Our heroine Suzuno comes from the Hakuseki clan who has been demised many years ago. As the last survivor she’s been living alone in this shrine for years because her parents are deceased and the villagers kinda scared her off in there because of her powers. Suzuno has the ability to see people’s emotions by seeing the color of the “strings” around their necks. Because of this humans got terrified of her and would call her a monster leading her to a life of solitude. One day a group of oniwaban (the guards for the current shogun) come to get Suzuno out of the shrine and bring her to Edo. The current Toguwawa shogun Yoshimune is in need of her powers in order to eradicate the evil spirits, “yoika” who have been plaguing Edo for years. Finally finding a place where her powers will be of use, Suzuno joins the oniwaban – which is full of kikos – “human shaped” golems created out of Shikigami who have special powers to defeat evil spirits. Anyway spoilers ahead so jump to my final thoughts to avoid as usual.
Just to give some background on kikos – they are created like a shikigami and they are typically based on an object with someone’s memory tied to it. I heard before of stories in the past where a “spirit” or “god” would take over an object and Otomate kinda took it literally and made the object turn into a human. So basically you’re dating humanized objects in this game and of course if the original “object” is destroyed, the kiko will “die”. Kikos were created with the help of a god named Hibina who was the god of the Hakuseki clan shrine but more on that will be revealed in the final route summary. The other thing to note in this game is I use the term “golem” but it’s not like a golem from Dragon Quest or something 😂. It’s basically like an android or those computers from Chobits. It looks like person and speaks like a person and acts like a person but it’s not a person. It cannot get diseases like a person, which is why a lot of prostitutes in the red light district are golems. The thing is though, it can get possessed by evil spirits and turn into a yoika, especially if the human is turned into one too. Also most golems are born from the ~feelings~ of people so when Suzuno was a child, she accidentally created Miharu, who acted like her “older sister” because she was lonely from not having a mother. So yea tl;dr in this game you date kikos and FYI there’s like no consistency about kikos, because in some routes they turn human magically, in some routes if they regain their memories they die, and in some routes they have their memories from the start and absolutely nothing happened. So yea the usual Otomate Y O L O style here ┐(´д`)┌.
Toujou Kunitaka – Kunitaka was born from the cigarette pipe holder of the 2nd son of the Takemoto family. Naturally because of this smoking that pipe is one of his things, but he makes sure not to smoke around kids or Suzuno since he doesn’t want the smell to go on her. He’s good with kids and loves animals but his pet birb Komame hates him because when he found her injured, he treated her wounds with painful medicine. Ever since then she attacks him if he has food and takes a liking to pretty much everyone but him, including Suzuno. One day when Suzuno attempts to try to get Komame and Kunitaka to get along, Komame goes ornary and attacks him again, knocking him into Suzuno and they both fall to the ground and have one of those anime-style accidental kisses. 😘😂 After this I guess is when Suzuno suddenly realizes she’s in love with him, which just seemed so sudden to me because it didn’t feel like there was any interesting lead up to this other than her just hanging out with him for a little bit after picking her place to stay in Edo. ʘ‿ʘ; So after there’s this accident of summoning an evil spirit accidentally from one of Kunitaka’s kids’ art classes, he has a flashback and recalls that he’s a talisman based off the cigarette pipe that he has. The pipe belonged to the 2nd son of the family and he was constantly miserable because he was living in the shadow of his older brother.
No matter how hard he tried he could never be better than his amazing brother praised by everyone. He decided to try to get over his complex by focusing his efforts on teaching kids how to write kanji but all of his plans were broken when his amazing older brother was like ehhh screw being responsible, and eloped and went MIA with his girlfriend. Since their heir went MIA, they asked the 2nd brother to now be the new heir. Unfortunately he wasn’t as talented as his older brother, and so he continuously got depressed about being a failson. Not only that but the place where he taught the kids unfortunately caught on fire and when he ran to try to save them it was too late and every one of his students died in the fire. 😔 He got so mentally depressed after this he lost the will to live and got sick and died. So now both heirs were gone and the family felt shitty for putting pressure and ruining both of their sons’ lives. Kunitaka remembered all of this because of the fire the evil spirit caused to his school as well. Once he recalls his memories, Suzuno is able to see the tether around his neck. So then because he’s unable to protect Tokugawa Yoshimune, the shogun at the time this game takes place, and the kids of his school are put in danger Kunitaka is imprisoned. He feels like he’s a useless talisman and says he wants to turn back into the cigarette pipe but Suzuno is against this.
