him back because she doesn’t want him to regret being a murderer. Too bad for Mozuyama tho, Shouko poisoned his tea blaming him for everything and he dies in front of all of them. Before she agrees to be arrested, she tells Hisui and Tsugumi about her past with his mom, Iwako. Iwako needed money and went to Yokohama to become a prostitute. She kept in touch with Shouko via letters and told her how she had a child with a man she loved who was a foreigner from the Netherlands (making Hisui half Dutch).
The book Hisui wanted was a book his mother wrote because she dreamt of becoming a fairy tale author. However once she agreed to go with Mozuyama she wrote in the afterward of the book that she went with “professor M from Tokyo University”. Shouko did a search and found Mozuyama who she heard uses real people in his experiments. She was scared to get close to him to find out the truth but deep inside had a bad feeling. She was afraid to tell Hisui the truth but realized they are stronger than she thought. Shouko then thanks Tsugumi for spending time with her to remind her of her youth and is glad Iwako’s child found someone to love. Her parting gift to them is Iwako’s book and when they open it, her spirit comes out telling Hisui to live a good life. In the epilogue, Hisui admits that women are a lot stronger than he had assumed. Hitaki End: Hitaki is released from the hospital and he’s pissed at neesan for leaving him and cutting her hair. He starts crying that if she doesn’t hate him she must quit her job at Fukurou and return to the house. Tsugumi is weak to her yandere otoutokun so she agrees to return home with him and Shiori tells her she can return anytime. Bad end 1: Hisui ends up burning Mozuyama to death and feels that he’s not worthy for Tsugumi so be goes Mia. Tsugumi continues to wait for him hoping he’ll come back someday. Bad end 2: Mozuyama kidnaps Tsugumi to use in his experiments. The entire time before the confession, Hisui would constantly try to keep Tsugumi’s eyes shut to all the lewd things that go on between adults. He wanted her to be this pure angel, but the moment she kisses him, damn fuck dat shit, let’s get down babbyyy yeaaaah. 😂😂
Kougami Akira – I actually played Akira’s route first but it spoiled so much that I decided to write about him later down the line. Akira hates the sight of blood, being naked around others and gets overly emotional over moving plays or movies. He’s also a kuudere who doesn’t like rich people. His favorite part on a woman is her fingers. This route also plays heavily on how Tsugumi is this naive sheltered girl who doesn’t know better and Akira constantly reminds her (like how she’s fooled into buying some books she doesn’t actually need.) One night she her naivety gets her kidnapped by pedo rapist and leader of the Crow group, Shiginuma Takashi who wants to pass down her special blood with his babies so he attempts to rape her. （╬ಠ益ಠ) what’s worse is he’s married and has a kid. Fortunately her screams get his wife Shouko to come in and free her while he’s like “well if you change your mind come back to me!” 😑 He also tells her there’s a traitor among them so he knows everything they are doing. When she gets back she runs into Akira and admits she was nearly raped. When she tells him there’s a traitor among them Akira says that it’s him…and then tries to rape her too claiming that Takashi had her way with him and now it’s his turn. (ㅍ_ㅍ) He then claims because he has the crow tattoo on his body he must follow orders of Takashi whether it means he has to rape or kill her sigh. Fortunately he lets her go saying that she has to become one of them now. Akira….why…. After talking to her friend Koruri, Tsugumi finds out that Akira once saved her from a drunk guy who attacked her near the movie theatre so he can’t be that bad of a guy. Tsugumi tells Shiori what happened but Shiori warns her not to give in to their demands and sacrifice herself.
