Boy was this a blast from the past – sadly not a good one because a lot of older games weren’t something I had wanted to return to! But anyway, our story takes place when our heroine Sakaki Mio is your average school girl who gets teleported into the afterlife world called Kakuryo. The world is filled with souls of those who are in limbo between life and death which includes both humans and ayakashi. Mio also discovers she has a magical power to be able to see into the hearts of the residents there. She then uses that power to join the nightly patrol crew to help destroy bad ayakashi who try to ruin the “purity” of the world.
Ishizue Souta – Souta had probably the most boring route of all. It also didn’t help that I did his route first so I had to deal with the boring af common route that took me almost a week to get through due to how DULL IT WAS. All you need to know about Souta is he’s the flirty dude who was a plain ol’ high school kid in the human world and enjoys his new limbo life in Kakuryo. He hits on Mio for basically no reason and he has powers to be able to see the “color” of everyone’s souls to tell whether they are good or bad etc. So after they spend time ghostbusting they fall in love with each other but figure the other person doesn’t feel the same way. Then out of nowhere some grim reaper shows up nearly killing our heroine. Souta uses his powers to save her but death kun doesn’t give up so easily! They end up having to run away from the school to hide away in some abandoned building. After she cheers him on she falls asleep in his lap. So then after spending enough time alone there they decide not to return to the human world and instead fight in this one. Souta also confesses his love and they immediately kiss yay!
They then defeat the grim reaper and Tsukishiro tells them if they don’t return to the human world they won’t be able to go back for another 20 years or so. Souta and Mio then decide to return home together. Best end: Back in the real world they are separated until Souta searches the schools near her and finally finds her…and they live happily ever after. In the epilogue they go to the shrine equivalent location of the one in the youkai world and hope everyone else is doing ok. Good end: Tsukishiro asks Souta to stay in Kakuryo to use his powers to help separate the death vibes from good youkai without killing them. Souta asks Mio to stay with him for support so he comes to her when he needs a stress outlet. Souta spent too long there so he can’t return to the human world. Mio can but she choses to stay with him and he says since they’re a couple now he wants to do some randier things with her beyond kissing. So as you can see, nothing of value actually happened zzz.
Yoimiya Takashi – Yoimiya was another snooze wagon because he’s just the “sensei” at their ayakashi school (which is basically a school that teaches them how to destroy/purify these bad souls). He’s a former human as well and came to this world because his body on earth is probably in some coma or something due to being attacked by an ayakashi there. He has a lot of battle scars on his back that Mio sees when she accidentally walks in on him dressing. In this route Mio goes undercover into some prostitute house and practices her serving guests with sensei.😂 He asks her to forget her real world life and try to enjoy her new life at Kakuryo. Says that he had a sister who got killed by an Ayakashi back in the human world. After she died, Yoimiya was killed as well and the guilt of not being able to do anything continues to plague him.He also tells Mio that there’s no rule her saying that students and teachers can’t date. 😏 He also wears glasses out of habit but he doesn’t really need them. So then for some reason Kou (who I thought had a route but apparently did not) attacks everyone cause he’s possessed by something. He asks Yoimiya to defeat him but cause Mio is all like nooo he instead gets hurt protecting her. 😑
Yoimiya comes into her room a few nights later and he’s all hot & bothered but Mio just doesn’t..get it….😅He puts her hand on his face then blushes and leaves giving up cause lol this heroine. Best end: Mio returns to the real world, runs to the shrine there, defeats some youkai (thanks to Tsukishiro) & grabs some item there then magically imagines Kakuryo and returns there! She gives Tsukishiro the item which restores his powers. Grim reaper kun shows up again and Yoimiya defeats him. Tsukishiro then makes Yoimiya the god of the Kohaku shrine and poofs somewhere. Mio finally confesses her love to him and he’s like yeah I know. 😅 He then asks her to call him by his former human name Takashi so he can feel a little bit “human” when with her. They kiss and live happily ever after or something. In the epilogue, he just sits at the shrine while Mio and Kou take care of small youkai problems. Good end: they’re unable to save Kou and he disappears. Mio then continues to train her sword skills with Yoimiya at the shrine while he hits on her. 😅 This whole route was so poorly written. I wish they spent more time on developing the relationship between him and Mio and going into detail of his past. Instead it’s just mentioned here & there and time wastes on killing youkai durds and helping random furry creatures. 😑
Hayate – Hayate is basically a tree spirit who took the shape of Mio’s real life classmates and has been in love with her because she spent a lot of time playing near his mother tree (suddenly WOF2 flashbacks)😂. He can’t seem to communicate with anyone but Mio so she ends up being his interpreter. He’s kind of like a pet dog and has a massive liking for Mio so he has no issues crawling into bed and sleeping with her. 😂😂 I mean he wouldn’t know better, he’s a tree fairy! Eventually thanks to Mio’s power Hayate is able to speak with everyone without needing her translation. He’s pretty naive when it comes to everything so he thinks that Mio agreeing to go on a date with him means she loves him. He gets so upset when she explains this to him because he wanted Mio to be his girlfriend lol. He also gets jealous of the senpai who looks like him and questions if Mio had any guys she liked in her world. When Mio denies everything he asks why she can’t be his lover then. Eventually she confesses her feelings and they become lovers. He climbs in her bed every night and clings to her a lot after this. Mio gets hurt in a battle against some angry spider youkai and finds out that all the incidents began when she came to Kakuryo. Hayate tells Mio to rest in bed while he goes to night patrol alone.