She keeps visiting him in jail and even though he rejected her feelings before because humans and talismen cannot be lovers he suddenly decides to give in lol. Suzuno jokingly tells him it’s too late and now she’s rejecting him instead, but it’s clear now they both want each other. Sadly they gotta set that aside as Tomonari helps him escape so they can find the evil spirit who kidnapped the kids and hurt Yoshimune. So turns out someone was using an illusion jutsu and basically framed Kunitaka. And so they go fighting the evil spirit thing but when seems like all is lost, Komame uses her remaining strength to fly to try to break through the barrier where Suzuno, Kunitaka and Tomonari are stuck. Somehow super birb Komame breaks through the barrier lmao and gets the attention of the other oniwaban. 💪🐥 They defeat the spirit and save the kids, he once again confesses to Suzuno he loves her and he will try his best not to disappear since he’s a talisman after all. Suzuno accepts his confession since she’s felt the same way the whole time, and even Komame is happy for them that she finally sits on Kunitaka’s shoulder. 🙂
In the epilogue, after the evil abducting spirit is defeated Edo becomes a lot more lively. A merchant tries to sell a turtle (aka old timey viagara) to Kunitaka but he says he doesn’t need it and Suzuno absolutely doesn’t get it 😂😂😂. Suzuno moved in with him and he resumed his writing classes for the children while she took on the role of his assistant teacher. Komame healed enough to be able to fly once more and became the mascot for the classroom. Because there’s no more evil spirits, there’s not much reason for talismen anymore so everyone is pretty much freed from their duties, and Kunitaka is no longer on “death row” to turn back into the object he was created from. Also not only that, but somehow magically Kunitaka turned into a human lol. ?_? The explanation from Yoshimune was “power of love” and I think this is where we’re supposed to give up all sense and not care cause it’s the end of his route. 😱😂 And so he also asks to give her a proper kiss this time and says the one where he fell on top of her doesn’t count. I almost completely forgot about that kiss cause it was so silly and early on lol. In the bad end, at first it seems like Kunitaka is in lala land with Suzuno and he starts to make out with her but then reality hits him and he realizes he’s surrounded by dead bodies of all the children killed by the evil spirit which is why Suzuno was crying the whole time. 😰😰😱
Kuga Genjurou – Genjurou is kinda serious and focused on his mission to guard and protect. In his route the evil spirit going around Edo is some weird hair cutter who attacks women and cuts their hair lol. 💇♂️😂 But I guess as a side effect it turns the victims into vegetables and unfortunately one of the victims ends up being Miharu, Suzuno’s golem that she created who acted like her older sister and raised her when she was little and her father died. They end up catching the hair cutter who’s some golem gone wild and after they purify the evil spirit from her all is good. I’m honestly kinda surprised how quickly they resolved this plotline. It’s all thanks to Suzuno’s powers and usually the talismans have to kill the evil spirit but she was able to purify it (which is yet another inconsistency from the previous route where they had to kill it and she basically did nothing.) So because another evil spirit claims that Gen looks like someone who killed his family he is temporarily relieved of his duties. Without having his guardian duty he feels like a useless tool and just hangs around at his house with Suzuno to watch over him – doing random training while he’s bored out of his mind. He thinks he should just be turned back into his original form – a sword but Suzuno is like nooo.
Things finally get interesting when they go to sneak into the evil spirit dude’s place and they decide to sneak Gen and Suzuno in one of those carrying mikoshi things but it’s cramped as hell so it’s like they’re trapped in a small box together. 😂😂😂 They get stopped by a city guard who insists that they show him who is inside and wanting to hide Gen’s face, Suzuno stuffs his head into her booba. 🤣🤣🤣 The guard gets so flustered he immediately shuts the door and lets them through lmfao. Honestly it’s so sad that it took so long to get to this kind of fun interaction in this whole route. My only disappointment is Gen’s general lack of any reaction to this. Turns out the evil spirit Hanzo dude was a golem who threw away his body to take some kind of special powers in exchange. Now Suzuno has to go around purifying all the golems who Hanzo tainted to be his loyal followers and because of this the townsfolk start to hate all golems. Gen starts to have an identity crisis because the owner of his sword was a terrible person and now he looks like him since it’s common for tools to look like their original owners. He started feeling like he might do horrible things like his former master but Suzuno insists that Gen is a good guy and that it would never happen. So then after they’re done talking he’s like “how about I hug you since your birb isn’t here” my dude here king of 天然. 😭😂
I honestly wish more of his route were these kind of scenes rather than boring evil spirit exposition crapo. Things finally get interesting when Gen’s heart seal melts and suddenly he can feel emotions again which would be grounds for turning back into an object. However neither he or Suzuno want this to happen but because this leaves him vulnerable, Hanzo manages to take over his body as a host and use it to take revenge because that’s pretty much all that’s left in his head against Akahori. He knows that Gen is not Akahori, but he just doesn’t like the idea that any kind of “remains” of Akahori exist so he basically won’t be satisfied until Gen is eliminated from existence. But then instead of running away Suzu jams her sword through his stomach which allows him to gain control of his body. With him and Hanzo separated, they’re able to finally defeat both Hanzo and the god that was possessing him. In the happy end epilogue everyone else wants to melt their talisman seals but only Gen was lucky thanks to, you guessed it, the power of wub. UWU 😒
And then they whip out some old timey wood block porno (NSFW) to show to Gen to be like “so now that you’re not just a tool does this make you horny bro?” and he’s like “no not really” and they’re like “but what if it with Suzuno” LMFAOsdgklsjdg.🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 Unfortunately this scene didn’t actually go anywhere but I still found it so random and funny af cause all the other guys were like “this absolutely does nothing for us because we’re still talisman brained.” 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 It’s like the scene is a description of the entire game where you got some funny af scenes that go nowhere and then we’re back to completely pointless boring shit lol. After this the two of them go outside alone where he admits he does want to bang her and become her husband and make babies though he’s not sure if he can make babies as a talisman since unlike the last route he didn’t magically become human like Kunitaka. In the bad end Hanzo takes over Gen’s body permanently, kills all the high ranking officials and oniwaban left in Edo and then kills Suzuno while Gen can only just watch and grieve on the inside. Honestly this could have been a pretty decent route but they spent so much time building up the not-that-interesting plot (though it had interesting hints) while throwing me a bone every once in a while with the cute scenes. Again could have been really great if they just paced it better.
