Minato Ai wakes up to find herself in a spoopy abandoned butterfly themed mansion with butterfly monsters attacking her. Out of nowhere some caped ikeman appears and they shoot the butterflies together. Having no memories of how and why she got there she takes on the name Beniyuri, based on the room she stays in. While there she meets a bunch of other guys in a similar situation and the 5 of them decide to figure a way out while collecting mysterious pieces of the kaleidoscope. As usual spoilers ahead but let’s be real by now like everyone but me has played this game. 🤣
Yea it took me a few years to get into this thing because when it first came out in Japan the reviews listed it as “not really otome” and “too linear” and after playing it myself I can definitely see. That said, it didn’t take away from the game for me and I ended up enjoying it for the most part.
Common route: So basically the spoopy mansion was a mansion from several decades ago that was abandoned because of a tragic family that used to live there. It was kinda sitting there by itself on a lake until one day a bunch of unsupervised kiddies on a camping trip decide to go exploring. They find a muddy path to the mansion and cross the lake to go into it. Unfortunately a heavy typhoon hits (and honestly the adults didn’t even bother checking the weather before going on this camping trip???) it begins to rain and their path home gets flooded. As they try to make their way out, going back to the mansion to get some stupid ribbon, Ai and one of the other kids Kazuya get swept up in the current and drown. Natsu, attempts to save them, and while he saves Ai, Kazuya falls in a coma and Natsu ends up drowning and dying. After this the mansion is demolished by the local townsfolk never to be gone to again….until the kids, now teenagers decide to go there to pay respects to their deceased friend.
Unfortunately a bus accident happens (because the driver fell asleep) on the way to the lake causing the bus to flip over and sending the kids into a critical coma in the hospital. While in the coma, their souls get transported to limbo, a space between heaven & hell. Rather than being some burning pit of flames it just looks like the interior of the mansion but a lot of it is black & white. There’s also many masks that hang on the walls because the souls of people who come there, lose their memories so that their soul can disconnect from their bodies before they move on. When they lose their memory they also lose their face (and turn into an otome mobile game heroine) so in order to not be horrifying they put a mask on instead. Anyways there’s black and white butterflies all over the mansion, the white ones send you to heaven while the black ones send you to hell. If you died with regrets and those regrets eat away at you, you basically turn into those butterfly monsters and are immediately sent to hell. If you finally decide to move on with your life, the white butterflies embrace you and take you there. Now with regards to our protag and the love interests (?) there is a chance for them to return back to reality because they are not dead yet. One of the people in the mansion, a small blonde girl with a rabbit mask they call Usagi, tells them to collect pieces of the Kaleidoscope dropped by butterfly monsters.
So now Beniyuri (Ai), Karasuba(Aki), Yamato (Takuya – who turns into half monster due to survivor guilt), and Kagiha (Natsu) collect these pieces and only at the end discover the mansion owner is actually Hikage. They also reveal that the boy in the fox mask who they call Monshiro, is actually Yamato’s real brother Kazuya who he guilted over. The mansion owner can see past memories so he pretends to be one of them and reveals bits and pieces of their memories to them and they all remember they were childhood friends and about the drowning episode as well as Natsu’s death. Natsu also reveals he’s been in kahoots with Hikage the whole time because he wanted to revive himself so he could return and live a happy life with his childhood friend crush Ai. He realizes that everyone else would die if he were to live, so he ends up bringing everyone who’s still alive in the real world back to life and awakened from their comas, including Kazuya. Meanwhile both he and Hikage finally move on (though Hikage’s probably going to hell for what he’s done lol.) At the end everyone comes back to the mansion and sets a boquet of flowers to float on the water in memory of Natsu.
Natsuki (Kagiha) – Natsu has been seriously in love with Ai for like ever, and after his death his soul’s basically been blue balled for like a decade thinking about his Ai chan and one day bam she’s right there. He’s been planning to revive himself following Hikage’s orders, but unfortunately Hikage’s been lying out the ass to him and he never intended to revive Natsu to begin with. Eventually Ai remembers the “childhood wedding promise” she made with Natsu (lol who remembers those come on) and suddenly omg we’re both each others first love!! Let’s not talk about the fact that I played this game immediately after Tales of Vesperia and this is my Yuri x Estelle seiyuu ship but nope. Natsu is dead. He ain’t coming back and the only way to get a “happy ending” is for Ai to basically stay in limbo with him forever and ever dreaming about what their future life as a married couple could have been. (´・ω・｀)……They threw me into a YuriEs ship and immediately sunk it like the god damn Titanic.