After Mio recovers a bit she goes outside with Hayate but it begins to rain. They run into a cave for shelter and he insists they strip so to not get sick. 😏 Lightning strikes and he ends up falling on top of her.. and that’s when Mio truly realizes what an ikeman she has for a boyfriend lol. Meanwhile Hayate is like holy shit I want to bang you so badly you best stay away from me gurl. 😂😂 After they get back to the dorms and dry off, Hayate comes to Mio’s room asking her to come with him as he has something important to tell her. He takes her to his parent tree where he then opens a portal to the human world. He tells her to return alone because he wants her to live even if without him. After she’s gone, nobody can hear Hayate’s words anymore. Meanwhile on earth Mio spends time with Kashiwagi senpai who looks like Hayate but she realizes Hayate was the one she loved. Senpai tells her that his family own the land where that shrine is. When they were younger he saw Mio by that tree near his shrine, the tree where his distant relative performed a ceremony to quell the rage of some water god. Mio asks him how to get there and he tells her to head for the Kohaku shrine.
Mio runs over there and she realizes the reason Hayate looks like her senpai is he took his form because it’s their family’s land after all. She then goes and jumps into the lake praying another near death experience will bring her back to Kakuryo…and it does! She finds Hayate telling him she wants to be with him to save Kakuryo. Best end: They kiss and agree to try to save Kakuryo from crumbling. Mio then makes the decision to be Hayate’s permanent power source, at the cost of never being apart from him or ever returning to earth. And so they perform the bonding ceremony a few days later successfully. Kakuryo is saved, the number of incidents decreases, and Hayate becomes a god. Tsukishiro offers to marry the two of them so that other youkai don’t go after Mio. Hayate has a custom made wedding dress for her as a present and they get married a few days later. In the epilogue, everyone congratulates them and they live happily ever after. Good end: Tsukishiro uses his powers to make the bonding ceremony a success. In exchange he asks everyone to take care of the shrine for him. Wow ok cool so Mio ends up staying in Kakuryo while her body in the real world is drowning/drowned/what even happened? What is quality writing? Well at least Hayate was kinda cute in general so made the route somewhat less painful to sit through.
Tsukishiro – Tsukishiro is a horned up fox youkai who spends the entire route trying to neg Mio into being his shrine waifu so he can bang her and increase his power level to be over 9000. Mio then of course spends the whole route denying him until the end she finally gives in and marries him. But I guess I should write a bit more than that here. 😂 Tsukishiro is the fox youkai who resides over Kohaku shrine. His job is to protect Kakuryo from collapsing because that’s what will happen if too many souls here are destroyed. He was a baby fox nuko who one day turned into a god. He takes care of keeping balance at Kakuryo and asks to sleep in Mio’s lap as a reward after she refuses to hug him 😅 When they go to town he’s the center of attention since he’s the great chinjugami. Towa thinks it’s suspicious for Tsukishiro to have Mio with him for reasons other than using her. That night though, Tsukishiro reveals that Mio is actually an offering to the gods which is why both gods and Ayakashi always come after her. He explains since he’s the primary god of Kakuryo she basically is there for him. He was gonna let her go originally but since she took interest in him, he could no longer hold himself back.