Tsugumi also confesses about Akira and Shiori says she had a bad feeling about him so she’s not surprised. However she mentions that if he’s really the Crow group’s ally, he could have abducted Tsugumi anytime but didn’t. The next morning their entire apartment front is filled with crow feathers. They also then start staging incidents and blaming them on random books to make Fukurou look incompetent so they will shut down. Tsugumi decides to give herself in to Takashi because she doesn’t want anymore bad things to happen to Fukurou but she tells Akira first. Akira tells Tsugumi that Takashi’s wife is infertile and so can’t have his babies so what he said about her having his kid is probably true. He warns her that after she has his child, Takashi would just sell her for prostitution. Akira yells at her for even thinking this is ok and that she’s too naive. He agrees to take her there but when they get there and the crow ppl are like finally you brought her….he changes his mind, punches the guys there, and runs away with her instead. He brings her back to the apartment only to find out that Shiori wants to use Tsugumi as bait for Takashi too! 😂 Akira then admits that he’s Shiginuma Tsuyoshi’s son, and Takashi is his half brother from a different mother. He says he was intentionally told to join Fukurou as a spy. He also confesses that he’s wanted to shut down Fukurou to then take all the cursed books back but waited a bit so they could collect them first. Later that night Tsugumi brings Akira to her room demanding he tell her why he betrayed his Crow allies and ran away with her. He tells her that the reason Takashi has the eyepatch is because when they were kids and took a walk outside there was an accident and Takashi got hurt and injured his eye. Akira was blamed for not protecting him because he was the random poor child from random lover his dad had while Takashi was the wealthy bocchan. That night Akira’s mom killed herself and he found her in a pool of blood. Ever since then he’s hated the sight of blood and felt like he had to work for Takashi to repay for this.
So now Akira’s life has become to basically take the blame for anything Takashi does which is why he didn’t care if he dies but Tsugumi protests that she doesn’t want him to die. He then pushes her on the bed saying he refuses to give her away to anyone, especially Takashi who he hates. Tsugumi and Akira then both confess their love to each other and then bang all night in her bed. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Happy End: Fukurou infiltrates Takashi’s prostitute mansion and Akira & Tsugumi run directly into him – in a room surrounded by those cursed books. Like a typical bad guy, he basically wants to destroy the country and ~reboot~ it by populating it with his and Tsugumi’s babies who are blessed with this magical blood. He has the ability to see the cursed books but it’s not as strong as Tsugumi’s hence why he needs her to STRENGTHEN the bloodline! He says he has plan to go to Europe with his wife, a few servants and Tsugumi while Japan is destroyed and then he will come back to ~repopulate~ it ┐(´д`)┌ﾔﾚﾔﾚ. Takashi ends up shooting Akira twice but Akira doesn’t give up and grabs his katana and slices Takashi’s hip…uhh well apparently that was enough to get him to give up because suddenly CREDIT ROLL (sigh this writer…) In the epilogue after Akira recovers from his gunshot wounds he comes to Tsugumi’s room for a long-time-no-see hump session 😂. Also apparently his shotgun wound was right where the crow tattoo was on his body and because of it, he’ll now have a scar which will cover up the tattoo instead theoretically “freeing him” from the Shiginuma family. And so they screw in bedroom happily ever after. Takashi and his wife leave the country as he had mentioned. Bad End 1: After the first attempted kidnapping, Tsugumi decides to return to her house and leave Fukurou temporarily. Takashi stalks her to her house and kidnaps her. Bad End 2: Tsugumi lets Takashi rape her in exchange for promising not to hurt anyone else. He agrees and then tells to come with him to Europe. Just then Akira bursts in, and Takashi tells him to come as well to continue being his servant dog. After he leaves the room, Akira just falls down and cries next to Tsugumi apologizing over & over. I think I would have hated Akira more if he wasn’t voiced by Okamoto Nobuhiko. I get it, he was jealous of her being attacked by Takashi but holy fuck trying to RAPE HER AGAIN…such a turn off. (눈_눈)