Yoichi – Yoichi works at the pub and all the pub ladies think he’s like the ikeman but he has no interest in anyone except Suzuno. In fact he’s so sick of them constantly asking him out that he asks Suzuno to be his pretend girlfriend (but better than lover pretend 🤣🤣). He offers to do more training for her and she agrees to go along with it. Yoichi loves to eat but he’s also really good at cooking – a true model husbando. 💕 So he constantly does lovey dovey stuff to her – if someone is watching. Particularly this girl at work named Sato who he once rejected, just won’t give up on him, and basically threatens any girl who gets close to Yoichi. Suzuno is no exception and when she tells Yoichi what happened, he tells her she just needs to try harder to make it look like she likes him so it doesn’t all appear one sided from his end. 🤣😂 Eventually Sato gets off her case when Suzuno tells her how she feels but now Suzuno starts to develop actual feelings for Yoichi. He acts all tsuntsun at first saying he’s just a talisman with no emotions or feelings but that all slowly starts to change. The two of them are trying to solve the mystery plot here as usual of evil spirits gone wild and this time it boils down to a writer whose gone cray and her yandere rage is sending black tethers and creating golems that are attacking people.
When she sees Yoichi’s hair comb that he always wears she goes nuts saying it’s the comb she used to have that she sold. Turns out the gift was from her fiance, Takamoto, the guy who dumped her and ran away with his lover from Kunitaka’s route. 😱😨 She starts raging at Yoichi but he’s like lol whatever you didn’t like me, but someone did enough to turn me into human form 🤣. When she sees Yoichi being comforted by Suzuno, she flips her shit completely forcing the servants to freak out and Yoichi and Suzuno to run for it. After this Yoichi admits that he knew that he was a comb when he was created and even though they did the ceremony to seal off those memories – it didn’t work and he remembered everything all along. The only thing he had forgotten up until now is who his comb originally belonged to. So of course when Takamoto dumped Shizuki, she sold the comb, the bakufu bought it and turned it into a talisman. So now Yoichi is upset that if they find him useless as a talisman they will once again dispose of him just like Shizuki did. Suzuno and Yoichi then get into a fight because she just wants to tell him he won’t be disposed of because she can’t see his tether so he has no “feelings” like a human – but Yoichi feels offended that she’s treating him like an object since he has memories of being “cherished” and he’s not just an emotionless tool. Even when Suzuno confesses to him that she loves him he tells her he doesn’t believe her, and walks away. 😭
Suzuno does some research and finds out that Takamoto eloped with a golem prostitute, and then they had a fight because he wanted to go back to Shizuku. The two of them ended up dying after that – all because as usual dumb man was thinking with his wing wong. 🙄 So they reveal in this route the god called Hibie who is evil and is the one fueling the evil spirits gone wild in Edo. After Suzuno rushes to save Yoichi from this dude when he went to try to apologize to Shizuki, they make up and he apologizes for not believing Suzuno when she told him her feelings. They decide to all go fight the god/evil spirit the next day and the night before Yoichi and Suzuno once again confess their feelings to each other. After Yoichi affirms that even though he’s a talisman he can still feel emotions fo her, they decide to do the things lovers do and end up kissing (after Suzuno punches him thinking he was just doing for shits & giggles lmao. 🤣) The next day they go back to see Shizuku and turns out her brother Hiraoka, had died previously, and the person in front of them was now a golem made to look just like him. And not only that, but Shizuki is the one who killed her bro but didn’t want her family to find out so she made this puppet in his place lol. She liked her new oniisan way more because was nicer to her and supported all her yandere fanfiction hobbies.
It was at that time Shizuki ran into Hibie who was like “mm your yandere personality fuels my powers” and decided to lend her his powers which is why she let them go hogwild and create evil spirits everywhere. And so they duke it out and Suzuno is able to purify the evil spirits with her powers and afterwards Shizuki apologizes and Yoichi thanks her for “loving” him (as a comb lol) even if she threw him away later. In the epilogue all the evil spirits vanish as usual after this and Edo is peaceful again. Yoichi no longer cares to hide his relationship with Suzuno and acts all lovey dovey much to her embarrassment. 😘 Yoichi’s disposal is also cancelled and he’s freed from his duties as oniwaban and is told to just live his life freely as a thanks for helping save Edo from the evil spirits. Also turns out the way hizuki’s brother died is because in angry rage she pushed him down the stairs accidentally and he fell and hit his head and died and she was like omgg oniisaamaaaaa. 😱😨 Yoichi decides he wants to go on a journey of self discovery after everything that happened and Suzuno agrees to go with him. While they’re travelling they run into a travelling merchant and he has a comb that looks similar to the one Yoichi has – so Yoichi buys it for Suzuno. Shizuki continues writing her books but instead of them being stories about revenge she actually gives them happy endings. At the end of one of her books she writes “Thank you and take care of Yoichi.” In the bad end, Suzuno’s mind is overwhelmed by the yandere rage that even though they defeat Hibie and al the evil spirits, she ends up turning into a vegetable. Yoichi visits her every day but she continues to just lay there emotionless though she’s able to eat/drink with Yoichi’s help.
Kinji – Kinji’s route starts off as fun during the common route with the whole red light district bit and Suzuno being all naive about the whole thing. Unfortunately once again the poor writing and pace ruins things because they choose to focus on 2 side characters – a guy with his prostitute girlfriend golem who gets corrupted and becomes some evil monster causing problems all over town. So because the entire “common route” of this section focuses on this my brain once again shut down. Instead of using the common route to focus on the love interests or Suzuno’s interaction with them it was just the dude yelling RURIKKOOO and the golem prostitute Ruriko just screaming as her body got corrupted by evil aura. Anyway Kinji is a kabuki actor who only takes on roles of women, and refuses to do any male roles. He’s got spicy words for everyone, and some of his co-actors think that maybe he’s bullying Suzuno. 🤣 So in order to get to the bottom of the prostitute golem corruption, Suzuno decides to infiltrate the red light district by becoming an undercover prostitute. Unfortunately since she has literally no experience with men at all, and no talent (such as playing a musical instrument or singing) the owner basically makes her a house keeper for the top prostitute there to train under.