He says there’s no rush, but if something great attacks Kakuryo he will need her sacrifice to obtain powers to defend this world. So then she somehow ends up falling in love with him despite him pressuring her to just give into her destiny. He then “tests” her love by showing her an illusion of everyone trying to convince her that being with Tsukishiro is bad. 😅 He calls all of this the equivalent of bullying your loved one lol. They both uh agree to be with each other in some kind of twisted romantic relationship. The kiss cg reminded me of kamisama hajimemashita lol. Best end: Tsukishiro asks Mio to be his waifu and she’s like cool I get to marry a shrine god! After marrying her he becomes a deredere fox boy. In the epilogue, Mio apparently can’t figure out why she has to share a futon with her…fluffy husband. 😂😂 He’s like gurl pls we’re married now deal with it. 😎 And so they bang happily ever after lol. Good end: Tsukishiro says he loves Mio as a human so if she continues to stay at Kakuryo she’ll lose that. He then says he’ll send her back in earth and says if she wants to see him to just visit the shrine there. So now she visits him every night by going to the shrine, saying his name and him opening a path just for her to come to Kakuryo.
Tokiwa Yuuta – Tokiwa is basically the main route of the game, and I’m glad I found a “play recommended order” in an Amazon review because if you god forbid play this first….the rest of the game feels like a bigger waste of time than it already is. It’s as if they basically wrote the game FOR Tokiwa, and then realized they need to add more routes/seiyuus/cgs to get people to fall into their trap (like I did.) Tokiwa is a detective in Kakuryo who works independently to solve Ayakashi cases with his loyal doge sidekick Momiji. He’s also a huge tsundere who is in love with Mio but spends the entire route being tsun until he finally becomes a deredere cupcake at the end. He secretly loves pancakes that the store has a special menu for him that they named after him.😂 So after some time and having him constantly save her from youkai, Mio confesses her love to him. He rejects her but she refuses to give up so he grabs and kisses her. Mio then pushes him away (????) So he kicks her out of his place and tells her to gtfo lol. 😅 Grim reaper kun shows up saying Mio must die for his master, Izanami. Before he can kill her though aaaaas usual, Tokiwa saves her ass. Just then Kanna reveals her true form, Izanami, telling Mio that she’s just a sacrifice to the gods. She’s also mad that Tsukishiro has been keeping her great ball of magic powers (Mio) all to himself.
Izanami needs Mio so she can return to earth once more (lol not this shit again. ) Izanami tries to kill Mio but once again Tokiwa saves her although being nearly sucked into a black hole triggers a lost memory. The memory of Mio being pulled into the lake as a child by a water god and her childhood friend Tokiwa diving in to save her. Tsukishiro shows up and boots her get away and saves them. So now that Izanami no longer needs to hide she’s going around slapping all the youkai with the death stick. This causes Tsukishiro to use more of his powers to purify Kakuryo but eventually his powers will run out and Kakuryo will crumble. Tokiwa reveals that the reason Mio forgot her memories of the drowning is because Tokiwa sealed her powers as the sacrifice so that she wouldn’t be attacked again. Her memories were in the way so he had to seal them off. When Mio came to Kakuryo he intended to send her back asap but then shit hit the fan with all the attacks in her + Izanami. Mio then realizes Tokiwa’s been protecting her from the shadows this whole time and she starts crying cause she feels bad man. Tokiwa confesses that he was Mio’s childhood friend who lived with her like a family member. So after fighting with the water god to save Mio, Tokiwa ended up in Kakuryo. He met Tsukishiro and made a deal to wipe Mio’s memories and give the sacrifice “scent” to Tokiwa instead so Mio could lead a safe life on earth. Tokiwa says he was adopted by Mio’s grandma and never knew who his real parents were.