Sagisawa Rui – Rui is a medical student how just seems like your typical sawayaka shounen until you find out the truth about him and his private hobbies. He enjoys making accessories out of stained glass like kaleidoscopes or pins and he makes a nadeshiko pin for Tsugumi. Both of his parents supposedly died in an accident. His favorite part on a woman is the back and he fell in love with Tsugumi at first sight. As a love-at-first-sight nonbeliever, unfortunately I couldn’t quite accept any of the romance in the route since in this game love at first sight means “you must love me back to get the D or else you get hit by a car”. 😂 Confesses his love to Tsugumi early and asks if she could go on dates with him to stuff like movies in order to get to know each other better. She agrees and is surprised to learn that movie theatres are no longer “segregated by gender”. (Further reminding the reader that she’s this naive girl but that quickly vanishes soon as the dude is ready to bang her lol. My friend calls this “Love at first dick” 😂😂). When Tsugumi and Hayato sneak into the ball, Tsugumi runs int Shouko who reminds her of Rui. Shouko gives her a drink, but no one told her not to take drinks from strangers so….she drinks it. After the party she gets sickened and passes out – but fortunately Rui is with her and takes her to his place. After she wakes up he reveals that he’s the leader of the Kagutsuchi group she’s been looking for. The group’s goal is to destroy Shiginuma’s operation at Nachtigal. He ends up making out with her but she can’t resist because she’s basically under the effect of the date rape drug that was in her drink. He does it to prove a point at how horrible Nachtigal’s whole rape house is and that there are women who voluntarily go there to screw guys – but he’s glad she isn’t one of them. 😥
He lets her go saying that anyone else would have raped her there. She then finds out info that he’s the secret child of Shiginuma Shouko that she had right before she married Takashi. Rui however doesn’t know it, and he only knows the parents who adopted him who he thinks were killed by Mozuyama. The day they died they got into a car accident and the evidence made it seem like the dad was drunk driving. Later they found out right before this happened, the dad was in a fierce argument with Mozuyama. And to make things worse, the first friend Rui made at that college committed suicide…right after coming out of Mozuyama’s lab. Coincidence? He thinks not. In fact most of the students who killed themselves were involved with Mozuyama so Rui decided to ban with his friends to watch him and called the group Kagutsuchi. Rui says that he wants Tsugumi to join them. Just then the 2 of them get kidnapped by what appears to be Shiginuma’s gang. They are taken to a room with Mozuyama who claims he’s kidnapped all of his Kagutsuchi allies too. He then reveals that Rui’s dad got the mumps in high school and it killed his fertility. He then reveals that Shiginuma Shouko is Rui’s mom, and his real father is Mozuyama (＂ืд＂ื 〣). Gross loool. He tells Rui to quit Kagutsuchi and to join Karasu but Rui refuses in disgust. Mozuyama also claims that ppl voluntarily chose to be part of his experiments and they just couldn’t “handle” it. He also claims that he drugged Rui’s adopted father for disgracing him at the party. 😠 Takashi then comes into the room and kicks Rui repeatedly for calling Shouko a whore who fucked Mozuyama. He then decides he’s gonna rape Tsugumi in front of him. （╬ಠ益ಠ) Worst part is they used the same stupid rape cg as in Akira’s route ugh.
Fortunately thanks to news of Rui’s friends escaping, Rui manages to get freed and runs back to his place with Tsugumi. In the morning he asks Tsugumi to decide if she’s gonna join Kagutsuchi or stay with Fukurou. She decides to stay with Fukurou but says she’ll be living with him in his apartment to “watch over him”. Of course Rui is all like gurl, you’re staying at my place what do you think I want to keep doing. (๑⁍᷄౪⁍᷅๑) Though I’m honestly amazed they managed to fit 2 people in 1925 tiny size Japanese bath tub. 😂 Best end: After many days of screwing in his apartment, Rui comes home one night and drugs Tsugumi so she can barely move. He says it’s because his friends in Kagutsuchi got captured and he has to go rescue them – but he doesn’t want Tsugumi to come with him and get hurt. (Taking from Toma’s handbook I see…(눈_눈)). After he leaves, Tsugumi manages to crawl to the phone box (after stabbing herself to stay awake) and call operator to connect her to Shiori. She begs Shiori for help and everyone heads over to Nachtigal where they find Rui about to murder Mozuyama. Just then Shouko walks in saying that she wants to be the one to kill him and claims that Mozuyama was a friend of her brother’s and betrayed both her and her brother. Mozuyama babbles that he loved her but Shouko claims it wasn’t love (it sounds like rape tbh). Tsugumi ends up taking the gun from him and refuses to give it back saying she doesn’t want Rui to become a murderer. She reminds him that he became a doctor to become someone who saves lives not take them.