So things kinda continue as she reports anything she finds, but then one of the rich regulars of the joint named Asakura decides he wants to “mizuage” Suzuno – aka bang her and take her virginity. Suzuno (and myself) are utterly disgusted at this and she regrets ever doing this mission. Just when she feels hopeless, and they’ve literally tied her down Kinji comes to the rescue and tells the owner that he will pay double of what Asakura is paying for Suzuno (since he’s a rich kabuki actor and can afford it lol.) He even goes as far as saying “I will pay for her virginity” 😂😂😂😨. Asakura rages at this because he’s like “grr you let someone who had a lover work here” but the owner tells him to simmer down and agrees to cancel the deal with Asakura, and give Kinji the rights to Suzuno’s body. The owner asks why he won’t just “buy Suzuno out of prostitution” but Kinji says he has no plans at this time. Anyway you’re probably sitting here like but why is Suzuno ok with Kinji banging her – well turns out the game has decided a few scenes ago that she’s in love with him but as he’s a “tool” as usual his “emotions” for her are not awakened and he has not reciprocated her feelings. 🙄 Also this entire old timey prostitution system is so shitty like once you’re hired, if you try to run away they bind you down and throw you in the basement prison like yea bitch you’re our whore now can’t escape for life unless someone pays up. I know this was ˜the norm˜ back then but every time this comes up in otome games I cringe tbh.
Anyway the night where he’s to take her virginity, instead Suzuno just tells Kinji she loves him and is ok if it’s one sided cause since talismen are set to be disposed of if they regain memories and emotions. Kinji also tells her that he’s based on the hair pin that he always wears in his hair. It belonged to a man whose mother wanted a daughter and would constantly give her son woman’s things such as clothes or accessories. As the son grew older and puberty kicked in, he no longer could get away with looking like a girl and the mother god so upset she ran away (god what a freak.) The son then decided to become a kabuki actor that plays female roles in hope his mother would see him one day but he overworked himself and died young before ever seeing her again. So anyway back to the plot turns out the prostitution house owner knew about the disease going around the place (which they called Tennyou no Hagoromo) which affected both humans and golems. If a golem got it, they would just dispose of her and if a human got it, they’d give her money and tell her to quietly leave Edo.
The problem is they were supposed to report all disease cases to the bakufu (aka Tokugawa) but have not been doing so. When Kinji threatens to get the military involved to investigate, the owner finally spits out that he knows who the original disease carrier was. Turns out the initial disease carrier was Tatsunosuke – aka the guy with that Ruriko prostitute he was gonna marry so actually he was the one who corrupted her lol. Again plot revolving around side characters sigh. So basically before the owner even agreed to let Ruriko be bought by Tatsunosuke, he was made aware that Tatsunosuke has syphilis but since Ruriko was a golem and wouldn’t get STDs then it wouldn’t be an issue. 🤢 So the owner thinks that since Tatsu had syphilis that he was the one who spread the Tennyou disease which corrupts golems too. Well turns out Suzuno gets the clap too and the worst part is, she can heal other people’s claps but what it does is rather than healing the disease she absorbs the disease into herself and heals the sick person but makes herself worse.
Despite this, Suzuno insists on curing the townsfolk of the clap and uses her powers after everyone is gathered to watch Kinji’s kabuki performance. Just then Okuni starts screaming because well it turns out she’s the evil spirit who spread the clap to everyone by literally hand shaking them. ಥ‿ಥ So anyway they beat up the angry bih despite her extremely not at all convincing speech about how golems have feelings too wahhwahh. And so in the good end they turn the story into a Kabuki that Kinji re-enacts with Okuni’s old item that she was based on so she’s there in spirit. After this since the clap is gone they finally allow prostitutes to leave the red light district at they can do stuff like go to tea houses or see a Kabuki. In the bad end there clap takes over Suzuno’s body and turns her all evil and Okuni takes her in as her evil daughteroo. 😂 When she gains a sense of herself she asks Kinji to kill her and after confessing his love he stabs her with his short sword. Anyway I generally disliked this route because I hate routes where the heroine is forced into any kind of prostitution against her will. Well this time, she voluntarily decided to do it but when it came time to do the nasty she’s like OH MY GOD NO I WISH I DIDN’T DO THIS FFFS lmaoo.
Takamura Tomonari – I expected Tomonari’s route to be something special because he was like poster boy and the first one that Suzuno met in the game. Unfortunately this was not the case. In fact more than Tomonari’s relationship with Suzuno, I was actually more interested in the chemistry between the 2 side characters Kyoshiro and Miharu lol. Honestly I just wanted to ship them and apparently so did Tomonari 😂😂😂. The plot is just oh noes a bunch of people are being brutally murdered who’s behind it as usual. The only interesting bit was Tomonari constantly felt the need to protect Suzuno, but since his feelings are sealed away as a talisman, he just couldn’t figure out the reason for this need. Things finally get serious when Kyoshiro dies and turns back into his talisman form (a glove) after fighting an evil spirit. Because he’s so damaged, they can’t recreate him and Yoshimune says he was originally his golem that he turned into a talisman. Damn there goes my ship… •́ ‿ ,•̀ Suzuno feels so guilty and blames herself for Kyoshiro’s death and starts to cry. This triggers Tomonari’s seal to melt off and suddenly he’s all like yo let’s just run away lol and Suzuno’s like yea ok works for me. They get caught but the guy realizes Tomonari’s regained his feelings and says they’re both useless now anyway and tells them to GTFO (along with Komame.)