Mio then mentions that her grandma died shortly after Tokiwa disappeared. Eventually after being tsun and denying his feelings, he confesses to Mio that he loves her. Tsukishiro asks if Mio wants to contract with him to be his power source but she refuses since her heart only belongs to Tokiwan 😂💦. Since Kakuryo begins to crumble everyone moves over to the school along with Tsukishiro who uses his powers to shield everyone there from Izanami. Hayate also brings back the school uniform for Tokiwa who admits he used to be a student here but since he did so much research about Kakuryo people began to call him a “detective” so he kinda started his own “agency”. After they spend the night rolling in bed and talking, Tokiwa admits to his wanko assistant Momiji that he’s not a youkai but a human that Momiji “hates”. Momiji is like it’s ok bro, I learned not all humans are bad so I ain’t even mad. Best End: By their powers of water & plants combined, Tokiwa & Mio defeat Izanami and send her back to the underworld. As a thanks, Tsukishiro offers to send them back to the real world and they agree. Back on earth they live together like a married couple since grandma is dead and Mio’s parents are always so busy working they don’t even realize she brought in herself a husbando (let alone a guy who used to live with them but went missing for like 12 years lol????) She has to teach him a lot about the modern ways of living (like using a cell phone) and now she calls him by his first name, Yuuta. Good End: Tokiwa is unable to return to earth so he tells Mio to go on without him. Mio refuses and stays at Kakuryo with him. They end up having to escape his agency often to be away from a whiny jealous Momiji lol.
- Normal End: Kakuryo begins to crumble so Tokiwa opens the door to earth and sends Mio back. Mio returns and cries from guilt of leaving everyone behind.
- True best end: Hayate, Tokiwa and Mio fight against Izanami. Like in a certain other game, all Izanami wanted to do was go to earth to find Izanagi.🙄 Mio manages to talk her out of eating her and says she doesn’t really care to see Izanagi as he’s a turdbag in her eyes anyway. Izanami then says goodbye to Mio and thanks her for being her friend. She comes back once in a while and helps out with the night patrolling. Tsukishiro keeps asking Mio to marry him while everyone else cockblocks in a glorious harem ending. 😂
- True good end: Kanna never comes back and Kakuryo is in peace.
So as I mentioned in my intro, this game is stuck in year 2009/2010 as far as quality is concerned. You got the whole “lets bring out a nice artist and great voice cast at the expense of awful writing.” This game makes the mistakes frequently found in my experience with older otome games which are:
- Not calling heroine by her name, instead it’s just “silence” when her name is on screen.
- Heroine has no personality, just goes with the flow, easily abandons her real life circumstances for the bishies~
- Only 1 main route matters and the rest end up feeling like filler omakes
- A long and boring common route that contributes in no way to anyone’s character or story development
- The guys fall for the heroine for no reason despite knowing her for a very short period of time (Tokiwa is THE ONLY exception but see #3 for that)
- Terrible and visually confusing setting menus
- Sprites have only 2 pose variations, no blinking or mouth movement.
- Using fancy old timey Japanese words to emphasize 和風 mystique without actually getting to the point and boring the reader.
The only positive thing I can say for this game is art, music, voice acting and the ＼JUMP TO NEXT CHOICE FEATURE WHICH MANY GAMES LACK／. I mean I guess if all you care about is art, music and seiyuu then maybe you wouldn’t care that the story is full of holes and the heroine is a no-personality-jellyfish but I can deal with newb seiyuus and mediocre art if the story is really entertaining. Unfortunately it just bored me to sleep (though I guess I ended up getting more sleep thanks to this game?!) I don’t really know what they wanted to do with the entire premise. The heroine babbled about wanting to go back home, but in the end she didn’t really care to go back home anyway! In fact she had no qualms living la vida afterlife for the rest of her life. It was also unclear wtf actually happens to their bodies while they are IN Kakuryo and generally any interesting stuff about the character would get brushed aside for QUALITY FERRET/BEAVER(whatever that green creature was) GHOSTBUSTIN’.
And of course the ultimate worst thing about this game is the stupid 深追い system. Basically every time you are in a route, certain conversations give you the option to 深追い. You can skip it as well but it may affect if you get a good end or bad end etc. Regardless of this though, you must get EVERY SINGLE 深追い in the whole game for the final trophy! I had to go back through every route (thank god for jump to next choice and chapter select) to finally figure out where the FUQ it was missing. So if you do play this kusoge, and at one point a guide tells you 深追いしない, save, do it anyway, save elsewhere again, then load your save and not do it to proceed with your route. It will save you the grief later on! Ultimately, I still had no idea what the hell the 深追い system even contributed to the game, then again I had no idea why they did a lot of things the way they did. This was the company’s first game, their chance to try to impress the buyers…but sadly I am very much not impressed and I will probably not be getting anymore of their games in the future.
P.S. If you end up playing this crap, make sure you play Tokiwa’s route last because it’s basically the true route of the game and will spoil the entire game for you rendering all previous routes to be pointless filler fodder.