In the epilogue, Takashi doesn’t tell anyone that Rui shot him and Kagutsuchi disbands. Mozuyama is arrested and awaiting trial. Rui apologizes for drugging her that time and they roll around in the park and eat castellas. Kagutsuchi End: Tsugumi agrees to join Kagutsuchi and decides to write a letter to Fukurou to explain that she’s safe and she’s quit. Rui gives her the robe and hat to wear to match the rest of them and she attaches the pin he made for her on it. And so during the missions, Tsugumi helps identify cursed books but the difference is they end up burning like every book rather than only the cursed ones. One night they run into Hayato and he’s like wat dafuq are you doing but all she says is she’s sorry for betraying them. After this they end up going back to his room for some pity sex or something cause she’s sad and guildridden (；・∀・)… The following night they invade Sasagoi’s store and demand he give them info on Mozuyama and he’s like lol sure I hate that fucker. And thanks to this, Rui manages to sneak in one night and kill him – but at the cost of his own life. When Tsugumi finds him at Nachtigal, the whole building is on fire and he dies in her arms. Feeling bad to leave hime, she dies in the flames with his dead body in her arms. Bad End 1: Tsugumi is captured and Rui is shot to death. Bad End 2: Rui gets hurt and loses his memories during the Nachtigal invasion…and he’s rescued by Mozuyama who claims to be his father…and since he has no memories he believes him. Probably gonna be a lab rat for his experiments for the rest of his life. Honestly I thought Rui was ok, despite the forced on love at first sight, but then he had to..drug her…so she wouldn’t get hurt…..and I had Toma flashbacks and it was unpleasant. No thanks.
Ozaki Hayato – Hayato also has the love at first sight thing going on with him and the entire route he’s basically negging Tsugumi to fall in love with him. There’s a twist to this though but it’s revealed right in his ending which is a damn shame because if revealed earlier, it would have made the romance a lot better in my opinion. Really good at playing pool and piano. Very straightforward and has a sharp tongue so he often says what he thinks no matter how blunt it is. And since he’s no bullshit he openly admits that his favorite part on a woman is boobs and thighs 😂😂😂. All the other guys with fingers and necks, who are ya’ll kidding. Apparently when she was still in school, he saw her in the park and fell instantly in love with her. He found out her name from a friend but after she graduated he never saw her in the park again…until he met her again after her brother’s book incident. And so early in his route he confesses that he likes her 😂. Well that escalated quickly. Tsugumi is so flustered by her park stalker coming out of the closet that she runs away blushing profusely. 😑 He later apologizes telling her to act normal around him but says he won’t give up his feelings. Apparently he’s been so hard core in love with Tsugumi that he’s rejected even famous actresses lol. He spent some time in America and when he got back he commented how the foreign ladies have big boobs. 😂 His sister killed herself because of one of the cursed books before Hitaki’s attempt, so he was really bummed when he found out he couldn’t save the brother of his loved one. Also in this route Nabari shows up a lot to talk about the good ol’ days with Tsugumi, effectively making Hayato jealous. I find this weird since he’s so upset at her spending time with Nabari but it’s like she’s already screwed 5 other guys bro. ..😂 it’s like you’re supposed to accept his confession and advances just cause he’s a hot dude voiced by Kaji Yuki lol.
One night Hayato’s senpai Yoshikiri, Koruri’s newspaper coworker is found badly burned in the park with a cursed book near him. Just then Koruri runs in, sees his body and breaks down crying. They take her back to the Fukurou apartment and then Hayato drops a new revelation that a lot of these book deaths involve self burning. Hitaki, his sister and Shiori’s husband all suicided in the same fashion. He also points out that aura on the books is usually different but these past few incidents it’s all been the same. They conclude that the books are not in fact old, but brand new and continuously being written and distributed as terror weapons. The next day Koruri tells Tsugumi that she was in love with Yoshikiri. She’s angry at herself for not confessing to him, and angry at him for barely getting her involved in his work cause she’s a woman. She then makes a note to tell Tsugumi that the book he got was anonymously placed in his mailbox . A couple days later everyone gets news that Yoshikiri’s regained consciousness so Koruri runs to the hospital to confess her love to him. She tells Tsugumi to do the same because you never know what may happen tomorrow. Tsugumi then tells Hayato that she doesn’t want him to disappear from her life and confesses that she loves him. Hayato’s like “ok well guess I can stop holding back” and they immediately fuck 😂. Sigh. The next day Koruri says that she asked Yoshikiri to marry her but he told her no, and said he’d properly propose to her when he gets better. Later that night they get news that they have found Mouzyama’s burned dead body. What’s stranger is near his body there were no crow feathers or cursed books. They put together a theory that all the book authors have the same initials as Nabari and that all the incidents have to do with fire…which he strongly reacts to.