They go to a small town in the boonies outside of Edo where nobody will know about Suzuno’s powers or about talismen or anything. There just so happens to be an empty shack so they clean it up and move in and it has a private bath attached to it. Suzuno goes in first and then when Tomonari finds out that she’s gone to a mixed gender public bath before he’s like ok I’m jumping in there with you grr 😂😂😘 Finally things began to get interesting in this route. While they’re in the bath together, he confesses that he loves Suzuno and it was basically love at first sight for him. When he asks Suzuno’s feelings though….she can’t answer because this game just wants to deny me romantic development in every route but Yoichi’s 😔. One day while talking to the villagers, Suzuno finds out that her family used to live in this village but one day mysteriously vanished. Not only that but for some reason Suzuno has absolutely no memory of living here. After Suzuno tells Tomonari he’s against all of this and he calls Suzuno’s mother a traitor who abandoned her duties and family. Suzuno says she’s the same because she too ran away from her duties, and decides she wants to return and try to make things right. With all of this guilt out of her heart, she realizes she no longer has to feel guilty about liking Tomonari so she tells him that she loves him too. He says he will return to Edo with her and fight by her side once more. As they head over to the place where the village golem last heard of her mother, Suzuno and Tomonari reach a thick part of the forest where he regains his memories of himself. He reveals that he was the golem that lived with their family (and was later turned into a talisman) from Suzuno’s father’s kimono purse.
He explains this is probably why Suzuno felt familiar to him when he first met her and says he used to live with her, even though she has no memories of this. He remembers the day her family ran away is because Suzuno was kidnapped by someone from the Hakusekis and they wanted to save her from being killed. Tomonari tried to chase them down to protect them but got killed by someone from the Hakuseki before he could reach them. Since they couldn’t figure out how Tomonari’s kimono purse was picked up and turned into a talisman they decide it’s best to return to Edo and talk to Yoshimune about everything. So anyway Suzuno and Tomonari come back to Edo and it’s a god damn disaster with monsters running around left and right. The only place safe is the castle because of a barrier placed around it. They run into Yoichi who brings them to the castle to reunite with everyone. There Yoshiune tells them how a giant yoika was spawned and beat up all their oniwabans and basically took over Edo. He also tells them that it was Suzuno’s dad who gave Yoshimune his kimono purse which is why it was recreated into the talisman now. When he spoke to Suzuno’s father, he found out that she went to the Hakuseki village to save Suzuno and when the dad went to find them both, he only found Suzuno who looked like she had the life drained out of her.
Meanwhile he could not find his wife, or the rest of the Hakuseki family and Suzuno’s memories were wiped clean. Just then the god of that snow shrine appeared by the name of Hibina and he says that his other half Hibie has been possessed by an evil spirit and turned into a yoika because of the Hakuseki line being destroyed. He says that all the evil spirits are being caused by Hibie and asks Yoshimune to stop him. Hibina tells Yoshimune to create “tools” to fight against these evil spirits aka talismen. Hibina taught Yoshimune how to make the talismen and that’s how he created all of them. It took a while for Tomonari to wake up as a talisman and it was almost miraculously simultaneous as Suzuno’s “awakening” from her trance. After all the discussion is over Yoshimune tells Tomonari to go seppuku himself for the crime of running away with Suzuno, but Suzuno refuses to let this happen and takes the knife away from him saying she’ll kill herself instead. Turns out it was all a fake knife lol and Yoshimune trolled them saying that he never really intended for either of them to die. 😂😂 All he did was just testing to see if they were prepared to fight with him.
One night Suzuno overhears Tomonari talking to Yoshimune, and because he’s regained his memories he’s been having massive headaches, has lost his talismen powers and there’s a chance he will lose his body sooner or later (a factor that never seemed to be mentioned in ANY of the other routes but what is consistency right?) After an extremely not interesting battle, Tomonari asks Suzuno for a victory kiss and they have their first kiss with no CG for the player. 🥴 And just as everyone celebrates victory, MIRACULOUSLY Kyoshiro is recreated as a golem by Yoshimune, though his memory is fresh and he does not remember anything from before. In the good end epilogue, my Miharu x Kyoshiro ship comes true as they become friends again but Miharu is determined to get closer to him and they get along much better than before. 🤗 💕 They purify the sacred gem that Hibie was in since he was defeated and put him back into the snow shrine along with Hibina. Tomonari and Suzuno decide to go travelling together to look for her mother now that Edo is cleared of evil spirits. They arrive at the snow shrine, the former home of the Hakuseki clan and put the gems there. Oh also just like in Kunitaka’s route, Tomonari turned human, but this clearly didn’t apply to any of the other guys at the end of their routes. Also he got no kiss CG. 🙄😨
In bad end 1, because Suzuno decides to never return to Edo, the monsters basically destroy the whole city and kill Yoshimune and probably all the oniwabans. Oh and also they shoved the kiss CG into this bad end because now Suzuno is like yea fuck the rest of the world, let’s just bang in this village until we have to run away again lol. Actually they really did bang a lot like over and over all year but she never got pregnant and was so upset cause she wanted to actually have his babies. 😂😂😂 (oh my god i wish I was joking.) Not only that but this bad end goes on long enough that Suzuno becomes an old lady and dies but even in her final hours before death Tomonari still looks the same as he did decades ago since he continued to be an un-aging talisman. In the 2nd bad end, Suzuno refuses to run away so…Tomonari knocks her out and basically kidnaps her instead. So this time when they return and Yoshimune tells him to seppuku it makes more sense because he literally kidnapped her lmao. Anyway they fight the bad guy as usual but after the battle we are back to the inconsistency of “because he regained his memories he’s now going to vanish” plot device (also Suzuno thinks it could be from the battle too but nobody knows). But then they add an irony of “he is vanishing because he regained his memories but now he’s also losing his memories!!” It’s like some kind of amnesia inception 🥴. And so before he disappears he decides to get one for the road and bangs Suzuno and she’s like hell yess I’ve been waiting 2 ends for this. I mean they could have put this in the good end but yea let’s just make detailed bad ends instead. 😂😨