Hikage – Hikage’s name bothers me because it feels like they took Kagiha’s name and turned it into a palindrome. Anyway Hikage is the owner of the mansion but it’s because he lived there IRL many decades ago. So the deal with him is that he was the bastard child between his dad and some prostitute. His wife, who he didn’t love and only married for political reasons, was absolutely enraged when he brought his bastard child to live with him (which he also bought with money.) Hikage then got to meet his little sister (who has no name but is basically the Usagi girl we see in the manor so I will refer to her as that.) Usagi was born with a genetic disease and needed medicine to stay alive but it was very expensive. After the father’s business kinda sunk, Hikage started selling all the things in the manor to try to make money for her medicine from a relative. Unfortunately the relative just took the money and didn’t give him anything so out of rage Hikage killed him. He then became a mad scientist trying to find a way to revive Usagi who succumbed to her genetic illness and found some overpriced junk kaleidoscope that would “take him to her in the world of Psychedellica” (Sounds like a load of shit to me but here we are.)
Instead it created some kind of weird limbo world between life and death and threw him in there after he shot himself in the head when he realized his plan to revive Usagi failed. When he got to the manor, his desire to bring her back also then sucked her soul from being reborn and back into the limbo mansion. Unfortunately since he lost his memories and face, upon seeing her he had a melt down. Some of his memories came back, but scared what might happen, Usagi put a rabbit mask on and pretty much kept being out of sight from him, despite having all her memories of who he was. So for years he continued boiling inside this limbo trying to recollect the pieces of the kaleidoscope he broke while having his memory melt down…not to revive Usagi, but to take revenge on the world for making him and his sister live such a miserable life. (Also I have no clue where his parents went unless he killed them too??) Anyway once Ai arrives he pretends to be one of her childhood friends by stealing Kazuya’s identity (and eyes so he stops being an eroge protagonist), but once she finds out who he is from Usagi, for some reason she falls in love with him ?_?_?_?
Honestly I don’t know, maybe something lit a fire under her ass when he pushed her down on the couch and made out with her.( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) And so she finds out about his tragic past and forgives him but then he goes cray when he founds out that Usagi was his sister, tries to shoot Ai, and Usagi gets in the way and saves her and dies (again). At least this time she can finally transcend to heaven instead of being held back by her crazy oniichan. Realizing what a dumb fuck he’s been all this time, Hikage shoots and kills himself and gets a 1 way ticket to hell ,do not pass go do not collect kaleidoscope fragments. Meanwhile Ai wakes up from her coma in tears that her limbo love ended before it truly began. After Ai wakes up and some time passes when she visits the lake again, she feels like she can see the spirits of Hikage and Usagi walking through happily.
Takuya (Yamato) – Takuya’s got the survivor guilt because his brother Kazuya is in this 10 year coma while he’s grown up to be this sad/angry tsundere emo kid. His survivor guilt is based on the fact that he tied Kazuya’s ribbon “losely” and therefore it fell off because of him and forced everyone to go back to the mansion to get it (which is so dumb and indirect but lol let’s figure out any possible way to blame ourselves here.) He goes from tsundere to emo soon as his memories come flooding back at the mansion and becomes a monster but Ai is able to bring back some of his consciousness so that the two of them start to become closer. In the bad ending though Yamato ends up succumbing to his guilt and falls into the abyss, but since Ai is in love with him, she decides to fall into the abyss together. In the true end, Ai wakes up from her coma and goes back to her normal life and then Takuya confesses that he’s actually been in love with her since they were kids (who hasn’t tho?) and she agrees to become his girlfriend.
Kazuya (Monshiro) – Kazuya is Takuya’s twin brother who Takuya was always jealous of because he got along better with Ai (since he was nice and not a bratty shota lol.) After Kazuya fell into a coma he was immediately taken into the limbo world where he ran into Hikage and Natsu. Natsu asked to take him in and have him also help out with the kaleidoscope gathering. After a while, Kazuya told Natsu they should stop torturing poor souls on their way to heaven just for Hikage’s bullshit, but Natsu believed that Hikage would bring them back to life. Kazuya knew it was all a lie and decided to no longer follow him and randomly hide inside the mansion away from his eyes. Eventually when everyone showed up he decided to reveal himself because he was tired of hiding back his true identity and because he didn’t want the others to blindly follow Hikage. But then he met up with Natsu again and Natsu’s like uh sorry but I wanna be revived so you can go to hell for all I care and so Kazuya did just that – jumped into the dang abyss.
After finding a giant abyss entryway in the main hall of the mansion, Ai is like omg and jumps in there after him. While on her way she sees the memories that basically tell of Kazuya’s past in the mansion and she manages to get him to snap out of his sinking depression. (Well in the bad end Kazuya ends up sinking into his depression and being in a coma forever I guess.) In the good end Kazuya wakes up and confesses that he’s been in love with Ai the whole time, and they have this happy end but it’s weird because Takuya and Aki are still in a coma. I mean all these “happy” ends basically force everyone but the guy whose end it is to stay in a coma otherwise Ai just has a freaking harem xDDD.