Everyone tells Tsugumi to stay away from him but she tries to talk to him…and not course gets nowhere. Several days later Nabari escapes and then they get a call from Hitaki crying for help from Nabari. Nabari then takes the phone and tells Tsugumi to come alone at night to see him and threatens to set Hitaki on fire if she brings anyone with her. So she gets there, and Nabari says when he was younger his house caught on fire and his mom died in front of him. Ever since then he thought fire was beautiful and began to put those emotions into books. This is also when he began to see the aura. Most authors don’t know that they write cursed books but Nabari knew. So that’s why he left her house and began research on these books. He wanted to see what would happen if someone read it and. ..that someone happened to be Shiori’s husband. And so he realized no matter what book he writes it would cause people to want to set themselves on fire. One of the books he wrote was left behind at Tsugumi’s house which was a coincidence. He wanted to continue his experiments though despite Mashiko and co. Looking for the writer of these books. He sent the books to Yoshikiri cause he was mad at him for saying shit about his books and cause he was Hayato’s senpai. He mentions how he hates Hayato and says he killed Mozuyama cause he saw Nabari at Yoshikiri’s crime scene. Mozuyama then found an envelope Nabari dropped and threatened to send it to Shiori…so Nabari decided to end him before that happens. 😅 He then says crazy shit that he didn’t kill anyone he just “brought them into the fire”…and then he basically tells Tsugumi that he’s gonna set all 3 of them on fire together. (눈_눈)
Best End: Tsugumi kicks ass, grabs her hidden knife, and stabs Nabari right in the gut lolol. \(°∀° )/ She then grabs Hitaki and runs until Shiori arrives with the cops threatening to shoot Nabari if he does anything. Hayato calls Nabari an asshole because Tsugumi wanted to believe in him until the end but he let her down anyway. In the epilogue, Hayato says his real last name is Yashiro not Ozaki…aka the guy she was supposed to marry at the beginning 😂😂. Tsugumi is like wtf but the workers at the restaurant confirm it. He says he used a fake last name because he didn’t want his dad’s name involved with the cursed books and cause be wanted Tsugumi to actually fall in love with him. And with this he asks her to marry him (to which she first replies !!?? As usual before she agrees lol.) He then lifts her and kisses her in front of everyone. Bad end 1: While running away from Mozuyama, Tsugumi runs into traffic and gets fatally hit by a car. Umm ok..glad that not picking choices to raise a dudes affection causes you to get into a car accident. …(¯―¯٥) Bad end 2: Nabari has a bbq with Tsugumi and her brother on the grill lol. Hayato doesn’t make it in time and while she survives, she’s badly burned and in a coma. Hayato continues to visit her daily and says no matter what she looks like he’ll still love her. Meanwhile Tsugumi has a dream where she is happily living with Hayato and her brother. In real life Hitaki seems ok and he’s enraged at Nabari and hopes he gets the death penalty soon. So ultimately hooray, Tsugumi kicked ass in the ending despite the forced romance and as I mentioned, if he had just told her that he’s her fiance a little before they banged…it would have been a nicer revelation. Revealing it RIGHT as he asks her to marry him is just…so….template??? I don’t know but it would have made a world of a difference as far as the romance is for me.