Otaro – Otaro (who I keep reading as Sakurataro lol) is like the wanko boy of the group who just wants to hang out in the red light district and have fun with Suzuno. In his route they discuss how kikos are made and Otaro thinks that they’re made based on taking a deceased person’s body, but Yoichi corrects them saying they’re basically created out of paper like shikigami by an onmyouji. One day they find the corrupted Hakuseki shrine god Hibie through a mirror and find out from him that he’s been spewing the seeds of evil creating all the yoikas as “revenge” for the clan. Otaro tells Suzuno early on that he thinks he may have fallen in love with her but isn’t 100% sure since his emotions are “sealed”. Suzuno says she would rather the seal not dispel because that means he would be executed but Otaro continues to tell Suzuno he loves her here and there. One day they’re doing some research in the document library and Suzuno finds a book about how kikos are made and it has a list of every kiko ever made. She finds Otaro’s name, but it says that he was made from a hand warmer…but that hand warmer was recently sliced in 2 during a battle with a yoika. Suzuno knows that if the original item is destroyed, the kiko will die, but Otaro is completely fine without issues. When she confronts him about it, thinking he might be a Hakuseki clan member, he confesses that he’s a yoika. 😱 In fact he’s the original yoika, the one who corrupted Hibie and the one who’s been causing problems in Edo for the last 10 years. DUNDUNDUN.
Well at least things finally got interesting lol. He is so powerful that he managed to infiltrate through their barrier 5 years ago and then he happened to see the ceremony to create Otaro. He interrupted the ceremony, killed all the onmyouji, and infiltrated the oniwaban as fake Otaro. He was able to hide his black neck strings by using a choker infused with Hakuseki clan powers. Suzuno asks why he’s revealing all of this to her, but he’s basically betting on Suzuno’s emotions and feeling towards him because he wants her to join him. He plans to merge with Hibie within 30 days, and then he wants Suzuno by his side for some reason. He tells her to think about this for a month but she’s like yea but what if I just tell everyone you’re the bad guy? 🙄 He’s all like “yea but then they’ll kill me and won’t you be sad uwu?” AND THIS IS SUPER EFFECTIVE cause Suzuno is like noooo I can’t kill wanko boy even though he’s killed thousands of people and kikos for the last decade aaaa. 😭😅🤷♀️ Her guilt is quickly cut short when the next day she finally realizes it’s all an act because the only emotion a yoika has is hate lol. Unfortunately despite knowing that he’s a bad guy, Suzuno’s still stuck on their “past relationship” which was fake, and has actually fallen in this weird love/hate relationship.
So when he kisses her, knowing she will like it, she ends up biting his lip to push him away because from a moral standpoint she knows it’s bad to fraternize with the enemy. So then after this Suzuno starts having past flashbacks to a girl from the Hakuseki clan, who had a little kimono strap dog figurine, and that dog figurine is what Otaro is actually based on. She had asked the gods Hibina and Hibie if they could use their powers to help her fall in love with a man she had met outside the clan. Hibina is against this because the Hakuseki clan has to only be incestuous and marry within the clan to keep the bloodline going. The girl says that this is stupid because there haven’t been any yoikas in a while and they should be allowed to marry outside the clan. Hibie feels bad for her and tells her that if she wants to do this, she has to cut ties with the Hakuseki clan and choose her lover instead. Turns out that woman was Suzuno’s mother Setsu, and the little dog strap was the strap attached to her little kimono purse – aka Tomonari. (So like technically Tomonari and Otaro are like a kimono accessory BFFs?! xD) Back to the present, the other oniwabans figure out that Otaro’s the traitor and go to attack him but Suzuno hopelessly in love with him and she uses a smoke bomb to run away with him. When they’re far enough away he’s like wtf are you doing after all the times I was a giant asshole to you and she’s like honestly…I have no idea. He sits there tsuning and raging and somehow that turns into crying and after Suzuno starts to literally kiss his tears away like an ikewoman, he starts blushing profusely. WTF CUTE LMAOO 😳😳😳☺️
After this Suzuno returns to the oniwabans and apologizes for running off with Otaro the way she did explaining the deal with Otaro and Hibie. Suzuno asks for another chance to try to talk Otaro out of this and the oniwabans tell her to get as much info out of him as possible but if she cannot succeed they will kill him and she will not be able to stop them. Since Otaro won’t tell her anything about the past she realizes the easiest way to trigger flashbacks is from kissing him so she kisses him again to see another flashback about her parents when they lived in that old village with Tomonari as their golem at the time and she was a small child. Suzuno then saw her young self asking her mother why her purse (which her husband gave to her) turned into a person (Tomonari) but the purse strap (Otaro) had not. Her mom then said probably because it was a present from her parents (Suzuno’s grandparents) and since she basically abandoned her family to be with Suzuno’s dad she thinks the dog figurine may have some angry feelings and never turned into a golem like Tomonari did. Moments later, the Hakuseki clan kidnapped Suzuno and left a message for her mom Setsu telling her that if she wants her daughter back to return to the clan HQ. When Setsu returns to clan HQ she’s like wtf I asked Hibie to cut my ties with the clan but then Hibina’s like nah we shouldn’t have messed with any human’s lives so I decided to reverse this and tied it back together. The clan leader tells Setsu to ditch her husband, and return to the clan and says that raising her daughter here will be better for her anyway. Setsu refused and the leader decided to try to take her in by force and kill Suzuno. Hibie couldn’t stand by and watch this and started using his powers to help Setsu run away but Hibina was pissed that he’s once again meddling in human affairs.