Akira (Karasuba) – Aki, as Ai calls him, was the shy youngest kid of the bunch. During the whole accident he felt guilty that he sat there doing nothing while his friends drowned. He was bullied as child for being weak and called a himechan until Ai stepped in and told his bullies to fuck off. This is probably when he fell in love with her and basically has been in love with her forever just like the others. He changed his personality and became the funny moodmaker guy in middle school but then he ended up transferring to the same high school and Ai and all those repressed memories came flooding back along with his feelings for her. So of course he got really mad that she never saw him as more than a friend, even more so that she spent more time with Takuya because they were basically being communally depressed about their dead/comatose childhood friend/brother.
So then when they have the bus accident, once they are in the new world and Aki remembers everything, he decides he doesn’t want to go back to reality and just live a fake happy life with Ai in the limbo. He somehow manages to brainwash her to think that there’s only 2 of them in the mansion and nobody else and then gets all lewd on her, having literally the lewdest CG in the entire game meanwhile my boy Natsu doesn’t even get a kiss CG. (Kamiaso flashbacks man.) (ノ# ﾟдﾟ)ﾉ ┫:･’∵:．┻┻:･’．:∵ But then if Ai basically rejects him in the limbo, they both end up returning to the real world where he continues to try to get her to date him but she basically rejects his advances. That is until he finally admits he was just try harding to be happy but was still depressed inside and this whole incident helped him basically get over everything. He says even if they’re just friends now, he wants to try to win her over which finally is some damn character development for him but…THE END.
Another Ending: Once you collect and unlock all the scenes and side stories you can basically undo the horrors of the childhood event…the kind of decision I was thinking they should have all made the moment I saw the flashback! So basically when the rain hits, instead of attempting to cross the lake, Natsu suggests they all go back inside and just wait it out. Ai agrees with him and they all go inside, and try to chat about fun things to pass the time until they all fall asleep huddled together. The next morning when the rain has stopped, they make their way back to camp only to be yelled at by the Chaperone who “spent all night looking for them” but didn’t keep their dang eyes on them in to begin with! So because nobody dies, they all end up growing up together and being friends which also means Ai still has her man harem (with much jealousy from her sister 😂). This also means that Natsu still upholds their childhood wedding promise and already considers Ai his waifu regardless of the complaints from all the other guys. 😂😂 It’s also hinted pretty obviously that Ai only sees Natsu as her man and all the others are just little boys to her lmaoo. I guess the only way to have her end up with the other guys canonically would have been to have Natsu be dead since he’s clearly the obvious OTP lol (reminds me of Real Rode.)
Overall I think the story was pretty good but there’s definitely a few annoying things regarding the system for me. I initially bought his game a year ago, then I ragequit refunded it because I couldn’t figure out the damn butterfly game on steam. Normally you play this on a vita and you can use the touch screen to select and shoot the butterflies. Since this is a steam port, the best awkward way I found of playing was basically to hold down the left click button of your mouse while moving your mouse frantically around the screen until you select several butterflies. Once you’ve selected at least 3, press the key you associate with your O button (in my case it was L). That was the only way I was able to eventually make my way to S rank. Regardless though, what I did not know is it’s not your rank that matters. It’s just that you get more points with higher rank – but since you basically do the game once per route, and twice in the common route, you will get more than enough points to unlock everything even if you got B/C rank every time. I initially pulled up a Japanese guide that told me I need to get S rank from the start and it made me feel like I basically couldn’t play the game. Fortunately I pulled up an English guide and it was a lot clearer on what I had to do.The only up side of the system was that you could pick a choice, save and then jump to another part in the flow chart without having to sit there skipping for hours. The gallery was also weird where the “Other” CG section was basically CGs from all the character section and many galleries repeated the same CG from other galleries, it was a mess screencapping stuff that I didn’t already grab. 🙃
The other thing is the stupid flow chart system. In most otome games you basically pick choices, skip through to get to your route etc. Here you basically kept getting thrown into the flow chart and you had to unlock episodes using those mini game points in order to proceed with the next chapter. Once I got used to it, it kinda made sense, but if you don’t play in a certain order it becomes a mess so I’m glad I had the guide to follow or I would have been completely lost on what I am missing to unlock a certain ending. Because of this confusing flowchart maze system, the character development/otome-ness of the game pretty much got lost – so I can see why back in the day I read these initial reviews that mentioned this. This was a big reason I never picked up the game and now I can see why. I still enjoyed the story for the plot at least, but the romance definitely felt kinda shoved in, especially the part that basically all the childhood friends have loved the heroine literally since they were shotas so I felt like the only guy who had any kind of “development” was Takuya simply because he was a tsundere and I’m biased to those and they take some time to warm up to the heroine 😂.
I’m also disappointed that my least favorite character got the naughtiest CGs in the game while my favorite one didn’t even get a kiss one. ＿|￣|○ i|||i Also screw Hikage, worst poster boy ever wtf? He had potential to be such a well developed character but they just threw him into his role and left it at that. Anyways now that I’ve finally gotten myself through this, I can move on to Psychedellica of the Ashen Hawk! Also thanks to everyone who stopped by my Twitch stream, I’ll be streaming the next game as well. °˖☆◝(⁰▿⁰)◜☆˖°