Nabari Yutaka – Nabari’s route is basically copy pasta from Hayato’s and you skip pretty much all the way up to the last 2 choices. The plot is still the same, everyone is still pinpointing on Nabari as the pyro criminal. I mean the moment I heard him voiced by Midorikawa at the start I had a BAD FEELING thanks to the horrible aftertaste of MoshiKami that I played previous to this. I was sad to find out my BAD FEELING was on target and even more sad to find out that suddenly I have to pretend that Nabari is this poor innocent tortured soul. Oh yea I mean we just found out he killed a bunch of people for his ~experiments~ like a fucking psychopath but he’s just INTERNALLY TORTURED and we must SAVE HIS HEART. Umm yea no. (눈_눈) So of course when she doubts him, he gets really pissy saying she betrayed him. He then kidnaps Hitaki as usual, and in the meantime Tsugumi finds a cursed book with his real name as the author and tells Shiori she wants to read it. ヽ(。_゜)ノ She asks Shiori to watch over her and to stop her if something bad happens. When she reads the book she hears messages from Nabari’s mom saying she’s gonna kill herself cause she can’t live without her husband anymore (because he died at war.) She set herself on fire in front of Nabari who was a child at the time. He then began repeating over and over that he must burn everything in order to reunite with his mother again. Shiori snaps her out of the pyro trance and they hear the faint cries of Hitaki. They find him with Nabari and he breaks an oil lamp and starts a fire admitting to writing all the books…and says it’s not enough fire so now he must burn EVERYONE in the Fukurou building and the library nearby. (눈_눈) He then continues rambling about burning everything to see his mom and Tsugumi yells at him to snap dafuq out of it. She tells him if he calms his tits, she’ll make him some marmalade and be the place for him to call home. This magically works and he gives up, gets arrested and Tsugumi decides to ~wait~ until he’s out of jail free because of a bunch of higherups covering up most of his crimes so that Fukurou doesn’t look bad. Great. Ultimately it’s less about him and more just a “well we’re moving on from this incident and continuing our jobs yay” ending. In the bad end though, Hitaki decides that his yandere power levels have finally charged and he pushes Nabari into the fire and kills him LMAO. m9^Д^)m9^Д^)m9^Д^)ｼﾞｪﾄｽﾄﾘｰﾑﾌﾟｷﾞｬｰ He then hugs his NEESAN and says that she has nothing to worry about becuase he will always protect her and that she should return home with him. (◉◞౪◟◉｀)
One final rant I have about the game I’ll put here since it’s some what spoilery. The routes are very disconnected in a sense where in Hayato’s the bad guy is Nabari cause he caused the deaths of his sister, the burns of Hitaki, death of Shiori’s husband…but in other routes, there’s other people who write cursed books like Sasagoi. And then you got Shiginuma who is collecting them or forcing people to write them so he can make money but auctioning them off. Yet by the time you finish the game ultimately WHO is the bad guy? It’s like the bad guys aren’t bad guys until you are in that specific route. Also what the fuck’s up with Hitaki. Fucking yandere otouto-kun and the heroine is as dense as a brick. I thought he was this innocent 10 year old brother until I found out he reads trashy romance novels, is 14 years old, is actually TALLER than Tsugumi and wrote a lamentive diary about how he wants to seriously marry his sister but Japanese law won’t let him. W T F. (ノ｀Д´)ノ彡┻━┻ If oniichan Midorikawa wasn’t bad enough, they split the trope and added a crazy Midorikawa character AND a yandere OTOUTOKUN all in one. Not the kind of buy one get one free deal I’m looking for. 😨
Well, I came in expecting a trashy romance novel that takes place in the Taisho era and I guess in that sense I was not disappointed??? Ok well actually I’m a bit disappointed. The same issues that plagued Senjou no Waltz, plague this game too and I was worried coming in but I guess this will be the last game I play by this writer.
The biggest downfall of the game is the heroine. Let’s start with the fact that she’s this pure innocent girl who went to a woman trade school (or so I thought until ONE of the routes mentioned her friend was popular with the boys so I’m not sure..???) and was taught things like going out with a man other than your relative is scandalous and sitting next to a man in a movie theatre is FORBIDDEN. Hell even her teacher referred to movie theatres as dirty lewd places 😂 However, start a route, somehow magically fall in love with guy, kiss and screw immediately. What happened to your shamefullness?? So really, sometimes I wonder what even the point of making Tsugumi this “innocent” “pure and virgin” character if she’s gonna screw every guy anyway. It’s like she’s either a repressed catholic school girl who just wants the D, or this is just a fetish to cater to BBAs who want to read a trashy romance novel like this in which every heroine is a virgin who is just TAKEN the moment a muscled beefcake breaks through her window. 😂 The other issue that plagues this and Senjou was the pacing. The common route was pretty tame, nothing going on, and early on in the route of each guy it was the same “a few hints dropped here & there but not much going on” and then ALL OF A SUDDEN MASSIVE PLOT DUMP, SHIT HITTING THE FAN. It was so bad that in Shizuru’s route, I actually thought the route had ended…until suddenly THINGS ARE HAPPENING. ಠ_ಠ