When one of the villagers then tries to kill Suzuno, Setsu jumps in the way and takes the sword attack, saving Suzuno and dying herself. 😱 Hibie who was in love with Setsu was horrified at seeing her die, that he got enraged and killed the entire Hakuseki clan lmao. 😂 (But he was totes ok with her marrying some human dude since he knew gods and humans could never be and just wanted to see her live a happy life.) And so the only survivor was Suzuno since she was protected by her mother’s dead body, and after everyone was killed Hibina was like “oh btw Hibie you’ve corrupted yourself and became an evil spirit.” In a panic not knowing what to do with himself, Hibie wandered off somewhere but Hibina couldn’t follow him outside the clan HQ or else the Hakuseki clan powers would completely die out. Because of all the dead bodies evil spirits began to come to the shrine so Hibina used the last of his powers to create endless snow there to hide everything that happened. This snow is also what caused Suzuno’s memory loss – since the spell basically “sealed” it away. Meanwhile, the little dog strap that Setsu dropped nearby, his love for Setsu and anger caused him to turn into a yoika because of the hate that Hibie kinda dropped on his way out – aka what Otaro is now. And now back to the present Suzuno finally figured out what happened and why Otaro is out for revenge as he is. When Suzuno tells Otaro that she remembered everything, he tells her she should understand why he’s out for revenge. He explains it’s the humans that forced the Hakuseki clan into doing what they did and they should be the ones to pay next. He also admits he’s the one who killed Tomonari the first time back then out of anger that he didn’t protect Setsu. I mean look Otaro, I get it, I’m all for revenge and stuff, but it’s like 99% Hakuseki clan’s fault because Setsu was living totally fine among other people and has nothing to do with the humans you are trying to kill.
Also Otaro has this massive inferiority complex and jealousy that all the other kikos and golems were created because somebody wanted them there, but Otaro was just accidentally born out of hate that Hibie left behind. He was so happy to be reunited with Suzuno when he found out she was joining the oniwabans, but when he found out that she had forgotten everything he was absolutely heartbroken. He continues raging about how nobody understands his feelings until Suzuno literally slaps some sense into him (fuck yea finally 😂) saying there’s going to be no end to his anger and revenge. He denies but she’s like oh yea then why are you sad and crying and tells him she will turn his life around. Just when things are getting good though, Hibie shows up all sad like “uwu are you going to abandon me 😔”. He gets mad and attacks Suzuno but Otaro jumps in the way to protect her and ends up getting absorbed by Hibie who then turns into a giant monster lol WELP. Just then the onibwans come out, watching and waiting the whole time lol, to the rescue. But none of their attacks matter cause it’s Suzuno’s powers that help calm raging Hibie down from attacking Edo. Hibie vanishes with Otaro inside him and everyone continues to look for him so Suzuno tells everyone the truth about Otaro and the Hakuseki clan. After speaking to Tomonari alone, he tells her he regained his memories after seeing Otaro’s kunai and remembered that’s the same kunai that Otaro killed him with that time. That night when Suzuno goes to sleep her soul ends up travelling inside of Hibie and meeting with Otaro.
He tells her that Hibie is going to eventually suck him in completely and his existance as “Otaro” will be completely erased. Suzuno then gets him to admit that in actuality he just wanted to live like a regular person, even as a golem and wanted to live with Suzuno’s family like Tomonari did. He admits to always being jealous of Tomonari, and says he will try to find a way to get himself out of Hibie and says they’re currently at the Hakuseki clan shrine. Suddenly everyone wakes up and Yoshimune tells everyone he knows where Hibie is and also reveals that Hibina has given him this info because he and Hibina apparently have been keeping tabs this whole time, and in fact it was Hibina who helped in the creation of kikos!! So much for not meddling in human affairs lol. 🤡 And so during the final battle, Suzuno merges her soul with Otaro, her hair turns white like that of the Hakuseki clan and she defeats the out of control Hibie. Oh and the reason she’s able to also do this is Hibina slides in to tell us the fine print of Hakuseki clan actually being yoika themselves created by Hibina and Hibie to FIGHT yoika..and the ones who could defeat them survived while the corrupted ones would be killed. Aka we’re back to the whole WHITE GUD AND BLACK BAD crap from Olympia Soire. 🙄
This is also why they refused to let the Hakuseki clan breed outside the clan cause they didn’t want to spread the evil seeds to humans. SO MUCH FOR THAT THOUGH LOOK AT SUZUNO LMAO. And so by combining her powers with Otaro, Suzunob basically became a nearly “pure” yoika like a god herself, powered up the other oniwabans and defeated (and purified) Hibie. Otaro is reborn as a regular golem now but becauses of his past deeds he has to live a life of atonement but Suzuno is like ayy I’ll join you because I got you babe. In the epilogue, everyone owns Otaro including Suzuno and he gets insanely embarrassed huehuehue. 😘🤭 He’s decided to stay and continue to work for the oniwaban this time helping people rather than hurting them. In bad end 1, Suzuno agrees to go to the dark side with Otaro, but his dog figurine is destroyed by Tomonari in battle so he dies. Suzuno just ends up succumbing to her inner yoika urges and becomes the mother of all yoikas. In the 2nd bad end I did Otaro just kills her. Anyway I did like Otaro when he was being a cute tsunbebe but it took SO LONG to get to this point and because most of the route he’s just busy being “evil.jpg” there was so little chance to see this except in the very end. It’s like the kind of thing they’d probably leave for FD content but since this game got some crap reviews on Amazon I somehow don’t foresee them having one. Actually Nagaoka games GENERALLY never have FDs (Clock Zero, Kaminaru Kimi to) so I don’t expect this one to be any different tbh.
I know a lot of people are going to be looking at this review because this game recently got picked up for a localization but please bear with me. If this is like your first otome game, and you hard core just want to see old timey historical bishies being hot and fighting and don’t particularly care for big deep plot or heroine, then you might actually really enjoy this game. I just want to start off with the disclaimer that in general, I don’t like historical games. But I have played historical games I liked like Shinobi Koi Utsutsu, Meiji Tokyo Renka, and Nil Admirari no Tenbin. The only reason I bought this is because a lot of the writers and artists had previously worked on games I greatly enjoyed. Despite this though somehow the writing ended up being terrible enough that it actually ruined the game for me.
Let me go into specific details why this was not enjoyable. The world building was totally fine, I was totally on board with the whole evil spirits fantasy thing, and heroine having powers and dating non human dudes. The art was fine, the music was nothing to write home about but was fitting so all is good. The problem that ruined the game for me was the pacing and the writing. It was just not interesting. The first 2 routes I did Kunitaka and Genjuro just bored me to tears. I just couldn’t get into them. I don’t know if it was the way Suzuno was reacting to things or the pace at which things moved but they focused too much on “side character plotlines” rather then developing the characters and the relationship between Suzuno and the love interest. I was ready to give up on the game until I got to Yoichi’s route and it was PERFECT. It was exactly how I wanted the pace to be, it kept me engaged and interested and most of all it was super cute and I enjoyed it till the end. But then after this, once again with Kinji and Tomonari I was bored to tears, and in Tomonari’s I was just shocked that they took parts that could have been potentially good and THREW THEM INTO THE BAD END. Like why would you put scenes that could potentially be romantic and write them in a negative way just so you could have this really weirdly involved bad ending? In fact sometimes it felt like the bad endings were way better written than some of the good ends lmao. And finally on the final route, I don’t want to spoil things, but I thought actually the entire premise and plot was really great for Otaro…but once again, the cute parts were few and far between at the end, and the majority of the game just suffered from “sorry no time for relationship development, gotta do plot things.”
It’s like they were trying so hard to make the reader be like “SEE CHECK OUT OUR DEEP PLOT ABOUT YOIKAS” that they forgot it’s an otome game and that honestly plot is just there to move relationships along. The other problem is the plot was kinda copypasta in a lot of the routes. It usually went along the lines of
- Side characters are introduced and there’s an evil spirit lurking around them
- It’s time for Suzuno and (love interest) to investigate!
- Oh no evil spirits, time to fight them!!
- “I have no idea when this happened but suddenly I am in love with you”
- Final battle/happy ending
This basically repeated in every route and it was just not that interesting. You could literally remove Kunitaka, Genjuro and Kinji from the game and it would make no difference because only Yoichi’s route was well written and only Tomonari and Otaro matter to the main plot (and no this is not a spoiler because their routes are locked behind the others so you know from the start they are probably important characters lmao.) Also as far as the heroine goes, Suzuno varied wildly depending on which route you were in – so obviously the routes I liked the most (Yoichi & Otaro) she was very proactive and really stood out to me. In any routes where she was kinda quiet and just went with the flow are the ones I basically fell asleep in. In fact a lot of times I wished that Miharu was the heroine because she was a lot more of a fun character to me lol. Also Komame, the smol bean birb, was super cute lol.
So overall I’m honestly just disappointed. I had decently high hopes that this would be a really great game because of the team working on it, but somehow it ended up being a mess all because of the completely mixed writing and the lack of relationship development and character development. The inconsistencies about kikos were pretty annoying too because in different routes some stuff applied but not in others. (Example: If kikos regain their memories they are supposed to die/be executed but this pretty much never happened except in ONE route’s bad ending lmao.) I also find it weird that my favorite route ended up being voiced by a seiyuu I’ve literally never heard of while all my favorite seiyuus like Maeno and Namikawa were a complete snooze.
Anyway you can go ahead and write off my review as “blah blah jaded otome game reviewer” and that’s fine and in fact I encourage people to play the game and form their own opinions anyway. Additionally, you check a lot of reviews on Amazon Japan, there’s quite a lot of Japanese players who comment that they’ve played a lot of otome games and found this one to be very lacking for veteran players. And honestly what I think it’s lacking is the romantic and character development that a GOOD otome game would have. Hell you know if we talk about character development, I can go and use Norn9 as an example where the story is a complete shit show, but the character development and relationship development was so good that the story didn’t even matter to me in the end. So maybe this game truly is meant for newer players who aren’t as concerned about deep character development like I am but if I compare to hit games like Code Realize or even Collar x Malice, I find this one severly lacking in that department. Because yes, it is possible to have a game with a deep story but also well written character relationships.