The !?!? was such an irritation for me. It happened in Senjou too and it basically just showed that the author couldn’t figure out what thoughts or emotions to give to Tsugumi. Her reaction to everything was !?!? “I love you” “!?!?!” “Hey Tsugumi!” “!?!?!?” I understand in some parts and revelations they might have been shocking enough for her to warrant that reaction but !??! just felt lazy to me. In fact it was rare for her to ever have her OWN thoughts. Most of her internal dialogue was just her talking about what she was going to physically do (i.e. “I turned off the lights to go to bed”) and very rarely you’d ever see her actual feelings except when she was like “I knew I was in love with —–” (;´･ω･). There’s also very little detail on the heroine’s past. She briefly mentions there was an earthquake (or natural disaster I’m not sure) or something that caused her family go from rich to poor but there’s no other detail given about this. They also briefly mention that her mother is ill so she has to be continuously in the hospital…but she rarely seem to care or talk about her mother at all. Yet when Hitaki is hospitalized she cries and is upset frequently throughout the game. Because of the lack of thoughts, it was hard to pinpoint what her personality was. Sometimes she’d be really kickass (like at the end of Hayato’s) but other routes I’d just be like umm ok? Why? What are you doing/why aren’t you doing this etc. In fact, I actually liked her friend Koruri way more! Koruri was an ambitious woman who was told she had to be a baby maker but she refused, went to America to study, and got inspired by the women there to become a news reporter. YOU GO GIRL. Also she doesn’t have an annoying clingy brother weighing her down 😂.
And finally the other thing that I hated about Senjou that reeks its ugly head into this game is \MISOGYNY/ woot. Ok I get it in Senjou no Waltz it was more jarring because it was a battlefield themed game, and telling a girl she can’t be in the battlefield while going to battlefield training school makes it more obvious. Still, just because it’s 1925 doesn’t suddenly give you the get out of jail free card to act like all women are just babymakers! I mean I guess it matches the setting, but the fact is, you hired Tsugumi to work in a company full of males RUN BY A WOMAN. Clearly there is some progress here yet throughout the game there’s many routes where “you’re a woman, so you’re gonna be a deadweight” or “you’re a woman so you need to stay home and be safe.” And of course by being a woman in this game, it means the best way to punish/put her in her place is rape. OH GOD the rape. You know if this was an R-18 game I guess I would have expected it, but well it’s Cero D, we don’t see it, but it’s there. Even if it’s not to the heroine, the rape and prostitution is one of the very prominent themes in the game…and I feel just because they set the game in the taisho period it makes it seem like this is just “a thing that happens”. Other than that, I really don’t even know what the point of the taisho era theme was. Aside from the “women are babymakers who aren’t allowed to work in most professions” and “prostitution is a thing that happens” there was nothing else special or unique about the timeline. I guess it was all to just add to the whole ~ye olde timey porno~ theme to make it seem risque and exotic and I guess damn me for wondering how the hell Tsugumi didn’t get preggo from all that sexing. I mean did they have condoms in Japan in that era?? 😂😂
The heroine aside though I thought the premise and story were interesting. However, a lot of the routes felt disconnected from each other where a bad guy in route A wouldn’t really be a bad guy in route B. A lot of stuff was left open ended like wtf finally happens to the secret character and what is up with Tsugumi’s yandere otoutokun. I guess I just think about these things a lot now, but I think if I were to play this game 6 years ago I’d think it’s the best thing ever. There was some sense of suspense which made me want to continue playing for more especially in routes like Akira’s and Hisui’s. The implied sexy times were pretty good because all the seiyuu were A+++ ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°). So if you don’t really care to delve into the details, or give any craps about what the heroine thinks, you could probably find the game really enjoyable. I mean I guess I shouldn’t be trying to piece together a great story from what is really just some Japanese trashy romance novel, but I guess I can’t help it because even if it’s trashy, the story could have still been put together better! It’s an otome game but it’s still a visual NOVEL! I mean sure give me trashy, but give me some better conclusions. If you’re gonna go all out into developing these deep plots for these characters then go all the way. Don’t just throw the details on me, and then cop out by ending the route with them just sexing happily ever after and pretend I forgot everything else that went on! I guess overall, if you end up playing the game, don’t take the story too seriously and just enjoy what’s thrown at you and the hot seiyuu fanservice. Also for play order I’d recommend Shizuru→Shougo→Hisui→Akira→Rui→Hayato→(Secret).